Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey

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  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>Simon in Oz May 2012</p>\n<p>According to a Peggy Fletcher Stack article in the Salt Lake Tribune, the LDS Church has grown by 45% in the last decade or about 4.5% per year. What an utterly amazing growth rate! But it is completely false. Two days later the church admits \"an error\" after all the media has already used the misleading information. It takes more faith to believe in the Mormon Church\'s statisticians than the Mormon prophets.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54026798-78/lds-religious-church-largest.html.csp\" title=\"http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54026798-78/lds-religious-church-largest.html.csp\">http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54026798-78/lds-religious-church-large...</a></p>\n<p>The once-a-decade U.S. Religion Census, assembled by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies uses the self-reported numbers from 17 of the country’s largest religious groups to calculate growth rates. According to Peggy’s story the number of US members in 2000 was 4,224,026 and by 2010 it had grown to 6,144,582, an increase of 45%.</p>\n<p>The trouble is that the 2000 figure is plain wrong. The 2001 LDS church almanac reports that there were 5,113,409 members in the US on December 31, 1999. According to Cumorah.com there were 4,336,000 US members in 1992. The figure the church provided must have been from about 1990.</p>\n<p>The correct growth rate is about 20% during the last 10 years not 45%. The growth in church congregations during that period is also about 20%.</p>\n<p>How could the statistical and membership department of the church get it so wrong? They have all the facts and they must know that the church is tanking in the US. It’s hard not to believe that there is deliberate falsifying of data to make the church look good.</p>\n<p><b>See the second half of this thread for the retraction.</b></p>\n<hr />\n<p>Stumbling<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nFrom the article...</p>\n<p>\"Campbell does offer a caution about LDS membership numbers: It includes everyone who has ever been a member — even babies — and hasn’t been excommunicated or asked to have their names removed from the rolls.</p>\n<p>Even Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who spent a few years as a Mormon during his childhood, is likely still on the list, Campbell quipped.\"</p>\n<p>\'xactly...</p>\n<hr />\nStumbling<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nPeggy\'s headline\n<p>\"Mormonism leading the way in US\"</p>\n<p>The truth in the article</p>\n<p>\'\'In the latter category, researchers estimated that Muslims outpaced even Mormons between 2000 and 2010, adding 66.7 percent more adherents. During that time frame, the nation’s overall Muslim tally shot up from 1,559,294 to 2,600,082.\'\'</p>\n<p>Sounds like Peggy is...let\'s be generous...overstating things a tad...</p>\n<hr />\nStray Mutt<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nSimon in Oz Wrote:<br />\n-------------------------------------------------------\n<p>Yes, they could be feeding bogus numbers, but there\'s also the possibility of ineptitude -- from either the church or Ms. Stack or both.</p>\n<p>I think the whole \"house of order\" thing is just more church BS. The church doesn\'t have the brightest, most competent people working for it. They have the ones who have temple recommends and are willing to subject themselves to the church\'s employment practices. That filters the applicants by something other than ability.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Simon in Oz<br />\nDeseret News is reporting it as well<br />\nPlease feel free to make comments on the story on the Deseret News website.<br />\n<a href=\"http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765572841/Religion-census-reveals-substantial-LDS-growth.html\" title=\"http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765572841/Religion-census-reveals-substantial-LDS-growth.html\">http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765572841/Religion-census-reveals-sub...</a></p>\n<p>I have brought it to Peggy Stack\'s attention and she said \"she will look into it\".</p>\n<p>Peggy didn\'t make a mistake. She reported exactly what the researchers told her. It is clear the researchers were fed incorrect information by the church membership department.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Stray Mutt<br />\nThere\'s no reference to Jensen admitting people are leaving the church in droves.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Stumbling<br />\nRe: Deseret News is reporting it as well<br />\nDo you think Peggy is capable of being a bit more than a Church cheerleader?</p>\n<hr />\n<p>sayhitokolob4me<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nDoes anyone have a link to the lds church numbers from 2000 and 1992 Simon is referencing? Can\'t find them. Thanks.</p>\n<hr />\nBrother Of Jerry<br />\nReporting growth without reporting losses that subtract from that growth would get a corporation in serious legal trouble<br />\nPeople like Peggy Fletcher Stack should report estimates of real growth whenever they report the gross membership numbers put out by LDS Inc.\n<p>LDS Inc would no doubt sputter and fume about that, but if the media would do it consistently, LDS Inc would eventually have to put out meaningful \"participating membership\" numbers, or live with the estimates put out by the media.</p>\n<p>If a corporate report only listing gross income, but listed almost none of the expenses and losses that reduced that income, someone would go to jail. LDS Inc trumpets their gross membership increase. The number of membership losses they report each year does not even come close to covering the number of expected deaths, much less resignations and informal walking away from Mormonism.</p>\n<p>This is so deceptive that if it were a corporation, it would be illegal. Since it is a church, they get a pass, since churches are expected to promulgate unverifiable BS (OK, that\'s my editorial comment! :) )</p>\n<hr />\nforbiddencokedrinker<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nWhich is why Rubio is going to be Romney\'s running mate. It is the only way Rubio\'s EQ president can figure out how to get his home teaching down.\n<hr />\n<p>xyz<br />\nPeggy Fletcher Stack does what every good Relief Society Sister should do:<br />\nSupport and defend the Bruthern.</p>\n<hr />\nTall Man, Short Hair<br />\nRe: Deseret News is reporting it as well<br />\nSimon in Oz Wrote:<br />\n-------------------------------------------------------\n<p>In all fairness, Peggy has a tough job, and does nail it fairly regularly. Lest we forget, she was one of the founders of _Sunstone_Magazine_.</p>\n<p>She was the first to break nationally the dark skin/light skin Lamanite dolls that Mrs. Tall Man brought to her attention.</p>\n<p>That said, I am disappointed in her recent article. It would have been nice to include just a snipped from the ARIS survey that notes ARIS researchers consistently find LDS self-reported numbers never match those on the ground.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Tall Man, Short Hair<br />\nHere\'s the raw data for our resident statisticians . . .<br />\nThis is the study that the article is based upon:</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_1117.asp\" title=\"http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_1117.asp\">http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_1117.asp</a></p>\n<hr />\nsayhitokolob4me<br />\nRe: Here\'s the raw data for our resident statisticians . . .<br />\nthank you!\n<hr />\nguynoirprivateeye<br />\nIf it\'s \'Self-reporting\', directly to the researchers/statisticians...<br />\nHow could ChurchCo be manipulating it?\n<hr />\n<p>rodolfo<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nHere was my post:</p>\n<p>Peggy you must be throwing the mormons a bone because we both know that this is a completely *accurate* article, but it is hardly truthful.</p>\n<p>All you have to know about the *accuracy* of this information is in paragraph three: \"The study was assembled by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies and included SELF-REPORTED NUMBERS from 17 of the country’s largest religious groups.