Examining the claims of Jonathan Neville and the Heartland movement

Sunday, March 5, 2023

FIRM Foundation web site down after antisemitic blog post

Regular readers of this blog—I’m assuming there’s more than one and therefore it’s acceptable to refer to them using the plural—will notice that I haven’t posted anything in over a month. Without going into too much detail, my life has been unexpectedly busy, and taking a break from Neville Land has been a huge weight off of my shoulders.

Something interesting happened this last week that I believe deserves some attention, though. BookOfMormonEvidence.org, the flagship site of Rodney Meldrum’s FIRM Foundation and the Heartland movement, has been down since Friday, March 3rd. Visiting the site or any of its pages produces only this placeholder message: What’s most interesting about this is the URL of the placeholder page: The URL indicates that their page has been “suspended”—taken down by Bluehost, the provider that hosts their site.

Bluehost’s knowledge base article on site suspension indicates that “the most common reason for the suspension is non-payment.” However, Bluehost’s user agreement also stipulates, “You will not use the Services in any manner, as determined by Bluehost in its sole discretion, that…engages in or promotes behavior that is defamatory, harassing, abusive or otherwise objectionable” (9.6.2).

I mention Bluehost’s user agreement because the last blog post written and published on the FIRM Foundation site by Rian Nelson, in addition to promoting his usual QAnon nutbag conspiracy theories, made the antisemitic claim that the United States government caused the recent chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, as part of its “agenda to depopulate the ‘eaters’ and ‘goyim’ [non-Jews].” When confronted about this on the FIRM Foundation’s Facebook page, Nelson doubled down on his views about a Jewish conspiracy: For those of you not familiar with the term “Khazarians,” this article by the American Jewish Committee explains its meaning and history. It’s a very old antisemitic conspiracy theory “that Ashkenazi Jews—Jews descending from Eastern Europe—are not ‘real Jews’ and are working to infiltrate other nations on their quest for world domination.”

Was the FIRM Foundation website taken down by Bluehost because it’s been pushing antisemitic tropes? I don’t know. It may be down simply because they forgot to pay their hosting fee. That seems unlikely to me, however, because the next FIRM Foundation Expo is being held in early April 2023, and tickets are on sale right now. Not paying their hosting fee would be a huge blunder right now.

If you have any inside information about this, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Update, Sunday evening, March 5th: The FIRM Foundation website is back up and using a different host. The antisemitic post and the Facebook post about it are gone, but hereʼs an older post babbling about the Khazar conspiracy. And hereʼs some antisemitism and 9/11 trutherism together. And from two years ago, more about the Khazars and the Jewish cabal.

Update, Monday afternoon, March 6th: For more links and information about antisemitic remarks made by Rian Nelson on the FIRM Foundation blog, see Daniel Peterson’s blog post, “Hijacking the Book of Mormon for the Satanic Cause of Anti-Semitism.”

—Peter Pan


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