exposes the true nature of William Hamblin and the late “FARMS Review”


The entirely justified dismissal of the editor of the “FARMS Review”


All right-thinking people know that the late FARMS Review published nothing, or virtually nothing, except vicious, baseless, and dishonest ad hominem attacks.  And among the worst of its authors was the execrable William Hamblin, a so-called “historian.”


The Review had become such an embarrassing stench that its editor (Daniel Peterson) and his associate editors (Louis Midgley, George Mitton, Gregory Smith, and Robert White) had to be summarily dismissed in order to preserve the reputation of the Maxwell Institute.  Now, indisputable evidence of the contempt in which the Review and, specifically, William Hamblin were held by all but a few literalist Mormon fanatics appears in the pages of



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  • John P

    Yes. And an accurate image of the dismisser!

  • oldsgm

    I suggest that folks read the entire article. While he does specifically mention FARMS and William Hamblin, the rest of the article was a fascinating look at an atheist could find some positive aspects in religion while dismissing the idea of God altogether. I found his discussion of atheism from an ideological point of view really interesting.

  • ringg

    Excellent article by Curtis White in Salon. I wish that Hitch himself were alive to duke it out (rhetorically, of course) with this guy. I suspect White would fare well, and I would buy a ticket to watch. With regard to W. Hamblin’s contribution to the argument, I’m impressed by the compliments headed his way. It’s worth noting that the compliments are counter-balanced by some commentary on the obscurity of the venue in which Hamblin’s paper appeared:

    “Hamblin is thorough, patient, relentless, but also, it seems to me, a little perplexed and saddened by Hitchens’s naked dishonesty and, in all probability, by his own feeling of impotence. You can hardly blame him. Criticism of this character would have, and surely should have, revealed Hitchens’s book for what it is … if it hadn’t been published in The FARMS Review of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University. Hitchens need never have feared the dulling of his reputation for intellectual dash and brio from that source.”

    To truly engage someone such as Hitchens (or Dawkins, or Harris, or Dennett, or …), White is recommending that Hamblin and colleagues should deploy their arguments in more visible venues where the world can benefit from their thoughtful, patient, and deserving approach. Shall we aim our sites higher?

    • DanielPeterson

      Bill and I produced, very quickly, about 60% of what I, modestly enough, think is a devastating book-length critique of Hitchens’s “god is Not Great.” We thought we had a non-LDS publisher lined up, but that fell through. And — timing is everything — the Hitchens book soon dropped from the bestseller lists and our proposed book wasn’t “timely” any more. We still have the stuff, but the ooomph went out of it.

      • Eric Ringger

        Sorry to hear it. I wonder why the Salon editors decided to take on Hitchens again posthumously now.

        • DanielPeterson

          I haven’t the foggiest. I was surprised to see it.