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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:03 pm 
Seething Cauldron of Hate
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Ray A wrote:
Can you take this argument to another thread so we can keep discussing the book none of us have read?

ROTFL!

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:06 pm 
Daniel Peterson wrote:
Ray A wrote:
Can you take this argument to another thread so we can keep discussing the book none of us have read?

ROTFL!


I actually posted on the wrong thread twice. LOL. And I'm not even drinking! Third time lucky, see the thread discussing the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:12 pm 
Ray A wrote:

I actually posted on the wrong thread twice. LOL. And I'm not even drinking! Third time lucky, see the thread discussing the book.



It's OK, Ray. This juicy topic really deserved a thread of it's own at any rate. LOL


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:12 pm 
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ah, memories. scartch's stalking of me:

viewtopic.php?p=158403#p158403

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one moment, of the well of life to taste-
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*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:14 pm 
liz3564 wrote:

It's OK, Ray. This juicy topic really deserved a thread of it's own at any rate. LOL


I'll put the popcorn on :)


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:54 pm 
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Hi Mike,

Great to hear from you (and congrats on your first published book!).

MAsh wrote:
Typically, a book like the Review (just like Dialouge) would be sent out in bulk to many people...

That's precisely my point. I suspect that some pocket (small or large) of FARMS subscribers received copies before the "recall" occurred. The California resident who received the RBBM in question didn't even know of the acrostic until a mutual acquaintance unbagged the cat in 2004 (or thereabouts).

Remember, Mike, I was the source of the recall—I know a bit more about what transpired than you may think (see the reproduced posts below).

MAsh wrote:
Either way, it suggests that very few copies of the Review ever left FARMS and I think it supports Dan's recollection that possibly less than a dozen books were printed before the printing stopped.

Specifically, Dan claims that "fewer than ten" were "printed and bound" (see below).

As near-nirvanic as some may find this topic, I've wasted more virtual ink on it than deserved, largely correcting misstatements of apologists. Those looking for further light and knowledge can consult the following reproduced posts.

    ZLMB—December 2000

    Quote:
    Bill Hamblin's puerile acrostic is old news -- pretty damned boring, in all honesty. That said, I'm not sure what to make of Dan Peterson's hazy memory of events.

    For the record, Bill Hamblin and I are not friends -- though at one time I had hoped we would be. In 1993 Hamblin and I corresponded on mistakes he had made in a FARMS preliminary report (see letters posted separately). Although Hamblin fixed some of the errors, my effort to initiate a dialogue between apologetic and critical scholars failed.

    It was in this context that Hamblin published his monologue on my _Dialogue_ article. This was Hamblin's chance to correct me in a forum where I couldn't respond. As part of his critique Hamblin included an acrostic where the first letter of his article's initial paragraphs (excluding quotations) spelled out "METCALFE IS BUTTHEAD." Let's review the details:

    Dan Peterson writes:

    DP: <<FARMS never went to Sunstone or the Associated Press declaring that "Metcalfe is Butthead." (Metcalfe himself did, apparently.)>>

    This is simply untrue.

    I was contacted by the Associated Press and _Sunstone_, not the other way around.

    Peterson continues:

    DP: <<I noted the relevant fact that FARMS has never distributed anything that said "Metcalfe is Butthead." To which you, Shades, respond, "Yes, thanks solely to the fact that the presses were stopped and the offending pages hastily re-written.">>

    DP: <<I wonder who stopped the presses. Who rewrote the relevant passages? Was it Brent Metcalfe? Not likely. Was it Sunstone? Doubtful. Was it "Dr. Shades"? Likely not. Who did it? Who COULD have done it, if not that mystical corporate entity, that evil unitary brain calling itself FARMS? So how would an individual's surreptitious insertion of an essentially invisible acrostic into a text demonstrate that FARMS as a whole behaved badly? Especially if it was FARMS that removed the acrostic?>>

    Contra Peterson, in fact it was me -- at least indirectly.

