Wednesday, March 08, 2006


According to a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll, 73 percent of Utah members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints support the Iraq war, while 62 percent of non-Mormons oppose the war.

So, no big surprise, most students at Utah's Brigham Young University still overwhelmingly "support" President Bush. In fact, most of those polled gave the same answer, "Yes, vee support zee President. Vee support zah trooops. Vee love America. Beep! Bop! Beep! Bop! Please insert gerter."

It's no secret here in Mormonville that President Bush has been diefied into a servant of God. A recent picture of Mormon President Hinckley shaking hands with Dubya didn't help any. The idealogy of the Republican Party has been pervertedly equated with the beliefs and doctrines of the Mormon church.

I just watched the movie "Jarhead" about the the stripping away of humanity that occurs during the brain washing of military training. They call soldiers "jarheads" because they're shaved heads are supposed to resemble jars, and are supposed to be empty on the inside. Empty little vessels ready for indoctrination. And once the process is complete, they become single minded killers with a lust to complete the mission they've been conditioned into wanting.

Brainwashing is a complex process, but sometimes very easy to administer. Wikipedia states: "Many people have come to use the terms "brainwashing" or "mind control" to explain the otherwise intuitively puzzling success of some methodologies for the religious conversion of inductees to new religious movements (including cults). The term "brainwashing" is not widely used in psychology and other sciences, because of its vagueness and history of being used in propaganda, not to mention its association with hysterical fears of people being taken over by foreign ideologies. It is often more helpful to analyze 'brainwashing' as a combination of manipulations to promote persuasion and attitude change, propaganda, coercion, capture-bonding, and restriction of access to neutral sources of information".

Am I saying that current Utah Mormon Bush Supporters are both religiously and politically brainwashed and, at best, are mindless, drooling, robots with big smiles and white collars (or dumpy dresses for the females)? No, of course not. I don't believe that they're ALL like that. I just think that 99.999999999999999999999999999% of them are.

Also, read this article: Latter-day Saints Support Of War Misguided

P.S. Please don't leave a comment about how religion, in one way or another, is not a form of brainwashing. The idea of indoctrination and adherence to a singular idealogy always requires some form of brainwashng.


The Silent Observer said...

Ah yes, Mormons are brainwashed. Never heard that one before --how do you come up with such original, well-thought-out insights?

Whatever it takes, get over yourself, punch yourself in the face if you have to, and come to grips with the reality that you and your ilk have nothing worthwhile to add to the political stage anymore.

P.S. Cute pictures.

Steven Greenstreet said...

Hey "Silent Observer", this is from your BLOG:

"The real reason people call us brainwashed is because they suck, and they know it."

Sounds like you have nothing worthwhile to add to the political stage either.

So, get over yourself.

The Silent Observer said...

Really. I invite everyone to go read that quote in context, where I explain the reason I think people call Mormons brainwashed is because it relieves them from having to thoughtfully consider the implications of applying Mormon values to their own lifestyles.

Which is more than I can say for your post, which basically says, since Utahns are homogenous, therefore they must be brainwashed.

Also, I love the recently-added postscript, which broadens the colloquial definition of brainwashing to describe any idealogical group you want it to, even you hardcore progressives. Well played. Wellllll playyyyyyyyed.

Steven Greenstreet said...

Well, first of all, I notice you didn't address my bringing up your kindergarten thesis of "The real reason people call us brainwashed is because they suck, and they know it."

Second, besides your statement of "you just call us brainwashed cuz you don't want to wear weird underwear", what else do you say to support the theory that Mormons (or most active singular religions) do not suffer from brainwashing?

Brainwashing (admittedly) is a silly term, I guess. Social conditioning would be a better way to describe it.

I wasn't saying that my (kind of satiric) theory of Mormon brainwashing stemmed from the homogenous state of the population in Utah. I was saying that I believe an overwhelming approval rating for the worst president in history is evidence of social conditioning.

