Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mormonstories

Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Recommended Posts

If you consider my post to be 'dog piling' then i have to doubt your ability to judge such things accurately.

In most of society, when you say 'don't you judge me' and then start calling people you don't know self righteous, insincere, and proud, you're going to get a negative response.

He didn't want people to do it to him, so it's odd that he was so quick and comfortable doing it to other people. You can't fault other people for pointing that out. :pardon:

Speaking of accuracy, he didn't actually say "don't judge me." He said BEFORE you judge me, here are some things you need to know about him.

Share this post


Link to post
"Defense?" ??? Defense of what? If anyone has any cause to "show up in his own defense," it is Greg Smith! This is now the second time in a year that we have seen this newly adopted approach of the apostate evangelists when they learn that an important piece of Mormon apologia is about to go to print: pull out all the stops, unloose the dogs of a full-fledged propaganda war, and do everything in their power to CENSOR the voice that they themselves cannot otherwise silence.
Yeah I was thinking the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post

Ok Rufus, here is the issue. In this section you asserted that what Dan had written was essentially bad. Please provider this "bad" apologetic work. Please present the "tone and vitriol", that you found. Until you do, all we have is your say so. I have read several articles from Dan and I must say that I just don't find that stuff in there.

And your point is that your experience is different from Rufus. Speaking for myself, and based on at least two posts of yours in this thread i.e. "yawn" and "go somewhere else then", even if Rufus showed you what Rufus was referring too, I doubt it would do anything to make for constructive discussion.

Frankly, I view the majority of this thread as an embarrassment. Much of the posts seem like the conduct of pre-teens.

Share this post


Link to post

Rufus, although I very much empathize with your difficulties with the church, I am at a lose as to how you came to the conclusion that Dr. Peterson is "vicious behind the keyboard". He does, often, use heavy doses of sarcasm, but usually directed at critics who seem to unfairly malign on a regular basis. It sounds like your criticism may be second hand information? I say that, because I have read many articles and listened to many videos by Dr. Peterson, plus I have read his recent blog posts. I just haven't seen what you are suggesting. Not saying it isn't possible, as I have not read "everything", but from what I have read, it doesn't seem in character for him to "viciously attack" anyone.

Edited by Libs

Share this post


Link to post

For the record, I'm going to lay out the facts (as I know them) regarding the Greg Smith, Daniel Peterson, Lou Midgley happening of the past few weeks and months.

1) A few weeks back someone contacted me to let me know that the Maxwell institute was about to publish a lengthy, footnoted article dedicated to critiquing/attacking me and Mormon Stories authored by Greg Smith.

2) I immediately emailed Daniel Peterson, and cc'd a few people I consider to be friends, to find out if this was true -- telling him that if, indeed, the story was true, that I would appreciate knowing about it, and that I would be contacting my GA friends to ask for their involvement. This was his response:

3) I replied with the following:

He did not respond.

4) When I attended the UVU conference, several people (faithful members of the church) came up to me and told me that they were aware of the article written about me, and were sickened by it -- including people who had read it. I was informed that there was significant disagreement within the Maxwell institute itself about whether or not the article should be published.

5) After my panel discussion at UVU, Lou Midgley came up and verbally assaulted me (that's how it felt to me, anyway) -- threatening me and attempting to tie me to the death of a missionary on my mission (Brian Bartholomew), and trying to tie me to Grant Palmer back in 1992 (one of the most bizarre accusations I've ever heard, since it was another decade before I even learned his name). People took pictures and video of the affair (which I have)....which was pretty funny. The interaction, of course, was not funny. Not at all. It was deeply disturbing to me.

6) I decided to contact a GA friend of mine to let him know about the piece, and to ask him to intervene. Given Midgley's verbal allegations, I was not about to be slandered in that way, and I honestly felt like such an article would sully Neil A. Maxwell's good name, and would be damaging to BYU, the church, and to many members of the church who value what we do with Mormon Stories. The GA told me that he would contact a few people in high places, and that he would do his best to intervene.

7) A few days later I was informed by a very, very reliable source that some very clear communication was given to the Maxwell Institute that publishing this article about me was ill advised, and that an apostle was involved in that communication. I was informed that the decision was made to no longer publish the article via the Maxwell Institute, and that it would be returned to its author, Greg Smith. I was also told to not be surprised if the article ended up being published by FAIR.

