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  EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15
Total Articles: 25
The "Opinion" topic was created to separate out recovery from opinions on posts made in Ex-Mormonism. A large selection of posts made by Ex-Mormons that do not fit in "Recovery". These are more considered "Soap Box" posts. While they may be opinions, they are still very important in the steps to recovering from Mormonism.
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Interesting Quote On "Belief"
Monday, Jun 15, 2009, at 08:27 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
The following is from the book "Psychology of the Psychic" by David Marks and Richard Kamman. The book was not written with Mormonism in mind but the quote seems strikingly applicable:

"Once a belief or expectation is found, especially one that resolves uncomfortable uncertainty, it biases the observer to notice new information that confirms the belief, and to discount evidence to the contrary. This self-perpetuating mechanism consolidates the original error and builds up an overconfidence in which the arguments of opponents are seen as too fragmentary to undo the adopted belief."

Now consider LDS apologists. Note how MMM, or BOA papyri, or the rock-in-the-hat, or JS coercing 14-year-olds into illegal "marriages," or no pre-Columbian horses, or no Pre-Columbian smelted ferrites etc. are not considered problems for the Mormon claims. But the fact that "NHM" was found on a stone in Yemen is touted as striking confirmation. The Backyard Professor (Kerry Shirts) is thrown into paroxysms of joy over the fact that there exists a Mayan glyph that another Mormon has translated as "it came to pass" (which is another way of saying "then..." So the Mayans had prepositions--wow).

Similarly those with "shaken testimony syndrom" are constantly told by Bishops, home teachers, etc. with whom we share what strikes us as devastating information that "oh I already know all that and it doesn't bother me at all--I have a firm testimony."

The fascinating thing about the quote from Marks and Kamman is that just about anybody, TBM or not, will agree that it obviously is true and certainly applies to people who believe things DIFFERENT than they do but will not agree that it applies to them. We critics are constantly told that we are dwelling too much on the negative and need to look at the Church's side more. They, however, want to spend no time researching problems in Mormonism because "it is not uplifting" or it is "all a bunch of anti-Mormon lies" etc. They basically are telling us that the above quote applies strongly to us and not at all to them.

I think this quote would be a good thing to carry on a card. When you get into a conversation with a TBM who pulls the "you need to look at other stuff" ploy pull out the card and read it. Ask "do you think this applies to my approach to criticizing Mormonism?" If they say yes then ask, "do you also think it applies to your approach to defending Mormonism?" If they say, "no" then ask them why not. Just about anything they say can be challenged by referring back to the original Marks and Kamman quote.
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Biblical And Book Of Mormon Illiteracy
Friday, Jun 19, 2009, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Parberry
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
A recent article in The Humanist hit on an issue that has bothered me for a very long time. That is the tendency for many true believers to possess virtually no understanding of what the scriptures contain. I found this very common in Mormonism too. In spite of the years in seminary, missionary service, and lessons many TBMs have very little understanding of what the four standard works contain. Large sections of the Bible in particular remain a complete unknown for many of the most devout. My last bishop did not have a clue what the scriptures contained. He was an able administrator but his knowledge of canonized texts was nonexistent.

"The abandonment of true scriptural study has been so extensive that predestination has been nearly forgotten, and the ignorance goes far deeper than that: some 50 percent of today’s Americans can’t even name the four Gospels, let alone explain what they say. For nearly ten generations now, American believers have simply felt free to make up doctrine as they go along, and most of them have used that freedom to invent a Jesus who is friendly to both their fortunes and their causes. Prominent among these new saviors of course is the one who wants his flock to get into the business of writing laws and waging wars: linking arms with, or even becoming, Caesar.

This then is reason, in principle, for nonbelievers to encourage Bible literacy as a part of secondary education. One can imagine students in Bible literacy classes running a serious risk, for the first time since the eighteenth century, of consuming contemporary translations of the Bible in big enough bites that they might actually get familiar with the jealous God of the Hebrew scriptures, and grasp the anti-American hopelessness of the New Testament. Were this to happen, the result we would have to expect would be a reversal of the Second Great Awakening: a restoration of the less religiously self-assured America of the mid-to-late colonial period."

http://www.thehumanist.org/humanist/0...
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Am I An "Anti-Mormon"
Monday, Jun 22, 2009, at 08:50 AM
Original Author(s): Flat Lander
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
On another board there has been a discussion of the "cult of anti-Mormonism" and it got me to wondering if I am an anti-Mormon.

Here's what I posted in that thread on the other board.

I may well be an "anti-Mormon," but then I don't really know what an "anti-Mormon" is. I have numerous friends who are Mormon and I still love them. Despite my entire family resigning from the church, my home teachers still visit me faithfully every month, and we have warm, pleasant non-church-related conversations. Our family (including my never-mo FIL had dinner recently in the home of the RS Pres, she is one of our dearest friends, and even in my "apostasy" I was probably one of the most attentive church members in helping to care for her sick husband before he died.

I am angry with the Institution and Leadership of the church. I think the Mormonism is a dangerous cult and does FAR more harm than good. I would love to find a way to stop it from hurting as many people as it hurts. And, practically, I think the way to keep the church from hurting people is to WARN them before they join or INFORM them after they join of truths the Church wants kept quiet. I believe the way to get the Church to stop hurting people is to contact as many people as possible and let them know the truth about the Church.

I tried walking politely up to the front door of the COB with flowers, and singing children and asking them politely to "just be nice." They refused, said they were going to continue to do business as usual, because that's what God wants them to do.

So, if being an "anti-Mormon" is being someone who wants to stop the Mormon Church from hurting others, then I'm an anti-Mormon.

If trying to end the Mormon Church's institutionalized victimization of the weak makes me an "anti-Mormon" then I'm an anti-Mormon.

I will continue working AGAINST the Mormon Church's efforts to harm and control others. I may fail utterly, but I will NOT give up. The Mormon Church must stop hurting others, and if the only way to get them to stop hurting others is to end Mormonism, then I'm willing to work toward ending Mormonism.
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Mishies And Cult Materials Need To Be Banned From Hospitals
Monday, Jun 22, 2009, at 08:52 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
Every non-denominational medical facility I know tries to protect vulnerable patients and their families from aggressive religious nuts. That's good!

But "Awake Now" had to step in last night when aggressive morg mishies were aggressively pushing their agenda on a single mother whose young child is suffering in the hospital with debilitating and life threatening brain cancer.

I would encourage others to be as vilgilent as "Awake Now." Religion salespeople have rights to push their wares at certain times and palces, but not in private places where there are rules against these practices.

Hospital waiting rooms, chapels, rest rooms, and parking lots are there for patients, their visitors and supporters, and for the medical care workers. We don't pay for these things to have them clogged by religious fanatics out to gain converts.

I've tangled with those on the board who call it "censorship" when I've dumped Hellfire and Watchtower fliers in the trash in places where these materials were secreted in and left for innocent children and vulnerable victims to pick up.

