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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: November 07, 2013 02:59PM

Do Mormons Breed Psychopathy?

Yesterday, KSL carried a report about Israel Keyes, a Mormon-raised serial killer who had victims strung across the country and killed for blood sport—he also robbed banks, committed arson, raped, and kidnapped for ransom. Ted Bundy was his idol. KSL mentioned a number of ways that Keyes and Bundy were alike and ways that they were different. And in-step with Mormon organizational omissive reporting, they didn’t mention that both were Mormon.

This morning, while working, I listened to a Dateline Mystery, “The Player”, about a Mormon man named Ernie Sheerer III (sic?) who killed his parents, played women, etc. I realized that I have seen many crime shows about Mormon men killing their wives, involved in affairs, etc.

Is this more common with Mormons? The first book of the Book of Mormon teaches that it’s okay to kill innocent people to cover one’s own tracks (Nephi killing Laban is essential about Nephi being free to get away from Laban without being caught for stealing, so murder was appropriate and commanded but the Mormon god).

Is Psychopathy more common, or what? I thought about true psychopaths in Mormonism and it seems like they fit pretty well. My list:

Joseph Smith – Lying, stealing, false prophesying, plagiarizing, womanizing, murder (using others)

Brigham Young – All the same, plus likely mass murder

Orrin Rockwell – serial killer, stealing

Bill Hickman – serial killer

Sidney Rigdon – religious inventor, angel impersonator, and author of first extermination order

John D. Lee – mass killer (taking orders, so maybe not technically a psychopath)

Arthur Bishop – serial killer

Gary Gilmore – serial killer

Mark Hacking – wife killer, chronic liar

Josh Powell – wife killer, child killer

Jason Derek Brown – killer

Jeffery Holland – chronic liar

John Swallow – Utah attorney general

The Laferty brothers -- Blood atoners

Mark Hoffmann -- forger, murderer


For such a small group, they sure have been "prodigious".

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Posted by: ddt ( )
Date: November 07, 2013 03:16PM

Where's Porter Rockwell?

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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: November 07, 2013 03:19PM

Sorry, I just called him Orrin Rockwell--he was a very bad many. Undoubtedly a murderous psychopath.

There are probably a 100 more that we could add to the list.

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Posted by: Richie Benaud ( )
Date: March 09, 2015 06:28AM

William Law Wrote:
> Sorry, I just called him Orrin Rockwell--he was a
> very bad many. Undoubtedly a murderous
> psychopath.
> There are probably a 100 more that we could add to
> the list.

Mormons are cocksuckers.

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Posted by: T-Bone ( )
Date: November 07, 2013 03:19PM

I don't know if it breeds it or causes it, but it sure encourages it.


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Posted by: azsteve ( )
Date: November 08, 2013 02:51AM

Group-think goes to extremes when you all believe that you're soon to become a god. The church is a great place for sociopaths.

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Posted by: They don't want me back ( )
Date: November 08, 2013 10:15AM

Religions where adherence to rules,conformity, blind obidence and extreme religous themes, along with the hypocrisy that surely follows will distort any chance at healty mental processes.

So many places around the world and have becomes sick religious cultures, Muslims dominated countries seem to have very sick cultural practices. Mormonism is a young cult, I would project a couple hundred years out that it will rival the Taliban in crazy.

Either that or religion is a great place for crazy to hide because it seems normal to hide amoung the other crazies?

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: November 08, 2013 01:47PM

Does Mormonism breed psychopathy? Does a bear crap in the woods? Seriously, we need to know the answers to both questions, since Mormons are going to spend a whole lot of time in the woods of my home state from now on.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: November 08, 2013 02:23PM

I'm not sure I agree with all of your characterizations. Hacking, Powell, and Brown strike me as more narcissistic than psychopathic. John D. Lee and maybe even Hickman were acting under orders from an authority, which is distinct from antisocial personality disorder. Also, some of those people were only marginally Mormon. Gilmore, for example, may have been baptized and gone to church sometimes, but the connection was not deep. The same is true of Ted Bundy.

