Pt 34-A:
Esther LeBaron Spencer,
The Mexico LeBarons, and Hearing Voices

The young and the old of my Grandpa,
Alma Dayer LeBaron


“There is only one way to bring a child up
in the way he should go
and that is to travel that way yourself.”
Abraham Lincoln



IF it’s true Grandpa Dayer’s grandfather B.F. Johnson held a special priesthood he called “the mantle” or “Scepter of Power,” then maybe there were delusions of grandeur; i.e., schizophrenia and personality disorders in my great-great-grandfather BFJ, himself. 

But some Fundies vouch for him having been, indeed, given by Joseph Smith special priesthood keys. They say he kept this secret from most.

However, Benjamin F. Johnson’s immediate family say they never heard B.F.J. claim he held ANY such special or hidden priesthood keys or power!

Nonetheless, Grandpa Dayer LeBaron is said to have claimed his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson passed on to him a special priesthood blessing and power, called “The Mantle,” that the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith passed on to him, B.F.J., before he died.

That’s another story for another time. If you’re interested in the lore, read Mother’s/Aunt Charlotte’s/Uncle Verlan’s revisionist histories titled The LeBaron Story, and Maud’s Story. 

These two manuscripts preach a 1980’s whitewashed, enhanced, and rewritten chronicle of the Mexico-LeBaron claims—a tale that has morphed beyond the early Church of the Firstborn/CotFotFoT story I heard in 1957—the year I was baptized into my uncle Joel LeBaron’s “Church” when I was eleven years old.

The point I’m getting at in this blog is BOTH Grandpa AND Grandma LeBaron had immediate relatives with personality disorders and mental illness (See previous blog, Pt 33):

Benjamin F. Johnson had a brilliant brother, Seth, whom he said, in his memoir My Life’s Review, experienced “mania;” ie, was “weakened in mind” at one time or another; though BFJ stated he had a “sound” mind later.

If there was genetic disposition for mental illness in the LeBaron and Johnson lines — which, at the point of Dayer, had been merged together by Dayer’s dad Benjamin Franklin LeBaron marrying Sarah Jane Johnson, his first cousin — this may have magnified it:

Sarah Jane Johnson was Benjamin Franklin Johnson’s daughter. And Benjamin Franklin LeBaron’s mother was Benjamin Franklin’s sister.

Now, combine this factor with that of BOTH my maternal grandparents, Maud and Dayer, having heard voices, from time to time, that were “as plain as day,” to quote Grandma Maud.

Also, factor in that my maternal grandfather A.D. LeBaron was said to be a crack pot:

1- He led an extreme, unreasonable, unstable life due to the visions he had and the voices that directed him; among other things.

2- He ALSO showed signs of borderline autistic-personality-disorder:

A- Things had to be just SO for him. He didn’t deal well with change.

What Does Autism Spectrum Disorder Look Like in Adults?

B- He “lacked tact” when dealing with people; i.e., He exhibited low empathy: Couldn’t relate well to how others felt.

C- He was hardheaded: would not compromise nor budge, when it came to his “principles;” and what was “true and right” … no matter the outcome or consequences of his sticking to what he believed was “the gospel;” ie, he was a “Fundi.”

D- He couldn’t tolerate change in beliefs and concepts: e.g, “God and the truth were the same yesterday, today, and forever!” There were no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it!

Would this explain why he became a Mormon fundamentalist/Fundi: He couldn’t deal with revisionist Mormonism; no matter the reasons for the doctrinal changes?*

E- When he was convinced of a certain thing he should do or accomplish, he worked harder at it than anybody else around.

F- He could concentrate for long hours at a time, till the job was completed to the best of his ability; i.e., a perfectionist. (Mother said he/her father A.D. worked harder than anybody she knew!)

His maladies caused him, his wives, and his children to lead an outcast, rather nomadic, Gypsy-like life, due to the schizophrenic voices he heard and the dreams he had telling him to first do this — then that; then something different altogether. 

He had a dream, for example, that he was to raise his family in Old Mexico; come hell or high water, he did so.

And no sooner would he have picked up, lock, stock, and barrel, to move to a new homestead, but what a voice might tell him he had to move and set up a new homestead somewhere else: Just one example of how his crack-pot mental instability and afflictions affected him and his whole family.

Grandpa Dayer never came to see how irrational, unstabilizing, and crazy-making were his actions and lifestyle! Because “doing what was right“/”serving God” came first. “You betcha!”

Grandma Maud had to follow Dayer’s/her husband’s lead because she believed he held the priesthood. (In Mormon fundamentalism the man ruled the roost.)

Grandpa A.D. LeBaron apparently raised most of his children to believe he had received a special “scepter of power” from his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson — a mantle wherein he was set apart to do a special work to put the house of God back in order; so as to prepare the world for Christ’s second coming.

(My sister, who works as a nurse in a mental institution, says she hears this kind of stuff from her patients daily.)

This mantle/priesthood power somehow became confused with his raising his sons to believe (so the story goes) that before he died, he would pass on to one of them—whoever showed himself most righteous—this scepter of power—a power only given to that one mighty and strong the Prophet Joseph Smith said would come in the last days to prepare the Saints for the second coming of Christ.

As to how Mother says my grandfather says [She-says-He-says] he acquired this special “Scepter of Power,” she told me:

“When my Pa was fast asleep one night, suddenly he was awakened. There was a bright light in the room. Then Papa said he felt a grip on his shoulder, looked up, and saw his dead grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson standing there surrounded in glory.” (Continued in the next blog.)

*NOTE:
Mormon fundamentalists believed the LDS Mormon church had lost the keys to the kingdom and gotten out of order when it signed the Manifesto of 1890; thus, doing away with polygamy, “God’s highest and most venerable law.”

**For further understanding of this topic, check out articles online such as:

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults/ASD Symptoms: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjKwNfv1t3gAhWStZ4KHVBvBWYQFjAAegQIChAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.additudemag.com%2Fautism-spectrum-disorder-in-adults%2F&usg=AOvVaw0tKWaAHVoNpAf1KDdbHIV6


Pt 34-B:
The Mexico-LeBarons and
Their Messianic Missions”

Mormon pioneer and polygamist Benjamin F. Johnson, Dayer LeBaron’s grandfather, and Joseph Smith’s confidant and brother-in-law

A wise person once said:
“People see what they want to see.”
That seems to be especially true in religion!
Many just can’t resist trying to shine brighter than the rest;
even if the lights aren’t even on.
Live and learn — and don’t repeat the BS, right?”
Kris Wray

This blog is a continuance of my previous blog, “Pt 33: Incest in my immediate family tree.”

It’s said, “When you turn on the light, all the cockroaches scatter.” In “blogging my book,” my intent is to shine a light on roaches in the crevices that have found cover far too long.

The Scriptures say, “Know the truth and the truth shall set ye free.” I’m revealing some truths many won’t; and hoping to bring awareness, and minimize lies and lore – as long as it doesn’t hurt living family members, friends, and more.

I’m not looking to post scandal to entertain Looky-Lue’s and gossip-mongers; only to inform inquiring minds that want to know—keeping in mind that many families have, at their core, closet skeletons — their whore mongers by the score.

That said, I know plenty of scandal I haven’t begun to unravel nor reveal … probably never will … though my blog is a reality show in and of itself, I’m sure.

What I’ve already revealed is a room-clearer worthy of a Stephen King Sci-Fi “Unreality” show!

With this in mind, I hope visitors to my blog “Pt 33” had a chance to read the blog that preceded it; otherwise, they might have missed major parts of the Stephany-Spencer Reality show; points I’m trying to present. 

Also, if the Pre and Post-blogs of “Pt 33” were missed, my dear readers could possibly end up misinformed, misled, or uninformed on many a thing I’ve said! Don’t believe me? Go ask Stephen King!

Moving on, now: Mom said one of her father Dayer’s favorite quotes was, “He who would learn, let him teach.”
I say: They who would learn, let them read; listen to audiobooks; go to The University of YouTube”… and read my blog. LOL! 🙂

In that vein, let’s continue where we left off in blog “Pt 34-A” where Mother said, “My father Dayer LeBaron’s Great-grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson visited him, after he had died; and passed on to him the priesthood “scepter of power” — “the mantle” Joseph Smith passed down to him, BFJ, before he died.

“He told my father he was to do a GREAT work in the world to prepare the way for one of his sons to be “the one mighty and strong”/OM&S who would then prepare a gathering place for the Saints in the last days — when ALL the destructions in the United States would take place.” 

Does that sound like a bunch of bunk or what?! And why did Grandpa pass the buck?

Did he think one of his sons would have more luck; do better than he the job of being the OM&S—be better able to “prepare a gathering place”?

