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Another Interview With Carole Whang Schutter

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CAROLE WHANG SCHUTTER, the Evangelical Christian author of the screenplay for the critically acclaimed, extremely controversial motion picture "SEPTEMBER DAWN", starring Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight, and the novel of the same title (see http://www.carolewhangschutter.com/september.html).

Here's a transcript. It's long, but it has a lot of interesting stuff in it:

Chris
: [After listening to dialogue from the movie trailer] Quite a chilling excerpt from the trailer. First I would like to interview our guest today, Carole Whang Schutter. It's such an honor and a pleasure to have you on the Iron Sharpens Iron broadcast for the very first time, Carole.

Carole
: Well, I'm glad to be here.

Chris
: And I also want to introduce my co-host today who'll be interviewing Carole with me, Latayne C. Scott, who has been a guest on Iron Sharpens Iron several times already. And it's great to have you back, Latayne.

Latayne
: Good afternoon, Chris.

Chris
: And first of all, Carole, let's start with the obvious question: how you got the idea to write the screenplay for this film and the subsequent novel.

Carole
: Well, I had never written a screenplay at all, you know. I had always wanted to be a writer. And it was vey interesting. I was thinking, I had been thinking about how I had never achieved any of my goals and here I was, past fifty years of age and driving in Colorado when I suddenly, in my mind's eye, I have to make that clear, you know, saw a pioneer woman standing in this area and I felt very strongly that I was

supposed to write a screenplay about this woman. It came to me, I believe it was from God because I didn't know how to write a screenplay, and I did not know much about wagon trains and I didn't know why I was so compelled to write about a subject I knew nothing about and to write it in a genre I didn't know anything about, either. But as I began to research the story that played out in my head, I went to the Internet

and I was just shocked to find out that it was a real story.

Chris
: Yeah. In fact, I think it is accurately called by many one of the longest, bloodiest cover-ups in history. In fact, not only do not most Christians know about this until the movie was released and may have heard of it during our recognition of September 11, 2001 when some were bringing up the parallels between both massacres. Both massacres that were conducted by religious fanatics, desert-dwelling religious fanatics following a false prophet, interestingly enough. But Latayne, you were a Mormon and went to Brigham Young University and you didn't even hear about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Latayne
: No, it was never mentioned in any of my doctrine classes, especially wasn't mentioned in any of the history classes that I took, nor was it mentioned at any time. I'd never heard of it until, Mountain Meadows Massacre, until after I had left the Mormon Church.

Chris
: Mm-hmm. Well, that's one of the reasons that this subject, believe it or not, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the subject of that horrific event, has probably been the topic of the Iron Sharpens Iron broadcast more than any other specific topic. This is, I believe, somewhere in the neighborhood of our fifth interview on this one subject alone. But Latayne, being a former Mormon and also a book reivewer for America Online's Writer's Club and release and a closer look, what did you, what was your opinion on the novel by Carole?

Carole
: Can I interrupt? I can't hear Latayne, I'm sorry.

Chris
: Really, you can't hear Latayne at all?

Carole
: No.

Chris
: Okay. We're going to have an engineer hopefully rectify that situation. But Latayne, if you could let us know your opinion on the novel that you recently finished reading.

Latayne
: Well, Carole did a very good job with a very daunting task, which is to cover a historical event, do it with characters that you care about, that are you know, described. And she created two fictional families that get involved in this situation. And also interweaving all the facts, the climate, the political climate there, the reasons why people felt the way they did, the reasons why people could get riled up the way they did. And my hat's off to her for a very good job of balancing and juggling different viewpoints. And it's also a story in a frame, where you have some of the ancestors of the actual event talk about it, then go back into history to deal with the event itself. So she took on several technical challenges of writing that I thought she did very well. And I must say I will never again hear the words 'Mountain Meadows Massacre' and have the same feeling about it after I did after reading her book. It was really moving.

Chris
: By the way, Carole, can you hear Latayne now?

Carole
: No, I can't.

Chris
: You can't hear it at all? Well, hopefully our engineer will be able to straighten this out...

[station Break]

Chris
: Welcome back. This is Chris Arnzen, your host for Iron Sharpens Irson if you've just tuned us in. We are discussing the critically acclaimed, extremely controversial motion picture, September Dawn, starring Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight, which was written, the screenplay was written by our guest today, Carole Whang Schutter, Evangelical Christian author who also wrote subsequently the novel of the same title. And co-hosting the program with me is Latayne C. Scott, a Mormon convert to Christianity and author of 'The Mormon Mirage.' But basically before the break, Carole, since you didn't hear Latayne, Latayne was giving a description of the novel and basically gave it thumbs up. Correct, Latayne?

Latayne
: Absolutely. Very good book.

Chris
: And you can hear Latayne now, correct Carole?

Carole
: Yes, I can. I'm having a hard time hearing. I'm sorry.

Chris
: Well, hopefully we'll be able to adjust it a little bit better as time goes on. But out of curiosity before we go back to Latayne, I know she has some questions as well. But I was curious what the Mormon, specifically the Mormon reaction to the novel, the film and to you personally has been, Carole, as a result of this?

