Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

I can't help but wonder what it was--specifically--that prompted this latest missive from Dr. Peterson (whose pilgrimage to England and whose visit to Sir Isaac Newtons' tomb has apparently not been captivating enough to tear him away from two straight days of nearly non-stop blogging):

Sic et Non wrote:“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

That quotation, often (but probably incorrectly) attributed to the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, has been on my mind a bit over the past few days, since I posted my entry “John Gee’s good news.”

In response to that little post of mine, which was written fairly carefully to avoid reigniting any long-simmering controversy between those who founded the Maxwell Institute (formerly the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) and led it for decades and those who have controlled it since 2012, several new commenters showed up on my blog seeking to rekindle the old conflict or, worse still, to demonize Dr. Gee and, quite irrelevantly, to demonize me. (I finally gave a couple of them the boot. They already have plenty of venues in which to post mendacious falsehoods and vent their spleens. They don’t need my blog to do it, and I won’t permit them to do it.)


Wait a second.... This seems to be saying that he thinks the "new commenters" *were* from the Maxwell Institute, right? And that he censored them and banned them from posting? Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems to be what this is saying. He's talking about a "long-simmering controversy" with the Maxwell Institute, and *not* with MormonDiscussions.com. Or is he instead saying that *we* have the power to "rekindle the old conflict"?

Whatever the case may be, I'm sure you're wondering (same as me) whether this post is discussing "ideas," "events," or "people"? The last paragraph of Peterson's post is a classic--someone ought to snap it up for a sig line:

Daniel Peterson wrote:In some ways, no form of discourse exists that is lower than malicious gossip. As someone who has been on the receiving end of anonymous but public malicious online gossip, virtually daily, for about a decade and a half, I’m particularly aware of the phenomenon, which I find essentially incomprehensible. I can’t imagine devoting a substantial portion of my life to such a pursuit.


Heh heh. Well, I guess the main takeaway is that "Sic et Non" is sufficiently upset about what is going down vis-à-vis Gee that the editorial crew felt that getting this out there was important.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Symmachus wrote:That is very strange. I don't know how you get an endowed professorship housed in one part of the school to another one like that.


You know, Symmachus, it occurs to me that this is really a lot more important than anyone has said so far. Let's face it: the people who've been publicly weighing in on this (or who have been making moves that are publicly visible--such as the MI's deletion of Gee's faculty page) are not the people in charge. *Those* people--administrators--are going to see this from a very different perspective than either the upstart "new" Maxwell Institute or the grudge-carrying, butt-hurt apologists. The admins are going to be asking: What's best for the institution? How can we keep our donors happy? To have DCP and Midgley braying about donors in a public space like that... Can you imagine? Honestly, I think the least "damaging" scenario here, from an admin perspective, is to just flush Gee down the loo. You can't really have the Gay Chair moved because that will mean that the donor got angry and ordered the change (or someone meddled with the donor and convinced him/them to move the chair, which, as you rightly point out, is the mother of all academic political debacles). This would be a terrible blow, politically, to the Maxwell Institute--and who would that benefit? The only people who would want to see that happen are the Mopologists. So, something or somebody has got to take a hit in this, and if you are Deans, Apostles, Institute Directors, or Department Chairs, which do you choose: a bad political blow for the MI? Or that goofball Book of Abraham Mopologist Gee gets sort of "demoted," but still gets to keep his job? Is it better for this to be a bummer for Gee and his pals, or for the MI?

When you look at it that way, it's a simple choice. But we really need to get some kind of definitive announcement from them. The anticipation is unbearable!
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Wow! The comments on the SeN thread are a fascinating study in the psychology of Mopologetics.

Kudos to MsJack for going toe-to-toe with Priestcraft Peter$on and Kiwi57, and soundly knocking both of them out.

I predict Peter$on will soon delete the comments. They shine a horrible light on Peter$on's anger, immaturity, bullying, insecurity, grudges and hate.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Lemmie »

Doctor Scratch wrote:I can't help but wonder what it was--specifically--that prompted this latest missive from Dr. Peterson (whose pilgrimage to England and whose visit to Sir Isaac Newtons' tomb has apparently not been captivating enough to tear him away from two straight days of nearly non-stop blogging):

Sic et Non wrote:“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

That quotation, often (but probably incorrectly) attributed to the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, has been on my mind a bit over the past few days, since I posted my entry “John Gee’s good news.”

