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Posted by: Utah County Mom ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 11:20AM

Maxine Hanks has rejoined the LDS church. She was one of the September 6 and was excommunicated for her feminist writings and views. I knew her in graduate school at BYU--not well, but well enough to be surprised:

If MOrmonism turns out to be her final spiritual home, I wish her well. As for me and my house, I'm not going back. I like it out here. . . .

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Posted by: stbleaving ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 11:30AM

It sounds like she never wanted to formally leave; she was excommunicated due to the political climate in the church at the time. She remained highly active in organized religion and explored Christian theology. It's not surprising that this set of circumstances would eventually lead her back to Mormonism at a time when she can keep her views and profession without jeopardizing her membership again.

While I have a very different viewpoint and set of experiences (and am never going back), I also wish her well.

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Posted by: PtLoma ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 11:40AM

A number of NOMs I know are drifting back to TSCC due to their belief that Mitt in the spotlight provides a layer of protection for those advocating for change within the church. Their feeling is that the church cannot play hardball with dissidents---as they did 20 years ago with Hanks---because the national PR would be disastrous for them (whereas 20 years ago, no one outside of Utah noticed or cared). This was covered recently in a Huffington Post artice. The article also argued that hardliners like BKP are on their way out, mentally and physically.

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Posted by: Boomer ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 04:05PM

If I had millions of dollars, I'd make a movie about Sonja Johnson, the woman kicked out for supporting the Equal Rights Amendment. That would heat up some mo butts.

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Posted by: forbiddencokedrinker ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 11:58AM

There are a few reasons people would return to the church. Brain damage tops the list, but there are still reasons.

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Posted by: idleswell ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:12PM

When I resigned from the Church, I also moved to another province. I also exited from an abusive marriage.

My former stake president called me to talk. I was leaving the Church (that was final), but would I consider re-joining the Church?

No, I couldn't rejoin the Church. My abuser was encouraged and sustained by the Church. She was only threatening her family and assaulting us to make us conform to LDS standards. Some priesthood leaders said I should be grateful to have a wife so over-committed to the gospel. One bishop wondered if my wife should be committed, but that's another story.

I spent most of my 29 year marriage striving to protect myself from damage. Why start this again?

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Posted by: flyboy21 ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:27PM

You shouldn't. Really sorry that happened to you :(

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Posted by: imaworkinonit ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:02PM

years ago.

She seemed like a lovely and intelligent person.

I hope she doesn't get hurt again.

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Posted by: dogeatdog ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:15PM

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she is one of those that wants to change the Church from the inside - change the system. Not saying she doesn't believe, because maybe she does, but there are a lot of those out there and they just want to change it because they believe it's not perfect, etc.

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Posted by: Ragnar ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:19PM

Has LDS Corp apologized to her for what they did? If not, they should. And she should ask for such an apology - and expect one - before rejoining.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:23PM


I knew Lavina Fielding (Anderson) at the UW. she is/was a Brilliant individual; the LDS lost more than she did, that's for sure!

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Posted by: flanders ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:27PM

Let's not be too hard on Ms. Hanks...even abused wives return to their husbands.

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:34PM

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2012 09:42PM by Makurosu.

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Posted by: mav ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 05:49PM

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Posted by: Utah County Mom ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:27PM

I guess it begs the question whether it's easier to leave the Church if you are a convert from a never-mo family rather than a life-long member raised in a devout family.

I can't tell you how much easier it's made leaving the Church behind with the support of my never-mo family. I just wish I could leave Utah and be closer to them. Economic situation and a good job are keeping me here for now.

Sometimes I feel a small yearning for the social community of the church--but I can't devote that amount of time, work, and money to something I no longer believe in.

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Posted by: rt ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 12:44PM

Abuse victims often go back to their abuser. That's what gave the abuser the power in the first place. You can't help people like that.

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Posted by: adoylelb ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 09:40PM

rt Wrote:
> Abuse victims often go back to their abuser.
> That's what gave the abuser the power in the first
> place. You can't help people like that.

That's true.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 01:37PM

. . . it would eventually become a matter of public knowledge anyway.

I respected her request and therefore said nothing about it (although we had our decidedly differing views on the matter).

We remain, and always have been, clsoe friends.

Unfortunately, in the past Maxine has been the target of false accusations (on this board and elsewhere), which have been very personally painful to her.

In light of that fact, I will not be commenting in any detail about her present situation and choices, given that she has asked me not to and because I don't want to see her hurt further.

Edited 8 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2012 02:11PM by steve benson.

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Posted by: rt ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 04:51PM

steve benson Wrote:
> Unfortunately, in the past Maxine has been the
> target of false accusations (on this board and
> elsewhere), which have been very personally
> painful to her.

A few weeks ago I read Latter-Day Dissent by Philip Lindholm.
In this book, he interviews Maxine Hanks and a few of the
other September Six. The interview echoes the sentiment above:

"Public image is illusion. Personal reality is something else.
The church and the media defined my excommunication, yet
neither knew me. The church portrayed me as an enemy and the
media portrayed me as a victim. I was neither."

