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Topics surrounding forgerer Mark Hofmann. Hoffman was able to convince the Mormon Prophet and Mormon Leaders that documents he had were originals. A murderer, Hofman proved that Mormon leaders were uninspired in allowing a criminal within their inner sanctum.
| Today's Deseret News contains a story on Doralee Olds, former wife of Mark Hofmann, the Utah man who pleaded guilty in 1987 to killing two people in October 1985 in an attempt to maintain his career as a skilled forger of valuable historical documents. Olds plans to speak at the Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium at the end of this month on her experiences. She will be joined on a panel entitled "Twenty-Year Reflections on the Mark Hofmann Bombings" by Curt Bench (owner of Benchmark Books), Gretchen Sheets McNees (daughter of murder victim Kathleen Sheets and detective with the Salt Lake City Police Department), Steve Mayfield (SL Police Department crime photographer), Newell Bringhurst (Mormon historian), and Brent Metcalfe (technical editor).
| The 81 ornately inscribed signatures he forged ranged from Abraham Lincoln to Billy the Kid, Emily Dickinson to George Washington.
But for Mark Hofmann, the real money was in Joseph Smith, Martin Harris and other figures from the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In seven years, Hofmann went from a struggling Utah State University pre-med student in 1978 to a 30-year-old document dealer making millions of dollars traveling all over the country, meeting with renowned historians, even the leadership of the LDS Church -- and selling them fakes.
His motives were twofold: money, and chipping away at the LDS Church he had lost faith in during his early teens.
He still went on a church mission, during which he spent some time playing at bomb-making.
But it all ended in 1985 when his bombs started going off in Salt Lake City.
Three exploded in total, set by Hofmann to thwart whistle-blowers about to cut him off before he could make his biggest score of all -- forging the lost 116 pages of the LDS Church's Book of Mormon.
"Hofmann decided as a young man he was going to destroy Mormonism," said Gene Sessions, chairman of the Weber State University history department. "If he had come up with the lost 116 pages it would have sent shock waves through the church."
Oct. 15 marks the 20th anniversary of Hofmann's bombs. The third went off accidentally Oct. 16, critically injuring Hofmann before he could deliver it.
He is serving a life sentence in the Utah State Prison, and narrowly avoided the death penalty.
"He changed the entire profession of forgery," said George Throckmorton, a Salt Lake forensic document detective who helped bring Hofmann to justice. "He's still the best. I don't like to use the word greatest because he's a murderer. But twenty years later no one has passed him."
| Well, Well, Well, Mark Hofmann Keeps Scoring Points On The Morg |
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2005, at 08:37 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MARK HOFFMAN -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I remember finding an old ensign (october 1982) once with an amazing article about a new letter that had been found showing Sariah and Ishmael to be siblings. It was a letter written by Lucy Mack Smith to her sister while JS was translating the gold plates and had some info about the 116 pages before they were lost.
I went to LDS.org to find that article, but for some reason it was gone. I know the church removes articles that they think are damaging, but this was far less damaging than one result containing Mark Hofmann's name that showed up during my search. Curious as to why his name would show up, and my article wouldn't, I took a look at the article (Oct 1987 ensign).
It was a disclaimer about how Mark Hofmann was a fraud and how the church new all along, and they just bought the documents so they could test their authenticity, blah, blah, blah. But it contained a list Hofmann's documents stating, "The following documents and their fraudulent contents should not be used, even though they may have appeared in previous Church publications." I was shocked to find out that number 3 on the list (10 in total) was my Lucy Mack Smith letter. Needless to say I couldn't find any of the articles containing Hofmann's documents although they forgot to remove the references to them (if you have copies of the originals, don't get rid of them). If someone could tell me how to post links to ensign articles I'd be more than happy to put them here.
I never knew that letter was a fake, and the writers of the Oct 1982 ensign gave no indication that they new either. On the contrary, it seemed they were pretty proud of the fact that actual documents were turning up that supported the church's claims.
I think the church removed these articles not only for their invalidated souces, but also because of the shame caused by their contents. Anyone who reads the articles (or at least the one I read) would have to honestly admit that the church was fooled. What an embarrasment
| Mormon Mafia, Inside Stories, Mark Hoffman, Steve Christensen |
Friday, Jan 6, 2006, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Former Church Insider
Topic: MARK HOFFMAN -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I was reading the question about Steve Christensen (who died from the bomb planted in the Judge building by Mark Hoffman) in an earlier post and felt compelled to add more to the story. Steve was a friend of a friend who grew up with the family in Bountiful. Steve was a straight arrow in his church beliefs and was a bishop at the time of his death. His father, Mac Christensen owned the Mr. Mac stores in area, and unlike his brothers, Steve decided to leave the family business to strike out on his own. He was a savvy and successful young businessman and as far as I know was a stalwart in the church in spite of his access to unseemly church records and artifacts. His death was tragic and unfortunate.
