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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:00 pm 
God

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I noticed on the Interpreter, "hit man" Greg smith has responded to your letter.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:25 pm 
the very elect
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
The only audiologist I know who has written a historical treatise has corrupted the facts. Not just slant.

An audiologist is somebody who works at K-Mart next to the photo booth.


Jealous much?

Tell us what you think of a former pawn shop owner who has published several books about shaken faith.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:36 pm 
God
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Polygamy-Porter wrote:
Yahoo Bot wrote:
The only audiologist I know who has written a historical treatise has corrupted the facts. Not just slant.

An audiologist is somebody who works at K-Mart next to the photo booth.


Jealous much?


lol, my thoughts exactly.

that historical treatise was so incredibly slanted that Yahoo Bot had to go directly to ad hominem.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:19 am 
God
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aussieguy55 wrote:
I noticed on the Interpreter, "hit man" Greg smith has responded to your letter.


My God, it's as if Smith is trying to prove Grindael's point.

I'm not completely sure if Smith is being obtusely disputatious (cue unintentional irony) or if he is purposefully digging himself deeper into the manure of his own modus, although I'm inclined to suspect the latter. Reading that response was like watching an angry, blind chihuahua trying to hump a potholder.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:22 am 
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There are many historians with legal training; almost none with training to sell hearing aids.

Is an anesthesiologist a credible historian?

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:02 am 
God

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Yes, that's right Bob. Attorney's make for great historians because of their experience with research, but above all, their unbridled objectivity and honesty with the evidence.

:lol:


The last thing anyone should want from a self-anointed historian is a background in law.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:22 am 
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Aussieguy55, I'm flabbergasted at his response. Here is my response to the further assassination of Grant Palmer,

Greg wrote, (his responses are inside the //--//, mine are below that in blue.)

// I am surprised that Grindael missed all the other examples//.

I didn’t. I chose not to comment on them in this forum. I explained that in my comment. I chose the first and most ridiculous, which it still is. You wrote,

//a) appeal to authority; //

Actually, I did not make any “appeal” to any authority. You are making that up. I only referred to Van Wagoner as a credible historian in response to your footnote. And how do you even get an “appeal to authority”? You do know what it is, don’t you?

//An Appeal to Authority is a fallacy with the following form: Person A is (claimed to be) an authority on subject S. Person A makes claim C about subject S. Therefore, C is true.//

I did no such thing. I simply brought up the fact that Van Wagoner had cited Winchester with a middle initial of “F”, as both you and Brian Hales did and that Palmer may have cited him that way because he considered Van Wagoner as I do a “credible historian”.

So did you and Brian Hales commit plagiarism? That is most ridiculous and you know it is, but you can’t seem to help yourself. YOU are the one that actually pointed out it was cited by Richard S. Van Wagoner. I was commenting on something you had already written in your notes. That is not an appeal to an authority, only a REASON why he may have included the middle initial. Unfortunately we do not know why Van Wagoner included that middle initial and since he is dead we may never know. You wrote,

//Our research has not shown Van Wagoner to be a particularly reliable guide to matters of plural marriage [see, for example, my examination of just two pages of his work here, which shows some of the same lapses that Palmer’s treatment exhibits [See here, for example]. //

This is a red herring because I didn’t say that Grant was RIGHT to use the middle initial appealing to Van Wagoner, I only commented about WHY I thought he did (that Van Wagoner was a credible historian). This has nothing to do with his being a “reliable guide” because I didn’t claim that Winchester HAD a middle initial in his name. You wrote,

//Even if he were, an appeal to authority does not mean he was right–as we both have cause to know, as you pointed out. We once followed Van Wagoner without checking, and were misled–hence our awareness of the risk.//

I never once claimed that Van Wagoner was RIGHT. Another red herring. We have a difference of opinion on Van Wagoner to be sure. No Historian is without mistakes. Does this discredit him? Not to me, but perhaps it does to you. Your elaborate dance here is simply a diversion from the fact that both you and Hales also made the same mistake you accuse Grant Palmer of making. You wrote,

//=== Tu quoque ===Grindael agreed with our note that this might “seem nitpicky,” and so thinks we should have left it unmentioned. His confusion is understandable, but he is so convinced of our insecurity and incompetence that he doesn’t bother to ask why the matter was handled as it was.//

Really? This is simply more diversion. It is not a fallacy, it is a fact that you did exactly what you are claiming that Palmer did. Your subtitle, “Benjamin F. Winchester: "Close friend" of Joseph?” is your own. It is your words rephrased from Van Wagoner. You write,

//I confess to having hoped to signal Palmer that he should check this matter more closely, since it is not just a matter of a nitpicky error, but actually evidence for plagiarism. I hoped that it was unintended, and that it would be corrected prior to any formal publication. Since you have raised this issue, I will here detail the problem formally.//

You didn’t check the matter more closely either. You obviously updated the wiki page with the date and missed that completely. I notice you have now corrected all your mistakes. Why not before this? And I did not raise the issue of plagiarism, YOU DID. Here is where you go off the deep end:

//=== Evidence for plagiarism in Palmer’s essay===Palmer writes: Benjamin F. Winchester, a close friend of the prophet said the Kirtland accusations of scandal and “licentious conduct” against him was discussed, “especially among the women. Joseph’s name was connected with scandalous relations with two or three families.” For this claim, Palmer cites only: Benjamin Winchester, “Primitive Mormonism” The Daily Tribune (Salt Lake City), September 22, 1889. [Note 22] There is no reference to Van Wagoner–yet, why did Palmer make the same error? I believe the most parsimonious explanation is that Palmer is relying on his secondary source (Van Wagoner), and has not checked the original reference. We did not say so at the time, but it actually appears that this is an instance of plagiarism, unintended or otherwise.//

Of course, you can speculate all you want, but you cannot back this up with proof. So it is a red herring. Another one. The fact that you are bringing up plagiarism shows that your agenda is to smear Mr. Palmer. The fact that Mr. Palmer cites Van Wagoner multiple times shows that he had no intention of plagiarizing the man. But this little game of yours is simply another diversion to cover your own mistake of accusing someone of doing something you did yourself.

