Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Doctor Scratch
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Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like one of the lesser-discussed dimensions of the coronavirus pandemic had been its impact on the motion picture / television industry. Sure, you can see signs of the impact in the form of the recent "stay at home" version of Saturday Night Live, which is really just Zoom, but SNL people are doing it and making jokes.

But, of course, communal venues such as movie theaters have been completely shut down. Large-scale Hollywood productions' release dates have been pushed way back, such as the new James Bond film, which should have opened this month, but instead has been postponed until October (last I checked, at any rate). And I have been fretting quite a lot over the release of the movie I've been anticipating the most this year--i.e., Denis Villeneuve's Dune. Will it come out in December, as planned? And will I be able to see it on the big screen?

Indeed, that's no small matter for the true cineaste. You've probably heard noteworthy filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese passionately extolling the importance of seeing films in a theater; I believe it was Truffaut--or perhaps Godard--who said that the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen was the sight of an audience of filmgoers, sitting there in the dark, with their faces all turned up to the screen, illuminated by the projected light.

Which brings me to my main question. What will become of the "Witnesses" movie? Just as the pandemic struck, Dr. Peterson and his "P.R. Team" were allegedly "shifting into high gear." Remember how they basically insinuated themselves into the LDS Film Festival? In any case, I've been struck by the fact that promotion for the film has basically come to a standstill. It's as if Dr. Peterson no longer cares about it; it will apparently suffer the same fate as all the book projects he's tried to complete over the past decade-and-a-half or so.

Then again, more than $1 million were invested in the movie. I would imagine that the donors are expecting a finished product, even if they're willing to accept that the whole "event" aspect of the movie just isn't going to be what it would have been under normal circumstances. And sure: there could still be a sort of "gala premiere" for the movie: Dr. Peterson could host a Zoom meeting from his house, where he saunters down a red carpet rolled out in his living room (how and in what ways is it different from "Sic et Non," I wonder? Does his actual living room smell like the outhouse on a shrimp boat?), wearing a tuxedo, and someone flashes strobe-like lights onto him, so that it looks like the Mopologist paparazzi are taking pictures of him. (Tell me, Producer Peterson: Who are you wearing this evening?" "Uh, Mr. Mac. Duh!") There are lots of possibilities here. They could clink flutes of Martinelli's, and share jello canapés and ceremoniously dip French fries into fry sauce, and then trade bits of brownie. It would be better than the food at the Oscars' Governor's Ball, which is usually just Liberal crap like kale salads!

Fun to imagine, anyways, right? Sure it is. Still, I think that even Nolan and Scorsese would admit that there are movies that were never really destined for the big screen. There are even sometimes movies that *were* destined for the big screen, but which have had to make other plans thanks to the pandemic, such as the Disney release, Onward:

Image

It seems fitting to me to compare the Witnesses film with Onward. One is a goofy animated movie with a sweet message, and the other is...Well, like I said: some movies just aren't intended for the big screen. And you have to admit that it would be a fitting end to this "Witnesses" project to see it go straight to video--that's how I've always envisioned it, anyway. It would thus join legions of other amateur filmmaking efforts that never managed to secure a theatrical distribution deal.

At the end of the day, this is a real dilemma for the Mopologists. They've been touting this film for ages, and have invested a significant sum of money in bringing it to fruition. So, do they play the waiting game? Is this thing still supposedly going to screen in an actual theater in Provo in October? There is a risk in continuing to plan for that. If that doesn't work, how long will the premiere be delayed? Clear into 2021? Spring, traditionally, is not a good time to release big-deal movies (then again, neither is October: somebody failed to do their research). So what do they do? I am going to go out on a limb and predict/hope that we get a direct-to-video "Witnesses" movie. Hey, maybe the Brethren--who are alleged to be huge fans of this project--will be anxious to deliver something edifying and uplifting to the Saints, and so they'll order that this thing gets slapped onto the BYU channel. I admit: I'm really hoping that will happen....

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

“Dr. Scratch” wrote: In any case, I've been struck by the fact that promotion for the film has basically come to a standstill. It's as if Dr. Peterson no longer cares about it; it will apparently suffer the same fate as all the book projects he's tried to complete over the past decade-and-a-half or so.
Very interesting. You are 100% correct. Coach Peter$on hasn’t been promoting (or even discussing) his film for the last couple of months.