In response to that little post of mine, which was written fairly carefully to avoid reigniting any long-simmering controversy between those who founded the Maxwell Institute (formerly the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) and led it for decades and those who have controlled it since 2012, several new commenters showed up on my blog seeking to rekindle the old conflict or, worse still, to demonize Dr. Gee and, quite irrelevantly, to demonize me. (I finally gave a couple of them the boot. They already have plenty of venues in which to post mendacious falsehoods and vent their spleens. They don’t need my blog to do it, and I won’t permit them to do it.)


Wait a second.... This seems to be saying that he thinks the "new commenters" *were* from the Maxwell Institute, right? And that he censored them and banned them from posting? Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems to be what this is saying. He's talking about a "long-simmering controversy" with the Maxwell Institute, and *not* with MormonDiscussions.com. Or is he instead saying that *we* have the power to "rekindle the old conflict"?

Whatever the case may be, I'm sure you're wondering (same as me) whether this post is discussing "ideas," "events," or "people"? The last paragraph of Peterson's post is a classic--someone ought to snap it up for a sig line:

Daniel Peterson wrote:In some ways, no form of discourse exists that is lower than malicious gossip. As someone who has been on the receiving end of anonymous but public malicious online gossip, virtually daily, for about a decade and a half, I’m particularly aware of the phenomenon, which I find essentially incomprehensible. I can’t imagine devoting a substantial portion of my life to such a pursuit.


Heh heh. Well, I guess the main takeaway is that "Sic et Non" is sufficiently upset about what is going down vis-à-vis Gee that the editorial crew felt that getting this out there was important.

Doctor Scratch, the links you added to the final quote from Peterson are killing me! Way to make your point. :lol:

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Gadianton »

For those like me low enough to still find amusement in the utterly predictable, here are a few comments from the "Great Minds Discuss Ideas; Average Minds Discuss Events; Small Minds Discuss People" post:

Ideeho: "The venom of some people astounds me. And the willingness to deceive, distort and dissemble..."
DCP responds: "It's really amazing, isn't it?"


baxter999: "I'm having a hard time with the downward spiral of the old FARMS/new MI. Recently an old friend told me of his descent into anti-mormon hell and it turns out a current member of the MI was one of the sources of doubt"

hey, at least he got an event in there.

B. Wilson: "The most vicious comments came from people who used a false identity and blocked people from reading past comments. Scratch has 19 comments to his/her credit. Starshine did not block people from reading comments, ...Bridget's comments were enlightening. She viewed past critics as trolls who pulled a fast one over on Dan, Kiwi and others"

This guy may be the next FARMS protege.

Jack: I very much appreciate Gee's book An Introduction to the Book of Abraham. Even so, what I really, really want from Gee is a Magnum Opus. I don't think there's anyone better qualified....
DCP: He's writing something like that, in a sense, in piecemeal fashion


Tom Cruise is my favorite actor, and then the Rock, and then Arnold who is totally the best except Tom Cruise is also really great.

Midgley: I suspect that John Gee, after the Purge, could and perhaps was the object of the same kind of disgusting stuff that was posted when Professor Peterson merely mentioned that he now has been relocated by the Brethren to a fine academic Department at Brigham Young University

hmmm, maybe Midgley is kind of an "event" guy? I'll have to keep that in mind.

B. Wilson: I have been impressed by the calm with which Brother Peterson moderates his blog

Tom Cruise always looks so cool in every movie he plays in. Especially when the camera kind of comes in at him at an angle, and everything is in slow motion and you can see how white his teeth are. I just can't believe it.

B. Wilson: I decided to create a graph attempting to describe the intent of the critics claiming to be bishops. The horizontal graph is the degree to which an individual likes Dan.

And he actually has a graph, probably the first graph ever in the comment section, in order to make his point about people he doesn't like. Talk about taking small-mindedness to the next level.