Do you fit into that "homogenous" society, yourself? Meaning, are you Mormon, and do you support President Bush? And, if so, why?

Wendy said...

Yes Mormons are all for the war, except largely they aren't the ones fighting it. The men go on missions after highschool and then get married.

Enlist Elder Warmonger!

Juniper said...

Here's an insider view from someone born and raised in Utah as a Mormon:
Five year's later, I still get those familiar phrases, those songs we sang over and over, and those standard answers to standard questions popping into my head at random moments. The fact that, no matter how hard I try to break free of my social conditioning, it still rears it's ugly head tells me that, yes, indeed...I was part of something that could be considered brainwashing. Which may have been why I felt so guilty about being part of it and converting others to it.
I will continue to fight it internally, but thank God I have an outside view now and can see it for what it was...not to mention, be able to have my very own opinion instead of one prescribed to me from the pulpit and classroom.

J. Klekas said...


I'm not Mormon, but living in Salt Lake, I know a lot of Mormons. Sure, it's common knowledge that Utah is a very Republican state. However when you lump All Mormon’s (99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999%) into one category, you sound like any other bigot. Many of the Mormons that I know personally are not big fans of Bush and definitely are not happy about being in any war. They want to see our troops out of there just like any of us.

Hitler hated the Jews; he lumped them into one group and spread his bigoted ideas to others. Oh and Hitler was part Jewish. (See where I'm going with this?)

I would be very careful about lumping ALL Mormon's as a whole into one group. This sort of thinking is extremely reckless and it insults our Intelligence!


Green Jenni said...

I was a mormon for the first 19 years of my life.

In my early 20s I learned that some of the methods used in brainwashing include depriving people of food and sleep and to keep repeating the same phrases over and over. This sounded a bit like Sacrament meeting on Fast Sunday to me: you have been deprived of food and water and you hear over and over "I know this church is true; I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet; I know that _________ is a true prophet".

Mormons with large families may also be sleep deprived between the chaos of the home environment to the amount of energy and time it takes to earn the money to support a large family.

I'm not saying that fast and testimony meetings were set up that way TO brainwash people, but I think it helps it happen. I believe that there is some element of brainwashing in the Mormon church -- I know that I have had a difficult time de-programing myself from some things.

I was a natural environmentalist, feminist and human rights advocate from early childhood and the more I learned about the LDS church and the GOP the less I knew that I fit in there, especially as such a huge percent of Mormons support Republicans who in turn support war and human rights abuses, environmental destruction as a trade off for profit, and seeing women as less than men. But there have been a things from my Mormon background that have been hard to shake, despite the fact I never would have fit in there permanently.

Steven Greenstreet said...


Oh, I was trying to be tongue in cheek with the "99.999999...%" thing. I sometimes mix satire with opinion.

And I'm referring to Mormon Non-Bush Supporters, I'm talking about those who are Mormon and support Bush. I think the overwhelming majority of them have no idea what the real issues are. They just blindly follow the prophet and they also blindly follow the president.

I actually asked a girl at BYU the other day what she thought of President Bush. She said "Well, I love President Bush and I supported the troops when we were in Iraq". I then told her that the US was STILL in Iraq. She said, "Really? Oh, I guess I don't read about that kind of stuff". Robot, robot, robot, blah.

Ugh, not another Hitler analogy... Everyone brings Hitler up to those they disagree with. Hitler did this to the Jews, Hitler did that to the Jews, etc.

Give the Hitler analogies a rest please. Apples and oranges.

j. klekas said...


I AM comparing apples to apples. Hitler was a bigot that lumped an entire race into one group. You too are expressing very bigoted views towards Mormons in this same fashion. I AM NOT comparing the death of 6 million dead Jews to anything you are involved with. That's insane! That would be comparing apples to oranges. However, I stand by what I said which is:

"I would be very careful about lumping ALL Mormon's as a whole into one group. This sort of thinking is extremely reckless and it insults our Intelligence!"

