Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Shifting FAIRness and Passing Blame

The LDS Church essays on thorny topics such as polygamy, the book of Abraham, DNA and the Book of Mormon, Mountain Meadows Massacre, etc. has put the official stamp of statements on discussion that previously were left to “unaffiliated” organizations like the apologetic Maxwell Institute (formerly FARMS) and the Foundation for Apologetic Information Research, Inc. (FAIR).  Now that FAIR is receiving heavyweight competition directly from the LDS church history department, where does that leave apologists?

Some would say FAIR are vindicated by the church’s essays.  Given we’ve shown documents that the church funneled money to FAIR through 3rd parties, their unaffiliated status is questionable.  And I would suggest rather than being vindicated by the essays, they are becoming marginalized.  Their job functions will shift.  Already are, in fact.

Starting tomorrow, FAIR holds a two-day “FairMormon” conference in Provo.  The SL Trib writes, “participants will find the same hot-button topics that Mormon apologists have explored in years past — the role of women in the LDS Church, homosexuality, the exclusion of black men from the faith’s all-male priesthood until 1978 and questions about the historicity of the Book of Mormon.  It was, in fact, these issues that prompted a group of Internet-savvy Mormon defenders to launch FAIR, which stands for Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, in 1997.”

It would sound as though it is business as usual.  However, I predict the tone of the conference will move to focus some extent on ad-hominem attacks of critics and those FAIR deems “enemies” of apologists.  One of the highlighted conference speakers (4:15 on Friday Aug 8) is former FARMS president Daniel C. Peterson, who will allegedly speak on the CES Letter by Jeremy Runnels.  Peterson is known for his hit jobs on controversial members such as John Dehlin (who was recently called in by church disciplinary court) and then urged to resign his position at the Maxwell Institute.  FAIR, however, encourages hit jobs.  Scott Gordon has done so with me, and their website for two years has kept personally critical pages on several editors at Mormonthink.

I predict that some time at the conference will be dedicated to indirectly and directly undermining the character of publicly named critics, rather than respond to the data, history and facts critics uncover and discuss.  The topics they will cover are old-hat and standard these days--BoAbraham, Blacks and Priesthood, DNA, etc.  

Will the conference cover the more recent issues for a change?  For example, would FAIR be willing to discuss the cost of profit ventures like City Creek Mall, the salaries of general authorities and the number of many homes owned by each of the sitting apostles?  Not likely.  Ok, if they will focus on the traditional apologetic topics, will they at least critique the character of past prophets who were racists and who made pugnacious proclamations against mixed-race marriages?  Not as likely as they will criticize the lives of those who have raised the racism, immorality and financial debauchery of past and present LDS authorities.

One of the conference sessions includes a panel (2:00 PM on Friday Aug 8) on “what believing Mormons can do when a loved one loses her or his faith.”  I predict that some of the focus here could include what to do when your “loved one” becomes a critic, and how to dismantle them by character distortion.  We shall see, but watch for the "one guest TBD" panelist.

The shift at FAIR from topics like those of the LDS topic essays to character assassination is perhaps inevitable.  They suffer a form of downsizing their jobs “overseas” to the dark oceans of Church Office halls.  Dark, because the disclosures on profitable business, charitable income, allocation of donations and so forth is held very black.  FAIR doesn’t even know what’s really going on, and so expect them to lose LDS Church support as their mission moves from topical discussions to include more and more character assassinations.

FAIR only has itself to blame for being willing to do the LDS church’s dirty work under the guise of an independent, unaffiliated organization while also receiving some of their funding through third-parties from LDS coffers.  The LDS church doesn’t really want them acknowledged and will continue using them to fire missiles while ignoring them officially.  Unfortunately, the apologists’ jobs are moving overseas, so they are changing hats—black assassin hats.

FAIR metamorphosis, but into what?


  1. Why do you exmormons always try to stir up trouble where there is none? This is bologna.

  2. Fortunately, David Twede makes no personally critical comments about anybody at all.

    1. We can always use the heretic's twist on the old Christian "hate the sin, love the sinner" view and point out we're only criticizing someone's behavior and not their personhood.

      I am more than my behavior, my job, my hobbies and my relationships with others; I am a human being.

      The huge difference is that FAIR routinely uses personal attacks in multiple guises as a means of attempting to deflect criticism of the church or to obfuscate actual history or science that exposes the fraud.

      I've seen members with doubts go to their forums with no knowledge of, say, the age of Joseph Smith's wives or the events at Mountain Meadows, and they are criticized for their lack of familiarity with the subject.

      And the term "anti-Mormon" is routinely tossed into the mix as a means of impeaching a source when the facts become impossible to dismiss.