But putting aside those quibbles, I think you ask a great question. We know that psychopaths are either born or they are produced by abusive childhoods. That abuse can be physical, emotional, or just extremely neglectful. Childhoods like that produce borderline personality disorder, narcissism, and sociopathy at much greater frequency than in normal families. I believe that TBM families spend so much time at church that they are often neglectful, that the guilt that little boys and girls suffer through is sometimes extremely emotionally destructive, and that overly stretched parents can be more rageful and violent than other parents. So yes, I think Mormonism probably does produce a higher proportion of deeply troubled adults. The Laban notion that killing to cover your tracks is okay, that righteousness brings wealth, and that some people are above the law of God and man would then be excuses that narcissists and sociopaths use to justify to themselves and others what they might well have done anyway.

I wish there were a way to test your hypothesis that Mormonism produces a higher number of disturbed and dangerous people. Intuitively, I think it is right.

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Posted by: Devils Spawn ( )
Date: November 08, 2013 04:49PM

I'm a psychotic sociopath and I Love the Church! }:-)>

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Posted by: heat27 ( )
Date: November 08, 2013 05:48PM

you forgot Martin Mcneil!

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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 04:38PM

Another example. Of course, he was attracted to the teachings and would have made a good life-long Mormon if'n the Mormons didn't have to give blacks the priesthood.

In the comments section, Whiskey Tango gives other examples.

Joseph Paul Franklin:

Honest to god, I think Mormons have a disproportionate number of psychopaths.

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Posted by: joejoe50 ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 04:52PM

Perhaps psychopaths who happen to be born into Mormonism find that it nurtures their genetic predisposition, and those who become converts are naturally drawn to Mormonism.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 05:02PM

Doubt it breeds psychopathy (antisocial qualities).

From my experience (much of it professional) it breeds, or rather selects for, fearful anxious indecisive people.

It breeds neutered sheep.

Hands down.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: November 18, 2013 10:20PM

Bingo. On the other hand, wolves are always pulled to sheep.

When I first became a cop, my fear and indecisiveness killed my first job. I actually realized right away that it was coming from my Mormonism, and when I went back into law enforcement in an entirely different state, I made sure it was after I had been out of the church for a while. I was still a believer in Tennessee, and thought I could never succeed in the field I wanted to pursue. Came to Florida, an apostate, and I soon found the anxiety vanishing. I will never be Dirty Harry (BTW, based on an actual person, though the real guy didn't shoot all that many people) but I was able to do the job until my health gave out.

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Posted by: lovechild ( )
Date: December 27, 2015 01:24AM

In my experience with Mormon cops, many are wife abusers, many are abusers of both wife and kids and a lot of them are arrogant nasty Nazis when interacting with people at traffic stops and crime scenes. Intentional excessive intimidation. In two cases that I know they were tagged multiple times for beating on restrained suspects. Unfortunately neither of them did any jail time or lost their jobs.

In all fairness, that was not a majority, but it was a substantial percentage.

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Posted by: LabansWidow ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 05:17PM

I think it breeds or encourages both types of people, ie narcissistic sociopaths and anxious fearful depressives. The sociopaths are attracted to the doctrines of royal priesthood, superiority to others (including all women if you are male), becoming a God, a Saviour on Mt Zion etc. it's all about power and self-aggrandisement. The non-sociopaths look at the requirements, realise they can never do enough or be good enough and become anxious and depressed. Self esteem goes down the toilet.

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Posted by: zenjamin ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 05:59PM

Interesting analysis, makes perfect sense.
And of course only the broken sheep would present asking for help - skewing the sample.

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Posted by: anon 21 ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 05:27PM

I think that the trend of mormons not to use psychiatric counseling outside of church resources has an impact on every members' mental health. Wheter there is osychopsthy or depression or's feel that there is a gigantic difference. The cojnselor outside of the church doesn't have that 'special spirit' to help them. The counselor may not be in the specialty or have the education or experience to respond to the needs of the victims or the psychopaths. Many religions see mental health specialists as from satan or not as good as coming from god, so the issue becomes chronic.

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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 05:51PM

I admit that "breeds" is probably not the right word--of course, I just dashed this off, seeing what others thought.

I think it's better to say "empowers" or "attracts" instead of "breeds". And I am fairly certain that it's true.

LabansWidow is probably right about it attracting different types of people, depending on what they get out of it. If you see yourself and the world from a particular, self-important perspective, then the grandiosity of the church's claims would be quiet appealing. "Godhood". "Only True and living". "Power and authority to judge, condemn and punish others". Etc.

