I’m not the conspiracy theory type. Nor am I one of those Internet crazies that spew things like parallels between aliens and little people.
I’m also not trying to say that the Mormon church is on any comparable level to the corrupt leaders in George Orwell’s book Nineteen-Eight-Four.
However, I have noticed some parallels between Mormonism and the dystopia of 1984.
I am going to quote from 1984 followed by some personal commentary.
1984 quote: “If all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
(Commentary: In the book 1984, the party/government changes the history books so they align with what they want the people to believe and what goes along with their current ideology. North Korea does the same thing. The LDS church uses a committee to write church publications about church history. The writing committee leaves out any truth in church history that could cause someone to lose their testimony or question the LDS church. By changing the history to a one-sided, biased view (instead of a balanced one that shows the true, complete picture) the church is in better control of their followers’ thoughts, beliefs and actions.)
1984 quote: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows. He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, whether he himself was a lunatic.”
(Commentary: In the book 1984 the party tries to convince the main character that two plus two is five or whatever number they chose it to be at the time, as well as other ideas that didn’t make logical sense. They wanted him to understand that logic and reason were not reliable and could change if they said it was changed. They said to look to the party for answers, not logic. This made him feel like he was going crazy. It is similar to the LDS church telling people not to rely on logic, but on church doctrine and feelings. They say illogical things like Joseph Smith was second to Christ in helping mankind when logically his character is very sketchy:
“Few Mormons today can grasp the polarizing charisma of their founding prophet. Some may feel uncomfortable when confronted with the full scope of Joseph Smith’s activities as youthful mystic, treasure-seeker, visionary, a loving husband who deceived his wife regarding about forty of his polygamous marriages, a man for whom friendship and loyalty meant everything but who provoked disaffection by ‘testing’ the loyalty of his devoted associates, an anti-Mason who became a Master Mason, church president who physically assaulted both Mormons and non-Mormons for insulting him, a devoted father who loved to care for his own children and those of others, temperance leader and social drinker, Bible revisionist and esoteric philosopher, city planner, pacifist and commander-in-chief, student of Hebrew and Egyptology, bank president, jail escapee, healer, land speculator, mayor, judge and fugitive from justice, guarantor of religious freedom but limiter of freedom of speech and press, preacher and street-wrestler, polygamist and advocate of women’s rights, husband of other men’s wives, a declared bankrupt who was the trustee-in-trust of church finances, political horse-trader, U.S. presidential candidate, abolitionist, theocratic king, inciter to riot, and unwilling martyr.”
The Mormon Hierarchy – Origins of Power (pp.261-262), Quinn
1984 quote (I have changed the word Party to LDS church leaders, so you can see the comparison): ..”the individual mind can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the [LDS church doctrine], which is… immortal. Whatever the [LDS church leaders], holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the [LDS church leaders/doctrine].
“How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder.”
1984 quote:“We convert (the heretic), we capture his inner mind, we reshape him… We bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul.”
(Commentary: In the book 1984, Newspeak was a book of new words invented by the government party. These new words went along with the new culture, so the people could become completely immersed in the party. The Mormon culture and language can seem very strange to new converts, but after awhile, they too can learn the lingo.)
“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of the Party (Ingsoc), but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”
(Commentary: The next quote provides a line of thought that goes on in many LDS members minds when they find out shocking things they didn’t know, or don’t like concerning LDS church history. It happens after trying to tell other members about what they have discovered and getting a very negative reaction. It happens when they decide to not believe what they just learned that shook their testimony, but to fully accept the LDS story.)
1984 quote: “He accepted everything. The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. How easy it all was! Only surrender, and everything else followed. It was like swimming against a current that swept you backwards however hard you struggled, and then suddenly deciding to turn round and go with the current instead of opposing it. Nothing had changed except your own attitude: the predestined thing happened in any case. He hardly knew why he had ever rebelled. Everything was easy, except! Anything could be true. What knowledge have we of anything, save through our own minds? All happenings are in the mind. Whatever happens in all minds, truly happens.”
(Commentary: The next quote is what happens when the LDS member decides that anything that he or she hears that is contrary to LDS beliefs is a fallacy and the thought is dangerous.)
1984 quote: “He had no difficulty in disposing of the fallacy, and he was in no danger of succumbing to it. He realized, nevertheless, that it ought never to have occurred to him. The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive.”
“He presented himself with propositions — ‘the Party says the earth is flat’, ‘the party says that ice is heavier than water’ — and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them. It was not easy. It needed great powers of reasoning and improvisation. The arithmetical problems raised, for instance, by such a statement as ‘two and two make five’ were beyond his intellectual grasp. It needed also a sort of athleticism of mind, an ability at one moment to make the most delicate use of logic and at the next to be unconscious of the crudest logical errors. Stupidity was as necessary as intelligence, and as difficult to attain.”
(Commentary: This type of mental gymnastics is brought about when reading the writings of LDS apologists.)
1984 quote (I have changed the word Big Brother and the party to Christ and the LDS church) [Christ] personifies the [LDS church], as the ubiquitous face constantly depicted in posters, thus, [Christ] is constantly watching. [The LDS church] demands the complete submission – mental, moral and physical – of the people. [The LDS church] is a masterfully complex system of psychological control that compels confession to imagined crimes and the forgetting of rebellious thought in order to love [Christ] and [the LDS church] over oneself. The purpose of [the LDS church] is… control.
The following is a review of the book 1984. I have changed the words in brackets from the Party. [The LDS church] posits that all knowledge rests in the collective mind of the [LDS church doctrines]; reality is what the [LDS church] says, the justification for its historical revisionism. With doublethink, the people believe what they otherwise know is false; in believing the revised (new) past, the new past is what was, hence “he who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past”. The Ministry of Love via brainwashing, and the Ministry of Truth with propaganda, ensure that perpetual loyalty to the [LDS church] is instilled in the mind of each [member]. The person exists only as part of the collective, hence, for the collective, nothing exists beyond the goodness of the [LDS church] and the wrongness of other [churches].