Monday, July 06, 2009

Mark Saal: "People... Who Makes Up This Mormons Stuff... and Why?"

A great discussion kickstart article from the hands-down funniest humor columnist in America

By Laughing My Ass Off

Here's a great Standard-Examiner column from yesterday, in which the funniest newspaper humorist in America (Mark Saal) provides a link to the Mormon version of the venerable and well-respected site. Mr. Saal's reference contains some very interesting information about local Utah LDS/secular urban legends, to say the least. Check it out; there's some very enlightening information there: - The Mormon Urban Legends website
Ed. Note: We promote this post from one of our lower WCF comments sections, not only for the elucidation of the Mormon scholars and general Utah historians in our group, but also to hopefully elicit some reader discussion from WCF non-scholars who are still recovering from last week's LONG 4th of July weekend. We're getting used to this. We've now been faithfully lulling our readers out of their post-Independence Day post-partem holiday slumber for over five years now.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.


Don Quoxite said...

Ask about the "Kinderhook hoax". Google it and have fun learning more about the local "culture".

Still laughing about that little known and seldom talked about Joseph Smithism.

For those seems a group of pranksters planted a false "golden plates" treasure near Kinderhook, for ole Joseph Smith to find. He ate the whole hoax - hook, line and sinker proclaiming it validated his earlier find. He even went on to "interpret" the nonsense and bogus heiroglyphics, until the pranksters could not stand it any more - laughing their asses off.

It is truthfully sort of sad what some people can be made to believe without a shred of factual evidence to support it. Very sad indeed for all concerned.

ozboy said...

Well Don, it may be your take that it is "very sad indeed for all concerned", but I have never in my life met a practicing Mormon who thought it so, and I have met many thousands of them over the last sixty years or so. In fact not only are they not sad, but the overwhelming majority of them have been quite happy about their life and religion.

Ogden Dem said...

I guess Don Q is charging at windmills again. From what I have read Joseph Smith did not 'eat the hoax - hook, line or sinker'. And that just proves to me that you could recognize a forgery when it saw it or heard about it. If you are going to share part of a hoax you need to share the entire story.

franklin d said...

Perhaps this fellow at "Holy Fetch" could settle once and for all the truthfulness of the legend that Mayor Godfrey will be presiding in the outer darkness as the number one Son of Perdition.

Don Quoxite said...

"Ogden Dem",

Because you asked:

"The Kinderhook Plates
Date: April 1843
Categories: Religion, 1800-1849, Archaeology, Historical Forgeries
The Kinderhook Plates were an archaeological hoax designed to embarrass the Mormons by tricking their leader, Joseph Smith, into "translating" phony hieroglyphics written on them.

The plates were six bell-shaped pieces of flat copper, unearthed from an Indian burial mound near Kinderhook, Illinois in April 1843. The hieroglyphics were inscribed on the front of the plates. The plates were supposedly found buried beside the skeleton of a man.

Joseph Smith, who was living sixty miles away in Nauvoo, did examine the plates, but there is controversy about whether he attempted to translate the hieroglyphics. Some reports state that he did. An account published in the Mormon Deseret News in 1856 stated that Smith translated a portion of them and found them to contain "the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt."

However, the Mormon Church denies Smith ever made a translation.

The hoax was later revealed to be the work of three men — Wilbur Fugate, Robert Wiley, and Bridge Whitton — who lived near Kinderhook. According to a letter written by Fugate, the trio had heard a prophecy by Mormon Elder Orson Pratt that "truth is yet to spring from the earth", and they decided to "prove the prophecy by way of a joke."

Whitton, who was a blacksmith, made the plates, and Wiley, a local merchant, pretended to discover them in the Indian mound."

Roxente said...

It is sorta strange how "Chuck's Story" about being a good LDS family almost drove him and his family nuts...and how quickly the considerable autobiographical piece just disappeared from the LDS Urban Legends website.

Poof! Any information which disagrees with the Mormon "religion" just seems to vaporize. Wonder why that is? Chuck wrote about it and explained better than anyone else I have read or heard.

