Glenn, why do you weep out your passionate faith in Divine Providence when you have clearly set yourself about to thwart it? The God you claim to worship has struggled to make His will known through two-thousand years of faithful but incompetent imbeciles and spiritual jackasses of great loyalty but no common sense. The so-called “Christian” world has repressed, oppressed, hacked, tortured, excommunicated and annihilated itself back and forth with no sense of God at all, much less an understanding of the human condition and the physical universe. Through the generational writhings of this anti-intellectual, spiritual, social, and political cyclone of selfish, ignorant, human opinionating, the Great Architect of the Universe finally brought together just the right handful of truly enlightened souls, on the right continent, at the right time, and in the right circumstances, to help mankind write God’s pure will into human law. God overcame centuries of narrow-minded, dogmatic so-called “Christian” bigots and bullies, craftily slid past the Christian dumb-asses at the Constitutional Convention, and gave us the Divinely Inspired Constitution of the United States of America.
The Constitution guarantees all of God’s children what Mormons call, “Free Agency.” The Agency of Man is not a Christian concept. Free will is an illusion in Christian theology. Man can either be God’s agent or the devil’s agent. Man has no agency of his own in Christianity. No man is innocent until proven guilty, all men are born guilty and worthy only of death and hell. Unless they are “saved” and “born again” into the family of Christ, they are tools of the devil and have no part in a Christian Nation.
It really is that simple Glenn.
I’ve heard you stammering incredulously over it with Christian callers on the radio Glenn: No, Christians do not believe we are all God’s children. You certainly aren’t one as a Mormon. That’s Christian theology. If you don’t even know that simple Christian precept you are truly a religious and intellectual toddler. You know just enough to be a danger to yourself and others-particularly to the church you claim to love. You can Bible-bash Christians all you want trying to sell your universal Mormon brotherhood of all mankind, but you’ll read it your way and they’ll just read it their way. Christians don’t actually read the Bible anyway, they just try to reconcile it against two-thousand years of Christian tradition. That’s why you can’t grin like some religious simpleton, and gleefully just round-up people of good character who fear God, link arms, and celebrate the Constitution as if we’re all brothers and sisters. That you believe it to be so, or that it is ultimately true, makes no difference to your Christian pals who haven’t allowed anyone making that claim walk out of the debate alive for almost two millennia.
Christians actually have no respect for the Constitution at all except insofar as it gives them what they imagine to be a right to ascendency over all other citizens. A lot of Christians for example, dug in at the Constitutional Convention to maintain that the Bible approves of slavery and thus their right to own human chattel had to be sustained by the Constitution as well. That wholly Christian argument took God another several American generations and hundreds of thousands of good Christian fatalities and brutal maimings on both sides of a bloody civil war to wipe clean the shite-sized smear the Christian Constitutional delegates insistently excreted onto the Sainted fabric of the Holy American Constitution.
The single, uniquely Christian contribution to the Constitution is slavery.
Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with the Constitution of the United States of America. That’s as simple as I can make it for you Glenn. Christians want to “restore” the Constitution to their “Original Argument,” the one that puts Christians back in charge of the nation and allows them to rule directly out of the Bible just like Calvin did. Just like the Pilgrims did at Plymouth. The Constitution American Christians condescend to live under today was surreptitiously foisted upon them in 1787. It eventually allowed non-Christians to “take over.” Just like the Mormons did in Missouri and Illinois—simply by being allowed to vote Christians out of power so ‘non-Christians” could run their own lives. That’s what Christianity wants to “correct.” Christianity wants back the right to run your life for you Glenn. And it won’t be pretty for you if they get their way.
The legal code adopted in 1641 as the Massachusetts Body of Liberties, reads as follows:
58. Civill Authoritie hath power and libertie to see the peace, ordinances and rule of Christ observed in every church according to his word. So it be done in a civill and not in an Ecclesiastical way.
59. Civill Authoritie hath power and libertie to deale with any Church member in a way of Civill Justice, notwithstanding any Church relation, offic or interest.
60. No church censure shall degrad or depose any man from any Civill dignitie, office, or Authoritie he shall have in commonwealth.
94. 1. If any man after legall conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the lord god, he shall be put to death.
2. If any man or woman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit), They shall be put to death.
3. If any man shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne, or Holie ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptous or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse god in the like manner he shall be put to death….
Page 33, Christianity and the Constitution, 1987, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids MI 49506
Christianity is lying to you Glenn. What Christianity really wants, as clearly exposed in Puritan legal code, is to give civil officers all power and authority to administer Church affairs and administer Church punishments. Your revisionist Christian Nation “historians” phrase it in a way that only points out that the Church is not allowed to enforce its will upon the citizenry. What they don’t point out is that in a Christian Nation, the civil government is given all power to do just that—the State in this Puritan, “Christian America” is empowered to interpret, enact, rule upon, and enforce, Christian, Biblical law, even over, above, or against the persons of or objections of Church officers. The Puritans had no concept of a pluralistic society or religious liberty. They just democratized religious oppression.
Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, the “founders” of Mormonism were born into an ancient Christian tradition that every single one of them found backward, lacking in insight, and filled with reprehensible notions that they believed arose out of a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic nature of God and mankind’s relationship to Him. Long before Joseph Smith claimed to be seeing Heavenly visions and collaborating with Angelic visitors, his entire family was actively seeking more enlightened answers to questions they believed Christianity had been getting wrong for generations. They pondered these questions however, as mainstream Christians. They were familiar with the jargon, the history, the many failings, the irrational dogma of the Christian world. The Founding Fathers of the Constitution of the United States of America found themselves in the same condition.
When I refer to the “Founding Fathers,” I refer almost exclusively to those authors and delegates who had controlling input into the crafting of the Constitution itself. What the others thought is nearly irrelevant.Their ideas got redacted out of the nation. So, yes, a lot of “Christians” had input into the document. It was a document designed to rule a national majority of Christians. You could even say it arose out of a Christian environment. But its authors very specifically eliminated the several central and utterly fatal Christian theological and ideological concepts that had self-destructed every single authoritatively Christian government that had ever existed before. They repeatedly cited clear examples of the failures of Christian governments, and every bit as clearly argued against forming just another one like them.
