Banner of Heaven
Jenn F.A.Q.  October 27, 2005

Jenn/Steve — October 27 @ 3:06pm

I AM NOT JENN!”
-Steve Evans

I guess I have some explaining to do.

There are a lot of questions and a lot of emotions out there, and I want to address as many of them as I can think of in as respectful a way as I can. In keeping with my native cheery temperament, I’ve assembled this Frequently Asked Questions list, which may help as a starting point. If you have any more questions for me, please comment or email me. These questions and answers are only regarding me and my experiences with Jenn; my co-bloggers have thoughts of their own, to follow in the days to come.

1. So, you’re Jenn?

Yeah, well, she doesn’t exist. But I wrote her.

2. Why on earth would you do such a thing?

I like to write, and I like to tell stories and explore ideas. Jenn was a way for me to look at commonplace situations in a new way, to provoke reaction and to stimulate new thoughts. It was a creative writing experiment for me, and a chance to use a different voice.

3. Isn’t that lying?

Yes. The writing itself I don’t view as a lie, any more than any other piece of fiction. But to keep reactions to her as real as possible, and to keep her world as uniform as I could, I fed people along. Some people I even lied to. I regret that.

4. Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself?

There are some things I feel very bad about: lying to people, certainly. I feel bad that some people, even people who know me, feel like they can’t trust me anymore. And I feel bad that I wasn’t able to complete my work. Ashamed? No. I feel very proud of the writing I’ve done, very proud of the people I’ve blogged with, and very happy for those of you that have enjoyed reading.

5. What was next for Jenn?

Jenn was in for a wild ride. Brian, her boyfriend, was going to cross the line again and she was going to confront him, while at the same time falling in love with him completely. She was also going to shed some of her naivete and come to grips with her place in the world. She had a good job and was going to look forward to her career, something she’d never done before. In other words, she was going to learn and grow and make mistakes, just like the rest of us. Then she was going to get engaged, for all you naysayers who thought Brian was just stringing her along.

6. Anything you want to say in your defense?

I have no evil intentions. This wasn’t an exercise in satire, parody or anything like it. The only reason for any illusion was to help the characters be more real and more enjoyable. I have nothing to sell, nothing to gain by this exercise, except to share stories and tell them. There was no mocking of people behind their backs, or pointing fingers at buffoonery. I picked no one as the brunt of any joke.

7. Was it worth it?

I believe so. Go back and read her stories again. Read the laughing comments by readers. Jenn is real - I made her out of real emotions and real concerns from friends and family. Those of you who shared your feelings, you need feel no shame. I shared mine too, whether as Jenn or as myself. Everything she said and felt comes very close to what I have said or felt myself. Thank you for letting me share her with you.

8. Who did you do this for?

It was a selfish enterprise, but there are some people I’d like to thank. I’ll first dedicate Jenn’s experiences to a Random John, whose dogged research and tireless speculation was an inspiration. He came as close as anyone to finding out the real Jenn, and only a lie — to his face, over a barbeque lunch — was enough to throw him off the trail. Jenn is also thankful to the women and men that gave her sage advice — and warnings — about Brian and his nefarious boob-shelvings. Thanks also to my fellow friends and bloggers, here and elsewhere.

9. What about the ethics of blogging and lying? Where did things go wrong? What about the people you fooled?

People should not judge me or this blog in the abstract. To do so is the pinnacle of ivory-towered intellectualism. Let people read what I’ve written, here and elsewhere, and then judge what I have said and judge my heart. Those who are not interested in doing so should find something more important to complain about. To the rest of you, I apologize if I’ve hurt you, and hope to make things up to you someday soon.

10. What’s to become of the Banner of Heaven?

We’ll see.

154 Comments

  1. So now that we know its fiction, why not continue it?

    Its more interesting as fiction.

    Adam Greenwood — October 27, 2005 @ 3:25pm
  2. Did you consider beforehand that other people might feel foolish and betrayed when they found out that they had felt and expressed real sympathy and concern for a fictional character(s)?

    bananas — October 27, 2005 @ 3:43pm
  3. If you are really repentant, you’ll tell us who Aaron is.

    john scherer — October 27, 2005 @ 3:45pm
  4. Steve E.,
    I’m not among the offended, but I’m betting that the people who feel abused aren’t going to be placated by this. It reads like paragraphs of apologia and one half-hearted apology. As a founding member of the Apologies Club, you should know that apologies that say ‘if I’ve hurt you” usually don’t satisfy.

    –the other founding member

    Adam Greenwood — October 27, 2005 @ 3:47pm
  5. Kudos to Steve E., by the way, for admitting his role and being willing to take his slings. Its too early to call the other participants gutless, but the clock is ticking.

    Adam Greenwood — October 27, 2005 @ 3:48pm
  6. A-hole…

    So who is the babe in the picture above when you click on “Jenn’s” name?

    And what about the rest ot the “bloggers”? Who is “Miranda PJ”? “Mari”? “Septimus” ? And so on…

    Mr. Anonymous — October 27, 2005 @ 3:51pm
  7. I didn’t read any of Jenn’s posts except for the shelving incident, so I can’t comment directly on your writing, Steve. I have read annegb’s writings around the bloggernacle, however, and through them have come to value her opinions greatly, not because I always agree with them, but because they are the unvarnished, bedrock truth as she sees it.

    As I said, I haven’t followed events here closely at all, so I’m not sure how much of annegb’s displeasure at being decieved by BoH is due to interactions with Jenn’s character, but given her public reaction to the revelation of the true nature of this blog, I’d have to judge it a failure, no matter how good and interesting the writing might have been. Given the choice between a mega-blog full of great writing by fictional characters and comments like annegb’s, I’d pick annegb every time.

    Bryce I — October 27, 2005 @ 3:52pm
  8. Tess: “You are a thief and a liar”

    Danny: “I only lied about being a thief”

    Tess — October 27, 2005 @ 3:56pm
  9. Bananas, of course that’s something I considered.

    First, I rarely believe that anyone would take what I wrote seriously — indeed, if you read this blog I think you’d have to go back quite a ways to find people who thought so. It seems to be that every other comment was about our fakery.

    Second, I have a profound appreciation for the sympathy and concern some readers have felt. The reactions we have for fictional characters, whether expressed on a blog or expressed as we read a book or watch a movie, are all very similar. There are fundamental differences, of course: we don’t consciously take books/movies as reality (even though part of our appreciation depends upon a temporary suspension of disbelief), and we don’t leave public reactions to books and movies (for the most part).

    I mention this second part only to say that people shouldn’t be ashamed of their reactions to what I or my cobloggers have written. Like any author, I wrote to get out my ideas, and to see what people might think in return. I value those responses; I don’t mock them or want anyone to feel ashamed of them.

