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The devils of Mormonism advocate skepticism

Mormonism is an enemy to science, to democracy, and to freedom.

I have been writing to various faculty at BYU about the DNA Book of Mormon (BOM) issue and about my exit journal. One of the faculty there has accused me of being a Korihorite.

The devils of Mormonism advocate skepticism because skepticism is an enemy to any unbending dogmatic culture.


Exchange with a BYU faculty member regarding Korihor & science & skepticism. A reply by an associate to a brain washed Mormon page about Korihor, with augmentations by me.
Excerpts from & comments about the secret Mormon General Handbook of Instructions, showing that Mormonism is an enemy to freedom & democracy & science.

Relevant links

Exchange with a BYU faculty member regarding Korihor & science & skepticism:

A BYU Faculty member writes:

>It saddened me deeply that you have lost your testimony of
>the truthfulness of the Gospel. Your comments remind me
>of Korihor in the Book of Mormon -- ". . .ye cannot know
>of things you cannot see . . . every man prosper[s]
>according to his genius. . ." (Alma 30:16, 17)

My response:

It is no coincidence that the devils of Mormonism advocate skepticism. Skepticism is a key component of our progress as a species. Democracy & science are based on our ability to be skeptical - to say out loud what we believe in a group, and to not be kicked out for speaking out. But such things are an enemy to a mind controlling cult, or to very conservative religiosity, or to a totalitarian state.

As I examine the index reference for Korihor in the Mormon Triple Combination Index, I am struck by the list of all the things Joseph Smith (& I'm sure many Mormons and other conservative Christians) would like to do to so-called antichrists: struck dumb ... begs from house to house ... is killed...

It's clear that Joseph and/or his cohorts were familiar with the non-theistic arguments of his day. As I read verses 16 & 17 I see many parallels between Joseph's claims about non-theism and how modern day conservative theists view non-theists & more liberal theists.

Allow me to dissect these verses so that I, as an atheist, can state what I agree & disagree with, and so that I can state what I feel are mischaracterizations.

>Alma 30:16
>16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your
>sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and
>this derangement of your minds comes because of the
>traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a
>belief of things which are not so.

Response: Yes, this is a good characterization of how I view Mormonism, although I wouldn't use the term "frenzied mind." I would use "normal human mind which can be easily duped by mysticism & an over reliance on emotionalism and on other people's interpretations of your own emotions & feelings & thoughts."

>Alma 30:17
>17 And many more such things did he say unto them, telling
>them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of

Response: The only at-one-ment can come from fully recognizing our history, and by trying to move forward in a way which isn't so damaging & abusive.

No there is no alien to whom we can pray to to have our sins forgiven, but we can try to make amends for the true evil we may do. For example we can try to make amends for totalitarianism & cultism by introducing democracy into our cultural structures.

[Alma 30:17 continued:]
>but every man fared in this life according to the
>management of the creature; therefore every man prospered
>according to his genius,

yes, sounds good so far Joseph

[Alma 30:17 continued:]
>and that every man conquered
>according to his strength;

Well, but conquering isn't so good. I do not believe we have inherent dominion to screw the earth over. For example the actions of the Spanish Conquistadors were completely deplorable, and so on.

However when Mormons conquer things according to their strength they don't consider such a thing to be bad. For example as Utah remains a one party state the people in "God's political party" gloat and revel in their power.

[Alma 30:17 continued:]
>and whatsoever a man did was no

I do think there is crime. Social injustice is the largest crime we face.

In any case clearly Joseph's characterization of atheists / non-theists / humanists (AKA in Mormon terms: Korihorites) is mean spirited & slanted.

Do atheists abhor what the Germans did to the Jews? Most do. Do atheists want killers locked away? Most do. Do atheists love their children? Most do. Do atheists find wonder in living? Most do. We are human after all. Products of over 10 billion years of evolution. A part of the universe which finally has developed reasonable tools to determine the nature of what we are a part of (eg: the scientific method, democracy).

So is being a non-theist so bad? I don't think so, not when we remove the slanted prejudiced elements Joseph Smith & related people put into the definition.

