I will answer your questions but will also note that this is typical of your style. You change the target. I noted that you really no squat about the LDS Church, its culture, processes and what it means too be LDS or really a person of faith at all. When you have more knowledge about this other than what you seem to have gleaned on message boards that debate things LDS then perhaps your criticisms will have meaning. Right now they have little because you have no frame of reference.
So Jason what do you think about Lifton's 8 conditions of thought reform?
I think the LDS Church has some light elements of those conditions as do most religious organizations to varying degrees. Many religions have stronger elements that are there listed early in their development and over time they out grow much of those conditions.
Do you see any connection with practices of the Church and those 8 conditions?
To a certain extent there are some of those 8 conditions.
Do you see it necessary or unnecessary that Bishops question individuals about their sex lives?
Why do you think bishops question individuals about their sex lives? Can you give me some real life examples? I know what bishops do and do not do for the most part and I see no detailed questioning by most bishops. I understand the reasoning behind this and know it has its roots in the idea of repentance and confession being part of this. It is not a unique LDS practice at all but common in Christianity.
..about intimate details of their lives generally?
Do you have examples of this. Do you have experience with this? Do you really know what you are talking about? Because this has generally not been my experience at all.
Do you think Bishops have adequate training to counsel people?
I think they have adequate training to counsel people in things that relate to their spiritual life, repentance, salvation as far as it is concerned in the LDS realm of things. I think they are no adequately trained to be therapist and most bishops will recognize that and send the person needing help to a professional.
Do you think that involving themselves in the personal lives in particular sex lives of members might be a technique by the church to destroy personal boundaries and serve to exert power and control over vulnerable members?
Bishop do not get involved in personal lives unless the person is making a confession in that area of their life. And then most bishops keep it general and avoid specifics and are even taught to do so. I do not think anyone has planned it in such a way to be a malicios attempt to exert power and control. But that certainly can be a result.
What do you think is the purpose of having members who reach a certain level within the organization wear special underwear?
Temple garments are to remind members of the covenants they make in the temple and to call their mind up to the spiritual aspect of that part of their lives.
The Cult of Confession:
Closely related to the demand for absolute purity is an obsession with personal confession. Confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal, and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself. (Page 425.)
Public confessional periods are used to get members to verbalize and discuss their innermost fears and anxieties as well as past imperfections.
The environment demands that personal boundaries are destroyed and that every thought, feeling, or action that does not conform with the group's rules be confessed.
Members have little or no privacy, physically or mentally.
Based on my personal experience that does not describe the confessional experience in the LDS Church. When you have actually observed it then you will realize how silly it is to relate the above to it. As you have no experience with it we will let you plead ignorance.