In the ongoing Mormon Apologist Wars on the location of the Book of Mormon lands, one advocate of the LGT (Limited Geography Theory) is Michael Ash. In February of this year, he published an article entitled, “How Moroni and the plates may have made it to Hill Cumorah.” He postulates that Moroni traveled from Mesoamerica to New York, and could have done it in under a year.
In fact, we are told that Moroni, while on his way to drop off the golden plates he lugged all the way to the Hill Cumorah in New York (named he says, after another hill of the same name located somewhere in Central America), Moroni stopped in (present day) Arizona, then went on to Salt Lake; afterwards going to Missouri (Independence & Adam-Ondi-Ahman) continuing on to Nauvoo and Pike County in Illinois, and, before getting to New York, stopped in Kirtland Ohio!
Mr. Ash comes by this information from a map allegedly drawn by information that came directly from the Prophet Joseph Smith. Says Ash,
“If the map is genuine and accurately reflects the thinking of early Latter-day Saints and/or Joseph Smith, it supports the theory that Moroni traveled Northward along what became the El Camino, continued traveling north-northwest to Arizona, and then worked his way north through Utah (where we learn that he dedicated the spot for the Manti Temple as well as other temple sites) and eventually found his way to upstate New York.”
Fascinated by the idea of this map, I followed the link Mr. Ash provided in his article to another one, which was an article by H. Donl Peterson, called “Moroni, the Last of the Nephite Prophets,” where he provides a copy of the map. Here is a picture of the map (Figure 2 from Dr. Peterson’s article):
Actually, there are two maps, virtually identical to each other, with only minor differences that Dr. Peterson explains:
“Several years ago, I came across two copies of a map in the Archives Division of the Historical Department of the Church relative to Moroni’s North American journeys… On the back of the map in Figure 1 is written the following:
“’A chart, and description of Moroni’s travels through this country. Got it from Br. Robert Dickson. He got it from Patriarch Wm. McBride at Richfield in the Sevier and also from Andrew M. Hamilton of same place. And they got it from Joseph Smith the Prophet.’”
“On the map ‘land Bountifull [sic]’ is listed in ‘Sentral [sic] America.’ The cartographer wrote ‘starting point’ below the reference to Central America. Above the ‘land Bountifull’ is ‘Sand hills in south part of Arizona,’ and above it to the left is ‘Salt Lake.’ To the right is ‘Independens, Jackson Co, Mo.’ and above that is ‘Adam on Diamon, Davis Co, Mo.’ To the right of that is ‘Nauvoo, Hancock C.Ill.’ Below that is ‘Mound Kinderhook, Pick, Co, Ill, 6 Plates Bell shape were found’ (were was was on one copy). Then to the right and above that is ‘Kirtland, Ohio,’ and to the right of that is ‘Commorre [Cumorah], N.Y.’ Below this on the right-hand side of the map is written: ‘Moroni’s Travels starting from Sentral America to the Sand hills Arizona then to Salt Lake U[tah], T[erritory], then to Adam on Diammon Mo, then to Nauvoo, Ill, then to Independence Mo, then to Kirtland Ohio then to Cumoro NY.’
“The second map appears to have been drawn by the same hand and is quite similar to the first, though it twice spells Arizona as Arisony (one ‘y’ has an ‘a’ written over it); ‘eden’ is written near the circle identifying ‘Independense’; ‘where adam blessed his posterity’ is written near the circle identifying ‘Adam on Diammon’; the ‘missisipy river’ is listed near Nauvoo; Kirtland is twice misspelled ‘kertland’; and Cumorah is misspelled ‘Cunora’ and ‘Cumora.’”
Dr. Peterson writes this conclusion about the maps:
“It is interesting to note that the brethren mentioned on these documents were contemporaries of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and they credited him with the notion that the travels of Moroni began in the land Bountiful, which was in Central America, and went through the western New York. Why Moroni took the route he did is still without answers. These men stated that the Prophet Joseph believed Bountiful is in Central America while the Hill Cumorah, the burial place of the plates, is in New York State.”
Peterson references a comment Brigham Young made in 1875 on the day of the dedication of the Manti temple site. Young reportedly said, “Here is the spot where the prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for a Temple site, and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can’t move it from this spot…” Then Peterson states,
“That Moroni dedicated the Manti Temple site is one of the few statements the Brethren have made connecting a Book of Mormon figure with a specific current place and action. This aids us in documenting one of Moroni’s travels and priesthood assignments.”
Why would these same men, who discount statements by Joseph Fielding Smith, Oliver Cowdery and others, that there was only one Hill Cumorah, (located in New York State), give credence to one statement by Brigham Young about Moroni traveling to Utah – and this map, (purported to have been drawn at the direction of Joseph Smith), while discounting the multitude of statements that locate the Hill Cumorah in New York?
What I found the most interesting about all of this was the side trip that Moroni took to Pike County Illinois. If anyone is familiar with Mormon History, they will remember that an interesting discovery was found there, known as ‘The Kinderhook Plates’. If this map is genuine, and Moroni went there, why would he go to a place where phony plates were buried in an attempt to fool Joseph Smith?
*This article originally appeared at Mormon Coffee.
Recently Timmy Berman posted another one of his whining rants on his blog, where he tries to garner sympathy for his cyber-bullying by trying to play the victim. (Wah!). This was brought to my attention by numerous friends, and my attitude has been, “who cares?” My article Wanna Bee, speaks for itself and people are free to draw their own conclusions from the article. But Timmy just can’t seem to shut up, and has been up to his old tricks of making accusations and drawing conclusions without any evidence, and so I thought I would set the record straight.
First though, Timmy made these comments on a page that he loves to frequent, and here they are for your perusal.
The page (Challenging Anti-Mormon Apolegitcs) posted this comment:
This little exchange was brought to my attention earlier this morning. A couple of things I noticed are (1) nowhere does Timothy Berman admit to being behind “flag attacks” against anybody; and (2) somebody there seems to think that Cornelius St. Bartholamew (who I see joined this page earlier this morning) is the same person as our Mr. Berman.
I DO have to wonder how Timothy’s remarks in his article can even remotely be construed as “flag attacks”when in fact he is talking about trolls (who may not be associated with M&LDSF in any way) who can be blocked from making their presence known on any pro-LDS FaceBook page or group. In other words, he writes not of flagging those pages/groups who are critical of the LDS, but of those individuals who take it upon themselves to take their low-brow behavior to LDS pages/groups.
There is no shame in “admitting” to defending oneself. The “flag attacks” nonsense sounds a little paranoid to me. If, however, M&LDSF is actually having trouble with flag attacks, I recommend they look elsewhere for the culprit or culprits. I rather think they are barking up the wrong tree.
> Eusebius (Donald Neighbors)
Just In —> Mormon “apologist” admits (again) to being behind flag attacks against Christians who disagree with him.
Admittedly, we are tired of the petty flag attacks against us and are saddened that people would try to silence us instead of engage in civil discussion and respect our freedom of speech. However, we understand that those trapped in false beliefs may sometimes be fearful, angry and have things they wish to hide.
Nevertheless we count it a privilege to suffer for Christ and His true gospel. We choose to forgive and invite you to please join us in pray for those who persecute us. – [Mormon & LDS Facts] Admin Team
Timmy then comments below:
I believe the person behind this is Grindeal. (sic) I linked to his elongated ad hominem article and since this came out and to my attention, I removed the link to his article. It is very telling because he is the one that has lashed out at me as being behind the flag attacks on Facebook and is the only person that has taken upon himself to have it out for me in this manner.
Wrong Timmy. (Wah!). Though I have been a part of Mormon & LDS Facts in the past, I ceased to have anything actively to do with the page months ago, because I have been in the hospital having surgery and recovering from that, and no longer wish to take the time to run the daily operation of a Facebook Page. Instead I’m doing research and writing for this blog and finishing two books, that will appear shortly. You can attack me all you want, but it won’t do you any good, because I’m no longer tied to the M&LDS Facts Page in any way. Have fun. But your problem is not with me, it’s with others that your bullying is being noticed by, and by your own admissions.
Jo Stephens may also be behind this as well since she is also quite vocal as to believing I am Cornelius St. Bartholomew. I have fielded several FB messages from people who are critics asking me if I am this Cornelius. He commented on the blog article (Which I subsequently deleted)
I’m not Jo Stephens. (Wah!). From what I understand there is credible evidence that you were indeed Cornelius, but I’m not interested in pursuing any sock-puppet profiles you may have invented to carry out your bullying.
