MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

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Boaz & Lidia
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MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

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http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10060114

After six years of unprecedented access to LDS Church archives, hundreds of hours in the nation's libraries and thousands if not millions of dollars spent on research, three Mormon historians believe they can put to rest the question of what prompted a southern Utah Mormon militia to slaughter 120 unarmed men, women and children at Mountain Meadows on Sept. 11 1857.


Amazingly, Turdley admits that Young's actions aided the WHY:
"It is true that [Young's] rhetoric during a time of war was part of the backdrop against which the massacre happened," Turley said


Why were these three employees of LDS Inc given unprecedented access to LDS historical archives but non LDS authors have not???
"We came up with the idea for the book ourselves. We were not assigned to do it," said Turley, assistant LDS Church historian. "We sought the cooperation of church leaders to get access to information [such as the First Presidency's confidential collection] but asked that we retain full editorial control and they've honored that."
Not surprising, the book penned by LDS Inc does not find fault with Young.


"Many Mormons still don't know anything about it," Turley said. "My feeling is the best approach is to face it."
Chapelness lives on.
Moderator Note--This thread has been temporarily pinned so that those wishing to access comments for the new thread may do so. Liz

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Post by Dr. Shades »

If they were not assigned to write it, who footed the millions?
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Boaz & Lidia
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Post by Boaz & Lidia »

Dr. Shades wrote:If they were not assigned to write it, who footed the millions?
Dunno, good question though..
Sanders points to the fact that though all three authors are or were employed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they insist that LDS authorities did not dictate or approve the book's direction.
Someone page the Scratcher...

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Post by beastie »

They probably solicited funds from their Gold Star - or whatever they call it - FARMS donors.
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Post by truth dancer »

"We came up with the idea for the book ourselves. We were not assigned to do it," said Turley, assistant LDS Church historian. "We sought the cooperation of church leaders to get access to information [such as the First Presidency's confidential collection] but asked that we retain full editorial control and they've honored that."


A few faithful LDS men ask the church leaders for permission to access confidential (perhaps unavailable to non LDS authors), records so they can write a faith promoting book about one of the worst events in church history.

Why would the authors need to ask for editorial control? If the church didn't think it would be a faith promoting book they never would have given permission, nor assisted in any way.

I'll once again role play being a PR director for the church. As I have said before, my first plan would be to get faithful authors to write books disclosing bits of the truth while also presenting the apologetic perspective.

This is the way the PR machine works whenever there is something messy to address.

Bushman did a great job. Sounds like these guys will accomplish their mission as well.

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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

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"We came up with the idea for the book ourselves. We were not assigned to do it," said Turley, assistant LDS Church historian. "We sought the cooperation of church leaders to get access to information [such as the First Presidency's confidential collection] but asked that we retain full editorial control and they've honored that."


The fact that the murderer John D. Lee was posthumously returned to his full fellowship speaks louder than any book about a henhouse written by the foxes assigned to guard it.

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Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:They probably solicited funds from their Gold Star - or whatever they call it - FARMS donors.

I assume that you're joking.

But, just in case you're not: No, they didn't.

Incidentally, it's amusing to watch people who've complained for years about a Church cover-up of the Mountain Meadows Massacre complain now about the Church having spent millions of dollars (whether that figure is true or not, I have no idea) to research the case and publish a two-volume historical analysis of it.

That's almost as amusing as it is to watch people who haven't even seen the book yet dismiss it as just one more incompetent and dishonest Morg cover-up. Of course, it must be said that Turley et al. would have been able to publish with a more reputable outfit than Oxford University Press if their book had met at least minimal standards of quality.

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Post by beastie »

I assume that you're joking.

But, just in case you're not: No, they didn't.

Incidentally, it's amusing to watch people who've complained for years about a Church cover-up of the Mountain Meadows Massacre complain now about the Church having spent millions of dollars (whether that figure is true or not, I have no idea) to research the case and publish a two-volume historical analysis of it.

That's almost as amusing as it is to watch people who haven't even seen the book yet dismiss it as just one more incompetent and dishonest Morg cover-up. Of course, it must be said that Turley et al. would have been able to publish with a more reputable outfit than Oxford University Press if their book had met at least minimal standards of quality.


I didn't realize that the church directly funded it, otherwise I wouldn't have made the half-joking suggestion. It seemed clear to me that the millions had to come from somewhere, and probably not the pockets of the authors. Who else would be interested enough to fund it other than the church itself, or rich Mormons interested in defending the faith? My only mistake was not realizing that the church funded it directly.

