Friday, March 25, 2011


If it's true that inundating oneself with something (cigarettes, candy/junk food) often leads to a distaste and hatred for said thing, then I'm getting there.

I am so SICK of this church shit. The rough draft is due Monday--and it's a lot of work--and I've a linguistics test to study my ass off for, and I'm considering switching subjects.

Seriously. I don't know.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your help, everyone. I think I'm good now.

Now, for a new (albeit brief) topic: I hear the newest trend is for the girls to complain about "feeling trapped" and wanting to work outside the home. And no, I clarified: not in the "pampered chef" or "scentsy" line of work.

Now I hardly believe every woman wants to get out and work, but /snort. Really?

I never would've guessed.

They should listen to their leaders.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Still looking.

Finding decent articles and first hand experiences from the church has been both frustrating and enlightening. The bullshit the church has said--amazing. I knew about most of it, of course, but my god.

Still looking for first hand experiences, mostly by way of these questions:

1) How long did it take you to say phrases like "if i left the church"?

2) How long did it take you to go less- or in-active? To "break your covenants"?

3) (to above questions) WHY: Specifics, plz, especially regarding any teachings, scriptures, doctrines, lessons, quotes, etc. that fucked with your emotions and kept your drive to stay. The more honest the better. Don't be afraid to say you were offended (because, really, I was offended by the church's treatment of me and others, of polygamy and their sins of omission, etc). If it was something else, lemme know.

4) What emotions did you go through during and following your disaffection?

5) What did other people say? Leaders, friends, ward members, family, etc. I'm considering comparing language before leaving and after--because, yes. There's a HUGE difference. If you received one letter from a friend before leaving and then a more vitriolic response from the same friend later, I'm all for seeing it.

Thank you so much for those of you who've entrusted me with your stories so far. It means a lot.

(and so far I've only received one, one, response from a TBM. But she didn't really grasp what I was asking for. She simply told me why she thinks the church is true, not what she thinks the consequences are of leaving. Oh well. I was happy to have someone respond. Sigh)

you can email me at


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Call for Interviews

I can't wait any longer, and as a friend of mine reminded me--I can always get into the other topic at a different time (likely during my credential courses). As I'm still passionate about LDS issues, focusing on this would likely make my life a lot easier.

SO. I'm still working on the questions, but I need to interview people regarding what it was or is like to doubt/struggle with beliefs/leave the church--officially or unofficially. I won't end up interviewing everyone who offers (I only need 5 primary sources), but I need to know what I'm working with here.

Please keep in mind, I'm looking for language RE: retention (the church's efforts to keep members in the church, especially preemptive efforts) and how it manipulates emotions and thoughts or skews logic--in any medium.

So, aside from interviews, here's what I'm looking for:

- You Tube videos about leaving the church and how the church made the process a pain in the ass, please let me know about it. I'm looking at the moment but if I can find better sources, it would really help. (This could also include specific "I am a Mormon" videos which mention at all why the church is teh best and leaving is scary scary or otherwise bad)

- A scanned copy of the "please stay, [non-apology apology]" pamphlet they send out.

- Stories from those who had to fight like hell to get out of the church (after sending the letter, the church tried to excommunicate them, or otherwise made the process linger--including visits from local leaders)

- Any great articles. I've already got Jeff Holland's piece of shit temper-tantrum talk from the last conference.

- Exit stories on your blog or anyone elses, specifically stories which mention difficulty in leaving because of church authority or other members' impassioned pleas that you review your faith, your testimony, and your history. Members who implore that you repent. Doubts you had and what made you stay despite those doubts.

- Emails or letters you wouldn't mind sharing from stake/ward members, friends or family who freaked out when you left, etc.

- If you are an active member and you're reading this, a letter/comment/whatever telling me why you think leaving the church is a bad idea.

- Blog posts or comments of/from faithful members denouncing doubt, your anger, etc. A post admonishing people to "focus on the good," or talking about how "the church is perfect, but the people aren't." I'm looking for language, here, reasons leaving is not a good idea.

- Pictures, advertisements, etc.

- Anything else you think would help. 

Also, I know there are sites out there notorious for their super-anti stance, like The Mormon Curtain and otherwise. I don't doubt the veracity of these sites so much, but I need something that most people would respect, including members. Evidences where the emotions are there, but not insane. Does that make sense? I'd just rather avoid shit akin to "Godmakers," ya dig?

Thank you so much. I appreciate it a lot.

**I asked a few of my super-faithful friends for help, too (including one of my VTs). Think they'll be into it? We'll see. I figure they might fear I'll go apeshit on my project about how lame the church is OR they'll figure it's a great missionary moment. Who knows. I hope they respond. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Retention via Obedience

You'll probably hear a lot about this in the next week or two. I can't decide whether to analyze the language of retention rhetoric in the church or focus on the current climate surrounding the "problem" of teachers.

The first is easy, though maddening. I do wonder if it would help me get over everything. It's not difficult to point out various aspects of the church's strategy to keep people in, but to lay it all out at once and see it all for what it is might help.

