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A Conversation with Mike Norton

Mike Norton, AKA “NewNameNoah,” the temple cinematographer I made reference to in yesterday’s post, has found me out! This morning, he commented on what I wrote, and, as I was preparing a response in the comments section, I thought it might be a good idea to bring this to the front page. After having bashed him in absentia yesterday, it seems only appropriate that I give him a broader forum for his response.

Mike’s comments are in green, the color of life. Mine are in black, the color of darkness.

Jim, apparently I “dared” you to call me. Let’s state the facts now.

Yes, let’s! I’m impressed that you found me, sir. I’d be thrilled to know this wasn’t your first time here.

You posted the following comment on my “Behind The Veil” video under the pseudonym “Jim Gloober”, “Clearly those of you who “comment here on a regular basis” are looking for an outlet for rage and hatred that makes this a place where we Mormons are going to be treated with disdain. I simply submit that any who think such hatred is either Christian or intellectually constructive may want to recognize that it is neither. As for me, I have no interest in returning to a place where I am so clearly despised. Live and be well.”

Yes.

I responded with the following, “Jim Gloober, I’m sorry that you feel like the comments here are filled with “rage and hatred” and that we treat Mormons with “disdain.”

I can assure you, nobody here “despises” you. You simply haven’t said enough to warrant being despised. Come back anytime or stay away for forever. It makes no difference to anyone here.

Feel free to call sometime if you desire the truth more than you desire the church to be true: (801) 971-8661

We hate the beliefs, not the believers.”

Does that sound like a “dare”?

Sure. As per your invitation, I should only feel free to call “if [I] desire the truth more than [I] desire the church to be true.” The implication is that I would be too cowardly to call, because I couldn’t bear to have my erroneous assumptions challenged by the truth that you wield. I don’t think “dare” is a mischaracterization of that kind of challenge.

The comments are still there in the video comments for anyone to verify that I didn’t “dare you” to call me.

And they’re now here, on the front page of my blog. As to their daring nature, that’s a subjective decision readers will have to make for themselves. In any case, I didn’t realize that the term “dare” was so loaded or inflammatory.

You also states in this blog, “My favorite bit was a shot of an LDS temple’s baptismal font, which is something that the LDS temple provides high-res pictures of same on their own web site.

Behold! Secret Mormon things revealed – from the church’s own website, no less!”

Reality: I don’t use ANY “high-res pictures…from the church’s own website, no less” in my video.

And I never claimed you did. The picture I posted “from the church’s own website” was exactly that – a picture from the church’s own website. My point was that the shots of the baptismal font in your video don’t constitute any kind of scoop, given that the church posts such pictures on the web and in its literature. I thought it was clear from the context that the picture I posted yesterday didn’t come from one of your videos. If it wasn’t, I apologize for the confusion. If anyone else other than you took that as a claim that that picture came from your video, I’m happy to correct that misconception now.

It was filmed entirely INSIDE two Mormon temples with a hidden camera and it shows the actual baptisms for the dead as well as footage from the super “sacred not secret” temple endowment ceremony that, until now, nobody has ever witnessed outside of the temple.

That would date your footage as being previous to the anti-Mormon films that were all the rage prior to the Internet’s creation, many of which included big chunks of the ceremony, if not the whole thing. The endowment has been published and broadcast by critics of the church in a variety of media as long as there has been media. Since the advent of the web, the temple ceremony has been all over the place and easily accessible. Are you suggesting that you are the first person to film the ceremony and reveal it to the public? That defies credulity.

You then write, “In the age if the Internet, it’s rather foolish to presume that the church has any capacity to hide any aspect of its practices or history from the world at large, so it always amazes me when people who hate the church, as they fixate on something that church does or did that they don’t like, act like they’ve uncovered something nobody else has ever seen or heard about. That was certainly the case with the purveyor of this particular video, who claimed all this stuff was “never before seen… until now!” (Apparently, the guy doesn’t watch a lot of Big Love.)”

Reality: I would hardly compare a three minute re-enactment of the temple endowment ceremony on a fictional television show to a 78 minutes video of the entire endowment ceremony (both the movie AND live versions) filmed inside working temples with a hidden camera. Nice way to steer attention away from my videos. “Nothing to see here folks. This is all from the church’s own website folks. Show’s ovah…move along.”

Again, I never claim that the endowment can be found on the church’s website. For someone who insists that he’s only interested in facts, those are some pretty goofy words to be putting in my mouth.

You then write, “Well, I think there’s quite a bit more evidence, both internal and external, than enemies of the church will admit. Didn’t get a chance to say any of that, though – he tore through his spiel under the assumption that I’d never heard such things before…”

Reality: You asked me what caused me to leave the church and I asked you pointedly if you were aware of the Kinderhook plates. I didn’t go into any detail about them because he said he was familiar with the story. I NEVER “assume” that Mormons who call me “had never heard such things.”

Forgive me for making inferences about your assumptions that you didn’t explicitly state. I made those inferences based on the premise that you had never heard of such things prior to your investigation of church history. As I recall, the Kinderhook Plates led you to Joseph Smith’s polygamy/polyandry, and you, and subsequently your mother, were shocked and appalled by what you discovered, which led you to leave the church. Given your dare/non-dare, as well as a private message where you claim that you had verifiable proof the Book of Mormon was a fraud, I assumed you thought yourself in possession of knowledge that I didn’t have. I don’t think my inference represents any brazen departure from logical reasoning.

Jim writes, ” The oddest complaint he had, the only one which I have not, in fact, heard from anyone else, was that Gordon B. Hinckley wasn’t a prophet because he didn’t act like Moses coming down from Sinai when Larry King interviewed him.”

Reality: I told Jim that I was disappointed when Mormon Prophets, I used Hinckley as an example, waste opportunities like the Larry King interview to give half ass answers to the question, “Are you a prophet of God?” with answers like, “I am sustained as such.” WTF is THAT?!?!

WTF indeed. I don’t see where I’ve mischaracterized you at all here. I had never heard the complaint that President Hinckley’s appearances on the Larry King show constituted prophetic disappointment, so I said so in my post.

Jim, at least you were honest when you stated, “I’ve been accused, therefore, of not having an open mind on this subject. And I think there’s more than a grain of truth to that.”

Not only do you not have an open mind, you also seems to have a poor memory and a tendency to blatantly lie about the facts of a conversation.

“Blatantly lie?” Strong words indeed.

To sum up your grievances with what I wrote, I characterized a confrontational challenge to call as a “dare,” and I posted a picture from LDS.org that you mistakenly claim was attributed to you when it was clearly not. I made a logical inference based on the context of our exchanges that you believed yourself to be in possession of information I had never heard before, and I claimed you were disappointed in Gordon B. Hinckley’s prophetic performance.

Which one of those constitutes a lie, let alone a “blatant” one?

I never “dared you” to call me but I WILL challenge you to allow my response to this inaccurate article to remain up. If you’re going to lie about a conversation, at least allow the other party to tell the truth.

Done. I’ll leave it to this blog’s readers to determine the veracity of both of our positions.

Why I Am A Mormon
Corroding the Container

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