It is more likely that he simply forgot to footnote that section because he did so with all the other material he got from Van Wagoner. Having cited Van Wagoner multiple times in his article, it is not hard to understand where Mr. Palmer gets that from. You are grasping at straws here and it is easy to see why. You are all over the map here, wanting everything both ways as I will show below. You wrote,


//The point is not that Palmer made a “nitpicky” error of fact. We all make those–Brian and I each made at least one as we were writing, which the other pointed out: we both learned things we had previously gotten wrong. The problem is that Palmer’s method of relying upon secondary sources to gather up critical accounts makes it more likely that he will make such errors, and less likely that he will read what is needed to correct them. His preoccupation with negative accounts likewise means that such things do not seem to be scrutinized very closely. That is the heart of the issue, why the Winchester error bears mentioning.//

No, it really doesn’t, because you can’t seem to make up your mind about why you mentioned it. This is simply a show of insecurity because you will stoop to anything to smear Mr. Palmer. You just proved my point with the plagiarism charge. You wrote,

//By contrast, my notes in the wiki are clearly labelled as “Book draft chapters on polygamy.” [See here, 3rd column]. They were uploaded in 2007 [and thus it is inaccurate to claim they reflect my 2014 position or thoughts] to allow FairMormon members to answer questions that were not yet treated elsewhere in the wiki. With the on-going growth of the wiki, they will probably eventually be unnecessary. They are also clearly labelled as “draft essays” [See here].//

Can’t have it both ways. If it is a “draft” then don’t make it PUBLIC on wiki. This is a ridiculous excuse. You obviously updated the date, (or someone at FAIR did), your problems with follow up don’t change the fact that you wrote it and didn’t follow up on your mistake, which if it was not, why did you correct it after I mentioned it? If it was all innocent, why change anything? Because you know that it was the same kind of mistake you accuse Mr. Palmer of making. Funny how this is ok for you, but not for Palmer.

//Rather than citing Winchester’s original statement, as Palmer’s paper does, I make it clear that I am citing Van Wagoner–the name “Van Wagoner” is mentioned four times in that section alone, and there are two direct citations from his work [See here].//

So? You still did not mention that the middle initial was wrong. You still put it in your HEADER. Sorry but these trite excuses just don’t cut it. You made the same mistake you condemn others for. It’s just petty and how would you like it if people make the connection that your work is shoddy because of such a petty and stupid thing?

//We knew that Palmer was fallowing Van Wagoner here precisely because I had likewise been misled by that secondary source in 2007.//

But you didn’t KNOW cause you didn’t correct it or check to make sure that the middle initial was valid! It is just petty. So what claims can be made about you because of that? Would that be right to do? I don't think so, and that is why what you are doing here seems so stupid to me. That is my point -- that you KNOW BETTER but don’t seem to care. You write,

//=== Fallacies that get their facts wrong === In short, Grindael’s logical fallacies also misstate the facts:

a) Van Wagoner’s work on plural marriage is lacking in many important respects, and should not be relied upon without reference to the primary sources–to do so simply because he is “respected” does not reflect good independent judgment; and…//

Whoa! Where are you getting this from dude? One comment that he was a credible Historian? I never said “respected”. You are simply making this all up here. Is ALL of what Van Wagoner produced not credible because of a middle initial? I know Historians like Mike Marquardt who would disagree with you. Mr. Palmer DID refer to the original source, Benjamin Winchester without the initial. In his Bibliography Van Wagoner cites Winchester as: Winchester, Benjamin F. "Primitive Mormonism—Personal Narrative of It." Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Sept. 1889. So you CANNOT rule out that he didn’t get his from the original source and only recalled what Van Wagoner wrote which filtered into his article and should have been cited. But Plagiarism? Laughable. That is the red herring in your fallacious argument.


//b) We do not believe that [A] Smith’s draft notes from 2007, clearly relying upon a secondary source is at all equivalent to [B] Palmer’s journal article submitted for publication in 2014, with likely plagiarism of the source of the quotation, which a footnote which makes it (falsely?) appear that the author has checked the primary source, when he is instead relying upon the secondary source without attribution.//

Shouldn’t that be YOU don’t believe? Who is we? Or is Brian looking over your shoulder while on his trip? Again, you can’t stop. LIKELY plagiarism? Well, it looks like you did the same thing. You didn’t give a source for Van Wagoner in that whole section on Winchester until you corrected it today. You refer to Van Wagoner, but not one footnote. If you want to put out sloppy draft work… go ahead. Pot calling the kettle black if you ask me. You write

//And, I hope too that this rebuts the hasty (and unfounded) claim that we included the “nitpicky” error about “Benjamin F. Johnson” simply because “It is absolutely trivial and stupid (especially when they did it themselves) and only done because of an obvious agenda to use ANY excuse (no matter how trivial) to make the man look bad.” If we had truly been after anything to make Palmer look bad, then plagiarism would be an excellent place to start, don’t you think? But, we were far more concerned about his errors in analysis and the omission of relevant data. This merely explains why some of those errors and omissions occur. (It is far more important for the reader to realize that they occur, not why.)//

Unfortunately for you, you did not mention plagiarism in your essay. You are NOW mentioning it in an effort to CYOA. So that doesn’t fly. You are claiming that I am misstating FACTS that were not available to me. That is a giant red herring argument. Do you always operate like this? You expect someone to know that you were accusing Mr. Palmer of plagiarism when you didn’t accuse him of it? Another bout of that mind reading it seems.

