My first sight of Dee Jay Nelson was of a facsimile of his letter to the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in which he explained that because he had translated the 'lost' papyrus of The Book of Abraham and could find no agreement with Joseph Smith's translation of it he was leaving the Church. It was a well written letter on professional looking notepaper with a suitably ornate letterhead.
I was not troubled for the simple reason that my testimony does not rest on the shifting sands of secular scholarship but on a much more reliable foundation that is under-girded by the Holy Ghost.
Further acquaintance with Doctor Nelson revealed that his promotional material billed him as 'The World's Greatest Egyptologist,' and that gave him a gravitas and authority I had not assumed for him.
However, careful research into 'Dr' Nelson shows him to be a sham. His only acquaintance with pyramids is sitting under one made out of a wire frame, from which experience he cobbled together a book about Pyramid Power, titled, "Life Force in the Great Pyramids."
An example of the scholarship that went into the research for this book can be estimated from the following:
Kinesiology and the 'Water Sign'
A few years ago Dee Jay Nelson and David Coville carried out a number of kinesiology tests using a copper version of this symbol to see what effect it had on the energy fields of the body. Their work was published in Life Force in the Great Pyramids. They discovered that: 'when the sign was held in the hand, as demonstrated by our goddess, the subtle energy fields of the body were considerably strengthened.'
Hans Goedicke, the Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at John Hopkins University had this to say about Egyptology:
1. The field of Egyptology includes all aspects of the study of ancient Egypt. This comprises the study of ancient Egypt in all its phases: the writing system used, the history and the chronology, the literature, religion, social institutions, technology, and, of course, the material remains of ancient Egypt from architecture to minor arts.
2. The training of an Egyptologist is primarily done as graduate studies and requires a minimum of four or five years graduate study after an undergraduate curriculum preparing a student for its pursuits. It includes Greek, Latin, French, and German as prerequisites; further, Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian, Hieratic, Demotic, and Coptic, in addition to training in the aspects mentioned above.
3. "Pyramid Power" is not included in the field of Egyptology because it is a pseudo-scientific dilettante. The drive to attempt to see mysteries in ancient Egypt has it beginnings in the 5th Century B.C. and is happily continued at the expense of a gullible public.
. . . To put it as briefly as possible, "Pyramid Power" is peddled by charlatans who know nothing about ancient Egypt and is happily picked up by people who would rather believe in mysteries than cope with life." (Brown 1984, 201)
In 1980, Dee Jay Nelson gave a lecture attended by Robert and Rosemary Brown. He stated at that time,
"Now, before I begin the lecture, I want to say something about my credentials. Since I have been in the Valley, there has been much said against me in that respect. I am going to supply you with some addresses and if those of you who are pro-Mormon would like to get out pencil and paper and jot down, you can check my credentials. I make my living as an Egyptologist. I'm paid for it. I'm either an Egyptologist or I'm fooling a lot of people." (Brown 1984, 177)
It doesn't sound like he is too sure himself whether is actually is an Egyptologist. After accepting the challenge, the Browns gathered enough information to totally discredit Mr. Nelson's credentials. Mr. Dee Jay Nelson's income as a lecturer on Egyptology and the Book of Abraham came to a halt after exposing his false claims in their first book.
