Quick Overview

I'm focusing on FairMormon's CES Letter Analysis home page, which can be viewed here.

I am rebutting not only FairMormon's comments listed at the top of their CES Letter home page but their claims and links near the bottom of the page, including links to other apologetic blogs/writings.

Jeremy's Response

Response to FairMormon's Homepage

"Googling is not a synonym for seeking."

FairMormon says...

Googling is not a synonym for seeking.

—Steven C. Harper
Joseph Smith's First Vision: A Guide to the Historical Accounts (2012), 11–12

Jeremy's Response

What a ridiculous claim.

Google is a search engine. It is simply a tool. It is not a source. It is not a destination. It is not a conclusion.

Google is the taxi; not the location. It's the phone; not the conversation.

This is like saying, "The library is not a synonym for seeking." The library is just a tool or gathering place of books, papers, works, and sources.

FairMormon is now perpetuating the general perception and reputation that the Church and its apologists do not want its members to be balanced researchers or to look up information about the Church and its history on Google.

"Critical questions. Faithful answers" FairMormon is demonstrating that FairMormon is not a synonym for impartiality. FairMormon can keep their faithful answers. I prefer honest facts.

Update: FairMormon removed their ridiculous "Google is not a synonym for seeking" header from their home page in September 2014 after I posted my above response.

"The author has since made some corrections based upon this analysis..."

FairMormon says...

"The author has since made some corrections based upon this analysis..."

Jeremy's Response

Are there some errors and mistakes in the original CES Letter? Yes.

I acknowledge them, own them, and fixed them. You can see the exact list of errors here. The total errors/mistakes only represented 5% of the entire original CES Letter.

The updated CES Letter (which can be found here) does not contain the mistakes or errors, as I corrected them.

"Case Study: An attempt to discredit Brian Hales as a scholar"

FairMormon quotes me...
"Hales is not a scholar. He's an anesthesiologist who hired Don Bradley to do his research for him. He then wrote 3 books using his employee's homework. Author? Sure. Apologist? Yes. Amateur? Yes. Scholar? No. He's an apologist disguising himself as a scholar. The real scholars in the field of polygamy have issues with many of Hales' conclusions and interpretations. Anyone with big bucks and writing skills can do what Brian did. All you have to do is hire guys like Don Bradley to do all the work for you and then you throw the stuff in a nice hardcover book with your name on it."

- Author of "Letter to a CES Director"

To see FairMormon's full detailed response, click here.

Jeremy's Response

FairMormon claims that my above comment that I posted on a blog comment section is an "ad hominem" attack against Hales and is an "attempt to discredit Brian Hales as a scholar".

This is actually a great case study of FairMormon's modus operandi of misapplying the ad hominem fallacy. Nothing I've stated is factually untrue and several points in my comment has even been admitted and conceded by Brian C. Hales himself. I show Hales' concessions below.

This is yet another one of FairMormon's attempts to discredit me in their desperate attempt to in turn discredit the CES Letter itself.

FairMormon fails to give the background story here. Brian C. Hales wrote what many people have characterized as an ad hominem attack on me in his Jeremy Runnells - the New Expert on Joseph Smith's Polygamy? blog post on Rational Faiths. In the comments section, one individual made the claim that Hales is a scholar while implying that Hales is an unbiased, respected, and professional scholar. In response to this, I made the comment that FairMormon quotes me on above.

The following are screenshots from Brian C. Hales' own online comments in various forums admitting that he is an apologist and an amateur historian. I'm just agreeing with him.

Source: Worlds Without End

Source: Facebook, Mormon Historians, July 17, 2014 @ 3:38pm

"...apologist disguising himself as a scholar."

In regards to my above statement, the fact is that true scholars do not let their personal biases get in the way of the facts. Brian heavily interprets the facts based on his biases. This is the key difference between apologists and scholars. This is why Brian C. Hales is not a scholar.

As Mormon historian Thomas Kimball observed:

"The key to scholarship is not caring what the research brings, but in wanting to know what the research brings. I really appreciate the in-depth research Brian does, but Brian cares about the outcome. As long as you care, you can never be impartial. Not ever. And important questions don't get asked because they lead the researcher away from the goal of what they want the outcome to be.

