Stage 7 Punishment - Compulsion/Subjection - "Black is White"

Punished for being Punished

"Don't see this as Evil, see it as "Good" - Abandonment

Prologue to Stage 7

In Stage 5 the "hook" was the word "Good." You were "Good" when you Obeyed the Binder's Words. In Stage 6 the "hook" was the word "Evil." You were "Evil" when you Dis-Obeyed His Words. In Stage 7 the "hook" is "Good/Evil," i.e., the two become One ... as in the euphemism, when Black is disguised as "White." In biblical terms it is called the "Whited Sepulchre."

In other words, the dual personality of the Binder merges into One, he becomes both the Guardian and the Enforcer at the same time. Whereas, in the two previous Stages he alternated between the two, now he is the Punisher who punishes you for your own "Good." He says, "Don't see this as "Evil" (Black), see it as "Good" ( "White").

In Stage 6 the member was blamed for having "chosen" the Binder's (fraudulent) Agreement (Stage 3), and then accused of not honoring it. That was the first punishment. When the member balks at this judgment, the Binder punishes again, to "help" the member see the error of his, or her, ways. This is the second punishment of Stage 7. As the "Good/Evil"-Guardian/Enforcer he is compelled to Warn, Command, and to Kill any mutinous thoughts or actions. The member either capitulates under fear and pressure and submits to the "Cure" which is more doses of the Cause (The Pattern), or stands firmly against the violation of the Self that is still alive. If the latter is the case, there is usually a curse of dire consequences pronounced against the member and he, or she, is cast out of the Flock and abandoned.

Since the whole social structure of the church ... with the rules of The Pattern governing it, and being the members whole life and identity ... to be abandoned leaves the member without any means to cope outside the Flock. Total Obedience resulted in total dependence on the Binder. Having lived totally in an Upside-Down world where only the Obedient can live in "peace" ... to be "cast out" into an unknown world where thought, experience, and independence is required, is not unlike the panic a small child feels when abandoned by his or her parents; they feel helpless. That analogy depicts the true state of this Stage. From Stage 5 to 7 the members have been admonished to become "as little children" ... to give themselves to the Binder, for He has promised not to lead them astray; He has been their Guardian, their Caretaker, even the Creator of their new identities. The outside world, they have been told, is the home of Satan and his Angels, and once there, you can never come back to the Flock; you will also be lost to your family who are still in the church.

The member who has been raped mentally, emotionally, and yes, physically (i.e., loss of ownership of ones own body and in some cases physical rape), and who desires to leave, is punished again by the accusation that he is "trying to hurt others." The perpetrator has reversed the facts again, and returns back to bask in the adoration His Flock gives Him. The Flock continues to reflect His Guardian/Enforcer image by also turning their backs on the outcast. Those who rebelled and then submitted (repented) are afraid to stay and afraid to leave. They are trapped in another Double-Bind ... more depression sets in.

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Black is "White" - Doubly Punished - "Don't see this as Punishment." - Helplessness - Compulsion/Submission - Abandonment - Depression
The Guardian/Enforcer

Experiences by Women

Abandonment - Doubly Punished
(This is the young woman whose husband was dying of brain cancer. She was his sole caretaker.)
"A man I knew as a teenager, in fact he was briefly a youth advisor/YM pres. when I joined was now (at the time of this story) the bishop of the ward I had been baptised into. For financial reasons (Oh, did I mention on top of everything else we were dirt poor??) I was considering moving closer to my parents' home so they could assist us a little bit with the care of our children. I had also hoped I could lean a little on the members of my former ward for help. But alas, it was not to be...In a telephone conversation with the bishop (my ex-youth advisor) I mentioned that my husband was terminally ill and that I had two sons, both under age 5. I had naively asked if perhaps the RS would assist me in finding child care since it appeared that I was soon going to have to go to work to pay the bills. The bishop sounded cold and vaguely annoyed as he said "The Relief Society is not a babysitting agency..." Again, I was too hurt for words...I am not a slacker and I never have been...what I was asking for was an arrangement in which I could "trade off" babysitting with another sister or something like that... As my husband's condition worsened, a part of me continued to hope and pray for a miracle...My husband endured endless blessings "to be comforted: but no one had the courage to bless him to be healed. But wasn't healing supposed to be one of the signs that follow the True Church?"
Post #3 See: Stages 1, 2-3, 6. #3.

