Bloggernacle Classics: The Banner of Heaven Weblog

Welcome back, students of Bloggernacle History, to another entry in Bloggernacle Classics! It’s been a few months since our last lesson, but I hope that you’ve kept your pencils sharp and your notebooks dust-free, because our next lesson is a whopper.

Every community, no matter the size or location, has some common features and characteristics–it has heroes, villains, successes, and failures. Every community also has it’s dark secrets. Mind you, I’m not talking about simple rumors that get passed around the hair salon or ghost stories used to scare little kids into behaving properly–I’m talking about the sort of thing that no one ever talks about. Ever. Anyone who enters the community after such a secret is buried will possibly see passing references to it here and there, but vagueness and confusion surround them, because again, no one will talk about these dark secrets. Naturally, the unwillingness of the locals to talk about these community secrets serves only to make them even more a point of curiosity and intrigue to newcomers, and unless you’ve got the Sheriff on your side, eventually the curiosity will win out and the skeletons will be dragged out of the closet by force.

For the Bloggernacle, the dark secret is the Banner of Heaven weblog, its rise, fall, and the Bloggernacle-wide explosion of anger, bitterness, hilarity, incredulity, moralizing, apologizing, prophesying, and insanity that followed its exposure as a prank (or fraud, depending on your perspective).

Exactly five years ago today–May 30, 2005–a group of six bloggers launched the Banner of Heaven weblog, setting in motion a scandal that lasted nearly six months. That inaugural post, titled simply “A Declaration” is reproduced for your viewing pleasure below:

A Declaration

When in the course of the bloggernacle it becomes necessary for one blog to assume the separate and equal station to which it is entitled, a decent respect for the other blogs out there requires that they should declare the reason that impels them to exist.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that not all bloggers are created equal, that they blog for various reasons, that among these are to sound smart, to argue with total strangers, and to advance and defend ideas that for the most part they came up with all by themselves—that to accomplish these purposes group blogs are instituted upon the ‘net, deriving their prestige from the number of graduate degrees that have been collected—that whenever any or all blogs become rife with self-aggrandizement and navel-gazing, it is the right of the people to try and do better, to institute a new blog, layings its foundation on such principles and organizing its permabloggers in such form, as to them seems most likely to effect brutal honesty, plain-speaking, and insight into the lives of Mormons just like you. Such has been the patient suffering of these lurkers and commenters, and such is now the necessity that constrains them to alter all former systems of blogging.

So then, we are dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored old blogs we may take increased caution to avoid those misguided purposes listed above to which they give the most full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that such old blogs will not have crusted over in vain—that this blog, the Banner of Heaven, shall give a new birth of fresh perspective—and that posts about real people, by real people, and for real people will not perish from the earth.

For the next week or two, I invite all of you Bloggernacle newbies to curl up next to the campfire of By Common Consent and Bloggernacle Times and listen to the tale of the Banner of Heaven Weblog. You’ll be introduced to the dreaded Aaron B. Cox and a man named Septimus; the word “shelf” will take on an entirely different meaning for you, and you’ll never be able to sing the music from Cats again.

Stay tuned for BCC’s and BT’s Banner of Heaven 5-Year Anniversary Retrospective: Podcasts, posts, imagery, and analysis detailing the greatest (only?) scandal to ever take place in the Bloggernacle from it’s very origins to it’s (in)glorious descent into mayhem and destruction.

Index of Posts in the 5-Year Retrospective

Part 2: Origins
Part 3: The Blog
Part 4: SeptimusH
Part 5: Miranda PJ (podcast with DKL)
Part 6: Jenn Mailer
Part 7: Commenting Statistics
Part 8: More Commenting Statistics
Part 9: Mari Collier
Part 10: Aaron B. Cox
Part 11: Greg Fox
Part 12: The Expose (Podcast with Rusty Clifton)
Part 13: Kurt aka Snarkimus Prime, 5 Years Later
Part 14: The Meltdown (podcast with Geoff J)
Part 15: annegb, 5 Years Later
Part 16: a random John, 5 Years Later
Part 17: The Aftermath (podcast with Steve Evans)
Part 18: Banner of Heaven Art Gallery
Part 19: Rosalynde Welch, 5 Years Later

Comments

  1. Scott B. says:

    A word of caution:

    I realize very much that this has been an extremely sensitive topic for many people in the past. I am going to keep a pretty tight leash on all threads relating to BoH, so please be respectful to everyone, no matter your position.

