Subject: Flattop, Groberg and Japan Missions
Date: Nov 11, 2008 (updated Feb 2010)
Author: Laotzu

A few days ago Flattop [frequent poster on] briefly described his experience in the Tokyo South Mission under President Groberg. This raised, or re-raised, a question in my mind. The system that Groberg implemented between about 1979 and 1982, and which he subsequently used as the basis of his Ph.D. dissertation at BYU, was as cynical, manipulative, and inimical to Christian values as anything I've ever seen. Indeed, it damaged scores of missionaries and members and ultimately tarnished the Church's reputation in that country quite badly.

My question, therefore, is why has that period of history received so little attention on this and the other boards? Is it because those who experienced that system have long since come to terms with it? Or perhaps because the missionaries are generally too old to frequent these websites? I'd appreciate any insights you can offer, though it's also okay if this post fades into oblivion.


Subject: You're exactly right in your analysis of what happened there.
Date: Nov 11 13:16
Author: flattopSF

I'll also add that subsequent to his time as MP and his dissertation, Groberg himself seems to have faded into oblivion. He certainly seems to have fallen into disfavor inside the cult, having amounted to nothing more than a then-young MP, unlike his far more prominent-within-the-cult older brother and father. This performance in life, from the asshole who assured me in my exit interview that I'd never succeed at anything in my life, is delicious irony.

Based on my personal experience with the man, I'd opine that he's probably running an MLM somewhere in Morgidor. But really, I couldn't give a flying glob of stinky diarrhea about him, his life, or what he's defrauding out of whom now at all.

Perhaps the reasons you mentioned are why the issue is not a big topic at present. For myself, sometimes I feel rather embarrassed that I was even associated with that Snake-Oil Sales venture. I wouldn't say I've come to terms with it, though I did reject it swiftly and decisively: I was certain I had gotten into the wrong thing after less than six weeks on the ground in Tokyo, and quit my mission after only six months out (four in Japan). Most of the time I was there was spent convincing that fool Groberg that I wanted out of there, and fast. When he realized that two and a half months of his crass manipulation wouldn't work on ME, he became vicious (what else is new — isn't that the Mor[m]on Way?).

I'm delighted that it had a very negative effect on the cult's later efforts in Japan. I'm glad that many Japanese member were embittered by the cynical programs of Groberg and Kikuchi. I'm gratified that many Japanese people left their experience with Mor[m]on missionaries during that period with the sense that Mor[m]onsm was just another American cult — something to avoid in the future. It was a redemption of sorts to discover those facts later, because it justified my sense of all that was wrong with that mission and it repaired my impressions of the Japanese people at large. I felt, at the time I was there (1981), that it was a gross cultural affront to insist that a 150-year-old American religion was something the Japanese should want or need. I felt that if people wanted something else they would go looking for it — it needn't be delivered to them like a sucker-punch in the kidneys. I've only felt stronger in that conviction since then.

My impression of the aftermath is that former missionaries from that mission hold one of two impressions: either you're still a card-carrying cult member and you still can't figure out what went wrong there, or you've left and have tried ever since to dilute that sour, sour taste that still lingers from thirty years ago. Some never get it, and some get it all too well and don't care to reminisce about it very often.


Subject: Re: Flattop, Groberg and Japan Missions
Date: Nov 11 13:26
Author: Erin

I am ignorant on this subject. Though FlattopSF gives some indication as to what happened, if someone has the time or inclination to give more details, I would love to know more about it.


Subject: This is what happened:
Date: Nov 11 14:54
Author: flattopSF

The main characters were Delbert Groberg (son of the the temple president and little bro of the GA), successful oil-industry executive; and Yoshihiko Kikuchi, successful executive and Japan Area Administrator at the time. Between the two of them, they cooked up a plan to increase baptisms in Japan, historically a terribly-performing venue for missionary work. Often missionaries spent two years there with zero contacts of any kind, let alone baptisms.

The plan was to alter the methods of consumer targeting, contacting, teaching, and baptizing. It was streamlined and tailored to appeal to and/or take advantage of certain general behavior patterns in Japanese culture. It was designed to establish and increase a charismatic approach to conversion, not unlike that of American Fundamentalist tent-meetings and mass-baptisms, but again refined to take advantage of Japanese culturally normal behavior patterns.

Please keep in mind that the language used to sell this plan to church big shots and missionaries was probably VASTLY different than the language I'm going to use to describe it:

• Missionary apartments were relocated to areas near major pedestrian shopping and transportation traffic centers.

• In Tokyo, existing chapels were used as teaching centers, and when distance from a chapel rendered that option unfeasible, offices were rented with the intent to use them for the same purpose and as branch meeting-houses. In outlying areas, missionary apartments were to be used as teaching centers as well as branch meeting-houses.

• Missionaries were no longer to waste their time tracting. They were instead instructed to use the major traffic centers as a resource pool, and make street contacts through a variety of cheap tricks, the most popular being to offer English lessons and tutoring (imagine a 19-year-old farm boy tutoring someone in English...).

• Missionaries were to target teens, young adults, and needy types in their street contacting. These were "easy marks." They were to take advantage of a certain Japanese reluctance to directly disagree or contradict in face-to-face interaction, and were given techniques on how to establish an easy rapport and how to get the "mark" to constantly agree with the missionary. A patter was developed so that the missionary could steer the conversation and control it. Then the missionary would get the "mark" to agree (easy by that time) to go with him/her and talk briefly about Something Very Important.

• The missionaries were to MAKE CONTACT AND NOT LOSE IT. They were to bring the "mark" to whatever teaching center had been designated and begin indoctrination immediately.

• The six missionary discussions were rewritten and condensed into six five- to ten-minute presentations. It was dramatized and made very charismatic. Missionaries were advised that they could "teach" all six discussions at once "if so directed by the spirit."

• Following the mini-discussion presentation, missionaries were instructed to challenge the "mark" to baptism, immediately.

• If the "mark" accepted, missionaries were to contact their zone leaders and schedule a baptismal interview. Zone leaders were never more than ten or fifteen minutes away by train.

• Apartments/teaching centers/meeting-houses were all equipped with makeshift "baptismal fonts." If the "mark" accepted and passed the "interview" (who would not? almost nobody failed it!), the "mark' was loaned a white jumsuit or shift, and baptism immediately followed the six lessons and interview, witnessed by the Zone Leaders. Confirmation followed, again witnessed by the Zone Leaders.

• The entire process (contact to confirmation) was timed and refined until it was streamlined down to approximately 1.5 HOURS. It could be — and most frequently was — all done at the same time.