As a result of his death, his brother Stan, who manages two of the Mr. Mac stores - and a really nice guy, lost his faith in the church and became inactive - and still is to this day. As far as I know, Steve's family has been well taken care of and remains active.
At the time of Steve's death, the leadership of the church was in frenzy - especially PR savvy GBH, and control freak BKP. Open access by the public to the church history department (on the first floor of COB) was forever restricted by edict from BKP - with access granted only to those who had a "church" purpose for being there, with IDs and a sign in log.
This stemmed in part from the fact that there was much more to the Mark Hoffman story than is commonly known. Because Mark was the fair haired RM with a talent for digging up the good and bad documents about the Church, he was granted access to many documents and artifacts that were not accessible even to the "Quinn" type historians of the church in their full access heydays (long before they were Exed).
The President's vault, otherwise known as "F" vault one of a series of 6 vaults located in the Granite Mountain church site in Little Cottonwood Canyon - next to where the granite blocks used in building the SL Temple were quarried. The front of the vault complex is manned and womened by employees and missionaries who duplicate genealogical microfilms to fulfill orders from church Fam. History libraries all over the world. The six vaults are connected by a corridor protected by a many ton steel door that supposedly can withstand a nuclear blast and are located far into the mountain at the rear of the complex. Each of these 6 vaults is cavernous and contains microfilm, discs, and other data files for financial, membership, genealogical and other church records. Until the Mark Hoffman episode, access to the vault was restricted to those with official church business only (although at one time tours were conducted there for the public).
Mark Hoffman was given unfettered access to the remote "F" vault that reminded me of the warehouse in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where the Ark of the Covenant was eventually placed. It is the only vault that contains artifacts, relics and original church documents such as pioneer journals and anything related to early church history. This is probably the most secure vault in the country - with the possible exception of the US gold reserves storage at Ft. Knox. There are rumors that the vault contains Joseph Smith's Jupiter talisman and seer stones among other items. You'd think the place would be organized and items would be stored logically, but at least at the time I saw it, everything seemed in disarray on dusty shelves and in piles. But it was evident that almost everything in there was "old".
Mark was given access to this vault and apparently had a co-conspirator who worked for him at the vault complex. It was discovered after Mark Hoffman was exposed, but never reported to anyone outside the inner circle of the inner circle of those who worked inside the church around this issue, that the church had actually paid a lot of money to Mark Hoffman for documents that it already owned, and that these documents had been taken out of the "F" vault. This was too embarrassing for the church to admit to anyone, but resulted in unbelievable restrictions to church history documents. The only access by anyone, even GA's to the "F" vault is now granted only by GBH.
If you'll recall in reading "Angels and Demons", the Dan Brown book, the Catholic Church also has an archives at the Vatican that no one has access to, for the same reason. Documents there have potential for harming the Catholic Church if they are disclosed in any way to the public - so they are controlled solely by the church.
With regard to the Mormon Mafia - another fact about the church that is not commonly known and is a bit scary is that the overwhelming majority of church security are former CIA and FBI agents. The church's security operation is as state of the art and sophisticated as any in the world, with the possible exception of the US security agencies.
Millions have been spent on encryption technology for communications. - (this resulted in part by the media monitoring church security radio traffic and reporting the death of Spencer Kimball, before the news was relayed to the first presidency). At the time of its purchase in the mid-80's for several million dollars, the church was the only owner of an encrypted communication system that was developed for and to a large extent by the CIA.
Many of you will remember the Clinton white house scandal involving FBI records that resulted in the suspicious death of Vincent Foster. The Clintons were digging up dirt using FBI files on their enemies.
Similarly, the church keeps records of this type on all members of the church as well as non-members whom they deem to be a potential treat to the church. The effort is ongoing and incredibly invasive - I can tell you for a fact that this particular site is monitored for people like me, by church employed hackers who easily find and identify IP addresses of those with opinions not favorable to the church, or even as you'll recall from your recommend interviews, "those who sympathize with apostates".
Membership records are tagged for those who are regarded as a threat to the church - particularly insiders. Those who have been in higher leadership positions, particularly at the Stake Presidency level, will know that new move-ins, or current members records will be sometimes tagged with "do not call to leadership position" notations on them.
