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Posted by: The Man in Black ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:12AM

Recently I've been wondering why some of us when we leave become outspoken critics of the Mormon Church while others simply walk away without a second glance.

I can name several individuals who just decided Mormonism wasn't for them and that was that. No posting to RfM. No need for ex-mo meetings or support groups. No need for justification, emancipation, or vindication. Just done and that's that. They really did leave the Church and then left it alone. You don't see them on forums like this.

Then there are people like me and most of you. We speak out. We fight back. We do not go quietly into that good night.


What is it that makes us post here. What is it that drives us to want to undo the damage the Mormon Church has done to us and to others? What is our exMormon raison d'ĂȘtre?

I wonder this because I've never seen a JackMo become an exMo...and I can't seem to convince those that are on the fence that there is a fence at all. The Mormons who seem to think, "All is well in Zion" also appear to be those that can't so much as define 'Zion'; or know that it should be in Jackson County Missouri. Those that are lukewarm seem to stay tepid in the face of facts, where those who were on spiritual fire seem to become us.

I can't speak for the rest of you, but I think my reason for speaking out is that I once really, really believed it. The Mormon Church was more to me than a simple religion. It was my life. I would have done anything for it. I did do anything for it; I did anything they asked. I would have given my life for for the Church. Hell, I promised to do as much, and I meant it. The Church was my entire identity. It was everything to me. When I learned beyond doubt that it was all a lie it wasn't just my beliefs that died--it was me.

Is the reason that some of us become outspoken critics because we are those who were harmed the most? And are we those who are harmed the most ironically because we believed it the most? Is it likely that what makes an exMo an exMo, simply that we were--as the Chruch would put it--the most valiant?

Do we post here now because we are just doing what we have always done? Standing for something?

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Posted by: charliefoxtrot ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:26AM

I believe you are on to something, there. Some LDS folks I know give me the sort of "why don't you just go with the flow" speech as if they don't really believe it, but are just trying not to rock the boat. My thought is to say, "WTF? Nobody actually really believed this crap except for me? You were all just going with the flow? F!"

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Posted by: Feijoada ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:34AM

I don't have educated answers but I must say that I had dedicated myself and mind to Mormonism until my fifties. I suffered from unwarranted guilt for decades until I discovered that J. Smith truly was a monstrous liar.

I avoid family memories. I have grown distant from parents, siblings and children. Happily, I do enjoy my freedom of thought and hope for better future.

I come here only occasionally now.

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Posted by: darth jesus ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:41AM

in my case, i'm outspoken because i just don't tolerate bullshit or lies. whether it comes from this forum, the mormon cult, the government, my doctor, my mom. and that's that. did smith marry women who were already married yes or no? is the book of abraham the right translation yes or no? etc.

personality perhaps?

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:43AM

Yes - I think that is a very good observation. I believed in it wholeheartedly. I was very active and held positions like Primary and RS president. I served a mission. But most importantly, the vast majority of my major life decisions were made based on my simple faith that Mormonism was true. Where I went to college, what to major in (something I could do part-time as a SAHM), where I lived after college, quitting my master's program to serve a mission, moving to Utah, who I married, where I married, how I spent my time, where my charity donations went...

And frankly, I'm MAD. Mormons and Mormonism never cared about me, never wanted to help me, never had the answers they claimed. I was just a cog in their machine, easily dumped when I became a liability. It makes me mad I let liars make all my decisions for me and that all my decisions were based on lies. It seems really unfair although much worse things happen in the world. Heck, many people on this board had a much rougher ride even in Mormonism than I did. My life as a Mormon only got bad after I got married and realized that they don't have the magic key to a happy family and that life as a young, married Mormon mom really sucks. But the fact that it really wasn't that bad for most of my Mormon experience doesn't change the fact they lied and lied PROFOUNDLY and I really believed their lies and messed up a lot of things because of my gullibility.

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Posted by: loveskids ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:33AM

"Mormons and Mormonism never cared about me." Perfect.

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Posted by: jazzskeeter ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:46AM

Yea, it hurt. My whole social structure and belief system was shattered in months. I needed a therapist. Now, reading this board is my therapy.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:47AM

The jack mo's I've known were too lazy to find out if the church was really true. they lived on coat tails.

I can't help but think they are also too lazy to find out if it's not true. Easier to make a claim, but not live to it.

As for myself, maybe it's the black and white thinking at work.
True or Not true.
Find out. Not true. shit!

I can't stand to see others bamboozled like that.

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Posted by: blueorchid ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:48AM

Great writing. Great point.