The usefulness of Brian's work is limited by his pro-Mormon biases, his lack of specificity in his reporting, internal contradictions, and the advancement of obvious untruths."

Most of FairMormon's responses in this section are just rambling nonsense about how wrong I am in my statement and how I'm "attacking" Brian C. Hales. Fortunately, I do not need to respond to most of FairMormon's maundering as Brian C. Hales' own words back me up in my statement that he is both an apologist and an amateur.

But I will respond directly to just a few of FairMormon's other incorrect assumptions:

FairMormon says: "The critic now mentions 'real' scholars, thus once again indicating that the target of his comment is not a 'real' scholar. The critic mentions that the 'real' scholars "have issues with many of Hales' conclusions and interpretations." No data is provided regarding who these 'real' scholars are, and which 'conclusions and interpretations' they disagree with. Who are the 'real scholars?' D. Michael Quinn? Dan Vogel? Todd Compton? Where have they published their rebuttals of Hales?"

I'm glad FairMormon asked! Here you go:

"With regard to my making such stark assessments about Brian C. Hales, I have praised him throughout this 'expanded-finalized' monograph as 'an honest apologist' whenever I can, but I cannot remain silent about the perplexing gaffes in his use of evidence."

D. Michael Quinn, Mormon Historian and Scholar
Evidence for the Sexual Side of Joseph Smith's Polygamy, p. 73-74

"While I find Brian Hales' works well-researched, I don’t find them well-reasoned. He likes to accuse Palmer of overstating his case, but he constantly quibbles, minimizes, and understates the evidence."

Dan Vogel, Mormon Historian and Scholar - Mormon Stories Interview comment

"Make no mistake about it: this is apologetics. Hales is committed to making Joseph Smith look as clean as a whistle. To do this, he is obliged to paint some witnesses as unreliable, extravagant, and anti-Mormon; yet, somewhat inconsistently, he is willing to accept statements from these or like characters when they support his claims. Hales’ polemical concerns drive him to defend a number of difficult positions."

"While his discussion of Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy may be hard for many ordinary members of the Church, what Hales has to say about that practice [polygamy / polyandry] is similarly problematic among many LDS historians."

"After a careful reading of volume 1, I suggest that the jacket remarks by Bushman, Compton, and Foster are insightful, accurate and understated. Hales doesn’t always analyze his data in useful ways; he argues positions which presentation of evidence in later chapters appears to contradict; he qualifies arguments in ways which seem driven more by agenda than demanded by the evidence."

"I do not agree that Hales interprets history responsibly. His history, rather than being descriptive, is prescriptive. He tells the reader how they should interpret the evidence rather than letting the evidence speak for itself. I find this throughout the volumes. It is in his handling of the evidence that he and I will have to agree to disagree. In many places, his own evidence overwhelmingly supports interpretations at variance with those he himself provides."

Cheryl L. Bruno, Mormon Polygamy Scholar and Historian
First Thoughts on Joseph Smith's Polygamy by Brian Hales - Worlds Without End
Joseph Smith's Polygamy - A Response to Brian Hales

"Brian Hales wants to face up to every question, every problem, and every fear about plural marriage. His answers may not satisfy everyone, but he gives readers the relevant sources where answers, if they exist, are to be found. There has never been a more thorough examination of the polygamy idea."

Richard Bushman, LDS Scholar
Back book cover of Brian Hales' book

"Joseph Smith's Polygamy, the first thorough treatment of Joseph Smith's plural marriages written by a conservative Mormon scholar, is a landmark in the historiography of Mormon polygamy. While I disagree with some of Hales's conclusions, I admire his willingness to confront difficult topics and the depth of his research. This impressive work furthers the ongoing dialogue in the Mormon historical community on a fascinating and challenging aspect of the life and teachings of Mormonism's founding prophet."

Todd M. Compton, Mormon Polygamy Scholar
Back book cover of Brian Hales' book

"Brian Hales is an exceptionally thorough, meticulous, and evenhanded researcher and assessor of Joseph Smith's complex and controversial polygamous practices and the theological rationale that supported them. His path-breaking and indispensable three-volume study provides the most comprehensive documentation and assessment yet available of the extant evidence on the topic, even though Hales's fellow scholars of Joseph Smith's polygamy may not always find persuasive the ways in which he interprets and contextualizes his evidence."

