New Products! Order Now While Supplies Last!!! (repost)

In order to keep up with rising food costs and lower take home pay, and the downturn in the economy, and the fiscal cliff, and many other phrases I hear politicians repeat, I have decided to allow advertising on my blog.  Our first sponsor comes from a reputable company run by a student at Utah Valley University, who majors in LDS-oriented marketing (certificate), and he hopes someday to become a first counselor in the Elders Quorum (not that he’s striving for the position, but if the Lord asks, he’d be willing to take up that cross).

General Conference Goggles ($15.99 or 7.5 tithing scrips)

Are you terrified of another weekend sitting before the TV, next to relatives or spouses or children who adore General Conference, but don’t yet have the faith to LOVE IT?  What about BYUtv Reruns of Conference Addresses?  Or Firesides with the Teens?  Or yet another holiday talk about finding the true meaning of Christmas?

Then, brother, we have delivered the solution to your worries . . .

goggles

Yes, that’s right . . . These transform all those Fearful faces into Happy Faces, speaking directly to YOU.

You’ll be singing along with the grandparents and the kiddies to “If You’re Happy And You Know It” before the Sunday Afternoon Session is over!

For Demonstration Purposes Only:

You, before you buy our product:

follow-the-prophet_0

You, AFTER you buy our product:

follow-the-prophet_1

Perpetual Miseducation Fun! (repost)

Or, How I Learned That Some Debts Are Never Forgiven

[An application for an educational loan from the Perpetual Education Fund, SLC, Utah]

by Okweme O.,

systems administrator for computer firm X.

Dear Friend!  I have GREAT STORY for you!  I have placed in Perpetual Education Fund $300,000,000 U.S. Dollars, at Bank of Ensign Peak (Salt Lake City, America) and cannot this day recover my money due to regulations on borrowing by suspected systems administrators.  THIS IS YOUR CHANCE to live high RICH!

Just send me $1,123 US, by way of Church Education System Money Changers, and I will add to said funds, with a small fee due to you, in the amount of 2,000,000 US, payable at 356%  APR, over the lifetime of myself, and of my children, and for ONE THOUSAND YEARS in Terrestrial Land.  Highest Regards!

Brother O.

————————————————————————–

You can read “success stories” of Perpetual Education Fund here:

http://pef.lds.org/pef/aboutus?locale=eng

http://pef.lds.org/pef/southafrica_shirley?locale=eng

Notice that no actual figures are given for how much has been loaned, to how many Mormons; and after reading a few stories, have brown bag ready for vomit: whole paragraphs are devoted to how special it was to pay back the loan, and not let the interest build up!  Ah, Atonement At Work!

Here’s as specific as the figures get:

“Nine years after President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) first announced the PEF, the program has more than 38,000 participants in 42 countries. Despite worldwide economic difficulties, the Perpetual Education Fund is healthy and helping people like Tyson Kemege get an education, escape poverty, and contribute to their communities. More than 87 percent of PEF participants who have completed their schooling are currently employed.”

http://www.lds.org/liahona/2010/04/perpetual-education-fund-thriving-nine-years-later?lang=eng&query=perpetual+education+fund

That is, 87% who graduated are “employed” (however determined, and I know when stats matter, church dudes can raise or lower the criteria at will); the fund, of course, “is healthy” because the principle is never risked, only the interest:

“The program is funded both by members, who allocate funds toward the program on their tithes and offerings slips, and by friends of the Church who believe in the program’s purpose. The money collected (the principal) is never spent, with loans being made only from the interest earned on the principal.”

http://www.lds.org/ensign/2008/08/news-of-the-church/perpetual-education-fund-a-growing-miracle?lang=eng&query=pef

“friends of the church” probably includes the likes of Dell Computer and Deliotte & Touche, (JetBlu?), and other corporations headed by Mormons, or that deal in large contracts with the CPB.  I would assume some finance company that gets to invest (or receive) the millions in cash money is probably not adverse to being a “friend of the church” in this matter, either.

Also, 38,000 recipients over 9 years works out to just over 4,000 persons a year; not overwhelming, I think.  And these pay back, the article says, $2.5m a year; my math says, that works out to $65 a year, per person.  Again, I’ve heard first hand reports that the PE Fund itself sits at over $300m, meaning they’ve loaned out even less than they’ve earned in interest.  Almost at the rate the COB dispenses its charity (say, 1%).

And they are looking into using the money for “other purposes,” which is partially what is behind the change in tithing slips recently slipped into those fancy wooden racks outside the bishop’s office.

