Is it religious intolerance to point out a suicide epidemic that is concentrated in a small area of the world, that is controlled by a highly intrusive and morally rigid moral system?
Apparently this is all about perception. However to paint this picture clearer. There is one very unique religious group in the USA, which has many branches, and many many changes since it first started in 1830. The name of the church has changed, the books of the church have changed, the doctrines have changed, all in about 190 years, this organization has become not only one of the largest religious organizations by membership, but also it is THE wealthiest organization in the world, exceeding the riches of the Catholic church for that matter.
So for someone like myself who was raised in this organization raises issues about this area and also the effect that the organization has on the area, with scientifically proven data, peer reviewed by the people that this particular state hired to watch over these issues, such as the Director of the State Psychiatric Association.
Notice now, I am not being specific about identifying any state or religious organization, but I am sure you already know which one I am talking about. The features of this state and this organization specifically stand out and identify what the organization and the state are, without giving more than a few generic facts.
After losing many people to suicide and overdose from this particular area. I looked up the facts of the matter, and it was obvious to me that the town that I grew up in, (who at the time of my research had put out a PSA) saying that this town was “nipping street drugs in the bud, and are seeing success”. It was basically a propaganda video touting the “clean life” and “successful community” that this town had become. This town has always had a reputation for being the source of street drugs for the rest of the county. So the city worked with the police department to draw up a false equation about street drugs.
While I knew their PSA was hogwash, it was ever more evident that they skewed the numbers on purpose.
For example they used a local study that focused on high schools in the area. Despite that the studied cited illegal drugs, it also cited legal substance like huffing gas, and alcohol, etc. But ironically it failed to mention the most prominent drug in Springville, and in the state for that matter, which is prescription drugs.
According to a City Council meeting on March 18th 2008, a few experts showed up at the meeting to talk about it. Some drug treatment workers, and police with experience in these studies. They cited a study that showed that the county they were in was 7/10th of percent higher than the state averages, and that the state is the highest consumer of prescription medication in the nation, doubling the national average of prescription drug use. But the thing that stuck out was when they mentioned that this town had 7/10ths of a percent higher than the county average.
Here is how I make the claim that this town has the highest prescription usage rates in the nation, perhaps the world.
- The USA uses the most prescription medication in the world
- Utah (the state we are talking about) doubles the national average of prescription drug abuse, and is the number 1 prescription use state in the nation.
- Utah County is the highest prescription using county in Utah
- Springville uses 7/10th of a percent more prescriptions than the highest use county in the highest use state in the highest use country in the world for prescriptions.
City Council Meeting 03/18/2008 (original Version)
City Council Meeting 03/18/2008 (whats on their website now)
I have buried 18 friends including my youngest brother. I have lost 2 people this year alone in Utah that were good friends and who I spent a fair amount of time with in years past.
If I am shamed or restricted from citing the data, and repeating the words of the Director of the Utah Psychiatric association, because the studies and the words often point to the overly rigid moral system that the LDS church forces on every resident in Utah via the legislature that the LDS church controls with a 90% majority compared to non-members of their church.
(Yet Utah is around 60% LDS, which is a huge decrease since the 1970s and 80s when it was nearly 90% LDS). Then there will be no discussion and no change.
Yes I do point my finger to the LDS church ALSO. Its not only the LDS church, there are many other contributing factors. Affluence and not participating in group activities are shown in other states to be factors. Although I think the LDS Church’s moral system and their monetary influence over the rest of the area, including surrounding states can make for a depressive situation.
This is why I think Utah is a depressive situation.
These are the words from former Director of the Utah Psychiatric Association, Dr. Curt Canning.
Few here question the veracity of the study, which was a tabulation of prescription orders, said Dr. Curtis Canning, president of the Utah Psychiatric Assn. But trying to understand the “why” has puzzled many, he said.
“The one true answer is we don’t know,” said Canning, who has a private practice in Logan. “I have some hunches.
