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Posted by: tombs1 ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 02:36PM

I have told this story before, but being a new board I feel that I need to write it again. I think that my story is prety unique because I have three letters that describe what shatered my faith in Mormonism, MTC.
I had only been a member of the morg for 14 months, (baptized when I was 18, went to the MTC at 19). I had never really wanted to serve, a mision but everyone talked about "what a great experience it is", "and how blessed my never mo family and I will be." So I thought it would be just like joining the military, and was the right thing to do. So a little over a year after joining the morg, I get called to go to New York City and Speak Spainish.
In hind sight, I do not know if I should be thankful for the experience of being in the MTC, because it made me start to see TSCC for what it really is (a giant brainwashing propoganda corporation). I honestly can say that I really just feel a lot of shame and disgust when I think back to the six weeks I was in that represive concentration camp with a mixture of self rightoues old men, douchbag missonaries, hypocritical people, people who meant well but were presured into it (Like ME!), and the list goes on. We were all in there having our individuality and self thought process being slowly exterminated, and for what? I still have a hard time figuring out what the fuck people who designed that place and it's curiculum are thinking. But I mainly feel ashamed and disgusted when I look back on those six weeks of my life for two reasons, one that I let me self get talked into doing that, at the expense of my never mo familie's emotions (and some of their money), and two that I did not react deferently while I was in there.
I wish that I had the guts to get up and tell at least one of the asshole instructors (A former Bishop who looked like Bill Muray) where to stick it. Or had just told everyone that what was bothering me, was that I could see right through this place and this church because I was not born and raised in it, and that what was going on was that we are all in a cult.
Instead I slowly began to physically and mentally deteriorate. I began feeling severe depresion, because of the guilt I was feeling at not being happy there and not being able to swallow the fact that I had been tricked into becoming a sales person for a cult. Finally, I was sent home after six weeks on a medical release by a well meaning social worker.
I am now gratefull that I did not have to spend another two years of my life puting up with those kinds of people, and conforming to that kind of life. I am also glad that my eyes were opened. After that I was never able to ignore the feeling in the back of my mind that the morg was all a bunch of horseshit. My only real regret is that I was not able to listen to it, and see the warning signals before I got sucked into the shitest six weeks of my entire life.
I really think that I coulod write a book about my whole MTC experience alone, I have tried to explain what happened to me in that place in umerious posts on the RFM board but have been unable to fully describe what it felt like to hav all of that happen to me. I hope somone can relate. Thanks everyone.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2010 02:37PM by tombs1.

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Posted by: Highland ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 02:42PM

I don't doubt you, but you haven't provided any specifics of what made MTC so awful. How was it repressive? How did they exterminate your individuality? What did the Bill Murray lookalike actually DO to you? More detail might help in showing would-be mishies the errors of their ways.

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Posted by: tombs1 ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 02:54PM

The way that I beleive they were exterminating our individuality was in a number of ways. The first was this, I was told what a great "spiritual experience" that it would be, but than I get there and see that they are just training us to be SALES MEN! The Bill Muray look alike, was just a very smug person who liked to put down other church's in his classes, and talk about what a great missonary he was and blah blah blah blah. He also used a lot of guilt in telling everyone what would hapen to people if we did not "Talk to Them" and tied that into the sales number bit that he presented us. That is only scratching the surface of the whole experience. Does that help?

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Posted by: Rebecca ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 04:45PM

Dressing everyone the same, making sure everyone acts the same, pairing them up with someone ALL THE TIME, to ensure conformity, stringent rules and regulations, I could go on and on...

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Posted by: Truth Without Fear ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 02:48PM

Sounds the same as it was 32 years ago, except now its the MTC instead of the LTM. I was a recent convert (17) to, and forfeited a scholarship to go. Look at the bright side...I wasted 25 more years than you. :-)

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Posted by: govinda ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 05:31PM

I called it spiritual prison for want of a better term. You couldn't leave the buildings, every minute of every day was regulated, you were assigned a companion, you spent long hours memorizing lessons in a language you didn't understand, you dressed the same as everyone else, ate the same food, went to the same meetings, prayed at the same time, took showers at the same time, lost contact with the outside world, sang cheesy hymns, obsessed about possible past sins, etc.