There are numerous ways that the church screens for potential treats. Several of the most common are monitoring sites like this one, tracking computer use at porn sites by IP address, stationing "solid" members or older missionaries in places where they can observe and record license plate numbers of individuals who visit porn shops or strip clubs, to match them with members. Persons employed in companies or in the public venue where there salary information is available will have these records compared to tithing records to ensure that tithing is paid on the gross.
All bishops and stake presidencies are subjected to comprehensive background checks by the church prior to an official call being issued. This is to protect the church from any potential embarrassment later. There have been many frustrated stake presidents over the years who have submitted the name of a potential bishop for approval, only to find out later that the church will not approve the name, for some unknown reason.
It is also well known that the wrong remark or comment or dress or look (take your pick) to one of the, GA's, the 12 or even their secretaries, will result in a record being tagged and that individual forever being blessed with an unknown scarlet letter on his/her record. And I do really mean it's a blessing.....
In my humble opinion, absent the dead bodies, the church is in many ways much the same as in the avenging angel days of Brigham Young, where church members were so tightly controlled that they feared for their lives if they decided to leave the church or leave the Salt Lake Valley.
Somewhere there was a prophesy that the church would fall from within. I have seen a lot of waste, corruption, mismanagement, dishonesty, and particularly cover-ups and some of the most egotistical bastards I've ever encountered in my life at the highest levels of the church.
Being a former member and convert, I just wish I'd had the internet to help me find out about the "real" moron church before the missionaries talked me into baptism. I've often wondered if my life would have been the worse for not joining, I've finally reached the conclusion that it would have been much, much better.
| I was just reading through "Former Church Insiders" revelations about this and that as a former Church Employee. The one that rang my bell was his saying that Mark Hoffman had an insider accomplice who had access to the Church Historian vault. This was the first I had heard of it, but it surely explains a lot.
From what was reported in the books about Hoffman, he had been trying to sell the McClellan collection, but hadn't produced it. He was under a lot of pressure since he'd borrowed money on the promise that he had located it. But he couldn't produce it so he set off the bombs, killing two people as a cover up. What confused me was that to pull this off it seemed like he had to have been working on forging the collection in order to finally cash in on the scheme. Much later, I read on the Tanner's site that it turned out that the Collection was actually in the church's possession all the time. They have such sloppy procedures that they hadn't even known they had the collection in their vault when they arranged a signature loan for $100,00 to Hoffman on the promise of finding it.
When the church leaders found out about their having the collection was as Hoffman was still being investigated. Had they done their legal civic duty and informed the Salt Lake County Attorney, their possession of the collection would have bolstered the case against Hoffman. One concern the Prosecutor had was that if he built this case about Hoffman committing the murders to cover his scamming the collection, what if Hoffman then turned up the collection? It would blow them out of the water. The church could have alleviated their concern, but chose to hide the truth so as not to embarrass the church (no surprise there) Hoffman was then able to plea bargain because the prosecution wasn't sure of it's case.
Now, with FCI's revelation that there was a confederate in the church vault, it makes more sense. I would guess that the scheme had been to take the McClellan collection out of the vault, then "discover" it. But something must have gone wrong. Maybe the church tightened it's controls on access or the confederate was discovered or something, and here was Hoffman having already borrowed money as an advance toward producing a document he no longer had access too.
Now that only leaves one more great mystery. Who was the third bomb intended for? That is the one that he was removing from his car that was parked in front of the COB when he accidentally set it off? Well, that mystery and the mystery of how much other stuff did he sell the all seeing church that we will never hear about.
| In a recent thread, the point was essentially made that people at RFM, or in the exmo or "anti-Mormon" community in general, persist in referring to Hoffman's forged "Salamander Letter" as a genuine historical document.
Personally, I have actually not seen that to be the case. I truly cannot recall a single post at RFM (and I've read hundreds, if not thousands) that has indicated any confusion about the fraudulent nature of the Salamander Letter. (In fact the average exmo is generally about, oh, I'd say, approximately 375.45% better informed about Hoffman and his forgeries than the average TBM.) Furthermore, it was Jerald Tanner, perhaps one of the most famous "anti-Mormons" of the last 50 years, who tried to warn the LDS Church leaders about Hoffman's documents--even though the content of the forgeries strongly supported criticism of the Church's orthodox mythology.
Leaving those points aside, however, it is important to keep in mind, as Randy J. indicated in the previous thread, that the contents of the Hoffman forgeries had some basis in actual Mormon history.
Indeed, incorporating subtle or overt references to actual historical accounts and events was the key to Hoffman's initial success. Hoffman was an astute student of Mormon history and, with his understanding and knowledge of Mormon history, carefully crafted his forgeries to push all the right buttons of the Church leaders. In other words, Hoffman knew the same suppressed historical facts that several of the better informed Church leaders and faithful historians knew.
