Monday, June 18, 2012

Secret! Secret! I've Got A Secret! (5 Months Is A Mighty Long Time To Try And Keep Some Crazy Shit Secret,...)

I've found an odd little article from the Alaska Dispatch called "How Mormon prophet Joseph Smith will cast a shadow on US elections" - odd because it takes a weird detour into analyzing Salt Lake City's pubs and beers - but still has some revealing lines about the hap's in the "Mormon Mecca":

All roads lead to the Temple in this beautiful city nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. 
The Temple of the Latter Day Saints, more commonly referred to as the Mormon Temple, is an imposing structure, with its spires, the golden Angel Moroni blowing his trumpet (to summon the faithful to salvation). 
But the inner workings of this enormous compound, which dominates Salt Lake City, are more impressive still. While non-Mormons are barred from the sacred grounds of the Temple itself, the numerous facilities set aside for visitors can make one forget the loss. A detailed model of the structure is on display, complete with the giant baptismal font perched atop twelve oxen. 
A touch-screen presentation gives the curious and blow-by-blow tour of the Temple, while numerous stands provide printed materials that aspiring converts can take away and study. You can also sign up to receive books and CDs to instruct you on the ways of the Latter Day Saints. 
“When we were little, we would go to the Temple and, as a joke, sign up people we didn’t like to receive all that stuff,” said one native of Utah.

Sweeet. But non-Mormons are "barred" from the Temple? That must be an example of how "nice" I keep hearing Mormons are. Here's an example of how "open-minded" they all are, too:

Eager guides from many nations are on hand to answer questions, provided that the queries do not stray into uncharted territory.

Yeah, "eager," but not THAT eager. This is because Mormonism is not - I repeat - NOT A CULT:

“I am not here to convert anyone,” she said, a bit anxiously, after asking that I not take notes. “I am just here to help anyone who wants to find the truth.” 
She did, however acknowledge that she had heard of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who is an elder of the Mormon Church. 
Ever since the possibility of a Romney presidency entered the public consciousness, increased attention has focused on the Latter Day Saints. 
Mormons, according to Au-Yeung, have “the fullness of truth” that other religions do not. 
“Everything in the Bible is true,” she insists. “But the Bible does not contain the whole truth. Some people have taken things out.” 
The whole truth is only to be found in the Book of Mormon, said Au-Yeung, extending the tome to her interlocutor. It was written some 600 years ago, she said, and revealed to Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1830s. 
“We respect other religions and live in harmony with them,” she said tranquilly. “I hope you can feel the peace here at the Temple.”

Ahh, yes, "the truth" - which can "only" to be found in the Book of Mormon. You know, the truth with the angels, and those yet-unknown stars (where you can have multiple wives) and other sane stuff.

All from Joseph Smith's magic hat.

Just don't start asking any of those pesky questions!

If I remember correctly, incessant questioner Ann Althouse (of all people) also found questions about Mormonism troubling. I think, probably, because it'll disrupt the "peace" of Mitt Romney's coronation.

But Ann's not alone in this. We know she and science-loving Glenn Reynolds keep screaming "bigot" or "bigotry" every time someone may "stray into uncharted territory." (Who wrote those charts?)

The citizens of Utah - who know the Mormons better than anyone - don't seem to be listening:
Peace is a bit hard to come by in Salt Lake City. There are two kinds of people here, it seems: Mormons and those who poke fun at them, sometimes none too gently.

One important reason, along with the sillier beliefs, is the "Big Love" issue:
“There are probably 50,000 polygamous families here in Utah,” said Joseph Dimick, a retired state judge. “I’m sure you have met some, you just didn’t know it.” 
Everyone, it seems, knows families with multiple wives and numerous children, although the practice violates both US law and current Mormon edicts.
Isn't that "nice"? I think local reaction to Mormon "niceness" is summed up pretty well in this quote:
“People who are not Mormon are a bit aggressive about showing it,” said one Utah resident, whose wine cellar attests to his non-Mormon status. “They want to make sure everyone understands who they are.”

Don't bother yourself, Buddy: 

These fools want to know NO-THINK! and will keep their fingers firmly in their ears, no matter what is said, proven, or exposed - it's Obama's 2008 election, but on the Right-hand-side - until November.

If - and that's a big "if" - they can keep the game going that long,…


  1. The problem is: a lot of the dirt on Romney and his associates that has nothing to do with Mormonism directly is still connected to Mormonism thanks to most of them (hmm) being in the same church or somehow connected to Utah.

    And after following the links back on that last post...oh boy; there is some really vile, ugly, nasty stuff. Good work by the way, a real treasure trove of stuff.

    If the Democrats don't trot it out in the next five months, I'm pretty sure they'll use it after Romney is elected (and why shouldn't they allow it? the guy will give them everything they want -- politically, economically, socially; plus thanks to him the GOP/Tea Party/conservative-libertarian factions will get royally smeared and discredited).

