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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 05:59PM

This could not have been made up any better, especially since it actually took place.

Now that Danny Peterson--bizarro apologist extraordinaire for the LDS Cult--has been summarily fired by the Maxwell Institute/FARMS, leave it to fellow Mormon propagandist William Hamblin to defend the FARMS Institute's laughighly pathetic "cutting edge scholarship."

(for Hamblin's recent admission that Peterson has been given the boot by the Maxwell FARMS Insitute, see: "Re: The Maxwell Institute Episode," posted by "Simon in Oz," on "Recovery from Mormonism" bulletin board, 21 June 2012, at:,537019,537038#msg-537038)

At the outset, let it be noted that LDS Cult apologist Hamblin has had a history of assaults on those who post here on RfM.

In this regard--and in a stunningly hypocritical hit piece entitled, "Their 'Little Corner of Cyberspace"--pro-Mo apologists on the so-called "FAIR" board have attacked "the vehemence with which its detractors approach anything having to do with the [Mormon] Church' . . . [on the] the popular 'Recovery from Mormonism' message board, which receives up to 1,000 posts per day by a disgruntled collection of Mormon dissidents."

How is this known by the faithful?

Hamblin, his FAIR supporters confess, acknowledges "lurking on the 'Recovery' board for a while," where he claims to "have really been astonished by what I've seen [t]here."

Among other complaints, Humpty Grumpty Hamblin waxes whiny about the "arrogance" he says exists on RfM, as so declared in his following observation:

"For many on this board, it seems that once your mind is freed from the shackles of Mormonism you are suddenly capable of being absolutely right about absolutely everything.

"When I find a cartoonist pontificating with absolute certitude about the history of religion, for example--on topics where mere mortals with PhDs have spent lifetimes of study and still are unable to resolve disputed issues--you will have to forgive me for being dubious about the intellectual rigor required by many on this board."

(William Hamblin, "Their Little Corner of Cybperspace," August 2003, at:


People like Hamblin are in no position to point fingers at the supposed lack of credibility of ex-Mormon critics when, in fact, Hamblin himself has been guilty of astonishingly juvenile antics in blasting those critics in ways that cause adult students of Mormon studies to drop their jaws in utter disbelief.

Mormon apologists, reviewers and "researchers" in Hamblin's backwater bush league are notorious for savaging critics of the Mormon Church for supposedly being puerile and unsophisticated in the conclusions these skeptics reach about LDS doctrine, practice and history.

Case in point: FARMS offensive lineman (and we do mean "offensive") Hamblin--in ridiculing Jerald and Sandra Tanner's work, "Covering up the Black Hole in the Book of Mormon"--pompously asserted:

"[T]hey [the Tanners] simply refuse to deal with recent serious Latter-day Saint arguments . . . a perfect picture of the Tanners at the height of their ineptitude . . . completely fails to deal with [current LDS scholarly] interpretation of the Book of Mormon geography and archaeology . . . incapable of seriously dealing with academic studies and issues surrounding questions of archaeology and geography of either the New or old World. . . . [they should] stick to their . . . facile, ad nauseum demonstrations that Latter-day Saint doctrine bears little relationship to fundamentalist Protestant doctrine."

(Hamblin, "Archaeology and the Book of Mormon: "A Review of 'Archaeology and the Book of Mormon' by Jerald and Sandra Tanner," reprinted from "FARMS Review," vol. 5, issue 1, pp. 258-72, Maxwell Institute, Provo, Utah, 1993, at:

Hamblin is the last person to be chiding others for not being serious.

--THe "Metcalfe-is-Butthead" Highwater Mark for FARMS

Hamblin himself is about as serious as a whoopie cushion in a church pew.

John Weldon, writing for the "Apologetics Index," points to the stupidly childish FARMS case of "Metcalfe Is Butthead," which exposed Hamblin's breathtaking immaturity in dealing with Mormonism's critics:

"FARMS is, as we know, an acronym for the 'Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies.'

"Unfortunately, after reading their reviews, etc., and examining their methods, an acronym equally suited for FARMS would often be: 'Frequent Artless Ridicule Made Simple.'