Michael Hoggan: There is a need to discuss all three things. I do think that having a willingness to look at things in a "big picture" perspective is one of the qualities that particularly distinguishes brainiacs.


The only comment on the thread so far about an idea, and without any references to events or people at all! And it wasn't even a bad point. The list of commenters in order of mind size, from largest to smallest.

Michael Hoggan, Midgley, baxter999, Jack, baxter999, Ideeho, DCP, B. Wilson

Michael Hoggan is the clear winner, and may even get some kind of award at the end of the year. Midgley didn't do too badly either. He and baxter beat the others categorically. B. Wilson, lol, buddy, we've got to talk...

And DCP takes a hit for lack of self-awareness in his own thread, and for only responding to posts about people only.

(this post is more of an intermission rather than a derail, as we await further intel on the topic of the thread)
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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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by moksha »

I was following the link and one of the commenters posted a suggestion of googling Cherry-Picked Decontextualized List of Peterson's Many Crimes Against Humanity. Googling it draws a blank. My thinking is that the only crime Dr. Peterson may be guilty of is not eating meat or donuts sparingly. So knock off the ad hominem crime stuff. It is not like you have a leaked Kirton McConkie dossier at your disposal.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Here's yet another possibility: What if they adopt "King Solomon's Wisdom" and "cleave" the Gay Chair in two? There are multiple ways they could do this: they could allow Gee to occupy the Chair for half the year, and an MI person to have it the other half. Or, just like a cell dividing, there could be *two* Gay Chairs! The Mopologists would be outraged if something like this happened. (Do you seriously think they would be OK with having to share with the Maxwell Institute?) But, hey: lacking any real clarification, you have to understand that people will speculate.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Analytics »

Symmachus wrote:
Doctor Scratch wrote:
It has not, to my knowledge, been definitively established that Gee still occupies the Gay Research Chair.


That is very strange. I don't know how you get an endowed professorship housed in one part of the school to another one like that....

I don't have any experience in such matters, but I thought this comment by DCP might be relevant:

"There is really only one donor whose opinion of Professor Gee's research and writing makes any difference -- and I can assure you that you're not describing that donor's view."

Could the "only one donor" that "makes any difference" be any other than the William "Bill" Gay trust, or the philanthropist who is otherwise funding the chair under that name? My impression is that the only reason why Gee was not ousted in 2012 was because he was funded by this independent source of money.

DCP also said of the decision to move the chair, "There was definitely involvement at the highest levels of the BYU administration and at Church headquarters."

My impression is that the philanthropist still has some control of the money that is funding this chair. I would speculate that that donor didn't like the MI's new direction and threatened to pull the funding if Dr. Gee wasn't given a more congenial home. If I'm right, that would surely get the attention of "the highest levels of the BYU administration and at Church headquarters," who would do whatever was required to keep the money flowing.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by kairos »

Searching BYU news two past entries on Gee :2004 named Associate Research professor in the Ancient Text restoral dept; 2009 named Professor there- no othet entries so he has been a full professor 10 Years.

Just addin to the timeline

k

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

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Jack: I very much appreciate Gee's book An Introduction to the Book of Abraham. Even so, what I really, really want from Gee is a Magnum Opus. I don't think there's anyone better qualified....

DCP: He's writing something like that, in a sense, in piecemeal fashion

Gee's book, An Introduction to the Book of Abraham, was an embarrassment. In no way was it scholarly and he even admits in the book that it is apologetic in nature. The only people who might find some value in it are uninformed LDS people looking for a brief explanation of the Book of Abraham defense from an faithful sellout BYU Egyptological viewpoint. It is actually being contested in a scholarly fashion on a variety of points from people like Hauglid & Jensen (who back Vogel & Metcalfe) and in publications like the JSPP.

So for someone to say they find value in that book is akin to admitting they know nothing about the subject. Gee won't produce a scholarly book on it because the evidence is against his basic premise of the missing scroll containing the Book of Abraham.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Symmachus »

kairos wrote:Searching BYU news two past entries on Gee :2004 named Associate Research professor in the Ancient Text restoral dept; 2009 named Professor there- no othet entries so he has been a full professor 10 Years.

