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 Post subject: A reality check for all the Kevin Graham haters out there
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 6:19 pm 
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Dear MA&D moderators and MA&D sympathizers:

Allow me to tell you a true story about something that happened a few years ago.

On the now all-but-defunct Zion's Lighthouse Message Board, a discussion took place about the LDS church's membership statistical-tallying practices. I have a website about this, which you can read here.

Part of my assumption was that "increase in children of record" referred to 8-year olds being baptized. Along with other people, Kevin Graham asserted that this was not so, that "children of record" referred to babies being blessed in Sacrament Meeting.

We argued back and forth about this. Now, if Kevin was correct, then a lot of the wind would be taken out of my sails and my criticism of the church would be blunted considerably (because the stats wouldn't look so fudged). So we argued head-to-head for several posts.

Eventually, Kevin made a phone call to the Church Office Building and spoke to the Member Records Department. They confirmed that he was correct (and that, by implication, I was incorrect), and that "children of record" did indeed refer to children being blessed in Sacrament Meeting.

I started to defend myself, but I took a deep breath and realized how stupid I was beginning to sound. There was nothing else I could do: I had no choice but to eat crow, lick my wounds, then slink off with my tail between my legs. I also had to completely revamp my website to deal with the information he had uncovered.

NOW, READ CAREFULLY: How many people do you think accused Kevin of "stirring the pot" for making that phone call? How many people do you think accused Kevin of "hiding the contents of that phone call" after making a critic (me) look like a fool? How many people do you think accused Kevin of trying to slander or otherwise destroy the reputation of a critic (me) for making that phone call? How many people do you think accused Kevin of lying about the contents of that phone call?

That's right. ZIP. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. NONE. Not even I did.

Thus we see that Kevin didn't wake up one morning and decide to stick it to some apologist. Thus we see that for several years now he's had no problems with making phone calls or sending e-mails in order to verify some point of contention or other. Thus we see that this whole Gee/Ritner thing isn't just some isolated incident.

Thus we also see that if you have no problem with Kevin making a critic look bad, then it's the height of hypocrisy to all of a sudden do an about-face and cry foul when Kevin makes an apologist look bad.

Now take that back to MA&D, why don't you?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:06 pm 
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I find myself wondering why Kevin is so hated. Sure, he can be a bit abrasive, but I like Kevin. I don't see the dishonest backstabber that he's portrayed as. For my money, none of this would have happened had Dr. Peterson not hinted that he knew "the real story," which he clearly didn't.

Other than that, this whole things seems a lot of nothing.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:41 pm 
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I'm sorry. I don't know who Kevin Graham is or what he did that makes him so hated? Perhaps you could shed a little more light on this incident?

BTW, thank you so much for bringing this concern of how many memberships the church actually had. I have been looking for that link for so long on several message boards. Is not the topic here at hand that the LDS church doesn't have as many members as it claims (being that "members of record" are just babies being blessed, but not baptized when they turn 8)? And is that not (being a critic of the church), your position? Or am I thinking of a different topic? Please correct me; I'm having trouble grasping what's being talked about. Thanks, Livingstone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm 
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Shades,

I saw this post earlier and I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't understand what was accomplished by these recent events. Can you fill in the blanks for me? Dumb it down if you need to in order to get it through my thick head.

JG

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:25 pm 
Master Mahan

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Jersey Girl wrote:
Shades,

I saw this post earlier and I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't understand what was accomplished by these recent events. Can you fill in the blanks for me? Dumb it down if you need to in order to get it through my thick head.

JG


JG---

It is like so many other aspects of Mopologetics. What we have here is a group of people who declare themselves to be God's Warriors on Earth, Sanctioned Fully by Jesus Christ to Go Forth and Exterminate the Heathens. These are people who declare themselves to be fully draped in all the moral authority of Christ himself. The big question therefore is, Are these people truly and honestly behaving in a Christlike fashion?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:28 pm 
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Mister Scratch wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Shades,

I saw this post earlier and I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't understand what was accomplished by these recent events. Can you fill in the blanks for me? Dumb it down if you need to in order to get it through my thick head.

JG


JG---

It is like so many other aspects of Mopologetics. What we have here is a group of people who declare themselves to be God's Warriors on Earth, Sanctioned Fully by Jesus Christ to Go Forth and Exterminate the Heathens. These are people who declare themselves to be fully draped in all the moral authority of Christ himself. The big question therefore is, Are these people truly and honestly behaving in a Christlike fashion?


Yes, but that doesn't answer my question.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:31 pm 
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Was the main objective to demonstrate that DCP and Gee lied about the circumstances regarding Ritner's bowing out of the dissertation comittee? (Don't correct my spelling, Shades...it's way too late!)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:31 pm 
Master Mahan

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Jersey Girl wrote:
Mister Scratch wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Shades,

I saw this post earlier and I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't understand what was accomplished by these recent events. Can you fill in the blanks for me? Dumb it down if you need to in order to get it through my thick head.

