From Belgrade to Sandy: Observations of an Outsider

From Belgrade to Sandy: Observations of an Outsider In June 1995, I relocated from the Netherlands to Sandy, Utah, due to a romantic coincidence. My move to Sandy resulted in my being submerged into the sea of Mormania. To that time, my contact with “the Church” had been limited to a few open-door meetings with two neatly dressed young men with name badges on their dark suits. Over the years, I have come to learn a lot about the LDS Church, and many times the increased familiarity brought on more than a few chuckles. Between 1958 and 1995, I covered Eastern Europe as a journalist for the Dutch radio and television; from 1984 as a correspondent in Belgrade, the capital of former federal Yugoslavia. My career gave me an intimate knowledge of the communist machine, and upon moving to Utah, I was amazed by the striking similarities between the LDS and communist party rites and habits, in spite of their highly opposite philosophies. My paper will share a few of those similarities, centering on the use by both organizations of group control techniques and symbols.

Dick Verkijk, Robert A. Rees