Oh, and if you feel that I posted as Cornelius and then as myself on M&LDSF, you know you are a liar because I am not able to post over there at all. Go ahead Jo Stephens/Grindael/Johnny Stephens. It is quite telling all this happened when I published this article and you know what they say when someone takes this kind of offense, they are guilty. I personally will not tolerate any more harassment and cyberbullying.
Me thinks you protesteth too much. (Wah!) And my name is Johnny Stephenson. All this time and you still can’t get it right? LOL. I’m not offended at all. I don’t wish to get into any discussions with you because all that comes out of your mouth is trash. That is why your comments won’t be published here, and you can go holler and scream and gnash your teeth to anyone you care to. Good luck with that. But your past bullying will stay up for all to see, because you keep trying to blame it all on everyone but yourself.
Also, you pontificate to others about making fake profiles, and then do the same yourself to comment on the Wanna Bee article:
The IP Address for Michael Porter is none other than Timmy’s, from Marysville, Washington where Timmy lives:
Timmy get this straight. You are not a “fellow brother”. You are a member of a cult. Just a Wanna Bee Christian, who doesn’t know what a Christian is. Since you left Mormonism, then said you became a Christian and then left the Christians and went back to your cult, the Bible tells us how you are to be treated:
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 7-11).
Yes and it seems someone or a group of someone’s decided to do this. Now people understand why it ruffles my feathers when people like Jo Stephens, Matt Cason, and others come here and get away with their Anti-Mormon bullcrap and are allowed back on here so they can come back and attack me. Trust me, someone needs to start doing some housecleaning and enforce the rules and keep these vipers off this page. If they want to gossip and praise one another with their vile vomit and dung speech, that is on them. I could care less, but when they start coming after me and making me aware of their childish cyber bullying antics, I will speak up and will call them on it. They are nothing but a bunch of pathetic losers with no life. They are not Christians at all and their claim “Well Christ and Paul did the same thing so we are doing it exactly how Christ and Paul did it” truly do not understand the scriptures at all. They are destitute and without life. There is no Christlike attitude in their walk and ministry. They are angry vile bullies. Whoever is flagging their comments, then they deserve it because if they talk and insult people like me in this manner, they are surely out of line and deserve it. And in one of their posters statement, the true Cry baby cowards are the owners of M&LDSF. Grindeal, grow up and get a life and go see a counselor, your pathetic attempt is not doing you and your group any good. Even other fellow Christians are taking note of your lack of civility and perversion.
Actually, I haven’t been on Don’s page in a long time. I don’t care about attacking you on Facebook. I’m only responding to your attack on me here (again) which gets far more notice. You see, you started all of this. The evidence is there in my article Wanna Bee, and you can’t stand that it shows you are a liar and a troll. Even though you’ve tried to cover your tracks by deleting some of the links, and then whining about it, people are smart, and will judge for themselves who is telling the truth.
Timmy, you had a chance to make all this go away, but you kept up the attacks and the bullying and the lies on your blog. Too bad. The article will stay up until you repent, apologize and admit on your blog that you were wrong and that you slandered me and others. And the thing that is sad is that YOU ARE STILL DOING IT. And if my article isn’t doing any good, why do you continue to whine about it?
And the hate mail is coming in. Surprise, surprise, surprise. These people are the ones with no life.
What do you expect when you act like a troll? (Wah!) My advice, get rid of your computers, phones and anything to write with and someday you might stop looking like an ignorant fool and people will stop commenting on your articles (why they would after knowing who you are, is beyond me) and you can then stop whining about “hate mail”.
Donald then gave Timmy some advice, some of which reads,
If you think about it, the fact they wrongfully attack you and blame you for the flagging is actually funny. I (sic) shows how little thinking they actually put into what they say and do. Essentially, they are condemned by their own words, shown for the fools they just might be. You and I both know you aren’t behind the flagging attacks. If they cannot see that, then it is obviously their problem. That Grindael has chosen to go after you for things you may or may not have done prior to getting your life straight only shows they lack a primary Christian attribute: The ability to forgive. Again it is their loss, and something they will have to face on Judgement Day.
Another thing worth considering is the fact that their online behavior can bite them in the end. In this day and age employers and potential employers can simply noodle about on the internet and find what these people post. Those who are cyber-bullies or are simply narrow-minded and bigoted can be found out. As a result, they can ofttimes lose their jobs or otherwise have their employment potential sharply curtailed. The job market is far less forgiving than God is.
I’m retired Donald. So much for that idea. As for forgiveness, well, there has to be some kind of repentance involved first, and Timmy is still as trollish as ever. (And yes he did what I documented in my article). As for you knowing that Timmy isn’t involved in trolling and flag attacks, well, even your prophet didn’t know that he was being snowed by Mark Hoffman. I don’t have much faith in the Mormon ability to discern people, so if you want to believe a liar, hypocrite and bully, go right ahead, but again, my article speaks for itself and I invite all to read it for themselves and judge me accordingly.
And I’m not scared or concerned with Timmy’s whining that even “fellow Christians” are taking note of my “lack of civility and perversion”. The only one perverse here, is you Timmy, who wrote and distributed porn on the internet. (Who can’t even admit that it was porn, but has to call it “erotica”.) Of course anyone who does such things and claims to reform (and then like Timmy doesn’t reform) would be worried about the truth. And yeah, Peter and Paul and even Jesus called out those who are liars, hypocrites and sexual predators. Here is one I particularly love,
If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (Revelation 2:2)
I hate your practices Timmy, and I’m justified in doing so. As Peter says;
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot,a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (2 Peter 2:1-22)
To show who is a liar here, there is a conversation that Timmy and I had on 24 March 2012 in which Timmy tries to lie his way out of the date he posted his porn piece At The Ocean, (saying that he didn’t publish anything there after 2005) and that there were no stories there published by him at all. These lies are easily provable:
Your profile at Literotica was last edited in 2005, not your posts. You must think people are stupid, Timmy. Thanks though, for letting us know it really was yours. Now go and whine some more Timmy. (Wah!) Now you have more to whine about as you continue to wallow in the mud.
Note: A rogue is defined as a a dishonest or worthless person : scoundrel. How apt for the Wanna Bee to use this moniker; but this is typical of those that don’t understand how to apply context in relation to word associations (such as “Rogue Apologist”.) As Forest Gump would say, Stupid is as stupid does.
Sometimes life is full of hard choices. In John Steinbeck’s classic novella from 1936 the result of one choice was George Milton putting a bullet in the back of his friend Lennie Small’s head. In the case of a recent in-house cleaning at the Maxwell Institute, (a research arm of Brigham Young University’s Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts) it was a curt e-mail from Director M. Gerald Bradford to Editor of the Mormon Studies Review (Daniel C. Peterson), informing him he was fired. In Of Mice and Men, George Milton figured he was doing Lennie a favor to save him from a far worse fate; and maybe that’s what Bradford thought about Peterson. Lennie Small’s problem ended with a bullet. Peterson’s problems may be just beginning. They both have one thing in common though – neither saw it coming.
It can’t do much for the ego to be summarily dismissed by e-mail (doubly worse in Peterson’s case – he was out of the country), after 23 years as editor with salary and some sort of standing in the Mormon community of apologists. And there sure were a lot of egos on display since some private emails confirming the so-called “shake up” at the Maxwell Institute were leaked to the public last month.
It was confirmed that these leaked e-mails were in fact real by Daniel Peterson himself on his blog, and by a subsequent news release from the Maxwell Institute found here. The leaked emails caused a massive amount of discussion on various forums that are documented below, (which reveal a great divide among Mormon academia about the future of church apologetics that is quite revealing); which culminated with this report by the Salt Lake Tribune last week (22 June 2012),
“In 1998, FARMS was brought into BYU under the umbrella of the Maxwell Institute, and the Mormon Studies Review came with it. Review writers responded to critics’ allegations by dissecting their arguments — and motives — sometimes writing scathing and often personal attacks on those who challenged LDS origins. It was, they believed, the essence of apologetics.
The tipping point against that approach may have been a 100-page article about John Dehlin, a church member in Logan who launched Mormon Stories, which welcomes those who question aspects of LDS history, practice and theology. Dehlin’s group has published articles about reasons Mormons leave the fold and research on gay members, among other topics.
