Subject: Discrediting "apostates"
Date: Jan 09, 2010
Author: Cooper

If TSCC [this so called church] can discredit someone then the arguments against Mormonism become less effective. The idea is to destroy the credibility of the speaker or writer. Overt acts and open attacking an "apostate" makes the organization look very guilty. Destruction of credibility leads to the person telling truth looking foolish. Tactics have been perfected for such things and are used by organizations on a regular basis.

1. Whispering campaigns

2. Careful selection or editing of a person's words and taking statements out of context. It is very obvious this is going on when what the TBM is saying to your face bears absolutely no resemblance to what they are saying to everyone else. The problem with gossip is it often does get back to the person being talked about. This can be disconcerting to the "apostate", making them overly cautious in terms of what he or she says, and limiting his or her interactions. When the gossip consists of blatant lies this can cause the "apostate" to wonder what else is being said behind his or her back.

3. Death by a thousand cuts. A little slander here, a small lie there, a bit of gossip over there.

4. Strategically planned "slips" or comments that "just crop up" in a personal conversation with someone's boss or colleague. These comments do not need to be true and often are not.

5. Isolating the "apostate" socially. "Do not associate with apostates." This can lead to job loss, inability to obtain a comparable position, a necessity to move long distances, and isolation from former support networks.

6. Quietly encouraging a spouse to divorce the unbeliever. This does not need to come directly from the bishop or stake president. There is enough material floating around from years past that TBM friends, visiting teachers, etc will be unwitting accomplices in these efforts.

7. The above tactics have the added benefit of leading to what are referred to as "nth order effects". If you begin applying this type of stress to a person it can often lead to bankruptcy, additional stress that can increase health problems and the cost of medical care, bad decisions on the part of the "apostate", correct and incorrect accusations from the "apostate", among many other things.

All of this is much more effective than blatant attacks. It makes TSCC look like the victim and the "apostate" look like a putz. Quite a racket actually. The true perpetrator of the problem, TSCC, becomes the perceived victim. This type of turning the tables is very, very common. It is not necessary to touch a person to effectively destroy them.


Subject: Re: Discrediting "apostates"
Date: Jan 09 09:47
Author: wisedup

Amen. Yet -------- the cult acts so innocent.


Subject: I watched 1,3 and 4 used to discredit a Bishop who resigned...n/t


Subject: Re: Discrediting "apostates" adult
Date: Jan 09 10:03
Author: anon for this post

When I left the church one of my new friends kept snakes as pets. I later on found out that people in the ward started a rumor that I was having sex with them.
I had been date raped a few years earlier, and was disfellowshiped for it, so this was particularly disturbing to me.
I haven't talked about this with people because it hurts much more than I thought it could. I don't know if my parents heard or believed this, but it was my brother who told me about it. He thought it wasn't fair for them to do this to me. I am fairly certain that some non-mormons from my high school found out.
It is one of the few things that I still don't openly talk about when I tell people my story about my experiences with the Mormon church. But this very quickly and efficiently discredited me and I lost all of my old friends.


Subject: I am very sorry you had to endure this...
Date: Jan 09 10:42
Author: Adult of god

the bad behavior was all on them, and it is so much a part of our makeup to hold on to the negative. I hope so much that you do not let their bad behavior make you feel bad about yourself!

The more you reveal this difficult experience to those who are trustworthy, you will realize that anyone would instantly see that it was THEM and not you who should hang their heads in shame at their actions.


Subject: Re: I am very sorry you had to endure this...
Date: Jan 09 10:56
Author: moi

You have nothing to be ashamed of! The Mormon Church and the people that abused and slandered you, do! Keeping silent about what they did to you gives them power.


Subject: That is just bizarre.
Date: Jan 09 11:53
Author: elee

I mean, really, who would possibly believe such a ridiculous thing? I guess the will to believe stupid things is greater than the will to treat apostates like regular human beings. Sheesh.

I feel your pain, though. I started disassociating myself from tscc when I was in high school. There was a load of gossip about me at that time. I was variously a "slut", but also "clinically frigid", depending on whom you asked.

There were also rumors going around I was a drug dealer, a devil worshipper and, I am sure, many other things I didn't hear.

I was deemed a "bad influence" in my ward and many of the girls I'd known since childhood were forbidden to associate with me.


I wish you peace and healing, anon for this. You deserve it. Don't let the bastards get you down. They're idiots.


Subject: "who would possibly believe such a ridiculous thing?"
Date: Jan 09 12:59
Author: Otremer

Seriously, we're talking Mormons here.


Subject: Character assasination has always been a tool of choice
Date: Jan 09 11:01
Author: Boydslittlefactory

for tscc since its inception. Apparently Joe and Hyrum were quite adept at the practice. There are many examples in the unsanitized (actual) history of them strong arming others to sign statements with the intent of discrediting those folks that were no longer in their favor.

It is really scary how much the cult has influenced ordinary members to take on that mindset. For example, after class, one of my sons took issue with something that had been recently discussed. Without hesitation, the teacher immediately began to question my son's personal righteousness, as it was automatically assumed that the one asking the question was at fault.

