And I John saw the holy city, new
coming down from God out of heaven,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
. . .
And I saw no temple therein.
Book of Revelation
It has not been easy to tell the truth about the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to conduct a controlled extraction of the teeth
of this cunning dragon. The Ku Klux Klan, by comparison, is a model of sincerity. Under
the pretense of "bearing a message from Jesus Christ," Mormon missionaries seek
to lure the unwary into an oath-bound organization from which there is no escape except on
terror of death. At least an initiate into the Ku Klux Klan understands the nature of the
institution he is joining. A Mormon convert, however, as he prepares for his momentous and
soul-stirring first trip to the Temple, is told that he will enter an atmosphere of
"simplicity, dignity and quiet . . . there to ponder quietly the eternal things of
God." "There is a feeling of timelessness and peace found there that exists
nowhere else," writes BYU Stake President and Professor of Physics J. Duane Dudley.
"The only way to prepare for the temple," he continues, "is to prepare your
spiritual self. You should go to the temple in a spiritual frame of mind and be ready to
learn spiritually." There is little in such language to prepare the novice for
irrevocable membership in a secret society sealed by blood oaths. The fact that so few
have publicly revealed the truth about Mormonism is an indication of the effectiveness of
the terror instilled in the Endowment rooms. So sinuous and seductive is the preparation
for this experience that the initiate is baffled, embarrassed and terrified to admit that
he has been taken in and played for a sucker. (He also may be too busy adjusting to the
discomfort of wearing his Mormon underwear continuously to think about much else.) If he
wavers or quavers, his priesthood leaders will hover over him. "He is having trouble
with his testimony," they will say and spend time "prayerfully"
re-educating the weakling and carefully exclude him from any position of responsibility in
An indication that other first-time endowees have been
surprised and stunned by the experience may be seen in the carefully chosen remarks of
Elder W. Grant Bangerter at the April, 1982 General Conference. "Having the privilege
of working each day in the administration of the temples," said Elder Bangerter,
swinging easily into temple-ese, "I am constantly impressed with the richness, the
holiness, and the glory of the blessings administered there." And now the point:
"Questions come to us about the ordinances performed in the temple." (What a
world of anguish lies behind his affected innocence!) "We, of course, are not
permitted," explains the faithful servant of God, "to discuss them outside the
temple, because of their sacred nature." Apparently some members had complained at
the sharp contradiction between what happens in the Endowment rooms and what they are led
to expect. "Others press for a preparatory orientation so that those who enter the
temple will not be confused." No chance, says Elder Bangerter that we will give the
dupes a break. "I want to emphasize that the preparation to enter the temple lies in
the gospel. Nothing is said or done in the temple which does not have its foundation in
The truth is that not until one is in the Endowment Room of
the temple, the doors closed and guarded, the spotters vigilantly watching every gesture,
does the truth of total "consecration" on penalty of death come out. There is no
aisle in the Endowment Room should one decide to run out; he would have to clamber over
the bodies of the other experienced ritual throat-slitters, dodge past the spotters, and
then race out of the building before anyone could react fast enough to stop him. Whether
or not it would be more or less difficult to hitch a ride on the Capitol Beltway dressed
in Temple robes is difficult to say. One would be considered either a lunatic and
studiously ignored or a herald of the Second Coming and graciously assisted.
One Mormon publication describes an attempt to convert Hopi
Indians to Mormonism:
There are many Hopi beliefs that are close to LDS beliefs.
. . . One of them told me: "I cannot join your church. I know it's true; I believe
what it teaches, but I can't join it." I asked him to explain why. . . . "When
we joined the Hopi religion, we made an oath that we would never depart from this
"What would happen to you if you departed from
"Well, our lives would be taken."
He then made a motion of slitting his throat.
Hartman and Connie Rector, No More Strangers,
(Bookcraft, 1971). In Mexico, there is a similar sect called the Pachuco's. "The only
way you get out," I was told, "is in a pine box. It's not like the Mafia where
they shoot you behind the ear: instead an accident takes place."
For a cult comparable to Mormonism within Anglo-Saxon
culture, one need look no further than the organization that administers the following
oath and penalty - and also dresses in white for its ceremonies:
I, in the presence of Almighty God, do solemnly swear that
I will never reveal to anyone not a member of the Order any of the Secrets, signs,
passwords or mysteries of the Order. So help me God.
"Any member who shall reveal or betray the secrets of
this Order," writes W.B. Romine in The Story of the Original Ku Klux Klan,
"shall suffer the extreme penalty of the law."
The purpose of the endowment is to bind the soul of the
victim irreversibly to the Mormon Church. The endowment is really a wedding ceremony, the
wedding of the unsuspecting member to the hideous monster MORMO. There is no divorce from
MORMO; for the disaffected there is only death. Today, unlike the muscular days of his
youth, the monster is flabby and content with his national, indeed global success, and
does not mind if a lot of his brides drift away. Few, however, dare tell the world about
him and reveal the awfulness of their wedding vows. I will let you go in peace,
says MORMO, but woe unto him that tells my secrets. The endowment is actually the wedding
supper of the devil; the main course is the soul of the bride. As one couple said in the
August, 1974 Ensign: "Every time we return [to the temple], we are reminded of the
covenants we have made, and this is the strongest motivation for us to continue the gospel
way of life." The Church has established canneries around the country to fill its
welfare storehouses. In a fictional representation of Mormon life in the nineteenth
century, Gertrude Keene Major presents the following dialogue between two women working in
one of these canneries:
LILA: Are you married?
HILDA: Yes, I've been canned in the temple.
LILA: Canned? You mean sealed.
HILDA: It's the same, sometimes the boss says seal the
tomatoes, and sometimes he says can them.
LILA: It is just the same. It means that you can't get out.
Mormonism is an institution built on manipulation and
intimidation. Joseph Smith is its Lenin; Sidney Rigdon its Trotsky; Brigham Young its
Stalin and Spencer W. Kimball an aging Brezhnev. The power that founded it is evil, and
the power that sustains it is death and the threat of death.
It is the kingdom of hell and all who belong to it,
despite its holy face, in the quiet of their captive souls instinctively know its
hideousness. They just cannot see through it, and, therefore remain bound by its cunning.
And then there are the few who love the thrill of power it provides, and would no more
live without the fantasy than would a chain smoker without his cigarettes. Besides, who
wants to admit that he has invested the best years of his life and his public reputation
in an institution that can't pay off. It is a long drop for the soul from the celestial
clouds of Mormon heaven to the concrete pavement of "they suckered me" reality
especially if one has raised a large family of children who, by dint of great
effort, accepted the fantasy and initiated their children into it as well. Even more
tragic or farcical is the situation of one who has named children after Book
of Mormon heroes or married an Indian bride or husband because the Book of Mormon predicts
a great future for them.
The unseen torture inflicted on the souls of thousands of
victims of Mormonism who abhor its spirit but cannot psychologically free themselves from
its power, the strange and anguished behavior that they exhibit in their inarticulate
attempts to extricate themselves from bondage to the temple oaths, can only be adequately
depicted by a Solzhenitsyn or an Orwell. If this book helps break the chains off the soul
of one person who is suffocating in a Mormon life he despises but cannot fathom if
it leads one captive to freedom then, gentlemen of the priesthood, my throat, my
breast, and my bowels are yours.