The Mormon religion is a fairly recent invention, so our feeling that this sect is particularly loopy arises merely from the fact that it’s less than 200 years old. It is actually not much loopier than say Islam or Christianity at all. But man, these guys do some creepy stuff.
There is for example the postmortem baptisms of random non-Mormons (there is an online database of those baptized people, but only cult members can get a login). Their genealogical records are exhaustive and accurate, so are their lists of members of the LDS church, complete with personal data.
And these personal data like addresses and phone numbers are now being used to draw support for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, according to this report :
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have begun leveraging their evangelizing networks through smartphone apps to help draw support for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. By employing specialized apps like LDS Tools to gather phone numbers and addresses of Mormon church members, political supporters can cross-check the contact info with voter registration data to contact other Romney backers.
Awesome. There’s the separation of church and state at work for you, I guess. The Mormons are also realizing that virtual doorknocking through social media beats the real doorknocking they are meant to be doing in its effectivity :
The Mormon church has also expanded traditional pavement-pounding evangelizing with a virtual experience, now reaching out to people more through social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, than in person.
Traditionally, Mormon church members are expected to spend one to two years of their lives going door-to-door spreading the Gospel. But Elder Erich Kopischke, the head of the Church’s European operation, told The Times that the Internet is proving more effective in getting converts.
“One post on Facebook could reach 900,000 people in an instant,” Kopischke says, arguing it would take many months, if not years, to knock on that many doors.
Good point, that. Now I’m even more glad I got rid of my Facebook. All that’s left on there seems to be religious and political proselytisers, churches, MRAs and advertisers.
My unease about Mitt Romney would at least be slightly relieved if he could come out and denounce the baptizing business, and reassure me that his actions as president would not be influenced by the LDS church, its elders or its dogma. But I’m not holding my breath.