Persistent Repetition

Although I left mormonism more than 15 years ago, every now and then I find myself frustrated over lingering susceptibility to some of the control techniques used within the organization. In a recent instance, it was a repetitive request to install a security update on my phone—and which resulted in shutting down my hot spot.


I originally bought the phone to replace my internet service provider – a satellite service which was capped off at 20 GB per month. It was also sometimes quite slow, so my husband would have to move over to the hot spot on his business phone in order to get any work done. The ISP slow-ness became so obvious and frustrating that sometimes I’d just have to stand up and walk away or go mad. I began to also use my husband’s business hotspot after working hours. It happened so often that my husband suggested that we budget for a phone so that I could have a hot spot of my own. Then we could cancel our $60/month ISP and use the unlimited data on our hot-spot phones. My husband warned me though, that I shouldn’t install any software updates, or my third-party hot spot app might shit the bed.

I bought my phone in September and dutifully dismissed the requests for software updates that occurred every couple of weeks. But something unusual happened in February. I received a text and a “returned” call from two individuals whose phone numbers were similar to mine (the area code and prefix were exactly the same; only the last 4 were different), but were not in my contacts list. My number had been spoofed.

Luckily, the effects were short-lived, because one of the “fixes” I found for being spoofed was to change my number. I’ve had the same cell phone number for the last 13 years, so I didn’t really want to do that.

This experience left me feeling vulnerable, so the next time I received a prompt to install a “software” “security” update, I scheduled it to occur that night at 3 AM.

And it knocked out my hot spot.

I’m disappointed in myself for giving in to the redundant requests, but they had taken on an unrelenting quality and in the moment, I felt that if I went ahead with the update, I wouldn’t receive any more for a while.

Less than a week later, I received another software update request.

Sadly, when I look back to evaluate how my weak human brain allowed me to give in to a persistent, repetitive request – even though I knew it was dangerous – I find that the LDS organization isn’t the only entity that has taken advantage of this vulnerability. My first husband – a varsity level gaslighter – would do this all the time in order to convert me to his point of view. I won’t list all of the bullshit that he would tell me over-and-over-again (some of which regrettably slipped out of my mouth to others on subsequent occasions) suffice to say that repetition works as a planned, purposeful method of control. Television commercials use it (and any “brand” will put this to work, really). The trick is to harden this vulnerability into an impenetrable fortress – something I may be working on for the rest of my life.


ICYMI: The title of the article linked at the top of this post is “Repetition Important In Teaching and Learning, Elder Bednar Says.”

Related: Mormon repetition and Gilligan’s Island

4 thoughts on “Persistent Repetition

  1. If you knew much more about flaws and exploits that exist in the version of the software you were running, you’d probably be quick to update the software in order to fix bugs and protect yourself. Considering that you were using a third party app for your hot-spot, it sounds like it wasn’t allowed by the provider in the first place and that you found another way around it.

    Funny, that this seems to correspond with your relationship that you have developed with the LDS church. Lacking understanding and getting pissed off when it doesn’t work your way.


    • Just pray, pay, and obey, and you, too can inhabit the highest kingdom in the heavens with every other uptight, judgmental, self-righteous obeyers-of-men who ever lived.

      The security hole that my third-party hotspot app was able to take advantage of was closed because my carrier wants me to pay them a monthly fee for a hot spot through their company, and I’d rather avoid it with my one-time-fee app. This is what the LDS corporation wants its members to do as well: give more and more – all of your time, energy, talents, and monies to build their kingdom and secure your place in whichever heaven you deserve.

      One might argue that this is carrying out satan’s plan. You either obey, or you’re a sinner. What kind of free agency is that? There’s no choice. What’s more, obeying is easy; figuring out what’s best for yourself and your family takes skill and knowledge – and is every so often heart-wrenchingly difficult.

      And how can we ever know who to trust for guidance (read: to tell us what to do)? Early mormons mistakenly placed their trust in Brother Joseph, but I wouldn’t trust him – with what I know about him. For example, if the lost 116 pages of the book of mormon manuscript had been rewritten word for word, then I could believe that Joe “translated” it from the plates in the first place. But he couldn’t do it, because he wrote it himself (well, plagiarized much of it from other sources) and didn’t exactly have it memorized. He made up an excuse for the witnesses which members continue to believe – because they are not allowed to evaluate all the facts. If Joe had re-”translated” the first chapters in the same manner as he had before (plagiarizing) and gotten it wrong, Mrs. Harris might have produced the original transcript, proving that Joe was NOT receiving revelation from god for that or anything. Joe understood this and chose a different path.

      I can’t believe in mormonism or the leadership of the LDS organization today because they are directly responsible for fundamental mormonism’s polygamy – a system that imprisons members, especially the females. The LDS organization continuously deifies Joseph Smith and excuses his acts. If he could be evaluated on the basis of being a human – encompassing all of the weaknesses of a human – members might see that there’s something wrong with a man who marries his own foster children, preventing them from seeking marriage with someone of their own age. Mormons today look back on early mormons as simpletons who needed a prophet to guide them, but if you read the books of Joseph Smith’s contemporaries such as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Twain, you’d see deeply developed humans with flaws, faults, weaknesses, whims, and other human characteristics – including chicanery.

      If Brother Joseph couldn’t withstand the adoration of his followers and allowed himself to take advantage of the women whose husbands he’d sent on missions (adding polyandry to his already polygamous relationships), he was nothing more than a man – a man who would do anything to better his existence above that of a poor farmer, like his father. Not a prophet, he could not even foresee that in the event of his death, his widow would have to sue the church in order to retain her home and property for the survival and benefit of their children.

      If Brother Joseph were prophetic in any way, he would have known that future members of mormonism would view the signatures of the 11 witnesses of the boMormon and wonder why they were all written in the same hand – that of Oliver Cowdery. Why wasn’t Cowdery able to gather the 10 other people (all close friends and relatives of Joe) together to have them sign in their own hand, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 people 50+ years previously? Sounds fishy as hell.

      In my evaluation as a realist (and taking woo or god out of all things), the LDS organization has become the great and abominable building that Joseph Smith’s father dreamed about (as recorded in Lucy’s journal a few years prior to the BoM’s existence).


  2. And isn’t repetition taught in schools and in homes? Practice makes perfect? “Repeat after me”? Can you say, “Hi?”?

    This blog entry needs to be rethought.


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