Ep 307 – Unrighteous Dominion: The Smackdown


Posted September 25th, 2016

Should LDS Bishops ask 7-year-old children if they “touch themselves” or if they show their private parts to others?

Jake, Matt and Glenn dramatically and critically re-enact a real live secretly recorded bishops interview with a real live secretly recorded bishop.  If you believe that Prophets instruct Apostles, and that Apostles instruct General Authorities, and that General Authorities instruct Stake Presidents, and that Stake Presidents instruct Bishops, and that Bishops instruct Elders Quorum presidents and Relief Society Presidents, then you probably don’t need to worry if you are ever in a car accident.  And you would also certainly fail in a game of Six Degrees of God (i.e. Kevin Bacon).

The reddit link with the original source material can be found here:

Masterbation now a question for 8 year olds in the Baptismal interview. from exmormon




  • Aussie Infants Fan

    Great Sunday evening listening! What if the kid dies in a car accident? What the actual F#@k was that??

  • Aspiring exmo

    I’m 34 now. My bishop asked me if I masturbated before I knew what the word meant or what it even was. I don’t know how old I was at the time, but probably around 10? I responded that “I don’t know what that means” and the bishop just pushed onto the next question. I believe every bishop after this one also asked me this question directly.

  • Lost in Canada

    I’m 54 and was asked the M question when I was 12.
    It seems obvious that 8 yr. old children shouldn’t be baptized since they aren’t old enough to understand the interview questions. The church should change the baptism age to twelve. BTW, when I was interviewed for my baptism I don’t recall being asked the M question, it either didn’t happen or I didn’t understand the question.

  • Kim

    As someone who teaches sexuality education to young kids, this is killing me!!!! Both perspectives of the people in the recording are troubling to me.

    I have to disagree with Glenn on one thing. I do think these questions/meetings are a big deal. The reason I have a rule that my kids will never be alone with an authority in the church is because of messed up questions like this. These questions are packed full of shame and just being asked it can instill a sense of shame that was never there before. And he has no nuance. Saying no one should ever touch your genitals, what about a doctors visit?

    As Matt pointed out kids are touching themselves for pleasure from the beginning. Is this bishop aware that bodies with a penis can have erections in the womb? Maybe he needs to start having interventions with newborns.

    This conversation is totally based in the illogical thinking that led the Utah legislature to declare pornography as a public health crisis. Listening to him it is at epidemic proportions, yet an epidemic that only seems to affect Utah. They are really good at creating the problem that only they have the solutions to.

    • Glenn

      I like to think I repented of that early “I don’t think I’d care” comment the more we went through it. I totally agree with you Kim. Not the place for those kind of discussions, for so so many reasons. Forgive me. 😉

      • Kim

        Yeah, I should have said I disagree with your statement at the beginning that you also later disagreed with. 🙂

  • Man, that’s hard to listen to. I’m with Matt: If I had kids, there is no way any adult would be allowed to talk to them behind closed doors without me present. It’s like questioning a suspect without their lawyer present. The parent and bishop both freely admit that the kid isn’t going to have any idea what the whole thing’s about. And this is someone who now knows right from wrong and is accountable for his every act? Forget twelve. People shouldn’t be baptized or conscripted into anything until they’re eighteen. Twenty-five would probably be even more realistic. Ask the insurance companies when people begin to be responsible. Their rates are based on actual real world raw data and twenty-five is when they start relaxing rates a bit because that’s when people quit being quite so stupid and start taking responsibility for themselves.

    I never even heard of the “M” question till I listened to Mormon Stories. My reaction was, “How pervie is that?” Then I heard that these old fat bald guys (bishops) ask teenage girls the same questions, which sounded somewhat less pervie but whole lot more statutory. The conversations that parents really need to be having with their kids is, “Your personal life, especially your private parts, is none of this old fart’s business. Tell him whatever you want or nothing at all. Just smile and shake his hand firmly when you leave. Maybe wink as you do. Yeah, wink as you leave. That’ll drive him nuts.”

    • Lost in Canada

      I was joking about 12. Re-reading my comment I can see it’s not funny. These worthiness interviews are so misguided and ought to be illegal. Is there anything that could be done regarding sexual questions with minors, Matt?

  • There was a lot to cringe at in this one, and there are much bigger issues to unpack, but I really wanted to flip a table when the bishop tried to “tattle” on the wife to the husband. Painting women as unreliable sources isn’t just a mormon problem, but mormonism does put a weird and ugly spin on the phenomenon. Her word is less valued and less trusted than her male partner’s. Since women are under a subordinate authority, even in the role of mother in this case (supposedly the most important and authoritative one we play), her concerns as a parent are dismissed and taken less seriously than the same concerns when expressed by the male parent. To this day I’m still annoyed that in the “breaking” point conversation I had with a bishop about my slow collapse of a faith crisis, the first question that he asked after I’d detailed a nearly ten year struggle was, “Hmm…what does your husband think about all this?”

    • windy_way8192

      The bishop should be deferring all prophetic power and insight to the child’s primary caregiver, the mom. Shouldn’t giant alarm bells be going of when he violates this boundary? Yes, but they don’t, because not only is he conditioned to think he has special power, he carries that further to make it override the parents’ authority.

      But, anyway, yes, with the church I have had similar experiences where our TBM friends talk to HIM, not me about our changed beliefs.

