Sunday, October 24, 2021

Let's Talk About Conspiracies!

Previously: What In The World Is Going On With The Church Leaders Lately?

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the Church hasn't been teaching about secret combinations for quite a while now?

I'll admit I don't watch all sessions of conference these days, but I can recall a time when men like David O. McKay, J. Reuben Clark, and Ezra Taft Benson were constantly reminding us that secret combinations were among us in our day just as they were present among the Nephites and the Jaredites. 

I could be wrong, but in all the years I attended Sunday School classes as an adult, the lesson plans seem to have skipped over those sections in the Book of Mormon that contained those salient warnings.  Was that deliberate?  Were those warnings in the Book of Mormon left out of the lesson manuals on purpose?

I first heard about secret combinations when I attended seminary in the late 1960s, and I'll admit I was confused by what the teacher was saying.  What the heck was he trying to get at?  The only secret combination I knew of was the combination to my locker at school, which, of course, I kept secret from everyone else. So when I heard the teacher say "secret combinations," all I could picture was my combination lock.  Of course, I could have read those assigned chapters in the Book of Mormon and maybe figured it out. But hey, I was fourteen and groggy from the early morning hours -the last thing I wanted to do was pick up the scriptures. 

So for you young people today who may not have any idea what "secret combinations" are: in a word, they are conspiracies.  More accurately, the term "secret combinations" refers to conspirators; i.e. persons who combine together in secret to plot and implement nefarious plans. Back in Joseph Smith's day use of the term "combination" to describe an intimate group was so common that the pre-eminent dictionary defined essentially two kinds of combinations; one good, the other bad:
Combination: Intimate union, or association of two or more persons or things, by set purpose or agreement, for effecting some object, by joint operation; in a good sense, when the object is laudable; in an ill sense, when it is illegal or iniquitous. It is sometimes equivalent to league, or to conspiracy. We say, a combination of men to overthrow government, or a combination to resist oppression.  (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, Pub 1828)
What the Book of Mormon tells us is that these iniquitous groups working behind the scenes eventually took control of their entire respective governments. By the end of the Jaredite run, mass murder had become rampant not only within the political realm but among the populace as well.  Mix that brand of  mayhem with the social and economic collapse that had become endemic, and it spelled a one-two punch the Jaredite civilization could not withstand. The Nephites called the conspiracy at work among them "Gadianton's Robbers and Murderers" (Hel 6-18) after the guy who initially founded the cabal. The surprising thing is that over time, a majority of the people simply found it easier to go along to get along with these insiders since the dominant party clearly held all the cards. Easier to cooperate with the ruling class than to continue as a member of the shrinking resistance when hope already seems lost, right?  Still, you might wonder: how could such a thing happen to an entire nation? 

Well, some were inclined to just put up with it, or they decided to join in because they were attracted to the ideology.  At any rate, allowing those secret combinations to get above them is the reason we don't see any Nephites or Jaredites living among us today.  Eventually the influence of the conspirators had so overwhelmed the political and cultural landscapes of those societies that both civilizations were entirely destroyed from within.  And here's why it's important for us to read up on these incidents: because God tells us the same fate awaits us unless we awaken to our awful situation (Ether 8:22-24)

So here's the good news: we have a road map from American history to show us precisely how and when certain secret combinations became entrenched in the United States just as they had on this continent all those centuries before. I'm going to direct you to that before I'm done here, but first I want to make a couple of more points about conspiracies.

Is It A Conspiracy 'Theory' Or Is It An Actual Conspiracy?

The first rule of a conspiracy is to convince everyone that there is no conspiracy.  Many people haven't figured that out, which is why, when you find yourself getting close to the truth about a thing, there always seems to be some knucklehead standing by ready to shout you down by saying "that's just a conspiracy theory."

If you encounter one of these dolts, take the advice of Thomas Sowell and just walk away. Anyone who goes around spouting "it's a conspiracy theory" as if they had just put you in your place is simply too stupid to bother with. Such people cannot be reasoned with. They are mere parrots, still stuck in junior high.

Responding with ridicule was the methodology the ruling class promoted immediately after the assassination of President Kennedy, and once Lee Harvey Oswald had been shot dead it was immediately agreed upon that "the public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial."

