Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Founder’s Cult

July 15th, 2015 by G.

Peter Thiel says that successful new companies tend to turn into founder’s cults. It’s only natural. Building things is hard. Building institutions that build things is harder. You look around and see this successful thing, in a world of friction and entropy, and your heart is filled with respect. Respect is a form of love. It is akin to worship.

It’s not just companies. America is a founders’ cult. So was Rome.

So are the more successful religions. In principle, a set of beliefs about God doesn’t need a heroic founder to work. In practice, Moses, Mohammed, the Buddha. Or Christianity, which fundamentally ascribes only secondary importance to Jesus’ teachings. (In Mormonism, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. One could even speculate that God permitted polygamy and racism, respectively, so that modern Mormons would have enough psychological distance to listen to the modern prophets.) (Progressivism has saints but no Founders, which is why it’s so mutable and immune to attack, but which is also why it will end in destruction.)

Even the Boy Scouts are a founder’s cult.

Even families are. One is tempted to say, especially families are.

At a certain place we learn that the prince of this world likes to wear symbols of his power and has tell people what they are. He likes visible expressions of his power: tyranny, sin.

There is another prince who can afford to countersignal. His power flows without compulsory means, not because he is powerless, but because he is great. Greatness can reach such a degree that followers and obedience naturally accrue to it. At the greatest reaches of power, power creates itself. It can reach such a degree that to enter its presence is to say, knees, fail me now. Tongue, confess.

It can reach such a degree that to experience his works is to worship.

Reality is a founder’s cult.

 

Comments (5)
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July 15th, 2015 08:45:26
5 comments

Vader
July 15, 2015

Applause.

“One could even speculate that God permitted polygamy and racism, respectively, so that modern Mormons would have enough psychological distance to listen to the modern prophets.”

An interesting insight. Particularly since, in the case of polygamy, it wasn’t just permitted; it was commanded on pain of Joseph Smith’s life.

I wonder if polygamy was another case of God ensuring that Mormonism would not become another Pascal’s Wager.


Zen
July 15, 2015

Interesting.

The first thing in the vision of the three degrees of glory, that is said of the Telestial Kingdom, is

” 99 For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.

100 These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch;

101 But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.” D&C 76:99-101

It is not enough to worship Christ. We must worship him as our Savior and Redeemer, the Son of God, not Jesus Christ, Superstar. We must listen to the prophets as witnesses and representatives of the Father and Son, not merely celebrities who do the talk show circuit.


Bookslinger
July 15, 2015

“One could even speculate that God permitted polygamy and racism, respectively, so that modern Mormons would have enough psychological distance to listen to the modern prophets.”

I’m unclear on how you mean that and why. Distance between what and/or who? Are modern Mormons just those alive today, or does that include all Mormons since 1830? By modern prophets do you mean GBH and TSM or JS through TSM?


Zen
July 15, 2015

I find it interesting to look at how most conventional christianity blends seamlessly from congregation to congregation. You can find every variation of belief and if you don’t like one church, you can fine tune until you do find one that you do happen to enjoy. Most churches have a common vocabulary and expectations. If they can’t agree on baptism, then baptism just isn’t all that vital. etc, etc.

In contrast, Mormons have a completely different vocabulary. We understand the same words often quite differently than others. There is a very significant cultural and theological gulf between Mormons and conventional christianity. People may pick and choose between Calvanism, Pentacostal and Baptist ideals, but Mormonism does not set itself up so easily for the Cafeteria model that has become so popular.

We have several distinct tenets and beliefs that make it so that you don’t casually become a Mormon. If you are going to do that, you have to have some commitment and dedication. You have to make some significant changes.


Andrew
July 15, 2015

There might be something for everyone to doubt or feel uncomfortable with in Mormonism! What I find amazing about it is that you’re not supposed to convert without some direct confirmation from God – which is the ideal (and only?) way, ultimately, to transcend doubts, questions, hesitancy, etc.

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