Why Mormons Make Great FBI Recruits | Atlas Obscura
But there’s at least one place in American society where Mormons have found an unusual degree of acceptance—in agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA, which see Mormons as particularly desirable recruits and have a reputation for hiring a disproportionate number of people who belong to the church.
While this comes as a surprise to most people, in Washington and particularly among people who work with or report on intelligence and law enforcement, it’s common knowledge. And occasionally it leaks into popular culture: In his 2009 memoir Agent Bishop, Mike McPheters describes his years doubling as a FBI agent and Mormon bishop—a community leadership position he inherited from another FBI agent. More recently, a (controversial) subplot on ABC’s Quantico featured a Mormon recruit whose upstanding reputation hid a dark secret.
But, in reality, Mormons end up in these agencies for perfectly logical reasons. The disproportionate number of Mormons is usually chalked up to three factors: Mormon people often have strong foreign language skills, from missions overseas; a relatively easy time getting security clearances, given their abstention from drugs and alcohol; and a willingness to serve.