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Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou


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It's been no more than two weeks since I predicted, in a conversation with Lou, that you would eventually self-destruct. I just didn't expect it to occur this soon.

Oh, well ... as the old saw goes:

"All's well that ends well."

Given the earlier discussion about people being wolves in sheep's clothing -- here we just have plain old wolves now.

The question was asked earlier on whether anyone would listen to mormonstories and be helped to stay in the church. My answer? Much more likely than a few minutes reading the general tone here.

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On another board where this alleged article was first discussed, it was disclosed that I am also about to be the target of Maxwell Institute hit piece. I have less first hand knowledge of this than John claims for the article he believes is about him. I have not made any attempt to stop its publication (if it exists). I have no GA friends to whom I might appeal, but I do have a couple of men inside the Maxwell Institute whom I call friends. I haven't even asked if it is true.

Echoing John, I don't mind being criticized. Standing on what I have written, I would want such an article published.

IMO, Brant Gardner is the real winner of this thread. Not John Dehlin, not Maxwell Institute. Brant Gardner.

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On another board where this alleged article was first discussed, it was disclosed that I am also about to be the target of Maxwell Institute hit piece. I have less first hand knowledge of this than John claims for the article he believes is about him. I have not made any attempt to stop its publication (if it exists). I have no GA friends to whom I might appeal, but I do have a couple of men inside the Maxwell Institute whom I call friends. I haven't even asked if it is true.

Come on Brant, this isn't about you, it is all about John Dehlin! :crazy:

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Nice to know where JD draws the line about promoting diversity of opinions and individual conscience, etc.

:lol:

In the immortal words of Big Dan Teague:

"You don't say much, my friend, but when you do, it's to the point, and I salute you for it."
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While still holding to what I said above, I definitely agree that John's posting Dan's response without posting the initial email was in bad form.

I don't spend any time at the other board. The ratio to meanspirited high-fiving (from both sides) to thought-provoking content over there is too poor for my taste. It's generally (at least now) much, much better over here.

Edited by David T
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Don't jump to conclusions, phaedrus. Remember, you don't actually know the whole story.

I actually don't know any of the story. In fact I'm surprised it's happening at all. After publishing his latest "Informant" rumors on the other board I actually started a thread challenging your #1 fans convenient stream of informant information and the need to have a healthy dose of skepticism about his "secret" information. It looks like he was at least partially right and I chose the wrong rumor to publicly question.

Managing situations like this must be one of the least enjoyable things you have to deal with and I can honestly say I feel a great deal of empathy for all the BS you are routinely subjected to.

Best wishes,

Phaedrus

Edit: Also I'm very sorry for your recent loss.

Edited by phaedrus ut
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I've got shivers in anticipation for it now, don't you, Kevin? ;)

Whatever else JD has accomplished, he's guaranteed a much wider audience than the article likely would have had in the first place, I suspect.

Edited by calmoriah
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I've got shivers in anticipation for it now, don't you, Kevin? ;)

Whatever else JD has accomplished, he's guaranteed a much wider audience than the article likely would have had in the first place, I suspect.

We can only hope that Greg Smith--a guy with a face for radio if ever there was one!--never becomes the "face of Mormon apologia".

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Here's another email I sent to Daniel Peterson and my supportive friends that was part of the dialogue:

[Names withheld]

I'm including below just a few of the comments about LDS apologetics from our recent survey of disaffected Mormons to aid you in your decision-making about these issues. I hope you find them useful. If you want more examples, I'm happy to provide. Thanks again for reconsidering your approach. -- John

From respondent 2108: “The biggest factor was the professional apologists. I watched FARMS and FAIR apologists treat people horribly. For example, Professor Daniel C. Peterson used to lurk on the Recovery from Mormonism site so that he could snatch up quotes from the people posting there, in order to humiliate them. This, coupled with the way apologists tend to treat critics (i.e., with ad hominem attack), was the lynchpin.// I would encourage him/them to do something about the apologists. I think they are the worst aspect of the current Church.”

From respondent 1746: “On honesty, stop leaving it to the apologetics. They are terrible and are doing more damage than good to people’s testimonies with their poor answers. For example....Book of Abraham.”

From respondent 1865: “Please stop the ridiculous apologetics. Their circular reasoning and logical fallacies do more harm than good.”

From respondent 2122: “Please stop with the apologetic as well. Fair and the Maxwell Institute contributed to my leaving the church.”

From respondent 2844: “As I studied Church history and uncovered many controversial historical evidence, I would frequent LDS apologetic sites for answers (e.g. FARMS (now the Maxwell Institute), Shields, FAIR). I soon discovered those sites rarely dealt with the controversial evidences but rather often skirted or obfuscated the issue and frequently resorted to personal attacks on the individuals who were publishing historical information.”

I'm happy to provide more facts/details...will try to consolidate them over at Mormon Discussions.

Edited by mormonstories
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FYI, JD, you cannot link to the Shades board from this board due to board rules.

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Incidentally, phaedrus, regarding the accuracy of my Stalker's secret informants (I went over to look at your thread there):

He sometimes gets some things right. I'm sure that he really does have people who find things for him on the web (e.g., that blog about my 1978 semester abroad in Israel of which even I wasn't aware, and the Amazon purchasing habits of my youngest son) and who keep their ears to the ground for rumors that might serve as grist for his ever-grinding mill. In fact, I even know the names of a couple of them.

When he does get things right, though, he inevitably spins them in clever but predictably hostile and often genuinely ridiculous ways (e.g., some prank that I apparently performed on a student bus in Israel thirty-four years ago and that I don't even remember, but that he's used several times in an attempt to portray me as anti-Semitic and a religious bigot).

And, not uncommonly, he's flatly and completely wrong. (But always negative. Always.)

