Victims by Richard Turley

For those interested in understanding the complexities of the infamous Salamander Letter and the tragic events caused by the criminal Mark Hofmann, you may be pleased to know that much of Richard E. Turley, Jr.’s book, Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hoffman Case (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1992), can be read online at Google Books. Chapter 5, for example, helps clarify the actions of the Church regarding the Salamander letter and also the equally fraudulent letter to Josiah Stowell. Also a topic I discuss on my LDSFAQ page on prophets.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

35 thoughts on “Victims by Richard Turley

  1. One is entitled to make ungrounded assessments if one wishes. However, from an academic and intellectual perspective making no assessment is better than making an ungrounded one.

    The assessment that Hinckley acted in good faith with regards to Hofmann forgeries and the Stowell Forgery specifically is difficult to backup. Turley suggests that Hinckley was preparing to release the Stowell Forgery in a carefully planned manner (my aside: not timely manner), but plans were accelerated due to the controversy. As I have similarly pointed on my blog, this is like claiming Obama appointees were planning to pay their taxes, but their appointments accelerated those plans. It just does not pass the smell test …

  2. 'ography: all that has been dealt with. You're not bringing anything new to the table, just rehashing stuff that has been hashed over many times already.

    For crying out loud, let it go, and get on with your life.

    Have you joined another church, or are you an atheist now? Either way, I hope you find some joy in your new path.

  3. Respectfully, I don't think his comments indicate that he has failed to "get on with his life." I'm not sure you can make that judgment. I find this debate to be (somewhat) interesting.

    Furthermore, you may be correct that Mormography is rehashing, but I don't see how Mormanity contributes anything that's really new to the debate, either. I don't see you telling him to "get on with his life."

    Part of why I enjoy this blog so much is because rational, civilized debate is allowed to occur. (Plus, Jeff is just plain funny.) I hope that continues.

  4. anon: Accusing President Hinckley of not acting in good faith more or less gave away his position. I then read 'ography's blog. He has become a critic of the church, and in my opinion from reading that blog, is bitter about it. Yet he uses a form of the word "Mormon" in his handle, which leads me to believe he hasn't let go.

  5. This is my admittedly biased opinion, but it seems like many fallible humans were involved in the whole Hofmann mess without full information about each others' involvement. Hofmann, skilled con-man that he was, specifically created this situation by always working on several groups of people at once — in, out, friendly, unfriendly, neutral — simultaneously playing them off each other and doing his best to keep them from communicating key details with each other. Classic social engineering, with predictable results.

    No matter how you spin it, though, two facts remain. The forgeries are now:
    – known (not just claimed) to be forgeries, thanks to police investigators developing new tools to actually detect them, and using them as evidence in a super-high-profile court case
    – tied irrevocably to a heinous murderer and essentially useless as ammo against the Church even by those who are normally willing to spread lies as a means to their noble end.

    All that remains as sorta-kinda ammo is "well, the so-called prophet should have seen it coming" and "the Church is hiding/suppressing/repressing things" (both of which are debatable and neither of which is new).

    All in all, this episode seems a lot like the 116 lost pages:
    – Evil and conspiring men — check.
    – Human error, even among Church leaders — check.
    – Cries of victory as enemies of the Church go on the prowl — check.
    – The plot to destroy the work is utterly and completely foiled, never to rise again — check.

  6. With regards to the lost 116 pages, those evil and conspiring men have never been identified. May be God was not referring to men at the time of Joseph Smith, but men at some future time. May be God was referring to different sets of men. May be God was referring to Hofmann and others. After all Hofmann’s ultimate goal was to forge the lost 116 pages with major contradictions. May be the lost 116 pages and the Hofmann episode are so alike they are actually the same episode.

  7. Being half apologist, half reformist, Mormanity often kills two birds with one stone. For example, he actively disavows the religion ever claimed anything similar to the doctrine of infallibility. This serves the dual purpose of defending the religion and moderating it at the same time. Very effective.

    That is why I was little surprised when I first read Mormanity’s treat of the Hofmann episode years ago. I half expected him to say that he did not known whether the church leadership handle the whole affair on the up and up, but that it did not matter. After all the leadership is made up of fallible human beings just as Peter denied the Christ and Moses committed manslaughter. Mormanity’s resistance to take the episode at face value and insist that everything was done in good faith suggests that he may be
    uncomfortable with his own logical universe.