    I had heard rumors that Bill authored a review slated for publication in the FARMS's _Review of Books on the Book of Mormon_ that included an acrostic belittling Dan Vogel and me. When the RBBM was hot of the press it was distributed to FARMS employees and associates. I called my friend Scott Faulring -- then a FARMS researcher -- and asked him to read the first letter beginning with the first paragraph of Hamblin's review. He began: "M." We quickly stumbled on the first quotation. He began again, omitting the quotations:

    "M -- E -- T -- C -- A -- L -- F -- E -- I -- S -- B -- U -- T -- T -- H -- E -- A -- D"

    Scott was mortified. He called Brent Hall who in an eleventh-hour effort to salvage the dignity of the journal alerted other senior FARMS staff to the acrostic. The _published_ and _distributed_ copies of the RBBM were retrieved, covers stripped, and pages reprinted to obscure the acrostic. Scott later told me that the acrostic had gone to press with the blessing of the journal's editor -- Dan Peterson.

    More from Dan:

    DP: <<Admitting that you've never actually seen anything from FARMS that says "Metcalfe is Butthead," you respond that, by carefully isolating the first letters of several successive paragraphs at the beginning of a very lengthy academic article -- or by having someone else do it for you -- you HAVE managed to find ""METWHSFE IA BUTAHEAT.">>

    DP: <<Wow.>>

    DP:<<When I noted that "FARMS never went to Sunstone or the Associated Press declaring that 'Metcalfe is Butthead'" you responded that "FARMS didn't have to. It was in the original version of the review.">>

    DP: <<So let me see if I understand this. The terrible public insult to Mr. Metcalfe came in a hidden acrostic that was never distributed.>><snip!>

    Pure fabrication and Peterson knows it.

    The RBBM had been _distributed_ (see on my conversation with Scott Faulring above).

    On more than one occasion I tried to dialogue with Bill. Here's a sample invitation:

    ********************
    BEGIN BRENT
    ********************

    On the now defunct Morm-ant I suggested a major weakness in Book of Mormon apologetics is the seeming ineptitude of some apologists in reading texts. William D. Hamblin's most recent FARMS publication is a case in point ("Sacred Writings on Bronze Plates in the Ancient Mediterranean" [Ham-94] [Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1994]). In his latest apologia he continues his tirade against my _Dialogue_ essay "Apologetic and Critical Assumptions about Book of Mormon Historicity" (26 [Fall 1993]: 153-84). Hamblin misrepresents my discussion on metallic plates in almost every detail (see "Apologetic and Critical Assumptions," pp. 156-57).

    As of today (8/9/94), the list of SAMU-L subscribers includes Bill Hamblin. SAMU-L is a suitable forum for discussing these issues.

    Bill, I'm prepared to discuss my research. Are you prepared to defend yours?

    Cordially,

    Brent Lee Metcalfe
    BRENTMET@WORDPERFECT.COM

    ********************
    END BRENT
    ********************

    Here's Hamblin's response:

    ********************
    BEGIN BILL
    ********************



    ********************
    END BILL
    ********************

    Yes, I didn't find his arguments too compelling either. Image

    I haven't shied away from discussing my research -- I only ask that sense and sensibility govern the discussion.

    Cheers,

    </brent>

    ZLMB—July 2004

    Quote:
    Hi Scott [Gordon],

    I have no interest in a protracted discussion on this topic, but I'd like to correct some of Dan Peterson's misstatements that you quoted. The second quotation is representative:

      [Daniel Peterson:] I doubt very much that Brent Metcalfe actually felt a great deal of pain at the incident. If public humiliation had been a big concern of his, he wouldn't have made the unpublished acrostic a matter of public record by going to various news agencies with it, encouraging them to bring it to the widest possible audience. Until then, nobody knew about it. It was completely obscure, in almost every sense. Quite to the contrary, I suspect that Metcalfe and his associates loved it. It gave them a chance to divert attention away from the substance of the FARMS reviews and to direct public attention instead to a prank that, in fact -- unlike the reviews -- had neither been published nor distributed by FARMS. That unpublished acrostic may be among the longest-lived unpublished private jokes in American history. In this sense, the classic ad hominem tactic (a logical fallacy of irrelevance and diversion) adopted by Brent Metcalfe and his Signature colleagues has been phenomenally successful, at least in certain circles.

    Here are a few salient facts:

    • I didn't "go[] to various news agencies with" anything; rather, they contacted me.

    • Similarly, I didn't "encourage[] them [i.e., 'various news agencies'] to bring it to the widest possible audience"—I don't even recall this ever coming up.

    • Dan's repeated claim that the acrostic was "unpublished" is wrong. The acrostic was published and distribution of the journal had begun—both to FARMS employees and, as I recently learned, to regular FARMS customers (see below).

    • Dan is also mistaken when he says that the acrostic wasn't "distributed." I alerted Mormon historian Scott Faulring to the acrostic after Scott had received his copy of the journal (he read the acrostic to me over the phone). Scott told others about the acrostic and journal distribution was halted, but not before some copies were sold to the general public. For instance, a friend recently shared with me digital images of the acrostic taken from a copy of the journal that a FARMS customer had purchased via snail-mail.

    Dan's retort, "In this sense, the classic ad hominem tactic (a logical fallacy of irrelevance and diversion) adopted by Brent Metcalfe and his Signature colleagues has been phenomenally successful, at least in certain circles," strikes me as little more than, well, the classic ad hominem tactic. It's unfortunate that well-meaning folks have become the couriers of Dan's misstatements.

    My best,

    bReNt

    ZLMB—July 2004

    Quote:
    Hi "Pahoran,"

    You barfed (yes, that's a whimsical play on "Pahoran's" style and should not be taken seriously):

      ["Pahoran":] This seems rather odd. Having worked for a publishing house, I know that stopping a production mail-out once it has begun is all but impossible. However if this alleged copy from an anonymous FARMS customer was an advance--i.e. pre-production--copy, then your story may make sense.

    I, too, have more than a little experience with publishing and advanced reading copies, which often include generic covers, incomplete chapters, pre-proof typos, and so on. I've examined the journal that the FARMS customer purchased, and none of these elements are present—the only discernible difference was the obscuration of Bill Hamblin's acrostic. But lest you doubt, let me offer a sample image from the publicly distributed journal—perhaps you can identify modifications beyond the reworking of Bill's acrostic. Good luck!


    Image


      ["Pahoran":] Refresh our memories, please: who exactly is it that continues to bring this old ho-hum up? [snip!]

    Not me. But what's more, who cares?! (I'm as bored with the topic as anyone; I just get tired of the misrepresentations.)

      ["Pahoran":] Oh, and having jokingly compared me to Gollum on this forum, do you really think you can legitimately complain about having been the "butt" of a similar joke, once, ten years ago?

    Oh my—"a similar joke"? Well, if nothing else, "Pahoran," you are funny. For the record, there were other "jokes," including Hamblin's arrival at a FARMS board meeting sporting a Beavis and Butthead T-shirt. This happened after Bill had offered his "sincere" apologies for the "joke." And then there's the paper by William J. Hamblin titled "Vogel and Metcalfe are [sic] the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies: An Evaluation." The content? A sentence ("Vogel and Metcalfe are the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies") accompanied by a footnote ("William J. Hamblin, 'Vogel and Metcalfe are [sic] the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies,' Beavis and Butthead Studies, 3/2 (1993):23-54"). This sentence and footnote are then repeated sixty-one times over five pages. Pretty damn funny, don't you think?

    Cheers,

    bReNt

    ZLMB—July 2004

    Quote:
    Hi "Pahoran,"

    At the risk of sounding uncharitable, I responded to you for the benefit of those who are interested in something other than the fatuous speculations of some silly malcontent. I'm happy to let readers assess our credibility for themselves.

    Hi Dr. Shades,

    As I understand it, Bill Hamblin had originally intended the acrostic to spell out "Vogel and Metcalfe are the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon studies," but opted for the shorter "Metcalfe is Butthead."

    Cheers,

    bReNt

It's late. Sleep tight!

Kind regards,

</brent>


http://mormonscripturestudies.com
(© 2008 Brent Lee Metcalfe. All rights reserved.)
——————————
The thesis of inspiration may not be invoked to guarantee historicity, for a divinely inspired story is not necessarily history.
—Raymond E. Brown


Last edited by Brent Metcalfe on Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:03 pm 
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I just read the Scratch "stalking" LoP thread. I have a few comments.

