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Steve Benson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic. Benson is the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and LDS prophet Ezra Taft Benson.
Autopens And Other Benson -related Deceptions That May Be Of Interest
Thursday, Jan 1, 2004, at 02:59 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
I try to be as accurate and honest as I can but do make unintentional mistakes as I stumble along, so I think it best to review and revise as needed and do so as quickly as possible.

I would appreciate it if you would rely on this latest effort, and chuck the first draft.

Rest assured, however, that unlike the Book of Mormon,it does not contain thousands of changes in words or meaning.


A side note on the use of the "inspired" ETB autopen signature machine and other matters:

The device was not only employed by my grandfather's First Presidency counselors to sign away his powers of attorney for running the Mormon corporate empire, it was also used regularly by my grandfather's office staff when composing and dispatching letters supposedly written and/or dictated by him to members of his own family.

I regarded the practice as an attempted deception of ETB's own kin by his appointed and anointed handlers, who thought they were doing God's work--dishonest as it was.

For instance, Benson family members were provided gift copies of my grandfather's biography, written by Sheri Dew and sanitized for public consumption by faith-promoting censors occupying the Benson inner circle.

Enclosed with each book to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren was a letter supposedly personally written and signed by my grandfather.

All the signatures--not to mention the wording of the letters--were exactly the same.

Likewise, we received fairly lengthy letters of several paragraphs containing long, complex sentences and thought patterns--again, allegedly written and signed by my grandfather.

Unfortunately, they were supposedly written by him at a time when his deteriorating mental and physical state was becoming quite apparent to family members who had actually had the occasion to visit him up close and personal.

(Not all family members, however, were willing to admit that Ezra Taft Benson was steadily slipping away. To this day, some--particularly among certain Benson women who, curiously and inexplicably enough, were among my strongest family critics when I left the Chuch--continue to exhibit profound denial that Ezra Taft Benson was significantly incapacitated in his role as "prophet").

Nonetheless, my grandfather, in reality, could not talk to us in those face-to-face encounters like he could supposedly write to us in those ghost-authored letters.

Moreover, the signatures on the letters matched exactly signatures from other letters. Compared side by side, they were obviously artifically penned.

Typically, below each "signature" would be my grandfather's typewritten name. Unfortunately, sometimes the autopenned name and the typed name on the same letter were not exactly the same. One might, for instance, say "ETB" while the other would say "Ezra Taft Benson," or some other obvious variant mismatch.

It was clear that the autopenned hand didn't always know what the typewritten hand was doing.

I also observed other deliberate efforts to misrepresent my grandfather's state of health, to both members of the Church at large and members of his own family.

For example, I saw my father, Mark, and my grandfather's personal secretary, Gary Gillespie, congratulating each other on a Church News cover photograph take of my grandfather.

It showed my grandfather, pleasantly smiling, seated in a chair, dressed in a nice Sunday suit.

It was a carefully posed, prop and crop shot.

The smile was that of a man in the twilight haze of creeping mental enfeeblement.

Efforts to manipulate my grandfather's appearance extended even to private family gatherings.

I recall, for instance, being in my grandfather's apartment one afternoon, where I asked if I could get a photograph with him and other members of the family in front of a large, idealized painting of the Benson clan commissioned while ETB was Secretary of Agriculture.

(The artist had painted a cat on the lap of my young aunt Beth, although she did not actually pose with a cat. Ironically, that approach to creating an artificial reality was to unfold as I attempted to get a family photograph in front of that very painting).

My grandfather was confined, by this time in his life, to a wheelchair, in which he sat silently and stoop-shouldered.

I was puzzled by how my father kept repositioning my grandfather's wheelchair after I had already situated him for the photograph.

I'd angle the wheelchair one way for what I though was the best lighting and composition, only to see my father, without comment, move in to abruptly change the setup.

After this had happened a couple of times and I was becoming somewhat frustrated, I realized what my dad was doing.

He was trying to keep the camera from capturing the breathing tube inserted up my grandfather's nostril.

It's a sad metaphor, really.

The Mormon Church has been, since its fanciful inception, desperately attempting to rearrange its elements, its history, its doctrine, its image and its leaders--all in a vain attempt to hide the truth from those in and out of the flock.

Only if one insists on keeping one's eyes squeezed shut can the deception be missed.

When I finally went public about the Church's relentless efforts to misrepresent my grandfather's health, I received a call from my father.

He told me that I must not talk to the press about my grandfather because, he declared, the press was an enemy of the Church.

I reminded him that I was a member of the press.

My father responded by telling me that if I ever in the future spoke to the media about my grandfather's health, he would see to it that I would never again be allowed to see my grandfather.

I was stunned.

My father sternly reminded me that it was his duty to protect his father and the Lord's prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, to look after the interests of the Kingdom and to uphold the faith.

He further reminded me that he had been specifically asked by Ezra Taft Benson to move back to Utah from Texas so that he could perform those duties, as commanded by his prophet-father.

This, for me, was a final straw among the final straws. (I had already determined that the temple ritual was a Masonic rip-off, that the Book of Mormon was a plagiarized 19th century fairy tale and that Mormon prophets weren't good at prophesying or at understanding the real world. Now, I was faced with a family showing me the exit if I didn't keep my mouth shut).

I said to my dad, "Do you realize what you are saying? In the name of protecting the Church and the prophet, you are threatening to break up this family. If that's the kind of Church this is, I want out."

It was an emotional and agonizing moment, but a defining and liberating one, as well.

My father--perhaps taken aback by my instinctive revulsion at his conditions for family unity--agreed to reconsider his threat and a few days later implored me to remain in the ranks, but by then I had seen all the light I needed to find my way to the escape hatch.

Within weeks, my wife and I had left the Church.
From The Mormon Mailbag: I'm An Rm Who Helped Your Grandfather In The Temple. You Need To Come Back Now
Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
From time to time, various Latter-day Saints apparently mistake their attacks of fasting-induced indigestion for whisperings of the Still Small Voice and write to tell me about it.

In this particular episode, a Mormon named "Bob" from Lehi, Utah, e-mailed me his profound insights on how corruption in the Mormon hierarchy has, thankfully and by the grace of a loving God, been overcome through the inspired writings of LDS Church flacks.

Apparently, it is now "Bob's" turn to bring me back into the crushing embrace of the Great Jehovah, who has reportedly been seen recently wandering around East South Temple in search of nothing better to do than to call "Bob" into action.

For your reading convenience and to help the Spirit-impaired pick up humming noises emitting from the Holy Ghost, "Bob's" letter has been subtitled in capital letters.

Go for it, Brother "Bob":


Dear Steve,

I have recently finished reading your grandfather's biography by Sheri Dew and was again touched by what a great man your grandfather was.


I was called to serve as a missionary in 1990 and had the opportunity of attending a temple session with your grandfather in the Jordan River Temple. In that session I had the opportunity to sit beind your grandpa and was able to help him during the session and at one point he looked at me and smiled. I remember how my heart burned!


My purpose for writing is that I know you were not happy with how your felt the church handled your grandfather's declining years and I even heard that you made the decision to leave the church.


Quite frankly, it is none of my business, but I want you to know I come from a family where my grandparents became disenchanted with how the missionary department handled my uncle's nervous breakdown while on his mission.


President Hinckley was in charge of the missionary department at that time and my grandmother never could forgive them.


They spent 30 years outside of the church before softening and realIzing the promised blessings.


I thought about you while reading in the biography about how your grandparents used to say "no empty chairs" and hope that you will see that the Church is a church full of imperfect people, yet it is the true church of Jesus Christ containing the authority and the ordinances that will make our families eternal.


Forgive me if I have been offensive to you in any way, but I can't help but think that if you still have ill feelings toward the church, how much your grandfather would be pleased if you came back.


Anyhow, I wish you the best and wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and your family.


Bob J.
Lehi, Utah


I wrote Bob back the following:

The Mormon Church is a fraud, from its inception up the the present. Case closed.

It's been awhile since Bob first sent me his e-mail and, golly darn, Bob hasn't written me back.
"Sister Benson is Trying to Die:" Decisions and Denial--The Passing of My Grandmother, Flora Smith Amussen Benson
Wednesday, Jul 13, 2005, at 09:12 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Sometimes I wonder why we inadvertantly cause so much needless pain and suffering to the ones we love when their physical bodies are crying out to die.

Of course, it is understandable that we often desperately, and devotedly, intervene in an effort to delay the march of death for those whom we dearly love.

We are, to be sure, distraught when thinking of our own lives robbed of the companionship and presence of a beloved family member whose departure we cannot even begin to imagine.

Understandbly, we may believe that these special people in our lives themselves wish to remain with us as long as they possibly can and do not wish to die.

We may believe that they would want to receive whatever extraordinary medical treatment necessary to keep their failing bodies alive for as long as humanly possible.

We may believe that we owe them nothing less.

But, ultimately, why may we believe this?

Is it because losing our loved ones makes us terribly, personally sad and we may have convinced ourselves that this is what they want for themselves?

These were some of the questions confronting me during the last days of the life of my grandmother--Flora Smith Amussen Benson, wife of Ezra Taft Benson.

Before she died in 1992, she had been in declining health for some time.

Crippled by cataracts, her body shrunken into a fetal position, my grandmother could barely move or communicate. Fortunately, through it all, she was cared for round-the-clock by a devoted medical staff and attended to by a loving family.

But she was in great pain.

As a family, we would regularly visit her in her Church-owned apartment, where she was permanently confined to a hospital-style bed.

I remember standing, with others, by her bedside, stroking her hair, caressing her hand and speaking softly to her. More often than not, she did not, and could not, respond.

At times she would attempt to turn her neck, looking up from her pillow in our direction through permanently fogged eyes.

As her children and grandchildren, we would attempt to keep the atmosphere pleasant (at least for us), including having our pictures taken with her. We would stand next to her, smiling and talking, while she laid there, silent and unmoving.

Over time, however, I became increasingly uneasy, feeling out of place even, in such a surreal setting. My grandmother was dying and I sensed that such activity–however well-intentioned–lacked the necessary reality, and dignity, given my grandmother's declining condition.

My grandmother died on August 14, 1992, at the age of 91, in her Salt Lake City apartment, of what was reported in the press as “natural causes.”

A few weeks after her death, on September 6th, I had a phone conversation with my parents about the circumstances surrounding her passing.

I was personally troubled by how my grandmother had died, believing that her pain and her death had been unnecessarily prolonged. I had seen her suffering during home care and in the hospital. I had heard her moan in pain. I knew that members of my family sincerely believed they were doing what was best for her but I could not shake the uncomfortable feeling that her life had been inappropriately and artificially extended, in a futile fight against the steadily-slowing tick of the natural clock within.

So strongly did I feel about this that during the phone conversation with my parents, I took detailed notes.

I was trying to understand what had taken place leading up to my grandmother's passing and how it had happened. I wanted to hear about it from those in my family who had intimately cared for and loved her. (My father, Mark Amussen Benson, was her second child).

I also wanted to know how my grandfather was faring through it all.

My parents informed me that, in the wake of her death, he had become “physically a little weaker.”

They told me that “Grandma’s health was a worry to him” but, with her passing, he had “reassurance that she’s doing well” on the other side.

In fact, “her death,” my parents said, “was some relief” to him.

“She wasn’t doing well the last year,” they acknowledged, and that fact was of “some worry to Grandpa.”

Now, my parents told me, “Heavenly Father has taken her home.”

With the passing of his companion, they said “comfort“ for my grandfather “comes from the Lord and the Holy Ghost.”

They told me that since her passing, my grandfather “sees some things we don’t see.”

They said that he “looks at the ceiling” and “maybe has had a vision of Flora.”

They further informed me that, by now, my grandfather was “moving on,” that it was “not good to dwell on it” (meaning her death). They said that thinking about her passing was “too much” for him, even though there would be “more photographs [of her] in the Deseret News.”

In order to get his mind off of it, my mother said that they planned to “take him tomorrow to see the [autumn] leaves.”

As I read over my notes, I remembered back to the night, just a few months before my grandmother passed away, when our family received urgent word that she might be dying and that we were all to gather as quickly as possible at the hospital in Salt Lake City for what could be her final hours. We all rushed to the emergency room.

My grandmother was brought into the hospital and placed on a gurney.

I, along with my father, was at her side as she was quickly moved down the hallway.

My father looked down at his mother and said, “I'm here, Mom. We love you.”

She looked up through clouded, darkened eyes and said feebly, “Mark, it hurts.”

Our family was ushered into a crowded waiting room off the main emergency area. Present were several of my grandmother’s children and grandchildren, as well as a few hospital personnel.

Her attending physician entered the room to inform us of my grandmother’s situation.

His demeanor was calm, but serious. His message, at least to me, was crystal clear.

I remember his exact words as he spoke to anxious, emotional family members gathered in the small, crowded room that night. They were gentle words, but firm:

“Sister Benson,” he said quietly as he looked steadily around the room, “is trying to die.”

I listened carefully to his assessment, while at the same time glancing at the faces of my family, trying to judge their reaction.

What the doctor was telling them didn’t appear to be sinking in.

He continued, patiently and deliberately:

“If she was my mother, I would let her go. We can give her antibiotics. That will bring her back somewhat, but she will never be the same as she was before. She will continue to decline. We can keep her comfortable with pain-killers.”

My father, expressing a common sentiment felt in the room, said that “she knows we’re here and that gives her comfort.”

I understood their pain. I was feeling it, too. But that did not erase reality.

I tried in my own outnumbered way to help the doctor get his point across to the members of my family. When he would make a statement about my grandmother’s condition, I would repeat what he said back to him, loud enough for everyone else to hear, then would ask questions of him:

“So, you’re saying, doctor, that she won’t get better? You’re telling us that she is dying?”

But it was useless.

I could tell from the physician’s expression that he knew his efforts to help our family comprehend the inevitable had been futile. He would do as my family wished and administer the drugs.

With that, he politely excused himself from the room.

“Sister Benson is trying to die.”

I have in front of me a photocopy of my grandmother’s “Certificate of Death,” issued by the “State of Utah, Department of Health.”

It reads, in part, as follows (all items noted below are matters of public record):


SEX: Female

DATE OF DEATH: AUG. 14, 1992



AGE (last birthday): 91







RACE: White

EDUCATION (Specify only highest grade completed) Elementary or Secondary (0-12) College (13-16 or 17+): 15


Cardiovascular Collapse Approximate Interval Between Onset and Death: 2 days

Generalized arthrosclerosis with multiple cerebral thrombic Approximate Interval Between Onset and Death: 20 years

PART 2. Other Significant Conditions contributing to death but not resulting in the underlying cause given in Part 1:

Hypertensions, Multiple cardiovascular events

What Do Mormonism's Alleged "Prophets, Seers and Revelators" Really Know?: From Their Own Lips
Monday, Jul 18, 2005, at 08:04 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: What Do Mormonism's General Authorities Really Know About the Supposed Truthfulness of the LDS Church--and How Do They Supposedly Know It?

A question often asked by those re-examining their Mormon faith is whether the General Authorities of the LDS Church genuinely believe the Church is true.

They may believe it, but do they really know it?

And are they forthright with the Mormon membership about what they say claim either believe or know?

Based on my personal contact with some of Mormonism’s highest leaders, obtained through conversation and correspondence, the answers to these questions is simply "No."

President Ezra Taft Benson

My grandfather's testimony of Mormonism, as expressed to me repeatedly over the years in personal discussions and correspondence, was rooted in two basic beliefs:

The Book of Mormon

He fervently believed that the Book of Mormon was the revealed word of God and an actual historical document. From what I was able to observe, he never, for a moment, questioned its authenticity.

That said, however, I never personally heard or saw him analyze or critique the Book of Mormon in any real depth on issues relating to its alleged historicity, authenticity or reliability.

In private, his feelings about the Book of Mormon were not as resounding or convincing as they were when he was behind the pulpit

My grandfather did admit to me, one-on-one, that even though he insisted the LDS Church was not neutral on the question of organic evolution, one could argue for or against it from the same Mormon scriptures.

In other words, for all his publicly-expressed confidence in the Book of Mormon, in this particular instance he was not nearly as emphatic or confident in private as he appeared in public about the surety of LDS scripture.

Nevertheless, his hesitancy on that question was not enough to shake his unbending faith in the authenticity of the gold plates.

To my grandfather, they were without question the translated word of God, serving as a pillar of unshakeable, personal, testimonial faith.

Ranking second only to revealed Mormon scripture in battling what he called godless Communism, he told me, were the publications of the John Birch Society--which he told me by letter every American should have access to.

The Ranking Leaders of the Mormon Church

My grandfather unquestioningly believed, and simply accepted, that the highest leaders of the Church--most notably, the LDS President and the First Presidency counselors, together with the Quorum of the Twelve--were inspired by God in leading the affairs of the Mormon Church.

He insisted that all must follow the Brethren devoutly--and without skepticism

For example, when he called me one snowy, wintry day in Provo, Utah (at the behest of my distraught mother) to tell me to break off my engagement to Mary Ann, he introduced himself by saying, "Stephen, I'm not calling as your grandfather, but as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve."

He did, however, privately acknowledge to me that these Church leaders were human, that they made mistakes, that they did not always agree among themselves on doctrinal matters (such as on the official Church position on organic evolution) and that some matters about which they disagreed among themselves (again, such as with organic evolution) were not necessary to one's eternal salvation.

Still, he told me that obedience to the General Authorities--even if what they claimed to be true was, in fact, wrong--constituted a fundamental principle of the Gospel.

He assured me that God would bless those who followed the Brethren, even when the Brethren were in error.

My grandfather also told me that he did not want me to publish anything that would undermine faith or testimony in the leaders of the Mormon Church.

In short, he was more committed to the idea that obedience trumped truth than the other way around.

My grandfather never claimed to me (or anyone else of whom I was aware) that he had personally seen God, Jesus Christ or other divine beings.

He did, however, emotionally inform me that he had had an experience in the Salt Lake temple (regarding the announcement by President Kimball on Blacks and the priesthood) that was too sacred to talk about.

He told me that it was one of the most "spiritual" experiences of his life but that he would not delve into it at all, even though I requested that he do so.

He also informed the assembled Benson family at a Nauvoo, Illinois, reunion that there were other matters which he was not at liberty to discuss, either.

What those were, he never did say.

He was never specific with me in revealing any particular personal experiences of his that formed the basis for his testimony of the truthfulness of Mormonism--other than to bear witness to knowing that truth of LDS claims through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie

In a lengthy face-to-face conversation I had with McConkie at his home while doing a BYU research paper on the official Mormon Church position on the subject of organic evolution, McConkie strongly emphasized what was an obvious and fundamental basis for his belief in the truthfulness of the Mormon Church.

That foundation was that the Standard Works of the Church served as the ultimate authority in determining LDS doctrinal truth--even more so than the words of the so-called "living prophets."

McConkie said that the canonized LDS scriptures superceded anything that living Presidents of the Church had declared, or might declare.

He said that the Standard Works served as the final test--the pre-eminent standard of measurement--in ascertaining the validity of any claim made by Mormon Church leaders, including teachings of both living and dead presidents of the Church.

Otherwise, McConkie told me, these scriptures would not be known as the "Standard" Works.

In making this claim, McConkie specifically criticized in my presence two LDS Church Presidents whom he said had made uninspired pronouncements while serving as heads of the Church.

Their pronouncements were false, he argued, because what they said was clearly contradicted by the LDS Standard Works:

--The first was President Brigham Young, for his teachings on the Adam-God doctrine (specifically, that Adam, of Adam and Eve fame, was actually our Heavenly Father and had sired Jesus Christ through sex with Mary).

