"What was that?"
"That was your life mate."
"That was quick. Do I get another?
"Sorry mate, that's your lot."
It'll be Christmas soon. Yay.
Anyway. This thing was about Mormons. Specifically about the Mormon missionaries. It was fascinatingly awful. Like watching the longest, slowest, most depressing car crash you've ever seen, over and over. It followed a lad being indoctrinated into the Missionary thing they do.
If you didn't know the story behind those freaky weirdos who try and barge their way into your home to talk shit about some made up shit, this is it in a small nutshell. Some guy in around 1840 decided that he wanted to become powerful and rich. So, as L Ron Hubbard was to say over a hundred years later, the best way to do that is start a religion.
So he did. This dude told everyone that he found these words written on GOLD PLATES in a language that was UNKNOWN and that an ANGEL came down and told him that these were the actual word of God that had been buried in NEW YORK under a hill after Christ had risen. Oh and Jesus visited the US of A after his resurrection. He was probably Jonesing for a massive serving of some kind of lardy burger and some fries, I'd imagine. Or maybe he wanted to go and watch some baseball.
So this guy just came out of nowhere and spouted all of this gobshite which, coincidentally put him in charge of, like everything. He got to tell people that sex was bad and that gays are bad and that booze is bad and that coffee is bad and, basically, the only way to ensure the salvation of your soul is to do everything he says and let him marry your wife.
And they lapped it up. For reasons unknown people turned this douchebag into the leader of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. They had to move around America because people kept saying: "Er, nah, you're mental mate," until they settled in Ohio or somewhere like that. And then he got killed because he was clearly a mentaller but, as is always the way, another mentaller took over quick smart.
A few generations later and the Mormons are hugely wealthy as an organisation. Not that you can find out for sure, because they won't disclose their financial operations, much like the Church of Scientology. It could also be something to do with the fact that they basically rob their members, who have to pay extortionate amounts of money in order to stay in the church.
Which they do. Even in the UK. The boy at the centre of the documentary was one of six children who had been brought up as Mormons. At first it all looked kind of nice, they all went to church a lot and all the kids played with each other and, although weird and restricted, I found myself thining, well, what's so awful about this.
And then he went off to the Mission. This is where every able bodied boy and some of the girls get to spend TWO YEARS of their formative years locked up in a strange compound. They are not allowed to be alone at all, ever for the duration of those two years. They are stripped of their name and called 'Elder'. They are deprived of sleep and forced to partner up with a mentor dude who basically doesn't leave their side. That means they cannot be left in a room ever by themselves EVER. Let that sink in. You're 16 years old and you're never, ever left alone. No wanking for you. Oh no. None of that. In fact, what you get is a completely unnatural view of sex and masturbation and homosexuality.
Masturbation is a sin. Talking to women is a sin. Being hugged or touched is a sin. Drinking tea is a sin. Not wearing the correct 19th century style regulation underwear is a sin. Yep, underwear. Jesus cares about your underwear apparently. These kids then have to wander the streets for 12 hours a day knocking on doors and signing people up. They have to sign three people up every day. They usually don't get anywhere near that, but they do get plenty of abuse.
They're not allowed to see their mother or family or friends for the entire two years. They are only allowed to make two phone calls a YEAR. They have no access to news, internet or any kind of outside influences. They are sat in classrooms while absolute wanky lies are drummed into them.
If it sounds a bit like brainwashing, that's because that's exactly what it is.
It was one of the saddest things I've seen for a while. All this boy's life drained out of his eyes as the documentary wore on. He told the interviewer he was willing and happy to do this. He told her that while crying.
I don't think Mormonism is about being nice people at all. I think that Jesus would be a very sad made up person indeed if he knew about all of this.