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Getting to Know Darren Parry (Part 1 of 9)

I’m excited to have my first congressional candidate on the show, Darren Parry. We’ll talk about Darren’s unsuccessful bid to become congressman in Utah’s 1st Congressional District, but more importantly we’ll talk about his book, “The Bear River Massacre: a Shoshone History.” Darren is the great-great-great grandson of Chief Sagwitch, one of the few people who survived the Bear River Massacre in southern Idaho in 1863. January 29 marks 158 years since the massacre.  We’ll get more acquainted with Darren.

Darren:  My name is Darren Parry.  I’m the former chairman of the Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation. I’m former because I stepped down as Chairman to run for Congress, a failed attempt. A Democrat in the First District isn’t such a good thing. It was a good experience. I won’t do it again, but it was a good experience.

GT:  Let’s talk a little bit about your campaign. It’s probably a painful thing.

Darren:  No, it’s not at all, actually.  I’m a realist. I realized a long time ago that if I was going to run for Congress as a Democrat, there was a great chance, I’m not going to win. But it was important to me to meet people, and give people a choice, a good choice and talk about issues that are important to me and, I think, important to a lot of people that live in the First District, probably not the majority. I felt like we moved the needle a little bit on what’s important. So, in that respect, I ran a really clean campaign. Everything was issue-based. I felt really good about it at the end. That’s why I thought, “Man, I met some great people, too,” that I think will be able to help me with the Interpretive Center and other places that I probably wouldn’t have met, had I not run. So it’s all good.

Darren:  This book [The Bear River Massacre:  A Shoshone History] really came about because of my grandmother. She was our tribal historian. She was a keeper of our sacred records. It was always important to her that she shared her culture with people. I know she wanted to write a book. She got Parkinson’s disease towards the end and she just ran out of time. But she did one thing that really saved our tribe and our culture. She started writing down all of the stories that she’d heard from her grandfather Yaeger. She was a product of the boarding schools. She went to boarding school in California. She used that as an opportunity, though, to get educated and learn the white man way of learning.  She came home, went to Bear River High School, and then on to LDS Business College where she got a degree in English, which helped her to write.  Even though she didn’t get to really publish a book like this, she had all these notes and handwritten notes and typed notes. Back then, it was a typewriter. You’re banging out keys, making the carriage go back. She had just volumes of these notebooks that she wrote about our people and the culture and the stories. I found some stories the other day that I haven’t seen for a long time about how the bald eagle became bald, and how the porcupine got its quills. It’s like, wow! I mean, it was just more information that she’d worked on and she knew her whole life, but she wanted to make sure that when she passed away that it was available for everybody.

Darren:  When I talk and speak to groups, I always make this comment. “When an old Indian dies, a library burns.” When you’re talking about oral history, and oral culture and knowledge that is in our elders’ heads, when that elder dies, if they haven’t written it down, or if they haven’t videotaped themselves, that knowledge is lost to the world. So, the fact that my grandmother had the ability to see what writing down these stories would do, is really remarkable. So, when she died, as I got older, I just got thinking about it, and it was probably her on the other side, prodding me along. But I just felt like I needed to finish her project. So, it’s a book about our people, how they lived, what the coming of the pioneers did to them, and how they tried to get along and how things led to the massacre of Bear River. Not only that, she made a point that she wrote quite a bit about the conversion of the Shoshones to the Mormon religion. All of that serves as a backdrop of what’s in my book, is a lot of her writings, and a lot of my thoughts on the massacre and the conversion of our people and letting people know that we’re still here.  We’re still a tribe, and we’re still alive, and we have a culture that’s rich. We have a language that’s still strong. The story isn’t a really bad massacre of our people. The story is about resiliency. The story is about how we are still adapting today to the world that we live in. We’re still here, and we’re going to be here for a long time.

Check out our conversation….

Don’t miss our previous conversation with Will Bagley about the Bear River Massacre.

452: Bear River Massacre (Bagley)

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Turley on Mountain Meadows Massacre (Part 2 of 5)

Richard Turley’s book “Massacre at Mountain Meadows” was published in 2011. The book ends at the massacre in 1857. He and Barbara Jones Brown are writing the latest installment of the tragedy and this time they will focus on the trials of John D. Lee and aftermath. Barbara and Rick sat down as part of the 2020 Mormon history Association meetings and talk about their collaborative efforts on the upcoming book.

