The Exmormon Foundation, of which is a part, sponsored an exmormon conference in Salt Lake City the first weekend of October 2002. These are some of the reviews.

Subject: My exmo conference report
Date: Oct 08 09:59
Author: Jubeyjane

Thoroughly enjoyed the conference. I’m one of these types who made sure she was on time (and sitting in the front row) for every single speaker and activity that was made available. I found the tour of the Masonic temple fascinating and very informative. Enjoyed all the speakers and was thrilled to be able to chat with most of them afterwards. I even enjoyed the bacon we were served at breakfast. But then again I also enjoyed lunch at Chuck A Rama! (I’m a very simple person) Loved the short film clips of Mormon erotica and Polygamy. Don’t they go hand in hand! Got to schmooze with a bunch of high ups in the exmo community, which was a hounor. I was proud to be sitting with Richard Packham and my other exmo friends at Chuck A Rama’s. I wonder where Gordon B. Hinckley would take me if he were to meet me for lunch.
It was great meeting everyone who attended. I never did get to see Tedd with his shirt off (he was just way too shy) but other than that I think I got to participate in everything I set out to accomplish.
Big hugs to the exmo organizers. You did a fabulous job. I was extremely impressed with how well run and organized this conference was.

How about an exmo conference in Canada next year eh?

Subject: More ExMo Conference Slices
Date: Oct 06 03:46
Author: Man on the Street
Mail Address:

Quotes (remember, you read 'em here first):

Sandra Tanner:

" There are three reasons you can be excommunicated from the church: Adultery, Murder, and Apostasy. A friend of mine complimented me on picking the least dramatic of the three."

"One time we ran a split editorial when we disagreed about a historical matter involving the LDS Church. I have since forgiven Gerald for being right."

Will Bagley:

"I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Richard Turley and his friends at the LDS Church for publicizing my book."

Simon Southerton, PhD (geneticist who spoke on Native American DNA research)

"It's very unlikely that much of the data from the BYU Genealogy Project will ever see the light of day."

(Conclusions as a consequence of his research): "The Book of Mormon is irrelevant to the history of the New World."

Your reporter detected an error in this last statement. It should've been "The Book of Mormon is irrelevant to the history of the New World prior to A.D. 1830."

Quite a contrast with the tape Cricket showed in the Hospitality Room of Gordon B. Hinkley answering the question from the German interviewer just prior to the Olympics about genetic studies proving there was no connection between Israelite DNA and Native Americans. "That hasn't been proven," spake the the Prophet, the smile never leaving his face.

Cricket, you're an evil man, feeding that interviewer questions that would cause an old man's voice to break into a falsetto like that.

And also on the subject of DNA, Socrates and SL Cabbie were seen talking over their discovery that they were related, from the Tribe of Kimball, out of the loins of Heber C. It was unclear how close the relationship was.

The Cabbie was heard saying, "Heber C. Kimball had 43 wives, right?" This remark created an instant pained reaction on the faces of two attendees of the regular LDS Conference being held simultaneously who were walking by and accidentally overhead. Our sources in Church Security say the women reported they were obviously being harassed by some obnoxious tourists making fun of their religion.

Folks:  Oct 10, 2002

The exmo conference was certainly a helpful thing for me.  It was so healthy
for me.  Thanks folks for bringing it about.

I have always wondered why am I so fastinated by Mormonism after being away
from it for so many years. The conference gave me a reason and I would like
to share it with you.

I think why I am so fastinated with it is because I want to know how Joe
Smith pulled it off.  Think about it.  It's really quite a thing.  What a
con job and it's still happening.

I took many things from the conference.  The anology of Bill Gardner's is
now part of my personality.

To paraphrase Bill:

Imagine a Hindu monk believeing that putting cow piss on ones head will
bring him happiness and a closeness with God.  So this Hindu monk spends a
lot of time putting cow piss on his head.  He believes that he will be
happier if he finds the freshest and cleanist cow piss and always seeks to
find it.

After a number of years....he realizes that he's putting cow piss on his
head and stops it.  Then he realizes that he must tell fellow monks to stop
doing it.  So he sets about trying to convert people away from putting cow
piss on their head.  He has trouble convincing the people that putting cow
piss on their head is wrong.  Loses lots of friends and relationships.

So...he finally comes to the point that if they want to put cow piss on
their head....they may.

Loved it.  Sorry for the long post.

Thanks for the conference

Al in Alaska

Subject: Sandra Tanner...
Date: Oct 07 16:58
Author: Frank
Mail Address:

Sandra Tanner is certainly one of the nicest ladies my wife and I have ever met and I'm sure it drives the Mormon church absolutely nuts.

Subject: genealogy doesn't leave you, does it?
Date: Oct 07 17:14
Author: kak
Mail Address:

Re the Kimball genealogy trivia....

It reminds me that despite being a nevermo, I'm a shirttail relative to the 3rd president, John Taylor, if marriage connections mean anything.

