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The day the Admin went berserk
chastising apathetic jerks
who laugh when shade is cast on Squirrels by Great Oaks.

It was a fight for survival
That broke down in revival
They were jumpin’ pews and singin’ Hallelujah!

Dear Reader,

Yes, I DO realize that on this website I have already mentioned and ranted on about the infamous Squirrel Parable that Elder Oaks first pushed out of his patootie and presented – hot, fresh and steaming – to a captive student audience at Brigham Young University on November 4, 2004. However, since Elder Oaks himself figured this mighty specimen of Mormon theological thinking was worth re-airing to a worldwide audience at the April 2019 LDS General Conference, I certainly hope you won’t throw a stink if I defer to 💩his example.

The Author


[VIDEO: Squirrel Story from Dallin H Oaks’ April 2019 GC address]

Here’s Your 2×4

Let’s get some things straight. A primary food source of the squirrel 🐿 is the acorn 🌰. Acorns are made by oak trees🌳 .Trees, squirrels and dogs all act on the instinct for survival with which Nature has designed them.

The Squirrel 🐿 was acting like a squirrel. Perhaps it was insanely busy pursuing the virtuous activity of harvesting and food storage. Perhaps it was even a mast year for oak trees 🌳, so the Squirrel 🐿was distracted from danger due to working at full tilt in his good industry.

Is it the fault of the Squirrel 🐿 that trees 🌳 make nuts?

Is it the fault of the Squirrel 🐿 that the Irish Setter ☘️🐕 has an enhanced and advanced instinct for hunting; a characteristic for which this sporting dog was deliberately bred by humans (and obviously not according to any desire of the squirrels)?

No.

Is it the fault of the Squirrel 🐿 that Elder Oaks can’t see the forest for the trees, loves to victim-blame, has not one molecule of empathy and is an incredibly shitty parable teller?

Is it the fault of the Squirrel 🐿 that many in Oaks’ audience are not only a lot like Oaks, but could LAUGH at the tragic and preventable demise of the Squirrel 🐿 ?

No.

They just hug him 🐿 and squeeze him 🐿 and call him George. George Floyd. They just keep clicking their tongues and shaking their heads and saying “it’s too bad” and doing nothing but victim-blaming the squirrel 🐿 that they don’t actually CARE enough about to actually DO anything for THEMSELVES.

So the next time I see an axe murderer 🪓 creeping up behind an apostle 🌳 busy delivering a self-righteous, self-serving speech for a treacherously dishonest religious institution, I will know exactly what to do about the silent threat ☘️🐕. And it will be all that axe-in-the-head-man’s own fault for not correctly determining where things will lead.

Yes, Elder Oaks, you council all of us to ask ourselves, “Where will this lead?” I’ll tell you, and your Brethren and your little dog ☘️🐕 Kirton McConkie, too. It leads to men like Sam Young and movements like #ProtectLDSChildren and #ProtectEveryChild

Revenge of the Apparently Undead Zombie Campus Squirrel

I’m Not Done Yet

I know that in the parable, Elder Oaks was not specific about the tree being an oak🌳. Could you bear with me, however, in imagining that maybe it WAS an oak 🌳and maybe it a mast year, too. It’s amazing that despite the squirrels’ relationship with oak trees being identified as symbiotically mutualistic, the teacher in the following video can also describe the behavior of the oak 🌳 toward the squirrel 🐿 as “incredibly manipulative”. The video also explains what a mast year and tree masting are:


[VIDEO: How Oak Trees Manipulate Squirrels To Abandon Their Acorns by Steve Mould]

Can I suggest that more than being manipulative, it might even be a downright TREACHEROUS behavior for the oak tree 🌳 to use its fruit, the acorn🌰 , against the squirrel🐿. Everyone knows that squirrels love acorns so much that they’re forever associated with them. For the Squirrel🐿, the acorn 🌰 is delicious to the taste and very desirable. Always circling the oak 🌳 for that fruit which is “sweet above all that is sweet”, it never enters the Squirrel’s mind that it’s oldest, truest, most faithful friend and partner, the Oak🌳, could EVER use the Squirrel’s 🐿 own love, trust and loyalty as a weapon against it. The happy Oak’s 🌳 mast-year acorn crop naturally produces an overpopulation of doomed baby squirrels 🐿 the following year. This is no tragedy for the Oak🌳 . Quite the opposite, actually. For me, this realization introduces dark shades into a relationship of so-called mutualism.

