Louis Midgley seems to think it is. My own feeling is that it probably depends on one’s reading of the phrase “anti-Mormon.” And what exactly is an anti-Mormon book? In the essay directly preceding Midgley’s, Davis Bitton suggests that anti-Mormon books are the equivalent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Is this combination of two descriptions coincidental? (Dan Peterson?) Let’s put the obvious two and two together –as the FARMS Review reader is likely to do — and ask:
Is Signature the equivalent of the Protocols? Or (to use one well-known Signature book which FARMS has criticized): Is Todd Compton’s In Sacred Loneliness the equivalent of the Protocols?
I must say, my initial reaction was that a strong argument could be made that Compton’s work, the product of his own historical research, was probably quite different from the fabrications of the Russian police. In addition, I’m not aware of anyone who has launched a pogrom or started killing Mormon neighbors because she read Compton. But perhaps FARMS is aware of such incidents. They’re the experts, after all. I don’t want to question their wisdom in putting Bitton’s descriptions of anti-Mormon materials (“Anti-Mormon works demonize their subjects.”) immediately before Midgley’s characterization of Signature as an anti-Mormon press. So deferring to the greater wisdom of FARMS, I find my initial impression wrong: It must indeed be that Signature books demonize their subjects, and are our version of the Protocols (yikes!), and it’s my own fault, silly neophyte that I am, that I haven’t sufficiently noticed this yet.
Thank you, FARMS, for saving me from the evils of Signature. (Whew!). I’ll now take that $180 that I had been intending to buy New Mormon Studies with, and donate it to the Perpetual Education Fund. And may I recommend that everyone check first with the FARMS Review before buying, or even opening up, any books that purport to deal with Mormon topics.
p.s. After reading Midgley’s unflattering description of John Hatch, I’ve sworn off of reading BCC as well. Shame on Steve Evans for giving that man a blogging platform! (One wonders — is BCC an anti-Mormon blog?).