IF he HAD the special “priesthood mantle; i.e., was the OM&S,” why did he do so LITTLE with it?

Gramp did nothing out of the ordinary any pa might have done, when it came to “raising a OM&S son” (LOL!) … and providing for a humongous family.
So inquiring minds want to know! Many people, past and present, have left the LeBaron groups for lack of By their fruits you shall know them.”

In Other words, the “fruits” they saw convinced them this “gathering place” could not be the work of God!

Still, other descendents and converts to the various present-day Mexico-LeBaron cults continue to abide by and pass on the family LeBaronism lore — with wide eyes, closed minds, and little more!!

If you aren’t familiar with this lore, all you have to do is read The LeBaron Story and Maud’s Story; LeBaron-penned books chronicled and published to mislead.

These books were mainly written to keep and/or convert new members and progeny to Joel’s “Church of the Firstborn” … which really was Joel’s and Ervil’s “Church:”

The CotFotFoT was mainly Ervil’s brainchild — along with a rich sprinkling of their gifted brother Ross Wesley Sr.’s dogma — that was also part of the early pinnings of “Joel’s” “Church of the Firstborn.”


Pt 34-C:
The Mexico-LeBarons:
Their Messianic Missions

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-lebaron-story-book-cover-2.jpg
Joseph Smith, Benjamin F Johnson,
Alma Dayer LeBaron, and Joel Franklin LeBaron

Fundamentalist ideologies can be thought of as mental parasites.

A parasite does not usually kill the host it inhabits, as it is critically dependent on it for survival. Instead, it feeds off it and changes its behavior in ways that benefit its own existence” 

Bobby Azarian, Ph.D.
Mind In The Machine
How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain | Psychology Today

https://www.psychologytoday.com/…/how-religious-fundamentalism-hijacks-the-brain

The LeBaron Story (2) and Maud’s Story (3) are Mexico-LeBaron revisionist, whitewashed chronicles published to mislead unaware people in order to convert new members to the late Joel F. LeBaron’s Mormon fundamentalist “Church of the Firstborn” —

— which really was Joel’s and Ervil’s “Church” — largely Ervil’s brainchild, along with a rich spattering of other Fundi groups’ dogma; including that of their bright brother Wesley’s original ideas which Joel stole, said Wesley (4), to create his own “Church of the Firstborn.”

Joel never gave his brother Wesley nor other fundamentalist groups credit for their ideas that he used to help create his own church.

But, because it was so obvious to those who had been there from the start, Joel ultimately HAD to admit he could not have gotten his Church off the ground or gained converts were it NOT for his brother Ervil’s ideas, power, and input — his writing and publishing “Priesthood Expounded” and other pamphlets;
and otherwise being Joel’s mouthpiece — “like Aaron was to Moses”!

That’s why Joel would NEVER stand up to Ervil and what he was doing:
He knew his “church” only existed, thanks to Ervil’s brains, writing, knowledge of the Scriptures, leadership, preaching talents, motivation, love of power, charisma, cons, schematics, and more!

Contrary to what The LeBaron Story and Maud’s Story would have you believe (so as to make Joel and his father Dayer look like Prophets), it was“Ervil who wrote “Priesthood Expounded”—NOT Joel!

Ervil consorted some with Joel. But Ervil was the family Scriptorian, writer, and aggressor—Joel’s eighteen-months-younger brother and rival — who always took away from Joel “everything he ever started or got,” said Joel … though Ervil had about three years less formal education than his 18-month older brother Joel.
(Ervil left school in 9th grade, at age fifteen. Joel graduated from High School — 12th grade.)

Ervil did the legwork to find the Scriptures and Info needed to back up Joel’s claim to priesthood authority — and to create a dogma for their new sect … and to take over his weaker brother Joel’s initiation of a “Church.”

Back in the 1960s, when I was in the LeBaron cult, wise members in “Joel’s church” observed this.

Joel knew the success of his Church was due to Ervil’s intellectual and leadership superiority, writing, and knowledge.

But then, Ervil left all the manual labor and bread-winning chores to his brothers — even let his wife and kids go to pot while he sat about reading, writing, researching, studying Scriptures, preaching, manipulating people, and chewing the rag.

While Ervil used his cunning and conning to get out of work and take over others, Joel and the rest earned their keep by the sweat of their brow; attempting to support their families, though meager it was.

Nevertheless, it’s deceiving to say (as many do) those “Priesthood Expounded” words were Joel’s words! They largely were NOT!

But that’s what modern-day Church-of-the-Firstborners would have you believe … while they include a flood of ERVIL’S dogma in their present-day revised CotFotFoT teachings! LOL/OMG!!.

 Truth is, many of the the CotFotFoT ideas were gleaned from their eldest insane-but-brilliant brother Ben’s church and teachings — that their third eldest sibling Ross Wesley later borrowed and built upon as the basis for his own “priesthood authority” and church. 

(I will post some of my Uncle Ben’s handwritten letters later on in upcoming blogs; then you may compare how similar were their rantings and ravings.)

Joel and Ervil took these two older brothers’ ideas, along with others’ ideas, to form their own church and dogma—but Ervil was “the mouthpiece.”

Joel stood in the background, content to be seen as “God to the people — First Grand Head;” allowing Ervil to take over as “Second Grand Head”:

He knew Ervil would have balked and backed out much sooner, had he tried to stop him from running everything — except to pretend he believed Joel was “The one mighty and strong.”

Judging by how Ervil behaved and what he did, I believe Ervil knew all along Joel was no prophet; just his puppet — knew it was really HE, Ervil, who held “the keys” and was “the OM&S;” that is, he, Ervil Morrell LeBaron, “held the keys to being the OM&S wolf-in-sheep’s-apparel.”

Getting back to the CotFotFoT doctrine, I’d love to know how much, if any of their “priesthood expounded” and other LeBaronism bluff-‘n’-stuff, actually came from their father Dayer LeBaron.

To my knowledge, Grandfather Dayer didn’t record anything in writing. Some OM&S prophet he was!

One of the earliest converts, Noel Pratt, said of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times:

“It is Ervil developing all the doctrines — Ervil in charge of and running everything! It’s Ervil’s Church, not Joel’s!!”

Noel Pratt eventually left the “Cult”/Church of the Firstborn because, after MUCH complaining and many efforts to get Joel to DO something—take CHARGE of Ervil who was running/ruining everything, and pulling shenanigans — he got nowhere!

Joel was living high-up in Mexico’s mountainous Babicora plateaus; scrabble farming, peddling corn, etc., to support his quickly-expanding family: Now that he was “the prophet,” he had no trouble getting seven wives in a hurry!

He had no trouble avoiding his brother “Evil Ervil,” either, codependent though he was as long as he stayed up that treacherous mountain trail; while he let Ervil do Ervil’s treacherous things down below — just what “little-BIG brother” wanted!

The treachery included Ervil’s totally neglecting his wife Delfina and his many children, while he ran the show in the LeBaron colony/”Zion” … where “the Prophet Joel” SHOULD have been!!

Instead, Ervil was running everything “down below” like HE was the “profit,” and God to the people — as he towered above us, at 6-foot-six, in his mighty, manipulative boots.

(His side-kick Bill Tucker, eleven years Ervil’s junior, stood beside e-Vile-Ervil, at 5-foot-six, in boots — “Puss in boots”! They made quite a contrast — quite a pair! We referred to them as “the little giant” and “the big giant.”)

I well remember those beginning years when the CotFotFoT was getting off the ground: I had been an astute young observer and writer living in Colonia LeBaron from 1960 to 1967; in 1957, when I was eleven, my family and I were baptized into that cult.

I saw and heard plenty from Ervil then. Not only was he my Mother’s brother, and living near us in Colonia LeBaron; but during the years 1962 to 1967, my husband Bill was Ervil’s best buddy. He, William Preston Tucker, and Ervil were practically inseparable!

Bill spent countless hours helping Ervil edit Priesthood Exounded,” among other works they turned out together.

Except for maybe two or three pieces, everything in print that came out of the CotFotFoT during those years, and somewhat earlier, was written by Bill/William P. Tucker and Ervil M. LeBaron.

To make it look like they were doing better than they were as a church, Bill and Ervil put other’s names on their various articles — even said Stephen Silver was the Editor — their inside joke. But Steve was generally nowhere in town when their pieces went to print. I’m speaking of The Ensign,” etc.

Suffice it to say, The Mexico-LeBarons didn’t have to wait for the destructions they proclaimed were going to hit the United States:
The destructions were already ping-ponging aplenty right in their OWN back yard; but most members chose to overlook it!

TheeVile/Evil-Ervil” of the 1960’s was but a fore-runner of what was to come.

