MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

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

Post by LifeOnaPlate »

beastie wrote:
I'm not sure where in this thread DCP ever denied such.


Are you kidding me? DCP practically accused me of slander when I referred to Packer's statements as supporting my contention that he encourages the suppression of historical facts that could damage the faith. He also claimed that my statements on this thread were the equivalent of stating that "anything coming from Church historians who had the support of the Church is very likely going to be dishonest and a distortion." And you two are going to insist that he always agreed with my points? Please.

That book completely stinks. The dialog was old hat, the premise was old, the protagonist was obnoxious and I hated the pacing.

As soon as I get around to reading it I'll let you know details.


Learn to differentiate between discussing the conflict of interest and the reasonable undermining of confidence surrounding this text and actually discussing the content of the book. I know it's tough, but if you concentrate hard enough, I bet you can do it.


So you're telling me you liked the book?
One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*

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

Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:And you two are going to insist that he always agreed with my points? Please.

I'm not.

But I think I've been too subtle for you. My apologies.

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

Post by beastie »

I'm not.

But I think I've been too subtle for you. My apologies.


I momentarily forgot that vagueness and statements crafted with enough ambiguity for future deniability is your modus operandus.

Of course, if I'm incorrect, and that is not your modus operandus, you could actually explain which if the following points you disagree with.


1 – the conflict of interest (spare me parsing about “possible” versus “actual”)
2- the past “uneasy history between some professional LDS historians and some Church leaders”
3- as of this moment, other qualified researchers do not have access to the previously inaccessible material that the church leaders opened to the authors

Now, the final conclusion is:

Reasonable people appreciate how these three elements work together to undermine confidence in this work, and that undermined confidence can only be adequately resolved by allowing other qualified researchers access to the previously inaccessible material.
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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:I momentarily forgot that vagueness and statements crafted with enough ambiguity for future deniability is your modus operandus.

The term is modus operandi, beastie. There's a grammatical reason for that.

My modus operandi is careful distinctions and nuances. They're essential for accurate thought.

beastie wrote:Of course, if I'm incorrect, and that is not your modus operandus, you could actually explain which if the following points you disagree with.

I've explained my viewpoint. Several times. You're evidently more interested in polemicizing with a meat axe and scoring imagined points than in understanding it.

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

Post by GoodK »

Shades, please delete this entire thread.

It is long past due.

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

Post by Daniel Peterson »

GoodK wrote:Shades, please delete this entire thread.

It is long past due.

No NO NO!

We have a chance of making it to thirty pages before beastie ever sees the actual book.

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

Post by beastie »

I certainly don't want the thread deleted. I think it contains insight into the games defenders of the faith play.

But I agree that there's little left worth saying.
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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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by GoodK »

beastie wrote:I certainly don't want the thread deleted. I think it contains insight into the games defenders of the faith play.

But I agree that there's little left worth saying.


Even if it does -- there is no way I'm going through the 27 pages to find it.

I don't know anyone else diligent/patient enough to either.
Last edited by GoodK on Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by beastie »

Even if it does -- there is no way I'm going through the 27 pages to find it.


Well, if you skip all of DCP's "countdown" posts, and other posts in which he essentially says nothing, that would probably cut it in half. But if you haven't followed it all along, no, it's not worth reading to get to. No doubt you've seen the tap dancing before.
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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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Daniel Peterson »

Crude and simplistic thinkers imagine that nuances are tap dancing, that failure to state the blindingly obvious is deception, and that precision is evasion.

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

Post by beastie »

I'll let you have the last word, DCP, since it's bound to be as insipid as the vast majority of all your words on this thread, and somehow that seems to bring it full circle.

So go right on and rant some more about how crude and simplistic I am, while neglecting to mention pesky little details like exactly where you disagree with my points.
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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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Trevor »

I suddenly regret having posted my actual reactions to the book, as one of its readers, on this thread. Evidently it was a waste of time. Too bad, because I thought the book was worth reading, and I thought I had made some reasonable observations about it.
“I was hooked from the start,” Snoop Dogg said. “We talked about the purpose of life, played Mousetrap, and ate brownies. The kids thought it was off the hook, for real.”

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

Post by harmony »

Trevor wrote:I suddenly regret having posted my actual reactions to the book, as one of its readers, on this thread. Evidently it was a waste of time. Too bad, because I thought the book was worth reading, and I thought I had made some reasonable observations about it.


Some of us have taken the trouble to read every single post in this thread. Some of us know exactly what Daniel was/is doing and why. Some of us know how to wade through the rabbit holes and find the gems. So please... for those of us who actually still read this thread, do not regret your posts.
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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

I suddenly regret having posted my actual reactions to the book, as one of its readers, on this thread. Evidently it was a waste of time. Too bad, because I thought the book was worth reading, and I thought I had made some reasonable observations about it.



