BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Kishkumen
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BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Kishkumen »

In the Mormon Stories interview of Haley Wilson Lemmón, Haley reveals that a BYU professor threatened to pull her letters of recommendation for grad school at Notre Dame after her graduation in May 2018.

See https://youtu.be/RBiVPz7tMqU

Go to 1:54.

Haley, BA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, is the person who discovered Joseph Smith's use of Adam Clarke's commentary in his translation of the Bible.

Apparently, Haley did an interview with Bill Reel in March of 2018 before her graduation. She had applied to Notre Dame for a graduate program in theology. Once she had her diploma in hand, she let Reel know it was OK to publish the March interview. Without any other way of getting to Haley, this unnamed BYU professor threatened Haley with pulling her letters of recommendation to the program at Notre Dame. Very stressed out about this, she ended up talking to her advisor at Notre Dame, and this professor assured her that she was accepted and no attempt to pull the letters would change that.

Haley reveals that she had done research with this BYU professor, had been paid by him to do research for a Church talk on doubters and leave-takers, and that when he found out she was leaving the Church he wrote her a bunch of emails telling her she was making a huge mistake.

The name of the BYU professor is not revealed, but John Dehlin's show notes contain the following description of this portion of the interview: "How BYU apologists attempted to get Haley kicked out of her graduate program at Notre Dame, after she graduated from BYU.”

My question: Who is this unnamed BYU professor?

Evidently, Haley's name was almost removed from the article she co-wrote with Wayment. This would have been a violation of academic ethics.
Last edited by Kishkumen on Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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moksha
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Are students given sufficient warning that if they attend BYU they will be living in a police state where they will be subject to intense scrutiny, reporting by fellow students, and retribution by the school and faculty? I mean, if you have full knowledge of Hades before you cross the River Styx, then when Cerberus chews your head off you will bear some blame for the chewing. If Hades was not fully explained, then bad on Hades!

by the way, I am very much in favor of BYU divesting the name Spanish Inquisition Honors Committee. The name does not even sound Mormon, although I believe it was a vestige of the Wilkinson administration.
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Dr Exiled
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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This seems like business as usual at BYU. Isn't it common to get a lot of grief for not believing any longer? I've heard of too many instances where transcripts get held up when non-believers try to transfer, etc. Ms. Lemmon had to wait to publish her interview with Bill Reel for that reason. If BYU admins/professors are reading this, why are you such weenies? Let people disbelieve your fairy tales and stop punishing them if they do. This conduct only reinforces the falsity of your narrative.
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Stem »

That is absolutely disgusting and embarrassing for BYU. They need some fixing.

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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Lemmie »

And now Norte Dame knows it first hand, if they didn’t already.

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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Very disappointing, but hardly surprising. I hope that we're able to learn who the professor was, too, Reverend.
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by consiglieri »

I expect to hear some convoluted and not completely convincing denials of involvement in this episode to come forth shortly at the blog that shall not be named.
You prove yourself of the devil and anti-mormon every word you utter, because only the devil perverts facts to make their case.--ldsfaqs (6-24-13)

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Dr Moore
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Very disappointing indeed. The "threat" as final resort to keep disbelieving members inline is all too common, and it should never happen.

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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Dr Moore »

Consider another example of church officials using threats to keep members in line.

Richard Ostler recently interviewed a terrific couple, Evan and Cheryl Smith. He's a former stake presidency member and their gay son left the church after serving 19 months on a mission.

Click the link below, go to the 1:08:40 mark and listen for 2-3 minutes as Evan describes how a general authority threatens ("promises") him with the loss of his wife and that his family would fall apart if he were to leave the church in support of his son. It's terribly sad, abusive, and wrong.

https://soundcloud.com/user-818501778/e ... or-gay-son

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Everybody Wang Chung
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Dr Moore wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:20 pm
Consider another example of church officials using threats to keep members in line.

Richard Ostler recently interviewed a terrific couple, Evan and Cheryl Smith. He's a former stake presidency member and their gay son left the church after serving 19 months on a mission.

