Suicide in Utah 2004; Utah’s Dark Reality

17 March

UTAH’S DARK REALITY

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the leading cause of death in America is heart disease, with suicide ranking eleventh. [1] Compare that with what the Utah Department of Health says.  They report the leading cause of death for males between the ages of 15-44 as suicide.  The Utah External Injury Data System says that from 1992 to 1999 there were 7,713 suicides alone.  Eleven of those were between the ages of 0-9 years of age. [2]

The rate of suicide in Utah for females between the ages of 15-44 is four times the national average.  With this being said, the CDC has been “unable to explain the regional variation of suicide”.  About 20 percent of successful suicides have occurred in the 13-21 year old age bracket.  The Utah Department of Health has declared it an “epidemic”.   For the past four decades now, Utah has ranked in the top ten for numbers of suicides in the nation.  [3] What is equally disturbing is that the other nine states are located in the intermountain west and Alaska. [4]

Just think about this for a moment, you’ve got more than a handful of little people who have witnessed such horrific events in their short lives and have learned this is the only way out…

Between 1996-8 the Office of Vital Records and Statistics reported that suicide accounts for 27 percent of deaths in intentional and unintentional deaths in Utah.   There were 3,399 deaths in this category.  That means there were more than 917 suicides in that two to three year time frame.

A news report on BYU NewsNet states Sterling C. Hilton, assistant professor in the statistics department, as saying “the natural tendency is to assume that since Utah has a predominantly Latter-day Saint population, (70% of the population is LDS), the church must contribute to the level of depression and suicides in Utah.”  Newsnet said that Hilton and others performed a study that said just the opposite is true of what the statistics show.   “No evidence suggests that church demands and pressures on its members account for the high suicide rate in Utah,” Hilton said. [5]

This has to be one of the most insidious comments I have heard in a long time.  How could there possibly not be any connections?  I lived as a Mormon for 30 years.  The demands in Mormonism are so great that it is nothing short of arrogance to assume that there isn’t a connection.  The Mormon Church itself said in the book Eternal Man; ‘Suicide is just a change of scenery’.  [6]

Newsnet went on to say “the church activity level of the men studied was determined by whether or not they had the appropriate priesthood calling for their age. In other words, if a 16-year-old had been ordained to the office of a priest, he was considered active.  The study does not account for the higher suicide rate in Utah overall, a statistic that has baffled sociologists for decades.”  I truly believe that they need to bring in some objective mental health advisors to take a hard look at it and tell them the truth, or better yet, call me!

It probably has something to do with the quest for godhood and knowing you can’t go to heaven if you’re not perfect.  The following from Mormon Doctrine is just one example of what goes on in the mind of a typical Mormon:

Christ is the example. “He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth” (D. & C. 93:26), so John tells us. That is, the attribute of truth was perfected in him in the eternal sense and there was not anything which he did not know. If men become perfect, they must do so on the same basis, progressing until they gain all truth, all knowledge, and all the attributes of Deity in their perfection. (D. & C. 93:20-28.) Only those who keep all the commandments and for whom the family unit continues in eternity will merit perfection. (D. & C. 131:1-4; 132:16-32.) This kind of perfection comes not by the Levitical Priesthood (Heb. 7:11), nor can we without our worthy dead attain unto this high status. (Heb. 11:40.)”.  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 568.

Professor Hilton also emphasized the point that the “entire Intermountain West Region of seven or eight states has above-average suicide rates”, as if that justifies Utah.  They quote Hilton as saying that Utah was at the lower end of the scale in the region”.   That’s like telling one of my kids that I won’t punish them because their friend told the bigger lie!  Can you just imagine if God worked on that kind of a scale?  Where would you be in eternity?

Dan Judd, author of Religion, Mental Health, and the Latter-day Saints found that suicide rates at BYU are lower than other college campuses, and contends that it’s spurious to assume that depression or suicides are linked to the church.  He also mentioned that “Nevada pulls the region much higher, and I think possibly westerners have more access to weapons and firearms”.  [7]

Perhaps it has something to do with the high usage of anti-depressants Mr. Judd.  Eli-Lilly dispenses 62% more Prozac in Utah than any other state.  More Utahns take Prozac-style drugs than in any other state, according to a study conducted in June of 2001 by Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management firm.  [8] The study indicated that Utah residents average 1.1 prescriptions per person per year of medications such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. The national average is 0.7.

“Oregon and Maine also had above average anti-depressant usage, but those states’ percentage of overcast days and average length of winter could explain the increased number of depressed residents,” said Jim Jorgenson, director of pharmacy services for the University of Utah.  No such weather explanations exist in Utah, which has a high percentage of sunny days and average winter duration, he said.

Jorgenson said Utah women, the group accounting for the largest percentage of anti-depressant use, ‘are under larger amounts of stress than their counterparts in other states because of large family size in Utah’.  He also said ‘some experts believe pressures on time and emotions could explain the high Prozac usage among Latter-day Saints’.  Judd offered an additional hypothesis after stressing that Utah’s usage of anti-depressants does not indicate there is a higher lever of depression in the state.

“Utahns are more educated per capita than residents of other states,” he said. “So instead of trying to ignore mental problems or medicate it on our own with alcohol or something else, we tend to seek professional help. We try to address our problems through legal legitimate ways.” [9]  Many intelligent people get depressed.  Depression doesn’t mean you’re stupid and what a stigma to place upon someone who deals with this personally!

In addition, why the discrepancy between deaths that lead to eternal destruction, i.e. suicide  and the ‘one and only true church’?  Shouldn’t the Church be the ones to show the importance of life if they’re really the ‘only true church’?  The so-called ‘experts’ that are taking a look at this have their heads in the sand on this one.  This is not the way of escape!  Suicide is certainly a change of scenery but it’s definitely not one that God would want for these people!