See my related tract "Is your God an alien" for more info:

In this next section of my exchange with the BYU faculty member we deal with the DNA Book of Mormon issue. For more information about this issue check out the following three links:
Where is the Lamanite DNA:
Mormon doctrine: Indians are Lamanites, period:
A related Molecular Biologist's exit journal:

The BYU faculty member now says:
>You see something that you cannot explain in
>scientific terms and decide the Prophets of God are no
>longer Prophets and somehow the profits of science have
>more value.

My response: 

I did not leave the Church because of the DNA BOM issue. To find out why I left go to:

BYU faculty member:
>Unfortunately, you are arguing from a false premise.
>Nowhere in the scriptures or any place else is there a claim
>made by the church that the only source of native American
>peoples was Israel.

Response: See my page at

for a list of core Mormon references showing that it is Mormon doctrine that Indians are Lamanites, period.

BYU faculty member:
>In fact, it is impossible to account for the rapid growth of
>the population of Nephites and Lamanites without assuming
>some intermarriage with indigenous peoples.

Response: If there was interbreeding then the Abrahamic gene would show up in the Native American peoples. Also scientists can show when two groups split apart. So if the Abraham gene is in there science can show WHEN it was put in, and HOW LONG it's been since that group was living with the rest of the Israelis in Israel.

Confirmation of this can be obtained via the previous links mentioned.

Also there is one glaring truth which you have not mentioned. The population growth problem could also show that the BOM is a fabrication.

Here are two books which document the fabricative nature of the BOM: Quest for the Gold Plates, and Creation of the Book of Mormon.

BYU faculty member:
>And of course we know that the people of Jared were here >before the Israelites and that they were from Asia. That
>being the case, would we really expect to find DNA
>evidence of a small influx of Israelite blood into a larger,
>perhaps Asian, population after 2600 years of mixing?

Response: In Africa there is a tribe of black people who have a genetic marker common to the Jewish priests (the Cohens). The people in the tribe look like any African, but they just happen to have that Cohen gene in them, and they claim they are Jews.

If there was a small Jewish influx then from what I have read there would be Jewish genes in Amerindians which could be shown to have diverged from Israel at 600BC.

But in any case the apologist claim of interbreeding is not supported by core Mormon documents.

BYU faculty member:
>Not being an expert on DNA evidence I have no idea what
>the answer to that question is, but logic suggests the answer
>is no.
>I do not have time for nor do I wish to get into a debate with
>you over this or any other subject.

Response: That is because you like your life in the gilded cage of BYU.

The people at [the Mormon Church HQ at] 50 East North Temple don't wish to talk either. But as BYU is the brain of Mormonism, I suppose you will have to put up with the occasional inconvenient idea being placed into your inbox. Such are the troubles of being at a so-called university.

BYU faculty member:
>The early saints accepted the dictates of the Word of
>Wisdom on faith. With our today's scientific knowledge we
>now know of the harmful nature of those things that the
>early saints avoided on the basis of faith in the revelations of
>God. Our situation is not any different.

Response: And when science disproves a key aspect of Mormonism what do true believing Mormons do? Would they change their beliefs like the Dalai Llama told Carl Sagan he would do if a precept of Buddhism were disproven by science? No. Not at first. Not for a long time.

Here are some examples of things science shows which hard line true believing Mormons do not embrace:

1. That we evolved. That we share common ancestors with other animals. That we are animals. [related book - related web]

2. That the Universe is 10-16 billion years old. That our Earth is 4.5 billion years old. [related book - related web]

3. That homosexuality is a naturally occurring thing in a varying percentage of animals. Consult the book Biological Exuberance : Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity - by Bruce Bagemihl for verification. Would a loving God create a homosexual & then command him to not have sex? No.

4. That the scientific method is a better method of finding truth than a reliance on mysticism.

5. That there is no scientific verification for a global flood, but rather there is verification that there was NO such global flood.

And so on.

BYU faculty member:
>Our knowledge is imperfect and we have to accept
>some things on faith.

Response: We HAD to accept things on faith when we didn't have science. But now finally we've developed a better way to determine truth which isn't just based on one person's unverifiable opinion.

>We will ultimately understand all things, but for now we
>must move forward in faith in some areas. I pray that you 
>will be able to rekindle yours.
>Please do not bother to respond to this, I will not reply

LOL! Why did you bother writing if you didn't want a reply?