\"</p>\n<p>The data came from the mormons and is not independently verified in any way.</p>\n<p>This is like reporting *accurate* information released about the Iraqi war from Tariq Assiz, or about reporting *accurate* information released from the North Koreans about domestic population tranquility. It\'s *accurate* because it was released by a group and relied upon, but is there a basis to believe the numbers at all in the first place? Hardly.</p>\n<p>Any independent inquiry can discover the evidence of true mormon membership easily online (even in the Trib archives). But a quick and easy exercise is all you need to figure out what the real number of mormons really is.</p>\n<p>Merely take the number of congregational units and multiply it by the average attendance for wards and branches. As independent analysis has already determined, mormon membership is perhaps five million worldwide. The mormon church continues to play this game of stating their *accurate* fourteen million member number and misleading people to believe that it implies that there are really 14 million members. If it is willing to lie about something so inconsequential to the so-called \"only true and living church\" what else would it be willing to lie about?</p>\n<p>I agree with the Tall Man that Peggy is no shill for TSCC.</p>\n<p>So I would argue that Peggy has opened the door for someone to publish a much more comprehensive disclosure of membership analysis. Particularly compelling is the comparison between self-identified numbers and claimed numbers. Most groups claim X, self-identified number is X+ (sometimes 2X). This result seems completely intuitively accurate, since there are usually many more adherents than actually attend.</p>\n<p>However the mormons claim X and the self-identified number is 1/2 X. (in the U.S., claimed 6.1 MM members, self-identified 3.1 MM members).</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Tall Man, Short Hair<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nAnd since as Simon noted their most recent publicly released numbers were such a huge disappointment, Peggy may be smarter than we all think.</p>\n<p>Could be the next big thing in Mormoland reporting is the emerging scandal of Mormon lies about church membership in the face of growing apostasy.</p>\n<p>So, they really want ownership of these stats? Okay, feed them the rope, boys.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>sayhitokolob4me<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nWhat am I missing here? Wouldn\'t this be easy to prove? The link provided by tallmanshorthair above states that in 2000, the US church numbers were 5.2 million, not 4.2. It was 1990 was 4.2. If this is correct, the growth rate was only about 19%, not 45% Does anyone have a link to the actual reported 2000 number by tscc, and 1990 also if possible? If those numbers agree with the link\'s numbers, tscc has totally lied their as&amp;$s off on this one, and it can easily be exposed.</p>\n<hr />\nsayhitokolob4me<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nI know Simon contacted Peggy, I did also, she told me she is aware of the discrepancy and has asked the church for an explanation. Not sure what they\'ll tell her, but hopefully she\'ll research this through. This could be big, folks.\n<hr />\nbrian<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nAs we all know, Peggy writes for the Tribune not the DNews. She is for getting things right. Over the years, she has written numerous articles that have shown the church in an unfavorable light. She is not a defender of the church. Trust me, if she verifies the discrepancy, it will be in a future article.\n<hr />\nemma<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nAnd lets not forget that the only reason the mormon church is growing at all is because they deliberately deceive their investigators. If their investigators were for example told about JS marrying 14 yr olds, their baptism rate would plummet.\n<hr />\n<p>sayhitokolob4me<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\nThis is my question: Has the church ever reported/recorded their US membership for 2000 or 1990 in the past, either in their church almanac or on their website? I would think they have. If so, we can clear this up right away---they either totally lied, or they didn\'t. No gray area. Anyone have a link? Please???</p>\n<hr />\ncanadianfriend<br />\nRe: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey<br />\n\"Self-reported numbers\" ?? \"Accurate information\" ???\n<p>We all know how accurate the information is when the Mormons talk about church history, the BoM, or Joseph Smith. The Mormons are all about being \"accurate\". ;-)</p>\n<hr />\n<p>SL Cabbie<br />\nShe Also Sat on the Story of Native American DNA Findings...<br />\nFor well over a year. It was only when the AP carried it nationally that she let it out...</p>\n<p>The dark skin/light Lamanite dolls story fits her paradigms. Stuff that doesn\'t is often conveniently overlooked.</p>\n<p>A number of years ago Will Bagley told an audience of how the editor of Signature Books had \"fed\" a number of leads about the church and its revisionist tendencies to Stack and the Tribune, and none of them saw print.</p>\n<p>I particuarly recall one of her stories about a story from the Tribune\'s early days, and she noted \"The Tribune was anti-Mormon back then.\"</p>\n<p>Her analysis suggested the journal had somehow been \"baptized.\"</p>\n<hr />\nSL Cabbie<br />\nRight... Will Bagley and I Would Disagree With You, However...<br />\nHere\'s a sample where she treats two \"fringe scientists\" as if they were anything but so far outside of maintstream views on several subjects involving LDS lore that it\'s difficult to get legitimate scholars and scientists to comment.\n<p><a href=\"http://uscmediareligion.org/?theStory&amp;sID=349\" title=\"http://uscmediareligion.org/?theStory&amp;sID=349\">http://uscmediareligion.org/?theStory&amp;sID=349</a></p>\n<p>&gt;On top of that, Stephens [LDS Biologist Trent Stephens] doesn\'t believe every group arrived via the Bering Strait.</p>\n<p>&gt;\"To think that over a 30,000 year history, every hominid came in one single migration over a few year period is ridiculous,\" he said. \"There\'s an arrogant naiveté about how accessible the Americas were before Columbus.\"</p>\n<p>No, there\'s a biologist who\'s utterly naive about the challenges of transoceanic travel, and then there\'s the small matter of missing DNA...</p>\n<hr />\nStumbling<br />\nRe: She Also Sat on the Story of Native American DNA Findings...<br />\nThis all means that her articles, instead of being journalism, are just powder puff advertorials for the Church.\n<p>I admit to being a tad disappointed that she hasn\'t got...well...the balls for it.</p>\n<hr />\nsayhitokolob4me<br />\nMormonthink.com is all over this one like \'white on righteous\'...<br />\nNice! <a href=\"http://mormonthink.com/\" title=\"http://mormonthink.com/\">http://mormonthink.com/</a>\n<hr />\nThe Man in Black<br />\nRe: Mormonthink.com is all over this one like \'white on righteous\'...<br />\nI should have read the board before posting, I should have known there was no way something that disingenuous would slide by RfM. I just read the Tribune and posted because the article irritated me so much. It is so patently dishonest.\n<hr />\n<p><b>The Retraction</b></p>\n<hr />\n<p>Tall Man, Short Hair</p>\n<p>I just got an email from Peggy Fletcher Stack that she wrote a revision to her earlier article. It reads much differently:</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54036926-78/church-lds-membership-growth.html.csp\" title=\"http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54036926-78/church-lds-membership-growth.html.csp\">http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54036926-78/church-lds-membership-grow...</a></p>\n<p>Gotta love the church\'s explanation for this.</p>\n<p>Tall Man was wrong to suspect that the church was not behind this inflation of numbers, and he hereby repents.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>ambivalent exmo<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nI have just been reading through the comments.<br />\nReally, really interesting.<br />\nI think the pressure is building in slc.<br />\nThere is no way they can stop this train wreck now.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>hello<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nyeah wow, the comments are clearly not in support of the Mo church. The active members must have a hard time when they read this stuff.