Volume Two - FARMS - FAIR - SHIELDS - Mormon Apologetics

FAIR Billboard on State Street, SLC.FAIR 
Billboard on State Street, SLC.

Daniel C Peterson FARMS BYU time spent defending Mormonism 
correlates to advent of Internet.


The First Presidency does not endorse Hugh Nibley's work on Book of Abraham papyri scrolls.

Hugh Nibley's work with papyri scrolls not sanctioned by First Presidency.


Daniel C Peterson Chiasmus Richard Nixon Mormon Speak. Daniel C Peterson Mr Potato Head Chiasmus FARMS.

Ex-Mormons for Dan Peterson

12/21/2006 - by Tal Bachman and cricket

Daniel C Peterson impresses the media. What about starting an organization called "Ex-Mormons for Dan Peterson"? We could try to get as many TV interviews as possible for him, and try to pitch him to networks as the "go-to" guy on Mitt Romney controversies. Can you imagine?

Reporter: "Will evangelical Christians vote for Mitt?"

DCP: "Well first of all, I don't know precisely what you mean by 'evangelical Christians', and I very much doubt that others do as well. This term, which has its roots in (blah blah blah)...originating in the (blah blah blah)...and can refer to anyone from a Calvinist (blah blah blah)...and what about charismatic Catholics, who evangelize?...Further, I reject the premise implicit in your question that (blah blah blah)...It is no secret that MILLIONS of people around the country hate my church. That is no surprise. We are the most victimized religious group in American history (blah blah blah)...

(8000 words later...)

"And you have also not specified to which type of 'vote' you are referring. Are you referring to the votes which at one time in American history were cast by state legislators, but are now cast by citizens? And you haven't even touched on the strange relationship between popular votes and the electoral college votes...It all depends on what we mean by the words 'will', 'evangelical Christians', 'vote', 'for', and 'Mitt', because depending on how we define them, they could mean anything. For example (blah blah blah)....and could also mean, 'Will Wiccans vote for Hilary Clinton?' or 'is the prophet infallible?'...and not only that (blah blah blah) but I am rather inclined now to answer the question you SHOULD have asked, rather than the one you did ask...and the answer to that is, yes, I am a victim".

Reporter: "And what about Mormons baptizing dead Jews?

DCP:"I'm not sure why some Jews appear to be offended by Mormon temple service on behalf of Jews. Jews have precious few friends around the world. They should not be seeking to alienate Mormons, who are deeply philosemitic. Is it really not relevant that Mormons typically treat living Jews well, and are, by and large, enthusiastic supporters of Israel?"

To Rabbi Hier's remark that "It is sacrilegious for the Mormon faith to desecrate [Simon Wiesenthal's] memory by suggesting that Jews on their own are not worthy enough to receive God's eternal blessing,"

I would respond that we Latter-day Saints do, quite unapologetically, insist that Jews are not worthy enough to receive God's eternal blessing on their own.

Daniel C Peterson enrages Jews with his comments about baptizing them for the dead.

Daniel Midgley-Welch appears on Jeopardy

12/03/2006 - by substrate

Daniel C Peterson on Jeopardy. Hoping to continue the remarkable success of Latter-day Saint Ken Jennings, FARMS has sent its best and brightest, Professor Daniel Midgley-Welch to compete on the long-running game show, Jeopardy. The following is a partial transcript of his appearance.

Alex Trebek: We also welcome to our show Daniel, a food sciences professor from Provo, Utah. It says here that you enjoy archeology in your spare time. Found anything interesting, have you?

DMW: Don't you think it's rather presumptuous to discuss Book of Mormon archeology before you've read some of the scholarship? Honestly! Do your homework, Alex!

AT: Um, OK, let's play Jeopardy.

DMW: I'll take Potent Potables for $100, Alex.

AT: Jesus turned the water into this during the wedding at Cana.

DMW: What is a nonalcoholic grape-juice-like substance completely unrelated to the modern concept of wine?

AT: No, I'm sorry, we were looking for "wine."

DMW: Really, Alex, your ignorance is showing. You seriously believe that Jesus would violate the Word of Wisdom? I'll take The New Testament for $100.

AT: Jesus was born in this small town in Judea.

DMW: What is the land of Jerusalem?

AT: No, I'm sorry, the answer is "Bethlehem."

DMW: Excuse me, but that's just nitpicking. Anyone who knows anything understands that Bethlehem is in the land of Jerusalem. I thought this was supposed to be a well-researched show.

AT: I'm sorry, the judges inform me that the correct answer is "Bethlehem."

DMW: Well, then, let's try New World Fauna.

AT: This large rodent is found primarily in the jungles of Central and South America.

DMW: What is a horse?

AT: No, the answer is "tapir."

DMW: That's what I said. "Horse" is just a modern equivalent of "tapir." Any idiot knows that.

AT: Whatever.

DMW: I don't like your tone, Alex. Are you one of those vile anti-Mormons, like Robert Ritner? All right, let's go to American Hoaxes.

AT: This one is a visual daily double: These bell-shaped plates, which turned out to be a clumsy hoax, were identified by Joseph Smith as the record of a descendant of this Biblical figure.

DMW: What is "there's no proof that Joseph Smith ever saw the plates, let alone translated them"?

AT: I'm sorry, but that's not a question. Look, can we just stick with the game?

DMW: All right. Let's try 19th Century Politics.

AT: Along with slavery, this practice was called one of the twin relics of barbarism by early Republicans.

DMW: What are loose dynastic familial ties?

AT: Uh, what? Can you be more specific?

DMW: What are nonsexual and wholly spiritual ties through the law of adoption that are unrelated to sex with 14 year olds?

AT: No, the answer we were looking for was "polygamy."

DMW: Why, I am shocked that you would assault the virtue of those pure and lovely women who were merely adopted into the lineage of the prophet. You really have a grudge against Mormons.

AT: Who is this guy? Let's move on to final jeopardy. I'm sorry, Daniel, but given your negative score, you'll have to sit this one out.

