Has anyone else ever taken note of the "Trickle Down Tithing Scam"? My grandfather complained about it a time or two before he passed away years ago and it never hit me as to why he would have such a beef with it until I reformatted my Mormon brain into a more ex mormon state of mind. Basically it goes like this:
Thomas Temple Attender works for the LDS church. He makes $40,000 a year gross. Thomas Temple Attender promptly pays 10% of his salary dollars back to the church in tithing.
Thomas Temple Attender hires Peter Priesthood to paint him... say... a very nice portrait of his wife, Henrietta Homemaker. Peter Priesthood charges Thomas $20,000.00... to which he is immediately paid upon completion.
Peter Priesthood has now earned $20,000.00 and now Peter Priesthood, being the faithful member that he is, and ever wishing to not burn at the 2nd coming, will now pay the LDS church the $2,000 in tithing that it demands.
To save time and space, I'll forego the rest by explaining that Peter Priesthood then hires Fanny Alger to babysit his 9 children as a nanny and he pays her $10,000.00 to do it. Fanny Alger, very interested in seeing her daughter marry in the temple next month, then pays the LDS church $1,000 tithing dollars in order to qualify and be worthy to go to the ceremony. Fanny Alger then hires Zina Huntington/Smith/Young to do X who then pays prompt tithing dollars on those earnings... and it trickles down down down from there.
In this way, the LDS church is getting many multiples of tithing dividends on the original $40,000 it paid Thomas Temple Attender at the start of this thought experiment. The kicker is that Thomas Temple Attender's salary is generated from... you guessed it....
Thomas: $40,000 = $4,000 tithing dollars to the church
Peter: $20,000 = $2,000 tithing dollars
Fanny: $10,000 = $1,000 tithing dollars
Right there the church has practically doubled the tithing dollars from the original $40,000 it paid to it's employee.
There is much more to this thought experiment... like for example, the church is notorious for lower paying (by national comparisons and standards) careers. Though the pay is lower by competetion standards, it is even more of a bargain for the church in that the employee basically signs an implied contract with his job that states he/she will be a faithful Mormon... in essence, he WILL pay the LDS church 10% of his salary. So every church employee is an automatic 10% kickback to the Mormon church.
Nice, huh? I'm a small business owner. Man, I cannot tell you what a slick deal that would be if I could get my employees to sign up for a deal like that... oh shoot... see... but then I'd have to offer them benefits like... eternal life and that could get rather complicated... especially if I tested their loyalty by sending them to the other side of the United States on business trips and marrying their wives while they were gone.****My Thoughts****
I used to encourage my kids to pay 10% on the allowance that I paid them, AFTER I had already paid my 10% to the church. Just think how much money the church retains by encouraging their members to do business with fellow Mormons! That money NEVER leaves! It just keeps getting recycled and redistributed to the church one way or another.
Most cults make you promise away all your worldly possessions, inheritances, bank accounts, etc to the uplifting and sustaining of the organization. That's what compels their loved ones to try and draw them out, since it seems completely senseless to live in sackcloth and ashes, devoting all your time and energy to the organization, preaching and attending endless meetings, hoping for a chance to one day GLIMPSE at the guru running it all, and proclaim it to be the most spiritual, uplifting moment of your life.
Look, just because you can get in your car and drive around the block without permission, that doesn't mean you aren't in a cult. Mormonism is a cult of the mind. The "sacred undergarments" are a thought control device, not a physical protection against harm. When your most trusted guides and authority figures counsel you to guard yourself against receiving or seeking information from "outside"....BOOM! There's your cult. It's right there in the words.
" Don't read unapproved literature"
"Don't surf the Internet unprotected"
"Don't question the Lord's anointed"
They don't HAVE to build 25-foot high walls surrounding a secluded compound. You have already accomplished that in your mind. All they have to do is make you afraid to tear down that wall and look on the other side, and they have you, safely tucked away from "evil" and "Satan".
The illusion is that you are free to choose right from wrong. You know you can step in a bar at any moment, just by making a right turn instead of left. You know that you can dive deep into Mormon history in just a few clicks of the keys. You know that you can shuck those garments off and keep them off for a whole day. But the guilt, the fear, the shear panic you will face when you go against the words of the Brethren, keeps you within their control. Why do you follow their advice? Because you believe them! And you feel good when they pay attention to you, praise you, encourage you, and "choose" you for service. All of that would go away if you ever disobeyed their words. You would lose their comfort, their company, and their guidance. But these are MEN. Not God. God will STILL be there for YOU. Even without these MEN to tell you what you must do. Nobody OWNS God. If you believe in God, then that's ALL you need. No handshakes, no tokens, no secret temple names, no sacred underpants. Just belief in God.
As for myself, don't judge my journey as a road map for everyone. I chose to extend beyond Christianity, beyond religion itself for a short time. And I'm not stating that it is the right choice for everyone. But you at least owe it to yourself to look around and be WILLING to change your belief based on what you see, not limit yourself to what you are told.