My non-Mormon (Lutheran) great-aunt married a grandson or great-grandson (no one could tell me exactly for sure) of John Taylor and converted to the LDS church, making me a great-niece by marriage to President John Taylor's great-grandson/grandson.

Since my great-uncle was born in 1907, also named John Taylor, I've been looking at genealogies online to see the exact descent but haven't found any info yet.

Having said that, what else did Sandra Tanner have to say? I've always found her commentary on Mormonism interesting and informative.

Subject: In Between The One-Liners . . .
Date: Oct 07 20:33
Author: SL Cabbie
Mail Address:

It came across as a vignette (her title was "40 Years of Apostasy") that showed what it was like as an apostate behind the Zion Curtain. There were anectdotes about learning not to recognize someone first if she ran into them on the street with others and the like.

Shoot, it was clear to me she'd had nearly as much experience with oddballs and schizophrenics as cabdrivers.

Ultimately though, I saw a big part of it emerge as a tribute to her grandmother, a free-thinking great-grandaughter of Brigham Young who obviously had had a powerful impact on her. Sandra showed that transcending the Mormon experience doesn't mean we stop loving Mormons.

And no, that genealogy stuff doesn't leave us. Besides a great-great gandfather who was one of BY's bodyguards, I've got three generations of apostasy on my mother's side. Back in my grandfather's day, (and later in my own), we didn't have the Internet and a place like this to come. Easiest way to let 'em know you were out was to start smoking cigarettes.

Not a real healthy (or smart) thing to do. Much better to come here. Even tattoos and body-piercings are less permanent than emphysema

Subject: M thoughts on the EXMO conference(long)(2 mild swear words)
Date: Oct 06 16:46
Author: Gemini
Mail Address:

It all started with the Masonic Temple Tour on Friday afternoon. The building is old and showing its age. It was evident there is not a spigot of money flowing to their organization like the other one in town that has a temple. I found out that the found in all the rooms stands for god and that they don't care which god a mason worships. The only requirement is that a mason must believe in a diety. There were none of the rituals, hand shakes or anything shown to us, just a basic tour of the rooms. One of the masons showing us around was an active member of the church. He was asked how he can reconcile the masonic rituals and the similarites to the temple rituals. He didn't seem to have a problem with it. My main thoughts here was "what is the point to it all". They do have good charity services including the Shriner's hospital.

Friday evening was devoted to getting to know each other a little bit. I estimate there were about 150 people there. Bill Gardiner spoke about living an authentic life. A time for open mike allowed anyone who wished to do so to come up an speak for 5 minutes. Later we went to the hospitality suite and mingled until late that night.

Saturday was filled with speakers. Dale Broadhurst spoke. He attends the Community of Christ church (RLDS) and he considers himself a latter-day saint in the broadest sense, not in the religious sense. He feels like he can do more inside the church for change, than outside. His main idea was that Joseph Smith was just the final editor of the Book of Mormon. He believes a small group of men contributed to the book and got material from various sources. JS was chosen as the person to form the church because he had the P.T. Barnum charactor to entice people to "come see the bearded lady behind the curtain", so to speak.

Sandra Tanner spoke. She is a funny and entertaining lady and told her story of how she left the church years ago. Mainly, she said she had asked too many questions that no one would or could answer. She was even told that she studied too much. Her talk was very entertaining and I never felt like she pushed any "born again Christian" agenda at all.

Simon Southerton from Australia spoke to us about the DNA research conducted on the Lamanites. This is not new research, folks. Scientists have known for years that the Native Americans, South American peoples, and Polynesians were of Asian descent. Simon pointed out that all living things have DNA..plants and animals. It can't be falsified. None of this research is going to the top of scientific journals because it is "old news". It simply verifies how much Native Americans and Polynesians are related to Asians and how little they are related to Semitic people. He said that senior apologists concede this dominate Asian connection and are re-evaluating the Book of Mormon. Interesting to me that in the interview that GBH had with the German reporter before the Olympics, when asked about the DNA evidence, GBH said "it hadn't been done and "we don't know" all without changing his facial expression!

Will Bagley was great! He quoted some passages from talks, minutes and other sources that showed the attitudes of the southern Utah settlers during the time leading up to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He used the loud, booming, bombastic tone that certainly must have occured when some of these talks were given, and it gave me a sense of the hysteria that was rampant at that time. He also lamented the fact that documents are continually being purged from the archives as the church tries to get rid of embarassing historical records. He said that the Journal of Discourses, as damning as it is in its present form, has been sanitized. He said the scribes who wrote down the speeches made by Brigham Young and others left out lots of the colorful language (*turd* and *shitass* being two of BY's favorites). Then, before they were printed, the talks would go through another revision.

Will said he is a member of the church. He said he has generations of LDS on both sides of the family, that it is his culture and heritage. He also said that he hasn't believed the theology of it "since I could think about it" so that summed up his standing with the church. He said if they ever tried to excommunicate him that he would fight them. I asked him later if Kirby was in danger of losing his job at the Tribune for some of the columns he has written lately. He said they would not dare fire him.. I asked him if he had noticed changes in the Tribune since the new owners took over. He said they had cut out one column. I don't know which one. He said the ownership issue could go either way at this point. I am proud to say that I have an autographed first edition of his book "Blood of the Prophets. That edition has nearly sold out with in just 8-9 weeks, of which he said he was "astonished" and "grateful".