8 ) A few weeks back I wrote Scott Gordon to ask if he intended to publish the article. He declined any knowledge of the article, but did not respond regarding whether or not he intends to publish the article. Still waiting for that response.

A final note: I don't mind being criticized. Not at all. Also, I need to clarify something: I did not respond this way out of a desire to protect or save myself, or out of a spirit of censorship. My guess is that this article, in the end, would have probably given us more credibility and publicity regarding the good things we are trying to do at Mormon Stories

So why did I fight the article? I did it because I believe in my heart that the old school, disingenuous, ad hominem-style apologetics a la Daniel Peterson and Louis Midgley are very, very damaging: to the church, to its members, to its former members, and mostly to its targets. My strategic hope was that fighting this article within the ranks of church leadership could be used to help bring light to these destructive tactics, and hopefully drive a death nail or two into them. I don't know if I've ultimately succeeded on that front (time will tell, I guess), but based on feedback from several sources, I feel like it may have done some good in this regard. If not, well....at least I tried.

For those who want to know what Mormon Stories is all about, see here: http://mormonstories.org/about/

I'll end by quoting from our shared values statement:

1) We acknowledge the richness of Mormon heritage, teachings, and community in all of its diversity.

2) We believe that one can self-identify as Mormon based on one’s genealogy, upbringing, beliefs, relationships, and other life experiences, regardless of one’s adherence or non-adherence to the teachings or doctrines of any religious organization.

3) We seek spaces where we as Mormons can live lives of intellectual and spiritual integrity, individual conscience, and personal dignity.

4) We acknowledge and honor different spiritual paths and modes of religious or non-religious truth-seeking. We respect the convictions of those who subscribe to ideas and beliefs that differ from our own.

5) We recognize the confusion, distress, emotional trauma, and social ostracism that people on faith journeys often experience. We seek constructive ways of helping and supporting people, regardless of their ultimate decisions regarding church affiliation or activity.

6) We affirm the inherent and equal worth of all human beings. We seek spaces where Mormons (and all people) can interact as equals regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. In this spirit of egalitarianism, we prefer non-authoritarian and non-hierarchical means of organization and affiliation.

7) In addition to explicitly striving to align all operations with the Mormon Stories Shared Values, we endeavor to ensure that the projects we undertake: a) support individuals in Mormon-related faith crises, b) save marriages, c) heal families, and d) celebrate, challenge, and advance Mormon culture in healthy ways.

Good Luck with your work John. There are many people who truly appreciate your efforts.

Share this post


Link to post

I have heard that Dan Peterson is a rather nice guy in person. But he has a viciousness behind a computer and keyboard. His approach seems to be to go for the jugular and let the pieces fall where they may afterward. I read a few things about Dr. Scratch and Kishkumen on the other board and I don't agree with their philosophy either. There is a lot of anger and resentment on both sides.

You are asserting again dude. Please be specific. Give evidence.

I think I could have left the church, here is a story about me.

When I was younger in teachers quorum I was teased profusely. Every week I dreaded going because a few of the kids liked to pick on me.

One week they threw a safety pin at me and told me that this was to hold up my diaper. It seemed that they were constantly out to pick a fight. I was at scout camp and I was basically going to be beat up. One of my friends (who was bigger than the rest) stepped in and came to my defense.

Now, I was genuinely hurt. I even threatened to leave the church. I didn't. My mom told me some good advice. I could either let those kids determine my membership in the church or I could. But know, that what ever I chose it was me making that choice.

I find it strange that some people let other people's actions determine what they will do.

Share this post


Link to post

And your point is that your experience is different from Rufus. Speaking for myself, and based on at least two posts of yours in this thread i.e. "yawn" and "go somewhere else then", even if Rufus showed you what Rufus was referring too, I doubt it would do anything to make for constructive discussion.

Um I think you are missing some context here. Kevin has not been very nice in the past. I essentially ignore him. And David is essentially preaching to the choir here. Most people in this thread have been civil. And you misrepresented what I said. I did not tell David to "Go somewhere else". I think you are trying to find a problem with my words.