(1). *messianic: adjective (mes·​si·​an·​ic | \ ˌme-sē-ˈa-nik  \Definition of messianic:
1: of or relating to a messiah — this messianic kingdom
2: marked by idealism and an aggressive crusading spirit — messianic zeal/on a messianic mission

(2) * See my “Review of Verlan LeBaron and Esther LeBaron Spencer’s The LeBaron Story ” found in my Posts and at this link: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/stephanyspencer.com/44566

(3) *See: my “Review of Charlotte LeBaron’s Maud’s Story, ” found in my Menu’s Posts and at this link: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/stephanyspencer.com/6393

(4). check out Ross Wesley leBaron’s “Holy Order” page on Facebook
~NOTE: skirt through the posts till you find Dale Van atta’s 1977 interview of Ross Wesley leBaron listed in this site:

https://www.facebook.comHoly Order ›  Ross LeBaron and the Church of the First Born … In 1943, Ross Wesley LeBaron published a pamphlet identifying the seven… ….. Esther Melita [Johnson], married David Tully LeBaronSr. and they lived in …



Pt 34-D:
The Mexico LeBarons and
Their Messianic Missions

Benjamin F. Johnson, Joseph Smith’s brother-in-law, confidant, and early Mormon pioneer

“One cannot change
what one refuses to look at.
Understanding their point of view,
their position,
and how they got that way
is a beginning.”
REBECCA KIMBEL

My uncle Joel Franklin LeBaron wasn’t much different from his father Alma Dayer who, before him, claimed to be the one mighty and strong/OM&S/Patriarch over the whole earthGod’s mouthpiece to the people/The greatest man on earth —
Or whatever each claimant chose to call his position: Grandpa and his seven sons interchanged different terms to state basically the same message: “I am Number One.”

But Grandfather Dayer LeBaron, in all his years, couldn’t get himself and HIS own family off the ground, let alone “prepare the way for one of his sons to be the OM&S/God to the people.

He was too mentally challenged, for starters. For finishers: It was a megalomaniac (2) chore!

Ultimately, all my grandfather and his sons brought about was more Mormon fundamentalist splinter groups and colonies — And DESTRUCTION within his family, extended family, and the world!

That’s pretty much the same story for his son Joel Franklin LeBaron who ultimately claimed his father Dayer passed on to him, just before he died, his OM&S “scepter of power.”

Dayer claimed to have gotten the scepter of power from his grandfather Benjamin Franklin Johnson who, he said, got it from Joseph Smith … to whom he, Benjamin F. Johnson, was sealed as a son … they say.

But if this were the case, why didn’t wise, reliable, successful B.F. Johnson mention something so important in his autobiography, My Life’s Review?

If the “Scepter of Power”/”The Mantle” was supposed to be passed from father to son, why did BFJ pass this mantle to a somewhat derelict, divorced, outcast grandson; NOT to one of his OWN many amazing, strong sons? (He had seven wives and umpteen children.) It all sounds/smells pretty fishy to me!

Many families and lives have been destroyed or ruined at the hands of the Mexico-LeBaron cults and their fishy tales!

My life was ruined because of them … and Mormonism/fundamentalism; started by Joe Smith.

Therefore, if my blogs keep one person from ending up in a LeBaron or any other cult, it will have been worth my time to articulate and publish my most miserable experiences in Mormon fundamentalist cults.

The Mexico-LeBarons couldn’t save themselves, let alone help the Lamanites/ indigenous Mexican people “blossom as the rose” [one of their many claims] —

— let alone prepare God’s chosen people for Christ’s second return by setting up for the Saints a gathering place/Zion to save the world in the last days … “just before Armageddon sets in”—or the sky falls!!
It was purely delusional thinking!

The “One Mighty and Strong” Prophet/Profit/Patriarch lore, including preparing a gathering place/Zion in Mexico in the Rocky Mountains, was first told to me in 1957-1958, by my mother Esther LeBaron-McDonald Spencer — as it was supposedly told to her around 100 years ago by her father and OM&S/ Patriarch/”God to the people” brothers.

Mother’s second-youngest brother Floren LeBaron was still claiming, till his dying day, February 17, 2019—two months short of age 92:

“This angel TOLD my father to go to Mexico and raise his family THERE because he had a SPECIAL work to do in THAT land!

“Benjamin F. Johnson [Floren’s Great-grandfather] told MY father ‘from this day fwd the great things to transpire portending to the kingdom of God would transpire to the south — would take place in Mexico.’ “

COMMENTARY: I would like to have told Uncle Floren:
Piss or get off the pot! Wake up and smell the coffee! You’ve got to get real and get with it! Irrational dogma keeps you in a brainwashed, mind-controlled fog!

Since that “Angel” and your Great-grandpa Benjamin F. Johnson supposedly told your father what to do, around 125 years ago, all I’ve seen, of much consequence in Mexico and Colonia LeBaron, is the rise of the drug cartels …

And “the gathering place”/Zion change OVER TEN times since your father Dayer LeBaron started “LeBaronism;” and first supposedly said “This is the place… Then was followed by his boys/your brothers Ben, Wesley, Joel, Ervil, YOU, and Verlan who each also said “This is the place” … then kept CHANGING the place!

 So much for Grandpa Dayer LeBaron’s vision he had over a hundred years ago that foretold, among other things, “the GREAT future of Mexico — and the GREAT DISTRUCTION of the United States!”

Reality is: If the U.S.A. falls, Mexico goes with it!

In fact, where would the LeBarons and even Mexico be today, were it not for the hard-working United States andthe wicked-worldly people/The Beast” providing them jobs and all else?!

So much for the Messianic, doomsday, LeBaronite message that has only created a gathering of frightened, worried, religious warriors willing to fight for right; and gather to a safe haven—in MEXICO … or Central America … or South America … or Canada … Just so it’s in the Rocky Mountain Range … or NOT!

As it turns out, the Mexico-LeBarons didn’t have to wait for the destructions they proclaimed were going to hit the United States:
The destructions were already hitting BIG-TIME, right there in their OWN back yard, a la “eVile/Evil-Ervil” … and more.

“Oh, but that’s to be expected,” goes the glittering generality:The devil fights the truth, you know!”
No matter what happens or doesn’t happened in their “True Church,” they always blame it on Satan:
“He’s trying to thwart the work of God.”

Said Uncle Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr., in 1977: (3)
This is going on in the LeBaron family particularly because we are, definitely, the patriarchal family of the line of the Prophet Joseph Smith.”

(1) messianic: adjective (mes·​si·​an·​ic | \ ˌme-sē-ˈa-nik  \Definition of messianic:
1: of or relating to a messiah — this messianic kingdom
2: marked by idealism and an aggressive crusading spirit — messianic zeal/on a messianic mission1

(2) Definition of megalomania

(2) 1:  A mania (see MANIA sense 2a) for great or grandiose performance.
2:  A delusional mental illness that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur

3- See:Ross LeBaron: Interview to Dale Van Atta, 1977

4-One of my uncle Floren’s daughters-in-law told me Floren NEVER claimed to be a prophet!! In fact, she said (I’m paraphrasing):

“A while back, around 15 men camped on his doorstep for days, imploring him to take up the mantle that was now rightly his and lead them!

But Floren simply kept telling them he didn’t have any special appointed priesthood mantle/”scepter of power,” and never did!

“They eventually picked up their bed rolls, knapsacks, and selves, and went disappointedly on their way!”


Pt 34-E:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button! Who’s Got the Button?

My great-great-grandfather Benjamin Franklin Johnson/BFJ, Mormon Pioneer, Patriarch, and Prophet Joseph Smith’s Power of Attorney

“And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre [sic] of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words;
while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.”
Doctrine and Covenants, 84:7, 8.
~Joseph Smith

Continued from “Pt 34-D:
The Mexico-LeBarons and Their Messianic Missions:”
Mama said, as per her father Alma Dayer LeBaron’s dead grandfather BFJ coming to him in the middle of the night as a resurrected being, awakening him, and giving him the scepter of power:

“My father could feel his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson’s hand upon his shoulder as plain as day.

The grip was so strong he could still feel his grandfather’s hand there the following morning, though his grandfather had long since left.”

This yarn has become more convoluted, confounded, and embellished with each passing decade … and each significant person who tells the tale of the LeBaron lore.

In Aunt Charlotte Kunz LeBaron’s compilation of Maud’s Story, she NOW has Grandmama Maud claiming B.F. Johnson actually gave this scepter of power/mantle to her husband, my grandpa Dayer, before he died! How strange! Fundi stories DO change!!

In my youth, I looked forward to Sunday when Daddy finished the newspaper, then tossed me the “Sunday Funnies.” Now I find the “Fundi Funnies” nearly as funny!

