Stage 4 Double-Bind - Reversal - Guilt/Fear
THE MAZE OF MORMONISM
Prologue to Stage 4. This stage is built upon stages 2 and 3. A promise was made and then not fulfilled. A "but" was then inserted as the reason for not receiving what was promised. The "but"-excuse then becomes a replacement for the promise; something was not done "right" by the would-be recipient who is now blamed for not being able to receive. Obedience to the "but" is now required to become worthy to receive.
Stage 4: The Double-Bind - "Guilty, Guilty" - Reversals - Rape of Mind
"You are damned if you do a thing," and "You are damned if you don't do it."
Reversal: "Guilty, Guilty" - Rape of the Mind
One classic Double-Bind in Mormonism is in regards to receiving the "burning in the bosom," the manifestation of the Holy Ghost, as a requirement for a testimony and sanctification. The promise is that if you pray sincerely you will receive a "burning in the bosom," which is the manifestation that the Book of Mormon is true. If you don't receive a "burning in the bosom," you were not "sincere," or there are other things you must do to be "worthy" of receiving it. This is the "Yes, but" stage; "Yes, you prayed, but......" The "but" then, becomes the focal point, the "hook." It becomes "the carrot on the end of a stick" that can never be reached and becomes the means for your being judged "guilty" for your inability to work hard enough to "get it." This leads into the blatant Double-Bind, which says:
If you don't obey the "But-things," you will be "guilty" of not being "sincere," not trying hard enough.
If you do obey the "But-things," you are "guilty" because you still haven't received the "burning in the bosom," which you would have received had you done them properly.
At this point many other suggestions are given to help you "earn," through work, what was promised you if you were only "sincere" and had worked hard enough. You now need "help" in order to prepare yourself to be made "worthy" of receiving this "gift." More "buts" are issued, as "helps," and the fact that you are outnumbered makes you feel that "I am the only one who doesn't get it" ... you think that "if I work hard enough I will not be the only one who can't 'get it.'" The truth is, the many others, also, "don't get it," i.e., they have been caught in the same maze. The irony is that the ones who "can't get it" are the ones who are sincere, and authentic ... the ones who are earnestly trying to keep the integrity of their own minds. (See Post #19 below.)
This leads to another Dilemma:
We are told we must live by faith alone, in a non-physical, i.e., a non-brain, non-rational, mental state. At the same time, we are told that the sign of the physical "burning in the bosom" is proof of the Book of Mormon, the necessary confirmation of its being true. The irony is the reverse. A "burning in the bosom" only happens in the real world as an extension of a true, physical brain-perception leading to a rational result. It does not occur when our individual perceptions and our brain are not involved.
This is a Double-Bind:
If you do have faith and relinquish your brain, you cannot, in reality, reach a confirmation of a truth. The means have been taken away.
If you don't have faith, and rely on your brain, you will not find the confirmation of the truth of something that is false.
In both cases, you will be judged "guilty" of not receiving the "burning in the bosom." Again, Momonism juxtaposes opposites, pits them against each other, and then, subtly uses the opposite (reason) for the proof of faith ... which is doomed to fail.
The Binder divides, pitting faith and reason against each other, and by that means, conquers. Reason has to be the enemy of faith, which in the Double-Bind is necessary, but not to be seen ... it becomes the Satan that is there, yet ... is not there. The Mormon Apostle, Boyd P. Packer said that reason is the enemy of God, and a state of war has been declared against it. He says, "In an effort to be objective, impartial, and scholarly, a writer or a teacher may unwittingly be giving equal time to the adversary... In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it." (From his talk: Do not spread disease germs!) The Closed System is "one-sided" (only non-brain faith is allowed). On the one hand, it turns its back on reason, the Open System; on the other hand, it claims "reason" in "lip service." The dual personality in Mormonism is the "Yes," reason, "But," at the same time, it is "non-reason."
This is why members "fail" to receive the "gift" of confirmation: they are sincere! They are relying on their own true perceptions, the means to reason and Self-control, which is a brain related activity. The reason more "work" is demanded of individuals who "fail" is that their minds have not yet been "converted" to the upside-down world of programmed "Yes, but"-thinking and the feelings that are attached to that view. When this is not seen, the means of survival in the real world are gradually eroded making us totally dependent and compliant to a fabricated idea that is designed, step by step, to dehumanize those who are enticed into it unknowingly.
It will be helpful to know that each step, or stage, is connected by a "hook;" the transitions between each is very subtle. In this case, the "hook" is the "but." In each stage, once the "hook" is accepted, it becomes the connecting link to the next one. This is the insidious nature of The Pattern.
The Double-Bind as Experienced by Women in Mormonism
Guilt - Reversal
(A very common Double-Bind is when it is used to coerce the bearing of testimonies.)