Those who have a low sense of self-esteem, like my parents when they joined, find that the church needs people at the bottom who are willing to give it their all. They find value there, but see themselves in a different light. It creates a perfect system of violators and victims.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: November 17, 2013 09:22PM

actually, this is subject to scientific inquiry, b/c MRI & other imaging/measurements can determine reactions to lies and other forms of abuse...

interesting proposition, I'd say...

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Posted by: adoylelb ( )
Date: November 18, 2013 02:45AM

Martin MacNeill is another Mormon and wife killer, who was just convicted of murder. It's also suspected that he might have killed a brother of his.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2013 02:46AM by adoylelb.

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Posted by: tumwater ( )
Date: November 18, 2013 07:10PM

What about all the Mafia/Cosa Nostra killers, aren't almost all of them "good" Catholics?

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Posted by: European ( )
Date: May 01, 2014 03:05AM

Yes, but cinical ones. Not followers like Mormons... oh, please.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: November 18, 2013 10:10PM

Yes, and it uses many wives to do so.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: May 01, 2014 03:21AM

I believe it causes members with inherited tendency to bring these "tends-to" traits forward and act on them.

It is obvious that the church agrees with me since it has seriously prevented any legal case going forward where a determination would have to be made on the sanity of someone who heard God speaking to him (like Brian David Mitchell, Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper). Or Gordon Hinckley in the case of Mark Hofmann, the document forger, who would have had to testify that God DIDN'T speak to him...

In a previous post some months ago I made a list of the various symptoms of mental illness which are encouraged in Mormonism. I am on the wrong computer to pull it up, but others might be able to list these.

We all know that hearing voices is a hallmark of Mormonism where God still speaks to his people....

Other hallucinations such as visions of ancestors, sensations of chest burning, and even prickling of arms is taught by the cult to be acceptable signs of the presence of the Holy Ghost.

When you couple this with early training in lying to avoid punishment (masturbation harassment), it's no wonder Utah leads the nation in young male suicides from ages 16-24, plus the highest white collar crime in America.

You can be trained to have no conscience or one so tilted that you avoid coffee and cigarettes, but bludgeon your wife to death because she wasn't worthy.

Kathleen Waters

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Posted by: LakeTahopeful ( )
Date: March 09, 2015 03:46AM

My ex was a devout Mormon (before and somewhat during) our relationship. 4 years later it turns out he is a malignant narcissist. (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).

The emtotional abuse and brainwashing mind control he inflicted upon me was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. I was suicidal due to the abuse, and very 'Stockholm Syndrome' trauma bonded to him. Well, after the third stage of the relationship with a malignant narcissist (The three stages are, without fail: Idealization, Devaluation, Discard). After he Discarded me, I was in a state of utter pain and confusion.

I gained validation of what happened to me by numerous visits to a therapist, then another therapist, and three therapy groups I'm a part of. The MOST information I've gathered that has been most helpful however, is by reading numerous books, articles, sites & blogs on emotional and verbal abuse, and by joining lots of online forums for survivors.

Well, here is what I found about Narcs and Religion: People that are controlling and abusive, are also people who THRIVE in disciplined and structured atmospheres where they can gain their "narcisstic supply" by all the validation provided by rising up in the ranks and supply by supportive fellow members of their religious organization.

Narcissistic Supply is the main motivating life factor in those with anti social pathologies. Supply includes using others for one's own uses particularly to gain self esteem, self worth, adoration, stroking of the ego, feeling feelings that normal humans feel but these freaks can't, etc.etc. Supply that they feed off of other people is like their food, air, water. They NEED the goodness within their targets/victims because they are emotionally living through those that they choose to extract from. They just go about it by extracting it from outside one's self ONLY as they lack their own consciense to do self reflection and self growth.

They need external validation for their fractured, wounded, partially formed inner self. They get it through control and abuse.
(also, all psycho paths are sociopaths, and all socio paths are narcs. It's a progressive spectrum of pathology) So the resources I've read actually allude to this being the reason why there's so much trouble in the Catholic church being full of abusers. It's not the religion or love of God making them that way. It's that the most abusive, coersive, convincingly 'good'-on-the-surface-but-really-shallow-and-horrid-on-the-inside people that rise through those systems. And also, that they basically get to the point of being in positions of authority over others who are genuinely trying to commit to God in the ways that they are being told to by their abusers. So disgusting and sad!

My Narc was devout, but btw -come to find out, it wasn't truly in his heart or something, I found out he was having an identity / religion crisis the latter half of our relationship and he didn't even tell me. Apparently he was questioning the entire church's basis. I didn't stick around long enough to ask why or what happened. But at least now I know why HE was so devout while even some of his own family are not. Interesting.

Idk much about the Mormon Church. He spoke about it alot but it seems there is much to learn and understand. I just know I got the creeps when I found out Narcs thrive in religious environments. Eww! Cree-y!. Glad he's out of my life but yep, about 4-6% of the population are Narcs and 1% are full blown psychopath.

(To my ex-N, if you're reading this, and you know it's me, guess what, I know all about your psychopathology now, and I pity you. Since I can love, I do feel compassion for what empty depressing unfulfilling life you will have until you die. I still love who you were when I met you. If that guy could meet you, the real guy underneath your beautiful face, the one who raped my soul, he would kick your ass back to the hell you came from. I love who I thought you were, and I hate who you really are. The vengeful piece of my heart was a little delighted to find out you were having an identity crisis. Oh no, what will you do now without the Mormon church to define you? Glad I am no where near to find out.)

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: March 09, 2015 06:02AM

Let's just all agree that there are a lot of nutty people in Mormonism, and it's only getting worse.

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Posted by: Psymon ( )
Date: March 09, 2015 06:26AM

Obviously! Look at the psychos and trolls on this board, for example.

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Posted by: thebookofkorihor ( )
Date: December 26, 2015 11:13PM

Does belief in Mormon theology breed Psychopaths? Is the Mormon church a "Sociopath/Psychopath Machine"?

I'm starting to believe that it does; Consider this:

If young parents are taught and come to truly believe that they will not be able to be with their own children (or with their own parents) in the hereafter unless there is strict obedience to a specific set of beliefs it can obviously create an environment so dogmatic and obsessive in enforcing these beliefs (word of wisdom, church attendance, paying tithing, the "Law of Chastity", only dating and marrying within the faith, societal pressure, temple attendance, church "callings", etc.) that it could force young minds to fracture in an attempt to protect its individualism.

It certainly trains them to become amazingly adept at telling lies and "acting" as a means of survival. Combine that with a good education, attractiveness, blue eyes and you've got a young adult who has learned how much easier it is to get what they want through deception than by equitable, fair exchange. Any lie that conflicts with natural law (i.e. gravity) will ultimately cause pain to the individual who accepts it as truth. It seems to me that "By their fruits you shall know them" is applicable here.

Combine these above beliefs with the belief that the purpose of our existence is a "test" -- and that this test is nothing but a millisecond of time in comparison to "all time and eternity" -- well that can put an awful lot of pressure on people. If you get this one short test wrong --- you pay the price in the "terrestrial" Kingdom for all time and eternity. However, the more "worthy" members of the family can come down to visit you from the "Celestial Kingdom" -- but you can't go "up". You failed the "millisecond long" test. You were blinded by the craftiness of men. It's like being visited in the County Jail.

Men become as the God they worship; Check this out: "If you are touched with the light of Christ you will have no desire to raise your hand in violence ever again. You would rather have your enemy cut you in two while you stand before them. But wait, see that drunk bastard laying in the street over there? Go cut his head off. We need some brass plates inside his house. It's better we ice this dude right now than have a whole nation of God's chosen people go without our book and 'dwindle in unbelief.'"

And what's up with Korihor? Exactly what did he do again? Take a close look at ALMA in the story of Korihor. That's the Mafia as far as I'm concerned. Did the Chief Judge really just threaten to hurt innocent bystanders in case Alma doesn't quite "feel" the power of God yet (as if he needs a little more convincing or "torturing")? Or was it Korihor's family being threatened? Why did the miracle Korihor asked for take place in such a way that the story had to be told only "according to the words of Alma" afterwards? Did Alma Just Cut Korihor's tongue out?

Did you notice the "proclamation" sent out after Korihor was trampled to death in the street warning everyone they they would end up the same way should they dare believe in Korihor's absurdities? Why did the author spend so much time making sure that we (the readers) knew that there was no law governing a man's beliefs and that no man could be punished for what he believed?

1. Arthur Bishop – Mormon, return missionary, pedophile, sociopath/psychopath, serial murderer, prepared for his execution by reading the Book of Mormon ten times. Used headphones to shield himself from profanity of fellow inmates. Spent last hours in fasting and prayer.

2. Gary Gilmore – Mormon, serial murderer

3. Mark Hacking – Mormon, return missionary, sociopath, murdered wife in her sleep, dumped body in the trash. Wife's body was found in Salt Lake City landfill three months after he reported her missing.