First, I saw no stalking of LoP by Scratch. Scratch may have done, what I and just about anyone has done at one time or another, and put a poster's handle into Google and hit "search". I'm sorry, that's not "stalking". Stalking LoP on the internet would be, at bare minimum, following LoP around all of his forums and profiles online which are apparently extensive, and leaving harassing and unwelcome comments.

It would seem, if Scratch is right that LoP posts over and over with juvenile "one-liners" on every thread Scratch makes across at least two forums, that LoP is more guilty of stalking Scratch. I still personally wouldn't consider LoP stalking, but it fits the bill better than Scratch's actions.

I could not find anywhere that Scratch suggested someone contact LoP's stake president or threatened to. This is an incredible exaggeration by LoP if he cannot cite the exact reference here for us. Scratch did the equivalent of saying to a hypocritical Christian who goes around judging others, "what would Jesus think of your actions here, here, and here?" That would not be a threat to turn in the Christian to Jesus Christ for punishment.

In many places, Scratch noted that LoP was probably overall, a "decent guy."

When Scratch made an error and wrongly attributed something to LoP that LoP didn't say, LoP went to extensive lengths to ridicule Scratch for it. And Scratch still apologized, like a man of integrity does. But considering LoP's demand for excusing and being a gentleman about making mistakes when he referred to Scratch as a "she" even after correction, it's odd he'd hold Scratch's feet to the fire like that. An interesting set of double standards.

And finally, LoP made what has become the hallmark of apologetic personal attacks, and recommended Scratch get mental therapy. Har, har har. Good one. Interestingly, this casts even more doubt on the credibility of his current well-meaning pleading for Scratch to get counseling. It's a lot like crying wolf. Who could ever take him serious now?

But the best part of that entire thread was the appearance of Coach T. LOL! This guy is one of the dullest and most violent of all the apologists. And he was irate on this thread, you could just feel the effort he was putting into trying to insult Scratch and others. It really brought a smile to my face.

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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: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:16 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
I just read the Scratch "stalking" LoP thread. I have a few comments.

First, I saw no stalking of LoP by Scratch. Scratch may have done, what I and just about anyone has done at one time or another, and put a poster's handle into Google and hit "search". I'm sorry, that's not "stalking". Stalking LoP on the internet would be, at bare minimum, following LoP around all of his forums and profiles online which are apparently extensive, and leaving harassing and unwelcome comments.

Scratch found postings I had made on blogs that do not show up in the first 15 pages of a google search. After that I stopped looking.

Quote:
I could not find anywhere that Scratch suggested someone contact LoP's stake president or threatened to. This is an incredible exaggeration by LoP if he cannot cite the exact reference here for us.

Sorry, not stake president, but "ecclesiastical leader":
"Well, I think what would probably be most "intriguing" to your ecclesiastical leader is your rather extensive career in trafficking pirated music and video clips. Did you not know that that kind of thing is illegal?"
viewtopic.php?p=158303#p158303

Quote:
When Scratch made an error and wrongly attributed something to LoP that LoP didn't say, LoP went to extensive lengths to ridicule Scratch for it. And Scratch still apologized, like a man of integrity does. But considering LoP's demand for excusing and being a gentleman about making mistakes when he referred to Scratch as a "she" even after correction, it's odd he'd hold Scratch's feet to the fire like that. An interesting set of double standards.


Can someone explain why it is wrong to refer to a woman as "she"?

_________________
One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:20 pm 
LifeOnAPlate wrote:
Can someone explain why it is wrong to refer to a woman as "she"?


Scratch is male. Would you enjoy being referred to as a "she" after making it clear time and again that you are a "he"?

I have to agree with Gad on this one. Give the "she-Scratch" thing a rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:24 pm 
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Wow, Brent. That was fascinating.

Maybe I'll read it all the way through sometime.

(Good grief! Fifteen years, and you're still so very exercised about this bit of trivia?)

Incidentally, Scott Faulring would have gotten an early copy because he was working on a project connected with (and largely funded by) FARMS and was in and out of the FARMS office. His having a copy simply doesn't prove that there was a vast press run and wide distribution of The Horrible Acrostic.

