Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Live in a Theocracy; It's Called Utah

Utah has never been anything but a theocracy. It began as a theocracy and has, despite joining the Union, never really changed it's ways. Once in a great great while we elect a Democrat to Congress but unless they toe the Church line they don't last long. And there are a few Mormon Democrats, or so I've heard. Here, in the only liberal bastion in the state, Salt Lake City, we now and then elect a Democratic Mayor, or even the rare Governor. But it doesn't really matter all that much since the Mormon Church owns the State. In my neighborhood we non-Mormons have a majority, but that doesn't matter much given that I live in the most liberal enclave in the city, and it's tiny. I rarely travel outside my neighborhood if I can help it.

In any business in Utah that has a TV in a corner to entertain and inform those having to wait, and so need entertaining, Fox News or the local Fox affiliate is on and woe to the pushy broad who wants it changed. The only good thing about my recent hospital stay was I had control of the remote and MSNBC had not been blocked. For years the one cable channel that's broadcast at a volume so low only teenagers can hear it and they don't give a shit, was MSNBC. It's better now, but still not as clear or loud as Fox.

Mormons are told how to vote, what to think, what to believe, who to donate to, what to wear, right down to the magic underwear. The Mormon Church is homophobic in the extreme and racist to it's very deep dark secret core.  Shit, blacks weren't even allowed inside the Ward Houses (Mormon for the churches every few blocks or so) and then the light went on.  Black people make up a very large tithing opportunity missed and the Grand poobah had a "revelation from God" saying "Now's the time to rake in those dollars, so go ye missionary men to Africa and bring back the converts, for now we see the error of our past marketing plan."  And God must have also said something alone the lines of "But the Gays?  Not so much."  The rich white men who make up the leadership of the Mormon Church are called The Quorum of the Twelve.  It's a multi layer marketing plan and policy making organization.  And as a result of the monetary focus of the official church policy, Utah is the scam capital of the Nation.  The dollar is almighty god here.  And any business person moving into Utah will be smart to join the club. But remember ladies, it's an old boys club.  Women have their place, but it isn't as leader of the church, the family, or business.  It's a patriarchal institution.  But then aren't they all?

The Mormon Church was originally organized as a commune or a little Communist State complete with communal farms and distribution points.  One of Salt Lakes most successful retail outlets was ZCMI or Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution.  The Mormon version of a Church is a Ward house which is the small neighborhood version of a Stake House and next up is the Temple in every town and country.  The Mormon Church has it's own institution of higher learning called Brigham Young University, and it has a very strict dress code within it's code of conduct. Mormon kids are supposed to always look like those clean-cut Mormon boys who go on their obligatory missions just out of high school.  It's what they do instead of Military Service.  And the Mormon Church doesn't pay their way. Their families do.  It's a win/win for the Church. Ship the boys off when they're horniest, to parts far far away where they live with other boys just like themselves, and then when they make converts, those converts will be tithers for the greater good.  But while you're on that mission, boys, don't turn gay. It's an unforgivable sin here in Zion.  Yes, they do call it Zion.

Every voting district in Utah is just a collection/collective of Wards and Stake Houses.  Most polling places are located in Wards.  There is tremendous pressure on Mormons to vote with the Church.  Independent thinking is seen as rebellious and deviant.  It's a threat to the common good.  Every high school has a "seminary" across the street where Mormon doctrine is taught to the future worker bees.  The State Seal is a Beehive.

I know way too much about the Mormon Chruch's strange customs and bizarre history.  I have a girlfriend who was raised in a polygamus family right here in Salt Lake.  They are everywhere and living in plain sight.  The Mormon Church does not want them prosecuated and unless they do something really outrageous like kidnapping little girls and marrying them off to nasty old men they get a pass.  And one last irony:  Alcohol is prohibited in the Mormon Church yet Utah has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the country.  Welcome to my world.


Fran said...

The more I hear about Mormon history, the less I like it. Pretty damned extreme, and the teen boys, kind of kicked out (the lost boys).

Glad you are there to ruffle some feathers!
Bringing the blue to the red state.

Princess Beth of Palm Springs said...

Great essay on the Morman church. Your writing is superior, as usual. Write soon about the Koch family. My best friend is an ex-Morman. I have been told that Jello is the favorite dessert of the Morman people. LIME! And boy do those People like to sing! Keep your sanity in the valley of the Prophet! I need to get me some Super Special Morman UNDERWEAR! From corvetteBeth on twitter.

Nan said...