  8. 'ography can't leave Mormonism alone? Of course he can't. You cannot leave the church and remain neutral. You will either eventually repent and embrace it, or fight against it. Hasn't that been proven over and over again?

  9. "Mormanity’s resistance to take the episode at face value" – you mean my failure to apply a hostile spin in interpreting every aspect of the story? Apply a critical filter to find fault in every act is not necessarily the same as taking things at face value.

  10. Wait Jeff is a reformist? Is he a reformist for keeping an open mind on scientific thing that there is no statement on or does he truly believe there are major faults in the way the Church is run because if it's the latter I haven't seen it and if it's the former then that isn't a reformist as there is no declared doctrine on the issue. Now if you ment government reformist I can see that and wholeheartedly agree but what then would that have to do with the matters being discussed in this posting.

  11. Tony

    Perhaps a more accurate description of what you are trying to express is “excessively critical analysis” or perhaps “harsh criticism”. An ad hominem attack is something else. I invite you to read Wikipedia’s article here. With regards to the Hofmann Episode, if you take a look at my blog I clearly addressed “the substance of the argument[s]” “producing evidence against the claim[s]”.

    My comment you appear to reference had less to do with Mormanity’s arguments in regards to the Hofmann episode and more to do with a post mortem analysis of why I was able to handle the discussion so effectively and he was not. The principal reason being his diversion from his normal very effective defensive stratagem (notice this is somewhat of a compliment, not an attack).

    Why the diversion? My first hypothesis was that Mormanity was lacking in the details of the episode. After further communication and the latest update to his FQA, it is apparent that this is not the case. Mormanity preaches the reality that prophetic persons are as human as you and I. It is against our human nature to accept this, hence Mormanity emphasizes it. Therefore my current leading hypothesis as to why Mormanity diverted from this normal approach is that even for Mormanity it is hard at times to overcome the human instinct to believe that prophetic persons are fallible.

    Ironically Tony, when you respond to my hypothesis/crictical analysis with the bassless charge of ad hominem attack without any substantive contributions, you become guilty of an ad hominem attack.

  12. Bookslinger and At 9:38 PM, August 05, 2009, Anonymous said…

    How am I fighting against it? If I have erred in logic, I beg you to teach me. I believe I previous read that Bookslinger defines ‘anti’ as someone that resorts to half truths. I fail to see how I have resorted to lies, half-truths, logical fallacies, or sophistry. As far as I can tell I have merely exposed poor reasoning. Does this bother you?

  13. Mormanity

    No, I mean taking it at face value. Your implication is that I have applied “hostile spin”, yet you provide no evidence of how I have done this. Furthermore, you exaggerate the implication by stating “every aspect”, when the aspect I have focused on is the undisputed secret purchase of the Stowell Forgery. The other “aspect[s] of the story” that I have addressed have less to do with the story and more to do with your arguments.

    A large amount of money was paid to secretly acquire an UNAUTHENTICATED document. It was not until well over a year later and after secrecy was broken, that any one in Hinckley’s inner circle is claimed to have been aware of the purchase. These are facts, not spin. Drawing attention to the accurate analogy of Obama appointees and the announcement of the Stowell Forgery is reality, not interpretation of it.

    An example of spin would be the encounter between Jacobs and Hinckley. The cynic could spin it as Hinckley frustrated with the loss potential plausible deniability and the faithful can spin it as Hinckley weary of the authenticity of the documents. You will notice I did neither.

    Accusations of bias resulting in a lack of objectivity on my part greatly concern me. That is why I presented the facts to acquaintances that have little familiarity with Mormonism. To quote one, “it doesn’t pass the smell test”. To paraphrase another, if it looks a like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck it must be a duck. The attempted suppression is so obvious one has to go out of their way to pretend there was none.

  14. At 8:04 PM, August 06, 2009, Anonymous said…

    I mistated. I should have stated that Jeff is full blown apologist and half reformist. If he was full reformist he would have probably been excommunicate.

  15. 'ography: an anti is someone who works against the church, like you do on your blog.