I think, not only did we believe so much and give so much, many of us had to deny our true selves. When we finally see the truth, it is like smashing your thumb with a hammer. There is an adrenaline rush that has got to go somewhere. You can swear, do a dance, scream out or whatever, but you have to do something to release the rush of adrenaline.

When I realized the church was a lie, I had no way to release the trauma at the time, and so I buried it. But when I finally found RFM, the anger at being duped, and used, and emotionally pummeled surfaced. It is all still there and it has got to go somewhere, and I think that is why some of us are not going away quietly, as you said.

I know the people you mean--the ones who leave easily, no problem with the church. I don't believe they were that invested. They think they were mormons, but they never gave heart, mind and soul like some of us.

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Posted by: mre ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:51AM

I am going to say yes.

As a long time lurker and infrequent poster, I am probably one of the less outspoken members here, and having looked at people who I know have left the church personally and on this board I truly think the OP is on to something and that the OP is correct.

First, a bit about myself:

I always sort of believed in the church. I wasn't a hardcore believer or TBM in most senses, but I went to church, sang the songs, and got the little placards (and mental scars) to show for it. Luckily though, I got out before I got too far into it. I never married in the church, in fact I left shortly after doing my first baptisms for the dead at like 14.

That said, I don't have a lot of hatred towards the church. Don't get me wrong, I hate the church and what they stand for and what they do to people, but I hate them in the same way I hate the Westboro Baptist Church. I don't have this personal vendetta against it (not saying posters here do, just saying that for some it is more personal).

However, in the case of some people I know, my parents included, they spent YEARS in the church. They got married because of the church. They went to BYU, gave up 10% of their money every year for 40 years (give or take). They were TBMs, and leaving the church was a big deal.

For one: They researched a lot more than I did. Like the had to know for sure that the church was right or wrong. Me? It took only a little evidence to convince me. All it really took was "Hey, Smith was a conman did you know that?" and I was basically out of the door (lucky me). For them though? A lot more. They know (I would argue) a good majority of the church's dirty secrets.

They came to this site, and I honestly don't know if they posted or simply read the stories on here, but I know it was a huge comfort to them. They would talk about what people were experiencing, saying, and how it applied to them and all that.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that the people who have been effected most by something are often the ones who are going to have more reason to speak about it, which is exactly what the OP is guessing at.

People who don't have a story to tell just aren't going to tell it. The people who, like me, left pretty much on a whim (there was more to it than a "whim" but it certainly wasn't very hard), have nothing to really say. Sure we had fears of parents saying one thing or friends leaving us or something, but the choice in our minds was there, and it was clear we had a choice. The people who invested so much time want to make sure that they didn't waste their time (or won't be by leaving). I mean, how horrible is it to realize you wasted 1/5 of your free time to something you don't believe in anymore? It kinda sucks. Not to mention the love bombs, exciting tales of marriages/divorces, kid trauma, etc. It's all very... traumatic.

And those things make up your stories, your warnings. People who didn't experience pain have nothing to warn about.

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Posted by: SL Cabbie ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:56AM

Or e-mail me... I sent you one last night at the addy from when we were trying to set up a lunch with RJ...

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:59AM

outspoken because there is no substitute for truth !

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Posted by: Queen of Denial ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:18AM

I was just talking to my sister-in-law about this earlier tonight.

My husband was the one who believed to the core. He about drove me crazy at times because he was sooooooooooo faithful. I was the one that was always bucking and resisting.

Yet, losing my religion left me dizzy and shaken. It's taken me a few years to find purpose and focus again. Whereas, my husband and sister-in-law just walked away and continued on their way.

I struggled with doubt since primary, but it took me years to leave after my husband left.

I don't know what drives me to sites like this and to read and to listen to podcasts, when my husband and sister-in-law have no reason to be here. There was no process for them. They just left.

My reasons for participating here on RfM have changed since my first visit. I used to come here because I was learning and pissed and grieving. Now, I come here because I crave the sense of community. I come here less now than a year or two ago, but I think I will always be checking in...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2012 02:23AM by Queen of Denial.

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Posted by: imaworkinonit ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:21AM


I really and truly believed it ALL. I did everything I was asked to do. I sacrificed my time and talents when I was already overburdened. I covenanted everything.

But I couldn't get answers to prayers. I couldn't get a testimony.

Until I was 34, I believed the problem was with me. I wasn't trying hard enough. I wasn't good enough. I didn't have enough faith.

When I discovered it was a fraud I was outraged that I had been manipulated to believe that there was something wrong with ME. For them to get inside my head like that and eat away at my happiness and confidence like that, for all those years . . . just pissed me off and still does.

