Talk:Kirtland Safety Society

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Bias issues[edit]

Despite my removing the term "rabid Mormon hater" as a descriptor of Grandison Newell and his compatriots,

While it may be stretch to characterize Newell's compatriots as "rabid Mormon hater", Newell himself was a rabid Mormon hater and boasted of his vexatious lawsuits. He was glad to be recognized as an antagonizer of the Mormons.

I feel that this article is strongly, almost hopelessly biased.

Make a useful contribution then, not ranting bigotry.

The original author has skewed every paragraph in such a way as to keep readers from placing any sort of blame for the scandal on LDS President Joseph Smith, or any other prominent leaders.

By scandal, I presume AnonymousCoward means illegal or injurious. This is false. The article clearly states, for example, "Greedy and speculative members (including church leaders) . . . apologized . . . for their own mistakes . . ." It is not clear at all from the records and evidence available (and which are still being sorted through) that Joseph did anything illegal or injurious, but assuming that a Church leader (or leaders) did so, does Joseph automatically become the proxy for every wrong a Mormon does? Further, Joseph is hardly the leading officer of the company

I think I've toned it down enough to make this article appropriate for The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, but the Wikipedia should have higher standards.

more bigotry

Cowdery showed up with the new printing plates on the same day that Orson Hyde came back with the news that there was no charter. Thus, the "Kirtland Safety Society Bank" was illegal, but Smith merely renamed the organization "The Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company."

The "Kirtland Safety Society Bank" wasn't legal or never existed. "The Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company" was not the same organization as Kirtland Safety Society Bank merely renamed. The former was a joint stock company and the later was intended to be a bank. The article distinguishes the two. Maybe you didn't read it closely enough.

In all other ways, the organization was operated as a bank. The lower denominations were hand stamped with the "anti" and "ing Co.", but eventually they were printing money faster than it could be stamped. So many denominations were left bearing the original name.

No one disputes that the organization exercised banking powers as a joint stock company. The issue is whether this was illegal or not, and in 1838 Ohio this is not clear at all. There were a number of similarly organized institutions with the same practices as KSSABC who were not legally harrased. The article plainly states that. Nor is it clear that misprinted denominations are illegal (They would likely also have to be circulated to be illegal . . .)

The "frivolous lawsuits" mentioned in the original article were actually brought by merchants who were stuck with the worthless bank notes. Trying to paint them as "rabid Mormon haters," whose only desire was to drive the Mormons from Ohio, is simple-minded and biased. It should also be pointed out that the only reason the bank became successful enough to fail so spectacularly was because the people using the notes wrongly believed that they were backed by perfectly liquid silver, not by the rapidly devaluating land holdings of the Church.

More of AnonymousCoward's misread of the article: The frivolous lawsuits first mentioned in the article referred merely to those instigated by Church antagonists (if not also rabid Mormon haters), not ALL lawsuits...the only simple-minded and biased panting is AnonymousCoward's lazy reading of the article as interpreted by his simple-minded, biased, bigoted perceptions. The article plainly states that Parrish and Williams assumed management of KSSABC to wind down the business...that would include handling and settling lawsuits...Also, it is not clear whose fault it is that various people wrongly believed the denominations were backed by silver. This point should be covered more, but instead of bitching about it, why don't you, Anon, add more detail rather than waste time bitching.

But I'm not going to try and rewrite the article for two reasons: First, as should be apparent, I have my own biases which preclude me from giving this subject matter proper treatment. Second, I have no interest in getting into the sort of editing wars that are plaguing other controversial topics. Unfortunately, for every person who might be persuaded to write something informative and balanced, there are a dozen trolls ready to rewrite it to suit their own agenda. Until some sort of moderation system evolves, I'm very hesitant to invest much effort in anything controversial.

OK, well then, lets pass a wikipedia resolution right now: First:no mormons should participate in wikipedia because they are all simple-minded, biased, deluded, uninformed, uneducated, indoctrinated, have an ulterior motive, and/or etc.; Second:only people who are non-sympathetic to Mormon-related articles should particpate. Third: bitch-n-run rather than engage and contribute are perfectly acceptable ways to participate.

There is very little in the way of unbiased information in Mormon history, and this fact is compounded by the fact that people on both sides are often too stupid to recognize an objective rendering.

More bigotry, AnonymousCoward's exposure to Mormon history is very limited then and apparently he is much less stupid than all people on "both sides"

As an example, I'll leave you with some quotes from LDS General Authority Boyd K. Packer:

"I have come to believe that it is the tendency for many members of the Church who spend a great deal of time in academic research to begin to judge the Church, its doctrine, organization, and leadership, present and past, by the principles of their own profession.... In my mind it ought to be the other way around...." "Your objective should be that they will see the hand of the Lord in every hour and every moment of the Church from its beginning till now....there is no such thing as an accurate or objective history of the Church which ignores the Spirit.... Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer..."

"Some things that are true are not very useful."

Boyd Packer does not speak for the Church nor all its members; he has opinions just like you, AnonymousCoward. See, for example, the introductory paragraph to Controversies regarding Mormonism which it states, "Please note that apologetic positions, even when supported by General Authorities of the Church, do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Church nor the beliefs of Latter-day Saints at large."

Reference removed[edit]

I removed the "Further reading" reference: The Refiner's Fire: The making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 by John L. Brooke, Cambridge University Press 1996. This book, if it is to be referenced anywhere, should be on one of the broader articles on the LDS Church or its history. Much has been written on the Kirtland Safety Society which goes into better depth and detail on that subject than this book. If any references are to be listed, those should. B 18:00, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

Incorrect statements[edit]

Firestar's latest edits are incorrect in serious respects along with some unsympathetic POV problems. For example, "In March, Smith and Rigdon were fined $1,000 for operating an illegal bank", is seriously incorrect. The suit was initiated in February 1837 and wasn't adjudicated until October of that year. That version confuses the rest of that paragraph in the article which implies that the suit is initiated after the adjudication! It also fails to mention that the fine was entered in default because they were not present and that they later appealed the fine. These points were stated in the earlier versions and are now cut out. There are other problems, but rather than state them here I'll let my edits speak for themselves. What I'd suggest to Firestar and others who are eager to add anti-Mormon propaganda and POVs to wikipedia articles is to become more acquainted with the various sides of the issue and facts before editing an article based only on one POV like the Tanners or Brooke's book. B 22:00, May 6, 2004 (UTC)

I've more editing but its late. B 04:52, May 7, 2004 (UTC)
According to my source (a history professor at Tufts University), not me, they were fined 1,000 dollars for running an illegal bank. You may not like that (his documentation isn't flattering to the Mormon leadership), but what I've put in here is from a reputable source. If you don't agree, put in an alternative view. I'll maintain the version I've put in.
My source:
The Refiner's Fire: The making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 by John L. Brooke, Cambridge University Press 1996.
Regards, Fire Star 02:26, 7 May 2004 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Read my comments above closely: the issue is NOT the fine...the issue is WHEN the fine was made. It was adjudicated in OCTOBER, NOT MARCH. February is when the case was initiated; March is when a hearing was held postponing the trial until later that guess is because the court was going to allow the defendants time to acquire a bank charter. Folks like you who are sloppy about the details make this work way harder than it has to be. And I don't care for your bigoted remark, "You may not like that" assume way to much with that little comment. B 02:47, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

