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LDS Church, Morons with billions of dollars

by Darwin Bedford 2012-09-21

Religious organizations comprise a self-serving industry. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), also known as the Mormon Church is a prime example of the money generating power of religion.

I visited the Mormons’ world headquarters in Salt Lake City this past week. The church now claims to have 14 million followers and employ 4,000 people. All members are supposed to tithe, or give 10 percent, of their income to the church. Their headquarters, also known as Temple Square, is a large block of prime downtown real estate positioned adjacent to City Creek Mall, a beautiful shopping area (also owned by the church). The mall serves as a lucrative feed of visitors to the temple grounds.

The church strongly influences the laws of the land. For instance, craft beer must contain less than 4% alcohol when poured from a tap. Luckily, I found a brewery where you can get great tasting 9.5% beer poured from bottles.

Some Americans visiting Vancouver expressed that if I were to travel the US with one of my anti-religious t-shirts that I would never make it past Salt Lake City without being shot. So I headed off to Utah to see for myself. The t-shirt that I wore is clearly a t-shirt that only an anti-theist would wear. On the front it says “Vancouver A Religion Free Zone”, and on the back it says “Religion endangers us all”. I receive more comments (mostly complements) on this shirt than any shirt that I have ever worn. I wandered around the temple grounds with it without being approached by anyone. I was treated like any other tourist and escorted to the top of two of the buildings. The first picture below was taken above their 21,000-seat meeting hall. The second was taken from the top of their office tower headquarters.  

standard waste bin sign with religious symbols being discarded view of LDS Church temple from top of office tower


Mormons regard the Christian Bible as the word of God, but have another holy scripture called the Book of Mormon. It talks about Jesus appearing to ancient peoples on the American continent. The founder of the religion, Joseph Smith, Jr., was a very intelligent scam artist. He basically dictated the Book of Mormon while placing rocks in his top hat and placing his face downward into the hat so it was dark for him, then pretending to read from the “golden plates” that he had found. I’m not making this up, you can read about the golden plates and how the religion got going on Wikipedia – click here. Apparently he lived in a very magic-oriented culture and he was employed as a “seer” that looked for valuables on the mountain sides by looking through a rock in his hat.

The Wikipedia entry for the golden plates reveals why the second “m” should be dropped--Mormons should be called morons, and Mormonism should be called Moronism. During the translation of the golden plates, Joseph Smith, Jr. was onto the fact that the believers would have to be morons in order to believe his story—he even named the main character of the story, Moroni (which I read as “moron am I”). Moroni was characterized as a prophet, historian, and military commander who lived in North America in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. He is identified as the same angel who presented the golden plates to Joseph Smith, Jr.

Once you accept something by faith, you have been had. The religion’s perpetrators can then build upon that and take you further from reality and extort your money and time for their own self gain. It is estimated that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings in some $7 billion annually in tithes and other donations. It owns about $35 billion worth of temples and meeting houses around the world, and controls farms, ranches, shopping malls and other commercial ventures worth many billions more.

L. Ron Hubbard, an American pulp fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology was quoted as saying …

"If you really want to make a lot of money, start your own religion."

I’m not sure whether L. Ron Hubbard had the LDS Church in mind when making the comment or his own Church of Scientology, but I’m sure that Joseph Smith, Jr. was experiencing the phenomenon first hand as he was creating the Book of Mormon.

The truth about Mormonism is all over the Internet so I’m predicting that it will die out in a generation or two. “LDS” even sounds like a disease and the Internet will work as a vaccination to the virus.

I tried creating a religion once and it is not easy. You have to be a very creative person, the likes of the J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. I think that one day I might hold a contest for the best new religion creation.



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