The first 10 days or so I wanted to just break down and cry because I had lost my freedom and my GF. Then I started getting used to it. Once I found a way to bend some of the rules I started to get happy. By the end of it I was totally indoctrinated and the regimented lifestyle was bareable.I guess the brainwashing worked on me.

I don't remember having any problems at all with any of the leaders. I actually liked them all. Maybe I was lucky.

But frankly, I thought the LTM (MTC) part was the worst. Once we caught the plane out of SLC the mission got better.

Most RMs Ive talked to hated it, some actually liked it. Your mileage may vary.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 05:32PM

I was in my mid-twenties when I went on my mission. I had decided graduating college and working were more important than being a "sister missionary". But, after a couple of years I was persuaded to go by some of my RM friends' stories of how great a mission was.

Imagine the MTC when you are NOT in your prime brainwashing years but after you'd been a independent, self-supporting, thinking, educated adult for a few years. It was like being sent to prison. All of a sudden you had no privacy, had to live by someone else's rules, had to eat dreadful dormitory-style food, surrounded by people who were basically small-town mentality kids with a real self-righteous attitude about how they were going to save those poor, blithering non-LDS folks. Having a dad that's a nevermo, that sucked right there. And never being able to leave the MTC property without permission --- as if I were a criminal or something.

Highlights included: being forced to walk laps around the property in all kinds of weather for "exercise", a very self-righteous lecturer - sister RM - talk about how pitiful the non-LDS were and how much better she made them after she shared the gospel with them, an MTC branch president's wife who busted up laughing on the stand when some poor, 19-year-old elder messed up the song he was playing for sacrament meeting, being asked "How many of you are going to a 3rd world country" and seeing people who were going to Spain with me raise their hands, doing splits with another district (I was in the advanced Spanish district) and how the sister who was passing off discussions with me talked to me as if I were a Sunbeam. I still wish I'd said "If you talked to my nevermo attorney father like that, peaceful as he is, he'd still send you out the door and never allow you back." All in all, for someone like me who needs a certain amount of private time each day to stay sane, the MTC was torture. The horrific level of togetherness on a mission is bad enough but getting used to it in the claustrophobic, jail-like MTC was the worst.

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Posted by: FreeRose ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 08:18PM

I was 20 when I converted to the cult, so when the bish asked me to join the forces a couple years later, so to speak, I declined... was already thinking of getting out. The temple crap was the beginning of the end, but the MTC would have put me over the edge for sure.

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Posted by: fallenangelblue ( )
Date: September 24, 2010 08:36PM

They sure do have some nerve sending you out that fast after your conversion. But I guess they made you feel like you had to be super Mormon, therefore you had to do everything that BIC's do. Geez, I can't even imagine the confusion that would cause...teaching you how to manipulate people and sell them a flawed product. At least you didn't have to go through with the whole thing. I wonder how many people just walk out of their missions when they figure out it's just a load of crap.

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Posted by: Flyer ( )
Date: September 25, 2010 08:20AM

Write a book, called Mormon Bootcamp .... It would be very enlightening, and you would be more objective in writing about it than many who are born and raised in the cult, who don't see it with as fresh eyes.

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Posted by: flyfisher ( )
Date: September 25, 2010 10:58AM

When I was in there I would sneak out the back gate to meet some friends and have some pizza and a copenhagen! Its the only thing that got me through it!

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Posted by: Ex Aedibus ( )
Date: September 25, 2010 12:06PM

The thing which I find most galling about Gordy's Gulag is that they expect you to pay for the privelege of going there.

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: September 26, 2010 12:44AM

Some of the stories I enjoy the most are the ones about people who survived their missions by getting "creative." Maybe not "breaking" the rules, exactly, but twisting the everloving daylights out of them.