  2. You are a brave man. I have found that there are a lot of people who still aren’t over this. I wasn’t really around at the time, but just reading about it and talking about it after the fact got me into trouble. Ready your hard hat.

  3. Scott B. says:

    Yep.

    Bomb’s away, MCQ.

  4. This was touchy? It seems a bit silly, all things considered. Do people still hold hurt feelings over all this?

  5. I was around when it all went down, but still only peripherally- so it didn’t effect me as a bystander. It seems like things usually whispered about benefit from a healthy dose of sunshine… This should be interesting.

  6. Steve Evans says:

    oh geez, here we go…

  7. Wait, what happened?

  8. Geez Clark, way to prime the pump.

    BTD Greg said roughly the same thing; he got his a** handed to him by Rusty.

  9. Scott B. says:

    Fortunately for me, MCQ, Rusty is one of the leading participants in the upcoming week’s festivities.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Wow . . .

    I’m a newbie. Somehow I don’t think this is going to be a fun read.

  11. I was hoping you would say that.

  12. Steph, it’s incredibly fun looking back on it from a safe distance. the only unfun thing about it, I suspect, was living through it as one of the perps or the rabble that wanted to lynch them.

    BTW, by my definition, BoH was neither a prank nor a fraud but an experiment. Discuss.

  13. Scott B. says:

    I would encourage everyone to hold back on the debating a bit in this thread–let’s not get ahead of ourselves too quickly…spoil all the good story telling…

  14. Scott B. says:

    Stephanie,
    Fear not. This isn’t going to be a name-and-blame thing; it’s going to be history–like a museum.

  15. Sure it is.

  16. Like a museum of whup-ass!

  17. Sorry, Scott, it’s hard to hold back. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.

  18. Scott B. says:

    mmiles,
    I don’t take lip from cynics and Buffy-haters.

  19. k, no fair bringing up a huge scandal if there are no extant links to the primary source.

    Did feelings really get this crazed over a fake blog? I wasn’t around back then, but I’m in the mood for some juicy gossip, and I’d love for someone to explain to me what all the drama was about.

  20. NK-
    Some of the best bloggers dissappeared because of the debacle.

  21. Scott B. says:

    NK,
    Just be patient.

  22. Peter LLC says:

    I wasn’t around back then

    The cross of the mayfly, I suppose.

  23. I’m gonna stick around, if only to see if they can bring Christian out of retirement.

  24. .

    Count me in the camp of people who missed it when it happened and is baffled over why it was such a big deal. Will you be able to quote from their posts or are they completely disappeared these days, offline as well as online?

  25. Mommie Dearest says:

    *Popping some popcorn and pulling up a chair*

  26. britt k says:

    I can’t wait for a completely unbiased, factual representation of history…of which I have no clue…so is there another side’s completely unbiased and factual representation of said event?

  27. Whuck?

    This is satire, right?

  28. Scott B. says:

    Britt,
    You’re getting ahead of yourself now–you want to talk about aftermath and fallout, but we haven’t even covered origins yet!

    All in good time, people.

  29. Scott B. says:

    Th.,

    If you hide your sincere desire to see the BoH weblog in its full form and glory under your pillow and sleep on it for a few days, the Bloggernacle Fairy may produce something special for you…

  30. I can’t believe it’s been five years.

  31. I just remember reading a (purported) female writer who described how her husband had been fired from his job at the toilet paper factory.

    That writing seemed contrary to what I know about women and the way they would write in a public space. I just thought something was wrong with her – though I did not know she wasn’t real.

    I am usually interested in new group blogs in the ‘Nacle – but I didn’t quite feel the same enthusiasm for BoH. When Rusty outed BoH as a fake – well, that was that. Kind of glad I never got enthused or wrapped up in that blog.

  32. so wait, this blog BoH was a fake? Was it meant as satire?