My G.G. Grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson’s immediate progeny say, in writing, their father/grandfather never, EVER mentioned having a scepter of power passed on to him from the Prophet Joseph Smith before he died! They never heard of ANY such claims from their father/grandfather BFJ!

In Benjamin F. Johnson’s autobiography My Life’s Review, he never mentions a word about having a special “scepter of power”/”mantle” passed on to him by Joseph Smith — though he mentions MANY great responsibilities and missions he carried out for the Prophets Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, et Al!

I first heard the “OM&S/ BFJ/Scepter of Power” story around 1957, when I was eleven years old — shortly after Uncle Joel LeBaron visited my parents and convinced Ma/his sister Esther an angel had come to him and ordained him to be the “one mighty and strong” prophet.

At that time, he was claiming he became “The One Mighty and Strong” prophet when an angel visited him while he was up in a cave in the mountains near Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico, fasting and praying in order to learn what part, if any, he played in his father’s (supposedly) saying one of his sons would be the OM&S to carry-on in his place, and prepare the world for Christ’s second coming.

How THAT story has changed—been revised since 1960 when, shortly after my family and I gathered to “Zion/Colonia LeBaron, my young Aunt Gayla, one of Uncle Joel’s wives, related to me how her husband/my uncle became “the one mighty and strong.”
(To be continued)


Pt 34-F:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button! Who’s Got the Button?

Alma Dayer LeBaron’s second-oldest son Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr, Mormon fundamentalist and “Religion Maker:” founder of “The Holy Order and The Church of the Firstborn”
(Jan. 1984 Photo taken by/Courtesy of Tom Green)

My brother Joel helped me set up the church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times in 1955.

“He agreed to work under my direction until the coming of the mighty and strong spoken of in the 85th section of the Doctrine and Covenants.

“About a few weeks after the incorporation was set up and we’d done some advertising, he said he was “the mighty and strong” and our agreement was now broke.

“So he went to Mexico and Ervil was his main help, then, because he wasn’t up to the job.

Joel was my worst enemy!

The History and Teachings of Ross W. LeBaron:
Interview to Dale Van Atta, 1977 [1]

Continued from “Pt 34-E:
The Mexico-LeBarons:
Button, Button! Who’s Got the Button?”

Up until Mother’s Brother Joel LeBaron began claiming he was “The One Mighty and Strong,” Mother never said a thing about her father Dayer having any “scepter of power.”

She says it wasn’t till around 1949, after hearing her brother Ross Wesley preaching about it, that she began giving any credence at all to her pa’s claims of having a “special priesthood power and calling.”

“Soon after Wesley’s speech,” Mother said, “I questioned Pa about it. He told me he did INDEED have a special mantle—was INDEED set apart to do a great work in this world!”

*(Mental Institutions are full of people with these same claims; yet, some people take their word for it, and follow them as “profits.”)

Mother was around thirty when her crack-pot pa supposedly informred her he HAD been set aside to do a special work in this world.

Yet, somehow, Mother’s older brothers, especially Wesley, had apparently grown up hearing from their father he, Dayer, was anointed/appointed by his grandfather B.F. Johnson to carry on a special priesthood mantle or calling.

It included raising his family in Mexico to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ—“because Christ’s second coming was going to happen very SOON … in God’s chosen land: Mexico.”

Side note: That proclamation and warning was over 100 years ago! So much for the threat that the end of the world was imminent; ie, coming “practically immediately” … so they’d better flee to Mexico, the land of refuge!

These kinds of “sky is falling” claims have been going on LONG before the “Chicken Little” fairy tale was created; or writing was invented.

They don’t seem to be going away any time soon — because it’s true:
OUR sky IS “falling;” i.e., we begin dying from the moment we’re born! We all age and die, but the world continues on.

The Mexico-LeBaron lore goes:
“Benjamin F. Johnson told our father he was to raise his sons in Mexico as part of a great work he had been set apart to do in the last days.”

I don’t know how many of these rivalrous, grandiose tales developed AFTER Grandpa Dayer died in 1951 — tales of a pontiff-like position of exclusive direction of God’s work — God’s kingdom on Earth — developed first by my mentally-off Grandpa, then by his insane son Ben;

Then, added upon by delusional Uncle Wesley; then by his younger brother, copy-cat Joel … who got many of his ideas from his older brothers, especially Ross Wesley Sr.

I only know Ma was my mother; but she and the Mexico-LeBarons were fabricators and prevaricators.

If Grandpa Dayer was, indeed, as the story presently goes, ordained by his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson to carry-on “the scepter of power/the Johnson Mantle,” then there’s some BIG-TIME explaining to do! I’ll tell why in the next blog.

[1] https://holyorder.org/2017/08/26/ross-lebaron-interview-to-dale-van-atta-1977/

Year of Polygamy Podcast

AUGUST 14, 2018ANTÔNIO TREVISAN TEIXEIRA

In the latest episode of the Year of Polygamy podcast, ANTÔNIO TREVISAN TEIXEIRA (Scholar and Historian/Researcher) was interviewed by Lindsay Hansen Park about Ross LeBaron and his Church of the Firstborn. Listen to this very interesting Podcast Interview at the following link:
https://www.yearofpolygamy.com/year-of-polygamy/episode-160-ross-lebaron-and-the-church-of-the-first-born/


“Pt 34-G:
The Mexico-LeBarons:
Button, Button!
Who’s Got the Button?”


Incest-Polygamist/Pedo-Plyg Cousin Ross Wesley LeBaron, Jr. with wife Diana Leany [1]
Cousin Owen LeBaron, and (?)

“POLYGAMY:
 Paid for primarily by your tax dollars!”
~Rebecca Kimbel

“Religions are the smelters and founders of imagination.

The more any religion’s imagination—Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim [Mormon], Buddhist—is shaped in an isolated bubble, or in a dark cave, the more its imagination is likely to sale off in dangerous directions.

People who are connected to the world and exposed to different cultures and perspectives are far more likely to develop the imagination of “11-9” — The world of “Strategic Optimists.”

People who are feeling disconnected, for whom personal freedom and fulfillment are utopian fantasy, are more likely to develop the imagination of 9/11.
Thomas L. Friedman
The World Is Flat:
 
A Brief History of the 21st-Century

Continued from “Pt 34-F:
The Mexico-LeBarons:
Button, Button!
Who’s Got the Button?”

I left off in the last blog saying:
IF Grandpa Dayer was, as the story goes, ordained by his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson to carry-on “the scepter of power/the Johnson Mantle,” then there’s some real explaining to do—and not only when it comes to BFJ:

On the one hand, Grandfather Dayer” had supposedly received the scepter of power, so HE was, therefore, the Pontiff—Head of God’s kingdom on earth: The one mighty and strong come to set the house of God in order.”

On the other hand, during his whole life he did little, to speak of, with this special anointing or mantle except talk about it!

Then, shortly before he died, at age 65, he supposedly passed his mantle/”scepter of power” down to only one of his sons!

But, wouldn’t you know it?
ALL Grandfather’s seven sons by my grandma Maud claimed (at one time or another) to hold their father Dayer’s supposed scepter of power/Johnson Mantle!

Most of them claimed their father passed it on to them, exclusively, when he, Dayer, died– just whichever son proved worthy enough was the son to whom Grandpa (supposedly) gave his special Pontiff position/Priesthood! (If that doesn’t beat all!) [3]

But what’s worse, during the time-period around 1971-1972, Dayer’s sons Ben, Ross Wesley, Sr., Joel, and Ervil were ALL claiming, concurrantly, to be SOLE heir to Joseph Smith’s “keys to the kingdom”/ the scepter of power/the Johnson mantle.

(The Mexico-LeBarons used multiple names and titles to describe this “special position of priesthood power.”)

But, to make matters worse, Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr.’s oldest son, Ross Wesley LeBaron Jr. ALSO claimed — concurrently with Dayer’s four sons mentioned above — to be God’s sole mouthpiece on earth, the Pontiff — the Patriarchial heir to Joseph Smith’s mantle! [2]

I believe cousin Owen LeBaron (lifespan: 1918-1975) was also claiming, concurrently with the above five LeBarons, to be the “One Mighty and Strong”!

If that be the case, that makes at least six LeBarons claiming, at the same time, to be successor to Joseph Smith’s mantle; ie, the Pontiff — the OM&S — the sole heir to Joseph Smith’s keys to the kingdom of God on earth!

So, Button, button: Who DID get that button?
Seems to me the “button” they got passed down to them was INSANITY.

Sadly, Bipolar Disease is the “MANTLE /“Mental” my Grandpa Dayer LeBaron and Great-great-grandpa Benjamin F. Johnson unwittingly passed on to their progeny!

Only in delusion, illusion, or dishonesty does one claim to be “The One Mighty & Strong” — God’s one-and-only representative and mouthpiece to His people on earth!

