Debating Ancient Book of Mormon Fantasies

I have been engaged in exchanges with Bill Hamblin at his blog, on the subject of the historicity of the Book of Mormon. My responses to his most recent posts are presently forming a sizable backlog, which I thought I would clear here. Throughout, the “you” refers to Dr. Hamblin. He is of course welcome to respond to anything I write here, and I will post it at this site.

For the uninitiated, several of the following concern apologist claims about an Arabian site called Nahom, which features in the Book of Mormon, and its supposed connections with a site of similar name that existed in the ancient world, and which appears on nineteenth century maps. Apologists get quite excited about this place, because it briefly diverts attention from their absolute failure to come up with a shred of evidence for their claims in the New World. When this failure is pointed out to them, they go all Bogie-and-Bergman-Casablanca, and get misty eyed as they sigh, plaintively, “But we’ll always have Nahom.” It’s a shame for them that the claims about supposed Book of Mormon linkages are wholly spurious.

Have you ever argued with Scientologists? It is a clear waste of time as the attitude is don’t bother us with facts. The more cult like a religion is the less chance there is an appeal to reason. There is a psychological basis as well, pressure from the rest of the community to conform. I have noticed with some non-Christian religions there is a tendency to get carried away by magical stories. The Bible doesn’t have miracles for show or for people to gasp at but to demonstrate morality in action.


Unfortunately, I recently learned that the resistance from LDS believers can get ugly. I wasn’t attacked or anything, but… I had been entertaining some missionaries for a few visits, trying to see where they were at, keep them from bothering less solidly Catholic folk, maybe put a crack in the armor or a stone in the shoe. It didn’t work out. Maybe it’s just the setting, insofar as missionaries may not want to “debate”.

Cults that allegedly practice mind control: Scientology, Mormonism, the Moonies, the latter had my brother-in-law firmly indoctrinated for almost 3 decades. Only a miracle of self-protective commonsense saved him. He wanted to start a business and they said OK. when it got underway, they wanted to take it over. He said Nah and that was the beginning of the end. Otherwise, it was nearly impossible to get a word in edgewise with him and even after he was married and physically away from them there was still the picture of the Big Guy, Moon and his wife on the wall. By now he has taken it down.

There can be mind control apart from religion. Mentally disturbed people with an urge to convince others often have a charisma that sucks others into their irrational world. I’ve seen it happen in families (my own included) where you can’t reason with anyone, they stuff up their ears when you want to bring up certain facts, the vice grip of the controlling person causes them to think and act like robots.

However, as with Mormonism and anything else, you can fool the people some of the time but not all the people all of the time. Access to the internet and a world of cross checking facts means you can run but not hide. These ladies are starting a kind of revolution, maybe for the wrong reasons but a heads up at any rate:

Also in families, the truth eventually rises to the top, like cream…

It is far better to encounter doubting Mormons in more natural settings. The missionaries are just salesmen. The last time I talked to them, I just told them that they would not like to talk with me.

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