</p>\n<hr />\nspanner<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nClassic statement in the comments:\n<p>\"it takes more faith to believe their statisticians than their prophets\"</p>\n<hr />\n<p>cludgie<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nGood that she wrote a sort of correction. Please contribute to the comments.</p>\n<p>Simon in Oz<br />\nSeeking US congregation numbers<br />\nI\'m after numbers for 2009. Does anyone have access to an almanac?</p>\n<p>2004 12,463<br />\n2005 12,753<br />\n2006 13,010<br />\n2007 13,201<br />\n2008 13,363<br />\n2009<br />\n2010 13,601<br />\n2011 13,628</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Mormon Observer<br />\nThis was posted on comments by \"Select Star\"<br />\nI found this amusing;</p>\n<p>To be accurate, the LDS church should report membership by degrees of glory:<br />\ncelestial members--those who are paid in full. Terrestrial members--Don\'t pay their 10%.<br />\nTelestial members--church doesn\'t have a current billing address</p>\n<p>posted by Select Star</p>\n<hr />\n<p>3X<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nDirectory to other threads (may have missed one)</p>\n<p>by The Man in Black:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491717\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491717\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491717</a></p>\n<p>by Suckafoo:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490651\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490651\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490651</a></p>\n<p>Simon in Oz:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490639\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490639\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490639</a></p>\n<p>by Tall Man, Short Hair:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491580\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491580\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491580</a></p>\n<p>by Tall Man, Short Hair:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491496\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491496\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491496</a></p>\n<p>by mckay:<br />\n<a href=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490160\" title=\"http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490160\">http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490160</a></p>\n<hr />\nTall Man, Short Hair<br />\n<b>It\'s extremely important that we understand this . . .<br />\nThe church\'s desperation is showing. Read this very carefully, as I just got confirmation from Peggy Fletcher Stack about this:\n<p>The church submitted to the survey an entirely new number for their year 2000 membership. This number is different AND LOWER than they publish in their own almanac. The reason this number is lower is that they removed about a million members who they say had no specific congregation affiliation at that time.</p>\n<p>BUT, and this is the most important part.</p>\n<p>WITHIN THE SAME DATASET, they used an entirely different method of accounting for the 2010 member numbers to include EVERYBODY who has ever been born or baptized into the faith -- including those who are not currently assigned to any congregation.</p></b>\n<p>THIS IS A HUGE DECEPTION.</p>\n<p>By artificially creating a lower starting number (A NUMBER THEY HAVE NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED USING AN ACCOUNTING METHOD THEY DO NOT CURRENTLY USE AND HAVE NEVER USED BEFORE), the church gives the entirely false impression that they are growing at a faster rate.</p>\n<p>If a national company used two entirely different accounting methods within the same report to give the appearance that their profits were double what they actually were, we\'d be reading stories about investigations and indictments. It is a willing and very public attempt to falsify the data.</p>\n<p>We all need to understand the evidence of desperation that this gives us. We\'re seeing into the soul of an organization coming to terms with its own very public death. There was likely a group of men sitting at a table facing the excruciating fact that if they submitted accurate numbers to this survey, it would show the world they have stopped growing. So they did what the church always does. They decided to change history and create a lie. Again.</p>\n<p>They decided to use new numbers that conflicted with their own published numbers. Even though they had to know their lie would be quickly exposed, it was better than telling the truth. And they got the mileage from it that they wanted. At a time of unrivaled visibility around the world, headlines splashed that the Mormon church is once again the fastest growing religion. As Winston Churchill said, \"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.\"</p>\n<p>I\'ve already emailed a number of the journalists that initially reported this and at least one has replied that \"modifying numbers in a survey\" isn\'t that big a deal. They\'ll stand by their initial report. The church admirably played the media, and largely won.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>hello<br />\nRe: It\'s extremely important that we understand this . . .<br />\n\"admirably\" is not the word I would choose to describe their actions.</p>\n<hr />\nambivalent exmo<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nThat may have been my favorite!\n<p>I almost fell out of my chair laughing when i read that.</p>\n<p>Classic.</p>\n<p>And sadly, how true......</p>\n<hr />\nJesus Smith<br />\nRe: It\'s extremely important that we understand this . . .<br />\nBottom line is they compared an orange to an apple in their own standards of counting. The orange being the 2000 numbers which reflected an estimate of members in good standing, and the apple in 2010 of all members ever baptized and still alive without excomm/removal.\n<p>Still, I question that they actually take out the numbers of those who resign. Somehow I bet they keep them as members for public consumption.</p>\n<p>And unfortunately, it won\'t be seen as a big deal to anyone else outside of the exmo community. No one really cares.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>hello<br />\nRe: It\'s extremely important that we understand this . . .<br />\nThis will seem nitpicky, and I don\'t wish to pick on you Hay-soos Smith, but the figure for 2000 that you mention, as I understand Trotter\'s excuse making effort, is not the number of members \"in good standing\", which I take to mean officially active. Trotter said this number represents those who are affiliated with a specific congregation, so that would include even inactives who are listed on a ward roll somewhere.</p>\n<p>Those not assigned to a congregation at all would be those whom the church can no longer find at all, and whose names and records have been sent to SLC by wards as \"unfindable\". This is a much smaller number than simply \"all inactives\". And yet, it seems to have equaled approx. one million, if the church\'s numbers are to be believed.</p>\n<p>So, one million lost or misplaced members in USA. Am I understanding this correctly? The number of total inactives would include these people, but also all those whose location is known by the church, but who simply don\'t attend their assigned wards often enough to qualify as \"active members\".</p>\n<hr />\nJesus Smith<br />\nRe: It\'s extremely important that we understand this . . .<br />\nThat\'s a good point. The diss-congregationalized could reflect the exmos who haven\'t officially resigned. Anyone who goes inactive for such a period as to be lost from a ward is probably out for good.\n<p>Was the number between the two calculation methods ~ one million ??</p>\n<p>That\'s a lot of exmos.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>hello<br />\nRe: It\'s extremely important that we understand this . . .<br />\nYes, that\'s the approx. difference between the low number TSCC gave to the survey for 2000, and the number in the almanac for 2000, which supposedly would include the unfindables, if Trotter\'s excuses are to be believed..</p>\n<p>And more, since most of the resigned are in fact known and located, the resigned are in addition to this number for the \"unfindable\". And then there are the findable, known members of wards who simply do not attend any more, and are thus inactive.