Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MORMON BRAINWASHING AT ITS BEST


Oh yes, the brainwashing within Mormonism is endless... and it starts at a very early age. People sit in Fast & Testimony meeting (first Sunday of every month), and when little children such as this little girl get up, they think "Oh, how cute."  And yes, it is cute... just adorable.  But it is also very disturbing because the children are simply parroting what they are told at home and in church.  These thoughts, of course, settle in their brains - and all of that, along with the programming they get at home and in Primary (the children's organization in the Mormon Church) with lessons and "singing time," the brainwashing starts to take full effect, as it becomes embedded in their brains.  Between being taught Primary songs like "Search, Ponder and Pray," "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam," "The Golden Plates," and "Book of Mormon Stories," and the constant lessons about various religious themes, most very Mormon in nature, the programming takes root.  And before long -- voilà, they are brainwashed.  The next generation of Morgbots.


Looking back, I don't know what is more upsetting to me... the fact that I was brainwashed as a child, or the fact that I essentially participated in the brainwashing of my daughter.  Naturally, since I was “born under the covenant” (a Mormon term for anyone who is born to parents who have been sealed in the Mormon temple) and married in the temple to her father, my daughter was also “born under the covenant.”  And yes, she used to get up in Fast & Testimony meeting and bear her testimony (just like I did when I was a child and as an adult).  That image is burned into my brain, and it really bothers me.

The thing that bothers me the most, though, is that if I had followed my instincts, I would have stopped being Mormon before my daughter was even baptized – and that would have been over 20 years ago.  At that point in my life, I had already begun to realize many of the negative influences of Mormonism in my life, including the fact that the Mormon Church is a male-oriented, male-dominated, double-standard religious institution that brainwashes its members and uses guilt to try to control them.  I had also begun to question whether I wanted my daughter to be brought up any further in the Mormon Church, and I had begun to think about not having her baptized when she turned 8 years old.  It was with those thoughts in mind that I stopped going to church when my daughter was 7 years old around the time that I married my second, non-Mormon husband, and I didn't go or take my daughter to church for over 6 months.  But unfortunately, the guilt began seeping in and I began to realize that if I didn't have her baptized, I would be making a public pronouncement of having left Mormonism – and because my father was very pious and dogmatic about Mormonism, and I was afraid to tell him (even though he lived in Utah and I lived in California), I began taking my daughter to church again and had her baptized when she turned 8.  For that, I could kick myself to this day.

Luckily, though, my daughter realized that Mormonism is a pile of garbage on her own, when she was a teenager (although she continued to go not only to church but also to 4 years of early-morning Seminary) – and she finally stopped going to church when she was 21.  As it turned out, she and I had parallel, but separate, journeys away from Mormonism – hers while she was living on her own, going to school in Salt Lake City, Utah (in an apartment that is only 5 blocks from Temple Square), and mine at home in California.  When she came back from Utah, I decided to tell her that I had abandoned Mormonism because I didn't want to pretend that I was still going to church – and when I told her, I could see the relief on her face before she told me the same thing.  When I began telling her my reasons, including the fact that I had discovered so many lies and contradictions, she literally finished my sentences for me, showing that she had discovered a lot of the same things as I had.   It was very much a bonding moment, and I will never forget it. 

One of the funniest parts of my daughter opening up to me about her long-term doubts about Mormonism was her description of me as "Mormon Mommy."  When I told her that I had disassociated myself from the LDS Church, she told me that she was very happy that “Mormon Mommy” had gone away.  Apparently, she always dreaded it when I would become "adamant" about various aspects of Mormonism (calling that aspect of my personality “Mormon Mommy”), and liked me much better during the times when I relaxed and was less concerned about it all.  It really made me laugh – but it also made me examine myself and the way it which I had appeared, not only to her but to others.  That revelation really made a deep impact on me, and has been invaluable to me over the years.