Hospital workers can't always sweep through and clear waiting rooms of this trash and sometimes aren't aware of unapproved missionaries on the premises. I suggest reporting such people to security if they're cornering people waiting for word about the condition of their loved ones or if they are patients in beds or waiting for their own medical procedures.

My husband worked in hospital administratration for about twenty years. He said his facility had strict rules against religious trespassers and unapproved materials being left in lobbies and waiting rooms. Security ousted anyone who did not check in and have official apparoval to be there. Housekeeping dumped material left by those with a cult agenda. Some of this stuff actually contradicts medical reality. This was the case with the morg mishies who promised the mother her child would survive if she would agree to baptism.

Report these offenses to hospital officials. They'll thank you for it. The patients and their emotionally vulnerable families would thank you if they could.
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Do Mormons Even Learn Culture In Their Travels Abroad?
Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009, at 09:47 AM
Original Author(s): Cludgie
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
Reading Tom Clark's letter provoked the memory that I had hoped to write a letter along a similar thread. My thought is that, for all the travelling Mormons do (or say they do), they bring back precious little to show for it in the way of knowledge of the people to whom they were sent. Yet credible magazines and other publications continure to naively print that foreign corporations flock to SLC because the Mormon ex-missionaries speak their languages and understand their cultures. (Personally, I think Utah's popularity in the corporate world is because the business environment in Utah has been orchestrated to provide little oversight and is made to favor the businesses at the expense of the employees. But maybe I'm just being cynical.)

I was in Japan for a number of years with the military, and was often gobsmacked at the crap the missionaries would believe about the Japanese, indicating that the missionaries' immature pea-brains were not picking up on many of the cultural clues of an ancient people. Plus there was the stupid and naive expectation that a good Japanese should embrace an American religion and drop his or her culture to do it.

Like Tom, I also on a mission to Italy (the OLD days, back with Paul Toscano and the like; Tom and I have compared notes and know some of the same people). It was immediately apparent to me that the Italians really had something particular going on, something to which we Americans could only weakly aspire. The Italian peninsula has been thriving amidst Roman, Greek, Etruscan, and Umbrian culture (among many others) for three or four thousand years or so (truthfully, I don't really know how many). Many missionaries had no appreciation at all for that fact, and remained aloof and unimpressed their entire time there. They would brag that the church would someday shake the Italians loose from their traditions, and cause them to embrace Mormonism.

When it came time to leave the "Great Italian Mission" (dubbed by Hartmon Rector as its formal name), I was so happy to be off my mission but sad to leave Italy, fearing I may never come back. But I remember one missionary I went out with who counted the days to get back to his dairy farm in Idaho where he would be free to be, as he put it, closer to the Lord. Really aspiring to lofty things, that is. A-sittin' on the fence watching the bovines, Land o' Goshen!

Yet Italy may not be the best example of a people whose religion is tightly intertwined with the fabric of their culture. The church tried for decades to be allowed into Greece. When they finally did get in, they found that they were denied a lot of basic privileges as a religion because, by and large, nothing but Orthodox Christianity is accepted there, and nothing but Orthodoxy has any meaning. Orthodoxy is not just religion; it is life, whether you attend meetings or not. Same with the Russians, Serbians, and many others who practice Orthodoxy. That's not even to mention the Islamic countries that (thankfully) will never see a Mormon missionary. (Oddly, none of my babbling explains how Mormonism can get a unexpectedly strong foothold in some very different countries, like in Tonga or Mongolia. But Mormonism can get an impressive foothold in any backward and naive country or region, like in Central and Western Africa, where people are naive and where there is very little Internet penetration.)

My family and I finally did have the privilege of returning to Italy and living ther for four years. We also lived in Germany for 13 years and have spent time in places like Pakistan, Cambodia, and Congo. What those experiences served to do for me vis-a-vis my so-called "testimony" was to prove to me that there's hardly a young missionary out there that has any idea of what is really going on about him or her, and few, if any, take the culture home with them when they depart. This is just as true with mission presidents and senior missionaries. And when I hear former missionaries talk about their time abroad, I'm often forced to roll my eyes because it can be so obvious that they've come back without much of a clue and only a sort of corrupted idea about what was happening around them.

I just think it's sad, is all. I don't think any of them can hope to convert someone of another culture without more profound appreciation and knowledge of the host nation culture or of anyone's culture in general. Plus there's the nasty fact of jingoism among most of the American missionaries, both young and old. I
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Owning Your Own Life - Deenie Style
Thursday, Jun 25, 2009, at 09:07 AM
Original Author(s): Debbie The Rebbie
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
I have been posting here on and off for a few months using different names depending on what I was sharing. The main reason for this was because I had some shame and embarrassment about some of the experiences I have had and I was not alway sure of the state of the evolution I was in about some issues. Perhaps this is the last legacy for me, of the deep shame I felt being raised a Mormon who never quite fit the mold. I had to compartmentalize the ragtag parts of me that were not ideal. Turns out, it was just the human side of me -- trying to be perfect, when just being me always was enough. I never knew this freedom to be...just be.

In reading about Deenie the Dread Single Adult, I thought to myself, that through her disappointmens and heartache, she didn't seem to allow herself to be severed up into little pieces. Maybe it was because she was not raised in the cult and had a self to go back to -- but I really admire the way she took her licks and the indignities of being single and "unchosen" in a church where only the ideal are really respected. Doesn't matter if the "ideal" is a sham....but you have to be with the program or you are not considered a full person. I loved her story about the day she had been abused one time too many and just walked out and saw the sunlight glinting off cars and the scent of new mown grass....perfect.

As a divorced apostate, I have had a lot of trouble trying to find the way back to my rightful selfhood. I have been single for eleven years now, and just now, at age 56, realize that I do not have to have a man in my house, to be happy. I was married a long time and judged harshly every single day, and I have had time now, to really treasure having the freedom to live my life as I choose. Up till now, I have been caught up in that old mindset that if you are not "chosen" by a man, you aren't really "here." It is amazing how strong that notion is.

Deenie, as illustrated in the stories she wrote and by all the loving comments made about her, succeeded in flourishing as a full "self" and the fact that she was single -- unchosen -- did not factor into the great worth of her soul. She did not hold back --she pursued her passions and told her truth with humorous candor. It makes me ashamed of the time I have wasted in worrying if I will die alone and unloved. Well, that is so stupid. I realize now that *am loved* for myself and have lots of passions to pursue....and Deenie living, and then passing on with such grace, has been a huge kick in the butt for me. I am going to get out my paint brushes and paint again...what *I* want to paint (nudes nudes nudes...just kidding) -- I love to sing, and I am going to find a group or choir of some kind to sing with (I don't have a church and didn't know where to sing), but just singing to the radio is great in itself -- I am going to start writing what I have wanted to write but didn't start because my TBM family mightnot like it...on the list goes. Why did I get sucked into thinking that I had to censure my own life story? Do I not own my own life?

I do.

I am free.

I needed that kick in the butt, along with the wrench of the heart. Deenie and others here who don't flinch, have really helped me clear the final hurdle of assimilating all the desparate parts of me.