//Perhaps it was an error in judgment to not point out Palmer’s probable plagiarism more fully.//

Ya think? But… You didn’t point it out at all. NOT AT ALL. You called it a “factual inaccuracy”. That is NOT plagiarism. You didn’t mention anything but the middle initial of Winchester. Man, I’m shocked that you can even write this stuff. It’s like you are in the Twilight Zone. You write,

//If so, I apologize. I’m the one who added the references to Van Wagoner in the notes; perhaps we should have simply started with evidence of plagiarism, a fairly significant academic no-no. But, as Grindael also says (wiser than he knows): If his [Palmer's] work is that bad, THAT will speak for itself. The brilliant (if you have any) rebuttals should be enough to take care of his credibility, should they not? Indeed they should, and do (in my view).//

Yeah and the world is full of narcissists. Your tactics are anything but brilliant here as I’ve shown.

//It does not seem necessary to add a long discursion [sic] (see above!) regarding the likely plagiarism. My concern is not really about the plagiarism (which can be an honest error). It is what it represents–the fact that Palmer is careless, he apparently relies upon secondary sources for his interpretation, and thus transports their biases along with them when they serve his rhetorical purposes.//

Nice to say so now after you poisoned the well. Unfortunately, this is another one of those red herrings. This does not show a pattern of carelessness, at worst it shows that he is capable of making a mistake, something you are prone to yourself but you won’t allow Palmer to make. You make it seem as if you thought it innocent and say that is why you didn’t “mention” it, then you go full bore on the plagiarism charge. This is really pathetic.

//I think that it is telling that Grindael feels the need to act as if we are afraid that we do not have data to back up our views//.

You don’t. You have data to back up speculations that are unlikely. But I’ll have more of that in another venue, as I already said. You write,

//The paper consists of little BUT data that Palmer has ignored or left unmentioned. I have many faults (and I trust Brian does too) but one of those faults is not an insecurity that our conclusions are uncontaminated by data.//

Sure could have fooled me.

//=== Ad hominem? ===Grindael continues the tongue-lashing:So why the need for all the ad hominems? Either you are both extremely insecure, or you don’t think you have a case to make with the evidence. You also offer no link at all to Palmer’s articles. Talk about petty. There are no ad hominem arguments in the article. If there are, we would appreciate it if they were brought to our attention. We have criticized Palmer’s methods and use of evidence. Some regard this as “ad hominem,” but it is not//.

You need a tongue lashing. And...Oh, Yes it is. You accuse Mr. Palmer of relying on “secondary sources”. This is classic ad hominem because you haven’t proven it. You only make accusations and speculate. You don't seem to know the difference. Then, you say you can’t really prove anything. This kind of circular reasoning is all that you can produce. You write,

//Grindael has provided no examples to back the claim. I think he will search in vain; it is not in either of our nature to want to resort to ad hominem, and it would be counter-productive to do so.//

Can you FOR A FACT prove that Mr. Palmer did not read Winchester’s article? You cannot, therefore you are only making ACCUSATIONS about his character based on NO EVIDENCE which is an ad hominem. You are claiming that Palmer did not read Winchester’s article, the source for his quotes thus claiming he is being dishonest. This is attacking his character.

Again, a BRILLIANT tactic, would be to debunk Winchester and explain why Palmer’s citing him is in error, not go to petty accusations of plagiarism and relying on secondary sources. But this it seems is ALL YOU HAVE. This is also why I’m of the opinion that you appear to be insecure and short on intelligence. You write,

//As for the link–His paper is, as we indicated, pending publication. I didn’t think of including a link, mainly because I presumed that it wouldn’t last at that URL–most academic journals have no interest in republishing material that has already been publicly disseminated, so I suspected it would disappear from the web quickly if formal publication was in the works. I trust anyone with a Google search can locate it, and am happy to include a link here.//

Lame and beneath a response. You wrote,

//I note, however, that between the tu quoque and labelling us “petty,” Grindael has attempted at least two variations of the ad hominem fallacy himself. He goes on to label our work a “supposed ‘scholarly'” article, accuses us of trying to score “petty points,” and being “extremely insecure.” This is far more abusive than anything we have written about Palmer. A good sample: My advice is stick to the evidence and stop trying to score petty points. It makes you look like juveniles, especially when it is so easy to catch you doing the same things you claim the “shoddy scholars” are doing. I can only point out the truck-loads of irony in the above, refer the author to his own sentence involving glass houses, and move forward.//

Yes, and that was intended. (the tongue lashing). But it is not ad hominem if it is true, as I've shown here. (The hypocrisy alone is breathtaking). But I am not writing a scholarly paper about this, I am making personal comments on a blog which are my opinion and observations. When I do write about your butchery of the sources and ad hominem attacks on Mr. Palmer, it won’t be in the same vein. There is a difference genius. You write,

//This is kind of silly.//

What is silly is claiming that he did not use the “latest evidence” and then cite your own works. Silly and self serving. I’m surprised that this is a point that must be explained.