In an interview in the Deseret News, reporter James Thalman said; “Air Force Lt. Col. David Litts, a medical doctor and special assistant on suicide to the surgeon general, suggests that Utahns [sic] need to evaluate whether the culture is pro-treatment or stigmatizing, a key factor in the suicide rate.  He also suggests taking a look at the local “faith systems…is there a way for people who think they have failed to be forgiven and get that second chance? Faiths need to find a way to let people gracefully re-establish themselves after they’ve made a mistake.”  [10]

So basically what this doctor has said is that they might want to take a look within the infrastructures of the Church.  And because he probably can’t say it out loud for political reasons, I will; you have a higher chance of committing suicide if you’re a Mormon than if you live elsewhere or believe in anything else.  It makes me fear for my family!  What are the chances that they’ll get out alive?  According to this report, they are slim.  Seventy seven hundred people is the size of a decent sized town in America!

And if this weren’t bad enough there’s even more bad news for Utah.  The Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice statistics released their annual reports on the national crime index for the nation. [11] Once again Utah didn’t score so well.

Each time I do my research and reports on the crime index of violent crimes, namely forcible rape, Salt Lake City always reports in with an abnormally higher percentage rate.  I ask the question again; why?

I compared Salt Lake City with four other metropolitan cities in the nation and their percentages of forcible rape.  They are:  Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City and Miami.  The rates are based on a population per 100,000.

Los Angeles:  36.9

Miami:  25.3

New York:  20.9

Seattle 26.2

Salt Lake City:  58.4

No folks that is not a misprint!  If they are living in the most ‘holy’ of lands, if God truly reached down and ‘ordained’ the Salt Lake Valley with His mighty hand, then why pray tell are the statistics showing otherwise?

Someone once said that the rape problem in Utah is a sign of the ashes of Brigham Young’s dirty religion and what he left behind.  It couldn’t have been said better.  When you base a religion on godhood and making sure you have sex to bring life into this world, there will be ramifications from taking oaths to that god!  This is the fifth year I’ve done this study and the percentages of bad behavior only continues to climb in all areas.  It is a dark reality for Utah and it’s fueled by the power of Satan himself.

UTAH RANKS 16TH OUT OF 50 FOR MUREDERED FEMALES

According to the Utah Domestic Violence Council, they said that “in 2001, the national homicide rate among female victims murdered by males in single victim/single perpetrator incidents in the United States was 1.4 per 100,000. Utah’s rate was 23% higher than the national rate.

In 2001, Utah ranked 16th in the United States in the rate of female victims murdered by males in single victim/single perpetrator incidents. During that year, 18 of these homicides occurred. This is 1.7 homicides per 100,000 population.” In addition to this they also stated that “domestic violence is one of the fastest growing and most serious violent crimes in Utah today.”  [12] Normally taking 16th place wouldn’t be so bad, however this state supposedly has all the answers!  The prophets have said that when ‘they speak, the thinking has been done’, (Ensign, 6/42).

Mike Haddon, research director at the Utah Commission of Criminal and Juvenile Justice is quoted on BYU Newsnet in regards to the forcible rape issue:

“Is it a reporting issue or are there more victimizations here in Utah for some reason?” he said. “What is it about our culture that would make us more prone to be victims of this kind of crime, or are we more willing to report this kind of crime because of our culture? Those are answers that are really difficult to get at… Utah is lower than the national average in other violent crimes’. [13]

As I stated before, this does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out!  How can you possibly believe that what you are studying at home for your foundation of faith and life not lead to these kinds of statistics?  If you believe that a man’s only way to heaven is through becoming a god and the only way to godhood is having multiple wives then doesn’t that drive the urge for male dominance out of control?  When you’re told as a woman that it’s best to stay home with all of the kids, have a perfect home for your husband to come home to, be up to your elbows in flour when your kids get home from school, wouldn’t that drive you to be contemplating suicide?

‘That exaltation which the saints of all ages have so devoutly sought is godhood itself. Godhood is to have the character, possess the attributes, and enjoy the perfections which the Father has. It is to do what he does, have the powers resident in him, and live as he lives, having eternal increase.’  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 321.

We are begging the Mormon people to rethink their beliefs.  By showing in a concise manner the statistics of rape, suicide and other problems within the boundaries of the ‘Zion Curtain’ hopefully it’ll wake up the Mormons.  We’re not trying to be sensationalistic, every time we do this research, we pray that we’ll be ‘pleasantly surprised’, unfortunately we are not.

1 –  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm  – CDC

2 – Utah Department of Health statistics.

3 – Utah Department of Health.  John A. Workman, B.A., William McMahon, M.D Douglas D. Gray, M.D., Jennifer S. Achilles, M.A.,

4 – CDC Data wonderbase

5 – BYU NewsNet

6 – Truman G. Madsen, Eternal Man, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1966], 26.

7 – Troy Goodman, Salt Lake Tribune/Scripps Howard News Service

8 – ibid

9 – BYU NewsNet

10 – Deseret News, reported by James Thalman, April 16, 2002

11 – Bureau of Justice Statistics Data Online – www.ojp.usdoj.gov

12 – Utah Domestic Violence Council 2004 Annual Report

13 – BYU Newsnet, as reported by Julie Cunningham, Oct. 29, 2002

Suicide in Utah 2006

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/utahs-vital-stats-2006/

Suicide in Utah 2008

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/suicide-in-utah-2008/

Suicide in Utah 2010

http://lifeafterministry.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/suicide-in-utah-2010/

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