It’s quite possible that he realizes just how truly atrocious the film really is. Either that, or as many people predicted, he never intended to finish the film and merely used the project to line his pockets with ill-gotten gains.

It will be most interesting to see how this pans out in the next few months.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Gadianton »

You know, as I read your post, Professor, I caught a glimpse of the severe bind Coach is in over this movie. I think the pot was really simmering over after that failed trailer went up, and he had to have it "frozen" so that people couldn't rewind and fast-forward it. I think he honestly thought that the trailer was golden and showed the movie as epic. I don't think he was prepared for the easy dismissals and myriad of problems that were pointed out.

And then the Seagulls came -- Coronavirus.

Has that been considered? The Coronavirus saved the day. It's the perfect excuse -- the fortuitous leg injury just as you realize you'd never reach the finish line anyway.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by I have a question »

One wonders if there's a "force majeure" clause whereby BYU don't have to hand over any pre-agreed sums because Interpreter have now breached the terms of the contract (failure to deliver on time)...

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Gadianton wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:16 pm
You know, as I read your post, Professor, I caught a glimpse of the severe bind Coach is in over this movie. I think the pot was really simmering over after that failed trailer went up, and he had to have it "frozen" so that people couldn't rewind and fast-forward it. I think he honestly thought that the trailer was golden and showed the movie as epic. I don't think he was prepared for the easy dismissals and myriad of problems that were pointed out.

And then the Seagulls came -- Coronavirus.

Has that been considered? The Coronavirus saved the day. It's the perfect excuse -- the fortuitous leg injury just as you realize you'd never reach the finish line anyway.
I think you're right, Dean Robbers. I mean, the hubris is so often out of control, and you can just smell the stink of desperation--the painful need to feel successful and "liked." And the series of gaffes leading up to all this--the "incursion" into the film festival; the ridiculous trailer (which they now claim isn't the "real" trailer....so where is the real one, then?), with Joseph Smith using the Gold Plates as a weapon, and that hideous cartoon punching noise; the image of a wireless mic clipped to the back of an actor's pants. And, yes: them going in and freezing the rewind feature on the "non-trailer" so that people couldn't nitpick the seemingly endless bloopers.

I admit that I took a bit of a dig at DCP above, when I brought up the fact that he hasn't managed to finish a book project in more than 15 years. Then again, I bet that a part of him is terrified to do it, because of course we'd comb through it and give it a good, solidly thorough critical eye. What was the epithet that Blair Hodges used to describe the Mopologists at the FAIR Conference some years back? "Cowards," right?

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Dr Exiled »

I can hear it now as apologists reminisce the "witnesses" project years from now. It wasn't a failure, claims the water boy Kiwi57, plaintively. It was too spiritual for a wicked generation. It would have converted so many but the Lord demands faith and this life is hard by design. Coach was called away to a greater mission that simply cannot be discussed in the open and that is why "witnesses" wasn't disclosed to the world. It truly is too sacred to tell and it isn't surprising that Coach's name is had for good and evil as was the prophet's name. Anyone claiming otherwise is simply a biased anti Mormon.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Witnesses could hold off until theaters resume operations. Utilizing LDS connections, Jordan Commons could be persuaded to run Witnesses for several days, then theaters from Provo to Panguitch might be enticed to also run it for a few days. It could have its world broadcast premiere on KSL-TV or KBYU and then be listed on the FAIRLatter-Day website as the favorite LDS film of all time.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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moksha wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:29 am
Witnesses could hold off until theaters resume operations. Utilizing LDS connections, Jordan Commons could be persuaded to run Witnesses for several days, then theaters from Provo to Panguitch might be enticed to also run it for a few days. It could have its world broadcast premiere on KSL-TV or KBYU and then be listed on the FAIRLatter-Day website as the favorite LDS film of all time.
Of course you are right, Moksha. But health officials are saying things that, I hate to say it, will inevitably puncture this particular fantasy. The scientific consensus seems to be that we will be reckoning with social distancing for a long, long time. Until there is a vaccine, evidently, and they say that such a thing is possibly 18 months away. So, no: there will be no "normal" Red Carpet Premiere for this movie. It just isn't going to happen. DCP whines non-stop about his rancid behavior as a youth in Israel (and us calling him on it); about the fact that he invited us to look at his Amazon account (and it turned out that his young son had "pirated" it; what kind of a crap parent allows that to happen??); and about the fact that there is damning, documentary evidence that he lied about getting paid for Mopologetics. And yet....It seems to me that he should be bellyaching mightily about the unfairness of what has happened to the "Witnesses" movie. This was his biggest project yet... And what a blow to have it sidelined like this! I do hope he comments, so as to reassure the faith of his donors.....