//Grindael creates a false dichotomy between “speculation” and “proof.” He ignores the vast middle ground where almost all academic work is done–greater and lesser degrees of probability.//

Unfortunately I do not. If you read the quote I included by Todd Compton then you know that you are completely wrong here and how I view things. Here is an example though, of what I am talking about,

//Eliza Winters never referred to a seduction attempt by Joseph Smith.//

This is an absolute. We actually do not know if she did or not. She may have, but we don’t know about it. What you should have written is that there are no published references or documents of Winters’ ever having accused Joseph.

There is no PROOF of what you say here, simply a lack of evidence, therefore your statement is inaccurate, but given as an absolute, this is not what you describe as your modus operandi. The only false dichotomy, is the one you made up. You write,

//In the same way, his reconstruction about Helen Mar Kimball also views evidence in a certain way, and draws a conclusion. That is not “proof” either, but nor (I suspect) would he admit it to be “only speculation.” //

I admitted to speculation in my reply. Did you catch that? So claiming that I would never admit to such is another straw man and not very bright. You write,

//He is doing the same thing–or trying to–that we are trying to do.//

No, I’m not. I’m not making Absolute statements. In fact here is what I said,

//The problem with any speculation in this area is that anyone can come along and speculate LIKE I JUST DID and some will agree with it or think it logical or likely.//

Notice that I called it SPECULATION? You write,


//Each bit of evidence must be evaluated, and assessed for its plausibility, reliability, and robustness. One can see our efforts along these lines through-out the essay. Some historical actor makes a claim: this is data. But, are they telling the truth or lying? Are they honestly mistaken? These questions must be answered, or at least essayed. Palmer does none of this; he seems to have essentially collected negative claims, and accepted them at face value.//

This is simply untrue. Palmer does a lot of it, but you seem to have forgotten that. Here are some examples,

//Winchester MAY also be referring to Vienna Jacques, a miss Hill, and Fanny Alger during this four year period//.

//Unsolicited sexual behavior MAY have been the immediate reason. //

Shall I go on? You write,

//Personally, I think that the hypothesis that the Kimball marriage was not consummated can explain all the data, including that raised by Grindael, whereas the hypothesis that it was consummated cannot. Brian shares that view, I think. We came to it independently. Others could and will take the same data and see it differently. This is not evidence in itself of incompetence, bad faith, or ignoring relevant data.//

No one said it was. I ACTUALLY WROTE,

//As for the evidence, I think we may see some responses to this in the near future. In fact, look for it. I’ll include a couple of things, before I go. Hales and Smith claim that “several observations” indicate that Smith never consummated the marriage to Helen Kimball.

Actually there is something interesting thing that Helen wrote...//

So where do I suggest incompetence, etc? I don’t, but you seem to think I do. Mr. Palmer wrote,


//…suggesting that she did have or would have a sexual relationship with Smith//.

This is not an absolute. You write in your article above,

//Without any supporting evidence, Palmer asserts…”//

Yet, you just told me:

//Various factors play into how each person assesses data and draws conclusions. This is unavoidable.//

Yet you won’t give this to Palmer. You just claim he’s a plagiarist and copies secondary sources with no credible evidence among other things.

//The problem with Palmer’s essay is that when he presents his conclusions, he only presents the data which favour his view. //

So? This is simply whining. What is the stated purpose of his paper? Sexual Allegations against Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Polygamy in Nauvoo. It is not “Some don’t believe in the Sexual Allegations against Smith.” Palmer writes,

//This section of the article concentrates on the declarations that have at least SOME PLAUSIBILITY of being true.//

This is hardly what you claim. In fact let’s look at something you object to in the case of Eliza Winters. You say,

//Palmer’s presentation of the evidence is curious, if not deceptive. He states: “Levi Lewis, accused him [Joseph Smith] of attempting ‘to seduce Eliza Winters,’” and then he quotes a longer sentence containing the same quoted words as if they were separate allegation, when in fact he is just re-quoting the same sentence (see Figure 1, top of next page).//

This is simply ludicrous. And it is an ad hominem to call him deceptive because you have no PROOF that he is. You get that, don't you? Here is why. Lewis was accusing Smith, by INFERENCE. Or don’t you understand that concept? You just want it to be described in a way that pleases YOU. Sorry that it wasn’t, but this is an accusation by LEVI LEWIS against Smith. Palmer was not deceptive here. Only someone with an agenda to discredit him would think so. Palmer never says that Levi Lewis accused him “from direct personal knowledge” and you know it. You constantly insert these kinds of red herrings into your argument.