I appreciated your comments as well, and would like to discuss it more after I read the book myself.
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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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Trevor »

harmony wrote:Some of us have taken the trouble to read every single post in this thread. Some of us know exactly what Daniel was/is doing and why. Some of us know how to wade through the rabbit holes and find the gems. So please... for those of us who actually still read this thread, do not regret your posts.


Well, I am glad my efforts were not entirely wasted.

Now, as to what Daniel is doing... You don't imagine that it might be frustrating that the first discussion of the Mountain Meadows Massacre book here would be about why we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it? I mean, say what you will of the FARMS Review (Heaven knows I have), but at least they do read the books they write about.
“I was hooked from the start,” Snoop Dogg said. “We talked about the purpose of life, played Mousetrap, and ate brownies. The kids thought it was off the hook, for real.”

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

Post by beastie »

Now, as to what Daniel is doing... You don't imagine that it might be frustrating that the first discussion of the Mountain Meadows Massacre book here would be about why we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it? I mean, say what you will of the FARMS Review (Heaven knows I have), but at least they do read the books they write about.


Personally, I never stated or insinuated that we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it. Others may have, but I haven't.
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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Ray A

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

Post by Ray A »

More context from Dallin Oaks:

Harvey Weinstein: You used an interesting phrase, “Not everything that’s true is useful.” Could you develop that as someone who’s a scholar and trying to encourage deep searching?

DHO: The talk where I gave that was a talk on “Reading Church History” — that was the title of the talk. And in the course of the talk I said many things about being skeptical in your reading and looking for bias and looking for context and a lot of things that were in that perspective. But I said two things in it and the newspapers and anybody who ever referred to the talk only referred to [those] two things: one is the one you cite, “Not everything that’s true is useful,” and that [meant] “was useful to say or to publish.” And you tell newspapers any time (media people) [that] they can’t publish something, they’ll strap on their armor and come out to slay you! [Laughs.]

I also said something else that has excited people: that it’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true, because it diminishes their effectiveness as a servant of the Lord. One can work to correct them by some other means, but don’t go about saying that they misbehaved when they were a youngster or whatever. Well, of course, that sounds like religious censorship also.

But not everything that’s true is useful. I am a lawyer, and I hear something from a client. It’s true, but I’ll be disciplined professionally if I share it because it’s part of the attorney-client privilege. There’s a husband-wife privilege, there’s a priest-penitent privilege, and so on. That’s an illustration of the fact that not everything that’s true is useful to be shared.

In relation to history, I was speaking in that talk for the benefit of those that write history. In the course of writing history, I said that people ought to be careful in what they publish because not everything that’s true is useful. See a person in context; don’t depreciate their effectiveness in one area because they have some misbehavior in another area — especially from their youth. I think that’s the spirit of that. I think I’m not talking necessarily just about writing Mormon history; I’m talking about George Washington or any other case. If he had an affair with a girl when he was a teenager, I don’t need to read that when I’m trying to read a biography of the Founding Father of our nation.

Harvey Weinstein: Just one more question on that. In every church, in every person, there’s a shallow territory usually explained away through context. Many find information through the Internet — some would rather find things out about the Church history, doctrine through teachings, rather than the Internet, or other resources.

DHO: It’s an old problem, the extent to which official histories, whatever they are, or semi-official histories, get into things that are shadowy or less well-known or whatever. That’s an old problem in Mormonism — a feeling of members that they shouldn’t have been surprised by the fact that this or that happened, they should’ve been alerted to it. I have felt that throughout my life.

There are several different elements of that. One element is that we’re emerging from a period of history writing within the Church [of] adoring history that doesn’t deal with anything that’s unfavorable, and we’re coming into a period of “warts and all” kind of history. Perhaps our writing of history is lagging behind the times, but I believe that there is purpose in all these things — there may have been a time when Church members could not have been as well prepared for that kind of historical writing as they may be now.

