|Subject:||My exmo children and their TBM extended family (advise please)|
|Date:||Apr 05 21:54|
|Ive been lurking here about a month. I am very impressed. I
enjoy posts on that quirky, jerry-rigged labyrinthine monster TBMs call Mormon
Doctrine or "the Scriptures". When LDS I could not see the fullness
of the Gospel as fully as others could (or seemed to). The word was not
as plain to me as it seemed to those around me. So, like many of you, I left
the Church not because of Vice and not because of any social problem. I left the church
because it didnt make sense. There are many here better able to write all the weird
ways the Gospel According to Mormons does not make sense, so Ill refrain from
writing about all the disparate Mormon ideas & historical facts I tried so hard to
reconcile, only to fail in the end (like many of you).
What I would like to do is ask for advice. My wife and I removed our names three years ago. One consequence is we completely separated from my wifes family. No Contact Whatsoever was her message to her family. She could not withstand the various ways her family persisted in trying to get her back to church; and failing that, how they persisted in making her feel extremely guilty for what she had done. Given how deep Mormon programming goes inside ones very being, you all can guess how easy it was for her family to make her feel guilty, unsure, confused, and ultimately in my wifes case, suicidal. No Contact Whatsoever was the solution we came up with.
What I am wondering is this: do we have the right to keep our three children away from her family (3 grandparents, mom & dad, 4 siblings & their spouses, and 23 cousins-and counting)? We say yes, but after three years they are saying no. If we wont see them they want to see our kids. My wife fears they will do everything they can to convert them and/or undermine us. Her fears are probably correct.
Has anyone else faced this problem? Id be very grateful for any feedback and/or links to previous posts on this topic. Thanks.
|Subject:||You have every right...|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:01|
|...to protect your children from bad influences. You might tell your in-laws, "We don't want our children associating with those who don't share our values. You should understand that."|
|Subject:||Grandparents do have rights|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:06|
|They can take you to court seeking visitation rights. You see it
more in divorce cases, but the courts do recognize the grandparent's rights to see their
grandchildren in your situation as well.
You should talk to a family law specialist.
|Subject:||It varies from state to state.|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:17|
|But generally, grandparental visitation rights don't supercede
parental rights (particularly with stable, intact marriages) unless the children face
dangers to their health, safety or general wellbeing.
Check local laws. If the inlaws live in a different state, the laws where the children reside apply.
|Subject:||They have recently brought this up|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:42|
This is precisely why I'm seeking advice. Recently they have half threatened that grandparents have legal rights to see their grandchildren. We live in Calgary, Alberta, they live next to the Temple in Cardston, Ab. I agree with Stray Mutt, that grandparental visitation rights don't supercede parental rights, but I should take up your suggestion and inquire further.
|Subject:||Ah, I spent parts of my mission in Calgary and Cardston.|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:53|
|The mission HQ was in Calgary, of course. I worked there while recovering from hepatitis. Before that I was stationed just north of Cardston, in Glenwood. There was a family by the name of Harker who ran a motel just down the hill from the Cardston temple. They liked having missionaries around. They fed us well and I have to confess to wasting a lot of time there. They also had a couple of appealing daughters. Sigh.|
|Subject:||Oh jeez, did you baptize me?|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:07|
|I took the discussions in Cardston. I was living on a farm between
Mountain View and Cardston (the Leavittes place. I know, everyone there is a Leavitte
somewhere along the line). This is about '91-'92.
My wife sympathizes with you. She said: "poor guy, he had to serve in Glenwood. Of all the wonderful missions in the world and he got Glenwood. Poor fella." At least there were a few pretty girls to look at. And the papa owned a hotel, eh?
|Date:||Apr 05 23:12|
|I was assigned to work with "Lamanites." Glenwood was
close to the Blackfeet reserve. Man, there was a lot of bad blood between the Indians and
white folk. The good saints would rather we not bring any
Lamanites into their nice little church.
|Subject:||Stray Mutt knows Glenwood!|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:23|
|It was so in 1972, and it is even more so today. I knew a few
"Lamanite" converts. Needless to say, they weren't converted for long. The good,
clean white folks couldn't abide their presence in their good, clean churchs, just as you
But the Mormons were kinder and gentler to the Natives of the Blood tribe than their Catholic predecessors(the Blackfoot were further north). Getting ignored by hypocritical Mormons is better than getting pumped up the backside by venal priests.
Boy, the "Lamenites" sure have paid dearly for their...well...for being not white.
|Subject:||I may have every right, but...|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:36|
|...as the Colonel so eloquently expresses below, THEY do not see our
Thanks for your feedback, Stray Mutt.
|Subject:||Oh Mutt, you did it again|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:52|
|"We don't want our children associating with those who don't
share our values. You should understand that."
That is the best phrase/comeback I've heard in a long, long time. I'm sure I'm going to be using it with my family, as in "I don't care to associate with those who don't share my values." (e.g., extremely judgmental people, people who know every racist or gay joke out there and spew that garbage all day, etc.)
|Subject:||I'm in the same situation, and here's my advice:|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:04|
|You have every right to decide what's best for you and your
children. If maintaining contact with your wife's family makes her suicidal, imagine how
she'll react if they try to convert your children.
If you and your wife are up to it emotionally, you could let the kids see her family ONLY with you and not often, I'd say. It's best if they can see their cousins, etc., but only if those cousins are NOT trying to induce them into a cult! Unfortunately, you probably will never be able to have the close family ties that are possible if the whole family is in a cult or the whole family is cult-free.
No matter what, do NOT let the kids have relationships with her family that exclude you! You are the parents, and this is your decision. Do what you have to to protect your kids.
|Subject:||oh goodness, Aphrodite...|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:51|
|...my wife would rather die than see our kids baptized!
Over the past three years I have taken the kids to a resturant to visit their grandparents, an aunt and a few cousins. The lengths they all went to make my children feel "loved" was incredible. Pure bribery. My kids had never been treated so well by them when we were in the Church. The display was actually quite bizzare, although I didn't realize just how bizzare until I came home and told my wife about it.
|Date:||Apr 05 22:24|
|How old are your children? Do you live in Utah (or vicinity)? How
often and for how long would your children be spending time with these "weird"
relatives? With limited and short visits I see no harm in letting them get together. That
is if your children are old enough to understand that their relatives have chosen a
different path. With the strong moral and loving relationship you have raised them in,
they are not going to be drawn into morg nonsense so easily. They will just consider them
But I would stiffly warn your TBM family members they are not to proselytize to your kids if they truly want to see them again.
We had the same situation somewhat. But from the opposite angle. Our relatives pretty much isolated their kids from ours. (Fear of contamination I suppose.) I wish our kids could have had more of a normal cousin relationship.
|Date:||Apr 05 23:29|
|That's what I miss most for my children, their extended counsin relationships. I don't think I fear so much for my children. My wife has been wickedly funny in lampooning Mormonism at the dinner table. We laugh heartily. But she would die if they were baptized. I hope she can overcome this.|
|Subject:||This is easy: they're your kids, not theirs, but they don't think so; here's why..|
|Date:||Apr 05 22:29|
|Author:||Colonel Thomas Kane|
|The Colonel replies:
mr tulliver wrote:
> What I would like to do is ask for advice. My wife and I removed our names three years ago. One consequence is we completely separated from my wifes family. No Contact Whatsoever was her message to her family. She could not withstand the various ways her family persisted in trying to get her back to church; and failing that, how they persisted in making her feel extremely guilty for what she had done. Given how deep Mormon programming goes inside ones very being, you all can guess how easy it was for her family to make her feel guilty, unsure, confused, and ultimately in my wifes case, suicidal. No Contact Whatsoever was the solution we came up with.
