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 Post subject: Skousen
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:21 pm 
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I'm going to risk bringing up this topic. I've been reading my late mother's journal. I noticed Cleon Skousen gets mentioned at times in her early 60's entries. My feeling is Skousen was not an overall good influence on L.D.S. society. His history books like "The First 2,000 Years" almost totally ignored any archeological findings, and, to me, his political books were questionable. Yet he seemed to be a church celebrity back in the 60's and even now. His influence even now contributes to the churches conservative/reactionary tilt. I hope I don't offend any Skousenites out there. If you are out there, what do people see in him?

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:37 pm 
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I haven't read a lot of Skousen, but he is a right-wing fundamentalist. He saw Satan as the moving force behind Communism. He was is the same ranks as Ezra Taft Benson. He isn't strong on historical facts, but he does know a lot of details about the OT and the NT. He selectively picks the historical facts that fit his narrow narrative. Most important, he believes as do many in the literal apocalypse and the second coming of JS. Liberal interpretation of history is not what he is all about.


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:59 pm 
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Bobby123 wrote:
I haven't read a lot of Skousen, but he is a right-wing fundamentalist. He saw Satan as the moving force behind Communism. He was is the same ranks as Ezra Taft Benson. He isn't strong on historical facts, but he does know a lot of details about the OT and the NT. He selectively picks the historical facts that fit his narrow narrative. Most important, he believes as do many in the literal apocalypse and the second coming of JS. Liberal interpretation of history is not what he is all about.

Was that a typo? "the second coming of JS"? :)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:06 am 
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Firstly, if JS is coming back, I call first in the line to full on kick him in the balls.

Secondly, I am not a fan of Skousen. My dad loves The 5000 Year Leap, but my dad also believes that the Earth is about 6000 years old, that Blacks were denied the priesthood due to premortal transgressions, and that JS translated gold plates in the exact manner depicted in church paintings. I can't take him seriously. His work full of historical inaccuracies.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:32 am 
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I never read much Skousen myself, but I was influenced by my fairly conservative TBM father, who thought he was a nutjob. But hey, Glenn Beck loves him, so what more endorsement does one need? :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:46 am 
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If you can get Awake over here, then I think she has some unique perspectives on Skousen's work and legacy.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:09 am 
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I grew up in a very conservative-orthodox Mormon home where Cleon Skousen was featured prominently in our home library and in discussion. I don't think it can be overestimated how large of an impact he had on the culture. He was a major player. I'm not a fan obviously anymore.

And he has been reincarnated over the last 10 years. No need to say more.

Now his brother Max Skousen OTOH is someone who has really blessed my life. I do like him. But not so much Cleon.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:12 am 
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Cleon is a great storyteller, and also well versed on issues and prophecies regarding Israel. He is clearly cut from the same cloth as his contemporaries like ETB.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:55 am 
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Ok y'all... I think MOST of you know this, but I AM A SKOUSEN.. and closely related to Cleon. Some of his theories are magnificient (atoms having intelligences) and some of his ideas are a little backward (i remember knives thrown over some of his constitutionalist theories over the dinner table by my feminist mother)... but I want to say this...

Cleon as a man was wonderful and he had an integrity about him that never wavered. He was given the choice many moons ago to become a GA but he chose to make a difference with the FBI instead. All of the Skousen children from Margarita Bentley Skousen turned out very brilliant and eccentric. Max was a seer (and he got ex'd for it many times) lol... Ervin was an amazing politican who did much good to help the poor and broken... and Rita created a honey empire, and was as welcoming as anyone.

Please be careful with this topic and tread lightly... :)

My thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:59 am 
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Awake wrote:
Ok y'all... I think MOST of you know this, but I AM A SKOUSEN.. and closely related to Cleon. Some of his theories are magnificient (atoms having intelligences) and some of his ideas are a little backward (i remember knives thrown over some of his constitutionalist theories over the dinner table by my feminist mother)... but I want to say this...

