Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mormons don’t brainwash

No! It’s not true. Mormons do not brainwash. Mormons simply apply intense social pressure, repeated missionary visits, social isolation, peer pressure, geographic isolation, and guilt. That’s not brainwashing, that's just a conversion technique. It’s all good. Every religion does it.

Tell it to 14-year-old Shannon Cowan who had the whole conversion process leveled at her during a trip to Utah where she was visiting her half-sister.

Melita Carter was accused of attempting to convince her half-sister Shannon Cowan to stay with her in Utah following a holiday visit last summer, leading to fears in Ireland that she had been abducted by a religious cult.

Desperate for help, their mother Caroline called Ireland's national broadcaster RTE earlier this month to tell radio listeners that she feared for Shannon's safety.

Or it could just be a family fight. What would I do if my 14-year-old daughter did not return from a trip to another country? Answer – anything I could.

"The whole brainwashing thing is crazy," Carter said from her home in Provo, Utah. "I feel Caroline brought my religion into this because she knew people would listen to what she had to say. I feel like what happened between Caroline and I has nothing got to do with religion and that it should not have been brought up."

But then there is my direct experience with this issue where all of the things I mentioned were used, plus the promise of marriage if I would just leave home and move to northern California with the family of the Mormon girl I was dating. But things have changed in 30 years, right?

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