Mormon FHE beatings, Sunday beatings and Primary beatings.
Subject: FHE beatings, Sunday beatings! Raise your hand if you've had Primary beatings.
Date: Oct 28 11:29 2004    (FHE = Family Home Evening on Monday nights)
Author: ME

Back in the 60's in the days when Primary was after school during the week, it was a nice, warm fall day when my two neighborhood pals and I decided we couldn't WAIT to go play. There was something 'new' going around at that time and we wanted to get right at it. After sitting all day in school, we were antsy as hell.

We skipped Primary on that Thursday afternoon and were having a BLAST playing. Well, how did WE know our mothers weren't going to find out. My friends' mother was the Primary President and my mom was a councilor. I can't remember what punishment my friends got, but I got the whipping/beating of my life with the wooden spoon, accompanied with the usual threats about if I do this again I'll live to regret it, and "you NEVER skip out of Primary of other church meetings" crap.

Hmm! Maybe all these beatings are inherent of Christ whipping the money changers in the temple.

Subject: Ahh. It brings back such lovely memories.
Date: Oct 28 12:31
Author: wannaBeXMO

I remember riding to primary and my friends mother would pull over and beat them with the wooden spoon if they were too silly. the good old days. As for me, I would have preferred the wooden spoon.

Subject: Re: FHE beatings, Sunday beatings! Raise your hand if you've had Primary beatings.
Date: Oct 28 12:37
Author: anon

Oh those good old horrible days!

I was 21 years old and had three kids and they made me a Primary teacher.

I could barely handle my own kids, much less somebody else's and it was HELL having to go to Primary on Tuesday afternoons.

Frigging cult.

Subject: I ended up being a Primary teacher too. The first time was back in 1980...
Date: Oct 28 15:05
Author: ME

...and we were in our old building that had very long benches. My 8 year olds were rather well behaved, but sometimes - rare times - A couple would need the proverbial "SHHHH" during opening exercises. So, not wanting to make noise myself by saying "SHHHH" to them, I'd sit in the middle of the bench, equadistant to both ends and since I didn't want to have to try and reach over, I would use a nice varnished little stick to reach and tap them gently on the shoulder, then put my finger to my mouth too signal the 'SHHHH' thing.

Well, after only two weeks, the SHHHHit hit the fan. I was called aside one Sunday only to be told that the parents of one of the kids was going to pull their kid out of my class because "they weren't going to have their child in a Primary class where the teacher 'beats' him with a stick"! I said, "Fine!" They acted like my 'stick' was the size of a baseball bat, and that I got up and wailed the tar out of the kid.

I left my little (about 15 inches long and as wide as a teacher's pointer) stick home from then on and just let these parents' kid disrupt the Primary while I looked the other way. God, some people can be total assholes. Beat their kid! Sheesh. This kid grew up a trouble maker in later years and the parent's attitude was always the, "No, our child wouldn't do THAT!" sort of thing.

Subject: Re: I ended up being a Primary teacher too. The first time was back in 1980...
Date: Oct 28 18:53
Author: LOL

I was a Primary teacher too and let me tell you, some of these kids were a handful.

I finally did the very same thing, just sat there and let them go at it.

If the Primary prez didn't like it she could say something to the parents but I didn't see it as my problem, and behavior modification was not my job.

Subject: My Dad...the Priesthood holder
Date: Oct 28 13:46
Author: True to self

With him in the bishopric as children we had to emulate a image (set forth by the brethren). One that would make my Father look as righteous as our great grand father Lehi (The tent dweller). When we failed in our efforts as righteous children punishment was sure to come-- The after church sermon on reverence followed with a belt beating and if it wasn't enough, room grounding for the rest of the day. He would then play Mormon TAB records loud enough to shake the pictures on the walls, sit himself in the front room and read his F***n scriptures. I hated him and God in those days. mormons can say all they want about it being just the people not the church, but the church is made of the people. WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF THE DOCTRINE!

Subject: Re: My Dad...the Priesthood holder
Date: Oct 28 14:45
Author: Lost no more

Damn, TTS,

I'm sorry you had to endure that! I think it's worse for the high profile families with dads in the bishopric and moms in primary presidency or leading the music.

I must have missed the lesson where Jesus said "beat your kids with the belt cause they can't sit through a boring three hour meeting!"



