Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Gospel In A Tower

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.


Heather said...

Very good analogy. It's amazing how stepping away from something like the church can bring such clarity. The church makes things out to be simply black and white, and while I think my world is full of color now, there is definite black and white when it comes to dangerous institutions.

I think I disagree on your last paragraph. My parents/extended family are prime examples. They would never question even the most ridiculous law or rule the church would throw at them. They see it as another testament of it's truthfulness. I remember the stupid flip flop rule and my mom ripped me a new one when she
found out thats all i wore on my feet Sundays. If the prophet asked for 15%, they would gladly pay. They are so brainwashed and find comfort in the ridiculousness associated with it.

But deep down, I hope they get pissed enough to figure it out. I just don't see it happening...

Mormon411 said...

Yea, it's hard to say for sure. Looking back, deep down inside I always knew it was a bunch of crap. But the years of conditioning overpowered that small feeling and I was left, again and again, defending the church and boldly stating "I know it's true". If you had known me before, you would never guess in a million years that I would leave the church and become an active voice against it. I was the golden child who obeyed all the rules and always did what I was told. Maybe I am wrong, but it at least is true of me.

Heather said...

I don't think you are wrong, and I don't think I'm right. There are so many people like you and my husband who have those nagging thoughts which lead to asking questions. Its good and healthy! Then there are people like me and my family who do not question...ever...the only reason I am out of the church is through my husband. I would still be in it 200%, wasting my time, $$ and life.

Here is a question that I have wanted to ask someone, so I will use you. =) My husband and I were talking about a cousin of mine who has many mental health issues. It appears that she has no moral compass at all and cannot make healthy decisions on her own, but only make decisions through parents and church. Do you think that some people need a religion (not necessarily the Mormon church) to help guide them to make wise and healthy decisions because they cannot on their own?

Valerie said...

I like this analogy a lot.

And even though you didn't ask me, Heather, I will give my opinion; I think some people really do need a church or religion to manage life. In fact, if you examine history in some areas, it specifically states that some religions/churches were created specifically to keep people in order and in line, obeying the rules.

Mormon411 said...

Sadly, Heather, I have to agree with Valerie. Although it is unfortunate, I do believe that some people just can't function without some type of external guidance. And although religion provides a false hope, it is that hope that gets some people through life. They really do need it. People who are hopelessly dependant on the system, like your family, wouldn't know what do to without it. So, I suppose it is better to have people addicted to a church rather than to some things which are far worse. My wife has resisted my trying to convince her. She needs it. At least for now. We just need to accept the fact that some people will never see the truth and they are happy living the way they are. We should NEVER let religious differences be our fault. If believers want to shun us, so be it. But it should never be the other way around. Hopefully that way they might notice, as Anakin Skywalker, that there is still some good in us.

Valerie said...

No effin way. . .

Did I really just read a Star Wars reference?

My son was speaking about Star Wars to me the other day (he's 8) and it was a total reference to the church.

Something about somebody believing he can heal people, so he can, whereas if he doesn't believe it, then he can't....

Can you say priesthood power?!?!