Frankly, I view the majority of this thread as an embarrassment. Much of the posts seem like the conduct of pre-teens.

Yeah, you mean like yours? Oh the irony.

Share this post


Link to post

1) I really just wanted to get a post in on this fast moving thread... I mean, I opened it up over an hour ago, and it tripled i size before I got to what is the end of it as I start this post (2nd post down on page ten at this moment...).

2) JD, I appreciate in some ecumenical sense what you have tried to do with Mormon Stories. I have listened to many. Like others, I feel that in the past few months it has become far and beyond heavily weighted towards "against". If you wish to maintain your original premise, you might consider a course adjustment. However, I understand if over time your views of your role and the role of Mormon Stories has changed and you wish to take a new direction.

3) JD, I feel that your posting was vitriolic. I understand you were attempting to defend yourself, but it came across as vitriolic and over-the-top reactionary defensive. Your failure to post the original emails to Dan was lacking in wisdom, and I think you now realize that. Your original email was not to Dan, it was to a General Authority, and you copied Dan on it while addressing him secondly. How could this not be viewed by Dan as a personal attack not only on him and his scholarship, but an attempt to have a religious intervention? Your initial email, while having what could be considered valid but unverified concerns, was lacking in decency, respect, and a true desire to get to the bottom of an issue. Although you had not verified you were about to be broadsided unfairly, you took a rumor and you walked up and punched a person connected to the rumor. It was unprofessional, and far below what I have come to expect from you on Mormon Stories.

4) Vitriol has been on all sides in this thread. But it's always there. And honestly, while we can all do better on being more respectful or gentlemanly in our responses at times, the Gospel teaches us also not to be offenders of a word, and to be thick skinned. Go the extra mile. etc etc etc. Instead we get a critic insulting someone for being insulting, and vice versa without any truly well meaning analysis and critique.

5) I have personally been strengthened by FARMS, FAIR, the Maxwell Institute, and these message boards. I praise God Almighty for the great resource of knowledge that they have been. I do not find them to be perfect. Indeed, sometimes multiple, opposite views have been taken on the very same sites and in the same organizations and published regarding one topic or another. The value in them is that they have shown that there are a myriad of legitimate ways to view history and scripture and still retain a dazzling strength in witness of the Restored Gospel, which has allowed me to focus even more time on better understanding the aspects that make me a more Christ like person: Faith, Hope and Charity.

Share this post


Link to post

In ref: to rufus, Everyone he is not the topic and we don't allow personal threads. If he wants to start a thread about specifics fine, but not in this thread.. Stay on the topic. and those of you trying to board nanny, stop it.

Nemesis

Share this post


Link to post

I take it you weren't the bishop, or you would have said so. Were you first or second counselor? (Being a clerk or executive secretary does not constitute being "in a bishopric," in Utah or anywhere else.

Why does it matter?

Share this post


Link to post

For the purposes of full full discovery, here are two of the emails that Dehlin sent.

Did I miss the threat that was supposed to be contained in the emails? I noticed a little name dropping but no threats.

Share this post


Link to post

Since Rufus is only up to 7 posts, I will start a new thread for this purpose since I am the one who has been asking the most, I believe. :)

Share this post


Link to post

John, you are a valiant man to take on the old-school, slash and burn type of apologetics. I hope you are successful in your efforts to stop this kind of thing.

I don't think that john has taken them on. He had GA help. I wonder just how you would respond if Dan and Greg would enlist GA help. Would you be so kind?

Share this post


Link to post

Well, well, well ... I can now see why John Dehlin was so anxious to see Greg Smith's article censored.

I have now read about 1/3 of the article. It is an absolutely devastating piece of work--devastating to Dehlin's proclaimed "objectivity" and "balance," that is.

That said, I have yet to identify a single instance of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Quite to the contrary, what the article does is use Dehlin's own words, meticulously assembled and cited, to demonstrate that he (Dehlin) is what I have long claimed him to be: an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints.

The sooner this article appears in print, the better: it will conclusively expose Dehlin for what he really is.

Share this post


Link to post

He is.