    All this doesn’t really get at your point. Did I consider that people might really care about Jenn, talk to her or and consider her as real? I considered it. Part of me, as an author, wished for the conveyance of reality. But I do not want for people to feel foolish or betrayed. They’re not fools, and I am grateful for everyone that responded. I regret that anyone would feel that they’ve been betrayed.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 3:57pm
  10. Okay, now that they’ve spoken, I feel I can speak too without betraying confidences.

    I was approached by the organizers early on, and at first was involved in planning the characters and stories. I became uncomfortable with the project, though, so I withdrew—but I felt bad for leaving my colleagues in the lurch, and agreed to do a guest post as myself. I felt that was a way to (partially) meet my obligation, and by the time I finally wrote the post (as is clear in the text), I didn’t think the Banner was deceiving anyone anymore.

    I also commented there from time to time, under my own name and with my own views. It honestly never occurred to me that this was an ethical breach. I see now the argument that my name and identity may have led others to participate as well, and that in this way I may have been unintentionally complicit. I apologize for this, and I feel just sick that people have been hurt.

    FWIW, although I haven’t been in on the internal discussion since before the thing went live, I can vouch that the initial discussions were all about developing compelling, moving characters and about telling good stories. Nobody seemed motivated by the challenge or pleasure of deception.

    (cross posted at T&S)

    Rosalynde — October 27, 2005 @ 4:00pm
  11. Mr. Anonymous (though I know who you are),

    I have no idea whose picture that is. I found it through some random internet search, and would be hard-pressed to find it again. As for the other bloggers, they will speak for themselves.

    Adam,

    I don’t mean for this to be a half-hearted apology. I really do feel badly and apologize to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt.

    Bryce,

    People bring up annegb, and she is worth discussing. Like you, I think she’s one of the best. I have written to her personally to excuse myself. I believe if you read her comments, you will see that she also questioned the reality of the blog time and time again, but I would gladly destroy my works as Jenn and never blog again if that’s what it would take to gain her forgiveness.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:03pm
  12. Steve, I have to agree with Brother Greenwood about the tone of your apology. It reminds me of the apologies that professional athletes and politicians make when they say something dumb. Their apologies usually sound more like accusations of oversensitivity than contrition: “I’m sorry that/if people were offended by my remarks,” or, “I regret that people feel hurt,” etc.

    bananas — October 27, 2005 @ 4:06pm
  13. Bananas, what would you like me to say? I’m sorry.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:07pm
  14. Steve,

    First, shame on you.

    Second, kudos for being the first to speak up and take responsibility for this little game

    Third, Adam’s right. This email won’t cut it as an apology for those who’ve been duped. Much more is going to need to be said to and for them.

    Fourth, I don’t mean this as a criticism of your writing, but Jenn was the least believable character of all. She was so obviously written by a man. I think the only comment I ever made here was an effort to expose the fact that “Jenn” couldn’t possibly be a woman. If you really want to learn to write believably in woman’s voice you’ll need more practice.

    Melissa — October 27, 2005 @ 4:07pm
  15. Note: Steve mentioned above that all the other bloggers will be posting personal statements like this. He went first, I assume, because he was the ringleader.

    Rosalynde — October 27, 2005 @ 4:10pm
  16. Buncha jerks…

    OK…Muffy, Biff, Trey and Trip have had their laugh at our expense…Time to pull the plug on this ruse as everyday it continues to exist is an insult to those of us who followed their lives with interest and even concern.

    See what happens when a cliquey group of lawyers, overeducated stay-at-home moms, and wannabe writers have too much time on their hands?

    Mr. Anonymous — October 27, 2005 @ 4:11pm
  17. Melissa,

    I deserve no kudos, I just type faster then the rest of the louts.

    As far as apologies, I’m sure you’re right. I’ve already undertaken to apologize personally to several people, and will continue to do so. I am good at some things; apologizing isn’t one of them. I’ll work on it.

    In terms of Jenn’s being unbelieveable, well, I beg to differ — you are one of the few who thought so, until my connection with her became more public. But I should not be proud of such things.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:11pm
  18. You have no idea who I am, Steve/Jenn…

    Mr. Anonymous — October 27, 2005 @ 4:14pm
  19. Good grief, Steve. Are you serious about the way you found “Jenn’s” picture? You certainly know more about the law than I but it seems to me there’s grounds for a lawsuit in that.

    Melissa — October 27, 2005 @ 4:14pm
  20. Mark, you’d be surprised.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:14pm
  21. Steve,
    I believe you didn’t wish to hurt anybody’s feelings. But if you considered it, thought there was a good possibility that it would happen, but proceeded anyway . . . well, that’s just not a very nice thing to do.

    bananas — October 27, 2005 @ 4:15pm
  22. Melissa, I have no idea. I doubt it.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:15pm
  23. Bananas, to paraphrase:

    I never said it wouldn’t be hurtful, I only said that I was stupid.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:16pm
  24. “I regret that anyone would feel that they’ve been betrayed.”

    “apologize to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt”

    I’m not saying this on my own behalf, cuz I’m not one of the people you offended, I’m saying this for your benefit:

    These are not real apologies. No one will feel better for reading them. The problem isn’t that people feel betrayed, its that they *were* betrayed. “may have hurt” won’t cut it either, probably, because its too sanitary. it comes across like you’re trying to evade the fact that there are a decent number of people, some of them known to you, that you *have* hurt.

    What will put all this to rest is (1) an admission of wrongdoing and (2) apology for doing it.

    Adam Greenwood — October 27, 2005 @ 4:18pm
  25. Adam, sheesh! Nothing’s worse than wordsmithing apologies.

    how’s this:

    1. I acted foolishly, which hurt the feelings of many.

    2. I am sorry to have done so.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:21pm
  26. Disposed as I am to strong opinions, I’ve searched myself for some visceral reaction to all of this– whether in defense or condemnation of the deceivers here. Can’t find one. I personally think it was a dumb thing to do, but I can imagine a scenario in which I’d play a trick similarly stupid, and similarly likely to go sour despite benign intentions.

    People say it’s narcissistic, solipsistic, and exhibitionistic to blog– we’re all a little guilty of that. But the desire to do ‘creative writing,’ but do so publicly, foist it upon people who believe it to be true, and play them along for a half a year certainly takes those epithets to a special new level.

    I think it’s funny that Steve characterizes himself as an ‘author,’ here. If I were an author, I probably would be offended by that.

    But for myself, the most feeling I can muster about this whole thing is disappointment that Naomi had to bow out of blogging at M* because she was ‘too busy.’ Interesting that she thought this was more worthwhile than that. (not saying that it couldn’t be more worthwhile, or that it wasn’t for her, just that it’s interesting).