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Posted by: matilda ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 06:48AM

I can really identify with the last comment. I did everything right but Never got a REAL testimony like everyone else. I BEGGED I PRAYED AND FASTED CRIED FELT WICKED. BECAUSE IT MUST MY FAULT.

I TRIED FROM 1966 to 2009. I hate what they did it was theft of my whole like. I studied for university and finally found the truth at 61. God help us the church does not even deserve to be named after smith let alone christ.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 06:58AM

So that when we found it was a con and a lie, it really hit hard?

At first I felt relief, then came the anger... RFM has been a comfort for me many, many times.

Only people who have been there, done that can understand.

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Posted by: canadianfriend ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 08:31AM

Mormonism messes people up. Among other things it robs people of their ability to think for themselves, and that's sad. But what angers many people is that Mormonism is a lie. It's human nature to hate liars. When we are lied to we feel violated and abused. We want the liar to right the wrong -- we seek restitution. We demand that liars admit to their lies, and acknowledge the truth. We will expose those who continue to spread lies and propoganda. Joseph Smith was a con-man and a liar. If you knew that a con-man was going door to door in your neighborhood, wouldn't you warn your neighbors? Then why wouldn't we warn everyone about two con-men (or women), wearing white shirts and black name tags?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2012 12:13PM by canadianfriend.

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 08:45AM

I'm another outlier.
I did not believe, but I did try for quite a long time. BIC.

I am so hurt that it was "my fault" for not gaining a testimonkey. I was shunned, lied to, taken advantage of, discounted, dismissed, overlooked, blamed, and LIED to again and again.
By lying, manipulative, game playing assholes.

I have much more integrity, and yet I am painted as the bad guy.
I am very hurt at the continued deception, and the self deception that continues to this day. Also really annoyed at the stuck up holier than thous who look down their nose at me while throwing me under the bus.

Nobody but you guys here and my husband believe me or can see how I am made of consistency and integrity. That's why this place means so much to me. Even though there are still a few rats in the corn...

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 11:02AM

My ex doesn't think much about things like this, although he has been reading here lately. Why? I don't know. Anyway--this board helped me to heal some years back and now I come to read because I find it very interesting and I always get a good laugh, learn something new. I have a TBM daughter also.

It has been extremely therapeutic for me to read and post here.

I was the most devout of my family. I gave the LDS church my all and made huge sacrifices, and my life became a disaster.

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Posted by: deconverted2010 ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:25PM

Better to be cold or hot, but not lukewarm, isnt' that what the scriptures say? Well, I was not lukewarm, I gave the church my all because I believed it to be true. I made many sacrifices of time, money, hobbies and even my family, my personality and my own personal beliefs because of the church. Once I discovered it to be false, I felt used and abused. I come here to read because your experiences validate my own, I was not alone and I was not crazy. It was not me, it was the church. I post sometimes so that people know that their feelings are valid and real.

You're probabably right, when much is given much is expected, in this case we had an expectation of the one and only church just like the church expected much of us. We delivered but the lds corp was short of its promises, therefore we're here to warn others and to validate each other.

I like what CA girl says "I was just a cog in their machine, easily dumped when I became a liability."

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Posted by: Naomi ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:43PM

When you take it seriously, believe the lie and live it - that's something you can never get back. I didn't play sports on Sunday in high school - that was a big deal for me, because a big part of my identity was tied up in being an athlete. I worked hard at it and got pretty good, but most of the games were on Sunday. If I hadn't been quite as faithful, there's a good chance I could have gotten scholarships to play in college. I also did very well academically, but wasted way too much time and intellectual energy trying to figure out how to reconcile the Bible and Book of Mormon with science, how dinosaurs fit in with the Garden of Eden, why my teacher was telling me that the first Native Americans came across the Bering land strait when I knew that wasn't true. I could have gotten into much better universities, but I chose BYU. I wasted a year and a half on a mission when I could have been finishing my education. And I truly, absolutely believed it. I didn't like Utah because I felt that too many Mormons were only members because everyone else was, not because they truly believed - while I had been through the fire, lived in but not of the world, stood up for what I believed against all the peer pressure and worldly norms of my friends. I was such an idealistic young person, a noble spirit standing up for truth at all costs. I believe I would have given my life for my faith.
I wonder if that is part of the reason for the mainstreaming. The Mormon church doesn't really want that kind of absolute commitment, for the exact reason you said - we are more likely to discover the truth and more likely to be vocal about leaving. They just want the majority, the halfway-believing members who go with the flow because they don't know anything else and don't really care to find out, and keep paying their tithing.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:43PM

Maybe, for some. For me, I have always been an extrovert, and a writer. I was the one that raised my hand in classes! :-)
I was a young woman convert and believer who tried my best to adjust to my new heritage and culture. Didn't always work very well though! :-)

I must not have had the right genes!:-) I could "Go along to get along" up to a point, then eventually I would not do it anymore.

