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Total Articles: 19
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.
Catalyze This: Mormon Apostle Secretly Says Joseph Smith Didn't Directly Translate The Book Of Abraham From Those Ancient Egyptian Papyri After All
Thursday, Nov 9, 2006, at 07:58 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-

In another thread, "No Moniker" noted (with some apparent surprise) that Mormon apologists are now claiming that the Book of Abraham was NOT translated from the fabled Egyptian papyri which Joseph Smith bought from a collection of oddities being peddled by a traveling showman:

"Subject: Papayri not the source for the Book of Abraham.......
Date: Nov 08 22:52
Author: No Moniker
Mail Address: ----------------------------------------- "Yes...we all know that. But, there was just an ad on TV for some apologist work and the voice over said exactly that!? I swear that is what it said! Did I miss some change in Mormon teaching?
Now they are teaching that the papayri are not the source?
When did that happen?"


In reality, this brazen attempt to distance the LDS Church from its own bedrock claim that Smith directly translated the Book of Abraham from the papyri in question has been made for some time.

In fact, it has been made from the top--and from behind closed doors. _____


In his account of off-the-record meetings with LDS Apostles Neal Maxwell and Dallin Oaks in September 1993, Steve Benson reported that Maxwell attempted to disconnect Smith's papyri from Smith's "translation" of the Book of Abraham.

Maxwell's partner in hemming and hawing on this fundamenal historical claim--namely, Dallin Oaks--claimed ignorance but said Maxwell's explanation seemed good enough for him:

"Maxwell observed that, according to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 7, the Book of Abraham was translated by Joseph Smith in 'catalystic fashion.'

"Smith, Maxwell claimed, had, in vision, seen parchments from the writings of John the Revelator.

"Maxwell said that, likewise, Smith may have also had revealed to him Egyptian parchment which he did not touch, physically hold or from which he did not directly translate.

"In other words, Maxwell said, Smith may have been 'accessing' an ancient parchment that was not actually with him. Instead, Maxwell proposed, he may have had revealed to him 'in some kind of vision' the source from which he then translated the Book of Abraham.

"Oaks admitted he did not know how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham. He said, however, that Maxwell's explanation seemed persuasive.

"Oaks also said he was familiar with the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar that Smith was constructing. [Benson] responded by going into brief detail about how Smith, or his scribes, would copy an Egyptian hieroglyph from the parchment into a left-hand column, then apparently from that single hieroglyph, produce a whole series of words and paragraphs.

"[Benson] noted that the words and dictionary which Smith attached to the facsimiles had absolutely no relationship with the content of the papyri--as indicated and translated by such noted and reputable Egyptologists as Klaus Bauer of the University of Chicago and others.

"At this point, Oaks said, 'Well, there are some things I just don't understand and just don't know.' But, he said, he was willing to put such matters on the shelf 'until further knowledge comes.'

"Oaks said the jury was out on the Book of Abraham and that we should 'wait and see.' Oaks admitted that 'the scholars' seemed to have evidence 'in their favor,' but that he himself had a 'personal witness' that the Book of Abraham was true.

"Oaks concluded by saying that he does not let evidence 'weighted against Joseph Smith on this' persuade him that the Book of Abraham is not true. . . .

"Maxwell . . . [said further] . . . that [w]hile acknowledging that Joseph Smith's former scribe, Warren Parrish, and Mormon hymn composer, W. W. Phelps (of 'The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning' fame), were at one point about ready to leave the Church, he said 'don't pounce on Joseph Smith.'

"Maxwell said, in fact, that the work of Parrish and Phelps on the Book of Abraham manuscript helped bolster the argument that the Egyptian funerary texts were not the actual parchments used by Joseph Smith in his translation of the Book of Abraham–or that Joseph Smith was even the author of the four extant manuscripts of the Book of Abraham.

"In support of that position, Maxwell handed [Benson] a F.A.R.M.S. review, written by Michael D. Rhodes, of Charles M. Larson's book, '. . . By His Own Hand upon Papyrus: A New Look at the Joseph Smith Papyri' (Grand Rapids: Institute for Religious Research, 1992, p. 240 pp., illustrated).

"On closer examination of the paper on which Rhodes review was photocopied, [Benson] determined the review originated with F.A.R.M.S. It was printed on fax paper bearing the acronym 'F.A.R.M.S,' along with the 'FAX' date of '09/09/93.' It also bore a dispatch time of '1:55' and a B.Y.U.-area phone number of '378 3724.' It appears that Maxwell had solicited the assistance of F.A.R.M.S. in preparing for [his] discussions).

"Maxwell had highlighted in yellow the following excerpt from Rhodes' article:

"'First of all, none of these manuscripts of the [B]ook of Abraham is in Joseph Smith's handwriting. They are mostly in the handwriting of William W. Phelps, with a few short sections written by Warren Parrish. Nowhere in the documents is Joseph Smith designated as the author. Moreover, the Egyptian characters in the left-hand margin were clearly written in after the English text had been written. These cannot be the working papers of a translation process. Instead, Phelps and Parrish seemed to have copied down the text of the [B]ook of Abraham and were then attempting to correlate that translation with some of the scrolls in the Church's possession. These documents are most likely that preliminary stage of investigation and exploration the Lord prescribed in DandC 9:8 to "study it out in your mind." The Lord expects us to first do all we can to understand something (and in the process discover our own limitations) before we seek for direct revelation from him. This is what Phelps and Parrish were apparently doing, although their efforts were short-lived and unsuccessful. In fact these same men shortly after this began to turn away from the Prophet Joseph and fell into apostasy. If they had been parties to some fraudulent process of producing the [B]ook of Abraham, they would surely have denounced Joseph Smith for this, but they never did.' . . .

"In the end, Maxwell, responding to criticism of the Book of Abraham's authenticity, declared, 'We will not twist or oscillate every time we come across new evidence. The Church is not a jerkwater organization.'" Parts 12 and 18



Contrary to original insistence by Joseph Smith himself, today's apologizing apostles have earnestly attempted to distance themselves and the LDS Church from the notion that the Egyptian papyri purchased by Smith were the actual documents from which the Book of Abraham was supposedly translated.

Rather than having managed a direct translation from the papyri, they say that, instead, Smith may have used them as a prompt of some sort to connect to a vision that revealed the meaning of the papyri's hieroglyphics through dreamily viewing papyri that Smith didn't actually have in his physical possession.

As to the supposed translation of the Book of Abraham papyri via that creative Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, the modern apostolic claim is now being peddled that Smith cannot be held responsible on this score--rather, it was his scribes--not Smith--who went down that road of alphabet soup and, besides, they were just experimenting, not recording any kind of actual translation.

OK, then.

If this mumbo-jumbo for dumbos doesn't give you a burning in the bosom, what possibly could?
Cold, Hard Proof That Mormonism Is A Cult
Friday, Nov 10, 2006, at 08:27 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Once saw, taped on the fridge of a believing Mormon family, a Primary handout that had been brought home--and which subsequently served as a prominent paste-up reminder for the blindly submissive, from cradle to grave.

The handout declared in large capital letters:


Not "Love."

Not "Truth."

Not "Integrity."


Snap to, Mormons.

Heed your orders, as posted on your family fridge.

Your cult has thus icily commanded.
News From Mormonism's Mount Cyanide: It's Not A Capital Offense Under LDS Law To Abandon The "One And Only True Church" For Another Denomination
Friday, Nov 17, 2006, at 06:26 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-

In a separate thread, "Tired of Wor" claims that the Mormon Church does, in fact, consider it official grounds for excommunication if members of the LDS faith opt out, in order to opt in to other churches:

"Subject: Church is excommunicating people who join other churches"
Date: Nov 16 19:03
Author: Tired of Wor

"I asked a friend of mine about this. He checked with a Bishopric member who looked at the CHI [Church Handbook of Instructions] and found that it indeed does allow for excommunication of those who join other churches.

"Since he has also become Catholic, he is not sure if he is going to resign or wait to see if his local Bishopric acts. His wife and children are all active Mormons even though he converted to Catholicism. I am in the same boat as he is with my family!"



In a closed-door, off-the-record conversation with Steve Benson in the Church offices of fellow apostle Neal Maxwell on 24 September 1993, Oaks claimed that the Mormon Church does not regard abandoning the LDS religion in favor of another demonination as grounds, in and of itself, for excommunication.

Oaks's declaration came in response to Benson asking him and Maxwell why Joseph Smith had joined a local Methodist Sunday School in 1828, after being told by God and Jesus Christ in the First Vision not to join any of the churches, given that they were all false:

"Oaks said Joseph Smith's 'state of knowledge was much deeper than mine' (meaning Oaks'). He said that because, after receiving the First Vision, Smith 'could not meet with others of his own faith,' he 'would want to meet with other Christians.'

"Moreover, Oaks described Joseph Smith as a 'friendly' person, one who was 'interested in sampling what others taught.'

"Maxwell added that Smith was 'social' and 'gregarious' and that, at any rate, his joining with the Methodists was 'brief.'

"Oaks noted that just as people were 'moving in out and out of marriage in the Utah period,' so, too, on the New York frontier during the 1830s, an attitude prevailed requiring 'no formal divorce in church membership.'

"Oaks added that, according to the LDS General Handbook of Instructions, 'joining other churches is not, by itself, a sign of apostasy.'" Part 18



Thus have spoken apostles of the Lord.

The key, it appears, to jumping LDS ship into another denominational boat without getting the hatchet in the process is to be friendly, sociable and gregarious about it--along with making sure your detour is brief and for sampling purposes only.

When in doubt, just follow the Prophet's example.

Even after coming down through the trees and laying down the law, God and Jesus Christ couldn't keep Joseph Smith from trying to hook up with the Methodists.



For those interested in how the necro-magician/founder of God's "One and Only True Church on the Face of the Earth" ended up playing footsies with the Methodists in his post-First Vision years, the following historical account is provided:

"It is interesting to note that as early as 1828 members of the Methodist Church were forced to make a decision with regard to Joseph Smith. Smith had taken steps to join their church, but they felt his dealings in witchcraft made him unfit to be a member.

"In the book 'Inventing Mormonism' we read:

"'In 1879 Joseph and Hiel Lewis, cousins to Joseph’s first wife, Emma Hale, stated that Joseph joined the Methodist Episcopal church or class in Harmony, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1828. There was disagreement about how long Joseph’s name remained on class rolls. See the articles in the Amboy [Illinois] Journal… It is possible that Joseph attended class with his wife Emma because of the death of their first son on 15 June 1828. That Joseph was a member of the class was not questioned, only the length of time his name remained on the class record.' ('Inventing Mormonism,' Marquardt and Walters, p. 61, n. 49)

"Part of the statement by Joseph and Hiel Lewis reads:

"'He presented himself in a very serious and humble manner, and the minister, not suspecting evil, put his name on the class book, in the absence of some of the official members.' ('The Amboy Journal,' April 30, 1879, p.1)

"When Joseph Lewis learned of this act, he felt that Smith was not truly repentant of his magic involvement and felt him to be unfit for membership. Mr. Lewis further details the incident:

"'I with Joshua McKune . . . thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer, a dealer in enchantments and bleeding ghosts in it. So on Sunday we went . . . and talked to him some time . . . Told him that his occupation, habits and moral character were at variance with the discipline . . . that there should have been recantation, confession and at least promised reformation – That he could that day publicly ask that his name be stricken from the class book, or stand investigation. He chose the former, and did that very day make request that his name be taken off the class book.' ('The Amboy Journal,' June 11, 1879, pg. 1)

"It is certainly strange that Joseph Smith would try to join the Methodist Church. His attempt to unite with the Methodists, in fact, flies in the face of his claim that he had his First Vision when he was, 'an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age.' In this vision God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ supposedly appeared to him. Those who have read his story will remember that Joseph emphatically stated that the two personages warned him that he should not join any church. Joseph Smith’s own statement about the matter reads as follows: 'I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."' ('Pearl of Great Price,' Joseph Smith – History 1:19)
What The Mormon Church Knew And When It Knew It: Murdering The Truth In The Mark Hofmann Bombing Case
Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006, at 06:56 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
In another thread, "poster," commenting on "the Mark Hofmann scandal," observed "that the LDS leaders, including the supposed prophet Spencer Kimball, bought the forged documents that contradicted the official version of Church history.

