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FearlessFixxer

Setting aside the rhetoric that some would consider inflammatory, does this article make any good points?

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 The audience is subsequently directed to simply “trust” those in authority. Such rhetoric is invalidating, discourages exploration and free thought, completely lacks even a shred of empathy...

Is this the definition of 'gaslighting'?  I thought gaslighting was something different.

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Neither Elders Oaks or Ballard are trained in History and i'd like to know what the historical credentials of the two authors are. I, personally, put more weight on people who are trained in History. Now, if they asked Richard Bushman, Richard Bennett or James Allen that same question i'd put more stock into it. It's like asking an expert what they are an expert in because that's what they are trained in. I don't think they should have been asked it in the first place.

Edited by Duncan
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12 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Is this the definition of 'gaslighting'?  I thought gaslighting was something different.

No that is not the definition of gaslighting is when someone tries to invalidate a person's lived experience by trying to get them to doubt it ever happened.  In the context of this article and mormnsim, it is commonly seen in the form of members claiming that the church has never tried to hide any aspects of its history.  Or when a person says they never knew some aspect of history someone would respond and say that everyone has always known that.

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1 minute ago, Duncan said:

Neither Elders Oaks or Ballard are trained in History and i'd like to know what the historical credentials of the two authors are. I, personally, put more weight on people who are trained in History. Now, if they asked Richard Bushman, Richard Bennett or James Allen that same question i'd put more stick into it. It's like ask an expert what they are an expert in because that's what they are trained in. I don't think they should have been asked it in the first place.

Bushman has said that the dominant church narrative is false and unsustainable.  We quoted Snow in the article...his quote is at odds with Oaks and Ballard.

I am not sure why one must be a trained historian to have an opinion on the matter.  That seems like a strange qualifier and borderline logical fallacy (appeal to authority)

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This quote shows the narcissistic gaslighting tactics routinely employed by the leaders of the Mormon church.

I guess we're setting this aside?
Well then, it sounds good to me.

I have to admit, I enjoyed this a little more (no offense):

http://www.mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2017/11/radio-free-mormon-021-elder-ballard-blows-church/

In the next paragraph, after the one snipped above, you had said:

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Setting aside the reference to an obscure and hard to find 1970 article in an attempt to claim the church never hid the existence of multiple First Vision accounts, this is a textbook example of wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

you could have mentioned that the 1970 article is not found on the website, and that it itself is hardly a clear case of transparency.  But the history of the events that led to that 1970 article are quite interesting (mentioned in the linked to podcast).  Take a look, or listen.  

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It starts with admitting mistakes were made. Not Steven Snow admitting it. Dallin Oaks needs to admit it. Russell Ballard needs to admit it. Every single man who wants the world to believe that they speak for God needs to look their followers in the eye and say that mistakes were made. This removes the ability for members of the Church to dismiss the issue and claim that those that doubt have no valid reason to do so.

The next step would be to scrub every single manual. There are manuals right now on lds.org that contain half-truths and, in some cases, outright lies. In some cases it would be necessary to explicitly refute what was previously taught so that the class can be instructed that they should not believe that to be true anymore. This will catalyze future instructional accuracy.

The third step would be to create a web page that summarizes all of the major issues that the church feels it should correct the record on. The recent Gospel Topic Essays can be used as a base, but there needs to be a more simplified format that the information is presented in. A matrix that shows what was taught and what is actually correct. Each item can have a footnote to one of the essays or some other appropriate resource.

The final step is to change the rhetoric. Stop telling people that those that question church history just didn’t pay attention enough to the 1970 article by James Allen. That is insulting to everyone’s intelligence. Recognize and validate the fact that there are real concerns over how church history has been presented over the years. Accept the fact that a certain number of people are going to leave the church over it and that they are not bad people for it.

very good and reasonable suggestions.  

 

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1 minute ago, Robert F. Smith said:

No.  The dynamic duo is gaslighting and manipulating people who are even more naive than the are.  And in the SLTrib -- preaching to the choir.  The subject does deserve to be dealt with seriously and intelligently, but that is not what these guys give us, and I am disappointed.  The two most notable things about this essay is anger and ignorance. Another good opportunity down the drain . . .

what part of the article was manipulative and/or ignorant?

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2 minutes ago, FearlessFixxer said:

Bushman has said that the dominant church narrative is false and unsustainable.  We quoted Snow in the article...his quote is at odds with Oaks and Ballard.

I am not sure why one must be a trained historian to have an opinion on the matter.  That seems like a strange qualifier and borderline logical fallacy (appeal to authority)

now you're gaslighting me!! oh, the Cheek!!!! let me put it to you this way would you rather see Sir Paul McCartney in concert or watch two 12 year olds perform a beatles song in their bathroom on youtube? amateur vs. a professional. People are entitled to their opinions but i'd personally put more weight on someone's opinion who's studied the topic and knows how history works and how historians work. I have to see the Dr. later today but I wouldn't want to see someone who is curious on the subject, I need to see alphabet soup after their last name if I were to take their opinion seriously.

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53 minutes ago, FearlessFixxer said:

I agree with the OP, there has been dishonesty and the statements by Elder Ballard are not accurate.  This is the strategy of apologists for the church.  I call it the trust the experts strategy, where they tell members that experts have looked at the historical record and they have no problems with it, so the regular members should just trust the experts and trust church leaders that nothing dishonest has ever taken place. 

Retention rates for the youngest generation are very poor and I think its because strategies like this are not retaining people in the younger generations.  

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And let's be honest are critics of the Church setting the standard of how LDS church History should be written? a term I heard years ago "distortion by omission", is why you want someone who's read everything on the subject prior to writing about it.