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Posted by: flash ( )
Date: September 26, 2010 01:56AM

You brought the memories flooding back.

The start of my mission in April 1977 pre-dated the existence of the MTC in Provo. It began by spending a week in the mission home in Salt Lake City before going off to Virginia to be a door to door salesman for Joe Smith. It turned out to be the worst week I have ever experienced in my life.

In the week I was there, I saw manifested from the Mission Home leaders & from the General Authorities acts of such incredible emotional cruelty in so many ways that I was not sure if I was at the right place. Some of the emotional cruelties I saw included witnessing a scene of missionaries being separated from their families and girlfriends. I had never seen so much anguish and sadness erupt in so many people all at once when the families & girlfriends were told to say goodbye to their missionary, be told to get out, and be told that you would not see them again for two years.

Since I had flown in from California, I had already experienced my own tearful goodbyes to my family and girlfriend two hours prior and I was still reeling from that. How gut wrenching for me was to witness again people having their hearts broken, and while this ugly scene was transpiring, watching the mission home leaders smile with a sanctimonious glee of some sick satisfaction that made me want to punch them. This scene looked like a WWII movie scene where families were being ripped apart about to be sent to Nazi death camps.

The week progressed with the mission home leaders attempting to brainwash me with non-stop scripture memorization, temple sessions, endless boring meetings, horrible food, and sleep deprivation. It was like a week-long Sunday with everyday being not just a 3 hour block of boring meetings and nonsense, but an 18 hour block of boring meetings and nonsense.

Being a cynical person by nature, I inquired at the front desk of the mission home one day and asked if this was really the LDS mission home. They said “yes, why do you ask?” I replied that I have yet to see any manifestation of Christ-like love in this place. That raised their eyebrows and after that I seemed to be watched more closely than before.

This SLC mission home experience was turning more and more into a ‘bad boys reform school’ nightmare. Daily, I, along with everybody else were being trashed and condemned for any imperfections I had, being told constantly by the mission home leaders or GA's that I did not measure up in any way to God, and I endured unwarrented chastisement for asking some tough doctrinal questions.

I remember one particular day everyone was gathered in the main meeting room and the GA speaker asked what our jobs as missionaries was to be. Some poor elder raised his hand, stood up and said “…to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and bring people into the church.” The response from the GA was, “No Elder, you are totally wrong. Your job is to not teach the gospel but to tract out people and baptize.” That elder was so humiliated and stunned. I was stunned. Everyone else was stunned. I sat there and thought, “This is not what I came here for. This is not what I was taught since my early childhood of what a mission was all about. I must have been lied to, all my growing up years.” This was a major damage moment to whatever testimony I thought I possessed.

From that moment on, I kept thinking to myself, “I gave up my girlfriend who I loved dearly, gave up my college educational opportunities, gave up my car, and gave up my good life for this shit?” Oh how I wished that I possessed the courage then to just get up, grab my bags, and just walk out the door. But at 19, I was too much of a coward to do so. To this day, I regret not flying back home before suffering two more years of similar shit.

If I learned anything at all in that SLC mission home, it was that the leaders of the Mormon Church are compassionless pin heads at every level. My respect for any church leader or GA had evaporated because I now saw that they had no more inspiration than a fencepost and no more compassion than someone enjoying dripping hot wax into your eyes. I concluded that the next 23 months and 3 weeks of my mission was going to be pure hell. And it was!!

I could not imagine spending 6 weeks in the MTC in such an environment. One week was enough for me.

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Posted by: govinda ( )
Date: September 26, 2010 07:53AM

I reached the conclusion that if being a GA was anything like being a missionary, I couldn't imagine a more horrible job.

The MTC was a complete brainwash. Being a GA had to be more of the same.

No wonder their talks are so pathetic and boring.

I didn't ever experience the one week in SLC because I did the 8 weeks at the MTC (LTM) in Provo. But everyone I have talked to who went through the SLC mission home told me stories of how horrible it was, kind of like the 8 week nightmare of the MTC compressed into one week.

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