Infantilization of the mind

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græy
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Infantilization of the mind

Post by græy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm

I wrote a comment about this on reddit, but wanted to elaborate and possibly discuss here.

My wife and I tried watching a new TV series the other day. We did not look for the TV rating before starting, but it turned out to be Mature. :o

After a couple of F-words, my wife was done. I found out that the series includes some minor nude scenes down the road, and when I mentioned that to my wife (I was reading a positive review of the show) she commented that she was glad she stopped when she did.

I'm not trying to complain about my wife or her choices (I feel like I do that too much as it is, though I don't intend to). I love her. She is a truly great and capable mother, and would do anything for those in need. But I do want to share some observations. Since before I met her she has actively refused to read any books beyond a "Young Adult" level. That includes fictions, biographies, and even scholarly books. If it feels like it might have something that isn't "uplifting" she avoids it like the plague. She has never seen a move rated higher than PG-13 and even refuses most TV-14 shows.

And I think it shows. Her speech, her thinking, are all associated with the level of thought in which she engages media. (Queue correlation vs causation argument here.)

I have noticed similar traits with my siblings and siblings-in-law. Deep, meaningful conversations with them seem nearly impossible. Even if it has nothing to do with the church. Even if we are in total agreement. They just can't wrap their minds around any sentence or point of view beyond what a 13 or 14 year old might also say. They might regurgitate a newspaper article. But they don't form their own opinions about anything. (Maybe that's why they accept the church-given opinion that R-rated moves are ALL bad.)

They are not dumb people. All of them have college degrees. They are teachers, hospital administrators, business managers. They are successful. They are smart. It just feels like they don't have a deep thought in their heads.

On the other hand. My co-workers, none of whom have ever been mormon, regularly waste small blocks of time discussing news developments, NPR broadcasts, etc, and enjoy debating their own understanding of the complex scene that led to the given event, or what it will take to change it. They reflect on nuanced understandings of varied points-of-view and can think critically about why those points-of-view may or may not be valid in a given circumstance. Speaking with them is almost a breath of fresh air.

I have yet to meet anyone at church I can engage with like that. All I ever get is "Well, [church] says ______ about ______."

Its completely anecdotal, but I'd love to hear some thoughts. Ready.... go!
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:00 pm

Yes this all stems from the emphasis of the doctrine of "being like a little child" in the new testament combined with the preaching of obedience over all else. Obedience and childlike submission. The meek shall inherit the earth, etc.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by RubinHighlander » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 pm

In TSCC, treating adults like kids runs top to bottom. Listen to the tone and inflection in how conference speakers generally work. It's not just because they are speaking to a broad audience, it's by design to reinforce the little child narrative. Methods of indoctrination for adults are not far off the methods used in Primary with the kids: Music, confirmation bias, memorization, etc. As adults they are just better at praying on the emotions and making miracles out of nothing and guilt and fear play a bit harder.

Reminds me of a song by Joe Jackson - Right and Wrong

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_2tXS50rqk
Stop everything
I think I hear the President
The Pied Piper of the TV screen
Is gonna make it simple
And he's got it all mapped out
And illustrated with cartoons
Too hard for clever folks to understand
They're more used to words like:
Ideology
They're not talkin' 'bout right and left
They're talkin' 'bout
Right and wrong, do you know the difference
Right and wrong, do you know the difference
'Tween the right and the left and the east and the west
What you know and the things that you'll never see
So what ya think
You like the Yankees or the Mets this year
And what about this latest war of words
And what about the Commies
I saw the news last night
All illustrated with cartoons
So when they come with that opinion poll
They better not use words like
Ideology
Or try to tell me 'bout the issues
Ideology
Whose side are you on
We're talkin' 'bout
Right and wrong, do you know the difference
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:07 pm

This just came to me from another thread, I think the innate desire to have our reasons for unbelief validated by the tribe might be a sign of infantilization. We tie our self worth to what the "parent" figure thinks of us whether that is the church leader, other members, or real parents.