4. Josh Powell – Mormon, wife murderer, infanticide,

5. D.B. Cooper (a.k.a. Richard Floyd McCoy, Jr.) -- Mormon, Vietnam veteran, helicopter pilot, skydiver. As a police science major at Brigham Young University in 1972 he hijacked United Airlines Flight 855 holding a hand grenade, demanding $500k in cash and four parachutes. He instructed the crew to fly to Utah where he bailed out over Provo. He was arrested two days later, tried, convicted and sentenced to 45 years in prison. The money was never recovered.

6. Jason Derek Brown Mormon, missionary, murderer, armed robber. Shot a man five times in the head in 2004 outside a theater in Arizona. Source: France Paris Mission Alumni News

7. Ronald Lee Haskell -- 2014 mass shooting of six family members, four of them children, apprehended after a standoff.

8. Glenn Helzer -- Mormon, killed five people in San Francisco in the summer of 2003. Conspired to fund a self-awareness program to bring "joy, peace and love" to the world, extorted money. His defense attorney argued that he spent his boyhood as a "Mormon surrounded by religious influences so outside the mainstream that acquaintances and family members made him believe God chose him as a prophet".

9. Butch Cassidy -- Mormon, sociopath/psychopath, murderer, thief, con-man, born Robert LeRoy Parker in Beaver, Utah 1866, oldest of 13 children, devout Mormon parents, baptized age 8. Documented quote: "They holler louder if you cut off both legs"

10. Mark Lafferty -- Mormon, Blood atonement advocate

11. Mark Hoffmann -- Mormon, return missionary, sociopath/psychopath, con-man, forger, convicted murderer, "devout" LDS family, married in SLC Temple 1979, four children. Hoffman told prosecutors that he had "lost his faith in the LDS Church" when he was "about fourteen" years old. His most notorious forgery (and his sociopathic skills) fooled then Prophet, Gordon B. Hinkley into granting Hoffman and his business partners a $500k line of credit to secure additional "relative" documents to “The "Salamander Letter" which depicted Joseph Smith as a practitioner of folk magic, and related a very different account of how he obtained the Gold Plates. In 1985 Hoffman planted two bombs killing Steven Christensen and Kathy Sheets and was then injured while transporting a third bomb. Pled guilty to lesser charges to avoid death penalty and sentenced to life in prison. Hofmann took the church and then Prophets, Spencer W. Kimball and Gordon B. Hinkley for a very long and twisting roller coaster ride to the tune of nearly a million dollars in sales, trades, and offers of documents before being discovered as a con-man.

12. Brian David "Emmanuel" Mitchell -- Mormon, pedophile, self proclaimed prophet, kidnapped fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart from her bed in 2002, served as a high councilor, temple worker, finished writing his "spiritual revelations" in 2002.

13. Warren Jeffs -- (FLDS) Mormon “prophet”, pedophile, rapist, polygamist, racist, convicted felon serving 20 years, two of Jeffs' children, a son and a daughter, have publicly claimed that they were sexually abused by him. In 2007, Washington County Attorney's Office released video of jailhouse conversations between Jeffs and his brother, Nephi. In the videos, Jeffs renounces his prophethood, claiming that God had told him that if he revealed that he was not the rightful prophet, and was a "wicked man", he would still gain a place in the telestial kingdom. Jeffs also admits to what he calls "immoral actions with a sister and a daughter" when he was 20 years old. In July 2004, Jeffs' nephew, Brent Jeffs, filed a lawsuit against him alleging that in the late 1980s his uncle sodomized him in the Salt Lake Valley compound then owned by the FLDS Church. Brent Jeffs said he was five or six years old at the time, and that Jeffs' brothers, also named in the lawsuit, watched and participated in the abuse. Two of Jeffs' other nephews also made similar abuse claims against him. One of the alleged victims, Clayne Jeffs, committed suicide with a firearm after accusing Jeffs of sexually assaulting him as a child. Records also show that while incarcerated, Jeffs tried to commit suicide by banging his head against the walls and trying to hang himself. "The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth." "[Cain was] cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people. He has great power, can appear and disappear. He is used by the devil, as a mortal man, to do great evils." "Today you can see a black man with a white woman, et cetera. A great evil has happened on this land because the devil knows that if all the people have Negro blood, there will be nobody worthy to have the priesthood." "If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed.

