Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ratings Low? Lets Talk about SEX!

Many people say you can increase the popularity of your product by including sex and violence. Since this blog is about warfare I already have plenty of the latter; and as I was reading some Chinese military theory I did realize how sex can be used as a weapon, and how it has a comparable example in The Book of Mormon.

Introducing Tai Kung's Six Secret Teachings, Ralph Sawyer describes how some scholars believe that it "preserves at least vestiges of the oldest strata of Chinese military thought...[And]The Six Secret Teachings is the only military classic written from the perspective of revolutionary activity.[1]

This revolutionary activity includes striking at the enemies Mandate of Heaven. This includes "using bribes, gifts, and other methods to induce disloyalty among enemy officials and to cause chaos and consternation in their ranks; and further increasing the enemy's profligacy and debilitation by furnishing the tools for self-destruction-such as music, wine, women. Complete secrecy is mandated."[2]

Finally, the specific text tells the revolutionary leader to "introduce beautiful women and licentious sounds in order to befuddle him...when these...are employed they will become a military weapon."[3]

There are several important instructions we need to draw from these words. 1. These instructions come from "secret" texts. 2. Arguably, they come from some of the oldest military thought in Chinese history. 3. These methods were often employed using secret oaths. 4. These methods aimed to overthrow a rival and more powerful state. 5. They advocated using sexual desire as a means of attack.

Now that we have the basic methods described for us, we can examine the text of The Book of Mormon. In Ether chapter 8 we read:

7 And now Jared became exceedingly sorrowful because of the loss of the kingdom, for he had set his heart upon the kingdom and upon the glory of the world.
8 Now the daughter of Jared being exceedingly expert, and seeing the sorrows of her father, thought to devise a plan whereby she could redeem the kingdom unto her father.
9 Now the daughter of Jared was exceedingly fair. And it came to pass that she did talk with her father, and said unto him: Whereby hath my father so much sorrow? Hath he not read the record which our fathers brought across the great deep? Behold, is there not an account concerning them of old, that they by their secret plans did obtain kingdoms and great glory?
10 And now, therefore, let my father send for Akish, the son of Kimnor; and behold, I am fair, and I will dance before him, and I will please him, that he will desire me to wife; wherefore if he shall desire of thee that ye shall give unto him me to wife, then shall ye say: I will give her if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.
11 And now Omer was a friend to Akish; wherefore, when Jared had sent for Akish, the daughter of Jared danced before him that she pleased him, insomuch that he desired her to wife. And it came to pass that he said unto Jared: Give her unto me to wife.
12 And Jared said unto him: I will give her unto you, if ye will bring unto me the head of my father, the king.
13 And it came to pass that Akish gathered in unto the house of Jared all his kinsfolk, and said unto them: Will ye swear unto me that ye will be faithful unto me in the thing which I shall desire of you?
14 And it came to pass that they all swore unto him, by the God of heaven, and also by the heavens, and also by the earth, and by their heads, that whoso should vary from the assistance which Akish desired should lose his head; and whoso should divulge whatsoever thing Akish made known unto them, the same should lose his life.
15 And it came to pass that thus they did agree with Akish. And Akish did administer unto them the oaths which were given by them of old who also sought power, which had been handed down even from Cain, who was a murderer from the beginning.
16 And they were kept up by the power of the devil to administer these oaths unto the people, to keep them in darkness, to help such as sought power to gain power, and to murder, and to plunder, and to lie, and to commit all manner of wickedness and whoredoms.
17 And it was the daughter of Jared who put it into his heart to search up these things of old; and Jared put it into the heart of Akish; wherefore, Akish administered it unto his kindred and friends, leading them away by fair promises to do whatsoever thing he desired
.

Thus we see many of the points described by Tai Kung. 1. In verse 9 we read about secret plans. Its intriguing to note that these plans came from somewhere "across the great deep". The Jaredite timeline would put them in Asia sometime in during the Legendary Sage Emperors of China (2800-2200 BC). 3. Obviously, these method were employed through secret oaths. 4. These methods sought to overthrow an existing dynasty. 5. And famously, the daughter of Jared used her sex appeal to corrupt an official and gain the kingdom for her father.

Normally, I would simply point out that an ancient text agrees with another ancient text in many important details. Details that would make it difficult to believe that Joseph Smith simply guessed right. But in this case I will not only reaffirm that point, but point out the diversity of thought within the subject of military history were even a women's sex appeal can act as a weapon.

Finally, the text suggests a connection between some kind of ancient old world military theory and with a mention of old secret plans from "across the deep" referenced by the daughter of Jared. Hugh Nibley has suggested an Asiatic connection to the world of the Jaredites.[4] And the similarity between ancient Chinese military theory and the Jaredite secret practice reinforces this connection.

What do you think? Is this an example of two different societies independently developing the same practice, or do you think that "across the deep" means ancient China? Did this bring any other verses to your mind? Thanks for reading.

