Here’s yet another cipher-tinged literary genre I wasn’t previously aware of – the ex-Mormon novel. As a just-released exemplar,  “Latter-Day Cipher” by ex-Mormon Latayne Scott (author of “The Mormon Mirage”, so her overall position should be no great surprise) appears to do a pretty good job of tackling contentious Mormon issues – along the lines of ‘if certainty is God-given, why do His interpreters on earth keep changing their minds?’

Her novel has a socialite killed with “strange markings carved into her flesh and a note written in a 19th Century code“: and so, of course, it is to the alphabet of the Anthon Transcript that her title appears to refer [Update: it actually refers to the phonetic Deseret Alphabet, developed in the 1850s to teach English to immigrants. Thanks for the correction, Latayne!] Sounds like quite a fun read to me (though perhaps 12 million Mormons may beg to differ).

Actually, this all reminds me of an unexpected parallel I forgot to mention in that previous post… between the golden plates and the Anthon Transcript (that signalled the founding of the Mormon Church) and the Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscripts (that signalled the founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn). How similar yet dissimilar!

Incidentally, everyone knows about famous Mormons (such as the Osmond family, Matthew Modine, and Ted Bundy) but what about famous Golden Dawn members? Well… Aleister Crowley aside, the GD had as members [according to Wikipedia, so be ready with your pinch of salt] the poet Yeats, Bram Stoker, Gustav Meyrink, Arnold Bennett, and Edith Nesbit (yes, she of “The Railway Children” fame). Just so you’re prepared for the next pub quiz! 🙂

One thought on “Review of Latayne Scott’s “Latter-Day Cipher”…

  1. Thank you for the mention of my book! I appreciate it. One small correction — the code in the book is the Deseret Alphabet, a phonetic alphabet developed during the time of Brigham Young to teach the writing of English to immigrants.

    Latayne C Scott

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