"How can any Mormon believe," asked "poster," "the Church is true if they know about this scandal and how can they possibly still defend the Church leaders?"

The telling fact of the matter is that paranoid LDS Church did their best to obstruct justice and prevent law enforcement from doing its job in following the trail on the Mark Hofmann scandal--a trail that could lead embarrassingly back to the LDS Church itself.

In a private meeting with Mormon apostle Dallin Oaks in 1985 shortly after the Hofmann bombings, followed by a second and, finally, with both Oaks and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell in 1993, Steve Benson learned how intent the Mormon Church was in fuzzing the truth, to the detriment of both law enforcement and the Church members it supposedly serves in godly fashion.

The ugly reality is that the Mormon Church, by private admission of its own leaders, deliberately prevented examination by authorized law enforcement investigators of evidence in possession of the LDS Church that could have helped unravel the Hofmann case and brought important matters to light in a much more timely fashion--for all concerned.

But all the Mormon Church was concerned about was covering its own backside.

In meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, Benson asked "why the [Mormon] Church [was] not more open with its own historical documents, specifically as relating to the refusal of the Church to acknowledge the existence of, or share with, law enforcement authorities the McLellin papers during the Hofmann investigation . . .

"By way of background [on his question, Benson noted that] William E. McLellin was, as described by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith in their book, 'The Mormon Murders,' 'an early Apostle and close associate of Joseph Smith's who left the Church in 1836 to become one of its bitterest enemies. It had long been rumored,' wrote Naifeh and Smith, 'that McLellin, who kept the minutes at early meetings of the Twelve, had taken with him a pirate's chest full of papers, letters and journals, all of it incriminating, with which to destroy the Church. Over the years, tantalizing clues had turned up. But neither the Collection itself, nor any part of it, had ever surfaced.' [p. 164]

"This collection, contrary to Mark Hofmann's claims, was eventually determined not to exist.

"However, the Church did have in its possession certain McLellin papers, as admitted by Richard E. Turley, Jr., in his Oaks-sanctioned book, 'Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case' [p. 303]. It was these papers that were the subject of [Benson's] conversation with Oaks and Maxwell. . . .

"In the fall of 1985, a few days after the Hofmann bombings, [Benson] accompanied a reporter from 'The Arizona Republic,' Chuck Kelly, to Salt Lake City to assist him in making contacts for covering the story. . . .

"While in Utah, [they] attempted to get an audience with Oaks. He refused to grant a newspaper interview but did agree to meet with [Benson] in his office. [Benson] remember[ed] how starkly clean the top of Oaks' desk was. In fact, there was nothing on it at all, except for a single newspaper article, the subject of which [Benson] could not read, since from where [he] sat, it was upside down. During [their] brief chat, Oaks was very cryptic in his comments, saying nothing of substance about the Hofmann scandal.

"A few years later (after Hofmann had been bundled off to prison and prior to [Benson and his wife Mary Ann] meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in 1993), [he] again visited with Oaks in Salt Lake City. This time [Oaks] was somewhat more willing to talk about the Hofmann affair--specifically, why the Church had not, even in the face of a law enforcement subpoena, produced the McLellin papers, which it had in its possession. The reasons, Oaks said, were two-fold:

"First, the Church had privately determined that the McLellin papers it possessed were not relevant to the police investigation.

"Second, there were no Church leaders available at the time to work with the police on the McLellin paper caper, because the Church personnel authorized to do so were all on vacation.

"Fast forward to [Benson's] meeting [with Oaks and Maxwell] in September 1993.

"Oaks told [him] that the Mormon Church had discovered in mid-March of 1986 that it possessed some McLellin papers--and so publicly announced. Maxwell concurred, adding that the McLellin papers had been 'stuffed away somewhere' and the Church did not realize it had them.

"Oaks said that the McLellin papers held by the Church had been originally purchased by a representative sent by then-President Joseph F. Smith to Texas who, under orders to make sure they did not fall into 'the wrong hands,' acquired them for $50.00.

"Oaks said McLellin (who became disaffected from the Church and eventually left it), had ransacked Joseph Smith's home while Smith was incarcerated and taken several of Smith's belongings. Oaks said the Church was concerned the papers McLellin had purloined would turn out to be very negative and reflect poorly on the Church. In sympathy with the Church's decision to buy these McLellin papers back, Oaks noted that President Joseph F. Smith's father, Hyrum, had been murdered by a mob and was thus naturally very sensitive to the potential negative contents of the papers.

"Oaks told [Benson] that when it came to the Church's attention that it did, in fact, have McLellin papers in its possession, the discovery process was already underway, preliminary trial motions were ongoing and Hofmann was destined to plea-bargain in July.

"Oaks said the Quorum of the Twelve debated when they should bring the McLellin papers forward. He said that if the Church had at that time revealed it was in possession of McLellin's papers, the press would have made 'a big brouhaha about it.'

"Besides, he said, the McLellin papers the Church had were of no relevance to trial evidence being requested by the police (although Oaks admitted that no one in the Quorum had read them at the time or knew what was in them).

"Oaks further defended the Church's refusal to provide its McLellin papers to law enforcement investigators on the grounds that the subpoena only requested McLellin documents that Hofmann, not the Church, was said to have possessed.

"He said that the whole question of this portion of the investigation centered on whether Hofmann even had the McLellin papers. Oaks said that the Church made a conscious decision not to bring forward the McLellin papers during the preliminaries. He said the Church decided it would wait until those proceedings were over, then produce them before trial. That option was negated, he said, when Hofmann plea-bargained in July.

"Oaks also argued that the Church only had between May and August of that year as the available interval in which to get the McLellin papers out. Since everyone was on vacation in August, he said, there was no one to make decisions during that time frame.

"At any rate, he maintained, that interval was too narrow, so the Church decided to wait until Turley's book, 'Victims,' was published in 1992. Oaks said the book explained the proper context, the role of the Church and the facts on the ground regarding the McLellin papers. Following its publication, Oaks said the Church decided to release the McLellin documents it had in its possession.

"Oaks claimed that at the time the Church brought them out, it realized (apparently, he suggested, for the first time) that they spoke positively and glowingly of the Church. He said they were written by McLellin in his earlier missionary years of Church service." Part 5
Color Me Perplexed: If Mormonism's Secret Underwear Is God's Body Armor For The Faithful, Then Why Does It Matter What Color It Is?
Wednesday, Nov 22, 2006, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Are secret Mormon undies more likely to shield and protect the wearer caught in enemy fire, if the garments are dyed green, as required by the U.S. military?

The Mormon garment, so the claim is made, "is always completely white, except for colored ones available only to active-duty military members."

And what color is that? Indeed, G.I. Joe Green, according to another source:

"While most often white, the garment is currently also made in the color green for regulation military use."

Others, however, claim that the U.S. combat-issued garments for faithful "all-hail-at-the-veil" Mormons are actually brown in color, reporting that "customized garments such as a brown garment [are available] for those serving in the military . . ."

Be they green or brown, are Mormon soldiers more likely to be spotted by enemy snipers and sprayed with hot lead until they are dead if their white garments happen to peek out from underneath their camouflaged uniforms?

What makes green garms less ikely to cause harm?

Does it, perhaps, have anything to do with the fact that the fig leaf aprons worn by temple session Mormons facing off against a menancing cinema-saavy Satan are also green and that Mormons seem to thrive on green Jello?

What is it about sacred green underwear that gives Mormons that dressed-for-success edge over poor souls clad only in tighty whities?

Black, white, yellow, brown or green. Is not all underwear alike in the sight of God?

Why does God go green if you're part of the military machine?

Why not leave Mormon garments white and delightsome, like the Mormon god himself?

Is this yet another mystery of the Kingdom guaranteed to do nothing more than get one's undies in a twist?
Apostolic Confessions: Modern Mormon Prophets Don't Need To Prophesy Much, Can't Always Be Trusted To Prophesy Reliably, Aren't Really Into Prophesying And Need Help So They Won't Screw Up When They Try To Prophesy
Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-

In another thread, "BYUBoy" noted that Gordon B. Hinckley admits that the Mormon Church of God isn't in need of much godly revelation:

"Subject: 'We don't need much revelation'--Gordon B. Hinckley quote of the day Author: BYUBoy

"Q: And this belief in contemporary revelation and prophecy? As the prophet, tell us how that works. How do you receive divine revelation? What does it feel like?

"A: Let me say first that we have a great body of revelation, the vast majority of which came from the prophet Joseph Smith. We don't need much revelation. We need to pay more attention to the revelation we've already received."

(Interview with GBH by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1997)



In a private, off-the-record meeting with LDS apostles Dalln Oaks and Neal Maxwell in September 1993 in Maxwell's office, both told Steve Benson that God doesn't often work nowadays through modern revelation for the modern Mormon Church.

And when God does speak today to his Mormon prophet, He does it through a filter system--just in case the prophet might not otherwise get it:

" . . . [Benson] asked what constitutes an official Mormon Church statement . . .

"Maxwell replied by citing DandC 107, saying that 'we have a scriptural admonition that three High Priests preside over the Quorum of the Twelve.'

"Maxwell said 'the more modern approach' to matters of Mormon doctrine are governed by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency, acting together as a body.

"Maxwell asserted that once Joseph Smith had established the basic doctrines of the Church, then he was instructed by the Lord to call counselors.

"After that, Maxwell said, Joseph Smith's role as unilaterally revealing doctrine was much more reduced. Maxwell summarized by telling us there are four levels of fundamental Church doctrine:

"1. Those doctrines revealed by the prophet speaking alone;

"2. Those doctrines revealed by the prophet in conjunction with his First Presidency counselors;

"3. Those doctrines revealed in First Presidency statements, with the words of the First Presidency assuming 'a special status;' and

"4. Those doctrines revealed by official declaration.

"Oaks added that all of the basic Church doctrines were revealed by Joseph Smith early in the history of the Church.

"He said 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.'



Benson wrote the following about the Oaks/Maxwell reaction to original doctrines announced by modern-day Mormon prophets that were subsequently abandoned as false doctrine:

"By way of background, the 'Encyclopedia of Mormonism,' vol. 4, says only the following about the Adam-God doctrine:

"'Brigham Young recognized that many people were not prepared to understand the mysteries of God and godhood. "I could tell you much more about this," he said, speaking of the role of ADAM, but checked himself, recognizing that the world would probably misinterpret his teaching.' ([Journal of Discourses 1:51], p. 1610, original emphasis)

"A more forthright and honest definition of what actually constituted Young's teachings on Adam-God was provided by LDS apologist Van Hale, in a 1986 pamphlet, entitled 'What About the Adam-God Theory?' Hale acknowledged that Brigham Young 'had taught a concept which generally has not been accepted by Mormons--namely, that God the Father, the Father of our spirits and the Father of Jesus [of both his body and his spirit], came to this earth, took upon himself mortality, and was known as Adam, the progenitor of the human family. Simply stated, according to President Young, God the Father became Adam.' [Journal of Discourses 1:50], p. 1)

"Maxwell told [Benson], "Adam-God was wrong."