The Founding Fathers believed, as did Joseph Smith, that it was Christian theology itself that inevitably turned on its governed masses, only to torment and destroy them.
Divine Providence, therefore, was working against the founding of a Christian Nation, not for it.
My dearest Brother Beck:
I come to minister, not to be ministered unto. I cannot help you if you will not first admit you have a problem. But I shall do my best Brother Beck, to teach you correct principles in spite of yourself, and in spite of the corrupting influence of your new Mormon conspiratorial-world-view-messiah, Willard Cleon Skousen. To do so I must risk seriously pissing off a couple of generations of sometimes high-ranking “Mormons” who once, or now still, have chosen to indulge Skousen’s uniquely “Mormon” but generally preposterous, political paranoia.
Glenn, you and your Skousenite compatriots have studied the words of the Founding Fathers as Mormons. Unlike the Founding Fathers or their political contemporaries like Smith, Young, Taylor, Roberts and the early Mormon deep-thinkers, you, Skousen, and his Wasatch Front benefactors of whatever Mormon rank, are the product of generations of theological, social and political inbreeding in an isolated valley, in the center of a great empty basin, as far from The United States of America as you all could get at the time. You translate Christian Enlightenment vernacular into Mormonese. You think Mormons are Christians. You think the stuff the Founding Fathers wrote into American canon therefore sounds like Christianity. This is because you are idiots. Simply put, you are ignorant. Your failed perspective has made the history and intentions of the Founding Fathers come out all wrong in your provincial Mormon heads.
Accept this in the spirit of love in which it is offered. If it enrages you enough to think about the possibility of your error, at least I will have done my job here. This is how the world sees you–this is the confused pondering you force every human on the planet to struggle through in order to even begin to understand what “Mormonism” is supposed to be all about. You are incapable of seeing it from where you hunker comfortably down there in your safe, cosey little valley. You have no insight or any sense of natural cynicism out of which you might even ever self-enlighten enough to pose the question that would advance the cause of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints like a 5000 Year Leap. And this is the question: Is it worth it to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the world has to first embrace the impassioned peripheral ranting and ramblings of the likes of Glenn Beck and Cleon Skousen, to gain access our the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
The Constitution, the writings of the Founding Fathers, to an educated, intelligent person, actually sound like the conscientious, orderly work of Liberal, Enlightened Christians, Deists, Universalists, Masons, and Free Thinkers. That’s because they were. We can easily read these same heretical charges being spiritedly hurled against the authors of the Constitution from the “Orthodox” Christians of their day who vehemently opposed most of their best ideas.
The Founding Fathers sounded like Mormons. The Founding Fathers sounded like Joseph Smith when he talked about society and politics, and even religion to some extent. You and Cleon are right about that Glenn. That doesn’t make the Constitution Christian at all. It makes the Constitution about as far from “Orthodox” or “Historical” Christianity as those authoring it could make it, as they vigorously tried to shield its sacred prose from the fatal Christian pretexts that run-of-the-mill Presbyterians, Methodist, Baptists, Catholics, and other conventional “Christians” on the panel were trying to wedge between its hallowed lines.
Organized, “Historical” Christianity you must understand, is nothing whatsoever to do with anything Jesus ever had to say. Brother Glenn, all you happy ecumenical guys in your mystical Beckland think you can join hands in prayer for the nation, you think you can slap each other on the back like you’re even talking the same language, but you have nothing politically or theologically in common with most of your new “friends.” You imagine it’s all about being a good person, the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
Dr. A.H. Barton, of the “Christian Jew Hour,” a national radio program once said:
“If all you’ve got is the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments, you’ve got nothing.”
For the benefit of the non-Christians and non-Mormons having a read, I’ll simply say that as fecked up as you think Mormonism might be, it’s never been as fecked up as this thing the world knows as “Christianity.” Joseph Smith’s message from God to Christianity in common terms was, you’re all fecked up. Even if you mean well, you’re still totally off the mark. Joseph Smith’s “restored” Gospel contrary to your apparent understanding, was in its day a radically Liberal one, and that’s why the Conservative Christian Establishment killed him. That’s what totalitarian “Christian” societies have always done to those who criticize them.
Joseph Smith preached a Gospel of moderation in all things. Friend Glenn, what you’re doing is nothing close to “moderate.” It’s frigging frenetic in it’s un-moderation. Christianity has not been inherently moderate at all through the ages. You’re just a case in point that proves me out. You’re assembling your own socio-political-religious nuclear reactor and nobody apparently told you about installing control rods—because you clearly don’t have any working for you. Nimrods yes, but no control rods.
Joseph Smith’s first official statement of faith was the “Wentworth Letter,” posted in a newspaper to explain basic Mormon beliefs. Mormons now call this “The 13 Articles of Faith.” The Articles pertinent to this treatise are:
10 We believe in the literal agathering of Israel and in the restoration of the bTen Tribes; that cZion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will deign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be erenewed and receive its fparadisiacal gglory.
Glenn, you may want to refer back to these now and again, because this is Mormon canon.
Yes, we as Mormons believe a lot of Biblical stuff will be going on in Israel and the US in the Last Days. I know that’s one of your main fixations, but nobody is saying these days are them. Only you Glenn. And yes, we believe the Constitution is Divinely inspired, exactly as it is, warts and all. It can be fixed and polished as we go. That’s built into the document itself. But contrary to your implied belief, we do believe in supporting mortal governments as mortals, by mortals, for mortals. If Jesus is coming back to run the show He doesn’t need you or me to steal His thunder. He will let us know. He will let everyone know. Until then, feck off with the Armageddon talk Glenn. You missed the boat on that whole Mormon Survivalist Era. Stop trying to drag its sunken hulk back into port and re-float it. The Brethren aren’t even talking a “year’s supply” any more. It’s down to a 72 hour pack for emergency use. That’s just common sense, not preparing for imminent destruction of the universe. When the president of the church announces it’s time to pack up and move to Adam Ondi Ahman, then let’s all get excited. Till then chill out brother. Chill.