"The last straw was drawn when they expected me to offer my testimony. The missionaries had taught me that a person should create their own prayers, as opposed to repeating prayers as the catholics do. ....That Sunday, however, after a few members had recited their chorus line (using the same set of words), it appeared everybody's eyes were on me. I did not get up. Immediately following the closing prayer, the missionary came to shake my hand and said, very loudly, 'we need our friend here to give her testimony.'
If she did bear her testimony, she would be labeled "good." She would, however, in reality, be guilty of going against herself.
If she didn't bear her testimony, she would be labeled "bad."
She would be going against the church and her "voluntary" commitment that must be confirmed over and over again ... "guilty."
Post #16. See: Stage 1, Stages 2-3, Post #16.
(The Double-Bind is always FOR the BINDER, and AGAINST the BOUND, the individual Self. It is reinforced through repetition until there is no longer a Self to go against; the mind then is silenced into obedience and is labeled "good.")
Double-Bind - Guilt/Fear
"After baptism I continued to ask questions .... Being an orphan, "I asked them (the missionaries) about illegitimate orphans. They said that orphans were less valiant in the pre-existence. They were not born into homes where they would have parents and it was because of how they lived in the pre-existence. I felt sick to my stomach. I knew that if I had been taught that belief before baptism I would never have joined the church. Now that I was a member I figured that if I became the very best Mormon I could be I would win God's favor and He would forgive me for being less valiant in the pre-existence. I hoped I could clean the slate for I never wanted to come face to face with God and feel His disappointment because I had been less valiant in the pre-existence. I was always afraid to ask if God had forgiven me for what I had done in the pre-existence and how I could ask for forgiveness when I didn't know what it was I did. Or, was I suppose to be asking for forgiveness for not being valiant but valiant in what? How could I know? So I just kept trying to be a good Mormon." (Italics, mine.)
Her Double-Bind: Guilt/Fear.
She would be damned if she did remain a Mormon.
It would be against herself, her own perceptions. ("Guilty)
She would be damned if she didn't remain a Mormon.
She would (1) not be valiant in this life; (2) she would forfeit her chance to work out her "repentence" for not being "valiant" in the pre-existence, plus, (3) she would then be denied entrance into the Celestial Kingdom in the next life. (She would have failed in her past life, her present life and therefore, her future life: "Guilty, Guilty, Guilty.")
Post #22-1, #37. See Stage 1, 2-3. #22-1, #37.
Double-Bind - Guilt
"Right after we were married, our stake president wanted to discuss sex with us. He told us that rather than continue the old approach of inquiring into every prurient thought, the church would leave it to our discretion what sexual practices were permissible. ...This ...coming from an old guy we hardly knew who had but weeks before been asking my husband about masturbation. It was also too little, too late, for resurrecting the idea that sex between married people is okay. Being told to be fruitful and multiply is one thing, but after years of being told that sex is forbidden, evil, unclean, and transforms the woman into some revolting thing like "used gum" or a "half-eaten cookie," it is unrealistic to think that normal sexual functioning could result from such constant negative conditioning."
You are damned if you do have sex.
Sex is forbidden, evil, and unclean; the woman is like a gardenia, once it has been touched it turns brown, and can never return to its white purity. "Evil"
You are damned if you don't have sex.
You are commanded to have sex ... to have as many children as you can; this is "Good." At the same time you are "Evil," because you break the first forbidden sex-commandment.
Post #43, See: Stage 1, #43.
Rape of the Mind and Body - Double-Bind - Guilt and Fear
(The following is the cruelest use of the Double-Bind of all these posts ... not with an adult, but with a totally defenseless child.)
"My father was in jail for domestic abuse against my mother. My mother turned to the church for financial help because she was trying to raise me, my sister, and my brother on her own. She did have a job at a nursing home, but it wasn't enough to cover food. The Bishop agreed to help her, providing that she would clean the church. Just a few light duties: washing the windows and vacuuming, mostly. I was in charge of vacuuming. My mom had a key to the church and I would go over there when she was at work and make sure that it was all vacuumed every Saturday so that it would be ready for Sunday. (She was only 7 years old.) My experience all started when I ran into a counselor in the bishopric. On that particular day, I remember being very upset because I was constantly being teased by the other kids because my dad was in jail. The counselor sat me down on his lap in the chapel and asked me to tell him why I was crying. He was so kind! So wonderful! This was a man of God wanting to know about ME! I told him everything. I trusted him and was really happy for the attention! I went home that day very happy and grateful for my new friend."
