Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Friday, July 3, 2020

Neville compares “M2C” to communist brainwashing of POWs

For Jonathan Neville, those who disagree with him about Church history and Book of Mormon geography aren’t just fellow saints with whom he can discuss and debate; they’re are disloyal conspirators who should be attacked and exposed.

Despite all of his continual protestations of how much he “admires and respects” those who don’t share his views, it’s abundantly obvious that he believes they are destroying the Church from within by “poisoning” its members and lying to Church leaders.

He even believes that Church leaders themselves are misleading the saints.

So it doesn’t come as any surprise to see him, in his latest blog post—“Persuasion by small steps” (July 2, 2020)—comparing the teaching of a Mesoamerican Book of Mormon geography and a southern Mexico location for the hill Cumorah to the brainwashing techniques Chinese communists used on American prisoners of war during the Korean conflict.
American prisoners of war in a Chinese POW camp in North Korea
American POWs at a Chinese camp near the Yalu River are forced to read the Gospel Topics essay on Book of Mormon Geography. B&W; 1951. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Neville’s imagination.)
(I should point out that Neville’s research about POWs and psychological torture consists entirely of a string of tweets from some random Twitter feed.)

Jonathan Neville clearly believes that the subjects about which he obsesses are a battleground for the heart and soul of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—this in spite the fact that no revelation has been given on the location of the hill Cumorah and that living prophets and apostles have explicitly urged the saints “not to advocate those personal theories” about Book of Mormon geography “in any setting or manner that would imply either prophetic or Church support for those theories.”

—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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