| I have consistently said that Hales books, articles and lectures have taken us backwards. I think the following example of Hales attack on Bergera illustrates the direction of Hales work.
Hales begins his MI attack immediately by writing: "As a writer seeking to know how to strengthen a possible second edition, Bergera's critique provided few useful suggestions."
Bergera, in his critique suggests Hales books are "sometimes . myopic. Hales insists: "The key component-to acknowledge that God commanded
Joseph to practice plural marriage irrespective of other factors ... -requires faith" (2:87). The implication is that without the requisite faith in Smith one cannot fully understand the beginnings of Mormon polygamy."
During this past Sunstone, while Hales was presenting in his session "Libido, Theology, or an Angel's Sword? Joseph Smith's Motivation to Establish Plural Marriage," he asked everyone in the audience (about fifty people) to raise their hand if they believed in God. According to Hales, he said that less than half the hands were raised. Hales then asked how many of those believed God was actually talking to Joseph Smith. Hales the said that half of those dropped their hands, leaving less than a quarter of the people in attendance who could believe Smith and his claims of God commanding him to institute
Because of this poll, Hales decided that over three-fourths of the attendees probably could not accept his interpretation of the evidence, and this before he had even presented his evidence. Hales prejudged the audience (and I believe the world) and was convinced that he was the persecuted "one" and was fighting for the "right" side of God's work. Hales believes that since 75% of people do not see the world through his eyes, then they can only see Smith's polygamy as a function of his libido.
I think this provides hard evidence of Hales myopic world view that Bergera points out in his criticism, and yet, Hales is so blind, he has to begin his attack on Bergera with his claim that I cite above. This example also sheds light on Hales arrogance because he thinks he is better than those folks who cannot see the world as he sees the world.
I have told Hales and others, that nothing I would write or say to him will further a discussion or improve his work. I have said that the five best scholars on the life of Joseph Smith and Mormon polygamy (Quinn, Bergera, Compton, Marquardt and Vogel) have all provided Hales with clear evidence of his flawed reasoning, research, and manipulation of sources, and Hales is as entrenched as ever in his myopic world view. For Hales, when experts provide "useful suggestions" he is so blind by his myopic world view, he is incapable of seeing these "useful suggestions" when they are placed on a silver platter and handed to him. Hales books are an abomination to history and to the life of Joseph Smith. He should be ashamed, and yet he is as proud as a peacock.