> What I am wondering is this: do we have the right to keep our three children away from her family (3 grandparents, mom & dad, 4 siblings & their spouses, and 23 cousins-and counting)? We say yes, but after three years they are saying no. If we wont see them they want to see our kids. My wife fears they will do everything they can to convert them and/or undermine us. Her fears are probably correct.
> Has anyone else faced this problem? Id be very grateful for any feedback and/or links to previous posts on this topic. Thanks.
The Colonel replies:
The Mormon culture has one remarkable trait that many miss, particularly those who are BIC (Born In The Covenant), and have Heritage - descendant of a "Trek of '47" family - the REAL Mormons.
They simply believe that members do not have personal limits that they have to respect; leaving is literally an exercise in assertiveness, and limit setting. The use of restraining orders is not unknown.
The Church Institutional, as The Colonel calls the mores of the union of Mormon culture, and the Mormon Church, simply is no respecter of persons.
To them, your wife never really left - she is simply, temporarily, not quite in her right state of mind. At best, neither are you.
Their hope is, if not to convert both of you back - and people like you are their only hope for solid growth - then to get your children, and USE THEM to make you at least passive members - for the sake of the children.
You will see this dishearteningly often on this board; one parent will all but force the child(ren) to go to Church, while the "inactive" parent becomes all but an "unperson" to her - a pattern and practice the Church wholeleartedly endorses.
Remember the critical issue - nothing you say really matters to them, because you are insane - and so is she - and, given their continued efforts, they hope to at least get the children, then her, and then you, back in their power system, as subordinate members to the Unwritten Order of Things.
If The Colonel was married, and his in-laws tried to (a) manipulate and (b) control his children, with an end to setting them against Mr. and Mrs. Kane - "for their own good" - The Colonel would adopt the mindset of Mel Gibson in the movie "Ransom" - "I'll give you whatever you want, because you won't be around long enough to enjoy it."
They want her, they want you, but above all, they want your children, and will use them to get her, and you, back into the fold.
They want your children more than you?
Have you ever been to another church that has its members do their ancestry back for at least three generations, AND do "baptism to redeem" their unbaptized dead?
History MATTERS to these people; a generation is a blink of an eye, and if they miss that one, they'll get the NEXT one - their children.
Have you ever been to a "Christian" Church that preaches exaltation - Godhood - above Salvation, and tells the women, as a matter of theology, that they can not enter the Celestial Kingdom unless their an authorized Priesthood bearer is there to let them in?
That's the web of Priesthood power - back centuries in time, and in the future, extending beyond the grave.
Priesthood power - and Church control.
The time for limit setting - assertiveness courses, - is NOW. Don't forego the option of restraining orders.
|Subject:||Colonel Kane, you just pleased my wife (here's why):|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:01|
|My wife is beside me right now. I've told her about this site and so
far she has stayed away, believing that exmos are just as bad as TBMs ever were. But I had
to have her read your letter. She loved it! Her words to you:
"It is eerie for me to hear someone else understand just how frightening the situation really is. THEY THINK THEY OWN MY CHILDREN! THEY WANT THEIR SOULS. You give me comfort to know that someone else out there understands. My husband doesn't. As a convert, he has no idea the degree of control the church has over its members lives, even our sub-concious lives. He's lucky."
She's right, I probably don't understand. I do know how deeply it has affected her, however.
Thanks for your perspective.
|Subject:||The truth pleased her; will YOU please her, by...|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:32|
|Author:||Colonel Thomas Kane|
|supporting her in this awareness?
People who are not BIC do not comprehend the extent to which this Church seeks to control souls - SOULS - baptizing them from beyond the grave! NO OTHER CHURCH DOES THIS! - and if they can't have you, they will be delighted to have your children, and use them to get you - one way or another.
This is a Church that demands subserivence to the Priesthood, with the promise of Exaltation - GODHOOD - beyond the grave!
YOU do not matter to them; you are, literally, invisible to them - they will not stop until they control your children, one way or another - and so many people simply do not realize the extent to which the "Family First" Church puts the Heavenly Family, led by a worthy Priesthood holder, FIRST, FOREMOST, FOREVER - HE is the key to his wife's salvation, HE is the key to his - and her - ancestor's salvation, and exaltation.