Subject: Re: "We are the offspring of the doctrine!"
Date: Oct 28 18:24
Author: Nick

That's absolutely true, and the perfect reply to people who claim that the church (or even the gospel) is perfect, but the people are not.

The reality is that, even when we recognize the effects of outside influences, Mormon culture today is largely a product of LDS doctrines and policies in the past.

By their fruits ye shall know them, indeed!

Subject: Beatings due to irreverence
Date: Oct 28 15:28
Author: Barnboy

Yep, I got hauled out into the foyer and beaten a time or two into submission. If I got hauled outside the building entirely, I knew it was going to be a bad beating.

I found myself wanting to do the same thing with my kids. I have to wonder, though, if my reluctance to strike my children, but instead to simply sit with them out in the foyer and play to redirect rather than punish, factored into my eventual decision to leave the Morg...

---- more Mormon beatings 
Subject: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 04:12
Author: jennyfoo

Just wondering if anyone else's parents considered it keeping the sabbath holy to smack "uppity" kids around who didn't want to go to church? This happened quite a few times when I was a kid and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. I can remember my mother dragging me out to the car in my PJs and then stripping and forcibly changing me into a dress after we got to the church parking lot when I was about 10 or so. I remember one time when my dad broke my brother's glasses when he smacked him across the face and they flew across the room. I know my parents were really screwed up, but this was extreme. Was it really that important that all 6 kids file in and sit behind the bishop's family in the 3rd row and play the part? It's disgusting to think about it. BTW, Mom was chorister so always up in front so I guess sitting up so close was her way to keep a better eye on what we were doing.

Subject: Re: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 04:22
Author: SuperDave

That's insane! I guess my mom never felt that the fight was worth it. If I wanted to go, I did. If I didn't want to go, I stayed home. The amazing thing is, I usually went on my own!

Subject: Jennyfoo, your mother must really be...
Date: Oct 28 04:58
Author: Kim incredible piece of work. I'm still chuckling about the coffee enemas, and now imagining her all wide-eyed and animated leading the singing in front of the congregation after a strong rectal pick-me-up gives me an entirely new picture of her for my imagination.

Of course I realize that the caffeine boosters and the song leading are during different time periods, but it's still entertaining to imagine a TBM woman just that wigged out.

Maybe it's not that entertaining to you.

I guess I was fortunate to have never experienced Sabbath abuse like that, however one day, not that long ago, my TBM mom asked both my TBM bishop brother and me, when we were together, if we felt like we were forced to go to church growing up.

Both of us laughed out loud at her. We told her that although we never felt forced in the sense she was worried about our feeling, we knew that if we had ever rebelled in any way and did not go of our "own free will," we would have never lived to adulthood.

Subject: Re: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 06:07
Author: vegasbright

One of the most horrid sundays I can remember is when my father lost it the day we went to the Las Vegas temple dedication. I was 10 an I had gotten my first suit coat to wear to the occasion.

Not knowing how to wear the suit coat I tucked it into my pants and thought nothing of it. For some reason my father lost it, slugging me, grabbing me and throwing me up against the wall, etc. The whole time screaming obscenities and cursing my name. It was so bad that my stepmother intervened and told him to stop. This was an extreme oddity because normally My stepmother would be the one smacking me around, but something in my father snapped.

I am sure it was the temple dedication and his conflicted nature that triggered it. Something as simple as a child misunderstanding how to properly wear a suit coat.

Subject: God, what an awful memory!
Date: Oct 28 14:40
Author: Lost no more

That is abuse!

I guess I really lucked out as a kid. I think it helped that my dad didn't join until I was 15-16 years old.

I remember my mom smacking me hard for telling a church adult, "what do you think?" when I was 10-11.

I remember a belt whipping for being out after dark as a kid when I was in grade school.

That's all I can remember. Pretty damn lucky kid!


Subject: Several Nazi TBM families in my home ward had emotional abuse down to an art.
Date: Oct 28 06:29
Author: power in the priesthood

1. One family felt it was sinful to enjoy any physical pleasures too much. Therefore each child was forced to overeat their favorite foods in an attempt to break their "unholy" desire for this food.

2. If the children could not sit quietly during church, they had to sit quiety on the couch for an hour when they got home.