After hearing about the piece, Dehlin called an LDS general authority who was a personal friend. Eventually, Maxwell Institute Director Gerald Bradford pulled the article from the journal, leaving a giant hole and putting it behind in its publishing schedule.
“I have had enough conversations with general authorities to know,” Dehlin said this week, “that they don’t view ad hominem attacks as a constructive way to do apologetics.”
In the span of a couple of days in May, the whole sordid affair played out on the Mormon message boards, with many claiming it was all an apostate anti-Mormon conspiracy:
“This is now the second time in a year that we have seen this newly adopted approach of the apostate evangelists when they learn that an important piece of Mormon apologia is about to go to print: pull out all the stops, unloose the dogs of a full-fledged propaganda war, and do everything in their power to CENSOR the voice that they themselves cannot otherwise silence.” ~Will Schryver
“Bingo! If you hadn’t mentioned it, I was going to. Certain critics seem to abhor being critiqued, and have virtually no tolerance for differences of opinions. This is one of their ways of trying to get their way. One of the key strategies of that propaganda war, besides judgmental and sanctimonious dog-piling, is attempting to manipulatively pit LDS against LDS. Their efforts are so wrought with irony and hypocrisy as to beggar belief.” ~ Wade Englund
“And here we see the anti-Mormon playbook in action….” ~Michael Ash
Did “anti-Mormons” appoint Bradford or leak the e-mails? Did anti-Mormons choose Dan Peterson’s agenda that now seems at odds with the direction the Maxwell Institute is now charting? Is this really an “anti-Mormon conspiracy” or is this about egos and jealousy over the popularity of John Dehlin’s approach:
“One thing you [John Dehlin] share with those among whom your popularity has recently skyrocketed: you are a cunning propagandist who knows how to capitalize on the relative ignorance of those whose perspectives you seek to mold. Of course, regardless of its utterly mythological status, this whole ‘apologetics destroyed my faith’ meme has become virtually an article of faith among the ex-Mormon crowd. At the very least it has become a talking point imperative. Never mind that it is only adopted AFTER apostasy has occurred. Why is that? Quite simply because it is nothing more than a weapon in the arsenal of the apostate evangelists; a weapon designed to discredit LDS apologetics in the eyes and minds of those who simply aren’t in a position to know better. How better to prevent faith from being defended and strengthened than by disarming and destroying, if possible, those for whom that is the primary objective of their work? You have to hand it to people like Dehlin and his ideological cohorts: they aren’t nearly as dumb as the people who accept their propaganda uncritically.” ~Will Schryver
“He [Dehlin] believes he is riding the crest of a wave; his power and influence at its all-time apex; his objectives on the verge of ultimate fulfillment. But, in reality, the events of the past few days (and no doubt the next few as well) have sealed his fate, along with that of all those who have chosen to make common cause with him. I am a great fan of dramatic and profound ironies, and this one is almost Shakespearean in its scope and depth. I’m loving every minute of it as it unfolds …” ~Will Schryver
“… MI/FARMS/FAIR hurt the church, its members, apologetics, and the people they target when they stoop to ad hominem attacks, so I feel justified in escalating to church leadership. I am told that an apostle and several GA’s were involved in telling the Maxwell Institute to stop this piece. If you support your priesthood leaders, then maybe you might consider that my escalation was a good thing — or at least a reasonable one. In fact, I am told that several from within your own ranks who have read the piece find it to be distasteful, FWIW.” ~John Dehlin
Of course this is denied by those in Peterson’s camp,
“This is a myth concocted and perpetuated by clever apostates who recognized in this approach a way to manipulate public opinion as to what the Review is like. There is virtually nothing in the way of ‘ad hominem attacks’ in the Review. There never has been. Again, it is a myth whose underlying purpose was to accomplish what happened a little more than a week ago.” ~Will Schryver
“We undertake this enterprise with some concern that our intentions be properly understood. As Latter-day Saints, we belong to a culture which values kindness and the accentuation of the positive. This is quite proper, and entirely Christian. Criticism in the commonly used sense of the term–and the reviewing of books written by fallible mortal authors will always entail a certain amount of such criticism–is something that our culture is wary of, and with some justification. Too often, it can be unhelpful, unfair, cruel, and self-aggrandizing. Of Babylon, and not of Zion.”
Unfortunately, “kindness and the accentuation of the positive” have not always been the hallmark of The FARMS Review (now titled Mormon Studies Review). As the Salt Lake City Messenger reported in 1994:
“[Mormon apologists] seem to be very skillful in making ad hominem attacks on those with whom they differ. Since Professor [Daniel C.] Peterson serves as editor of Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, he sets a very bad example for contributors to that publication. Anyone who examines the articles written by Daniel C. Peterson, William Hamblin, Louis Midgley, and some of the other Mormon scholars will see that they have sometimes been mean spirited in their attempt to save the church.” (Salt Lake City Messenger, “LDS Scholars Very Upset,” June 1994)
Dehlin indeed admitted that he “contacted his GA friends” when he learned of Greg Smith’s “hit piece” about him that was to be published in the Mormon Studies Review. Dehlin e-mailed one of the Seventy in March along with Daniel C. Peterson and wrote,
“I am hoping that the Maxwell Institute will not issue a hit piece on me. I would ask you both to please not allow this to happen. If such a piece is, indeed, in the works — I would like notice so that I can contact Elder XXXXXXX as well. My guess is that he wouldn’t approve of this either….but I can’t say for sure. If my friend is mistaken in his information — I sincerely apologize for the error and annoyance.”
Peterson’s reply, “You’re threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don’t appreciate it” was posted on-line by Dehlin, and the mice began to scurry as ego’s clashed. Peterson confirmed the above with a follow up post,
“Now, John Dehlin and I have never been buddies. But we’ve always been civil. So I was more than a little surprised when I noticed that this email hadn’t been sent only or even primarily to me. Instead, it had been sent to a member of the Seventy, with an appeal for him to stop publication of what Dehlin characterized as a “hit piece” and a promise that Dehlin was prepared to go further up in the hierarchy if he didn’t get what he wanted. Thereafter, it was copied to me, as well as to three influential non-BYU LDS academics (friends of mine, actually) who presumably might be able to help in squelching the unseen article, and to one other person whose name I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t in the mood, it was late, I hadn’t (I think) as yet read the article in question, and I didn’t respond. The next morning, at 8:42 AM, I was copied on another email from John Dehlin, which was principally sent to the same member of the Seventy and which was also copied to the same addressee list as the one from 10.5 hours earlier. It provided the Seventy in question with five quotations culled from Dehlin’s unscientific survey of disaffected Latter-day Saints, all of them highly critical of (and more or less insulting toward) me and my associates. They were included, Dehlin explained, ‘to aid you in your decision-making about these issues. I hope you find them useful. If you want more examples, I’m happy to provide.’ I confess that I didn’t find this particularly nice. Slandering me to one of the leaders of my Church and to academic friends of mine didn’t seem a particularly charitable opening gambit.”
What has become clear in the last week is the great divide that appears to exist among Mormon apologists about how best to address Book of Mormon and apologetic issues. In a blog article titled “What the Maxwell Institute controversy is really about,” William J. Hamblin called the merger of FARMS with B.Y.U. “a hostile takeover,” and labeled Director M. Gerald Bradford “a less than competent administrator”; a view, states Hamblin, that is shared by “many other people.” Calling Peterson’s approach, “classic-Farms,” Hamblin writes,
“with [Peterson's] dismissal classic-FARMS is gone. There is not a single voice left in the leadership of the Institute to represent the original goals of classic-FARMS. This is why Dan’s dismissal and marginalization is seen as such a massive betrayal. It is the removal of the last vestige of classic-FARMS. The pretense of the MI as the heir of FARMS can no longer be maintained. Bradford believes this is a good and necessary thing. And we need to understand: he always has. This does not represent a shift of policy for Bradford. This represents a shift of power from a Board of scholars with a particular vision, to employees who never shared that vision, but who were hired to perform strictly limited and specific tasks. By allowing BYU to absorb FARMS the Board effectively abdicated its power to guide the future direction of FARMS.”
