John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by fetchface »

honorentheos wrote:How does it happen that people hide information that advantages them and disadvantages others?

Really?

When one of your starting assumptions for the foundation of your moral thinking is that the universe is ruled by a cosmic alpha ape who values loyalty-testing for its own sake, and that getting onto the good side of that being is of the utmost importance for everyone, and if you trick people into complying with the alpha ape they will benefit, things get pretty twisted up pretty quickly. Moral up becomes moral down, so to speak.

I don't agree that their thinking is valid but since I once subscribed to it, I feel like I understand it a bit, and I feel like I can be a bit sympathetic and understanding of the deluded.
Last edited by fetchface on Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Lemmie »

honorentheos wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:History is not a Platonic form. The history of history has everything to do with this argument. You can’t ignore that. If you do, you’re ignoring everything that makes the conflict intelligible and reducing the terms to absolutes. There is not a consensus on what a perfect, morally correct history or handling of history is. What I learn from you is what your particular values and assumptions about history are. They do not seem to be grounded in an appreciation for the historic evolution of historiography. That knowledge actually matters here.

Even if we were to assume the entire issue here is the handling of history, you are then arguing in defense of hiding resources to protect a particular narrative. That's not ethical in any field. You want to argue the people doing so aren't trained historians so they shouldn't be held to the same standard as a professional historian? Unethical behavior when practicing in a field where one lacks training isn't defensible anywhere, anyhow. You want to shift the argument, the problem remains: Withholding the information is unethical. That doing so tightens the grip of authority of the leadership of the church over the membership, steals agency from the membership, and infantilizes the membership in doing so is simply immoral.

I don't know why you want to burn yourself up over this issue. You're on the wrong side. You recognize that readily when the subject isn't the LDS church who is behaving in the same manner. Your defense swings wildly from argument to argument as needed to defend the assumed position even when it contradicts previous positions you've laid out.


This is what I don’t get about Kishkumen’s point. The last discussion I recall reading here about the 1832 first vision account, I’m pretty sure kishkumen called it a slam dunk case of suppression. Why the switch to a contradictory position now?

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Is this discussion about Mormonism or Alan Dershowitz's argument in the U.S. Senate trial last week about what is okay for a president to do?
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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This is what I don’t get about Kishkumen’s point. The last discussion I recall reading here about the 1832 first vision account, I’m pretty sure kishkumen called it a slam dunk case of suppression. Why the switch to a contradictory position now?


Wha...?

Of course the excision and locking away of the 1832 account is a clear case of suppression. The person(s) responsible did the wrong thing. Period. Nothing I have said here should lead anyone to think I believe otherwise. It is really curious to watch the misinterpretations multiply.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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fetchface wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:The religion as a system places revelation at the foundation of its epistemology.

I seem to remember a blurb on the church website that stated explicitly that spiritual confirmation is more sure than information we gather with our 5 senses. I can't seem to find it at the moment but I'll keep looking.

ETA: Not the one I was looking for, but interesting:
Glenn Pace, 1989 wrote:What can we learn about balance from the recent fuss about historical documents? The lessons on straying off center are vivid. Would the discovery of any document, no matter how contradictory to what you believe to be true, destroy your testimony? It may raise some intellectual questions, but it need not destroy your testimony. There is an avenue to truth greater than intellect and more certain than the five senses. The most glorious of all avenues to truth is direct revelation from heaven. A saving testimony will never come from a spectacular historical or archaeological find, and a testimony need never be lost on the basis of such a find.


2nd ETA: Found it!
Church Website wrote:We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses.


Thank you, fetchface. This is very helpful.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Kishkumen »

honorentheos wrote:Earlier in the thread you excused individual behavior due to their being believing cogs in the wheel of the machine that is the institutional church. You're arguing whichever side suits you on a particular point. Feel free to say whatever you want about my pointing this out. At least it isn't arbitrary and silly. Oh, and wrong.


Nope! Sorry. You have misunderstood me.

Ok. He's clearly saying what he didn't say because you know what he was saying between the lines. Got it.


:lol: :rolleyes:

He's clearly saying things in the context of everything he has previously said. If we don't understand what he has said over time, what he says in one quote may be misunderstood. That's not a revolutionary idea. It's pretty standard for a responsible and accurate interpretation of the evidence.

Even if we were to assume the entire issue here is the handling of history, you are then arguing in defense of hiding resources to protect a particular narrative. That's not ethical in any field. You want to argue the people doing so aren't trained historians so they shouldn't be held to the same standard as a professional historian? Unethical behavior when practicing in a field where one lacks training isn't defensible anywhere, anyhow. You want to shift the argument, the problem remains: Withholding the information is unethical. That doing so tightens the grip of authority of the leadership of the church over the membership, steals agency from the membership, and infantilizes the membership in doing so is simply immoral.

