Catholics, Mormons, and Stephen Crane

My Organized Response to an LDS Missionary

Chapter 5 - All Religions are Corrupt

July 2001


A learned man came to me once.
He said, "I know the way, -- come."
And I was overjoyed at this.
Together we hastened.
Soon, too soon, were we
Where my eyes were useless,
And I knew not the ways of my feet.
I clung to the hand of my friend
But at last he cried, "I am lost."

Stephen Crane:Black Riders #20

Mormons as a group are taught to believe in temporal experiences to validate God's will. God speaks to each of them individually. They have been taught in detail what experiences will confirm their direct conversation with the Almighty. They witness their friends and role models delineate and report having had that experience. Amazingly enough, they themselves soon begin to experience it.

The proper word for the process that results in such an easily predictable experience is 'brainwashing'. But that word sounds so awfully harsh. It is a no less obvious example than the children that literally 'see' reindeer hoofprints on their snow covered house roofs Christmas morning. The reliance upon such experiences is properly called mysticism, which also sounds harsh. I personally feel that such mysticism is a downplayed part of much of Mormon life and ritual.

Did God send us a 'holy spirit'? The bible certainly tells us so. To profess otherwise would be to deny belief in the Trinity. Have you done much study on Trinitarians versus Unitarians? Most Mormons do not immerse themselves in the richness of other religious cultures except to dig for bits or threads, scraps of random theology, that can be used to persuade believers of that other culture to convert to the 'restored' and 'true' church. (But alas, I read a lot).

The Trinity was invented quite a time after Jesus and Peter were walking the earth (let alone Moses and Abraham). It resolved a theological conundrum and eventually became a 'creed' for mass hypnotic repetition. These kind of political activities pepper the written history of formal religious institutions. It is this layer upon layer of delineation and revision that have obscured and perverted the original pure message. This philosophical silt, like the buildup of dirty residue that dims the luster of old-master paintings, serves no purpose, but has come to seem in current days to be part of the very essence of the underlying ancient masterpiece. Such is the easily deluded nature of man, especially in matters of faith.

But Joseph Smith and his followers agree with my point. It was revealed that "All religions" in existence in the 1850's "are corrupt". But then they miss the point of the revelation. Was that a heaven sent check list (as he would have us believe) or a generally applicable revelation about the very nature of institutional corruption? How convenient for Smith to comprehend and proclaim this message literally but then ignore its essential underlying meaning, and then use this warning to self-justify the founding of his own new corruptable sect. Was the context of that message meant to restore and invent biblical and extra-biblical history and rituals or to simply remind mankind to wipe away the waxy buildup upon the masterpiece of His original divine message? Was God really conjuring up another 'chosen' mortal to speak his message?

And why, for heaven's sake, this one, and not the others proclaiming the same experience before or since?


Copyright, 2001, All rights reserved

Chapter 4 Return to Main Page Chapter 6

Introduction & Background


I'm Right and They're Wrong


Serene Futility


Under Duress


Damning Hypocrisy


Money in the Bank


Institutional Corruption


The Carrot and the Stick


God's Voice


Heaven Must Be Laughing


"All Religions are Corrupt"


God the Bouncer


Sealed with Chains


Unlock the Temple Doors

Catholic & Mormon Links Page

Originally Written: April 2001
First Upload: July 2001
Last Update: November 4, 2001