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Fair Mormon's new YouTube branding strategy


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YouTube recommended some new Fair Mormon videos to me over the weekend and they seem to be a new TikTok/meme driven style of apologetics.  The first batch of 10 videos posted in the past few days feature Kwaku El, famous from his COVID spreading parties. The videos are a parody newscast suggestively named This Is The Show where they are tackling the claims of the CES Letter by making fun of it.  

Is this the new style of apologetics we can expect from FAIR? 

 

Phaedrus 

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8 minutes ago, phaedrus ut said:

YouTube recommended some new Fair Mormon videos to me over the weekend and they seem to be a new TikTok/meme driven style of apologetics.  The first batch of 10 videos posted in the past few days feature Kwaku El, famous from his COVID spreading parties.

A few thoughts:

1. I read both KUTV's article on that (here) and on Kwaku's response (here).

2. I think the "special pleading," where getting together for a party is bad, but widespread riots and protests are A-OK, is pretty staggering (and that seems to have been Kwaku's point, or at least part of it).  Nevertheless, I think the party was a bad idea.

3. You seem to be indulging in a bit of ad hominem here.  Along the lines of "Kwaku is in these FAIR videos.  Kwaku was involved in a controversy about a party during COVID.  Therefore the FAIR videos are controversial or problematic."  That doesn't really do much for me.

4. I'd hate to be forever judged solely by dumb things I did as a youth or young adult.

8 minutes ago, phaedrus ut said:

The videos are a parody newscast suggestively named This Is The Show where they are tackling the claims of the CES Letter by making fun of it.  

Is the acrostic yours?  It seems unlikely that FAIR would sign off on this.

As for "making fun of it," I think the videos are fairly tame.  They are obviously intended for a younger crowd.  

8 minutes ago, phaedrus ut said:

Is this the new style of apologetics we can expect from FAIR? 

It may be a new style of apologetics, to be used along with more long-form, scholarly stuff like the presentations from the FAIR conferences.

Thanks,

-Smac

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I haven’t slept yet and am going to attempt to again, so if people are anxious for a FM response more than I posted in the other thread, maybe check FB or Twitter to see if a response gets posted. 
 

If someone wants to copy Scott Gordon’s response in the other thread into this thread or link to it, feel free.  My eyelids are heavy and that is too rare of an occurrence not to take advantage of it  

Otherwise it is likely going to be nighttime before I get back to this. 
 

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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

I haven’t slept yet and am going to attempt to again, so if people are anxious for a FM response more than I posted in the other thread, maybe check FB or Twitter to see if a response gets posted. 

What "other thread?"

Thanks,

-Smac

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11 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I posted on the Fair Dinkum's post about faith crisis. 

I'm not here too often these days and I missed the conversation inside the previous post. When I saw the videos originally I thought of this place because many many years ago this was the FairBoard and I think there are still many people connected to the organization who participate here. 

 

Phaedrus 

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The name is a play off “this is the place”.

The abbreviation they assumed was TS.  

Added:  apparently abbreviations are shortened words, not phrases. The correct term is initialism (since it was intended to pronounce each letter).

Edited by Calm
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Scott Gordon’s announcement:

Quote

 

Today we're announcing a series of YouTube Videos, specifically targeting the "Letter to a CES Director," better known as "The CES Letter."

The CES Letter is a long list, turned book, of the most common attacks on the Church. The author, a disaffected former member, named Jeremy Runnells, created this document by crowdsourcing – the practice of obtaining ideas and content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. The finished document is a list of issues (some of them listed multiple times, to make the document seem longer) that the author claims caused him to lose his testimony. This document is hosted on a number of websites that are critical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is being used to actively proselyte and destroy testimonies and to sow seeds of doubt and disillusionment through deceit, logical fallacy and misinformation – with devastating effect. Over the past 2 months, I have had a friend lose two daughters to this letter, a close friend in my ward leave because of it, and a missionary express concerns about what is written in it.

Even though the document itself is dishonest, and even though the items it lists have been repeatedly and thoroughly discussed in both official Church literature and by scholarship such as FairMormon, up until now the faithful responses to this document have been scholarly. Clearly, that by itself isn’t working. 

 

There has long been a need for a media-based response to the document that is accessible to the rising generation. Now such a response has been created, and FairMormon is hosting "This is the Show" on our YouTube channel. Many of the questions raised by the CES Letter are addressed in the form of short videos -- geared in style and delivery to the youth. This approach is advantageous in reaching a media-driven generation to which more “bookish” responses are inaccessible. 