(Gradually, each Saturday, this counselor began subtly to molest her. She was confused, but really didn't understand or question it) "because, after all -- he was a member of the bishopric. I was extremely uncomfortable with this behavior, but he always told me that I was "special." And that he loved me like I was his own little girl. I should never tell, because that would break the promises we had made to each other in the church. ....Once I told my mom that I didn't want to clean the church anymore, she told me that if I didn't then I would be responsible for the church taking food away from our family. Did I really want to do that? NO. I couldn't handle it." (The molestation increased until eventually there were more than three penetrations by this counselor.) "I just kept thinking it MUST be okay because come Sunday, he would be sitting up there on the stand and wink at me once in awhile, or lead the opening remarks and after all, this was a man called of God. If God thought that it was okay, then it must be okay." ....(After her baptism and in the chapel for her confirmation, this counselor stood nearby with his eyes closed, and his head bowed. She was very disturbed. The next Saturday, she tried to resist him and he roughly forced her. Fortunately, her family moved shortly after that.)
This 7 year-old child had not only to contend with one Double-Bind, but two.
If she did tell anyone: The counselor had told her that she would be breaking the promise that they had made in God's church.
If she didn't tell anyone: He would be free to continue his molestation of her.
If she didn't go to the church every Saturday to vacuum: Her family wouldn't have enough food to eat.
If she did go to the church: She would be subject to more abuse from the counselor.
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The Double-Bind every member encounters in the Temple is:
You will be damned if you do speak of the "sacred" oaths and penalties .... (made without prior knowledge) .... outside the temple.
You go against your "voluntary" oath, and against the Binder.
You are damned if you don't speak of them.
You go against yourself; you are silenced through Fear of punishment
* * *
"I didn't say anything to anyone because your not supposed to discuss those things outside the temple, and I felt strange bringing up the question in the celestial room. That was not the time to question anyone. ....I was never prepared for that (the penalties), but my mom and dad were there, so I thought they understood everything and it was something they did all the time."
Double-Bind - Guilt/Fear.
Another way to express the Double-Bind in Mormonism, is described by this Post.
"Their (Mormonism) treatment of homosexuals seeking help is appalling. While I am not gay, I was involved with a gay member of the church, and the hell he was put through--even as he begged for help--was appalling. Instead of self-acceptance for EVERY member, the church teaches conditional love:
"If you do this and this and this, the church/God will love you and find you worthy."
(If it is in the interest of the Binder, it will be against the self, the individual ... then, it is "good.")
"If you do not do this and this, you are damned for all time--starting here and starting now."
(If it is for your Self, or an individual, it is against the Binder; you are then, "evil.")
Post #69 See: Stage 2-3, #69.
The Mormon Apostle, Boyd K. Packer says, "We must be one-sided, all facing one-way." ... towards the organization (the Closed System), not towards the individual. "It is critical that all of us work together and put aside personal interests." He refers to individuals as exceptions that take the church away from the many others who are in more need than the few. The church's plan for the membership is simplication and reduction, for the general welfare of all, not the particular; all members are to be reduced to the lowest common denominator; individuals not keeping up with the herd are expendable. The other word for them is pariah, an outcast.
The Double-Bind as Experienced by Men in Mormonism
Double-Bind - Fear
"I've removed my web page. I've chosen an alias because I'm still trying to find a way to bring my page back. (He had left the church and was stating his opinion on his web site.) It was my mistake for using my real name. I felt that to do otherwise would be cowardly. I guess the joke's on me. ...... the members (of the church) in my parents area started to mobilize. My parents were harrassed by people they've gone to church with for over 20 years. Instead of exhibiting Christian-type values such as comforting them for the loss of a son from Mormonism, they received emotional blackmail instead. My father's health started to suffer as a result of it."
If he did use his real name, his family (who were still members of the church) would be harrassed to the point of injury.
If he didn't use his real name, he would be false to himself by concealing his identity.
Post #2 See: Stages 2-3, #2
Double-Bind - Fear/Guilt
"My earliest memories of the church, while not necessarily negative, are not really positive either. They are sort of bland; null, if you will. What I do remember are impressions of not seeing what everyone else seemed to be seeing, and feeling left out as a result. I would sit through the meetings, wondering if there was something wrong with me because I couldn't get up in front of the whole congregation and spout the same platitudes that my peers did. What prevented me from thinking and speaking as the others around me?
"My father always called me "Mister Blunt" because I was unfailingly honest in my appraisals of people and situations. This got me into trouble more than once over the years. But, in this context, I could not testify to something which I did not really feel.
"The years passed, .... The same lack of feeling was present at my ordination, and so on through my teen years....I did the things that I was told to do, for to disobey my dad would bring swift retribution. I was always the "dutiful son." I just figured that I didn't feel anything because I wasn't "worthy" for some strange reason or other."
Post #19. See Stages 2-3. #19.
The 13th Article of Faith in Mormonism says:: "We believe in being honest, true ....." However,
This young man was damned if he was honest.
