Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

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Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _Fence Sitter »

So first off forgive the length of this opening post's first couple of posts but I am trying to provide a synopsis of what is a very long thread over at MAD for those who may not have access.

This thread started out as a reference to the latest reported DNA testing results on Josephine Lyons showing she was not the biological daughter of Joseph Smith. The thread references a blog by Meg Stout who is the author of the book
Reluctant Polygamist. Joseph Smith Jr. which is a free at that link.

One of Meg's theories about Joseph Smith practice of polygamy is that he married quite a few Nauvoo women to protect them from the sex ring that J.C. Bennett and others were running and that he (Joseph Smith) didn't have sex with them but was merely protecting their virtue, a theory that many over at MAD think denigrates the Nauvoo women at the time. In order to support that theory Meg has to portray many of these wives as inaccurate (lying) in their testimonies about their physical involvement with Joseph Smith, going so far as to propose that Emily Partridge's description of her relationship with Joseph Smith as involving carnal intercourse meant passing a platter of meat at a meal.

It appears Meg is set on defending Joseph Smith against polyandry charges at all costs even if it means throwing any of Joseph Smith's wives under the bus who testified to the contrary.

So the thread goes for about ten pages (and it is interesting reading) before Meg shows up to defend her ideas and that is when it gets even more interesting. In my next post I will copy Megs initial post to allow her to defend herself in her own words.

for what it's worth pretty everybody over there with the exception of one poster disagree strongly with Meg's theories. So if you are interested in a long thread on Joseph Smith polyandry and different views of it, it is a very interesting and contentious thread worth the read.
Last edited by Guest on Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _Fence Sitter »

This is Meg's first post which can be found on page 11 of the thread.
Meg Stout @ MAD wrote:Hi folks,

Meg Stout here. Sorry in advance for putting up such a long post.

As mentioned, I made the decision to make my book available for free:

http://www.millennialstar.org/wp-conten ... dition.pdf

If you like physical books or kindle, you can purchase it on Amazon.

Each chapter has a summary at the end, so you can scan the content of the book in a matter of minutes. The "Meg just writes fiction" is something those who haven't bothered reading the book will say. It's the kind of thing Holocaust deniers say about claims that Hitler caused the deaths of millions of Jews. For those unfamiliar with conscientious history, I've included a short primer as Appendix A in my book. In a tweet, "Conscientious history is weighing evidence (e.g., DNA results) over hearsay, keeping an open mind, accepting all evidence, & avoiding fraud."

I wouldn't have a problem if it were proved Joseph was having sex with everything that moved (to include non-humans). However there is nothing other than the fertilized imaginations of moderns to verify anything other than possible sex with women with whom Joseph had covenanted, with the further possibility that some of these women had a legal marriage with another man at the same time.

There was discussion of various methods of birth control. The rhythm method wasn't understood until the 1920s. No one has mentioned that during Joseph's lifetime it was believed that excessive marital intercourse could cause cholera, so even when a fellow was legally married to a woman, most normal people tended to keep sexual activity focused on procreation. That is why, for example, there was a minor flap in the early 1980s when Exponent II published an article talking about how it is OK to actually have sex with your spouse for purposes other than creating a child. Onanism and frottage are options that were known at the time, and since we know Bennett and Gustavus Hills talked about medicine, it seems folks were using some sort of medical abortifacient. If this was occurring, I suspect they were using Queen Anne's Lace, as this would have been readily available and relatively unlikely to kill someone. Remember that birth control at that time was considered highly scandalous, as seen by how frequently and harshly Charles Knowlton was punished for his little sex manual for young married people.

There was discussion about my "meat commerce" comment, a comment I made in frustration a couple of years ago. I suppose it was more likely that Emily was telling the truth about having had sex at least one time with Joseph than that she'd be cunning enough to twist words. An alternate possibility is that she and others were lying to prevent the Temple Lot from falling into the hands of the RLDS Church. Certainly Joseph B. Noble's testimony is laughable, since he didn't see anything and it can't even be certain that when Smith told Noble he'd followed his advice that Smith necessarily was talking about the sex that Noble clearly thought Smith had had with Louisa. I mostly have issues with Emily because she didn't know the difference between Bennett's spiritual wifery and Joseph's Celestial marriage. It's something she managed to never figure out, which is part of why moderns can't figure it out. For this I do fault Emily.

