Searching for the Source of Mitt Romney’s Secrecy

In the United States Constitution, Article Six says, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States,” and it was the only mention of religion in the Constitution prior to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Article Six is important to maintain a secular aspect to the government by not excluding any American from serving in the government, or from giving preference to a particular religion to make laws affecting every citizen. In light of the mounting questions regarding Willard Romney’s shroud of secrecy regarding his personal finances and growing concern over his dubious separation from Bain Capital, it is worthwhile to look into why instead of transparency, he is secretive and subverts the truth in order to achieve the most powerful office in the land.

One of the primary aspects of a cult is absolute secrecy. Before going any farther, this article is not an indictment of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but it never fails that referring to Mormonism as a cult incites a rash of hateful emails and phone calls deriding the mention of the c-word in relation to Mormonism. However, by all definitions from religious, behavioral, and sociological scholars, the Mormon faith is indeed a cult. Besides the aforementioned secrecy, the main aspects of a cult are a divinely inspired leader, secret teachings that are immutable and beyond criticism, preoccupation with bringing in new members, an exalted status for itself and its leadership, absolute obedience to its leader who is not accountable to any authority, and a secret strategy for imposing a theocracy. By definition then, Mormonism is a cult and the overriding feature is secrecy surrounding the origin of its dogmata, the unchallenged authority of its leader, and plans for world domination.

There are volumes available detailing the secret plans to seize control of the United States to save the Constitution and establish a world Mormon theocracy. In fact, there is a secret political organization within the church called the Kingdom of God whose goal is gaining a political stronghold in the U.S. government and place the country “under the rule of the priesthood” whose members are sworn to secrecy under penalty of death. Brigham Young stated in the Journal of Discourses (p. 341) that the Mormon goal was “no more or less than the complete overthrow of the nation, and not only of this nation, but the nations of Europe.” This is relevant to Willard Romney’s practice of lying and deceiving the American people as to why he wants to be president and why he is concealing the true nature of his departure from Bain Capital. It is also relevant that Romney has sworn absolute allegiance and obedience to the President of the Mormon Church, or as he is referred in Mormon circles, “President Pro tem of the world.”

The only reason Romney’s religion matters is that he has spent his entire life learning that secrecy and, to a degree, deception is accepted and practiced as a matter of course. The recent revelations that there are discrepancies in disclosures about exactly when he left Bain Capital should be enough to raise red flags, and his reluctance to follow his father’s example and release tax returns going back 12 years is causing suspicion from Democrats and Republicans alike.  Yesterday he said he would only release one more tax return, and then not until his accountants finish it, but no more because there are secrets he is desperate to keep out of the public domain such as the millions he has hidden in off-shore accounts.  An honest man who had nothing to hide would want to set the record straight, but apparently Romney’s record of earnings and dealings as head of Bain Capital are too secret for the American people to learn.

Romney’s secrecy problem does not end with his alleged departure from Bain Capital, because in 2007 at the end of his term as Massachusetts governor, he spent nearly $100,000 of state funds to replace computers as part of an unprecedented attempt to keep his records secret. In fact, Romney’s effort to wipe out his records as governor are similar to Mormon founder Joseph Smith having a newspaper’s facilities burned for reporting on his practice of polygamy, and no, Romney is not a polygamist, but there is a reason he, like Smith, feels the need to erase evidence that may be damning to his chances of becoming president.

The Founders were astute to include prohibitions on any religious test for public office, but there was no religion that demanded absolute obedience to a religion’s “President Pro tem of the world” when the Constitution was written. Romney took a secret oath and pledged complete devotion of his money, time, and talents to the LDS church for the sole purpose of building up the kingdom of god on Earth, and it raises a legitimate question of where his loyalties lie if he is elected president. Obviously, Romney has not disclosed to the American people that his first allegiance is to his church’s leader instead of the Constitution or the people he expects to serve.