Mr. Nelson claimed that concessions to dig in Egypt were hard to obtain, but that he obtain such a license in 1959, 1960 and again in 1976. However the American Research Center in Egypt does not agree:
With reference to your inquiry of 12 March, I have no information concerning Mr./Dr. Dee Jay Nelson. His US credentials are not in my capacity to check. The Egyptian Antiquities Organization apparently has not concession in his name, and the Egyptian Museum is not familiar with him or his project. (Brown 1984, 193)
Although Mr. Nelson claims to be a well known and respected Egyptologist, he is unknown in that field. Dr. Hanny M. El Zeini, lived in Cairo and is acquainted with the native Egyptologists. He read a preliminary report from the Browns and inquired to see if anyone was familiar with a Mr. D. J. Nelson. He reports,
"I have inquired from all the veteran Egyptologists who were working in the Antiquities Department in Egypt about the identity of Mr. D. J. Nelson. No one seems to remember his name. . ." (Brown 1984, 208)
The Many False Degrees of Dee Jay Nelson - Mr. Nelson claimed to have received the following degrees:
- B.S. degree in Biology from Pacific Northwestern University
- M.S. in Egyptology from the University of California in Berkeley
- Ph.D. in Anthropology (emphasis on Egyptology) from Pacific Northwestern University
- Ph.D. from Oriental Institute, Univ. of Chicago
Pacific Northwestern University was a diploma mill run by Mr. Archille Bourque. For $85 you could buy a Bachelor's degree and it was only $195 for a Ph.D. He operated seven different diploma mills.
The Attorney General office in Washington indicated in 1980,
"At the current time the court here in the State of Washington has entered a preliminary injunction so that since about July of this year Mr. Bourque has not been issuing any diplomas or transcripts." (Brown 1984, 181)
When the University of California was asked about Dee Jay Nelson, they responded that, "from the information given, we were unable to identify the name, Dee Jay Nelson, in the list of students who have ever attended the University of California, Berkeley, in regular or summer session." (Brown 1984, 187)
Dr. Klaus Baer, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, responded to an inquiry about the attendance of Dee Jay Nelson at the Oriental Institute.
Mr. Nelson never studied Egyptology at the University of Chicago. The Records and Research Department of the Alumni office assures me that no Dee Jay Nelson ever obtained a degree of any kind from this University. . . I cannot, of course, say whether he could have studied here under another name. During my years in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Oriental Institute (student in 1948/52, 1954/58, member of faculty from 1965, chairman of the Department 1972/75) there certainly was no one here of that name or, for that matter, anyone who looks like the publicity photograph of his that I have (around 1968). (Brown 1984, 183)
The following link is a search result for 'Dee jay Nelson' on the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute Site:
Mr. Nelson did not have any advanced degrees and he didn't even graduate from High School. Although he did eventually get a G.E.D.
Billings High School reports that Nelson attended high school for 2 years and then joined the army. After the army, he studied for and received a G.E.D. (General Equivalency Degree).
In December of 1946, for one month, he attended Eastern Montana College. He dropped out before the quarter ended, thereby receiving grades of Withdrawal (W) and Incomplete (I). These are his formal educational credentials.
Diploma Mill Degrees
Dee Jay Nelson indicates that he received his Bachelor's and Doctor's degrees from Pacific Northwestern University. This "school" indicated that you could get a college diploma with no classes, no studying and no exams. These diplomas cost $85 for a bachelor's degree, $140 for a Master's and $195 for a doctor's degree.
The advertisements for this school explained:
Your diploma will be custom printed on heavy weight parchment paper, and carefully hand lettered by a professional calligrapher with you full name, type of degree, and date of graduation. The diploma will be approved by the original signatures of the university chancellor, the dean of the college granting your degree, and the registrar. A gold medallion embossed with the original seal of Pacific Northwestern University will be affixed to your diploma to attest to its authenticity.
. . . You'll impress your friends and acquaintances when you display your achievements as a bachelor, master, or doctor.
With each diploma Pacific Northwestern University will prepare an individual record of your college attendance and provide you with a transcript of the courses taken and grades earned for the degree you have been awarded. This transcript will provide "proof" of the authenticity of your diploma to those friends and acquaintances who may wish to verify its accuracy. Your college record will be realistic in every detail, complete with the original signature of an official in the registrar's office and the embossed seal of the university. (Brown 1984, 182)
The Attorney General of the state of Washington proceeded to shut down this operation. They indicated that Mr. Archille Bourque ran diploma mills under seven different names. They said the Mr. Bourque indicated, "that all signatures on the diplomas and transcripts were his alone and not one else's. Thus all the information we have indicates that it was a sole proprietorship." (Brown 1984, 181)
Dee Jay Nelson is not a Professor
He liked to refer to himself with the titles, Dr., Egyptologist and Professor. He said in his Mesa lecture,
"I teach at a small college, at Rocky Mountain College, in Billings, Montana . . . and I receive a check for it."
