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38,271. Senator Dubois: Have your received any revelations from God, which has been submitted by you and the apostles to the body of the church in their semi-annual conference, which revelation has been sustained by that conference, through the upholding of their hands?
Joseph F Smith: No, sir; none whatsoever ... I have never pretended to nor do I profess to have received revelations. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS & Prophet) Reed Smoot Hearings US Senate 1904
99,624. The Mormons: Joseph Smith. Not too impressed. C’mon, we’re goin’ to Utah! Who said so? Joe Smith. (Comedy & Mormons) George Carlin, Brain Droppings audio
676. To be a Mormon is to believe some really crazy stuff ... You kind of have to up the ante ... The idea that Christianity is American I think is an amazing entitlement. (Religion & Christianity & Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS) Bill Maher, Religulous
36,799. Religion, cult, there’s no real definition of which is which. It’s more like ‘if the shoe fits’. I personally define a ‘cult’ as any religion with fewer followers than Snooki has on Twitter. Also, Mormonism is secretive, and that’s another trait I associate with cults. Catholics own their crazy. It’s right on the table. Mormons are more like Fight Club. (Mormons & Cults & Cults: COJCOLDS) Bill Maher
55,682. The Mormons believe in magic underpants – I’m not making that up. (Religion & Mormons) Bill Maher, interview Sex, Drugs & Religion 2010
55,683. He [Joseph Smith] was a conman. (Religion & Mormons) ibid.
36,803. I believe — that the Lord God created the universe.
I believe — that He sent His only Son to die for my sins.
And I believe — that ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America.
I am a Mormon
And a Mormon just believes. (Mormons & Belief) The Book of Mormon Musical: I Believe
36,771. The Mormon Church is, at its heart, sick and dysfunctional. manipulatively using phobias and fantasies to pursue power and to effectuate ‘unrighteous dominion’ over the lives and resources of both individuals and governments. There are nice and sincere (albeit gullible) people within the ranks of Mormon believers but the institution of the Mormon Church itself is rotten to the core. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS) Steve Benson, board post 13th June 2012, ‘Why the Mormon Church is an Institution in a State of Moral Decay and General Decline’
36,788. To understand why I jumped from the Mormon wagon train requires an understanding of what Mormons are and how they think. While Mormons have some quaint, quirky and fanatical ideas, they really aren’t much different from millions of poor, guilt-ridden souls who, throughout the march of human history, have hitched their hopes to mass movements of one sort or another. Eric Hoffer, in his brilliant treatise The True Believer explains the attraction of joining a cause: ‘A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existence. It cures the poignantly frustrated by freeing them from their ineffectual selves – and it does this by enfolding and absorbing them into a closely knit and exultant corporate whole’. Of all the cults and philosophies that competed in the Graeco-Roman world, Christianity alone developed from its inception a compact organization.
Once I realized this, it wasn’t much of a leap out of religion altogether once I flew the Mormon coop. I simply wanted to be free from organizational groupthink. I escaped from the stuffy attic of religion's ‘pray, pay and obey’ mentality into journalism’s open laboratory of ‘who, what, where, when and why’. Steve Benson, 1997 essay Goodbye to God
37,064. I consider Mormonism to be a non-Christian cult that is deeply deceitful, historically dishonest, chauvinistically controlling, absolutely authoritarian, pathologically anti-individual, patronizingly anti-woman, viciously anti-Gay, homophobically anti–Lesbian, racistly anti-Black, obnoxiously pro-White and inherently anti-American in its lack of tolerance and respect for pluralism, diversity and self-expression.
Put another way, I regard Mormonism to be a clannish, backward religion, founded by a notorious charlatan named Joseph Smith who bedded other men’s wives, who slept with under-aged girls, who mistreated and abused his own spouse, who squinted at so-called ‘peep stones’ inside of his hat pretending to translate supposed ‘ancient scripture’, who invented these alleged ‘scriptures’ out of the thin air of his own imagination (with the help of his co-conspiring friends), who never saw or talked to God or Jesus floating in the trees behind his house, who never communed with angels, who never dug up any golden plates, who was found guilty of fraud in a New York court for making false treasure-finding claims, whose ‘sacred’ temple endowment was nothing more than a clunky, amateurish rip-off of secret Masonic rites and who died in a hail of bullets from fellow Masons after being unmasked as a party to a patently unconstitutional effort to shut down a newspaper which had dared publish accounts of his philanderous, adulterous, polygamous behavior and the lies which he told his followers as he denied it all.
