Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Monday, January 6, 2020

Jonathan Neville thinks I’m Daniel Peterson

Jonathan Neville, who is often mistaken but seldom in doubt, took the time today to respond/not respond to this humble blog:
Some readers remind me from time to time that “Dan the Interpreter” and his anonymous troll lapdog continue to complain about my blogs.

Actually, considering the irrational and ad hominem nature of the anonymous troll, it’s probably not “them” but “he.” We can infer it is “the Interpreter” himself using a pseudonym. It’s the same type of rhetoric that led to a firing from FARMS many years ago.
Daniel C. Peterson as Peter Pan Jonathan Neville’s latest fever dream.
Wow—so much to unpack in just four sentences.

  1. As I’ve pedantically pointed out numerous times, this blog is not anonymous; it’s pseudonymous.
  2. I’ve also noted that I’m not a troll. Trolls sow discord to provoke emotional reactions for their amusement; this blog, on the other hand, exists to provide substantive responses to Neville’s false claims specifically and to the Heartland hoax in general.
  3. It’s amusing that Neville has resorted to name-calling: I am, according to him, Daniel Peterson’s “lapdog.” It’s so much easier to call your critics names than to actually respond to their arguments; isn’t it, Brother Neville?
  4. I challenge Neville to provide a single instance from this blog of “irrational” or “ad hominem” arguments. Since he refuses to offer any examples of such behavior, I suspect he has none; let him bring forth his evidence so our readers can judge for themselves.
  5. So, Neville now believes that I am Daniel Peterson. I don’t know whether to laugh or to be flattered. For the record, I am not he.
  6. Like Daniel Peterson’s anti-Mormon critics, Jonathan Neville knows next to nothing about what happened at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute (née FARMS) in 2012 that caused Peterson and almost all of the rest of the staff there to be dismissed. I only know some of the story, but it certainly wasn’t for Peterson’s “rhetoric.”

I find it revealing that, after eleven months of this blog’s existence, Neville has yet to respond to anything Captain Hook and I have written. At last he’s given his readers and excuse for this oversight:
If he/they had something substantive to say, he/they could email me and let me know. I’d welcome a dialog. He/they don’t, apparently.

Don’t let them bother you. Just turn the other cheek like I do.
Jonathan Neville wants to make outlandish and irresponsible claims and amass his following in public, but he’d prefer that any criticism of his fatuity be done in private. It doesn’t work that way, Brother Neville. When you misrepresent others’ views so badly, as you regularly do, you should expect to see your writings critiqued and evaluated in a place and manner where the public can find it.

By his indignation at the existence of this blog, Neville also demonstrates his hypocrisy: For years he has been blogging and publishing his attacks on the scholars and Church employees who disagree with his views on Book of Mormon geography. He’s called them names. He’s explicitly stated that he believes they are “rejecting the prophets” and leading the Church astray. He’s insinuated that there’s a massive conspiracy within the Church to “suppress” and “censor” the Heartland geography theory. He’s misled individuals who innocently offered to help him. And there are other examples of his bad behavior that I’ve collected that I’m not at liberty to discuss here.

Neville has done most of these things in public, rather than handling them privately. Yet he has the temerity to insist that I “email [him] and let [him] know” because he “welcome[s] a dialog.” No, Brother Neville; you don’t get off that easily.

Lest the reader believe that I have some sort of personal vendetta against Jonathan Neville, allow me to disavow that claim. I am motivated purely by truth and the desire to refute the cancerous Heartland hoax that is infecting the body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And I will not do this privately and quietly, as Neville would prefer.

Jonathan Neville regularly and repeatedly misinforms his audience about Book of Mormon geography and the translation of the Book of Mormon, and he impugns and defames the characters and reputations of good men and women who, for decades, have worked tirelessly to provide evidence that the Book of Mormon is an actual history of a real people. I will continue to announce this from the rooftops until that changes.

—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.


  1. Your English lessons above (1 & 2) remind me of a favorite movie - The Hunt for Red October. In the scene where COB is telling Seaman Beaumont about Seaman Jones' (Jonsey), uh, unauthorized use of the sub's electronics:

    COB Watson: Seaman Jones here is into music in a big way, and he views this whole boat [SSN-700 USS Dallas] as his own personal, private, stereo set. Well, one day he's got this piece of Pavarotti...

    Seaman Jones: It was Paganini.

    COB Watson: Whatever.

    Seaman Jones: It was Paganini.

    COB Watson: Look, this is my story, okay?

    Seaman Jones: Then tell it right, COB. Pavarotti is a tenor, Paganini was a composer.

    COB Watson: So anyway, Jonesy... [finishes the story, keeps getting details he doesn't care about wrong, and loses credibility].

    1. I love that movie. A masterclass techno-thriller.


Thoughtful comments are welcome and invited. All comments are moderated.

Popular Posts

Search This Blog