So what is this new breed of Mormon missionaries ? They are gospel salesmen and women and are younger, more numerous then ever (83 000) and equipped with an ipad and a tool kit for emotional marketing thanks to Bonneville Communications (BC) trademarked HEARTSELL productions . . . (more)
Problems the church is facing - written in 2013:
1.) The church knows there are problems/issues and there are no real answers for them and they are hemorrhaging because of it. In times past, the church could control the information and the traditional discussions were generally sufficient. Times have changed and they can no longer control what people are seeing or are exposed to. That goes for both non-members and members alike.
2.) They know that 18 and 19 yr. old missionaries are never in a million years going to be able to answer the questions that are sure to arise, nor do they want the missionaries to study things out in an attempt to gain the knowledge to answer them. That would be a recipe for disaster of epic proportions.
3.) They also know that gaining new converts is not the primary goal of a mission, it is secondary. The primary goal is cementing the missionary in to the church--for life. Get them home and popping out kids (future tithe payers). Unfortunately for the church, over 50% of RMs go inactive or leave the church with two years of returning home. This is a HUGE problem! The church REALLY counts on internal growth, or popping out lots of babies. This is far more cost effective and efficient for them.
4.) They know they have no problem attracting new converts that are poor or otherwise down and out. It's like stealing money from the widows--easily done. They are experts at it. What they are having a very difficult time doing is attracting people with any kind of actual money or real potential to make money, people skills, leadership skills, and education.
So, how does the church deal with this?
Enter Bonneville Communications (BC) and the trademarked HEARTSELL process and methodology for "helping people feel and recognize the spirit."
With the expertise of those at BC in crafting emotionally effective messages, combining them with technology like iPads, and putting it in the hands missionaries, the church creates a machine that is highly effective at spreading it's message and ensuring the effective indoctrination of it's next generation of tithe payers and baby makers. This is the church's version of "The Magic of Compound Interest." In other words, take a penny and double it every day for thirty days and what do you get... over $1 million+ dollars.
Steps in the process:
1.) increase the missionary force, both full-time and local (hastening the work campaign). Get them pumped up and excited for the roll-out. (or just guilt and manipulate them into it. Same thing.)
2.) create and develop software that essentially "locks down" the capability of the iPads so that they can only be used for the church stated purposes. This helps the church continue to effectively maintain the control and flow of information available (the message) to their primary targets during this focused indoctrination stage... (in order) missionaries, less-actives, actives (assisting in hastening the work), and finally somewhat to potential converts.
3.) The missionaries no longer are directly responsible for delivering the message and answering questions. Using the iPads, they show the BC prepared video presentations (with carefully planned and controlled lighting, speech cadence, tonality, order of info presentation, graphics, etc.) shown to the investigators, less-actives, active members, etc.
In addition to the main series of presentations, there are presentations designed to answer (with a "faithful perspective") those doctrinal/historical issues that are biting them in the ass right now and in the future. Oh, you have concern 'A', 'B',or 'C'? No problem, click here, start perfect BC presentation.
There would links that could be clicked on to take them out to carefully controlled information sources. (Essentially dead-end layered links that give the appearance of doing a real search for info, but actually are totally controlled.) This can be expanded and the presentations made available to the members to put on their own personal iPads if they have them.
It's ALL about inoculation via controlled, emotion filled, perfect repetition. The level of indoctrination here would be crazy, but HIGHLY effective. Two years of this and I bet the attrition rate of RMs is reduced. (Warning: Godwin's Law invoked in...3..2..1...) Joseph Goebbels would cream his pants to be able to implement something like this.
The cost of implementing something like this is pennies compared to the potential returns. And, the church KNOWS this.
Never sacrifice who you are because someone else has a problem with it. “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves.” -Harriet Tubman