Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be

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  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>Steve benson Nov 2014</p>\n<p>In another thread, RfM poster “cokezero” reports on the canned reply they received as to the unnamed individuals authorized and responsible for writing the stream of apologetic essays being frantically rolled out by a cornered Mormon Cult:</p>\n<p>“I was curious about the source of the recent essays the Church is publishing on their website under the topics section. The following email is the response I received from the [Mormon] Church.</p>\n<p>“’You submitted a Question on ***: Who is the author of this document? Who is it approved by? I am a member of the ***** Ward in the *********** Stake. I am studying this subject, but I never take open documents without a name and authorization to it as gospel truth. If you can help me with my questions it is appreciated. Regards, ********</p>\n<p>\"\'referring url:http://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon-translation?lang=eng</p>\n<p>“’LDS Response Team responded on **** as follows:</p>\n<p>“’Thank you for your question about our newer article on the Book of Mormon Translation. This article is one of several newer topics that have been written for the various topics on our Gospel Topics page--the link for that page is found at the top of our home page of LDS.org--first click on \"Teachings\" and then on \"Gospel Topics.\" At that page you will see a link labelled \"Browse Alphabetically\"--in this fashion you can find and read any of the several hundred topics we currently have. Eventually all of these topics are planned for rewrite much as the newer topics just rewritten such as the one on \"Book of Mormon Translation.”</p>\n<p>“’The Public Affairs Office of the Church was asked to research each new topic, and they were told to use the newest and most accurate historical research on the subject. (Many of our Church sources that have traditionally been used for these subjects are based on information that is decades, if not a century, old). In the decades since, much new information, new documents, new evidence, has been published, including some of the information we have found ourselves in our own records while publishing the Joseph Smith Papers over the last 6-8 years.</p>\n<p>“’So, the Public Affairs staff does the research and writes up a first draft, and then this is sent on to members of the Priesthood Committee, which includes several members of the Quorum of the Twelve (I actually do not know which ones...) plus other General Authorities, and they finalize the articles.</p>\n<p>“’These articles are approved by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency, and since we publish them on LDS.org they do represent official Church \"opinions\" on these subjects - to the best of our present knowledge. You\'ll notice that they are well foot-noted.</p>\n<p>“’Actually, *******, you should not take them as \"gospel truth\"--they merely represent the most accurate historical knowledge we currently have--and they were specifically written to help counter the rising anti-Mormon critics who have multiplied on the Internet and who have become familiar with some of this information.</p>\n<p>“’The critics have selectively published and discussed some of the data, to what they consider their advantage, without honestly or accurately or completely taking into account all the data now out there. This is what we have tried to do.</p>\n<p>“’I hope this helps you! God Bless!</p>\n<p>“’Response Team Volunteer—RK’”</p>\n<p>(“Response from the Church on the Source of Recent Essays,” by “cokezero,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” discussion board, 12 November 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1429146,1429146#msg-1429146\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1429146,1429146#msg-1429146\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1429146,1429146#msg-1429146</a>)<br />\n_____</p>\n<p>--Now, for the More Accurate Backstory on These Essays that the Mormon Cult Won’t Tell You and Doesn’t Want You to Know</p>\n<p>A few months ago and through a reliable source, I posted on RfM information that was being leaked out from the inside the Mormon Church management system pertaining to the new essays –specifically, the research, authorship and internal consequences of these essays as related to problematic areas of LDS history and doctrine. Let’s review what was discovered.<br />\n_____</p>\n<p>--The Nature and Effect that the Mormon Church\'s Anonymously-Authored Essays Aee Having on Those Tasked to Write Them</p>\n<p>According to a source of mine who has contacts with Mormon Church correlation committee employees, one of these individuals (whose identity, although known, is being kept confidential) has had direct contact with LDS General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder, Steven Snow.</p>\n<p>This Mormon Church-committee researcher/writer \"Epig\" (my shortened nickname for him) is regarded by colleagues as respected, informed, forthright and honest when it comes to Mormon Church historical issues--and is one who is seen as being well aware of the problems these issues pose to the Church. The source informed me that some of these Cult researchers/writers, including this particular individual,</p>\n<p>“Epig” is reported to have gotten together on occasion to compare notes with one another. “Epig” works within the Church\'s history-committee information management system and, from that vantage point, has, in recent months, judiciously and strategically posted information in various venues about what they know about certain historical matters which are described as being sensitive for the Mormon Cult. For instance, it was “Epig” who publicly noted the following:</p>\n<p>\"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don\'t want to start faith issues where they don\'t currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don\'t know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.</p>\n<p>\"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church\'s official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it\'s probably a wise move. . . . [I]t\'s really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It\'s there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum. . . .</p>\n<p>“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people\'s faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”</p>\n<p>(\"The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?,\" posted by “Epiginosko,” in \"New Order Mormon,\" 10-11 December 2013, at; <a href=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;;\" title=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;;\">http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;;</a>)<br />\n_____</p>\n<p>--About the Web Poster, “Epiginosko”: His Ties to the Mormon Church Essays, to the Church’s Historical Committee and to General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder Steven Snow</p>\n<p>This significant inside leaker has, as indicated above, been going online under the the handle of \"Epiginosko.\" By way of definition, the word \"epiginosko\" means \"to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know exactly, completely, through and thoroughly;\" see: \"Encyclopedia of Pentecostal Objections and the Refutation of These Objections, Part 3 of 3,\" at: <a href=\"http://www.bible.ca/tongues-ceased-pentecostal-arguments-refuted.htm\" title=\"http://www.bible.ca/tongues-ceased-pentecostal-arguments-refuted.htm\">http://www.bible.ca/tongues-ceased-pentecostal-arguments-refuted.htm</a></p>\n<p>“Epig” has been identified as a Mormon Church correlation-committee employee whose actual identity, although known, is being kept confidential. \"Epig\" has had direct contact with LDS General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder, Steven Snow. He has been described by colleagues as being respected, informed, forthright, honest and well aware of the problems the essay issues pose to the Mormon Church\'s image handlers. As has been previously noted on RfM, some of these Church researchers/writers, including \"Ebig,\" have gotten together on occasion to compare notes with one another. information about the generation of the essays has helped, in the past, explain the nature ane effect that the LDS Church\'s anonymously-authored essays are having on those tasked to write them.</p>\n<p>Working within the Church\'s history-committee information management system, \"Epig,\" from that vantage point, has in the past judiciously and strategically posted information in various venues about what they know about certain historical matters which are described as being sensitive for the Mormon Church. For instance, it was this individual who publicly noted the following:</p>\n<p>\"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don\'t want to start faith issues where they don\'t currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don\'t know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.</p>\n<p>\"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church\'s official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it\'s probably a wise move. . . . . [I]t\'s really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It\'s there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum.\" . . .</p>\n<p>“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people\'s faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”</p>\n<p>(\"The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?,\" posted by “Epiginosko,” in \"New Order Mormon,\" 10-11 December 2013, at; <a href=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;\" title=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;\">http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;</a>)start=20)</p>\n<p>I was reliably told that \"Epig\" has come and gone as to their personal internet presence and, thus, it can be something of a challenge to anticipate or track down when and where they will post on the web. I have been informed that a tactic of \"Epig\" has been to at times post information, leave it up for awhile (sometimes for only a short while), then delete the information. It may be that this is an approach employed by \"Epig” to keep ahead of, and away from, those who may be sleuthing for the Mormon Cult in an identification effort.</p>\n<p>Further information from \"Epig\" was brought to my attention involving the current essay rollouts being orchestrated by the Mormon Cult:</p>\n<p>“They [the essays] were scheduled to be released every two weeks through March. However, they typically try post them as quickly as they get the green light from the Quorum. It could be as simple as the Quorum being busy with other things. I dunno. But rest assured, nobody involved were thinking these would be the \'silver bullet\' to those who have already gone down the rabbit-hole. The best explanation for these articles is on the comments of the recent \'Mormon Matters\' podcast episode which dealt with the Book of Mormon translation article.”</p>\n<p>Below is further information from \"Epig\" on the reasons behind the multi-person construction, the timed release and the current length of the essays (Note: This material was made available by \"Epig\" on the Internet):</p>\n<p>\"It\'s [the release of the essays] inoculation, but not deceit. They [previously identified as the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12] believe in the framing that they are presenting. But they are given 50- to 60-page articles written by scholars and, after going through the sausage-grinder, comes out as a two- or three-page article. Their goal is to address the difficulties, but they obviously aren\'t going to do anything the would damage the Church--and you can\'t blame them for that. Any step forward is a positive step.\"</p>\n<p>\"The plans are to release the longer essays at a later date. Right now the Church History Department is just trying to get these out there as soon as they are approved. The main reason for the current length is because it\'s about as long as they think the average member will read. Make it too long and only a few people will ever read it.