[chuck]Back for what is becoming a monthly trip over to Church of Awesome, we discuss the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a dark time in LDS history where a faithful and obedient band of Mormons slaughtered a group of 120 men, women, and children who were traveling through their territory in 1857. Against the backdrop of previous Mormon persecutions, the martyrdom of their prophet, the “Utah War,” and the recent murder of Apostle Parley P. Pratt, tensions were extremely high in the Territory of Deseret. Find out how this tragedy happened and what role the leaders of the church played in it.

If I always sound sick in these Church of Awesome podcasts, I blame it on overwork and pretty much constant stress. The good news is, both these problems should improve significantly in the near future, and these podcasts provide a nice outlet. So hopefully I’ll be able to do more soon.

31 Responses to “CoA: Mountain Meadows Massacre”

  1. I am super excited to hear your stress will be going down in the near-ish future and hopefully most of the debt from the ominous haunt is out of the way. Thanks for visiting the COA guys again, it is always damn good to hear your voice on these things.

    I’d never heard anything in-depth about the Mountain Meadows Massacre before listening to the episode. I think one of the sickest parts of the whole thing is the paperwork listing all the belongings they acquired and all the clothing they sold to the Indians. It shows these people to be truly fucking heartless. Honestly, it reminded me of the Nazi’s pulling gold fillings out of teeth, etc.

    Thanks for putting the time into researching this topic and sharing it with us.

  2. cricket says:

    Great podcast Chuck. Really informative, and even handed. Look forward to hearing more of you in the future.

  3. @ Ben: yeah, the good news boils down to new management at the clinic along with a new pay structure, which means increased compensation. That, along with the second job I’m already working, should allow me to get out from under the debt burden faster than I initially thought. It’s been a rough 8 months, but hopefully there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    The cheating of the federal government by these Mormons tells me that they had no remorse whatsoever about their deeds. If they were truly remorseful, I would suppose their first thoughts wouldn’t be, “Let’s get ourselves over to brother Brigham and find out how to make some money from this.”

    @ cricket: Thanks. Hopefully I’m right, and things will let up in the near future a bit. Otherwise it might be a long haul before I can get my own podcast going.

  4. Wow. Great job on the content. The Mormon cult fascinates me more and more everyday. Too bad this needs to be taken seriously on a national level now that Mitt “Holy Pants” Romney is a “conservative” contender for the presidency. How about more information on the mid to late 19th century contemporary opinion of Mormonism. I recently read the first Sherlock Holmes novel “A Study in Scarlet” written 30 years after this tragedy. Now that I have learned about this massacre, I can only imagine the influence of this on the national and international opinion of mormonism at the time.

  5. somewhere in greece says:

    Chuck, we love you. The podcasting world needs you, please visit the Church of Awesome more

  6. Chuck, your brilliant! While I am sorry things didn’t work out with you and Leighton, he was holding you back. Your Justin Timberlake and he was Nsync. When I listen to those debates with the EFF guys, you can tell they are praying for Leighton to jump in and stop you from talking. Can’t wait for your podcast to come out. We need leaders like you.

  7. Discord.agent says:

    I can’t believe that really happened, and I can’t believe more people don’t know about how violent the LDS Cult has been in the past. I feel horrible for laughing at how the Mormons looted the murdered corpses and then charged the federal government for their spoils of war. I goes it goes to show that the LDS cult is and was always solely about obtaining money and power. And people say the jews are crafty money-grubbers…

  8. Good luck Chuck… Can’t wait to hear more Podcast goodness from you soon.

  9. @Tim: The late 19th century was a fascinating time for Mormonism. That was when it began the process of converting from a radical new fringe Christian sect to a mainstream religion by banning polygamy and de-emphasizing the Adam-God doctrine. This process was complete by the mid-20th century, and it has been steadily growing ever since. The Republican party was founded, I believe, on combating the “twin pillars of barbarism,” which were slavery and polygamy. Lots of fodder for an episode or two.

    @somewhere in greece: Thank you. I may be up for a monthly CoA podcast.

    @Phil: I’m actually not sorry things didn’t work out with Leighton, I’m just sorry he ran out on his obligations and left me holding the bag. I had assumed that underneath his douchebag exterior there was a good person, but you only get to see someone’s true character during times of crisis. After about 15 years of friendship, that was the first time I got to see Leighton’s true character.

    I’m getting excited to do a solo project, and already have a list of topics to cover. The only thing I need now is time.

