Mormon Blues 2

Mormon Sadness

Dissecting the Document Dump

The other day, I retrieved and posted a PDF document so embarrasing to the Mormon Church, that the errant Mormon apologist who originally posted it on his blog, “disappeared” it from the web the day after the New York Times hyperlinked to his Mormon Stories website.

It’s a long and tedious document, and one of my lazier readers (h/t Americablog) has requested that I break it down and highlight “the good parts”, something that I had planned to do in the near future anyway. Turns out the near future is today.  I still encourage everyone to read it in it’s entirety, if only to experience first-hand, the long and tedious banality of Mormon religious sophistry and rhetorical apologetics in general.

The PDF transcribes the conversation between high ranking Swedish Mormons and a couple church “historians” (Seal Team Slicks) air-dropped into Sweden from Utah to answer the growing concerns of the Swedes over the origins, history and practices of the Mormon church.  The uninitiated may want to read the first part of my expose’ for more background as well as the original New York Times piece that sent me down this rabbit hole.

For purposes of brevity, I will refer to the Mormon historians as “the Church” and the insolent Swedish parishoners as “the Doubters” or “the Swedes”.  The stage is set:

Event: Special Fireside (marshmallows?) for Disaffected (Uninfected?) Swedish LDS Saints
Speakers: Elder Marlin K. Jensen (LDS Church Historian) and Richard E. Turley Jr. (Assistant Church Historian)
Date: November 28, 2010
Location: Västerhaninge Chapel; Stockholm, Sweden

Opening Remarks – The Church (Information Daze)

It is a day of information, but with that comes the challenge of deciding what information is reliable, what information is true, what information is worthy of basing our life on it. And hopefully tonight we can at least offer some information in a reliable and loving way that will be responsive to some of the questions that you have. 

The bar has been set pretty high IMHO.  Using this standard of historical filtering, we’d never have heard of the Holocaust no matter how many reliable reports we got because it’s definitely not “loving” even if we all agree it’s reliable.  Information that is accurate, yet not worthy of basing our lives on, has also been set aside as suspect.  Now that we have the “rules” on how the Mormon Church defines filters information, let us proceed.

Inconvenient Facts = Work of the Devil

In a rather brazen attempt to inhibit and shame the curious, we get scripture quoted from (argh!) The Book of Mormon (Moroni 7, Verse 16) by the Church historians:

“But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves to him.” 

This verse forms the bedrock on which the Church builds their rationalization for their moral imperative to shut down debate at all levels, as well as lie to doubters, lest the truth somehow moves them closer to the devil.  In standard Christianity it’s often referred to as “lying for Christ“.  In the secular world the expression, “The end justifes the means” can stand in for the religious verses when it is inappropriate to invoke religion in support of an immoral argument (justifying torture e.g.).  Brainwashed believers, even if they have serious doubts about what they witness with their own lying eyes, are routinely shut down with the not so subtle threat that they are risking their place in the Mormon version of Heaven by even asking pondering about it in the first place.

I should know because unlike the memories of the Mormon historical apologists, I have nearly perfect knowledge.  Under Mormon rules, I’d be in contention for serious Devilhood, except  I’m actually encouraging everyone to try to be as good as is humanly possible, not that I think it’ll be an effective defense against pissed-off Mormons whatsoever.

Questions of the Doubters

Six pages in, the Church historians having finally finished with the reading of their formal terms, conditions and disclaimers, I am ready to declare that the details of Facebook’s privacy policy are the only thing in contemporary society as Byzantine as the ground rules laid out by these Mormon apologists.  It is also the place in the PDF where the doubters finally get to ask a question, the first of which is a lobbed softball, left hanging arm’s length in the middle of the strike zone, begging to be belted out of the park by the quick reflexes of the ringers assembled by the Mormon Church Rapid Response Team.

Doubter Question: Will you have very good answers?

Church: You’ll see in a moment. We’ll have what answers we have.….(ed. full answer is 592 words)

Six hundred words to answer to a simple question? Mormon hierarchy is so accustomed to pissing down the leg of their parishioners while simultaneously proclaiming a rainstorm, I’m shocked they didn’t think to just answer with one word, “Absolutely”.

Fast Forward

There are many questions over the veracity of stories of the magic golden plates and their translations portrayed in Church doctrine (and Mormon Sunday School) that, suffice to say, clearly don’t mesh with undisputed historical facts of the era.

I’m going to focus less on the questions pointing out the obvious bogusness of the “translation” of these imaginary golden plates and more on the doubters questions concerning implementation and operations of the early church, and in particular, the licentous behavior of Joseph Smith.  In order to do so it is not enough to just be familiar with the definition of polygamy.  If only it were that easy I could just refer to Big Love and be done with it.

