Under the Banner of Heaven


#1

I don’t know if this has been talked about already…but I see a lot of interest in “Mormonism”…If you really want a clear concise under/overview of the Mormon religion…You should read the book “Under the Banner of Heaven”…it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read. If you know the true birth of the Mormon religion, and still become a “follower”…then you are either

  1. a victim
  2. Seriously disturbed, and possibly insane
    or
  3. A criminal…

Because it is most definitely a cult of the highest degree.


#2

Mormonism is probably America’s best entrepreneural religion. I elects its president, modifies its doctrine to keep pace with the times, and if you are really good, you get to be CEO of your own universe and populate it by procreating with your multiple celestial wives. What’s there not to love about this religion?

[quote=Natas]I don’t know if this has been talked about already…but I see a lot of interest in “Mormonism”…If you really want a clear concise under/overview of the Mormon religion…You should read the book “Under the Banner of Heaven”…it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read. If you know the true birth of the Mormon religion, and still become a “follower”…then you are either

  1. a victim
  2. Seriously disturbed, and possibly insane
    or
  3. A criminal…

Because it is most definitely a cult of the highest degree.
[/quote]


#3

Funny this thread should show up now. I just ordered this book last night at the suggestion of my sister.I have a good friend who is mormon. If I offered her the book to read, would I be insulting her or doing her a favor?


#4

[quote=Natas]I don’t know if this has been talked about already…but I see a lot of interest in “Mormonism”…If you really want a clear concise under/overview of the Mormon religion…You should read the book “Under the Banner of Heaven”…it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read. If you know the true birth of the Mormon religion, and still become a “follower”…then you are either

  1. a victim
  2. Seriously disturbed, and possibly insane
    or
  3. A criminal…

Because it is most definitely a cult of the highest degree.
[/quote]

It never ceases to amaze me that people can describe other people as “seriously disturbed and possibly insane” or “a criminal” for believing and/or practicing a different faith. If you are a Christian, you should re-read the gospels of your Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace…


#5

It was a fascinating book. Most unpopular with the lds leadership. There is a real aversion to historical studies amongst them.


#6

[quote=ahimsaman72]It never ceases to amaze me that people can describe other people as “seriously disturbed and possibly insane” or “a criminal” for believing and/or practicing a different faith. If you are a Christian, you should re-read the gospels of your Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace…
[/quote]

Maybe you should re-read the Pauline epistles. Paul did not tread lightly when it came to heresy and heretics.


#7

[quote=Natas]I don’t know if this has been talked about already…but I see a lot of interest in “Mormonism”…If you really want a clear concise under/overview of the Mormon religion…You should read the book “Under the Banner of Heaven”…it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read.
[/quote]

I don’t think there is a single LDS member here who would say that this book is a clear representation of their church. I have not read the book, but I have heard it is very negative toward the LDS.


#8

I’m not calling them seriously disturbed…or criminal for practicing a different faith…I’m calling them those things because It’s true. It’s not about name calling. If a man steals something…then he is a thief, and a criminal. It’s not about insulting…it’s just fact. It is completely factual that Joseph Smith was a stone cold swindler…he was arrested, run out of towns etc… His so called “visits from an angel from another planet” - I believe the angels name was Moroni? (sp) - was just the last swindle in a pattern of behaviour. Fortunately for him, he was surrounded by some supremely ignorant people (victims)…mixed in with some seriously disturbed people also… and I could guess with a bit of education that there were many who were looking to exploit (criminals)…how or why else would anyone believe the nonsense that this guy spewed forth??..therefore the cult was born. I guess we could assume that all of those individuals who wore Nike tennis shoes and killed themselves in California because they thought Jesus was riding into town on a comet…were working with a full deck? The leader’s of that group were obvious criminals…

[quote=ahimsaman72]It never ceases to amaze me that people can describe other people as “seriously disturbed and possibly insane” or “a criminal” for believing and/or practicing a different faith. If you are a Christian, you should re-read the gospels of your Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace…
[/quote]


#9

Whether or not it is a clear “representation” is purely subjective…but I read the book…and I spent a lot of time fact checking because I couldn’t believe some of the things I read. I challenge you to read the book, and find anything thing that isn’t true. The guy who wrote it doesn’t even have a religious agenda of any kind…he’s an adventurer of sorts from what I know. His previous book was “into thin air”…regarding the Everest tragedy. The book is compelling because it clearly and factually represents how the religion started (criminal lunacy really) and ties that into the current position a lot of the fundamentalist are in …basically you reap what you sow…a house built on a bad foundation will crumble…etc…etc…
Truth is not positve…truth is not negative…truth is truth.

