Refuting the errors of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland hoax

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The worst kind of lies are the ones you tell yourself

“Every lie is two lies—the lie we tell others and the lie we tell ourselves to justify it.” —Robert Brault
At the FairMormon Conference in August 2019, Jasmin Rappleye of Book of Mormon Central announced ScripturePlus, a new app for smartphones that she said they hoped would “enhance…scripture study with an exciting amount of new resources we’ve been putting together.”

(You can watch the video of her announcement on Facebook.)

As of the date of this blog post (September 22, 2019) the app has yet to be rolled out to users, but that hasn’t stopped Jonathan Neville from straight-up lying about it.

I use the term lying, because there’s no other word for what he’s been doing.

Since Sister Rappleye’s presentation, Neville has mentioned the ScripturePlus app in eight different blog posts. Here is what he has had to say about it:

August 27, 2019:
[ScripturePlus] will imprint M2C* on every member of the Church who uses it. It includes M2C videos and commentary such as the images in this post.…

One wonders, scripture plus what?

It’s a digital form of the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.

ScripturePlus is designed to entice Church members away from the Church’s relatively neutral Gospel Library and immerse them in a carefully designed indoctrination program. Hence, it’s not “free” in any non-monetary sense of the world. It is as tightly controlled as any totalitarian media we can think of, and it forces uses to think only one way about important issues.
August 28, 2019:

A few weeks ago when I sat in the audience during part of the FairMormon conference, the few hundred people in attendance…were thrilled at how ScripturePlus will usurp the neutral Gospel Library and indoctrinate users to believe M2C.

September 10, 2019:
I had hoped to take 10 months off from discussing Church history and Book of Mormon historicity.… I wanted to observe, from a distance, the imminent disaster of ScripturePlus, the new app from Book of Mormon Central designed to entice Church members away from the Gospel Library to imprint revisionist Church history and M2C on the minds of the Saints, starting at a young age.
In that blog post, Neville began using the following image that he created. In his next blog post, he captioned it, “ScripturePlus replaces Gospel Library”:
Jonathan Neville believes that Book of Mormon Central's ScripturePlus app is designed to replace the Gospel Library app
September 11, 2019:
ScripturePlus, the new app from Book of Mormon Central that uses the official scriptures licensed from the Church, teaches M2C expressly and exclusively. ScripturePlus is designed to entice Church members away from the Church’s Gospel Library, which is (relatively) neutral on the question of Book of Mormon geography.

Soon, even more than it is already, M2C will be enshrined as the only “acceptable” explanation for the Book of Mormon.
September 12, 2019:
I’m reposting some of the most popular posts in the blog for new readers. This one was originally posted on August 24, 2016. I’ve edited it a little. The post is especially important now that ScripturePlus, the new app from Book of Mormon Central, is explicitly teaching M2C.
September 16, 2019 (which includes a painting of a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon with the caption “M2C indoctrination from ScripturePlus”):
The New York [location for the hill] Cumorah…is about to become a more serious issue than ever before, thanks to the M2C editorial position of the ScripturePlus app brought to us by Book of Mormon Central.… Any hint of “neutrality” [regarding Book of Mormon geography] has been entirely destroyed anyway by the actions of the Church-supported M2C organizations such as Book of Mormon Central. The new “scriptureplus” [sic] app explicitly teaches that the “real” Cumorah of Mormon 6:6 is in Mesoamerica. Book of Mormon Central is spending millions of dollars to spread its M2C message, using attractive videos and graphics, as well as links to its own M2C “Kno-Whys” and other resources.
September 17, 2019:
By now, the M2C intellectuals have invented all kinds of knowledge about the Nephites that originated with Mesoamerican studies but not the text of the Book of Mormon. And their zeal knows no bounds; they’ll spend every penny they raise from members of the Church and the Church itself to promote M2C to the world.

Just watch what happens with ScripturePlus as it replaces Gospel Library.
September 20, 2019:
Book of Mormon Central uses their millions of dollars to…develop ScripturePlus, the app that teaches M2C exclusively and uses colorful graphics and videos to entice Church members away from the Gospel Library.
Let’s tally up Neville’s lies here, shall we?

  1. Six times Neville claims that ScripturePlus is designed to replace the Church’s Gospel Library app by encouraging people to use ScripturePlus instead of Gospel Library. The image he created and has used multiple times makes the same claim visually.
  2. Five times Neville claims that ScripturePlus will “imprint” and “indoctrinate” people into believing “M2C,” “forcing” them “to think only one way.”
  3. In two posts he claims that Book of Mormon Central is “spending millions of dollars to spread its M2C message” through ScripturePlus, and that this money has been raised “from members of the Church and the Church itself.”

Absolutely none of those claims have any factual basis.

  • Neither Jasmin Rappleye in her FairMormon Conference presentation nor Book of Mormon Central in any communication has claimed that ScripturePlus is designed as a replacement for Gospel Library.
  • If “imprinting” and “indoctrinating” people is as simple as releasing a smartphone app, Neville should tell this to the corporate owners of major consumer brands; I’m certain they’d be delighted to know how much they can save on future advertising expenses.
  • As I’ve previously discussed, there’s no evidence that Book of Mormon has “millions of dollars” at its disposal. I’d wager that Jonathan Neville has no idea what Book of Mormon Central’s budget is; he’s just making up dollar figures from his own fevered imagination.
  • What evidence does he have that “the Church itself” has been donating money to Book of Mormon Central? None.

Every one of his claims is a lie, a complete and total fabrication. Jonathan Neville made them all up and yet states them as if they’re facts.

How anyone considers anything he writes or says to be trustworthy is simply beyond me.

—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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