Subject: What harm has the Mormon church done?
Date: Mar 26 01:07 2005
Author: lewis

The church teaches good values and does so much good. This is one of the common things I here and it seems to be one of the biggest reasons for raising kids in the church. I even remember a talk in stake conference from the stake president saying all the good the church does, even if it isn't true. My life feels a bit richer now without the churches expectations weighing on me and I'm not expecting the sky to fall down any minute now but the new reality that the church is a fraud is so new that I don't think I can comprehend to what extent it has affected my life. I don't know enough to support a good reasonable argument with my wife how the life of our family will be better out of the church.


Subject: Lots of harm. Little good.
Date: Mar 26 16:31
Author: Concrete Zipper

lewis wrote:
The church teaches good values and does so much good.

What good values does the church teach that almost everyone else on the planet doesn't?

What good does the church itself do? The amount of charitable giving it has done is a pittance compared to the money it rakes in. And most of the giving the church does is toward members of its own organization.

What harm has the church done? Lots. Here's a sample list by category:

1. Economic

    a. The church demands that its members pay it ten percent of their income, whether they can afford it or not.

    b. The church encourages couples to have more children (and sooner) than they normally would, again whether they can afford it or not.

    c. The church mandates that its young men spend two years of their prime trying to convert new members, instead of going to school, building a career or even doing charitable work.

2. Psychological

    a. The church teaches same-sex-oriented people that they inherently evil.

    b. The church instills in its members the notion that they are never good enough, no matter what they do. This has led Utah to be the anti-depressant capital of the U.S.

    c. The church teaches that repentance is a long, difficult or sometimes impossible process. Young people are taught that being sexual before marriage will ruin them permanently. Masturbation guilt is heaped upon vulnerable adolescents.

    d. Magical thinking is lauded while critical thinking skills are suppressed. Members are taught thought control techniques to keep them from doubting their leaders.

    e. Women are taught that they are second class citizens, put on the earth to bear children and serve men.

    f. The church teaches its members to lie to themselves and others, while justifying that the actions are part of some "greater good".

3. Family Values

    a. The church teaches that families are the most important thing in the universe, but what is actually promoted is an "eternal family" in a next life, not here and now.

    b. Because of the above, Mormons are taught to shun people who do not share their beliefs, including other family members. A believing spouse is often counseled to divorce a non-believing one.

    c. Parents are given many church jobs which cause them to spend a lot of time away from their own families.

    d. Older members are encouraged to "use up" the remainder of their lives serving the church. Time and money a grandparent would normally spend on their children and grandchildren is squandered for the organization. As others have noted, this program should rightly be called "Where's Grandpa?".

The Mormon church draws near to "family values" with it lips, but its heart is far from them.

And there's a lot more where that came from. Still think the Mormon church is a good thing?

CZ


Subject: It has manipulated people not only into...
Date: Mar 26 06:24
Author: Kim

...believing lies using guilt and fear tactics, but also encourages people to not think for themselves as for what is best for them, but rather worship and hang onto every word that comes out of the mouth of an out-of-touch old man who runs it.

It also extorts money out its members by telling them that they won't make it to the best Heaven if they don't go to the Mormon temple. They can't go to the temple unless they pay outrageous amounts of money to the Church.

That's just a small part of the harm it causes.


Subject: About all of the good the church does.
Date: Mar 26 08:37
Author: Cheryl

Mormons tend to make a dumb, basic assumption. They look at "the world" with its crime, bad words, and bare midriffs. Then they assume that every Mormon would be doing crime, saying naughty words, and baring their bodies if they weren't under complete church domination.

That's downright silly.

Mormons tend to be rather nice, hardworking, and diligent people. They'd be that way no matter what churches they attended.

Those people you know need to list all of the good the church does and prove that the good doesn't exist anywhere else.


Subject: good point,
Date: Mar 26 09:35
Author: lewis

I actually dreamed I went to a different church last night and found it quit nice. I like the idea of finding all the good that comes from other sources to show the church doesn't hold a monopoly on virtues.


