Misrepresenting the Historical Record
As manifested in The CES Letter, false, embellished, or agenda-driven storytelling is not useful and misleads readers.
No writer is unbiased; so in a sense, every author "spins" the evidence to some degree, no matter how hard objectivity might be sought. However, some interpretive reconstructions seem to reflect little attempt to maintain impartiality. They are primarily comprised of speculation and conjecture mingled with historical truths, usually ignoring contradictory evidences. The writers may be accomplished and lettered, manifesting eloquence and an expressive writing style, but their written opinions may contain little truth and much error.
Either subtly or overtly, "loaded language," may be employed. The CES Letter goes well beyond loaded language to sometimes employ sarcasm and insensitivites like call God schizophrenic.
Possessing strong opinions regarding a topic does not mean the person understands the topic. More common now than perhaps ever in the past, we find emotion substituting for knowledge and rhetoric substituting for reason. Combined with a lack of faith, we may discover ourselves surrounded by informational chaos.
Overly biased authors create opinion-pieces that bear the form of genuine documented history but lack the truth thereof. The direction of the spin may be agenda-driven by individuals who are willing to codify negative assumptions in their historical reconstructions regarding the motives and behaviors of Church members.
Some authors may complain, "Don't shoot the messenger." However, such protests presuppose that the message presented by the messenger is accurate and objectively presented. Unfortunately, heavy biases and spin result more in historical fiction. Obviously the messengers should not be shot, but LDS authorities would be neglecting their responsibilities to the membership if they were to in anyway validate or facilitate the spinning of the spinmeisters (see 2 John 1:10-11).
The scriptures warn of given gospel meat to gospel milk-drinkers (D&C 19:22, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 2:2). Misrepresented history is more like a rubber dog toy saturated with real meat taste and shaped like a t-bone steak. It can be chewed for extended periods, but is not digestible. If swallowed, it can cause choking more easily than the meatiest meat. It might be called pseudo-meat because, although a counterfeit, it can readily cause the milk drinkers to perish.
Several themes that are misrepresented in The CES Letter include: