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Posted by: wisewoman ( )
Date: May 18, 2012 11:12PM

My Dad STOOD UP in Stake Conference when Paul H Dunn was telling his WWII stories and said "that is not the truth! I was there! (Iwo Jima)" He didn't say "Liar" but Dad sure upset the TBM extended family. It was such poetic justice when the truth came out.

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Posted by: The StalkerDog™ ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 12:03AM

Did any of the big-shots have anything to say? Did he get in trouble?

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 12:13AM

He was either released or put on Emeritus status.

Family had a website for a while ... not 'exactly' defending him, but rather trying to put a positive message about him out there (don't blame them).

MANY of the people who heard these things ... he was a popular speaker, made tapes, etc.... were PISSED.

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Posted by: amos2 ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 01:06AM

When I was a kid my WWII-vet grandpa also said PHD's stories were made up. Not only that, he ripped off my grandparent's in a sour business scheme, and they had to mortgage their house again.

I didn't remember or care for decades. I went inactive then active again and never heard a thing about it in 20 years.

Then a few years ago I went into the military at a relatively older age, and I was in basic course. I went to church at the on-post branch along with a bunch of other LDS servicemembers.

A priesthood teacher was playing an audio CD of fantastic war heroism by a mormon WWII vet, serially week by week. At first it didn't come back to me. What tipped me off was that I knew some WWII history on my own.

One story claimed that wave after wave of his Pacific island landing force, one ship's worth being 3000 men, were wiped out, and that of his own wave he was one of just a few survivors.

I knew that if over 3000 men had been killed in one day, that would have been one of the few top battles of the Pacific. That kind of losses makes it comparable to Iwo Jima.

Yet, he didn't name the island or the battle. That's not at all typical of WWII vets, who are typically specific about the battles they were in, especially big ones. The thought occured to me that the stories were exaggerated.

Then I faintly remembered my mom telling me as a kid about some GA jackass making up stories and ripping off grandma and grandpa. I wondered if it was the same guy. I called mom and she told me yes it was Paul H. Dunn and that he had been censured by the church...better let this unwitting teacher know.

The sick irony was immediately apparent; pep-talking real servicemenbers, all of whom including myself would be in Iraq or Afghanistan soon, with not only impossibly fake war stories...but claiming that it was great faith in their own church that did it.

Just to make sure I was right, I printed off PHD's old archived apology in the Church News from something like 1992 (I had to subcribe to access the archives). I thought the teacher would thank me for letting him know. I did it discretely just between him and me.


He got defensive. He smirked and said something like oh yes he knew about those accusations against PHD by a BYU employee...who went to the press after he was TOLD NOT TO, and lost his job over it. Apparently, to this teacher, the whistleblower's fate of going against the church proved he was wrong.

I don't know if he looked at the Church News printout.

He looked at me with contempt. Who knows, now he might say "see, you left the church...look what happens to people who criticize the leaders of the church, even if they're right".

My faith collapsed in Iraq actually, not quite a year later. I never did anything heroic, not like PHD stories for sure. But, it's a sick irony that fake miraculous war stories told by a pathologically dishonest emeritus GA were being told to servicemembers on their way there.

And, it's an example of how the church does damage control. The church found out prvately about the dishonesty, and their course of action was to privately discipline Dunn without retracting his widely sold bogus material. It only went public because a conscientious whisteblower, at great risk and cost to himself, told the press. The thousands of duped consumers of Dunn's stories had the right to know. The church was willing to let known lies stay in circulation to protect the church's reputation. They were willing to threaten the whistleblower. They only did anything at all because they got caught.

Paul H Dunn may be old news, but as of a few years ago his bullsh1t was STILL being used in church!

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: May 21, 2012 12:42PM

Ya know, being one of the oldsters who grew up listening to PHD, hearing him speak a number of times at BYU and Stake Conf, etc. and "feeling the spirit" i.e., getting emotional, when I heard that stuff and and then feeling stupid when it came out that he was such a con artist, I forget that there are people who were too young to remember all that stuff and who can now be sucked in by those stories again.

So hard to believe people are dredging those stories up again and so awful to hear that they are being used on servicemen and women as faith promoting before they go into battle.

Trust me, I know through a long-time friend who is related to the Dunn family by marriage that the whole family are as big con-artists as the Smith family was in the 1800s. The skeletons just keep falling out of the family closet and luckily, the big one (having to do with PHD's father) fell out after PHD was put on emeritus status and they'd already been knocked off their thrones. But it's really hillarious to see people who used to think they were hot schit because they were related to or had a connection to Dunn now get laughed out of the room if they bring that up.

