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 Post subject: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:54 am 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Well, folks, it seems that the Mopologists are back at it with their vicious attacks on other Mormons. This time around, the venue is the still utterly God-awful Mormon Interpreter Radio Show. Guests on the program were Martin Tanner, Terry Hutchinson, Dan Peterson (who, very tellingly, is described in the opening moments as "the CEO of Mormon Interpreter"), and, sounding rather like the parodic imitation of Lorne Michaels on the old SNL "Saturday TV Funhouse" animated skits ("Come back here with myyyy sheow!"), John Gee. The program begins, as always, with the trumpet fanfare and a woman's voice, clearly fraught with ennui, welcoming listeners to "The Interpreter Show." There is clearly something wrong with the crew's sound equipment: distortion, lots of rustling, and a sense that the microphones being used are either cheap or out of date (and incidentally, DCP makes a call for donations in this episode).

Perhaps the most charged and interesting moment in the broadcast comes at the 26:00 mark. Here, the Mopologists are discussing the new Saints book, specifically it's handling of the Book of Abraham issue:

John Gee wrote:
You're not going to find a lot in there, but they avoided some pitfalls. And... although I kind of hate to mention this, the treatment of the Book of Abraham in, say, Rough Stone Rolling, is very disappointing. It's hard to find anything that Richard Bushman got right on the topic. And his short introduction, or very short Introduction to Mormonism is much worse on the Book of Abraham. It's...you should sort of black out anything that he says, because it's all wrong. Saints doesn't have that problem. I didn't find any false statements or problematic statements on the Book of Abraham.


Whoa! Quite a slap in the face to the eminent Richard Bushman! In the past, it has been fairly easy to sense some tension between the Mopologists and Bushman, who they likely see as too strong of a supporter of the "Mormon Studies" crew. Gee's condemnation here, though, is remarkable in its complete dismissiveness. Bushman would be well within his rights to take umbrage.

Later in the program--roughly the 44 minute mark--the conversation shifts to a discussion about LDS biblical commentary. DCP tells a story about "getting into trouble" for describing Kent Brown's volumes on Luke as a "landmark in LDS scholarship." "We've never had a real commentary on Luke or any other of the Gospels." He continues:

DCP wrote:
Frankly, uh, this is a minor consideration, but I used to be involved in putting on displays--designing displays that were held at the American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, and people would come by and they'd look at all this Mormon stuff, which is what we were putting out--[dismissively] or LDS stuff or whatever it is now--and, um, they'd say, "Well, don't you do the Bible?" Well, now, that's the kind of reaction I had not anticipated. We'd sort of had turned that over to everybody else. If Evangelicals, and the Jews, or whoever--whatever group wants to do a commentary on a Biblical book, we'll use that, for our particular purposes, but we weren't doing our own Biblical commentaries. And that led to a perception that sort of reinforced the perception in some circles that we're not really Christian.


Yes: this is really an old criticism, isn't it? I.e., that the Bible plays second fiddle to other texts in the LDS canon. What's interesting is to hear DCP openly admit to having inadvertently contributed to the problem. And he's remarkably blasé in his comments: he doesn't really seem to care.

Shortly after this, somebody--Tanner, perhaps--says, "Gee, there's a pretty good Bible commentary called The Interpreter Bible Commentary"--which elicits a laugh from the crew. This then leads into a conversation about the name Mormon Interpreter, which represents the ever-shifting explanations for the name:

DCP wrote:
Yeah, you know, one of the reasons... "Mormon Interpreter" is not actually the name of the organization, or, you know, but it's used sometimes because the word "Interpreter" is so generic, that if you just Google "Interpreter," you get, you know, language journals, things for professional...simultaneous translators and so on. So, so--online, the thing is called "Mormon Interpreter," and some people refer to it that way in order to distinguish it from all the other conceivable and real interpreters that are out there.


They boys all then share a chuckle over a joke about how Peterson decided against calling it "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Interpreter." In any case, you have it from the mouth of the CEO himself: it's perfectly acceptable to call the organization (and the blog) "Mormon Interpreter."

