The Mormon Conspiracy
A View From The Outside by Loren Coleman
Following is a posting that I first wrote for February 5, 2008, and posted on Cryptomundo.com. It stirred up discussion of a topic some would like to keep quiet. But it won't go away. Please note, I am reporting, not stating any stance, one way or another. I am highlighting an issue that is out there, being talked about in back room conversations and campfire exchanges. With this summer of 2012 bringing forth Mitt Romney as a national presidential candidate, Mormonism may or may not be a topic in politics. But it is already one within the politics of Bigfoot hunting. We should not be afraid to tackle it here again.
Look, no one wants to talk about it straightforwardedly, so let me bring this to the fore.
In the journal published as a book, Intermediate States: The Anomalist 13, I deal with a touchy subject in my article "Between Worlds: The Three Nephites."
I began the essay this way:
During the 2008 presidential campaign season there was much talk of Mormonism and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because of the candidacy of Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. But few of those interested in his candidacy realized that one tenet of the Mormon faith includes the belief in a race of beings who live in a world between the known and unknown.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints accept as true that the Nephites – initially righteous people, who eventually fell into wickedness – once existed and may still walk among us, saving lives and doing good deeds, and looking for redemption. ~ for more, see Intermediate States
In terms of cryptozoology, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) have figured into some of the backstories and rumors linked to Bigfoot for a long time. Let's sort through some of these links.
A few would have you believe there is a Bigfoot Mormon Mafia. What dots are being connected?
The late Grover Krantz grew up in a devout Mormon family, and his parents were actually living in a heavily Mormon location (Rockford, Illinois) when he was born. Krantz later rejected his Mormon roots, to further his scientific thinking.
Jeff Meldrum is [or was] a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and reportedly writes books, according to his critics, "defending the historical veracity of the Book of Mormon, in essence saying he thinks American Indians are decendents of Jews who emigrated here thousands of years ago."
Are Mormons behind all cryptofilm productions? What details are being connected here?
Doug Hajicek, the executive producer of "Monster Quest" was raised a Mormon, although his current status as a LDS member is unclear. He is not, however, a member of the subgroup headed by an estranged relative. Perhaps someone has their Hajiceks confused?
Haijeck's half-brother is Elder John J. Hajicek, one of the leaders, along with James Strang, of the Sabbath-keeping Mormons. This branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has accepted the reality, apparently, which says Cain and Bigfoot are one in the same. A cryptofiction version of these thoughts can be found in Clan of Cain: The Genesis of Bigfoot by Shane Lester. But John Hajicek has nothing to do with "Monster Quest."
Sunn Classics Pictures, a Mormon-owned documentary production company, did produce films in the 1970s, on Bigfoot, Noah's Ark, and other mysteries outside the mainstream. Of course, they made one on Lincoln's assassination too, and the company happened to be located in Utah, where Mormon ownership might be expected.
John Green, writing on July 25, 2004, to the editor of The Skeptical Inquirer, addressed some of the rumors floating among skeptics that the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage was created by the film company American National Enterprises of Salt Lake City, and they produced a hoax. It is intriguing that it has come to a point that Green would even have to say this. He wrote that it has been...:
...claimed at times that the making of the [Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot] movie was somehow a Mormon conspiracy. Ron Olson, son of one of the three owners of American National, says that none of them were Mormons, and that their only association with Patterson was that they paid him for using his footage in their movie.
I suppose if people look hard enough they can find conspiracies whereever they want to find them.
But perhaps the truth here is a little more innocent and subtle. It has often been acknowledged that to be a Mormon one must allow for a more open-minded approach to life, which happens to include cryptozoology and other anomalist topics. Maybe it is nothing more than that at work, at least in a few cases. Or maybe it is nothing at all.
In terms of full disclosure, it must be stated that some of us who aren't LDS are open-minded too. After all, I grew up with more than a dash of Aimee Semple McPherson in me, at least until zoology, anthropology and cryptozoology took over my life in 1960.
Perhaps it is merely a coincidence, but I noted after I wrote the above, over at 10 Zen Monkeys, a new blog essay appeared about "The Morman Bigfoot Genesis Theory."