</p>\n<p>That\'s a dam lot of inactives, as well as exmos.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Tall Man, Short Hair<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nYes, there\'s a tale to be told in this deception. The problem is there\'s no reason to believe anything they say about their membership numbers, so that\'s an immediate handicap.</p>\n<p>BUT, let\'s listen to what they\'ve just told us with this altering of the year 2000 membership numbers: \"Back in the year 2000 we had nearly a million members on our books that we simply could not locate,\" that speaks volumes to our understanding of their current troubles. And it\'s very safe to assume the problem in 2000 was significantly larger than they\'re willing to disclose.</p>\n<p>Remember, the Internet was still somewhat of an infant in 2000, There was no Mitt Romney on the scene bringing the bright light of scrutiny on the church. And at that moment in time, the church admits that about 20% of their membership was so far off the reservation that they couldn\'t even assign a local meetinghouse for them. I know that I was inactive for decades before I left the church, but through forwarding addresses and info from relatives, they ALWAYS had me assigned to a local congregation.</p>\n<p>I honestly think we\'re starting to see the cracks and fissures deepen. The current level of inactivity may well be running wildly higher than any of us imagine. 60%? 70%? Who knows? This attempted manipulation of the reporting on their membership numbers was a desperate move in their attempt to avoid having the world see they\'ve stopped growing. We should keep our eyes open for further desperate moves. I\'m sure we\'ll see them.</p>\n<hr />\nLorraine aka síóg<br />\nPlease send a link to this post to Andrew Sullivan\'s blog<br />\nI will myself in the morning, but I\'m too tired to type coherently now -- it\'s late. He\'s been assiduous on report Mitt\'s lies. I think pointing out that the lies are part of larger context of organisational lying/distortion of history is to the point. This thread is a good example, laid out, of how the Morg systematically distorts truth.\n<p><a href=\"http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/\" title=\"http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/\">http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/</a></p>\n<hr />\nspanner<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nDue to the anchoring effect, the first reported figures are the ones that will stick in people\'s heads.\n<p>I demonstrate this in my class, and you can try it for yourself by having a guess at how many people died on 911, and asking a few friends to do the same. Then go wiki the actual figure. And be prepared for a surprise.</p>\n<p>Marketing and political people are well aware of the anchoring effect and will cynically get in first and issue \"estimates\" that support whatever agenda they are pushing. Subsequent retractions and corrections mean bugger all. They have planted the meme they want, and it is basically impossible to replace the wrong info with corrections that are much more weakly linked to the main story.</p>\n<p>In effect it means they really don\'t even have to bother about getting caught out. The only possible countereffect is to incorporate the true information in a much bigger, startling, attention-grabbing story that steam-rolls the first.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>brian<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nThis whole thing has actually workednout well. We have always wanted to have a better feel for the activity rates. The church doesn\'t know where 20% of its US members are. Add to that the estimated activity rates in our wards and the percentages of inactives gets big.</p>\n<p>It puts a smile on your face thinking of what the percentage of missing in foreign countries. For one, I am glad this came out. 20% is now my favorite number.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>thingsithink<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nSo 20% not assigned to a ward. 40-50% of ward (representing 80% of total members) actually attends. 40-50% of 80% is 32-40% of members attending. Yes, 60-70% inactivity.</p>\n<p>Now, though they were more accurate with 2000 numbers, they are back to using inflated numbers in 2010. What a sham.</p>\n<hr />\nanagrammy<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nThe real smile comes with the realization that Mormons are continuing to play the numbers game EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN\'T MATTER.\n<p>They continue to use the old advertising strategy, \"Lots of people are doing it, therefore, it must something to it.\"</p>\n<p>If I convinced you many/most people are Scientologists, would you be interested in hearing more?</p>\n<p>The negative public opinion which has been established is that Mormons are weird. Mormons are trying to change this, but their best efforts are not overcoming Mormonism\'s bad reputation and demonstrable disrespect in baptizing Holocaust victims after promising not to. Couple that with the the Johnny-Come-Lately to racial equality and people draw the conclusion that the religion is simply not in the mainstream. Worse yet, they are disingenuous and express outrage about being questioned regarding contradictions in its belief system. \"What belief system\" is not an answer.</p>\n<p>This state of affairs takes place against the backdrop of City Creek Mall, the firing of the janitors and the gardeners and the calling of volunteers to take up the slack for the financially strapped rhinestone-covered, gold cowboy hat-wearing, Cadillac driving, private jet borrowing humble followers of Jesus.</p>\n<p>Anagrammy</p>\n<hr />\nTall Man, Short Hair<br />\nShould we be prepared for the next wave of \"massive growth\" stories?<br />\nI spent so much time outraged at the lie with these numbers that I completely missed the signs that there may well be a phase 2 coming on the horizon. And it may have started today.\n<p>In today\'s Deseret News the church admitted its growth from 2000 to 2010 was 18%, not the 45% previously reported. Everybody interviewed for the article agrees it was just a simple accounting error. Ahem.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865555185/LDS-Church-reports-18-percent-growth-in-2000s.html\" title=\"http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865555185/LDS-Church-reports-18-percent-growth-in-2000s.html\">http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865555185/LDS-Church-reports-18-perce...</a></p>\n<p>But, the best is yet to come. If the church sticks to a 2010 US membership number of 6,144,582, they can pair that with their reported US membership in 2011 of 8,251,430 and declare \"the worst days are behind us. In a single year from 2010 to 2011 we grew at a rate of 34% -- nearly double our growth rate for the entire previous decade. All is well; all is well.\"</p>\n<p>I\'m gonna go have a Mountain Dew.</p>\n<hr />\nmr. mike<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\nanagrammy Wrote:\n<p>People are terrified of cults; too many people remember Jonestown, the Moonies, Heaven\'s Gate, the Tom Cruise Scientology video, and all the investigative journalism on the smaller cults (the Garbage Eaters come to mind)....the Internet has helped this tremendously, with the Rick Ross anti-cult website a good jumping-off point, that and all the news clips on YouTube; nothing important is forgotten on the Internet. Which brings me to Mormonism; there are too many truth-telling websites out there, too many ex-member websites telling their personal stories. The missionaries do not have a chance.</p>\n<hr />\nhello<br />\nRe: Should we be prepared for the next wave of \"massive growth\" stories?<br />\nHow can that reported amazing degree of rise for 2011 possibly square with the reported drastic drop in unit creation for the same period?\n<hr />\nJesus Smith<br />\nRe: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack<br />\n” If I convinced you many/most people are Scientologists, would you be interested in hearing more? ”\n<p>Not us here at RfM. But world is full of lemmings. We\'re the exceptions.</p>\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1416557500, expire = 1416643900, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:216908e8bdae2a3230ba4b21339daf46' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