"Oaks said that the Mormon Church does not accept Adam-God as doctrine.

"In response to [Benson's] observation that Brigham Young, in fact, taught it as doctrine, Oaks said that one can tell whether or not the matter deserves to be taught as doctrine by whether it is actually presented to the Church for approval--meaning, canonized and published as doctrine in the revelations of the Church.

"This, Oaks noted, was not done with Adam-God. Rather, he said, 'It kind of petered out and didn't continue.'

"Maxwell admitted that Adam-God was taught in Mormon temple ceremonies 'for a while.' Maxwell said that it was in the LDS temple where Young got some of his basis for it. However, Maxwell emphasized, Adam-God did not continue or 'persist as a doctrine that is taught today.'

"Oaks and Maxwell then attempted to put Brigham Young's Adam-God teachings in perspective. They said he was a relatively young prophet when he made his statements on Adam-God.

"They said they wished Young had had the benefit of 'a couple of good counselors to help him with some of the things he was saying.'

"Maxwell repeated a common maxim used among the Mormon faithful: 'A prophet is not always a prophet. He is only a prophet when he speaks as such.'



"Maxwell then offered some speculation.

"Maybe Joseph Smith, he said, at the end of a very tiring day, was sitting around in a social setting when someone asked, 'Where are the Lost Ten Tribes?'

"Maxwell said he could envision Joseph pointing up and saying, 'On the moon.' Maxwell continued by suggesting, 'Someone goes home and writes it down in their diary. Decades or years later someone discovers the diary and a spin is put on it not originally intended by Joseph Smith.'"



In response to Benson pointing out modern-day Mormon prophet prophecies that later turned out to be false (such as Smith's prediction that a temple would be erected in Missouri before those living in Smith's generation died; Brigham Young's declarations that the United States would not survive the Civil War, that Blacks would not receive the priesthood until the remainder of Adam's posterity had been given the opportunity to hear the Gospel and that the Sun was inhabited by intelligent beings; as well as the false prophesy that Lorenzo Snow would be sent to proselytize extra-terrestrials while still in the flesh), Oaks offered the follwing explanation:

"'[W]e shouldn't be citing fulfilled prophecies because prophesying is only a minor aspect of what a prophet does.'

"Oaks said that, in actuality, the fundamental role of a prophet is 'to testify of Christ.' He said that 'foretelling events' is a prophet's "minor responsibility.'

"Maxwell said that Church members 'shouldn't use fulfilled prophecies to keep box scores.'

"He added, 'We've never had a perfect Prophet or a perfect General Authority.'

"When [Benson] pointed out Joseph Smith's failed prediction of a temple being built in Missouri before those living in Smith's generation would pass away, Maxwell commented with a laugh, 'Maybe there was too much foretelling and not enough testifying.'

"Oaks observed, 'Prophecies are for private use and private application, more than they are for general Church application.'

"[Benson] asked if it was not problematic for a Church to be led by prophets who are making frequent mistakes in their prophesying.

"Oaks replied, 'In total, there aren't that many mistakes that have been made.' Of 5,000 prophecies, he said, 'only five haven't been fulfilled.' He then added, 'But we shouldn't be keeping track, anyway.'

"Maxwell noted that according to one scripture, even Jesus was said not to know when the Second Coming is scheduled, so, Maxwell said, 'no one really knows' and 'everyone could be mistaken.'

"The bottom line, Maxwell declared, is that 'it is our duty to be loyal to the prophet.'

"He said that he disagreed politically with Ezra Taft Benson 'on certain things' but felt he could always follow him in good conscience when, as prophet, President Benson was emphasizing a particular aspect of the Gospel.

"Oaks agreed--but with a condition. Oaks vowed he would 'march from sunup to sundown' in following the prophet on a particular teaching but said 'if the prophet was to come out and say that we are no longer going to preach the Book of Mormon as true,' he "would look around for an affirmation of that by the Quorum of the Twelve.'

[Benson] asked how one could determine whether a prophet was speaking truthfully. Oaks and Maxwell replied that what the prophet says must be in compliance with the Standard Works of the Church.

"In response, [Benson] asked if the Standard Works of the Church are to be the ultimate guide, then what would be the use of a living prophet, since both Brigham Young and Ezra Taft Benson declared that the words of the living prophet took precedence over the Standard Works.

"Oaks and Maxwell replied that the prophet can preach on a wide variety of subjects."



According to the secret confessions of two modern-day Mormon apostles, Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell, the following is actually the truth about the mechanics of Mormon prophesying:

--Joseph Smith laid down most of Mormon doctrine, so there hasn't been much need for new revelation since then.

--Some of what Smith declared to be divinely-inspired prophesy was, in fact, false.

--Other prophetic utterances that of Smith that turned out not to be true have been falsely attributed to him.

--Mormons shouldn't be keeping track of the number of false prophecies actually made by God's prophets.

--Prophesying is only a minor role for modern-day Mormon prophets.

--Since Mormon prophets have been known to prophesy falsely and with youthful, inadequate experience, they are in critical need of good counselors to help keep them from making anti-prophetic mistakes.

--Mormon apostles who don't agree with the directions given by the head Mormon prophet say they can out-vote the prophet via a majority opinion of the Quorum of Twelve. Parts 6 and 14
Explaining Away The Contradictory Versions Of The First Vision: Mormon Apostles Claim Joseph Smith Was "Developing" His Story Over Time As He Spiritually Matured--And That The Church Is Trying To Keep It "Simple" For The Members
Monday, Dec 4, 2006, at 06:44 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
In another thread, poster "O-TownDrone" notes that General Authorities have admitted being disturbed by the lack of consistency between Smith's various accounts of his supposed meeting in the trees with two members of the Trinity:

"Subject: An LDS General Authority is dismayed to learn about Joseph Smith's evolving "first vision" accounts...." by O-TownDrone

"There have been a number of posts here recently posing the question as to how well informed LDS church General Authorites are about Mormon history and its rather checkered past.

"S. Dilworth Young was a senior member of the First Council of the Seventy, and one of the General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It is apparent from this Improvement Era excerpt below, that Young was surprised to learn of Joseph's evolving accounts about the first vision.

"Something of this nature would never be published today in any of the churchs publications.

"It is quite revealing, and seems to indicate that Brother Young was somewhat distressed upon learning about this.

"This statement is from the June 1957 'Improvement Era' magazine:

“'I cannot remember the time when I have not heard the story,…concerning the coming of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith . . . '

“'I am concerned however with one item which has recently been called to my attention on this matter. There appears to be going about our communities some writing to the effect that the Prophet Joseph Smith evolved his doctrine from what might have been a vision, in which he is supposed to have said that he saw an angel, instead of the Father and the Son. According to this theory, by the time he was inspired to write the occurrence in 1838, he had come to the conclusion that there were two beings.'

“'This rather shocked me. I can see no reason why the Prophet, with his brilliant mind, would have failed to remember in sharp relief every detail of that eventful day. I can remember quite vividly that in 1915 I had a mere dream, and while the dream was prophetic in nature, it was not startling. It has been long since fulfilled, but I can remember every detail of it as sharply and clearly as though it had happened yesterday. How them could any man conceive that the Prophet, receiving such a vision as he received, would not remember it and would fail to write it clearly, distinctly, and accurately?' ('Improvement Era,' June 1957, p. 436)

In reality, Mormon General Authorities have been secretly (and sweatingly) trying to account for (and minimize the differences between) the varying accounts of the First Vision for some time.

When asked directly on the matter, two apostles in particular--Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell--clumsily tried to force round pegs into square holes during private conversations with Steve Benson in September 1993, in the personal Church offices of Maxwell:

"In response, Maxwell, handed [Benson] photocopies of two articles, one by BYU assistant professor of history James B. Allen, entitled 'Eight Contemporary Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision' ('Improvement Era,' April 1970, pp. 9-17) and the other by BYU professor of Church History Milton Backman, entitled, 'Joseph Smith's Recitals of the First Vision' ('Ensign,' January 1985, pp. 4-13).

"In his article, heralded as a 'first(-)time . . . report on eight different accounts of the First Vision,' Allen wrote:

"'[T]he account [of the First Vision] was repeated several times and in several different ways, even by the Prophet, and . . . although each narrative emphasized different ideas and events, none is incompatible with other accounts. There is a striking consistency throughout all the narratives, and if one wishes he may combine them into an impressive report that in no way contradicts any of the individual reports. Moreover, the descriptions given of events related to the vision but that happened outside the grove are consistent with our knowledge of contemporary events.

"'In the last analysis, the First Vision becomes truly meaningful in a personal way only when one seeks, as Joseph Smith sought, to reach God through private, earnest supplication.' (pp. 11, 12)

"Backman contended in his article that '[a]ccounts of the First Vision were prepared at different times, for different audiences, and for different purposes. Each of them emphasizes different aspects of the experience . . .

"'Since the 1838 recital [of the First Vision] was included in the Pearl of Great Price, an investigation of the publications of this history helps one better understand principles concerning the formation of scriptures. Joseph Smith was responsible for many changes in punctuation, spelling, and other similar revisions in his manuscript history. After a portion of this history was canonized in the 'Pearl of Great Price,' additional textual refinements were made by editors acting under the authorization of Church leaders. These revisions were apparently made in the interests of grammatical quality, clarification, and consistency. Several short paragraphs were also added that had been included as notes in the manuscript history prior to the Prophet's martyrdom. All these alterations were in harmony with precedents set by Joseph Smith in his textual revisions of latter-day scriptures. In no instance was there a change in the basic message recorded in the manuscript history concerning the historical setting of the First Vision or the truths unfolded during this remarkable experience. But changes were made in an effort to convey the truths unfolded by God in the latter-days in the best and clearest language that man could fashion.' (pp. 9, 17)

"Maxwell told [Benson] that, in his opinion, Backman's article was better than Allen's.

"Oaks said that he didn't believe the various accounts of the First Vision contradicted one another. Rather, he explained, they merely emphasized different aspects of the First Vision which were important to Joseph Smith 'in his process of development' at the time he relayed them. Oaks said that we needed to keep in mind the context, circumstances and audiences to whom Joseph Smith was speaking. . . .

"Oaks [further] said the decision not to [include the the Mormon Church's manuals and teaching materials all of the different versions of the First Vision] was 'a judgment call.'

"He said, 'We can keep things simple or we can lay out all the details and complexities.'

"Oaks compared the Mormon Church's public presentation of the First Vision to what [Benson] did for a living, saying, 'It's kind of like drawing cartoons. You keep the cartoons simple.'

"[Benson] replied, 'All my cartoons are simple because that's all I'm capable of doing--drawing simple cartoons.'

"Oaks responded, 'That's what makes them so beautiful.'

"Maxwell made a similar analogy between the Church's decision to keep the account of the First Vision uncomplicated and the drawing of cartoons. . . .

