Subject: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 22. 2008
Author: Offended?

My wife (kids) and I have been out for just over one year. We left on the day I was released from a high-profile calling, following a 4-hour interview with the bishop when I confided that neither my wife nor I had a testimony any longer, and we haven't step foot in the building since. It was all b/c of doctrine and not from being offended or having committed sin, etc. Like many of you, we're multi-generation lds and former lifetime hard-core TBMs. Our families don't know how to react.

Since we left, we've noticed on at least 6 different occasions that ward members (we're not in Utah) we run into in the grocery store or elsewhere duck away and avoid us. Most recently (last night), I ran into a high counselor who was a personal friend of mine in the ward; we weren't good enough friends to have stayed in touch. He looked me squarely in the eye, and as I nodded my head and started to say hello, he looked ahead and kept on walking. What a jerk!

We've tried hard not to change our demeanor at all around these people. But we know they're judging us, and we're also aware they've talked a lot about why we left and there are all kinds of rumors. They can't figure it out, so they presumably think we've been overcome by Satan and/or that we're just weak people, blah blah blah.

Question is: Should we claim the right now to feel offended by the behavior that has happened SINCE we left? It would be easy and somewhat enjoyable to tell people who ask why we left that the behavior of members since then has shown us we made a good decision.

I don't want to give them any satisfaction of believing we're weak. But I also think these peoples' behavior is extremely shallow and it bothers us to realize that we called them friends for many many years. Since we left, no one has come to visit us. I think they don't know what to say, and I know they worry that they'll hear more than they want to. We prefer being left alone, but still are bothered that we're being treated like this. After all, we still share the same community and our kids have to interact with theirs at times.

Thanks for any words of comfort and/or advice.


Subject: I think if you don't have to interact with them on a daily basis,
Date: Jun 22 22:22
Author: flattopSF

that you're doing fine. Almost all of the people who stayed TBM treated me differently afterward. Even some who left at some point later treated me as if I had completely lost my sense of ethics.

You wrote:
>>It would be easy and somewhat enjoyable to tell people who ask why we left that the behavior of members since then has shown us we made a good decision.

Why not? It wouldn't hurt to let them know of their own hypocrisy. You don't even have to say anything else!

Of course people will think whatever they want to. If they're the mean low type to think badly of you there's nothing you can do about it. Besides, any kind of publicity is good publicity! You're on their minds and tongues more than they are on yours!

Occasionally when I was out with other friends I'd say: "watch this!" and would go up to people who behaved like your high councilor did and go all friendly on them just to make 'em squirm, the weasels. It's a fun story to tell afterward that those people looked up to you and now they can't handle you, all because you don't go to their church anymore!

Best wishes!



Subject: Re: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 22 22:25
Author: bona dea

You could say something like, " I just said hello. Aren't you speaking to me now that I'm not going to church?" It might make them think a little.I'd make it a bit like a joke and not get angry. You can't make them be your friends and you don't want them to think that you are all that upset about their behavior.


Subject: Re: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 22 22:27
Author: Hap E. Heretic

The behavior of these individuals is indeed, rude and shallow.

And I'm sure it's very hurtful, right or wrong.

But I think: it says more about THEM and their flimsy belief system than it does about you.

The LDS church indoctrinates people to be judging and dogmatic, not unconditionally loving. That's one of the many reasons you left, is it not?

You, on the other hand, had enough courage and integrity to decide for yourself and the good of your family what YOU really believed, and ultimately, you refused to take the easy way and just roll along with all the other "pretenders", spouting the party line, and jumping on the sanctimonious bandwagon to appear "righteous".

If these people were really sincere friends, not to mention, authentic CHRISTIANS, they'd never be so petty and shallow.

They're not on your level. You've graduated beyond their understandings, and are now free to live authenically.


Pity the poor fools with their noses in the air--they are lost to their own hypocrisy and ignorance.

Best of luck to you in your new journey!

I applaud you!


Subject: I have an idea
Date: Jun 22 22:34
Author: Hopi Bon!