If it wasn't you, Brent, who went to the media, it was, I suspect, one of your crowd, who saw it as a potential ad hominem bonanza -- and so it has proven, within certain narrow circles, for a decade and a half. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a certain someone at a Salt Lake City publishing concern. We certainly never had any reason to go to the press. And we didn't. Moreover, the press didn't really come to us, much, either. Article after article appeared without having questioned us. Finally, as you certainly realize, if our intent had been to publicly insult you, we were and are entirely capable of doing so directly and openly. An essentially invisible acrostic isn't a very efficient vehicle for conveying an insult.

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:45 pm 
Frankly, I don't know who would have picked up the acrostic unless they were informed prior to publication. I had the hardcopy of that issue, and that would have been the last thing on my mind. I do recall searching for it after learning it was in that copy, but I didn't find it, though living in Kangaroo-Land I would not have received an early copy. Who would think of going through the first letter of 18 paragraphs to find an acrostic? No one. If Dan let this go it was perhaps with the knowledge/belief that no one could find it unless informed beforehand, which appears to have happened. It was a "private joke".

Critics never joke about apologists?

So Dan is a "deceptive cretan". Is that the point?


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:47 pm 
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LoP,

That statement did not imply he would contact your ecclesiastical leader. He didn't threaten you. He was trying to get you to take a gander at your own wrong doings, and ask yourself if your church leadership would be proud of them.

Funny, your last statement. We see the white-hot rage behind those words, rest assured. And no one believed for a second you had brotherly concern for Mister Scratch when you stooped to charging him with mental illness in a cruel personal attack.

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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: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:48 pm 
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Hi Dan,

It's late. Tuck away your conspiracy theories and put them to bed.

But if you want some late-night reading to cure insomnia, see below.

————————————————————

Hi Mike,

Great to hear from you (and congrats on your first published book!).

MAsh wrote:
Typically, a book like the Review (just like Dialouge) would be sent out in bulk to many people...

That's precisely my point. I suspect that some pocket (small or large) of FARMS subscribers received copies before the "recall" occurred. The California resident who received the RBBM in question didn't even know of the acrostic until a mutual acquaintance unbagged the cat in 2004 (or thereabouts).

Remember, Mike, I was the source of the recall—I know a bit more about what transpired than you may think (see the reproduced posts below).

MAsh wrote:
Either way, it suggests that very few copies of the Review ever left FARMS and I think it supports Dan's recollection that possibly less than a dozen books were printed before the printing stopped.

Specifically, Dan claims that "fewer than ten" were "printed and bound" (see below).

As near-nirvanic as some may find this topic, I've wasted more virtual ink on it than deserved, largely correcting misstatements of apologists. Those looking for further light and knowledge can consult the following reproduced posts.

    ZLMB—December 2000

    Quote:
    Bill Hamblin's puerile acrostic is old news -- pretty damned boring, in all honesty. That said, I'm not sure what to make of Dan Peterson's hazy memory of events.

    For the record, Bill Hamblin and I are not friends -- though at one time I had hoped we would be. In 1993 Hamblin and I corresponded on mistakes he had made in a FARMS preliminary report (see letters posted separately). Although Hamblin fixed some of the errors, my effort to initiate a dialogue between apologetic and critical scholars failed.

    It was in this context that Hamblin published his monologue on my _Dialogue_ article. This was Hamblin's chance to correct me in a forum where I couldn't respond. As part of his critique Hamblin included an acrostic where the first letter of his article's initial paragraphs (excluding quotations) spelled out "METCALFE IS BUTTHEAD." Let's review the details:

    Dan Peterson writes:

    DP: <<FARMS never went to Sunstone or the Associated Press declaring that "Metcalfe is Butthead." (Metcalfe himself did, apparently.)>>

    This is simply untrue.

    I was contacted by the Associated Press and _Sunstone_, not the other way around.

