It is a Cult?

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

When I first asked my Mom questions about the Mormon Church being far from what I grew up believing, I accidentally used the word "cult." She didn't like it, not one single bit. Most Mormons will cringe if you call their religion a cult (I assume that would go along with any religion) and testify they have the one and only true church on the face of the planet.

A few days ago someone mentioned Mormonism being a cult again, and now that Mom is almost as ready to leave this church as I am, she sat down and considered the evidence. What evidence?

I took the information from this YouTube clip by Carey Burtt.

"Do you want devoted followers? People who leave their families to you? Give all their money to you? People who would give up their bodies and lives for you?"

O.k., so we start here at the beginning... the Mormon Church preaches a lot of family togetherness, but... if someone leaves the church the Mormon leaders warn the faithful family members left over to be very wary of the apostate. I do consider this leaving your family for a religious cult. Choosing to follow someone else's rules and plans instead of loving your family for who they are.

I have never met a Mormon that considers anyone but God to be God, but they sure spend a lot of time preaching about Joseph Smith and telling people to follow the prophet who supposedly speaks to God. It is actually scary to me that I believed this at one time.

"Structure your cult like an onion with the most benign and helpful features on the outside and the most kookie, controlling and evil parts at the secret inner core."
This definitely strikes me as Mormon... when investigators are spending time learning about the LDS Church, they are taught about the wonderful things the church does for the world. All the donations given to the sick, poor and hungry... all the aid given to unwed mothers. They make it seem like a fantastic organization. What they don't tell you is that Brigham Young once preached that Quakers lived on the Moon, and that Joseph Smith gave revelation that God lived on a planet called Kolob. If you were to hear that from a missionary, it would scream "CULT!" wouldn't it? That's why they don't tell you. They also don't tell you about temple garments, temple ceremonies, or any doctrine they find would scare you away. You learn this after you are baptized only.

"Use deception, don't tell them who you really are. Lie, leave out important information or distort information."

I was shown this photo when I was growing up in the Mormon Church.
I have since learned this painting has nothing to do with what actually happened during the translation of the plates.

Deception is the name of the game in the Mormon Church. They would have you believe that they were champions in the 60's regarding racism. They would also have you believe that they do wonderful things for women's rights. Wrong. The Mormon church wouldn't allow blacks to hold the priesthood until 1978, and that was only because they were going to loose their tax exempt status from the government. *POOF* The Prophet receives revelation that blacks are allowed to have the priesthood... a little convenient, isn't it? This is also never mentioned to investigators. Women are still not allowed to hold the priesthood, and are treated as second class baby makers.

"Promise to fulfill their dreams. A world of unconditional love and brotherhood. We have the secrets to self-improvement. You can join us and be special. Join our elite mission to save the world. We can teach you special powers like personal power, psychic power, past life regression, and telekinesis."
The Mormon Church promises to its members that they will be with their family for eternity if they follow the prophet and his teachings. You are told that you are special if you are born into the church, and that you must have been a good spirit in the pre-existence. They give men the power of the priesthood which supposedly gives them powers to tell if people are telling the truth or not (like bishops or temple workers) and powers of the holy ghost after you are baptized. You are a part of an amazing group of people that want to share the gospel with everyone they can... to save them.

"Don't give them time to think. Diminish doubting by separating your new recruits from each other. Surround them with happy, true believers so when they are in doubt they will tend to do what everyone around them is doing and believe it is normal."
When investigators are deciding to join the church or not, they usually get lessons from missionaries. These missionaries usually bear their testimony of the truth fullness of the gospel 7 to 8 times per lesson to emphasize their belief in the church. Once someone is interested in joining the church, they receive regular visits from church members stopping by and showing them love and attention. It's very misleading.

"Start with a prolonged period of "Love Bombing." Surround them with unconditional love and attention. Your cult family should act friendly, interested, get information and hone in on their weak spots."
Again, this screams "Mormon Church" to me... if you are going to an LDS Church for the first time you are usually treated as if you just won the lottery. Everyone wants to shake your hand, get to know you, and ask you to tell them about yourself. This information is used for manipulation. Say, for instance, a young single mother was interested in joining the church... leaders and worshipers would ask this woman things like, "Isn't it nice to know that with our gospel you can be with your children for all eternity?" and "Isn't it nice that the Mormon Church helps it's members with food or money if they need help?" Of course this would seem like a really good thing to a single mother...

"Gradually, over time, you will begin to shape your recruits behavior. Do this by granting or withholding this love and attention. After they have bonded slowly start making your demands upon them. Control their behavior through rituals, fund raising, indoctornal activities, menial labor, confessions, fasting, or all night vigils."
Once a member is baptized into the Mormon faith, they learn of the bad side of things. You are granted or withheld a temple recommend. You have to pass a bishops interview, pay your tithing, and live the gospel. The bishop has all the power. Temple rituals are very dull, and very mind-numbing. Tithing must be paid, and the bishop keeps record of what you pay and when. Indoctornal activities happen in church services as well as outside the church house during young women's meetings, boy scouts, young men's, priesthood, and relief society meetings. Members of the ward are often asked to clean the church house as a "calling from God" and receive no pay. You must confess all sins to your bishop or another priesthood holder... every 1st Sunday of the month is fast Sunday... no food/drink all day. All night prayers or Book of Mormon readings are rare from what I have seen... but they do exist. Check, check... and check.