There was discussion about my analysis of Eliza Snow's poetry. It is true that the modification I thought might have been made to the poem (shifting from first person to third person) wasn't the modification that actually was made. Anyone can look at Eliza's journal now and see that poem (links are in my M* post http://www.millennialstar.org/manuscrip ... s-journal/). The modification Eliza did make was scraping away a word that started with "a" and ended in "s", replacing that word with the noticeably shorter word "rays." If the original word was "angels" then the original poem appears to have been talking about the post-mortal reunion of husband and wife who were sealed to one another. Eliza had not previously used scraping to edit, and would not use scraping for several more months. This is an age where lining through an offending word was the standard for redaction, as when it had been mentioned in the High Council testimony that William Smith was teaching women that it was OK to engage in illicit intercourse.

With respect to Joseph and plural marriage, I suspect if he hadn't been killed we would have seen Joseph proceed to have children with at least one of his plural wives, likely Malissa Lott. I think Emily and Eliza Partridge (and the Lawrence sisters) had shown themselves to be unwise, for example telling Jane Manning in early 1844 about being Joseph's wives. Emily and Eliza had been sufficiently indiscreet that they, along with Eliza Snow, were know amongst the Strikers (Bennett's buddies who had engaged in illicit intercourse) as "Joseph's wives." In the case of Eliza Snow, it was her poem getting published in the August 1842 Wasp that would have "outed" her as Joseph's plural wife. There is no such known clue for the Partridge girls other than their own disclosures.

As for the image on the cover of the book, the only full face portrait of Joseph Smith doesn't look like him at a basic structural level, when compared to the death mask. Lorie Winder's 1980 Sunstone article does a great job of pointing out how that portrait fails: https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/wp-con ... -30-34.pdf As the current portrait has the eyes too close together, the face too short, the nose too short and narrow, and the mouth too small, I shifted the image to widen the spacing between the eyes, elongate the face, make the nose larger, and make the mouth larger. I was also working from a digital image of one of the Herald Publishing House painted copies made after 1860, one that has Joseph in a blue jacket and makes Joseph look more approachable than in the original painting.

There are two reasons I modified the image. First is that a modified image (particularly of an image created before 1900) becomes something I have rights to use. I spent a fair amount of time going back and forth with the COC folks on this. They were eventually OK with it as long as I explained that I had modified the image, which I do in one of the first pages in the book. Second is that what I am doing in the book is going to the data, rather than building off of current theories about Joseph. So the way I handled the image of Joseph is similar to what I've done with the data.

The women other than Emma with whom Joseph covenanted who had children are:

Sylvia Sessions [Lyon]

Elizabeth Rollins [Lightner]

Presendia Huntington [Buell]

Eliza Roxcy Snow (per Charles C. Rich's account)

Esther Dutcher [Smith]

Sylvia, Elizabeth, and Presendia all had husbands who were not Mormons. Sylvia's husband had been excommunicated at the same time as a slew of other men who were known to have been involved in seducing women as part of Bennett's group teaching "let's have illicit intercourse and use either frottage or Onanism or medicine to prevent babies from happening." In the case of Elizabeth and Presendia, their husbands had never joined the Mormon Church. So in the case of these three, it wasn't like Joseph could go to them and explain that there was now marital ambiguity and they should refrain from having sex with their legal wives.

The MHA presentation also included the tidbit that Sylvia is alleged to have had sexual relations with Stephen Markham. If true, that paints both Windsor Lyon *and* Sylvia (and Stephen Markham) as involved in Bennett's illicit intercourse heresy. If true, apparently Sylvia and Stephen repented quickly, while Windsor did not.

In the case of Eliza Snow, her November 1842 poetry is pretty graphic about the vile wretch who lied and took innocence side by side and face to face. As "vile wretch" is the same term used to describe Bennett in the petition Emma Smith and Eliza Snow delivered to Governor Carlin, I suggest the pregnancy Charles C. Rich described was likely engendered by Bennett under his "Cloistered Saint" pick-up line. It's in Bennett's book, History of the Saints, for those who think I'm just making this "Cloistered Saint" stuff up. As Bennett often did, he claimed Joseph Smith did things other prior testimony states Bennett himself had been doing.