3. They felt that family responsibilities came first above all else. If a kid did not do a chore the parents would take the kid out of school or come and get them from a job to do the chore.

4. One of these families covered their carpeting with plastic mats to preserve the carpet.

What a bunch of abusive and obsessive compulsive people. Many of the children from these families are struggling immensely with life.

Subject: You've just described my in-laws.
Date: Oct 28 14:31
Author: Mary Ann

The first time I visited Steve's parents home (which was a very nice home up on the SLC bench) I thought how bizarre it was that all the furniture was covered with old sheets. They invited me in and had me sit down on those sheets. Weird! That should have been a big red flag!

After listening to Steve, his sib's and his aunt's stories over the years, I think the Bensons wrote the book on emotional and psychological abuse!

Subject: Re: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 11:24
Author: anon

I once stayed with a tbm friend and every Sunday morning was horrible, and then they traipsed off to church looking like the perfect Mormon family.

They had seven kids, so imagine nine people fighting for a bit of hot water to shower, and trying to get ready for church in the two bathrooms of their small house!

All this stress and anger, and then the additional stress of having to pretend to be the happy family in public.

Mormonism sucks!

Subject: I remember parents sometimes dragging squirmming kids out . . .
Date: Oct 28 11:45
Author: Cheryl

out of sacrament meeting and hearing them being wallopped repeatedly. There were cries. They'd return, the parent still fuming, and the kid holding in sobs. Saddest of all is that everyone in that church ignored the physical assaults that sometimes happened during the service.

I also remember that speakers at the pulpit sometimes recalled how much they learned as kids from frequent beatings in the woodshed. One man said he was forced to find and cut a thick enough willow for his beatings. He said he got extra whacks for bringing one back that wasn't as thick as his father's thumb. These church talks actually advocated and explained how to abuse children.

My mom didn't bother with that. She usually pinched and twisted flesh to get her way. Much easier and less embarrassing than hauling kids into the hall to beat them.


Subject: Re: I remember parents sometimes dragging squirming kids out . . .
Date: Oct 28 13:16
Author: anon

Oh Lord, I remember a family like that in Ca.

They had way too many kids to handle and during S & M meetings the father would drag the boys by the ear all the way from the front to the back door. With the whole congregation chuckling.

Then you would hear wop, wop outside the doors and the kid screaming. Then he would drag the victim back in.

What an a$$hole you were, brother Cheeseman.

Subject: This isn't unique to Mormonism...
Date: Oct 28 12:22
Author: fh451

While I admit my experience with other churches is rather limited, I heard a funny story told on NPR about a kid on the way to church fighting with his brother, and his dad reaching back to smack/pinch/flail whoever was in the line of fire. They were protestants of some flavor. Once at church, you had to put on the perfect behavior act, too.

Just tells me that "having the Gift of the Holy Ghost(tm)" doesn't make Mormons any better at controlling their behavior at their kids than anybody else. A lot of churches set unrealistic expectations about behavior.


Subject: Re: This isn't unique to Mormonism...
Date: Oct 28 18:42
Author: anon

Your logic smells of a happy childhood- ABUSE FREE.The difference is when you have parents of "The Only True Church with the priesthood of God" That should make a huge difference in Human behavior. We are the end result of Mormon truth.

Subject: Re: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 12:58
Author: hell's angel

My mom always dragged me to church and threatened to take away 'privileges' (like eating) if i failed to conform and behave during the three hour 'block' of brainwashing bullsh**. Technically, this went on 'till I was 16. Luckily, growing up under such subjugation had forced me to react through ways of deception.

hahahah.............silly Mormons.

Subject: Re: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 14:28
Author: catnip

You brought up a good point: Many of us who grew up with domineering, abusive parents learned what I think of as "how to live in a police state."

You learn how to keep your expression perfectly blank, so they won't guess what you're thinking.

You learn how to hide the evidence (of anything they might frown on.)

You learn passive-aggressive ways of fooling them - i.e, they might be able to force you to attend church and sit still, but by God, they can't make you pay attention! (I used to zone out and go into a fantasy world of my own creation.) You may even get points for "being good!" Whenever this happened to me, I thought my parents were total fools for buying the act.

