Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

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_mormonstories
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Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _mormonstories »

For the record, I'm going to lay out the facts (as I know them) regarding the Greg Smith, Daniel Peterson, Lou Midgley happening of the past few weeks and months.

1) A few weeks back someone contacted me to let me know that the Maxwell institute was about to publish a lengthy, footnoted article dedicated to critiquing/attacking me and Mormon Stories authored by Greg Smith.

2) I immediately emailed Daniel Peterson, and cc'd a few people I consider to be friends, to find out if this was true -- telling him that if, indeed, the story was true, that I would appreciate knowing about it, and that I would be contacting my GA friends to ask for their involvement. This was his response:

You're threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don't appreciate it.

I also don't have time for it, and I'm definitely not in the mood: My older brother, my only sibling and only remaining connection to my parents, died suddenly on Friday. I'm at Harvard to give a lecture tonight and will be in California later in the week for my brother's funeral.

Coincidentally, I had to contact the Orem police yesterday -- and not for the first time -- about threats of violence from an unhinged former Mormon in California.

I don't find what you're attempting here even remotely acceptable.

If you cared at all about my good will, you chose a very bad approach. And your timing couldn't possibly have been worse.

-dcp


3) I replied with the following:

Dr. Peterson,

I am very deeply sorry to hear about your loss.

Also, please know that it is not my intention to do any of those things that you allege. I did not create this situation. Simply, I was very disturbed yesterday to learn that the Maxwell institute might be preparing a hit piece on me, so I responded the best way I knew how to get a response from you.

When things improve for you personally, I hope that you and the Maxwell institute will consider a different approach than you have used in the past. You harm many people, including the church you seek to help, when you attack people publicly for their struggles with legitimate issues. ..... There are I sincerely believe that attacking the messenger harms everyone involved -- you, me, the Maxwell institute and the church included.

My sincere well wishes to you and yours during a hard time. Also, I'm happy to reconsider my approaches, and I hope that you will do the same.

Sincerely,

John Dehlin


He did not respond.

4) When I attended the UVU conference, several people (faithful members of the church) came up to me and told me that they were aware of the article written about me, and were sickened by it -- including people who had read it. I was informed that there was significant disagreement within the Maxwell institute itself about whether or not the article should be published.

5) After my panel discussion at UVU, Lou Midgley came up and verbally assaulted me (that's how it felt to me, anyway) -- threatening me and attempting to tie me to the death of a missionary on my mission (Brian Bartholomew), and trying to tie me to Grant Palmer back in 1992 (one of the most bizarre accusations I've ever heard, since it was another decade before I even learned his name). People took pictures and video of the affair (which I have)....which was pretty funny. The interaction, of course, was not funny. Not at all. It was deeply disturbing to me.

6) I decided to contact a GA friend of mine to let him know about the piece, and to ask him to intervene. Given Midgley's verbal allegations, I was not about to be slandered in that way, and I honestly felt like such an article would sully Neil A. Maxwell's good name, and would be damaging to BYU, the church, and to many members of the church who value what we do with Mormon Stories. The GA told me that he would contact a few people in high places, and that he would do his best to intervene.

7) A few days later I was informed by a very, very reliable source that some very clear communication was given to the Maxwell Institute that publishing this article about me was ill advised, and that an apostle was involved in that communication. I was informed that the decision was made to no longer publish the article via the Maxwell Institute, and that it would be returned to its author, Greg Smith. I was also told to not be surprised if the article ended up being published by FAIR.

8) A few weeks back I wrote Scott Gordon to ask if he intended to publish the article. He declined any knowledge of the article, but did not respond regarding whether or not he intends to publish the article. Still waiting for that response.

A final note: I don't mind being criticized. Not at all. Also, I need to clarify something: I did not respond this way out of a desire to protect or save myself, or out of a spirit of censorship. My guess is that this article, in the end, would have probably given us more credibility and publicity regarding the good things we are trying to do at Mormon Stories

So why did I fight the article? I did it because I believe in my heart that the old school, disingenuous, ad hominem-style apologetics a la Daniel Peterson and Louis Midgley are very, very damaging: to the church, to its members, to its former members, and mostly to its targets. My strategic hope was that fighting this article within the ranks of church leadership could be used to help bring light these damaging tactics, and hopefully drive a death nail or two into them (these tactics). I don't know if I've ultimately succeeded on that front (time will tell, I guess), but based on feedback from several sources, I feel like it may have done some good in this regard. If not, well....at least I tried.