That experience was one of many points that led us out!


Subject: This is one of the most "true" posts I have observed.
Date: Jan 09 11:10
Author: Doctor CamNC4Me

I would recommend that everyone read this, and memorize it. You could not map out a course of events that will happen to an apostate better than what Mr. Cooper just did.


Subject: It happened to me too!
Date: Jan 09 13:15
Author: Wandering

I had only told my children and one friend I trusted about my serious doubts. All of a sudden I started hearing tons of gossip about my having left the church and becoming an anti-mormon. Neighbors were coming by to see if it was true. People from my in-laws areas were telling them and they were calling me. Their all very!! TBM. Every one of them heard these rumours about me. People from across the valley where we live were calling saying they had heard I was claiming to have found the lost 116 pages of the BOM. I didn't believe in the pages they have. Why would I want to find more. Any way, it was like some one was really making an effort to paint me as a wacko apostate and I was still going every week, active but doubting. I was in shock at the whisper campaign that got going about me. I have been going and playing along since then for my TBM wife's sake and it finally quieted down but I'm at the breaking point now and told my bishop last week that I no longer want to home teach nor attend High priest quorum so now I know the rumour mill will go nuts again. It really is an organization that will do anything to destroy the dissenter and their family if it has to. Total cult!


Subject: Re: Discrediting "apostates"
Date: Jan 09 13:16
Author: caedmon

From Steve Hassan:

Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.

a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside" of the group

b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.

c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.

d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak;" "undisciplined;" "unspiritual;" "worldly;" "brainwashed by family, counselors;" seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.


Subject: So true, Cooper. I lived through all this, except for #7, which was averted by resigning.
Date: Jan 09 13:46
Author: forestpal

I did lose a dumb temporary job, with a Mormon company, which I had during my months of illness. I was only questioning at the time, but, like Wandering, I was still a member. I got divorced, and I quit a big, important church calling. That was enough to set them off. They took it out on my children, too!

The Mormons in our ward were so unbelieveably nasty, that I didn't want my family enmeshed with all that. I still believed most of it at the time we became inactive.

We were able to avoid the #7 nth degree of punishment, by completely disassociating with all Mormons. Unfortunately, that included some family members, but frankly, those particular family members had always been rather abusive, anyway.

Although we have not moved out of SLC, here's how we are avoiding the nth degree of Mormon punishment:

1. Our careers are not dependent on Mormons or the Mormon church. We never do business with Mormons. We don't engage them, or tell them anything. It is wise to not trust them.

2. None of us were married, so we had no risk of divorce. My daughter who married a TBM (before the rest of us left) did get married in the temple and is coerced into attending meetings and wearing the ugly underwear, etc. She is an atheist. She knows that if she leaves the cult, her husband will divorce her, and his TBM family will help him do so.

3. We had previously made some great, life-long NON-MORMON friends, so we already had a good support system in place.

4. We all left together as a family.

5. Half of our extended family have also left the cult! We are from all-TBM families on all sides. Apostates are not as alone as they once were. We have RFM!

6. We were warned! (Thank you, RFM, for threads like this one. Thank you, Cooper) I think it is important for cult victims to know what is going on. Otherwise, we might have thought we were going crazy, or imagining ourselves into paranoia. This shunning, gossipping, punishing behavior is REAL.

7. Along with being warned, we realize that the ostracism is NOT PERSONAL. The Authorities advise families to exclude apostate family members, and bishops ask the question, "Do you associate with apostates?" It is not you, it is the cult that is crazy.


Subject: Please archive this thread - very eye-opening, and
Date: Jan 09 19:15
Author: anonymouse

unfortunately, this scenario is not limited to mormon church.


Subject: Actually, they discredit any apostate in advance, so to speak
Date: Jan 09 19:20
Author: cludgie

The teaching that one only leaves due to offense, pride, and sin is a square jab at trying to discredit a person before he or she even leaves he church.


Subject: I guess that's so you're well aware of your punishment in advance of your escape... 8^D n/t


Subject: Re: Discrediting "apostates" Someone asked for a source on one of my plog posts!
Date: Jan 10 10:36
Author: Matt

My reply was: "This is a blog, not Wikipedia!"

Though I did give him some resources to check out. Including the resource section here at RFM.

Subject: It depends on what they mean by source
Date: Jan 10 12:39
Author: Cooper

My post is based on a distillation of thousands of social psychology research articles. If they are asking for supporting information then they must be relatively unfamiliar with the volumes of information available on these topics. Their best place to start would be an undergraduate intro to psychology textbook and a basic social psychology textbook.

Here are a few articles to seed someone's search of the journals if they so desire:

Burnstein, E. (1983). Persuasion as argument processing. In M. Brandstatter, J. H. Davis, & G. Stocker-Kriechgauer (Eds.), Group decision processes. London: Academic Press.

Cacioppo, J. T., Gardner, W. L., & Berntson, G. G. (1999). The affect system has parallel and integrative processing components: Form follows function. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 839-855.

Chaiken, S. (1980). Heuristic versus systematic information processing and the use of source versus message cues in persuasion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 752-766.