These articles are really FUN!

http://www.lds.org/liahona/2005/02/news-of-the-church/perpetual-education-fund-the-inspired-program-rolls-on?lang=eng&query=perpetual+education+fund

http://www.lds.org/liahona/2004/01/the-perpetual-education-fund-a-bright-ray-of-hope?lang=eng&query=perpetual+education+fund

They make it explicit that one purpose of the loans is to get church leaders (administrators, like bishops) training in finance and management; another purpose is to get debtors to live more frugally, and off church assistance; not your typical seminary, but here Mammon is served!  Why cannot God see the value in a constant rate of return on donated money?  Isn’t that part of the parable of the talents?

One man not mentioned in that parable was, in fact, given 300 million talents.  He was to use these talents for educating the poor and the ignorant in the nearby towns.  Fearing they wouldn’t repay their debts (and he understand such gifts were, in reality, loans carrying debt), this man kneeled before BAIN (who is ABLE), and let him handle the talents.  BAIN promised his friend USURY would magically grow the talents every year, into like 1,000 or so.  Why not lend this to those poor souls you do not trust?  He asked.

The man thus put his talents to work, and when the Lord of the Vineyard returned, the man had a huge f-ing pile of talents! And like 100 stories about how some schmuck with a foreign sounding name got a job cleaning stalls in his market, after receiving rudimentary education in sweepology and Scrub Studies.  So, anyway, the dude is just standing on his hill of talents.

Holy F-ing S&$#@ The Lord Said! What in the Hell did you do? No, don’t answer.

Guys?  Take him away.  Yeah, the Eye of the Needle for him, too.

And that’s the parable of the Perpetual Usurer.

But wait, the good of the PEF extends even deeper inside the COB:

In reality, the PEF loans have provisions that require debtors attend many classes at Church Employment Centers, notoriously ineffective at actually employing anyone other than church employees.  The PEF keeps voluntary and paid personnel at Church Employment Centers busy enough to justify the millions spent on building, maintaining, and staffing them (with an eye toward getting Mormons off church assistance, “welfare” or charity, that is).  The Employment Centers number around 300 in all, and in 2004 (when the economy was good) they apparently claimed to have placed 145,000 people into jobs; leaving aside my doubts about those figures, even taken as good data it means the average Employment Center placed about 480 people (if they get a job, it counts as “placement”; any job).

http://www.lds.org/liahona/2005/09/finding-jobs-lifting-lives?lang=eng&query=perpetual+education+fund

It’s been so long since I’ve felt that good old kicked in the face feeling, when looking at the Corporation!

(Another Late Night Post That Shouldn’t A Been)

Favorite Theses From BYU (repost)

Here are a few important theses from very serious Masters students at the Lord’s UniversityTM.  I swear these are not made up:

DeShazo Possibly the best title ever…

Hendrix Sad…just sad…

Oborn Sad…just sad…but it got him into Harvard’s Biblical Gender Studies Program (thanks TT!)

Beuhner Why did we ever stop saying “lady missionary”?

Bassett Early Metafiction

Horsley Why wasn’t this guy ever made an apostle? Can we make him one now?  Why not? Oh, I know why…you guys are in that possible trend occurring in religious philosophy in a geographic area, aren’t you?

Hirschi As if Seminary Bowl needs your approval.  The Bowl doesn’t need your stinking approval.  The Bowl is good.  There is nothing wrong with the Bowl.  The Bowl was used by Adam (see Moses 7).

Cunningham We all know what you mean by “certain patterns of affection,” perv!

LDS Church Announces Nothing

Not Quite Nothing, LDS Church Leaders Announce

Leaders of the LDS Church, regarded by some 13 million Mormons around the globe as prophets, seers, and revelators, announced in the upteenth-hundred General Conference that they really do not have any solutions to the economic, social, environmental, health, political, marital, and educational problems that non-prophets, non-seers, non-revelators apparently struggle with on a daily basis.  “All we have to offer at this point,” said one of the anointed ones, “is a list of slogans, divided into ‘rhyming’ and ‘alliterative’ categories.  That, and the miracle of semi-annually re-animated corpses.”  “It’s probably your own fault, if life is hard,” added another, in between bites from a ball of flavored Crisco.

Leaders Reveal God’s Plan To Not Reveal

Leaders were surprisingly frank during the conference, with some just holding up their hands, and looking sheepish, as if to say, “What do I know?  I don’t know shit from sideways.”  Another man, regarded as next-in-line to be waved at with hankies, was through a professional ventroloquist seated immediately behind him, made to admit, “I’ve not really done anything for, like, fifty years!  Are you kidding me, all I care about is being called ‘elder’, that and the homos.  All the homos.”  The 21,000 strong audience was visibly moved by his testimony, one person tweeting, “#thankyeOGod for a prophet!”