"Oaks [also] attempted to explain the varying accounts of the First Vision by citing then-BYU professor of literature and English as a Second Language, Arthur King, who, Oaks said, expressed gratitude that Joseph Smith gave 'a ripened version of the First Vision.' Oaks said this version indicated Smith was 'at the crossroads of spiritual development.'" Parts 8 and 18
The Mormon Church's Official White Supremacist Demand That Pro-Black Protesters "Re-Orient" Their Wayward Thinking And Accept The Word Of God That Blacks Are Inferior Beings
Friday, Dec 15, 2006, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
In 1947, Dr. Lowry Nelson, a professor at then-Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah, dispatched a letter to the Mormon First Presidency challenging the official exclusionary and racially biased position of the LDS Church toward people of African descent.

In writing his letter of protest, Lowry was no insignificant malcontent but, rather, a Mormon who came to the table with impeccable credentials:

"Nelson earned a B.S. degree at Utah State University in 1916. He spent the next two decades working mainly in Utah. He served as the County Agricultural agent in Sanpete County, Utah in 1919, he became the field agriculturist for the People's Sugar Company in 1920 and edited the Utah Farmer from 1920-1922. He was associated with Brigham Young University from 1921-1935. During the Depression he worked for the Utah Relief Administration in 1934, he was regional advisor to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and in 1935 became director of the Resettlement Administration. He was then director of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station at Logan. In 1937 he received a position at the University of Minnesota in the Sociology Department. . . .

"Dr. Nelson's works include several monographs and a multitude of articles and papers ranging from rural life in Latin America, the United States and Canada as well as studies on various Mormon Villages in Utah. Dr. Nelson died in Provo, Utah in 1986." _____

It was from this distinguished professional career track and deep Mormon background that on 16 June 1947, Lowry wrote the First Presidency, taking issue with the Mormon Church's anti-Black doctrine.

On 17 July of the same year, the First Presidency replied thusly:

"Dear Brother Nelson:

"As you have been advised, your letter of June 16 was received in due course . . . We have carefully considered [its] content; and are glad to advise you as follows:

"We make this initial remark: the social side of the Restored Gospel is only an incident of it; it is not the end thereof.

"The basic element of your ideas and concepts seems to be that all God's children stand in equal positions before Him in all things. Your knowledge of the Gospel will indicate to you that this is contrary to the very fundamentals of God's dealings with Israel dating from the time of His promise to Abraham regarding Abraham's seed and their position vis-a-vis God Himself. Indeed, some of God's children were assinged to superior positions before the world was formed.

"We are aware that some Higher Critics do not accept this, but the Church does. Your position seems to lose sight of the revelations of the Lord touching the pre-existence of our spirits, the rebellion in heaven, and the doctrines that our birth into this life and the advantages under which we may be born, have a religionship in the life heretofore.

"From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it is has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.

"Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient partiarchs till now. God's rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous [meaning 'marriage within a specific tribe or similar social unit']. Modern Israel has been similarly directed.

"We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this are, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.

"Faithfully yours,


George Albert Smith J. Reuben Clark, Jr. David O. McKay

The First Presidency"

(John J. Stewart and William E. Bennett, Mormonism and the Negro," [Orem, Utah: Community Press, 1960], pp. 46-47; see also, and ) _____

Lowry followed up with another letter to the First Presidency, dated 8 October 1947, in which he expressed his disappointment with the Mormon Church's officially, blatantly racist position, expressing his conclusions as follows:

“The attitude of the Church in regard to the Negro makes me very sad. I do not believe God is a racist.”

The First Presidency replied:

“We feel very sure that you are aware of the doctrines of the Church. They are either true or not true. Our testimony is that they are true. Under these circumstances we may not permit ourselves to be too much impressed by the reasonings of men, however well founded they may seem to be. We should like to say this to you in all sincerity, that you are too fine a man to permit yourself to be led off from the principles of the Gospel by worldly learning.

"You have too much of a potentiality for doing good and we therefore prayerfully hope that you can re-orient your thinking and bring it in line with the revealed Word of God.” (Stewart and Bennett, "Mormonism and the Negro," p.28) _____

What other proof is needed than that from the Mormon "prophets'" own "official" mouths, demonstrating beyond doubt that the LDS Church is an embarrassingly bigoted, backwater cult?
The Mormon Nativity Scene: Its Members, Its Meaning And Its Mission
Friday, Dec 22, 2006, at 07:58 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
The scene is set, laid out on "the mantles far, far greater than the intellect" of Latter-day Saints throughout the world, as they celebrate the true reason for the Season.

The pieces are hereby explained, as to their sacred gospel symbolism:

The Sheep: Blind Mormon followers

The Shepherds: Mormon bishops, lording over their flocks by day and night

The Three Wise Men: Couldn't find any, so they settled for the First Presidency

The Star: Mitt Romney, who thinks he's a star

The Angels: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, singing "Glory to Gordy in the Highest"

The Donkey: Mormon missionary jackasses

The Cow: Mormon tithepayers, milked for all they're worth

The Manger: A Marriott hotel, complete with in-room porno movies

The Mother, Mary: Mormon women, celebrated only for giving birth

The Father, Joseph: Well, he's not Jesus' real father, which means he's representative of Mormon men, who are too busy doing Church work to be real fathers

The Christ Child: Jesus Smith
"I Just Love It When You Talk 'Little Factory' To Me": The Loined Linkage Between Sexually-Arousing Mormon Church Architecture And Repressed Mormon Male Sexuality
Thursday, Dec 28, 2006, at 07:01 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
One often wonders why Mormon General Authorities are so obsessively pre-occupied with sex, sex and more sex.

This incessant groaning and grappling with the gravity of the groin comes to classic climax in Apostle Boyd K. Packer's infamous sex sermon to young LDS boys, in which he repeatedly intones that they not play, ahem, with their "little factories."

In this titillating talk to testosteronic teenagers, entitled "To Young Men Only" (but eventually blasted across cyberspace to everyone everywhere), a frowning, furrowed and frustrated Packer warns growing boys against playfully pleasuring their factory-disguised peckers:

"[The] power of creation affects your life several years before you should express if fully. You must always guard the power with many wisdom. You must wait until the time of your marriage to use it.

"During that waiting, what do you do with theses desires? My boy, you are to control them. You are forbidden to use them now in order that you may use them with worthiness and virtue and fullness of joy at the proper time in life.

"I wish to explain something that will help you understand your young manhood and help you develop self-control. When this power begins to form, it might be likened to having a little factory in your body, one designed to produce the product that can generate life.

"This little factory moves quietly into operation as a normal and expected pattern of growth and begins to produce the lifegiving substance. It will do so perhaps as long as you live. It works very slowly. That is the way it should be. For the most part, unless you tamper with it, you will hardly be aware that it is working at all.

"As you move closer to manhood, this little factory will sometimes produce an oversupply of this substance. The Lord has provided a way for that to be released. It will happen without any help or without any resistance from you. Perhaps, one night you will have a dream. In the course of it the release valve that controls the factory will open and release all that is excess.

"The factory and automatic release work on their own schedule. The Lord intended it to be that way. It is to regulate itself. This will not happen very often. You may go a longer period of time, and there will be no need for this to occur. When it does, you should not feel guilty. It is the nature of young manhood and is part of becoming a man.

"There is, however, something you should not do. Sometimes a young man does not understand. Perhaps he is encouraged by unwise or unworthy companions to tamper with that factory. He might fondle himself and open that release valve. This you shouldn't do, for if you do that, the little factory will speed up. You will then be tempted again and again to release it. You can quickly be subjected to a habit, one that is not worthy, one that will leave you feeling depressed and feeling guilty. Resist that temptation. Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation. Keep it in reserve for the time when it can be righteously employed."

What explains this extraordinary compulsion on the part of Packer and his Priesthood Pack of Pickled Hyper Piper-Gripers with pre-pubescent priesthood peckers?

Speaking of building to climax, it may well rise from the fantasy-producing fact that everyday Packer, along with similarly sexually obsessed Mormon male leaders burdened with the guilt of their ungodly gonads, walk through the doors of an office building designed to look like, well, a gigantic penis.

David C. Knowlton, fired assistant professor of anthropology at BYU, in a 1991 Sunstone paper, graphically detailed the repressed, dysfunctional sexuality of Mormon men as manifested in the arched architecture of the LDS Church Office Building itself.

For a clear picture of what Knowlton was getting at, take a long, hard look at the structure and ask yourself, "Is this not a giant jewel arising from the floor of the Mormon male's vast sexual desert or what?"

With that soaring image seared in your minds, Knowlton's penetrating analysis of Mormon sexual paralysis comes within firm grasp, as he addresses the Mormon male obsession with holding to the iron rod.

Addressing the subject of "Sex and the Mormon Man," Knowlton brings his audience to a state of erectile dysfunctional attention with what he calls Mormonism's "manhood in conflict" conundrum (or "condomdrum," as the case may be):

"At the heart of . . . Mormon notions of masculinity reside somewhat opposing notions of sexuality. They share the idea that 'sexual performance is closely associated with the state of being manly.' . . . They further relate male sexuality and gender with power, although they differ significantly in the particulars.

"Arthur Brittan writes:

'Male sexuality is construed as autonomous, adventurous, and exploratory. Of course the real is far different from the image. Very few men are sexual athletes who can meet the Hollywood performance requirements popularized by Clint Eastwood and Burt Lancaster. . . . But . . . this view of uncontrollable sexuality . . . is part and parcel of the mythology of everyday life. One can hear its main assumptions repeated in countless sites of male aggregation, such as pubs, rugby and football changing rooms, factory canteens, senior common rooms, working men's clubs, the House of Commons, board rooms, in fact everywhere men congregate away from women. Both experts and laymen participate in the elaboration and refinement of this myth, by the never ceasing narratives about male sexual prowess and adventure. In early adolescence boys learn the language of sexual objectification in the context of a climate of dirty jokes, and through stories of their peers' sexual exploits. Everywhere men are surrounded by images of male virility, everywhere sexual representations are suffused with the power of the phallus.' . . ."

Knowlton then brings it all to a head, forcefully driving home his point:

"It should not surprise us, therefore, that we unconsciously symbolize this in the Church Office Building. It rises, like a powerful, towering phallus, from a nest of two smaller, rounder buildings. Although this association suggests an unreflected and unproblematic relationship among masculinity, Church authority, and sexuality, in reality we find crucial structural tensions right in the middle of this powerful biological drive connected with our sense of ourselves as men and our relationship with Church authority."

Should it thus not be surprising that the Mormon male's build-up of arrested sexual development flows from the fact that Mormonism's head priesthood leaders are regularly thrust into a work environment where the building in which they gird up their loins happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to their own aching oysters?

Pray about it, brethren, but keep your hands to yourselves--or rather, off yourselves.

In the name of Jesus Christ.


And again.

And again.

And again.

And . . .
Exposing The Mormon Myth Of Rugged Pioneer Individualism
Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007, at 06:25 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
One of the most obvious and easily dispensed-with lies of sanitized Mormon "history" books is the no-way notion that members of the LDS Cult have traditionally been fervent defenders of the pioneer spirit of rugged individualism and freedom.

Richard Shenkman puts that faithful fable to rest in his book, "Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History" (New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1988).

