What Happened to David Sneddon?

Former LDS Missionary David Sneddon Reportedly Kidnapped by North Korean Agents

By Ken K. Gourdin

David Sneddon, a returned LDS missionary, erstwhile student at Brigham Young University, and aspiring law school applicant who went missing on a visit to China in 2004, is back in the news. Yahoo! Japan is reporting that Sneddon now is married and has two children, and is teaching English in North Korea. For coverage by Salt Lake City’s Deseret News of latest developments surrounding Sneddon’s disappearance, see here (last accessed September 2, 2016):

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865661471/Report-BYU-student-kidnapped-in-2004-now-teaching-in-North-Korea.html?pg=all.

The “news” site NKNews.org “reported” on Sneddon’s disappearance by quoting a (conveniently-anonymous) friend. See here (also last accessed September 2, 2016):

https://www.nknews.org/2013/08/was-an-american-student-really-kidnapped-by-north-korea/.

In response, I wrote:

From the article: David, said the [conveniently anonymous] friend, “wasn’t your standard Mormon kid. He saw the world in shades of grey; he was much more thoughtful than some people gave him credit for.“

Uh-huh. So Mormons are unthoughtful, ignorant fools who are incapable of appreciating nuance, are they? Not the Mormons I know. Most of them simply choose to live their lives a certain way, whatever shades of gray undeniably exist in the world.

From the article: “He told me there was a girl flying in to go hiking with him,” the friend continued. “Maybe she was someone he met while he was on his mission in Seoul, I don’t know. No one knows exactly who she was.”

More than a few reasonable people might be tempted to conclude, at least for the slightest, most fleeting fraction of a second, that “no one knows exactly who she was” because she doesn’t exist.

From the article: “The friend said David felt ‘bashful’ about his relationship with a non-Mormon–especially an Asian one–which would be why he kept it a well-hidden secret.”

OK. Let’s set aside, for the moment, that both the person quoted here and Mr. Sneddon’s alleged North Korean girlfriend both are conveniently anonymous. Let’s grant, for the sake of this discussion, that he simply ran off with her. Not likely, but not completely outside the realm of possibility in an infinite number of possible universes. Fine. I can certainly understand wanting to drop out of one’s former life, to leave it behind and to start anew where one might have little, if any, of the baggage associated with his former life.

That said, why is it that people who allegedly run off in such a fashion never seem to get around to telling anyone, “Hey, as long as you’re going back to the States [or to wherever the alleged “runner-off” is from], would you mind getting word to my family that I’m OK, so they don’t go sick out of their minds with worry”?

Another commenter wrote, “Dirty kike/morman mite get some education in Korea!  He will be glad to live in paradise!” [sic]. To which I responded:

If you’d bothered to educate yourself before spouting your ignorant, almost-illiterate, barely-intelligible bilge, you would have learned that Mr. Sneddon had already BEEN to (South) Korea … for two years. Contrasting that experience with much of what I’ve read and heard of North Korea, on the other hand, its leaders are much more interested in keeping their people shrouded in ignorance than in providing any sort of an education, and it can hardly be considered a paradise.

Even granting someone simply wanted to escape a former life, it doesn’t make sense that he wouldn’t try to get word to loved ones that he is OK. (Lack of such word bolsters the contention that he was kidnapped by North Korean agents.)

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About kenngo1969

Just as others must breathe to live, I must write. I have been writing creatively almost ever since I learned to write, period! I have written fiction, book- and article-length nonfiction, award-winning poetry, news, sports, features, and op-eds. I hope, one day, to write some motivational nonfiction, a decent-selling novel, a stage play, and a screen play.
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