At around 49:30, Dr. Peterson plugs an event featuring Royal Skousen and Stan Carmack. DCP says "this one's going to be kind of controversial" because they're going to cover their bizarre research on "archaic syntax" in the Book of Mormon. He goes on to say, "There are a lot of people mocking them so far, you know. But it's typically because they actually haven't read what Skousen and Carmack... It's easier that way; they haven't read what they've written, and so make fun of them. But it's serious stuff with serious evidence."

"If someone's criticizing them before it actually comes out, that's the 'shoot the messenger before you even have a chance to look at the message'," somebody adds (Tanner?).

DCP replies, "Well, these are meticulous linguists. And, uh, you know, you ask, 'What is your theory to explain what you're finding?' And they'll tell you, 'Our job is to lay out what we've found. Y'know, how to explain it, we don't necessarily know, but it's there and you can't deny it.'"

Somebody quips, "So it's not in the Late Great War of 1812 or whatever that thing is?"

DCP: "No, it's not. That won't explain it or account for it."


Interesting. You have to wonder where the Mopologists think this is going to lead. You get the sense that they think that this is going to wind up bolstering the Book of Mormon's status as an authentic prophetic document, but what does this do to their notions of the book as a legitimate history of Latin America? And I don't think that the "You haven't read it!" retort is very effective. Unless the books say something radically different from the basic claim--i.e., that Elizabethan language is present in the BoM--then the critics are right on the money with their mockery. That said, my understanding is that critics were laughing more at the explanation (and here DCP's above explanation isn't accurate vis-à-vis Skousen / Carmack's willingness to offer an explanation) that the material found its way into the Book of Mormon thanks to a "ghost committee" that worked to dictate the text to Joseph Smith.

Really, this was quite a mediocre entry into the annals of Mopologetic productions, but some interesting nuggets here and there.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:03 pm 
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John Gee wrote:
You're not going to find a lot in there, but they avoided some pitfalls. And... although I kind of hate to mention this, the treatment of the Book of Abraham in, say, Rough Stone Rolling, is very disappointing. It's hard to find anything that Richard Bushman got right on the topic. And his short introduction, or very short Introduction to Mormonism is much worse on the Book of Abraham. It's...you should sort of black out anything that he says, because it's all wrong. Saints doesn't have that problem. I didn't find any false statements or problematic statements on the Book of Abraham.


That's a wild statement that surely could be proven wrong.

"It's hard to find anything that Richard Bushman got right"

"you should sort of black out anything that he says, because it's all wrong"

What an incredible thing to say. I'm sure Gee is mistaken. Actually, I think Gee could better apply his statement to Joseph Smith's Explanations of Facsimile No. 3 because everything in there is completely, 100% wrong. I've come to the conclusion that John Gee is a miserable and evil man. The man has no honor. The man is a liar -- he is the worst Egyptologist of modern times. He's scum.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:05 pm 
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The female announcer caught my attention when she said, "... all kinds of illicit issues and topics."

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:15 pm 
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I appreciate the careful and incisive review, Dr. Scratch.

A few notes of my own:

1. Dr. Gee's more-or-less defunct blog, Forlorn Spoll Fira, features a book list that gives an indication of his view of Bushman's books. There Gee gives one star to Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling and zero stars to Bushman's A Very Short Introduction.

2. Dr. Gee's scintillating response to Tanner's cue to talk about An Introduction to the Book of Abraham deserves another listen (1:20:20).

3. Regarding Drs. Skousen and Carmack, I look forward to their upcoming lecture and the publication of the two-volume The Nature of the Original Language of the Book of Mormon (NOL). An excerpt from the description of the NOL:
Quote:
Now in NOL, Skousen (again with the assistance of Carmack) argues that virtually all of the language of the Book of Mormon, not just the bad grammar, is found in Early Modern English. And not only are these words, phrases, and expressions in the text largely from Early Modern English, but a good many of them ceased to exist in English prior to 1700 (examples like but if ‘unless’, do away ‘to dismiss’, and idleness ‘meaningless words’). In all, Skousen identifies about 80 such word uses, phrases, and expressions that disappeared from English one to three centuries before the 1830 publication of the Book of Mormon....