Naturally, active Mormons deny that brainwashing or programming takes place within the Mormon Church just as they deny that Mormonism is actually a cult.  But it becomes very apparent when reading about the characteristics of cults, and its definition, that Mormonism is the epitome of cultism.  Denying the obvious is useless.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I respect every persons own beliefs and do not judge, I would like to express my own mormon upbringing and beliefs. My husband and I were both born under the covenent, and come from very strongly religious families, we married in the Temple, had four children and still follow the covenants and promises that we made 31 years ago. When our oldest son asked why he was getting baptised just days before the event, we explained the principles of baptism, and when he expressed it was not something that he was ready for, we respected his wishes and allowed him to choose if and when he chose to be baptised. We then followed suit with our other children as well. One of our children was baptised at 8, the other three were well into their teens. As a family we base our beliefs. I, for one believe that any two people that love each other enough to marry should be allowed. I have explained to my bishop that I support the Prophet, it is not what I believe to be true in my own heart, and I am still a recomend holder. This is how I raised my children, and this is how they are raising theirs, all as active members of the church they chose to be a part of.

Diane Tingen said...

I find this comment to be very interesting, and if the woman who left this message had not left it anonymously, I would respond directly to her. But since she chose to hide behind anonymity, I will respond here and hope she returns to my blog to read my comment. I must say that this woman sounds like a wonderful person, and I don't doubt that she is who she says she is. But she is obviously the exception to the rule, and I would think that she must know that to be the case. There are not many Mormons who would allow their children to delay their baptisms. Most follow the directive to have their children baptized at 8 years old. So obviously this woman and her husband are more open-minded than the norm. I applaud this woman for her open-mindedness, and for apparently telling her Bishop that she disagrees with the "Mormon Party Line." That is very brave of her because most Bishops would be less apt to allow her to hold a temple recommend after voicing her dissent. I want to thank this woman for reading my blog and for posting her comment.

Phoenix said...

I literally ran away from the church at 14 yrs of age and spent the next 15 yrs de-programming from the guilt,shame,judgement and crippling fear instilled in me as a child. I was born into the church and after my negative experience I ensured my own children lived a spiritual life respecting all pathways but entering none. I never wanted to have my children go through the cult like brainwashing I did as a child. Now I am free from this narrow belief system and its destructive programming I am so happy and fulfilled.
Thanks for affirming my past experience with your story.

Phoenix from Perth WA

Diane Tingen said...

Phoenix, it's very gratifying to get messages like yours. Thank you so much for posting your comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm a current investigator. I respect that this is your blog and that you're voicing out your opinion. It's interesting :)

I'm 20y/o and pretty much have my own sense of judgment/decision making skill. Maybe unlike other investigators who were visited by elders and perhaps was encouraged to attend church, I, in my case, was actually the one who visited them. I went to a sunday service (sacrament meeting until sunday classes). -- Voluntarily. It was a very eye opening experience. I never saw a church as happy, as lively, and as bonded as the lds church.

Now as I progress being an investigator (until now) it's been more than a month now, I may say that no brain washing is happening. I am actually happy because I have learned a lot on how I could live well. I am still considered as a non member but you see, the moment I walked in the church I already told myself that someday, I wish that my family would be like the families I saw. As I sit at the last row during the sacrament meeting, I can literally feel the love and joy of the people. (One thing I do not feel on my current church).

I study the scriptures on my own will and I understand them on my own judgment. Never was there a moment that they were pushy of their beliefs. I actually even throw questions, read other references for cross checking, and engaging in even more discussions. But that has only made me even more interested. I am not yet fully stable on believing the church, but I am getting there. With all due respect, (of course, I thank you with your insight) but maybe tagging an entire church (of any religion not just lds church) a "cult" would be too much across the line. I'm sorry, it's just that I stand by the being open minded in all possible aspects of life and I think that any religion, including lds church, does not deserve to be tagged of any such title. These people live in their faith and we have to respect that. I grew up in a different religion, I am active in my religion even if I am visiting my mormon friends every sunday, but nonetheless, I see to it that we could coexist together.

Anonymous said...

To "Anonymous Investigator".
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and jump into their baptismal font. I think you do deserve Mormon baptism after writing "I never saw a church as happy, as lively, and as bonded as the lds church." -- Apparently, you haven't been to too many churches. But that's beside the point, eh? Don't say you weren't warned. I don't know how you can seriously consider joining them after reading all that's been posted in this blog. But again, please, don't let us stop you. Join LD$,In¢. because they need your money now! -- Ces O.