When most people leave they figure it's because they were offended or wanted to sin. No other reasons make sense. They're not told any other reasons. They only know what to think when they're told what to think.

These people know you. They know you wouldn't leave to sin and that you are too strong to have been offended. You have a reason for leaving that they don't know and don't want to find out.

They are afraid to have the discussion with you. Even if you have no intention of telling them why, they just can't take the chance.

So they ignore.


Subject: Welcome...unfortunately it's typical Mormon behavior.
Date: Jun 22 22:44
Author: Tiff

I think you have every right to tell them that their behavior around you and your family has cemented your decision to leave. I would give them a piece of my mind.

I hope things start going better for you and your family.


Subject: "bitter ex mormons"
Date: Jun 22 23:06
Author: Baura

This underscores a point I've made here before. The "bitterness" that Mormons ascribe to exmos doesn't happen when you leave the church. If it happens at all it is AFTER you've left and seen how those close to you treat you.

You'd think that now that you don't go to their church they'd at least say "hi, how'd ja do" when you meet them during the week. However it's not just a church it's a cult. This means that all normal behavior is subjugated to furthering the cult's program. Now that you've left you are an anomaly that disconfirms their claims. It would be easier to deal with the situation if you didn't exist and, evidently, that's the world they seem to live in.


Subject: I'd either just ignore them, or (if you're feeling bold)......
Date: Jun 22 23:25
Author: lolaboona

When they try and snub you, tell them they were the one who offended you and led to your apostasy.


Subject: Be happy they are leaving you alone! Seriously!
Date: Jun 23 00:30
Author: Tiphanie

Smile at them, be especially kind when in public around them. Show them how nice you really are, how happy and FREE of their cult!

They are MISERABLE in their cult and sulking because you got away and they're not brave enough to do that. Scared that you left in such a "professional" manner that you have shaken their fearful preconceived ideas about how "apostates" are.

Count them as unreal friends. Mourn that loss while finding new, real friends who would never choose a cult over their alleged friendship with you.


Subject: For what it's worth
Date: Jun 23 00:39
Author: BrerRabbit

My experience has been very similar. I wasn't offended as a member but since I left, I've received the same kind of offensive shunning treatment and worse. I tend to view that treatment now as them doing me a favor. Leaving the Church, for me anyway, has been a gradual process. It wasn't completed the day I sent in my resignation. Some parts of my exit process were just beginning. Each time I witness this childish shunning, it just reminds me that I also made the right decision and helps bring my exit process closer to completion.


Subject: The 'Christian' idea (supposedly) of treating others as we want to be treated applies, IMO.
Date: Jun 23 01:01
Author: FreeAtLast

Whether a person is a 'Christian' or believes in another religion or is agnostic or atheist, the critical issue is one of maturity. Mature people treat others with basic civility, which means no shunning someone who was a friend or acquaintance a short time ago and has done nothing to hurt the individual. Your decision to no longer participate in Mormonism (and your wife's) was never any of their business, anyway.

Choosing to act decently/in a mature manner is part of self-mastery, which Latter-day Saints lack because of dysfunctional Mormon 'programming'. You can't control what they think about you, their speculations, etc., so just be the type of person you want to be. If they get their 'noses out of joint' because you were TBM and now you're not, well, they always have the option of asking you why you made such a significant change in your life.

Good luck!


Subject: Your point about maturity sums up the whole discussion. Very well put.
Date: Jun 23 23:26
Author: Mason

Truly, numerous factors about Mormonism create fertile soil for judgment. Tolerance is about maturity. Pluralism is about maturity.

However, I disagree with your generalization that Mormons generally lack maturity. Some do, others do not. Either way, IMO when we act mature in the face of Mormon weakness, we take the better road.


Subject: Simple answers.
Date: Jun 23 01:12
Author: Rev Lakes

Your life has changed. If you do not believe in LDS, and they do, it is more to them then a little thing.

You should realize this, recoginize you can not change it, and be OK with it. Accept it for what it is. Not all friendship is forever, but there is no limit on the number of new friends we can make. So start today, make new friends, join a club, get a plan and act.

