Subject: Did you feel you lost your identity as an individual in the MORG?
Date: Oct 20 14:43
Author: SusieQ#1

I have found that being called by my first name is much preferrable to being called: Sister _____! I am so glad no one calls me "sister" anymore!

I also heard bishops wives call their spouse "bishop" instead of by their first name.

The one stake president's wife that I respected always referred to her husband by his first name!!

When I worked for the church, we were REQUIRED to call the men by their TITLE: BROTHER, ELDER, BISHOP or PRESIDENT!~!! NO FIRST names were allowed. Even the women did not call other women by their first name in the work place.

Also, one of the statements I heard some of the "brethren" - another non-identity term was calling their spouse "the wife." I had this discussion with "the wife." ARGH!!!

Also, when the GA's or other leaders addressed the women in church they were usually grouped in the "more spiritual" column and therefore worthy to be mothers.

And the "brethren" were given the "priesthood" to represent the "Lord."

Mother is not my only identity either. Father is not the only identity of a male.

But all in all, I felt like I was being talked to like a child of about 10 years old. We were all grouped in the family category like little brothers and sisters of a heavenly father and mother (shhhh - do not mention her name)!!

Probably, because I was a convert, I always found this odd and very condescending!

Did this bother anyone else? Did you feel your individual identity was lost?

Subject: Yes, all of it bothers me...
Date: Oct 20 14:55
Author: barman

it is creepy, period! Here we are all brothers and sisters all sons and daughers of "Elohim" who was once a man now glorified with thousands of wives in his harem eternally procreating spirit children to populate worlds. Need I say more?

Anyway, as far as the identity thing goes I didn't like it as a missionary or adult church member. I think it is worse for women. In fact, the loss of identity was the major factor in my wife's exit from mormonism.

Subject: Mormons' self image..
Date: Oct 20 14:55
Author: Flew the Coop

Good point, SuzieQ..So many Mormons view themselves as just a part of the Church. This image overrides all other relationships including family, country, humankind, and other living things for many Mormons. I was with a group of old Mormon friends from my old Ward the other day on a non-church outdoors outing and the women would refer to the men as the "Priesthood". The men would refer to the women as the "Relief Society". I about gagged.. to think that a few short years ago I would have been repeating the same jargon. It feels so much more healthy to me to feel myself a part of the world including the plants and animals.

Subject: Groups = group identity.
Date: Oct 20 15:13
Author: Stray Mutt

Mormonism just takes it further than most. Rather than
it being a group in the service of its members, the
members serve the group. The group comes first, your
own needs are irrelevant unless they match the needs
of the group. The group judges and validates.

Subject: Re: Did you feel you lost your identity as an individual in the MORG?
Date: Oct 20 15:27
Author: Bob

The craziest one of all was when our old SP requested (spelled "d e m a n d e d") that presidents of deacons quorums [12 -13 yr olds] be addressed as "President _________." Can you imagine calling a young kid who is still wet behind the ears "PRESIDENT"?????

Subject: I'm not a clone?
Date: Oct 20 15:50
Author: Pen

Yup. I felt like one of many. Forget "Attack of the Clones" being a Star Wars movie... it's a day in your average Mormon ward.

The only time I felt like an individual was when I got callings because of talents that I posses. Frankly, I got damn sick of being Sister So-and-So who plays the piano. That's great. So, I'm just another drone who happens to have a talent. GREAT. :-P

Subject: I really felt this as a missionary
Date: Oct 20 16:10
Author: John Corrill

Entering the MTC was a big identity stripper for me. Being addressed and titled "Elder" was a big part of that. I felt bad for one missionary at the MTC whose last name just happened to guessed it...Elder. Poor guy was shackled his whole mission having to introduce himself as "Elder Elder"

Subject: Re: I really felt this as a missionary
Date: Oct 20 17:12
Author: ex pfc Wintergreen

Poor Elder ELDER could join the company of poor Major Major Major who was not allowed to advance higher in grade because he was the only one in whole U S Air Force.

Subject: Re: I really felt this as a missionary
Date: Oct 20 17:14
Author: Pen

In my hometown, there was a Bishop Bishop?