On this subject, McConkie admitted to me that one could quote Young against himself.

--The second Mormon Church head to utter false doctrine in that capacity was, McConkie told me, President David O. McKay.

McConkie said that McKay delivered untruths to BYU students in a campus oration, in which he advised them to study the theory of organic evolution and the geologic history pointing to an ancient earth.

McKay told the students that organic evolution was a beautiful theory, as long as God was not divorced from it, and that the Earth was, in fact, millions of years old.

McConkie informed me that these claims of McKay had not been inspired by the Holy Ghost.

McConkie did not admit to having himself made any doctrinal errors himself.

In this area, his testimony seemed to rest on his own sense of doctrinal infallibility.

In fact, McConkie told me that his emphatic claim(published in the first edition of his book Mormon Doctrine but edited out of its second edition) that the Roman Catholic Church was the Church of the Devil was true.

When I asked him to explain its deletion from the books later edition, McConkie insisted that it was removed not because it was not true but because it was too difficult for people to accept.

President Spencer W. Kimball

During the course of my BYU research paper on the official LDS stand regarding organic evolution, I repeatedly corresponded with Kimball, who was then Mormon Church President.

Throughout the course of our exchanges, I had a difficult and increasingly frustrating time obtaining direct and clear answers from him on the subject, even though I made specific and detailed inquiries.

For instance, on the question of previous First Presidency statements on the physical origins of humankind, Kimball informed me in personal correspondence that he was not familiar with the First Presidency statements I had cited in my initial correspondence with him and requested that I mail them to him, which I did.

Clearly, whatever confidence Kimball had in the truthfulness of Mormonism was not always based on official Mormon positions enunciated by the Presidents of the Church, some of which he admitted to me he knew nothing.

However, in contradicting Kimball for whom he worked, Secretary to the Office of the First Presidency, Arthur C. Haycock, later told me in a phone conversation that Kimball was incorrect in confessing to me ignorance about the First Presidency statements he had asked me to send him.

In a discussion from his Church office in Salt Lake City, Haycock informed me that Kimball was, in fact, aware of those official First Presidency statements--but that he had forgotten he was aware of them.

When I asked Haycock for permission to reproduce Kimball’s correspondence to me in a BYU undergraduate research paper I was doing on the subject, Haycock said I could--as long as I made it clear in my paper that the interpretations reached about Kimball's correspondence with me were my own.

Haycock did not offer me Kimball’s explanatons of his owncorrespondence with me, assuming Kimball had any to give.

I continued to press Kimball for answers but received none from him.

Eventually, the First Presidency (consisting of Kimball and his two counselors, N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney) signed and sent a letter to my Arizona bishop, directing him to answer my questions in their behalf.

To assist the bishop in that effort, Kimball, Tanner and Romney included a 1909 statement from the First Presidency of Joseph F. Smith on the subject of organic evolution--a statement that Kimball had told me in his earlier correspondence with me that he was not familiar with and which had I ended up sending to him, at his request.

Although they included the 1909 statement for use by my bishop in explaining to me the official Church position on organic evolution to me, the Kimball First Presidency did not tell my bishop what that statement meant.

Despite Kimball's, Tanner's and Romney's directive to my bishop to answer my questions on the official Church stance on organic evolution, the bishop felt unqualified to do so.

Therefore, the bishop advised me to write Kimball one more time, requesting further clarification on the subject.

I did so but Kimball never answered back.

On the subject of organic evolution and faith, the only direction Kimball gave me was to ask if I had Henry Eyring's book, Faith of a Scientist, in which Eyring asserted that science and religion both served as tools in the search for truth: the former in helping people avoid myth; and the latter in directing people toward God.

When I told Kimball that I had read Eyring's book and asked him to provide me with his own views on it, Kimball remained silent.

Apostle Mark E. Petersen

In conducting my research on the question of the official Mormon Church position on organic evolution, I also corresponded with Petersen.

Petersen evidenced in personal correspondence with me a lack of firm belief in the seemingly official pronouncements of even unsigned editorials in the official LDS publication, the Church News.

In pressing him, Petersen admitted to me the following:

--The unsigned Church News editorials written on the subject of organic evolution had actually been authored by him.

--These editorials represented his personal opinion only.

--Official statements on Church doctrine came soley from signed First Presidency statements.

Petersen then refused to tell me, even though I specifically asked him to so, what the official Mormon Church position was on the topic of organic evolution.

Apostle Dallin H. Oaks

In a conversation that my wife Mary Ann and I had with Oaks shortly before leaving the Mormon Church, he told me that the basis for his personal testimony about the truthfulness of Mormonism took the form of a warm spiritual witness which he felt in his heart.

From what Oaks told me, this witness had particular meaning for him with regard to the truthfulness of official Mormon scripture.

Oaks admitted, for instance, that critics of the Book of Abraham seemed to presently have hold the upper hand in arguments against its authenticity.

Oaks told me, however, that the truthfulness of the Book of Abraham ultimately came through a personal, spiritual witness.

Oaks further said that the Book of Mormon could neither be proven or disproven by evidentiary examination, but in the end, also had to be accepted on faith.

In admitting that the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon could not be empirically proven, Oaks acknowledged that portions of the Book of Mormon (albeit insignificant, in his opinion) might have potential problems with plagiarism.

Specifically, he admitted that he, too, had wondered while composing his own sermons how the words of the Apostle Paul from his epistles to the Corinthians could end up, almost word for word, in the Book of Mormon, even though Bible prophets preceded their counterparts in the Book of Mormon by generations.

Oaks concluded that God must have inspired Bible and Book of Mormon prophets to speak using the same, exact language.

Oaks then attempted to minimize obvious Book of Mormon plagiarisms by drawing a comparison between the Book of Mormon and one’s marriage.

He said that one should not abandon one’s marriage because it is not perfect; likewise, Oaks argued that merely because 5% of the Book of Mormon (an estimation he came up with himself based upon a quick perusal of a paperback copy of the book which wife Mary Ann had highlighted with examples of plagiarisms), one should not abandon it, either.

Regardless, Oaks informed me that he had received a spiritual witness that served as the basis for his personal testimony that the Book of Mormon was true.

Oaks's testimony regarding Mormonism's apostles and prophets was both illuminating--and conditional.

He admitted to me not being impressed with the antics of certain fellow members of the Quorum of the Twelve, notably his senior, Boyd K. Packer.

After it became public knowledge that Packer had improperly involved himself in the excommunication of Mormon dissident, Paul Toscano, Oaks, in referring to Packer, told me, "You can't stage manage a grizzly bear."

Oaks then lied on the record to the press about what he actually knew of Packer's inappropriate behavior and was forced to retract when caught.

Oaks told me that he would steadfastly stand by the President of the Church, with one notable exception:

Oaks would not defer, he said, to the President of the Church if the President were to come out and declare that the Book of Mormon was not true.

If that should happen, Oaks said he would look to the Quorum of the Twelve for a vote as to whether what the Church President had said about the Book of Mormon deserved support.

Oaks also did not seem all that certain with regard to the reliability of prophecies uttered by Mormon prophets.

He told me that Church members should not be keeping track of which prophecies had been borne out and, further, that prophecies made by Mormon prophets were for private, rather than public, application.

Oaks downplayed the prophetic role of Mormon Church prophets by asserting that prophesying was only a minor responsibility of prophets. Their major role, he declared, was to testify of Jesus Christ.

Oaks argued that the role of Mormon prophets had evolved over time.

He told me, for instance, that the basic doctrines of Mormonism were revealed by Joseph Smith early on in the history of the Church.

Oaks noted that the more modern approach of Church governance has been, since the time of President Joseph F. Smith, to "beseech his counselors in the First Presidency to help him, to watch over him, so that they could together make the right decisions that God wanted them to make."

When I asked Oaks to share with me his personal testimony that served as a basis for his apostolic calling as a special witness for Christ, Oaks recounted his days as a college student at the University of Chicago, where he said he had questions about the Mormon Church.

Oaks did not detail the nature of those questions but said a local LDS Institute teacher helped him find answers.

Apostle Neal A. Maxwell

Maxwell was together with, and participated in, the same conversations I had with Oaks.

Maxwell seemed equally unsure as to the evidentiary proof for the Book of Mormon.

He told me, for instance, that God would not provide proof of the Book of Mormon until the end--thereby indicating that such proof did not presently exist.

Maxwell also told me that one of the purposes of FARMS was to prevent the General Authorities from being outflanked by the Church's critics.

As to how he personally regarded the pronouncements of president of the Church, Maxwell said it was his duty to be loyal to the Church president.

Maxwell added, however, that he not agree with everything President Ezra Taft Benson had to say on political matters.

This was a particularly interesting admission, given that Benson had earlier (albeit as an apostle) publicly declared that God's prophets could speak authoritatively on all matters, including those of a political nature.

Maxwell, like Oaks, warned me against keeping "box scores" when it came to tallying which prophecies uttered by Mormon prophets turned out to be turned--and which ones turned out to be false.

He further reminded me that Mormon prophets spoke as prophets only when they were acting as prophets--but that, for instance, the teachings about people living on the moon attributed to Joseph Smith were probably misreported.

Maxwell also instructed me as to how revelation for the Mormon Church was actually received.

He said that Joseph Smith's role as unilaterally revealing doctrine in behalf of the LDS Church was a practice not continued by subsequent Mormon prophets.

Maxwell claimed there are four levels of fundamental Church doctrine:

(1) Doctrines revealed by the prophet speaking alone

(2) Doctrines revealed by the prophet in conjunction with his First Presidency counselors

(3) Doctrines revealed in First Presidency statements, with the words of the First Presidency assuming "a special status"

(4) Doctrines revealed by official declaration

Maxwell and Oaks, together, asserted that what the President of the Mormon Church said must be in compliance with the Standard Works of the Church in order to be accepted as acripture.

They also said that that when Brigham Young taught what Oaks called the "false" doctrine of Adam-God, it was because he was a young prophet who was in need of the help of some good counselor.

When I asked Maxwell to share with me his personal testimony as to his apostolic calling as a Special Witness of Christ, he told me about the time when, as a young boy, he witnessed his father give his sibling a healing priesthood blessing.

Conclusion: Pulling Back the Curtain and Revealing the Charade

The above statements by Mormonism's supposed prophets, seers and revelators speak for themselves.

Based upon their own admissions, these men do not have persuasive, convincing or complete knowledge concerning the truthfulness of Mormon doctrine or scripture.

Nor do they have unswerving confidence in the ability of Mormon prophets, including the President of the Church, to speak the truth.

The Mormon Church is a consumate fraud, based upon myths perpetrated by its leaders in public and confessed by them in private.
Mormon Women Are Subservient? But How Can That Be? They've Got Relief Society
Thursday, Jul 21, 2005, at 07:48 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: From Sonia Johnson to Emma Smith and Beyond

Back in 1980, Mary Ann and I lived in McClean, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., where we had relocated after I graduated from BYU with a degree in political science and, with Mary Ann and our two small children, headed east to do a post-graduate internship with a Senate committee on Capitol Hill.

At the time, national debate was raging over the Equal Rights Amendment. In the forefront of opposition to the ERA were legions of devout and manipulated Mormons who (with the omnipresent support and encouragement of their Salt Lake City puppet masters) were ominously warning that passage of the ERA would result in unbelievably dire consequences (up but not limited to) the complete meltdown of society as we know it.

Thanks in large measure to the time and money expended by the Mormons in lobbying against it, the ERA was defeated in 1983.

As many remember, at the center of the ERA battle was then-(and soon-to-be excommunicated) Mormon feminist Sonia Johnson. Like most faithful Latter-day Saints who shelved their brains in favor of obedience to the Lord’s oinked and anointed, I, too, opposed passage of the ERA. On the bright side of that mindless decision, however, Johnson’s bold stand for the ERA eventually piqued my curiosity enough that I bought her book, From Housewife to Heretic: One Woman’s Struggle for Equal Rights and Her Excommunication from the Mormon Church (Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1983).

It was one of the first genuinely critical assessments of Mormonism that I had ever deliberately obtained in order to try and understand the “other side.” Johnson’s compelling story, written in a tone of courage and outrage, helped plant the seeds for my own dissent with, and eventual escape from, Mormonism. .

Johnson’s personal story–that of a strong, independently-minded Mormon woman who was oppressed and abused by a misogynistic patriarchal society–also led me to seek out two other books which helped me immensely in my liberation from Mormonism’s lunacy:

The first of those two was Richard S. Van Wagoner’s book, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1992)

I read Van Wagoner’s work with a combination of jaw-dropping amazement and stomach-turning disgust a few months before Mary Ann and I left Mormonism. Its sweeping exposure of polygamy helped me, like no other resource, begin to fathom the nature and scope of the oppressive Mormon institutional mindset that served to suffocate and enslave women at the hands of a male-invented-male-run-for-the-benefit-of-males Church.

The second book, which I read shortly after Mary Ann and I left the Mormon Church, was Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith by Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994) The psychological torture and abuse that she suffered at the hands of her conniving, manipulative, narcissistic and sexually-predacious husband sickened and angered me.

That is why I now look back with a sense of bewilderment mixed with chagrin at the time in my past when I swallowed the lie–hook, line and sinker–that the Mormon Church supposedly accepted, respected and treated women as human beings deserving of equal treatment both under the law and within the norms of a fair and just society.

Papering Over the Truth About Mormonism’s Mistreatment of Women

During the height of the ERA battle in the spring of 1980, a Mormon friend of mine–first name of “David”–wrote a refutation research paper for an English class at local community college in Virginia, entitled, “THE MORMON FEMALE–A SUBSERVIENT WOMAN?”

I am sorry to have to admit this but back then as a fully-endowed Mormon man-child, I assisted my friend in providing some of his research.

But, hey, he ended up writing the damn thing and sticking his name to it, whereas I have since done the required penance by making my bolt from the Cult.

What can one say but, “Live, learn and leave”?

Below is the text of my friend’s effort, several copies which he gave to me. Little did either of us know that one day it would be presented to the world on the Recovery from Mormonism website, where it is destined to be mocked , derided and debunked through time and all eternity .

The essence of my friend’s position is the patently absurd, and historically untenable, notion that Mormon women enjoy equal status with men in the LDS Church.

Read this piece of apologetic nonsense and enjoy picking it apart:

In an interview with the Salt Lake City-based Deseret News on November 23, 1979, Richard Johnson, estranged husband of excommunicated Mormon Sonia Johnson, declared the view of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormon] to be “that the man stands aloft and the woman is subservient.”

Implicit in Mr. Johnson’s statement is the charge that, compared to their male counterparts; Mormon women are denied positions of dignity, trust, and responsibility within the Church. It is the purpose of this paper to point out the inaccuracies of Mr. Johnson’s claim and, in doing so, to clarify the actual role of women in the Mormon Church.

By way of brief background, much of the public misunderstanding regarding the status of women in the Church as arisen from national interest in the Church’s position on the Equal Rights Amendment, kindled in large measure by the much-publicized trial and excommunication of feminist Sonia Johnson. The Church has officially gone on record as opposing the ERA, which it regards as “a moral issue with many disturbing ramifications for women and for the family as individual members and as a whole.”

In criticizing the Church’s position, Mrs. Johnson told a meeting of the American Psychological Association in New York City that Mormon males are the “real oppressors” of women in the Church. Similarly, Mrs. Johnson, before an audience of students at the University of Utah, declared that male leaders were guilty of a “savage misogyny”–or hatred of women–in claiming to hold them in high regard while denying them equal power with men.

In defense of his wife and in what he claims to be a “contrary” position to the view of the Mormon Church, Mr. Johnson says he “support[s] her belief in equality for the sexes.”

However, an examination of both the official statements made by high-ranking Church authorities and of the Church’s actual policy toward its women members clearly shows that Mr. Johnson’s assertions are unfounded.

In February 1980, the Mormon Church published a pamphlet for members and non-members alike entitled, The Church and the Equal Rights Amendment–A Moral Issue, in which the Church officially declared itself to be “firmly committed to equal rights for women.” While it is true that Mormon women do not hold the priesthood, this is not regarded in Mormon theology as lowering women to a “subservient level.” Indeed, as stated by John A> Widstoe, a former leader in the Mormon Church hierarchy:

“In the Church there is full equality of man and woman. The place of woman in the Church is to walk beside the man, not in front of him or behind him. There can be no question in the Church of man’s rights versus woman’s rights.”

An example of the unique and vital role played by women in the Church is seen in the history and operation of the Church’s “Relief Society,” the oldest national women’s organization in the United States. According to Belle S. Spafford–former president of the Relief Society and past president of the National Council of Women, who has, since 1947, served as a voting delegate from the U.S. Council to the International Council of Women–the creation of the Relief Society signaled “the actual beginning of organized effort for women’s emancipation from restraints that had for years encumbered her full development and usefulness.” Mrs. Spafford’s assertion regarding the leading role played by the Relief Society in the American women’s movement is based on her observation that, prior to the organization of the Relief Society in 1842, “the rise of the American woman” had enjoyed only “faint beginnings.”

The Relief Society was created in response to an appeal from Mormon women to Church leaders that the women be organized in order to more effectively serve the Church and people in general. The Relief Society was subsequently organized according to parliamentary procedures, with its major aims being to strengthen motherhood and encourage women’s learning, as well as to stimulate involvement in religious, compassionate, cultural and community pursuits. Under the direction of the presiding authorities of the Church, the women were “authorized to direct, control and govern the affairs of the society . . . in the sphere assigned to it.”

Mormon women were thus, from the very beginning, granted positions of dignity, trust and responsibility in the Church. Their mental capacities were recognized, together with their right to develop their talents in full.

In fact, almost since the founding of the Church in 1830, Mormon women have enjoyed the right to vote on religious matters, a privilege which elsewhere at that time was permitted for only a few men and no women. In addition to the right to vote on the sustaining of Church officers and on the appropriation of Church funds, Mormon women, as well as men, participate in vocal prayer, classroom instruction and congregational speaking. The exercise of these rights is openly encouraged, as can be seen by attending any Mormon worship service.

On the political front, the Relief Society was instrumental in helping to further the cause of women’s suffrage. In 1888, it was represented at the National Women’s Suffrage Convention which convened in Washington, D.C., and whose central figure proved to be Susan B. Anthony. The chief outcome of this convention was the formation of the National Council of Women of the United States, to be made up of national women’s organizations or organizations whose programs were of national importance for women’s rights. The International Council of Women was also formed, to consist of national committees participating from the nations in attendance at the convention.

In a preliminary meeting to the convention, Miss Anthony encouraged all participants to maintain the platform principles so “that our platform may be kept as broad as the universe, that upon it may stand the representatives of all creeds and no creeds–Jew or Christian, Protestant or Catholic, Gentile or Mormon, page or atheist.” Years later, Ida H. Harper, author of the Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, expressed her gratitude to the women of the Relief Society “who were loyal and helpful to Miss Anthony to the end of her great work.”

Not until 1929, however, was the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution adopted, granting American women the right to vote and hold public office. Significantly, Utah women had been granted suffrage by a predominantly Mormon Utah State legislature 50 years earlier and were thus to emerge as prominent figures in the national women’s suffrage movement.

Membership roles of the Relief Society have expanded from only eighteen in 1842 to approximately 900,000 women 18 years of age and over, representing many nationalities and operating in 64 countries. Its programs and instructional materials are currently translated into 17 different languages. In keeping with is open door membership policy, non-Mormon, as well as Mormon, women participate in Relief Society activates.

In addition to sponsorship of this worldwide organization, the Church encourages its members to work “energetically for appropriate change” where specific laws and practices are know to discriminate against women. This encouragement is based on official Church recognition “that there have been injustices to women before the law and in society.” Examples of equality for women which merit Mormon support include equal pay for equal work; non-discrimination in hiring practices when a male and female apply for the same positions and are equally qualified; and equality in education, credit eligibility, housing and public accommodations.