  33. At the time, my perceptions were similar to danithew. The bloggers personalities, experiences and opinions were just too over the top to be real, funny, but not real.
    Having said that, I do look forward to taking a look back to an important period in bloggernacle history.

  34. a random John says:

    Fun looking back? It was fun at the time!

  35. BoH was a joke, and a bad one. It wasn’t my kind of thing, didn’t pay much attention to it, but thought it was in bad taste when it all came crashing down.

  36. As someone who was an active participant in the bloggernacle at the time, I still harbor some bitterness about the episode. I am working on a history of the “blog,” but it’s a slow process.

  37. Clueless as usual, the whole thing blew up all around me and I was left wondering what the big deal was.

  38. Ahh, good times. A trip down the memory lane of embarrassment and full recognition of exactly how stupid and naive I am. I joined the LDS Church, right?

    I’m having trouble coming up with words that surely are banned here. Enjoy yourselves.

  39. All I can say is, Jennketeers.

  40. Scott B. says:

    For the 90th time…NO SPOILERS, PEOPLE!!!

    Please don’t waste time with Web Archives–there is something so much better in store…

  41. You better get the next installment up pronto, Scott… throwing this teaser out is going to heat things up mighty fast.

  42. esodhiambo says:

    I certainly hope annegb has been consulted for this series.

  43. 5 years already? It seems like yesterday. I still have (and occasionally wear) my BoH official T-shirt.

    Are you a pot-stirrer, Scott?

  44. I didn’t know anybody quit over it. It was pretty funny, really.

  45. Scott B. says:

    It’s going up later today…

  46. Aw, who took down the link to the T&S thread? I only got halfway through it before I had to go to bed last night. Do I really have to go dig through their archives myself now? :)

  47. Justin,
    AWESOME!

    Everybody else,
    I’m looking forward to this.

  48. Scott B. says:

    NK,
    There is a full-on analysis of that thread, and others, coming up soon.

    Just be patient!

    Hell’s bells, people!

  49. Oh Noes!! I think I lost my “[XXXXXXX]” T-shirt!!!

  50. Clearly Scott underestimated the power in Pandoras Box, as he cracked the lid… ;)

  51. Scott B. says:

    No, Tracy.

    Everyone else underestimated my willingness to delete comments with spoilers. :)

  52. This is a good time to remind everyone that some things that are true are not very useful.

  53. Fiction is when readers know you’re not writing true events (e.g. Prudence McPrude’s and some of gst’s offerings back then); deception is when you lead readers to believe that your creation is real. BoH was a device some Mormons used to deceive some Latter-day Saints. In fact, it’s premise was to deceive. Nobody cared to read it after the truth about this deception was known.
    .
    BoH ran to dramatic themes which resulted in making light of real tragedies. In my case, I then was in the midst of realizing the depth of the damage I’d caused to my relationships with my children by my earlier actions which had resulted both in my repentance/change of heart and in my divorce. I was wondering then how or whether I could recover my children. (I still haven’t at this writing). I felt relief at finding a fellow sufferer when BoH posted a series by a fake writer supposedly sorrowing over his estrangement from his child who may have been coming to visit.
    .
    Upon the unraveling of BoH’s deception, my original relief and sense of kinship was replaced with stunned disbelief that someone would see tragedies like mine as material for an ill-conceived prank, followed by loss of trust in the Bloggernacle generally (who else was gaming us?). This was followed in turn by my reduced assessment of the LDS community at large because if this came from some of us, what about similar community members who don’t channel their light-mindedness into the Bloggernacle?
    .
    BoH’s writers’ assessment of their writing skills led them to sever their real-life covenants and purported values of integrity and respect for others from their venture in writing that blog*. Further dis-integrity-ization was shown by their supposing they could lie in one blog and continue to have those values while posting on others.
    .
    Upon the rest of us seeing what they’d been doing to us, most of BoH’s writers offered apologies tempered (trampled) by excuses. They appeared unaware that their deception was based in lack of respect for the rest of us by reducing us and our challenges to nothing more than foils in their game**. They missed the important difference between a joke that is about something inconsequential and trifling with sacred things in others’ lives. After I learned the ages of BoH’s writers, I ascribed their failure to make this distinction to their immaturity from lack of life experience — e.g. they hadn’t lost relationships with their children — and so they had no empathy for the deep pain others of us carry***. I’m grateful that although my ex-wife died of cancer shortly before BOH, its writers hadn’t yet revealed what fun they would have had with that scenario.
    .
    BoH was the creature that caused the Bloggernacle’s fall from trusting innocence to the watch-your-back, you’re-on-your-own current reality. Sadly and ironically, their greatest deception may have been their self-deception.
    .
    – – – – –
    .
    *After this deception was revealed, a couple of them said that they’d lowered the level of their writing to make it seem more realistic. I saw this as a cover for pedestrian writing because their other postings’ artistry haven’t impressed me much.
    .
    ** F. Burton Howard, speaking specifically of marriage, said that if something is special, “You treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary.” — GenCon 4/2003
    I had felt that losing my children would fall within this counsel as well as some of the other challenges appearing in BoH.
    .
    *** I’ve found much wisdom in Elder Eyring’s counsel, “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble and you’ll be right more than half the time.” — GenCon 4/2004

