The First Book of Napoleon Cherry Picking

CES Letter Core Question

The First Book of Napoleon has some similar phrases to the Book of Mormon. Was this plagiarism?

While The CES Letter contains many misrepresentations, this “side-by-side comparison” is perhaps the most egregious deliberate deception within the Letter. The deception becomes obvious by identifying the location of the individual excerpts, which are connected with twelve sets of ellipses. 


The page number in The First Book of Napoleon is located in brackets at the end of each extract.

The First Book of Napoleon:

Condemn not the (writing)[i]…an account[ii]…the First Book of Napoleon[iii]…upon the face of the earth[v]…it came to pass[9]…the land[9]…their inheritances their gold and silver[10] and…the commandments of the Lord[12]…the foolish imaginations of their hearts[17]…small in stature[19]…Jerusalem[21]…because of the perverse wickedness of the people[25].

Red dots demonstrate where the excerpts are located in the first twenty-five pages (modified from FairMormon.org):

Napoleon cropped


 

The deception is compounded by the extreme measures needed to also create the Book of Mormon statement for the comparison. The chapter and verses are in brackets.

The Book of Mormon:

Condemn not the[title page] (writing)[not found]…an account[title page]…the First Book of Nephi[book section title]…upon the face of the earth[1 Nephi 1:11 ]…it came to pass[1:12]…the land[2.4]…his inheritance and his gold and his silver and[2:4}…the commandments of the Lord[2:10]…the foolish imaginations of his heart[2:11]…large in stature[2:16]…Jerusalem[3:2]…because of the wickedness of the people[3:17].

1 Nephi 3:17 is on page 10 of the 1830 Book of Mormon so the excerpts are taken from the first eleven pages of the Book of Mormon.


To summarize, in order to create a “side-by-side” parallel between words from The First Book of Napoleon and the Book of Mormon, the author of The CES Letter needed to extract twelve words or word groups from the first twenty-five pages and compare them to twelve separate words or word groups in the first ten pages of the Book of Mormon. This process is not only unscholarly, but dishonest because it creates a deliberate deception.


Additional Resources:

FairMormon: Was the beginning of the Book of Mormon derived from The First Book of Napoleon?

See Also:

Scriptural Style in Early Nineteenth Century American Literature (including The Late War by Gilbert J. Hunt) by Matt Roper and Paul Fields

“The Late War Against the Book of Mormon”, by Benjamin L., McGuire

New Computer Study Purports to Detect Literary Influences on the Book of Mormon by Christopher Smith