DMW: I sure hope you never write a book, Alex, because if you do, I'll make sure we give it a terrible thrashing in our review of books.

AT: Is that supposed to scare me?

DMW: Let me guess, King World Productions is funded by the George D. Smith foundation, am I right? You had better watch out! I'm about to raise my arm to the square and call down fire from heaven on you.

AT: Can someone call security, please?

FARMS Announces New "Limited Intelligence Theory"

1/24/2006 - by Tal Bachman

AP - Provo Things have not been easy over the past forty years for believers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Evidence from disciplines as varied as botany, zoology, anthropology, linguistics, and molecular biology have combined to devastate the truth claims of the church Joseph Smith founded in 1830. But in a press conference held Wednesday evening, church defenders at the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies optimistically unveiled an entirely new defense strategy.

"We no longer feel the need for particular theories to explain particular so-called 'problems'", noted FARMS president Garloy P. Hendricks. "My FARMS colleagues and I have unanimously decided to endorse what we call 'The Limited Intelligence Theory', or 'LIT', as a catch-all means of maintaining belief".

The LIT approach, explained Hendricks, presumes that human posess intelligence, by which he means overall awareness, memory, learning ability, and cognitive processing capacity. The growing problem for contemporary believers, says Hendricks, is precisely "the pernicious presence of intelligence", since much of what Mormon minds become aware of and learn, and the inevitable conclusions which follow, strike hard against Mormon truth claims such as a 5700 year old human race, a global flood only 4000 years ago, three 2,000 year old "Nephites" still roaming the earth, and Kolobian "light borrowing" from our sun.

"The LIT the very common-sense theory that by voluntarily retarding and constricting our intelligence, Mormonism will remain believable for practically anyone. For example, we once learned that Native Americans were the descendants of Book of Mormon peoples, but now we know they're not. So, we merely 'unlearn' or 'de-intelligize' ourselves by *forgetting we ever knew that at all*. That way, we can imagine that the Book of Mormon, D&C, and church presidents say nothing reliable on this issue at all - which is tantamount to having made ourselves entirely unaware that they even exist as content-laden entities. They become mere totems - and justifiably so. We just put anything and everything we need to 'on the shelf', which means, we become unaware of what we were once aware of".

Another LIT-inspired strategy is to simply declare 'inessential to our salvation' any false claim once identified as such, said Hendricks. "This is my approach to the flood story, the Tower of Babel story, and the Garden of Eden in Missouri story, even though each of these claims is made in our scriptural canon. With practice, people who wish to keep believing can make themselves so unintelligent, that they can easily take as a 'fundamentalist' anyone who suggests that there is any substantive meaning to any of the words used to express Mormon truth claims."

With practice, said Hendricks, members can constrict the scope of their everyday awareness, memory, and cognitive ability, to the point that they will just be able to perform basic survival tasks like working and eating, etc., as well as unquestioningly accept direction from the prophet - and nothing more, "almost like amoebae just aware enough to respond to stimulus."

Not that Hendricks is complaining. "Frankly, I think that's just where the Lord would like us to be - hermetically sealed off from facts, reason, awareness, memory, and nearly the whole of human experience, and thus immovably firm in our faith that we're absolutely right, and no one else is", said Hendricks.

When asked how the LIT could be reconciled with the D&C's claim that "the glory of God is intelligence", Hendricks smiled and said, "See? That's a good example of a statement which is no longer - excuse me, NEVER WAS - essential to our salvation".

FARMS Corianton and Isabel's bed. spacer. Simon on Timpanogos.

Hill Cumorah Sheep.

Joseph Smith, the chicken, the road and the whorehouse


Why did Joseph Smith cross the road? His dick was stuck in the chicken. - Buntaro

FARMS responds:

Two answers:

To get to the Nauvoo whorehouse...(see Sarah Pratt's testimony).

FARMS response to the above answer:

"Anti-Mormons have long had a heyday with the infamous story of Joseph Smith supposedly 'crossing the road' to get to the Nauvoo whorehouse. While the provenance of this story is extremely suspect, being that Sarah Pratt spent her life as a closet apostate, it may as well be noted that not everyone who visits a whorehouse does so for prurient reasons. The savior himself often consorted with prostitutes, and yet taught that even to lust in one's heart was a sin. We therefore have no reason to believe that the prophet had any prurient interest whatsoever in local prostitutes. It rather seems far more likely that if the prophet took occasion to visit the Nauvoo whorehouse, it would have been for reasons not unlike the savior's for visiting with prostitutes 2000 years ago: to invite them to repentance, and perhaps, to check on the safety and cleanliness of the brothel out of a pure-intentioned concern for their welfare.

"In sum, rather than being 'evidence' that the prophet was a man of undisciplined lusts, his supposed visits to the Nauvoo whorehouse in fact constitute evidence of just the opposite: that he was so far from a man of undisciplined lusts, that he felt no fear of visiting local whorehouses simply to check up on the welfare of the madames and prostitutes and to invite them to join the church. It never ceases to amaze how drastically anti-Mormons will twist to their own ends any evidence that once again shows Joseph Smith to have been a true prophet of God". - Tal Bachman

Yeah, but how do they explain the chicken part? - Dbradhud

FARMS answers Dbradhud

"'Presentism' is an error very common to anti-Mormons: they continually judge Joseph Smith by the standards of 2006, rather than by the standards of 1830. Once we divest ourselves of our own prejudices and biases, and try to understand the prophet as he deserves to be understood, that is, in *his* own context, we begin to realize that a grown man copulating with poultry - whether the sexual partner was a duck, chicken, goose, or Cornish game hen - was just as common and socially acceptable as was a 39 year old married, religious pastor secretly having sex with the 14 year old daughter of one of his friends. It is amazing, but sadly all too predictable, how the notorious anger of anti-Mormons can so blind them to the glaring flaws in their 'criticisms'". - Tal Bachman

FAIR responds to this issue and to the Exmormon Conference 2006

Countermopologists will use any trivial event in the life of Joseph Smith to twist to meet their agenda (we don't know what their agenda is, but we KNOW they have one), while FARMS' treatment of Bachman's 'research' only betrays their inability to carry out scholarly research.

