Sunday, September 7, 2014

Solely a Psychopathic Corporation

In the late 19th century the US supreme court was asked to apply the 14th Amendment to corporations and define them as individuals with all the same rights individual persons have. The court agreed. It was but a few decades later that the LDS church transitioned from a nominal corporation to a Corporation Sole. (See this for the official registry.  )

I detailed the LDS corporation sole in a very early blog including how it might end up dissolving. (See this blog.)

Under a common definition, a corporation sole consists of one person only, and the successors of that person in some particular station or office. (See this definition.)

The LDS corporation is treated not only like an individual under US law, but is actually literally an individual (as held by its office of President).

So, if the LDS corporation sole is legally and to some degree literally an individual with all the rights, issues and factors of other individuals, I wondered...

... Shouldn't the "individual" be tested for mental disorders, such as psychopathy?

I want to make it very clear-- First, I am not evaluating whether members of the church are psychopaths. Not at all.  The members are generally good-hearted, hard-working, loving people caught in a corporate sole that is, I opine, the opposite. Second, I realize psychologists would not like this, but I find it educational to consider something outside the box. While the LDS Corporation may not be a single mind (despite being a sole-owned corporation of the prophet), if legally it can be considered equivalent to an individual then it could be assessed as such for interest. I admit I am an amateur here, just stretching the analysis.

So how does the LDS Corporation Sole stack up?

One of the most accepted psychopathy checklists is the Hare list.(see the Hare list here. )

The primary list of Factor 1 on Hare's criteria is summarized as "Aggressive narcissism" and includes:

1- Glibness/superficial charm

2- Grandiose sense of self-worth
3- Pathological lying
4- Cunning/manipulative
5- Lack of remorse or guilt
6- Shallow affect (genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric)
7- Callousness; lack of empathy
8- Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

In my estimation, the LDS corporation rarely if ever issues an "apology" or admission of error, even lying/covering up to hide their issues (Hare factors 3,5 & 8).  Even when issuing an essay about how the LDS church practiced racism for over 130 years, well past the US civil rights acts, they couldn't take full responsibility.  Not once has the LDS Church issued a single apology to those they banned from their priesthood, saying instead that they don't precisely know why, how, or when this racism  began but they are glad it ended decades ago. 

When members approach LDS scholars with  their doubts, they are often chided for not having learned beyond the correlated lessons of structured church organizations.  They are told that had they done their homework, they would have known the answers to their doubts.  This blaming the doubter is turning into attacking the questioner, and is classic fulfillment of Hare factors 3 & 8.

If that arrogance isn't enough, they believe they are the one and only true organization from the supreme intelligence (Hare factors 1 & 2). Monson, their current sole-owner prophet, feels so elite that he decried "so-called science" to belittle evolution and cosmology which counters his "truth" of a literal creation. Russel M Nelson, heart surgeon and apostle, glibly said of the human body, '
some people erroneously think that these marvelous physical attributes happened by chance or resulted from a big bang somewhere. Ask yourself, “Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?” ' This is a strawman argument said from extreme pride to counter science.

They use tactics which are prototypical manipulations of individuals and of the public (one face for the media, another for members) (Hare factors 4 & 6).  Apostle Dallin Oaks, a former judge who understands the ethics of tampering with witnesses through manipulation, applies these very abusive practices in his general conference talks. (see * below for examples).  

The LDS Church hits the mark on Hare factors 6 & 7.  While they speak of empathy and charity, they give far less than even for-profit Target corporation to humanitarian aid.  Their words call for love, but their policies show no empathy.  They divide families against each other, and ensure through their temple requirements that worthy members denounce and do not associate with family who have doubts or have left the church.  They have used electroshock aversion therapies at BYU with gays.  In fact they brag that they expect, in the words of Joseph Smith, that as the one-and-only true church with the power to save others, the organization must "require the sacrifice of all things" from its members.  They will require tithing from impoverished members who can't afford to pay rent.  All while the corporation sole won't sacrifice profits behind billion-dollar malls, their Polynesian theme parks and the up-coming Philly 32-story condo highrise.

There is little to no correcting mechanism at LDS Inc that isn't completely outside the member's purvey. You can't vote, you can't have a union, you can't disagree. The leaders with that much power, love having that much power. It's all about power and control of people and money.

Factor 2 of Hare's criteria, includes:

  • Parasitic lifestyle (LDS church living off the member's donations and service)
  • Irresponsibility (not owning up to its behavior that ruins the lives of others)
  • Criminal versatility (well...perhaps one day we will have the evidence)

Summing up, LDS inc as a corporation individual would indeed classify positive under at least Factor 1 of the Hare list for psychopathy.

The LDS church skulking in 
the shadows of psychological abuse

* Dallin Oaks quotes showing psychological manipulation and abuse, include as some examples in one talk alone:
  • Insufficient Justification effect (psychological brainwashing) -- "We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them."
    • Stereotyping and judgementalism (i.e., atheist are insincere, unlike believers)  -- "Though some profess atheism, there are many who are open to additional truths about God. To these sincere seekers, we need to affirm the existence of God."
      • Ego identity bias and brainwashing -- "We should also strengthen our children by encouraging them to define themselves by their growing testimonies."
        • Encouraging victimhood over mere disagreement -- "When he was persecuted for telling people about his vision, he likened his circumstance to the Apostle Paul, who was ridiculed and reviled ... We live in a time when some misrepresent the beliefs of those they call Mormons and even revile us because of them."


        1. Now to only convince them that they need treatment and healing!

        2. That's only half the criteria. What about these?

          Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
          Parasitic lifestyle
          Lack of realistic, long-term goals
          Poor behavioral controls
          Early behavioral problems
          Juvenile delinquency
          Revocation of conditional release
          Criminal versatility
          Many short-term marital relationships
          Promiscuous sexual behavior