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Posted by: mrtranquility ( )
Date: April 03, 2012 12:47PM

Brooks and Dehlin love all that other Mormony stuff outside the true/false dichotomy. A whole culture evolved through generations of Mormons. I totally understand wanting to be a part a tribe. If you love it and feel a part of it, it feels like home. It's powerful stuff that may even have roots at the DNA level.

I used to play in a klezmer band, so I got to hang out with lots of Jews. I could totally feel the buzz of their tribal connections and see its attraction.

I was only ever interested in Mormonism as long as it was true. I pursued it as a moral imperative. Otherwise, I found it mostly a colossal bore fest. Any friendship or sense of community that I wanted from it I have always felt I could find some where else if I wanted to.

I can totally see how others cling to it. Lots of other religions allow its members more intellectual freedom to worship as they see fit. Mormonism is too orthodox to embrace that.

Ironically, quasi-religious thinking (or whatever you want to call it) is a popular subject matter on Public Radio. There is even a syndicated radio show called "On Being" devoted to it in which they have usually interesting guests thinking outside the box of the tradition they were raised in. So at least with the usually liberal-leaning public radio audience a Joanna Brooks is about 100 more likely to be invited to talk about Mormony things than any official representative of the morg. As a result she is getting way more air time. The "I am a Mormon" campaign projects some of the same flavor of the non-traditional living outside the box adherent, but in LDS, Inc.'s case they don't really mean it.

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Posted by: spencerljensen ( )
Date: April 03, 2012 02:38PM

As I said before, anyone who draws media attention and online traffic to sites or communities where people can learn the other side of the Mormonism story (i.e., anything negative and not just propaganda) is a good thing.

They are getting more exposure than anyone and they are starting conversations and questioning. They make the nevermo public more aware of Mormonism's unpalatable side.

So we can sit around doing nothing and waiting for people to stumble across a website that someone else took years to get ranked by the Search Engines, poo-pooing their exact stance & position.

But I respect these 2 because they are doing SO MUCH MORE to proactively get the light of attention and fair exposure shining on the church--something I think we all want to happen, despite some people's aversion to phrases like "get the message out" or "Middle Way."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2012 02:40PM by spencerljensen.

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Posted by: IRanon ( )
Date: April 03, 2012 06:27PM

I think reasoning mormonism, it is important to recognize two main factors. Doctrinal proof and social proof of mormonism. These two factors are like gravity and affects on capability to make decision, whether to leave or stay in church.

Dehlin seems to have make an effort to ease people who suffers and are unhappy about their situation, whirlpooling around these factors. It is much easier to leave, when you find understanding people and support. I think he uses the term non-correlated mormons.

I think it is matter of time when, publicly opposing free spirits, get ex-communicated by Iron rod-mormons. However, the agony will be there as far, one is not willing to solve these factors that are pulling one back.

Possible solutions dealing doctrinal issues, would be to find out the true history. Dealing social issues can be solved by finding the strength to deal with people who you care and searching meaningful ways to interact and fulfill the social needs, such as love and belonging.

These two factors are often interacting and are not seen as different issues in mormon theology, cult mind control or generally in human mindset. This is the reason why no one joins a religion only by reading religious scriptures. Cults often use excessive manipulation on converts regarding to their emotions. "Love bombing" etc.

According to mormonism, one should rely on emotions regarding to the truth and there are no legitimate reasons to leave the church.

Boyd K Packer said:
"The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.

Avoid like a plague those who claim that some great spiritual experience authorizes them to challenge the constituted priesthood authority in the Church. Do not be unsettled if you cannot explain every insinuation of the apostate or every challenge from the enemies who attack the Lord’s church."

It also is uncomfortable to meet opposition to the so called "truth" many mormons trust, and relies on. But in other hand, it is uncomfortable to be in opposition in a group, because of peer pressure. This is probably a reason why ex-mormons also seek social connection and interaction through internet and possibly live meetings and friendship, of one other. Humans are wired to be social.

Emotional control of cults according to Steven Hassan:

1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person’s feelings.

2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it
is always their fault, never the leader’s or the group’s.

3. Feeling-stopping (with number 4, Excessive use of guilt). Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling \”homesick\” or feeling \”depressed\” or feeling \”resentful\”.

4. Excessive use of guilt

a. Identity guilt

1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)

2. Your family

3. Your past

4. Your affiliations

5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions

b. Social guilt

c. Historical guilt

5. Excessive use of fear

a. Fear of thinking independently

b. Fear of the “outside” world

c. Fear of enemies

d. Fear of losing one’s “salvation”

e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group

f. Fear of disapproval

6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.

