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Cognitive Dissidents: 007: Religious Schizophrenia

Today we talk about the religious mechanism of doublespeak.  The idea that a religious institution benefits from seeming holding multiple contradictory perspectives at the same time.  That by having multiple contradictory messages simultaneously you maintain deniable plausibility on the problematic nature of any one issue perspective.

Elder Christofferson’s talk that included Amish and Mormon Shunning


20 thoughts on “Cognitive Dissidents: 007: Religious Schizophrenia”

  1. I’ve been aware of this “doublespeak” for decades. Thanks for the podcast. Its nice to know others are seeing this as well.
    Another thing associated with dissident is “stonewalling”. The church does this using silence.
    Bill, you could get into all kinds of logical fallacies the LDS leaders use…that might be another podcast as well.

  2. It’s hard not to get upset at the church or anyone who engages in this practice. I suppose it’s impossible to avoid even within ourselves.

    Yet somehow the solution doesn’t seem to be to tell everyone, sorry guys Santa Clause isn’t real, just continue celebrating Christmas anyway.

    I suppose we are meant to figure this out ourselves, but does this mean we should automatically go out and spoil the fun for others. I suppose we should at least inform those who are no longer having fun.

    Just carry on, God will one day reveal all things… I guess I’m losing it, I feel more atheist every day now.

    1. I am sorry David, I wish our institution showed the vulnerability needed to work alongside it in relationship to move forward. maybe some day… and hopefully soon.

      1. Bill, I’m not sure this is something to feel sorry about or celebrated. It’s all a matter of how effective our lives are in the paradigms that we choose to live in.

        My life is overall slightly better by my new paradigms, even if parts of it wish for the magic, wonder, and glory of it all.

        I mean what better version of the after life can we hope for if not after the pattern that Mormonism purports to offer. I can think of nothing better than continuing onward into eternity in eternal progression and becoming even as god is.

        Every other version that doesn’t include having my own universe and dimension where I get to be in control and have dominion overall even if I may need to grant free will to my children seems unsatisfactory to me.

        But if all is for naught, then what would I want to make sure happens in the here and now before I go out with a bang?

        1. David, I feel your pain, personally as well. I think that zealots have created more agnostics and atheists than any other force – Christ’s Bullies (cognitive dissonance at it’s very best). Yet I see many jump from the frying pan of what they call a cult into the fire of force govt goodness, the True Kult. Try to think a little on that one without bending your brain.

          What is the real difference between a govt and a religious cult? The govt cults have damaged, abused, pillaged and killed more. there is such a danger is forcing goodness and truth to the point of blind obedience and not questioning. Key teachings of the real Jesus?

          I see people choosing all different paths once they find a little LDS truth and history which leads them to more, some of that history accurate and some “history” inaccurate.

          So far, I have managed to not toss baby Jesus out with the filthy stinky bathwater so many have baptized Him in. I find the real or historical Jesus to be a great guy, another “Great Master,” perhaps. My current finding show Him not quite what the zealots morphed Him into (same pattern for the LDS and all dogmatic religious or govt and secular cults.

          But do we have eyes to see and ears to hear what the real historical Jesus was really trying to tell us? Bible scholars have refined “His words and teachings” down and have a good idea of what he said and did not and what more likely happened and didn’t.

          Most of that is right in front of us in the Bible and we don’t dissect it and compare books and verses and authors and “authors” side by side enough to figure this out a better picture of how things morphed and which parts are most likely true. Turn to scholars, but not the ones with cognitive dissonance there either. There is good and bad in the Bible and BoM just like there is good and bad in the church. Is the bad too overpowering to stay? For some it is not, who push for change, reformation, as the BoM and bible illustrate a clear need for in all religion and govt.

          My views and paradigm are very different now than they were just a few years ago. I was that staunch obedient non questioning tithe payer for my golden ticket into heaven (Mormon 8:32-41)?

          How will my views and knowledge, “hidden treasures of knowledge” (which 4 bogus don’ts can no longer deliver at all in this day and age of thousands of growing toxic foods and medicines… D&C 89:4) change in years to come, if I stay open to always question and adjust what I know and don’t know of truth, as He and Moroni wisely counselled us?