Simon in Oz May 2012

According to a Peggy Fletcher Stack article in the Salt Lake Tribune, the LDS Church has grown by 45% in the last decade or about 4.5% per year. What an utterly amazing growth rate! But it is completely false. Two days later the church admits "an error" after all the media has already used the misleading information. It takes more faith to believe in the Mormon Church's statisticians than the Mormon prophets.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54026798-78/lds-religious-church-large...

The once-a-decade U.S. Religion Census, assembled by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies uses the self-reported numbers from 17 of the country’s largest religious groups to calculate growth rates. According to Peggy’s story the number of US members in 2000 was 4,224,026 and by 2010 it had grown to 6,144,582, an increase of 45%.

The trouble is that the 2000 figure is plain wrong. The 2001 LDS church almanac reports that there were 5,113,409 members in the US on December 31, 1999. According to Cumorah.com there were 4,336,000 US members in 1992. The figure the church provided must have been from about 1990.

The correct growth rate is about 20% during the last 10 years not 45%. The growth in church congregations during that period is also about 20%.

How could the statistical and membership department of the church get it so wrong? They have all the facts and they must know that the church is tanking in the US. It’s hard not to believe that there is deliberate falsifying of data to make the church look good.

See the second half of this thread for the retraction.


Stumbling
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
From the article...

"Campbell does offer a caution about LDS membership numbers: It includes everyone who has ever been a member — even babies — and hasn’t been excommunicated or asked to have their names removed from the rolls.

Even Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who spent a few years as a Mormon during his childhood, is likely still on the list, Campbell quipped."

'xactly...


Stumbling
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
Peggy's headline

"Mormonism leading the way in US"

The truth in the article

''In the latter category, researchers estimated that Muslims outpaced even Mormons between 2000 and 2010, adding 66.7 percent more adherents. During that time frame, the nation’s overall Muslim tally shot up from 1,559,294 to 2,600,082.''

Sounds like Peggy is...let's be generous...overstating things a tad...


Stray Mutt
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
Simon in Oz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

Yes, they could be feeding bogus numbers, but there's also the possibility of ineptitude -- from either the church or Ms. Stack or both.

I think the whole "house of order" thing is just more church BS. The church doesn't have the brightest, most competent people working for it. They have the ones who have temple recommends and are willing to subject themselves to the church's employment practices. That filters the applicants by something other than ability.


Simon in Oz
Deseret News is reporting it as well
Please feel free to make comments on the story on the Deseret News website.
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765572841/Religion-census-reveals-sub...

I have brought it to Peggy Stack's attention and she said "she will look into it".

Peggy didn't make a mistake. She reported exactly what the researchers told her. It is clear the researchers were fed incorrect information by the church membership department.


Stray Mutt
There's no reference to Jensen admitting people are leaving the church in droves. 


Stumbling
Re: Deseret News is reporting it as well
Do you think Peggy is capable of being a bit more than a Church cheerleader?


sayhitokolob4me
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
Does anyone have a link to the lds church numbers from 2000 and 1992 Simon is referencing? Can't find them. Thanks.


Brother Of Jerry
Reporting growth without reporting losses that subtract from that growth would get a corporation in serious legal trouble
People like Peggy Fletcher Stack should report estimates of real growth whenever they report the gross membership numbers put out by LDS Inc.

LDS Inc would no doubt sputter and fume about that, but if the media would do it consistently, LDS Inc would eventually have to put out meaningful "participating membership" numbers, or live with the estimates put out by the media.