You learn not to say what you are really thinking. (Or, as a good friend of mine puts it, "never flip over a dried cow patty with the toe of your boot. The fresh underside will draw flies immediately.") Don't call attention to yourself.

You learn never to let on when you REALLY like or dislike something - they might try to use it to control you.

You walk the walk and talk the talk, but only when they are watching.

Is this scary, or what? Kids as young as three and four can do these things.

As far as "Sunday abuse," I remember reading in the Ensign once, years ago, about how a father "cured" his toddler son of misbehaving during church. He carried the kicking, screaming kid out to the family car, sat down with him, and wrapped his arms around the kid so tightly that the kid couldn't move. He told the kid, "Nobody can hear you screaming here, so you might as well stop. And I will control you until you can control yourself." He wrote proudly that after a few rounds of this, the kid stayed quiet during Sacrament. . .

Subject: Watching my kids in church, I began to believe that ..
Date: Oct 28 15:50
Author: Micro

... just taking them to three hours worth of meetings was abuse. How can 3 and 4 year olds be expected to sit still for three hours? Even Kindergarten where I live is only 2 1/2 hours for 5 and 6 year olds.

My first daughter to get into primary hated it. She was barely three and wanted to go back to the nursery where the toys were. When I "held my daughter back" in primary because I thought she was so much younger than the other kids, the primary president got upset. That is when I fully realized that the people were there for the church. Aren't churches supposed to be there for the people?

Subject: Micro, every word you wrote is pure gold!
Date: Oct 28 16:21
Author: Cheryl

I taught kindergarten for many years. In a 2 1/2 hour or 3 hour program, children were expected to freely move around and/or change activities many, many times.

I do consider the current mormon program and expectations to be draconian. Never would I allow a child of mine in a program like that!

Subject: Re: we've heard of FHE abuse, what about Sunday abuse?
Date: Oct 28 15:41
Author: Juanita G.

The most f***ed up human being I ever knew was raised by traveling preacher parents. He & his two younger brothers were beaten with a belt daily for ever infraction because their parents wanted them to be "perfect in the Lord." They were Assembly of God folk, very fundamental & rigid. The mom played organ & the boys remember that when she turned to them (as they sat, always, in the first pew of whatever church they were "missioning") and smiled broadly--showing her teeth--it meant they were in for a severe beating. Crime? Fidgeting, squirming, whispering, etc. They were also beaten for stage fright, as they had to perform vocally in every friggin church they attended.

Oldest boy (now middle aged) runs his own ministry--but also is alcoholic, five times married, addicted to porn & very, very angry. The other two boys were alcoholics too. One died of AIDs after allowing himself to be used by hundreds of men, the youngest flits from job to job and relationship to relationship at age 43.

There has to be a Hell, simply for the parents who torture their kids (in all respects--starving, beating, withholding medical care) in the name of God.

Subject: My Temple Beating (true story)
Date: Oct 28 15:06
Author: Deconstructor

These Mormon beating stories are bringing back some memories for me. I had my share of Sunday beatings growing up.

But the worse Mormon beating I ever got was when I was 10, during a McConkie family reunion down in Manti during the Mormon Pageant. We went to the pageant hours before it started and set out blankets down on the grass in front of the temple. There were warning signs as we entered the lawn that it was sacred temple ground and we had to be reverent. But my cousins and I missed reading them.

So there were were, sitting on our blankets on the temple lawn getting bored. After some time of waiting my cousins and I started to play. BIG MISTAKE! As I recall, we were just playing clapping games or rock, scissors, paper or something like that. We weren't bothering anyone but we were laughing.

The next thing I know, my grandfather McConkie - whom I had never before seen angry - pulled me up by my arm and hit me across the cheek a few times and threw me down. In the crossest voice I'd ever heard, he chastised us for not being reverent on the holy temple ground. He was in a rage over it. He hit my other cousins too, knocking the wind out of each us as he threw us to the ground.

I looked over to my mother for some sympathy and all I got was a cross look from her. Later, she would tell me that as a priesthood holder, her father did the right thing. Besides, didn't we read the signs when we entered the temple grounds?