What the recent issue of FARMS illustrates in stark relief is that the only thing FARMS is qualified is at stringing together a colorful list of non-explitive insults. Though there were correct for insulting Bachman's 'research' they insulted him incorrectly.

Before we answer the question, "Why did Joseph Smith cross the road?" we must ask the right question. "DID Joseph Smith Cross the road?" Since Mormons voted in a block, there were plenty of people in Missouri who felt threatened by them. They set about creating all manner of rumors about the prophet. And the rumor about him following a chicken across the road is one of the most viscious.

First of all, there is nobody alive that is willing to attest to Joseph's crossing the road. Mr. McCue certainly cannot find any. Neither can Mr. Benson. He claims to have had a conversation with a man who's great grandmother wrote in her journal about the day the prophet crossed the road, but she was later discredited. Therefore, her diary is of no use.

Next, we look to the meaning of road. Mr. Bachman has failed in his 'research' once again by not noting whether it was a dirt road, a paved road, a country road, a pair of wagon wheel ruts, or a rocky road. There are many types of roads, and since Mr. Bachman has not researched carefully enough to even know what type of road we are discussing, I find it a trivial exercise.

Next, we look at the reasons a man might cross a road. Critics of the church will often use the tired old excuse that the only 'logical' explanation is that he was trying to get to the other side. They rely on their 'logic' way too much, if you ask me. There are many reasons a man might cross a road, but *sigh* we've already been through that. Please read the main page for a list of articles on why men cross roads.

Ultimately, we do not know if there was even a road. The prophet could have been chasing a chicken, with an observer looking down a road that went over a hill, and Joseph Smith crossed what appeared to be a road. However, depending on which location of Cummorah we are discussing, the road could have bent to the left or the right, so that Joseph Smith did not even cross a road at all. And since people like Bob McCue are able to write 20 pages of material without even addressing the location at which Joseph Smith allegedly crossed an imaginary road, we can only conclude that he has no answer and he is obviously avoiding the issue.

Can anybody over at that 'recovery' board produce a current map of the area where the prophet allegedly crossed the road? I didn't think so. Better yet, can anybody produce an era map of the location?

I didn't think so. Try asking the right questions because, *sigh* I've already heard it all. - T-Bone

Once upon a time, there were three little apologists

09/28/2006 - by Concrete Zipper

Once upon a time, there were three little apologists and their names were Pinky, Pokey and El Lardo. The three little apologists lived in a tiny hovel in the shadow of Y mountain, and they made their living by thinking up new excuses.

"North could really mean west", said Pinky.

"The word sword may refer to a club", said Pokey.

"I think people used to ride tapirs", said El Lardo. "I would love to ride a tapir some day!"

Every day the three apologists would come up with excuses which they would share with the local villagers.

"It's not a lie if you try really hard to believe it", said Pinky.

"True knowledge comes from what you feel inside. Evidence isn't important", said Pokey.

"My work *is* peer-reviewed", said El Lardo. "Pinky and Pokey are my only peers and they review everything."

The local villagers loved the excuses that the three little apologists made up, and would buy their books and proudly display them on bookshelves. The villagers usually didn't read the books, because it was only important that they knew that the excuses were there. Whenever an outsider would come into the village telling strange tales, the villagers would all cry with one voice, "You're lying! Our three little apologists have proved that you are wrong. You can read it in one of those books on that shelf."

One day, a honcho from Capital City, to the north, came to visit the three little apologists. "You must do something about our greatest enemy: the world calls him 'Reality', but we know him by his true name of 'Antimormonet'. Many of our people have been beguiled by his words and are leaving their villages. You must stop him!"

"We can stop Antimormonet!", said Pinky.

"No one can beat our excuses!", said Pokey.

"We are the world's best apologists", said El Lardo. "We will squash Antimormonet flat as a pancake!"

As the three little apologists sat around a table in their hovel, thinking up great excuses, Pinky had an idea.

"Wait here. I've got an idea!", said Pinky, and he rushed off to the workshop. Pokey and El Lardo began to hear strange noises coming from there.

They heard rustling noises. [rustle, rustle, rustle]
They heard scratching noises. [scratchy, scratchy, scratch]
And they heard banging noises. [bangity, bangity, bang]

Just as Pokey and El Lardo were starting to get worried, Pinky opened the doors of the workshop and called out to the entire village, "Behold, here is Antimormonet. I will destroy him." All the villagers gathered around and admired the giant figure made of straw which they saw before them.

"Get him!", shouted the villagers.
"Destroy Antimormonet!", cried Pokey.
"Beat the stuffing out of him!", yelled El Lardo. "Let's see that straw fly!"

So Pinky grabbed a rod of iron and beat the straw figure with it, all the while calling out excuses:

"He was only speaking as a man!", cried Pinky as he lopped off the figure's arms.

"There could be two hills with the same name!", yelled Pinky as he stabbed the figure in the gut.

"Nobody understands Egyptian anyway!", Pinky shouted. And with a final blow, the figure was smashed and the straw blew away with the wind.

"Hurray!", cried the villagers. "We are saved from the evil Antimormonet!" Pokey and El Lardo congratulated Pinky on a job well done, and the three little apologists retired smugly to their hovel.

The next day the honcho came back with bad news. "Antimormonet is back and still poisoning the minds of our villagers with his evil Reality. Do something!"

Pokey said, "I'll take care of this", and he ran off to the workshop. Pinky and El Lardo began to hear strange noises coming from there.

They heard clattering noise. [clatter, clatter, clatter]
They heard scraping noises. [scrapy, scrapy, scrape]
And they heard cracking noises. [crackity, crackity, crack]

Just as Pinky and El Lardo were starting to get worried, Pokey opened the doors of the workshop and called out to the entire village, "Behold, here is Antimormonet. I will destroy him." All the villagers gathered around and admired the giant figure made of sticks which they saw before them.