Several sections of NOL are dedicated to showing that virtually every expression that scholars and critics have proposed as representing the language of Joseph Smith’s time turn out to be in earlier English, even striking expressions such as “to endure the crosses of the world” and “to sing the song of redeeming love”. And some of these are truly archaic expressions that died out of English prior to 1600 and would not have been used by Joseph Smith in his own language, but there they are in the Book of Mormon, examples like “how be it”, meaning ‘however it may be’, and “never the less”, meaning ‘by no means less’....

In Skousen and Carmack’s view, all of this linguistic evidence (along with the evidence from eyewitnesses of the translation process) strongly argues that Joseph Smith was not the author of the translated English-language text of the Book of Mormon; instead, he received it word for word from the Lord by means of his translation instrument.

Finally, Skousen argues that the themes of the Book of Mormon – religious, social, and political – do not derive from Joseph Smith’s time (also an 1831 claim of Alexander Campbell’s), but instead are the prominent issues of the Protestant Reformation, and they too date from the 1500s and 1600s rather than the 1800s – examples like burning people at the stake for heresy, standing before the bar of justice (often called the pleading bar in the 1600s), secret combinations to overthrow the government, the rejection of infant baptism, the sacrament as symbolic memorial and spiritual renewal, public rather than private confession, no required works of penance, and piety in living and worship. Skousen believes that the Book of Mormon would have resonated much more strongly with the Reformed and Radical Protestants of the 1500s and 1600s than with the Christians of Joseph Smith’s time.
Well now.

4. Dr. Peterson says that his Book of Mormon witnesses film will cost about $1.2 million (59:04). That project may put an end to his dreams of building the Mopologetic ziggurat.

5. I'm slowly recovering from listening to the August 26th show. Sam Young, youth interviews, the November 2015 policy. Among other things, Craig Foster confesses that he possesses two thick file folders of comments made by people and articles about the policy. (I assume he's carrying out an assignment from the Strengthening Church Members Committee.) Foster goes on to mislead listeners by claiming an equivalence between the November 2015 policy and church policy regarding children living in polygamous households.


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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:25 am 
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Yeah if he doesn't agree with me, black him all out. This view and approach is precisely what is wrong with apologetics in the first place. The myopic its all one way or ta uther kind of thinking. Bushman is more of a naturalist view all right, but then again, Gee's supernaturalist view sure hasn't held the day. He knows that and I suspect that is why he thinks that tearing down everyone else's view is going to give his a boost from its sagging credibility.

Gee is going to make just a fine General Authority along the Dallin Oaks kind a guy...

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:02 am 
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It seems like he read my post regarding the name of their blog. Happy I could help.

The remarks about the spirit-world translation are interesting. He says that the forthcoming volumes are already being laughed at before they've been read. We're assured it's very scholarly work.

I'm curious about the mocking audience. We've had a go at aspects of the theory around there, admittedly, but wouldn't it be odd if the primary skeptics for the forthcoming work that they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, is website of "anonymous participants" where maybe, 5 - 10 have ever commented?

I mean, if that were the case, it would say more about the failure to properly scope the project. Should we assume there are other venues of some importance to the archaic English genre who are already mocking? Translation: somebody other than us has heard about it?

Maybe I just lack imagination here or insider knowledge, but it just seems like the project is so narrow that it's unlikely to be of much interest to those outside an extremely narrow specialty, that is, until the 'who done it' aspect of the theory is underscored, and then it turns brutally Mopologetic in nature.

At any rate, I barely got through my core English requirements in college so who am I to say anything one way or the other about this project -- and two volumes? I'm happy to credit it as a scholarly contribution to the world, once I see some endorsements from qualified non-Mormon experts come in.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:05 am 
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It seems to me that since they can't place the Book of Mormon in the 4th Century or earlier, they are desperate to put it anywhere but in Smith's time, so they are going off on Smith's mimicry and plagiarism of 15th Century English. It's all rather silly and pointless, but they are absolutely desperate.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:34 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Gadianton wrote:
The remarks about the spirit-world translation are interesting. He says that the forthcoming volumes are already being laughed at before they've been read. We're assured it's very scholarly work.

