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Now that The Great Dave has spoken, I hope we can all move along. Thank you.

Nice round up. Suffice it to say, I think that trying to draw any deep meaning here about the role of counsel regarding obedience and faith or the significance of bishops as judges in Israel is a bit of a stretch.

I think like all blog storms this will pass by and the BoH will keep going. While the word Liar is a bit much, I like to think of it as the skill of being a good BS artist.

I think this is the best post on the subject so far.

I also like that you gave voice to the comment about all the PhDs and some feeling a little left out.

I can see how people would feel that way. I have in the past, but now I'm content in my little undereducated niche. (Although recent post titles suggest I am an Econ nerd. ;))

Having never read the BofH blogs I have found this whole drama a bit much. It has however made me a bit more cautious about what I say and where I say it....I am one of the too trusting ones.

Y'know, when I read "Joseph Smith, The First Mormon," by Donna Hill, in a desperate attempt to regain my witness of Joseph Smith's prophethood, I found out, for the first time, about Smith Srs.' dream of the Tree of Life. The room went sideways, and I felt a little sick, and I cried. I felt so f-ing stupid.

That's how the BoH thing makes me feel.

I am still mystified as to why anyone cares.

I honestly couldn't read BoH, not then, not now knowing all the drama. Even the confessions were mind numbingly dull to me.

I am very interested in the Bloggernacle community, and when big things like this happen I want to be aware of it, understand it, share in the community. I felt a certain obligation to read some of the fall-out, then it got hard to look away.

I admit the fall-out has been interesting, but I still can't comprehend why BoH itself sparked it all. I honestly hate that I don't get it.

Who's Harriet Miers?

Interestingly, you knew it was fake and even guest posted there but apparently feel completely unconcerned about it, Dave. I learned early on that it was fake and am riddled with guilt for not blowing the whistle. Which of us has this wrong?

Over at Nate's thread a commenter quoted Kaimi who also knew the secret:
“What do you do when you’re sworn to secrecy about something of this sort?” Psychologists call this enabling. Judges call it being an accomplice.

Are you and I innocent of the pain and humiliation many people have experienced Or are we accomplices? Is voting against including their feed at the MA site sufficient for you and I? Isn't there guilt in our silence?

Geoff, for my money, you're innocent. My vote is Dave's innocent, too. At this point, I'm willing to call the Bannerites themselves innocent, as well... Just so long as nobody actually leaves over this!

Ann,

RE: Comment #6

Why did that dream of J. S. Senior trouble you so much?

Ann,

Why did finding out about Joseph Smith Sr's dream make you feel 'f-ing stupid?'

When I learned about it, I thought it was pretty neat.

I personally don't have strong feelings about the whole thing - I never read it, but have read much of the aftershock (and been clued in by my hubby). I understand why some are upset - they shared deeply personal things.

And yes Geoff, I'm afraid I do think that those who knew and were silent were accomplices and there was guilt in your silence.

I don't think harm was ever meant, but it has happened and I think it'll just take time for it to blow over, and for trust to be re-established throughout the bloggernacle.

Geoff, I think people ought to take some responsibility for their own hard feelings rather than engage in knee-jerk finger-pointing whenever they feel "had." Not that some folks aren't at fault here, but the habitual finger-pointers generally think everyone (except themselves) is to blame. I don't respond to that kind of guilt-mongering anymore. So I'm sorry if some of those folks have made you feel guilty just because you knew or suspected something was odd at BoH. Did they ever send you an email to ask? If they were regualr BoH visitors, did they not read the dozens of comments voicing suspicion the site was a fake?

As for me, it's not my business what other people do at their blogs. If I got on my soapbox everytime someone at another blog did or said something I disagree with, I wouldn't have many friends around here. As I say (and have now been quoted elsewhere as saying), "It's only blogging." I guest-blogged at BoH because I was asked to. They asked nicely.

The parallels to the BofM get clearer all the time:

"Did they not read the dozens of comments voicing suspicion the site was fake?"

"I guest-blogged at BoH because I was asked to. They asked nicely." (The testimony of the eight witnesses comes to mind.)

Dave,

"Only God can forgive. What a strange notion, that God grants full power of judgment and authority but not of forgiveness."

As I understand it, the Bishop is involved in the whole repentance process only as a representative of the Church. Thus, he condemns and forgives on behalf of the Church. Is that not so?

On another board, the whole BofH mess has been aptly compared to the Church as whole. I will not attempt to summarize, except that at least the BofH perps dropped the sham after 6 months.

