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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 11:04PM

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: January 12, 2018 11:14PM

When my Nevmo wife started to ask why I still supported mormon cultural norms (racist, homophobic, misogynistic ) even though I didn't believe in the church. It woke me up to the fact that much of my personal identity was wrapped up in the cult. I felt such a huge loss of myself, my own persona when I realized that I was still towing the mormon line even though I knew it was all fake.

Google the "stages of loss" and I can tell you I went through all of those steps as I slowly freed myself from the cult. It took years ( I was in the cult for 32 years) to come out the other side of leaving mormonism. I still lost my relationship with my father and sister. Oh well. S#@t happens.

I wonder if anyone has done any serious scientific work on the psychological damage of being in a cult? Most mormons I know are awkward people. They don't seem to have good judgement when it comes to schemes and trusting people. They are also closed off to anything too honest or personal.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 12:00AM

Didn't. I simply accepted a belief system, like any other. I was taught a religious world view, just as I had been taught by my family and my experiences attending church while growing up.

I changed my mind about my world view, no longer accepted any faith-based belief systems, especially ones based on visions and other metaphysical events. Nor did I want to be involved in any religious group with a high level of intrusion into my life.

I have never, once, thought or felt I was "damaged by a cult". I came from a strong religious training which was the same type of teachings as all religions have. I come from a long line of Christian ministers, who, at times, would argue with one another about their religious beliefs. My kids who have left the LDS Church would never make the claim they were "damaged by a cult" either. We have all come out of it with a very healthy emotional and mental attitude.

Personally, I don't do regrets, or guilt, or trash myself for making a choice of religion that is my Constitutional right.
It was never about harm, or hurt, or damage. Did I have difficult experiences in the LDS Church? Yes. You bet I did. Did I have difficult experiences outside the LDS Church? You bet I did! Was I betrayed, lied to? Yes, in both areas of my life.

I have concluded that everyone analyses their experiences in the LDS Church differently, as well as the thousands of reasons why people leave.

After I left, I got busy in other activities that were much more fulfilling and gave me a much wider understanding of the world I lived in.

No regrets.

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Posted by: pilgrim ( )
Date: January 16, 2018 09:59PM

I think it is possible to have "cultish" behaviors among people who might not necessarily be in a definitive "cult". Certainly, those "cultish behaviors" do seem to happen with the very intense requirements for solidarity of opinion and behavior in the LDS church, as well as the repetitive "I know the Church is true" mantra. I was a 5th generation Mormon, and am the second one to leave--the other was excommunicated for apostasy. The church was everything, and remains everything, to the rest of my very large extended family. To reject the church is to be shunned and reviled or pitied.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 11:24AM

Sometime around baptism

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 11:32AM

I had no idea Mormonism had permeated every inch of my mind, heart, and soul by the time I left thinking it was just a bad religion. In the fifties and sixties when I was young the ways of Mormonism aligned more with the ways of most American institutions and so there was not that much contrast to make the ugliness of Mormon seem unique or stand out to me as worse than anything else.

But over the decades society changed, became kinder, more inclusive, more understanding while the Mormons went the opposite direction.

I had been BIC in a seriously over the top TBM family. We were too TBM for most other TBMs. Even after I figured out the lie and hit the ground running, I suffered the side effects of having been raised that way for decades without having any idea how much of the Mormon mindset I had dragged along for the ride and a lot peskier than just toilet paper stuck to your heel.

I finally realized for the first time that I had actually been brainwashed and indoctrinated when I came to RFM and really started to understand how pernicious Mormonism is and how I had not escaped unscathed like I thought I had. Every spiritual injury I had buried suddenly surfaced explosively. Reading other experiences and finally getting all the facts on the Mormons finally allowed me to understand what had happened to me. I finally feel at least "diagnosed" if not completely cured. Having it all out in the light now is a welcome gift.

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 05:15AM

I hear you on this one. My parents joined in 1964 and it seems to me that it was a backlash from the beatnik or more liberal movements that were starting to appear at the time. My parents were deeply insecure and looking for some stability in their lives and the church offered that to them. They took it and ran with it.

