"You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

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Doctor Scratch
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"You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Happy Tuesday, Friends and Colleagues!

I don't know if you realized it, but today--June 14th--marks the 10th anniversary of the day that Daniel C. Peterson resigned as editor of the FARMS Review, effectively bringing an end to the Mopologists' "reign of terror" at BYU's Maxwell Institute. As Dr. Peterson recently noted himself, some "things simply must not be forgotten," and surely this is one of those things. It was without a doubt one of the most monumental happenings in the history of Mopologetics, and its reverberations can still be felt to this day. The thread I linked to is well worth reading again--or for the first time, for those who are unfamiliar with this particular nugget of history. But I felt it would be worthwhile to take a bit of a trip down Memory Lane....

--For one thing, it's interesting that DCP very clearly *resigned* as Editor: it says so plain as day, and in his own words, and yet this was quickly spin-doctored into him "getting fired" by the late M. Gerald Bradford. (The campaign to paint Bradford as a "villain" in all of this began immediately and didn't let up even after Bradford passed away.)
--It is still remarkable how much of Dr. Peterson's email makes mention of money--of his fundraising efforts, his editorial fees, and so on. For someone who doesn't "make one dime" from apologetics, this email sure sends a different message.
--Within months of this "shake-up," the Mopologists had already launched Mormon Interpreter with the help of (of all people) David Bokovoy, over a meal at the Olive Garden. Bokovoy is seldom given the credit he deserves for helping them out of the hole they'd dug themselves into.
--In the original thread, Kevin Graham posed quite an intriguing question:
Kevin Graham wrote:Dan has served as an apologetic lobbyist who goes around targeting wealthy Mormons, trying to cull wealth from them so he can continue to produce these nonscholarly hit pieces. There is no honor is that responsibility, and in fact I think it would be quite interesting to know what it is exactly Dan is telling these people to convince them to hand over to him their money.
That's a great question, and it still applies to this day with Interpreter. Nowadays, it seems the efforts are being directed more towards things like the "Witnesses" film and its sequel, but you have to wonder what transpired during these "fundraising" meetings.

--Last but certainly not least: I know that Dr. Peterson is fond of re-using (over and over and over and over and over again) a quote from Bond...James Bond that predicted that Interpreter would be nothing but "blog-style posts" within a year or so of its launch. (My response, when has it ever been anything *but* a blog?) It turns out that Mr. Bond was quite prescient in another respect:
Bond...James Bond wrote:On the bright side Dr. Peterson will have more time to travel and blog.
LOL! Indeed, Mr. Bond. Indeed.

In any case, friends and colleagues, I hope you are all enjoying this fine week in June, and that you take a moment or two to reflect on the anniversary of this momentous occasion.
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by drumdude »

Dr. Bradford:

You've achieved your goal. I resign.

I resign as Director of Advancement, effective immediately. You've already fired me as editor of the Mormon Studies Review.

My wife predicted that you would pull this while I was out of the country -- just as you used my absence last year to suppress Will Schryver's writing without discussion -- and, in fact, you have.

I realize now, too, that you've been plotting this for some time, and that, naïve fool that I am, I didn't even realize that I was playing chess before I had been checkmated.

There is nothing you can do to prevent this from being an absolutely spectacular propaganda triumph for those who oppose the Institute and despise me, so don't bother trying. As a matter of fact -- since the Institute leaks like a sieve -- I had already read today (on an apostate message board) that there was soon to be a shake-up in the editorial leadership of the Review. They know about it, and they're going to feast on this for years to come.

The timing of my dismissal, coming immediately after my public crucifixion over the John Dehlin debacle, guarantees that it will be read as an institutional rebuke of me and all my works. You could have waited a bit so that that conclusion would be less apparent, but, of course, you haven't. Frankly, I'm not surprised.

With my sacking now, and with what I presume to be the simultaneous dismissal of Lou Midgley and George Mitton and my other associate editors, which follows the utter marginalization of the scholars who once made up the board of directors and the complete ostracism of Jack Welch and, most recently, the re-alienation of Bill Hamblin, the process of driving away those who committed so much of their energy to the creation and building of FARMS and the Maxwell Institute continues apace.

You think it healthy. I do not.

And let's not pretend that the delay in this issue of the Review, or the slowness with which recent issues have appeared, is the justification for this move. You've never raised the matter with me before. In fact, your own actions have significantly contributed to the delay of this most recent issue. (It's substantially complete, though, and the Institute owes my associate editors the proper fees for their services. It's no fault of theirs that you're spiking this issue.)