Have some of you found yourself divided into compartments as part of fractured fairy tales too?
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The Baloney Detection Kit - Michael Shermer
Thursday, Jun 25, 2009, at 09:48 AM
Original Author(s): Jim Whitefield
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
Forwarded to me by The Richard Dawkins Foundation.

The first video from RDF TV is well worth viewing. In a common sense approach, Shermer explains how to logically conclude whether there is merit to any new claim. Using science as the tool to understand whether something fits with the way the world is – he clearly demonstrates how to determine the facts of any new matter. Shermer relates his ten question approach to things such as new scientific discovery, global warming, extra-terrestrial life and so forth.

For us, applying the ten basic tenets of his “Boloney Detection Kit” to Joseph Smith’s hoax and the modern day lies within the continuing conspiracy to deceive members of the Mormon Church, leads to one and only one conclusion. The link is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUB4j0...

and for those who want the details and don’t have time to view the video (although they are much more fully explained there and I would recommend watching it - 14 mins), the ten questions to pose are:

1. How reliable is the source of the claim?
2. Does the source make similar claims?
3. Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
4. Does this fit with the way the world works?
5. Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
6. Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
7. Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
8. Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
9. Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
10. Are personal beliefs driving the claim?

For our own good – on the basis of “once bitten, twice shy” – perhaps we should all review this link and think very carefully before we accept anything new at all – until it is verified and accepted through scientific means. It appears that most things are not what they first seem… we all know of one thing that is certainly not what it seemed.

Not only was Smith a complete fraud but even worse - Santa always had a green coat until the 1930's when the Coca-Cola company ran ads with a red and white coat to match their corprate colours - the idea stuck and Santa's coat is now red - who knew? You can't trust anything you are told. You have to check for yourself. Do I want to believe in Santa any more, now I know his true colours? Well, maybe more than I do Smith; now I know his true colours...
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If I Get Kicked Out Of The OUTgroup That Means I'm IN
Friday, Jun 26, 2009, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): No-One-Likes-A-Frowny-Face
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
I am in the middle of an email exchange with my 5 TBM siblings and the process is smarting a little.

Two days ago I was invited to go to church to attend a nephew's homecoming talk. I have been excommunicated and therefore am required to be silent if I ever attend a church meeting again (which i won't). My response to the invitation was that I not be invited to church meetings any more since I'm obviously not wanted there. I also said that if there are other types of gatherings not having to do with TSCC then my wife and I will consider attending.

The response from my sister-in-law (who is really the only person I've ever had a conversation about this at all) takes the postition that I'm being ungrateful and rude because she had this "crazy idea" that I might be interested in what was going on in my nephews' lives.

We are just slinging words at each other. In a way it feels futile, but in a way it's nice to actually TALK about it. I've been silent far too long. Feeling like no one is hearing you is a slight improvement from being silent, but still is hard to take.

She also mentioned that some of them (my siblings) were supportive of my wedding last summer and in fact three of my 5 siblings did attend the wedding and the first 30 minutes of the reception (I'm a lesbian BTW). She however, was attending a temple dedication. I want to point out to her that she chose to go to church instead of my wedding and that she really has a weak argument if she's saying she personally went out of her way to be supportive. I think I'm just going to go for it. She will see that as more of the same. Me being a spoiled and rude and selfish.

You know, I went to all their receptions. I was too young to witness the weddings because of temple silliness, but I went to all their effing weddings. God. I went to everything.

Now I'm being ungrateful. They are so into TSCC that they can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be utterly happy to be in it like they are.

What have I got to lose? My family? No. They are already gone. They were gone as sooon as I was gone from their "family oriented" church.

We'll see if any of my brothers or my older sister responds. I do feel torn somwhat. I mean, they never said congratulations or I'm happy for you or anything of the sort when it came to my wedding, but they did show up. No gifts, no conversation nothing, but they did actually show up. That's important, right?

Note to anyone out there trying to decide if you should invite your TBM family to a wedding where they don't fully support you: DON'T DO IT. They will simply use that card against you at a later date.

The irony is that their corrupt organization does not allow them to be inclusive no matter how nice they are. And this is the church of jesus christ?

In retrospect I wish I had simply left them completely out of the loop as far as the wedding was concerned. In fact now I'm considering cutting off all communications period. We have no common ground as far as I'm concerned. They see me as lost. It is futile to tell them that my life is actually going much better now than I ever did when I was trying to fit the TBM mold. I just want to move on and maybe I need to sever more ties. It hurts too much to play this nicy-nice game.

How can mormons be so nice and so offensive at the same time? They are under the illusion that they are being inclusive and accomodating when they are in fact operating under a system of self-righteousness that is unsurpassed. I won't be around people that harm me anymore. Not even if they don't know or care that they're doing it.

It occurred to me this morning that broadly speaking, mormons are an out group. If I've been kicked out of the out group that means I'm IN!!!

I do feel that way here in Seattle.
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Suicide Of The Self, Or: The Consumption Of Christ
Monday, Jul 13, 2009, at 07:40 AM
Original Author(s): Existentialist
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
It struck me one day, a few years ago during an American Literature class, when a professor mentioned how she was fascinated by the cannibalism in christianity. A girl rose her hand and was called upon to add that it was just a symbol. Yes, a symbol of eating the flesh of a man, and drinking his blood the professor responded.

I think that professor was onto something. The image of my TBM parents going to church every Sunday and symbolically eating and drinking the body of their lawd and savior is forever emblazoned in my irreverent sense of humor. In a sense I think the cannibalism of christ represents a larger theme in at least the mormon sect.

After all, why does one eat and drink of christ? In the mormon church (for that's the only church i've ever belonged to) the member, follower, believer is encouraged to essentially mime the life and mien of jesus christ. I think the bigger message that the mormon church and many others propagate is that god doesn't want you as he made you, he wants you to be jesus christ. So, try as hard as you can to be jesus (that bullshit 'natural man' BoM quote my old bishop used to harp on the members about frequently comes to mind), because you certainly aren't good enough as you are.

One is supposed to lead a 'christ-like' life, to think, act, be as christ would have been. I argue that to be like christ one has to deny the self. This makes sense, considering all of the rules and regulations and strict codes of behavior and thought the mormon church places upon its members. They even say their prayers 'in the name' of their savior. By consuming christ in every possibly way, one is committing a type of suicide via the huge amounts of denying the self one must undertake to become a truly loyal and real great follower, and by becoming not yourself but a replica of christ. The way in which the christ is written to have died is in itself a form of suicide (but not really, because he never truly died, but arose again in the 'physical realm' as a superhero).

I thought about the sacrament in comparison to the other ways in which the early christian church (at least as how it was brought into England) consumed and taught its members to consume christ. There was the 'christ-knight' and the 'motherly christ,' to name a few. Those are two examples of how christian knowledge was passed on to women, in an age still built upon male notions of feminine 'hysteria' and that women were creatures that uncontrollably leaked all sorts of fluids. Christ to them was usually at once feminine as masculine, and the imagery of the language in writing suggested metaphors based on sexual penetration.