Firestar’s characterization of "poor" converts is irrelevant. The bank was needed to provide liquidity. In that era this was done by printing money and giving loans. Banks serve wealthy people more than poor people precisely because poor people do not have collateral to qualify to get loans. While the Church had plenty of land, it did not have liquidity to pay off its current loans. So what did they Church leaders do? Just the same as any other community does to provide liquidity…they formed a bank, and the Church used the land it owned as collateral to get loans. If I was in a position to buy stock in a new bank with good growing potential, I probably would have subscribed to buy shares of the bank too! And the "employer" comment is ridiculous. To speculate that Mormons would need to go out of a bustling, growing, industrious town (Kirtland) to smaller, nearby non-Mormon communities for employment rather than vice versa is just stupid. And the tone about the Church “still borrowing”…arrggh…how many publicly-traded corporations in America auction corporate bonds everyday?! Or even better, which ones don’t?! Why would Coke or GMC or even the US Government issue bonds?! FOR LIQUIDITY!!! It should be no surprise that the Church was “still borrowing”, this is a long standing practice that allows commerce and enterprise to transpire! The issue is NOT borrowing, it’s whether the Church was sufficiently capitalized to borrow the sums that it did, and that is usually a business decision left to the firm doing the lending since IT is taking the risk in lending the money. Firestar, with the few comments I have made here, I hope that you realize that your ignorance of finance should really make you hesitant to edit an article on the failings of a quasi-banking institution in the 19th century. B 02:39, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

I'm finished with any significant additions, rewrites and other editing on this article for now. I'm also going to remove the NPOV msg as its original author has not participated in this article since he put it up, and the article has changed substantially since then. B 23:07, May 7, 2004 (UTC)

Tanner book reference[edit]

I do not have time right now to find them, but there need to be better balances of references here. For example, most of the references are from BYU studies. This could be construed as bias toward the LDS position. Also, the Tanner reference is laughable as they have not been a part of serious discussion for many years and have no credibility scholarly. I will try and find more on this subject soon. E-mail if you have a comment as I might forget (new user and all).

Not sure of your email address, however, completely agree if you can add in some additional references. Although the Tanners research is not current, it is farther ahead in my opinion than most other critical research - simply there is a lack of real research on the matter by non-LDS scholars or church critics that is reliable and credible. And as expected D.M. Quinn draws too many conclusions in his treatment of the matter. It seems that the Tanners put forth the known and verifiable facts and then draw conclusions, whereas most others draw conclusions along the way to support their view points. In saying this, I'm not saying that their research is credible or unbiased, but they at least attempt to show a neutral stance to begina foundation... -Visorstuff 18:51, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think then, that until we get better references, that the Tanner book should stay. Forgot to sign my article, sorry.--Dvhatwiki 19:39, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Brodie as a responsible source, POV alert[edit]

Quotation from Brodie's work repeatedly inserted by User:Anon166 has been moved here for discussion. First of all, I don't believe the quote should stand alone in a distinct section - assertions of conspiracy needs to be placed in context with the historical events. In my opinion, use of this quote by Brodie, a source questioned by both Mormon apologists and non-Mormons (see discussion Joseph Smith, Jr. Archive 5), requires:

  • an introduction to its purpose in the article.
  • appropriate placement in the sequence of events in the article
  • background and discussion of Brodie's perspective.
  • a discussion of sources accessed by Brodie for this quote.
  • confirmation of her interpretation of those sources by at least one other author.
  • contrasting opinions and perspectives from others sources.

Despite emotional allegations, I am not suppressing information -- I am asserting that any "drop in" quote from Brodie must be understood by the reader as questionable and that the use of any such quote requires the editor to be willing to put time and effort into documenting Brodie's sources and perspective. The tactic of flinging this and similar disconnected quotes into articles is simply irresponsible. Comments here before replacing the quote, please. WBardwin 18:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to Fawn Brodie, in No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith:

None of the men who remained faithful to Joseph ever publicly discussed the true financial situation of the Kirtland bank. But several apostates at different times related an identical anecdote which suggests something of the quality of the bank's assets. Lining the shelves of the bank vault, they said, were many boxes, each marked $1,000. Actually these boxes were filled with "sand, lead, old iron, stone, and combustibles," but each had a top layer of bright fifty-cent silver coins. Anyone suspicious of the bank's stability was allowed to lift and count the boxes. "The effect of those boxes was like magic;" said C.G. Webb. "They created general confidence in the solidity of the bank and that beautiful paper money went like hot cakes. For about a month it was the best money in the country." (p. 196, cited from W. Wyl, Mormon Portraits p. 36; Oliver Olney, Absurdities of Mormonism Portrayed p. 4; letter of Cyrus Smalling in E.G. Lee, The Mormons, or Knavery Exposed p. 14).

It's not an emotional allegation at all, WBardwin, the fact is that it is information from a source that is footnoted and deleting it for attacking the messenger in an indirect way without proving fraud on her part is ad hominem, therefore information suppression, which is opposed to Wikipedia's policies. Those sources that you claim are questioning her are not related to these claims. As far as I know, those claims are not answered directly in the apologetic material, hence their "need" to attack the messenger to deny it. The missing material you suggest can easily be placed by those interested, it is not my job all at once. We don't need everyone in Mormonia to agree with Brodie on her other claims to clear Brodie as a source, that would be information suppression as well. I believe the sources listed by Brodie on now on the internet, and can be linked directly, but I think Brodie deserves credit too for her observation. Also, I think you might need to explain your actions using policy, not your own wishes or POV. Anon166 19:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am questioning -- as historians have done for fifty years -- Brodie's methodology. The quote is not accurate nor can be used as evidence of a conspiracy simply because it is footnoted. Historians use established documentable historical methods. Brodie did not. Historians question their sources and examine alternative views. Brodie did not. Brodie shopped her sources until she found something that fit her agenda, then used it, often without reference to context and reliability. This is similar to using/citing internet links today, as the internet is chock full of unreliable POV material (which is one reason Wikipedia tries to be a more dependable source). We are writing an article here based on a historical event. Historical rules of evidence and sources apply. My notes above are in reference to standard historical rules. You did not really respond to them. Can you provide some of that information? If you edit Wiki articles -- it is your responsibility to work on documenting all material you enter. It is irresponsible to present Brodie's POV without additional work on your part. As to policy here -- obviously, even between the two of us, there is no concensus on this material, so it should not be included in the article until concensus is reached. I will not revert today -- but will alert other editors of this article to this issue. WBardwin 03:20, 30 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be a Mormon POV, and an exremely biased one that refuses to allow the most significant claims of this bank failure, ie, that it was a confidence scheme. Someone would be wondering if anyone claimed it after reading the material, at least they can come here to discover what is suppressed. Additionally, those quotes do not represent Brodie's POV if they are accurate. Can't have it both ways. Either she is a fraud or not. Those quotes are apparently not denied by Mormons as others having said them. Therefore, the responsibility is on you to prove they are fraudulent quotes since you say they are. Ad hominem refusal to allow to material from Brodie is an unexcusable argument, but difficult to explain to someone who doesn't know what it is. Put it this way, the claims themselves don't have to be verified as true or not, because they represent a claim from a witness. All points of view relevant to the subject matter must be presented. That is policy. You are merely determined to suppress the idea from sources that may lead the reader to decide against your POV, despite having a fraudulent bank to explain away. And I don't need to convince the self-appointed guardians of Smith's legacy. We will let arbitration decide that. I placed the lack of neutrality tag on. Anon166 15:50, 30 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

While my extended absences from Wikipedia lately has (and will continue to, for some time) prevented me from following this discussion closely, just to add my two cents, Fawn Brodie is hardly an author that any serious historian, Mormon or otherwise, would consider legit. It's not because of a Mormon POV, an ad hominem, or anything else — she's just well-known for having written a number of complete fabrications that contradict Mormon and non-Mormon historians alike. I would advocate either removing contributions based upon Brodie's work, or at the very least, noting her unreliability as a factual reference. Tijuana Brass¡Épa! 22:28, 5 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not according to Marvin Hill or Newel Bringhurst, to name two Mormon historians. I would point out that Brodie was vindicated by DNA in her controversial claims about Jefferson, but Mormon apologists still smear Brodie by quoting these critics. If she would have been wrong about Jefferson, they might have smeared her for that too. Mormon critics have denounced her secular objectivity in the same pieces they denounced her personal subjectivity, rarely noting their own personal devotion to the subject. I don't think anyone's overturned Brodie's portion related to this discussion. The irony here is that her apologist critics routinely cite her when combatting the Spalding accusation, and her most sour critic, Hugh Nibley, repeatedly referred to her demeaningly as "the lady" in his reply, which is often cited negatively for its ad hominem.