7. Ritual and often public confession of “sins”.

8. Phobia indoctrination :
programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader’s authority.

The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.

a. No happiness or fulfillment “outside” of the group

b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: “hell”;
“demon possession”; “incurable diseases”;
“accidents”; “suicide”; “insanity”;
“10,000 reincarnations”; etc.

c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends,
peers, and family.

d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group’s perspective,
people who leave are: “weak;” “undisciplined;”
“unspiritual;” “worldly;” “brainwashed
by family, counselors;” seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.

I (IMHO) think Dehlin is sincere about his endeavor to help people struggling with these issues. I also think he wants to offer more humane religious view in contrast to a present authoritative LDS church. For sure, there are issues that possibly is clinging him to mindset of a mormon thinking. I don’t see any moral dilemma about finding legitimate reasons, not to leave the church and be happy; even though it would not have been my cup of tea.

One revealing general matter is the concept of "anti-mormons". Even former mormons seem to have emotional impetus in that word, most often negative. Some might feel embarrassment, if they read some material or was influenced by claimed anti-mormon books or fear of being labeled as such.

I think this labeling things “anti-mormon”, is invented by the church, in order to indoctrinate phobias toward any criticism. A mass-movement often needs an mutual enemy. However, this enemy seems to be fabricated by the church. I don’t think there has ever been people who would associate them self as "anti-mormon". However, during the history, church has associated completely different types of entities or persons as an enemy. Mob of disappointed followers of Joseph Smith, US government against polygamy, christendom, priests, negroes, polygamists, ex-mormons, scientists, intellectuals, feminists, human right activists, homosexuals, democrats maybe in next election?
Most issues of criticism are raised from inside the church. There cannot be a way to exclude these issues as "anti", an opposing force from outside of the church.

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Posted by: snowball ( )
Date: April 04, 2012 10:33AM

mrtranquility raised an interesting point, which is the difference in what drove us as Mormons in the first place. For him and for me, it was the belief that the church was true and the only way to attain salvation.

For me going to church was like getting a picky kid to eat vegetables. I "knew" it was the "right" thing to do. However, on many occasions I didn't like it. I didn't like three hours plus of meetings on Sunday (most of the time). I didn't like interviews with the Bishops--especially when the "little factory" questions came up. I didn't and don't like wearing white shirts. I don't like going up to Germans and trying to engage them in a religious discussion. But it's what I did in order to save my soul and conform my will to that of the true church, which by extension was God.

Suddenly, I learned that the vegetable was no good. No vitamins, no minerals, no fiber. The LDS Church was the spiritual nutritional equivalent of a Twinkee! It just wasn't worth the effort required.

Mormon culture was never much of a draw. I hated "Jello salads," never saw Saturday's Warrior, and never wanted to go to EFY.

I suppose for others, it never mattered as much whether Mormonism is doctrinally true. I don't think one could divine from the writings and podcasts that doctrine never mattered to John Dehlin. But there is something cultural that he clings to, which I don't entirely understand.

This may only be a matter of degree. Since, it certainly was difficult to break off culturally and it takes many of us some time to sever ties after discovering it's a lie. But, in my case I attribute that to my uncertainty as to how to survive independent of the Mormon system. That's a hard transition, because it means socially starting from scratch. However, I think those who choose to remain in Mormonism forgo much of the opportunity to engage a wider world. The time commitments of Mormonism alone would do a great deal to prevent this kind of growth.

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Posted by: Cabbie (Not Logged In) ( )
Date: April 04, 2012 09:38PM

Years ago I recall when SLDrone posted here about an experience where he'd e-mailed Eric and Susan about some threads that were pulled and some of the rules.

He said at the time he hadn't been aware how heavily this site was trolled. At the time I was fairly new here, and the board was much smaller, but he seemed satisfied with the answers, and I've always found him respectful and insightful. I might choose an alternative for myself at times, but generally I wait for someone to throw the first punch before I finish the fight.

And Dehlin and Brooks certainly had nothing over him in terms of contacts and friendships he maintained within the LDS Church. I particularly howled over his story about wearing a colored shirt into the COB when he was meeting someone and being ripped on by no less than Boyd K. Packer...

Brooks is nothing more than a slick apologist à la Jan Shipps. As for Dehlin, right now my take is he trying to be the first New Order Mormon G.A. or possibly even has his eyes on an apostleship.

Recovery from Mormonism means leaving the church at least intellectually. Anything else amounts to defending the indefensible.

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Posted by: SLDrone ( )
Date: April 04, 2012 11:47PM

It's always amazed me how many people really liked that colored shirt story.

Had it not been for the backlash of the Sept 6, Brooks and Dehlin would have been exed a long time ago. Both of them. In a way they can thank Boyd they still have an audience.

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