I have never claimed that Mormonism hurt or destroyed me. I liked being a Mormon, for the most part. Like I have said dozens of times, it was a slice of life: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

It was our life, we just lived it and put one foot in front of the other. Sooooo much never did make sense, and eventually carrying all of that around hit a tipping point and I was open to figure it out.
"When the student is ready the master (teacher) appears" - from Buddhism. That was true for me.

No need for negativity, anger, hatred, in my life for anyone or anything. That's just too heavy to carry around and makes people nasty, hard to get along with, and sick...!

Much better to find the fun and humor and laughter and live a life of joy and freedom and peace of mind. And I do. Don't need religion or Mormonism to do that either!

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Posted by: abacab08 ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:43PM

Kind of indifferent. Something needs to set the record straight. Before buying a major purchase, do you do research? I wished I had done more research, but my ex kept pushing forward. So Im not mad, just find it funny. I knew better and was duped. If one investigator new this site, then maybe one more wont be duped

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:02PM

Mormonism is like an auto accident that wreaks your life.

I truly believed it. CAgirl put it so well when she said she made sacrifices. Well, my children suffered even more than I did. At least I had a reasonable childhood because I didn't grow up Mormon.

Mormons took my money as a married woman--we never could afford a vacation or any extras, really. As a single woman, they insisted I pay tithing on my husband's income that he already tithed on. These are still his children, I pointed out, he's not paying "me" only as their caretaker. They wanted more money, period. So the kids didn't get braces, never had new clothes, never went to Disneyland, didn't have the fancy tennis shoes, etc.

When my husband skipped out on his child support, the Church would not help me find him. Neither would the State. They told me to "hire" a detective. When I was still an active believer and I really need help from the church, when my son was stranded at a truck stop in Arizona, I was told the local Mormon ward would not help him get home until they checked to see if I was active. At the time that was shocking to me--that they really didn't care about my child's safety!

I gave them money that should have gone to meet my children's needs. The decisions that hurt my children: marrying a Mormon, moving to Utah, leaving my semi-normal family behind, leaving college, etc. None of my extended Catholic family speak to me to this day--I'm a traitor even though I eventually left the Mormon Church.

Back to the scene of the car accident that is Mormonism. Some people walk away from a wreck and shake off their injuries. They say, "These things happen." A friend drives them home.

Others go up the road and warn drivers approaching the scene that there is an accident. They want to keep others from having the same thing happen to them.

Some passersby rubberneck, others stop their cars to get out and help pull the cars out of the path of traffic.

People are all different and their reaction to being duped by Mormonism is varied at best.


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Posted by: ronas ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:06PM

Anagrammy I have a lot of respect for your posts and thoughts.

This struck me as strange:
"When my husband skipped out on his child support, the Church would not help me find him."

Why in your mind was this the church's responsiblity?

All the rest of your complaints/experiences make sense to me.

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Posted by: onendagus ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:15PM

Oh I don't know...protect innocent children? Wait, they don't do that.

You do have a valid point though--what is a churches responsibility to individual versus group rights?

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:23PM

As a convert, I had heard from someone who knew my situation that the church knew the bishop of every member; therefore, knew where they were living. Even having the information of what state he had gone to would have helped me.

I didn't realize that you could (at the time- don't know if it's still possible) call the Church headquarters and ask for the bishops name. I asked my bishop to help me because I was naive and thought they were interested in helping children and justice, yada, yada.

I had no idea they protect the priesthood AND they --at the time--were happy to accept tithing when men were not paying child support. You see, I still thought the church being pro-family meant they "supported" a family who had been abandoned. Meaning they would help me bring a deadbeat dad to justice.

Wrong. What they did say was, "If relatives give you money, remember that's your income for tithing purposes."


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Posted by: ronas ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:36PM

Thanks for the clarification. I suspected there was more to the story which is why I asked.

I've also seen the other side of the story. I've seen my Dad be a bishop and have people show up at 1 am expecting him to fix their screwed up marriages.

I've seen people calling my home and expecting me to know every odd piece of trivia about what was going on in the ward just because my dad was bishop.

I've seen people who don't attend church be offended because a million people didn't show up at their door every week.