And besides do you really want judgemental a-holes as friends.


Subject: "What a jerk!" pretty much captures it. They know it is a house of cards,
Date: Jun 23 01:31
Author: Winter

and you are a mighty draft. You are dangerous and must not be allowed to infect the hive. Borg. Morg. Whatever.

I bet you weren't aware you had the power to scare the bejezus out of all these people who have The Power to act in God's Name (tm)

However much it sucks to be you in this situation, imagine how much it sucks to be them! Be of good cheer. You escaped.



Subject: If it hadn't been for this board, I 'd have felt I was the wierd one.
Date: Jun 23 03:24
Author: forestpal

The "shunning" process can really play games with your mind. People treat you like you are a pariah, and when enough people are rude to you, they make you think something is wrong with YOU. Also, you feel like you are paranoid. This behavior is mean-spirited and nasty. Any group that calls themselves Christians and acts like this is collectively sick.

Yes, it certainly does cement the exit process.

I was always friendly, interested in other people, and at ease in all kinds of social situations. In high school, I was considered "popular" and I dated a lot at BYU. "Offended?" had a high church position, which made him and his wife valuable and popular in the LDS church I'm sure, plus we all paid tithing. We were and are good people, and not "transgressors" as Monson puts it. It is not us. Fortunately, along the way, I made some real friends before moving to Mormon Utah, and some friends go back to elementary school. My family has been great! I am so lucky that way.

It is not YOU, it is them. Being in a position of authority, you probably already know that in bishop's interviews, members are warned not to associate with apostates or apostate groups, or they will be punished for it. They might be scared of us for a reason.

To answer your question, how to react, don't you love the suggestions, so far? Even if we don't have the guts to do some of those things, it makes us feel better to fantasize about it.

Living in a Mormon neighborhood in Utah, I would run into former friends all the time, and they would look right through me, or frown and change direction to avoid me. It does hurt. I just smile and say, "Hello" to myself. My attitude is that I'm a person who believes in being polite, and I have nice memories of this former friend from the past, and I hold no grudge, and I'm secure enough to put myself forward, regardless of what others do. I am a happy person, and like to spread the sunshine around. a Mormon might refuse to acknowledge my existence, but some other stranger will smile at me, say hello, or open the door for me, later on.

You are not alone. I feel bad you are going through this, but it is somehow comforting to know others are surviving this quite well. It was hard for me to go everywhere alone, with no husband, and with my children away, because I felt I needed support. It got so bad that I stopped going to the neighborhood grocery store--a wise move. My new store is a chain store, not mormon owned, with higher standards of quality and cleanliness. There's a cute little Starbuck's bar with little tables by the flower stands there. I go on Sundays. Strangers actually smile at me.

I want to move away from Utah, but my children are here, and my extended family, so I have given up "responding" in any way. I will never have an opportunity to explain the truth to any of these poor brainwashed victims, as they plod along in their closed-in little society of depressives. It has been over a year for me, and now, like you, the children and I prefer to be left alone.

Hold your head high, and keep your focus outward, and rise above the pettiness. Probably it will make us stronger. This surely has made me appreciate my children, real friends, and nice family more than ever. (Sorry for the rant, but I've been having nightmares about this lately.)


Subject: Re: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 23 03:36
Author: Slacker

Be grateful that you don't have to deal with small-minded jerks like that on a regular basis anymore. Now when it comes to your family members treating your kids (their grandkids) like unworthy dirt, such as I am dealing with right now, things get a little more infuriating.


Subject: Re: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 23 08:12
Author: Genevieve

I understand that awful feeling of being ignored, as if somone as shunned you and says you are no good!

The way I deal with it, is to allow myself to feel those feelings at the very moment it is happening. If I run away from those feelings, they will continue to haunt me.

Overtime you become stronger by focusing on yourself and your emotions, rather than what you perceive the other person may be thinking about you.

I also try not to judge myself, but just allow myself to simply feel.

Being indoctrinated by Mormonism, we have always wanted to be the nice person to everyone else, now it's our moment.. BE NICE TO OURSELVES!!