"Get him!", shouted the villagers.
"Crush Antimormonet!", cried Pinky.
"Break his back!", yelled El Lardo. "Let's see those sticks splinter!"

So Pokey grabbed the rod of iron and beat the stick figure with it, all the while calling out excuses:

"This stella has a representation of the Tree of Life!", cried Pokey as you crushed the figure's feet.

"Everything took place in a limited geography!", yelled Pokey as he split the figure's head in two.

"Look at all the chiasmus!", Pokey shouted. And with a final blow, the figure was smashed and the splinters and pieces of stick were scattered by the wind.

"Hurray!", cried the villagers. "We are saved again from the evil Antimormonet!" Pinky and El Lardo congratulated Pokey on a job well done, and the three little apologists retired smugly to their hovel.

The next day the honcho came back with even more bad news. "Antimormonet is back again. You must stop him from spreading the horrors of Reality!"

El Lardo stepped forward and said, "I'll take care of this, once and for all", and he ran off to the workshop. Pinky and Pokey began to hear strange noises coming from there.

They heard spattering noise. [spatter, spatter, spatter]
They heard slippery noises. [slippy, slippy, slip]
And they heard squishy noises. [squishy, squishy, squish]

Just as Pinky and Pokey were starting to get worried, El Lardo opened the doors of the workshop and called out to the entire village, "Behold, here is Antimormonet. I will destroy him, now and forever." All the villagers gathered around and admired the giant figure made of manure which they saw before them.

"Oh, he stinks!", shouted the villagers.
"Kill Antimormonet!", cried Pinky.
"Splatter him to the four winds!", yelled Pokey.

So El Lardo grabbed the rod of iron and beat the manure figure with it, all the while calling out excuses:

"We found an inscription that says Nahom!", cried El Lardo as he battered the figure's torso. "That couldn't have been known in the 19th century!"

"Standardized weights of precious metal used for commercial exchange aren't necessarily coins!", yelled El Lardo as he bludgeoned the figure's back. "And anyway, there might be coins that we just haven't found yet."

"You can't prove that it *didn't* happen!", El Lardo shouted. "So there!" And he took a mighty swing and the figure of manure collapsed into a heap.

"Hurray!", cried the villagers. Then they started sniffing. "But wait", they said. "It still stinks."

"I'm not finished yet", said El Lardo. "Everyone plug your nose."

And the villagers all did as he commanded. "Hurray!", they cried. "We can't smell him any more. But we can still see the pile of manure."

"I'm not finished yet", said El Lardo. "Everyone shut your eyes."

And the villagers did as he commanded. "Hurray!", they cried. "We can't see him any more. But it's possible that we could still hear his horrible lies."

"I'm not finished yet", said El Lardo. "Everyone shout 'La! La! La!' at the top of your lungs."

And the villagers all did as he commanded. "La! La! La! Hurray!", they cried. "We can't hear him any more. La! La! La! We will never again be bothered by Reality. La! La! La!"

Pinky and Pokey congratulated El Lardo on a job well done, and as the three little apologists retired toward their hovel, they were met by the honcho from Capital City.

"We are forever grateful to you, El Lardo, for destroying Antimormonet, for freeing us from the tyranny of Reality. As a reward, we will grant you your fondest wish." And the honcho opened a crate, and out came the most beautiful tapir that El Lardo had ever seen.

"I get to ride a tapir!", exclaimed El Lardo. "I finally get my fondest wish!"

And as the sun slowly set, turning Y mountain beautiful colors, the air was filled with the babble of a thousand villagers shouting, "La! La! La!", puctuated by the agonized shrieks of a crushed tapir.

The End.

Ode to FARMS Geniuses

09/15/2006 - by Tal Bachman

There once was a marginalized pack of losers whose greatest contribution to mankind was their incidental ability to provide recovering Mormons with entertainment,
Whose god-awful rescue attempts at Joseph's sinking ship couldn't help but be in vain-ment;
Ensconced at the Y
So in love with the lie
Their delusions led them to derangement.

Ode to Mormon Apologetic Tricks

09/15/2006 - by Tal Bachman

The point of their blust'ry attacks
Is always to obscure the facts
With hocus and pocus
They blur what's in focus
By using whatever distracts:

Pedantic notes, re-definitions
Insults, strategic omissions
Straw men, red herrings
Distortions so glaring
That ANYONE should have suspicions.

Yet when we're so keen on believing
And want to avoid ever leaving
It's like an addiction
We can't see the fiction
And enable them to keep deceiving

But once cog dis becomes a burden
So heavy it leaves us all hurtin'
We cannot avoid
Seeing tricks they've employed
To keep us all feeling so certain

So my message to Mormon apologists
Is: consult with a team of psychologists


The BS pile you keep
Is so high and so deep
You've ended up virtual scatologists.

Remember 'Ancient America Speaks'?

Paul R and Millie Cheesman - Cheesy Book of Mormon scholarship.
03/16/2006 - by Bamboozled

All of the current backpedaling and revisionism going on in the church right now in regards to Lamanite DNA and archeology has made me, well, quite speechless.

Paul R and Millie Cheesman.Remember when the church and its members and its apologists would proudly exclaim that native Americans, were, indeed, the literal descendants of the Book of Mormon people? Remember in 1976 how many members of the church had bumper stickers on their cars that said "Discover America in 76: Read the Book of Mormon" ? Remember the church film/film strip titled 'Ancient America Speaks'?

For the younglings among us and those who will undoubtedly claim that such a film never existed, let me briefly try to bring this movie back into the light. The film was hosted by an LDS archaeologist (possibly BYU faculty?) that visited many of the then known Inca/Aztec/Mayan ruins, complete with ancient South American sounding soundtrack. I distinctly remember a scene where the film host standing in what he strongly suggested was an old baptismal font.

