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the september six


hondo

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I have heard all of them speak and read writings from all of them. I know two of them personally (one peripherally - we had some interesting exchanges a few years ago about his book about Isaiah (Avraham Gileadi), the other (Paul Toscano) I see from time to time professionally - we are both attorneys).

Based upon the lectures, writings and impressions I have, basically, for five of them, it was attitude - an attitude of defiance (i.e., each felt that submission to the Church way of thinking would be inauthentic to their true selves thus inauthentic to that which God had created).

Maxine Hanks became a minister and now celebrates her priestesshood.

They all (except for Gileadi) speak/write rather openly about their experiences; in a recent Sunstone 4 of them (I think) wrote "where am I now" articles.

My overarching impression is that the Sunstone crowd (of which I am a part*) successfully created an icon ("September Six") that represents, to many, anti-intellectualism in the Church. There are other notable intellectuals who have been excommunicated (or close to it; Palmer was the most recent possibility of notariety), but there are far far many more intellectuals who remain ever faithful and will never be excommunicated. It has always seemed funny to me that the September Six have become an icon putting a face, as it were, on an accusation of a certain group of unfaithful scholars, as if whoever gets a voice/icon first "wins" - what we need is an icon for the many many more (Nibley; Bro Peterson on these message boards; my Hebrew professor, Stephen Ricks; etc. - for example) who remain ever faithful, IMHO. What we have now is a situation where we keep considering Judas and not so much Peter, James, John & Paul.

About Gileadi: he is much quieter about his experience than the others, and has rejoined the Church.

*I subscribe, correspond with some authors and people involved with the magazine, attend symposia from time to time and share articles; I'm not part of the group that touted the September Six.

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I'm curious what you consider a "Mormon intellectual."

I lived in a national nuclear laboratory city. There were

lots of very bright LDS there. Would they be intellectuals?

Bernard

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It has always seemed funny to me that the September Six have become an icon putting a face, as it were, on an accusation of a certain group of unfaithful scholars, as if whoever gets a voice/icon first "wins" - what we need is an icon for the many many more (Nibley; Bro Peterson on these message boards; my Hebrew professor, Stephen Ricks; etc. - for example) who remain ever faithful, IMHO. What we have now is a situation where we keep considering Judas and not so much Peter, James, John & Paul.

I doubt that you can find more than 3 people in a stake that have heard about the "September 6". It is an insider term that is meaningless to just about everyone else. As to our faithful scholars...they are busy producing scholarship with the international big guns.

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I don't think one should consider someone unfaithful or use the term Judas simply because they were disciplined, or chose to follow what they felt was their heart. I also do not believe they sought out being disciplined or sought to bring the attention and label of the September Six. From the accounts I have read many of these individuals suffered, it wasn't them seeking out fame and recognition.

It is always interesting how local leadership reacts and disciplines and the long spectrum this can entail. Some are very tolerant about issues, some are not.

It is easy for us to presume to know why they did what they did, or why they did not conform to requests to stop. In some cases we may be correct in our assumptions that an individual is prideful etc., but in most cases it is not that easy. Alot of people feel they are being true to themselves and their relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior and it is not simply a matter of them being "disobedient". I will give them the right to exist in the particular place of their progression, that they find themselves in.

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I don't think one should consider someone unfaithful or use the term Judas simply because they were disciplined, or chose to follow what they felt was their heart. I also do not believe they sought out being disciplined or sought to bring the attention and label of the September Six.

I suppose this exposes your position on Church Disciplinary Councils. If you believe that they are led by the Spirit and (generally) conducted by men who desire to seek the Will of the Lord, then you would also believe that the results were the will of the Lord. That is my opinion (and no, I am not claiming infallability on behalf of the "system").

These people sufferred? No doubt. There are at least two kinds of suffering:

1 - the suffering resulting from circumstances beyond your control (which five of the six, at least, claim); and

2 - the suffering resulting from consequences due to choices and other actions within your control (which is what the Church (apparently) claims in disciplinary councils; we are not disciplined for unwilful acts).

I've heard Lavina Anderson, for example, go on and on and on (both in print and in person) about her beef with the Strengthening Church Members Committee and the "secret files" kept by the Church, and quite emotionally calling The Brethren to repentance. I don't think it's inherently wrong to believe that certain practices and policies of the Church should be modified, but I also don't think calling the Brethren to repentance, or basically publically stating that the way of the Church is satan's way, is appropriate - or worthy of continued Church membership.

Paul Toscano was even less tactful - to make a point, I'm sure - lecturing (I was there, about 2 meters in front of him) about how phallo-centric the Church and the Brethren are, including pointing out how much like a penis the Church Office Builiding is in form - all to emphasize one of his points: if you want to be like Jesus you must pee like Jesus.