  54. Stephanie says:

    Wow

  55. Scott B. says:

    manaen,

    Your point of view is both expected and welcome. Having been planning this Retrospective for several months, I and the people involved in helping me put it together are very aware that not everyone would welcome a reopening of the discussion.

    In the end, I’m not interested in judging the participants myself–the judgments were passed and passed and passed until everyone was blue in the face five years ago. The purpose of this Retrospective is to simply document an event that–as you yourself demonstrate–was pretty significant and had long-term effects on this community.

    At risk of sounding overly self-serious and making (certainly) flawed analogies, I am very grateful for records of many of the most painful events in our religion’s history–I’m not glad the events happened, but I’m very glad someone recognized the importance of preserving records so that people wouldn’t forget the lessons learned.

  56. “some things that are true are not very useful”

    It seems more appropriate, with respect to BoH, to say the opposite.

    People seem determined to talk about BoH as a prank or a joke. As someone who read it and all its post-mortems exhaustively after the fact, I think that those decscriptions are clearly wrong. a prank or a joke implies that the intent of the authors was to make fun of others or to lure them into making fools of themselves. My assessment is that such was never the intent at BoH. It was like Lonelygirl15. Remember that?

    Something that masquerades as real life, but isn’t, and is actually a creation of imagination, can be (and in this case was) a serious attempt at art, and not necessarily an attempt at humor at others’ expense. Making people believe it is real is part of the artistic endeavor. It’s the brass ring.

  57. Peter LLC says:

    Nobody cared to read it after the truth about this deception was known.

    Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?

  58. MCQ, reading about it after the fact, you already knew what it was. Those of us who fell for it did not have that luxury.

    What I learned from BoH is that people that I thought I knew were not what I thought; that cleverness is more important than relationships; and that duping naive people is considered good fun by the sophisticated and well-connected.

    Evans, I thought I WAS over it, until it got dragged back up again.

    If you, through poor judgment, were to cover your shoes with mud, would you leave them that way? Of course not. You would cleanse and restore them. Would you then gather the residue of the mud and place it in an envelope to show others the mistake that you made? No.

    Richard G. Scott, April 1986 General Conference.

  59. C Jones says:

    For me, reading BofH was kinda like Charlie Brown stumbling into The Magus.

  60. Steve Evans says:

    OK, Ann — if you and Manaen want to hang on to years-old anger after repeated apologies, that’s your affair. I don’t feel guilt anymore over it. You’ve all gotten your pound of flesh out of me, and I’ve serve my time. Seriously — if you cannot get over an internet farce five years later after the participants have reached out to you and apologized both privately and publicly for it, then there is nothing more I can do for you.

  61. Scott B. says:

    Attention, please:

    I repeat what I said at the very outset:

    I realize very much that this has been an extremely sensitive topic for many people in the past. I am going to keep a pretty tight leash on all threads relating to BoH, so please be respectful to everyone, no matter your position.

    I’m not going to allow people to tee off on Steve, or anyone else (nor will I allow Steve to tee off on those teeing off on him). Save the preaching and sermonizing and quoting of lengthy passages of quotes about honesty, deception, and whatnot from General Conference for later.

  62. Stephanie says:

    Now my wows are looking kind of dumb just hanging out there. I will refrain from wowing in the future.

  63. Steve Evans says:

    Stephanie I find thee guilty of wowhanging. I sentence thee to public embarrassment!

  64. Stephanie says:

    Bah, Steve Evans, I’ve been dealing with public embarassment for years.

  65. Scott, I think it’s a mistake to delete comments like manaen’s. That sentiment is clearly still out there, and it’s an integral part of the penumbra of opinions and feelings surrounding BoH and its story. If we’re going to talk about this subject we need to hear those things. It’s also interesting to hear Steve’s responses, especially in light of his sincere apologies at the time. It’s an update to the story. How can you not let that discussion happen?

  66. Scott B. says:

    MCQ,
    I agree–I really do. I want to hear those perspectives also, and they will be heard. I didn’t delete the comments–just put them in mod for a bit. The reasoning is very simple:

    As valuable as those perspectives are, they’re horribly confusing for newbies, and newbies are the primary group I’m writing to. If we start with the catharsis game now, on Day 1, it will never stop. I want to get the story told first. That’s all.

  67. Dang! I missed the wow-worthy comments!

  68. Scott B. says:

    Okay, they’re all back. But I’m closing comments now, because I don’t want it to go further in that direction.

  69. Scott B. says:

    Okay, I just posted Part 2 over at Bloggernacle Times.

  70. I have to tell you, I appreciated the fact that I didn’t get banned at Banner of Heaven. That said, the feminist chick from Lewistion, she was such an unbelievable bitch. I don’t know how anyone could stand her.

  71. Takes one to write one.

  72. You know, I am starting to think that this is really just an effort to make some of us expand our bloggernacle experience. Fine, I give in. I will bookmark Bloggernacle Times.

  73. Mike RM says:

    I only need one mormon blog. If it isn’t on BCC, then I won’t read it.

  74. Mike RM: I only need one mormon blog. If it isn’t on BCC, then I won’t read it.

    You need to get out more.

  75. Mike RM says:

    No, I don’t want to add to anything I find here. Other places just substract from my blogging experience.

  76. Steve Evans, There is something you can do for Ann and maneen even though they have not forgiven and let go to your satisfaction. You could refrain from poking them in the eye with more hurtful and condescending comments such as # 58 and #61. You don’t get to decide how quickly others heal from pain you inflict whether you intended to or not.

    This whole series is probably as ill advised as the original experiment.

    You sophisticated and well connected children can be remarkably immature.

  77. remarkably immature: the irony pleases me.

  78. Scott B. says:

    marta,

    I’m not Steve’s child, nor am I sophisticated or well connected. I’m sorry that I’ve already offended you. I hope you’ll forgive me in time.

  79. Scott B. says:

    It seems to me that the most rational response to not liking a retrospective of this topic would be to ignore it.

  80. Scott B.
    i am not offended by you nor by steve, just sad that steve is so cavalier about others’ feelings. i am also sorry that others have not “gotten over it”, but remain convinced that the offender has no place speaking unkindly to those who still feel offended. there is nothing for me to forgive.

    KLS
    it is more ironic than you imagine for me to be as immature as steve as i an nearer your mother’s contemporary (as well as her great admirer) than yours or steve’s. pardon me for presuming to instruct, or even suggest.

  81. didn’t even say i didn’t like it. i thought the whole thing was greatly interesting except the hurt feelings. and now the salt rubbing. just said i thought it might be ill advised. and steve’s petulance is almost always entertaining as long as one has thick skin or is not the target.

  82. can’t figure out where i implied that i thought you were steve’s child. you are both children to me. intelligent, well read, educated, well spoken usually thoughtful but sometimes remarkably immature children. especially steve, bless his heart.

  83. Scott B. says:

    marta,
    I misread your comment–I thought the word was “your” and not “you”. Of course, that doesn’t really help matters–instead of calling me Steve’s child, you called us all “children.”