After some breakout sessions (ours was on dealing with the anger) we had a great dinner and then Randy Jordon spoke. He told the story of his family's exit out of the church and of his exploits on A.R.M. with apologetics. He even entertained us with a couple of songs he made up about Paul Dunn to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies theme and another one to the tune of "popcorn popping" about JS pologamy exploits with teenage girls.

I did not attend the Sunday session, so I don't know how it went. Derek Larsen was scheduled to speak and then another open mike period.

The main things that impressed me was the caliber of people who are leaving the church. We are a bright, articulate and thinking group. The church is worse off because we have left, IMO. It was also gratifying to know that we were able to be a support to so many who came for the first time and some who had ever spoken to another exmo and were so relieved to find others who were going through the same journey. All in all, an intense, emotionally draining, wonderful weekend


Subject: A more legible version
Date: Oct 07 23:23
Author: Tedd
Mail Address:

I was very impressed with the people I met for the most part. I didn't have a squabble with anyone, and found everyone I met to be for the most part, complimentary. Three or four people even told me they were expecting me to be a forty or fifty year old man! LOL! Those people have obviously not been on the board since I arrived four and a half years ago.

Troy turned out to be a pretty damn cool cat with surprises everyone appreciated ;-)

I met various people old and young, fat and thin, male and female, who I now consider life long friends, and I look forward to seeing these people again at the next exmo conference, along with many of you who I have not met.

I personally didn't get into many of the talks as I have heard it all more times than I can bear. More than anything I just wanted to meet different exmos from all over the country, and world, and have deep intellectual conversation. And you know that with the average exmo, deep intellectual conversation is almost impossible to avoid... Something I think most people are deprived of.

I got up to say a thing or two during open mic, and found that I was nervous as hell. I could hardly speak. I don't think I said anything I planned on saying my mind went blank... So I winged it, and then sang one of my favorite "Tedd version" hymns.

At any rate, it was fun as hell!!! And you know what??? EXMO'S KNOW HOW TO PARTY!!!!!!!!! I have never seen so many partying fun loving, yet intellectual people in my entire life! It was a beautiful site, honestly.

Subject: Re: A few words about exmo conference in SLC (F bomb)
Date: Oct 08 01:31
Author: Kathleen

Hey all!

Most of you don't know me over here on the BB. I post mostly at the Yahoo groups site....I helped plan the conference, pats on the back wanted, just letting you know who I am, and am extremely vested in this movement.

I met Troy last year in DC, and I met *Tedd* this year, as well as seeing Troy again!!!

Tedd is adorable, deep thinking, and truly a really really great guy! Even if he DID have a cold!

Troy, is exactly the same.............

Tedd thanks for the compliments on the conference....I know a lot of other exmo's would just like to be there for the partying! (As I evidently did too!) But there are SO many more newly wondering just barely leaving, don't know how to leave, kind of exmo's that need this conference to be a sounding board for them, to KNOW that they are not alone......

GOD, we had 17 people walk in on Friday night who saw either the add in the paper, or just happened to have typed in "exmormon" on their search engine a day or two before! So MANY people who have left the church don't even know there is Eric's site, the Yahoo site, or anything else like it for them to go to!

I think Tedd, Jody and I spread the thing at least three times yesterday around the city!!

I learned one thing last spring in DC, and I learned it again in this conference......EXMO's need a support group. Tedd kept saying all night last night, "There simply is nothing like being with other like minded souls." You can party out in the world, you might even know other "ex" religion people, but if they didn't come from *your* background, it just isn't quite the same! Not that you can't eventually move on, and be OF THE WORLD!! ;-))

Hope to be around to plan an even better one next year!

And, on that note, IF there are any people who have ideas for a conference back east in the spring, or ideas for the next October Conference~ Let me or SUS know!!!


Subject: I'd like to participate next time Kathleen....
Date: Oct 09 01:13
Author: Tedd
Mail Address:

I already told Cricket my idea. I want to have opening and closing hymns during the conference... And maybe during intermissions. I will have my hymns on an overhead projector and lead the songs.

It will be funny as hell!

By the way, thanks for the compliments.

It was fun hanging with you .


Subject: Tedd, I was so glad to meet you!
Date: Oct 08 15:46
Author: imaworkinonit
Mail Address:

I've always admired your bold, unedited posts. So I finally met the man behind the computer and I was impressed.

One of these days you need to post all of those inspiring reworked hymns again! You got me thinking about how much fun they would be to write my own words.

I kind of started on one, but didn't finish:

I love to see the temple, I'm going there someday . .
To learn the secret handshakes, and promise to obey . . .
Though I've never been inside the place, I'm s'posed to think it's special.
So I'll learn to pray, pay and obey until . . . . (writers block . . . any suggestions?)