Are you suggesting that it's unthinkable that rich LDS donors would be approached to help fund apologetic projects??????? This seems to defy known reality.
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Post by Tarski »

Before the internet, "Cover ups" could be rather passive and implicit like "the invisible hand". Just don't mention anything but that there is anti-Mormon literature out there somewhere. Now days, even an active cover up seems unlikely to work. But innoculation! Now that's bound to work. Expose curious members to a tiny part of, or a watered down version of, critical arguments, difficult history and surprising aspects of Joseph Smith's life and activites. Do it with a air of confidence from the faithful perspective and against the assumed background that of course the church is still true (the authors are LDS after all) and we have succesfull innoculation.
As soon as someone brings it up, the member can immediately take the inward stance of "oh, that? I already know about that!" and then go on back to the all is well in Zion mentality.

Innoculation is the key.
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Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:Who else would be interested enough to fund it other than the church itself, or rich Mormons interested in defending the faith? My only mistake was not realizing that the church funded it directly.

Are you suggesting that it's unthinkable that rich LDS donors would be approached to help fund apologetic projects??????? This seems to defy known reality.

It's amusing that you dismiss the book as an "apologetic project" designed to "defend the faith."

You've probably heard the old academic joke about the two professors talking. "Have you read Smith's new book yet?" asks one. "Have I read it?" responds the other. "Why, I haven't even reviewed it yet!"

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Post by Daniel Peterson »

Tarski wrote:Before the internet, "Cover ups" could be rather passive and implicit like "the invisible hand". Just don't mention anything but that there is anti-Mormon literature out there somewhere. Now days, even an active cover up seems unlikely to work. But innoculation! Now that's bound to work. Expose curious members to a tiny part of, or a watered down version of, critical arguments, difficult history and surprising aspects of Joseph Smith's life and activites. Do it with a air of confidence from the faithful perspective and against the assumed background that of course the church is still true (the authors are LDS after all) and we have succesfull innoculation.
As soon as someone brings it up, the member can immediately take the inward stance of "oh, that? I already know about that!" and then go on back to the all is well in Zion mentality.

Innoculation is the key.

I must say that I admire the speed with which you've read, devoured, and taken the measure of the new Oxford Mountain Meadows Massacre book.

To my embarrassment, I haven't even gotten around to buying a copy yet. In fact, I haven't so much as seen it.

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Post by Daniel Peterson »

From the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia entry on prejudice:

The word prejudice refers to prejudgment: making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event. . . . The meaning now is frequently "any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence." Race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and religion have a history of inciting prejudicial behaviour.

"The truth of the matter is that there is literally no way that this [as yet unseen] letter is not damning in some way." (Master Scartch, 30 July 2008, MormonDiscussions.com)

"Actually, you lose either way." (Master Scartch, 31 July 2008, MormonDiscussions.com)

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Post by beastie »

It's amusing that you dismiss the book as an "apologetic project" designed to "defend the faith."

You've probably heard the old academic joke about the two professors talking. "Have you read Smith's new book yet?" asks one. "Have I read it?" responds the other. "Why, I haven't even reviewed it yet!"


Do you expect to be taken seriously at all? I'm not "dismissing" the book, I'm stating an obvious fact. If the LDS church funds a book about Mountain Meadows Massacre, it is obviously going to be apologetic in nature. That doesn't mean it's inaccurate.

I've never understood the defensiveness among apologists regarding the term apologetic. Rereading the white crow thread reminded of that particularly silliness, wherein I was chastised by a moderator for referring to "apologists". What's even funnier is that they later renamed their board Mormon APOLOGETICS and discussion. Yet I'm not allowed to use the word??? LOL.

If apologetics has become a "bad word" it might be due to the fact that apologists have really cranked out some dubious material in the past.
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Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:Do you expect to be taken seriously at all? I'm not "dismissing" the book, I'm stating an obvious fact. If the LDS church funds a book about Mountain Meadows Massacre, it is obviously going to be apologetic in nature.

Do you expect to be taken seriously at all? (If you do, give it up. At least with me. I simply can't. And your remarks here on this thread, once again straight from the Department of Redundancy Department, illustrate why.) The nature of a book should be determined through examining the book.

beastie wrote:I've never understood the defensiveness among apologists regarding the term apologetic.

There's nothing wrong with the term apologetic. As I explain in my Editor's Introduction to FARMS Review 18/2 (2006), entitled "The Witchcraft Paradigm: On Claims to 'Second Sight' by People Who Say It Doesn't Exist," it's a perfectly honorable word:

http://farms.BYU.edu/publications/revie ... m=2&id=621

Some critics, of course, take it necessarily to imply dishonesty and use it as shorthand for slipshod pseudoscholarship, which is objectionable, unjustifiable, and unfair, but the term itself is a respectable one.

beastie wrote:I'm not allowed to use the word??? LOL.

