New book just out

New book out yesterday … looks like it might be quite interesting … I’ll write a review once I’ve read a copy I’m ordering it tomorrow …

Anyway ,here’s the “blurb”…

" King of Confidence: How an atheist convinced Mormons he was church founder Joseph Smith’s heir and crowned himself monarch of a Lake Michigan island - before his followers murdered him because he forced women to wear pants

  • During the antebellum period from the end of the War of 1812 to the start of Civil War, the term ‘confidence man’ - those who scammed others - was born

  • James Strang was born on March 21, 1813 and grew up on a farm in Western New York. Raised Baptist, he was an avowed atheist until he met Joseph Smith

  • Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and after the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, he quickly gained converts

  • On June 27, 1844, a mob killed Smith while he was in jail on a treason charge

  • No successor had been named and Strang said he had been secretly chosen

  • Strang, who fled Western New York because of deep debt due to land swindles, convinced some Mormons he was Smith’s heir and a prophet

  • On July 8, 1850 Strang declared himself king of Michigan Lake’s Beaver Island

  • A new book, The King of Confidence, looks at Strang’s life that included five wives, his many professions that included state legislator, and his murder


Have you read it yet?

Was it any good?

It does sound like an entertaining read! :open_book::eyes:

Yup… post was delayed ,so book was late arriving … but I finished it today…

Not what I was expecting … but yes …very interesting.

I always thought that Joseph Smith was a “con man” … and this book sort of confirms it. But far more interesting is just how easy it was for his (to our eyes …) obviously false narrative to be believed.

Then ,after Smiths death …Strang turns up and presents himself to the Mormons ,claiming to have a letter from Smith appointing himself (Strang) as his successor.
The letter was ,of course ,written in hieroglyphs ,which only Strang could read.

and it was accepted… not by all but by a good many … its like they were so ready to believe that there was no thought his story could be false…

Strang goes on to appropriate Beaver Island in lake Michigan … makes it a Mormon Territory …expels all non Mormons…starts raiding by land and water… following the Law of Consecration… ( basically stealing anything you want as long as you’re not stealing from a Mormon) Strang goes on to declare himself “King of Heaven and Earth” and his followers went along with it!

It seems that something very strange was going on at that time period and in that place,

Its definitely worth a read … and shows some very odd people making some very odd decisions. But then…I’m not sure we can properly judge … after all look who got put into the Whitehouse.

Yes ,on the whole I think I do recommend it

And there in lies the issues with group thinking and cult mentality.

It never leads you along the path of sanity.

You never know, with the exponential growth of technology, hopefully we collectively get more intelligent and less ignorant, one day we can put all these superstitions back in the caves where they belong.

Still, sounds like a good read, I often find I get exasperated watching films or reading books about delusional people, I always want to grab them by the shoulders and shake vigorously.

I’ve got a long list of books that I’m chipping my way through, so I doubt I’ll read it myself anytime soon :confused: