Former CES Director Philip McLemore pulls back the curtain to give us a look behind the scenes at what really goes on in the Church Educational System. As a bonus, we also get to hear about the strange happenings on his mission to Brazil in the early 70s. Finally, Philip shares the untold story of how he was asked by top CES leadership to write up a thorough debunking of anti-Mormon criticisms back in the heyday of The Godmakers. And why it was that project never saw the light of day. This is one you don’t want to miss!!!
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Why would we assume Elder Ashton was open to finding problems? It was much easier for the church to walk around, kick some dirt and not dig hard enough to find problems. All consciences come away clear and the baptism machine (PR machine too) continues. As soon as it was said that Ashton gave a 6-8 week notice I knew how the movie would end and how it was planned from the HQ to the mission.
Thanks for a wonderful discussion. The description of the mission in Brazil was…like my mission only 100 times worse. I thought the phrase “Brotherhood of Unsavory Secrets (BUS) is classic human behavior.
In my mission we did have professional salesmen speak to us about techniques, etc. But we were taught a pattern for our interviews: talk about positive results first, then talk about areas of improvement. I thought it was a good approach.
The overall message of the podcast as I see it is- when faith is not supported by evidence, fudging, exaggerating, finally even lying for the Lord takes precedence over honest reporting.
I totally believe the Brazil story of Philip. I was in Guatemala from 87-88 at the same time as John Dehlin who told his own story of the Soccer baptisms. The pressure to baptize was extreme, even if it was a sack of potatoes just to get the stats making the president look good. Missionaries who came up short were publicly derided and those that met the goal were given rewards. The mission made me feel like a con man.