Sunday, March 19, 2006

Doublethink, cognitive dissonance and Mormonism

Here is a fairly good definition of what doublethink is. This definition of Doublethink also seems to fit the model of the Mormon Church.

I hope the following is a useful example of Mormon Doublethink: “I know that Joseph Smith was/a rapist/adulterer/child molester/panderer/ prophet of God/fraudster/liar/breaker of the Mormon word of Wisdom/thief/charlatan/megalomaniac/user of so-called black magic…”

You see that? Many Mormons know all the bad stuff about Joseph Smith, yet are prepared to put all of that to one side and to believe, at the same time, that he was, besides it all, a prophet of God.

Cognitive dissonance. Many people have said that Mormons suffer from cognitive dissonance. Some of the explanations of cognitive dissonance have ranged from “Well, YOU know! Cognitive dissonance! Duh! Do I have to explain EVERYTHING here?” (As in: “Wow! I wonder what it really means? Best not display my ignorance!”) And some detailed, erudite explanations as to what cognitive dissonance is, which border on the far-too-detailed!

I have found an explanation of cognitive dissonance that fits the Mormon model really rather well. It is by Scott Adams and was used in his Dilbert cartoon series to very effectively illustrate this rather detailed concept:

Now that really did help me understand how Mormons are trained to believe in stuff they surely must know is really untrue!

For a scientific definition take a look at

The Mormon church also uses lies in order to promote its own interests. Please look through my other posts on this blog (some are archived) for some examples of what I mean.

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