Likewise, the penetration of christ's body and blood through the mouth (where one eats, speaks, breathes, kisses) puts christ into the whole body in a non-sexual as well as sexual way. It's the idea that the christ, as food has now become another element of how he can enter into your life (penetrative image intended) as physical sustenance. That sustenance powers the mind, the blood, resistance mechanisms, travels through organs, and even passes as excrement, or could be used in providing further energy in the production of sperm, eggs, and energizing the sexual organs.

In writing these things pretty fast, off the top of my mind as they have collected in my head over the years, I hope to spark some thoughts, some discussion, some consideration. I'm sure I'm not an originator of these ideas, BUT I do see the consumption of christ as a symbolic form of self-denial so strong as to be a suicide of the self and in all that one's concept of self-identity is concerned.

To me, having a deity want you to be something other than what you have been created by this deity as is ultimately dangerous or poisonous to one's mind, and to a collective group of people if truly analyzed beyond looking at the symbolism of christianity calling for sheepishness, unquestioning loyalty (which also makes for a lack of true, and thorough understanding from both within and outside-in) and a code of abidance in its meaninglessness repetitiveness of its rituals.
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Temple Square: The Warning Label
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009, at 03:00 PM
Original Author(s): Thewriterwithin
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
WARNINGS: Touring Temple Square may lead to headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, and hearing voices. Some visitors to Temple Square report vision impairments including tunnel vision and temporary or permanent blindness. Homophobia, misogyny, racism, closeted homosexuality, and pretending to be someone else are the most commonly reported side effects of touring Temple Square. Rare cases of pretending to be Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz have been reported.

Touring Temple Square can lead to heat rash in your diaper area from bad underwear or heat stroke from wearing too much clothing for a desert summer.

Touring Temple Square can lead to bizarre belief systems such as thinking are going to be God in the next life, but meanwhile everyone is laughing at you in this life. Visitors to Temple Square frequently report losing their sense of humor and perspective. Some visitors are unable to read history or literature after touring Temple Square. Some visitors are unable to think rationally after touring Temple Square.

Touring Temple Square sometimes results in excruciatingly bad taste in religious ritual, painting, music, and architecture. Report these symptoms to your physician immediately as they may be warning signs of a rare but fatal fetish with post-Third Reich fascist architecture. Some women who tour Temple Square report low self-esteem, depression, and lisping like a 5 year-old girl. Some women who tour Temple Square are never able to speak in a normal, human voice again. Women who experience feelings of inadequacy, exasperation, or the urge to strangle the next man they see in a white shirt with black pants and tie should leave Temple Square immediately. Some men who tour Temple Square report an uncontrollable urge to imagine they are in charge of women. Some men who tour Temple Square become pompous, smug, and self-satisfied. (See Orrin Hatch.) Some male visitors to Temple Square become assholes for life. (See Glenn Beck.).

Touring Temple Square has been known to trigger a narcissistic personality disorder in men. Men who experience swelling of the head should leave Temple Square immediately. Touring Temple Square can lead to delusion of grandeur or paranoid persecution complexes. Self-pity, self-righteousness, and self-importance have all been reported. Some visitors are unable to deal with Mormon history, reality, and mankind after they leave. Terminal whining and chronic insistence you are the victim have been reported in rare instances. Other symptoms include giggling episodes the visitor is unable to control or making a sneezing sound as if she were trying not to laugh. If you experience any of these symptoms, leave Temple Square immediately. If the symptoms persist, see your therapist. If symptoms are left untreated they can lead to drug abuse, suicide, divorce, madness, joining the Mormon Church, or sudden unexplained death. (See Danites.) Leaving Temple Square and the Mormon Church does not always reverse the course ofthese diseases.

Touring Temple Square is not for pregnant or lactating women, men who are domineering and ill-tempered to begin with, women who think everything wrong in the world is their fault, children under two, those with liver disease, or those who are allergic to Disney castles. Do not use alcohol for 12 hours before and after touring Temple Square. Do not tour Temple Square while using other prescription or over-the-counter drugs without consulting your physician. Do not use hallucinogenic or mind-altering drugs while touring Temple Square as this can lead to fatal attractions to bland mousy people who seem nice but who turn out to be mean and crazy.
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Doing Good When You Feel Like It
Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009, at 08:12 AM
Original Author(s): Substrate
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
I hadn't been to church in a couple of months, but I went to sacrament meeting with the family Sunday (dunno why). Anyway, a young student couple spoke, and I don't remember the assigned topic, but both talks quickly turned to obedience being the key to everything.

The young man said that it's really hard to be obedient because we don't always feel like being obedient. But we shouldn't just obey "when we feel like it," but rather, we should force ourselves to obey, even when we don't want to.

I've been pondering this since then. Is our "not feeling like it" due to our evil natures and temptation, or is it more an indicator of the arbitrary nature of LDS commandments? I suspect it's more the latter.

In many ways, obedience for church members involves jumping through visible hoops that really serve no purpose except to bind the members to the group. Hence Mormonism has long since abandoned its spiritual innovativeness (I'm thinking of early church culture) in favor of a set of boundaries so restrictive that even the color of a man's shirt or the number of a woman's earrings represents inclusion in the group.

So, there isn't any motivation to "do the right thing" because the right thing isn't a moral issue at all but a simple matter of cultural expectation. The only question for the believer is whether or not to deal with the guilt and social pressure of nonconformity. Hence we have David Bednar spelling out clearly that nonconformity is a window into the soul, and that soul is wanting.

I know I'm rambling, but I thought that since leaving the church, I find myself completely free of any temptation or guilt because I generally do the right thing. Why? Because generally I feel like doing the right thing. I don't treat my neighbors kindly because I'm expected to do so, but I do it because I want to. I'm not honest because dishonesty would make me feel guilty; I'm honest because I want to be.

I used to feel beset by temptations, to the point that I would set daily and weekly goals to avoid temptation. When I finally let go of the guilt of nonconformity, for some reason the temptation faded into the ether. I'm sure some believers would say that's because Satan already has his hands on me and doesn't need to tempt me. But I think something else is going on. I've finally discovered my own morality, which is far deeper than the one I accepted for so long.
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Mormons And Their Psychic Powers
Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
Where does this magical thinking originate?

Probably, from the idea of Moroni's promise, from the idea of grassroots and ongoing revelations, from having "priesthood powers," and from the tendency to cross boundaries and assume whatever comes to mind about other church members and friends.

Whatever is the cause, mormons do often assume they know WHAT others are thinking an WHY. They don't need evidence or affirmation because they simply somehow KNOW these things. A recent troll actually said he/she had aa much right to an opinion about what I think as I do. This isn't the first time I've heard this. It's a classic TBM assumption.

Other evidence of assumed psychic powers? Mormons tend to assume they have control over the thought processes and behaviors of people they meet. They try hard to set the right example believing that this will magically make someone like them, think their church is true, and stay in or join it. LOL Yeah, we're influences by our peers, but mormons have no more power of influence than anyone else.