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Lemmie »

Wow. What’s with the lying?

Over at the wonderful message board whence Moksha comes, some are still apparently insisting that a microphone is visible on the back of one of the characters in the footage from Witnesses that is up on the film's website. They're simply, flatly, unambiguously wrong, and they've been clearly told that they're wrong, but they evidently don't care.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... 4892260902

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Gee, a mopologist embellishing and lying and then attacking the point they just made out of whole cloth? Mormon priesthood holder, Google scholar, and BYU professor, folks. It never stops. It never changes. And it’s all happily financed by the LDS church.

- Doc

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Lemmie wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:29 pm
Wow. What’s with the lying?

Over at the wonderful message board whence Moksha comes, some are still apparently insisting that a microphone is visible on the back of one of the characters in the footage from Witnesses that is up on the film's website. They're simply, flatly, unambiguously wrong, and they've been clearly told that they're wrong, but they evidently don't care.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... 4892260902
Look: that isn't correct. It *could* be a wireless mic. It could *also* be the ties to the character's rather unusual-looking shirt. If the Book of Mormon *could* be a literal history of Latin America, then I kind of think you have to acknowledge that there really *could* be a wireless mic clipped to the back of a character's pants in the "Witnesses" movie. Call it a matter of faith, if you'd like.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Lemmie wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:29 pm
Wow. What’s with the lying?

Over at the wonderful message board whence Moksha comes, some are still apparently insisting that a microphone is visible on the back of one of the characters in the footage from Witnesses that is up on the film's website. They're simply, flatly, unambiguously wrong, and they've been clearly told that they're wrong, but they evidently don't care.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... 4892260902
It might make sense to reference me in order to let readers know which board it is (can't say Mormon Discussions by administrative fiat), but later when mention was made that some poster here was threatening to go to the BYU administration, he did not correct the impression that I was the poster. Creating extra ill will toward me over there is unfortunate.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Moksha • 2 days ago
This was an interesting article. Looking forward to part two.


Kiwi57 Moksha • 4 hours ago • edited

Oh, just by the way, Moksha:

I know that the sum total of your knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ, plus that of Velhoburrinho, added to that of Lemmie, comes to considerably less than that of an average nine-year-old Latter-day Saint, so I'm going to help you out.

Something the three of you have never heard of is a document included in Latter-day Scripture, called "The Articles of Faith." The sixth of them reads:

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Now obviously none of the three of you know this, but when Latter-day Saints speak of the Primitive Church, we are not speaking of a church consisting of ignorant Neandertal types. We are speaking - WITH APPROVAL - of a church whose practices and beliefs are pristine.

Likewise, when Professor Midgley - whom you and your fellow cowards love to anonymously defame, primarily because he's better than you - speaks of Maori Latter-day Saints as "primitive believers," he is NOT describing them as primitive people who believe something. He's describing them - WITH ADMIRATION - as believers whose beliefs are pristine. Not only that, but he seeks to emulate that.

So after you open your mouth and change feet, you might want to think about who are the real "racists:" is it the fellow who knows and admires Maori Latter-day Saints, speaks their language, and wants to be like them? Or is it the spiteful swine who's never knowingly laid eyes on a Maori, but who appoints himself their zealous defender; and the pretentious twit who parades her oh so brilliant education, but who has no idea what a primitive believer really is; and the ignorant jerk who thinks a Sacrament Meeting in New Zealand looks like picture of waxwork Neandertals?

There are clearly some actual racists in view. None of them are named Lou Midgley, despite what some unscrupulous liars might say.
Crap, the wrath of the piranha has been inflamed.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by I have a question »

moksha wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:58 pm
Moksha • 2 days ago
This was an interesting article. Looking forward to part two.


Kiwi57 Moksha • 4 hours ago • edited

Oh, just by the way, Moksha:

I know that the sum total of your knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ, plus that of Velhoburrinho, added to that of Lemmie, comes to considerably less than that of an average nine-year-old Latter-day Saint, so I'm going to help you out.