His honest appraisals were construed to be false; he was "bad" if he told the truth.
He was damned if he wasn't honest;
He would be going against his own integrity; he would be "good" only if he lied.
Because Mormonism is a Closed System,"one-sided," there can only be one view, that of the Binder, which leaves out reason, choice and universal principles. Lip service only is given to the words "honest" and "true," as if they were being applied in the universal, rational sense. New converts are attracted by the label "truth" and "universal principles" ... the "Yes," we believe in being honest, true ...." Later, the "meat," i.e., the church's true definitions replace the universal. The universal principle of being true has to do with the individual being true to himself and with his fellowman. In Mormonism, the Church replaces the individual's identity, converting the possession of "truth" to the Church, i.e., the individual disappears into the Body Politic of the Church which contains all "truth." The thinking has already been done for all its members.
Double-Bind - Guilt/Fear
"Charles, a teen ager, ... mentally retarded ... who clearly didn't know right from wrong ... had been baptized ... his family were not Mormons. I didn't understand how he could have made a rational decision to be baptized into the Mormon Church, but there he was-an Aaronic priesthood holder. One day Charles told me something I will never forget. Something that really sums up Mormonism. He said that he had read some "anti-Mormon" literature which caused a lot of doubts to enter his mind. He then visited and sought counsel with the bishop. Surprisingly, the bishop did not tell Charles to stop reading "anti-Mormon" material. Instead he told Charles to read 15 minutes of "anti-Mormon" material, and then read 15 minutes of the Book of Mormon or other church approved material. After having read both,
Charles was to determine which of the two made him "feel" good.
Since the "anti-Mormon" material would obviously cause doubt and bad feelings, it was false.
Since the "pro-Mormon" material would make Charles feel good, it was true.
This was an exercise in "truth detection" as given by our bishop.... discern truth with your feelings, not your mind."
Post #28. See: Stage 1, 2-3, #28.
(The means by which this Double-Bind could be seen, or by which a rational choice could be made, was not there for Charles, nor is it there for any member who can't, or does not, use reason.)
Double-Bind - Guilt/Fear
(The following is the Double-Bind experienced by members when they consider leaving the church. Most have members of their family who are still active participants in Mormonism and have all been staunch members from birth.)
"I will probably receive harsh criticism from your other readers for not "being true to myself and others," explaining to those I love my current beliefs. However, it's just not that easy when almost everyone I know ... is and has been a faithful LDS member and proponent their entire life." Post # 34
To stay in Mormonism, aids the Binder, and is against your Self ... and your family.
To leave Mormonism, divorces you from your family, and you become an "outcast."
Double-Bind #1 - Guilt/Fear
"About seven years ago, there was a PBS documentary done on the LDS Church and its missionaries. Several returned missionaries admitted that they did not "know" the church was true, even while they had said they did as a missionary. ....one of the LDS secrets is that there is a great deal of peer pressure on missionaries to say "I know," whether or not they do. I would note that while I lied, I did so while feeling caught by my obligation to serve God. I had been taught that it was my duty to serve God as missionary, that "every worthy young man should serve a mission." I had been taught those who prayed sincerely and in righteousness would receive a testimony and if they had not, one chief reason would be that they were not recognizing the answer God was giving."
If you lie, you are "good."
You go against yourself.
If you tell the truth, you are "bad."
You go against the Binder.
Double-Bind #2 "Mental Illness" - "Delusions of Grandeur"
"Further, some suggest that I was emotionally ill. There is no doubt that I was. The only question is what was the cause and the exact nature of my "mental illness." They suggest that, in a mild form, I was suffering delusions of grandeur, caused by my close association with that other fellow, Brad Thompson, who happened to be my EQ president when I first came to BYU. He also, in his own way, suffered delusions of grandeur. In a way, this suggestion is no doubt true. The only question is as to whether Mormonism itself feeds such delusions."
Post #38 See: Stage 2-3, #38
(This is another version of the promise that you "will receive ....." (fill in any blessings "given" you), then when it isn't fulfilled you are accused of wanting to be "the center of the world.")
If he didn't have faith that his blessings would be fulfilled, he would be faithless and "guilty."
If he did believe they would be fulfilled, but they were not ... he was guilty of "suffering delusions of grandeur" in thinking that he could expect what others had not yet received.
Double-Bind - Guilt
"Free Agency as taught by the church: "I am free to choose good or evil." In practice, Mormon free agency is a sort of bondage. It amounts to:
"If I obey authority and do not think for myself then I have "chosen" Good."
"If I do not obey authority and think for myself then I have chosen Evil."
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See Next: Stage 5
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Next Page: Stage 5 Denial - Humiliation - Dehumanized
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