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The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion Book One: The Mormons Paperback – May 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Fitzgerald has been called both “The Ferris Bueller of San Francisco” and “one of the busiest atheist activists in the Bay Area.” A former Southern Baptist, he had a secular epiphany in his 20's and now an atheist author, public speaker, campus organizer and secular event producer. He is Action Coordinator for San Francisco Atheists, the SSA’s regional campus organizer for Northern California, and is on the national speaker's bureaus of both the Secular Student Alliance and Center for Inquiry. He is also Co-Founder/Director of the world’s first Atheist Film Festival, San Francisco's annual Darwin Day celebration (“Evolutionpalooza!”), and (with fellow authors Greta Christina and Chris Hall) the Godless Perverts Story Hour. He also serves on the board of the Center for Inquiry-San Francisco, and works with the Stanford Humanist Chaplaincy, Camp Quest West, the National Center for Science Education and other community organizations. He has been a repeat featured speaker at the national conventions of American Atheists, American Humanist Association, the Secular Student Alliance, and is a crowd favorite at Skepticon. Besides all that, he is a historical researcher. His 2010 book Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All critically examines the historical evidence of Christ, and was voted one of the top five Best Agnostic/Atheist Book of the Year from About Atheism.com Reader’s Choice awards. His latest books are The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons and the forthcoming follow-up to Nailed, entitled Jesus: Mything in Action.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482773341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482773347
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
David Fitzgerald's style of writing is light, engaging and enthralling to read. His research is extensive, accurate, interestingly integrated into a compelling sequence, succinctly related and never ever boring.

As an exMormon (forty-three years a member) and author of five books in `The Mormon Delusion' series, I know a thing or two about the truth behind the Mormon hoax. My final analysis of David Fitzgerald's `The Mormons', is that it more than captures the most important aspects concerning the truth that any inquirer would ever need to know, in one simple fun-to-read volume. As I know a lot about Mormonism, I didn't really expect to learn anything new to me - but I was delighted that I actually did, and I loved reading every word.

Fitzgerald covers not just Mormon history, doctrine, schisms and insurmountable problems that apologists simply cannot rationalise, but also how some supposedly faithful members behave today. I was amazed to discover how many Mormons, including several Bishops, particularly in Utah, have been jailed or are awaiting trial for running massive investment scams or Ponzi schemes, defrauding hundreds of fellow Mormons out of hundreds of millions of dollars; and how the Church, most unusually, refunded hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in tithing by one perpetrator, presumably to assist in repaying duped investors. It seems the Mormon Church is not short of a few criminals - or plenty of gullible members. But that was just an interesting aside to all the factual evidence against Joseph Smith and his hoax.

I enjoyed the way Fitzgerald so eloquently covered each aspect in his work. It was a refreshing change to many other books on the subject of Mormonism - vibrant and entertaining from beginning to end.
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While PT Barnum made the statement that ...'there is a sucker born every minute', David Fitzgerald restates it and says ....'there is a member of Mormonism born every minute'. While seeing himself as being a atheistic heretic I, on the other hand, see the author has being both a truth-seeker and a realist. The historical myths that he reveals in this text is both shocking and, yet, fully expected. Mankind has historically sought out the answers to two pressing questions; What happens after I die? What is my purpose for living? While numerous dogmas have been created around these questions, the Mormon tenets, like most others, are based on wishes and hopes rather than facts and events. Joseph Smith was little more than a 'magic rock' charlatan who decided he could take his inane act to the next level and, by doing so, obtain for himself the riches and fame that he felt he deserved. What resulted, as we know, was a magical belief system that included magic underwear, a planetary god, fifty wives, and civil revolutions. But is also included for Smith the money and power that he sought. Brigham Young followed lock-step in Smith's footsteps and turned a façade of belief and magic into a full blown set of church rules and certitudes. And, believe it or not, the magic continues through to today with Mormonism being the fastest growing of all world religions.

Why then would members abide by such a fairy tale belief system? Because Smith and Young gave them the answers to the above two questions and added to them the 'fact' that they, and only they, after death would gain the highest recognition from their fairy tale god. Additionally their purpose in life was now clearly defined as being to a period spent pleasing the 'heavenly father'. A very sad tale of deceit on a massive level. But, unfortunately one that is not unlike all other organized religions that begins in myth and winds up in exceptionalism, power and corruption ............
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I was surprised by this book. I thought this would be just another long and drawn out bore-fest, but I found it to be engaging and full of jaw dropping information that I never could have imagined about the Mormons. The author has a fun sense of humor that he weaves into the text and it kept me going. This makes me want to read more from the author. I will suggest this book to my friends!
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First, my condolences to any practicing Mormon who attempts to read this book with a reasonably open mind. An accurate description of the ugly truth behind your religion though it may be; because of your mental conditioning from early childhood the likelihood you'll accept what you will read is very remote. For all others this book is a real eye-opener, page-turner and should be brought to the attention of a much wider audience. Plain and simple: The Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, was NOT a prophet, but truly one of the world's most outrageous charlatans of all time. Smith had the misfortune of being born not many more than 200 years ago (1805). As a result, the amount of real, tangible evidence, documents, legal trail and archaeology we can find about him from the historic record is overwhelming as compared with older religious founders such as Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, etc. The author has researched a great deal of the this real history of Mormon roots and "wow" what a sad testimonial of fraud, deception and corruption it tells. While most average modern Mormons have justifiable cause to be proud of their generally high degree of personal dignity, charity, morality and sound work ethic, a certain degree of the good qualities are compromised because of their lack of ability to think for themselves and question the most obvious lies and foolish inventions their religious tenets are built upon. A worthy read, this book is a good example of the old adage "truth is often stranger than fiction." I would have rated the book Five Star, but for the fact that the author claimed to be a member of "Skepticon" ... which is a cult group of pseudo-science cynics whose "opinions" are often more outrageous than many religious beliefs such as the immaculate conception.
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