"Keep them active and with as little sleep as possible. If you can restrict their eating habits to low-protien foods, do it. Control their thoughts by telling them "Our ideology answers all questions to all problems." and "Let our doctrine think for you."
As far as I know the LDS Church does not limit sleep... they certainly don't help matters by making so many church activities mandatory for a temple recommend. They believe and teach the Word of Wisdom which originally told members to limit eating meat to winter only... this changed to exclude coffee, tea, and other unaccepted hot drinks. I cannot tell you how many times members of the church have used the phrases, "We have answers to all your questions" and "the thinking has been done for you." The latter was even said by a Mormon General Authority... a clear example that they just want you to pray, pay and obey.

"Control their emotions, induce guilt and fear."
Members of the Mormon faith are taught that leaving the Mormon Church is the worst possible sin. It's equally as bad to not raise your children in the gospel of the Mormon Church so they can be with you in the afterlife. They claim to have all the answers, and make promises that can't be cashed in until after you are dead. If you decide to skip a Sunday service, you will be called on it by a home teacher or the bishop himself. This happened to me personally when I stopped going to church as a teenager. My Young Women's teacher came to my home every Wednesday before AND after the Young Women's meeting to tell me how much they missed me and how I needed to be there to be closer to Christ. Guilt and fear. Check.

"Control information. Keep them from knowing all the workings of the cult. Block out any information which is critical of the group."
You are told to read only what the church leaders tell you to read. You are only allowed to go on church approved websites so you don't read anything "anti-Mormon." The information changes, too. Joseph Smith taught that polygamy was necessary for salvation, yet reading any church material today you will find no mention of it at all! Even the word "wives" was conveniently switched to "wife" in many LDS manuals. They tell you what they want to tell you. Another example is the translation of the book of Mormon. Joseph Smith used a magical seer stone in a top hat, buried his head in and blocked out all the light, this was never once taught to me in church. I was told that Joseph had the plates in front of him, with a sheet or partition to shield scribe as he translated the plates. I have also since learned that the plates were nowhere near the place where the translation happened. It's an obvious decision to outright lie to people in the church to keep them in it.

"Encourage other members to spy and report on one another."
Many priesthood meetings, as well as Relief Society meetings are spent talking about other people in the ward and how to "help" them. You are encouraged to share any personal information you might have, to "help" them. In reality, this information is usually given to the bishop and he decides what happens... he might even hold a bishops court to show his authority over you, and call you out on the things the other members say you have done. It's very high school, only with some crazy power-hungry guy pointing his finger in your face and calling you a sinner.

"Seperate the recruit from his/herself by attacking the self and inducing a mental breakdown. Disguise the breakdown as a spiritual awakening. When they start to hallucinate tell them they are flushing out the bad stuff inside."

I have never seen anyone have a mental breakdown in church services, but close... testimony meetings are designed to have members share their powerful testimonies of the Mormon gospel. Many members end up sobbing and sharing their hardships, but they claim the religion and their faith in the gospel is helping them through. They feel they are closer to God by sharing their testimony. It's different from what is described, yet very similar.

"Make them paranoid about their own bodies or thought processes."
Mormon teenagers go through many lessons, interviews and social settings that show them they are not to touch themselves or anyone else. They are told to be afraid of it, because it's Satan's way of leading them away from the church and their eternal family. Even grown adults fear sexual contact due to the indoctrination. It makes them feel dirty and used, and they only have sex in order to have children (as many children as possible). Not all Mormon couples deal with this, thankfully...

"Claim authority. It can come from a divine source, such as the Holy Bible."

Or in this case, the Book of Mormon. Mormon leaders are excellent at this... all priesthood members have authority over non-priesthood holders. All men are priesthood holders by the time they are 12, and women never have the priesthood. This means a woman's 12 year old son has authority over his own mother and sisters. Also, the Mormon leadership, including the prophet himself, make sure their rules are followed. An example was when the prophet decided that women should only wear one pair of earrings. What? Why does God care how many pairs of earrings we wear? But, since the Mormon leaders have authority, the rule was followed by all women.

"Make up stories about yourself to boost your importance. A good con man takes a little truth and a lot of lies and pulls the wool over the eyes of the ignorant."

Joseph Smith was the king of this... his made up story about being visited by God and his son, his story about the angel Moroni, his story about the Nephites, his story that God commanded him to practice polygamy and keep it secret from his wife. It's amazing what a good con man can pull off, isn't it? This is also showing that any living prophet has the power to say anything, tell the followers God told him to say it, and they will humbly follow what he says. It's an excellent con.

"Revert them back to childhood dependence and mindless obedience. Encourage separation from their non-believing families. "Maybe you should stay away from them... it's not healthy for you to be around un-enlightened people anyway."
Many of my Mormon friends don't know how to make normal decisions. They require prayer, seeking the counsel of the bishop, the reading of scriptures and many other things before they feel okay about making general every-day decisions. As I mentioned before, if one family member leaves the church, the church leaders warn the staying family members to stay away from the apostate because they might mislead you into leaving the church yourself. Apostates are not to be trusted, and in the past they were killed.

"Encourage dependency, conformity, and discourage individuality."

Again, the two earring rule can be seen here. All girls learn to be good little mommies when they grow up, all boys learn to be powerful priesthood holders and to go on a mission. If you decide to be an individual and not do as taught, you will not be treated the same as everyone else. I can personally promise this because it happened to me.

So far, the Mormon Church fits the description of a mind control cult pretty well, doesn't it? I will post part 2 of the article tomorrow! -Sydney


  1. Starting To Learn Says:

    When you finish this, you should take your "signs of a cult" and go back through the Bible to see how the church of the Old and New Testament fits.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I just wanted to say you did an amazing job on your research. Well presented. Good luck and I hope your family and friends will understand and accept your decision.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Thank you "anonymous" I appreciate the feedback and support. It means a lot.