And, if it takes control of your children to put you in your place, that's fine.
Assertiveness training, anyone?
|Date:||Apr 05 22:44|
|I was in a similar situation and made a poor decision.
The feud lasted a long time and then my parents died.
Life is too short. Have conditions but don't wait until people die.
There are a lot better things in life than being right. A.
|Subject:||Ya Gotta Go On The Offense....|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:32|
|If your are to succeed here, you are going to have to go on the
offense. The church is great at putting us on the defensive - and the only way out is to
get on the offense. Poke, peek, pry, dig, blast, do whatever you have to do. Get them on
the defensive. It's at that point that then you might be able to have meaningful
If you do go on the offensive, it's going to feel really uncomfortable, so you're going have to decide what's right for you.
|Subject:||The real question is do your children have a right to a relationship with their extended family|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:48|
|I have been a court appointed monitor for supervised visitation in
court custody battles, in courts in the US.
And it is a right of a child to have contact with their parents and other relatives, even, if for some reason (usually bogus and resulting from false allegations)those visits are supervised.
There were only two cases that fit any reasons why a child needed to be supervised with a non custodial parent.
All the rest were power plays with one parent and their family turning the children against the other one, (tearing the children apart) usually because of some insignificant experience, that under any other circumstance would be ignored.
I do not know what the laws are in Canada, but I would suppose that children have a right to a relationship and visits with their extended family, especially grandparents etc.
Also, any reason to keep a child from their grand parents, and extended family would be detrimental to the child unless they are shown to be unfit for some reason.
A difference in religious choice is not seen as unfit unless there are some extreme circumstances.
As a parent, you can set the ground rules for the grand parents, supervise the visitation, and determine the length of the visitation.
Usually, grand parents are agreeable to a few ground rules out of respect.
It is rare that there is sufficient reason to deprive grandparents of their own grandchildren or deprive children of their own grandparents, whose time in their life is very limited.
Children have rights also. It is good to remember that.
|Subject:||Thanks for this P.OV.|
|Date:||Apr 06 01:41|
|You speak one side of my thoughts very well. Who are my wife and I
to prevent our children from having grandparents? And who are we to prevent my wife's
parents from having a relationship with our children, their grandchildren?
But reading these posts also reminds me that the circumstances aren't normal. I conclude tonight that our first tack was sure, to allow short visits once or twice a year, in a public place, and not without my presence.
Thanks for your thoughts.
|Subject:||Our situation is rather the reverse...|
|Date:||Apr 05 23:35|
|... in that it is my wife's family who have banished her. In a
recent letter, my MIL (a charming and generous person who morphed into a shrill,
vindictive harridan after we left the church) actually went so far as to say that our boys
and girl -- her grandchildren, her own flesh and blood -- will not be "welcome in our
home" because Korrin and I are supposedly raising them to be "Mormon
For about three years MIL has been trying to break up our marriage, and in a string of recent letters (beginning late last Summer or in early Fall) she has demanded that Korrin divorce me and take the kids as a condition of being reinstated into her family's good graces. Each of those letters has been a masterpiece of malice, with the author capably using the entire palette of manipulation: Passive aggression, conditional love, undisguised racism (I'm what you Canadians would call a "visible minority," a dark brown "Lamanite" of Mexican ancestry), and so on.
MIL has repeatedly said that she is willing to travel from Nevada to Wisconsin to pick up Korrin and our kids. She's undertaken other schemes that smell like attempted abductions.
Korrin has a sister who lives in Colfax, WI, and another sister who's going to be a tour guide missionary in Nauvoo (about a day's drive from here). The sister in Wisconsin recently called Korrin and suggested that the two of them, and our kids, take a trip down to Nauvoo to visit the other sister. Korrin and I agree that this looks like a pretext to get her and our kids away from me, perhaps with the intention of meeting MIL in Nauvoo so she can "rescue" our family from the vicious apostate "Lamanite" who's the head of the household.