"Scholars know what they're doing. We weren't enemies or
victims. We were experts. The real story was that we were
misjudged; we were something other than what church leaders
feared. I tried to explain this to the church but they wanted
the enemy story. I tried to explain it to the media, but they
wanted the victim story. So the church told the enemy story
and the media told the victim story, and it was all over the
evening news."

Maybe silence isn't the best strategy if you feel that nobody
gets you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2012 04:51PM by rt.

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Posted by: robertb ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 04:54PM

Maxine Hanks is someone I admire in or out of the church. Glad she has you for a friend, Steve.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 05:13PM

Thanks for that.

I wonder what we said that was incorrect and hurtful. I don't remember much that was negative about her.

I wish she could have set the record straight if errors were said about her. She could have out written any of us and defended herself with her extraordinary skills!

I am grateful for one thing about this board. It gave me thick skin and the ability to face critics. It taught me to defend my views and recognize weak arguments.

Personal attacks happen- they are just more blatant in an anonymous internet setting. Usually they are nothing more than an inability to defend views any other way. Everyone has an opinion, but they all are not equal in value. :-) This place may not be safe for people who are very sensitive.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 01:42PM

I hope she finds the happiness she's looking for.

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Posted by: Shummie ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 05:00PM

Hey Dagny, you heard about this?

Earth to Maxine, wot's all this???

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 04:37PM

My impression of her was an interest in the feminine aspects of God and Gnostic issues (for example female disciples).

I can't imagine what interests her about Mormonism because I feel her intellect is beyond it. She may be an influence for advancement of women in Mormonism.

I'm sure she has her personal experiences and reasons for her decisions. Maybe it has to do with someone she cares for. Maybe it has to do with doctrine. Who knows? She doesn’t need to explain anything.

She never seemed to be an unbeliever. She had a sense of the divine that she was able to interpret her own way. She didn't seem the hard core skeptical type. Maybe Mormonism could be a good move for her if she wants a community role in an LDS community. She has links to LDS culture. I think she might have a lot of talent in many areas. I really liked her books. She’s a great speaker too.

I do expect that a "return to the fold" story like hers will encourage Mormons to keep irritating people like me (and big fish like Benson) because they think if they don't give up somehow it will pay off and people like me will go back. In Maxine's case maybe it worked.

Good luck to her in her journey.

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Posted by: Anon Regular Poster ( )
Date: July 20, 2012 08:45PM

As long as you believe in Jesus Christ, you hold the priesthood of God. I am comfortable with my church's perspective on this.

I'm not sure if this is her understanding of LDS lay ministry.

I do wish her well. Being exed myself, I understand the emotions and desire to become a member of the fold. I made peace with the LDS church.

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Posted by: JL ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 04:23PM

""Public image is illusion. Personal reality is something else."

This reminds me of Margaret Toscano's story. She said in an interview that what really hurt her was that his brother-in-law did not allow her to dress her deceased sister after the excommunication.

Maybe Maxine Hanks had experiences of that sort that cause her to rejoin TSCC.

Regardless, I wish her the best.

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Posted by: rt not logged in ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 05:32PM

What a load of crap. She's about to rejoin (or just has rejoined) an abusive, manipulative cult. How anybody can wish her "all the best" in this journey is beyond me. I for one pity her.

Next thing you know we're staring to congratulate people for joining scientology.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 05:37PM

At least she knows what she's getting into.

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Posted by: toto ( )
Date: July 21, 2012 11:51PM

The September Six helped start my journey out of the church. One of my close friends was offered a position at YBU that was vacated by one of the people who were excommunicated. Trippy time.

I hope Hanks is OK.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2012 11:51PM by toto.

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Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: July 22, 2012 01:12AM

As one who has been ex'd, then went back, I wonder if she knows what she's getting into.

Does she realize they will NEVER let go of the past?
The church never forgives. If they find an opportunity to get even (with love of course) they will.

She may be stunned to find that her file will be red flagged the rest of her life. That red flag means something. It means any of the men who are in charge of her can deny her of any ecclesiastical blessings or ordinances as they see fit. It's their personal decision. If she has a bish. or sp. that doesn't like her past, they can and will use it against her. The church NEVER forgives. EVER.

I can't help but wonder if she knows, or understands that. They may take you back in, but not without holding your past against you until the day you die. The atonement is meaningless to the church. They demand you be Christlike and forgiving, while they refuse to be.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: July 22, 2012 01:14AM

I wish her well and it is ultimately her choice, but I really do not get it.

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Posted by: brainfrees ( )
Date: July 22, 2012 02:07AM

It was what members of "other" churches did that proved they were wrong and we were right. Someone mentioned it on a thread here recently. Jesus is the new black in Moism. The branding wizards have been subtly putting Jesus into the trade dress of the church and altering the culture - so subtly that I had forgotten how we didn't used to say Jesus out loud, except at the end of a prayer. The average TBM is oblivious to the change. What? We've always been all about Jesus Christ. Especially since we know his first and last name.

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