Invoking Editorial Privilege

From here on out, the questions come from the Swedes faster than the Church can cobble together consistent responses.  Often one questioner will toss several out at once and the Church will pounce on the low hanging fruit of the one they think is most easy to placate, ignoring the more controversial of the mix.  There may be several pages between an original (ignored) question and it’s reappearance by another questioner later in the discussion.

Therefore, I shall remix (in no particular order) from the bevy of scrambled questions and answers, being careful to “cut n’ paste” the relevant bits while attempting to keep the integrity of the overall analysis intact. After all, I’m not hiding the original document from anybody that wants to see it (I’m not Mormon after all…lol), so if someone wants to challenge me from the original text, have at it in the comments.

Enter Polyandry

Question: According to information I have read a number of times which has been published in books, etc., and which I think seem to be very firm and correct, how the wives were forced into marriage. It wasn’t so that they fell in love with Joseph and say, now I would like to be a wife. It was so that they were put under tremendous pressure to accept the marriage and they were told that the church will go under and their family will go under, you have only until, let’s say, tomorrow to decide and to marry me but it will have terrible consequences if you don’t accept the marriage.

Church response to questions about polyandry:

Church: So the question of Polyandry. Polygamy is when a man has multiple wives. . Joseph did both, so your question is about polyandry.

Let that sink in for a minute.  Undisputed polyandry. Not only was Joseph Smith snatching up every available fourteen year old girl like a latter day Warren Jeffs, he was also coercing married women into affairs.  For the record, Ann Eliza Young made the charges in a book she wrote (in 1876!) after escaping bondage from Mormonism by hightailing it out of Utah under cover of darkness.  She was Brigham Young’s 27th wife.  Her book is freely available online (copyrights have long ago expired).

Church Apologetics on Coerced Sexual Relations

Church: In the 1800’s being fourteen years old was like being thirty years old today.  On the issue of coercion, Joseph Smith was a prophet, and it’s widely accepted that prophets get to bone as many chicks as they are able.  Plus, nobody was worried about overpopulating Utah at the time. (Ok, I added the last bit, but the other stuff is accurately paraphrased).  In conclusion, the Church wants to remind everyone that polygamy is bad, bad, bad, and in our advanced society it’s an aberration to ever considering adopting the practice.

The Swedes:  Does this mean I don’t get my multiple wives in Heaven?

Church:  Don’t talk crazy.  Of course you still get to party like the Sultan of Brunei after you’re dead.  Whatever else you might think of Mormonism, we’re not barbarians.  Ferchrissakes.

There are questions about why the Mormon Church hates Black people as well as all kinds of other juicy gobbledygook for folks who enjoy the “inside baseball” aspects of the whackaloon religious world of Mormonism.  I honestly don’t have the patience to wade back through the muck and the mire to mine any more nuggets out of the cesspool.  It’s not nearly as fun as bobbing for apples.

Enjoy.

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Mormon Blues

Another Failed Mormon Prophet

The Missionary Position

Good day everyone!   I’m taking the time to post today because I have retrieved documentation on the Mormon Church that was pulled from the internet by concerned Mormons yesterday.  It’s an extremely important transcript, documenting the experience of Hans Mattsson and other Swedish critics with Mormon historical apologists (who were apparently airlifted to Sweden in an emergency attempt to quell the “foreign rebellion”).

For the record, I don’t have any special bone to pick with Mormons.  As a devout anti-theist and an American citizen (serendipitously born along the Mormon Trail), I take a special interest in their particular brand of lunacy but don’t wish to imply that they are really any different than all the other invented religions before them or contemporary with them.

First Encounter with Hans Mattson

Yesterday I read a story in the New York Times of a high ranking Swedish Mormon apostate, Hans Mattsson.  I have read many tales of Mormon apostasy, not the least of which is that of the 27th wife of Brigham Young, but I had never heard of Mr. Mattsson before yesterday. The Times piece highlighted his many difficulties in trying to get answers to some of the fundamental questions relating to Mormonism.  I could have saved him a lot of time if he had asked me, but as a good Mormon, he tried to follow the church protocol so he wouldn’t end up like every other outcast from Scientology Mormonism.  He followed the chain of command.

Whocouldanode?

As it turns out, the Mormons aren’t exactly forthcoming on the true history of the Mormon church.  Their brainwashed and gullible youth missionaries aren’t really at fault here since they are left equally in the dark over the deep mysteries of L Ron Hubbard Joseph Smith as well as some of the seedier details of the early church.

As a high ranking member of the Swedish Mormon sect, Mr. Mattsson took it upon himself to try and retrieve the answers to questions concerning not only the early history of his church, but also the many obvious problems in the Book of Mormon itself.

For the uninitiated, there are almost too many to count.  My personal favorite is the description in the Book of Mormon of horses, sheep and certain grains that are described as having been present in the Americas during the (purported) time of Christ and which Joseph Smith obviously was not aware were only brought to the New World by Columbus and later European explorers!