Challenging the unhistorical hooey that Mormons have been a people committed to personal liberty and choice, Shenkman reminds readers of the actual history of the American frontier, including the parts settled and controlled by Mormons in their then-Utah-confined cul-de-sac sphere of influence:

" . . . [T]he [American] frontier is identified most with individualism, courage, and candor. Individualism, no doubt, flourished on the frontier, but not precisely in the way many people think. Historians are pretty much agreed that the frontier did not encourage . . . the individualism of eccentricity. Indeed, the historical record suggests that frontier society did its best to discourage individuals who wished to be different, whether heathen, heretic, or hell raiser. If anything, a high value was placed on conformity. Those who asserted their uniqueness were apt to be scorned or worse. . . .

"Some frontier communities, primarily religious ones, took a downright dim view of individualism, sensibly believing that only by sticking close together could they survive. . . . Mormons experimented with communism . . . Pioneers in parts of Utah pooled their profits; property was held in common. In the early years Mormon church leaders urged members to vote alike on political questions." (p. 115)

In keeping with the Mormon theme of faking a commitment to freedom, Shenkman also notes that Mormon-controlled Utah, on its state capitol grounds, displays a fake of one of America's most cherished shrines:

"Of all American shrines, perhaps none is more sacred than the Liberty Bell which, as everyone knows, was rung when independence was declared on July 4, 1776. . . .

"Such is the popular fascination with the Liberty Bell that a few years ago a group of industrious citizens had full-size replicas of the shrine made up for every state in the Union, so that people who couldn't travel to Philadelphia could benefit from the uplifting sight.

"In Utah the replica stands just outside the state's House of Representatives. Tour guides point to the bell with reverence, and it's only a duplicate." (p. 142)

Only a duplicate, indeed--and so symbolically significant in that regard, given that Mormonism is succh grandly phony display of supposed respect for individual liberty.
The Mormon Cult's Dependence On Doctored Art To Peddle Its Propaganda
Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007, at 06:28 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Mormons are notorious for relying on supposedly history-based paintings in order to perpetuate their non-stop myth that their religion is a legitimate one, rooted in fact, not fancy (For evidence of that preposterous position, simply stroll through any LDS visitors center display on the bogus Book of Mormon).

Richard Shenkman, in his book "Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History" (New York: Harper-Collins Publishers, 1988), exposes an example of Utah-related faith-based fake-based art that has been railroaded over the years into the consciousness of an unsuspecting public:

". . . [O]ne of the most interesting [among historical paintings] is Thomas Hill's renowned rendition of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads in Utah in 1869. Hill's painting gives the impression that the ceremony was like a small-town nineteenth-century Fourth of July picnic. The painting shows men in frock coats, women in long, elegant dresses, and in the backgrounds, waving in the wind, several broad, clean American flags.

"The real spirit of the occasion was captured in a photograph by Colonel Charles Savage. Not only are most of the people in the crowd wearing work clothes, but several are holding liquor bottles, and many are evidently drunk. There are even a few 'painted' women, said by historians to be work camp prostitutes." (p. 156)
Who Really Controls The Mormon Cult: Its "Prophet" Or Its Board Of Directors?
Wednesday, Jan 3, 2007, at 06:11 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
"Primus," in a previous thread, asked a question about who actually has been in charge of at the top of the Mormon Corporate Cult pyramid (with particular emphasis on the time period when Howard W. Hunter was its president).

Despite Mormon claims that they are uniquely blessed with a prophet of God leading them--and through whom and no one else the Lord dispenses divine revelation and truth to the planet at large--the plain truth of the matter is altogether different.

Who really runs the Mormon Church Corporate Machine is its Board of Directors--i.e., the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, jockeying as they all do for position and power and, through inside-the-Cultway power plays, arriving eventually at some kind of workable agreement.

It's often done, in other words, through good ol' fashioned inspired in-fighting.

How this actually is manifest in everyday control of the Mormon Church is quite basic:

1) The counselors in the First Presidency are put in place to help keep the Mormon "head prophet" from making bone-headed, uninformed and Church-damaging mistakes.

2) Likewise, its lip service to "following the prophet" notwithstanding, the Quorum of the Twelve retains both the practical power and the demonstrated inclination to circumvent (meaning, cut off at the pass) any moves by the Mormon Church president which the Quorum, as a voting body, opposes or which it considers to be at cross purposes with the advancement of the Kingdom of the Cult on Earth.

Without the support of his First Presidency counselors and the majority of the Quorum of the Twelve, the Mormon Church's president is essentially neutered, unable to do much of by way of revelatory, meaningful leading.

This balance of power approach to dispensing God's will is so much an operational reality at the top of the Mormon High Command that the LDS Board of Directors effectively functions only through in-house group consensus, since its individual members feel unable and unauthorized to make major decisions without board input and direction.

This management fact therefore completely undercuts the Mormon lie that the LDS Church is allegedly led by a singularly-chosen prophet of God who receives direct and personal revelation intended to be channeled through said prophet--and who leads the Mormon Church according to the Lord's will without ultimate regard for, or dependence on, others. _____

These facts were confirmed in personal, private discussions I had with Apostles Dallin H. Oaks and Neal A. Maxwell in September 1993, in Maxwell's office.

They were discussions that, in effect, amounted to confessionals from inside power brokers who truly know how the Cult is run.

Let's take their admissions one at a time: _____

The Mormon "Prophet" Depends on His First Presidency Counselors To Act as His Handlers

Earth to the flock: Without his counselors, the Lord God's prophet can do nothing.

So admitted Oaks and Maxwell, using Brigham Young's false doctrine teachings on Adam-God as an example.

Both men confessed that what Young taught with regard to the God of the human race was false doctrine--blaming it, however, on his lack of counselor input.

They informed me that when Young was spouting his false Adam-God teachings, he was a relatively young, wet-behind-the-ears prophet who could have used some good advice from other Church leaders.

Indeed, they said they wished Young had had the benefit of "a couple of good counselors to help him with some of the things he was saying."

In this regard, Maxwell repeated a common maxim used among the Mormon faithful: "A prophet is not always a prophet. He is only a prophet when he speaks as such."

So, without the counter-balancing weight of more mature First Presidency counselors to keep him on the straight and narrow, the Lord's one true prophet can't be relied upon to get the revealed truth straight on such basic matters as, say, the very identity of God--and is especially handicapped if the prophet happens to be youthfully inexperienced.

For clarification, I asked Oaks and Maxwell asked what constitutes an official Mormon Church statement and inquired whether Young's declarations on Adam-God could be considered as such.

Maxwell fell back on the convenient first-funnel-the Mormon-prophet's-revelatary-impulses-through-the-First-Presidency truth filter.

He cited DandC 107, saying that "we have a scriptural admonition that three High Priests preside over the Quorum of the Twelve."

Maxwell went even further at that point, declaring that post-Joseph Smith Church presidents can't be depended on to correctly convey the truth from God to His children, so Mormon Church presidents now need their counselors to assist them in not flubbing up.

Maxwell said "the more modern approach" to matters of Mormon doctrine are governed by the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency, acting together as a body. Maxwell asserted that once Joseph Smith had established the basic doctrines of the Church, then he was instructed by the Lord to call counselors.

After that, Maxwell said, Joseph Smith's role as unilaterally revealing doctrine was much more reduced. Maxwell summarized by telling us there are four levels of fundamental Church doctrine:

1. those doctrines revealed by the prophet speaking alone;

2. those doctrines revealed by the prophet in conjunction with his First Presidency counselors;

3. those doctrines revealed in First Presidency statements, with the words of the First Presidency assuming "a special status;" and

4. those doctrines revealed by official declaration.

Actually, however, Oaks needed to quickly qualify what his fellow Apostle had just said.

He followed up with a reality check on when it is advisable believe Mormon Church presidents. And that reality check came in the form of his recommendation to forget #1.

Oaks emphasized that all of the basic Church doctrines were revealed by Joseph Smith early in the history of the Church. He said 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 decision that God wanted them to make."

In other words, three heads are better than one, even if the one head happens to be God's head prophet and supposed sole mouthpiece. _____

The Mormon "Prophet" is Vulnerable to Being Overruled by the Vote-Wielding Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Oaks made it clear that even the Mormon prophet's utterances are subject to an affirming vote from the Quorum of the Twelve.

This came with both his and Maxwell's admission that the Mormon prophet can't always be trusted to tell the truth--especially when it comes to prophesying--especially since since Oaks said prophesying isn't actually a main job requirement for prophets.

Oaks told me that "we shouldn't be citing fulfilled [Mormon prophet' prophecies, because prophesying is only a minor aspect of what a prophet does." Oaks said that, in actuality, the fundamental role of a prophet is "to testify of Christ." He said that "foretelling events" is a prophet's "minor responsibility."

Maxwell added that Church members "shouldn't use fulfilled prophecies to keep box scores." He added, "We've never had a perfect prophet or a perfect general authority."

When it was then pointed out to Oaks and Maxwell that Joseph Smith had failed in his prediction of a temple being built in Missouri before those living in Smith's generation would pass away, Maxwell commented with a laugh, "Maybe there was too much foretelling and not enough testifying."

Oaks observed, "Prophecies are for private use and private application, more than they are for general Church application."

I asked if it was not problematic for a Church to be led by prophets who are making frequent mistakes in their prophesying.

Oaks replied, "In total, there aren't that many mistakes that have been made." Of 5,000 prophecies, he said, "only five haven't been fulfilled." He then added, "But we shouldn't be keeping track, anyway."

Maxwell noted that according to one scripture, even Jesus was said not to know when the Second Coming is scheduled, so, Maxwell said, "no one really knows" and "everyone could be mistaken."

The bottom line, Maxwell declared, is that "it is our duty to be loyal to the prophet."

He said that he disagreed politically with Ezra Taft Benson "on certain things" but felt he could always follow him in good conscience when, as prophet, President Benson was emphasizing a particular aspect of the gospel.

Oaks agreed--but with a very important condition.

Oaks vowed he would "march from sunup to sundown" in following the prophet on a particular teaching but said "if the prophet was to come out and say that we are no longer going to preach the Book of Mormon as true," he "would look around for an affirmation of that by the Quorum of the Twelve."

So, in the end, the Lord's specially-anointed prophet, revelator and president of the Lord's one and only true Church can be overruled by a vote of the Church's Board of Directors. _____

Mormon Church Institutional Inertia Prevents Its Top Leadership from Making Authoritative Decisions Without First Getting Board Input and Approval

Declarative positions from the top of the Mormon chain of command can actually be delayed or prevented by--yes, brothers and sisters--vacation schedules.

A case in point was when the Mormon Church blatantly refused to release, despite subpoena directive from the Salt Lake City police department, documents from the William McLellin collection deemed important to the investigation of the Mark Hofmann bombing murders.

Oaks said that one of the reasons why the Church did not cough up the legally-demanded documents was because there was no one around Church headquarters at the time who was in a position of authority to approve such a release.

Oaks said that there were no Church leaders available at the time to work with the police on the McLellin paper caper because the Church authorities authorized to do so were all on vacation.

Oaks insisted argued that the Church only had between May and August of the year in which it was subpoenaed as the available interval in which to get the McLellin papers out.

Since, Oaks argued, that everyone who apparenlty counted was on vacation in August, there was no one to make decisions during that time frame.

So, the Lord's mouth can have a stock stuffed in it when His appointed servants are out of the office for rest and relaxation. _____

This, then, is how and why the Mormon Church is run the way it is.

Isn't it wonderful?