Just addin to the timeline

k

Good for him, if he is a full professor. I'm still kind of curious how that promotion happened outside of a department. BYU I guess can do things there own way.

At least up to a point. For example, I hope this is not the case:

Analytics wrote:I don't have any experience in such matters, but I thought this comment by DCP might be relevant:

"There is really only one donor whose opinion of Professor Gee's research and writing makes any difference -- and I can assure you that you're not describing that donor's view."

Could the "only one donor" that "makes any difference" be any other than the William "Bill" Gay trust, or the philanthropist who is otherwise funding the chair under that name? My impression is that the only reason why Gee was not ousted in 2012 was because he was funded by this independent source of money.

The donor has that much power? I doubt it. Usually, an endowment for a chair can stipulate what the purpose of the chair is and often where it should be housed in the university (making it complicated to move them around to other departments); but they can't usually stipulate who holds it except through nudging and winking. Peterson's portrayal of the situation, however, is that BYU is merely a stage on which Gee performs for his patron. That is not how an endowed chair is supposed to work. An endowment means that the interest of an initial sum is designated for a specified use to be administered by the university, in this case a research position. It does not mean that the donor is paying the salary of the person holding that position on an ongoing basis. The opinions and even the original intent of the donor are irrelevant, although respecting those intentions increases the likelihood of future donations. But even BYU does not think donors are entitled to that much control, which is why BYU went to court with the Siebachs some years ago after they were upset that BYU froze funds that had been earmarked (in their thinking) for the research initiatives of their son, a BYU philosophy professor. The opinion of the appellate judge who returned the case to the district court references a common-law rule that donors do not have standing to enforce their intentions:

Under the general common-law rule, only the attorney general, and not the donor, has standing to enforce the terms of a completed charitable gift...Donors have traditionally been “prevented from enforcing their gifts in court, because non-trustee donors retain no interest in the gift, except the sentimental one that every person who [has] contributed to the charity would be presumed to have.”...The Siebachs do not dispute that the common law generally precludes a donor from suing to enforce the terms of a charitable gift. Instead, they argue—correctly—that no Utah case has expressly applied the common-law rule of donor standing. But it does not ineluctably follow that the district court therefore erred in applying the common-law rule. Indeed, Utah courts have consistently looked to the common law to resolve questions of standing....We see no error in the district court's reliance on the common law to evaluate the Siebachs' standing to press claims relating to their donative intent...The district court therefore did not err in dismissing the Siebachs' claims that sought to enforce their donative intent.


So, will William Gay sue? It appears he wouldn't even have standing to do so. His card is that he won't donate any more money to BYU, I suppose. But, if this is a real endowed position and not an illegal means by which un-taxed money is funneled to John Gee as a charitable donation, it is unlikely that he is making regular payments from which John Gee draws a salary.

Analytics wrote:DCP also said of the decision to move the chair, "There was definitely involvement at the highest levels of the BYU administration and at Church headquarters."

My impression is that the philanthropist still has some control of the money that is funding this chair. I would speculate that that donor didn't like the MI's new direction and threatened to pull the funding if Dr. Gee wasn't given a more congenial home. If I'm right, that would surely get the attention of "the highest levels of the BYU administration and at Church headquarters," who would do whatever was required to keep the money flowing.

What does "church headquarters" (what a silly phrase!) have to do with anything? Certain of the hierarchy are on the board of trustees, but that is the only capacity in which they could exercise authority over BYU. I mean, BYU still has to follow the law, particularly as it participates in the federal aid program, with religious exemptions applicable only in certain cases. I don't know if "we don't want to piss off donor" is one of those exemptions. Presumably, he means only that some of the board members who also serve in other capacities that put them in "church headquarters" were involved. I hope that's all he means, otherwise the situation as paints it is cloaked in a funky smell.

The weird thing about these apologists' invocation of Church leaders is that it goes both ways: if we can read Gee's move (whatever it is) as part of the grand chess game, then surely the fact that Daniel Peterson runs a ghost-edited blog now but doesn't edit a journal is evidence that ancient asses plopped in plush chairs at "church headquarters" have also sanctioned his exile from the Maxwell Institute.