JG


JG---

It is like so many other aspects of Mopologetics. What we have here is a group of people who declare themselves to be God's Warriors on Earth, Sanctioned Fully by Jesus Christ to Go Forth and Exterminate the Heathens. These are people who declare themselves to be fully draped in all the moral authority of Christ himself. The big question therefore is, Are these people truly and honestly behaving in a Christlike fashion?


Yes, but that doesn't answer my question.


Your question, as I understand it, is, "What was accomplished here?" I would say that we have seen further evidence of the way that Mopologists behave; the extremes they will go to (or the depths they will plumb). *THAT* is what has been achieved. Also, incidentally, I believe that an innocent man's reputation has been defended as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:29 am 
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I don't understand how anyone couldn't like Kevin Graham unless this person had a hidden agenda that didn't involve the truth, of course that seems to be most people on both sides of this argument, so it really shouldn't surprise me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:45 am 
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I never understood what the big deal was about me emailing Ritner. I have always emailed scholars to verify the manner in which some people were using them. If you read my response to JP Holding you'll find references to about four or five email responses from scholars he had used in his book. Greek experts like Winbery, Trobisch and Hebrew experts like Kenneth Mathews, all responded graciously to my request. Why read their book and assume you're interpreting them properly when you can email them directly and be certain?

This was always something I had been applauded for when I was a TBM apologist. Now I am lambasted for doing it when it doesn't work out so well for other apologists.

Their reaction is very different from the anti-Mormons. For example, JP Holding never once accused me of hiding information from my emails. He accepted it, took the hit, and adjusted his argument accordingly. Compare this to the likes of Juliann and Bokovoy, who, when presented correspondence they don't like, immediately assume foul play, accuse me of posting information without permission, accuse me of lying, accuse me of hiding my email, which, if presented, would somehow mitigate the information provided in Ritner's.

Further, this idea of being hated has never really been an issue for me until I became a "turncoat." I was never hated by the critics but it is clear I am hated by the apologists. There were plenty of critics in the past who thought I was a jackass of jackasses while posting as an apologist (I went by "Kevinator" because Barry Bickmore called me that as a compliment) but they never accused me of the things I have been accused of recently.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:51 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
I saw this post earlier and I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't understand what was accomplished by these recent events. Can you fill in the blanks for me? Dumb it down if you need to in order to get it through my thick head.


Mister Scratch answered in general terms; allow me to be a little more specific:
  • The Book of Abraham is an embarrassing thorn in the side of the LDS church. Many critics consider it a "slam-dunk" against Mormonism.
  • John Gee, a Mormon professor of Egyptology--a very, very rare breed--has found ways of defending it, providing Mormons with the following excuse: "If a professor of Egyptology can still retain faith in the Book of Abraham, then the critics must be wrong about it!"
  • Robert Ritner, Gee's mentor, has utterly denounced Gee's apologetics and reasoning, stripping Mormons of the excuse listed directly above.
  • In order to salvage Gee, apologists need to nullify Ritner. So the rumor went about that Gee had Ritner kicked off Gee's Ph.D. dissertation committe. This gave the apologists the following counter-excuse: "Ritner's denunciations amount to nothing, since he's such a rabid Mormon-hater that Gee had to have him expelled from the committee! So we can go back to trusting Gee's apologetics again!"
  • Kevin Graham e-mailed Ritner directly, who informed him that the anti-Ritner, Gee-salvaging rumor was and is false. This has made the apologists extremely angry, since now the Mormons have been stripped of the "If a professor of Egyptology can still retain faith in the Book of Abraham, then the critics must be wrong about it!" excuse a second time.
OR, IN OTHER WORDS:

What has been accomplished is that the apologists have once again lost their only excuse to rely on Gee, and the Book of Abraham has once again been flushed down the toilet.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:06 am 
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I never knew what it was to be hated, until I left apologetics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:08 am 
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dartagnan wrote:
I never knew what it was to be hated, until I left apologetics.


I had the same experience. When I was an apologist, I was kind and evenhanded. When I "switched teams," I was a "board nanny" and full of anger and hate.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:39 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
I saw this post earlier and I understand what you're getting at, but I still don't understand what was accomplished by these recent events. Can you fill in the blanks for me? Dumb it down if you need to in order to get it through my thick head.