Now my father has been dead for 2 years and my mom is wondering if she really wants to stay mormon. She has been a mormon for decades even though she has been treated poorly by my TBM siblings and other members who drained her life's savings.

I helped my mom move to her new place and when we unpacked she didn't want to hang up the standard mormon images. The temple photos and the Jesus McNazereth stayed in the closet. She is attending sunday services with Pastor Dan at her new home. I'm glad she is moving on in her way. A lifetime of being in a cult leaves a lot of damage to one's own persona. I feel that too. I was in for decades and I know my identity was so wrapped up in the cult and i never questioned it. At least now I can examine all of that and decide who I really want to be for myself.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 11:33AM

About the "Jesus McNazareth", haha, photos and the others. I was so happy a few years ago to walk into my parents home and the photo of Monson over the fireplace was gone. He had been preceded by Hinckley of course. I never asked why it was taken down and still don't know, but it was the first thing you saw when you walked in the door. There was that smug face. Jesus is still over to the side where he always played a supporting role. And the temples are still everywhere.

I am happy for your Mother that she is able to let the Mormon go and that she has you.

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Posted by: laurad ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 01:54PM

I never believed I was brainwashed until long after I left. People, especially my exhusband, kept telling me I was and it was all a sham, but I didn't listen. I used to think they were the ones who were brainwashed. Heh. Yeah.

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Posted by: jane ( )
Date: January 13, 2018 02:26PM

Me too, sometime after I left.

I remember sitting in a therapist's office saying I don't believe it's true but I think it's a good way to raise kids.

It was sometime after that I realized that being raised in TSCC was a big reason I was so screwed up. And it was sometime after that realization that I remembered previously telling the therapist it was a good way to raise children. Only then did I realize how brainwashed I had been.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2018 02:27PM by jane.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 11:27AM

Me too.

For a long time after I left, friends would say to me that I was still very Mormon and it would make me very upset because I was sure I wasn't at all. I considered I had dove in head first into non-Mormonhood and was reveling in it. Their accusations of Mormon behavior baffled me and sort of made me angry.

I wish I had realized earlier that they were right so I could have started working on the problem sooner. I was so lost in so many ways. Robbed of real life experience, understanding, and street smarts while I had been Mormon. Had a lot to catch up on.

It took me years to get a personality of my own even once I realized what the problem was.

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Posted by: presleynfactsrock ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 12:29AM

I, too, left the church before I realized I had been under mind control in the MormonCult.

After leaving, I was studying and reading in lots of subjects....religions of the world, history, historicity of Jesus, etc and somewhere in my reading the subject of cults connected with Mormonism came up, It was then I looked into Steven Hassan's site, an expert in this field, on the internet and his BITE MODEL where he describes the four areas of mind control, behavior control, information control, thought control, and emotional control, listing various behaviors under each category.

I took a close look at these lists in the four areas and knew that I had been under mind control in the MormonCult. Some of Mormonisms methods are subtle and not as extreme as those found in other cults, but that does not mean it cannot be and is not a cult.

I myself feel that this organization deserves to be called a cult.....a destructive cult which asks "nothing more" than total obedience from its members. Members are taught milk before meat, are regularly deceived and lied to, and are not even given access to the leader, just expected to blindly pay, pray, and obey.

Because the cult of Mormonism is connected with religion and painting warm fuzzie wondrous pictures of what life will be like when we die (which every human with a brain wonders about) as well as explaining why we are here and offering a plan to live by, people are taken in by all these wonderful things. And, then kept so damn busy, we get sucked in more and more that what we are doing is grand and we are the chosen ones, and soon all of it begins to feel normal. Needless to say, it is easy to dismiss the parts that bother being in a totalistic theocracy which controls behaviors like what underwear to put on, who it is okay to be friends with, what to drink, and on and on and on and on!

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2018 12:49AM by presleynfactsrock.