Subject: Five years ago I thought it would be impossible for me to even consider leaving the LDS church.
Date: Mar 26 09:01
Author: Just me

My testimony began fracturing when people I cared about were being hurt by Church policy. The church's priority was to protect itself, and members were willing to swallow their own pain and be obedient to "authority". Those that were non-compliant were seen as having too little faith, or as somehow responsible for their situation.
Church Policies are different from the rank and file of the church - who are often decent, compassionate people. They will make sacrifices for others, and do what they can to help until their efforts are stopped or diverted. Life is often a difficult, messy, and painful process, the church paints a picture of family bliss and harmony that cannot be realistically sustained. (Lying about early church history is a symptom of current attitudes.) If you get into trouble, especially if you are the victim (even a victim of circumstances) support will be short-lived and you will pay a very high price for exposing the fragility of your family - any help you receive will not be worth it.


At this point you are probably saying that wouldn't happen in your ward. I didn't think it would happen in mine. If you stay in the church, pray that your daughter is never date raped by another member, she will probably have to endure a church court. Pray that your sons don't struggle with issues of sexual identity, before they get it sorted out their self esteem will be in pieces. Pray that your scout leader is not a pedophile. When he is arrested, that ward will be instructed not to discuss this among themselves and not to talk to the press. Pray that your children don't learn to lie so they fit in, and pray that when they tell the truth the priesthood leader doesn't hurt them.
I left the church after 36 years and this has been one of the most painful journeys of my life, and it is not over. I have created a new support system for myself and my family, a much more honest one. I have remained a Christian, but went through a serious agnostic phase where I didn't trust myself to make any kind of religious decision. Now I am happier and more at peace. What harm has it done? Unfathomable... the people on this Bulletin Board represent the ones who are able to move away from the church, there is a group who have been so disabled by their experience they will live in pain from it and still not be able to get any distance. I am glad this Bulletin Board is here, it has certainly been a part of my healing process. The focus on family honesty and support is stronger here than in the ward I left.


Subject: A drag on tax revenue.....
Date: Mar 26 09:53
Author: mckay

..is the harm it does in Utah. I don't see this mentioned much and it probably isn't noticeable in other areas of the world but in Utah with a property tax free church on every other city block and tithing money in most cases being tax deductible there is a drain on tax income for the state of Utah. Utah has a terrible time with finding money for educational purposes and the church is one of the problems.


Subject: critical thinking - squashed in LDS church
Date: Mar 26 10:07
Author: t-bone

This is lifted directly from Bob McCue's "Do smart Mormons make Mormonism True?" essay, which you can find at:  http://home.mccue.cc:
I'll take only the parts I want to discuss that show how Mormonism is damaging to critical thinking.

A "common logical error ... referred to as a 'circular argument' or 'tautology' an argument that draws a conclusion that is merely a repetition of one the assumptions the argument asks us to make." (Page 30.)

Mormons commonly use the Book of Mormon (BoM) to prove that the LDS church is true. See the mistake? Mormonism first asks us to believe that the BoM is true. Then they ask us to believe that the BoM proves that the LDS church is true.

That is the equivalent of me asking you to believe that I am actually an alien. If you accept the 'fact' that I am an alien, then you must also accept the 'fact' that I am from the planet Supra. Since Supra is close to your earth word 'Super' you must also accept the 'fact' that my alien race is superior to you humans.


Subject: The "Good" is too easy for the Church because of its resources
Date: Mar 26 10:37
Author: Crazy Barber

Many members who question the doctrinal aspects of Mormonism often use that excuse- "well the Church does so much 'good!'" Not really. The Church's vast resources make it easy to prop up its image as a good-doing organization.

Because the Church is financially loaded, sprinkling a few dollars hear and there to help the less fortunate is an integral part of its public relations to make it LOOK like it is a good organization. Also, keep in mind that for the most part, the financial help is directed at needy church members, and very little is used to help other less fortunate groups of people. That way, the Church members feel even more indebted to the Church and more guilty if they do not obey the Church's commandments.