Mormons can't discern truth by praying or thinking hard.

They can't read minds any better than an average rat or cat.

They can't heal illness with magic oil or mind control

They can't impose their will using big smiles and cup cakes on a doorstep.

They can't change the world into a mormon enclave with their non-existent psychic powers.
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If It's True That Our Obsessions Show Where Our Weaknesses Lie
Friday, Jul 17, 2009, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Helamonster
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
Then what does that say about mormon "leaders"?

There's a truism of psychology that the things which a person vocally hates are usually things they despise about themselves, and have projected onto others.

The wisest among us can recognize that projection process and act accordingly. But that kind of self-reflection is rather alien to mormonism.

So, instead what we get is a church that was born in polygamy and sexual philandering - that was even KNOWN almost exclusively for its "alternative lifestyle" - which now seeks to dictate the sex lives of its members, whether it be restricting marriage rights of ALL citizens, or telling what sexual practices are "impure, unholy and animalistic".

The cult is also obsessed with how members dress, what they eat and drink, and what they do with their money.

Yes, the money aspect is based upon greed primarily, but it also says somethings about GAs attitudes toward money and their PERSONAL greed, that they have to emphasiez, time and again, how important it is for members to "give the Lord His share".

Can we conclude that mormon church officals are all greedy old gluttonous pervs who can't accept the truth about their own urges, so seek to castigate others for their very humanity? I think that might be fair...
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Ever Notice That If The Church Creates A Problem, It Blames The Members?
Wednesday, Jul 22, 2009, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Punky's Dilemma
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
So, I looked at the staylds site...

Apparently it's there to fix the members that have a problem with doubt and who are struggling.

No acknowlegement that it's the church that has the problem and is struggling.

It's like identifying a victim of abuse as the one with the "problem" instead of abuser.

When the focus is on "fixing" the members, instead of addressing the problems in the mormon church and culture, nothing will ever change or improve.

When *you* adapt to a dysfunctional system, the system doesn't get healthier. You just get sick enough to tolerate it.
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The Most Dishonest Lesson Under Mormonism
Friday, Jul 24, 2009, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Xma
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
A lot of us rightly criticize mormon ideology, behaviors, outlooks, facts, and leaders. While rational and correct judgments, these insights can and do get set aside and rationalized away. In fact, if I where still a mormon and confronted by most of the information discussed here, I'd have rejected it as some sort of folly.

However, Just as many of you, I extricated myself from mormonism. I was too honest with myself about myself to set my doubts aside. When I found that I was being dishonest with myself, and that I was too afraid to directly evaluate church teachings, I investigated my self-dishonesty instead (sorting out cognitive dissonance by following the path of least resistance).

Ultimately, this lesson, above all other distortions, is what I consider to be the most dishonest thing the church teaches:

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp...

Instructing people to set aside their doubts as character flaws or deceptions from an evil power OBVIOUSLY made all sorts of deceptions possible. Even as a closed-minded mormon, I understood that such lessons had no effect but to corrupt good judgement and would only be useful for an evil deceiver.

It wasn't the facts or the behaviors espoused by the church and its members that got me out of there. It was that I recognized consistent anti-thinking patterns in the form of lessons and statements on "building testimony". When I understood that, if I accepted the exact same lessons in context of some other religion (such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, the People's Temple, or a great many other such cults in the past), that I would have no power to see through their deceptions because I would have had my ability to reason corrupted and destroyed.

In other words, mormonism has the prototypical deception, which can not be honestly denied, ignored, or apologized for: The deception which makes deception possible.

I think that, if God exists and is a just judge, that the last thing he'd want is for "his children" to stop thinking and become the deluded devotees of some charlatan. Anyone who tells you that [to disbelieve or to become an apostate] is committing a great sacrilege against any respectable god.

I think the most subversive thing that you could possibly say [to a mormon] is "God gave you a brain, and he expects you to use it."
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Coraline, Water Witching And Seer Stones
Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009, at 12:06 PM
Original Author(s): Japeth
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
So i just watched the movie coraline and right of the bat she starts using water witching to find an old lost well. It made me think of Oliver Cowedry and his "gift of the rod". Then in the middle of the movie coraline receives a seer stone that enables her to find lost and hidden things. She uses this to find lost spirits of those killed by a robot witch lady.

Anyways these stories made me think back to my childhood, when i was ignorant and magic was all around. If we got hurt when we were playing outside then we would use a willow leave from the "bandaid tree" and everything would be all better. My sleep paralysis was surely demons trying to get me because satan knew i was special and didn't want me to reach potential. I even had a stone that i used to copy the magic stone in the Belegraid by David Eddings (i highly recommend this book series) i would pretend to put my will into it and then it would help me? anyways to make a long story short it was easy to live in this world of pretend and believe in all of that magic and good vs. evil. I would make up stuff that would feel kindof like it would make sense and then convince myself that its real. I think its the same with mormonism. They just don't have the chance to grow out of it, because those whom they look up to are pretending themselves. Its magic thinking backed by billions and billions in fiscal interest.

After i grew out of magic thinking and using the band aid tree exct. some of my friends weren't out of it yet and so i would keep pretending when i was around them. Now they're in their twenties and still believe. :( and i am the one they think is in the dark.

Much like the movie Coraline if we don't accept the real world for how it really is, then we will be trapped in the fake magical one forever. In the movie the magical world is all just a faux replica built of lies and yarn and when the yarn unravels nothing is there.

Coraline is a weird movie, but is an excellent metaphor of the damage that can be done with fake magical thinking and those who encourage it.
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"The Church Is True"
Thursday, Jul 30, 2009, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Holy The Ghost
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
One of the most frustrating statements that can be made by a believer in the Church is that "the Church is true."

This statement is so frustrating because it is meaningless. It is a categorical error to make that statement.

A "categorical error" is to treat the members of one category as if they were members of another category. For example if I were to say that "Red has a sweet taste" it would not make sense because "red" does not belong to the category of things that have taste. If I say "My wife came home in a flood of tears" then my neighbor says "no, she came home in my Ford Escort" my neighbor has made the categorical mistake of treating the "flood of tears" as being in the same category as Ford Escorts.

"The Church is True" seems to be the same sort of error.

Truth is a property that belongs to propositions (statements of fact), or perhaps more generally, representations (something that is about something else, like a memory or a photograph).

A proposition is true to degree that is accurately represents the way the world actually is (or was, or will be). A proposition is true to the extent that it corresponds with what actually is.

So truth is a property of propositions, but the Church is not a proposition, it is an institution. Institutions are not representations of facts, nor do they purport to correspond with the way the world is. They just are.

So when President Hinkley makes a statement like...
"Each of us has to face the matter–either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing."
--President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Loyalty", General Conference, April 2003.

...his statement is about as meaningful as

"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."
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Revelation And Contention
Friday, Jul 31, 2009, at 08:19 AM
Original Author(s): Confused
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
The Bishop said he had a dream where he saw the Endowment session packed with people from our ward and area.