Click the link below, go to the 1:08:40 mark and listen for 2-3 minutes as Evan describes how a general authority threatens ("promises") him with the loss of his wife and that his family would fall apart if he were to leave the church in support of his son. It's terribly sad, abusive, and wrong.

https://soundcloud.com/user-818501778/e ... or-gay-son

Thanks, Dr. Moore. I’m listening now.

By chance, is Richard Ostler related to Blake “Kiss My Ass” Ostler?
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Doctor Scratch
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Is it safe to assume that the prof in question was a member of the Ancient Near East Studies faculty? So: Gee, Parry, Peterson, Welch, Muhlestein, or somebody like that?
"[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: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by iwanttotalk »

moksha wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:02 am
Are students given sufficient warning that if they attend BYU they will be living in a police state where they will be subject to intense scrutiny, reporting by fellow students, and retribution by the school and faculty? I mean, if you have full knowledge of Hades before you cross the River Styx, then when Cerberus chews your head off you will bear some blame for the chewing. If Hades was not fully explained, then bad on Hades!

by the way, I am very much in favor of BYU divesting the name Spanish Inquisition Honors Committee. The name does not even sound Mormon, although I believe it was a vestige of the Wilkinson administration.
I don't think the “adults” that attend BYU have a whole lot of choice. There is a powerful onerous to attend if you are an LDS youth.

You don’t really get to say, nah imma go and party at Arizona state. Parents still very much control college age children.

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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Doctor Scratch wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:03 pm
Is it safe to assume that the prof in question was a member of the Ancient Near East Studies faculty? So: Gee, Parry, Peterson, Welch, Muhlestein, or somebody like that?
I highly, highly doubt Parry would be the one to do that sort of thing. I have never met the others, but this strikes me as being out of character for Don Parry.

This story sounds a bit strange to me. How does one "pull" letters of recommendation once they are submitted? My experience with those platforms is that they tell you quite emphatically that the act of clicking "submit" is irrevocable. It sounds like it was after she had received and accepted an offer, which would be a weird time for a recommender to change his/her mind. It's not like graduate committees sit around reading and rereading letters of recommendation (or even reading them the first time around), especially once they've made offers and acceptances. It would be also weird for a graduate director to take any of this seriously, unless an incoming student had said something offensive to academic sensibilities on Twitter or plagiarized something. The only person this would reflect poorly on in the short term would be the professor wishing to withdraw the letter.

Removing her name from the article would be a very disturbing action, I agree, but I remain confused about this too: how was that going to work? The article, as I understand it, was co-authored with Thomas Wayment and published in BYU's Journal of Undergraduate Research. Assuming that is the article in question, it's hard to imagine Wayment doing that (I always found him to be quite a decent fellow and relatively comfortable with heterodox opinions—I mean, presumably he knew what she was working on with him, since he agreed to put his name on it and serve as a mentor). And then assuming her name had been withdrawn, would it then have been published by full Professor Thomas Wayment in the Journal of Undergraduate Research? Surely, he wouldn't agree to embarrass himself with such an absurdity and it would simply not have been published at all.

Whatever it was, it was certainly not "mafia" style tactics, John Dehlin (unless I'm forgetting that part in Goodfellas/Casino where Joe Pesci's character gains notoriety for trying to get people fired). Academia is not at all like the mafia; it is rather like the feudal economies from which it arose in the high middle ages, whereby a small but wealthy aristocracy (the administration) purchases fealty from a similarly small class of privileged sub-aristocratic retainers (professors in the tenure space) and extracts the non-aristocratic labor of underlings stratified by various subordinate ranks (the untenured space) in order to exploit, in concert with each other, a large and continuously replenished mass of debtor-serfs (the students). What you see here is a privileged retainer beating up a serf who has not paid the proper respect to her superior's dignity as she has tried to move into a slightly higher form of serfdom preparatory to her ultimate entrance into the class of exploited underlings. It's a marvelous system of social mobility, you see.

