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Post Behind the "Mormon" Massacre (from Gary Moore)
Created by John Eipper on 12/02/19 3:44 PM

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Behind the "Mormon" Massacre (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA, 12/02/19 3:44 pm)

Gary Moore writes:

In the Thanksgiving lull, here's a link:

Behind the "Mormon" Massacre:  


For weeks I've been investigating the massacre of women and children on November 4 in Mexico--wrestling first to pursue open-source research on the countless blind alleys in the evidence, then wrestling with how to communicate the blind-alley-filled result. Mexico's waxing and waning flow of anarchy has challenged exposition back to the days when John Reed was lionizing Pancho Villa (whose route toward 1915's San Pedro massacre passed within 20 miles of last month's encore).

There may be no best way to capture scattered puzzle pieces like this, and the way I've chosen, in the link above, is doubly risky, involving graphics. Not only the words but the pictures can be clumsy.

Our colleague Richard Hancock, for one, has particular expertise in the Sierra Madre, not so far from the area in question. But no site knowledge is required to see where a narrative needs a little feedback.

The link leads to an introductory passage.

I hope some eyes in WAIS will help me get a new view of this somber subject.

JE comments:  While you visit the above, please check out Gary Moore's many essays on his "Horizon" website.  Even when he does not provide ready answers, Gary asks the hard and necessary questions.

The essay directly linked above ponders Mexico's seemingly "bottomless slide into anarchy"--here, specifically, the November 4th deaths of nine family members from a Mormon offshoot sect.  The overarching question of why seems to have overwhelmed the media, which as Gary points out, hasn't addressed the tragedy since some arrests were made (with little background explanation) back in mid-November.

I have a further curiosity:  to my understanding, the LeBaronites (officially, Church of the Firstborn) are considered apostates by the mainstream LDS community, which makes it erroneous to call them "Mormons."  Is this why you use the quotations marks in your title, Gary?

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  • LDS, Mormon, and "Mormon" (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA 12/03/19 7:55 AM)

    Gary Moore writes:

    John E asked why, in my examination of "the 'Mormon' massacre"
    in Mexico, I have the word "Mormon" in quotes.

    John pinpointed a
    main reason: the offshoot status of the Latter-day Saints expatriates
    in Mexico. But there are other reasons, like the fact that LDS itself
    has formally disavowed the word "Mormon," and the fact that in
    Mexico, owing to past stories and folklore about the extended
    family of these expats, it's called the "LeBaron massacre," though
    none of the victims was surnamed LeBaron (married names
    Langford, Miller, and Johnson, children obviously surnamed the same).

    I had to scramble after I sent in the link to the post today because
    almost at the same moment, a new cryptic announcement about
    arrests in the killings came out, now squeezed into the end of the
    blog post. Mexican Interior Minister Durazo seems repeatedly to be
    at the center of some of the most bizarre non sequiturs in this series
    of (non) announcements. One background item to consider
    is that Durazo, one more well-meaning cipher in a chaos-beset
    administration, might be viewed as a symbol of sorts for the
    forced merger last summer of the famed Federales, the Federal
    Police, into the still-controversial and largely untried National
    Guard. And on top of that, tiny Bavispe municipio, where the
    massacre occurred, is, against all odds, Durazo's hometown.
    The Federales went into demonstrations and partial riots in the
    summer over their take-down.

    Probably the thought is far too
    simplistic to apply, but could somebody be purposely feeding
    Durazo faulty information? Such musings, recombinable in
    countless ways, and all baseless evidence-wise, can easily
    swarm into the void in information left by the government's
    presentation of the case.

    JE comments:  My LDS friends and colleagues (I have two at the College) do not self-identify as Mormons, but LDS.  The "Book of Mormon" is still the accepted name for their sacred text.

    Gary, you've been monitoring the López Obrador administration in Mexico.  Despite my claims to Hispanist expertise, I have not.  Could you give an appraisal as AMLO just celebrated his first year in power (December 1st)?

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