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Radio Free Mormon: 177: Abuse of Power

RFM compares a personal experience he had in 1985 with the way Joseph Smith practiced plural marriage.  It’s hard to escape the fact Joseph abused his power.  Badly.


24 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 177: Abuse of Power”

  1. RFM, regarding the illusion of agency topic for a future episode, one aspect to consider (if you haven’t done so already) is the idea that the LDS church does not allow its members to be fully informed with respect to all the evidence that is relevant to the reliability of its leaders.

    The garden of Eden myth assumes that Adam and Eve gain knowledge of good and evil and then can decide with agency. Without knowledge, there is only the illusion of agency.

    However, fully-informed knowledge is the LAST thing that LDS church leaders intend church members to have. LDS church leaders provide the illusion of knowledge of church history or biblical interpretation, but not full knowledge.

    1. Excellent point. That’s how they do everything. The temple experience is the perfect cult initiation where one is pressured into covenanting by blood oath to things before it is known what they will be!….And even then, you leave that experience wondering what the hell just happened!

      1. This is a good point, too, Angie.

        Men in the church are typically aware of a similar thing referencing the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood in Section 84.

        There it says that if you receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and thereafter break the covenant it compels, and altogether turn therefrom, you shall not have forgiveness in this world or in the worlds to come.

        So it would maybe be a good idea just to not receive it, right?

        Nope. The next verse pronounces “woe” upon all who don’t receive it, either.

        This is another good example of the illusion of agency, I think.

        There is only one choice permitted. All other choices lead to woe.


        D&C 84:40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.

        41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.

        42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.

        1. Wow…I completely forgot about the ‘oath and covenant’ of the priesthood. Thank you for pointing out that significant fact. I wasn’t aware of the catch 22 there….bastards.

          I suppose however that someone with the second annointing wouldn’t suffer any such dyer consequence should they betray their oath.

          It’s all so ridiculous. You know, if you end up doing the topic of fake agency, you might ought to include the intertwined and ever present minefield of contradictions…it’s insane.

        2. I fail to see how telling someone that their actions will result in woes and sorrow is akin to taking away their freedom of choice.

    2. This is a really good point, and I appreciate your bringing it up, Ryan!

      I will definitely add this component to the discussion!

    3. The garden of Eden myth assumes agency long before the gaining of knowledge, even before the losing of knowledge and physical creation. God told Adam “nevertheless it is given unto you to choose” before he ate the entheogen that provided him with further light and knowledge. It’s occultic doctrine that claims Satan gave man true agency and freed him from slavery.

      The placing of a veil and temporary lack of knowledge is what truly allows agency, what truly allows an intelligence to express and manifest itsnature, whether it chooses to be evil or good, while consciously unaware of what it is gravitating towards.

  2. RFM, you state that William Davis, author of the new “Visions In A Seer Stone” book referenced in this episode, is not a Mormon.

    But that is inaccurate.

    As you can see in the introduction to the book (here:, Bill may be inactive, but he is very much a Mormon, and it was his upbringing that led him to write the book.

    He’s as Mormon as you are. 🙂

  3. If you want to understand how you can experience endless and eternal torment for the space of 3 days try DMT. It’s the chemical your mind releases during spontaneous spiritual experiences. There’s lots of evidence of BOM and early Mormon entheogen usage, and a Joseph had already experienced something similar at the time he translated Alma’s psychedelic vision. The BOM makes clear seers are shamen and Yahweh is “The God of Nature”

    Your analogy is a little off. Sarah Ann’s parents were proud lifelong polygamists, who were publicly accused of belonging to a secret wife swapping combination in the D&C, before Joseph was falsely accused and murdered. Sarah Ann was happy to become Heber C Kimball’s 10th wife and bear him 7 children, even though they were related and they knew it. She was at least as interested in marrying for “dynasty” reasons as Joseph supposedly was, if not far more so. She already had a husband closer to her own age whom she left to be with a man 4 years older than Joseph Smith who already had 10 children with his first wife, and 3 with his second. She embraced Brighamite whoredom wholeheartedly. I’m allowed to say that she’s my ancestor, it’s not victim blaming when she victimized multiple future generations.