“In Mormondom, there is a social expectation–particularly among the females–to put on a mask, say ‘Yes’ to everything that comes at her and hide the misery and pain. I call it the ‘Mother of Zion’ syndrome. You are supposed to be perfect because Mrs. Smith across the street can do it and she has three more kids than you and her hair is always in place. I think the cultural issue is very real. There is the expectation that you should be happy, and if you’re not happy, you’re failing.“
The study did not break down drug use by sex. But according to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, about twice as many women as men suffer from depressive disorders.
Discussion of the issue inevitably falls along Utah’s traditional fault lines. Some suggest that Utah’s unique Mormon culture–70% of the state’s population belongs to the church–requires perfection and the public presentation of a happy face, whatever may be happening privately. The argument goes that women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are beset by particular pressures and are not encouraged to acknowledge their struggles.
I think I will risk looking like a bigot, rather than turn my head and pretend that none of this is happening.’
I have recommended this book in the past. I will post it up again.
Suddenly Strangers – By Brad and Chris Morin
I can attest that the “hive mentality” that the speak about in that book, and the way they were “suddenly strangers” in their family, when they started questioning the LDS church and scripture critically, is very similar to how I experienced leaving the LDS church.
I have heard this more times than I can count, and this is very common in Mormon culture. They say “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”.
Its not a particularly Mormon saying, because other areas and people use that saying too. But the LDS church has church court, and church discipline which includes “Dis-fellowship” and if it is egregious, like sex before marriage, or smoking weed, or even writing a history book that the LDS church disagrees with, you may get “ex-communicated”.
It’s all about separating a member from the things that they love, so that they will be drawn back with more appreciation.
If you aren’t aware of what those two terms mean, spend some time looking it up. There are different levels of distance as I understand it.
While the LDS church practices that discipline/guidance in a court type of basis, but on a regular occasion, it is common to find micro-elements of this in peer groups, school, and work. Where people are not out right mean to you, they just keep their distance if you are “not in the fold” or mostly if you reject anything about Mormonism, but if you drink or party or especially if you attend a different church, you will feel this attitude at a smaller strength, but still very present.
At one time Brigham Young use to have disidents of the LDS church, and “apostates” murdered, calling it “Blood Atonement”. That one is a doozy, look it up if you don’t believe me.
Journal of Discourses
Vol. 4, p. 215-221
A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, February 8, 1857
You are aware that when brother Cummings came to the point of loving our neighbours as ourselves, he could say yes or no as the case might be, that is true. But I want to connect it with the doctrine you read in the Bible. When will we love our neighbour as ourselves? In the first place, Jesus said that no man hateth his own flesh. It is admitted by all that every person loves himself. Now if we do rightly love ourselves, we want to be saved and continue to exist, we want to go into the kingdom where we can enjoy eternity and see no more sorrow nor death. This is the desire of every person who believes in God. Now take a person in this congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved in the kingdom of our God and our Father, and being exalted, one who knows and understands the principles of eternal life, and sees the beauty and excellency of the eternities before him compared with the vain and foolish things of the world, and suppose that he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to it without the shedding of his blood, and also knows that by having his blood shed he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a man or woman in this house but what would say, “shed my blood that I may be saved and exalted with the Gods?”
So I guess we can be thankful that they don’t murder people any more for leaving the church, or being a dissident. But it was only about 100 years ago that they practiced this. This kind of explains why the culture sees no conflict with putting people in “time out” or “disfellowshipment” or “excommunication” . Its like You act different, ok, your going in the hole! You must be good little bees. Or else!
I do not think it’s religious intolerance to call out things about a religion which could potentially hurt people, as it has done so many times in the past.
With Utah having some of the highest overall and teen suicide rates, and with suicide being the leading cause of death for kids ages 11-17, I think it is highly important to call this out. As it says in the Bible Proverbs 27:5 “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed“.
After I had raised an issue about this, Utah, Suicide Rates, Prescription Drug Abuse, and Bullying. Someone had wrote this from my class (reunion site).
I personally didn’t attend the reunion despite having connected with many of you since graduating.