Subject: I just know you were the sweet little Mormon girl...
Date: Oct 08 16:45
Author: Tedd
Mail Address:

..I can just tell. You had never so much as said a cuss word before you realized the fucking cult was a joke, am I right? ;-) It was good to meet you also, and I'm suprised you like me as much as you do being that you were such a molly growing up. Sometimes the ex-mollys still have that little Mormon inside they can't let go of... But I think many times these are some of the older exmo Mollys

Anyways, thank you for your compliments, you're very sweet. And thank you for your testimony ;o)

Lets see, as far as your song goes, I'll try a little later I'm not in the frame of mind at the moment.

I'm actually going to write an entire exmo hymn book, it should take me a while... Cricket wants me to record a bunch and send them to him for his website.

Later, and hope to see you at another exmo gathering soon!


Subject: Tedd, you are a . . . . (mild cussing inside )
Date: Oct 09 00:07
Author: imaworkinonit
Mail Address:

Yeah, I was a TOTAL wuss-ass molly. And my husband says he'll back up that statement up in a court of law (or a church court if necessary).

I wore modest molly dresses or jumpers to church (that I wouldn't be caught dead in now). I was a rug sitting there for anyone to walk on.

I winced at every cuss word beyond a "damn-it". Never watched R-rated shows (missed some of the best shows out there, I think). Pathetic.

So actually, that's probably why I've always enjoyed your posts so much. It's cathartic to listen to your free-spirited cussing and unapologetic rants. It's anti-wuss therapy.

Subject: Review of Exmo conference
Date: Oct 07 17:37
Author: Jonathan Higbee

Here is my review of the recent Exmo conference in Salt Lake.

Bill Gardiner - "Post Mormonism & the Quest for the Authentic Self"

Comments: I remember pretty much liking this one. Burning Man does sound interesting. I think I'd only go if I could see other people of similar stature without the encumbrances of epidermal covering.

Saturday, October 5, 2002

8:00 - 8:45 AM - Breakfast

Review: Good scrambled eggs, but the bacon was a bit tough.

9:00 - 10:00 AM - Dale Broadhurst - "Faithful History Revisited"

Comments: There is something that I have never fully understood since I left Mormonism, and that is how someone can stay in the Mormon Church if they know that even part of it is bogus. One thing which Dale seemed to strongly infer was that we should attempt to rejoin & change from within the Mormon Church. I responded to him that doing such a thing is not possible. Why? Because they won't have us.

Were I to visit a Mormon church I would have to speak my mind, and they won't allow that. Visit
and tell me which things would be mentionable in a Mormon church.

I think it's terrible that the Mormon Church historians are burning their own historical documents to hide the truth about Mormonism, but it's not surprising. The Mormon Church is the Enron of religions.

10:15 - 11:30 AM - Sandra Tanner - "Reflections on Forty-Two Years of Apostasy"

Comments: I found Mrs. Tanner to be a funny & witty & brave person, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear no preaching at all. When I was on my mission I hid one of their books from the library in Soldotna, Alaska. I now hope the librarian there found where I hid it.

1:30 - 2:30 PM - Simon Southerton - "DNA Genealogy and the Lamanites"

Comments: Great stuff. I think there is value in inserting doubt into the brains of Mormons who on the surface proclaim that they choose to rely on faith & not facts. Every factually based doubt helps fight a lie.

2:45 - 3:45 PM - Will Bagley - "Blood of the Prophets"

Comments: I find the work of Mr. Bagley to be important & useful. However I am again mystified by his choice to remain within Mormonism when he himself knows that it's based on murder & lies & adultery & sex with young teens. I hope that he one day has the balls to put his feet where is head clearly is.

4:00 - 5:30 PM - Breakout Sessions:

1. Letting go of the anger and moving on from regret after leaving the church. Coming to a place of acceptance of the past. (Led by Bill Gardiner - Wasatch Room)

2. Learning to trust and recognize authenticity -- admitting our vulnerability and seeking support for our emotional needs without triggering well-honed guilt mechanisms (letting go of "perfectionism"). (Led by Ed Gardiner -- Private Suite)

3. Addressing our Mormon past through creativity and humor. Film students Lareena Smith and Troy Williams present their humorous interpretations of some of the more repressive cultural baggage unique to Mormondom. Please contact Kelly Jean Blanpied for detailed information about content of these film shorts. (Hospitality Suite)

Comments: I choose to attend item 3 on the above list. I am glad that the conference organizers realized in part at least that there is a diversity among ex-Mormons. There is nothing wrong with mocking or deriding the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church deserves all the mocking & deriding it gets.

7:45 - 8:45 PM - Randy Jordan - "Faith vs. Facts"

Comments: Excellent. I wish I had enough time & wherewithal to be as knowledgeable.

9:00 PM - 1:00 AM - Hospitality Suite Open, or Entertainment of Choice

Comments: It was fun to have a room to go to to have some fun. However there was a problem with it such that when a number of people started talking I couldn't hear what anyone was saying. I wonder if these hotels have sound reduction padding in any of the walls of these private rooms so that the people in the room can hear what's being said?