From the evidence cited above, it is clear that the Mormon Church recognized and fully supports all efforts by women to develop their full potential as human beings–to enrich their mental capacities, to develop their talents and to increase their skills–so that they may offer the world that which will be most productive, regardless of the direction their lives may take.

Richard Johnson has attracted media attention while assuming the role of speaking for the Church regarding the position of women within its ranks. Whether or not this self-appointment is justified cannot dismiss the fact that, once made, Mr. Johnson took upon himself the responsibility to fairly portray the views of the Church he chose to represent. Unfortunately, in claiming that the Mormon Church regards the woman as “subservient” to the man, he has completely misrepresented both the words and actions of the Church through its 150-year history.


Well? :)
Mormonism Stands For "The Dignity Of Women"--And For Men, "The Apex Of Authority"
Friday, Jul 22, 2005, at 09:33 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Now Playing, the Mormon Cult Film: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”

It is astounding, and tragic at the same time, how the Mormon Cult has done such an effective job at roto-rootering the minds of its members, convincing them that the highest level of existence one can hope for is a world where there is no equality between the sexes or independent thought between the ears.

It is especially sad to see so many Mormon women lured into believing that the LDS Church actually honors and respects them as unique individuals.

In fact, the opposite is true: Mormonism has done nothing less than to transform Mormon women into beasts of burden for the men who "rule the roosts;" to define for women their "proper" role in life; and to convince them to do, and to be, what Mormon man-gods command.

This, women are promised by Mormonism’s sexist soothsayers, will bring them days of personal happiness, lives of glorious fulfillment, mountains of self-respect and blessings eternal and forever.

The trouble is, of course, that the real world doesn't work that way.

Try as hard as they might to convince themselves otherwise (thanks to the relentless pressure from Mormon male authorities to listen and obey), millions of Mormon women end up being depressed, despondent and resentful of their telestially testosteroned task masters.

Who can blame them?

Truth be told, the temple name for a good many of these manhandled Mormon women should be “Prozac.” Present them at the Veil and their prescription shall be granted.

For countless women trapped in the Mormon Cult, it could just as aptly be known as “The Church of, Jesus Christ! Happy I Ain’t.”

What is so unfortunate is to see young Mormon women who–like their male counterparts are brainwashed from the crib–stand before audiences and robotically recite the Restoration’s Rhetoric of Repression.

The Proof is in the Puddin’-Heads

I recently came across a talk given as part of a school assignment by one of my TBM siblings.

The Mormon Jesus would have undoubtedly been proud.

As pups, recall how we were constantly being obedience trained by our masters in the LDS kennels of home and church, so that we could, on command, perform stupid Mormon tricks in public.

Like presentations before classmates that hold Neanderthal Man up as a role model for young girls and boys.

Across the top of the front page of this talk was the handwritten name of my sib and underneath it were scribbled the words, “Approx. 4-and-a-half minutes.”

4-and-a-half-minutes to mess up lifetimes for gullible, insecure, manipulated and mistreated Mormon females everywhere.

Go for it.

The subject of this diligent discourse was the ERA.

The Equal Rights Amendment: Tool of Satan, Menace to Mankind

This amendment’s defeat at the hands of the God’s Church was, of course, declared by Mormon Maledumb to be an absolute moral imperative, ordered from Heaven Above.

The text of my sib’s talk–carefully crafted in a combination of youthful pencil scrawls, inked notes and typed outlines on both blank and lined paper–unfolded as follows:

"The so-called 'Equal Rights Amendment' for women has far-reaching effects that the public is not being told.

"This amendment has been ratified by 30 states already, and a total of only 38 is needed for it to become Constitutional Law.

"The amendment, on the surface, seems to be 'just the thing,' but the public is not being told the truth about its far-reaching objectives and results. Among other things, the amendment would:

"1. Make women subject to the draft, including combat duties;

"2. Nullify state laws concerning marriage and divorce . . . mak[ing] every wife in the U.S. legally responsible to provide 50% of the financial support of her family;

"3. Bar the states from imposing greater liability for support on a husband than on a wife, [and] eliminate Social Security benefits and protective labor laws that women now enjoy;

"4. Destroy the natural foundation of marriage and the home;

"5. Force married women to leave home and children for work;

"6. Lift from the husband and father any special obligations to support his family;

"7. Accord to Yale law professor, Thomas Emerson, the amendment would 'prohibit the states from requiring that a child’s last name be the same as his father’s or mother’s . . . would invalidate sex laws . . .seduction and rape laws; invalidate laws especially designed to protect women . . . from being forced into prostitution . . . 'etc.

"8. Integrate rest rooms in public places, including schools; demand--by law--associated locker rooms, showers and [public] rest rooms; integrate prisons sexually. . . integrate both boys’ and girls’ physical education classes in high schools and colleges . . . knock out present laws protecting women and girls from sexual crimes, such as statutory rape . . . Wipe out a woman’s present freedom of choose to take a paying job or to be a full-time wife and mother supported by her husband.

"These are just a few of the manifestations of the Amendment!

"Yet, there is one thing that the Equal Rights Amendment does not agree to provide. And that is the guarantee of better paying jobs, promotions and better working conditions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act and other laws already guarantee women ”equal pay for equal work” and need only to be enforced to ensure women equal opportunity.

"Where any form of hysteria sweeps the land, reason is submerged. Today we are witnessing a form of hysteria in the push by the states of the nation to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment which roared through both Houses of Congress with lop-sided majorities.

"Basically, the amendment provides for the establishment of what it calls 'equal rights' for women. I believe, however, that instead of elevating women it brings them down to the level of men who, under existing statutes, are burdened with heavy responsibilities.

"Man, in his legislative wisdom, through the years has been fashioning laws and customs that were calculated to protect, dignify and even enable women and the family unit.

"The entire foundation of our society is based upon the family, with the father assuming the apex of authority.

"This mainstay is undermined with the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, for it would neutralize the obligation of a husband and a father to support his wife and children. Think of what a precious right this is. Yet, it will be one of the prime casualties if the amendment wins ratification.

"Sorry, but the ERA will inevitably make for the splitting of homes.

"This outrageous proposition now trumpets, in one shrill cadence, that there are no differences between the sexes. The ERA assumes that both sexes have the same hopes, the same instincts, the same ambitions and the same strength and durability, while every fact of nature tells us it isn’t so.

"May I close with a statement by Dr. Jonathan H. Pincus, Professor of Neurology at the Yale Medical School:

"'I would predict that the Equal Rights Amendment and many of the other goals of its proponents will bring social destruction, unhappiness and increasing rates of divorce and desertion. Weakening of family ties may also lead to increased rates of alcoholism and suicide.'

"May we as Americans uphold the dignity of women and the sacredness of the family and give an overwhelming 'No' to the mis-named 'Equal Rights Amendment.'

The Mormon Ability to Get Women to Denigrate Themselves Into Depending on Men

It takes a village to raise a child.

It takes a Cult to warp one

Welcome to Mormonism--Land of the Walking Wounded, the Psychologically Battered, the Deeply Insecure, the Permanently Depressed, the Individually Unidentifiable.

At least they’re properly obedient to the men folk.
The Hinckleys And The Bensons
Monday, Jul 25, 2005, at 08:36 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
What is the relationship between the Hinckleys and the Bensons?

Well, that is a delicate question which I cannot presently address in much detail because of confidentiality concerns.

Let me just say, however, that Gordon B. Hinckley has grumped behind closed doors that he thinks the Benson clan is crazy.

Whether that declaration constitutes officialy-sanctioned modern-day revelation from God to His Church on the earth might be a matter of debate, but certainly is not disputed by many. :)

Hinckley has also been known to sarcastically criticize Benson family members to his friends.

Hinckley reportedly has also has been very inquisitive (some might say overly and inappropriately personal) in grilling members of the Benson family regarding their private lives, in areas where Hinckley appears to have an unusual and obsessive interest.

Meanwhile, the Benson TBMs who I know continue to dutifully follow the "living prophet," but still preferentially, reverentially and proudly adorn their homes, parlors, desk tops and entryways with portraits of Ezra Taft Benson--their very own in-house dead prophet and grander-than-life royal family patriarch.
How A Toe Led To Complete Forgiveness Of Sin
Friday, Jul 29, 2005, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Priesthood blessings can surprise the hell out of you.

Ask and ye shall receive--sometimes more than you asked for.

Back when I was still in the Mormon Church, I had a health scare. A large, flat mole had suddenly appeared on the inside of one of my toes. I showed it to Mary Ann, mentioned it to my parents and they immediately recommended that I fly to Salt Lake for examination by a friend and neighbor cancer specialist.

I agreed to go but before heading out of Phoenix for the Land Northward, I decided to ask for a priesthood blessing from a member of our ward who was a friend of mine.

This fellow was our stake mission leader (under whom I had served as a missionary) and was very faithful and, well, intense.

He had joined the LDS Church as a California convert from Zen Buddhism, after having risen to top-level black belt status in the martial arts.

He studied and believed in white magic, was convinced that Joseph Smith was a practitioner of white magic himself as inspired by God to divine truth through its use, was a devoted fan of B.H. Roberts notions on the nature of the Mormon Godhead and (I learned later from him in a private conversation) had actually built himself a temple altar in his master bedroom, where he would don his complete Mormon temple clothing set and kneel at it every evening to beseech heaven in the True Order of Prayer before retiring for the night.

Anyway, before flying up to Utah to have my toe tested, this ward brother and buddy came over to our home to give me the requested blessing. He entered our home, solemn and soulful, having spent some time beforehand fasting and praying to properly prepare for the moment.

He commenced with the blessing, slowly and deliberately anointing my head with oil, laying his hands upon my head and, in a dramatic voice, promising me that through the power of God's holy oom-pah-pah, I would be healthy and cancer-free.

Then came the bombshell.

With his hands still on my head, he announced that God had forgiven me of all my sins.


After the purging was completed, I politely thanked him and flew off to Zion, where my toe mole was excised and analyzed by my parents' oncologist and declared to be benign.

Meanwhile, my sin-eradicating blesser friend eventually got divorced; moved to Provo to work for Stephen Covey's mega self-help corporation as a consultant, lecturer and author; got tangled up in a messy lawsuit against Covey; left Mormonism; found a girlfriend, phoned me out of the blue peppering his language with F-this and F-that., then moved to Las Vegas, where I haven't heard from him since. (His daughter, however, who had been one of our kid's best friends, did call and told us how grateful she was that her dad was now normal).

By this time, I, too, had left Mormonism.

My, how things change.

But praise be to Elohim, at least my black-belted, white magic-led, temple altar-building friend had, through the power of the mighty priesthood, forgiven me of all my sins before both he and I lost our lease in the Celestial Kingdom and fell from grace.

Amen, ramen and say when.
Anti-Black Joking In The Benson Household: Does Mormon Doctrine Breed Racism Or Merely Feed Racism?
Tuesday, Aug 2, 2005, at 08:19 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: The Mental Illness of Prejudice

As the old saying goes, "Which came first--the bigot or the egg?"

In my workplace office is a large poster of several infants outfitted in diapers, representing a wide range of hues and ethnicities. They are lying closely and comfortably next to one another, looking quite content.

The caption of the poster reads, "No one is born hating."

Indeed, prejudice is taught. It is a learned, irrational and ignorant behavior which can, conversely, be rationally and consciously unlearned.

Racist Quotes from Elohim's White and Delightsome Servants

That purging process, however, is made all the more difficult in the face of pernicious statements like these from the poison-filled mouths of the Mormon God's "prophets:"

"From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes arenot entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel." (letter from the First Presidency of the LDS Church, 17 July 1947, as cited in John J. Stewart, Mormonism and the Negro, 1960, pages 46-47)

”Let us consider the great mercy of God for a moment. A Chinese, born in China with a dark skin, and with all the handicaps of that race seems to have little opportunity. But think of the mercy of God to Chinese people who are willing to accept the gospel. In spite of whatever they might have done in the pre-existence to justify being born over there as Chinamen, if they now, in this life, accept the gospel and live it the rest of their lives they can have the Priesthood, go to the temple and receive endowments and sealings, and that means they can have exaltation. Isn't the mercy of God marvelous?

“Think of the Negro, cursed as to the Priesthood.... This negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in thelineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa – if that negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory. . . .

"Now let's talk segregation again for a few moments. . . . When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation. . . .

"Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them. . . . At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negroes we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that He placed a dark skin upon them as a curse . . . He forbade intermarriage . . . He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron curtain there. . . .

"We must not intermarry with the Negro, Why? If I were to marry a Negro woman and have children by her, my children would all be cursed as to the Priesthood. Do I want my children cursed as to the priesthood? If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn't any argument, therefore, as to inter-marriage with the Negro, is there? There are 50 million Negroes in the United States. If they were to achieve complete absorption with the white race, think what that would do. With 50 million Negroes inter-married with us, where would the Priesthood be? Who could hold it, in all America? Think what that would do to the work of the Church!

"Now we are generous with the Negro . . . I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? . . . What God hath separated, let not man bring together again.”
(Mark E. Petersen, "Race Problems – As They Affect The Church," address to the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 27 August 1954)

"Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. . . . The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them . . .

"The Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the lord's doing . . ."
(Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958, p. 477)

"Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. . . . [The] Negro brethren [have a] black covering emblematical of eternal darkness." Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pp.101-02)

”Cain slew his brother. . . . and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is a flat nose and black skin.

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.
(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 290; and Vol. 10, p. 110)


Bigotry Close to Home--and In It

I listen to the bigoted utterances of many a faithful "modern-day" Mormon--most of whom would stoutly deny having a racist bone in their bodies--and am shocked at what I hear.

Have they no clue as to the ugly and demeaning nature of their racist comments and attitudes?

When I was an infant, my parents and I lived in Washington, D.C. My mother later laughingly told me of the time she and my father hired an African-American woman to babysit me while they went out for some socializing.

My mother said she instructed the Black caretaker to clean the premises while they were gone. When they returned, my mother claimed, they found that the woman had washed the dishes using the same bucket of water with which she had first mopped the kitchen floor.

Smiling, my mother said to me, "I gave her a banana and sent her home."

In many ways my mother is a kind, gentle, loving, wonderful woman.

But in so many other ways she is a trapped and blinded Mormon.

Then there's Evan Mecham.

He was the short-serving Mormon governor of Arizona who was impeached, convicted and removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Before he was shown the door by the Arizona Legislature, he managed to offend all manners of stripes and colors with his publicly-spewed litany of racist slurs.

When Mecham rescinded an official state holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., he defended his action by saying, "Blacks don't need holidays. They need jobs."

Mecham assured Arizonans that he had hired Blacks at his car dealership not because they were Black, but because they were "the best for the cotton-pickin' job."

Mecham defended the patronizing racial slur "pickaninnies," claiming that it was actually a term of "endearment" which African-American parents themselves supposedly used when referring to their own children.

Recounting how on atrade mission to Japan where he told a group of golf-loving Japanese businessmen that there were 200 golf courses in the Phoenix area, Mecham said, "You should have seen their eyes get round."

Oddly enough, Mecham couldn't seem to figure out why people were offended.

Are Mormons afflicted with the disease of deep-seated, overt racism caused by having been brainwashed in the doctrine of Mormonism's White supremacist cult or have they simply been ignorantly led into a sort of lazy, inattentive sort of patronizing outlook toward those who don't happen to be White?

My next-door neighbor--a jovial, warm, elderly Mormon fellow who was also our hometeacher--one day met our youngest daughter (who was then six years old) walking down the sidewalk near our home. He bent down and said (referring to our daughter's close friend who lived on the next block), "How's your little Chinese friend?"

Our daughter replied, "She's not Chinese. She's just people."

That same gentleman was eventually fired by the local school district where he had for years served as a substitute high school teacher, after students complained of his inappropriate conduct. It was discovered that he would crack anti-Hispanic jokes in class when he noticed Latino students at the desks.

When he was handed his pink slip, he told me in what appeared to be sincere disbelief that he couldn't fathom why the students became upset or, ultimately, why the school district canned him. I had warned him that these racist jokes of his were inappropriate but he paid no heed.

Conclusion: Mormonism's Lure for Racists

Does LDS doctrine breed or feed racism?

Does it do both?

I'm just sitting here, shaking my head and glad I had the sense to finally bolt Mormonism's blue-suited version of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Truth On Post-Manifesto Polygamy That Got Mike Quinn Excommunicated--And The Private, Pathetic Response Of Two Mormon Apostles To Quinn’s Expose’
Monday, Aug 8, 2005, at 07:17 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: What Got Michael Quinn Canned?

Inquiries have recently been made on this board about what constituted the basis for the excommunication of D. Michael Quinn from the Mormon Church for supposed "apostasy."

Not coincidentally, prior to getting the ecclesiastical axe, Quinn--a noted historian and former tenured BYU professor--had written at least six articles for the LDS Church’s premiere magazine, the Ensign, as well as had published several more in the LDS-owned and operated journal, BYU Studies.

As to what exactly prompted Quinn’s expulsion from Mormonism’s ranks, RfM poster, "Mad_Viking," asked the following:

"In light of [Quinn's post-excommunication expression of his personal testimony in the truthfulness of the Mormon Church], it is simply amazing that he would maintain faith. I amhonestly baffled by it.

Is the research that got him excommunicated available to the public?"

(Mad_Viking,”Re: No, that was not my impression," Recovery from Mormonism Board, 4 August 2005, 1438 hours)

Yes, Quinn's research on the subject is publicly available.

In a nutshell, Quinn’s ”sins'" were having had published in the Spring 1985 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, a devastating historical account of the shell game played for decades by the Mormon Church in its deliberate campaign of misdirection and misinformation.

Quinn’s Dialogue article has been praised thusly:

”This essay is one of the best pieces of Mormon literature we have. [Quinn] went to Gordon [B.] Hinckley before he ever published this essay and showed him what he had. He then told . . . Hinckley that if he did not want it published then [Quinn] would not publish it. . . . Hinckley toldMike that he needed to do what he felt best so [Quinn] published it because he felt it dealt with a very sensitive issue that needed to be addressed.”

Quinn himself explained the post-Manifesto reasons for his excommunication in his article, “On Being a Mormon Historian (and its Aftermath)”:

“In 1985, after Dialogue published my article ‘LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890 - 1904’, three apostles [Boyd K. Packer, Mark E. Petersen and Ezra Taft Benson] gave orders for my Stake President to confiscate my temple recommend. Six years earlier, I had formally notified the First Presidency and the Managing Director of the Church Historical Department about my research on post-Manifesto polygamy and my intention to publish it . . . Now I was told that three apostles believed I was guilty of ‘speaking evil of the Lord's anointed.’ The Stake President was also told to ‘take further action’ against me if this did not ‘remedy the situation’ of my writing controversial Mormon history. . . .

"I told my Stake President that this was an obvious effort to intimidate me from doing history that might ‘offend the Brethren’ (to use Ezra Taft Benson’s phrase). . . . The Stake President also saw this as a back-door effort to have me fired from BYU. . . .

“At various stake and regional meetings, Apostle Packer began publicly referring to ‘a BYU historian who is writing about polygamy to embarrass the Church.’ At firesides in Utah and California, a member of BYU’s Religious Education Department referred to me as ‘the anti-Christ of BYU.’ . . . Church leaders today seem to regard my post-Manifesto polygamy article . . . as ‘speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed’ because they themselves regard certain acts and words of those earlier Church leaders as embarrassing, if not actually wrong. I do not regard it as disloyal to conscientiously recreate the words, acts and circumstances of earlier prophets and apostles. . . . .

