19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thinking Man's Analysis
The analysis of Mormonism detailed in this well written book exposes the damage done to individual members by an organization dedicated to its own wealth. Rather than detail the many faith destroying issues surrounding Mormonism, Mr Romney focuses on the psychological underpinnings of control in a "faith" gone seriously awry. He explains the relationships between the...
Published 8 months ago by Max_Crapo
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Romney the lesser
I think that Park Romney imagines that outsiders will be impressed by the fact that he was (a) a Mormon high priest and (b) distantly related to a presidential candidate. Big deal. A high priest in Mormonism is no more than a sort of spiritual sergeant, far removed from the higher echelons of the chain of command. In short, a nobody. As to him being related to certain...
Published 1 month ago by othoniaboys
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thinking Man's Analysis,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest - The Sociology of an American Cult (Kindle Edition)The analysis of Mormonism detailed in this well written book exposes the damage done to individual members by an organization dedicated to its own wealth. Rather than detail the many faith destroying issues surrounding Mormonism, Mr Romney focuses on the psychological underpinnings of control in a "faith" gone seriously awry. He explains the relationships between the "doctrines" of Mormonism and how they damage an individuals self worth, ability to honestly question, and their ability to express themselves in meaningful and honest ways.
Mormons are deeply offended when their religious organization is referred to as a "Cult." The most commonly heard rebuttal to the accusation is "If Mormonism is a cult then all religions are cults." Park Romney does a superb job of showing why Mormonism deserves the appellation of "Cult" with all of its negative connotations. The information in the book is timely and relevant given the political atmosphere and the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" attempts to influence the political process.
I agree with Kay Burningham that the information in this book can be applied to not just Mormonism but many religious and secular organizations which use techniques of mind control to influence people. It is a fascinating read and well worth taking the time to read thoroughly.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Paradox of Reason and Faith: Mormonism and Park Romney,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest- The Sociology of An American Cult (Paperback)The Apostasy of a High Priest is a personal account by Park Romney about his journey from counselor of a Bishopric and devout Mormon to a man who awoke in his mid-30's to realize the entire religion was based on fraud and deception. The book sites examples from the scriptures, mainly "Doctrine and Covenants" in the alleged Holy Book, where the "believer" is encouraged to seek intellectual growth while shunning any urge to investigate claims of the religion. It is sort of like believing in Santa Claus: when you are old enough to know the truth, you must deny your logical brain its right. You must remain brainwashed so as to not lose all social and economic ties to those to whom your life is entwined. Very insightful and informative, I recommend it highly for those who are unaware of the cult that is the Mormon Church.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Insider's View of the Mormons,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest- The Sociology of An American Cult (Paperback)Park Romney, Mitt's cousin, has written a compelling book last year about Mormons ... and the tendency of authoritarian religions to crush the human spirit in general. (Check out the author picture ... he looks a lot like Mitt.)
Park Romney made the difficult journey up through the Mormon culture and emerged as a whole human being, even though his personal life was trashed by the process. This book is a ruthlessly first person account that will explain why Mormons are so immune to reason. It has penetrating insight into the way religions in general program minds using his own experience as a primary source.
Romney's experience within the Mormon Church was typical of an upwardly mobile young man with a bright future in the Mormon flock ... up to a point. Romney started to ask questions about the fundamental foundation of doctrine that the Mormon church is based on. At this point, readers who simply don't care about Mormon doctrine and practices may not be too interested. But for anyone curious enough to pick up the book in the first place, it's a detailed and fascinating view of an insider into the inner workings of the Church. More to the point, it's also a damning analysis of how a foundation based only on "faith" fails when subjected to critical questioning.
My sainted old dad used to say, "Faith is believing something that you know damn well ain't so."
But, as good as this book is in revealing Mormonism from the inside out, Park Romney isn't a writer! The prose can be tough to puzzle through sometimes:
"I would like to suggest that there are two fundamental approaches to the questions of epistemology that are differentiated by the relative value placed on two competing systems of validation, or differentiation, between knowledge and belief."
Good stuff! But I had to take a break after working my way through a chapter of that kind of writing. In places, the same paragraph trudges on for several pages. It's a good thing this book is short! Romney has a tendency to chew the juice right out of a topic. (I also review a book written by an enormously talented writer and a completely different style: Secret Ceremonies)
The facts that Park Romney is Mitt's cousin and they look quite a bit alike should not be the justification for reading this book. Miles Park Romney, their common great-grandfather, had 30 kids. (Five wives.) Romney cousins are all over the place. Park and Mitt have never met. This book stands on it's own merit as a serious investigation of how religions control people and how the Mormons do it better.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow; Park Romney nailed Mormonism,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest - The Sociology of an American Cult (Kindle Edition)Although this book was desperately in need of some serious editing for muddy wordiness and disorganization, Park Romney got his points across very well. I was glad to read a new perspective on this religion that didn't focus so heavily on the unsavory characters of Smith and Young. At the core of Mormonism's problem is the necessity for the members to put away critical decision making skills and rely on feelings and childish obedience to authority (to men only, of course!). Everything else stems from this egregious folly.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free your mind, (and your ass will follow...),
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest- The Sociology of An American Cult (Paperback)Sorry, my wife said that sounded a little vulgar... But it is still true. Romney, in The Apostasy of a High Priest, shows that to be the case. He gives a glimpse of what the Mormon mind set is and the courage it takes to change it and simply walk away. Don't be disappointed when you find that your journey will be a lonely one.
