Episodes

Radio Free Mormon: 217: Elder Oaks is NOT a Liar!

This just in!  Elder Oaks has proven that he is NOT a liar!

In this joint podcast with the fabulous Jonathan Streeter from Thinker of Thoughts, we dissect a 1993 talk Elder Oaks gave to the students of BYU’s law school.

In his remarks, Elder Oaks demonstrates convincingly to all assembled that he does not justify lying in any form, nor is he himself a liar!

Either that, or this is actually a Manifesto on why Elder Oaks believes it is fine to prevaricate and deceive for the greater good, so long as you don’t cross that increasingly fuzzy line of lying.

It’s like the Unabomber Manifesto.  Only it isn’t about bombing; it’s about lying.

Perhaps we should call it the Unaliar Manifesto?

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10 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 217: Elder Oaks is NOT a Liar!

  1. After you received your second anointing and have your calling and election made sure, as Elder Oaks has received, he is free to lie, cheat, steal, and etc. as is necessary in order that the kingdom of God may roll forth.

  2. That was fascinating I feel like I got a peak into the mind of Oaks and the church upper leadership. The pearls of truth I hold sacred are worthless to them, they are the swine.
    I would love to hear a discussion of top leaderships family nepotism and how they make it into the top tears of leadership (the in Crowd). I assume they screen based on family connection, technical ability and the willingness to lie and deceive in service to the corporate church. But how the Mormon Royalty benefit financially from this network would be illuminating. Who is this inner core and what is the game plan?
    great Job RFM.

  3. RFM:

    I have a feeling that Dallin Oaks would NOT like the movie “Liar Liar” starring Jim Carrey. If you haven’t seen the movie, the premise is that a child’s dad (played by Jim Carrey) is a lawyer who is magically unable to lie for a period of time.

    Going beyond merely not being unable to make affirmative misrepresentations, the lawyer is compelled to answer questions when posed and even compelled to volunteer information without any questions asked. Thus, Oaks’s strategy of silence or omitting material information was not an option.

    Maybe you should have a follow-up episode: How Dallin Oaks would react to “Liar Liar”

  4. -I was trying to find the talk you were going over, so I could follow along, and my google search found another interesting talk by Oaks from 1973 titled “Be Honest in All Behavior”. Given when he was in charge at BYU. It starts out similarly with Oaks defining lying, even quoting some of the same scriptures from D&C, John and Psalms. Like the talk you mentioned, he then transitions into condemning certain types of lying. Here is where it differs a little and also where seems to focus his time. All his examples are related to students. He spends so much time on giving examples that it just feels like he is complaining and the lying subject is only there so he can claim his talk is religious.

    Some examples:
    -“It is dishonest to write a check with insufficient funds…”, which he also calls “a crime and deserves to be treated that way.”
    -“It is also dishonest to obtain merchandise on credit, such as by using a credit card, without knowing how you will pay the debt.” Which he also calls a crime.
    -“it is dishonest for a student to run up a bill for rent … and then skip out.”
    -“It is dishonest to make a long-distance call and charge it to a nonexistent number.”
    -He talks about loaning your student ID to someone else so they can get in an activity for free.
    -He talks about violating dress and grooming standards by using the strict definition of the wording. I thought that was funny for him to say about his examples “That kind of conduct would be ridiculous and laughable if it were not such a classic example of lying deception to gain advantage. Persons guilty of this kind of dishonesty should remember President Tanner’s statement in his message to the ten-stake fireside last November: “If a young man is dishonest in any way, he is on the way to destruction.”
    -“A person who faces up to the truth and speaks it honestly, without reservation and without attempted concealment, is on the path of growth and success. An individual who conceals and misrepresents, however small the matter, sows the seeds of his own corruption.” To me, this quote embodies the phrase ‘Do what I say, not what I do’.
    -He then talks about the honor code and complains that students are not following it exactly.
    -He enforces the attitude that you should never question your superiors by saying “One of the most grievous forms of lying is a lie told to a bishop or branch president or stake president or other Church officer.”
    -I find it so hypocritical for him to say “A lie is not always told in so many words. It may be a creature of concealment or a misrepresentation by action or a half-truth.”
    -He complains about students tricking parking enforcement.
    -He complains about students taking advantage of veteran benefits.
    -He complains about cheating on a test and gives a story of a graduate who wrote a letter saying she was sorry.
    -He starts again about dress and grooming standards and complains “Students who are in deliberate violation of the Dress and Grooming Standards are therefore promise breakers, and when that violation is continued through the promises of another registration period, the violators are liars in addition.”
    -“This is not the time to speak at length on the reasons underlying our Code of Honor and our Dress and Grooming Standards.” Except that is what he has been doing this whole talk up to this point. And then he continues talking about dress and grooming for another 10 paragraphs.
    -He finished his complaint by ending on Ecclesiastical Endorsements and heavily implying that your personal and professional careers are worthless if you lie.

    After hearing your deconstruction of his other talk, I thought one of his last quotes in this one was very apropos: “How much trust would you place in a person who told you the truth ninety-five percent of the time? How much value is an employee who does not steal from his employer—ninety-five percent of the time? The ninety-five-percenter is like a leaky bucket: the hole may be small, but it renders the entire vessel unworthy of its purpose. Unless the hole can be mended, the bucket is bound for the trash heap.”

  5. Really great analysis or should I say expose of the slimy underbelly of highly self righteous rationalization of the scummiest sort.

    I didnt care for the smug elitism of Dalon before this , but now it makes my stomach turn to get a nasty dose of his inner workings…right from the horse’s mouth , no less.

    And he can take his ‘so called’ sophisticated level of word twisting and deception and shove it where the sun don’t shine. His aloof snobbery and arrogance knows no bounds.

    Heaven help all mormons if he becomes the prophet CEO!

  6. Exceptional discussion, but I believe your title shortchanges it. I wish it would have been called “The Doctrine of Lying for the Lord”

  7. what is Oak’s highest priority? From the Church “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel,” and as the Q15 make clear in every general conference they equate faith in them and the Church as belief in Christ. Faith is the moral foundation of Lying for the Lord.

  8. Hey, RFM–
    I was at BYU in 1978 (Dallin Oaks was prez; Steve Benson was cartoonist at The Daily Universe) when Spencer Kimball announced that Black men would no longer be barred from the priesthood. Benson’s comic the next day struck me as a hilarious lampoon of the flummoxed response that I witnessed thereafter.

    Ya think that little gem has been memory-holed?

  9. I wish you would have put a trigger warning on this one. Walking to work and hearing about child sexual abuse was not a good way to start my day.

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