Joseph Smith also agreed with his political John the Baptist, Thomas Jefferson:
…It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
Brother Beck…Glenn, your entire fanaticism is driven by apocryphal bullshite from sources outside the LDS canon. You’re doing what I call: crapping on my religion. Most Mormons have the luxury of crapping all over my religion with their spooky Utah folk magic and pseudo-intellectual Pioneer Hillbilly gobbledygook in the privacy of the Wasatch Front where the non-Mormon population just rolls its eyes and ignores the silliness. Not so with you Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck is the Osmond Family of Apocalyptic Paranoia. Glenn Beck is crapping on my religion in front of an international fan base and a much larger growing base of hostile critics of Mormonism anyway, who’s rapiers of easy ridicule you sharpen daily.
I beg forgiveness for you Glenn. I beg pardon from God and mankind both. Glenn Beck is not what Mormonism is about. Cleon Skousen is not what Mormonism is all about, and a prophet of God made that an official declaration in 1979. Has nobody given you the message yet? I know in 1979 you were a stoned alcoholic, but sober up brother. Wake up and smell the 21st century. Mormonism is goofy, but not that goofy. Dangerously goofy.
Glenn, nothing personal, but have you ever wondered why God is striking you blind? What if every time you read a Cleon Skousen passage the ungodliness of it burns away just a little bit more of your sight? Do you need to be struck dumb as well before you get the message? Mormonism is based upon the principle of Free Agency. The Constitution is based upon the principle of Free Agency. The gaggle of evangelical Christian zealots you’re assembling to “save” the Constitution only mean to “save” it from the non-Christians. Like you. They do not believe in Free Agency. They do not believe in an open pluralistic society–with the possible exception of tolerating the least offensive non-Christians as second-class citizens just out of charity. They’re only just enlightened enough to not try to achieve their goals through genocidal Crusades any more. Instead, they’re happy to employ the services of grandiose, self-deluded Quislings like you to reverse all the gains won by our Founding Fathers, and restore America to the Puritan Hellhole of Calvin’s Geneva.
Glenn, you may recall that Satan’s plan in Mormonism, is defined as the denial of choice. Free Agency is the ultimate right of all intelligent beings in Mormon theology. Man can choose to be good or bad. Man is also free to be neither and just waste his time. In Mormon theology, man is not inherently evil, but has won a place on this earth, to experience this learning laboratory, by already proving he has chosen to do good in a previous spiritual existence. That leaves us with stupid. Man is not born evil, man is born stupid. That means you too Glenn.
Because man is stupid and prone to imperfections and mistakes, and because in the presence of a Perfect God no mistakes can be tolerated, God created a lesser, physical reality in which man is free to manipulate objects, influence or lobby or organize his fellow beings, and debate concepts freely, without pissing off God because of man’s natural idiocy, constant screw-ups, generally annoying behavior, and bad judgment. In order for there to be choice however, there must be opposing choices, differing arguments, from which man can chose. So, back to Satan for that.
When this Divine program to advance our immature spiritual selves into a more godly mankind was presented to us all, Mormons believe Satan claimed he could bring all of us back to our Father in Heaven intact, having reached our highest potential with absolute certainty. He made this boast on two conditions: one, he had to have all the power and glory and get all the credit, and two, he needed to force us to do the right thing all the time. Well, God the Father, or Eloheim, said Lucifer’s plan sort of misses the point. Jesus, or Jehovah, said He’d be God’s humble agent, become our physical Creator, God the Father could have all the glory, and Jesus would take responsibility for the sin and error and evil that necessitated out of said Creation, because human failure was integral to allowing mankind the opportunity to grow. As the Creator, Jesus accepts upon Himself the sins of all mankind, and pays our debt to the Father so we might return to Him.
Stick with me Glenn, because this is hard doctrine, central, never been messed with, never been contested Mormon theology. You’ll find it in all the training manuals with the Correlation Committee’s stamp of approval. Not like the turd-filled tangential volumes you’ve apparently been perusing. And even just this introductory bit here Glenn, it ain’t Christianity. It’s absolutely foreign to Christianity. They killed Joseph Smith and attempted to annihilate his whole church for teaching it. In Mormonism, God guarantees you the right to choose your own path without either He or Satan compelling or threatening you with hell and damnation or bribing you with a cheap Grace salvation. That wouldn’t be a choice. That would be coercion. That would be Christianity.
The devil in Mormonism, is generally capable only of tempting man with the most subtle, spiritual or intellectual promptings. And man has to be a willing promptee. The devil can only get his way by working on mankind with these ephemeral urgings until man gives in, embraces the idea, and physically acts upon it. In Mormonism, Satan has no body, no authority, no power, and never will, and this mortal period is the only avenue of influence upon mankind or the physical universe he will ever have. In Mormonism, Satan won’t even inherit hell and rule over the damned—Cain gets that post, Cain has a body, made the first cut, served his time on earth, and though he screwed up his mortal chance at eternal glory, he still ranks over Satan, and as the first murderer and inventor of the concept of destroying others to get personal gain, Cain will receive a resurrected body as we all will, only to inherit the job of Evil Overlord of the Eternally Damned. According to Mormon theology, Satan rejected earth life in a big war over the salvation plan in Heaven, where Satan and a third of the Heavenly Host got kicked out of God’s program entirely. So, this earthly span we now enjoy is the devil’s only time to shine.
Satan claimed however, with this tiny bit of power over mankind, he’d rule the world. Now, that only works if you give Satan credit for it. If you don’t buy his boast, nothing happens. Satan can’t physically come after you. In fact Satan blowing his own horn until he appears to be invincible to mankind is one of his first manipulative tricks. Appearing as an Angel of Light is another. Glenn Beck should know that. His new favorite political prophet and insipid Mormon author had Lucifer as a ghost writer.