Although Brodie has had her critics, her version of the origin of the Book of Mormon has remained the most widely accepted one in non-Mormon scholarly circles during the past forty-four years. (p.24, Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge 1989)

For more than a quarter century Fawn Brodie's No Man Knows My History has been recognized by most professional American historians as the standard work on the life of Joseph Smith and perhaps the most important single work on early Mormonism. At the same time the work has had tremendous influence upon informed Mormon thinking, as shown by the fact that whole issues of B.Y.U. Studies and Dialogue have been devoted to considering questions on the life of the Mormon prophet raised by Brodie. There is evidence that her book has had strong negative impact on popular Mormon thought as well, since to this day in certain circles in Utah to acknowledge that one has "read Fawn Brodie" is to create doubts as to one's loyalty to the Church. A book which continues to have this much influence warrants the second edition which Alfred A. Knopf published in 1971....

To raise doubts about the validity of some of Brodie's arguments is not to dismiss her book. Her biography will continue to have great influence upon professional historians until someone writes one with equal or greater plausibility. With the benefit of new sources and better insight into the intellectual and cultural background of early Mormonism, this may be possible.

Your comments reminded me of the last review (7th) on this list: [1]
Anon166 05:05, 22 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unreferenced tag[edit]

The new "unreferenced tag" brings up an interesting discussion, as this is an article done in the old wikipedia style, before the inline footnotes. The information is actually sourced quite well in the "sources" section, but not inline. Suggestions on how to change this after this article has been pretty stable for quite some time? We can go back and add in the sources at the point of research but there are hundreds of other examples of wikipedia articles that are not using the new citation system. Should we change it now, and expect all article to be retrofitted for this new system? COGDEN and Trodel, if you are reading, can you weigh in, as you did the most work on the citation systems? I'd like to see the change made, but perhaps a better approach is to nominate for the mormon collaboration of the month, and get an entire group working on it? Definiately the tag needs to be removed at the top and placed at specific areas needing citation. -Visorstuff 00:07, 27 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think the best approach for now is for somebody to just go in and do manual harvard citations (without necessarily using the templates). At some point, the Wikipedia will probably be shifting to the slick Wikicite system now in development at mediaWiki, and we'll have to change everything again anyway. COGDEN 00:32, 27 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the unreferenced tag is totally inappropriate - it is referenced in the references section. The Attribution proposed policy (that is synthesizing the existing reliable sources, no original research and verification policies makes clear that not every line or even every paragraph must be attributed. Only those lines that are in dispute.
"Although everything in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable published source, in practice not all material is attributed. Editors should provide attribution for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged; for such material, Wikipedia must answer the question: According to whom? The burden of evidence lies with the editor wishing to add or retain the material."
Finally, citing sources is a style issue. Inline cites are one way to provide reliable sources. Of course, information that is disputed should be cited inline to the person holidnig that view, but common facts can be referenced to the list of references at the bottom of the article, for now. As time goes on each article will gain more inline cites. --Trödel 19:24, 27 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In an eight section article there are at least half a dozen calls for cites. That would indicate to me that the 'unreferenced' tag is valid (and needed). Duke53 | Talk 03:55, 28 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are confusing a request for clarification or a cite on a disputed sentence or paragraph with the article being unreferenced. The items you are requesting are available in the references at the bottom of the article. Thus there is no need for unreferenced. The tags are requestiong specific citations to those disputed facts, not alleging that there are references missing from the article in general. --Trödel 04:08, 28 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can you show me where that criteria is defined? Duke53 | Talk 04:37, 28 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please read the policies referenced in my comment on 27 Oct --Trödel 03:33, 29 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When are the {{Fact}} tags in the article going to be addressed? I have seen some editors pull sentences and paragraphs after as little as 7.5 hours. The person(s) responsible for adding the text are responsible for citing sources. As it is written now this article is definitely POV (check the sources used; 6 out of 7 are pro-Mormon sources). Duke53 | Talk 05:42, 29 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Eventually, however, please identify the {{fact}} tags that follow disputed material, as most of them do not follow anything that is disputed; thus the need for a citation is not as urgent. E.g. see my comments on the first few requests below --Trödel 06:04, 29 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quote preceeding {{fact}} request Comment
Critics have charged that the KSS was engaged in illegal, unethical or fraudulent actions nearly from its formation, while others contend such charges are at best inflated and at worse baseless. This doesn't really need one as it is an accurate summary of the information in the article
LDS church president and prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. attributed the lack of sponsorship to discrimination against the Mormons. Is this disputed? Whether that was true or not (the lack of sponsorship being due to discrimination) could be disputed, but I don't think any scholar disputes that JS attributed the sponsorship problem that way
Due to their influence, the legislature refused all applications for bank charters during 1836 and 1837, in part because of endemic nationwide problems with land speculation, wildcat banking and counterfeiting. This snippet does not support the NPOV that you allege the article has; so I am not sure it is disputed. However, since a supposed LDS POV might dispute this claim, this should probably be prioritized as needing a citation sooner.
The LDS church also raised and put up $38,000 in bail money for Smith at the Geauga County Court which was to be held to satisfy any judgment that might be rendered against Smith. Clearly a fact that should be cited, but I don't know of anyone that disputes that the bail money was given.

Article citations[edit]