</p>\n<p>\"I wish I could build your confidence more, but suffice it to say that the main two guys in charge of this project are pretty cool and nuanced. They are definitely in the \'Marlin K. Jensen\' camp of Mormonism.</p>\n<p>\"Of course, this is being put out by the Church, not a disinterested third party or university, so the bias will be blatant. Their primary concerns are addressing the complexities of history without:</p>\n<p>\"A. Causing faith challenges to those who don\'t currently have them.</p>\n<p>\"B. Making it unreadable and inaccessible. Get too scholarly and people start tuning out. Make it too basic and it\'s just another correlated article. It\'s a fine balance to strike.</p>\n<p>\"This project started in 2011. Many hands touch each of these articles, so you will obviously have a lot of different views of how best to present the information with so many \'cooks in the kitchen.\' Most of the scholars who have worked on these describe the process as an intense roller-coaster ride of edits and revisions. It\'s nearly impossible to please everyone. So, what you might believe is \'purposeful omission\' could be a matter of presentation and debate over interpretation. Keep in mind that history is not a hard science. It\'s often subject to conflicting interpretations and gaping holes in the documented record. Unfortunately, all scholars (both critical and faithful) tend to present their arguments as hard fact, so it makes it confusing for those who are just seeking \'the truth.\'\"</p>\n<p>(\"Tactical Strategy Behind the New Essays,\" <a href=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&amp;t=34235&amp;sid=da38c14b1179204bef0aec98e2d61da3\" title=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&amp;t=34235&amp;sid=da38c14b1179204bef0aec98e2d61da3\">http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&amp;t=34235&amp;sid=da38c14b11...</a><br />\n_____</p>\n<p>--\"Epig\'s\" Appearance on RfM to Make His Case</p>\n<p>In the wake of information posted on RfM about the anonymous Mormon Church essays and “Epig’s” connection to them, “Epig” came to the RfM discussion board, where a running battle between “Epig,” myself and others took place. I will focus below on the exchanges between the two of us.</p>\n<p>“Epig” asserted:</p>\n<p>“I\'ve read through a number of your threads here and I see a clear pattern of over-sensationalism and assumptions. I suppose it\'s no worse that what I have read on ‘Mormonthink’ or from ‘UTLM’ [Utah Lighthouse Ministry’], but I caution the rest of the readers here to not mistake Steve\'s comments for trustworthy scholarship. I\'m not saying that you can trust what the Church has historically put out either, but at least you can cut them a little slack for having an obvious devotional bias.”</p>\n<p>(“For Steve Benson,” posted by “Epignosko,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletin board, 26 January 2014, at:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148284#msg-1148284\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148284#msg-1148284\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148284#msg-1148284</a></p>\n<p>I replied:</p>\n<p>“Your direct supervisor (said to be Church Historian Steven E. Snow), now admits in an LDS Church website-disseminated video that unnamed others wrote the most recent essays, which were then subjected to edits made by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve before being publicly rolled out. (You, too, of course, are not receiving due credit for your work with the Church Historical Committee).”</p>\n<p>(“Wonen Are Not Getting Due Credit, \'Epig,\' for What They Do for the GAs,” by Steve Benson, RFM discussion board, 26 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148339#msg-1148339\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148339#msg-1148339\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148339#msg-1148339</a>)</p>\n<p>I added:</p>\n<p>“ . . . [S]ince you have decided to now post on RfM and directly to me, here goes:</p>\n<p>“I have been informed through another source of the following (please, if you are so inclined, confirm or deny; however, if you choose not to confirm, I understand):</p>\n<p>“1) Your name (first and last), which I have been told is reportedly yours--but which I will not reveal here.</p>\n<p>“2) You have reportedly posted on Facebook, specifically on ‘The Mormon Hub’ (although are said, at least according to a relatively recent check, to be no longer showing up there. You have also reportedly posted on other FB groups but are said to be careful with regard to what you say if you use your name in those postings).</p>\n<p>“3) You reportedly work in the Mormon Church History Department.</p>\n<p>“4) You reportedly have a particular interest in historical research.</p>\n<p>“5) You reportedly are aware of the issues concerning the recent LDS Church essays.</p>\n<p>“6) Your direct supervisor reportedly is Mormon Church Historian/GA Steven E. Snow.</p>\n<p>“7) You reportedly sometimes share what you know off the record but will at other times post on some matters, leave those posts up for a short time, then delete them if you regard their content to be somewhat sensitive.</p>\n<p>“8) You reportedly are regarded as being a decent and honest person.</p>\n<p>“9) You reportedly are a cultural Mormon.</p>\n<p>“Like I said, you can return and report on the above reports, if you wish.”</p>\n<p>(”OK, \'Epig,\' Since You Vave Decided to Now Post on RfM and Directly to Me,” by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 26 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148390#msg-1148390\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148390#msg-1148390\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148390#msg-1148390</a>)</p>\n<p>“Epig” replied:</p>\n<p>“Steve, 6 and 7 are incorrect.</p>\n<p>“Other statements brought up on this thread:</p>\n<p>“I am not involved with these essays. I only know the parties that are.</p>\n<p>“And I don\'t think doing a quick Google or Yahoo search brings bring up ‘the truth’ on historical issues. There is a lot of gray area and nuance (something that both the orthodox and ex-Mormon communities seem to often have trouble with). In my opinion, it takes years of reading and research before you can even begin to start feeling conversant on many of the topics. Bullet point answer are typically oversimplified.</p>\n<p>“Steve, I\'m sorry I came in with guns blazing. I just don\'t like being called a \"leak.\" I don\'t think of myself that way. My personal thought on these essays is that they are a positive step forward, but I fully recognize that they are far from satisfactory for most disaffected or disaffiliated. . . .<br />\nAnd, Steve, if you wouldn\'t mind putting our mutual associate in touch with me, I would greatly appreciate it.”</p>\n<p>(“Re: OK, \'Epig,\' Since You Have Decided to Now Post on RfM and Directly to Me,” by “Epiginosko,” RfM discussion board, 26 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148599#msg-1148599;\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148599#msg-1148599;\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148599#msg-1148599;</a> and <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148618#msg-1148618\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148618#msg-1148618\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148618#msg-1148618</a>)</p>\n<p>I replied:</p>\n<p>“I will not do that, since the contact requested confidentiality and I agreed to that request.”</p>\n<p>(“I Will Not Do That, Since the Contact Requested Confidentiality,” . . . , by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148650#msg-1148650\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148650#msg-1148650\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148650#msg-1148650</a>)</p>\n<p>“Epig” responded:</p>\n<p>“Fair enough. Then I give our mutual friend permission to give you my direct contact information if he/she has it. I would prefer to talk with you as a human being outside of a message board.”</p>\n<p>(“Re: I Will Not Do That, Since the Contact Requested Confidentiality . . . .” by “Epiginosko,” RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148697#msg-1148697\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148697#msg-1148697\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148697#msg-1148697</a>)</p>\n<p>I replied:</p>\n<p>“My contact warned me about how persistent you would be . . . , cautioning me that your COB cadre would try to smoke the contact out. The contact was right, as you have proved here.</p>\n<p>“Nice try but no deal. “</p>\n<p>(“My Contact Warned Me About How Persistent You Would Be,\" by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148701#msg-1148701\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148701#msg-1148701\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148701#msg-1148701</a>)</p>\n<p>I added:</p>\n<p>“ . . . I didn\'t say you were involved in the actual writing of the essays.</p>\n<p>“My informed contact says that you knew about issues that were behind the creation of those Church essays. You yourself have said that you personally talked with Church Historian Steven E. Snow about the essays and have publicly indicated what Snow told you. In what capacity did that communication between you and Snow take place?</p>\n<p>“Call it what you will, but as you know from responses on that other board to what you have been saying over there, you are considered by some to be a source who is providing information not generally known about details at play in the creation of the essays. In common parlance, that is known as leaking.</p>\n<p>“My contact says they are aware of at least some of the internet places where you post or have posted. Are you denying that you have posted certain information and then pulled it down later? My contact, for instance, quoted me what the contact said was a statement of yours that you had put up on NOM, but when I went looking for it, I could not find it. Would you like me to post it for you here, to perhaps refresh your memory? Perhaps you can tell me where it located, in the event that I initially missed it.”</p>\n<p>(\"’Epig’--I Didn\'t Say You Were Involved in the Actual Writing of the Essays,” by Steve Benson, 26 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148642#msg-1148642\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148642#msg-1148642\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148642#msg-1148642</a>)</p>\n<p>“Epig” replied;</p>\n<p>“There was only one time that I can recall putting a time-limit on a post and then removing it. Otherwise, if I have deleted any posts it\'s because, in afterthought, I felt I was putting myself into too much risk. I do not make it a practice to leak insider information and then take it down, as you are insinuating.”</p>\n<p>(“Re: \"Epig\"--I Didn\'t Say You Were Involved in the Actual Writing of the Essays,” by “Epiginosko,” RfM discussion oard, 27 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148702#msg-1148702\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148702#msg-1148702\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148702#msg-1148702</a>)</p>\n<p>I replied:</p>\n<p>“Interesting . . . since that is essentially what my contact told me you were doing.”</p>\n<p>(“Interesting,” by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148706#msg-1148706\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148706#msg-1148706\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148706#msg-1148706</a>)</p>\n<p>“Epig” then essentially admitted that he has been in communication with Snow over the Mormon Church essays:</p>\n<p>“If you want to discuss any communication I may have had with Elder Snow, I would prefer to do it privately.”</p>\n<p>(“Re: \"Epig\"--I Didn\'t Say You Were Involved in the Actual Writing of the Essays.” by “Epiginsoko,” RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148703#msg-1148703\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148703#msg-1148703\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148703#msg-1148703</a>)</p>\n<p>Ain\'t doin\' that, either, \"Epig.