More importantly, Hoffman knew that the leaders and devout LDS historians were anxious to keep those potentially damaging historical events and accounts suppressed.
Accordingly, although nobody should be so ignorant as to cite any of Hoffman's forgeries as evidence against the authenticity of the Church (except to the extent of citing the ease with which he deceived the "Prophet" and "Apostles"), it is important to keep in mind that actual Church history was the principal source of inspiration for the contents of Hoffman's forgeries.
| Many know that in the Mark Hofmann scandal the Church was caught red handed credulously buying up documents with the sole intent of “burying” them. It took time to get the Church to ‘fess up to all they had acquired (some believe they still haven’t come completely clean). In fact, the Church operated with such precision in the matter and threw around such large amounts of money that one is left to wonder just how often the Church has “disappeared” documents of historical interest that didn’t come to light. The lingering question to this day is “how did the Church get taken in by Hofmann?” Many theories abound.
I do not mean to trivialize the awful violent actions that Hofmann perpetrated. They were real crimes with real victims. However, the Hofmann affair gives us a rare peak into the inner workings of the Church. The Church was a victim in the fraud and violence, but they seemed all too eager to step up to the plate.
Several books about the Hofmann affair were written but to me the most interesting is “Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case” by Richard Turley Jr. (not to be confused with Richard Turley Sr., his father who served in the Second Quorum of the Seventy). During the Hofmann period, Turley was brought on as one of several lawyers the Church was using to protect its interests. Turley was apparent so effective in this role that the Church hired/called him to be the managing director of the Family and Church History Department. Obviously following this blow up, the Church would rather see a lawyer looking after its history than a historian.
Anyway, the whole point of Turley’s book–which was written while he was in Church employ–was that the Church was really just a big victim in this whole thing, but they were victims for a special reason. Turley makes his closing arguments in the book:
“…church officials recognized the spiritual tragedy of abandoning all trust. ‘Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love,’ Dallin Oaks observed. ‘In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious.’”
“’The church by its nature is not going to change its basic philosophy of trusting individuals,’ church spokesman Richard Lindsay said. ‘in the log run that probably pays off.’” (p.344)
You see, the brethren were taken in because they are filled with so much trust and love that anyone could easily take advantage of them. Anyone even remotely familiar with the Church is aware that trust–in terms of letting people freely operate–is not anywhere in the program of the Church. Furthermore, if you have ever been grilled by a church authority in a “counseling” session, or simply given the temple recommend screening you will know that trust does not play a strong role. BYU professor dismissed or sanctioned for research, individuals banned from the archives and members published writings stored and filed would respectfully disagree. In truth, the Church tends to trust only as much as they have to.
But the rub is still that the Church, cutting backroom deals to hid documents, using Christensen as their shilling agent, and writing huge checks out of their own bank accounts was simply doing its thing out of “love and trust”. Unlike the “prophets of old” who could detect deceit due to their righteousness, the modern day prophets are blind to this because they just love too much.
| The Hoffman Affair. Unveiling The Mind Of Upper Echelon Mormon Leadership |
Saturday, Nov 10, 2007, at 12:52 PM
Original Author(s): Chat Spjut
Topic: MARK HOFFMAN -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Thirteen years ago, I found myself a newly temple married man, a return missionary and someone who was fully committed to the cause of Mormonism. I had always been one to question, but only to question as far as I dared myself to go. I was raised in a home where open discussion was encouraged, but only as far as I did not cross certain boundaries. Everyone raised within the strict confines of Mormonism knows of which boundaries I speak.
Being married in August and taking our honeymoon in St. George, Utah poses several problems, not the least of which is the unbearable heat of Southern Utah in summer. Now there will be those who chide and say that a honeymoon regardless of location is bound to be filled with heat which of course is something I cannot deny, but that is for another discussion. Our honeymoon abode was at my Mormon grandparent’s second home in St. George. We had everything we would need for our few days there as newlyweds. Despite the strangeness of married life, it was a welcome respite from all of the hurly-burly in preparation for marriage and the beginning of our lives together.
Four days following our temple marriage, I found myself in the living room with a desire to read. I perused my grandparent’s bookshelves for something which would satisfy my desire for a little mental relaxation. As I glanced at the many titles which offered many interesting subjects, I discovered a strange title, ‘The Mormon Murders’. My inner warning bells immediately began to sound as I stared at the title, but in the end curiosity won and I found myself delving into the pages of this intriguing book.