(In Stage 6 she had been accused (demonized) of being "lazy" for not being able to keep up her regular chores as housekeeper and mother of 2 children under 5, while having the added responsibility of being a full-time nurse to her terminally ill husband. This was termed a "character" flaw which the sisters felt they could not support. {See: Stage 6. #3} The Society which was organized to bring "Relief" to those in need, especially Widows and Orphans, was now categorized as what it was not, a "babysitting agency" (supposedly this was because she was not yet a widow). She was placed in another Double-Bind. She was damned (by the Binder) if she couldn't earn enough money for the care of her husband, her children, plus a housekeeper (not to mention herself), without the means ... the training to find employment that would pay enough to make it all possible. She was also damned (by the Binder) if she stayed home ... (even though she had been taught, and trained in the church that "the woman's place is in the home") ... because her house was always "messy" when the Relief Society "sisters" returned with her children." Here, the "Red Herring" of a "character flaw" replaced the facts ignored.

(This was during the last year of her husband's life when he was virtually helpless. (This is another version of Stage 3.) The emphasis is always on the trivial at the expense, and away from, the real human problem. She was being punished doubly. The promises the church had made were not fulfilled; the blame for these failures were projected to her, and now she is being punished for being blamed ... by being abandoned. She is now an outcast in the human world, where she is expected to take responsibility for herself and her own family, and not look to the church for "sympathy" or help because she has a "character" flaw. She is no longer a contributing working member of the Flock Family. She is now the "exception" ... the "individual" to be shunned.

(Binders always punish with what they fear most ... abandonment and independence. They are the ones who most need others ... to feed them; it becomes a "life or death" matter for the Binder. For the Bound, if they have the courage to leave, it becomes possible for them to reclaim all the humanness that was stolen from them ... to live freely in the Real World which is the true home of all possibilities for understanding and love.")

Abandonment - Fear
"Now, leaving the church didn't happen very dramatically. She (her mother) had no idea what was going on while I was away at college (taking Christian foundation classes) because I was afraid to tell her. I had a Mormon friend who left the church, and her family disowned her and kicked her out of the house when she was 16."
Post #6 See: Stage 5. #6.

Depression - Dire Consequences - The Cause is the Cure
"My inner depression was constant, and I sent home (from her mission) rambling letters expounding on my problems, "how could I earn the peace of Christ", and mentally debated the merits of suicide vs. admitting defeat and returning home. I once got on the train ... and traveled to the mission back to the mission headquarters to convince President Wheelwright to let me go home. He assigned me to his wife, and she took two days to convince me that if I went home, I was consigning myself to a lifetime of spiritual failure and inactivity within the church. Ironically, even though my devotion to the LDS faith had thus far only brought me depressions and low self-esteem, I still could not consider that perhapse the church itself was in err. I had built my adult life on the church, and the thought of leaving it was too frightening to contemplate. So I stayed on, alternating between resigned depression and inner pep-talks. When my mission finally ended, I flew home expecting life to get better, only to drop into another deep depression where I began to consider that there was no God at all (I could not yet conceive of a God outside the realm of Mormonism, God was so tied up in the church, He could not exist outside it). I was counseled by the stake president and told to have stronger faith and everything would work out."
Post #42 See: Stages 5, 6. #42

