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Brigham Young University professor Daniel C. Peterson is a self-appointed Mormon Apologist. Kicked out of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute (formerly known as FARMS) for writing aggressive hit-pieces on critics of the Mormon Church. Dr. Peterson is a known agent for the Mormon Church secret police known as the SCMC. He now spends his time on Church apologetic websites attacking critics and fostering a deeply rooted martyr complex.
Information About Daniel C. Peterson From An Apologetic Standpoint
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:19 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dr. Daniel C. Peterson..

Is a Mormon Apologist that works at BYU as a professor.

He was a member of the executive council of the Neal A. Maxwell institute until he was fired.

He used to be paid directly or indirectly by the LDS Church to publish Mormon apologetic works, and even if he isn’t paid, the LDS Church looks the other way while Dr. Peterson posts tens of thousands of messages on forums as a Mormon Apologist.

Is an admitted agent for the SCMC (past, unknown if current).

Writes Mormon apologetic material.

Posts an incalculable amount of messages on Internet Forums, including MAD, MDB, and various other websites (including but not limited to blogs and online news agency comment sections). Please note that as of December, 2010 - the Mormon Apologetic And Discussion board wiped thousands of Dr. Peterson's messages from the board.

Writes hit pieces on both Mormon, Ex-Mormon and non-Mormons (see John Dehlin).

He has made himself a public figure.

He has placed himself and his works into the public where it can be read by anyone.

He has written articles defending the LDS Church on open public forums.

He has openly attacked critics of the LDS Church on open public forums.

He has attacked critics of the LDS Church in private emails, and then had those emails published on Mormon Apologetic Sites (see SHIELDS).

Has his own Facebook page so that people can "like" him.

In Early March 2006, Daniel C. Peterson was challenged to a debate concerning Mormonism with Bob McCue and Steve Benson. Daniel tucked his tail and ran. Daniel had previously stated that no Ex-Mormon was willing to challenge him. The reason Daniel did not want to debate? Bob was "[sic].. dismissed as insufficiently credentialed; unprincipled in various ways and hence likely to waste his time in debate; unworthy of his special attention in part because I have shown unscholarly tendencies in Internet postings;"

The Ex-Mormon community dismisses Daniel C. Peterson simply as a Mopologist (Mormon Apologist).
"Daniel C. Peterson launches his personal attacks against ex-Mormons, then runs and hides among his friends when evidence to back his accusations is demanded--and he realizes that, well, he just can't produce it.

There, safely tucked away in the rear lines among his Mormon compatriots, Peterson enjoys their cover, their comfort, their condolences and their kudos."
- Steve Benson, "Daniel C. Peterson: Master Mason Of Attack And Evasion" LINK.
On December 20th, 2006, Daniel C. Peterson posted the following on a Jewish Blog after the Jewish Community was in outrage over Mormons baptising Simon Wiesenthal:
I would respond that we Latter-day Saints do, quite unapologetically, insist that Jews "are not worthy enough to receive G-d's eternal blessing" "on their own."
On May 4th, 2008, in response to the Catholic Church stating that no Catholic records should be given to the Mormons, Daniel wrote on a Mormon Apologetic board:
I would guess that barring baptisms for the dead would have to be part of a broader strategy that would forbid masses for the dead, prayers for the dead, invoking the memory of the dead, and, perhaps, thinking of the dead altogether.
On November 17th, 2004 on a public blog, Daniel wrote:
The total depravity of those who disagree with me is an important article of my personal faith.
On June 4, 2012 Daniel Peterson was caught by "SocialCam" on FaceBook watching a video, "Pitbull gets a boner dancing with jenifer Lopez (Hot Booty Shaking) American Music Awards 2011."
Is "True" Mormon History Really Accessible To Members?
Thursday, Mar 10, 2005, at 08:48 AM
Original Author(s): Guy Sajer
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I was reading over on RfM the synopsis of the Van Hale show with our nemisis Daniel Peterson. If the synopsis is accuracte, Danny boy sniffed at the suggestion that more troublesome aspects of Mormon history are not accessible to members. He claimed that one can find such informatin in a slew of resources, including principally books written by LDS historians.

Now, it strikes me that this statement is very, very North American centric. The people who read such books are probably mostly in N. America, and probably predominantly in the inner-mountain West. And, they usually include people who are already interested in such information and thus more likely to seek it out anyway.

I wonder if Danny boy ever considered how someone living in the Bolivian Altiplano is going to get and read a book written by the LDS historians Danny boy loves so much. What about all the new members in Ghana? Are these books published in Russian yet? Are they translated into Korean, Japanese, German, etc. You get the idea.

I find his claim that such information is accessible to the rank and file to be absolutely ludicrous. The vast, vast majority of members know only what is spoon fed them by the correlation committee. They now absolutely nothing about the multiple versions first vision, JS's polygamy, the events and reasons leading up to JS's murder, the wacky teachings by early prophets and apostles, nothing about blood atonement, Adam God, nothing about polyandry. They know what the missionaries teach them, what's in the Ensign, Friend, New Era, and lesson manuals, and that's about it.

Peterson lives in a fantasy world where everybody shares his interests and his passions for the minutae of Mormon hisotry and doctrine. He, like other apologists, refuse to concede that they are unique among membership, the elite of the elite, if you will.

His view is so warped , his head so high up in the clouds, that he is incapable of seeing the church from the level of the rank and file, and particularly the rank and file in the developing world, most of whom will never even have the chance to read any of this stuff in their native language, assuming they can read at all.

Just who the hell is he fooling, other than himself and his acolytes?
Left The Church But Can't Leave It Alone - Those Who Oppose The LDS Church Are "Secular Anti-Mormons"
Thursday, Sep 1, 2005, at 09:49 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Here's a little clip from an email I receive from FAIR. I'm glad Daniel C. Peterson is able to tell us why we leave the church but can't leave it alone. We are all guilty on this site! According to DCP... "Thus, truly consistent secularist critics of Mormonism may have sawed off the limb on which they were sitting." It has nothing to do with the plethora of outright deceit and deception we have been subjected to over the years and possibly a desire to help others figure the truth out! These guys and gals are worse the the Third Reich propaganda machine!

Reflections on Secular Anti-Mormonism - by Daniel C. Peterson
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been subjected to a steady stream of hostile criticism and attack since its organization. In recent years, however, a new form of anti-Mormonism has appeared, relying not on Biblical proof texting or dredging up quotes from the Journal of Discourses, but rather on more subtle and nonreligious arguments. In his 2005 FAIR Conference presentation, Peterson looks at this new wave of "secular anti-Mormonism" and how this approach and its adherents attempt to refute LDS claims. Secular anti-Mormonism appears to be the preferred approach for those who "leave the Church but can't leave it alone."
Peterson looks at the atheistic and secular basis for this newer brand of anti-Mormonism and finds it seriously flawed, both in terms of its assumptions and its ramifications. "Thus, truly consistent secularist critics of Mormonism may have sawed off the limb on which they were sitting."

Read the article:
Dan Peterson Loves To Hear His Own Words, But Misses The Point Entirely.
Thursday, Sep 1, 2005, at 01:00 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I had never heard of Dan Peterson to be honest with all of you. I read the link and my observations of him fit my description of several of my former law school professors. They love to see themselves for more than they really are. In their confined academic arena, their students see them as intellectual giants and these professors bask in the adulation, but then students graduate and become lawyers. I've been hired to represent several of my former law school professors and now they are my clients. I am mildly amused that I ever held them in awe. Prof. Peterson couldn't compete in the real world so he has carved out a little enclave at BYU and Fairs where is self-important.

Here is just an example of what I find contradictory. He states:

"This is more sophisticated than the description of "Morgbots" given in my message board laboratory, but its general content is remarkably similar. Yet it is demonstrably wrong. The data rather consistently demonstrate that Latter-day Saints who live lives consistent with their religious beliefs experience greater general well-being, greater family and marital stability, less delinquency, less depression, less anxiety, and less substance abuse than those who do not, and there is very little evidence that religious belief and practice are harmful to mental health."

A few paragraphs later he states:

"With specific regard to Mormons, Utah death rates are below rates in the nation at large and in the mountain states for most major causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, accidents, pulmonary disease, pneumonia/flu, diabetes, liver disease, and atherosclerosis. Utah suicide rates are higher than the national average, but lower than the mountain states as a whole. Studies of specific LDS populations in California, Utah, and Alberta, Canada, show that LDS men are about half as likely to die of cancer as other men. LDS women also have lower cancer mortality, but the difference is not as great as for men. Death rates are lower for Latter-day Saints who have higher levels of religious participation. In short, adherence to the Mormon code of health appears to lower death rates from several diseases. The benighted Morgbots seem to be doing rather well."

I find his use of the two paragraphs interesting. In the first, Peterson claims that LDS are mentally healthy people or at least that LDS practices are not mentally harmful. In the next quoted paragraph, Peterson specifically points to Utah demographical data to support his contention that LDS live healthier lives.

What is deafeningly quiet is the lack of his addressing the very well and known use of anti-depressants in Utah. By ignoring this fact (or perception), Peterson destroys his own credibility. Nothing is 100% sunny, not even Mormonism. Those who, like Peterson, ignore reality, cannot argue against the so called secularist. Evangelists are easy to discredit because they attack with their passion and ignore logic.

It appears that Peterson must have been somewhat successful as an LDS apologist with evangelicals, but he is out of his comfort zone in countering secular challenges to Mormonism. I do agree with him in his contention that the secularist attack on Mormonism is damaging in Europe and will become a larger challenge in the US.

One problem I believe is Peterson, and those like him, will face is that the secular attack may not be defendable. The LDS church has long advocated that truth is ultimately only confirmable by the Spirit. Ironically, Peterson attacks a 19th Century seemingly ill-conceived attack on the church with this quip:

"To those who have actually attended the temple yet seen no such garb and no such rituals, Mr. Beadle might well say, with apologies once more to Groucho Marx, "Who are you gonna believe? Me, or your lying eyes?")"

What Mr. Peterson would say is: "What are you gonna believe? Your warm fuzzy heart or your lying intellect and reason?"

[Additionally, I find it interesting that Peterson attacks Mr. Beadle's misinformed attack on the LDS endowment as ignorant. But I wonder how Mr. Beadle was supposed to understand the endowment in that the LDS church fervently keeps the ceremony secret. If the only information Mr. Beadle has is from apostates, is he to blame for his misunderstanding, or is the Church to blame for its overzealous secrecy?]

It is my observation that (1) Prof., Peterson is out of his league when entering the new arena of secular attacks on the Church and (2) the Church is not presently able to defend itself in the secular arena because of its ultimate defense of warm fuzzy feelings which negate the need for logic or reason.

Lastly, I noticed that Peterson repeatedly demeaned those who disagreed with his views on religion. Is that the tactic of a good apologist? He must resort to personal insults because he either cannot refute the message, or he is too personally attached that he has lost his objectivity.

Personally, whenever I read anything in which the author resorts to name calling, I become skeptical of what is being delivered.
Criticism Of Daniel Peterson's Latest Talk, "Reflections On Secular Anti-Mormonism"
Wednesday, Sep 7, 2005, at 12:12 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I dont usually bother with polemical stuff, but, being compelled by boredom, I started reading Daniel C. Peterson's reflections on secular anti-mormonism, and made it about half way through until I got bogged down by the pretentious quotes (e.g., Bryant, Yates, Voltaire, Graucho(!), etc.) and gratuitous blatherings about his extensive world travels. I dont know this guy at all, he appears to be a professor at BYU, but is this his typical writing style? The article is awful, I have to assume its the text of a speech from their conference. Is it representative of what FAIR publishes/promotes? I learned absolutely nothing about secular anti-mormonism. How can anyone take them seriously when they promote this kind of stuff? Does anyone know this guy well enough to say whether this a representative of his writings?

In his comments I have to assume he is obliquely referencing, does anyone have any inkling who the person is whom he is referring to when he says "one frequent poster in particular, who claims simply to be doubting and troubled, but who in fact never misses an opportunity for a snide remark about his Church, in which he remains active"? Is he making reference to the bloggernacle, or just web sites in general?


- -

I read the transcript of Peterson's talk. I even enjoy pretentious quotes, but my reaction was similar to Kurt's. The paper rambles all over the place and is weighed down by irrelevant distractions. For example: Is Europe really culturally infertile? Who knows. More importantly, who the h*ck cares, since the paper is supposed to be about secular anti-Mormonism. His gratuitous line about post-War Germany having no standing to lecture anyone on anything is unmotivated by the preceding quote; it's a thoughtless and reflexive response to an imaginary opponent and, coming from Peterson as a self-proclaimed Germanophile, does not inspire confidence in the rest of the paper. And, whether you agree with him on the point or not--why is he raising the issue in this paper? Was the governor of Pennsylvania barred from speaking at the '92 Democratic convention because he was pro-life, or, as some Democrats will insist, was he not invited because he didn't endorse Clinton? More importantly, what does it have to do with theissue at hand? Perhaps Peterson thinks of the entire Democratic party as secular anti-Mormons; if he did, he'd undoubtedly even get a few sustaining votes. But for others, the point is irrelevant and only weakens the paper.

As far as I could tell, Peterson doesn't distinguish clearly between secular anti-Mormonism, secular antipathy to Christianity in general, and secular misunderstanding of all forms of religious experience in general and Mormonism in particular. I don't think those three should be conflated. There's a huge difference between studied anti-Mormon agitation and uninformed statements rooted in ignorance.

Ben, you mention that it's just D. Peterson's speaking style, but I'm not sympathetic. Presenting papers at a conference requires a lot of advance preparation. If I tried to make up with spontaneity what I lacked in preparation, I would end up saying a lot of stupid things. Maybe Peterson can pull it off, but the transcript isn't strong evidence for it.

Jonathan Green

- -

To which Daniel Peterson responded:

A friend called my attention to this thread, and I had resolved not to post in it until I read the last comment. That was simply too rich to pass up.

I would like to reassure Adrian Hall that I have, in fact, been out of Utah County, and, even, outside of the entire state of Utah. Several times. Most recently, until Wednesday night, I was lecturing at universities in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, and Hong Kong. I was born and raised in California, where I also earned my doctorate following four and a half years of study in Jerusalem and Cairo. I served a mission to Switzerland. That sort of stuff.

I know, I know. More boastful travel narrative. But I'm not sure how else to make the point. I just don't want Mr. Hall to worry too much: I'm aware of the external world. Really, I am. I've even read several books by non-Mormons.

Nauseatingly yours,

- -

Let me expand on the somewhat cheeky response above by saying, simply, that (a) I disagree with your criticisms, largely because I think them misdirected, and that (b) I believe you may be confusing a rather popular presentation to a non-scholarly audience with a paper in academic philosophy or the sociology of ideas. (I was serious in my description of the presentation as "sketches and preliminary reflections.")

That said, of the critical comments here, yours were, by several light years, the most reasonable, substantive, and coherent. They could be discussed. The assertions by Kurt and the other fellow (that I'm boring, disconnected from reality, elitist, self-absorbed, nauseating, pretentious, naïve, ill-educated, clueless, and unaware) are probably true, but don't seem to lend themselves to real discussion -- not, at least, to any discussion that would interest me -- unless I were meeting with a therapist.

- -

I declined to mention specific fora for a specific reason. In the major case, I had no particular wish and no particular motive to publicize a noxious message board with which, in any event, many in the audience were already familiar. In the instance of the specific poster to whom I alluded, I chose to identify neither him nor the list upon which I encountered him because I have no intention of embarrassing him, drawing attention to him, picking a fight with him, or even talking about him individually, except in the sense that, to me, he illustrates a particularly clear illustration of a larger and rather sad phenomenon.

You're right that there are things in which I have no interest: I have no interest, for example, in defending my sense of humor, my personality, or my writing style. Those are matters of taste. At least two or three people, even beyond my family, seem to like me. It's to be expected, though, that others won't. And, so long as their dislike of me doesn't rest on unethical acts or indisputably poor behavior on my part, I'm prepared to live with that.

I regret that you learned nothing from and appreciated nothing in my presentation. Others (including some for whose judgment and writing ability I have great respect) have claimed different experiences with it. There is, as the saying goes, no disputing about taste.

I'm not inclined to view myself as the defendant and you as the (clearly rather hostile) judge, jury, and executioner in a trial of my literary output. And, anyway, I'm aware of no reason why I should regard you as representive of the "casual reader." Still, for what it's worth, I suppose I'll mention a few of my personal favorite Mormon-related pieces. After all, as an author, I like people to read what I've written, and this is an opportunity to advertise a few of them:

Many years ago, I wrote a little LDS-oriented book about the Near East, Islam, and the Arabs, entitled Abraham Divided. Some readers claim to have been able to tolerate it, though I believe it's now out of print.

There is also a book called Offenders for a Word: How Anti-Mormons Play Word Games to Attack the Latter-day Saints. It is also probably out of print.

I edit, and frequently write for, a twice-yearly journal called the FARMS Review.

But I'm probably most fond, relatively recently, of a quartet of articles:

“On the Motif of the Weeping God in Moses 7.” In Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and Stephen D. Ricks, eds., Revelation, Reason, and Faith: Essays in Honor of Truman G. Madsen (Provo: FARMS, 2002), 285-317.

“What the Manuscripts and the Eyewitnesses Tell Us about the Translation of the Book of Mormon.” In Uncovering the Original Text of the Book of Mormon: History and Findings of the Critical Text Project, edited by M. Gerald Bradford and Alison V. P. Coutts (Provo: FARMS, 2002), 67-71.

“‘Ye are Gods’: Psalm 82 and John 10 as Witnesses to the Divine Nature of Humankind.” In Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges, eds., The Disciple as Scholar: Essays on Scripture and the Ancient World in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson (Provo: FARMS, 2000), 471-594.

“Nephi and His Asherah: A Note on 1 Nephi 11:8-23.” In Mormons, Scripture, and the Ancient World: Studies in Honor of John L. Sorenson, edited by Davis Bitton (Provo: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1998), 191-243.

Feel free to read any of these, or none of them.

Incidentally, Kurt, I used your first name because you used it, and didn't use your last name because you didn't.

- -
Daniel C. Peterson
Monday, Sep 26, 2005, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I just read the author's essay and have some observations.

First, I can't tell what the point of his essay was. There were many interesting facts, especially about secularism in Europe and the ascendancy of the fast reproducting Muslims who are taking over that continent. Also, the interesting references to Mormons in overseas travel brochures, plus the fact that he browses the postings on this board.

Second, I think Mr. Peterson uses too many words to say what he means. It makes it hard to follow his theme through such a long essay. Is he verbose because he is egotistical or is he not using peer review on his writing? Or is his writing very good and artful and I am just in a bad mood tonight.

Third, he feels that certain issues brought up by "anti-Mormons" have been answered in the past and it bores him to have them brought up again and again, because they have been resolved already. I felt the same way when I was a blind obedience follower. I am still TBM but I don't feel that some of these issues have been settled like I used to.

Fourth: He suggests that the wild west atmosphere of the posts on this board are evidence of the crude, barbaric behavior that one devolves into once one leaves the Church. I think that is an unwarrented generalization. There are so many people posting and reading on this board, that one has to assume the posters come from wildly different backgrounds and reasons for coming here. As a TBM, I enjoy coming here to get "the rest of the story" that you can never get from the "Church News", "Deseret News", or KSL-TV. And I also think many of the people here are so down to earth, funny, and pleasant to post with. It's not like I can start a support group for mildly rebellious middle aged Mormon men here in my small town without biting the bullet. So I come here.
Daniel Peterson's Commentary Regarding "Anti-Mormon" Sites
Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005, at 08:59 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I actually read the whole DP article and found it a painful read, but I figure that was the least I could do for someone with enough energy to dedicate to something they find intensely boring. Here are just a few of the notes I made on the margins:

1. He insists that all the major criticisms have been refuted. Like a former president was fond of saying to anyone who asked an annoying question to which there was an inadequate answer, "I've already answered that." Well, just because the apologists have answered doesn't mean that they have answered sufficiently and to throw the word "refuted" out there is an overstatement IMHO. Perhaps in his mind Mormonism is an open, closed and shut case.

2. He talks about how DNA also refutes the widely held conservative Protestant understandings of Genesis; well perhaps then, the widely held conservative view of Genesis is in need of modification for all who hold a literal view. To the best of my knowledge, modern prophets hold a literal view of the Garden, the Tree, the serpent, the fruit, the casting out of the garden. Perhaps DNA science can help some saints understand the B of M differently and more accurately.

3. He does some impressive name calling and exaggerating -- Angry Apostates (Neal would be proud of that piece of alliteration), greatest intellectual pretensions, incapable of accurately summarizing LDS positions and arguments, vulgar, and duplicitous crank. The persons he refers to, certainly don't speak for me or for many others. I hope he found it cathartic to get his frustrations out; I don't take it personally and these are apparent exaggerations. We all need to vent at times.

4. I think he makes a good observation and describes it pretty well when it comes to some of the unsightly stuff that runs through some boards. There are some posts that are gratuitous cheap shots that often reflect the anger and frustration that many truly have, and do experience with the church. We all need to vent at times. I'd be a little slower to generalize from this small sample to the broader population of "folks who may see things differently."

5. I notice him failing to give proper credit to the original source of "the great and spacious building" which is, of course, Joseph Sr.'s own dream that Nephi also "miraculously" experienced over a thousand years earlier. Regardless of the source, this is a beautiful metaphor that can teach a great truth and enduring principles.

6. He seems to have a sincere concern for those "nice people" who are so fragile and easy prey to the cynicism found on "even relatively benign boards". He then goes on to attribute deviation from the path as a personality problem; so now something is constitutionally wrong with you and out of whack should you see things differently or honestly arrive at a different conclusion.

7. DP is then enamored with the European Secular Elite and seems to view them as far more worthy intellectual opponents who are now worth his time, compared to the cognitive riff-raff on the boards. He appears to find their repugnant ideas quite invigorating and these seem to get his intellectual juices flowing. His topic then broadens beyond Mormonism to include Christianity and religion in general as it pertains to the way they are all held in disdain by the elite. He expresses his concern again about the fragility of Eurotestimonies in the face of these secular forces and the lack of an adequate response by the believers.

It occurred to me that an adequate response would have to confront the elite on thier own lawn which would require strong intellectual argument based on scholarship, elitism, common sense and style. Well, this is definitely going to be a tough row to hoe when your big guns are "the spirit", warm feelings, questionable gold plates, and a maximumprophet in SLC.

7. He seems surprised when the media, inspite of their liberal leanings, come away with the impression that TSCC is socially retrograde, politically conservative and heirarchically corporate. How on earth does anyone in their right mind come away with such an impression?

8. He spends some time reporting some glowing population health stats for observant church members. The saints do not have a corner on the health and wellness market. He very quickly passes through the stat of Utah's suicide rate being higher than the national average; he then reframes this pesky number by essentially saying that "Utah is the best among the worst". He gets credit for acknowledging that religous people in general tend to be physically and mentally better off than non-religious counterparts. So why is Mormonism preferred over these other faiths? Is Mormonism offering any more than any other faiths when it comes to physical and mental health?

9. He mentions the "if any man lack relative plausibility" doctrine. I'd love to see this term become part of the missionary discussions and inserted into Moroni's promise; asking in sincere faith believing in relative plausibility.

10. Then there is a lengthy section on morals and ethical behavior only being able to occur in a spiritual, religous, context of belief in God. Well, there is very good evolutionary, sociobiological data (not good, warm feelings) that moral and ethical behavior is in our evolutionary interest in spite of the occasional free-loaders.

11. He mentions the allegation made by church critics that the church supposedly manipulates its history. It is a hard sell to suggest that the church doesn't and hasn't manipulated its history; the question is in what way has it manipulated its history and why? as well as what have been the effects of these manipulations?

Of course the church, has, does and will continue to manipulate its history. That's nothing to get excited about; it's the follow up questions I mentioned that are more critical.

12. Here's a cute one. He writes of "possibly imperfect leaders". I'd like to meet one church leader that will stand up and claim an absence of imperfection. Of course they are imperfect and make mistakes regularly like the rest of us; the question for me has to do with "harm" and suffering generated as a result of the mistakes and most importantly the humility to own those errors. "Mistakes were made", doesn't cut it.

Lastly, DP is clearly a very bright guy and likely a rather sincere bloke. In fact, he is most likely a smarter and better man than I am, however that doesn't make him right.
"Secret Combinations" Revisited
Monday, Oct 3, 2005, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
This article from Peterson back in 1992 ("Secret Combinations" Revisited, Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992. Pp. 184–88) attempts to show that, once again, anti-Mormons might be wrong about one accusation, SO THERE!

The far more interesting question is whether discussing an accusation of plariarism that is supported by dozens of other examples (clearly Joe stole stuff from other people) is just Dannyboy's way of deflecting the real accusations of conspiracy to commit murder leveled against the church for its own "secret combinations" practiced in the Mormon temples. The website shows a chronology of the changes made to the temple endowment (Chronology).

Rarely has a nationally recognized organization conspired to kill with so many people as the church did. Clearly, as those of us know about the endowment ceremony, Mormon initiates had this oath "sprung" upon them without prior knowledge. Clearly, the other throat-, chest- and belly-slashing oaths protected the act of conspiracy.

The church refuses to discuss how a supposedly "revealed" and "innocent" temple ceremony could/would include an "oath of vengeance"1 as it did prior to 1920. It hides behind the "sacred, not secret" canard even though the change in the temple ceremony should eliminate its sacredness and allow public discussion about its murderous designs. They threw it out! It couldn't have been sacred!

The day Dan Peterson lives the WoW is the day I'll believe he's an honest man in search of the truth about the crutch.
And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint. (DandC 89:20)
C'mon, Dan. Double-time it around the block for us. Dan "the Doughnut" Peterson

1 "You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray to Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation."
Latest Exchange With Daniel Peterson
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2005, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Daniel and I have been arguing over whether the Church can be called a "totalitarian" organization. Also note that I'm called BYU Alter Ego on Jeff Lindsay's's a long story.

I'd love to get your feedback on this.

Here is the exchange:

BYU Alter Ego: "I should have caught that. I meant to say 'has parallels with other totalitarian societies such as Mormonism.'
"Feel better?"

Daniel Peterson: "Not even slightly. Mormonism isn't a society at all. It's a doctrine. And, while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a society, it isn't a 'totalitarian society.'"

I guess I asked for it debating with an editor, but here it goes.

Instead of Mormonism, I should have said "Mormon society." I will be more diligent I promise... :)

BYU Alter Ego: "Has any Apostle of the Church ever sanctioned violence for any reason other than self defense?"

Daniel Peterson: "An irrelevant red herring. Even if an apostle had done so, it would not make the Church a totalitarian state."

Wow, you yourself have repeatedly used the violent component as an argument why the Church isn't totalitarian in nature.

How can you call that issue a "red herring?"

As for examples, Danites count, Blood Atonement counts, Mountain Meadow Massacre counts.

On the definition of "Totalitarianism:"

Daniel Peterson: "Well, let's see: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neither a "government" nor a "state," and it claims and exercises no “political authority.” Moreover, since, as a voluntary association, it lacks the genuine coercive power..."

The Church does indeed govern. By your own statement you acknowledge that governments don't have to be democratic to be governments.

The Church does also meddle in politics. Locally, they're horrendous(the alcohol crap is so stupid), on a state/Nation/worldwide level, they do it, but admittedly not as often as they used to. Brigham had a de facto nation state.

BYU Alter Ego: "Has the Church in an official capacity, ever assigned material consequence to intellectual dissent?"

Daniel Peterson: "Not to the best of my knowledge.

Has the Church sometimes withdrawn fellowship from those whose ideas, in its judgment, contravened fundamental doctrines? Yes."

What you mentioned is very much material consequence.

Excommunication, especially when it becomes public, has potential for a great deal of material consequence. BYU Professors and CES teachers forfeit employment. Reputations are tarnished, families are disrupted.

The act of excommunicating, admittedly completely doctrinal, [is]unnecessary in my opinion.

Every Deseret book published by a GA comes with huge disclaimers, why not ask dissenters to do the same?

That could have avoided the whole "September Six" circus.

Daniel Peterson: "If you're suggesting that the Church maintains some sort of intelligence-gathering operation (of the kind that the poor folks at the “Recovery” board like to imagine is spying upon them), then the answer, so far as I can determine (and that's fairly far), is No."

Does, "Strengthening Church Members Committee" ring any bells?

The Church has publically admitted to it's existence and purpose.

Here is a nice Wikipedia article on LDS history. There is a subsection title, "The Strengthening Church Members Committee: keeping files on the public statements of potential dissidents" Here is a Link

A quote from the article, "The Church explained that the Committee 'provides local church leadership with information designed to help them counsel with members who, however well-meaning, may hinder the progress of the church through public criticism.' ("Secret Files," New York Times, Aug. 22, 1992)"

BYU Alter Ego: "Does the Church in an official capacity take an interest and apply consequence for dissent regarding the minute details of it's members, ie; dress, grooming habits, language, reading material, dating habits, hobbies etc...?"

Daniel Peterson: "A bit. Not much. Certainly to nothing like the extent that, say, an Orthodox rabbi or an Amish minister pays attention to such matters within his community."

On beards:

Amish: Wait till you're married.
Jewish: Just don't use a blade.
Mormons: Shave it baby!

On Marriage:
Amish: don't intermarry
Jewish: don't intermarry
Mormons: don't intermarry

On dress:

Amish: One or two suspenders? How many pleats in a bonnet? Funny enough it matters.
Jewish: You'd better wear a hat!
Mormons: White shirt or no sacrament passing you heathen deacon!

If you dissent:
Amish: Shame, kicked out of community.
Jewish: Shame, kicked out of community.
Mormon: Shame, excommunicated.

How is it that we're better again?

BYU Alter Ego: "Had the Church in an official capacity ever suppressed cultural diversity in it's members?"

Daniel Peterson: "Much too vague a question. What do you mean by "suppress"? In any event, though, the only kind of "suppression" that would come close to making the Church a totalitarian institution would be the kind delivered at gunpoint or under bayonets. And that kind I can categorically deny."

I apologize for the vague question. Let me illustrate with a Quinn "Heirarchy" example:

"7 Oct.[ 1984], Ronald E. Poelman gives general conference talk stressing need of central headquarters to adapt its programs to cultural diversity of international church, rather than require diverse peoples to conform to Utah Mormon culture. He is required to return to empty Salt Lake Tabernacle to re-deliver censored version of his general conference talk for videotaping which includes pre-recorded track of audience coughs but deletes his endorsement of cultural diversity and decentralization. He is not allowed to speak in general conference again for more than four years. [Although I have to observe that a member of the Seventy might not get his number called for several years anyway, even with the smaller number of general authorities back then."

That help?

(note that Daniel is the one who started using Gestapo again...I'm still the same guy, just to avoid confusion)

BYU Gestapo: "Has the Church in an official capacity ever taught that the individual should be subordinate to the Church?"

Daniel Peterson: "The Church has taught that individuals should subordinate their wills to the will of God. Those who did not wish to do so were and are free not to do so."

Can I just offer as a soon to be former member that choosing to leave is not nearly as simple as you describe it?

Members, often are born into the religion and therefore have deep family connections. Converts generally soon cultivate through marriage and conversion of non-member family the same type of connections.

If I had chosen to leave while attending BYU I would have seriously jeapardized my education and degree.

Many, especially intellectual Mormons, receive employment from the Church and would have to face serious financial risk.

Contrary to what you've argued, the only thing required to create totalitarian environment is a form of control.

That, the Church has in abundance.
Daniel Peterson Again Tooting His Own Horn
Monday, Nov 7, 2005, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Daniel Peterson recently wrote to me concerning the section on him found here. He told me that the LDS Corporation does not pay him one thin dime for his work as an apologetic. While we could trace the money backwards from FARMS to BYU to the LDS Corporation, I told him that I'd look into his statement and get back with him. In response, Daniel wrote the following:
"I will be tensely awaiting the results of your research, whatever that will involve. Here are a pair of suggestions: I have no idea where you live, but, if you’re in Utah, I invite you to come by 3087 JFSB, where you will be able to see my actual name on an actual office name plate in the same area where other actual members of the actual faculty of the actual Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages have their offices. If you’re lucky, I myself (or, on your apparent theory, perhaps a deceptively similar “LDS Corporation” clone) will actually be in the office, pretending to be a professor of Arabic. Alternatively, even if you don’t live in the state, you can order one of the books produced by the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (either through the Brigham Young University bookstore or through the University of Chicago Press, which distributes them). Inside, you will find my actual name, as actual editor-in-chief of all four subsidiary series. This could win you the Pulitzer Prize.

I’m not sure what the timetable for your investigation is. I’ll be in Washington DC this next week, on business relating to the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. (Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m sticking by it.) And then, the week before Thanksgiving, I’ll be in Philadelphia, at an academic conference there relating to Near Eastern studies. (Or perhaps I’ll be somewhere else entirely, lying about Mormonism. Pending the outcome of your work, nobody will know for certain.) I probably won’t pay much attention to my e-mail during those trips, but I’ll be on pins and needles until you’re able to inform me what my salary is for. Please do hurry. "
No wonder people accuse Daniel of "tooting his own horn".

His initial message to me was concerning the topic header (for which I wrote) under his topic. I responded to him that the topic header is mine, of course, however, the articles posted under the topic (that being Daniel's name) are culled from the Ex-Mormon world. I was curious as to Daniel's statement that the LDS Church did not pay his salary to be an apologist. I wrote "I will look into your claims that the LDS Corporation does not directly pay your salary to be an apologist. If we traced the money backwards through BYU, the source would ultimately lead to the LDS Corporation and into the pocket of unsuspecting tithed members."

He responded:
"There is no secret about the fact that Brigham Young University is funded by the “LDS Corporation,” as you choose to call it, and the fact that the “LDS Corporation” is supported by the tithes of its members is also widely known (particularly among tithe payers). Likewise, the fact that I’m employed by Brigham Young University is scarcely classified information: I’m listed in University catalogues, in the University’s telephone directory, and on the University’s website (among other places). I’m not precisely sure, therefore, why you imagine that tithe payers would be “unsuspecting,” or what it is that you propose to “look into,” but I certainly wish you well in your investigations. Courage!"
He also stated:
“I trust that you will correct your misstatement soon. I’m sure that you’re committed to truth and accuracy.”
Ah, just as you are committed to the “truth” as well. Thanks for making me laugh this morning. He responded:
"I’m aware of the common assumption among a certain class of critics of the Church that I’m a mendacious mercenary hack who cares nothing for the truth. I’m not surprised that you share it. The notion is pure hostile fantasy, of course, and there is no real evidence to support it, but it reveals much about those who hold it."
A fellow Ex-Mormon sent me the following concerning FARMS and Daniel Peterson:
"Established as a private research organization in 1979, FARMS became part of BYU in 1997. At the time, Gordon B. Hinckley, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and chairman of the BYU Board of Trustees, observed that, "FARMS represents the efforts of sincere and dedicated scholars. I wish to express my strong congratulations and appreciation for those who started this effort and who have shepherded it to this point." He concluded by noting that he sees, "a bright future for this effort now through the university.""

I could be mistaken, but it sure sounds like FARMS is funded by BYU which in turn is funded by the Church.

Moreover, as he says, he was director of CPART. Well, CPART is the overarching group on top of FARMS, so yes, he most certainly was being paid for his involvement in apologetics.

"In 2001, Brigham Young University consolidated FARMS with a number of related academic concerns to form the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, now known as the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts."

He may be correct in saying that he is not paid *directly* by the Church for his apologetic undertakings, but that doesn't mean that the Church doesn't smile on him using his time for such.

Moreover, he most certainly does receive some funding from apologetics. Wasn't he paid for example for editing "Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon" for FARMS? Or did he just edit it out of love?

Unfortunately, he may be telling the truth about his activities for accounting purposes, but that doesn't make it honest.
After careful consideration, I feel that Daniel is "baiting" me into a long winded debate about the items posted above. Daniel continues to use his $10 dollar words and is quite proud of himself.

Of course, I simply told Daniel that I wasn't biting and ended the conversation. The topic header as it stands, will stay up.
Daniel Peterson's Swipe At "Edelman"
Wednesday, Nov 16, 2005, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
For those who didn't read it, an RFM poster going by "Edelman" made a comment a couple of days ago about Richard Bushman being a "credible non-Morgbot authority". I don't know whether "Edelman" wasn't aware that Bushman is a lifelong Mormon, or whether he was being satirical, since he hasn't made any further responses. But two other posters quickly set the record straight by writing that Bushman is indeed a Mormon.

Personally, I've known for years that Bushman is a Mormon, because I've owned his book "Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism" for years, and cited it in some of my posts dealing with historical issues over the years.

Anyhoo, FARMSbot Daniel Peterson ridiculed Edelman's line about Bushman in a post on the FAIR boards, which was commented on here on RFM. Peterson's obvious motive was to use Edelman's line as an example to his FAIR fellows of what he believes to be a general ignorance of the facts and/or a tendency towards wacko conspiracy theories amongst RFM posters.