          As for the BoM, whether made up, borrowed from other sources, it still has some gems of wisdom and truth (like… any true religion of God or Christ always corrupt, no exceptions, gotta have constant reformations, thus the law of common consent rather than bullied consent…), despite its errors and cognitive dissonance in other spots.

  3. David, maybe take a break from a podcast that once had great discussions on how we can lead with faith while tackling some of the difficult and some times puzzling issues within the church and instead spend some time doing something more positive.

    While Bill and others here are very bright and talented individuals, this podcast has become nothing more than tear down church leaders, left wing emotional politics; i.e. lgbtq issues and how oppressed and miserable we as members.

    While I still enjoy listening, it over all has taken a very different tone and one that is hard to always to take serious.

    Sorry to hear a seemingly once wonderful testimony has been dwindling.

    Good luck!

    1. Also there is a individual definition having to do with a mental illness but also a general definition which is = “(in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.” and based on that I feel I was using it correctly.

      1. True, not really schizophrenia, but truly cognitive dissonance to lesser or greater levels.

        This can sometimes in fact also be what I like to call “Prophet-itis,” often actual Schizo-Affective Disorder which can bring on delusions of grandeur, narcissism and contradictions in its prophet form, which is actually called hyper-religiosity.

        I know and have known many people who think or thought they were prophets, and they get a free pass, from God, on contradicting themselves and Jesus whom they speak for, as a true mental illness. Joseph Smith is suspected of having bipolar (or even Schizo-Affective Disorder where when you go manic you become delusional) and maybe one or two other prophets, with the rest having various mental disturbances, or none but just trying to fit in and further the good parts of “the work and the glory.”

        Having a close family member get tossed in the mental hospital for endangering another’s life in his “Prophet-itis” mode (think Abraham and Nephi as catalysts to this more common than realized problem…) shook me awake to the condition of some leaders and why some might “have a free pass from God” to create bedlam, because they are on a mission from God. They can often truly become Christ’s bullies, thieves, abusers and murderers – true cognitive dissonance in various diagnoses.

        Nephi killing Laban? There are enough alternate explanation for that, with holes in all of them too, to run Ewe in circles too, if that is what we really like.

  4. Too true, Bill.
    How many times have I heard staunch members and leaders proclaim, “The church has no contradictions or double standards in it!”
    “How dare you question the Word of God!?” (words of His leaders who are imperfect, shifting from leader to leader or just shifting in the winds from one sentence to the next or… but still can’t lead Ewe astray?)
    Yeah, we know these contradictions which Jesus warned of, which “don’t exist,” go on and on.

    “But this gives Ewe all of these choices (Agency, yeah, that’s the ticket!) for possible explanations, “the mysteries of God,” even the inconsistencies of the BoM (anachronisms, location discrepancies, DNA…) and the book of Abraham and the first vision and ……..” which we must not see or ask about.

    Yes, we do have plenty of those alternate and also troubled explanations, just enough versions to run Ewe in circles till you’re “satisfied” with the “answers” (loose interest and don’t dare question anymore for fear of being run in more dizzying circles…). There, “silly question/problem fixed!”

    Hey, when did Jesus do this, contradict Himself and run us in circles? Oh, wait, he did that “ONE” time when… Oh, those darned infallible Words of God in the bible contradicted each other from book to book and even authors contradicting their own writing and teachings of Jesus from one verse to another or in latter verses, even written by impostors claiming to be them, to get their “Words of God” accepted…

    There, Jesus contradicted Himself too, which is not contradiction at all! Or, did He? Ah, “… as far as it is Translated correctly!” Saved by the bell, again, whew! Thank goodness for contradictions “the Word of God!” How about, “as far as it is written correctly” in the first place?

    If the Bible and BoM are the Word of God and He wanted us to get His own non-twisted Words correctly, then why didn’t He provide the means for that? Oh, then it must be another “shit test” by a schizophrenic God whom leaders created in their own angry, narcissistic image?

    Yep, the Word of leaders speaking FOR God turns out to be the fallible words of leaders, again. But questioning them = questioning God, so, blasphemy! Annnnd, you will surely be crucified for that, or maybe just lovingly Burned at the Stake (Center) after a Court of Jesus’ Love? But, He’s hidden away somewhere, perhaps, so you’ll have to settle for a Dish of Pure Love from His imperfect disciples, practicing and changing their minds endlessly (Agency, you know), till they get it right. Surely not Saint’nism? Sounds a little to quaint, like the other brother’s plan, but contradictorily?

