I went and saw 'Tangled' yesterday. It was far better than I was expecting it to be. I sat there through the entire movie with my jaw on the floor. That movie was my life. It was the story of my bondage and escape from Mormonism. Not only were the effects and animation brilliant (saw the 3D version), but it was chalk full of symbolism.
This post is a spoiler. If you haven't seen the movie, go watch it first.
Let's start with the evil woman. She selfishly hoards a magic flower because of it's ability to keep her young and beautiful. But when the king's pregnant wife suddenly becomes very ill, the flower is needed to save her. The magic of the flower is used and it's powers are transformed to the baby girl. Her hair possesses the same healing power. Addicted to her now centuries old youth, the evil woman kidnaps the girl and locks her in a tower. Raising the girl as her own daughter, she uses the girls hair to continue with her beauty therapy.
The evil woman has convinced the child girl that the outside world is dangerous and that she must stay in the tower to avoid the horrors of the world. She "loves" her daughter and that is why she must stay in the tower. Of course, her real motive is just to keep the girl captive and use her to keep her youth.
This evil woman was the LDS church. Claiming that they "love" you, they keep you locked up in a figurative tower of fear, all the while sucking away your time, money, and talents. Of course, their ulterior motive is not to "save" you, but just to suck you until you are dry. You must never leave the LDS tower because the outside world is evil and dangerous. As long as you stay in this figurative tower, you will be safe and they can manipulate anything they want out of you.
Rapunzel, the beauty with the magical golden hair, is a common member of the LDS church. Raised in a brainwashing environment her whole life, she struggles with her bondage but at the same time is terrified of disobeying her "loving mother". She longs to see and experience the outside world but is terrified to leave the safety of the tower. Although she is a complete victim of this evil woman, she naively clings to her, just as LDS church members cling to their precious prophet. She is a kind-hearted victim of a huge lie, just as are LDS church members.
Throughout the movie, Rapunzel is given little hints and clues as to her true identity. She fails to see them at first, but eventually has an epiphany where she realizes that she has been deceived and then sees the evil woman for what she truly is: an ugly old hag. LDS church members who have had similar experiences (that is finally seeing the truth about the reality of their world) suddenly see the church for what it really is: an ugly cult.
All of your life, you have been a victim of this cult. You have been told that in order for Jesus to bless you, that you must fork over the dollars. You believed it and you gave them your dollars so that Jesus could freely bless you. Month after month and year after year, you faithfully paid your "blessings" bill. At that moment when the light came on, you suddenly realized that you have been the victim of a major dupe. You forked over the dollars in exchange for blessings that never really were there. You suddenly realize that Jesus does not love you; "he" loves your dollars.
The ruffians in the bar represented the normal people of the world: evil and terrifying. But Rapunzel, instead of judging them, saw them for what they really were. When she realized that the evil was not the outside world, but the wicked woman who had kidnapped her, what was once viewed as evil suddenly became her ally, while that which was once viewed as friendly suddenly became the true evil.
So it is for those who leave the church. The world, which was once viewed as terrible and evil, now becomes your ally, and the church, which was once viewed as holy, now becomes the true evil. No testimony required. The truth is crystal clear.
Rapunzels magical golden hair represents the resources that LDS, Inc. milks from it's members for their own selfish benefit.
The tower represents the LDS gospel, which keeps people in mental bondage.
Rapunzels struggle within herself over her dilemma of being stuck in a tower for her own benefit but wanting very much to experience the outside world represents the conflict that exists within members of the LDS church who "know its true" but want to experience life outside of the Mormon bubble.
I am sure that there are other parallels that I either missed or forgot about. Anyone who has seen this movie, what did you think? What other parallels did you notice?
I am personally convinced that all LDS church members are, on some level, aware that they live in a world that is make believe, just like Rapunzel not feeling quite right about life in a tower. On some level, all religious people are struggling to wake up from this bad dream.