For those not familiar with Hofmann and the great Salamander Letter controversy, here’s a synopsis:
Mark Hofmann fooled the prophets and leaders of his church in the 1980s when he began making a lucrative living by selling them forged (fake) documents that were damaging to Mormonism. These documents were purchased by the Mormon church and archived away (or destroyed) so that no one would ever see them.
(The fact that LDS prophets were so easily fooled by forgeries is telling, as well as the fact that the LDS leadership–thinking the documents were genuine–were willing to pay a lot of money to procure them from Hofmann to keep the world from seeing them. These two facts alone speak volumes about Mormonism . . . but I digress.)
Once Hofmann’s scam began to unravel he resorted to bombs. In the end, two people were killed and Hofmann was seriously injured when one of the bombs detonated prematurely.
For a more detailed examination of the incident, I highly recommend the book The Mormon Murders. It is a riveting page-turner investigated and written by two secular (non-Mormon, non-Christian) authors.
“These are some of my thoughts concerning my crimes and how I became what I am. As far back as I can remember I have liked to impress people through my deceptions. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of doing magic and card tricks. Fooling people gave me a sense of power and superiority. I believe this is what led to my forging activities.”
You can read the whole letter (in PDF format) here.
For those of you who have studied early Mormon history (pre-revisionism), I am certain that you find the same irony in this quote as I did: This quote could easily be ascribed to Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, and it would be just as accurate and apropos.
(FILE | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mark W. Hofmann, left, and LDS Church leaders N. Eldon Tanner, Spencer W. Kimball, Marion G. Romney, Boyd K. Packer and Gordon B. Hinckley examine the Anthon transcript April 22, 1980.