I've seen people expect unlimited welfare assistance.

When my mom was relief society president there was a home in the ward where the people were behind on rent. The owner of the home called my mom and expected her to go over and collect rent for him.

Not sure it is pertinent - just comes to mind and perhaps explains why your comment was a yellow flag for me.

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Posted by: happyhollyhomemaker ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:43PM

O/T, but from this catholic to your 'catholic' family: you can tell them from me, and the RCC, that they need to get their assess to confession & repent for treating you that way! It doesn't matter if you are the biggest god-hating heathen the world has ever known, it is their DUTY to love you & to be there for you!!! That infuriates me!
Don't they know that catholic means all-inclusive? They don't get to decide who to love & who to hate...they've accepted the rules of catholicism, and rule number one is family comes first!
In fact, challenge them! Ask them if god made family or religion first...if he felt the need to create family before there was religious conviction, then they damn well ought to reason that family is more important! Ugh! You should tell them not be so mormony about it! LOL

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 10:34PM

Hah! So true-- it's even worse than I indicated. My 15 year old daughter agreed to stay with her grandmother to help her after her osteotomy, which is a disagreeable job to say the least. Nevertheless, she was a trouper. During her stay with my mother, she went to Mass daily with her and her maiden aunt. My daughter asked her aunt if she would be her godmother for her baptism.

This aunt, who had refused to help her sister recover, said no. She said she doubted my daughter was sincere since we (Mormons) were all a bunch of liars. She thought I put her up to it so we could get more of my mother's money.

I was absolutely flabbergasted by this response. What 15 year old leaves her friends and her life behind to go to a strange high school and care for a woman who defecates out of her side into a bag and needs help caring for the site (while her intestines heal)?

I knew my daughter was sincere and I told her to dry her tears and not worry about it. God didn't care if she didn't have a godmother.

Reflecting on this and some of the other Catholic horror experiences, I have to say that there is something about the heaven/hell dichotomy that promotes a judgmental nature among the members who buy that whole original sin paradigm. They are always proving they have over come being born "bad."

They were suspicious of me when I was a newspaper columnist, always suspecting I was comparing them unfavorably with other religions, when the opposite was true. I thought they compared well. Their distrust of me was unwarranted, since I was attending mass at the time regularly. Needless to say, this lack of discernment on the part of the priest pushed me away....

YET - I have to say that the Catholics are the ones I sent my clients to when they ran out of food for their families. They were generous and responsive. Also, it was the Catholics who allowed us to have a wonderful funeral for my mother, even though none of us is religious. They also gave a moving and comforting ceremony for my son who died, who had not set foot in a Catholic church in years and never considered himself religious.

Here's the difference in my view: Other religions have good and bad local management, as do Mormons. None of them has a centrally located government which is non-democratic and is primarily concerned with survival and cashflow. None of them is willing to completely deny their faith as Peter did. Mormonism is evil because it perpetuates a climate of deception and exploitation of its members, giving them little in return except promises for a better life and plenty of sex in the hereafter.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2012 11:57PM by anagrammy.

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Posted by: happyhollyhomemaker ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 02:34PM

I believe this is correct. The church promises to have the answers to all, but in the end, it's just snake oil.
I am reminded of John Bash describing his realization that his entirely reality was destroyed, when he came to accept that he was schizophrenic. What he had always believed to be true, was not at all real. That kind of shift is totally disabling. You no longer become functional because all that was real is no longer. He then goes on to describe how difficult it was to rebuild reality from what was real, and that it always took constant rechecking to be sure that people were real. ( he would sometimes have them pinch him to be sure, or wait until someone he knew to be real, like his wife, to interact with them, because he felt that his previous trust in reality prevented him from self-assured assessment of reality)
The point is, all that was true was a lie, and he had to spend A LOT of time & effort in validating reality through his future experiences & the validation of others. Recovering from Mormonism isn't just recovering from cognitive disonance; it's recovering from group schizophrenia!

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Posted by: lulu ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 08:22AM

but there's no way to be gay and Mormon.

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Posted by: apfvrf ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 08:37AM

For many many years I was depressed. I couldn't figure out why. Attended church for many years and wondered why. I have come to believe it was cognitive dissidence that was ruining my life. After I left, things changed for the better. However, I don't think that I really ever became happy until I left Utah and got away from that mindset. So...why after all of these years am I still reading posts and thinking about it? I can't explain it. I still dislike attending family get to gethers because church is all they talk about. It makes me crazy

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Posted by: get her done ( )
Date: February 22, 2012 09:58AM


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