Category Archives: Personal

The Conspiracy Motif and the Nineteenth Century RLDS Church


While the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) emerged from elements in the early Mormon movement that accepted more mainstream American religious and social ideals its membership also spun its own formidable conspiracy theory. An early and … Continue reading

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Toward a Theory of Conspiracy Theories


The recent conspiracy theories surrounding the military exercise, Jade Helm 15, being planned by the U.S. Department of Defense in the summer of 2015 has led me to consider the place of conspiracies in American history. There are a lot of conspiracy … Continue reading

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Zion in Mormon History: An American Promised Land


Mormonism’s self-identification as a modern replacement for ancient Israel mandated the quest for Zion as a literal place. The establishment of what the Saints called Zion had been the most persistent goal of the early Mormon movement. The early Latter-day … Continue reading

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My Top Ten Teams at the Start of Spring Training in 2015


We are now at the point where the 2015 Spring Training is underway. I love this time of year, the majority of the off-season moves have been made, the endless speculation is about to be met by actual performance, and … Continue reading

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Core Identity and the Nineteenth Century Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


I have spent many years studying the history of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), renamed the Community of Christ in 2000. This was the most successful of any of the non-Utah variety of churches … Continue reading

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Have You Ever Seen the “Abilene Paradox” in Action?


I’m pretty sure you have seen this dynamic, although you may not be aware of it with this name. It is fundamentally a construct of Jerry B. Harvey, now a retired professor of Management at George Washington University. He first described … Continue reading

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Meeting Jesse Lemisch: Historian of the American Revolution, Critic of the Status Quo, and Social Activist Par Excellence


I was truly honored to meet Jesse Lemisch at the American Historical Association annual meeting in New York over the past weekend. My partner, Monique Laney, took this picture of us. I suspect that many people at the reception did … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Empire of Conspiracy”


Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America. By Timothy Melley. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000. Americans, certainly, and perhaps all the cultures of the world, love the idea of conspiracy as an explanation of how and why … Continue reading

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Something Fun for a Friday: Bing Crosby and David Bowie Sing a Christmas Duet


I first watched Bing Crosby and David Bowie sing this combination of “Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth” on a Christmas special in the late 1970s. I was in graduate school at the time and balancing a job, school, … Continue reading

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Something Fun for a Friday: 2014 USAF Flash Mob at NASM’s Udvar-Hazy Center


On December 2, 2014, at the National Air and Space Museum’s Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles International Airport the USAF Band showed up to stage another flash mob. It’s a great holiday treat. Enjoy!

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