I know for a fact that somebody out there -- two or three years ago, at least -- has been playing him like a fiddle, plying him with absurd "intel" that he greedily and uncritically laps up. I know it because the person wrote to me and told me so. Once or twice, he or she even told me in advance what s/he was going to be planting in the Stalker's mind, and then I got to read it in the Stalker's posts. I have no idea who this person is -- s/he wrote to me anonymously -- nor exactly what the point of the exercise was, or the end game. And I don't know whether it's still continuing.

But, anyway, don't believe everything the Stalker says. You'd probably have a better rate of success, in fact, if you flatly rejected all of his "intel." It's been that bogus, that consistently.

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I'm happy to provide more facts/details...will try to consolidate them over at Mormon Discussions.

What I find interesting here is that you choose to report reactions that may or may not be appropriate rather than using actual examples of how FAIR and FARMS attack or use inappropriate criticism, etc.

And none of your examples cite examples of attacks, horrible treatment, illogic, etc. either.

Edited by calmoriah
  • Upvote 1
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For the purposes of full full discovery, here are two of the emails that Dehlin sent.

From: John Dehlin <johndehlin@gmail.com>

Date: March 26, 2012 12:07:10 AM EDT

To: XXXXXX

Cc: "Daniel C. Peterson" xxxx Richard Bushman xxxxx, Terryl Givens xxxxx, <xxxxxx

Subject: Potential Hit Piece from the Maxwell Institute

Elder XXXXX (cc'ing Daniel Peterson, Phil Barlow, Richard Bushman, Hans Mattsson and Terryl Givens),

I just received the following email from a friend and wanted to let you all know about it:

Hi, John. I don't want to get in the middle of any drama, and especially don't want to get any started up, but I did think you deserve a heads up, in case you are not already aware: I spoke with a friend (who also happens to be one of your Facebook Friends) who works at the Maxwell Institute today, and he mentioned that some of the other guys there are working on publishing something about you that I imagine will be something of a hit piece. You may already be aware of it, and maybe aren't too concerned what a paranoid ultra-conservative apologetic group was to say anyway. My friend did say that he will be attempting to dissuade them over the next few days from putting out the piece. Hopefully he will be successful and the drama will be avoided completely.

Dr. Peterson -- Can you please confirm or deny the content of this message, and provide some detail?

Elder XXXXX -- Could you please let me know if this is this something that you feel is appropriate for FARMS to do? If not, is this something you might consider looking into?

I am hoping that the Maxwell Institute will not issue a hit piece on me. I would ask you both to please not allow this to happen. If such a piece is, indeed, in the works -- I would like notice so that I can contact Elder XXXXXXX as well. My guess is that he wouldn't approve of this either....but I can't say for sure.

If my friend is mistaken in his information -- I sincerely apologize for the error and annoyance.

Sincerely,

--

John Dehlin, M.S.

Psychology Doctoral Program

Utah State University

2810 Old Main Hill, Logan, Utah 84322-2810

Cell Phone: (435) 227-5776

======================================

On Mar 26, 2012, at 10:43 AM, "John Dehlin" <johndehlin@gmail.com> wrote:

Elder XXXXXX and Dr. Peterson,

I'm including below just a few of the comments about LDS apologetics from our recent survey of disaffected Mormons to aid you in your decision-making about these issues. I hope you find them useful. If you want more examples, I'm happy to provide. Thanks again for reconsidering your approach. -- John

From respondent 2108: “The biggest factor was the professional apologists. I watched FARMS and FAIR apologists treat people horribly. For example, Professor Daniel C. Peterson used to lurk on the Recovery from Mormonism site so that he could snatch up quotes from the people posting there, in order to humiliate them. This, coupled with the way apologists tend to treat critics (i.e., with ad hominem attack), was the lynchpin.// I would encourage him/them to do something about the apologists. I think they are the worst aspect of the current Church.”

From respondent 1746: “On honesty, stop leaving it to the apologetics. They are terrible and are doing more damage than good to people’s testimonies with their poor answers. For example....Book of Abraham.”

From respondent 1865: “Please stop the ridiculous apologetics. Their circular reasoning and logical fallacies do more harm than good.”

From respondent 2122: “Please stop with the apologetic as well. Fair and the Maxwell Institute contributed to my leaving the church.”

From respondent 2844: “As I studied Church history and uncovered many controversial historical evidence, I would frequent LDS apologetic sites for answers (e.g. FARMS (now the Maxwell Institute), Shields, FAIR). I soon discovered those sites rarely dealt with the controversial evidences but rather often skirted or obfuscated the issue and frequently resorted to personal attacks on the individuals who were publishing historical information.”

On Mar 26, 2012, at 12:03 PM, "John Dehlin" <johndehlin@gmail.com> wrote:

(taking the others off the thread)

I'm only asking you: 1) to confirm or deny the report, and 2) if it is true, to reconsider your approach.

These quotes listed below are not "hit pieces." They are (a small sampling of the) sincere responses volunteered by survey respondents about your tactics at FARMS/the Maxwell institute. There's a difference, I think.

Please, please stop the personal public attacks of people who are struggling with legitimate issues.

I appreciate your consideration.

John

Edited by Bill Hamblin
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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?

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Bob - I honestly don't know another way to stop the ad hominem attacks than to stand up to them...to confront the bully. If you have ideas, please let me know. I'm sorry if this disappoints you. Maybe if you were the target of such attacks, you would understand.

Feel free to read of some personal attacks made against me recently over at the Mormon Discussion Board. Ignoring them is really easy if you know the truth.

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

Thanks, but I more interested in seeing the email(s) where John threatened, blackmailed and defamed Professor Peterson.

  • Upvote 1
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