Authoritarianism - Site Map
Religious Authoritarianism exist protected, but in
contradiction to the principles of democratic societies
where it resides. It is characterized by a
centralization of power that is generated and maintained by
excluding intellectual challenge and potential
challengers, and that creats allegiance through various means
of socialization. It mobilizes people around group goals.
Its followers demand certainty and unity.
1) An absolute truth claim is made to being right.
2) All important decisions are made by officials behind closed
3) A hierarchy puts church interest ahead of concern for
members it purportedly serves.
4) A leadership is self-appointed, cannot be displaced,
and has indefinite tenure.
5) A disregard of civil liberties or tolerance of
meaningful public opposition is the norm.
6) A tendency is to respond to challenges through tighter
7) A closed court system controls internal opposition and
8) A pervasive bureaucracy is screened for obedience and
The result is a society weakened by lessoning the sense
of individual responsibility. Individuality is
submerged to group goals, expectations, and conformities.
Freedom to create groups or publicly advocate ideas that
compete for power or question the decisions of leaders is
suppressed by the church, which instead attempts to impose
controls on virtually all elements of the religious
community. And if allowed, expand controls into the
larger society through force of law.
What happens when authoritarian followers find the
authoritarian leaders they crave and start marching
together? [Bob Altemeyer's - The
Dr David P Wright was an assistant professor
of Hebrew and Near Eastern Languages in the Department of Asian
and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University.
His account of intolerance and Church disciplinary action
is recorded in
Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 3 Chapter 23
By Bob McCue: Mormonism (and many
other religions that use the same system) are all about the
details of daily living, and result in such a busy day to day
existence that there is no opportunity to think about where the
train is headed.
This is not the result of the plan of some evil men sitting
around in the Salt Lake Temple. Rather, this is how human
social organizations of all types to some extent function. They
spontaneously organize to protect themselves, find the
resources they need to flourish, etc. The reason that the rules
of modern democracies are so important is that they run against
the hierarchical gain of human groups, and so force human
organizations in an unnatural direction. This requires leaders
to account to members; this restrains the natural direction of
power; this requires information about how and why leadership
decisions are made to be disclosed to the members. Perhaps the
clearest lesson from human history is that absent the
constraints that democracy imposes on the power of those at the
top of the social pyramid, power will be abused. [The