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Meg Stout Introduction


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Someone reached out to let me know I was being discussed here at Mormon Dialogue. Intrigued, I decided to stop by. I felt introductions might be in order, given the nature of some of the comments.

I was born in Utah, at a time when the marriage of my Chinese father and White mother was considered "void and prohibited," though Mom tells me that due to reciprocity I don't get to claim to be a *******. They had been married in the LA temple.

I have a degree in Physics from George Mason University and was the first female civilian admitted to The Naval Postgraduate School, where I obtained a Master's Degree in Systems Engineering and Management. I have been involved in design of both warships and combat systems in my decades with the Navy. Part of what I do involves keen awareness of the boundaries of what can and cannot be said, with respect to national security, intellectual property, and acquisitions. As an endowed Mormon, I am familiar with similar boundaries in ecclesiastical circles.

Since 2001 I have been researching the polygamous marriages of my ancestors, which include the marriage of Elvira Annie Cowles to Joseph Smith and the marriage of the Welling sisters to rogue apostle, John W. Taylor.

By researching Mormon history through the lens of my ancestors, I have noticed things prior researchers never picked up on. I've written about my findings, including most recently putting my research into book form (Reluctant Polygamist), which is available via Amazon and which I have also made available as a pdf.

http://www.millennialstar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Reluctant-Polygamist-5th-edition.pdf

I will mention that I was rather pleased with how the DNA results came out for Josephine Lyon, indicating that she couldn't have been the biological child of Joseph Smith. While such a result doesn't eliminate the possibility that Josephine's mother, Sylvia, might have been physically intimate with Joseph Smith, the removal of what people had hoped would be physical evidence relegates such assertions to the land of rumor and innuendo.

Let the discussion begin.

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5 minutes ago, Meg Stout said:

Someone reached out to let me know I was being discussed here at Mormon Dialogue. Intrigued, I decided to stop by. I felt introductions might be in order, given the nature of some of the comments.

I was born in Utah, at a time when the marriage of my Chinese father and White mother was considered "void and prohibited," though Mom tells me that due to reciprocity I don't get to claim to be a *******. They had been married in the LA temple.

I have a degree in Physics from George Mason University and was the first female civilian admitted to The Naval Postgraduate School, where I obtained a Master's Degree in Systems Engineering and Management. I have been involved in design of both warships and combat systems in my decades with the Navy. Part of what I do involves keen awareness of the boundaries of what can and cannot be said, with respect to national security, intellectual property, and acquisitions. As an endowed Mormon, I am familiar with similar boundaries in ecclesiastical circles.

Since 2001 I have been researching the polygamous marriages of my ancestors, which include the marriage of Elvira Annie Cowles to Joseph Smith and the marriage of the Welling sisters to rogue apostle, John W. Taylor.

By researching Mormon history through the lens of my ancestors, I have noticed things prior researchers never picked up on. I've written about my findings, including most recently putting my research into book form (Reluctant Polygamist), which is available via Amazon and which I have also made available as a pdf.

http://www.millennialstar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Reluctant-Polygamist-5th-edition.pdf

I will mention that I was rather pleased with how the DNA results came out for Josephine Lyon, indicating that she couldn't have been the biological child of Joseph Smith. While such a result doesn't eliminate the possibility that Josephine's mother, Sylvia, might have been physically intimate with Joseph Smith, the removal of what people had hoped would be physical evidence relegates such assertions to the land of rumor and innuendo.

Let the discussion begin

Welcome Meg...sounds like you have done some wonderful things with your life.  I wish you luck here!:)  You will find so many different voices here.  Amazing, too..because so much is attributed to how the spirit speaks.  I believe Joseph slept with women..there were threats made from the heavens...and women were seduced to think that they would be bringing salvation to their families and posterity.  There isn't much to convince me otherwise. 

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Welcome to the board, Meg!  I hope you came to learn as well as share :)

There are some very knowledgable members here and I love to read their posts (many on the topic you focus on) and I hope you will too!

I'm not sure this forum is where a discussion on the DNA results should "begin" since there is already a thread going on discussing this topic over in General Discussions (I think you're already participating):

 

Edited by JulieM
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Meg is no lightweight in the area of Joseph's marriage practices and has some very interesting things to say. I am especially drawn to some of her thinking as to the dynamics in Nauvoo that were influenced by the notorious John C. Bennett and his group of what Meg calls "strikers."  Though I haven't yet read her book (and thank you, Meg, for the link ... that is very kind of you), a lot of her work can be found here and I would assume that much of the content of her book is similar to this earlier work.

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23 hours ago, Jeanne said:

........................................................

............................................ I believe Joseph slept with women..there were threats made from the heavens...and women were seduced to think that they would be bringing salvation to their families and posterity.  There isn't much to convince me otherwise. 