It burns my ears to hear people say "NIGGERS are this and Niggers are that" or "JEWS are this way and JEWS are like that". It also burns my ears to hear liberal Utahns, (of which I am apart) say "Mormons are all _______. or Mormons are all __________."

Explain to me how I am specifically wrong in being insulted by your bigotry!


Steven Greenstreet said...


Again, I'm not saying "All Mormons are this...".

What I'm saying is "Mormons in Utah who overwhelmingly support President Bush are mostly mindless robots."

I'm not saying ALL Mormons are a certain thing, etc. I'm just saying that Mormons who blindly support President Bush without informing themselves on the issues demonstrate certain characteristics of social conditioning (brainwashing).

The quote I gave from that girl at BYU I think sums it up.

J. Klekas said...


You are still name calling (mindless robots?). This makes you sound quite silly. I am very against the war; I think it the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the U.S. being in Iraq have nothing to do with each other. That being said, I am respectful to those who might disagree with me on this. I do not find Conservatism or Liberalism offensive. They both have their place. A world full of Liberals scares me equally as a world full of Conservatives. I do find people who feel the need to belittle others for their ideas or beliefs offensive. Just make your points; I think many of them are good ones. Let's get out of Iraq! But to call others "mindless robots" or suggest that they are "brainwashed" because they see things different than you is just plain narrow mindedness. Narrow mindedness is what DOES scare me. I can have intelligent conversations with both liberals and conservatives IF THEY ARE OPEN MINDED. However, if someone is narrow-minded, it doesn't matter if they are conservative or Liberal, they will not listen to good reason, they will just want to get their point across no matter what it takes. When someone is narrow-minded they will almost cerainly be offensive because in their narrow mindedness, they think they own the truth.

If you want to make a difference with your ideas and want to spread the word, here a little advice and I hope you are able to open your mind enough to hear it. If you want to change opinions, you need to respect opinions regardless of what they are.

I work in an environment where politics come up a lot. Over the years I have seen many people lose their cool and get bent out of shape. I have seen it ruin friendships with associates. I am commonly called upon to be a peacemaker of sorts at board meetings and so forth that are highly politically charged. After such stressed out meetings, I am often thanked by those who I don’t agree with for “the respectful manner in which I disagreed with them.” Because of the RESPECT I have for opinions with which I do not agree, I have at times been able to change many people’s minds on politically charged issues.

Lots of luck,


Steven Greenstreet said...

Jim, what is your opinion on the fact the over 75% of Utah currently supports President Bush?

It's the #1 state in the nation to support President Bush. Why?

And it's the #50 state in the nation when it comes to signing up for the military? Why?

I look forward to reading your opinion.

j. Klekas said...


I find it interesting that you use the word "fact". You are asking for my "opinion on the FACT that over 75% of Utah currently supports President Bush?"

This "factual" information came from which specific poll? When was this poll taken? What were the specific questions being asked for the poll? Which zip codes were being called during this poll? What time of the day were the questions being asked?

Sorry Steven, but to answer your question, you are asking me to take the info that you have presented as "fact". I wouldn't take anything as "fact" from a newspaper, especially a poll. I used to be involved with a company that took polls. A poll can be heavily manipulated for any desired outcome. I have seen it first hand.

Is there anyplace you can direct me for the specifics of this poll? The results seems much higher than I would have expected, even taking in account the high margin of error/manipulation.


Steven Greenstreet said...

Ok, so you don't take the news as "fact". I guess I could understand that.

What else should I offer besides these news reports? And, actually, on second look, the national average mean for Utah is actually around 63% (still #1 in the nation). I've attached some more statistics and articles to support the fact that Utah is Bush Country.

j. klekas said...


Do you really want to know my opinion on this or are you wanting to turn this into some kind of pissing contest?Because I am not interested in pissing contests!