Peterson's remark was, of course, a strawman. There are dozens of posts here on RFM every single day in which accurate, solid facts are provided on a number of issues. But Peterson chose not to address those posts, and instead ridiculed a single post which contained wrong information, as though Edelman's post was typical of RFM posts in general. In other words, in true strawman fashion, he attacked one of the weakest posts he could find in order to attack RFM in general.

The reason I'm writing this post is to simply state that having debated Mormon cyber-apologists for about eight years, primarily on the newsgroup, I could cite hundreds of posts from dozens of them which contain information which is every bit as incorrect or worse, and propose conspiracy theories which are just as wacky, as did "Edelman's" post about Bushman.

But, as opposed to the posts on RFM in general, the posts from TBM cyber-apologists to which I refer were not written by sort-term posters who "hit-and-ran", and were ridiculed, refuted, and run off. Rather, it was many of the "shining lights" amongst the pro-Mormons who often wrote the silliest, most outlandish, most easily refutable nonsense.

I'm talking about people like Kerry Shirts, the former "director of research" for FAIR; Russell McGregor, a New Zealander who has also written for FAIR; Woody Brison, who boasted of having been a "seminary principal"; Guy Briggs, a long-time gospel doctrine class teacher; and other assorted TBMs, such as Charles Dowis.

Unfortunately, when I provided exhaustive credible documentation which refuted those TBMs on dozens of issues, they would simply go into denial and refuse to accept the facts. A few other former TBMs, such as Steve Lowther and "runtu", who are currently posting here on RFM, eventually "saw the light" and accepted the obvious fact that the church is bogus. In fact, Steve coined the term "Mormon Denial Mechanism" to describe those TBMs' response to information which upset their cherished beliefs.

Just to cite one of dozens of examples was a statement by TBM Russell McGregor that Missouri Governor Boggs' 1838 "Extermination Order" was an attempt to wreak "genocide" among the Mormons. Russell is far from alone in his thinking; I daresay that a majority of TBMs believe pretty much the same thing. The allegation, of course, is ridiculous; not a single Mormon lost their life due to Boggs' order. It is simply a fable that has been repeated over and over in Mormon circles to feed the "Mormon persecution complex", and therefore most Mormons believe it's true.

Another such fable says that the Nauvoo-period Mormons believed that the Illinois anti-bigamy laws were unconstitutional because it violated their religious freedom to practice "plural marriage." LDS radio talk show host Van Hale repeated that myth during his program with Richard Packham a couple of weeks ago. I e-mailed Hale and informed him that contrary to his belief that Joseph Smith and other Nauvoo Mormons protested the Illinois laws by pleading "religious freedom," Smith and other Mormons in fact DENIED that they practiced polygamy, and NEVER challenged the laws. The Mormons actually continued to deny that they practiced polygamy until 1852, five years after they had emigrated to isolated Utah Territory. I sent Hale a link where he could read dozens of those denials from church leaders and official publications.

Hale did not respond to my e-mail, but on his next week's show (October 6), he repeated his false assertion that the Nauvoo Mormons challenged the Illinois laws, and he falsely claimed that the anti-bigamy laws did not apply to the Mormons' practice of "plural marriage." (If the laws didn't apply, then Joseph Smith could not have been indicted for violating those laws in May 1844, and would not have needed to vehemently deny being a polygamist in his speech of May 25.)

Meaning, even a Mormon like Van Hale, who alleges to be well-versed in Mormon history for decades, continues to repeat the same false myths EVEN AFTER BEING CORRECTED ON THEM AND GIVEN THE DOCUMENTATION WHICH SHOWS HE IS WRONG.

My overall point here being that while a newbie ignorant RFM poster might occasionally write incorrect statements (which are usually quickly corrected by more knowledgeable posters), some of the supposedly most "knowledgeable" TBMs DO THE SAME THING AND WORSE ON A REGULAR BASIS.

Meaning, Peterson would do well to clear up the massive amounts of misconceptions and misinformation which is being spread by his fellow saints, rather than spending his valuable time picking out a single incorrect statement from one RFM poster and using that to trash RFM in general. Motes and beams and all that stuff.
Daniel C. Peterson's Signature Line - A Quote From Simon G. Southerton's Book : What Was Simon Really Saying
Monday, Feb 13, 2006, at 12:23 PM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Daniel C. Peterson has been using the following quote in his signature on all of his FAIR posts lately. The quote comes from Simon G. Southerton's book, "Answers to Apologetic Claims about DNA and the Book of Mormon".
"In 600 BC there were probably several million American Indians living in the Americas. If a small group of Israelites, say less than thirty, entered such a massive native population, it would be very hard to detect their genes today."
What Daniel C. Peterson does not show is the rest of the statement from Simon's book. The actual quote continued:
In 600 BC there were probably several million American Indians living in the Americas. If a small group of Israelites, say less than thirty, entered such a massive native population, it would be very hard to detect their genes today. However, such a scenario does not square with what the Book of Mormon plainly states and with what the prophets have taught for 175 years. The Book of Mormon records that soon after their arrival in the Americas, the descendants of Lehi “multiplied exceedingly and spread upon the face of the land” (Jarom 1:8). By about 46 BC, after which time they had joined with the Mulekites, they had multiplied until they “covered the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east (Hel. 3:8). By the time of the final conflagrations around 400 AD, the Israelite populations numbered in the many hundreds of thousands if not millions. There is not a single mention in the text of groups of people living in ancient America, other than the Jaredites, Lehites and Mulekites. All three population groups had very large populations. It is hardly surprising then that Joseph Smith and all other church leaders have regarded Native Americans to be the descendants of the Lamanites. The God speaking to Joseph Smith in 1830-31 referred to the “borders of the Lamanites” when talking about missionaries being sent to teach Native Americans who had been relocated to Missouri (DandC 28: 9; 54: 8)
Again, this is another example of the tactics of Daniel C. Peterson.

"The flood won't be a problem. Free from the constraints of facts or logic, anything can become anything. One can become two, two can become three, three can become seventeen, "black" can become "grey", and then "grey" can become "white", the literal can become the metaphorical, "no" can become "maybe", and "maybe" can become "yes", horses can become tapirs, the concrete can become the mysterious, the previously known can become the unknowable. Anything can become anything. And FARMS writers can't understand why their Ph.D's alone don't induce everyone to believe their turgid nonsense." - Tal Bachman.
Daniel C. Peterson's Response To Bob Mccue's Response
Monday, Feb 20, 2006, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
From the FAIR boards:
"You want to see someone who can't write in smaller than 10,000 word chunks? There's an apostate Canadian lawyer on a certain virulently ex-Mormon board. I think it reasonably certain that no living human being has ever successfully read one of his posts completely to the end -- except, perhaps, for some of the prison guards at Abu Ghraib (where, I'm told, these posts are sometimes read aloud to hardened insurgents, in order to break their wills and get them to talk)."
I have read dozens of Bob's articles Daniel and I have read dozens of yours as well. Bob was instrumental in my road to recovery. You were not. Bob spends his time discussing the social and psychological problems within Mormonism. You spend your time trying to convince us that horses were tapirs and that the hill Cumorah was actually somewhere else. Bob tells us truth. You fabricate and twist history to fit Mormonism in your attempts to try and convince us that Mormonism is true. Bob explains to us why we feel the way we do as we find out that Mormonism is a fraud. You spend your time blasting authors and anyone who would dare state that Mormonism may not be what it claims. Bob brings us facts, figures and scientific approaches. You play the Mormon trump card that scientific evidence, facts and figures are worthless and that the only way we can understand Mormonism is by having feelings under our nipples.

I would rather read a thousand pages of Bob McCue than ever read one more piece of drivel from you, Daniel C. Peterson.

From Bob McCue:
"I am flattered to have attracted the gaze of one so wise and holy as Dr. Peterson, but disappointed that the best he could muster was a criticism based on length. I am sure he can do better than that but has only so much time to spare from his full time job as Defender of God's Kingdom.

I read an entertaining piece in Sports Illustrated last night - a summary of a recent roast of the fight promoter Don King. He was described in terms that put me in mind of Peterson and his ilk. For King, it was said, the simplest truth is no less than a three rail bank shot."
Threads About "That Apologist From FAIR"
Friday, Feb 24, 2006, at 11:46 AM
Original Author(s): Dcp Fan
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
There have been a lot of threads over the past two months which showcase, refer to, highlight and even track Daniel Peterson and his comments.

Some of these threads get closed by admin on this board and others are let to go their own course.

Frankly, I'd like to make two comments with respect to threads on Mr. Peterson.

First of all, while I find very little new and/or convincing from the man himself, particularly when it comes to BOM Historicity and the whole DNA topic, I really don't see the need to bring up anything about his personal appearance. I don't think it does this board and those seeking information from this board on their way out of mormonism any real good. In fact, I believe it discounts the credibiity of this board and many of the intelligent posters here. No different than Peterson's behavior at FAIR, from time to time, really hurts the impact of that board for TBMs.

On the other hand, I think keeping his actions, illogical statements, criticism of this board and its posters, bantering rhetoric, and fairly logical evidence that he is, in fact, paid by the LDS Church to spend a good deal of his time posting at FAIR (in excess of 4000 posts now), in the eyes of those seeking help in leaving the lds church or recovery from it, is quite appropriate for this board.

I think much of what he says and claims needs to be exposed for what it really is and FAIR would never really allow posters to challenge his comments in a manner that they should be. Let's face it, FAIR is a board that many who struggle with mormonism will be directed to by either their ecclesiastical leaders or by "google" in search of answers. Daniel Peterson, with the support of FAIR and the LDS Church has taken it upon himself to become their (FAIR) and the Church's "ordained spokesperson". He then makes himself "fair game" to be challenged and a forum such as this, in some respects, has an obligation to serve its participants seeking real answers and recovery "the other side of the story". I don't see this any different than exposing much of what past prophets have said regarding the likes of polygamy, racism and BOM geography.

When we talk about Joseph Smith, much of the evidence against him goes to his "personal character and/or integrity". If Peterson wants to designate himself as the "unofficial mantel" for FAIR and the Lds Church, those coming to this board in search of their way out of the church should have the same opportunity to see all of arguments exposed and how they are impacted by his character and integrity. For those struggling with mormonism who were led to FAIR by leaders and google, will also be led here by friends and google.

Peterson has personally elevated himself (as well as FARMS) to the level of peer review and criticism. As we all know, FAIR will not allow for such in their isolated and protected environment for him. But I think this forum should allow it for those who will undoubtedly be led to his pontification as "church provided answers" that the lds church will never officially stand behind.

I just don't think it does any good to lower the arguments or criticisms to "what he looks like". On that point (and this ones for you Daniel), I would support Mr. Petersons criticisms of various posts here. I would also support the exposure of "the other side" of his claims and arguments, especially the bias and lack of academic integrity that he and FARMS promote. A "paid hack" should be exposed as being one for those who may be otherwise misled by his oratory!
One More Thread About Daniel C. Peterson - Because I Have To. Mea Culpa
Wednesday, Mar 8, 2006, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Nightingale
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I messed up.

Last week I was reading a post at FAIR (a rare activity for me) about the JoD. Daniel Peterson mentioned an RfM poster (Sigorney) who said she had just seen the original JoD in the British Museum. Here’s what he said:

"I don't believe that I've ever heard a claim, before, that the Journal of Discourses has been altered. I'm curious to see evidence for that.

Over on the so-called "Recovery" board, Sigorney is boasting about having gone to the British Museum in London and seen the "original" Journal of Discourses "for herself."

I've been to the British Museum myself, more times than I can count. But I saw nothing more than the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, and a few things of that sort. I never realized that so rare a treasure as an original copy of the Journal of Discourses existed in the British Museum.

Pretty weird."

I then posted this to Sigorney’s thread about her visit to the British Museum:

"I notice that DCP of FAIR doesn't believe that you saw the JoD in England
Date: Mar 07 10:29

Can you confirm that you saw "the original" in the British Museum? You mention brushing off "old dust". I realize you may be kidding - or did you actually get to touch it or be near it? It was the original, not a copy? Was there any commentary with it from the museum as to history, reason they have it, etc?

Here, in part, is what DCP says on FAIR about your post.

(Could he have been to the museum and failed to realize or discover that an exhibit that would be of such interest to him was housed there? How did you know it was there?):…"

[I included the DCP excerpt above]

Today after Sigorney’s update, in which she corrected herself and said she saw the original JoD in the British Library (not the Museum as previously stated) I went back to check out the FAIR thread again. I saw that Daniel Peterson used my post here to illustrate the "stunningly consistent incapacity" of RfMers to restate another’s positions correctly.

DCP in a FAIR thread says, in part:

"On a certain obnoxious other board, where they seem never, ever, to be able to restate the positions of their targets accurately, "Nightingale" illustrates that stunningly consistent incapacity yet again:

QUOTE (DCP quoting DCP on FAIR last week):

..."Over on the so-called "Recovery" board, Sigorney is boasting about having gone to the British Museum in London and seen the "original" Journal of Discourses "for herself."

I've been to the British Museum myself, more times than I can count. But I saw nothing more than the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, and a few things of that sort. I never realized that so rare a treasure as an original copy of the Journal of Discourses existed in the British Museum."

I did not, of course, deny that poor Sigorney saw a copy of the Journal of Discourses in the British Museum (or, as she has now corrected herself to say, in the British Library). She probably did. And it was probably an original printing. Everything else is there; why not a copy of the Journal of Discourses? After all, the Journal of Discourses was aimed at an English audience and was first published there in England.

The funny part, though, is the assumption that one would need to travel to London, to either the British Museum or the British Library, in order to see an "unaltered" copy of the Journal of Discourses, as if such a thing were a rarity on the order of the Elgin Marbles or the Rosetta Stone or a Gutenberg Bible…”

So I just used my lunch hour to check the whole thing out again. There is no way around this but to say that I have done what he says, which is to read into his words a meaning that is not stated there. For that I apologize to him and to everyone actually. Because the last thing I want is to play dirty by deliberately misstating someone’s position. It’s ironic that I should inadvertently have done this because I’m usually the one saying wait a minute, we need to communicate well, we need to be fair, where does s/he say that precisely etc. So in this case, and yes it is humbling, I did exactly what I always try so hard not to do. And that is to misunderstand someone’s point and then misstate it during repetition.

I hope this lapse of mine is not used to "prove" how careless exmos are with truth or something because I have not found that to be the case. This was an error of mine due to not taking the time to process the message accurately. I read into his words something he did not explicitly state.

I believe part of the reason for that was that I had read quite a few of his other posts there and the tone he uses can come across as mocking and superior and that conveys disbelief. So, I read "I don’t believe what she said" into his message. Looking at it today in less haste I see that obviously his actual words did not state what I said they did. And yes, "tone" is very subjective. But it is a big part of communication and demonstrably influences the way in which a reader or listener perceives your message.

I hope that it is obvious from this post of mine to Sigorney that DCP quotes that I was actually asking for more information, trying to make sure I was getting the correct understanding, from both sides. Ironically, as I said, it was me that was careless about ensuring accuracy, in this instance.

I know that looking at a person’s actual words is the most objective way to assess what they said. However, tone of voice (even in writing) and other elements do lend an important layer to the communication and can convey a writer’s true meaning despite their words, although that, of course, is very subjective.

Out of interest, I'd like to point out, apart from my error and apology, a few things (although they do not excuse my mistake). DCP characterizes Sigorney as "bragging" that she saw the JoD in the British Museum (later corrected to be the British Library). That lays a negative connotation on her and her words right there and he doesn’t have to directly state _anything_. What he characterizes as "bragging" in her post I interpreted as a woman who was excited about her experience, especially as it had been a longtime goal of hers to do this. See what a different picture your mind can draw based on your own preconceptions? And how you can subtly influence your readers by your choice of language and inflection?

In his subsequent post of today, referenced above, DCP says "poor Sigorney". Why would he use that modifier? What is "poor" about Sigorney (except maybe her wallet after a trip overseas)? (Is there an unwritten second modifier there? "Poor *misguided*" Sigorney?) That would further influence a reader’s perception of Sigorney. Of course, we don’t know that he intended that so we cannot say he did or he didn’t.

He then goes on to say:

"The funny part is the assumption that one would need to travel to London, to either the British Museum or the British Library, in order to see an "unaltered" copy of the Journal of Discourses"…

Sigorney didn’t say you _need_ to travel to London to see the JoD, she said she wanted to see the original and that is where it is and she happened to be there. Again, it comes across as a subtle put-down of her. Again, whether that is intended or not no-one except Daniel Peterson can say.

So yes, the general negative tone I perceive in many of his posts about ex-members and/or RfM posters did influence my interpretation of what he said about Sigorney’s JoD adventure. For that, again, I do apologize. It was entirely unintentional.

I query whether there is a bit of confusion about the different discussion tracks - one is Sigorney talking about viewing the "original" JoD and one is an entirely different topic about whether the JoD is "altered" or not. Is someone using the terms interchangeably to mean "original" as in "unaltered"? That can get confusing. But I wasn't involved in that part of the discussion (which is on FAIR).

I hope my careless lapse will now be removed from the mountain of "proof" about the "incapacity" of RfMers to restate someone’s opinion accurately. I think it is fairly easy to misunderstand someone, given the nature of these two boards in particular, the strong opinions on both sides, the number of posts and how fast they move. I believe that when/if it happens we can clear it up. I really hope we can discuss the issues with honour on both sides. It’s hard to imagine any serious poster who is interested in the issues at hand who would purposely use underhanded tactics to try and gain an advantage. It would be so easy to disprove their position in any case, just as DCP could do in this instance with my error.

If we believe that our position is correct, the facts will speak for themselves. No tactics will be needed.

So, again, mea culpa for this. I actually do appreciate having it pointed out. I will try to be a lot less hasty in reading and interpreting posts from now on, despite time constraints, because haste so easily leads to errors.

I'd like to emphasize though that in the final analysis, it is the source material that can determine truth. And that stands, in spite of errors by any one of us. We can have fruitful discussions if we focus on it.

I think.
Daniel C. Peterson's Dishonesty And Sophistry Are Truly Breathtaking
Friday, Mar 10, 2006, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Peep Stoner
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
His effort to twist and conceal the significance of Packer's "Mantle" speech is a classical wormtonguesque display.

DCP on Packer's Mantle speech: "When one doesn't tell all one knows, is one necessarily lying? Has any competent teacher ever taught all he knows? Has any historian or biographer ever included in a book everything he knows? If not, is the teacher or historian or biographer necessarily lying?"

There is a difference between not overwhelming students with information by attempting to convey "all one knows" and intentionally omitting significant and relevant information because it does not support the perspective that you wish to inculcate in the minds of your students.

The points made by DCP are misleading and irrelevant in the context of discussing Packer's speech. (And I'm sure that DCP knows this.)

Packer's speech: (1) advocates aggressive subjectivity in filling the heads of the uninformed with propaganda designed to show ONLY that the Church and its leaders are inspired and guided by god at all times; and (2) advocates the omission/concealment of contrary information, regardless of how relevant or significant it may be to the subject matter being taught--a wilful omission that necessarily and intentionally creates a false understanding of reality/factual situations.

Packer advocates that teachers employed by the Church must essentially act as lawyers for the Church in conveying only facts that support doctored versions of events that always make the Church look good and provide a carefully limited perspective to students.

In Packer's (and apparently DCP's) view, if the Church, as the driver of a car, in a drunken stupor after a bout of heavy drinking, careened through a red light and ran over a child's pet dog--after swerving at the last minute to avoid hitting the child and several other children, it would be entirely appropriate, when describing the event to others, to characterize the last minute swerving as evidence that the Holy Ghost was protecting the Church and the children, and that the Church's quick reflexes and worthiness to receive such protection are evidence of its wonderfulness, AND it would also be entirely appropriate to completely omit any reference to the 3 empty whiskey bottles that were in the car and to also omit any reference to the convictions for drunk driving and other crimes that the Church received shortly after the accident.

Yes, in the context of Packer's speech, this type of agressive deception by omission is logically what DCP is referring to when he asks, "When one doesn't tell all one knows, is one necessarily lying?"

The answer is yes, one is lying.

Of course, we know, and DCP knows, that, when taken out of this context, DCP's comments about competent teachers not teaching everything they know are irrelevant to the type of lying by omission that is advocated by Packer when he calls for teachers to present only information that promotes faith, i.e., the "objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now".

Packer also informs us that: "In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good"; and "Some things that are true are not very useful."

DCP, you should be ashamed of yourself. Your sophistry is transparent both here and on the other side of the veil--and I suspect it is obvious to yourself as well. The only people who are persuaded by it are the people who have been wilfully misinformed and under-informed by your colleagues in the employment of the Church.
Daniel C. Peterson: Master Mason Of Attack And Evasion
Monday, Mar 13, 2006, at 06:33 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: In the Mouth of Secret Sources, Shall Daniel C. Peterson's Word Be Established

As we on the Recovery from Mormonism board are well aware (and as the ever-agitated Mormon apologist Daniel C. Peterson has amply demonstrated and admitted), he lurks here, smirks elsewhere and shirks opportunities to openly offer evidence for his counterfeit claims.

As noted recently on this board, Peterson asserts that my accounts of what transpired during private conversations that my wife and I had with LDS apostles Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell in September 1993 are, well, full of lies.

In response, let us review what Peterson (in league with his faithful, FAIR-minded minions) have had to offer as proof of Peterson's claims.

Peterson’s Original and Empty Charge

Roughly two years ago I was advised on the RfM board that Peterson had claimed personal access to an unidentified source who supposedly was knowledgeable of the contents of private conversations that myself, my wife Mary Ann, Oaks and Maxwell had in September 1993, in Maxwell’s Church office in downtown Salt Lake City, dealing with matters of LDS history, doctrine and practice.

Peterson, I was informed at the time, had declared to receptive apologists' ears that he had, in essence, a Deep Throat disciple (whose identity Peterson did not reveal) who supposedly told him that my version of events did not synchronize with the claims of Peterson's Mystery Mormon Man.

As I recollect, Peterson reportedly had leveled this accusation in a Mormon apologist forum (where else?)--where, even there, his claim remained vague and imprecise.

Offering evidence that Peterson did, in fact, make this claim to inside counterintelligence, a RfM poster recently reported that a Peterson defender on the FAIR Messages Board had announced that Peterson at one time declared my description of the Oaks/Maxwell meetings to be duplicitous:

This . . . reminds me of a part of my weekend spent posting on a thread I did at

When I dared to bring up Steve Benson's privately held encounter with Maxwell and Oaks, the countering FAIR poster actually retorted quite confidently, and as if it made all the sense in this world (loosely quoting):

’I know about that meeting and I also know it is completely misrepresented because Daniel Peterson said that Steve Benson lied about most of the details.’

( “My recent experience with the fog,” by “Noggin,” Recovery from Mormonism board, 8 March 2006, at

Peterson’s Mormon Defenders Attempt To Explain Away His Failure to Produce Proof of His Claim

Taking issue with the aforementioned faithful FARMS follower of Peterson, another Peterson defender calling himself “Jimbob” (and speaking in the giveaway language of a defensive true-believing Mormon), took a different tact.

First, “Jimbob” suggested that even if Peterson had access to the inside scoop of what really transpired in those meetings, he might have chosen to ignore requests for proof of his claim because Peterson (who has never been reluctant to personally and venomously attack ex-Mormons) doesn’t like (be still my heart) being called names:

Perhaps he's turned off by your incessant name calling. I know I am.

(Well, boo-hoo, “Jimbob.” This isn’t about what “Jimbob” does and doesn’t like. It’s about what Peterson does and doesn’t say).

But, "Jimbob," ever sensitive to other people's feelings, persisted in excusing Peterson's silence:

Perhaps DCP isn't answering because you argue like an eight-year old: lots of mean things to say, little on analysis.

Then, following his own advice to oft speak kind words to each other, "Jimbob" proceeded in the next breath to compare me to the Unibomber.

“Jimbob” offered yet another possible explanation as to why Peterson may have chosen not to put up the proof, declaring that the RfM is not a demilitarized zone for decent discussion (as if FAIR, where Peterson regularly runs to pout and post, is?):

. . . [M]aybe he [Peterson] doesn't see this [RfM] as a neutral ground (what with the tendency to make arguments, but hide behind the sad banner of ‘recovery’ whenever arguments are returned).

In continued defense of the Mormon Cult, “Jimbob” also suggested that, contrary to the above FAIR poster’s assertion, Peterson may have never actually ever claimed to have had an inside source which slipped him the truth about what took place in my two encounters with Oaks and Maxwell in September 1993 (encounters that lasted a total of approximately four hours):

Perhaps he [Peterson] never made the comment. I mean you're quoting a source that is quoting a source that is quoting a source. Not exactly bullet proof.

Then, in a typical and desperate apologist effort to divert attention away from the damning behind-the-scene confessions of Oaks and Maxwell, "Jimbob" proposed:

Or is this simply a protectionary measure you're taking knowing nothing will come of it? After all, if your story about your brief encounter with a couple of apostles on your way out isn't in reality all that important, you kind of lose your celebrity with these folks, right? And then what would you have? You'd just be another guy that left the church angry. How prosaic.

No, "Jimbob," how pro-Mormon of you.

( “Re: Put Up or Shut Up, DCP: Daniel C. Peterson’s flimsy claims about my meetings with Oaks and Maxwell,” post by “Jimbob,” 9 March 2006, at ; and idem, "Re: Without evidence to back up his hero DCP, Jimbob the latest Mormon Troll comes here cowardly to introduce himself. :) nt," ibid., at )

Whatever the reasons may be for Peterson to keep quiet, he has strangely yet to cough up any vitals concerning who he supposedly talked to about our meeting and what this secret source of his claimed was actually uttered during my conversations with Oaks and Maxwell.

In the meantime, there was natural speculation on the RfM board as to who may have been Peterson’s source, with suggestions being made as to it being either Oaks or Maxwell. (It most likely was not anyone else, since the only other person to enter Maxwell's office during our first visit with him and Oaks was an office staffer who brought us cans of 7-Up, then made herself scarce. No one other than Oaks, Maxwell and myself were in the second meeting).

Peterson claims to have the facts about what was said in our encounters but refuses to produce them.

In contrast, I have in my possession physical evidence pointing to the matters about which I privately spoke with Oaks and Maxwell.

They include:

--an original, personal letter to me from Maxwell, agreeing to meet with me to talk about my areas of concern

This letter was sent to me by Maxwell after my father, Mark Benson, had earlier asked Maxwell if a meeting could be arranged in my behalf. Maxwell agreed, then subsequently requested a list of questions from me outlining the topics I wished to address with him, for his pre-meeting review and preparation. I have a copy of those questions in my possession, which formed the basis for my inquiries to Oaks and Maxwell--copies which were also provided to both men.

--Copies of Maxwell's Church-published talks on the subjects of recording history and the role of LDS women, which Maxwell gave to me and my wife during our conversations with him and Oaks

--Copies of Church-published articles attempting to explain the various accounts of the First Vision, provided to me by Maxwell during our conversations

--An original fax from FARMS (originally sent to Maxwell at Maxwell's request, that he then passed to me during our conversations) which attempted to explain away the bogus translation of the Book of Abraham

--Printed-out references to pro-Mormon claims concerning the method of Book of Mormon translation, provided to me by Maxwell during our conversations

--Contemporary notes made by both my wife and myself during our first meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, combined with a tape recording we later made the same day upon returning from the first meeting--a recording that was based upon fresh note-to-note, memory-to-memory comparisons, as well as later supplemented with my additional notes which I made during a second private meeting with Oaks and Maxwell.

--A taped phone conversation between Dallin Oaks and then-reporter for the Arizona Republic, Paul Brinkley-Rogers, made in October 1993, in which Oaks admits that what he (Oaks) had earlier told the reporter on the record about supposedly not knowing of Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Paul Toscano was not true. The conversation was recorded by the reporter himself, who then provided me with a copy of it, at my request.

As background, prior to this recorded phone conversation between Oaks and the reporter, Oaks had, in my second meeting with him and Maxwell, informed me of Packer's inappropriate involvement in the Toscano case.

He then subsequently lied about what he told me to the reporter.

Only after I contacted Oaks by fax--pointing out his lies and demanding that he set the record straight or I would do it for him--did Oaks then acknowledge in the aforementioned phone conversation with the reporter (whom Oaks contacted through the LDS Church switchboard) that he had, in fact, not told the reporter the truth. I have in my possession the original fax which I sent to Oaks.

Peterson’s Most Recent Public Response to Demands That He Produce His Secret Evidence

Despite providing Peterson with my personal e-mail address (so that he can forward on the evidence in support of his contentions), Peterson has chosen not to comply, instead retreating to the friendly encampment of FAIR, where he has complained to his sycophantic followers just how brutally he is being mistreated on RfM.

Licking his wounds in a recent sniffy-sniff lament on the FAIR Message Boards, Peterson grumped that his trolling defenders on RfM (which he refers to as “the Compound”) are not allowed to ride to his rescue without being bounced from the premises as the unwelcome intruders that they are:

Some poor fellow (unknown to me) appeared on the "Recovery" board tonight to defend me against some really harsh attacks recently aimed my way by Steve Benson. This guy must have anticipated the nature of the response he would receive, because he signed his note "anon."

Sure enough, he was immediately branded a "coward," "insane," and "Daniel Peterson" by several of the recovering truth seekers there.

I bet with some of my fellow-lunatic friends that his post wouldn't survive an hour. I won. It was removed.

Disagreement is not tolerated within the Compound.

( Daniel Peterson, posted on Fair Message Boards, 10 March 2006, at )

Daniel in the Lion's Den and Mormon Apologists for Peterson (His Non-Prophet Organization) Launch Their Own Attacks on Ex-Mormons

Displaying the well-rehearsed LDS persecution complex, Peterson has complained to his FAIR fans that he is the target of unwarranted attack, most recently at the dirty hands of RfM's very own Tal Bachman.

Whining like a good Mormon should, super-sensitive Peterson objects that Tal has created humorous make-believe Mormon characters at Peterson's expense:

"Garloy Hendricks" is a fictional Mormon 'apologist' invented by Tal Tale Bachman, and based, pretty clearly, on his skewed perception of me.

Bachman and some of his acolytes enjoy creating fictional journal entries for Garloy, which are designed to make me and others associated with FARMS look like contemptible idiots.

Garloy is a narrow-minded fool, an irrationalist, a paranoid, and a fanatic--among other things--just as Bachman believes me to be

Tal's pernicous pokes have provided humor-impaired Peterson the excuse he needs to attack RfM ex-Mormons as, of course, being intellectually dishonest and cranially inferior to himself:

Dealing with straw men caricatures of one's own devising is far easier than engaging the actual positions of those with whom one disagrees. For example, one simply invents the evidence--a method that would cause you to be failed in a high school term paper but that is apparently quite acceptable on the ironically named "Recovery" board.

( Daniel Peterson, post on FAIR Message Boards, 10 March 2006, at )

Peterson's worshipful petal throwers have rushed to their hero's defense, lamenting that he is a victim of anti-Mormon hate crimes.

They do so, of course, without having the courage to directly confront their accusers on the RfM board:

Critics of the LDS Church hate Dr. Daniel C. Peterson. In fact, it seems from looking at certain places on the Internet that many of them have an obsession with Dr. Peterson. One wonders why the venom from these apostates? Can it be that they have got him "dead to rights?"

We resoundingly shout NO!

They are not close to telling you about the real Dr. Peterson, a man with incredible humor and kindness. This we know from first-hand experience with him. From our experience, critics like to insult and lambaste Dr. Peterson, but think he is mean when he responds to them calling them on their actions.

Further decrying what they see as the apostate politics of personal destruction, Peterson’s pom-pom squad engages in the very tactic they decry (don’t worry, I can take it):

Sadly, such semi-notables as Steve Benson [have] posted comments on the Recovery from Mormonism message board complaining about the mean and nasty Dr. Peterson. (If you are LDS don’t even think about posting there--your comments will be removed very quickly.)

So apparently it is okay for them to attack, telling lies and acting like little children, but if Dr. Peterson expresses his disgust at their techniques and lack of interest in the facts, then he is mean and nasty!

(from the Shields website, which is, itself, humorously billed as a “Scholarly and Historical Information Exchange for Latter-day Saints”)

Many nail-spitting Mormon trolls come to RfM swathed in their secret temple garments, so it is difficult to keep track of who infiltrates and where.

One anonymous Peterson defender--appropriately self-described as "Anon"--found his/her post promptly pulled after "Anon" surreptiously had gone in and changed, without knowledge or consent, a post I had made earlier, in which I had I defended Salt Lake Tribune reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack (whose reportage on Mormon-related matters has been a matter of lively discussion on this board lately).

Specifically, “Anon” had replaced Stack’s name with Peterson’s, in addition to switching out RfM poster “Deconstructor’s” name with mine.

This unprincipled theft in the name of the Mormon Cult apparently was not troublesome enough for Peterson to mention to his fawning fan base on FAIR.

(To view the original post in question, see:

Peterson himself demonstrates a vicious streak that, if his Mormon defenders were morally consistent, he would be taken to task for by them. Obviously, that is too much to ask for from a Cult that was founded on secret Masonic Cult threats of throat-slitting if you told the truth.

He has, for instance, assailed critics of the LDS Church as "anti-Mormonoids," a term which even fellow Mormon critic basher Louis Midgley admits is "a somewhat contemptuous label formulated by BYU Professor Daniel C. Peterson."

Peterson has saved some of his most caustic attacks for prominent critics of Mormonism Jerald and Sandra Tanner, singling them out as pre-eminent among "apostates and scandal-mongers and professional enemies of the Latter-day Saints."

(Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5, pp. 20, 139, in Jerald and Sandra Tanner, "Mormon FARMS: Battling the Anti-Mormonoids," Salt Lake City Messenger, #90, May 1996
at )

In a condescending letter to one of his Christian critics, Peterson has also displayed a nasty homophobic bent:

. . . [Y]ou predict that I will "eventually go the way of Steve Benson, Stanley Larsen [sic], Brent Medcalfe [sic], Sterling McMurrin, Michael Quinn, Samuel Taylor, and others!"

I am not sure why you think that I am going to become a practicing homosexual and be excommunicated like Mike Quinn. Have I ever given you any reason to expect something like that? Should I warn my wife?"

Then, twisting the minister's words, Peterson continues his mock effort at dialogue:

And why would you think that I am about to become an atheist or agnostic, as Benson, Larson, Metcalfe, and McMurrin have or did? And why would you, as a minister of the Christian faith, seem to think such an outcome desirable? Very puzzling. It is, of course, quite likely that I will continue to be active in the Church,
as, to the best of my knowledge, was Sam Taylor."

( Daniel Peterson, letter to John L. Smith of Utah Missions, Inc., at )

The Mormon Cult That the Peterson Cult Defends

While Peterson and his flock of faithfully FAIR hold themselves in holy high regard, others who are well-versed in the actual Mormon record reach a far different conclusion.

Observes RfM poster “Deconstructor”:

”As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”

--Proverbs 26:11

There Daniel Peterson goes again . . .

From the Deseret News article on the FAIR conference (August 2004):

'[Daniel Peterson] said it is possible to make any religious faith look stupid, and he offered three principles for fairly dealing with other religions:

1) Don't go to a faith's enemies for information. Go to its adherents.

2) Don't compare the best in your faith with the worst in the one you are criticizing. Keep a level playing field.

3) Always leave room for holy envy--what is it that this faith really does well? By following these principles, which Peterson adopted but did not invent, you can study other religions and really learn something beneficial, he said.

He's also convinced that LDS religion is a good lens through which to view other religions."

So Peterson is “convinced” that the LDS religion is a good lens through which to view other religions.

Is this the LDS lens he is referring to?

1 Nephi 14:10-11:

"And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people."

2 Nephi 10:16:

"Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God."

"What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world"

--the Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.270

". . . [A]ll the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels."

--the Prophet Joseph Smith, The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith Jr., editor, vol.1, no.4, p.60

What a wondrous and marvelous LDS lens Daniel Petersen has to gaze through.

Daniel Peterson and FAIR do [Mormon] church members a great service. They make such ridiculous claims; they end up pushing a lot of smart people out of the church. Only the fools don't see right through Peterson's folly.

FAIR and Mr. Peterson are terrible embarrassments to the Mormon Church. The more they talk, the better. . . .

There are countless teachings from [Mormon] church leaders, as well as in the Book of Mormon itself that FAIR and FARM apologists simply ignore or deny in order to make their excuses work.

Same thing with the Book of Abraham. Never mind what the [Mormon] church teaches or the book actually says, just come up with something that works for people who are desperate for theories.

But they aren't fooling most smart Mormons. When smart people go to FAIR and FARMS for answers, they recognize them for what they are.”