I admit that its been a long time since i've seen this and its probably hard to find now. But the indisputable fact is that the church WAS claiming that the ruins of South and Central America WERE tied to the Book of Mormon and that native Americans WERE tied to the Book of Mormon. As a missionary we would show this film strip to our investigators as part of the "proof" that the church was true.

My how times change. This is why I am so angry at so called church apologist-defenders-of-the-faith who blatantly lie and spin and revise and misrepresent and lose any semblance of honor. The church once stood for something; its claims of the historocity of the Book of Mormon. Now it doesn't. In the overwhelming evidence against the historicity of the Book of Mormon the church has turned into a weasel and now claims to have never claimed what it once claimed.

L Taylor Hansen - He Walked the Americas. And the book, "He Walked the Americas"

I recall seeing someone with that book - showing it off amongst the youth at church one Sunday. I wanted a copy so bad! Never got it, though. Wish I had, I'd love to read it for a few laughs. - Ken Taylor

Editor's note: 07/28/2007 this email was received:


The Bool of Mormon on trial contains blatant lies

As a young True Believing Mormon, I loved that cartoon book 'The Book of Mormon on Trial'. It showed good evidence the church was true. Now I realize that much of it was just lies.

For example it talks about how some modern-day Indians say some mountain was called Moronihah and some river was called Nephihah and how these names are used in the BOM. How could Joseph have known that?

When I got older, I tried to find these mountains and rivers to verify the story and guess what - nothing!

They make these convincing stories for the youth to get them to believe but they are sheer lies. - Spongebob SquareGarments

John Sorenson of FARMS disses these publications

Here's the article where John Sorenson totally disses the book, as well as Paul Cheesman's pseudo-scholarship:http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/john.htm

"Ancient America Speaks" was a church-produced missionary filmstrip-and-tape presentation that primarily used artists' depictions of Christ among the Nephites, Cortez greeting the Aztecs, Captain Cook greeting the Polynesians, a mention of Quetzalcoatl, etc. We missionaries were issued that stuff to use in presentations. The missionary pamphlet "Christ In America" featured some of the same artwork and dialogue.

The other item was a photograph slideshow accompanied by a taped narrative of Central and South American ruins such as Monte Alban, Chulula, Chichen Itza, Macchu Picchu, etc. It was produced by an enthusiastic bishop named Jack West, who toured the area and snapped the photos along with his wife. That's the slideshow that showed him standing in the alleged stone baptismal font.

West's production was titled simply "Kodachrome Slide Description." I know that because I've still got it somewhere around here, even though I've been home from my mission for 30 years. Several of us missionaries got together and ordered a few sets from the non-church company which marketed them. All it did was put investigators to sleep. I actually took the time to edit West's long-winded remarks and shorten the time down to about half.

A comic-style book was published based on West's alleged experiences and assertions, titled "The Book of Mormon on Trial." I remember THAT title because the book is sitting on my bookshelves above my computer at this moment. :-) It was compiled by two guys named Fritz & Rich (not to be confused with Hans and Franz or Siegfried and Roy.)

The book is ridiculous in its "scholarship," such as its allegation that giant wheel-shaped stones, 6-foot diameter, with square holes in their centers, discovered on a lakeshore, were evidence of ancient American wheel use. A cartoon image shows the "Nephites" making a huge wagon using the stone wheels, with several teams of burros hitched up to pull it.

In actual fact, the stones are obviously common millstones, of which thousands can be found near waterways all over the world. And burros didn't exist in the Americas until the Spaniards brought them. The rest of the book, which is in the format of a mock trial wherein the Book of Mormon is "proven" true, is chock-full of similar nonsense.

If you google words like "Jack West John Sorenson", you might find an article wherein LDS anthropologist John Sorenson dismisses West's productions and similar ones as crackpot. Not that Sorenson's own book "An Ancient American Setting For The Book of Mormon" isn't itself crackpot. - Randy J

I remember as a missionary in Peru in 1965 looking down

into a "baptismal font" among the Incan ruins there. We had flannelboard presentations which wowed investigators, many of whom were native americans, and assured them that we had the story of their ancestors and the wonderful prophecies in the BofM that applied directly to them.

My companion would tell them that they would be "white and delightsome" after accepting the gospel and even used them as an example of this coming true! They weren't as gullible as we were and explained it by the fact that they had been baptised the previous summer and the supposed whitening of their skin since then was due to the onset of the grey sunless winter months.

The BofM was the cornerstone of my faith. With it thoroughly discredited, the whole ediface crumbled. How can such a ridiculous story as the BofM continue to survive? Here in Utah, the news has been all about GBH visiting Chile surrounded by the throngs of new members there entranced by the same crap that we were feeding them way back then. Makes me so mad, and it never ends! - Ted Manwaring

An Ancient American Setting for the Three Stooges
03/15/2006 - by substrate

"I don't see any evidence of the Three Stooges in Mesoamerica, but I see all kinds of evidence of Mesoamerica in the Three Stooges."

We are all familiar with the celluloid record left by Moe, Larry, and Curly, and to a lesser extent, Shemp, Joe, and Curly Joe. The Three Stooges, as they are collectively known, have had a profound impact on American culture, and indeed world culture. Recent scholarship, however, has unlocked a much deeper meaning inherent in antics heretofore dismissed as mere "slapstick": the stooges represent an ancient Mesoamerican culture and epistemology that invests their films with a meaning that transcends time and place.

Clearly, the most obvious parallel is the Trinitarian nature of the stooges, in which we see echoes of the Mayan “Heart of Heaven" (see Popol Vuh, trans. by Delia Goetz and Sylvanus G. Morley, pp. 81-82), a triumvirate of Gods known as "Caculhá, Huracán, Chipi-Caculhá, and Raxa-Caculhá."