Intelligence agencies at the time didn't want anyone snooping around and possibly discovering that government contractors may have had something to do with the murder of the president. And they sure didn't want anyone discovering that Oswald may himself have been a deep-cover asset. So they had to keep secret what has since been revealed among the documents in the 20 gigabyte JFK document dump released when Donald Trump was president: that U.S. Intelligence agencies had Lee Oswald on their radar for at least two years before the assassination, because he appears to have been recruited by Naval Intelligence while in the Marine corps. Unredacted sources indicate that just prior to the assassination, Lee was being unwittingly groomed by his agency handler, one George de Mohrenschildt, to be set up as the lone-nut "patsy" who would take the fall for a shooting he had nothing to do with. 

So America was told that Oswald was a nobody.  It was this weirdo Oswald, and Oswald alone, who shot the president. Period. End of story, fade to black.  Members of the press dutifully fell in line, deriding anyone who suggested otherwise as kooky "conspiracy theorists"-which itself was a term virtually no one in America ever uttered until the national security apparatus coined it to be used as a term of derision.   

The Conspiracy You Didn't Learn About In School

I realize I'm wandering all over the place here, but there is one thing I want to present before we get to what I promised, and that's a discussion of the conspiracy everyone has heard about but few people know much about, namely (drum roll) The Illuminati! When the Bavarian Illuminati was exposed in 1797 it was huge news. Virtually everyone alive at the time was talking about it, both in America and across Europe.  The fact that today this famous conspiracy is unknown to all but a few is a testament to what happens when the ruling class decides something should be swept under the rug: it stops being reported, never gets repeated, ceases being written about, and is no longer published in the conventional histories.  Within two centuries the once-notorious incident of the Bavarian Illuminati had been flushed down the memory hole. Too bad, because this is one of those "lessons of history" we all ought to know about.

That's why I'm presenting below an excerpt about the Bavarian Illuminati written by one of the most reliable conspiracy researchers I know of, Donald Jeffries. The following is from his bestselling book, Crimes and Coverups In American Politics, and I present it because it's a very even-handed account, devoid of unnecessary alarmism despite the disturbing insouciance Weishaupt exhibits, given his stated intention to deceive virtually the entire world. Here it is:


Of all the means I know to lead men, the most effectual is a concealed mystery  -Adam Weishaupt

The earliest genuine "conspiracy" book that I know of carried the lengthy title Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All Religions and Governments of Europe Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati and Reading Societies.  Written by Edinburgh Professor John Robison, it was published in 1797.  The book was the first to focus on the Bavarian Illuminati, founded allegedly on May 1, 1776 by University of Ingoldstadt professor Adam Weishaupt, and its supposed infiltration of Freemasonic lodges.  

While the establishment views the Illuminati as a seldom noted, innocuous organization designed to enlighten the masses, conspiracy theorists consider it as one of the leading candidates for the unseen power behind everything.  Proofs was widely read, and a copy was even sent to George Washington. Washington commented on the book in a letter to Rev. George Washington Snyder, dated October 24, 1798.  A well-known Freemason himself, Washington attempted to refute the contention that Masonic lodges in America had been widely infiltrated by the Illuminati, although he admitted that "It was not my intention to doubt that the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am." 

Thomas Jefferson, however, seemed naively supportive of Weishaupt (whose name he misspelled as Wishaupt) in a January 31, 1800 letter, labeling him "an enthusiastic philanthropist."  Jefferson dismissed the fears of those like Robison towards "the spreading of information, reason, & natural morality among men."  In addition to George Washington, many other founding fathers were masons, such as Joseph Warren, James Otis, John Paul Jones, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin.  So was the Marquis de Lafayette, the French nobleman who fought with the American colonists. 

Even at that early date, the inclination was strong among establishment voices to discredit any "conspiracy theories."  Robison had been a "respected" figure in intellectual circles prior  to writing Proofs, and had contributed many valuable scientific articles to the Encyclopedia Britannica.  After his controversial book was published, however, the Encyclopedia Britannica critiqued it with the following comment, "it betrays a degree of credulity extremely remarkable in a person used to calm reasoning and philosophical demonstration."  That sentence could easily have fit into any New York Times review of an anti-Warren Commission JFK assassination book. 