( “Daniel Peterson returning to his . . ., “ post by “Deconstructor,” RfM board, 8 August 2004; and idem, “You’re giving her way too much credit,” ibid., at “Mormon FARMS, Folklore and Daniel Peterson,” , original emphasis )

Responding to “Deconstructor’s” observations, another RfM poster noted in agreement:

It is funny how Peterson and the other apologists seem to ignore the scriptures and the teachings of their own prophets. I have to wonder just how church leadership feels about these guys.

(“It is funny,” post by “activejackmormon,” ibid.)

Still another wrote:

Peterson says “Don’t go to a faith’s enemies for information. Got to its adherents” . . .

[W]hat this really translates into is "only interest yourself in biased information which is pro the religion, not information which might be biased against it.”

Also, there's an implicit assumption about being able to easily define who a faith's "enemies" are.

Neither of these provide a good lens for getting at the truth. Particularly since many of the so-called enemies of a Church have known more about the internal workings of the Church than the average adherent. It's like saying that one ought not listen to the "enemies" . . . of Jim Jones.

(“Peterson says ‘Don’t go to a faith’s enemies for information. Go to its adherents,” post by “Still active,” ibid., original emphasis)

Another RfM contributor added:

I hate absurdities. If I thought it would do any good, I'd e-mail him [Peterson] and see what he thinks of my thoughts. . . .

Peterson says, “Don't go to a faith's enemies for information. Go to its adherents.”

Any balanced view requires a look at both sides of the picture. Otherwise, there is no challenge to the veracity of any statement where such challenges are of paramount importance when you're investigating any idea, particularly when checking for facts.

”Don't compare the best in your faith with the worst in the one you are criticizing. Keep a level playing field.”

A fair statement. However, with religion, you have a slightly different view that needs to be taken simply because religion claims to have the power to A) strain out the pond scum and B) change the scum into non-scum.

In the secular world, you find that scum can exist very well within the walls of any organization and that it isn't necessarily a reflection of the organization itself. That includes religions. However, when you shine the religious light on religion, it constantly alludes to their power to overcome all of those human frailties.

And this at the same time they assert that their churches are perfect even if their people aren't. A major contradiction.

”Always leave room for holy envy--what is it that this faith really does well?”

ALL good organizations do good things. But they all step on some toes in the process. Again, Peterson's suggestion is an exclusionary thought, much like the thought of the first premise above.

If you're going to consider the good of an organization, you also have to consider the bad. The scales ALWAYS have two sides. Why on earth would you ignore one of the two sides? It simply doesn't make sense.

In fact, it's quite absurd. Here again there is a hypocrisy: The Morg repeatedly asserts growth and membership statistics but they continuously ignore depression med statistics, divorce rate statistics, suicide statistics, etc. etc. The bad things are ignored, per the advice of Peterson to the lifelong misery of its people.

The article states a belief of Peterson:

“He's also convinced that LDS religion is a good lens through which to view other religions.”

A truly arrogant point of view. Aside from the assertion that Mormonism is The Only True Church, what’s the reason to believe it could possibly serve as any kind of comparative research vehicle of their competitors, many of which have been around a LOT longer? . . .

[Again, from] Peterson:

“He said it is possible to make any religious faith look stupid.”

Actually, most faith's do that themselves. Which brings me full circle: Many or most religious adherents are good people, doing what they believe to be right. They are great people, great citizens, etc. etc.

But if you start looking at many of the religious groups themselves, you find the discord and the problems. I submit to you that it isn't The Church ™ which is perfect but the people. The lie that the church is perfect and the people aren't has been perpetuated WAAAAAYYYYY too long.

(“Holy Crap,” post by “Wag,” ibid.)

Noted another RfM respondent, in reaction to Peterson's breathtaking duplicity:

This article is hilarious. I challenge anybody to follow his [Peterson’s] act of bravado in the face of the facts!

I guess if they don’t like the facts, they will take another look at the original [Book of Mormon]!

Yup. It’s possible to make any “faith look stupid.”

That is the funniest bunch of nonsense I have read in days!

(“Re: Holy Crap = ‘holy envy,’ post by “SusieQ#1,” ibid.)

Conclusion: Funniest, Runniest Bunch of Nonsense, Indeed

Daniel C. Peterson launches his personal attacks against ex-Mormons, then runs and hides among his friends when evidence to back his accusations is demanded--and he realizes that, well, he just can't produce it.

There, safely tucked away in the rear lines among his Mormon chorus-line compatriots, Peterson enjoys their cover, their comfort, their condolences and their kudos.

Still, Peterson can’t help himself and before long he succumbs to his compulsion to venture out (under cover of darkness, of course) to furtively look in on Recovery from Mormonism, a trapped and anguished man at war with himself--and with nothing to back him up but his own desperate delusions.

You’ve got my e-mail, Dan:

Let's have lunch sometime with you and your Deep Throat friend.

Drinks on me. :)
Behold!: Daniel C. Peterson Speaks Out On His Deep Throat Source(s) Regarding My Conversations With Oaks And Maxwell
Tuesday, Mar 14, 2006, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
The following was recently discovered and brought to my attention off-board. It is the voice of Daniel C. Peterson--from the past, not the present--but, hey, I guess we just have to do the best with what we've got. :)

He's talking about his inside sources, telling him the truth (or so he says) about what really transpired in private discussions my wife and I had with Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell back in September 1993.

One Mormon troll and Peterson defender recently stubbornly suggested on this board that Peterson had perhaps never made any such claim to privy information.

Wrote anonymous "Jimbob":

Perhaps he [Peterson] never made the comment. I mean you're quoting a source that is quoting a source that is quoting a source. Not exactly bullet proof.

("Re: Put Up or Shut Up, DCP: Daniel C. Peterson's flimsy claims about my meetings with Oaks and Maxwell," post by "Jimbob." Recovery from Mormonism board, 9 March 2006)

Sorry to distress members of the fawning Peterson pep squad out there who slither over here to make excuses for him, but the evidence has now surfaced that Peterson did, indeed, make such a claim.

In his own words, even.

Back in December 2003, posting as “Freethinker” on a Mormon apologist website (a site which is apparently filtered on RfM), Peterson questioned the veracity of my account of behind-closed-door conversations my wife and I held with Oaks and Maxwell some ten years earlier, craftily suggesting that I may have been lying about it all.

Speaking sarcastically, he first noted:

Anyone who follows Steve Benson's posts on the Recovery from Mormonism board (including those about his own family), will recognize that his reminiscences are those of a disinterested, dispassionate man who has no ax to grind. They should be trusted completely, and there is certainly no other side to any of his stories.

A fellow poster then asked Peterson/"Freethinker" if he thought I was prevaricating about those encounters with Oaks and Maxwell:

So focusing on those interviews, are you suggesting that he (and his wife) are lying about the conversations that took place?

Peterson/”Freethinker” replied by slyly implying that I might have been and then--BEHOLD!--revealed that he had received counter-intelligence reports about the actual nature of my discussions with Oaks and Maxwell which led him to severely doubt my account:

No, although I suppose that's [meaning lying] a distant possibility in any such reporting.

I thought my actual implied position was fairly straightforward: Steve Bension [sic] is not dispassionate. That means that he has a strong position that may well filter what he hears and remembers and relates from situations in which his "passions" (using the term in the classical sense) are involved. (That is the effect, anyway, with ordinary mortals, and I have no reason to believe that Mr. Benson has transcended mortality yet.)

He is not disinterested, but has a particular position that he wishes to advance. This implies the same potential effects. Stories involving more than one person always have more than one "side" to them -- even in noncontroversial matters, but especially in cases where controversy and strongly opposed positions are involved. In such cases, the account of one controversialist should not automatically be assumed to be absolutely accurate and uncontestable.

There are plenty of reasons, far short of an accusation of lying, for suggesting caution in the acceptance of Steven [sic] Benson's account. And, in this particular case, I've heard partial reports that are dramatically at variance with his reminiscences, so I have solid reason, from my perspective, for reservations.

(bold emphasis added)

Wow, heavvvvvy, man.

So, Danny Boy, who are your partially-reporting (and dramatic, no less) sources that have given you “solid reason” to doubt?

And, if they were either Oaks and Maxwell, then what were they doing violating the gag order they sought to impose on our discussions?

And, if your sources weren't Oaks or Maxwell, then who was hiding under Maxwell's desk during our chats taking partial notes--you?

Waiting . . . :)

P.S.--Those wanting the weblink to the pro-Mo board on which this exchange took place can get it (no secret handshakes required) by e-mailing me at:
DCP, DCP's Friend, An Unscrupulous SP, And The Smear Campaign Against D. Michael Quinn
Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006, at 01:54 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Just as he claimed a shadowy, Danite-like informant "reliably" disproved / cast doubt upon Steve Benson's conversation with Dallin [H]Oaks, DCP now claims that a "friend of the SP" of D. Michael Quinn was spreading rumors about Quinn's sexual orientation!

Check out this little nugget:
"Mike Quinn's sexual orientation was well known by the time of his excommunication -- everybody in my circles had known about it for a long time (although, vicious thugs that we are, we never mentioned it in print or any other comparable venue) -- and, I have reasonably solid reason to believe, was known to his stake president."
Well, Krispy Kreme Boy, doesn't this mean that:

A) Quinn's sexual orientation figured into his getting ex'ed; AND---

B) That you, your friend, and Quinn's SP are all a bunch of rumor-mongering a-holes?

More effluvium and fog from everybody's fave Mopologist!
Big Mormon Apologist Says Mormonism "Good Lens" To View Other Religions
Thursday, Apr 13, 2006, at 08:58 AM
Original Author(s): Deconstructor
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
"As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly."
- Proverbs 26:11

A perfect example from Daniel Peterson...

From the Deseret News article on the 2004 FAIR conference :

"[Daniel Peterson] said it is possible to make any religious faith look stupid, and he offered three principles for fairly dealing with other religions: 1) Don't go to a faith's enemies for information. Go to its adherents. 2) Don't compare the best in your faith with the worst in the one you are criticizing. Keep a level playing field. 3) Always leave room for holy envy – what is it that this faith really does well? By following these principles, which Peterson adopted but did not invent, you can study other religions and really learn something beneficial, he said. He's also convinced that LDS religion is a good lens through which to view other religions.",1249,595082665,00.html

So Peterson is "convinced" that the LDS religion is a good lens through which to view other religions.

Is this the LDS lens he is referring to?

1 Nephi 14:10-11:
"And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people."

2 Nephi 10:16:
"Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God."

"What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world"
- The Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.270

"...all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels."
- The Prophet Joseph Smith , The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith Jr., editor, vol.1, no.4, p.60

What a wondrous and marvelous LDS lens Daniel Petersen has to gaze through.
And Apparently, This Guy Is A Professor
Monday, Apr 24, 2006, at 09:46 AM
Original Author(s): Some Schmo
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I just found out I'm banned from FAIR for mocking their "hero" (which is good, really. How long can you hang out in an asylum without going nuts yourself?) I was able to get Dan Peterson to rant on for four pages over the definition of a word. What's funny about that is that he was arguing against sited definitions from dictionary entries *that he, himself, was providing!* And in the end, all he could tell me was that I was wrong. That was his final rebuttal.

It was so fun to watch this little insecure boy of a man stomping his feet to prove that he was right and the dictionaries are wrong, or, as he put it, we should only acknowledge "good dictionaries." (I admit, I took sadistic pleasure in watching this guy suffer, mostly because of his condescending and hypocritical treatment of others). It strikes me as a hilarious case study in denial, watching someone writhe in the face of clear evidence against their own cherished belief. Good times! He's a mopologist, alright.

The only point I wanted to make was that if this is what the church relies on for their defenders of the faith, that's enough to send any rational person running for the hills, as far away from the church as possible.

I thought others here might be entertained as well.

As a footnote, I just found out my last post was mostly deleted with the note "Insults deleted." That's odd, considering I repeated back to Dan what he said to me (that he was wrong - not sure how that's an insult). I wonder why his "insults" weren't removed. I suppose FAIR doesn't think Dan can win a debate by himself. I know I don't think he can either.

And mormons don't want to think they're mind controlled.


The word was "reactionary."

I cited the following definition from Merriam-Webster:

"relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction; especially : ultraconservative in politics"

He would only acknowledge the part about "ultraconservative in politics" and that it was improper to use it to mean "reactive", despite the fact that "relating to, marked by, or favoring reaction" makes it seem pretty clear Merriam-Webster thinks it's OK. Dan thinks he knows better than the dictionary, apparently.
Daniel Peterson Has A Freudian Slip
Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Antishock8
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I'm not one for verbose posts... so here goes nuttin'. I was reading a FAIR-LDS thread (linked from here a week or so ago) where Juliann was getting her ass handed to her by some atheist chick (her handle escapes me at the moment). I mean... she was reeeeeally getting the virtual crap kicked out of her. Loved it. Anyway, after perusing the 20+ pages of that thread I started to peruse other threads out of idle curiosity, and I came across a Hill Cumorah thread. I noticed that DCP posted on the thread in defense of the historicity of the BOM, and said this seemingly innocuous thing:
"In my judgment, it is official doctrine that the Book of Mormon... recounts stories from two or three ancient migrations from the Old World and something of their subsequent history in the New World, and that these groups were ancestral to American Indians.

Affirming those ideas, my standing with Church and University is entirely secure. Denying them would put that standing in some question. By contrast, holding to a Mesoamerican scene for the final Nephite battle, as I and others are strongly inclined to do, seems to have had no impact whatsoever on our standing with either the University or the Church."
Is it me, or did that cat just admit that he affirms the BOM's historicity because doing so creates job security? I mean. He just said. It's right there. It's like... I mean... it's right there. There it is. He said it. I dunno. I mean... that's gotta weigh on your mind if you know the BOM is full of shizzle, but you have to lie about it in order to secure your well-paying job. Damn. Woulda look at that.
Why Daniel Peterson Has No Credibility In Rational Discussions
Friday, Jun 16, 2006, at 09:41 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I thought that subject line might grab some attention. :-)

Here's what I mean by it: Among other wacky things, Daniel Peterson believes that a man who lived in ancient America, who had been dead for 1400 years, magically came back to life and chatted up young Joseph Smith. People who have been dead for 1400 years do not come back to life. Therefore, because Peterson believes that, all of his other arguments in favor of Mormonism fall on deaf ears here in the real world.

It's sorta like if you were having a conversation with someone you thought was normal and rational, but somewhere in the conversation, they let on that they're a card-carrying member of the Flat Earth Society, or opine that Adolph Hitler was a mighty fine feller, or tell you that they can't wait to be taken up into the Mother Ship. After they've revealed that much about their inner selves, you know to view everything else they have to say on any subject with heavy skepticism, and try to distance yourself a little further from them. It's hard to take Peterson, or any other Mopologist seriously on any subject when keeping in mind what they actually believe.

I also find it amusing how Peterson still apparently lurks on this BB, reading comments and posting excerpts from them on other fora. Like, he's one of the HNIC's at FARMS, a BYU professor, etc., but he seems to be almost obsessed with reading what people who have rejected Mormonism have to say.

Imagine, for instance, if DNC chairman Howard Dean spent many hours every week surfing on some conservative internet chat board, reading posts and forwarding them to his pals. Wouldn't you find that a little odd? Does Peterson seriously have nothing better to do with his free time?

I also find it fascinating that Peterson apparently views RfM as the biggest threat on the planet to his employer and belief system, since he spends so much time here. I wonder if he lurks on Catholic boards, Baptist boards, Saints Alive, Utah Missions, science discussion fora, etc., as well, seeing as how those are also threats to Mormonism? Do other influential Mormons constantly visit and fret over RfM as well? Does Boyd K. Packer check in with RfM before saying his prayers at night?

I just find it fascinating and a little disturbing how Peterson, whose efforts are backed and funded by a billion-plus-dollar multinational corporation, is so obsessed over a teensy-weensie website and BB which is founded and run by a lil' ol' paper mill engineer from Tennessee. It's sorta like an elephant freaking out over seeing a mosquito.

The only reason I can speculate as to why Peterson worries so much about RfM is that he has access to data which shows that lots and lots of Mormons are leaving the church because of what they read and experience here. And I don't know what Peterson can do to reverse that, seeing as how we see a steady stream of posters here who tell us that reading FARMS' ridiculous apologetics factored in them leaving the church. That being the case, one would think that Peterson would just shut up, rather than continuing to post illogical, irrational, ridiculous stuff that makes Mormons leave the church.
Daniel C. Peterson - It's Not A Job I Could Do And Keep A Clean Conscience, I Don't Know How Peterson Lives With His
Thursday, Jun 29, 2006, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Bornunderpunches
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I truly believe that DCP is intellectually corrupt. He was a *MAJOR* catalyst for my wife and I to study our way out of the church. He relies on bloviating with large words in an attempt to obfuscate the subject matter at hand and when called on it he takes his ball and runs home.

We took note that he'd address critic's concerns with statements such as "This has been addressed numerous times and resolved" etc. Yet the resolution was always a new theory from FARMS because the previous theory did not hold up, yet hard scientific data, affidavits, and the previous president's teachings never changed. When that failed he'd belittle the short-comings he percieved his critics to have.

Truly a class act online.

He's done this several times on Zion's LightHouse Message Board. Now that I'm no longer struggling with the church and putting any credence into his statements I find it rather pathetic.

He very well could be the nicest man in the world offline, but when it comes to acting as an apologist he's downright insufferable.
Earth To Peterson - Repeat, Earth Calling Peterson
Monday, Jul 24, 2006, at 08:45 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
The fact that the church lies about and/or hides negative aspects of its history was admitted to and justified by apostle Boyd K. Packer in a 1981 speech to church-employed educators. Read it at:

Note that Packer threatened church-employed educators with censure or termination for disseminating material which, although accurate, is not "faith-promoting" to the church's interests.

Peterson is one of those church-paid educators, therefore he is only following Packer's orders to "lie for the Lord."

A year or so ago, Daniel Peterson was a guest on Van Hale's radio show, wherein he repeated this same crapola about "The church doesn't hide its history" and "If anybody doesn't know the details about polygamy, it's their own fault, because the church has published the info" blah blah blah.

After hearing Peterson's assertions, I wrote an open response to him, which Deconstructor posted on his website:

Peterson's disingenuous attempt to saddle the blame for ignorance about the negative details of polygamy onto rank-and-file Mormons or Ex-Mormons is particularly hypocritical in light of the fact that a few months ago, on the FAIR boards, Peterson wrote something like "The details of Joseph Smith's plural marriages are murky at best."

Contrary to Peterson's assertion, the details about Smith's plural marriages have been well-documented in such historical treatises as Todd Compton's "In Sacred Loneliness," "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith," and "Mormon Polygamy: A History" by van Wagoner.

Peterson's agenda, of course, is to pretend to his naive TBM readers that we don't know enough details about Smith's secret practices to make informed judgments about his motives and morality. Peterson wants to keep the details of Smith's activities surrounded by a cloud of mystery so naive TBMs will continue to give him the benefit of the doubt on controversial issues, and thus maintain their adherence to Mormonism. Peterson knows very well that the more rank-and-file Mormons know about the details of polygamy, the more of them will leave the church, as many of us here on RfM have.

But Peterson's assertion that the "details of Smith's plural marriages are murky at best" contradicts his repeated statement "If anyone doesn't know the details about polygamy, it's their own fault."

As the saying goes, "A system gotten up by lies must be supported by lies." Peterson is doing a great job of proving the truth of that statement. But hey, Peterson cashes a paycheck from LDS Inc., so whaddya expect.
Dan's Propensity To Attack The Person Instead Of The Argument
Wednesday, Jul 26, 2006, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dan's propensity to attack the person instead of the argument is what caused my respect for him to plummet dramatically. I can't believe he would actually argue that he never does this!

It was just two days ago I was browsing through some old threads on ZLMB. The subject was John Gee's false statement about the KEP characters "overrunning" the English text. Attention to this was drawn by Ed Ashment and Metcalfe and Seymour Bloom, among others.

How did Dan respond? By implying that Ashment could be lying about his status as a "Ph.D candidate" since he has been such for ten years.

But the hypocrisy in Dan becomes clearer in instances like the "Metcalfe is Butthead" incident. When his best friend makes a complete ass of himself by acting so petulant, Dan runs to his defense by saying it was just something done in private, and FARMS didn't publish it.

Through the years I managed to overlook these problems in Dan's method because I practically worshipped the guy. When his essay on Ps 82 was released I spent three days transcribing it and posting it online. Dan was the bomb. He was the force our critics needed to reckon with.

Then a year later the 9-11 tragedy sparked interest in the subject of Islam. I started reading up on the subject and wasn't impressed. I had no earthly idea how much of an apologist Dan was for Islam. In fact, he seems to be far more sensitive about Islamic criticism than criticism about his own faith; it was criticism of the former that made him write me off completely.

But our initial exchange would pretty much tell the whole story. I made some comments on ZLMB about the character of Muhammed. Dan questioned whether or not I knew what I was talking about and asked me for a source. I provided not one source but a half-dozen. Dan looked foolish at this point, but not nearly as foolish as he would look after his next response.

He essentially told me that he didn't have the time to argue with someone who was apparently intellectually, emotionally and spiritually inferior:

"I see a passion to condemn that can never, until the intellectual or emotional (or even spiritual) state of the critic is fundamentally altered, be stilled or satisfied."

That was his excuse for bailing out on the subject!!

Ever since I have had the tendency to take off the gloves when arguing with Dan. And I felt like a complete idiot for having looked up to someone for so long as if he were a giant.
Daniel Peterson Spouts Off On A Jewish Website About Baptism Of Jewish Simon Wiesenthal
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006, at 10:47 AM
Original Author(s): Zig
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Daniel C. Peterson, a man EMPLOYED By the Mormon Church, decided to go and tell the Jewish People today that his cult baptised Simon Wiesenthal because Jews "are not worthy enough to receive G-d's eternal blessing on their own.". I wish to let the Jewish Community know that Daniel C. Peterson is a spokesman for the Mormon Church because he is PAID to say these kinds of things.

Daniel today went to a Jewish website and wrote the following:
"To Rabbi Hier's remark that "It is sacrilegious for the Mormon faith to desecrate [Simon Wiesenthal's] memory by suggesting that Jews on their own are not worthy enough to receive G-ds’ eternal blessing,"

"I would respond that we Latter-day Saints do, quite unapologetically, insist that Jews "are not worthy enough to receive G-d's eternal blessing" "on their own."

This guy has no shame when it comes to defending his cult.

His comments have been forwarded to the Salt Lake Tribune, The Deseret News, the LDS Church Office Building, and various other news agencies in Utah. I want to make sure the LDS Church knows what this man is doing in their name.
Daniel C. Peterson's Comments On The Baptism Of Simon Wiesenthal Are Embarrassing
Wednesday, Dec 20, 2006, at 10:52 AM
Original Author(s): Substrate
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Unfortunately for Mormons, DCP takes the victim approach to this topic. Rather than even attempt to be conciliatory, he takes offense at what he perceives as a bigoted attack on his faith.

Sorry, but you don't generate good will with defensiveness. The rest of his "defense" is similarly embarrassing. Some choice quotes:

"For reasons perhaps best known to her, Helen Radkey hates my Church, and is always seeking to do it damage." In other words, it doesn't matter because Helen is a bigot.

"Systematically barring work for Jews that we Latter-day Saints regard as salvific would itself be an act of racist discrimination." This one stands on its own. Sheer idiocy.

"I'm not sure why some Jews appear to be offended by Mormon temple service on behalf of Jews. Jews have precious few friends around the world. They should not be seeking to alienate Mormons, who are deeply philosemitic." Holy crap! This one I think takes the cake: Don't offend us because you need all the friends you can get. "Philosemitic": what a joke.

And finally, he takes the Bednar approach: being offended is the Jews' problem, not his. "I hope that Jews, of all people, will be very careful not to entertain the kind of religious hatred and bigotry that some will undoubtedly attempt to inflame over this issue."

Somebody at FARMS should tell the man to leave the diplomacy to the experts.

Daniel's comments can be found here:
"Apologetics By The Numbers" By Daniel C. Peterson
Monday, Mar 19, 2007, at 08:42 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Daniel C. Peterson may hold the all-time record for using the most words to express the fewest statements of worth (perhaps even eclipsing Hugh Nibley's blather-laden "No Ma'am, That's Not History.") One can only imagine how many hours DCP spent searching through RFM posts to glean, cut-and-paste, and assemble the quotes he uses. Is this really all he has to do with his spare time?

Daniel's "Apologetics By The Numbers":

To rebut Peterson's epic bloviations in a nutshell: If Mormon apologetic productions were worthwhile and legitimate, the writers wouldn't need FARMS or FAIR or Meridian Magazine as outlets; rather, they would be published in legitimate, secular, scholarly media.

Most non-Mormon scholars don't even bother to waste their time rebutting Mormon apologetics, because the apologetics are too silly to be taken seriously. About the only recent example to the contrary that I'm aware of is Dr. Robert Ritner's article "The Breathing Permit of Hor," published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Ritner wrote that article to rebut the Mopologists' continued support of Joseph Smith's ridiculous "interpretations" of his Egyptian papyrus.

Ritner excoriated the Mopologists and came just short of accusing them of committing academic fraud. The main target of his article, Mormon Egyptologist John Gee, wrote a response to Ritner, which Peterson forwarded to some internet readers. Gee's response consisted entirely of ad hominem attacks, he-said-she-said bitching and moaning, and did not address Ritner's criticisms of the Mopologists' misinformation re: the papyrus fragments at all.

This article of Peterson's is much like Gee's response to Ritner. Rather than addressing and refuting the actual issues of history and doctrine, Peterson wastes hours and hours bitching and moaning about how we horrible Ex-Mormons are persecuting the saints. Obfuscation at its finest.

Just a coupla comments about some of Peterson's remarks:
We who write such things engage in apologetics because we believe that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that the two of them appeared to Joseph Smith in a grove of trees near Palmyra, New York, in the spring of 1820, that the Book of Mormon is the record of ancient inhabitants of the Americas, and that the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored.
See, this is why Mopologists can't be taken seriously in the academic world: Peterson's remarks consist of naked assertions which are utterly refuted by historical facts and basic common sense. Peterson "bears his testimony," while knowing full well that this same Joseph Smith, whom he truly believes was God's messenger, was hauled into court in 1826 for defrauding locals with the same type of occult folk-magic con by which he claimed just two years later to be the means by which he "translated the golden plates" containing the BOM. The same Joseph Smith which the historical record clearly shows led a life of deception, crime, and debuachery from the beginning of his public life to his death. The same Joseph Smith whom Peterson believes is highly credible.

Dr. Peterson, would you please tell us again *why* we are supposed to take you seriously?
And, what is more, we believe that defending these and related claims against attack, misunderstanding, and distortion--very often from writers who offer a great deal more in the way of evidence and reasoned analysis (it would be difficult to offer less) than anything Alvin, Beaver, Caleb, Doogie, and Eeyore have provided thus far--is a worthwhile thing to do, and something that we're obligated to do.
This opinion of Peterson's is not supported by the facts. To repeat: if the Mopologists' productions consisted of "reasoned analysis," they would be taken seriously and be published in legitimate scholarly media, rather than solely in publications which the Mopologists have created as their self-serving vehicle.

At some future time, perhaps FARMS and FAIR will also want to consider some of the stellar insights into comparative religion that are available at the scholarly venue where Alvin, Beaver, Caleb, Doogie, and Eeyore publish their best work. A very recent specimen (31 October 2006) will serve to illustrate the almost unimaginable richness of discoveries available there:
Mormonism is really a break off Islam They dont think Jesus is the god , they cover up their women and give them no rights, They hate all other religons and you must convert to their religion or go to hell. They get violent tempers when you question their beliefs. They want to take over the earth. The two groups have too much in common.

Such sweeping statements, of course, do not go without response. "I have said this very thing for years," commented the longest and most substantive reply. "Not quite like you've stated it but similar."
Here, Peterson uses as an example of RFM posts, one which is obviously the production of someone who is not too bright or well-informed---as though Peterson wants his audience to believe that the silliest remark he can find on RFM is representative of RFM and as a whole. Not only is Peterson's citation of this extreme example disingenous, it's really nothing more than pot-kettle-black: Any one of us could cite far sillier remarks posted by true believing Mormons on one internet forum or another every day of the year (and some RFM posters occasionally forward those types of comments to RFM for our reading pleasure.)

Old-timers here know that I debated many of the "shining lights" of internet Mopologists for years on and other fora. I could quote some of the most outrageous, inane, disingenuous remarks from them, directed at Ex-Mormons, that are just as bad or worse than the extreme example Peterson cites from RFM. However, the difference would be that some of the allegedly "smartest" Mopologists on the internet are also those who write the most inane stuff.

For example, a prominent poster on the FAIR boards---Russell "Pahoran" McGregor---who has published an article on the FAIR website, and whom I'm sure Peterson considers to be a colleague in fighting the good fight---once called me an "apologist for genocide" on ARM, in a discussion about the 1839 Mormon War in Missouri. I didn't take offense to Russell's comment, because I knew that his opinion was the product of his own ignorance. For interested readers, here's the thread:

Another Mormon defender on ARM once wrote "Randy probably approves of the Taliban." You can read that Einstein's remarks at

I could cite similar idiotic comments from a wide variety of true believing Mormons on the internet, including Kerry Shirts, Wade England, Guy "Brickwall" Briggs, Scott Quantz, Gerry Ensley, Woody Brison, Charles Dowis, and the list goes on and on. But as opposed to Peterson's quoting of an obviously not-too-bright RFM poster, the remarks I could cite are from some of the more prominent and allegedly well-informed Mormon defenders out there.

Peterson wrote his article based on quotes he's read on RFM; I could literally write a 200-page book consisting of nothing more than idiotic statements like these from Mormons which are floating around on the internet.

And let's not forget Peterson's own silly remarks, such as his assertions that:
  • The church doesn't cover up details about polygamy
  • The best treatments of church history have been written by true believers
  • The details of Joseph Smith's plural marriages are "murky at best."
Bottom line: Daniel Peterson is a hypocrite.
So, What Is Doctor Daniel C. Peterson's Rule?
Monday, Jan 7, 2008, at 07:18 AM
Original Author(s): Cats
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Well, it isn't a rule but a logical premise that critics of Mormonism have to adhere to if they want a dialog with Mormons and not be labeled "anti" or disregarded by them.

What is it? I really don't understand it but the premise in Daniel's words is this:
So the principle that came to me on this was that if you are looking at a religious tradition that has a large number of adherents...then there must be something in it that appeals to different people.
So, IF lots of people believe something THEN it must appeal to lots of people.

Like I said, I didn't understand how it was applicable to these "ground rules" for apologists:

Rule 1: Ask Adherents, Not Enemies

Rule 2: Don't Compare Your Best with Their Worst

Rule 3: Leave Room for Holy Envy
Bishop Daniel C. Peterson Laughs At The College Terrace Fire In His Student Ward, Blames A Non-Member
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, at 07:40 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Boy, the aptly named MADboard has really been a-hummin' with interesting threads as of late. Some folks may have noticed the rather sensationally titled, "See My Ward on Television!" With the exclamation mark punctuating this, what are you led to believe? Do you think this will be some silly, fun kind of local color piece? Do you think that DCP is boasting about some media coverage he's just received? If so, dig this:
The UVSC student ward over which I preside consists, essentially, of a single apartment complex that has four buildings.

One of the buildings was seriously damaged by fire today, during church. One apartment unit in it was completely gutted, another severely damaged, and many others are smoke- and/or water-damaged. Nobody will be allowed to stay in it over night, and I'm guessing that it will be quite a while before anybody is allowed (or will want) to move back in to most of it.

It was interesting to see the Church's organization move into action. We have housing taken care of for everybody, as well as food and bedding. My elders quorum president lived up to my expectations for him, and did a marvelous job, as did the Relief Society president. My second counselor, whom I deputed to monitor things at the apartment while I finished up some counseling matters that didn't go away even despite the fire, was also superb.

Of course, some of our people lost virtually everything they had, including clothing, so the challenge will not be over in a day or two.

Some of my ward members were interviewed by KSL News. My understanding is that they will be on at 10 PM.

During the meeting that we held immediately after our three-hour block to hand out instructions, assess needs and resources, wait for the authorities to grant access to the area, etc., I couldn't resist having the congregation sing "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning." They got a kick out of it, and sang with gusto.
Interesting. On the one hand, I think perhaps DCP should be given credit for lending some levity to this likely very grim situation. However, one cannot help but wonder.... Here's the Good Professor's next post:
I'm grateful for the expressions of concern and helpfulness.

Fortunately, although almost precisely a fourth of my ward were refugees as of last night, things seem to be more or less under control.

I was pleased that at least one of the evening news reports mentioned that, thanks to "the LDS singles ward" to which most of the people in the apartment complex belong, they were well taken care of with food, bedding, and shelter. This is true, and, again, the members of the ward, led by my counselor, the elders quorum president, and the president of the Relief Society, handled the situation quickly and extremely well.
So, this is turning into a PR opportunity for the Church, then? This seems rather reminiscent of the recent posting by GoodK, in which an LDS male used someone's hospitalization as a means of promoting the Church.

But wait---the twists and turns continue:
A burning candle -- prohibited by the rules of the apartment complex -- was inadevertently tipped over. While the person who tipped it over (not, incidentally, a member of my ward; a few in the complex go to other wards, and a fair number of inactives and non-Mormons live in the complex) was in another room and unaware, flames engulfed the room in which the candle had been tipped over.
(emphasis added)

Ah, I see! So: not only is DCP rather opportunistically using this tragedy as a means of doing PR work for the Church, he is also using it as a means of smearing non-LDS, or at least insinuating that they were responsible for this conflagration. No one here has criticized him for being "cruel, sick-humored," etc. Rather, the criticism here has been aimed at two things:
  1. That he seemed to want to blame the fire on non-Mormons and "inactives, and
  2. He seemed to want to use the whole event as a PR opportunity for the Church.
Daniel Peterson Has The Easiest Job In The World
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008, at 07:08 AM
Original Author(s): Lando Moron
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Job Description:

Just make up your own "facts" as you go along.

Don't bother with looking for evidence.

Don't bother with consistency or context.

If you're defending a text that, by its own words, referred to major cities and battles with combatants numbering in the hundreds of thousands (larger than the largest U.S. Civil War battles), simply ignore those references if they are inconvenient to the argument that you want to make today.

Just because you're trying to defend a text as being inspired by God Almighty and constituting proof that the religion you were born into is the most correct religion on earth, doesn't mean that any particular part of the text has to be accurate or meaningful.

Feel free to pick and choose as circumstances change.

It's all fluid, flowing and flavorful.

When a fellow-believing ignoramus comes to you, expressing alarm at some distressing fact that he/she has just been exposed to, feel free to say anything that will make the ignoramus feel good and cease to doubt. If nothing else, simply say: "Oh, that. Yes, it was all debunked and discredited a long time ago." That's usually all it takes to send the ignoramus happily on his/her way to continue paying tithing and cleaning out toilets with a hymn on his/her lips.

[end of job description]

Damn, if I didn't have this pesky conscience, I'd like to have a job just like DCP's job.

The whole point of apologetics is to wave away every claim the Book of Mormon makes to the point that there is nothing claimed and nothing left to defend.

Another definition: An apologist is someone who tries to convince you that you really can pick up a turd by the clean end.
Daniel Peterson, "Leading" Mormon Apologist, Undermined 178 Years Of Church Book Of Mormon Doctrine This Month
Monday, Apr 21, 2008, at 11:09 AM
Original Author(s): Freeatlast
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Earlier this month, The Deseret News reported that Mormonism’s leading apologist, Daniel Peterson, said at a presentation at a bookstore in UT that “[Joseph] Smith never went through the golden pages of the ancient record, but instead put the seer stone in a hat, then buried his head in the hat to shut out ambient light. The stone lit up a line of text, about 30 words at a time, which Smith then dictated to his scribe. Once the text was transcribed correctly, the line disappeared and a new line came into focus, Peterson said, quoting eye witnesses who were 19th Century farmers associated with Smith.”


In his BoM article, “A Treasured Testament” (published in the Jul./93 Ensign and online at, Mormon Apostle Russell Nelson wrote the following:
“The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known. Yet we do have a few precious insights. David Whitmer wrote:

“Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.”
(David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.)
Peterson: “The stone lit up a line of text, about 30 words at a time,”

Nelson quoting Whitmer: “One character at a time would appear,”

More from Nelson’s article:
“Although the Prophet would polish his skills over the years, Emma acknowledged that Joseph possessed only rudimentary literacy at the time he translated the gold plates”

“It [America] was to be the repository of sacred writing on plates of gold from which the Book of Mormon would one day come,”
Pres. Gordon Hinckley in Gen. Conf. in Oct./07: “First came Moroni with the plates from which was translated the Book of Mormon. What a singular and remarkable thing this was. Joseph’s story of the gold plates was fantastic. It was hard to believe and easy to challenge.” (The title of Hinckley’s address was “The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain”; it should have been “The Stone in Joseph’s Hat”!)