Hamblin describes Bradford’s behavior as “shameful,” calls him “a flawed human being,” and “dead wrong” in his dismissal of Peterson. John Dehlin commented on his Facebook page (since removed) about Hamblin’s article, writing,
“Such a fascinating article. My response to Bill Hamblin (and Daniel Peterson): ‘What if it’s as simple as this: you guys have failed at doing apologetics in a way that LDS church leadership is comfortable with. Clearly Gerald Bradford didn’t act alone. Clearly general authorities were involved. It’s clear to me that LDS church leadership is uncomfortable with your (and Dr. Peterson’s) brand of apologetics. To blame Bradford for this seems like scapegoating. Unfortunately you can’t criticize LDS church leadership and remain an apologist (ouch!)….but it’s not fair to lay the blame on Bradford either. Not fair at all. Try looking in the mirror.”
Will Schryver, who claimed to have read some of the “hit piece” in question wrote,
“I have now read about 1/3 of the article. It is an absolutely devastating piece of work–devastating to Dehlin’s proclaimed ‘objectivity’ and ‘balance,’ that is. That said, I have yet to identify a single instance of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Quite to the contrary, what the article does is use Dehlin’s own words, meticulously assembled and cited, to demonstrate that he (Dehlin) is what I have long claimed him to be: an apostate evangelist, whose objective is to erode the faith of the Saints. The sooner this article appears in print, the better: it will conclusively expose Dehlin for what he really is.”
Schryver then looks forward to attacking others,
“Hopefully, once this Dehlin article is finally printed and out the door, [author] Greg [Smith] can turn his sights on [Joanna] Brooks.”
Again, is this really an anti-Mormon conspiracy, or just jealousy and ego? Here is Schryver again, who has his own problems with the Maxwell Institute:
“I’ve been in a position in the last few years to observe, to a considerable extent, the ways and means by which this pressure is brought to bear. I believe it has been able to occur almost entirely beneath the radar of the highest levels of Church leadership. I hope the excruciatingly public nature of this final act in the dissolution of the FARMS mission will at least serve to alert the Brethren to the fact that there is a war for the soul of LDS intellectual thought that is being waged in ways it has never been waged before, and with factions formed and organized to a degree that they are able to mold, manipulate, and sway public opinion. And now, it seems, they have proven capable of dictating the direction and agenda of the most respected scholarly publishing brand in the Church.” ~Will Schryver
How much easier to just blame it all on the anti-Mormons! In Of Mice and Men, George Milton didn’t have the resolve to look Lennie in the eye as he pulled the trigger,
“And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.”
Likewise, Gerald Bradford didn’t seem to be able to muster up the courage to look Dan Peterson in the eye when he pulled the trigger on his 23 year tenure as Editor of the Mormon Studies Review. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
Of further interest:
“In a sense, this article does two things, exposes the foolishness and blind ignorance and hate an individual has, as well as publishing [his] own words to show forth that [he] is held accountable for what [he] had said and published.” ~Timothy Berman, Cyber Bullying and Stalking, http://networkedblogs.com/lb1Cj
The world is full of wannabe’s. Some want to be astronauts, and some want to be President. Some actually get to be what they want. But others just wannabe and don’t have the intelligence or the skill to really pull it off. The tragic thing is, everyone seems to know it but them. (Wah)
In the Mormon world, some wannabe Apologists. They perhaps want to write for F.A.I.R, or for F.A.R.M.S, or some other “prestigious” group, and be known as a Church “defender”. They want to be the “big man” of their local Ward, or perhaps the “seasoned” Sunday School Teacher that regales their class with stories about how they “trounced” on those horrible “Anti-Mormons” and showed them who was boss. They can then tell them all about their blogs (they have to do something to get traffic) and Facebook pages (same thing, ad nauseum) and urges them to go read the latest “scoop” about how they are policing the internet and refuting those evil “apostates” and Church critics. They may be a wannabe writer. Though this may not exactly describe them, it is probably close to the mark. One of these “Wanna-Bees” that recently crossed my path is Timmy “the wanna-BEE” Berman.
Timmy probably reads the New Era and the Ensign (and maybe The Friend) dreaming of someday getting one of his articles published for the whole Mormon Universe to fawn over. What a badge of honor that would be! And he can’t help but promote himself, advertising on his blog about how he is up for awards (that of course he nominated himself for – and that is why there is only one nomination), and he (of course) has that novel he has been working on for years and years, (rushed into print by a disreputable publisher) so he can refer to himself in online writing communities as an “upcoming author” and a “devilish rogue” with a “golden tongue” and a “silver pen.” http://www.writerscafe.org/TimothyRBerman
But his online writing might be a little too risqué for the Ensign or Friend, with its “obtuse” (one of Timmy’s favorite words) prose about those forbidden cigarettes and coffee, (that he has said he can’t do without on his Twitter Feed) and the graphic sex written into the story where the dark haired hero, (with the receding hairline? – nah, he wouldn’t write that in – and mustache) stirs his coffee with a knife and with a gleam in his eye asks the woman he is having an affair with if she wants him to “take care of” her husband. (Note: This is one of his “milder” tries at Porn. Warning: later things will get much more graphic.) http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/TimothyRBerman/254753/
You know the guy. (Or maybe you don’t) But he’s the one who’s always right, who claims to be the leader in “Defending the Latter-day Saint “Christian” Faith and presenting the “Restored” Gospel of Jesus Christ in proper context”. He’s the one with the shrill voice screaming about those horrible “Anti-Mormons” and their lies, distortions and oh my, improper context! (He’s also the one caught writing porn on the internet.)
But alas, Timmy’s blog doesn’t seem to generate many comments, and his Facebook pages are reaching a whopping 60 people. Itching to show his prowess, (and in his words “kahonas”), he has to resort to trolling. But coming up against the frustrating reality that he can’t defend the indefensible, he has to resort to lying and bullying to overcome his (jealous rage perhaps?) at those he claims “are not welcome where they decided to hang out”, and so it was left to him to get a “big stick” and whack at the “beehive”, and “beat their cozy little nest”, because he was the only one with the “kahonas” to do so.
Here is the saga of Timmy “Wanna-BEE”, who allows others on his blog to accuse critics of Mormonism of violence, when it is he, who uses the violent rhetoric of the “baseball bat” to strike at those he is obviously in a jealous rage over, (at their very existence), and who sets himself up as the “righteous” critic of Christians when he can’t seem to get his own life in order, all the while using the very tactics of lying and bullying to decry those he falsely accuses of the same.
As Timmy himself has written (badly at that), lets expose,
“the foolishness and blind ignorance and hate” that he has, “as well as publishing [his] own words to show forth that [he] is held accountable for what [he] has said and published.”
I. THE EMMA SMITH DRAMA
On a Facebook Page that I Co-created called Mormon & LDS Facts, we had been having a rough couple of weeks with some ornery Mormon trolls. They ran their course and most of them were eventually banned. At the end of this period, one of the new Administrators on the Page posted a description (and quotes) from an article that appeared in the New York Sun in 1846 and was alleged to have been written by Emma Smith.
I wasn’t happy with the way the post was worded, so in the comment section I clarified the history surrounding the supposed letter, and said that I thought the letter might have been written by John C. Bennett, and not Emma Smith, who denied in the Times and Seasons that she had written it. I also posted a link to Rick Grunder’s site, which is selling a copy of another paper that carried the article, found here: http://www.rickgrunder.com/Newspapers%20for%20Sale/EmmaLetter/emmaletter.htm
This link also provides very good historical information about the letter. I posted my clarification of the post a few hours after it went up. Since one Mormon had asked for proof of the letter, I posted the link to a copy of the actual newspaper (above) and left the post (it was not a picture so could not be edited) as it was, in case this Mormon told other Mormons about it. I then posted a message to all the personnel at Facts, which read,
“I don’t think the lead in to the Emma letter is good. It really should have been that she “allegedly” wrote the letter to the NY Sun. No offense [ ], but I wrote that I thought it spurious.”
And what I feared happened. The post got “passed around”. One of those people who got a hold of it was Timmy Berman. He immediately wrote a blog article (Did Emma Smith write to the New York Sun?, December 18, 2011) denouncing Mormon & LDS Facts, and me personally by name, and said that we were making “intentionally false statements” adding, “these people … claim … to speak truth, and claim to be Christians.”
He then quoted the post, which read, “Emma Smith denounces her late husband in a letter to the New York Sun. She says “he labored under a diseased mind”.