To understand my grandfather McConkie, he had been a full-time temple worker for over fifteen years. Mormonism - and especially the temple - was his life. And when he saw his grandchildren playing and laughing on the temple lawn he just couldn't take it. It didn't matter that the temple lawn was there for people to enjoy the pageant. Maybe he was embarrassed. Maybe he saw this as a teaching moment (one that we never forgot). Whatever the reason, it brought out that deep-seated righteous anger we read about in the scriptures and see modeled in many Bible believers.

That day I learned the importance of reverence for Mormon Temples. Looking back, I think I learned some other things about Mormonism and what taking it seriously can do to otherwise kind people. My grandfather was normally affectionate, the kind of grandfather that always had candy in his pocket. The only time I saw him in a rage was that day waiting for the Manti Pageant to start.

The only other time I saw him upset was the day blacks got the priesthood. But that's another story...

Subject: Re: Temple Beating
Date: Oct 28 15:15
Author: OU812

So laughing and playing is unacceptable before the lord but beating children is fine.

It's amazing what a cult mindset can do to people.

Subject: Re: Temple Beating
Date: Oct 28 17:31
Author: t-bone

> > My grandfather was normally affectionate, the kind of grandfather that always had candy in his pocket.

With all due respect to your otherwise kind and gentle grandfather, incidents of this kind sound like someone was looking for any excuse to beat a child.

Being children and playing when you got bored was just the excuse he needed.

How opportunistic.

Subject: Can we say Hypocrisy?
Date: Oct 28 15:15
Author: andrewgprv

God doesn't want laughing on temple grounds, but I guess smacking and hitting is okay.

Subject: My thoughts on the concept of sacredness (not to make excuses for your grandfather's rage)...
Date: Oct 28 15:25
Author: Dawn

We do live in a time where the idea of holding anything sacred really doesn't exist or is at least weak....

Not that that excuses what your grandfather did to you. There are better ways of teaching children the concept of sacredness other than trying to beat it into them.

So while I dont agree with his method, I can understand the idea he held something very very sacred, and when, in his feeling and opinion, someone, (especially a family member), was desacreting that, I can understand the rage and the anger.

Just my .02

Subject: Why was that sacred ground?!
Date: Oct 28 15:39
Author: Deconstructor

I understand what you are saying. Believing in sacred ground does add to the speciallness of the religious experience.

I would have understood my grandfather's actions better if we had been laughing INSIDE the temple. But this was ground far from the temple, down the hill, and open to the public. It was meant for people to be sitting and enjoying an outdoor play. It looked a lot more like a park than it did holy site.

It was disingenuous for the church to put those reverence warning signs up in the first place. Just because the land is near a temple and owned by the church doesn't make it as sacred as inside the temple. Yet that's how my grandfather reacted.

So while I understand the need for sacred ground, I think the church and my grandfather went way too far.

Children should be treated with more respect than a plot of grass.

Subject: Re: My thoughts on the concept of sacredness (not to make excuses for your grandfather's rage)...
Date: Oct 28 15:47
Author: Barnboy

I ran into this same attitude at a meeting at work yesterday. The CEO was up on the big screen, speaking to the thousands of assembled peons. There was an awkward silence, and I shouted out a heckle.

Many people laughed. Most were nervous laughs. A few tittered awkwardly and pointed. And I got reamed out by my boss a few minutes later.

But a big problem with the world, IMHO, is that there are too many sacred cows. The authority of the boss is sacrosanct. The authority of the church is unquestioned. The authority of little signs on the grass is supreme to the authority of an individual to make his own choices.

Nothing is sacred. NOTHING. If you think something should be shielded from inquiry or insult, then it's probably worthwhile to examine why that is a sacred cow to you.

A quote from Carl Sagan comes in handy here:
Anger at queries about our beliefs is the body's warning signal: here lies dangerous and probably unexamined doctrinal baggage.
-(Broca's Brain)

Subject: If I saw someone doing that to kids
Date: Oct 28 15:27
Author: anon

I'd be in a fit of rage myself. If I had the chance (and was old and strong enough back then) I would have kicked your grandpa's butt.

Of all the stupid things. Which is more irreverant: children playing, or hitting children?

No warnings? Don't mormons believe that "Where there is no knowledge, there is no sin." (somewhere in the morg scriptures).

Subject: Re: My Temple Beating (true story)
Date: Oct 28 15:44
Author: Lost no more

Every story today that I have read on this topic today (mormon abuse of children) thoroughly disgusts me. How on earth can people think it is righteous to beat up on their children? Are they out of their friggin' minds?

Didn't Jesus say it would be better to hang a millstone around your neck and be drowned in the sea than to offend one of these little ones (Matt 18:6)? To me, it's just common sense to treat children with love and respect, until pseudo-religiosity gets in the way.

I'm truly sorry to you had to experience that, Decon!


Subject: Kids are generally quick to forgive adults...
Date: Oct 28 15:47
Author: ExMoron

but wouldn't it be interesting to go back, knowing what you know now, and after he beats you and dashes you to the floor, you don't forgive him? From then on you shun him, acting completely cold and indifferent to his attentions. Do you think it would have taught him a lesson? Like don't take someone's loyalty for granted?

Subject: Black Elk Speaks
Date: Oct 28 16:06
Author: ex-TBM

In this book, there is an expression of the theme that everywhere is sacred. That is, wherever you are is the sacred place. If your grandfather had understood this, he would have realized that a temple is only symbolic of the true sacred space which is within each of us and he might have taught you instead of beat you.

Here's the electronic version of the book:

Subject: I guess your grandfather lost sight of what is most sacred,
Date: Oct 28 16:36
Author: Saucie

our precious little children and our loved ones.
Witnessing violence or being the object of any kind
of violence changes children. He thought he was
doing the right thing and instead taught you fear.

Subject: Not only did you gfather lose sight, but your own mother allowed that to happen.
Date: Oct 28 16:46
Author: momma mia

Was she that intimidated by a priesthood (male) authority?
To not protect her own child from abuse is an indication of where her loyalty was. It wasn't with her child.

Sad that she didn't chose to defend you. Must be sad knowing your mother didn't care enough for you to stop such abuse.

That is the way it is in lds thinking. The church over the children or husband. Sad, but true. Sorry for your pain.

Subject: Good point MamaMia.... if that had been one of my kids
Date: Oct 28 16:54
Author: Saucie

I would have slapped the white off of grandpa's face before I'd ever let him touch them. It sounds like the mother
was intimidated by her father, like a good mormon woman is
supposed to be.
I guess I was never that good, at least to the extent I'd
ever let anyone smack one of my kids.

Subject: You guys are into themes here.
Date: Oct 28 18:12
Author: BB

A while back it was funerals. Now it's beatings.
I hope you guys are smart enough to know these aren't mormon church-related beatings. I've read a couple of your tales and I can say I've easily got you all beat, so far ---- and my father wasn't mormon. People just do shitty things sometimes. If someone wants to beat the shit out of you, they will find a reason to do it. Guess for some of you, your parents found the mormon church to be their reason. My father had other reasons. Sucks doesn't it.
I used to sit around and wonder if the "reasons" were gone, if he'd still be the messed up abusive d**khead he was, and the answer is yes.

Subject: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 27 19:59
Author: vegasbright

This is the first time I have written this down. First time I have really thought about this since I escaped from my fathers house at 16. I JUST realized how abusive the house I grew up in was. Oh my God, this is hard. I'm dumbfounded that I did not see this before. This is just the tip of the iceberg folks. Most of teh abuse I suffered was at the hands of my stepmother. This is my experience with FHE first hand. I really need to write my story down I now realize. Oh well. Here is a start:

As my zealot of a stepmother ran FHE, usually after a heated slapping around of the ill behaving stepchild (me), we would sit and proceed to be preached to. My brother and I, he the "good son" who could do no wrong. I the wayward (at 10!?! How the hell can you be wayward at 10?) perpetual object lesson. My father would fumble through a "lesson" more aligned with the supposed fault being accused at this meeting or worldly evil being focused in on. Tears streaming down my face I would think to myself that I just wanted to die. This would spark more rage and condemnation from my supposed parental figures.

I would sit, falling asleep while we read the BOM for literally hours. My stepmother pausing to emphasize how wonderful the BOM/gospel/prophet/etc is and what I am doing wrong in my life, what My father needed to do, whatever she and my father were "inspired" to say. My father chiming in after this with reasons why it was my fault I never got along with my stepmother.

I could never speak...this would have been contradictory to my perpetual "talking to" which went on until I was sixteen and I left the house. Oh GOD! HOW DID THEY GET AWAY WITH DOING THIS TO ME!!!!!!????????!!!!!!

This would be followed with accusations of evildoings and admonitions to shape up. Add long term physical and emotional abuse, psychotic parental figures, and regimented boot-camp like life (think "no wire hangers" from Mommy Dearest without the bipolar love and affection)

Did anyone else have a similar experience? I am just wondering. Recalling this scares the hell out of me. Its almost like I have filed this away and have just retrieved it. I feel so relieved it is over. Perceived guilt will do many things to twist your perception of reality.

Subject: FHE was like prison in my house.....
Date: Oct 27 20:06
Author: Jonny the Smoke

...complete with spankings for irreverent children. Its tough trying to pay attention for 2-3 hours of hard core lesson material when your a pre-schooler or grade school age! Jeez, it was hard for the teenagers too!

And lets not forget dragging all six kids out of bed at 5:00am for family exceptions...age doesn't matter. And don't you dare fall asleep!!!

Subject: You got it, Jonny! That's what it was like at my house when I was a kid
Date: Oct 28 10:40
Author: Gary B.

FHE was frequently a 3 hr. bitch session. Parents bitching at the kids. Older kids fighting with each other. It was so miserable. Inthenameofjesuschristamen... wow! My own kids don't know what they're missing! If they did, they would thank me.

Subject: I could have used A Savior ...
Date: Oct 28 11:23
Author: wannaBeXMO

With a NeverMo Dad and Super TBM Mom it was family Home Fight Night. I have no happy memories of FHE. Even as TBM myself our FHE was nothing more than games and fun. We never had lessons. I felt guilty about that but I just couldn't put my kids through that.

This was my mothers way of imposing her beliefs on my father and forcing him to listen to her vile invective.

My mother was physically abusive and had no problem beating you with a belt or hairbrush and then calmly calling everyone together for a family lesson about Jesus. I really could have used a savior. I didn't find one in FHE.

Subject: Re: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 27 23:07
Author: butch cassidy

Your experience makes mine look like a walk in the park. Painful stuff...hope it can all become a window to better understanding and better things to come.

My first wife was absolutely convinced they had to last 3 hours. We discussed it, I told her that was tantamount to abuse of children that young, she screamed a lot...needless to say we seldom had it. I would come home and just start playing with the kids and before we knew it they were going to bed. She would then tell me in no uncertain terms what a lousy husband, father, and p holder I was and I'd begin looking forward to the next week. Ah, the good life. Some days I really miss that woman.

Subject: Re: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 28 20:11
Author: LOL

Your comments are funny. The situation,of course, was not.

I hope the kids survived alright.

Subject: In my family FHE was rare, but in hubby's family.......
Date: Oct 27 23:32
Author: jennyfoo

Andy the Eminent's - Dad would announce about once a month that the lesson was: "What bugs me about this family"

He would then go on a tirade about everything that pissed him off about his wife and children whom he didn't even know because he was going to school, working FT, and had a stake presidency calling. No one else was allowed to talk and when the lesson was over, they had to pretend that they were a happy family and all best friends while they played some stupid game like charades - Truly they were all just really pissed that he had passed judgment on everyone.

Subject: Re: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 28 00:27
Author: anon

I dealt with a family like that, only it wasn't a stepmother, it was my real mother who behaved that way. I escaped the earliest I could, at age 17. The abuse was incredible, I don't know how I survived.

Subject: Vegasbright, do you have the strength to sue your parents?
Date: Oct 28 00:40
Author: Charles, Buddhist Punk

I know it's a long shot but I think that suing your parents for physical, emotional, and mental abuse at this time could help. It is dastardly that you had to go through this.

I didn't experience this personally, but my kid sister did. She got slapped around by my bishop dad in front of the Primary kids, the teachers, and even one of his own counselors. She had no crime but to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mother only learned about it through the other members. Father was released a couple months after.

Subject: I don't think I ever fully realized until now...
Date: Oct 28 02:48
Author: Kim lucky I was to have a jack-mo non-believer dad.

I can remember one time my TBM mom became very adamant that we have Family Home Evening. She prepared a lesson and made my two brothers and me sit at the table. She even somehow coerced my dad to join us. I'll bet my dad sat through no more than two minutes of some insipid FHE manual lesson about the Book of Mormon. He just stood up, walked out of the room, and went back to watching Monday Night Football. My brothers and I followed suit announcing to Mom that FHE was stupid.