Lewis heard Smith say that “adultery was no crime”. Joseph obviously thought so, because everything he did he excused himself for in D&C 132. Smith also said that “some sin is not sin”, whatever that means. You write,


//We have highlighted material that he must address, and explained why we think that data calls his hypothesis into question. Readers should not mistake it for a complete treatment of the issue–those are available in more detail elsewhere. The point here is to highlight the lapses in Palmer’s work for those who might be tempted to rely upon it (we are writing a review, after all), and not to (as Grindael says) “include every piece of evidence in this reply that is available out there.”//

Yeah funny how that works for you, but not for Palmer. You write,

//Palmer’s conclusion could even, in principle, be correct, and yet his work still poorly done–even if the marriage was consummated, he would still need to address the data and arguments which we have advanced. Palmer’s readers, however, will be ignorant of even the existence of these other ideas and arguments.//

They can always go searching, like the rest of us. You seem to want him to do EVERYTHING. You are setting standards that are ridiculous for him, but that you don’t apply to yourself. After all, you DON’T do what you want others to do. PALMER IS NOT WRITING A TRILOGY OF BOOKS, and you have no right to define what his paper should include. You can critique it, but your critique is full of ad homimen and flawed analysis. It doesn’t satisfy you and doesn’t give heed to Hales’ books. Right on queue, you write,

//This is one reason that I recommend Brian’s 3 volumes so highly (and he didn’t pay me to say this!) He presents all the data available, or strives to. He explains how and why he reads it as he does, but even if you completely disagree, you can see how he got there.//

I have them. So? I like the documents, but the commentary makes paying for three volumes not worth the price. And thanks for making my point. This is all a promotion for Hales’ books. Are you guys just jealous of Mr. Palmer’s success? You write,

//Palmer, on the other hand, doesn’t even evince an awareness of much of the data, or show much sign that he has grappled with it.//

This is classic ad hominem. The data YOU want him to “evidence”. Because he doesn’t deem it worthy of inclusion for whatever reason, you just make up things about him. You simply don’t know this. You don’t know what parameters he set for himself for this paper. You must be a mind reader. You read his mind all the time. Just like you did with me and how I would NEVER admit to speculation when I did so right in front of you. You write,

//There is a great deal more I could say about some of your assertions, but I’ll let Brian have his say, and chime in if needed//.

I look forward to it.

//Thanks for reading and reacting to our work!//

Just wish it had not been another hit piece.

Text color edited.

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Last edited by grindael on Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:42 am 
Dragon
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This thing about secondary sources is really pissing me off. How many FIRST HAND sources have anyone REALLY seen? Most of them are copies that people like my friend Mike Marquardt or D. Michael Quinn have made, who were lucky enough to get into the archives, and who did TONS of field work. I think Don Bradley relied on their papers when he gave many of the documents to Hales. So has he seen and handled and made sure every single document in his book is accurate? I DOUBT IT.

I just went on a research trip with Mike and we found a Daybook from the Pilgrimsport Tavern in Lyons, New York, which was owned by Solomon Chamberlin from 1828-1830 who I am writing an article about for John Whitmer with Mike's help. But have I seen a lot of the ORIGINALS of other things? No. I've gone to Uncle Dales site, and read what HE transcribed. I've done lots of other research and read books, but I have only just started seeing originals with the publication of the Joseph Smith Papers and the stuff they are now flooding the CH Library with. I mean the ORIGINAL first copy of Lucy Smith's book was not available until last year I think.

To keep whining about this is just ridiculous and obviously done because they have no other argument to make.

Later Edit>>> I'm including here, a complete copy of Gregory L. Smith's reply to me, which he deleted along with the original comment I made.

Quote:
I appreciate the chance to respond. Brian is out of town, but tells me he will draft a response to some portions. I will here address a few issues.
Grindael starts out with two logical fallacies in one paragraph:

The Winchester issue is but the first of many such issues. I am surprised that Grindael missed all the other examples. It is not as if that was the “best” evidence for the proposition that we could find, though it is much stronger evidence than Grindael appears to think it is–as I explain below.

The two fallacies are:

a) appeal to authority; and

b) the tu-quoque fallacy ["you've done what you accuse the other of"]

=== Appeal to authority ===

Our research has not shown Van Wagoner to be a particularly reliable guide to matters of plural marriage [see, for example, my examination of just two pages of his work here, which shows some of the same lapses that Palmer’s treatment exhibits [See here, for example]. Even if he were, an appeal to authority does not mean he was right–as we both have cause to know, as you pointed out. We once followed Van Wagoner without checking, and were misled–hence our awareness of the risk.

=== Tu quoque ===

Grindael agreed with our note that this might “seem nitpicky,” and so thinks we should have left it unmentioned. His confusion is understandable, but he is so convinced of our insecurity and incompetence that he doesn’t bother to ask why the matter was handled as it was.

I confess to having hoped to signal Palmer that he should check this matter more closely, since it is not just a matter of a nitpicky error, but actually evidence for plagiarism. I hoped that it was unintended, and that it would be corrected prior to any formal publication. Since you have raised this issue, I will here detail the problem formally.

=== Evidence for plagiarism in Palmer’s essay===

Palmer writes:

Benjamin F. Winchester, a close friend of the prophet said the Kirtland accusations of scandal and “licentious conduct” against him was discussed, “especially among the women. Joseph’s name was connected with scandalous relations with two or three families.”

For this claim, Palmer cites only: Benjamin Winchester, “Primitive Mormonism” The Daily Tribune (Salt Lake City), September 22, 1889. [Note 22]

There is no reference to Van Wagoner–yet, why did Palmer make the same error? I believe the most parsimonious explanation is that Palmer is relying on his secondary source (Van Wagoner), and has not checked the original reference. We did not say so at the time, but it actually appears that this is an instance of plagiarism, unintended or otherwise.

Van Wagoner’s text reads:

Rumors about Smith multiplied. Benjamin F. Winchester, Smith’s close friend and leader of Philadelphia Mormons in the early 1840s, later recalled Kirtland accusations of scandal and “licentious conduct” hurled against Smith, “this more especially among the women. Joseph’s name was connected with scandalous relations with two or three families” (Winchester 1889).