“No one ever gave me an ultimatum or threatened to fire me from Brigham Young University. However, University administrators and I were both on the losing side of a war of attrition mandated by the General Authorities. . . .

“On 20 January 1988, I wrote a letter of resignation, effective at the end of the current school semester. . . . I explained [that] ‘the situation seems to be that academic freedom merely survives at BYU without fundamental support by the institution, exists against tremendous pressure and is nurtured only through the dedication of individual administrators and faculty members.’ . . .

“Three months after my departure, it angered me to learn to learn that BYU had fired a Hebrew professor for his private views on the historicity of the Book of Mormon. Although I personally regard the Book of Mormon as ancient history and sacred text, I told an inquiring newspaper reporter: ‘BYU officials have said that Harvard should aspire to become the BYU of the East. That’s like saying the Mayo Clinic should aspire to be Auschwitz. BYU is an Auschwitz of the mind.’ . . .

“When BYU’s Associate Academic Vice-President asked me if that was an accurate quote, I confirmed that it was. ‘Academic freedom exists at BYU only for what is considered non-controversial by the University’s Board of Trustees [meaning the Quorum of the Twelve] and administrators,’ I wrote. ‘By those definitions, academic freedom has always existed at Soviet universities (even during the Stalin era). . . .

“It is . . . my conviction that God desires everyone to enjoy freedom of inquiry and expression without fear, obstruction or intimidation. I find it one of the fundamental ironies of modern Mormonism that the General Authorities, who praise free agency, also do their best to limit free agency's prerequisites --access to information, uninhibited inquiry and freedom of expression.”

(Quinn, D. Michael. “On Being a Mormon Historian (And Its Aftermath).” In Smith, George D., ed. Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1992], pp. 91-95).

The Complete Text of Quinn’s Explosive Essay

Quinn's essay on post-Manifesto polygamy that so propelled paranoid Mormon leaders into hanging him can be found at:

But wait, there’s more.

Now, as they say, some more of the story. :)

Years Later Amongst the Quorum of the Twelve: Babbling Baloney About History and Bubbling Bitterness Over Quinn

Additional sordid details behind the excommunication of Quinn seeped out some eight years after his post-Manifesto essay was first published.

These facts were provided by two of the Mormon Church's highest henchmen–“Apostle-ologists” Neal A. Maxwell and Dallin H. Oaks.

On 9 September 1993, my wife Mary Ann and I met with Oaks and Maxwell in Maxwell's Church office, #303, located in the Church Administration Building, in downtown Salt Lake City.

We had approached them with a list of detailed and wide-ranging questions about fundamental doctrines, teachings, practices and policies of the Mormon Church that significantly troubled us--and about which we felt we deserved credible and straight-forward answers.

In the broad sense on the polygamy question, we wanted to know from these pre-eminent damage controllers why the Mormon Church had not been more forthcoming and honest with its history with regard to the official practice (and later blatant denial of) polygamy.

Then, specifically, we wanted to know about what I have subsequently referred to as “the mystery of history, and those who tell the truth about polygamy--without permission."

In that meeting with us, “good cop” Maxwell offered unconvincing rationalizations for the Mormon Church’s failure to be honest and forthcoming about its practice of polygamy.

“Bad cop” Oaks followed up by launching a shockingly shabby attack on Quinn’s personal integrity.

Maxwell's Murky Meanderings

In answer to the larger inquiry, Maxwell cagily replied by noting that the process of writing history is frustrating, complex and incomplete.

He handed us a photocopy of a sermon. (The copy turned out, I discovered later, to be a talk Maxwell himself had delivered during the 1984 October General Conference entitled, “Out of Obscurity.” However, the single sheet excerpts that he handed to us contained no title or author, although it had been marked up in red ink for our benefit. Maxwell’s address ultimately appeared in the General Conference issue of the Ensign, 10, November 1984, p. 11).

Quoting from a "Tribute to Neville Chamberlain," delivered in the British House of Commons, 12 November 1940, Maxwell’s sermon declared:

"History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days."

The sermon then addressed what Maxwell verbally described to us as the definition of history: a collection, he said, of "floating mosaic tiles":

"The finished mosaic of the history of the Restoration will be larger and more varied as more pieces of tile emerge, adjusting a sequence here or enlarging there a sector of our understanding.

"The fundamental outline is in place now, however. But history deals with imperfect people in process of time, whose imperfections produce refractions as the pure light of the gospel plays upon them. There may even be a few pieces of tile which, for the moment, donot seem to fit . . .

"So, belatedly, the fullness of the history of the dispensation of the fullness of times will be written.

"The final mosaic of the Restoration will be resplendent, reflecting divine design and the same centerpiece–the Father's plan of salvation and exaltation and the atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ."

What Maxwell’s excuses lacked in clarity, Oaks’ made up for in character assassination

Oaks' Vicious Personal Attack on Quinn

While Oaks was much less colorful than his charming so-charlatan Maxwell, he was much more direct in dealing with the substance of our question.

Oaks acknowledged that he had read Quinn's article on post-Manifesto polygamy, covering the period from 1890 into the early 20th century.

Oaks also confessed that the Mormon Church had not, in fact, been honest about its practice of polygamy during that time. He admitted that the case, as laid out by Quinn, was, infact, true. Oaks admitted that, in his opinion, lies had indeed been told by Mormon Church leaders about the continuing practice of polygamy after it supposedly was ended by the Manifesto of 1890.

But enough of admitting Church wrongdoing.

Oaks then proceeded to attack Quinn personally by accusing him of breaking his word.

Oaks said that Quinn had been given access to all of J. Reuben Clark's papers for the purpose of writing a book on Clark's years of Church service. Oaks said he had assured the Church that Quinn was credible, in order that Quinn could be given access to those records. Oaks noted that shortly after Quinn's research was published on Clark, out came Quinn's article on post-Manifesto polygamy.

Quinn, Oaks told us angrily, had violated Oaks' confidence. He accused Quinn of having taken more information out of Church archives than he had been given permission to examine and research, going in.

Oaks said that Quinn was not an innocent victim in this affair. Oaks informed us that he subsequently wrote Quinn a letter, in which he expressed his "deep disappointment" with him and telling Quinn he had exceeded the limits of their original understanding.

In that letter, Oaks further said, he told Quinn that he now regarded him as someone who could not be trusted. Oaks added that Quinn would not tell us about these things, if asked, because of Quinn's involvement.
On that last point, I wanted to see for myself.

In August 2001, in a personal visit with Quinn at a gathering in Fort Worden, Washington, hosted by a group of gay Mormon fathers (where Mary Ann and I had been invited to speak), I recounted to him Oaks' version of events and asked him for his own recollections.

Visibly agitated but in a controlled and quiet voice, Quinn emphatically denied that he had violated any research agreement with the Church Historical Department.
He told me that it was clearly understood going in that he had open access to archival materials.

Conclusion: A Final Word on Michael Quinn

Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell, I know Michael Quinn.

Michael Quinn is a friend of mine.

You are no Michael Quinn.
Giving Honest Answers To Honest People About Mormonism's Under-Explained Underwear And The Over-Protected Temples That Spawn It
Monday, Aug 8, 2005, at 02:13 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
It's important to follow a policy of full disclosure when sincerely interested people make inquiries about the secret Mormon temple ceremony and its accompanying performance wardrobe of fundie undies.

After all, how many of us ex-Mormons would have greatly appreciated knowing a lot more about Mormonism's temple unmentionables a lot earlier in our own lives?

Certainly, inquiring minds are not going to get the full scoop from the LDS Church spin machine, its sales-pitching missionaries or its indoctrinated, cagey members who regularly lie, fudge, divert or otherwise put up smokescreens in order to protect their cult religion from meaningful scrutiny.

Back in 2002, I was given the opportunity to speak at a national convention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The audience was overwhelmingly non-Mormon and many had questions about the LDS faith. It was a chance to speak directly, honestly and without inhibition to rational, intelligent and curious people about what really goes on behind Mormonism's thick temple doors--as well as what goes on to the behinds of Mormons in the form of their secret underwear.

Below is the text of my remarks. For photos of demonstrations that took place during the presentation, see:


Thanks for this wonderful "Emperor Has No Garments" statue.

During her presentation last night, Julia Sweeney talked about how meeting Mormon missionaries helped drive her to atheism. You know, Julia, it had the same effect on me.

I was a Mormon missionary and, like Julia said, we used to go door-to-door, two-by-two, bringing God's message to the unsuspecting people of Japan. As Julia said, in doing so, we announced that we were, indeed, messengers from God.

I remember one evening in Okinawa, when my missionary buddy and I were out working the neighborhoods. I was brand new at this--what they called in the business a "greenie." It was my turn to do what was known as "the door approach."

We stood at the entrance of one home and, as is the custom in Japan, I declared our presence by loudly yelling out in Japanese, "Please excuse us!"

A tiny Japanese woman slid open her front door and seeing two ugly Americans, immediately fell to her knees and bowed her face to the floor in the traditional Japanese greeting.

It was then my turn to speak. I had memorized my door approach but didn't understand a word I was saying. (Kind of like speaking in tongues without knowing what tongue.)

I told the woman in Japanese, "We are messengers from God." We looked a little strange, so---who knows?--maybe she believed us.

I then said, "We have brought a special message for you and your family." Then I asked, "Is your husband home?"

She replied, "No, he isn't."

I said, "We'll be back in this neighborhood next week and would like to drop by when he's here."

At that point, the Japanese woman started to laugh, covering her mouth with her hand and "tee-hee-heeing." The Japanese are a very polite people, so for her to start laughing in my face was highly unusual. In fact, she kept on laughing and wouldn't stop, so I just gave up and we left the porch.

Walking down the street, I turned to my missionary buddy and said, "What happened?"

He said, "Well, you told her we were messengers from God and that we were bringing a special message to her and her family. You asked if her husband was home.

"When she said 'no,' you said, 'We'll be back in this galaxy next week.' "

Mormons do indeed live on another planet. In fact, they actually believe God lives on a planet called "Kolob" with his innumerable polygamous wives--and that if Mormons do what he tells them, after they die they, too, can become gods just like him, create lots of worlds, make millions of spirit babies and be Masters of the Universe.

Which leads me to this "Emperor Has No Garments" award.

When Mary Ann and I left Mormonism, we pointed out that the Mormon emperor had no clothes.

But he still has garments. ("Garments" is the term for Mormonism's magical underwear.) I don't think that those two nice Mormon boys told Julia about this, so--what the hell--I will.

I'm sure you've seen Mormon temples out in the neighborhoods where you live--those big, tall edifices with an angel statue perched on top, costing millions of dollars, and that no one is allowed to enter, unless you're a good Mormon who has first agreed to pay the admission fee: 10% of your gross income for the rest of your life.

Devout Mormons go through a secret ceremony in their temples called the "endowment." During the endowment, they are each given a special set of underwear and told to wear it night and day for the rest of their lives, except when they take a bath, have sex or play sports.

Workers in the temple ceremony tell Mormons during their initiation that this "garment of the Holy Priesthood," as it is called, will be "a shield and a protection" to them against both physical harm and the devil.

Mormons are also told never to reveal what I'm telling you to anyone outside the temple, or they'll be in big trouble with God. That means I only have a few minutes left to educate you about this before he strikes me dead.

The fact that I am sharing these things with you would be considered highly offensive by devout Mormons and even others. But the reasons for talking about them here are well expressed by Richard Packham, a former Mormon and retired attorney:

"The rituals in the temples--especially the 'endowment'--are considered so sacred that Mormons are forbidden to discuss them outside the temple itself.

"Even non-Mormons sometimes object to articles [giving an 'overview of the nature of Mormon temples and their rituals'] since they reveal Mormons' religious secrets to a curious--and perhaps unworthy and even mocking--world.

"Many people, not only devout Mormons, feel that it is wrong to do this. Usually two reasons for the objection are given: 1) things that anyone holds sacred should not be profaned, mocked or ridiculed by anyone else, even by one who does not consider them sacred; and 2) the person who is revealing the secrets usually is someone who obtained the secrets only by swearing an oath of secrecy, and thus is breaking an oath.

"As to the first objection, it seems pointless to refuse to discuss objectively and openly any subject just because someone else feels that subject is taboo. I doubt that many Mormons would refuse to discuss the sacred initiation rituals of some primitive African tribe or some Satanist cult on the grounds that the tribe or cult considered those rites sacred.

"As to the second objection, the validity and binding nature of an oath or any promise depends, both legally and morally, upon the validity of the mutually accepted facts underlying the demanding and the giving of the oath.

"The oath of secrecy given by a Mormon in the temple is based on the assurance and sacred promise that the oath is required by God, and that the secrets one will receive are given by God. If that assurance is in fact false, then one cannot be bound either legally or morally by any such oath, since it was obtained by a lie."1

The secret Mormon temple ceremony was copied from the Masons in the 1840s by Mormonism's founder, Joseph Smith, who himself was a Freemason.

Sewn into the Mormon garment, over the right and left breasts, are the Masonic symbols of the square and compass, signifying exactness and honor in following God.

Over the right knee of the garment is sewn another mark, reminding the underwear wearer that every knee shall bow to God. There is also one sewn over the navel, indicating that God is the ultimate source of nutrition--so you'd better not put a belly button ring there.

Mary Ann and I have made a miniature set of the Mormon underwear (kind of like a paper doll cut-out) and stuck them on this little Emperor guy, if you'd like to come up afterwards and take a closer look.

When Mormons are given their new underwear, they're also given a new name that they will eventually be known by in heaven. Mary Ann's was "Deborah." Mine was "Ezekiel." (My pet macaw's name is also "Ezekiel.")

Armed with their new name and new underwear, Mormons then go through a temple ceremony in which they learn secret handshakes and passwords that they believe will be required for admission into God's presence in the Mormon heaven.

When Mary Ann and I went through our temple endowment back in 1977, the ritual included oaths of secrecy in which we all simulated taking our own lives by slitting our throats from ear to ear and being disemboweled--representing the punishments we would incur if we ever dared reveal the secret handshakes and passwords. (And you thought Mormons were just good family folk who spent all that time in their temples baking cookies to bring over to their neighbors.)

Mormons take other secret oaths in the temple, including promising to give everything they have--including their lives--if demanded, to the Mormon Church.

They also promise to obey their church leaders and to never say bad things about them (in temple jargon, to not engage in "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed").

In the temple, Mormons are also secretly married to each other "for time and all eternity."

Since only worthy Mormons can enter the temple, non-Mormons are barred from attending the wedding ceremony, even if you're the parents of the bride and groom.

As a tract distributed to visitors at the recent opening of the Mormon temple in Bedford, Oregon (before it was closed to the public), explains:

"No music, no poetry, no photographs are allowed during the short wedding ceremony in the temple. (Although the bride may wear a traditional white wedding gown, she must wear the ritual temple clothing over the gown)."

The tract also mentions another little-known fact that goes on behind the walls of the Mormon temple:

"Most Mormons attending the temple rituals are doing so as proxies for the dead, in order to qualify the dead for admission to the Mormon heaven.

"Probably most of your ancestors have already been posthumously inducted into the Mormon Church. The Mormons have done this for millions of dead people (this is the primary purpose of their extensive genealogical research), including deceased presidents of the U.S., many Catholic saints, and even Adolf Hitler."2

So, there you have it.

I'd better stop now, before the Mormons slit my throat.

Thank you very much.

1. Richard Packham, "Mormon Temples and Temple Rituals"

2. "Mormon Temples: Facts that the Mormons probably don't want you to know, by a former Mormon"
Since Hinckley's Death From Cancer Has Been Mentioned On This Board, A Repost Of The Rather Perplexing Public Reports Of His Passing Vs. Some Other Below-The-Radar Info
Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012, at 07:14 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
In another thread, RfM poster "Marylou" wrote:

"Hinckley may not have been a whistleblower but it seems to me he tipped his hand when he decided to seek treatment for his cancer at age 95. I would think someone with a firm testimony would be anxious to get to the other side to be reunited with his wife. No, not him. Spend thousands of dollars and be sick with treatments just to last another month or two. He was either scared to death of what was waiting on the other side or he knew full well nothing was waiting for him."

("Re: DONT YOU GET IT. HINCKLEY WAS THE WHISTLEBLOWER," posted by "Marylou," on "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 17 April 2012)

From the public press accounts issued by the Mormon Church in the wake of Gordon B. Hinckley's death, the faithfully uninformed would certainly reach the conclusion that their divinely-cradled prophet, seer and revelator died--as the Morg(ue) put it in both its website press release and through its house organ, the "Deseret News"--from causes "incident to age."

That was certainly the official line on LDS Net Central:

". . . Church president [Hinckley] died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from CAUSES INCIDENT TO AGE. Members of his family were at his bedside."

Then this, to top it all off:

"Style guide note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide."

("Beloved Church President, Gordon B. Hinckley, Dies at 97," 27 January 2008, author(s) unnamed, in "Newsroom: The Official Church Resource for News Media, Opinion Leaders, and the Public," emphasis added)

Singing the same song and using essentially the same words, the Church's parrot publication, the "Deseret News," solemnly announced:

"President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through explosive growth during his more than 12 years as president, died 7 p.m. Sunday at home of CAUSES INCIDENT TO AGE, surrounded by family. He was 97."

OK, OK, enough already. We get it. The Morg(ue) says Hinckley died because of CAUSES INCIDENT TO AGE.

("LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley Dies at Age 97: LDS president Met Call with Humility, Vigor," "by the Deseret Morning News staff," in "Deseret News," Sunday, 27 January 2008. emphasis added)

But didn't it all seem a bit too insistent, too repetitive, too canned? Indeed, the "Deseret News" appeared to have gone out of its way to assure the faithful that Hinckley died a happy, healthy man--at least for his age (that is, before dying of CAUSES INCIDENT TO AGE):

"Two years ago this month, he underwent laparoscopic surgery to remove colon cancer. While a traditional colectomy requires five to eight days in the hospital and an at-home recovery of at least six weeks, the laparoscopic surgery hospital stay is usually two to four days and individuals can often return to work in two or three weeks.

"True to form for the energetic, globe-trotting leader, President Hinckley flew to Chile two months later in March 2006 to rededicate the Chilean temple. During the ceremonies, he alluded to his recent operation, quipping he would not recommend it to anyone.

"'President Hinckley was at his best," Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve said moments after the first dedication session adjourned. 'He conducted the entire session. Gave the dedicatory prayer. You wouldn't know he had ever been ill. His vigor was absolutely amazing.'

"His health has been the topic of speculation off and on among Church members ever since, particularly during semi-annual General Conferences of the church held each April and October. Less than a month after his Chilean trip in 2006, he stood at the podium in the LDS Conference Center during the Sunday morning session of the 176th annual General Conference and--in a rare departure from his usual sermons on gospel topics--reflected on his personal life.

"The speech was widely considered by members as a farewell of sorts that he was able to deliver personally. He mentioned his age frequently in public during the last five years of his life, almost as a way of preparing church members for his death and assuring them he was at peace with whatever timing would be his. After the death of his wife, Marjorie, in 2004, he periodically spoke movingly of missing her.

"More recently, President Hinckley presided and spoke at the August funeral of his beloved second counselor, President James E. Faust, noting the sadness that his passing meant to him personally. He spoke again publicly during October's semi-annual general conference, but delivered fewer and shorter speeches than he had previously done during the two-day event.

"He presided and offered brief remarks at the funeral of Sister Inis Hunter in late October, then spoke again during the First Presidency Christmas Devotional in December at the Conference Center, in what would be his last major public address. He sent a message that was read by President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, at the funeral of billionaire businessman and philanthropist James Sorenson last week."

(LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley Dies at Age 97: LDS President Met Call with Humility, Vigor," in "Deseret News," 27 January 2008, emphasis added)

And then he suddenly up and died.

Why was that, do you suppose?


Now, some backstory information that, as far as I know, was not necessarily reported through the general-consumption media.

In stark contrast to the Mormon Church's carefully-crafted-and-approved-for-publication version of events, I have been informed on good authority that Hinckley didn't die from old age itself but, rather, from the destructive effects of chemotherapy resulting from his treatment for colon cancer.

I was told, in other words, that Hinckley's sudden decline (where he went from actively communicating and waving his cane around to a rapid slide into death), resulted not from being 97 years old. It was (so this alternative version of events goes), from succumbing to the adverse effects of medical treatment he received from those assigned the task of killing his cancer.

What may have possibly happened instead was the killing of the Lord's prophet. If so, then it must have been God's will.

In fact, the Mormon Church-owned weekly newspaper supplement, the "Church News," did acknowledge that Hinckley had been receiving chemotherapy treatments for his cancer. That fact, however, was not reported in the wake of his death until several days after he had breathed his last:

"After a long life of dedicated service to God and his fellowman, President Gordon B. Hinckley died Jan. 27 of CAUSES INCIDENT TO AGE. He was 97. . . .

"President Hinckley ended his mortal journey Sunday at 7 p.m. in his apartment, surrounded by his five children and other family members. In past months the beloved Church leader had lost strength, making fewer appearances and most recently using a wheelchair, though not entirely giving up his well-employed cane. . . .

"His dedication of the Utah State Capitol Jan. 4 was his last public appearance. He kept up with his daily work schedule until the last week of his life.

"Two years ago, on Jan. 24, 2006, he underwent laparoscope surgery in a bout with cancer of the large intestine. Although he recovered well and completed the subsequent chemotherapy, on Tuesday, Jan. 22, he underwent what was called a 'follow-up chemotherapy.' A day or two later, he began feeling weaker. On Friday, Jan. 25, at the funeral of LDS inventor and philanthropist James L. Sorenson, President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency, announced that President Hinckley was not feeling well. After that, he continued to decline. . . .

"On Nov. 2, 2007, he became the longest-lived president of the Church, which by then had a membership of 13 million."

Hmmmmmm. Nothing like giving chemotherapy to a 97-year-old to end that "longest-living" record thing.

(John L. Hart, "Church News" associate editor, "President Hinckley Ends Mortal Journey: Life Marked by Testimony, Vigor, Personal Warmth and Courage," in "Church News," 2 February 2008, emphasis added)

Interestingly enough, I was also told that, according to inside family sources, Hinckley actually died that Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m., although his reported time of death was announced in the Mormon-owned press as having occurred some four hours later. What accounts for that seeming discrepancy--if it actually is one--I don't know. Where's the Holy Ghost when you need it?

(The above information, by the way, came to me from someone who was in a position to know the Hinckley family with some degree of personal familiarity).

Could it be that Hinckley actually died not of old age, per se, but of CAUSES INCIDENT TO CHEMOTHERAPY?
The Mormon Mythological Makeover Of White Supremacist Murderer, Plunderer, Slave Trader, Imperialist Gold Seeker And Lost Traveler Christopher Columbus As An Inspired Man Of God
Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Self-serving Mormonism (what other kind is there?) declasres that Christopher Columbus was led by the LDS God to discover the so-called "New World."

--Mormon Manipulations of Columbus as a Man of God--

As an article in the LDS propaganda organ aimed at its vulnerable and easily-swayed youth, the “Friend,” claims:

“. . . On August 3, 1492, Christopher set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships: the ‘Nina,’ the ‘Pinta, ‘ and the ‘Santa Maria.’ It was only after a long and difficult journey that land was sighted. October 12, 1492, was the happy day when he set foot on dry ground–not in Japan or China or India, but on an island in what is now called the Bahamas, in the western hemisphere.

“It has now been five hundred years since Christopher Columbus made that trip, and modern history books all give an account of the famous journey. But long before Columbus was born, another historian wrote of this navigator’s future travels. The prophet Nephi, son of Lehi, had a vision of Columbus. He recorded the vision in 1 Nephi: ‘And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.’ (1 Ne. 13:12).

“The scriptures indicate that Columbus’ voyages to the lands of North and South America were not made by chance but were directed by the Spirit. Columbus himself acknowledged several times that he was motivated by divine influence. In a letter to the king and queen of Spain, he wrote, ‘Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise [enterprise] called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but the Holy Ghost inspired me?’

“Weeks into their voyage, the crews that were with Columbus grew restless and fearful, and the captains of the ‘Nina’ and the ‘Pinta’ both wanted to turn back. Columbus would not give up, however, and he finally promised that if land was not sighted in forty-eight hours, they would turn back. That night in his cabin, Columbus ‘prayed mightily to the Lord,’ and on the very next day, October 12, land was sighted.

“Because of his strong determination, courage, and faith, Christopher Columbus was able to make his dream of adventure and travel to distant lands come true. He didn’t discover a new route to the Indies, as he had hoped to, but his discovery of America was inspired by God.”

(Wendy Seal Manzanares, “Heroes and Heroines: Christopher Columbus, Inspired Seaman,” in the “Friend,” October 1992, pp. 38–39, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website, under “Gospel Library Magazines,” at:

Arnold K. Garr of BYU’s Religious Studies Center, in ”Christopher Columbus: A Latter-day Saint Perspective,” continues the Mormon anti-truth propaganda blitz on the “adult” level:

“For Latter-day Saints, the story of Christopher Columbus begins long before he was born in 1451. In fact, what he would do was known in prophecy at least 600 years before the birth of Christ, when the ancient American prophet, Nephi, foresaw Columbus’ coming to the New World in a vision and recorded what he saw on metal plates. Joseph Smith later translated that account as a part of the Book of Mormon. The record of the vision is found in the 1 Nephi 13:12. Nephi declared: ‘I looked and beheld a man among the gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many water; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.’

“Elder Mark E. Petersen, a modern-day apostle, explained that ‘the many waters were the Atlantic Ocean,’ and that ‘the seed of [Nephi’s] brethren were the American Indians.’ He also affirmed that ‘it was Christopher Columbus whom [Nephi] saw, and he observed further that the discoverer was guided by divine power on his journey.’

“Several modern-day prophets have testified that Columbus was guided to the New World by the Spirit of God, fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy. In 1976, President Ezra Taft Benson stated, ‘God inspired “a man among the Gentiles”. . . who, by the Spirit of God was led to rediscover the land of America and bring this rich new land to the attention of the people in Europe. That man, of course, was Christopher Columbus, who testified that he was inspired in what he did.’

“In 1950, Elder Spencer W. Kimball testified that God ‘inspired a little boy, Christopher Columbus, to stand on the quays in Genoa, Italy, and yearn for the sea. He was filled with the desire to sail the seas, and he fulfilled a great prophecy made long, long ago that this land, chosen above all other lands, should be discovered. And so when he was mature, opportunity was granted to him to brave the unknown seas, to find this land . . . and to open the door, as it were.’

“In 1907, President Joseph F. Smith also confirmed his conviction that the Lord guided Columbus in much the same way as He did Adam and Abraham in the Old Testament .

“Church leaders’ statements about Columbus are not restricted to those of the 20th Century, as the apostles and prophets from the beginning of this dispensation also boldly testified that the Lord guided the great discoverer.

“In 1869, Elder George Q. Cannon delivered an address in the Salt Lake Tabernacle in which he stated: ‘Columbus was inspired to penetrate the ocean and discover this Western continent, for the set time for its discovery had come; and the consequences which God desired to follow its discovery have taken place.’ (“Journal of Discourses” ["JD"] 14:55)

“At the 1854 Fourth of July celebration in Salt Lake City, President Brigham Young spoke of the Lord’s direction of the events that led to the modern discovery of America: ‘The Almighty . . . moved upon Columbus to launch forth upon the trackless deep to discover the American Continent’ (“JD” 7:13).

“Elder Orson Hyde, speaking at the same celebration as President Young, made perhaps the most intriguing reference to this theme, connecting Columbus’ voyage and discoveries with the ministry of Moroni, the ancient American prophet and divine messenger and caretaker of the records of the Book of Mormon. Referring to him as the ‘Prince of America,’ Elder Hyde noted that Moroni ‘presides over the destinies of America, and feels a lively interest in all or doing. . . . This same angel was with Columbus and gave him deep impressions, by dreams and by visions, respecting this New World.” He continued, “The angel of God helped him–was with him on the stormy deep, calmed the troubled elements, and guided his frail vessel to the desired haven.’ (“JD” 6:368).

“It is abundantly clear from these and other statements that Church leaders from early on have taught that the Lord was very interested in the success of Columbus’ voyages to and from the Americas.

“Columbus left many statements in his journals and other personal writings in which he boldly declared that he believed the Lord directed him in his great undertaking. Referring to his first voyage to America, he once stated, ‘With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. . . . This was the fire that burned within me. . . . Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit.’ (. . . Columbus most often referred to the New World as the Indies).

“'Forerunner of the Restoration of the Gospel'

“One might ask why the Lord was so concerned with Columbus that He guided the discoverer in his preparation for the journey and inspired him along the way. The answer to this question can also be found in the writings of modern-day apostles and prophets. Several have clearly stated that Columbus and also the Founding Fathers of the United States of America were instruments in the Lord’s hands in preparing America to become the seat of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this last dispensation of time.

“In 1903, President Joseph F. Smith spoke of the divine destiny of America: ‘This great American nation the Almighty raised up by the power of his omnipotent hand, that is might be possible in the latter days for the kingdom of God to be established in the earth.’ President Smith further explained that ‘if the Lord had not prepared the way by laying the foundations of this glorious nation, it would have been impossible (under the stringent laws and bigotry of the monarchical governments of the world) to have laid the foundations of his great kingdom. The Lord has done this’.’

“Echoing the same idea, Elder Mark E. Petersen said: ‘The true gospel . . . could not be given to Israel of today until it was restored, and the restoration could come only under favorable conditions, in a free country, where men could worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience.’ Speaking specifically about the work that Columbus and the Founding Father performed, Elder Petersen declared: ‘These events were preliminary steps leading up to the gospel being restored and taken to the entire house of Israel.’ He emphasized that ‘few people think of the discovery of America, the Revolutionary War, and the establishment of a constitutional form of government here as being steps toward the fulfillment of the Lord’s ancient covenant with Abraham. But it is a fact that they were.

“Finally, George Q. Cannon specifically named Columbus, along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin as men who were inspired to do the work they did. He declared that ‘it was a preparatory work for the establishment of the kingdom of God. This Church and kingdom could not have been established on the earth if their work had not been performed.’ (“JD” 14:55)

“Latter-day Saints conclude that the Lord inspired Columbus to be a forerunner in preparing the way for the establishment of the kingdom of God on the American continent in this last dispensation.

“As Elder Petersen explained, ‘The restoration of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in these latter days, together with the advance preparation of conditions which made it possible, was indeed a divine drama which had many stages and many scenes, some of which were world shaking.’ [Christopher Columbus was] a man who truly changed the world as he played out his part in this divine drama . . [in] . . . the Age of Discovery.”

(Arnold K. Garr, "Chapter 1: “Columbus: Fulfillment of Book of Mormon Prophecy” [Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992], pp. 1–5], under “Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center,” at:

--Now, What the Mormon Church Doesn't Want You to Hear about Christopher Columbus: The Inconvenient Rest of the Story--

Writer Daniel N. Paul buries once and for all the White-Man Mormon Myth that Columbus was a foreordained instrument of the LDS Savior, led by directions beamed from Kolob that were designed to assist Columbus in uncovering America.

To the contrary, as Paul points out to brainwashed true-believing Mormons and others among the similarly hoodwinked, Columbus was a on-the-payroll imperialist deployed by the Spanish government of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to, in the name of God and country, ruthlessly seize territory and greedily grab booty--and, in the process, to murderously eliminate, eagerly enslave and brutally repress any and all Native inhabitants who dared stand in his way.

**Columbus: Trafficker in Young Girls

In dismantling the dishonestly-concocted reputation of Columbus, Paul quotes from Columbus’ own words:

”In 1500, Columbus wrote to a friend: ’A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand.’”

We've only just begun, folks.

**Columbus: Accidental "Discoverer"/Purposeful Slave Trader

Paul notes that Columbus' arrival in the "New World" was actually an accident, not a Liahona-like act of God:

"The event that led European Nations to destroy many of the civilizations of two continents, and drastically diminish the remainder, resulted from what was an almost impossible accident of fate. If it had not already occurred, it would be virtually impossible to envision.

“In 1492, Christopher Columbus, on a sea voyage to chart a shortcut to the Indies, funded by Queen Isabella of Spain, set the stage for the rape of American civilizations by going astray at sea.

“By chance he eventually landed on a small island in the Caribbean sea populated by a defenseless and friendly pacifist race of people, the Taino. These people were ripe for picking by unscrupulous men, and Columbus and his crew pillaged with impunity. The blind luck that led him to land on this small defenseless island instead of somewhere else along the thousands of miles of North and South American coastline-where people wouldn't have been so complacent--is akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

“In retrospect, if he had instead landed in a non-pacifist country, such as that of the Iroquois or Maya, history would have turned out differently. Their Warriors would have fought back ferociously, very probably ending his voyage on the American side of the Atlantic. If this had happened, and no Europeans had appeared for another century, population growth and technology development would have reduced the possibility of European colonization considerably. However, history turned out the way it did and no amount of fantasizing can change that.

“Columbus, thinking he was in the Indies, did not waste time paying lip service to the pretense that he wasimporting ‘shining’ European ideals to the people he mistakenly labeled Indians.

“Instead he wrote in his journal: ‘We can send from here, in the name of the Holy Trinity, all the slaves and Brazil wood which could be sold.’

“True to the intent of these words, he initiated the Amerindian slave harvest on his first voyage. When he embarked from the Americas for Spain, it was with a cargo of five hundred Native Americans . . . crammed into three ships to be sold on the continental slave markets. Upon landing at Seville, only about three hundred of these unfortunate souls were still alive. These and booty were turned over to Queen Isabella. . . .

“The news of the riches offered by Hispaniola and surrounding islands soon spread across Europe. The notion of fabulous wealth for the picking was like a magnet for other European Nations. Within a few years, harvesters from Spain and other European countries were traveling from island to island seeking artifacts, precious metals, spices, and human beings for enslavement.

"The cruel assault mounted by these people against the defenseless and non-aggressive Taino, who had numbered in the millions in 1492, was so effective that forty years later they were virtually extinct. . . .

“The following incident set a precedent for European powers to forgive Caucasian barbarians who mass-murdered American Indians. It is rare, indeed, to find an instance where one of them was imprisoned, or executed, for the horrors he committed.

“On August 23, 1500, Christopher Columbus and his brothers were sent back to Spain in chains by Spanish Governor Francesco de Bobadilla for mistreating Natives in the section of Hispaniola now known as Haiti. When they arrived in Spain, they were immediately released and graciously received at the royal court.”

**Columbus: Supposed Great Man of Exploration and Science Who Was Actually Beaten to the Punch Far Earlier by Others

Paul cites an essay by Jack Weatherford, entitled “Examining the Reputation of Columbus,” published in the “Baltimore Sun,“ 6 October 1989. Weatherford, notes Paul, enjoys impressive credentials: “[He] is Professor of Anthropology at Macalaster College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is author of “Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World” and several other books, and he has appeared on ‘The Today Show,’ ‘ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings,’ ‘Larry King,’ ‘All Things Considered’ [National Public Radio], and other TV and radio programs.”

Weatherford thoroughly debunks the commonly Mormon Church-perpetrated myth that Columbus was supposedly some uniquely-called, God-inspired discoverer.

The real record indicates quite the opposite:

“Christopher Columbus' reputation has not survived the scrutiny of history, and today we know that he was no more the discoverer of America than Pocahontas was the discoverer of Great Britain.

"Native Americans had built great civilizations with many millions of people long before Columbus wandered lost into the Caribbean.

“Columbus' voyage has even less meaning for North Americans than for South Americans because Columbus never set foot on our continent, nor did he open it to European trade.

“Scandinavian Vikings already had settlements here in the eleventh century, and British fisherman probably fished the shores of Canada for decades before Columbus.

“The first European explorer to thoroughly document his visit to North America was the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, who sailed for England's King Henry VII and became known by his anglicized name, John Cabot. Caboto arrived in 1497 and claimed North America for the English sovereign while Columbus was still searching for India in the Caribbean.

“After three voyages to America and more than a decade of study, Columbus still believed that Cuba was a part of Asia, South America was only an island, and the coast of Central America was near the Ganges River.

“Unable to celebrate Columbus' exploration as a great discovery, some apologists now want to commemorate it as a great ‘cultural encounter.’ Under this interpretation, Columbus becomes a sensitive genius thinking beyond his time in the passionate pursuit of knowledge and understanding. The historical record refutes this, too.

“Contrary to popular legend, Columbus did not prove that the world was round; educated people had known that for centuries. The Egyptian-Greek scientist Erastosthenes, working for Alexandria and Aswan, already had measured the circumference and diameter of the world in the third century B.C. Arab scientists had developed a whole discipline of geography and measurement, and in the tenth century A.D., Al Maqdisi described the earth with 360 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude. The Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai still has an icon--painted 500 years before Columbus --which shows Jesus ruling over a spherical earth.

“Nevertheless, Americans have embroidered many such legends around Columbus, and he has become part of a secular mythology for school children. Autumn would hardly be complete in U.S. elementary schools without construction-paper replicas of the three ships that Columbus sailed to America, or without drawings of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to finance Columbus' trip.

“This myth of the pawned jewels obscures the true and more sinister story of how Columbus financed his trip. The Spanish monarch invested in his excursion, but only on the condition that Columbus would repay this investment with profit by bringing back gold, spices, and other tribute from Asia. This pressing need to repay his debt underlies the frantic tone of Columbus' diaries as he raced from one Caribbean island to the next, stealing anything of value."

**Columbus: Failed Navigator and Lost Traveler Who Made Up for His Fantastic Flops By Becoming a Successful Human Trafficker

“After he failed to contact the emperor of China, the traders of India, or the merchants of Japan, Columbus decided to pay for his voyage in the one important commodity he had found in ample supply--human lives. He seized 1,200 Taino Indians from the island of Hispaniola, crammed as many on to his ships as would fit, and sent them to Spain, where they were paraded naked through the streets of Seville and sold as slaves in 1495. Columbus tore children from their parents, husbands from wives. On board Columbus' slave ships, hundreds died; the sailors tossed the Indian bodies into the Atlantic.

“Because Columbus captured more Indian slaves than he could transport to Spain in his small ships, he put them to work in mines and plantations which he, his family, and followers created throughout the Caribbean. His marauding band hunted Indians for sport and profit--beating, raping, torturing, killing, and then using the Indian bodies as food for their hunting dogs. Within four years of Columbus' arrival on Hispaniola, his men had killed or exported one-third of the original Indian population of 300,000.

“This was the great cultural encounter initiated by Christopher Columbus. This is the event celebrated each year on Columbus Day. The United States honors only two men with federal holidays bearing their names. In January we commemorate the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr., who struggled to lift the blinders of racial prejudice and to cut the remaining bonds of slavery in America. In October, we honor Christopher Columbus, who opened the Atlantic slave trade and launched one of the greatest waves of genocide known in history.”