Seeing some of the recent posts and struggles of our group, I’m reminded that the struggles of our youth often shape our perception well into the future and color our thoughts for better or worse. While some of us are fortunate to look backward with fondness, there are others who cannot. I count myself among the latter. However, even that connects us through the common thread of our youth. So, I hope that provides enough room for some small portion of mutual understanding.
Sadly, yes there are medication issues in Utah. But the causes of such a complex issue cannot be summed up as succinctly as a religious problem. So many factors play into this one issue there is no simple solution. For example, up until a couple years ago it was standard curriculum in Medical school that a person taking pain meds for actual pain cannot become addicted. It seems silly but it’s true.
Surprisingly, reading through these recent posts brought me to tears. I am saddened for those who are not doing well, and even more for those who have passed under unfortunate circumstances. These recent instances are as unfortunate as the rest. Whether it was Katie Packard, Leslie Hjorth, Heather Stoddard or any one of the people we got to know growing up, too many of us have been lost to drugs, suicide, or tragedy.
You can bet that I wish I had answered when Katie called me at 1:30am the night she passed away. I can’t help but wonder if I could have done something to save her life. It haunts me, and likely will for a long time.
I suppose I’m also saddened by those with public voices who’d use them as a medium to promote intolerance (as if we didn’t have enough of that in the world already). Whether it is racial, cultural or religious intolerance it is still intolerance. We get nowhere by being uncharitable and failing to understand one another. So what good does it do to wound those with whom we don’t agree?
I will end this by saying that I have many mixed emotions about my high school years and Springville. Most are the result of kids learning to be adults and learning the impact their actions have on others. Embarrassing as it may be, I likely hurt some of you, and for that I’m sorry. I’m pretty sure if you read this you’ll know what I mean.
However, I also have lots of fond memories. While I may not have made it back for the class reunion, I am grateful to so many of you and the ways I was able to be a part of such a remarkable group of people and for the way you have all shaped my life and my perception of the world. The world is definitely more colorful because of you.
from a group from my high school reunion, its good words I don’t know if the person would care if I posted this, but the group is public after all
The following is my reply on Facebook. I left it in the original format, I had a difficult time responding, because facebook would only let me post 8000 characters at a time. Despite that my post was under 8000, it still made me break it up into 3 posts. So that is why it is easy to blog about it here.
I have to break this down in to two or more posts, its too large for one comment. FB says comments can’t be over 8000 characters, but this is at 7960 total So I have to work around it.
Other person: “𝘚𝘢𝘥𝘭𝘺, 𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘜𝘵𝘢𝘩. 𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘹 𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘶𝘱 𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮. “
(this is just after a point that I had just made about prescription drug abuse in Utah)
My reply: I have taken the time over the years to reflect on memories of Springville, and growing up there. There were so many. From playin hookie on the fire-road during school, to going to Sandy Beach or Payson Canyon on the weekends.
Your words are true about suicide, prescriptions and depression. It is certainly not accurate or fair to blame it all on a particular religion.
Yet I find by either school pride, home town pride, religious pride, or other factors, we tend to white-wash the things that we love and care about, to a point of pushing all of the tattered and uncared-for items under the rug.
Many experts who are Utah residents and even people like the former director of the Utah Psychiatric Association have particular hunches of why Utah is rather unique in psychiatric issues.
Since I brought the information and claims forth to being with, I feel compelled to give proper sources.
“𝗙𝗲𝘄 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝘆, 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝗮𝗯𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀, 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗗𝗿. 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝘁𝗮𝗵 𝗣𝘀𝘆𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗻. 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗿𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 “𝘄𝗵𝘆” 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝘂𝘇𝘇𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆, 𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱.
“𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝘀𝘄𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝘄𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄,” 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗟𝗼𝗴𝗮𝗻. “𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀.
“𝗜𝗻 𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗼𝗺, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻–𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗲𝘀–𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝗸, 𝘀𝗮𝘆 ‘𝗬𝗲𝘀’ 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗻. 𝗜 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 ‘𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗭𝗶𝗼𝗻’ 𝘀𝘆𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗲. 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗠𝗿𝘀. 𝗦𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗸𝗶𝗱𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲. 𝗜 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆, 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴.”
