One of my crazier critics is now evidently claiming that I hurriedly joined the board of Salt Press in order to improve my public image after the very recent unpleasantness at the Maxwell Institute.
I joined the Salt Press board between eighteen months and two years ago, to the best of my recollection. Maybe longer than that. I think I’ve been there from the first, or nearly so.
This sort of nonsense reminds me of one of my favorite accusations from a critic:
Many years ago, a certain ex-Mormon was publicly claiming that, while we were in the old Language Training Mission (LTM) together preparing to be sent overseas, he had asked me why I didn’t hold the Book of Mormon to the same standards to which I held the Bible. I had allegedly answered that I didn’t do so because the Book of Mormon couldn’t withstand such scrutiny.
The story is transparently absurd on its face, of course. When I was nineteen, I hadn’t published anything on the Book of Mormon nor, for that matter (apart from my high school newspaper), on anything else. I had no reputation as an apologist, let alone as a defender of the Book of Mormon, because I wasn’t one. I was an underclassman who had just changed his major from mathematics to classical Greek. And, if I had really believed the Book of Mormon to be indefensible, I wouldn’t have been in the Language Training Mission at all. I wouldn’t have been a member of the Church.
Most importantly, though, I couldn’t recall having ever met the guy.
So I wrote to him and asked when he had entered the LTM. “October 1973,” he replied. But I had entered the LTM in June 1972. By the time he began his mission, I was nearly 75% done with mine. And we didn’t serve in the same mission. I don’t think we even spoke the same mission language (though I may be wrong on that one).
At which point, he accused me of lying about the years of my mission.
I suppose there’ll always be hostile critics. I wish they could all be so zany, though. Too often, alas, they want to be taken seriously.