Subject:

Elise Soukup is guilty of shoddy journalism, by not checking her facts.....

Date:

Oct 11 13:57

Author:

Scott Tippetts


By her blithely parroting the Cult's unsubstantiated P.R. propaganda of being "[one of] the fastest growing religions" Ms. Soukup is guilty of shoddy journalism.  [the October 2005 Newsweek article on Mormonism was written by Elise Soukup]


Fact-checking, Ms. Soukup, fact-checking.

In the United States (and similar results in Canadian surveys too, btw), more people LEAVE the LDS Cult than join:
http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_briefs/aris/key_findings.htm and see especially heading
4. Religious Switching Among Selected Religious Groups and the accompanying table

 http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/images/image019.gif .

Add to that the data available at Cumorah.com that others here have already mentioned, and a couple of articles in the series done recently by the Salt Lake Tribune that debunks this false Faith-Promoting-Cliche (see the box for special stories/series on the SLTrib website's main page).
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2890645
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2890646
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_2886596


Their continuing to count as 'members' those 6-8 million who haven't attended a single Mormon meeting in years -- indeed, most of whom no longer even self-identify as Mormon! -- is not just Arthur Anderson style 'creative' (read: sleazy) accounting.... IT IS OUTRIGHT DISHONEST. (pssst, hey Gordo, please see Chapter 2 in your book 'Stand for Something' for a reminder that Honesty is one of the principles you're supposed to be standing for, ya lying dog you.)


And thanks to Ms. Soukup, for blindly perpetuating the propaganda of Goebbels B. Hinckley and his Politburo, without checking the facts first.

It has been well established with solid data that the Seventh-Day Adventists are growing much faster than the Mormons, worldwide AND in the US alone -- and that's even if you grant the Mormons' inflated 12 million figure. Plus, the Seventh-Day Adventists' membership numbers are tabulated using a more stringent 'activity' criterion, which means that if they aren't attending currently, they aren't counted. I.e., if you go by *actual* practicing / attending members, 7DAs are 3x to 4x as large as the Mormon Cult, and growing FAR more rapidly.

Abroad, even the Jehovah's Witnesses are growing faster than the Mormons, and their foreign 'activity' percentages & numbers put the Mormon Cult's numbers to shame.

- - - - - - - -

The stone cut without hands from the mountain may still be rolling forth, but it has ceased to grow.... and will never fill the earth, but become yet another indistinguishable piece of detritus within the scree of false religions.


In the name of the Popper, and of the Kant, and of the Holy Bertrand Russell, amen.

 

 

Subject:

That's like saying, "But exaggerators are not liars!" :) nt

 

Subject:

This abject Morgbot bias was exposed in the first sentence...

 

Subject:

Re: This abject Morgbot bias was exposed in the first sentence...

Date:

Oct 11 20:44

Author:

Rebel Scholar


brian-the-christ,

Thank you for posting the thread of "Elise Soukup is not a TBM". I am frustrated in trying to explain to several of the posters on this board that the Newsweek article is a propaganda piece. I expected some to buy into this article being a "good piece of journalism". Or the "church not looking good in the articles."

It is some of the people who bought off on the work like Simon Southerton, Samuel the Utahnite, and others. I am shocked that they didn't greet it with more skepticism. The author is being praised for her work in Newsweek on the Mormon church. IMO, it smells of a "well timed feel good piece."

I am more than willing to discuss why they should NOT embrace the article. People like Grant Palmer, Tanners, and D. Michael Quinn (Steve Benson too) not being allowed to offer a different point of view. The retelling of the BOGUS fact that the Mormon church is "America's fastest growing religion." When the SL Tribune and Associated Press wire service proving that assertion totally false.

http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon411.htm

http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon254.html
(The SL Trib article archived on another site).

http://www.rickross.com/reference/mormon/mormon248.html
(AP wire story archived on another site).

Those links took me a few minutes to Google and destroy the "Fastest Growing Church" myth. Elise Soukup was too lazy, or willfully ignorant to double check her facts. As was her editor. Please note that both of these sources are from objective sources AKA not apologist and not anti mormon. She could have just as easily left out "Fastest Growing Church" myth and "12 million" members myth out of her article.

How about dark stories of the modern Mormon church? I'd recommend 2 books from Anson Shupe. Those 2 being "the Mormon Corporate Empire" and "The Darker Side of Virtue". Here are the Amazon links for descriptions:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0879756543/qid=1129077228/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-9125053-5023326?v=glance&s=books (Darker Side of Virtue).

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0807004065/qid=1129077302/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-9125053-5023326?v=glance&s=books (The Mormon Corporate Empire).

I'd keep going but, I hope everyone gets the idea. I understand that an in depth article may get some "pro-mormon" spin from some contributors but, this fluff was ridiculous. I don't understand why people are acting like this article will cause the faithful to start questioning their faith. In 99.9% of the cases it won't. It was designed to be a faith affirming article for TBMs. Sadly, it hits it's mark pretty well.

 

Subject:

Re: This abject Morgbot bias was exposed in the first sentence...

Date:

Oct 12 02:30

Author:

Simon Southerton


Rebel Scholar wrote:
> brian-the-christ,

>

> Thank you for posting the thread of "Elise Soukup is not a TBM". I am frustrated in trying to explain to several of the posters on this board that the Newsweek article is a propaganda piece.


Rebel Scholar, your frustration is coming across loud and clear. I apologize for not be able to post as much as I would like. Gotta work, gotta sleep, gotta coach cricket teams.

I'm not sure why you feel this urge to torch what you see as opposing views. You seem to me to be over-reacting in some respects, but then I am not in possession of the full Newsweek story and the printed version doesn't arrive in Australia for another week. I am also finding it hard to keep up with the stories as they emerge.

Some facts that have emerged in the last few days are quite troubling. That Elise had communicated with Grant Palmer then excluded his comments in the article is very questionable since the very man that she was focusing on was the central topic of Grant's book. It is also troubling that she makes statements to the Deseret News about not being afraid to look at the history of the church yet we all know the extent to which Hinckley has been involved in suppressing it. Had I known these facts I would certainly have been more circumspect in my observations about Elise. I am prepared to overlook her fastest growing religion hyperbole because even non-Mormon journalists who have written pretty critical stories about the church in the past have made the same mistake, even very recently (eg Bill Lobdell LA Times). We are probably better informed about topical Mormon issues than most journalists, especially ones working in the Eastern states.

I don't feel concerned that people will see the article as a glowing endorsement of Mormonism and jump on the bandwagon. The church has had more good publicity since Hinckley took the reins than at any other time in its history, and look where it has got the church. For virtually the first time in its history the church is shrinking as an influence in the world. I'm not worried that a few of these stories get through the net, because the longer they avoid the reality, the greater the pain and shock when the media really get a hold of the story.

I think her piece is much more damaging to the church than the Church PR guys are perhaps anticipating. Yes, her article was fluffy, softly written etc, etc, but this is precicely the language needed to get Mormons to read beyond the first two sentences. If the article had been highly critical of the church and biased towards our viewpoint, they would find it offensive and dismiss it out of hand. It is great that the leadership are practically endorsing her article which for a lot of Mormons will be their very first peak at issues we probably know too much about.

I have several friends at my work who want to read the Newsweek article. It will be interesting to hear their responses. We are a comfortable distance from the Zion Curtain and you may be interested in their views. I'll post them in a week or so.

Simon

 

Subject:

Simon, I agree with you and your comments!! Thanks!!

Date:

Oct 12 04:11

Author:

Samuel the Utahnite


Simon, I have to agree 100% with your comments to date and I greatly respect your opinion. You are thinking and using reason and logic, not just raw emotion. Both you and I have already been called out by Rebel Scholar when he said, in his above post, "It is some of the people who bought off on the work like Simon Southerton, Samuel the Utahnite, and others. I am shocked that they didn't greet it with more skepticism."

Rebel, I normally love what you write and your opinions, but I have to disagree on this one. Have Simon or I ever said that we are 100% in agreement with every word and idea expressed by Elise? The answer is no!! Instead, we have only tried to find the positives that can come from Elise's article in Newsweek. Maybe we are half glass full kind of guys.

Do you Rebel think that her article is 100% pro-Mormon and 100% free from mentioning anything controversial or anything that the Mormon Hierarchy would rather not have mentioned? Is there anything in your opinion Rebel, even one thing, that may cause a "TBM" to do more research on the Church? Something is better than nothing in my opinion and I for one, will take what I can get at this point.

