QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Wed 28th September 2011, 12:49pm)
QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Wed 28th September 2011, 12:14pm)
I'm thinking of a story somewhat on the lines of the relationship between the Mormons and the mafia. The Mormons (I'm told) assumed good faith and were pretty naive in their business dealings, or at least appeared to be. The Mafia, well we know about that. And together they built Las Vegas.
Similarly, you have the Wikipedian ideologists who assumed good faith, and are demonstrably naive in about everything, and you have, well, the people associated with Davis and so on. Together they built Wikipedia. So, Wikipedia = Las Vegas.
That is correct. If Bugsy Siegel had not discovered that he could con Mormon construction firms and
other Nevada businesses owned by LDSers, the history of Vegas might have been very different.
In fact, it might still be a small railroad town today. Plus, Bugsy was a Jew, which to this day
impresses Mormons a great deal (Smith often said the Jews were the "chosen people").
Smith naturally thought Mormons "Chosen People" also, and compared them with the Jews. When he was killed and some of the Mormons took off for the Western frontier, naturally comparisons with Jews became more numerous, and Brigham Young was looking for his own "Zion." Which, astoundingly he located near a salty dead lake that was downhill from a freshwater lake. And the river between them naturally got to be named the "Jordan," and still is today. Of course, Young didn't find all this stuff. But he did know enough to look at a map and tell an archetypal story.
There is a story that a fair number of Mormons didn't think Salt Lake City looked very much like a Zion, and wanted to head to greener pastures in California, hence the founding of San Bernardino (and indeed when you descend from the desert on the north side of the Cahon Pass down between the San Gabriels and the San Bernardino Mountains, you do say to yourself-- "Ah, now THIS looks more like it..."). Perhaps Brigham Young ordered these people to do what they were doing to do anyway. Las Vegas was just a stop on the Salt Lake City to San Bernardino run then, and North Las Vegas is quite Mormon, even today. Whether Bugsy conned the Mormons or the Mormons conned Bugsy, is a good question. In such ventures, people tend to con themselves and believe in whatever feels good to them. However, Bugsy got the "Moe Greene Special" and the Mormons (as usual) did quite well.