“Look.  We don’t really know anything, ok?” said a former pilot.  “And that guy?” he continued somewhat off-message, “He’s a corpse in lipstick.  Literally.  We rolled him in from the morgue.  A mannequin-robot speaks after him, and then, it’s a daughter of the corpse, only more bloated.”  “We sustain you,” cried a former used-car salesman who happened to descend biologically from some other church leader, “as the Lord’s Anointed, it is true.  We cannot even change our own clothes.  I messed myself this morning.  How are we going to fix this huge pile of, yes, even a pile of shit?”  His endorsement was followed by a loud cheer from the audience, which chanted, “We’ve got the spirit, yes we do, we’ve got the spirit, how ’bout you,” and pointed to ‘the World’.  When the World failed to respond, the audience burst into the hymn, “The Spirit of God.”

“Basically, the Lord had told us that He does not want us to reveal his solutions to today’s problems,” declared what seemed to be a mouth hidden behind several chins, and curtain-like jowls, “For the World is too wicked to be healed by the heavy duty machinery of the atonement.”  The chins were then moved, via small industrial crane, into the pile of flesh and floral prints that Mormons consider the Lord’s special, collective mouthpiece, Jabba-the-hut-on-red-velvet-like, for eating whatever is in front of them.

When asked what good it is to have a prophet who does not prophesy even basic things forseen by mediocre economists, amateur biologists, crack-politico reporters, and quack-doctors, the President of the LDS Church solemnly announced that it’s pretty much “all your fault, you homos, single moms sucking on the government sugar-tit, children of widows, students with slouchy postures, debtors with below-average credit scores, and other bad people.  That’s why we can’t say all the things we know, that’s why,” he blubbered near tears, “that why, I testify, we cannot prophesy, see, or reveal anything other than a new program.  I mean, reveal to you.  We all know all the solutions: be nice, be friendly, be amiable, be friendly.  Did I say that already?  Don’t persecute me for being religious.”  The powerful speaker concluded, “And to be honest, let’s be honest,” he apparently sobbed like a fat old baby whose wrinkles have been sucked and tightly tucked into the collar of a $300 dress shirt, “the new program is just stupid.  What is it called?  Does it matter?  I mean, it was this lame self-righteous weanie in, like, Priesthood Department who came up with it over the weekend.”  The President was then led back to the pile of flesh, while the audience spontaneously sang, “We Thank Ye O God For Whoever, To Say Whatever Whenever,” and they played a World-Recording breaking round of Apostle-bingo, the winner receiving a vienna-sausage wrapped in WesternFamily Crescent Roll dough, to be cooked at home.

LDS Church announces new thing

New Thing Better, Stronger Than Older Thing

A new thing has been announced by the LDS Church, to be implemented in January 20Whenever.  This thing replaces the older thing, which although revealed by revelation to the Revelator, has been since rendered ineffective due to some bad things in the world.

“This is yet again proof that the Lord’s Anointed Mouthpiece,” said Elder Whatever, “leads this Church through the Lord who stands at its head.  We are very excited for this new thing.”  Families are to be strengthened by the new thing, which has been designed, according to some guy, “according to the Savior’s principles of teaching families Faith strengthening principles.”

Another guy said he was “pretty anxious to get cracking” at the new thing, although some Mormons remain nostalgic about the older thing, one tweeting, “#oldthing was awesoem but #newthing is rrrrevvvelation.”  Testimonies are sure to be solidified, hardened, cemented, ossified, or otherwise rendered from liquid into solid state, while belief in the Savior will be, one LDS figure announced, better, harder, stronger, faster, or otherwise comparatively more of whatever was there before.

The new thing, according to internal documents, cost an estimated $18 million dollars.   The fact that the new thing merely re-arranges the old thing, and has more photos, does not, one LDS spokesperson insisted, mean that the LDS Church is basically irrelevant, and incapable of teaching, saying, doing, or making anything remotely interesting, significant, or life-changing for its “members.”  “Just because we are counting on those perennial suckers, the 15-to-19-year old audience, to fall in love with our new thing,” Elder Whatever declared fervently, “this does not mean that religious freedom should be curtailed.”

“We are not merely vulgar, inane life-sucking parasites slowly destroying the work of Joseph Smith,” Elder Whats-his-name scowled during the latest Generic Conference.  “Hear the flapping of my jowls, and see the pink lipstick I wear, the wires behind my ears that download MyProgram2.0, for they individually witness of the Savior’s need to be loved by us individually, and we provide that need,” he said, blubbering incoherently into non sequitor, “wah wah wah,” at the conclusion of a slobbering denunciation of bad things.  Some people in white shirts and floral print dresses stood up and waved at him, and a large group of obese men and women then yelled out a nineteenth century hymn written by a dead guy with some actual creativity, to be sung by Methodist churches, as the LDS Church concluded yet another new thing.