    Also, you didn’t say you “thought it might be ill advised”–you said “This whole series is probably as ill advised as the original experiment”….the idea that a retrospective is even on the map in comparison is just a hoot.

  84. Marta, you stand up for yourself now. You have a point. I wish you’d comment more. Isn’t it cute when young people think we’re their age?

    She’s right, Scott, you can’t re-introduce a controversy and then tell everybody to be careful not to step on Steve’s feelings. He can take it. And marta’s a class act. She has an opinion. Acknowledging it without harping or becoming defensive is a sign of true repentance.

    I wasn’t hurt, but obviously manean was, which I don’t remember at all. Manean, beyond the detritus of what happened with BoH, how are you doing today? You can email me through mormon mentality.

    This has made me wonder if I’d gone on BoH when I was separated from Bill, would I have poured my heart out, been more candid than I should have been, relied on the strength I found there? It’s a good question. All I’m sayin.’

  85. what exactly is the purpose of reintroducing this controversy?

  86. Mark Brown says:

    I’d like to see a show of hands of all the perfect people who have never hurt someone else unintentionally. There are many things you can say about the bloggernacle, but one of its most persistent characteristics is public assification and hurt feelings. I’m keeping a list of all the people who I think owe me an apology.

  87. Fame and fortune. Oh, and the chicks. Chicks dig blog controversies.

  88. marta, I wasn’t talking about you.

    And I suggest you leave my mother out of this. She’s only a child.

  89. “what exactly is the purpose of reintroducing this controversy?”

    Indeed. There are not 1, not 2, but 3(!!!) threads listed on ldsblogs.org about this right now, all by Scott B.

  90. britt k says:

    It sounds like time has passed so now the people are going to try again to give their excuses and hope this time it will work.

  91. Scott B. says:

    The purpose of writing about all of this is that 1) I am a latecomer to the bloggernacle, 2) I found out about this only through hushed tones and wanted to learn more, 3) the more I learned the more fascinating it became, 4) I realized countless others also wanted to learn about it, and 5) IMHO it is a big freaking deal which exerted, and continues to exert, an enormous influence on many of the personalities which shaped, and continue to shape, the community of the bloggernacle.

    One thing everyone needs to understand is that Steve, DKL, Brian, Christian, Allison, and Naomi had nothing to do with my decision here–in fact, I had no communication with any of them except Steve until about a week ago, and then it was only through requests to interview, etc… None of them put me up to this!

    (Britt–are you listening? This is not a grand attempt by them to try their excuses again!)

    I find the questions about my point to be kind of baffling, really. The point is that this is wicked interesting and has lots of valuable lessons. If you disagree, then I suggest that you ignore these posts–people ignore me all the time, and I don’t see how my topic of choice today changes anyone’s ability to do so again.

  92. Scott B. says:

    Ben S.,
    Just wait until I get going!

    Not really–several of the upcoming pieces will be written by people other than me.

  93. Perhaps it’s time for me to do what I do best, blog-jack. Post-jack? What is that word?

    Remember the good old days when everybody hated DKL? Except me? When I had all day every day to post my opinion on every subject? Remember Naomi and Rosalynde? Boy, they had some good things to say.

    Times and Seasons was the blog with the nicest bunch of people to completely ignore Marta? Wilfried and Jim F.
    Where has Kaimi gone?

    You guys have all new names on your blog. Bryce Inouye was still blogging on Millenial Star, which was a really cool blog and one of my favorites. Where is Clark Goble and Adam Greenwood? Guy? Sheri Lynn Evans!! We need a blog 10 year reunion. A really big party at somebody’s house. Who’s the richest person here with the biggest house?

    Good cheese, good non-alcoholic beverages, fruit, pizza, Amira can bring flatbread. You guys can karaoke. I’ll sing a capella. And shock you because I’m basically a pretty quiet little old lady in person.

    Let’s have a get-together. Do we know any rich people in Chicago–that’s a mid-way point. Hey, we could all meet on Oprah! I’m dashing a note off to her right away. She and Sarah bonded over Sarah’s dog’s death.

