Rage, sure. I don't know what to call it, because frankly the reaction is baffling.
It's like this. Say I make a deal with one of my teenage kids, in which I agree to raise his allowance from $10 per week to $15 per week, if he will make his bed every morning. Too generous, you say? Perhaps, but I have my reasons, and so we shake on it. And further, as a show of good faith, I offer to pay my son the extra allowance a year in advance, to encourage him along and show my faith in his commitment. He likes that very much! And he does make his bed diligently every day, for about 7 weeks. But then I begin noticing that on some days, the bed is hastily put together. Here and there, half made, the pillow in place but the blanket clearly disheveled. Another two months go by, and it becomes the norm for the bed to looks unmade or, at best, partly made. On most days, the pillow and blanket are sort of tossed in a heap, not on the floor, but certainly not made like he did it on those first 7 weeks. Objectively, the bed isn't being made. But I don't say anything, hoping that as time passes, various cues in life, such as going to bed or spending his money, will begin to remind him of his commitment. But it doesn't happen, and a few more months pass, bed not being made.
And then one day I say something at the dinner table with the family around. Son, you haven't been making your bed every day, as you promised. I wish you would remember your promise. Frankly, I am beginning to regret having paid the extra allowance all in advance. I should have kept it back in order to remind you and reward you each week. That was my mistake. If you would like to return the money, we can start over, or if you'd like to recommit to it then let's shake on it again.
Now my son has a choice. He can feel pricked, perhaps embarrassed at his perfectly human humanity, apologize and recommit to keep his side of the bargain. That's what I hope for.
But he doesn't react that way at all. Instead he responds with indignation and anger. He shouts at me: "Dad, some days you don't make your bed either! The double standard is breathtaking! Your smugly self-righteous superiority is unearned and undeserved, as is your condemnation of me. So why should I make my bed?!"
And that is precisely what is going on here. (And yes, more than half of the words in the hypothetical teenager response above were lifted word-for-word from an email from Dr. P to yours truly last night).
In case it wasn't clear: I have shared the gist of this before, but now to be abundantly clear -- the deal I made with Dr. Peterson had two super simple parts. I made a donation to the Interpreter. He promised to make a long-term commitment to continue abstaining from trash-talking MormonDiscussions.com and its heterogeneous group of users. Our word-for-word exchange on the matter is as follows:
(note: I offered 3 different versions of a deal, each a version of the same goal to eliminate DCP's harsh rhetoric aimed at MormonDiscussions.com and its heterogeneous users)
September 24, 2019
Via Email Correspondence
Suggestion 2: I make the donations now in exchange for nothing but your good word and commitment to adopt this little exercise into a long term vision. We know it, but no one else does. Everyone else can monitor the 6 months, as they like, but you won't feel like I wield any axes and we'll both know the real goal, using 6 months as a proof of concept period. I trust your best faith effort. We can trust each other not to reveal the real objectives. The benefits are obvious, but the risk is you can change your mind and make me look like a fool once the money is in. The prospect of a sustained directional change for the better is worth that risk. Bonus is that you can, in the future, consider me a potential recurring donor to Interpreter.
I would be happy with this, if you’re willing. I keep promises. Moreover, I would like to decrease the impact of MormonDiscussions.com on my blog comments section and to reduce the tonal contamination of my blog by MormonDiscussions.com.
ALSO FROM DANIEL PETERSON:
My goal is to more or less ignore the Mormon Discussions Board.
The "exercise" incorporated by reference above began with this offer:
Dr. Moore: And if the three of you would agree to eliminate the terms “hate site” and “cesspool” and other similarly provocative epithets about the MormonDiscussions board and its heterogeneous membership, and hold good to that deal for 6 months, then I will further donate $10,000 to a charity of Dan’s choice.
This exercise was later clarified to mean that Dr. P would stop referring in negative terms to MormonDiscussions.com, and that he encourage commenters on his blog to do the same. By committing to adopt that exercise into a long-term vision, Dan was promising to lead by example in perpetuity, by personally ceasing to make negative references to MormonDiscussions.com and its users -- by "being nice" to his enemies, so to speak.
Pretty simple, right? I thought so. And being a man of my word, I made good on suggestion #2 by immediately issuing a donation to Interpreter. And Dan thanked me for it, reiterating his commitment. Most people would think that promise might come for free, with nothing more than a suggestion and the virtue of leading by example a reward in itself.
I suppose for record keeping, I should post some evidence of violation. I haven't been too active in reading either this board or Sic et Non due to shifts in daily life under the Covid-19 lockdown, but I check in here and there to see what's being said. I'm pulling up the pages now and here's what I found in ~10 minutes of reading:
DanielPeterson Dr. Exiled 17 hours ago
Don't post stupid attempts at offending us, Self-Exiled.
You have an entire message board of your own dedicated to that. You don't need my blog for it.
DanielPeterson Dr. Exiled 21 hours ago
Self-Exiled: "As an aside, how do you like your new name "Coach?""
Perhaps I'll let you know when and if I notice anybody but you using it.
And, by the way, you probably shouldn't use it here. Over on the Malevolent Stalker Board, of course, it might well be hailed as sheer genius. They're a pretty uncritical audience for things of that sort.
DanielPeterson Dr. Exiled a day ago
Self-Exiled: "I think you have a guaranteed audience from the board that you cannot name should the Witnesses film make it to a public viewing."