• The missionary was to exchange contact information (address and phone #) with the "new member," give them a Book of Mormon, and give them a small map showing them where church services were held, times, etc.

• The contact was "allowed" to depart.

• New baptism statistics were posted weekly in the mission newsletter, to increase the level of competition among the missionaries.

• Missionaries were required to meet regularly for "mutual encouragement" meetings (rah-rah sessions). Zone or All-Mission Conferences were scheduled to raise the excitement level even further and sustain it at fever pitch.

• Never let up on the pressure to perform.

I'm probably missing a few details here. The whole concept was packaged and sold as a Two Hour Secret Adventure!!! I honestly have no idea how those six mini-lessons appealed to Japanese teenagers, but that is the closest thing I can come to for an explanation. Naturally when they went home and talked to their parents about what they'd just gone through, they were probably met with a huge negative response.

In retrospect none of this sounds like very much, but at the time, it was revolutionary in Japanese missions. Baptisms SOARED. Suddenly missionaries who couldn't baptize one person in two years were baptizing dozens of people EVERY MONTH. The mission swiftly averaged over 1,000 baptisms every month. News of this naturally spread like wildfire: something was happening in Tokyo! What nobody knew, realized, or admitted at the time was that the huge bulk of these "conversions" were teenaged Japanese girls.

I'm sure other missionaries in Japan were thinking "what the hell?!?" Kikuchi spread the love around, and other missons in Japan were soon using some variation of the new techniques, but none were as ragingly successful as Tokyo South Mission. Kikuchi and Groberg did have one thing going for them: they got the system up and running, and when it was going they did what it took to keep it going. The application of peer-pressure and leadership expectation was high, to say the least. Every missionary suffered some degree of personal emotional pain in the process. The psychological cost to everyone was astonishingly high.

I'm sure the longtime members in Japan were shocked and horrified (I actually only met ONE all the time I was there: a branch president in Iwata). They were the ones who had to deal with all these incoming membership records of new people who, even when contacted, never displayed any more interest at all in the LDS religion.

By 1982, the church in Tokyo had become a paper tiger. Naturally, like all Ponzi schemes, it was destined to collapse at some point. When it did, the scheme's protagonists were relegated to the scrap-heap. Who knows where Delbert Groberg is today? Yoshihiko Kikuchi, for all his much-vaunted love of his native land and people, emigrated to Utah. Probably hoping to become the Japanese version of Brigham Young or something. Few Japanese members chose to follow him.


Subject: I was in England during that time.
Date: Nov 11 18:16
Author: Koo Koo for Kaukaubeam

We were constantly told about the success of Tokyo South and made to feel like crap that we couldn't reproduce those kind of numbers in England.

I think if I had been in your mission I would have had a mental breakdown. I always had aversions to the "gospel" being treated as a product that we were to sell.


Subject: Thanks. We have a variation on that theme in my mission several years before I arrived.
Date: Nov 11 18:28
Author: Tagomaa

The result was swollen membership numbers with extremely low activity rates.

One of my jobs while in the mission home was to conduct excommunications of those earlier baptisms so the activity rates would appear normal.


Subject: stories about groberg
Date: Nov 11 15:06
Author: Tempeute

I was a missionary in Japan just after the groberg era in the Tokyo South mission. I left the church immediately after returning home from my mission, and went to the University of Utah. While I was there I met and became good friends with a lot of former Tokyo South Missionairies. The stories they would tell about their missions were absolutely amazing. I thought they were all lies until I had heard so many different missionairies tell the almost exact same stories about their missions and groberg.

The number of baptisms they were getting were absolutely astounding. It was not uncommon for missionaries to have 30 baptisms per month. They led the entire world in numbers of baptisms. My best friend at the U of U was a former AP under groberg. He said that there were large parties at the mission home for any missionaiies that met their baptism goals each month plus other great perks, and that anybody who didn't meet their baptismal goals for the month were basically treated like dirt.

The all referred to baptizing as chinking. Some of the techniques they used to get their high quota of baptisms was to baptize people as an initiation into English conversation classes that all missionaries would teach at least once a week and sometimes more depending on the area. Another was fake baptisms for anyone the missionaries could get enough personal information on to fill the necessary paperwork for a baptism (this was usually only done by missionaires at the end of the month to fulfill monthly goals).

I was friends with several Tokyo South missionaries who had admitted to president groberg that they drank frequently while on their missions, and that groberg didn't really care as long as a missionary could fulfill baptism quotas. Most of them all said what a monster groberg could be to anyone who didn't meet their monthly quota of baptisms. From what I heard the Tokyo South mission under groberg had to be the most corrupt mission of any in the entire world, and that many of his missionaries hope that one day he will rot in hell. I sure had a great time drinking and partying with the Tokyo South missionaries at the U of U.


Subject: “Chinking” ?
Date: Nov 11 17:35
Author: ZelphRules

Wow, as ambassadors of the lord's true church, we sure were disrespectful to the peoples whose homes we were invading, weren't we?

Funny, that before my mission, it seemed like such an “honorable” thing to do. Now, I am really ashamed and embarrassed that I was involved in such a horrible scam.


Subject: Re: “Chinking” ?
Date: Nov 11 19:58
Author: kennjallen

i was there during the groberg years, and i NEVER heard the term "chinking". never.

that being said, i have no fond feelings for groberg or the practices he forced upon us at the time. i came home feeling robbed of spiritual nature of the experience, having been reduced to nothing more than a salesman with daily and weekly quotas that i couldn't possibly live up to.

he was an awful leader, paranoid and unpleasant in every way. a terrible man.


Subject: Oh Lord, let me guess ...
Date: Nov 11 19:36
Author: Mårv Fråndsæn

The retention rates weren't very high, were they? Like about zero? Actually zero?

All the Japanese members weren't happy, right? Some of them eventually talk to General Authorities, no? (Perhaps GAs don't listen so well, Orientals don't tend to be direct. BTW I served in Taiwan.)

Obviously Groberg & Kikuchi wanted to be rewarded for great (illusory) success, right? Did they really think nobody would figure it out? Or just figure it out late enough they would be gone?

How long does it take Salt Lake to catch onto this nonsense?

How did this psychologically affect most of the missionaries? (I can guess, but I'd like to hear it.)

Nice thread!


Subject: I think there was a similar experience in England Manchester Mission, mid 90's...n/t


Subject: Re: I think there was a similar experience in England Manchester Mission, mid 90's
Date: Nov 12 04:46
Author: UK-Sinner

An account from 'Tracer Bullet' regarding his time in the England Manchester Mission, under President Clegg in the early/mid 90's.