As for Esther, her child isn't born until after Joseph dies. This is a testable case, though no one in Esther's family apparently cares enough to pursue getting the DNA tested. I suspect if things were tested, Esther's son (named Joseph Albert Smith) would be found to be the child of Albert Smith rather than Joseph Smith. As Esther Dutcher Smith was likely the same Esther Smith who testified before the High Council in fall 1842 about being approached by Gustavus Hills (asking her to participate in illicit intercourse after a performance of the Nauvoo Singers), it seems likely that Esther's covenant with Joseph, whatever the nature of that covenant may have been, occurred in 1842. If additional evidence were to surface, I expect it would show us that Esther or her husband had been associated with the illicit intercourse stuff in some more extensive manner than is currently known. In this case, I see a shamed Esther wishing to be with Joseph Smith in eternity because she knew he could forgive her, or an Esther aware of her husband's errors could have decided she preferred Joseph Smith as a husband in eternity over her flawed mortal husband (in this case, flaw would be having seduced women).

[Dinger suggests Esther Smith was Esther Fuller, whose maiden name was Smith. But Esther Fuller lived in Iowa, making it unlikely she was a member of the Nauvoo Singers. There are no other Esthers in Nauvoo with a last name of Smith.]

Notably, none of the other women with whom Joseph covenanted (single or with Mormon husbands) are known to have conceived prior to Joseph's death. That's a whole lot of no sex going on.

Perhaps more interesting is apparent lack of procreation going on amongst others with plural wives. Given that one "plural wife" is known to have gotten pregnant as a result of the illicit intercourse seductions (Mary Clift impregnated by Gustavus Hills), I consider Bennett's seducers the likely biological fathers of other children engendered in 1842 with "plural wives" (widow Lucina Roberts [Johnston] and abandoned mother, Sarah Peak [Noon]). Of the dozens of men who take on plural wives, only three appear to have engendered a child as early as 1843 (William Clayton and Joseph Bates Noble engendered their children with plural wives in May 1843, the date when Heber Kimball's child by Sarah was born is not known other than as "1844," with hints of when in 1844 derived from the birth of a subsequent daughter). Then we see three more men engender children with plural wives while Joseph was alive, though all these children were born after Joseph's death. In the case of the May 1843 pregnancies, that was when it appeared that moving ahead with plural marriage was approved. But something happened to sour Emma on the Partridge sisters as Joseph's wives, and that something appears to have put an end to all other men having sex with their plural wives. This suggests it wasn't just Emma being jealous of the Partridge girls. I posit that Joseph and Emma discovered something that was dangerous, rather than merely unseemly.

One last note. It is suggested that I disagree with the Church essays on polygamy. I don't. It's just that I feel they don't do enough to explain Bennett's sexual heresy. It is clear Joseph covenanted with ~40 women. It is unclear whether he engaged in sexual relations with plural wives. The only point where I actually do disagree with the essays is the constant refrain that Emma couldn't accept plural marriage and was therefore ignorant of much of what Joseph was doing. I think she was very aware, but was afraid this teaching and practice would lead to Joseph's death. Wise woman, Emma.

0
"Any over-ritualized religion since the dawn of time can make its priests say yes, we know, it is rotten, and hard luck, but just do as we say, keep at the ritual, stick it out, give us your money and you'll end up with the angels in heaven for evermore."
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _Fence Sitter »

From ALarson on page 12

ALarson@ MAD wrote: Got it. So you use the Expositor as evidence for your theory. Do you also believe the rest of what was written in the Expositor or do you just pick and choose the parts that support your theories?

I really am not that interested in engaging more with you on here as I see so much that is incorrect and involves such faulty reasoning on your part that I really don't even know where to begin. I respect your right to your beliefs and if the theories you've come up with help you keep the faith, you have a right to believe in them.

I will say that I feel your theories are insulting to the faithful wives and other women in Nauvoo. You have referred to them as the "hapless women of Nauvoo" and I find that to be unfair and demeaning.. These women were intelligent and faithful. Many of them chose to enter into a marriage with Joseph. They later testified under oath regarding what type of marital relationship they had with Joseph. They loved him and remained faithful to the church.

