Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

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Red Ryder
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:53 pm

I watched the first episode last night.

It was a strange experience. I grew up watching Hinckley run the church and later become prophet. To watch this now through the lens of an unbeliever is entertaining. The whole thing just comes across as a strange and weird group of people.

Oaks & Hinckley has to do some serious damage control. Apparently they did because the church has moved in from the bad PR.

My life would have been drastically different had my parents saw through the lies and left when I was a kid. If forged documents and dead people don’t cause a member to open their mind and evaluate their church then what does?
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Holy Ghost » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:30 pm

What books critical of the Book of Mormon did Brent Metcalfe discover and get excommunicated over?

acmeist
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by acmeist » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:38 pm

This is just what I saw on Reddit, so not sure it's accurate, but the comment said it was a book by Joseph Smith's uncle Elias Smith that had parallels to the Joseph Smith origin story.

I watched the first 2 episodes, but fell asleep in ep. 3. Did he give a reason for the bomb in the car that injured himself? Suicide? Planned bomb for someone else?

Overall, I thought it was fine. I knew a lot about it, but marveled that he wrote a check for $2.00 in his own name to an engraver/printer and that might have been one of his fatal mistakes. The talk about how people believe things they want to believe or truths they want to be true really hit home for me. My daughter found it very enlightening. She hasn't been to church since she was vey young, so I watched it more for her benefit that mine. I was explaining the lost 116 pages to her, and I found I couldn't remember all the details of that story either. Kind of refreshing when useless Mormon trivia doesn't take up that much space in my brain any longer.

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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by wtfluff » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:53 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 4:53 pm
Oaks & Hinckley has to do some serious damage control. Apparently they did because the church has moved in from the bad PR.

My life would have been drastically different had my parents saw through the lies and left when I was a kid. If forged documents and dead people don’t cause a member to open their mind and evaluate their church then what does?
Based on my own "story" I can testify that as a believer, it is "easy" to turn of your rational thinking brain, ignore reality, and remain in your bubble and just believe what "leadership" tells you to believe. The indoctrination/brainwashing is REAL.

I also wonder what my life would be like if my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents had "woke up" and opened their minds to reality. I probably spend too much time wondering aboot this. :(




acmeist wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:38 pm
I watched the first 2 episodes, but fell asleep in ep. 3. Did he give a reason for the bomb in the car that injured himself? Suicide? Planned bomb for someone else?
SPOLER ALERT! DON'T READ THE FOLLOWING SNIPPET IF YOU WANT TO HEAR THE ANSWER YOURSELF IN EPISODE 3...

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Yes, Hofmann "confesses" that bomb #3 was a suicide attempt on his part. I guess we get to take such a "confession" from a pathological liar "for what it's worth."
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by acmeist » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:59 pm

Thanks, I didn't want to go back and watch the episode.
Also, the Brent Metcalfe thing I referenced above was wrong--the book was by Joseph's cousin Elias Smith according to John Dehlin on reddit. Here is a link with more info.
http://www.mormonstudiespodcast.org/jos ... d-poulson/

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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by hmb » Sat Mar 06, 2021 6:30 am

After watching the series, I kind of wish Hofmann hadn't be caught until he forged the missing part of the manuscript. Of course I don't wish anyone physically hurt in the process, maybe just the church getting conned out of millions of dollars. He and J. Smith sound really comparable in their ability to con.

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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:30 am

I hope River Morgan will weigh in on this. If I recall correctly, her husband was one of the police investigators.
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Hagoth » Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:08 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:53 pm
[/color]Yes, Hofmann "confesses" that bomb #3 was a suicide attempt on his part. I guess we get to take such a "confession" from a pathological liar "for what it's worth."
I remember reading comments from one of the police investigators about this. He said Hofmann's explanation didn't add up. If I'm remembering correctly, Hoffman said he had placed the bomb on the driver's side to intentionally blow himself up, but the evidence showed that it was really on the on the passenger side, as if he expected someone else to have to move it when getting into the car while Hoffman presumable stood back at a non-lethal distance. That person (Brent Ashworth?) failed to show up, so Hoffman reached across from the driver's side to defuse the bomb but accidently set it off. The goal would have been two-fold. Get someone else to set off the bomb while making it look like Hoffman was the target, and simultaneously create the illusion of destroying the McLellan papers that Hofmann had failed to deliver.
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Hagoth
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Hagoth » Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:21 am

2bizE wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:18 am
My bad. I was thinking it was a newspaper article, but apparently it was in a few speeches.
I clearly remember reading a long article by Oaks in the Church News insert in the Deseret News where he defended the Salamander Letter.

