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Posted by: left4good ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 04:43PM

"Moi" posted on another thread of cliques in a ward in Alberta.

DW and I moved around a lot in my military career and saw a mixed bag. Some units were cohesive, others were insanely cliquish.

Would be very interested in hearing your views on how cliquish your last ward/branch was. Our last one (in the South) was horribly cliquish. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would put it at an easy 9.5.

Others? Would love to see state/region and a 1 to 10 score.

To start:

Southern U.S. 9.5

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Posted by: WinksWinks ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 05:10PM

Areas of WA, very cliquish. The interesting thing was that there were only like three groupings. Most of the ward in the main group, some "extra specials" who were extra better, and then the people nobody wanted to talk to who gradually tried to befriend everyone one at a time.
I didn't want to talk to anyone, so I was one of those nobody wanted to talk to. But I didn't annoy anyone by trying to become their bestie, I just wanted out!

It wasn't as bad as I've heard some can be, so I'd give it a 6-7.

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Posted by: JasonK ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 05:45PM

The least cliquesh ward I was in was the older singles ward in Silicon Valley in the mid-1980s, though I can't personally remember any ward that was particularly bad and a few that were close to the singles ward. (I did once live in a neighborhood where Mormons and non-Mormons formed a busy-body clique that drove the rest of us crazy with their nonsense.)

There were a few in my mission in South America which was like a civil war, where if one person got made branch president/bishop, half the branch/ward would go innactive, then the leadership would switch and it would reverse itself. One ward or branch got so bad, they dissolved it and vacated the missionaries for a year or so.

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Posted by: happyhollyhomemaker ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 06:02PM

I can't speak for the guys, but women are pretty awful about it.
My first ward wasn't bad. The second was a little bad about about it. They were really only cliquish in RS, where it was the 'true Mormons' from Idaho and Utah, who ganged up and looked down on and openly gossiped about the 'first generation Mormons'. It was weird and off-putting because they made themselves the outsiders, and then would stand up in RS and cry and complain that they were being ignored and cast out, much to the confusion of every other sister in the ward who had all gone well out of their way to be nice to them, despite their abhorrent behavior. That was midatlantic coast area.
The third one was THE WORST!! Here in AZ. Different little sects would clique up and terrorize each other with thinly veiled references to the target person's 'sin' or weak spot.
It got so bad that the bishopric had to sit in for classes for over three months just to keep a lid on all of the back biting and gossiping. Unsurprisingly, the gossip almost always came from the bishop's wife out of "concern".

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Posted by: JasonK ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 06:07PM

Now that you mention it, I was in a ward in north Orem where all the guys got along great--we were mostly nerds and construction workers--but the women had a rather rigid heirarchy. This isn't uncommon, though more extreme in some areas than others (and an often overlooked aspect of Mormonism.)

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Posted by: who cares ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 06:52PM

"Overlooked" only by the men!
Who cares what the women get up to, right?
Oh you mean their entire social circle of interaction might be a pit of vipers because being close friends with men is pretty much a no-no in mormonism so the men have no idea what's going on? It's only "overlooked" because the men generally aren't involved with them and would have no idea what they are up to. To the women, it is all. there. is. to church life since they are forbidden from any of those priesthood meetings and duties which are made up of "mostly nerds and construction workers", otherwise known as sexists who could care less what's going on with the little wimmin.

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Posted by: JasonK ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 08:04PM

Just how big is that chip on your shoulder?

Take my comments at face value. The women had a heirarchy, the men did not. I didn't say it was bad or good, I simply said that it was. This is sociologically actually quite normal.

(In the case I mentioned, the only time I recall this became an issue were, in my opinion, extremely immature disputes over who was in charge of what crafts! In one particular case, the woman in charge of the RS activity wanted one craft to be taught, but the woman doing the teaching insisted it be another, albeit very related.

So, in English, this puts the clique factor at 3 or 4; pretty damn low.)

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Posted by: bordergirl ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 11:13PM

Take a bunch of women, many of whom have no work outside the home in which to forge an identity, and put them in a group where they're struggling to make a mark (in the only venue open to them) and then act surprised that there is vicious infighting and one-ups-womanship?

To be consigned to that fate is enough to give anyone a chip on the shoulder! So unless you've experienced it, you have no idea, and you just might learn something from listening to someone who has.

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Posted by: JasonK ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 02:04PM

Take a bunch of women and put them to work and they tend to create a heirarchy that extends outside what already exists. A related phenomenom is recounted in "The Right Stuff" with military wives.