14. Jodi Arias -- converted to Mormonism, shot and stabbed boyfriend 27 times in the face then slit his throat from ear to ear (mormon temple, or masonic ritual style) 24 months after he baptized her into the Mormon church.

15. Israel Keyes -- Mormon, serial killer, had victims strung across the country, killed for blood sport, robbed banks, committed arson, raped, and kidnapped for ransom. Ted Bundy was his idol.

16. Ted Bundy -- Mormon convert (1974), sociopath / psychopath, glib, superficial charm, one of the most prolific serial killers in American history, vehemently maintained he was innocent until shortly before his execution. 'Ted Bundy told me things that he’s never told anybody [and that] he killed more than 100 people, and not only women.' -- Seattle attorney John Henry Browne who represented Bundy

17. Ernie Shereer III -- Mormon, sociopath / psychopath, glib, superficial charm, murdered both parents for inheritance, sociopath, gambler, dual life.

18. Bruce Jesson -- Mormon, bishop, missionary, chief architect CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques" torture protocol, paid more than $40M)

19. James Elmer Mitchell -- Mormon, bishop, missionary, chief architect CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques" torture protocol, paid more than $40M).

20. Richard T. Bretzing -- Mormon, Bishop, missionary, Los Angeles FBI Chief, headed “FBI Mormon Mafia” to protect fellow Mormon, Richard W. Miller, the first FBI agent ever charged as a spy in 1984. (Miller was later sentenced to two life prison terms and excommunicated from the LDS church.) At the time, there were more than 50 Mormons among the 448 agents in the Los Angeles office. In 1973, while assigned to the FBI headquarters in Washington, Bretzing played a role in the bribery investigation that resulted in the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. Two years later in Detroit, he was assigned to head the FBI's probe into the disappearance of former Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa. Appointed LDS Church Head of Security Chief 1988. Documented quote: "Active Mormons don't step down from anything".

21. Porter Rockwell -- Mormon, personal bodyguard of founder and prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. Known as “The Destroying Angel of Mormondom”. At Rockwell’s funeral, apostle and future church president Joseph F. Smith said about Porter – “They say he was a murderer; He was. And he was also the friend of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and he was faithful to them, and to his covenants, and he has gone to Heaven and apostates go to Hell… Porter Rockwell was yesterday afternoon ushered into Heaven clothed with immortality and eternal life, and crowned with all glory which belongs to a departed saint. He has his little faults but Porter’s life on earth, taken altogether, was one worthy of example, and reflected honor upon the church. Through all his trials he had never once forgotten his obligations to his brethren and his God."

22. Joseph Paul Franklin (a.k.a. James Clayton Vaughn Jr) -- Mormon convert (1974) who joined the church because of its stance on Blacks not holding priesthood office (pre-1978). Notorious racist and serial killer (convicted of or has admitted to 21 killings of mostly blacks and jews). Shot and paralyzed Hustler magazine proprietor, Larry Flint.

23. M.E. Thomas (allegedly a.k.a. S.L.C. attorney, Jamie R. Lund) Mormon, Sunday school teacher, living in Salt Lake City, author (as M.E. Thomas) of bestseller “Confessions Of A Sociopath”. “I was hoping that he would walk into a deserted hallway where I would find him alone. I felt so sure of myself, so focused on this one thing I had to do. An image sprang to mind: my hands wrapped around his neck, my thumbs digging deep into his throat, his life slipping away under my unrelenting grasp. How right that would feel. But I know I had been caught in a megalomaniacal fantasy.”

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Posted by: HappyandFree ( )
Date: December 27, 2015 12:16AM

This is a very interesting discussion. I would like to jump in to say that the references to Gary Gilmore as a Mormon are iffy. I have read, and recommend, the book, "Shot In the Heart", by Mikal Gilmore, Gary's younger brother. I'll warn you, it's the darkest, saddest thing I've ever read. And I've read memoirs about human trafficking. But it was fascinating to an ex-mo such as myself who was a kid in Utah Valley when Gary Gilmore committed two murders in Orem and Provo and later won his very public desire to be executed by firing squad at Utah's Penitentiary.

Reading "Shot In the Heart" made it clear that Gary's connection to Mormonism was tangential at best. His Mother was raised Mormon on a farm on the outskirts of Provo; his Father was never associated with the Mormon church. The Gilmore family had only small bit of involvement with the Mormons over the years.