Here's a talk that Oaks gave after the bombing where he is covering his ass and pointing fingers in all directions. He even appears to bolster his former support for the Salamander Letter by throwing Gordon Hinkley under the bus by including a quote from before Hoffman confessed, “No one, of course, can be certain that Martin Harris wrote the document. However, at this point we accept the judgment of the examiner that there is no indication that it is a forgery. This does not preclude the possibility that it may have been forged at a time when the Church had many enemies.” (News Release, 28 Apr. 1985.)
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Red Ryder
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Red Ryder » Sun Mar 07, 2021 10:27 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:30 am
I hope River Morgan will weigh in on this. If I recall correctly, her husband was one of the police investigators.
Same recollection. Fingers crossed she sees this.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Red Ryder
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Red Ryder » Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:44 pm

Finished episode 3.

At the end they flipped through some pics of Hofmann in prison. This one looked weirdly similar to David Koresh.

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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Thoughtful » Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:55 pm

acmeist wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:59 pm
Thanks, I didn't want to go back and watch the episode.
Also, the Brent Metcalfe thing I referenced above was wrong--the book was by Joseph's cousin Elias Smith according to John Dehlin on reddit. Here is a link with more info.
http://www.mormonstudiespodcast.org/jos ... d-poulson/
Brent Metcalfe shared this information himself on Mormon Historians FB Page.

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oliblish
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by oliblish » Sat Mar 20, 2021 8:31 pm

I just bought a copy of the June 1980 Ensign that has the Hofmann article in it. It includes the famous photo of Hofmann showing the top leaders of the church the forged Anthon transcript. This photo was featured in the Netflix documentary. I have been looking for one of these for a while.

There used to be PDFs of the Ensign magazines available on lds.org. When I looked this one up about 8 years ago I found the June 1980 copy but it was missing 3 pages (p74-76, the 3 page article on Hofmann). They later removed the PDFs and only include online copies of the articles (again minus the Hofmann article.) Of course there was no mention of why those 3 pages were missing.

I was surprised when I did a search for it and found one for sale on ebay! With all of the excitement about Hofmann lately I am surprised I was able to find one.

Here is a scan of the first page of the article that I found several years ago. When I receive the magazine in the mail I plan to make better quality scans of the article and uploading them for posterity.


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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Just This Guy » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:02 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:53 pm
acmeist wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:38 pm
I watched the first 2 episodes, but fell asleep in ep. 3. Did he give a reason for the bomb in the car that injured himself? Suicide? Planned bomb for someone else?
Yes, Hofmann "confesses" that bomb #3 was a suicide attempt on his part. I guess we get to take such a "confession" from a pathological liar "for what it's worth."

This surprised me. Everything I have seen outside of this documentary stated it was the accepted belief that the 3rd bomb going off was an accident. The forensic evidence supports and accidental detonation more than a suicide attempt. Sandra went into detail in her podcast with John Dehlin why they think that way.

Basically, Mark was going to meet with this 3rd target, but the target did not show for the planned meeting, and Mark was trying to disarm the bomb and it went off when he accidentally dropped it.

The interview that they played in the documentary sounds like they were leading him. They suggested the suicide explanation and he, being the expert liar he is, he agreed with the suggestion they offered. I'm not an expert and I am limited to how they play it in the documentary, but the police interview sounded very poorly done. They lead the interviewee the whole way.


If you are interested, The TV show Forensic Files took a look at the Hoffman Murders a while back. Season 2, Episode 11, Postal Mordem.
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by wtfluff » Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:43 pm

Just This Guy wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:02 am
This surprised me. Everything I have seen outside of this documentary stated it was the accepted belief that the 3rd bomb going off was an accident. The forensic evidence supports and accidental detonation more than a suicide attempt. Sandra went into detail in her podcast with John Dehlin why they think that way.

Basically, Mark was going to meet with this 3rd target, but the target did not show for the planned meeting, and Mark was trying to disarm the bomb and it went off when he accidentally dropped it.

The interview that they played in the documentary sounds like they were leading him. They suggested the suicide explanation and he, being the expert liar he is, he agreed with the suggestion they offered. I'm not an expert and I am limited to how they play it in the documentary, but the police interview sounded very poorly done. They lead the interviewee the whole way.


If you are interested, The TV show Forensic Files took a look at the Hoffman Murders a while back. Season 2, Episode 11, Postal Mordem.
Yes there are many theories as to who Hofmann's third bomb was actually intended for.