Lucifer’s greatest ploy is not the half-truth as is often claimed, but the just about a third share of truth. That means you’re eating the devil’s shite at a 2-1 ratio, about as high a level as he can shove that crap down your throat without you noticing it. And Glenn Beck buddy, you take your Satanic Shite with milk and cookies, so you just don’t have a clue what all you’re eating along with the yummy stuff.
Is the devil’s goal to lead you down to hell? No. That’s not even statistically possible, since in Mormonism, only a tiny minority of humanity ever gets sent to “Outer Darkness,” a rough equivalent of hell or damnation, where not Satan rules, but Cain, and only those who deny the Holy Ghost ever get to see what it’s like. All other sins are pardonable, and Christ doesn’t close the door on accepting Him as Savior when you snuff it. Mormons believe in universal physical salvation. Everybody gets resurrected. Everybody gets judged, and nearly all of us are going on to some sort of reward. Earth life itself is already a reward. And yes, if you never stumbled into Him on earth, you still can accept Christ as your Lord and Master beyond the veil and do OK for yourself.
Christianity believes that Satan was literally handed this world after Adam and Even fell. Christians believe our Father in Heaven went off in a huff and turned the universe or at least our little piece of it over to the Adversary. In Christianity, Satan is the god of this earth. Satan is the spiritual Father of all mankind. Satan is the defacto Creator of our corrupted human flesh through a devilish and filthy biological act. Nature’s God is Satan in Christian theology. Anything natural, anything man creates, including human offspring, is for the glory and posession of Satan and unworthy of God’s Majesty. Every living thing, animal or vegetable, the very stone and earth we walk upon, every egg, every sperm, is Satanically corrupted, and every fetus in the womb is heir to damnation. Now, I submit that by internalizing this fundamentally bleak and desperate world-view as its core belief, anything Jesus of Nazareth had to say about being nice to each other has little effect in most cases. Christianity finds itself making bleak and desperately opressive internal laws and then consistently rallies its forces to vigorously and violently export these laws in greater and greater circles of oppression. Why? It’s simple, even if you credit Christians with good intentions, they really believe you are going to suffer eternal torment if they do not convince, or force you to join them. And likewise, they really do believe that if you are not one of them, you are an agent of hell on earth and a danger to good rule and society.
In rather an opposite take on the matter, Mormons believe mortality is a gift from our Creator where we can learn, grow, know joy, and appreciate the sweet by tasting of the bitter—not grovel before an arbitrary God who slapped us together one weekend with some spit and clay while on an inexplicable and mysterious Creative Lark, where we’re damned from the get-go, where God randomly elects to send most of us to hell but decides to save a few of us for Himself according to His whims. Satan has no power to change this program. Indeed, like the Flood, or Sodom and Gomorrah, any time the world or a culture reaches the point where Satan has gained so much influence over mankind that mortal existence is no longer a fair and reasonable test bed for learning wrong from right, God cleans the slate and starts over. Thus, in spite of the devil’s best efforts, future generations continue to have the same opportunity to chose their own way in life.
The Obama Administration is not by far the most decadent and ungodly society ever to disgrace the planet. Not until the US president is hosting gala orgies of sex and carnage, where conquered slave women are being raped to death by donkeys in public sports facilities should you start spouting that level of hyperbole. (Though in your younger days Glenn, I bet that just describes a typical weekend outing to Mexico.) The world has been in far worse shape brother. Far worse. We were able to choose our own destiny before Obama, and we will be able to choose our own destiny after Obama. It’s routine American politics baby. If I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure God will actively purify America all on His own as He has done before. It’s His job. Not yours Glenn. Not the job of the John Birch Society, Willy Skousen, or GBTV.
No, It’s the devil’s main goal in Mormon theology, to simply feck around and generally distress humanity as much as he can with while he still has a chance. And Glenn, he’s fecking with you. He’s having a ball. It’s the only fun he’s ever going to get. He knows he’s not going to bind many of us in chains—we already told him to piss off in a previous spiritual go-‘round. We all stood with Christ in pre-mortal battle against the forces of darkness just to get here. All Satan can do here and now is try to show God what a stupid idea that Free Agency thing is while he’s got a rightful place in the earthly arena. Who knows Brother Beck? You may indeed have a bona-fide call from God—but that just means the devil is going to make an extra effort to feck it up. He seems to be doing a good job of it so far.
Satan, the former light-bearing “Lucifer,” got the job of “Accuser of the Saints.” He got it because he’s the ultimate prick. That’s Satan. That’s who he is, what he does, and how he works. And he’s pricking you Glenn Beck.
Prick. Prick. Prick.
When Satan comes to destroy your soul and drag you down to hell, he seldom comes sporting horns, a pitch-fork and a pointy tail. Usually he comes wearing a pretty dress and singing a sweet song, looking something like Marie Osmond. I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again. And other times he comes looking like your friendly old uncle Cleon with a kindly smile and a comically oversized nose.
Which brings me in earnest to Willard Cleon AKA “Klingon” Skousen. Skousen might well be the penultimate devilish prick. God help us. Why in heaven’s name Glenn, Brother Beck Sir, did you decide to dredge this inane fossil’s handiwork out of the literary dustbin? Why do you weep so profoundly at the scribblings of this half-demented, discredited, disowned Mormon political heretic? What demonic little elf sat on your shoulder and whispered: Let’s have another go at this crazy bastard…! Come on! Just roll this Skousen lunacy right in with your simpering, Chicken Little-prophetic-panic-attacks and you’ll pick up a whole new audience just waiting for a place to vent their pent-up, world-hating xenophobia…
Klingon Skousen is to Mormonism what that other insufferable prick Jean Cauvin is to Christianity. Only the combined life and works of Willy Skousen can rival the inexplicable Mormon participation in the slaughter of the Fancher party at Mountain Meadows for the shame and recrimination it has dumped upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even Skousen’s one-time comrade in Commie-hunting, Ezra Taft “ET” Benson, who boostered Skousen and his John Birch buddies in the early days of the Red Scare, got very silent about the whole topic by the time he became LDS church president, and fully sustained Spencer W Kimball’s official 1979 disassociation of the LDS church with anything or anyone Skousenite.
