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.