Richard:  At the time we were working on the book, we were very optimistic about the schedule, as scholars often are. Sometimes we take on a project, and we think, well, this will be done in a few months or a few years. As it turned out that project which we started around 2000 or 2001, it didn’t wrap up until 2008. Because we actually divided the project into two parts, the first part and the second part. It’s actually continued to this day. So, on the first volume, because your skills as an editor were in high demand for this project, you did a tremendous amount on the book. In fact, I’ve got this copy of the book, Massacre at Mountain Meadows that was inscribed to you by Glen and Ron and me. Ron, put this inscription in which I think reflects the feelings of all three of us. It says, “Every page shows our debt to you with warmest appreciation,” Ronald W. Walker. So, you played a major role in that. When the book was published, and I was continuing to work on the next volume of the set, you and I were working together on it in an editorial sort of role, and then ultimately became co-authors of it. We’re still working on it. For those who remain interested in the topic, I will say, for this audience, that the draft of the book is done. But as was the case with the first volume, it’s too large to meet the page count for Oxford. So, Barbara and I are currently working on trimming it down to get it within the page count so that it can be published, which we hope to do by the end of this year.

Barbara:  Great. Well, I for one, I’m really grateful to have that interview, that professional interview with you and grateful for the opportunity I had to work on this project. It led to my going back to graduate school and getting a master’s degree, and really has affected my life. The whole Mountain Meadows project was so meaningful on so many counts. I wonder if you could talk more about the reconciliation process that took place as a result of the book, and about the 150th anniversary when Elder Henry B Eyring, elicited or read an apology. Just talk more about that, and then ultimately achieving National Historic Landmark status for the Mountain Meadows.

Richard:  So, writing about the Mountain Meadows was one part of what I think needed to be done with the topic. But, more than that, I think relationships needed to be built and more needed to be done, particularly to recognize and reflect the pain of the descendants and other relatives of the victims of the massacre, as well as to have a kind of catharsis for many of those who were descendants of participants in the massacre. As I mentioned that sort of relationship had begun in the late 80s, early 90s, and it continued. Ultimately, three groups developed to represent those who had been victims of the massacre. Those three groups worked together at times. At other times they worked independently. But ultimately, one of the groups–the group that was the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, put together a group of proposals that were presented to the Church suggesting that the Church consider having the Mountain Meadows become a National Historic Landmark. That proposal was accepted. All three of the groups worked together with the Church in having that National Historic Landmark recognition occur.

Richard:  When the meeting occurred that you mentioned with then Elder Henry B Eyring, of the Twelve at that time, now of the First Presidency, the purpose of that meeting was in part to read a statement on the part that had been drafted and signed by the First Presidency, expressing several things simultaneously.

Check out our conversation….

Richard Turley and Barbara Jones Brown discuss their work together on the 2 books about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Don’t miss our previous conversation!

475: Hired After Hofmann

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Chad Daybell & Zombie Apocalypse

Chad Daybell has been in the news over the past year over the suspicious disappearance and deaths of his new wife Lori Vallow’s children and relatives.  We’ll talk about their messages of apocalypticism with Dr. Christopher Blythe.

Christopher:  In the case of Chad Daybell, it seemed to come up with some terrible results. So, at this point, children have been discovered. Julie [Rowe]has disavowed him, as has the prepper community. We’ll see what happens in court. But it would appear that from interviews around that, Lori, Chad’s new wife had come to believe that her children were zombies. Their term for zombie meant that you’d become possessed so much, that your own spirit couldn’t possess your body again.  Your spirit’s stuck out there in sort of limbo and now your body is being used by something evil. So you’re no longer Rick Bennett, you are, fill in the blank.

GT:  One of her children had autism. Is that correct?

Christopher:  I think that’s right. Yeah, this child, and she saw that his behavior, allegedly, on his last day on earth, his behavior, she claimed, telling her friend Melanie, that he had climbed up onto a ledge and knocked over a picture of Jesus. He was acting bizarre, and she believed this was a sign that he was possessed. We’ll see what’s determined, but usually they would pray. So, every day they would pray to get rid of all the zombies in the world. According to Melanie Gibb, who was a friend at the time, they could then say, “This morning, there was 1000 zombies in the world. But now there’s 940. So we know that our prayers, wiped out 60 zombies,” that sort of thing. But, in this case, it seems like they were more proactive in ridding the world of zombies.

It’s a sad, terrible story.  Check out our conversation….

By the way, here is a link to Dr. Blythe’s book, Terrible Revolution.  It’s currently over 40% off, here’s your chance to get a good deal!

Chad Daybell & Lori Daybell’s zombie apocalypse beliefs led to the deaths of Lori’s children because Lori’s children were believed possessed by evil spirits.

Don’t miss our other conversations with Dr. Blythe!

464: Bo, Rowe & Pontius: LDS Apocalypticists

463: World Wars & Apocalypse

462: Civil War Prophecy & Joseph’s Apocalyptic Death

461: Mormon History of Apocalypse

460: Maxwell Institute: A Religious Thinktank