Mormon Apostle Robert Hales in Oct./03 Gen. Conf.: “He called Joseph by name and introduced himself as Moroni. He said “that God had a work for [Joseph] to do” and told him of an ancient record written on gold plates, which, when translated, became the Book of Mormon.” Also, “At the age of 23 Joseph was translating the plates when he and Oliver came upon a passage about baptism for the remission of sins.”

Mormon Apostle and Second Counselor in the First Presidency James E. Faust in Oct./01 Gen. Conf., quoting Oliver Cowdery: “I … handled with my hands the gold plates from which [the Book of Mormon] was translated.”

From the Gospel Library, Gospel Topics on

“Gold Plates:

Plates made of gold upon which the ancient American prophet Mormon abridged the record of his people. Joseph Smith translated the writings on the gold plates into what became the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

From the LDS Church’s Primary 5: Doctrine and Covenants: Church History manual, Lesson 6: Joseph Smith Begins to Translate the Gold Plates: “Show the picture of the gold plates, and discuss Joseph Smith’s task of translating the strange writings on the plates. Once Joseph and Emma Smith were settled in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Joseph began to translate the gold plates.”

Primary 3B: Choose the Right: Lesson 15: The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon: “With Heavenly Father’s help and by using the Urim and Thummim, Joseph was able to translate the words on the gold plates into words we could understand. Point out that this book is what Joseph translated from the gold plates.”

On, if you type in “translate plates” in the Search field and select All Church Content, you’ll get 711 instances/references.

Repeating the quote in the Des. News article: "Smith never went through the golden pages of the ancient record, but instead put the seer stone in a hat, then buried his head in the hat to shut out ambient light."

According to the Des. News article, “He [Peterson] also disputed studies that the DNA of Native Americans fails to coincide with the Book of Mormon claim that the people were of Hebrew heritage. The Americas were already populated with natives when the followers of Lehi arrived 2,600 years ago, Peterson said. The people of the Book of Mormon were by comparison a small group.”

In early 1842, Joseph Smith wrote the following about the Book of Mormon in a letter to John Wentworth, editor of The Chicago Democrat:
“In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian Era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.”

For us ex-Mormons, the new Mormon ‘truths’ that Peterson and other Mo-pologists create (e.g., BoM Limited Geography Theory, the Hill Cumorah not in upper New York State, but somewhere in Central America) mean nothing. However, for Latter-day Saints who are struggling to psychologically cling to the ‘one, true’ religion of 'the Lord', Mormon apologists' words can be very ‘faith-disrupting’.
Danny Peterson Explains Why People Join Cults
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008, at 06:40 AM
Original Author(s): Sl Cabbie
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Brigham Young University's Daniel Peterson says people from all walks of life join cults. Peterson, a professor of Islamic studies and a member of The University of Utah's Council for Religious Scholarship, says potential cult members include people from all age groups, and educational and economic backgrounds.
"These movements often meet a real psychological need for people who want purpose and meaning and structure. And many people have said that cults represent the unpaid bills of the mainstream religions, that these people did not find the religion in which they were raised or the religion that is predominant in society satisfying to them. It didn't give them the sense of purpose or structure that they needed. We are in a society now that's awash in what many people see as relativism. They don't know if they have a purpose and what that purpose would be," says Peterson. "And a cult offers very decisive answers so that they know their place in the universe and their place in society."
Oh the irony of that last statement.

I'll get the scalpel out and really dissect his dishonesty . . .
Peterson . . . says potential cult members include people from all age groups, and educational and economic backgrounds.
Nice pea-palming move there, Perfesser . . . The subject under discussion right now is the FLDS cult, and you know damn good and well the members there were born into it. The age-of-indoctrination is invaribly from childhood on with educational and economic backgrounds nearly uniform and minimal schooling in genuine science and history.

Of course if you ventured into that area of thought you might have to deal with your own brainwashing and indoctrination . . . You know, the stuff you dissed Tal over for being honest enough to acknowledge it . . .

And that was quite the dodge distancing yourself from BYU and being identified with my alma mater . . .
Daniel C. Peterson - Now The Defacto Prophet Of LDS Inc?
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008, at 06:43 AM
Original Author(s): Beentheredunnthatexmo
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Or the Kenneth Lay of Mo'ism? Or the Eddie Haskell of god's one true chrutch on the face of the earth?Only YOU can decide!
Peterson said the Book of Mormon was revealed to Smith through a seer stone. Smith never went through the golden pages of the ancient record, but instead put the seer stone in a hat, then buried his head in the hat to shut out ambient light. The stone lit up a line of text, about 30 words at a time, which Smith then dictated to his scribe. Once the text was transcribed correctly, the line disappeared and a new line came into focus, Peterson said, quoting eye witnesses who were 19th Century farmers associated with Smith.

Geez...I sure wish I'd been able to teach this on my mission to all of my investigators...that the Golden Plates that JS allegedly found and that started the whole boulder of Mo'ism hindsight according to DCP weren't even needed??? Go figure huh?

I can still recall the numerous times I showed my "flip-chart" pic of JS poring over the Golden Plates with feather-quill pen in hand by candle-light or lantern-light (whatever-the-heck light it was).

Shame on me for spending two years of my-one-and-only-life lying to good and decent people about the role the Golden Plates played in the restoration of god's one and only. I shoulda known better than to do that to them...or to me.

Should've saved the wear and tear on myself, my flip-chart and my bike and just carried around a smooth chocolate colored rock in my trousers.

And now a word of wisdom for all you young'ens out there...DCP is the kind of lying-sleazy-weasel-loser that your parents always told you to avoid as you were growing up...not unlike Eddie Haskell.

DCP had better hope like hell that there's not an afterlife predicated on moral, spiritual and intellectual integrity...because he and his ilk will NOT be welcomed there.

DCP had also better hope like hell that Mo'ism will stop its worldwide he just may be out of a gig and booted out on his keister with nowhere to go and no professional business entity in the real world wanting to hire such an apologetic lying loser piece of human debris.

And just a reminder...please don't ask me how I really feel!

Or so it seems to me...
Dan, You Make Satan Look Like A Saint When It Comes To Spin
Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008, at 07:00 AM
Original Author(s): Peter Pumpkinhead
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dan Peterson's art of deception has reached a new level.

Let me point out a couple of my favorite excerpts from the article.

First is this statement:
"To have created it any other way (The Book of Mormon) would have required scholarly instincts and experience the young, uneducated farm boy did not have, Peterson said."
I wouldn't consider Joseph as being "a young boy" when he wrote the book. He was 21? when he supposedly received the plates. I believe Dan is playing off the idea of Joseph being the fourteen year old boy who went off to the woods to pray. Joe was a man, not a boy when he 'translated the plates'. Second, I wouldn't consider him 'uneducated'. We know that he had at least one parent who taught. Any boy who can read the bible as well as Joseph claims, can't be 'uneducated'. How many 14 year olds today have the scriptural understanding that Joseph claimed to have had? Please Dan, define uneducated so as to clear us of any confusion as to what it means.
"The Brigham Young University professor of Islamic studies and Arabic also sought to dispel some of the myths surrounding the Prophet's translation of the scripture.

Peterson said the Book of Mormon was revealed to Smith through a seer stone. Smith never went through the golden pages of the ancient record, but instead put the seer stone in a hat, then buried his head in the hat to shut out ambient light."
Tell me Dan, WHO is responsible for this 'myth' surrounding the Prophets translation of the scripture? Could it be the Mormon Church? Apparently not because further on you state:
"A common belief among LDS members is that Smith put up a blanket or sheet between him and the scribe, primarily Oliver Cowdery, so the scribe couldn't see Smith working with the plates. But Peterson said the only sheets that were put up were to screen the work from folks passing by the windows, more often at the Peter Whitmore home where much of the translation took place."
So you're placing the blame on the members right? Yet, this is what's taught in the church. Boy, we sure have a lot of disobedient instructors throughout the church taking history in their own hands and distorting facts. That is what you're really saying isn't it Dan?

For my fellow apostates, please correct me where I may be wrong as I'm sure that I have not studied this out as long as probably most of you have. That being said, Dan's approach further proves to me that the church will continue to rewrite it's history and will continue to lie till it's last dying breath.
Daniel C. Peterson - Excommunication For Apostacy?
Thursday, Jan 1, 2009, at 05:28 PM
Original Author(s): Grey Matter
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Is it true that Daniel C Peterson is a candidate for excommunication from the mormon shurch?

We know that DCP fails to sustain every so-called prophet, seer and revelator of the mormon church, since Joe Smith to Gordon Hinkley, but will they excommunicate him for that?

1. He does not support the so-called prophets doctrinal teachings on the Lamanites being the principal ancestors of the American Indians

2. He sympathises and associates with other apostates, know as mormon apologists, who also disregard and do not support what every prophet of the so-called church has taught about the Lamanites

3. He does not advocate what the mormon book of fiction has to say about the Lamanites

Therefore, I wonder if he is ripe for excommunication. He must certainly be on thin ice.

Does anybody know if a date has been set for his court of love?

The men who control the mormon church have excommunicated many. For example, they kicked out Michael D. Quinn, who's only sin was simply exposing some of the lesser known aspects of mormon history. How much more deserving of excommunication is Danial C Peterson and his pals, for their heretical stance on the Lamanites?

If anybody knows of an upcoming excommunication court which has been set for Daniel C Peterson, please let us know.

Having said that, if anybody knows of a revelation or doctrine, which states that profesional liars or apologists are senior in ranking to the 15 so-caleld prophets, and can now trump any prophets statement on any subject, please advise.

Those mormon apologists. They're the guys with the real power. They can change mormon doctrine at a whim. At the slighest wish of an apologist, almost 180 years of mormon doctrine can be flushed down the toilet, like any other stinking turd.

And if Daniel ever has to get exxommunicated to please the egos of the mormon jesus' apostles, I hope that he can find an equally satisfying job, although - according to Tal Bachman, if my memory serves me correct - nobody in Peterson's area of professional expertise has ever heard of him. Tal once contacted professors at several universities across the globe with Islamic Studies programs, and the boffins had not the slightest idea of who the highly esteemed Peterson in the mormon apologist circle actually was?

I wonder why?

Daniel C. Peterson has done much more harm to the church and the faith of its members than I have, or perhaps many of us combined. If I were a church leader I would boot him out of the church.

Not only does Mr. Peterson not support the teachings of the current anointed church leaders, he leads members astray when they start believing him more than church leaders on critical points of church faith.

Peterson's problem is that he has no priesthood authority to interpret scripture and explain church doctrine. Mormons have been specifically wanted to not trust the teachings of men mingled with scripture, which is exactly what Peterson does.

As an ex-Mormon, I appreciate the work Peterson does to further damage the faith of members. His writings are the gateway drug which leads members to discover the truth about the church.

But I don't understand why the church would ex-communicate others for personal apostasy, when Peterson is actively destroying the testimonies of so many members. He has church leaders duped into thinking he is an asset. More power to him!
Comments On Daniel Peterson's Use Of The Voltaire Quote
Monday, Jan 5, 2009, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I had seen Peterson's tagline on the MAAD board a couple of weeks ago, but I don't know French, so thanks to Flattop for providing a translation:
"I have always made one prayer to God, which is very short. Here it is: God, render our enemies ridiculous! God has granted it to me."
Now, let me get this straight: Daniel Peterson, being a TBM, believes that a guy named Moroni, who had been dead for 1400 years, came back to life as an "angel," and magically appeared to Joseph Smith in his bedroom in 1823, and told him where to dig up these golden plates upon which was etched a history of some Israelites who lived anciently in America.

Then the undead Moroni informed Joseph that he was supposed to translate the golden plates into English, via the method of putting a magic rock in his hat, whereupon the English words would magically appear on the rock (thus not even needing the plates), and Joseph was to then dictate those words to a scribe.

But in Daniel Peterson's keen mind, we Ex-Mormons are supposed to be the "ridiculous" ones.
I See Daniel C. Peterson As The Porn-Czar Of Secular Anti-Mormonism
Friday, Mar 27, 2009, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I remember back in the day some righteous Utah porn-czar was asked to review and police porn in Utah, then he later claimed to have succumbed to porn's seduction.

I really believe deep-down Dan finds secular anti-mormonism quite seductive. It's the anti-mormonism that makes the most sense to the secularly educated. It says mormonism is nonsense for the same reasons that literal Christianity is nonsense. That hauntings are nonsense. That Scientology is nonsense. That psychic readings are nonsense. Because, based upon every unbiased method we know to reliably describe the world around us, the claims of these beliefs are shown as baseless.

I think Dan is a smart guy and recognizes this from a purely logical perspective. Though we all have those other motivations that make us all believe weird things. So I see Dan as doubling down in Pascal's Wager and digging in a little deeper. Fighting for his view of the Mormon afterlife is preferable to starring into the oblivion. Besides, in Dan's view, if we all become atheists we would become a selfish world governed by Stalins and Maos.

You will notice that Dan never claims that their work proves Mormonism, just that there is enough evidence that a belief in such things could be seen from the outside as reasonable (and not bats*#t crazy). Dan loves secular education and accolades. I think he often reflects on how his beliefs are perceived by others. Though he really could not care less what the Evangelicals think, because, well… they are bats*#t crazy. But, he really does care what he considers his colleagues, secular educators, really think (though they won't tell him to his face).

Dan, I am sure you search for your name on this board so I was sure to include your middle initial "C" to make it easy for you to find. If it makes you feel better, I would read that diatribe against Korihor over and over again too. I know how it feels. Just so you know, secular life really isn't as scary as you make it out to be. All the best.
Daniel C. Peterson's "Muhammad, Prophet Of God"
Friday, Apr 17, 2009, at 07:02 AM
Original Author(s): Mtykk
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
This author has made many serious, non-scholarly , most likely deliberate mistakes, errors and accusations in his book.

I have contacted the Author of the Foreword, and found out that Islamic Scholar Khaleel Mohammad was tricked into writing of his foreword and has not even read the Blueprint before the publication of this deceiving work.

Some laughable mistakes...

He claims Qur'an's style is most definitely likely of the Arab Poetry. This is why so many Arabs embraced Islam, Qur'an was so different and higher standard that it reformed and standardized Arabic. This is a baseless attack, the miracle of the Qur'an was its unique style, that can and has been demonstrated by scholars multiple times

He claims Early Qur'an wasn't truly monotheistic, neither the Prophet. This is comical, THE VERSE OF MONOTHEISM, Al-Ikhlas is an early Sura, and all Suras are inherently unmistakably monotheistic, That's Islam, That's Muhammad (sas)

He says this was a "later" development. (Clear Deception)

He claims Qur'an verses depict Jesus(as) God Incarnate. (LOL) There is not a single verse he can produce for this claim

He tries to claim that Qur'an borrowed from Christian and Jewish sources. This is an old school deception that's been discussed and refuted many times, this can not be established, nor can be proven. The Qur'an itself states it has come to be a guardian of the Scriptures, meaning to restore the truth and correct the mistakes and that's just what it does.

Overall, the author's image he's trying to give is an Objective, Loving Scholar is a hoax and this book is nothing but a desperate attack upon the Religion of Islam and Beloved Prophet Muhammad(sas), If BYU wants any respect from the Muslim community, it is their duty to pull this Deceptive Book of Lies off publication.
Denial C. Peterson's Argument In The Lecture Was Absurd
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009, at 07:51 AM
Original Author(s): Beavis Christ
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Here's its essence as distilled from article linked in the Deseret News:

1) Many ancient religions thought the religious experience was about "ascending" to god(s).

2) Mormonism calls its #1 heaven "exaltation."

3) Since these are similar concepts, it's proof that mormonism is true and that ancient peoples throughout world believe this important piece of it.

That argument is a classic case of post hoc fallacy since it assumes that #2 caused #1 when there is no evidence that mormon doctrine existed before Jo Smith. They CLAIM they are the original church but there is no evidence of this historically.

Rather than making that absurd argument, let's try a more reasonable one about why other religions think of worship places as places to ascend to god(s).

1) The atmosphere or "sky" is above the earth's surface. The sun and moon appear to be in the sky.

2) Ancient people thought that god(s) lived in the sky and we could "ascend" up to them through worship or death.

3) Mormons, being descended from the same ancient tradition (as a protestant christians) but after the creation of modern astronomy, adapted the ascendancy concept to fit their times through "exaltation."

Besides being far more logical and simple, this process of incorporating current scientific knowledge into mormonism can be seen with regard to the Book of Abraham where "God" tells Abraham that stars and planets get their light from each other. This was a common belief in Smith's day, similar to the idea that hot drinks--coffee, tea, hot chocolate were bad for you.

Religion is light a philosophical snapshot. It is a great way to see how larger society thought about different things during the time of the founder's life.
Daniel Peterson Pulls A Goddess Out Of His @ss
Thursday, Aug 20, 2009, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Beavis Christ
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
The guy should stick with babbling about the Book of Mormon, he's at least slightly decent at that since it's entirely fictional.

When it comes to talking about the Bible where at least some of it is real, Peterson has shat out one of the biggest mopologist turds I've ever seen:

There are numerous errors in his argument. Here are just a few:

--Asherah/Astarte/Ashtoreth was not the mother of Yahweh, instead she was his wife.

--Yahweh was not the son of El, he was basically Judah's name for the supreme god, in contrast to Israel's El. Judah won out in the end politically so that is what "God" became known as. In reality, the concepts were the same.

Saying Yahweh was the son of El is like saying Jupiter was the son of Zeus.

--The report claims that "there is no record of Asherah being opposed by many of the early Old Testament prophets -- including Baal-worship critics Amos, Hosea, Elijah and Elisha."

That is flat-out false.

Elijah manifested rejected Asherah worship as seen in 1 Kings 18 where he challenges priests of both Asherah and Baal to get their god to call down fire from heaven.

The Mosaic books also condemn Asherah worship:

Exodus 34:13 "Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles."

Deuteronomy 16:21 "Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the LORD your God"

Books subsequent to that also condemned Asherah veneration:

Judges 3:7 "The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs."

1 Kings 14:15 "And the LORD will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their forefathers and scatter them beyond the River, because they provoked the LORD to anger by making Asherah poles."

--Peterson is correct that there does seem to have been Asherah worship inside the Hebrew temple, however, it is repeated denounced as evil by the Biblical authors:

There are numerous references to kings destroying Asherah worship centers in the Bible. Here's 2 Kings 21:

"Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.

"He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. [...] He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple."

For additional references to Asherah poles being destroyed at the will of God, run a search in any Bible website for Asherah or Ashtoreth. You'll find literally *dozens* of references to how God hates Asherah worship, in basically every time period prior to the Babylonian conquest.

Now it makes sense that Asherah worship would keep popping up despite various kings' attempts to stamp it out. As the wife of the main god (Yahweh or El depending on who you were asking), it makes sense that people would keep worshipping her. She was a goddess of their ancestors and a big deal in the region among non-Hebrews.

It's astonishing (as poster "Puli" put it on the other thread about this article), that Peterson would even get into the weeds on this point however because what he's saying is outright apostacy:

"The Canannites worshiped a god named 'El.'

"'El was probably also the original god of Israel,' Peterson said. 'In the earliest Israelite conception, father El had a divine son named Yahweh or Jehovah. That ought to sound very Mormon to you, this increasing understanding of Old Testament scholars. But gradually the Israelite conception of Yahweh absorbed the functions of El. By the 10th century B.C., King Solomon's day, Yahweh and El had come to be identified as the same person.'

The chief goddess of the Canaanites was Asherah, El's wife."

Any TBMs who take Daniel Peterson as a credible believing Mormon commentator ought to have their alarms going off!

Daniel Peterson, Mopologist extraordinaire, believes the following:

--Ancient Israel worshipped El, a god of the evil pagan Canaanites

--The modern concept of God came from a pagan god named El

Throw in Peterson's earlier incorrect statements about Asherah and these are the implications of his speech:

--What Mormons consider their supreme god-being is actually just a pagan retread formerly known as El.

--God's wife, Asherah, was known to the ancient Hebrews and worshiped. This act was not condemned by the prophets so it must be OK to pray to Heavenly Mother now.

How on earth does this man allowed to stay a Mormon?! He should be exed post haste. And then after that, UCLA should rescind his PhD in Arabic Studies.

The speech Peterson gave is complete and total garbage from both scriptural and historical perspectives. How he looks in the mirror each morning is just amazing.
Some Reflections On Daniel C. Peterson's Latest FARMS Piece
Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009, at 09:09 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Well, at last I have had the joyous opportunity to read the latest "steaming" pile from the Editor of the FARMS Review. Although access to the piece is still a bit "off," I was able to read this arresting bit of sophistry here:

I found the introduction to be intriguing. In terms of tone, it seemed milder and less interested in outright attack than DCP's usual introductions. Even more interesting, though, is his approach to criticism leveled against apologists right here on MDB. The title of the editorial is, "Where Ideas Won't Face Serious Challenge," and readers here at MDB will probably recall the various conversations about Mopologists' failure to submit their most controversial and audacious claims to serious, scholarly scrutiny. Where, we have asked, have apologists, in secular academic conferences on Latin American history, openly proposed that the BoM is a legitimate historical document? Where has John Gee openly and explicitly made a case--in academic conferences or in the scholarly literature--for his BoA theories? The answer remains the same: they haven't.

And yet, it seems that Daniel Peterson is incapable of accurately summarizing the critics' position. He begins his piece thus:
For a long time, many Latter-day Saint academics and intellectuals have sought to bring Mormon studies into the academic mainstream, and recently their efforts have begun to bear some fruit. A number of schools in the United States and even beyond now include courses on Mormonism in their curriculum. Some-including Utah State University and California's Claremont Graduate University-have established endowed professorships in Mormon studies.
Notice DCP's careful use of terminology. When we critics have made our assertions, do we say, "Mormon Studies"? Or do we say, instead, Mopologetics? Anyone who has followed the exchanges of the past knows perfectly well that DCP is engaging in serious misrepresentation here. Professor Peterson goes on:
The unique Mormon interest in ancient temples has recently reached international audiences with William Hamblin and David Seely's Solomon's Temple: Myth and History3 and John Lundquist's The Temple of Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future4-both of which, significantly, are dedicated to the memory of Hugh Nibley, the father of temple studies among Latter-day Saints.
Why is the dedication to Nibley "significant"? Nibley is known primarily as an apologist.... But, how much of Nibley's LDS apologetics has received even the slightest bit of traction in the academic mainstream? Answer: none. This is yet more sophistry on DCP's part.

I have to say that I was amused to see him once again quoting me without proper attribution (despite the fact that he's clearly familiar with citation protocol). Did he fairly represent my remarks, though?
Among other things, such developments undoubtedly reflect considerable confidence on the part of their Latter-day Saint participants that both Mormons and Mormonism are capable of holding their own in the academic "big leagues," of moving beyond the comfort zone of the so-called Mormon corridor along the Wasatch Front and even of making a contribution to the relevant broader fields.

But there is another way of looking at the unfolding situation.

"Apologists," one anonymous critic of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opined on an Internet message board in mid-March 2009, "opt to hold their conferences in high-LDS-density places like Claremont or New England, where their ideas won't possibly face any significant challenges."

Now, I confess that, when I read that sentence, I laughed aloud. And then I laughed again. And then I included it as a signature on my e-mails.
At least he's using the term "apologists" this time around. But let's place the (unattributed) quotation in context. I had originally made the comment in response to this admission from DCP:

Daniel Peterson wrote:
We've actually approached the notion of holding this thing in California with some trepidation and concern, counting on the rather large Mormon population in southern California and the fairly substantial population of Mormon grad students at Claremont to provide an audience. If we venture anywhere else out of Utah in the relatively near term, it's likely to be to the American Northeast, where there are respectable groups of LDS students at Harvard, MIT, Yale, Brown, Princeton, and etc.
Now, please correct me if I'm wrong, but DCP seems to be saying here that they were "counting on the rather large Mormon population" in order to pull off the conference. Likewise, there are "respectable groups of LDS students" at the Ivy League schools. Sadly, DCP seems incapable of treating critical viewpoints with fairness. Certainly, he rather blatantly misrepresented this particular point. I half wonder if he realized it on some level, because he comments immediately de-evolved into a kind of sophomoric rant:
The notion that Mormons would choose Harvard and Yale and Princeton and Claremont because, as compared to other places (including the Mormon corridor itself!), those schools are complacently uncritical and Mormon-friendly is, simply, too ridiculous to require refutation.
No: the critical argument was (A) that the schools were selected first due to the high density of LDS, and (B) because they would lend prestige and cachet to Mopologetic enterprises---just by association. DCP completely omits this. (I wonder why? Is he perhaps proving the very claim I was making?)

Next, he can't resist taking more juvenile swipes:
(Its author was certainly daring, though, to have advanced his claim anonymously, on an obscure message board whose posters are overwhelmingly hostile to Mormonism and utterly enraptured by virtually anything that denigrates the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)
It is interesting that he would cite anonymity as a fault, only to use this supporting quote, a few sentences later:
And no matter how obviously true a proposition may be, there will still be somebody, somewhere, who will reject it. "It's impossible to make anything foolproof," goes the anonymous saying, "because fools are so ingenious."
Finally, he nukes his entire argument with this unfortunate throwing up of the hands:
The fact is that humans can and will believe and disbelieve anything at all. And this is by no means limited only to religious people.
The rest of the editorial is pretty run-of-the-mill, I'm afraid: ham-fisted attacks on the New Atheists; attacks on Bill Maher, whom DCP, with his well-cultured, finely tuned sense of humor calls an "alleged comedian" (probably best not to broadcast your grim humorlessness, there, Dr. Peterson); an apparent attack on Uncle Dale; and so on. Remarkably, it seems that a very large chunk of this editorial was culled from the musings on this very messageboard. And yet, DCP gives no attribution. No citation. (Is he worried that readers of the Review might find their way here, even if only out of curiosity?)

In any event, DCP's performance here was fascinating on a number of levels. I liked the self-reflexiveness of the pieces. In fact, I was rather stunned when he seemed to sum up his own technique:
There is undeniable ingenuity in this sort of thing, as there always is in sophistry.
Indeed, Dr. Peterson, and I hereby salute your ingenuity.
Daniel C. Peterson To Testify In Elizabeth Smart Case
Wednesday, Sep 30, 2009, at 08:39 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dr. Daniel Peterson is a BYU Professor of Islamic Studies and an expert on the analysis of scripture. Prosecutors say he "will speak to the coherency of Mitchell's writings." Peterson told us by phone he will testify about whether Mitchell wrote his scripture in an "ecstatic" mental state or whether the writings are "the product of a deliberate, cool mind."

Peterson did not reveal his conclusions to us, and prosecutors barred interviews.

In a motion opposing the testimony, Mitchell's defense team said, "Whether other fringe groups or individuals share similar delusions as Mr. Mitchell's is irrelevant."
Daniel C. Peterson, Mormon Apologist and Mormon Secret Service Agent (SCMC). Daniel is the leading Apologist for the Mormon owned and operated "Neal Maxwell Institute", also known as "Foundation For Ancient Research And Mormon Studies" or FARMS.
Yeah, Verily, It Has Been Revealed To Me That Daniel Peterson Is A Mighty Prophet
Sunday, Jan 10, 2010, at 10:52 AM
Original Author(s): Sl Cabbie
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Of the self-fulfilling variety (careful, Cabbie, no cracks about his weight; you're not exactly svelte yourself).

And ohmygarshgoodness, he's even a bit of a conspiracy theorist as well . . .

Daniel Peterson:
Quite honestly, I don't know whether these things matter much in the long run -- surely, intelligent readers/customers will know what to make of such situations -- but there has been a deliberate effort, spearheaded over at the so-called "Recovery Board," to flood the relatively new entry for the Kindle text of the Book of Mormon with hostile, negative, and dismissive comments:

Some believers may want to go there and provide "alternative voices."
RFM regulars have doubtless been following this one. Our regular "Sperco" innocently started a thread noting that there were only five reviews of the BOM on Amazon's "Kindle Version."

Proving that Exmo's have learned to pay attention, "mechworks" chimed in with . . .
Dan Peterson, you are busted again for reading
And one of our newer folks with a longish handle, Doctor CamNC4Me, showed excellent surgical technique in getting under Denial C.'s skin . . . Doctor CamNC4Me:

"Well, I suppose we got our act together long enough to post a ribald rebuttal his vacuous assertions. :)"

Alas, Doc, I think his vacuous assertions have deteriorated into accusations of a conspiracy (Sorry, Denial Ol' Boy, you can ask ADMIN about this one: RFMer's are like that proverbial herd of atheists-er cats . . . We're an independent-minded bunch. And note I didn't slip over and post anything on Amazon even though I'm registered there; I'm strictly a reporter this time around)

You did get their attention over on MAandD, at least a little Doc . . . Again from MAandD . . .

By far the most impactful criticism against the BoM in the reviews was the one that quoted Mark Twain. Of course, one would be well-advised to take the words of a curmudgeon humorist at face value when dealing with matters of religious faith. Why nobody quoted George Carlin on the subject of religion is a great mystery.
I keep telling people there's a deeper reason I picked the moniker I did (like I loved the initials).

Mostly the MAandD meanderings are a bunch of attempted thread hijackings, though. Nobody has mentioned DNA so far (or my Lehi Boatbuilding and Sailing Contest), just this bit . . .

Most of these "one star" comments are entertaining, but some show at least some modicum of thoughtful analysis. The old "it contradicts archeology" argument.

Too bad they don't come here to discuss their views.
Listen Dowis, when I wanted to recover from whiskey poisoning, I found it advisable to quit hanging around in saloons . . .

And now, Perfesser Peterson, since you claim to be a specialist in Middle Eastern languages, here's a vocabulary word from some Hebrew types that I think is appropos . . .

It's "Chutzpah."

Peterson And Gee's Libel Against Ritner?
Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010, at 08:17 AM
Original Author(s): Dartagnan
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Most of you who have kept up with the BoA debate over the past few years know how Robert Ritner has criticized his former student, John Gee. The only real response by the likes of Dan Peterson is to tell the story about how Ritner was thrown off Gee's dissertation committee after Gee made some kind of complaint about him. Here are just a few examples from DCP on the MAD board (There are others on the ZLMB board, but I didn't want to go looking for them).
The fact is that Professor Gee went on to earn a doctorate from Yale in Egyptology after successfully petitioning for the removal of Professor Ritner, his appointed advisor, from his doctoral committee. (Aug 2 2006, 10:45 AM)-

Perhaps you're unaware that Professor Gee (successfully) petitioned his department at Yale to have Professor Ritner replaced as chairman of his doctoral committee. Such requests are not commonly made. And they are not commonly granted. Do you think they're best buddies? (Jun 10 2006, 04:56 PM)

Professor Ritner was once Professor Gee's dissertation chairman at Yale University, until he was removed from that position and replaced by another professor. There is a personal history here (of which I was aware as it played out, since Professor Gee had been a student of mine before he went off to graduate school at Berkeley and then Yale. (Mar 22 2006, 08:43 PM) -

As I've said, various substantive responses are in the works. Whether the personal side of this will ever come out is unknown to me. I wish it would, but I don't think that's my decision to make. (Sep 29 2004, 01:26 PM)

Peterson provided an email from John Gee which included the following:

"I also will not comment on his removal from my dissertation committee other than to note that it was the department's decision to do so. There is much more to the story than what Professor Ritner has chosen to tell." (Mar 23 2006, 07:47 PM)
So Dan has been propagating this notion for YEARS. He said he wishes the details would be brought out in the open. His wish just might come true, but it is doubtful it will be a good thing for LDS apologetics. If what Gee and Peterson have been saying for years is in fact false, then just think of the credibility blow this would be.

I recently emailed Robert Ritner about this subject. To my astonishment, he seemed oblivious that these kinds of comments had been floating around in Mormon apologetics. I would have thought that someone would have emailed him about this over the years. His response to me is as follows.
Dear Mr. Graham,

Thank you for the kind and informative note. My response to Gee's relevant academic output will be contained in the book edited by Brent. Gee has been increasingly visible, but not increasingly respected, at meetings. I do not know Mr. Peterson, nor how he would have any knowledge of my involvement with Gee's dissertation (except through misrepresentations by Gee himself), but I am the one who rejected further participation in Gee's work, and I signaled many errors in his work as a reason. If Mr. Peterson continues to make false allegations, I may have to consider a slander or libel lawsuit. In any case, whoever he is, he is neither competent nor legally authorized to discuss the private matter. I have retained my dated correspondence and may put it on-line if such misrepresentations continue.

Sincerely, Robert Ritner
Wow. So Ritner says he has proof that what Dan and Gee are saying is false? Gee maintains that he was the reason Ritner left and Ritner says this is not true. Just think if Ritner decides to present his proof!

Ritner sent me a very long and detailed email this morning.

In it he accepted my apology, didn't seem concerned at all about the gay rumor, and further explained his position. I will provide a few points he made, but it should be perfectly clear to those who read it that his concern is on Peterson's alleged slander and not on anything I have done to offend him. Sorry David, Juliann and everyone else who wished to dictate the terms of Ritner's concerns. He disagrees with you:

1 - Ritner "explicitly disowned" Gee because of his apologetics pretended that "these non-Egyptological writings had the stamp of scholarly accuracy and my own personal approval as his teacher."

2- "There is no negative, personal 'history' between us, as his class grades would reveal."

3- "I probably shall post on-line mycorrespondence with him (which is my unrestricted intellectual property) urging him to find a new advisor at Yale." [emphasis mine: If true, then this is huge, as it would prove that Ritner was the one who suggested Gee find another advisor!]

4- "Despite Mr. Peterson's remarks, such changes are not at all unusual or problematic, particularly as I initiated thesuggestion and detailed many changes regarding the accuracy of his work that would be needed for him to continue writing under my direction."

5- "It is my understanding that the offer of a job at BYU spurred the need for a fast conclusion to the dissertation, which required an advisor more willing to accept what I noted as severely problematic." [Wow. This makes sense, because Gee did get a job at BYU almost instantly]

6- "Under the circumstances, it is not extraordinary that Gee followed my suggestion." [contra Peterson]

7- "I was not in any way faulted or reprimanded" ["removed" according to Peterson]

8- "I was fully in agreement with the change that I had urged." [It was Gee's idea, not Ritner's, according to Peterson]

9- "To be blunt, any insinuation that there was a forced removal because the Department accused me of improprieties is false, and the spread of such a lie is being done only to discredit my reputation, as you note."

10- "I am shocked that Peterson, as a professor, would improperly hint at supposed details of confidential reviews (which cannot be seen nor analyzed by non-committee members). This is disgraceful."

11- "It is my wish to let the matter rest after the publication of Brent's volume."

12- "...if my writings have been of assistance to you or others in seeing the reasonable problems with the Abraham text and the actual content of the papyri, then any personal attacks are a minor issue, easily forgotten and forgiven."

Too bad Bokovoy ran off before reading this. I'd hate to see him have to eat his words yet again.
Take Daniel C. Peterson's Assertions RE: Metaethics
Monday, Aug 9, 2010, at 08:39 AM
Original Author(s): Eallusion
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
It's the case that theism doesn't help explain moral properties. The one metaethical theory that incorporates theism - divine command theory - is widely regarded as refuted by the Euthyphro dillemma.

But DCP says he does not accept DCT. He can't if he wants to go on criticizing the immoral nature of the Calivnist conception of God. So what does theism have to offer that the atheist cannot access besides the idea that moral truth or knowing it is dependent on God's will/nature? Get Philip Quinn's dead body on the phone.

DCP won't say. He's got a conferance to attend or an important paper to publish. If he had a sound answer here, it would make him one of the most famous ethicists alive, so one wonders why he's dragging his feet.

Then on top of that, metaethical and normative theory are full of interesting ideas with sophisticated defenses. Per above, the field is secular, with any number of positions within the field open to the atheist. Moral realism, the position DCP implicitly thinks one must hold to coherently make moral criticisms (which, as it happens isn't true) is held by the majority of professional philosophers with a variety of secular defenses.

So what's DCP's response to those theories? He won't say. What's his alternative? Wont' say. Suppose you go and try to make the case for, I don't know, desire consequentialism. What's DCP's response? Won't say. He's got several very important, very intellectual things to do.

Yeah, good luck interacting with that.
Daniel C. Peterson Weighs In On N.Y. Mosque Dispute
Monday, Aug 23, 2010, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Kristen Moulton
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
Daniel Peterson, a politically conservative Mormon who has studied Islam for 30 years at Brigham Young University and in the Middle East, says he is so fed up with "demagoguery" from the mosque's opponents that he is tempted to endorse the mosque.

And yet he, and several Utah faith leaders, separate the issue of religious freedom from another value held highly in a pluralistic society: respect.