Read more at....

Part 2

Wonder of wonder's we baptised, in fact we baptised 5 people while we served together and I became a Sith Lord, inculcated in the ways of Clegg. I rapidly discovered that this mission was the highest baptising mission in the English speaking world (or something like that) and that we baptised something like 200 people a month. Not bad for 180 missionaries. The way it was done was to visit our people every single day leading up to baptism and basically overcome any problems with baptism as they occurred (even to the level of raising our arm to the square and commanding them to be baptised.) If they weren't committed after the first discussion we either dropped them or we went on splits with the district leaders who would commit them on the second discussion and if they didn't succeed the zone leaders would come in and in extreme cases the APs would come along. It wasn't quite as intense as this but only because the DLs and ZLs couldn't be on splits all the time! Nobody was supposed to come to church and leave without being baptised or at the very least be committed in an after church private meeting in a side room. Literally 90% of the baptisms happened on the first Sunday that the investigators attended church.

Amongst the things I was used to doing:
Teaching a pseudo first discussion in under a minute at a door (including a prayer that was dressed up as a 'this is how we pray' approach.) Thus every day we would have three or four first discussions which would keep the leaders off our backs while we progressed our one or two real pliable people towards Sunday. I also got used to teaching three or more discussions in one go in order meet the approaching SUnday deadline. Most DL interviews involved reteaching doctrines barely grasped by the potential convert, normally ten minutes before the baptism! Not all the work was done this way but it sure felt like it.

Strangely enough - once I was able to overcome my horror at what was happening - I actually started to enjoy it in a mad sort of way - I guess a little how soldiers can actually enjoy the adrenaline rush of war despite it being awful. I took it all in my stride and adjusted my attitude and told myself this is what real missionary work was all about (after all the church was growing massively) and that everyone else was pretty namby pamby. I could almost envision us as akin to Captain Moroni - taking no prisoners and really socking it to them. I started to be somewhat disdainful of the local members and despairing bishops. I rationalised that most of our lost converts were due to slacker members not working harder to retain the people we sloshed through their fonts.


Subject: Sounds alot like my experience flattopSF
Date: Nov 11 20:02
Author: Patti in Japan

I was in the Japan Nagoya mission, 1981-1983. I think my first MP must have been a fan of Groberg, because my mission, especially the first half, was very much the way flattopSF described it. There was a scripture he read at almost every mission or zone conference (Moses 5:6)

6 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.

In other words, "OBEY and NEVER question your leaders!"

Before my mission I had an image of missionaries knocking on doors, so I was surprised to get to Japan and find out we would hardly ever do that. We hit the streets at 10 in the morning, went home at 2 for a 2 hour lunch break (we were only supposed to eat two meals a day), then went back out till about 10pm. One of my companions wrote home to her inactive mother and non-member father telling them about going "streeting" and getting "pick-ups". Her mother wrote back and said she should watch her language, it sounded like we were doing something other than missionary work.

We were encouraged to be competitive amongst ourselves. At one sisters only zone meeting we had to go off into separate rooms with our companions, make up a cheer about missionary work and baptisms, then come back and perform it in front of all the other sisters. Yes, I felt stupid and humilitated. I remember thinking, I wasn't even a cheer leader in high school, why am I being made to do this now? This SO isn't what I signed up for.

We got a monthly mission letter that was nothing more than stats of all the missionaries who had gotten baptisms- the more you got, the higher up your name was. We called it the glory list, and I'm embarrassed to admit I felt pride when I saw my name up on that list.

The second MP seemed a bit shocked and disgusted by the way things had been done under the first MP's regime. And I remember hearing him once say that when they were getting upwards of a thousand baptisms per month in Tokyo South, it was because they were literally baptizing anyone and anything that moved.

I didn't know anything about Groberg's techniques until I came to this board last year. I guess I just assumed that's the way things were done in any mission. There were many times I wanted to go home early, but stuck it out until the end. I admire you, flattopSF, for having the courage to leave.


Subject: Details On What Happened In Japan
Date: Nov 11 22:30
Author: Laotzu

These are deep wounds, and I am touched and saddened to see how vivid the memories are for some of us.

A few additional details. Regarding the Groberg/Kikuchi model, the basic premise was a relentless focus on sheer numbers. If one in 100 (?) who hear the lessons are baptised and one in three (?) converts remain active, then teaching 300 lessons produces one active members. It follows that teaching 30,000 lessons must result in 100 active members. This quantitative logic is all that matters, since no individual human is valuable enough as a mere child of God to warrant personal attention. The rule, effectively, was to dump Japanese in the waters of baptism and then let the Lord sort them out.

Manipulative techniques. I should add, as Flattop intimated, that not all of these practices came directly from Groberg and Kikuchi; a lot were innovations by missionaries who functioned under intense pressure. The leaders retrospectively claim that they did not know some of these things were happening--and that may be true, though I think there was, and still is, a lot of intentional ignorance.

With that caveat, we were taught to teach only young people, ideally men between 18 and 22, because they baptized the fastest. We were explicitly ordered not to teach families because they took too much time; and I know of one instance in which a companionship was punished for insisting on teaching a family. The entire lesson plan was condensed into one hour, and during that hour each missionary was to shake hands with the investigator at least ten times. This worked because Japanese don't normally shake hands and the sudden, repetitive physical contact tended to facilitate persuasion. During that hour we were also to speak frequently in broken English, saying things like "berry, berry goodo" because that made the investigator feel like he was engaged in an English language conversation. Finally, once the baptism was done we were ordered to see each convert a maximum of one time, since it was now the members' responsibility to develop and maintain a human connection. Friendships between missionaries and Japanese converts were virtually proscribed.

Of course, the missionaries were manipulated with equal cynicism and zeal. Status and approval were based on the number of baptisms a person could perform. This gave an advantage to the charismatic, strong personalities at the expense of quieter, often more sensitive and spiritual missionaries. The former rose fast through the hierarchy, becoming zone leaders and APs while the less forceful characters were continually condemned as inadequate, a disappointment to God, because they did not produce enough. Nor did personal "worthiness" matter. Missionaries turned to their old vices to let off steam; and if the leadership found out about their chemical or other indiscretions, the consequence was a demotion followed--assuming that the requisite number of baptisms was achieved--by immediate promotion back into the ranks of the godly. There was thus very little connection between the moral and ethical codes of our childhood congregations and the definition of success in the mission field.