Isn't it marvelous?
How Mormon Church Handlers Actually Handle The Mormon Church Prophet
Thursday, Jan 4, 2007, at 07:00 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
In another thread, "Zim" posed a "Question about Handlers" of the Mormon prophet:

"When you refer to ETBs 'handlers,' does that mean the rest of the FP [First Presidency] and [Quorum of the] 12 or is there some other group of PR flaks who act as handlers?

"If it's another group, who appoints them and controls them?"

Handling of the Mormon prophet in the case about which "Zim" inquires was orchestrated in cooperative and sympathetic fashion from the top down, through the various levels of power, via both formal Church channels and personal family influence, working together in traditional manners by which power has been consolidated and wielded throughout Mormon Church history.

Let’s go down the list:

ETB’s Office Staff, in Complicity with Benson Family

Led by chief of staff Gary Gillespie (with encouragement from Benson family members), photos were carefully staged of my frail and enfeebled grandfather for distribution through Church-owned media.

Even in private Benson family gatherings, concerted efforts were made to prevent certain photographically-angled shots from being taken which showed a medical tube that was inserted in ETB’s nostril.

When my grandfather was recuperating from serious illness at the home of one his children, Beth, in the Salt Lake suburb of Sandy, fake letters were put out over his name to his family (letters actually composed by ETB office staff), which included strict instructions not to reveal his whereabouts to anyone.

In his later, increasingly dysfunctional years, many other letters were sent to both Church members and Benson family members themselves that had, in fact, been composed by ETB’s office staff--then signed with a signature machine.

At one public event, my grandfather’s arm and elbow were actually manipulated from behind by his office staff, in order to falsely make it appear as if he was waving to the crowd.

In another public appearance at a sacrament meeting in the Salt Lake City Ensign ward where my father was then bishop, ETB's office staff helped him to the podium, where he soon began rambling in a confused and embarrassingly-telling spectacle of incapability. When it became clear that he could not even end his remarks, his staff ended them for him, slowly escorting my manipulated grandfather back to his seat.

When I went public with the actual condition of my grandfather’s health and criticized the Mormon Church for deliberately misrepresenting it, I was warned by my father that if I ever spoke to the press again about the subject, I would be permanently barred from seeing my grandfather.

I was also told by Benson family that it was sometimes best not to tell Church members the whole truth.

Benson family members (including siblings and cousins) wrote me lengthy personal letters, questioning my character, motivations and spirituality because of my decision to speak openly about my grandfather’s deteriorating health and his inability to lead the Church.

In these letters which evidenced signs of deep personal denial, they stubbornly insisted that ETB was not incapacitated and that I was full of pride. One sent a letter to a local newspaper editor, disputing my claims. Another wrote me anonymously, saying they were embarrassed to be related to me.

Mormon Church Public Relations Spokesmen

In my grandfather’s case, the primary Church disinformation officer was Don LeFevere, who falsely claimed for media consumption that no major Church administrative decisions were made without first consulting with and receiving permission from ETB.

LeFevere’s justification to me for putting out these knowingly false statements was that they had been approved by his superiors, while arguing that his was a difficult job.

Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Members of the Quorum helped handle my grandfather by keeping quiet in public about his actual incapacitated mental and physical state.

As Dallin Oaks attested to me personally, LeFevere’s claims that ETB was running the Church were simply not true.

Members of the Twelve, in fact, saw my grandfather on a regular rotational basis, but only to check in on him, not to conduct official Church business with him. They acknowledged in private that not only was he not leading the Church, but that his condition was steadily worsening.

Maxwell made the bizarre claim to me that Maxwell's choice to remain silent in the face of untruths being spread about ETB's actual declining state was a definition (to Maxwell, at least) of personal integrity on Maxwell's part.

Thus, even in the face of public claims about his alleged ability to administer the affairs of the Church that they knew from their own experience were not true, members of the Quorum remained complicitly silent, while advising me to take this matter up through Church back channels in order to avoid any (as Oaks warned me) “unintended consequences.”

Members of the First Presidency

In particular, Gordon B. Hinckley disingenuously told Church members at General Conference that while ETB was physically weak, he was still leading the Church, with assistance from his counselors in the First Presidency.

My grandfather was doing no such thing.

The reins of power had been effectively wrenched from an increasingly physically and mentally diminished Ezra Taft Benson by Hinckley and Monson themselves in 1989, when they orchestrated an unannounced and eventual transfer of power of attorney to run the LDS Corporation from ETB to them, via ETB’s personal signature machine--and did so in direct violation of explictly-laid out Church procedures governing the process of succession.
On This Mlk Day, Beware Of "The Big Beat": Words Of Warning About Evil "Negro Music" From The Anti-Rock 'n Roll Library Of Ezra Taft Benson
Monday, Jan 15, 2007, at 09:11 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: Ezra Taft Benson Speaks from the Garage Dustbin of Discrimination Against the "Jungle Beat" of Black People Music

Poking through my garage awhile back, I came across a book that once belonged to my grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, entitled "Rock 'N' Reality: Mirrors of Rock Music--Its Relationship to Sex, Drugs, Family and Religion," by Mormon author and BYU graduate, E. Lynn Balmforth (Salt Lake City, Utah: Hawkes Publications, 1971).

My grandfather had particular fondness for this softbound volume. He had signed his name in his big, flourishing style above the title on the front cover, along with noting in the upper right-hand corner of same, "Return to E.T.B."

He further autographed the inside of the front cover, along with noting the date--February 18, 1972--that he received it.

He very much seemed to want to make sure he never lost it.

The book's preface was authored by right-wing wingnut W. Cleon Skousen, one of ETB's closest political ideological foot soldiers. My grandfather had dog-earred the first page of that section and underlined several of its passages in pen.

In the left-hand margin on the first page, he wrote the words "on card" and "card," indicating that he wanted these particular underlined passages transferred to his typed card file, which he used as a sermon resource.

He then highlighted, via underlining and/or margin brackets, portions of the following from Skousen's words of warning about the evils of rock 'n roll:

"'We've combined youth, music, sex, drugs, and rebellion with treason!'

"This was the way Jerry Rubin, chieftain of the Yippies, described the current assault on America's up-coming generation in his book, 'DO IT!'

"Later, in a speech at Salt Lake City, Utah, he said: 'Rock 'n' Roll is the center of the Revolution!'

"Americans are well aware that there has been a revolution. In morals. In manners. In speech. In crime rates. In riots. In violence. In drugs. In sex. In pornography. In politics. In movies. In education. In music.

"What most of us failed to realize at the moment was how important the music revolution would become. It turned out to be the catalyst for all the rest. It became the prod to promote drugs, the advertiser of sex in the hedonism manner, the mind-conditioner for four-letter gutter speech, and eventually the blatant propaganda funnel for political subversion. It also became the seductive Jezebel for a modern philosophy of no God, of Man as merely a graduate beast of the jungle, of Jesus Christ as a phoney actor--a superstar, of peace and prosperity being possible only under communism, of America as the enemy of the world, of Russia as the hope of the world." . . .

"Yes, it's turning out to be quite a revolution."

Skousen somberly concluded his preface with this gloomy prediction, again highlighted by ETB's pen:

"The problem . . . is of historical significance. [It] . . . may turn out to be a major factor which contributed to the downfall of civilization." (pp. 3-6)

Blaming Our Nation's Woes on Black Music

In ttraditional Ezra Taft Benson-style dissing of Black people (like Martin Luther King, Jr., for instance) one finds in the book's table of contents the dire warning to beware of the "Big Beat"--and to especially watch out for those responsible for it--namely, Black people.

The book goes on to explain the threat of "the colored sound":

"'Every Negro . . . knows the brief history of rock and roll music and how it was created. That it was the fluxing of white and black music together in America.' . . .

"There was . . . nothing to compare with . . . the popularization of the big beat through music now known as the 'colored sound.' (p. 24)

"Imitation of the colored sound has been nearly universal." (ibid)

"The highest praise that a Negro Jazzman can give his white counterpart is that he plays like a Negro." (p. 25)

"It is to ['tension relieving'] . . . that the big beat makes its appeal."(p. 35)

The Evils of the "Negro Big Beat": Let Us Count the Ways

". . . [I]t is safe for one to assert that the body, even when the mind is dulled by drugs and noise, can still be made to respond to the beat. . . . [T]he relentless beat is the most appealing factor of rock 'n' roll music." (p. 38)

"The . . . sheer noise, amplified as loud as the human ear can tolerate it . . . the blinding strobe lights in an otherwise darkened auditorium . . . spurred on by the mass psychosis that everyone else is doing it, the teenager feels his resistance being attacked as never before. . . . There are even occasions when body functions are out of control. . . . The pleasure of heaping up one new sensation upon sensation . . . " (pp. 45, 48-49, 51)

". . . .[I]t should not be difficult for anyone to realize that every human being with a body is a potential target for the big beat. The evidence is overwhelming that they appeal of rock is primarily physical. When stimulated by the big beat along, it leads to physical sensation. With the senses heightened, stimulated and sustained by constant exposure to the driving beat of rock 'n' roll, it seems unlikely one would receive any noticeable impetus to seek after the sacred strains that touch the spiritual." (p. 51)

"Previous to the era of rock, popular music was normally a part of the mid-teen romance that was smothered in puppy love relationships. But not entirely so with rock." (p. 65)

"Those who compose and create the big beat or the music of rock have made clear their intents and purposes. Drenched with psuedo-Freudian philosophy that 'love is not love without sexual expression' there is little chance one can listen to his radio or record player pulse with desire and not awaken (too early and to his lasting sorrow) those precious budding emotions of sex inherent in his maturing body." (p. 82)

"Adopted by the hippies as 'their music,' the big beat has found drugs to be a consistent bedfellow at the more publicized rock concerts and festivals. . . . [I]t would be inconceivable to think of finding one without the other." (p. 87)

". . . [T]he leading missionaries of the big beat--the Beatles--made no attempt to confine their attitude toward drug glorification to [their] lyrics alone. Armed with the latest in sophisticated electronic gear, the Beatles were superb in creating sounds that were designed to stimulate one with feelings of a drug-induced 'trip.' (pp. 94-95)

"Now passed from the rock scene, the Beatles and all they they represent will have a lasting effect upon those left behind. . . . They . . . [are] an arch example of the rock culture and, particularly, as missionaries for the promoting of drugs through the big beat.

"They are gone now, '. . . flown away into limbo. And there are maybe a million acid-heads, pseudo-intellectuals, muddled schoolchildren, and generalized freaks who have followed them there, but the mass teen public has been shafted.'" (pp. 102-103)

"Standing opposite their parents, in regard to the music, it [has not] been difficult for the producers of rock 'n' roll to capitalize upon [the youth-age split. The music, both sound and lyrics, [is] projected toward the teenager who [feels] alienated or cut loose from the threat of family traditionalists." (p. 112)

"From its birth, the big beat has always been the arch advocate of the simple doctrine of 'live for today.' . . . Anyone embracing rock music feels temporary release from seeking adult approval. However mild it may seem, rock 'n' roll is the music of revolt." (pp. 117-118)

"The teenagers of the 1960s have felt the two direction pull between traditional Christianity and the sensual tug of the new morality." (p. 120)

"It is easy to understand how drugs would be readily accepted by an idealist youth when presented as a key to pursuing more meaningful religious experience. With drugs married to rock, the music and the people who make it take on Messianic qualities to their audience." (p. 123)

"Since 1960, the reporting of the Beatles' contempt for The Christ and His doctrine has been widespread. . . . [John Lennon said]:

'Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that: I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus Christ now: I don't know which will go first--rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.'