Abandonment - Punished for Being Punished
"When I phoned the Bishop to tell him we were leaving the church and why, he was shocked, as well as everyone else. Bill told our Bishop & Stake President the reasons, but our search for truth meant nothing to them. ... The news quickly traveled through out the ward after we left & the members were shocked. Our daughter was told at school that Bill must have committed adultery to leave the church and do this to his family. Another person told me that he was going through a mid-life crisis or probably was suffering from a chemical imbalance....We attended our excommunication & that was difficult as we sat among what I thought were friends we had made over the course of many years. ...My bishop looked at me crying (along with some of the other brethren) & said there were so many wonderful things in the church & was it all so bad. I looked him in the eye & crying said, "Bishop, I love my husband because I trust him, but if I found out that even though he treated me good 95% of the time, & was only unfaithful to me 5% in our marriage, the 95% of "wonderful" couldn't compensate for any percentage of deceit or a lie.....all the wonderful things mean nothing when you find out the whole thing is based on a lie. ...

"No trial or event in my life could have prepared me emotionally for our exit out. The church leaders got wind of Bill & I speaking publicly in different churches about the falsehoods of Mormonism & why it is a cult. Our names were mentioned over the pulpit in the ward & for people to "beware" of us. Our accounting firm that we had struggled to develop for over 5 years, was gone in 2 weeks because our member clients were told to stay away from us. ... The children & Bill & I lost every one of our friends but more devastating than loosing friends & our accounting firm was feeling betrayed by God. I felt forsaken and abandoned; if he loved little children so much, why did he allow me to be deceived by an organization when I tried to be so good and find truth.

"The whole experience in leaving was difficult for our children emotionally. We had just recovered a few years back from bankruptcy (a Mormon partner had stolen $40,000 from us & we had lost everything; ...and now this mess.) Bill's side of the family offered little support since they were all "devout" members of the church. With no job, no friends, no church "home" anymore, the stress caused our oldest daughter to drop out of school her senior year & run away from home. Come to find out Bill's whole side of the family had "rescued her" from her terrible fate & sent her to England without telling us a word. They justified their actions since we were "apostates" & our misfortune of events was due to our own rebellion against the church.

"With no support anywhere I became extremely depressed. I shared with one minister who told me I was having a pity party & feeding my own pathology. His LACK of words of wisdom & compassion made my pain even worse because there was no where to go. My parents love and acceptance had been conditional my entire life, & now all my best friends in the church had abandoned me since I was no longer the "perfect" Mormon with the "happy active family" facade. Every day for several weeks I was absorbed with the thought of suicide to end my pain & nearly followed through with the plan to end my life."

(Even though her loss was great she writes...) "I have experience a deep peace at the age of 40 that I never had before......A member of the church told me they could never have done to our children what we did to ours because we put our family through hell. My reply was that I'd do it all over again because I value truth so much."
Post #48 See: Stage 1, #48.

(This couple was blamed for bringing all of their misfortunes onto themselves. Their "sin" was that they thought they still had a free choice. In leaving, they went against the church (the Binder), which made them "guilty" and "evil." The hell they went through was deliberately caused by the members of the church, fulfilling their roles as reflectors of the Binder's mind in all things ... which means going against their "brother," "sister," mother, or father if either should leave the Flock.

(They were being punished for being punished. The first punishment was having been deceived. Their second punishment was caused by their discovering it ... which resulted in their "apostasy;" therefore, they had "asked" for their own punishment! In the Upside-Down world everything is reversed.)

Abandoned - Punished for Being Punished - Fear - Silence - Suicidal
"I would try and call him (the bishop) at home and he would refuse my calls. (My calls were always a priority before.)....(before she had told him about being molested by a counselor in the bishopric, in a church building, when she was a child.) I felt abandoned again. I felt alone and discarded and violated. I had shared things with this Bishop that I hadn't shared with anyone and he just plain didn't care anymore. I was suicidal. I didn't believe that God could or would love me if His Bishop couldn't love and accept me. I truly believed that with all of my heart.