Subject: Re: I really felt this as a missionary
Date: Oct 20 17:25
Author: Texas_Exxed

John Corrill wrote:
> Poor guy was shackled his whole mission having to introduce himself as "Elder Elder"

There was a guy in my mission named "Elder Berry"

Subject: Re: I really felt this as a missionary
Date: Oct 20 18:53
Author: coveygirl

I remember this phonomenon of becoming a
"non-person" as a missionary.

We went to a singles ward activity and the leader took
roll: "Let's see... we have 20 girls, 16 guys, and two

So now I not only had no first name, I had no gender.
Must be what it is like in the Telestial Kingdom. :-)

Subject: Read "Anthem" by Ayn Rand
Date: Oct 20 16:21
Author: Matthew

It's only 100 pages (good way to kill an hour or so) and it is a good idea on where the church is heading.
In Anthem everyone had names like the main character who was called Equality 7-2521.
It is about a society that is so collective that even words like "I" and "me" were wiped away from the language.
What is interesting is how at church the bishop assignes you these callings because he is given the power to tell whether or not the calling is for you. In Anthem, leaders assigned all the people their careers and that is how that person spent the rest of his or her life.

Subject: Recommend also "We the Living"...
Date: Oct 20 21:24
Author: Tom

and for those ready for the whole enchalada, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

It helped me out of the Morg.

Subject: To be honest, I was able to better define mine....
Date: Oct 20 17:35
Author: Dawn

For me the church provided a foundation for me to get a better sense of who I was and what I believed....
And in many ways it was by putting forth its doctrines and beliefs that I knew WASNT me...

Sort of point, counter point...

Subject: Completely
Date: Oct 20 18:09
Author: bridget

I abhored being a clone and felt so restricted, although I felt terribly guilty for not being "righteous enough" to want to be a clone!!! LOL

Now looking back, I'm saddened by years of wasted time, attending Church and meetings when Ic ould have been REALLY developing my talents and enjoying life -- learning a cool craft or hobby would have been much m ore fulfilling than being a cog in a wheel.

Subject: Yes. They try to steal your individulaity.
Date: Oct 20 19:30
Author: Matt

In order that you stop being you and become a perfect Mormon.

I was too "rebelious" for this. I questioned and I left. Thank God.

Subject: Designed to strip us of individual identities
Date: Oct 21 02:22
Author: Beag

I think the Morg requires people to adhere so closely to their tenants and follow their directions that they need to isolate them from one another in favor of the Morg. The best way to do it is to strip away their individual identities. They do it by telling us that we are bad (sinful) and only the church (holders of the exclusive atonement of Christ) can redeem us. In order to obtain our part of this marvelous "gift," we are required to jump through their set of hoops - pay a full tithe, accept callings, go to the temple, accept their exclusive baptism, etc - or we again are bad and won't get that most desirable place in the afterlife (as defined by the Morg). They can't have people getting out of line so they have a million commandments and then tell us that those who have to be commanded in all things are bad. And as for thinking for ourselves? Once the Profit has spoken, the thinking has been done. And if we think after that we again are bad. So you better not think, do, or say anything that you're told not to do and an obedient Morgbot is born. The things you describe are means to insure that end.

There has been a certain amount of discussion recently about how the Morg tries to keep members in a childish state. I would add that they try to keep members thinking of themselves as bad children who need the perfect church to compensate for how bad they are. Oh, but it's OK, because God loves us so much.

Subject: Yes.
Date: Oct 21 05:26
Author: brefots

I was thinking of myself as something worthless
because I had doubts and that was considered bad, it
gave me tons of guilt but the guilt didn't ease my
doubts. I felt worthless because I masturbated, it gave
me tons of guilt but the guilt didn't take away my
sexuality. I tried to surpress and deny myself completely
out of fear for what imaginary creatures reading my
mind would think of me, (as if a being like god wouldn't
see my true self anyway). And also out of fear for finding
out exactly how bad I was. "The natural man is the
enemy to god". Yes indeed it's true, the mormon god is
certainly an enemy to any normal human being.