Monday, March 26, 2007

Wolf in sheeps clothing.

I left church after sacrament this Sunday because I had sick kids, so I didn't see it. As my wife was leaving, there was a DVD on the windshield of our van. On the cover was two pictures. In the top left corner there were the words JESUS CHRIST with a picture of Christ, and on the bottom right there was a picture of Joseph Smith, and in large letters, were JOSEPH SMITH. The whole feel of the cover screams LDS. Someone has obviously worked hard on making it look LDS friendly.

The look and feel of the cover was pretty good, my wife was fooled by it. I think even my seven year old son, the one who actually found it, was a little excited to watch it. I knew immediately because, first off, why would a legitimate DVD need to be snuck under the windshield wipers of cars in LDS parking lots?

Taking a look at the website that is listed on the cover also gives it away. Good for LDS When visiting the website, we find a famillar name on there, Sandra Tanner.

I immediately drove to the church and took all the DVDs off the windshields of the cars. There were about 20 of them out there. They were only on the windshields on the outer edges of the parking lot. They obviously wanted to be as discreet as possible.

When I got home, I explained to my son what the video was and what the people who left it wanted to do. We then threw the videos away.

My wife kept asking "Why would they do this?". I think we all would really like to know the answer to that question. Whay do some people feel that they are pro-Christ by being anti-Mormon?

Sad indeed.


Proud Daughter of Eve said...

That's just sad. I'm sorry you and your family (or actually, anyone) ran into that. I think you should mention this to someone so an eye could be kept out for the people doing this. Church property is private property and I don't think they're legally allowed to do that kind of thing on private property.

Ben said...

Don't know if you've seen this, but FAIR was on top of things :)

Point-by-point response.

Ian said...

Good idea PDOE. I'm in the Elders Quorum presidency, so I'm going to talk to the rest of the presidency about keeping an eye on the parking lot during church. There are a few other churches relatively close by, so it's next to impossible to just guess who it was.

Thanks for the link Ben. I wasn't aware.

cantinflas said...

Strangely, I received one of these on my doorknob while I was home from church. I couldn't see one on anyone else's doorknob on the street, and the family across the street is a member family. This is offensive to me because it's not even like they are trying to share their own great church with me, but to belittle my beliefs.

Initially I thought it may be from my HT, but they would have knocked, but the charlatan cues you mention betrayed its dubious nature and I threw it away while mentioning it to my wife.

Ian said...

Why must they be so subtle and sneaky about it? I know they think they are doing the lords work, but the fact that they feel that they have to do this in secret should tip them off that there is something not right about it. They should be a bit more honest about how they present their case. First, they should not package thier message in a way that is deceptive. Second they should present their literature etc. personally instead of like a ad for Pizza.

Maya said...

If people actively avoid information because they know it could damage their testimony, shouldn't that tell you something?

Ian said...

It's not really about avoiding information. It's really more about the attack that the information represents. It really feels like i'm being attacked by a group of people who thinks I worship Satan or something.

I honestly don't want my seven year old to watch this video. When he gets old enough to understand, then I will sit down and talk with him etc.

They disguised this video in a way to be deceptive. I wonder how many people are fooled by the packaging and put on the video while their kids are watching. That's what I am personally worried about.

What does this video have to say about the people who created it? The fact that they have to deceive people to get them to watch it. Shouldn't that tell you something?

Anonymous said...

Why did you go remove those DVDs? Why are we so scared of this information? I doubt that people have any real testimony if they are shaken by these facts/fictions.
This should be an opportunity for us to understant what they are saying and what we should say.

Ian said...

In a way, I took the DVD as a personal insult. I wanted to spare others of that feeling. I know that's kind of irrational as it was a completely anonymous attack.

In another way, I took them off the cars to spite the people who put them on there, not neccissarily to protect the members. By taking them off, I made sure they wasted their time and money. Maybe that makes me a bad person.

Maya said...

If it wasn't about avoiding information, why didn't YOU watch the video? How can you sit down with your son to discuss something, when you don't even know what that something is?

The church seems to disguise some of what it presents in ways that are deceiving. Perhaps this was part of the larger point.

Ian said...

Do I really need to have watched the video to know what was on it? Did they present any new information or arguements that haven't already been presented. I went through my phase of reading anti-literature years ago. I don't really want to waste my time at this point.

I did keep a copy of the video just in case though.

I'm not exactly sure how you mean that the church has been deceptive. I don't recall any ad campaign where the church did not put it's name all over it. Do you have some examples?

Anonymous said...

I know what you did is right because I knew a guy who started reading "anti-gravity" literature and now doesn't believe in gravity.

Another guy read "Mein Kampf" and immediately became a neo-nazi and my last friend read "Das Kapital" and since then has been a hard-core communist.