My own parents have been deeply hurt, but they're not nearly as vituperative as MIL. This isn't to say, however, that they wouldn't make every effort to circumvent our parental authority in the supposed "best eternal interests" of our children. The assimilation impulse is simply too deeply embedded in their programmed psyches for them to resist any opportunity to extend the "blessings of the [Mormon] gospel" to everyone who comes within a critical perimeter.
|Subject:||I can relate to a lot of this|
|Date:||Apr 06 00:49|
|My wife's family can't call me wicked, I'm too much what they had
ever hoped for their daughter. But I don't have the Priesthood, we are not members any
longer, our children aren't in the convenant, and this really bothers them.
Reading some of these threads I see that I'm far too passive towards my in-laws, as my wife often says of me. Reading your post reminded me that my wife's family actually DID try to take my wife and kids away from me. I didn't think much of it at the time, knowing full well my wife loves me and we are generally a happy family together.
One time, just after I left the church and my wife was wavering (it didn't matter to me if she left or not), she visited them for the weekend with our three kids. The weekend stretched into five days. Finally I went down there to visit, too. The atmosphere was very weird. My wife was behaving oddly. Everyone usually were quite cordial and open with me, but somehow on this visit I felt like an intruder. It was really weird. Later I discovered that they had a house all ready for her to move in to. They were also trying to convince her I was having an affair, something not even remotely true. I chalked everything up as some bizarre misunderstanding, believing that no one, despite what church they belong to, would actually try to break up a HAPPY, good marriage.
But then again, I married a Mormon. I guess normality went out the window my wedding day.
|Subject:||by the way, Will...|
|Date:||Apr 06 01:31|
|...that's a tough story you tell. My best wishes go out to you.
|Date:||Apr 05 23:48|
|Author:||Colonel Thomas Kane|
|Go to the exmormon.org main page, and read the stories of how people
realized the Church was false - and what it took for them to do it.
Then, be grateful that you have each other, first, foremost, and forever.
The key to understanding the Church Institutional is simply, and easily missed - in the Mormon Church, ALL APPROVAL IS CONDITIONAL, and can be withdrawn at any moment, for any reason, or no reason at all.
Leading to feelings of doubt, inadequacy, and the beginnings of helplessness, learned helplessness, and quiet madness.
|Subject:||Leaving the Church|
|Date:||Apr 06 01:21|
|I actually do understand how difficult it has been for my wife. I've
read a lot on this site over the past month and noticed many things that my wife has
experienced. It isn't pretty, as many here know.
For me, leaving the church was not a whole lot more than leaving a bad idea behind. I wanted the Church to be true so badly. I read every book my in-laws gave me, my home teachers gave me, my bishop gave me, the Institute teacher gave me, that anyone gave me. I also read books that no one gave me but I found myself. The older books that Mormons don't use anymore.
Each book was offered with the assurance that this was the answer to all my questions, and that with prayer and diligent study my testimony would be strengthened. The opposite happened. Each book I read made me more skeptical. But I wanted it to be true, I wanted that warm glow I saw around me. I wanted it to be true that "great things were in store for me in the church, for you are a very choice spirit, and so eager for the Lord's truth." This is what my in-laws and others were constantly saying. I'd even get blessing attesting to this, that I'd been called to "great things" in the church, and that I must therefore prepare. But the more I read the more I saw that the Church was not true. And in fact, that the Church may actually be wicked.
So I left the church. It didn't matter if my wife left, I'd even consent to my children being raised Mormon, but I couldn't go to something that I couldn't believe in. So, for me, as a convert, I was merely leaving a bad idea behind.