Larry Foster, Mormon Polygamy Scholar in 2013
Back book cover of Brian Hales' book

The following is a more recent interview with Professor Foster in which he shares more candid views of Brian Hales' methodology and work:

The following is FairMormon's and Brian Hales' own graphic comparing ostracized Brian Hales to other polygamy scholars on the subject of sexual polyandry. Notice that Brian stands alone in his claim that Joseph didn't have sex with his wives who were also married to other living men:

FairMormon says:

"Perhaps Runnells is incorrectly conflating 'scholar' with 'professor' who teaches at a university. Yet he seems to accept evidence from scholars who have never been university professors, including Fawn Brodie, George D. Smith and Grant Palmer.

It seems more likely that Mr. Runnells prefers to dismiss Brian Hales and his work by calling him an 'apologist,' while reserving the title "scholar" for people who agree with him."

Despite FairMormon's petty attempt to make me appear uneducated, I repeat my response to FairMormon's "apologist vs. scholar" claim:

The fact is that true scholars do not let their personal biases get in the way of the facts. Brian heavily interprets the facts based on his biases. This is the key difference between apologists and scholars. This is why Brian C. Hales is not a scholar.

As Mormon historian Thomas Kimball observed:

"The key to scholarship is not caring what the research brings, but in wanting to know what the research brings. I really appreciate the in-depth research Brian does, but Brian cares about the outcome. As long as you care, you can never be impartial. Not ever. And important questions don't get asked because they lead the researcher away from the goal of what they want the outcome to be.

The usefulness of Brian's work is limited by his pro-Mormon biases, his lack of specificity in his reporting, internal contradictions, and the advancement of obvious untruths."

I don't agree with all of LDS scholar Richard Bushman's conclusions and positions. Richard Bushman is a scholar and a gentleman. I don't agree with all of Terryl Givens' conclusions and positions. Terryl Givens is a scholar. So, I don't have a problem with scholars retaining the title "scholar" despite my differences with them. Unlike them, Brian C. Hales is an amateur historian with a widespread reputation of distorting and manipulating the evidence and facts to fit his beliefs, which is exactly what apologists - not scholars - do. This is the distinct key difference that FairMormon apparently fails to grasp.

FairMormon says: "The author of A Letter to a CES Director attempts to discredit Brian Hales as a scholar without addressing his work."

Who said I'm not addressing Hales' work? What FairMormon fails to mention is my public statements that I will provide a response to Brian C. Hales and his work. FairMormon fails to mention that I have responded to some of Hales' claims in the Polygamy/Polyandry section of Debunking FAIR's Debunking. I will be detailing how Hales' claims and positions are fundamentally at odds with the positions and views of respected polygamy scholars.

I will post a link here and in the "Latest Updates" section of Debunking FAIR's Debunking when it's published.

Case study: An attempt to portray FairMormon as delusional, dishonest and deceptive

FairMormon quotes me...
"I used to think the people at FairMormon were just delusional but with honest intentions. Now after dealing with them for close to a year now? They're not only delusional but dishonest and deceptive."

- Author of "Letter to a CES Director" June 22, 2014

Jeremy's Response

I'm glad FairMormon posted this. I stand by this statement 110%.

I gave FairMormon the benefit of the doubt. However, after nearly a year of constant and deliberate misrepresentation, obfuscation, and strawmens of my position and arguments, I'm of the firm opinion that FairMormon is both dishonest and deceptive in their tactics and responses.

I acknowledge and own my mistakes for all to see. FairMormon just deletes and changes their answers with no acknowledgements or ownership; as if their responses never existed.

I offer my readers complete transparency by providing generous links back to FairMormon's responses on their website. FairMormon only provides two dead unclickable URL links hidden in the middle and bottom of their page that readers have to type out in their browser or copy/paste in order to access.

In the CES Letter and Debunking FAIR's Debunking, I focus on the arguments. FairMormon responds with many ad hominem attacks on myself, my integrity, and my character as well as strawmen of my arguments and positions.

I provide generous links and screenshots to FAIR's responses for my readers to see the entire context. FairMormon takes comments/quotes of mine out of context with no links back to the source for their readers to see the entire context for themselves.

