Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts nov 2011

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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</p>\n<p>It\'s suggested that Smith got the word \"Nephi\" from here or there, and the story of Lehi\'s migration to America from a stream in the Arabian Peninsula. On and on. One thing\'s for sure: He sure didn\'t get it from real life.</p>\n<p>All this hocus-pocus and mumbo-jumbo that comprises the pinata stuffing of Mormonism was way above Joe Smith\'s pay grade for him to access, digest and stitch together in some kind of passable fairy tale.</p>\n<p>So, who do you think was feeding it to him, among his merry band of helpers?</p>\n<p>Rigdon the minister? Cowdery the teacher? Late Night with David Letterman? Smith was a charismatic (not to mention a conman) with a clever but relatively undisciplined and uneducated mind (as B.H. Roberts concluded in his secretly-composed \"Studies of the Book of Mormon\" manuscript).</p>\n<p>It had to be someone or some persons with more knowledge, learning and experience than Smith possessed. (and, no, we\'re not talking about some make-believe god dude). I firmly am of the opinion that others were ghostwriting Joe\'s theology for him--or cobbling it together from plagiarized sources for presentation at a later date.</p>\n<p>We know, for example, that Rigdon wrote the \"Lectures on Faith\" and that Smith simply signed off on them as his own. We also know that Ridgon was hanging around Palmyra during the time that Joseph Smith was supposedly translating the gold plates--and so was Cowdery.</p>\n<p>Ethan Smith\'s \"View of the Hebrews;\" Solomon Spalding\'s \"Manuscript Found;\" the \"Kabbalah;\" the work of Emanuel Swedenborg; even the writings of America\'s Founding Fathers and Revolutionary War-era historians and clergy. Hell, the Comoros Islands with its capitol city of Moroni. Arguably all potential sources for Joe\'s 19th-century Mormon myth-making.</p>\n<p>He wasn\'t picking this stuff up on his own by squinting at a rock in a hat. He was, I believe, being fed it by associates who largely constructed his theological \"worldview\" for him. (Yeah, he was way out of his league and exposed as a clumsy fraud with his silly stories about the Book of Abraham and the Book of Mormon but most folks in Joe\'s day were into the gullibilities of folk magic and Freemasonry, not Central American archeaology or ancient Egyptian history, and therefore didn\'t know any better).</p>\n<p>Smith was a quick-witted carnival-barking charmer with an eye for the ladies, but not a mind for focused study. He must have had his stage managers.</p>\n<p>Edited 13 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2011 09:35PM by steve benson.</p>\n<p>mia<br />\nRe: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs and fables of other cultures and ancient times. Here\'s my take . . .<br />\nHis talent was deception paired with an unschooled but brilliant mind. A lethal combination.</p>\n<p>The deception is now passed on by those who are either deceived themselves,and or who are schooled,brilliant, and greedy. Another lethal combination.</p>\n<p>The suffering that others have had to endure as a consequence is beyond measure and imagination.</p>\n<p>From the very first followers,and all they endured, to the babies who are being born this very day into the genetic cesspool that you discussed on another thread. And everything in between.</p>\n<p>The more there is to learn the more difficult it is to not feel the outrage and disgust for the current torch bearers of this massive deception.</p>\n<p>steve benson<br />\nClever needed cover. Conspirators with concepts. Abilities that went beyond Smith\'s penchant for superstious treasure hunting and silly storytelling. Who were they?&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2011 07:22PM by steve benson.</p>\n<p>CA girl<br />\nRe: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here\'s my take . . .<br />\nMy take is that he was a charismatic narcissist with a quick imagination and a real talent for scamming people. Others saw the potential in his Gold Plates scam and were able to develop it far beyond what Joseph may have imagined. But they kept Joseph as the front man because of his ability to con people. And maybe because they needed his imagination.