A candidate’s religion is private and personal, but that has not been the case with President Obama and Romney should not get a pass just because Mormons are nice people, albeit very secretive nice people. For some unknown reason, Americans want their leaders to be religious and it is a curiosity to say the least, but they also want their leaders to be honest and transparent. Willard Romney is neither honest nor transparent, and whether it is because of a lifelong involvement in a secretive cult or he has something to hide regarding money and his tenure at Bain Capital, his actions are raising legitimate questions about why he is so secretive. He needs to come clean with the truth because the problem with keeping secrets in 2012 is that with technology available today, there are no secrets.

12 Replies to “Searching for the Source of Mitt Romney’s Secrecy”

  1. “Besides the aforementioned secrecy, the main aspects of a cult are a divinely inspired leader, secret teachings that are immutable and beyond criticism, preoccupation with bringing in new members, an exalted status for itself and its leadership, absolute obedience to its leader who is not accountable to any authority, and a secret strategy for imposing a theocracy.”

    By definition then, so is Catholicism.

  2. With all due respect, though the Mormon religion has objectionable points, George Romney always struck me as an honorable man, and so did Stewart and Morris Udall. Rott uses the dishonorable aspects of his religion because he is dishonorable.

  3. There are two things I would add or say about cults.

    One, they’re coercive. ALWAYS. The fundamentalists fit the definition and they’re internally coercive, that is, they exert extreme control over their own members. Dominionists, on the other hand, seek to exert control over everyone. The means of coercion may be mental/emotional, they may even be physical, but people are coerced.

    The second is that while dominionists are under a strict hierarchy, at the same time there doesn’t seem to be a specific recognizable leader. Yet they’re as much of a cult as the Mormons.

    I agree that Mormon doctrines, beliefs, and practices raise some important warning flags. Since it’s their doctrine to try to overthrow the government (Treason, anyone?), any action must be examined with a very critical eye. The deception… very familiar to anyone who has been in or dealt with cults. It’s another hallmark. Cults don’t tell the truth.

    We somehow need to get our hands on Romney’s tax information – WITHOUT having it whitewashed and filtered and “cleaned up”. That too is something I instantly recognize… and it infuriates me that people would take Romney at his word (if I were a government agent, I wouldn’t want him to have the chance to change or remove things before they were taken into evidence).

    I’d also like to point out all of the similarities between Dominionism and Mormonism. They’re so much alike that it could be said that they’re two peas in a pod.

  4. True to an extent. Most of Catholic beliefs are open for examination, and are public. The Pope’s influence is also not complete… many of the people in the pews do not agree with him or his hierarchy on a number of subjects. It’s not as fixed as people usually think. (I’m not RC, I’m relating what RCs I’ve known have written or said.)

    Dominionism, on the other hand, fits the mold perfectly.

  5. Any secular humanist may agree that all religions are cults, however, this was about Willard Romney’s particular cult. Religions are by nature coercive, but there are few that are entirely secret, driven by proselytizing, or demand devotion of time, money,and talents to the faith and its leader.

  6. Xeno – Catholicism has many detractors within the Church that are not faced with expulsion and isolation, a feature of cults.

  7. Romney was raised believing that secrecy is Holy and Godly because of the Mormon Church. Mormons do nearly everything in secret, that’s a fact.

    This pattern of secrecy is what he knows; it’s all he knows. It’s his very way of life.

    It is actually the very thing which is anathema to public office and could be the main reason why Romney should never, ever, be president.

  8. Cult experts agree on the following as “universal signs” of cult activity. 7 out of 10 is the marker.

    10 warning signs of a potentially unsafe

    Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

    No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

    No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

    Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

    There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

    Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

    There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

    Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.

    The group/leader is always right.

    The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

    10 warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

    Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

    Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower’s mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused–as that person’s involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

    Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as “persecution”.

    Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

    Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

    Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supersede any personal goals or individual interests.

    A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

    Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

    Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

    Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

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