Okay you re-entered them; now find sources for them. If you are going to state something, then the burden of citing that statement is on you. Some of the {{Fact}} tags were up for three days, plenty long enough to back up the statements.
Using a bunch of Mormon issued books, some as old as 23 years (and most likely out of print), as primary sources is not going to cut it, especially when discussing the value of objects in 2006. Saying that Smith said something in 'that way' doesn't make it verifiable. Give a citiation.
This article has a definite pro-Mormon slant, as most articles concerning the church do; I am going to suggest to the powers-that-be that the editing of LDS related articles be placed under a 'super-editor' of some sort. When one pro- Mormon editor makes the claim (on another page) that you'd 'have to be Mormon' to understand parts of these articles, then it is time for a change in editing policy for these articles. And I am not suggesting that 'pro-Mormon' and Mormon editors be placed in charge of the editing. Duke53 | Talk 01:18, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The sources are in the article already - there is no urgency to immediately identify them - Unfortunately, I spend too much time trying to keep useful information from being randomly deleted, robbing me of the time I need to track them down faster. --Trödel 04:38, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please point out the sources already in the article for the following items:
  • “The credit needs of the church, growing population and ongoing land transactions required a local bank”.
  • “LDS church president and prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. attributed the lack of sponsorship to discrimination against the Mormons”.
  • “Newell was close to three legislators who had taken the LDS charter requests under consideration and used his influence to dissuade them”.
  • “Due to their influence, the legislature refused all applications for bank charters during 1836 and 1837, in part because of endemic nationwide problems with land speculation, wildcat banking and counterfeiting”.
  • “ ... other, larger quasi-banks had been operating in Ohio longer than KSSABC and were not being prosecuted”.
  • “ ... they are now collector's items worth many hundreds of dollars”.
If there is no great urgency to immediately identify them, then I say that there is no 'great urgency' to include them now ... when someone has time to cite sources they can be added back to the article. Duke53 | Talk 05:31, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
* Adam, Dale W. Chartering the Kirtland Bank. BYU Studies 1983, Vol. 23, No. 4, p.467.
* Bitton, Davis. The Waning of Mormon Kirtland. BYU Studies 1972, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.455.
* Hill, Marvin S., C. Keith Rooker, and Larry T. Wimmer, The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian :: Economics. BYU Studies 1977, Vol. 17, No. 4, p.389.
* Ludlow, Daniel H., Editor. Church History, Selections From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Deseret Book Co., Salt Lake City, UT, 1992. ISBN 0-87579-924-8.
* Partridge, Scott H. The Failure of the Kirtland Safety Society. BYU Studies 1972, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.437.
* Sampson, D. Paul and Larry T. Wimmer. The Kirtland Safety Society: The Stock Ledger Book and the Bank Failure. BYU Studies 1972, Vol. 12, No. 4, p.427.
* Tanner, Jerald and Sandra. Mormonism, Shadow or Reality by ]], Chapter 35. Utah Lighthouse Ministry 1964, ISBN 99930-74-43-8. --Trödel 17:03, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you are saying that the entire article is sourced from a few pages (five pages) of the 'cited sources'? Could you specifically cite which book (with page number) that shows the value of those notes in 2006? Duke53 | Talk 22:04, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Duke53, please realize that in-line page number citations on wikipedia is a very, very new thing, and as stated above, won't last in its current form very long. The article citation in its current form is is how things were generally done until this past summer (2006).
You may want to visit this Wiki for more in-line sources about the KSS.
Rather than citing one of those for your specific question about the value of the notes, I did a very quick Google search and found that a $1 Kirtland Safety Society note sells for approximately $2450.00 [2]. Mormon Americana sales outpace what is written in this article. Not sure why you didn't do that yourself? -Visorstuff 23:43, 30 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We can use Google searches as sources now ? Cool (don't be taking down any that I put up, okay ?). When I use the Encyclopedia Brittanica I don't have to google anything to verify what they say; is this an encyclopdia or a site full of puff pieces? Encyclopedia articles have to be verifiable. Duke53 | Talk 04:00, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When was the last time you verified anything from Encyclopedia Brittanica? How do you personally verify what Britannica says? Do you just "trust" that they are correct? Or do you really look through their footnotes?

I do, and the process is pretty much the same in both venues. Using a google search to help support or provide evidence is one thing, but actually reading through primary sources is another. (again, which you complain at). We get more detail at Wikipedia due to the ability of researchers across the world being able to provide items from primary documents that not every britannica writer with a POV has access to.

Please notice I didn't cite my google search within the article, but used it on the talk page as a supporting point that the data in the article is likely correct (if not undervalued). However, there is nothing wrong with showing that coin collectors pay a certain amount of money or more for items, or a value of a book at That is done in multiple articles. Most modern researches start off at or lexus nexus or other search tool and branch out from there. This is a normal research method for academians. But that is not your core issue.

The issue is that you don't trust sources on Wikipedia that you don't have access to, and have a history of disputing other's sources across multiple disciplines from religion to politics to pop culture. I can find multiple issues with most Wikipedia articles, but to be honest, I find just as many in Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Seriously, I want to know how you - Duke53 - personally verify the accuracy of Encylopedia Britannica articles? If you don't have to "google anything to verify what they say." By knowing this, we can better provide the right mix of sources to satisfy your "verifiability" issues. I await your response. -Visorstuff 18:45, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I will continue to doubt the verifability of some sources. Taking something at face value just doesn't cut it. The mention of the value is stated in the article. Cite the source from those listed; we both KNOW it isn't there. This is why all Mormon related articles should be taken away from regular editors. They will never be uncyclopedic under the current system, where pro-Mormon sources are taken as gospel. Cite all the statements made in the article. Duke53 | Talk 22:11, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is the fundamental issue - you don't think that any pro-Mormon source is reliable. Assuming that to be true, then no one can satisfy your requests regardless of the effort they put into it. Fortunately, Wikipedia values reliable sources based on a scholarly criteria rather than prejudicial judgments. --Trödel 22:19, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then this should be easy for all you scholars; show me something that cites the value of those notes in 2006 from the sources you expect me to accept. The problem with the sources that many of you use are the inconsistencies in them. Also, any non-Mormon (or 'anti-Mormon') sources are automatically dismissed by many editors here as being POV; that cuts both ways. Duke53 | Talk 22:28, 31 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does that mean you will accept reliable sources without ad-hominem attacks based religious background, or is this more busy work? --Trödel 02:39, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very odd that you would post the following on another page, but choose to not follow your own advice here."I suspect that there are reputable sources - but is not one of them. I suspect Dialogue has some - as I have a vague memory of reading something like this - but it would be less polemic than the original poster wants. And since I don't have the time to find sources for things all the things I think should be included, why should we waste our time discussing this, or searching for them - the duty is on the person who wants to add the info. --Trödel 00:22, 8 September 2006 (UTC)". I find to be at least as credible as some of the sources used here. Duke53 | Talk 06:12, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see that you continue to use ad hominems rather than rational evaluations of the sources. As the attribution proposed policy puts it "*Reliable sources are credible published materials with a reliable publication process; and their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand. How reliable a source is depends on context. In general, the most reliable sources are books and journals published by universities; mainstream newspapers; and magazines and journals that are published by known publishing houses. What these have in common is process and approval between document creation and publication. As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analysing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication. Material that is self-published is generally not regarded as reliable, but see below for exceptions." Or as it says in the current verifiability policy, "In general, sources of dubious reliability are sources with a poor reputation for fact-checking or with no fact-checking facilities or editorial oversight." And, "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources."
That you can not tell the difference between a peer-reviewed journal like Dialogue and convinces me you do not understand these policies. The information from which you quote my comment was never referenced to a reliable source(see talk page of above quoted comment. In this case, the information is referenced to a reliable source in the "References" section as mentioned many times above. --Trödel 13:53, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incidentally, I wouldn't call Dialogue or Sunstone exactly "pro-Mormon." I am amazed that Duke52 suggests that Mormons not be allowed to edit Mormon-related articles. That is like saying people in the US shouldn't edit any articles about the US. Simply amazing. A few of us long-time editors have been published in peer review journals and conferences, some mormon and some not (at least in my case). or the scrutiny of defending a masters thesis. Our research has withstood that scrutiny. Are all the Mormon-related articles perfect? No. And we appreciate your help to push the limits in citations, but try not to be so iconoclastic. I'd take five Mormon contemporary journal sources that have the same details about an event over a recollection from one former mormon 60 years later. There is much more research available corraberating events and details that what you realize.