In any case, I still think this is only being made out by the old practitioners of Mormon apologistics as an event in the struggle against the infidels invaders. It is probably more mundane than all of that. Whatever the reasons are for whatever is going on, BYU probably does want to respect the donor's wishes, as does John Gee, and it appears the donor wanted the money to be used in pseudo-scholarship. Gee doesn't really do much of that these days, but his Egyptological work doesn't really fit well in the Maxwell Institute either. It isn't an institute for the study of the ancient world. The Syriac and Christian Arabic material at least fits within the umbrella of inter-religious dialogue, but no one is going to be having a dialogue with the priests of Min anytime soon. The ecosystem that existed 25 years ago has been transformed around John Gee, and if it can be done properly and orderly, it's not unfair for him to be put in a place where at least some of his work and expertise can make a contribution. Certainly, if the situation were reversed, most readers wouldn't see a big problem: if Robert Ritner, in this fantastical hypothetical, had come to BYU for an endowed research position in Egyptian philology only to have that place transformed around him to an apologetics-factory, he would rationally and rightly look for ways to move somewhere less uncongenial to his original goals. I know a lot of people here want an end to the story in which John Gee is humiliated and unemployed, but the fact is that the Maxwell Institute was one thing when Gee came and is now something else, and that Gee has published as much or more non-Mormon scholarship than some of the people in Near Eastern languages—he has certainly done more than Daniel Peterson, who has never published anything for a non-Mormon scholarly audience (the Muhammad biography doesn't fit the bill, as he should know and admit), despite apparently being a full professor. I certainly have no respect for his pseudo-scholarship, but, while he is not going to be invited anywhere as a keynote speaker anytime soon, he also done more than enough real scholarship to earn a little sympathy from even an infidel like myself.
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Symmachus »

Gadianton wrote:For those like me low enough to still find amusement in the utterly predictable, here are a few comments from the "Great Minds Discuss Ideas; Average Minds Discuss Events; Small Minds Discuss People" post:
....

hey, at least he got an event in there.

...

This guy may be the next FARMS protege.

...

Tom Cruise is my favorite actor, and then the Rock, and then Arnold who is totally the best except Tom Cruise is also really great.

....

hmmm, maybe Midgley is kind of an "event" guy? I'll have to keep that in mind.

....

Tom Cruise always looks so cool in every movie he plays in. Especially when the camera kind of comes in at him at an angle, and everything is in slow motion and you can see how white his teeth are. I just can't believe it.

....

And he actually has a graph, probably the first graph ever in the comment section, in order to make his point about people he doesn't like. Talk about taking small-mindedness to the next level.

...

The only comment on the thread so far about an idea, and without any references to events or people at all! And it wasn't even a bad point. The list of commenters in order of mind size, from largest to smallest.

Michael Hoggan, Midgley, baxter999, Jack, baxter999, Ideeho, DCP, B. Wilson

Michael Hoggan is the clear winner, and may even get some kind of award at the end of the year. Midgley didn't do too badly either. He and baxter beat the others categorically. B. Wilson, lol, buddy, we've got to talk...

And DCP takes a hit for lack of self-awareness in his own thread, and for only responding to posts about people only.

(this post is more of an intermission rather than a derail, as we await further intel on the topic of the thread)



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by kairos »

One more data point that might not have been covered on the Gay Chair strings on funding- Provides funds for Gee and others doing research on the Book of Abraham and related subjects. Thus unless there is a change in those guidelines, no way can Gee be paid out of those funds by teaching or researching other than Book of Abraham related subjects. If he teaches a language course seems his new department should foot the bill.

One other stipulation was that the Gay research endowed chair would be "housed/resident" in the MI. To get that changed the BYU lawyers most certainly would have to get involved as well as BYU admin and the brethren perhaps. Seems Gee was not getting into a funded slot in his new dept so the Gay money had to get attached and new guidelines written.