It came to him as a revelation that if we really tried, we as a ward could bring 150 new members into the church if we each only had one. I thought that was rather ambitious, and I thought 'Wow-what a great idea-he must be inspired'. 150 members in celebration of 150 years-musta been Pioneers...

This new plan was presented to us in Ward Council, and in PEC. I was new to the whole council idea, just having been promoted into the EQ presidency. As the push continued and the appeals over the pulpit were given during FandT by many in the WC (ward council, not water closet...) there began to be murmurings, and questions about the whole idea.

On the next WC in the Bishops abscence, there was a lot of discussion about how to implement the missionary work needed to pull in 150 new members, and it was obviously becoming a thorn in many peoples' side. So at one point someone said "Bishop must've been eating to many chili dogs to have a nightmare like this". And more than a couple people nodded in agreement.

Being new to the process, I was appalled and recall standing up and saying - y'all raised your hands to sustain the new Bishop, and now we're stabbing him in the back while he's not here. And I was really proud of myself afterward.

On Sunday, the Bishop took me aside and said he wanted to know who said what- and that their badmouthing could lead to stronger questions at Temple Recommend time for those folks. I did not reveal names, but it was a sure revelation to me that the church was serious about following the leaders.

The Plan faltered, and was eventually abandoned. I assumed as I was told, that we just did not have the faith to follow our Bishop and to put the promises of the Lord to the test. Espcially myself, since I am the exact opposite of a member missionary.

A couple months later, I was talking to my brother who lives far away, and his Bishop had had the same 'vision'.

Much later, it would be found out that it was a widespread goal that was being pushed in many or even most wards. For all I know, it was probably being discussed in the whole Stake, with each Bishop having his personal revelation for his ward.

Looking back, the BPs must've been instructed to keep it only in their wards so as to keep other wards from discovering it for what it was.

Did the Bishop have a revelation? No it was a regional assignment given on the Stake or even worlswide level from his superiors.

Did I have a revelation? You betcha.
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Bishops Are The Equivalent Of Wolves Guarding The Sheep
Thursday, Aug 6, 2009, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Rollins
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
A bishop once said that he had the responsibility for protecting his sheep from those who would deceive them. That is rich given that bishops' actions are calculated (often unknowingly) to assure that members remain within the deception of Mormonism. Any bishop engages in the following to achieve the goal of deceiving the members of his ward.

1. Encourages members to bear their testimony to increase the members' commitments to TSCC.

2. Calls members to positions of leadership and teaching. This provides regular opportunities for the members to publicly state their belief and thus decrease the likelihood they will ever stray.

3. Attempt to convince the young men to give up two years of their lives at their own expense. This is probably the most cognitive dissonance inducing tool available.

4. Encourage members to go to the temple often. The constant repetition of promises under such odd circumstances also increases the probability of the member staying in TSCC."

Many religions continually bring up either real or perceived persecutions. By increasing the perceived price paid for a belief system it is less likely the believer will renounce their faith. It is well said here:

“Procedures, customs, and traditions are often specifically established for the purposes of creating psychological commitment. Consider fraternity initiations, military boot camps, political rallies, protest marches, and demonstrations. When we make our vows, beliefs, statements, or endeavors public, we feel bound to them. We can back out on commitments and claims we’ve made public, but we will pay a psychological and emotional price. What’s more, the more public we made those commitments, the greater the emotional price tag will be.”

http://ezinearticles.com/?Cognitive-D...

That is the reason that TSCC continually brings up the persecutions that occurred in the early days of Mormonism. Viewing any negative comments about Mormonism as negative also increases the cognitive dissonance. Anyone who even questions Mormonism is "anti-Mormon". By the time a Mormon is in their twenties they have given so much emotionally, fiscally, and temporally to Mormonism that it is very, very difficult for them to turn away from the fraud.

Fundamentalists of all stripes engage in similar behaviors. Islam has the haj, all of the hours spent in worship, the differences in lifestyle that sets them apart, and focusing on anything that can be slightly perceived as persecution. Many benign comments and publications are viewed as anti-Islamic. Judaism has the same things with the haj being replaced by Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, religious giving, etc. It results in the believers feeling that they have given so much and suffered immensely for their various faiths. Inoculation with cognitive dissonance that extreme often results in people being able to defend the ludicrous for a lifetime. The bad thing is that every time they defend their bogus beliefs their propensity to engage in confirmation bias, denial of disconfirming evidence, and the need to protect their self-image by defending their chosen stance also increases. It is a self-perpetuating quagmire that few escape.

Our chemical computers that we call brains are just wired that way. The unscrupulous are all too willing to take advantage of this human weakness.
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Bullying By The So Called Cult Leaders And True Blue Mormons
Thursday, Aug 6, 2009, at 08:07 AM
Original Author(s): Bennion
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
* Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how attempts to psychologically condition him or her are directed in a step-by-step manner.

o Potential new members are led, step by step, through a behavioral-change program without being aware of the final agenda or full content of the group. The goal may be to make them deployable agents for the leadership, to get them to buy more courses, or get them to make a deeper commitment, depending on the leader's aim and desires. [Milk before meat, the gradually increasing commitments of the missionary discussions, temple attendance kept until adulthood for those born in the church and only after a year of membership for converts.]

* Control the person's social and/or physical environment; especially control the person's time.

o Through various methods, newer members are kept busy and led to think about the group and its content during as much of their waking time as possible.

* Systematically create a sense of powerlessness in the person.

o This is accomplished by getting members away from their normal social support group for a period of time and into an environment where the majority of people are already group members. [Missionary service does this in the extreme.]

o The members serve as models of the attitudes and behaviors of the group and speak an in-group language.

o Strip members of their main occupation (quit jobs, drop out of school) or source of income or have them turn over their income (or the majority of) to the group. [This is what happens to an extent with tithing and completely with the temple covenant to use all time and resources for the building of the "kingdom".

o Once the target is stripped of their usual support network, their confidence in their own perception erodes. [This happens to exmos.]

o As the target's sense of powerlessness increases, their good judgment and understanding of the world are diminished. (ordinary view of reality is destabilized)

o As the group attacks the target's previous worldview, it causes the target distress and inner confusion; yet they are not allowed to speak about this confusion or object to it - leadership suppresses questions and counters resistance.

o This process is sped up if the targeted individual or individuals are kept tired - the cult will take deliberate actions to keep the target constantly busy. [This happens in the MTC and in the mission field. It is also a common problem with the commandment to have too many children, a full-time job, several callings, scripture study, journal writing, etc]

* Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments and experiences in such a way as to inhibit behavior that reflects the person's former social identity. [The Mormon "my way or the highway" mentality. It is all incredibly devastating. Many TBMs have no qualms about destroying lives, careers, health, families, and social relationships to achieve their selfish ends.]

o Manipulation of experiences can be accomplished through various methods of trance induction, including leaders using such techniques as paced speaking patterns, guided imagery, chanting, long prayer sessions or lectures, and lengthy meditation sessions.

o the target's old beliefs and patterns of behavior are defined as irrelevant or evil. Leadership wants these old patterns eliminated, so the member must suppress them.

o Members get positive feedback for conforming to the group's beliefs and behaviors and negative feedback for old beliefs and behavior.

