I was following a discussion on twitter the other day. One of the individuals was an ex Mormon, the other was a faithful Latter-day Saint. The TBM (True Believing Member), was asking the ex Mormon why he feels the need to attack Mormonism. The member stated that the church does so much good in the world, and in member's lives, then why would someone want to tear down such an organization? I would like to address that question. I must state I'm allowing myself a little latitude, since this is my blog.
Reason #1: Polygamy, and all it entails. Although the modern Mormon church distances itself from polygamy, the Mormon church is the reason we have polygamy today. I must admit I'm not from a polygamist family, but I understand the detrimental effects of this lifestyle. It can create an environment of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. The effects from this misogynistic religion are felt for generations. All one has to do is read Jon Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven: a story of violent faith, to get an understanding of the problems created by polygamy. Although, the church doesn't practice physical polygamy, it still practices spiritual polygamy (D&C 132) The Mormon church must own up to the mess it created and take responsibility for the effects of these fundamental religious sects.
Reason #2: The high rate of fraud in the state of Utah. To be fair Utah is about 60% Mormon, so we must include non Mormons in this assessment. According to the FBI Salt Lake is one of the top 5 hot spots for financial fraud in the US (Tribune Jan. 21, 2012). Salt Lake is a small urban area but the fraud rate is similar to larger urban areas. The religious environment present, fosters a trust of fellow believers which can lead to fraud. Now this is my own conjecture, but the blind obedience taught in the Mormon church, allows for religious leaders to take advantage of rank and file members.
Reason #3: The high rate of antidepressant use in Utah. In 2002, the LA Times ran a piece on the use of antidepressants in the state of Utah. It found that prescriptions for the drugs were prescribed at twice the national average.
Dr. Curtis Canning, President of the Utah Psychiatric Assoc., stated while they don't know the underlying cause, he did offer this, "In Mormondom, there is a social expectation--particularly among the females--to put on a mask, say 'Yes' to everything that comes at her and hide misery and pain. I call it the 'Mother of Zion' syndrome. You are suppose to be perfect because Mrs. Smith across the street can do it and she has three more kids than you and her hair is always in place. I think the cultural issue is very real. There is an expectation that you should be happy, and if you're not happy you're failing".
This is very telling and echos what I have seen in Mormon women.
Reason# 4: Utah is in the top ten for suicides in the United States, and fifth for youth suicides (age 10-17) KSL reported in 2013. No reason was given in the report, but one has to wonder if there is a religious cause. This is another disturbing finding considering that Mormon leaders profess that members are generally a happy people and that by only following their counsel can men/women truly be happy.
Reason #5 Utah is number 1 in online porn subscriptions. This was reported in both the Deseret News and the Tribune. I'm not stating that porn is good or bad, only that members claim they are happy and love to follow the church's teachings. Many members condemn those who wear tank tops or shorter shorts while happily consuming their "hobbies" on a computer. One interesting point from a study in the Sex and Marital Therapy journal, from June 2014, is the link between narcissism and online porn use. That is an fascinating connection, especially in Mormon men.
Reason #6 Salt Lake was voted the "vainest city in America" in Forbes magazine in 2007. This was based on the number of plastic surgeons per capita. Realself.com reported that Salt Lake is number 1 in the country for breast augmentation interest in 2011. So either the women are researching the procedure or these numbers are being counted in the online porn consumption.
I find it telling that people in Utah are not happy. From antidepressants to plastic surgery, bankruptcies to abuse, people are struggling here. I haven't even touched on domestic and sexual abuse, interactions with the LGBT community, bankruptcy rate, education statistics, poverty level, etc..
I feel that Mormonism creates a false sense of happiness. People are not happy in the church, look at the statistics. The members are either worn out, have no self worth or are craving a fulfilling spiritual experience. To me, the Mormon church takes and takes and never gives anything back.