Steven Greenstreet said...

Yes, I want to know your opinion.

I don't like it when people watch me pee.

John said...

"Why should I trust you, you're Hitler"

-The Scary Door

You know, it's interesting how the Holocaust can be put on the shoulders of one individual, Hitler. When in fact there was a large group of the German population (and other nations) who contributed to the Nazi project.

So, let's consider this. It's good to know that people are individuals and can think for them selves, but if we don't lump people into groups and understand "group thought", and instead consider this to be "Naziesque", then we'll never understand what goes on in the minds of individuals.

Let's face it. People associate themselves with groups. And groups create group thought. Remember, it was everyday people who helped kill millions of Jews. Not just one man.


John said...

PS. I'm not saying that Mormons are Nazis. And I'm glad that "Robot, Robot Robot, Blah" is still getting some use.


Duckie Butters said...

Folks, I watched "this Divided State" last night and here are my thoughts. Please do not get angry with me because of my thoughts and ideas. Please don't cuss and me, and please don't censor me!

First of all, let me say that I found the situation quite interesting surrounding the idea that the community was outraged over Moore coming to talk to the students. However I did not feel that the execution of the documentary was very powerful. Judging from the footage that was used in the video, this story could have been told in about half of the time. It dragged quite a bit. It seemed like it was cinematically spinning its wheels.

The camera work was not impressive. Yes I know that it was shot on video and that it's not going to have the same kind of texture as something shot on film, but it drove me crazy to see such out of focus footage during interviews. Who was behind the camera throughout most of the interviews? Couldn't they have properly focused the camera? There were several shots of people being interviewed where they were completely soft, while a fence across the street or something in back of the room had perfectly sharp focus. I hope someone wasn't using auto-focus. Auto-focus is an evil feature on a camera that promotes laziness and results in unusable footage where the wrong things are in focus. Film is a visual medium. Get your visuals right, please!

I was not impressed by the editing at all! It felt like I was watching the news or something. You talk about Errol Morris but you seemingly haven't learned anything from him. Have you paid any attention to his montages? They are fabulous! He mixes different shots together in interesting ways that create new meaning. That's "MONTAGE"! Anytime the video cut to something other than the talking head in your video, it was a very literal image that didn't bring any sort of new meaning to what the audience is watching. Someone says missile, we see a missile. Who cares! Give me montage damnit!

Let me see, No, I guess there was an attempt at montage at the beginning and at the end, but they weren't very memorable. They felt limp.

Interviewing is a technique that many people DO NOT understand. It takes a very skilled interviewer to get people to relax and be themselves in front of the camera and to say personal things. Nobody being interviewed seemed very relaxed or candid.

I just watched Scorsese’s “No Direction Home” recently about Bob Dylan. Holy crap, did he know what he was doing when it came to interviewing! The settings of each interview looked stunning in terms of lighting and composition. Even if it was in a boring office or in someone’s front room, it just looked great. Also the people were very comfortable in front of the camera, they opened up, even Dylan, who is known to dodge questions.

Did your video use anything other than available light? I understand that a lot of it was guerrilla or whatever but to not use lights during formal sit down interviews is shameful.

As a cinematographer, you have a few tools to visually direct the viewer’s attention and make it visually interesting. Selective focus, lighting and composition. The focus was on auto-focus much of the time (so it seems) The lighting and exposure did not add any visual interest to the story. It all looked like crummy video. The composition wasn’t anything to write home about either.

“This Divided State” was a visual disappointment! It didn’t offer any truly engaging imagery. Sure it had some decent sound bites here and there but what film doesn’t. I can take a ride on the bus and get decent sound bites here and there.

That's all for now folks!

Duckie Butters


Have you seen “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” yet? It will visually and aurally kick your butt! Now that’s filmmaking! That film has SOUL, you need to check it out now!

Steven Greenstreet said...