Both Benson and Skousen got the nicknames I’m using from a large portion of the Mormon faithful who thought these two had just wandered into the planet from outer space when they first started openly talking conspiratorial politics in John Bircheese at formal LDS religious venues.
Cleon Skousen passed away in 2006 at the age of 93. In his last years he was something of a pariah, though he’d been bolstered in his career as this last era’s preeminent LDS BS merchant by two or three high-ranking pals in church leadership. One of them, Thomas S Monson, current LDS president claimed at his funeral service:
“Everyone he spoke to, everyone he taught, is closer to Christ than before they met Cleon Skousen.”
I would counter this by saying it is exactly the warm commentary expected from an old friend who dates back to an era where a lot of would-be LDS church theology was cobbled together by unofficial guesswork in a convoluted jumble of speculation and extrapolation by a bunch of intermountain goobers generations away from any original or authoritative sources, through a process that amounted to just sitting around the general store with a hayseed in your mouth and kicking wild-arsed ideas around. I’m sure Willard Skousen was a gentle, friendly guy who argued his case humbly and calmly. They said the same thing about John Calvin—until you crossed him. Then he tended to haul you into a show-trial, declared you either a traitor or a heretic–it amounted to the same thing–pronounced you invariably guilty, and then preferred to cut off your head. If you really annoyed him, he took your life’s work, used it to light a bonfire, and chained you up on a post next to it and slowly roasted you to death in a public square over the course of hours, so your friends and neighbors can all smell your slowly burning flesh and hear your agonizing screams while you beg for mercy, as an example of why you shouldn’t argue with John Calvin.
I would further suggest that for every person who talked to Cleon Skousen that found him helpful in building a testimony of Christ, a good ten or more were instantly repulsed and concluded that if accepting Willard Klingon Skousen as an inspired prophet of God, and Donny Osmond as a musical genius is required by Jesus Christ for salvation, then hell looks pretty good by comparison. And worse yet, Skousen multiplied his political and intellectually repulsive capabilities exponentially with every new convert he recruited to his paranoid cult of personality, and through every insanely conspiratorial political or “historical” book he published with implied approval of “The Brethren.” Skousen’s underground Mormon network of xenophobes spread the paranoid dread of unknown conspirators like Amway’s pyramid scheme foisted over-priced household products on the nation, till soon everyone had a garage full of the stuff. And oddly enough, it was all the same people.
As Donny Osmond did not recruit “Mormons,” but rather “Osmondos,” so too did Cleon Skousen never bring a single Latter-day Saint into the church, he only ever converted earnest seekers of Jesus Christ into “Skousenites.”
I would submit that Cleon Skousen was the single most divisive character in Mormon history. Having absolutely no ecclesiastical authority whatsoever, Cleon Skousen alienated more otherwise worthy segments of the national and world populations, from even exploring Jesus Christ and His Restored Church, for purely political and philosophical reasons, than any secret, Satanic, Communist conspiracy could have ever schemed to deter from baptism, or a thousand Whores of Babylon could have ever hoped to lead away from God’s light through carnal, sensual and devilish charms.
The real truth is, the John Birch Society that Cleon Skousen and his benefactors in the LDS hierarchy so loved was actually started by KGB sleeper agent and dynastically-wealthy, multi-national grape juice magnate Robert Welch in 1958, to serve as a disinformation bureau that would ultimately discredit the American Conservative Movement by depicting it as the integral product of a fanatical core of self-destructive paranoid schizophrenics. Russia was also confident that once American Christian patriots had been infected with this seed of xenophobia, they would quickly duplicate the hysteria that resulted in most of the town being prosecuted or executed as witches, in colonial Salem. The Kremlin first got the idea from the histrionic self-nobbling antics of Senator Eugene McCarthy a few years earlier. By the end of his delusional episode, McCarthy was so unpopular, and the anti-Communist movement was so humiliated by his example, that the KGB insisted that though it would take a convincingly Capitalistic stooge like Welch and a little prodding, they would still find many willing dupes in the US, eager to take up the cause of paranoia, and continue the job of negating any legitimate American Conservative agenda. Soviet think-tanks felt by this means the very heart of American politics could be rendered divided and the citizenry made mistrustful of both fellow Americans and the government itself. The probable outcome of this effort, the Soviet project heads maintained, would be that America would gradually grow more and more politically and socially crippled, indecisive, and directionless. On the world stage, the formerly All-Powerful United States of America would become totally ineffectual due to its incessant internal in-fighting and radically opposed idealogical and political partisanship.
Cleon Skousen was a sometime professor at BYU, from 1951-55, to 1967-1978. That’s his only claim to any authority at all. For the record, the preceding paragraph is total BS, but it’s as authoritative as anything Cleon Skousen ever wrote. It’s just a matter of finding patrons who are willing to believe it. After that, it’s all about peer pressure.
I ran into my first batch of Skousenites as a student at BYU while Cleon was in his last two years there. They’re still fumigating the Religion Department of his stink, and they can’t burn his political books fast enough to keep them from resurfacing on campus—thanks to Glenn fecking Beck. Glenn, pal, don’t you know you’re riding the crest of a wave that crashed all it’s most gnarly surfers against the hot red walls of Zion’s Canyon in about 1985 and left them flopping there on the ground, stunned and unable to save themselves from their own stupidity. They’re all still hiding there waiting for the mushroom clouds. And then along came Glenn Beck…
At least the fallen LDS apostle, the late Paul Dunn confined his fairy-tales to heroic fantasies about his imaginary baseball career on teams he never played with. Dunn’s books were swiftly purged from LDS libraries when he was essentially given a permanent suspension of duties for telling tall tales to missionaries about his pitching exploits. (Faith promoting lies yes…but harmless mostly.) Unlike the ignominious, permanent disappearance of Dunn, Glenn Beck now resurrects the damaged Cleon Skousen, everyone’s favorite long dead and irrelevant, schizophrenic Mormon hack, and elevates his once-cultic revisionist Christian classic to Best-Seller status overnight. Beck’s a late-coming player in a game of 8-ball that was essentially over in the Mormon church a generation ago. The question to ponder, is whether Beck is a mark or whether he’s actually the hustler. If the latter is true, then he’s got a lot in common with Cleon Skousen.