There are more baby oaks for the Oak 🌳 if squirrels spend their entire lives working their tails off all in an effort to spreading the seeds of the oak gospel as far and wide as it can for it’s own salvation and for the salvation of the oak🌳 and its kind. The Squirrel 🐿 sleeps soundly in the very bosom of the same PROVIDING, PROTECTING tree 🌳 that it 🐿and generations of its kin before it have always known as their Home. Maybe the PRESIDING, that is, the predominance of the oak 🌳 in their relationship lies in the oak always maintaining the upper hand. Know thy enemy.


[VIDEO: Lady Gaga – Til It Happens To You (Official Music Video)

What If?

For the record, I was too busy with Baby Pteradactyl to take ANY notes.
So I was an obedient little squirrel.”
– Katie Moore

That is actually something I wrote on Facebook on June 19, 2017 in a conversation about our local LDS stake conference, two years before I’d ever even heard of Elder Oaks’ squirrel story. I’m shaking my head at myself.

So what if the squirrel in Oaks’ little story survived the attack? How would it feel now… about it’s audience… about nobody coming to it’s aid… about it’s traumatic experience being aired to the world… about the world’s reaction… and about being used unfairly and judged unrighteously in a pompous victim-blaming object lesson? I ask this because I am that squirrel. Post after post on this blog testifies to that, and to the fact that I am still trying to get over the near-universal betrayal of it all.

Six months after Elder Oaks patronized us with his “parable” in General Conference, as October 2019 General Conference drew near, I began to get agitated again. What was he going to say now? Who and how many among them were going to drop 💩 the next bombs? What idiotic, victim-blaming sewage 💩 was going to emerge from their fountain of filthy waters next? Who, which Latter-day Saints, based on the speaker’s position of authority, would internalize the poison and descend further into despair and self-hatred in their lives?


VIDEO: Tiktok user Genie_man’s impersonation of Elder Holland

I should know, because that once was me as a young child and teenager. I wasn’t about to put my soul through that kind of offense again… but it was happening… again. The Oaks April 2019 General Conference SQUIRREL address had followed in the heels of the horrific Renlund January 2019 CES WHACK-A-BOY address, which had followed an October 2018 General Conference address that shocked and wounded me so deeply that my decades-long, all-session-attending devotion came to an abrupt, and I determined, permanent end.

Why keep returning to a dry well to drink? After all of these unapologetic repetitions of self-righteous, spiritually abusive sermons, my heart for General Conference completely died when even Elder Jeffrey R. Holland could hurl daggers at me. Et tu, Brute? Apparently, gone are the days where Holland could be for me An High Priest of Good Things To Come, whose healing words were once such a balm to the soul of a certain completely distressed and agonized young mother. A 22-year-old who, despite being 4 months pregnant with her second child, was perilously close to committing the suicide she’d studied out, planned and was prepared to complete.

I realized something that overcast April afternoon. It was quietly, calmly very clear that Elder Holland wasn’t speaking for Jesus Christ anymore. He couldn’t possibly be. I knew it wasn’t the first time he’d spoken as a complete dick in the capacity of his office. I could no longer rationalize that his change in attitude was an anomaly nor anything but permanent metamorphosis. I’d personally watched his seeming sudden descent into the awful state of becoming nothing more than an unrecognizably cruel and hateful old corporate executive with little more to do with his beautiful powers of expression than to turn them into bitterness; to chastise and berate in the name of a lost-sheep-seeking, Prodigal-Son embracing Savior who wouldn’t speak anything of the kind.

In my opinion, the covenant made against evil-speaking of the Lord’s anointed includes those endowed rank-and-file, faithful members of the Church who have received the Ordinance of the Initiatory. In seeking to dishonor such as these pure-and-honest in heart, who have verily been victimized in this Church, you dishonor yourself, Elder Holland.