\" The cat is out of the bag.</p>\n<p>**********</p>\n<p>--Another Behind-the –Scenes Church Essay Author, This Time Identified by Name</p>\n<p>Not surprisingly, more information came out during regarding the circumstances surrounding the anonymously-authored and deceptively-crafted essays posted by the Mormon Cult on its official website. Much of the following comes from my personal exchanges with RfM poster, Tom Phillips, who granted me express permission to post their contents. IN that regard, he noted:</p>\n<p>“ANYTHING I shared [with you] . . . may be disclosed to the public because my source has already mentioned such details on at least one message board. If it is of any use, you may disclose it AS YOU CONSIDER APPROPRIATE.” Tom added that “[i]nformation given to me were quotes from [General Authority] Steven Snow; [Mormon professor of literature and religion at the Univessity of Richmond (Virginia])] Terryl Givens; and the wife of the \'primary author,\' Jed Woodworth.” (emphasis added)</p>\n<p>So, here we go again:</p>\n<p>The Mormon Church\'s anonymous essay-writing project reportedly involved (in at least its early stages) a so-called “primary author,\" identified in this case as Jed Woodworth, whose role in the creation of the essays is said to have been explained by the author\'s apparently boastful spouse. (The spouse, it was reported, may have exaggerated Woodworth\'s role in the writing of the essays; it was therefore suggested that the road actually taken by the Mormon Church from the beginning was to appoint not a primary author, per se, but, rather, a committee or group of authors assigned the job of producing the essays). If, however, a primary author was utilized, then Woodworth was described as being a hard worker who was seen not only as a person who could serve as the point man for the essays but also, if necessary, as a scapegoat in service of the Quorum of the Twelve.</p>\n<p>As to Woodworth\'s role as primary author, Tom Phillips, on the RFM bulletin board, wrote:</p>\n<p>“This much I can disclose, as it was posted elsewhere--information I had but had agreed not to share. Now I can:</p>\n<p>\"\'Ahhh, yes. These are the essays being worked on by co-author to the book, \'Rough Stone Rolling.\' Jed Woodworth. He was hired in May 2012 to go be a full-time history re-writer and give these sensitive issues a first-class scrubbing. He dropped the PhD he was pursuing at UW [University of Wisconsin]-Madison to be a lackey for the Q[uorum] of the Twelve. He was my Gospel Doctrine teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin 3rd Ward.”</p>\n<p>This source quoted by Tom Phillips notes that his wife--meaning the wife of the source cited by Tom--had exchanged emails with Woodworth\'s wife regarding possible topics to be addressed by the Mormon Chult\'s website-essay series.</p>\n<p>(“Re: They are Deluded in Their Cynical Strategizing. The Google God Wins..” posted by Tom Phillips, aka “anointedone,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletin board, 24 December 2013, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117820#msg-1117820;\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117820#msg-1117820;\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117820#msg-1117820;</a> see also, “Website Answering \'Sensitive Questions\' Coming in the Next Few Weeks,” where the following was posted: “Without giving too much info, I am a current FTE of the Church, working downtown, and know about new website aimed at answering ‘sensitive issues’ and questions. The project is on a rush order from President Uchtdorf and Elder Holland personally, and should be launched sometime in the next few weeks--1 month. The type of issues will be along the lines of Book of Mormon translation, role of the Holy Ghost, and similar. topicsThe site will be taking this place of the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org.”)</p>\n<p>Noting that the Quorum of the Twelve may have been significantly divided over the question of how to address problematic elements of Mormon Church history (a vexing sore that was described as having been brewing for years), the Twelve may have ultimately opted for bringing in an outside writer (i.e,, Mormon apologist/Bushman aide Woodworth) who, it has also been proposed, Bushman himself may have recommended for the task.</p>\n<p>In fact, Woodworth has been identified as having assisted Bushman in the writing of \"Rough Stone Rolling\"</p>\n<p>(see \"Response to Richard Lyman Bushman, with the assistance of Jed Woodworth, \'Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling\' [New York, Knopf, 2005, 740 pp.],\" review by Louis Midgley, BYU professor of political science, for the Maxwell Institute, at: <a href=\"http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/19/1/S00008-Two_Stories8212One_Faith.html;\" title=\"http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/19/1/S00008-Two_Stories8212One_Faith.html;\">http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/19/1/S00008-Two_Stor...</a> see also, \"Latter-Day Saint,\" by Walter Kirn, book review, \"New York Times,\" 15 January 2006, at: <a href=\"http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/books/review/15kirn.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0\" title=\"http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/books/review/15kirn.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0\">http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/books/review/15kirn.html?pagewanted=al...</a>)</p>\n<p>In his capacity of Bushman\'s assistant on \"Rough Stone Rolling,\" Woodworth is listed with the title of \"professor,\" at: <a href=\"http://www.fishpond.com/c/Books/a/Professor+Jed+Woodworth\" title=\"http://www.fishpond.com/c/Books/a/Professor+Jed+Woodworth\">http://www.fishpond.com/c/Books/a/Professor+Jed+Woodworth</a></p>\n<p>Woodworth is also identified as co-editor with Bushman on the book, \"Believing History: Latter-day Saint Essays\" (Columbia University Press, 2004, 312 pp.), at: <a href=\"http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13006-6/\" title=\"http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13006-6/\">http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13006-6/</a></p>\n<p>Woodworth is also profiled as having been a Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student working on a dissertation on U.S. colonial history, as noted on the university\'s Department of History website, at: <a href=\"http://history.wisc.edu/graduate/student_profiles/woodworth.htm\" title=\"http://history.wisc.edu/graduate/student_profiles/woodworth.htm\">http://history.wisc.edu/graduate/student_profiles/woodworth.htm</a></p>\n<p>It was suggested that Bushman--along with Mormon General Authority/attorney, Steven Snow, who is currently serving as Mormon Church Historian and Recorder--may have wanted to get something published in defense of the Mormon Church in the disastrous aftermath of its so-called “Swedish Rescue” effort, which has been described as ”a meeting conducted by Elder Marlin K. Jensen (LDS Church Historian), Richard E. Turley, Jr. (Assistant Church Historian) and members of the [Mormon] Church in Västerhaninge Chapel, Stockholm, Sweden, November 28, 2010,” aimed at “help[ing] [LDS Church] members that are struggling with their faith after discovering information about the history of Mormonism that is disturbing to them.”</p>\n<p>(“The Swedish Rescue,” including transcripts of the actual meeting, at: <a href=\"http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm\" title=\"http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm\">http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm</a>)</p>\n<p>It was further noted that adding to this growing sense of urgency by the Mormon Church for a quicker essay roll-out was the problem created by certain counter-productive and over-zealous LDS apologists (Daniel E. Peterson, John L. Gee, et al), who reportedly were only making matters worse for the Mormon Church\'s ranking leadership. Time to call in the Tidy-Bowl man.</p>\n<p>As the Mormon Cult\'s emergency-relief miracle worker and primary-relief essay author, Woodworth is said to have been lured away from his doctorate program by the LDS Cult around May 2012, in order to undertake this newly-focused writing project. A year later, Woodworth was reportedly wondering why the Mormon Church had not yet published the essays he had so diligently worked on. It has been reported that the essay roll-out was eventually hastened to completion by this suspected frustration on the part of Woodworth, caused by delays in publication due to internal Church Office Building politics, to which Woodowrth was not accustomed. (The essays had apparently been scheduled for publication in January 2014 but were rushed out earlier due to pressure from what were described as external forces). Woodworth is said to have possibly constructed the essays in draft form, which were then put through the process of committee modification.</p>\n<p>At any rate, I was told that the essays in question were produced through some form of committee system and were ultimately approved, but left unsigned by, squabbling General Authorities.</p>\n<p>Indeed, as one RfM poster recently acknowledged on this site, not only was this committee system for drafting the essays purposely put in place, he was solicited by the Church to help write those essays but in the end refused--precisely because the General Authorities refused to take personal ownership of them:</p>\n<p>\"Steve--</p>\n<p>\"I was part of the group that would eventually be charged with writing \'essays\' for the LDS Church. Out of good conscience as a non-believer, I left the group during the discussion stage. However, I was approved to write for them after being interviewed for it.</p>\n<p>\"I\'m not sure who generated the current list of topics. There is something not right with the situation and only because of the anonymity of the articles. The hierarchy doesn\'t appear to want to take credit for them, yet they are allowing the go-ahead to publish. I don\'t get why they are allowing this. Again, this doesn\'t seem right and is \'fishy.\' I know the tech group had oversight, but I\'m not sure just how far up the food chain it went. It seemed like we had more supervisory \'Chiefs\' than \'Indians\' working on the assignments. . . .</p>\n<p>\"During my interview, I asked what topics we were going to be covering for the articles, but the list hadn\'t been finalized yet. I recall being asked what topics I would like to write on. When I replied that I would like to write about the atonement, I was told to come up with subjects that are more \'Church-related\' or ]historical.\' I caught the tech group\'s attention because I had previously written articles for the Mormon Church. . . . When I was a member of it, the tech group was staffed by a bunch of volunteer idealists ready to fight the giant single-handedly.\"</p>\n<p>(\"Re: To Tom Phillips: What Are Your Sources Telling You About Those Essays?,\" posted by \"Former Tech Groupy,\" on \"Recovery from Mormonism\" bulletin board, 23 December 2013, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117177#msg-1117177\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117177#msg-1117177\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117177#msg-1117177</a> and \"Re: Very interesting, indeed,\" idem, at: <a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117199#msg-1117199\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117199#msg-1117199\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117199#msg-1117199</a>)</p>\n<p>The ultimate purpose of the essays has been described as an attempt by the Mormon Cult to vaccinate its faithful membership base by providing true-believers with an “out” for claiming that the essays (on the topics of officially-practiced, then lied- about polygamy, racism-based priesthood bans, etc.) have now been answered by the Mormon Church without any of its highest General Authorities being held accountable for their authorship.