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Posted by: Mormon Observer ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 04:15AM

I met him when he was the speaker for my LDS Institute graduation. He gave a mesmerizing talk and I lined up to meet him afterwards. He was a big man and

when I looked up into his eyes, it was if his soul was reflected there. He was as cold as ice.

I've known warmer icebergs and I was born and raised in Alaska!
It was confusing to me at the time; why would such a great speaker be so cold inside? No warmth at all in his face or eyes up close meeting the crowd.

A few years later he was exposed for the fraud he was. Maybe he was one of those narcissistic egos who only cared about himself and didn't care who he hurt or lied about....

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Posted by: anona ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 11:29AM

I was just a teenager when I heard Paul Dunn speak in Riverside,CA and I was so impressed by his stories that it cemented me to the Mormon church for years.

Funny part is, the family who took me to the meeting was my dentist. His wife actually expressed doubts afterwards, wondering aloud if his stories weren't a bit exaggerated. But she was waved aside by her husband, who stated that a man of Dunn's stature in the church would not do such a thing.

Indeed. Damn liar.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 11:42AM

When we were stationed in Okinawa, PHD came to speak at a combined Japanese/American Servicemen gathering. He had story after story of landing in Okinawa. One was finding some dead and wounded Japanese in a cave on Okinawa, and giving aid to one of the wounded, a young kid. As usual in a Dunn talk, he turned to basebal (AND the Japanese), saying that the he and the kid talked baseball through an interpreter.

"And then this young man did something wonderful and extraordinary: He surrendered."

At this point, tears came to all the faces of the Japanese who were present--it was obviously very moving--while the Americans, thinking it was a punch line, laughed uncontrolably.

Afterward, we all stood in line to meet him. His wife was standing off to the side, so DW says, "We should go meet her." We stepped out of line and shook her hand and made chit-chat. I said something about her husband having a lot of these stories. She said, "OH GEEZ, if you only knew!"

You can imagine how it must have been around the Dunn household, always dozens upon dozens of fabricated stories, his wife probably always shaking her head and saying to herself, "That's a new one." I think that Dunn was just a pathological liar who was full of himself and could speak fairly well. The perfect combination.

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Posted by: m ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 11:46AM

In a twist or irony... wasn't it Boyd K Packers nephew that outed Paul Dunn ?
I believe he was a local TV reporter Lynn Packer and lost his job over it?
Lost his job over outing a liar? How does that work?,,, oh yeah this was Utah

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Posted by: Moroni Marten ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 07:06PM

Yes, I beleive it was KSL reporter Lynn Packer who broke the story on PHD. KSL "management" (i.e. LDS Church) was not pleased. Lynn was disgraced and fired as I recall.

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Posted by: allwhowander ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 12:02PM

I saw Paul Dunn speak as a young teen. I believe it was a large youth conference. He was an excellent speaker and knew how to work the crowd. I think we were all in tears, or laughing, or reflective just as we were supposed to be. I felt the spirit very strongly and really connected to the church.

Now I know he was just a very talented speaker who knew how to work the crowd, but at 12-14 years old I took it as proof the church was true.

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Posted by: PapaKen ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 12:16PM

OK, OK. PHD was a damned liar. And his stories probably kept me trying to be a good little LDS boy longer than I would have otherwise been.

But here are some good lessons I learned from him, after listening to him speak in my mission (France, 1970 or 71):

1. Attitude determines altitude. The more we believe in our ability to achieve greater heights, the higher we'll fly in life.

2. Preaching the gospel should not necessarily follow the prescribed formula. He gave an example of a "tough nut" "professional investigator" to whom the missionaries took him for a visit. They had never able to get through to the man in any meaningful way, so they asked PHD to give it a try. He arrived at the investigator's door and noticed the Persian carpet in the entry way. PHD fell to his knees and began touching the rug in a loving way. "You like Persian carpets?" asked the man. PHD replied, "I LOVE Persian carpets!" -- Well, to me, that was an unorthodox way of getting through to a "tough investigator."

(maybe it was a made-up story, but it gave me a new perspective on how to do my "job" as a missionary.)

