long ago ideas

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago." - Friedrich Nietzsche. Long ago, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery conquered false claims that the Book of Mormon was fiction or that it came through a stone in a hat. But these old claims have resurfaced in recent years. To conquer them again, we have to return to what Joseph and Oliver taught.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fairly Mormon

Among the M2C citation cartel, one organization stands out.

It's called FairMormon, formerly known as the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR). You can see their web page here: https://www.fairmormon.org/

I call them Fairly Mormon because while they offer helpful resources and commentary on many LDS issues, they are actively trying to persuade members of the Church to disbelieve the prophets about the New York Cumorah.

It's really a shame because Fairly Mormon's web site has a lot of great resources. If they weren't adamant about forcing M2C onto members of the Church (and investigators) they would provide an invaluable resource. But because of their Mesomania, they refuse to follow the Church's policy on neutrality and reject any presentation of materials that contradict their M2C advocacy.

If you want to observe a who's-who of M2C advocates, Fairly Mormon is having a conference in August. Details here: https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2018#speakers

They aren't the most influential group. Certainly CES, BYU, and COB departments are more influential overall. Last time I checked, at least Fairly Mormon wasn't pushing a fantasy map of the Book of Mormon, or developing M2C displays in the Visitors Centers.

But Fairly Mormon uses a combination of techniques that makes them especially dangerous.

To review, here are the five standard techniques used by all the M2C intellectuals:

1. Suppressing and censoring the words of the prophets.

2. Using sophistry to teach that the prophets are wrong.

3. Causing confusion by conflating separate and distinct teachings of the prophets.

4. Imprinting the M2C theory on the minds of vulnerable students and missionaries (and investigators) through media, artwork, displays, and academic publications.

5. Dressing the new idea (M2C) in old habits to make it easier to accept.

To this list, Fairly Mormon adds these techniques:

1. Using anonymous articles. Fairly Mormon makes lots of statements that sound authoritative because they are anonymous; i.e., an anonymous article doesn't have the "taint" of a particular author's ownership. This is the same technique William Smith used when he published anonymous articles in the 1842 Times and Seasons that were written by Benjamin Winchester and edited by William and W.W. Phelps.

I've discussed Fairly Mormon several times on this blog. Just go to the search box and type in "FairMormon" and you'll get lots of blog posts.

Here's one of the best examples of Fairly Mormon's tactics:

I have an assessment of that one on my peer reviews page, here:

2. Exercising strict editorial control. This is related to technique #1 above, but it expands on that by claiming their "answers" are "faithful" and thereby implying that those who disagree with them are not faithful. Fairly Mormon uses sophistry to attack the views of those members of the Church who still believe what the prophets have taught about the New York Cumorah.

Fairly Mormon will never compare M2C to the Heartland because they know most members of the Church would never accept M2C if they knew what the prophets have taught about the New York Cumorah, along with the archaeological, anthropological, geological and other extrinsic evidence.

All this is to say that we have to be extremely cautious when we use (or refer people to) Fairly Mormon.

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