</p>\n<p>Not only that, but the essays are said to represent a deliberate, concerted and calculated effort by the Mormon Cult to remake itself for the next generation of believers, while basically trusting that present-day, pre-conditioned Mormons don\'t care about its actual damning history.<br />\n_____</p>\n<p>--Again, in Summation, Let’s Remember How the Mormon Cult’s Cynical Outlook Has Served as the Propulsion for the Release of Its Series of Anonymous Mystery-History Essays</p>\n<p>“Epig”:</p>\n<p>\"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don\'t want to start faith issues where they don\'t currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don\'t know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.</p>\n<p>\"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church\'s official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it\'s probably a wise move. . . . [I]t\'s really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It\'s there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum.\" . . .</p>\n<p>“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people\'s faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”</p>\n<p>(\"The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?,\" posted by “Epiginosko,” in \"New Order Mormon,\" 10-11 December 2013, at; <a href=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;\" title=\"http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;\">http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&amp;t=33954&amp;</a>)start=20)</p>\n<p>**********</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Welcome to the Pragmatically-Perverted. Routinely-Remade Church of Jesus Christ of Puppeteered </p>\n<p>Once More<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nWhat a mess. Count me as one who despises writing for or with a committee.</p>\n<p>Shummy<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nPaleopagan practitioners of perfidy perditiously promoting pernicious paradigms per plan peddling poorly performed prestidigitation.</p>\n<p>Pathetic poltroons.</p>\n<p>Once More<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nMeanwhile, the essay on Joseph Smith\'s polygamy, polyandry, adultery, rape, pedophilia, or whatever you want to call it, has garnered 5952 comments on the Salt Lake Tribune website last time I checked.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/1733664-156/smith-plural-joseph-marriage-says-polygamy\" title=\"http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/1733664-156/smith-plural-joseph-marriage-says-polygamy\">http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/1733664-156/smith-plural-joseph-ma...</a></p>\n<p>No matter who wrote the essays, or who edited them or approved them for publication, the content has taken on a life of its own. These essays are no longer serving the purpose(s) of LDS leaders; the essays are out of their hands, and out of their control.</p>\n<p>Here\'s an interesting take on the essays, one that falls into the lying-for-the-lord category, I think. The quoted text is from the comments on the SL Trib website:</p>\n<p>\"i have a member friend that refuses to read the essays. He says to never trust the writings of man. I told him that this was written and sanctioned by the church itself - on LDS.org - and he said that was just written to appease the naysayers.\"</p>\n<p>Once More<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nShummy, I think you left out pusillanimous.</p>\n<p>Once More<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nThis comment from the SL Trib website made me smile:</p>\n<p>\"To all the Mormons who would like to get past this and continue being faithful Mormons, I would just like to say that misplaced loyalty is not a virtue.</p>\n<p>\"The Church invited me to \'investigate\' them and if they can\'t stand up to close scrutiny then they can\'t be what they claim to be and that can\'t be explained away.\"</p>\n<p>----------<br />\nYes, indeed. We were invited to \"investigate.\"</p>\n<p>Shummy<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nPusillanimous.</p>\n<p>Picture perfect pronouncement!</p>\n<p>Please stop me before I p all over myself.</p>\n<p>Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 07:47PM by Shummy.</p>\n<p>Once More<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nOne commenter on the SL Trib site, Cam Torres, took the trouble to reply to the 15 most often used explanation/excuses from TBMs:</p>\n<p>1) It’s not that some girls were married “back then” at age 14. It’s that she was NOT married to Joseph, since he was married to another person who was not aware of the situation. 14 years old were by no means older back then. He had sex with his foster daughter, period. He has sex with the wives of men who he sent away on missions and made the women lie about their liaisons, full stop.</p>\n<p>2) Joseph was forced to practice it by an angry angel. Joseph must have been one hell of seer to know to start practicing it<br />\nbefore the revelation AND the angry angel came. It’s that none of the 40 women, suspiciously, including Emma, ever saw the angry angel. It\'s that he didn\'t have 40 wives, he had one, and 39 KNOWN affairs that he spend most of his time and efforts trying to conceal.</p>\n<p>3) It’s not that the church is being \"honest\". It’s that there is a term for when before you are being honest, for 180+ years.</p>\n<p>4)It’s not that some marriages MAY not have had sex, it’s that some did. It’s that some were married to other men and some were children. It’s that the ones that turned him down were destroyed and shunned. It’s that all were coerced or forced to practice it. It\'s that the church has, for the past 180 years, trying to collect, destroy, deny or file away any reference to these relationships being physical.</p>\n<p>5) It’s not that it\'s OK because Emma accepted it and felt peace about it, it’s that Joseph got her best friend pregnant and did not tell Emma, and she in turn threw her pregnant friend down the stairs and she miscarried, maybe the peace came after that, or after she threw Fanny Algers on the street. Maybe the peace came after she left the church.</p>\n<p>6) It’s not that people are demanding that Joseph Smith be perfect, it’s that maybe a convicted con-man, polygamist, bank defrauder, fugitive, liar, pedophile, wife-thief, serial adulterer, plagiarist and murderer might not be the best person to trust with a story about an invisible gold book. [...]</p>\n<p>7) It’s not that it was about raising children, or marrying a virgin, or being approved by the first wife, or about being more women than men or that it was OK after 1834… because NONE of those applied to Joseph.</p>\n<p>8)It’s not that it is OK because “it was a long time ago”. It’s that it happened at all. It’s that those girls were children. It’s that it was a revelation and then he denied over and over and in May 1844 (he had 30+wives by then) he offered to prove his accusers to be perjurers and to provide (falsified) affidavits.</p>\n<p>9) It’s not OK because you have a testimony. It’s that your testimony is based on a fictitious character carefully created by the church media department. If you have a testimony, you don’t know the real Joseph.</p>\n<p>10) It’s not about the church discontinuing the practice by the commandment of God. It was that they were forced to by the US government and therefore it shows that the church will change its history, doctrine, practices, and policies to make sure that the corporation survives.</p>\n<p>11) It’s not that it is not practiced now. It’s that Gordon Hinckley lied on national TV a few years ago and said it was only practiced after they came out West and it was not doctrinal. Well, the thing is that an angelappearing 3 times is pretty doctrinal and so is The DOCTRINE and COVENANTS,which is canonized doctrine. It\'s that thousands of now ex-Mormons were excommunicated, attacked, gas-lighted, called names and shunned for even suggesting what these essays contain.</p>\n<p>12) It’s not that it’s a fleck of history. It’s that thousands of children suffer in sexual relationships with adults in cults TODAY because of the practices and doctrines you cowardly failed to address, up until now, and which your founders taught as a requirement to enter heaven.</p>\n<p>13) It’s not about polygamy; it’s about your church pretending that they are the defender of monogamous marriage, between one man and one woman as stating that this has always been so. It’s that you are stepping on the civil rights of others, just like you did those women, all in the name of religion. You can\'t claim those relationships to be marriages and at the same time, use your sudden love for the law, to deny other people their right to marry, so, pick a side.</p>\n<p>14) Is not that the church has abandoned it. It’s that the concept of men forcing women and children into their bed using revelation is \"a thing\" in your doctrine. It’s about Warren Jeffs being JUST like Joseph Smith. He did not die an innocent lamb at the hands of evil men, he died because he slept with children and other men\'s wives, he died because he violated masonic oaths, he died because when his adultery was exposed by his former close<br />\nassociate, whose wife he tried to shag, he destroyed the printing<br />\npress. It\'s that men can be sealed to more than one woman TODAY in the temple and women can\'t do the same.</p>\n<p>15) It is not that the media and world does not understand Mormonism; it’s that you don’t understand Mormonism.</p>\n<p>Once More<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\n+ 1000</p>\n<p>The Prestigious P Prize goes to ... Shummy.</p>\n<p>Shummy<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nWell you deserve the keyboard is mightier than the sword award.</p>\n<p>Dayum, I gotta go read your 15 points again.</p>\n<p>Kudos from Kolob!</p>\n<p>ConcernedCitizen<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\n...I need oxygen.........or amyl nitrate. QUICK!!</p>\n<p>jkjkjkjk<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nPerfect</p>\n<p>Shummy<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nOnce More Wrote:<br />\n-------------------------------------------------------<br />\n&gt; + 1000<br />\n&gt;<br />\n&gt; The Prestigious P Prize goes to ... Shummy.</p>\n<p>ok, shall we dub it the Parley Parker Pratt Propagandist Pulitzer?</p>\n<p>AmIDarkNow?<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nKAABAAMMM!</p>\n<p>Saved that!</p>\n<p>The leaders must be besides themselves or will be as this baby grows and it will grow big time! Oh how this Essay is going to piss off LDS women as the argue bear testimony and best of all share the info with other LDS women as they dig deeper to find the truth about what the church so freely gave to them!</p>\n<p>You spouses who have been waiting for the other to see the light this may be your saving day.</p>\n<p>This is Ebola for the church! It can\'t be stopped. They did not want the essays THAT public.</p>\n<p>OOPS, TOO LATE!</p>\n<p>Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 08:42PM by AmIDarkNow?.</p>\n<p>Christ Believer<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nWow. He really nailed it. This fiction from the cult that it is all sooooo complicated and must be nuanced is utter bull shit. It must be up to their elbows in the history dept. A child would know better.</p>\n<p>Shummy<br />\nRe: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult\'s Evasive Essays Came to Be<br />\nA veritable tar baby.</p>\n<p>Up to their armpits in tar, the bretheren flail fecklessly forward.</p>\n<p>steve benson<br />\nI agree. For the Mormon Cult, they\'ve become the Ebola Essays . . .<br />\n. . . spreading like a deadly wildfire with little hope of the woefully unequipped LDS Cult being able to bring the essay outbreak under control.</p>\n<p>Yo, Tommy: Forget the the head-to-toe hazmat suits. They won\'t work, especially when your first-line-of-defense magic garmies have already failed you miserably.</p>\n<p>Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 10:03PM by steve benson.</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1485034970, expire = 1485121370, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:ae7f8e9f1242aa507e5e5a032d4df230' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