Simon, it seems like Rebel and others are absolutely freaking out and frothing at the mouth because this woman Elise, didn't write a massive, venomous, vile, anti-Mormon piece for Newsweek that destroyed the Church from top to bottom, discussing every single problem and lie, in great detail, from the entire Church history. It's like a bunch of rabid dogs in here who have lost their mind. What planet are these people on? I mean, this is ridiculous in my opinion and not even realistic to think that number 1, Newsweek would have allowed her to do that and number 2, she wouldn't have done that with her current status in the Church. duh?

Plus Simon, like you have already mentioned more than once, an article like everybody here is fantasizing about, wouldn't have been well received by the mainstream, the Church or the TBMS. It would have been a complete disaster for what we here in the EXMO movement are trying to accomplish. I can't believe that they can't see that!! To me it is so clear!! Just the fact that she mentioned your book Simon by name is awesome!!

Is everybody missing that point? I hope that you sell millions of books now because of this article!! It's not just because I wouldn't mind you making a ton of money from your efforts, but it's the bigger picture, that if millions of people buy your book, that would be millions more people that would know the truth, right? Is everybody else just missing the obvious?

In fact, Elise mentioning the title of your book, may be the biggest single positive thing that came out of this entire article, even if people disagree with every other thing in the article. DNA and the Book of Mormon are huge and a very new subject for everybody. I have spoken with 4 TBMS today that have read the article and until now, they had never even heard of the DNA problems.

So, Simon, in my opinion, just the fact that she mentioned your book by name, had to ruffle the feathers of Church Hierarchy, since that was the real reason, that out of the blue, you were excommunicated, like 7 years after going inactive. Plus this will open up a whole new world to many people that they will now hopefully explore. For those that are so damn mad about this article, when was the last time you heard any General Authority talk about DNA and the Book of Mormon in General Conference or anywhere?

The only occasion that I can think of was the German reporter that asked Hinckley about it when he interviewed him during the Olympics. For those that haven't seen it, here is the link to watch it. Here was the exchange between the two followed by the link for those that want to watch. Listen to the angry tone in Hinckley's voice, then tell me that the Mormon Church won't be pissed off royally that Elise mentioned the title of Simon's book!! This was one thing that the Mormon Hierarchy wanted to avoid at all costs!!

REPORTER:

NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, ONE OF…ONE QUESTION WHICH IS A LITTLE BIT COMPLICATED FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND, BUT I HEARD IT AND ONE COLLEAGUE ASKED ME TO ASK IT. WHAT WILL BE YOUR POSITION WHEN DNA ANALYSIS WILL SHOW THAT IN THE HISTORY NEVER HAVE BEEN AN IMMIGRATION FROM ISRAEL TO THE NORTH…TO NORTH AMERICA? IT COULD BE THAT THE SCIENTISTS WILL FIND OUT…

HINCKLEY:

WELL, IT HASN'T HAPPENED. THAT HASN'T BEEN DETERMINED YET. ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT'S SPECULATED. NO ONE REALLY KNOWS THE ANSWER TO THAT, NOT AT THIS POINT.

http://www.mormonchallenge.com/hinckley/

How about the fact that her article opened the door and the bigger things are now coming down the pike, thanks to Elise. What did everyone expect? I guess in Fairy Tale Land, Newsweek would publish the biggest hate filled, vile article about the Mormon Church and tomorrow, the Mormon Church would fold and disband and it would all be over. That kind of fantasy may work for Peter Pan, but we live in the real world and I welcome those rabid dogs out there to rejoin those of us that have remained here in reality.

I'm grateful that Elise was able to bring up and talk about very unpopular things from Mormon Church history that will hopefully make people think about and question, like they never would have before. Now, I agree 100% that she didn't address everything, left out important details and was rather kind to the Church in many parts of the article and tried to tie it all together in a nice little fluffy conclusion. That, however, doesn't erase the damaging things that she did mention and at least bring up for topic of discussion by the millions that will be reading it. Many people will want to know more about some of the topics that she brought up, good and bad.

Now, I read the article in the Deseret News, have read the actual Newsweek magazine and I do have to admit that at the moment, there appears to be no hope for Elise and that her research only made her testimony stronger. That's fine, who really cares what Elise decides to do with her personal religious future, but the point is, that she has planted seeds and doesn't even realize it.

Maybe she was able to do this research and gain a stronger testimony but a lot of people won't feel the same way, especially those, who are many, that don't even know that Joseph Smith was a polygamist for just one example.

In my personal life, for instance, I am associated with quite a few TBMS that have been calling me a liar now for about 4 months. They tell me that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist and that it began with Brigham Young. They refuse to read what I've sent them or research it at all. These are the type of people that I think will read this "Church endorsed article" and be shocked, stunned and dismayed.

If anything, it will open their minds and maybe lead them to additional research which may lead them to this very site. For many of us here, that is how it began. We were looking for answers to questions and here we are. If the same thing happens because of Elise's article in a magazine that has a distribution of around 4.3 million worldwide, around 3.2 million in the USA, then the goal is accomplished. Also, those numbers don't even include the Internet.

I mean, lets focus on the big picture and not the instant gratification that most of us would love to have. In the big picture, millions of people will read this article, some Mormon, a lot that aren't Mormon. I would say that most of those people that read the article, Mormon or not, will turn to the Internet to do further research as most of us here have done. What do you think will happen? Is it even possible to surf the Internet these days regarding Mormonism and not stumble across anti or EX-Mormon sites? I would say no way!! That's how I did it plus many here as I've read in other posts over the last 4 months.

Lets just all try to keep our perspective and eye on the long term goal and not get so damn caught up on the instant, overnight exodus from the Mormon Church that we would all love to see. The Mormon Church didn't get where it is today overnight and it isn't going to end overnight because of one article in a magazine. These things take time and as Simon mentioned, the Church growth is shrinking at the moment, conversions are down every year, missions and stakes are being closed or consolidated and many temples are sitting empty many days out of the week.

Most of us read the Tribune articles, saw the census reports and at the moment, the Mormon Church is really struggling. This article will not help Mormon Church growth, if anything, it will only hurt it further by bringing up several damaging parts of Mormon history and causing people, Mormon and Non-Mormon alike, to end up here in RFM, with us. That is my opinion and I'm glad she wrote the article and that the Mormon Church has endorsed it.

Thanks Simon for your words of wisdom and for being a voice of reason. I'm not sure if we are the only two in all of RFM that feel the way we do, but if we are, we are. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, right? We may not understand them and they many not understand us but that's just the way it is.

If I hadn't already been on this path to discovering that the Mormon Church is complete fraud, for the last 4 months, this article would have put me on that path for sure. I'm sure that many others feel the same way, we just haven't heard from them yet.

Anyway, take care everyone and lets just be grateful for what was said in the article that wasn't flattering to the Mormon Church, instead of obsessing over what wasn't said. Also, let's try to separate, if we can, the substance of the article from Elise herself. We all know that she is an active, most likely a temple going member of the Mormon Church and that's set in stone. So what? Lets focus on all of the things that she did say that were negative about the Church that your average TBM would never even dare discuss. I think that is our point!!

Samuel

Here was another post that I wrote, answering those that were critical of Simon and myself for our views on the Newsweek article:

http://mormontruth.blogspot.com/2005/10/simon-southertons-opinion-of-newsweek.html

 

Subject:

Newsweek: "Mormonism is America's fastest-growing Christian denomination"

Date:

Oct 11 15:12

Author:

KathyWUT

 

Subject:

Answer: $$$**Ka! Ching!**$$$. You can buy anything in this world for money.

Date:

Oct 11 15:20

Author:

George Orwell


Especially, its appears, Newspeak magazine.

 

Subject:

There is no way to really count the Mormon membership so writers are stuck taking the word

Date:

Oct 11 15:33

Author:

SusieQ#1


of the leadership.

For some odd reason, it is important for LDS INC to think they are big, booming, and therefore, that makes them credible and believable.

Well, prisons are big and booming too and that a good thing too -- right? Got the felons behind bars!

We all know they are lying just like Joseph Smith Jr did. They have a long tradition to keep alive and well!

Even if it were true, what difference would that make? That would be news and worthy of an article?

The leadership lies so often, they cannot be trusted anymore.

 

 

Subject:

NewsWEAK: The TSCC will not even claim that. Elise Soukup was doing nothing more than publishing her testimony.

Date:

Oct 11 16:57

Author:

Polygamy Porter


Her use of the most over used phrase "Mormonism is America's fastest-growing Christian denomination" really speaks volumes about her bias.