[quote=tkdnick]I don’t think there is a single LDS member here who would say that this book is a clear representation of their church. I have not read the book, but I have heard it is very negative toward the LDS.
[/quote]


#10

I would hope that it would be an elightening experience. The book is completely factual as far as I have been able to surmise…I fact checked a lot of it…so I don’t feel truth should be an insult.

[quote=moira]Funny this thread should show up now. I just ordered this book last night at the suggestion of my sister.I have a good friend who is mormon. If I offered her the book to read, would I be insulting her or doing her a favor?
[/quote]


#11

[quote=moira]Funny this thread should show up now. I just ordered this book last night at the suggestion of my sister.I have a good friend who is mormon. If I offered her the book to read, would I be insulting her or doing her a favor?
[/quote]

I think this wouldn’t be such a good idea. You will find that Krakauer believes all religions cause people to be violent, he just happens to use (lunatic) mormons to illustrate his point. In other words this book is implicitly anti-catholic as it is anti-mormon.

later,
fool


#12

[quote=cestusdei]It was a fascinating book. Most unpopular with the lds leadership. There is a real aversion to historical studies amongst them.
[/quote]

I agree with your first two points. On the other hand, Krakauer is not a trained historian and is extremely biased in what sources he uses. And there is no aversion to historical studies in general, just poorly done historical studies. As mormon professional historian Davis Bitton tells there are many mormons who know just as much or more about mormon history than critics, and yet they are still faithful LDS.

Just some perspective,
fool


#13

[quote=Natas]I’m not calling them seriously disturbed…or criminal for practicing a different faith…I’m calling them those things because It’s true. It’s not about name calling. If a man steals something…then he is a thief, and a criminal. It’s not about insulting…it’s just fact. It is completely factual that Joseph Smith was a stone cold swindler…he was arrested, run out of towns etc… His so called “visits from an angel from another planet” - I believe the angels name was Moroni? (sp) - was just the last swindle in a pattern of behaviour. Fortunately for him, he was surrounded by some supremely ignorant people (victims)…mixed in with some seriously disturbed people also… and I could guess with a bit of education that there were many who were looking to exploit (criminals)…how or why else would anyone believe the nonsense that this guy spewed forth??..therefore the cult was born. I guess we could assume that all of those individuals who wore Nike tennis shoes and killed themselves in California because they thought Jesus was riding into town on a comet…were working with a full deck? The leader’s of that group were obvious criminals…
[/quote]

From your first post:

*"it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read. ****If you know the true birth of the Mormon religion, and still become a “follower”…then you are either

  1. a victim
  2. Seriously disturbed, and possibly insane
    or
  3. A criminal…
    **
    Because it is most definitely a cult of the highest degree"*

Which is it? What you just said contradicted your first post which I quoted above. The truth is - you probably know one side of the story and haven’t tested the other side.

You claim criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and then go on to say that any follower of that faith is either a victim, seriously disturbed, and possibly insane or a criminal. I’ve seen just as many Christians do just as much sinning as the next person. You don’t expect impeccability from the pope, but you expect impeccability from other people and their faith. It just seems rather hypocritical and short-sighted.

Peace…


#14

[quote=Natas]Whether or not it is a clear “representation” is purely subjective…but I read the book…and I spent a lot of time fact checking because I couldn’t believe some of the things I read. I challenge you to read the book, and find anything thing that isn’t true. The guy who wrote it doesn’t even have a religious agenda of any kind…he’s an adventurer of sorts from what I know. His previous book was “into thin air”…regarding the Everest tragedy. The book is compelling because it clearly and factually represents how the religion started (criminal lunacy really) and ties that into the current position a lot of the fundamentalist are in …basically you reap what you sow…a house built on a bad foundation will crumble…etc…etc…
Truth is not positve…truth is not negative…truth is truth.
[/quote]

Well I will have to read the book I guess.


#15

I read the book. It is very interesting and, IMHO, very well researched from what are apparently original source materials, as opposed to secondary sources. It is not negative in the sense that it seeks to disprove modern LDS doctrine. The book is not a work of apologetics. It simply lays out the facts in relation to J. Smith’s claims, and the claims of early Mormons, and shows how some of their fundamental practices - i.e. polygamy - were dropped to comply with federal law.

However, in laying out the facts, the book does expose some very human aspects of the religion’s founders. But true believers won’t let these facts disturb their ideology - e.g. “After all, Matthew was a tax collector and he too was chosen by Jesus.”