I can’t help but wonder how many fervent Mormons are even aware of such inconsistencies.  It’s been my experience that the deeper one delves into any particular religion, the more inoculated against reality they become.  The most blatant religious example I see infecting Americans today is the denial of the reality of human evolution despite irrefutable mountains of evidence in support thereof.  I’d sit quietly on the sidelines and let them abuse their children with whatever poppycock they felt comfortable with if they weren’t trying to infect the rest of society with their creative nonsense.

Major Issues in Mormonism

There are deeper problems in Mormonism than the recently failed Presidential bid of their favored son Mitt Romney.  According to the New York Times:

A survey of more than 3,300 Mormon disbelievers, released last year, found that more than half of the men and four in 10 of the women had served in leadership positions in the church.

When half the apostates of a church are folks from former leadership positions it doesn’t bode well for the future of your Church.  A very similar thing is going on in the Church of Scientology as well, with many high ranking members “coming out” with stories of abuse and deception.  Mormons, like Scientologists, have deep pockets, but there’s probably a limit as to how far hooey and deception can carry them in the long run.  Mormons may soon see their largest temples as empty as the gaudy facilities Scientology presents to the public as the face of their church.  They’ve also got a “disconnection” problem in Mormonism that’s not unlike that of their blood brothers in creative American religious revelation, the Scientologists.

Many said they had suffered broken relationships with their parents, spouses and children as a result of their disbelief.

Mattsson’s Mistrust of Mormonism

Mattsson was born into Mormonism and like many children sufficiently indoctrinated in any belief system, it took him the greater part of his adult life to see through the smokescreen of apologetics placed in his path by Church leaders to dissuade believers into questioning or straying from the faith.  His story is well documented within the New York Times article so I will skip it for the sake of brevity.

My Mistrust of Mormonism

This post would probably not exist except for the good folks over at mormonstories.org, where I read the PDF in question yesterday (linked from the NYTimes piece) and commented on it, only to return today to see both the PDF in question, (as well as my comments on the blog) “disappeared” into the void.

As it turns out, mormonstories.org is not a neutral observer in these matters.  It is run by a Mormon and as he explains pulling the transcript in his own words:

 Please forgive the inconvenience.  I am walking a difficult line as an active church member, and am trying to do the “right thing” for all parties involved.  This is a difficult balance.

By and large it’s just like any other religious apologetics website, eager to try and control and shape the “debate” to terms that suit their fancy.  I take the issue of this type of religious tomfoolery very seriously these days since religion has decided it’s their mission to invade and debauch our secular governance in lieu of placing their religious dogma ahead of that of our Constitution.

For my part, I am not an active member of any church and am trying to do the “right thing” for the sake of humanity in general.  The link to the full PDF transcript of of the 2010 meeting between the disaffected Swedish saints and Elder Marlin Jensen and Richard Turley, the Mormon “historians” dispatched from Utah to answer the question of the Swedes is below.   I plan to dissect the document more fully in a future blog post as a gift to the blogosphere.

Link to PDF:  Turley_Jensen_Stockholm_2010

Enjoy.

Clean Sweep

Having called the election for Obama sometime after the failure of the slobbering Texas governor, and the promiscuous demise of the Pizza Guy, I am now ready to make another bold prediction.  Despite what the press has been leading everyone to believe, the sentient center of the nation clearly had my first prediction already floating around in their heads back then anyway. I consider that one a gimme.

Now that the Republicans have settled on the new-age version of Joseph Smith, it is looking like the Republicans are going to be heading out into a desert of their own making very shortly.  I bet Joseph Smith would be proud of Mitt’s capacity to fabricate gold tablets lies out of thin air.  Mitt is consistently repeating false timelines and misquoting the actual narratives of the brave and selfless Americans who were involved in the embassy attacks (as if denigrating the commander-in-chief during a time of crisis wasn’t declasse enough in its own right!)   But the thing is, it isn’t confined to Mitt.  This propensity for false witness and fabrication has so thoroughly infected the entire Republican establishment that “normal” Republicans (the ones your Dad admired) have been chased away, banished and sidelined.  If only there was a way we could do something about it?

Elections have coattails.  This election is going to have a coattail so long that it’ll be the envy of coattails all over the world.  A blowout of EPIC proportions for the entire Republican party.  I promise you that within a couple more election cycles it is going to be so shameful to have been associated with the Republican party that people are going to deny membership with a fervor not seen since the protestations of innocence by Nazi prison guards post 1945..  Those who can’t deny membership will plead involuntary circumstance and throw themselves on the mercy of their countrymen.

Okay, the second part about total disintegration of Republicanism is a bit of a stretch.  I am no Nate Silver, but you can bank on the Obama blowout as well as the swift and hard kick to the groin that is about to befall the party of Nope.  I will be tagging articles that I see to Twitter with the hashtag #cleansweep.  Posterity demands it.

Enjoy.