Steve benson Nov 2014

In another thread, RfM poster “cokezero” reports on the canned reply they received as to the unnamed individuals authorized and responsible for writing the stream of apologetic essays being frantically rolled out by a cornered Mormon Cult:

“I was curious about the source of the recent essays the Church is publishing on their website under the topics section. The following email is the response I received from the [Mormon] Church.

“’You submitted a Question on ***: Who is the author of this document? Who is it approved by? I am a member of the ***** Ward in the *********** Stake. I am studying this subject, but I never take open documents without a name and authorization to it as gospel truth. If you can help me with my questions it is appreciated. Regards, ********

"'referring url:http://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon-translation?lang=eng

“’LDS Response Team responded on **** as follows:

“’Thank you for your question about our newer article on the Book of Mormon Translation. This article is one of several newer topics that have been written for the various topics on our Gospel Topics page--the link for that page is found at the top of our home page of LDS.org--first click on "Teachings" and then on "Gospel Topics." At that page you will see a link labelled "Browse Alphabetically"--in this fashion you can find and read any of the several hundred topics we currently have. Eventually all of these topics are planned for rewrite much as the newer topics just rewritten such as the one on "Book of Mormon Translation.”

“’The Public Affairs Office of the Church was asked to research each new topic, and they were told to use the newest and most accurate historical research on the subject. (Many of our Church sources that have traditionally been used for these subjects are based on information that is decades, if not a century, old). In the decades since, much new information, new documents, new evidence, has been published, including some of the information we have found ourselves in our own records while publishing the Joseph Smith Papers over the last 6-8 years.

“’So, the Public Affairs staff does the research and writes up a first draft, and then this is sent on to members of the Priesthood Committee, which includes several members of the Quorum of the Twelve (I actually do not know which ones...) plus other General Authorities, and they finalize the articles.

“’These articles are approved by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency, and since we publish them on LDS.org they do represent official Church "opinions" on these subjects - to the best of our present knowledge. You'll notice that they are well foot-noted.

“’Actually, *******, you should not take them as "gospel truth"--they merely represent the most accurate historical knowledge we currently have--and they were specifically written to help counter the rising anti-Mormon critics who have multiplied on the Internet and who have become familiar with some of this information.

“’The critics have selectively published and discussed some of the data, to what they consider their advantage, without honestly or accurately or completely taking into account all the data now out there. This is what we have tried to do.

“’I hope this helps you! God Bless!

“’Response Team Volunteer—RK’”

(“Response from the Church on the Source of Recent Essays,” by “cokezero,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” discussion board, 12 November 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1429146,1429146#msg-1429146)
_____

--Now, for the More Accurate Backstory on These Essays that the Mormon Cult Won’t Tell You and Doesn’t Want You to Know

A few months ago and through a reliable source, I posted on RfM information that was being leaked out from the inside the Mormon Church management system pertaining to the new essays –specifically, the research, authorship and internal consequences of these essays as related to problematic areas of LDS history and doctrine. Let’s review what was discovered.
_____

--The Nature and Effect that the Mormon Church's Anonymously-Authored Essays Aee Having on Those Tasked to Write Them

According to a source of mine who has contacts with Mormon Church correlation committee employees, one of these individuals (whose identity, although known, is being kept confidential) has had direct contact with LDS General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder, Steven Snow.

This Mormon Church-committee researcher/writer "Epig" (my shortened nickname for him) is regarded by colleagues as respected, informed, forthright and honest when it comes to Mormon Church historical issues--and is one who is seen as being well aware of the problems these issues pose to the Church. The source informed me that some of these Cult researchers/writers, including this particular individual,

“Epig” is reported to have gotten together on occasion to compare notes with one another. “Epig” works within the Church's history-committee information management system and, from that vantage point, has, in recent months, judiciously and strategically posted information in various venues about what they know about certain historical matters which are described as being sensitive for the Mormon Cult. For instance, it was “Epig” who publicly noted the following:

"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don't want to start faith issues where they don't currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don't know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.

"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church's official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it's probably a wise move. . . . [I]t's really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It's there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum. . . .

“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people's faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”

("The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?," posted by “Epiginosko,” in "New Order Mormon," 10-11 December 2013, at; http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33954&;)
_____

--About the Web Poster, “Epiginosko”: His Ties to the Mormon Church Essays, to the Church’s Historical Committee and to General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder Steven Snow

This significant inside leaker has, as indicated above, been going online under the the handle of "Epiginosko." By way of definition, the word "epiginosko" means "to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know exactly, completely, through and thoroughly;" see: "Encyclopedia of Pentecostal Objections and the Refutation of These Objections, Part 3 of 3," at: http://www.bible.ca/tongues-ceased-pentecostal-arguments-refuted.htm

“Epig” has been identified as a Mormon Church correlation-committee employee whose actual identity, although known, is being kept confidential. "Epig" has had direct contact with LDS General Authority/Church Historian and Recorder, Steven Snow. He has been described by colleagues as being respected, informed, forthright, honest and well aware of the problems the essay issues pose to the Mormon Church's image handlers. As has been previously noted on RfM, some of these Church researchers/writers, including "Ebig," have gotten together on occasion to compare notes with one another. information about the generation of the essays has helped, in the past, explain the nature ane effect that the LDS Church's anonymously-authored essays are having on those tasked to write them.

Working within the Church's history-committee information management system, "Epig," from that vantage point, has in the past judiciously and strategically posted information in various venues about what they know about certain historical matters which are described as being sensitive for the Mormon Church. For instance, it was this individual who publicly noted the following:

"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don't want to start faith issues where they don't currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don't know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.

"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church's official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it's probably a wise move. . . . . [I]t's really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It's there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum." . . .