</p>\n<p>I think it was a combination of all those closest to Joseph, except for maybe Emma. She played along but I don\'t think she was active in developing the scam. But I haven\'t really researched her - I\'m basing that guess on what I have read. Most of Joseph\'s \"It Girls\" seemed to come from the same families. Rigdon and Cowdrey may have been the main contributors because of their knowledge and education but I\'m guessing Joe pulled from all the sources available to him.</p>\n<p>Dave the Atheist<br />\nI think Joe was like george w. bush ...<br />\nand rigdon and whitmer were his cheney and rumsfeld.</p>\n<p>steve benson<br />\nThat makes sense to me. In the beginning stages of inventing Mormonism, Smith\'s circle of co-conspirators was pretty small . . .<br />\nRigdon and Cowdery, thus, were good candidates to help the lad build his sham on the ground level by putting together a fanciful storyline that probably was beyond charismatic, yarn-spinning, treausre-hunting Joe\'s attention span to make up and then follow with any consistency. To help in that effort, bring in the plagiarizable books and documents and let his more educated cohorts write things up in Prophet Joe\'s name. Just cut his handy helpers in on the deal.</p>\n<p>All Joe had to do after peeping into a hat pretending to see things that weren\'t there and covering non-existent gold plates with a cloth was to convince Emma that it was all true and to do as she was told--especially the stuff about multi-wifing every woman in sight.</p>\n<p>That\'s, of course, where the Angel With the Flaming Sword came in to convince stubborn Emma that if she didn\'t allow Joe to go to bed with as many females as he wanted to, she would be, like, totally destroyed.</p>\n<p>Doesn\'t get better than that. :)</p>\n<p>steve benson<br />\nBut Whitmer bailed. Then again, so did Rigdon and Cowdery. Just can\'t seem to get good help these days.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Lucky<br />\nRe: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here\'s my take . . .<br />\nwell it wasn\'t Isaac Newton, ppl who were students of Newton and real science had the potential of Making REAL contributions to society and science that are still valid today, even from back in 1820\'s when Joe was throwing together his POS BOM with its BS origin story for american indians as a lost tribe of Israel (SNORT)</p>\n<p>\"joe taught that ppl could know the truth of all things by the power of the (MORmON) holy ghost, but Joe had no idea what DNA was.... \"</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ccCBERajIo\" title=\"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ccCBERajIo\">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ccCBERajIo</a></p>\n<p>deco<br />\nRe: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here\'s my take . . .<br />\nThere must be some clues along the way to make the suits in SLC so incredibly interested in buying things like the Hoffman forgeries.</p>\n<p>My guess is the big vault in the mountain holds a lot of clues to your question.</p>\n<p>BTW Steve, I put your name in at Bill Mahars website for guests we would like to see on his program. Bill seems to have quite an interest in LDS Inc lately.</p>\n<p>steve benson<br />\nBill Mahr is one of the funniest, sharpest wits on the planet.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>get her done<br />\nRe: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here\'s my take . . .<br />\nGood post.</p>\n<p>darksparks<br />\nI think it was primarily Rigdon<br />\nHe knew the King James version of the Bible well and he could make up new stories that sounded Biblical. Plus he had access to Solomon Spaulding\'s scribblings once Spaulding died.</p>\n<p>I also remember reading somewhere that Rigdon while under threat, was going around Nauvoo telling everyone that he had a \"big secret.\"</p>\n<p>Once Joe was dead, Sydney thought that he was heir apparent, but too many people, including his own family members thought that he was a kook who went spook from trying to understand the Bible.