Bill Hamblin wrote:Reports have reached me of a little incident at the FAIR conference. Apparently Blair Hodges accosted Dan Peterson in the FAIR bookstore, and objected to Dan mentioning the resignation from the Church of Kirk Caudle, with a possible tacit allusion to the fact that Caudle’s podcast had once been sponsored by the Maxwell Institute.
Hodges demanded an explanation for what Dan had written. Dan said he had nothing more to say. Hodges started calling him a coward, demanding a confrontation and explanation then and there. Dan refused, saying his views on the Maxwell Institute’s “new direction” were clear and public, and he had nothing more to say. The confrontation continued more accusations of cowardice, with Hodges stalking Dan around the FAIR bookstore and conference area for several minutes. “All of you are cowards!” Hodges insisted, apparently referring to me and other critics of the “new” Maxwell Institute as well as Dan.
Well, Blair, I’d be happy to discuss any issue surrounding the Maxwell Institute with you, as long as the discussions are 1- written, 2- you actually also answer my questions clearly and completely, 3- the discussion is public, and 4- it is not anonymous on your part. I’ve tried to have such discussions with you in the past, and you have consistently refused to go on the record.
[Note: the latest spin from Blair's supporters is that I am trying to get Blair fired because I expressed my views on the appropriateness of Blair's behavior. This is NONSENSE. At any rate, I have changed the offending phrase in green below. Also, Dan did not request, approve, or know anything about my post.]
P.S. Many of Blair’s supporters believe that Blair’s behavior is an entirely appropriate way for a junior staff member to treat a full professor at BYU.
The comments are interesting as well:
Kirk Caudle wrote:I made a long post on Bill's Facebook page and he deleted it. I am sure he will delete this one also.
First off, whether or not this exchange actually happened or is 100% actuate is totally besides the point.
What is the point? That Bill would even make something like this into a blog post in the first place.
Dan knew exactly what he was doing by using my resignation to attack the MI. Dan likes to bait people. However, I have nothing bad to say about the MI or during my time with them. Blair is a friend. Further, Bill knows exactly what he is trying to do with this post.
Trying to defame people simply to do it makes zero sense to me.
Again, I am sure this one will probably get deleted too.
Brad Kramer wrote:You're not representing either the exchange between Blair and Dan in good faith, or the ZION'S BOOKS panel in good faith. This kind of scandal-mongering gossip is disgusting, an exercise in defamation for defamation's sake.
DCP wrote:Blair called me a coward several times. And, to be precisely accurate, he said "You're all cowards" at least twice.
Blair Hodges wrote:This is a substantially inaccurate description of a personal conversation I had with Dr. Peterson on Friday, inaccurate both in substance and outcome. I deny it's accuracy. Since it was a personal conversation I'm not inclined to publicly discuss it further. Gossip like this shouldn't have a place especially among members of the Church.
But that's just the beginning, apparently, since Hamblin added a second post:
Bill Hamblin wrote:I just received this from Blair Hodges. It is beyond bizarre!Blair Hodges wrote:William Hamblin’s recent blog post at Patheos is a libelous misrepresentation of a personal conversation between Dan Peterson and I. It also attacks me on the grounds of my livelihood and employment. I don’t want to involve a lawyer but I will consider it if something is not done to rectify this. I am sending you each direct notice on the counsel of a lawyer to ask you to desist in the defamation and to remove the defamatory material from the blog within the next three days. The offending blog post is here:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/enigmaticm ... e-cowards/
I have already given public notice that the post is false in the comments at the blog. I have two witnesses who overheard the conversation Hamblin misrepresents and who can also attest to the misrepresentation.
David, if you would like to contact me directly my phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
I’d be happy to modify any part of my blog that is inaccurate. So, what precisely is inaccurate?
Did you demand Dan explain his blog post, or not?
Did you follow him around, repeatedly making this demand, or not?
Did you repeatedly call him a coward, or not?
Did you say “All of you are cowards,” or not?
Please clarify the specific inaccuracies, and I’ll be happy to change the blog post.
(PS If there were two witnesses present, then it was not a “private conversation.”)
(A sidenote: based on the comments, it seems that Hamblin had initially posted Hodges's actual phone number.)
And from the Comments:
Blair Hodges wrote:PS- On the off chance that Hamblin approves my comments I should add by way of warning to others: engaging with Dan was a poor decision for several reasons, not least of all because it has become an object of public misrepresentation. (Also because it gives Bill an opportunity to post my personal cell number on his blog. Mind removing that, Bill?) Since Dan sent me an email of apology after our conversation I hope he will make good on that apology by encouraging his friend to stop misrepresenting things in public.
Engaging with Bill Hamblin likewise shows poor judgement on my part even though he is spreading false gossip about me. Like approaching the proverbial (and now not-PC) tar baby, you'll only get mess all over yourself. It really is better just to ignore it. I hope others learn from my dumb example and choose to disengage from those who spread gossip and discord. I hope that this embarrassing personal discord simply ends and I can help that happen by simply walking away.
Dan Peterson wrote:I apologized, Blair, for telling you to go to hell. It's not my usual mode of expression, and I regret it. Not my favorite moment. I sent you an apology a few minutes later, and I suggested that you not go.
But Professor Hamblin's description of the conversation is quite accurate (and I too have at least one witness).
You approached me. Rather aggressively. I didn't approach you. I simply wanted to look at the book displays.
I suggested that you go to hell after you had called me a coward several times, rather loudly, and after you had told me at least twice -- without further specification or identification -- that "You're all cowards."
You persisted, I again told you go to hell, and then, having tired of being followed by you in the bookstore, I left the bookstore and returned to the meeting hall. I still find the experience quite unbelievable.
Brad Kramer wrote:Dan, I was present and paying close attention to the interaction. Blair did approach you, and was very persistent. And he did call you out (using a quiet, conversational voice, despite his clear perturbance) for using Elder Maxwell's grave and Kirk's resignation from the church to take a public swipe at the MI. And he pushed you for a straight answer. He did _not_ call you a coward until after you told him to go to hell, and he only called you a coward once after you said it. He never called anyone but you a coward, and that was only a representation of your behavior with regard to Kirk's resignation and your blog post. He called out the cowardice of engaging in a deliberate public provocation and then trying to play some incredulous game of deniability, for refusing to take responsibility for what you had deliberately done. It is possible that you are misremembering the confrontation, rather than willfully misrepresenting it, but your account here is definitely inaccurate.
And I say that as someone who immediately after it was over indicated to Blair that I thought confronting you was not a good idea and that he probably should not have done it.
Bill Hamblin wrote:I find Dan's response to Blair's harassment admirably restrained. I would have been much more forthright.
Brad Kramer wrote:If Dan thought his response to Blair was admirably restrained, I very much doubt he would have gone out of his way to sincerely apologize for it. Your choice to make hay out of this entire affair, Bill, has done a major disservice to both Blair and Dan, and to the very serious and sincere effort they both made privately in the aftermath of the confrontation to take conciliatory steps. What a self-indulgent mess.
I'm sure I'm not alone in having wondered what, if anything, would come out of the FAIR Conference this year. It seems that this was it.