If a corporate report only listing gross income, but listed almost none of the expenses and losses that reduced that income, someone would go to jail. LDS Inc trumpets their gross membership increase. The number of membership losses they report each year does not even come close to covering the number of expected deaths, much less resignations and informal walking away from Mormonism.

This is so deceptive that if it were a corporation, it would be illegal. Since it is a church, they get a pass, since churches are expected to promulgate unverifiable BS (OK, that's my editorial comment! :) )


forbiddencokedrinker
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
Which is why Rubio is going to be Romney's running mate. It is the only way Rubio's EQ president can figure out how to get his home teaching down.

xyz
Peggy Fletcher Stack does what every good Relief Society Sister should do:
Support and defend the Bruthern.


Tall Man, Short Hair
Re: Deseret News is reporting it as well
Simon in Oz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

In all fairness, Peggy has a tough job, and does nail it fairly regularly. Lest we forget, she was one of the founders of _Sunstone_Magazine_.

She was the first to break nationally the dark skin/light skin Lamanite dolls that Mrs. Tall Man brought to her attention.

That said, I am disappointed in her recent article. It would have been nice to include just a snipped from the ARIS survey that notes ARIS researchers consistently find LDS self-reported numbers never match those on the ground.


Tall Man, Short Hair
Here's the raw data for our resident statisticians . . .
This is the study that the article is based upon:

http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_1117.asp


sayhitokolob4me
Re: Here's the raw data for our resident statisticians . . .
thank you!
guynoirprivateeye
If it's 'Self-reporting', directly to the researchers/statisticians...
How could ChurchCo be manipulating it?

rodolfo
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
Here was my post:

Peggy you must be throwing the mormons a bone because we both know that this is a completely *accurate* article, but it is hardly truthful.

All you have to know about the *accuracy* of this information is in paragraph three: "The study was assembled by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies and included SELF-REPORTED NUMBERS from 17 of the country’s largest religious groups."

The data came from the mormons and is not independently verified in any way.

This is like reporting *accurate* information released about the Iraqi war from Tariq Assiz, or about reporting *accurate* information released from the North Koreans about domestic population tranquility. It's *accurate* because it was released by a group and relied upon, but is there a basis to believe the numbers at all in the first place? Hardly.

Any independent inquiry can discover the evidence of true mormon membership easily online (even in the Trib archives). But a quick and easy exercise is all you need to figure out what the real number of mormons really is.

Merely take the number of congregational units and multiply it by the average attendance for wards and branches. As independent analysis has already determined, mormon membership is perhaps five million worldwide. The mormon church continues to play this game of stating their *accurate* fourteen million member number and misleading people to believe that it implies that there are really 14 million members. If it is willing to lie about something so inconsequential to the so-called "only true and living church" what else would it be willing to lie about?

I agree with the Tall Man that Peggy is no shill for TSCC.

So I would argue that Peggy has opened the door for someone to publish a much more comprehensive disclosure of membership analysis. Particularly compelling is the comparison between self-identified numbers and claimed numbers. Most groups claim X, self-identified number is X+ (sometimes 2X). This result seems completely intuitively accurate, since there are usually many more adherents than actually attend.

However the mormons claim X and the self-identified number is 1/2 X. (in the U.S., claimed 6.1 MM members, self-identified 3.1 MM members).


Tall Man, Short Hair
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
And since as Simon noted their most recent publicly released numbers were such a huge disappointment, Peggy may be smarter than we all think.

Could be the next big thing in Mormoland reporting is the emerging scandal of Mormon lies about church membership in the face of growing apostasy.

So, they really want ownership of these stats? Okay, feed them the rope, boys.


sayhitokolob4me
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
What am I missing here? Wouldn't this be easy to prove? The link provided by tallmanshorthair above states that in 2000, the US church numbers were 5.2 million, not 4.2. It was 1990 was 4.2. If this is correct, the growth rate was only about 19%, not 45% Does anyone have a link to the actual reported 2000 number by tscc, and 1990 also if possible? If those numbers agree with the link's numbers, tscc has totally lied their as&$s off on this one, and it can easily be exposed.


sayhitokolob4me
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
I know Simon contacted Peggy, I did also, she told me she is aware of the discrepancy and has asked the church for an explanation. Not sure what they'll tell her, but hopefully she'll research this through. This could be big, folks.
brian
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
As we all know, Peggy writes for the Tribune not the DNews. She is for getting things right. Over the years, she has written numerous articles that have shown the church in an unfavorable light. She is not a defender of the church. Trust me, if she verifies the discrepancy, it will be in a future article.
emma
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
And lets not forget that the only reason the mormon church is growing at all is because they deliberately deceive their investigators. If their investigators were for example told about JS marrying 14 yr olds, their baptism rate would plummet.

sayhitokolob4me
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
This is my question: Has the church ever reported/recorded their US membership for 2000 or 1990 in the past, either in their church almanac or on their website? I would think they have. If so, we can clear this up right away---they either totally lied, or they didn't. No gray area. Anyone have a link? Please???


canadianfriend
Re: Church falsifies US membership numbers for national survey
"Self-reported numbers" ?? "Accurate information" ???

We all know how accurate the information is when the Mormons talk about church history, the BoM, or Joseph Smith. The Mormons are all about being "accurate". ;-)


SL Cabbie
She Also Sat on the Story of Native American DNA Findings...
For well over a year. It was only when the AP carried it nationally that she let it out...

The dark skin/light Lamanite dolls story fits her paradigms. Stuff that doesn't is often conveniently overlooked.

A number of years ago Will Bagley told an audience of how the editor of Signature Books had "fed" a number of leads about the church and its revisionist tendencies to Stack and the Tribune, and none of them saw print.

I particuarly recall one of her stories about a story from the Tribune's early days, and she noted "The Tribune was anti-Mormon back then."

Her analysis suggested the journal had somehow been "baptized."


SL Cabbie
Right... Will Bagley and I Would Disagree With You, However...
Here's a sample where she treats two "fringe scientists" as if they were anything but so far outside of maintstream views on several subjects involving LDS lore that it's difficult to get legitimate scholars and scientists to comment.

http://uscmediareligion.org/?theStory&sID=349

>On top of that, Stephens [LDS Biologist Trent Stephens] doesn't believe every group arrived via the Bering Strait.