The Editor must have been on vacation or distracted when that was approved.

NewsWEAK.

 

Subject:

It's just another case of the lazy news media not doing independent research...

Date:

Oct 11 18:40

Author:

So-Called "liberal media" hater


because it's just easier to take someone's word for what "fact" is and collect your paycheck and hang out in a bar near the publishing building, than it is to go out in the field and fact-check. GAWD, what has our media become!

 

 

Subject:

More on the Newsweek article

Date:

Oct 11 12:03

Author:

Tragic Mind


I don't think it's a coincidence that I am reading Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" the same week that Elise Soukup's article on Mormonism came out in Newsweek. The parallels between how the Church is negotiating the world of PR and the media and the way the Mafia controls politics, the courts, and the police are too striking to ignore.

The key to such manipulation is to do your best to make sure the person being manipulated doesn't feel like he or she is dangling under puppet strings. Flattery, favors, perks, etc. are all employed by the manipulator to coax their mark slowly over to their side (carefully, as if by a flaxen cord!).

I think Elise Soukup thinks that she was doing her bit to be fair to her journalistic training by including any hint of controversy at all in her piece, but she makes it clear that such issues are simple misunderstandings and uncertainties, not blatant examples of falsehood or chinks in the LDS armor. The undercurrent of her piece quite obviously is that the Church is true and it's fulfilling a divine destiny, which is unsurprising given her beliefs as a member.

Just as Richard Dutcher and the other folks making Mormon movies out there believe, Ms. Soukup believes -- whether consciously or not -- that she is being inspired by the Holy Ghost or by Jesus or whoever to fulfill a mission of sorts. She may even think that her job at Newsweek was providentially arranged from on high in order that she would be in a position to testify for the Church as she did. Whether this was the work of God or PR-savvy GBH is certainly a topic for the black helicopter folks, but Ms. Soukup knows why she got the Mormon assignment in her heart.

In a general sense, the Newsweek article and interview with Hinckley are indicative of just how pervasive the Church's public-relations push has gotten in the past decade. They are working hard to get good spin and are wooing big names to do it -- whether it's Walter Cronkite or Mike Wallace getting plum speaking assignments at Church productions in the Conference Center or "encouraging" a faithful LDS journalist at one of the media's more influential magazines. They are moving forward to put on a wholly fictional face -- that of a Church that only cares about Jesus Christ, helping one's neighbor, and strengthening the family. President Hinckley knows that PR is most effective with a simple message built on standard talking points -- stick with the program and people generally either ignore or, worse, have no idea about the rest of your agenda.

I recall seeing an episode of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" where Stewart and his staff put together a sequence of different Republican talking heads essentially taking the exact same talking points and bringing them up verbatim on various different talk shows, interviews, and so forth. Taken on their own, the Republicans' arguments were persuasive and appealed to the "common denominator." But after Stewart and crew put a handful of these together and ran them in sequence, it became obvious that they were scripted, unoriginal, and obviously meant to lead listeners and viewers in a certain direction. The LDS Church is doing the same thing -- not only in the media, but within its own instructional curriculum so that members and non-members alike are manipulated into believing that a tiny subset of the Church's practices are the actual whole thereof.

Thus far, there are no Woodwards and Bernsteins willing to do what is necessary to tell the full story of this religious Watergate. Most of the salient information out there has been collated by people whose pretenses to objectivity are questionable at best -- or, worse, are manipulated from objectivity into bias by outside forces (e.g. "By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus," a book that makes a convincing case except for the italicized phrases and the final chapter that were added post-facto by an evangelical publisher). Richard Abanes, Fawn Brodie, even Michael Quinn and Grant Palmer, are all too easily dismissed. The Church knows that. And so they are going after the folks whose opinions AREN'T so easily dismissed -- Cronkite, Wallace, Newsweek, etc. -- and greasing the skids so that they skew towards the LDS position and not the Church's critics.

With the passage of time, it gets easier for the Church to dismiss historical anomalies as "interpretations" or "misunderstandings" -- the farther we get in time from the currency of these materials, the better the Church's spin doctoring works. Case in point -- the 1826 glass-looking trial transcript. Now that it is in Church possession, it can't be dug up over and over again by researchers. I dare say that within the next 20 years or so it will be possible for the Church to deny its very existence as an "unsubstantiated rumor." So long as the Church keeps doggedly working its public-relations machine, all such things are possible.

It is the worst kind of insidious manipulation, easily on par with organized crime. That it is done in the name of religion gives it legitimacy to its members (and even to non-members), but as for me it is as frightening as anything ever conceived by the Gottis or the Corleones.

 

 

Subject:

they cut out Grant Palmer's interview

Date:

Oct 11 13:05

Author:

Bob the truthseeker


Elise interviewed Grant Palmer and others for over an hour each but she cut them out completely as she is a TBM over being a neutral reporter.

 

Subject:

Good points . The church morphs into something

Date:

Oct 11 13:31

Author:

Saucie



more suitable for public consumption.It's all about the

talking heads manipulating it's PR to appear good on the

surface, white washing it's substance which is

totally corrupt and rotten. Yep, sounds just like the

Mafia to me.

 

 

Subject:

Tragic Mind - write letter to editor at Newsweek?

Date:

Oct 11 19:01

Author:

Helen C.


Dear Tragic Mind, You hit the nail on the head. This Newsweek article is terribly disappointing. It's an insult to Newsweek readers who expect objective journalism and a blow to our collective wish here at RFM to expose the hypocrisy of the mormon church. We are going to need some REAL good letters to the editor expressing what you have said in this post. You are a great writer. So.... do you, for one, want to send a letter to Newsweek Magazine and see if they print it?

 

Subject:

Re: More on the Newsweek article

Date:

Oct 11 19:14

Author:

Mulva


"Thus far, there are no Woodwards and Bernsteins willing to do what is necessary to tell the full story of this religious Watergate."

They wouldn't get published, anyway.

Americans are uncomfortable with religion bashing (unless it's scientology; then anything goes). Whether it's our historic past of religious refugees or a new kind of political correctness, religious criticism is out of bounds. This is exacerbated by certain talking heads labeling the media as "elitist, anti-religion, anti-God, America-hating liberals." It's true that the mainstream media are made up largely of people with a secular leaning, but that's exactly why they're afraid to cover religion from a critical angle. They're afraid that any critical material will immediately be pounced on as proof-positive of their anti-God bias (that the Sean Hannities of the world claim they have.)

 

Subject:

Re: More on the Newsweek article

Date:

Oct 11 19:36

Author:

queen bee


I've been reading the postings about this subject, and the whole time I've been thinking that it wasn't really terribly professionally ethical (maybe ethical is too strong) but it just doesn't seem like good journalism to use someone on the inside. There isn't any distance...any objectivity...I don't care how hard you try if you are a believer you can't help but be biased. I'm surprised that Newsweek used her, to tell you the truth...goes to show that maybe the media doesn't balance power out as much as we would like it too. Mormons have economic power and Newsweek apparently is aware of that fact.
QB

 

 

Subject:

Have you seen the #?&%^#! statement the Church made regarding the article?

Date:

Oct 11 20:20

Author:

scarecrowfromoz


I can't find a link to it, but it was shown on TV. It was something along the lines of their saying that Newsweek putting Polygamy Joe on the cover validates the belief that he was a prophet.

HELLO?!?!?!?! Earth to LDS Church!!!! Just because Newsweek put sex addict Joe on the cover does not validate he was a Prophet. Under that type of reasoning, then Osama Bin Laden is also a Prophet. Joe and Osama would good buddies, and both deserve the same place in history.

 

Subject:

point regarding the glass looking incident

Date:

Oct 11 20:30

Author:

scarecrowfromoz


According to a copied e-mail that was on this board several weeks, fron the NY County historian that has the ORIGINAL documents, the Church does NOT have the documents. They were sent COPIES of the documents. The Historian in an interview said it was good the doucments were returned to their rightful location [the County Historian] and some newspaper person interpretted "rightful location" and the LDS Church being given [a copy] as meaning the originals were turned over to the Morg. They were not. The originals are in possession of the NY County Historian's Office.

