Why Schryver didn't publish.

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Fence Sitter
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Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Fence Sitter »

I claim no insider information here, but I just did notice a connection between a current book I am reading and some of the rumors I have heard regarding why Will Schryver may not have published his work on the KEP.

I recently picked up a copy of Writing Mormon History: Historians and Their Books Edited by Joe Geisner. A book which I am thoroughly enjoying and will review in the near future. The chapter by Greg Prince on his work David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism ended with an interesting note that I thought might explain why Schryver has never published his Book of Abraham stuff.

Prince spent ten years writing his bio on McKay, from about 1994 to 2005. Some of the images he used in the McKay biography came from the LDS Church History Library and Museum of Church History and Art. 10 years later when he "asked for images to illustrate a biography of Leonard Arrington he had completed something had changed, for in return for access to images, they insisted on editorial control over the text".

I wonder if this is the same roadblock Schryver ran into when he tried to go forward?

Benjamin McGuire
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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Benjamin McGuire »

Not that I know of. My recollection (which may be faulty)was that the primary reason went something like this - the reason Will couldn't simply find another venue to publish his work after the MI decided not to publish it was that his contract with the Church described his project, the materials he would have access to, the anticipated content, and the specific venue in which it would be published. While most of the materials he used eventually became public with the Joseph Smith Papers, the contract still remained, and made it difficult for him to publish that material. He either had to try and get them to release his contract, or create a new one. I don't think either option was a simple process for him. And while this may have contributed to his decision not to pursue a new contract, I don't think he ever mentioned that to me. So, it is left unpublished. It's been a couple years since I have had any contact with him about this so ... take it for what its worth.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Fence Sitter »

I am not sure what you and I are saying is all that different. Maybe it was more than just textual control the church would have asked for from Prince too. The point is, using church controlled materials got a lot more difficult for authors in the ten years between Prince's two books and that might of been what Schryver encountered.. Do you know, if Will had been able to find another venue, would he still have been able to use his church controlled documents or the information he derived from them in a different venue? I also think he had a couple of projects going, his Masonic cipher stuff and a scroll length paper, Maybe there were different reasons for not publishing one versus the other.

Anyways I found Prince's remark very interesting, especially in light of ongoing claims by the Church to more openness.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Benjamin McGuire »

I think there is no question that the LDS Church has had a sort of Jekyl and Hyde relationship with historical scholarship, and that the Church really tried to limit what was being published (or to exercise some control over it). And then, of course, we were given the Joseph Smith Papers. My understanding is that at the time, Will felt that he couldn't publish his material that he researched under the contract without going through the Church. Whether this was explicitly told to him or an assumption on his part, I don't know. That's for his KEP stuff of course (including his cypher speculations). The material on the length of the papyri, since it involved direct access to the papyri and measurements taken of it (in ways that required direct access to the papyri), would certainly be subject to permission from the Church. I have read most (if not all) of his pre-publication materials on these topics. It's hard to say, without knowing much about the internal workings of the Church History department, what sorts of barriers his work might have faced there (and might still face).

Having said that, and going back to the Jekyl and Hyde statement I made earlier, I think that the Church has difficulty with wanting very much to both be open and at the same time to control the narrative at the same time. Once material is released you tend to lose control of it. Perhaps the Joseph Smith Papers were a happy medium - more than what many would have liked to have seen released, but in a context in which they could frame the initial narrative to some extent. It will still be some time, I think, before we see wide adoption of some of the more obvious conclusion that the JSP provide us. And part of this is because of the volume of the material released. I think that very few members of the Church will ever spend significant time with the JSP publications (the search engines make it easier to focus on the little bits people sometimes want to look at).

Contrast the history (where interpretation and narrative is often very much open to interpretation) with current events. The Church isn't anywhere near as interested in revealing their present day workings and discussions (and of course, they would have a much harder time trying to frame or manage that narrative).

Ben McGuire

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Shulem
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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

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Benjamin McGuire wrote:I think there is no question that the LDS Church has had a sort of Jekyl and Hyde relationship with historical scholarship, and that the Church really tried to limit what was being published (or to exercise some control over it). And then, of course, we were given the Joseph Smith Papers.
The Church of Mr. Hyde is something I'm very glad to be rid of in my life. The control asserted by Mr. Hyde's Church is something I wish to never experience again in this life or in any other.

I am, however, grateful for the Church of Dr. Jekyl in releasing the Joseph Smith Papers, moreover those that pertain to Smith's dabbling into Egyptology. I am particularly grateful that the Facsimile No. 3 printing plate was photographed in such wonderful detail, whereby, I was able to discover that Hedlock had indeed scraped off Anubis's nose rather than maintain the original image as copied from the papyrus. My intuition and inspiration tells me that Smith ordered it removed because it was a liability for him to maintain the jackal head for that figure. But Hedlock did leave the ear! Fatal error on his part. Wouldn't you say, Ben o' boy?