And then there's Maxine Hanks. In one of her lectures given at a public seminar she explained why it was that she could not accept that Jesus could not possibly understand the full depth of Human suffering because he was never a woman (very crude references she used omitted). Hence, she concluded, God must also provide a "Christa" in order to fully reflect women's ultimate spiritual needs.

No offense intended here, I'm just demonstrating, from my own personal interactions with some of these people, they they absolutely made their own beds here.

Interestingly (to some, like me, I suppose), Sister Lavina is still active in her ward (to the extent possible for a former member) according to her recent writings.

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Ah, the 'big guns' . . . clearly the test of true scholarship is worldly acceptance and respect. Let us pause, while we revel in the glory of men. Indeed, one wonders why any mormon scholar would leave the church when the path to world renown is so clearly to staying in.

And isn't just the world; as Balthazar points out, practically no one still in the Church remembers those Judases now. Compare that to the popularity, respect, and maybe a Church-funded career that they could have had by staying in and not rocking the boat. Boy, what were they thinking?

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Why? The Why is simple: they publically announced and published their thoughts and those thoughts were in conflict with the Brethren. Members are allowed to think whatever we want, we just are not allowed to publish or speak about those thoughts which are in opposition to the Brethren. The moral of the Sept 6 is: publish at your own risk.

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You all realize, of course, that nobody would know anything about their Church discipline had they not chosen to reveal it. Any publicity that has arisen from their loss in Church membership can be eventually be traced back to them. Any claims regarding what happened to them in their disciplinary councils are based solely on information they have provided and cannot be verified, since all others there are sworn to confidentiality. I would always take public statements of what occurred in a disciplinary council with a grain of salt, since there is no way to verify such statements and the one making them is almost certainly motivated to make himself look good.

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You all realize, of course, that nobody would know anything about their Church discipline had they not chosen to reveal it. Any publicity that has arisen from their loss in Church membership can be eventually be traced back to them. Any claims regarding what happened to them in their disciplinary councils are based solely on information they have provided and cannot be verified, since all others there are sworn to confidentiality. I would always take public statements of what occurred in a disciplinary council with a grain of salt, since there is no way to verify such statements and the one making them is almost certainly motivated to make himself look good.

Are you saying they lied? Are you saying that because their statements are unverified, they lied?

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Ah, the 'big guns' . . . clearly the test of true scholarship is worldly acceptance and respect. Let us pause, while we revel in the glory of men. Indeed, one wonders why any mormon scholar would leave the church when the path to world renown is so clearly to staying in.

Bitter are we? :P Since the true test of scholarship with this crowd is "speaking the truth" which constitutes "real" scholarship as opposed to "apologetics" Considering this, I find this rather profound:

The following organizations have partnership agreements with FARMS:

The Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation

The Vatican Apostolic Library

The Israel Antiquities Authority

The National Library of Naples

The Society of Biblical Literature

The Martin-Buber-Institut f

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Are you saying they lied? Are you saying that because their statements are unverified, they lied?

Lied! Lied, I tell you! They lied! Yes, lying is always considered a synonym to "not verified". :P

Hmmm... You came in actually defending the church and its been a slow slide ever since. Can we assume you are finally establishing your true position? Why do I think of WAZing everytime I see you nip at any trivia you can dig up without contributing a thing?

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Are you saying they lied? Are you saying that because their statements are unverified, they lied?

Maybe nobody is accusing someone of lying; that does not preclude, however, that there is another side to the story. As an attorney I hear my clients' "true" side of their own stories all the time (and get paid to proceed based upon those truths), but often there are other truths that are just as valid - even when NOBODY is lying.

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Blink:

Are you saying they lied? Are you saying that because their statements are unverified, they lied?

No, I'm not saying that they lied. I'm saying that we can only hear at most one side of the story. I've learned from long experience that it is possible for two people to tell the same story very differently, without either 'lying' - both are simply telling things from their point of view and with their inherent biases attached.

That being said, it would be possible for a person to out and out lie about what went on in a disciplinary council and nobody would be the wiser since the others involved are not at liberty to discuss it.

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It is easy for us to presume to know why they did what they did, or why they did not conform to requests to stop. In some cases we may be correct in our assumptions that an individual is prideful etc., but in most cases it is not that easy. Alot of people feel they are being true to themselves and their relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior and it is not simply a matter of them being "disobedient". I will give them the right to exist in the particular place of their progression, that they find themselves in.