Carole
: I think you asked me what the Mormons' reaction to the film and novel were.

Chris
: Yes.

Carole
: I have heard, I mean, you know, obviously the LDS Church is very unhappy with it. And they are putting out their own book on the Mountain Meadow Massacre. And, you know, a lot of Mormons are very angry. I've gotten a lot of very angry emails. But interestingly enough, I do have a brother-in-law who has a Christian church in Utah. And I've heard, his church is made up of a lot of ex-Mormons. And I have heard of some very interesting comments that they have heard at the movie theaters themselves. It's kind of funny because they say that people sneak in as soon as the lights go off and sneak out as soon as the lights go on. And they just run in and run out. But I've heard some very interesting comments because I think it opens their eyes to so much that they don't know. And that they don't know about their own religion, which is very very interesting to me. Course there are a lot of Christians who really don't know a lot about their religion, either.

Chris
: Oh, of course. And Latayne, I understand that Richard Ostling, author of Mormon America, has some relevance to what you want to discuss with Carole today.

Latayne
: Well, Richard Ostling wrote a book called Mormon America. And he, just to tell you how unbiased this man is, his book is neither pro-Mormon nor anti-Mormon, but it would have to be characterized as leaning more toward Mormons than away from them. He was a religion writer for the Associated Press. He was senior correspondent for Time Magazine. I mean, this is a very prestigious journalist who wrote this book.

Chris
: Yeah, he covered religion for CBS Radio Network and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.

Latayne
: Right. PBS. Very well-known journalist. He and his wife wrote this book. And he is generally sympathetic toward Mormons in almost every area except the way the censor their own history. And the ways that the Mormon Church has cracked down on their own members and tried to crack down on people outside the church to squelch information about this. And Carole, were you aware that when one of the Mormon Church's own authors, Juanita Brooks, wrote a book about the Mountain Meadows Massacre back in the 1950s, that the Mormon Church according to Ostling, who as I said is a journalist, Mormon Church actually squelched plans at Warner Brothers to produce a movie about the subject at that time?

Carole
: Yes, I did hear about that.

Latayne
: Well, you're in good company, then. [Laughs]

Carole
: I'm in good company. You know, I want to say something about trying to squelch history. This is very interesting. I was talking to a Christian teenager in my brother-in-law's church. And she was about 16 years old and going to a public school in Utah. And she said to me, you know it's really interesting that we just had to do a term paper on the Mountain Meadow Massacre. I said, oh, great. And I asked her what she used as her resource material. And what she told me shocked me. She said, we were not allowed to use the Internet and we're not allowed to use any research except Utah history books that are approved by Utah. I said to her, that's not a term paper. [Laughs.] But I think that's how they keep people in darkness.

Chris
: [Plugs the program's blog and an interview of William Norman Grigg.] Carole, if you could also give us more of the details on why this Mormon militia ruthlessly slaughtered this group of 120 pioneers who were basically innocent, obviously. And which is the core of what your film deals with.

Carole
: Well, there was a lot that was going on at the time. And I think that some of the, a lot of the reviewers were totally confused, because I don't know if they really, you know, they seemed to think that we made everything up. And may I say that it was a brutal act. We've been accused of being ham-fisted, but this was a horrendous, ham-fisted act, and there's like no way of giving it so much texture and showing the goodness of Mormon people in two hours. And I don't think that the Mormon people are bad people by any means. I have Mormon relatives and I have Mormon friends. But this act at this time was extremely brutal and it was caused by many things. It was caused by the murder of Parley Pratt, who is an ancestor of Mitt Romney, actually. And he was an apostle of the Mormon Church. He took a plural wife in Arkansas, and she was already married to somebody else, and her husband came after him and killed him with a bunch of his, two of his friends. And the Arkansas government did not prosecute him. That made them feel persecuted once again. There was also the Mormon persecution, or the Mormon War that occurred in Missouri. And some of the people in the wagon train happened to be from Missouri, and they felt that the Mormons, the Missouri Wildcats, excuse me, had killed their prophet, Joseph Smith, in Illinois. And there was also the Mormon Reformation that was going on the year before because Mormons were leaving the Church in droves. And Brigham Young clamped down and they, you know, used the Danites and they were just trying to stop what he called apostasy. And there was a lot of really, really really horrific sermons that he gave during that year. And the sermons that Brigham Young gave, and most of the dialogue in the movie, most of Brigham Young's dialogue was taken directly from sermons. And a lot of the dialogue, like the preaching of Jon Voight, has been taken from sermons that were given at the time. It was a really raw time. And the military, through President Buchanan, was trying to throw Brigham Young out. President Buchanan considered him a despot. And they were trying to unseat him as governor of Utah because they needed to preserve the passage to California, the California Gold Rush. And there had already been two massacres before the Mountain Meadow Massacres, but they were men and did not include women and children, which is what made this so horrific.

Chris
: Mm-hmm. And Latayne, you can ask a question as well. But I'd like to ask you a question, Latayne. I know this may be hard, a hard question to answer in hindsight now that you're an Evangelical Christian. But do you have any concept of what your opinion might have been as a Mormon when you were a Mormon reading this novel by Carole. What do you think your reaction would be and the reaction of any Mormons that you know of is.