Mormons are going to end up taking over the planet because the religion is so incredibly adaptable. All it takes is for whoever is head of the church at the time to have a revelation, and doctrine can change in a heartbeat. The only problem is that the Prophet/President is always some geezer who's still living in the previous century, so they're always running quite a few decades behind the rest of us.

It's not just alcohol that they're hypocrites about. I remember seeing a report on the news back in the '90s about some county in Utah having one of the highest rates of pay-on-demand porn viewing in the country. That was before the internet had started to dominate adult entertainment. I have no doubt Mormon men are now some of the world's most skilled one-handed typists.

Kulkuri said...

When I was driving truck, I talked with a driver who drove out of Salt Lake. He was telling me about his loads, he would haul stuff like potatoes out of Salt Lake and haul Budweiser back. Something else out and Miller back etc.... All of his back hauls were beer.

Utah Savage said...

Well I see you all know a thing or two about the LDS yourselves.

Princess, the Mormons may hate me for writing this, but they're not likely to put a hit out on me for saying it.
David Koch wouldnt' think twice about it. I have lots of dirt on David Koch, but I'm afraid to use it.
When you get a look at their magic underwear I doubt you'll want to wear it. Jello is salad here, Ice Cream is the favorite desert to go with the baked goods. Mormons are fat.

Fran, Mormon history is the history of a very weird but successful cult.

Nan Hypocrisy is a county in Utah as well as a constant state of mind. They're like Catholics without the safety valve of Confession.

Kulkuri, Beer, Porn and a serving of pedophilia on the side. Its the mormon way. Top it all of with a serving of intolerance for others and you have Utah.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I'm wondering why you would choose to live in such a spiritually constricted, morally backward community of servitude to the $? Your mind travels along such different roadways... into a very different lifestyle (what I gather from reading your posts)...
I've been to SLC. I was fascinated with the geometry of the Church ... the feng shui of it. A nine pointed star. It is purposely constricted there. Very city clean. Smiles that do not find what is sublime in what surrounds but in something 'unseen' ... which is unusual.. but as someone who ventures towards the 'unseen' worlds I am familiar with how following the 'unseen' is so very manipulative of the masses... and you
are not 'of the masses' and so I wonder...
what keeps you in Utah?

mountain.mama said...

Growing up on the East coast, the only thing I knew about Mormons was that they had a choir. Then 30+ years ago I moved to SE Idaho and Holy Shit was I surprised! The LDS church is a socio-economic political power? Who knew?

When my husband suggested 20 years ago that we move to Utah from North Dakota by way of New Mexico, I cried, "But it's Utah!" Actually, now I love where I live because it's on 20 acres outside of Vernal in the middle of no where, but occasionally I ask myself what the hell am I doing here.

And I have to say in defense of some of my good friends that not all Mormons are crazy hypocrites. But wow, sometimes, I'm like, really?

Utah Savage said...

Gwendolyn, the only thing that keeps me here is a house. I inherited my family home when everyone else died. It's in a good neighborhood and I well tolerated even my Mormon neighbors. I have mental health problems, but the care I get here is so good I'm afraid to leave my shrink and therapist. My doctors love me because I'm not like all their lobotomized patients. This is how Mormon women seem to me-lobotomized. I actually did toy with the idea of moving to Canada, and then my half million dollar home lost half its value when real estate tanked. I figured I'd never find what I have here on my little compound where only the nice mormons get to visit. If I ever publish a book that makes money, I'm gone baby gone. Oh Canada, here I come.

Mountain Moma, Sounds like you have found the right place to live in Zion. Congratulations!

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I can respect that kind of security. For very sure. Days pile up and age asks us... how you going to do it? At least I can see that light up ahead. Ta for the comeback.

La Belette Rouge said...

They so need to make you a character on Big Love!! That would be awesome. You could scare Bill and teach Barb to be an independent woman.

Madam Z said...

I'm an atheist, so to me most religions are pretty goofy. But I have to agree with you that some of the Mormon beliefs and practices make even Catholicism look almost rational!

Utah Savage said...

Madame Z I find all religious pretty foolish, but the Mormon's do indeed take the Jello Salad and then the cake with half a pound of ice cream.

Judy Weir said...

I stayed in Orem two years ago, passing through with a U-Haul. We barely got a motel room because it was graduation day at BYU. All the women looked vacant, the men neutered. And I thought all the Mormon movie billboards were creepy.

Liberality said...

that is some fucked up shit!

Utah Savage said...

