Thursday, September 18, 2014
The last of Irving Janis' symptoms of groupthink is the existence of "self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information". In other words, people either hiding or spinning the information that's out there.
The LDS Church has both self-appointed mindguards and officially appointed mindguards. On a very low level, consider all of the parents, bishops, and stake presidents who purposefully neglect they youth of a clear understanding of what goes on in the temple. On the opposite end of control, consider the documents hidden in the First Presidency vault. Why are are members kept from these things (and everything in between)?
In the semi-self-appointed category we have the apologists produced and employed by BYU. In a way they're endorsed by the Church. They're paid by the Church and their work has been crucial for the writing of the recent "difficult issues" topics on the Church website. And yet the Church can turn its back on these people and their work whenever convenient.
On the side of officially appointed mindguards we have the Church historians and the Public Relations department.
How can the general membership be expected to have its own thoughts and opinions about Church history, doctrine, and policy when certain information is kept from them?