Latayne
: When I was a Mormon and I was confronted with any information that seemed out of sync with what I thought I knew about the Mormon Church, about its history, about its leadership, I simply dismissed it. I would never have read the whole book. In fact, I'm sure my Mormon leadership would have warned me away from it as they did the pamphlets from Jerald and Sandra Tanner that were laid outside my doorstep when I was a BYU student. I just ignored it. Somebody said, don't even deal with that. And I didn't. And I think that's the way that a great deal of Mormons do deal with it. Those that don't, I can tell you that the cold reaction I had when I first read about such things. I'm talking about becoming physically ill, because I could not balance this picture of good godly men, leadership, men who had their ears to the mouth of God, speaking the words of God directly, would do such a thing. I just, the cognitive dissonance was horrific.

Chris
: Mm. And you have a question for Carole?

Latayne
: Well, I agree. I have found through the ex-Mormons mainly, and through the Mormons that they just ignore the whole thing. They are told to ignore it, to not read it. They are not, I guess they have a sort of like a black list. I know that movies that are Rated R they are not allowed to see. But they do not, let me tell you what one ex-Mormon told me. She said that the thing that Mormons fear the most is their history.

Chris
: Mm. Wow.

Carole
: I thought that was really interesting. And I've had a lot of ancestors [NOTE: she meands descendants] of some of the perpetrators. They, of course, the ones who talk to me are the ones who have all left the Mormon Church. And they, you know, their great-great grandfathers were directly involved in the Mountain Meadow Massacre, were leaders of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. And they have read my book or seen my, or seen the movie, and by the way, the movie was co-written with Chris Cain because like I said, I didn't know how to write a screenplay.

Chris
: And he was affiliated with the 'Young Guns' film, correct?

Carole
: Yes, he did the 'Young Guns' film. But they have said that they have found it very accurate according to, you know, the history that has come down through their ancestors. And one man told me this, it kind of shocked me. He said to me, you know, I want to tell you that if Brigham Young had told my great-great grandfather to kill one of his plural wives, he would have done it. He said, such is the blind loyalty they felt toward Brigham Young and the absolute, they absolutely believed that he was the voice of God and he could do no wrong. And he said, my grandfather wouldn't even have hesitated, he would have killed one of his wives if he had been told to do it. That is how deep their loyalty was.

Chris
: And Latayne, if you could ask a question of Carole, but also comment on Wilford Woodruff, his journal.

Latayne
: Well, Wilford Woodruff, who was, who later became president and prophet of the Mormon Church, wrote in his journal that after Brigham Young, after the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Brigham Young came to the site where the massacre had occurred. And someone, I think the United States government, you can correct me if I'm wrong about that Carole, had erected a mound of stones and a cross...

Carole
: Right.

Latayne
: ...over at the site. And he visited it in 1861. And he saw that cross that was there. And he raised his hand to the square, which is masonic and which also Mormon temple motion or gesture for swearing or appealing to God. And he said, vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I have taken a little. And for all the Mormons that say that Brigham Young didn't know anything about it, well, we don't have direct evidence, I guess, that he knew, that he ordered the slaughter of the people. Although he did tell the Indians, he personally told the Indians that they could have the settlers' cattle. But we do know that after it happened that is not the actions of a man who regretted what he did.

Chris
: Yeah.

Latayne
: Or regretted what happened.

Carole
: And I also wanted to say that, you know, so much has been made out of whether or not Brigham Young ordered it. I really believe that that is not really that important. Because if you read the sermons that he gave that entire year, a loyal Mormon would certainly get the idea that this would have been a righteous act.

Latayne
: Absolutely.

Chris
: Yeah. Yeah.

Carole
: And that is what no one is focusing on. They're focusing so much on, oh, this letter that he probably, he might have written to, and it got there too late. I mean, they need to focus on what was going on then, and what the orders of the Church were at that time. Judge Cradlebaugh, who was a federal court judge, said, wrote to the President and Congress that the Salt Lake City was literally, had literally maybe hundreds of bodies that had been blood atoned, that had been buried in shallow graves without coffins, without anything. That they had been, that, you know, Salt Lake City had all these bodies that were unaccounted for. I mean, they were blood atoned by probably Danites. I, there was a lot of stuff going on then. It was a very bloody time. And why did God want this to come out? You know, I've thought about it and thought about it. And, you know, I hate to be in the middle of a big tornado, but I think that, number one, God, what I wanted to focus on was that God wanted to show what Christianity, true Christianity, is really like. And some of our critics have said we made the Christians too good. You know, and I did make the pastor, I did see the pastor as a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. That when he faced down his murderer, he said, may God forgive you. Because we are to act in that way. Not that we always do, but I wanted to show that we have forgiveness through grace. That was very important to me. Through grace we have forgiveness, and not through anything we do, because so many religions focus on deeds. And I believe the LDS Church is one of them, that they focus on deeds. And, you know, we are saved by grace, not by our works.

Chris
: Yes. Amen. Latayne, having been a former Mormon have having written 'The Mormon Mirage' and other books, why don't you briefly comment on some of the very startling distinctions between Mormonism and Evangelical Christianity. If you could before, in fact we better go to a break... [Commercial break].