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moksha
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by moksha » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:22 am

græy wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm
My wife and I tried watching a new TV series the other day. We did not look for the TV rating before starting, but it turned out to be Mature. :o
Such an attitude could keep you from watching A Game of Thrones when it returns in April. That is the show that Trump refers to in his latest poster in the Oval Office. He identifies with the White Walkers. Probably because of the wall on their southern border. Also, he admires that the White Walkers are taking the fight to those south of their kingdom and that they share his values.

So tell your wife that you will miss out on such relevant current events if you do not watch!
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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wtfluff
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by wtfluff » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:27 pm

This infantilization in mormonism constantly amazes me.

If you really think about it, it makes sense. Mormonism literally encourages you to turn much of your decision making over to the church. You're literally taught NOT TO THINK about many, many things. The "shelf" metaphor fits right into this: When you hear something that causes you any sort of cognitive dissonance, you literally stop yourself from "thinking about it" and compartmentalize it (put it on your shelf) and move on.

Also, think about the way we were trained to tattle on our neighbors. Home teaching, visiting teaching, anything else: Run to the bishop (principal) and tattle on anyone that's not living up to "standard."

And it's not only that. In a relationship, you're trained not to have any really "hard discussions" about anything, because if there are issues, just pray harder, read your scriptures harder, and go to the temple harder, and the toga-wearing dude near kolob will "fix everything!"

Mormonism: Pretending to be in middle school... For your entire life. (And middle school might be an exaggeration. Grade school might be a more apt comparison.)
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

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slavereeno
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by slavereeno » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:54 am

græy wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm
Its completely anecdotal, but I'd love to hear some thoughts. Ready.... go!
I have noticed this too. It's one of the reasons I dislike listening to general conference. It feels so condescending. I have noticed that you go from having your parents run your life, to having the church run your life. No longer being worried about what the church thinks, has been one of the biggest upsides to my dissaffection.

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deacon blues
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by deacon blues » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:42 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:54 am
græy wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm
Its completely anecdotal, but I'd love to hear some thoughts. Ready.... go!
I have noticed this too. It's one of the reasons I dislike listening to general conference. It feels so condescending. I have noticed that you go from having your parents run your life, to having the church run your life. No longer being worried about what the church thinks, has been one of the biggest upsides to my dissaffection.
I agree. Which is why getting the youth out on missions is so important to them. I remember our Stake President telling my organist wife to be sure to only play hymns for prelude and program, when Boyd Packer came to visit. I never saw the Stake President look more intense.
God is Love. God is Truth

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Newme
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by Newme » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:24 pm

FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:07 pm
This just came to me from another thread, I think the innate desire to have our reasons for unbelief validated by the tribe might be a sign of infantilization. We tie our self worth to what the "parent" figure thinks of us whether that is the church leader, other members, or real parents.
I think the need for authority is a big part of it. Never really growing up is easier - you don’t have to take responsibility - just look to your authorities. The problem is that they look to them as if gods - infallible. And like children who are in denial of the dysfunctional aspects of their parents (because that’s all they know), when presented with undeniable problems, they seem inable to comprehend, no matter what college degree they have.

“There are no whole truths; all truths are half truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.”-AN Whitehead

Polarized (all-or nothing) thinking is common in the church.

“The # of those who undergo the fatigue of judging for themselves is very small indeed.” - RB Sheridan

Herd mentality. Many called few chosen maybe partly because few endure the discomfort or fear of the unknown, and debating within themselves (thinking).

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2bizE
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by 2bizE » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:58 pm

So my wife is pretty TBM. No rated R movies. But we have been watching the Outlander series together. Not a chance we would be watching of it were R rated, but since it is Mature it seems ok. It is a beautiful romance with little swearing, but a nice dose of sex. This week a lady friends of her were talking on Facebook about how much they love Outlander. My wife was very surprised she told me because one of her friends husband is a bishop. Imagine them watching a show that we watch with some sex scenes. It was an eye opener for her. I said to her, maybe consider being a little less Mormon and a little more human. It is ok to be an adult at times.
~2bizE

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blazerb
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by blazerb » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:07 am

moksha wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:22 am
græy wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm
My wife and I tried watching a new TV series the other day. We did not look for the TV rating before starting, but it turned out to be Mature. :o
Such an attitude could keep you from watching A Game of Thrones when it returns in April. That is the show that Trump refers to in his latest poster in the Oval Office. He identifies with the White Walkers. Probably because of the wall on their southern border. Also, he admires that the White Walkers are taking the fight to those south of their kingdom and that they share his values.