Incidentally, Duke53, you still have not answered by basic question. There are many errors in Brittanica articles (one study said that Wikipedia had nearly 4 errors per article, while Britannica had about 3 per page [3][4][5][6]). How you verify the accuracy of Encylopedia Britannica articles? -Visorstuff 14:14, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personal attacks[edit]

Just as had been predicted to me the personal attacks have begun. The hilarious part is that it was from somebody who brags about having more than 10,000 WP edits on his home page. I will not be bullied away from the mormon articles; in fact, this will strengthen my resolve. The {{Fact}} tags have been up long enough for the people who made the statements to cite their sources. Duke53 | Talk 04:49, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please quote the alleged personal attack, as the discussion above merely points out that unless you understand what a reliable source is, how can one ever provide the citation that you request. You have claimed that the sources in the article are not reliable. So lets address that issue first. Why should anyone go to the effort to provide a specific page number for a source you deem unreliable?? it is wasted effort. If; however, the referenced articles are reliable sources, then it will be a fruitful effort to identify the exact page number. --Trödel 14:01, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Duke53, you still have not answered my basic question. There are many errors in Brittanica articles (one study said that Wikipedia had nearly 4 errors per article, while Britannica had about 3 per page [7][8][9][10]). How you verify the accuracy of Encylopedia Britannica articles? -Visorstuff 14:14, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personal attacks[edit]

Speaking of accusations -- here is one directed at me. Anyone else see that I've done anything resembling a personal attack? Duke53 -- you even have a template to respond? Sounds like you expect to be attacked on a regular basis? My response is found below. I will restore the material in question until regular editors all have a chance to respond. This is editorial courtesy, in my opinion. WBardwin 19:39, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please stop. If you continue to make personal attacks on other people, you will be blocked for disruption. Comment on content, not on other contributors or people. Thank you. Duke53 | Talk 04:44, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What personal attack? I simply said that it was your opinion that enough time had elapsed to respond to the citation notice. I disagree and believe that editorial courtesy allows time for all editors to see posted concerns, research information, and respond. If you choose to cut that time short, editors should revert/restore material for others to review. The imposition of any time limit on responses to templates and notices on Wikipedia is generally a matter of personal opinion and impatience. So - after observing your comments and edits on a number of pages on my watchlist - I would encourage you to be more patient with other editor's time constraints. Hope to see constructive work. Best wishes. WBardwin 19:39, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Incidentally, the value paragraph as it currently reads meets wikipedia citation standards just fine. -Visorstuff 20:10, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Under what criteria? Someone made an uncited claim; now prove it. Duke53 | Talk 22:41, 1 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"now prove it." Hahaha ROFL hahaha. "Proving" is elusive. "Underdetermination of theories" applies to history as much as it does to science. B|Talk 23:35, 3 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I hadn't made regular edits to wikipedia in a long time and just happened to stop in on this article. I'm glad to see Visorstuff is still here and some new users too. I was the primary author of this aricle when wikipedia was still getting momentum and on its feet. This article is substantially the same as when I wrote it 2 and a half years ago, and I am confident that the content will continue to be validated over time. I relied on a number of different sources and I don't care to try to cite them to meet a newer wikipedia standard that is apparently going to change again soon any way. For the most part, (as with almost all LDS related topics), only LDS-sympathetic sources have done the research on this historical event with far greater thoroughness and depth than unsympathetic sources. Academic Mormon studies have been in large part ignored except by, surprise, Mormons. Non-Mormons are still only beginning to approach Mormonism academically. Of course, some folks are too ignorant and too careless to take this into consideration and demand a perfect world despite their own imperfections. I would advise such to lighten up. Wikipedia is not the arbiter of truth and never will be, but it still has some good reliable content...just like the current article! B|Talk 23:09, 3 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Academic Mormon studies have been in large part ignored except by, surprise, Mormons".
Perhaps that is a result of the following exchange by your 'prophet':
  • "Larry King: Are people ever thrown out of your church?
  • Gordon B. Hinckley: Yes.
  • Larry King: For?
  • Gordon B. Hinckley: Doing what they shouldn't do, preaching false doctrine, speaking out publicly. They can carry all the opinion they wish within their heads, so to speak, but if they begin to try to persuade others, then they may be called in to a disciplinary council."

When true Mormons aren't allowed by the church to state anything else publically it strengthens the idea that they are just spewing church propoganda. "Wikipedia is not the arbiter of truth and never will be, but it still has some good reliable content. And I suppose that's why we are all here, to sort "some good" content from the crap that is sometimes written as 'fact'. Duke53 | Talk 02:16, 4 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Pooua has added the following sentence: "The "anti-bank" was initially capitalized at $4 million, a huge sum that in itself should have discredited the financial institution, as noted by former BYU historian, Robert Kent Fielding:" , which is then followed by a quote from Fielding. The sentence doesn't make sense to me, however, since large capitalization is ordinarily associated with financial strength of a financial institution. Reading the quote, my interpretation is that the problem wasn't actually the large capitalization (which was a good thing), but the fact that the capital was to be paid in by subscription and wasn't secured. Does that make sense? If there are no objections, I will revise the introductory sentence along those lines. BRMo 02:51, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don't you notice anything odd about the fact the Jo. Smith's new, little bank would, on its opening day, possess about 43% of the combined wealth of all the other banks in the state at the time? The reason my statement doesn't make sense to you is you labor under the delusion that the capitalization was an honest figure. No doubt, you suffer that delusion because you believe that the Mormon leadership was also honest. They weren't, and it wasn't. The Mormons grossly inflated the value of their holdings, by 20 or 30 times their true value. And, yes, I have more examples and details of that than I bothered to put in the article. So, no, don't change what I wrote!
Incidentally, $4 million in 1838 would, when adjusted for inflation, be equivalent to $68.7 million in 2006. That is an awful lot of money for a small group of people who were supposedly nearly destitute at the time. All the property the Mormons owned at the time wasn't worth nearly as much as they claimed their bank was worth. Pooua 09:26, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think the mormons were "nearly destitute" in most the Kirtland time period, and miss that statement in this article. Can you show me wehre that is? With a temple costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct, I wouldn't say they were destitute by 1836. They became destitute largely because of the failure.
Also, Kirtland was in one of the heaviliest-populated areas in the state (and still is in one of the largest population areas of the state as a suburb of cleaveland), so for it to have a significant portion of monies of people in the surrounding areas is not unthinkable (alhtough i agree it was considerably or even unrealistically over-valued), but I don't understandn the point you are trying to make. And incidentally, where do you get teh 68.7 million number? I'd estimate higher.
Pooua, I see you have strong opinions as do all of us, but saying things like "you labor under the delusion" and "you suffer that delusion because you believe that the Mormon leadership was also honest. They weren't, and it wasn't" are considered personal attacks on wikipedia, and are also judgement calls that do not improve the article. lets stick to the facts of the article at hand and not what todays adherents believe or don't. We all do this, but your response was rather harsh IMHO to BRMo's comment that the sentence was not clear. Also, saying "a huge sum that in itself should have discredited the financial institution" leads the reader and is a judgement call imposing todays standards on 1838. It also makes me wonder why you don't say that Yahoo!, Google,, eBay or a dozen other dotcoms or recent IPOs are or at one time were over-valued and should be discredited. Being overvalued is not unusual for any new financial venture - either in 1838 or today. Please use language on talk pages that improves the article or gives context. -Visorstuff 20:52, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pooua, please assume good faith. My interest here is to assist in creating clear, accurate, high quality articles for an encyclopedia.
You wrote: The reason my statement doesn't make sense to you is you labor under the delusion that the capitalization was an honest figure. No, I am simply trying to understand the logic of the sentence as a statement about the economic solvency of the KSS as a financial institution. Saying that the huge capitalization "should have discredited the financial institution" is similar to saying someone couldn't pay their taxes because they were so wealthy—that is, it simply doesn't make logical sense. From your comment, it appears that you intend the sentence to be ironic, but irony is inappropriate for an encyclopedia article. For the article to directly say that the Mormon leadership was dishonest would go a step beyond what can be attributed to the quote from Fielding and therefore would be considered original research. Consequently, I still think that the sentence introducing the quote is not logical and needs to be changed.
You also wrote: So, no, don't change what I wrote! Wikipedia editors do not own the articles they edit or the text that they write. I had hoped to work out a consensus with you on how to change the sentence, but since you don't appear to be willing to work with me, I may need to edit it on my own. BRMo 03:38, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I may have come down too hard on BRMo; my apology for that. However, I provided this quote exactly because I keep seeing statements that the KSS would have been successful, if only all the subscriptions had been paid as promised. I have not seen any evidence that the anti-bank could have been successful, and the Fielding quote emphatically points out that it could not be true.