On the other hand, there are constraints on trying to reveal everything. You don’t want to be getting into and creating doubts that didn’t exist in the first place.
And what is plenty of history for one person is inadequate for another, and we have a large church, and that’s a big problem. And another problem is there are a lot of things that the Church has written about that the members haven’t read. And the Sunday School teacher that gives “Brother Jones” his understanding of Church history may be inadequately informed and may not reveal something which the Church has published. It’s in the history written for college or Institute students, sources written for quite mature students, but not every Sunday School teacher that introduces people to a history is familiar with that. And so there is no way to avoid this criticism. The best I can say is that we’re moving with the times, we’re getting more and more forthright, but we will never satisfy every complaint along that line and probably shouldn’t. (Emphasis added)


PBS Transcript provided by LDS Newsroom

One thing clear here is that he's not referring just to Mormon history. I don't agree that it's not important to know about the personal lives of important leaders (including "affairs", heaven knows we have an abundance about Lincoln, Jefferson, and JFK), religious or otherwise. I think to hide this would diminish the credibility of any historian. Bushman doesn't shrink from this, and maybe that's what he means by "moving with the times". If I understand his comments correctly, we're not going to see this in "official" sources.

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

Post by harmony »

Trevor wrote:Now, as to what Daniel is doing... You don't imagine that it might be frustrating that the first discussion of the Mountain Meadows Massacre book here would be about why we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it?


Funnily enough, I've not seen anyone say that we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it. Exaggeration is Daniel's forte, not yours. Try to avoid it; it does your point no good.

Of course there is value in the book; heck, there's value in Beep, Beep, Sheep in a Jeep and Lord of the Rings! But refusing to acknowledge the problems related to the book that are outside of the content (the obvious conflict of interest, refusing to address the inability of qualified historians to check the accuracy of the footnotes, and refusing to acknowledge that the church has a problematic history regarding its own history --including turning a blind eye to those who destroy historical documents, hiding information, and rewriting history,and the problematic quotes from some church leaders) has little if anything to do with any discussion of the book itself, but has a great deal to do with the way the book might be perceived by outsiders (and some insiders).

The discussion is valuable, even if the participants haven't all read the book yet, because the problems aren't related to the content, but to the process of writing it. And Daniel's continual wailing that some of the thread participants haven't yet read the book isn't going to change those problems.

You no doubt noticed how interested Daniel is in actually discussing the content: he had no comments about your points at all, but simply blew you off with a passing glance. Why? Because his agenda is not to discuss the book; his agenda is to deflect criticism of the church and the Brethren. And that is why this thread is 27 pages long, with only a handful of posts from Daniel that can be in any way construed as significant.

Daniel is simply being Daniel, deflecting any criticism of the church, no matter how justified the criticism. He is nothing if not predictable.

I mean, say what you will of the FARMS Review (Heaven knows I have), but at least they do read the books they write about.


Daniel doesn't. At least not all of them. Didn't you see that post?
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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Trevor »

harmony wrote:Funnily enough, I've not seen anyone say that we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it. Exaggeration is Daniel's forte, not yours. Try to avoid it; it does your point no good.


I was not attacking beastie. I was stating a simple fact. Look at how the thread began. Then tell me why any faithful Mormon would expect it to inspire a fair reading of the book from people around here. I am not saying Daniel is right. I am not saying beastie is wrong. I am saying, "let's look beyond that and try to understand each other as more than sparring partners in an interminable pissing contest."
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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Trevor »

harmony wrote:Daniel doesn't. At least not all of them. Didn't you see that post?


And this is pertinent how? I talked about the reviewers reading the books, not Daniel reading every book that is reviewed by the FROB.
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Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Trevor »

harmony wrote:The discussion is valuable, even if the participants haven't all read the book yet, because the problems aren't related to the content, but to the process of writing it. And Daniel's continual wailing that some of the thread participants haven't yet read the book isn't going to change those problems.


And I am not completely disagreeing with you. I am pointing out that it might be understandable why others would be frustrated by this. I mean, it could be perceived as poisoning the well, no? Can we get beyond the technical right and wrong of this to appreciate how others might perceive things? I get frustrated when LDS fail to do the very same thing. As clearly they have many times on this very issue: the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

harmony wrote:You no doubt noticed how interested Daniel is in actually discussing the content: he had no comments about your points at all, but simply blew you off with a passing glance. Why? Because his agenda is not to discuss the book; his agenda is to deflect criticism of the church and the Brethren. And that is why this thread is 27 pages long, with only a handful of posts from Daniel that can be in any way construed as significant.

Daniel is simply being Daniel, deflecting any criticism of the church, no matter how justified the criticism. He is nothing if not predictable.


And you know what? It bothered me not one bit that he did not engage me on it. I never expected him to. He has admitted that this is not the reason he comes here. He is fascinated with the collective obsession with Mormonism. He enjoys going the rounds with people the more irrational and obsessive they seem to him. Why then would he do more than acknowledge that I was not being unreasonable and then move on?

Finally, let me ask, is Daniel an apologist? Or is he something else?
“I was hooked from the start,” Snoop Dogg said. “We talked about the purpose of life, played Mousetrap, and ate brownies. The kids thought it was off the hook, for real.”

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