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Posted by: ptbarnum.cantlogin ( )
Date: October 29, 2019 11:50PM

Hello all, I apologize, this is pretty long. I've tried to write with humor to pay you back a little, but if you want to get to my point/question, scroll down, it's close to bottom.

Even shorter TL;DR: Even the most innocuous seeming piece of cult culture or belief has consequences that can ripple and profoundly effect many lives lived both in and out of the cult's direct influence. In this case, I'm talking about that good ol' Patriarchal Blessing.

So please read on if you're interested. I'd love to hear your weird PB stories. I'd also like to ask you if any of you have experienced that PBs are given generically, like temple names on a particular day?

It's been a long time since I last posted here. Life took a great turn as far as the cult influence...I got several great months of not having to deal with the black hole of boundary violation and family drama that is my MIL. Like all good things, it didn't last, and here I am again, looking for support from people who get it.

So for people who don't know and have forgotten me, my husband was BIC but inactive, we got sucked into the cult when we married because I was loving the love bombing, but we only lasted a few years and quit after being gifted the ugly undies. So my time in the cult was pretty short, and my recovery has been way more about trying to live peaceably with my Morgbot in-laws, particularly my MIL. She was a convert, married my RM FIL, and provided 7 bodies for whitendelightsome spirit babbiez, then my husband and I ruined her eternal family with our terrible wicked disobedience, and so she's spent the last 25 years (yep, quarter CENTURY) relentlessly trying to recruit us back in. She's vowed not to stop until we come back. I just shrug and remind her I had my name removed and inside I'm super glad that nobody lives forever, because I believe her, she won't stop.

She did leave us alone for a bit. My FIL died suddenly last year, and her calls, letters, and endless mailings of Ensign articles stopped as she took a sec to cope with the loss, but now she's decided it's terribly urgent to try and set us straight, for reasons I will get to.

Some other relevant facts about MIL: she's a pathological liar and kleptomaniac. She commits petty shoplifting constantly and has managed to slip items into my purse when we went shopping together. When holidays come around I have taken to leaving things I want to donate to charity out in places where she'll steal that stuff instead of things I don't want walking off. If you call her out on what she's doing she will literally lie while she's got the stolen object in hand. My husband caught her wearing earrings he'd given me as a birthday gift. When he told her to give them back, she said, "What earrings? I don't have pierced ears."

She is also a fraudster. When FIL was alive, she used to scam Social Security by having doctors fill out disability paperwork because of his back, then she'd send him out to work temp jobs thinking they wouldn't keep track of him. His back really was bad and he shouldn't have been working, but she didn't care. They got in deep trouble for it once, then managed to get the government to forgive them, then went back to doing it again, this time fudging his SSN by a digit here and there, an idea she thinks is so brilliant she tells almost anyone she meets to try it. FIL worked (even moonlighted while they were on their missions) until he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and was only 6 weeks from death.

So, my MIL is a Mormon crook. Who knew those were a thing? She has swallowed Mormon cultural folklore and superstition whole hog, even still keeping faith in and promoting pioneer/polyg-era fairy tales that even the cult now finds embarrassingly passe. (Alvin visits the SLC temple ALL THE TIME, didya know, and Nephite warriors will protect you from muggers!) She is also quite grandiose, believing herself to be one muy especial Mormon with a spiritual destiny above and beyond that of your ordinary cultist. I could fill pages about how many times she's had special revelation, or how the Three Nephites have been over for dinner, or the hundreds of hokey, tactless ways she's lied over the years as a way to promote her cult mythos and not-so-subtly tell all the rest of us how much we suck because we don't get visions of the golden plates. We weren't as cool as her at the premortal party, I guess.

Now she's financially totally broke, after FIL's passing away. It turns out, the money they used to finance their senior missions was actually their entire retirement fund, and no matter how many times she tries to con the Social Security people out of Dad's check, they actually remember he isn't with us anymore and won't pay her anything except her fair share, much to her surprise. Why is she surprised? Because like I said, she's SPECIAL.

Since the government isn't ponying up, she has notified her kids/kids in-law that she's essentially homeless after refusing public housing aid (because the housing was not to her standards...it had such terrible problems as gas utilities and people who weren't white as neighbors). Now, she says, we are to pool our resources and buy her a home because it is our duty to her. Because she's special.

Naturally this "request" was denied by one and all, not necessarily because it's a totally insane and inappropriate thing to ask, but just because nobody in the family even has these resources. I don't know what she thinks we're all made of, but it isn't money. One of my BILs has 11 kids. He doesn't have funds for gas half the time, and she wants a house?