Then again, what am I learning? And would it help anyone else out--not the faithful, but the fringe perhaps? The non-member? Those who tell me (as I was told on friday) to focus on the rhetoric of conversion because "leaving the church is easy"?

(i corrected her tout de suite. i don't know if she was a member or just ignorant, but it didn't matter--i've grown to have an automatic impassioned response for such bullshit)

In looking at the church issue I've run into loads of it. Like this:

To obey means to follow and to accept direction...I was impressed by the remarks of Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the First Council of the Seventy, when he asked a young man if he was preparing to go on a mission. The young man replied, ‘I don’t want to go on a mission.’ Elder Tuttle’s response was, ‘What does that matter? The Lord wants you to go.’ This is a perfect example of how the law of obedience should be exercised -- Keith Brian Rutledge, in Conference Report, Melbourne Australia Area Conference 1976, p. 18. via  "Lesson 34: Obedience," Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1, (2002)

I've heard similar BS in my own wards. Like the time my Gospel Doctrine teacher told the story of a couple invited to meet with the stake president, who would ask the husband to a rather burdensome position--bishop? Anyway, apparently the SP asked the wife if she would support this calling. She said "I don't like it." The SP said, "Too bad."

My Gospel Doctrine class, with the exception of my husband and I, laughed.

They laughed.

It's just, you know. Really?

And it's everywhere.

And I've done this for 2 1/2 years myself. All this would result in is a more nuanced understanding of one aspect and a paper. I don't particularly care anymore if there's a member in my class who might get his or her feathers in a ruffle over this--they need to know. And they probably won't. Members are olympiads when it comes to mental gymnastics.


The other issue gets me off the church mindset. It would help me focus on a field I'm looking to enter into in a few years. It's part of many related issues I don't know a lot about, other than what I've seen in my own family for the last 2 1/2 years and through my interactions with my kids' teachers--not to mention the experiences I've heard from friends of mine. In that way it'd likely be educational for me as well. Right now I'm thinking of looking at what I see as the current focus--salary--and the rhetoric surrounding the argument.

Or something like that.

That, and Jon Stewart provides me with more than one fantastic commentary I could use. 

I love me some Jon Stewart.

Teachers and dey bling-bling.

Just sayin'

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Crisis in Dairyland - Apocalypse Cow
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Don't mean to brag, y'all, but we got an almost 10-year-old ride. Not to mention the 12-year-old one. Kias, too. We be ridin', they be hatin'.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"What is THIS?"

The other week, my husband threw his temple clothes on our bedroom floor so he could use the bag for something better.

It takes him a while for some of this stuff. Then again, I think I still have mine. Not because I'm attached, but it's like a bad souvenir. I don't know how to explain it.

ANYWAY, my daughter comes out of the room a few days later with the apron wrapped around her waist. She's staring at the thing like it's completely foreign.

"What is this?!" she asks.

I died laughing. I don't remember what I told her. We try to be respectful but not entirely--don't need her thinking badly of her family, but you know. It is weird. I think most members would admit that if they felt no one else would hear them.

Story 2.

The other day a woman joined an ex-mormon facebook group* who had a last name I'm SO FAMILIAR with. It's Squeaky's last name. Remembering stories about how all people with this last name are related, I told her "you are legion in my town." Turns out, her husband is Squeaky's husband's cousin. I even knew her husband--kinda--had heard of him.

They LEFT THE CHURCH four weeks ago. Like, right away--no process, just "omg, we're outta here." Tossed the garments. Told most everyone. Her in-laws wrote them a letter, calling them to repentance for the sin they obviously committed. She's already lost friends.

I never would've guessed this guy would leave the church, just by virtue of his name and family--they're ridiculous in the church, but then again so many of them are leaving right now. Of course, this particular couple lives in Oklahoma now and not California--so that sucks--but still, it was validating.

It was validating. I don't know how to explain that. It's not that I questioned myself, but it's nice to have someone a little closer to home who's going through the same thing.

Something seriously offended her. I know that's a bad word to use, but she discovered something bad enough to shake her from her TBM-ness. And not only her family, but two or three other families in her WARD. All at once, they've left.

NOT ONLY THAT, but a temple president from their stake had left a few years before. A temple-fucking-president. He prefers to remain low-profile, but apparently he ran into some serious incongruities and wrote a few letters to the First Presidency. They initially went ignored, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. A Seventy finally wrote a letter back, basically telling him to forget about the truths he discovered.

A. temple. president. I respect his wishes to remain under the radar, but could you imagine if he went public? It would be amazing. Some discussion is online, but the story in its entirety remains unpublicized.

*this group is secret and won't show up in any searches, and it's a bit of an effort to get in if the admin doesn't already know you--they're very careful about keeping things safe for apostates and free of trolls. if you're interested in joining, lemme know. i'll see what i can do to hook you up.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I am going through SUCH an unattractive phase right now. While not the source, midterms and botching stupidly easy quizzes and kids with bronchitis and reading ridiculously difficult essays aren't helping.

I hope to be back with something readable and not magnificently annoying or blindly self-righteous soon. I also hope to do so by not posting and then deleting on a daily basis.