"Of course they have a right to do it," says Peterson, professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at BYU.

But if the mosque's proponents refuse to heed the torrent of criticism that it's insensitive to build a mosque near where Muslim extremists killed thousands, Peterson adds, it could hurt the cause of moderate Muslims.

"I would come forward if I were the imam, and say, 'We've listened, we do not want to make enemies. We want to be good neighbors. We respect the feelings and the pain, so we're going to seek another site.'"

Of course, Daniel C. Peterson ignores the fact that his religion practices necrotic baptisms on Jewish holocaust victims - despite the numerous attempts to have the practice stopped. In December of 2006, writing on a Jewish blog, Daniel stated:
"To Rabbi Hier's remark that "It is sacrilegious for the Mormon faith to desecrate [Simon Wiesenthal's] memory by suggesting that Jews on their own are not worthy enough to receive G-ds' eternal blessing,"

"I would respond that we Latter-day Saints do, quite unapologetically, insist that Jews "are not worthy enough to receive G-d's eternal blessing" "on their own."
Another Problem With "Mormon Scholars Testify"
Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010, at 10:32 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Over on the aptly named MADboard, DCP is taking yet another opportunity to plug his special FAIR project, "Mormon Scholars Testify":

While he has said that he intended the site to be a "missionary effort" directed at some phantom audience, he's now shifting back again to treating it as an apologetic endeavor, and a testimony safety net:

Daniel Peterson wrote:
"The world," a poster on another message board has just announced, "is comprised of two classes of people: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
In partial response, I again offer

Obviously, much more could be said (e.g. "Alvin Plantinga," "Dante Alighieri," "Francis Collins," "T. S. Eliot," "Thomas Aquinas," "Sir Isaac Newton," "William Lane Craig," "N. T. Wright," "Richard Swinburne," "Keith Ward," etc., etc., etc., etc.). But will do for now.

Obviously, this presents a problem. This was an extremely sneaky tactical move on Dr. Peterson's part. *Of course* he'd like to place LDS Ph.D.s on a par with Dante, Newton, and Aquinas---but I'd like to pose this question to him in reply: How many of these very famous, world-class people are LDS? How many of them have contributed blurbs to "Mormon Scholars Testify"? How many of them, either explicitly or implicitly, lend genuine support to the truth claims of the LDS Church? How many of them would like to be lumped in with the contributors of MST in this manner?

Because let's face it: MST is not about defending belief in general. (And if it were, would Dr. Peterson include testimonies from Scientologists? Moonies? JWs? Calvinists?) It's about defending Mormon belief in particular. Thus, I find it extremely problematic that he would make the rhetorical move of linking MST up with such luminaries as Eliot, Newton, Aquinas, etc. In attempting to do this, DCP only acknowledges atheist criticism of Mormonism while neatly sidestepping the fact that a large percentage of theist scholars think that LDS beliefs and truth claims are hokey, blasphemous, and stupid.

Although I won't be holding my breath, I hope that the Good Professor steps up to the plate on these problematic issues.
Daniel Peterson Made Me What I Am Today
Friday, Oct 22, 2010, at 08:49 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
It was him saying on PBS that Joseph Smith used a stone in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon. I was taught all my life that that was an antimormon lie, and as far as I was concerned the second most evil anti mormon lie of all time.

It was his words that caused me to google seerstones.

It was the result of googling seerstones that for the first time in my life I had to seriously consider that the church was not true.

So, thanks Daniel C. Peterson! Until that day, I knew without a doubt that the church was absolutely true.
A Cat In A Hat? Nope, A Rock In A Chat
Monday, Oct 25, 2010, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Mahonri
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Welcome to chat.
A missionary will be with you shortly.
Agent [July] is ready to assist you.
Agent [Diana] has joined the chat.

Me: July. Is that boy or girl?
Diana: hola
Diana: We are sister missionaries.
July: girl
Me: Hi, OK, two girls.
Diana: Yes
Diana: How are you today?
Me: A question on the book of mormon after reading about it. OK? (and reading some of it too)
Diana: OK
Me: I was told of translating it with a urim and thummim an that is what was used.
Me: Is that how it was done?
Diana: Yes through revelation and the power of God
Diana: ANd tell us how do you get the Book of Mormon?
Me: Joseph smith stuff says this urim and thummum but I heard a PBS show of a Bishop Peterson that said he used a stone in a hat. Black Magic? Which is right?
Me: Got the book from a friend.
Me: Mr Peterson is a mormon Bishop which I guess is pretty high up. So I listened and he said that is how it was done.
Diana: Good Is he a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Me: His story and the Joseph Smith stuff are way different.
Me: He teaches at BYU and is a mormon bishop.
Diana: You know what there are many dofferent stories about it but what is relly important is that the Book is another testament of Jesus Christ
Me: From what I saw a fat guy with glasses.
Me: Which story is the truth?
Me: Is this really black magic with peepstones and stuff like that?
Diana: David we as missionaries teach the basic beleives of the church
Diana: We invite people to come unto Christ
Me: Isn't joseph smiths story and how he did this a basic belief?
Diana: We can teach you more about it
Diana: acctually there are missionaries they can visit you and teach you more
Me: If he did not do it like he said how can any of it be true? You don't lie and expect people to believe you are telling the truth. How did he translate this stuff?
Me: Is this Bishop peterson right? Was it with magic rocks in a hat?
Diana: David something is really helpful when we read the scriptures
Diana: is to pray
Me: Or a rock?
Diana: Have you ever prayed
Diana: ?
Me: Forget praying for a minute. Is the rock in a hat real or not?
Diana: We can not forget the basics
Me: It is history, is that how it happened?
Diana: that is what help us too understand
Me: You don't know, is that it?
Me: How much more basic can you get than how this was done?
Diana: We told you at the begining
Diana: throug the power of God
Diana: Do you want us to send this missionaries to your home?
Me: Diana, you are not reading my question. Did this book get done with the urim and thummim or with a magic rock in a hat like this bYU gu says?
Me: If you can't answer the question why would I want missionaries to visit?
Diana: With the urim and tummim
Diana: The Book of Mormon explain that at the very begining
Diana: Before the introduction
Diana: So probably you want to read the Book from the begining
Me: If it was with the urim and thummim(UM?), why does this Bishop and others say it was with a magic rock in a hat?
Me: He is obviously a mormon authority being on PBS and all. Why is his story different?
Diana: Well we dont know David people said different things
Diana: but you can find out the trith by your self
Diana: but you need an open heart and mind
Diana: We recomend you to keep reading and pray
Diana: But have a wonderful day
Me: I am finding out the truth by myself. Your church magazine even says a rock in a hat. So does oliver cowdery.
Me: A google search turns up a lot on it.
Me: Why isn't the mormon book accurate?
Diana: Just ask God
Me: Ask God, in a matter of history?
Diana: he has the wisdom you need
Diana: He knows everything
Me: You don't really know how it was done, is that it?
July:1 Nephi 11: 17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

Me: Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man."David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, Richmond, Mo.: n.p., 1887, p. 12.

Me: A David Whitmer who wrote for Joseph Smith says it was a rock in a hat. Black Magic comes from the Devil. Your belief is that this is from
Diana: You are right: " Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man"
Me: God? using magic?
Me: I think someone here is mistaking the devil for God. I don't think it is me.
Diana: OK David have a good day
Agent [Diana] has left the chat.
The chat session has ended.
Daniel C. Peterson's Fluff Piece
Tuesday, Dec 7, 2010, at 07:13 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
The three witnesses and the reality of the Book of Mormon

Serious critics of the Book of Mormon must neutralize the testimonies of the witnesses to the golden plates.

This, however, is not easy. (It may be impossible.) Largely thanks to the meticulous research of Professor Richard Lloyd Anderson, we know a great deal about them and about the six decades, both when they were dedicated followers of Joseph Smith and after they had been alienated from him and his church for many years, during which they testified to the Book of Mormon. For a very long time, those seeking to discredit their testimony accused them of insanity, or of having conspired to commit fraud. In the light of Professor Anderson's work, however, neither accusation can be sustained. They were plainly sane, honest, reputable men.

Recently, the preferred method of disposing of the witnesses has been to suggest – quite falsely – that they never claimed to have literally seen or touched anything at all, or to insinuate that they were primitive and superstitious fanatics who, unlike us sophisticated moderns, could scarcely distinguish reality from fantasy. Honest, but misguided.

It seems implausible, though, to assume that the witnesses, early nineteenth-century farmers who spent their lives rising at sunrise, pulling up stumps, clearing rocks, plowing fields, sowing seeds, carefully nurturing crops, herding livestock, milking cows, digging wells, building cabins, raising barns, harvesting food, bartering (in an often cashless economy) for what they could not produce themselves, wearing clothes made from plant fibers and skins, anxiously watching the seasons, and walking or riding animals out under the weather until they retired to their beds shortly after sunset in "a world lit only by fire," were estranged from everyday reality.

It's especially unbelievable when the claim is made by people whose lives, like mine, consist to a large extent of staring at digital screens in artificially air-conditioned and artificially lit homes and offices, clothed in synthetic fibers, commuting between the two in enclosed and air-conditioned mechanical vehicles while they listen to the radio, chat on their cell phones, and fiddle with their iPods (whose inner workings are largely mysterious to them), who buy their prepackaged food (with little or no regard for the time or the season) by means of plastic cards and electronic financial transfers from artificially illuminated and air-conditioned supermarkets enmeshed in international distribution networks of which they know virtually nothing, the rhythms of whose daily lives are largely unaffected by the rising and setting of the sun. Somehow, the current generation seems ill-positioned to accuse the witnesses' generation of being out of touch with reality.

I suppose that "hallucination" might strike a skeptic as an attractive way to defang the testimony of the three witnesses, with its divine voice and its angelophany and its clearly visionary flavor. But the experience of the eight witnesses is very different, and entirely matter-of-fact. Hallucination doesn't seem to account for it well at all.

On the other hand, if it weren't for the spectacularly supernatural character of the experience of the three witnesses, a desperate skeptic might be able to dismiss the whole thing as the product, merely, of crude deception. Perhaps Joseph Smith or some other brawny frontier blacksmith (Oliver Cowdery, perhaps?) forged golden stage props with which to fool the yokels. After all, the two tiny sets of inscribed metal plates that James Jesse Strang, would-be successor to Joseph Smith, "found" in Wisconsin and Michigan between 1845 and 1849 and subsequently "translated" certainly existed, and were almost certainly frauds. (One of Strang's witnesses later testified to having helped manufacture them.) But Strang summoned no angels for public viewing, and no voice of God endorsed his "Book of the Law of the Lord."

Even Latter-day Saints may not appreciate the strength of the witness testimonies. Fortunately, though, Professor Anderson, trained in both legal reasoning at Harvard Law School and historical method through a doctorate at Berkeley, has devoted a lifetime to demonstrating the solidity of the evidence they provide. In his classic volume "Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses" – described by one of my BYU colleagues, not unreasonably, as "next to the scriptures themselves, the most faith-promoting book (he had) ever read" – and in later studies (two of which are available on the website of Brigham Young University's Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship), he has set out a deeply impressive case. I earnestly commend his work to those unfamiliar with it.
Mormon Apologetic And Discussion Allegedly Board Wiped Thousands Of Dr. Peterson's Messages From The Board
Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
So the owners of MAD swept away Dr. Peterson's history there eh? Or much of it? What's the matter Dr. Peterson, are you embarrassed by the blowhard things you have written?

How convenient of you to have your history wiped. Why should I be surprised anyway, this is how Mormons operate - and how the Mormon Church operates. Hide history. Lock things in vaults. Buy and destroy journals from Mormon pioneers that would be embarrassing today. Funnel money into the hands of members to buy embarrassing documents and have those members donate them to the Church - and into the granite vault they go, never again to see the light of day.

In in a few years, everyone associated with and Dr. Peterson himself will have plausible deniability. He wasn't speaking as a man - because his words will have been swept away. Dr. Peterson has been re baptized in the apologetic world. It is too bad that he can't clean up the rest of the Internet where he has posted his tripe, arrogant works.

I will continue to be critical of Dr. Peterson's apologetic works. As long as he continues to produce apologetic works for the Mormon Church, I will continue to vigorously document his movements in apologetics.

Why? Because Dr. Peterson continues to defend the Cult of Mormonism - and to deceive not only members but non-members - in order to continue the flow of money into the corporate coffers. As long as he continues to try and keep Mormons in the dark about the real history of the church - then he needs to be exposed, and exposed he will be.

I'm not afraid of Dr. Peterson at all. Just because he raises his arm to the square and threatens everyone with litigation means nothing.

Who is Dr. Peterson?

Is a Mormon Apologist that works at BYU as a professor.

Works for, writes for, or is associated with for the Neil Maxwell Institute (formerly FARMS).

Is paid directly or indirectly by the LDS Church to publish Mormon apologetic works, and even if he isn't paid, the LDS Church looks the other way while Dr. Peterson posts tens of thousands of messages on forums as a Mormon Apologist - while being employed as a professor at BYU.

Is an admitted agent for the SCMC (past, unknown if current).

Has written articles for both FAIR and NWI (formerly FARMS).

Posts an incalculable amount of messages on Internet Forums, including MAD, MDB, and various other websites (including but not limited to blogs and online news agency comment sections). Please note that as of December, 2010 - the Mormon Apologetic And Discussion board wiped thousands of Dr. Peterson's messages from the board - although both MAD and Dr. Peterson deny this.

Dr. Peterson writes:
The charge is both deeply serious and absolutely false. I had nothing to do with the shutting down of MADB. I don't know what occasioned it, and have had no input on it
He has made himself a public figure.

He has placed himself and his works into the public where it can be read by anyone.

He has written articles defending the LDS Church on open public forums.

He has openly attacked critics of the LDS Church on open public forums.

He has attacked critics of the LDS Church in private emails, and then had those emails published on Mormon Apologetic Sites (see SHIELDS). Those private emails have caused prospective employer rejections which have resulted in loss of income.

Is any of this slander? No, it is absolute fact.

So, when critics of the LDS Church are critical of Dr. Peterson and his writings, Dr. Peterson cries foul and that his good name is being slandered - and threatens not only to take down websites, but go after everyone that posts on them.

Again, Dr. Peterson writes:
I will go after the board, and I will go after each and every one of those who have publicly slandered me in this matter to the extent that the law allows. Enough is enough.
Bring it Dr. Peterson. Keep posting on the Internet. Keep publishing apologetic articles. I will always be watching you. You haven't got a case.
Daniel Peterson, Director Of Outreach For The Maxwell Institute, Returns To The Forums
Friday, Dec 17, 2010, at 07:21 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dr. Peterson is back to posting on MAD.
First of all, I would like to confirm all of the rumors that have been circulated over at the Great and Spacious Trailer Park© (Mormon Discussions) and elsewhere in the fever swamps during the past few weeks:

Yes, I was indeed directed to go silent by the Packer Faction. The orders were transmitted through the new radioisotope-powered XL-480 device implanted at the base of my skull. (Eat your hearts out, fellow special operatives!) Yes, I really engaged in an unethical and probably illegal effort to illicitly undermine the defense in a prominent federal criminal trial. My shameless corruption and depravity are boundless. Yes, thousands upon thousands of my despicable and incriminating posts here were deleted by order of the First Presidency and/or a federal judge and/or my wife and/or Manny, Mo, and Curley Joe. Yes, I’m being silenced by the Brethren because they’re embarrassed at my antics and disapprove of me. Yes, I’m being silenced by the Brethren because they’re about to call me as a General Authority. And, yes, I was abducted by lesbian neo-Nazi biker chicks recently landed from the planet Zarkon.

But I’m baack. Sort of. It simply seems to me that the ability to announce new publications, symposia, firesides, and that sort of thing on a free public message board is too useful to surrender. Particularly in view of my role as Director of Outreach for the Maxwell Institute. So I’m intending to use this forum occasionally in order to make such announcements. (We'll see whether anybody actually reads this "Pundit" forum.)

I've got to admit, this did make me chuckle.
Daniel Peterson Admits To A Friendly Mormon Audience That He's "Fond" Of An Argument Of His That He Admits No One Else Is Buying
Thursday, Jan 6, 2011, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Daniel Peterson admits to a friendly Mormon audience that he's "fond" of an argument of his that he admits no one else is buying . . .

It has to do with (whether Peterson has figured this out or not) Emma Smith being in on Joseph Smith's con job, per the Book of Mormon "translation."

Emma said that Joe (as Peterson declares), read off of a rock inside of a hat, even while the "plates" were supposedly on the table in front of the both of them, wrapped in a linen cloth that she had given him for the purpose of hiding them from view.

She says (Peterson also notes) that she never actually looked at the plates, but simply fondled them through the cloth and heard them "rustle."

Emma also (Peterson indicates) claimed that she was present while the "plates" were being openly "translated" (in front of not only her but others, and not behind some curtain) by her huckster husband who she said was essentially incapable of writing cogent letters but, rather, relied on a "peepstone" placed in a hat.

Peterson, by the way, refuses to refer to the peepstone as a "rock." We will have none of this calling a rock a rock. Instead, Peterson calls it--ahem--a "director."

Mormon insanity at its best. No wonder no one's buying it, even (according to Peterson's own admission) in Mormondumb (and he even hopes somebody will "youtube" it. No wonder he's considered a "scholar" in Utah):
Dan Peterson's Advice: "Put It On The Shelf"
Wednesday, Mar 2, 2011, at 07:50 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
These are from the notes from his fireside:
Question: I’m LDS, but have pretty much lost my testimony over contradictions between the Church’s “tightly-correlated data points” and history. I continue to go to church because of a bishopric member I can talk to about these issues. In the past, my bishop was a nice guy, but completely ill-equipped to discuss or deal with these things. I’ve tried FAIR, MADB, etc., but nothing really helps much. My question is: what is the Church doing to improve this state of things, and are things getting better in this regard?

Answer: I can empathize with you. When I was younger, I was thrown for a loop over an alleged denial of Oliver Cowdery’s testimony in a pamphlet printed in Tiffin, Ohio. I couldn’t find anybody who could talk about it, and it seemed that there was no effective response. With the passage of time, this was completely discredited as a fraud, but I still remember the panic and feelings of betrayal involved with this. People really do need to put difficult items “on the shelf” and not panic in the meantime as they patiently and faithfully work through their assumptions, issues, etc. People who are struggling really need to go back to the basics, too. A French noblewoman once made the comment about St. Denis, who purportedly walked 100 steps after his execution by decapitation, carrying his head under his arm: “In such a promenade, it is the first step that is important.” Meaning, if the foundational things happened, the rest is just details. If the Father and Son appeared to Joseph Smith, if resurrected angels really ordained Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the priesthood, if the Book of Mormon people, places, and events were real, if resurrected angels really appeared in the Kirtland Temple, etc. ---- then the reasons for the priesthood ban, polygamy, varying First Vision accounts, etc. are interesting details. Whether St. Denis walked one mile or a hundred is really unimportant --- the real question is whether he walked at all.

Regarding what is being done and whether things are improving, some of us are trying to do just that. FAIR, FARMS/NAMI, etc. are striving to make information and arguments accessible. The real key is helping members who have emotional reactions and feelings of betrayal when they encounter information that contradicts their assumptions or limited understanding of things.
Dan picks something that was an obvious forgery to represent the cause of struggling testimonies, and by pointing out the forgery, insinuates to believers that this is the case with all "problems" they have after uncovering disturbing facts. All they need to do is "put it on the shelf" and as time passes, it will all be shown to be lies and deception.

Silly. I never even heard of this forged document and Dan, who has the developed the apologetic dissonance of the world's finest defense attorney, wants us to believe his testimony was on the ropes over this? Really. If Cowdery said something like this, he could merely pass it off as Satan's way of getting to him or whatever. Certainly it isn't as strong as the evidence against Joseph Smith's ability to translate ancient documents, which doesn't seem to phase Dan in the slightest.

But I found the "put it on the shelf" advice interesting because that is how they get people to stay in the Church. In other words, shut your minds off and wait for us to come up with some BS apologetic that you'll then be bludgeoned with until you accept it.... until it is disproved as nonsense and then you'll have to put it on the shelf yet again until we can come up with something that sticks.

Well, I eventually realized I didn't need FAIR or FARMS to come up with apologetic excuses for me. I have a brain too, and my search for truth is no longer tainted by an apologetic need to invent "truth" just for the sake of maintaining belief. I don't need people like Dan to wax eloquently with me by telling me the hard facts I have uncovered are merely my "assumptions" and my "issues."

Edit: The question also reveals the utter failure of MADB, FAIR, FARMS, etc. This poor guy is wanting serious help and Dan has nothing to offer except "wait and see."
Peterson Is Really A Piece Of Work
Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Makurosu
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
"If there is no life after death and no loving and merciful God, horrific moral evils and devastating natural disasters have the last word."

"It can easily sound heartless (or pie-in-the-sky) to say it, but, from the standpoint of eternity, even death in a tsunami may someday come to seem a relatively small thing."
I can hardly bring myself to read Mormon publications anymore. I see now that he wrote that article just to say that he isn't going to answer the question he raises, because he only has 700 words which he needs to use to attack atheists. Then he makes a point that not just atheists hold:

"Some atheists seek to solve the problem of evil by dissolving it. There is no God, they say, no purpose in the universe, no meaning to the deaths of those killed by child rapists, plague viruses and earthquakes – and, thus, no theological "problem.""

Well, that's the position that most moderate theists hold. Not that there is no God, but that not everything that happens in the world happens for a reason. Sometimes it's just a random event - like this tsunami. It's terrible, but it happens and it's not God's or anyone else's fault, which is what Peterson would imply by putting God in charge of everything that happens in the world.

Essentially he's creating a false dilemma. Either you believe in a world without randomness where everything happens for a reason or you believe in a world ruled entirely by randomness where there is no morality and no salvation.
Perhaps It Isn't Just That They Fear Dwindling Numbers
Friday, Apr 8, 2011, at 01:03 PM
Original Author(s): Jesus Smith
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
"The Internet aids missionary effort" Published: Thursday, April 7, 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT, by Dan Peterson:

Perhaps it isn't just that they fear dwindling numbers...

DCP quotes Ballard, who wrote:

"The challenge is that there are too many people participating in conversations about the church for our church personnel to converse with and respond to individually."

Is this an admission that there are too many critics now? Or is it that they realize they are no longer in control of information and they are trying to find ways to get it in back in their control? silly cult.

To get this control, DCP's response is to put up the scholars testify page? How meager. Just more testimonies against actual fact and data. Except the trick is the testimony is from more "qualified" sources that are easier for lay members to trust when they themselves fear going after facts.

Then he suggests that "ordinary members" use the "more good foundation" website where they, the "unscholared", can testify. More of the same for the proletariat.

DCP wrote: "It's time to reclaim the conversation about us online, to dispel misperceptions..."

What he really means by reclaiming the conversation is to divert it from fact-based history and science to touchy-feely testimonies as the LDS main argument. DCP doesn't want to get LDS more vocal on facts. He wants to change the subject.

The risk is encouraging members to go online and confront "misperceptions". That opens them to anti-mo info.

But if LDSinc can keep members in "testify" only mode, and not in factual arguments, they can still attract and keep the fools that are driven to belief on feelings.

I have now had in-depth conversations with three contributors of mormonscholarstestimonkeys. Every one of them backed down after a good academic discussion and fell back to essentially saying, "well, it just works for me, but I agree that maybe pushing it as the only solution for the rest of the world is egocentric."
Daniel Peterson Admits The Mormon Church Is Not The Fastest Growing
Friday, Apr 8, 2011, at 01:04 PM
Original Author(s): Jw The Inquizzinator
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
"The Internet aids missionary effort" Published: Thursday, April 7, 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT, by Dan Peterson:


"I've lived in Utah now for slightly more than half my life. And not merely in Utah but in a very Mormon neighborhood in a very Mormon county, teaching at Brigham Young University. So, whenever I've heard the exhortation "Every member a missionary," I've wondered what to do. Non-Mormons are a rather exotic breed around here...."

"...There's no limit to the opportunities that the Internet offers us to "think globally" while "acting locally." Sitting at home, we can reach the Australian Outback, West Africa and the Scottish Highlands with our testimonies as easily as the town next door...."

"...It's time to reclaim the conversation about us online, to dispel misperceptions, to use the Internet for the gathering of those who will hear the Savior's voice and come unto him...."

"...Today, we have been allotted tools for sharing the gospel of which Alma could never have dreamed."

"But we may have become complacent. Don't we send out full-time missionaries? Isn't that enough? Aren't we "the fastest growing religion"?"

"Actually, we're not. Church growth has been falling for many years, and our current rate of missionary success is the lowest it's been for decades. The harvest is great, but the laborers are still too few...."

Yes, Danny the internet is a great tool. And not only Alma, but Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, would be amazed at what ol' everyday people can discover on it. For example, any lds member could google "Mountain Meadows Massacre", or "death of Parley P. Pratt", or "Utah statehood", or "blacks and lds priesthood", or "Jospeph Smith + occult", or "Joseph Smith arrest records"....or many, many other items of interest to the average, every day lds member.

"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry."....Thomas Paine.
Denial C. Peterson Rides Again - Deseret News: "Smiths Were [Not] Slackers"
Thursday, May 26, 2011, at 12:07 PM
Original Author(s): Slcabbie
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Denial C. Peterson Rides Again... D-News: "Smiths Were [Not] Slackers"

Warning, incoming high speed bullchip advisory...

Apologetics 101: First we build our strawman...
The character and claims of Joseph Smith are fundamental to the claims of the church he founded. Knowing this, critics of the Prophet have contended for more than a century and a half that he and his family were the kind of people from whom nobody would want to buy a used car, much less receive a plan of salvation.
Uh Danny, that metaphor is really weak. There were no used cars in JS's time.... And the charge should probably read, "The Smiths were not someone to be trusted with guardianship of anyone's minor children."
The Smiths' farming techniques, it seems, were virtually a textbook illustration of the best recommendations of the day, showing them to have been, by contemporary standards, intelligent, skilled and responsible people. And they were very hard-working.
Uh, what about the "glass looking trial"? I don't find glass looking or peepstone-peering in the Farmer's Almanac... The trial on that charge is a fact, as proven from a documented court record...
In order to pay for their farm, the Smiths were obliged to hire themselves out as day-laborers...along the way, they produced between 1,000 and 7,000 pounds of maple sugar annually.
Maple syrup harvesting doubtless suited them; they could work a few weeks in the winter, boil down the sap, and have some ready cash...

And if the farm was so renumerative and successful, why did they leave the Palmyra area?

Too, Dr. Peterson, what about the Kirtland "anti-banking" scandal? The one where they used silver half dollars on top of lead and rocks in the safety deposit boxes to establish credibility and collateral? The scandal which, as LDS historian Richard Bushman noted, "Troubled Joseph Smith so much that he just had to do it. He had to leave town." (probably not quite verbatim, but it's from the PBS special, "The Mormons").

For actual insight into Joseph Smith's character, the William Law interiew offers the most credible detailing of the inner circle of church leadership. The story of Emma's role is particularly revealing (Why, Daniel, if the church is true, didn't Emma accompany the Saints to Utah?). And this was long after the Hurlbut era...

Revisionist history sellers, thy name is Mormon apologetics...

Can't blame 'em I guess; pays better than honest car salesmen make...
DCP Article Demonstrating The Smiths Were Hard Workers
Friday, May 27, 2011, at 12:24 PM
Original Author(s): Zeezrom
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
DCP refers to an article written by Susan Black and Charles Tate in 1993 called, "The Joseph Smith, Sr., Family: Farmers of the Genesee"(1), which is noted by DCP as a "path-breaking" article, providing "hard evidence" and delivering a "serious blow" to allegations made in the Hurlbut-Howe(2) affidavits that claim the Smiths were lazy. The evidence is founded on the work done by Donald L. Enders, a senior curator at the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Enders was apparently able to demonstrate solid evidence of hard work done by the Smiths using the following materials at hand:
  • land and tax records

  • farm account books and related correspondence

  • soil surveys

  • horticultural studies

  • surveys of historic buildings

  • archaeological reports

  • interviews with agricultural historians and other specialists

From this research, Enders concluded ("on questions of testable fact") that the Hurlbut-Howe affidavits cannot be trusted. The evidence shows that many trees and rocks had to be cleared from the Smith family farm site without modern tools and machinery. It is also shown that the Smiths had to find odd jobs (in addition to keeping up the property) to pay rent. It was also found that the Smith's property appraised at a higher value than their neighbors, including the lazy bozos who wrote the affidavits. We can safely conclude using DCP's own words: The Smiths turn out to not be the "local trash" in the community after all. Thank God!

My response to this is not one of surprise. I would suspect that all people that worked farms in that era were hard working folks. If you were not hard working, you didn't survive.

Luckily for Joseph Smith, he was able to find a desk job later on without having the money for a proper education.

I would actually like to see more of Ender's work. I would bet his research was pretty fascinating.


1. Susan Easton Black and Charles D. Tate, Jr., editors, "Joseph Smith: The Prophet, the Man," Provo: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1993, 213-25

2. Howe, Eber D., "Mormonism Unvailed". 1834
Daniel In Denial's Den?
Friday, Jun 24, 2011, at 07:57 AM
Original Author(s): Stumbling
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
'But I also realized that the Book of Mormon cautions us powerfully against racism and undue ethnic pride.'
(Peterson - Mormon Times article 23rd June 2011)

'21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.'

2nd Nephi 5: Cautioning us powerfully against racism?
'Have a young man read it. “We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally...''
Current Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3 - Cautioning young men powerfully against racism?
'Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.'
Official Declaration From 1978 - Did the Prophets before 1978 miss the powerful cautioning against racism in the Book of Mormon?
Daniel Peterson Talks To Mormon Stories About His Career As An LDS Apologist And Much More (4-Part Youtube Video)
Monday, Aug 22, 2011, at 07:24 AM
Original Author(s): Chino_blanco
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-

FYI: Part 1 of 4 can be safely skipped (it's mostly biographical)

Notes on Part 2:

Leo Strauss gets a mention, I'm assuming he's a fan. DCP's position on I/P issue sounds sane for a conservative LDS. FARMS not out to prove anything, more interested in establishing enough plausibility so that "You don't have to crucify your mind to be a believer." Then holds up BOM witnesses as good evidence after briefly mentioning "cumulative" evidence that FARMS has gathered. Hmmm. The segue seems like a leap back to a time prior to any accumulation and back to arguing murky competing claims. Interested in having someone try to make a set of gold plates in order to understand the process (which strikes me as a not particularly useful or interesting undertaking). He sees similarities between Mohammed and Joseph Smith, ponders that no evidence outside both of their subjective experience, except for the plates. Ahhh, now I understand why nailing down existence of material proof of plates matters to DCP, it's the only distinction between Islam and Mormon origins.

Now getting into literary crit. Analysis suffers from DCP's speciality which is not really applicable to 19th century American production. Fallback is benefit of the doubt, God of the gaps position.

On to Joseph Smith polygamy. In isolation, it makes JS look bad. Argues our POV is warped by lack of personal familiarity with JS and possibility he badly handled introduction of the principle due to radical nature of the commandment. "If JS is pretending to be pious, man, he's good."

DCP comes out as proponent of inoculation. Members need to read more. Somehow people get that old in the church and then all of a sudden they find something that rattles them, info that's been published in LDS mags. On the other hand, "it is true that we don't always tell the whole story." JS Papers, MMM books, RSR, are a step forward and sign of maturity.

Dan W. starts naming names of researchers (Quinn, Palmer, Brooks) who've been attacked by apologists and asks DCP what's up with that. DCP says he's very "libertarian" in allowing other apologists to publish (and seems like he's distancing himself from their attacks).

Dan W. asking some important questions now about editorial policy at Maxwell Institute/FARMS. Tension between DCP's competing "bully pulpit" and "free exchange of ideas" positions regarding the apologetic enterprise. "Can we improve our tone? Probably so." But DCP says he's held back nasty personal details regarding his opponents because he's such a swell guy. Weak but in line with DCP defense of rhetorical back-and-forth over cleaner scholarly approach.

MMM fascinating because perpetrators were "good people" before and after the massacre. Brings up Hannah Arendt. Kinda creepy in the context b/c it leaves open the question of whether DCP or Mormons ought to presume to disavow such atrocities.

On to DNA. Iceland genetic trail is lost. Compare to Mesoamérica? (wow, unconvincing). Dan W. brings up how official church doesn't touch any of this. Where does that leave FARMS speculation? Is it rejecting early LDS prophets? DCP suggests not reading former prophets too closely or assuming inerrancy. Statements that affirm historicity of BOM are OK, contradictory/problematic utterances not important (apparently).

Around the one hour mark now. If you're going to jump in and listen, this is a good place to start, as things will begin to get interesting. DCP: "I don't think that the Brethren are led at every moment by God ... a lot of the time they are left to struggle with problems." Pilot church programs, for example. "I believe that God is playing a three-dimensional chess game." God is working both inside and outside the LDS church.

DCP: "I can see the future." Ergo, if I can, prophets can, too.

What about Joseph Smith being prophesied in ancient scripture. DCP ascribes to Blake Ostler's view regarding a future that's not fixed. God makes things happen in the future through his power, some scripture is God telegraphing his intentions, not a set future. Starting to sound very Straussian?
How Can We Trust Mormon Scholars?
Friday, Sep 30, 2011, at 09:23 AM
Original Author(s): Hoggle
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
The Huffington Post comments are worth looking at:

Tapir Rider said: "You are a university professor of Eastern languages, an academic colleague of Dr. Cross, yet you ignored his 1991 assessment of the Bat Creek Stone and instead focused on the writings of Dr. McCulloch, an Economics professor."

"The archaeologists have published that it is a hoax. A professor of Hebrew languages [Dr. Cross] disagreed with the writings of an economist [Dr. McCulloch], yet you have published in support of the Bat Creek Stone. This sure seems to be the way pseudo studies go.

Dr. Peterson replied: "I respect Frank Moore Cross enormously, but I don't grant him infallibility, either."

For anyone interested in who Dr. Frank Moore Cross, Jr. is:

"He was one of only two American scholars on the scroll-publication team [Dead Sea Scrolls], being personally responsible for identifying thousands of fragments, all of which have now been published. Cross is widely regarded as a pioneer in Qumran studies."

The Bat Creek Stone was alleged to have been from the same time period of the Dead Sea Scrolls. That is why Dr. Cross's assessment is so valuable. He was the American professor who did so much with actual artifacts written in Hebrew from that time period.

Here is a little about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bat Creek Inscription:

"They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, mostly on parchment, but with some written on papyrus.[1] These manuscripts generally date between 150 BCE and 70 CE"

"Cross stated that only two letters of the entire inscription could conceivably be considered Paleo-Hebrew of the period in question (1st century BC to 1st century AD). Cross also said Gordon's reading of the inscription ("for the Jews") was based on the Aramaic alphabet rather than Paleo-Hebrew.[16]"

How is Dr. Peterson qualified in regards to the Bat Creek Stone? What are Dr. Peterson's credentials to suggest that Dr. Cross made a mistake?

How can we trust Mormon Scholars?
Daniel C. Peterson: Should The Church Apologize For The Priesthood Ban?
Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012, at 07:22 AM
Original Author(s): Californiakid
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I thought this was fairly interesting:

Should the Church apologize for the ban? Its leaders will do what they believe is wise, under the inspiration (as I believe) of heaven. From my vantage point, though, right now, I don't see precisely how they can. I, at least, don't know that the ban wasn't the Lord's will. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe, though, it was. He seems to work through lineages in a way that seems quite foreign to me -- but then, if God always did things the way I think they ought to be done, he would appear to be quite redundant, and maybe only a projection of Me. Which would be, to put it mildly, disappointing.

From among all the nations, he chose Israel. From among Israel, he chose the descendents of Levi to bear the priesthood. He assigned very different blessings to the various tribes of the Hebrews, and he doesn't seem to have been overly fond of the Canaanites. During his earthly ministry, Jesus largely restricted his teaching to fellow Jews.
Forgive me for saying so, Dan, but you're basically suggesting here that the God of the Jewish/Christian/Mormon scriptures is such a racist that modern-day Mormons can't tell whether the priesthood ban was a product of God's racism or their leaders'. To borrow your phrase, such a God "would appear to be quite redundant, and maybe only a projection of [racist scripture writers]." Projection or no, I think it's well worth asking whether such a God deserves to be followed.
Scholars Misbehaving: A Mormon Flavor
Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 08:12 AM
Original Author(s): Patrick Mefford
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-

Anyone involved in Mormon Studies is keenly aware just who Daniel C. Peterson is, a quick look at his publication history at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship website shows a sustained effort in the area of Mormon Apologetics for two decades. Dr. Peterson is not merely limited to apologetics and faith promoting ventures however; he has also participated in the translation and publication of ancient philosophical texts under the auspices of the Maxwell Institute, a worthy contribution to a variety of fields covering History, Philosophy, and Near Eastern studies.