She has doubled down this on her demand, even asking her (all adults over 40) kids to tap their 401Ks to provide her a "modest" home and stipend, say, $250,000 for the house and she's willing to settle for $1,000 per month stipend, split 7 ways between her kids. Again, I don't know what the kids orbiting Kolob do for a living, but my own house isn't worth $250k and we bust our chops trying to function with two kids in college who have full time jobs of their own.

In response to all this, husband very sensibly suggested that she can't have our savings because, well, we need it for when we're her age. Her answer to this is, "no, you won't need it."

He shouldn't have asked, but he did. "Why won't we need it?"

Because, she explained petulantly, Jesus is coming back very soon. She knows this because her Patriarchal Blessing states that she will not die without having seen the return of and subsequent festivities held for Jesus Christ. So logically (her words) since she's getting up there in years, he'll be arriving anytime now and thus, there's no need for us silly rabbits to save for the future, because we don't have one. We can spend it all on her now, and at least do one redeeming thing that might get us unbelievers spared from Outer Darkness. Or, if we're super good and come back to the cult, she will ask Jesus to let us into the CK based on her awesomeness.

My husband hung up pretty quickly after that and spent the rest of the evening researching how to get an elderly parent who's absolutely going off the deep end the mental health supervision they need.

A few days go by and we get a letter from her, and it contains a photocopy of her PB. She wasn't lying, it says it right there, she's going to live long enough to meet Jesus in person. It also says she has a special spiritual destiny, that she is "chosen amongst the choicest", and that "whatsoever she desires of material need" she "has only to ask for, and HF will "open the hands of others to give and multiply that blessing upon the giver."

This explains SO MUCH about this woman's m.o. in life. She literally religiously believes that it's GOOD for her to demand stuff because the people she takes from will be compensated by God. Sort of like an AmEx card drawn on the Big Guy's account.

It's a perfect storm, a narcissist getting "proof" that what she does is ordained by God. I'm so glad she shared it with us because now I have something insightful to share with whatever psychologist might interview her someday. But people, just look at what that simple faith based activity, the PB, has done to so many lives in our family. I didn't honestly think anyone took their PB that seriously, not even my most devoted SIL has ever said anything about hers.

My PB has similar language about being an "elect lady" blah blah "mother of a multitude (I had twins, does that count?) and being a member of a "choice" generation, that I'd stay faithful forever (wrong!), and is about as revealing about my "true self" as your basic horoscope. Even as a believer I took it as sort of spiritual advice from an old guy more than I took it as a blueprint for life. Now I can't help but wonder if, like my generic temple name (Emma!) if the patriarch didn't just say the same basic stuff to everyone depending on how his arthritis was doing that day. Still, he never promised me face time with Jesus. What, I wonder, was my MIL's patriarch thinking when he told her that stuff? Was it a surge of late 50s/early 60s millennial fervor? Or did he just like the sway of her skirt or something?

Any insight about that, anyone? Thank you for letting me vent, and I hope yo hear some interesting PB tales.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 01:10AM

Thank you for a fanciful, but ultimately sad, read.

Everybody wants to be special. Her PB gave her such a strong incentive to go nuts in that regard.

There are a lot things I don't do because the rules say not to, and experience has taught me that 'paying the piper' can be a bitch.

But if she's found a reason to think of herself as being 'above the rules', it could explain her ability to try to use mere words to mold her own reality. Like denying that she was wearing your errings... She just keeps repeating the lie until people give up vexing her. Can you imagine what the Social Security investigators said about her?!

Please don't fail to keep us informed. I wouldn't want to be you, but I won't mind reading about how you and your hubby handle this!

Hey, did she ever work? Does she get retirement benefits on her own, or is she just getting a residue from the account of her deceased husband?

And I gather that she refuses to offer up any regrets for spending money for the senior mission?


As for PBs talking about the recipient being alive to witness the return of Jesus H. Christ, that subject, along with mention of polygamy, were both fairly popular in the early days of the church. There have been a number of mentions here on RfM of people whose older relatives had "live to see the Second Coming" in their PBs. But obviously they weren't faithful enough.

It may well be that the one big reason JC hasn't shown up yet is that too many PB recipients with that in their PBs have been too naughty! Like maybe your MIL...

