How the Mormons measure up on The Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame
I wrote this article mostly to purge many feelings out of my heart. ALL of this is based on my personal experiences with the Mormons. Some are based on many stories of things that happened to others in the church, and they are not isolated incidents either. If I used someone else’s experience as the basis of making my judgment, it was because there were many who had either identical or very similar experiences. All of these accusations are documentable, but most can be found on Richard Packham’s Home Page or Recovery from Mormonism – The Mormon Church.
I have to explain about this chart. The scale is from 1 to 10, with 1 being low to little, and 10 being extremely to total. The number of the question and a short explanation comes first, then the next paragraph is my score and the reason I scored it as I do. If you have any questions on this, or need further references, I ask you to contact me.
Reviewing the Mormons (with commentary)
Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
9. The Mormon Church has, through subtle techniques almost total dominion over the lives of the members, all their waking hours are either spent providing for the family through a job and a one-income (father) or in various church duties assigned to the members with no chance of opting out of these duties. These duties are given to them by the leaders of the local church, and it is a “Calling by God” so the member MUST be capable of doing this, they wouldn’t be asked to do it otherwise.
External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members’ external political and social behavior.
9. The Mormon Church has many members in political seats. At this point, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma and many other western states have a majority of the State political offices being filled by Mormons, and many more members from those same states serving as representatives on the National Level in Congress or as political appointees. The Mormon Church claims a membership fo 11 Million Members, giving a significant voting block. Topics are assigned as talks around election time as member speeches in the main worship service that are hot-button political topics, with the slant of the talk being what the church authorities want the members to vote as. IE, in a campaign with candidates who are pro-Choice, there will be a series of talks given by the leaders in conferences that are pro-Life, and the same topic will be “assigned” as topics to member given speeches for any activity, which run 6 days a week.
Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
10 The Church claims that the President of the Church is a Prophet of God, infallible when he states something, unless he states something wrong, in which case he’s not being the Prophet, but just being a man. The entire body of the First Presidency (main administrative body in SLC who oversee the day to day operation worldwide) are “inspired” by God in the littlest decisions, and the regional leaders are similarly inspired when they make decisions, on down to the Father of the home being inspired by god when he punishes the children and wife for some infraction.
Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
9 Being inspired by God makes them infallible and the members constantly reinforce themselves with declarations of how holy the leadership is, how they are Inspired, and how they are very wise. The common adage is “When the Brethren (First Leadership) decide, the thinking is done.” Meaning that the decision is not open for debate again, until they change their mind. Anyone criticizing the Church is ganged up on by members. Overwhelming pressure is put on former members to return to the fold by everyone around them until they have some sort of reaction, either by rejoining or breaking down. Immense sums of money are spent trying to validate ANY portion of the Book of Mormon by the Mormons, but anyone using current fact to refute claims are called “Enemies of God, apostates, liars, deceived by Satan, and their works are explained away.” Each member is trained to be a Mormon Apologist, dismissing or explaining glaring errors in Mormon theology, holy writ and history.
Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or “fundamentalism;” hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
9 Centuries old concepts are still being taught as current or holy writ, and not open to change unless the current head of the church changes it. He is the only one who can make changes to any of the dogma in the Mormon Church. For instance, the Temple rite from 1860 or so had a concept of Blood Oaths, meaning violation of these oaths was punishable by death. This was still taught as what God wanted as recently as 1970. The current head of the Church recently removed those oaths sometime after 1970. Segregation and the inferiority of the descendants of the African Slaves was still taught as recently as 1980, and is still quietly taught, out of hearing of the Black membership.
Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
10 Mormon Missionaries. ‘Nuff said.
Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
NA Not known. Officially the Church does not own companies, but the records are kept so secret that no one can trace the ownership records of various industries and businesses. It is know that many LARGE companies are owned by Mormon members, such as the Marriott, Wal-Mart, and many others.
Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on members’ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
10 There is a MANDATORY tithe of 10% GROSS income levied on all members. Psychological pressure is exerted and the real pressure of loss of friendships and “blessings” and talks with the presidency (local) if this tithe is not met. Records are kept of these monies, and all funds are sent to the HQ in Salt Lake, who supposedly disburse this money as needed to the various groups, but any money for local issues like new church buildings are demanded as further offerings from the members, and there is a fast fund. Once a month, the members fast for 24-48 hours. That money, which should buy food, is sent to the Church as a “Fasting Offering”. This means that something like $15,000,000,000 (yes, that’s BILLION) dollars are collected by the Church annually (figuring a middle income family of $30,000 per year and counting 5 million families out of the 11 million members figure) just in tithes. An estimated $100 million is spent in building temples and maintaining various church activities (all local clergy are not paid, they do it as a volunteer), but that is all. While no obvious difference exists between members and the First Presidency’s lifestyles, questions into this is not encouraged by anyone.
Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups; amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
10 One of the basic tenets of Mormonism is Chastity until marriage. The spoken and taught canard is that if a girl is not a virgin when she marries, she may as well be dead. No exception is made for a girl who is raped either, and there are many cases of suicide by rape victims in the Mormon Church. Males are publicly exhorted to chastity, but if they have sex prior to marriage, depending on the “faith” of the person and their family (read how much the church needs these people and how much money is donated to the Church), it is either overlooked and dismissed or they are castigated as the females are.
Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
1 This is covered by (9) above. If a girl has ANY sexual relations, she is damned to hell and no “decent” male will have her, she may as well be dead because her family will disown her as well.
Censorship: Amount of control over members’ access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
10 Investigation into the history of the Church is STRONGLY discouraged if the person is using non-church sources, meaning any quality scholarly work. All approved histories are written, edited and published by the Church, and sold in the Church Stores or from Church Catalogs. Multiple magazines are written and published by the Church and all members are almost required to have subscriptions, to the point of multiple subscriptions of the same material coming to the same address and family. Anyone who publicly puts down the Mormon Church are vilified (such as the Tanners) and dismissed as “Enemies of God”.
Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.
7 While communication with non-members is encouraged in order to convert the “hetathen”, along with family, self-censorship is encouraged and desired in regards to any anti-Mormon material that they encounter. Quite a lot of communication with other members is encouraged, mostly because you are too busy to cultivate interests outside the Church. There is no time to encounter much information from outside the Church.
Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
9 Ex-members who leave are still considered members unless they actively take steps to remove their name from the rolls of the Church, which means that they are contacted and harrassed by local leaders to come back to Church and Missionaries. To get your name removed from the rolls of the Church requires a month long process, and in some cases requires a several year long process which many are not willing to go through, simply because it’s complex. Members in good standing are encouraged to “fellowship” previous members back into the fold, although this ultimately is subject to those political pressures and local conditions. Even death does not keep you safe, as they have an active program to baptize the dead by proxy to make them members of the Church and “save” them.
Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
5 While active pogroms are not condoned nor are they started by Church leaders, if something happens to non-members by members actions, and it looks to be a scandal to the Church, it is covered up, or the offending members are cut loose and disavowed by the Church. There has been little test of this in the last 50 years or so, but it was the case back when the Church was in it’s infancy.
Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
8 Those who point out inconsistencies in the Doctrine and who truly question beliefs and search for fulfillment are enemies and trying to bring the Church down. A member in good standing who looks for validation of their beliefs from non-Mormon sources and starts questioning is labeled a traitor and reviled, to the point of sometimes driving people from the Church. Those who question, either within or without the church are not “real Christians” and are trying to bring the Church down. The only reason this score is not higher is because other than being labeled as traitors, nothing is done to them.
Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
9 You rarely hear a Mormon Joke. Either from members or from non-members. If a jokes starts, it is treated as though it were a crime by that person by the Mormon Leadership.
Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
10 Literally all things good come from the Church, to leave the Church is to be a sinner and apostate and to have license to do anything one one wants and to have no morals or conscience. If the Church Leadership decides something, the thinking has been done as far as the Church is concerned as a whole. To disagree with the leadership is to sin. “Follow the Brethren” is the watch phrase. One is encouraged to tell everything to the Church leaders, and they will make decisions for you and your life, despite it not being their life. You are expected to still live with the consequences of those decisions, and the Church takes no responsibility. When going through the “Temple Endowments”, you literally pledge, by binding oaths for those who believe them, everything in your life to the Church, all your money, all your support, all that you have and own and possess, and your family with you. The Church used this once to raise money to defeat a measure in California supporting Gay Rights.
Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the group’s declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.
10 Approval by cover-up. Putting a convicted pedophile in charge of the Primary class (all the children under the age of 10) and then telling the children and their parents that it never happened, that they are lying or making things up and allowing the pedophile to remain in charge is hypocritical, especially when the leadership rails against those who are pedophiles. Approving of young males going out and screwing non-member girls to gain experience, while convincing young ladies who have been raped that they are better off dead and then sanctimoniously stating that every child should be chaste (to the point of masturbation=murder and is a mortal sin) is hypocritical.
For more information, check these links out:
- Reason Filling in the missing pieces of the Mormon History Puzzle.
- Recovery from Mormonism – The Mormon Church
- Richard Packham’s Home Page
- Utah Lighthouse Ministry
- Yahoogroups: ExMormon
Originally posted 2012-02-25 04:48:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter