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Buying the Spalding Conspiracy

Mark Hofmann tried to create evidence of the Spalding Conspiracy.  There has long been a theory that Book of Mormon was plagiarized from a manuscript originally written by Solomon Spaulding (or Spalding.)  The problem with the theory is that there was never a connection between Joseph Smith and Solomon Spaulding—until Mark Hofmann came up with a document.  Steve Mayfield talks about buying this Hofmann forgery.

Steve: So, in January of 2000, the former owner of Cosmic Aeroplane sold it to Ken Sanders who used to work there. He now had his own bookstore there in Salt Lake, Ken Sanders Books. Well he had it on display and I’m just sitting there just [thinking], “Oh, oh, I love it.” But it was like $4,000 they wanted for it. Well, I had enough in a credit card, so I bought it from him.

GT: Oh my goodness.

Steve: In August of 2000. So, for four years I owned a Hofmann.

GT: You knew it was a forgery.

Steve: Yeah, Yeah. I mean he sold it as that. The minute he sold it after I bought it, I take it back to the office and show George [Throckmorton.] He showed some things on the document that only he and I know.

I guess this proves there is a market for Hofmann forgeries!  What do you think of Steve’s purchase?

Check out our conversation, as well as Steve’s other conversations….

Mark Hofmann forged a document that attempted to tie Sidney Rigdon & Solomon Spalding together.  Steve discusses why it is a forgery.
Mark Hofmann forged a document that attempted to tie Sidney Rigdon & Solomon Spalding together. Steve discusses why it is a forgery.

194: What is the Dead Lee Scroll? (Mayfield)

193: John D. Lee’s Role in Mountain Meadows Massacre (Mayfield)

192: Mormons & the FBI (Mayfield)

191: Steve Mayfield: Crime Photographer (Mayfield)

190: Mormon Connection in Patty Hearst Kidnapping (Mayfield)

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What is the Dead Lee Scroll? (Part 5)

A lead scroll was found at Lee’s Ferry in Arizona, now known as the Dead Lee Scroll.  What is it exactly?

Steve:    Well, one of the documents or artifacts that came up in 2002 was a lead plate they found down in Lee’s Ferry and it’s been given the nickname of Dead Lee Scroll. Will Bagley gave it that name. It’s a piece of lead. [It’s] very thin. So, it’s not the hardest thing.

So, he is in there cleaning. And all of the sudden he come across this thing rolled up. He opens it comes up and starts reading John D. Lee. Whoa! That has something to do with it. So, he cleans it off and they look at and they come up, hey, is this a confession? Is just some document that points out to it. Well, of course, boom, everybody loves it. Well, March of 2002, the archeologist for the Park Service, she’d taken it to Phoenix and showed it to Bill Flynn who worked with George Throckmorton on the Hofmann documents. Bill Flynn’s not LDS. Then she brings up to Salt Lake to George Throckmorton who was my boss at the time in Salt Lake Police crime lab. And so, he examined it, taking pictures of it and everything.

Was it a long-lost admission of guilt from the only person convicted of participating in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, John D. Lee?  Steve Mayfield will tell us more about it and attempts to authenticate it.  (It features forensic expert George Throckmorton, who we interviewed previously!)  If you want to see photos of the scroll and Lee’s Ferry, Go to Youtube.com/GospelTangents to see the video.  Steve was kind enough to share some of his photos with me.

Does the Dead Lee Scroll implicate Brigham Young in the Mountain Meadows Massacre?
Does the Dead Lee Scroll implicate Brigham Young in the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Check out our conversation…

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Quinn on Hofmann (Part 5)

Michael Quinn has been a very prominent Mormon historian since at least the 1980s.  I asked Michael if he had met Mark Hofmann, the bomber and forger.  Listen to Quinn on Hofmann!  Michael indicates that he may have inadvertently given Mark some ideas for forgeries!

GT: So he probably got some ideas for his forgeries from you.

Michael: And he may have from things I published. Yeah, because typically I would talk about things that weren’t available that were central, like I published an article about the Council of Fifty minutes and the Council of Fifty’s history and I commented about what I thought was in those minutes that I had not seen of the Nauvoo Council of Fifty. And so, I would do this about other documents like I wrote about the blessings that Joseph Smith, III had received from his father and that obviously was something that Mark Hofmann paid attention to.

I also asked Michael if he was worried about being targeted by bombs.

Michael: I had a friend who worked with the state attorney, U.S. attorney was in his office and this long-time friend of mine called and said, “Don’t go back home, go and stay with us because no one would think of us,” him and his wife. And so, he provided more than a week I think a week or two weeks of residence for me during this period.

And then he told me, “When you go back, look under your car for wires,” and for years after this, following his advice, anytime I got a package I wasn’t expecting, I would take it to the post office and run it through their x-ray machine to see if there were any machines in it. And so yeah, I was paranoid.

Check out our conversation!

Dr. Michael Quinn tells about his dealings with bomber and forger Mark Hofmann.
Dr. Michael Quinn tells about his dealings with bomber and forger Mark Hofmann.  Listen to Quinn on Hofmann

Don’t forget to check out our other conversations with Michael!

185: “The Church Makes No Distinction Between God & Mammon” (Quinn)

184: Would LDS Church Income Ever Support a Paid Ministry?(Quinn)

183: Are LDS Church Revenues really $50 Billion/Year? (Quinn)

182: Michael Quinn Discusses Deseret Hemp Company (Quinn)