>"To think that over a 30,000 year history, every hominid came in one single migration over a few year period is ridiculous," he said. "There's an arrogant naiveté about how accessible the Americas were before Columbus."

No, there's a biologist who's utterly naive about the challenges of transoceanic travel, and then there's the small matter of missing DNA...


Stumbling
Re: She Also Sat on the Story of Native American DNA Findings...
This all means that her articles, instead of being journalism, are just powder puff advertorials for the Church.

I admit to being a tad disappointed that she hasn't got...well...the balls for it.


sayhitokolob4me
Mormonthink.com is all over this one like 'white on righteous'...
Nice! http://mormonthink.com/
The Man in Black
Re: Mormonthink.com is all over this one like 'white on righteous'...
I should have read the board before posting, I should have known there was no way something that disingenuous would slide by RfM. I just read the Tribune and posted because the article irritated me so much. It is so patently dishonest.

The Retraction


Tall Man, Short Hair

I just got an email from Peggy Fletcher Stack that she wrote a revision to her earlier article. It reads much differently:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54036926-78/church-lds-membership-grow...

Gotta love the church's explanation for this.

Tall Man was wrong to suspect that the church was not behind this inflation of numbers, and he hereby repents.


ambivalent exmo
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
I have just been reading through the comments.
Really, really interesting.
I think the pressure is building in slc.
There is no way they can stop this train wreck now.


hello
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
yeah wow, the comments are clearly not in support of the Mo church. The active members must have a hard time when they read this stuff.


spanner
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
Classic statement in the comments:

"it takes more faith to believe their statisticians than their prophets"


cludgie
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
Good that she wrote a sort of correction. Please contribute to the comments.

Simon in Oz
Seeking US congregation numbers
I'm after numbers for 2009. Does anyone have access to an almanac?

2004 12,463
2005 12,753
2006 13,010
2007 13,201
2008 13,363
2009
2010 13,601
2011 13,628


Mormon Observer
This was posted on comments by "Select Star"
I found this amusing;

To be accurate, the LDS church should report membership by degrees of glory:
celestial members--those who are paid in full. Terrestrial members--Don't pay their 10%.
Telestial members--church doesn't have a current billing address

posted by Select Star


3X
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
Directory to other threads (may have missed one)

by The Man in Black:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491717

by Suckafoo:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490651

Simon in Oz:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490639

by Tall Man, Short Hair:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491580

by Tall Man, Short Hair:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,491496

by mckay:
http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,490160


Tall Man, Short Hair
It's extremely important that we understand this . . .
The church's desperation is showing. Read this very carefully, as I just got confirmation from Peggy Fletcher Stack about this:

The church submitted to the survey an entirely new number for their year 2000 membership. This number is different AND LOWER than they publish in their own almanac. The reason this number is lower is that they removed about a million members who they say had no specific congregation affiliation at that time.

BUT, and this is the most important part.

WITHIN THE SAME DATASET, they used an entirely different method of accounting for the 2010 member numbers to include EVERYBODY who has ever been born or baptized into the faith -- including those who are not currently assigned to any congregation.

THIS IS A HUGE DECEPTION.

By artificially creating a lower starting number (A NUMBER THEY HAVE NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED USING AN ACCOUNTING METHOD THEY DO NOT CURRENTLY USE AND HAVE NEVER USED BEFORE), the church gives the entirely false impression that they are growing at a faster rate.

If a national company used two entirely different accounting methods within the same report to give the appearance that their profits were double what they actually were, we'd be reading stories about investigations and indictments. It is a willing and very public attempt to falsify the data.

We all need to understand the evidence of desperation that this gives us. We're seeing into the soul of an organization coming to terms with its own very public death. There was likely a group of men sitting at a table facing the excruciating fact that if they submitted accurate numbers to this survey, it would show the world they have stopped growing. So they did what the church always does. They decided to change history and create a lie. Again.

They decided to use new numbers that conflicted with their own published numbers. Even though they had to know their lie would be quickly exposed, it was better than telling the truth. And they got the mileage from it that they wanted. At a time of unrivaled visibility around the world, headlines splashed that the Mormon church is once again the fastest growing religion. As Winston Churchill said, "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

I've already emailed a number of the journalists that initially reported this and at least one has replied that "modifying numbers in a survey" isn't that big a deal. They'll stand by their initial report. The church admirably played the media, and largely won.


hello
Re: It's extremely important that we understand this . . .
"admirably" is not the word I would choose to describe their actions.


ambivalent exmo
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
That may have been my favorite!

I almost fell out of my chair laughing when i read that.

Classic.

And sadly, how true......


Jesus Smith
Re: It's extremely important that we understand this . . .
Bottom line is they compared an orange to an apple in their own standards of counting. The orange being the 2000 numbers which reflected an estimate of members in good standing, and the apple in 2010 of all members ever baptized and still alive without excomm/removal.

Still, I question that they actually take out the numbers of those who resign. Somehow I bet they keep them as members for public consumption.

And unfortunately, it won't be seen as a big deal to anyone else outside of the exmo community. No one really cares.


hello
Re: It's extremely important that we understand this . . .
This will seem nitpicky, and I don't wish to pick on you Hay-soos Smith, but the figure for 2000 that you mention, as I understand Trotter's excuse making effort, is not the number of members "in good standing", which I take to mean officially active. Trotter said this number represents those who are affiliated with a specific congregation, so that would include even inactives who are listed on a ward roll somewhere.

Those not assigned to a congregation at all would be those whom the church can no longer find at all, and whose names and records have been sent to SLC by wards as "unfindable". This is a much smaller number than simply "all inactives". And yet, it seems to have equaled approx. one million, if the church's numbers are to be believed.

So, one million lost or misplaced members in USA. Am I understanding this correctly? The number of total inactives would include these people, but also all those whose location is known by the church, but who simply don't attend their assigned wards often enough to qualify as "active members".


Jesus Smith
Re: It's extremely important that we understand this . . .
That's a good point. The diss-congregationalized could reflect the exmos who haven't officially resigned. Anyone who goes inactive for such a period as to be lost from a ward is probably out for good.

Was the number between the two calculation methods ~ one million ??