9:15 - 10:15 AM - Derek Larsen - "Claiming Self Authority: Transforming our Religious Identity"

My comments shall be found later.

Final Open Mic:

Comments: I was pleased to hear at least one speaker address the fact that not every ex-Mormon prescribes to the theories of Derek Larsen on the issue of "Recovery from Mormonism."

Anyway overall I thought it was a good conference. For the future I think it's important to remember that there are various types of ex-Mormomons, and to have a conference which addresses more than just one type.

Throughout the conference there was mention of being angry with Mormonism being a "stage," and an implication that the only true & proper "recovery from Mormonism" must therefore include transcending that anger.

I don't really think it's appropriate to consider where someone is as an ex-Mormon to be a stage, but rather a state. One may move from one state to another, or back & forth. Perhaps some states are progressive, but they don't have to be just because they are distinct. Here are some examples of when a former Mormon may find anger to be completely appropriate, and where they may not feel a need to "transcend" or "get past" the anger:

1. If someone has a hard exit from Mormonism.

2. If someone lives in Utah and is confronted daily with the oppressive nature of Mormonism (via the one-party status of the Utah legislature & via certain oppressive laws which bar certain satellite channels from legal reception).

3. If one sees other people being oppressed by Mormonism, and if one has family members who are nazi Mormons and who express conditional love toward you as a result.

One may well never get past this supposed "stage" of anger toward Mormonism. Is that bad?

There is nothing wrong with anger when it is appropriate and justified. I do not need to transcend or "get past" my anger on this issue. Rather, for me, it's important to channel the anger into constructive activities, such as: fighting Mormonism; educating Mormons about the facts; socializing with ex-Mormonism; and doing all the "unclean" things they told me about in Priesthood and Sunday School to the greatest extent possible.

When one is being or has been oppressed, it is completely appropriate to fight the oppression and to help others to not be oppressed, and to free others from the direct oppression, and to work for freedom in the virtual-theocratic state you live in. Anger is the fuel for this fire, and I'm not going to forget what Mormonism is or what it does by letting go completely and fully of this anger.

Yes, I agree that anger can consume a person, and yes it's important to get out there and live one's new life. However I shall always fight against Mormonism, even if I manage to get more of a life than I have now. For me this anger is a state which shall forever remain present as long as Mormonism exists. It's not a stage for me.

So anyway, my primary wish at this point is that Simon find a publisher for his book. Perhaps a publisher outside of Utah would be best as I would think it would be appropriate to have the book available on such sites as And, I hope Will Bagley is wrong about his book not causing Mormons to question their testimonkies. And I hope that future conferences will be welcoming for the needs of some of us to mock, deride, and, Kolob forbid, protest Mormonism.

==================== addendum

Review of Derek Larsen's talk at the ex-Mormon conference

This is an addendum to my review. I preface this addendum by stating that I enjoyed most of the recent conference and I appreciate the organizers for what they did. The following addendum may not promptate the presence of warm fuzzies in the bellies of some of the organizers - but before they become too upset I hope that they realize the value of having an open debate on an issue such as this. Even if we disagree, at least we can perhaps have a beer together and whatnot. Isn't part of leaving Mormonism finding a way to not engage in "group-think?"

With regard to Mr. Larsen's talk, I think it's important to do some self examination of where one is as an ex-Mormon, and to see if some things about one's life can be improved. However there's not just one way to recover from Mormonism or to be an ex-Mormon/post-Mormon.

There were several points which Mr. Larsen made which I would like to comment on. The points listed are based on my imperfect memory of what he said.

His point: Trying to promptate Mormons to leave the Church is inappropriate. What are you trying to do, "be a missionary?"

My response:

Should we just sit by and say nothing while the Mormon Church continues to lie to the world? Clearly not.

There is nothing wrong with speaking out - there is only a problem with institutionalized LYING, which is what the Mormon Church does via it's leaders and missionaries and nazi members.

His point: Trying to get Mormons out of their church is equivalent to teaching the value of modern thinking to native tribes. It's arrogant & wrong to do such a thing.

My response:

If it is a tribe's culture to murder & pillage & abuse themselves & others, then I think it's highly appropriate to educate these "native" people about the value of not doing so.

It's one thing to have a culture of art and even of mostly harmless nebulous mysticism, but it's another to do things like mutilate the genitalia of either sex, or to shame children for being human, or to quell freedom of speech or freedom of assembly.

"Native" humans have no special right to oppress "their people" or anyone, and it's profoundly arrogant to stand by while any culture is being oppressive and damaging.

Why did this guy even bother speaking at an ex-Mormon conference if he believes there is no value in advertising the facts to Mormons who, as he appears to maintain, are rather like some remote tribe in Africa who should be left to their own devices?

Also, teaching science and reason to a "native" person is not equivalent to teaching them about another religion. I found Mr. Larsen's comments relative to these types of things to be arrogant and absurd and irrelevant. I'm not an advocate of imposing American economics onto the world, but there's nothing wrong with teaching science & reason & democracy & freedom to any human.