  94. Scott B. says:

    annegb,
    I hope I haven’t come across as defensive at all–I’m shooting for surprised. marta has a point re manaen and Ann’s responses–and I said as much in my reply to manaen already.

    However, I think that marta’s suggestion that this retrospective is as ill-advised as the original event to be kind of insulting. The idea that talking about a fraud five years after an event is as ill-advised as perpetrating a fraud is crazy. Imagine all of the people who would be criminals for discussing past crimes if such logic actually held sway in society…

  95. Yeah, but Scott, people were insulted. And you being insulted because they’re insulted is self defeating. Keep your wits and make your point, which is—you’re right, it was wicked interesting. Marta’s a kind person (sorry to talk about you in the third person) and not the type to talk sharply at all (is that really you, Marta, or somebody pretending to be you because I’ve never heard you talk like that even in person. Or are you just using a different voice to throw us all off? Hmm???).

    Ann, I don’t remember the situation with you. I only vaguely remember manean, but I’m senile that way. I remember you of course, but not in the context of Banner of Heaven. And I can’t find Banner of Heaven, so I can’t even look up how gullible I really was.

    I did receive what I believe to be sincere apologies. I never hated anybody, I felt incredibly stupid for about 20 minutes, then I laughed long and hard. But I was laughing at myself. And my own sincerity in trying to help these poor people.

    BTW, I need a new T-shirt. I wore mine out. I kept hoping somebody would say, “Banner of Heaven?—I remember that blog!” And then I could say, “I’m annegb” and they could say “you don’t look old” and I could say with fake humility, “I am.”

    But nobody did. Although I do recall telling a couple of people it was a good rock band.

    I once told Bill a woman in our ward was the plural wife of a polygamist and needed our love and understanding. For the longest time he would ask, “you know that polygamist woman who lives over in Fifetown? What are her kids’ names, I have her boy in scouts.” I told her about it and we had a good laugh at Bill’s expense.

    Come to remember, he’s still mad at me about it. He’s not so mad about the joke, but that I told everybody.

    Now he will often say, “don’t blog about that!” Not that he reads my blog or even knows my blog name is annegb which I resent terribly but since I don’t give a crap about trout or flies, I don’t have much room to talk.

  96. However, I think that marta’s suggestion that this retrospective is as ill-advised as the original event to be kind of insulting. The idea that talking about a fraud five years after an event is as ill-advised as perpetrating a fraud is crazy. Imagine all of the people who would be criminals for discussing past crimes if such logic actually held sway in society…

    So true. This is wicked interesting and it is an important part of bloggernacle history for those of us that didn’t live through it to be acquainted with. Whether it was brilliant or deceitful (or both) has nothing to do with it — we shouldn’t let the Ministry of Truth obliterate it.

    Although I’m lucky enough to have had DKL tell me a lot about it, I want to hear the complete story.

  97. DKL’s version: “Not everybody hated me.”

  98. Wow. If I ever need a promotions guy, I’ll give you a call Scott B. For a newbie with absolutely no familiarity with the subject, the anticipation level is so high I don’t see how you can deliver.

    I gotta’ say, though, I’m hooked. I feel like a guy being baited by a carnie — “within this tent is the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen — absolute proof that extra-terrestrial life really exists!” I’m dubious, but I’m still fishing through my pockets for change.

  99. And here I thought from the title it was some sort of lame look back at Krakauer’s book. I think I came on to the bloggernacle shortly after this all went down, so it’s all a mystery to me. Looking forward to learning more about this. Don’t disappoint me.

  100. Scott B. says:
  101. britt k says:

    scott B I am listening. I have been burned before on other blogs. I will reserve judgement…but I worry at your attempt to down play and dismiss the hurt feelings. That is part of the history as well is it not?

  102. Scott B. says:

    britt k,
    I worry at your attempt to suggest that I’m down playing or dismissing anyone’s hurt feelings. I told the people who have expressed hurt in this thread that they are both expected and welcome. I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about at all.

  103. FYI, I have posted several new pieces to the Retrospective at Bloggernacle.org.

  104. Part 6: Jenn Mailer, is now up.

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