“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people's faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”

("The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?," posted by “Epiginosko,” in "New Order Mormon," 10-11 December 2013, at; http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33954&)start=20)

I was reliably told that "Epig" has come and gone as to their personal internet presence and, thus, it can be something of a challenge to anticipate or track down when and where they will post on the web. I have been informed that a tactic of "Epig" has been to at times post information, leave it up for awhile (sometimes for only a short while), then delete the information. It may be that this is an approach employed by "Epig” to keep ahead of, and away from, those who may be sleuthing for the Mormon Cult in an identification effort.

Further information from "Epig" was brought to my attention involving the current essay rollouts being orchestrated by the Mormon Cult:

“They [the essays] were scheduled to be released every two weeks through March. However, they typically try post them as quickly as they get the green light from the Quorum. It could be as simple as the Quorum being busy with other things. I dunno. But rest assured, nobody involved were thinking these would be the 'silver bullet' to those who have already gone down the rabbit-hole. The best explanation for these articles is on the comments of the recent 'Mormon Matters' podcast episode which dealt with the Book of Mormon translation article.”

Below is further information from "Epig" on the reasons behind the multi-person construction, the timed release and the current length of the essays (Note: This material was made available by "Epig" on the Internet):

"It's [the release of the essays] inoculation, but not deceit. They [previously identified as the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12] believe in the framing that they are presenting. But they are given 50- to 60-page articles written by scholars and, after going through the sausage-grinder, comes out as a two- or three-page article. Their goal is to address the difficulties, but they obviously aren't going to do anything the would damage the Church--and you can't blame them for that. Any step forward is a positive step."

"The plans are to release the longer essays at a later date. Right now the Church History Department is just trying to get these out there as soon as they are approved. The main reason for the current length is because it's about as long as they think the average member will read. Make it too long and only a few people will ever read it.

"I wish I could build your confidence more, but suffice it to say that the main two guys in charge of this project are pretty cool and nuanced. They are definitely in the 'Marlin K. Jensen' camp of Mormonism.

"Of course, this is being put out by the Church, not a disinterested third party or university, so the bias will be blatant. Their primary concerns are addressing the complexities of history without:

"A. Causing faith challenges to those who don't currently have them.

"B. Making it unreadable and inaccessible. Get too scholarly and people start tuning out. Make it too basic and it's just another correlated article. It's a fine balance to strike.

"This project started in 2011. Many hands touch each of these articles, so you will obviously have a lot of different views of how best to present the information with so many 'cooks in the kitchen.' Most of the scholars who have worked on these describe the process as an intense roller-coaster ride of edits and revisions. It's nearly impossible to please everyone. So, what you might believe is 'purposeful omission' could be a matter of presentation and debate over interpretation. Keep in mind that history is not a hard science. It's often subject to conflicting interpretations and gaping holes in the documented record. Unfortunately, all scholars (both critical and faithful) tend to present their arguments as hard fact, so it makes it confusing for those who are just seeking 'the truth.'"

("Tactical Strategy Behind the New Essays," http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34235&sid=da38c14b11...
_____

--"Epig's" Appearance on RfM to Make His Case

In the wake of information posted on RfM about the anonymous Mormon Church essays and “Epig’s” connection to them, “Epig” came to the RfM discussion board, where a running battle between “Epig,” myself and others took place. I will focus below on the exchanges between the two of us.

“Epig” asserted:

“I've read through a number of your threads here and I see a clear pattern of over-sensationalism and assumptions. I suppose it's no worse that what I have read on ‘Mormonthink’ or from ‘UTLM’ [Utah Lighthouse Ministry’], but I caution the rest of the readers here to not mistake Steve's comments for trustworthy scholarship. I'm not saying that you can trust what the Church has historically put out either, but at least you can cut them a little slack for having an obvious devotional bias.”

(“For Steve Benson,” posted by “Epignosko,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletin board, 26 January 2014, at:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148284#msg-1148284

I replied:

“Your direct supervisor (said to be Church Historian Steven E. Snow), now admits in an LDS Church website-disseminated video that unnamed others wrote the most recent essays, which were then subjected to edits made by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve before being publicly rolled out. (You, too, of course, are not receiving due credit for your work with the Church Historical Committee).”

(“Wonen Are Not Getting Due Credit, 'Epig,' for What They Do for the GAs,” by Steve Benson, RFM discussion board, 26 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148339#msg-1148339)

I added:

“ . . . [S]ince you have decided to now post on RfM and directly to me, here goes:

“I have been informed through another source of the following (please, if you are so inclined, confirm or deny; however, if you choose not to confirm, I understand):

“1) Your name (first and last), which I have been told is reportedly yours--but which I will not reveal here.

“2) You have reportedly posted on Facebook, specifically on ‘The Mormon Hub’ (although are said, at least according to a relatively recent check, to be no longer showing up there. You have also reportedly posted on other FB groups but are said to be careful with regard to what you say if you use your name in those postings).

“3) You reportedly work in the Mormon Church History Department.

“4) You reportedly have a particular interest in historical research.

“5) You reportedly are aware of the issues concerning the recent LDS Church essays.

“6) Your direct supervisor reportedly is Mormon Church Historian/GA Steven E. Snow.

“7) You reportedly sometimes share what you know off the record but will at other times post on some matters, leave those posts up for a short time, then delete them if you regard their content to be somewhat sensitive.

“8) You reportedly are regarded as being a decent and honest person.

“9) You reportedly are a cultural Mormon.

“Like I said, you can return and report on the above reports, if you wish.”

(”OK, 'Epig,' Since You Vave Decided to Now Post on RfM and Directly to Me,” by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 26 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148390#msg-1148390)

“Epig” replied:

“Steve, 6 and 7 are incorrect.

“Other statements brought up on this thread:

“I am not involved with these essays. I only know the parties that are.

“And I don't think doing a quick Google or Yahoo search brings bring up ‘the truth’ on historical issues. There is a lot of gray area and nuance (something that both the orthodox and ex-Mormon communities seem to often have trouble with). In my opinion, it takes years of reading and research before you can even begin to start feeling conversant on many of the topics. Bullet point answer are typically oversimplified.

“Steve, I'm sorry I came in with guns blazing. I just don't like being called a "leak." I don't think of myself that way. My personal thought on these essays is that they are a positive step forward, but I fully recognize that they are far from satisfactory for most disaffected or disaffiliated. . . .
And, Steve, if you wouldn't mind putting our mutual associate in touch with me, I would greatly appreciate it.”

(“Re: OK, 'Epig,' Since You Have Decided to Now Post on RfM and Directly to Me,” by “Epiginosko,” RfM discussion board, 26 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148599#msg-1148599; and http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148618#msg-1148618)

I replied:

“I will not do that, since the contact requested confidentiality and I agreed to that request.”

(“I Will Not Do That, Since the Contact Requested Confidentiality,” . . . , by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148650#msg-1148650)

“Epig” responded:

“Fair enough. Then I give our mutual friend permission to give you my direct contact information if he/she has it. I would prefer to talk with you as a human being outside of a message board.”

(“Re: I Will Not Do That, Since the Contact Requested Confidentiality . . . .” by “Epiginosko,” RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148697#msg-1148697)

I replied:

“My contact warned me about how persistent you would be . . . , cautioning me that your COB cadre would try to smoke the contact out. The contact was right, as you have proved here.

“Nice try but no deal. “

(“My Contact Warned Me About How Persistent You Would Be," by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148701#msg-1148701)

I added:

“ . . . I didn't say you were involved in the actual writing of the essays.

“My informed contact says that you knew about issues that were behind the creation of those Church essays. You yourself have said that you personally talked with Church Historian Steven E. Snow about the essays and have publicly indicated what Snow told you. In what capacity did that communication between you and Snow take place?

“Call it what you will, but as you know from responses on that other board to what you have been saying over there, you are considered by some to be a source who is providing information not generally known about details at play in the creation of the essays. In common parlance, that is known as leaking.

“My contact says they are aware of at least some of the internet places where you post or have posted. Are you denying that you have posted certain information and then pulled it down later? My contact, for instance, quoted me what the contact said was a statement of yours that you had put up on NOM, but when I went looking for it, I could not find it. Would you like me to post it for you here, to perhaps refresh your memory? Perhaps you can tell me where it located, in the event that I initially missed it.”

("’Epig’--I Didn't Say You Were Involved in the Actual Writing of the Essays,” by Steve Benson, 26 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148642#msg-1148642)

“Epig” replied;

“There was only one time that I can recall putting a time-limit on a post and then removing it. Otherwise, if I have deleted any posts it's because, in afterthought, I felt I was putting myself into too much risk. I do not make it a practice to leak insider information and then take it down, as you are insinuating.”

(“Re: "Epig"--I Didn't Say You Were Involved in the Actual Writing of the Essays,” by “Epiginosko,” RfM discussion oard, 27 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148702#msg-1148702)

I replied:

“Interesting . . . since that is essentially what my contact told me you were doing.”

(“Interesting,” by Steve Benson, RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148706#msg-1148706)

“Epig” then essentially admitted that he has been in communication with Snow over the Mormon Church essays:

“If you want to discuss any communication I may have had with Elder Snow, I would prefer to do it privately.”