    Ryan Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 4:21pm
  27. Seve/Jenn,

    You actively participated in that whole Ban DKL fiasco. Correct? Not as much as others, but you still lent Jenn’s voice into the conversations. I cannot buy that you guys weren’t doing this to poke fun at your readers. DKL offends his own character and the whole group(including us naive readers) is involved in deciding whether to ban DKL. There is no literary value in this. If I remember correct Annegb spent alot of energy defending DKL through this. Where was your conscience then when she was obviously upset about the whole baning thing and you fed the fire with our Jenn character?

    john scherer — October 27, 2005 @ 4:22pm
  28. I just want to point out that not only did I buy that lunch (well, IBM did, but either way Steve didn’t have to pay) but I have had to suffer almost daily accusations of being behind all of this! In case anyone is still confused, I was not invited to this party and have been on the outside throughout.

    I can understand why people feel hurt. I have even engaged in conversations with some of these characters over email, constantly doubting their authenticity but feeling the need to hedge my bets by treating them as if they are real just in case.

    I don’t think that I am hurt at this point, though Miranda never wrote back after my long-winded apology. I do think this has been a fun ride. Some of the fun was the wild stories. Some of it was reading Rosalynde say “shit” early on. But a lot of it was the mystery and conspiracy of it all.

    I do wish that Miranda had invited DKL to guest post though and that he had accepted.

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 4:23pm
  29. Adam - check out #11 and #23. Given your history with Steve at T&S, your comments here criticizing what is a sincere apology (however unsatisfying to you) conjure up images of you gleefully dancing on his grave.

    Tess — October 27, 2005 @ 4:23pm
  30. err..with YOUR jenn character

    john scherer — October 27, 2005 @ 4:24pm
  31. Brother Steve, you would really give up blogging as an act of contrition? What would your new hobby be? Woodworking or the tuba? It sounds as credible as your previous Banner comments, and since this is still Banner of Heaven I guess we’re supposed to read it in that light.

    If credible stories were the point, why did the site start to look like a hoax after only one week? No, the site was too real to be an open joke and too phony to merely be about storytelling.

    John Mansfield — October 27, 2005 @ 4:25pm
  32. I, for one, never commented here… the posts were always so exaggerated, that it’s nice to know they were intended to be that way. If people were hurt, then that is certainly unfortunate, but I hope that doesn’t stop the use of irony, satire and the like in the “bloggernacle.” [maybe disclaimers are needed.]

    I also tend to think it was clever. But I didn’t invest anything more than an occational read and resulting chuckle (at least from “Jenn’s” posts].

    Kayla — October 27, 2005 @ 4:26pm
  33. Steve, almost thou makest me believe…

    If you really wanted to “write, tell stories, look at commonplace situations in a new way, provoke reaction and stimulate new thoughts” you could have easily created a personal blog with a fictional female character. You would have had total control over your creation, probably been more believable and had just as much fun.

    The group blog aspect of BoH, with so many tie ins to the existing communities that have been created by thoughtful and creditable participants, makes it hard for me to believe that glee over duping the gullible wasn’t at least part of the reason you created this place.

    KentC — October 27, 2005 @ 4:27pm
  34. Steve/Jenn

    I must say that I was more than a little confused by Jenn’s overreaction to my use of the words “babe” and “hottie.” I didn’t think that a woman such as Jenn would have reacted that way. Do you think that it is you or I that misunderstood what a woman like Jenn would do?

    Jeffrey Giliam — October 27, 2005 @ 4:28pm
  35. john scherer,

    I thought the whole public banning hearings were one of the great innovations of this blog. You know that those same conversations go on behind closed doors on other blogs, without input from the readership. I would bet that the private debates might occasionally be uglier than what we saw. I think that bannination posts were a high point.

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 4:28pm
  36. Its a lawyer’s apology/nonapology. What did you expect?

    Scott — October 27, 2005 @ 4:31pm
  37. John: “Where was your conscience then?”

    John, obviously it had completely left me, turning me over to the buffetings of Satan.

    I’m not sure what your comment is asking me. If you’re questioning whether we were poking fun at our readers, the answer is not really. We were replicating stereotypes and recurring scenarios from across the bloggernacle, one of which happens to be the banning of DKL.

    As for our treatment of annegb, I’ve already addressed that - I love annegb and have been speaking with her about it.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:32pm
  38. People pretending to be someone else is one thing, but using someone else’s picture is another. That is just an outrageously unethica thing to do. The only thing keeping me believing that the site was real, is that “Jenn’s” picture looks just like this girl I knew freshman year at the Y. I figured it was her, and the site was real. I would hate to think that someone had randomnly pasted my picture on a site and put words in my mouth. What if I ran into “Jenn” and asked her about her blog? It’s disgraceful.

    Katie — October 27, 2005 @ 4:33pm
  39. er, the only that was keeping me

    Katie — October 27, 2005 @ 4:34pm
  40. Cross-posted at T&S

    The irony in all of this (to me), is that the folks most damaged by this are probably the writers themselves. They’ll be hard-pressed to get anyone to take them seriously again, at least, in the Bloggernacle. If it had been me, I might have suddenly stopped BoH in midstream, and shut it down, and never told anyone the truth, to save face in my actual identity. So, I guess I should praise those writers for “coming out,” so to speak.

    P.S. I too was very concerned about the pictures, but the lawyers have told me, it isn’t a problem as long as nobody’s making money off of them. The pictures come from public places on the Internet, and they’re public property to view.

    D. Fletcher — October 27, 2005 @ 4:38pm
  41. John M.: “Brother Steve, you would really give up blogging as an act of contrition?”

    Yes, I would, if that’s what it would take to mend fences.

    KentC: is it the group aspect of BoH that makes you suspect nefarious purposes? Or the cross-linking? I suspect it’s the cross-linking that irks a lot of people, because it involves the rest of the bloggernacle. Well, either way, we had nothing to gain by so doing, except increased readership and more reaction. I’m not sure what I can do to convince you that there were no behind-the-scenes guffaws, except that if you ask every person involved or with inside access they will tell you the same.

    Jeffrey G: I remember that interchange. That’s a very interesting question you’re asking here, because honestly I tried to play it straight with Jenn as much as I could. I honestly felt like she would not have appreciated being called those names, although (as Melissa points out) my capacity to capture the female voice is limited. I’ll have to think about that one.

    Scott: what can I say? the non-apology is a burden of the trade. It isn’t meant to be in what I said, though.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:41pm
  42. D.: “They’ll be hard-pressed to get anyone to take them seriously again, at least, in the Bloggernacle.”

    D., that was my situation before this even started. Seriously.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 4:47pm
  43. So it really IS Satan’s blog all along.
    Where’s the thrifty nickel people??

    Sorry,
    My comment came out much more judgemental and self righteous than I had planned. It just seemed that the whole banning scenario was meant to emotionally involve readers who knew DKL and would defend him. It gave no value of any sort to your character yet you helped it along. I can’t then imagine that you didn’t take any pleasure from those who became emotionally invested in the issue.