I agree that we can't know why they did something. It is only clear what they were doing and why it led to what it did. That said, I don't think that a lot of this should have happened.

What annoys me is what the subjects continue to do afterward. I admire those who stand up for what they believe...I do not admire those who think they should be able to do that without any consequences because they are "right" and only speak the "truth". Sometimes that comes at a cost and if you are not willing to pay the price then don't give out all that "truth". If you truly believe in yourself, indeed...fight for what you believe...but don't whine for years.

I think a couple of this group have a lot to contribute...but I also see those who are trying to insert themselves as spokespeople for "Mormons"...always telling their stories when, frankly...it really is quite irrelevant to Mormon life. With the "feminists"...they have not only lost the battle but they have lost the feminists. The last conference I attended on Process Theology and Feminism had an audience filled with a lot of gray haired women. I did not see more than a few that I would consider to be under 40. The younger generation simply isn't interested anymore...they were not in on those early years and see it in terms of the Sufferage movement. So it really is a double loss for Mormon "feminists".

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I think we can learn a lot from what information we do have about Avraham Giliadi regarding this.

When asked (repeatedly) by the media about his excommunation, his only reply was that he sustained the actions of his church leaders.

He is the only one who didn't join in the media circus... um I mean "press conference." (There was a noticably empty chair for him)

To this day, I have never seen a definitive statement as to the reason for his excommunication. The only reason we know on the other 5 is that they released the information to the media. The Church does not comment on church disciplinary actions.

He is the only one who has been rebaptized into the church.

It's almost as if he were the only one who recognized the action as a step toward repentance and forgiveness instead of a punishment and purging.

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Hmmm, interesting.

My take on what I have heard of Sunstone and these six seems to me to be more arrogance rather than "intellectualism". What is intellectualism? From what I have gathered, it seems to be the intellectuals in the Church are those who think by their own logic and "questioning" seem to know more than the rest.

I am not the smartest person in the world, and not published, but consider myself to be an intellectual person. I know many like-minded people who follow the Gospel, think for themselves and find that truth and the Gospel are one. It seems that many of these intellectuals are full of their own understanding and logic, not willing to submit to God. Quite possibly lacking in testimony and a bit of a problem with pride.

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And then there's Maxine Hanks. In one of her lectures given at a public seminar she explained why it was that she could not accept that Jesus could not possibly understand the full depth of Human suffering because he was never a woman (very crude references she used omitted). Hence, she concluded, God must also provide a "Christa" in order to fully reflect women's ultimate spiritual needs.

I was at the same conference. Loved the question given in response: "Just what part of omniscient don't you understand?" from a certain lawyer friend of mine.

Killer comeback.

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I'm going to agree with Balthasar that 'September Six' is a silly slogan with little meaning.

The two that haven't been mentioned so far are D. Michael Quinn and Lynne Kanavel Whitesides. I thought Lynn Packer was in that 'group', but I guess I was wrong.

The Quinn and Packer stories are, I think, the least understandable disciplinary moves. Both disciplined for publishing things that now appear to be widely accepted in apologetic circles. Neither was questioning the doctrines of the Church, and Quinn, at least, still believed. (I don't have info about Packer.)

They made their choices, though, and the Church authorities made theirs.

I don't think it is necessarily 'whining' if they maintain their position that the authorities acted poorly, anymore than it would be to maintain that Quinn and Packer did. I'll agree with juliann, though, that at least some shouldn't have happened.

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Maybe nobody is accusing someone of lying; that does not preclude, however, that there is another side to the story. As an attorney I hear my clients' "true" side of their own stories all the time (and get paid to proceed based upon those truths), but often there are other truths that are just as valid - even when NOBODY is lying.

So are you saying there is no reason to discount what the Sept Six say happened in their disciplinary councils, simply because they said it? Or are you saying there is reason to assume they lie about it, when they tell their story? After all, it is their story, nothing more and nothing less. They lived it; surely they would be the ones best able to tell it.

Bob, you say:

That being said, it would be possible for a person to out and out lie about what went on in a disciplinary council and nobody would be the wiser since the others involved are not at liberty to discuss it.

It's possible for a person to out and out lie while at the disciplinary council and nobody be the wiser. But to assume that a person would lie, simply because no one can correct them, is not fair to anyone.

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I don't suppose Quinn being an open, practicing homosexual had any bearing on his membership. Nope, must have been his writing.

Was he a practicing homosexual when he was excommunicated? I thought that came up afterwards, but I could be wrong on the timing.

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I've certainly read that this was the case (homosexual prior to excommunication) from what I believed were reputable sources. Hopefully I haven't misrepresented anything and promulgated incorrect information.

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