Chris
: Welcome back. This is Chris Arnzen, your host on Iron Sharpens Iron. And we are discussing the critically-acclaimed, controversial film, 'September Dawn.' And our guests today are the writer of the screenplay of that film, Carole Whang Schutter, and also Latayne C. Scott, a former Mormon convert to Christianity. Before we go back to Latayne, I just want to read a few reviews of this film. [Reads a few reviews.] Latayne, were were about to go to you to give a brief, very brief overview of the main distinctions between Mormonism and Biblical Christianity.

Latayne
: Before I do that, Chris. For our Mormon listeners, in case you might be thinking that Carole Whang Schutter or Latayne Scott or Chris Arnzen made any of this up, go get a book that should be in your church library, if you have one, or buy it off the Internet, called 'Journal of Discourses.' All it is is a Mormon-published book of the sermons of people like Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, some of the people we've mentioned. Get volume 5, which covers this time period we're talking about. Read what Mormon leaders said about non-Mormons during that time. And ask yourself, is it likely that they would have stirred people up to love people coming, or treak kindly the people coming through their land, or to kill them? And you will come away with the unescapable conclusion that every Mormon who heard those sermons felt totally justified in killing men, women and children, taking their gold, taking their cattle, and then covering it up and swearing an oath never to reveal it.

Chris
: Mm. Wow.

Latayne
: That's my challenge to any Mormon who's listening here.

Chris
: Excellent challenge.

Carole
: That's wonderful. That's wonderful.

Latayne
: The main difference between Mormonism and Christianity, and I don't classify Mormonism as Christianity because we have two different Gods.

Chris
: Yes.

Latayne
: Carole mentioned that Mormonism tends to be a more works-based religion as compared to Christianity. But the big difference is the God. We believe that God is God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, one Triune God. Without a physical presence other than when Jesus was on the earth. Mormons believe that God the Father once lived on another planet. That He had a God above Him who had a God above Him. All faithful Mormon men believe they will become gods. Faithful Mormon women, such as I, believe that we will become a god. We don't worship the same God.

Chris
: Yes. Amen. Yes, human beings can actually become gods by being faithful Mormons, and the God that we here on earth worship was a man who evolved into a god himself, correct?

Latayne
: That's right.

Chris
: According to Mormonism, that is.

Latayne
: According to Mormon doctrine.

Carole
: And I want to add something. You know, during the Olympics, there was a real big push. During the Olympics in Salt Lake City, there was a real big push to try to show Mormons as mainstream Christians. And I had read how they had changed the pictures of Joseph Smith to Jesus. And Hinckley made a lot of statements that seem to go against the doctrine, you know, things have changed. Well, you know, it's really interesting that was in the Ensign, November [inaudible], because his flock had asked him, are we changing? You know like you're telling a secular press that we're changing. He said, those that observe us say that we are moving into the mainstream of religion. We are not changing, the world's perception of us is changing. We teach the same doctrine. So my question would be, you know, what kind of doctrine are they teaching? It is my understanding that they believe that they will become gods. I know that my brother-in-law was told that by a Mormon that he knows in Utah. He was told that, you know, it was not true that we are going to become gods of our own planets when we die, I would want to kill myself.

Chris
: Mm. Wow.

Carole
: You know, and I think, that that, like you said, Latayne, that that is the main thing that is really different. They are polytheists. They are not, they do not believe in one God.

Chris
: Yes. In fact, it's the most polytheistic religion on the planet Earth. They've got so many gods they make Hindus blush because Hindus at least have a finite number of gods, whereas Mormons have an infinite. But I understand you have a follow-up question for Carole, Latayne.

Latayne
: I can't think of it now. I was enoying hearing her so much. Go on, Carole, that was great.

Carole
: Well, you know, I wanted to say that I've always found it very interesting that I ask people, what do you think the first sin was? And people tell me all kinds of things. But in my opinion, the first sin was when the serpent said to Eve, Eve, eat of this apple and you shall be like God. It seems that since the beginning of time men have wanted to be gods.

Chris
: In fact, Lucifer's sin in heaven prior to that was that very thing, was his pride and his wanting to have a superior level...

Carole
: Right. Wanting to be god is a huge, is huge among the New Agers, among many many, I think Joseph Smith really hit on something that hit a nerve with people.

Chris
: Yeah. Well, you know, something, not to go off the topic too far, but I wanted to quickly comment that I remember seeing, and I've commented on this before on the air, that I remember seeing an interview with a priest in the Church of Satan, an interview on television. It might have been on Phil Donahue or a similar type of television broadcast. And he said, we don't worship Satan. We don't even believe that he is an actual figure that exists. We worship ourselves. And he said people who are in the New Age movement calling themselves gods, they are in the Church of Satan. They just don't realize it.

Carole
: Wow.