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Posted by: PaintingintheWIN ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 09:14PM

Something about the (Mormon) paradigm / does this or elicits this?
Or some variable of the mormon experience causes an expression of this aspect of humanity?
Because this same exact conduct caused the end of the united order

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Posted by: want2bx ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 06:16PM

Every ward in UT county that I've been in within the last 20 years has been between 8-10 on the cliquish scale.

A few years ago, I took my daughter to a restaurant playland for lunch. When I went it in, there were about 6 or 8 women from my ward talking and having lunch together while their kids played. All of them were my immediate neighbors and one of the women I visit taught at the time. They acknowledged me, but not one of them asked me to join them at their table, which is something I certainly would have done had the roles been reversed. In fact, they watched me clean off the only vacant table so that my daughter and I would have a place to sit.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2013 08:09PM by want2bx.

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Posted by: utahstateagnostics ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 07:50PM

The ward in which I grew up in Oregon was probably a 2 or 3.

But our former ward here in Ogden was like a 7-8. DW attended a playgroup intended for young mothers and toddlers and were horribly cliquish.

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Posted by: anon for now ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 07:59PM

I've lived in a lot of wards around the country. My experience was the further west the worse it got.

Utah being the ultimate nightmare. They're very into who their relatives were. UGH.

After that, I have to say Washington. What a bunch of snobs. One of the absolute worst died of a drug overdose last year. Go figure.

The best was back east. Everyone in the ward was from someplace else. They needed each other. They all lived far apart from each other. The ward get togethers were always fun and everyone was included. I went from that to Utah. It was like going to two different churches.

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Posted by: qwerty6pack ( )
Date: August 07, 2013 08:33PM

Small towns in Utah, very much so.

Still, some fine people, but the "The People Are Perfect, The Church Sucks!"

So I quit, a long while back, before Internet.

The shunning and love bombing never were big in my life, lucky I guess, but I saw it. Still do, because of mormon connections, but it's relatively low on my church nausiation-o-meter.

Other things: hate, excommunication, bigoted, judge mental, male dominated abuse and manipulation, all top the "cool kids" behavior.



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Posted by: StoneInHat ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 03:32AM

I found my mission was very cliquish. It really bothered me that the Americans and the Brazilians would generally break off into two separate groups and not associate with one another. I had more than one American companion who would describe Americans as being superior to Brazilians. If that's not cliquish, I'm not sure what is. I guess it's also racist.

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Posted by: CL2 ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 09:51AM

This is actually the least cliquish ward I've ever lived in and it still has its problems.

The ward I grew up in--it didn't MATTER who your pioneer relatives were. I didn't know about that until I came to this board. I have a family that it is all about pioneer royalty--BUT because my dad wasn't very active and my mother was socially awkward, we were treated like pariahs. I can't believe I stayed active mormon for so long. I had 3 of 6 siblings leave the lds church in their teens over how they were treated and I certainly wasn't treated any better.

I've said it MANY TIMES BEFORE--I was treated better in mormonism while married to my gay ex who was cheating on me--than I've ever been treated in mormonism because my ex knew how to play the mormon culture game. The ladies all find themselves falling all over him still--as he lives here. I will just be sitting here working and I hear him outside talking, laughing, etc., and it is yet another one of the neighbor women who all know he is gay. I guess he is safe!!!! Going to the lds church isn't any better than jr. high or middle school in social aspects.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 10:07AM

Yeah - good subject.

This is what happens when you isolate half the ward and give the other half the power over their lives.

Just like mice packed too closely in their cages, they bite each other, causing disfigurement and even death with their clawing.

Utah is definitely the worst.

Coming from California, where people pretty much have their own lives and mind their own business, I found it hilarious and then disturbing when these big-haired biddies wanted to know what was in the big box that I threw away last Thursday.

And who was visiting me that drove that blue car that was in my driveway on Tuesday.

And why were there footprints in the snow leading from my door to the street at 5:00 am when it had only started snowing at 3:00am? Did I have relatives visiting? (Code for are you sleeping with someone?)

The ward detectives concluded that I was a polygamist because I wore long skirts (they didn't notice the cast on my foot, apparently) and had long hair (it was the seventies and I was in my twenties).

The real kicker was when the bishop called me and said the ladies in the ward reported that I had men "coming and going" all night and that I might be a ...(whore) woman who entertained men for money...and he was terribly embarrassed to ask me about this but he was required to by the church Handbook.

I had four grown sons and tended my grandchildren. My two older boys worked shift work so, indeed, they dropped off and picked up kids at various times 24/7.