Skousen’s strictly religious contributions to Mormonism are too sophomoric to go into at length. Only the fact that the rank-and-file Mormon is such a bewildered and ignorant student of any religion at all, Christianity, world faiths, or even their own, explains why any Mormon would be fascinated by the circuitous ponderings of Klingon Skousen. Some of his postulates include the speculation that the co-eternal spirits (us) who lived with God in the pre-mortal existence, could have voted God out of His position—that God would cease to be God if we stopped supporting Him.
Skousenites routinely sat around in their little BYU think tanks or priesthood quorums worldwide, claiming the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus via cloning, or that Jesus was incapable of dying unless He wanted to because he was a self-healing, alien-human hybrid. (God-human hybrid at least.) They occupied themselves pondering the most obtuse claimed “historical” propositions of ancient Mormon leaders out of private period journals or those records popularly attributed to Brigham Young, Joseph Smith or other early leaders, like the enigmatic assertion that Adam was born “of an earth, but not this earth.” When they finally cloned Dolly the famous Scottish Sheep and lab experiment, they went off on a cloning theory binge. They pretended to have “proven” the Virgin Birth via cloning. When they found out cloning only produced females from females, well, that was already one theory floating around John Birch circles anyway. Mormons however, went on to artificial insemination via beaming Divine DNA directly inside Mary’s womb as a better explanation. Skousen and his disciples spread this entire concept of digging out “higher truths” from students and missionaries to stakes and missions and converts all over the globe via his active political and religious fan base.
This is weird shite even for Utah Mormons. It’s flipping blasphemy. The notion that we even need to investigate and understand all the fine points of Celestial reproduction is spiritual pornography. Even his authoritative friend ET Benson said so quietly, as president of the church. Suffice it to say, none of Skousen’s works, none of his theories have ever been endorsed by LDS authority nor advanced into official instructional or commentary materials. More obviously, Skousen was never called to any significant church ecclesiastical office even in his brightest days. But you see, nobody wants to shut down kindly old Brother Cleon, and you know some of his theories sound pretty OK, so you have to give him credit for what he got right don’t you?
That’s how Satan works.
To be blunt, the Skousen era at BYU, and the Church Educational System and Seminary programs that he contaminated in the process, were an embarrassment to future generations. My wife, who was born and raised in Salt Lake, recalls one BYU religion professor proposing that the “earth had wings” and the ten lost tribes were out living on these “wings.” No. I am not kidding. Other BYU Skousen-era conjectures deduced that Jesus was actually married to Mary Magdalene, and the wedding He attended in Cana where He performed His first miracles was His own. It was further proposed that Christ had more than one wife, and most likely children. You can just watch The DaVinci Code for the rest. That’s the sort of crap Skousenites thought about all the time. Although I personally know it to be shite, my point is not whether any of this may or may not be correct. The point is it’s pointless. Why even go there then?
It’s hard enough to sell Golden Plates, cabin-going Angels, a non-Trinitarian Godhead and Joseph Smith translating ancient papyrus he bought from a travelling peddler through a shiny rock in the bottom of a hat. Why add yet another layer of improbable-sounding, entirely apocryphal Utah-Mormon pioneer folklore between the core of the faith and the potential convert? It’s plenty entertaining for the bored-arsed Valley Mormons who are forced to sit through one, two, three hours of the same damned meeting discussing the same damned stuff every other day of the week. Yeah, you gotta have something “new” to talk about eventually. But it’s counter-productive as hell in a missionary sense.
I do have to confess that some of Skousen’s political ideology I find fairly sound and productive on its face. But I could also say that Adolph Hitler restored the German economy, built the autobahn, made the trains run on time and designed some pretty snappy outfits. That whole taking over Europe and killing off all the Jews and genetically inferior races thing, well, maybe that went too far. But generally, Hitler had some good ideas about nation building. Likewise, even if 90% of Skousen’s masterwork, The 5000 Year Leap for instance, is reasonable theory, it’s still the 10% of his most central elements that are totally evil that negate anything else he has to say. To wit: Brother Skousen, America is not a Christian Nation, and the Constitution was not pulled out of the Bible’s arse. The Constitution is the work of truly enlightened men, not Christians.
And before you cry foul, Skousen and Adolph had a lot in common:
“The Naked Capitalist” [one of Skousen’s political masterpieces allegedly based upon the work Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley] does not seem like a text that would be part of the required reading list on any reputable college campus, but some BYU professors taught it out of allegiance to Skousen. Terrified, the editors of Dialogue: The Journal of Mormon Thought invited “Tragedy and Hope” author Carroll Quigley to comment on Skousen’s interpretation of his work. They also asked a highly respected BYU history professor named Louis C. Midgley to review Skousen’s latest pamphlet. Their judgment was not kind. In the Autumn/Winter 1971 issue of Dialogue, the two men accused Skousen of “inventing fantastic ideas and making inferences that go far beyond the bounds of honest commentary.” Skousen not only saw things that weren’t in Quigley’s book, they declared, he also missed what actually was there — namely, a critique of ultra-far-right conspiracists like Willard Cleon Skousen. [Emphasis mine.}
“Skousen’s personal position,” wrote a dismayed Quigley, “seems to me perilously close to the ‘exclusive uniformity’ which I see in Nazism and in the Radical Right in this country. In fact, his position has echoes of the original Nazi 25-point plan.”