 

Subject:

well, hooray for that! n/t

 

Subject:

*** Author of Newsweek article on mormonism is a TBM BYU GRAD

Date:

Oct 10 15:20

Author:

Polygamy Porter


The author of the Newsweek article about mormons: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9630255/site/newsweek/

Is a Molly mormon BYU grad.

http://magazine.byu.edu/byumagpic.tpl?picnum=43-Fa04

 

Subject:

Re: *** Author of Newsweek article on mormonism is a TBM BYU GRAD

Date:

Oct 10 15:45

Author:

no name


I read the article referred to and laughed and laughed. I wonder what in H was the matter with my ancestors to fall for such crap. The burned out zone does not refer to the over religious activities of the area, but the amount of witch craft that was going on. Also within a 150 miles the Jehovahs Witnesses started and also the Seventh Day Adventists. There was no revival at the time Joseph pretended to have a vision. He also joined another church after his so called vision.

 

Subject:

Yup! There's no one more objective about Church History than a BYU grad...

 

Subject:

Can you say "conflict of interest?"

 

Subject:

My analysis of the article and more info on Elise Soukup!! **Long**

Date:

Oct 10 18:58

Author:

Samuel the Utahnite


Thanks Polygamy Porter for doing the research and leading us to this article with her picture and more information. I just thought I'd post the other information that they wrote about here on the previous page from the link to her picture. It just gives us a clearer insight into who this chick is.

As I read the article last night, I found myself wondering who this lady was that wrote the article. I couldn't imagine for a second that it was a non-member with no affiliation to the Mormon Church, it was just too obvious in certain parts and too accurate. There are several "TBMS" that I wanted to send this too but I thought that they would find it too offensive.

Now that I know who wrote it, that she is or used to be a "TBM Molly", a BYU Grad and I have the link to the article on BYU Magazine, thanks to PP, I'm sending it out today to everyone. Most of these people deny that Polygamy ever existed and that Joseph was ever with any woman other than Emma. This will truly shock them for sure.

Now I realize that there were a million things that she didn't mention; Mountain Meadows Massacre, the racist remarks of past Apostles and Prophets, blood atonement, everything that Grant Palmer talks about, etc. However, my focus is on what she did say, instead of what she didn't say. I find that quite revealing!! Many of you may strongly disagree with me on this but you can't discount all of the very controversial "Mormon taboo subjects" that she brought up. She deserves credit for that at least!!

If any of us went public discussing all of these things that she has, we'd be exed in a heartbeat. It will be interesting to see how the Church responds due to the fact that she is now going to be well known publicly and has the backing of Newsweek, which the Church has generally supported. Also, the fact that the Church brags about her in BYU Magazine, puts them in a quandary. Even Hinckley did another interview or Q & A, for this edition of Newsweek.

It's pretty shocking to me that she would refer to the almighty Joseph Smith as "Prophet and polygamist, mesmerizer and rabble-rouser, saint and sinner." She brought up the fact that the Church opposes gay marriage, the differences between Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney on stem-cell research. She talked about Joseph Smith's Grandfather prophesying that a family member would revolutionize the world of religion. I had never heard that before. She brought up the struggle he had with Satan right before the first vision occurred.

She also mentioned a quote that I had never heard before from Joseph Smith, shortly before he died, "If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself." I mean, this is a pretty damning quote. Again, I've only been in "the light" now for about 4 months and maybe most of you have heard this quote before but I never had. How could anyone be expected to follow Joseph Smith and his fantasies when even he himself, admitted that "he could not have believed it if he hadn't lived it?" Amazing!!

She calls the Mormon Church "a sect" which causes Mormon Hierarchy to cringe, I'm sure. She mentions that he was commander of the local militia in Nauvoo. She definitely softens and her "TBM mentality" kicks in when talking about the printing press that was destroyed and then his death. She falls short on explaining why he was really killed by the mob but thank goodness she doesn't actually use the word "martyred" as the Mormon Church always does.

She brings up plural marriage at least 4 different times throughout the article. She mentions that we can't carbon-date Moses' burning bush but only in the context that "Smith and his followers left behind documentation that can be subjected to modern historical analysis."

She then talks about what a complicated man Joseph Smith was and that the shock that people felt when the met him in person. She mentions that people found him to be uneducated, that he lost his temper and that he enjoyed power and then that what most startled some converts, was that his ventures, on occasion failed.(Like the bank fiasco for one). She quotes Mark Scherer, church historian for the Community of Christ(reorganized LDS) as saying, "Either you thought the guy walked on water or you thought the guy was a huge fraud." Gee, that statement sounds eerily exactly like what Hinckley has been saying for years!!

She then says that Smith was involved in dozens of lawsuits and that by the end of his life, "he had accrued some 30 wives, massive debt and hundreds of enemies."

Then she talks about Simon G. Southerton, his book and DNA studies. She mentions that he was a "former LDS Bishop", without ever mentioning that he was excommunicated for adultery, which I give her great credit for. She left out what didn't matter and what we all know was a farce of a witch hunt anyway, and stuck to the real substance of what he had to say. This will really piss off the Mormon hierarchy!!

I was also shocked that she would mention while LDS scholars rejected Simon's conclusions, that they "are re-examining common theories about the Book of Mormon's geography, suggesting that it takes place near an isthmus in southern Mexico instead of across the Western Hemisphere, as many readers assumed." Yeah, "readers" thought that because it's all over the Book of Mormon and they have been taught that for their entire lives, in Church, in Seminary, in Conference, in Institute classes and General Conference since 1830.

It has been taught since the very beginning that they filled this land from sea to sea. The Book of Mormon itself, is by far, the best and most damning reference regarding this subject.So what about the ruins in Guatemala that are supposed to be from the Book of Mormon and every year, there are "Book of Mormon tours" to Guatemala? Oops!! Just another money making scam.

This is big stuff that a lot of us EXMOS know but very few people that haven't studied the Church deeply are unaware of, especially "TBM's."

She talks about the "September Six", and that "authorities do not accept those who publicly doubt and actively preach against church doctrines and leaders. She then talks about their punishments and how "in the late 70's, LDS leaders limited access to church records, prompting charges that they were discouraging unauthorized accounts of church history." She then quotes Leonard J Arrington, the then director of the church's historical department as saying, "Some authorities apparently preferred that we have no history except that kept by public-relations writers." This is very damning stuff to be sharing with the world in my opinion!!

She then talks about this years celebrations(Joseph Smith) and how a church-sponsored art exhibit made no mention of Joseph's polygamy. She does incorrectly talk about now it's okay to talk openly about this stuff in the Church and that the reins are looser. That couldn't be further from the truth and we all know that. That's why they continue to "whitewash" practically everything, like Joseph Smith's new website for example.

Then she brings up polygamy again and in greater detail!! she talks about how "no single Mormon doctrine or practice has been more controversial than polygamy." "Smith said he was commanded of God to take plural wives like Abraham and other Old Testament figures." She talks about his first wife, a 16-year-old who worked in his house and that it was about 1833 and then some 30 more over the next decade. Wow!! That 1833 date certainly causes a lot of problems doesn't it?

Joseph Smith denied that he was a polygamist his entire life and publicly, right before he died. D&C 132 wasn't recorded until 1843 but it says that Joseph was aware of the revelation since 1831. Gee, that's very convenient!! So, if that was the case, why did the Book of Commandments of 1835 and the Book of Mormon condemn polygamy? Also, that section in the Book of Commandments, stayed in there for decades. I can't recall the year offhand when it was removed but I think it was like 1858 or something like that.

Then, she said the following, "Not everyone believed God sanctioned the marriages. His associate Oliver Cowdery called the first plural marriage "a dirty, nasty, filthy affair" (Cowdery later rejoined the church). Though the LDS Church stands by polygamy as a divine—albeit revoked—revelation, others are suspicious of Smith's motives. "He committed ministerial abuse," says Scherer, whose church long denied that Smith practiced polygamy. "He figured out a way to commit adultery and to do it sacramentally."

Call me crazy, but I'm 100% positive that Hinckley and his cronies would rather that this quote by Oliver Cowdery, not be printed in a mainstream, worldwide magazine by an active Mormon/BYU Grad that they brag about in BYU Magazine. She mentions that the Church stands by polygamy as a divine-albeit revoked-revelation. I found that laugh out loud funny. Divine but revoked....Ha Ha!! But that quote by Scherer saying that "he committed ministerial abuse" and that "he figured out a way to commit adultery and to do it sacramentally", really blew my mind. AMEN DUDE!!

Hinckley reports that it was like 1-2% of people practiced polygamy but in this article, she quotes that "at least 25% of adults in some communities were members of polygamous households. She then talks about the "Intense pressure" from federal authorities and that Wilford Woodruff issued a "manifesto" forbidding the practice. No mention that it was revealed from God, just that it came from "intense pressure from federal authorities."