The industry of Mormon Apologetics rarely comes into contact with atheism or secularism, so when I came upon an essay written by Dr. Peterson entitled “Reflections on Secular Anti-Mormonism” that was published in the FARMS Review (2005), I was eager to read Dr. Peterson’s thoughts. Now it is important for me to mention that Dr. Peterson presented this essay that same year at a FAIR conference (Youtube video here and transcript here), because what I discovered both angered and disappointed me.

The essay itself isn’t enlightening, informative, nor entertaining, which is what disappointed me. Dr. Peterson’s criticisms of secular thought are shallow, but I found them largely unremarkable and seem to come straight out of the usual apologia-lite style of general Christian Apologetics like Lee Strobel or Norman Geisler. What had angered me was Dr. Peterson’s use (abuse really) of Albert Camus as a means to launch some of these criticisms.

At the start of the momentum building up to the Camus abuse, Dr. Peterson seems to be (at least) vaguely familiar with Camus and his work. As near I can tell, these examples of life tragically cut short and the observation about the finality of death is some kind groping towards Camus’ demonstration of the absurd in 'The Myth of Sisyphus 'and/or 'The Stranger'. Camus does meditate and work his way through two blunt facts that create the absurd; (i) a cold mindless universe that grinds on in the face of humanity’s dream of unity and peace and (ii) the destiny of death that each person must meet. From these starting points, Camus begins to construct a hermeneutic for how a human should understand his or her place in this world. Dr. Peterson sets it up in the following way:

I confess that I find those who rejoice in atheism baffling. It is not merely the thought of the atheist's funeral: "all dressed up with nowhere to go." I think of Beethoven, hiding down in the basement with pillows to his ears, desperately trying to save his fading sense of hearing as he was working on his majestic "Emperor" Concerto. Or, a little later, conducting the magnificent Ninth Symphony, which he never heard, having to be turned around by the concertmaster because he did not know that the audience was applauding him. I think of Mozart, feverishly trying to finish his own Requiem–dead at thirty-five and thrown into an unmarked pauper's grave. So many lives have been cut short, leaving so many poems unwritten, so many symphonies uncomposed, so many scientific discoveries unmade.

In fact, it is hard to think of anyone who has achieved his or her full potential in this life. Tragic foreshortenings do not only happen to geniuses. A neighbor and friend was stricken with multiple sclerosis in her midtwenties and now, in her thirties, lies bedridden in a rest home. Barring some incredible medical breakthrough, this is her life. Absent hope for a life to come, this is all she will ever have to look forward to. My own father, for the last six years of his life, blind from an utterly unforeseen stroke suffered during routine and relatively minor surgery, was incapable of any of the activities in which he had once found satisfaction and pathetically asked me, every few weeks, whether he would ever see again. What comfort would there be in saying, "No, Dad. This is it. Nothing good is coming. And then you'll die."

Of course, something may be unpalatable and unpleasant yet accurate. I can certainly understand coming to the sad conclusion that this is in fact the truth about the human condition: That we live briefly, then we die and we rot. That so, too, do our children and our grandchildren. And that so, also, does everything we create–our music, our buildings, our literature, our inventions. That "all we are is dust in the wind."[44]

But I cannot understand those who regard this as glorious good news.

Of course, Camus would go on to reject the conclusions that Dr. Peterson is drawing here, but the abuse doesn't begin until immedtiatly after those conclusions:

Perhaps, on second thought, though, I can understand those who might see it as a liberation. "If there is no God," says Dostoevsky's Ivan Karamazov, "that means everything is permitted."[45] Why? Because nothing matters at all. Everything is meaningless. However, this liberation comes at a very, very high price. "If we believe in nothing," said the great French writer and Nobel laureate Albert Camus...

Dr. Peterson then gives us two Camus quotes to bolster this observation. The first one:

[...]if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance. There is no pro or con: the murderer is neither right nor wrong. We are free to stoke the crematory fires or to devote ourselves to the care of lepers. Evil and virtue are mere chance or caprice.[46]

Followed by:

At the point where it is no longer possible to say what is black and what is white, the light is extinguished and freedom becomes a voluntary prison.[47]

A careful reader would immediately notice that Dr. Peterson’s citations come from 'The Rebel', which comes chronologically after 'The Myth of Sisyphus' and requires the reader to be aware that Camus has already analyzed the absurd condition of humans and came to the conclusion that one shouldn’t kill themselves in despair (physical suicide), nor adopt any transcendent and religious doctrines (philosophical suicide), but bravely face this absurd condition:

It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself! I see that man going back down with a heavy yet measured step toward the torment of which he will never know the end. That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.

If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. This lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn (1).

It is from this conclusion in the final chapter of 'The Myth of Sisyphus' that 'The Rebel' builds upon. If human existence is absurd and the only answer is to grimly face it in defiance, how are we to understand the act of murder? It’s interesting to note that Dr. Peterson’s first citation (#46) comes from the introduction to 'The Rebel' where Camus is taking pains to properly explain this problem of murder (in light of the absurd) to the reader. Below is the text Dr. Peterson reproduced for his essay (bolded), but in a much fuller context:

But, for the moment, this train of thought yields only one concept: that of the absurd. And the concept of the absurd leads only to a contradiction as far as the problem of murder is concerned. Awareness of the absurd, when we first claim to deduce a rule of behavior from it, makes murder seem a matter of indifference, to say the least, and hence possible. If we believe in nothing, if nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance. There is no pro or con: the murderer is neither right nor wrong. We are free to stoke the crematory fires or to devote ourselves to the care of lepers. Evil and virtue are mere chance or caprice.

We shall then decide not to act at all, which amounts to at least accepting the murder of others, with perhaps certain mild reservations about the imperfection of the human race. Again we may decide to substitute tragic dilettantism for action, and in this case human lives become counters in a game. Finally, we may propose to embark on some course of action which is not entirely gratuitous. In the latter case, in that we have no higher values to guide our behavior, our aim will be immediate efficacy. Since nothing is either true or false, good or bad, our guiding principle will be to demonstrate that we are the most efficient-in other words, the strongest. Then the world will no longer be divided into the just and the unjust, but into masters and slaves. Thus, whichever way we turn, in our abyss of negation and nihilism, murder has its privileged position.

Hence, if we claim to adopt the absurdist attitude, we must prepare ourselves to commit murder, thus admitting that logic is more important than scruples that we consider illusory. Of course, we must have some predisposition to murder. But, on the whole, less than might be possible, as we can so often observe, to delegate murder. Everything would then be made to conform to logic- if logic could really be satisfied in this way.

But logic cannot be satisfied by an attitude which first demonstrates that murder is possible and then that it is impossible. For after having proved that the act of murder is at least a matter of indifference, absurdist analysis, in its most important deduction, finally condemns murder. Suicide would mean the end of this encounter, and absurdist reasoning considers that it could not consent to this without negating its own premises. According to absurdist reasoning, such a solution would be the equivalent of flight or deliverance. But it is obvious that absurdism hereby admits that human life is the only necessary good since it is precisely life that makes this encounter possible and since, without life, the absurdist wager would have no basis. To say that life is absurd, the conscience must be alive (2).

One can immediately see how poorly out of context citation #46 is and that the portion quoted by Dr. Peterson was actually Camus setting up the conditions to show a contradiction that arises when trying to be indifferent about murder, even if one is mired in an “abyss of negation and nihilism” murder still has some kind of value placed on it. Dr. Peterson attempts to make citation #46 appear to be the legitimate opinion of Camus when in fact Camus almost immediately repudiates that very opinion. To demonstrate again just how out of touch Dr. Peterson is with Camus’ thought, take a look at this passage just a bit later in his essay, when he attempts to criticize an atheistic worldview:

But on what basis can a materialist, whose universe is exhausted by material particles and the void, claim that something is objectively wrong? Do right and wrong not become matters merely of personal preference and, perhaps, of power? Not only existentialists but many superficial "life counselors" suggest that we should construct our own "meaning" for life. But is such a self-constructed meaning really meaning at all?

Dr. Peterson poses this challenge, even though at this juncture he has cited ‘The Rebel’ three times, and within just a few pages of his own citations, not even one third of the way into ‘The Rebel’, we read this:

If the individual, in fact, accepts death and happens to die as a consequence of his act of rebellion, he demonstrates by doing so that he is will to sacrifice himself for the sake of a common good which he considers more important than his own destiny. If he prefers the risk of death to the negation of the rights that he defends, it is because he considers these rights more important than himself. Therefore he is acting in the name of certain values which are still indeterminate but which he feels are common to himself and to all men. We see that the affirmation implicit in every act of rebellion is extended to something that transcends the individual in so far as it withdraws him from his supposed solitude and provides him with a reason to act (3).

Why does Dr. Peterson bother to introduce Camus, with selective quotations naked of any relevant context, only to ask rhetorical questions and ignore the fact that Camus himself tried to answer those very same questions? Why not simply engage Camus’ writings instead of making it appear as if Camus agreed with the well worn (and often misunderstood) notion that if God doesn’t exist, anything is permissible? Speaking of Dostoevsky, here is citation #47 in a fuller context (with Dr. Peterson‘s actual citation bolded):

Because his mind was free, Nietzsche knew that freedom of the mind is not a comfort, but an achievement to which one aspires and at long last obtains after an exhausting struggle. He knew that in wanting to consider oneself above the law, there is a great risk of finding oneself beneath the law. That is why he understood that only the mind found its real emancipation in the acceptance of new obligations. The essence of his discovery consists in saying that if the eternal law is not freedom, the absence of law is still less so. If nothing is true, if the world is without order, then nothing is forbidden, to prohibit an action, there must, in fact, be a standard of values and an aim. But, at the same time, nothing is authorized; there must also be values and aims in order to choose another course of action. Absolute domination by the law does not represent liberty, but no more does absolute anarchy. The sum total of every possibility does not amount to liberty, but to attempt the impossible amounts to slavery. Chaos is also a form of servitude. Freedom exists only in a world where what is possible is defined at the same time as what is not possible. Without law there is no freedom. If fate is not guided by superior values, if chance is king, then there is nothing but the step in the dark and the appalling freedom of the blind. On the point of achieving the most complete liberation, Nietzsche therefore chooses the most complete subordination. “If we do not make of God’s death a great renunciation and a perpetual victory over ourselves, we shall have to pay for that omission.” In other words, with Nietzsche rebellion ends in asceticism. A profounder logic replaces the “if nothing is true, everything is permitted” of Karamazov by “if nothing is true, nothing is permitted.” To deny that one single thing is forbidden in this world amounts to renouncing everything that is permitted. At that point where it is no longer possible to say what is black and what is white, the light is extinguished and freedom becomes a voluntary prison (4).

To give readers some needed background to fully understand this portion of text (something Dr. Peterson failed to do for his own readers and listeners), this paragraph comes from Metaphysical Rebellion, part II of 'The Rebel'. The particular section Dr. Peterson quotes from (and not for the last time either, as we’ll see later) is called Absolute Affirmation. The section just prior to Absolute Affirmation is called The Rejection of Salvation where Camus directly interacts with Dostoyevsky’s characters Ivan Karamazov, his brother Aliosha, and the parable told by Ivan about the Grand Inquisitors. The Rejection of Salvation is largely about how a rebel comes to rebel against the metaphysical ideal of God. The last two paragraphs read:

By then the prisoner has been executed; the Grand Inquisitors reign alone, listening to “the profound spirit, the spirit of destruction and death.” The Grand Inquisitors proudly refuse freedom and the bread of heaven and odder the bread of this earth without freedom. “Come down from the cross and we will believe in you,” their police agents are already crying on Golgotha. But He did not come down and, even, at the most tortured moment of His agony, He protested to God at having been forsaken. There are, thus, no longer any proofs, but faith and the mystery that the rebels reject and at which the Grand Inquisitors scoff. Everything is permitted and centuries of crime are prepared in that cataclysmic moment. From Paul to Stalin, the popes who have chosen Caesar have prepared the way for Caesars who quickly learn to despise popes. The unity of the world, which was not achieved with God, will henceforth be attempted in defiance of God.

But we have not yet reached that point. For the moment, Ivan offers us only the tortured face of the rebel plunged in the abyss, incapable of action, torn between the idea of his own innocence and the desire to kill. He hates the death penalty because it is the image of the human condition, and, at the same time, he is drawn to crime. Because he has taken the side of mankind, solitude is his lot. With him the rebellion of reason culminates in madness (5).

Camus feels that Ivan’s rebellion is intellectually justified, just as he feels the atheist’s rebellion against the idea of God is intellectually justified, but it can appear that the rejection of God can put the rebel/atheist in a weird space. Christ had come to set humanity free, but because he left no instructions on what to do with this freedom, madness ensued and humanity needed The Grand Inquisitors to kill Christ and restore order in exchange for freedom. This madness of Ivan appears to be a symptom of this freedom, can this same madness be avoided when we reject God as some kind of ultimate metaphysical grounding for everything?

Camus investigates different strategies to avoid the fate of Ivan in Absolute Affirmation, the very next section. Here, Camus investigates two thinkers in particular; Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche. The section that Dr. Peterson drew his quote from came in the middle of Camus’ treatment of Nietzsche’s philosophy. So what we are reading isn’t exactly the product of Camus’ own personal philosophical thinking as much as it is Camus exegeting Nietzsche’s work in light of the absurd ideal.

As we can see, Camus thinks that Nietzsche would reject Dr. Peterson‘s little maxim he attributes to Dostoyevsky:

A profounder logic replaces the “if nothing is true, everything is permitted” of Karamazov by “if nothing is true, nothing is permitted.”

Careful readers will note that Dr. Peterson’s quote reads, “If there is no God that means everything is permitted” but Camus has it, “if nothing is true, everything is permitted”. Dr. Peterson’s modern source better renders the original Russian, while Camus probably confused this passage from Nietzsche’s ‘Genealogy of Morals’ with what Ivan was expressing (italics mine):

When the Christian crusaders in the Orient encountered the invincible order of Assassins, that order of free spirits par excellence, whose lowest ranks followed a rile of obedience the likes of which no order of monks ever attained, they obtained in some way or other a hint concerning that symbol and watchword reserved for the highest ranks alone as their secretum: “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”- Very well, that was freedom of spirit; in that way the faith in truth was abrogated (6).

In the footnotes, Walter Kaufmann (translator) remarks that the phrase “nothing is true, everything is permitted.” did not come from Nietzsche, nor did Nietzsche get it from Dostoyevsky.

I think it has become painfully apparent that citations #46 and #47 come from contexts that originally set out to repudiate the very idea Dr. Peterson wishes to advance with his use of Camus. I’ll continue this investigation of Dr. Peterson’s use of Camus in a sequel post, but as to how to properly understand Ivan’s notion of “If there is no God that means everything is permitted”, I merely want to quote the idea in it’s fullest form from ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ and allow the reader to decide for himself/herself.

The following monologue is the Devil speaking to Ivan in a dream and comes from the same translation that Dr. Peterson cited:

"...'There are new people now,' you decided last spring, as you were preparing to come here, 'they propose to destroy everything and begin with [cannibalism]. Fools, they never asked me! In my opinion, there is no need to destroy anything, one need only destroy the idea of God in mankind, that's where the business should start! One should begin with that, with that–oh, blind men, of no understanding! Once mankind has renounced God, one and all (and I believe that this period, analogous to the geological periods, will come), then the entire old world view will fall of itself, without [cannibalism], and, above all, the entire former morality, and everything will be new. People will come together in order to take from life all that it can give, but, of course, for happiness and joy in this world only. Man will be exalted with the spirit of divine, titanic pride, and the man-god will appear. Man, his will and his science no longer limited, conquering nature every hour, will thereby every hour experience such lofty delight as will replace for him all his former hopes of heavenly delight. Each will know himself utterly mortal, without resurrection, and will accept death proudly and calmly, like a god. Out of pride he will understand that he should not murmur against the momentariness of life, and he will love his brother then without any reward. Love will satisfy only the moment of life, but the very awareness of its momentariness will increase its fire, inasmuch as previously it was diffused in hopes of an eternal love beyond the grave?' ... well, and so on and so on, in the same vein. Lovely!"

Ivan was sitting with his hands over his ears, looking down, but his whole body started trembling. The voice went on:

"'The question now,' my young thinker reflected, 'is whether or not it is possible for such a period ever to come. If it does come, then everything will be resolved and mankind will finally be settled. But since, in view of man's inveterate stupidity, it may not be settled for another thousand years, anyone who already knows the truth is permitted to settle things for himself, absolutely as he wishes, on the new principles. In this sense, "everything is permitted" to him. Moreover, since God and immortality do not exist in any case, even if this period should never come, the new man is allowed to become a man-god, though it be he alone in the whole world, and of course, in this new rank, to jump lightheartedly over any former moral obstacle of the former slave-man, if need be. There is no law for God! Where God stands–there is the place of God! Where I stand, there at once will be the foremost place ... "everything is permitted," and that's that!' It's all very nice; only if one wants to swindle, why, I wonder, should one also need the sanction of truth? But such is the modern little Russian man: without such a sanction, he doesn't even dare to swindle, so much does he love the truth…(7)"

(1) The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus, translated by Justin O’Brien and published by Vintage International Vintage Books, 1991 , page 121.

(2) The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt by Albert Camus, translated by Anthony Bower O’Brien and published by Vintage International Vintage Books, 1991, pages 5-6.

(3) Ibid, pages 15-16.

(4) Ibid, pages 70-71.

(5) Ibid, page 61

(6) Basic Writings of Nietzsche by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Walter Kaufmann and published by Random House (Modern Library edition), 1992, page 586.

(7) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky and published by North Point Press, 1990, pages 648-649.
Natuska Does A Great Job Explaining Why Daniel C. Peterson And The Mopologists Are Wrong About Native American DNA
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at 10:21 AM
Original Author(s): Dblagent007
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I'm going to reproduce a string of comments between Daniel Peterson and Natuska posted in the comments section of a Huffington Post article back in September 2011. Natuska does a great job explaining why Dan and the mopologists are wrong about native american DNA.

Dan gets things rolling by posting links to Mormon Scholars testify.

Dan Peterson wrote:
For anybody who might be interested: Roughly three hundred affirmations of their faith from reflective and believing Mormons can be read at

And the collection continues to grow steadily.
Natuska wrote:
And for anyone interested in what an actual archeologist of note has to say about most everything claimed by the book of mormon:

Michael Coe is an emeritus professor at Yale. He spent his life in archeology in one of the places Mormons like to claim is a strong candidate for the Book of Mormon lands. In short, the archeological record provides no support for those who like to claim the Book of Mormon is a historical record of early inhabitants of the americas. The most damning evidence is that no pollen has ever been found *anywhere* for cereals the Book of Mormon claims were grown.

That is completely separate from the lack of DNA evidence. The Book of Mormon claims arrivals from the Middle east were amongst the "principal" founders of the native americans, though the DNA record indicates this is strikingly not the case. The time periods concerned are practically overnight in genetic terms so any trace should be easy to pick up - no one has come close to finding any supporting evidence. Several LDS geneticists have fallen from the faith when they realized the evidence in the DNA challenged the central occurrences in the Book of Mormon. By contrast, the genetic history of world Jewry is so clearcut that Jewish or non-Jewish heritage of any group of people has been trivial to determine.

You will find no scientific support if you choose to believe in the Book of Mormon and Occam's Razor would suggest that the whole story is fantasy.
Dan Peterson wrote:
Anyone interested in a profession of faith from a believing Mormon "archaeologist of note" is invited to read

And perhaps also

(By the way, Michael Coe has had very laudatory things to say over the years about the scholarship of both of these men.)

And more is on its way.

On the DNA issue:

Several quite prominent geneticists happen to be believing Latter-day Saints. DNA neither proves nor disproves the Book of Mormon.
Natuska wrote:
Let's hope these "quite prominent geneticists" read this weeks issue of Science magazine - one of the most reputable peer-reviewed journals.

There's an article entitled "Tracing the Paths of the First Americans" which summarizes the findings of six recent papers looking at the genetic ancestry of native Americans. The key sentence is:

"The findings support earlier indications that the Paleoindians, the ancestors of today's Native Americans, stem from a single Asian source population."

And, a reputable geneticist, who happens to be LDS, has shown that a fragment of DNA (which some LDS thought was a a remnant of Lehi's group) has been in the US for about 15,000 years - way before any of the migrations.

With this new data, and previous work, your assertion that DNA neither proves nor disproves the Book of Mormon, is without foundation. All the extant evidence suggests the Book of Mormon account is not even close to being accurate.
Dan Peterson wrote:

In light of the considerations laid out by Dr. McClellan and Dr. Whiting, it's difficult to see how anything in the "Science" article could disprove the claims of the Book of Mormon.

But then, Dr. McClellan is a population geneticist and Dr. Whiting is a prominent molecular biologist, so what would THEY know? Better to take the word of a hostile pseudonymous layman, right?
Natuska wrote:
Very nice and hostile response. I am not a layman, unless you'd consider an active mid-career academic scientist working in a closely related area a "layman". Hostile isn't accurate - I really could care less what people believe as long as the science they base it on is accurate and not distorted.

It's odd that you would name-drop like this. Both scientists you mentioned are well published though don't work directly on ancestry of native americans. The first is a bioinformatician who works on mitochondrial SNPs and Whiting works on insect mitochondria.

Your FARMS and BYU links (which are not - repeat not) peer-reviewed are from 2003 which is a lifetime in this field and predates many of the most significant discoveries in this area and recent techniques of detecting sequence homology in autosomal DNA (in those days a certain mitochondrial haplotype was considered the great hope of LDS researchers - later shown to be inaccurate by a LDS researcher). They are opinion pieces and should be advertised as such.

I'd take a look at

if I were you for the newer techniques in action. I will say it again - the peer-reviewed scientific literature (which excludes personal opinion pieces in BYU publications for obvious reasons) categorically rules out the requirement of Book of Mormon.

As I maintain - the evolutionary record is so clear that an undergrad would come to the same conclusion.
Dan Peterson wrote:
Dr. McClellan's article is a few years old, but that's not enough, in and of itself, to invalidate his points -- and his points suggest that the "Science" article is probably irrelevant to the Book of Mormon. Incidentally, if I've read the particular "Science" article in question, it specifically notes that more testing is needed, and its accompanying map very conspicuously indicates that testing hasn't been done in the area specifically favored for the Book of Mormon by most believing Latter-day Saint scholars.

Thus, even if Dr. McClellan's points DIDN'T hold, the "Science" article would seem to be indecisive regarding the Book of Mormon.
Natuska wrote:
The authors essentially used DNA extracted from burial sites to piece together migration patterns. The data fits prevailing models rather elegantly. Scientists always request more testing to flesh out their datasets and increase the clarity of their results. The request for additional testing noted in the summary piece I cited relates to the not entirely ruled out possibility of additional arrivals from Asia via the Beringian route but additional sequence data will clarify that. That caveat clearly doesn't mean "We're actually expeting some Middle Eastern DNA to pop up if we keep sequencing". The implication of the caveat is entirely different.

Given the abundance of native american DNA already collected, it's not even remotely likely that new samples will change the current outlook, only it will lend further evidence for a precise number of Alaskan arrivals. Were Lehi's party really the "principal founders" they've done a very good job of hiding all evidence - not just in the US genetic record but also in the soil. Their presence was as real in the US as the Kinderhoek plates.

Plus, the data cover both broad regions where one can buy tours to visit the Book of Mormon lands.
Dan Peterson wrote:
Actually, if you had read the articles by Drs. Whiting and McClellan, and if you understood my position (I suspect that you have no idea what it is), you would realize that I'm not "punting" on any scientific discipline, and that I don't expect "Middle Eastern DNA" to turn up.
Natuska wrote:
I read bits of both references you cited, although I skipped the biology lesson at the start of the first link. I skipped over the sentence which would make a peer-reviewer shudder: "First, however, I feel compelled by my faith to state that the only reliable way to test the veracity of the Book of Mormon or statements by modern prophets such as Joseph Smith is to put Moroni's promise to the test on a personal level".

His argument seems to be a restatement of absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and that exact answers to research are not an experimental reality. Here we agree though repeated and sustained absence of evidence does undermine the counter hypothesis that Lehi's DNA does exist.

He suggests it's not probable that the genetic trace of a small migrating party would necessarily or logically be detected. Here I strongly disagree - their DNA was different and if they had *any* survivors (even those whose DNA has been collected from native burial sites) it would have shown up, even if those survivors subsequently died out: people reproduce and so does their DNA. Scandinavian and Asian DNA has been detected in the American genetic record.

The author seems to concede that no DNA from Lehi has been found and he's comfortable with this. Given the plethora of accumulated evidence, I'd venture it will never be found. Science attaches a confidence to predictions and on the basis of the available evidence Lehi's DNA never existed.

The second link's author states no scientific experiment can be used to test the account of the Book of Mormon. Then he deals with a number of problems of DNA research and problems associated with detecting evolutionary relationships and points to the difficulties in making conclusions on data which do not directly test a hypothesis: many of the researchers did not specifically look for Lehi's DNA. But scientists are curious beasts and if they detected an interesting bit of DNA they would have devoted attention to it - especially if they detected Middle Eastern DNA. After all - interesting bits of DNA led to our knowledge of mobile DNA and viral integration.

He identifies the problem of the difficulty of detecting small amounts of DNA in a larger population though recent genetic advances, based largely on the explosion of sequence data from around the world, mitigates that concern: traces from tiny founding colonies have been detected in the genetic record.

The enumeration of difficulties still reads like an apology for the lack of evidence. One LDS adherent once told me "Trust me, BYU whizzes are all over this problem". And that itself causes a problem. Evidence of Lehi's DNA would constantly be on our TV screens and used by the missionaries if it were found. But it never will be.

If your position for the lack of DNA evidence (and the more serious lack of a pollen record) is more sophisticated and subtle than this, I'd be very interested to hear it.
Dan Peterson wrote:
I suspect that there are only a handful of diehards monitoring this portion of the comments section, so I'm probably going to opt out soon on the basis of the principle of marginal benefit.

In the meantime, though, I just want to say that I think it would be wonderful to live in a world, as you and all non-Mormons apparently do, where no argument ever turns out to be mistaken, no evidence ever turns out to be wrong, no seemingly solid claim ever proves unreliable, no scholar ever makes a mistake, all propositions are accepted without resistance, and there is no controversy about assertions of fact.
Natuska wrote:
You're punting on a lot of linguistics, archeology, anthropology, molecular biology and evolutionary science, generated by legions of scientists - some LDS - from around the world being not just mistaken but so profoundly wrong that they somehow miss all the events recorded in the Book of Mormon. Good luck with that.
Richard Mouw - Daniel Peterson's Next Target?
Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 07:33 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Richard Mouw, Evangelical Leader, Says Engaging Mormons Isn't Just About Being Nice

Richard Mouw never intended to start a riot within the evangelical community by saying his fellow believers had "sinned against Mormonism." But that's exactly what happened.

Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., had been meeting regularly with Latter-day Saint scholars before he gave a seven-minute introduction of Ravi Zacharias, an evangelical speaker who addressed a packed audience in the Mormon Tabernacle in November 2004.

"We've often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of members of the LDS faith," Mouw said that night. "It's a terrible thing to bear false witness."

The impact was immediate.

Some of Mouw's colleagues and fellow believers were outraged. They accused him of selling out, of not standing for the Christian truth or adequately denouncing evil, of being duped.

Undeterred, Mouw continued this line of preaching to evangelicals for the next seven years and maintained regular conversations with Mormons. He has now expanded it into a just-released book, "Talking with Mormons: An Invitation to Evangelicals."

In the book, Mouw argues that understanding Mormonism isn't just about being nice, it's a Christian mandate.

Too often, evangelicals pick up little-taught LDS beliefs -- such as humans becoming gods or having their own planets -- and put them at the center of Mormon theology, rather than at the periphery.

"If in our attempts to defeat them we play fast and loose with the truth by attributing to them things they don't in fact teach," Mouw writes, "then we have become false teachers: teachers of untruths."

Mouw spells out the doctrinal differences between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and historical Christian faiths: the nature of God and Jesus, the nature of the Trinity, nonbiblical Mormon scriptures and the rejection of the creeds.

Mouw disagrees with Mormon theology, but the Fuller president also grapples with what to think about Mormon founder Joseph Smith.

Evangelicals generally view Smith as either a lunatic or a liar, but neither category adequately explains to Mouw how Smith could launch a movement that produced so many good people who share his values. The same argument could be applied to Muhammad and Islam.

Mouw arrives at what could be seen by many evangelicals as a radical idea: He recognizes "the positive workings of God beyond the borders of orthodox Christianity."
Maybe in the same way WWII produced good, or slavery produced good, using Dan Peterson's logic. Further, Mormonism today wouldn't even be recognized by Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. Today's Mormonism is a corporate entity designed to present a pleasant public face, even if it means lying. So yes, today's Mormonism is almost always going to go out of its way to be politically correct. Hence, no more polygamy, no more priesthood ban, no more claims about Indians being Lamanites, no more Prophets providing prophesies, etc. Joseph Smith just helped develop a social system whose integrity would be established through guaranteed funding (tithes) and loyalty (self-delusion).

Incidentally, Dan Peterson used to be one of those Mormon scholars who met up with Mouw at Fuller for whatever inter-faith dialogue activity they had going on at the time, but later Dan expressed his strong disappointment in Mouw, calling him an anti-Mormon, when he made an appearance in a Book of Abraham video produced by IIR.

Little does Mouw know, that those people who have this "war" mentality are the very same people he is trying to reach out to. It isn't just the Evangelicals who enjoy such arrogance. Dan is clearly the old guard "choose ye this day" type apologist who goes out of his way to generalize about anti-Mormons and frequently, and knowingly misrepresents them.
Daniel C. Peterson - The Perils Of Socialcam
Monday, Jun 4, 2012, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I received an intriguing PM earlier this afternoon. "I have something that you might find interesting," this person told me. A couple of small arrangements were made, and a remarkable screencap came into my possession. Now, I debated for a while on whether or not it would be a good idea to post this. Ultimately, I decided that there were several reasons why posting would be worthwhile. First of all, this will hopefully warn other people about the potential problems associated with using the Socialcam Facebook app. Secondly, I'm hoping this will serve as an opportunity for the FAIR Mopologists to rethink their use of people's Facebook material in their FAIR Wiki articles. (I'm looking at you, Trevor Holyoak.) Third, RayAgostini has been calling for more "humanization" of the Mopologists. Fourth, this may provide deeper inside into the Mopologist mindset.

In any case, this was the screencap I was sent:

Now, my first reaction was to chuckle. After I wiped away the tears of mirth, though, I began to doubt the authenticity of this image. Surely this was just somebody have a bit of fun with Photoshop. (This in spite of the utmost reliability of this informant.) Just as I was ready to shrug the entire thing off, however, another PM appeared in my InBox:

Dr. Peterson:
I've just learned something new. "Socialcam,"of which I'd never before heard, announces on facebook if you've watched something on it. I got a facebook notice earlier today that a friend had watched something that seemed . . . er, questionable. Surprised that he would watch it, but REALLY surprised that he would (as I thought) choose to ANNOUNCE that he had watched it, I watched it, too, to see if there was something funny or significant in it that would lead him to want to announce it to all of his facebook friends. (There wasn't.) And now I find that I'VE seemingly chosen to announce that I watched the same thing -- which, at least, helps me to understand what happened to my friend (but is, otherwise, slightly embarrassing and quite irritating). My apologies. I've got lots of shortcomings, but this kind of stuff isn't among them.
Aha! So that's it. He wasn't just watching a salaciously-titled video of Jennifer Lopez all the way through to the end out of his own prurient interest (and hey: Ms. Jennifer Lopez is, after all, a lovely woman)--no, he was actually looking out for some mysterious "friend". Well, now, Dr. Peterson: there's no shame in watching videos like this! Then again, I'm sure all of us can understand why you might not want to announce to all of the world that you were watching a video about J.Lo and "boners." (Even if it was just out of curiosity/concern for your friend--sort of like those TBMs who claim to be looking at porn for the sake of "research.") What I can't quite wrap my head around is what he expected to find "funny or significant" in the film: did he expect it to conclude with some kind of edifying gospel message? And I suppose the unanswered question here is: Who was the "friend"? Will Schryver? It sort of makes you wonder if the L-Skinny crew is sharing videos like this on a routine basis.

Regardless, let this serve as a fair warning to those who are using the Socialcam app!
Peterson Exacts Revenge For Dehlin Hit Piece Humiliation
Monday, Jun 11, 2012, at 08:22 AM
Original Author(s): Simon Southerton
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-

Against the backdrop of the Book of Mormon story of Alma and the sons of Mosiah, Peterson tells those who can't think for themselves how to recognize (cough, John) modern day (cough, Delin, cough ) Korihors.

"Unwilling hearts do not, cannot, fully understand the divine."

"The real problem with these dissenters, however, wasn't merely that they disbelieved. It was that they sought to lead others into disbelief, as well, and into lifestyles contrary to the commandments of God."

"One of the recurring themes of the Book of Mormon in depicting prominent opponents of the prophets is their eloquence, their ability to influence and even manipulate others by the power of their language."

"Among this new generation of enemies of the church, unfortunately, were some of the best and the brightest, from the elite class of the most privileged"

"Beneficiaries, presumably, of the best education available – it would have been, in the nature of Nephite society, a religious education based, to some extent at least, on the scriptures – and the sons of prophets and seers, these men were entirely clear about what they were doing: "They were going about rebelling against God"

"This wasn't just a falling or a drifting away. It was a knowing, conscious revolt. But it was also clandestine, surreptitious, sneaky. It's very doubtful, though, that they would have openly admitted that their goal was "to destroy the church." Perhaps they wouldn't even have admitted it to themselves."

"No doubt they felt that what they were doing was right. They may have rationalized the fact that their "flattering words" opened the door to "iniquities" forbidden by the faith of their fathers as merely a coincidental, liberating side benefit."

"Do we know, though, how to recognize their modern counterparts? And, please, don't doubt that they exist. "

Just coincidence? Not a chance.
Daniel Peterson: The Phrase "Hoisted With His Own Petard" Comes To Mind
Monday, Jun 11, 2012, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Just A Thought
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Denial Peterson exacts revenge for Dehlin hit piece humiliation?

The phrase "hoisted with his own petard" comes to mind.

Peterson and Midgely's tendency for paranoia, revenge and conspiracy will eventually lead them to a logical destination anyway.

It may have been a more strategic move for John to let them publish the hit piece. Give them a gentle push off the cliff, since that is the direction DCP/Midgely they want to go anyway.

So let them self-detonate. Once they cross a line, no one at church HQ is going to return their calls. That line is bad publicity, which impacts missionary work, which impacts the bottomline. And cash flow is what the church really cares about in the end.

Prof Bott? Never heard of him. Prof Steven Jones? Doesn't work for us.

It's not going to be easy finding another academic job in your late 50's with second rate LDS hit man on your resume.
Daniel C. Peterson Responds To Getting "Fired" From The Review
Monday, Jun 18, 2012, at 09:42 PM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Again, I don't know 100% that this is authentic, but if it's not, someone is doing a startlingly precise immitation of DCP:

In any case, here is DCP's reply to Bradford:
From: Daniel Peterson
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 3:18 PM
To: <[M. Gerald Bradford]> [18 other recipients, redacted for privacy]
Subject: Re: Charting a new course

Dr. Bradford:

You've achieved your goal. I resign.

I resign as Director of Advancement, effective immediately. You've already fired me as editor of the Mormon Studies Review.

My wife predicted that you would pull this while I was out of the country -- just as you used my absence last year to suppress Will Schryver's writing without discussion -- and, in fact, you have.

I realize now, too, that you've been plotting this for some time, and that, naïve fool that I am, I didn't even realize that I was playing chess before I had been checkmated.

There is nothing you can do to prevent this from being an absolutely spectacular propaganda triumph for those who oppose the Institute and despise me, so don't bother trying. As a matter of fact -- since the Institute leaks like a sieve -- I had already read today (on an apostate message board) that there was soon to be a shake-up in the editorial leadership of the Review. They know about it, and they're going to feast on this for years to come.

The timing of my dismissal, coming immediately after my public crucifixion over the John Dehlin debacle, guarantees that it will be read as an institutional rebuke of me and all my works. You could have waited a bit so that that conclusion would be less apparent, but, of course, you haven't. Frankly, I'm not surprised.

With my sacking now, and with what I presume to be the simultaneous dismissal of Lou Midgley and George Mitton and my other associate editors, which follows the utter marginalization of the scholars who once made up the board of directors and the complete ostracism of Jack Welch and, most recently, the re-alienation of Bill Hamblin, the process of driving away those who committed so much of their energy to the creation and building of FARMS and the Maxwell Institute continues apace.

You think it healthy. I do not.