Mormonism points to the good that it does and the strong family ties, but they overlook the evil that it fosters and the broken families. This is a form of positive bias. Romney points this out and acknowledges that he is now considered evil and a pariah in his own family. What was his crime? He dared to think critically and question authority.
I have personally followed a similar path and experience that he has and found that his critique to be well thought out. I've often been puzzled why so many intelligent people find it hard to awaken from the coma that is Mormonism. He explains the method of mind control and the need to "feel good" and avoid disharmony. If you decide to wake up and experience reality without the programing, you should read this book.
When one awakens and leaves the Cult, there is a remorse that you may have influenced others and a need to make things right. I suspect this book is partially motivated by this. If I can offer any insight, it would be there is no need to apologize for being asleep. Don't waste any time weeping for your past deeds. Simply, wake up. That is enough.
Some other books that are relevant and assisted me to awaken to more conscious living (other may find worth reading):
"The unaware life is a mechanical life. It's not human, it's programmed, conditioned. We might as well be a stone, a block of wood."
"When you hear "Repent for your past," realize it's a great religious distraction from waking up. Wake up! That's what repent means. Not "weep for your sins." Wake up! Understand, stop all the crying. Understand! Wake up!"
Mello, Anthony De (2011-08-31). Awareness (p. 67). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
"A president who justifies his actions only to the public might be induced to change them. A president who has justified his actions to himself, believing that he has the truth, becomes impervious to self-correction."
Tavris, Carol (2007-07-18). Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) (Kindle Locations 168-169). Houghton Mifflin - A. Kindle Edition.
"Faith has falsified its trust when it presumes to deny realities and to confer upon its devotees assumed knowledge. Faith is a traitor when it fosters betrayal of intellectual integrity and belittles loyalty to supreme values and divine ideals. Faith never shuns the problem-solving duty of mortal living. Living faith does not foster bigotry, persecution, or intolerance."
Multiple Authors (2010-06-08). The Urantia Book (Kindle Locations 25529-25532). Uversa Press. Kindle Edition.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I applaud this writer!,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest - The Sociology of an American Cult (Kindle Edition)Park Romney is a magnificent and compelling writer that took me down a path to where I found myself saying, "Wow, I agree with this", quite often. The book goes beyond Mormonism and into the underlying philosophy of belief itself and the human roots of faith. I applaud this writer for coming forth and publishing what others think, but are afraid to say.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing courage,
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This One,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest- The Sociology of An American Cult (Paperback)The cultural frame of reference is the primary lens through which the central nervous system constructs reality. It begins with the hand that rocks the cradle. Mormonism is a subculture that raises an teaches its citizenry to believe that they belong to the one and only true church. It is a careful, thorough conditioning. It takes guts to state the obvious in a climate of traditionalized prevarication. Park Romney has done exactly that. [Also recommended [ASIN:1432788930 The Complete Mystery of Matthew Alcott: HERITAGE OF SECRETS]]
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different viewpoint,
This review is from: The Apostasy of a High Priest- The Sociology of An American Cult (Paperback)At the end of his book, Romney invites fellow refugees from the Mormon Church to recommend his work. I'm a fellow refugee, and for much the same reason: the Church's leadership.
The Mormon Church has an untrained, unpaid clergy. That's not a bad thing. Mormon leaders sincerely strive to build the Church and direct the members in the right way. That's not bad, either. Romney's book necessarily focuses on problems and shortcomings which are valid but not the norm. Because a lot of good things happen for individuals, families, and the community through the Mormon Church.
In the Mormon Church, you learn to cultivate your own personal direct connection with God. Simultaneously, you are constantly encouraged to look to the Church hierarchy for spiritual direction. What if there is a conflict? Then you must repent and follow the your Priesthood leaders. I've been in that position, too. Many people simply put up and shut-up. Others walk out. Still others try to keep it all together and go on despite the obvious conflicts and human failings. Romney eloquently captures that reality.
Ecclesiastical abuse has always been a problem, whatever the denomination or religion. From the priest who molests altar boys, to the rabbi who dehumanizes Palestinians, to the imam who encourages suicide bombers. Perhaps, someday, humans will feel free and empowered to approach and embrace the Infinite without depending on human clergy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great personal story,
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The Apostasy of a High Priest- The Sociology of An American Cult by Park Romney (Paperback - April 22, 2011)