That's a lot of exmos.


hello
Re: It's extremely important that we understand this . . .
Yes, that's the approx. difference between the low number TSCC gave to the survey for 2000, and the number in the almanac for 2000, which supposedly would include the unfindables, if Trotter's excuses are to be believed..

And more, since most of the resigned are in fact known and located, the resigned are in addition to this number for the "unfindable". And then there are the findable, known members of wards who simply do not attend any more, and are thus inactive.

That's a dam lot of inactives, as well as exmos.


Tall Man, Short Hair
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
Yes, there's a tale to be told in this deception. The problem is there's no reason to believe anything they say about their membership numbers, so that's an immediate handicap.

BUT, let's listen to what they've just told us with this altering of the year 2000 membership numbers: "Back in the year 2000 we had nearly a million members on our books that we simply could not locate," that speaks volumes to our understanding of their current troubles. And it's very safe to assume the problem in 2000 was significantly larger than they're willing to disclose.

Remember, the Internet was still somewhat of an infant in 2000, There was no Mitt Romney on the scene bringing the bright light of scrutiny on the church. And at that moment in time, the church admits that about 20% of their membership was so far off the reservation that they couldn't even assign a local meetinghouse for them. I know that I was inactive for decades before I left the church, but through forwarding addresses and info from relatives, they ALWAYS had me assigned to a local congregation.

I honestly think we're starting to see the cracks and fissures deepen. The current level of inactivity may well be running wildly higher than any of us imagine. 60%? 70%? Who knows? This attempted manipulation of the reporting on their membership numbers was a desperate move in their attempt to avoid having the world see they've stopped growing. We should keep our eyes open for further desperate moves. I'm sure we'll see them.


Lorraine aka síóg
Please send a link to this post to Andrew Sullivan's blog
I will myself in the morning, but I'm too tired to type coherently now -- it's late. He's been assiduous on report Mitt's lies. I think pointing out that the lies are part of larger context of organisational lying/distortion of history is to the point. This thread is a good example, laid out, of how the Morg systematically distorts truth.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/


spanner
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
Due to the anchoring effect, the first reported figures are the ones that will stick in people's heads.

I demonstrate this in my class, and you can try it for yourself by having a guess at how many people died on 911, and asking a few friends to do the same. Then go wiki the actual figure. And be prepared for a surprise.

Marketing and political people are well aware of the anchoring effect and will cynically get in first and issue "estimates" that support whatever agenda they are pushing. Subsequent retractions and corrections mean bugger all. They have planted the meme they want, and it is basically impossible to replace the wrong info with corrections that are much more weakly linked to the main story.

In effect it means they really don't even have to bother about getting caught out. The only possible countereffect is to incorporate the true information in a much bigger, startling, attention-grabbing story that steam-rolls the first.


brian
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
This whole thing has actually workednout well. We have always wanted to have a better feel for the activity rates. The church doesn't know where 20% of its US members are. Add to that the estimated activity rates in our wards and the percentages of inactives gets big.

It puts a smile on your face thinking of what the percentage of missing in foreign countries. For one, I am glad this came out. 20% is now my favorite number.


thingsithink
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
So 20% not assigned to a ward. 40-50% of ward (representing 80% of total members) actually attends. 40-50% of 80% is 32-40% of members attending. Yes, 60-70% inactivity.

Now, though they were more accurate with 2000 numbers, they are back to using inflated numbers in 2010. What a sham.


anagrammy
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
The real smile comes with the realization that Mormons are continuing to play the numbers game EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN'T MATTER.

They continue to use the old advertising strategy, "Lots of people are doing it, therefore, it must something to it."

If I convinced you many/most people are Scientologists, would you be interested in hearing more?

The negative public opinion which has been established is that Mormons are weird. Mormons are trying to change this, but their best efforts are not overcoming Mormonism's bad reputation and demonstrable disrespect in baptizing Holocaust victims after promising not to. Couple that with the the Johnny-Come-Lately to racial equality and people draw the conclusion that the religion is simply not in the mainstream. Worse yet, they are disingenuous and express outrage about being questioned regarding contradictions in its belief system. "What belief system" is not an answer.

This state of affairs takes place against the backdrop of City Creek Mall, the firing of the janitors and the gardeners and the calling of volunteers to take up the slack for the financially strapped rhinestone-covered, gold cowboy hat-wearing, Cadillac driving, private jet borrowing humble followers of Jesus.

Anagrammy


Tall Man, Short Hair
Should we be prepared for the next wave of "massive growth" stories?
I spent so much time outraged at the lie with these numbers that I completely missed the signs that there may well be a phase 2 coming on the horizon. And it may have started today.

In today's Deseret News the church admitted its growth from 2000 to 2010 was 18%, not the 45% previously reported. Everybody interviewed for the article agrees it was just a simple accounting error. Ahem.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865555185/LDS-Church-reports-18-perce...

But, the best is yet to come. If the church sticks to a 2010 US membership number of 6,144,582, they can pair that with their reported US membership in 2011 of 8,251,430 and declare "the worst days are behind us. In a single year from 2010 to 2011 we grew at a rate of 34% -- nearly double our growth rate for the entire previous decade. All is well; all is well."

I'm gonna go have a Mountain Dew.


mr. mike
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
anagrammy Wrote:

People are terrified of cults; too many people remember Jonestown, the Moonies, Heaven's Gate, the Tom Cruise Scientology video, and all the investigative journalism on the smaller cults (the Garbage Eaters come to mind)....the Internet has helped this tremendously, with the Rick Ross anti-cult website a good jumping-off point, that and all the news clips on YouTube; nothing important is forgotten on the Internet. Which brings me to Mormonism; there are too many truth-telling websites out there, too many ex-member websites telling their personal stories. The missionaries do not have a chance.


hello
Re: Should we be prepared for the next wave of "massive growth" stories?
How can that reported amazing degree of rise for 2011 possibly square with the reported drastic drop in unit creation for the same period?
Jesus Smith
Re: The other shoe has fallen. The church DID inflate the numbers. Just in from Peggy Fletcher Stack
” If I convinced you many/most people are Scientologists, would you be interested in hearing more? ”

Not us here at RfM. But world is full of lemmings. We're the exceptions.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"