Latayne
: I'd like to read you a quote from a Mormon magazine called Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. This is not a magazine that is directly sponsored by the Mormon Church. But this is a magazine that Mormon intellectuals and Mormon thinkers read. And this what a letter that was sent to the editor of this magazine. And he said, the writer said, a young girl recently arose in our ward, and that's a congregation, and said, I don't care what the prophet does, if it's contrary to scripture or the words of previous prophets. When he speaks, it's truth. He's the prophet. She was quite worked up, and she wept, etc., etc. And he said, this person, who's writing the letter, said, I've heard cheerful testimonies in my 39 years of many things. Some testify that the shadow leadership of a few years ago was a direct revelation from the Lord. I've heard testimonies of the divine origins of the Constitution, the Boy Scouts of America, the Adam-God Doctrine, the anti-Adam-God Doctrine, and all these other things. And he said, you know, here you have children being raised up with this point of view that no matter what the Mormon leaders say, it's truth and its right. Or, in the words of one Mormon prophet, when our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. Now, that's what kept me in Mormonism for the years I was in it. And that's what caused this horrible distress when I realized I'd been lied to. And I don't know if Mormons think about this, but you're not helping your children, my Mormon friend, by telling them to blindly obey a leader and not use their minds and not depend on scripture before you go to a human being and believe that that human being can tell you what to do, which is exactly what happened in the Mountain Meadow Massacre.

Carole
: Right. And one of the things that I wanted people to see, both in the book and in the movie, was that we need to examine who we are, who's leading us, what kind of people are leading us. And if what they say, you know, I once heard a pastor say, don't believe what I say, don't believe what televangelists say. You need to read the Bible for yourself. And you need to know for yourself whether or not what I'm saying, or what the televengelist is saying, is correct. And he was challenging people to, you know, get off their duffs and read the Bible.

Chris
: Just like Paul did with the Bereans.

Carole
: Right. And so I think that, you know, that is what Latayne has said is what I have read. I have read, I can't remember, Apostle Heber, who said, it's not up to you to decide whether a thing be right or wrong. And he also said, when Brother Brigham says to dance, you better dance.

Chris
: Mm. Wow.

Carole
: You know, but we need to examine with our hearts. You know, if somebody tells you to kill somebody, you need to figure out whether that's right or wrong. [Laughs]. You known, if your heart tells you, I know, I'm sure that a lot of the Mormons that were involved in the Mountain Meadow Massacre, I read they were throwing up. I read some of them cried, threw down their guns, sobbed as they killed these people. They needed to examine with their hearts, and their hearts were telling them that it was wrong. But the Brethren told them this was what they needed to do.

Chris
: Yes, in fact when I interviewed William Norman Grigg, a former Mormon who is now a Christian, he drew the parallel between Mormonism and Islam regarding what you were just saying. And he was saying that Joseph Smith actually said that, I am the new Muhammed?

Carole
: Yes, he did say that. We've been really, like, blasted for having Joseph Smith say that. But Joseph Smith was actually an admirer of Muhammed, from what I understand. Do you agree, Latayne?

Latayne
: I do. You know, the role of Biblical leadership, it tells us in Hebrews that we are to obey our leaders and make their job an easy one by our obedience. But it also says consider the outcome of their way of life. And if you consider the outcome of the life of Joseph Smtih, who I was taught that he was a very physical man, he was a wrestler and, you know, besides being a great thinker and a spiritual man. But he beat people up. He boxed people's ears and threw them down and kicked them. He was physical in ways that the Bible tells that an elder of the church cannot be given to brawling, and he was. Brigham Young was a lustful and awful man. And he was despotic. The President of the United States was exactly right. He was despotic and he was authoritarian. And if you read some of the accounts of some of his wives, of his behavior. By the time he was an old man, the reason he couldn't travel to answer questions about the Mountain Meadows Massacre is because he was so grossly overweight and pandered to by everyone around him, that he was an absolute tyrant to everyone around him. Now that's the outcome of that kind of life. And I was never taught that as a Mormon. And when I read that Joseph Smith rode through the City of Nauvoo smoking a cigar and that he served liquor and did all of these things that I was told I couldn't do, man, I was shocked. Because I was starting to consider the outcome of their lives, I thought, I cannot stay here.

Carole
: In fact, I believe that if Joseph Smith hadn't been killed when he was killed, that the Mormon religion wouldn't have grown so much. Because it really, by the time he died, most of his closest followers were angry at him and had turned their back on him. And it took Brigham to achieve his dream.

[Commerical Break]

Chris
: Welcome back. Carole, you acknowledge Sandra Tanner, who may not be a stranger to our audience. Sandra Tanner of the Utah Lighthouse Ministries that she founded with her late husband, Jerald Tanner, who is now with the Lord. She is the great-great granddaughter of Brigham Young, and how did she assist you with this book, 'September Dawn?'

Carole
: Well, she assisted me in leading me to certain resource materials. And she also assisted my by telling me, you know, I would ask her what kind of slang did they use in the day, how did they speak. I, you know, we wanted to get it really accurate, the dialogue, the way they spoke, to get a feel of it. She directed me to resource materials where I could get a feel for what it was like then, how people were, how they talked, how they dressed, what they believed. And that was very helpful, because then I didn't have to go through 200 books, I only have to go through 50.