  • Ron Hill

    Since Satan is THE Spirit of contention it’s little wonder that we are all such Master-debators. 😛

    97% folks …. and the other 3 are likely to em-bare-assed about their bare asses to admit it.

    As an aside, my son recently turned 8 and his mother wanted him to be baptized. I told her that as long as it was his choice and he was informed about what the decision entailed I’d support it, otherwise, I would not give my consent.

    When I had the opportunity to present to him what his decision entailed…
    1. You are joining the LDS church and promising to attend all your meetings. That means you cannot complain about church or Primary anymore. I expect you to stop giving your mother trouble about this.
    2. You are promising to pay 10% of all the money you get to the church, for the rest of your life, even when you think you need it more at the moment.
    3. You are promising to follow and do what Jesus wants, and this includes what your church leaders ask you to do.
    4. You will be asked to do things and serve others in various callings throughout your life.
    5. You will be expected to go on a mission.

    I was going to keep going, but at this point he basically said, “No thanks.” 🙂

  • Orrin Dayne

    The dramatic reading, the panel discussion, and the editing (three pattern!) were fantastic. I loved this one.

  • oldscoop

    This bishop takes liberties with Law or Chastity, which is defined in the temple as “no sexual relations except to your husband or wife”. So, ‘touching yourself’ does not qualify. Some bishops have an inflated sense of their charter, inspiration, and authority. The best (but hardest) response is to call them on their BS. The parents could have played his game when he suggested they could keep their son from getting baptized to avoid the question but his sins would be on their heads. They could say that he could force them to keep their son away from baptism by insisting on asking questions that the policy does not require and that is inappropriate for their son, and if he did so, the sin would be on his head. “Better hope he does not get run over.”

    I was bishop’s counselor twice and frequently had temple recommend interviews with youth. It did not take long to realize that you don’t have to ask everyone all the questions.

    When I asked some kids “do you obey the law of chastity?” and realized they did not know what it meant, I would suggest that they talk to a parent for an explanation. No swimsuit analogy needed. It seemed wholly inappropriate to explain it, although I didn’t recognize at the time that even doing the “behind closed doors” thing was inappropriate.

    30 years ago a bishop asked me in a temple recommend interview if I drank “colas”. I had heard he was doing this, so I responded by saying ‘it’s not an authorized interview question, so you can’t ask that’. He was thrown off but got angry and said he could counsel his members on anything he wanted to. I said ‘counsel away – I’m not answering the question’. Same interview, same bishop asked me about ‘wearing the garment night and day’. He told me that if he saw a member of his ward out mowing his lawn with his garment top off, he would yank his temple recommend “so fast it would make his head spin”. I knew my in-law’s bishop mowed ‘topless’ all the time. When I had the second interview with a member of the stake presidency I asked him “Bishop xxxx said he would withdraw a temple recommend from half-naked mowers. Bishop yyyyy is a half-naked mower. Can Bishop xxxx yank Bishop yyyy’s recommend?”. The counselor shook his head in frustration with my bishop and said “no”. Even if they are well-intended, they need correction like anyone else.

    • windy_way8192

      I spent forty years constructing apologetics for the human failings inherent in the church structured by flawed humans; then I realised that not only are the humans flawed, the fundamental structure is flawed and fatally flawed because it is a violation of each and every person’s spirituality.

  • Brad

    I want to be direct, blunt and straightforward; there is never a time where it is OK for a grown man to discuss sexuality, masturbation or genitalia with children, adolescents or infants.
    That would be a triple three pattern biatches!

  • Seth L.

    Just listening to this bishop describe Satan is painful. This belief in an imaginary enemy that can seep into your home like a leak. This fear based monster affecting your life. So worried that our children won’t properly fear them that we control every aspect of their life. Teach them to fear their bodies. Fear making a mistake. Fear allowing this enemy to control you. At where I’m at now. I cannot and will not believe such manipulative bullshit and I will fight any man who claims to have spiritual authority over my family who tries to enforce this on my children.

  • Ice Profet

    I got to meet the couple that recorded this a few years back at a new years party. Hearing his recording brought back some rough memories of my own. http://churchofthefridge.com/religion-knows-no-bounds/

  • David

    The ‘A Few Good Men’ bit at 1:30:20 is hilarious. I was driving on I-70 and almost crashed I was laughing so hard. Intro was pretty great too

  • windy_way8192

    Doesn’t it feel so gross? Just stop and think about the random torrents of authority we release onto our young children in the church. Too much trust.

  • Sandra Harper

    Oh my gosh… the difference between innocence accountability… is clear except to this dirty biship… dirty filthy bishop… sick man

  • Chris Taylor

    Wondering if you guys have changed your opinion about sexually explicit interviews in light of the Petition via protectldschildren.org and also Dehlin’s episodes making a record of the trauma that these interviews have caused. I just came across this episode and was surprised that all three hosts didn’t really have a problem with Bishops asking this question, and instead focused on the authoritarianism. Other organizations would never stand for these types of questions from a priest, neither parents nor leadership. See this story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4903732/Priest-asked-students-masturbate-watch-porn.html (Catholic priest fired same day for asking these types of questions, and parents acted immediately)

    • Glenn

      How about you bring it to the table all fresh and new with a listener essay for us? I haven’t been paying attention to the issue and don’t remember what I said about it a year and a half ago to know if my position has changed or not.

      • Chris Taylor

        I see what you did there 😉