I have here bold-faced the material that is verbatim from Van Wagoner’s treatment. No only does Palmer cite no material from the original source that Van Wagoner did not cite, but he even appears to lift the precise introductory words “Kirtland accusations of scandal and”. (Palmer even duplicates the label of Winchester as a “close friend” of Joseph, thus following Van Wagoner into deception about the true relationship between Winchester and Joseph–See here to learn how Van Wagoner’s earlier work was more accurate, but the version relied upon by Palmer is less so.)

Unfortunately, then, Palmer appears to have plagiarized Van Wagoner’s account without proper documentation. (It is clear that Palmer has elsewhere relied on Van Wagoner; see his citations for notes 5, 29, 45, 53, 60, 73, 77.)

The point is not that Palmer made a “nitpicky” error of fact. We all make those–Brian and I each made at least one as we were writing, which the other pointed out: we both learned things we had previously gotten wrong. The problem is that Palmer’s method of relying upon secondary sources to gather up critical accounts makes it more likely that he will make such errors, and less likely that he will read what is needed to correct them. His preoccupation with negative accounts likewise means that such things do not seem to be scrutinized very closely. That is the heart of the issue, why the Winchester error bears mentioning.

By contrast, my notes in the wiki are clearly labelled as “Book draft chapters on polygamy.” [See here, 3rd column]. They were uploaded in 2007 [and thus it is inaccurate to claim they reflect my 2014 position or thoughts] to allow FairMormon members to answer questions that were not yet treated elsewhere in the wiki. With the on-going growth of the wiki, they will probably eventually be unnecessary. They are also clearly labelled as “draft essays” [See here].

Rather than citing Winchester’s original statement, as Palmer’s paper does, I make it clear that I am citing Van Wagoner–the name “Van Wagoner” is mentioned four times in that section alone, and there are two direct citations from his work [See here].

We knew that Palmer was fallowing Van Wagoner here precisely because I had likewise been misled by that secondary source in 2007.

=== Fallacies that get their facts wrong ===

In short, Grindael’s logical fallacies also misstate the facts:

a) Van Wagoner’s work on plural marriage is lacking in many important respects, and should not be relied upon without reference to the primary sources–to do so simply because he is “respected” does not reflect good independent judgment; and

b) We do not believe that [A] Smith’s draft notes from 2007, clearly relying upon a secondary source is at all equivalent to [B] Palmer’s journal article submitted for publication in 2014, with likely plagiarism of the source of the quotation, which a footnote which makes it (falsely?) appear that the author has checked the primary source, when he is instead relying upon the secondary source without attribution.

And, I hope too that this rebuts the hasty (and unfounded) claim that we included the “nitpicky” error about “Benjamin F. Johnson” simply because “It is absolutely trivial and stupid (especially when they did it themselves) and only done because of an obvious agenda to use ANY excuse (no matter how trivial) to make the man look bad.” If we had truly been after anything to make Palmer look bad, then plagiarism would be an excellent place to start, don’t you think? But, we were far more concerned about his errors in analysis and the omission of relevant data. This merely explains why some of those errors and omissions occur. (It is far more important for the reader to realize that they occur, not why.)

Perhaps it was an error in judgment to not point out Palmer’s probable plagiarism more fully. If so, I apologize. I’m the one who added the references to Van Wagoner in the notes; perhaps we should have simply started with evidence of plagiarism, a fairly significant academic no-no. But, as Grindael also says (wiser than he knows):

If his [Palmer's] work is that bad, THAT will speak for itself. The brilliant (if you have any) rebuttals should be enough to take care of his credibility, should they not?
Indeed they should, and do (in my view).

It does not seem necessary to add a long discursion [sic] (see above!) regarding the likely plagiarism. My concern is not really about the plagiarism (which can be an honest error). It is what it represents–the fact that Palmer is careless, he apparently relies upon secondary sources for his interpretation, and thus transports their biases along with them when they serve his rhetorical purposes.

I think that it is telling that Grindael feels the need to act as if we are afraid that we do not have data to back up our views. The paper consists of little BUT data that Palmer has ignored or left unmentioned. I have many faults (and I trust Brian does too) but one of those faults is not an insecurity that our conclusions are uncontaminated by data.

=== Ad hominem? ===

Grindael continues the tongue-lashing:

So why the need for all the ad hominems? Either you are both extremely insecure, or you don’t think you have a case to make with the evidence. You also offer no link at all to Palmer’s articles. Talk about petty.

There are no ad hominem arguments in the article. If there are, we would appreciate it if they were brought to our attention. We have criticized Palmer’s methods and use of evidence. Some regard this as “ad hominem,” but it is not. Grindael has provided no examples to back the claim. I think he will search in vain; it is not in either of our nature to want to resort to ad hominem, and it would be counter-productive to do so.

We have said nothing about Palmer’s character or personality, or urged that he be ignored because of non-relevant factors.

As for the link–His paper is, as we indicated, pending publication. I didn’t think of including a link, mainly because I presumed that it wouldn’t last at that URL–most academic journals have no interest in republishing material that has already been publicly disseminated, so I suspected it would disappear from the web quickly if formal publication was in the works. I trust anyone with a Google search can locate it, and am happy to include a link here.