I think you just need to go to film school. Your review was sporatic and off-topic at best. Very amateur.

Not to say that "you're wrong", but over 30 national film critics disagree with you:

"Filmmaking Gold! ...Extremely Moving..."

"Excellent! ...A Fascinating, Infuriating Story!"

"FOUR STARS! Gut-wrenching and ultimately tragic."

“FOUR STARS. Frequently Funny, sometimes sad, often electrifying.”

"THREE STARS. Allows both sides to have their say…"

“More important than anything Michael Moore has made to date.”

“...the first successfully balanced political documentary...”

"A contextually brilliant film..."

"'This Divided State' packs a punch that is often
pure cinematic scintillation.”

" incredibly important contribution..."

And as for comparing THIS DIVIDED STATE to an Errol Morris film, that's just lazy and plain stupid. Errol Morris is a great filmmaker, but he makes Errol Morris films. Try giving your same Morris critique to Bruce Sinofsky's PARADISE LOST, a documentary told with news reports, talking heads, and crazy people sayign crazy things in a lot of the same fashions as THIS DIVIDED STATE.

Your requests for montages makes you seem amateur at best. Go watch MTV if you want montages.

You are the FIRST person to ever notice any supposed out of focus interviews. 30+ critics have never even said a thing. Maybe, because it's not true. And maybe, because you just need glasses.

And as for the editing (which you hated). VARIETY, which if you know anything about filmmaking is the biggest Hollywood trade magazine, said this about the editing AND montages:

"Provocative! ...A couple of very deft montages highlight [Greenstreet's] exceptionally zippy editing job."

And other praise:

"Raw, chaotic, and engagingly eager. THIS DIVIDED STATE juxtaposes candid interviews with scenes of unrest as Greenstreet rushes gamely from one hot spot to another."

"It's a brave and highly commendable effort that's chock full of chilling moments".

"It will be fascinating to see how critics of Michael Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11 respond to Steven Greenstreet's riveting documentary THIS DIVIDED STATE"

Duckie, I'm not saying you're review is wrong or that you're not entitled to your opinion. I'm just saying that your review sounds trite and silly and very poorly orgainized. Again, amateur at best. Keep trying though.

I might also submit that you have an axe to grind with me personally. Whatever, so be it.

Tell you what, next time YOU make a film that gets critical praise from over 30 national film critics, send me a message and I'll take a look at it. But until then, don't quit your day job.

Duckie Butters said...


What axe would I have to grind? I'm Duckie, I like to razz people, sure, but I'm not razzing you right now. And I certainly have no axe to grind! I finally got the film from Netflix and I was visually disapointed. None of the reviews you quoted dispute any of the comments I made about the film. I didn't read any review that said "Visually stunning!,or "Amazing Cinematography!" Oh, I guess Variety did say it had "zippy" editing. I just don't agree.

I will say this: Even though I was visually let down by the lack of engaging imagery, I do agree that the film had some chilling moments! The interview with that nut-job guy who lives across the street from the campus freaked me out a little. You know where he is sitting next to his wife. He seemed like he was completely insane! My hat is off to you for getting the interview. I just wish that the weird lighting wasn't so distracting because for me it was distracting having he and his wife slightly underexposed sitting right up against a bright white window like that. It just didn't look professiional. That's all I'm saying; it didn't look professioinal.

Here's a compliment, That one interview next to the bright window actually reminded me of Errol Morris's "The Thin Blue Line" when he interviews that nut-job broad with the bleached blonde hair that was lying her butt off. Do you remember that part? That lady freaked me out too! Good job!

I probably should have kept my big mouth shut, but I thought you wanted some feedback about the film (good or bad). My mom is always saying: "Duckie, If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!" Maybe she's got a point. Sorry for being so honest about the film. If you don't want to hear my point of view regarding the film, I will never mention another word about it. Just say the word and I'll be quiet.

I am very very very sorry Steven, Please don't hate me!