Through the deceptive mental and emotional manipulations discussed a few posts up, the Church is able to maintain an obedient work force to further prop up the good-doing image. Look at the mission program. What a bargain for the church to have members in the prime of their lives VOLUNTEERING to seek out more members to contribute 10 percent of their income to the Church. And the missionary program is certainly not a "good" program, the IMAGE looks good. To those who don't critically examine the missionary program, it looks like a group of clean-cut volunteers out to serve the world. Little do they know that it is perhaps the largest and most well-organized BRAIN-WASHING scam (primarily for the missionaries themselves.)

Oh yea, and the supposedly "good" values? I agree that many members live apparently well-adjusted lives. But so do many non-members.

so no, the "good" of the church probably not reason to stay a member if one is distressed by the doctrinal flaws and historical inconsistencies. It's really not worth it.
So no, the Church really does not do any "good."


Subject: Re: What harm has the church done?
Date: Mar 26 11:05
Author: The Harmed One

Harm doesn't have to be visible. I see the harm as individual or familial. In my case, the harm was individually emotional.

Over the years, all the expectations that I had to live up to, but could never attain brought me down emotionally, causing me to have big issues with myself. Add to this that I married a never-mo, so I am to be pitied (yet still expected to live up to all the expectations). Add being female and having children to that mix, then finding out that no matter how good we were, we couldn't be a "together-forever" family, was a slap in the face.

There are some good things that the Mormons do, but are they really any better than any other church? They hold blood drives, like other churches. They feed the homeless, like other churches. They are, for the most part, a group of hard-working, sweet-spirited, giving people........just like other churches. Really, what makes their good shine brighter than the others?

To me, the bad outweighed the good when I felt so bad about myself because of all my expectations with callings, etc. I had to fulfill at church every week, yet for all my hard work, my children and I left each week feeling extremely empty, sad and guilty.

We are much happier being hard-working, sweet-spirited, giving people who don't attend the Mormon church.


Subject: No church is predicated upon a ledger...
Date: Mar 26 11:07
Author: Lurker

The answer is does not lie in listing what goods or services the church has provided that constructs a benefit. You cannot analyze this by way of a ledger of pros and cons like you would do I marry or not marry Person X.
One rotten apple spoils a barrel. If Joseph Smith was a liar and a fraud; if the Book of Mormon was not translated from gold plates but made its origins by way of a fantastic story teller or tellers; if the Book of Abraham is a sham; then the concept that the LDS Church is the one and only true church is also a sham and a fraud. It has been said that the Book of Mormon is the keystone to that religion. LDS believe that the bible is the word of god as far as it is translated correctly, and that the book of Mormon is the word of god; however, the BOM has been revised over and over again.
The following sites may be of assistance and there are many more, too consider,
1. www.infidels.org/library/modern/curt_heuvel/bom_kjv.html;
2. www.lhvm.org/guate/
3. www.josephlied.com
4. irr.org; and
5. shakinandshinin.org/ThePsychologicalStructureOfCultism.html#TheMormons
and the list goes on and on.
The quest for truth isn't on a list of many good deeds the church has done, but rather are the claims of authenticity correct. If it is not, then one needs to know that one's salvation (if true) is not inherent in the claims of its authors.


Subject: I disagree with all general Mormon values.
Date: Mar 26 11:52
Author: Fonbossi

I am opposed to everything natural to Mormonism because everything they do from being truly Mormon is repulsive to me. This includes the fake "hard work" ethic they like to promote and falsify. It's used to enslave them, and to pay people much less and justify hating unions and collective bargaining. Now, just so I'm not misunderstood here, I think Mormonism began as a child-molesting cult and still protects it, even in polygamy under their political control. It is full of sexism and sexual predators, and those Mormons who don't like this either didn't get their loathing of abuse from Mormonism, but from the wider culture we share. They got it in spite of Mormonism. So there is hope.