August 2014 Update:

FairMormon says: The critic claims that a year ago he thought that members of FairMormon were "delusional with honest intentions." Now he believes that they are not only still "delusional," but also "dishonest and deceptive." What changed? The critic elaborates:

I'm glad FairMormon posted this. I stand by this statement 110%.

I gave FairMormon the benefit of the doubt. However, after nearly a year of constant and deliberate misrepresentation, obfuscation, and strawmens of my position and arguments, I'm of the firm opinion that FairMormon is both dishonest and deceptive in their tactics and responses. [2]

So, again we ask, what changed? Apparently, the author simply didn't like our responses to his Letter to a CES Director. Because we disagree with his conclusions, we are now classified as "dishonest and deceptive." Note that the critic considered us "delusional" from the beginning.

Of course I didn't/don't like some of FairMormon's responses as some of them were/are outright dishonest and deceptive. This is my point. And this does not even cover FairMormon's ad hominem attacks either.

I didn't consider FairMormon delusional during my faith crisis in 2012 as I was researching FairMormon's claims and answers to the problems in my attempt to resolve my concerns and questions. I arrived to the conclusion that FairMormon is delusional in their claims a year later in 2013 after having researched and considered FairMormon's claims and positions the previous year.

Nice try, FairMormon, in getting your audience to believe that I considered you guys delusional "from the beginning".

Of course, having sorted in painstakingly and meticulous detail through each one of FairMormon's responses to the CES Letter from 2013 to 2014, my conclusion went much further. Instead of simply being delusional, FairMormon took it further by demonstrating that they had/have no problem being deceptive and dishonest in some of their responses.

"The Interpreter Foundation responds to these questions"


Jeremy's Response

I am currently working on my response to Kevin Christensen's essay and will publish it in the near future.

I will post the link to my response here as well as in the "Latest Updates" section of Debunking FAIR's Debunking when it's published.

Until then, here's a great rebuttal to Kevin Christensen's essay worth checking out: Beholder

Jeff Lindsay's "Coping with the 'Big List' of Attacks on the LDS Faith"

FairMormon quotes Lindsay...

One of the challenges in defending one’s faith is coping with critics who use the “Big List” technique in their attack. This involves throwing out numerous arguments to create the impression of an overwhelming barrage that decimates the faith in question (see the related post, “If Only 10% of These Charges Are True…“). The Big List is loaded with barbed questions that weren’t written in search of a real answer. If there is a good defense to the arguments raised at first, never mind, there are many more to be launched in different directions.

As with many topics in fields like history, science, and religion, the issues raised in Big List attacks are often complex and may require exploring abundant details to answer questions properly. Even for those who are prepared to answer questions on a wide variety of topics, the time it takes to lay a foundation and properly answer a question can be taken by the instantly impatient critics as an admission of weakness and confirmation that they are right, and then it’s time to move on to the next attack and the next. If reasonable answers are promptly provided for some attacks, or if the alleged weakness on further examination actually proves to be evidence in favor of the faithful position, the response can be ignored as new attacks from the Big List are hurled out.

Jeff Lindsay's blog can be read in its entirety here.

Jeremy's Response

Mithryn provided a great response to Jeff Lindsay's blog post at Exploring Mormonism here: "Big Lists" and Apologetics

The above link is a great read as well due to Jeff Lindsay's comments.

FairMormon, by posting Jeff Lindsay's "Big List" blog post on the CES Letter home page is giving its audience the impression that Jeff Lindsay wrote this in response to the CES Letter. Jeff Lindsay clears the air and makes it clear that he didn't write his "Big Lists" blog post for or about the CES Letter. In fact, Lindsay admits that he hadn't "dug into the CES Letter" aside from my Debunking FAIR's Debunking Temple section. Lindsay's understanding of the CES Letter is so poor that he thinks it's "they" that's challenging FairMormon instead of "he" [Jeremy].

Jeff Lindsay's "Big Lists" blog was published on May 20th. Lindsay's comment on Mithryn's blog post on May 26th demonstrates that he never read or "dug into the CES Letter", which also confirms that Lindsay's "Big Lists" blog post was not in response to or a rebuttal directly to the CES Letter.

The "Big List" charge against the CES Letter is ridiculous. It's ridiculous because the CES Director requested a list of my concerns, questions and grievances with the LDS Church. The following illustrates how absurd this is:

CES Director: Jeremy, please give me a list of your concerns and questions.

