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Can we put a nail in the coffin of Floyd Weston's 17 Points


lostindc

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See Packham's site (jump), where he claims to reproduce two posts from an old LDS listserv, presumably both by Latter-day Saints.

cks

I remember when Hugh Nibley at graduation said "gathered in the robes of a false priesthood". That doesn't mean I was a student at BYU at that time.

The Einstein thing always comes up, but IIRC even Weston says something to the point of Him quoting Einstein, I don't think Weston ever mentions he was there as a student when he said Einstein spoke there. You have to remember Weston did not start doing firesides about this talk until way after Weston left college. So to rebuke the whole story because Weston says he recalls hearing that Einstein said this or that does not mean he was at Cal Poly when he or Einstein was there.

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I remember when Hugh Nibley at graduation said "gathered in the robes of a false priesthood". That doesn't mean I was a student at BYU at that time.

The Einstein thing always comes up, but IIRC even Weston says something to the point of Him quoting Einstein, I don't think Weston ever mentions he was there as a student when he said Einstein spoke there. You have to remember Weston did not start doing firesides about this talk until way after Weston left college. So to rebuke the whole story because Weston says he recalls hearing that Einstein said this or that does not mean he was at Cal Poly when he or Einstein was there.

Actually, he does, Anijen. Weston claims quite explicitly not only to have been a student at the time, but to have snuck into the hall with his friends, seen the "gibberish" on the chalkboard, and listened to the entire lecture.

Floyd K. Weston, "Seventeen Points of the True Church" Presentation (starting 01:18 mins.):

"While I was there, we heard that Albert Einstein, Dr. Einsteinâ??the famous mathematician, physicist, scientistâ??was going to speak to the faculty. And so we slipped down into the hall outside of the room where he was addressing the learned men who were assembled together as a faculty. I remember Dr. Millikan was the president. We stood out in the hallway there for some two-and-a-half hours listening to that that that Dr. Einsteinâ??whom, I'm sure, all of you know that he has been dead some several years. I'm sure all of us here recognize his name. The one thing I rememberâ??I saw all the gibberish written on the wall; I didn't understand any of his equations, his theoremsâ??but, one thing that has remained with me, that has stuck with me, was a statement he made as he was concluding his remarks. . ." [etc.].

Best.

cks

EDIT: to correct transcription.

EDIT2: Weston would had to have attended Caltech sometime between 1930 and 1934, that is when he was between nine and thirteen years old (assuming I've correctly identified his birth year: 1921).

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But, the falsity of Weston's claim to have heard Einstein lecture at Caltech is even more easily demonstrated.

Weston claimed that he was initially unable to pass the entrace exams necessary to enter Caltech, but that "with the inception of World War II [presumably, that is, with America's involvement--cks], they relaxed the standards somewhat, and so [he] was able to return to that great institution...." (00:35-00:44). At some point during his time there, he claimed to have listened to Einstein lecture.

But, Einstein "visited the campus [Caltech] in 1931, 1932, and 1933"--several years prior to WWII, not at some point after its inception.

All the other narrative elements of his tale may well have occurred, but the Einstein anecdote doesn't tend to inspire confidence.

cks

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But, the falsity of Weston's claim to have heard Einstein lecture at Caltech is even more easily demonstrated.

Weston claimed that he was initially unable to pass the entrace exams necessary to enter Caltech, but that "with the inception of World War II [presumably, that is, with America's involvement--cks], they relaxed the standards somewhat, and so [he] was able to return to that great institution...." (00:35-00:44). At some point during his time there, he claimed to have listened to Einstein lecture.

But, Einstein "visited the campus [Caltech] in 1931, 1932, and 1933"--several years prior to WWII, not at some point after its inception.

All the other narrative elements of his tale may well have occurred, but the Einstein anecdote doesn't tend to inspire confidence.

cks

So let me get this straight, Weston did not get the Einstein visit year correct, but the rest of his story could be correct, meaning no info to debunk?

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So let me get this straight, Weston did not get the Einstein visit year correct...

Hi lostindc--

Not quite. It is not merely the case that "Weston did not get the Einstein visit year correct," implying perhaps that faulty memory is to blame (a common enough ailment that bedevils each of us from time to time).

What I'm suggesting is that Weston told his audience an elaborate anecdote with very specific details that placed him and his friends outside a Caltech lecture hall at some point during the US involvement in WWII, having personally viewed the chalkboard upon which Einstein had written notes, and having personally listened to Einstein's lecture for a period of about two-and-a-half hours and--and this is the important point--that Weston's anecdote was simply not true.

but the rest of his story could be correct...

Well, it's certainly possible. My point was that the untrue anecdote about his having heard Einstein lecture at Caltech doesn't inspire confidence that it actually is.

meaning no info to debunk?