    Personally, I’m a cynic and cold see the parody from a mile away. I did enjoy the banning thing, though in the same way I enjoyed professional wrestling when I was a kid.

    john scherer — October 27, 2005 @ 4:49pm
  44. Our Funny Mark Hofmanns

    As far as I know, nobody was killed during the making of BoH. Furthermore, the narrative of our online community is less important to most of us than the narrative of our broader church community. So there’s clearly grounds for saying that our funny…

    Trackback by Latter-day Saint Liberation Front — October 27, 2005 @ 4:49pm
  45. Steve: “I’m not sure what I can do to convince you that there were no behind-the-scenes guffaws, except that if you ask every person involved or with inside access they will tell you the same.”

    For those posters at BoH who have previously demonstrated their commitment to the blogging community, or have otherwise built up a reservoir of goodwill through their prior words and deeds, this is a bit easier to believe. Others, I think, will have a harder time at convincing.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 5:00pm
  46. Everyone,
    Regardless of the way Steve is apologizing (his actual word choices) he is truly sincere. Just because he didn’t necessarily consider all these factors three months ago doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel sorry for it right now. Yeah, I was a bit hurt when I found out my friend Steve was behind it. But if you don’t believe him, believe a friend of his and trust me when I tell you that he really does feel sorry for it and he really didn’t mean so much hurt. He doesn’t have to have been repentant the whole time for his sincerity to count right now.

    Rusty — October 27, 2005 @ 5:02pm
  47. Randy, you’re right, of course.

    I’m in no position to complain — this is my own house of cards that’s tumbled. But I am a bit disappointed that people have known me for years and yet think ill of what I was trying to do. Hopefully I have some shred of credibility that people can take into account.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 5:03pm
  48. Steve, I don’t suspect nefarious purposes. In fact, as I said way back in June, I’ve enjoyed the ride. It was fun to read and if blogs had existed when I was younger and more full of myself I probably would have tried to do something similar. Among all of the hand wringing outrage I think someone should tell you that it was something any trickster would be proud of.

    What I do suspect is a little bit of self delusion at best or disingenuousness at worst (and given your history here can you blame me for assuming the latter?) You couch your explanations and apologies in high minded rhetoric of artistic expression, but like I said before, all of that could have been accomplished more easily and more believably by a personal blog.
    To say that you had nothing to gain except increased readership and more reaction is hardly a refutation of what I’m saying. Why else would you go to the trouble to build the big stage? You and your crew planned the big heist and hid from the cops for months. Just don’t tell me that the only reason for the crime was to feed the homeless.

    KentC — October 27, 2005 @ 5:07pm
  49. S/J:

    Two thoughts:

    “I’m not sure what I can do to convince you that there were no behind-the-scenes guffaws, except that if you ask every person involved or with inside access they will tell you the same.” This is nearly impossible for me to believe. Do you mean to say that not one of you, ever, emailed or phoned another to point out some comment to laugh at what they said in light of the falsity of the enterprise? Never? Ever? Tough to swallow.

    Second, I don’t think you owe me an apology. And you do offer some sincere ones. But in light of the following of the statement, “Was it worth it? I believe so,” I can see why people are having a hard time seeing them as sincere.

    Third, you should have picked a hotter picture. If you’d actually picked a hot one, I probably would have tried to contact you. Miranda PJ is hot.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 5:11pm
  50. Hmmmm…. Artistic expression. I’m all for that. Lighthearted artistic expression.

    So please, tell me what the artistic intent of the thread, “Hello, I’m Back,” is, where Miranda pretends that she was having mood swings, talks about her struggles with depression prompting sympathetic comments from the fake bloggers, plus actual commenters AnneGB, Kurt, and a few others, until Anne mentions she’s buried two children, the fake bloggers suddenly seem to realize they are baiting real people, and the room gets awwwwwwwfully quiet?

    Sue — October 27, 2005 @ 5:14pm
  51. S/J,

    Hey! Don’t you also post under the name SuperGenius? The deception deepens!

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 5:18pm
  52. Steve,
    I guess I’m giving you grief about your apology because apologies have never meant much to me. They’re just words. They’re way too easy. They usually come as a way to appease offendees by telling them what they want to hear. That’s what my immediate apologies usually are.

    In my experience, the only way to demonstrate contrition and truly make things right with those I’ve offended is to correct my behavior in such a way that it’s clear to them that I’ve learned my lesson. It usually takes a lot of time before I feel like things have been make right. There is no right combination of words in an apology that can make things right.

    That said, I don’t feel like you have done me much wrong–I only had one exchange at this site that I thought was meaningful and it wasn’t with you–although I do think you’ve been insensitive and mean to everyone who wasn’t in on the joke. Besides, the only thing that’s at stake here is my opinion of you. You don’t know me in real life or online and I don’t expect that my opinion of you is of much concern to you, but here it is: if I continue participating in this community I’ll probably think you and your co-conspirators are insensitive jerks for a while until your behavior shows that you’ve learned your lesson. But that doesn’t really matter. You won’t know if and when my opinion has changed and it is of very little consequence to anybody.

    bananas — October 27, 2005 @ 5:20pm
  53. Davis, I know that’s tough to swallow. Often there were funny things that were written by us or by a commenter (such as this), and we’d laugh. But never a mean-spirited mocking of people because of our genius deceit.

    When I said I thought it was worth it, I should clarify. It’s never worth it to hurt people and deceive them. I was just trying to say in my clumsy way that I think we’ve told some fun stories. That’s all.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 5:20pm
  54. bananas, you’re right. Sorry.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 5:22pm
  55. So, when Miranda PJ commented on one of my guest posts at T&S that I was a “fascinating” woman, was that you, DKL?

    Elisabeth — October 27, 2005 @ 5:26pm
  56. The Eli lama sabacthani thread was also extremely classy.

    Sue — October 27, 2005 @ 5:29pm
  57. Sue, you’re entitled to some rancor.

    All I can do at this point is fess up and ask forgiveness. That’s what I’m trying to do. Any criticisms you have to level at me are probably fair game.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 5:33pm
  58. For what it is worth, I agree with Rusty here that Steve is being genuine. Other(s), however, may have a more difficult time at convincing.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 5:35pm
  59. Davis Bell: “Miranda PJ is hot.”

    What I want to know is who photoshopped her photo to stretch out her neck to be the size of a normal person’s forearm?