Something the three of you have never heard of is a document included in Latter-day Scripture, called "The Articles of Faith." The sixth of them reads:

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Now obviously none of the three of you know this, but when Latter-day Saints speak of the Primitive Church, we are not speaking of a church consisting of ignorant Neandertal types. We are speaking - WITH APPROVAL - of a church whose practices and beliefs are pristine.

Likewise, when Professor Midgley - whom you and your fellow cowards love to anonymously defame, primarily because he's better than you - speaks of Maori Latter-day Saints as "primitive believers," he is NOT describing them as primitive people who believe something. He's describing them - WITH ADMIRATION - as believers whose beliefs are pristine. Not only that, but he seeks to emulate that.

So after you open your mouth and change feet, you might want to think about who are the real "racists:" is it the fellow who knows and admires Maori Latter-day Saints, speaks their language, and wants to be like them? Or is it the spiteful swine who's never knowingly laid eyes on a Maori, but who appoints himself their zealous defender; and the pretentious twit who parades her oh so brilliant education, but who has no idea what a primitive believer really is; and the ignorant jerk who thinks a Sacrament Meeting in New Zealand looks like picture of waxwork Neandertals?

There are clearly some actual racists in view. None of them are named Lou Midgley, despite what some unscrupulous liars might say.
Crap, the wrath of the piranha has been inflamed.
It's interesting that Kiwi57 is now a mind reader, but putting that to one side for a moment.

If the Primitive Church had practices and beliefs that were "pristine" (which means 'unspoilt'), how come the Church has had to change them? Does 'line upon line and precept upon precept' actually mean 'becoming increasingly spoilt'? When did Neanderthal gain the 'h'? Why does Kiwi57 feel Midgley needs Kiwi57 to defend him? Or is Midgley just a convenient excuse for Kiwi57 to be a juvenile keyboard warrior?

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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When did Neanderthal gain the 'h'?
The scientific name has always had that spelling although the h is silent in pronunciation. The name comes from a river valley in Germany.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Wow, I usually don’t even bother to read through kiwiboy’s posts because he’s obviously just there to back up Midgley and Peterson in whatever unoriginal assholey way he can, but that opus moksha quoted is worth the read. Kiwi has clearly been studying this board with great zeal! His descriptions are hilarious. Worthy of any 9-year-old’s mash note.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Dr Exiled »

moksha wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:58 pm
Moksha • 2 days ago
This was an interesting article. Looking forward to part two.


Kiwi57 Moksha • 4 hours ago • edited

Oh, just by the way, Moksha:

I know that the sum total of your knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ, plus that of Velhoburrinho, added to that of Lemmie, comes to considerably less than that of an average nine-year-old Latter-day Saint, so I'm going to help you out.

Something the three of you have never heard of is a document included in Latter-day Scripture, called "The Articles of Faith." The sixth of them reads:

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

Now obviously none of the three of you know this, but when Latter-day Saints speak of the Primitive Church, we are not speaking of a church consisting of ignorant Neandertal types. We are speaking - WITH APPROVAL - of a church whose practices and beliefs are pristine.

Likewise, when Professor Midgley - whom you and your fellow cowards love to anonymously defame, primarily because he's better than you - speaks of Maori Latter-day Saints as "primitive believers," he is NOT describing them as primitive people who believe something. He's describing them - WITH ADMIRATION - as believers whose beliefs are pristine. Not only that, but he seeks to emulate that.

So after you open your mouth and change feet, you might want to think about who are the real "racists:" is it the fellow who knows and admires Maori Latter-day Saints, speaks their language, and wants to be like them? Or is it the spiteful swine who's never knowingly laid eyes on a Maori, but who appoints himself their zealous defender; and the pretentious twit who parades her oh so brilliant education, but who has no idea what a primitive believer really is; and the ignorant jerk who thinks a Sacrament Meeting in New Zealand looks like picture of waxwork Neandertals?

There are clearly some actual racists in view. None of them are named Lou Midgley, despite what some unscrupulous liars might say.
Crap, the wrath of the piranha has been inflamed.
Settle down water boy kiwi57. The church has forced its USA culture on the poor natives for years and years, giving them a false history to boot. Lou pushes that same USA culture and attacked Ms. Colvin for not wanting to play along with the nonsense. The natives don't need whites to bring them to civilization and that is what underlies Lou's and the church's falsely believed cultural superiority.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Lemmie »

One interesting silver lining of this discussion of Midgley’s insistence on his version of Maori history, to the extent that he even denigrates the Maori background of thosewho disagree with him, is how much we’ve learned about writers such as Marjorie Newton, Gina Colvin, and others.