Jeremy: Okay, here you go. Thanks for your help.

FairMormon & Jeff Lindsay: Big List! Jeremy is just attacking the Church using Big List!

Daniel C. Peterson's "Some Reflections on That Letter to a CES Director"


Top Mormon apologist Daniel C. Peterson talked about the CES Letter at FairMormon's 2014 Conference: Some Reflections on That Letter to a CES Director, which can be read here.

Jeremy's Response

I have completed my thorough response and rebuttal to Mr. Peterson's presentation.

My A Zombie's Reflections on That Mormon Apologist's Reflections response can be read here.

FairMormon's Response to Debunking FairMormon

FairMormon responds to two claims I make in Debunking FAIR's Debunking.

To view FairMormon's detailed response click here.

Jeremy's Response

My response can be found here.

Open Letter to Elder Cook

The following is what Elder Cook said in his October 2012 General Conference talk, “Can Ye Feel So Now?
“Some have immersed themselves in internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and in some cases invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.”

In response to Elder Cook’s above comment and claim, I wrote the following open letter to Elder Cook shortly after his October 2012 General Conference address:

Open Letter to Elder Quentin L. Cook

October 9, 2012

Dear Elder Cook,

I am one of those formerly spiritually lost and "apostate" souls whose testimony was destroyed by falsehoods I found on the evil internetz. But on Saturday night, following your advice at General Conference, I repented of my disillusionment, and it totally worked.

Now that I've repented, I cannot believe the ludicrous lies I used to believe about Joseph Smith and the foundational doctrines of the church. I no longer believe those outrageous lies; not even one little bit.

A few examples of the lies I've discarded through my repentance last night after your General Conference talk on Saturday morning:

  1. I no longer believe the lie that Joseph Smith sold his services looking for buried treasure with a peep stone that he used to look in his hat with. I've also discarded the lie that this "Ouija Board" Joseph used was the same method he used to translate the Book of Mormon. Respected LDS Historian and "Rough Stone Rolling" author Richard Bushman totally lied and deceived me.

  2. Elder Russell M. Nelson also endorsed this stone in hat method of translation of the Book of Mormon in his July 1993 Ensign "A Treasured Testament" talk. You might want to have a quick chat with him to get his talk corrected. Like, pronto.

  3. I no longer believe the lie that Joseph Smith gave several multiple conflicting accounts of the First Vision. Joseph Smith's own journals have obviously been tampered with.

  4. I no longer believe the lie that all DNA research to date shows the indigenous Americans are of Asian rather than Hebrew descent. The scientists are obviously all lying just to thwart the Mormons.

  5. I no longer believe the lie that the only surviving Egyptian papyrus that Joseph used for the Book of Abraham - which has the Facsimiles on it - does not match Joseph Smith's translation. Both LDS and non-LDS Egyptologists, including those at FARMS, are just testimony destroyers and deceivers.

  6. I no longer believe the lie that Joseph Smith married 14-year-old girls. LDS-owned familysearch.org listing Joseph's teen brides on his index totally needs to be corrected immediately.

  7. I no longer believe the lie that Joseph Smith married women already married to other living men at the same time. Respected LDS historian and scholar Richard Bushman lied about that. Time to remove his book "Rough Stone Rolling" from Deseret Book and the LDS Church History Museum store in Salt Lake. It's totally obvious to me now that the book is anti-Mormon.

  8. I no longer believe the lie that Joseph Smith denied practicing polygamy when he, according to FairMormon, FARMS, FamilySearch.org and LDS historians, really did practice polygamy. It's time to get rid of Volume 6 of the History of the Church that contains Joseph's denial of polygamy.

  9. I no longer believe the lie that Brigham Young taught that Adam was the only God and Father that the Latter-day Saints should be concerned with. By the way, that lie is in the Journal of Discourses...might want to delete it pronto.

You get the picture. I used to believe a lot of vicious lies, all of which are found in LDS or LDS-friendly sources I read about on the evil internetz. I guess these LDS and LDS-friendly sources are anti-Mormon too.

But thanks to your talk, I repented. And now I know the truth: official LDS and LDS-friendly sources on the evil internetz tell lots and lots of lies about Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, the First Vision, the Book of Mormon and everything else you can think of about the Lord's church.