VIDEO: Elder Holland’s completely victim-blaming, LDS-ecclesiastical- abuser defending October 2018 General Conference Address.

Like the squirrel in Oaks’ tale, the now-deceased Brother Bowen berated in Elder Holland’s address was made into a straw man and subjected to ad hominem attack. (I don’t care if this was done with one member of his family’s permission, either! It wasn’t done with his!) I recalled other General Conference talks I have heard, such as the story of Irene Corbett. I even thought of President Nelson’s poor bee… uh, wasp. To me, it increasingly seems as if Latter-day Saint leaders have grown to love pontificating with mischaracterizing homiles from atop the mounds of the defenseless dead.

On October 5, 2019, I decided to do a little therapeutic writing. I imagined I had returned to the scene of the crime and found the squirrel actually alive. In the style of a nature-documentary narrator, I then proceeded to relate the remainder of our sassy little hero’s story.

Barely recovering with her life, the squirrel slowly began to put herself back together. They had all watched it go down, they had… Without a word of real warning in her defense, they had used the attack – which they had witnessed (and done nothing to prevent) – to mock her instead.

Like somehow it had been her fault for being a squirrel at the same time the hunting dog was praised and excused for being a dog. The squirrel could hardly see how audiences around the globe had laughed over the retelling of the incident. Fast forward to right now, six months later.

She returned to the dying forest where everything had happened. The squirrel began to devour the acorns — yes, the little Oaks — along with all the other little tree nuts. She was genuinely surprised at how good it tasted to, well, unapologetically be a squirrel… and dare to make a meal of THEM….rather than penitently – and yes, she realized now, unnaturally – continuing to allow them to make a victim out of her. Not anymore. Never again.

And then the squirrel lived happily ever after.


VIDEO: Beth Crowley – I Am Not Nothing (Official Music Video)

Turning Tables

Reproving betimes with [clarity] when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of [unfeigned] love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy: that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
Doctrine & Covenants 121:43-44


VIDEO: Adele – Turning Tables (Lyrics)

While scrolling through my Facebook feed, I found out about the Malibar Giant Squirrel. According to snopes.com, “the Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) is… a large tree squirrel species native to India. These squirrels, also known as Indian giant squirrels, can grow to more than 4 pounds in size and 3 feet (including the tail) in length. These colorful, omnivorous animals spend most of their time in the trees of South Asia, feeding on everything from insects to flowers to nuts.”

Look, Jane, look! See the Irish Setter run! See, Jane, see!

This discovery made me so very, very happy.  I wondered how Elder Oaks’ story would play out in India and laughed right out loud!

The Mighty Mormon Squirrel Revival

A month after I “channeled” the soul of the survivor squirrel, she came back to me again in another creative project. I made a car-themed floor playmat for one of my children based on one that I remembered from my own childhood which my mother had made. First with pencil, then with permanent Sharpie markers, I drew a little town, complete with houses, businesses, public institutions… and featuring all manner of streets for him drive his Hotwheels and Matchbox cars all over. After some inner debate, I decided to go ahead and include a church in the design after all.

There is a Ray Stevens song called The Mississipi Squirrel Revival to which my husband introduced the children after they got distraught over hearing their Dad and I discussing the Oaks squirrel story. Jeff knew the song would make them laugh, stop their distress and comfort their soft hearts in regard to Elder Oaks’ hard heart. I admit that the kiddos take particular glee in that music video, too, and it’s regularly played at our house now.

I decided to illustrate the church mentioned in the song to “represent” for organized religion on the car mat. The willow tree in the old church yard is an ancient symbol for grief. It is also used deliberately, in memory of all the people who have suffered deeply under the undue influence of unrighteous dominion, especially the Mormon kind. I based the building upon actual memory. As a child, our LDS congregation rented an old church like this one, complete with stained-glass windows, an outhouse and a very creepy and dilapidated graveyard.


