Refuting the errors of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland hoax

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Neville Land Manifesto

This is the first in (what I expect to be) a series of critical examinations of the arguments of Jonathan Neville.

Brother Neville is the prolific author of at least twelve books and over sixty blogs (!), most of which expound his theories on the the Book of Mormon.

A leading personality in the so-called “Heartland geography” movement, Brother Neville insists that the drumlin in western New York state where Joseph Smith obtained the gold plates was the hill Cumorah described in the text of the Book of Mormon. He also argues that the lands of the Nephites and Lamanites were in the American Midwest and Northeast (hence the term “Heartland”). Since 2007 the Heartland theory has been increasing in popularly among Latter-day Saints, thanks largely to the writings and activities of Rodney Meldrum, Jonathan Neville, and a few others.

It is my contention that the Heartland movement in general—and Brother Neville’s writings in particular—are a case study in sloppy thinking, poor scholarship, and agenda-driven conclusions. It is also my contention that the popularity of the Heartland movement stems largely from its foundations in American nationalism and misguided patriotic fervor, along with appeals to conspiracy theories and pseudoscience.

As the entries on this blog will be based on new blog posts by Brother Neville (with special focus on his blog Moroni’s America), new material here may be posted sporadically.

Finally, I wish to clarify that I hold no animosity toward Jonathan Neville; I merely wish to demonstrate that his one-note zeal for his theories has caused him to embrace ideas and conclusions that are not warranted by evidence and clear thinking.

—Peter

1 comment:

  1. Even if Neville is going on hiatus, there's still plenty to be responded to:

    https://www.bofm.blog/saints-rewriting-dc-28-30-32/

    ReplyDelete

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