Iíve been reading, well lightly scanning, the Book Of Mormon on the Skepticís Annotated Bible site, and Iím struck by the many similarities in the story line of the book and the story of the creation of the Ancient And Honorable Order Of E Clampus Vitus. What really got me thinking about this is when I realized that Utah is called The Beehive State.
In 1844-45, Ephraim Bee formed a Chapter of E Clampus Vitus in Lewisport, Virginia. He would hold his meetings at his bar, called The Beehive Tavern. His chapter became very popular, and although there were other chapters spread across the country, Beeís chapter is considered to be the one that gave birth to the chapters in the Golden Hills of California.
The Clampers are known for their mockery of the Masons, the sashes, the tin vestal adornments and officious ceremonies and most importantly their care and concern for the widders and orphans of Clamperdom, especially the widders. Although ECV is not a religious organization Mormonism seems to smack of all the values that a Clamper would want in a religion. Each man is a prophet and has many wives. Ceremonies are held in secret places accompanied by the most outlandish and absurd claims of spiritual truth. A man will eventually become a god. Jesus and Lucifer are brothers in good standing. These are stories that one might hear in the Hall Of Comparable Ovations.
So I ask, is it possible that Joseph Smith, Orson and Parley Pratt, Brigham Young and the others were Frolicking Friars, brothers in good standing in the Ancient And Honorable Order Of E Clampus Vitus, and that the religion they founded is but a farce, a mockery of the Roman Catholic Church? Credo Quia Absurdum. There's a sucker born every minute.