She talks about how the LDS church adamantly opposes the practice of polygamy, while at the same time, LDS doctrine holds "that some polygamist marriages will exist in the celestial kingdom." Then she completely screws Hinckley by repeating that "those in the highest degree will dwell with God, their families will be eternal and they'll even become gods themselves-as God did. Then she quotes Lorenzo Snow's famous saying(now couplet..LOL), "As man is, God once was;as God is man may be."

Remember now, Hinckley has publicly stated that he doesn't know much about this and that nobody does. Joseph Smith clearly taught it in the History of the Church volume 6 and then Lorenzo Snow confirmed it, now Hinckley doesn't know what we are talking about. Oops!!

Then she tackles the whole "are Mormons Christian" problem and why others feel that they aren't. My favorite quote of the article was from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland regarding this subject. "I am devastated when people say I am not a Christian, particularly when generally that means I am not a fourth-century Christian."

One thing that I found fascinating and didn't really know, was that "many of Smith's most committed followers-among them future prophets Young and Woodruff-joined the Church without ever having met him." They "would go to the ends of the earth for that idea." Interesting!! They loved the idea but it had nothing to do with Smith himself since they had never met him. That would also explain why they would call him on the carpet for his sins. They loved the idea so much that they felt that he was going to ruin it and destroy it through his adultery, fornication and child rape, among his many sins!! I had just never really thought of that before, in that way.

Then she seems to soften and once again, talk about how wonderful the Church and Joseph Smith are in her candy coated summary.

I have to admit that I'm now a little bit more shocked by some of the things that she brought up in the article, knowing that she's a "TBM Molly." She could indeed have jeopardized her membership in the Mormon Church by writing this article. Is she a Molly? She protected the Church a lot by leaving out quite a few things or not expounding where she could have but wow, she did mention a lot of the forbidden things, like polygamy, over and over, in detail, for starters. I honestly believe that she will be in big trouble and maybe, in her personal life, she's on the fence right now. Maybe somebody else within Newsweek, forced her to put in certain things that she normally wouldn't have.

In any case, I'm sure that the Mormon Church will be very pissed, unless this is their way of getting out the truth, little by little over time, but I seriously doubt that. Especially in this time of great hemorrhaging of the Church Membership. In my opinion, this article couldn't have come at a worse time for the Mormon Church. They just had a General Conference, assuring the world that the Fairly Tale is real and lives on and then this article comes out a week later.

I think that this article is incredibly damaging to the Church by simply writing about "forbidden subjects" publicly that are not to EVER be publicly discussed by Mormon Hierarchy. The Mormon Church absolutely forbids members to do what she just did. I would say that she will most likely end up in a Church court very soon for this article.

I would imagine that the Mormon Church will have a public response to this article and try to call some of the things discussed, lies or mis-truths. I also imagine that most members will think that it is a biased Newsweek printing this article without knowing that it was written by a BYU graduate. Most TBMS will just dismiss this article as anti-Mormon propaganda by an anti-Mormon magazine.

Anyway, here was the more information that I promised on Elise Soukup, from that article given to us by Polygamy Porter, from BYU magazine. Thanks again Polygamy for your help!!

Before heading to Newsweek for an internship in fall 2001, Elise Christenson Soukup, ’02, had already had two internships, but interning at Newsweek, she says, “literally got me my job.” After spending a semester sorting mail, editing, and writing captions and headlines, Soukup’s internship was extended before she was offered a full-time position in the Periscope section of the magazine. While she still does much the same thing as she did as an intern, she’s now doing so with a salary. “I don’t know a better way to get a job than through an internship,” she says.

Soukup says the key to turning her internship into a career was making herself indispensable. She took on the menial tasks around the office that nobody else wanted to do. She also took the initiative to find a specialty. Since Newsweek didn’t have a religion writer, she tried to focus on writing about religious subjects and, specifically, on Latter-day Saints. She interviewed Donny Osmond and wrote about LDS comedy films. In the midst of this, she found she really enjoyed her work environment. “I think I fit in really easily with the office culture and with the work. It was just a nice fit for me.”

Marcus Mabry, chief of correspondents at Newsweek, says that while they hire very few interns for full-time positions, Soukup was hired because she went beyond just being honest and hard working. She showed creativity, intelligence, and initiative. Not to mention the question of fit. “She was a font of ideas; she showed she can write and report stories and conceive them. And finally, the X-factor was her personality, the fact that she fit in really well with the Periscope crew and there’s a camaraderie there; that’s really important to us.”

Here is a direct link to that page:

http://magazine.byu.edu/article.tpl?num=40-Fa04

Here is a link to the Newsweek article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9630255/site/newsweek/

Here is the link to yet another interesting, yet revealing Hinckley interview(they call it Q & A, this time by Newsweek. The title alone makes me sick, 'Solid, Strong, True':

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9630256/site/newsweek/

Hey, KSL is doing a story on it right now and here's the official statement by the Mormon Church regarding the article: "The depiction of the First Vision on the cover of one of the world's best-known news magazines is a noteworthy acknowledgement of Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Restoration at the approach of his 200th birthday. We appreciate Newsweek's effort to bring this remarkable story and its implications to the attention of their readers."

Yeah, we'll see, depending on how the overall public response goes, especially in Utah. It's kind of like Grant Palmer's book; they sell it for almost 2 years and then condemn it and disfellowship him for writing it. From what I read, this Newsweek Article doesn't put the Church in a good light at all. Sure, it has it's moments where it paints the Mormon Church as this wonderful thing, but also paints the opposite picture. I'm going to go buy the magazine because it has other things in there about the church and Church growth that aren't online. Anyway, just thought I'd add this at the end when it came on TV. Here's a link to KSL's story:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=117052

Also, something pretty funny, check out this picture from KSL. It's a picture of the current Newsweek but check out the Headline of the Magazine to the left..LOL!! Hinckley will be pissed!!

http://media.bonnint.net/slc/0/53/5337.jpg

Samuel

 

Subject:

Over all, fairly easy on the church

Date:

Oct 10 19:28

Author:

Squid


I tried to put my TBM hat on again while reading the article, and I think the church would generally pleased with the article. The article is pretty much a hand-job for the church, which gives the appearance of being critical, but not really. A lot of TBMs will find the article refreshing, and say, "yeah, Joseph wasn't perfect", but he was still a prophet, just like D. Michael Quinn says. "See look, we are a mature church because we can acknowledge a leader's imperfections."

The article doesn't focus on Smith's most damning character trait - his lying. Having a harem and getting into business/legal troubles aren't enough to discount him in the mind of a TBM.

I thought the article was absolutely terrible.

 

Subject:

Re: Over all, fairly easy on the church

Date:

Oct 10 20:29

Author:

Samuel the Utahnite


I agree with you Squid, that overall, knowing what we all know here about true church history, it went very easy. My point is that it is a start and may lead others to more questions. Many of the subjects that she brought up would have led me to inquire more and to know more and most likely would have led me to the path that I'm now on. Just the fact that most members, including many Bishops, don't even know that Joseph Smith was a polygamist, makes this "mainstream" article, a big deal in my opinion.

When is the last time that a BYU grad, featured in BYU magazine, wrote an article for a worldwide magazine like Newsweek, that spoke of Joseph Smith being a polygamist, with more than 30 wives, massive debt and hundreds of enemies? When is the last time that any article in a worldwide magazine, especially by a BYU grad, referred to Joseph Smith as "Prophet and Polygamist, mesmerizer and rabble-rouser, saint and sinner?

When is the last time that a worldwide magazine talked about Joseph Smith's first wife and mentioned that she was only 16 years old and worked in his house and that he then married another 30 wives in the next decade?

Again, I agree that she could have just come out and trashed the Church from top to bottom for all of the things that we know and discuss here on a regular basis. That would be our fantasy come true, right? However, at this point, I'll take what I can get and be grateful that somebody finally, publicly, in a worldwide magazine, brought up these important issues. Up until now, many of these issues seemed to only be known by Ex-Mormons surfing around on RFM and other Ex-Mormon sites on the Internet plus the losers over on Fair.

Like I mentioned above, I have Friends and Families that are absolutely adamant that Joseph Smith was never a polygamist and that polygamy began and only included Brigham Young. Do you think this article will shock these people? Hell yeah it will, especially when they find out that a BYU grad wrote it and that Hinckley also did an interview with Newsweek. Also, todays Church statement basically confirms that they are cool with the article. I'm liking the personal results that I'm gonna have with these people that have called me a liar, over and over for the last 4 months!!

