Mormon Epistemology and Agenda Explained Book review by Kay Burningham
Kay Burningham's review of The Apostasy of a High Priest - The Sociology of an American Cult by P. Brannock
This is a short, but well-written book by a distant cousin of Mitt Romney who shares his thoughts on why he chose to leave the LDS Church after a lifetime of service.
In middle age, Park Romney realizes that LDS (Latter Day Saint) "truth" is manufactured through emotion and that LDS priesthood authority is no more than a group of men who try to lead as they feel they should, many times without regard to making just decisions in their callings by reviewing evidence, but by making decisions that validate their feelings or their agenda. This process, known as confirmation bias, is endemic in Mormon theology and practice.
Romney deconstructs Mormon epistemology, exposing the fraud of the religion with its own scripture as evidence. His book examines the false methods used to determine `truth’ in Mormonism and instead speaks to the process of determining Truth with a capital “T.”
This book will make those who want an easy, “feel good” answer to life’s questions uncomfortable – as it should.
As another reviewer has written: “The epistemology of Mormonism is its most profoundly relevant device in accomplishing the psychological repression that is essential for its survival. Park Romney not only exposes this device, but painstakingly documents its doctrinal roots in Mormon scripture and then walks the reader through the intricate application of the philosophical and psychological and sociological mechanics of this device throughout the Mormon missionary process and subsequent cultural experience.”
Additionally, Park Romney’s analysis can be applied with interest to the dizzying political spin of Mitt Romney’s candidacy for US. President. Mitt Romney changes his position when it is expedient and many times, it appears, for no other reason.
Thus, Mitt follows what has been historic protocol in Mormonism, and other “isms,” since their inception – a pragmatic approach to truth: don’t fix it if it ain’t broken. However, if one is the leader of a dearly held belief system and you encounter social or political pressure to change, then and only then, change, but deny the change and expunge the change as in Orwell’s Animal Farm.
If all the great books exposing Mormonism’s fraudulent underpinnings were one baked into one desert, then Romney’s book is the cherry on the cake. An understanding of Mormonism would not be complete without it.
But the principles Romney explains in The Apostasy of a High Priest are not necessarily unique to Mormonism. They are applicable to an analysis of organized religion and other business institutions on a global scale; these principles have broad application to the understanding of Truth. Many readers who know little about Mormonism might well find Park Romney’s book an enlightening and provocative read as it applies to the universal deception by any powerful elite governing group over its governed.
I highly recommend the book not only as a view into Mormon epistemology, but as a hard look at what passes for Truth in a world that increasingly manipulates its consumers.