Character assassination takes back stabbing to additional heights. The objective, generally, is to prophylactically (in advance anticipation that someone might believe or trust you) destroy the general perceptions of your credibility or competence in the minds of others. Think of gas lighting, then apply the techniques of gas lighting in conversations with others, about you, as opposed to conversations with you, directly. See Character Assassination Law
True believing Mormons, in general, and in particular, Mormon Bishops are culturally conditioned to destroy the credibility of a parent, in the minds of the parent's own children, if the parent expresses sincere, heartfelt concern over the truthfulness or authenticity of the LDS Church's claims of divine origin. The techniques employed are subtle, but unmistakable and highly effective.
Mormon Bishops are trained to conduct regular "youth interviews". In those interviews, the children are asked about matters in the home. Essentially, a form of intrusive prying takes place. The Bishop justifies this as a legitimate investigation into the spiritual well-being of the child, hence the families views and behavior are relevant. Through this process, the child is not only taught (by example) to illegitimately violate privacies, but to engage in disloyalty to other family members under the auspices of the maintenance and pursuit of their spiritual well being.
When the Bishop discovers that the "faith" of a parent is slipping, and in particular, if the Bishop discovers that the parent has serious questions about the authenticity of the Church's claims of divine authority, the Bishop will take the opportunity to express duplicitous love and "sincere" concern for the parent, while undermining the questions and conclusions of the parent in the mind of the child. The Bishop will associate the parent's doubts with some alleged unrighteous behavior or back sliding. Invariably, a not so subtle suggestion is imparted to the child that the parent is spiritually or intellectually inferior on some level and can no longer be trusted by the child.
The goal is to preserve the belief of the child, even at the expense of family relationships. This goal is pursued aggressively. The illegitimacy that is often engaged is nothing short of appalling. The damage to the relationship between the parent and child that results is devastating, and usually irreparable.
To true believing Mormons (TBMs), generally, fair questions about the serious credibility issues with Mormon claims about the historical origins of Mormonism absolutely cannot be acknowledged to be fair. They must be avoided, and the questioner must be subjected to character assassination and gas lighting in order to destroy their credibility in the minds of other's who might be dissuaded in their beliefs about the Church by being exposed to the dissident or the dissident's questions.
Mormon religious doctrine is aggressively crafted to promote unwarranted and illegitimate hostility and passive-aggressive abuse towards dissidents. This hostility and abuse is justified on the basis of the Mormon doctrinal view that the only possible explanation for a loss of "faith" in the divinity of the Church is sinfulness to such an extreme degree that a loss of communion with the "Holy Ghost" has occurred and been displaced with a dark alliance with Satan.
This view of the dissident is sincerely believed and actively promoted among Mormons. Economic discrimination is justified and promoted in plausibly deniable ways while a duplicitous outward display of loving concern is feigned. It is important to Mormons that dissidents are not seen as successful on any level by others whose faith might be challenged at the thought of a successful life outside the insular clutches of the Church. The names of dissidents are placed on a list and turned over to the Strengthening Church Members Committee.Topical (and other forms of) shunning of the dissident are encouraged among family members and all others within the influence of the Church.