Monday, March 25, 2013

UNVEILING ALL THE LIES - LDS Hymn Parody #90

BEHIND THE MORMON SPIN.  The longer I have been out of Mormonism, the more I have realized just how much "spin" is involved in this religion.  Of course, we almost expect there to be "spin" in politics - we've come to expect it.  But "spin" in religion?  A person would think that religion would be above that kind of manipulative behavior.  As Javier Bardem once said, "I do respect people's faith, but I don't respect their manipulation of that faith to create fear and control."  Well put.

I recently read an article entitled "Ethical Communications: Spinning the Truth" by Mark S. Putnam, in which he said, "Somewhere between the truth and a lie, there's 'spin.' We hear about politicians spinning bad news in their favor. We see journalists and pundits spin news stories to reflect a certain point of view. It's easy. You too can spin if you look at data, filter it through your biases, and preach it like gospel. The rationale is that it isn't really lying, just putting a bias on what is already true. So what's wrong with it?  Before you choose to spin yourself into trouble, understand that in the context of ethical communication, you should be clear, truthful, and honest in what comes out of your mouth. Spinning is like any other kind of dishonesty, it's wrong. It makes good old fashioned lying sound clever and trendy. It can be said that stupid people lie and smart people spin."

I like that last line - "It can be said that stupid people lie and smart people spin."  But what's even more mystifying for me is that although literally everything about Mormonism is ridiculous (its doctrines, its teachings, and most definitely its history), there are many otherwise intelligent people who are completely caught up in Mormonism and so devoted to its tenets that they steadfastly stand up for its doctrine, teaching and history.  These people are not stupid, and yet they are trapped inside the web of lies that Mormonism propagates.  They truly believe that Joseph Smith was a Seer and Prophet of God who restored the "everlasting gospel in these latter days."  To me, the only explanation for that is that Mormonism has seeped into their psyches and clouded their judgment.  They allow the Mormon Church to dictate how they think and what they accept as true.  They are so entrenched in Mormonism that they are caught in a never-ending spiral of denial.  But that's all part of the spin - the Mormon Church expects its members to simply go along and not question, and if they do question, they are told that when the Prophet speaks, the debate is over.  That type of philosophy works to keep people quiet, and to make sure they don't speak out about their concerns.

In September 2010, I wrote a poem entitled "Spin, Spin, Spin the Truth," (based on "Row, Row, Row Your Boat") which is posted in the Poetry section of this blog.  The first two verses are:
Spin, spin, spin the truth,
Every way you can.
Verily, verily, verily, verily,
Like it all began.

Hide, hide, hide it all,
They can’t know the truth.
History, history, history, history,
Cover up the proof.
The poem goes on for several more verses, and ends with the following verse:

Please, please, please no more,
This is crazy stuff.
Overload, overload, overload, overload,
I have had enough.
Truly, I have had enough.  Enough lies... enough deception... enough denial... enough spinning.  To me, truth is the bottom line.  Is that too much to ask?


   

I will be forever grateful that in the Summer of 2001, I went on that Mormon Church History Tour because that is when I started my independent research.  At first, I simply wanted to know more about church history so I would know what occurred at the key places when we visited those locations.  But then, as I discovered more and more, I began to see that I had been duped all those years into believing that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that the Mormon Church was the Word of God.  I often think about the possibility that if I had not gone, I would most likely still be completely caught up in the web of lies that Mormonism weaves.  Thankfully, I saw the lies and was able to extricate myself from its clutches.

And so, here is my 90th LDS Hymn Parody...


UNVEILING ALL THE LIES
Sung to the tune of I Know My Father Lives - #302
Unveiling all the lies,
The truth revealed.
So long denial sheltered me,
Reality concealed,
Reality concealed.
Within the Mormon Church,
A plan devised.
Deception at its very core,
Dishonesty disguised,
Dishonesty disguised.
So much is evident
With open eyes.
Just look beyond the rhetoric,
And you will see the lies,
And you will see the lies.

Through research I have found
The lies within.
The truth is there for all to find,
Behind the Mormon Spin,

Behind the Mormon Spin.