</p>\n<p>And Cowdery was sure to be helping out. What is surprising is that so many of Smith\'s close associates were too scared of losing their good reputation by coming out with the truth about the entire caper. So they went along just as a matter of survival...knowing that it was all a \"bottle of smoke.\"</p>\n<p>nebularry<br />\nCharismatic prophet<br />\nThis discussion is exactly what I have come to believe about Smith. When I say he was a \"prophet\" I do not mean in some divine or supernatural sense, rather, that he was the founder of a new religion in the same way as Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin or Charles Taze Russell or Mary Baker Eddy or any of a number of gifted rebels to the status quo.</p>\n<p>I think there can be no doubt that he was charismatic. Of all the things that can be said about him, it was his charisma that captured the hearts and minds of so many followers.</p>\n<p>But of equal certainty (at least to my mind) Joseph Smith must have had help with composing the BoM. He may have been the inspiration and ultimately became the \"front man\" but it took sharper minds than his to put it on paper.</p>\n<p>Thanks, Steve, and everyone else for a lively discussion!</p>\n<p>Charlie<br />\nRe: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here\'s my take . . .<br />\nThis raises the interesting question: If Oliver was part of the fraud, why didn\'t he expose it upon his excommunication? Oliver was not at Far West when Sidney Rigdon was excommunicated. This was over the attempted seduction of Nancy. When Oliver heard of the debacle he went to Far West and demanded admission to the fort so that a trial could be held to discipline Joseph. Joseph very cleaverly barred the gates and held a trial for Sidney instead.</p>\n<p>Now, my explantion is this. Oliver had begun the practice of law as his career. If he had admitted to his part in the fraud, it would have made that practice difficult, if not impossible and so he kept his mouth shut.</p>\n<p>As to the others including the witness to the BofM, their silence probably has something to do with a man\'s reputation for honesty and integrity. A man\'s neighbors and business associates would not look lightly on a man\'s honor if he made an admission to having been part of a hoax.</p>\n<p>steve benson<br />\nAgreed. Cowdery had too much at stake, personally and professionally, that could torpedo his life and his career if he blew the lid off, so he kept quiet.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2011 03:21AM by steve benson.</p>\n<p>CA girl<br />\nWhere?<br />\nI wanted to request Steve as a guest too, but I couldn\'t find where on his website to put in my request. Of course, it was pretty early this a.m. so it might be somewhere obvious that I missed.</p>\n<p>ablmu65<br />\nRe: That makes sense to me. In the beginning stages of inventing Mormonism, Smith\'s circle of co-conspirators was pretty small . . .<br />\nYou have to give whomever was pulling all the stings a lot of credit. Their creation has lasted albeit it has done a lot of morphing along the way but it has still lasted. I wish I could have seen in their minds at that time to really understand what their end game was. Was this just a short con job that was to net them the ladies and get them out of drudges of everyday life. They seemed to go through a lot for something as false as it was. I sometimes think that JS was duped into believing much of what he spouted I can\'t see him as being that good of an actor. He lived the lie convincingly, that almost shows a depth of mental illness that borders on psychotic. Could he have been groomed for this role by parents and others when he at a young age showed signs of being a little different. Is it possible that the roots of this \"Made in America\" religious experience Inc. went back further, just waiting for the right person to fill the shoes needed to put it into motion. You look at all the things and notions of that time period that didn\'t make it off the ground and yet why did this one take root and continue.</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1495668441, expire = 1495754841, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:c37219beca82b82e5d0e0ad10fd84154' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