"As it was projected, there was never the slightest chance that the Kirtland Safety Society anti-Bank-ing Company could succeed."

There you go: all this talk about what might have saved the bank is just the speculation of Wikipedia editors. Unless someone has a citation from some authority who can show (or at least state) that there was some chance that the anti-bank might have succeeded, no one should suggest in these articles that the anti-bank might have succeeded. Fielding states outright that KSS was doomed from the start. He then proceeds to explain why it was doomed from the start:

"Even though their economy was in jeopardy, it could scarcely have suffered such a devastating blow as that which they were themselves preparing to administer to it. ... The Safety Society proposed no modest project befitting its relative worth and ability to pay. Its organizers launched, instead, a gigantic company capitalized at four million dollars, when the entire capitalization of all the banks in the state of Ohio was only nine and one third million. Such presumption could not have escaped the notice of bankers who would have been led to examine its capital structure more closely. ... according to the articles of incorporation capital stock was to be paid in by subscription but that the amount of payments were left to the discretion of the company managers. Furthermore, total issuance of notes was not prescribed, nor was the relation of notes to capital and assets. The members, to be sure, pledged themselves to redeem the notes and bound themselves individually by their agreement under the penal sum of one hundred thousand dollars. But there was no transfer of property deeds, no power of attorney, no legal pains and penalties. To a banker, the articles fairly shouted: 'this is a wildcat, beware!'"

Your objections to my comments, and the many comments made on this subject across several articles, leads me to believe that you do not understand what Fielding is telling us. Fielding is telling us that the KSS was a fraud (for, that is what a wildcat was) from the start, and any prudent banker of the era would have recognized it. You are trying to argue with me about capitalization, which is a mistake because I am not the guy whose quote matters in this article, and you are trying to reconcile a large capitalization with a doomed banking venture, but you are arriving at a conclusion opposite what Fielding is telling you, and you suggest changing my wording so that it reflects the opposite of what Fielding states. So, I feel frustrated by you.

The only way that KSS was capitalized at $4 million was by grossly misrepresenting what the worth of the bank was. That was fraud. It wasn't even a very good fraud, because it was so outrageously large a capitalization that anyone financially competent should have recognized it immediately.

I offer you some articles that should be enlightening:

Wikipedia: Wildcat banking

Wildcat Banking, Banking Panics, and Free Banking in the United States (PDF)

That last reference raises some questions for me. It states, "Banks were permitted to issue banknotes that circulated from hand to hand much as Federal Reserve notes do today. In order to issue notes, banks were required to make a security deposit with the state banking authority." That was the regulation for a free bank (that is, a bank free of federal regulation--they were state regulated). Was there any sign that KSS was capable of making a security deposit to the state to cover $4 million? You might object that KSS wasn't actually a free bank; it was an anti-bank. I recall that was part of Mr. Smith's defense at his trial on charges of operating an illegal bank. And, besides, Ohio hadn't yet switched to the free banking system in the 1830s: that happened in 1851. So, I have lots of questions, and I don't see any answers, and you editors don't appear inclined to provide those answers; at least, you have written much in several articles without coming close to answering the most important questions, such as the legal basis for KSS (how could anyone ever have thought it was legal), the rationalization for its large capitalization (who, how and why did someone capitalize KSS at $4 million) and how much property did the Mormons actually own at that time. Somewhere in one article, someone mentioned that the Mormons had about $60 thousand in land; that is a long way from $4 million.

Visorstuff asks about my statement that the Mormons were impoverished in Ohio, and he points to the construction of an expensive temple as counter-evidence to my statement. However, just about every Mormon history I have seen--I don't recall which if any are cited in the article--it is pointed out that a relatively small group of well-to-do Mormons were in the area when they built the temple, but then a far larger group, which accounted for the majority of Mormons in Ohio by the time the KSS got underway, were attracted to the area, and that group was certainly not financially well-off. The Wikipedia articles don't go into much detail of what the Mormon financial situation was during the Ohio years, or the reason it so upset the non-Mormons.

Also mentioned in many external sources (but not very clear in the Wikipedia articles) is the massive amount of land speculation that priced Mormon land outrageously high. Someone (maybe Visorstuff) attributed it to simple supply-and-demand; when the majority of the Mormon crowds came, land values shot up to $40 an acre, but when the Mormons left, it dropped to $17 an acre. That completely ignores the speculation aspect; by itself, that would not be land speculation. And, yet, land speculation was an important reason for the failure of KSS.

OK, you don't like me giving these answers, because what I answer isn't in the article and I haven't cited my sources here. Fine; don't think I plan to go away until I put it in the article with citations. Or, you can do it, yourself. Or, you can stop asking me questions and just wait until I edit the articles, if you absolutely have to have citations for any answer I provide.

I got the $68.7 million dollar figure by using an inflation calculator to tell me what $4 million would be worth in Year 2006 dollars.

Visorstuff's question about "Yahoo!, Google,, eBay or a dozen other dotcoms or recent IPOs are or at one time were over-valued and should be discredited. Being overvalued is not unusual for any new financial venture - either in 1838 or today" has several problems. For one, it ignores the fact that the vast majority of overvalued dot.coms failed catastrophically only a few years ago, exactly because they were ridiculously overvalued. It ignores the great many lawsuits filed when those companies collapsed. It states that being overvalued is normal for a new startup--but that is not true. It ignores the difference between being overvalued and being fraudulent.

I hope that my reply has shed some light on why I believe the KSS article is deficient. Pooua 08:35, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I provided this quote exactly because I keep seeing statements that the KSS would have been successful, if only all the subscriptions had been paid as promised. I have not seen any evidence that the anti-bank could have been successful, and the Fielding quote emphatically points out that it could not be true. I have not argued that KSS might have been successful if only the subscriptions had been. If that is how you interpreted my comment, I assure you that is not what I intended to say. However, the article by Hill, Rooker, and Wimmer does argue against Fielding's conclusions and suggests that the KSS might have been viable had it received a charter. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with their argument, but it's a point of view that should be represented along with Fielding's in a neutral article.
Your objections to my comments, and the many comments made on this subject across several articles, leads me to believe that you do not understand what Fielding is telling us. Pooua, you must have me confused with another editor. I have not comented on this subject across several articles (indeed, I've barely commented on it here) and I do understand what Fielding writes. It's the sentence that you drafted that I was having difficulty understanding.
I offer you some articles that should be enlightening: I actually know quite a bit about wildcat banking. Research by economic historians (mostly appearing after the Fielding dissertation was written) has argued that most so-called wildcat banking was not fraudulent. For example, Gerald Gunderson, A New Economic History of America, (1976) says: "In this context, wildcat banking in this era was not much different from the varied array of financial assets exchanged in modern times. Corporate bonds, for example, are systematically ranked by very fine gradations, according to their perceived risks. The most secure obligations are ranked AAA, those of decreasing quality AA, A, and so on down to the b's (of the independent oil-drilling companies and the buggy-whip factories) which are assigned a good chance of not being able to repay their obligations... In this context, wildcat banking is a perfectly understandable phenomenon. It was the b-grade part of the banking spectrum which existed at that time." (p. 189) The FRB-Atlanta article that you linked above makes similar points, saying that it is very difficult to differentiate between unregulated banks that were simply engaging in risky investments and those that were outright fraudulent. For example, with respect to Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, the author (Gerald P. Dwyer, Jr.) concludes, "There is no evidence that free banks in these states generally were characterized by continuing fraud to transfer wealth from passive noteholders to shrewd bankers."
That last reference raises some questions for me. It states, "Banks were permitted to issue banknotes that circulated from hand to hand much as Federal Reserve notes do today. In order to issue notes, banks were required to make a security deposit with the state banking authority." That was the regulation for a free bank (that is, a bank free of federal regulation--they were state regulated). Was there any sign that KSS was capable of making a security deposit to the state to cover $4 million? Because the KSS didn't operate under a state charter, it didn't have to make a security deposit. It seems clear to me that the failure of the the Mormon leaders to obtain a state bank charter for the KSS was a fatal error—the lack of a charter greatly raised its riskiness to depositors and investors and thereby contributed to its collapse. I have no idea whether it still would have collapsed had it had a charter. But had it been chartered, the security deposit would not have been related in any way to the $4 million proposed capitalization. Capitalization is not a liability that needs to be "covered." BRMo 13:47, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm the one who is engaging across several articles, but not about the KSS, but about your talk page habits. You seem to be full of anger in how you address other editors (anger leads to hate, hate leads to the darks side :)). I find it funny you don't see the satire and irony of my dotcom comparison. I agree that the article is deficient, and i agree with BRMo's conclusions. Let's fix it, but lets also follow precedence so this article is not treated differently just becuase of its religious ties. -Visorstuff 15:30, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Formation of the Bank[edit]