I regard this as an utterly wrong-headed and disastrous decision, and will not pretend to support it. And not merely because it will subject me to enormous and quite undeserved public humiliation. It's a betrayal of Elder Maxwell, who explicitly approved of what we were doing. "No more uncontested slam dunks," he said. But now we're returning to the status quo ante, under which there were and will continue to be plenty of "uncontested slam dunks." It's a brazen repudiation of the mandate given to us by President Packer, who, when he spoke at the dinner during which we were officially entrusted with Elder Maxwell's name, praised two specific aspects of the Institute's work: the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative and its apologetic efforts. It's a betrayal of the promises we made to our leading donors, who explicitly asked us to do apologetics and, in some substantial recent cases, gave us major donations based on our assurance that we would continue to do so.

You place me in an extraordinarily difficult situation, as I'm supposed to be an advocate for a Maxwell Institute that, in my view, will soon no longer exist, and to maintain good relations with donors to the Institute to whom, in my opinion, we will now prove to have flatly lied. I cannot do that. I don't know what to do about the forthcoming Development Council Turkey trip that I conceived, since several of the people who are slated to participate in it are going, at least partially, because I persuaded them to do so.

I feel obliged to try to make it a good trip and to go, but it will, I think, be my last effort on behalf of the Maxwell Institute, and I won't solicit a nickel more for the Institute from any donors. Given their interests, I think their money should go elsewhere. And, though I won't be so disloyal as to solicit funds from them for anything else during the trip to Turkey, I will feel entirely free to do so thereafter. And I'll be vocal about why I no longer regard the Maxwell Institute as an appropriate recipient of their money. I will explain my resignation, and my reasons for it, in a note to members of the Development Council after the conclusion of the Turkey trip but prior to the October PLC meeting. I do not feel that I can do otherwise and maintain my integrity. I've built up a good relationship with the members of the Smith Family Foundation; good luck in maintaining that.

I agreed to give a private tour to the Holy Land -- the trip that I'm currently on -- partially in the hope of interesting a PLC donor in giving to the Maxwell Institute. We're getting along well, but I'm not going to mention the Institute to him any more. Nursing and Athletics are perfectly adequate continuing recipients of his gifts. And I think I can safely predict that, even without my saying much, you will, with my dismissal, instantly lose one very specific annual donation.

Please note that I have not resigned as editor in chief of METI. I will not let you have that so easily. I founded it. It was entirely my idea. I brought it into the Institute. You'll have to explicitly fire me from that position in order to get rid of me altogether. And I won't take it lightly when you do.

I understand that some contract issues may be affected by my resignation as Director of Advancement. I trust that we can work those out in a civil manner. Pending my dismissal from METI, I will insist that I continue to be compensated as a director in my role, which I will now have more time for, as its editor in chief. I also expect my usual fee as editor of the issue of the Mormon Studies Review that you've killed. It was finished and ready to go.

Very seriously yours,

Daniel C. Peterson
Tiberias, Israel


"There is nothing you can do to prevent this from being an absolutely spectacular propaganda triumph for those who oppose the Institute and despise me"

Indeed, this flame still warms my cold dead atheist heart.
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Dr. Shades
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Dr. Shades »

It's been that long already?

My, my. How time flies.
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Everybody Wang Chung
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Thank you Dr. Scratch.

I can’t read DCP’s letter without feeling extreme embarrassment for him. He sounds just like an immature petulant child.

Even more embarrassing is DCP’s behavior since that letter. DCP has spent his years since then publicly attacking the Maxwell Institute and anyone he feels were responsible.

DCP has also spent much of his time since then attacking other religions, plagiarizing, lying, encouraging homophobia, racism and antisemitism and attacking perceived enemies both Mormon and non-Mormon alike. DCP also took a year long sabbatical under false pretenses (he promised to use that time to finish two books) and used much of that time publicly attacking BYU, the Maxwell Institute and various individuals.

DCP really is the Willy Loman of Mopologetics. His life has largely been a sad cautionary tale about the dangers of ego, anger, pride and Mopologetics. Hopefully, the youth can learn from his tragic legacy.

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Daniel C. Peterson pictured here after learning that McDonalds stops serving breakfast at 11:00am.
"I'm on paid sabbatical from BYU in exchange for my promise to use this time to finish two books."

Daniel C. Peterson, 2014
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Moksha
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Moksha »

drumdude wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:12 am
-- just as you used my absence last year to suppress Will Schryver's writing without discussion -- and, in fact, you have.
Crap, Will Schryver could have been serving as Chief Morality Officer on the BYU Honors Committee by now if Gerald Bradford had not intervened. Imagine the words he would say as he fired his muskets.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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Doctor Scratch
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Dr. Shades wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:42 am
It's been that long already?

My, my. How time flies.
It sure does, doesn’t it, Dr. Shades? Hopefully you remember telling Peggy Fletcher Stack that the story broke *here* first.
"If, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Gadianton »

It's been 31 years since Disney's Beauty and the Beast came out.
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by jimjam »

I'm a long-time lurker on the board, but finally decided to post to throw out an idea that I've had about DCP, FARMS, and BYU. I haven't had time to really develop the idea, but I thought I would throw it out to see what people think.