The gossiping was I N S A N E.

Idle minds and over-scheduled robotic lives make minds ripe for Satan, who is always looking for people to control, right?


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Posted by: left4good ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 10:14AM

anagrammy Wrote:
> The real kicker was when the bishop called me and
> said the ladies in the ward reported that I had
> men "coming and going" all night and that I might
> be a ...(whore) woman who entertained men for
> money...and he was terribly embarrassed to ask me
> about this but he was required to by the church
> Handbook.

Would love to know what in the handbook REQUIRED him to do that.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 08:35PM

I asked him if he wanted to come over and go through my closets to see if any mens' clothes were hanging there?

He was embarrassed and said he was only asking these questions because of the Handbook (?)

This was in the early eighties.


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Posted by: left4good ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 08:41PM

anagrammy Wrote:
> I asked him if he wanted to come over and go
> through my closets to see if any mens' clothes
> were hanging there?
> He was embarrassed and said he was only asking
> these questions because of the Handbook (?)
> This was in the early eighties.
> Anagrammy

Handbook never said anything about groundless gossip. It did (and presumably still does) require bishops to investigate credible information of behavior inconsistent with TSCC (blah, blah, blah).

I'm guessing he was wanting to cover himself.

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Posted by: NeverMo in CA ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 08:47PM

anagrammy Wrote:

> And why were there footprints in the snow leading
> from my door to the street at 5:00 am when it had
> only started snowing at 3:00am? Did I have
> relatives visiting? (Code for are you sleeping
> with someone?)
Too bad you didn't think to respond,

"Oh, you were walking down the street at 5:00 am? Didn't your husband miss having you sleeping beside him? Where were you coming back from at that hour?"

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Posted by: Anubis ( )
Date: August 08, 2013 06:10PM

MY dad had lost his job and we moved into a small ward in the Midwest. After about 6 months no one ever spoke to us or acted like they cared.

Gramps got up in fast and testmonkey meeting and let them all have it. To the words of, You are all a bunch of a$$holes and need to be ashamed of yourself. My son and his family need help more than ever. (Yes he used a$$hole.... My g-ma was never above yelling shizt when needed).

It worked and everyone was suddenly our friends. So funny I still laugh.

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Posted by: celeste ( )
Date: August 09, 2013 01:50AM

My home ward didn't seem cliquish to me, but branches in my mission were horrible. The branch in the MP's home town was the worst. Sister missionaries were treated like crap by the YSA women. OK, not enjoying this flashback....

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: August 09, 2013 04:15AM

My very first ward (also in the Deep South!!!) was like an extended family. I came to love those people dearly, and missed them when my job required me to move to another state. Everybody knew everybody else's business, but in a GOOD way. Like, if word got out that your car was making odd noises but you didn't have the money to get it looked at, sure enough, somebody from the ward who knew stuff about cars would offer to take a look at it. And if it needed work, he would either do it himself or get some of the other guys in the ward to chip in. This isn't just an urban legend; it happened to me. Those folks were GREAT. There weren't cliques; or if there were, I was too naive to discern them.

Coming from this background and moving MUCH closer to Utah, I was horrified at how cliquish people were. When I was a nervous newcomer, hardly anybody bothered to greet me or try to make me feel welcome. When word got out that I was bilingual, the Spanish speakers were far more friendly to me than the others (and I'm Anglo.)

When I met the man who would eventually become my husband, he hardly even perceived the cliques.(Ironically, he is also a Spanish-speaking Anglo.) He had lived most of his life in that ward, and that was how it had always been. His father was an alcoholic nevermo and his mother was an inactive Jack-mo, so their family was regarded as basically worthless, and treated as such. Once I saw this for myself, I was shocked - and hurt - on his behalf. And he had never known anything different.

When I resigned, he was upset, but because he felt that the relationship was more important than the church, we began attending other churches together. He was astonished to see how welcoming other churches could be. One church we attended was openly welcoming to the GLBT community. Once my husband got over the shock of seeing gays and lesbians holding hands or having their arms around each other, (without censuring looks from anybody, even!) he realized what "real" fellowship was about.

He is still a believing TBM, but he no longer attends that church. He believes "the Gospel" but believes that the people have strayed a very long way from it.

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Posted by: Joy ( )
Date: August 09, 2013 06:17AM

In the outside-of-Utah ward I grew up in, there were cliques, but I was "in" because of my GA relative, and my mother was RS pres, and my father was Bishop. We had enough money to keep up. The neighbors used to joke about all the fancy cars parked in the church parking lot on Sunday, "like a car show." But, the wards began shrinking, and they consolidated our ward with two wards from "lesser" neighborhoods. I liked the new boys, because they were more down-to-earth, and less uptight, but my mother didn't like me to date them. These young men were far better men than my brothers turned out to be. Many of them went to BYU, and I dated them there.