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 5:38pm
  60. Steve, your apology rather should have been along these lines: “Believe me, my god, if I could turn back the clock on my mother’s stair-pushing, I would definitely … reconsider it.”

    gst — October 27, 2005 @ 5:40pm
  61. S/J,
    I bowed out on the believability of BoH when Septimus was abducted by aliens. Miranda’s posts on BCC and your assurance that Jenn was real was what led me to believe that some of the posters were real (albeit, crazy). Jenn was ultimately the most believable of the posters (aside from, possibly, Mari). Nonetheless, I pretty much quit posting here after the cow mutilations. I noticed at the time that there seemed to a general attack of disbelief at that time too. Then Septimus’s story shifted to covering the sister missionaries and mental health issues and people seemed to come back. I didn’t, but I gave the folks here the benefit of the doubt.

    I suppose I could pat myself on the back and say that I knew about the hoax long ago (as a lot of people have done) but this seems to be missing the point. As I said, you personally fooled me with the Jenn comment. I was complicit (why would anyone (or any group) go through the trouble?); I wanted to believe that I was wrong (about Jenn and Miranda at least). I don’t think I feel betrayed, because I never really emotionally invested in the characters. I do think it was in poor taste, but we are all guilty of that. I also think that your apology is sincere (Adam aside). I don’t know if I can accept it (I wasn’t one of the one’s hurt by the site), but I do still think that you are a basically good person and I do think you didn’t want anyone to get hurt. For what it is worth.

    PS. I kinda thought that the story arc with Jenn would lead her to get engaged to a non-member. I know I just said I believed in her (but it wasn’t all the time). It just seemed like the story would lead her into Celibate in the City territory.

    John C. — October 27, 2005 @ 5:41pm
  62. gst: lol.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 5:41pm
  63. John C., that’s something I thought about. A total spiral descent for Jenn was really tempting, but would be sheer comedy. I wanted her to really learn and really grow.

    But yes, there were some great alternate endings: Jenn gets knocked up by the groper, marries a non-member, Brian turns out to be gay or a polygamist… lots of possibilities. Too bad.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 5:44pm
  64. It’s actually kinda sad that Steve is the first out of the gate on the apology because that means he is going to get the brunt of the whiplash. I don’t think he was in charge (correct me if I’m wrong), I was under the impression that was Brian G/Septimus. It’s too bad he didn’t apologize first, considering it was his idea. I hope he’s just a slow typist or is too busy at work or something because Steve is unjustifiably taking a lot of flak for something that others might have deserved more.

    Rusty — October 27, 2005 @ 5:58pm
  65. Er, Steve, or Jenn, or whoever:

    I wanted her to really learn and really grow

    That really creeped me out, mate. Really, really creepy.

    OK, everyone, repeat after me: STEVE IS NOT EVIL. If there is a hint of equivocation in his apology it is because he sincerely did not mean any harm.

    BCC is awesome, with some *amazing* bloggers. Look at that and allow Steve to bask in its glory. Credit where credit is due. Don’t run this man out of the nacle. He is the nacle!

    And here’s where we are hypocrites all: who wouldn’t have signed-up to the game had they been invited? Ryan’s got it right, we are all narcissistic fools. BoH is only the symptom of wider bloggernacle vanity. Who’s gonna cast the first stone? (OK, I already did, but I take it back!)

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 5:58pm
  66. I’ll admit, I was taken in for quite awhile, and added my $.02 to these sham postings now and again. To be honest, I always questioned (to myself) how Jenn could be so naive, how Aaron could be so ridiculously zealous, and how Sep could be so completely paranoid–Greg, Miranda & Mari seemed believable (which weighed against my lingering doubts about the site as a whole). While I sometimes doubted the veracity of the former’s posts, the fact that I’m not Mormon (and know only a few Mormons personally), I ended up chalking the eccentricity up to cultural differences (not that I figued all Mormons are eccentric, but that the expression of these eccentricities played into some Mormon stereotypes). Anyway, I bought into the site for a long time.

    Now, after my (and other’s) growing suspicions have been confirmed, I can’t say I’m angry or upset. I definitely understand people who feel they’ve been betrayed–I, myself, felt foolish and gullible (something I’m usually not) at first. However, what I realize, looking back, is that the reason I came to BoH was for the strange, outlandish posts–they were entertaining in the way a soap opera is. Frankly, I don’t think I ever commented on Greg, Miranda, or Mari’s posts because they were too mundane; it was Jenn, Aaron, & Sep that pushed whatever buttons made me want to get involved. So I, personally, thank them all for the weekly minutes of entertainment they provided. I feel that I had fun, even if some fun was also being had at my expense.

    Finally, for me, there is an extra bonus to this all. One of the BoH permabloggers turns out to be a friend of mine. Rereading her posts (boy, with 20/20 hindsight, there were clues to her identity all over the place!) is providing me with all kinds of new insight and perspective on her, and will provide me with countless hours of future analysis & interpretation. The entertainment lives on even if BoH does not.

    Adam L — October 27, 2005 @ 6:00pm
  67. And can we call this Bannergate from now on?

    And where’s Rove in all of this?

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 6:02pm
  68. I’m surprised you haven’t banned me from here yet.

    Steve EM — October 27, 2005 @ 6:02pm
  69. Rusty, don’t blame Brian or Septimus. We did things collaboratively. I’d be more than willing to shoulder blame for them or anyone else that I’ve been blogging with here — they are all friends and I think of them very fondly — but none of us has special blame to shoulder. We’re a team.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 6:06pm
  70. BAN HIM!

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 6:11pm
  71. Adam L says: “However, what I realize, looking back, is that the reason I came to BoH was for the strange, outlandish posts—they were entertaining in the way a soap opera is.”

    Measure says:
    Yeah, except in a soap opera, everyone knows it is fiction. If this blog came with a disclaimer from the beginning, nobody would be angry.

    The biggest sin I see in this blog is that when it was accused of being fake, it tried to invent more lies to hide the truth. Every time.

    Measure — October 27, 2005 @ 6:13pm
  72. Measure: “The biggest sin I see in this blog is that when it was accused of being fake, it tried to invent more lies to hide the truth. Every time.”

    Measure, I agree with your analysis. That’s what I regret the most.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 6:17pm
  73. So which is it Steve, crossdresser or pre or post surgical transsexual?

    Steve EM — October 27, 2005 @ 6:20pm
  74. “And here’s where we are hypocrites all: who wouldn’t have signed-up to the game had they been invited?”

    Well, Rosalynde, for one. And me, for two.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 6:21pm
  75. But you knew, Davis, you knew, and you let it go on, killing women and children in its nefarious wake. All that is needed for evil to succeed is for….

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 6:23pm
  76. Davis, you’re very noble.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 6:24pm
  77. Sorry for the off topic comment, but does this mean we will never get the post on Mormon myths and hoaxes? I was interested in it.

    John C. — October 27, 2005 @ 6:28pm
  78. No, we should have it, John C.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 6:29pm
  79. Ronan:
    And here’s where we are hypocrites all: who wouldn’t have signed up to the game had they been invited?