As I read, I found myself transported back to the Salt Lake Temple as I attended an Endowment Session with Mark Hofmann (someone I had never heard of up to this point in my life) as the events were portrayed in vivid detail. My heart raced as I continued through the pages of boundary breaking material. I discovered that Hofmann was a master forger and with those skills was able to baffle and bluff the upper ranks of Mormon leadership.
Upon my discovery of the story and content of the ‘Salamander Letter’, I found myself spinning inside as I tried to grasp why Mormon leaders, including Hinckley, would be so anxious to purchase and hide documents which so clearly showed the origins of Mormonism. I could see that another story was being told by the Mormon Church, which was in clear contrast to the official story which I so proudly told as a Mormon missionary.
As I paused from my reading, I glanced across the room at my new wife. I was afraid to tell her what I was reading. It hurt inside as I thought about what these newly discovered facts meant for my new married life and me. I had to protect her from this information by not telling her. She asked about the book I was reading, and I told her it was related to Mormon history. Her inquires went no further, and I returned to my reading.
I soon found myself returning the book to the bookshelf all the while feeling sick inside. I went into the adjoining den to think about what I had read. As I sat there digesting the information, the question of “why?” continued to roll around in my brain like a hamster on a wheel. I continued to think about the book for the rest of our honeymoon. In the end however, I buried the hurt and the fear brought on by my discoveries and bowed my head in submission and continued on.
It was not until I was making my exit from Mormonism twelve years later that it actually donned on me just how important the Hofmann story really was. It was not the question of discernment, it was not the fact Hofmann was a forger and a conman, it was that Mormon leadership was so anxious to purchase and then cover-up the documents Hofmann produced. The documents were not ignored, they were EMBRACED and ACCEPTED by Mormon authorities as being authentic! Not because of the author or the time, but because of the story the documents revealed about the Mormon Church and its origin.
To me this understanding is a clear window into the mind of the upper echelon of Mormon leadership. They know the rest of the story, the complete story, the accurate story. They know. And that is why Hofmann could do what he did.
| "...The real villain was President Gordon B. Hinckley. He saw no chagrin on Hinckley's broad, implacable face. No repentance. No apologies. No admission of wrongdoing. Just arrogance--plain unbridled arrogance. As far as he was concerned, Hinckley had fallen for Mark Hofmann's blackmail, bought up damaging documents and hidden them away in his private vault, and in so doing, indirectly contributed to the deaths of two innocent people.
"And then lied about it...Hinckley had lied outright by saying he had met with Mark Hofmann only casually and with Steve Christensen (first bomb victim) only once; he had lied indirectly by allowing Church spokesmen to deny that the Church owned documents he had bought."
"'How is it that you felt comfortable relying on Mr. Hofmann as a sole basis for purchasing these documents?'
"Hinckley looked him in the eye. 'We relied on Mark Hofmann's integrity.' he said gravely. 'If we were deceived, then it's to his eternal detriment.'
"Wow, thought Biggs (county attorney). Heavy stuff. But hardly responsive.
"They tried another approach. As per Joseph Smith's instruction, every good Mormon is supposed to keep a detailed daily diary of his or her activities. Over the years, the Church's leaders had been extraordinarily conscientious in obeying that injunction. So they asked to see Hinckley's diary entries for his meetings with Mark Hofmann. 'I don't keep a diary,' Hinckley responded quickly, as if he were prepared for the question.
"After another hour of evasions, memory lapses, and sermonettes, Biggs lost his patience. 'President Hinckley. This has been in the news---people have died---isn't there any way we can get some information about your meetings with Hofmann?'
"Hinckley couldn't contain his indignation. 'This is the least of my concerns,' he huffed. 'I am an extremely busy man. I have worldwide concerns. Mr. Hofmann is a postscript...' he reached for the rest of the phrase, '...in the walk of life.'
"You wish, thought David Biggs.
"When Bob Stott (devout Mormon; head county prosecutor) finally worked up the courage to talk about Hinckley's testimony at the upcoming preliminary hearing Wilford Kirton (Church attorney) jumped in.
"'President Hinckley doesn't wish to testify at the hearing. We think it would be in everyone's best interests to not have him testify.'
"Someone suggested that he would have to testify at trial.
"You don't understand, said Kirton imperiously. President Hinckley does not wish to testify at the hearing, at the trial, at anything.
"Even Stott had to be outraged. This was putting him, as a devout member of the Church, under wholly unacceptable pressure.
"Hinckley had obviously wanted to stay out of this discussion, but it was clear from the prosecutors' reaction that nothing less than his personal intervention would calm the furor that Kirton's comments had unleashed. So he decided to give another sermonette, this one on the subject of 'priorities.' He sat down with Stott as a father would sit down with a wayward son.