However, Lori Keck from the Rocky Mountain College says, ". . . but he is not on the payroll and never has been." (Brown 1984, 189)
The Dean of Rocky Mountain College gives us a little better understanding of what Mr. Nelson is talking about and why this does not establish him as a professor.
Mr. Dee Jay Nelson has never held the rank of professor here at Rocky Mountain College; in fact, he has never taught any courses in our regular program. He has taught a number of courses in our New Horizon program, a program of non-credit courses on topics in interest to the community. People who teach these courses hold no official title or rank at the college.
I don't know where he acquired the title of "professor," but he does list himself with that title in the Billings telephone directory. (Brown 1984, 191)
King Farouk did not employ him as Nelson claimed.
In the introduction to, The Joseph Smith Papyri, Dee Jay Nelson quotes a non-existent business manager who makes several claims about Mr. Nelson. ". . . working under Zakaria Goneim, at Memphis. . . . Dee Jay studies three forms of the ancient language under this famous Egyptian Egyptologist. . . His studies have taken him several times to Europe and six times to the Middle East where he has conferred with experts in the Vatican Library, museums and at excavation sites. His discoveries inspired King Farouk to present him with a small collection of Egyptian antiquities which he has added to over the years." (Brown 1984, 208)
For the introduction at his lecture, Mr. Nelson gave the following information to another man that clmaims to have been what he never was, making him Nelson's partner in bogusology, nameley Jim Robertson of 'Concerned Christians':
"He owns the third largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the United States, many of which were gifts from King Farouk. Dr. Nelson worked for Farouk doing Egyptian translations and setting up Farouk's library." (Brown 1984, 208)
Dr. El Zeini is personally acquainted with native Egyptologist and those connected with the Cairo Museum. He was asked to inquire about Mr. Nelson. He reports:
I will just confine myself with the facts that I have been able to check with some witnesses whose integrity and professional honesty are beyond shadow of doubt.
1) I have inquired from all the veteran Egyptologists who were working in the Antiquities Department in Egypt about the identity of Mr. D. J. Nelson. No one seems to remember this name or to recollect having seen him participate in any known excavations.
2) Dr. Z. Ghoneim was essentially a field-manager and a brilliant excavator. He was not known as a philologist and even less as a "teacher" of hieroglyphs. It is most unlikely that he could have wasted any time on teaching hieroglyphs to Mr. D. J. Nelson.
3) The assistants of the Late Dr. Z. Ghoneim do not remember having seen or heard of Mr. D. J. Nelson. They also testified that the team working under Dr. Ghoeim was 100% Egyptian with no foreign assistance at all.
4) It is a well-established fact that the late King Farouk was an astute collector. It is quite impossible to think that he would consult a free-lance Egyptologist or confide to him his voluminous collection when he could have at hand the expert advise of the top notch Egyptologists of the time who cam to Egypt regularly practically every winter.
5) Old officials of the Antiquities department knew the Reverend Father Etienne Drioton, a well known Egyptologist, and during the reign of the late King Farouk, he was the director-general of the Antiquities Department, was the person in charge of checking and cataloguing Farouk's collection. . . .
6) At the time of the uprising of the Egyptian Army in the early hours of the morning of the 23rd of July 1952, King Farouk was in Alexandria. He left Egypt, for good, from the Ras-El-Tin Palace. It is practically impossible that the late King Farouk could have been able to take any thing from his impressive Egyptian Antiques collection with him on his departure. The collection was found complete and untouched in the Abdine Palace in Cairo. . . . (Brown 1984, 209)
Bogus 'Doctor' Bogus Professior Bogus Egyptologist Dee Jay Nelson claimed much but was a fake that the Anti-Mormon hate movements took to its bosom as they have clasped other vipers before and since the shaming of Nelson. May God rest his soul.