I saw this rather interesting story at The Daily Beast today. It is an interview with Brigham Young's great great grand-daughter, who, at the age of 55, left the Mormon Church. Her decision was based primarily on the treatment of women within the Church. She has formed an Ex-mormon organization to help others with the transition out of the religion. She is now 71 years old and rarely gives interviews. She is not a Mormon-basher by any means. But she has a unique perspective, both on Mormonism in general and Mitt Romney in particular.
A few of her insights I found interesting:
“Mitt is a product not only of his wealth, but of an organization that gives men power when they are 12 years old,” she says. ...
As for what pundits say is Romney's difficulty connecting with people, Emmett blames it largely on what she calls “the entitled Mormon male syndrome, where the leadership professes compassion and concern but leaves the manifestations of that to the drones.”
Emmett says Romney was a bishop, “a position where everyone defers to you. What a bishop says goes. People come to them to receive blessings.” He then became a stake president, she says, which means he presided over several congregations, and at that point bishops deferred to him.
“Mitt has had people defer to him and not challenge him his entire life,” says Emmett. “In the Mormon church if you challenge your priesthood leaders it’s a very bad thing to do, especially for women. As the world can now see, Mitt has a very hard time with being questioned and criticized; he’s had so little of this in his life."
Emmett says she doesn’t think Romney has the ability to separate what leaders of the church want from what the country needs.
“Mitt has been groomed to become president from a very young age,” says Emmett.
Emmett says she thinks Romney’s biggest fault is that he has a “serious problem telling the truth. There is flip-flopping, which he has done more than any politician in modern history, and then there is out and out lying,” she says. “This kind of thing has sadly been a part of the church from the very beginning. Some modern apostles actually taught that it is not always the best thing to tell the truth if it interferes with preaching gospel.”
At a presentation on Lying for the Lord at the 2008 Exmormon Foundation conference, Ken Clark addressed the issue. Clark, who worked as a teacher for the LDS Church Education System (CES) for 27 years and also served as a bishop before leaving the church in 2003, tells The Daily Beast, “Lying has become an institutionalized method of administrative control with the churchMitt has been told from an early age that he has an entitlement to leadership, he has been fawned over and deferred to his whole life, and he does not like to be questioned. He is an abject liar. He believes in a hierarchy with men superior to women. He puts his personal religious views above what is best for the country. Not good qualities in a president.