And let's not pretend that the delay in this issue of the Review, or the slowness with which recent issues have appeared, is the justification for this move. You've never raised the matter with me before. In fact, your own actions have significantly contributed to the delay of this most recent issue. (It's substantially complete, though, and the Institute owes my associate editors the proper fees for their services. It's no fault of theirs that you're spiking this issue.)

I regard this as an utterly wrong-headed and disastrous decision, and will not pretend to support it. And not merely because it will subject me to enormous and quite undeserved public humiliation. It's a betrayal of Elder Maxwell, who explicitly approved of what we were doing. "No more uncontested slam dunks," he said. But now we're returning to the status quo ante, under which there were and will continue to be plenty of "uncontested slam dunks." It's a brazen repudiation of the mandate given to us by President Packer, who, when he spoke at the dinner during which we were officially entrusted with Elder Maxwell's name, praised two specific aspects of the Institute's work: the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative and its apologetic efforts. It's a betrayal of the promises we made to our leading donors, who explicitly asked us to do apologetics and, in some substantial recent cases, gave us major donations based on our assurance that we would continue to do so.

You place me in an extraordinarily difficult situation, as I'm supposed to be an advocate for a Maxwell Institute that, in my view, will soon no longer exist, and to maintain good relations with donors to the Institute to whom, in my opinion, we will now prove to have flatly lied. I cannot do that. I don't know what to do about the forthcoming Development Council Turkey trip that I conceived, since several of the people who are slated to participate in it are going, at least partially, because I persuaded them to do so.

I feel obliged to try to make it a good trip and to go, but it will, I think, be my last effort on behalf of the Maxwell Institute, and I won't solicit a nickel more for the Institute from any donors. Given their interests, I think their money should go elsewhere. And, though I won't be so disloyal as to solicit funds from them for anything else during the trip to Turkey, I will feel entirely free to do so thereafter. And I'll be vocal about why I no longer regard the Maxwell Institute as an appropriate recipient of their money. I will explain my resignation, and my reasons for it, in a note to members of the Development Council after the conclusion of the Turkey trip but prior to the October PLC meeting. I do not feel that I can do otherwise and maintain my integrity. I've built up a good relationship with the members of the Smith Family Foundation; good luck in maintaining that.

I agreed to give a private tour to the Holy Land -- the trip that I'm currently on -- partially in the hope of interesting a PLC donor in giving to the Maxwell Institute. We're getting along well, but I'm not going to mention the Institute to him any more. Nursing and Athletics are perfectly adequate continuing recipients of his gifts. And I think I can safely predict that, even without my saying much, you will, with my dismissal, instantly lose one very specific annual donation.

Please note that I have not resigned as editor in chief of METI. I will not let you have that so easily. I founded it. It was entirely my idea. I brought it into the Institute. You'll have to explicitly fire me from that position in order to get rid of me altogether. And I won't take it lightly when you do.

I understand that some contract issues may be affected by my resignation as Director of Advancement. I trust that we can work those out in a civil manner. Pending my dismissal from METI, I will insist that I continue to be compensated as a director in my role, which I will now have more time for, as its editor in chief. I also expect my usual fee as editor of the issue of the Mormon Studies Review that you've killed. It was finished and ready to go.

Very seriously yours,

Daniel C. Peterson
Tiberias, Israel
I think it's important that people see this. For one thing, it shows that folks like John Dehlin have been vindicated--even DCP realizes this, and the whole email just demonstrates how "war like" his real mindset actually is. Bradford's message was very polite, and his new plans included Dan continuing to serve in an advisory capacity.

Further, Dan said over and over again that my informants were "bogus," and yet here he openly admits that the Maxwell Institute "leaks like a sieve." Now, I don't think that every last bit of intel I was given was legitimate, but it does mean that he was lying to me when he said I was "getting played."

But there are a lot of remarkable details here, including the bit about Schryver getting shot down while Dan was out of the country. Isn't it ironic that all of DCP's extensive traveling came back to bite him in the butt like this?
Further Light And Knowledge On Daniel C. Peterson And FARMS/NWI
Thursday, Jun 21, 2012, at 09:54 AM
Original Author(s): Simon Southerton
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Perhaps this will convince the doubters that there has been a disturbance in the FARMS. (I just noticed that this has already been posted in Dr Shades thread)

Posted Today, 09:24 PM by Bill Hamblin:
There have been a lot of rumors floating around the internet recently regarding a scandal brewing at the Maxwell Institute. In order to provide a reality check and quell some of the more wild and brazen speculations of apostates and anti-Mormons on the fringes of Mormondom, I’ll provide the following summary of my understanding of the situation. Some of the details may not be completely accurate, but I have original memos or eye-witness oral sources for almost all of this information.

Last week, Gerald Bradford (, 801-422-8619) Executive Director of the Maxwell Institute (, 801-422-9229), dismissed Dan Peterson ( the most prominent contemporary LDS apologist--as editor of the Mormon Studies Review, where he has served for twenty-three years.

This is the culmination of a long-term struggle between radically different visions for the future of the Institute. Peterson wishes to continue the traditional heritage of FARMS, providing cutting edge scholarship and apologetics on LDS scripture. Bradford wants to move the Institute in a different direction, focusing on more secular-style studies that will be accessible and acceptable to non-Mormon scholars. Bradford is especially opposed to LDS apologetics, which he wants to terminate entirely as part of the mission of the Institute. He feels apologetics should be done by FAIR (The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research ) or other groups.

Throughout the past two years Bradford has censored several articles that Dan planned to publish, thereby delaying publication of theReview. Bradford finally concluded that he refuses to publish the most recent issue of the Review, which has been essentially ready to go to press for six months. He plans to seek a new editor for the Review to move it in the entirely new direction he envisions.

After Dan was fired as editor, he said that he felt he could no longer serve the Institute in good faith as Director of Advancement (i.e. fund-raiser), since the Institute was intentionally abandoning its original mission, and Dan did not support the new direction Bradford was taking the Institute. Dan was then threatened with further possible action against him to try to force him to continue raising money for the Institute that abandoned him. It’s worth noting that Bradford fired Dan by email while Dan was on a multi-week journey in the Middle East--in part raising funds for the Institute--specifically so Dan could not be in Provo to defend himself.

This event concludes a nearly decade-long struggle for the soul of FARMS and the Institute. The contemporary Maxwell Institute is something quite different from the FARMS of ten years ago. (Note that only one of the five “directors” of the current Institute is actually involved in Book of Mormon Studies: Astute observers will note that there has been a steady decline in both quantity and quality of Institute publications over the past few years. (Indeed, more cutting-edge books on the Book of Mormon have being published in the past few years by Kofford Books, Salt Press, and even Oxford University Press than by the Institute.) They may also observe that most of the original core of FARMS scholars from a decade ago, including me, have nearly ceased publishing with the Institute, having been systematically marginalized, alienated, or ostracized by the Institute as it tried transform itself to conform with this new vision. Needless to say, most of the original FARMS scholars have been dismayed by this inexorable movement to remake the Maxwell Institute.

I have had no desire or inclination to publicly comment on this situation. However, this situation became public when an employee at the Maxwell Institute secretly leaked confidential memos concerning Dan’s firing to anti-Mormon apostates, who have posted these memos on the web, and have been gleefully slandering and ridiculing Dan on their message boards ever since. Since the situation has been made public by this leak from within the Maxwell Institute itself, I felt that Dan deserved the benefit of a fair public summary of the real situation. I also felt that interested Latter-day Saints, especially long-time supporters of the original mission of FARMS, deserved a more complete assessment of the situation, rather than being forced to rely on anti-Mormon and apostate slander and speculation. I felt Dan deserved better, much better than this.

The Institute, for its part, has gone into full damage-control and stonewall mode, refusing to make a public announcement, or even to answer emails or phone calls on the subject from their bewildered subscribers and donors who have heard rumors of the affair, many of whom have for years donated money to the Institute specifically to facilitate Book of Mormon studies and apologetic efforts such as the Mormon Studies Review.

I’m posting this summary of my understanding of the situation to alleviate further slander of Dan by apostates. Dan did not ask me to do this. I alone am responsible for this memo.

I'm sure Dan would appreciate any expressions of sympathy and support that could be emailed to him at: (Anti-Mormons and apostates, please b****r off.) Adieu, Adieu!

https://mormonscriptureexplorations.w... So in conclusion:

DCP has been fired.

DCP has been a problem to the Maxwell Institute for a decade.

DCP's style of apologetics is not what the Maxwell Institute (and by extension the Church) wants.

DCP was not saved by a GA the way that Dehlin was saved.

Anti Mormon apostates on this board are of the same opinion as the Maxwell Institute in terms of DCP's apologetics.
Dan Peterson's Poor Judge of Character: Redux
Thursday, Jun 21, 2012, at 10:06 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Last year I challenged Daniel to rebuke Schryver's antics over at the MAD forum:
You won't even condemn the actions of Will Schryver, whose behavior was so abhorrent that the authorities at the Maxwell Institute threw him off their publication schedule because they wanted nothing to do with him or his antics
Dan responds with a perfect exhibition of denial:
I think Will Schryver has been unjustly demonized. - Aug 20, 2011

I'm aware of no real evidence for misogyny on his part - Aug 13, 2011
In case you're wondering whether Dan had actually seen the mountain of evidence proving William's bigotry towards women, Dan made it clear that he had read through the thread posted by MsJack, documenting William's long history of disgusting remarks. (See
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

I've seen no serious evidence that Will Schryver is a misogynist.

I'll repeat that: I've seen no serious evidence that Will Schryver is a misogynist.


Perhaps you folks should reprise a few hundred of the posts that were devoted to that endlessly fascinating subject here a few months back. They didn't convince me then, and they probably won't convince me now - Aug 13, 2011
I remember specifically predicting this would eventually come back to haunt him, Pahoran, and the others who refused to denounce Schryver's despicable antics. In hindsight, it really isn't surprising that the powers that be came to the realization that Dan Peterson was more of a liability than an asset.

Incidentally, this is the same guy who has for years tried to label me a bigot for simply stating facts about Mormon and Islamic doctrines. Of course, his argument is that it doesn't really matter what William Schryver says on the internet and it doesn't really matter how horrible his comments are, because according to Dan, he met Schryver's wife and daughter and he saw no evidence of "abuse." So that means Schryver must have been "unjustifiably demonized" by the rest of us. This is like saying a child molester mustn't be a child molester if he doesn't molest his own kids.

According to Dan Peterson's logic, calling a woman a C---T or accusing apostates of engaging in sodomistic orgies, is perfectly fine and shouldn't bear on the question of whether or not an organization named after a Mormon apostle should publish him.

But at the same time, folks like me, MsJack, Brent Metcalfe, Mike Reed, and a number of other internet personalities, must be maligned or ignored simply because of their disagreements with his views.

This is the same guy who attacked me for calling Wells Jakeman an idiot. Once you understand what a whack-job pseudo-scholar Jakeman was, and how Dan Peterson likened him to Einstein, suddenly it doesn't come as a surprise that he has decided to bond with William Schryver. This is the same guy who considers despicable characters like Lou Midgley, close friends.
Daniel C. Peterson: The Myth, The Man, The Legend Changes His Topic!
Monday, Jul 2, 2012, at 06:35 PM
Original Author(s): Elder Berry
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-

"A narrative has been woven about me long since, in certain circles, portraying me as a virtual monster of extreme, violent, mean-spirited, heartless, unscrupulous, take-no-prisoners polemics. This portrayal is, and always has been, false. And I won’t stand silently by while this latest bogus example of unethical viciousness is attached to my legend."

I guess he has some explaining to do for his fans.

One wonders what "certain circles" Dan is speaking of? I gather these are the folk of the fringe like Dehlin? Or perchance ex-Mormons?

At any rate, I guess Dan needs to set the record straight and attempt to protect his "legend."

Wow! Anyone who needs they need to do this is someone I never want to meet in person. Their sense of self-importance would drive me crazy.

Also seems like Dan is a bit of a drama queen.
Dan Peterson's Stock Goes Down Again
Monday, Jul 30, 2012, at 07:48 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
After reading Scratch's remarks about Dan Peterson's blog becoming a propaganda arm for the Right Wing, I decided to take a quick look at what the good doctor has been ranting about lately. To my astonishment, Professor Peterson has expressed outrage over President Obama's remarks in a speech given recently in Roanoke Virginia. Here is what Dan had to say yesterday:
Every once in a while, Barack Obama lets something slip (e.g., during his previous presidential campaign, his comment to “Joe the Plumber” about redistributing the wealth and his dismissive remark to elite donors about how the common folk in western Pennsylvania “cling to their guns and religion”) that grants us a glimpse into his genuine core socio-political beliefs.

One of the clearest views offered by the current campaign has come with his now notorious “you didn’t build that” remark, made on 13 July in Roanoke, Virginia.

Here’s a heartfelt video response from a small businessman:

Several more such responses are available here:

And here’s some good commentary from Kim Strassel, at the Wall Street Journal:

Conservatives like myself are acutely aware that personal success relies on a complex network of values and habits inculcated by family and faith, on solid education, on a socio-economic and political system that permits it. I wasn’t all that offended by Hilary Clinton’s famous book title, It Takes a Village, which is said to come from an African proverb declaring that “it takes a village to raise a child.” That proverb seems to me true, in a sense. My parents and my brother were crucial in my upbringing. They played an incalculably huge role in making me, for good or for ill, what I am today. And so too, to a lesser but still significant extent, did a wonderful scoutmaster, an inspiring high school German teacher, the elementary school psychologist who saw to it that I skipped a grade, a handful of influential university professors, a number of pivotal authors, some neighbors, and so on and so forth.

But it’s a giant and unjustifiable leap from acknowledging that “no man is an island, entire of himself,” to paying homage to The State as the author of all, most, or even a substantial portion of what I have and am.

I will not do so.

I am not a slave.

I am not a serf.

Mr. Obama is not my benevolent Great White Father, as presidents used to be portrayed to American Indians back in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. (And, to forestall the obvious comment, neither is he my Great Black Father, or whatever, for the sake of strict accuracy, I would have to call him.) Moreover, one has to say, to the extent that those early Indians trusted in the benevolent care of the Great White Father, look what it got them.

I’m a free man in a Republic. Not a ward of The State. Not a child to be decided for by a purportedly omnicompetent government – which, anyway, hasn’t been doing such a good job with its own proper responsibilities that it should feel justified in attempting to relieve me of mine.

Addendum: Some have claimed that, along with others, I’ve taken Mr. Obama’s words out of context. But have a look at this and then try to tell me with a straight face that he wasn’t disrespecting those who’ve built successful businesses through hard work and ability.
So Dan provides a bunch of links from Romney's website that interviews a bunch of disgruntled business owners who have a completely ignorant understanding of what Preisdent Obama actually said. Are we supposed to be convinced by emotion here? Where is the context of the President's remarks?

Of course Dan's addendum notes that "some" have claimed this remark has been taken out of context, and to disabuse us of that notion he provides us with a link to the Brietbart website. A website started up by Andrew Brietbart, a man who was notorious for editing videos to deceive the public, and even though Brietbart was exposed quite some time ago as an uneducated charlatan who engages in unwarranted smear campaigns, Daniel Peterson still feels this is the best source to go to in order to properly answer the question about context.

So, is there anything at Dan's suggested link that would explain for us how context doesn't help Obama's claim?

Strangely enough, no.

Instead, we get a video clip of 56 seconds from that speech which must have lasted at least 10-15 minutes. The edited video clip doesn't even provide the contextualizing comment immediately preceding the remark that has Right Wingers in such a pedantic frenzy!

For those who are really interested in what the President actually said in context, the entire transcript is easily accesible. So according to Dan Peterson - who merely mimicks what the Right Wing media is propagating as of late - The President was "mocking" business owners, informing them that they didn't build their own business. It was a Freudian slip of course, so Obama's subsequent claim that he was taken out of context, must be nothing more than a lie. Apparently, Daniel Peterson, the charitable and reasonable fellow as he so often portrayed, doesn't think it is worth checking context before passing judgment in this manner.

Of course, anyone remotely familiar with Obama's views, and especially this particular speech, would know that he does credit business owners for their own hard work. In fact that is precisely what he said just moments earlier in this very same speech. For example,
Our goal isn’t just to put people back to work -- although that’s priority number one -- it is to build an economy where that work pays off. An economy where everyone, whether you are starting a business or punching a clock, can see your hard work and responsibility rewarded.
And so what about the immediate context of the "you didn't build that" remark? Here is what the President said (and please take note of the "government should control you and everything else" philosophy Dan loves to attribute to Obama)
I’ve got a different idea. I do believe we can cut -- we’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make some more cuts in programs that don’t work, and make government work more efficiently. (Applause.) Not every government program works the way it’s supposed to. And frankly, government can’t solve every problem. If somebody doesn’t want to be helped, government can’t always help them. Parents -- we can put more money into schools, but if your kids don’t want to learn it’s hard to teach them. (Applause.)

But you know what, I’m not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don’t need them. So I’m going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more. (Applause.) And, by the way, we’ve tried that before -- a guy named Bill Clinton did it. We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine. We created a lot of millionaires. There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t --
At this point it should be easy to see what led to Obama's follow up remarks:
... look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
Drum roll please ..........
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The President goes on to emphasize his point, which Dan and his Right Wing sources ignored:
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Of course, all the Right Wing blogs and News outlets, from Breitbart to FOX News, still refuse to cite the sentence "Somebody invested in roads and bridges," and the other two comments I hi-lighted, which contradict what Dan and his mob are insisting Obama said.

The intention of the President's speech should have been perfectly clear to any intelligent, honest human being not driven by ideological agenda. Dan effectively misrepresents Obama's comments in the same exact way FOX News and Rush Limbaugh have, and at no point did he feel it was necessry to read, let alone provide the context, even though he was perfectly aware that there was a dispute about the context. One that has been settled everywhere outside the Right Wing propaganda mill.

We used to think Dan was this mastermind puppeteer of some sort, but I think we all gave him way too much credit for far too long. His comments and actions over the past year have proven truly interesting and revealing, as he appears void of original thought to any degree. In apologetics, he merely borrows from others and spices their arguments with carefully crafted rhetoric. The same is true with his politics and his role as an agent of disinformation.

He is far more ignorant and naïve than I ever imagined, and perhaps more importantly, his hypocrisy has taken on a life of its own, as he is clearly disinterested in holding to standards of intellectuaal rigor that he demands of his critics. You know, things like how you should always present both sides of an argument if you're truly honest (anti-Mormons must include every apologetic rebuttal known to man when presenting their criticisms, otherwise they're just presenting their arguments as if they've gon unchallenged), you should never pass judgment based on weak or incomplete evidence (i.e. virtually every issue thaat proves the Church is false. No matter how much evidence is against it, Dan thinks it bigotry to pass judgment until "all facts are known.") You should always be charitable in your analyses, because it reflects on your character and your spiritual state, etc. To put his hypocrisy into perspective, I once mentioned that the founder of Islam condoned the raping of women and the taking of slaves.In response, Dan called me a bigot and said he could no longer speak with me because he felt my spiritual state had declined beyond repair. All from this one remark.

Dan has thrown his standard of discourse to the wind, despite having preached it for two decades now. It should be no wonder he has been migrating to online venues where feedback is not allowed. He doesn't allow comments on his blog posts and he only posts on forums like MAD, where he knows the moderators will instantly ban anyone who holds him accountable for his bigoted rantings. He wants to be able to lecture without feedback because he doesn't have the intellectual courage to see his views and his methods challenged in the court of public opinion. And his affinity for bigots like William Schryver and now Andrew Brietbart, provide us with far more information about Dan Peterson's character, than this four word phrase could ever tell us about the character of President Obama.
Daniel C. Peterson's First "MI" Article Is A Flop
Tuesday, Oct 2, 2012, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dr. Peterson has finally--some two months after the "launch" of this latest Mopologetic venture--plopped out something resembling an "article" for the MI. As he notes at one point:
There can be no question that scholars, and especially reviewers, who seek to be and behave as Christians, walk a very difficult line. And this is particularly true when the issues at stake involve religion, contentious, disputed matters of ultimate [Page viii]concern and value. Such writers must be fair, and they must not be abusive. But they must tell the truth. And sometimes the truth is that evidence has been deliberately or inadvertently misused or misrepresented, that an argument is invalid, that a thesis doesn't hold water, that an agenda is misguided, that something is poorly written. And, if a reviewer is committed to seeking and telling the truth, such things must be pointed out where they seem to occur.
I can tell you that I'm very much "committed to seeking and telling the truth," dear readers, and so, with great sadness, I must inform you that Dr. Peterson's article is a rambling mess. Yes, it's true: the piece is "poorly written."

Intriguingly enough (and humorously), the "editorial" (or whatever this is supposed to be) is called, "Charity in Defending the Kingdom" (I kid you not): ... e-kingdom/

The article begins nicely enough, with Dr. Peterson asserting that "charity" is needed to protect the Saints from the "jarring" aspects of Church history, and he spends the next several paragraphs explaining how important it is to extend forgiveness to others. Terrific, right?

It turns out, however, that this really isn't about the Universal Principle of Forgiveness. On page iv, DCP clarifies what he's actually been talking about:
It would be unrealistic, though, to expect indulgent charity toward our foibles and flaws from all those outside the church. Some will grant it, surely. But some-and particularly those residing in the "great and spacious building" of Lehi's vision (1 Nephi 8:26-28)-will certainly not.
Ah. So it's not about extending "forgiveness" to, say, Church critics, or even to one's fellow Saints. Instead, his entire premise appears to be trained on Church history itself: you must forgive, e.g., Joseph Smith for his various indiscretions. You must forgive Elder Packer for his homophobic remarks.

It's at this point that the essay takes an incredibly bizarre turn, as Prof. P. reminisces on yet another of the many injustices that have rained down upon his head:
Sometime in the Fall of 1974, I read an article in the Georgetown University newspaper about the open house for the newly built Washington D.C. Temple. I particularly remember its mockery of the temple's new president, a retired Singer Corporation executive whose hand the author had shaken during a press reception. It was a hand, the article sneered, that had undoubtedly demonstrated and sold many sewing machines in its time.
Oh, come on! This was an innocent enough joke. Why the outrage? Why the indignation? In the next passage, Dr. Peterson can scarcely disguise his out-of-control disgust:
Georgetown is a Catholic school, and I recall wondering whether the article would have been as contemptuous toward Peter, whom Catholics revere as the first pope but whose hands had, undoubtedly, mended and cast a great many fishing nets in [Page v]his earlier years. Or, even, toward Jesus himself, whose youthful hands, we're told, were busy in his father's workshop.

Ironically, such smug elitism would have been quite congenial to those who eventually killed Jesus.
He goes on to rail against "secular critics" and "elite criticism," and even includes this remarkably bizarre diss of Plato:
Another point of elite criticism focuses on Mormonism's simple teachings, sometimes dismissed as shallow, and the absence of trained theologians among its lay leaders. Listen again, however, to Peter Brown on ancient Christianity:

"Already, some writers looked down from the high battlements of their classical culture at the obscure world pressing in upon them." Yet the second-century physician and philosopher Galen "noticed that the Christians were apparently enabled by their brutally simple parables and commands to live according to the highest maxims of ancient ethics. The Christian Apologists boasted of just this achievement. Plato, they said, had served good food with fancy dressings, but the Apostles cooked for the masses in a wholesome soup-kitchen!"12
I'm sure you can imagine my aghast reaction to this: Huh??? What, I'm forced to ask, as I adjust my monocle, does any of this have to do with "charity"? Has Dr. Peterson lost his ability to stay on topic?

Well, we find out soon enough that none of this matters, since the entire preceding verbiage has been a pretext for this:
But now, with all this in mind, is there any place in the Kingdom for such a publication as Interpreter?

Emphatically yes!
DCP notes that the Mopologists were ordered by General Authorities to "never...forget "the Relief Society sister in Parowan."" Is he referring to Chapel Mormons here? Or, instead, did the Mopologists interpret this to mean that Relief Society sisters in Parowan would be interested in 100-page hit pieces on John Dehlin, or long email exchanges with teenagers posted to SHIELDS? Clearly, there was a failure to communicate clearly here. Indeed, the now-deposed FARMS leadership seems to have been seriously misguided:
Interpreter has been founded, at least in part, to ensure that that principle, of caring not merely for professional scholars and academic libraries but for ordinary Latter-day Saints and for religiously-interested outsiders, continues to be honored. Though we hope to adhere to high academic standards, we will not forget our wider audience.

How, one wonders, will they aim to accomplish this? By "dumbing down" their attacks?

Ultimately, it doesn't seem to matter, as the Editor in Chief goes on to make a bold pledge:
I was very proud of the FARMS Review and the Mormon Studies Review.

And Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture is going to be even better. As is plainly evident from this first volume, it has established a high standard for itself. We pledge that we will maintain that standard.
So, there you have it: an article that's about charity, and about how Mopologists can expect Charity from Christians, or from "elites" of Plato's ilk, and that the MI will carry out this mission of charity by writing articles suitable for Relief Society sisters in Parowan (who apparently want to read about C.L. Hansen's sexual exploits at BYU), and by continuing to do apologetics and to write reviews that will continue to be praised "for telling the truth as its authors perceived the truth to be."

I have to admit that I was blown away by this remark:
I can report that, in my sincere and serious judgment, those who wrote for [FARMS] did a very good job, through nearly a quarter of a century, of maintaining fairness and charity.
Whoa! "Metcalfe is Butthead" is the maintenance of charity? Citing authors so anti-semitic that they were kicked off the faculty of Notre Dame is maintenence of charity? Claims like this make you wonder if whatever plagued Louis "Woody" Midgley's article is contagious.

In any event, as the Emeritus B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies at Cassius University, I can't help but view this article along the continuum of Mopologetic history writ-large. So, you can imagine my surprise when I read this, in the comments section:

Daniel Peterson wrote:
T., actually, the essay was written before the recent unpleasantness at the Maxwell Institute.
And yet, magically, it refers to events--like the founding of the MI--that occurred after the "unpleasantness at the Maxwell Institute"! Stunning! Perhaps Dr. Peterson's overflowing charity has imbued him with the ability to tell the future?

In all seriousness, this admission, I'm afraid to say, only underscores how sloppy of a job DCP has done with this article. It reads like a pastiche: a jumble of random thoughts. It's as if DCP was feeling guilty about Mopologetics one day and thus felt obliged to write about charity, though when he was at last able to return to the editorial, he had once again begun to dwell on the many injustices and humiliations heaped on him by Plato-like "elites," who've apparently made fun of him for being a Mormon. And then, finally, he picked it back up to "spruce it up" for the MI--hence the hardcore promotion and enthusiastic endorsement for this new venture.

It's all just baffling: the piece is every bit as bad as Midlgey's was--it may very well be the most poorly structured/written thing that Dr. Peterson has ever "published." While he (thankfully) sidestepped the nastiness in Midgley's article, this editorial is nonetheless quite a flop. (Note: you don't need to put a closing set of quotation marks at the end of a paragraph if you're going to pick up that same quotation in the following paragraph.)

You can't help but wonder, more and more, if these guys are asleep at the wheel.

In any case: that's my "review." I've sought to maintain high standards of fairness and charity here, and I hope I've succeeded.
How Much Was Daniel Peterson Paid To Edit The "Review"?
Monday, Oct 29, 2012, at 07:32 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
One of the most fascinating revelations to surface in the Maxwell Institute shake-up was the fact that Daniel C. Peterson had been lying for years about whether or not he got paid to do Mopologetics. I know that there were several threads here on MDB that discussed precisely this topic, in which DCP himself participated, and in which he repeatedly denied getting any monetary compensation for his work on the FARMS Review. Either that, or he would insist that it was some "miniscule" amount. Well, we now know for certain that he was paid. The question remains: How much did he typically make?

It turns out that we may now have an answer. In an effort to drum up donations, the team at Mormon Interpreter have included links to their monthly expenses:

This is indeed a fascinating document. We learn, for example, that they paid nearly $500 dollars just to rent out a "conference room." (For what purpose?) It also shows that they were apparently dropping some serious coin in order to ensure that the Sept. "Conference" guests were well-lubricated with nearly 50 dollars-worth of water.

But the most jaw-dropping figures on the account sheet are directly related to the question I posed at the outset. What were the typical "fees" for the editing and administrative duties back at the old, classic-FARMS MI? What did DCP and Co. consider a reasonable fee to be? Get a load of this:
Time Donations (estimated cash equivalent)
Administrative 80 hours x $50 $4000
Editing 20 hours x $50 $1000
Technology and Media 110 hours x $50 $5500
Holy smokes! $50 an hour?? Are these guys editors, or attorneys, for heaven's sake? In fact, the account sheet actually lists Attorney's Fees (pro bono), and these amount to only $1500. I have to admit, I'm aghast at these figures. Did Dan Peterson really intend to compensate himself $5,000 to edit the trainwreck first issue of Mormon Interpreter? (Bear in mind that most of this had already been written--it was merely sitting in the can, as it had been set to appear in an issue of the Mormon Studies Review prior to being shelved by Dr. Bradford.) Think about the shoddy quality of the writing and "scholarship" that plagued that issue. This was supposed to be worth $5,000 in labor costs? Are these guys Mopologists, or shady auto mechanics?

This really makes me wonder how much DCP was being paid during his reign at FARMS, though. If these were the sorts of fees he was demanding, then I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that he was collecting, in any given year, some $20,000 or more for his Mopologetics. On average they published two issues per year. So how many labor hours was he able to bill the Maxwell Institute for? If this is true, it's not just shocking, it's absolutely appalling.
Apology For Daniel C. Peterson's Racist Blog Post
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Everybody Wang Chung
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Yet once again, it falls on my shoulders to issue an apology. This time I would like to humbly offer an apology to all African Americans on behalf of Daniel C. Peterson.
Martin Luther King was a seriously flawed man. The plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation, the adulteries, the blurring of his Civil Rights mission and his dalliance with various leftist causes in his latter years - these were and are unfortunate.

Recently, Daniel C. Peterson posted a blog in which he stated (among other very offensive things) that he felt the government should not interfer with the free market in regards to racism. If we follow Daniel's silly logic to its conclusion, then he was against the Civil War, the Emanipaction Proclamation and the Civil Rights Movement. Highly offensive and insensitive.

Further, to add insult to injury, if we follow Daniel's logic to its conclusion, he would have no problem with slavery because we all know that slavery can make perfect free market sense.

Another poster remarked today, that he wished his Church leaders had stood with Abraham Lincoln or with the Civil Right's leaders of the 1960's. Instead, they have been largely silent. Now, we have to endure Daniel C. Peterson's highly inappropriate blog.

Slavery and racism that African Americans have endured in our country is so evil and immense that it is literally incomprehensible. I deeply apologize for Daniel C. Peterson's offensive remarks on his blog. He represents a dying breed in our Church and certainly doesn't represent the sentiments of the vast majority of LDS.
Daniel C. Peterson Breaks Church Rules In Pursuit Of Mopologetics
Thursday, Mar 21, 2013, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Mrstakhanovite
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Here is the evidence-

URL to Dan's post:

Text of Dan's post:
There's always "Everybody Wang Chung," I suppose. He claims to be a currently serving bishop. He also claimed that his wife surprised him with a tour to Israel this past April/May, led by me. He was, he promised, going to go and to report back to his apostate buddies on all my silly Mopologist antics there. Later, when asked, he claimed to have actually gone, and again, under prodding, promised to provide a chronicle of my ridiculousness while he was with me in the Middle East. So far as I can tell, he's never done so. Finally, just the other day, I got out a list of all of the people who accompanied me on that tour, and I had a friend who is a bishop cross check it against the Church's leadership directory. There were no currently serving bishops on that tour. I suppose Everybody Wang Chung's claim could still somehow be true, but I very much doubt it. It seems far and away most likely that he isn't a currently serving bishop, despite his assertions (he doesn't seem to believe much of anything, and is contemptuous of those who do, often in pretty foul language), and that he didn't go to Israel with me. In other words, if I had to bet, I would bet that he's a fraud.
Screen Shot of Post:

Here it is in relevant part, from Section 13.8 entitled "Confidentiality of Records" in Handbook 1 (2010) (emphasis added):

The records of the Church are confidential, whether they exist on paper, in computers, or in other electronic media. These include membership records, financial records, notes of meetings, official forms and documents (including records of disciplinary councils), and notes made from private interviews.

Leaders and clerks are to safeguard Church records by handling, storing, and disposing of them in a way that protects the privacy of individuals. Leaders ensure that information that is gathered from members is (1) limited to what the Church requires and (2) used only for approved Church purposes.

Information from Church records and reports may be given only to those who are authorized to use it.

Information that is stored electronically must be kept secure and protected by a password (citation omitted). Leaders ensure that such data is not used for personal, political, or commercial purposes. Information from Church records, including historical information, may not be given to individuals or agencies conducting research or surveys.
My Public Encounter With Daniel Peterson Over Cartoons On Mormon Underwear
Tuesday, Jul 9, 2013, at 08:50 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists held its annual national convention in Salt Lake City a few days ago. (It's great throwing a cartoonist convention in a town that's full of clowns, most of whom don't know they're clowns. That's what makes our job so much fun).

An interesting panel, entitled "Satire and the Sacred: From Muhammad to Mormon Underwear," was held in an ampitheater at the the Leonardo Museum in downtown SLC, moderated by Pat Bagley, editorial cartoonist for the "Salt Lake Tribune" (Pat and I drew cartoons for BYU's student newspaper, the "Daily Universe," back in the late 1970s).

The panel was open to the public.

One of the invited panelists was Daniel C. Peterson, recently-fired editor at the Maxwell Institute/FARMS and current professor of Islamic Studies at BYU.

During the course of his remarks, Peterson noted (among other things) that several years ago I had made the observation that the job of an editorial cartoonist is to "march down the hill after the battle is over and shoot all the wounded" (Actually, I had first heard that comment made by my then-publisher, to whom I gave credit for the line).

Anyway, Peterson proceeded to launch into an attack on editorial cartoons mocking Mormonism, starting out by showing some published examples from the 19th century.

(*Note: I've gone back into this post and inserted actual quotes from the session, taken from an online and now-available audio broadcast. For those who may be interested, Peterson took many of his showpieces from the book, "The Mormon Graphic Image, 1834-1914: Cartoons, Caricatures, and Illustrations," by Gary L. Bunker and Davis Bitton [Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1983], 164 pp.)

One cartooned commentary that Peterson apparently regarded as particularly vile was drawn by the famous American illustrator, Thomas Nast. It showed Mormons as "foreign," depicting both the Roman Catholic Church (which Mormons have traditionally viewed as being the latter-day manifestation of the Church of the Devil) and the Mormon Church as ravenous "reptiles" in the form of crocodiles simultaneously attacking the American government, represented as the beseiged dome of U.S. capitol:

Peterson showed another cartoon (published in E.B. Howe's 1834 "Mormomism Unvailed") depicting Joseph Smith as being in league with Satan. Peterson complained that the drawing was "inaccurate in every detail" because Mormons "don't even believe" in the "Lucifer figure" as depicted (winged with horns). Peterson also pointed out that Mormons do not believe (contrary to the cartoon's portrayal) that Satan is accompanied by "little imps all around" (um, Earth to Kolob: It's a cartoon):

Peterson showed another cartoon from the same general time period which he said offered further proof of gross historical distortion committed at Mormon expense. It depicted Joseph Smith receiving the Book of Mormon gold plates from an angel who was in the form of winged woman (we wouldn't want to offend all the Mormon menfolk in the audience). And, just as bad, again there were "little imps around."

Peterson showed several other cartoons, then shifted to the 21st century, where he highlighted a cartoon by Pulitzer prize-winner (and friend of mine) David Horsey, which Dave had drawn during the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign. It depicted Obama and Romney sitting on a front porch swing, flanking a woman voter who--addressing a stiff, worried-looking Romney--asks:

"Well, I've FINALLY seen his [Obama's] birth certificate. NOW, Mitt, are you wearing that magic Mormon underwear?"

Peterson complained that the cartoon unacceptably presented Romney as trying to promote his Mormonism when, in reality, Romney "certainly didn't go around dressed in his underwear or trying to talk about his underwear;" but, rather, that Romney's temple underwear was a subject Romney wasn't "trumpeting."

In expressing his objection to this particular cartoon, Peterson admitted that he (Peterson) was "play[ing] the whiny victim card," complaining that cartoonists where trying to "empnasize" an unfair image of Mormons that had been created for Mormons "over previoius years."). Yes, Brother Peterson, you were playing the whiny victim card and doing a damn good job at it.

The presentation eventually went to Q and A, so I stood up, introduced myself to Peterson and noted that because he had quoted my observation about the job of editorial cartoonists in his earlier remarks, I had a question for him.

