Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Monday, September 30, 2019

The mark of the fraudster

Jonathan Neville published a blog post today (September 30, 2019) that points out the Mayan glyph in Book of Mormon Central’s logo. He calls this “The mark of M2C”* and helpfully informs us:
The mark of M2C is identifiable by the Mayan icon in the upper right. It is used to let people know that anything published under or by this mark will promote M2C (the Mesoamerican/two-Cumorahs theory).
In the spirit of recompense, I’ll help our readers identify the mark of the gullible, otherwise known as “the sign-manual of the forger.”

The following image is from a blog post by Wayne May, long-time purveyor of fraudulent artifacts that he claims are evidence of the Book of Mormon:
The Mystic Symbol of the fraudulent Michigan Relics
The glyph is from the Michigan Relics, a forged set of tablets that were “discovered” in the late 19th century. May and other Heartlanders, of course, try to pass these fraudulent artifacts off as not only genuine but connected to the Book of Mormon. Heartlander artist Ken Corbett has even painted this glyph onto the breastplate supposedly worn by Zelph, the white Lamanite:
Detail from Zelph a Man of God by Ken Corbett
(The Zelph account has reached almost mythic proportions within the Heartlander community. He’s so central to their beliefs that Jonathan Neville has an entire page on one of his 67 blogs, entitled “Testimony,” that bears witness of Zelph.)

The “Mystic Symbol” is the mark of a fraud. James E. Talmage exposed the fraud over 100 years ago in the Improvement Era, the Church’s official magazine:
James E. Talmage called the Mystic Symbol of the Michigan Relics 'the sign-manual of the forger
The pitchmen who sell Heartlander materials to gullible Latter-day Saints continue to insist that the Michigan Relics are genuine, despite what has been published by the Church and responsible archeologists.

Jonathan Neville is worried about the wrong symbol.

—Peter Pan

* “M2C” is Jonathan Neville’s acronym for the theory that the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica and that the hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon is not the same hill in New York where Joseph Smith received the plates of Mormon.


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