* The group manipulates a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in order to promote learning the group's ideology or belief system and group-approved behaviors.

o Good behavior, demonstrating an understanding and acceptance of the group's beliefs, and compliance are rewarded while questioning, expressing doubts or criticizing are met with disapproval, redress and possible rejection. If one expresses a question, he or she is made to feel that there is something inherently disordered about them to be questioning.

o The only feedback members get is from the group; they become totally dependent upon the rewards given by those who control the environment.

o Members must learn varying amounts of new information about the beliefs of the group and the behaviors expected by the group.

o The more complicated and filled with contradictions the new system is and the more difficult it is to learn, the more effective the conversion process will be.

o Esteem and affection from peers is very important to new recruits. Approval comes from having the new member's behaviors and thought patterns conform to the models (members). Members' relationship with peers is threatened whenever they fail to learn or display new behaviors. Over time, the easy solution to the insecurity generated by the difficulties of learning the new system is to inhibit any display of doubts -- new recruits simply acquiesce, affirm and act as if they do understand and accept the new ideology.

* Put forth a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval or executive order.

o The group has a top-down, pyramid structure. The leaders must have verbal ways of never losing.

o Members are not allowed to question, criticize or complain -- if they do, the leaders allege that the member is defective - not the organization or the beliefs.

o The targeted individual is treated as if he or she is always intellectually incorrect or injust, while conversely the system, its leaders and its beliefs are always automatically, and by default, considered as absolutely just.

o Conversion or remolding of the individual member happens in a closed system. As members learn to modify their behavior in order to be accepted in this closed system, they change -- begin to speak the language -- which serves to further isolate them from their prior beliefs and behaviors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_control
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Bishops Are The Equivalent Of Wolves Guarding The Sheep
Friday, Aug 7, 2009, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): Rollins
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
A bishop once said that he had the responsibility for protecting his sheep from those who would deceive them. That is rich given that bishops' actions are calculated (often unknowingly) to assure that members remain within the deception of Mormonism. Any bishop engages in the following to achieve the goal of deceiving the members of his ward.

1. Encourages members to bear their testimony to increase the members' commitments to TSCC.

2. Calls members to positions of leadership and teaching. This provides regular opportunities for the members to publicly state their belief and thus decrease the likelihood they will ever stray.

3. Attempt to convince the young men to give up two years of their lives at their own expense. This is probably the most cognitive dissonance inducing tool available.

4. Encourage members to go to the temple often. The constant repetition of promises under such odd circumstances also increases the probability of the member staying in TSCC."

Many religions continually bring up either real or perceived persecutions. By increasing the perceived price paid for a belief system it is less likely the believer will renounce their faith. It is well said here:

“Procedures, customs, and traditions are often specifically established for the purposes of creating psychological commitment. Consider fraternity initiations, military boot camps, political rallies, protest marches, and demonstrations. When we make our vows, beliefs, statements, or endeavors public, we feel bound to them. We can back out on commitments and claims we’ve made public, but we will pay a psychological and emotional price. What’s more, the more public we made those commitments, the greater the emotional price tag will be.”

http://ezinearticles.com/?Cognitive-D...

That is the reason that TSCC continually brings up the persecutions that occurred in the early days of Mormonism. Viewing any negative comments about Mormonism as negative also increases the cognitive dissonance. Anyone who even questions Mormonism is "anti-Mormon". By the time a Mormon is in their twenties they have given so much emotionally, fiscally, and temporally to Mormonism that it is very, very difficult for them to turn away from the fraud.

Fundamentalists of all stripes engage in similar behaviors. Islam has the haj, all of the hours spent in worship, the differences in lifestyle that sets them apart, and focusing on anything that can be slightly perceived as persecution. Many benign comments and publications are viewed as anti-Islamic. Judaism has the same things with the haj being replaced by Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, religious giving, etc. It results in the believers feeling that they have given so much and suffered immensely for their various faiths. Inoculation with cognitive dissonance that extreme often results in people being able to defend the ludicrous for a lifetime. The bad thing is that every time they defend their bogus beliefs their propensity to engage in confirmation bias, denial of disconfirming evidence, and the need to protect their self-image by defending their chosen stance also increases. It is a self-perpetuating quagmire that few escape.

Our chemical computers that we call brains are just wired that way. The unscrupulous are all too willing to take advantage of this human weakness.
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The Church Of Dissection And Correction
Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Punky's Dilemma
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
In a lot of areas of my life I'm a "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing half-assed" kind of girl. I didn't start life this way, but over the years I've learned that there is an economy of effort that should go into a task.

Doing something perfectly, or with great attention to detail and style can require a lot, and when it comes down to it, many tasks aren't worth this kind of effort.

I remember a talk/ensign article/devotional about a GA who as a boy was paid to mow some old lady's yard. She paid him on a sliding scale, depending on how good of a job he did, with $5 being the ceiling for an impossibly good job. This was a standard that the poor boy put a great deal of effort into meeting, but could not quite make. Finally, after engaging in a rather laborious process that involved the kind of meticulous lawn grooming that most sane people would reserve for a world championship golf tournament.

And, at the end of that process the GA received his $5. I believe the point was to encourage people to strive for perfection. I took a different lesson from this. I figured that $3 was an adequate job, and the most money for the time invested. I couldn't see the benefit of maximum effort of only modest to minimal gain in results.

But, there's something about doing even the simplest of tasks in the patriarchal bureaucracy of the mormon church that sets leaders up to go looking for things to correct or improve. No job is ever adequate. You are never told "good enough, now go enjoy yourself."

If you are unlucky enough to do well at something, you'll be asked to do it more, or better. Some fault will be found, some correction demanded. Often, these are not constructive corrections, but strange ideas based on the whims of someone higher up on the Ward/Stake food chain.

I remember holding "opening exercises" for YW meetings when just I and a friend attended. I remember times when panty hose (in addition to Sunday dress) were required for not just church, but Mutual activities. I remember having to provide lesson plans for Nursery classes. I can think of times when shorts were literally measured to make sure they were no more than precisely 3 inches above a girl's knee. There are silly regulations about hair lines, shirt color, proper bra wearing with garments, earrings, music, dancing, soda, allowable TV viewing, lesson material for RS, methods of contacting people on your VT list (no worries about using that list for MLM scams, or political purposes, but don't even think about sending a letter when you should do a f2f visit), decisions about whether or not gum was allowed on a fast Sunday, etc.

If you were doing something, it was guaranteed that someone was going to give you a new way that you *had* to do it, and you couldn't say no, disagree, etc.

The problem is that I can only think of a handful of times where the direction was appropriate or constructive. Most of the time is was simply controlling nonsense.

Controlling nonsense just about sums up my experiences as a mormon...
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Big Picture Of Mormonism
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Hasitaname?
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
Mormon apologist Gee urges his listeners to look at the "big picture" of Mormonism and not focus too much on the Book of Abraham, perhaps realizing it was a losing argument.