Few conspirators have left the kind of transparent confessions on the record that Adam Weishaupt did. Consider this quote from Weishaupt:

The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment; let it never appear in any place in its own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation. None is better than the three lower degrees of Free Masonry; the public is accustomed to it, expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it.  Next to this, the form of a learned or literary society is best suited to our purpose, and had Free Masonry not existed, this cover would have been employed; and it may be much more than a cover, it may be a powerful engine in our hands.  By establishing reading societies, and subscription libraries, and taking these under our direction, and supplying them through our labours, we may turn the public mind which way we will.

Does this sound like the philosophy of an innocent free-thinker?  Weishaupt, in another statement, appeared to openly advocate assassination, as he reminded his followers, "No man is fit for our Order who is not a Brutus or a Catiline, and is not ready to go to every length."  Scoffing at the religious leaders who thought his movement innocuous, Weishaupt remarked, "The most wonderful thing of all is that the distinguished Lutheran and Calvinist theologians who belong to our order really believe that they see in it (Illuminati) the true and genuine sense of Christian Religion.  Oh Mortal man, is there anything you cannot be made to believe?"

Weishaupt's Illuminati drew the attention of many prominent Americans.  On the significant date of July 4, 1812, Joseph Willard, then president of Harvard University, delivered a speech in which he declared:

There is sufficient evidence that a number of societies, of the Illuminati, have been established in this land of Gospel light and civil liberty, which were first organized from the grand society, in France.  They are doubtless secretly striving to undermine all our ancient institutions, civil and sacred.  These societies are closely leagued with those of the same Order, in Europe; they have all the same object in view.  The enemies of all order are seeking our ruin.  Should the infidelity generally prevail, our independence would fall of course.  Our republican government would be annihilated.

Although the mention of his name is scoffed at in polite society, Adam Weishaupt was a very real person; as noted, a professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt.  Robison's interpretation of Weishaupt's plans as "scheming the establishment of an Association or Order, which, in time, should govern the world" was well reasoned.  His theory would lead inevitably to the concerns present-day conspiracy researchers have regarding the "New World Order," which always seems to be on the minds of those who lead us.  Robert Shea and Anton Wilson used Weishaupt with great dramatic license as a character in their wonderful Illuminatus science-fiction trilogy in the 1970s.  They even claimed that Weishaupt had killed George Washington and assumed his identity.  

As was mentioned earlier, Weishaupt founded the Illuminati officially on May 1, 1776, which is of great interest considering that "May Day" also came to be celebrated as International Workers' Day, and is dear to the hearts of socialists and communists everywhere.  It was an official holiday in the Soviet Union, with elaborate parades held in Red Square in Moscow and other major cities.  

The establishment's view on Weishaupt was expressed by Dr. Tony Page, who explained, in his translation of Supplement of the Justification of My Intentions by Adam Weishaupt, "His project was utopian and naively optimistic...but neither he nor his plan was evil or violent in and of themselves.  It is one of the deplorable and tragic ironies of history that a man who tried to inculcate virtue, philanthropy, social justice, and morality has become one of the great hate-figures of 21st century "conspiracy" thinking." -Excerpted from Crimes and Coverups in American Politics, 1776-1963 by Donald Jeffries (2019) *


*Jeffries has written a companion volume to Crimes & Coverups, titled Hidden History. Whereas Crimes and Coverups is a history of conspiracies in American politics from its founding up to 1963, Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Coverups in American Politics picks up from there, covering the Kennedy Assassination onward.   

Yeah, Well, That's Kinda The Problem, Isn't It, Tony? 
I think most of us would differ with Tony Page's assertion that Weishaupt's actions were virtuous, just, and moral. Weishaupt was undertaking to deceive on a massive scale, with the ultimate goal being world conquest.  Deception on that scale never results in the kind of "justice" most people envision when they hear the word. As much as Dr. Page would have hoped Weishaupt's utopian dream could have been allowed to come to pass, every single civilization founded on the ancient religion of illuminism inevitably degenerates into a dystopia, not a utopia. The precepts of illuminism dictate that the God of the bible was a jealous usurper, and that the true "Bearer of the Light" was Lucifer, The Illuminated One, The Son of the Morning.  It is he, according to the the creeds of the Illuminati, who is the rightful god, unjustly kicked out of heaven just for believing the best way to ensure everybody gets saved is to force them into it. Satan would have coerced all mankind into behaving exactly as he commands them, and when they can't be perfect (as individuals seldom can), they would be forced to conform against their will, even if it means their enslavement, torture, or death for disobeying.