Just guessin as the beat goes on. I would say loss of Gay funding at the MI was not an easy pill to swallow. Finally are Gee's Book of Abraham days over?

k

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Lemmie »

The Maxwell 2018 annual report gave much more information on the funding details of Gee's activities than it has in previous years, including noting he started teaching in 2018:

The purpose of the William (Bill) Gay Research Chair is to support scholarship in fields of study directly related to ancient scripture study, such as Egyptology and other relevant ancient languages and disciplines and to contribute in a significant way to further knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the scriptural heritage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. The purposes of the chair are in line with the Brigham Young University mission statement. While “scholarly research and creative endeavor . . . are essential and will be encouraged . . . BYU’s faculty, staff, students, and administrators should also be anxious to make their service and scholarship available to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in furthering its work worldwide.”

...The Gay Chair, however, requires that I not just work in the field of Egyptology but specifically also work in the scriptural heritage of the Church. The work of the Gay Chair in 2018 has been in line with its purpose, the BYU mission statement, and the counsel given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in his annual Maxwell Institute lecture....

Winter semester 2018 I taught a course on beginning Egyptian hieroglyphs (Near Eastern Languages 511R).....

From October 3–23 I conducted research in archives in Italy, Switzerland, and France on documents pertaining to Antonio Lebolo, the funding for which was supplied by the family of the late H. Donl Peterson to continue his work, for which I am very grateful....

I am grateful to the William Gay family and the H. Donl Peterson family for funding my research and activities in 2018. My work has aligned with the purposes for which those funds have been donated.

As a contrast, the 2016-2017 report, outside of a list of Gee's activities, gave only the following information:

This has been a busy year for the William (Bill) Gay Research Chair.

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by kairos »

The initial guidelines were Book of Abraham directed but it Looks like research area creep has taken place Gee could probably work in the BYU cafeteria and have his wages funded. So do u think the Book of Abraham mopologetic mantle has been transferred to another dupe?

Imho Gee wasted probably 15 years of his life on Book of Abraham. Only royal skousen and John Sorenson have wasted more of their lives on the fiction that is Mormonism!

Dr Gee would you hand me strawberry cheesecake dessert, it is next to the donuts!

Just being snarky!

k

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Gadianton »

Martin Tanner starsshine1942 • a day ago

starsshine1942, having a fairly detailed knowledge of Maxwell's downward spiral since 2012, of Gee's position at Maxwell and his departure to ANEL Dept., I can with full confidence say you are wrong on most of your major points. It would seem you do not have first hand knowledge of what has happened, and you are likely getting your info from Fluhman or one of his colleagues, who is trying to save face by putting an inaccurate spin on the horrible management at Maxwell since 2012. This is not just my opinion, as demonstrated by the nearly unprecidented public comments by Elder Holland about Maxwell. You make it sound like Gee wanted to stay at Maxwell (laughable) but was forced out ("absolutely removed from his position" to use your phrase). Absolutely not true. All the major points in your post, except that Gee has moved to ANEL Dept. are inaccurate. -Martin Tanner, host of Religion Today on KSL

----

not related to the above, it was said by a prominent staff member at SeN that only one person's opinion of the output of the chair matters, and that person is very satisfied. I assume that one person is a relative of the donor. How much influence does a donor have on the Chair? Is there ever a conflict of interest between the donor and the department or school?

I'd be curious what Symmachus has to say about this one given the entertaining and revealing commentary on chairs he's delivered so far.
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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Gadianton
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Gadianton »

Okay, time to go on record. I essentially believe Midgley. I don't think there's a chance in hell he's personally seen any memo, or has personally spoken with a GA about this, but I think he probably has spoken to one or more who have been privy to the details. I'm thinking it's probably true the funder of the chair must be happy, otherwise this all would have ended independent of the new MI, and unless there's a insurmountable problem, as long as that person is paying for the office lights, there is no reason to complain. any additional class load at all is basically billing run-rate work to a free account, so it's win-win for the administration.