Chris
: In fact, my friend, Dr. James R. White, an Evangelical apologist who has done much evangelism to Mormons and has spent a very large percentage of his ministry over the years in exposing the heresies of Mormonism and reaching out with the love of the Gospel to them. He considers Sandra probably the greatest living expert on Mormonism.

Latayne
: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

Chris
: And she was an instrument in you coming to Christ, correct, Latayne?

Latayne
: Oh, absolutely. When I started reading 'Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?', and saw photo reprints of these documents, so I wasn't taking anybody's word for what Brigham Young said or Joseph Smith said, it just was absolutely devastating. So yes, she's the best. Absolutely. Carole, I have a question for you. Would you ever write another book this controversial, knowing what you know now?

Carole
: Well, I want to say that I hope God never asks me to do it. I really don't have the energy that is this controversial. But you know, I think that, and you, I'd like to ask you this Latayne. I think the real reason that the LDS Church and many LDS members, I think the LDS members are angry because they don't really know, they've been told that they should be angry by the LDS Church. I mean, that's the way I feel that, you know, they don't go to see the movie or anything. They're just told to write bad reviews or whatever. But I feel that the reason they're angry, is 'cause that in this day and age, they want to seem to be like mainstream Christians.

Chris
: Yes.

Latayne
: Mm-hmm.

Carole
: And this movie and the book exposes that their doctrine is so different.

Chris
: Yes.

Carole
: Because, like, one of my girlfriends is a Christian, she told me, she said, I didn't know Mormons weren't Christian. I thought it was just another denomination.

Chris
: Yeah. Yeah, in fact, I've heard some of the more well-known Mormons in the media over the last several years, they have been identifying themselves as as Christian rather than Mormon. Orrin Hatch, for one. And others. I know that Mitt Romney has identified himself as a Christian.

Latayne
: Harry Reid.

Chris
: Yes. So yes, this has been, this is, Latayne, this is quite a new tactic in public relations for the Mormons, isn't it?

Latayne
: Actually, this is something that's been in the works even since I was a Mormon. I sat in on a meeting with Dr. Neil Maxwell at BYU as a journalist at BYU, in which he announced plans to take out ads in the Reader's Digest, and I remember that happened back in the 70s. Billboards. Things the Mormon Church had never done before. Making the name of Jesus bigger in their logo. Actually, if you're as a journalist, which I am, you go to the LDS Church's website and they ask you not to even call them Mormons. They want to be called Saints.

Chris
: Wow.

Latayne
: You know, it's, if you can control language you can control anything. And that's what the Mormon Church is trying to do, is control the language that is spoken about their church. But there's always a Carole Whang Schutter out there saying, wait a minute, what about, you know. And I appreciate so much your work you did on that, Carole. Bless your heart. You're just a babe in the woods. You had no idea what you were getting into.

Carole
: I had no idea. I'm telling you, I had no idea.

Chris
: Any final words for our listeners that you want most engraved most on their hearts and minds, Carole?

Carole
: Well, I want most engraved in their hearts and minds that we as Christians need to stop fighting about little differences that we have in the way we worship God.

Latayne
: Amen.

Carole
: I think that if we could just come together as a Christian church. Never mind, I mean there's just so many denominations out there. Who cares. As long as, we need to focus on what we agree on, what we believe...

Latayne
: Amen.

Carole
: ...If we were as organized as the Mormon Church, we'd probably rule the world. [All laugh]

Chris
: And Carole, can we have the information for our listeners to contact you.

Carole
: You can go to my website, which is cwschutter.com. Or you can buy my book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble online. And its in the Borders bookstores. And also, the DVD will be out January 1st.

Chris
: Yes, and I want to quickly before I go to Latayne, I want to let our listeners know that the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, Long Island, has expressed some interest in showing this film. So why not call them up and urge them to do it. It's 631-423-7610. 631-423-7610. And ask for Charlotte Skye, one of the owners of the theater. Because the movie is not playing anywhere right now on Long Island or New York City, so I urge you to call the Cinema Arts Center in Huntington, Long Island. But Latayne Scott, it's been a rich please to have you on the program. Thank you for joining us.

Latayne
: Thank you.

[Closing comments]

A fisking will follow.

-Smac

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Oh, good, another "I was never told" ex-Mo. Sorry, but it was right there in the Church History in the Fullness of Times CES Manual.

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And the Ensign!

I love how people love to blame the Church for what they never took the time to find out. The Church's mission is not to teach history anyway, it's to save souls.

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Anyone heard of this guy, Latayne Scott? The website lists him as a Mormon convert to Evangelical Christianity and author of Mormon Mirage.

Do we add him to the Danite hit list? :P

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Carole:

And the sermons that Brigham Young gave, and most of the dialogue in the movie, most of Brigham Young's dialogue was taken directly from sermons. And a lot of the dialogue, like the preaching of Jon Voight, has been taken from sermons that were given at the time. (emphasis added)

It seems as if the words â??allâ?? and â??everythingâ?? have mysteriously vanished from the descriptions of the authenticity of the screenplay dialogue.

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CAROLE WHANG SCHUTTER, the Evangelical Christian author of the screenplay for the critically acclaimed, extremely controversial motion picture "SEPTEMBER DAWN", starring Academy Award winning actor Jon Voight, and the novel of the same title

Is there more than one "September Dawn" out there?