Lib, I believe the Mormon Church is every bit as corrupt and greedy as the Catholic Church. Utah is it's Vatican only the Mormons call it Zion.

It's really good to see you here.

red mittens said...

Great take on the state of Utah. Say that ten times fast! I also live here and like you, can't stand it for the most part. Let me know when you're packing up for Canada. I might join you!
It's very hard being a liberal in this state. I could go on and on, but you nailed it in your essay. Thanks for writing it.

Utah Savage said...

Red, Where in this gawd awful state do you live?

Teeluck said...

Wow, that's heavy...chin up my friend, I have a feeling that with a Black President, things will get a lot worse before it gets better. We Dems must stick together though.

D.K. Raed said...

well you know I agree with everything you said! Fox TV blaring in the bank, in the post office, in the pharmacy ... and how about those Books of Mormon in the doctor's lobby?

when the poltical caucuses are happening, they only post the republican locations. if you're a dem (and we do have a dem congressman, yeah, who voted NO on HCR), you are SOOL.

Utah Savage said...

DK, good to see you. I know you know its true. I swear people think I make this shit up. I've only scratched the surface.

Fran Langum / Blue Gal said...

I linked this at the blogswarm site. Thanks for writing it!!! xo

Farnsworth68 said...

I'm a fellow Blog Against Theocracy participant who has also posted extensively on the weirdness that is Mormonism.
Keep up the good work!
--Farnsworth the F Man

The Blog Fodder said...

Finally got the nerve to follow you home from MRMcCrum's Lost in the Bozone. What a strange state you live in.

Welcome to Canada when you make the break. Vancouver Island or if you are unable to completely shake the masochistic streak of living in Utah, good old Saskatchewan - people good, climate less so.

Gindy said...

Reading your essay is like reliving a 4 year nightmare. Aside what the Mormons do to adult gentiles (unbelievers) they are 100 times worse when it comes to their children. My daughter was only one of three non Mormon kids in a class of over 30. The things those hell spawn did to her by way of mental and physical torture would curl your hair. I went to school with her every day for two years to protect her from them. They got away with it until a gang of males tried to pull her pants down at recess. She was in first grade. Another Mormon boy came to her rescue and stopped them, may he be successful and prosperous forever. I called all the way up to the bishop of the ward to complain about this behavior. Not a damned thing was done to the future sex abusers.

As a defense against their religion, both my husband and daughter attended the Methodist church in Sandy, the hell hole where we lived. I refused to go to any church, being an atheist, and let every one know what I was about. Our small cul de sac was an enclave of 4 non Mormon houses in a sea of bigotry and stupidity.

The doctor I visited in Alta told me that Utah has the highest per capita consumption of mood enhancers like Xanax and most of them are taken by women. Women who are nothing once their children leave the home. The men are still thought of as productive, but the barren old women are shit. They need those drugs to get through the days and nights of knowing their worth has been dramatically diminished in the eyes of their husbands and church.

Several good books (order them online as the libraries in Utah will not have them, they are stolen and not replaced) are:
No Man Knows My History by Fawn Brody
One Nation Under Gods by Richard Abanes
Secret Ceremonies by Deborah Laake
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakaue

Utah Savage said...

Bluegal, thank you!

Judy, It's a creep place.

Teeluck, Nice to see you here. It's a strange place, but someone needs to stay here to give them shit as often as possible.

Farnsworth, thanks for dropping by. I hope you keep coming back.

Blog Fodder, It takes never to visit me? I'm just a sweet old lady with a very big mouth. Please keep coming back. Love your comment.

So hows the weather in Calgary? Maybe I could afford to move there.

Gindy, I'm so sorry about your daughter. When I was growing up here, I was the only non-Mormon in my neighborhood. There was a Catholic girl in my grade, so the two of us hung out together at school. Once on my way home from school, (2nd or 3rd grade) a group of older boys attacked me and beat the crap out of me. I remember it vividly. I also remember how I felt never being invited to the birthday parties of the kids in my neighborhood. It's a tough place for non-Mormon kids.

Utah Savage said...

All this interest in this peice makes me realize I need to write more on what it's like living in Zion, especially for children.

Sue said...

I came by from Truth 101 and lo and behold a Mormon piece, Love it!! I was called hideous names when I did a Mormon post and called them a cult. I have a long running feud with a few self righteous Mormon bloggers so I HAD to do a small post but ended up getting 88 comments, so far! Yours is a great essay, I enjoyed it and look, you got no mean comments! lol

Be well Utah Savage