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A Question For Runtu (The Book of Mammon)

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:38 am
by Aristotle Smith

I recently purchased (and received today) a copy of "The Book of Mammon." It's a book by an LDS anthropologist who worked at the COB. The book is based on two things: some historical research he has done and his experiences working in the COB. As far as I know the author, Daymon M. Smith, is still an active LDS, but I would consider him a very liberal Mormon.

In any case here's my question to you, Have you read this book? And if you have, is his representation of what goes on in the COB accurate? I have no reason to think he is inaccurate, but people can sometimes get a false impression because they may work in a bad department or have a horrible boss which taints their view of their workplace.

Also, if anyone else has any insights into how the COB works (especially as it pertains to this book) I also welcome your comments here. And, if anyone has read the book, I also welcome your comments on it.

Re: A Question For Runtu (The Book of Mammon)

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:43 am
by Willy Law
One of my favorite Mormon Stories podcasts ever was an interview with Daymon Smith.

Re: A Question For Runtu (The Book of Mammon)

Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:01 am
by Aristotle Smith
I read the first couple of chapters. This has got to be one of the funniest books I have read a long time. Not because of the content, but because of the way Daymon Smith goes about presenting it.

Also, he has got a very unique take on Mormonism. When I finish the book I may start some threads talking about some of his unique viewpoints.

In any case, Runtu, I am bumping this thread for you!

Re: A Question For Runtu (The Book of Mammon)

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:37 pm
by Runtu
I plan on reading it but haven't yet. I heard bits and pieces of his interview (I've been extremely busy lately), and it rang true to me.

I used to distinguish between three churches:

1. The institutional church, which is the office building, the hierarchy, the policies and procedures.

2. The cultural church, which is the sum total of the not-necessarily-doctrinal things that make people culturally Mormon.

3. The church itself, which is the doctrines and the priesthood and the spiritual power.

I've since come to realize that all three are the same, just different ways of looking at it.

At the COB, you see the institutional church most of all, and it's very conservative, very corporate, and very much like working for a state agency. The difference is that there's always this underlying "spiritual mission," though most of the time it's just given lip-service.

As an organization, it's very top-down, fiscally tight, and very much male-oriented. I was talking to a colleague who also worked there previously, and she mentioned how women up there tend to work in a passive-aggressive way because to be assertive is to be considered worse than a ____.

Anyway, I don't know that I have much to say, as I was low in the food chain.

Re: A Question For Runtu (The Book of Mammon)

Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:52 pm
by Aristotle Smith
Thanks for the reply Runtu. I think you will enjoy the book. I may be starting some threads on some of the topics in the book in the coming weeks. I will wait until at least a week after the FAIR conference because my guess is that any posts on anything other than FAIR and Chuck Norris Jr.'s presentation will be lost in the shuffle.