It was quite a rare spectacle. On Saturday, June 30th in Salt Lake City, Utah 150 Mormons quit their church in a mass resignation ceremony. It seems to be happening more and people are becoming quite interested in the waves of resignation from the Mormon Church on the basis of increasing awareness of its fraud and manipulation.
This is far from the norm in a religion where the the removal of a person’s name from Church membership cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation, withdraws the priesthood held by a male member, and revokes temple blessings. One can only return once to the faith. A second time, it’s for good. It is something not to be taken lightly. Certainly it’s not the spiritual equivalent of giving up soda. A former Bishop has even told me,” this stuff runs deep, deeper that most non-members realize.” The indoctrination for many unfortunates starts young and requires a devoted mind which must divest itself partially of reason and start to accept a bunch of incredulous tall tales as absolute truths. Not too easy.
The Mormons have a history of intolerance towards outsiders or even those unwilling to be indoctrinated into this “cult” as it’s referred to by universally all ex-Mormons. Some of the behavior reared its ugly head early on in Mormon history. An atrocity occurred when a caravan of pioneers, fleeing famine and pursuing a life out west, had the misfortune of passing through the Utah Territories in 1857.
It was actually September 11th that year when the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place. Sources estimate that between 120 and 140 men, women and children were killed at Mountain Meadows, a rest stop on the Old Spanish Trail, in the Utah Territory. A small group of children, thought to be too young to inform on the perpetrators, was spared and taken in by Mormon families in Southern Utah. The Utah Territorial Militia was responsible for the atrocities. Scholars still debate whether senior Mormon leadership, including Brigham Young, directly instigated the massacre or if responsibility lies with the local leaders of southern Utah. Suspicion or dissent is not tolerated in the church. Generally, Mormons do not look propitiously upon anyone who does not unconditionally accept the doctrine of a philandering charlatan named Joseph Smith.
Two states are considered predominately Mormon, Utah and Idaho. I’ve driven through both states and perhaps erroneously, I felt like an outsider. It was definitely not the same feeling as other states I’ve driven through, even small town, weird Nevada feels more welcoming. In Utah and Idaho, many of fhe kids are raised in fear of the church, it rules every facet of their lives. They are forced to wake up at ungodly hours to attend seminary before they begin high school every day.
The religion doesn’t tolerate deviance. You can just imagine the angst a teenager who may be gay must feel being something the church simply forbids. Suicide is coincidentally high in both states. The Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention notes that Idaho has the 4th highest suicide rate in the U.S. In Utah, a state where around 70% of the population is LDS, the suicide rate for youth (especially in “Mormon suburbs” as some call them) is unbelievably high, approximately twice the national average. This is for both teenage boys and girls in Utah .
Women are of course discriminated against in this male-dominated cult. Therefore, they are taking approximately 65% more anti-depressant medication per capita, compared to other American women. Utah also leads the nation in bankruptcies and consumption of internet pornography per capita. None of this is never addressed publicly by church leaders, or even acknowledged.
The Mormons control many aspects of life in small towns in both states. If you are even thinking of leaving the church, hundreds have tales of ostracism and shunning for you which you may want to hear first. An ex-Mormon friend confided this in me: “When some of my member friends found out that I was leaving the church, you would think I had contracted leprosy. People who before would have told you that they were my best friends suddenly disappeared. One asked me what sin it was that I wanted to commit so badly that I felt I needed to leave the church!”
One of the more famous “apostates” is even a relation of Willard Romney, Mormon royalty. Park Romney, Willard’s second cousin, who has written a riveting account of his journey away from the faith. The Apostasy of a High Priest is certainly not part of the Romney campaign’s required reading list, but it’s full of fantastic reasons why this religion is completely insane. It is very hard to understand how very intelligent people can
compartmentalize science and reason in one part of their brain and throw logic to the wind in another lobe. With the Mormon faith, you are apparently so brainwashed, you can be a brilliant scientist on the one hand and then honestly believe it’s ok for a people to have permitted local leaders to push, trick, even threaten men into surrendering their wife or girlfriend to polygamy as another real belief. I find it amazing how many of these people are very educated and still hold fast to these beliefs. It’s really astonishing what the human mind can convince itself is factual.
But those who leave, as both my sources have, feel amazed they actually fell for that nonsense and chicanery. It’s almost as if they have been declared dead in their Mormon world. Mormon leaders claim this is not true, but it happens EVERY time someone chooses to step out. Ostracized doesn’t even begin to describe the alienation. This is why those brave souls who professed their independence from the religion must be welcomed by their non-Mormon friends.
I wish there was more we can do for the unhappy, especially the forlorn Lost Boys of Polygamy, among other LDS skeptics. There actually IS hope and life after leaving the Mormon Church. There are many great people who have done so for many valid reasons. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on the myriad of other fallacies the LDS faith contains, which is quite incredulous, but I don’t plan to even discuss all the dogmatic errors inherent in the doctrine. I simply am amazed at the statistics regarding the people of the faith. The facts don’t lie. There is trouble in Mormon Paradise.