So what happened as a result of all of this? Baptisms skyrocketed for a couple of years, until Groberg was replaced and some of his senior missionaries excommunicated for things that he had not wanted to see. The Church then tried to turn back the clock, but the prominent comedian Takeshi Beat made "accept baptism!" routines a staple of late night television and Japanese people, for various reasons, lost much of their interest in American culture and religion. As the rate of new baptisms fell through the 1980s and 1990s, one or two mission presidents tried to resurrect parts of the Groberg system but, frankly, the moment had passed and there was no Kikuchi to provide support.

Meanwhile, the missionaries returned to their home communities having been through hell. These were the years of Spencer Kimball, when "every young man must go on a mission and he will like it," so our families and friends could not comprehend the stories we had to tell. We were shunned, avoided by members who were uncomfortable with us and in many instances condemned by local leaders who thought that we must surely be to blame for our pain. After all, the Lord's Church could not possibly have done what we described. Some missionaries and their families complained to apostles--I am aware of two such conversations by friends' parents--so it is pretty clear that SLC knew the depth and breadth of the problem. But rather than reaching out to help the missionaries or, at the very least, warning bishops and other leaders of the difficulties the RMs were bringing home, the brothren in SLC swept the whole thing under the rug, leaving the isolated and traumatized missionaries to work through the social ostracization, self-condemnation, and disillusionment in solitude.

Even today we cannot share these stories with Mormon friends. The truth is that the one thing the religion can never forgive--other than diety's intransident decision, contrary to the urging of his prophets, to create a certain percentage of his children gay--is the arrogance of those who dare to have been harmed by the Church. It would be inconvenient and embarrassing, after all, to ask leaders to admit mistakes...

Let the Lord sort it out.


Subject: Ahh, the "Streeting Jidai" from the perspective of an 84-85 Kobe missionary ..
Date: Nov 11 22:42
Author: LabRat

I think the reason this doesn't get much attention is because this period was short, so few people know much about it. By the time I got there in 1984, these were already just stories and we just spent 70+ hours a week knocking on doors again. Some missionaries tried to track down "inactives" from this time as a way to be more effective, but generally with no success. Our MP's approach was to send long newsletters with essays and articles about "The Process of Sanctification", becoming more spiritual ... the idea being if you become sanctified enough god would lead people to you, and you to them, as you knocked your knuckles numb.

The after effect was still there though. Some comedian had a wildly successful routine on TV mimicking a common streeting approach "Kami of Shinjimasu ka?" (Do you believe in God?) and I still have a humorous postcard with a bunch of penguins at the beach for summer vacation, all with comic style voice balloons above them ... and in the corner is one with a crucifix around his neck wandering around asking "Kami of Shinjimasue ka?" Poor penguin.


Subject: Re: Flattop, Groberg and Japan Missions (language)
Date: Nov 12 12:01
Author: Hated It

There was nothing but emotional/social/sexual extortion for my entire mission:

"It's the unworthy Elder who will lose his girl."

"You can't expect God to help you later in your life, if you don't help God with his work now."

"You will never rise above your level of success in the mission field."

"In heaven you will have to answer to all those people that you didn't contact in the mission field (because you were too lazy)."

.... Bastards.


Subject: Re: Flattop, Groberg and Japan Missions
Date: Nov 12 13:16
Author: Grobug Reader

Was this Groberg's thesis?

Under "related subjects," the ironic one is "educational accountability."


Subject: Groberg Career, Collateral Damage
Date: Nov 12 17:17
Author: Laotzu

I was actually not in Tokyo South but rather in one of the more rural and sparsely populated missions. Kikuchi turned up the pressure on us for months and months, demanding that we could produce as much as Groberg's boys in the megalopolis. Then he actually flew several leading baptisers in from Tokyo to teach us the manipulative techniques. In the meantime, our beleagured and weak Mission President had instituted a police state with spies in the branches, late-night angry phone calls to the branches, verbal intimidation, and other abusive practices. Kikuchi was very supportive of this, in one mission conference holding up a piece of paper which he described as part of our Church files and warning that he would record on it our individual failures to baptise enough people, thereby ruining our chances to become leaders in the future. . . As if by that point many of us had any interest in Church careers.

I found Groberg's dissertation at

A refuge from Tokyo South later told me that after obtaining his Ph.D., Groberg went to work for Steven Covey, that profiteer from watered-down Christianity. It's amazing how cynical these men can be.


Subject: Kikuchi's Subsequent Exploits
Date: Nov 12 17:22
Author: Laotzu

Kikuchi, meanwhile, has risen to the creamy top. Isn't he one of the presidents of the First Quorum of the Seventy? I should probably check that, but my mood is rash.

Anyway,I think the good Elder has done quite well for someone who is not from Utah, not Caucasian, and not a lawyer.


Subject: Re: Flattop, Groberg and Japan Missions
Date: Nov 12 17:58
Author: Truth over Faith

I wasn't there during the Groberg era. I was assigned to the Japan Tokyo mission (prior to the north/south split) from 1976 thru 1978 under Harrison T. Price. He actually had to go early to replace the Japanese mission president that was doing something similar. They had been having one day "baseball" baptisms. We however tracted and rode our guts out and focused on families.

In 1977 we started heavily promoting English classes using gospel subjects to lure more investigators. I think I still have my old english manual somewhere! We averaged one baptism per year per missionary. Pres. Price predicted that Japan would be the next South America where my friends were baptizing hundreds. LOL, I guess he was right!

I met Kikuchi a couple of times. He seemed nice enough but he was definately looking to be the LDS leader of Japan.

Price had been one of the first missionaries after WW2 and later went back as the Japan MTC pres. and then later as the Tokyo temple pres. which was built on our mission home site. Ex-marine and a hard worker, but fair.

I am glad that I was prior to Groberg. I don't think I could have done what Flattop had to do. My hat is off to Flattop for hanging in there.

Subject: Of human subjects & failed experiments
Date: Nov 14 03:16

Nonconsenting Human Experimenter   

Here is updated bio on where Groberg is currently pimping himself.

Reading his so-called dissertation, one is struck by a number of things.

#1) Only at BYU could somebody write up such bilge and get awarded a doctorate for it.

#2) Groberg clearly viewed his mission and missionaries as a research subject.

#3) Given #2, most universities today would reject a project such as his, unless "informed consent" were given to his experimental subjects.