(“Re: "Epig"--I Didn't Say You Were Involved in the Actual Writing of the Essays.” by “Epiginsoko,” RfM discussion board, 27 January 2014, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1148284,1148703#msg-1148703)

Ain't doin' that, either, "Epig." The cat is out of the bag.

**********

--Another Behind-the –Scenes Church Essay Author, This Time Identified by Name

Not surprisingly, more information came out during regarding the circumstances surrounding the anonymously-authored and deceptively-crafted essays posted by the Mormon Cult on its official website. Much of the following comes from my personal exchanges with RfM poster, Tom Phillips, who granted me express permission to post their contents. IN that regard, he noted:

“ANYTHING I shared [with you] . . . may be disclosed to the public because my source has already mentioned such details on at least one message board. If it is of any use, you may disclose it AS YOU CONSIDER APPROPRIATE.” Tom added that “[i]nformation given to me were quotes from [General Authority] Steven Snow; [Mormon professor of literature and religion at the Univessity of Richmond (Virginia])] Terryl Givens; and the wife of the 'primary author,' Jed Woodworth.” (emphasis added)

So, here we go again:

The Mormon Church's anonymous essay-writing project reportedly involved (in at least its early stages) a so-called “primary author," identified in this case as Jed Woodworth, whose role in the creation of the essays is said to have been explained by the author's apparently boastful spouse. (The spouse, it was reported, may have exaggerated Woodworth's role in the writing of the essays; it was therefore suggested that the road actually taken by the Mormon Church from the beginning was to appoint not a primary author, per se, but, rather, a committee or group of authors assigned the job of producing the essays). If, however, a primary author was utilized, then Woodworth was described as being a hard worker who was seen not only as a person who could serve as the point man for the essays but also, if necessary, as a scapegoat in service of the Quorum of the Twelve.

As to Woodworth's role as primary author, Tom Phillips, on the RFM bulletin board, wrote:

“This much I can disclose, as it was posted elsewhere--information I had but had agreed not to share. Now I can:

"'Ahhh, yes. These are the essays being worked on by co-author to the book, 'Rough Stone Rolling.' Jed Woodworth. He was hired in May 2012 to go be a full-time history re-writer and give these sensitive issues a first-class scrubbing. He dropped the PhD he was pursuing at UW [University of Wisconsin]-Madison to be a lackey for the Q[uorum] of the Twelve. He was my Gospel Doctrine teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin 3rd Ward.”

This source quoted by Tom Phillips notes that his wife--meaning the wife of the source cited by Tom--had exchanged emails with Woodworth's wife regarding possible topics to be addressed by the Mormon Chult's website-essay series.

(“Re: They are Deluded in Their Cynical Strategizing. The Google God Wins..” posted by Tom Phillips, aka “anointedone,” on “Recovery from Mormonism” bulletin board, 24 December 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117820#msg-1117820; see also, “Website Answering 'Sensitive Questions' Coming in the Next Few Weeks,” where the following was posted: “Without giving too much info, I am a current FTE of the Church, working downtown, and know about new website aimed at answering ‘sensitive issues’ and questions. The project is on a rush order from President Uchtdorf and Elder Holland personally, and should be launched sometime in the next few weeks--1 month. The type of issues will be along the lines of Book of Mormon translation, role of the Holy Ghost, and similar. topicsThe site will be taking this place of the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org.”)

Noting that the Quorum of the Twelve may have been significantly divided over the question of how to address problematic elements of Mormon Church history (a vexing sore that was described as having been brewing for years), the Twelve may have ultimately opted for bringing in an outside writer (i.e,, Mormon apologist/Bushman aide Woodworth) who, it has also been proposed, Bushman himself may have recommended for the task.

In fact, Woodworth has been identified as having assisted Bushman in the writing of "Rough Stone Rolling"

(see "Response to Richard Lyman Bushman, with the assistance of Jed Woodworth, 'Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling' [New York, Knopf, 2005, 740 pp.]," review by Louis Midgley, BYU professor of political science, for the Maxwell Institute, at: http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/19/1/S00008-Two_Stor... see also, "Latter-Day Saint," by Walter Kirn, book review, "New York Times," 15 January 2006, at: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/books/review/15kirn.html?pagewanted=al...)

In his capacity of Bushman's assistant on "Rough Stone Rolling," Woodworth is listed with the title of "professor," at: http://www.fishpond.com/c/Books/a/Professor+Jed+Woodworth

Woodworth is also identified as co-editor with Bushman on the book, "Believing History: Latter-day Saint Essays" (Columbia University Press, 2004, 312 pp.), at: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13006-6/

Woodworth is also profiled as having been a Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student working on a dissertation on U.S. colonial history, as noted on the university's Department of History website, at: http://history.wisc.edu/graduate/student_profiles/woodworth.htm

It was suggested that Bushman--along with Mormon General Authority/attorney, Steven Snow, who is currently serving as Mormon Church Historian and Recorder--may have wanted to get something published in defense of the Mormon Church in the disastrous aftermath of its so-called “Swedish Rescue” effort, which has been described as ”a meeting conducted by Elder Marlin K. Jensen (LDS Church Historian), Richard E. Turley, Jr. (Assistant Church Historian) and members of the [Mormon] Church in Västerhaninge Chapel, Stockholm, Sweden, November 28, 2010,” aimed at “help[ing] [LDS Church] members that are struggling with their faith after discovering information about the history of Mormonism that is disturbing to them.”

(“The Swedish Rescue,” including transcripts of the actual meeting, at: http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm)

It was further noted that adding to this growing sense of urgency by the Mormon Church for a quicker essay roll-out was the problem created by certain counter-productive and over-zealous LDS apologists (Daniel E. Peterson, John L. Gee, et al), who reportedly were only making matters worse for the Mormon Church's ranking leadership. Time to call in the Tidy-Bowl man.

As the Mormon Cult's emergency-relief miracle worker and primary-relief essay author, Woodworth is said to have been lured away from his doctorate program by the LDS Cult around May 2012, in order to undertake this newly-focused writing project. A year later, Woodworth was reportedly wondering why the Mormon Church had not yet published the essays he had so diligently worked on. It has been reported that the essay roll-out was eventually hastened to completion by this suspected frustration on the part of Woodworth, caused by delays in publication due to internal Church Office Building politics, to which Woodowrth was not accustomed. (The essays had apparently been scheduled for publication in January 2014 but were rushed out earlier due to pressure from what were described as external forces). Woodworth is said to have possibly constructed the essays in draft form, which were then put through the process of committee modification.

At any rate, I was told that the essays in question were produced through some form of committee system and were ultimately approved, but left unsigned by, squabbling General Authorities.

Indeed, as one RfM poster recently acknowledged on this site, not only was this committee system for drafting the essays purposely put in place, he was solicited by the Church to help write those essays but in the end refused--precisely because the General Authorities refused to take personal ownership of them:

"Steve--

"I was part of the group that would eventually be charged with writing 'essays' for the LDS Church. Out of good conscience as a non-believer, I left the group during the discussion stage. However, I was approved to write for them after being interviewed for it.

"I'm not sure who generated the current list of topics. There is something not right with the situation and only because of the anonymity of the articles. The hierarchy doesn't appear to want to take credit for them, yet they are allowing the go-ahead to publish. I don't get why they are allowing this. Again, this doesn't seem right and is 'fishy.' I know the tech group had oversight, but I'm not sure just how far up the food chain it went. It seemed like we had more supervisory 'Chiefs' than 'Indians' working on the assignments. . . .

"During my interview, I asked what topics we were going to be covering for the articles, but the list hadn't been finalized yet. I recall being asked what topics I would like to write on. When I replied that I would like to write about the atonement, I was told to come up with subjects that are more 'Church-related' or ]historical.' I caught the tech group's attention because I had previously written articles for the Mormon Church. . . . When I was a member of it, the tech group was staffed by a bunch of volunteer idealists ready to fight the giant single-handedly."

("Re: To Tom Phillips: What Are Your Sources Telling You About Those Essays?," posted by "Former Tech Groupy," on "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 23 December 2013, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117177#msg-1117177 and "Re: Very interesting, indeed," idem, at: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1117068,1117199#msg-1117199)

The ultimate purpose of the essays has been described as an attempt by the Mormon Cult to vaccinate its faithful membership base by providing true-believers with an “out” for claiming that the essays (on the topics of officially-practiced, then lied- about polygamy, racism-based priesthood bans, etc.) have now been answered by the Mormon Church without any of its highest General Authorities being held accountable for their authorship.

Not only that, but the essays are said to represent a deliberate, concerted and calculated effort by the Mormon Cult to remake itself for the next generation of believers, while basically trusting that present-day, pre-conditioned Mormons don't care about its actual damning history.
_____

--Again, in Summation, Let’s Remember How the Mormon Cult’s Cynical Outlook Has Served as the Propulsion for the Release of Its Series of Anonymous Mystery-History Essays

“Epig”:

"The concern going in from the Brethren was how to roll this out without creating a (look-at-all-of-our-problems) page. The Brethren don't want to start faith issues where they don't currently exist, and they are correct that the majority of active and believing Saints don't know or care about this stuff, particularly outside of Utah and the United States.