I'm curious about the mocking audience. We've had a go at aspects of the theory around there, admittedly, but wouldn't it be odd if the primary skeptics for the forthcoming work that they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, is website of "anonymous participants" where maybe, 5 - 10 have ever commented?

I mean, if that were the case, it would say more about the failure to properly scope the project. Should we assume there are other venues of some importance to the archaic English genre who are already mocking? Translation: somebody other than us has heard about it?

Maybe I just lack imagination here or insider knowledge, but it just seems like the project is so narrow that it's unlikely to be of much interest to those outside an extremely narrow specialty, that is, until the 'who done it' aspect of the theory is underscored, and then it turns brutally Mopologetic in nature.

At any rate, I barely got through my core English requirements in college so who am I to say anything one way or the other about this project -- and two volumes? I'm happy to credit it as a scholarly contribution to the world, once I see some endorsements from qualified non-Mormon experts come in.


These are excellent points. I think you're right: the Mopologists don't seem to get the reasons why critics are laughing at this project. I doubt there is anyone who questions Skousen and Carmack's basic conclusion--i.e., that there is Elizabethan language in the Book of Mormon. Sure, yeah, okay--no problem. I certainly believe them; they are--as Dr. Peterson said--serious, rigorous linguists, and if that's the conclusion they've drawn, then I believe them.

But, like you said, Dr. Robbers--what's the point here? How does this help the apologists? And who is the audience? Do they intend to market this to TBMs and Chapel Mormons--the "sister in Parowan"? How is the basic claim likely to go down with that crowd? "Inoculation" is a buzzword lately among the FAIR and Interpreter crowd, but how is that supposed to work in this case? Do the "unwashed masses" need to be prepped before they are confronted with the disturbing reality that there is anachronistic prose in the Book of Mormon? Nephites and Lamanites weren't hanging around in Elizabethan England, after all. I believe I saw an astonishing post or comment from Dr. Peterson recently in which he actually seemed to be suggesting that the most powerful point in this entire project really is the "ghost committee" thing: i.e., *that* is what he believes is the most faith-promoting dimension of all of this. The argument seems to be something like this: "Look, there's Elizabethan prose in this. How did it get there? Well, the most plausible explanation is that there was a Ghost Committee--comprised of people from that era--who were dictating this stuff to Joseph Smith." In most circumstance, I would say that this is so whacked-out and bizarre that it defies belief. But, hey: Mopologetics is a strange country.

I suppose the apologists could argue that they are supporting the project on purely scholarly grounds, though of course that's ridiculous. If they were interested in that, they would have committed ages ago to publishing in more traditional, secular venues. Even so, can you imagine the non-LDS community's reaction to this? "Oh, so there's 16th Century language in the Book of Mormon? You don't say!" Part of the reason this project is so hilarious is that it is virtually impossible to see how this fits into any kind of faith-promoting paradigm.

But the real clincher is, as you alluded to, Dean, the huge expenditure. They have sunk over a hundred-thousand dollars into this thing. Talk about pure folly! Skousen openly defied the Brethren; the project seems totally disconnected from anything faith-promoting, and, in fact, actually seems like it could pose a threat to testimonies; the Mopologists seem clueless about who the audience is supposed to be for this; and they have spent (or wasted?) a not-inconsiderable sum of money on it. This is one of the most perfect examples of pure Mopologetics that we've ever seen.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
But the real clincher is, as you alluded to, Dean, the huge expenditure. They have sunk over a hundred-thousand dollars into this thing. Talk about pure folly!


Who pays for this stuff? This is incredibly niche stuff, so I can't imagine many people would want to give them money for this drool-inducing Quietus.

- Doc


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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:29 pm 
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Serious question. Have any of them produced anything near as massive as RSR?

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:20 pm 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Serious question. Have any of them produced anything near as massive as RSR?


Well! (sputtering) John Gee's 99 page Guide to the Book of Abraham comes in a close 345,657th! That just has to mean something to them.....

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:45 pm 
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One thing to remember is that this theory, at least according to shades, originally had no ties to Mopologetics or apologetics at all. Skousen is a kind of purist operating in his own world.