My mission with you is complete. I have done all I can to plant a seed of doubt in your mind. A seed which you can use to leave Mormonism once the Church has worn you down enough in other ways. I valued the seeds of doubt given to me by my sister & uncle & others. They showed that there is other ways of looking at things. I am grateful for the freedom fighters. The skeptic is not thanked for his skepticism, but he should be, because skepticism is required for us to move forward to a new age where humans are not haunted by demons.



A reply by an associate to a brain washed Mormon page about Korihor, with augmentations by me:

Mormons love to refer to Korihor whenever they face skepticism. It's a way for their brains to stay away from the uncomfortable truth: That Mormonism is a lie.

For example, the Mormon page at:
shows how Mormons often use "...Korihor as the prototype of all that is [supposedly!] evil in rationalism."

Here are some excerpts from the above Mormonic page with responses drafted by an associate of mine on the exmormon mailing list:

The brain washed Mormons write:

>When we call Korihor a rationalist, we are emphasizing a
>common but oversimplified
definition of the term.

>One accepted idea of what the philosophy of rationalism 
>proposes is that the
human intellect is the supreme source of 
>knowledge and truth, that revelation is
unnecessary and 
>nonexistent, and that religious truths can be discovered and
>refined by the human mind alone without inspiration.

The rationalist responds: Oversimplification. Rationalists usually claim there is NO supreme source of knowledge and truth. But there is a highly reliable method to uncover most truths that lie within the realm of testability. The scientific method, skeptical or critical thinking skills. Revelation hasn’t held water under scrutiny. It is rarely reliable and highly subjective. Not to mention the contradictory "revelations" received from various people over time.

Inspiration is usually understood to mean the mind grasping for information and through complex memories, desires, and beliefs, comes up with a self-induced "inspiration"

The brain washed Mormons write:
>In that sense, Korihor was a rationalist. But many rationalists 
>would reject that
definition. Some, such as James Martineau, 
>the nineteenth-century theologian
and rationalist, would even
>claim that miracles can occur; but they would argue that their 
>meaning must be subject to human reason.

>Other rationalists would  argue that miracles that do not 
>make sense to the human
mind must be rejected as spurious. 
>That is, they  insist on a "reasonable or rational
world," as >they see the world. Korihor argued that it was not
>reasonable to believe
in Christ or in prophecy. "No man can
>know that which is to come." This is a quite
>though not universal, rationalist position.
>Treatises on rationalism very commonly point out that 
>rationalism arose as an alternative
to "revelationism " or the >literal reliance upon and interpretation of scripture. So
people who attack rationalism do so out of the 
>belief that rationalism is the enemy of
revelation. And, of >course, radical rationalism always has been the enemy of 
and the prophets, just as Korihor was the enemy
>of revelation and the prophets.

The rationalist responds: Again, generalization and oversimplification. The fact-finding methods used by rationalism or skeptical thinking are polar opposites of those used in revelationism. If skeptical thinking supports revelationism then the latter is a valid way to discover truth. However, rationalism and it’s methods have repeatedly disproven revelation and so revelation has little merit. Using the term "enemy" is poisoning the well. Human nature has a desire to believe the fantastic, the mysterious, the seemingly miraculous. But this desire has no place in ACTUALLY affirming whether something is true or not.

The brain washed Mormons write:

>In this section we are using Korihor as the prototype of all 
>that is evil in rationalism. in that sense rationalism is, to a 
>great extent, one of the parents of such
other evils as 
>behaviorism, organic evolution, relativism, humanism,
and so on. Neither rationalism nor these other 
>"evils" are necessarily totally evil.
All of them have advanced >human knowledge: and therefore they are useful even if in no 
>other way than the way in which Satan serves a purpose in 
>this life-that is,
as the "opposition" in all things. (2 Nephi 
>2:15.) If he didn't serve a purpose here,
the Lord never 
>would have temporarily banished him here instead of 
>sending him straight to perdition, wherever that is. (Of 
>course, Satan is totally evil, while the above relatives of 
>rationalism are not.)