Here's the Wikipedia article on PBs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchal_blessing

The first author listed in the footnotes at the bottom was my first Senior Companion. Weird, huh? He was out of the church before my mission was over. I take no credit.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 03:29PM

Hey, thank you! I never actually thought to look it up on Wikipedia. I didn't expect such a balanced article, either. It's hard to find anything online that is honest about the cult outside of RfM. Of course the article was written by an exmo, (small universe that it was your old companion!) I'm surprised some cultist hasn't "corrected" it with more "accurate" information, lol.

Ok, so the PB promise of living to see the Second Coming actually ISN'T that unique, I am not surprised. I wonder how many delinquent cantankerous old bats out there are milking their families because they're convinced that the end is nigh.

I wonder if it isn't also just a way of dealing with the stark truth that their end is nigh but the rest of us are going to have the gall to keep trucking on? Dying is scary, and one thing my MIL hates is being forced to do something she doesn't want to do.

As far as dealing with her, my husband and I aren't giving her any money and husband is looking into reporting her to adult services because apparently failing to accept adequate housing is a form of self-neglect, so he is thinking of seeing if the state will contact her and maybe apply some persuasion about public housing. She's such a bigot that I hate to unleash her on other apartment residents but she is absolutely not coming here. I think the other 6 siblings are getting pretty tired of her head games, so if there is more drama, she might find herself without suckers to exploit for the first time.

If adult services looks in her Social Security history, or she keeps shoplifting, she might even find herself in another form of public housing that is a little more strict about letting her leave. I hear the decor in jail is terrible and she may find the neighbors there don't like bigots.

Edit: no, she never worked. FIL was a carpenter and roofer, that's how he hurt his back. Then he did desk work for his employer and managed to bank some retirement savings, not much, but he was also a veteran so he used VA for medical. He got an inheritance that he also was trying to save. Then came the senior missions where the whole savings was blown and no, she has never acknowledged the deep irresponsibility of her decision. He was a BIC native Utahn absolute true believer and I think his dad may have been a secret polyg. So when she hit him up with the whole spend now, no future to worry about line he probably didn't bat an eye.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/30/2019 04:01PM by ptbarnum.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 03:32AM

why doesn't she ask the church to pay for her a place to stay and take care of her needs? Did they turn her down?

My "husband's" parents made a lot of poor choices with money continually throughout their married life and his dad was a creep who was looking for his future plural wives while he was bishop. They also owned some apartments (don't ask me how as they had no money) and they rented to girls at Ricks. (It's 1:23 a.m. so don't mind any crazy typos.) He gave them money that he didn't have. His daughters found this out after he died. He kept copies of letters he sent to these girls. He got picked up a few times for stalking Ricks' students when he was in his late 70s and 80s. He ate lunch at the Ricks' cafeteria daily. His wife hated him, but then you should have seen the scene at his funeral when she was saying good-bye at the casket. She also drew all ove her face with magic marker the day before the viewing and cut her hair really short, close to bald.

They asked family for money a few times and the sisters thought we should give it. I said absolutely not.

My PB said that I would be found serving in holy places and not be called upon to suffer unduly at any time. I must have done some thing beyond horrible. My daughter married into a really nice family whom I have known for over 30 years since they live in "this ward." I was telling she and her husband the other night what a nice family he had. Then I said, "Sorry that my daughter comes from such a crazy mess!"

All I wanted was to have a nice family. Was that so much to ask for? I also had twins by the way. Only kids I have. I wanted 8. Thank whomever I didn't have more than 2. I just got dogs my daughter says.

I had a coworker whose calling it was to type up PBs. She said she mistakenly erased a tape once and the patriarch told her what statements to take out of several other PBs to make up the one that was lost. HUH!?! When she told me about that, we were both on our way of the church as it was.

I read my PB often. I based some life decisions around it. I threw it away some years ago, but then decided to pull it out of the garbage and give it to my TBM daughter. Let her think long and hard about what it says. Mine is rather long. Hers is rather short.

I enjoyed reading what you posted. I agree that you should keep us updated on what is going on with your dear MIL. Let us know if she's asked the dear church for help taking care of her the rest of her life. I can't wait to read the link that EOD shared. I probably won't tonight. My eyes aren't working. My reflux is or I'd be asleep.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/30/2019 03:34AM by cl2.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 03:51PM

Oh wow. What a creepy guy, perving on the Ricks girls! Sad about the wife, that kind of reality warping that leads to chopping hair, marker on the face and drama at the funeral is really common among victims of long term abuse and it is a big flag for things being very disorganized in the person's mind. I think there's a lot of cog dis that victims go through when their abuser dies. Relief that the torment is over mixed with grief for the loss of a person you actually hate, but don't know who you are without.