I believe that this article, by a member of the Church in good standing(as far as we know she still is), will cause many people to ask questions about things that they had never even thought of or known before. At least it will have this affect on the "TBMS" that I personally know, based on conversations I've had with them over the last 4 months.

 

Subject:

These types of things have been reported in this watered-down

Date:

Oct 11 00:37

Author:

Mark (was "Still Active")


fashion by national publications quite a number of times over the years, and it doesn't seem to make any significant dent in TBM's beliefs. Offhand, I don't know of a BYU grad authoring such an article - other than Steve Benson (;-) - but we don't know her background, her current state of activity/belief, etc. Fawn Brodie was still a member of the Church and a daughter of a GA and a niece of a senior Apostle (Pres. McKay) when she wrote her book, altho' inactive and a non-believer. From the tone and content of the article Elise sounds like a knowledgeable TBM who knows about many of the historical issues but still believes.

I remember when I first read "Mormon Enigma" in the mid-80's and while it shocked me it also seemed to "strengthened my testimony" at the time because the idea I took away from it was that JS and other early Church leaders did it against their own wishes in obedience to specific commands from God to practice it. I know, how deluded can you get, but that's the way many TBMs deal with it when confronted with the reality. I still thought the origins of the Church, the BoM, the BoA, the First Vision, the visit of Angel Moroni, the visions associated with the restoration of the Priesthood, the Kirtland Temple dedication, the BoM Witnesses, etc. were strong, and that combined with my own spiritual subjective witnesses effectively kept me TBM for many years after.

Bottom line is the stuff she reports will be news to many TBMs who read it but it's couched in such a way that most who have no other reason to disbelieve will easily be able to discount it. It may cause some TBMs who aren't aware of this stuff to start looking, but overall I expect it'll be looked upon as a positive by the Church leaders who are happy to have a "limited hangout" of this level of info with a positive spin attached to it that makes it sound like it's reasonable to believe.

 

Subject:

I guess as I read it ...

Date:

Oct 10 20:27

Author:

Amanda P


I wondered how much was her, and how much some non-mormon editor, who maybe did some quick internet searches, made her put in or re-write.

That's the cynical side of me talking anyway, and might explain some of the parts that did appear critical, but also explain why so much was left out. I mean if you're going to bring up controversial things like DNA evidence, then why not bring up the even more open-shut case (in my opinion) of the Book of Abraham fraud? Or the history of racism within this church, and its current racist scriptures? I mean, current racism in mormon scriptures is a HUGE deal in my opinion.

Anyway, just some thoughts -- AmandaP

 

Subject:

I agree with your observations and assumptions. Her feelings and facts are not consistent. Either she

Date:

Oct 11 02:49

Author:

Polygamy Porter


is a dim bulb or she is a wet exmo just waiting to dry off.

Plus she jumps around too much while leaving gapping holes.

 

 

Subject:

Crosspost from exmo social

Date:

Oct 10 20:45

Author:

Cattle Mutilator


alex wrote:

Lo and behold this same person, Elise Soukup, is the author of this article. She and one of my younger sisters are best friends since the late 1980s. They grew up together in Provo, Utah. Many times I've given Elise and my sis (i.e. they are a decade younger than me) rides and talked to them about their lives. They graduated from HS together and started BYU at the same time. My sister was the maid of honor at her wedding and she was the matron of honor at my sister's wedding and my sis's wedding reception was at her parents' lovely home near the Provo Temple. Elise Christensen Soukup is a TBM as far as I can tell and she's been working at Newsweek for a few years. All of her family is very TBM as far as I can tell. I've only met Elise's husband 3 times during the wedding weekend in 2004 and he seems to be TBM and he/Elise witnessed my sister's wedding while I stayed away until it was picture time on the temple grounds. Considering that Elise and her family will probably be at plenty of my future family gatherings I think I'll take a pass on responding to this one.

http://exmo-social.com/viewtopic.php?t=19512

 

 

Subject:

How news assignments are given

Date:

Oct 11 03:50

Author:

Aphrodite


It might be helpful to consider how editors generally give news assignments. While I haven't been a news magazine writer, I would imagine that my experience getting assignments for newspapers would be more or less similar.

The editor says, "Write this story and make sure you cover A,B, and C." Probably the editor has a general knowledge of the major issues surrounding the story. So in this case the editor (especially considering that the writer probably had a conflict of interest) said, "Make sure you cover polygamy, DNA evidence, Smith's ethical problems," etc. That might explain why she brings up these seemingly damaging topics but then explains them away as best she can while still getting past the editors.

A few people need to send in some pithy letters to the editor covering her primary errors and omissions. It would be fun to post them here before sending them in. Something about the 12 million member misconception and the omission of the fact that 13 percent of members are leaving annually would be a good inclusion, imo.

 

Subject:

Straight from the horse's mouth: I AM A TBM

Date:

Oct 11 12:47

Author:

Polygamy Porter


From the Desnews article http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,625152673,00.html

""If the church is true, you shouldn't be afraid of looking into its history, and that was something I learned for myself," she said. "In the end, it definitely made me a stronger Latter-day Saint."

 

Subject:

The new propaganda push is underway! Changes are a comin!

Date:

Oct 12 17:01

Author:

Polygamy Porter


TSCC is underway with their new propaganda push to get many of the more "disturbing" aspects of JS's life out there plastered on a public shingle. Methinks that the COB feels that the personal integrity is the biggest stumbling stone for most wavering members and exmos.

The "technical aspects" to translation of the BoM and BoA can be easily weighed down with apologetics and dismissed with forced prayer.

Did any of you see the infomercial that TSCC ran between the sunday GC sessions two weeks ago? THAT was the first part of this propaganda push. It gently mentioned some of JS's activities as a money digger...

Elise's NewsWEAK testimony was the second part.

Now when wavering members goto their bishop and say things like, "Why is the church hiding JS's polygamy??"

The bishop can then knock them back into their garments by pointing to the products of this new propaganda push, "Look at this recent NEWSWEAK article that was published by a fellow member!! We are not hiding anything!! She is still a member! WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?!?"

Soon we will see changes to the fallacious website josephsmith.net to include GENTLE mention of his adultery disguised as god commanded polygamy.

The COB is monitoring websites like this and getting feedback from bishops, leaders and EXIT letters.

Changes are a comin'

Epiphanies will be tougher to come by in the future. That is the COB plan.

 

Subject:

It's Time To Claim Victory

Date:

Oct 12 17:11

Author:

Hellmut


As you say, they are changing because we forced them to change. There will be more in the future. Lets celebrate and let everyone know that this is a victory for us. We can now transform the Morg's agenda.

Correlation is killing the Morg and won't go away.

 

Subject:

Not over til the fat lady sings!!!

Date:

Oct 12 17:56

Author:

alex


The real key on whether the church has effectively dealt with their past will be if classroom teachers at church will feel comfortable holding open discussions on these matters. Another key will be on whether such teachers will be able to hold open discussions on the church's transparent financial and statistical reports.

The Morg has a looooooooooong way to go towards being an open/honest organization. The victory isn't won until the fat lady sings, "they are honest, honest, honest".

 

 

Subject:

agreed! otherwise, they will simply become more subtle, more sneaky in their mingling of lies and truths.

Date:

Oct 12 20:19

Author:

lost girl


since they have the "as far as the bible is translated *correctly*" exit, they will continue to warp the teachings of the bible yet call it "newly inspired" or some sh*t like that. just like how they are now saying that the bots get more blessings because they are better than everyone ... bots are sucking it up, so the morg's won on that one so far.

the mall??!! anyone who's been through the temple and it's warning about being able to buy ANYTHING for MONEY ... all the tbms should be FREAKING over the MASSIVE $$$$$ outlay for STUFF, not people!!!

but, no, not even an eyeblink. the morg is winning here.

i won't go on, but as long as they keep telling the bots that they are "picked on" and "persecuted" and "downright WEIRD/peculiar" ... it sets up a "god owes us" mindset that is hard to counteract. if god's going to "let them be persecuted" then god darn well better reward them with privileges of ALL kinds, including "legalized" adultery.

this is how hitler did it ... took a downtrodden people, convinced them it was "everyone else's fault" ... and you know what happened once he got them seduced to the dark side. it is SO alluring that even today many would go back to that way of superior thinking in a moment if only there wasn't any armies to stop them.