I note, however, that between the tu quoque and labelling us “petty,” Grindael has attempted at least two variations of the ad hominem fallacy himself. He goes on to label our work a “supposed ‘scholarly'” article, accuses us of trying to score “petty points,” and being “extremely insecure.” This is far more abusive than anything we have written about Palmer. A good sample:

My advice is stick to the evidence and stop trying to score petty points. It makes you look like juveniles, especially when it is so easy to catch you doing the same things you claim the “shoddy scholars” are doing.

I can only point out the truck-loads of irony in the above, refer the author to his own sentence involving glass houses, and move forward.

You are also comparing a three volume set of BOOKS to an article for a historical Journal. Do you even understand what a RED HERRING that is? Should I include every piece of evidence in this reply that is available out there? Of course you would object. It would then be dishonest to say I didn’t use the evidence KNOWING that I really could not in this venue. This also applies to Palmer. How do you respond in a short article to a three volume set of BOOKS?

This is kind of silly. It is certainly not necessary to cite all of a three volume set of books. Palmer’s article deals only with a small sliver of the issues regarding Joseph’s plural marriages, while Hales’ works aims to be exhaustive. If, however, Palmer is going to cite evidence regarding specific episodes that suggest Joseph had sexual dalliances outside of marriage relationships, then he must mention all the evidence which bears on those episodes. If this requires a larger article, so be it–he must either expand the article, or narrow his focus so that he can treat the evidence fairly in the allotted space. The same applies to you. One can’t simply allude to evidence that exists “out there” and consider the job done.

I am a bit surprised that this is a point that must be explained.

=== Proof and Speculation ===

Grindael writes:

Hales and Smith claim that “several observations” indicate that Smith never consummated the marriage to Helen Kimball. Ok. But that is not proof, only speculation.

Grindael is confused if he thinks we are dealing with or making claims about “proof.” There is rarely–if ever–“proof” in history, or science. There is simply evidence–data which may strengthen or weaken a particular case. But, we are not merely “speculating” either–we are drawing a conclusion based upon weighing the data as we understand it. Grindael creates a false dichotomy between “speculation” and “proof.” He ignores the vast middle ground where almost all academic work is done–greater and lesser degrees of probability.

In the same way, his reconstruction about Helen Mar Kimball also views evidence in a certain way, and draws a conclusion. That is not “proof” either, but nor (I suspect) would he admit it to be “only speculation.” He is doing the same thing–or trying to–that we are trying to do. Each bit of evidence must be evaluated, and assessed for its plausibility, reliability, and robustness. One can see our efforts along these lines through-out the essay. Some historical actor makes a claim: this is data. But, are they telling the truth or lying? Are they honestly mistaken? These questions must be answered, or at least essayed. Palmer does none of this; he seems to have essentially collected negative claims, and accepted them at face value.

Personally, I think that the hypothesis that the Kimball marriage was not consummated can explain all the data, including that raised by Grindael, whereas the hypothesis that it was consummated cannot. Brian shares that view, I think. We came to it independently. Others could and will take the same data and see it differently. This is not evidence in itself of incompetence, bad faith, or ignoring relevant data.

Various factors play into how each person assesses data and draws conclusions. This is unavoidable.

The problem with Palmer’s essay is that when he presents his conclusions, he only presents the data which favour his view. We have highlighted material that he must address, and explained why we think that data calls his hypothesis into question. Readers should not mistake it for a complete treatment of the issue–those are available in more detail elsewhere. The point here is to highlight the lapses in Palmer’s work for those who might be tempted to rely upon it (we are writing a review, after all), and not to (as Grindael says) “include every piece of evidence in this reply that is available out there.”

Palmer’s conclusion could even, in principle, be correct, and yet his work still poorly done–even if the marriage was consummated, he would still need to address the data and arguments which we have advanced. Palmer’s readers, however, will be ignorant of even the existence of these other ideas and arguments.

This is one reason that I recommend Brian’s 3 volumes so highly (and he didn’t pay me to say this!) He presents all the data available, or strives to. He explains how and why he reads it as he does, but even if you completely disagree, you can see how he got there.

Palmer, on the other hand, doesn’t even evince an awareness of much of the data, or show much sign that he has grappled with it.

There is a great deal more I could say about some of your assertions, but I’ll let Brian have his say, and chime in if needed.

Thanks for reading and reacting to our work!


Of course, Brian never "chimed in" or "had his say" because I've been down that road with him before and he abandoned the conversation. I venture to say that this will continue to be the case. You see, when it comes to actually confronting the actual evidence they claim to have, they will delete comments rather than let them stand because they can't really answer them.

If I had not copied Gregory Smith's reply here, there would be no record of it, nor of their shoddy tactics in going after a dead scholar who can't defend himself. Even Mike Quinn (as we see below) who Van Wagoner is accused of plagiarizing, doesn't agree that he was doing so. What is interesting here, is that Smith claims that "We knew that Palmer was fallowing [sic] Van Wagoner here precisely because I had likewise been misled by that secondary source in 2007."

Misled? How? He included a middle initial by accident! That is all. Everyone KNOWS that it is the same Benjamin Winchester! The hoops that Smith has to jump through here to justify himself and Hales is astounding. Then we have Hales using the same source quote in 2009! But it is ok for them to have made a mistake in subsequently using it, but speaks to Palmer's credibility? If this is such an issue to them that they have to call out Grant Palmer on it, why did Smith leave his mistake up for 7 years?