I asked why he thought it was inappropriate for voters to ask questions about a presidential candidate's personal religious beliefs if, by so doing, voters could get a better understanding on how the candidate's personal religious views might inform the candidate's views on public governance. I suggested to Peterson that voters, in fact, have the right to pose such questions to candidatres and asked him why he would have a problem with that. (At this point, some members of the public in attendance began to applaud)

Since those in the audience asking questions were not miked, Pat Bagley paraphrased my question as follows:

"Because Mitt Romney was a Mormon and Mormonism was such a huge part of his life, we, the public, should know about it, at least"

In response, Peterson insisted that it didn't "bother [him] a bit" that candidates are held to account, but said he found it "kind of funny" that Romney was being criticized for supposedly talking about his LDS garment-wearing when Romney wasn't, in fact, talking about his LDS underwear. Peterson added that even non-Mormons "don't typically go around talking about their underwear a lot in public venues."

I countered that Romney was avoiding questions about his secret LDS temple garments because he (Romney) didn't want to talk about the fact that Masonic emblems are sewn into them.

Here's an artist's rendition of what Romney was trying to dodge:

At this point, an audible murmur went up from the audience in response to that remark of mine. Peterson looked down, smiled slightly and muttered:

"Yeah, well, we can talk about that."

Of course, Peterson didn't proceed to talk about "that" (meaning the nuts and bolts of Romney's Mormon-Mason underwear). Instead, he simply referred to the garment question as "the other thing", which he then attempted to blow off as being "pretty silly" and "not relevant."

At that point, I had to leave the session because I was assigned the task of teaching a scheduled one-hour, open-to-the-public class to children in the SLC public library on how to draw editorial cartoons.

Peterson should have left with me and taken that class with those kids. He obviously needs to learn how editorial cartoons work in a free society.

Here's a a link to the audio recording of the panel session in its entirety, as provided by Salt Lake City's FM radio station, KCPW:
Dr. Peterson Has Apparently Decided To Throw In The Towel In Regards To The Institute He Founded: The Middle Eastern Texts Initiative
Monday, Sep 9, 2013, at 01:52 PM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Quite a stunning development in the world of Mopologetics: Dr. Peterson has apparently decided to throw in the towel in regards to the institute he founded: the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative.

I've said elsewhere that I considered METI to be a genuinely good thing: a real, positive, proactive contribution to the world of scholarship and publishing. Whatever else I or anyone else might think of Prof. P., this was an important project--Wagner might have had some unsavory personal characteristics and beliefs, but that didn't stop him from composing the Ring cycle.

All that said, the Sic et Non entry is simultaneously sad and fascinating. DCP frames the entire thing as evidence of himself as a kind of epic "bridge-builder":

In Latin, the word pontifex means "bridge builder." But the term very soon took on a much more exalted sense. This may be because bridges over the Tiber River, which runs through the city of Rome today and which was thought to be sacred and a god, were regarded as spiritually significant. They may have been thought to smooth the "bridge," symbolically speaking, between gods and men, and between this life and next. (In C. S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia, in a chapter entitled "The Very End of the World," at the very end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslan explains that "I am the great Bridge Builder." C.S. Lewis knew his Latin and Greek well.)
That's probably inflating the role that METI has played, but still: Prof. P. is right to highlight the fact that METI was doing a good thing overall. That said, you can't help but feel that a tribute like this would feel less "problematic" if someone else had written it. As things stand, we are, unfortunately, made privy to apparently petty feelings of revenge like this:

There were many who thought that Brigham Young University lacked the ability and the gravitas to pull it off; one now-deceased professor at Harvard, after meeting with me, tried rather surreptitiously to launch his own series. (Friends at various universities nationwide told me about being invited to join him, which they didn't.) This was, in the early days, a very serious threat to the viability of our project, and one of my most gratifying days came when he threw in the towel and sought to be re-invited to our advisory board.
How this is meant to show the good that METI did is anybody's guess--plus, given the fact that the Harvard professor is "now-deceased," this seems a rather gratuitous jab. Elsewhere, DCP relishes his ability to rattle cages:

The goal was to make these texts accessible in every sense of the word, including keeping the prices deliberately low. (This once gained me a stinging rebuke from an officer of the Dutch academic publisher E. J. Brill, famous for its high prices, who excoriated me for "ruining the market." I was very pleased.)
But what is most interesting about this whole chain of events is the apparent cause of it all:

Last month, amidst the continuing aftereffects and fallout of the events that took place within the Maxwell Institute in the middle of June 2012, seeing literally no alternative and no way to function, I finally resigned as editor-in-chief of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative.
This is nearly the last passage in the blog posting. The entire preceding material--this is surely one of the longest entries Prof. P. has written--was spent explaining how important and unique METI is. So why walk away over things that happened well over a year ago? Why try to pin this, too, on M. Gerald Bradford and the "New Mormon Studies Movement"? It seems worth pointing out that this--far more than FARMS, the Review, and the MI--was DCP's baby. FARMS, after all, was initially Jack Welch's project; Midgley played a very strong role in the direction of the Review, and the MI was controlled to no small extent by the Brethren. And yet, comparatively speaking, Prof. P. seems to be walking away from METI with something akin to a shrug. Certainly, this departure is nothing compared to what we saw following the resignation from editing the Review. One can't help but wonder if, as others have sometimes said, the METI work was mere "window dressing" for this prominent Mopologist's real passion: classic-FARMS-style polemics.

In any case, this is clearly one of the more important things that has happened in the world of Mopologetics. The comments to the entry were intriguing as well:

dangerdad wrote:
As BYU becomes just another school, I look around and see nowhere to send my kids to college in 5-7 years. I strongly suggest you and your colleagues look for a way to turn Interpreter into a foundation that can pay for the livelihoods of faithful scholars, since it's inevitable you and any who defend the church will be pushed out of Provo by the traitors to the faith.
DCP wrote:
Let's hope and pray that BYU goes no further down that road.
"Pay for the livelihoods of faithful scholars"? That's a remarkable suggestion--perhaps the Interpreter Foundation is looking to go into competition with the Lord's University one of these days. Barring that, perhaps they can set something up where people can mail in a check for $1,500 or so in exchange for a Ph.D. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
Daniel Peterson: No Ordination For Women, Because The Prophet Says So
Monday, Sep 23, 2013, at 08:29 AM
Original Author(s): Stormy Waters
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I would like to address a recent post on Daniel Peterson's blog. I'm reluctant because I don't think Daniel Peterson's that big of a deal, but this blog post I think is a really good case study of something that I think is really wrong with Mormonism.
There's not a question in my mind that women are, on the whole, at least the equal of men, spiritually speaking. And I have no doubt that they would administer church matters as well and effectively as men do. I can think of no earthly reason for not conferring the priesthood upon them. I would be perfectly content, even happy, if they were ordained.

The only objection that I can think of is that the Lord hasn't sanctioned, let alone commanded, the ordination of women. I have no idea why. But that seems to me a lethal objection. Moreover, I would have no interest in belonging to a church in which the decision to ordain women came as a result of committee discussions, surveys, politicking, and protests, rather than by revelation.

I found two things significant statements made by Peterson. Firstly that he can think of no "earthly reason" to deny women the priesthood and secondly, that he seems to think that the leadership of the church should be completely immune to any outside influence and that if the church were to succumb to the ordain women movement, he would no longer be interested in belonging to the church.

I suppose from the insiders perspective this is just fine and dandy. From an outsiders perspective it has some obvious defects. To illustrate I would like to take what Daniel Peterson has said and try to show how this reasoning looks to outsiders by substituting a different cause and a different religion. In this case I would like to use the belief of the Jehovah's witnesses that they shouldn't get Blood transfusions.
I can think of no earthly reason for not receiving blood transfusions. I would be perfectly content, even happy, if God allowed them.

The only objection that I can think of is that the Lord hasn't sanctioned, let alone commanded, the medical practice of blood transfusion. I have no idea why. But that seems to me a lethal objection. Moreover, I would have no interest in belonging to a church in which the decision to allow blood transfusions came as a result of committee discussions, surveys, politicking, and protests, rather than by revelation.

So the problem with this reasoning from an outsiders perspective should be a little clearer. A religious belief with no earthly backing or justification and is completely immune to any outside reasoning or petitioning. Needless to say I think there is very real harm done when you have educated people who believe things with no justification other than that their religious leader says so.
Dan Peterson's Blog Post Today--Gettysburg Address
Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013, at 08:07 AM
Original Author(s): Rfm
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
Dan's blog today is a tribute to the Gettysburg Address on its 150th anniversary.

How ironic that when President Lincoln was giving that address declaring "all men are created equal," the Mormon prophet was a man who said these things:

"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

"In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

Some hilarious comments on DCP's blog. The point that I think was missed is that when Brigham Young was speaking from the pulpit in general conference, TBMs assumed he was speaking as a prophet at the time. The strawman presented in DCPs blog is that antis assume all off the cuff statements by BY at any time are "doctrine". That is not what was asserted - the quotes in question were not informal off-the-cuff statements - they were over the pulpit in GC.

When determining whether a person was speaking as a prophet or a man, the context is very important! if the person is yakking over dinner - speaking as a man. Over the pulpit at GC - speaking as a prophet. Apologists would like us to assess the man/prophet issue by the long-term acceptability of the statement, regardless of the context. If Joseph said something cool while gabbing with the neighbors, it is the word of God for an apologist. If he said something asinine over the pulpit at GC - word of man according to the apologist. Total fail. We are not so stupid as to disregard context.

BY's totally racist and insulting statements came over the tabernacle pulpit. they were considered doctrine until 1978. DCP - don't insult our intelligence.

Changes to the Constitution followed from the Gettysburg Address. But Utah did not obey, honor or sustain the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Dr. Daniel C. Peterson only emphasizes what is faith promoting.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865.

In 1866, Utah continued a law that should have ended with the 13th Amendment. It allowed for Indian women and children to be sold to white Mormons and placed in involuntary indentured servitude.

"that whenever any white person within any organized county of this territory, shall have any indian prisoner, child or woman, in his possession, whether by purchase or shall be his or their duty to bind out the same by indenture for the term of not exceeding twenty years"

Acts, resolutions and memorials passed at the several annual sessions of the legislative assembly of the territory of utah, 1866

Mormonism emphasizes Blacks to claim they are no longer racist. Their reprehensible treatment of the American Indians deserves more attention. Particularly when it violated constitutional changes that today's Mormons are praising.
There You Go Again Dr. Peterson
Friday, Jan 10, 2014, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Phillip (hagiasophia)
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I saw this article referenced on another site and wanted to comment on it here. It is called "Is the Universe Friendly?" written by LDS apologist Daniel Peterson in the Deseret News (See: It references the usual fine-tuning arguments that theists love to make, which isn't the reason for this post. The thing that irks me is that irrespective of the merits of those fine-tuning arguments for the universe, they cannot be consistently used by an LDS apologist. Why? Because in traditional Mormon theology God is part of the physical universe and is subject to its laws just like the rest of us. God may understand those laws better than we do, but he is not their cause. Furthermore, God did not create the universe in any ultimate sense. God organized pre-existing matter, in the same way you or I might build a house (think endowment film). God just works with what the already existing universe gives him, as his God did before him, world without end. Sorry Dr. Peterson, but if the laws of physics happen to be just right to permit the emergence of life in the universe then the Mormon God(s) just lucked out.

Peterson also closes the article with the following quote from the book God and the Astronomers (which I own - a bit dated but still a decent read in my opinion):
"This is an exceedingly strange development," wrote the late NASA astronomer Robert Jastrow, "unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth ... (But) for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; (and) as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

Oh the irony! Jastrow is referring here to the development of the standard Big Band model, in which physical reality (i.e. space/time/energy/laws of nature) begins to exist at a finite point of time in the past - a discrete creation event literally out of nothing (I know there theories out there to get around this, again that's not the point of this thread). This is precisely what traditional Christian theologians had been teaching for nearly 2000 years. Mormon theology on the other hand has always taught that the universe is eternal with matter, gods, and intelligences always in existence. Taken at face value, the standard Big Bang model refutes Mormon cosmology - where was God the Father with his glorified physical body at moment of the Big Bang? Why Peterson thinks this quote helps Mormonism is beyond me. And it seems a little disingenous to me to use this quote as if Jastrow is talking about the fine-tuning of the universe rather than the Big Bang. Is it because the Big Bang model is even a poorer fit with Mormon beliefs?

LDS apologists really need to develop their own unique arguments for the existence of God based on their unique conception of God. They can't say that the rest of Christianity has gone horribly astray on their understanding of the nature of God and then try to use arguments that are based on that very nature that Mormons reject. Or is this just part of their overall attempt at mainstreaming? Or clutching at straws?
A White College Professor In Utah Is Commenting That Black Leaders (In His View) Are Failing To Live Up To MLK's Legacy
Thursday, Jan 30, 2014, at 08:43 AM
Original Author(s): Angsty
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
From the mouth of Daniel C. Peterson:
There is still very much to do, and it seems to me that many leaders of the Black community have lacked Martin Luther King's moral courage and, consequently, have not addressed the vast problems facing those for whom Dr. King gave his life.

By sheer chance, I ran across a statistic this morning that makes the problems starkly evident. Young black males - so it says (I've not verified it and I don't know exactly how "young" is defined) - represent 1% of the American population, but commit 27% of America's murders.

This is, I presume, connected with the well-chronicaled collapse of the Black family in America. But there's nothing intrinsically "Black" about the matter. For many years after the American Civll War, black families were more sturdy than White families. It seems that other factors - almost certainly including misguided government social policies - have intervened in more recent decades. But where are Dr. King's successors on this pressing issue?

I respectfully disagree with the notion that these comments "might seem relatively benign", as this may be the single most outrageous, offensive, ignorant post I've ever read by Peterson. Forgive me, for I will now rant a little:

He might well have titled it "I will now demonstrate, at the same time, my profound ignorance AND the depths of my white privilege".

The "well-chronicaled [sic] collapse of the Black family in America"????, "where are Dr. King's successors on this pressing issue"???? The leaders of the "Black community" lack MLK's "moral courage" and "have not addressed the vast problems facing those for whom Dr. King gave his life"???? Seriously? Seriously????

A White college professor in Utah is commenting that Black leaders (in his view) are failing to live up to MLK's legacy and haven't yet solved the problems this insightful professor has identified with Black people???????

Since Peterson cares so much about the "Black community", maybe he could spend more time learning about White Privilege, and then lecture WHITE PEOPLE on how they fail to live up to Dr. King's legacy, refuse to notice and acknowledge their White Privilege, and then continue to blame people of color today for the consequences of hundreds of years of racial oppression at the hands of WHITE PEOPLE, as if the "Black community" can just decide to live in a different world.

I just can't go on. There is something very, very wrong with that man.

I wish someone more qualified than me would critique that entry and submit it to Racialicious and I wish Racialicious would publish the critique, with a link, and make sure everyone knows that this person works at BYU and is a Mormon.
A New Year, And A New MLK-Day Meltdown On "Sic Et Non"
Thursday, Jan 30, 2014, at 08:45 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I was sitting at my Cassius University office not long ago when I came across a memo from The Office of the Dean that I had absentmindedly misplaced a while back. Upon re-examining it, however, I realize that we may very well be witnessing a new Mopologetic tradition unfolding--a watershed moment, if you will: An Annual Epic Meltdown on MLK Day.

As readers may recall, January of 2013 was a noteworthy and rather fiery month on "Sic et Non" after Dr. Peterson used the occasion of Dr. King's birthday to call the civil rights leader (among other things) "a seriously flawed man." DCP offered up further celebratory commentary: "The plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation, the adulteries, the blurring of his Civil Rights mission and his dalliance with various leftist causes in his latter years -- these were and are unfortunate."

This, of course, led to a massive, 189-comment series of responses, along with two additional blog postings in an effort to quell the criticism. Dr. Peterson complained thathe was accused of ""sophistry," "racism," dishonesty, sympathy for segregation and slavery, ideological alliance with the Ku Klux Klan, and having led a "little," "arrogant," and essentially worthless life." Rather than dismiss or outright repudiate these accuations, DCP simply notes that, "Such responses have fascinated me."

Later that same year--attentive readers will no doubt recall--Dr. Peterson issued a public apology after he rather foolishly posted images of black people being lynched in a misguided attempt at "humor."

So one cannot help but wonder why, this MLK Day, the "Sic et Non" entry featured this commentary:
Among the weirdest and most disingenuous performances in recent memory was Mr. Hitchens's effort, in his bestselling book god is Not Great, to portray the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King (along with the Lutheran anti-Nazi pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer) as an unbeliever.
There is still very much to do, and it seems to me that many leaders of the Black community have lacked Martin Luther King's moral courage and, consequently, have not addressed the vast problems facing those for whom Dr. King gave his life.

By sheer chance, I ran across a statistic this morning that makes the problems starkly evident. Young black males - so it says (I've not verified it and I don't know exactly how "young" is defined) - represent 1% of the American population, but commit 27% of America's murders.

This is, I presume, connected with the well-chronicaled collapse of the Black family in America. But there's nothing intrinsically "Black" about the matter. For many years after the American Civll War, black families were more sturdy than White families. It seems that other factors - almost certainly including misguided government social policies - have intervened in more recent decades. But where are Dr. King's successors on this pressing issue?
Whereas in 2013, "Sic et Non" celebrated MLK's birthday by highlighting the man's flaws, 2014 took something of a two-pronged approach by (1) Using the occasion to get into a pissing match with the late Christopher Hitchens, and (2) Hammering away at the African American community for "lack[ing] Martin Luther King's moral courage."

On their own, these remarks might seem relatively benign--misguided and insensitive, sure, but taken in isolation, one might be inclined to shrug them off as a momentary lapse of reason. But we know better: we know all-too-well about Mormonism's problematic racial past, and we know, too, that "Sic at Non" has a checkered past in this regard as well. (Remember the post on how American blacks should be "thankful" for slavery, anyone?)

Still, some may be wondering: "In what sense is this a 'meltdown,' exactly?" For that, my friend, you're going to need to read the Comments:

Daniel C. Peterson wrote:
You're really, really having to reach in order to demonize me on this one, Hellmut Lotz.

Apparently, not even the tiniest deviations from liberal orthodoxy are to be tolerated. To allow them to slip by would be a sign of weakness, I suppose.

Hellmut Lotz wrote:
I am actually a conservative, Dr. Petersen. Like Edmund Burke, I think that adhering to the facts is important. As a conservative, I find your unfounded accusations of civil rights leaders troubling. Why did you not google Al Sharpton's speeches before you launched those accusations?

Have you read the research on crime and race? Are you aware of the empirical studies?

Who are those disciples of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who fail to "press family values"? Whose speeches have you listened to? When was the last time, you have been in an African American church?

Nobody is demonizing you. I do expect of you, however, to consider the relevant empirical facts more carefully. Likewise, the logical implications of your argument would benefit from more critical engagement as well.
You seem not have noticed the fact that I'm not even remotely impressed by the example supplied from Al Sharpton.

Notice this: You can redefine conservatism, I suppose, and use an eccentric redefinition of "family values." But don't expect that your rhetorical ploys will go unnoticed, and don't expect me to treat your position as, by default and on the basis of your bare assertion, factually true and ethically superior.
Later, when someone gently tries to suggest that it might be better to avoid hot-button issues such as race, Dr. Peterson erupts:

Daniel C. Peterson wrote:
RG wrote:
Dan, on the off chance you care about the way in which the Mormon (intellectual) community will be perceived by your actions, I ask that you refrain from posting about MLK.
RG, on the off chance that you care about being perceived as a hypersensitive and politically correct ideologue with totalitarian tendencies, I would suggest that you reconsider the wisdom of trying to silence others.

You cannot reasonably view my entry about as either racist or critical of Martin Luther King. But you can, I'll admit, do it UNreasonably.
RG wrote:
I'm not trying to silence you, Dan. That would entail petitioning Patheos or some other power-that-be to remove your posts. I'm asking that you be more self-selective in what you write given the way it reflects on the rest of us. This isn't a question of _my_ interpretation, it's a question of how reasonable others _could_ read your post.

Take this phrase, for instance: There is still very much to do, and it seems to me that many leaders of the Black community have lacked Martin Luther King's moral courage and, consequently, have not addressed the vast problems facing those for whom Dr. King gave his life.

Why isn't it reasonable to read this as, "Dan is saying that many leaders of the Black community lack moral courage?"
Daniel C. Peterson wrote:
I scolded nobody on racial issues. I voiced concerns about a problem that strongly affects the black community.

Your determination to treat blacks as fragile infants who must always be praised and addressed with baby talk, coos, and avuncular tickles under the chinny-chin-chin, but never with frank honesty, isn't one that I share.

And your tendency to insinuating that those who disagree with you on this are racists is flatly evil.

Your attempt to blackmail me because I'm the current president of SMPT is, thus, exceptionally inappropriate.

There is nothing in my blog post above that a reasonable person can reasonably construe as racist, and your attempt to bully me into a vow of perpetual silence (and into acquiescence to your views) is shameful.
Later, he rather humorously asserts the following:

Daniel C. Peterson wrote:
Look. I find a number of your views objectionable, but I would never suggest that you be silent. I lack the hubris, for one thing.
Only to say, to a different poster, several comments later, Daniel C. Peterson wrote:
Your racial hypersensitivity and preening moral superiority disqualify you from having a significant opinion on the topic, and certainly make you look ridiculous in presuming to judge another.

Go away. You have nothing of value to offer.
Quite a spectacle. But is this enough to officially expect a yearly, racially-charged eruption each MLK Day on "Sic et Non"? Maybe so. We'll have to wait until 2015, in any event.
Mormon Apologist Daniel C. Peterson Is On Paid Leave
Monday, Feb 17, 2014, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
I wasn't going to say anything, but I had suspected something along these lines, particularly after reading an exchange between DCP and someone (GrimGrinningGhost, perhaps?) on "Sic et Non." A "sabbatical" just seemed too coincidental in light of the criticism DCP has directed at BYU. In a recent thread, Tom posted this: Daniel C. Peterson wrote:
Some are, no doubt, wondering how I can be doing all this traveling and still maintain a job. Good question: I’m on research sabbatical. Reduced pay, obligation to produce at least two books. And half the weight that we brought with us on this family-purpose trip was books. At the moment, while others are out strolling on the beach, I’m sitting at a desk, with books scattered around me, looking at the ocean from a distance. And, if it will make you feel any better, I’m coming down with my second cold of 2014. Life is hard.
"Two books"? In a matter of a couple of months? Or is this one of those "sabbaticals" that's actually going to last a lot longer than one of BYU's semesters? Plus, to what extent does it make sense to write "two books" while globe-trotting back and forth across the U.S.? (And on a similar note: is John Gee on "sabbatical" as well right now?) The recent postings of DCP's that I've read give the impression more that he's on an extended vacation, rather than doing any actual work.

If these rumors turn out to be true, it could have a profound impact on Mopologetics. If DCP is "ousted" wholesale from BYU, it will be awfully hard for him to continue his narrative about how the Maxwell Institute "purge" was executed by a few "backstabbing apostates." He noted in his now-infamous letter to Gerald Bradford that his exit from the MI would be seen as a "rebuke" to all his Mopologetics; well, if he gets the boot from BYU, the perceived "rebuke" will be a thousand times worse: it will really have to be interpreted not just as a condemnation of the FARMS stuff, but his blogging and online antics as well, including Mormon Interpreter.

Dr. Shades mused in one of the Tom Phillips threads that the fraud business might end up as #1 on the annual list, and I urged him to exercise caution. That said, his comment about it "only being February" does seem to be very true: the Tom Phillips thing, DCP apparently getting "ousted," and Will Schryver becoming an apostate--these are pretty important Mopologetic events.

Yes, Dan has recently stated he is on a "sabbatical": ... swamp.html

He has also been taking potshots at BYU on his blog: ... provo.html
Dennis Potter Refutes Daniel Peterson's Atheism Piece
Monday, Sep 8, 2014, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Dennis Potter
Topic: DANIEL C. PETERSON   -Link To MC Article-
In his Deseret News editorial on March 13, Daniel Peterson argues that atheists cannot justify belief in an objective morality. He says:
It's one thing to believe in moral principles; it's quite another to be able to justify them, to give an account of their source. And this seems to me a particular problem for atheists.
So, Peterson is arguing for the conclusion that atheists cannot justify their moral beliefs. Petersen's first argument for this conclusion seems to be an appeal to authority. He cites atheist philosopher Michael Ruse defending the idea that ethical judgments are illusory. Now, if this is indeed an appeal to authority then it is a bad one. The problem is that atheists disagree about whether morality is an illusion (Nietzsche), an expression of human sentiment (Hume) or based on objective facts about the world (Plato, Sidgwick, etc.). And, of course, an appeal to authority is fallacious just in case there is disagreement among the experts on the issue in question. This is one such issue. Also, it is not at all clear that Ruse should count as an expert on the metaethical implications of atheism. Ruse is a philosopher of biology. Instead, Peterson should look at Michael Martin (an atheist philosopher of religion) or (even better) David O. Brink (a metaethicist). But again, even if Peterson had cited an actual expert, the argument would still be fallacious as an appeal to authority on an issue about which the authorities don't agree.

Accusing somebody of a fallacy should never be the end of criticism, since every accusation of a fallacy could easily be itself an instance of the straw-man fallacy. So, with that in mind, perhaps Peterson intends to endorse Ruse's argument for his conclusion rather than appealing to Ruse's authority. If so, that argument is rather unpersuasive. It seems as if Ruse is arguing as follows:
  1. [premise] Human belief in morality is the result of an evolutionary adaptation.
  2. [from 1] Hence, the basis of our ethical judgments doesn't lie in any part of the objective framework of the universe.
  3. [from 2] So, our ethical judgments are not rationally justified despite seeming to be true. (i.e., our ethical judgment are illusory.)
Clearly, 1 is probably correct. But both of the inferences that follow are problematic.

First, the move from 1 to 2 is fallacious. That we have the ethical beliefs that we do as a product of our evolutionary history doesn't entail that those beliefs are not based on the objective world. The ability to reason logically and think abstractly, necessary for doing mathematics or physics, is clearly a product of evolution as well. But that doesn't mean that logic and mathematical reasoning fail to track the truth. Clearly, the claim that a belief is the product of evolution and the claim that it is true and/or rationally justified are logically consistent.

In philosophy, we distinguish between the context of discovery and the context of justification. Essentially, this involves recognizing that there is a difference between how one comes to believe something and whether (and how) that belief is rationally justified. And it seems clear to me that (usually) nothing about the former is relevant to the latter (the case of memory would be an obvious exception). For a similar reason, I would argue that the fact that religious belief is a by-product of evolutionary adaptation would have no relevance to the question of whether that belief is justifiable and/or true. We would still have to talk about the arguments for and against the existence of God, or about religious experiences, or some such potential justification.

Second, the move from 2 to 3 is ambiguous. It might mean one of two things, depending on how we interpret the phrases: 'rational justification' and 'being part of the objective framework of the universe'. On one interpretation, 2 and 3 are understood to be synonymous. And then the inference is just trivial. On the other interpretation, the concept of 'rational justification' must be interpreted to be wide enough that you could have a rational justification for a belief whose basis doesn't lie in any part of the objective framework of the universe. But then if you go that route, 3 doesn't follow from 2. So, either this inference is trivial or it is fallacious. Let's assume that it is trivial. But then we are left with the fallacious move from 1 to 2. So, the argument fails.

Next Peterson cites Dawkins. But the issues are pretty much the same as with Ruse. This is not a good context for an argument from authority and Dawkins' argument is not any better than Ruse's, since it involves exactly the same mistake: taking the fact that the belief is caused by a non-rational process to be a reason for concluding that it is not justified.

Both Ruse and Dawkins seemingly subscribe to an approach called "evolutionary ethics/metaethics". This is similar to E. O.Wilson's "sociobiology", but instead of basing the social sciences on evolutionary findings, it bases ethics on evolutionary findings. By my estimation, a minority of ethicists and metaethicists (I am neither) subscribe to this view.

Many philosophers, including atheists, reject evolutionary ethics/metaethics as involving deep confusions, one of which is alluded to in my criticism of Ruse's argument. Some of these philosophers--e.g., David O. Brink---are moral realists. In his book, Brink argues for objective moral truths from within a completely naturalist framework. Other non-naturalists such as Thomas Nagel would endorse Ruse's and Dawkins' arguments but then go on to claim that this entails that evolution cannot give us a complete explanation of life, consciousness and morality (Nagel remains a non-theist, however). The point in dropping these names is that Peterson is stepping into a well-worn philosophical discussion that involves very little consensus and, yet, he presents the case as if most atheists agree with him (i.e., they agree that if there is no God then there is no objective morality). This not true. It is not enough to cite a couple of atheists that reject the objective basis of morality. One needs to engage the arguments that atheist (and theist??yes, theist) philosophers make on behalf of a non-theistic basis for morality. Peterson doesn't do this.

Peterson finishes his piece with a version of the moral argument for the existence of God.
  1. If there is no God, objective morality and moral obligations don't exist.
  2. But objective morality and moral obligations do exist.
  3. Therefore, God exists.
He's right to say that the argument is valid. It is an instance of modus tollens. But the first premise is really what is at issue here and the arguments that he uses to try to defend this are quite bad from a logical point of view.

But before concluding, I want to make a comment about how strange it is for a Mormon to be making the argument that Peterson makes here. Mormons believe that God had to become God and that in doing so had to conform to pre-existent moral laws. This is pretty clear in the King Follett Discourse. I fail to see that it could be read in any other way. Moreover, Mormons also believe that God could cease to be God, if he broke moral laws (Alma 42:25). It seems to me that Mormons can't believe that God is the author of the moral laws, but that those laws are independent of God and, at least, independent of His will. But by endorsing the moral argument for God's existence, Peterson has in effect endorsed theological voluntarism (a.k.a. the divine command theory) and this contradicts the independence of morality in Mormonism.

Also, it is worth noting that many theologians and theistic philosophers would disagree with Peterson's arguments because the former believe that theological voluntarism is problematic from a theistic point of view. For example, assuming theological voluntarism, it is hard to make sense out of how one could claim that God is good, as theists are wont to do.

So, Peterson's editorial fails to make the case that without God, we couldn't have objective morality. In addition, he (perhaps unintentionally) misrepresents the range of views held by atheists and experts on this particular issue. And finally, he advocates a view that seems at best incongruous with Mormon theology.

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Archived Blogs:
Information About Daniel C. Peterson From An Apologetic Standpoint
Is "True" Mormon History Really Accessible To Members?
Left The Church But Can't Leave It Alone - Those Who Oppose The LDS Church Are "Secular Anti-Mormons"
Dan Peterson Loves To Hear His Own Words, But Misses The Point Entirely.
Criticism Of Daniel Peterson's Latest Talk, "Reflections On Secular Anti-Mormonism"
Daniel C. Peterson
Daniel Peterson's Commentary Regarding "Anti-Mormon" Sites
"Secret Combinations" Revisited
Latest Exchange With Daniel Peterson
Daniel Peterson Again Tooting His Own Horn
Daniel Peterson's Swipe At "Edelman"
Daniel C. Peterson's Signature Line - A Quote From Simon G. Southerton's Book : What Was Simon Really Saying
Daniel C. Peterson's Response To Bob Mccue's Response
Threads About "That Apologist From FAIR"
One More Thread About Daniel C. Peterson - Because I Have To. Mea Culpa
Daniel C. Peterson's Dishonesty And Sophistry Are Truly Breathtaking
Daniel C. Peterson: Master Mason Of Attack And Evasion
Behold!: Daniel C. Peterson Speaks Out On His Deep Throat Source(s) Regarding My Conversations With Oaks And Maxwell
DCP, DCP's Friend, An Unscrupulous SP, And The Smear Campaign Against D. Michael Quinn
Big Mormon Apologist Says Mormonism "Good Lens" To View Other Religions
And Apparently, This Guy Is A Professor
Daniel Peterson Has A Freudian Slip
Why Daniel Peterson Has No Credibility In Rational Discussions
Daniel C. Peterson - It's Not A Job I Could Do And Keep A Clean Conscience, I Don't Know How Peterson Lives With His
Earth To Peterson - Repeat, Earth Calling Peterson
Dan's Propensity To Attack The Person Instead Of The Argument
Daniel Peterson Spouts Off On A Jewish Website About Baptism Of Jewish Simon Wiesenthal
Daniel C. Peterson's Comments On The Baptism Of Simon Wiesenthal Are Embarrassing
"Apologetics By The Numbers" By Daniel C. Peterson
So, What Is Doctor Daniel C. Peterson's Rule?
Bishop Daniel C. Peterson Laughs At The College Terrace Fire In His Student Ward, Blames A Non-Member
Daniel Peterson Has The Easiest Job In The World
Daniel Peterson, "Leading" Mormon Apologist, Undermined 178 Years Of Church Book Of Mormon Doctrine This Month
Danny Peterson Explains Why People Join Cults
Daniel C. Peterson - Now The Defacto Prophet Of LDS Inc?
Dan, You Make Satan Look Like A Saint When It Comes To Spin
Daniel C. Peterson - Excommunication For Apostacy?
Comments On Daniel Peterson's Use Of The Voltaire Quote
I See Daniel C. Peterson As The Porn-Czar Of Secular Anti-Mormonism
Daniel C. Peterson's "Muhammad, Prophet Of God"
Denial C. Peterson's Argument In The Lecture Was Absurd
Daniel Peterson Pulls A Goddess Out Of His @ss
Some Reflections On Daniel C. Peterson's Latest FARMS Piece
Daniel C. Peterson To Testify In Elizabeth Smart Case
Yeah, Verily, It Has Been Revealed To Me That Daniel Peterson Is A Mighty Prophet
Peterson And Gee's Libel Against Ritner?
Take Daniel C. Peterson's Assertions RE: Metaethics
Daniel C. Peterson Weighs In On N.Y. Mosque Dispute
Another Problem With "Mormon Scholars Testify"
Daniel Peterson Made Me What I Am Today
A Cat In A Hat? Nope, A Rock In A Chat
Daniel C. Peterson's Fluff Piece
Mormon Apologetic And Discussion Allegedly Board Wiped Thousands Of Dr. Peterson's Messages From The Board
Daniel Peterson, Director Of Outreach For The Maxwell Institute, Returns To The Forums
Daniel Peterson Admits To A Friendly Mormon Audience That He's "Fond" Of An Argument Of His That He Admits No One Else Is Buying
Dan Peterson's Advice: "Put It On The Shelf"
Peterson Is Really A Piece Of Work
Perhaps It Isn't Just That They Fear Dwindling Numbers
Daniel Peterson Admits The Mormon Church Is Not The Fastest Growing
Denial C. Peterson Rides Again - Deseret News: "Smiths Were [Not] Slackers"
DCP Article Demonstrating The Smiths Were Hard Workers
Daniel In Denial's Den?
Daniel Peterson Talks To Mormon Stories About His Career As An LDS Apologist And Much More (4-Part Youtube Video)
How Can We Trust Mormon Scholars?
Daniel C. Peterson: Should The Church Apologize For The Priesthood Ban?
Scholars Misbehaving: A Mormon Flavor
Natuska Does A Great Job Explaining Why Daniel C. Peterson And The Mopologists Are Wrong About Native American DNA
Richard Mouw - Daniel Peterson's Next Target?
Daniel C. Peterson - The Perils Of Socialcam
Peterson Exacts Revenge For Dehlin Hit Piece Humiliation
Daniel Peterson: The Phrase "Hoisted With His Own Petard" Comes To Mind
Daniel C. Peterson Responds To Getting "Fired" From The Review
Further Light And Knowledge On Daniel C. Peterson And FARMS/NWI
Dan Peterson's Poor Judge of Character: Redux
Daniel C. Peterson: The Myth, The Man, The Legend Changes His Topic!
Dan Peterson's Stock Goes Down Again
Daniel C. Peterson's First "MI" Article Is A Flop
How Much Was Daniel Peterson Paid To Edit The "Review"?
Apology For Daniel C. Peterson's Racist Blog Post
Daniel C. Peterson Breaks Church Rules In Pursuit Of Mopologetics
My Public Encounter With Daniel Peterson Over Cartoons On Mormon Underwear
Dr. Peterson Has Apparently Decided To Throw In The Towel In Regards To The Institute He Founded: The Middle Eastern Texts Initiative
Daniel Peterson: No Ordination For Women, Because The Prophet Says So
Dan Peterson's Blog Post Today--Gettysburg Address
There You Go Again Dr. Peterson
A White College Professor In Utah Is Commenting That Black Leaders (In His View) Are Failing To Live Up To MLK's Legacy
A New Year, And A New MLK-Day Meltdown On "Sic Et Non"
Mormon Apologist Daniel C. Peterson Is On Paid Leave
Dennis Potter Refutes Daniel Peterson's Atheism Piece
5,709 Articles In 365 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (365 Topics)

  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 3 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 4 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 5 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 6 (19)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 1 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 2 (21)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 4 (22)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 5 (37)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (100)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DNA (23)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · FARMS (30)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (13)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VIDEOS (30)
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