The current structure of the article is interesting. Normally, an article about a bank would begin with its formation, proceed on to its operations and involvement in the community and, if it ended, how it ended. Instead of doing that, this article begins with apologetics for the failure of the anti-bank. Virtually the entire article is one long list of excuses for the anti-bank's failures, blaming virtually everything and everyone except Joseph Smith, the founder. Towards the end, buried in a paragraph, are some references to some prophecies that Joseph Smith had regarding the bank's formation; why aren't these at the beginning, where they make both chronological and historical sense? Pooua 18:51, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can you show me another WP article about a failed bank that sets this same precedence? In looking at Enron this article follows the same general outline. Same with Savings_and_loan_scandal. Federal_Home_Loan_Bank follows a reverse outline to what you suggest. -Visorstuff 20:57, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it is important to specify up front that the reason that so many Mormons invested in KSS was that Joseph Smith prophesied that KSS would not only be successful, but would be particularly successful. He also prophesied that the Mormon's Promised Land extended from Kirtland west to the Pacific Ocean. In fact, practically all the troubles the Mormons ran into in Ohio and Missouri were from their attempts to fulfill the prophecies that Joseph Smith had. Considering that his prophesies were the reason they moved to the areas they moved, spent the money they spent, built what they built, etc., the prophecies ought to be more than a brief reference at the end of the article. Pooua 08:58, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, by the time of the kirtland safety society, the concept of a Mormon's promised land from Kirtland west to the pacific ocean (actually it was beginning in Jackson County Missouri and including all of north and south america) was still a relaltively new concept, and not understood like you mention above. you misunderstand my point in engaging you on these talk pages. I'm not disagreeing with your summations about the KSS failing, nor that it wasn't a good idea, i'm disagreeing with how you are engaging with others on these talk pages, and generally how you are making or including judgements about Mormons of the time and today. I think adding in that many participated in the KSS becuase it was church-run and Smith said to is a great addition. Add it in and cite it. -Visorstuff 15:25, 26 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First link.[edit]

The first link appears to be broken. (talk) 17:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Church-sponsored scholarship[edit]

I tried to find a compromise on this, but was reverted. Frankly, I don't think think that publications financed and endorsed by the main organization proclaiming the subjects of this article to be saints are WP:RS, but I tried to gently note their partiality in the text. It's like quoting Joe Gibbs for objective information about Obama. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 04:52, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No -- you did not try to find a compromise. You asserted your own opinion on sources as the only valid opinion. The KSS and its historic context has been discussed in many academic publications over the years, some sponsored by BYU, some sponsored by other universities, and is found in actual published histories, real books!. Some very reputable research comes out of BYU on many topics, including Church History. In my opinion, you can object to the opinion of a given author and article and seek to find a responsible opposing opinion to place in the article. You cannot object to an author simply because of his religious affiliation or publisher. If you choose to object to BYU publications in general, you must also object to publications by all privately held universities which are cited on all Wikipedia articles. I removed the tag pending more discussion. WBardwin (talk) 05:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If a journal at Stanford or Harvard or Duke was the sole citation for statements defending Leland Stanford Jr. or John Harvard or Bo & Luke Duke, then, yes, I would hope that the articles would note inline that the sources were published by universities founded by those people.
Even if that was against WP consensus, by suggestion here could be with WP consensus, since those universities are not owned by organizations declaring those people to be prophets. That is a different scale of reverence.
Also, I would of course not want inline notes about BYU-sponsored articles about, say, nuclear fission or Red Dye #5. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 05:56, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In general, if you find yourself having an ongoing dispute about whether a dispute exists, there's a good chance one does, and you should therefore leave the NPOV tag up until there is a consensus that it should be removed. However, repeatedly adding the tag is not to be used as a means of bypassing consensus or dispute resolution. If your sole contribution to an article is to repeatedly add or remove the tag, chances are high that you are abusing your "right" to use the tag.

I have come to the talk page rather than reverting edits that obscure the association of certain scholarly work with the official church in order to reach consensus through discussion and dsipute resolution. Let's try that before simply reverting or removing the NPOV template. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 05:13, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, I think my position is well-supported by WP:SELFPUB -- there is no doubt that publications by the church supporting the actions of their founder are "self-serving". WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 05:13, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think I ever even came close to "asserted your own opinion on sources as the only valid opinion". I also dispute the general statement "You cannot object to an author simply because of his religious affiliation or publisher." Certainly, we can object to the Raelian documents being used as sources that Raelianism is true, at least without noting that they are published by the group themselves. I'm simply suggesting that the article here be very careful about noting that certain documents supporting a church founder were published by the church, not by an independent source. Also, I'm applying this only to the publisher, not the author. If the author is a church member but publishes in a third-party source about this topic, I think it needs no disclaimer. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 05:27, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The cited sources are not blogs or vanity presses; they are articles written by recognized scholars and published by a peer-reviewed university publication. For a Wikipedia article to "gently note [the cited authors'] partiality," it's necessary to cite a reliable source that says the cited authors are partial. Otherwise, it's just an editors opinion and not appropriate for a Wikipedia article. Also, the general presumption is that authors publishing under their own names take responsibility for, and are credited with, their own statements unless they are explicitly recognized as a spokesperson for the organizaiton. BRMo (talk) 05:35, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You inferred the wrong bracketed expression. The partiality I refer to is that of the press, rather than the authors. Also, I wish it to be noted only with the very obvious fact that it is owned by the church. Readers can draw their own conclusions from that. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 05:42, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At its most generous, WP:SPS says "However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so." My edits were only exercising the caution of informing the reader of the church-financed nature of the sources. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 05:47, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you have several concepts confused. Self-published work is work published by the author (or by a vanity press or other publisher that takes no responsibility for the content). The articles in question are not self-published, they are articles written by scholars and published by a third-party—a peer-reviewed university press. Consequently, WP:SPS is not relevant. Although many publications that are considered reliable sources may present a particular point of view, it is generally the authors who are held responsible for what they write. Thus, for a Wikipedia article to "caution" readers about a particular source, you would need to cite a reliable source saying that the cited article is partial. Stating general "cautions" about particular publications without regard to the specific content of the cited article strikes me as an attempt to insert a non-neutral point of view. BRMo (talk) 06:35, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please think this thru, WhyDoIKeepForgetting. Mormon scholars, including historians, are likely to be interested in Mormon topics. They write about Mormon related topics. They may come to the subject with some POV or bias but, if they are scholars, they will examine available evidence and alter their original perspective appropriately. Then, if the work is submitted to a peer-reviewed press like BYU Studies, the article is scrutinized and examined before it is accepted for print. It is in BYU's interest to offer well written scholarly papers on many topics, and to maintain its academic reputation. Publications directly authorized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or other entities within the Latter Day Saint movement, can be expected to contain more of the church('s) positions, and could be represented as presenting an official point of view. If you were to edit the article on Ignatius of Loyola, would you require sources/authors to identify themselves as Jesuits? If you were working on the Thirty Years War, would sources/authors have to identify themselves as Catholic or Protestant? Are only the Mormons, presses/scholars/authors/editors, untrustworthy? Best wishes. User WBardwin, writing for the moment from (talk) 08:37, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Once again, it is not about the author, but about the publication. For example, here is the mission statement of the journal, with my emphasis:

