Criticism of Mormonism/Video/The God Makers
This page is based on an answer to a question submitted to the FAIR web site, or a frequently asked question.
- Does the 1982 film The God Makers accurately represent the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
- I read some time ago a reference to the idea of the perfect Mormon woman aspiring to become an "eternally pregnant goddess". Is this a current belief?
The film does not - in our opinion - fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief. It makes extensive use of "half-truth," faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalism. It is not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Mormon faith.
We find particularly offensive the emphasis in the film that Mormonism is some sort of subversive plot - a danger to the community, a threat to the institution of marriage, and is destructive to the mental health of teenagers. All of our experience with our Mormon neighbors provides eloquent refutation of these charges.
We are of the opinion that The Godmakers relies heavily on appeals to fear, prejudice and other less worthy human emotions. We believe that continued use of this film poses genuine danger to the climate of good will and harmony which currently exists between…neighbors of differing faiths. It appears to us to be a basically unfair and untruthful presentation of what Mormons really believe and practice.
— The National Council of Christians and Jews (see fulltext).
The God Makers is an anti-Mormon film that was produced in 1982 by Jeremiah Films.  The film represents an appeal to ridicule, by taking beliefs or doctrines of the church and presenting them in a manner which makes them appear so strange and bizarre that nobody could possibly accept them.
The film presents itself as an expose of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is centered around a visit by Ed Decker and Dick Baer to two attorneys at a Los Angeles law firm. The story follows Decker and Baer's presentation of evidence in order to build a case for the initiation of a lawsuit against the LDS church. The “attorneys” are in fact actors, but they play the part well as they listen and react with increasing amazement and shock to the tale being told by Decker and Baer.
Interviews with various individuals are interspersed throughout the film, including several representatives of the Church. The film includes comments from various people who are claimed to be experts in fields such as “the vast wealth of the Mormon church” and “Mormon archaeology." The archaeology "expert" quickly concludes that, after having examined maps and failing to find the city of Zarahemla, the Book of Mormon is a "fairy tale much like Alice in Wonderland."
At one point, Decker and Baer present an animated film to the "attorneys" in order "to show the difference between Mormonism and Christianity." The animation presents a highly distorted and skewed view of LDS doctrine. This cartoon has gained new viewers as it now makes the rounds on YouTube, often under the heading “Cartoon banned by the Mormon church.”
Specific misrepresentations of the church or its doctrine mentioned in The God Makers include the following:
- The portrayal of the church as a vast corporation whose purpose is to shatter the lives of families.
- The idea that all Mormon men want to become gods and rule over their own planets.
- The idea that the primary goal of women in the church is to "become a goddess in heaven" in order to "multiply an earth" and be "eternally pregnant."
- The promotion of the idea the Mormon temples are only for the “elite few,” and that most members are never granted the opportunity to enter a temple, except during an open house.
- The attribution of science-fiction elements to LDS doctrine, particularly with reference to God the Father as a “highly evolved humanoid” who lives on another planet named Kolob.
- The claim that the church deliberately uses “Christian terminology” in order to fool unsuspecting investigators.
- The introduction of Sandra Tanner as “one of the greatest living authorities on Mormonism.”
- A portrayal of what is claimed to go on in temples. This segment is guaranteed to offend any practicing Latter-day Saint. There is also mocking of what is referred to as “holy Mormon underwear.”
- The representation of temple work for the dead as being something sinister or demonic. Decker claims that demons frequently appear to Mormons and ask to have their temple work performed for them.
- Decker shows a book that he calls a “Satanic Bible,” in which the word “Mormo” is said to be defined as the “King of the Ghouls.”
- [note] A sequel was produced in 1993 entitled The God Makers II. The temple segment portrayed in The God Makers was used again in The God Makers II and yet again in the 2007 Search for the Truth DVD.
FAIR wiki articles
FAIR web site
- Gilbert W. Scharffs, The Truth about ‘The God Makers’ (Salt Lake City, Utah: Publishers Press, 1989; republished by Bookcraft, 1994), 1–. Full text FAIR link ISBN 088494963X.
- Donald A. Eagle, "One Community’s Reaction to The Godmakers," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 2 (Summer 1985), 34–39. off-site
- Massimo Introvigne, "The Devil Makers: Contemporary Evangelical Fundamentalist Anti-Mormonism," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27 no. 1 (Spring 1994). off-site
- Randall Mackey, "The Godmakers Examined," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 2 (Summer 1985), 14–16. off-site
- Allen D. Roberts, "The Godmakers: Shadow or Reality? A Content Analysis," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 2 (Summer 1985), 24–33. off-site
- Sharon Lee Swenson, "Does the Camera Lie? A Structural Analysis of The Godmakers," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 2 (Summer 1985), 16–23. off-site
- Richard Abanes
- One Nation Under Gods — (Index of claims)
- Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism — (Index of claims)
- Inside Today's Mormonism (2007 re-issue of Becoming Gods)
- Will Bagley
- Fawn McKay Brodie
- Todd Compton
- Ed Decker
- Sally Denton
- Dan Erickson
- Norman L. Geisler
- Hurlbut-Howe affidavits
- Ronald V. Huggins
- Jon Krakauer
- Charles Larson
- Walter Martin
- McKeever & Johnson
- Rodney L. Meldrum
- Brent L. Metcalfe
- Christopher Nemelka
- Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery
- Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling
- Grant Palmer
- Bruce H. Porter
- B.H. Roberts
- D. Michael Quinn
- Early Mormonism and the Magic World View — (Index of claims)
- "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904"
- The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power
- The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power — (Index of claims)
- Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example — (Index of claims)
- George D. Smith
- Carol Whang Shutter
- September Dawn (film)
- Simon G. Southerton
- Jerald and Sandra Tanner