3. Why fly close to the trees? PHD described how his fellow military pilots would buzz the tops of the trees, seeing who would dare to fly the closest to the trees, endangering their lives. He advised us to keep a safe distance from danger, not only in sin, but also in physical danger. That made a lot of sense to me at the time.

4. Apparently he wrote a book about the meaning of the scriptures, or Christ's teachings, or something along those lines, and he originally titled it "What the Scriptures really mean." He had it reviewed by one of the Apostles who read it and agreed with it except for the title. PHD described the Apostle leaning forward and asking him, "How do you KNOW what they mean?" PHD says he then decided to change the title.

He was such a fun speaker to listen to. I was really sorry to find out that he was a damned liar.

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Posted by: jpt ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 01:05PM

was a fighter pilot, and he told the same aviation stories....


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Posted by: DNA ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 08:52PM

jpt Wrote:
> was a fighter pilot, and he told the same aviation
> stories....
> fwiw.

Hartman Rector was friends with someone in my SLC ward, and he came and did a combined Priesthood RS class. In it, he talked about personally shooting Germans, and smiled and in a different tone said, “I liked shooting Germans.” I was a bit shocked. I thought that it may be necessary to shoot Germans, but in all my growing up and hearing WWII stories, I never heard anyone talk about enjoying shooting the enemy.

He also said something very racist about Indians that shocked me. I told the Bishop afterwards that I found Hartman’s speech to us offensive and racist, but I think that I was the only one that had a complaint about it.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: May 20, 2012 11:40AM

Bullshit is still bullshit, and it don't stink no less whether your grandpa be spreading it or Thomas Ass Monson himself.

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Posted by: anonemouse ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 12:54PM

Pilot; I thought most of is stories were about fox holes and front lines.
OK he has in acave in Okiawa talking baseball to a wounded Japinese soldier.
He is one of a few survivors of 3,000 men???
He is a pilot flying airplanes????
My goodness in just a few posts he is all over the place.
I have known men that know matter what your story is they have one better, he sounds like one of those.

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Posted by: lillium ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 01:29PM

Sunstone has several articles about him.

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Posted by: Anonymous ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 01:58PM

I, too, grew up listening to Paul Dunn's WWW11 stories, and, like most, was mesmerized by them. As one of his missionaries I got to know him fairly well. I sat at his dinner table listening to his exploits. I'm not defending his storytelling, certainly his dishonestly caused a lot of emotional harm to others – most particularly to himself , his family, and to those who knew him. I also believe, though, that there was another side to PHD that few ever knew. In fact, I have come to believe that, like many in the church, he was a reluctant Mormon. His wife was the daughter of a protestant minister and during missionary conferences he would tells us, wistfully, how he came to be a GA and how he wondered how his life might have been different had he chosen another path. It might not be a popular sentiment on this board, but I think on some level PHD was a victim of the Mormon church and that he tried to compensate for this with self destructive behavior. In fact, of the many books that he wrote, and that are now censored, he might well have written one about what happens to a person who dedicates his life to a church that exposes its members to persistent religious abuse and cognitive dissonance. I believe that his life, otherwise exemplary, was an example of such misfortune.

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Posted by: caedmon ( )
Date: May 20, 2012 11:54AM

Sorry, no way.

"Although he was never indicted for any crime, Paul H. Dunn's reputation suffered because of the Afco affair. The Wall Street Journal for Nov. 9, 1983, reported: '... Paul H. Dunn... whose church salary is $40,000 a year, was a director of Afco Enterprises, a real-estate venture until 1978. Afco collapsed four years later; and its owner, Grant C. Affleck, was recently indicted for mail fraud, securities fraud and bankruptcy fraud. Despite Mr. Dunn's 1978 resignation, records in the U. S. District Court civil suit here show that he continued to have ties with Afco until it entered bankruptcy proceedings in 1982.... and gave advice to directors after he resigned.... A few days before Afco entered bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Dunn wrote a disgruntled Afco investor a letter calling Mr. Affleck, a fellow Mormon, 'fair and Christlike.' U. S. Attorney Brent Ward... says that about 650 investors lost over $20 million through Afco investments.'

While Paul Dunn would have us believe that his motives for telling these tall tales were pure, a careful examination of this whole matter does not tend to exonerate him. The Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 17, 1991, quoted the following from an apologetic statement made by Mr. Dunn: "I have on some occasions changed the names of people involved to provide confidentiality..." This statement does not explain his use of the name "Harold Brown" In his story concerning patriotism. Paul Dunn claims that it was actually "Phillip Cocroft" who died on "the island of Okinawa." Since Cocroft was dead, there would be no reason to protect his confidentiality. It would appear, then, that if Mr. Dunn was trying "to provide confidentiality," it would have been with regard to the fact that his story was spurious.