"In the meantime, my husband watched me struggle through a suicide attempt and loss of faith in my Church and myself. It was at this time that the old bishop was replaced by a new one and I felt encouraged to seek his help. Perhaps things would be different. Well, they weren't. Not even close. I felt disfellowshipped. We had no home teachers, no visiting teachers. And since we had no family around us ... I felt so alone.

"My husband and I became disillusioned with what we had been reading and the experiences we had gone through. We wrote the bishop a letter asking that our names be removed from the records of the church.

"We have suffered so much. I feel I've lost my identity, my God, my legacy, my heritage, my family's respect, etc. I wrote to my Grandpa on April 23, 1993 telling him of my decision to leave the church and why. (I left out the sexual abuse parts.) My grandfather was the only person in my life that I felt loved me unconditionally. He never responded to my letter. When we would talk by telephone, it was as if my letter never was sent. ...I asked him at one point if he read the letter, and he told me he did, but that's all that was said. I know he was disappointed. He told me that he knew I'd come back when I figured things out. Three months to the day I sent that letter grandpa died. So did a major part of me. I flew back to Utah for the funeral. My Grandmother (even though she knew I had left the church) asked me to speak. I did. It was hard, but so joyous to be able to share my thoughts and feelings about my beloved friend, mentor, father, grandfather. The only rough spot was my Grandmother telling me that my grandpa was disappointed with my decision to leave the church and felt that I had turned my back on the Lord. This made me angry. I never turned my back on the Lord. (Did I?) Wasn't he the one who turned his back on ME? What my Grandmother said to me hurt me more than if she had slapped me as hard as she could."
Post #61 See: Stages 4, 5, 6. #61

(Binders, and those who reflect the Binder's Mind, take away from others what means the most to them ... where it would hurt the most; the devastation must be total; all members must "die before they die," "voluntarily," or by force. This subliminal message, not infrequently, leads to suicide. Again, this is a tribal mentality."

Experiences by Men

Punished for Being Punished - Dehumanized
"The treatment I received from both mission presidents was completely unwarranted. I am sure that the fact that I was seriously ill, and making an issue of receiving proper treatment, made them think that I was something less than a dedicated missionary. Their whole attitude was one of annoyance, and I was treated with disdain as a result of their mindset."
Post #19 See: Stages 2-3, 4, 5, 6. #19.

Abandonment - Punished for Being Punished - Fear
"My companion and I were expelled from Sweden in December 1960 for sharing a Thanksgiving dinner 'out of district' with Elders in a neighboring town. I had long since abandoned the idea of leaving my mission early because I felt an obligation to my parents. My companion and I were sent back to the States on separate flights. As my plane crossed the Atlantic I felt like a condemned man. Or worse, since I was convinced that I was bound to become a Son of Perdition. I remember trying to console myself with the thought (from the "Journal of Discourses" that there was only going to be a handful of souls whose sins would merit eternal damnation, but I was certain (otherwise why such despair?) I was destined to join that handful cast into dark and everlasting space with our unexpepiated sins forever weighing on our souls. The Swedish Mission President, Gideon Omer, hurled wrathful prophecies at me on the eve of my departure, ... one of his prophesies was inspired by a rumor he'd picked up from his Traveling Elders--the mission 'inquisitors'-that along with being 'head strong,' I had aspirations to be a writer. "I prophesy," he thundered ... "in my capacity as president and prophet of this mission, that you will never publish a line." (Which proved not to be true.)

"After I arrived in Georgia I lost, for several months to follow, my ability to enjoy the taste of food, or to appreciate music, or see a movie without assuming for myself the guilt that should have been reserved for the villain. Even a Walt Disney movie like "1001 Dalmations" tapped feelings of fear and loathing."
Post #23 See: Stages 5, 6. #23.

