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.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Who is the ringleader of the clown circus?

On Monday we discussed the pitiful saga of the "Peter Pan" fiasco.


We'll continue that discussion on the Interpreter blog, here: https://interpreterpeerreviews.blogspot.com/

Underneath the details, we are left to wonder why these fine LDS scholars would think it is not only acceptable but a good idea to resort to a deceitful, racist, ad hominem approach to apologetics? 

At first glance, it is evident that their little prank would have gone nowhere if not for the active, enthusiastic endorsement and promotion by Dan Peterson and the rest of the "Interpreters" who promulgated the racist fraud in their own journal, presenting "Mike Parker" and "Peter Pan" as two separate contributors. But Dan's style of sarcastic apologetics and his reputation for giving and taking offense is well-known and easily ignored as goofy. It's "Dan being Dan," generating (i) chuckles at the FAIRMormon conferences but (ii) disgust among everyone else. 

Surely no serious young scholar seeking to establish a credible career would choose to emulate Dan's approach.

We need to look elsewhere for an explanation of this counterproductive brand of apologetics.

Naturally, Book of Mormon Central, as one of the facades in the Potemkin village of the M2C citation cartel, republished the Interpreter articles. And that's an important clue.

The "Peter Pan" episode is merely another branch from the tree of deplorable apologetics we've long seen from the citation cartel. To borrow from a legal context, "Peter Pan" is fruit from a poisonous tree.

And what is the poisonous tree?

Where do we find a pattern of using anonymity and surrogates to enable plausible deniability? 

Where do we find a façade of academic integrity that masks strident advocacy, censorship, and misdirection?

We might look at the Interpreter Foundation, and to be sure, there is plenty chicanery there, but it's not quite a façade. Generally (other than the "Peter Pan" episode), the contributors there at least publish under their real names. While the Interpreter's brand of peer review (which seems to consist mainly of "peer approval" as I discuss on my InterpreterPeerReviews blog) may be a façade, at least the contributors "own" what they write and say. 

Not so at Book of Mormon Central (BMC).

We'll discuss BMC next.

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