Cialdini, R. B. (1988). Influence: Science and practice. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman/Little, Brown.

Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5-18.

Ellemers, N., Van Rijswijk, W., Roefs, M., & Simons, C. (1997). Bias in intergroup perceptions: Balancing group identity with social reality. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 186-198.

Gaertner, S. L., Dovido, J. F., Anastasio, P. A., Bachman, B. A., & Rust, M. C. (1993). The Common Ingroup Identity Model: Recategorization and the reduction of intergroup bias. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology (Vol. 4). London: Wiley.

Greenwald, A. J., & Banaji, M. R. (1995). Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychological Review, 102, 4-27.

Higgins, E. T., & McCann, C. D. (1984). Social encoding and subsequent attitudes, impressions and memory: “Context-driven” and motivational aspects of processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 26-39.

Higgins, E. T., & Rholes, W. S. (1978). Saying is believing: Effects of message modification on memory and liking for the person described. Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, 14, 363-378.

Ito, T. A., Larsen, J. T., Smith, N. K., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1998). Negative information weighs more heavily upon the brain: The negativity bias in evaluative categorizations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 887-900.

Iyer, E. & Debevec, K. (2006). Origin of rumor and tone of message in rumor quelling strategies, Psychology and Marketing, 8, 161 – 175.

Keashly, L. (1997). Emotional abuse in the workplace: Conceptual and empirical issues. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 1, 85-117.

Kunda, Z. (1999). Social cognition: Making sense of people. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lamm, H., & Myers, D. G. (1978). Group-induced polarization of attitudes and behavior. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental and social psychology. New York: Academic Press.

Linville, P. W., Fischer, G. W., & Salovey, P. (1989). Perceived distributions of the characteristics of in-group and out-group members. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 165-188.

Reicher, S., Spears, R., & Postmes, T. (1995). A social identity model of deindividuation phenomena. In W. Storebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European review of social psychology (Vol. 6). Chichester, England: Wiley.

Sagarin, B. J., Rhoads, K. v L., & Cialdini, R. B. (1998). Deceiver’s distrust: Denigration as a consequence of undiscovered deception. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1167-1176.

Smith, A. E., Jussim, L., Eccles, J., et al. (1998). Self-fulfilling prophecies, perceptual biases, and accuracy at the individual and group levels. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 34, 530-561.


Subject: Sick narcissists do this all the time
Date: Jan 10 11:12
Author: Tiphanie

Thing is we don't realize how sick some ''normal-seeming'' people really are - it's not something any of us were taught to watch out for growing up, ever. We don't realize their minds are so diseased that they will say and do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals because they are that broken. They will throw anyone under the bus or to the wolves as long as they end up looking good afterwards.

Not only that, but they're probably the ones who are skimming off their business and/or having affairs and/or doing anything they want in life ... then putting on their halos and telling all the other mormons how pure and pious they are. How picked on by anyone who discovers their criminal, sinful behaviors.

This is the kind of person I was married do, someone who had the ''death by a thousand cuts'' down to a perfected art form. imo these people have serious attachment disorders underlying/in combination with their mind-blowing narcissism. Mind-blowing because you can't believe it even as you watch them say vicious crap to you as you get out of the car at chruch then two seconds later, they are putting on the Mr Nice show for everyone else. That's when you realize you are completely on your own because no one will ever believe the truth about the sicko you're married to. Instead, he has them wrapped around his little finger and he'll do anything to keep them there.


Subject: Re: Sick narcissists do this all the time
Date: Jan 10 16:27
Author: Matt

Tiphanie, their are many, many people like this. Not all TBMs, sadly.

But watch how the crumble if they are spotted being 'evull' by someone else. Especially if they try to change to their Mr/Ms Nice-Person at the touch of a push button emotion!


Subject: May I add to your list via recent experiences:
Date: Jan 10 16:33
Author: Anon2 incase this thread is archived.

Two-faced people: Having a positive conversation with someone at church only to watch their smile turn to a grimace or pout when the person is walking away. This turns a nice discussion and experience around making people think the conversation was negative. I have been through this twice with the same person leaving me with a smile on my face and a wtf? question on my brain.

People creating an absurdity: Ex. If I am looking downwards, my eyes look slanted, and hence, I must be oriental. Gawd! Actually, I'm not oriental, but people at church seem to love to discuss my "weird slanted eyesight." Get a life!

People in authority do not stop the gossip even though they know it is not factual. Several ghastly emails circulated about me recently. The situation would have ended sooner had I taken the person to court and sued for defamation of character. The pastor could have stopped the situation in its tracks had he cared. No, it took the person who initiated the emails to eventually screw up which, for those in the know, released me from the dead stares, gossip, and certain purgatory. However, those that were not told of the lastest event, are left wondering if I actually committed some great sin. I am sure that I lost credibility with the entire congregation, and I doubt that I will ever fully regain what I lost.


Subject: Excellent post, Cooper.
Date: Jan 10 16:45
Author: Cheryl

All very common practices. There's also damning with faint praise as in "Your family seems to be getting along okay so far in spite of falling away from church."



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