Settle down water boy kiwi57. The church has forced its USA culture on the poor natives for years and years, giving them a false history to boot. Lou pushes that same USA culture and attacked Ms. Colvin for not wanting to play along with the nonsense. The natives don't need whites to bring them to civilization and that is what underlies Lou's and the church's falsely believed cultural superiority.
I agree with Dr. Exiled’s point. kiwi, however, is asserting that Midgley used the term “primitive” in a complimentary way, related to the term “Primitive Church” as used in the LDS article of faith:
...when Latter-day Saints speak of the Primitive Church, we are not speaking of a church consisting of ignorant Neandertal types. We are speaking - WITH APPROVAL - of a church whose practices and beliefs are pristine.

Likewise, when Professor Midgley - whom you and your fellow cowards love to anonymously defame, primarily because he's better than you - speaks of Maori Latter-day Saints as "primitive believers," he is NOT describing them as primitive people who believe something. He's describing them - WITH ADMIRATION - as believers whose beliefs are pristine. Not only that, but he seeks to emulate that.
Midgley, in his own writings, disputes this. From a book chapter, written in 1998:
The Maori and the Book of Mormon
Louis Midgley


To what degree those who recorded Maori lore were influenced by the notion that they were confronted with something primitive and pagan remains an open question....

The Pakeha also brought to the Maori the Bible... Soon after their initial contact with the Maori, Christian missionaries and others began recording Maori lore and established a remarkable written version of the previously unwritten Maori language. With British rigor and persistence, they set out to teach the Maori to read their own language.

One reason for this effort was to make the Bible and the wonders of a Christian (and English) civilization available to the primitive, pagan Maori. Bronwyn Elsmore describes the process by which Maori became familiar with the Bible...

So it was not long before many and eventually most Maori were literate and even eventually bilingual, and also at least nominally Christian.

https://scholarsarchive.BYU.edu/cgi/vie ... additional
So Midgley describes the Maori, in a time before he considered them even “nominally Christian,” as “the primitive, pagan Maori.” Does kiwi consider the “same organization that existed in the Primitive Church” to be a “primitive and pagan” organization?

This is not my field, so if someone wants to weigh in on this, please do, but for some quick and dirty additional information about the term pagan, I checked Wikipedia:

Paganism (from classical Latin pāgānus "rural, rustic," later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism....

Paganism was originally a pejorative and derogatory term for polytheism, implying its inferiority.[3] Paganism has broadly connoted the "religion of the peasantry".[3][5] During and after the Middle Ages, the term paganism was applied to any unfamiliar religion, and the term presumed a belief in false god(s).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism

Kiwi’s after the fact attempts to rehabilitate Midgley’s racist and condescending approach have failed. The wiki definition of pagan sounds exactly like the way Midgley is using the term when he describes “the primitive, pagan Maori.”

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Philo Sofee »

The only real way for apologists to even get a foothold against anyone who believes differently than they do, is to give them a pejorative label and imagine they now have deep understanding based on a mere word. I am singularly unimpressed, and actually always have been. I used to argue a bit with them about this when I was on the FAIR email list. WISH like HELL I had kept copies of all those email discussions. Gawd they would be invaluable right now. I will never forget the gist of John Tvedtnes' comments to me that Ezekiel 37 is NOT a prophecy of the Book of Mormon, and neither is Isaiah 29, both having been grossly misused by Mormons. I was stunned for quite a while and swore to him I would tell no one. When he tried to do a write up of it, it was squashed INSTANTLY.

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

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Philo Sofee wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:39 pm
I will never forget the gist of John Tvedtnes' comments to me that Ezekiel 37 is NOT a prophecy of the Book of Mormon, and neither is Isaiah 29, both having been grossly misused by Mormons. I was stunned for quite a while and swore to him I would tell no one. When he tried to do a write up of it, it was squashed INSTANTLY.
Philo: by whom was it "squashed"? FAIR? FARMS? The Brethren?

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Re: Will the "Witnesses" Movie be Released Direct-to-Video?

Post by Gadianton »

Dr. Scratch, just a quick update: I checked Netflix today and it's not there. In case people were waiting on that or something.

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