It's not a question of whether, but a question of when. And, so far, anyway, we're still looking at October.
If your pals from the Malevolent Stalker Board -- I have no problem naming it! -- want to come, they should let me know. If we're given advance warning, maybe we can arrange for them to have the entire front row to themselves at one of the theaters. That way, they'll be able to hit the screen with their previously-chewed Milk Duds.
DanielPeterson Moksha a day ago
Moksha: "It seems Dr. Peterson has removed his warning post"
Dr. Peterson has removed nothing.
Moksha: "Neither the Shades group nor the Sic et Non adherents are brave heroes or villains"
Au contraire. Some on the Malevolent Stalker Board are villains by any reasonable meaning of the word. Let's not pretend moral equivalence.
DanielPeterson Moksha 2 days ago
No, Moksha, I suggested that you abandon your effort to make this blog the moral equivalent of the Malevolent Stalker Board.
DanielPeterson Moksha 2 days ago
Nope. But try that line of reasoning over at the Malevolent Stalker Board. They'll love it.
DanielPeterson Moksha 4 days ago
Which was raised vastly in importance and brought to its present level by an influx of downvoting from your online home, the Malevolent Stalker Board.
DanielPeterson Dr. Exiled 5 days ago
Self-Exiled: "the humble superiority that I think has always been a subtext of Mormonism"
Wow. That's really revealing. And it may help to explain the very non-humble superiority that is a primary feature of your current online home.
Thanks! A light bulb just went on for me.
DanielPeterson Dr. Exiled 7 days ago
While you're here, Self-Exiled, would you be willing to answer a question about your home message board?
I see that it's back up again, to a limited extent. Some are posting there these days, albeit at greatly reduced rates. But I'm unable to view what they've said.
This is unfortunate, since, if the past is any indicator, at least some of it is almost certainly about Y'r Obd't Servant. And I'm understandably curious.
What is needed in order to view what is posted there? Does one need to be a registered participant on the board? Does one need to have cursed Dan Peterson three times and mocked him twice? Must one repeat a mantra while spinning on one's left foot?
DanielPeterson Moksha 8 days ago
Is anybody in this "crowd" going through your very young children's Amazon wish lists in hopes of finding something to weaponize against you?
Is anybody here searching through IRS records with the goal of finding figures that can -- if misinterpreted -- be used to make you look bad?
Is anybody who comments here busily searching for decades-old diary entries about you from people you scarcely remember, hoping to locate second-hand accounts that can be used to defame you?
Every one of those things has been done to me. On your home message board.
Compared to your online home, the commenters here are a flock of gentle lambs.
DanielPeterson Moksha 9 days ago
Moksha: "Louis and yourself are the twin bullies of this board."
Stop it, Moksha.
Incidentally, Kiwi is here, but Professor Midgley isn't. So I'll speak on his behalf: I've known him now for somewhat more than half of my life. I've traveled with him in Europe, Oceania, and the Near East. He isn't a bully. He's never been a bully. The demonology of your message board is toxic and false, and -- if it really must exist at all -- it should stay on your message board.
DanielPeterson Zzyzx Zybisco 10 days ago
Maybe, when and if the Malevolent Stalker Board is ever fully up again, our trolls will mostly return to their native habitat.
And these blog posts:
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... oment.html
For roughly thirty hours, thus far, the message board where my Malevolent Stalker, his mendacious wannabe the Mini-Stalker, and several others have anonymously published their work for approximately a decade and a half has been down. Now, I know that I should have more sympathy. But I frankly think it’s rather pleasant that, for part of two days now — to pick up just a few of the Peterson-related themes that were really, literally, trending on the board immediately before it went down — they’ve been unable to continue with their earnest discussions ...
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... serve.html
Over at a place that I sometimes call the “Peterson Obsession Board,” where I’ve been a principal target and a continual focus of defamation and attack for roughly a decade and a half — day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year — one of the unfortunate inmates who happens to possess some talent
So... yeah, it's been a little over 6 months now. And from what I can see, Dr. Peterson simply cannot help himself from a near daily helping of trash-talking MormonDiscussions.com. He doesn't have to do that, he chooses to do that. And he makes that choice, almost every day, in violation of a "promise" he vowed to keep.
Now, Dr. Peterson excuses this behavior (via recent emails to me) by shifting the blame on me
for failing to adequately police MormonDiscussions.com users from making attacks on him. But, and this isn't open for debate:
(a) my behavior, and the behavior on MormonDiscussions.com, was NOT part of our deal -- never
(b) Dr. P knew all along that our arrangement intended for HIM to show some damn leadership
Furthermore, Dr. P accuses me, again via emails, of being a hypocrite for occasionally agreeing with, or even posting, articles at MormonDiscussions.com that critically address his writings. Fair enough, he is entitled to his opinion.
But once again, at the risk of being stupidly redundant, our agreement that he cease trash-talking MormonDiscussions.com and its users had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with:
* whether or not I behave in a way he deems to be hypocritical
* whether or not I attempt to police MormonDiscussions.com posts to be nicer to DCP
* whether or not other users at MormonDiscussions.com choose to wade over to Sic et Non and make flavorful comments
So this brings us to an unfortunate end to the 6 month experiment. And despite the reversion to old habits, I still hope that DCP will choose to keep his promise going forward. It isn't hard to be nice, and it isn't hard to lead at being nice. It's a daily choice that I'm confident he is capable of making.