Sorry that my review wasn't organized more professionally. My meds make it difficult to communicate sometimes. I wish things were different,l I really do! Say hi to Bryan for me. Oh and thanks for not cussing at me, although you probably have every right to since I have such a big mouth!

Steven Greenstreet said...

Oh, Duckie, Duckie, Duckie...

What's up with the razz? You'd still be Fonzie Cool without the razz.

No harm done. THIS DIVIDED STATE kicks ass. 83% fresh rating on It's been a great ride...

I don't hate you Duckie. I just wish I could "butter" you up to THIS DIVIDED STATE more.

Did you watch the special features? I think there are some nice montages just waiting for you there...

SeƱor Orlando said...

Hey Steven, Duckie makes some good points. "This Divided State" has its good qualities. Being visually captivating simply isn't one of them. Deal with it! Don't be a big baby!

Duckie, you shouldn't feel any need to apologize. I think you made your points quite articulately.

Steven Greenstreet said...

Deleted Message had spelling errors

Oh, jeez, Orlando. Ok, I won't be a baby. (Yawn)

And speaking of "visually captivating", I checked out your blog. WOW! Talk about visually captivating!

Orlando, like I said to my razzing friend Duckie, next time you make a film that gets critical praise from over 30 national film critics, send me a message and I'll take a look at it. But until then, put something on your blog for God's sake.

Duckie Butters said...

Oh nuts! You guys are all about censorship around here! When are you throwing your next book burning party?



Count me in!

j.klekas said...


I got slammed at work and hadn't had a chance to post a response to your question regarding Mormons and GW. However, while I was gone, a lot of other comments were made.

After reading your response to Mr. Butters, it seems as though you still have a lot of growing up to do. You DO NOT respect the ideas and opinions of others. You lash out like an insecure child with some sort of entitlement complex! Steven, you ARE NOT entitled to have everyone love your film. You ARE NOT entitled to have everyone love you!

If you are still wondering what I think about a large percentage of Mormons in Utah standing behind the President, listen up!

I voted for Clinton. However, I was outraged when he started bombing pharmaceutical plants just as the Monica stuff was coming down. I am sad to say that Clinton dropped quite a few bombs on innocent women and children. But guess what friend, we hardly heard a peep out of any of my fellow Democrats about this: they stood by their man. I think both sides are guilty of DENIAL when it comes to dealing with the fact that the person they helped put into office has done great harm to others. There is a lot of denial on both sides of the isles. This has nothing to do with being Mormon, Jewish, or Greek Orthodox. This has everything to do with being human. We don’t like to be wrong Steven, And last time I checked, neither did YOU!

I think Bush is misguided but means well, I truly believe, that he wants to do what's right and thinks he's doing what's right. I happen to disagree with what his definition of “right” is, but if I was President of the U.S. who knows what kind of trouble I would cause. Until you run for President of the United States of America and win twice, stick to making documentaries.

(That was a joke of sorts, I hope it opens your eyes a little to how foolish your arguments sound.)


By the way, I am fully aware that this comment is poorly organized and not professional in any way. But that does not negate the nuggets of truth that are embedded herein.

ShadowFalls said...

Its not about a set group of people. As steven has mentioned, its all about the social conditioning. People react differently in situations depending on how they were raised.

I think the whole Micheal Moore incident in Utah, was sad. If you don't like what a person says, you don't have to listen to them, but as they are talking, shut up so the ones who want to hear can do so. In my opinion, only an ignorant fool is not interested in hearing everything.

Remember the old saying, "Knowledge is Power", if you don't have all the information, how can you believe in something so strongly?

I have always looked down on people who go through life with blind faith. Only fools feel scared when their beliefs are challenged, and then attack back.

The Kay Anderson for example, almost reminded me of the days of racial tension in the country, it was the same kind of behavior.

One day perhaps people will learn from their actions and realize working together is actually beneficial, doubtful in this decade though.