Lords of Xibalba.Before time existed, "there was only the incomprehensible divinity of Hunab Ku, permeating the Heart of Heaven which slumbered for seven eternities. Then by the power of his word Hunab Ku thrilled the Heart of Heaven" (Fernandez, "The Mayan Creation Story"). Similarly, Curly exists only within an incomprehensible series of "woo woo woos" and "nyuk nyuks" until awakened by the power of Moe's word: "spread out," "wise guy," "why, I oughta," etc.

Counting original Stooge-master Ted Healy, we find seven stooges, remarkably like the manifestations of God Seven: Itzamna Kauil, Tzacol, Bitol, Tepeu, Gucumatz, Alom, and Caholom. Like the Mayan Gods, each stooge is associated with a cosmic dimension: Healy the detachment of rationality, Moe the need for control, Larry the sweetness of innocence, Curly the exuberance of freedom, Shemp the irrationality of fear, Joe the ambiguity of gender, and Curly Joe the understanding that we can always be replaced.

In another sense, Moe represents the Lords of Xibalba, the Underworld, who victimize and humiliate the Ahpu twins (here represented by Larry and Curly), showing "the failure of spiritual beings to more spiritual levels" (see Fernandez). Not until the twins learn how to defend themselves (Curly's classic block of Moe's finger-poke is iconic) can the twins prevail.

Healy, a shadowy figure in early Stooge-dom, is an interesting type. He represents a devil-like figure whose "only ambition was to exalt himself and to dominate" (Popol Vuh, p. 94) and thus was banished by the Trinity of stooges.

This line of research is promising and may offer further evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity. It is an exciting time to be alive.

Mormon Trinities: Full circle to nothing but laughs - by Ken Taylor

From your ancient American historical perspective, fast forward to the 1830s when the latter-day stooge leader, (Joe, of course) set up the church with a trinity at the head: himself and 2 counselors. They soon began moving all over the eastern & midwestern States, getting into scrape after scrape, adding revelations, changing doctrines, adding wives.....

But wait, there's more: Enter the Joe's temple and you find another trinitarian-stooge group: Elohim, Jehovah and Michael, going down and up, up and down on the celestial elevator, endlessly repeating and reporting to each other, as if they didn't know what was going on.

The Mayan First Presidency.And then there's Adam, Eve and Lucifer - another comic trinitarian manifestation, in and out, out and in, of all kinds of trouble, and never quite getting along. (you're in, you're out, you're naked, you're bad, you're alone, you're dumb, you're good, you're evil)

And don't forget Peter, James and John, filing up and down those 6 steps, back and forth, back and forth, up and down. Who were those time-traveling stooges, really?

No wonder the Protestant Minister doesn't show up anymore... with all those crazy stooges around, he had to get out.

And, of course, fast forwarding again, to today, we have Gordo, Tommy and Boyd, running all over the globe in their white suits, building and dedicating and babbling and changing the doctrine, changing the history, changing the image..... changing the set for the next scene.

What an act! The trinities are alive and well in the morg.

But the stooges are not just these guys. They're all the TBMs we know and love, running from home to church to temple, trying to keep up, but never quite understanding that it's all just a chinese fire drill.

Three strikes and you're.... OUT.

Plea for help to Daniel Peterson and Farms: Please save Barry Bonds!

03/14/2006 - Badboy

Dear Daniel and FARMS,

I’m starting to feel those same feelings of intellectual vertigo that I felt while reading Under the Banner of Heaven or when comparing the Book of Abraham to the Book of Breathings. You helped me get through those challenges, and I hope you can help me get through my latest one.

Simply put, this is my challenge:


I know this with all my heart. But now, a bunch of anti-bonds are trying harder than ever to destroy him. (See article at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/03/06/growth0313/index.html). When I read this article today, I just felt sick to my stomach. It's well written, well documented, but it JUST CAN'T BE TRUE!!!

It seams that the media and everybody else whose not a Bonds fans is trying to tear him down now. But I know, all this opposition wouldn’t be happening unless he really weren’t THE GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYER EVER.

Joseph Smith on spiritual steroidsSo, I need you help to fend off these antis.

Bonds has brought me so much happiness over the past few years: ’73 home runs, MVPs galore, NL champs, splash-hits, 500-500, chickens on the right field wall, and the joy of seeing opposing teams and entire games bow to his bat. He has also made our community so happy. Fan attendance is way up at the temple (aka PacBell Park), Orange and Black dominates the city streets, and people love to watch Barry so much, that they sit in boats outside the stadium hoping to catch one of his massive thumps into McCovey cove.

How could someone who has made so many people so happy be bad?

I don’t care what anyone says, I’m not going to believe them. He’s the GREATEST!!! I’ve seen him hit home runs, it makes me feel so happy, and I know he is the GREATEST.

These anti-bonds simply see how happy we all are here in SF with Bonds, and want to destroy it—probably because they are miserable with their teams and wish they could be giants fans too, but can’t because they don’t live in San Francisco! But all this opposition just goes to prove my point—that he is the Greatest.

Please write a book review about this new book coming out, and dispel and obfusticate all of these evil allegations by the anti-bonds about "steroid use". Attack the authors--they' are jsut "anti-bonds" who I can ignore. Dispute that there is any evidence he took steroids (hey, he never tested positive for steroid use, did he?). Show how "in historical context" his steroid use wasn't wrong--i.e. not "banned by baseball at the time", or that other players do it to so why the "higher standard for Bonds", etc. etc. You've used similar arguments before defending the Mormon church, and I know you knock one out of the park for Barry.

Even if you can’t “disprove” all these allegations against Barry in the new book (in fact, I bet you can’t cause its impossible to “prove” or “disprove” anything 100%, right buddy?), I at least hope you can help me feel better about thinking Bonds is the best. I want to be able to watch him pass Ruth and Arron. It will make be so happy but I won't be able to really enjoy it unless I have some intellectually satisfying (or mind numbing) way to look past these allegations. In fact, I don't even care if it is true that he took steroids--I just want to still believe that he is the greatest, and not think other people have a right to think I'm a fool for doing so.