"There is probably no equal to Bob Dylan's reply to a reporter's question, 'What is your belief in God? Are you a Christian?'

"Bob Dylan: 'Well, first of all, God is a woman, we all know that. Well, you take it from there.'" (p. 125)

"Religiously, then, the position of the big beat syndrome cannot be accepted as anything but antichrist. The hedonistic doctrine of rock finds little support in the Holy Scriptures.

"The message from the prophets of rock is heard in the land. It is now for the reader to judge that message and choose for himself." (p. 128)

Thumbing through the book's pages, one finds further passages that caught the eye and pen of Ezra Taft Benson. Two more were found.

The first pops up thusly:

"The term 'rock 'n' roll' has itself undergone extensive shifts in meaning.

"'The term rock and roll has a sexual connotation--rockin' and rollin' originally meant fornicating. But then, the word Jazz, once a verb, meant the same thing. Both terms have long since lost their original meaning and become careless catchalls of musical categorization." (p. 11)

The last passage marked by ETB with a margin bracket appears in the postscript:

"The curtain has now fallen on the rock music scene of the 1960s. The outcomes of these years is now committed to an historical structure tat will house their reality. A cursory review of the record reveals that perhaps the largest of the superstars did as that name suggests: they blazed brilliantly across the commercial sky, burning their emotions, minds and bodies with the white heat of their profession--rock music. Unable to sustain life long enough to reach the much talked about age of 30, their bodies succumbed to the venom of of their life style." (p. 131)

Conclusion: Blacks Have Beset Us with the Beastly Big Beat

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, a voice of warning to the world rises from the grave of Ezra Taft Benson, latter-day prophet of the Mormon god:

"Never forget that it was the Negro who brought us rock 'n roll 'jungle' music.

"With faith in the Great White Mormon God, we shall overcome Martin Luther King."
We Interrupt This Program To Bring You The Following Message From The Lord To His Living Prophet On The Earth Today :
Thursday, Jan 18, 2007, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
Joseph Smith And Gordon B. Hinckley: Both "Pious Frauds"?
Monday, Jan 22, 2007, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Let's first define the term, "pious fraud," as used and popularized in these circles by former Mormon writer Dan Vogel.

Vogel, in his book "Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet," defines "pious fraud" (as applied to Smith) as follows:

"To my mind, . . . Smith was a well intentioned 'pious deceiver' or, perhaps otherwise worded, a 'sincere fraud,' someone who prevaricated for 'good' reasons. Admittedly, the terms are not entirely satisfying.

"Nevertheless, 'pious' connotes genuine religious conviction, while I apply 'fraud' or 'deceiver' only to describe some of Smith's activities. I believe that Smith believed he was called of God, yet occasionally engaged in fraudulent activities in order to preach God's word as effectively as possible."

But was Smith really all that "pious"?

Benjamin Winchester, a Mormon convert who knew Smith personally, described Smith thusly:

"In the winter of 1839 and 1840 Smith, in company with Rigdon and with Porter Rockwell, acting as a sort of body guard, fled from the officials that were after them, acting for the State of Ohio, on the charge of criminal practice at Kirtland, and they came to Philadelphia where I was stationed and where I was stake president.

"There they remained with me in the best degree of secrecy that could be maintained. Smith and I slept in the same bed and Porter Rockwell occupied a bed near the foot of our couch in the capacity of a body guard for the 'prophet.' It was there and at that time that I had a good opportunity to study the character of the 'prophet.' It then began to be apparent to me that he was tyrannical by nature, a libertine, in short a gross, sensual, corrupt man . . ."

"It was a subject of common talk among many good people in Nauvoo that . . . that Joseph Smith . . . had illicit intercourse with the wives of a number of the missionaries, and that the revelation on spiritual marriage, i.e. polygamy, was gotten up to protect themselves from scandal."

"Joseph was very bitter in some of his public discourses relative to the talk among people about his lewdness, especially the women gossipers. On one occasion he said these women deserved to be threshed. . . . "

"He was possessed with an inordinate degree of vanity and was quite susceptible to flattery. He was a perfect adept in the use of abusive and obscene language."

"I have entertained him [Joseph Smith] for a month at a time while we lived in Philadelphia, while he was hiding from a mob. There was not a particle of true religion in him. His talk was never about anything pure or elevating. He liked to talk about be[ing] a great general or leader, and commanding people, and getting before the public.

"He could not reason on anything. . . . He liked to use slang and cutting remarks on his persecutors. He loved to give orders to the church and to show authority. As a boy he was wild and curious. . . . He carried what he called a 'Peep stone' through which he claimed to see hidden treasure and etc. This is what he afterwards called his 'Urim and Thummem.' Finally he took the notion to get up a book. Then he claimed to have made the discovery of the plates. Then he got Cowdery, Harris and Whitmer into it."

"I often saw Smith's bad conduct but they [fellow Church members] admonished me to keep on. They pointed out to me just as bad things in other churches. They pointed to the men of the Bible, how wicked many of them were, and how oppressive they were; yet that God approved of them--so I kept on and thought it was all right.

"They showed me how God 'took the weak things to confound the wise' and etc. After Smith died I left them and have had nothing to do with them since, though I had written much in their defense."

"No [Smith was not prayerful]. He often stopped at my house and though I have asked him to say grace at the table or to offer family prayers he always refused. There was not a particle of piety in him. He never wanted to talk on piety or any thing religious or on piety, but always on some ideas of greatness, etc."

"Smith was a perfect libertine. Women got to running after him because they believed him to be a prophet. The whole church is a rotten concern."

"A Professor of the Electic college of Cincinnatti got to running around with Smith. His name was John C. Bennet. They ran with other men's wives so much that much trouble arose over it. Then Bennet got up this revelation on polygamy, which was a fraud, to cover their perfidy. He got out of Nauvoo before Smith's assassination, but he and Smith had a 'big time' before that."

Fast forward to the present.

"Flew the Coop," a former Mormon Church insider who worked at high levels of Church finance, describes Gordon B. Hinckley as follows:

"My experience in the COP [Corporation of the President] is that Hinckley could care less about doctrine. He was only concerned about budgets, projects, and secrecy of the Church investments and assets. This is one thing that helped me see the light, turn the corner and exit the Church and thus Church employment. If you want to get to the bottom of an organization--just follow the money trail."

Did Smith really care about Mormon doctrine?

Does Hinckley really care about Mormon doctrine?

Did Smith only really care about budgets, projects and keeping Church financial dealings under wraps?

Does Hinckley only really care about budgets, projects and keeping Church financial dealings under wraps?

To get to the bottom of Smith's Mormon Church, did one merely have to follow the money trail?

To get to the bottom of Hinckley's Mormon Church, does one merely have to follow the money trail?

In short:

Was Smith a "pious fraud"?

Is Hinckley a "pious fraud"?

What do you know about "pious frauds"?

Would you like to know more? :)
Joseph Smith: Pied Piper, Not Pious Prophet
Thursday, Jan 25, 2007, at 06:38 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph Smith was anything but a portrait in piety. Rather, his behavior was fraught with fraud, as he snaked through life as an imposter for God. In short, Smith was both criminally-minded and criminally-behaved.

This indisputable fact is clearly evident when examining Smith's life over several years in un-"pigeon-hole"-like fashion.

Let us count the ways.


The following comes from Arza Evans' excellent book, "The Keystone of Mormonism" [St. George, Utah: Keystone Books, Inc., 2003], pp.154-162.

When Smith was arrested and jailed at Carthage, Illinois, after successfully ordering the destruction of an independently-owned newspaper that had exposed his criminal activities, he faced the following charges:

"Soon after the [destruction of] the 'Nauvoo Expositor' incident, several warrants were issued by state and county authorities for the arrest of Joseph, Hyrum and a number of other Church leaders.

"Charges included treason against the state of Illinois, poygamny, adultery, resisting arrest, destruction of property and perjury.

"These new charges, in addtion to the old Ohio and Missouri charges along with the still outstanding warrant for high treason by the President of the United States certainly justify calling Smith an 'outlaw.'

"Unfortunately, Smith was turned into a martyr before he could stand tril for his crimes."

Specific crimes committed by Joseph Smith included the following:


--". . . [Smith's] [court recorded] arrest, trial and conviction as a 'disorderly person' and a 'glass looker' in the [public] courtoom of Judge Albert Neely."


--"[Smith's] illegal [organization of] "his own private army [called] Zion's Camp. . . .

"[Smith's] even larger private army that he organized later in Nauvoo [was also] clearly illegal. They were not subject to fedeal or state authority but only to the commands of Smith."


--"[Smith's start-up of] [a]n [i]llegal [b]ank. . . .

"When the Ohio legislature denied Smith's petition for an act of incorporation, he didn't let this stop him from organizing his bank and printing money. He simply ignored the laws of Ohio and went ahead with his bank. . . .

"When Ohio authorities finally realized what Smith had done . . . [after his] bank went broke, costing some of his gullible followers their life's savings,] . . . they sent a sheriff and a deputy to arrest [him], Sidney Rigdon and other Church leaders who had violated Ohio [s]tate [l]aws.

"Smith and Rigdon escaped arrest by secretly leaving for Missour in the middle of the night . . .

"Other officials in the bank were not so lucky[,] . . . were arrested and thrown into jail for circulating illegal currency and for other unlawful banking activities."


--". . . Smith['s] . . . organiz[ation of] of group of Mormon secret police called Danites to fight against outside enemies and also to rid the Church of dissenters (apostates).

"Each Danite took a blood oath to support the First Presidency, whether right or wrong, even to the shedding of blood. Each member was given secret signs, handclasps and passwords to identify other members.

"The Danites were told by Smith and Rigdon, 'You have been chosen to be our captains to rule over this last kingdom of Jesus Christ.' . . .

"In Smith's kingdom of God, apostates were guilty of treason and thus deserved to be killed. Never mind that no religious organization in America had any legal authorty to kill someone. . . .

"Since the kingdom of God takes precedence over the governments of men, the Lord's prophet and his followers were above the laws of Missouri, any other state or even the government of [t]he United States. . . .

"This 'above the law' attitude soon caused Smith and his partners in crime serious trouble. While in Missouri, Smith, Rigdon, Pratt and other Church leaders were arrestd for a large number of crimes, including treason against the state of Missouri, murder, burglary, arson, robbery and larceny.

"While being transferred from Liberty Jail to another location, they escaped and fled to Commerce (Navuoo), Illinois. But these old Missouri charges would haunt these fugitives from the law for many years to come.

"Despite testimony and sworn affidavits by several men[,] including two of Smith's own apostles (Marsh and Hyde), Smith maintained that he had no first-hand knowledge nor any responsibility for the Danites. . . .

"But Smith, Rigdon, Taylor and other Church leaders WERE [original emphasis] in control of the Danites. They organized this secret military organization and gave them their orders. By denying involvement, they were simply lying.

"Smith's personal history claims that in order to get out of his legal trouble in Missouri, he paid legal fees and bribes of over $50,000! . . .


--"[Smith's] 'Above the Law' [attitude].

"At first, Church leaders blamed their troubles in Missouri upon religious persecution[.]

"[B]ut later on, Smith's first counselor, Sidney Rigdon, admitted that the main reason that Mormons had so much trouble in Missouri was that they would not oby the laws of the land. He said, 'We did not break them, we were above them.' . . .