Meaning, I believe I'm on pretty solid ground when I state that the Einstein anecdote is false.

Morgan B. Adair had this to relate about Weston's tale on the old Navoo.com BB:

From: "Morgan Adair" <madair@novell.com>

Subject: Re: [AML] Fluff

Date: 01 Nov 2001 11:20:39 -0700

>>> ThomDuncan@prodigy.net 10/31/01 12:20PM >>>

>

>Which, by the way, turned out to never have happened. I think Morgan

>Adair may have the information on how Floyd Weston (the gentelman to

>whom you are referring, I believe) had a lot of fun tweaking the noses

>of fluff-addicted Saints.

I don't know how much fun he had, but Floyd Weston's talk "Seventeen Points of the True Church" was very popular with the elders in my mission,

along with Paul Dunn's war and baseball stories and Jack West's "Trial of the Stick of Joseph." The tape is still a big seller for Covenant under the title "Seventeen Evidences of the True Church."

Weston's story probably has less basis in truth than Paul Dunn's stories (Weston did attend Cal Tech; Albert Einstein did speak there, but not while Weston attended; the one member of Weston's study group that he identified by full name never heard of Weston and never joined the church), but Weston has fared better than Dunn, probably because Weston never achieved Dunn's prominence. The story could be viewed as a fictionalized account of Weston's conversion, but I think most people would object to the inclusion of both actual and fictional characters and an altered chronology in a story that is presented as historical.

Blaine and Breton Yorgason wrote a novel that is apparently based on Weston's talk, _The Greatest Quest_, Deseret Book, 1987. In their novel, the college study group come up with 42 points that identify the true church.

MBA

(Morgan B. Adair)

Best.

cks

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Hi lostindc--

Not quite. It is not merely the case that "Weston did not get the Einstein visit year correct," implying perhaps that faulty memory is to blame (a common enough ailment that bedevils each of us from time to time).

What I'm suggesting is that Weston told his audience an elaborate anecdote with very specific details that placed him and his friends outside a Caltech lecture hall at some point during the US involvement in WWII, having personally viewed the chalkboard upon which Einstein had written notes, and having personally listened to Einstein's lecture for a period of about two-and-a-half hours and--and this is the important point--that Weston's anecdote was simply not true.

Well, it's certainly possible. My point was that the untrue anecdote about his having heard Einstein lecture at Caltech doesn't inspire confidence that it actually is.

Meaning, I believe I'm on pretty solid ground when I state that the Einstein anecdote is false.

Morgan B. Adair had this to relate about Weston's tale on the old Navoo.com BB:

Best.

cks

Thanks for the clarification. This story is hard to pin, well because the source is dead, and it appears that we have very little to turn too in order to discover more about the birth of the story. I hope we are not being Paul Dunned.

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Thanks for the clarification. This story is hard to pin, well because the source is dead, and it appears that we have very little to turn too in order to discover more about the birth of the story. I hope we are not being Paul Dunned.

This has also hurt me a little since I met the man and spoke face to face with him and he seemed very trustworthy. There are some questions before I throw out Brother Weston's story as just that a story and not truth.

Did his children ever say he denied it? As far as I know they haven't.

How trustworthy is a not to quote list sited by a John W (poster here) who no longer believes in the church? If I call the COB up who would I talk to to verify if there is a list?

I am concerned I could be one of the thousands duped by Brother Weston but it wont effect my testimony.

Can we find a John Dunbar that went to school with him or anyone of the surviving four to validate the talk?

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This has also hurt me a little since I met the man and spoke face to face with him and he seemed very trustworthy. There are some questions before I throw out Brother Weston's story as just that a story and not truth.

Did his children ever say he denied it? As far as I know they haven't.

How trustworthy is a not to quote list sited by a John W (poster here) who no longer believes in the church? If I call the COB up who would I talk to to verify if there is a list?

I am concerned I could be one of the thousands duped by Brother Weston but it wont effect my testimony.

Can we find a John Dunbar that went to school with him or anyone of the surviving four to validate the talk?

Finding is exactly what I was thinking. I am actually considering investigating this and contacting family members and trying to locate and John Dunbar's in our Church that match the time frame.

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Finding is exactly what I was thinking. I am actually considering investigating this and contacting family members and trying to locate and John Dunbar's in our Church that match the time frame.

http://www.dragonslist.com/discussion/119287-post133.html

On this forum a person is claiming that they spoke to John Dunbar...