"'This isn't that significant, as it relates to Church matters,' he said softly. 'It's the Church that matters. You have to consider the Church first. I don't wish to testify.'
"This time Stott said nothing.
"But that wasn't all Hinckley wanted. 'I think it would be in the best interests of the Church,' he added in the same mellow voice, 'if you simply dismissed the charge.'"
| Church Lied About The Number Of Documents It Acquired From Mark Hoffman |
Monday, Feb 9, 2009, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: MARK HOFFMAN -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Similar to the Prop 8 deception,the mormon church initially stated it spent a little over a $1000, but later investigators find $200,000 to $300,000 had been spent.
Lying seems to be a bad habit for the mormon leaders.
During the Mark Hoffman/Salamander murder investigation the church initially stated they obtained 40 documents from Hoffman. During the investigation the number changed to around 400.
"Since the Church has already revised the number of Hofmann documents it acquired from "40-some" to almost 400, I wonder if there could be even more. It appears that some of the Hofmann documents that the Church obtained came through his friend Lyn Jacobs. At the preliminary hearing Jacobs testified that he "was in the habit of making a great deal of book trades with Don Schmidt. In other words, with the Church Historian's Office." In the interview in Sunstone, pages 10-11, Lyn Jacobs gave this information about his contact with Church Archives:"
| At least once a month for over 5 years (1980-1985) Gordon B. Hinckley (at that time the acting President of the Church---since the other 3 Members of the First Presidency were senile) met in person with Mark Hofmann, inside President Hinckley's office. Hofmann was an active Mormon who was a secret atheist who was forging false documents and making them look old, in order to make Joseph Smith and Brigham Young look bad (c'mon...do they really need help looking bad?). Hinckley purchased many of these forged documents personally, and then spirited away into the First Presidency's Vault (never again--hopefully--to see the light of day). Then Hofmann would "leak" the contents to the Press, and then tell Hinckley that his own archivists had leaked the letters out. And Hinckley believed Hofmann--each and every time. |
But Hofmann got 1 million dollars in debt, so he had to forge "An Oath of a Freeman" (two of them---the oldest printed thing in America) in order to get 2 million; to pay off all his debts and have enough over to buy a huge house in Emigration Canyon. But, forging "Oath of a Freeman" meant he was delayed in forging "The McClellin Collection", and many people he owned were demanding payment or he would loose everything he had.
Mark Hofmann built pipe-bombs and killed two innocent people, as a way to delay a sale that the Church was arranging. He needed more time to forge letters belonging to "The McClellin Collection". So, he killed the Church's "go-between" (Steve Christensen) and the tried to kill Christensen's old boss, but killed his wife (Kathy Sheets) instead; simply to throw police off tract; because Christensen once worked for Kathy Sheets husband in a company that lost investors over 100 million dollars. Indeed, at first, police did suspect angered ex-investors who lost everything (and there were thousands).
Now, the DAY he killed Kathy Sheets Hofmann met with Elder Dallin Oaks, who was arranging for Hofmann a secret UNsecured bank loan for $185,000 for First Interstate Bank. Why "secret"? Because the Church wanted to "cover-up" the fact that they had asked a rich Mormon to purchase the McClellin Collection from Hofmann, then "give" it to the Church (secretly). Then the Church could say, "We never purchased any such document".
Anyway, Hofmann killing Christensen did not work, because the Church immediately arranged for a new go-between. So, Hofmann built another bomb, and was planning to kill the new go-between, but he dropped the bomb as he was arming it in his car, and it blew up. Hofmann was seriously injured, but survived. Police and investigators discovered his documents were forgeries, and that he (Hofmann) had built the bombs. Hofmann confessed to everthing to avoid the death penalty.
When Hinckley was told that Hofmann was arrested, he purported said to investigators: "You're got the wrong man! Brother Hofmann is innocent!"
My question to True Believing Mormons is this: WHERE was the Spirit of Discernment that all Church leaders claim to have, when they were dealing with Mark Hofmann, who fooled them all for over 5 years?"
| It Was 16 Years Ago This Summer That I Came Across A Small Book In Northern BC That Changed My Life |
Friday, Oct 15, 2010, at 01:54 PM
Original Author(s): Cdnxmo
Topic: MARK HOFFMAN -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Sixteen years ago this summer, I was still a Mormon, and working in Smithers, a small town of 5,000 people in northern British Columbia. One day, I went into the small Smithers library (for the first time) and started looking around.