Spring break is next week. Doesn't mean much, but it's something.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why I am not Republican

(Reason #1938743)

Texas immigration bill has big

"Those who hire unauthorized immigrants would be in violation of the law -- unless they are hiring a maid, a lawn caretaker or another houseworker."


Such bullshit!

I suppose illegal immigrants are totally okay as long as they're serving Americans? the white man? Indentured servants, slaves, doesn't matter. It's abhorrent.

The fact that these brainless, self-righteous dickheads were voted into office at all makes me weep for society. Which is funny, because I've some neo-con friends who would agree, but on a different premise. "O my gawd they want to take away my guns!"

These people should not be voted in. Period.

*Yes, I understand the bill can't possibly pass--at least, I hope to god not. The article states that the bill could undergo some "modifications." I also understand that this, like others, could be simply symbolic--lookit us, being all patriotic. I further understand that not all Republicans/conservatives are on board with this crap. But that doesn't change anything. It, like so many other bills I've heard introduced as of late, are far scarier than anything Glenn Beck could make up.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gotta be more.

Y'all know I'm aching at the moment to move on, but the harder I try the harder I find it easy to do so. I know that's part of the deal, things not being easy, but still. I can't stand getting involved in debates I know absolutely nothing about, and the thing is I don't have the fucking time to invest in getting to know the issues better. And I feel like a fool in the process.

So maybe I will just stick with the fucking church for now. With religion. My idea for the project I've been assigned deals with the rhetoric surrounding conversion and retention not only (though perhaps only) in the LDS church but in Christianity in general. The LDS church is much more obvious in their efforts to do so, and I've first hand experience there.

I could also do the gay marriage thing, how it's "unnatural"--I mean, shit, that's easy.

I just want to believe there's something more to me than all of this. I'm having a hard time figuring out what that is, and it's becoming rather depressing.

There's got to be more to me than this.

Besides, looking up issues beyond the church (and, I suppose, including the church) is nothing short of depressing. You wouldn't believe the bullshit people believe. Denial of white privilege--"omg America won't be a white country anymore WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!?!?!"

I read another essay on the rhetoric of early 20th century efforts to make women feel it was their place to be in and enjoy and whatever-the-fuck else in the home. It was enlightening, but frustrating. Karen Altman, look her up.

I don't need this stress right now. I'm drowning. I've been fine, mentally, since school began. Now I don't know how I'm gonna make it through the one week I *have* to make it through. My spring break, which is next week, is so full I won't have a chance to sit down. So if sanity means holding onto the buoy that is analyzing church efforts to keep their "faithful" in line, I guess I'll do it.

Everywhere else I turn I feel like an unenlightened, wanna-be poseur, and that doesn't feel good either. Maybe at this phase in my life, this is my expertise and I just need to ride the wave.

I'd just like to know that there's more to me than this.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh, Mike.

I don't have a hell of a lot of time to write these days--midterms, fat projects, etc--all while avoiding complete freak outs.

But I saw this.

h/t STFU Conservatives.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Testimony of a Transgendered Child

I'm not all that familiar with transgendered or transsexual people, but it's showing up more and more in the blogs I follow. I saw this video a week or so ago, and it's pretty amazing. The more you learn about the differences between sex and gender, the more you realize this shit is for real. Not that it's our place to decide who a person should be anyway. Thought I'd share:

"My child is gender variant (Transgender) which means that during fetal development there was insufficient testosterone which resulted in the lack of male gender identity markers in the BSTC section of the pituitary gland in her brain. The result is a child who is born a natal male with a female gender identity. Gender exists between the ears, not between the legs." (jabberjawz223, aka super mama. emphasis added)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Step One

(thank you, Kiley <3)

For some reason I feel the need to tell everyone since I kind of already stated that this was something I planned to do.

I'm staying away from the church and religion for my rhetoric project.

Well, I'm trying like hell to.

I know, I know. How easy would it be? I had already begun to compile articles and talks and everything. But--at the moment--I'm tired. I overheard a conversation today involving a girl who dropped her sorority. Her friends asked for a little dirt. I heard everything she said through the lens (wha?) of the Church. That's how it always is. It's always the church. The church the church the church.

And why not? That's how I've seen and heard everything for the last eleven years. It's habit.

I can't even do freewrites in class without wanting to immediately jump into something church related if only because it's too easy. I have kinda-inadvertently begun to establish myself as the ex-mormon. I see myself in particular contrast to the Catholic girl I share three classes with. She's perfectly nice, but we are opposites both politically and religiously, and so there's this barrier that shouldn't be there. A barrier I put there--it doesn't matter if she has, too, because I have. It isn't right. People are more than that.

I need to establish other facets of my personality. I have other facets...yeah?

Beats me.

I don't want to allow the church to continue to distract me to the point where I've nothing else to talk about. Not that I'm imposing a complete moratorium. It comes up because it has to. I find or see or hear something funny or maddening or ironic or moronic, I'll talk about it. It's a huge part of who I was and why I am where I am today.

But there has got to be more to life than the fucking church.

Can I please please please begin to move on?