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48 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Is this the definition of 'gaslighting'?  I thought gaslighting was something different.

Yes, that's always been the definition of "gaslighting."  You must have been thinking of something different, which seems to be happening a lot with you lately.  Are you feeling okay?

Edited by cinepro
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1 minute ago, cinepro said:

When I was in the MTC, there was an Elder in my district who wasn't the fastest tapir in the flock. 

During one class,  we were studying the Book of Mormon discussion and Elder Shull, a lifelong member, exclaimed with shock "Wait, the Book of Mormon takes place here?  I thought it was in Israel!"

How would you respond to Elder Shull if he protested that he had "never been taught that" and that the Church had been "hiding'" that info form him?

It's obviously an extreme example, but it demonstrates that this isn't an either/or issue.  On the one hand, you have the fact that the Book of Mormon narrative takes place in the New World.  On the other hand, you have post-manifesto polygamy and Brigham Young's teachings on Adam/God or Blood Atonement.  There are varying degrees to which things were "hidden."

And as I've pointed out elsewhere, the First Vision accounts is probably a bad example since the different accounts were discussed in official Church publications not only in 1970 but also 1985, 1986 and 1995.  I've criticized those in the past who have argued that the Church was always totally forthcoming regarding these accounts, but I think it's a little overboard in the other direction to say that someone is being "gaslit" on the issue if they are told that the Church wasn't "hiding" the info.  Sure, maybe they weren't reading through old issues of the Church magazines, but that was up to them.  Dollars to donuts that those magazines were in their meetinghouse library for decades.

 

I think I may be confused, are you saying that Joseph Fielding Smith did not hide the 1832 account until after it was heard by others (I believe the Tanners) that he did have such an account?  Later it was released after it's long slumber, right?  Sounds like a clear case of a Church leader hiding something, right?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I think I may be confused, are you saying that Joseph Fielding Smith did not hide the 1832 account until after it was heard by others (I believe the Tanners) that he did have such an account?  Later it was released after it's long slumber, right?  Sounds like a clear case of a Church leader hiding something, right?

 

 

how do we know he even "hid" it or excised that portion out? he inherited that safe and also a large trunk of Smith family valuables, but do we know he put it in the safe and cut out the relevant portion or even why?

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58 minutes ago, FearlessFixxer said:

Bushman has said that the dominant church narrative is false and unsustainable.  We quoted Snow in the article...his quote is at odds with Oaks and Ballard.

I am not sure why one must be a trained historian to have an opinion on the matter.  That seems like a strange qualifier and borderline logical fallacy (appeal to authority)

Please explain exactly why you think the church SHOULD disclose events and history which is unfavorable?

Does that include the assumption that because prophets are infallible and God speaks to them daily that they would never do such a thing?

I think that is clearly a false assumption if it includes that perception.  Prophets and "The Church" is a human organization run by humans.  If you think otherwise, perhaps you should re-think that position.  

Holding such a paradigm is really quite naive I think.

We are all sinners and that includes leaders of the church.   Is this news that the leaders are human?  We need to grow up a little if that is a dominant paradigm, but unfortunately I think it is in fact a dominant paradigm

This is a very positive time for the church, though it is a hard one to pass through.

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17 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I think I may be confused, are you saying that Joseph Fielding Smith did not hide the 1832 account until after it was heard by others (I believe the Tanners) that he did have such an account?  Later it was released after it's long slumber, right?  Sounds like a clear case of a Church leader hiding something, right?

 

 

Just for the sake of argument I am wondering why this is "wrong", conceding that it is an example of deliberate non-disclosure of information considered unfavorable.

Why should "The Church" be presumed have the responsibility to disclose such information?

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1 hour ago, FearlessFixxer said:


I am not sure why one must be a trained historian to have an opinion on the matter.  That seems like a strange qualifier and borderline logical fallacy (appeal to authority)

A flat-earther could use this way of thinking as well.   We don't need no stinking experts to have an opinion.  After all that is an appeal to authority!

Edited by mfbukowski
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3 minutes ago, Duncan said:

how do we know he even "hid" it or excised that portion out? he inherited that safe and also a large trunk of Smith family valuables, but do we know he put it in the safe and cut out the relevant portion or even why?

I don't know that it matters why.  I was at a conference some years ago and the expert on panel on the matter, who I think was Brian Whitney(?), I'll have to find it somewhere if wrong, suggested he'd give JFS a pass because JFS was still reeling from the evils that hit his family and was likely hiding the account because he feared others would rise up and cause problems, or something.  I was like "eh...we don't really know what he was doing with the account in the safe".  But it was nice when pressure was put on them (likely being JFS and his office), that they tried to tape the account back in pretending nothing was hidden at all.  Whatever the case< I would also like to point out that the 1970 article used to try and sell the membership on the Church being open (coming decades too late, I suppose) was not really much more then an effort to paint the 1832 account as nothing to be concerned about at all.  Certainly makes people scratch their head, then, if that is the case, why it was hidden for long?  I don't know that we know it was JFS who cut the account or not, but somehow it ended up in his case locked away.  When Elder Young of the 70 was given access he found a "strange account" of the first vision and was told not to tell anyone about it.  So it seems it was a known hide away.  

It then unfolded this way, as I understand it:

Elder Young tells LaMar Peterson, who was said to be an amateur historian, who eventually tells the Tanners.  The Tanners press for access but are denied. Some time later, Paul Cheesman, given access to get research for his master's thesis, found the book in question and found the pages taped back into it, which contained the 1832 account.  He wrote his thesis, which was his intent from the start, and the Church put a stop to it being publish, some say, but the Tanners published it anyway.  

 

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