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An excerpt from W. Cleon Skousen’s Treasures from the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3, pp. 3271-3272. Edited by Alan C. Miner in Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon unpublished.

Helaman 2.13 Ye Shall See That This Gadianton [Band] Did Prove the Overthrow, Yea, Almost the Entire Destruction of the People of Nephi:

According to Cleon Skousen, since the Book of Mormon prophets warn us that the same type of conspiracy would exist in our own day (see 2 Nephi 26.20-22), let us briefly summarize the characteristics of this movement and the criminal tactics which it employed.

1. It often turned out that their leaders rose to power by murdering their former friends and associates (Ether 8.13-17; 9.4-12).

2. The leaders made flattering promises to any who would join in the subversive conspiracy which was designed to use criminal tactics in acquiring wealth and then seizing control of the government (Helaman 2.5; Ether 8.17)

3. They did not come out in the open and allow the people to know of their intentions or tactics, but operated as an illegal, underground apparatus (Helaman 6.21-22).

4. They had their own secret code of discipline and their own secret police to bring in dissenters or defectors for punishment (Helaman 6.24) The penalty for revealing their secrets was death (Moses 5.50).

5. They demanded all their “rights” under the Constitution until they came into power, then they destroyed the liberties of the people and claimed “rights” exclusively for themselves (Helaman 7.4; 3 Nephi 6.30; 7.6).

6. As soon as they came into power they discharged those who occupied key positions and appointed their own hard-core members to all positions of trust (Helaman 7.4).

7. All who tried to defend the Constitution and preserve traditional order and justice were prosecuted as though they were the offenders (Helaman 7.5).

8. However, the leaders ignored or deliberately covered up the crimes of their own members (Helaman 7.5)

9. They created a privileged, bureaucratic class of criminal aristocrats to govern the people (Helaman 7.5).

10. They radically altered the provisions of the law so they could claim to be operating “legally” (3 Nephi 7.6).

11. They employed propaganda to obscure the weaknesses of their own administration and used the voice of prominent people to spread their propaganda line (Helaman 8.1, 7-8).

12. They waged continuous ideological warfare to break down the moral and political independence of the people. As part of this campaign they killed religious leaders (3 Nephi 7.6-7).

13. Then they turned the whole society toward moral debauchery similar to their own profligate lives (Helaman 6.23; Ether 8.16).

14. They tried to replace revealed religion by encouraging the people to practice primitive, heathen rites with emphasis on the collection of gold and silver to contribute to their idolatrous priestcraft (Helaman 6.31).

15. They would not tolerate any kind of resistance or public discussion of the issues. They called their own kind of criminal dictatorship the only “good” government and demanded that every citizen support them or be exterminated (3 Nephi 3.7-8).

16. In attacking the legitimate government and seeking to overthrow it they claimed they were waging war to recover “their” rights and restore “their” government which had been wrongfully taken away from them (3 Nephi 3.10).

17. They used Communist-type peace propaganda, claiming they did not want war. They merely wanted their opposition to accept the inevitable and surrender “peacefully” (3 Nephi 3.4-7).

18. They promised that if the opposition would surrender, its people would not be placed in slavery but would become partners and brethren in the great new order. They neglected to mention that under their police state all their partners and brethren were subject to the most rigorous death-penalty oaths, and were therefore under a system of criminal slavery (3 Nephi 3.7).

19. Their administrations were always characterized by assassinations, immorality and revolution. They waged total war of such wholesale proportions that established government broke down completely and entire kingdoms were literally wiped out (Ether 9.11-12; 11.6-7).

20. If the people did succeed in overthrowing the Gadianton movement and burying their secret oaths and plans of operations, Satan revealed them to the next generation and the whole terrible cycle began all over again (Alma 37.29,32; Helaman 6.26-27).

Helaman 2.13 Ye Shall See That This Gadianton [Band] Did Prove the Overthrow, Yea, Almost the Entire Destruction of the People of Nephi:


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