 

The point of these videos are to show just how ridiculous the CES Letter is. How would you like to leave the Church, possibly destroy your family, uproot your life, and have sleepless nights and emotional pain because of a bad joke? That is what the CES letter has done.

We know that the style and format of these videos will not appeal to everyone. In fact, some of you are going to really dislike them. We showed these videos to a number of people, and the videos were loved by some, and hated by others. But in every case, it started a discussion about the CES Letter. We hope that you will understand that the videos were created to appeal to a specific demographic. 

 

While we know these videos may not appeal to everyone, in our tradition of being a big tent and allowing multiple voices and multiple styles, we decided to host the videos. We need to give the rising generation the information they need -in their own “language” – so that they can combat this threat to their testimonies.

You can find these videos on the FairMormon YouTube Channel. Please feel free to respond to this newsletter with questions and comments. As always, thank you for your support!

 

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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

A few thoughts:

1. I read both KUTV's article on that (here) and on Kwaku's response (here).

2. I think the "special pleading," where getting together for a party is bad, but widespread riots and protests are A-OK, is pretty staggering (and that seems to have been Kwaku's point, or at least part of it).  Nevertheless, I think the party was a bad idea.

3. You seem to be indulging in a bit of ad hominem here.  Along the lines of "Kwaku is in these FAIR videos.  Kwaku was involved in a controversy about a party during COVID.  Therefore the FAIR videos are controversial or problematic."  That doesn't really do much for me.

4. I'd hate to be forever judged solely by dumb things I did as a youth or young adult.

Is the acrostic yours?  It seems unlikely that FAIR would sign off on this.

As for "making fun of it," I think the videos are fairly tame.  They are obviously intended for a younger crowd.  

It may be a new style of apologetics, to be used along with more long-form, scholarly stuff like the presentations from the FAIR conferences.

Thanks,

-Smac

Kwak is notorious in some Latter Day Saint scholar circles, and not in a good way, so perhaps Phadrus is referring to more than just the party.

Hopefully FAIR changes the name of the show if those are its initials. 

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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Kwak is notorious in some Latter Day Saint scholar circles, and not in a good way, so perhaps Phadrus is referring to more than just the party.

Hopefully FAIR changes the name of the show if those are its initials. 

Notorious?

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Notorious?

Yes. I have a friend who runs in those academic circles and she said he has a reputation for being shady. She said her member black friends in academia have cut ties with him. 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Notorious?

Apparently he has some sexual assault charges against him, has reported his age differently in different places, and falsely claims to be a BYU student.

Edit to add:  this is hearsay of course. I know nothing about the guy. 

Edited by bluebell
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14 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Apparently he has some sexual assault charges against him, has reported his age differently in different places, and falsely claims to be a BYU student.

Edit to add:  this is hearsay of course. I know nothing about the guy. 

Keep in mind that many of these rumors have been perpetuated by Calvin J. Burke, a well-known (in progressive Mormon circles) social media personality who has a history of making false allegations--including against his own parents, who took him to court over it and won their case. So I would take these rumors about Kwaku with a very large grain of salt. 

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21 minutes ago, Vellichor said:

Keep in mind that many of these rumors have been perpetuated by Calvin J. Burke, a well-known (in progressive Mormon circles) social media personality who has a history of making false allegations--including against his own parents, who took him to court over it and won their case. So I would take these rumors about Kwaku with a very large grain of salt. 

It should be relatively easy for Kwaku’s libel lawyers to pull the Utah XChange database and confirm that he has no sex-related charges in Utah.  If/when they are able to produce that proof, Burke’s life may get very interesting indeed.

As for the videos:  I want to dislike them.  Not really a fan of Kwaku, and I’m generally suspicious of overly-reductionist arguments calculated to appeal to millennials.   But I find myself liking the videos in spite of myself.

Edited by mgy401
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I have been informed Kwaku is an actual BYU student on track to graduate in a few semesters or less. 
 

Burke was apparently telling people to make false reports about Kwaku to BYU.

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I'm sure this was put in there to trick someone like me into sharing it as outrageous, but this is pretty bold desperate marketing:

https://youtu.be/C0umGReiTRU?t=119

For those that don't want to click, Kwaku says "No, Joseph Smith did not use a BLEEPing ouija board to translate the Book of Mormon!" A certain word can be read on his lips, but is bleeped out in the edit.

Me being surprised enough to share this in an internet forum is probably the intention of FAIR Mormon content marketing team, and that's pretty wild. On the FAIR Mormon YouTUbe channel. What's going on?

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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40 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

certain word can be read on his lips, but is bleeped out in the edit.

I don’t think he is actually saying it,  though to me it doesn’t matter since it is the word everyone is going to think of and it is the word intended for people to think of. 
 

I honestly don’t understand how that appeals to or doesn’t bother younger viewers, but apparently it doesn’t the vast majority of them. 
 

I have no clue why that was included. 
 

Quote

FAIR Mormon content marketing team,

I don’t think we are quite that structured. 
 

I am not sure if there is an additional newsletter introducing and explaining the videos that was sent out some members, but I will post any additional blogs or announcements if someone else doesn’t get to them first. 

Edited by Calm
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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

I honestly don’t understand how that appeals to or doesn’t bother younger viewers, but apparently it doesn’t the vast majority of them. 

The word doesn't bother me anymore, but I was raised to be deathly afraid of it or any appearance of it. I remember one time my father scolding me for saying darn, because it was a word that was meant to replace a profanity. I can't imagine him facing the decision whether to recommend this 'faith-promoting' video to my confused Aaronic Priesthood self. 😅

Have times really changed this much in the past 20 years?

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8 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Have times really changed this much in the past 20 years?

TV has pretty much made profanity mainstream (American mainstream, not Mormon) if what I hear walking around downtown Springville is typical. 
 

Now is it heard in BYU dorms when no one over the age of 30 is around is what I want to know. 

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11 hours ago, Nevo said:

I watched a couple of the videos. The production values are good and the hosts are naturals in front of the camera. But the content.

I'm surprised FairMormon is lending its name to this. Especially after spending years trying to moderate its tone. I'm sure Scott Gordon had the best of intentions, but I think these videos are a terrible idea. Millennial/Gen-Z types "comedically taking down anti-Mormonism" probably sounded like a good pitch, but in practice it just feels wrong. It is pretty hard to reconcile this show with Elder Holland's "Tongue of Angels" talk. True, that's a high bar, and just about all of us fail at speaking "with care, and by constraint of the Spirit." But there's something particularly cringe-inducing about priesthood holders performing as insult comics in defense of the Church of Jesus Christ. The whole business is unseemly and degrading. 

My friend said the same. That having a 20 something male talk about his sex life and then imply that there’s basically “nothing to see here” on the polygamy one is a slap in the face to members, mostly women, who really really struggle with JS’s practice of polygamy.

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11 hours ago, Nevo said:

I watched a couple of the videos. The production values are good and the hosts are naturals in front of the camera. But the content.

I'm surprised FairMormon is lending its name to this. Especially after spending years trying to moderate its tone. I'm sure Scott Gordon had the best of intentions, but I think these videos are a terrible idea. Millennial/Gen-Z types "comedically taking down anti-Mormonism" probably sounded like a good pitch, but in practice it just feels wrong. It is pretty hard to reconcile this show with Elder Holland's "Tongue of Angels" talk. True, that's a high bar, and just about all of us fail at speaking "with care, and by constraint of the Spirit." But there's something particularly cringe-inducing about priesthood holders performing as insult comics in defense of the Church of Jesus Christ. The whole business is unseemly and degrading. 

Jesus was especially harsh in His denunciation of Pharisees and other “blind guides” of His day whom He viewed as misleading the people of God (essentially what Runnels and his anti-Mormon cohorts are doing today). If this also “feels wrong” and is “cringe inducing” to you, then I can somewhat take your point. But if not, I think you are being inconsistent. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Sooooooooooooo glad the Comments are turned off on those videos!

I like the info, not a fan of the delivery.  Hope younger ones get some benefit from it.  I think the critics will have a field day with the delivery, and presenters, but ignore the content.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Jesus was especially harsh in His denunciation of Pharisees and other “blind guides” of His day whom He viewed as misleading the people of God (essentially what Runnels and his anti-Mormon cohorts are doing today). If this also “feels wrong” and is “cringe inducing” to you, then I can somewhat take your point. But if not, I think you are being inconsistent. 

I see it as the difference between sincere anger at a wrong and mocking/making fun of someone.  Christ did the first, but never the second.  The videos seem to be all about the second.

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