It may well be that Joseph had sexual intercourse with several of his plural wives (other than Emma), but it does seem extraordinary that none of those liaisons resulted in offspring, since Joseph was clearly fertile and was then begetting offspring by Emma.  Fawn Brodie could make bold assertions about possible offspring at a time when DNA testing was not available.  In the case of Thomas Jefferson, of course (another person on which Brodie wrote a full biography), DNA testing does show that he likely fathered one or more children by a slave (who just happened to be the half-sister of his deceased wife). 

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4 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It may well be that Joseph had sexual intercourse with several of his plural wives (other than Emma), but it does seem extraordinary that none of those liaisons resulted in offspring, since Joseph was clearly fertile and was then begetting offspring by Emma.  Fawn Brodie could make bold assertions about possible offspring at a time when DNA testing was not available.  In the case of Thomas Jefferson, of course (another person on which Brodie wrote a full biography), DNA testing does show that he likely fathered one or more children by a slave (who just happened to be the half-sister of his deceased wife). 

Well...I agree with the fertility of Joseph.  I believe there were children conceived who were not born. 

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On 6/20/2016 at 0:43 PM, Meg Stout said:

Someone reached out to let me know I was being discussed here at Mormon Dialogue. Intrigued, I decided to stop by. I felt introductions might be in order, given the nature of some of the comments.

I was born in Utah, at a time when the marriage of my Chinese father and White mother was considered "void and prohibited," though Mom tells me that due to reciprocity I don't get to claim to be a *******. They had been married in the LA temple.

I have a degree in Physics from George Mason University and was the first female civilian admitted to The Naval Postgraduate School, where I obtained a Master's Degree in Systems Engineering and Management. I have been involved in design of both warships and combat systems in my decades with the Navy. Part of what I do involves keen awareness of the boundaries of what can and cannot be said, with respect to national security, intellectual property, and acquisitions. As an endowed Mormon, I am familiar with similar boundaries in ecclesiastical circles.

Since 2001 I have been researching the polygamous marriages of my ancestors, which include the marriage of Elvira Annie Cowles to Joseph Smith and the marriage of the Welling sisters to rogue apostle, John W. Taylor.

By researching Mormon history through the lens of my ancestors, I have noticed things prior researchers never picked up on. I've written about my findings, including most recently putting my research into book form (Reluctant Polygamist), which is available via Amazon and which I have also made available as a pdf.

http://www.millennialstar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Reluctant-Polygamist-5th-edition.pdf

I will mention that I was rather pleased with how the DNA results came out for Josephine Lyon, indicating that she couldn't have been the biological child of Joseph Smith. While such a result doesn't eliminate the possibility that Josephine's mother, Sylvia, might have been physically intimate with Joseph Smith, the removal of what people had hoped would be physical evidence relegates such assertions to the land of rumor and innuendo.

Let the discussion begin.

Meg, it was my understanding that the rumors of abortions and such were directly related to John C. Bennett.  I am not a fan of Bennett nor do I consider him a reliable witness to anything.  Regardless, I am curious about your own study of the area.  Do you have any thoughts?

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24 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You have evidence of pregnancies?  Abortions, miscarriages (spontaneous aborions), stillbirths, etc.?

Of course not.  It is a probable scenerio which entailed Dr. Bennett's many qualities.  This was just my opinion but it is just as valid as all the other ideas out there. I had read somewhere that when needed, Joseph sent women to Dr. Bennett.

 

24 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

You have evidence of pregnancies?  Abortions, miscarriages (spontaneous aborions), stillbirths, etc.?

Sorry about this second quote..:)

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6 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Meg, it was my understanding that the rumors of abortions and such were directly related to John C. Bennett.  I am not a fan of Bennett nor do I consider him a reliable witness to anything.  Regardless, I am curious about your own study of the area.  Do you have any thoughts?

Hi Storm Rider,

As mentioned in the OP for this thread, I have made my book available. Chapter 3 deals specifically with the medical problems with Sarah Bates Pratt's assertion that abortion was common. Appendix A discusses how evidence and hypotheses are to be treated, based on the UK trial that set the legal standard for conscientious history. (That trial involved a holocaust denier suing an academic for pointing out that his denial of the holocaust was fraudulent. The judge slammed the denier, putting together an opinion that ran to hundreds of pages pointing out the fraud and errors the denier had committed.)

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55 minutes ago, Meg Stout said:

Hi Storm Rider,

As mentioned in the OP for this thread, I have made my book available. Chapter 3 deals specifically with the medical problems with Sarah Bates Pratt's assertion that abortion was common. Appendix A discusses how evidence and hypotheses are to be treated, based on the UK trial that set the legal standard for conscientious history. (That trial involved a holocaust denier suing an academic for pointing out that his denial of the holocaust was fraudulent. The judge slammed the denier, putting together an opinion that ran to hundreds of pages pointing out the fraud and errors the denier had committed.)

Thank you for pointing that out.  Your book covers a lot of ground while still focusing on the Nauvoo period in chapter 3.  Bravo.  