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝘆 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗱𝗿𝘂𝗴 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗯𝘆 𝘀𝗲𝘅. 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵, 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝘄𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝘀𝘂𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀.
𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝘆 𝗳𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗨𝘁𝗮𝗵’𝘀 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗮𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀. 𝗦𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗨𝘁𝗮𝗵’𝘀 𝘂𝗻𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲–𝟳𝟬% 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲’𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝗽𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵–𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗴𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗳 𝗝𝗲𝘀𝘂𝘀 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿-𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗦𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝗯𝘆 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗴𝗴𝗹𝗲𝘀.”
(That is from the LA times)
For me, when everything uncomfortable, religiously challenging, or as we recently saw with how the LDS Church handled how the people spoke up for passing Proposition 2, is silenced, squashed, or hidden, that makes me want to speak out twice as much.
I went on a rant, and I mentioned a small incidence, in a small portion of my over all video, which seemed to catch the most attention.
That issue was so small, compared to the big picture of what I said and what I have been saying for many years.
I blog about Utah, Springville, and Mormonism and the pressures within on a regular basis. It’s how I cope with so much loss.
I have been writing and protesting the Springville police for many years.
This issue is something that I will be fighting until I get to my ultimate resting place I am sure.
But I think the biggest thing that bothers me, is how people hush small problems so much in this area. Like Dr. Curt Canning explains it above. Like I know it’s uncomfortable to talk about. But with record suicides, suicide attempts, overdoses, and anti-depressant abuse in Utah, it is particularly important to discuss this issues. So thank you for opening this door.
Almost a decade ago, I was working on an issue exposing how Springville the little town that we grew up in, is #1 in the country for anti-depressant usage. I got my stats (which are displayed on my websites below) from Springville City Council meeting March 18th 2008, as well as from that study that I referenced above from prescription drug companies.
The way that this works out, is that Utah doubles the national average for prescription drug usage. Utah county is the highest county in Utah for prescription drug usage, and Springville (according to Pat Bird and other experts at that meeting from 2008) say that Springville uses 7/10th of a percent higher usage of prescriptions than the rest of the county, and that the county uses more than state averages and is the top county for prescription usage, and that Utah despite touting a healthy lifestyle is the number 1 place in the nation for prescription usage.
So this leads me to the conclusion that Springville is the #1 Prescription Drug capital of the USA.
I put my logic and references in this video
As far as it not just being a Mormon thing.
I spoke about that in my recent radio show too. How high affluence, and wealthy areas have a tendency to have higher than average psychiatric problems.
So it isn’t ALL a religious affiliation or presence.
And it is also found that people who participate actively in religious orgs, tend to be less likely to commit suicide.
But the change that I think we are seeing, with suicides increasing 142% in just a few short years in Utah, is the changing demographics. Where at one time nearly everyone was Mormon. Not just over half of Utah is Mormon.
So with the LDS organization still occupying 91 seats in the Utah legislature, making LDS members occupy about 90% of the seats. Yet only around 60% of the population is LDS.
Which means that 40% of people are getting highly restrictive and overly rigid moral systems forced on them, by law, that is not likely to be in tune with their lifestyle or beliefs.
This couldn’t have been more obvious than this December when the LDS church overruled the will of the voters by nullifying Proposition 2.
And it is this force, and the shaming and isolation tactics that are historically and provably coming from one source, that I reject and resist.
My emotional outbursts in reaction to losing more friends this year was uncalled for. I was wrong for being so crass.
But I am not sorry for speaking up about this issue.
Other person: “I suppose I’m also saddened by those with public voices who’d use them as a medium to promote intolerance (as if we didn’t have enough of that in the world already). Whether it is racial, cultural or religious intolerance it is still intolerance. We get nowhere by being uncharitable and failing to understand one another. So what good does it do to wound those with whom we don’t agree?”