Wait! Didn't Joseph Smith visit the sermon by the communist and then make up his mind about the information?

I like John Dehlin's question: are tesimonies soap bubbles that must be protected from the slightest jar, or jackhammers, that can tear through all error...

And yes, of course you couldn't submit a 7-year-old to anything that suggests that:

- Noah didn't really build an ark
- The earth is more than 6000 years old
- Santa, well, you know.

Wait! Those are not Christian arguments. But anyway . . .

MJK said...

ah. Good old cowardly anonymous posters. Glad the internet can be counted on to be reliable. You not only can't let us worship Christ in the way we belive is correct, you're too afraid to post even an internet psuedonym.

Tasha - former Mormon said...

So, no one watched the DVD but you are assuming you know what was in it and that it was hateful and untrue. Did it ever occur to you that the TRUTH about LDS beliefs is what Christians take issue with, and not just things that the Tanners supposedly made up? You don't have to make anything up for LDS doctrine to conflict with Christianity. However, with the huge PR movement the Church has adopted in the last 20 years, the majority of people in America (and in the LDS Church itself!) are being duped into believing that they believe "just the same as everyone else, just a bit MORE". In reality, there is not one of the Articles of Faith that lines up with Biblical Christianity. Are you saying that if someone walked up to you and your 7 year old son and tried to discuss these vast differences with you openly that you would have welcomed such a discussion? I doubt it. Nomatter how it is presented, chances are your 7 year old is going to be sheilded from hearing anything other than a carefully edited version of "what the evil Christians say about us". You've been trained well to alter the truth to make it palateable even to your own children. At least until after you've gotten him baptized!

Ian said...

Tasha, I didn't watch the DVD because I knew what was in it was hateful and untrue. Hence the reason they tried to hide behind a cloak of deception.

I agree that the real Anti-material is what we really beleive. These guys have a tendancy to completely make crap up. And yes, this DVD is filled with crap they made up. If you truely are a former Mormon then you will realize that most of what they say are lies. If you have a problem with LDS beliefs, then that's fine by me, just don't spout lies to me and try to pass them off as truth.

And you are correct, we don't beleive exactly the same as everyone else, I'm fine with that. We are Christians however.

It's funny that you so quickly dismiss the Articles of faith as not meshing with "Biblical" Christianity. First off, have you even read the Articles of faith. Article 13 is practically a quote from the Bible. The truth is that they don't mesh with YOUR (or your pastors)interpretation of the Bible. If you have proof of the absolute correct interpretation of the Bible, please come forward with it.

As for me, I will let the Spirit guide me to the truth rather than allowing "Biblical Chistianity" tell me what to do.

As for my seven year old, I will teach him to follow the spirit. I will teach him to love the Lord and try to live by his teachings. One of those teachings, I beleive, is to tell the truth and be good to others. Something that I think the creators of this latest campaign are not doing.

And yes, I am willing to discuss my faith with anyone, including our differences. I am also willing to share these differences with my children. Acrually they learn these differences from the time they start primary. What we don't teach them are lies about the church, which is what the makers of this DVD are presenting.

Thanks for commenting.

Cheryl said...


I'm new to this debate, but very familiar with these DVDs being passed out across the country.

Let's see. So, by what people have been commenting, if the Mormon church got together, discussed what they believed was wrong with ONE (and ONE only) Christian religion, then made a DVD about it, and then distributed those DVD's to the members of that chosen Christian religion, they would be completely in their right? Nobody would shun that? The Christian religion being shot down would be WRONG not to view the DVD that so readily distorts their beliefs?

That would NEVER happen. The Mormons would be seen as total jerks. The media would have a hey-day and pronounce us evil and twisted. Again.

But oh, no! Do it to the Mormons and it's okay! Once again, it's the Mormons' own fault for believing in Joe Smith and that golden bible.

(sorry for jumping in, Ian, especially since it's my first time commenting on your blog...)

Ian said...

I hadn't thought of it that way Cheryl. You definitely have a good point.

Shannon~ active LDS said...

Well I can honestly say that after being a member since the age of remembering that my testimony has been strongly influenced by seeing and listening to things that I have found wrong and by then realizing for myself the things that I had been taught were true. However I strongley am here to testify that by being wrapped up in false ideas we become accustomed to these beiefs. I'm sure that by not watching these DVDs Ian was trying to avoid being wrapped up in false witness.Am I correct?

Ian said...

That's certainly one way of looking at it. Really the most irritating thing about all this is that they were deceptive in their marketing campaign. That's fine for commercial enterprises, but for religion, especially a religion that honors truth as one of it's most important facets, deception is not the most honorable recruitment method. It really reminds me of those religious pamphlets that look like money. When the unsuspecting dupe picks it up they get some religious sermon or tract. That's using deception. So wrong.