After some minutes, I came across a rack of paperback books. As I rotated the rack, looking at the titles, one caught my eye: The Mormon Murders, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White. I removed the book from the rack, turned it over, and started to read the summary on the back cover:
"On October 15, 1985, two pipe bombs shook the calm of Salt Lake City, Utah, killing two people. The only link - both victims belonged to the Mormon Church. The next day, a third bomb was detonated in the parked car of church-going family man, Mark Hoffman. Incredibly, he survived. It wasn't until authorities questioned the strangely evasive Hoffman that another, more shocking link between the victims emerged...
It was the appearance of an alleged historic document that challenged the very bedrock of Mormon teaching, questioned the legitimacy of its founder, and threatened to disillusion millions of its faithful - unless the Mormon hierarchy buried the evidence.
Drawing on exclusive interviews, The Mormon Murders reconstructs a secret conspiracy of God, greed, and murder that would expose one of the most ingenious con men in the annals of crime - and shake the very foundation of a multibillion-dollar empire to its core."
I had been an 'active' member when news of the 'Salamander Letter' spread through the church, which publicly released its contents in April 1985, two months before I finished my mission.
Seven years later, I remembered the 'Salamander Letter'. "Wasn't Mark Hoffman somehow involved in that document?", I thought. Intrigued, I signed out The Mormon Murders and began to read as I walked back to the motel.
The book revealed to me - a naïve Mormon if there ever was one - 'faith-disrupting' facts like Joseph Smith's fascination with folk magic and his use of amulets and 'seer' stones. The Mormon Murders also mentioned how Smith defrauded people in his Kirtland Bank scheme and other aspects of Mormon history that the LDS Church had not disclosed to me during my formative, mission and young adult years.
The Mormon Murders also provided me with a critical 'piece' of a 'puzzle' that had eluded me for months. The book mentioned one David Sorenson, a successful Mormon businessman from Salt Lake City, who was a mission president in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1985 during the Hoffman scandal.
According to the book, Sorenson was contacted by a Seventy (his name escapes me at the moment - it's in the book) and asked to buy (for a large sum of money) the much-feared McLellin Papers, which Mark Hoffman told senior church leaders he'd found. The plan, which Hinckley - who was effectively acting as church president at the time because of Ezra T. Benson's mental deterioration - was aware of, involved Sorenson discreetly obtaining the McLellin Papers and 'donating' them to the church.
Why the secrecy? Because according to Naifeh and White, Hinckley and other senior GAs wanted to be able to say, if asked, that the church had not bought the McLellin Papers, implying that they were not in the church's possession when in fact they would be.
Why were the McLellin Papers reportedly feared by Hinckley and other GA's? Because in Mormon circles it was rumored that they contained damning facts about Joseph Smith and early church history that if rank-and-file members discovered, would result in an exodus of people from the multi-billion-dollar church, including tithe-payers. Not only official church 'history' had to be protected, but LDS financial interests as well.
In the summer of 1991, I attended a picnic held by the members of the ward that I attended irregularly. There I met a very socially awkward young man (18 years old) who had a high-pitched voice and strong (bad) body odor. Initially, I negatively judged him in my mind. However, I found out later that he - his name was Frank - also had cerebral palsy and experienced spasm attacks frequently.
Some weeks after the picnic, I happened to be in the chapel hallway after Sunday meetings when Frank went into a spasm. Two of us helped him down to the floor, removed his glasses, loosened his tie, and made sure that he didn't hit the walls as he thrashed around. I was surprised at the power of his spasms, which eventually subsided. I sat down on the floor next to Frank and began to speak with him. I don't know why, but as I did so I felt strongly that I needed to become his friend. He was nearly 10 years my junior and not the type of person with whom I'd naturally want to strike up a friendship.
For Canadian Thanksgiving that year, I asked my Mormon mother and stepfather if it would be OK if Frank joined us for dinner since he had no family locally. They agreed. After dinner, Frank was speaking with my older sister in the livingroom while I washed dishes in the kitchen. I heard him tell Lynn about a 'special' relationship with a 25-year old Mormon missionary - Elder James Victor - from Orange County, CA that he had when he was 12.
Frank said that he spent a lot of time with Elder Victor on splits and slept over in the missionaries' apartment. He also told Lynn that he sat in Victor's lap in church, which set off an 'alarm' inside me.
I subsequently learned from Frank that his family was very messed-up. His mother, who joined the LDS Church and participated infrequently, was addicted to drugs. Frank's stepfather hated and brutalized him, whipping him with strands of thick wire, crushing him between the washing machine and dryer, and committing others acts of severe abuse.
