Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mormon Conspiracy Theorists

Well, leaving the infamous Bro. Beck to the side for a moment, Anonymous D and I have been highly entertained this week by the LDS Church debunking anti-government conspiracies about modifications to the Church's welfare canning operations. The Church put out this statement:
Over the past several weeks, misinformation and unnecessary concern has been circulating on blogs, over social media channels and by email regarding changes in operations at the Church’s home storage centers, which are located in the U.S. and Canada. No home storage centers are being closed, but the Church is making welcomed modifications in its operations at most of these centers that will help to better serve the needs of members of the Church, as well as significantly improve efficiency.
There's a bit more to the statement you can find at the link above or by going to Newsroom at

Anonymous D and I went to some of the websites spreading "misinformation" which I decline to link here. But you can find them. One has a special 3-DVD course you can buy on home storage for only $150!! It also has gun training for women, etc. Another is by a Cleon Skousen wannabe who I just don't think is brazen enough to get as far as Bro. Skousen (SLC Police Chief, Teaching at BYU, etc.) But you can buy this new guy's books on his site too!! (Seems to be a common theme here I'll leave for now.)

Anyway, D had some great insights I wanted to share, so take it away D!
Many Utah Mormons, having a persecution complex to begin with even though it’s very unlikely any of them have ever been persecuted, are suckers for this kind of thing. There is a history of "prepping" in the church which is really unfortunate. Not in the prep and food and emergency planning which is good, but it’s been infused with religious zealotry. It’s difficult when you profess yourself to be a group preparing for the last-days not to go to extremes in this kind of thing. I’m just wondering what it is the "preppers" are hoping  to escape to? It’s really wacky stuff.

Being a Mormon it seems even wackier. Think about it - all the resources of a Mormon Ward and Stake that you leave on the table to escape an imaginary enemy! If it’s a natural disaster that worries you, why would you head for the hills when your neighbors and friends can be such a help, and you to them? If it’s the zombie apocalypse, again why head for the hills? You’re going to need to communicate and it’s not like they, whoever they are, won’t know you’re there and come looking for you with probably greater resources.
Plus from a religious standpoint you’re cutting yourself off from the religious community of Priesthood. We are not operating under a Patriarchal order but an order of quorums and councils. The keys aren’t spread out to individual families but to a single group. So you’re going to need those. Unless the church and Priesthood doesn’t mean much. This is probably not understood by the membership at large but it’s not as though you can just go around using your priesthood willy-nilly. You can’t just walk into a Ward and bless the sacrament or a even a baby for that matter. The Bishop holds the keys and must give permission and validate the ordinance - which after all is the purpose of a Bishop. So what’s the "prepper" to do about religious observance? Seems like an odd question, I know. My guess is that they don’t care as much about it as they pretend. What a world they envision for themselves.

The lie in this group is denying that the key to survival is group effort and community and division of labor - not heading to the wilderness alone with your trusty rifle. You don’t last long that way. I suppose it’s very American to think in those terms, but it’s really not supported by much evidence. I’m afraid the Book of Mormon gives plenty of reason for not wanting to strike out alone. The Nephites were constantly in trouble in the Wilderness and it’s apparent that none of them wanted to go - not even Nephi who, it may be remembered, had to ask for a special revelation to get him out there.
Thanks, D. And then this rather profound thought:
I would ask a Mormon conservative or Libertarian, if you get your way then what? Politics, as I’ve said before, at its best, can only drop you off at the doorstep of the Gospel and it leaves you there. It can promise nothing other than the ability to pursue happiness. It’s the same for science as far as that goes. It can make the journey easier or healthier and certainly more interesting, but it drops you off at the gospel. It can’t take that last step of promising something more. Science deals with this by pretending nothing else exists but what you can see. Politicians deal with it by conflating their religion with their politics.
Just for the record, I thought I would share photos of a portion of the food storage in my house which is regularly used and rotated. And we don't intend to haul it up to any bunker in the mountains.
Some of the cans from the cannery

Our couple-a-weeks supply of boxed cereal.
Our young, married kids frequently go shopping here

My wife's chocolate supply, generously shared with the ward in cookies, etc.,
seriously diminished because of a missionary farewell and a wedding. Hopefully, there will be a sale soon.

1 comment:

Comments are welcome. Feel free to disagree as many do. You can even be passionate (in moderation). Comments that contain offensive language, too many caps, conspiracy theories, gratuitous Mormon bashing, personal attacks on others who comment, or commercial solicitations- I send to spam. This is a troll-free zone. Charity always!