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Posted by: frankie ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 12:34AM

I knew as early as my toddler hood days that my parents were brainwashed. we didn't live in Utah so I grew up with many normal people. maybe when I tried to become more Mormon in my 20's I realized that it was not a good idea. so I was never really brainwashed like other posters on this board. never getting married and never going on a mission or going to byu,i have to thank my good brain from saving me from a life time of shit shows. i'm so glad i'm a autistic aspie.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 01:06AM

When I found out about the BoA. Then I researched the BoM, Duane and Chris Johnson’s big data study. Proof positive it was a 19th century forgery. Then I thought “Holy shit, my whole life is a lie”. That’s when I started to consider that maybe I was brainwashed.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 08:13AM

Most Catholics only spend a fraction of the time that Mormons do involved with their church, but there can still be intense indoctrination. As a child, I was taught to examine the state of my soul in the most minute detail, using the ten commandments as a guide. Did I talk back to my parents? Think a bad thought? Take someone else's eraser? Every flaw, real or perceived, was put under the microscope to be confessed to the priest. I can only imagine the humor and patience of a Catholic priest listening to a child's confession. We were all good kids, what did we have to confess?

As time went on, I started to see the unhealthiness of expecting continual perfection from oneself. It is not a good nor productive way to live a life. The accompanying guilt hung on to me for decades. I started to think about the nature of guilt. In certain circumstances, if you have wronged someone, it can be very productive. In such cases, you need to work it out the best you can with whomever you have wronged. But much of the time, it is simply a millstone hanging needlessly around your neck.

I also started to see that in moral terms, I was generally speaking, a good person. No, I was not perfect, nor did I need to be to be pleasing to God. I was and am a normal human being.

Church indoctrination can run very deep, indeed. One of the things that initially struck me about Mormonism is how much time the Mormon church spends indoctrinating and conditioning its members -- three hours of church, youth activities, seminary, VT, HT, callings, scripture study, family prayer, EFY, Girl's camp, etc. Who needs that much indoctrination? To a nevermo, its seem beyond excessive.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 12:13PM

before I realized I was brainwashed. When my daughter decided to go back to church about 10 years ago, I really struggled because I could remember the good feelings I had about the lds church, but then I could also remember the dark feelings I had.

The only way I could have gotten out is that I did go inactive so my husband wouldn't be called as bishop (the bishop had told me he would be). It took years of not going to church every week for the brainwashing to start to die. Without going inactive first, I never would have been able to br3eak down the brainwashing.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 08:41PM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2018 08:41PM by readwrite.

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Posted by: goldrose ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 01:56PM

I don't remember one specific moment. I just remember thinking that it can't be true ha. Once I went to BYU that's when it really hit me - I started researching the history and kept asking questions. I even approached my BYU bispoh about it.

Basically any response was "the church is true, people are not" I remember how I said that the ordinances and policies were changed so many times, so how can the church be true, if the changes were made by people? He said that I should stop reading lies on the internet, otherwise he wouldn't be able to renew my endorsement for BYU. That was one of the many moments, when I realized how controlled I am.

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Posted by: readwrite ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 08:49PM


Probably because: FREE Agency


Common Sense


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Posted by: Unindoctrinated ( )
Date: January 14, 2018 10:44PM

After I'd been out for awhile, I was chatting with some co-workers and thought about how nice they were and how judgmental I'd been about "outsiders" when I was active. I suddenly deeply regretted all of the times I had thought about missionary work (every member a missionary), thinking that TSCC was what was lacking in their lives. In reality, there was nothing lacking...I was the one who lacked clear vision and compassion.

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Posted by: unbelievable2 ( )
Date: January 15, 2018 12:39AM

When I left and read the CES letter in 2014.

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Posted by: LadyKorihor ( )
Date: January 15, 2018 07:32PM

Seeing TBM adults I respected go from "I don't care if gays want to be married" into complete push-overs w/ Prop8 because leadership said so.