I’m sure you can come up with something--becuase you always can--no matter what the facts, evidence, or arguments thrown your way. You are simply the best out there, Dan, and Barry needs you now.

Forever your Brother,

Bad boy

P.S. Publishing such a book review could be great for FARMS. No one cares about tapiers v. horses, or why polygamy is good (or bad, I forget which one it is?), but Bonds is big news. You get your book review out there, and everyone in San Francisco will LOVE you. San Fran is one market FARMS has yet to penetrate, but if you can save Bonds like you have so many Mormons, we San Franciscans will just as equally worship you as we do Barry.

In all seriousness, I really need a recovery from Bond’s board

I wish I would have had a neuroscanner hooked up to me when I came across the internet news story about Bonds yesterday morning to track my brain functions ever since. I think the data it would have gathered could have been a useful contribution to the science of trying to understand "belief" and the RFM board's collective quest to understand why we were so willing to hold onto to silly convictions, despite our otherwise reliable intellect and judgment regarding obvious evidence and simple reasoning to the contrary.

I've been a FARMS esq Bonds apologist for a long time--but didn't really figure this out until yesterday. The comparisons with my continued belief of the church for so long, and my up-until-yesterday unwavering defense of Bonds are embarrassingly similar---and I thought I would have known better by now.

Up until late yesterday I either 1) disputed the evidence (contained in the new book, and previously revealed) that he took steroids, or 2) refused to accept the consequences of what it means that he did take steroids (and that he is kind of a jerk).

It wasn’t until last night when I saw an interview with the reporter who co-wrote the new book that the reality of my just-like-a-TBM denial hit me: The reporter said something like: “sure, you can try to discredit an individual witness here, or question a piece of evidence there; but when you look at the TOTALITY OF THE INFORMATION, and the fact that it all LINKS TOGETHER and MAKES SENSE TOGETHER, you can’t reach any other conclusion than that he knowingly and willingly took steroids.”

I could have sworn that it wasn't this reporter, but instead, was Simon Southerton talking about DNA or Bob McCue giving one of his lenghty disertations. And then it hit me--

And I’ve been going through recovery ever since, but only have this board as an outlet that may actually relate to and understand what I'm feeling.

I was so looking forward to this next season—PacBell park is only blocks away, and I’ve been dreaming about maybe being at the stadium to see him pass Ruth, or just hanging out at the bars after the games around the stadium, and all those other great things that come with a record breaking season. And its all destroyed now it seems.

Barry's my baseball missionary--converted me to the game back in '97, and unfortunately, as with most converts, when my missionary goes away, I'll likely lose interest and fade from the game too.

I can’t deny that, in all seriousness, I’m still sort of hoping for some miracle to make it all go away or, that I might be willing to buy a into some FARMS esq explanation to bring back my lost dream, despite the truth. Clearly, there is more at play than reasoning and truth, here. I'm really interested to see how I (and Barry) process this all as the season progresses.

Chief Riding Tapir FARMS FAIR BYU LDS Book of Mormon DNA Lamanite.

FARMS and fast food

02/04/2006 - runtu

Although Daniel Midgley-Welch is well-known in apologetic circles, most people are unaware of his prior career as cashier/fry cook in a local Burger King. Our researchers have transcribed the audio from a surviving security video to give an exciting glimpse of his young mind at work.

DMW: Welcome to Burger King. May I help you?

Patron: Uh, I'm not sure what I want. I've never been here before.

DMW: Just take your time. Look over the menu, study it out, and perhaps pray for guidance.

Patron: What?

DMW: Oh, never mind. We have a lot to choose from.

Patron: What's this Big King sandwich?

DMW: It's two beef patties, our secret sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.

Patron: Sounds just like a Big Mac.

DMW: Clearly you're not familiar with the work of Clark Shirts, who showed in his survey that the Big King cannot be derived from a Big Mac. No, it has its roots in an ancient Sumerian sandwich, which not coincidentally used the same sort of wrapper we use. Of course, it was made of papyrus. Really, you should keep up with the research.

Patron: What about the BK Fish Sandwich? Is that like a filet o' fish?

DMW: Look, you don't need to get belligerent. That question was answered in the 1960s by our respected ichthyologist, Drew Squibley. Don't even bring up the filet o' fish until you've read Squibley. It makes you look foolish.

Patron: Look, I just want something to eat. What do you recommend?

DMW: I'm not going to do your research for you. If you want me to give you a list of articles, fine. But I don't have time to bring you up to speed if you're not willing to put in minimal effort.

Patron: Are your fries any good? I heard you changed your recipe back in the 90s.

DMW: That's an anti-Burger King lie. They have never changed. Our fries are unlike any others in the world.

Patron: They're just fried potatoes, like everyone else's.

DMW: Silly boy. We invented fries.

Patron: That's ridiculous. If Burger King invented fries, I'd like to see some conclusive evidence for that.

DMW: What kind of evidence are you looking for?

Patron: I don't know. Wrappers, something in print, anything that mentions Burger King as inventing the fry.

DMW: You are so ignorant, aren't you? Why would you expect that kind of evidence?

Patron: Well, if a large corporation had developed such a product a long time ago, you'd expect it to leave some trace of its actual occurrence.

DMW: Obviously, you've never heard of the Limited Potato Theory. Burger King in those days did not start within a vacuum. There were thousands of other fast-food businesses surrounding it, and it was merely absorbed into the larger economy. In fact, Burger King was so good at hiding its impact, that we really have no evidence that it even existed, but we know it did; otherwise, how do you explain the existence of french fries? Did Burger King just make a good guess?

Patron: Can't I just get something to eat? I just want to know what you have that's good.

DMW: Jeez, you're a real fundamentalist. Really, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously if you use such outdated Enlightenment terminology, such as "good"? You're never going to survive unless you take a more postmodern approach to the world.

Patron: I think I'm going to go over to In-N-Out instead.

DMW: Oh, sure. Ignore the evidence. Just stick your head in the sand and cling to your predetermined beliefs.