    The LDS church is imperfect and the people who run it are imperfect. But God's people have been imperfect ever since Cain slew Abel. Ever since Jacob's 10 oldest boys got him in trouble, ever since Judah slept with his daughter-in-law, ever since the children of Israel rebelled against God and Moses in the desert, ever since they stoned the prophets, ever since they did things worthy of rebuke by the apostles in the New Testament.

    God doesn't wait for perfect people, He has work that won't wait. So He uses imperfect people to implement and push forward the gospel.

    If you still believe the Bible, then read up on that part where it says "don't go looking for evil". Because then you focus on it, and start seeing it everywhere, and you forget you got weeds growing in your own garden too, and you forget about the beam in your own eye.

    If you don't want to be part of the gospel (I didn't either for 15 years), then stand back and let it alone (which I also did during those 15 years, I left it alone.)

    The more you try to "save" people from Mormonism, the more frustrated you'll get. It's like constantly picking the scabs off your wounds. Let it alone, and your wounds will eventually heal, even if it may take a while.

    But I bet that deep down you still know its true.

    Unless you're a mind reader, you'll never know what Elder Hinckley really had in mind when he purchased documents. For you to even say what his intentions were is more ridiculous than any of the wild charges you make.

    Go ahead, keep kicking the church if you want. But you'll only kick it upstairs.

  16. Bookslinger,

    You failed to mention a single lie, half-truth, logical fallacy, or sophistry that I have resorted to. You failed to explain how my blog is working against the Church. I have only corrected misconceptions on my blog, just like Mormanity tries to correct the misconception that many Mormon believes were official doctrine.

    Telling the truth is not working against the Church, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel. God does not fear the truth and he embraces those that expound upon it in the appropriate forum (recall the war in heaven, the war of words). Merely claiming I have made “wild charges” does not make it true. You need to state what those charges are and what it is that makes them so wild.

    I have not tried to read Hinckley’s mind, but merely stated the facts as they are. You, however, have gone way beyond trying to read my mind. You have quite falsely accused me of trying to save people from Mormonism. The more you resort to ad hominem attacks the more you prove that it is zealots that cannot leave people alone, not independent thinkers such as me.

  17. 'ography: You've been told the truth. You know the truth. I'm not going to waste time trying to feed you the truth that you already know. You've heard it all before.

    All this has now boiled down to:

    "Did not!" – "Did too!"
    "Am not!" – "Are too!"

    Your blog and the comments here have illustrated your position, voiced your intentions, and demonstrated your character.

    You've chosen sides, and made it clear.

  18. Bookslinger,

    Your failure to explain yourself and deteriorate your statements into “did not” – “did too” insipidness is copping-out. Copping-out is essentially admitting one is wrong without admitting it.

    If you truly had convictions in your beliefs you would be able to compartmentalize their inconsistencies, the way others here have done, and move on. If that proves too difficult, may I suggest an alternative? Accept what is often preached on Mormanity, that those called of God are as fallible as you and I (Hinckley included) and that most of what used to be taught in Mormonism was never official doctrine.

  19. Dude, I'm not going to play your game. There's nothing I could write about the issue that you haven't already read or heard from believing LDS.

    Why should I repeat all the information that you've (supposedly) already read?

    This is an _old_ issue, and there's nothing new. There's nothing left to discuss. It's all been gone over, and everyone has already chosen sides.

    Now, this is _Jeff's_ blog, and if he wants to, he can post a blurb about a 17 year old book that recently became available free online. That's his prerogative. That book is nothing new. And the events are 24 years old. I was on my mission when it happened, and Elder Oaks actually spoke about it to us missionaries when he visited.

    But the _free online availability_ of the book is apparently new and that is what Jeff announced.

    Then you come along, and dump garbage (logical, factual, and accusatory garbage) in his sand box.

    You're not even adding new anti stuff. Every point you try to make is either old anti news, or just cheap online-debate tactics.

    For cryin-out-loud, find something in the world you can be _positive_ about, and get on with your life. I feel sorry for you. Let go the hate. Network with other ex-mo's if you want, but at least associate with ones who've moved on and aren't fixated with "saving the world from Mormonism".

    By the way, if you don't believe the LDS church is the "one true church" anymore, what church or movement do you associate with now? What religion/church have you chosen? Or have you taken an atheist route or an agnostic route? Most hardcore ex-mo's who compaign against the church seem to go the atheist route.