One of the best theories that confirms my confirmation bias is: Brent Ashworth. Supposedly Ashworth and Hofmann met every Wednesday in downtown SLC for lunch, or something. The theory was that Hofmann was going to send Ashworth to his car to get/check out some documents or something, and when Ashworth picked up/moved the bomb it would get him. Ashworth's wife asked him not to go downtown after the previous day's events and thus Hofmann accidentally blew himself up moving or disarming the bomb meant for Ashworth. I've also "heard" that Hofmann actually confessed to this at some point (obviously not on record like we have from the documentary.)

And, of course... To throw another wrench into the works: Hofmann did attempt suicide in prison.

His confession that the third bomb was a suicide attempt just doesn't add up for me personally.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Just This Guy » Mon Mar 22, 2021 4:55 am

wtfluff wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:43 pm
One of the best theories that confirms my confirmation bias is: Brent Ashworth. Supposedly Ashworth and Hofmann met every Wednesday in downtown SLC for lunch, or something. The theory was that Hofmann was going to send Ashworth to his car to get/check out some documents or something, and when Ashworth picked up/moved the bomb it would get him. Ashworth's wife asked him not to go downtown after the previous day's events and thus Hofmann accidentally blew himself up moving or disarming the bomb meant for Ashworth. I've also "heard" that Hofmann actually confessed to this at some point (obviously not on record like we have from the documentary.)
Sandra Tanner agrees with you that she thinks Ashworth was the target. She talked in some detail about how the forensic evidence points to that conclusion and does not support suicide.

I do wonder why the documentary played into the suicide theory when almost no one believes it. Some backroom deal with LDSinc? Although I'm not sure what they would get out of it. Maybe they got the "confession tapes" and couldn't get the animation that Forensic Files did in their episode on the Hoffman Murders? Didn't think that the Audience could understand the evidence and would find suicide more interesting?
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Mormorrisey » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:47 am

Just finished the whole thing, and the most important takeaway was that we watched it AS A FAMILY. Even the kids who don't live with me watched the whole thing with their spouses. Even Sis M. watched, although not with the morbid fascination of the rest of us. The best line from one of my kids was after the "commanded him to live guy" showed up. She just said, "wow, even to my ears that sounds kind of nuts. I can't imagine anyone outside the church thinking this is normal behaviour." Yup.

The other interesting point of the story to our family, is the whole thing about discernment. We had a lengthy conversation about this. That it's one thing to hint that the Brethren are discerning, when clearly this example shows they are not. What do you do with that? Everyone but Sis. M just came to the conclusion that discernment is absolute hooey. In many ways, all of my kids are pretty NOM in the original sense, and that's cool with me.

Anyways, I thought the entire documentary was very well done, but I would echo Just This Guy and direct people to the Sandra Tanner interview on Mormon Stories, and to some extent the recent John Hamer one as well, to get more of the story. They didn't have time for all of the stories on the documentary, and this is one way to get the rest of the story. All in all, I thought it was more than fair to the church, I don't think it was a hit piece at all, and I was actually impressed with the level of spin from Turley, even as he was pretty open about stuff - he seems to have really settled into his role as Sauron's mouthpiece.
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Re: Netflix doco - Murder amoung the Mormons

Post by Not Buying It » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:10 pm

I've watched all but the last 10 minutes, Mormorrisey is right, the dude who thinks he commanded Hoffman to live makes Mormons look like real looney tunes.

Richard Turley kind of ticked me off - when asked how prophets, seers, and revelators didn't have a clue Hoffman was conning them, he spouted some BS about how the Lord gives us free agency to make mistakes, blah blah blah. Completely nullified all the "power of discernment" crap I was taught growing up. Part of what pisses me off about it is I about had a nervous breakdown as a teen anytime I went in the Bishop's office because I was convinced he could read my mind, but when a forger and soon-to-be-murderer comes along with a bunch of fraudulent documents the power of discernment turns into Free Agency Jello. Very disingenuous reply, but probably all he had other than "they are just a bunch of normal old men trying to cover the Church's butt who are as susceptible to being conned as anyone else". So, yeah, they have the power of discernment, except when the Lord wants them to have free agency to make mistakes, which is apparently all the time.

On the whole, I didn't see much in the series that would shake anyone's faith. Sure, the Brethren got duped, but if you can know Joseph Smith got it on with teenage girls and not so much as blink an eye, hearing about how Hoffman suckered the Brethren isn't going to shake anyone too much. Maybe a few members will be less fearful of the Bishop's magic mindreading powers now, but I don't see many members being too bothered by it.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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