    What a mess, and I don't know what to think of conservative bloggers who are throwing in behind this because they have to "win"; they aren't winning, they won't win with this...and most importantly, the country won't and people could get hurt (and they are indirectly responsible, because they don't speak up, in fact they cover up or they just refuse to look -- what bs, what an ugly thing to do).
    I don't know whether to be sad, mad, or cynical -- maybe all three.

  2. Oddly, there was a lot more 'concern' over John Kennedy's religion when he was running than what has been seen (or I suspect will be seen) regarding Romney's religion.
    For my part, I see so few people actually living their religion it hardly matters. After a while, hypocrisy is still just hypocrisy.

  3. Meh. So basically, if I understand this post, if you are Mormon you are not qualified to be what? President (I am pretty sure you mean that)? Governor? Senator? Where is the line drawn? I am skeptical of religious tests (of course atheists get it the worse when it comes to that).

    I disagree with Romnney's view of the world (theologically--I do not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet so I am not going to become a Mormon) and I disagree with Obama's view of the world (philosophically, because I believe Obama to be an secular socialist at his core). The difference is I do not believe Romney is going to jam LDS on us all (even if that is his goal it will not work), but I know Obama is imposing his philosophical beliefs on us.

  4. How about: if you're engaged in some truly fraudulent and vicious stuff, as well as closely engaged in a presidential campaign -- and you and the nominee not only have business ties (in these not so straight up organizations) and you also share a common bond through belonging to the same church, then indeed, it all becomes fair game.

    Now I didn't much care for Kennedy, but there was never any inner circle of fish eaters around him (other than his own family) -- shady characters (including his family) yes, but no Vatican secret society. Likewise, I wouldn't have voted for Santorum if I got a whiff that he was surrounding himself with Catholic business ties and got dodgy about explaining his religious faith(might not have agreed with him on this always, but at least you knew where he stood).

    So...why didn't Mitt ever renounce Robert Lichfield and the whole Lichfield crew (which I believe is probably still donating to him)? And how come Mel Sembler was a go to guy for him in FL? And why are a lot of these troubled teen schools operating out of Utah? (and it's worth a read to hear what's been going on at some of them)
    Or is all of that perfectly innocent and easily explained as well?

    Why are some of you refusing to vet this man? Why?

    I can guarantee that the Democrats (at least their media) will be well interested, either before Nov. or after), so if hardheaded political expediency is all there is, then this is still a factor.

  5. ...and I might add:

    The Catholics have gotten called out, internationally even, for their past abuses (and they richly deserve it; should've been called into question a long time ago, shouldn't be swept under the rug or apologized for). Santorum got hammered with all sorts of things (from the left and from the right) about being Catholic -- fair enough; the dude's religious, so it shouldn't be off the table. Same with Evangelicals, same with a Jew, same with a Muslim -- nothing should be off the table.

    But raise any question about what the Mormons might be up to or similar questions to Romney, and it's bigotry, just mean, hateful bigotry...well then, I'm a bigot: what exactly is going on between the LDS and some of the business/political connections they have (like Robert Lichfield and this business with the troubled youth -- he did comment that God was the key to his success, so I guess his rendition of God is on the table, right)? Why is it bigotry to want to get to the bottom of that?


  6. I am not convinced that there is anything to vet with respect to Romney's religion. It only becomes an issue if or when an elected official tries to 'jam LDS on us' as EBL says. If a persons religion helps them in making correct decisions (right versus wrong), does it matter what the crazy uncle in the closet is/has done?
    Pick any religion and it is easy to find something another thinks is wack-o. So what? If it does not come into governance - how is it relevant?

  7. I agree with John. That said, I suppose I would have a problem with some faiths. I might not vote for a Wiccan, not because I think that new age nonsense is evil, I worry more about all the new age baggage that goes along with it. I would probably not vote for a Scientologist. But for the most part, I separate one's faith from one's policies/behavior/character. It is policies, behavior, and character that matter to me in a politician.

    Crack and Steve Deace has more in common than you would immediately think. And I do not mean just in result of a vote. I mean in terms of making a decision on principle. They come from two very different places. But the decision making process is not that different.

  8. Ok, read up on some of the links Crack has been providing. The LDS has injected itself into politics -- whether or not you support what they inject into it is neither here nor there; the point is they do and they have...and doctrinally, culturally they as an institution do this. It isn't a case of just an independent group of them or some individuals.