For those who want to know what Mormon Stories is all about, see here: http://mormonstories.org/about/

I'll end by quoting from our shared values statement:

1) We acknowledge the richness of Mormon heritage, teachings, and community in all of its diversity.

2) We believe that one can self-identify as Mormon based on one’s genealogy, upbringing, beliefs, relationships, and other life experiences, regardless of one’s adherence or non-adherence to the teachings or doctrines of any religious organization.

3) We seek spaces where we as Mormons can live lives of intellectual and spiritual integrity, individual conscience, and personal dignity.

4) We acknowledge and honor different spiritual paths and modes of religious or non-religious truth-seeking. We respect the convictions of those who subscribe to ideas and beliefs that differ from our own.

5) We recognize the confusion, distress, emotional trauma, and social ostracism that people on faith journeys often experience. We seek constructive ways of helping and supporting people, regardless of their ultimate decisions regarding church affiliation or activity.

6) We affirm the inherent and equal worth of all human beings. We seek spaces where Mormons (and all people) can interact as equals regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. In this spirit of egalitarianism, we prefer non-authoritarian and non-hierarchical means of organization and affiliation.

7) In addition to explicitly striving to align all operations with the Mormon Stories Shared Values, we endeavor to ensure that the projects we undertake: a) support individuals in Mormon-related faith crises, b) save marriages, c) heal families, and d) celebrate, challenge, and advance Mormon culture in healthy ways.
_Spurven Ten Sing
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _Spurven Ten Sing »

Hang in there, John. Many folks love you!
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_Tator
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _Tator »

John thank you for this thread. I am sick of the other thread. On that thread my main personal question was: Why does the church or anyone representing the church need to do a hit paper on someone in the church with good standing? Your issues are legitimate and I had then long before, many years before you started MormonStories,,perhaps if you had been around 25 years ago I could have found a way to stay in the church and perhaps not. But I totally agree that the DCP type apologetics is harmful to the church.

I hope that this thread replaces the other thread, I am sick of the saggystaticstemrayelbow show over there. I wish they would just start by addressing the issue of why the church or its representatives need to write hit papers like they obviously have.

Thanks again, you have my respect.

Tator
aka Pokatator joined Oct 26, 2006 and permanently banned from MAD Nov 6, 2006
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_Chap
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _Chap »

Daniel Peterson wrote:You're threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don't appreciate it.

I also don't have time for it, and I'm definitely not in the mood: My older brother, my only sibling and only remaining connection to my parents, died suddenly on Friday. I'm at Harvard to give a lecture tonight and will be in California later in the week for my brother's funeral.

Coincidentally, I had to contact the Orem police yesterday -- and not for the first time -- about threats of violence from an unhinged former Mormon in California.

I don't find what you're attempting here even remotely acceptable.

If you cared at all about my good will, you chose a very bad approach. And your timing couldn't possibly have been worse.

-dcp


That really is a classic piece of DCP prose.

His interlocutor is said to be "threatening, blackmailing, and defaming". He uses rhetorical juxtaposition to suggest that his interlocutor is of a piece with an 'unhinged former Mormon' about whom he has had to contact the police because of 'threats of violence'. In a display of his customary lack of any sense of boundaries, his personal life is immediately made part of the affair, and we are reminded that he is a very important and busy guy who hangs out in Harvard Yard.

I couldn't have made that up.
Zadok:
I did not have a faith crisis. I discovered that the Church was having a truth crisis.
Maksutov:
That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.
_Drifting
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _Drifting »

Just when you think the Mopologists can't drop further below Christs standards, they go and prove you wrong...

John, thanks for sharing.
“We look to not only the spiritual but also the temporal, and we believe that a person who is impoverished temporally cannot blossom spiritually.”
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"One, two, three...let's go shopping!"
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_Tator
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _Tator »

Chap wrote:
Daniel Peterson wrote:You're threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don't appreciate it.

I also don't have time for it, and I'm definitely not in the mood: My older brother, my only sibling and only remaining connection to my parents, died suddenly on Friday. I'm at Harvard to give a lecture tonight and will be in California later in the week for my brother's funeral.

Coincidentally, I had to contact the Orem police yesterday -- and not for the first time -- about threats of violence from an unhinged former Mormon in California.