I’m not sure even the original speculations about the spirit committee were apologetic driven, but perhaps more like,” what does this crop circle mean? “ Rather than, “how can we account for this crop circle?”

What does Mopologetics want from this effort that it paid such a big price? I could provide maybe three different answers to that question that sound plausible but in the end, I think it’s a mystery of its own. It must be the heaviest funded theory to date.

I’m open to suggestions.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Philo Sofee wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Serious question. Have any of them produced anything near as massive as RSR?


Well! (sputtering) John Gee's 99 page Guide to the Book of Abraham comes in a close 345,657th! That just has to mean something to them.....


Sounds useful.
:rolleyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:09 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Gadianton wrote:
What does Mopologetics want from this effort that it paid such a big price? I could provide maybe three different answers to that question that sound plausible but in the end, I think it’s a mystery of its own. It must be the heaviest funded theory to date.

I’m open to suggestions.


I can't help but wonder if some of this is just plain old hubris. Back in the good ol' days of fully-fledged, Maxwell Institute-endorsed Mopologetics, one of the more far-flung criticisms you used to hear was that the apologists thought that they were "better" than the Brethren. You can't deny that that tension was always there: What business did the apologists have giving answers concerning doctrine? They don't have the keys, after all. And the discomfort of this was all over their posts: they used to put that silly disclaimer (and, in fact, I think they still use some variation on it) about how their views don't have any connection to the "official" Church. (Meanwhile, nowadays, the Church actually hands out "endorsements" of certain cites, blogs, and organizations.) Then again, as monomaniacal defenders of the "faith," they sort of had to adopt that mantle--sometimes in obviously unscrupulous ways (such as the 2nd Watson Letter). The tension was weird from the other direction, too: you sort of knew that (at least some of) the Brethren were openly supportive of the Mopologists--Packer and Maxwell, e.g. But there were clearly things that the apologists were doing that rattled others among the 15 (hence why they got kicked out of the MI). You could tell that some of the Brethren worried that aggressive apologetics was driving people away.

What I'm getting at is that the Mopologists often seemed to feel as if they had a chip on their shoulders: they couldn't claim inerrancy or that they had the true power of an "official" Church spokesman, and yet they felt like the Brethren *were* asking them to take on this role to a certain extent. And how would you feel if you were the one tasked with constantly cleaning up the Church's historical, theological, and PR messes? Plus, imagine that you have a certain degree of arrogance, and you think that the Church's PR tactics are third-rate, and that if given the chance, you yourself could come up with something that's ten thousand times better.

So, yeah: it makes a certain degree of sense that the apologists would hop on board Skousen's project, since it was a direct finger in the eye to the Brethren, who tried to stop it. And I think it's fairly clear that at least some of the Mopologists view themselves as being in direct competition with the Church's propaganda arm. (Yet another reason for the sensitivity to the label of "Stalinist," I would imagine?) The constant plugging of substance-free material; this production of a million-dollar+ "film" on the Witnesses; cruises to Israel; the commitment to quantity over quality; etc. This feels like a full-court-press marketing campaign: a hardcore, free-market capitalist response to some of the more collectivist impulses governing the Church's authority structure. ("We must all face the same way.")

Skousen's "Ghost Committee" theory has all the earmarks of this insubordination: it lays claim to being the most authoritative interpretation of the crucial Restoration scripture (as DCP admitted, they don't even bother with the Bible). It stands as a semi-public rebuke to the Brethren's authority. And it also shows the apologists crafting doctrine and theology on the spot. It almost seems as if they're treating this as a trial run: if a lot of the rubes and dopes who follow their blogs are on board, it will mean that they are every bit as persuasive as the Brethren, and the vast PR machine that they control. Simply put: this is an attempt to re-craft central aspects of the LDS master narrative.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:42 am 
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Mormon Apologists are a community of fiction writers. There are so many genres, like fantasy, science fiction, romance, and they have theirs, the Book of Mormon, Abraham, etc.

Like with many writers of fiction, you can get some really bizarre and bad ideas for a story, but the majority of these are stopped at the publishing house by good editors.

Unfortunately, there are none in the Mopologist world. (Good editors). Any flimsy, stupid, inane thing will be published and broadcast to the world as long as it supports their view of the Book of Mormon, Abraham, etc.