For your theories to be true, these women were not only "hapless", but they were liars too. A lot of lies would have had to be told for your theories to be correct. Lies told by good members of the church (men and women).
"Any over-ritualized religion since the dawn of time can make its priests say yes, we know, it is rotten, and hard luck, but just do as we say, keep at the ritual, stick it out, give us your money and you'll end up with the angels in heaven for evermore."
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _grindael »

Meg Stout has a vivid imagination. She is completely wrong about so many things that it boggles the mind.
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _grindael »

Hey Fence,

What's the deal with Stephen Markham. I know it is B.S., but I'm curious. Anyone offer up any details?
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _grindael »

Reading the thread. Some comments,

On 6/14/2016 at 9:29 AM, jkwilliams said:
Really, there are only two possible kinds of "credible confirming evidence": a child born of the union, or firsthand testimony from the wives. The first has been disproved, apparently, and the second is unlikely to be forthcoming. My take is that if this had been just an "eternity only" sealing, Sylvia's statement to Josephine doesn't make sense, as all her children born after her marriage to Joseph Smith would have been sealed to Joseph. But the only one she mentioned was Josephine, who not coincidentally was the one child conceived around the time of her marriage to Joseph Smith. A reading that does make sense is obvious: Sylvia thought Josephine was Joseph's biological daughter, and there's only one reason why she would believe this. That she was mistaken just tells us that she was still having relations with her legal husband at the same time she thought she had conceived Joseph's child. This is consistent with reports of his wives who thought they had conceived Joseph's child but had actually conceived by their legal husbands.


Scott Lloyd wrote: Josephine Lyon's affidavit is essentially hearsay.

Hearsay testimony is less credible than eyewitness testimony (and is disallowed in a court of law) because it is not only subject to murkiness of faulty memory but to misunderstanding of what was meant by the reported statement. What is needed is an additional witness either to corroborate the hearsay or shed doubt on it.

In this instance, we have such a witness: Josephine's half-sister by a subsequent marriage who was in the room when Sylvia Sessions Lyon, while dying, made the alleged statement to Josephine. The half-sister applied the statement to herself as well as to Josephine. I wonder why she would have done so, had it been clear that Sylvia was referring to Joseph being Josephine's biological father as opposed to her father under a sealing covenant.


This hearsay thing. There are exceptions to the hearsay rule. One is this (in the Federal Guidelines)

(A) the declarant’s own birth, adoption, legitimacy, ancestry, marriage, divorce, relationship by blood, adoption, or marriage, or similar facts of personal or family history, even though the declarant had no way of acquiring personal knowledge about that fact; or

(B) another person concerning any of these facts, as well as death, if the declarant was related to the person by blood, adoption, or marriage or was so intimately associated with the person’s family that the declarant’s information is likely to be accurate.

Others are,

Past recollections recorded
Family records concerning family history

The "catchall" rule:
It has sound guarantees of trustworthiness

So really, that argument doesn't really apply to Josephine's statement. I reject that the major premise of that statement by Sylvia, that Josephine was Joseph's daughter (his blood) was somehow misremembered. This goes to common sense. As to the other details, they are open to that. (Dating the "marriage"). But, there is good reason to trust that Sylvia got the year (1841 or 1842) correct.
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _Doctor CamNC4Me »

Hi FS,

This is really fascinating stuff. Thanks for the link!

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Every record...falsified, every book rewritten...every statue...has been renamed or torn down, every date...altered...the process is continuing...minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Ideology is always right.
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _Fence Sitter »

grindael wrote:Hey Fence,

What's the deal with Stephen Markham. I know it is b***s***, but I'm curious. Anyone offer up any details?


I do not have any more info on him.
"Any over-ritualized religion since the dawn of time can make its priests say yes, we know, it is rotten, and hard luck, but just do as we say, keep at the ritual, stick it out, give us your money and you'll end up with the angels in heaven for evermore."
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _grindael »

I read about 10 pages and got tired of it. Stout does not know how to evaluate evidence. She just makes stuff up. If I had the time I could easily debunk everything she says. Easily. And most of what she writes she admits is her own conjecture. Fantasies. I think she must be related to Donald Trump.
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Re: Polyandry, Meg Stout & MAD thread.

Post by _fetchface »

The MHA presentation also included the tidbit that Sylvia is alleged to have had sexual relations with Stephen Markham. If true, that paints both Windsor Lyon *and* Sylvia (and Stephen Markham) as involved in Bennett's illicit intercourse heresy. If true, apparently Sylvia and Stephen repented quickly, while Windsor did not.

Let me get this straight, Windsor's wife screws another dude and *he*, the cuckold, didn't repent quickly? WTF?

Being a Joseph Smith apologist really messes with your moral compass, doesn't it?
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