My understanding of a "shell" game, is that exposed in a fair atmosphere.
The perpetrator has two half walnut shells, under one of which is a pea. Then he shuffles the two around thus and so, and asks the sucker to point to which one holds the pea.
As the sucker game goes, the victim doesn't have a chance.
So...relate this to JM and his bag of tricks. All the changes he made in his version of the 'true' religion, and one has to choose which was the story version that was 'most' correct. At this point in time, it is the version the church now supports.
But he seeks to sleuth out sources for names found in a Mormon book of fiction.
Smith with his pals and handlers waded through library books and came up with tons of old-timey stuff like the following:
Area: 2,235 square km. Located in the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and Mozambique, Comoros consists of three primary islands. The volcanic islands are subject to a tropical maritime climate...
Joseph must have cried "two thumbs up!" cuz his idol Captain Kidd had his pirate haven there.
He didn't need to search a map or read books for this one.
Remember his legendary operation on his leg?
Right after his family sent him to stay with his uncle in the sea port of Salem. There he'd hear many a story which would include pirates, treasure and the famous city of Moroni in the comorahs islands.