But when a better storyline comes along, they are not shy about throwing the old ones under the bus. They simply get line by lined, and discarded to the trash heap of inspiration? that was written without further light and knowledge.

This works very well with "revelation". Even if the brethren are opposed to some of these wacky stories, they won't try very hard to squash them because even bad storylines are better than what the critics are churning out. And they can claim that such stuff was never authorized.

But every once in a while something really bad gets through, like this fantasy show from the CW, called "The Outpost", https://www.cbr.com/review-the-outpost-cw-bad-fantasy/

I mean, you can tell they have glued on pointy ears, etc. It's simply horrible in every way. This is on par with what the Mopologists produce, Skousen in particular, if one were to do a comparison.

Unfortunately, all the Mopologist offerings are at this level. And yet, they are so pleased with themselves and are flocking to Skousen and his "Ghost Committee".

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:44 am 
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since it was a direct finger in the eye to the Brethren, who tried to stop it.


Could you elaborate? My memory isn't so good, professor. If this has been discussed I just don't recall it.

Quote:
Simply put: this is an attempt to re-craft central aspects of the LDS master narrative.


Well this is interesting. The best theory I had was that the project was picked up personally by DCP to "out Shakespeare" the critics once and for all. Recall that long ago, rather than take a position on something or answer a question, he'd quote Shakespeare at length. Such knowledge revealed who controlled the board, and so imagine if Shakespeare himself was part of the committee that wrote the Book of Mormon. It would automatically become the most dignified book on the planet, and if critics persevered, it would show their lack of familiarity with the classics, to their eternal embarrassment.

You suggest a grander vision than lobbing mud balls at old rivals, something I hadn't even considered as a possibility. The hardest part for me to believe about your theory is, how does it get that kind of reach? Well, I think the answer might be, once the books are published and the coast is clear, the ghost committee theory must sneak into the Chapel. Quite honestly, just as any serious TBM knows the founding fathers requested their temple work to be done, the suggestion that key historical figures actually played a direct roll in bringing the Book of Mormon forth from beyond the veil might go viral and offer a serious challenge to Meldrum's theory. As the LTG theory has pretty much been abandoned by the Mopologists anyways, it could be ancillary to this, ignored, or even rejected for the Heartland model, as such a theory would gate even the Heartland model.

It could prove to be a real victory I suppose, even though a long shot. One wonders if tensions will arise as John McNaughton paints Shakespeare and others studying the Gold plates from beyond the veil. Interesting.

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:56 am 
Dragon
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I see it more like they are all huddled around a glowing stone and the gold plates, with Moroni there to "translate", with the middle ages personalities making suggestions on what words to use, and Smith on the other end with his head buried in a hat, the edges glowing the same ethereal color as the one in the "Spirit World", receiving the text.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:14 pm 
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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Even so, can you imagine the non-LDS community's reaction to this? "Oh, so there's 16th Century language in the Book of Mormon? You don't say!" Part of the reason this project is so hilarious is that it is virtually impossible to see how this fits into any kind of faith-promoting paradigm.

But the real clincher is, as you alluded to, Dean, the huge expenditure. They have sunk over a hundred-thousand dollars into this thing. Talk about pure folly! Skousen openly defied the Brethren; the project seems totally disconnected from anything faith-promoting, and, in fact, actually seems like it could pose a threat to testimonies; the Mopologists seem clueless about who the audience is supposed to be for this; and they have spent (or wasted?) a not-inconsiderable sum of money on it. This is one of the most perfect examples of pure Mopologetics that we've ever seen.


I wonder if this "Ghost Project" will be remembered as the "Heaven's Gate" of Mopology? The Mormon Interpreter is already in severe financial distress and now they have used every widow's mite on this Ghost Project.

So far, this Ghost Project has been overwhelmingly met with confusion, ridicule and disbelief. And, this is only from the members, both Chapel and Internet Mormons alike. Just think what will happen if news of this Ghost Project leaks to the non-Mormon academic community. Mormons will viewed as even more peculiar than they already are thanks to DCP.