    But if we just follow the leader (and the doctor, and…) and don’t go astray, and don’t question, and give our “forced common consent,” we will all be rewarded anyway. This will of course be safe and we can ignore the fact that we have Jesus safely tucked away somewhere, perhaps in the trunk of our shiny corporate “Jesus mobile” where He must be kept nice and safe from… our blasphemy against His anointed ones.

    Enough said, yet, or is this the story or song that never ends?

    Wait, is this blasphemy? Or, is it following the actual Words and warnings of Jesus (eyes to see, ears to hear Him vs whited sepulchers, ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing, is that fine wool suits, by their fruits ye shall know them…) to question all words and commandments, question all men, question all leaders, especially prophets, who just might… lead us astray?

  5. What has this podcast turned into?. I used to really like it. Now it appears to just be a rehashing of the Tanners work or a 21st century advertisement for the Godmakers. We have the CES letter already too! Who has the time to revisit and go toe to toe on each of the same old issues that have been dealt with for years by the aplogetic world. And really? Why bring up issues that don’t even have salvific concern? This isn’t leading with faith. It first puts doubt as the fundamental template of how we approach our spiritual growth. We are talking about spiritual truths….aren’t we? Yea…yea…yea…a leader said this and contradicted that. Oh…the scriptures might be allegorical vs. historical?Welcome to the paradox called life and being adults. Also, that oppositional construct “compounded in one” is a tricky and complicated subject. Might want to study that a little before you preach on doublespeak.

    What is really confusing and disturbing is using selective audio snipets of Church leaders without full context. It is obviously meant to mock them and validate the narrative of the podcast. This type of strategy exposes the intent that the “facts” are only on one side and not to trust the other side. Isn’t this the exact same methodology that the Church is being excused of doing?

    Iif we are to give any of our attention to the psychological, spiritual and historical processes that drive our decisions within a personal framework of faith, we may be wise to heed to professional opinions on such matters. You know….folks that actually have academic credentials within the fields of science, theology, philosophy etc.. It’s easy to read from articles and quote this and that from some internet document and appear to have some quasi undrstanding of these things. Maybe bring on some guests that could authoritatively speak on these topics from both sides of the aisle. Kind of like Dan Witherspoon does.

    The bottom line, at least for myself, is that this podcast has lost its savor and is no longer helpful. I feel like it’s 1980 all over. Heard all of this before in just a different package and framework. Therefore, sadly, I bid this podcast farewell until we meet at the pleasing bar of God. Or I least hope there is one.

  6. I’m grateful for your efforts to bring truths of Christ, Bill.
    The only thing more offensive than lies… is truth.
    Stop documenting truth… said Jesus… Never!
    annnnd… we are supposed to not question, ask or see (eyes to see, ears to hear Him) that some of the emperors have been really quite butt naked while prancing and commanding proudly.

    I confess, you are right, Bill, with the truth that Jesus is the standard, not sacred, proud or right leaders.
    Humble right leaders don’t tell us “come follow Me!” Nephi 8:5-10
    That’s gotta be pretty offensive?
    The wicked take the truth to be hard?
    By their fruits ye shall know them.
    Jesus’ Bullies?

  7. Brother Reel, you are reelly becoming truly offensive to some, I see. 1 Nephi 16:2
    Do I feel or see the pitchforks and torches coming out?

    I see the self-righteous pharisees running to the “High Priest of the Year” reporting your blasphemy (truth and questioning) which is offensive. I see them hammering together a cross.

    “No religion soup fodr You!” – The Religion Not-See

    I see the self righteous priests of the apostate king plotting to burn you at the stake (center).
    This is a mere shadow of what is to become of them.
    Thus saith the lord!
    I prophecy these things in the name of cheese n rice, ramen.

    Wow! That was fun prophesying. Where’s my Rameumptom?
    That’s addicting when Ewe tremble and do what I say!
    Lets see… what else would God want for Ewe…?

    I testify that the BoM lives, repeating endlessly.

  8. Could you tell me where I can find the D Todd Christopherson talk? I tried searching in but wasn’t finding it. Could you perhaps post a link?


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