There are volcanoes in Mesoamerica, so the M2C scholars "find" volcanoes in the text of the Book of Mormon, even though Mormon and Moroni forgot to mention them. There were millions of people and extensive stone and cement cities in Mesoamerica, so the M2C scholars find those things in the text of the Book of Mormon. To an M2C scholar, a "tower" in the text of the Book of Mormon is actually a massive stone pyramid. A "horse" is a "tapir."
Some M2C scholars go so far as to say Joseph (or the mythical intermediate translator) didn't understand Mesoamerica so he translated the plates with the wrong vocabulary. That's why the text doesn't mention jade, jaguars, or jungles--or anything else related to Mayan culture.
This all leads to the third element of the perfect storm--a lecture by Dr. Houston. The lecture was an awesome update on research of the Mayan civilization. Mayan civilization is a fascinating topic that deserves lots of attention. The event was well attended, etc.
However, I think it's unfortunate to take a wonderful presentation about Mayan culture and convert it into promotion for a particular theory of Book of Mormon geography; i.e., M2C. Which is what Book of Mormon Central did in this case.
To be clear, I don't mind if people believe the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica. I don't care if people believe the M2C scholars instead of the prophets. I only care when they promote their theories to undermine faith in the teachings of the prophets and to suppress alternative views that support the teachings of the prophets.
Here is the announcement page:
Dr. Houston, one of the leading Mayanists in the world today, will share the results of his first full field season working at La Cuernavilla, a Mayan fortress in northern Guatemala discovered by the LiDAR survey published last year.
That link in turn refers to a post on another blog which I discussed here:
It's wonderful to have experts in any field come to BYU to present their latest research and discoveries. However, using Mayan research as a tool to repudiate the teachings of the prophets and to promote M2C is unfortunate.
Book of Mormon Central's use of this presentation contributes to the perfect storm we are discussing. Next we'll discuss part 4.