"Eventually, the lawless Smith became so intoxicated with power that he began to exhibit some very bizarre behavior.

"For example, he began ordering other Church leaders to bring him their wives and daughters. This became Smith's ultimate test of obedience and loyalty."


--"The charge of "[t]reason [a]gainst [t]he United States [leveled against Smith in 1841] [b]y . . . U.S. President John Tyler [who]had finally had enough of Smith's private army, arrogance and outlaw behavior.

"On March 31st, he issued a proclamation charging Joseph Smith with treason . . . [as follows]:

"'Sir: You stand accused of high treason. You will deliver yourself up to governor at Springfield, Illinois, in order to be tried before the Supreme Court of [t]he United States next term. The governor of Illinois will be directed to tak you in custody, if you will not deliver yourself up. The President will deliver a proclamation against you, if you obey not this order by May 1, 1843. Respectfully yours, Hugh L. Legare, Attorney-General, [b]y Order of J. Tyler, President of the United States[.]'

"This federal arrest warrant for treason was still outstanding when Smith was killed at Carthage, Illinois[,] in June of 1844. . . .

"[E]ven after being charged with treason by the President of the United States, Smith . . . sen[t] a memorial to the U.S. Congress requesting them to pass a law giving him authority to raise a military force of 100,000 men to take over the western part of America.

"The proposed law would [ave] punish[ed] anyone who tried to 'hinder or molest' Smith in his military campaign. It called for a fine of $1,000 or two years in prison for anyone who tried to oppose him.

"Smith's [a]rmy was not to be part of the regualr United States Army. Congress, of course, refused to have any part of Smith's unconstitutional bid for military power."


--". . .[Smith's incredible decision made] during this same period of time, [to become] a serious candidate for President of the United States.

"In a flagrant violation of an important American legal tradtion, Smith tore down Thomas Jefferson's wall of separation of church and state and called hunderds of priesthood holders to go into every state of the Uniton to campaign for his election.


--"[Smith's 1841 introducton of] polygamy to some of the leading men and women in Nauvoo . . .

"But polygamy was against the law in most states. Section 1221 of . . . Illinois [s]tate [l]aw of 1833 provided a fine of $500 and one year in prison for each violation of its law against gibamy and polygamy.

"Since Joseph Smith had as many as fifty wives, he could have been fined $25,000 and been sent to prison for 50 years! . . . This 'partners in crime' atmosphere, created by Smith, served to unite Church leaders and members for many years to come."


--"[As a] [l]aw [u]nto [h]imself . . . [mayor of Nauvoo Smith's]and the City Council pass[age] [of] an ordinance making it illegal for any person to serve any county, state or federal writ upon any person in Nauvoo or to search or seize any property in the city without permission of the mayor [meaning Smith].

"This action was intended to take Nauvoo out of the jurisdiction of any governmental authority in the entire United States."


--"[Smith's ordered destruction of the] 'Nauvoo Expositor' and [p]ress . . .

"This paper exposed polygamy and some of the other illegal activities of Church leaders. Smith ordered this printing press destroyed . . .[and] also ordered all copies of [it] to be confiscated and burned. The next day a mill and some other buildings belong to the Laws, Higbees, Fosters and others who printed the 'Nauvoo Expositor' were also destroyed. These men and their families who dared to question Sith's unlimited power were forced to flee Nauvoo for their lives! Smith and his outlaws were on a rampage."
Mormonism's Masonic-Muddled Temple Rituals Spring From The Ancient Temple Of Solomon? Think Again
Thursday, Feb 1, 2007, at 07:18 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9   -Link To MC Article-
Mormons like to claim that their secret temple rituals are simply a restoration of the pure Gospel of God, as originally practiced by the Jews in the ancient rituals of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem, then lost through apostacy and eventually restored through the hands of Joseph Smith.

Dream on.

Thomas Paine, in his book, "The Origins of Free Masonry," debunks the notion that Masonic rituals originated, purely or wholly, from the rites of Solomon's temple.

To the contrary, he argues that Masonic rites probably were cribbed by the builders of Solomon's Temple from the ancient Egyptians and other pagan sources:

"In 1730, Samuel Pritchard, member of a constituted lodge in England, published a treatise entitled 'Masonry Dissected;' and made oath before the Lord Mayor of London that it was a true copy. . . .

"In his introduction he says, '[T]he original institution of Masonry consisted in the foundation of the liberal arts and sciences, but more especially in Geometry, for at the building of the tower of Babel, the art and mystery of Masonry was first introduced, and from thence handed down by Euclid, a worthy and excellent mathematician of the Egyptians; and he communicated it to Hiram, the Master Mason concerned in building Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.'

"Besides the absurdity of deriving Masonry from the building of Babel, where, according to the story, the confusion of languages prevented the builders understanding each other, and consequently of communicating any knowledge they had, there is a glaring contradiction in point of chronology in the account he gives.

"Solomon's Temple was built and dedicated 1004 years before the Christian era; and Euclid, as may be seen in the tables of chronology, lived 277 before the same era. It was therefore impossible that Euclid could communicate any thing to Hiram, since Euclid did not live till 700 years after the time of Hiram. . . .

"As to what Masons, and books of Masonry, tell us of Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem, it is no wise improbable that some Masonic ceremonies may have been derived from the building of that temple, for the worship of the Sun was in practice many centuries before the Temple existed, or before the Israelites came out of Egypt. And we learn from the history of the Jewish Kings, 2 Kings xxii. xxiii. that the worship of the Sun was performed by the Jews in that Temple.

"It is, however, much to be doubted if it was done with the same scientific purity and religious morality with which it was performed by the Druids, who, by all accounts that historically remain of them, were a wise, learned, and moral class of men.

"The Jews, on the contrary, were ignorant of astronomy, and of science in general, and if a religion founded upon astronomy fell into their hands, it is almost certain it would be corrupted. We do not read in the history of the Jews, whether in the Bible or elsewhere, that they were the inventors or the improvers of any one art or science.

"Even in the building of this temple, the Jews did not know how to square and frame the timber for beginning and carrying on the work, and Solomon was obliged to send to Hiram, King of Tyre (Zidon) to procure workmen; 'for thou knowest, (says Solomon to Hiram, i Kings v. 6.) that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Zidonians.'

"This temple was more properly Hiram's Temple than Solomon's, and if the Masons derive any thing from the building of it, they owe it to the Zidonians and not to the Jews. . . . .

"Another circumstance, which shows that Masonry is derived from some ancient system, prior to and unconnected with the Christian religion, is the chronology, or method of counting time, used by the Masons in the records of their Lodges. They make no use of what is called the Christian era; and they reckon their months numerically, as the ancient Egyptians did, and as the Quakers do now.

"I have by me, a record of a French Lodge, at the time the late Duke of Orleans, then Duke de Chartres, was Grand Master of Masonry in France. It begins as follows: 'Le trentieme jour du sixieme mois de l'an de la V.L. cinq mille sept cent soixante treize;' that is, the thirteenth day of the sixth month of the year of the Venerable Lodge, five thousand seven hundred and seventy-three.

"By what I observe in English books of Masonry, the English Masons use the initials A.L. and not V.L. By A.L. they mean in the year of Light, as the Christians by A.D. mean in the year of our Lord. But A.L. like V.L. refers to the same chronological era, that is, to the supposed time of the creation. . . .

"In the chapter on the origin of the Christian religion, I have shown that the Cosmogony, that is, the account of the creation with which the book of Genesis opens, has been taken and mutilated from the Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster, and was fixed as a preface to the Bible after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, and that the Robbins of the Jews do not hold their account in Genesis to be a fact, but mere allegory.

"The six thousand years in the Zend-Avesta, is changed or interpolated into six days in the account of Genesis. The Masons appear to have chosen the same period, and perhaps to avoid the suspicion and persecution of the Church, have adopted the era of the world, as the era of Masonry. The V.L. of the French, and A.L. of the English Mason, answer to the A.M. Anno Mundi, or year of the world.

"Though the Masons have taken many of their ceremonies and hieroglyphics from the ancient Egyptians, it is certain they have not taken their chronology from thence. If they had, the Church would soon have sent them to the stake; as the chronology of the Egyptians, like that of the Chinese, goes many thousand years beyond the Bible chronology. . . .

"[Captain George Smith, inspector of the Royal Artillery Academy at Woolwich, in England, and Provincial Grand Master of Masonry for the county of Kent, writes in a (1783) treatise entitled, 'The Use and Abuse of Free-Masonry']:

"'The Egyptians . . . in the earliest ages constituted a great number of Lodges, but with assiduous care kept their secrets of Masonry from all strangers. These secrets have been imperfectly handed down to us by oral tradition only, and ought to be kept undiscovered to the laborers, craftsmen, and apprentices, till by good behavior and long study they become better acquainted in geometry and the liberal arts, and thereby qualified for Masters and Wardens, which is seldom or never the case with English Masons.'"

Even Mormon apologists debunk standard LDS claims to an original Solomonic temple connection, pointing out that the Masonic emblems which Mormons attribute to Solomon's (and, hence, to their own Mormon) temple practices actually have their roots in earlier pagan traditions.

For instance, Michael T. Griffith in his article, "Masonry and the Mormon Temple," acknowledges that LDS temple decorations, doctrines, designs and ordinances did not initially spring from Solomon's temple but, instead, have their roots in both ancient Egyptian and pagan rites that pre-dated Christianity:

" . . . Joseph Smith assigned new meanings to virtually all of the Masonic elements he used and placed them in Christ-centered contexts far removed from their original setting.

"In doing so, Joseph Smith was not alone. In similar fashion, the ancient Hebrews employed many pagan religious designs and texts, and assigned new meanings and contexts to them.

"For example, scholars have pointed out that the very design of Solomon's temple was 'characteristically Phoenician' and 'somewhat reminiscent of Babylonian shrines"'. . . .

"In addition, many of the symbols in Solomon's temple 'show a marked indebtedness to Phoenician religious theory and practice' . . . .

"Moreover, the Mosaic tabernacle was 'very close in most essentials' to various pagan Egyptian portable structures, including the Egyptian 'Tent of Purification' (McDowell 110-111). And yet, according to Exodus 25-30, it was Yahweh Himself who instructed the Israelites on how to build the tabernacle.

"As is well known, there are numerous striking similarities between the Law of Moses and various EARLIER pagan legal codes, such as the Code of Eshnunna, the Code of Lipit-Ishtar, and the Code of Hammurabi . . . .

"Even the literary format of the Law, as it is presented in the book of Exodus, parallels the format used in earlier pagan codes of the ancient Near East . . . . Virtually all Bible scholars have noted that the Law of Moses seems to have been patterned after pagan codes. . . .

"The ancient Christians likewise employed pagan symbols and motifs and applied new meanings and contexts to them. One of the most popular symbolic types of the resurrection among the early Christians was the phoenix bird, a pagan symbol.

"I quote Robin Lane Fox:

"'Among pagan men of letters, the phoenix had long exerted a particular influence. It created itself from its own ashes and united the mystery of a home in Egypt with the inauguration of a new age. Christians had been quick to use the bird as a type of their own Resurrection. . . . '

"References to the phoenix are widespread in early Christian literature . . . ."

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Mormonism's Masonic-Muddled Temple Rituals Spring From The Ancient Temple Of Solomon? Think Again
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