At a B. H. Roberts Society meeting, David Knowlton discusses his situation, identifies the issues he feels are involved, and concludes, "It is simply a bad habit for authorities to engage in generalized intimidation. . . . We intellectuals should . . . stop looking over our shoulders to see if the Brethren are going to disagree with us, call us to repentance, hassle us, limit our access to information, or challenge us. In many ways that is their job--although it is indeed ours to critique all those actions, . . . to protect ourselves and argue for what we think important. We should act with security of purpose as thoughtful people who have a necessary role to play within the Church as community. . . . Some day people will quote with reverence the ancient texts from Dialogue, Sunstone, the Journal of Mormon History, Exponent II, the Mormon Women's Forum, the B. H. Roberts Society, BYU Studies, FARMS, and the Ensign, among others."
Michael Quinn, presenting in the same meeting, explains that general authorities have "typically attacked the messenger" who brings "unauthorized exposure of Mormonism's checkered past. . . . These attacks have usually been harsher when the messenger was a participant in the uncomfortable truths she or he revealed about Mormonism." Tactics include "excommunication," the label of "apostate," and "character assassination." He cites both nineteenth- and twentieth-century examples.
[Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]