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Let me start by saying that I think all organized religion has more in common with Greek mythology than with fact.  The best debunking of modern religions comes with a lot of laughs from Bill Maher in his documentary Religulous.  I recommend watching the whole thing, but here’s a taste:


A few days ago, I got an email from a listener who wanted to be sure I was aware of some of the creepier aspects of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormon church.  I will not reprint what was sent to me, as it was done so as deep background,  with the request of anonymity for fear of significant retaliation from current members of the church.

What was alleged was disturbing on a number of levels, but I’ll only write about here what I could corroborate with a very basic Google search.  Apparently, it is basic practice in the Mormon church that when a young boy or girl reaches the age of 12, they are called in to see the Bishop of their local ward to go through some sort of coming of age interview in which they are asked about their masturbatory practices.

I did some searching on the internet, and came across and its message board with posts from people who’ve left the church.  Among the many posts I read was this gem:


My daughter just turned 12 and had her YW interview.

I was against her going but apparently I’m the crazy one for thinking something is wrong with an older man alone with my 12 year old daughter behind closed doors. The wife thinks its perfectly ok and took her to the church.

When she got home I asked her how the interview went. She responded by asking me what masturbation is?
I’m still waiting for the bishop to call me back. I’m sure he knows how pissed off I am by the phone message i left on his voice mail. 

If you click the link on the header and read through the replies, you’ll see that no one seemed surprised.  In fact, in some of the other posts I read, those interviews were the cause of great angst for these already-confused kids

Mitt Romney was a Bishop and, as such, conducted these interviews.  Here’s another comment thread on his involvement:

 Is there any way to bring it to the press’ attention that as a Bishop Mitt Romney most likely asked minors about their masturbation habit?

Again, no protestation about the possibility that he didn’t do this…  
There are explicit instructions on that message board reminding users that politics do not belong there.  It seems that many believe that anything Mitt Romney does while running for the presidency is fodder for a discussion about why these people left the religion (or cult, as many of them refer to it), but those threads seem to be taken down almost as quickly as they go up.  Here’s one that somehow remains:

I initially wrote “girl” in the first question. What was I thinking?

– Have you ever been alone in a room with a 12 to 17 year-old BOY and discussed masturbation? If so, about how many times?

– Do you believe that God said that all churches besides the Mormon church are an abomination and their professors are corrupt?

He might be able to answer honestly that he doesn’t personally believe that about other churches, but by definition he believes God said that, right?

Got any more questions he hopes CNN doesn’t find out about?

Some of the replies were even more damning than those questions, including

I’d keep the questions personal to what he’s done and not about general religious beliefs as he seems to be able to deflect those pretty well.

How about, Did you symbolically slit your throat as an oath never to reveal the secret hand shakes and accompanying signs and names? Do you refuse to answer because you promised to slit your throat if you did answer?

Did you covenant to consecrate everything with which you are blessed and everything with which you will be blessed to the building up of the Mormon church? How will keeping this covenant affect you as president?