Here in Utah, the women seem to enjoy a status comparable to their husband's calling. Well, I had no husband, so that put me at the bottom of the pecking order. The widows were single, but still retained a status well above the divorced women.

My children had lesser status, as children from "a broken home" as they called it. We left the cult, and achieved a good amount of success in education and careers. One poster brought up a restaurant incident. My daughter, now married to a handsome, Mormon with a great professional career, and living in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, ran into two sisters, who had been stake president's daughters, and had snubbed my daughter in high school. They also came back to live in the same neighborhood. My daughter had to sit at another table, just like the other story. Her daughter was excited to see the snob's daughter, who was in her class at school, so she went into the playground area to play with her. Soon, my granddaughter came back to the table, crying, because the other two girls wouldn't play with her. My daughter was so furious, that she immediately left. Mormon cliques are carried out from generation to generation. There is safety in numbers, and my granddaughter knows so many little girls, and has so many cousins, that she hasn't asked to play with the snotty little girl since. Avoidance is the best strategy. Let them gossip and snark at each other--and leave us out of it.

I would rate our former ward a 10. It is a joke that the snobbiest high school girl clique ended up drinking, and sleeping around, and several got pregnant. As Mormons do, they adopted out their babies to LDS adoption services, or whatever they call it, in Idaho. If I became a grandparent, I would never give my own grandchild away! But it was OK, because their parents had high church positions, and the girls went on to marry returned missionaries from other wealthy families. One girl concealed her pregnancy, had a live birth in her room and hid the baby in a drawer, where they found it dead. There was a police investigation. Two years later, this girl married a returned missionary in the temple, and life went on. If a female is in the right clique, they can get away with just about anything.

My daughter had skipped a grade in school, but as soon as she grew boobs and became beautiful overnight, the girls wanted her to hang out with them. They called her a "guy magnet." Mormon clique prestige depended on your money, your family connections, your ability to attract men, and your general popularity. At YW on Sunday morning, these girls would brag about their sexual conquests, in detail. They would also tease an overweight girl in the class, until she cried. When they asked my daughter to be the YW class president, she would stand up every week, and tell the girls to shut up. She didn't want to hear all that smut in church, or ever. She also made sure they stopped being cruel to the large girl--at least while my daughter was there. The clique pretty much destroyed the girl, whose parents were going through a divorce.

The reason I know these girls learned this from their mothers, is that I had to deal with almost the same thing. They bragged about material things, ragged on people who had less money or who were not well dressed, or who didn't have a man. The woman who was living with a handsome guy was accepted, though. There were more women who were NOT in the clique, and they were good human beings. The cliques get themselves more attention, that's all. A few of those mothers got themselves banned from the girls volleyball and baseball games, because of their screaming and swearing at the referees. Bad example.

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Posted by: Mateo Pastor ( )
Date: August 09, 2013 06:37AM

Calling my last ward in Madrid, Spain cliquish is an understatement: the immigrants from coastal Ecuador were on speaking terms with the immigrants from inland Ecuador. But not with the Peruvians, Argentines or Spanish. Let alone the Nigerians and Filipinos. They all liked the Americans though.

And of course, the 1970s converts didn't mingle much with the 1980s converts, much less the 1990s converts.

In Portugal, however, I knew a ward where it was perfectly ordinary to see a local boy marry a convert from Sri Lanka or a black girl from Brazil with a white boy from Russia. Very inclusive: you don't see Russian and eastern European men with black girlfriends generally.

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Posted by: leafonthewind ( )
Date: August 09, 2013 08:15AM

My last ward was horribly cliquish. I only attended a few times in a period of 6 months.

The branch before that was not cliquish and definitely my favorite ward/branch experience.

Before that, the ward was about half and half.

And before that, I was in the first ward I mentioned in this post.

All these were in Arizona, in the same area. (Maybe 20 miles between the stake center where I attended the 2 different wards and the branch building.)

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Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: August 09, 2013 08:44AM

My ward in Minnesota had a particular road that some of the women would not cross to do visiting teaching, because that was where all the "low class" people lived in a trailer park. I didn't have any Mormon friends, and I couldn't care less about the things that people in the ward used to get worked up about, but my then wife used to get assigned to visit those people and she was very aware of the clique in the ward.

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