Given my views on these matters, I would sincerely appreciate it if, in the future, you would cease and desist from any and all efforts to bring me back into the Mormon fold. (Mormons & Cult & Cults: COJCOLDS) Steve Benson, letter to family members Holly and Karl
36,775. A Mormon student surfs the Internet for a school assignment and discovers that Mormon founder Joseph Smith had multiple wives, even marrying a 14-year-old.
A returned Mormon missionary, preparing a Sunday school lesson, comes across a website alleging that the Book of Mormon was plagiarized from a novel.
Surprised by what they find so easily online, more and more Mormons are encountering crises of faith. Some even leave the fold and, feeling betrayed, join the ranks of Mormon opponents. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS & Internet) Peggy Fletcher Stack, article 1 February 2012 The Washington Post ‘Mormons Confront Epidemic on Online Misinformation’
37,067. I sat on the stand, just to the right of the bishop. I sat suffering through yet another Sunday. The day before, like too many Saturdays before it, I had become sick to my stomach knowing that I had to wake up the next morning, go to bishopric meeting, PEC, sacrament, Sunday school, interviews, and visits.
I needed it to end. It had been over eighteen months since my accidental research had led me to the painful, yet inevitable conclusion, that my faith since childhood was based on fraud, misrepresentation, superstition and deceit. I had been candid about my questions, research and fears. The bishop had struggled with me. But in the end, it didn’t matter. I couldn’t believe and I couldn’t fake it anymore. Requests for my release were ignored and delayed. The only official response was for me to stop researching history ...
That morning, I had to force myself into the shower. I put on my suit, grabbed my church briefcase and headed very reluctantly to my car and drove the dreaded seven miles into the parking lot. As I got out, I glanced at the temple just behind the chapel. Once upon a time, it had meant something to me. Now, well it seemed so pointless an edifice ...
I was just an empty suit in an empty religion ...
I was startled by the emotions I had begun experiencing. Depression was replaced with a surging anger. I hadn’t felt this level of annoyance in many years. Adrenalin surged through me.
My ability to exist in that atmosphere, already strained, reached the breaking point in that very moment. My impulse was to stand and leave. I looked down at my wife and children. I turned to the bishop and asked why he had betrayed me in this way. He mumbled something and began sweating ...
The bishop had been previously fair with me. But I emotionally could not endure another second of it. Walking off the stand would relieve me, but embarrass my wife, children and the bishop. I fought the urge. I turned to my left and whispered to him that after sacrament meeting I was leaving. He nodded.
The meeting ended. I picked up my briefcase and found my wife. Her face reflected an acknowledgement that a boundary had been crossed. I told her that I loved her but that I couldn’t be a Mormon anymore. I left the building and headed north. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS) Skeptical (Odell Campbell), board post 26th October 2007 ‘My Last Sunday Attending an LDS Church Meeting’
36,764. Mormonism will also die. Like the political system that supported the Berlin wall that fell, Mormonism is being exposed for its corruption and will also deconstruct. It is corrupt to its core – its misrepresentation of its own history, its calculated and manipulative theology, its racism, sexism and active homophobia – all these negative belief systems are being exposed by truth-seekers of the information age. Mormonism will implode. It is just a matter of time. Kay Burningham, blog 2013
59,056. Mormonism is possibly intelligently designed rather less intelligently. (Atheism & Religion & Mormons) Richard Dawkins & Dan Dennett, In Conversation Oxford 2012, Dawkins
36,813. One of the most egregious groups operating on American soil. (Mormons & Cults: COJCOLDS) Christopher Hitchens, Slate 17th October 2011
36,772. We’re not a cult. I’m not an idiot, you know. I’ve read a couple of books and I’ve been to a pretty good school, and I have chosen to be in this church because of the faith that I feel and the inspiration that comes. I’ve met people, and if people want to call us a cult, they can call us a cult and you can call us a cult, but we are 14-million and growing, and I’d like to think that your respect for me would be enough to know that this man doesn’t seem like a dodo. (Mormons & Mormons: Holland & Cults & Cults: COJCOLDS) Elder Jeffrey ‘Dodo’ Holland, interview This World: The Mormon Candidate