I don't know if she's gone to the church for help. She might've done but also very likely rejected whatever it was they had to offer due to nothing ever being good enough for her, and I know they aren't inclined to buy houses and give stipends. The cult likes the dollars to flow the other way.

As for the erased PB tape, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Once I saw MIL's PB, I just KNEW this was more Morg baloney. Shaking my head over how the cult sells bottled hot air at literally every level and then, when their hick folk magic snake oil leads to real life family problems, they hold up their hands in angelic pose and say, "I don't know that we teach that."

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:39AM

When she gets to the CK, maybe she can lift some signs and tokens for you. Ask her how much she wants for them. You’ll be her fence because you won’t need them yourself.

I knew an elderly lady whose PB said she would live to see the second coming. She lived past 100 but died 15 years ago. Maybe Jesus came and nobody noticed.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 03:53PM

Right? That would be a racket she would be down for. If anyone can put one over on ole Elohim, it would be her!

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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 07:20AM

demanding all adult kids to pony up and buy her a house with a stipend? Sounds like she's gone off the deep end. And the kleptomaniac thing is scary. I think there is something more seriously wrong than believing the mormon cult and a PB. She sounds like a first rate crook. I'd keep my distance and lock up the silver when she comes.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:14PM

Believe me, we do lock our stuff up and she isn't around that often anymore, but I have also signed up for lifelock since she likes social security numbers so much.

I think she's been a very successful narcissist for a long time and FIL's death took away her favorite toy. She's also showing some cognitive decline. Whatever filters she had to self-preserve are falling out and we are seeing somebody who is really struggling to keep her delusion bubble from popping.

I grew up surviving every day under the control of a narcissistic sociopath, so I am good at dodging and predicting, she only scares me so much as she's able to harm with her criminal stuff. Her gaslighting and manipulation is nothing compared to my own father, so I just find it annoying. I'm focusing now on supporting my BILs/SILs as they try to build a new context. They are in varying degrees of adherence to the cult, so I make myself available for them to vent, but have to avoid it when they struggle with their sense of Mormon obligation. I am trying to let them twist on that string a little, in hopes it might snap. Husband and one brother are totally exmo, so who knows, this drama might bear good fruit in waking some of the others up.

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Posted by: Eric K ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 09:17AM

A quiet morning sitting by the fireplace with a cup of coffee and reading your post. Sigh... You certainly comprehend that there is no way you can rationally deal with her. I wonder how many senior missionaries ruin their lives by financing these missions. The corporation has no concern for the welfare of its members, in particular its seniors.

You may of done this, and perhaps you do not need this, meeting with a counselor could help you deal with this emotionally. Do not let this negatively affect your life.

My mother passed away a month ago. She was often cruel to my wife. I cannot count how many times DW cried due to MiL's cruel words and actions. My mother was the poster child of narcissism. I could not change my mother. She manipulated men into giving her money. That stopped in her mid 80's when her looks changed and she ran out of men. She told my daughter, 7 years ago at my daughter's wedding, to always keep a man on the side as backup.

My reply has nothing to do with patriarchal blessings, only that many of us have suffered with narcissistic mothers or mothers in law.

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Posted by: ??? ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 03:50PM

Eric my best wishes to you. I had to deal with a narcissistic mother, also. You have done well, and I admire your bravery.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:26PM

Eric, thanks for the kind words. My father was narcissist too.He hated my husband and it was that tension that finally helped me to break contact with my father. It turns out, Mormonism wasn't the only cult I was stuck in. Narcissistic families are their own little cults, doing steady, long term damage to their members.

I did suffer an eventual mental and physical breakdown for which I was referred to a counselor who specializes in EMDR, an effective (for me) treatment for complex PTSD. She has concluded my father was likely a sociopath, and has helped me heal from his abuse, but she's also dynamite for these issues with MIL, and has given terrific advice. My husband sometimes balks at my suggestions because he knows I have a lot of anger for parents who behave like this, but he always listens to my therapist, because she's unbiased.

Narcissistic family abuse is a hidden pandemic and a scourge on society. Talking to a counselor is one of the best ways to recover from the toxicity. My heart goes out to you and everyone else with narcissistic parents.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 01:13AM

I think it is true that you pick someone just like, or just the opposite of your parents. Your wife is so opposite of your Mother it is hard to remember they are even the same species.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 11:18AM

Wow. Wow. Wow.

The PB is a tool for a very sick and dishonest thief who cares about nothing but herself. The PB is to her the same as the Egyptian Funery Scrolls were to Joseph Smith. An opportunity and tool to keep her scam going. He got a book out of his to help with his scam. Your MiL figures she can get a free ride out in style out of hers.