(Continued in next blog.)

[1] https://holyorder.org/2017/08/26/ross-lebaron-interview-to-dale-van-atta-1977/

Year of Polygamy Podcast

[2]. AUGUST 14, 2018ANTÔNIO TREVISAN TEIXEIRA

In the latest episode of the Year of Polygamy podcast, ANTÔNIO TREVISAN TEIXEIRA (Scholar and Historian/Researcher) was interviewed by Lindsay Hansen Park about Ross LeBaron and his Church of the Firstborn. Listen to this very interesting Podcast Interview at the following link:
https://www.yearofpolygamy.com/year-of-polygamy/episode-160-ross-lebaron-and-the-church-of-the-first-born/

[3]. One concerned member of my extended family sent me this elequent bequest:

“Maybe you could add that Floren really was quite different from his other brothers?
He NEVER tried to usurp “the Johnson mantle” or take any praise, recognition, or honor to himself — or seek a following. 

Floren could have started a church or picked up the COTFB [Church of the First born] and taken off with it. He didn’t!

Over the 25 years he was my father-in-law, I saw men come and go who would have loved to start it up with him, who tried to get him to do baptism, ordinances, marriage sealings, and confer priesthood. But he never would! He severely rebuked them for even asking him to.

Once, when discussing religion with a group of several men who had come from Chihuahua and the USA to visit him, as they were pressing him to take the lead in starting a “Bishop’s storehouse” and United Order, he stood up at his kitchen table where they were seated and slammed both fists down hard, and said:

“I’D RATHER BE SHOT AT SUNRISE THAN TO TAKE A STEP IN THAT DIRECTION WITHOUT A “THUS SAITH THE LORD!”

He was such an honorable man. People can be 100% convicted, dedicated, and completely sincere; and still be completely wrong. Consider the Muslims.”

*My Rebuttal:
I respect your sentiments, but need to point out Floren was around 67 years old when you married his son, around 50 before you were even born; and I was around 30; 9 years old when my parents started investigating Joel’s “Church;” 11 when they joined it.

MUCH water and many changes had flown beneath the bridge by the time you entered upon the Mexico-LeBaron religion-making scene.

I recall when Uncle Floren (years before you were born) broke away from Uncle Verlan’s group and formed a gathering place of his own — because he believed the others weren’t doing it right … and HE knew how it should be done and carried out.

But somewhere along the line — perhaps in his failure to build a stable following and stronghold, and his losing a number of wives in his attempt to create a new gathering place/Zion — he took a different bend … an honorable turn in the road; the one you knew and loved so much.

I hate to be “The Bad-News Bear-er,” but here’s another discrepancy in the Church of the Firstborn lore:

Floren’s taking Joel to “Farmington Canyon, Utah,” etc., was never heard of between 1955 and 1967 — the years I was affiliated with the CotFotFoT.

It’s part of the revised version/the re-written story of how “Joel said” he was appointed to be the “one mighty and strong.”

In other words, you grew up with the revamped CotFotFoT’s so-called “documented history.”

People who were there at the start of the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times, yet refute what I’ve said, are part of the fabrication-factory — the spin mill that has colluded to white-wash the LeBaron story; ie, remake the history of the Church of the Frstborn!

There’s more on this topic in my previous blogs … and blogs to come. Meanwhile, people must do their own reading and much research.

But, sadly, most people believe what they want to believe; read and listen only to what agrees with what they believe.


Pt 34-H:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button:

Who’s Got the Button?

Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr., age 24ish, with first wife Thelma Cox and daughter Elena (Courtesy of “Family Search” and Mary Bonnelle Taylor)

“I hold the patriarchal keys of Joseph Smith’s house. My mother’s still alive and she never favored me.

“My father gave me these keys and told me to go ahead with the patriarchal work in his stead. I have two witnesses.” [1]

Continued from part 34-G:
I left off in the last blog saying: All my grandfather’s seven sons by Grandma Maud McDonald LeBaron expected/wanted/claimed, at one time or another, to hold their father Dayer’s supposed “scepter of power” — in other words, “the right to rule the world”!

Most of them claimed their father passed this “right” — the right of the Firstborn/ the Johnson mantle/the patriarchal keys of Joseph Smith’s house/ “the keys” — on to them, exclusively, when he, Dayer, died–
– just whichever son proved worthy enough was the son Grandpa supposedly gave his special priesthood keys to — his scepter of power! (If that doesn’t beat all!) [2]

Yet, none of his sons knew for sure to whom, if anyone, their father had passed this special “Priesthood Power” — “the Johnson mantle”! (LOL!) Joel had to go pray about it to find out!

His sons by his ex-wives Barbara Bailey and Onie Jones got “left out” … no doubt ’cause Onie and Barbara divorced him though Ma did say her pa told his contending sons he might even decide to make his oldest son Adrian (Barbara Bailey’s son) heir to his scepter of power!

What?! Oh, sure! And how was he to do that? For starters, Grandpa Dayer had, had NO contact with his firstborn son in umpteen years!

For finishers, he had enough trouble with one of his sons (Floren?) placing his incapacitated hands upon even ONE son’s head, so as to pass on his “Mantle” … before passing on, himself.

Making things more convolutedly crazy: At one time, Grandfather Dayer AND his mentally-deranged son Ben — for a number of years BOTH claimed, concurrently, to be “The one mighty and strong prophet”/ “God’s mouthpiece on earth”/The Pontiff come to set the house of God in order and prepare the way for the second coming of Christ”!
(Cont. in next week’s blog.)

[1] https://holyorder.org/2017/08/26/ross-lebaron-interview-to-dale-van-atta-1977/

Year of Polygamy Podcast

AUGUST 14, 2018ANTÔNIO TREVISAN TEIXEIRA

In the latest episode of the Year of Polygamy podcast, ANTÔNIO TREVISAN TEIXEIRA (Scholar and Historian/Researcher) was interviewed by Lindsay Hansen Park about Ross LeBaron and his Church of the Firstborn. Listen to this very interesting Podcast Interview at the following link:
https://www.yearofpolygamy.com/year-of-polygamy/episode-160-ross-lebaron-and-the-church-of-the-first-born/

Pt 34-I:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button:

Who’s Got the Button?

Continued from “Pt 34-H:
The Mexico-LeBarons:
Button, Button!
Who’s Got the Button?”

Hangdog-faced Pedo-plyg Alex Joseph with his 12-year-old child bride—part of his harem [1]

“I was once the world’s greatest polygamist and I got cut out by Alex Joseph. He is smarter than I am. He’s got more wives than I have … He’s in the herb business … Ginseng …”
Ross Wesley LeBaron [2]

I left off in “Pt 34-H” saying: For a number of years, my Schizo-compromised Grandpa Dayer [3] AND his Dementia-praecox-challenged son Ben [4] BOTH claimed, concurrently, to be “The one mighty and strong prophet” — “God’s mouthpiece on earth” — The Pontiff come to set the house of God in order and prepare the way for the second coming of Christ”!

Seems they both had HUGE control issues—needed to be in control of everyone and everything … a common factor among the “One Mighty and Strong” self-proclaimed prophets … and people raised in dysfunctional families.


Whatever the case, somebody’s got some BIG-TIME explaining to do! The more I dredge up from my memory bank fabricated lore spun by some of my Mexico-LeBaron extended-family, the more I realize how crack-pot crazy it all is/was—how delusional some of them are/were!

The popular definition of “Crazy:”
Continuing to repeat something that never worked the first time.

There are members of my Mexico-LeBaron family, extended family, and friends who STILL cling to and pass down the spin that says they are the greatest people on earth-God’s patriarchal family set apart to rule the world; and to prepare a gathering place for the Saints and Christ’s second coming.

By now, it’s clear to me: In order to follow ANY form of LeBaron-ism [5], people must be mind-controlled, brainwashed, or hard-up for someone to follow and an explanation for the meaning of life.

[1]. Pedophilia (alternatively spelt paedophilia) is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescentchildren. 

Although girls typically begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11, and boys at age 11 or 12, criteria for pedophilia extend the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13. A person must be at least 16 years old, and at least five years older than the prepubescent child, for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia.

[2] https://holyorder.org/2017/08/26/ross-lebaron-interview-to-dale-van-atta-1977/

[3] Schizophrenia and its Sympotons:

[4]. Dementia praecox (a “premature dementia” or “precocious madness”) is a disused psychiatric diagnosis that originally designated a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiksuidqv3hAhVaHzQIHdJQAisQFjACegQICxAK&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FDementia_praecox&usg=AOvVaw2ob28xwoQNMpEVo7W3zAZq

Deseret News:
Some LeBaron Kin Inherited Mental Illness:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=336&dat=19871022&id=rT5TAAAAIBAJ&sjid=R4QDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2554,2634538

[5]. LeBaronism:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjJ9oDJsf3hAhWBA3wKHeR8C9QQFjANegQIBBAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fscholarsarchive.byu.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D6227%26context%3Detd&usg=AOvVaw3vXRbls3V5Do2jgDpszSL0

Year of Polygamy:
Episode 76: The LeBarons


Pt 34-J:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button!

