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The history of religions, and of the heros of these religions, show that less than a generation, a matter of years in fact, is needed to make any nonsense a point of faith among the credulous.

Consider the history of Islam, its daughters Bahai and Sufism; Mormonism: LDS, Reorganized LDS, and various polygamist cults; David Koresh; Sun Myung Moon; Heaven's Gate; Crop Circle spirituality; L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology. All formed within a short time, all unbelievable, all accepted as obvious truth by their followers.

I am not arguing that the fabled historical proximity of the Book of Mormon to the historical Joseph Smith is a smaller period than the historical proximity of Jesus to the several Gospel accounts, for example. I am arguing that the founding of the LDS church occurs soon after Joseph Smith invents the Book of Mormon; that the several otherwise trustworthy witnesses to the Book of Mormon were taken in by Smith's personality. Further, the Bab, Bahaullah, and any of dozens of historical and living self-proclaimed Imam Mahdi are the equal to Smith, Hubbard, Moon, or Koresh in giving meaning to the lives of some in need of meaning. Further, the atypical religions are evidence against typical religions, meaning the list above is also evidence abainst Jesus, Paul, Moses, Mohammed, and Gautamma Siddhartha.

Do you think the historical claims of main stream religions, or of your religion are somehow different from "cult" claims? I don't... but, then, you expected me to say that.

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Last update: 2/11/00