Manager: Did we lose another customer?

DMW: Yeah, boss. For some reason, people don't seem to be interested in the truth.

Manager: Losers.

FARMS name changes

02/03/2007 - Blash

Provo, Utah -- BYU President M. Aster Bateman announced in a press conference today that the name of the well-known Mormon issues research entity previously designated F.A.R.M.S. has been changed to "BYU Department of Anthro-apology". The new department will be chaired by Juan DerWeier Maipetersbeen, who has been a the chief spokesmodel for F.A.R.M.S. for the past 27 years. The organization's periodic newsletter title will be changed to "Anthro-apology Today" and subtitled "Hinckley's Believe It or Else!" The website URL will also be changed to: www.icantbelieveitsnotbullshit.com

November 6, 2005

Hill Cumorah Palmyra New York.

FARMS Unveiling Brand New "THREE Cumorahs" Theory

Hill Cumorah number one near Palmyra, New York.

by Tal Bachman

Provo - AP - Apologetic Press Scholars based at Brigham Young University today announced a new theory to defend the Book of Mormon's claims about ancient America.

"The Book of Mormon only mentions one Hill Cumorah, as does Joseph Smith", said Professor Garloy P. Hendricks, director of Mormon research group FARMS. "The problem was that excavations at the hill in New York identified by Joseph Smith as Cumorah failed to uncover any trace of the two million people who supposedly died there a mere 1600 years ago. And that could only mean one thing - NOT that Joseph Smith had written the book himself, but that there had been TWO Cumorahs".

The most prominent Mormon defender of the Two Cumorahs Theory has been anthropologist John L. Sorenson. According to Sorenson, the second Hill Cumorah is located not in upstate New York, but in Mexico, in or near the Tuxtla Mountains. This theory, contradicting as it does the words of Mormon prophets and apostles, has increasingly come under fire by critics. Hendricks however continues to defend it.

Hill Cumorah two in Mexico. "I have no doubt that John Sorenson's theory is true", remarked Hendricks, "even though excavation in southern Veracruz has also failed to uncover any evidence of any of the events, people, or places described by the Book of Mormon. But that in turn has led to a wonderful breakthrough in our understanding of the Book of Mormon - NOT that it was authored by Joseph, but there was not only just one Cumorah, nor just two, but THREE Cumorahs!".

When asked how the One Cumorah, Two Cumorahs, and Three Cumorahs theories could all be true when they all contradicted each other, Hendricks simply replied, "with God, nothing is impossible. Besides, I don't really see a problem there".

The Three Cumorahs Theory, or TCT, as propounded by Hendricks and his colleagues I. Bray Forluker and S. Nodefrum Burth, posits that the source record of the Book of Mormon - the so-called Golden Plates - was indeed recovered within New York's "Cumorah One", though they are not there now. It then argues that a fairly small area of Central America was in fact the "spiritual home" of the events, people, and places described by the Golden Plates, rather than the "physical home", and that "Cumorah Two" is thus merely the "spiritual" home of the final battle. "The fact is, there never was any reason for anyone to believe there was REALLY a giant battle in the Tuxtla mountains. A close reading of the text of the Book of Mormon, and of Sorenson's writing, makes it clear that Cumorah Two isn't the physical site of the battle at all, just the spiritual home".

Asked to elaborate, Hendricks remarked that "if, for example, Jewish people do something in New York City, the actual 'spiritual home' of the people, and what they just did, is across the Atlantic, in Israel. Something similar, we now know, is the case with the story of the Book of Mormon. So Sorenson's theory is still perfectly valid".

Hill Cumorah Three in spirit. However, critics argue that a serious flaw in the Three Cumorahs Theory (the TCT) is that neither Hendricks nor his colleagues will actually specify any possible location for Cumorah Three. "If upstate New York was the home of the plates, and Central America is the 'spiritual' home of the story of the Book of Mormon, where actually is the real home?", asked Jack Daines, a founding editor of liberal Mormon magazine "New Delusions". "People and places and events, if they are real, actually have to exist physically, within the boundaries of time and space. Where is that space?".

Hendricks responded that neither he nor his colleagues had any obligation to pinpoint the actual physical setting of the Book of Mormon, since the burden of proof is on those who doubt the historicity of the Book of Mormon to prove it never happened anywhere. "The TCT stands on its own", said Hendricks. "And may I say that we have no desire to 'confine the sacred'. The Book of Mormon is scripture for everyone, everywhere, so in a real sense, it can be said to have happened, potentially, anywhere and everywhere, for everyone. Mormons therefore should have no fear about their faith in the Book of Mormon - with the TCT, it is safe forever".

In a related story, LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks recently met with representatives of the Great Pumpkin Research Foundation to discuss joint apologetic efforts. "We anticipate a 'fruitful', ha ha, collaboration with members of the GPRF", said Oaks. "As Latter-day Saints, we are always interested in coming together with others with whom we share similar belief systems".

One FARMS Scholar's Reply: I disagree with the need for a Third Cumorah.

Chicxulub meteor crater in Mexico. There is, in fact, no controversy about the "second" site of Cumorah, located in Mexico. The reason nothing has been found is that the site was utterly destroyed by the Chicxulub meteor impact, 65 million years ago.

There is nothing in the Bible or the Book of Mormon that precludes time travel. We at FARMS have recently discovered subtle clues in the Book of Moses to the effect that the Book of Mormon peoples, using the vast powers of the Liahona, traveled back to late Cretaceous era after they arrived in the Americas and found to their chagrin that the land was already inhabited by others of Asian descent.

This hypothesis also resolves the Book of Mormon horses problem. We at FARMS have never claimed that the Tapir hypothesis was widely accepted. If we accept that the Book of Mormon peoples were time travellers living in the late Cretaceous, and blown to smithereens along with their DNA and all their cultural artifacts by the Chicxulub meteor, then it's obvious that the "horses" mentioned in the Book of Mormon are actually Triceratops.


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