I wasn't calling into question whether JD is a good guy. I was calling into question whether he is the "most visible and successful voice" in keeping people in the church. It seems to me that that particular role is taken by the organizations he has been criticizing.

Share this post


Link to post

2) JD, I appreciate in some ecumenical sense what you have tried to do with Mormon Stories. I have listened to many. Like others, I feel that in the past few months it has become far and beyond heavily weighted towards "against". If you wish to maintain your original premise, you might consider a course adjustment. However, I understand if over time your views of your role and the role of Mormon Stories has changed and you wish to take a new direction.

And this was my point on a different thread. John has changed direction. If he has changed direction and is no longer neutral but against the lds church, I think that the maxwell institute and apologetics has the right to take him on. By john going to the GAs, he showed that he needs protection from the top. Why a GA would get involved is beyond me. Once he decided to take a new direction, the lds apologist had the right to take him on. He needs to engage the maxwel institute in debate and not go running to the COB.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, well, well ... I can now see why John Dehlin was so anxious to see Greg Smith's article censored.

I have now read about 1/3 of the article. It is an absolutely devastating piece of work--devastating to Dehlin's proclaimed "objectivity" and "balance," that is.

That said, I have yet to identify a single instance of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Quite to the contrary, what the article does is use Dehlin's own words, meticulously assembled and cited, to demonstrate that he (Dehlin) is what I have long claimed him to be: an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints.

The sooner this article appears in print, the better: it will conclusively expose Dehlin for what he really is.

Mmmmm.......I love anti material. Can't wait!!

Share this post


Link to post

Well, well, well ... I can now see why John Dehlin was so anxious to see Greg Smith's article censored.

I have now read about 1/3 of the article. It is an absolutely devastating piece of work--devastating to Dehlin's proclaimed "objectivity" and "balance," that is.

That said, I have yet to identify a single instance of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Quite to the contrary, what the article does is use Dehlin's own words, meticulously assembled and cited, to demonstrate that he (Dehlin) is what I have long claimed him to be: an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints.

The sooner this article appears in print, the better: it will conclusively expose Dehlin for what he really is.

And this would be one reason to want it squashed. I think that john would have been better off with letting it be published and then responding to it with his own arguments. Seeking help from a third party to have the piece crushed seems a little cowardly. But I am also sure that he has his reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Did I miss the threat that was supposed to be contained in the emails? I noticed a little name dropping but no threats.

SJDawg, there was threat, it was a outright punch. As I said in my previous post:

Your original email was not to Dan, it was to a General Authority, and you copied Dan on it while addressing him secondly. How could this not be viewed by Dan as a personal attack not only on him and his scholarship, but an attempt to have a religious intervention? Your initial email, while having what could be considered valid but unverified concerns, was lacking in decency, respect, and a true desire to get to the bottom of an issue. Although you had not verified you were about to be broadsided unfairly, you took a rumor and you walked up and punched a person connected to the rumor. It was unprofessional, and far below what I have come to expect from you on Mormon Stories.

Not name dropping. The email was sent to an ecclesiastical leader, and not a low one, but a seventy! The punch and threat to keep punching if Dan didn't comply was self-evident.

Edited by Matthew J. Tandy

Share this post


Link to post

Well, well, well ... I can now see why John Dehlin was so anxious to see Greg Smith's article censored.

I have now read about 1/3 of the article. It is an absolutely devastating piece of work--devastating to Dehlin's proclaimed "objectivity" and "balance," that is.

That said, I have yet to identify a single instance of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Quite to the contrary, what the article does is use Dehlin's own words, meticulously assembled and cited, to demonstrate that he (Dehlin) is what I have long claimed him to be: an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints.

The sooner this article appears in print, the better: it will conclusively expose Dehlin for what he really is.

Please clarify - are you saying the point of the paper is to 'expose' Dehlin as "an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints"? If not, what is the purpose of the paper?

Edited by David T

Share this post


Link to post

I wasn't calling into question whether JD is a good guy. I was calling into question whether he is the "most visible and successful voice" in keeping people in the church. It seems to me that that particular role is taken by the organizations he has been criticizing.