 

Subject:

Re: Not over til the fat lady sings!!!

Date:

Oct 12 21:17

Author:

Full of Myself (Joy)


The church will never be able to apoligize away the fact that BoM and BoA were translated without inspritation and that what the church really has is bupkiss. Nada. Nil. NOTHING. There will never be a fatter ex-mo lady than me(450 Lbs.) and I'll Never sing for that cult.

 

Subject:

Re: Not over til the fat lady sings!!!

Date:

Oct 12 23:16

Author:

lost girl


oh hon! i'm sorry about the weight thing! it is SO frustrating!! but when i was out walking and muttering tonight, i realized that the ONE thing no one has EVER criticized me for not doing "good enough" ... was being overweight.

never once did they say "you are not heavy enough."

instead, i grew up (and still am) very wounded around the "not good enough" issue. not thin enough, not pretty enough, not nice enough, not kind enough, not studious enough, .... frankly, it all comes down to plain-vanilla accusations of just not being good enough, period.

this just gelled for me tonight, so i wanted to share it with you just in case it "speaks" to you the way it "spoke" to me .... all my best in you!

 

Subject:

Why the new propoganda push? To stop the hemorrhaging caused by white american tithe payers leaving.

Date:

Oct 12 18:01

Author:

Polygamy Porter


What we are witnessing is the SHIFTING church.

First they tried to hide it, now they are attempting to gently present it. Why?

I'll tell you why, pay attention.

Look at the JS vision story. We BIC members were taught that bullshit story from the time we could think. We grew up with it, never really questioning the validity or divinity a story that most non mormons find to be BIZARRE.

That said, had we been taught all of this other FUCKED UP SHIT we are now freaking about, it would really be just like the fairy tale first vision... a non issue.

Methinks THAT is the plan of the COB. To roll the shit out for the future generations of CHILDREN to "grow up in" so when someone points to their shoes and says "That smells like shit!" it won't be as much of a shock to their ADULT minds.

 

Subject:

So...can the Boys of Scummer have their cake and eat it too? f'bomb inside

Date:

Oct 12 18:17

Author:

JusThinkin


How are they gonna make the transformation from "the only true church on the face of the earth with pure and perfect doctrine" to "the only true church on the face of the earth with obviously fucked up doctrine"? Who's gonna pay 10% of their $ and volunteer 50% of their waking hours to a church with fucked up doctrine?

I realize that the cultural handcuffs are made of iron...but good god...I really don't think they can chance even a gentle pollution of the JS legend.

 

Subject:

Yet they are gently "polluting" the JS legend

Date:

Oct 12 18:28

Author:

Polygamy Porter


Had my wife known about the JS polygamy as a child, it would have been a non issue when I showed it to her, which has caused her much consternation, although she remains active.

Methinks TSCC is working to take the "STING" out of historical truths, so that when members discover it, there is less chance of them digging deeper.

 

 

Subject:

It may work at the margins, but I think the epiphanies will still keep rollin' in...

Date:

Oct 12 20:05

Author:

Timmy Teaboy


...Jesus-jammie-wearin' TBMs are going to find themselves suddenly awake in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling in their dark rooms and thinking: "Good grief! He translated the Golden Plates by gazing at a peepstone in his hat??? Would I take a story like that seriously for even a minute, if it were being told to me by some missionary from another religion trying to sell me on their faith?? The Prophet Joseph was boinking Heber C. Kimball's 14-year old daughter and she couldn't even tell anyone outside of the circle of polygamist insiders that they were spiritually married and got no financial or emotional support from Joseph??? That's worse than what those crazy fundy Mormons are doing these days!"

You can spray-paint a pile of BS in pretty colors, but at the end of the day it's still going to smell bad. This tactic will only serve to support the argument that "The Church isn't hiding this stuff--anymore." But it will help destroy the image of the Church as being consistent over the years and the current members, trying to live their Leave-it-to-Beaver version of Mormonism are going to have to start dealing with the crazy bastardized children and mistresses of Mormonism that have been locked away in an attic all these years.

 

Subject:

It all comes down to early indoctrination

Date:

Oct 12 21:01

Author:

Mulva


The "face in the hat with a magic rock" translation of the BoM looks ridiculous, but is it any less ridiculous than the actual, official method of translation? You know, the "urim and thummim" (goggles made of clear stones, attached to a metal breastplate). Is that any less bizarre?

Or what about Kolob? Or the unbelievably cultish temple ceremony? People will believe ANYTHING--as long as you indoctrinate them early enough. Polygamy porter is completely on the mark here as regards to the motives of the church's new publicity angle. The trick will be to simultaniously provide the "solution" along with the "problem," as they do with polygamy. It goes like this--"polygamy was practiced by early church members (there's the problem) because there were too many women and not enough men (and there's your solution).

The church will do something similar to this with other problems. "JS honed his prophet skills early in life by using them to find buried treasure" or something like that. It doesn't matter if it's true, or even plausible. Again, the important thing is to hit 'em when they're young so they never even question it.

 

Subject:

True. For a lot of TBMs, if the Church gets the first crack at explaining or spinning any given issue...

Date:

Oct 13 00:49

Author:

Timmy Teaboy


...the Church's version of events is the only one that the TBM will accept. But then the challenge moves to the next level, since most of the Church's excuses and explanations are themselves falsehoods.

For example, a lot of TBMs blindly accept the notion that polygamy served the purpose of caring for widows, orphans and a surplus of unmarried women. This explanation is demonstrably false, so the challenge is to take this explanation (which serves only the PR purposes of the Church) and show TBMs how it is wrong. For one thing, it is illogical, since widow, orphans and unmarried women can be taken care of without the institution of plural marriage. For another thing, wives (and their children) in polygamy were often very neglected and left to look after their own material needs while their polygamist husband was off on a mission or scouting out new brides. Finally, statistical records indicate that there was never a surplus of unmarried women. In fact the elite among the Mormon men were building up wife ranches of huge size and depriving younger men of opportunities to get married. During the polygamous years, one of the big aspects of missionary work seemed to be to recruit wives into polygamy to help make up for the shortage in the Mormon corridor (although the Church leaders, other than Heber C. Kimball, didn't usually put it so bluntly).

The Church is almost always in the position of having to rely on one set of falsehoods to explain away another set of falsehoods, so there are always falsehoods to expose. The Church just scrambles to keep ahead of the game by shifting the focus from generation to generation, hoping that they can buy time to entangle each generation in the social and mental webs of Mormonism to a degree sufficient to discourage them from attempting to break free.

 

Subject:

just like allergy desensitization shots

Date:

Oct 12 21:03

Author:

jillian


Keep introducing small amounts of the allergen (irritant) until the body no longers sees it as a problem.

This is so inspired that I now know the gospel is true!

 

Subject:

Elise's NewsWEAK testimony was the second part...

Date:

Oct 12 21:18

Author:

Scully


Polygamy Porter, what makes you think this Newsweek story is part of a Morg PR campaign? Any evidence for that? Sounds like a wild conspiracy theory to me.

 

Subject:

Hello? Look at the cover for starters

Date:

Oct 12 23:33

Author:

Polygamy Porter


They chose to NOT use the traditional artists rendition of the fallacious first vision story and to use one that is more "mainstream" with the stained glass one.

On the contents page they bold two items, Mormonism is America's fastest-growing Christian denomination and the faith's family values

Her article reads more like a testiphony than journalism.

To top it off, TSCC's fish wrap, the Deznews publish the article on how sister S[o]u[c]kup felt doing the article and she ends that article by bearing her testiphony again with the last sentence:" If the church is true, you shouldn't be afraid of looking into its history, and that was something I learned for myself," she said. "In the end, it definitely made me a stronger Latter-day Saint."

The whole thing is aimed at the MEMBERS not the public.

 

Subject:

I won't believe it until I hear that they are teaching the stuff in D&C seminary.

Date:

Oct 12 22:33

Author:

Decius


I don't think people resigning are going to be comforted when their bishop say, "Don't worry, we covered JS's statutory rape escapades in this obscure book, you could have looked it up at any time."

Until its taught in Sunday school and seminary, it is still in a sense being hidden. So, the deception is still going on.

 

Subject:

agreed. sadly. but this operation is making them filthy!! rich, i meant filthy rich, of course! ... ok, seriously,

Date:

Oct 12 23:23

Author:

lost girl


this scam of their is working better than anyone could have ever hoped for, or imagined! NO WAY they are giving up this HUMONGOUS cash cow without a pitched battle.

they will just lie better and deceive and abuse and pervert the truth better as "the need arises".

how i wish it were otherwise! but they are no longer in it for god ... they are most thoroughly in the business of religion. as proven by their own words and deeds.