    Peterson continues:

    DP: <<I noted the relevant fact that FARMS has never distributed anything that said "Metcalfe is Butthead." To which you, Shades, respond, "Yes, thanks solely to the fact that the presses were stopped and the offending pages hastily re-written.">>

    DP: <<I wonder who stopped the presses. Who rewrote the relevant passages? Was it Brent Metcalfe? Not likely. Was it Sunstone? Doubtful. Was it "Dr. Shades"? Likely not. Who did it? Who COULD have done it, if not that mystical corporate entity, that evil unitary brain calling itself FARMS? So how would an individual's surreptitious insertion of an essentially invisible acrostic into a text demonstrate that FARMS as a whole behaved badly? Especially if it was FARMS that removed the acrostic?>>

    Contra Peterson, in fact it was me -- at least indirectly.

    I had heard rumors that Bill authored a review slated for publication in the FARMS's _Review of Books on the Book of Mormon_ that included an acrostic belittling Dan Vogel and me. When the RBBM was hot of the press it was distributed to FARMS employees and associates. I called my friend Scott Faulring -- then a FARMS researcher -- and asked him to read the first letter beginning with the first paragraph of Hamblin's review. He began: "M." We quickly stumbled on the first quotation. He began again, omitting the quotations:

    "M -- E -- T -- C -- A -- L -- F -- E -- I -- S -- B -- U -- T -- T -- H -- E -- A -- D"

    Scott was mortified. He called Brent Hall who in an eleventh-hour effort to salvage the dignity of the journal alerted other senior FARMS staff to the acrostic. The _published_ and _distributed_ copies of the RBBM were retrieved, covers stripped, and pages reprinted to obscure the acrostic. Scott later told me that the acrostic had gone to press with the blessing of the journal's editor -- Dan Peterson.

    More from Dan:

    DP: <<Admitting that you've never actually seen anything from FARMS that says "Metcalfe is Butthead," you respond that, by carefully isolating the first letters of several successive paragraphs at the beginning of a very lengthy academic article -- or by having someone else do it for you -- you HAVE managed to find ""METWHSFE IA BUTAHEAT.">>

    DP: <<Wow.>>

    DP:<<When I noted that "FARMS never went to Sunstone or the Associated Press declaring that 'Metcalfe is Butthead'" you responded that "FARMS didn't have to. It was in the original version of the review.">>

    DP: <<So let me see if I understand this. The terrible public insult to Mr. Metcalfe came in a hidden acrostic that was never distributed.>><snip!>

    Pure fabrication and Peterson knows it.

    The RBBM had been _distributed_ (see on my conversation with Scott Faulring above).

    On more than one occasion I tried to dialogue with Bill. Here's a sample invitation:

    ********************
    BEGIN BRENT
    ********************

    On the now defunct Morm-ant I suggested a major weakness in Book of Mormon apologetics is the seeming ineptitude of some apologists in reading texts. William D. Hamblin's most recent FARMS publication is a case in point ("Sacred Writings on Bronze Plates in the Ancient Mediterranean" [Ham-94] [Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1994]). In his latest apologia he continues his tirade against my _Dialogue_ essay "Apologetic and Critical Assumptions about Book of Mormon Historicity" (26 [Fall 1993]: 153-84). Hamblin misrepresents my discussion on metallic plates in almost every detail (see "Apologetic and Critical Assumptions," pp. 156-57).

    As of today (8/9/94), the list of SAMU-L subscribers includes Bill Hamblin. SAMU-L is a suitable forum for discussing these issues.

    Bill, I'm prepared to discuss my research. Are you prepared to defend yours?

    Cordially,

    Brent Lee Metcalfe
    BRENTMET@WORDPERFECT.COM

    ********************
    END BRENT
    ********************

    Here's Hamblin's response:

    ********************
    BEGIN BILL
    ********************



    ********************
    END BILL
    ********************

    Yes, I didn't find his arguments too compelling either. Image

    I haven't shied away from discussing my research -- I only ask that sense and sensibility govern the discussion.