I've long wondered whether DCP's firing from FARMS was ultimately a consequence of the Proposition 8 battle. The church was clearly surprised by the vehemence of the reaction to their effort to pass Prop 8. Afterwards, we started hearing talks in conference and statements from the First Presidency emphasizing the importance of civility in public discourse.

In 2010, KSL Radio ended its relationship with long-running Sean Hannity. I assume that this was one of the top ranked radio programs in the Salt Lake market at the time, yet the explanation for bumping Sean was simply:
KSL News wrote:We acknowledge the great partnership we've had with Sean Hannity and appreciate his contributions to furthering public dialogue," said [KSL Broadcasting Chief Executive Officer Mark] Willes. "At the end of the day, we simply feel our future success and competitive advantage reside in creating unique local content, and that is our objective for developing replacement programming.
In 2012, of course, DCP was fired and FARMS essentially shut down.

I've wondered if the reaction to Prop 8 forced the church to emphasize the importance of civility in disagreements, and then looking around, they realized that they were giving platforms to people like Hannity, DCP, and Hamblin, who did not practice this virtue at all. Clearly the time lag is long here, but perhaps one embarrassing FARMS incident after another built up to where the church couldn't ignore it any longer.
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

jimjam wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 7:42 pm
I'm a long-time lurker on the board, but finally decided to post to throw out an idea that I've had about DCP, FARMS, and BYU. I haven't had time to really develop the idea, but I thought I would throw it out to see what people think.

I've long wondered whether DCP's firing from FARMS was ultimately a consequence of the Proposition 8 battle. The church was clearly surprised by the vehemence of the reaction to their effort to pass Prop 8. Afterwards, we started hearing talks in conference and statements from the First Presidency emphasizing the importance of civility in public discourse.

In 2010, KSL Radio ended its relationship with long-running Sean Hannity. I assume that this was one of the top ranked radio programs in the Salt Lake market at the time, yet the explanation for bumping Sean was simply:
KSL News wrote:We acknowledge the great partnership we've had with Sean Hannity and appreciate his contributions to furthering public dialogue," said [KSL Broadcasting Chief Executive Officer Mark] Willes. "At the end of the day, we simply feel our future success and competitive advantage reside in creating unique local content, and that is our objective for developing replacement programming.
In 2012, of course, DCP was fired and FARMS essentially shut down.

I've wondered if the reaction to Prop 8 forced the church to emphasize the importance of civility in disagreements, and then looking around, they realized that they were giving platforms to people like Hannity, DCP, and Hamblin, who did not practice this virtue at all. Clearly the time lag is long here, but perhaps one embarrassing FARMS incident after another built up to where the church couldn't ignore it any longer.
That’s an interesting theory, and probably is close to the mark. DCP, Midgley, and Scotty Dawg, along with their Internet cabal of proto-DezNatties were insufferable prigs with massive inferiority complexes sowing spats wherever they went. That couldn’t have sat well with the geriatrics in SLC as they saw their membership numbers trend downward. Basically, the Q15 bet on a losing horse, and instead of going hard into Mormon fundamentalism with apologists leading the way, they opted for inoculation and charismatic Christianity as their long-term strategies.

I also suspect DCP getting cozy with Will Schryver was too much for Bradford. After Schryver spent years on this forum acting like a degenerate, he shouldn’t have been given a minute’s time from the Mopologists. However, because DCP et al are actually Mean Girls at heart, they loved Schryver’s ‘Devil may care’ attitude. Schryver was DezNat before DezNat became a thing, and believe you me, those Mopologists low-key love the DezNat mentality. That wasn’t good for Bradford and his handlers, so DCP had to go. Lucky for DCP, he likes to stuff his face and brag, so this Patheos thing is perfect for him. He can keep larping at being Better Than Everybody, and his little sycophants can keep pretending to rub elbows with a Mormon somebody who travels to death camps, listens to Vivaldi (on vinyl, naturally), eats rich foods to excess, and “sacrificed” his “career” “defending” the “church.” What a guy!

- Doc
1. Speech is aggression.
2. Every utterance has a winner or a loser.
3. Curiosity is feigned.
4. Lying is performative.
5. Stupidity is power.
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Re: "You've achieved your goal. I resign." Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the End of FARMS

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

jimjam, interesting post. I would love to hear Dr. Scratch's opinion on this issue.

ETA Doctor CamNC4ME's comment is very plausible.


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Daniel C. Peterson pictured here last year calmly watching the California wildfires burn neighborhood after neighborhood.
"I'm on paid sabbatical from BYU in exchange for my promise to use this time to finish two books."

Daniel C. Peterson, 2014
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