I've never seen a television documentary that really gets in to the things that make the church a cult. They may present two sides, but neither side gets in to the blood oaths or being groped while nearly naked during the initiatory work, or how not holding the priesthood really prevented black families from any participation in the most valued parts of mormon family life. The unspoken impression is that it only prevented them from being the congregation's spiritual leader, without mentioning that a black father couldn't even give his own children a father's blessing. It's clear that every tv documentary I've ever seen is designed not to say anything that would piss-off the mormon church or its members. Otherwise, the overt racism and death threats would common knowledge innthe public.
I am not an ex-Mormon. Someone who called himself a Jack Mormon died in March. I was with him around the clock in his hospital room four and a half days until a son arrived as he was released from the hospital. His Mormon children arrived like vultures within the week and were with him when he passed away one week later. Can anyone explain their cruelty and lack of compassion for me? He was 73 and I knew him since I was 5 and he was 6. He had been married for 41 years to a Mormon and had 4 children. Is it essential to ignore the fact that he had moved on for the last eight years so their mother can go through a veil? He had rarely seen them in the last eight years and had seen one of them only once in that time. I saw only anger and hostility instead of grief.
I know it is not mormonism, but the "Going Clear" series is pretty damn close. When I first started watching it i used to tell myself that mormons were not that bad. The more I got into the series the more I realized that they were actually very similar. I know it is tough to hear but that's my experience.
Even when you stick to only the unfortunate truths without exagerating or lieing, anti-mormonism hasn't established a market value yet, that is high enough to piss-off the entire mormon population. That may change in the future. I would be willing to act out the blood-oaths myself on TV and tell of my other negative experiences in the church. I don't know how many others would be willing to do that.
I think that an effective mormon version of going clear would require the explanation of circular-thinking, and how all chains of thought circle back to the conclusion that the church is true. Start by attacking the whole concept of mormon testimonies with examples of the damage they do and how even how the testimony-giver doesn't really believe them in most cases. Then get in to the blood oaths and how the church controls people through various means. Then cover the wealth of the church and the lack of transparency, followed by the mormon suicide rate, and blacks in the priesthood pre-1978. Then I woukd urge everyone to not feed the financial monster with any more donations of any kind, reiterating the damages caused by their donation money.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2017 11:00PM by azsteve.
My partner is a burgeoning documentary film maker. We've been talking lately about tackling this topic.
I wonder how many on the board might be willing to share their stories on camera?
I may take a poll if we end up seriously considering it.
The problem is with coming out in this public way is that so many of us are still involved with family members that are LDS and we may feel that we just can't go public like that in order to spare their feelings or spare ourselves their shaming.
I think this is the main reason a documentary like this hasn't been made yet. Not enough people willing to be that open about the church's secrets.
I know there are a couple of movies about the FLDS church. I think it's easier to expose them as a cult because they clearly look like one, all dressed alike living in compounds practicing polygamy.. a much easier target. (There was one I got on Netflix called 'I survived a cult' and there a few cults investigated one is the FLDS church).. A friend just told me about a full feature FLDS expose but she forgot the name.
I used to be afraid to talk negatively about the church, but got past that. My only requirement to take part in a documentary against the church is that it be done well enough that most church members wouldn't be willing or capable of fighting back in any credible way. You have to attack where they are weakest, create a real human side to your story, and make sure to link the institution, not certain church members or leaders, to the evil that brought harm to your life. So you weren't just offended, there was a reason your offender did what they did. You need to tell that story too, and show just how rotten the whole system really is, based on common things that are harming everyone who associates with the church.
I haven't seen Going Clear and still want to. The mormon version I suspect though, would carry a significantly different structure of wrong-doings by the church, and the resulting affects on society, both mormon and non-mormon. Unfortunately, it'll have to illustrate accurately some good things too, to maintain honesty and objectivity, and most importantly, the critical perspective needed to account for its success. But when the show is over, the average member should be shaking in their shoes, not because that is what we want to have happen, but because they'll know they've been deceived for all or a large part of their lives. I suspect that shaking up people's faith will be the worst part of the documentary, not so-much something to feel good about.
Underneath the lies and group-think in the church, there is a dangerous and irresponsible social engineering experiment taking place... in the name of god and as-taught, with devine right for the mormon church to perform. People are committing suicides. People's lives are damaged and too-often ruined. Those who do not want to take part in this social experiment are ostracised, marginalized, and mis-treated.
The church doesn't just want your money, they want to own your life. Have you ever taken an old and sick dog in to be euthanized to end his suffering? Moments before your pet/friend closes his eyes for the last time, they don't know that you've made that decision for them. They trust both you and the doctor to touch and handle them, not knowing what is going on. Personally, I don't trust ayone in the church to make my life's most critical choices. No god that cares about my life is with them. I fear that if we're not careful, the part of our species that protects our self-preservation as individuals could literally be bred out of us.