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McLellin Collection Offers (Part 5 of 13)

Mark Hofmann was trying to sell the McLellin collection to the LDS Church and Al Rust at the time the bombs exploded in 1985.  It turns out they weren’t the only offers.  Brent Ashworth tells us that the collection was offered to him as well!

GT:  Steve [Christensen] was trying to get the McLellin Collection for the Church. Right?

Brent:  Right.

GT:  And so he was saying, “Look. Hugh Pinnock has already giving you $185,000. We need the McLellin Collection. We need it now.”

Brent:  Mark was also offering the collection to me, and that part’s never really been discussed. But he was offering the collection to me. I know he offered at least parts of it to Curt [Bench] too, like Facsimile One, Facsimile Two. I think we got up to Facsimile Three at one point, that he was willing to [sell.] These were all in the McLellin Collection. See, McLellin, when he left the church, Joseph Smith wrote a couple of things in his history: one of them that is important, I think. One of them is “That old apostate,” I’m paraphrasing Joseph’s history. “That old apostate McLellin, I heard ransacked my office and stole some my papers.” So there you’ve got the McLellin Collection right in the prophet’s own words, basically.

GT:  Yeah, we don’t know what’s in it, but McLellin….

Brent:  We don’t know what’s in it, but Hofmann will supply that, right? I asked Mark. I said, “What’s in the McLellin Collection?” when he offered it to me. And he says, “Oh, there’s six little journals/diaries that go from this year to this year. There’s a lot of really damaging stuff about the Prophet Joseph Smith, and there were other things.” Obviously, the McLellin Collection started out as the Texas Collection when I first met him. He had already kind of devised this idea that there’s got to be a wastebasket collection where everything comes from I think, before he even met me. Do you know what I mean? And that was 1981 and the Texas Collection, it was talked about by Mark several times with me and I’m sure others. It became the McLellin Collection.

Check out our conversation….

The McLellin Collection was supposed to contain Egyptian papyri stolen from Joseph Smith by early apostle William McLellin.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with Brent!

504: Lucy Mack Smith Forgery

503: Mark’s Unknown Half Million$ Deal

502: Hiding from Hofmann

501: Meeting Serial Killers


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Hofmann, Church Leaders, & the McLellin Collection (Part 6)

As you can see from our previous conversations, Mark had a tangled web of interactions.  In this next conversation with forensics expert George Throckmorton, we’ll talk more about Mark’s dealings with church leaders.  What got Mark in hot water with church officials?

GT:  He had an appointment with, I believe it was Elder Oaks, Elder Pinnock. I don’t remember who all.

George: Elder Pinnock was the one that was dealing with him quite a bit.

GT: Yeah. And so, so can you a little bit about what was the relationship between Mark Hofmann and Elder Pinnock?

George: Business. Elder Pinnock had a history. In fact, I’ve known him. He was my wife’s bishop when we got married and so I’ve known him. I knew him for a long time before this and he was, you know, as much a victim as anybody.

It turns out this Mark Hofmann was trying to give more credence to the Spaulding Theory, which states that Sidney Rigdon got a copy of the Spaulding Manuscript, gave it to Joseph Smith, and Joseph plagiarized the Book of Mormon from Solomon Spaulding.  The problem has been, there has never been any connection between Joseph Smith and Solomon Spaulding.  However, Mark tried to solve that problem with a forgery with a new collection known as the McLellin Collection.

George:  There’s an old theory called a Solomon Spaulding theory. Are you aware that?

GT: I am aware of that.

George: Okay. But one of the problems, it’s never been given much credibility. They think that Solomon Spalding wrote it.

GT:  Wrote the Book of Mormon.

George:  And Martin[1] just copied the Book of Mormon, but there was really no relationship between Solomon Spalding and Joseph Smith that could be found. So, it’s not given a whole lot of credit. I mean there’s always people that bring it up, but my opinion is not given credit because they never met until too late, until this land deed showed up. And it’s a land deed that was signed by Solomon Spalding and Martin Harris. So, it showed there was a relationship between Solomon Spalding and Martin Harris and the date was appropriate. And this is the document that Mark Hofmann showed Hugh Pinnock and Al Rust and some others, and he says this is part of the McLellin Collection.

Check out our conversation….and don’t forget our other episodes with George!

Mark Hofmann hoped his forged McLellin Collection would give credence to the Spaulding Theory.
Mark Hofmann hoped his forged McLellin Collection would give credence to the Spaulding Theory.

173: Why Hofmann Killed his Best Friends

172: Who was the 3rd Bomb Intended For?

171: More Hofmann Techniques & Forged Sports Memorabilia

170: How Hofmann Fooled Experts with a Toy Chemistry Set

169: How George Became a Forensics Expert

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[1] George was referring to Martin Harris, but he meant Sidney Rigdon.  In a future interview with Steven Mayfield, you can see the forged land deed with Sidney Rigdon’s forged signature.