His point: When you leave Mormonism, you should think about where you want to go before you go into a box again. A movie of a blobby man-ish creature exiting a box and going into a box again was shown.

My response:

This movie and his subsequent comments about it were to me about the same as randomly turning on my TV on Saturday morning, watching an episode of a children's carton, and then modeling my life after this random cartoon I'd seen.

Maybe I should think about my status from time to time, and whether I'm happy, but whether my life shall match up with any particular cartoon is highly questionable.

Anyway I fully realize that there are cultural-only-Mormons who would never dream of rocking the boat, and ex-Mormons who would think it's rude & immoral to try and get Mormons to leave. I'm not that type of ex-Mormon, and I ask that future conferences continue to embrace all types of recovery from Mormonism.

My gut feeling is that this last conference wasn't quite rowdy & rebellious enough. I was glad to hear from perhaps 80% of the people who spoke. Also, for my taste, there were one or two too many current Mormons - people who feel no compunction to leave, on the speaking agenda. We are ex-Mormons after all (and post-Mormons/former-Mormons). I don't go to Sunstone because most of their speakers are people who would never dream of leaving Mormonism even if they don't believe. Let's not have any sort of a duplicate of those milk toast conferences, or at least let's have more of a diversity of stuff so that everyone can find something they're interested in.

One additional thing happened to me in reference to this conference: It brought out the pain I feel about Mormonism to the surface again. Perhaps that's unavoidable. Mocking & deriding & protesting & educating & socializing with rebels & "unclean" activities are the salve for this pain for me.

These are my comments. I'll give you permission to your feelings if you return the favor. Also, as an ex-Mormon I prefer to not conform.



Subject: I appreciate all the time and effort put forth on your review.
Date: Oct 07 19:21
Author: MoNoMo
Mail Address:

I don't want to sound prudish, but maybe I really didn't miss that much. Oh well, there's always next year.

However, I would love to meet Sandra Tanner and thank her for the contributions she and her husband have made to exposing the church for what it is.....a lie.

Subject: Re: Review of Exmo conference (long)
Date: Oct 08 02:58
Author: Derek Larsen
Mail Address:

Hello Jonathan....

Was I that unclear? I value your feedback on my presentation at the Ex Mo Conference. And I'm baffled that you arrived at the conclusions you did from what I said. Obviously I didn't expound on it clear enough or well enough if you arrived at the meaning that you ascribe.

I guess I'm surprised that you didn't come and address me personally about the meaning you created from what I said. It is very clear to me that your assumptions about what I said and the meaning I was trying to convey are two very very different things.

One thing, although I don't speak for Will Bagley.... but your inference is that he's an active Mormon -- he's not. Will's book will do more to educate Mormon's and non Mormon's perspectives on history than any amount of ranting or raving (which personally I don't oppose).

I'm going to try and address your claim/points one at a time.

General Comment:
You have totally misinterpreted my beliefs about anger. I have no problem with anger or the expression of it. I find it rather healthy to express it and believe the suppression of it leads to other emotional, mental or physical problems. However, there is a difference between the clean expression of anger as an emotion and an angry person. I can tell a huge difference.... one is a state of being and the other is an emotional response.

Frankly, I make no judgements about a person who is an angry person or has a lot of anger around a certain subject, community, issue or people. So, I would have no disagreements with you about harmful or abusive events and getting angry about them. I feel angry about such abuses as well. However, I would argue that to be consistently angry is to be consumed by anger and usually eventually that anger turns inward into some form of depression.

1. I made no implication that there is "one way" to recover from mormonism.

2. I also don't think there is anything wrong with clarifying points of difference with Mormons. I don't find it all that helpful if they are not open to exploring.

I didn't imply that it is wrong for you to proselyte mormons out of mormonism. I said, moving someone from something that "works" for them may not be the best thing for them even if its good for you. I mean if it makes you more comfortable to convince, coax, push, invite, argue people out of Mormonism, more power to you. I haven't found much success "changing" anyone other than myself. I also have reflected on my desires to move friends and family out of Mormonism and its usually based on making me feel more comfortable that they are where I am rather than a concern that they like being where they are.

I don't support institutional lying nor am i against speaking out. Having voice in these issues is absolutely necessary for change.

3. Your implication that I said "trying to get Mormons out of their church is equivalent to teaching the value of modern thinking to native tribes. ..."

Hmmmm..... totally wrong. I said no such thing and if you connected the dots that way.... simply put I don't believe that comparison. So you're whole response regarding this issue was based on a false interpretation of an assumption. I made no comparison of Mormons and some tribe in Africa.... I guess I could say that the way you've twisted my words to fit your points is rather interesting. Do you really seek understanding or am I now the recipient of your anger?

Jonathan, its too bad we didn't really get to meet face to face. I wish you would have brought your concerns or questions to me and then hopefully you would have had more clarity about what I was saying. And we could have at least gotten clear with each other about what i said or meant.