The rationalist responds: Extreme use of logical fallacies. Lumping these alleged "evils" in with rationalism is unfounded and poorly presented. Organic evolution for example is well supported by many different fields of verifiable and repeatable study. Humanism, if embraced as it is meant to be, supports ideals framed in our constitution and in many scriptural passages (equality, democracy, freedom, charity, kindness, integrity, and truth). Tying these to Korihor is thus a complement to him.

The brain washed Mormons write:
>There is nothing in "Mormonism" which is anti-rational in an 
>ultimate sense. it is just that we realize that only God, the 
>infinite being, is capable of defining
what is rational and what 
>is irrational. Our minds are always afflicted with
>and error. Hence there are gaps which we cannot fill-gaps 
>which cause us
to be irrational to a greater or lesser degree.

The rationalist responds: This assertion that our minds are afflicted with ignorance and error is so true. It is exactly why we need a less subjective method to discover truth. The scientific method is inherently self-correcting over time, open freely to objective analysis to experts and common-man alike, and overcomes many of the flaws of human nature through it’s rejection of one man’s word as revelation or absolute truth. God is welcome to come down and present his facts. But unverifiable hearsay is unverifiable hearsay.

The brain washed Mormons write:

>Once we have understood this weakness of humanity-this 
>propensity for
ignorance and error-and have received a 
>divine testimony of the truth of the
Book of Mormon, we 
>can reason in the following way: We know that the
>scriptures are true, except for possible errors in the 
>Bible-which is a very
minor problem. Therefore, our job is 
>to use our reasoning powers to determine
what they say not 
>to sit in judgment on their truth. We do not read Nephi and
>Isaiah and ask ourselves if they were right or wrong. We 
>read them and ask
ourselves what they say. We use to its 
>limit every gray cell we possess, to
decipher the meaning; >but we do not use one ounce of mental energy trying to
>decide whether Isaiah and Nephi were repeating only the 
>superstitions of their times. We already got that problem out 
>of the way when we made that great discovery by personal 
>revelation that the Book of Mormon is true.

The rationalist responds: Receiving divine testimony of the "truth" of the BoM (Book of Mormon) again falls prey to exactly what the author warns against, "weakness of humanity-this propensity for ignorance and error." Time and time again, people have show a need to believe in something, to feel they are one of the elite and have great knowledge in their grasp. This has led people to feel strongly about such things as Kamikaze
diving into the Pearl Harbor defenses, allowing Manson and Koresh to lead them on emotional highs, singing loud chants to inspirational themes and rolling on the ground in a spiritual trance.

People have prayed about the BoM and received all sorts of "answers": an internal confirmation, an internal rejection, confusion, and nothing. The human psyche is powerful and not well understood, but as such, can still explain the alleged "answers" to prayers. Why do people feel so strongly that cult x, belief system y, or religion z is truth even when confronted with incredible facts about its untruthfulness. (take the psychic phenomenon as an example). Feelings do not equal truth.

So the authors assumption that scriptures are true is unfounded unless they can be proven so by other means which are in line with skeptical  analysis. Granted, anyone can write "the sky is blue" and have it be true, but if the same writer of scripture says "2+2=5" then we cannot accept "scripture" as a blank check to truth. Why don’t you ask if Nephi and Isaiah were right or wrong? There is nothing above analysis, nothing that is given free reign over our intellect. No writer is above scientific inquiry.

Again the writer sets himself up for failure when he refuses to analyze the writings of anyone, just because of an unverifiable, subjective feeling. What if he prayed about scroll X, and felt an "answer" and the scroll read that all people should kill their neighbor, or that freckles were a sign of God’s wrath, or that 2+2=5. Perhaps what needs reexamining is the alleged "answer". Is there a better explanation for it? Does psychology, biology, sociology, perhaps evolution provide reasons why someone would feel things they desire to know? I believe it does. Carl Sagan’s "Demon-Haunted World" is a good place to start.