    Cheers,

    </brent>

    ZLMB—July 2004

    Quote:
    Hi Scott [Gordon],

    I have no interest in a protracted discussion on this topic, but I'd like to correct some of Dan Peterson's misstatements that you quoted. The second quotation is representative:

      [Daniel Peterson:] I doubt very much that Brent Metcalfe actually felt a great deal of pain at the incident. If public humiliation had been a big concern of his, he wouldn't have made the unpublished acrostic a matter of public record by going to various news agencies with it, encouraging them to bring it to the widest possible audience. Until then, nobody knew about it. It was completely obscure, in almost every sense. Quite to the contrary, I suspect that Metcalfe and his associates loved it. It gave them a chance to divert attention away from the substance of the FARMS reviews and to direct public attention instead to a prank that, in fact -- unlike the reviews -- had neither been published nor distributed by FARMS. That unpublished acrostic may be among the longest-lived unpublished private jokes in American history. In this sense, the classic ad hominem tactic (a logical fallacy of irrelevance and diversion) adopted by Brent Metcalfe and his Signature colleagues has been phenomenally successful, at least in certain circles.

    Here are a few salient facts:

    • I didn't "go[] to various news agencies with" anything; rather, they contacted me.

    • Similarly, I didn't "encourage[] them [i.e., 'various news agencies'] to bring it to the widest possible audience"—I don't even recall this ever coming up.

    • Dan's repeated claim that the acrostic was "unpublished" is wrong. The acrostic was published and distribution of the journal had begun—both to FARMS employees and, as I recently learned, to regular FARMS customers (see below).

    • Dan is also mistaken when he says that the acrostic wasn't "distributed." I alerted Mormon historian Scott Faulring to the acrostic after Scott had received his copy of the journal (he read the acrostic to me over the phone). Scott told others about the acrostic and journal distribution was halted, but not before some copies were sold to the general public. For instance, a friend recently shared with me digital images of the acrostic taken from a copy of the journal that a FARMS customer had purchased via snail-mail.

    Dan's retort, "In this sense, the classic ad hominem tactic (a logical fallacy of irrelevance and diversion) adopted by Brent Metcalfe and his Signature colleagues has been phenomenally successful, at least in certain circles," strikes me as little more than, well, the classic ad hominem tactic. It's unfortunate that well-meaning folks have become the couriers of Dan's misstatements.

    My best,

    bReNt

    ZLMB—July 2004

    Quote:
    Hi "Pahoran,"

    You barfed (yes, that's a whimsical play on "Pahoran's" style and should not be taken seriously):

      ["Pahoran":] This seems rather odd. Having worked for a publishing house, I know that stopping a production mail-out once it has begun is all but impossible. However if this alleged copy from an anonymous FARMS customer was an advance--i.e. pre-production--copy, then your story may make sense.

    I, too, have more than a little experience with publishing and advanced reading copies, which often include generic covers, incomplete chapters, pre-proof typos, and so on. I've examined the journal that the FARMS customer purchased, and none of these elements are present—the only discernible difference was the obscuration of Bill Hamblin's acrostic. But lest you doubt, let me offer a sample image from the publicly distributed journal—perhaps you can identify modifications beyond the reworking of Bill's acrostic. Good luck!


    Image


      ["Pahoran":] Refresh our memories, please: who exactly is it that continues to bring this old ho-hum up? [snip!]

    Not me. But what's more, who cares?! (I'm as bored with the topic as anyone; I just get tired of the misrepresentations.)

      ["Pahoran":] Oh, and having jokingly compared me to Gollum on this forum, do you really think you can legitimately complain about having been the "butt" of a similar joke, once, ten years ago?

    Oh my—"a similar joke"? Well, if nothing else, "Pahoran," you are funny. For the record, there were other "jokes," including Hamblin's arrival at a FARMS board meeting sporting a Beavis and Butthead T-shirt. This happened after Bill had offered his "sincere" apologies for the "joke." And then there's the paper by William J. Hamblin titled "Vogel and Metcalfe are [sic] the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies: An Evaluation." The content? A sentence ("Vogel and Metcalfe are the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies") accompanied by a footnote ("William J. Hamblin, 'Vogel and Metcalfe are [sic] the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies,' Beavis and Butthead Studies, 3/2 (1993):23-54"). This sentence and footnote are then repeated sixty-one times over five pages. Pretty damn funny, don't you think?