"The decision was made to incorporate them [the essays] into already-existing areas of the [Mormon Church's official] website and not do a big campaign (outside of the organic interest that will naturally result). From a business perspective, it's probably a wise move. . . . [I]t's really all about inoculating the next generation. Elder [Steven] Snow has said as much directly to me. They are well aware that skeptics will likely not be satisfied with these answers or their choice of roll-out. It's there for members to see if they are planning lessons, talks, and I know that they are working towards integrating them with curriculum; particularly youth curriculum." . . .

“This much is clear: They [the essays] are not designed to restore people's faith as much as they are designed to lessen future disaffections; Members who come across damning information for the first time and turn to LDS.org to see what the Church says on the matter. The goal is to give them a faithful response while still acknowledging the complexity of the issue.”

("The Debate Over the 13 New Essays?," posted by “Epiginosko,” in "New Order Mormon," 10-11 December 2013, at; http://forum.newordermormon.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33954&)start=20)

**********


Welcome to the Pragmatically-Perverted. Routinely-Remade Church of Jesus Christ of Puppeteered

Once More
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
What a mess. Count me as one who despises writing for or with a committee.

Shummy
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Paleopagan practitioners of perfidy perditiously promoting pernicious paradigms per plan peddling poorly performed prestidigitation.

Pathetic poltroons.

Once More
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Meanwhile, the essay on Joseph Smith's polygamy, polyandry, adultery, rape, pedophilia, or whatever you want to call it, has garnered 5952 comments on the Salt Lake Tribune website last time I checked.

http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/1733664-156/smith-plural-joseph-ma...

No matter who wrote the essays, or who edited them or approved them for publication, the content has taken on a life of its own. These essays are no longer serving the purpose(s) of LDS leaders; the essays are out of their hands, and out of their control.

Here's an interesting take on the essays, one that falls into the lying-for-the-lord category, I think. The quoted text is from the comments on the SL Trib website:

"i have a member friend that refuses to read the essays. He says to never trust the writings of man. I told him that this was written and sanctioned by the church itself - on LDS.org - and he said that was just written to appease the naysayers."

Once More
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Shummy, I think you left out pusillanimous.

Once More
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
This comment from the SL Trib website made me smile:

"To all the Mormons who would like to get past this and continue being faithful Mormons, I would just like to say that misplaced loyalty is not a virtue.

"The Church invited me to 'investigate' them and if they can't stand up to close scrutiny then they can't be what they claim to be and that can't be explained away."

----------
Yes, indeed. We were invited to "investigate."

Shummy
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Pusillanimous.

Picture perfect pronouncement!

Please stop me before I p all over myself.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 07:47PM by Shummy.

Once More
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
One commenter on the SL Trib site, Cam Torres, took the trouble to reply to the 15 most often used explanation/excuses from TBMs:

1) It’s not that some girls were married “back then” at age 14. It’s that she was NOT married to Joseph, since he was married to another person who was not aware of the situation. 14 years old were by no means older back then. He had sex with his foster daughter, period. He has sex with the wives of men who he sent away on missions and made the women lie about their liaisons, full stop.

2) Joseph was forced to practice it by an angry angel. Joseph must have been one hell of seer to know to start practicing it
before the revelation AND the angry angel came. It’s that none of the 40 women, suspiciously, including Emma, ever saw the angry angel. It's that he didn't have 40 wives, he had one, and 39 KNOWN affairs that he spend most of his time and efforts trying to conceal.

3) It’s not that the church is being "honest". It’s that there is a term for when before you are being honest, for 180+ years.

4)It’s not that some marriages MAY not have had sex, it’s that some did. It’s that some were married to other men and some were children. It’s that the ones that turned him down were destroyed and shunned. It’s that all were coerced or forced to practice it. It's that the church has, for the past 180 years, trying to collect, destroy, deny or file away any reference to these relationships being physical.

5) It’s not that it's OK because Emma accepted it and felt peace about it, it’s that Joseph got her best friend pregnant and did not tell Emma, and she in turn threw her pregnant friend down the stairs and she miscarried, maybe the peace came after that, or after she threw Fanny Algers on the street. Maybe the peace came after she left the church.

6) It’s not that people are demanding that Joseph Smith be perfect, it’s that maybe a convicted con-man, polygamist, bank defrauder, fugitive, liar, pedophile, wife-thief, serial adulterer, plagiarist and murderer might not be the best person to trust with a story about an invisible gold book. [...]

7) It’s not that it was about raising children, or marrying a virgin, or being approved by the first wife, or about being more women than men or that it was OK after 1834… because NONE of those applied to Joseph.

8)It’s not that it is OK because “it was a long time ago”. It’s that it happened at all. It’s that those girls were children. It’s that it was a revelation and then he denied over and over and in May 1844 (he had 30+wives by then) he offered to prove his accusers to be perjurers and to provide (falsified) affidavits.

9) It’s not OK because you have a testimony. It’s that your testimony is based on a fictitious character carefully created by the church media department. If you have a testimony, you don’t know the real Joseph.

10) It’s not about the church discontinuing the practice by the commandment of God. It was that they were forced to by the US government and therefore it shows that the church will change its history, doctrine, practices, and policies to make sure that the corporation survives.

11) It’s not that it is not practiced now. It’s that Gordon Hinckley lied on national TV a few years ago and said it was only practiced after they came out West and it was not doctrinal. Well, the thing is that an angelappearing 3 times is pretty doctrinal and so is The DOCTRINE and COVENANTS,which is canonized doctrine. It's that thousands of now ex-Mormons were excommunicated, attacked, gas-lighted, called names and shunned for even suggesting what these essays contain.

12) It’s not that it’s a fleck of history. It’s that thousands of children suffer in sexual relationships with adults in cults TODAY because of the practices and doctrines you cowardly failed to address, up until now, and which your founders taught as a requirement to enter heaven.

13) It’s not about polygamy; it’s about your church pretending that they are the defender of monogamous marriage, between one man and one woman as stating that this has always been so. It’s that you are stepping on the civil rights of others, just like you did those women, all in the name of religion. You can't claim those relationships to be marriages and at the same time, use your sudden love for the law, to deny other people their right to marry, so, pick a side.

14) Is not that the church has abandoned it. It’s that the concept of men forcing women and children into their bed using revelation is "a thing" in your doctrine. It’s about Warren Jeffs being JUST like Joseph Smith. He did not die an innocent lamb at the hands of evil men, he died because he slept with children and other men's wives, he died because he violated masonic oaths, he died because when his adultery was exposed by his former close
associate, whose wife he tried to shag, he destroyed the printing
press. It's that men can be sealed to more than one woman TODAY in the temple and women can't do the same.

15) It is not that the media and world does not understand Mormonism; it’s that you don’t understand Mormonism.

Once More
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
+ 1000

The Prestigious P Prize goes to ... Shummy.

Shummy
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Well you deserve the keyboard is mightier than the sword award.

Dayum, I gotta go read your 15 points again.

Kudos from Kolob!

ConcernedCitizen
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
...I need oxygen.........or amyl nitrate. QUICK!!

jkjkjkjk
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Perfect

Shummy
Re: Sourcing the Progoganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Once More Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> + 1000
>
> The Prestigious P Prize goes to ... Shummy.

ok, shall we dub it the Parley Parker Pratt Propagandist Pulitzer?

AmIDarkNow?
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
KAABAAMMM!

Saved that!

The leaders must be besides themselves or will be as this baby grows and it will grow big time! Oh how this Essay is going to piss off LDS women as the argue bear testimony and best of all share the info with other LDS women as they dig deeper to find the truth about what the church so freely gave to them!

You spouses who have been waiting for the other to see the light this may be your saving day.

This is Ebola for the church! It can't be stopped. They did not want the essays THAT public.

OOPS, TOO LATE!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 08:42PM by AmIDarkNow?.

Christ Believer
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
Wow. He really nailed it. This fiction from the cult that it is all sooooo complicated and must be nuanced is utter bull shit. It must be up to their elbows in the history dept. A child would know better.

Shummy
Re: Sourcing the Propaganda: How the Mormon Cult's Evasive Essays Came to Be
A veritable tar baby.

Up to their armpits in tar, the bretheren flail fecklessly forward.

steve benson
I agree. For the Mormon Cult, they've become the Ebola Essays . . .
. . . spreading like a deadly wildfire with little hope of the woefully unequipped LDS Cult being able to bring the essay outbreak under control.

Yo, Tommy: Forget the the head-to-toe hazmat suits. They won't work, especially when your first-line-of-defense magic garmies have already failed you miserably.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2014 10:03PM by steve benson.

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