    1. Sorry Heber had 7 children with his first wife Vilate, my other ancestor, at the time Sarah Ann choose to become his 10th wife. I can’t say much more or the SCMC will start doing my genealogy and find out who I am. 😉

        1. I won’t give up on my Brighamite brethren. Once a Brighamite always a Brighamite 🙂

          I don’t blame her for anything but her own actions, I believe in free agency. Women who choose to marry their relatives for access to stolen tithing funds aren’t worthy of our pretended sympathy. As an actual victim of child rape it’s hard to feel bad for those who chose to continue the cycle of abuse rather than stand up to powerful polygamist men like Emma Smith and her children. Spare me the crocodile tears for my evil great great great great grandma.

  4. Nephi warns,

    “8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
    9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.”

    Nephi says the idea that we will be beat with a few stripes is false and foolish.

    1. Assuming no contradictions in the Book of Mormon, it may be possible to harmonize the two lines of thought with Nephi talking about punishment beyond the grave and Alma referring to punishment in this lifetime.

      But D&C 19:6-12 is talking about punishment beyond the grave so it seems to conflict with Nephi.

      Good point!

      1. Unless you remember that the Book of Mormon is the record of a fallen people and was given to us as a warning. There’s false doctrines throughout. Without the spirit you’ll fall into the same nephite zoramite pride and nihilism

  5. Ryan duly noted:

    “LDS church leaders provide the illusion of knowledge of church history or biblical interpretation, but not full knowledge.”

    On occasion, as in the case of the “Essays,” they also offer an apparent, eagerly-awaited, candid admission of previously withheld knowledge, when in fact they merely are peeling away but one obfuscation among many, like one layer of an onion, if not simply fabricating and grafting on a new one altogether. In either case, it is but one more illusion, except that the new illusion fools even more souls than the previous one did (per intent, and design), while the horrific truth continue to lay carefully and cunningly concealed deeply beneath.

  6. The illusion of agency in the church is thoroughly addressed in its book titled “Free Agency and How to Enforce It.”

  7. My “faith shelf” crashed because of this general topic. I couldn’t understand how the church preached that “no influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood…” and then would justify slighting that directive with policy and edict.

    After decades of cognitive dissonance on this and other topics, enough was enough.

    I am amazed at how the LDS church looks to teach one thing, but then expects something different. Having an “informed” congregation is nice, but when push comes to shove, they don’t want the congregation thinking for themselves.

    This approach is not just wrong from several perspectives, its also “cunning”.

    Shame on them.

  8. R f m shame shame shame the point is that many of us born into the church and raised in its back flipping doctrines must resort to leader worship singing praise to the man in order to recognize that they are saving us from a very disturbed god who changes his mind and is stricken by manipulation fits i e the god of jobe in the Old Testament he is constantly moving the bar he is continually renin venting what it takes to be worthy of his attention. The celestial kingdom is filled with gods just exactly like him a sea of glass if you will . Where everyone has endless happiness and it takes spiritual eyes to tell each other apart have I confused you yet ? Well I owe everything I hold dear to my membership in this good old boy’s club but I just hope like hell that I don’t have to suffer an eternity on a sea of glass having endless associations with doctors and dentists constantly reminding us that god is just a bit unreasonable and any moment he’s going to send that dude with the flaming sword to remove us from his exalted presence sounds like fun and it only costs 10 percent of your life’s income to get all of this ? The flaming sword must be one hell of a gin su knife because the package deal obviously has one in it no wonder Lori was such a hard sell keep up the good work this spiritual heavy lifting will make you very fit for what is to come in the next chapter of Mormonism 101

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