I’ve created a number of blog posts and videos analyzing line-by-line the mind control and manipulation in LDS General Conference Talks and articles. Here you can find links to all of them in one place.
It first may help to have an idea of the named manipulation techniques used by cults and high-demand groups. They are all listed in The Methods of Thought Reform, with brief definitions. And of course I expand upon these greatly in my book, Recovering Agency: Lifting the Veil of Mormon Mind Control, where each gets its own chapter.
To help familiarize yourself with these control tactics and develop your critical thinking skills, I’ve created a set of Mind Control Bingo cards that you can print, so you can learn to identify these techniques while watching Conference or reading the Ensign. (I am not responsible for any consequences that may result from playing Mind Control Bingo in Sunday School!) I don’t want you to just take my word for it – you can be an analyst, too.
To get an idea of how it’s done, here are my written analyses of LDS Conference talks:
- Thought-Reform Analysis of a Thomas S. Monson Talk
- Elder Uchtdorf’s Spiritual Abuse: “Be Not Afraid, Just Tune Out All Opposing Signals”
- “Therefore Apostle Bednar Induced Their Fears”
- General Conference: Scrambling to Close the Floodgates of Apostasy
- Dear Elder Oaks: Loving Others is Easy When You Don’t Focus on Differences
If you’re more visual, here is a series of videos I made with Jonathan Streeter, in which we watch a Conference talk together and discuss the manipulation tactics as we first see them:
- Undue Influence in General Conference #1 – Saturday AM Uchtdorf
- Undue Influence in General Conference #2 – Ballard
- Undue Influence in General Conference #3 – Maynes
- Undue Influence in General Conference #4 – Marriott
I continue to develop new material along this vein, so watch this space for more!
And I invite critique. If you think I’m off base, I would love to hear why. I respect logical, fact-based counterarguments. If I’m wrong, you should be able to make a solid case against these posts and videos. But I expect you to actually read and/or listen first – not doing so means you are committing a Straw Man Fallacy.