Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 10:44 PM
Subject: Re: Hofmann
Excerpt of a Letter former ATF Agent:
Re Mark Hoffman investigation:
I just commented how I am reading some material I received from Lavina Fielding of the Mormon Alliance, and how much thinking it has me doing, especially the assertion that one of the church's foundational statements that God would never let the Prophet lead the church astray does not in fact have any scriptural or Gospel basis.
If that is the case, then what it comes down to is the same thing that the church itself teaches before some personalities try to insert themselves as being above question, and that they, not take his place. BUT ...... it is going to be difficult to go to ward conference and sustain the GA's, and even (and maybe especially) the current Prophet, when I am not willing to give them a blank check for trust and respect. There are men back there for whom I have a great deal of contempt. I feel that they have betrayed the Church. But in many ways it is worse than the GA's who have antagonized me so. In stonewalling our or the A. T. F. investigation of the Mark Hoffman bombing.
I wonder how many people see this as I do? Remember that Mark and the GA's were both playing the same game of duplicity and denial. This is standard operating procedure for leadership. Speaking from my experience in and out of leadership positions for the past 25 yrs. I have observed that once one is in a position to view leadership (which is the toughest position in any organization or in the Church) one either sticks with it or leaves.
I have witnessed a few come and go EQP's presidents and bishop's counselors etc. One either puts up with the garbage or one does not. I have witnessed much duplicity and denial in what I have seen in the past 25 yrs. and that is from living in 4 or 5 stakes and 4 or 5 wards. All leadership basically looks and operates the same. Members who are in high positions are protected others and others are not protected. The ones one would supposed to be exed are not and the ones who should not be are.
I could go on but let me point out two examples. One member of my former bishopric would poke anything with a skirt on. Everyone knew it and a number of people complained to the bishop. The Bishop did nothing at the time. After the bishop was released the counselor was released he was exed, then rebaptized about 1 1/2 yrs. later, where the handbook clearly says 7 yrs. for persons in leadership positions. He is still chases skirts nothing has changed.
Then there is my friend who did nothing just wanted to help feed the poor and the Bishop wanted to bring him up on charges of priest-craft and apostasy. The SP intervened and nothing happened. Crazy. The Bishop still caused my friend grief and called his new bishop and told him all sorts of lies and stories.
A few years ago, some members of my ward approached me with the idea of holding a study group. So we started to meet and hold meetings for our study group. The word got around and a few people visited out groups occasionally. The man who became the Bishop visited our meetings a few times and encouraged myself and others to continue. Then when he became Bishop he told us to stop meeting as an independent study group. He wanted to control our group. All of the time he was reporting back our activities to the Stake President. Talk about duplicity and subterfuge. He did his best to divide up the group and pitted personalities against each other. The group eventually fell apart because of his activities. Like outlined above my with my friend who wanted to feed the poor.
Hinckley was the go between who got people to launder the documents by buying them and then donating them to the church for a tax write off. I know this, that Hinkley flew back early from the South African temple dedication to meet with Mark Hofmann about an important matter, The McLellin Collection and other items.
Hinckley wanted to make sure the documents were authentic, before they were released to the public. However things got out of hand because of Mark Hofmann's duplicity, etc. Mark always played both ends against the middle. I would say Mark duped everyone, although he did come up with a few authentic gems. The John Taylor, Nauvoo Diary for one. A family member sold it through Mark to Brent Ashworth. It is real authentic. And some other minor letters, etc.
I believe that Hinckley got caught up in the "fortress protection mentality." He wanted to protect the saints from the blow of new discoveries. "The "Truth" had nothing to do with it. Remember it was Hinckley who talked about the Anthon manuscript and J. S. II blessing in conference. I am sure he would have done the same given the time with the other documents.
I know that Dallin Oaks instructed the GA's not to say anything too revealing to the police. One problem in dealing with Church leadership is the "Lying for the Lord" teaching to protect the Lord's church. There is so much duplicity, subterfuge and smoke screening in the higher ranks it is difficult to see the shore or target through all of the smoke screening.
I have talked to an ATF (Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) agent who was a member, has since become in-active or left the church over the whole affair. He told me that Hinkley and Oaks stonewalled the investigation in a big way.
Oaks instructed the leadership how to answer/handle the questions from the press and the police. This ATF guy was very disappointed in their answers etc. He knew that they knew more than they were telling.
Bell and Farnsworth the main detectives told me I was more corporative with them than anyone in the Church Hierarchy. I was collecting documents to write about William E. McLellin and other early Church Leaders, I had collected a number of letter, and other documents, etc., from published and unpublished sources. I had Xerox copies of his letters in the RLDS archives etc. I had the largest McLellin collection they, the detectives had seen.
Mark Hofmann gave me the willies. Especially after his Sunstone Review interview where he said, "I only do it for the Money." That tipped me off. He found out through mutual friends like Brent Metaclf that I was doing research on D.W. Patten and The Visions D&C sec. 76 and William E. McLellin. Mark through Lynn Jacobs tried to sell me an elders certificate signed by D. W. Patten and Luman Gibbs, instead he sold it to the archives. This document is a forgery. I was a poor college student. He then tried to sell me or told me about a copy of D&C 76 in the archives. I went and check and found out his story was non sense.
He tried to dupe me. I was very suspicious of him and did my best to warn others like David Whittaker and Dean Jessee they did not listen. Oh well sigh.
"So why did not Hinckley and Oaks get the same intuitive feeling?"
I really cannot answer for them only myself. I do not know maybe they did and just and ignored them. They could have been so caught up in protecting the church that they forgot to listen. Or maybe they did not experience it at all.
Like Joseph Campbell points out in his Power of Myth conversations with Bill Moyers. The problems of Priests and "holy man monks", etc. is that they are always fighting and never seeing eye to eye on anything or issue. Yet you get all of the priests from all of the religions together, Catholic, Buddhist, etc., and they get along fine. You get all of the Nuns, Monks from the Catholic and Buddhist and others together and they can relate and get along fine.
The problem in the LDS Church is it combines the two, Some are priests acting as priests to control, etc., some are Spiritual man monks if you will and they profess the spiritual. There is no room for a division between the two in the Church.
Actually my experience has been there are far too many priests in the world and in the Mormon Church than spiritual Monks, Shamans. Etc