And of course the focus of the book is on the extreme aspects of “Fundamentalist Mormonism” as opposed to the practices of the mainstream LDS church. Again IMHO Krakauer’s interest seems to be focused on studying “extremes” - whether that extreme relates to human endurace (as in his book “Into Thin Air”) or the extremes of religious practice. I don’t believe his book is intended to be a look into the life of the average everyday LDS member who lives on Mainstreet USA. But it is a fascinating study of the fringe of Mormonism.

All that being said, I don’t think I would recommend the book to my brother, a Mormon who converted from Catholicism many years ago. It would be akin to him sending me a copy of “Hitler’s Pope.” I’m not sure what I would make of that kind of a gesture.

Peace and Charity,


#16

I don’t see where I contradicted myself…

The whole Joseph Smith story is completely verifiable…even from his own words…It didn’t flipping happen that long ago. The guy was a swindler…look into it. We are not talking about impeccability here…we’re talking about a guy who made some WILD claims regarding gold tablets, egyption writings, and angles from other planets…work with me here…

[quote=ahimsaman72]From your first post:

"it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read. If you know the true birth of the Mormon religion, and still become a “follower”…then you are either
1. a victim
2. Seriously disturbed, and possibly insane
or
3. A criminal…

Because it is most definitely a cult of the highest degree"

Which is it? What you just said contradicted your first post which I quoted above. The truth is - you probably know one side of the story and haven’t tested the other side.

You claim criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and then go on to say that any follower of that faith is either a victim, seriously disturbed, and possibly insane or a criminal. I’ve seen just as many Christians do just as much sinning as the next person. You don’t expect impeccability from the pope, but you expect impeccability from other people and their faith. It just seems rather hypocritical and short-sighted.

Peace…
[/quote]


#17

[quote=Natas]I don’t know if this has been talked about already…but I see a lot of interest in “Mormonism”…If you really want a clear concise under/overview of the Mormon religion…You should read the book “Under the Banner of Heaven”…it does an excellent job of explaining the dysfunction, and altogether criminal beginnings of the Mormon faith and ties it nicely into what it has become on the “most fundamental levels”…it’s a fast, entertaining read. If you know the true birth of the Mormon religion, and still become a “follower”…then you are either

  1. a victim
  2. Seriously disturbed, and possibly insane
    or
  3. A criminal…

Because it is most definitely a cult of the highest degree.
[/quote]

If today’s Mormonism is a cult then then today’s Catholicism is a cult as well. Really, this type of attack serves no purpose but to inflame our LDS brothers and sisters and cause hard feelings. Is it really necessay? I read this book when it came out because as an ex-Mormon with polygamist relatives I have great deal of interest in the whole subject.

I found it to be quite even-handed in that it condemns all religions equally as folly, and all devoutly religious people as fanatics. That said, I believe it was mostly fair in it’s observances of the history of the LDS church. Although it did give the negative history of the LDS Church more credence than the positive history. I can recommend it with the caution that the author is an agnostic that views all religion as a crutch for the weak-minded.


#18

MF,
Ask Arrington if he agrees. The cover ups in Mormon history are common. The first thing a Mormon does when you quote Quinn or Brodie is attack them rather then what they write. Now sure, authors can be biased. But you folks just excommunicated Palmer. It is hard to keep a straight face when you then claim the lds are not afraid of history.


#19

[quote=cestusdei]MF,
Ask Arrington if he agrees. The cover ups in Mormon history are common. The first thing a Mormon does when you quote Quinn or Brodie is attack them rather then what they write. Now sure, authors can be biased. But you folks just excommunicated Palmer. It is hard to keep a straight face when you then claim the lds are not afraid of history.
[/quote]

Well Arrington has deceased, but he died a faithful member of the mormon church. Davis Bitton was a close friend of his, they wrote books together. Both are a good example of historians that know just as much as anybody about mormon history but stay as highly supportive of the LDS church.

You are right that some ex-mormons don’t have much credibility based on their lifestyles. Mormons tend to point out their biases, but they also thoroughly rebut their writings.

Palmer was not excommunicated, he was “disfellowshipped”. That mostly means he is still LDS, but can get off probabation if he repents. Palmer’s arguments were thoroughly rebutted by LDS historians James Allen, Steven Harper, and Mark Ashurst-McGee.

And no, I am not afraid of Mormon history.

later,
fool


#20

Every organized religion has elements of cult behavior in it. So do many non-religious social institutions. Thats because they all have one thing in common: social programming. There are tactics in programming people that tend to work. Religions/clubs/unions/ whatever that haven’t used at least some of them tend to die out.


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