Timmy actually gets this right (the only thing he does). That is what the post said. He then claims in his article that he tried to research the facts surrounding the letter, and related that he contacted a F.A.I.R. “apologist”. He relates that he wrote
“I happened across this gem at a Facebook Page operated by the infamous Bob Betts and gang…” [Can you feel the “Christian” love folks?] and added,
“I have tried to find the exact source as well as any rebuttal to it in order to make an adequate response”.
He then pleads for information. What is funny, is that Mr. Berman didn’t just come to us and ask, or go back to the post and check out the comments. If he would have, we would have told him that it was posted by a new Admin, or he would have seen that we had clarified the post. But nope, Timmy waits for his “apologist” friend to get back to him, then proceeds to write a blog article with most of the facts that I posted on our Facebook Page, with additional comments like,
“Why would an active Apostate Anti-Mormon perpetuate a lie? The answer is simple, they despise the truth… and are servants of the adversary to prevent people from knowing the truth. They are like the Serpent in the Garden of Eden who beguiled Eve by copulating [yes, he says copulating] lies with truths. Lee Griener and her partners over at the Facebook Page Mormon & LDS Facts posted an intentionally false statement.”
He then took the time to visit other Facebook Pages and crow about how he had shown us to be “liars”.
II. OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT
Timmy had taken a stand. He had shown us what “proper context” really is! (Slander someone without bothering to check the facts). He was dead set that he was “right” about me and my Page, and he set us straight, calling us “servants of the adversary” who “prevent people from knowing the truth”, and that we had posted “intentionally” a “false statement.” (Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah).
Having found out that he was dead wrong, how do you get that big stinky foot out of your mouth? You can’t. But Timmy tried. He sure did. But he only made it worse. (Wah).
Imagine my surprise when I got a bunch of e-mails later that day (the 18th of December), informing me of his blog article. Pretty incensed with this guy’s obvious rush to judgment, I quickly fired off a response to Timmy’s blog article on the Fact’s page. He then responded back the next day, (December 19, 2011) with another blog article called “In Conversation: Emma Smith’s “alleged” letter”. It seems that Timmy didn’t like my response much, because this article was even worse than the first. In it, he whined (Yes, whined – he even had written a blog article with that in the title when he got booted off the Facts Page) about not having “enough time” because something else (life as a “big time” writer I suppose) had happened in the meanwhile. But here is what happened.
It seems a group of Mormon trolls got together and started reporting our page for obscene material and hate speech. They also claimed “harassment” because we used their names in comments when they came to our page, when we replied to their own questions! These attacks were so vicious, and so numerous, one Admin, (not me) had their personal account shut down for alleged Facebook “violations” for three days. To stop the trolls from inflicting further damage, this Admin “unpublished” the page.
But before that happened I responded to Timmy’s rant. I informed him via the Facts Page that his comment “that he didn’t spend all his time in front of the computer” rang false (look at his Twitter Feed @seatttleghost for example to see how many times a day he’s on just that forum). I also informed him that I was aware that he had gone to multiple Facebook Pages informing people of what he had done, and in one, had told them all about it. Seems he had time to do all that, but not double check to see if the Facts Page had clarified the post. I had caught him in another lie. That is when the harassment of our Page started, and it was “unpublished” for a short time so we could sort out what was going on. Immediately, Berman went to another “pseudo” Facts page, called “Real” Mormon & LDS Facts, and said,
“It appears that M&LDSF is no longer online” then Timmy added, “Good, NOW we should FOCUS ON REPORTING EPHESIANS 2 MINISTRY GROUP.”
When confronted with the evidence of his involvement, Timmy wrote yet another blog article, this time called “Mainstream Christians Bearing False Witness”, (December 22, 2011) and made up some more lies. In this whopper of an article, he uses comments that I made on my personal Facebook page (not opened to the public) that he had gotten a hold of through a Mormon I had friended. Having no scruples at all in using someone’s personal comments that were not authorized for public dissemination, Mr. Berman quotes me as saying,
“We have found out who is behind the FB attacks on us, and they are now starting to target other Ministries that focus on Mormonism. Here is a post from “Real Mormon & LDS Facts” Page, by Tim Berman, who is behind this. For all who don’t know who he is, go here, and see how he slandered us: http://mormonapologeticstudies.org/2011/12/19/in-conversation-emma-smiths-alleged-letter/”
He then makes this conclusion about the above comment:
“All of this rhetoric and vitroil against me because a well-known Facebook page titled Mormon & LDS Facts had recently been shut down. Unbeknownst to me, I apparently single-handily requested Facebook to take down the page in one day. Here is where critical thinking skills come into play – Where is their evidence to support their charge against me? Thus, I challenge one of them to come here and post where, how, and in what manner I had anything to do with their Facebook Page getting closed down. Also, where is the proof of slandering and bullying Aaron Shafovaloff of Mormon Research Ministries, and Johnny Stephenson – including within my two recent articles on the letter that allegedly was written by Emma Smith that someone had posted on the M&LDS Facts page? In all honesty, they are more than welcome to come here and respond to the article and discuss the article. The true cowards are those who sit behind blocked Facebook wall postings and then condemn someone in childish and schoolyard antics. They have a warped sense of definition if they consider bullying posting something in their own words that expose them and their lies.”
For the record, you see Timmy here asking to be shown the truth. So that is what I am doing. Also, you see that he can’t help himself from making up the lie that I ever said that he “single-handedly requested Facebook to take down the page in one day.”
This is not even close to what I said. If you read my words above, it only says that we found out who was behind the Facebook attacks against us and I mentioned THEY (plural), not “he”(singular). I then quoted Berman’s own words, which said,
“Good, now WE should FOCUS ON REPORTING EPHESIANS 2 MINISTRY GROUP.”
When someone uses the word “we”, it means that you are including yourself. Timmy here, admitted that he was behind the attacks with some others. But Timmy can’t just admit the truth, because it appears he is a pathological liar. He whines about where the proof is, about his bullying, knowing full well that he took down the blog articles where he does so. (But I have copies of them). Here is how he tries to lie his way out of the comment where he say that “we” should now focus our attacks on other Ministries,
“Many of those counter-cult minitsties that have had their Facebook pages attacked have singled out myself as the sole perpetrator. Initially, one individual came outright and blamed me as being the instigator and sole individual responsible, only later to comment to someone else that the admins had taken the page offline and it was not removed by facebook as he initially claimed. …Their personal profile, and then one or two additional profiles where they use them to publish, harass, attack, and even bully particular individuals…In that sense those pages that are being targeted is not due to “blatant modern day Mormon Danites” but are being looked at from a safety perspective.” (Quoted from a Facebook Page that Timmy Admin’s on.)
Notice that Timmy puts forth the same lie that it was stated that he was the “sole individual responsible” for the attacks, when the facts show that this is a blatant lie. He then claims “bullying”, when it was he that came to our page, and was thrown off of it for name calling. Angered at not being able to come to our Facebook Page any longer, Timmy actually admits to calling people names on his own blog. In an article titled “Banned for “Lying and Whining” – Typical Behavior of Counter-Cult Groups (on March 9, 2001), Quoting a Facebook Page that banned him, (CMA) Timmy writes,
“No, Timothy has been banned for his behavior of calling prople (sic) ignorant and liars when he was indeed deceived!” This is not uncommon for groups like these to accuse Latter-day Saint apologists for lying, all the while not allowing them time to defend and rebut their fallacious arguments.”
Timmy admits using the word, then tries to qualify it with one instance of it’s use. (There were many). Regardless, Timmy on the Mormon & LDS Facts Page, was banned for rudeness and blatant disrespect for others. What Timmy does not want you to know, is that he uses the very tactics that he accuses others of using on his own Facebook Pages. On his now defunct “Biblical Mormonism” Page, Timmy had this to say to a critic of Mormonism,
Biblical Mormonism: “Russ, your post violated the Facebook Page rules. Warning #1. Third warning, you will be banned from posting on this page.”
Russ: Huh? What’s allowed to be discussed?
Rick: It’s not OK to have a differing view here? Pro Mormonism only?
Biblical Mormonism: That is not the issue here. It is not ok to promote known Anti-Mormon propaganda or rhetoric. Neither is it okay to publish links here to known anti-Mormon sites. There are plenty of those types of pages. This page is for those who want to cut past the arguments and want to engage in a decent conversation without the threat of being mocked or ridiculed. If you do not like that answer, then you are welcome to leave.