Just when you think the life and time's of DCP couldn't get much more ridiculous or irrelevant.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:51 pm 
B.H. Roberts Chair of Mopologetic Studies
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Gadianton wrote:
Quote:
since it was a direct finger in the eye to the Brethren, who tried to stop it.


Could you elaborate? My memory isn't so good, professor. If this has been discussed I just don't recall it.


Dr. Robbers:

I do believe that you may have forgotten one of your own legendary posts. There was another thread as well--by either myself or Tom--that dealt with "intel" concerning the Brethren's disapproval of Skousen's work.

Quote:
Quote:
Simply put: this is an attempt to re-craft central aspects of the LDS master narrative.


Well this is interesting. The best theory I had was that the project was picked up personally by DCP to "out Shakespeare" the critics once and for all. Recall that long ago, rather than take a position on something or answer a question, he'd quote Shakespeare at length. Such knowledge revealed who controlled the board, and so imagine if Shakespeare himself was part of the committee that wrote the Book of Mormon. It would automatically become the most dignified book on the planet, and if critics persevered, it would show their lack of familiarity with the classics, to their eternal embarrassment.

You suggest a grander vision than lobbing mud balls at old rivals, something I hadn't even considered as a possibility. The hardest part for me to believe about your theory is, how does it get that kind of reach? Well, I think the answer might be, once the books are published and the coast is clear, the ghost committee theory must sneak into the Chapel. Quite honestly, just as any serious TBM knows the founding fathers requested their temple work to be done, the suggestion that key historical figures actually played a direct roll in bringing the Book of Mormon forth from beyond the veil might go viral and offer a serious challenge to Meldrum's theory. As the LTG theory has pretty much been abandoned by the Mopologists anyways, it could be ancillary to this, ignored, or even rejected for the Heartland model, as such a theory would gate even the Heartland model.

It could prove to be a real victory I suppose, even though a long shot. One wonders if tensions will arise as John McNaughton paints Shakespeare and others studying the Gold plates from beyond the veil. Interesting.


Indeed. I don't know if the Mopologists' plot will work out in their favor, but it is certainly interesting to speculate.

Edited to add: this is one of the other relevant threads I mentioned above.

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:05 pm 
God
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grindael wrote:
I see it more like they are all huddled around a glowing stone and the gold plates, with Moroni there to "translate", with the middle ages personalities making suggestions on what words to use, and Smith on the other end with his head buried in a hat, the edges glowing the same ethereal color as the one in the "Spirit World", receiving the text.

That is so cynical. Look, if Mormon scholars think a committee of 16th Century protoMormons were given the calling of assisting Joseph Smith in coming up with the Book of Mormon, then their idea should be examined with an open mind. This spiritual assistance brigade may have been instrumental in not only writing the Book of Mormon but also in transporting the Golden Plates from the Yucatan to Upstate New York. It only becomes preposterous if you let it be so.

So what of Brother Bushman in all of this? Have posters at the former Mormon D&D board come to his rescue?

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 Post subject: Re: Interpreter Radio: Richard Bushman is a Hack
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:54 pm 
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Thanks for the links, professor, boy, my memory isn't what it used to be. I have to say that looking at my younger, naïve self, I certainly missed the obvious. The apologists refused to quote any portion whatsoever of Skousen's flat-laying translation, and I just couldn't understand that at the time. But I think in hindsight, it's clear that given all the funding from FARMS, that the apologists were literally looking at it like, let's say that they were to quote one sentence from the intro, then they've just let out 500$ into the public domain that they can never recoup. Several apologists went out and bought the book just to see what a few verses said here and there because nobody would give up the goods for free. The worry over copyright violation from one apologist who wouldn't quote anything was interesting.

And then there were the denouncements from everyone from Blake Oslter to Will Schryver. Yes, now I recall, the new Book of Mormon translation was to be more correct than any other, implicitly making the Brethren look like fools.

What else was fascinating, was the notes from Shades and others that Skousen's work was being used by critics to show that the Book of Mormon is a tight translation, and one that came directly from another work, such as the Spaulding manuscript. I have to wonder -- prior to those critical suggestions, was there any hint that the English came from the 15th century?

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FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero


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