I notice that the Deseret News also makes news blog posts which they deem unfavorable to the LDS just disappear also. Must be something about being a secretive or mystical "religion" which aggresively wants power through mind control of its subjects? What do you think about that Mr. Cook? Does that fit with the concept of "freedom" and "liberty"? Transparency and open exchange of information? Truth telling and honorable endeavors? Guess in the true liberal world anything in places where the Democrats are in complete control, San Francisco, Berkley, Detriot, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, others... I can't wait until Utah is ruled by an all Democratic legislature and municipalities.

drewmeister said...

On an unrelated note, there is strong evidence that His Majesty Mayor Godfrey, continuing to surpass everyone's expectations, may be arranging real estate/building deals in China.

Bullet Sponge said...

Mormon hoaxes are about as necessary as putting a scary mask on a grizzly bear. Their actual beliefs are far kookier than any of these "myths" from the site. But then that applies to pretty much every religion.

Wm III said...

Even when I was running ads in the Standard every Sunday, the first thing I always read is Mark Saal ...

Saal for the soul ...

Saal good ...

Bill Parker

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: "But then that applies to pretty much every religion."

Amen to that --- so to speak. Note the practically monthly story that someone has discovered the "miraculous" appearance of an image of Christ or the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich, or in the rust stains dripping down some bridge abutment, or on some tree bark. Dollars to donuts, within mere hours, the credulous will be trooping to the site, and fast thinking promoters will start organizing "faith bus tours" to bring them there, where they will light candles , bring flowers, and shout "hosanas" in praise of the miracle.

Frank Sinatra, Legend said...

I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.

redrum said...

this is now the anti-mormon site for weber county. you can tell the anti-mormon slant of this ruddizink just by reading the headlines. sad too, because others here deserve far better.

Peyote Princess said...

Hey redrum! Step away from the keyboard and put down the bong!

Concerned said...

Me-thinks Curm was raised a Catholic in NJ.

And cynicism toward all organized religions is perhaps based upon the abuse alter boys and others suffered under the awful child abuse and petafielia which was so heavily infested within that US Catholic church for decades.

The disallusionment has prompted many Catholics in the US to become cynics without any professed belief in any organized religion.

Methodists, Presbyterians, and other faiths do not see dripping Jesus or the Virgin Mary in French toast or weeping willow bark sap or anywhere else for that matter. And in my lifetime of some 65 years, very seldom is a Christian and Seminary trained pastor, preacher, reverend, or minister ever been a part of an organized and institutionalized system of petafielia (such as in Catholism in the past and the continuing problems within the LDS Bishopric/Priesthood).

Christianity has its famous evangelistic radio and TV personalities who have done the Jimmy Swaggart thing. Or the Jimmy Baker swendle thing. Sure. But these have been rare and isolated events which statistically seem almost inevitable. And I fully admit had I personally been a victim it would likely have made a significant difference.

But, I was raised an orphan due to having had my father killed by the Germans during WWII. I lived a life teetering on hatred for the Germans because of it. It was a very personal offense to me. Yet I have come to forgive the Nazi's and German people over time. Living among the Germans helped overcome a very personal prejudice.

Perhaps it's time to put away personal devastating experiences from evil priests and nuns, Bishops and priesthood officials and listen to one's own soul/conscience.

God only wants a personal relationship with his children. Nothing more. And there is simply no other God to idolize, worship, follow, or deify. And no living prophet on earth today. Just nut cases who claim to be Saints, Prophets, and Gods themselves.

Bullet Sponge said...

I can't speak for Curm, but my "cynicism" (more like healthy skepticism) toward religion isn't based on the whacky behavior of its followers, but on the beliefs themselves being ridiculous.

And let me state for the record once again, whacky behavior (like the aformentioned grilled cheese sandwich) is no more nuts than the "real" beliefs themselves, which the sheeple have chosen to take comfort in with no basis in fact and with no proof.

I'm a live and let live guy. You can believe whatever you like and I'm fine with that if you don't infringe on my rights to do the same, but religion just doesn't stand up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny. Sorry.

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