The general values that I especially hate about Mormonism:

Conformity.
Blandness.
Obedience.
Overpopulation.
Personality worship.
Gender-bias.
Racism.
Tithing the poor.
Creationism.
Doomsday anticipation.
Anti-environment.
Mind-control.
Mormon-dependent family membership.
Pro-freedom/theocratic hypocrisy.
Sexual Orwellianism.
Loss of privacy.


Subject: It has taken away our freedom
Date: Mar 26 12:16
Author: Adios

to be ourselves. This is my biggest beef with the Mormon church. The church's influence has changed our lives in ways that have prevented each one of us from becoming our own authentic selves.

We live in a free society where we have the freedom to pursue many paths in life. The Mormon church with its prescribed lifestyle and roles for its members stifles each individual within its clutches. We have all based many of our decisions in order to conform to the narrow values of Mormonism, values we would not have chosen for ourselves if left to our own accord.


Subject: Re: What harm has the church done?
Date: Mar 26 15:32
Author: Mo_no_Mo

first of all....it is not the church doing good....it is the members.

Let me illustrate something that really frustrates me about the church.....I pay my tithing every month. It amounts to about $400/mo. So now you know how much I make. I am also in the stake YM presidency. Recently, we have been planning a youth conference for this summer. After telling us to continually shave down the budget from $7,000.00 to $5,000.00 which we did.....the Stake Presidency just up and cancelled the conference!.....Are you kidding me? You take the $400/mo that I pay to tithing and multiply that by 12 months....You have $4,800.00 Only $200.00 less than what we needed to put on a thing to help our youth. The church is a bunch of misers. This is just scratching the surface of why I plan to leave soon. They are more interested in supporting the GA's and temples instead of the living, breathing, members who really need the spiritual uplift in such forums as a youth conference.

Although, that would really just be a couple days of further brainwashing our youth....hahaha....catch 22 eh?


Subject: *** Wake up and smell your never-mo neighbors success...
Date: Mar 26 16:10
Author: Polygamy Porter

You must live in Ewwtah or a tightnit Mormon community.

Look around please, look around at the tens of MILLIONS of families who are raising kids that are every bit as good (if not better) than pious little Mormon families.

Take the myopic Mormon tunnel vision glasses and you sill see the world you never saw.


Subject: nice list
Date: Mar 26 18:18
Author: lewis

This is the kind of thing I'm looking for, I hadn't thought of many of those things listed. I can analyze how I have been affected by many of those specific aspects as well as the other things people have said. I know this takes a lot of work. It's almost like doing a research paper but for some reason I need it.


Subject: A lot of harm!! (long, with language)
Date: Mar 26 16:38
Author: Fedelm

It is extremely sexist, to where if you don't fit the doormat Molly mold as a female, you often have to put up with abuse from your Peter Priesthood husband, as what happened to me. When I took control back and filed for divorce, I knew I could never set foot in that fucking place again. Rape victims are frequently blamed, there's that hurtful phrase, "better dead than defiled" meaning that if a woman doesn't fight to the death, she's used goods.

Rapists and pedophiles are protected especially if they're high figures, as in the case of Hugh Nibley. Look at the backlash against Martha Beck, she's a woman who dared to expose the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.

Then, there are the purges of intellectuals and feminists because they have that belief that when the old farts speak, the thinking's done, and if you ask too many questions, you're considered too intellectual for your own good. Ever see "The Village?" It's a great analogy of Mormonism, fear of the outside world, and manipulation of the members to stay in the village or cult.

You've got overpopulation and children living in poverty because the members were brainwashed to breed early, if a woman is 22 and not married, she's consider an "old maid." The poor are still expected to give 10% of their wages, even if it means that they can't by food or have the electricity on.

If circumstances make someone poor, the church still makes them feel guilty when they ask for help, and often the help isn't enough to keep some from losing their homes in foreclosure because they don't help with mortgage at all. The only help the do give doesn't even last longer than 3 months, even in times of serious recessions when the jobs are scarce.

In Orange County, the poorer members were told to sell heirlooms to help build the Newport Beach, CA McTemple, while the richer residents of the area probably bought those things.