The Mormon church is her end to a means. Her supposed testimony is beside the point. She is using it as a weapon to aid her extreme selfishness.

Keep her at a distance and quit feeling that you have to be nice. Do not swim with sharks, Only look at them at the aquarium through thick glass. Some people are family and some are only blood relatives. Must be hurtful for your husband to see his mother as this. The problem is not really about Mormonism. Mormonism is just one of the symptoms of a deeper problem.

------------

My PB stories.

Even as TBM as I thought I was, I did not get my patriarchal blessing before my mission. Looking back, I get that I needed to get it from someone who didn't know me in order to trust it.

When I got to the LTM for my mission I asked to get one through a Stake Patriarch in Provo. You guessed it. I got the most generic patriarchal blessing in history. One size fits all.

I did not allow myself to think about it at the time. Again, looking back, I was already in denial and protecting my testimony cuz, like, somewhere deep down way below the surface I knew I had to protect the testimony that was already a hollow shell.


My father was a Stake Patriarch for a long time at the end of his life. He was very sincere. He took each one very seriously and gave his best impression to whoever he was blessing. He was beloved in the county because he was a very sincere wonderful man as Mormons as he was. I think a lot of Patriarchs may be like that but they are still working with nothing but their own feelings. I think a lot of Stake Patriarchs also say ridiculous things like Jesus coming in your life time because their own egos need to believe they really are inspired that those types of predictions make them feel inspired.

Sincere or not all PB's are Bull. They are a way for that church to feed two egos, the giver and the receiver.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:35PM

Yes, absolutely, thank you for the support. I am voting for going full no-contact, but I don't know if the husband is ready. She's a dark angry critter and isn't going to get better.

I'm so grateful for the PB story. I just had to ask, I knew deep down it was just a fortune cookie sort of thing and suspected that there was a culture of faking it. I am sure there are many sincere patriarchs and I know they don't have magical priestly powers, but I really felt like for every guy who's diligently consulting his pineal gland, there are other men out there who just didn't give a care. Mormonism cultivates coldness and relentless self-absorption in its followers, and I figured PBs are just another half hearted scam game. It's good to have some confirmation.

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Posted by: babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: November 02, 2019 12:41PM

Basing your life on a fortune cookie would be a step up.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 11:48AM

Also, by you and your husband not believing in the Mormon church her PB as a bargaining tool has been rendered useless. She needs you to believe again so you will realize it is a good thing to give all your money to her and there is no risk to yourselves being poor when you are older.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:43PM

That is absolutely true. I think that's why she mailed it to us. If we refuse to play, she can't cheat the game.

Trouble for her is, once you've made it out of a cult, you develop a mental immunity if you're careful. Kind of like chicken pox, you don't get it again, but you need to take care about shingles. So we are NOT going back and the harder she pushes, the more nauseated I feel at the thought of ever setting foot in a sacrament meeting again.

We like coffee, beer, whiskey and I take CBD (cannabis oil) for my autoimmune disease. We like the Rolling Stones and R rated movies. We LOVE being able to choose for ourselves and not having to feel awkward about our underpants.

It's just too good outside the cult. She may never stop but she will also never win. She's not the only stubborn b-word in the family!

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Posted by: sbg ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 12:05PM

Step 1 call blocking - have her phone blocked so she can't get through no matter what.

Step 2 ignore all other communication, you owe this nut case nothing.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:51PM

I think no-contact is where we are going to have to go. Poor husband, though. He still really likes his siblings regardless of their varying levels of cult commitment. Some of them will stand by mommy dearest and vilify husband in ways he doesn't deserve.

I am thinking about writing an open letter to the family that might make me more of a target for their gossip and blame. I don't care if they say false or mean things about me, if it gives them a way to not abandon my husband. I'm also trying to talk to my BILs/SILs about MIL in an honest healthy but not threatening way. It's not easy.

She has a lot of culpability in creating division in her kids...she has taught me a lot about what not to do with my own kids and the kega

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Posted by: Unindoctrinated ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 01:41PM

Using my PB as a blueprint pretty much ruined my life. I was young and gullible, wanting to believe that I was somebody and not the worthless female that my parents convinced me I was growing up(toxic, patriarchal upbringing).

Anyway, my PB said I had a soulmate that I knew in the preexistence. What nonsense. After reading this I immediately ruled out any decent guy who wasn’t TBM that I had dated. What I ended up marrying was not the “choice and noble spirit” described in the PB, but a manipulative master of appearances who was actually a raging alcoholic with narcissistic personality disorder.