I followed his advice and looked at the big picture of Mormon history. What I see is a steady retreat of Mormonism in the face of scientific and social progress. What we see is the old untenable and dangerous beliefs changing or at least softening in the face of outside pressure. Polygamy and the priesthood for african americans are examples of outright changes. Man becoming a god is an example of a softening or retreating. Their stance on homosexuality and womens' rights have also softened somewhat, although clearly not enough. Now they are softening their position on the Book of Abraham- claiming it is not essential.

What is telling about all these changes are not the changes themselves, but rather the forces causing the changes. These forces are always external to Mormonism. They are the forces of rationalism and social, moral, and scientific progress. Never once has it gone the other way. Never once has a scientific or moral leader ever said, "hey, you know, mormonism was right about denying black people the priesthood, let's follow their lead and become even more prejudiced." Nor have non-mormon anthropologists ever said, "wow, the Book of Mormon sure teaches us a lot about pre-columbian america, lets use it as a text." There are no examples like this. There are plenty of counter-examples where mormonism had to retreat from previous positions due to evidence, reason, and progress.

The retreats of Mormonism are often not graceful. Look at polygamy and the extension of the priesthood to people of color. These changes were practically forced upon them by extreme external pressures.

Mormonism in a vacuum would look like the nut job FLDS in Southern Utah and Colorado. Fortunately, mainstream mormonism is subject to the secular pressures of the society around it.

If the claims weren't so outrageous, and some of it's leaders weren't so arrogant, I would almost feel sorry for Mormon leaders. In the long run, they lose every single battle with science, reason, and social progress. The trouncing has only sped up and increased with the internet. Soon the only thing they will be able to claim with a straight face is that "god is love" or some other such generality. Hell, Hinkley was half-way there already with his grand prophetic counsel amounting to "be nice" and don't have multiple piercings.

The thing about the whole history of Mormonism that actually encourages me greatly is that it shows that in the long run, reason and truth can prevail over superstition and bigotry.
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You Really CAN'T Agree To Disagree With The Church
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009, at 07:57 AM
Original Author(s): Primus
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
I was reading the thing about the Mesa Stake trying to reactivate 700 inactives in their area (I doubt it's that LOW) and basically the statement was that these inactives all KNOW the church is TRUE.
"but they have all had the opportunity at one time to have felt of the truthfulness of the gospel and have made covenants with Heavenly Father. We know that each will respond in time, to the love and kindness that we extend to them."
There is even the assumption here that they WILL respond. They will COME BACK. WHATEVER the reason.

Generally the reasons given that people leave the church are that they

1. sinned and are embarrassed

2. they were offended and don't have the backbone to take the offense with a grain of salt and TAKE IT, and therefore are PRIDEFUL. This is also a sin.

3. Satan got a hold of them with evil anti-mormon lies.

If you decide to leave, it CANNOT ever be that you simply don't believe. OH YOU believe ALRIGHT, and deep down you KNOW IT'S TRUE!!! Also it is a personal afront to Mormons if you do decide to leave. You are not just disagreeing with the Church. You are PERSECUTING THEM PERSONALLY.

It drives them nuts if you disagree with them. You are not just disagreeing, you are HELL BOUND.

It never ever occurs to them that they might actually be the ones at fault.

So when you leave, expect the stake president to come up with some new program or something from the Brethren to try to bring you back, because it may not be today, or tomorrow, but YOU WILL RETURN TO THE JOY YOU ONCE KNEW, WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!!!
topic image
The Missionaries Dropped By Today
Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Richard Packham
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon missionaries dropped by today. Odd, because we live out in the country quite a way, and the missionaries generally don't tract out here. Also oddly coincidental was that I was on a long-distance telephone consultation when they rang the bell, talking with a cult counsellor who is working on a Mormon case. So my never-mo wife answered the door. She generally does not like me to allow the elders into the house, but she graciously invited them in and chatted with them until I got off the phone.

It turned out they were not tracting, but one of the elders is from the same ward in Utah where my TBM son lives, and my son and the elder's father are good friends, and when my son told his friend that I live in the same town where the friend's son was doing his mission, the son decided to look me up. They assumed I wasn't active, since my name was not on any of the local membership rosters. I don't think they realized that they had stepped into Satan's own cathedral.

My wife had already worked them over a little by the time I got there. They had introduced themselves as "Elder X" and "Elder Y," of course. They asked for her name, and she gave them her first name. "And what's YOUR first name?" she asked. "Well, we are not supposed to use our first names in the mission field." "Come on now, that's not fair! You want MY name, but you won't give me yours??" So they sheepishly gave her their first names.

We spent over an hour talking. (My wife retreated upstairs.) We talked about why people leave the church, why I don't believe the Book of Mormon, the Journal of Discourses. I learned many interesting things:
  • - the Book of Mormon civilization is identical to the civilization archaeologists have found in Mesoamerica.
  • - Brigham Young was a true prophet, but he was often misquoted.
  • - The Journal of Discourses are records of what OTHER men THOUGHT the prophets said, and thus it is unreliable.
  • - People have made millions of dollars by forging BY's and JS's signature on documents to convince people that they had said things they never said.
  • - A horse skeleton was found in California that was dated to about 400 BC, within Nephite times.
  • - They have met many exmormons, and none of them are happy; they are bitter and angry.
  • - They are very successful here - the 20 missionaries here have baptized ten converts in the last six months.
  • - It doesn't matter if God performs miracles for people in false religions, confirming their faith in their false belief, since in the next life they will have a chance to hear the Gospel.
  • - It didn't matter that BY said that the law of God demanded death on the spot for sex between a black and a white, because there is no record that that punishment was ever carried out.
  • - There is a God, because that is the only explanation possible for this perfectly constructed world.
  • - Facts don't prove anything. You have to ask God.
Of course most posters here would have no trouble countering such statements. I will only summarize a few of my responses:

I pointed out that the reason they think the exmormons they meet are unhappy is because when exmormons see missionaries they are reminded of the missionaries who converted them and thus stole big chunks of their lives and their money by lying to them, and they are bitter and angry. I assured them that as soon as the missionaries were gone, those exmormons were happy again.

I congratulated them on their success, and pointed out that I could probably name a hundred Mormons who have left the church in the six months when they were baptizing ten new victims. And how church growth has stagnated, and how there are more ex-Mormons now than there are active Mormons.

I pointed out that, far from being a perfectly designed world, we live in a prime example of poor design, with catastrophe and disaster built into everything from the volcanoes to every organ in the human body.

I tried to show them the fundamental dishonesty and contradiction in a God who wants everybody to become Mormon, but who performs miracles for non-Mormons that actually strengthen their faith in a false religion.

And so on. It ended when they both bore their testimonies, and I responded by bearing my own testimony.

My never-mo son, who is here for the summer from his studies at the university, and who was doing some work in the yard and saw them pull up, commented as they drove away: "Poor dumb saps!"
 
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  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
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  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
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