Diane Tingen said...

So Anonymous Investigator... I always question why people post as anonymous. Of course, that means I can't respond to your post directly, but then you may not want to hear what I have to say, so that may be your reasoning. It's obvious that either you are not really an investigator (but rather a troll) or are already on your road to baptism. But on the slight chance that you're an actual investigator, I will respond to your post. Obviously getting baptized is your choice, but you really should investigate the Mormon Church more before making that decision. Please don't pass off what I have posted on this blog as "Anti-Mormon" rantings because all of what I have posted is based on actual facts. The Mormon Church actively works to whitewash its history and give warped views of its actual doctrine. The history of the Mormon Church is extremely sordid, and your research should include Joseph Smith and his many exploits (like polygamy, polyandry, "translating" the Book of Mormon (which has been proven to be false through DNA research), "translating" the Book of Abraham (which is obviously a hoax), and on and on. You really should go to MormonThink.com and look around on there. I think if you do your own independent research and don't rely on what the missionaries and active Mormons are telling you, you will see that it is not what they hold it out to be.

As far as the Mormon Church being a cult, you should research what the definition of a cult is before saying Mormonism is not one. It fits every single criteria of being a cult as defined on cultwatch.org, in Steve Hassan's Book (Combating Cult Mind Control), in Arthur Pavlos' book, The Cult Experience, and other sources. In fact, what you are experiencing as "happy, lively and bonded" is actually love-bombing, which is a cult tactic.

Regardless of what your ultimate decision is, I wish you good luck and nothing but the best.

Anonymous said...

My neighbors are Mormons some of the most nicest people I've ever met I think they overall help make this world a better place with all their efforts to point people in a better way even though I totally do not agree with their beliefs we should just respect each other

Diane Tingen said...

OK, another Anonymous post. Well, I'll leave my comment here in the hopes that this person comes back. I think it's great that this person's neighbors are Mormons and are very nice people. I know a lot of very nice Mormons, too - but that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of other ways to be a "good person" rather than adhering to a bogus religion. I respect a lot of Mormons - after all, I'm not Anti-Mormon, I'm pro-truth.

Emily said...

I am very pleased to have found your blog. I am 32 years old and I left the Church when I was 18. The older I have become, the more and more I have realized just how destructive and dangerous this church is. I have seen it tear families apart and ruin really good people. When I became a mother six years ago, I realized even more just how important it was to stay away from the Church and to keep my daughter away from its brainwashing. I don't even allow her to attend casually with her grandparents or cousins (who are all, yes, LDS). I don't want her to get sucked in for even a minute. To me it is no different than allowing her to go hang out with a gang, or with a dangerous adult. What can happen in that church as a child can ruin many parts of you as an adult. I am still reeling from the guilt, shame, and endless ridicule that the church has brought into my life. I am always so happy to see others who "get it". Because anyone out there who wasn't raised in the church doesn't understand what the term "recovering Mormon" means. And that's what we are: recovering Mormons. Thanks again.

Diane Tingen said...

Emily - I'm very pleased that you found my blog, too, and that you posted the comment you did. It really touches my heart when I get comments such as yours and makes my blogging efforts more worth the while. So glad you made it away from Mormonism when you were 18. I wish I could say the same thing, but at least I'm not spending my entire life adhering to a bogus religion and destructive way of life. Thanks again - and Happy New Year!!

James Buie said...

So I enjoy your post very much. I'm very interested in how we raise our children. I'm a practicing Mormon who tries to be open-minded about all things. I can definitely see a sense of brain washing her and I think individuality is a very important thing to have. I have had very many good experiences in the LDS Faith where the doctrine of the atonement of Christ has helped me in so many ways. I've had prayers answered and so forth; however, I will agree with you that there are a lot of problems with the Church; a lot of people you see happy in the Church are suffering from major, major depression. Church almost seems the false reality of Disneyland-the happiest place on Earth; however, I will say that the Church teaches a lot of good principles that are good for children to have. But I definitely appreciate your posts. It's my goal to raise my kids with open minds where they just don't know about the Mormon faith but they also know of all religions. There is so much truth out there it's amazing. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Writing anonymously, largely due to shame and humiliation.