Thanks for encouraging me to repent of my disillusionment and bringing me back to the fold.

We should ban Rough Stone Rolling, edit Joseph's journals, delete part of the History of the Church, delete part of the Journal of Discourses, revise familysearch.org, correct Elder Nelson's 1993 talk and distance ourselves from FARMS publications. We must remove and stop these absurd and outrageous lies that led me astray in the first place.

Your brother in combating online falsehood,

(FairMormon moved this from their home page to this page.)

My intention in writing this satire, another version which I borrowed from a friend and made my own, is to demonstrate how the “internet materials” that can “affect testimony” come from the Church’s own websites and LDS and LDS-friendly sources. Members do not need to go to critical or anti-Mormon websites to see that something is fundamentally wrong with the official correlated storyline that the LDS Church feeds their members.

My other purpose for writing this open letter is to demonstrate how out of touch Elder Cook and his comments are with the reality of the Information Age.

It’s absurd to chastise members to “repent” for discovering (most of the time accidently) disturbing facts about Joseph Smith, the Church, its history, and its origins which are still – in 2014 – concealed by the Church.

It’s absolutely ludicrous to shift guilt and blame to these members for what really should be placed at the feet of the Church: Its dishonesty and concealment of the real Joseph Smith and real Church history. It’s absurd to tell members to “repent” for coming to the logical conclusion that something is very wrong with the Church’s official story about its origins, history, and doctrines.

"Attempts to 'spread the word'"

Allegation of Vandalism

FairMormon says...

Jeremy's Response

FairMormon is claiming that an alleged CES Letter supporter vandalized a CES flyer on some Ward Bulletin Board. No evidence to back this up. Just a photo of the flyer with "More info at: CESLetter.com" penned on the bottom that anyone could have written.

I'm not really sure what FairMormon's point is or what FairMormon is trying to say here. I am not responsible for the decisions and actions of others.

I do not support or endorse actions like this. I respect the property of others. I have also asked my supporters and fans to likewise respect the property and privacy of others:

Hey guys,

First of all, thank you all so much for reading the CES Letter and for your support. I appreciate it.

I'm concerned about a few things that may or may not have been done by CES Letter fans.

One example that came to my attention was someone writing on a CES advertisement posted on a Ward posting board: "For more information, visit cesletter.com".

Another example is grabbing email addresses from Ward/Stake Directories to mass email members with the CES Letter PDF attached.

I'm all for sharing this information but it is my hope that we'll be respectful (and legal) about sharing it at the same time.

Please do me a personal favor and don't write on papers on Ward posting boards or take email addresses from the Ward/Stake Directories. There's a respectful/right way to share this information and there's a wrong way to share this information. This falls in the latter.

Thanks for your understanding.


Reddit ExMormon, March 27, 2014

LDS Business College Mass Email

FairMormon says...
In April 2014, an anonymous sender emails the "Letter to a CES Director" to students at the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City. Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune notes:

A spam email with an attachment that discusses concerns with Mormon teachings was sent Tuesday to LDS Business College students. The email was addressed to hundreds enrolled at the church-owned college in downtown Salt Lake City, according to one student who received it. The email — which was not from a school account — listed the sender as LDSBC Important.

The email says, "Dear students, Please read the attached file. It contains important information pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you have any questions, please feel [sic] to respond. Thank You!"

The attachment is "Letter to a CES Director, Why I Lost My Testimony," by Jeremy Runnells, a sixth-generation Mormon and returned missionary who wrote the piece after experiencing a crisis of faith. The document was published online in April 2013 and updated in February.

("Anti-Mormon spam email targets LDS Business College students," Salt Lake Tribune (Apr 30, 2014))

Meanwhile, the originator of the email bragged of his accomplishment on the ex-Mormon subreddit:

Hey guys! So I received an email from LDSBC that went out to students (I am a former student) and they forgot to Bcc the recipients. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to email the CES letter to all the recipients. I wrote a simple email, titles "Truth Never Lost Grounds to Inquiry" and simply asked in the email for them to read the attached document which had important information pertaining to the LDS church. I didn't send a rant, I didn't attack their beliefs... I just said read it. And then I said respond with questions. Well, we will see where this goes!