VIDEO: Ray Stevens – The Mississippi Squirrel Revival

Yup, there’s the First Self-Righteous Church, and the little squirrel… STILL ALIVE and eating up baby oak seeds!!!

Lol, now you know what I was alluding to in my choice of the title of this post: The Mighty Mormon Squirrel Revival.

Itching Triggered Fingers

I am an admin for the Protect Every Child page on Facebook. I find myself completing this blogpost tonight as a result of getting triggered this morning while typing a status update for the page. (More on that later). I ended up spending hours on this squirrel thing today, which is what happens sometimes when I get triggered. This is one reason why serving as an admin is a love-hate thing for me, and for a time, why I had to take a break from it. I am passionate about the subject of children’s rights, but getting involved in the movement can sometimes cause days like today. I didn’t mean to upset myself, but it flowed out of a place in my heart that was ready to speak.

From early on, retreating into books and composition is the way that I learned to cope. As an empath with a keen mind and an understanding heart, synthesizing the multi-sensory overload of this world and my thoughts in regard to them is most easily possible for me through the organization and catharsis of writing them all down. Through writing, I give myself permission to think my own thoughts and allow myself the power of telling the truth as I see it. This has become the PRIMARY way in which I heal.

My husband says that after I have finished with that day’s passion project, a certain light returns back into my eyes along with a happifying revitalization of my countenance and in fact my entire body. I am so thankful that my family understands me — and because they do — are willing to give up the time and space necessary for me to write whenever and however long my muses insist upon it until the muses themselves can rest in peace again.

Therefore, I don’t consider the time that I’ve spent today on My Squirrel Issue and it’s larger ramifications to be wasted. It was these greater issues, actually, which triggered me off and sent me backwards into my anger and anguish over Elder Oak’s stupid teachings. I decided to organize and publish all of this stuff about My Squirrel Issue in one place – this post – in the hope that maybe someday, somebody out there who is hurting as I have hurt will find my stories validating and helpful in their own healing. I can’t be the only Apparently Undead Zombie Campus Squirrel out there. 🙂

Those Greater Issues

Just below is the status update I wrote for Protect Every Child on Facebook this morning. For the sake of you, the reader, I have put what I term “those greater issues” in purple boldface font. My composition was a commentary upon the following video:


VIDEO: Creepy Game Show Host by Thinker of Thoughts

How was this male host’s behavior ever considered normal, let alone tolerable in American society? How was this show not immediately pulled or the host NOT immediately sacked?

I don’t know about you, but my youth and childhood have more than one memory of men who acted like this host does. You could always find them around children and females at church. More than one of them kept candy in their pockets to attract little ones, reminding me of how flocks of pigeons gather to bread crumbs.

This is what the utter disrespect of another person’s bodily autonomy looks like. This is what the beginning stages of predatory grooming look like. It was done openly, laughingly, almost mockingly. The man seems to be aware of his impunity and even glory in it! Who’s going to stop him?

No one, apparently. It looks like he had plenty of help. It began with his poor behavior not even being recognized as bad by not only the live audience but also by the producers and consumers. It was not SEEN for what it truly was. His predation was hidden in plain sight by the real or chosen ignorance and blindness of most people who witnessed it (“in seeing, ye see not”).

A few folks probably shrugged off the host’s behavior as being harmless. That’s called discounting, and it’s a form of victimization.

Worse yet, ALL of the witnesses kept sitting there and watching, whether it made them uncomfortable or not. That’s called enabling behavior, and it’s a form of victimization.

Even the little girls themselves had not been taught that they could say no, or that it was socially acceptable to defend themselves instead of “being nice” or “keeping sweet”.

LDS apostle Elder Oaks’ little victim-blaming parable about the squirrel, the Irish Setter and the college students tells pretty much the same story as we witness in the game show situation. (In my opinion, one could name Oaks’ squirrel George Floyd. Yet with the parallel drawn by using this third example, certain people STILL wouldn’t be able to see the connection.)

Let’s not mince words here: The actions and reactions in this video were obviously seen by society of @ 60 years ago as ACCEPTABLE behavior.

Poor girls! It’s painful to watch them trying to protect themselves all on their own.