    I don’t think I would have. I may be wrong, but I think I would have been sensitive enough to realize that it could hurt feelings.

    I’m certain that I wouldn’t have let annegb believe for so long that it was real. That was the dumbest thing they did. I’m more upset for how they treated her than for anything else.

    bananas — October 27, 2005 @ 6:31pm
  80. Thank you. It’s actually not really a question of nobility for me — I’ve certainly done things in poorer taste and judgment — but rather of interest. But I’ll scoop up nobility points wherever I can. Anyway, more than anything, I sought to contest Ronan’s blanket assertion. I’m fairly certain that a lot of people wouldn’t have, for a variety of reasons, nobility among them.

    Randy. B, you’re right that her neck was disconcertingly long. But the rest of her was deeeelish!

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 6:32pm
  81. I’m the only hypocrite then. No surprise there, as my wife will tell you. I’m the AP-type who secretly listens to Nirvana.

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 6:35pm
  82. I’m not saying you’re the only hypocrite.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 6:43pm
  83. To be honest, I am also probably not that mad because I, like Ronan, would have probably gone with it if asked. But I am an inveterate follower and love secrets. I am fairly sure that I will get duped into a secret combination one of these days.

    John C. — October 27, 2005 @ 6:45pm
  84. John C.

    I have an awesome secret club. You just have to send me your credit card number, and you’re in.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 6:46pm
  85. HA!

    John C. — October 27, 2005 @ 6:48pm
  86. Davis,

    Admitting that you were asked to join this group and declined does not give you any point. Why didn’t you do more to dissuade the rest from the project at all? Claiming that your own hands are clean when you knew all along (and therefore played along) with the ruse makes you culpable, buddy, not noble.

    Besides, no one would be fooled into believing a man who calls women “hot” or “deeelish” merits the description “noble” for any reason.

    Melissa — October 27, 2005 @ 6:50pm
  87. My last comment on this entire debacle: please don’t let’s get rid of Steve Evans! He does a lot of great things that all of us benefit from. If there’s a petition for him to stay, please count me as a signer. (Same goes for the rest of the Bannerites.)

    RoastedTomatoes — October 27, 2005 @ 6:52pm
  88. Err…. am I the only one who doesn’t think Davis just admitted to knowing about this thing?

    Ryan Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 6:54pm
  89. Um, I didn’t know about it.

    As for the hot, deelish thing, I’ll pass on that discussion.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 6:56pm
  90. The thought that some blogs might be a put on really helps me deal with the current discussion over at BCC now about a guy whose dad is “exploring some of his own topics on what it means to be human, our relationship with God and so forth,” including the topic of “sexuality.” Also, “[h]e has been considering displaying some artwork that he thinks tastefully celebrates this aspect of our nature.” He’s concerned, though, that tastefully celebrating that aspect of our nature through jiggly wall hangings might leave him “marginalized” at church.

    I had been refraining from making fun of that poster and his dirty old man of an old man, but now that I realize that it’s conceivably a put-on, I won’t worry so much about hurting feelings.

    gst — October 27, 2005 @ 7:01pm
  91. “My last comment on this entire debacle: please don’t let’s get rid of Steve Evans!”

    I’m sorry, Ronan. I’m afraid he has to go. Say goodbye now. It hurts, I know, but you’ll see one day it was for the best.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 7:10pm
  92. I would have created a real Red State American who hated Europeans. And then you would have all suspected Wilfried.

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 7:11pm
  93. Sorry if I misread you, Davis. You weren’t exactly clear.

    In comment #74 you identified your situation with Rosalynde’s (who was invited but declined.) It seemed like you were saying that the same was true of you. I thought it odd, if that were the case, for you to be “scooping up nobility points.” That’s all.

    Melissa — October 27, 2005 @ 7:11pm
  94. Well, I think we have heard enough from Steve. We must now decide his fate.

    Given that this is the BoH, I believe the answer is clear.

    Steve, line up and face forward — Monkey Steals the Peach.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 7:13pm
  95. Davis, I am not, nor have I ever been, a to-mah-to.

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 7:15pm
  96. Pseudonymity psucks.

    Goofus — October 27, 2005 @ 7:19pm
  97. Randy B:

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Holy crap, that is the funniest single thing I have read in the Bloggernacle. LOLOLOLOL. Holy crap. Who is the monkey in the case?

    Melissa,

    You’re right, I wasn’t clear. It’s okay. Can I still be noble, even though I said hot and deeeelish?

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 7:19pm
  98. Ronan, I don’t get the to-mah-to thing. Explain?

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 7:20pm
  99. Randy B,

    Save that for Aaron!

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 7:21pm
  100. Davis (91): “I’m afraid he has to go.”

    I think you’re right.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 7:21pm
  101. #91. You were actually responding to RT. But I digress, burn the witch! Give me the stones! (I’ve changed my mind.)

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 7:22pm
  102. Steve, I don’t think you have to go. It was just funny the way Ronan phrased it, like we had the choice to vote you off the island.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 7:26pm
  103. Err, RT. Not Ronan.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 7:27pm
  104. Davis, I know. But you’re familiar with the phrase “jumping the shark”? I just did. Of course, I didn’t succeed in jumping it, but still.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 7:28pm
  105. I’ve had a few of interactions with Steve in the past couple of weeks where he’s pointed me to posts at BoH. While it was clear that he took great pride in the interest that the blog was getting, I never for a moment had the impression that he was enjoying a laugh at his readers’ expense. When he says it was about the writing, I believe him.

    Bryce I — October 27, 2005 @ 7:29pm
  106. I’m presuming then Davis that you’re proposing everyone who blogged on this site should go??

    It seems a little unfair that Steve is getting all of the blame, when half the people who blogged here can’t be bothered to even admit it.

    Rebecca — October 27, 2005 @ 7:30pm
  107. Davis: “Who is the monkey in the case?”

    We need someone we can trust, someone who will be committed to the task, and who will not back down when the going gets tough, someone committed to the cause of truth and right-.

    I nominate Adam Greenwood.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 7:31pm
  108. ok - saw the latest comment - ignore the first part davis

    Rebecca — October 27, 2005 @ 7:31pm
  109. rebecca: “when half the people who blogged here can’t be bothered to even admit it.”

    Becky, they’ll post in due time. They’re just gathering the words. This isn’t exactly easy.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 7:32pm
  110. Agreed. Greenwood it must be. No other will suffice.

    Davis Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 7:35pm
  111. Thanks, fellas. I’m verklempt.

    Adam Greenwood — October 27, 2005 @ 7:41pm
  112. arJ: “Save that for Aaron!”

    I was actually thinking that blood atonement might be the best solution for him.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 7:53pm
  113. when Septimus was abducted by aliens.

    Darn, I missed that one.