One thing that I don't understand is why, why, why anyone would have thought this was a good idea. As Mr. Dynamite would say: "Idiots."

For those interested, the board thread Darren is referring to is here. I link to them on my sidebar; they have interesting discussions from time to time and they link to a DMI post once in a while. Ann's comment no. 15 refers back to the discussion at the board.

They're free to have their discussion. Interesting: a bunch of people who post at boards under fake names complaining about a bunch of people who posted at a blog under fake names. Of course they liken it to the Church — they liken every event to the Church. Whatever. Boards have their meltdowns too. It happens in any community, real or online.

Puh-lease, Dave. Posting under an alias is not the same as publishing fiction as a real-life personal experience that happened to you - except that the person doesn't exist.

And yes, goodness, I've seen meltdowns in the DaMU! However, I've never aided and abetted one.

Ann, you don't think some board posters are online personas rather than authentic and accurate portrayals of the real person behind the handle? You don't think some board postings are as fictional as BoH postings, a "based on real life" kernal dressed up in whiny, fictional detail? My BS meter goes off much more frequently on boards than on blogs.

Boards work for some people and, like I said, they are free to have their discussion. I did say they have interesting discussions from time to time. But I think it's silly to think board posters are paragons of online honesty and full disclosure while BoH somehow unmasks LDS bloggers as dishonest or sneaky. Note how profusely the BoH folks are apologizing. When was the last time you saw a board poster apologize for anything?

Maybe it's a matter of familiarity. I've been around the DaMU long enough to know who is real and who isn't (among the old timers) and also long enough to be wary of newbies' pronouncements until they "prove themselves." Of course, if someone I know and trust vouches for a new person on the boards, that does give the new person credibility.

That didn't seem to be the case on BoH at all. That is, old timers who I thought I could trust were vouching for these newbies...

I'm pretty much finally over it, I think. But any illusions I held that an online community was developing are pretty much smashed.

FWIW, give me the apostates any day. At least, in the process of pretending to be something they aren't, they aren't pretending that they're trying to be like Jesus.

FWIW, give me the apostates any day. At least, in the process of pretending to be something they aren't, they aren't pretending that they're trying to be like Jesus.

You can have 'em Ann. I predict we will discover that the believing Mormons that make up the Bloggernacle are pretty good at forgiveness (a hallmark of Christ-like persons). Sure there has been some venting going on in the last couple of days but that is Soooo last week now. Look for the hand of friendship to be extended to our community members who made an error in judgment. It is already happening and I predict the wave of forgiveness will grow. We don't want to ostracize our friends from our community even if they have hurt the community through some unwise choices.

I seems to me the forgiveness is the last thing "apostates" are good at. If they were good at forgiving, we probably wouldn't even know they used to be Mormons because they would have left and moved on. The very title "apostate" denotes the goup that left the church but never forgave it for the real or imagined offenses they received from the church.

Yes, I think this hurricane blew through the Bloggernacle pretty quickly. People have had enough of it, I think. But I really dislike the term "apostate," which has an ugly sound to it and tends to lump everyone who leaves the Church into one basket.

Ann wrote: "Old timers who I thought I could trust were vouching for these newbies."

Ann, this probably refers to me, or to people like me. I apologized generally on the T&S thread, but I'd like to apologize personally to you here. I'd love to do so at greater length privately, but either I'm not smart enough to track down your email or you're too smart to make it accessible. Either way, if you'd like to, email me at rosalynde at timesandseasons dot org.

I agree Dave. I was sort of assuming that the term "apostate" did not apply to those who quietly leave the church, but rather for those that leave and then rabidly seek vengeance by engaging in a verbal war against the Church and its doctrines. Further, it seems like an apt term for former Mormons that like to fan the flames on anti-mormon message boards. But as you say, it is the wrong term for those that quietly leave the church and don't look back -- they need a different basket.

Geoff, I have to say that I am disappointed in your comments. Haven't we had enough of the hoary old stereotypes about ex-Mormons?

As for the bloggernacle in general being more Christ-like than the "apostates," give me a break. Let's try not to make sweeping generalizations about groups you aren't well acquainted with.

Flanders,

I assume I am a victim of Dave's comment queue ... I think you probably wrote #26 before my explanation in #25 appeared. Let me know if you still object after reading that.

I think the whole episode has been analyzed enough at this point, so I'm going to close comments and move along. Have a nice day.

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