Those confused me (especially the part about slitting his throat as an oath to never reveal the secrets), so I went in search of more answers…  
First, in the most basic terms, the Top 10 Bizarre Mormon Beliefs
10. Tithing  While tithes are not uncommon among religion, rarely are they mandatory. LDS theology states that in order to make it to the highest kingdom of heaven, you mustpay a full and honest tithe.
9. Pleasure in Life  This is one of the most famous pieces of LDS doctrine. It’s also the cause of many myths about Mormons. Basically; no coffee, no drugs, no tobacco.
8. Spirits  This one is very unique to the LDS faith. Basically, everyone on earth now was a spirit in the pre-existence. When we die, our spirits are separated from our bodies and if we were good they go to “spirit paradise.” If we were bad they go to “spirit prison.” The spirit world exists as a place for spirits to go while awaiting the second coming.
7. Modern Revelation  Almost everyone who knows anything about the Mormon religion knows they have a prophet. What many don’t know, is anything that the prophet says in official capacity is considered official canon.
6. Jesus visited the Americas  The Book of Mormon is a book of LDS scripture that takes place during the same time as the Bible and takes place on the American continent. It follows the stories of two tribes who descended from the family of Lehi. After Jesus’ resurrection LDS people believe he visited the peoples of the Americas.
5. The Nature of God  While most religions believe in God, the LDS religion believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as separate beings. They also believe that God, Jesus and resurrected beings have bodies of “flesh and bone.”
4. Priesthood  In the LDS religion any worthy male can be given the priesthood and is given specific duties. Black people were not allowed to have the priesthood until 1978. Females are not allowed to have the priesthood.
3. Multiple Heavens  In LDS doctrine there are three heavens: the Celestial Kingdom, Terrestrial Kingdom, and Telestial Kingdom. The Celestial is the highest, where God and the ones who followed his law reside. The Terrestrial is the middle, where people who followed the Law of Moses reside. The Telestial is the lowest, where the ones who followed carnal law reside.
2. Forgiveness  In LDS theology you can be forgiven for any sin, save two. First, denying the Holy Spirit, and second, murder. Also, God is infinitely forgiving, until the second coming. After that, you end up where you end up, no matter what. There are no second chances. Period.
1. Multiple Worlds and Multiple Gods  This deserves some explanation. Mormons believe that God created multiple worlds and each world has people living on it. They also believe that multiple Gods exist but each has their own universe. We are only subject to our God and if we obtain the highest level of heaven we can become gods ourselves.
OK, some of that is just basic religious craziness; the rest reaches the bat-shit nuttery level.
There are a number of journalists who’ve been courageous enough to write about the scary goals of the New Apostolic Reformation. Rachel Tabachnick has written about them extensively, spotlighting their belief in dominionism.  
“Dominionism is simply that Christians of this belief system must take control over the various institutions of society and government. Some things that make this group unique is that they have some unusual concepts of what they call spiritual warfare that have not been seen before in other groups. Spiritual warfare is a common term in evangelicalism and in Christianity, but they have some unique approaches and some unique spins on this that distinguish them from other groups.” 
Although we haven’t heard as much about it, according to Tricia Ericson – author of Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? – the LDS church has the same goals.   According to WND:

The author, who herself was married in a Mormon temple at age 19 but now considers herself a non-denominational Christian, says there’s a secret agenda  Mormon officials don’t like to talk about publicly.

“A complete takeover of the government,” she said. “They have more people in the CIA, the FBI. They have an employment office for Mormons in D.C. to be able to infiltrate them into the government.”

“They’ve been trying since the beginning to get someone in the presidency, because they believe they have to establish their authority so when Jesus comes to Earth, the Mormon Church will take control of the government and the Mormons will be the government of God on Earth,” she continued.

Erickson says her main concern is that the leader of the free world have the ability to discern fact from fiction.

If you don’t want to trust World News Daily for that (and I certainly wouldn’t blame you!), how about this interview she did with Thom Hartmann?


Or how about this BBC documentary on Mitt Romney and the Mormon church?


This morning, I invited Adam Christing, the filmmaker behind A Mormon President: Joseph Smith and the Mormon Quest for the White House.

He had no idea that I’d ask him about all the disconcerting things I’ve learned about Mormonism over the past couple of days, but couldn’t and didn’t argue with any of them. 

Unfortunately, the journalist I had on the show today agreed with others I’ve spoken with who won’t touch this subject.  The Nation’s Ari Berman joined me in the second hour of the show to talk about the challenge to Pennsylvania’s voter ID law currently being heard there. At the end of our discussion, I asked him why no one in the mainstream media has gone here… and he said it would be likened to those writing about President Obama being a Muslim  

I disagree. I think we all need to know about what goes on in the quiet rooms of the Mormon Church.  This is a start.

By |August 2nd, 2012|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Bad Religion or Mormon’s Little Secrets

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