(Daniel M. Paul, “White Supremacists Mentality: Columbus Day,” 26 September 2003)

Andre Cramblit, in his article, “It's Columbus Day--What Are We Celebrating For?,” continues the well-deserved de-mythologization of Columbus:

"’We shall take you and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault.’ (Christopher Columbus)

“Each October children in classrooms around the nation will dutifully recite their Columbus Day ‘facts’: the ships (‘the Ni[n]a, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria’), the year (‘In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue . . . ‘), and even the fruit that the explorer thought best resembled the Earth (that would be the orange). Our national leaders take time out of their busy schedules--raising money and covering up scandals--to commemorate the man who ‘found’ America.

“Of course, by now many of us know that Columbus was not the first European to sail to North America--a Viking did that nearly 500 years earlier--and that the arrival of the Spanish empire wasn't exactly a blessing to the hemisphere.

“What many of us don't know, and what many more of us willfully ignore, is what Columbus really was the first to do on our side of the pond.

“Christopher Columbus, you see, was a slave trader, a gold digger, a missionary, and even a war profiteer in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella.

“The arrival of Columbus's small fleet on what is now San Salvador (that's Spanish for ‘Holy Savior’) was greeted by the ‘decorous and praiseworthy’ Taino Indians (Columbus's words) and was followed almost immediately by mass enslavement, amputation for sport, and a genocide that claimed over four million people in four years. That's quite a saving.

“His arrival also marked the beginning of 500 years of imperialism, enslavement, disease, genocide, and a legacy of impoverishment and discrimination that our nation is only beginning to come to terms with. Today American Indians lack adequate healthcare and housing, receive pitiful education, face daunting barriers to economic opportunity, and see their lands (that would be the whole of the continent) overrun with pollution and big business.

“Columbus Day has been celebrated as a federal holiday since 1971, making it the first of only two federal holidays to honor a person by name. The other celebrates the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It isn't Christopher Columbus and the conquistadors, though, that resemble the selflessness of the Rev. King and the best traditions of the American ideal. From the hospitality of the Taino Indians toward Columbus's crew, on which he remarked at length in his diaries, to the generosity of the Wampanoag in sharing their traditional feast with the Pilgrims, the history and tradition of Indian cultures have characterized the values of a plural and welcoming community. Even today American Indians proudly serve a country that has given them so little and taken so much.”

(Andre Cramblit, “It's Columbus Day--What Are We Celebrating For?,” 9 October 2006, “ provided by “INDN's List,” 406 S. Boulder, Mezzanine Ste 200, Tulsa, OK 74103)

**Columbus: White Supremacist (No Wonder the Mormons Have Reverently Baptized Him for the Dead)

Paul exposes the LDS-familiar White supremacist mindset of this ruthless slave trader and land grabber:

“White supremacist mentalities guide the actions of Whites who idolize individuals such as Columbus as heroes. How could any descent human being say otherwise?

“For example, Columbus's staunch supporters steadfastly ignore the fact that he, by landing on a small Caribbean island and capturing people to be sold as slaves, began what would be the world's most horrendous human tragedy--the complete destruction of a great many of the civilizations of two continents, and the near destruction of the remainder--a process that included the massacre of tens of millions of First Nations Peoples.

“The number of our Peoples who died, and in many cases who are still dying, because of the European invasion he initiated, is incalculable. The closest number one can estimate, when taking into consideration that the slaughter started in 1492 has continued to a certain degree to this day, is several hundred millions. And, the vast majority of the millions who are the remnant of the original great civilizations that once prospered across the two continents, live a poverty-stricken existence.

“This is something that should instill in the people whose ancestors begot the horror shame, not pride."

Paul cites Dahr Jamail's and Jason Coppola’s critique of Columbus, “The Myth of America”:

“To mark Columbus Day in 2004, the Medieval and Renaissance Center in UCLA published the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents.

“Its general editor, Geoffrey Symcox, leaves little room for ambivalence when he says, ‘This is not your grandfather's Columbus. . . . While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing--not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting biblical scripture--to advance his ambitions. . . . Many of the unflattering documents have been known for the last century or more, but nobody paid much attention to them until recently. The fact that Columbus brought slavery, enormous exploitation or devastating diseases to the Americas used to be seen as a minor detail--if it was recognized at all--in light of his role as the great bringer of white man's civilization to the benighted idolatrous American continent. But to historians today this information is very important. It changes our whole view of the enterprise . . . .’”

**Columbus: Cunning Deceiver and Greedy Advantage-Taker, from His Own Diaries and Eyewitness Accounts of Spanish Atrocities

Again quoting Columbus, Paul observes:

"’They . . . brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells,’ Christopher Columbus wrote in his logbook in 1495. ‘They willingly traded everything they owned. . . . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. . . . They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane. . . . They would make fine servants. . . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.’

“Catholic priest Bartolome De las Casas, in the multi-volume ‘History of the Indies’ published in 1875, wrote, ‘ . . . Slaves were the primary source of income for the Admiral (Columbus) with that income he intended to repay the money the Kings were spending in support of Spaniards on the Island. They provide profit and income to the Kings. (The Spaniards were driven by) insatiable greed . . . killing, terrorizing, afflicting, and torturing the Native peoples . . . with the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty.’

(Note: About De las Casas, Pulitzer prize-winning author John Noble Wilford in his book, "The Mysterious History of Chrisopher Columbus," writes: "One of the early advocates of officially-sanctioned Black slavery in the New World was, of all people, Las Casas, and his many critics have used this in efforts to discredit him. Las Casas proposed in 1517 the licensing of an extensive trade in Blacks, and Charles I [who "ruled Spain from 1516 to 1556 as Charles I" and who "was also the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V from 1510 to 1556"] agreed. As Las Casas saw it, this was the only immediate alternative if his beloved Indians were to be spared destruction. It was years before he came to recognize that one form of slavery was just as evil as the other. In his 'Historia,' Las Casas finally apologized and inserted a lengthy account on the injustice of American slave raids." [John Noble Wilford, "The Mysterious History of Columbus: An Exploration of the Man, the Myth, the Legacy," Chapter 10, "A Question of Humanity" [New York, New York: Vintage Books, Divison of Random House, 1992], pp. 189-90])

Paul continues:

“This systematic violence [against the Natives] was aimed at preventing ‘Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings. (The Spaniards) thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades. . . . My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write.’

“Father Fray Antonio de Montesino, a Dominican preacher, in December 1511 said this in a sermon that implicated Christopher Columbus and the colonists in the genocide of the native peoples: ‘Tell me by what right of justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? On what authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who dealt quietly and peacefully on their own lands? Wars in which you have destroyed such an infinite number of them by homicides and slaughters never heard of before . . . .’

“In 1892, the National Council of Churches, the largest ecumenical body in the United States, is known to have exhorted Christians to refrain from celebrating the Columbus quincentennial, saying, ‘What represented newness of freedom, hope, and opportunity for some was the occasion for oppression, degradation and genocide for others. . . . ‘

“Yet America continues to celebrate ‘Columbus Day.’ That Americans do so in the face of all evidence that there is little in the Columbian legacy that merits applause makes it easier for them to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions, or the actions of their government. Perhaps there is good reason.”

**Columbus: Beneficiary of Myth-Makers in Mega-Denial

Notes Paul:

“In "Columbus Day: A Clash of Myth and History,’ journalist and media critic Norman Solomon discusses how historians who deal with recorded evidence are frequently depicted as ‘politically correct’ revisionists while the general populace is manipulated into holding on to myths that brazenly applaud inconceivable acts of violence of men against fellow humans:

“’For those of us who are willing to ask how it becomes possible to manipulate the population of a country into accepting atrocity, the answer is not hard to find. It requires normalizing the inconceivable and drumming it in via the socio-cultural environment until it is internalized and embedded in the individual and collective consciousness. The combined or singular deployment of the media, the entertainment industry, mainstream education or any other agency, can achieve the desired result of convincing people that wars can be just, and strikes can be surgical, as long as it is the US that is doing it. . . .

“’How might this become accepted as "Policy" and remain unquestioned by almost an entire population? The one word key to that is: Myths. The explanation is that the myths the United States is built upon have paved the way for the perpetuation of all manner of violations. Among the first of these is that of Christopher Columbus. In school we were taught of his bravery, courage and perseverance. In a speech in 1989, [the American president] proclaimed: "Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through perseverance and faith."

“’Never mind that the monumental feats mainly comprised part butchery, part exploitation and the largest part betrayal of host populations of the ‘New World.’”

**Columbus: Ruthless Enslaver, as Recorded by Members of His Own Crew

Paul writes:

“On their second arrival in Hispaniola, Haiti, Columbus's crew took captive roughly two thousand local villagers who had arrived to greet them. Miguel Cuneo, a literate crew member, wrote, ‘When our caravels . . . were to leave for Spain, we gathered . . . one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495. . . . For those who remained, we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island's fort) in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount desired, which was done.’”

**Columbus: Mutilating, Frustrated Gold-Seeker

Continues Paul:

“Such original ‘monumental feats’ as were accomplished by our nation's heroes and role models were somewhat primitive. Local inhabitants who resisted Columbus and his crew had their ears or nose cut off, were attacked by dogs, skewered with pikes and shot.

“Reprisals were so severe that many of the Natives committed mass suicide and women began practicing abortions in order not to leave children enslaved. The population of Haiti at the time of Columbus's arrival was between 1.5 million and 3 million. Sixty years later, every single Native had been murdered.

“In ‘A People's History of the United States,’ celebrated historian Howard Zinn describes how Arawak men and women emerged from their villages to greet their guests with food, water and gifts when Columbus landed at the Bahamas. But Columbus wanted something else. ‘Gold is most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise,’ he wrote to the King and Queen of Spain in 1503.

“Rather than gold, however, Columbus only found slaves when he arrived on his second visit with seventeen ships and over 1,200 men. Ravaging various Caribbean islands, Columbus took Natives as captives as he sailed. Of these he picked 500 of the best specimens and shipped them back to Spain. Two hundred of these died en route, while the survivors were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town where they landed.

“Columbus needed more than mere slaves to sell, and Zinn's account informs us: ‘ . . . [D]esperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, (he) had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.

"’The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.’

“As a younger priest, the aforementioned De las Casas had participated in the conquest of Cuba and owned a plantation where Natives worked as slaves before he found his conscience and gave it up.

“His first-person accounts reveal that the Spaniards ‘thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades. They forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could manage to slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual's head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers' breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks. Others, laughing and joking all the while, threw them over their shoulders into a river, shouting: “Wriggle, you little perisher.” They slaughtered anyone on their path . . . ‘”

**Columbus: Bloody Conqueror Bent on “Full Spectrum Dominance” in the Name of the Christian God

Writes Paul:

“In a letter to the Spanish court dated February 15, 1492, Columbus presented his version of full spectrum dominance: ‘to conquer the world, spread the Christian faith and regain the Holy Land and the Temple Mount.’

“With this radical ideology, las Casas records, ‘They spared no one, erecting especially wide gibbets on which they could string their victims up with their feet just off the ground and then burned them alive thirteen at a time, in honor of our Savior and the twelve Apostles.’

“About incorporating these accounts in his book, Zinn explained . . . : ‘My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present . . . but I do remember a statement I once read: “The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don't listen to it, you will never know what justice is.”’

**Columbus: Vehicle for Sustaining Self-Justifying Nationalistic Illusions

Paul observes how, as others have also noted, the “glorification of (the atrocities of) Columbus is one of several myths that sustain the illusions that justify . . . imperial visions . . . . .”

(Paul, “White Supremacists Mentality: Columbus Day;" and Daniel N. Paul and Bhaswati Sengupta, “Christopher Columbus, 1451-1506, Opens the Door to European Invasion of the Americas,” under “We Were Not the Savages: First Nation History,” at:

Wilford chronicles the following about Columbus's vicious exploratory exploits that were conducted at the tragic expense of the Native peoples whom he brutalized and enslaved.

Below, for example, is an episode of Columbus's men chasing down a canoe bearing Indian men, women and "Indian slaves."

"[The] descriptions of brutality toward the Indians" offered by one Micele de Cunero (whom Wilford describes as being a 'white European . . . gentleman [who was] having a jolly time among the savages') "were stunningly casual, reflecting no doubt the banality of such behavior and the absence among the brutalizers of embarrassment or contrition.

"The second Columbus expedition had reached Santa Cruz (St. Croix in the Virgin Islands) in November 1493. Cuneo and his companions jumped into the flagship's boat and gave chase to [the Indians in the canoe]. They believed the Indians to be Caribs of fierce reputation. 'While we were approaching [the canoe] the Caribs began shooting at us with their bows in such manner that, had it not been for the shields, half of us would have been wounded,' Cuenos said. 'But I must tell you that to one of the seamen who had a shield in his hand came an arrow, which went through the shield and penetrated his chest three inches, so that he died in a few days. We captured the canoe with all the men, and one Carib was wounded by a spear in such a way that we thought he was dead, and cast him for dead in the sea, but instantly saw him swim.' They were not through with him. 'We caught him and with the grapple hauled him over the bulwarks of the ship, where we cut his head with an axe. The other Caribs, together with those slaves, we later sent to Spain.'"

Comments Wilford about this incident:

"No remorse was expressed. No excuse was offered, and presumably none was expected."

Wilford continues, detailing the sexual crimes committed by Columbus's men against the Native peoples--acts of inhumanity that took place with Columbus's approval:

"At the same time on Santa Cruz, Cuneo captured a beautiful Indian women and had his way with her. With Columbus's blessing, he wrote, he took the woman into his cabin. 'And she being naked as is their custom, I conceived the desire to take my pleasure,' Cuneo said. 'I wanted to put my desire into execution, but she was unwilling for me to do so, and treated me with her nails in such wise that I would have preferred never to have begun. But seeing this (in order to tell you the whole even to the end), I took a rope-end and thrashed her well, following which she produced such screaming and wailing as would cause you not to believe your ears. Finally we reached an agreement such that, I can tell you, seemed to have been raised in a vertiable school of harlots.'"

Wilford again comments:

"This earliest preserved account of sexual intercourse between Europeans and Indians symbolizes the rape, of the people and the land, that was only the beginning. It also offers a sad insight into the guilding assumptions of these Europeans. 'There never crossed the mind of Columbus or his fellow discoverers and conquistadors, any other notion of relations between Spaniard and American Indian save that of master and slave.' [Samuel Eliot Morison, Columbus's biographer] writes [that] . . . [t]hey [the European invaders] were the superior people, and these Indians were their inferiors, to be seized and used. Columbus seemed to feel it his right to distribute captured women to his men for their pleasure. It did not occur to his men, if Cuneo is any indication, to ask the women's consent. Finally, as the ultimate insult pointed out by Todorov, Cuneo's woman, 'who violently rejected sexual solicaition finds herself identified with the woman who makes this solicitation her profession.'"

Wilford harshly assesses Spaniards--as in those Columbus led (and whom Columbus enabled and permitted to commit such atrocities against Native peoples)--in Natives:

". . . [T]he opprobrium of history has fallen hardest on the Spanish. Their cruelty to the Indians was the first, establishing the woeful pattern, and was especially relentless. It was well documented by matter-of-fact chroniclers like Cuneo and, most tellingly, by the crusading las Casas. 'Note here,' he wrote in a comment on Columbus's journal, 'that the natural, simple and kind gentleness and humble conditions of the Indians, and want of arms or protection, gave the Spaniards the insolence to hold them of little account, and to impose on them the harshest tasks that they could, and to become glutted with oppression and destruction.'"

Wilford also sheds light on the brutality of Columbus and the "Black Legend" and other atrocities toward which apologetic historians in the Columbus camp turn a selective blind eye:

"Ever since [Columbus], Spain has had to bear the burden of what came to be known as the 'Black Legend,' a burden of violence and destructive greed that should be distributed more widely."

Even historian apologists (who themselves accused las Casas of "gross exaggeration" in his descriptions of Columbus's brutal record of mistreating the Native populations) did little to openly or honestly acknowledge what Wilford describes as "unspeakable cruelty committed aginst the Indians" by Columbus's crews and the White European conquerors who followed in their wake.

Wilford condemns such selective, excuse-offering versions of events as "blinkered" history, which he argues are, in fact, ultimately "a subversion of history":

"Only in a footnote did the editor of a laudatory book on Columbus in 1892 acknowledge the dark side of the encounter between Europeans and the Indians: 'He [Columbus] . . . stands convicted in the light of history as the prime author of that blood-drenched rule which exterminated millions of simple aborigines in the West Indian Archipelago.'"

Wilford continues his criticism of Columbus and those who make sorry attempts at minimizing his record of barbarity against Native peoples:

"The enormity of this offense requires that the indictment not be dismissed in a footnote to fulsome encomiums. Other histories of the time, excepting Justin Winsor's in 1891, tend to absolve Columbus of blame, insofar as they aired the issue at all, and shift it to the Spanish nation. In their view, not even a Columbus could control Spanish lust and greed and, as las Casas said himself, their proclivity to be 'not just cruel, but extraordinarily cruel.'"

**Columbus and the Need for Counter Corrections Against the Myths Peddled by His Defenders

Wilford defends the recent rise of much-needed revision to the pro-Columbus propaganda of past apologists that has been impermissably peddled as supposed reputable history. Referring again to the "Black Legend," he writes:

"The 'Black Legend' still pervades writing about the initial encounters between Europeans and the Indians. But only rarely now is Spain singled out for castigation. In more recent reassessments of the encounter, a generally useful corrective has been introduced and in some cases emphasized with a righteous force worthy of las Casas: All White Europeans are now indicted for their role in setting in motion a history of greed, slavery, and genocide. Another generation is viewing history through its own peculiar lenses.

"The lenses have been ground to compensate for the myopia of past histories. Eurocentric history, once dominant, is being vigorously rejected and replaced in many instances with accounts interpreted more from the point of view of the victims, the Indians and the African slaves. One especially rousing but not uncommon sample of the new view is given by Hans Koning, a novelist and an essayist. Writing in 'The New York Times' in 1990, Koning accuses Columbus of instigating 'an extermination of Native Americans' and of being 'as mean, cruel and greedy in small matters as he was in vast ones.' He concludes: 'We must end the phony baloney about the White man bringing Christianity, and about Columbus the noble son of the humble weaver. Our false heroes and a false sense of the meaning of courage and manliness have too long burdened our national spirit.'"

Wilford adds:

"A more scholarly amplification of this view was published in 1990 by Kirpatrick Sale, a writer and environmental activist. The title of his book, 'The Conquest of Paradise,' sums up its thesis. The first European adventurers, beginning with a ruthless Columbus, invaded and despoiled an idyllic land whose people were ethnically superior to the Europeans. The 'Black Legend' meets the 'Noble Savage.' Sale's history is symptomataic of a radical revisionism that is bent on demolishing the uncritical image of Columbus the hero.

"The spirit of the 'Black Legend,' it seems, has not been laid to rest."

**Columbus and Further Descriptions of Enslavement of Native Populations

Wilford also addresses Columbus's role in the advancement of slavery, which he describes as "another form of brutality that was a pervasive part of the European experience in the New World and yet was usually submerged to the vanishing point in earlier histories."

Wilford notes that on the issue of slavery, Columbus was a typical supporter of it for his day:

". . . Columbus was neither ahead of the time nor behind. He had seen Africans seized and brought to Portugal and Spain as slaves (which the church condoned), and never thought of it as anythng ore than the normal state of affairs. Columbus's attitude was manifiest that first day on Guanahani. The gentle Tainos, he observed in his journal, 'should be good and intelligent servants.'"

Those who attempt to reinterpret Columbus's above observation as somehow being something less than an endorsement of slavery, are dismissed by Wilford for having made "a lame defense."