It’s time to quit watching and JUST watching, without doing any more than that. It’s time to leave the audience and climb on to the stage to stand beside and defend the little children. It’s time to start speaking up and acting out to be the change you wish to see.

That is why Protect Every Child is so grateful for EVERY person who is choosing to stand through their own actions of advocacy and/or through their support of victims, survivors and other advocates. Thank you for making movement and evoking real-world change. Thank you for truly seeing and genuinely choosing THE CHILD. -admin Katie
#ProtectEveryChild

In the aftermath of putting my opinion out there to such a large forum of readers, I admit to being a bit boggled by the reactions that appeared in the comment section. I guess I wasn’t expecting what I got. I thought there would be more discussion upon the things I wrote about the video. Instead the most common and repeated expression that anyone bothered to take the time to type was variations upon the theme of “That’s So Gross!” *sigh*

I honestly felt a bit dismayed, too, that more than one person expressed the opinion that “this wasn’t happening anymore today”, especially not in the Church. Are you seriously kidding me?! In society generally and the LDS Church specifically, the beginning stages of predatory grooming and victimizing behaviors such as discounting and enabling are continuing to happen. What the hell else have I been typing myself blue in the fingers for today?!

Photograph of the author taken today with a page from the children’s book,”Nobody Listens To Andrew” written by Elizabeth Guilfoile and illustrated by Mary Stevens

It seems like I haven’t been being truly heard. Again. Story of my life. A lyric from a song I used to listen to as a teenager came to my mind. I would listen to Vincent when I was feeling particularly depressed and suicidal. The words popped up while reading over the comments coming from people who I kept reminding myself actually SUPPORT protecting children:

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity, and how you tried to set them free
They would not listen – they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will

*sigh*

No more dead squirrels.

Please?

Just no more dead squirrels.


VIDEO: Casting Crowns – Does Anybody Hear Her? (Official Music Video)

I write.

For the sake of the squirrels.

Please just accept that I have been wired by an Intelligent Designer
to be among the highly-sensitive people in this world, and get over it.

When folks complain

to my face or behind my back

about me, about my writing, about anything else they judge unacceptable or untoward in me…

When they wonder what’s wrong with me,

and decide maybe they’ll actually bother with asking me about it,

All they’re gonna get

— instead of being invited to wander among
the penned and keyboarded flowers
in the sacred garden of my mind
as honored guest
and appreciated audience —

I repeat,

If I’ve spoken
and they still can’t seem to hear
what I am so CLEARLY and CAREFULLY saying

ALL they’re gonna get

is this kind of behavior instead:

It’s easier and more fun than writing in the sand.


[VIDEO: Caroline Jones – Rise (Official Music Video)

I’ve been sleepin’ in my mind
But now my heart is risin’,
Risin’ with the tide
Floating on a wave, buoyed by the sea
Carry me away ‘cause the world is not for me

If I could see through different eyes
From ten thousand foot skies,
I’d navigate the lies
And never fear demise, nor be timid of the rule
How can I grow wise if never I’m a fool?

And home, home is in my heart
So why do I get lost in the crowd tryin’ to be proud?

Oh I must be quiet enough to hear sound
The song inside my soul as it echoes in the clouds

Hey, I’m going to sing it loud
I’m going to sing it loud

Raindrops ripple as I breathe
I can feel the deep blue miles from my feet
Coming up for air,
conscience coming clean
I have left the past at the bottom of the sea

‘Cuz, Home, home is in my heart
So why do I get lost in the crowd tryin’ to be proud?

Oh, I must be quiet enough to hear sound
The song inside my soul,
I’m going to write it down

I’m going to sing it loud
I’m going to sing it loud

Oh, no matter where you land
Or how far you may fall
You have heart; you have hands


And the highest calling of our lives
Is to find the grace in the very place we stand

And rise.
Rise
We will rise!


Note: This essay may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This presentation is making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of religious issues. This essay presentation is a Creative Commons work – available for free in the public domain – of criticism, commentary, research and nonprofit education and thus constitutes a ‘Fair Use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided in the United States Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107.

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