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That was a disturbing interview on so many levels.

Is there more than one "September Dawn" out there?

Typo, sorry, "critically declaimed."

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Is there more than one "September Dawn" out there?

this was my first reaction as well stu. When the first line of a show starts out by misleading the audience, it doesn't bode well for the rest of it as far as accuracy and truth goes.

:P

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If this is the same person as Latayne Colvett Scott, I believe that she is a woman.

Sorry, caught that while rereading. Must be another victim of crazy Utah names. I've never heard of her, but she appears quite the devotee of the Tanners and James White, which explains why so much of the transcript had me banging my head on the desk.

Good luck with the fisking, Smac97! Could take a while.

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Oh, good, another "I was never told" ex-Mo. Sorry, but it was right there in the Church History in the Fullness of Times CES Manual.

And in the CES manual that proceeded it too (the one by Barrett IIRC).

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And in the CES manual that proceeded it too (the one by Barrett IIRC).

The problem that I see is that this person interviewed painted the church as covering up their history and it will believed. And that is unfortunate.

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I think this interview explains very well where this "September Dawn" so-called docudrama movie came from (infernal regions to be sure) when they have fellow travelers like the Tanners, James White and the like. They can now brag of having produced the first feature length movie with a "real" actor (Jon Voyt) that is actually a full blown Anti-Mormon movie. :P

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Fisking No. 1:

Take a look at Schutter's explanation as to how she came up with the idea for the movie:

Well, I had never written a screenplay at all, you know. I had always wanted to be a writer. And it was vey interesting. I was thinking, I had been thinking about how I had never achieved any of my goals and here I was, past fifty years of age and driving in Colorado when I suddenly, in my mind's eye, I have to make that clear, you know, saw a pioneer woman standing in this area and I felt very strongly that I was supposed to write a screenplay about this woman. It came to me, I believe it was from God because I didn't know how to write a screenplay, and I did not know much about wagon trains and I didn't know why I was so compelled to write about a subject I knew nothing about and to write it in a genre I didn't know anything about, either. But as I began to research the story that played out in my head, I went to the Internet and I was just shocked to find out that it was a real story.

Compare to her previous descriptions here:

Dianne: How did you come to write the screenplay for September Dawn?

CWS: We have a God who uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. We also have a God who likes to ask one to do things they don't know how to do because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. When the idea for a screenplay popped into my head, my first reaction was, "Lord, I don't know how to write a screenplay."

And here:

LES: Carole Whang Schutter, we are so glad to have you on our program [shakes hands with Ms. Schutter]. We are so excited that you are here. And your movie, based on your book, "September Dawn," is in theaters everywhere. Can you tell me how you came to write this book?

Carole Whang Schutter ("CWS"): The book is based on the movie, and the way I came to write it is a miracle. I was driving in Colorado, in a place that really looks a lot like Mountain Meadows, and I had a vision of a young woman in pioneer clothes. And I felt as if the Lord was telling me to write a screenplay about a woman going to the California gold rush when Mormons, dressed as Indians, attacked their wagon train and massacred them. And my first thought was, Lord, I don't know how to write a screenplay. My second thought was I don't know anything about wagon trains. Why would I write about something I know nothing about? But it wouldn't leave me, and I finally researched the trails that the wagon trains took to the California God Rush and I was astonished to find out it was a true story.

LES: So the Lord revealed this to you in a vision and told you to write it even before you knew it was a true story?

CWS: Yes.

LES: Wow. That is very powerful.

And here:

Schutter, an agnostic turned Christian, has lived in Aspen for about 21 years. She said she got the idea for the movie when she was driving between Buena Vista and Salida through country that looks very much like site of the Mountain Meadows massacre. She didn't know it at the time.

"I got this crazy idea to write a story about a pioneer woman going in a wagon train to the California gold rush, and the train gets attacked by Mormons dressed as Indians," she said. "The idea wouldn't leave me. I believe it was from God."

She began doing some research.

"I came across the Mountain Meadows massacre and I was blown away," she said. "I thought, 'Holy cow - this isn't made up in my mind. This is real.' I got really into it. I cried and cried when I read about the story."

She said she hadn't heard about the massacre before. Maybe some random detail such as Mormons dressed as Indians, but she said she didn't know about the story.

"Why would it just explode in my mind all of a sudden?" she said.

So in one interview she claims to have had "a vision," and yet she has elsewhere described it as an idea that "popped into [her] head" and still elsewhere as emphatically something she saw in her "mind's eye."

Imagine if we held Ms. Schutter to the same standard as Evangelicals hold the various accounts of the First Vision.

-Smac

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Great post smac97. Unfortunately, they'll never hold CWS to the same standard they apply to JS. It would set a dangerous precedent for them, and they know it.

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And if you consider the outcome of the life of Joseph Smtih, who I was taught that he was a very physical man, he was a wrestler and, you know, besides being a great thinker and a spiritual man. But he beat people up. He boxed people's ears and threw them down and kicked them

This was my favorite part. Ole Joe Smith walkin round Kirtland boxin everyone's ears in. Not only that but he would then throw them down and "kick" them.