#4) From the nature of stories told here, Groberg clearly violated ethical considerations in ways that caused people serious and lasting emotional and spiritual harm.
Subject: Tokyo South Mission with Pres. Delbert Groberg 80-81
Date: Apr 12 01:16
Author: TokyoJoe
Mail Address:  

My first posting here on this website. I read over the accounts of what was posted regarding the everyday dealing of the missionaries in the (now closed) Tokyo South Mission. Of what I read, I must agree that 98% is accurate. I arrived in late 1980, a convert to the church in I was green as they come in my own experiences in the Church, as well as being a missionary. It was only a few days after I arrived that I realized that we were not in Kansas anymore, and the Great Oz was more than just a small man behind a curtain.

I hit the streets doing "streeting" in January. It was quite common to be on the streets from 9 am to 9:30 pm, only with breaks if you were lucky enough to get someone to go back with you to listen to a jiko shokai (small personal introduction) and a couple of discussions or 3. By the middle of February, I was personally called into Pres. Groberg's office and was given a fine talking to that, if summed up, went something like this: "Of all the new missionaries in your group, you are doing the least amount of contacts and discussions. If I don't see a definite improvement in your stats within 2 weeks, maybe you shouldn't be here."

I couldn't believe my ears, because I had just left as a hero from my ward...the convert who was going to convert others...but in Japan, in the eyes of Pres. Groberg, I was just not producing...and he did check up with me a month later, like clock work. It was March 1981. I was asked to come to his office, where, once again, he told me that he was not going to play any more games with me, and that I had had my chance. If I didn't have x baptisms by the end of the month I would be sent home. And that is the gospel truth.

In the 3rd week of March, my ZL showed up at our apartment. He came to talk with me, and to "pray with me" so that I would be able to stay in Japan and finish (God, I had just started) my mission. We knelt there together on the tatami mats, and he prayed and I prayed....and I committed to get things done. My companion was worried for me, and he knew of the Stress I was under. I couldn't understand this whole concept that President Groberg had....

Well, as luck would have it, I escaped the wrath of the infamous cold and steely-eyed Groberg in March by pulling off a baptism, which was one of those quicky rent-a-font ceremonies...a font that was basically a wooden rectangle with a blue tarp used as a liner to hold COLD COLD water on the balconey of our apartment.

I won't go into greater detail but will tell you that it is all true...the stories of the baseball baptisms. Jokes of throwing in candy in the font and the kids jumping in after it...and that this would count as a baptism if you said the prayer.....

Luckily, President Groberg and his delightfully naive wife departed Japan half way through my mission and Pres. Inoue was called as President. If it were not for that man, I would have either killed myself right there in Japan, or would have been sent home by one of the most cold-hearted individuals that I have ever met.

Before my mission ended, I found myself as the Mission Recorder, and was responsible for all of the baptism records, and the like. I personally dealt with the transition from Mission-based "churches" where missionaries held meetings in their apartments and called it sacrament meeting,to the formally organized local wards. Hundreds and hundreds of member records were never found, and the baptisms always out paced the real growth. It was humiliating and embarassing to know that so many great young men and women, elders and sisters, were treated so poorly, and misused.

I had personal access to records left by the distinguised Pres. Groberg, and his taunts of other missionaries. I will not discuss them out of respect for privacy....but I will say that no matter what, he bullied, forced, coerced, threatened and at times, even blackmailed missionaries to perform "miracles." And the kikuchi/groberg love affair was a real, palpable thing.

I stayed in the Church for many years, finishing BYU, marrying in the temple and raising a child. I am divorced now, and have left the church. I miss so many things about it. And honestly, the first cracks in my fledgling testimony happened during my mission. What a sad thing to happen.

One last comment....After Pres. Groberg left, the massive clean up that Pres. Inoue had was almost unbearable. Within that first month, 5 or 6 missionaries were sent home and excommunicated for various reasons, mostly sexual with local female church members. And who was among them? The ZL that knelt with me in prayer, so that I would be blessed with a baptism, and get the chance to stay in Japan.

What irony.


Subject: Wow - just - wow. I can't believe you went through that n/t


Subject: Re: Tokyo South Mission with Pres. Delbert Groberg 80-81
Date: Apr 12 03:27
Author: Mumeisha

There was a thread about this a few months ago; it included details about how the Groberg-Kikuchi system operated and may be worth revisiting.

I'd add three points to what you say. First, the damage was not limited to Tokyo South: Kikuchi wanted to produce similar numbers of baptisms in all nine (?) of the Japanese missions and other parts of East Asia as well, so he pressured the presidents in those places to imitate Groberg's procedures. Some of those missions, and more particularly the young men and women who served in them, suffered badly too.

Second, it was probably not coincidental that the rate of baptisms in Japan fell off in the 1980s and has never recovered. You cannot, after all, run an operation like that without offending huge numbers of people--including both the existing membership and those who were constantly harrassed on the streets. Groberg literally made Mormonism a joke which was replayed on national TV for many years.

Third, the episode badly discredited the American Church. Many of the missionaries who went through that hell lost respect not only for the local leaders but also for the senior bureaucrats who tolerated the abuse for so long. Some of the disenchanted left Mormonism in disgust, others stayed but did so with a deep cynicism that prevented their participating fully and sincerely. Who, for example, having gone through such hell, would entrust his children to the evidently ambitious and irresponsible men who run the LDS missionary program?


Subject: some relevant questions re- Japanese missions...
Date: Apr 12 09:36
Author: alscai

I too have heard these stories. This time period coincided with my mission period. I was in SA though, where there were some crazy baptism number schemes too.

I had a close friend on a mission in Japan but in the Kobe mission, and his mission sounded like sheer torture. He could have very easily killed himself during or after his mission.

Anyway, the whole thing makes me wonder about what the attitude in morg HQ was toward Japan. Was there someone in SLC who was convinced that the Japanese were the lost 10 tribes and that a conversion explosion was inevitable? Or what? Was it a worldwide trend?


Subject: It Seemed Right to Church Leaders
Date: Apr 12 12:40
Author: Mumeisha

Very good questions.

I think you have to remember the broader context. Many people who had returned from missions, worldwide, in the previous decade had had good experiences. We had heard their homecoming speeches and thought that God wanted us to serve in the same capacity. Kimball had occasionally taken time off from his sexual diatribes to urge us all to go, and the Church was growing rapidly. In this environment a surge in baptisms seemed foreordained, the fulfilment of prophecy. These were the last days, after all, and the world needed the truths we had.