    If your goal is to prove that the LDS church isn't what it says it is, what religion/church do you suggest that sincere followers of Jesus, God, or a Higher Power join up with?

    If we're not supposed to believe the Book of Mormon, is it still okay to believe the Bible? And if so, which church's interpretation of the Bible? Sun Myung Moon's? The Pope's? Joel Osteen? Billy Graham?

    What about the Quran? Confucius? Buddha?

    _If_ the Quran/Islam is as false as the Book of Mormon/Mormonism, there's a lot more Muslims who need "rescued" from Islam than Mormons who need "rescued" from Mormonism. What are you doing to "rescue" them?

    Compare the number of Muslim clerics in the world who preach violence to the number of Mormons who preach violence. If you want to save the world from a false religion (or just a severely mistaken violent minority of a major religion), where would your efforts do the most good?

    Good grief man! People are blowing themselves up and killing innocents by the scores and thousands in the name of religion (and for dozens of other political/economic reasons) and you're bent out of shape because a church leader (who was very well-respected in his church) bought a forged document?

    We know what you think of Mormonism. But what do you think of Islam, Protestantism (in general), Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism?

    Suppose someone should take your advice and abandon Mormonism, what religion do you think they should replace it with?

    What relgion have you replaced Mormonism with? What gives you peace or a sense of fulfillment? What philosophical system answers the yearnings of your heart and soul?

  20. Bookslinger,

    You are behaving in an incredibly hateful and rude manner. You have falsely accused me of being anti, not getting on with my life, being bent out of shape regarding the purchase of document, and implying I am atheist or claiming the “LDS Church is not the one true church”. For all this you need to apologize. I have never witnessed a Mormon congregation encourage people to behave so hatefully and I do not associate your behavior with the Mormons.

    I am not bent out shape about the document’s purchase, but my purpose is to analyze the poor reasoning used with regards to the whole Hofmann episode. Those who are bent out of shape are you and Mormanity for refusing to accept that Hinckley is as flawed as the rest of us. What I cannot figure out is why that is so hard to accept. Hinckley was a great man and sacrificed his life for his people. I cannot imagine spending my golden years, giving numerous hours to a charitable organization, without any real pay to speak of.

    For the record, the LDS Church is the one true church – for Bookslinger and Mormanity, for others it may be Catholicism or Islam. God was able to create the Law of Moses specifically for a group of people in time and space and that same God can create different religions for each of his unique children. The belief that “the LDS Church is the one true church for every member of humanity” was never official doctrine. If you lack wisdom as to why the spirit leads some of God’s children to be Episcopalian and others to be Mormon I invite you to ask our God.

    My personality is naturally inclined to be analytical, so the whole reasoning on blogs thing is a bit of a past time. However, I limit myself to four hours a week and you are successfully monopolizing those hours.

  21. Do I agree with everything about mormonism? Of course not.

    But… I do like mormonisms stand on free agency. Let those who think mormons are right believe that and let the others believe what they want to.

    The Lord blesses me in every way possible and I truthfully could not ask for any more. He knows my issues with Mormonism because I used to pray about them all of the time.

    In the end he will decide who is right.

    A former mormon.

  22. Steven Christensen, Hoffmann's first murder victim, is my brother-in-law; the only brother-in-law I've never personally known in this life. (I was in Jr. High at the time of the murders–as was his younger sister Shauna, my future wife. I didn't meet her for the first time until several years after the murders.)

    Of the various books on the whole sordid affair I've read, Turley's is the one I suggest when people ask me for a recommendation. I'm glad to know it is available for reading online–I hadn't known that, so thanks Jeff for the info!

    I've talked to some who conclude that if President Hinckley were truly a Prophet, Seer and Revelator he shouldn't have been able to be deceived by Hoffmann, that he should have had the gift of discernment or had revelation given to him to expose Hoffmann's fraud from the get-go.

    Personally I find this line of reasoning wholly unconvincing…

    Why would we expect the Lord to necessarily abrogate Mark Hoffmann's free agency prematurely before Hoffmann had an opportunity to thoroughly damn himself through his own actions?

    I find Elder Dallin H. Oak's explanation personally persuasive.

    I do think Hoffmann would have eventually produced the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon if he'd had time before things unraveled for him. In my mind that ties him well into events foreseen long ago by the Lord (cf. 1 Nephi 9:2-5 & 19:1-4, Words of Mormon 1:3, 6-7, D&C 10:20-46, etc.)

    The events leading up to the murders and those following can be viewed either with an eye of faith or with an eye of cynicism (depending on the world view and predisposition of the viewer). And that's how it should be–we're here in this life to learn by experience and make our own judgments and choices.

    It is my personal belief that the whole Hoffmann affair was (and unfortunately for some still is) a catalyst writ large for that self-selecting/choosing process among the membership of the Church.

    The greatest lesson I've seen first hand in the aftermath of the Hoffmann affair is the the healing power of forgiveness that President Faust talked about in his last conference address, and how the Savior can comfort us, heal us, give us hope, and lend us strength to continue on in this fallen, imperfect world until the dawning of that brighter day when God himself will wipe away every tear.

    Admittedly with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, what surprises me most is that people [other document dealers, collectors, forensic document examiners, professional historians, scholars, etc., least of all ecclesiastical leaders] weren't suspicious that Hoffmann kept making "once in a lifetime" finds, month after month and year after year. And not just in the field in the Mormon history but early Americana also (founding fathers, signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Pilgrim's Oath of a Freeman, Emily Dickinson, etc.)

  23. Mormography, this is getting stilly. You've made your point that you think Hinckley acted in bad faith. I disagree with your interpretation. But it is rather annoying to see that you cannot understand that neither of us approaches this matter with full objectivity – nor can we, though we can try to understand and be fair. It's not simply a matter of "here are the facts – it's obvious." Can't you see that there is sifting in which things you accept as facts, which sources you accept, which yout rust, what facts are presented, how they are presented and woven together to create a story that can be evaluated according to some sort of smell test? When you presented your "objective, unbiased facts" to your friends, did that perchance include an opportunity to read Turley's careful documentation of the events? Or where these facts that happen to fit your biases more suitably?

    If you think Bookslinger is hateful (very direct, irritated perhaps, but hateful??) for calling you out for questionable behavior, you should pose as a true blue Mormon on some of the anti-sites and see how you get treated. I think you'll find this blog a little more friendly.

  24. Mormanity,

    In my objective presentations to acquaintances I could not find anyone willing to take the time to look it to Turley, though I tried. But on other forums I ready offered page 102 of Victims. It has been on Google books for some time now. There is nothing in Victims that contradicts the facts as I have presented them.

    I most definitely see that there is sifting in which things one accepts as facts. That is kinda of my whole point here. Bias is most often seen not in what is reported, but in what is NOT reported. In your FAQ and Oaks’ Ensign article what was sifted out was the facts in regards to the Stowell Forgery.

    I wrote the following on another forum the 7 of December 2007
    “UNDISPUTED VERIFIABLE FACTS: Hinckley bought the Stowell forgery on behalf of the Church. The price was $15,000. Hofmann was the seller. There was a promise of confidentiality. ( This is from Hofmann’s deposition. It has not been disputed or denied.) Hinckley did not disclose the purchase for over two years. Hofmann leaked its existence. Church Spokesman Jerry Cahill declared the Church did not possess it. Hinckley corrected Cahill and released the document.
    When Oaks and internet apologists (such as Lindsay) address the issue they do not DENY these facts. They IGNORE most of them and focus on the last one. This is the correct thing for them to do.
    When writing Victims, Turley was given access to Oaks and others journals that the other authors were not. Though not an officially endorse book, it is general considered the Church’s side of the whole episode. EVEN this book recognizes these facts and that Cahill had erred.”

    “Calling me out for questionable behavior”? Please explain, what questionable behavior.

  25. So Hinckley bought a document that ended up being false. He didn't release it right away, but kept it confidential for a time. Are you trying to say that that makes him a false prophet?

    I'll tell you what. I know that President Hinckley was a prophet of God because of the testimony of a primary child. And nothing you can say with all your logic and oratory can take that fact away from me. The Spirit has borne witness to my soul, as it does at this very moment, that he was a man of God. Perfect? No. But a prophet of God. Why do you dwell on this one thing? What is it about it that makes you push it so much? What do you have against that man?

    You say that he was preparing to release it in a certain manner. This, you claim, shows that he was acting in a sneaky way. Do you know his true intentions? No, not any better than others, including myself.