I don't know why you want to burn yourself up over this issue. You're on the wrong side. You recognize that readily when the subject isn't the LDS church who is behaving in the same manner. Your defense swings wildly from argument to argument as needed to defend the assumed position even when it contradicts previous positions you've laid out.


Yeah, I don't think you are really getting what I am saying. What I am saying is that, within the community of believers, the faithful narrative and those things that support it will be favored and amplified, whereas things that challenge it will be resisted and dismissed. What was once resisted may be embraced once believers learn how it may be read in a supportive way. I think Don's book is a fine example of how something that might have potentially been resisted because one might have expected it to be controversial and faith-challenging can be embraced because, although it does not simply tell the same old narrative, it is seen as illuminating and adding to the faith narrative.

What appears to you to be immoral because it does not conform to your priorities and values can, within the system of values and priorities of the community, be deemed acceptable. If we understand things sympathetically through the eyes of insiders, even if only for the sake of intellectual clarity, we improve our understanding of the community and compassion for its members. It is easy to make sweeping judgments according to different standards. For example, marrying more than one person is wrong. Right? I am not inviting you to change your morals. I am inviting you to change your approach to dealing with other cultures.

You're a funny guy, and this is an entertaining thread. I am not "burning myself up" over this. I can do this all day and enjoy myself.
Last edited by Kishkumen on Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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fetchface wrote:
honorentheos wrote:How does it happen that people hide information that advantages them and disadvantages others?

Really?

When one of your starting assumptions for the foundation of your moral thinking is that the universe is ruled by a cosmic alpha ape who values loyalty-testing for its own sake, and that getting onto the good side of that being is of the utmost importance for everyone, and if you trick people into complying with the alpha ape they will benefit, things get pretty twisted up pretty quickly. Moral up becomes moral down, so to speak.

I don't agree that their thinking is valid but since I once subscribed to it, I feel like I understand it a bit, and I feel like I can be a bit sympathetic and understanding of the deluded.

During a period of being a poor student I lived next to a couple who were, frankly, criminals. They were supporting a drug habit and spoke about crime as if it were just another job a person might have. They had a son who was about 5 or 6 and he spoke of being a criminal as if they were his heroes and he was clearly being raised with a moral foundation that didn't match one that society as a whole would get on board with let alone find sympathetic. I felt bad for the kid but no degree of sympathy changes the facts that what he was being exposed to and taught to value was unethical. His upbringing was unethical. Everything about that situation left me wondering about how parents can be such screw ups.in their kids lives and made a lasting impression on me. But one of those impressions included the fact his story is hardly unique. And while I feel sympathy for the kid, the law is all the more important for being both a constraint as well as a disincentive acting against those forces.

Put bluntly, at some point you have to pick a lane or be a dangerous driver yourself.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Kish, you're being inconsistent. The issue is you are trying to defend the indefensible for reasons not related to principle but instead your feelings toward the subject of how this board treats religion. It's that simple and that's fine if you want to carry on with that so be my guest to take the last word. It isn't your finest moment, though.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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honorentheos wrote:Kish, you're being inconsistent. The issue is you are trying to defend the indefensible for reasons not related to principle but instead your feelings toward the subject of how this board treats religion. It's that simple and that's fine if you want to carry on with that so be my guest to take the last word. It isn't your finest moment, though.


Color me shocked that when I say things that don't comport well with criticism of the LDS Church I am suddenly viewed as irrational, arguing through my feelings, and being inconsistent. I can't say that I am at all disappointed by your reaction. It is exactly what I would expect, and I feel (oh my!) entirely exonerated by it.
Last edited by Kishkumen on Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Holy Ghost wrote:Is this discussion about Mormonism or Alan Dershowitz's argument in the U.S. Senate trial last week about what is okay for a president to do?

Exactly.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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honorentheos wrote:During a period of being a poor student I lived next to a couple who were, frankly, criminals. They were supporting a drug habit and spoke about crime as if it were just another job a person might have. They had a son who was about 5 or 6 and he spoke of being a criminal as if they were his heroes and he was clearly being raised with a moral foundation that didn't match one that society as a whole would get on board with let alone find sympathetic. I felt bad for the kid but no degree of sympathy changes the facts that what he was being exposed to and taught to value was unethical. His upbringing was unethical. Everything about that situation left me wondering about how parents can be such screw ups.in their kids lives and made a lasting impression on me. But one of those impressions included the fact his story is hardly unique. And while I feel sympathy for the kid, the law is all the more important for being both a constraint as well as a disincentive acting against those forces.