Who’s Got the Button?

My Grandpa Alma Dayer LeBaron’s five youngest sons, “The Mexico-LeBaron Boys:” Left to right: Floren, Alma, Verlan, Joel, and Ervil

“Now, I don’t go along with either Joel’s movement or Verlan’s movement or Ervil’s; and now there’s a Floren, another brothren, and he’s trying to start a movement.”
Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr.
(Alma Dayer LeBaron’s second-oldest son) [1]

I mentioned in an earlier blog that, at one time, and for a number of years, my grandfather Dayer AND his oldest son/my Uncle Ben BOTH claimed concurrently to be “The one mighty and strong prophet”/ “God’s mouthpiece on earth” come to set the house of God in order and prepare the way for the second coming of Christ” !

My Uncle Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr., Grandpa Dayer’s second oldest son, was, apparently, also claiming to be the greatest man in the world — concurrently with his father Dayer and older brother Ben.

In an essay my Uncle Floren LeBaron wrote Aug. 7, 1998, he stated:

“Wes” was making claims along this line by 1950 — claims that his father Dayer had given him, Ross Wesley, the ‘Right of the Firstborn;’ i.e., ordained him, in 1950, to the highest office, that of Patriarch and heir to Joseph Smith’s patriarchal keys!” [1]

It’s said the nuts don’t fall far from the tree! All the contention, rivalry, changing stories, Royal titles, lies, and lore is enough to drive ME nuts! I’ll let you unravel any rationality to their claims … if you feel a need to score!

I have oral testimonies (recorded in 2002) of my Alzheimeric Mother, Esther LeBaron Spencer, at age 80.5, stating her father “DID” give the “Johnson Mantle” to Joel!

In that oral testimony, Ma also claimed her pa passed it on to Joel just hours before he, Dayer, “passed on.”

She claims her pa’s atrophied hands were EVEN placed upon Joel’s head and held there by … was it Floren?

But that’s as credible as believing what “that angel” told Grandfather Dayer — or believing Aunt Lucinda’s illiterate nine-year-old so-called “witnesses” who, says Ma,were hangin’ around at that time … kept tryin’ to peek in the door to see what was goin’ on”!

However, contrary to Ma’s above testimony, I have the recently-recorded oral testimony of one of those then nine-year-old “wittnesses” of Lucinda’s:

He says his grandpa Dayer’s hands were NOT laid on Joel’s head while he was “giving Joel the Johnson mantle”!

But it’s very questionable whether Dayer ever passed his “Johnson Mantle” on to his son Joel. There are witnesses from back then who say Joel wasn’t around during the time of his father’s demise.

And that Grandma Maud cried that Joel must be crazy, like his brother Ben, if he, too, was claiming to be the One Mighty and Strong!

I’ll wrap up this modern-day LeBaron power debate, and the rehashing of stuff mentioned in earlier blogs, by saying:
This above story is different from anything I heard during my years in the LeBaron cult — years extending from 1956 to 1967.

It’s not my purpose to verify “Who got the Johnson mantle/Who’s got the button?” My purpose is to state MY “testimony:”
Their stories changed over the years!

(Cont. in next week’s blog.)

[1] https://holyorder.org/2017/08/26/ross-lebaron-interview-to-dale-van-atta-1977/


Pt 34-K:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button!

Who’s Got the Button?

Musician, Writer, and Mormon Fundi,
Esther LeBaron-McDonald Spencer

“Whether your memoir ever gets published isn’t finally the point. There are many good reasons for writing that have nothing to do with getting published.

Whatever we call the form–autobiography, memoir, personal history, Family history–writing about one’s life is a powerful human need.

“Writers are the custodians of memory, and memories have a way of dying with their owner.

” If it’s a family history, it will have the further value of telling your children and grandchildren who they are and what heritage they come from. Trust the process, and the product.”

Writing About Your Life:
A Journey Into the Past
William Zinsser

In “Pt 34-J, I said it’s questionable whether Grandpa Dayer LeBaron passed his “Johnson Mantle” on to his middle, non-scholarly son Joel: Some witnesses said Joel wasn’t even around during his father’s demise.

Aunt Irene Kunz LeBaron/Spencer said she heard Grandma Maud exclaim — when Maud first heard her son Joel was claiming to be “The One Mighty and Strong” — “Joel must be crazy, like his brother Ben, if he’s also claiming to be the One Mighty and Strong!”

The above two paragraphs are samples of the early-history underpinnings of “The Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Time’s.”

But my comments on the Mexico-LeBaron power debates are mostly rehashing stuff I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs: Namely, the present-day Mexico-LeBaron history and dogma has been enhanced, revised, and rewritten.

In other words, important parts of today’s LeBaron story and religious teachings are not what I saw and heard during 1956–1967 — the time period I was in the LeBaron cult.

During those early years, I wittnessed the LeBaron teachings and story change sometimes daily.

Now, almost 65 years since Joel and his cohorts started his “church” in 1955, the present-day LeBaron story and beliefs have been white-washed and cleaned up a lot; so they sound more sophisticated, believable, and palatable.

But it’s not my purpose to prove anything to “true believers” and the present-day LeBaron progeny and followers. Nor am I writing to try to verify “Who got the Johnson mantle/Who’s got the button?” I’m simply recording MY testimony:
The LeBaron stories changed over the years.


My mother played the biggest hand in changing the “LeBaron story.” She not only created some of it, herself:
She put it in writing for posterity and future LeBaronism investigators to read.

Most think it’s veracity. Consequently, The LeBaron Story and Maud’s Story (both books contain much material written by Ma) are the only recorded early histories of the Mexico-LeBarons. So the only story the new generations know or have access to.

People tend to believe what they see in writing. That adds a much greater punch to the modern-day LeBaron cults’ beliefs; there now being a number of LeBaron-cult splinter groups.

Not only is much of Mother’s revisionist history in the books The LeBaron Story and Maud’s Story: She also wrote much of the “CotFotFoT” Lit used to this day. (Her name is often not on her material.)

Mother credited many of her writings to such fictitious authors as her ex-son-in-law and beau (ex-husband?) Sigfried Widmar; and her brother, the self-proclaimed Prophet Joel LeBaron. She did it to gain points and power with them and others; and to “help the work of the Lord grow.”

To beef-up her revisionisms, Mother (Esther LeBaron Spencer) typed up letters she says she transcribed from hand-written letters her mother/Grandma Maud wrote — letters wherein her ma Maud supposedly testified as to whom her husband Dayer gave the Johnson mantle. Wow! That’s a new one on me!

Let it be known, for the record:
I’d insist on seeing Grandma’s original, hand-written letters! Not Mother’s typewritten version—even if she had her mother Maud sign them!

I knew Mother to change and revise things to fit her stories; and to impress others by making things sound better — and Grandma Maud backed her up. In their humble Machiavellian opinion, “The ends justified the means.”


Pt 34-L:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button!
Who’s Got the Button?


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ben-lebaron.jpg
My Brilliant Uncle Ben Gone Bonkers

Instrumental:
A memoir of madness, medication, and music
James Rhodes

In blog “Pt 34-J,” I discussed the novelty of my Grandpa Dayer LeBaron and his son Ben — and probably his son Ross Wesley Sr., too [1] — holding concurrently the Johnson mantle/Right of the Firstborn/OM&S scepter of power.

That’s not only impossible, but bat-shit crazy, I thought … till recently I talked with a Fundi who informed me there are a few Mormon fundamentalists who believe ALL the “keys to the kingdom” can be held — if only in waiting — by a number of men; all at one time!

If that doesn’t beat all, it at least makes possible a few things, in a few Fundies’ eyes, that would be impossible, otherwise. That’s all I care to say on the subject!

In my humble opinion, it’s totally “mental” that Uncle Ben and Uncle Ross Wesley Sr. not only claimed concurrently to be the OM&S; but each also claimed to have gotten their “scepter of power”/patriarchal position from their father who was still living

— and STILL claiming HE, himself, was the ONLY one who held Benjamin F. Johnson’s priesthood mantle/scepter of power/keys to the kingdom; and was, therefore, Joseph Smith’s SOLE patriarchal heir!

But that ain’t the first time there were at least three or more LeBaron “Profits”/Pontiffs claiming the same “scepter of power” — at the same time — in my SAME Mexico-LeBaron family!