Russ: Admin, is it okay to ask questions and express views about how Mormonism differs from biblical Christianity?
Biblical Mormonism: NO, IT’S NOT OK.
You see here folks, this is what Timmy does. He whines that he can’t defend Mormonism on pages critical of the church, but then doesn’t allow Christians to do that very thing on his page. He even says, “Again there are plenty of other pages that are designed by that where Mormon’s (sic) are not allowed to defend on those pages.”
But actually, on M&LDS Facts, they were. One Facebook Page owner, (where Timmy currently Admins) was on our page for over a year, (and is still welcome) and never got banned for his extensive comments defending Mormonism. The only reason why Timmy was banned, was for being rude, calling people names, and harassing people. His Mormon friend was allowed to say whatever he liked. And he did. On January 5, Timmy tries to worm out of the comment he made showing that he was one of those behind the attacks on M&LDS Facts:
“Yes, there is a screen shot of a comment I had made that someone from M&LDSF took (which is a violation of Facebook’s Terms, Privacy and Policy because no one asked me if they could take a screen shot of what I said, and it is contrary to collect information without the knowledge of that individual). The screen shot shows me saying something to the effect that maybe we should go after Ephesians 2. Which is more of a question and not an incitement or statement to a call of action.” (January 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm)
Uh, no Timmy. There was no “maybe about your comment”. Shall we look at it again? It said, ““It appears that M&LDSF is no longer online” then Timmy added, “Good, NOW we should FOCUS ON REPORTING EPHESIANS 2 MINISTRY GROUP.”
Again, Timmy uses a lie to try and shift the blame to those that caught him in his lie. Timmy made this comment on a Page called “Real Mormon & LDS Facts” (a rip off of our page) and this is a PUBLIC Page. Here is what Facebook says about PUBLIC pages:
Facebook Page Terms
2. Content posted to Pages is public information and is available to everyone.
Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
2. Sharing Your Content & Information
4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, [Posting on Public Pages] it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture). https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms?ref=pf
As for screenshots:
Q: Is taking a screenshot of a public web site (like Google or Flickr) and posting it to your weblog or in a presentation considered copyright violation, or does it fall under Fair Use?
The (in)famous fair use doctrine requires a non-rigid application of copyright law, and application of the doctrine requires a case-by-case analysis. Courts have repeatedly refused to set bright-line rules regarding what is and what is not fair use.
Generally, four factors must be considered in context, as a whole to determine whether a reproduction is fair use or unfair use, i.e. copyright infringement. The four factors of fair use are:
1.The purpose and character of the use: Reproduction for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research is not copyright infringement. This probably covers most blogs and personal websites, but there are other factors to consider.
2.The nature of the copyrighted work: The Supreme Court has said that this factor is often “not much help,” but the nature of the original could become more important when dealing with digital works that may be reproduced not one time, but one million times, in a fraction of the time.
3.The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole: If the original is 10,000 pages, and the culprit reproduces one page, that is probably not infringement. But, if the original is one page, and the culprit still reproduces one page, he has probably infringed on the copyright.
4.The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work: This one gets fun. The Supreme Court has rejected an irrebuttable presumption that commercial reproduction eliminates the fair use defense, but reproduction for a commercial purpose may push the secondary use closer to infringement and farther away from fair use. This factor requires the court to consider the relevant market and the competitive atmosphere while simultaneously trying to increase the welfare of Americans, two often competing interests. For instance, although a corporation may limit many forms of unauthorized reproduction of its software, the FCC has stated that truthful, non-deceptive comparative advertising is both legal and important to a healthy marketplace.
As is true in most intellectual property, courts seek to strike a balance between the rights and incentives of the rights holders and the welfare and benefit of the general public. http://lifehacker.com/193343/ask-the-law-geek–is-publishing-screenshots-fair-use
Timmy loves to whine about “special pleading”, but notice how he limits comments on his own Pages and Blogs. Timmy has provided us with lots of “fair use” material, in the public arena, that will help us explore who this person is, and why he is a Troll of the worst kind. Here for example, is a comment he made about “special pleading” in response to an article published by Sharon Lindbloom at Mormon Coffee, http://blog.mrm.org/2012/01/silencing-christian-critics-of-mormonism/:
“Therefore, if Lindbloom and critics of the Latter-day Saints want to cry foul that their First Amendment right to free speech is being denied, they are the greater perpetrators in denying Latter-day Saints to post, publish, comment, and criticize on the very same Facebook Pages that they are complaining about being shut down. This is a classical case of special pleading”.
If you look at the comments to that article, you will find Timmy absent. Why? Because he knew that his lies had been exposed. Here is his tactic: Go to a forum critical of Mormonism, act like a troll, get banned for doing so, then whine to anyone who will listen that they won’t let you speak. Do we have examples of this? We sure do.
We had asked Timmy to take down his articles with the false accusations, but he would not until we published some of the facts on our Facebook Blog. We then took that article down, but with his renewed attacks on Bob Betts and others, I have chosen to publish this Blog Article, which will stay up.
III. PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR
There is a great forum on the internet called Mormon Discussions. Someone had stumbled across Timmy’s Blog titled “The Journal of Mormon Apologetic Research Studies”, and had connected him with the handle “SeattleGhostWriter”. http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/53090-which-church-is-right/
They found that Timmy had misrepresented the blog, and was asking for paypal donations. As the comments went on, it came out that “SeattleGhostWriter” was also connected with some Porn stories written by the same person, our Timmy. (wah) They then quoted some of the dialog, and it was extremely graphic. Here is a sample of what was posted,
Please don’t miss Brother Berman’s erotic fiction. I found it quite…handy.
“At the Ocean”
Brother Timothy Berman (MAD’s ‘SeattleGhostWriter’), Mormon apologist, Elder of Israel wrote:
…She ventured a finger along her well-developed chest; her nipples were already hardened as she closed her eyes and craning her neck to one side. She recalled his lips pressing softly against the curve of her neck as she allowed her fingers to caress her smooth skin…
Another person commented,
“A Mormon apologist who also writes erotica and publishes both under his real life name using his own picture as a logo/avatar: That is not “LOL”. That is just plain creepy.” http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=457218#p457218
Now it seems that those posting at Mormon Discussions found Timmy’s Facebook account and published his picture and that of his family. (Which were taken down) and then Timmy threatened them with legal action (over a profile picture of him from another forum) and so Mormon Discussions took their page offline for a short time to sort through the mess and clean up any comments that may have infringed on his privacy rights, because Timmy had threatened them with legal action. The battle that went on, is recapped here:
What is interesting, is what this tells us about Timmy. On the Further Light and Knowledge Forum, we read the following,
I just received a final answer from Dreamhost that hosts the infamous Dr. Shades Mormon Discussions forum. I have been personally battling with Dream host to remove a particular thread on that discussion forum where they made vile threats towards me, published photo’s of myself and family members, and participated in the most outlandish defamation ever.
After consulting with my attorney, they noticed that the photo’s they kept online in a discussion thread were copyrighted. I sent my brother-in-law (who took the photo’s and is a photo journalists) a copy of the email regarding a “Take down notice” since the photographs of me were copyrighted.
If you go to the website, you will find that Mormon Discussions is no longer online and will get a message from Dream host that the website has not been uploaded. Thankfully, I sent Dr. Shades the same email (when I sent it to Dream Host).
I would not be surprised that they will come back with a new Mormon Discussion, however, maybe Dr. Shades and his ilk followers will realize that they need to maintain some decency and have their discussion forum members realize that they can’t simply just swipe someone’s photographs without permission, alter those photographs, and then participate in defamation of Latter-day Saint members.
Then the response from one who took part in the conversation:
He’s not really representing things accurately, though. What happened is that CaliforniaKid began a thread discussing something called the “The Journal of Mormon Apologetic Research Study,” which is run by SeattleGhostWriter (aka, Timothy R. Berman). CaliforniaKid had seen a series of links in the guy’s Mormon Dialogue & Discussion signature and clicked on one. Well, SeattleGhostWriter also had links to material on Associated Content, including a soft-core porn/”romance novel” short story called “At the Ocean.” (This is still cached on Google if you’re feeling prurient.)