Put bluntly, at some point you have to pick a lane or be a dangerous driver yourself.

I fail to see the relevance that an example of conscious wrongdoing without even a perceived higher benefit has to any argument I have made.

Look, if you think that LDS leaders are just conscious deceivers then you are attacking this problem from a very different angle than I am and you are going to come to a very different result. That is okay. I can respect that. But don't pretend you are engaging my argument with examples like this.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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The Mormon church/leaders attempting and succeeding for decades perhaps a century in controlling the Mormon history so it is faith promoting seems to be only one but a key pillar in the authoritarian control of what members are to know, believe, and what is expected (eg mission, white shirt, dresses, no facial hair, seminary, BYU, temple marriage, number of kids to have, role of the woman in the home and church and society,sex, tithing, genealogy, callings, temple work, ward cleanup,bishop interviews, etc). That stuff in brackets can lay a guilt trip on the most dedicated member, can put some into depression, and can apply tremendous pressure for young men and women especially to live their lives the way the church leaders, and their TBM parents expect them to on this earth. All of the above is what John has called out as immoral. Pick another word or phrase but to me the Mormon way usurps agency and gives members a restricted number of paths to choose as a life's journey. I am amazed by the number of exmormons who admit it took years to take action and leave the Morg. One lady continued to believe the "new name" given in the temple was some how sacred and should not be divulged even after she had left the church years before. And the number is high of those saying their time in the Morg was a waste often of many years of life- yet in being out, they claim to have found an exhilarating freedom!

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Lots of folks feel liberated by conversion. I don’t know that proves anything about the thing they are converted to. It does say something about the experience of conversion.
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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Look, if you think that LDS leaders are just conscious deceivers then you are attacking this problem from a very different angle than I am and you are going to come to a very different result. That is okay. I can respect that. But don't pretend you are engaging my argument with examples like this.


Bingo.
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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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fetchface wrote:
Kishkumen wrote:The religion as a system places revelation at the foundation of its epistemology.

I seem to remember a blurb on the church website that stated explicitly that spiritual confirmation is more sure than information we gather with our 5 senses. I can't seem to find it at the moment but I'll keep looking.

ETA: Not the one I was looking for, but interesting:
Glenn Pace, 1989 wrote:What can we learn about balance from the recent fuss about historical documents? The lessons on straying off center are vivid. Would the discovery of any document, no matter how contradictory to what you believe to be true, destroy your testimony? It may raise some intellectual questions, but it need not destroy your testimony. There is an avenue to truth greater than intellect and more certain than the five senses. The most glorious of all avenues to truth is direct revelation from heaven. A saving testimony will never come from a spectacular historical or archaeological find, and a testimony need never be lost on the basis of such a find.


2nd ETA: Found it!
Church Website wrote:We can receive a sure testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ only by the power of the Holy Ghost. His communication to our spirit carries far more certainty than any communication we can receive through our natural senses.


What was it Elder Holland more recently said about the Book of Mormon?

"I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,”11 a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work."

What about all those people who prayed about it and got s spiritual answer of rejecting it? Does Holland even hint at the validity of such a conviction? Furthermore he emphasizes the Book of Mormon as being not just evidence through spiritual means but materialistically.

By the way, is there a personal attribution to the "church website" quote??

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

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Meadowchik wrote:What was it Elder Holland more recently said about the Book of Mormon?

"I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,”11 a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work."

What about all those people who prayed about it and got s spiritual answer of rejecting it? Does Holland even hint at the validity of such a conviction? Furthermore he emphasizes the Book of Mormon as being not just evidence through spiritual means but materialistically.

By the way, is there a personal attribution to the "church website" quote??

The quote is under the "Holy Ghost" topic without attribution.
Last edited by fetchface on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Lemmie »

Kishkumen wrote:
honorentheos wrote:Kish, you're being inconsistent. The issue is you are trying to defend the indefensible for reasons not related to principle but instead your feelings toward the subject of how this board treats religion. It's that simple and that's fine if you want to carry on with that so be my guest to take the last word. It isn't your finest moment, though.


Color me shocked that when I say things that don't comport well with criticism of the LDS Church I am suddenly viewed as irrational, arguing through my feelings, and being inconsistent. I can't say that I am at all disappointed by your reaction. It is exactly what I would expect, and I feel (oh my!) entirely exonerated by it.

No. When your posts are inconsistent, they are viewed as inconsistent.

