From back cover:
In 2012, Mormon General Authority Marlin K. Jensen acknowledged that members are leaving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “in droves.” Access to the internet is often credited and blamed for this mass exodus, where members learn about problematic doctrines and cover-ups of LDS history.
Many are happy as Mormons. And many are not. Those who leave, and those doubters who stay, face struggles that few others can understand. Much of this suffering is caused by manipulative and controlling techniques pervasive throughout LDS doctrines and culture. Understanding these techniques will help recovering Mormons overcome the effects of belonging to a high-demand group.
As a former Mormon, Luna Lindsey experienced this coercive persuasion firsthand. Recovering Agency presents years of research into social psychology and the science of cult dynamics, to describe 31 mind control techniques, alongside examples of their use in Mormon scripture, lessons, and from the pulpit.
Even if you have never been Mormon, chances are that coercive influence techniques have been used to manipulate you at some point. Turn the pages and learn the answers to longstanding questions about this unique American religion and about the human mind.
Table of Contents
PART 1: IN THE BEGINNING
IT STARTED IN A GARDEN . . .
Free Will vs. Determinism
The Illusion of Choice
WHAT IS MIND CONTROL?
What is a Cult?
Myths of Cults & Mind Control
ALL IS NOT WELL IN ZION
Is Mormonism A Danger To Society?
Why Should We Mourn Or Think Our Lot Is Hard?
Square Peg, Round Hole Syndrome
Guilt & Shame
Depression, Eating Disorders, & Suicide
Codependency & Passive-Aggressive Culture
DON’T JUST GET OVER IT – RECOVER!
Though hard to you this journey may appear . . .
Born Under the Covenant
We Then Are Free From Toil and Sorrow, Too . . .
Truth Is Eternal (And Verifiable)
Truth is Eternal (Depends on Who You Ask)
By Their Fruits
Unto Whom Much Is Given
PART 2: THE SCIENCE OF BELIEVING
EXPLOITED HUMAN TENDENCIES
COGNITIVE CONSONANCE/DISSONANCE THEORY
Dissonance in Mormon Life Five Fictional Case Studies
WHEN PROPHECY FAILS
BIASES, BEHAVIORS, & OTHER BOOGEYMEN
Seek and Ye Shall Find – Confirmation Bias
Six Compliance Practices
Commitment & Consistency
Obedience to Authority
PART 3: THOUGHT REFORM METHODS
THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
Breastplates, Shield, & Helmets of Faith
Put Your Self on the Shelf
Targeting Unstable Individuals
Born in the Covenant
Regaining the Self
SACRED SCIENCE: A CLOSED SYSTEM OF LOGIC
The Church Is Universally True (And Logical)
The Prophets Speak for God
Suppression of Dissent
An Open System of Logic
Wages of Sin and Miracles of Forgiveness
Word of Wisdom
Loops of Logic
Grounded in Reality
Outside Friends & Media
The Family Milieu
Strengthening Church Members Committee
Without Milieu Control
DEMAND FOR PURITY: PERPETUAL INADEQUACY
DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE
DOCTRINE OVER SELF
LOADING THE LANGUAGE
THOUGHT- TERMINATING CLICHES
BELIEF FOLLOWS BEHAVIOR
BLACK AND WHITE THINKING
INFLUENCE THROUGH IDENTIFICATION & EXAMPLE
EMOTION OVER INTELLECT
TRANCE INDUCTION & DISSOCIATIVE STATES
GUILT & SHAME
Understanding & Love
Unintended Consequences of Shame
The Shame of Sex
Loss of Individuality
BAIT, HOOK, LINE, & SINKER
FLEEING THE GARDEN
Cults & Mind Control
Official LDS Sources
LDS Exit Stories
Liberal Mormon Resources
Support and Communities for Former Mormons