steve benson

It's suggested that Smith got the word "Nephi" from here or there, and the story of Lehi's migration to America from a stream in the Arabian Peninsula. On and on. One thing's for sure: He sure didn't get it from real life.

All this hocus-pocus and mumbo-jumbo that comprises the pinata stuffing of Mormonism was way above Joe Smith's pay grade for him to access, digest and stitch together in some kind of passable fairy tale.

So, who do you think was feeding it to him, among his merry band of helpers?

Rigdon the minister? Cowdery the teacher? Late Night with David Letterman? Smith was a charismatic (not to mention a conman) with a clever but relatively undisciplined and uneducated mind (as B.H. Roberts concluded in his secretly-composed "Studies of the Book of Mormon" manuscript).

It had to be someone or some persons with more knowledge, learning and experience than Smith possessed. (and, no, we're not talking about some make-believe god dude). I firmly am of the opinion that others were ghostwriting Joe's theology for him--or cobbling it together from plagiarized sources for presentation at a later date.

We know, for example, that Rigdon wrote the "Lectures on Faith" and that Smith simply signed off on them as his own. We also know that Ridgon was hanging around Palmyra during the time that Joseph Smith was supposedly translating the gold plates--and so was Cowdery.

Ethan Smith's "View of the Hebrews;" Solomon Spalding's "Manuscript Found;" the "Kabbalah;" the work of Emanuel Swedenborg; even the writings of America's Founding Fathers and Revolutionary War-era historians and clergy. Hell, the Comoros Islands with its capitol city of Moroni. Arguably all potential sources for Joe's 19th-century Mormon myth-making.

He wasn't picking this stuff up on his own by squinting at a rock in a hat. He was, I believe, being fed it by associates who largely constructed his theological "worldview" for him. (Yeah, he was way out of his league and exposed as a clumsy fraud with his silly stories about the Book of Abraham and the Book of Mormon but most folks in Joe's day were into the gullibilities of folk magic and Freemasonry, not Central American archeaology or ancient Egyptian history, and therefore didn't know any better).

Smith was a quick-witted carnival-barking charmer with an eye for the ladies, but not a mind for focused study. He must have had his stage managers.

Edited 13 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2011 09:35PM by steve benson.

mia
Re: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs and fables of other cultures and ancient times. Here's my take . . .
His talent was deception paired with an unschooled but brilliant mind. A lethal combination.

The deception is now passed on by those who are either deceived themselves,and or who are schooled,brilliant, and greedy. Another lethal combination.

The suffering that others have had to endure as a consequence is beyond measure and imagination.

From the very first followers,and all they endured, to the babies who are being born this very day into the genetic cesspool that you discussed on another thread. And everything in between.

The more there is to learn the more difficult it is to not feel the outrage and disgust for the current torch bearers of this massive deception.

steve benson
Clever needed cover. Conspirators with concepts. Abilities that went beyond Smith's penchant for superstious treasure hunting and silly storytelling. Who were they? 

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2011 07:22PM by steve benson.

CA girl
Re: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here's my take . . .
My take is that he was a charismatic narcissist with a quick imagination and a real talent for scamming people. Others saw the potential in his Gold Plates scam and were able to develop it far beyond what Joseph may have imagined. But they kept Joseph as the front man because of his ability to con people. And maybe because they needed his imagination.

I think it was a combination of all those closest to Joseph, except for maybe Emma. She played along but I don't think she was active in developing the scam. But I haven't really researched her - I'm basing that guess on what I have read. Most of Joseph's "It Girls" seemed to come from the same families. Rigdon and Cowdrey may have been the main contributors because of their knowledge and education but I'm guessing Joe pulled from all the sources available to him.

Dave the Atheist
I think Joe was like george w. bush ...
and rigdon and whitmer were his cheney and rumsfeld.

steve benson
That makes sense to me. In the beginning stages of inventing Mormonism, Smith's circle of co-conspirators was pretty small . . .
Rigdon and Cowdery, thus, were good candidates to help the lad build his sham on the ground level by putting together a fanciful storyline that probably was beyond charismatic, yarn-spinning, treausre-hunting Joe's attention span to make up and then follow with any consistency. To help in that effort, bring in the plagiarizable books and documents and let his more educated cohorts write things up in Prophet Joe's name. Just cut his handy helpers in on the deal.

All Joe had to do after peeping into a hat pretending to see things that weren't there and covering non-existent gold plates with a cloth was to convince Emma that it was all true and to do as she was told--especially the stuff about multi-wifing every woman in sight.

That's, of course, where the Angel With the Flaming Sword came in to convince stubborn Emma that if she didn't allow Joe to go to bed with as many females as he wanted to, she would be, like, totally destroyed.

Doesn't get better than that. :)

steve benson
But Whitmer bailed. Then again, so did Rigdon and Cowdery. Just can't seem to get good help these days. 

Lucky
Re: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here's my take . . .
well it wasn't Isaac Newton, ppl who were students of Newton and real science had the potential of Making REAL contributions to society and science that are still valid today, even from back in 1820's when Joe was throwing together his POS BOM with its BS origin story for american indians as a lost tribe of Israel (SNORT)

"joe taught that ppl could know the truth of all things by the power of the (MORmON) holy ghost, but Joe had no idea what DNA was.... "

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ccCBERajIo

deco
Re: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here's my take . . .
There must be some clues along the way to make the suits in SLC so incredibly interested in buying things like the Hoffman forgeries.