Well, another poster linked to “At the Ocean and people began commenting/laughing, etc. The story was pretty bad/hilarious, FWIW. E.g.:
Quote: She reached for the brush and began brushing out her hair. The scent of French Vanilla was soon mingled with bacon. All she could do was smile as she pictured him standing over the stove, fixing up some breakfast for the two of them. She returned the brush to the bureau and examined her tan body in the mirror. Her breasts were rounded, firm and had not sagged like most women her age have already experienced. Her figure was a curved as she turned to examine her plump firm a**. She was attractive and wondered how she could have been seduced by a man that pleased her in a way most men never knew how. In any case, I thought it would be worthwhile to explain what happened.” http://www.furtherlightandknowledge.net/viewtopic.php?p=206470&sid=64ffdc19f2a4c32057ab93708420fa74#p206470
Further Investigation found out,
SeattleGhostWriter was likely embarrassed by his rather salacious and ill-written piece in Associated Content and attempted to distance himself from it by having the thread removed from MDB.
Curiously, when I typed in SGW’s copyright number into My Free Copyright’s database, it shows that no such “copyright” is found. (From my understanding, My Free Copyright doesn’t issue actual copyrights, anyway, but rather provides a time stamp for particular digital material. To carry out a lawsuit, a copyright must be on file with the federal government.) Here is where SGW’s not-quite-real-copyright can be searched: http://myfreecopyright.com/verify_copyright
Here is the number he provided on MDD: MCN: BUNQ2-WQ1SN-S8JK8
I am the MDB poster who first objected to the use of SGW’s photo. I objected to the posting of his family photo, as I don’t believe his wife and children need to be subjected to criticism on an online message board on which they do not participate.
I do not believe SGW’s facebook page was hacked, as he suggested on MDD. His facebook page was set to “public” and I was able to access it even though I am not his facebook friend. Nothing was posted on MDB which was not publicly accessible, including the picture of his family, though it was undoubtedly unseemly to post it.
SeattleGhostWriter is misrepresenting the facts and, it seems, misrepresenting his copyright claim as well. Kimberly” http://www.furtherlightandknowledge.net/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12857
Instead of confronting them Directly at Mormon Discussions, (maybe too embarrassed?)Timmy threatened them, and then went scurrying to a Pro-Mormon Forum to whine. Here is what he said:
Posted 03 June 2011 – 05:19 PM “I just received a final answer from Dreamhost that hosts the infamous Dr. Shades Mormon Discussions forum. I have been personally battling with Dream host to remove a particular thread on that discussion forum where they made vile threats towards me, published photo’s of myself and family members, and participated in the most outlandish defamation ever.
After consulting with my attorney, they noticed that the photo’s they kept online in a discussion thread were copyrighted. I sent my brother-in-law (who took the photo’s and is a photo journalists) a copy of the email regarding a “Take down notice” since the photographs of me were copyrighted.
If you go to the website, you will find that Mormon Discussions is no longer online and will get a message from Dream host that the website has not been uploaded. Thankfully, I sent Dr. Shades the same email (when I sent it to Dream Host).
I would not be surprised that they will come back with a new Mormon Discussion, however, maybe Dr. Shades and his ilk followers will realize that they need to maintain some decency and have their discussion forum members realize that they can’t simply just swipe someone’s photographs without permission, alter those photographs, and then participate in defamation of Latter-day Saint members.” http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/54516-mormon-discussions-no-longer-online/
Unfortunately, that is not what happened, as “Dr. Shades” from MDB explains,
“Here’s the text of a “form letter” that I have been sending to everyone who has asked me about this: Our ISP received a complaint that a copyright was being infringed by us. You see, there is a thread about the apologist “SeattleGhostWriter” from MD&D and his dabbling into erotic fiction. Someone posted his photo, now one of two things have happened:
A) He found out about it on his own and complained to our ISP about the photo being a copyright infringement, or
B) Our poster named “Joseph” notified “SeattleGhostWriter” about it and then “SeattleGhostWriter” contacted our ISP.
You might think that the latter scenario is bizarre, but there’s a precedent: Joseph complained to Blixa about a photo that she had posted from NASA’s website, saying it was a copyright infringement, and after Blixa left it up Joseph contacted the image’s copyright holder who then complained to our ISP. We NARROWLY avoided being shut down that time. This time we weren’t so lucky.
So Mav and I have been e-mailing our ISP folks. I don’t know what Mav has said, but I asked them to put the site back online long enough for me to delete the photo. It looks like they left for the weekend before they saw our e-mails, though.
If/when we get the site back up, I’m going to ask Joseph if this was his doing this time around, too. If so, I’m going to make sure he knows to never become a busybody again, since the whole board suffers, not just the person who posts the photo. If he had nothing to do with it, then I’m probably going to disable the image linking feature entirely to avoid this sort of thing in the future.
I was recently informed that SeattleGhostWriter started a thread about this at MA&D. I haven’t read it yet, but here’s the link: http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/54516-mormon-discussions-no-longer-online/ EDIT: The funny thing in all this is that I would’ve happily deleted whatever photos or text he wished had he simply PMed me directly.” http://www.exmormonforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4704&p=60246#p60246
Then, Timmy rails on them for NOT discussing the issue with them on the Pro-Mormon Boards, who said,
“ FYI we will ban any recruiters,sock puppets and those trying to pick a fight here.” http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/54516-mormon-discussions-no-longer-online/
As “Dr. Shades” points out,
“Nothing happened to SGW. [SeattleGhostWriter] Blixa made it plain that the ouija board graphic was directed toward MrStakhanovite (or was it RockSlider?), not SeattleGhostWriter. Also, the images were simply LINKED, they weren’t HOSTED by us. So his complaint should be directed toward his own photobucket people. The text was reproduced for purposes of commentary, so it fell under the Fair Use doctrine. Even so, like I said, I would’ve been perfectly happy to delete any or all such things had he simply made his wishes known to me, ’cause that’s just the type of stand-up guy I am. Ergo, he spent far more time and effort than was necessary.” http://www.furtherlightandknowledge.net/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12857&sid=fd73ac72dcfa86bc20f35c0ec60af480&start=15
Timmy claimed that all this was “defamation”, but was it? As one of the posters in the above forum stated:
“Moral of the story: if you publish badly written erotica under your real name, ppl can find it and giggle. But it you publish it amid your mormon apologetic efforts, including an essay on ‘modesty’ where you caution ppl from reading and posting salacious material on the web, ppl are going to really wonder.” http://www.furtherlightandknowledge.net/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12857&sid=fd73ac72dcfa86bc20f35c0ec60af480&start=15
What is interesting, is that Timmy’s Erotic Story was posted to “Associated Content” on June 30, 2007. http://www.furtherlightandknowledge.net/viewtopic.php?p=206597#p206597
Timmy himself, stated on his MySpace Writers Forum:
“Afternoon one and all … After taking a step back from writing and dealing with what was going on in my life. I am glad to say that I am back writing. Unfortunately, all my writing is lost and I don’t have any way of recovering them. However, not only am I back here, but I am also back on myspace. Yes, it is the same www.myspace.com/seattleghostwriter” http://www.writerscafe.org/groups/Myspace-Writers%2C-Authors-And-Critique-Partners./1226/forum/6951/
At the same time as his Erotica story was put up by Timmy, he also wrote, “Mormonism and the Doctrine of Pre-Existence Examined” on May 25, 2007.
Timmy has tried to claim that this attacks Mormonism, and though he disagrees with the premise that the pre-existence doctrine did not appear to be taught by early Christians, he still leaves readers with,
“My only question is how did Joseph Smith ever come into such philosophy and understanding of something that was of Antiquity?”