So when Groberg pushed the numbers up, I suspect that the Church leaders were impressed but not alarmed. What was happening made perfect sense doctrinally even as, coincidentally, it advanced their personal interests. Kikuchi was of course ecstatic because this brought him to Kimball's attention and increased the odds of his eventually becoming an apostle. The missionary committee in SLC probably felt the same way. If the vision says the Church will roll forth like Daniel's stone cut out of a mountain and the success in Japan makes the leadership look good, what is there to question?

I am more critical of the later stages of the disaster. By 1981 the horror stories were starting to be told to missionaries families and whispered about at BYU and elsewhere. Some parents actually contacted apostles to tell them what was occurring and how harmful it had been. If the leaders were truly inspired, or even just responsible, they would have investigated the situation and stopped the abuse from happening. But who in the Mormon Church is rewarded for bringing unpleasant news to their superiors, especially when the message is that the sudden expansion in baptisms is not a vindication of their policies but rather an indictment?

These incentives continued to work after Groberg left Japan. The Church might have acknowledged its mistakes and have reached out to help the troubled RMs but chose not to do so. But can you imagine a second-tier leader trying to mobilize Church resources in this way? It would have been career suicide, offending the more senior apostles and seventies who were already compromised by the Japanese disaster. So once again, the absolute unwillingness of the leaders to tolerate bad news or to admit, and help rectify, their errors meant that nothing was done to make things right. It is this same refusal to admit mistakes that renders a repeat of the Groberg program at some point in the future possible.


Subject: Re: It Seemed Right to Church Leaders
Date: Apr 12 15:59
Author: KJA

It's interesting to note that among the Elder and Sisters at the time, a rumor was circulating that one GA's nephew? son? had complained to dad back home. Soon after that, David B Haight (why do I still remember that name?) visited the mission -- was his timing coincidence? -- and we all waited for the hammer to fall.

But no, he endorsed the work we were doing. And in the mission conferences to follow, Delbert Groberg (aka, "the great satan") emphatically reinforced to us, "I am your priesthood leader! If you have concerns with this mission and the work you do, you bring your concerns to me!"
Mumeisha wrote:


Subject: Yeah, I remember that. With consummate abuser skills, Groberg wanted the abused to...
Date: Apr 12 16:53
Author: flattopSF

...keep quiet about it, or suffer more of the same.

Your typical buckin'-for-GA-status @$$holy-O.

My favorite personal-experience story about Groberg comes from when I **FINALLY** had my final interview with the @$$holy-O. I was hell-bent on getting out of there after only four months. As I sat in his office for my one and only personal interview ever (April, 1981), he had the temerity to tell me that if I quit my mission I'd never amount to anything. I'd be a quitter and a loser for the rest of my life...

...then he said this: "If you leave you'll have to explain yourself to everyone you meet for the rest of your life - every future employer in every job interview will want to know why you left your mission early."

I suppose he fancied to himself that he was waxing prophetic or something. But really, all he and Kikuchi had done for months was feed me — and everyone else — an interminable line of total bull$#¡t which they apparently hoped we'd snort up like cocaine. I'd had enough.

After I laughed out loud in his face — which he didn't seem to appreciate at all — I said: "Who do you think you're talking to, an idiot? I don't know where YOU grew up, but where I'm from, NOBODY I'll ever work for will care whether I went on a Mormon mission or not! I don't have to explain this to ANYONE."

And what about the intervening thirty years now? My subsequent miserable life as a quitting quitter? Not so much. Only so far as getting the hell out of that stupid cult is concerned. Only so far as getting the hell out of psychologically horrible conditions is concerned. Only so far as getting the hell out of bad relationships is concerned.



Subject: Responsibility
Date: Apr 12 18:22
Author: Mumeisha

I hadn't known about contacts with Haight during Groberg's tenure, though it makes sense. I think he was head of the missionary committee at the time.

A dear friend of mine, incidentally, told me that after he returned to the states his parents set up a meeting for him with Haight. This would have been 1983 or 1984, I think. Anyway, he explained to the apostle what had happened and the consequences for the missionaries. Haight reportedly answered that "yes, we let things go way too far." He said as much as he could--again according to my friend, whose anger came out at this point--"without admitting any actual responsibility."

More broadly, I think that the tragedy did have some effect on Church policy. Groberg, for instance, appears never to have risen further in the hierarchy. That may well have been in recognition of his errors. Salt Lake could not dispose of Kikuchi so easily, since it would have been embarrassing to fire a seventy, but he has obviously not risen to the Q12. Kimball was so intent upon promoting non-Americans that he would have leapt at the chance to promote a Japanese man if he possibly could have.

Needless to say, any such quiet changes in policy did nothing to help the missionaries. We all went home to a rigid, lock-step Church that did not believe that a person could have a bad mission. The ostracization was extreme. The failure to address this proves once again that considerations of institutional reputation and protecting the old boy network are more important in SLC than the wellbeing of the members.


Subject: Groberg missed his calling -- He belonged on Wall Street ...
Date: Apr 12 11:05
Author: Mad

His big bully mind set is just exactly what makes Hedge Funds and Credit Swaps and Sub Prime Loans a reality - just apply any pressure to get impressive results on paper and don't worry about how it's all happening in the ranks. Let the guy who follows you clean up the mess you left while you get out with your personal bonus intact.

I've personally seen this monstrous arrogance before in the Corporate World, and Mormonism, more than anything, is a Big Corporation.

Get results, then get lost.


Subject: Hmm. Very interesting and provocative.
Date: Apr 12 11:44
Author: cludgie

I've always heard bad, bad stories coming from people who went to Japanese missions in general. Are there others with similar stories?

I have to report that my mission president was a nice enough guy (was called from the rank and file and never went on to any greater authority), just a bit incompetent. He bumbled his way through the mission like most of us would have, but I don't recall anything bad happening. So, no real complaints. That was 1969-71. Today the membership in my mission area has not improved a lick, and they may even be worse off. Most all the Italians are inactive, and virtually all attending members are of varied South American (mostly Argentinian) origin and despised by the Italian members for their relative competency. There's flapdoodle about the building of a temple, but I have a notion that it will become like the Paris temple. In other words, it may be an announcement that goes nowhere and is just made to soothe the members and make it appear that the church is on the move.

(Seemingly trivial, but actually useless info: My MP replaced Hartman Rector, who was an interim MP after they sent the previous MP (sent to Italy in 1966 to open a mission there) home for not toeing the line, church-wise, and allowing too many elders to escape his authority. Apparently a good time was had by all during his tenure (lots of missionary excursions to Europe and North Africa when they should have been working), and that was too much for the church. It was the straw that broke the camel's back, to use a cliche, and the church issued the missionary handbook partially due to the circumstance. So when I got there, the handbook had just been published and was being tested in certain missions.)