"By the end of my mission I was heart-broken and emotionally exhausted. It seemed that God had failed me or that I had failed God. I could not understand what had gone wrong. I remember jogging one day after my mission, thinking, "It sure seems like God aims to confuse me."

"At this time my prayers changed. I would weep in despair, or I would ask God to take my life. I said that if I wasn't going to know Him, that I would rather simply be dead. After the end of my mission I never again told anyone I knew the gospel was true.

"I did not kill myself, however, as I believed it was wrong to do so."
Post # 38 See: Stages 2-3, 4, 5, 6. #38.

"My father was unprepared for my concerns. ...I gave him the reasons I could not believe, starting with masonry and ending with the Book of Mormon....He talked to his bishop (who is also a professor of ancient scripture at BYU), consulted a Mormonism CD-ROM and read Sorenson's faith-first-aid-kit. That--and social pressure to be a pillar of faith for the rest of the family--was enough to convince him that I had fallen prey to the pride of my intellect and the deceiving of Satan. When he broke the news to the rest of the family (I was not present), he read to them 2 Nephi 9:28-29: O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. That is what he thinks of my reasoning and my decision to act as I believe."
Post #63 See: Stages 2-3. #63.

Black is "White" - Helplessness - The Shepherd and the Enforcer
"It's a difficult matter to explain to people the degree of psychological harm that can be done by such an organization (the Mormon church) because of its powerful influence and indoctrination asserted on unknowing children. Fear of eternal failure and separation from one's family are the most common tools used by the church to keep people in line. This is so effective on many people who were raised in Mormonism as children because it play's on a child's sense of dependency on his or her parents and community, causing a sense of separation anxiety at the thought of going against the system. In fact, it's almost unimaginable. This is overlaid with messages of Christian ethics and Godly love for us and our well-being. A sense of feeling good and "knowing" the church is true was set up all around me. It was as though awful consequences and fear was laid out in front of me, then in the same breath everything I needed to do in order to stay good with God were offered as antidotes. This is the very situation upon which I base my belief that Mormonism doesn't know the meaning of unconditional love and acceptance, some of the most important needs a child must experience in order to feel free and well adjusted as an adult."
Post #65

Black is "White"
"One last reflection upon my recent "interview" with the Stake President. There is in the Church Office Building, an Orwellian organ of image maintenance called the "Strengthening the Members Committee." Staffed by two members of the Quorum of the Twelve, this committee keeps clip files on critics of the church, as well as members of the church who express public criticism of the church in either printed or spoken form. Files on members are made available to local leaders (Bishops, Branch Presidents, and Stake Presidents), who then may "counsel" or discipline the members as they see fit --although, in some recent cases (i.e., that of historian Michael Quinn), members of the Quorum of the Twelve have taken personal interest in a particular disciplinary outcome.

"It was made plain to me in the course of my interview that the Church has kept a file on me for at least three years."
Post #64 See: Stage 5. #64.

(Note: President Hinckley admitted this on a recent Larry King Live interview. He said that the Church even has a file on him. Larry King is married to a Mormon.)

A Wall as Abandonment
(After leaving the church and trying to establish two way communication with his brothers and sisters, only a one-way communication was acceptable to them.)
"An interesting thing happened at this point: a new wall of formal politeness appeared on my next encounter. No real communication ... no genuine questions ... no attempt to bring me back. Lots of silence. Real fear in the eyes of some. Often, I felt as though I was invisible.

"After a good deal of time I can now accept this wall and understand it. An active Mormon needs this wall ... and they fear and resent every effort on my part to dismantle even a single stone. I am not speaking here of the dismantling of their religion, but of dismantling the wall between us ... the wall between our relationship. Although I accept it, I cannot endure such one-way conversations. I need real communication or no communication at all ... and so have found the only solution on my part is to support the wall ... keep it in place."
Post #70 See: Stages 4, 6, 7. #70.

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See Next: Stage 8

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Next Page: Stage 8 Bound - Love/Hate - "Voluntary" Union

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