Cleon as a man was wonderful and he had an integrity about him that never wavered. He was given the choice many moons ago to become a GA but he chose to make a difference with the FBI instead. All of the Skousen children from Margarita Bentley Skousen turned out very brilliant and eccentric. Max was a seer (and he got ex'd for it many times) lol... Ervin was an amazing politican who did much good to help the poor and broken... and Rita created a honey empire, and was as welcoming as anyone.

Please be careful with this topic and tread lightly... :)

My thanks.


No I didn't know you are a Skousen! Thanks for the heads up.

I did say I am a big Max Skousen fan at least! I love that guy's work. Totally helped me to see the temple in an allegorical way. Blew my mind and changed my life.

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1 Thess. 5:21 (NASB) "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;"


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:28 pm 
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I always feel bad for Max and the way the church chewed him up over his books. The two eldest brothers, Cleon and Erv were always in a quandry over how to handle Max. At his funeral there was a huge discussion about how to dedicate his grave and luckily, IMO, Erv won and love prevailed.

You know, even today the Skousen's from Rita's line are doing some amazing things... I'm involved with some of the projects, but it all comes from her teachings and her way of looking at the world. The really funny thing about the name Skousen is how it is used in the wards... I don't use the name, as I'm married.. but when my mother goes to church it's a form of royalty along with the Nibleys of the world. In fact, people come up to her and ask her how she's related and then tell stories of how they are distantly a Skousen too. There's almost a hierarchy within the name. One of the most humorous things is to hear about 'Those darn Arizona Skousens' and how they are "Not affiliated with OUR Skousens!" There's two branches of Skousens.. both Mormon descendents of the Colonial Juarez 1890s... But one branch went to AZ, the other to Utah.. and the rest is history.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:48 pm 
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I hope I did not offend with my comment and I certainly apologize if that is the case.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Awake wrote:
I always feel bad for Max and the way the church chewed him up over his books. The two eldest brothers, Cleon and Erv were always in a quandry over how to handle Max. At his funeral there was a huge discussion about how to dedicate his grave and luckily, IMO, Erv won and love prevailed.

You know, even today the Skousen's from Rita's line are doing some amazing things... I'm involved with some of the projects, but it all comes from her teachings and her way of looking at the world. The really funny thing about the name Skousen is how it is used in the wards... I don't use the name, as I'm married.. but when my mother goes to church it's a form of royalty along with the Nibleys of the world. In fact, people come up to her and ask her how she's related and then tell stories of how they are distantly a Skousen too. There's almost a hierarchy within the name. One of the most humorous things is to hear about 'Those darn Arizona Skousens' and how they are "Not affiliated with OUR Skousens!" There's two branches of Skousens.. both Mormon descendents of the Colonial Juarez 1890s... But one branch went to AZ, the other to Utah.. and the rest is history.


Well my parents would be head over heels that I am even conversing with a Skousen. They were big fans of Cleon. They didn't know anything about Max's work though. I happened upon his work quite by accident. In some ways Max's work is what was a factor that induced faith crisis for me (because simply put, it tends to give power to the individual rather than the institution) and led me to the NOM board but I still am very glad I found his stuff. I've never seen anything like it before or since in the church which is probably why he was excommunicated a few times.

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http://www.progressivemormons.com/about/

1 Thess. 5:21 (NASB) "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;"


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:56 pm 
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no offense taken.. I just know that Steve Bensen has gotten pretty brutal about my kin and am simply hoping people are aware there is more than me on NOM who is a Skousen.. (some of my family is as well)... so to be careful in the attack.