Writes Wilford:

"Columbus looked upon slavery as an economic expedient, the more so as he began to despair of finding gold in sufficient quantity to satisfy the crown and support the colony. He proposed to make regular shipments of humans in exchange for cattle and provisions for the struggling outpost at La Isabela."

Wilford further notes that "[a] century ago, before it was the fashion in history, Winsor said that this first shipment of Indian slaves 'was a long step in the miserable degradation which Columbus put opn those poor creatures whose existence he had made known to the world.'"

In fact, Wilford writes that "[t]he King and Queen were ambivalent about slavery in the Indies and tried to discourage Columbus's traffic in humans. They felt it their duty to convert the Indians to Christianity; if the Indians became Christians, then they could not be enslaved. . . . Only those beyond the religous and political pale could be candidates for slavery."

Columbus, Wilford notes, convinced others that the Natives encountered were, by and large, cannibals who deserved enslavement. Wilford cautions, however, that Columbus's version of events in the regard are suspect, "given the unreliability of initial communications between Whites and Indians and Columbus's tendency to hear that which accorded with his preconceptions. He never witnessed such practices [of purported human flesh-eating by Indians], and did not encounter any of these people [Caribs] until later voyages. Nevertheless, in his report to the King and Queen, Columbus announced the anthropophagy existed in these islands and identifed the practitioners as the Canabilli, a warlike people who also were called Canibales, Canibas, or Caribas. Their very name became attached to their reputed practice--cannibalism. Columbus . . . made believers out of those who accompanied him on the second voyage. . . .

"Real or imagined, cannibalism served Spanish purposes. . . . [As American historian Lewis Hanke writes], 'If judged to be Caribs, the Natives could be warred against unmercifully and justly enslaved.'"

Slavery-trader and Christ-crusader Columbus, as Wilford explains, regarded the Natives as an unsaved and inferior people:

"[While] Columbus had no thought but that the people who met him at Guanahani were human[,] . . . all [European] colonists, from Columbus on, consigned the Indians [to the ranks of] barbarian, savage, primitive--inferior."

**Columbus and Germ Warfare Against Native Peoples

Wilford also reports that Columbus and his fellow European imperialist conquerors subjected (albeit unwittingly) their Indian victims to germ warfare:

". . . [S]cholars in the past twenty-five years have come to realize that what ultimately tipped the balance was disease.

"When Columbus and other explorers reached the New World, they unintentionally brought with them diseases new to the indigenous people: smallpox, measles, typhus, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and the like. These were the contagious diseases of the European cities to which Europeans had developed considerable immunity. The Americans [i.e., the Indians], separated from the Old World for ages, lacked an immune system adjusted by heredity and experience to these deadly microbes. These were 'crowd' diseases, and the Americans lived in a sparsely-settled habitat. Infectious diseases were virtually unknown to them."

**Columbus and His Various Misdeeds Against Native Peoples

Wrapping up his assessment of Columbus and Company's ravaging exploits against Native Americans, Wilford concludes:

"Through arrogance, malice, and inadvertence, the first Europeans in the New World treated their discovery with fatal indifference. They confronted the question of the humanity of others, but in their actions, if not their political and philosophical outlook, inverted the question. For those separated long ago in pre-history from the rest of humanity, the Americans living apart on great rafts of land spun off forom Pangaea, the surprise reunion was disasterous."

(Wilford, "The Mysterious History of Christopher Columbus," pp. 178-180, 183, 185-89, 191, 193-94)

**Columbus: Predator Led Not by the Mormon Holy Ghost but by Lunar Eclipses to Frighten His Victims Into Compliance

In February of 1504, it was Columbus’ knowledge of lunar astronomy, not his supposed guidance by the Mormon Holy Ghost, that helped him continue his raping, pillaging and oppression in his not-so-new "New World."

As media writer John Stanley reports of the circumstances facing Columbus at that time:

“[In] February 1504 . . . Christopher Columbus was in a bad way. In the course of his fourth visit to the New World, badly leaking ships left him stranded on what is now Jamaica. The inhabitants, initially hospitable, had grown hostile at the crew's transgressions and had threatened to cut off the crew's food supply.

“While consulting his ephemeredes--charts that give the positions of astronomical objects at given times--Columbus realized that astronomers had predicted that a lunar eclipse would be visible in a couple of days.

“The day before the eclipse, he told the local leaders that if they didn't change their minds, the moon would disappear from the sky. They scoffed, but after the eclipse occurred, as predicted on Feb. 29, they relented.

“Four months later, Columbus and his crew were rescued. He returned to Spain in November, never to return to the New World.

"’The story sounds too good to be true,’ said Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at 'Sky and Telescope' magazine. ‘But it really happened.’’”

(“How a Lunar Eclipse Helped Columbus' Crew Avoid Hunger,” by John Stanley, “Arizona Republic,” 20 December 2010, at:


--Christopher Columbus: Inspired by the Mormon God to "Discover" Mormon America?--

The historical record emphatically disproves that quaint and cruel LDS notion--but what do you expect from a Mormon Church that, as a matter of fundamental belief and practice, distorts, disrespects, destroys and denies history?
Clare Middlemiss: A Tough, No-Nonesense Professional Woman In A Church Biased Against Her. Is It Any Coincidence That There Hasn't Been A Female Secretary To The LDS Prez Since?
Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 08:49 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Now and then attention has been drawn in this forum to the relationship between Mormon Church president David O. McKay and his long-time secretary, Clare Middlemiss. Indeed, as RfM poster "Fetal Deity" is quoted observing, tongue-in-cheek, from another thread:

"As far as the relationship between Middlemiss and McKay implied by the information in your post--all I can say is: 'C----------REEPY!' (I wonder if they had to deny a request by Middlemiss to be buried alive with the prophet's corpse?!?!?!)"

Time to tie up some loose ends, establish some basic facts and move to the bigger picture.

As to where Middlemiss is buried, here is some relevant information:


"Birth: 2/27/1901 SALT LAKE CITY,UTAH

"Death: 3/5/1983 SALT LAKE CITY,UTAH

"Burial: 3/11/1983 Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

"Grave Location: J_19_16_5S2RDWY"

("Names in Stone: Cemetery Maps," under "Deceased Page: Clare Middlemiss," original emphasis, at:

According to the "Deseret News," McKay is buried in the same cemetery (i.e., the Salt Lake City Cemetery), with directions to his plot as follows:

"President Hinckley's resting place, next to his wife's grave, is located just south of 10th Avenue, between the cemetery's Main and Hillside streets. The grave of President David O. McKay is a little south of the Hinckley family site."

No mention is made in that report as to where Middlemiss reposes in relation to McKay.

("Salt Lake Cemetery Will Serve as Final Resting Place for 11 LDS Prophets," by Lynn Arave, "Deseret News," 30 January 2008, at:

However, below is an actual plot map of the Salt Lake City Cemetery showing geographically, as well as by gravesite numerical identification, where McKay is buried. McKay is interred in the West Plat, noted as follows:

"David Oman McKay (1951-1970); WEST-3-79-1-W"

(Again, Clare Middlemiss's grave location in the same cemetery is "J_19_16_5S2RDWY")

("LDS Prophets and their Grave Sites," under "Visiting LDS Prophet Graves," by Ron Anderson, December 2001, at:

Authors Gregory A. Prince and William Robert Wright, in their book, "David O. McKay: The Rise of Modern Mormonism" (Salt Lake City Utah: University of Utah Press, 2005) make no mention of McKay and Middlemiss being buried next to each other. They record the following:

"The final entry in his [McKay's] diary, written by Clare Middlemiss, describes the funeral procession's journey [of McKay] from the Tabernacle to the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Ironically, it ends with a reference, not to the church over which he presided, but to the one which he had made his peace, and which reciprocated in a gracious gesture of shared sorrow: 'As the procession proceeded up South Temple, crowds lined the streets in reverent respect fro their Prophet, Leader, and Friend, and bells tolled from the Cathedral of the Madeleine.'" (Chapter 15, "Final Years," p. 394)

That out of the way, it is important to recognize that Clare Middlemiss, in historical retrospect, was a powerful woman in a male-run Church where powerful women were clearly considered an annoyance (not to mention a threat) by the boys in charge.

Significantly, Prince and Roberts dedicate their book "[i]n the memory of Clare Middlemiss, for creating the record." Later in the text, they write that when McKay became president of the Mormon Church, he "retained his personal secretary of 16 years, Clare Middlemiss. Never before (or since) had the private secretary to a Church president been a woman. During the subsequent 19 years, Middlemiss would become arguably the most powerful woman in the history of the Church, and would chronicle McKay's activities in unprecedented detail." (Chapter 1, "Prophet and Man," p. 2)

Prince and Wright continue:

"Although her official title remained secretary, in fact, she functioned as McKay's chief of staff, often to the chagrin of the otherwise exclusviely male Church hierarchy. Along the way she compiled probably the most extensive record of any Church president. . . .

"Never shy, once she began to work for McKay in 1935 she quickly took charge of his office and remained in charge throughout her career. She possessed superb organizational and writing skills that allowed her not only to manage the day-to-day affairs of the office, but also to compile along the way the exraordinary collection of records that made possible the current biography.

"She was extremely loyal and devoted, first to David O. McKay as Church president, and then to the Church over which he presided. She was aware of her position and power--and adept at using them to promote and protect McKay and the Church, even if it meant inserting herself between them and other Church leaders. Generally of a pleasant and friendly disposition, she could become remote and intimidating at the first indication that the interests of her two charges were being threatened."

On Middlemiss's life-long singlehood, the authors write:

"Clare Middlemiss was an attractive, stylish woman . . . . Though she never married, she did not consider herself an 'old maid.' Her extended family, which included 19 nieces and nephews, became her posterity; and although her modest Church salary brought her close to financial independence, she was generous to them and to others throughout her life as benefacator, mentor, and confidant. . . .

"Shortly after beginning her work as McKay's secretary, Middlemiss turned her attention to the compilation of the record that became the nucleus of the current biography. As she explained in 1948, she discoverd that 'nothing has ever been compiled on President McKay's activities until 1934' and began to fill that gap by making 'a complete record.'

"A secretrial career for the Church in those years required a special level of commitment, for Church policy (since changed) required all female secretaries be single. Early in her career, she reminisced, 'I had plans to get married, such as every young girl does, you know, and I was dating three or four boys at the time.' As matters turned out, she remained single, but her decision apparently was not driven by career aspirations. Her nephew Robert Wright, co-author of this volume, remembers, 'She has suitors who wanted to go out with her, and I think at least one or two of them really wanted to get married, but she didn't want to get married to them. She told me was just never found a person that whe wanted to get married to. . . . After a few years went by, she wished that she had a family. I know that. And she would have been a good maother, but she just put all her energy into her job.'"

"Her fortunes changed dramatically in April 1951. As had been the case in 1935, it was inadvertent on her part. A fellow secretary related the story:

"'[Clare] told me one time when [President McKay] was called to be President of the Church that Joseph Anderson assumed he was going to be the President's secretary. Now, he had worked for Heber J. Grant and for Geroge Albert Smith. He sort of treated Clare like her days were numbered. And President McKay had never said a word, one way or the other. So they were getting ready to move into the office where President McKay was going to sit, and she said to President McKay, 'Well, I guess you'll be bringing in Brother Anderson. I suppose you'll want to bring him in here.' And he said, 'You're my secretary.' She said, 'Well, it's customary to have a man be the secretary to the President.'' He said, "I don't see why. You're my secretary, and you're going to stay my secretary.' She said she just sat down and cried, because she was so worried that she's lose her job. Brother Anderson was not happy about that, because he really, fully exected to be President McKay's secretary, too. That's when they started the FirstPresidency office, and he was in the First Presidency's office.'

"David O. McKay was 77 years old when he became Church president; and although he was a vigorous man, he had a history of health problems. As a result, Middlemiss was protective of him from the outset and became increasingly protective as advancing age gradually drained his strength. While others saw her efforts as less than benign, McKay trusted her implicitly and appreciated her protectiveness. McKay's housekeeper recalled, 'Everybody know that she was a little overpowering. When I made a remark to President McKay at one time, he said, 'Well, I know, Gaby, but she's a very good secretary.' He needed her, she was very good in her job. . . . He knew her weakness, but she was smart, and he appreciated her.'

"McKay's eldest son agreed with the housekeeper's assessment, but spoke also of the downside. 'She was devoted to [my] [f ather and did everyting she could to protect him, and in the process aroused the antagonism of nearly everybody else, including the members of the Twelve.' One such member was senior Apostle Harold B. Lee, who told a fellow General Authority, 'It's interestng . . . that I have to go through a non-priesthood bearer to get certain things done in my assignment.' Even members of the First Presidency were occasionally antagaonized by her protectiveness. Charles M. Brown, son of McKay's counselor Hugh B. Brown, recalled: 'She was probably the supreme example of a totally dedicated secretary, and men in that position need totally dedicated secretaries. But she might have overstepped her bounds. . . Dad and Eldon Tanner couldn't get in to see him quite frequently, and they would work through his son, David Lawrnece, to try to get to him rather than through Clare.'

"Yet others within the hierarachy saw Middlemiss as unqualifiedly positive. Apostle Ezra Taft Benson 'had a high regard for her and her love for the Prophet, and her protectivess for him, too.' And Marion D. Hanks, another General Authority, wrote to her, 'I still think that of the factors that have preserved the President's life beyond what might normally have been, your loyalty and wisdoom and devotion rank high.'

"Some women saw in Clare Middlemiss a unique role model. Elaine Anderson Cannon, who spent decades working in close apporximation to the General Authorities, was particularly appreciative. 'She had POWER! [original emphasis] When women were just all saluting the Brethren, Clare was just manipulating and doing all this stuff, and being charming and accepting the chocolates--and working the wonders.'

"Still other people viewed Middlemiss with an ambivalence that was results driven. For example, in 1962, Ernest L. Wilkinson was highly critical of her when she was an obstruction to his own plans. 'One of the most constant frustrations I have at the Church Office Building (I am not alone in this)is that of trying to get to see President McKay through his secretary.' Yet seven years later, when she enabled rather than obstructed, his attitude changed. 'One of the difficulties of the present situation is that generealy mail does not get through to the President, but thorugh Clare Middlemiss we had arranged to get these letters through to him, and I think the conference we had will result in a decision in all three of these matters which had been pending for some time.'

"The most balanced, and perhaps, fairest, assessment of Clare Middlemiss came from Robert L. Simpson who, as a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, worked with her and McKay for nearly a decade:

"'She believed implicity that she had a responsibility to protect President McKay, and to do everythin she could to conserve his energy and strength, and give him peace of mind. And she did that to the very utmost of her ability. I never saw one occasion when she did anything but when she thought it was for the benefit of the Church, and President McKay personally. A lot of people were a little taken aback by her, because she held the line, but she had to, and in her mind she was doing what the Lord wanted her to do. Even other members of the [First] Presidency or the Twelve that would try and make an end run--she just didn't let it happen. And I think Presidnet McKay appreciated it. . . . He never wavered in his trust. . . I think Clare Middlemiss as meant to be for just exactly what she did, and the role she played.'

"As significant--and unprecedented--as her actaivities were in McKay's office, the most important legacy of Clare Middlemiss, and the longest lasting, was the record she kept. An astounding 130,000 or so pages in length, it consists of three components: diaries, discources, and scrapbooks. Keeping the record became the focus ofher life away from the office. Her nephew recalled, 'She would always bring something home to do. She got to the point wehere she had an office there. . . . She did an awful lot of work at home, even after being at the office all day for a long time.'

"So consumed with the record was she that she took no holidays, spending them in work at the office or home; took not even one week of vacation time in a decade; and worked overtime nearly as many hours as regular time, without compensation. Speaking at a national conference, Middlemiss stated, 'I have not been able to work on these journals during regular working hours, they have been written in the evenings, on holidays and weekends.' She rarely deviated from her daily commute of home-to-office-to-home, a round trip of some three miles, and in 20 years drove her care an average of less than 1,000 miles annually.

"Of greatest historical significance are the diaries, some 40,000 pages of typescript in length. Middlemiss began to write the diary a few months after beginning work for McKay, nd continued through his death . . . .

"For his part, McKay fully understood the crucial role Middlemiss played in chronicling his life, 'If it had not been for her,' he said,'there would be no journals, no scrapbooks, and few if any records.' Even more to the point, he said, 'So far as my life's work is concerned, there would be hardly one word written if it had not been for her; that she ahd really 'saved' my life in that regard.'"

When Middlemiss's health began to seriously deteriorate, the Mormon Church's male hierarchy decided she should stay on only long enough to finish her record complilation projects:

"When David O. McKay died in 1970, Middlemiss was one month short of her 69th birthday and in diminishing health. Prior to his death, she had had heart surgery that delayed but did not prevent furether cardiovascular problems. She hoped to be able to continue working for the Church but was asked to stay on only long enough to finish the tasks of organizing McKay's records and completing the diaries. On April 4, 1983, after a long, debilitating battle with congestive heart disease, Clare Middlemiss died in Salt Lake City. She was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery." (Chapter 6, "Radio and Television Broadcasting," pp.142-43; and "Appendix: The Clare Middlemiss Records," pp. 405-11)

Yes, Clare Middlemiss was devoted to the Mormon Church president and to the Mormon Church for which she worked, in that order.

But she didn't put up with grumpy good-ol'-boy resistance from Mormon male control freaks who wanted her out of Command Central (or at least leashed) so that they could go about their business of traditionally doing business.

Middlemiss left a legacy of a proud professional woman who exhibited amazing talents, abilities and independence.

In the male-minded world of the chauvinistic Mormon Church from which she was eventually shoved in her declining health after having served the Brethren's record-keeping purposes, she deserves her well-earned share of respect, credit and admiration.
Mormon Church "Prophets" Who Claim That The Earth Is "Young" (as In 13,000 Years Old), Need To Knock Off The Pot And Study The Pottery
Tuesday, Jul 3, 2012, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Once again, science has proven that--like ancient human-made pottery framents--Mormon Church doctrine on the age of the Earth and that of its human populations is, well, totally cracked.

Here are the latest findings in that regard:

“ . . . Pottery fragments found in a south China cave have been confirmed to be 20,000 years old, making them the oldest known pottery in the world, archaeologists say.

"The findings, which will appear in the journal 'Science' . . . , add to recent efforts that have dated pottery piles in east Asia to more than 15,000 years ago, refuting conventional theories that the invention of pottery correlates to the period about 10,000 years ago when humans moved from being hunter-gathers to farmers.

"The research by a team of Chinese and American scientists also pushes the emergence of pottery back to the last ice age, which might provide new explanations for the creation of pottery, said Gideon Shelach, chair of the Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University in Israel. . . .

"Wu Xiaohong, professor of archaeology and museology at Peking University and the lead author of the 'Science' article that details the radiocarbon dating efforts, told 'The Associated Press' that her team was eager to build on the research. 'We are very excited about the findings. The paper is the result of efforts done by generations of scholars," Wu said. "Now we can explore why there was pottery in that particular time, what were the uses of the vessels, and what role they played in the survival of human beings.'

"The ancient fragments were discovered in the Xianrendong cave in south China's Jiangxi province, which was excavated in the 1960s and again in the 1990s, according to the journal article. Wu, a chemist by training, said some researchers had estimated that the pieces could be 20,000 years old, but that there were doubts.

"'We thought it would be impossible because the conventional theory was that pottery was invented after the transition to agriculture that allowed for human settlement.'

"But by 2009, the team – which includes experts from Harvard and Boston universities – was able to calculate the age of the pottery fragments with such precision that the scientists were comfortable with their findings, Wu said.

"'The key was to ensure the samples we used to date were indeed from the same period of the pottery fragments,' she said.