So tell your wife that you will miss out on such relevant current events if you do not watch!
The white walkers even got the kingdoms to the south to pay for the wall.

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græy
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by græy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:58 am

slavereeno wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:54 am
I have noticed this too. It's one of the reasons I dislike listening to general conference. It feels so condescending.
I can't handle coming home to find a conference talk playing in the background because of this. When that happens I often just grab the leash and leave again to take the dog on a walk. Usually though, I'm needed in the house and can't get away from the condescending drone.
wtfluff wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:27 pm
If you really think about it, it makes sense. Mormonism literally encourages you to turn much of your decision making over to the church. You're literally taught NOT TO THINK about many, many things. The "shelf" metaphor fits right into this: When you hear something that causes you any sort of cognitive dissonance, you literally stop yourself from "thinking about it" and compartmentalize it (put it on your shelf) and move on.
Newme wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:24 pm
FiveFingerMnemonic wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:07 pm
This just came to me from another thread, I think the innate desire to have our reasons for unbelief validated by the tribe might be a sign of infantilization. We tie our self worth to what the "parent" figure thinks of us whether that is the church leader, other members, or real parents.
I think the need for authority is a big part of it. Never really growing up is easier - you don’t have to take responsibility - just look to your authorities. The problem is that they look to them as if gods - infallible. And like children who are in denial of the dysfunctional aspects of their parents (because that’s all they know), when presented with undeniable problems, they seem inable to comprehend, no matter what college degree they have.
Very much this. We are taught not to think too deeply. The same surface level lessons are repeated ad nauseam. LDS gospel discussions are the very definition of platitudes....

plat·i·tude
/ˈpladəˌt(y)o͞od/
noun
a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.

But we can't go past that surface level without delving into the forbidden realm of anti-mormon material, just a few paragraphs of which wields such great power as to destroy a testimony which has been carefully curated for decades.

Is this what God wants for his children? We are Gods in embryo right? We're meant to become universal architects ourselves right? How do we do that if we're not allowed to use our own brains? Or are our future God-selves expected to continue to follow the program and pattern that has been laid out since before we emerged from the great unlimited glob of "intelligence(s)" without any thought or initiative of our own involved?
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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slavereeno
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by slavereeno » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:52 am

græy wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:58 am
Is this what God wants for his children? We are Gods in embryo right? We're meant to become universal architects ourselves right? How do we do that if we're not allowed to use our own brains? Or are our future God-selves expected to continue to follow the program and pattern that has been laid out since before we emerged from the great unlimited glob of "intelligence(s)" without any thought or initiative of our own involved?
This. I tried arguing that they way we are treated, talked down to, the strict dogma, the "worthiness" interviews, the "trust us and stay on the boat", the virtue signaling, the strict commandments, the deferral of our spirituality and our very ethos to "The Brethren", all this is counter to the supposed plan to one day be a God ourselves. The Doctrine is acutely self-defeating.

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MerrieMiss
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by MerrieMiss » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:38 am

slavereeno wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:52 am
græy wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:58 am
Is this what God wants for his children? We are Gods in embryo right? We're meant to become universal architects ourselves right? How do we do that if we're not allowed to use our own brains? Or are our future God-selves expected to continue to follow the program and pattern that has been laid out since before we emerged from the great unlimited glob of "intelligence(s)" without any thought or initiative of our own involved?
This. I tried arguing that they way we are treated, talked down to, the strict dogma, the "worthiness" interviews, the "trust us and stay on the boat", the virtue signaling, the strict commandments, the deferral of our spirituality and our very ethos to "The Brethren", all this is counter to the supposed plan to one day be a God ourselves. The Doctrine is acutely self-defeating.
I point this out with my husband: "I was raised in a church that taught me that agency was the most important thing I had and the most important tool for growth so I could become like him (god)." Fortunately, my husband remembers the huge emphasis on agency and agrees that the church stifles it. However I've noticed the church has moved away from free agency, to just agency, and not it's not agency at all, just blind obedience. It makes it easier to produce shallow, thought stopping beliefs and mask it as thinking and study.
The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control. -Jay Griffiths