Subject: Beat them at their own game.
Date: Jun 23 03:54
Author: Mother Who Knows

I have been shunned since before Christmas, which was a rough season to lose all our LDS friends at once. It made me mad, after all we'd been through, after raising our children together, giving them wedding showers, etc.

I took every opportunity to tell them how very kind and understanding everyone has been, about how people brought us Christmas treats, and were just as friendly as they ever were. That was a lie, but sometimes when I'm mad enough, a good lie makes me feel I've gotten even. Since the friends don't communicate very well, they all believe that everyone else was being nicer than they were, and they were somehow lacking in proper charity (which they are.) I've even pretended I was invited to some parties, but forgot to go. I don't buy into the idea of being shunned.

With family members, you can praise the other side of the family--how very sweet your other grandchildren are to you, and how they value spending time with you. The shunners are the nut-cases, not you.

They way mormons are wired, saying something praiseworthy or of good report about someone else, is like putting THEM down. They are always in jealous competition with each other. Play with them! There's nothing to lose. They don't like you anyway.


Subject: Re: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 23 04:30
Author: zoltan

It's not too hard to see the mentality of people such as you have described. It is the classic US and THEM type of thing.
You are now a traitor in their eyes, you were part of the team, part of the you have rejected them, have forsaken them for the enemy, the outside WORLD.

The team has closed ranks in a similar way as wild musk oxes do when being attacked by wolves, they form a close ring with horns directed towards the foe which in this case is YOU!!!

Yes sir, you are now the enemy, you are now the WORLD.

It happens in all types of fanatic mind control beliefs, look at Islam for example, not only will they form a defensive ring around themselves but will also attack and gore you as well.

Whatever, at least the Mormons are a relatively harmless herd mind as compared to what others do.


Subject: I'm surprised at how many of us have had this experience!
Date: Jun 23 07:32
Author: Kirsten

I thought it was just my family! What a bunch of hypocrites Mormons really are. How many meetings have we all been in where we were told to activate the inactive and be a member missionary?!?

I like being left alone, but it still bothers me when they turn their face away when they see me in the local store. These are people that we socialized with and even vacationed with. How odd. Mormons are very very odd.


Subject: I treat the bishop and his family that way
Date: Jun 23 09:37
Author: cl2

I have developed a really negative attitude towards them since my daughter goes to this ward and I know she tells them things I don't appreciate her telling them. I used to like them. They live two doors down. I don't look over when I drive by.

When I left, my husband was in the process of leaving me. When ward members found out, all I wanted to do is stand on the roof and say, "It wasn't my fault." Now, I could give a damn. The initial shock of these huge changes and what people think (especially since we were taught that we should care what they think) is difficult, but now I just don't care anymore. I feed their gossip. I get a kick out of the things I hear. The only thing that irritates me is when they love bomb me. I have NEVER liked love bombing.

You'll get past caring. You can either ignore them or be overly friendly--say really loud, "Hello-_______, how are you" so that other people notice their rudeness. It will catch them off guard, too.

By the way, NO BIG LOSS. It may feel that way now--but it isn't.


Subject: Mormon friendships are about as permanent as the ward boundaries.
Date: Jun 23 11:13
Author: imaworkinonit
Mail Address:

Most Mormon friendships are usually one mile wide and an inch deep. They are firstly defined by who you attend church meetings with. If you are in the RS presidency, then you are friends with the other presidency members. If you VT someone, then you are "friends". If you are in the same ward, then you are "friends". If you don't go do church, then what on earth are you going to talk about? After all, what else IS there?

Mormon friendships also depend on conformity. They are so completely uncomfortable with any disagreement, especially if it has something to do with doctrine. If you don't agree with their beliefs, then you are a bad influence. And they think it's contagious to be around someone who thinks outside the box.

I look at that and realize that it's part judgementalism, but mostly FEAR and insecurity. If they REALLY knew deep down that they had the truth, why would they be so afraid of hearing something that didn't agree with it?