The brain washed Mormons write:

>Of course, this process of "reasoning" out the meaning of 
>the scriptures is a rational process. Therefore we too are 
>rationalists in a sense. But we are a
different kind of 
>rationalist from Korihor and all those people who think the 
>scriptures must be judged by the current knowledge
>consensus of the learned world.
>A poor, confused rationalist (of the Korihor type), on the 
>other hand, has never
paid the price of a testimony of the >truth of the Book of Mormon. So he doesn't know about 
>any of the standard works. He is in the pitiful and
>impossible position
of having to forever compare their 
>words with the words of his truly cherished
authorities, the 
>scientists and humanists, to determine what he will believe 
what he will reject. After all, that is all he does when he 
>uses what he fondly
calls his "reasonable mind." Reasoning 
>or rationalism is never more than running
the new idea past 
>all the old ideas stored in the "computer" we call a mind. 
>And if
there is any ignorance or error there, the output will >be adversely affected.

The rationalist responds: Ad homonym "poor, confused, pitiful?" Trying to poison the well again. The revelationist has never paid the price to have his data skeptically analyzed. The price may be (gasp) that his preconception is unfounded and that would leave him with lost years and shattered faith. The price is too high for him to even consider. I consider the position of analyzing things to experts quite well founded (not always so if further data reveals errors, but mostly so), I consider the idea of relying on mystical pseudoscience for a grasp on reality quite "pitiful." Just ask the branch dividians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1978 that sold all their possessions to meet Jesus, the estimated 100 million callers of the Psychic Network, the "holy-rollers", the crusaders, the Aztec virgins who willingly laid down on their sacrificial mounds, the thousands of false prophets who have received visions, dreams, and spiritual experiences relating to the "truth" of the universe. And I agree in part with the last 2 sentences but add after " the mind" this phrase "…and the minds of field experts and skeptics in a controlled atmosphere, continually refining the hypothesis until no experiment tried can disprove the idea."

The brain washed Mormons write:

>That doesn't mean that the faithful will never make mistakes 
>about what the prophets said. But if they keep forever at the 
>task of reading and trying to
understand the scriptures, they 
>will be following a safe course. They know that because 
>they know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it came 
>the way Joseph Smith said it came.

The rationalist responds: Fairly safe and comfortable maybe, but not necessarily true. Nor totally safe if you call the many faults of Mormon culture safe. (Authoritarianism, early racism, patriarchy, false doctrine, fraudulent scripture, conditioning of the mind, rejection of other ideas just because a leader said to, basing behaviors on these, etc)

The brain washed Mormons write:
>It is important to remember that Alma made Korihor stick to 
>his original premises; and then he showed him that, of 
>necessity these premises made Korihor's
whole case >rest 
>on his  "word only. " (Alma 30:37-43.) Alma, on the other 
had much for Korihor to consider and weigh in 
>studied judgment: (1) "the testimony of all these thy 
>brethren"; (2) the testimony of "all the holy prophets"; (3) 
>"the scriptures"; and (4) "all things." (Alma 30:44.)

The rationalist responds: Verifiable testimony is valid, but grand words about personal beliefs is hearsay and can’t be absolute truth. How many other false prophets have given "testimony" about their own truthfulness? How many times did Hitler express his "testimony" that the 3rd Reich was justified by God’s righteousness? Written word again can be hearsay. Is the Koran the ultimate truth, the Adi Granth, the Bhagavad Gita, how about the writings of Confucius, or the Lotus Sutra? All considered holy scripture by their devout and equally emotionally-driven followers. "All things" on the contrary, seem to indicate the invalidity of the author’s arguments and the need for skeptical thinking, especially in such important matters as the existence of your soul, the plan of god, the meaning of life, and the behaviors that will benefit mankind.

[The responses in the above section were original written by Scott G. of the exmormon mailing list. I slightly altered parts of his writings and added some formatting items.]


A. The index to the 1986 Mormon Triple Combination list some of the things which Joseph Smith clearly wanted to do to all atheists via his personification of atheism: Korihor:

"Korihor - an antichrist [c. 74 BC]

Alma 30: 6, 12-17 preaches against Christ; 30:18 leads many into wickedness; 30:19-21 tries to preach to people of Ammon, but is rejected; 30:21 preaches in land of Gideon, but is bound and carried before high priest; 30:22-29 confrontation with Giddonah, the high priest; 30:30-55 confrontation with Alma; 30:43-48 asks for a sign; 30:49-59 is struck dumb; 30:52-53 confesses he has been deceived by devil; 30:54-55 Alma refused to remove curse; 30:56,58 begs from house to house; 30:59 is killed by Zoramites."

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by Jonathan

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