I'm a 20 year old male, I adamantly refused to go to church one day (LDS church) at about the age of 11. I've almost completely blocked out my childhood memory of sunday school, sacrament and so-on because I was repeatedly molested and kissed by active male-members of the church, during the time in which everyone was preoccupied by their shot of water and leftover duck dinner.

I've hid the shame from my entire family and closest friends my whole life, no one knows, maybe no one close to me ever will.

It's unfortunate, and I know these cases are wide-spread among many religions but this is just my personal story, and the only good thing to come of this was my overhwhelming affinity for Atheism and how a godless, unrestrictive life has taught me how to learn from my mistakes, truly appreciate my moral coding and open myself up to bigger, better opportunities.

Also, to keep reminding me of such a troubled time in my life I don't need mr/mrs visiting teachers to carry on about how I was a member of the church before I could even count to 10 or tie my shoes..let alone make a conscience decision about what cult like organisation I'd like to join.

My mum also feels terrible about being sucked into the LDS herself, and how she brought me and all my sisters down with her.

Warning to anyone considering the LDS church, or any other religion for that matter..

Step away from the crutch that is religion, and forever stay clear. Religion isn't necessary in learning or sustaining being a good person with a good set of values and morals.

Spend the extra time, money and love putting it back out into the world, learn to stand on your own two feet.

Don't be guilted into handing over money to a wealthy, tax-exempt organisation.
It's bad enough your money pays the governments, don't let your hard-earned end up in the Bishops pocket whilst he sits on his backside trying to be the funny guy at the front of the classroom each and every time he goes to speak.

- Peace

ojai | daytripper said...

Organized religions feed upon fear & guilt. LDS takes this feed further with passive aggressive manipulation and successfully "love bombs" investigators and the general public. That warm fuzzy feeling or "the spirit" people feel is from a chemical being released in their brain during such experiences. It is considered to be similar to have an organism, taking heroin or watching pornography.
Being "love bombed" is addictive and the LDS cult knows how to use it to their advantage. As soon as you are baptized the under belly of the cult starts to slowly show it's face with guilt, fear and punishment.
Visitor's are not welcome who are not willing to receive the love bomb. They are politely excused back into the general public but only after several attempts to "fellowship" you. The fellowshiping if allowed, could go on for years.
You are watched, talked about in private meetings and home visited to check in on what is happening in the home. If anyone is "dropping by" to say hi with a gift of food etc., if they invite you to a bar-b-Que, to a baby shower, to a pool party or even more direct a family home evening event, they had previously planned this event in a meeting with other cult members to bring you in. It is all a set up to get you into the cult. Money is a the main factor of this plan. 10% on your earnings is the goal and they nearest church to you has a quota they have to meet. You are living in a "district" or "boundary" and are part of the master plan and talked about probably once a month at a general bishops meeting to prepare for the next way to approach you. They only give up when you tell them to stay away in a very direct and harsh way. You will be the "lost soul" and they will feel terribly sad for you and the leaders will be terribly frustrated with you.
I could go on and on with comparisons but believe what I have just wrote will get you questioning. If you are looking into joining....take your time and see how it unfolds around you if you don't move into the church at the rate the leaders want you to. It will be passive in their approach but consistent. I liken their approach to grooming much like what a predator does to get you to trust them. For those wanting to leave or have left, keeping looking forward to don't give in to the programing that was done to you. De-programing takes years and you can not do it while still living in the same place and around the same people. You will have to move and re-construct your life. It is extremely hard and painful but hiring a life couch or visiting a psychiatrist will help you. Put the money into yourself to be strong again instead of into the hands of a corporate cult. You are not alone, there are many of us out here in the world doing the same thing. There has always been love in your heart enough for you and your family...love bomb yourself and never look back. I say this absolute love and peace for all of you.