2 + 2 = Martha Beck
a New York Times Bestselling Author, an innovator in life design and life coaching, and a monthly columnist at O: The Oprah Magazine. Martha has coached hundreds of individuals over the past fifteen years, and recently, NPR called her 'the best-known life coach in America.' She has taught career development at the American Graduate School of International Management, performed research at Harvard Business School, and consulted to Fortune 500 corporations. The author of Finding Your Own North Star; The Joy Diet, and Expecting Adam, she lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.
So, she's a bestselling pop-psych gaining fame and fortune in our modern cult of personality. The website for her new book describes her as
the best-selling author of The Joy Diet (2003), Finding Your Own North Star (2001), and Expecting Adam (1999). She is a monthly columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine, a renowned national and international speaker, and is the creator of the North Star Method, offering seminars, workshops, and life-coach training to assist participants in connecting with their truest selves and in leading more rewarding and joyful lives. She received her bachelor's, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, where she won a Danforth Award as one of the university's top teaching fellows, and she has taught international business management and career development at the American Graduate School of International Management. She served as a member of the international board of Special Olympics, and travels worldwide working and speaking on behalf of people with cognitive disabilities and their loved ones. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her three teenagers; her partner of ten years, Karen Gerdes, a professor of social work, and their two dogs.(Emphasis added). So, Martha is a best-selling, Harvard-educated "life coach", and mother of a Down-syndrome boy who has written sensitively about him (among her other books), and traveled widely to pursue her causes.
But one fact stands out.
My father has said that people find their way out the LDS Church behaviorally before they do intellectually. Martha is a lesbian. The Church teaches that homosexuality is a sin. Small wonder she has written a diatribe against the Church.
As for her accusations of sexual abuse against her father: he was one of the Church's great and prolific scholars, a stalwart defender of the faith. Small wonder that Martha, who "lost the Mormons" to "find her faith" should now impugn him -- and thereby his body of work in defense of the Church she now loathes.
If Hugh Nibley = LDS Church
If LDS Church = "homosexuality is a sin"
If Martha Nibley = lesbian
Then Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith = "LDS Church and Hugh Nibley are bad"
In the interest of full disclosure, I knew and admired Martha's father. In addition, as an Air Force JAG, I prosecuted and defended child sex abuse cases. I had a life-changing case involving a self-professed "born-again Christian" who sexually abused his daughter for years. I have seen how there are no winners in a child sex prosecution: if the victim is believed, a family is divided; if not, she is blamed as a liar. I know that abuse allegations often arise when couples divorce. I know that victims often repress their feelings and have difficulty telling others about the abuse. Having said all that, I have no confidence in "repressed memory recovery" -- that a victim will "remember" decades-old events through hypnosis or some other medium. Thus, I am dubious about Martha's "recovered memories."
In any event, given the simple syllogism, it is no surprise that in her "divorce manifesto" (Leaving the Saints) Martha Beck should so accuse her famous father. (Likewise, though previously divorced, no surprise that she should keep her former married name rather than revert to her family name).
UPDATE (actually from a couple of weeks ago): Nibley family statements on the book and Martha.
UPDATE 2: Read book reviews here, here, and here.