That means that they never investigated, nor saw the original source and the work on FAIRMORMON's website can't be trusted to have the "latest research". How many other sources do they do this with? How many other things on FAIRMORMON are there that they haven't corrected or even know about?

This is hypocrisy, pure and simple. And if one goes to Hales' research page where he has uploaded all of his polygamy research, it is FILLED with secondary sources because in many cases, that is all there is. So this argument is a red herring, an ignorant one that is NEEDED by those like Smith and Hales, because they can't seem to make their case without including these kinds of attacks and they certainly don't want to have a discussion about it--but would rather delete the comments that show exactly how hypocritical and petty they are. Notice that he never addressed any of my concerns with the evidence, and only spoke about Grant Palmer and his supposed plagiarism (an ad hominem if there ever was one).

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Last edited by grindael on Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:55 am 
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Why are the Mopologists SO afraid of Grant Palmer?

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:25 am 
God

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Kevin Graham wrote:
Yes, that's right Bob. Attorney's make for great historians because of their experience with research, but above all, their unbridled objectivity and honesty with the evidence.

:lol:


The last thing anyone should want from a self-anointed historian is a background in law.


LMAO. I'm no historian.

Another apostrophe-challenged antiMormon. Couldn't get out of high school English fast enough?


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:26 am 
God

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Dr. Shades wrote:
Yahoo Bot wrote:
There are many historians with legal training; almost none with training to sell hearing aids.

Is an anesthesiologist a credible historian?


I know of none.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:30 am 
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Seriously Bob? You really have to nit pick over typos to make yourself feel like you're winning an argument? I expected so much more from one of California's super lawyers. But thanks for making my point about what kind of integrity and intellectual honesty is to be expected by a lawyer turned historian. For you folks, manipulating evidence to support your predetermined conclusions is paramount. You're the experts in that dept.


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:09 am 
God

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Kevin Graham wrote:
Seriously Bob? You really have to nit pick over typos to make yourself feel like you're winning an argument? I expected so much more from one of California's super lawyers. But thanks for making my point about what kind of integrity and intellectual honesty is to be expected by a lawyer turned historian. For you folks, manipulating evidence to support your predetermined conclusions is paramount. You're the experts in that dept.


This from an rabid anti-Muslim bigot who has been kicked off of more board's for bad conduct that there are probably board's?

You really think that pointing out your obvious writing error's is somehow beneath a "super lawyer?"

You and Bazooka with your apostrophe's. What a moron (I'm just adopting a page out of your book; your not really one of those moron's).


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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:15 am 
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Quote:
Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. Smith

I don't like their attack tactics, but Grant Palmer (for sure) out there to inflict as much damage as he can to the church.
For what cause?
Grant's belief in "Incomparable Jesus", who was a bigger fool & jrk Joseph ever could be...
Try asking Grant to renounce all those OT atrocities, incests, God approved killings...
And see the Kettle is as black as the Pot in gullibility department.

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 Post subject: Re: Grant Palmer is attacked by Brian Hales and Gregory L. S
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:20 am 
God

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Again, thanks for proving my point. Leave to an attorney to engage in whatever dishonest tactics necessary. Feel free to name all the "many forums" I've been kicked off of. That is, if honesty means anything to you. Because I can only think of one, and it is a forum notorious for banning virtually anyone with an opinion.

I think we should start our own "Meet the Real Mormons" campaign with you as one of the six shinning examples. I bet you probably don't even flinch in your temple recommend interviews when asked if you've been honest in your dealings with otgers. You probably cracked that grin and nod your head in the affirmative.

And FTR, I never said you said you were a historian. But you already knew that too. And if you seriously expect anyone to believe that wasn't a typo then be a good lawyer and provide a similar example from any of the thousands of apostrophes I've used in the past. And feel free to show an example where I called someone a moron over an obvious typo.


Last edited by Kevin Graham on Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:23 am 
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Kevin Graham wrote:
Again, thanks for proving my point. Leave to an attorney to engage in whatever dishonest tactics necessary. Feel free to name all the "many forums" I've been kicked off of. That is, if honesty means anything to you. Because I can only think of one, and it is a forum notorious for banning virtually anyone with an opinion.

I think we should start our own "Meet the Real Mormons" campaign with you as one of the six shinning examples. I bet you probably don't even flinch in your temple recommend interviews when asked if you've been honest in your dealings with otgers. You probably cracked that grin and nod your head in the affirmative.

And FTR, I never said you said you were a historian. But you already knew that too. And if you seriously expect anyone to believe that wasn't a typo then be a good lawyer and provide a similar example from any of the thousands of apostrophes I've used in the past.


Don't let yourself be baited. I'm just pulling your leg. Your a wonderful person; don't respond to the brickbat's of life.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:35 am 
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Yahoo Bot wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:
Is an anesthesiologist a credible historian?

I know of none.

Poor Brian Hales!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:53 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Poor Brian Hales!


You must think I'm pretty dense to not see where your snidolotry is headed.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:12 am 
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It is fitting that Palmer would plagiarize from Van Wagoner, who himself resorted to plagiarism on occasion. Hopefully Signature is carefully vetting VW's forthcoming volume on Joseph Smith.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:19 am 
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If any of you are wondering what Bob's credentials are for criticizing someone's research, please take a look at the following link. You'll see he's an immensely qualified and intellectually honest amateur historian:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3703

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:31 am 
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I have been following this on both boards. Is this discussion solely about the incorrect addition of a middle initial to a single name?

/boggle

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