© Diane Tingen, 3/25/2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WHEN LIES ARE TOLD - LDS Hymn Parody #89

THE TRUTH.
No wiggle room.  No poetic license.

THE FACTS.
No dodging, hedging or dancing around.

ONLY THE TRUTH and JUST THE FACTS.
Is that too much to ask?  As far as Mormonism is concerned, it seems to be - particularly since the Mormon Church has a very long history of distorting the facts (as well as attempting to cover-up many facts and details) and expecting everyone to believe that they are being upfront and honest when, in fact, that is the furthest thing from the actual truth.

Since leaving Mormonism, though, I've realized that not only is the doctrine false (and the history extremely sordid), but that the way in which the Mormon Church disperses information is suspect as well.  Particularly statistics about its membership numbers and growth rate.

On the Mormonism Research Ministry website, there is a blog entitled Mormon Coffee (It's forbidden, but it's good!).  On that blog, I recently read an entry entitled, "Mormonism's growth figures - what can you believe?" posted on May 7, 2012.  This blog entry starts off by saying:
Screaming front page headline in Wednesday, May 2, 2012’s Salt Lake Tribune (in bold, no less): 
“Multiplying Mormons expand into new turf” Subhead 1: “2010 census: LDS Church is fastest-growth Christian faith in 30 states, report shows” Subhead 2: “Only Muslims, with 67% jump from 2000-2010, outpaces 45% LDS increase.” Anyone picking up the paper on Wednesday received several messages: 1. The Mormons are a Christian faith.2. The church grew by 45.5% over the past decade. 3. The church grew from 4,224,000 US members to 6,144,000 from 2000 to 2010.  
This blog entry went on to say:
These are amazing numbers.  The problem is, the numbers were cooked.  A person who only looked at the front page and the major headlines on Wednesday probably missed the follow-up article on Thursday.  Instead of the front page, a story was placed in Section B of the Utah section next to the page's main article, "Dry winter portends a busy wildfire season."  The one-column article next to it had a much small headline, reading, "LDS Church growth really near 18%."  The subhead:  "Only 40% of Mormons attend church regularly, says researcher."
Really??!!  Cooking the books.  Why does that not surprise me?  For a church that plays fast and loose with the truth, creative accounting is not a big leap.  It's simply "business as usual."  Trying to make the Mormon Church look like it is "the fastest-growth Christian faith in 30 states" is simply part of their marketing scheme.


Of course, some people reading this blog entry (as well as many other entries on my blog) are probably saying, "Well, that's her opinion."  But actually, although everything written here is my opinion, the fact is that my opinions are based on actual facts.  You know, the facts that the Mormon Church goes to great lengths to cover up.  Naturally, any "negative information" about the Mormon Church is characterized by them as "Anti-Mormon Propaganda," which is basically their way of attempting to keep its members from either reading or believing the actual truth about Mormonism.  The Mormon Church even goes so far as to "prohibit" research outside their "approved parameters" (one of the signs of a cult), and includes a question about internet usage and research in the interview to obtain a temple recommend.  From what I've been told, Mormons are denied a temple recommend if they admit that they have looked at this "forbidden information."  Truly, if the Mormon Church had nothing to hide then it wouldn't matter what people read, research or look at, would it?

Mormons are told to "have faith and just believe," regardless of how preposterous the whole thing may seem.  And there are a lot of people who do just that, in essence putting aside all critical thinking and just accepting what they are told to believe.

Lies should have no part in anyone's life.  I, for one, do not want to live my life based on lies or half-truths - because in very plain and simple terms, "...trust departs when lies are told" (as the below LDS Hymn Parody says - my 89th to date).

WHEN LIES ARE TOLD
Sung to the tune of When Faith Endures, #128

I know the truth, it’s very clear,
The Mormon Church, a false veneer.
For lies are laced throughout it all,
The facts are written on the wall.
For years, I simply went along,
Though deep inside, I sensed it’s wrong.
They say believe, the Lord extolled,
But trust departs when lies are told.

© Diane Tingen, 3/12/2013