    Doctrinally and instutionally, they have had a long history of bigotry and racist (or, another way to look at it is a rather unhealthy obsession with purity...which from what I've read up on Jesus, he wasn't too hip with, which is a point in his favor imhao). They have never renounced this -- covered it up, made excuses, dialed it back...but never renounced it). Again, Crack has given plenty of links. Doctrinally and institutionally they support polygamy (and polygamy is a very corrosive thing -- especially to children, especially to the idea of free, human individuals just go to a polygamous society and see how it takes people down to the level of brood animals and what can happen to kids); again, they have never renounced this; again, links, here, in states the church has some political sway over they aren't going after polygamous families (which is a felony) -- and they give excuses, again with the excuses.
    But they have been tough on pot smokers (not that I agree with drugs, but I'm also failing to see how you can have the police force to run people in on suspicion, hold them down, pull their pants off and shove catheters up in them...which is really something y'all should be questioning, seriously, that's pretty messed up). So, plenty of cops to do that -- not enough to go after polygamous families (and all that could entail) or youth camps that have been charged with some pretty gut churning abuses...or go after ponzi/pyramid schemes (that seem to be tied to a certain church). Again, links, here.

    Plus there's a history of issues with the government and running scams on "the gentiles" aka. non-Mormons, which get covered up more than anything -- that kinda disturbs me because some of it has been tinged with a willingness to do violence (and because it's a con; never trust con jobbers -- it's an habitual practice)....follow the links.

    And the one thing Mitt hasn't flip flopped on (and his rank sell outs and back stabs should be reason enough to give pause, perhaps a symptom of something bigger and worse maybe?), has never lied about (no, really, he obfuscates, but he never out and out lies), has never really separated himself from is...well, no need to reiterate, just follow the links.

    So...if you'd call into question some of these other religions; why not this one?
    I'm not saying he'd ram LDS down our throats...but I'm doubting that he wouldn't make sure they got a few perks, bennies, somethin' somethings, and those might not be too beneficial to this country (or, for you Republicans -- I'm an Independent -- your party either).

    Why is this such a hard thing to question, even just a little? Has the ABO syndrome gotten so strong that now people can't think for themselves and are willing to follow anything to beat the other team? Look how well that worked for Democrat voters -- talk about people who bought a lie and are living the nightmare of the scam! You want to be like them?

    You're trading Barry for Mitt, Oprah for Glenn. Sure, it may seem a lot nicer because it's more agreeable to your personal worldview...but it's still the same old snakeoil.
    Ok, sorry for ranting...I'll leave y'all alone for a while.

  9. ...and because I just can't let it go:

    We've got people in pretty influential positions, not just in this country, but others, that have bought into this end times, armageddon, rapture stuff, which is also very disturbing. It's disturbing because they believe in it so much, truly want to believe in this...that they just might be willing (and could be certainly able) to help give it a little kickstart. They aren't worried, because they've bought into this idea that if they go pray on Sunday without fail, or bow down five times a day, or only eat certain things in a certain way on special days that somehow they are special little snowflakes and thus will be taken up and given bliss (while of course other people, not them, will suffer horrible torment and death, which is the flip side of their thoughts and should not be forgotten).

    How sick is that? How freaking sick and twisted is that, to be looking forward to, wishing it, praying for it even. on other people? Heck, on the whole planet. Seems pretty unholy if you ask me and not something I want my chosen leaders to be getting ideas about (most especially if they think they might be chief special snowflake).

    And of course, there are links to that too.
    You worry about Wiccans or Scientologists (which are worth the worry), but you don't give pause to people who might be jonesing for that? Who look forward to it because they think they won't have to go through it (but others will)?
    Personally, it scares the crap out of me, but whatever.

  10. I understand your point, PW, but not the vested energy.

    Charles Manson claims to be an atheist. Should I fear and loath all atheists? It seems impractical to try to lump everyone into groups and assume the worst. I don't dislike Romney because he is a Mormon. I dislike the fact that our political system is dominated by 'insiders' who select the candidates and then manipulate the party into thinking it was their choice.

  11. Ugh...of course not every Mormon is a bad person. I know a couple who are actually very nice.
    I also know a couple of Muslims who are really nice, decent people too. And Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh Days, Wiccans, and so on until infinity.

    But the institutions they belong to have some rather iffy ideas, some of the top dogs in those institutions seem a bit dicey, so while I quite like the individuals I'm not sold on the belief systems they have bought into and the people who seem to be at the tippy top of said institutions...and I definitely maintain the right to hold some skepticism of any politicians that might come out of those systems.

    As for atheists: well, a true, blue atheist who isn't just some person angry at religion and thus rebelling as opposed to a rational choice of disbelief (the non religious as opposed to the irreligious is perhaps a good paradigm) isn't somebody I'm horribly scared of and willing to write off immediately. It would depend upon their personal philosophy of life, etc. -- sometimes they are the complete opposite of nihilistic bs and as such can sometimes be more ideologically sound and safe than any super religious person (namely because they don't go in for the special snowflake theory of fiery, judgemental cataclysm).

    I'm responding so vehemently because people seem a little too ok with some things that maybe they shouldn't be ok with -- or just don't want to look into for whatever reason I do not know.

  12. My point which I fail to make effectively is that while agreeing with much of what you (PW) say, the brush tarring Romney is too broad for me. I think giving consideration to the individual is paramount. You draw division between angry and rational atheists. From experience you cite knowing religious persons who are decent folks.

    Without finding specific reason to put Romney in the wack-o column, shouldn't he be given benefit of doubt? Perhaps he is a decent person and would not seek to impose his belief system on you or me.

    As Romney is a deyed-in-the-wool capitalist I find him far less threatening than our socialist (my opinion here) president. If Romney lives by the golden rule I would not expect to be burdened by him. His religion aside, how he treats people, if he knows right from wrong and willing moves in the direction of good (even when doing so is difficult), and if I can trust him to 'walk the talk' - then perhaps he will be an improvement over Obama.

    And so, without evidence that Romney's religion impacts how he would serve as President - well, what me worry?

  13. Well, ok, but I have tried to take careful consideration of the individual too -- and I've come to the conclusion that he's a con artist and statist, that the form of "capitalism" he's been involved in is horribly corrosive to an actual productive free market as well as involved in some unethical/immoral/shady endeavors, and as such I cannot vote for him...besides the fact that he seems heavily invested in a spiritual organization which appears to influence him quite a bit, and that I hold deep suspicion of due to some of its beliefs/actions.

    This in no way makes me a supporter of Obama, and ironically, hilariously, my disregard for him is near exactly the same as the reasons for my disregard of Mitt.

    In short, I think they are both long-legged mack daddies, and I refuse to vote for either -- not falling for the paradigm of "if you don't vote for x, then you're just giving a vote to y", I'm not voting for x or y. If somebody wants to vote for x or y, then by all means -- but I'm entitled to my opinion and to express it, which I will.

  14. Personally, I don't believe in representative government. That isn't to say I am not patriotic. I was a volunteer back when people were still being drafted. Never voted and never will. I offer no one the right or authority to speak or act in my behalf.

    I hope you haven't taken my comments as me being pushy. Well, maybe I was being pushy. I got some of those things called opinions myself.

  15. John, I don't care if you are being pushy. I'm pushy too. It's all good.

    As for representative gov't.: an imperfect model, but so far it's the best model we've come up with (sure beats the dualism of anarchy/totalitarianism for the majority of people).

    Just for conversational niceties: why did you volunteer during the draft military? If it wasn't for patriotism, then it couldn't have been for the money (I'm from a military family -- and I know why we got in). Who knows? You and me may have a lot in common -- strange, small world!

  16. I volunteered like my father before me and his father before him... and it was an act of patriotism. As well as a bit of adventure seeking, and perhaps an undercurrent of a death wish.
    My father counseled against enlistment. His war was real - at least compared to Viet Nam - he said. For my part, I never had any regret. History books say we lost that war but that was never true. There were 45 enemy deaths for every American lost. War is about politics only in the mind of politicians. For the rest of us war is a life or death struggle. We all hope to be on the right side but realistically both sides start out with that belief.

  17. So you are a patriot?

    See what I'm doing here? I could be lying through my teeth to you, spinning a tale -- it could be a hook. And then I start messing with your head.
    Don't worry by the way, I'm not. Goes back to that idea of trying to be a good person, even when you know deep inside you can be quite bad.

    But it is what con artists do, and that's why they are so corrosive, and why they should never be trusted. I consider both of these two jokers to be con artists; worse, they may even believe their own con which is really dangerous.

    By the way -- my family is military ; we are because we have a knack for it (seriously, about 90% of my family members have or are military, some stay in for only the straight 8, some do the full tour, some only made it to jr. NCO, some of gone up pretty high), and to be honest it really is one way for poor hillbillies to try and take a step up the social ladder without getting so far in debt as to never climb out of it (which is what I come from and am). Patriotism is involved, but it's the love of an ideal with few illusions as to what the reality can entail -- do your time, do your job, try to make an opportunity for yourself. I've got two kids in right now, and the rest will likely go -- because, if I may brag, they're pretty bright kids, there's a lot of them, so this way they take their chances and maybe get an opportunity. So far, so good. Plus they inherited the family skill set (my husband is military too, so maybe that helped).

    And every war is a real war for the people going through it. Yeah, Viet vets (and Korean and WoT vets to some extent) really got jacked by people on that score (and a few others -- pretty raw deal for troop to never lose the fight and still "lose"...thanks to con artists and scammers playing unicorn chasing games imhao by the way -- now you know why I don't like them?).

  18. ..and John, sounds like your dad loved you, a lot, or else he wouldn't have said what he did.
    You sound like a very lucky man.