Over the course of several visits with Frank between late 1991 and 1993, the truth emerged about his relationship with Elder Victor. I took notes in order to prepare a report for the police in the community where Victor and his companion, and Frank and his family had lived.
Like Joseph Smith, Elder James Victor preyed on vulnerable people. For example, after Victor found out that Frank came from an abusive home, he promised Frank not only a bike, but that he would return after his mission and take Frank back to California with him, where he would be safe.
However, as Frank spent more and more time with Elder Victor, the missionary's dark side emerged. One day, on a whim Victor burned Frank on his leg with a heated knife, causing a scar. He also choked Frank, and laughed after doing so. He was a sadistic bully who had been sent on a mission by Mormon men who believed and claimed to have 'keys of divine inspiration' and 'the priesthood power of God.'
During an evening when Frank slept over in the missionaries' apartment, in the dark, and with Victor's companion supposedly sleeping, Victor laid down beside Frank. and started to caress his hair, whispering to Frank about their 'special' relationship. Then he moved his hand into Frank's PJ bottoms (* See Editor Note below this paragraph) and then put his fat body on top of the boy so that Frank couldn't breathe. At the point of suffocation, Victor finally removed himself. The next day, he, his companion and Frank attended church, where Victor took the Sacrament.
MC Editor Note: Edited for content with all due respect to CdnXMo, the above paragraph has been edited out for graphic sexual content. Please view the entire thread here: http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index...
Victor also told Frank that he had sexually molested his cousin before starting his mission, and another Elder/missionary told Frank that Victor had come on to him.
Much to his credit, 12-year old Frank told a church member in the local ward - Judy - about what Elder Victor did. She insisted that the mission president be informed, which Frank did with Judy's help and support. The mission president's tone implied incredulity, according to what Frank described to me. "Had Frank spoken to any church member other than Judy about what happened?", asked the mission president. "No", Frank replied. "Good.", the mission president responded. "Make sure that you don't."
Shortly after Frank informed the mission president about what Elder Victor had done, the missionary was transferred out of the community where Frank lived. However, the mission president allowed Victor to finish his mission. In typical Mormon patriarchal fashion, he never contacted the police about the assault and sexual crimes allegedly committed by one of the missionaries under his priesthood 'command.'
Learning that James Victor was still in the mission field, Frank told his bishop about what happened and what he'd told the mission president. He was instructed to forgive Victor and forget the entire matter.
Who was the mission president? Successful Mormon businessman and close 'friend' of LDS General Authorities, David Sorenson.
For months after learning about what James Victor had done to Frank, I was unable in my Mormonism-'programmed' mind to figure out why Sorenson had been made a General Authority. Because of him crimes committed by an Elder under him in the mission 'chain of command' had not been investigated by police, and justice had not been served. A handicapped boy had suffered at the hands (literally) of a church officer - a missionary - and nothing had been done, or was being done, by the LDS Church to set things right.
Why hadn't Sorenson felt the 'prompting' of 'the Holy Ghost', which 'testifies of truth', according to LDS doctrine, upon hearing what Frank told him? Moreover, why hadn't Hinckley and other Mormon 'prophets' felt that something was amiss when Sorenson's name was put forward to become a Seventy?
I was repeatedly taught by the church during my formative years that the men in Salt Lake City who led the LDS Church had 'the power of discernment', yet Mark Hoffman had duped them into buying his forgeries, and crimes against my friend had gone unanswered because of a man who was moving way up in the priesthood ranks. Why had 'prophets, seers and revelators' of the 'one, true church' allowed a man who failed to 'heed the Spirit' and didn't do his duty upon being informed of an alleged crime become a Seventy? For months, the answers had escaped me - until I read a paperback from the Smithers library.
The more I read The Mormon Murders, the more the 'scales of darkness' fell from my 'eyes'. I saw for the first time in my 28 years the truth about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: the organization wasn't directed by God; it was led by men who had secret agendas and were quite willing to reward a wealthy member with a prominent church position because he was willing to do them a huge favor in a 'sensitive' matter. Moreover, they used their church power and authority to ensure that the organization's propaganda about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, early church history and other aspects of Mormonism was taught to naïve people like I had been. If truth was not 'faith-promoting' and 'useful', they cared nothing for it. Such was their sense of morality and 'spiritual enlightenment.'
Epilogue: With Frank's approval, I submitted a report to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about Elder James Victor in October 1993, the same month/year I ended my membership in the cultic LDS Church. The RCMP subsequently conducted an investigation and found enough evidence to lay charges against Victor. Unfortunately, his whereabouts have been unknown for the past 15 years. The RCMP contacted church headquarters, but received virtually no help. The file/case remains open.
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