Referring to Gary as a Mormon isn't really accurate. He did have relatives who were devout Mormons, but he didn't have much contact with them during his formative years. If what his brother Mikal says about what went on in the Gilmore family is true (I've got no reason to doubt him), the only real surprise is that all four of the Gilmore boys weren't out committing murder while still in their teens.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: December 27, 2015 01:05AM

Shot In The Heart is insightful, well written, and deeply moving. It is a great book. You are also right that Gary was not really Mormon.

If the thesis is that Mormonism breeds sociopaths/psychopaths, you need to be careful about the factors that cause personality disorders, make sure that Mormonism entails those factors, and also ensure that you are ascribing the right label to the right people.

Since the personality disorders in most cases require profound abuse/neglect in the first few years of life, the person must have been LDS during that period to have been "bred" by Mormonism. A lot of people on that list don't meet that criterion. Bundy, Gilmore, Arias, come to mind as people who were not Mormon in their early youth. In Gilmore's case, moreover, the mother was not the abusive one: it was Frank Gilmore, the psychopathic non-Mormon father.

Second, it is important not to use the word "sociopath/ psychopath" as an umbrella term for "bad people." For example, DB Cooper was a criminal but did he have a history of impulsive behavior, criminal activity, etc., that would fit the term sociopath? I don't know. There is also the distinction between psychopaths and narcissists. It is possible, for instance, that someone like Lafferty or David Mitchell is more narcissist than psychopath. Their paranoid grandiosity, their belief that God chose them as his representatives on earth is compatible with narcissism. And Arias (possibly Gilmore as well) is more borderline than sociopath.

Some of the people on that list, meanwhile, are not clearly any of those three disorders. Jesson, Mitchell and Bretzing, for instance, followed orders and did what their bosses asked. That is not enough to make someone a sociopath or a narcissist. They may be that, but doing things that most of us find repugnant is not enough to justify putting them in one of those categories.

Stepping back, as I said a couple years ago, I find this topic intriguing because there are things in Mormonism that are especially harmful to children. So if someone could take that list, whittle it down to the people who are borderlines/narcissists/sociopaths--the cluster of personalty disorders caused largely by childhood abuse and neglect--and then double check to make sure they were raised in Mormon homes, we would have the starting point for some meaningful study. One would expect significant co-morbidity, so some people would belong in more than one category. But my hunch is that we'd end up with a better outcome if we looked at all of the personality disorders since a bad childhood manifests in different ways depending on the underlying genetics.

I do, however, think we might ultimately find that Mormonism produces a disproportionate number of all the personality disorders. Excessively busy and preoccupied parents, excessive family size, passive-aggressive behavior, undue guilt, conditional love, etc., may well produce a different mix of adults than society in general.

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Posted by: Cpete ( )
Date: December 27, 2015 12:38AM

Religion is breeding psychosis. When you can be lead to believe in the dictate of a deity you can commit atrocities without question.

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Posted by: thebookofkorihor ( )
Date: December 27, 2015 02:36AM

Sorry. I forgot to include the criteria. The document is here:

List: Notorious individuals displaying characteristic evidence of, or exposure to both “sociopathic / psychopathic or borderline personalities” and the theology of 18th century Freemason rituals and / or Joseph Smith Jr., (founder of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, “Mormon” religion) including any subsidiaries, religions, cults or groups originating from freemason rituals or the teachings of Joseph Smith Jr. including the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint) religion.

Author: ~ Last Updated December 26, 2015

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Posted by: drq ( )
Date: December 27, 2015 09:17AM

In order to even begin to answer this question, you'd need full data on all psychopaths and their religious affiliation, and even then, it'll be correlational data. And I haven't noticed a lot of Mormon suicide bombers.

Lot's Wife covered it pretty well. You're using the term "psychopath" in a vague way to refer to a very wide range of behaviors.

Very few of the people on your list could be called true psychopaths. None of the early figures -- Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, etc. -- grew up in TSCC, so they could not have been "bred" by Mormonism.

I agree with Lot's Wife that "Excessively busy and preoccupied parents, excessive family size, passive-aggressive behavior, undue guilt, conditional love, etc., may well produce a different mix of adults than society in general," but I wouldn't limit that to Mormonism.

I think the better question is whether fundamentalist religions lead to an increased incidence of mental illnesses. I think we know that answer.

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