Her feelings were hurt, but she learned to be tough living in a household of all males except herself. She never attempted to force FHE on us again.

I really feel sorry for you, vegasbright, and others who had to undergo religious torture from fanatic TBM parents, let alone the forced FHE sessions. It must have truly been hell.

Subject: So many "double survivors"...
Date: Oct 28 04:25
Author: Doxigrafix

I survived quite a bit of abuse, but since I'm a never-mo, at least mine wasn't church-sanctioned and sponsored.

Vegasbright, you and quite a few others here are what I call double-survivors... you endured just plain emotional and whatever else kind of abuse from your families, and also the slightly more subtle but none the less hellish abuse just from being in such a cult.

My admiration and respect for you just keeps growing the more I "hear"... that you not only survived but you also found your way out of hell! You have broken the cycle of abuse and fear.

Subject: Re: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 28 06:54
Author: NotABreedingCow

Yes, my FHE experiences were exactly like that except that it was my mother and not a step mother. They were awful. I hated FHE, hated it with a passion. I always felt like low life pond scum after a FHE night. You could not pay me enough to re-live that.

My heart goes out to you.

Subject: An Exmo acquaintance is in his 70s and still suffers from this very Prussian-style upbringing...
Date: Oct 28 07:23
Author: Henning

you will most likely have to live with it all your life if you don´t build up you very own and unique spiritual life and learn to reconcile in some way (a Mormon would say forgiveness).

My acquaintance´s family and siblings have basically cut him off for dealing with and speaking the unspeakable.


Subject: but then again, while on a mission in New York State.....
Date: Oct 28 07:38
Author: Henning

...I met the most wonderful family.
He was always gone working as he was Sales Manager for a muffler company for the Eastern States. His wife was gorgeous and intelligent, a wonderful mother, emancipated.
He loved his children dearly and so did his wife.
To make things worse, the church called him into the bishopric and he suffered greatly from taking the decision to accept this call.
After a couple of weeks after his becoming councelor in the bishopric I saw him with his sons in the cultural hall of the stake center on a monday evening. They played ball and just shared a wonderful time together. He wouldn´t greet us Elders and I didn´t dare to catch his attention and talk to him. He was completely focused on his kids utilizing every second with them.
Their spiritual experience was time together on the terms of the children.

Subject: Re: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 28 08:20
Author: hermanuno

Ahhh...FHE! Or F***ing Hell on Earth! Every Monday the good parental mazi units would round up the kids to have a little family time together. God save you if you weren't in the house and sitting reverently on the sofa at 6:00 pm. Of course it didn't happen because you wanted to spend time together as a family, but because you have been ORDERED to get together by some senile old man to continue the brain washing of the kids. No you couldn't go to a movie together, go get ice cream, go out to dinner as a family. It was sit down, shut up and listen to the words of the old, feeble men. If you were smiling and having a good time you were under the influence of SATAN!! NOW SHUT UP AND READ THE SCRIPTURES!!!
Dad didn't want to do it because it was work to keep the kids in line. Mom didn't want to do it because it meant she had to leave work at a reasonable hour to spend time with the kids.
Obviously the kids hated it for many reasons (isn't 5 days a week of church enough?)
Parents can't spend enough time with the kids because of their involvement with this damn cult until they are ordered to. It just doesn't make for a good experience.

CHRIST!!! I hated that shit.

Subject: Family home evening always meant tears and rage in my house as a child.
Date: Oct 28 08:51
Author: Cheryl

Fortunately, we didn't have them more than a dozen times a year.

Families that have a healthy dynamic don't need a proscribed program of togetherness. Sick, dysfunctional families would be better off not meeting, only to make everyone edgy and possibly violent.

There's something sick about a church having to force family members to spend time in the same room together once a week.

Subject: Re: Family home "beat-up-on-the-kids" evening
Date: Oct 28 09:42
Author: Wag

Yup. Been there, done that. You brought back some memories there!

For years, I never felt like I had been abused. Later, as an adult, I realized I had been abused AND brainwashed into thinking that the abuse was actually a GOOD thing.

You'll be able to get past it!


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