My guess is the big vault in the mountain holds a lot of clues to your question.

BTW Steve, I put your name in at Bill Mahars website for guests we would like to see on his program. Bill seems to have quite an interest in LDS Inc lately.

steve benson
Bill Mahr is one of the funniest, sharpest wits on the planet. 

get her done
Re: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here's my take . . .
Good post.

darksparks
I think it was primarily Rigdon
He knew the King James version of the Bible well and he could make up new stories that sounded Biblical. Plus he had access to Solomon Spaulding's scribblings once Spaulding died.

I also remember reading somewhere that Rigdon while under threat, was going around Nauvoo telling everyone that he had a "big secret."

Once Joe was dead, Sydney thought that he was heir apparent, but too many people, including his own family members thought that he was a kook who went spook from trying to understand the Bible.

And Cowdery was sure to be helping out. What is surprising is that so many of Smith's close associates were too scared of losing their good reputation by coming out with the truth about the entire caper. So they went along just as a matter of survival...knowing that it was all a "bottle of smoke."

nebularry
Charismatic prophet
This discussion is exactly what I have come to believe about Smith. When I say he was a "prophet" I do not mean in some divine or supernatural sense, rather, that he was the founder of a new religion in the same way as Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin or Charles Taze Russell or Mary Baker Eddy or any of a number of gifted rebels to the status quo.

I think there can be no doubt that he was charismatic. Of all the things that can be said about him, it was his charisma that captured the hearts and minds of so many followers.

But of equal certainty (at least to my mind) Joseph Smith must have had help with composing the BoM. He may have been the inspiration and ultimately became the "front man" but it took sharper minds than his to put it on paper.

Thanks, Steve, and everyone else for a lively discussion!

Charlie
Re: Joe Smith and his Marvelous Myth Machine: Ancient texts, historical manuscripts, the customs, languages and fables of other cultures and times. Here's my take . . .
This raises the interesting question: If Oliver was part of the fraud, why didn't he expose it upon his excommunication? Oliver was not at Far West when Sidney Rigdon was excommunicated. This was over the attempted seduction of Nancy. When Oliver heard of the debacle he went to Far West and demanded admission to the fort so that a trial could be held to discipline Joseph. Joseph very cleaverly barred the gates and held a trial for Sidney instead.

Now, my explantion is this. Oliver had begun the practice of law as his career. If he had admitted to his part in the fraud, it would have made that practice difficult, if not impossible and so he kept his mouth shut.

As to the others including the witness to the BofM, their silence probably has something to do with a man's reputation for honesty and integrity. A man's neighbors and business associates would not look lightly on a man's honor if he made an admission to having been part of a hoax.

steve benson
Agreed. Cowdery had too much at stake, personally and professionally, that could torpedo his life and his career if he blew the lid off, so he kept quiet. 

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/04/2011 03:21AM by steve benson.

CA girl
Where?
I wanted to request Steve as a guest too, but I couldn't find where on his website to put in my request. Of course, it was pretty early this a.m. so it might be somewhere obvious that I missed.

ablmu65
Re: That makes sense to me. In the beginning stages of inventing Mormonism, Smith's circle of co-conspirators was pretty small . . .
You have to give whomever was pulling all the stings a lot of credit. Their creation has lasted albeit it has done a lot of morphing along the way but it has still lasted. I wish I could have seen in their minds at that time to really understand what their end game was. Was this just a short con job that was to net them the ladies and get them out of drudges of everyday life. They seemed to go through a lot for something as false as it was. I sometimes think that JS was duped into believing much of what he spouted I can't see him as being that good of an actor. He lived the lie convincingly, that almost shows a depth of mental illness that borders on psychotic. Could he have been groomed for this role by parents and others when he at a young age showed signs of being a little different. Is it possible that the roots of this "Made in America" religious experience Inc. went back further, just waiting for the right person to fill the shoes needed to put it into motion. You look at all the things and notions of that time period that didn't make it off the ground and yet why did this one take root and continue.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"