In-between his stints at BYU, Skousen served as police chief of Salt Lake City. He ultimately got sacked from the post in 1960 by a very Conservative mayor, J. Bracken Lee, who called him “an incipient Hitler” who “ran the [SLC] police department like the Gestapo. Lee also called him an outright liar:
“Skousen conducted his office as Chief of Police in exactly the same manner in which the Communists operate their government,” Lee wrote to a friend explaining his firing of Skousen. “The man is a master of half-truths. In at least three instances I have proven him to be a liar. He is a very dangerous man [and] one of the greatest spenders of public funds of anyone who ever served in any capacity in Salt Lake City government.”
Skousen was born in 1913 to American parents in Alberta, Canada. He also had relatives in Juarez Colony Mexico. Colonia Juarez, What you won’t note unless you’re one of the Utah boys, is that these are the two places polygamist Mormon families fleeing the Christian anti-polygamy Crusade in Utah escaped to after the takeover of the territory by Federal troops. They were both out of US jurisdiction. Frankly, those Mormon colonies were even more isolated and more culturally provincial and literally inbred than even the Utah Saints ended up being. And apparently they were so isolated from the reason for their isolation, that Cleon Skousen never understood that his people were banished to these outposts to escape the very Christian Nation he wrote about so glowingly in all of his books.
Skousen moved to California at age 10, grew up, served a Mormon mission in England and Ireland, went to junior college, moved to Washington DC to work in a New Deal farm agency, and then worked for the FBI, gaining a law degree while he was at it. Before his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Salt Lake City, his position at the FBI was little more than a middling file clerk without any particular clearance that would expose him to his oft-claimed “inside” Commie conspiracy information. The FBI in fact, in later years, maintained a file on him that grew to be two-thousand pages long and cited him as a danger to the nation and an encumbrance to the Bureau’s anti-Communist efforts. Ironically, once he hit Salt Lake City, he easily landed his job as police chief based on this FBI “experience,” and even after failing this police post spectacularly, he still parlayed his FBI “credentials” into an ultra-Right Wing anti-Communist empire, because the hard-core pious Mormon Conservative Zealots of Salt Lake City claimed he’d only been fired because he caught the mayor playing poker with some influential friends. Ah, the “insiders” took him down. Poor Willy.
A conspiracy nut is born.
Ernie Lazar, an independent researcher of the far right who has examined Skousen’s nearly 2,000-page FBI file. “Skousen never worked in [the domestic intelligence division] and he never had significant exposure to data concerning communist matters,” says Lazar.
It was during his Calvin-like iron-fisted reign as police chief over Salt Lake City that Willy Skousen became a born-again anti-Communist. This was initially fueled by the McCarthy hearings, the efforts of the John Birch Society, and the resulting Red Menace panic that was extremely high in the quaint, provincial minds of the Utah Mormon community. It was in this period he wrote his first classic, The Naked Communist. He slipped LDS church president David O McKay a copy, which the latter wholeheartedly praised.
In 1950, McCarthy gave a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he claimed that there were known communists working in the State Department. He went to Salt Lake City next. McCarthy was caught up in a media whirlwind that fanned the anti-communist flames. TheTydings committee was formed. The Democractic Majority that authored the Tydings report called McCarthy’s claims a “fraud and a hoax.” Some Republicans called the report treason.
Joseph McCarthy was dead by 1957, but McCarthyism lived on. Within Mormonism, Cleon Skousen was its hero.
Two other minor points of note. First, Ezra Taft Benson was the Mormon Prophet from 1985-1994. He was named to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served in Eisenhower’s cabinet, with the permission of David O McKay. Ezra Taft Benson was a strong supporter of the John Birch Society. Second, “The Naked Communist” was first published by Publisher’s Press, which was then run by Thomas S. Monson, who is the Mormon Prophet today. (The Mormon conservative website mentions this here).
Another pertinent note is that Monson published Skousen’s first book through his own private publishing firm because President Wilkinson of BYU had initially entertained the idea of having Skousen set up a panel to compose a text on Communism for the school’s curriculum. Wilkinson scrapped the whole notion of incorporating any of Skousen’s Communist “expertise” into official BYU academic material when he saw what it actually looked like in print. Apparently Wilkinson had only humored Skousen’s fixation on the “Imminent World Communist Threat” on the recommendation of LDS church president David O McKay. Skousen’s own account of this is comically transparent—he headed a committee of actual scholars who had no interest in exploring his paranoid, conspiratorial babblings. They and Wilkinson eventually palmed the whole project off onto Skousen exclusively, who feverishly worked on it for two years out of their hair. Then Wilkinson blew off the finished product unceremoniously, saying his faculty wouldn’t support it—thus dodging any BYU affiliation with Skousen’s rabid, mad-dog Red-Baiting, while still having satisfied his chairman of the board, president McKay, that he had given it the “old college try.” Skousen completed The Naked Communist as a stand-alone work and in light of Wilkinson’s refusal and probably on the urging again of McKay, Skousen raised some funds for the presswork, Monson picked up the property and published it privately.
In 1962 LDS General Conference, McKay recommended that members of the Church avail themselves of Skousen’s book, The Naked Communist, declaring:
“I admonish everybody to read that excellent book of [former FBI agent and then-Salt Lake City Police] Chief Skousen’s.”
(David O. McKay, “Preach the Word,” Improvement Era, 62 [December 1959], p. 912, quoted in D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1997], p. 82)
Given this sort of endorsement, Skousen became the darling of the Birch-hosted American Opinion Speakers Bureau and Fred Schwarz’s Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. Skousen founded a group called the All-American Society, in addition to his other speaking efforts. Skousen accused all manner of top administration officials with treason and eventually incorporated most of the period government into his claims of Communist corruption. He claimed to have gained this insight from deep FBI contacts.
The two groups competed in describing ever more terrifying threats posed by America’s enemies, foreign and domestic. As the scenarios became more and more outlandish, the feds grew concerned. In an internal memo, the FBI described Skousen’s friend and employer Fred Schwarz as “an opportunist,” the likes of which “are largely responsible for misinforming people and stirring them up emotionally … Schwartz [sic] and others like him can only do the country and the anticommunist work of the Bureau harm.”