 

Subject:

I'm skeptical

Date:

Oct 13 08:35

Author:

Forever anon


Joseph Smith mentions his time as a money digger in his history. That's nothing new. I don't see the Morg giving any details.

I don't think we've won anything or pushed them anywhere. They are still controlling the agenda and are not forthcoming in any real way. I don't think it makes any difference to them if a few of us leave -- they have deep pockets.

 

Subject:

I can hardly wait for the Peep Stone in the Hat ...

Date:

Oct 13 08:53

Author:

Puli


I can hardly wait for the Peep Stone in the Hat BoM translation story to become part of the standard SS lesson materials. Maybe LDS bookstores across the country can get a jump on offering smooth chocolate colored peep stones for every good LDS member to own. Perhaps each one could be blessed by the Profit himself. Then again, maybe only worthy priesthood holders should be able to buy these important tools - you may have to show a valid temple recommend to purchase one.

 

Subject:

My Letter to Newsweek's Editors Re. Soukup's Article "The Mormon Odyssey"

Date:

Oct 16 16:28

Author:

bob mccue


Dear Sirs:

Let me first state my biases. I am a former Mormon Bishop and practicing tax attorney in Canada. I am no longer a Mormon for two main reasons. First, because of the manner in which I believe Mormon leaders, starting with Joseph Smith and ending with the current "prophet", Gordon Hinckley, have misled and taken advantage of rank and file Mormons. Second, because of the harmful nature of the narrow, literalist culture Mormonism uses to condition its members. I hasten to add that Mormons - and even Mormon leaders - are in general kind hearted, well intentioned people, as are most Muslims, Amish, Young Earth Creationists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Fundamentalist Mormons, etc. of my acquaintance.

I recently read and was disappointed by Elise Soukup's article "The Mormon Odyssey". It provides just enough controversial information with regard to Mormonism to seem like solid journalism to those who don't know the full story, while not mentioning the most important issues. In that regard, it falls far short of the journalistic standards toward which I assume your publication aspires. I don't fault Ms. Soukup for this. She acknowledges her bias as a faithful Mormon and as such should be assumed to be incapable of competent journalism with regard to her faith tradition. I do, however, fault her editors. In post publication interviews, Ms. Soukup made much of the fact that her article passed an extensive editorial review process, thus justifying the article's content and lack thereof. I can only assume that her editors did not have adequate perspective with regard to Mormonism to hold her feet to the fire. Given how easy that perspective would have been to acquire, I again express my regret that the necessary steps were not taken in that regard.

Here are a few of the things I would like to have seen Ms. Soukup address.

1. Ms. Soukup failed to address the key questions with regard to Smith - was he trustworthy? And why should we believe the supernatural stories he told that conveniently place God's authority in his hands in light of the numerous occasions on which he deceived the people he led and others with regard to essential matters? For example, Ms. Soukup mentioned polygamy, but failed to mention that Smith lied in public and private for over decade regarding his actions in that regard. She also mentioned that Smith "married" (likely simply began having sexual relations with) one young girl who was hired to help in his home, but failed to mention how common his practise in this regard was. More importantly, she failed to mention that several of his consorts (they were not legally married to him) were married at the same time to other men, some Mormon and others not, and that in several cases Smith sent husbands on "missions" for the Mormon Church causing them to leave town just before he sexually propositioned their wives. And Ms. Soukup failed to mention the many other cases in which Smith deceived his followers and others, allegedly because God commanded him to do so. The Mormon Church attempts to dismiss Smith's deceptive behavior using a "no one is perfect" argument. I would have liked to see both sides of this issue on the pages of a national magazine of your statute. Regrettably, you missed that chance for the time being.

2. Ms. Soukup did not put Mormonism's core belief on the table - that Mormon leaders are the only people (men, to be precise) on Earth who have God's authority, and only those who either in this life or the next convert to Mormon belief and have Mormon ordinances performed for them will be permitted to live in God's presence and enjoy the fullness of His blessings. Ironically, however, while explaining polygamy she did mention the Mormon belief that “Those in the highest degree [of Heaven] will dwell with God, their families will be eternal and they'll even become gods themselves-as God did. Lorenzo Snow, fifth LDS prophet, articulated doctrine when he said, "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be." But Ms. Soukup did not mention that only faithful Mormons will enjoy this blessing, and that the current Mormon prophet Gordon Hinckley has publicly disavowed the "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be" couplet. Hinckley has said in various public fora that he isn't sure this is what Mormons believe; that it hasn't been taught that way for a long time; etc. See http://www.i4m.com/think/leaders/god_was_man.htm for a few quotes.

3. It seems clear that Smith believed that his status as God's prophet (self appointed or not) placed him above mortal law. Leading Mormon historian Michael Quinn his described this as Smith's "theocratic ethics" - in a theocracy, which Smith believed himself to lead, God's law (as stated by God's prophet - Smith) trumps all else. Ms. Soukup might have described some of the many cases in which Smith broke the law, including the infamous Kirtland "anti-banking" fiasco, in this regard.

4. Ms. Soukup made it appear that Mormonism is over its tendency to white wash its history. Nothing can be further from the truth. Mormonism segments its population by way of information requirement. For the masses, it has the deceptive drivel contained in the lessons it uses to convert non-Mormons to Mormonism and to condition the faithful each weak during church sponsored meetings. It restricts members from meeting at their own instance out of its control. It teaches members to avoid reading or talking about anything that questions Mormon authority on the basis that such information is "cancerous". It prohibits members from speaking privately or publicly about anything that questions Mormon authority, regardless of the academic merit of the information in question. That very issue about three years ago caused me to resign my membership. But, when a Mormon complains about having been mislead as a result of what I have just indicated, Mormon leaders point to books like the one Bushman has just published on a different planet for all intents and purposes as far as the average Mormon is concerned, and say, "It is your fault if you did not know about this stuff." This is almost word for word what a Mormon General Authority (one of the leaders of the entire organization as opposed to the leaders of local congregations) told me when I made this complaint to him.

5. Ms. Soukup made no attempt to summarize the various compelling naturalistic explanations for how Smith may have produced the Book of Mormon. See http://www.mormonstudies.com/criddle/rigdon.htm for only one of these, written by a respected scientist who as a result of having left Mormonism now dabbles in Mormon history. And in her post publication interview Ms. Soukup repeated the threadbare Mormon apologist line that Smith somehow produced the book of Mormon in 90 days of translation with God's inspiration or "make it up" during the same period of time, thus creating a nice straw man for Mormons to knock down. There are many other compelling theories that are worthy of analysis, and cut to the quick of Mormon belief.

6. Ms. Soukup made no attempt to place Smith's religious and charismatic leadership in a psychological context, or Mormonism is a sociological context. The psychological and sociological literature is full of studies that help us to understand why intelligent, well intentioned people are susceptible to leaders like Joseph Smith and organizations like Mormonism. And this literature (and particularly that related to cognitive dissonance and bias) make it clear why people like Ms. Soukup should both be expected to maintain their Mormon beliefs against the evidence, and are incapable of reasonable journalism with respect to their beliefs.

If you have the opportunity to revisit Mormonism in your pages, I invite you to use a broader lens than Ms. Soukup or her editors were able to employ.

Best regards,

bob mccue

 

Subject:

The "Inquirer" would have done a better job than "Newsweek". n/t

 

Subject:

Great Letter, Bob

Date:

Oct 16 16:55

Author:

Hellmut


Please, find mine below. I posted it at their comment section at their website. Where did you submit yours, please?

To the Editor:

Given that the Mormon Church has disfellowshipped Dr. Grant Palmer for his price winning book An Insider's View of Mormon Origins only last year, I find it difficult to justify Ms. Soukop's assessment that historians are better treated by Mormon leaders than in 1993. Clearly, the Mormon inquisition into science and research continues.

It would seem to me that the medieval attitudes of the Mormon hierarchy towards human rights, particularly freedom of speech, and science would warrant coverage in their own right.

Sincerely, Hellmut Lotz

 

Subject:

great letters to both of you!

Date:

Oct 16 16:59

Author:

lost girl


mine also asked why they didn't look at the joe-having-sex-with-kids thing.

like bob said, considering they are a NEWS magazine, not some entertainment mag, their article was unbelievably mormon-controlled!!

 

           

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