    I should have followed this blog more carefully.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 27, 2005 @ 8:46pm
  114. Newsflash: Banner of Heaven to Collaborate with The Thrifty Nickel and Become the Official Blog of Satan

    Ah well.

    but I don’t really think it’s… what’s the word I want… appropriate? to tell a grieving father how to react to his son’s death.

    Got to admit, that my first response to people doing that is a great deal of anger. It is one of the few things that really pushes buttons and gives me some primal rage, which would shock my secretary who thinks I’m not capable of it.

    His wife grieved all of her life over that loss. To attack the poor man because of the way he chose to remember his loss and to deal with it is unconcionable.

    My thoughts. I’ve buried three children. Just had to explain it all again (we added another attorney to the office, and the typical background questions came up) — I’d hate to have someone expressing their anger due to the way I talked about what happened to me.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 27, 2005 @ 8:49pm
  115. Monkey Steals the Peach would definitely be the right punishment I think for any of the fake bloggers who have peaches.

    I too was sincerely interested in the 13 questions posts. I’m interested in what those guys have to say.

    You know what I think would have been a better idea for a blog? To have people post under false names (with everyone knowing their false) and having them post their stranger-than-fiction lives.

    I for one have wanted to post about some extraordinary happenings in my life so I could get some feedback from my fellow bloggers but do to feelings of family members and such it would have been too much to post under my own name.

    Wow, did any of that make sense?

    kristen j — October 27, 2005 @ 9:18pm
  116. Kristen: no. Except that you think I should die of castration.

    Jenn/Steve — October 27, 2005 @ 9:28pm
  117. Kristen: no. Except that you think I should die of castration.

    That does seem a bit extreme. I was thinking more that they ought to be forced to eat carmel cheesecake and fudge brownies. Five hundred or so calories of pure heart attack. That is enough punishment for just about all of them.

    To each their own. I’m willing to forgive Steve if he’ll just link to my blog from bcc ;)

    I wouldn’t really make anyone eat cheesecake and brownies.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 27, 2005 @ 9:35pm
  118. John, Kristen, and the rest of our multitudinous fan base:

    We’ll be back - early next week sometime, unless Mike gets abducted by aliens or something equally tragic and ironic.

    Matt Bowman — October 27, 2005 @ 9:39pm
  119. I don’t think you have to die when you’re castrated.

    I do like Stephen M’s idea too. Maybe we should force them to eat nothing but pizza for a whole month straight.

    Or how about nothing but mountain dew for a whole week?

    Come on now Steve, you had fun with the bloggernacle now let us have a little fun with you!

    kristen j — October 27, 2005 @ 9:41pm
  120. Randy B,

    If you read the caption of Monkey Steals the Peach carefully you will note that it probably qualifies as blood atonement.

    also…
    I don’t know that Adam is the right person to perform this maneuver as he has probably only seen it done on cattle and therefore feels that it isn’t appropriate for humans, right?

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 10:23pm
  121. So true arJ. So true.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 10:27pm
  122. I once wrote a paper about the castration of eunuchs. Yes, that is true (I’ve had a fully-expenses paid $300,000 education and I am now an expert on castration. And ancient beekeeping. Don’t believe me? Go to BYU next Friday…)

    ANYway, adult castration need not lead to death. Nor would it make one sexually impotent. So, please devise a better punishment.

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 10:38pm
  123. Ronan, is that true even when the procedure is performed with one’s bare hands? You studied that in class? Boy did I miss out.

    Randy B. — October 27, 2005 @ 10:52pm
  124. Ronan,

    Read the caption and expand your expertise!

    http://www.digitalfog.com/gallery/peach.htm

    I’ll even help with the last line: Massive blood loss causes death.

    This isn’t surgery, it’s a ninja attack!

    a random John — October 27, 2005 @ 10:54pm
  125. Ronan, you’re coming to Utah? What for?

    Ryan Bell — October 27, 2005 @ 11:01pm
  126. I’m giving a lecture next Friday. I’ll put up a quick announcement soon. I’d love to meet some of the Utah kids.

    Ronan — October 27, 2005 @ 11:04pm
  127. Idiot.

    Just deleted this from my bookmarks and RSS feed.

    I’ve had too many experiences similar to this in the Church to handle.

    Howie — October 28, 2005 @ 12:36am
  128. I can’t understand why some people are taking this so seriously! Then again- how could I have taken Aaron seriously to begin with?

    lol

    Jordan — October 28, 2005 @ 12:42am
  129. Steve, thank you for being so indefatigable in responding to everyone’s comments and for being the first to go. Everyone, please save some of your being angry for when I put up my Greg post. I think having people tell me I’m a generally rotten human being and a lousy writer might make some of this feel a little better. Or you could just stop caring, and then I would feel even worse. So take your pick.
    Howie, if you’re still reading, please don’t judge the church by your feelings about what we’ve done. Even if you feel like you’ve been duped and made fun of by church members before, the fact that the vast majority of the bloggernacle neighbors think this was a pretty stupid idea means that you’re genearlly dealing with some good people.

    Naomi Frandsen — October 28, 2005 @ 1:53am
  130. We need someone we can trust, someone who will be committed to the task, and who will not back down when the going gets tough, someone committed to the cause of truth and right-.

    DKL perhaps?

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 28, 2005 @ 7:47am
  131. I’ll be the spam filter catches this, but I’d really like to suggest that I’d like to suggest that http://vivanedflanders.blogspot.com/ and the Banner of Heaven comment thread is the place to continue this discussion.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 28, 2005 @ 8:06am
  132. I think there is going to be a lot more discussion about this than my site can handle Stephen (but thanks for the plug). We still have three unveilings to go, after all. I have no problem discussing it here.

    NFlanders — October 28, 2005 @ 8:49am
  133. Ned, your post was interesting. I’ve emailed you.

    Jenn/Steve — October 28, 2005 @ 8:51am
  134. BTW, an excellent post from someone who has been through this in another community:

    http://www.timesandseasons.org/index.php?p=2667#comment-104584

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 28, 2005 @ 8:59am
  135. I also think that Steve is a good guy who is not evil.

    Nate Oman — October 28, 2005 @ 10:36am
  136. After reading the comments, I’ve decided that there’s more I need to say.

    I gave little thought to how this would impact the bloggernacle as a whole, especially my friends and bloggers who never visited BoH but know me. I now see that I have caused some real damage to relationships and to the community as a whole.

    There’s probably not much I can do to make up for that, but for what it’s worth, I’m sorry. It’s tarnished some of the friendships I value the most, and I will regret that for a very long time.

    Jenn/Steve — October 28, 2005 @ 10:41am
  137. I also think that Steve is a good guy who is not evil.
    Nate Oman — October 28, 2005 @ 10:36am

    I have to agree. I also think that the blog should go on.

