Daniel Peterson, expert witness?
Did anyone else catch this write up in the SL Tribune about Daniel Peterson giving Brian David Mitchell props for his “impressive production”? Yes, this is the Brian David Mitchell who abducted Elizabeth Smart and forced her to become his second wife and consummate the marriage. Yes, this is the Brian David Mitchell who walked into the courtroom today and started singing Christmas carols. And yes, this is THAT Daniel Peterson…
Daniel Peterson, everyone’s favorite Mormon apologist described Mitchell’s manifesto as “artfully arranged and put together in very coherent fashion.” He also used the words “sophisticated,” “logical,” and “very skillful” to describe it.
Not having read Mitchell’s manifesto, I probably shouldn’t be so critical. Maybe Mitchell is a religious genius, like Joseph Smith. 😉
But I have the hardest time imagining that Mitchell could write anything “logical” unless your interpretation of the word “logical” is the one Daniel Peterson has. If that’s the case, then “tree = sky,” “2 + 3 = 7,” and the Mormon Church is open about its questionable history (see Dan’s logs at Mormon Curtain; he has two pages: page 1, page 2).
I have to question the “logic” of anyone who would call a Mormon apologist to testify as an expert witness in this trial, especially one whose training is in Arabic. How is Daniel Peterson even an expert in Mormon splinter groups? Maybe the logic was:
- If Daniel Peterson is insane but seems sane enough to hold down a job,
- And if Daniel Peterson can say Mitchell’s writings seem sane,
- Then maybe the jury will convict him and not think Mitchell is insane.