is being reported and, as with Catholic priests abusing generations of children who grew up to finally go public with what they had suffered and how it had been cynically covered up by a patriarchal, authoritarian institution that considers itself above earthly government by mere humans, it’s being reported by former believers, loyal insiders.
They could not just up and go. For one, they said, the church had taken their passports. But even more important, they knew . . . they would be declared “suppressive persons” — antisocial enemies [who] . . . would lose the possibility of living for eternity.
. . .“You’re in fear,” Mr. Collbran said. “You’re so into it, it’s everything you know: your family, your eternity.”
Mike Rinder, who for more than 20 years was the church’s spokesman, said . . .”disconnection has become a way of controlling people” . . .
[But this is] no different from Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Amish who practice shunning or excommunication. “These are common religious tenets,” [the current spokesman] said.
“The very survival of a religion is contingent on its protecting itself.”
Just like the superpowered not-humanity of corporations and wild animals. Power corrupts and superpower corrupts superbly. At least this is some honest free speech from a church spokesman for once, putting institutional religion’s all-powerful overriding human-killing survival instinct out in the open where real people can see it and maybe talk about it.
See some powerful stories of how Church power turns against its own, starting with a married couple each raised in the Church, pledged for a billion years to its service, but now trying to get out and exercise free speech about their actual religious freedom. In America — you know, where such human rights are supposedly guaranteed to the people in the so-called Bill of Rights?
What will we choose to believe about who/what is being threatened in this story, and what we are prepared to do about it on behalf of our fellows and communities? Where is the greater good, the greater evil, the authentic freedoms and rights and traditions to be honored and/or reinstated, the fabricated truths and evil powers and human wrongs to be righted, as best we humans can manage it?