As we learn in the Book of Mormon, secret combinations could be found in every age and on every continent literally since Cain plotted to kill his own brother. The Mystery Babylon School has always been the model for oppression, not liberation. Illuminati creeds were developed many centuries ago by power-hungry men motivated by one over-arching philosophy: certain men were destined to rule over lesser men. That belief did not change with Adam Weishaupt's attempt at reviving the ancient ways, and that belief remains in force on every continent of the world today.

From the Hittites, to the Assyrians, to the Egyptians and others, the leadership of the Mystery Schools learned how to control the weak. The enslavement and oppression of lesser beings was the defining feature of those civilizations; without it they would have no power. Illuminists "have a very ego-centric, prideful theology that dehumanizes its believer. The ancient secret societies of the Illuminati practiced occult theocracies that are totally removed from the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ." (Fritz Springmeier, Bloodlines of the Illuminati).

One common thread weaves itself through the training of those attracted to the mystery religions: it is the desire for power. Compare that with the desire of the godly hero Captain Moroni, who said, "I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”  

And That Brings Me To My Actual Point
As I was mulling this topic around in my head I was made aware of a recent blog post by Kendal Anderson. Kendal is the author of War: A Book of Mormon Perspective, which I gave a brief mention to awhile back in these pages.  As concerns secret combinations, Kendal has brilliantly explained how these combinations got a foothold here in America at virtually the same time the nascent United States was founded.  I have read entire books on this topic, but I have never seen this fascinating information explained as succinctly as Kendal has done here. What will really surprise you is that two of our founding fathers were instrumental in launching the very conspiracy that now threatens to hold every one of us in its totalitarian clutches. I hope you'll click on the link below to learn what they haven't been teaching you in school or in church:

Click This Link to be taken to "Gadiantons And The State"



Good Will said...
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Good Will said...

Rock, I am ONCE AGAIN in awe of your scholarship and service. I'm going to miss you when you're gone! In fact, I will be so sad when you (finally) "leave" us that I would prefer to precede you! (Where would I be without you?) :-) Such wisdom! Such home-spun, down-to-earth common sense and good acumen. Why, knowing all that we do, are we unable to FREE OURSELVES from this dragon? This beast?

Is it NOT ordained that we do so, but, rather, that we suffer, as Christ did, the imposition of an UNJUST reign upon us? That we might better appreciate and be devoted to the kingdom of our Christ, in all His glory? (I hope so!) For I HATE this world (and always have). Your post today just gives me ONE MORE REASON to do so! (Gee, pal, thanks!)

JR said...

Excellent article! I used to hear and read about different things going on in government and the retort's a Conspiracy Theory, a lie", and I believed that it was Conspiracy Theories. Everything that was labeled a Conspiracy Theory has turned out to be True. I do not discount anything today. If there is smoke there is fire.

The Council of Foreign Relations, Davos, Fabian Society, Frankfurt School, Economic Symposium, and more I can't recall....all secret combinations.....WHO,UN....RNC, DNC, and other groups of the top 5% of the wealthy....secret combinations.

There are many things the church used to teach and warn about, but not anymore. After Pres. Benson passed away is when church leaders started going way off course in guiding the members to where we are today in my opinion. The leaders push the very things that go against the Gospel of Christ.

I never liked Russell Nelson and many others in church leadership... couldn't explain why...I just got bad vibes/feelings from them; never felt anything Spiritual and good from them.

Their public attack on Trump confirmed my suspicions and feelings about them.

Same with the majority of the self proclaimed Church Apologists.... horrible people. Same with the Mormon politicians... Romney and Reed are vile evil people... Lee, Mia Love, others.... faux Christians.

The leaders berate people who leave the church for being offended.....notice how they never say anything about those who do the offending, and say nothing about the Golden Rule and living Christ's teachings. They have become exactly like the Pharisees.....they treat members horribly, attack those who have valid questions. They placate the left. This has become worse and worse.

If there was no massive Election Fraud then the DemoCommieFascists and Commie Lite Republicans would welcome audits in every state to prove it instead of fighting transparency... Secrecy is the beginning of very true.

jstcommentary said...


Great job as usual. Your article made my think of the secrecy that the LDS church uses to run its multi-billion dollar empire. Brigham Young got control of that church and it has never recovered. Keep writing my friend.

John Peterson

Emili said...

Looking for you article in Misquoting God. Had a friend read it and really thought it was well written and accurate. I'm guessing you made it private, wondering if I can get a link to read it please?