Further, I think the new MI is in trouble. I don't mean to say they've done anything wrong, I just think they are in trouble, and that the brethren may clean house. I doubt that means the Old MI will be restored. But I do really think that Rusty the Tin Man and his "name of the church" gamble is not in the spirit of scholarship appealing to worldly intellectuals. If the Brethren are willing to go through with their basic bet, and show the Saints that the Church is led by revelation and basic gospel fundamentalism, in order to win back the Saints who have looked elsewhere for revelation (Denver Snuffer etc), then it's more likely that they would side with the Mopologists. They would also likely side with Meldrum.

We've had several clear statements by Mopologists, but nothing by the new MI. That could simply be professionalism, but somebody would slip, and leak intel, I'd think. At best they have an argument of perspective, where the movement of the chair could be said to be in part because of x,y,z favorable to them, but nothing really clear cut.

Of course, the apologists could prove to be wrong on any of the above. Unlike the location of the final Nephite battle, the future of the MI a year from now has a definite answer. Lying about that is far more risky.
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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Doctor Scratch
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

kairos wrote:Searching BYU news two past entries on Gee :2004 named Associate Research professor in the Ancient Text restoral dept; 2009 named Professor there- no othet entries so he has been a full professor 10 Years.

Just addin to the timeline

k


Thanks for that, Kairos. Links are always welcome, too! If what you say is correct, then it means that the score has been evened. Score one to starsshine for being correct about no "CFS" for Gee; score one for DCP for correctly indicating Gee's promotional rank. So, they are tied.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by moksha »

Symmachus wrote:BYU I guess can do things there own way.

As the doyenne of the Mormon D&D board, Juliann put it, "We are private so we can do whatever we want".
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Tom »

I've checked around for information about the Gay Research Chair.

Dr. Gee's blog includes reports on his activities as occupant of the Gay Research Chair back to 2003. The Maxwell Institute's annual report for 2013 states that Dr. Gee has occupied the chair since 2002.

A FARMS newsletter published in 2004 provided some background on the Book of Abraham project:
In 1998 FARMS’s longtime interest in advancing research supportive of the Book of Abraham as an ancient text found new emphasis and direction as a formalized FARMS project, an impetus made possible by a farsighted donor: the Robert Gay family. Soon a working group of scholars was convened to exchange research and ideas on the text. The resulting exchange of information led to FARMS-sponsored public lectures and a scholarly conference in 1999. The next year saw publication of John Gee’s Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri and, fortuitously, an enlarged edition of Hugh Nibley’s Abraham in Egypt (a project years in the making). Following in short order were the first two volumes in the Studies in the Book of Abraham series—Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham (2001) and The Hor Book of Breathings (2002)—and a “World of Abraham” symposium and scholarly conference in 2002.

Of course, Dr. Gee received his doctorate in 1998 and began working at FARMS shortly thereafter as "an assistant research professor [who] "coordinate[d] research on the book of Abraham" (see Insights, August 1998, p. 4).

In 2007, the Institute published a note on the death of William Gay:
Frank William (Bill) Gay, in whose name two Maxwell Institute research funds were endowed, passed away May 21, 2007. … The William (Bill) Gay Research chair at the Maxwell Institute was created and endowed in his honor. John Gee is the William (Bill) Gay Associate Research Professor. This endowment supports all of the projects and publications done by Gee and others on the Book of Abraham and related studies. As mentioned in the last issue of Insights, the Russel B. Swensen Endowed Mentorship Fund was created as a result of a generous gift from Robert (Bob) Gay in honor of his father William (Bill) Gay.

It seems reasonable to assume that Robert Gay also provided funds for the Gay Research Chair, but I haven't seen a direct statement to that effect on the Maxwell Institute website.

Note that Robert Gay is a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and is also a member of BYU's Board of Trustees.
Last edited by Tom on Wed May 29, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kishkumen
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Re: Has John Gee Been "Booted" from the Maxwell Institute?

Post by Kishkumen »

Excellent work, Tom. Robert Gay is the person who supports this endeavor, and he is probably in a position to persuade BYU to move the Gay chair from MI to ANEL.
"I think the religious debates in America, where they fail is people will joke around in a rather mean and rude way, and they'll put other people down as opposed to being respectful when they debate." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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