I recently read the book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. While the book itself is over-rated and not as good as I had hoped, there was a point made in the book that made me think of Mormonism. The author, John Perkins, talks about the “new army” of empires being substantially different from the old army. When empires wanted to expand prior to the industrial revolution (and even for about a century after the industrial revolution), they used traditional warfare – thousands and thousands of soldiers, equipped with the implements of war were sent to invade a territory, killing and terrorizing all to gain a little more land, some additional power, and greater contributions to the treasury of the empire.
While this method is still used on occasion today (okay, probably more than on occasion, but certainly less frequently than it used to be), Mr. Perkins argues that empires have a better army now: businesspeople. These individuals travel around the world in business suits negotiating and manipulating the citizens of developing countries with the interests of their multi-national companies in mind. Those multi-nationals (e.g., Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Wal-Mart, etc.) are, in themselves, empires of sorts. The great irony in this new trend is that, where traditional soldiers had a very specific aura about them (both awe and horror at what they stand for: semi-legitimated violence), the new soldiers are typically considered moral, ethical, benevolent, humane, and without reproach. These are upstanding individuals who have nice homes, wives, kids, and a vested interest in their local school and community. These are “good global citizens.” All the while they are, in some sense, enslaving the citizens of developing countries to increase the profits of multi-national corporations (and, typically, making millions for the corrupt leaders of developing countries in the process). They are almost as effective in their “military campaigns” as are the traditional armies.
What does this have to do with Mormonism? Think “missionary.”
Missionaries are no different than the new army of the multi-national, and by “no different,” I quite literally mean “no different.” They travel the world in business suits negotiating and manipulating the citizens of developing countries with the interests of their multi-national company – the LDS religion – in mind. The ultimate goal is to turn Mormonism into an empire, with holdings, power, control, and ever-increasing profit bases throughout the world. The great irony is also identical: Mormon missionaries are traditionally seen as the paragons of virtue – no smoking, drinking, rabble-rousing, carousing, or otherwise unethical behavior (all bullshit if you’ve ever served a mission, but the image is nice). Yet, these same, outwardly moral individuals, are actually the pawns in a much larger game. That game is called, “Making Gordon Fat and Happy.” The scariest part is that virtually no one involved in the religious empire building seems to realize it is taking place, unlike multi-national corporation empire building (think World Bank and G8 protests). The people who sign on to Mormonism drink the kool-aid and begin recruiting themselves. And the process continues.
Even though upwards of 70% of the converts leave within 5 years, they don’t generally leave because they realize the kool-aid is laced with cyanide; they leave because they don’t feel welcome, they are bored, or their interests change. Often, they end up becoming members of a different religious empire – Pentecostalism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Roman Catholicism.
Mormon missionaries are not paragons of virtues. They are mindless, outwardly moral, drones with a unitary focus: expanding the global empire of their evil overlords to bring more money into the coffers. If there was a list of the most immoral jobs in the world, and there should be, Mormon missionary would be in the top 10. #1 – Pope. #2 – Mormon prophet.