***Sources***
1.Ralph Sawyer Trans. The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China New York: Westview Press, 1993, 23.
2. Ibid., 33.
3. Ibid., 57.
4. Hugh Nibley, The World of the Jaredites.

14 comments:

Samuel said...

I really liked the article and I thought it was very interesting. However you logic is a little skewed. According to the Book of Ether, Akish was the one who had knowledge of the ancient military secrets, but the ancient military secret of using seductive women was used against him, not by him. You have an example two different aspects of the Chinese military teachings in the story but the two different aspects were used by two different people.

Morgan Deane said...

Thanks for your comment. I am in a hurry, but according to Ether 9:4, Akish obtained the Kingdom for Jared using secret combinations in order to marry Jared's daughter. The process of seducing high officials with women is exactly what Tai Kung advised. Even though Akish is the one that then using a secret combination, I viewed it as him being brought on board Jared's combination with Akish operating his own franchise.

In Ether 9:5 Akish then turns against his new father in law, using the secret combination that was originally used for Jared. In fact, that tends to confirm Chinese behavior as well. Since any generals powerful enough to install an emperor were usually powerful enough to make themselves Emperor too. That happened when the a leader that help build and create the Sui Dynasty decided to found his own dynasty, the Tang.

But back to the topic at hand, I agree that two different people used two different tactics, but since they were both in pursuit of the same goal -getting Jared the throne- I counted counted them as the both being tactics used by Jared.

This was rather quick, I hope that makes sense, does anybody else agree or disagree?

Morgan Deane said...

Hey Samuel, I had some time to think about it on the way to work and I agree with comment 2. There are two acts, 1. the use of Jared's daughter to corrupt Akish, and 2. Akish using a secret combination to obtain the throne for Jared. Both tactics are described in the Six Secret Teaching, and both benefited Jared by getting him the throne.

Hope that makes sense. Thanks again for commenting.

Morgan Deane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David J. West said...

In relation to "Across the Deep" I have found some very good albeit circumstantial articles on why it is indeed China.

I have every reason to believe Mount T'ai Shan is Mount Shalem of Ether 3:1

Morgan Deane said...

I have found some good articles as well. There is one text from the 7th century A.D. that is pretty widely known. It even has a distance recorded that, if you followed the current that flows from China to the northeast, would put you in Northern California. Thats one example and I have heard about a half dozen more. I'm tempted to make this my dissertation topic, but I am still far away from more grad school and there are so many variables for that. Thanks for commenting. If you willing, I would love to have a guest post on why you think Mount Tai Shan corresponds to Ether 3:1.

Samuel said...

I have always thought the Jaradites were from Africa because I have heard that the Jaradite time line fits with the timeline of the Olmecs from southern Mexico. From what I have heard Olmec art is very African in appearance. I have also heard that some of the Jaradite words in the book of Mormon are similar to a modern African language.
I admit that I am not a fan of central America as being the location of the book of Mormon but think it was the great lakes so I like them landing in Northern California.

David J. West said...

Morgan
I could put something together for a guest post. Right off the bat-it all comes down to speculation more than anything but this has also been the reasoning of such great minds as Hugh Nibley and John Heinerman.

Samuel
I have read a booklet by a Prof. David Grant Stewart about his personal belief that the Jaredites were of Ham and thus African. I found it interesting but do not agree with all of his reasoning. I went looking for a link but its gone now.

Morgan Deane said...

Thanks David. Let me know when you are ready. The stuff about the Jaredites being out of Africa sounds pretty interesting as well.

Morgan Deane said...

Wow, I knew putting sex in all caps would get me alot of comments. :)

Samuel said...

It has been a realy long time sence I read the Jaredites from africa thing, I was in early High School, so I don't realy remember the details

thefirestillburning said...

Morgan: There is also an OT example during the conquest of Canaan in which the Canaanite peoples attempted to stave off the power of the Israelite God by corrupting them with sex. So I think this is a general technique that goes pretty far back into the human psyche.

I personally have problems with the dating of the Jaredites to 3000 BC because of the conflicts it creates with the DNA evidence and clear presence of people in America about 10,000 years previously. But the crossing of the North Pacific makes a lot of sense, as I discuss in a post on my blog "thefirestillburning.wordpress.com" called "DNA and Dynastic Chronologies".

FireTag

Morgan Deane said...

That's a great point Firetag, it certaintly is possible that sexual corruption is a tactic found in a variety of cultures and therefore not really an "hit" for the BoM. Do you know of any articles that discuss this concept in greater detail?

I will check out your article on Jaredite DNA as well. Thanks again.

thefirestillburning said...

Mormon Heretic, where I know you've commented from time to time, had a discussion recently on whether Balaam (sp?) with the talking ass story was a true prophet or a false one. A commenter brought it up there with appropriate references.

FireTag