Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

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Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

Post by Lemmie »

What the heck?!!
Louis Midgley Sam LeFevre 6 hours ago

In her faith-affirming Tiki and Temple: The Mormon Mission in New Zealand, 1854-1958 (Kofford, 2012), a book I had the Smith Institute people force her to write, when I demonstrated to them that her Ph.D. thesis was simply awful, and hence should not be published, Marjorie Newton sets out the story of the recovery of the photo of the document that was taken down as Paora Potangaroa dictated it to a scribe at Te Ore Ore marae in 1881. The photo of the document was given to Matt Cowley in 1944, and he pubished his English translation in the old Improvement Era.

I have also responded to efforts by those deeply involved in the Ratana Church in 1926 tried to claim that Wirimu Ratana's Christian church (and political movement) was what Te Potangaroa was predicting. My treatment of this can be found in my review of the second volume of essays edited by Selwyn Katane.

I have cited most of the relevant sources in the essays I have published.

There will soon be a third volume in this series. I have read one of the items that will appear in this volume. It is a family generated item on Manahia Netama Paewai, who was an MD whose surgery was in Kaikohe in the Northland of New Zealand. I got to know him well while I served in New Zealand in 1950-1952, and then renewed my friendship later when he came to Salt Lake to study at the University of Utah Medical School. He eventually moved to Auckland. And I know many of his extended whanau (family), and I remain in contact with some of them.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... 4818650057

[breaks added as Midgley unedited is virtually unreadable.]

I have a question
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Re: Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

Post by I have a question »

Marjorie Newton has published award-winning articles in the Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, as well as several articles in The Ensign. Her Tiki and Temple: The Mormon Mission in New Zealand, 1854–1958 and Mormon and Maori were both awarded the Best International Book Award from the Mormon History Association.


I think Midgley has lost any sense of reality.

“Newton has produced a fine work, dense, historically rigorous and an important contribution in the study of the LDS church outside of the United States” — Gina Colvin, International Journal of Mormon Studies
It seems nobody else remembers Midgley's involvement...
“When we are confronted with evidence that challenges our deeply held beliefs we are more likely to reframe the evidence than we are to alter our beliefs. We simply invent new reasons, new justifications, new explanations. Sometimes we ignore the evidence altogether.” (Mathew Syed 'Black Box Thinking')

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Re: Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

Post by Lemmie »

I agree, ihaq. Your comment reminded me of something I posted recently, in another thread discussing one of Midgley’s reviews. Note, this person actually was involved with Newton’s publication process:
One of her editors weighs in with a fairly harsh critique of Midgley’s standard hit piece strategy:

Lavina Fielding Anderson on November 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm said:

I was an editor at Greg Kofford Books, the publisher of Marjorie Newton’s books on the Church in New Zealand, and edited both of her books on New Zealand.

Louis C. Midgley’s retrospective review (see https://journal.interpreterfoundation.o ... ve-review/) contains some disturbing claims.

Marjorie Newton has written four books – Southern Cross Saints (a history of the LDS Church in Australia), Tiki and Temple and Mormon and Maori (the Church in New Zealand), and Hero or Traitor? Charles Wesley Wandall: A Biography of Charles Wesley Wandell.

The review challenges what Midgley perceives as Newton’s anti-American agenda. A key claim is: “Even though she is Latter-day Saint, she has chosen to follow those who claim they are not interested in the question of the truth (or untruth) of that faith. Marjorie Newton’s own understanding of the faith of the Saints manifests indifference to truth questions. An indifference to truth-claims prevents or hampers understanding what believers find soul-satisfying.”

This claim of Marjorie Newton’s “indifference” seems to be a manifestation of Midgley’s own agenda, which has, for years, been an attempt to defend Mormon truth claims. Defending the faith requires an enemy – someone or something who is attacking the faith.

Positioning Marjorie Newton as such an enemy is a serious misreading of her books, and a misapplication of Midgley’s defensive agenda. He seems to be attacking Marjorie for not having written the books that he wants instead of reviewing the books she actually wrote.


Her vita is available on request. She invites those interested to read her books and draw their own conclusions.

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.o ... ve-review/

The comment was originally posted in a discussion section of one of Midgley’s hit pieces published by the Interpreter.

Clearly, Newton’s Editor disagrees that Midgley was involved. Her comments about Midgley’s ongoing agenda and his need for an enemy are very interesting.

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Re: Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

Post by Tom »

I must admit that Dr. Midgley may have had some type of involvement, but someone in the know needs to confirm what he claims at SeN. From a 2018 review essay of his:
After Marjorie Newton’s Ph.D. was approved in February 1998, a potential publisher sent me a Xerox copy of her thesis.1 I gave it careful attention. It turned out that my Māori friends had been right. At the Pioneers in the Pacific Conference held at BYU-Hawaii on 7–11 October 1997, at least two of them indicated that they doubted that she would do justice to the grounds and content of their faith. She would, they thought, ignore, downplay, or explain away matters sacred to them, and she would also be too critical of the way LDS mission presidents responded to the difficult issues they faced. They did not, however, make known how they came to know about her agenda.

I was also invited to evaluate her first effort to turn the two introductory chapters of her Ph.D. thesis (MNZ, 1–84) into a history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints2 in New Zealand. There were, however, serious flaws in what I call “Newton’s Unpublished Manuscript,”3 one of which I will address in this appraisal of Mormon and Maori. . . .