But I admit, it's also programming. They think they can lose "the spirit" by thinking for themselves, so they don't want to expose themselves to dangerous ideas. After all, if they were to stop believing, they KNOW they would lose all their friends. Kind of like YOU did. And so they perpetuate the shunning system.

I'm sorry for the way you are being treated. It's not right. It's not mature. But it's not about you. It's their problem and they just don't know how to cope so they just basically run away.


Subject: Two years for us now and we totally relate. Remember they live in fear so
Date: Jun 23 14:09
Author: another mother who knows

for them to approach you is next to impossible. They are afraid they will "catch" whatever apostacy bug you have and that they will be excommunicated for appearing to be associated with you. Remember that recommend question asking if you associate with any apostate groups? You and your family are now one!

The pain will wear off over time, as you make new friends out of the church. We have continued to be friendly with those that have continued to be friendly with us. It is a small number of families, but I see that they are just as disgusted with the church as we were before we left. I think some of them secretly wish they had the courage to quit going as we did. The rest are not worth it.

AREN'T YOU LUCKY YOU AND WIFE AND KIDS ALL LEFT TOGETHER?? We did too, without baptizing our then 8 year old.

I must admit too, that we have not told all of our LDS friends that live away from us. We don't live differently as far as morals and standards. We just have more money and more time!

Best of luck.


Subject: When in doubt, use fire
Date: Jun 23 20:31
Author: Hey Diddle Diddle

Don't give them the chance to pass you by. Head right for the guy, your hand out and your smile a mile wide, and say in a booming voice, "Brother X! I haven't seen you since I left the church because I figured out it was a lying, deceptive cult! How are you? How are the wife and kids?" If you've got the balls to really do this, you'll seriously turn some heads.


Subject: Funny thing is...there was plenty
Date: Jun 23 23:09
Author: Offended?

of opportunity for me to have "judged" the same guy who ignored me during the years I knew him in the church. We've had several encounters like this. I've appreciated the comments here. The pressure is on for us to give in and go back. We're not doing it.

The next hurdle is dealing with the day someone spots us at a restaurant with half-empty margaritas....


Subject: I think you need to fill your lives with new friends.
Date: Jun 24 04:58
Author: apostate

You're lucky that you're not from Utah so this shouldn't be too hard.
See if there's a support group for exmos in your area.
Make an effort to get out there and meet new people who share your ideals.
These people are jerks and not worth your time.
I know it hurts, but truly- it's not personal. (Easy to say, I know.) It probably seems personal but it's not.
You're just like any other apostate to them. My guess is that MOST of them just plain don't know how to react to you. With exception of a few jerks, I think it's done w/o malice.
They are to be pitied. Remember that. They are still in the cult while you are free to live life on your terms. I think many of them are jealous and can't admit it.
Jealosy makes people behave badly.
ENjoy your new life and be grateful that you're united as a family. You're lucky in that regard.
Continue to smile and be polite and don't act phased if you're snubbed.
Who needs 'em?


Subject: Re: How do I react to being ignored after leaving? (kind of long)
Date: Jun 24 05:03
Author: Julie

If they do condescend to speak to you, they do it in a tone that implies you have had some kind of religious lobotomy, that you no longer remember even the simplest things about the church you grew up in.

One woman invited me to homemaking night, then carefully explained to me what goes on at that event. Never mind that this same woman used to be my RS president before I left the church. I used to teach the crafts at HER homemaking nights! How could she possibly think that I didn't remember?

When husband and I did try attending church (caved in to social pressure) we were stuck into a special sunday school class for part-member couples. Secretly, we called it Mormonism for Morons. Week after week the teacher painstakingly introduced basic religous concepts like "What is Faith?", "How Should We Pray?" and "Learning to be Reverent", as though we were all perfect heathens who had been raised by wolves. My husband was tremendously insulted by the implication that his lifelong Christian upbringing had taught him absolutely nothing.

My opinion is that being ignored is much better than being condescended to. It does take some getting used to though. Quite a shock at first to realize that all those people who acted like they loved you unconditionally are capable of dropping you like a hot rock when you stop following their religion.


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