Possibly even cousin Owen LeBaron (1918-1975), at one time, was claimng — concurrently with Dayer, Ben, and Ross Wesley Sr. — that he was the only true OM&S/one-of-a-kind “profit” — while claiming ALL the other OM&S Pontiffs were false prophets who should be put to death! (LOL!)

Well, that’s not a laughing matter among “mentals:” Uncle Ross Wesley Sr. said he wasn’t against false prophets — such as his brother Joel (Ross Wesley’s arch enemy) — being put to death! [1]

I mentioned in a previous blog:
At one time, my uncle’s Ben, Ross Wesley Sr., Joel, AND Ervil were ALL FOUR claiming, CONCURRENTLY, that they each held the special OM&S priesthood power …
that THEY each were God’s only mouthpiece to the people; and THAT this position was conferred upon them, EXCLUSIVELY, BY their own father Dayer LeBaron …
who, by that time, had passed on … apparently passed on more than his keys to the kingdom, power, and glory:
He passed on mental illness.

Glory hallelujah, let’s all be saved — Saved from illusions and delusions of grandeur and power!

Mental Institutions abound with miscreants claiming to be God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, the OM&S, Napolean; you name it.

I thank God daily I didn’t inherit this “blessing,” this “scepter of power” — “God-to-the-people” power-syndrome; a narcisistic, megalomaniac need to be “The Only One”/Top Dog — The best of all God’s cretons in His/Her creation.

God help us! It takes a lot of integrity and self-esteem to resist claiming we’re something we’re not.

I love the challenge of being the person I am; being where I am, doing what I am; love being a unique silkworm in metamorphosis, spinning MY silk-thread in the grand tapestry of Life — not lost in trying to be someone I’m not.

(To be continued)

[1] https://holyorder.org/2017/08/26/ross-lebaron-interview-to-dale-van-atta-1977/

Pt 34-M:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button!
Who’s Got the Button?


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is my-uncles-as-young-men.jpg

Pictured are five of the seven “One Mighty & Strong” LeBaron Boys (left to right):
Verlan, Floren, Ervil, Joel, and Alma

“Polygamy:
Where a Prophet/Profit is made
by fleecing his sheep!”
Rebecca Kimbel

Cont. from Pt 34-L:
I left off last week stating:
At one time, my uncle’s Ben, Wesley, Joel, AND Ervil were ALL FOUR claiming, CONCURRENTLY, that they each held the special OM&S priesthood power …

And that THEY each were God to the people — and THAT the scepter of power/Johnson mantle was conferred upon them, alone, BY their father Dayer LeBaron … who, by that time, had passed on — apparently passed on more than his keys to the kingdom, power, and glory:
He passed on mental illness.

But, amazingly, all Mother’s seven brothers OM&S/”God to the people” managed to acquire a following. And so did their sister Esther, my Mother — as sister to the Prophet and “the greatest woman in the world.”

Trouble is, some people don’t recognize insanity when it smacks them square in the face.

What amazes me more is how many people followed these LeBaron Brothers simply because they told them they were “the One Mighty and Strong,” God’s spokesperson on earth; and so on.

My youngest sister, fluent in Spanish, presently works as a Nurse and Interpreter in a mental institution. She says the daily claims of schizophrenics she works with make her feel right to home:

They’re exactly like all the claims of priesthood power, the O.M.& S., etc., I grew up with!” she exclaims.”

She continues:
“I just read your blog [“Pt 34-A”] and want to let you know you did great in explaining the revelations and voices our mother and grandparents would always talk about.

“When I was a child I thought something was wrong with me because I never got visited by an angel or heard any voices from God.”

I witnessed the things my sister mentions, having lived from 1960 to 1967 in Colonia LeBaron, Mexico, the Rocky Mountain Range’s secluded Chihuahuan-desert community where she was born and spent most of her early years.

While living in LeBaron, I also witnessed the Mexico-LeBarons couldn’t lift up nor prepare a gathering place for themselves, to speak of—couldn’t save themselves, let alone the indigenous peoples of Mexico … or anyone else!

Infact, some of the Mexico-LeBarons and their followers were living at the same or lower levels than many of the poorer peoples of Mexico, Central, and South America.

Many indigenous peoples created far better lifestyles than those of my grandfather Dayer LeBaron and his seven “One Mighty and Strong” sons — for all their boast, bravado, and bluff that THEY were God’s patriarchal family; heir to Joseph Smith’s keys to the kingdom.

So were to do a GREAT work among the Lamanites (Indians); and build a gathering place/Zion “to save the world from the coming destructions.”

Truth is, the visionary Mexico-LeBarons not only couldn’t save anyone: Through their activities that included false prophecies, poor leadership, lack of integrity, and a backward lifestyle, they CREATED monumental suffering.

Laws unto themselves, they brought many of the destructions they preached were to come. But what can you expect from “mental” visionaries? [1]

People who come up with preposterous “profit” claims, profit most — and are MOST in need of a Prophet/profit. 

[1] Symptoms of Schizophrenia hosted on YouTube by Psychiatrist David Viscott, M.D. :

Dr. David Viscott Discussing Schizophrenia


Pt 34-N:
The LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button! Who Got the Button?

Five of the seven “Mexico-LeBaron madmen”, Mother’s brothers, who claimed to be “The One Mighty and Strong” at one time or another in their life.
From left to right, my Uncle’s: Ervil, Joel, Verlan, Alma, and Floren LeBaron


“And now, if there are faults,
they are the mistakes of men
.”
The Book of Mormon
~Joseph Smith

In 2016, One of my Uncle Floren LeBaron’s daughters-in-law swore her father-in-law, Floren LeBaron, never claimed to be a prophet! But she doesn’t know the whole story; only what she was told and surmised.

I recall when Uncle Floren started his own movement and gathering places. It was before his above daughter-in-law was born.

Apparently, by the time she joined Floren’s extended family, Uncle Floren — good for him — no longer claimed to be “The One Mighty and Strong,” nor to carry any “keys to the kingdom;” nor the priesthood mantle his father supposedly claimed to hold, and was to pass down to “one” of his sons at his death.

Recently, I spoke with some friends and old-time Fundies. They told me they knew Floren at the time he had a camp of followers in Los Molinos, Mexico; another in South America; and perhaps a third camp in Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico.

They told me Harold Tippits and Ross Jr. (among others I won’t name here), were Floren’s followers, at one time.

Here’s further proof Floren once set up his own “Zion:” Church of the Firstborn (LeBaron order) – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_Firstborn_(LeBaron_order): “Floren LeBaron had helped to form a loosely organized faction recognizing no formal leader.[31]

Also, Uncle Ross Wesley LeBaron Sr. said:
“Now, I don’t go along with either Joel’s movement or Verlan’s movement or Ervil’s; and now there’s a Floren, another brothren, and he’s trying to start a movement.”
(See my blog : “Pt 34-J: The LeBaron Madmen: Button, Button: Who’s Got the Button?”)

Lastly, to cement that Uncle Floren did once claim to be the OM&S, or at least started a movement like that of his other brothers, see Ch. 34 of Irene Spencer’s Cult Insanity, published 2009:
She states:

“The members of the Church of the Firstborn were deeply saddened when Verlan announced at a conference that Floren would no longer be working with his brothers. He had forfeited his position as one of the twelve apostles.

“To this day, Floren believes that he is the only LeBaron brother who can fulfill his father’s prophecy, ‘that through him and his sons, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.’

“He lived in Nicaragua for a couple of years and then moved to southern Mexico near Cancun, where he has been for over twenty-five years.

“He has a few followers, who are awaiting the return of Christ, who believe in his teachings. Five of his wives have left him; nevertheless, he strongly believes he will fulfill the promises and that he will set God’s house in order.”



Pt 34-O:
Great-G-grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson
And Familial Bipolar Disorder

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bf-johnson.jpg

“The First Command was to ‘Multiply.’ The Prophet taught us that Dominion & Power in the great future would be comensurate with the no [number] of ‘Wives, Childin & Friends’ that we inheret here.
And that our great mission to earth was to Organize a Neculi of Heaven to take with us. To the increase of which there would be no end.”
Benjamin F. Johnson
My Life’s Review:
Autobiography of Benjamin F. Johnson

Continued from: “Pt 34-N:
The Mexico-LeBaron Madmen:
Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?

In blogs “Pt 33″ and “Pt 34-A,” I stated incest on my maternal grandfather Alma Dayer LeBaron’s side definitely contributed to the mental illness prevalent in most of my maternal grandparents’ ten children who lived to adulthood!

Grandfather Alma Dayer LeBaron Sr.’s parents were first cousins:
His grandfather Benjamin Franklin Johnson’s seventh wife’s daughter Sarah Jane Johnson married her paternal Aunt Esther Melita Johnson’s son Benjamin Franklin LeBaron—Benjamin Franklin Johnson’s nephew.