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Not Buying It
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:53 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 pm
In TSCC, treating adults like kids runs top to bottom. Listen to the tone and inflection in how conference speakers generally work. It's not just because they are speaking to a broad audience, it's by design to reinforce the little child narrative. Methods of indoctrination for adults are not far off the methods used in Primary with the kids: Music, confirmation bias, memorization, etc. As adults they are just better at praying on the emotions and making miracles out of nothing and guilt and fear play a bit harder.
President Monson used to drive me nuts with the way he spoke in General Conference. It was like he was talking to a bunch of kindergarteners. Talking down to us while he was breaking his arm patting himself on the back for helping some widow. I don’t know what was worse, his condescending tone or his constant self-aggrandizement. The guy had a weird obsession with talking about himself. Listening to him was almost as annoying as listening to the disgusting mouth noises President Hinckley always made when he spoke. How did I ever make it through conference?

I can no longer bear the pomposity and condescension of the “GA tone”, and it blows my mind that there are people who listen to conference talks on the way to work and stuff. How do you do that without going batcrap crazy?
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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slavereeno
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by slavereeno » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:58 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:53 am
I can no longer bear the pomposity and condescension of the “GA tone”, and it blows my mind that there are people who listen to conference talks on the way to work and stuff. How do you do that without going batcrap crazy?
Yes! Exactly! Even in my TBM days I couldn't imagine listening to GC talks on my commute. The closest I came was when I first really started loading the shelf about Joseph Smith I tried to listen to Truman Madsen do a Joseph Smith lecture series to shore up my testimony. Ironically all it did was double the load on my shelf.

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Linked
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by Linked » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:08 am

MerrieMiss wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:38 am
I point this out with my husband: "I was raised in a church that taught me that agency was the most important thing I had and the most important tool for growth so I could become like him (god)." Fortunately, my husband remembers the huge emphasis on agency and agrees that the church stifles it. However I've noticed the church has moved away from free agency, to just agency, and not it's not agency at all, just blind obedience. It makes it easier to produce shallow, thought stopping beliefs and mask it as thinking and study.
I remember the push to remove "free" from agency. I ate it up, happily buying that the "others" were deluded in thinking that just because they could do anything they wanted they should do anything they wanted. It's not free, there are eternal consequences. They needed to know that only the church can tell us what we can do with our agency. Ugh.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Linked
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by Linked » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:13 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:53 am
President Monson used to drive me nuts with the way he spoke in General Conference. It was like he was talking to a bunch of kindergarteners. Talking down to us while he was breaking his arm patting himself on the back for helping some widow. I don’t know what was worse, his condescending tone or his constant self-aggrandizement. The guy had a weird obsession with talking about himself. Listening to him was almost as annoying as listening to the disgusting mouth noises President Hinckley always made when he spoke. How did I ever make it through conference?

I can no longer bear the pomposity and condescension of the “GA tone”, and it blows my mind that there are people who listen to conference talks on the way to work and stuff. How do you do that without going batcrap crazy?
Over time speaking in church I started making rules of giving talks. One of the rules is that I avoid sharing stories where I am the example of doing it right, because it's arrogant and there is plenty of praise to go around. After making that rule and seeing GAs, Monson especially, break it constantly I lost some respect for them.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Hagoth
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:33 pm

In American culture these things are not meant for children:
-Adult beverages
-Adult language
-Adult entertainment
-Adult situations
-Complex ideas and alternative ideologies

In Mormon culture these things are not meant for adults:
-Adult beverages
-Adult language
-Adult entertainment
-Adult situations
-Complex ideas and alternative ideologies
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Red Ryder
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Re: Infantilization of the mind

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:07 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:33 pm
In American culture these things are not meant for children:
-Adult beverages
-Adult language
-Adult entertainment
-Adult situations
-Complex ideas and alternative ideologies

In Mormon culture these things are not meant for adults:
-Adult beverages
-Adult language
-Adult entertainment
-Adult situations
-Complex ideas and alternative ideologies
Counterpoint:
Both wear special themed underwear though!

-American Culture - Superhero themed underoos!
-Mormon Culture - Masonic themed Authorized Pattern.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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