By enforcing early marriage, women are often trapped in abusive relationships because they don't have the education and other means to escape. I was lucky in that I was able to escape the abuse, many in my situation never do, except when their husbands kill them. Then, there's the racist history of the fucking cult, plus the bigotry against homosexuals who can't help but be born that way.

The cult controls sexuality by saying that perfectly natural things such as masturbation are evil, they ban tea and coffee which have known health benefits, as well as red wine, which enjoyed in MODERATION protects against heart disease. Green tea, especially is healthy in that it has antioxidants that reduce the risk of various cancers, plus helps to boost metabolism in those working on losing weight.

99.9% of the world's population did NOT need a church to tell them that tobacco and illicit drugs are bad for you. The rest of the world considers the cult to be just that, a very minor cult.


Subject: Re: A lot of harm!! (long, with language)
Date: Mar 26 17:21
Author: Mo_no_Mo

I don't feel quite that violent toward the church, however, I am quite upset about it. I really despise how long I was duped and made to feel guilty.

And to give credence to the masturbation thing...I was asked in all of my priesthood "worthiness" interviews until I was 17 y/o if I was obeying the LOC including abstaining from masturbation......Any Bishop who thinks it is ok to ask that question is a perverted freak....None of their F'ing business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Subject: I've been meaning to write an essay to answer this question; meanwhile....
Date: Mar 26 21:41
Author: Scott Tippetts

Bob McCue has written on this already (note that this is a different essay from the other one linked to on this thread):
http://home.mccue.cc:10000/bob/documents/rs.should%20i%20join1004226v2.pdf

and to a lesser extent, these also:
http://home.mccue.cc:10000/bob/documents/rs.religious%20faith%20-%20enlightening%20or%20blinding.pdf
http://home.mccue.cc:10000/bob/documents/future%20orientation.pdf

In my view, the benefits of Mormonism are relatively few:

1) For some people, it fulfils the need for a sense of community or tribalism that most of us seek. But this same 'social connection / sense of belonging' can be obtained thru other groups.

2) It offers a superficial primer in the most basic of kindergarten morality. This, however, can be obtained equally well from almost any other religion, as well as from many non-religious secular contexts. The notion that a religious upbringing instills ethics/morality better than an atheist of secular humanist is a fallacy.

So the only real 'advantages' are not unique, and fairly shallow.

On the other hand, Mormonism trains/encourages its members to:

1) Rely on magical thinking & subjective mysticism as the ultimate source of truth, overruling empirical reality & logic if necessary;

2) Avoid objective thinking (doubt is bad, skepticism is bad, people who offer a contrary viewpoint are deceivers);

3) Favor authoritarianism over self-thinking or democratic thinking (trust/obey the GA Brethren no matter what, obey Priesthood Leaders even if it goes against your better judgment);

4) Emphasize trivial Purity Codes (coffee, tea, tobacco; tattoos, piercings; home teaching stats, meeting attendance); instead of the more important matters of philosophical ethics & morality;

5) Overload one's schedule with so many inane tasks and busywork and meetings, that one cannot become a well-rounded person with many varied outside interests, develop knowledge & learning in various areas, etc.

6) Promote subtle/unconscious racism, sexism, homophobia,  and ethnocentric bigotry;

7) Encourage worsening of environmental and overpopulation problems through irresponsible over breeding and over consumption material behavior, promoted by cavalier "the earth is full and plenty to spare" attitudes;

8) Cause psychological damage & depression through unreasonable 'measuring up' demands that are just too much for some people (pressure to perform lots of extra tasks such as visiting teaching, callings, meetings);

9) Apocalyptic / too much future emphasis on joy (see Bob McCue's essay on this);

Honestly, many of those I've listed above may not be a big deal to this person or that person. In that case, maybe it's not such a bad deal for you.

But for me, the epistemological distortions (1-3) are serious issues. Though there are possible 'pros' to being a Mormon, those do not even come close to compensating for the 'cons' of altering your mode thinking. That just reflects my own values; intellectual honesty and objectivity are very important to me.

 

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church  www.exmormon.org

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