I was so angry & disappointed at their blind obedience as a teen TBM.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2018 07:32PM by LadyKorihor.

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Posted by: pollythinks ( )
Date: January 15, 2018 08:44PM

It grew slowly.

My first disbelief came when I started to see all the advantages men had, especially as compared with the accompanying misogynistic view of females.

Starting with my own father (he believed girls were next to worthless--just to serve men), while boys were (obviously) smarter and better in every way.

When I was about 18, my mother (at my request) bought me a BofM for my birthday. Same type of thing in the bk: Male supremacy over female. And, men ruled the world.

Then, I started noticing how my father treated her (he didn't beat her), he 'just' used her. For instance, she had to, literally, beg for household money, to the point of tears (and she was a strong woman). And, when I told her I had to have new school shoes (the soles on the ones I had began to 'flap' with each step), she told me it was all right with her---but I would have to get the money for them from my father.

After her awful evenings of begging for household money, he would roll up all the money he held in his hand, and stick it back into his pocket for his own personal use.

Then I began to think of God---did God also prefer men over women? But, could God be God if he thought less of females than males?

I concluded that God loved all his children equally (according to behavior, not gender).

So, anyway, all these thoughts coming together, and I began to realize 'the priesthood' itself, Mormon-style, was misogynistic.

And now, back to the above posted Q ("When did you first realize you were brainwashed?"), my answer is it came slowly at first, and then rapidly sped-up.

And here I am now. A non-active Mormon, and happy to be so. If someone asks me 'Why'?, I ask them, "Do you really want to know?"

So far, no one has crossed over this bridge--even my own family (three 'active', and two not.)

And, all of us are on loving terms with each other.

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: January 16, 2018 01:22AM

I think there was a time when i asked myself, why do we keep doing the same things over and over and why can't i get out of this?

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Posted by: Honest TBM ( )
Date: January 16, 2018 10:40AM

I don't have time to think about ideas on whether or not I have been brainwashed. That's because I'm so super busy trying to keep up on being completely obedient to the Brethren and the beloved middlemen they assign to rule and reign over us here in the local Ward/Stake. Thus I don't have time to ponder such deep questions. And besides I've never heard of the Correlation department approving us asking ourselves such questions. One thing I do know is that I'm extremely frightened of Doubts and anytime I come across a Doubt I swat it out of my heart/mind as fast as I can.

Well I'd spend more time on this thread but I got too much on my plate. For starts I am woefully slothful at missionary work. I'm trying to convince the non-Mormon neighbors that us Mormons are the most honest, transparent, and open-minded people ever. That way they'll start to get the idea that because we are so honest/transparent that maybe our Church is true :) However I'm running into some challenges because they ask questions, such as wanting copies of the Church's financial statements so they can see how honest/transparent we are, but I've just been so overwhelmed with other duties that I haven't yet forwarded them the link on the Church's website to all these things. I better hurry up or else they might form a Doubt in their mind that we're not honest/transparent and thus they'll think we're some sort of sick Fraud that sucks the life out of people.

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Posted by: Jonny the Smoke ( )
Date: January 16, 2018 10:48AM

When I read things that I knew were true/ accurate about the church and I felt fear about accepting/ acknowledging them.

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Posted by: pugsly ( )
Date: January 16, 2018 10:53AM

When I was about 8 years old I realized everyone around me believed all that crap and they were nuts!
There were so many inconsistencies that as I child I knew it was wrong.

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Posted by: Badassadam1 ( )
Date: January 16, 2018 08:05PM

I thought the BoM was a fantasy book when i was really young. It pained me to realize everybody thought it was real history and actually happened. I thought the wooden submarines part going across the ocean was very problematic even at a young age. It made no sense to me back then and still doesn't to this day.

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Posted by: mightybuffalo ( )
Date: January 17, 2018 12:18AM

When I took a psychology class in high school and realized that narcissism and manipulation tactics were present in every "worthy" leader's behavior. Stepped away from the church then... too bad I let it pull me back in for a while.

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