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John C. Bennett
"In 1842 John C. Bennett, in The History of the Saint (Boston: Leland and Whiting, 1842), introduced a new element into the discussion by urging that Mormons attempted `to destroy the sacred institutions of Christianity, and substitute, instead of its powerful restraints upon the unholy passions of the human heart, a frightfully-corrupt system that would enable them to give free course to their lust, ambition, and cruelty." Thus, the church was not a religion at all, but a cult, designed for the expression of base instincts. His examples included a bizarre form of elitist complex marriage and the Missouri Danites." (Alexander 1978, 5)

"Governor Thomas Ford later wrote of him:

This Bennett was probably the greatest scamp in the western country. I have made particular enquiries concerning him, and have traced him in several places in which he lived before he joined the Mormons, in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and he was everywhere accounted the same debauched, unprincipled, profligate character. He was a man of some little talent, and in 1840-1841 had the confidence of the Mormons, and particularly that of their leaders. (Thomas Ford, A History of Illinois (Chicago, 1854) p. 263) (Flaunders 1966, 49-50)

The publication of John C. Bennett's book provided considerable fuel to an increasingly violent opposition to the Latter-day Saints. By making a correlation between increased persecution and publication dates, the following books seem to have exacerbated hostilities: (Arrington & Bitton 1979, 59)

Eber D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, or a Faithful Account of the Singular

Imposition and Delusion (1834)

John Corrill, Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Commonly Called Mormons) (1839)

William Swartzell, Mormonism Exposed (1840)

William Harris, Mormonism Portrayed; Its Errors and Absurdities (1841)

E. G. Lee, The Mormons; or, Knavery Exposed (1841)

John C. Bennett, The History of the Saints; or, An Expos of Joe Smith and

Mormonism (1842)

J. B. Turner, Mormonism in All Ages; or The Rise, Progress, and Causes of

Mormonism; with the Biography of Its Author and Founder, Joseph Smith, Junior (1842)