Subject: Re: Hmm. Very interesting and provocative.
Date: Apr 12 12:52
Author: alscai

Thanks Mumeisha and TokyoJoe for sharing knowledge/ experiences. Mumeisha, your take on what was going on in missions and in SLC seems consistent with my understanding and helps me make sense of what seemed to be the Mo "mission statement" of that time period. At the top, the numbers were intoxicating, we were hearing a lot of the Daniel/stone rolling imagery, along with a healthy dose of "chosen generation." We all felt we were total spiritual badasses--in a humblest way of course. I'm sure no one wanted to be the one to burst the 15ers' bubble and put them in a bad mood.


Subject: My best friend from high school
Date: Apr 12 12:58
Author: 2thdoc

My high school best buddy went to a Japan Mission in 1980 and lasted about 9 months before quitting and returning home. I remember getting a couple phone calls from him in Japan where he sounded so intensely distraught. I was at BYU, pre-mission, and still had the stars-in-my-eyes view of mission life and was, to my regret, not very compassionate, telling him to suck it up. Prior to the mission he had incredible self confidence, was talented and handsome, and popular with everyone. After returning home, "in disgrace", he was never the same. Almost like a ruined man. His career dreams dissolved, the girl that was 'waiting for him' dumped him, and he escaped by enlisting in the military, which was the last time I saw him. Now some 28 years later, his mom still talks about him in disappointed tones. SOOOOOOO sad.


Subject: This is how Morg cult ruins many lives by making their lives unstable thru undue pressure...
Date: Apr 12 20:46
Author: Provo is Boring Hell

LDS Inc. should be dismantled, yet it continues to thrive under the cover of 1st Amendment to exploit and destroy lives by abuse and control.

A side note, the corporate-like arrogance among the micro-managing leaders is prevalent at Deseret Industries. I worked under a production manager who behaves like Hitler if someone is a minute late to work in the mornings in 2001-2002.


Subject: Re: Tokyo South Mission with Pres. Delbert Groberg 80-81
Date: Apr 12 15:50
Author: KJA

Hello there...I was in Groberg's (and then Inoue's) mission. It's amazing how "unbelievable" our true stories can be...but I can raise my hand to the square and testify that even the most extreme of these experiences are true!


Subject: I was a missionary in the Korea Seoul West Mission (1980-82)
Date: Apr 12 23:45
Author: Epicurus

Tokyo South was held up as a model for us to emulate. The stats that were presented were amazing(!) and KSW missionaries were "guilted" into following suit. We even used their missionary material (approaches, commitment patterns) and tried to get the same results. There was a lot of pressure to conform. Our mission pres, however, wasn't too hard on missionaries ... thank goodness.


Subject: Re: I was a missionary in the Korea Seoul West Mission (1980-82)
Date: Apr 12 23:49
Author: KJA

When the Tokyo Temple opened within the mission boundaries (during the Groberg era), mishies from surrounding missions came into the area to assist with anticipated influx of curious mormon wannabees (and to see the dedication) was expected that these other-mission folks would see our techniques and take them home to their own missions, spreading the "success" all across Japan.

Of course, and to their credit, it appears they didn't really want to follow our corrupt techniques, as they didn't see the same "success".


Subject: Exporting the Model
Date: Apr 13 01:51
Author: Mumeisha

KJA is wrong to say, perhaps ironically, that the other missions in East Asia did not want to emulate Tokyo South's performance. Kikuchi tried to persuade the other MPs to mimic Groberg, and in some cases he succeeded.

I was in one of the missions where the mission president capitulated to this pressure. The earliest stage of imitation came, as KJA noted, when the temple was dedicated in the early autumn of 1980, if I recall the date correctly. We visitors from the sticks were deeply impressed both by the city and by the number of baptisms achieved in it. We did not, however, have a clue how the miracle was being accomplished. Kikuchi had exported the pressures and guilt to our missions but not yet the actual techniques.

The dedicatory ceremonies did not answer our questions. I remember sitting in the audience as Spencer W. Kimball spoke from the stand. I felt bad when he praised Tokyo South, wondering what we were doing wrong and if he had any idea what we were going through. I thought that perhaps I was the only one, or one of the few, in the audience to harbor such doubts. At one point in his speech, Kimball said that it would not be too long before there was a Japanese apostle and then--I thought I saw--looked over his shoulder at Kikuchi. This is what I had in mind when I suggested earlier in this thread that I thought Kikuchi might one day have risen to apostolic rank.

Over the next year the pressures mounted further but the baptismal numbers only improved moderately because we were still using basically the old system. We had adopted as much of Tokyo's innovations as we understood--the abbreviated lesson plan, for example, and the one-week conversion pattern--but we were novices at the game of persuasion. It was at that point that Kikuchi sent the APs and ZLs from Tokyo South to instruct us in the mysteries of the lodge. Those of us who were senior enough to experience these demonstrations firsthand were stunned by the sheer manipulation and dishonesty, not to mention the violation of what remained of the missionaries' personal boundaries. In any case, our mission really tried the Tokyo South approach. This was by no means an easy thing to do, for we were caught between the demands of conscience on the one hand and of the Church on the other. Some of us refused to cooperate, which meant intense conflict with the mission home and sometimes severe punishment.

But even for those missionaries who embraced the Tokyo strategy, things did not get much better. The reason for this failure was the fact that Groberg's tactics depended on the huge Tokyo population, with literally millions of people afoot at any time of day. Missionaries in our mission opened apartments in the busy parts of the biggest cities and tried to drag people off the streets for lessons, but after a few weeks they ran out of new candidates. They were then left twiddling their thumbs even as the mission home and Elder Kikuchi screamed for better results.

I don't think that the Groberg model would work today even in Tokyo, where the street culture has changed fundamentally and people are no longer fascinated by Americans. . . Perhaps that is the silver lining of all of this.

Subject: Tokyo South / Delbert Groberg Mission Stats (DETAILED)
Date: Feb 21, 2010
Author: The Truth Hurts

Below are the statistics for the Japan Tokyo South Mission during the time that Delbert H. Groberg was the mission president from 1978 to 1981. The 1978 figures only cover the 6-month period of July through December, and the 1981 figures only cover the 6-month period of January through June. However, the 1978 and 1981 figures for baptism per missionary are calculated as if to represent a full year. The “Other” under the “Method of Contact” breakdown is at least 75% from investigator referrals. I have read the thread that those of you who served during the era commented on, and figured that you might find these numbers interesting. These statistics might even bring back some “good old” memories!!