    @Discord.agent: It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that otherwise normal people could be convinced to murder men, women, and children at the behest of their religious leaders. It’s one more thing to add to the list of reasons why religion should be extinct.

    @stodluke: Thanks. I’m looking forward to having some free time on my hands.

  10. Thanks for doing the CoA podcasts. I’ve been enjoying listening to them, getting caught up on past episodes and all that. The show is usually better when you’re on. (Don’t tell them I said so, though!)

  11. Discord.agent says:

    Annie, I think they know.

  12. Lucy Harris says:

    Moral of the story: don’t steal baby clothes

  13. Hi, Chuck.
    Just thought you might be interested to know that you have a fan from Hungary of all places. 🙂
    By the way, did you think about teaming up with other podcasters permanently, like the Church of awesome ? Or perhaps Cognitive dissonance?

  14. Hungary? Is that near Switzerland?

    I’ve thought about joining another podcast, but recent events have soured me on partnerships.

  15. Well, it is not that hard to look on the map. 🙂
    And no, it is near Austria, which IS near Switzerland.

  16. But looking at a map requires effort.

  17. Oh sweet, Hungary is home to lots of vampires. Maybe I’ll come visit.

  18. Actually, as part of the training in the Hungarian armed forces, you are required not only to train with assault rifles, but wooden stakes and garlic as well. This is neccessary to fight off the frequent vampire invasions that plague Hungary to this day.

  19. I need an expert opinion. True or false: vampires cannot cross a running stream of water.

  20. somewhere in greece says:

    Dunno mate, the Danube would be a huge problem in Hungary for any lingering vampires.
    Visit the place though, Budapest is gorgeous and during the summer they have open air opera festivals in the city parks. the downside is, the restaurants close very early. Even in the most touristy areas of Budapest the kitchens closed at 9. That’s the time Greeks start deciding where to go out for dinner

  21. It’s on my list of places to visit, right after Egypt and Greece.

  22. Chuck – You said that recent events have soured me on partnerships.

    Do you think the problem was more to do with your partner, rather than partnerships in general?

    I am asking this because I find that especially when it comes to podcasts, the back and forth conversation between two people adds a lot to the enjoyability. With one person it can tend to be boring. I can def, understand your hesitance … and if anyone could make a solo podcast work, my guess is that you could make it work. But I would still love to hear you bullshitting with Matt Wakefield, or someone else. Possibly not a partnership, but a rotating cast of co-hosts, like the COA guys, Matt, and other people maybe even listeners who want to get in on the fun.

    Just a thought.

  23. I still plan on having a guest cohost from time to time, just not every podcast.

  24. I wanted to ask – what was Irreligiosophy’s listener base’s size at it’s peak?

  25. Toward the end, we averaged 40-50,000 downloads per episode. Loftus’s interview clocked in at 90,000 downloads.

  26. Cool Chuck, that sounds good. I can only imagine the pain in the ass it is to try and get someone to record a show with you when they are being unreliable. Then the listeners get bitchy … vicious circle.

    Kinda makes you wanna say, “Fuck it, I’ll do it live!” In your best Bill O’Reilly voice, of course.

  27. Jay (stronger now) says:

    Chuck, I am one who rarely speaks up (the silent but deadly majority?) yet I must say that the laughter and insight you bring to these issues is refreshing. You have a perspective that is compelling and a sense of humor that I, and my wife, enjoy tremendously. Thanks for all you have done. I really mean that, because I chose to write my history paper on the LDS church since I heard your podcasts, I got a “B” and didn’t even have to work for it!

  28. Thanks, Jay. It is something I enjoy when I get the time to do it. The trick is not getting burned out or letting it take time away from my family. We’ll see how this new project turns out, if I can ever get it off the ground.

  29. skeptonomicon says:

    I thought it was a very balanced presentation of the events. There were several points at which you could have launched into a tirade, but instead stuck to the facts and explained the background and motivations. Good job. Do you feel that this was primarily a religious motivated attack, or that it was an attack by an mob that used religion to justify their actions during the events, and later to cover it up?

  30. I see it as an attack of opportunity, and once the culprits saw that the “Indian defense” wouldn’t fly, they justified it with ad-hoc religious excuses. But the massacre could not have been carried out or covered up without the Mormon religion in place, with its rigid hierarchy and doctrine of unquestioning obedience.

  31. One of my favorite uses of religion, justification of dearly held bigotry.