Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Rian Nelson, the Heartland hoax, and conspiracy theories

One foundational belief of the Heartland theory is that there is a massive conspiracy going on within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to suppress the truth about Book of Mormon geography, Joseph Smith’s translation process, and other specific issues of Church history. For the last two years, this blog has documented Jonathan Neville’s continual preaching of this purported conspiracy.

It comes as no surprise to me, then that Heartlander Rian Nelson is a full-blown conspiracy theorist.

Nelson is the author of Moroni’s America – Maps Edition, which he based on Neville’s book and which was edited by Neville. Nelson also edited and contributed to several Heartlander publications, including their deeply flawed Annotated Book of Mormon. He also writes many of the posts for the FIRM Foundation’s blog.

Writing on his own behalf, without representing Meldrum or FIRM, Nelson published a blog post on January 20, 2021, entitled “Would Yo Lay Down Your Life for Simply a Corporation?” In this post, Nelson unleashes some of the more fantastical conspiracy theories that are darlings of the radical conservative fringe in the United States, including:

Tinfoil hat Signs movie
  • The United States “loaned money from the Rothschilds and then set up as a Corporation” on February 21, 1871. (This is false.)
  • “[Donald] Trump has already signed an order of insurrection or put us under martial law” and “Trump, and General [Michael] Flynn and [Thomas] McInerny will bring back a Righteous Republic. Pres. Trump will be sworn in as our 19th President under a Righteous Republic. Probably on March 4, 2020.” (This is false.)
  • The Jewish “Khazarian Mafia” that controls the United States is in the process of “coming down.” (This conspiracy is so nuts that there isn’t even a reputable site that discusses it.)
  • U.S. flags with gold fringe are military flags and indicate that “you are under martial law.” (This is false.)

Tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories like these are (sadly) believed by a significant percentage of Americans, thanks in part to the internet and social media.

That such a prominent individual within the Heartland movement is a deep believer in these patently false claims comes as no surprise to me, since the Heartland theory itself is primarily based on the belief that similar conspiracies are operating within the Lord’s Church.

—Peter Pan


  1. It's sad, really. When you live as though everyone has it in for you, clearly no one - not even the Lord's Anointed - can be trusted. As they say, 'just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you'. Now if you'll excuse me, I need more heavy-duty foil. For the grill.

  2. Two posts in two days! I'm enjoying the treats!

    1. Some days the muse strikes. Other days, she is silent.


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