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Sep 10 2012

Probably not a Mormon takeover … BUT

Reader Dobby linked an interesting article published a couple of months ago, and it got me thinking about something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. The piece covers Mormon business practices. What’s been turning around in my tiny brain: given the popularity of conspiracy and end day stories on the delusional right, and their deep religious insularity and ethnocentrism, it’s easy to see a scenario where a hunk of that caucus goes balls deep into Mormon conspiracy theories, especially if Mitt Romney wins:

Business Week — It’s perhaps unsurprising that Mormonism, an indigenous American religion, would also adopt the country’s secular faith in money. What is remarkable is how varied the church’s business interests are and that so little is known about its financial interests. Although a former Mormon bishop is about to receive the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, and despite a recent public-relations campaign aimed at combating the perception that it is “secretive,” the LDS Church remains tight-lipped about its holdings. It offers little financial transparency even to its members, who are required to tithe 10 percent of their income to gain access to Mormon temples.

If wingnutty claims did gain currency among the confused, no doubt Koch-money would do what they can to stomp it out. But how successful would that be? Money plus power plus secrecy, now add religious authority and extreme prejudice on all fronts, what could possibly go wrong, what could possibly be there to hide?

It’s not as if we have no precedent for a powerful central church with lots of cash and resources coming into contact with less organized but equally zealous groups competing and conspiring in US politics. The Mormons are by most any definition even more exotic — some might say weirder, more secretive, or even creepy — than Catholics in America have ever been. That’s a lucrative conspiracy theory waiting to be written, marketed, and milked right there bay-bay!

9 comments

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  1. 1
    skeptifem

    It would be an easy attack, too. Mitt Romney and the church say essentially the same thing when you ask about their finances: “trust me”, or “its sacred, not secret”.

    As far as I know the catholic church doesn’t have any secret rituals. The church of jesus christ of latter day saints has several. The Second Anointing is one that is unknown even to most mormons, its only given out to high status members and it is a ceremony that basically guarantees a place in heaven for the recipient. I am pretty certain that romney has gotten the SA, he is a high status member with millions of dollars. Other people have gotten it for less. His family has been able to buck rules about temple marriages and other things because of their standing so…

  2. 2
    raven

    The Mormon church is probably corrupt to one degree or another.

    Whenever you have large cash flows that are unaduited with no transparency, that seems to happen. It seems to be the norm that when large rivers of cash are flowing, some of it gets siphoned off.

    I say “probably” because no one knows for sure who is talking.

    It happens routinely in other cultish churches. A few decades ago most of the Televangelists ended up in jail or court for it. The Couches of TBN are alleged to have siphoned off tens of millions of USD. The Assembly of god cult is alleged by some ex-insiders to be another one. The Moonies of course. It’s no accident that the fundie leaders and megachurch leaders all seem to be very wealthy.

  3. 3
    hexidecima

    hmm wonder if Mitt’s big tax secret is that he didn’t actually tithe the required amount?

    seems like Mormonism is following the steps of many many “mystery” religions.

  4. 4
    keithb

    Raven:
    It is the *Crouches* of TNN, not *Couches*, unless you are saying that there are millions of dollars in the seat cusions. 8^)

  5. 5
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    What are crouches?

  6. 6
    keithb

    Paul, Jan and Matt, the leaders of T*B*N:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Broadcasting_Network

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    @hexidecima #3 – Oh, that would be funny! The Romney tax returns are released, SLC realizes that he has stiffed them for tens of millions in “tithes” and presents him with a fat bill with penalties.

  8. 8
    raven

    What are crouches

    You should count yourself lucky to not have heard of them.

    Private jets, 13 mansions and a $100,000 mobile home just for the …
    ww.dailymail.co.uk/…/Private-jets-13-mansions-100-000-mobile-h…

    23 Mar 2012 – The suit also accuses the network of using funds to cover up sex scandals according … The Crouches founded TBN in 1973 and grew it into an …

    The latest in an infinite line of financial and sexual scandals by xian conpeople. Think Jim Bakker without the class.

    I thought the $100,000 dog house was a nice touch. I’d spend a lot more than that on my cats if I had a TV network to loot.

  9. 9
    marcus

    And I thought we only had to worry about the “crotches” of the Haggards and the Swaggarts.

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