In short my background and silly ideas that were reinforced in the PB set me up for failure. Took some brutal lessons to open my eyes. Many years lost trying to make the relationship work (I was taught it was my responsibility to do that, after all), rather than pursuing my own happiness and dreams.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: October 30, 2019 04:56PM

Choice...why do they love that word? It makes me think of USDA stamps on beef. MOO!

I'm so sorry you ran afoul of a narcissist. My father was one, his drug of choice was cocaine. I was raised as a useless female, too, not a Mormon one, but it was easy peasy for the cult to get me later on because of my childhood.

Wishing you all the good things today and thank you for sharing about your PB. So crazy to me how one piece of paper is able to work havoc in lives.

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: November 02, 2019 11:01PM

Like temple names, I thought these were to be kept confidential and never shared, like the not-so-secret personal mantras the Hare Krishnas give to proselytes.

Like temple names, the same one is given to everybody--EVERYbody!--on a given day. If you know the day a person was endowed, you know the "secret," er sacred name. Or mantra. Or whatever.

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Posted by: Prime! ( )
Date: November 02, 2019 12:10PM

Utility, Select, Choice and Prime beef are the USDA grades.

So “choice” really isn’t that special.

This article is my favorite! Such a revealing and interesting story and very we’ll written.

Do another one!

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 02, 2019 01:29PM

Thank you! I appreciate all the support. It is so nice to come here and be able to be blunt and honest. It relieved a lot of the red hot hostility I had pent up about this woman. It's never good for me to bottle up my feelings but I also don't want to cut loose on my husband and his siblings, I know they're already under so much stress and I don't want to make it worse for them. I at least had the luxury of really liking my Mom, she often diverted my Father's abuse and I felt like even though she was passive about trying to get away from him, she at least put her kids before herself. Not so with my MIL. It is always ALL about her and everything gets nauseatingly filtered through the language and folklore of the cult. It's like talking to a particularly badly programmed A.I.

Exmos do understand. They've been there and they know exactly how much trying to talk any kind of sense into a TBM is like asking a brick wall to step aside. She's still cooking her potion this week, and I'm waiting for a few things to shake down before I post an update.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2019 01:30PM by ptbarnum.

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Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: November 02, 2019 09:21PM

Weird how many of us had narcissistic mils. I've told bits of my story here. Toward the end of her life she admitted to DH that she didn't believe the church was true anymore. This was after a lifetime of dealing with her garbage.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 12:16AM

And of course she would wait until close to the end to say something like that, when it's too late to bother making amends. Typical. If I were your DH I'd be saying, "You're telling me this now? You have got to be kidding me!"

I have a theory that the cult's teachings can "infect" a person's mind with the disturbances and tendencies of its founder. I think Mo'ism brings out the very worst in its members--the part of them that kinda wants to be the chosen one talked to by God, and the very JS-like part of us that wants to be the big fish in whatever pond we are in. I remember feeling so smug and superior because I knew the "Truth". I felt better than other people being an American because God "restored" his message in the best country and I was born here. I talked with condescending superiority to my own Mom when she said she didn't buy the story about an angel taking the plates. I acted as MIL's Flying Monkey to talk a doubting BIL to give the cult another chance. Ugh, did I feel like a dimwit for that stuff when I woke up to the fraud. I had to apologize to the BIL and tell my Mom she was right. That was embarrassing.

I think JS was a malignant narcissist and he drew other narcissists *cough...Brigham...cough* to himself. Then they all had genetically predisposed babies and raised them in a narcissistic cult. And then those babies had babies and both the genetic predisposition and the parenting style were passed down the generations, a nasty little kernel of JS propagating down the years. New slogan for those schticky commercials they used to play: "Narcissism. Relentless self-centerd disdain for and exploitation of others...it's a family value worth passing on! A message brought to you by the Mormons..."

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Posted by: caffiend ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 12:28AM

ptbarnum Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have a theory that the cult's teachings can
> "infect" a person's mind with the disturbances and
> tendencies of its founder.

Very true! I saw that with Mary Baker Eddy and the females I knew in Christian Science, which is perversely matriarchal as LDS is patriarchal. I see it as an all-too-common, and contagious, type of "spiritual virus." It's out there, common-place and dormant, until it latches onto a host and propagates.

I think Mo'ism brings
> out the very worst in its members--the part of
> them that kinda wants to be the chosen one talked
> to by God, and the very JS-like part of us that
> wants to be the big fish in whatever pond we are
> in.