    Cheers,

    bReNt

    ZLMB—July 2004

    Quote:
    Hi "Pahoran,"

    At the risk of sounding uncharitable, I responded to you for the benefit of those who are interested in something other than the fatuous speculations of some silly malcontent. I'm happy to let readers assess our credibility for themselves.

    Hi Dr. Shades,

    As I understand it, Bill Hamblin had originally intended the acrostic to spell out "Vogel and Metcalfe are the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon studies," but opted for the shorter "Metcalfe is Butthead."

    Cheers,

    bReNt

It's late. Sleep tight!

Kind regards,

</brent>


http://mormonscripturestudies.com
(© 2008 Brent Lee Metcalfe. All rights reserved.)
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The thesis of inspiration may not be invoked to guarantee historicity, for a divinely inspired story is not necessarily history.
—Raymond E. Brown


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Hi Ray,

Your questions are addressed in detail in my latest posts.

Cheers,

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The thesis of inspiration may not be invoked to guarantee historicity, for a divinely inspired story is not necessarily history.
—Raymond E. Brown


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:12 am 
Brent Metcalfe wrote:
Hi Ray,

Your questions are addressed in detail in my latest posts.


I realise that, Brent. It was known prior to publication, etc. I read your post three times. My understanding is that you're not really deeply offended by the "private joke", and maybe like me you'd expect this from those who oppose your viewpoints, but you're more concerned about the post-publication defences/half-truths. Scott Faulring obviously didn't share DCP's/Hamblin's "sense of humour". Or maybe he could see it, but was concerned about offending you?

It was not in the best taste, that I agree with. But it's a tactic resorted to by both "sides". They did it covertly (so they thought). The public criticisms levelled against them have been nothing short of open and nasty, going as far as to include Dan's wife, of late anyway. I think that needs to be considered. It's just how both sides "play the game". Maybe Dan shouldn't water it down, and just say he got a good laugh out of it. But he'd never be forgiven for being human, would he?


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:15 am 
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Brent:

Why did you call Scott Faulring right away and ask about the acrostic? Wouldn't it have been better to wait a week or two until all the copies had been bound, distributed, and otherwise mailed out of the warehouse?

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:26 am 
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Brent Metcalfe wrote:
It's late. Tuck away your conspiracy theories and put them to bed.

It's scarcely a "conspiracy theory" to think that somebody notified the media.

Somebody clearly did.

But who?

Cui bono?

Not me. Not Bill Hamblin. Not anybody in the leadership at FARMS.

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:32 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Why did you call Scott Faulring right away and ask about the acrostic? Wouldn't it have been better to wait a week or two until all the copies had been bound, distributed, and otherwise mailed out of the warehouse?

Bad timing, that. The whistleblowers jumped the gun (to mix metaphors).

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:38 am 
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Hi Dr. Shades,

Dr. Shades wrote:
Why did you call Scott Faulring right away and ask about the acrostic? Wouldn't it have been better to wait a week or two until all the copies had been bound, distributed, and otherwise mailed out of the warehouse?

Because despite his "Vogel and Metcalfe are [sic] the Beavis and Butthead of Mormon Studies" "essay," I naïvely believed that Hamblin wouldn't actually go through with his acrostic "joke." I was wrong, and the recall began in haste.

Best regards,

</brent>


http://mormonscripturestudies.com
(© 2008 Brent Lee Metcalfe. All rights reserved.)
——————————
The thesis of inspiration may not be invoked to guarantee historicity, for a divinely inspired story is not necessarily history.
—Raymond E. Brown


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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:46 am 
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liz3564 wrote:
Scratch is male. Would you enjoy being referred to as a "she" after making it clear time and again that you are a "he"?


I'll take your word for it, liz. Scratch has never clarified either way when I have asked.

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 Post subject: Re: Online Apologetics and "Collateral Damage"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:47 am 
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Hi Dan,

But who?

Not me. I have no idea who did. I don't even care who did. Do you?

Goodnight, Dan.

</brent>


http://mormonscripturestudies.com
(© 2008 Brent Lee Metcalfe. All rights reserved.)
——————————
The thesis of inspiration may not be invoked to guarantee historicity, for a divinely inspired story is not necessarily history.
—Raymond E. Brown


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