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4 hours ago, Jeanne said:

 I had read somewhere that when needed, Joseph sent women to Dr. Bennett.

"I had read somewhere"?? Really?? I don't think that's going to cut it here. I don't think that should cut it anywhere.

 

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7 hours ago, Jeanne said:

Of course not.  It is a probable scenerio which entailed Dr. Bennett's many qualities.  This was just my opinion but it is just as valid as all the other ideas out there. I had read somewhere that when needed, Joseph sent women to Dr. Bennett.

..........................................................

"Probable" suggests actual evidence, not mere possibility, since virtually anything is possible -- and good historiography cannot be based on mere speculation as to what is possible.  Not all suggestions are equally valid. Normally, we privilege those theories and opinions which fit the evidence in some way -- according to Occam's Razor -- and doubt those which are contrary to the evidence.  Since she was not a trained historian, Fawn Brodie filled her books on Smith and Jefferson with off-the-wall nonsense, which we now know was just irresponsible and contrary to fact.

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8 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

"Probable" suggests actual evidence, not mere possibility, since virtually anything is possible -- and good historiography cannot be based on mere speculation as to what is possible. 

I think even Hyrum Smith mentions abortions in Nauvoo (performed by Bennett) in an affidavit.

 

*****Meg, why don't you start a thread over in the General Discussions' forum on this topic if you want to pursue it (at the request of a moderator too)?

Edited by ALarson
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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

I think even Hyrum Smith mentions abortions in Nauvoo (performed by Bennett) in an affidavit.

..................................................................

We were discussing Joseph Smith and any of his potential progeny.  Jeanne said, "I believe there were children conceived who were not born."  Referring to Joseph Smith.

I replied asking  "You have evidence of pregnancies?  Abortions, miscarriages (spontaneous abortions), stillbirths, etc.?"  Again referring solely and only to Joseph.  She said it was a "probable scenario," likely misunderstanding what "probable" means.  Anyone can come up with speculative scenarios without any evidence whatsoever, and that is not good historiography.  I am familiar with the the statements about Bennett, which are not germane to this issue since they don't include Joseph Smith or his wives.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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You're missing my point, Jeanne. Your bald assertion that Joseph sent women to Bennett for abortions is entirely without merit because you cite no source beyond "I read somewhere." That's worthless. I heard that Porter Rockwell installed chastity belts on every woman in Nauvoo to whom Joseph was sealed. See, I can do it too ... and it's an equally worthless assertion (actually, I can cite a source - Sister Fishbreath in my ward said her brother-in-law told her he heard an actual Elders' quorum president make that statement during a conversation in the men's room of the BYU 1485th Ward). :wacko:

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3 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

We were discussing Joseph Smith and any of his potential progeny.  Jeanne said, "I believe there were children conceived who were not born."  Referring to Joseph Smith..

Your comment was in response to this one posted by Jeanne:

17 hours ago, Jeanne said:

It is a probable scenerio which entailed Dr. Bennett's many qualities.  This was just my opinion but it is just as valid as all the other ideas out there. I had read somewhere that when needed, Joseph sent women to Dr. Bennett.

So, I naturally assumed you were referring to abortions.

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6 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

We were discussing Joseph Smith and any of his potential progeny.  Jeanne said, "I believe there were children conceived who were not born."  Referring to Joseph Smith.

I replied asking  "You have evidence of pregnancies?  Abortions, miscarriages (spontaneous abortions), stillbirths, etc.?"  Again referring solely and only to Joseph.  She said it was a "probable scenario," likely misunderstanding what "probable" means.  Anyone can come up with speculative scenarios without any evidence whatsoever, and that is not good historiography.  I am familiar with the the statements about Bennett, which are not germane to this issue since they don't include Joseph Smith or his wives.

Actually, I mentioned it because I DID read it somewhere.  I was hoping that someone could calaborate with me and I could find out where I read it.  Anyway, I do know what probable means and my take on things though more heresay is just as valid of an idea as others here.  I am here to learn. 

Edited by Jeanne
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20 minutes ago, Derl Sanderson said:

You're missing my point, Jeanne. Your bald assertion that Joseph sent women to Bennett for abortions is entirely without merit because you cite no source beyond "I read somewhere." That's worthless.

Then just ask for her sources.  There are several statements regarding abortions possibly being performed in Nauvoo by Bennett (including one by Hyrum Smith as I mentioned above).  I'd continue more on this, but I do feel this topic needs to be discussed outside of the Social Hall forum.

.

Edited by ALarson
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12 minutes ago, Derl Sanderson said:

You're 100% right. I apologize, Jeanne. Maybe too much Mountain Dew today for me (or alternately, I just need to choose to show a little more restraint). Again, please accept my apology.

No worries..I really shouldn't have mentioned it if I couldn't remember where I read it..You guys always help me out.  Mountain Dew???  Please try every flavor!!:)

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