(Comment posted to ex-Mormon subreddit in thread "I just emailed 1,000+ LDSBC students the CES letter!" by "livelife2thefullest" on April 30, 2014)

Jeremy's Response

FairMormon doesn't have much to go on with the CES Letter itself so FairMormon is banging pans about someone sending spam with my letter attached. Like many, I'm surprised this was even news on the Tribune. I've already made my position clear: I respect the privacy and property of others and I have publicly asked that others likewise do the same. My letter is now in the public domain and I have no control as to how it's shared or distributed.

Aside from the mass spamming (which I am not a fan of), my feelings on this can be summed up from the following comment posted on the news article page:

"You mean to tell me that some Mormons are upset that someone showed up uninvited and challenged their faith? Pot meet kettle."

Library "Present"

FairMormon says...

Jeremy's Response

I've publicly made my position clear as to where I stand with actions like this.

As stated previously above, I have asked people to share the letter in a respectful way. However, the CES Letter is now in the public domain and I have zero control as to how it's shared or distributed.

I personally find it ridiculous and absurd that FairMormon is attempting to attack the CES Letter over the actions of some bad apples. If we were to apply the same standard to the Church or even FairMormon, they would state that their fans/followers do not speak for or represent their products or organizations. Why isn't FairMormon giving me and the CES Letter the same courtesy and understanding?

"Ex-Mormon Missionary Program"

FairMormon says...

People have proposed using Android apps, pass-along cards and other unethical means to "fool Latter-day Saints". For FairMormon's claims, click here.

Jeremy's Response

Apparently FairMormon refuses to get the memo that the CES Letter is in the public domain beyond my control as to how it's distributed and shared. Like anything else in life, there are a few bad apples who do unethical and stupid things.

I've repeated myself several times. I do not support or condone unethical or disrepectful means of sharing or distributing the CES Letter. I have publicly made my positions known and have asked others to share only in a respectful and ethical way.

I'm now convinced that this FairMormon page is less about the CES Letter than it is FairMormon's subtle attempt to smear and paint all "ex-Mormons" as these unethical folks who all do things just like these few bad apples do.

This is not my experience. The vast majority of "ex-Mormon" folks I've encountered are extremely honest, ethical, kind and respectful people who are considerate of others. The vast majority of these folks share my belief and position that actions like this is unacceptable and disrespectful.

Contact FairMormon to report cherry-picking, misdirection, and ‘neener neener’

FairMormon says...

The following FairMormon comment was deleted by FairMormon on July 26, 2013:

I looked through a lot of FAIR wiki rebuttals to the "CES Letter" and off the top of my head I see pretty much 3 things: 1) cherry-picking, 2) misdirection, and 3) Neener neener

-An anonymous poster on Recovery from Mormonism, July 24, 2013

The FAIR Wiki is a collaborative effort. If you spot any "cherry-picking," "misdirection" or "neener neener" in this analysis, we invite you to Contact FairMormon and we will make our best effort to correct.

-FAIR Wiki staff

Jeremy's Response

Why did FairMormon delete this?

How can we contact FairMormon to report cherry-picking, misdirection, and neener neener?

"Debunking" Table of Contents

Last Updated: October 30, 2014

Born and raised in Southern California, Jeremy is a seventh generation Mormon of Pioneer heritage who reached every Mormon youth milestone. An Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple with expectations and plans of living Mormonism for the rest of his life.

In February 2012, Jeremy experienced an awakening to the LDS Church's truth crisis, which subsequently led to a faith transition that summer. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a CES Director to share his questions and concerns about the LDS Church's origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as the CES Letter (originally titled Letter to a CES Director).

The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.

“I believe that members and investigators deserve to have all of the facts and information on the table...to be able to make a fully-informed and balanced decision as to whether or not they want to commit their hearts, minds, time, talents, income and lives to Mormonism. Anything less is an obstruction to the free agency of the individual.”

- Jeremy Runnells

FAQs & Common Attacks

Interview with Mormon Stories

Part 1 On Growing Up Mormon and the Genesis of the CES Letter 
Part 2 Jeremy Discusses the CES Letter in Detail 
Part 3 Rapid Firing Round, Reaction to the Letter 
Debunking Mormon Apologists CES Letter