Actually, that's human nature. We have to rise above it. Not very likely as long as the believer is in the sick spiritual muck of the cult.

> I acted as MIL's Flying Monkey to talk a doubting
> BIL to give the cult another chance. Ugh, did I
> feel like a dimwit for that stuff when I woke up
> to the fraud. I had to apologize to the BIL and
> tell my Mom she was right. That was embarrassing.
>
No, that was very gracious and honest of you, and shows your moral growth. Bravo!
>

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Posted by: oldpobot ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 07:09AM

My experience with JWs (I was going out with one) was that the men were pretty horrible arrogant superior types who looked down on the rest of the world. The women I met were more subdued and put-upon and convinced that men were the bosses.

All of them were fairly low in the general economic pecking order since none of them had been allowed to educate themselves beyond secondary level.

There were fairly high levels of abuse (physical and sexual) within families and lots of divorces. It was pretty horrible to observe how they were all struggling with life in a vibrant city while all feeling so superior to the rest of us.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 05:29PM

From what I've heard, the JWs can be as messed up familywise as the Morg or any other cult, but they also excel in nastiness because they rigidly shun those who leave or are disfellowshipped/exed. My problem is that I can't get my MIL to leave me alone. Former JWs can't get anyone in their entire family to talk to them about the weather once they leave. I can't decide which is worse.

So much interpersonal damage, and for what? Stories, thoughts, guesses at what invisible things are out there? I think that's the worst part. We don't NEED to do this to each other. We've turned speculation on what might happen after death into an IRL demolition derby. We shouldn't hurt our kids over some now dead person's ideas. We are capable of so much better.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 09:02AM

Your MIL sounds like quite the character. Reading about her kleptomania reminded me of when I was still in the classroom. I would get a report about a little kid who had taken something from another child, and I would tell him or her to "pull out your pockets. ALL of your pockets." The child would comply. And more often than not, you would find the item in question.

I hope that you are able to hold firm on the money issue. You need your money for your own family and for your own retirement. If your husband's siblings get into bullying mode, I would just play poor. "I'm so sorry, we just can't. We live paycheck to paycheck. There is nothing left over." Well, nothing that they need to know about.

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: November 03, 2019 02:53PM

"Jesus is coming back soon" is the reason that very religious American Christians, with many Mormons among them, give when denying the importance of protecting the environment, global warming, etc.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 01:49AM

I have had to deal with someone like this too. It sounds like you have a good handle on it, I agree with everything you have said. She does this because it works for her. It is too bad, for her, that no one set her straight earlier. Try to emphasize to your Hubby and his sibs that they are not doing her any favors playing this game with her. All that does is drag it out. Tough love is love even if they can't see it. In a way it is like dealing with a small child. No, because I said so. Justifying things just gives them hope. No, we are not giving you any money. No, you are not living here, no, you can not come over. Take her out to eat then take her back to where she is now. Notice when she didn't like the governments help she found another place. She will do that again. She will push around those that put up with it. Don't put up with it! She is a bully and that is how you deal with a bully. The PB is just an excuse. If it wasn't that she would pull something else out of her bag of tricks. My guess is that by now it is a great big bag, try to prepare Hubby as much as possible. With 7 to choose from she will try to divide and pick them off one by one. My money would be on her "poor health" next.

Make sure you keep your kids in the loop to some extent. When she can't get to you she WILL try to use them. That is 100% fact. You don't have to go into all the details, just that Grandma has exhibited some very bad behavior and you are not going to play the game. See if you have Senior Advocates where you live. They have the resources and distance to deal with this, you don't. It's not just money, she is an emotional vampire and will suck dry anyone that stands still long enough for her to feed.

You come on over and vent any time. Folks here DO understand!

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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: November 04, 2019 09:39PM

I find this board confusing.

One minute I'm reading about the oppression of women in the church, forced against their will to follow the men.

The next minute I read of a woman spending 25 years trying to suck you back in. So she actually hated church, but had a gun to her head to badger you endlessly?

Then there was the other guy whose wife made threats against him when he wanted to quit church.

Show your MIL this thread and surely she will give up the church when she realizes how oppressed she is.


https://www.exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,2264326

"I’m angry at you, at the institution, at your tradition of female abuse and subjugation."

