Thursday, August 19, 2021

The CIA and Mormon Recruitment

 Today's Anonymous Conservative news brief had something I had to laugh about. Elucidating on a news story about the Governor of Utah writing to Biden to offer Utah up as a dumping ground for refugees, AC stated:

Mormons have to take a couple of years to do missionary work, and because of that CIA recruits heavily from among them, so they can spy overseas while using their missionary work as cover. When they come back, I assume they join the domestic surveillance/intel network of CIA, under Cabal’s command, so Utah will be heavily infested with Cabal’s domestic network.

Except he has it backward. The CIA (and the NSA, military, FBI, DEA, and others) don't seek out LDS members that have not yet served a mission; rather, they recruit heavily at Brigham Young University-Provo (BYU) because many students have already served foreign missions and, thus, may have at least passible knowledge of a foreign language and culture. Furthermore, because the LDS Church (at least in the United States) emphasizes patriotism (civil classes are required of all students at BYU) and has a strict moral code and prohibitions on using drugs and alcohol, members present fewer problems with obtaining security clearances. 

    On the other hand, those same standards also act as a filter to keep LDS members from advancing too high in the agency hierarchies because, by not consuming alcohol, LDS members are not going to be attending the various cocktail parties necessary for advancement. I've heard it described as effectively creating a glass ceiling for LDS agents and officers.

   As to the other issue--Utah accepting refugees--it illustrates a deep divide in the Church between the more liberal elements (which, unfortunately, also seems to dominate at higher levels) and the body of members in the United States who are by a large majority deeply conservative (e.g., Trump won Utah in 2020 with 58.1% of the vote and a margin of 20.5% over Biden). 

    On top of that, the LDS Church is an international church with a large percentage of membership in Latin America and significant membership in liberal European nations, Canada and Australia. Thus, the leadership is torn between supporting policies that would alienate the U.S. membership versus policies that would alienate the foreign membership. The general attitude of the Church authorities has been, therefore, to not take an official stance on immigration and refugee assistance while privately encouraging policies that favor immigrants (legal or otherwise) and using propaganda (Church produced videos and even the racial makeup in photographs for Church publications) to influence members.  The Center for Immigration Studies (which has developed much of the research showing that illegal immigration is a net negative for the United States) has a very good analysis of the situation in Utah between the Church and politicians as to immigration issues: "The Mormon Church and Illegal Immigration." 

2 comments:

  1. I wonder how the LDS church leadership rationalizes their tacit support of illegal immigration with the 12th Article of Faith: "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because they are trying to change the law, I guess.

      Delete

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