    Hope everyone is ok.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 28, 2005 @ 1:20pm
  138. Steve,

    You have been exemplary in your apology here. You started a prank and you did not do it with bad intentions. You know that and your co-bloggers know that. I think there are legitimate hurt feelings out there and I think there are opportunistic witch hunters. For anyone willing to listen and accept a heartfelt apology, they are fortunate to have a friend in you, because you have offered it here. Here is hoping they will recognize what is being offered and offer you their forgiveness. Even if you are not proud of your every action here at the Banner I think you can hold your head up high for the way you have conducted yourself in the past 2 days.

    And I liked Jenn and I thought your writing was pretty good. I kinda wanted to see her grow and mature too.

    DKL's Wife — October 28, 2005 @ 3:16pm
  139. Thanks wifey. DKL married up, you know.

    Jenn/Steve — October 28, 2005 @ 3:25pm
  140. Thanks Steve. But you have to admit–he really is rather dashing, eh?

    DKL's Wife — October 28, 2005 @ 4:41pm
  141. He cleans up O.K., I guess.

    Jenn/Steve — October 28, 2005 @ 4:43pm
  142. LOL

    DKL's Wife — October 28, 2005 @ 4:45pm
  143. Right- we’re supposed to believe that DKL has a wife. “DKL’s dashing.” Now thats funny.

    Scott — October 28, 2005 @ 5:06pm
  144. Hi Scott. My name is Shannon Landrith. I can assure of two things, I am DKL’s wife and DKL is, indeed, dashing. Admittedly, most people around the bloggernacle have doubted my existence at one time or another. But I am very real and very happy to be DKL’s wife. So, if you are ever in Boston and care to verify my existence, please feel free to stop by. I am sure it would be lovely. I have thoroughly enjoyed absolutely every person I have met from the bloggernacle thus far. It is full of really fabulous people.

    DKL's Wife — October 28, 2005 @ 6:17pm
  145. Wow, it turns out that I got sick of the whole you-know-what discussion a lot faster than I thought. I’m over it; let us never speak of it again!

    Given the earlier mistake, I’m back to quoting NFlanders.

    I have to agree that is where things should go.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 28, 2005 @ 6:30pm
  146. Just in case anyone thinks Steve needs further discrediting — I have it on good authority that Sumer Evans is in fact a CIA operative.

    Kaimi — October 28, 2005 @ 6:37pm
  147. #129

    Thank-you Naomi, for your words. I like to believe that people in the Church are “a cut above” the average person in the world. Sometimes it seems as if it is not so. But you are right, I should not judge the Church based on what the people in it do, because no one is perfect. As a recent convert of 13 months, I intend on staying strong.

    Howie — October 28, 2005 @ 6:55pm
  148. DKL,

    I should have known that it was you because of the post about the wife of a certain dastardly pitcher.

    a random John — October 28, 2005 @ 7:09pm
  149. I like to believe that people in the Church are “a cut above” the average person in the world.

    Howie,

    If I were you, I’d disabuse myself of that belief pretty quickly.

    Crystal — October 28, 2005 @ 7:42pm
  150. Steve at T&S, “BoH is done for good — this thread has sealed its fate.”

    Steve, screw the naysayers. No one can make you stop your blog. You guys set out to create real characters and guess what, you did! We cared about them before, and we care about them still. We want to see where their stories go. Finish it out through Thanksgiving.

    Eric Russell — October 29, 2005 @ 5:17am
  151. http://ethesis.blogspot.com/2005/10/i-used-to-work-out-about-five-oclock.html

    rise again.

    Stephen M (Ethesis) — October 29, 2005 @ 12:14pm
  152. Hiya… I just came across this ’scandal’ and I think it’s ridiculous that everyone has such an issue with it. Essentially you were writing a fanfiction — for us Mormons who aren’t afraid to laugh at our quirkyness. People do it all the time in fandoms… and I think it’s horrible that people got upset about this… but that’s just my opinion… ;)

    Jessica — November 19, 2005 @ 10:42pm
  153. Well now, I don’t care who disagrees with what you chose to do. It seems to me that the stories that you created were as real as they could be without being based on fact. The point of good writing, the only kind that you really want to read is that you see things from a different view. The fact that you created these characters, and gave them life and depth tells me that not only are you creative but also are able to see things from different points of view which tells me that you are generally good people who can understand, and empathize with others.

    If the nay-sayers fail to see this that is their problem, because it shows that they live in their own little world where things only make sense as seen from their world-view.

    So, please continue. I’m new here and haven’t had the privelige of realling being here from the beginning and it would be really sad for me to see this light-hearted, good-natured effort cease because of a few people who cannot understand.

    Edward — November 20, 2005 @ 12:30am
  154. “After reading the comments, I’ve decided that there’s more I need to say. I gave little thought to how this would impact the bloggernacle as a whole, especially my friends and bloggers who never visited BoH but know me. I now see that I have caused some real damage to relationships and to the community as a whole.”

    I disagree with you Steve, it simply is not true. If the community as a whole was damaged as a result of what you have done than the community deserves whatever damage it received. Friendships are not and should not be based on the truth alone, assuming that if someone is not telling the truth somehow affects relationships is in my opinion wrong. Friendships should transcend such nonsense. In fact, I do not doubt that most, if not all of my friends do not tell me the entire truth. I expect as much, I cannot expect less. It is how we cope in life.

    “It’s tarnished some of the friendships I value the most, and I will regret that for a very long time.”

    That is truly sad, and I am sorry that what has happened has hurt you in any way, and has your close friends, but let me offer a piece of advice for whatever it is worth. That is, our true friends are those who understand us, who see us for who we are, they do not base their perception of us on mistakes we may or may not have made. If you were my friend, I would not cease to trust you because I learned that you were less than perfect or that you had created a story for a blog, and that as a result you had to lie to people. To be quite honest, friends lie to friends. It’s part of being friends.

    Think of it in this way, you tell a close friend that she looks good today. You even tell her that you like her boyfriend who you find to be a disgusting, sick, and repulsive individual, but you don’t want to hurt her so you form a relationship with her boyfriend because that is what friends are supposed to do. Now, she later finds out that you weren’t completely honest with her but that you think her boyfriend was a loser. Now what does she do? She could stop being your friend for not telling her the truth or she could understand that real friends, and friendships are not based solely on truth, but on understanding.

    So, Steve keep the faith, stay the course and allow yourself a little latitude, and talk to your friends, tell them the reasons why you chose to do what you did, and explain to them that it was a story. If they were and are really your friends they would know that you are a good person (unless you aren’t) and they would forget about how you made some things up on Banner of Heaven. In fact, if you were my friend I would probably just nod and forget all about it. Thinking no big deal.

    Edward — November 20, 2005 @ 12:44am

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