Total Baptisms: 209
Number of Missionaries: 123
Baptisms per Missionary: 3.2

Male: 87 (42%)
Female: 122 (58%)

Child: 7 (3%)
Youth: 74 (36%)
Adult: 128 (61%)

Method of Contact:
Street: 2 (1%)
English Class: 85 (41%)
New Member Referral: 53 (25%)
Old Member Referral: 12 (6%)
Other: 57 (27%)

Length of Time from Contact to Baptism:
2 Weeks or Less: 62 (30%)
2-4 Weeks: 54 (26%)
4-8 Weeks: 49 (23%)
Over 2 Months: 44 (21%)
Approximate Average: 5.3 weeks

Proselyting Statistics - Average Per Companion Set Per Week:
Books of Mormon Placed: 1.2
Number of Introductions: 3.0
Number of Lessons: 7.1
Total Introductions and Lessons: 10.1
Total Teaching Hours: 9.1


Total Baptisms: 1629
Number of Missionaries: 161
Baptisms per Missionary: 10.2

Male: 1099 (67%)
Female: 530 (33%)

Child: 16 (1%)
Youth: 685 (42%)
Adult: 928 (57%)

Method of Contact:
Street: 896 (55%)
English Class: 375 (23%)
New Member Referral: 293 (18%)
Old Member Referral: 65 (4%)
Other: 0 (0%)

Length of Time from Contact to Baptism:
2 Weeks or Less: 864 (53%)
2-4 Weeks: 407 (25%)
4-8 Weeks: 114 (7%)
Over 2 Months: 244 (15%)
Approximate Average: 3.9 weeks

Proselyting Statistics - Average Per Companion Set Per Week:
Books of Mormon Placed: 3.0
Number of Introductions: 7.3
Number of Lessons: 8.8
Total Introductions and Lessons: 16.1
Total Teaching Hours: 13.1


Total Baptisms: 5433
Number of Missionaries: 196
Baptisms per Missionary: 27.7

Male: 4317 (79%)
Female: 1116 (21%)

Child: 259 (5%)
Youth: 2175 (40%)
Adult: 2999 (55%)

Method of Contact:
Street: 4195 (74%)
English Class: 355 (7%)
New Member Referral: 607 (12%)
Old Member Referral: 86 (2%)
Other: 190 (3%)

Length of Time from Contact to Baptism:
2 Weeks or Less: 4267 (78%)
2-4 Weeks: 690 (13%)
4-8 Weeks: 170 (3%)
Over 2 Months: 306 (6%)
Approximate Average: 2.5 weeks

Proselyting Statistics - Average Per Companion Set Per Week:
Books of Mormon Placed: 4.4
Number of Introductions: 19.6
Number of Lessons: 13.7
Total Introductions and Lessons: 33.3
Total Teaching Hours: 20.8


Total Baptisms: 4718
Number of Missionaries: 191
Baptisms per Missionary: 49.4

Male: 3656 (77%)
Female: 1062 (23%)

Child: 397 (9%)
Youth: 1950 (41%)
Adult: 2371 (50%)

Method of Contact:
Street: 3587 (76%)
English Class: 150 (3%)
New Member Referral: 626 (13%)
Old Member Referral: 191 (4%)
Other: 164 (4%)

Length of Time from Contact to Baptism:
2 Weeks or Less: 3929 (83%)
2-4 Weeks: 428 (9%)
4-8 Weeks: 170 (4%)
Over 2 Months: 191 (4%)
Approximate Average: 2.3 weeks

Proselyting Statistics - Average Per Companion Set Per Week:
Books of Mormon Placed: 5.5
Number of Introductions: 23.1
Number of Lessons: 25.2
Total Introductions and Lessons: 48.3
Total Teaching Hours: 26.0


Total Baptisms: 11989
Number of Missionaries: 171
Baptisms per Missionary: 70.1

Male: 9159 (76%)
Female: 2830 (24%)

Child: 679 (6%)
Youth: 4884 (40%)
Adult: 6426 (54%)

Method of Contact:
Street: 8680 (72%)
English Class: 965 (8%)
New Member Referral: 1579 (13%)
Old Member Referral: 354 (3%)
Other: 441 (4%)

Length of Time from Contact to Baptism:
2 Weeks or Less: 9122 (76%)
2-4 Weeks: 1579 (13%)
4-8 Weeks: 503 (4%)
Over 2 Months: 785 (7%)
Approximate Average: 2.7 weeks

Proselyting Statistics - Average Per Companion Set Per Week:
Books of Mormon Placed: 3.5
Number of Introductions: 13.1
Number of Lessons: 11.6
Total Introductions and Lessons: 24.7
Total Teaching Hours: 17.3


(The above statistics can be found on page 327 of Delbert H. Groberg’s 1987 dissertation, “Toward a Synoptic Model of Instructional Productivity”)

This is very funny to think about when you compare the Tokyo South numbers with other missions in the area during that time (again, the numbers are provided in Groberg’s dissertation; this time on pages 312-313). Below are the number of baptisms for other missions in the area for the 6-month period of January through June of 1981, with the average number of baptisms per missionary in parenthesis:

Japan Fukuoka: 484 (2.5)
Japan Kobe: 477 (2.9)
Japan Nagoya: 440 (2.5)
Japan Okayama: 542 (3.0)
Japan Osaka: 274 (2.8)
Japan Sapporo: 491 (3.4)
Japan Sendai: 235 (1.5)
Japan Tokyo North: 437 (2.5)
Japan Tokyo South: 4718 (24.1)
Korea Pusan: 880 (6.9)
Korea Seoul: 593 (5.1)
Korea Seoul West: 1055 (8.4)

The numbers are just insanely disproportionate. I find it very hard to believe that church leaders in Utah were sitting there looking at these numbers and not finding anything odd with the Tokyo South mission suddenly having over 4 times more baptisms than the second-highest-baptizing mission in the region, or nearly 10 times as many as the second-highest-baptizing mission in the country. Even without comparing his mission statistics to other areas, the fact that baptisms with his mission increased by more than twenty-fold (209 to 4718) during the short time of 3 years should have been enough to warn leaders that something fishy was going on. Groberg’s whole dissertation is a report of his time as a mission president, and in it he simply seems to be bragging that he was able to get a ton more baptisms than anyone else during that era in a country that hadn’t been seeing much success.



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