In the same statement quoted above, Paul Dunn wrote: "...I have never intended to mislead or to aggrandize my own circumstances, and I regret that such an impression may have been given." (Ibid.) Mr. Dunn's claim that he has not attempted to "mislead" the public is absolutely incredible. One would wonder what he thinks the word "mislead" means. If he was not misleading people, what was he doing?

Dunn made a lot of money with his stories. I assume he is still making money as you can find a book he co-authored with Richard Eyre still on sale at Deseret Books.

And Amazon:

Like other LDS leaders his ego was inflated as he basked in the admiration of the minions.

And what happened to Lynn Packer? The honest man in this story?

"Gordon Whiting, then chairman of the BYU communications department, had warned Packer in a memo that 'publication of the Paul Dunn article will damage the church, will damage the university, will damage the department and will damage you.'

"Whiting acknowledged that Packer's contract was not renewed for the 1990-91 school year in part because Packer was violating church and university policies that prohibit public criticism of church leaders, even if the criticism is true." (Arizona Republic, Feb. 16, 1991)

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Posted by: Plutarch ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 07:01PM

Oops. N/T

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Posted by: sam ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 07:05PM

I always wondered if some of the GA's also told fibs or exaggerate their stories to make them sound better. I have always wondered about TSM's stories and how truthful those are or are they made up or at least "adjusted" to make the story sound better

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Posted by: snowednomore ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 11:34PM

Like the crazy story Tommy told in Priesthood session a couple of years ago about the guy cheating in his college class by putting his textbook under his desk during an exam and turning the pages with his toes to look up answers. As if that would not be obvious to everyone in the room. Let alone slow and tedious. Might find one or two answers. TSM is a joke! And a liar just like PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper).

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Posted by: David Jason ( )
Date: August 23, 2013 10:05AM

I remember hiding my cheat sheet under the desk of the kid in front of me in high school. I don't think turning a textbook with your toes would be very efficient, but it's a believable story to me.

I admit it I cheated a lot in school.

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Posted by: dthenonreligious ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 07:12PM

there was this older man who was at the battle of Iwo Jima, in the mission. He called a PHD a liar and a coward, when one of my companions brought up his stories. He was a great guy.

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Posted by: delt1995 ( )
Date: May 19, 2012 08:24PM

Paul H Dunn probably thought the LDS Church was a pious fraud, so he felt no guilt giving members encouraging stories.

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Posted by: chimes ( )
Date: May 20, 2012 03:10AM

hey paul.......what hast thou Dunn?

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Posted by: Xyandro ( )
Date: May 21, 2012 02:41PM

Dunn was actually the final nail in the coffin for me; after learning everything else about the church, I still was questioning due to the "spiritual witness" I'd received. When I found Dunn's lies that led so many to believe, I realized it was all emotional manipulation and that God doesn't reveal "truth".

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: August 23, 2013 05:22AM

I tossed his books and taped over the cassettes of his speeches when I found out he was a fraud.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: August 23, 2013 06:40AM

He came and spoke at the LDS chapel in Futenma, Okinawa, in the late 1970s when I was stationed there. The chapel and overflow were filled with military and local Japanese LDS families. He spun a big yarn about cleaning up on Okinawa, and how they encountered a wounded young Japanese soldier in a cave, and how he comforted the boy, finding common ground in--wait for it--baseball.

I remember distinctly what happened at one point in the story: He said, "And then the boy did something unexpected; he surrendered to me!" The American crowd split into uproarious laughter, but the Japanese crowed were silent and didn't understand why the Americans were laughing.

Afterward there was a long queue to go up and meet him, and DW and I were kind of wanting to go home at this point. As we were in the line of people chatting, we spotted Dunn's wife off to the side all by herself, with her arms folded over her chest. We left the line of people and went over to her and I said, "It could take all night to see your husband. How has the trip been for you?" She became more animated while talking and seemed to genuinely appreciate some attention. I said, "Man, your husband seems to have story for EVERYthing!" She rolled her eyes and laughed and said, "Does he ever!" Since then I've wondered what she thought of his stories, what her suspicions were, and how his fall from grace affected her.

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