"That became possible when the team was able to determine the sediments in the cave were accumulated gradually without disruption that might have altered the time sequence, she said. Scientists took samples, such as bones and charcoal, from above and below the ancient fragments in the dating process, Wu said.

"'This way, we can determine with precision the age of the fragments, and our results can be recognized by peers,' Wu said.

"Shelach said he found the process done by Wu's team to be meticulous and that the cave had been well protected throughout the research.

"The same team in 2009 published an article in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,' in which they determined the pottery fragments found in south China's Hunan province to be 18,000 years old, Wu said.

"'The difference of 2,000 years might not be significant in itself, but we always like to trace everything to its earliest possible time,' Wu said. 'The age and location of pottery fragments help us set up a framework to understand the dissemination of the artifacts and the development of human civilization.'"

(“Pottery 20,000 Years Old Found in Chinese Cave,” by the "Associated Press" reporting from Beijing, China, 20 June 2012, at:

Never let the facts get in the way of the faith, however.

Enter the know-nothings from the Mormon Church's pathetic "prophetic" hierarchy who have traditionally and ignorantly trumpeted religious myth over scientific evidence when it comes to terra firma reality:

"Unfortunately, . . . [scientifically-sound] theories [for both an old Earth combined with ancient human history] . . . exist in direct contradiction to Mormon theology.

"In 'Mormon Doctrine,' the apostle Bruce R. McConkie states:

"'How weak and puerile the intellectuality which, knowing that the Lord's plan takes all forms of life from a pre-existent spirit state, through mortality, and on to an ultimate resurrected state of immortality, yet finds comfort in the theoretical postulates that mortal life began in the scum of the sea, as it were, and has through eons of time evolved to its present varieties and state! Do those with spiritual insight really think that the infinite Creator of worlds without number would operate that way?" (p. 256, 1979 paperback edition)

"In 'Doctrines of Salvation,' Volume 1, [Mormon apostle] Joseph Fielding Smith . . . . states:

"'Here is a definite statement by revelation to us that this earth will go through 7,000 years of temporal existence. Temporal, by all interpretations, means passing, temporary or mortal. This, then, has reference to the earth in its fallen state, for the earth was cursed when Adam, who was given dominion over it, transgressed the law. Before that time, this earth was not mortal any more that Adam was. This we learn from other scriptures; for instance, see 2 Nephi 2:22' (p. 80, 1954 Bookcraft edition).

"On the same page, President Smith also states:

"'We can hardly be justified in trying to harmonize the days of creation with the extended periods of millions of years according to the reckoning of the so-called scientists.'

"There is also a theory that the Lord spen[t] billions of years and used evolution to create the Earth and its creatures, which explains the fossils of ancient life. Then about 6,000 years ago, He planted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

"[However], [t]he Mormon Church teaches that God spent 7,000 years creating the Earth. In the 'Book of Abraham, an important piece of Mormon scripture, the Lord describes the creation of the Earth to Abraham (see Abraham 5:4-8) and later states, in verse 13, that 'I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning.' We learn from the explanation of figure one in the second facsimile of the 'Book of Abraham' that 'one day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this Earth.'

"The fact that Mormons believe that God spent 7,000 years on the creation of the Earth is confirmed by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith in 'Doctrines of Salvation,' throughout the fourth section of Chapter 5 (pp. 78-81, 1954 Bookcraft edition).

"According to the geological and biological record of the Earth’s history, the first life began between 3.8 and 3.3 billion years ago. Traditionally, the earliest fossil evidence of multi-cellular life is about 580 million years old; however in 1998 scientists at Yale University reported evidence that worm-like animals lived on Earth 1.1 billion years ago. The earliest land plant is about 460 million years old. The oldest land animals ever discovered lived about 414 million years ago, according to discoveries made in 1990 near Ludlow.

"The world’s oldest known human remains are from Ethiopia and have been dated to about 160,000 years old. Scattered throughout the area where these remains were found were thousands of stone tools, including hand axes, along with the butchered bones of hippopotamus and antelope.

"The oldest human remains found in Australia originally had their age estimated at about 62,000 years. However, it was later found that they were a mere 40,000 years old. For Europe, Alison Mutler, a writer for the 'Associated Press' reported:

"'Experts analyzing remains of a man, woman and teenage boy unearthed in Romania last year are convinced that the 35,000 year-old fossils are the most complete ever of modern humans of that era.'

"The oldest human remains in North America were found on an island off the Southern California coast and are roughly 13,000 years old. In Chile there have been recent discoveries that indicate humans may have been in South America 34,000 to 40,000 years ago.

"All these remains are considerably older than the 6,000 years allowed for by the Mormon Church. The youngest remains mentioned here are from someone who must have died about the same time the Mormon God started to say 'Let there be light'13,000 years ago.

"Of course, a faithful Mormon could argue that radiocarbon dating is not accurate. . . . {H]owever, . . . radiocarbon dating has been verified back 50,000 years using polar ice cores. There is also the question of layers of sediment. The layers above are newer than those below. If a skeleton is found in a layer of 60,000 year old rock, the skeleton is 60,000 years old. If it is found below that layer, it is older than 60,000 years. There are also many other forms of dating, some of which are described here.

"The point being, if a Mormon believes any of the above about ancient life, their beliefs conflict with the teachings of the Mormon Church. Any Mormon who teaches or believes that the Earth has existed in any form longer than 13,000 years is in direct contradiction with Mormon doctrine.

"A true believing Mormon cannot believe that dinosaurs once ruled the earth, because according to their faith, the temporal existence of the earth only began about 6,000 years ago. They also cannot believe in any fossil remains of anything older than 13,000 years, and they only way you could get something even that old would be to say that things died and their radiocarbon decayed thousands of years before the temporal existence of the Earth began.

"They cannot believe in the accumulation of sediment over millions of years that resulted in the rocks that we can see all around us. In fact if a member of the Mormon Church ever speaks of anything dying over 6,000 years ago their beliefs are contrary to the position of the Mormon church and they are living in a state of apostasy."

(“The Age of the Earth,” at:

Once again, another Mormon Church myth is shattered--this time by pot shards.

Dear Elohim, save us from your cranially-challenged, porcelain-prophet followers. :)
I, Nephi, Having Been Born Of Bulgarian Parents: Desperate Mopologists Claim Ancient Bulgarian Gold-Plate Find Proves Truth Of 19th-Century Book Of Mormon Fairy Tale
Monday, Aug 13, 2012, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Below is some predictable silly putty propaganda from an LDS outfit--calling itself the "Genesis Group" and marching under the heavenly banner of "Ancient America Foundation"--regarding a "gold plate book" found in (drum roll, please) Bulgaria--the famous landing spot, of course, for Lehi, Nephi and the rest of the original Mormon pioneer clan. (Actually, what they claim is that Bulgarian gold plates prove Book of Mormon gold plates, which is even sillier, since the Bulgarian gold ones are real and the Book of Mormon ones never existed. Details, details).

Geezus, here we go:

"Golden Plates on Display in Bulgaria

"The world's oldest multiple-page book–in the lost Etruscan language–has gone on display in Bulgaria's National History Museum in Sofia.

"And something about that book has particular interest for Latter-day Saints.

"As is evident from the photograph, this book was created on metal plates that are bound together with metal rings, similar to the original source documents that became the Book of Mormon.

"The book dates back to 600 B.C., which is roughly the time that Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. The small manuscript, which is more than two and a half millennia old, was discovered 60 years ago in a tomb uncovered during digging for a canal along the Strouma River in southwestern Bulgaria. It has now been donated to the museum by its finder, on condition of anonymity.

"Reports say the unidentified donor is now 87 years old and lives in Macedonia. The authenticity of the book has been confirmed by two experts in Sofia and London, museum director Bojidar Dimitrov said quoted by AFP. The six sheets are believed to be the oldest comprehensive work involving multiple pages, said Elka Penkova, who heads the museum's archaeological department.

"There are around 30 similar pages known in the world, Ms. Penkova said, "but they are not linked together in a book."

"The Etruscans–one of Europe's most mysterious ancient peoples–are believed to have migrated from Lydia, in modern western Turkey, settling in northern and central Italy nearly 3,000 years ago. They were wiped out by the conquering Romans in the fourth century BC, leaving few written records.

"The Ancient America Foundation (AAF) is pleased to present AAF Notes, a series of research articles by scholars of Book of Mormon culture and history and reviewed by AAF editors. For more, Visit the AAF web site at

"AAF Note: We wish to thank Jeff Brooks for bringing this very interesting discovery article to our attention, demonstrating that bound metal records existed in the Middle East 2500 years ago as claimed by the Book of Mormon."

("Golden Plates on Display in Bulgaria," by the LDS "Genesis Group," sponsored by "Ancient America Foundation, 1999-2002," at:

Now for some actual history, unencumbered by the above unholy-hyped hooey:

First off, these Bulgarian "golden plates" aren't actual plates at all; rather, they're tiny, lightweight sheets composed of 23.82 karat gold. Even mega-Morg apologist John A. Tvedtnes admits this inconvenient tidbit (probably because he can't go to Bulgaria and steal them, then tuck them away from view). Tvedtnes acknowledges that, in fact, they measure a mere "5 centimeters in length and 4.5 centimeters in width."

(John A. Tvedtnes, "Gold Book from 600 B.C. Discovered," published in "Insights," Volume 23, Issue 5, Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, Provo, Utah, at:

As to measurements, one inch equals 2.54 centimeters; translated: these Bulgarian gold "plates" are roughly 2 inches square--hardly akin to the Book of Mormon gold plates that Joseph Smith said he lugged down the Hill Cumorah and which he also claimed (albeit not until March 1842) were 8 inches long, 6 inches wide and 6 inches thick. Estimations of the weight of a stack of gold plates that size (as fellow Morg apologist Michael R. Ash reports but, of course, dismisses because it doesn't fit the mythical Mormon narrative) is between 175 and 225 pounds.

(Michael R. Ash, "[Supposed] Book of Mormon Anachronisms," 1998. at: You can see a mock-up of what the Book of Mormon gold plates purportedly looked like as to size under "File: GoldenPlates.JPG," from "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia," at:

Here is some additional, more reliable history, minus the Mormon mix of green Jell-O gobble-de-gook that passes for "scholarship" in LDS Land:

"Unique Book Goes on Display

"Text and photo ['Unique Book Goes on Display: The World's Oldest Multiple-Page Book--in the Lost Etruscan Language--Has Gone on Display in Bulgaria's National History Museum in Sofia." on "BBC News," 26 May 2003], at: . . .

"It contains six bound sheets of 24 carat gold, with illustrations of a horse-rider, a mermaid, a harp and soldiers.

"Etruscan Book [The Book dates back to 600 BC].

"The small manuscript, which is more than two-and-a-half millennia old, was discovered 60 years ago in a tomb uncovered during digging for a canal along the Strouma river in south-western Bulgaria.

"It has now been donated to the museum by its finder, on condition of anonymity.

"Reports say the unidentified donor is now 87 years old and lives in Macedonia.

"The authenticity of the book has been confirmed by two experts in Sofia and London, museum director Bojidar Dimitrov said quoted by AFP.

"The six sheets are believed to be the oldest comprehensive work involving multiple pages, said Elka Penkova, who heads the museum's archaeological department.

"There are around 30 similar pages known in the world, Ms Penkova said, 'but they are not linked together in a book.'"

("Tharcians and the Getai: Romanian History and Culture," at: http://romanianhistoryandculture.webs...)

Not one to let actual facts get in the way of real fairy tales, a Mormon webmaster named Kelly (but posing as the mythical angel Moroni) triumphantly declares the following:

"**NOTE** These plates were dated during the approximate time period as the Book of Mormon gold plates. Mormon critics and anti-Mormon ministries have argued since 1830 that ancient civilizations never used bound gold plates to keep records, therefore Joseph couldn't have found any. Oops, I guess they were wrong again. I'm glad I based my testimony on a witness from the Holy Ghost and not on a witness from a ministry.

"--Moroni, aka Kelly Bingham"

("Unique Book on Display," taken from "BBC News" report, 26 May 2003, on "Moroni's Latter-day Saint Page," at:

So, after all the fool's gold dust has settled, the big diff between the Estrucan gold plates and the Book of Mormon gold plates?


The Estrucan gold plates are in a museum where you can see 'em.

The Book of Mormon gold plates were swiped by an angel and squirreled away where you can't see 'em (along with the sword of Laban; the Urim and Thummim; the remains of the Nephite city of Bountiful; cureloms and cumoms; the original Book of Abraham papyri; and all the other stupid stuff Mormons have made up).

Neener, neener, neener.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Hide 'em.
Utterly Embarrassing: "Salt Lake Tribune" Serves Up Bogus Headline About Its Earlier Article On Twede - And Then Accepts, As A Sole Source, The Mormon Church's Claims
Thursday, Sep 27, 2012, at 07:28 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14   -Link To MC Article-
Utterly Embarrassing: "Salt Lake Tribune" Serves Up Bogus Headline About Its Earlier Article on Twede--and Then Accepts, as a Sole Source, the Mormon Church's Claims . . .

"'Mormon blogger Faces Excommunication over Temples, Not Romney'
bu Peggy Fletcher Stack
'The Salt Lake Tribune'
September 24, 2012

"SALT LAKE CITY (Religion News Service) A Mormon blogger who has written critical web essays about Mormon history, temple worship and contemporary issues--including about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney--is facing Church discipline for 'apostasy.'

Initially, the Florida blogger, David Twede, managing editor of, told news media Friday (Sept. 21) that the threatened Church action was due to his comments about Romney. Later that day, he denied any political link. Then, on Saturday, he returned to 'a feeling in (his) gut' that his Romney remarks triggered the possible discipline.

[NOTE: Stack does not explain Twede's further amplification of his account. That would complicate her narrative, undermine her premise and require professional reporting on the Mormon Church in a town that look down on that kind of thing].

"Twede did get a letter from his Mormon leaders in Orlando, summoning him to a disciplinary council Sept. 30 for 'apostasy,' which they attributed to Twede’s writings.

[NOTE: Those writings included Twede's critical commentary on the Mormon Church's history of politicking and Romney's Mormon-doctrine view of God that is rejected by Christian traditionalists].

"In recent days, the blogger has blasted Romney as part of his critique of Mormonism, its beliefs about the nature of God and its temple ceremonies.

[NOTE: Many of those comments by Twede were written before he was summoned for his excommunication hearing].

"But, Twede told 'The Salt Lake Tribune' on Friday, his LDS leaders never brought up Romney, a Mormon, in their exchange with him. Though not supporting the Republican nominee, Twede apologized to Romney, saying, 'I didn’t mean for (the story) to go this way.'

[NOTE: Stack does not mention Twede's observation of the timing of the excommunication hearing as being "very suspicious," coming as it did in the wake of his criticisms of the Mormon Church's long history of involvement in politics.]

"Indeed, plenty of Mormons across the country are critical of Romney--in public and often--but none has been threatened with any Church sanction.

[NOTE: This is dishonest gymnastics on Stack's part. Twede's comments included criticism of the political connection between the Mormon Church and Romney. Stack, moreover, does not report if any of these other "plenty" of Mormon critics write on highly-publicized blogs where they accuse the Mormon Church of inappropriately mixing Mormon church and Romney state].

“'It is patently false for someone to suggest they face church discipline for having questions or for expressing a political view,' Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a statement. 'The church is an advocate of individual choice. It is a core tenet of our faith.'

[NOTE: And because one source--the Mormon Church, no less--says so, that makes it true? Talk about lapdog journalism].

"Purdy went on to say that 'Church discipline becomes necessary only in those rare occasions when an individual’s actions cannot be ignored while they claim to be in good standing with the Church. Every organization, whether religious or secular, must be able to define where its boundaries begin and end.”

"There is at least one area LDS leaders maintain should be off-limits--details about temple worship. Writing about it in general, academic terms is largely acceptable, but publicly describing specific sacred ceremonies is seen as deeply offensive.

[NOTE: The specific details of Mormon temple rituals have been publicly available for years, particularly because of the World Wide Net. The sacred-temple-ritual excuse is a Mormon Church cover to get Twede who went worldwide with it. Never mind that public exposure of the Mormon Masonic temple rites have been planetary for some time, thanks to the Internet].

"Mormonthink did have an entire section discussing LDS temple ceremonies and their connection to Masonic rites, with links to photos and text of LDS temple rituals.

[NOTE: The truth hurts, don't it?]

“'They (his local LDS leaders) were upset by the fact that I was discussing the temple, which is connected to Mitt Romney in my article,' Twede told The Daily Beast. 'I revealed things about the temple, and secrecy, and other things that they just don’t want anyone to talk about.'

[NOTE: "Which is connected to Mitt Romney in my article." That's the point].

"Purdy declined to comment on Twede’s individual situation.

“'Church disciplinary matters are confidential,' he said. 'While some may want to make their version of an issue public, the church will not discuss the private lives of individuals. To do so would be a betrayal of confidences and would affect others besides the person facing discipline.'"

[NOTE: The Mormon Church reverts to the same old saw of "not discuss[ing] the private lives of individuals" when those individuals blow the whistle on overt Mormon Church politicking. At that point, the Church trots out the lie that its critics are being punished for religious "apostasy."]

("Mormon Blogger Faces Excommunication over Temples, not Romney," under "Faith, Doctrine and Practice," bu Peggy Stack, religion reporter for "The Salt Lake Tribune," published by "Religioun News Service" syndicate, 24 September 2012, at:


Easy, lazy, cowardly "journalism" at its worst.

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Autopens And Other Benson -related Deceptions That May Be Of Interest
From The Mormon Mailbag: I'm An Rm Who Helped Your Grandfather In The Temple. You Need To Come Back Now
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What Do Mormonism's Alleged "Prophets, Seers and Revelators" Really Know?: From Their Own Lips
Mormon Women Are Subservient? But How Can That Be? They've Got Relief Society
Mormonism Stands For "The Dignity Of Women"--And For Men, "The Apex Of Authority"
The Hinckleys And The Bensons
How A Toe Led To Complete Forgiveness Of Sin
Anti-Black Joking In The Benson Household: Does Mormon Doctrine Breed Racism Or Merely Feed Racism?
The Truth On Post-Manifesto Polygamy That Got Mike Quinn Excommunicated--And The Private, Pathetic Response Of Two Mormon Apostles To Quinn’s Expose’
Giving Honest Answers To Honest People About Mormonism's Under-Explained Underwear And The Over-Protected Temples That Spawn It
Since Hinckley's Death From Cancer Has Been Mentioned On This Board, A Repost Of The Rather Perplexing Public Reports Of His Passing Vs. Some Other Below-The-Radar Info
The Mormon Mythological Makeover Of White Supremacist Murderer, Plunderer, Slave Trader, Imperialist Gold Seeker And Lost Traveler Christopher Columbus As An Inspired Man Of God
Clare Middlemiss: A Tough, No-Nonesense Professional Woman In A Church Biased Against Her. Is It Any Coincidence That There Hasn't Been A Female Secretary To The LDS Prez Since?
Mormon Church "Prophets" Who Claim That The Earth Is "Young" (as In 13,000 Years Old), Need To Knock Off The Pot And Study The Pottery
I, Nephi, Having Been Born Of Bulgarian Parents: Desperate Mopologists Claim Ancient Bulgarian Gold-Plate Find Proves Truth Of 19th-Century Book Of Mormon Fairy Tale
Utterly Embarrassing: "Salt Lake Tribune" Serves Up Bogus Headline About Its Earlier Article On Twede - And Then Accepts, As A Sole Source, The Mormon Church's Claims
5,709 Articles In 365 Topics
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