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 05, 2019 02:52PM

Well, no two women are the same. Where a lot of today's women do feel angry and oppressed, others still see the cult's gender policies as a frame in which to operate with reassuring levels of confidence. Being told you have absolute limitations can provide an escape route from personal accountability and having to keep working on maintaining independence and boundaries. Being told it's totally okay, even natural, to stop struggling, lie down and simply do as you're told can be a relief. It makes someone else responsible when stuff goes wrong and you never have to question your choices or do the hard work of learning from mistakes.

There are also women of a vastly different era who do not want women's power or roles to expand, because if the expectations of women change enough to include 80 year old Mormons like MIL, it stops the gravy train they've been riding their whole lives.

MIL absolutely loves and promotes the female role in the cult. She believes she's the perfect representation of womanhood and is favored by God. She is June Cleaver on crank, stuck in a time warp. Everywhere is Provo, 1961. If reality tries to act differently, she will bend reality and herself into pretzel knots to keep the illusion animated. She has adopted the Molly mask because she doesn't have a strong self inside and needs to be seen as special, perfect and admirable. She has clued into how much supply you can get wearing that skin. Who doesn't love a good Molly, after all? What's not to like about a diligent, dutiful, modest, teetotaling, blue collar, not terribly smart, unambitious housekeeper/baby factory? Who would suspect she is really a judgmental, prideful, self-centered busybody who lives on a diet of schadenfreude, creating interpersonal discord, and lifting anything shiny that isn't nailed down?

For her, this roleplay is completely ego-syntonic. She gets a feed of the idea of herself as the much put-upon savior of us wayward children and it props up her theory that we literally owe her reverence and revenue. Suddenly presenting her with the notion that women can and should steer their own course and accept whatever heavy seas they encounter puts her parasitic lifestyle at risk. So no, she wouldn't say the cult is oppressive, ever.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/05/2019 04:06PM by ptbarnum.

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Posted by: abileneishome ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 12:25AM

This argument makes literally no sense. Men are also oppressed by the Mormon church, yet they are also falsely told they are "special" and "powerful" through the priesthood through that church, and many of them seem to enjoy exercising it at the time even though they are, without a doubt, also oppressed by the church.

It is possible to be both oppressed and to attempt to gain power in whatever status you hold at the same time. Hello, that whole idea of the boss kicking the worker and the worker coming home and kicking the dog? Or a husband and wife taking out their stress on one another, both taking it out on their kids, and the kids taking it out on one another? Who's the oppressed and oppressor?

We get it, you hate women. Date another guy then (since you're ex-Mormon, that's fine now), or if that's not the issue, go watch some porn or whatever you do.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 04:52PM

Or Free Man?

Because if you were talking to me I need to clarify what I wrote. I just reread my post because I know I can get a little circular and hard to follow. My mind moves fast and in a non-linear fashion a lot.

I've actually heard from my very Molly SILs that they like the whole gender role thing because it lets them off a lot of modern woman hooks. I deeply suspect the bouffant hairdo era TBM ideal feeds my MILs narcissism and allows her to play dumb in mormon culture to avoid detection and responsibility.

I know the cult oppresses the hell out of a lot of men and I don't hate women, so I assume you were responding to Free Man, but I wanted to double check.

Sorry for the vagueness on my writing sometimes, people. I am a very stream of consciousness type.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 12:18AM

"What's not to like about a diligent, dutiful, modest, teetotaling, blue collar, not terribly smart, unambitious housekeeper/baby factory?"

Grrrrr. This runs in my family too. My Grandmother was so proud that she had never written a check until her husband died. Passed iton to the next generation, I have an aunt that is "too dumb" to figure out an ATM. She has a degree from BYU and all her young years I never saw a sign that she was anything but intelligent. I think that somehow they equate dumb with spiritual. I hope it didn't pass to her daughters but I have my doubts about one.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 06, 2019 05:03PM

What is it with the "proud to be ignorant" thing? It's not just Mobots either, Mrs. Duggar is a prime example. Do they think it's admirable to be so dependent? Heaven forbid some weird catastrophe happens that renders all men catatonic. The economy will be toast but at least women have a good rapport with can openers.

And another thing, if you come out of BYU unable to use an ATM, either somebody has wasted good tuition money or the government needs to check in on what they a-teachin' over there, just saying. :-)

Yes, I do agree with you that they think it's spiritual, and believe humble-bragging is a virtue. "Look what a good cultist I am! I'm making it easy for you! I'll cripple my intellect so you don't have to, and I'm not even mad about it!"

Yuck. I don't have daughters, and I do hope it's not a philosophy yours adopt. To me, it seems like deliberately making yourself vulnerable, and in today's world that can be really risky.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2019 05:10PM by ptbarnum.

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