I think that this is true. In the beginning his podcasts were beneficial for people in the lds church. And I do think that he was objective in his podcasts. He was seeking answers to his own questions and he did a good job in getting them answered and in doing so, helped other members gain answers to their questions. It was a win-win. But now...it seems that he has changed course. Thus, the article.

Share this post


Link to post

JD,

I am a fan of many of your interviews. You seemed to have started your program off trying to play the fence giving people on both sides a fair place understand the whole equation allowing belief on both sides. Lately, the last 2 months or so, it has been very one sided. It is apparhent to me that you no longer plan to run a fair program, which by the way seemed to be what made your program so well attended. I see from the list of folks listed at the bottom who are viewing this, we have quite an audience here.

May I say for one who has enjoyed your show in the past. I am dissapointed you brought this dissagreement here and onto other boards. I see you now have a full fledge agenda and even have people in high places to assist you with it. Good luck, you have lost one from your empathizing fan base. Having served in the church, I have enjoyed the criticism of others on things I have done. Never sent a ward email to discuss it though. Very dissapointing

reelmormon - I see you go by a pseudonym. Maybe you've been publicly maligned and slandered before with your real name, I don't know. But if you haven't....you might want to think about what that would be like before you judge my actions.

More importantly, I honestly, sincerely believe that MI/FARMS/FAIR hurt the church, its members, apologetics, and the people they target when they stoop to ad hominem attacks, so I feel justified in escalating to church leadership. I am told that an apostle and several GA's were involved in telling the Maxwell Institute to stop this piece. If you support your priesthood leaders, then maybe you might consider that my escalation was a good thing -- or at least a reasonable one. In fact, I am told that several from within your own ranks who have read the piece find it to be distasteful, FWIW.

Just a thought for you to consider. Feel free to dismiss.

Edited by mormonstories

Share this post


Link to post

I personally find it fascinating how reflexively (and universally) John Dehlin has become the hero du jour of Inveterate Apostate Evangelists #666 (IAPE #666), the union of perpetually bitter ex-Mormons that rants, rails, and raves 24/7 in the Great and Spacious Trailer Park.

They LOVE the guy!

Of course, they always have. He's been one of their champions for years now. But now he has risen to near demigod status among those who spend a significant portion of their lives kicking against the pricks, persecuting the Saints, and fighting against God.

Do you suppose one possibly draw any meaningful conclusions from Dehlin's popularity among the anti-Mormon crowd?

This is certainly an inaccurate sweeping generalization (which is typical from you) on how the those at the board which many here so loathe view John Dehlin. Yes there are many there who like him very much so. Others are neutral. Others from the apostate side of the fence are very critical of him and wonder why he does what he does. I have seen John crticized there as much as praised.

Further when you classify him as some super star among the anti-Mormon crowd I think this is innacurate as well. I am sure there are some anti's that like John quite well. But the crowd he seems most popular with are those Latter-day Saints who have left the Church and are still navigating among and around active LDS friends and family, Latter-day Saints who are still active but more NOMish is there walk and Latter-day Saints who are active but also working through their concerns that have come about from their studies and interactions in trying to resolve concerns.

It seems to me to lump John into some sort of Super Star amongs anti-Mormons is very inccurate and an attempt to poison what people think about the man.

Share this post


Link to post

Not name dropping. The email was sent to an ecclesiastical leader, and not a low one, but a seventy! The punch and threat to keep pu8nching if Dan didn't comply was self-evident.

And I have no idea why John would do this. It seems over the top to me. But I am sure that the critics now view John as a hero.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, well, well ... I can now see why John Dehlin was so anxious to see Greg Smith's article censored.

I have now read about 1/3 of the article. It is an absolutely devastating piece of work--devastating to Dehlin's proclaimed "objectivity" and "balance," that is.

That said, I have yet to identify a single instance of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Quite to the contrary, what the article does is use Dehlin's own words, meticulously assembled and cited, to demonstrate that he (Dehlin) is what I have long claimed him to be: an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints.

The sooner this article appears in print, the better: it will conclusively expose Dehlin for what he really is.

If this is as you say, why would ANY General Authority prevent it from being published? If he's *really* so dangerous, why wouldn't the Church want his work stopped immediately? Something doesn't add up here.

Edited by ttribe

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×