BYU Studies is dedicated to publishing scholarly religious literature in the form of books, journals, and dissertations that is qualified, significant, and inspiring. We want to share these publications to help promote faith, continued learning, and further interest in our LDS history with those in the world who have a positive interest in this work.[11]

BYU clearly does not see it in its interest to "offer well written scholarly papers on many topics, and to maintain its academic reputation" when that contradicts its official doctrines: see Academic_freedom_at_Brigham_Young_University. For BYU, doctrine sometimes comes before academic reputation.

BRMo, I think your reading of WP:SPS is rather narrow. In particular, a university that is willing to fire professors who "contradicts or opposes, rather than analyzes or discusses, fundamental Church doctrine or policy" or "deliberately attacks or derides the Church or its general leaders" certainly seems to be self-enough with early church leaders to be considered under WP:SPS.

My concern is not that Mormons can't write honestly or accurately about early church history, even if it makes JS look bad. My concern is that another university journal with the mission of

ANGRYU Studies is dedicated to publishing scholarly religious literature in the form of books, journals, and dissertations that is qualified, significant, and inspiring. We want to share these publications to help deride faith, continued learning, and further interest in our LDS history with those in the world who have a negative interest in this work.

and an academic freedom policy of limiting work that "supports, rather than analyzes or discusses, fundamental Church doctrine or policy" or "deliberately supports the Church or its general leaders" would never be cited inline in an article about LDS history without explicitly noting the source. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 17:51, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So ----- only believing Mormon presses/scholars/authors/editors are untrustworthy? And Wikipedia articles should only be written by sceptics and they should only refer to sources that have a critical or negative view. Glad to have that clarified. Perhaps we should require all editors to register their religious affiliation, political party, sexual orientation, and field of study, job history, etc... and then forcibly recuse them from any article which may draw upon their personal experience and training? Bah! Sources stand on their own and for NPOV are to be contrasted with sources offering other views. And, obviously, you don't understand satire with your example above. WBardwin (talk) 21:17, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have not used the word "untrustworthy". I have also said, four times now, that it is not LDS "scholars/authors/editors" that need to be noted inline, but LDS presses. My last post explains that in the context of the official stances of the journal and university in question. A press owned by an LDS member that did not have the specific purpose of promoting the faith would need no inline notation by my standard.
Statements like "And, obviously, you don't understand satire with your example above." are not helpful, funny, or insightful. They are not about the article or improving it. I ask you to please not make this personal. I promise to also not make it personal.
I do not think your last comment addresses my comments immediately above: if there were a source that had the same proclaimed partiality as the journal and the university sponsoring it, but with the opposite polarity, it would never be allowed as a source in this article without an inline notation to the effect that its mission was partially to undermine the faith. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 21:50, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your standard -- that a press that openly expresses its point of view is not capable of scholastic integrity -- is a judgment on the press and upon all authors, in any discipline, who are published by that press. Yes? My standard is that sources that are cited in Wikipedia articles should be read and reviewed by the initial editor, then read and reviewed by other editors of a given article, then questioned and discussed on talk pages. If the bias/pov/academic methods/conclusions of the author (not the press) are indeed questionable, then the source can be noted as expressing a particular pov or be excluded for cause. Have you read any or all of the presses output? Have you read the articles cited in this article? Can you show that the material presented here is slanted by the editorial position of the publisher? In Wikipedia, each source stands on its own and should be contrasted with other points of view. WBardwin (talk) 22:03, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did not say that the press "is not capable of scholastic integrity". I said that the proclaimed partiality should be noted inline.
It is not, as you said, a judgment on "all authors, in any discipline, who are published by that press". It is a judgment on the suitability for use on Wikipedia without inline discussion of all articles published in that source that are sympathetic to figures or concepts that the journal explicitly disclaims impartiality on. For instance, an article in JAMA by an author who also published in an LDS-sponsored publication would find no objection for Wikipedia inclusion by me. Neither would an article in LDS-sponsored press find any objection from me if it were cited for facts that are not-sympathetic to the source, which is why I only edited certain parts of the article to note the sponsorship of the LDS church. This is not, of course, only for statements that make church doctrines or founders look bad. An article that was about the effectiveness of a low-carb diet on weight loss, for instance, would not inspire me to cite the LDS sponsor inline.
I do not think your standard, as stated above, about individual editors evaluating the reliability of a source by its text, is supported by WP:SPS. It may be a fine standard, but I do not think it is Wikipedia's standard.
Your standard places a very heavy burden on editors. In particular, a publication that was prefaced with, "All documents contained in these pages assume that W.D. Fard was Allah incarnate", then contained defenses of W.D. Fard that nobody else even bothers to research or refute, like "W.D. Fard was arrested for being bizarro Superman, but he was framed by a Yeti", would have to be accepted as reliable.
I also think your standard contradicts WP:NOR.
I have read some of the sources for this article, yes. I assume they are partial because the journal they were published in says so on the front page. I think you would assume the same of "Skeptic Inquirer" or "The Anti-Mormon Journal", especially if they said so in their "about us" as [12] does about "promote faith" and "positive interest". WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 22:39, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia's definition of reliable source applies to BYU studies:

Articles should be based upon reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Reliable sources are needed to substantiate material within articles, and citations directing the reader to those sources are needed to give credit to authors and publishers, in order to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations. Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article and should be appropriate to the claims made: exceptional claims require high-quality sources.
The appropriateness of any source depends on the context. In general, the best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. Where there is disagreement between sources, their views should be clearly attributed in the text.
The most reliable sources are usually peer-reviewed journals; books published by university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. Electronic media may also be used, subject to the same criteria. Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine, and science. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used in these areas, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications.

WBardwin (talk) 22:45, 26 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do not think this is responsive to my claim above that it is a WP:SPS. I think this discussion is of general interest, so I began a section for its discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability#BYU_Studies. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 14:45, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Moved, at another user's suggestion, to Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#BYU_Studies. WhyDoIKeepForgetting (talk) 15:11, 27 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed neutrality tag per Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#BYU_Studies discussion. WBardwin (talk) 04:27, 2 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The name of the Church in this article.[edit]

Okay. I am pretty fed up with anonymous editors who keep reverting the name of the Church in this article without explanation. Before the 1838 revelation naming the Church (and there are disputes among Latter Day sects about how that name is written), the Church established by Joseph Smith had many names, including The Church of Christ and The Church of the Latter-day Saints. That is why it appears this way in this article. And I've had just about enough of anonymous editors who keep changing it to "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" when that is inaccurate. So I would like to request that this page be protected, and further that the editors who keep changing this be blocked. Thanks. --Jgstokes (talk) 05:16, 2 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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