Thomas said...

I think the only way to progress is selflessness in way that we have rarely seen. The way to get ahead in this life is usually built on the backs of others.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Here you go, Emily. I had a bit of trouble finding it myself. Lately it's seemed to get harder to find things on my own blog. Eventually I intend to put all the best ones on the right side of the page under that heading "More Favorites," but it's a tedious chore I have been putting off.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

P.S. Emili, I never make anything private; it's all out there for the grabbing.

Dave P. said...

I've been telling people for a long time that the church remains under condemnation for treating the Book of Mormon lightly: Not only outright ignoring several aspects of it (secret combinations included), but constantly doing the opposite of what it teaches.

Does the corporation honestly think that they can hope to ignore it and that the condemnation will just go away? It's in for a rude awakening regardless.

dx said...

Why can't a group of honest believers unite and salvage the truth that Joseph Smith helped restore and toss the rest aside?

OpenMind said...

@dx Literally because of the exact spirit that animated THIS blog post

Russ Ellersick said...

Two books that are good references for how things have evolved over this past century are, The Devils Chessboard, by David Talbot, and JFK and The Unspeakable, by James Douglass.

Amy said...

Incredibly informative. Well written as always! I'm sure proud to have you as my father.

Also, Kendal Anderson's piece was great. I'll be following....thanks for the link.

Amy said...

Ahhhh you must be my dad's latest troll. Your username really packs it in doesn't it? Very clever!

OpenMind said...

On the contrary, you’d be shocked how much I love your dad.

Linda Gale said...

This is a much needed and really great post, Rock.
Also the highlighted post was excellent. I have to admit to being a huge fan of L. Spooner.

I'm sure you are aware of Larken Rose. He has a recent 4-part series of videos which help the average American understand the theory of Justice, not that the corrupt and evil gov't dares to practices pure justice at this point in our history.

Larken has a very practical way of explaining things -- (perhaps most of us simply take the urban legend understanding of justice as the real deal, which it is not).

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'm a big fan of Larken Rose, Linda. Thanks for putting me onto that series.

I quoted from Larken's book "The Most Dangerous Superstition" in a previous post titled "Who You Callin' Apostate?" I had almost forgotten that one even existed. Here's where readers can find it:

Mark said...

Everyone should read Tragedy and Hope - that is their game plan.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Glad you brought that up Mark, because I notice my first edition of Tragedy and Hope (which I bought a lifetime ago before anyone cared) recently sold for 1,1500.00! Since I've already read it and could use the money, if some rich collector is interested in buying mine, let's negotiate!

Also of interest is this interview Professor Quiqley did with a well-known conspiracy researcher at the time (whose name escapes me.) When Quigley learned that his book was in great demand, (and was actually being pirated by a publishing company in Korea) he went back to Macmillan and asked them to reprint it, because he wasn't getting any royalties from the pirated and second-hand sales. Macmillan said they no longer had the plates, that the plates seem to have disappeared. Quigley was very suspicious of their motives.

Underdog2 said...

It might not be an exaggeration to say that the cumulative (over millennia), fine-tuned final "product" of Satan's "genius" can be witnessed by the stunning results of billions of people in Stockholm Syndrome.

This "miracle" has been accomplished inasmuch as he (Satan) has gotten "hold upon the hearts of the children of men" (as quoted in Hel 6, from the blog you recommended above).

Satan brilliantly has gotten people to love and trust the state! Good people everywhere sing the state's praises, with the nefarious Covid emergency hoax being the latest (and by far greatest) deception Satan has ever pulled off. It's the wind-up scene of earth's history, just previous to Christ's Second Coming.

Would you expect anything less from Satan?

Telavian said...

It does sadden me that we as a church have a philosophy that we are just going to walk into the second coming and be fine if we have a temple recommend and follow the righteous crowd spiritually. People don't realize that compliance makes things worse and eventually when the evil powers get strong enough then nothing except the power of God can destroy it.

The Book of Mormon goes to great lengths to discuss conspiracies that destroyed the church and the government for 2 previous American civilizations. However today we are so enlightened that it couldn't possibly happen to us. It is dumb to say the least.

I think we deserve what comes to us because God warned us repeatedly and we just didn't care.

Janeen said...

Gary Allen's little book, "None Dare Call it Conspiracy".