When Skousen’s books started popping up in the nation’s high-school classrooms, panicked school board officials wrote the FBI asking if Skousen was reliable. The Bureau’s answer was an exasperated and resounding “no.” One 1962 FBI memo notes, “During the past year or so, Skousen has affiliated himself with the extreme right-wing ‘professional [anti]communists’ who are promoting their own anticommunism for obvious financial purposes.” Skousen’s “The Naked Communist,” said the Bureau official, is “another example of why a sound, scholarly textbook on communism is urgently and badly needed.”
But you don’t have to believe me Glenn, because BYU once again now has been forced to deal with the stigma of Cleon the Klingon Skousen, thanks to you:
PROVO, Utah — Glenn Beck’s radio show draws roughly 8 million listeners a day.
W. Cleon Skousen gave nearly 15,000 lectures and wrote close to 40 books during his lifetime.
But just because those two, politically conservative LDS voices are some of the loudest, it doesn’t mean they speak for the entire conservative community, several BYU professors said during a panel discussion titled, “Glenn Beck, Cleon Skousen and LDS Conservatism.”
“One of the fallacies about our political culture is that we’ve allowed Cleon Skousen and those on the right to dominate LDS political writing and to suggest that that’s all there is,” said BYU political science professor Richard Davis, “even though that is clearly not the case.”
The discussion organized by BYU’s Tocqueville Project included three BYU professors and Paul Skousen, the son of the late, prolific political writer who was formerly best known for his best-selling book “The Naked Communist.”
However, Skousen has gained renewed interest since Fox News pundit Beck began touting Skousen’s book “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World, Principles of Freedom 101.”
“It’s easy for me to see why (Beck) would have picked up on Cleon Skousen’s book and found it inspiring,” Davis said. “It fit in with his own performance.”
And that’s a lot of what Beck does — perform, the professors said.
“Most of the books of Beck’s I’ve picked up — are like his manic, ADHD television personality,” said BYU political science professor Ralph Hancock. “He’s just throwing stuff out there. They’re not meant to be read as discursive arguments. They’re just thrown out there to try to entertain people who would rather be Twittering or playing video games.”
“I find in both a trace of anti-intellectualism,” Hancock said. “My interest is to help connect a certain LDS conservative impulse or mood with a more deeply grounded intellectual conservatism. We can’t enter the political field with the argument that all the bad, but smart people think X, but we good dumb people think Y.”
Hancock told students that if they are serious about conservatism, they, and he, need to “study diligently to increase our confidence that our intense feelings are common sense — and can be rationally articulated.”
Paul Skousen took the criticisms in stride and said his dad’s entire life was focused on studying and asking tough questions…. “He was trying to provoke people’s thinking,” he said. “Dad’s invitation was, ‘If someone can do better, please do, but until then, this is what I’ve been able to do.'”
Paul Skousen said his father knew Beck was pushing his book but only watched Beck’s show once or twice before he died.
“Were Dad here today, I think he would enjoy visiting with Glenn Beck,” Skousen said. “His counsel would be, ‘You got to give us some more answers.'”
Hancock offered several scholarly books where those answers could be found.
I guess you can see why BYU, “The Lord’s University,” wanted nothing to do with Cleon Skousen’s “brilliant” political rants, and basically still doesn’t want anything to do with the man. For the record, I didn’t want Cleon Skousen to pull any more answers out of his backside. It’s not that he wasn’t intellectual enough, it’s that he was wrong. It’s that he apparently just jumped to half-baked, paranoid conclusions, pointed fingers of conspiracy randomly at convenient targets, and made stuff up.
The following isn’t Skousen, but it’s a good sample of what W Cleon Skousen’s twisted ramblings have lead the so-called “Conservative” moment into. This is a little tract I’ve hung onto from EJ Blackstone, a once popular local Christian conspiracy nut, big-time Bircher, and God only knows what other Right Wing causes he’s affiliated with at this point. In this tract from the Carter era, he says the “illegal” Godless, secular humanist government in Washington has seized America and is acting as the proxy American Politburo, rendering the nation just another slave state of the Soviet Union:
“There are three Supreme Court decisions that essentially declare the U.S. a Christian nation, and the Trinity Decision is only one of them. The Congress has enacted laws that correlates exactly with Marx’s ten points in the Communist Manifesto. This starts with a personal income tax, and moves through a central banking system, redistribution of the wealth, and the abolishment of the Church. The Communists have divided the nation [America] into 10 sub states, and already built concentration camps in three. Each camp holds up to 50,000 inmates, and thousands of Christians who’ve exposed the plot have already been sent there, or been killed.”
Well, I guess Jimmy Carter blew his chance or something. All the Carter administration did was screw things up and wreck the economy. That’s what happens when you vote for a humble Christian peanut farmer and fair carpenter to do a man’s job. No Soviet roundups of Christians that I recall though. I think Carter would have been rounding himself up in one of those.
I don’t know what happened to EJ. He used to skulk around church fellowship halls arranging secret informational meetings about an imminent Apocalypse. Then he just sort of faded out of the local scene in the mid-1990’s. Maybe “they” got him. Maybe he’s in one of those camps. Or maybe he got the secret signal and he’s in a bunker, living on “food insurance” in full communications blackout, still waiting for the Russian takeover. Moscow better get on the ball. I don’t think he had much more than a year’s supply. That’s all Skousen said he’d need—and that came straight from God.
Or maybe the doctors just revoked Ej’s day-pass.
Unfortunately for Klingon Skousen and his Right Wing friends, the whole Berlin Wall coming down thing in 1989 put a large vacant spot in the center of their conspiratorial nut-job pantheon of scary villains. Don’t worry Glenn. As you well know, Cleon finds plenty more out there for us to fear.
I’ll get to those after I rest my typing fingers.