"This is particularly so in light of the 'Metcalfe is Butthead' acronym fiasco, and similar matters. We mean no disrespect toward the more balanced FARMS writers, but FARMS style and antics are often less than scholarly."

(John Weldon, "Appendix 2: FARMS Review of Books," at:

Just what, exactly, was this "fiasco" and how was Hamblin involved in it?

An answer to that question exposes the FARMS boys as engaging (and eventually being caught in) some of the most infantile, imbecilic antics imaginable.

Lecturer John Hatch, in an address at a "Sunstone" symposium entitled "Why I No Longer Trust the FARMS Review of Books," detailed this extremely unprofessional and embarrassing moment in the history of FARMS's juvenile and scurrilous attacks on Mormonism's critics:

"Mormon book collectors know there is one issue of FARMS Review of Books that is extremely rare. It is the first statement of issue 6:1, the issue that was almost entirely dedicated to reviewing Brent Metcalfe's book, 'New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology.'

"The amount of space spent reviewing Metcalfe and his book is almost three hundred pages.

"However, the important point for book collectors is the review by William Hamblin. In his review, Hamblin originally included an acrostic. An acrostic is something of a code or puzzle hidden within a set of paragraphs or lines. When one takes the first or last letter of the line or paragraph and puts them together, they form a word or phrase, similar to an acronym.

"In this instance, by taking the first letter of every paragraph in the first few pages of Hamblin's review the phrase, 'Metcalfe is Butthead' was formed. After the publisher of the book threatened a lawsuit, FARMS reprinted the issue rewording several of the paragraphs.

"It was an incredibly unprofessional and downright immature move on the part of FARMS. Again, the question of 'why' springs to mind. Why is such a childish and personal attack necessary?

"Another disturbing facet of this story is the fact that the reviewer obviously spent the vast majority of his time trying to form the code that would spell out 'Metcalfe is Butthead' rather than trying to formulate a competent, persuasive review.


"That is the question I have for FARMS that has never been answered. Why do they feel that scholars, church members, and even human beings can act the way they have at times and still be taken seriously and have the respect of others?"

Below is another account of Hamblin's back-firing butt approach to Mormon "academics," entitled "Metcalfe is Butthead":

"William J. Hamblin published an essay in a FARMS publication entitled, 'Review of Books on the Book of Mormon,' criticizing an essay by Brent Metcalfe, a writer who criticized the Book of Mormon. The point of Hamblin's essay was that Metcalfe criticized the Book of Mormon using circular arguments and by applying uneven standards.

"Hamblin's review included an [acrostic' spelling out 'Metcalfe is Butthead,' a reference to one of the two title characters in the popular cartoon Beavis and Butt-head that aired during the mid-1990s. (The acrostic was made up of the first letters of paragraphs spanning nine pages of the essay.)

"After the 1994 publication went to press and a few early issues were distributed, it was caught by a FARMS editor who stopped the press run, recalled the issues, and edited part of the acrostic out.

"Portions still remained, with the post-editing acrostic spelling out 'METWHSFE IA BUTAHEAT.'

"'Associated Press' writer Vern Anderson wrote an article concerning the matter which was published in the 'Deseret News':

"'The salvos contained in the 566-page "Review of Books on the Book of Mormon" come as no surprise, given the longstanding animus between scholars associated with FARMS, many of them professors at church-owned Brigham Young University, and those published by the independent Signature Books. . . .

"'Recently a review by BYU history professor William Hamblin containing an encrypted message 'Metcalfe is butthead' was hastily edited out after the "Review" had gone to press.'

"Upon learning of the acrostic, Metcalfe responded, stating:

"'When I heard rumors that William J. Hamblin, FARMS board member and BYU historian, had a caustic encryption in his review. . . . I summarily dismissed them. Surely no legitimate scholar would stoop to such an inane level. However, it seems that I underestimated Hamblin's 'scholarly' prowess. Do Hamblin and Peterson's methods typify the brand of "scholarship" FARMS, BYU Department of History, and BYU Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages cultivates and endorses? Evidently some have shifted from apologist to misologist.'

"Those critical of FARMS use the incident as primary evidence of the mean-spirited nature of what FARMS produces. Those supportive of FARMS counter that the critics seem unable to look beyond the incident to address the actual scholarship in FARMS publications."

("Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies," under "Metcalfe is Butthead," at:

As Hamblin the Hypocrite so amply demonstrates, walking through a FARMS review is like attempting to cross through a farm's barnyard.

You're quite likely to get some unwelcome residue on the bottom of your boots.

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2012 06:31PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: onmyspiritualjourney ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 06:27PM

Are you THE Steve Benson? If so, your testimony of leaving the church really helped me leave the church, so thank you!!!!!

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Posted by: Onmywayout . . . someday ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 07:56PM

Steve is actually fairly active on RFM and has been for like 15+ years. It's amazing to me that he still has the energy and interest. I don't know of any RFMers from way back in the Webt 1.0 days that still post so regularly.

Keep it up Steve!

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 07:44PM

My comments on William J. Hamblin's article "Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon"
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 161-97
Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1993

Summary: Hamblin chastises Book of Mormon (BoM) critics, singling out as an example a Christian critic's article, which asserted that the Book of Mormon's historicity is not supported by archaeological findings. He points out logical and factual errors of commission and omission in the critic's article, but then in his critique commits many of those same errors himself. His article, in fact, by explaining in detail why archaeological research has not supported the Book of Mormon, tacitly agrees with the main premise and conclusion of the article he is criticizing: archaeology does not support the Book of Mormon claims.

Read my full critique at

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Posted by: MormonThinker ( )
Date: May 08, 2014 12:58PM

RPackham Wrote:

> Read my full critique at

Very interesting reading and a great critique Richard. Thanks

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Posted by: mra ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 09:19PM

Blew my mind when I found out that the amazing Dr. Laura Hamblin is the sister of this baffoon. She is so incredibly smart, artistic, a critical thinker, humble, social justice minded, a kind keeper of humanity, and intelligent enough to have flown the mormon coop many years ago. He, on the other hand is pompus, arrogant, offensive, childish and possibly really believes in the total nonsense he tries to defend.

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Posted by: Onmywayout . . . someday ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 09:37PM

I was a History major at BYU in the late 90's and signed up to take a class taught by Hamblin. He came in and then announced that his goal was to make as many of us drop as possible. He then proceeded to tell us how hard of a grader he was, how he was going to bury us with reading assignments, etc. What kind of a teacher is that? I dropped the class.

Needless to say I wasn't surprised at all to see this guy's antics when I started reading FARMS stuff. Reading FARMS reviews from the likes of DCP, Midgley and Hamblin did more to kill my testimony than anything I ever read on this board or elsewhere. Thanks guys!

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Posted by: sillysally ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 09:39PM

Question, in the post that was started earlier that linked Hamblins commentary on Dan Peterson's firing, there was a post where someone had shown that Dan Peterson and Bill Hamblin lie in their bibliographies. I've always wondered whether their "sources" are legitimate,and after reading that post, it seems like their bibliographies and references are questionable. Has anyone that you know of ever conducted an audit of Hamblin's and Peteron's bibliographies?

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Posted by: ozpoof ( )
Date: June 21, 2012 09:59PM

Further proof that a doctorate doesn't mean you have any common sense or logic - you're just really good at stringing together enough different people's work with references to avoid plagiarizing one text.

All FARMS work is also a classic example of how preconceived notions (dogma) that are always considered correct results in a total disregard for the scientific method and a dishonest editing of research to reflect confirmation bias.

In short, you crap all over your PhD when you start from the position that you are correct and you look for evidence to prove you are rather than looking at all the facts and determining truth as you find it.

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Posted by: Don Bagley ( )
Date: June 22, 2012 02:19AM

Another incisive view into the dark underbelly of Mormonism. Well done, Steve.

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Posted by: T-Bone ( )
Date: June 22, 2012 04:12AM

Thanks for the info. Having participated on the FAIR board and its later Mormon apologetics board, I found it to be anything but Christlike.

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Posted by: ^ ( )
Date: May 08, 2014 01:44AM

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Posted by: quinlansolo ( )
Date: May 08, 2014 01:33PM

a Bonehead decision doubtless originated GA level OK. What kinda Idiot decides that, knowing how much DCP is beloved among the sheep?

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