I don't find what you're attempting here even remotely acceptable.

If you cared at all about my good will, you chose a very bad approach. And your timing couldn't possibly have been worse.

-dcp


That really is a classic piece of DCP prose.

His interlocutor is said to be "threatening, blackmailing, and defaming". He uses rhetorical juxtaposition to suggest that his interlocutor is of a piece with an 'unhinged former Mormon' about whom he has had to contact the police because of 'threats of violence'. In a display of his customary lack of any sense of boundaries, his personal life is immediately made part of the affair, and we are reminded that he is a very important and busy guy who hangs out in Harvard Yard.

I couldn't have made that up.


DCP's reply certainly proved John's statement true.

So why did I fight the article? I did it because I believe in my heart that the old school, disingenuous, ad hominem-style apologetics a la Daniel Peterson and Louis Midgley are very, very damaging: to the church, to its members, to its former members, and mostly to its targets. My strategic hope was that fighting this article within the ranks of church leadership could be used to help bring light these damaging tactics, and hopefully drive a death nail or two into them (these tactics). I don't know if I've ultimately succeeded on that front (time will tell, I guess), but based on feedback from several sources, I feel like it may have done some good in this regard. If not, well....at least I tried.
aka Pokatator joined Oct 26, 2006 and permanently banned from MAD Nov 6, 2006
"Stop being such a damned coward and use your real name to own your position."
"That's what he gets for posting in his own name."
2 different threads same day 2 hours apart Yohoo Bat 12/1/2015
_Fifth Columnist
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _Fifth Columnist »

Chap wrote:
Daniel Peterson wrote:You're threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don't appreciate it.

I also don't have time for it, and I'm definitely not in the mood: My older brother, my only sibling and only remaining connection to my parents, died suddenly on Friday. I'm at Harvard to give a lecture tonight and will be in California later in the week for my brother's funeral.

Coincidentally, I had to contact the Orem police yesterday -- and not for the first time -- about threats of violence from an unhinged former Mormon in California.

I don't find what you're attempting here even remotely acceptable.

If you cared at all about my good will, you chose a very bad approach. And your timing couldn't possibly have been worse.

-dcp


That really is a classic piece of DCP prose.

His interlocutor is said to be "threatening, blackmailing, and defaming". He uses rhetorical juxtaposition to suggest that his interlocutor is of a piece with an 'unhinged former Mormon' about whom he has had to contact the police because of 'threats of violence'. In a display of his customary lack of any sense of boundaries, his personal life is immediately made part of the affair, and we are reminded that he is a very important and busy guy who hangs out in Harvard Yard.

I couldn't have made that up.

What is fascinating is that people have pointed this out to Dan over and over, but he just doesn't change. He is blind to why this kind of thing makes him look like an asshole. Amazing.
_RockSlider
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _RockSlider »

John, I also want to thank you for your passion and sacrifice. Mormon Stories has had a profound impact on me several times, as the rich experiences of others have been shared.

Thank you for your being up front and honest in disclosing your side of this story. I have viewed this whole episode as very good news and signs that your efforts have had a real effect, not only in the lives of the likes of me but in helping to steer the large ship of our modern day Mormon culture towards a more positive direction.

regulars, please don't feed the trolls/spam on this thread, lets keep it clean for others to find/learn from
_mormonstories
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _mormonstories »

RockSlider wrote:regulars, please don't feed the trolls/spam on this thread, lets keep it clean for others to find/learn from


Yes, yes, yes. Please don't allow the apologists to distract this thread from its purpose -- to lay out the facts. When you guys engage in "tit for tat" exchanges with them, it only serves to take attention away from the real issues. They seek to act as lightning rods....taking the attention away from where it really should be.

Please let this thread be about the facts of this particular situation, if you are willing/able to do so. I welcome any response they would like to offer with regards to the facts.
_stemelbow
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Re: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, & Lou

Post by _stemelbow »

From Daniel's email:

You're threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don't appreciate it.


Since Dr. PEterson is not here, I hope you don't mind answering. What is he calling "threatening, blackmailing, and defaming"?

Also, it seems that anger with which you replied with previous, and apologized for, was due to this reply he offered you, right? The poor guy seemed to have been going through a lot. Can't really hold that against him, right?

Thanks for some clarification, anyway.
Love ya tons,
Stem


I ain't nuttin'. don't get all worked up on account of me.
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