This event will be online, on the Skeptics in the Pub Twitch channel.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) was founded in 1830 by New Englander Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon, the foundational scripture authored by Smith, claims to be a history of Christian Israelites who settled the American continents from 2500 BCE to 420 CE. Within a decade of creation, Mormonism established extensive missionary efforts in Europe, eventually forming the Perpetual Immigration Fund, a program for funnelling European converts to the faith to America en masse. After Smith’s assassination, one successor named Brigham Young organized a mass exodus to Mexico where the Mormons settled, running from United States law enforcement. This area became the “State of Deseret” until the Compromise of 1850 created Utah Territory. This Mormon settlement grew as tens of thousands of European converts immigrated into the territory over decades and Native American tribes were forced onto reservations and often outright murdered. As a result of these demographic trends, today’s Utah population is ~89% white compared with the national average of ~60% white and is one of the most religiously homogenous states in the nation. Utah Mormonism is the result of a large-scale eugenics experiment within recent history.
Bryce Blankenagel hosts Naked Mormonism and Glass Box podcasts as a full-time Mormon history researcher. He has presented and published on “Life of Frederick G. Williams,” “Mormon Satan, Brother of Jesus,” “By His Own Hand, the Best-Worst Mormon Scripture,” “Sidney Rigdon, Forgotten Hero of Mormonism,” and “Revelation Through Hallucination: A Treatise on the Smith-Entheogen Theory,” and produced the “Proper Channels” documentary. He has been an invited guest speaker on dozens of podcasts totalling hundreds of thousands of listeners telling the outside world how interesting Mormon history is. He has attended or presented at Sunstone, ReasonCon, John Whitmer Historical Association, and QED as an independent researcher and is a current member of the John Whitmer Historical Association article awards committee.
This event is being run by Skeptics in the Pub Online, a coalition of UK-based Skeptics groups. Formed as the Covid-19 epidemic brought our country to a standstill, we are working to deliver high quality online events focussing on science, reason, and critical thinking.