I love how stick pulling turns into ear boxing.

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This was my favorite part. Ole Joe Smith walkin round Kirtland boxin everyone's ears in. Not only that but he would then throw them down and "kick" them.

I love how stick pulling turns into ear boxing.

Then there was the prophet Samuel who didn't stop at boxing ears, but he'd slit open people with a sword. Then there is that prophet Elijah who killed a bunch of the priests of Baal.

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Absolutely amazing.

Critically acclaimed movie?

Sandra Tanner is the greatest living expert on Mormonism?

I guess if you're going to lie, you might as well go all out and make it as juicy as possible. And they did.

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Mm. Wow.

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Great post smac97. Unfortunately, they'll never hold CWS to the same standard they apply to JS. It would set a dangerous precedent for them, and they know it.

Of course not CWS isnt claiming to be a prophet. I guess that makes it all the worse. If she isnt claiming to be a prophet of God than what is she claiming?

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Fisking #2

Look at all the attempts to create parallels between 19th-century Mormons and today's Islamic terrorists or otherwise portraying Mormons - both in 1857 and today - as fanatical:

Chris: ...In fact, not only do not most Christians know about this until the movie was released and may have heard of it during our recognition of September 11, 2001 when some were bringing up the parallels between both massacres. Both massacres that were conducted by religious fanatics, desert-dwelling religious fanatics following a false prophet, interestingly enough.

And here:

Carole: ...And one man told me this, it kind of shocked me. He said to me, you know, I want to tell you that if Brigham Young had told my great-great grandfather to kill one of his plural wives, he would have done it. He said, such is the blind loyalty they felt toward Brigham Young...they absolutely believed that he was the voice of God and he could do no wrong. And he said, my grandfather wouldn't even have hesitated, he would have killed one of his wives if he had been told to do it. That is how deep their loyalty was.

And here:

Latayne: ...[Get the Journal of Discourses and] ask yourself, is it likely that they would have stirred people up to love people coming, or treak kindly the people coming through their land, or to kill them? And you will come away with the unescapable conclusion that every Mormon who heard those sermons felt totally justified in killing men, women and children, taking their gold, taking their cattle, and then covering it up and swearing an oath never to reveal it.

And here:

Carole: ...I know that my brother-in-law was told that by a Mormon that he knows in Utah. He was told that, you know, it was not true that we are going to become gods of our own planets when we die, I would want to kill myself.

And here:

Chris: Yes, in fact when I interviewed William Norman Grigg, a former Mormon who is now a Christian, he drew the parallel between Mormonism and Islam regarding what you were just saying. And he was saying that Joseph Smith actually said that, I am the new Muhammed?

Carole: Yes, he did say that. We've been really, like, blasted for having Joseph Smith say that. But Joseph Smith was actually an admirer of Muhammed, from what I understand. Do you agree, Latayne?

Latayne: I do.

Note that they do not really differentiate here between Mormons past and present.

-Smac

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Smac:

Re: Fisking #2

That, of course, is the impression they want to give - that there isn't any difference between Mormons today and Mormons past (and they're making the case that Mormonism circa 1857 was a horror). However, since they don't come right out and say it, when confronted they can tap dance around it and say it's not what they meant, since they didn't say it directly.

It's all in the method of presentation...

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You know I don't think there is a big difference between mormons past and Mormons present... at least when it comes to "Taking over the world".

Carole: ...If we were as organized as the Mormon Church, we'd probably rule the world. [All laugh]

"The Church of Jesus Christ will produce this government, and cause it to grow and spread, and it will be a shield round about the Church. And under the influence and power of the Kingdom of God, the Church of God will rest secure and dwell in safety, without taking the trouble of governing and controlling the whole earth. The Kingdom of God will do this, it will control the kingdoms of the world."

BY Journal of Discourses 2:239

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Zak: Where does the Muhammed Line come from?

It's a quote from Fawn Brodie's No Man Knows My History:

I will be to this generation a second Muhammed, whose motto in treating for peace was "the Alcoran (Koran) or the sword." So shall it eventually be with us, "Joseph Smith or the sword!"

Here's some info about Brodie's footnote for this quote:

Joseph Smith made this statement at the conclusion of a speech in the public square at Far West, Missouri on October 14, 1838. This particular quote is documented in Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, second edition, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), p. 230â??231. Fawn Brodieâ??s footnote regarding this speech contains valuable information, and follows. â??Except where noted, all the details of this chapter [16] are taken from the History of the [Mormon] Church. This speech, however, was not recorded there, and the report given here is based upon the accounts of seven men. See the affidavits of T.B. Marsh, Orson Hyde, George M. Hinkle, John Corrill, W.W. Phelps, Samson Avard, and Reed Peck in Correspondence, Orders, etc., pp. 57â??9, 97â??129. The Marsh and Hyde account, which was made on October 24, is particularly important. Part of it was reproduced in History of the [Mormon] Church, Vol. III, p. 167. See also the Peck manuscript, p. 80. Joseph himself barely mentioned the speech in his history; see Vol. III, p. 162.â?

More information here:

From a speech given by Joseph Smith, October 14, 1838, in Far West, Missouri:

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