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Shulem
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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Shulem »

Benjamin McGuire wrote:Having said that, and going back to the Jekyl and Hyde statement I made earlier, I think that the Church has difficulty with wanting very much to both be open and at the same time to control the narrative at the same time.
IF the Church would simply come clean and tell the truth there wouldn't be anything difficult about it other than maintaining faith that Joseph Smith knew what he was talking about when it came to Egyptology.

Isn't that right, Ben o' boy?

:biggrin:

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Shulem
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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Shulem »

Benjamin McGuire wrote: I think that very few members of the Church will ever spend significant time with the JSP publications
You're probably right about that. After all, why should they bother? The Church is true no matter what.

:wink:

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moksha
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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by moksha »

Shulem, you can take a virtual Book of Mormon tour at the link below. Just imagine that both Anubis and Dr. Peterson are with you and narrating what you see as you explore the tomb.

https://www.reddit.com/r/InternetIsBeau ... omb_in_3d/

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Philo Sofee »

Fence Sitter
Anyways I found Prince's remark very interesting, especially in light of ongoing claims by the Church to more openness.
It's like expecting Donald Trump to ever be truthful... just not gonna happen. It should be named the Church of Jesus Christ of Donald Trump Type Truth, i.e., Fake News. I don't believe much of anything coming out of Washington D.C. or Salt Lake City, Utah. The agendas are too heavy laden with control, arbitrary truth, and downright lies.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Doctor Scratch »

I really appreciate you weighing in, Ben--it's really helpful in terms of trying to set the record straight. It would seem, based on your recollection, that the main decision to shut down Schryver's article came from the Maxwell Institute, though to boil it down to simply that would be inaccurate. Because, of course, the Maxwell Institute is "tight" with the Brethren. If I may be so crude: this happened (i.e., no Schryver publication) because *both* the Brethren and the MI opposed it.

Would you say that's more or less accurate, Ben?

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Shulem
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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Shulem »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 11:09 pm
If I may be so crude: this happened (i.e., no Schryver publication) because *both* the Brethren and the MI opposed it.
I don't think you're being crude. You hit the nail on the head. There must have been opposition against Schryver in which he was unable to prevail. What's funny is that the people who had the most interest in seeing Schryver publish his garbage are the APOSTATES of the Church! It was always the apostates who were greatly looking forward to his flop while apologists must have been worried about the embarrassing implications that would result in the fallout of having to defend such wacky theories. The General Authorities who are generally stupid dumb when it comes to anything Book of Abraham, found it easy to simply pull the plug. Then there is Daniel F Peterson, a lousy school teacher, still collects a check from BYU. But his opinion doesn't count.

Schryver! Have a blow for the nose.

Image

Oh wow man . . . . cyphers.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Themis »

Shulem wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 10:57 am
I don't think you're being crude. You hit the nail on the head. There must have been opposition against Schryver in which he was unable to prevail. What's funny is that the people who had the most interest in seeing Schryver publish his garbage are the APOSTATES of the Church! It was always the apostates who were greatly looking forward to his flop while apologists must have been worried about the embarrassing implications that would result in the fallout of having to defend such wacky theories. The General Authorities who are generally stupid dumb when it comes to anything Book of Abraham, found it easy to simply pull the plug. Then there is Daniel F Peterson, a lousy school teacher, still collects a check from BYU. But his opinion doesn't count.
I think Will believed he had something at first, but I suspect even he realized it wasn't going to work and would only be an embarrassment. Not being able to publish seems more like an excuse to avoid looking stupid. Any honest person who can control their bias can see Joseph was making it up. It started here for me and then it wasn't hard to see other works like the Book of Mormon also did not do well under the microscope.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Shulem »

It was almost like Will had one foot in the door and one foot outside. The Book of Abraham had to be a real test for him because it concerned him so much. He was anxious to defend the chapters (story) of the Book of Abraham and he valued the KEP to some degree but the Facsimiles seemed to stick in his craw and he would would have been happy to see those go away. Those Facsimiles are a terrible liability for the Book of Abraham as a whole but it must be understood that the Facsimiles are part of the Book of Abraham that Smith published in the Times and Seasons. The Church today maintains the integrity of the entire presentation by publishing the chapters, Facsimiles, and the controversial Explanations.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by Themis »

Shulem wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:03 am
Those Facsimiles are a terrible liability for the Book of Abraham as a whole but it must be understood that the Facsimiles are part of the Book of Abraham that Smith published in the Times and Seasons. The Church today maintains the integrity of the entire presentation by publishing the chapters, Facsimiles, and the controversial Explanations.
The church can never get away from the problem even if they remove the Book of Abraham from canon. You cannot undue history of what Joseph did and claimed.

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Re: Why Schryver didn't publish.

Post by sunstoned »

Is Schryver still active in the apologetic community? I have not seen him on any of the boards for a long time. I believe he was friends with DCP at one time.

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