As to my wife's difficulties, many of you already can ascertain, having gone through it or are going through right now. Actually, it is my wife who should be here. I hope to get her here soon.
|Subject:||Ah, the joys that come from the Family Church.|
|Date:||Apr 06 00:15|
|A terribly interesting thread, Mr. T--feel like I owe you an idea or
Since you have what they want (the grandkids), you ought to be able to bargain for what you want (visits in controlled circumstances where they will socialize but not proselyte or lay a "Mommie is the Devil" story on the grandkids).
If they are unwilling to honor your reasonable requests, you should have no problem simply cutting off contact. I have no idea what rules govern in Canada, but in general I would imaginie parents still have the right to protect children from people who are a threat of one type or another.
BTW, I know that when Mormons go a little wierd in Canada, they can really go off the deep end. Have you considered writing a letter to their Bishop, advising him you are being harrassed by Mormon family members, and requesting he advise them to cease and desist? There is a temple recommend question about a requirement that one's conduct with the members of one's family be in line with the teachings of the Church. Of course, that probably only applies to LDS members of the family! Exmos seem to be beyond the pale of LDS morality.
|Date:||Apr 06 01:06|
|...thanks for the tip about the temple recommend question.
My kids and I have made three visits with some of the family. We meet in a resturant. My wife stays home. She did request, through me, some strict rules for the visit. The children were not allowed to be alone with anyone, especially her mother. They consented.
I remember one of my girls had to go to the washroom. Being five at the time I didn't want her unaccompanied. Her grandmother would be "more than pleased" to take her. I hesitated but relented. You don't think she said anything weird to my daughter in the bathroom, do you? My wife thinks so. "Of course she did," she said.
Again, I can't help thinking the whole thing just bizarre.
|Subject:||This probably won't help much....|
|Date:||Apr 06 00:37|
|but I would begin and end every email, letter, or phone call with the 11th article of faith. What do you think their response would be?|
|Date:||Apr 06 00:58|
|11th article of Faith? Is that the one about worshipping as one's
conscience dictates? That is hilarious!
Hanging out here for a month, looking on, I must admit I sometimes thought something like, "jeez, that fella's a bit over the top," or, "whoa, she's a bit on the bitter side." I constantly over estimate the TBM's awareness of their own folly. The truth is it is impossible for the TBM to see their own folly, that's what makes them TBM.
I'm too generous minded, thinking everyone is aware of just how tenuous language is. Of course, Mormonism is nothing more than language, when you get right down to it.
|Subject:||Gaurd Your Children with Your Armor!|
|Date:||Apr 06 01:42|
|Yes, just a few "innocent" hugs with Grandma whispering enough of how Jimmy should be going to Church and she can come pick him up...is just the great Mormon insidious way to start Guilt in a young person. Remeber, when a child or older person even, cannot get to church, whether it is becase of Inactive Parents or whatever, it is the extended Family's job to "save" the kids from their parents. Remeber the Inactive stigma. and it puts the child's perspective of his parents in whatever place he/she is capable of processing this. If they visit, stay with them every moment. Leave if any 'shoulda/woulda's" come up. Be the walls around the city of your family. Please.|
|Subject:||And your Armor COULD be......|
|Date:||Apr 06 05:32|
|taking the kids to another church, Unitarian for example. Then the
kids can honestly answer when questioned about going to church that they DO with Mom &
I understand through others on this board that the Unitarian is very open to everyone believing in their own beliefs instead for making you follow their rules. Their main rule is.... there ain't no main rule. :-)
|Subject:||Can't you stand your own ground|
|Date:||Apr 06 07:13|
|without shunning them completely? I can't imagine completely separating from my family unless there had been abuse going on. (Maybe that's what happened to you, I can't tell.) I would go with boundaries and short visits where I'd tell them how I feel about the church. My parents aren't my idea of the perfect grandparents either. They are terribly prejudiced and talk about it a lot, which makes me cringe. Should I keep my children away because of it? I don't think so. I'll never convince them that prejudice is wrong, but I can work with my children. There are prejudiced people in this world, I can't shield my children from that sad fact. There are mormons in this world, and it's part of your children's heritage. You can't keep that from, so help them deal with it.|