In light of the new Gospel Topics Essay on Book of Mormon Geography, BOM
At the outset, I emphasize that I genuinely like everyone at BOMCC, and I respect their work. I think they are trying to do the right thing because they firmly believe in M2C and they firmly believe the prophets are wrong about the New York Cumorah.
IOW, they are trying to thread a needle: i.e., they are convinced of M2C, but they know they're supposed to be "neutral" because Church leaders and donors expect that. But, in my view, they are misleading both Church leaders and donors.
|M2C = the prophets are
wrong about Cumorah
Which, of course, is fine--so long as donors know what they're doing.
A key selling point for donors is that they can deduct their donations as charitable contributions because BOM
And their corporate owner, Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum (BMAF), spells out the truth in its mission statement.
MISSION STATEMENTThe Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization dedicated as an open forum for presentation, dissemination, and discussion of research and evidences regarding Book of Mormon archaeology, anthropology, geography and culture within a Mesoamerican context. Our goals are (1) to increase understanding of the Book of Mormon as an ancient Mesoamerican codex...
You can read it yourself here: http://bmaf.org/about/mission_statement
BMAF is the M2C organization you are actually contributing to if you contribute to BOM
The basic premise for everything BOM
Even the BOM
If you go through the BOM
Other than their claim of neutrality, there is nothing at all on their web page, at their conferences, or even in the writings of their affiliates, that is in the least neutral about Book of Mormon geography. It is all M2C, all the time.
Now, let's look at the BOM
They feature the infamous BYU fantasy map of the Book of Mormon that teaches students to disbelieve the prophets and that the Book of Mormon is fiction.
They try to persuade people to disbelieve what Joseph and Oliver taught in Letter VII.
Actually, they try to persuade people that all the prophets are wrong about the New York Cumorah.
They also feature a blog post about "new Maya discoveries" that, they claim, fit their M2C theory.
For those interested, I deconstructed that approach here:
Also, for those interested, I occasionally address these "no-wise" in a separate blog, here: http://www.bookofmormoncentralamerica.com/
You might be wondering, how do they get away with fooling donors about their position on Book of Mormon geography?
Here are some possible reasons:
1. Members of the Church tend to trust employees of BYU, CES, and COB (the Church Office Building, including the Church History Department). If you look at the directory of people involved with BOMCC, many if not most are such employees.
2. People are persuaded by appearances. BOM
3. Most people don't read things carefully. They assume that when BOM
Original in blue, my comments in red.
Our policy is to utilize the most reliable academic scholarship on the Book of Mormon and follow the evidence wherever it might lead.
By "most reliable academic scholarship" they mean "those who accept and promote M2C." They demonstrate this in every article and video they produce; all the references they cite and quote are to members of the M2C citation cartel.
Outside the M2C bubble, no legitimate "academic scholarship" accepts M2C. No non-M2C Mesoamerican experts find any relevance of the Book of Mormon to Mesoamerican studies. No "evidence" leads to M2C, except in the minds of M2C proponents who seek to confirm their M2C bias.
M2C is based entirely on two foundations:
1. The prophets are wrong about the New York Cumorah; and
2. You can reinterpret the text to find illusory "correspondences" between the Book of Mormon and ancient Mesoamerica; e.g., a "horse" is a "tapir," a "tower" is a massive stone pyramid, etc.
Our process in selecting and highlighting Book of Mormon evidence is based on the following principles:
As you read this list, notice the complete absence of the teachings of the prophets, especially the teachings about the New York Cumorah which BOMCC completely censors.
This is circular reasoning. By definition, the only work that "is responsive to these principles" is work that supports M2C. The entire statement of "neutrality" is deceptive sophistry.
My conclusion: Book of Mormon
Maybe the day will come when BOM