In other words, Benjamin F. Johnson’s daughter married his sister’s son. [1]

Recently I read Benjamin F. Johnson’s autobiography “My Life’s Review,” a well-written and interesting history. And a testament to what strong testimony and fortitude can accomplish.

But pertinent to my quest is:
His memoir verifies mental illness ran in the genes of my paternal grandfather Dayer LeBaron’s family tree — as well as in my maternal grandmother Maud’s side.

Many people believe mental illness in the Mexico-LeBaron family was ONLY inherited from Grandmother Maud McDonald’s family tree. Not so!

In Chapter Two of his memoir, BFJ states:
“While in Amherst, at my brother Joel’s, a mania seemed to come over [my brother] Seth, whom we all so dearly loved; and who was regarded by all as a gentleman and a scholar – a pattern for all young men.

“Apparently this was because of his extreme anxiety to see our father converted to the truth and redeemed from his intemperance [alcoholism].

Our first intimation of this mania was the discovery that he had left the house in the night, and when, after anxious searching and waiting for him, he came back about 10 o’clock A.M. next day, his mind in a wild and deranged condition. 

“We found he had traveled near 100 miles in that short period of time.

“He returned home with my father, and remained weakened in mind for a few months, but was the same fall able to come to Ohio, from which place, after a short stay, I accompanied him home, after which he became to all appearance perfectly sound in mind.” [2]

My grandpa Dayer LeBaron’s cousin Owen LeBaron had bipolar problems; even spent time in a Mental Institution — at the SAME time and in the same facility where Grandpa Dayer’s son Benjamin LeBaron was institutionalized!

And where Dayer’s youngest son Verlan LeBaron was working as an Aid to pay his way through college while attending the Brigham Young University. (Coincidences never cease to abound.)

But I’m sure my handsome Uncle Verlan — at one time, a Cary Grant look-alike — made a wonderful, sensitive assistant at the Utah State Mental Institution; he, himself, having grown up with two schizophrenic siblings, Lucinda and Ben. (His brother Ervil’s psychosis didn’t make itself known till much later in Verlan’s life.)


Regarding cousin Owen LeBaron, the following is a re-quote, from one of my former blogs:

Historian Kris Wray said: “I’d gamble his mental illness came from the Johnson/LeBaron line. His dad’s (William Farland LeBaron) parents were David Tully LeBaron Jr and Harriett Naomi Johnson.

“Grandpa David Tully’s parents were David Tully LeBaron Sr and Esther [Melita] Johnson [Benjamin F. Johnson’s sister].” [3]

I rest my case:
Part of the reason there was much mental illness in my grandparents Maud and Dayer LeBaron’s family is Mania/Bipolar Disease/Schizophrenia ran in BOTH sides of their Family trees; multiplied through incestuous marriage, besides.

1- NOTE:
Incest is illegal because marrying close relatives doubles the recessive genes/ bad genes in one’s genetic gene pool: Insanity is a recessive gene.

2- NOTE:
In Mania/ Type I Bipolar Disorder, the mood becomes abnormally heightened, accompanied by hyperactivity and a reduced need for sleep.

This state lasts in the individual for a time; then the afflicted person generally returns to his/her normal state … until perhaps another episode of mania occurs.

“COMMENTARY: From Mary B. Taylor:

Hi, Steph: Thanks for your latest blog. Im drifting off to sleep but wanted to give you these details of relation:

“My maternal grandmother is a niece of Harriet Naomi Johnson (whom you mentioned). Her mother was Emma Geneva Johnson, both daughters of BFJ and Harriet Naomi Johnson.*

Emma Geneva had been a plural wife with her sister Harriet and had one baby with David Tully LeBaron. The baby died as a toddler. Emma’s and David’s marriage dissolved after the Manifesto and then Emma married my great-grandfather.

“Another interesting thing. Those sisters’ mother was a daughter of Roxannia Naomi Lebaron, who was the only living child of David T. LeBaron, Sr. and his first wife, Azuba King.

Azuba died young and then David Tully LeBaron married your ancestor. So my husband and I are cousins through Johnson AND LeBaron. I feel like we’re far enough apart, though, for these gene’s not to affect us too much.
I also think that poverty and fanatacism play a huge part in mental illnesses. As you’ve said.

“Lastly, my grandma Orpha Vance Blackmore had those genetics (Johnson and LeBaron) and she suffered with post-partum depression so severely that she abandoned her 3 babies to walk to find her mother, who was a couple hundred miles away.

She spent the next 4 years in a mental hospital. Eventually she was reunited with her children. Her husband never gave up on her. She was very fortunate.

*(Harriet Naomi Johnson and Emma Geneva johnson were daughters of Harriet Naomi Holman Johnson and BFJ.”)

[3]. PS: I was thinking about Owen LeBaron. I don’t know much about him but he was a product of somewhat close-cousin-grandparents, I guess:

Harriet Naomi Holman and David Tully LeBaron would have been something like half-first-cousins, once removed. I’ll have to think about it further.

Roxanna Naomi LeBaron was half sister to David Tully LeBaron, and Melissa Bloomfield LeBaron. She and my 4th-great-grandfather James Holman raised them after they became orphans.

My siblings and I were very very fortunate to have our grandparents very much in our lives. Gramma (Orpha) recovered from her mental breakdown and was able to finish raising most of her children when they were teenagers and then to become the most wonderful grandmother to me. She wrote her memoir.

She is the mother of Kenyon Blackmore who also claims some kind of One Might and Strong something. One of Gramma’s sisters spent her last years in a mental hospital: Lula Vance Olsen.


Good morning, Mary:
This feedback is what I was looking for. I was wondering how many cases of mental disorders exist in our family trees but have been covered up.

Benjamin F. Johnson had a huge family and therefore a humongous posterity—I have Johnson and LeBaron relatives all over the place.

It would be interesting to know how many others have suffered from these recessive genes for bipolar and other disorders. But I once heard that it is not unusual to have at least one mentally ill person in a large family.

Your genealogical knowledge and family history is extensive. I appreciate your taking time to share information with me and my readers.

It all adds to my quest for why there was so much insanity in my maternal grandparents’ offspring!

Regards,
Stephany Spencer-LeBaron


Famous Poet, Pioneer, and Mormon Hymn Writer, my G.G.-Uncle Joel H. Johnson, Brother of BFJ

While growing up, I heard Mother talk about her amazing Great-grandfather B.F. Johnson — amazing not only because he was one of the American West’s and Mormondom’s early pioneer heroes (he helped forge the last frontier, Utah); but also because he figured big in how her father Dayer LeBaron claimed he acquired his “scepter of power.”

Mother also told me about her G. grandfather BFJ’s brother, Joel H. Johnson (Mother’s brother Joel Franklin LeBaron’s namesake), another famous Mormon pioneer: He settled Bountiful, Utah, among other Utahan towns.

Joel H. Johnson was the oldest of sixteen children. He not only held the notable status of being a brother of Benjamin Franklin Johnson/BFJ — He was also a prolific poet and hymn writer.

He composed one of my favorite hymns, “High on the Mountaintop.”

In checking Joel J. out on Wikipedia, this is some of what I learned (The following copied from Wikipedia):

Joel J. Johnson’s journal contains 736 hymns. Collections of his writings were published in the pamphlet “Voice from the Mountains” in 1881 and a 344-page book of poems in 1882. His most sung hymn, “High on the Mountain Top”, was written on February 19, 1853. 

Other estimates place Johnson’s total work in writing hymn texts and poems at about 1,000.[16] The only other hymn by Johnson in the current English edition of the LDS Church hymnal is “The Glorious Gospel Light Has Shone” (no. 283).

I brought out in an earlier blog that bipolar [1] problems often run in the genes of creative people. My Mexico-LeBaron/Emmerson/McDonald/Johnson family line was anything if not creative.

It’s nice to dwell, for a change, on some of the many great things about my LeBaron-Johnson Family line; rather than discussing only mental-illness challenges in my Mexico-LeBaron family/extended family.

Though part of the purpose for blogging about my lineage IS to unravel and reveal lies and lore; and the “whys ‘n’-wherefores” of the unusual amount of mental illness that pounded especially my Grandmother Maud and Grandfather Dayer’s family — the Mexico-LeBarons.

My grandfather Dayer’s son by his first wife Barbara Bailey and his six children by his third wife Onie Jones never, far as know, showed signs of mental illness—no delusions of grandeur, narcissism, Angels visiting them, voices speaking to them, sexual perversion, paranoia, pathological lying, and so forth.
Therefore, it bears taking a second look at bloodline, beliefs, background, and parenting.

My G.G.-Uncle Joel Johnson’s Hymn: “High on the Mountain Top”

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