I used to disagree with Cleon regarding whether the Founding Father's would die over the amendments. He was a fan of having only 1 household vote of the patriarch as in his mind in an ideal world the 'man' should rule the family. There was quite a bit of sexism within the Skousen clan growing up, especially for those in my mother's era... But I'm finding that along with the rigidity of TBMness there is also an amazing capacity for deep intellectual thought. The Skousen reunions (again I'm not talking about those darn AZ skousens ha) are full of debate and theatrics. TONS of fun. Once Cleon and Erv and Keith (I think) got into tiny swimsuits and sang 'I gotta have skin" to about 250 horrified relatives at one. They had such a fun streak when they were together.

Cleon truly was devoted to his vision of the American principles. He devoted to life to fighting off what he saw as an attack on that. I admire and respect him, but even more some of the lesser known siblings who did some amazing good in the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:49 pm 
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I have to agree with Mark Hemingway's assessment of Cleon Skousen of being an "all-around nutjob." He was a paranoid conspiracy-theorizing John Bircher a la Ezra Taft Benson. Virtually all of his books are absolute garbage and have nothing to offer in terms of well-grounded political insight. He was a blight on the political identity formation of Mormons in general.


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:12 pm 
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I feel like Cleon's stock has dropped in popular LDS culture. He used to be considered somewhat of an authority/celebrity, but in the last couple years I've hardly heard anyone talk about him.


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:29 pm 
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Awake wrote:
I always feel bad for Max and the way the church chewed him up over his books. The two eldest brothers, Cleon and Erv were always in a quandry over how to handle Max. At his funeral there was a huge discussion about how to dedicate his grave and luckily, IMO, Erv won and love prevailed.

You know, even today the Skousen's from Rita's line are doing some amazing things... I'm involved with some of the projects, but it all comes from her teachings and her way of looking at the world. The really funny thing about the name Skousen is how it is used in the wards... I don't use the name, as I'm married.. but when my mother goes to church it's a form of royalty along with the Nibleys of the world. In fact, people come up to her and ask her how she's related and then tell stories of how they are distantly a Skousen too. There's almost a hierarchy within the name. One of the most humorous things is to hear about 'Those darn Arizona Skousens' and how they are "Not affiliated with OUR Skousens!" There's two branches of Skousens.. both Mormon descendents of the Colonial Juarez 1890s... But one branch went to AZ, the other to Utah.. and the rest is history.


Half of my family is from the Skousen-Call combo from the colonies. So we're related! The other half were non-Mormon, Irish-Catholic-Agnostics. That's probably where we branch off :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:13 pm 
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There was a guy a few years back who did a freedom of information search and found that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was really pissed off that Cleon Skousen had made his claims about being a commie buster for the FBI. However in Professor Skousen's defense, many people fib about their credentials when they are trying to sell themselves or other dubious products. In this case, the dubious product was Skousen's desire to be the formost LDS kook when it came to Communism. He needed to try extra hard because the Church already had Ezra Taft Benson.

He really came up with some doozy of ideas, didn't he? That final flourish about an international cabal of bankers was something that got those AM talk radio and cat loving people going. Plus it took the heat off the evil Martian Phlengoes when the Mormon tin foil brigade set their sights on both commies and capitalists.

Speaking of lingering relics from this past, Phyllis Schafly and her Eagle Forum is still going strong.

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 Post subject: Re: Skousen
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:22 pm 
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I heard Skousen speak when I was young and really enjoyed it. It was kind of a 50-minute recap of human history. I can't recall much about it now but it was pretty interesting at the time.

My biggest issue with Skousen is the way Glenn Beck is resurrecting his writings and adding a new layer of paranoia.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:38 pm 
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gNOMe wrote:
Firstly, if JS is coming back, I call first in the line to full on kick him in the balls.

Secondly, I am not a fan of Skousen. My dad loves The 5000 Year Leap, but my dad also believes that the Earth is about 6000 years old, that Blacks were denied the priesthood due to premortal transgressions, and that JS translated gold plates in the exact manner depicted in church paintings. I can't take him seriously. His work full of historical inaccuracies.



lmao...i would love to have a turn

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