Mister Scratch answered in general terms; allow me to be a little more specific:
  • The Book of Abraham is an embarrassing thorn in the side of the LDS church. Many critics consider it a "slam-dunk" against Mormonism.
  • John Gee, a Mormon professor of Egyptology--a very, very rare breed--has found ways of defending it, providing Mormons with the following excuse: "If a professor of Egyptology can still retain faith in the Book of Abraham, then the critics must be wrong about it!"
  • Robert Ritner, Gee's mentor, has utterly denounced Gee's apologetics and reasoning, stripping Mormons of the excuse listed directly above.
  • In order to salvage Gee, apologists need to nullify Ritner. So the rumor went about that Gee had Ritner kicked off Gee's Ph.D. dissertation committe. This gave the apologists the following counter-excuse: "Ritner's denunciations amount to nothing, since he's such a rabid Mormon-hater that Gee had to have him expelled from the committee! So we can go back to trusting Gee's apologetics again!"
  • Kevin Graham e-mailed Ritner directly, who informed him that the anti-Ritner, Gee-salvaging rumor was and is false. This has made the apologists extremely angry, since now the Mormons have been stripped of the "If a professor of Egyptology can still retain faith in the Book of Abraham, then the critics must be wrong about it!" excuse a second time.
OR, IN OTHER WORDS:

What has been accomplished is that the apologists have once again lost their only excuse to rely on Gee, and the Book of Abraham has once again been flushed down the toilet.



Shades,
Have you read Nibleys book Abraham in Egypt. If so, what are your thoughts on it. If not, are you aware of any online articles that discuss it?

Gazelam

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:05 am 
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I think negative responses to those who do their research is systemic within Mormon culture. Your incident you described shades is somewhat different from that because you reacted to another's due diligence.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:22 am 
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dartagnan wrote:
Further, this idea of being hated has never really been an issue for me until I became a "turncoat." I was never hated by the critics but it is clear I am hated by the apologists. There were plenty of critics in the past who thought I was a jackass of jackasses while posting as an apologist (I went by "Kevinator" because Barry Bickmore called me that as a compliment) but they never accused me of the things I have been accused of recently.
Kevin, You are much more of a threat to DCP and his friends now than you ever were to critics like myself. Note the crud they toss at the Tanners. Folks like DCP cannot criticize you for not understanding LDS teachings. And they can't attack you for making money off it like they did the Tanners. The remaining alternatives are to either answer your arguments or attack your character, honesty, etc. It's much easier to do the latter than the former. One wonders if the apologist are uncomfortable about the cogency of their arguments and take the easy route.

Religious groups are generally uncomfortable with dissidents. The LDS seem to be worse than average in this regard.

Richard


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:37 am 
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I don't know. In some Islamic countries they slaughter dissidents. Jehovah's Witnesses cut you off from everyone you know, including your family, who are still faithful. Scientologists declare you "fair game" and try to ruin your life any way they can. In contrast, the Mormon apologists just try to infer that you are influenced by the Devil, or that you're just an angry exmo with an axe to grind, or dismiss your experiences as a made-up atrocity tale, or whatever.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:09 pm 
dartagnan wrote:
I never knew what it was to be hated, until I left apologetics.


You aren't hated, you are being punished, with banning, ad hominems to shift focus onto you or other issues rather than issues you bring up. And for the Madd board, it works as a deterrant to any other individuals who intend to be outspoken and critical against the church or some of the people on the board. As you know the Madd board is not a debate board, it's an apologetics discussion board. So anytime you stop being so critical, and start praising the apologists and promote Mormonism, you'd be welcome back. Look at Ray as an example.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Shades,

Thank you for spelling out the significance of these events. I see better where Kevin was coming from now.

JG

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:29 pm 
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Gazelam wrote:
Shades,
Have you read Nibleys book Abraham in Egypt. If so, what are your thoughts on it. If not, are you aware of any online articles that discuss it?


I haven't read it, and I'm unaware of any online articles that discuss it.

Mercury wrote:
I think negative responses to those who do their research is systemic within Mormon culture. Your incident you described shades is somewhat different from that because you reacted to another's due diligence.


Forgive me, but I'm a little confused. Are you saying that my reaction was different because I was no longer a part of Mormon culture?

If that's indeed what you mean, then I still think the mopologists' hypocritical stance (in light of recent Gee/Ritner events) is worth mentioning.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:47 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Mercury wrote:
I think negative responses to those who do their research is systemic within Mormon culture. Your incident you described shades is somewhat different from that because you reacted to another's due diligence.


Forgive me, but I'm a little confused. Are you saying that my reaction was different because I was no longer a part of Mormon culture?

If that's indeed what you mean, then I still think the mopologists' hypocritical stance (in light of recent Gee/Ritner events) is worth mentioning.


Sorry, that was clear as mud Mormons are predisposed to object to those who support their claims, and your reaction to KG's actions is different from the mormon reaction.

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