Frankly, I don't support any form of oppression. It's human flourishing that I support and encourage and work towards. My question to you, since you advocate such an interventionist policy.... Is it ok to invade another country based on our "dislike" of their form of oppression?

I neither did nor do I advocate genitalia mutilation, shaming children, squelching freedom of speech or assembly.

4. I made no such comparisons between mormonism and a remote tribe in Africa. I made NO such claim that "there is no value of advertising the facts to Mormons" (your words)

5. Your implication that I don't advocate teaching "science or reason" to native people is blatently false and simply an inaccurate rendering of my position. First of all, I'm not arrogant enough to imply that native peoples don't use reason or science in their ways of knowing as you seem to imply. Secondly, if you read my paper you will not find me saying or claiming what you say I did.

6. As for the blobby man-ish thing you talk about.... well it was a symbolic representation of how people go through transformation. My point which I actually presented in the paper was that many Mormons are so used to having an external authority tell them what to do.... and when they get out of Mormonism they find themselves back in another authoritarian organization like fundamentalist christianity or any other organization that seeks control of the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of a person. The goal of getting out of the box is to internalize your own authority and mature yourself in such a way as to claim your own voice and internalized authority rather than give it away unconsciously to someone or some institution outside yourself.

Actually as I read and reread your representations of what I said, I guess I'm left baffled by if we were in the same presentation. I make no claim that you should be the type of retired mormon that I have chosen to be.

Thanks for at least sharing that this conference brought up some pain for you. I think there's a lot of pain in any major transformation.

It would certainly be interesting to have a face to face or a phone conversation with you Jonathan. Its unfortunate that we didn't do that before you printed your interpretations of my positions. I don't feel represented by nearly anything that you said.

tis the difficulty of communicating in this medium. Soon my paper on Transforming a religious identity will be posted on the website and then people can read for themselves if they so choose and get clarity about what I said


Derek Larsen

Subject: Re: Review of Exmo conference (long)
Date: Oct 08 12:46
Author: kelly jean

I'm pleased to see you respond to Higbee's
misrepresentation of your talk Derek.

Higbee certainly sees things through a different sort
of lens.

FYI, he also posted his comments at the yahoo elist, so
I took the initiatve to copy and paste your comments
their as well. I hope that was appropriate.

Thanx again for your participation at the conference
Derek! I totally got your points...kel

Subject: good presentation Derek
Date: Oct 08 22:37
Author: blue
Mail Address:


Thanks for taking the time to address the conference. You reminded us that everyone is not ready (and may never be ready) to jump the mormon ship. Maybe your comments just didn't have enough anger to suit some tastes. I perceive that some exmos need to express and feel more anger than others.

Subject: Exactly
Date: Oct 08 12:36
Author: exmo
Mail Address:

What the f.... are two current Mo speakers doing at an exmo conference? Are they not excommunicatedd for participating an Exmo gathering? If not, why not? Is there favoritism in who is and who isn't ex'ed by LDS Inc.??? Sounds fishy to me.

Subject: Re: Exactly
Date: Oct 08 12:50
Author: kelly jean

Higbee's statements contain several inaccuracies.

Dale Broadhurst belongs to the RLDS group.
Sandra Tanner is a Christian.
Will is NOT a practicing Mormon -- he simply has not
written an exit letter.

There were no practicing Mormons who were
scheduled on the conference agenda.

Subject: This exchange is a good example of how people "hear" things differently
Date: Oct 08 13:18
Author: SusieQ#1

and how a speaker often has no idea how people are "hearing" and internalizing their words. Some people "get" what they meant, and some do not. That is just plain old human nature and to be expected.

And thank you Jon for telling us about your experience. The point I think we all need to remember that all of our experiences are valid and very, very personal.

I was not there and so I cannot comment on what was said, but this exchange is valid information! And, typical of what happens when speaking to a large group! I have no idea if the "corrections" listed were obvious on the schedule.

I do know that sometimes, the more you try to explain what you meant, the worse it gets! I do not know how I would take the explanation if I were Jon but I do know I would be a little miffed at the implications that seemed to be personal implications. I did feel a little "sting" when reading it though. I would be interested in Jon's response to it.

I have not seen much of a need within myself to participate in group activities for "support" in leaving Mormonism. It has no appeal to me, but that is just the difference in people. At my age, I have had enough "joining" for a lifetime or two! :-) And, I am not big on "psycho-babble" and the implications in today's world that seems to indicate that everything we do or do not do or experienced needs some kind of "recovery." I am from the old school, I guess. I was not sick as a Mormon and do not need "recovery." :-) I changed my mind. That is not an illness! :-) I do it all the time!

I am always available to support and honor and respect anyone who leaves.

I do know that I have great respect for anyone getting out of Mormonism and it certainly makes no difference to me how they do it and whether anger is a state, stage, consumed by anger or just a normal human reaction to living! Which it is! There is no litmus test for leaving Mormonism, no right, or wrong way. It is all a do-it-yourself project that is all very personal! And, I do not take someone else's experience personally! Their experience is not about me! Wow what a revelation! :-)

I am curious about how many people attended and if there was a questionnaire given out for comments and impressions and suggestions for the next events.