It's very despicable that that this professor attempted to injure the career of an ex-student in this or any other fashion. A lot of academics are assholes because, unfortunately, the permission structures incentivize this sort of behavior, and such structures are a pervasive feature of academia, with BYU winning distinction for being much more obvious about it—or rather, for being much more inept in navigating these permission structures. Consider the letters of recommendation: if the professor had simply attempted to torpedo the application before clicking "submit," she might not be a student in this prestigious program and no one would know anything about it. She smartly subverted that; no doubt, the professor in question therefore felt used and cheated out of his/her prerogative, granted to him/her by the ruling aristocracy: s/he thought that s/he had been recommending a devoted member of the Church, not an apostate, into this program whose prestigious would in some ways redound back to him/her and ultimately the Church (perhaps there was hope of one day getting an entry from her on Mormon Scholars Testify: "look at this expert in early Christianity who graduated from University of Really Smart and Respectable"). But it's undignified to raise the issue of personal honor in this matter when no offense to the system as a whole has been committed. She mistimed things just slightly, enough to cause a small stir but not so bad as to incur real harm. Let's hope she learns the lesson here: it's never safe to say what you really think unless what you really think is what you are supposed to think.
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Aside from the apologists, isn't there a whole other world of fundamentalist religion teachers at BYU? Those who are cold to lukewarm about the bizarre theories of Mopologetics? I mean lets face it, these guys teach a lot of apostate stuff, even seizing a stolen geography model from the RLDS church, how apostate is that?

When I was at BYU, there were teachers like one of the Benson boys, who were known as puritanical, and wound up, ready to explode.
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Philo Sofee »

Lol....... this entire process demonstrates with actual evidence (MG is probably turning in his bed) that the Holy Ghost is just not very good at doing its job at testifying to the truth as MG's supposed "3 powerful books" are teaching......... obviously there must needs be a babysitting in all things at BYU lest the faithful fall away from the testimony the Holy Ghost gave them.....
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Symmachus
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

Post by Symmachus »

Gadianton wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:24 pm
Aside from the apologists, isn't there a whole other world of fundamentalist religion teachers at BYU? Those who are cold to lukewarm about the bizarre theories of Mopologetics? I mean lets face it, these guys teach a lot of apostate stuff, even seizing a stolen geography model from the RLDS church, how apostate is that?

When I was at BYU, there were teachers like one of the Benson boys, who were known as puritanical, and wound up, ready to explode.
I believe you will find them where the Benson boys once were, in the College of Religion. I doubt the professor related to this affair was in the College of Religion, though. I'm not sure how many of those old Bensonites and Skousenists are still around, though. Randy Bott embarrassed the school in the 2012 election, as you'll remember, and there have been a number of hires of more traditional academics in recent years. It was that hiring trend, as i recall, that set up expectations that David Bokovoy would find a home there. They may not be John Birch types any more but they are not going to go that far.
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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It's very despicable that that this professor attempted to injure the career of an ex-student in this or any other fashion. A lot of academics are assholes because, unfortunately, the permission structures incentivize this sort of behavior, and such structures are a pervasive feature of academia, with BYU winning distinction for being much more obvious about it—or rather, for being much more inept in navigating these permission structures. Consider the letters of recommendation: if the professor had simply attempted to torpedo the application before clicking "submit," she might not be a student in this prestigious program and no one would know anything about it. She smartly subverted that; no doubt, the professor in question therefore felt used and cheated out of his/her prerogative, granted to him/her by the ruling aristocracy: s/he thought that s/he had been recommending a devoted member of the Church, not an apostate, into this program whose prestigious would in some ways redound back to him/her and ultimately the Church (perhaps there was hope of one day getting an entry from her on Mormon Scholars Testify: "look at this expert in early Christianity who graduated from University of Really Smart and Respectable"). But it's undignified to raise the issue of personal honor in this matter when no offense to the system as a whole has been committed. She mistimed things just slightly, enough to cause a small stir but not so bad as to incur real harm. Let's hope she learns the lesson here: it's never safe to say what you really think unless what you really think is what you are supposed to think.
I think you’ve nailed it there, Quinte.
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Re: BYU Professor Threatened Student's Future

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Stem wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:06 am
That is absolutely disgusting and embarrassing for BYU. They need some fixing.
I think there is some disagreement between the Religion and Science Departments over the need for Galileo to recant.
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