    You are open to make such claims of acting in bad faith. However, I see no need for you to continue to drag it on and make it seem as if we are all blind and you are right. Seems a bit presumptuous to me.

    If you feel as though I am 'attacking' you by this comment, than I am sorry for that. I mean no ill will towards you. I am just trying to understand your purpose in all of this.

  26. Tony,

    I NEVER claim Hinckley was a false prophet. I will claim that I do not known if he was anyone more of a prophet than the Pope. Tony, many Catholics have felt the spirit bear witness to them that the Pope is a man of God. I am not here to take what you feel or what they fell away.

    During one of Hinckley’s interviews with Larry King a caller (a Pastor) asked Hinckley if the Bible was not sufficient and if he (the Pastor) needed to preach to his congregation from the Book of Mormon. Hinckley’s response was that the Mormons are not here to take anything away from the Pastor (his Bible) but to only let people know there is more.

    In like manner I not here to take away what you have felt. I am here to tell there is greater understanding. That understanding is that the burning in the bosom is not at all unique to the Mormon’s, but universal to the human condition. It is a powerful feeling that tells you Hinckley was a man of God because there are certain transcendental morals that he stood for (self sacrifice for the good of the Group).

    I have absolutely nothing against the man, but admire and respect how much the man sacrificed. Many Mormon’s claim that God is no respecter of persons. To truly believe this would mean that a person (or prophet) should not receive special treatment just because they are Mormon. Criticism comes with the territory of being in the public spotlight.

    ASIDE: I have avoided accusing Hinckley of acting in bad faith. I usually try something like did not act in good faith. There is a difference. If I stated ‘acted in bad faith’ somewhere, please let me know so I can correct it. END ASIDE

    My purpose on my blog and here is not Hinckley, but the line of reasoning used by apologist (Mormanity and fellow apologist he quotes). The reasoning is rather poor and ironic. For example, in defending ‘charges of suppression’, Mormanity suppressed the facts surrounding the Stowell Forgery (IRONY).

    Mormanity plays a game where he pretends the facts in this case are interpretable. This not so and the facts are very simple. Hinckley secretly purchased the Stowell Forgery and told no one (NO ONE) about it until Hofmann broke the secrecy. This is the very definition of suppression, case closed. I could go on with how Hinckley denied even knowing Hofmann and Christensen at a press conference, all of which Turley defends in his book Victims. One of the more interesting ones is when Turley admits that police investigations of phone records indicated that Hofmann had called Hinckley’s private line, but there is no prove that he actually talked to Hinckley.

    In the end Mormanity admits that he lacked objectivity, but justifies it by claiming no one is objective and implies that I sifted out Turley’s facts from my analysis. To his frustration I was able to prove this was not the case.

  27. Mormography… you seem to like your own arguments immensely. You have posted response after response and you haven't convinced me one wit with your reasoning or your stated "objectivity". Sorry.

    I was entertained by another one of your posts from a more recent blog about metal plates… you stated, "Who cares?"

    For one, I care. Better luck trying to illustrate your arguments next time.


  28. Shawn,

    Thank for your post. The more responses like yours that failed to demonstrate how I have failed in logic the more credence is given to my reasoning. Also, I believe you have misquoted me. See here

  29. Mormanity,

    In your Update: More on Alleged Suppression and the Stowell Letter, you appear to quote me by stating “The "smoking gun" for suppression of documents arises in part from a denial by an LDS spokesman that the Church had the Stowell document”. This is an inaccurate description of what I have stated. If you are going to quote or paraphrase me, I would appreciate it if you would quote or paraphrase me accurately.

    What I have stated is that the secret purchase of the Stowell forgery is the smoking gun – not Cahill's denial. Cahill’s denial (because he was legitimately unaware of the Stowell forgery) is merely an indication of how secret the purchase was. Yours and Turley’s focus on Jerry Cahill’s denial as an innocent mistake is classic straw man rhetoric.

    The mere fact that Cahill was unaware of the purchase IS the evidence of a secret purchase, hence suppression. This, in addition to your own admission that money was paid for an unauthenticated document lacking provenance (something that even the American historical society would advise strongly against), the only motive for which would be to keep the document out of other hands, is further evidence of the suppression.

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