You implying that another person’s considered assessment of your statements is really and only just an attack on you, solely due to you backing the LDS church, is just irresponsible and lazy. You flip flop regularly on your feelings about the LDS church, and have done so for a while. It’s not pretty to watch, and certainly isn’t a good representation of academic methodology.

Specifically, rationality is not part of your assessment when you can say that the suppression of an extremely relevant document by a significant leader of a church absolutely happened, but it doesn’t really constitute an example of a church suppressing relevant information. There is clearly something else underneath your posts in this thread, but I’m done too. You are welcome to the last, irrational word. Other commenters are at least being consistent.

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Lemmie »

fetchface wrote:
honorentheos wrote:How does it happen that people hide information that advantages them and disadvantages others?

Really?

When one of your starting assumptions for the foundation of your moral thinking is that the universe is ruled by a cosmic alpha ape who values loyalty-testing for its own sake, and that getting onto the good side of that being is of the utmost importance for everyone, and if you trick people into complying with the alpha ape they will benefit, things get pretty twisted up pretty quickly. Moral up becomes moral down, so to speak.

I don't agree that their thinking is valid but since I once subscribed to it, I feel like I understand it a bit, and I feel like I can be a bit sympathetic and understanding of the deluded.

“Cosmic alpha ape.” Lol.

Re your point about their thinking, I can understand, for example, but have an extremely hard time finding acceptable things like “lying for the lord.” In that sense, a group feels they are acting morally, right? I can acknowledge that THEY think it’s moral without agreeing with them that it actually IS moral.

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Meadowchik »

fetchface wrote:The quote is under the "Holy Ghost" topic without attribution.


This is an interesting wrinkle that I haven't thought about too much: statements only attributed generically by the website or the newsroom. But the question of validity of generic "church website" quotes is only going to enlarge given these patterns. The essays are an example. No attribution, so while they possibly serve as a legal representation of the church, their validity within gospel norms is unclear and certainly not well understood.

I distrust that lack of clarity especially by an organisation of its means and authority, and it appears to be another example, although more nuanced, of misrepresentation and authoring confusion.

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Kishkumen »

Lemmie wrote:No. When your posts are inconsistent, they are viewed as inconsistent.


My views are definitely inconsistent with your and honor's opinions. They are not internally inconsistent.

Lemmie wrote:You implying that another person’s considered assessment of your statements is really and only just an attack on you, solely due to you backing the LDS church, is just irresponsible and lazy. You flip flop regularly on your feelings about the LDS church, and have done so for a while. It’s not pretty to watch, and certainly isn’t a good representation of academic methodology.


Let me help you out here. It is not an attack on me. It is evidence of a strong bias. honorentheos is not interested in understanding the LDS Church on its own terms. He is mostly interested in making negative moral judgments against the Church. This disagreement boils down to just that. I want to understand it on its own terms. He wants to call me soft on the Church for doing that. As do you. He also wants to call the Church's treatment of history immoral.

OK. Shrug.

When I try to understand the LDS Church on its own terms, you call me a believer!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Oh, dear me. I am sure that one is getting a lot of laughter from actual believing onlookers. Few things could reveal your bias and misunderstanding of what I am doing better than this.

Lemmie wrote:Specifically, rationality is not part of your assessment when you can say that the suppression of an extremely relevant document by a significant leader of a church absolutely happened, but it doesn’t really constitute an example of a church suppressing relevant information. There is clearly something else underneath your posts in this thread, but I’m done too. You are welcome to the last, irrational word. Other commenters are at least being consistent.


Well, it is good of you to only take the second to last irrational word. Yes, I don't blame the entire Church for what Joseph Fielding Smith did. Shocking, I know.
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“He says he has eyes to see things that are not . . . and that the angel of the Lord . . . has put him in possession of great wealth, gold, silver, precious stones.” ~ Jesse Smith

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Re: John Dehlin on the Immorality of Mormonism!

Post by Lemmie »

Meadowchik wrote:
fetchface wrote:The quote is under the "Holy Ghost" topic without attribution.


This is an interesting wrinkle that I haven't thought about too much: statements only attributed generically by the website or the newsroom. But the question of validity of generic "church website" quotes is only going to enlarge given these patterns. The essays are an example. No attribution, so while they possibly serve as a legal representation of the church, their validity within gospel norms is unclear and certainly not well understood.

I distrust that lack of clarity especially by an organisation of its means and authority, and it appears to be another example, although more nuanced, of misrepresentation and authoring confusion.

Totally agree with that. It’s also extremely difficult to search for and land on the essays, the drop down menus are inconsistent and unhelpful in finding information, and even their publication and updating seems buried. It’s a pattern of obfuscation that reads as disingenuous at best, if not outright dishonest.

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