When it comes down to it what were you trying to say That you believe the bible "proves" that the LDS faith isn't true You can "prove" about anything with the Bible. I only know what God enlightens me to know. This is what I stand by. There is a great story I have heard by the mouth of John Dunbar. He nor any of his buddies (served in the army together) had even heard of the Mormons. His friend Floyd Weston was in search of the truth. He started in Matthew and made a careful study of every page (in the Bible, or possibly only in the NT). It took him over four months. He came down to 17 truths he believed that the church of God must contain. He made cards of the 17 catergories and gave it to his other three good buddies. They were seperated soon after, shipped to different places. It was many many years later when they met again. All four of them had joined the Mormon church. It was the only one that contained all 17. I guess that's just a little side story.
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How trustworthy is a not to quote list sited by a John W (poster here) who no longer believes in the church? If I call the COB up who would I talk to to verify if there is a list?

For what it's worth (perhaps not much, as I am a critic) I don't harbour a doubt in my mind that John W is a trustworthy source. I would note that, while he no longer believes in the truth claims of the LDS Church, John has often spoken highly of Mormon leaders (yes, post-"apostasy") and past associates, and he is far from a vicious critic, or a teller of anti-Mormon tales. I don't believe there is any reason to distrust him (and I believe many LDS here would share that sentiment).

I am concerned I could be one of the thousands duped by Brother Weston but it wont effect my testimony.

Well, there's no reason it should. Even if Weston's entire tale is cut from whole cloth, such wouldn't bear on LDS truth claims. It would just make Weston a prevaricator.

Can we find a John Dunbar that went to school with him or anyone of the surviving four to validate the talk?

Adair claims that such has already been done and that John Vincent Dunbar had neither heard of Weston nor joined the LDS Church. You might start your investigation by shooting Adair an email. He might be able to point you in a productive direction.

A google search should return his email info.

Best.

cks

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For what it's worth (perhaps not much, as I am a critic) I don't harbour a doubt in my mind that John W is a trustworthy source. I would note that, while he no longer believes in the truth claims of the LDS Church, John has often spoken highly of Mormon leaders (yes, post-"apostasy") and past associates, and he is far from a vicious critic, or a teller of anti-Mormon tales. I don't believe there is any reason to distrust him (and I believe many LDS here would share that sentiment).

Well, there's no reason it should. Even if Weston's entire tale is cut from whole cloth, such wouldn't bear on LDS truth claims. It would just make Weston a prevaricator.

Adair claims that such has already been done and that John Vincent Dunbar had neither heard of Weston nor joined the LDS Church. You might start your investigation by shooting Adair an email. He might be able to point you in a productive direction.

A google search should return his email info.

Best.

cks

I am looking for Adair's email, if you happen to have it can you send it to me? I have sent him a message via yahoo group that he posts on but I will not hold my breath because it has been a long time since he has posted.

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I just spoke to a primary LDS investigator who looked into Floyd's story, and I will ask if I can give his response, but it does appear that the story is false and that perhaps this was a list that Floyd made up himself while he was investigating but there appears that it was only him and no others, including the one he claimed died in the war.

Very disappointing, something had to be very wrong with Floyd to make up that story and to continue for many years passing it off as truth.

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I just spoke to a primary LDS investigator who looked into Floyd's story, and I will ask if I can give his response, but it does appear that the story is false and that perhaps this was a list that Floyd made up himself while he was investigating but there appears that it was only him and no others, including the one he claimed died in the war.

Very disappointing, something had to be very wrong with Floyd to make up that story and to continue for many years passing it off as truth.

Thanks for your leg work on this, lostindc. It is disappointing, for sure, but disappointment is the name of the game when you start investigating the myths that bring people joy. Stories like Weston's never seem to live up to their billing.

And it may also go to show that when someone "never denied their testimony" of a certain story, it does nothing whatsoever to support the truth of the story, and may actually be a clue that they are lying.

Mr. Weston's good-hearted intentions aside, had he ever divulged the truth later in life he would have gone down, to millions of people as a liar and con artist, for the fact that they had placed so much hope in his story. That's the last thing shyster's want to be known for.

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So, setting aside the story part, what do we think about the actual 17 points themselves? God is no repecter of persons, and I tend to not think much of them either - I'm happy to let the concepts and arguements rise and fall on their own merits.

So, are these 17 points really truly meritoriously pointing out that my church got game?

LM

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I really like listening to brother Durrants talks. He makes them up to fit a gospel principal but he has always said that they are fictional accounts.

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I,ve never read the book but the statistics should be correct. when one does look into the church with an open mind and spirit, truely searching and not simply fault finding mission. they usually do join up. :P

Other than your own desire for it to be the case, what evidence do you have that such is the case? My own anecdotal evidence from my mission in 89-91 would lead to the opposite conclusion. Many good people were taught, few joined. But I wouldn't use my own anecdotal evidence as proof enough to say that "they usually do NOT join up."

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