Is Mormonism A Cult?

Photo by Evan Qu on Unsplash

Looking through the Freedom of Mind Resource Center materials from 2018, I noticed a disturbing amount of controlling behaviors that indicate, according to the center, that an organization is a cult. These behaviors are commonly seen in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Below is a list of some of these behaviors. You may recognize some, or all, of these controls if you are, or were, a member of the LDS or Mormon church.

Control of Behavior By The Church

1 — It promotes total dependence and total obedience by stating at every opportunity that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is "the only true church on earth."

2 — It immediately modifies your behavior with a reward or punishment system. This is done in many ways, including the ability or worthiness to participate in the weekly sacrament rite, church callings, priesthood progression, and of course, the 'Big' one; the obtaining and keeping a temple recommend or pass. If you don't have a temple recommend, you don't get to enter even to see your children get married!

3 — It dictates who you live with and, if necessary, determines you must marry. An unmarried couple may have lived as a family with children for many years; however, upon showing interest in being baptized a member, they are told to get married before they are able to be baptized.

4 — It controls your hairstyle and clothing during the week and on Sundays. Members are highly encouraged to "act, look, behave, and dress like the Brethren." The Brethren are the full-time church 'General Authorities.'

5 — It regulates what you can eat or drink. See the Mormon commandments in their "Word of Wisdom."

6 — It exploits you financially—tithing, which you have to pay to maintain your worthiness to serve and attend the Mormon temple.

7 — It restricts your leisure time and activities by giving you "callings." There is no time for other personal activities.

8 — It requires you to seek permission for major decisions, such as a marriage or an abortion. If you also wish to attend university at BYU, you will likewise need an ecclesiastical endorsement or go elsewhere!

If your behavior is constantly controlled in any of these ways, maybe you are in a cult!

Can you choose for yourself without consequences or repercussions to your own private life? No, you cannot; you don't have a personal life. Constant surveillance and worthiness interviews ensure your compliance. However, if you're a member of the Mormon church, you would disagree. You have to give a lot away to walk away from a cult, and for most, after many years, it's easier to stay. After all, who wants to admit they have been wrong and led astray for 35 years? I had to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or the Mormons and religion behind in my search for the truth. I finally had to admit that restricting my life to rules written by a bunch of primitive bronze age goat herders who had no idea where the sun went at night, as well as an even larger bunch of very old white guys who see themselves as prophets of God was beyond dumb on my part.

Are you in a cult? Remember, the first thing a cult does is tell you everyone else is lying. If you hear that, walk away, maybe run away!




I live and write on two continents. I’m a teacher, a coach, and a writer. I have failed many times and succeeded even more. I write about religious cults.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Stillness Amidst God’s Sovereignty

Do Not Lose Heart

On the Value of Doubt

The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Think You Know About the Wheel of the Year Holidays?

Speak Lord for Your Servant Hears

The Errors of the Super-Specific Vertical Goal-Oriented Way of Living

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Steve Arrowsmith MA

Steve Arrowsmith MA

I live and write on two continents. I’m a teacher, a coach, and a writer. I have failed many times and succeeded even more. I write about religious cults.

More from Medium

The Message and the Way

Any film titled “Leaving God” is going to piss-off a few people.

I know it sounds like the Mafia; sadly, it’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more…

The 5 Definitive Paths for Gay Christian Men