Eric Kuntz said...

We'll Know Our Disinformation Program is Complete When Everything The American Public Believes is False. - William Casey, CIA Director 1981

Dallon J Cook said...

Pioneer Books in Provo would pay good money for it

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Is Richard Horsley still alive and operating Pioneer Books, Dallon? Last time I was in there (and it's been years) there were other guys working there and I didn't get a clear answer whether Richard still owned it. I knew him quite well, bought a LOT of my LDS books from him.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Thanks for mentioning "None Dare Call it Conspiracy," Janeen. Gary Allen had been a committed leftist who set out to debunk the notion that there were conspirators working behind the scenes in the US government, but as you know, his research convinced him that indeed there were, and he named names. I read that book my first year out of high school, in 1971.

Although Allen died in the mid-1980s, the book's co-author, Larry Abraham, put out a follow-up to it, "Call it Conspiracy!" in 1986. That was an update of what the "the insiders" had been up to since publication of the first book. One of the things Abraham wrote that really stuck with me was that these elites honestly think of themselves as superior by birth to rule over others, very much the way ancient monarchs were convinced their birthrights entitled them to rule over all the lesser beings on earth.

Gary Allen himself wrote a sequel of sorts titled "Say 'NO' To the New World Order" which, although not as well known as the book he wrote with Larry Abraham (5 MILLION copies in print) still did very well, and is an essential part of the conspiracy canon. Anyone interested in how the ruling class patiently works toward accomplishing its nefarious goals owes it to themselves to become familiar with these seminal works.

OpenMind said...

The Book of Mormon uses the phrase “stirred up to anger”, or some variation, at least 27 times. I can think of no better explanation for the purpose of a blog post like this, as well as the many like it everywhere (not picking on you Rock, you’re one of MANY) The end result of following this spirit has never and will never produce even one heart who “loves their enemies”. The source is not that Lord who openly forgave and died for even those who nailed Him to a cross. We need to be very very careful.

Telavian said...

OpenMind, I certainly agree with you. God is not contentious however it is certainly disingenuous to say he truly cares about your feelings when you are not doing the right things.

In fact the scriptures are very clear that Jesus causes rifts and division. For instance Matthew 10:34-36 shows that Jesus will even divide families. Some may say then we should 'participate' in wickedness just so we can be 'happy'. However does anyone really think that is the work of God?

Some may even attack you and then when you defend yourself they say you are the contentious one. God will burn all evil and wickedness from our souls and I seriously doubt that is going to be a pleasant or exciting ordeal. However it will certainly be worth it if we endure.

Contention is not of God certainly however rooting out all evil among us is the work of God and his servants.

Eric Kuntz said...

Yes, Jesus certainly did cause rifts and divisions...

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword! - Jesus

To all the group think voices that parrot the sentiment "We need to be very very careful."

Col Jessup said it best..."You Can't Handle the Truth!"

OpenMind said...

It never gets less funny hearing you say “group think” Eric. I find irony more hilarious than I probably should…

Janeen said...

I remember hearing Larry Abraham speak at a youth camp I attended in the early 70's. Quite the eye opener for a young teenager.

Also Charlie Smith spoke at that time and told of his experiences in planning and carrying out the Watts riots.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Open Mind,
You certainly reveal a unique takeaway from this blog post, I'll give you that.

I gather you got the impression this post (as with others) has the effect of stirring good people up to anger. I'd say it's more designed to "stir" people up to an awareness, i.e. that there are powerful people who wish to control, and ultimately destroy them. Or alternatively, as Nephi put it when he used that phrase twice in a row,

"For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be STIRRED UP UNTO REPENTANCE, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be STIRRED UP TO ANGER, and perish." (2 Nephi 28:19)

I own a concordance, too, Open Mind, and I note that when the Book of Mormon uses that phrase "stirred up to anger" it seems to be referring to the bad guys being stirred up to anger against the righteous, not the other way around. But you seem to think that we should be, as you put it, "very, very careful" not to offend those who would be our masters. Or am I misunderstanding you?

Perhaps you've forgotten Moroni's stringent warning to us in the last days. I don't think his biggest concern was that we might offend the wicked. I think he was more concerned that we might be oblivious to their wicked machinations:

“O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, THAT THEREBY YE MAY REPENT OF YOUR SINS, AND SUFFER NOT THAT THESE MURDEROUS COMBINATONS SHALL GET ABOVE YOU, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, WHEN YE SHALL SEE THESE THINGS COME AMONG YOU THAT YE SHALL AWAKE TO A SENSE OF YOUR AWFUL SITUATION, because of this secret combination which shall be among you.”