Now of course people can repent of their mistakes. But lying about them, isn’t true repentance, is it? It seems that Timmy still has a problem still with lying. He may have written the story in 2006, (See the story here, under a pseudonym, “Antonio Silvano” whose bio reads),
“Antonio, is a Washington State resident and has an upcoming novel debuting the end of October 2006. Currently resides in Seattle, Washington and is working on other writing projects, one of which includes a second novel. He enjoys reading Suspense/Mystery, Supernatural/Psychological Thrillers, Mainstream Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, and enjoys crafting such works of fiction.” (Warning: Extremely Graphic) http://www.barebackmag.com/fictionattheocean.html
If one wants to know if the story really is Timmy’s, yes it is. He joined a Porn Forum to promote it, called “Literotica”, and his profile can be found here: http://www.literotica.com/stories/memberpage.php?uid=581820
He also asks for a “critique” of the story, (therefore owning it) here: http://forum.literotica.com/showthread.php?t=426444 (Warning: Explicit Language)
Considering the fact that Timmy had claimed “repentance”, why did he re-post the story at “Associated Content” in June [and later lie saying it was November] of 2007, when he was writing Apologetic Articles for the Church? But better yet, we have the words of Timmy himself, from June 04, 2011 – 5:16PM which read,
“By the way, At the Ocean was published in November of 2007. If you go to my AC profile page, my very first article was the last article I had written against the LDS Church. Notice, when you also get there, that I did not start publishing articles defending the LDS Faith until about November 2008.” http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/54516-mormon-discussions-no-longer-online/page__view__findpost__p__1209014223 (Wah, wah, wah)
That doesn’t jibe with the above links, which show that Berman was writing pro-Mormon articles in May of 2007. Even if it was November, that still means (by his own words) he posted the Porn after the apologetic article! Here we catch him in another lie. If that isn’t enough, here we have Timmy admitting that he is an apologist in this profile (that he has probably forgotten existed – since he last visited it in 2008) on “Your Christian Space”:
“I am a passionate writer, student of the word and an Apologist who defends the Latter-day Saint Faith from the Calvinistic perspective. I have studied much of the Biblical Accounts, researched doctrines, heretical thoughts, classic doctrines, historical developments of religion history in general and specifically pertaining to the Ancient Near Eastern Religions and First Century Judaism and Christianity.”
Timmy opened this account on 05/13/2007, as you can see in the screenshot below, found at: http://www.yourchristianspace.com/SeattleGhostWriter
Again, the issue here is Timmy’s claimed “repentance”, and this shows that he still hasn’t really repented, because he is still lying, that he was not writing Mormon Apology at the same time he published his porn. His article where he disagrees with the Mormon “pre-existence” fits in well with his admission of a “Calvinistic approach” cited above. He ends with this, even bigger lie,
“The reality is I know what is true, they don’t. If anyone of them had any ounce of common sense and applied some critical thinking skills, they would not have engaged in this behavior. Blame me all you want, the reality is they stepped over the line when they brought my family into this and violated the law and engage (and continue to engage) in unethical and illegal acts. Believe what you want, I know the truth and that is between me and Heavenly Father. If you don’t believe me now, that is find, but one day we all will stand to account for everything we have said and done in this life: Many of them will not open their eyes until it is too late.”
Yes, Timmy, we will all stand to account, and your time is now, (for your slander) because I also “know the truth”, and it’s all from your own internet history, open to anyone who takes the time to google “Seattleghostwriter”. This isn’t “stalking” as some have messaged me (even Timmy himself, using a fake profile), or doctored internet links – (he has changed a few of them since this article was published). This is all easily proved by Timmy’s own trail of blogs, discussion forums, and social media accounts – all open to the public.
This is a pattern of behavior: Threats and bullying when his true “identity” and “background” is exposed, and claiming that he can’t confront them on their sites, but failing to go to the sites to do so, instead going where he can control the conversations and edit the comments of critics, along with the constant lying.
As a last note, I would leave you with Timmy’s conversion story. What is interesting about it, is that Timmy wrote two different versions of it. One that he wrote and posted on May 2009 reads, in part:
“While waiting for the bus, someone had a copy of the Book of Mormon in their hand. They were laughing at how the Missionaries gave them the Book and they promised to read it to appease the young men. This gentleman decided to leave the book on the bench. I froze. Well, time seemed to have frozen as he got onto the bus. I just sat there dumbfounded. Staring at the book for a long moment. When someone came to sit down on the bench, they picked up the book and asked if it was mine. I stammered a bit before reluctantly taking it from them and apologizing. Nothing more was said as I placed it in my backpack and sat there. The bus came and went, and I found myself forgetting what it was that I had planned on doing, nor where I was heading.” http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:r8FcSjjmn5YJ:voices.yahoo.com/article/1861337/the_prodigal_son_and_my_own_journey.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
The other, that he wrote later for his “Apologetic” blog, reads like this,
“It was not until I had lost my job when I started to search out an answer. Abandoning all my reasoning and intellect, I walked into a used bookstore where I finally spent a couple bucks, making a purchase of a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was when I brought it home with me that I sat down and started reading it. Started paying close attention to what it had to say. The more I read, however, the more I began to realize that the passages were calling for a repentant heart. Calling for one to repent of their transgressions and that once they came to Christ, with humility, sincerity and an obedient heart, he is quick to forgive, quick to restore and the blessings would be profound and enormous. I read the Book of Mormon within three days.” http://mormonapologeticstudies.org/about-the-author/my-personal-testimony-and-journey/
Seems Timmy can’t even get his “re-conversion” story straight, and though he tried to erase all traces of his past, there is still much out there that proves him to be what he is: a liar. (nah, nah, nah)
IV. YELLOW JOURNALISM?
In a Blog Article ironically titled “Getting Past Immaturity”, written on January 6, 2012, Timmy promises,
“One of the things that will be an ongoing project is the archiving of previously published articles. These articles will either be taken “offline” from public view or removed from the blog itself. This is not meaning that they have no relevance, it means that because of the direction the content of this blog will be focusing will have more of an opportune impact on the discussion pertaining to the Mormon Faith and Religion and will focus on the object initially envisioned for this blog. In essence, the blog has become a platform as a personal angst against particular counter cult ministry groups instead of focusing on the criticism itself. Taking these previously published articles offline will take the focus of past mistakes, immaturity, and emotive behaviors and to allow a more mature level of articles to come forth.” http://mormonapologeticstudies.org/2012/01/06/getting-pass-immaturity-and-moving-forward/
But it seems that this attitude did not last long, for after this Timmy cloned our Facebook Page, (which he took down after being reported to Facebook), and recently has been up to his old tricks with this article recently published by him: “Anti-Mormon Angst – The Real Truth”, (January 21, 2012) where Timmy rants,
“Note: The following information is from a public Facebook Group that particular individuals can see. It comes from the group Mormons and Evangelicals. The commentary provided is from a prolific Anti-Mormon by the name of Bob Betts, administrator for Concerned Christians a counter-cult ministry group that attacks the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What he provides gives the summation of the mentality and purpose behind the counter-cult movement and why they have taken up a fervent crusade against Latter-day Saint Members.” http://mormonapologeticstudies.org/2012/01/21/anti-mormon-angst-the-real-truth/
This guy can’t even keep his own word for two weeks. The whole diatribe of Timmy’s from this article is all about …. His “personal angst against… counter cult ministry groups”. You know what they say folks, the apple don’t fall far from the tree. Timmy’s professions of change aren’t worth a whole lot are they? And this guy is teaching High School students in Sunday School?
What we see here, is an “angst ridden” (by his own words) hypocrite, who has never been able to hold a legitimate conversation with a Mormon Critic without resorting to lying, name calling and bullying.
Claiming to have “transformed” himself into a “righteous” judge of what is the “proper context” of Mormon teachings is just a sham, for he will stop at nothing to deride, ridicule, and lie about any who are critical of the Mormon Church. Instead of focusing on himself, and his own desperately needed recovery as a porn addict and serial liar, he instead chooses to use his time to attack other’s Facebook pages, and spread lies across the internet about any who are unlucky enough to cross his path.
This Article shows who the real Timmy is, a man whose mind is in the gutter, a Wanna-BEE Mormon Apologist that can’t understand that he will never be taken seriously, because he can’t get his stories straight, and his on line escapades will always be there to haunt him and show the public who he really is. As Timmy himself wrote about cyber-bullying,
“The other thing to do, and this will infuriate the cyber stalker and bully further is to publish their comments online in a blog posting… Publish their comments because it is their own words that you want to expose, and the more exposure that their words receives, the more they realize how much of a greater fool that they are showing themselves out to be. I would not worry about removing hyperlinks that lead someone to their Facebook Page, twitter account, or any other online username account. After all, once they publish it (and more specifically, when they delete the comment), you still have the record of what they said, when it was published and they can’t falsely accuse you of making it up: “I did not say that, they are lying” because they want to save face. They don’t want people to know how idiotic they truly are acting online and how foolishly they are portraying themselves to be.” http://thehousehubby.wordpress.com/tag/cyber-bullying/
Yes, Timmy has batted the beehive. Shame he didn’t notice the big one hiding behind the tree with something better than the violent rhetoric of the Wanna-BEE.