My reply: Since I brought this up, and it seems you replied, I will clarify. My critique isn’t really anti-Mormon. My pain comes from a few different places. But I was raise LDS, both sides of my family, back to the 1850s. I don’t know of many people in my family who aren’t LDS. Even the family member who is gay goes to church some times (and rants about it afterwards)
But I was raised in Utah as a son of a non-active Mormon family.
Many uncles and cousins went on missions. My grand parents worked in the temple for many decades.
I was never one to seek anything from the LDS church. I never had a calling, never got my priesthood thing situated, and I eventually got my name removed from the LDS records dept. in the year 2000.
I have a lot of respect for many aspects of the LDS faith and more-so their business organization in general.
However the only way this ties back to the LDS church, is that the scientists are even starting to say that the oppressive, competitive, and often harsh atmosphere for non-members is causing some psychological reaction.
How can anyone change it? What is my major solution?
Get the LDS church out of the government. The first Amendment, and the Federalist Papers are extremely clear about the government giving favor to a particular religion. And what we just saw in December was a harsh reminder of just how much the LDS church controls a population that is almost as much non-LDS as it is LDS.
Otherwise are Mormons good? I don’t think Mormon people (layman) are any different than any other member of any other church.
I just think its the toxic messages (by leadership), political interference, and a high rate of LGBT suicides, when the church policy has also been known to try to subvert things like gay marriage in California.
If the LDS Church minded their own business politically, and maybe even culturally. I think people would be less stressed. In general. I think that is the big solution. And of course legal weed will help reduce the prescription issue a lot.
Reference to articles that I have written about this over the years:
References that I couldn’t include in the posts above
Reference to articles that I have written about this over the years:
Springville’s minutes that they now hide on their website, I retained it on the internet archive though:
listen to my recorded interview with Troy Fitzgerald.
The following link is my critique of their 2010 Drug Awareness video
City Council Meeting 03/18/2008 (original Version)
City Council Meeting 03/18/2008 (whats on their website now)
PPS. (addition 03/25/2019 @ 12:20pm -10 UTC)
Beyond stating facts, which may be considered “anti-Mormon”.
Other people may find it interesting that when Dwight and Stephen Hammond, as well as the Bundy brothers and family, and of course Lavoy Finicum were unfairly harassed and provoked by the BLM and other government agencies. I was one of the first to rally support for them.
I wrote blogs, recorded broadcasts that received many 10s of thousands of views (that I didn’t monetize either), and eventually on the day they buried Lavoy Finicum, I took out my loaded rifle, walked peacefully down to the state house (legislature) in Augusta Maine, and held a vigil for this very Mormon fella Lavoy Finicum.
The police could have and probably did see me as a threat, and they could have rightfully shot and killed me. So I risked my life to prove that what Lavoy Finicum did when he was carrying a rifle, or a pistol or whatever (such spurious and hazy evidence), even if he did carry those items, I proved it is legal to do so. Our permit is the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
Reference the video that I took of the entire protest. Showing that I meant no harm. I complied with the police’s orders, even if they slightly infringed on my rights. I still showed them respect. And I walked away and they walked away peacefully, fully respecting one another.
All of these fellas that I was protesting for were Mormon’s. I risked my life to stand up for their rights. It had nothing to do with their faith. I had a lot of people on my social media feed criticizing me for standing up for them. But I stood up for them. I would have stood up for them if they were Catholics, or Islamists, or non-believers. The fact they were Mormon was obvious, with all of the media they were getting. But that didn’t phase me one bit. I would do it again too.
Hell at the time those Mormon ranchers were under fire, they were getting very little support from the leaders of their church. They went to some lengths to distance themselves from the Bundy’s and the Hammonds and all the rest. Some of the press releases at the time was obvious of that.
Yet even when their leaders and what seemed like half of the rest of the world were standing against those folks, myself and a handful of other people were willing to lay down our lives for them..
Seems like the only time the LDS leadership get a revelation or a notion to help something political, is when it is gay marriage or marijuana. From my experience. Of course everyone’s experience is different.
But the religion of a person does not matter to me in the least, when standing up for something.