Too bad you weren't around back then to give Moroni a piece of that open mind of yours, or he may have given more thought to that warning. Maybe you could have convinced him he ought to be "very, very careful" about stirring people up so much that they might actually awaken to their awful situation.

Or maybe had you been around to advise Moroni's namesake, Captain Moroni, you might have talked him out of taking a stand for righteousness. Maybe with your help he might have had second thoughts about rallying God's people to repent, rise up, and throw off those secret combinations that were threatening to overthrow them.

Alas, I'm afraid you were born too late, Open Mind. Instead of having an effect on some honest-to-goodness prophets (where by your account, it could have done some good), all you're able to do now is rag on some second-rate blogger.

But thanks anyway for the advice, Open Mind. From here on out I'll be very, very careful not to get on the bad side of the bad guys.

JR said...

The Millennial Star site/blog has a very very good article about how Salt Lake church leaders have allowed church historians and church apologists to secularize church history, move away from truth claims, move away from and disavow Heavenly miracles, attack people who challenge them and so forth.

Worth reading.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Can you send us a link, JR?

Jared Livesey said...

He probably means this one:

Telavian said...

I do agree that the church and academics are trying to change the historical narrative. It is however not as simple as old = good, new = bad. If you want a slightly biased take on this then I would suggest you read the "Faith Crisis" series from the Joseph Smith Foundation. Inside the walls of the church a cold war has been brewing as the church has gotten larger and more bureaucratic. People are fighting for their agendas and if the President of the church asks for something and people don't want to do it then it will die in committee. Think about that for a bit in "God's church".

With all that said, Leonard Arrington has been the only academic to ever hold the position of church historian. He is also the only person to have opened the church archives to the public. When he was released then the archives were immediately closed again. It took many years however the Joseph Smith papers project is a result of his openness and interest in sharing information whether it paints the church positively or not. However even that is missing significant amounts of documents that the church doesn't want to include because they know the implications. In addition the church takes credit for that project however it is a result of a very large grant from Larry H. Miller. If the church cared they could easily have digitized the records themselves many years ago.

I think all truth should be pursued and if something we were doing or are doing is wrong we should purge it like the plague. The issue though is the thought that the "church" should be protected at all costs. This is reflected in the "research" of academics who arrive at a presupposed conclusion after much discussion about nothing.

Oaks says we can't criticize church leaders, truth can be sacrificed to help the church and that lying for the Lord is okay.
"It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true"

"My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts."

"Truth surely exists as an absolute, but our use of truth should be disciplined by other values....When truth is constrained by other virtues, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a season."

A lie by omission is still a lie.
George Orwell said "The most powerful form of lie is the omission."

Oaks is certainly not the only one to share the sentiment. Elder Packer directly tells church historians and academics to tone it down with their accurate information.
"There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful."

It is certainly not clear what is truth when you have an institution that will protect itself at all costs, alter historical records, and then excommunicate those that are willing to stand up. However I know that the more open and honest we are with our history then the closer we can come to God and see the miraculous things he has done for us.

Telavian said...

Sorry this was too long to include in the previous post.

Lastly Richard S. Van Wagoner who was a non academic historian wrote in "Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess":
"The official “History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was published in book form under the direction of the First Presidency in 1902. The introductory assurance that “no historical or doctrinal statement has been changed” is demonstrably wrong. Overshadowed by editorial censorship, hundreds of deletions, additions, and alterations, these seven volumes are not always reliable….Charles Wesley Wandell, an assistant church historian, was aghast at these emandations….Wandell noted in his diary: “I notice the interpolations because having been employed in the Historian’s office at Nauvoo by Doctor Richards, and employed, too, in 1845, in compiling this very autobiography, I know that after Joseph’s death his memoir was ‘doctored’ to suit the new order of things, and this, too, by the direct order of Brigham Young to Doctor Richards and systematically by Richards.” The Quorum of the Twelve, under Brigham Young’s leadership, began altering the historical record shortly after Smith’s death."

The church itself has certainly altered the history to paint things in a much more favorable light. Therefore we actually do need to alter it back in order to understand the truth.