When Newton’s Ph.D. thesis was approved in February 1998, the Institute for Polynesian Studies, which published her Southern Cross Saints,13 was no longer publishing books. She had to seek a publisher interested in publishing a book challenging key elements in the Māori Latter-day Saint historical narrative, suggesting that “Mormon cultural imperialism” was harming Māori Saints and making claims about Māori/Mormon mythmaking.

She sought the assistance of the Pacific Area President at the time, Elder Bruce Hafen.14 He suggested that she approach Ron Esplin, then director of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute.15 As a favor to Elder Hafen, Esplin assigned Richard Jensen to have a look at her thesis, which then underwent peer review. Newton was urged to turn the first two chapters of her thesis (MNZ, 1–84) into a narrative history of the faith of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand, which she immediately did. Her 510-page first draft then underwent peer review and was rejected for publication. She was then more strongly urged to fashion an accurate account of the faith of Māori Saints, which was published more than a decade later as Tiki and Temple.

Newton explains how she came to write Tiki and Temple in the following way:

My completed dissertation,16 entitled “Mormonism in New Zealand: A Historical Analysis”17 was to be published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History at Brigham Young University, Provo. When it was suggested that I should write a chronological history of the New Zealand Mission first, publication of the dissertation was delayed until the manuscript of Tiki and Temple was completed. Both books were still in the early stages of copy-editing when the institute was closed in 2005. (M&M, xiii)

She describes Tiki and Temple as the “second of my studies of the Latter-day Saints in New Zealand” (T&T, xiv), even though it was published two years prior to Mormon and Maori. That book represented the ideological core of her more objective doctoral thesis, “Mormonism in New Zealand: A Historical Appraisal,” which was written for the Religious Studies Department18 of the University of Sydney (1998, forthcoming from Greg Kofford Books) (T&T, xiv).

1. Marjorie Newton, “Mormonism in New Zealand: A Historical Appraisal” (Ph.D. thesis, School of Studies of Religion, University of Sydney, 1998). Hereafter cited parenthetically as MNZ. When I refer to Newton’s thesis in this essay, I have in mind her 1998 Ph.D. thesis, and not her 1986 MA thesis.
2. Hereafter “the Church of Jesus Christ” or “Latter-day Saints,” depending on context. I retain British spelling in quotations where appropriate.
3. This is a 510-page typed, double-spaced manuscript with no author identification, title page, introduction, or bibliography. It is divided into 15 chapters, each individually paged, and identified only by the dates covered in the chapter. For example, the first chapter is dated 1832–1877, even though there was no LDS proselyting activity in New Zealand until 1854. I will cite only language from “Chapter 2 —1878–1887” of “Newton’s Unpublished Manuscript.”

13. Newton, Southern Cross Saints: The Mormons in Australia (Laie: Institute for Polynesian Studies, 1991). Southern Cross Saints is the published version of her MA thesis. See items 3 and 6, in the Appendix, below.
14. Nothing suggests that Elder Hafen read Newton’s thesis.
15. Until 2005 the Smith Institute was located at Brigham Young University, when it was absorbed by the Church History Department in Salt Lake City, where attention has been on the Joseph Smith Papers project and very closely related projects.
16. A dissertation in the United States is a thesis in Australia.
17. The actual subtitle of her Ph.D. thesis is “A Historical Appraisal,” and not “analysis.” It is both rather common (and very painful) for authors to garble little details with which they are intimately familiar. An observant reader will note that footnote 2 of Midgley, “A Retrospective Review,” indicates that Newton’s Ph.D. thesis was completed in the History Department at Sydney University. But I also explained how she came to transfer to the School of Studies of Religion, when no one in the history department would encourage or embrace her proposal to write about the faith of Māori Latter-day Saints.
18. Eric J. Sharpe (1933–2000), who supervised Newton’s Ph.D. thesis, was the inaugural professor of religious studies in the School of Studies of Religion at Sydney University, which he founded in 1977. For the relevant details drawn from her own accounts, see Midgley, “A Retrospective Review,” 150.

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Re: Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

Post by Lemmie »

Thanks, Tom, great information, and thank you for the link. In the comments of that review essay, Midgley adds this:
Louis Midgley
on December 18, 2018 at 8:28 pm said:

.... Her friend (and the copy editor of her two book on the faith of Maori Saints) graciously provided me with a copy of Marjorie Newton’s own CV. This made it possible for me to consult all of her publications, in which I include both her MA thesis and her Ph.D. thesis, but not the 510 page unpublished book manuscript, which I had been asked by a potential publisher to review.

Having this manuscript in my possession made it possible to track her effort to turn the first two chapters of her Ph.D. thesis, which were a narrative sketch of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ in New Zealand into what eventually was published as Tiki and Temple in 2012.

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.o ... /?id=13657

Confirmation is indeed needed, but it seems as though

“track[ing] her effort...into what was eventually published...”

has now been exaggerated into

“...a book I had the Smith Institute people force her to write...”

Midgley’s propensity for exaggeration, combined with his narcissistic sense that he is the most important element of every story he tells is well established, so I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to interpret it that way.

By the way, from the same link, Midgley also said this in a comment:

I have seen exactly nothing to indicate that Marjorie Newton has an interest in engaging in a conversation with Maori or other Latter-day Saints scholars over her opinions about the faith of Maori Saints. Instead, she has avoided conversations with those who are informed on the Maori understanding of divine things.

Reading between the lines, I take it this means Newton blew off Midgley when he attempted to reach out to her, with his “corrections.” If it went down that way, good for her! An ass like Midgley doesn’t need any more humoring.

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Re: Midgley had publishers FORCE M Newton to write her book?

Post by Gadianton »

A guy who gets presidents elected could probably force someone to write a book.
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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