Subject: I Agree -- I want to conference with exmos, not sorta-mos
Date: Oct 09 02:34
Author: maryanne
Mail Address:

I have 2 main thoughts:

I'm going to make a blanket statement here: If someone is speaking at Sunstone, they shouldn't be speaking at our conferences. I'm not saying that those people are bad, I'm just saying that I, for one, don't want people who still have any standing with mormonism to be speaking at our conferences. I want a conference that is free of the morg -- completely.

I submit that the most important thing we can do is to provide a forum for exmormons to gather and share their stories. An "AA" model is one to look at.

I'm guessing that the conference organizers are pretty far along in their recovery, and they are giving a sophisticated conference, trying to help exmos move through recovery and into resolution. I'm not convinced that is a good idea. The most important person in the room is the person fresh out of the morg. I'm not saying that we can't have workshops and speakers with messages of substance; I'm just worried that the conferences are now a place where a particular "politically correct" attitude is valued.

I guess the only way to avoid these problems would be to keep the conferences very basic.

With all of that said, let me say that I did not attend this last conference. (I've been to others.) I did, however, speak with people who did.


Subject: Thank you for the review.
Date: Oct 08 13:15
Author: Moablo
Mail Address:

Having not attended the conference, and only getting your side of your feelings towards the atmosphere and topics presented, I must confess that I find it hard not to agree with you.

I do not look at anger as a bad thing either, if channeled in the right direction. I also think that as fellow humans, and being part of the overall society, we have an obligation to expose mormonism for what it is. That could include the good things as well as the bad. But it is most important to help others avoid centering and living their lives around events and beliefs that are deceitfully presented as facts and truth. This causes abusive control at it's worst with children ending up being the most innocent victims.

Subject: Wasn't Higbee the guy walking around with stupid signs
Date: Oct 08 13:36
Author: observer
Mail Address:

posted all over his shirt? He seemed to be a loner, not talking to anyone the entire weekend. Yet gets behind his computer keyboard and has a world of comments to make about the entire conference. I didn't see him smile at anyone, make any effort to socialise.

Subject: Re: Wasn't Higbee the guy walking around with stupid signs - Yes n/t
Date: Oct 09 02:11
Author: kelly jean
Mail Address:

Moablo wrote:
> Having not attended the conference, and only getting
your side of your feelings towards the atmosphere and
topics presented, I must confess that I find it hard not to
agree with you.

If "observers" observations are noted as well as
Derek's query to Jonathan about why he didn't discuss
his issues w/him at the conference, one may begin to
be less inclined to agree with Jonathan.

Having made Jonathan's acquaintance twice, (this
conference and last fall's conference), I have observed
the same as "observer." And although you are right
Susie to see this as an example of how people hear
things differently, I think a survey would show that most
people connected the dots and understood Derek's
points quite well.

Jonathan had ample opportunity to talk to Derek and
clarify or question him about his concerns. Derek hung
around and talked to many at length. Like "blue" said,
maybe Derek wasn't angry enough for someone like
Jonathan (perhaps this caused Jonathan to pay less

Susie, to answer your questions - no a questionaire did
not get made or submitted to the attendees, however it
is still certainly possible to do so. Time is of course
always an issue in getting yet one more task done.

At the banquet Saturday night a 112 were in

Subject: Thanks for providing a detailed review Jonathan
Date: Oct 09 02:38
Author: cricket

One of the most enjoyable flavors of the Recovery From Mormonism movement for me has been the diversity of people I've met.

I have spent some time with Jonathan over the past three years and find him to be out spoken, provocative, intelligent and a free thinker.

I don't agree with every idea or perspective he has, but I do respect his personal bias on the issues. I agree with his take on Mormonism being a negative and destructive force for humanity.

Thanks again Jonathan for writing your review and I loved your shirt with the photos and sayings on it. I regret getting busy and failing to snatch a digital photo of you and your shirt for the web.

The day Jonathan Higbee shuts up will be a day we lose a powerful voice for free thinking exmoism.

Subject: EXMO CONFERENCE!!! :o)
Date: Oct 07 00:14
Author: Kristen77

Hello everyone!!! I am still in SLC and am still HIGH from the total blast I had at the exmo conference. How fun it was to be partying with ex bishops and men running around in their temple clothes drinking beer!!! [This was after the regular conference where those who wanted to know what it was like to go through the temple had the experience at an informal party with some folks dressed in their temple clothers.  It was not a part of the official conference.] I totally needed this weekend.

Lisa, it was so nice to meet you. I was afraid we might have scared you a little with all our drinking and partying and what not. I promise you we are not all usually that alcoholically inclined.

I met some absolutely WONDERFUL PEOPLE and it's sad to say, but even the thought of moving back to Utah has crossed my mind a few times. I would love to be in a place where the exmo single scene is so concentrated, I need that right now.

Thanks to everyone for being so hospitable and sweet and just plain COOL! I'm going to the next one and the next one. Looking forward to it!!!


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