LOL. Do you expect to be taken seriously at all? Nobody said that you're "not allowed to use the word."

But the term apologetic has a determinate meaning, and, since you apparently haven't even seen the new Oxford book, it isn't clear on what grounds (beyond ideological prejudice) you've determined that it applies.

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Post by beastie »

Ok, Daniel, how many purely academic, non-apologetic books has the LDS church directly funded? A list would be fine.
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Post by Yong Xi »

Daniel Peterson wrote:
beastie wrote:Who else would be interested enough to fund it other than the church itself, or rich Mormons interested in defending the faith? My only mistake was not realizing that the church funded it directly.

Are you suggesting that it's unthinkable that rich LDS donors would be approached to help fund apologetic projects??????? This seems to defy known reality.

It's amusing that you dismiss the book as an "apologetic project" designed to "defend the faith."

You've probably heard the old academic joke about the two professors talking. "Have you read Smith's new book yet?" asks one. "Have I read it?" responds the other. "Why, I haven't even reviewed it yet!"


What are the criteria for defining an "apologetic project"?

I think a better approach is to admit that this book presents the church's position. It should be read in that light. Perhaps, the authors have shed new light on the subject. I say we take what it gives us.
Last edited by Yong Xi on Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:Ok, Daniel, how many purely academic, non-apologetic books has the LDS church directly funded? A list would be fine.

The nature of a book is best determined by examining the book itself. Your question is wholly irrelevant.

Even if this were the first such instance, the nature of the book should be determined by examining the book itself.

Your dogmatic ideology supplies you with predetermined views for which you require no empirical evidence. On that score, you're in no position to point a finger at religious believers.

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Post by beastie »

The nature of a book is best determined by examining the book itself. Your question is wholly irrelevant.

Even if this were the first such instance, the nature of the book should be determined by examining the book itself.

Your dogmatic ideology supplies you with predetermined views for which you require no empirical evidence. On that score, you're in no position to point a finger at religious believers.


I already explicitly stated that the fact that a work is apologetic does not mean it is inaccurate.

And yes, whether or not the LDS church has directly funded purely academic, non-apologetic books before is completely relevant.

I will interpret your answer to mean there's no list of non-apologetic books that the LDS church has ever directly funded, because there are none.
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Post by beastie »

I think a better approach is to admit that this book presents the church's position. It should be read in that light. Perhaps, the authors have shed new light on the subject. I say we take what it gives us.


I'm fine with that phrasing as well. I did not mean the term "apologetic" or "defending the faith" in the pejorative manner Daniel has chosen to interpret it.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

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Post by Daniel Peterson »

Yong Xi wrote:What are the criteria for defining an "apologetic project"?

My Editor's Introduction to FARMS Review 18/2 (2006), entitled "The Witchcraft Paradigm: On Claims to 'Second Sight' by People Who Say It Doesn't Exist," offers some relevant reflections on that issue:

http://farms.BYU.edu/publications/revie ... m=2&id=621

From what I can tell of this Mountain Meadows Massacre project, it has never been conceived as "apologetic" in character. All three of the authors have expressly denied apologetic intent. And certainly Glen Leonard and Ron Walker lack any real history as "apologists" -- unless believing Mormon historians are simply to be called "apologists" by definition.

beastie wrote:I already explicitly stated that the fact that a work is apologetic does not mean it is inaccurate.

That's irrelevant to the question of whether the book is "apologetic" or not.

beastie wrote:I did not mean the term "apologetic" or "defending the faith" in the pejorative manner Daniel has chosen to interpret it.

Whether you intended it pejoratively or not -- others here certainly use the term in that manner -- is irrelevant to the factual question of whether the term applies in this case. Which can only be determined by examining the book.

beastie wrote:I will interpret your answer to mean there's no list of non-apologetic books that the LDS church has ever directly funded, because there are none.

You will, in that case, interpret it incorrectly, as is your very frequent habit. Which is a major reason for my unwillingness to attempt serious conversation with you on serious subjects.

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Post by Yong Xi »

Daniel Peterson wrote:
beastie wrote:Ok, Daniel, how many purely academic, non-apologetic books has the LDS church directly funded? A list would be fine.

The nature of a book is best determined by examining the book itself.


Agreed. Understanding how the book came about is part of that examination. It seems obvious, that any book published with the blessing (funding, archive access, etc.) of any organization must be examined very carefully. How does one examine sources that are not available to the public or other researchers? I am speaking of sources that are cited and those that influence the authors' conclusions but are not cited.

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