Refuting the errors of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland hoax

Friday, August 21, 2020

“I’ll take ‘Things That Never Happened’ for $800, Alex”

Jonathan Neville claims:
Some of our M2C* friends were upset a while back when I described M2C as a hoax.
Things That Never Happened Jeopardy! game boardAs usual, Neville is making claims that anonymous people said or did something. Who are these “friends” who were “upset”? How does he know they were “upset”? Simply challenging something Neville wrote doesn’t imply that the person who challenged him is experiencing any elevated emotional state.

This is similar to Neville’s frequent claim that “people often ask” him a particular question. Usually the question is eerily specific, something Neville himself would say if he were the one asking. He never identifies who these “people” are or how they contacted him.

Until Neville can provide some evidence of who these “upset” individuals are and what they said, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that these “friends” don’t actually exist (at least outside of Neville’s imagination).
In fact, some of them responded by claiming the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah were a hoax.
Now this, I can say with complete confidence, is horse hockey (as Colonel Potter used to call it back at the 4077th). It’s a gross distortion of what Neville’s critics have actually said.

I’ve often referred to the Heartland Book of Mormon theory as a hoax. “Heartland hoax” is a tag featured on this blog, and it’s a hashtag I regularly use on this site’s Twitter account.

Now, calling the Heartland movement a hoax is in no way the same thing as “claiming the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah were a hoax.”

Prophets and apostles have taught many things—some of them revealed by God, some of them inspired by the Spirit, and some of them from their own understanding. There is no revelation stating that the hill Cumorah in New York is the same hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon. Many Latter-day Saints—including Latter-day Saint leaders—have believed the two hills are the same hill, but conventional wisdom is not the same thing as revelation.

I trust that our readers can see through what Neville is doing here: This blog uses the phrase “Heartland hoax,” which Neville has distorted into “the teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah were a hoax.” It’s not the teachings of the prophets that are a hoax; it’s the way Jonathan Neville and other Heartlanders misuse those teachings to spread their lucrative 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.

1 comment:

  1. Neville can’t see the difference between “what prophets have said” and the Heartland theories, and he’d have a hard time seeing the distinction because it would go against his identity at this point

    It’s something we all need to be aware of when looking at new things to adopt or reject.


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