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juliann

Apostates (New thread)

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This is an attempt to get my previous thread back on topic: http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php...=20643&st=0

I'm asking the mods to keep this on topic (again) and keep the personal sniping out. This isn't about anyone on this board and it is not about me. There are enough public figures to discuss if personalities are required for examples. If you want to talk about my personal failings use email.

Redux

Although anti-Mormons consider it acceptable to talk about members of the church, they have shown outrage when they are put in the same spotlight they feel so entitled to shine on others. Whenever these threads have begun they have been immediately hijacked by angry exmos lecturing on their right to do whatever they please without consequence and certainly without analysis. The most common tactic for derailment is to insist that there is no difference being made between leave-takers and apostates and then to begin a defense of particular people. If this doesn't stay on topic (and I'm asking the mods to keep it on topic), I'll move it to Pundit.

This topic has to do with the study of New Religious Movements (NRM) and the scholars/researchers who study them. The terms used will be the terms used by them. The definitions used will be the definitions used by them. If the definition I am using does not suit you then use your own, if you can support it through the literature.

Apostate is defined as followed:

QUOTE

â??Apostateâ? is now a term used frequently when social scientists anyalyze defectors from new religious movements. The apostate role is understood to be one in which a person exists, either voluntarily or involuntarily, an unconventional or â??newâ? religious group or movement (hereafter NRM) and then becomes an outspoken, visible critic of the latter. Moreover, such persons are understood to represent important resources for any countercult, anti-cult, or oppositional movement seeking to soil the identity of specific religious groups.

Anson Shupe, â??The Role of Apostates in the North American Anticult Movement,â? in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 209.

The leave-taker is not at issue here.

QUOTE

The apostate is a defector who is aligned with an oppositional coalition in an effort to broaden a dispute, and embraces public claims making activities to attack his or her former group. Unlike typical leave takers whose responses range from indifference to quiet disenchantment, the apostate assumes a vituperative or hostile posture and pursues a moral campaign to discredit the group.

Daniel Carson Johnson, â??Apostates Who Never Were: The Social Construction of Absque Facto Apostate Narratives,â? in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 109.

For the purposes of this thread, internet groups are considered to be "oppositional coalitions" in the same sense that the countermopologists consider mopologists to be a coalition dedicated to the same purpose and working together. We are going to be consistent here. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

It has also been noted that there are two identifiable groups who target other people's religions:

QUOTE

At the broadest level, the anticult movement in North America can be subdivided into two wings, consisting of secular anticultists and conservative Christian anticultists. While these two wings share certain traits and in the past have occasionally cooperated with each other, the target of much Christian anticultism is a minority religionâ??s deviation from traditional doctrineâ??a concern most secular anticultists do not share.

James R. Lewis, ed., Odd Gods: New Religions & the Cult Controversy (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2001), 24.

I will be concentrating on the fascinating similarities between these two groups who have much more in common than either wants to admit. Lewis addresses the secular antis and Cowan (who notes the changes made by the internet that would apply to both groups) addresses the Christian antis.

QUOTE

Until the late 1980s and early 1990s, countercult apologists were restricted, by and large, either to religious publishing houses or to the often prohibitively expensive path of self-publishing. The advent of the Internet, however, as well as the ready availability of Web authoring tools, domain hosting, and server support, has resulted in an explosion of interrelated countercult sites,. Now, those who have felt called to this ministry but in the past have been unable to participate can, for the price of Microsoft Frontpage and a local Internet service provider, actively participate in the countercult.

Douglas E. Cowan, Bearing False Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult (Westport, Connecticut, 2003), 113.

There is a divide within the field itself which tends to pair off in the same manner as what it studies. This also shows itself in a divide between psychology based fields and sociology based fields. Liberals who do not use pejoratives and judgements ("cults") are routinely called "cult apologists" by those who need to rely on discredited concepts such as "brainwashing" to privilege mainstream religion. Even the courts have rejected a brainwashing model so other than to acknowledge these scholars, I'm going to use the liberals.

These are some of my sources (these are books from my own library):

Douglas E. Cowan, Bearing False Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult (Westport, Connecticut, 2003)

Anson Shupe, â??The Role of Apostates in the North American Anticult Movement,â? in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 210.

Armand Mauss, â??Research in Social Movements and in New Religious Movements: The Prospects for Convergence, â?? in Religion and the Social Order: The Handbook on Cults and Sects in America, eds. David G. Bromley and Jerffrey K. Hadden (Greenwich, CT:JAI Press Inc., 1993), 137.

James R. Lewis, ed., Odd Gods: New Religions & the Cult Controversy (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2001)

David Bromley, â??A Tale of Two Theories: Brainwashing and Conversion as Competing Political Narratives,â? in Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field, eds., Benjamin Zablocki & Thomas Robbins (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001)

James T. Richardson, â??The Active vs. Passive Convert: Paradigm Conflict in Conversion/Recruitment Research,â? in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 24:2 (1985): 165.

Rodney Stark and Roger Finke, Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion (Berkeley: University of Califiornia Press, 2000)

Allen E. Bergin, I Reed Payne, Paul H. Jenkins and Marie Cornwall, â??Religion and Mental Health: Mormons and Other Group,â? in Contemporary Mormonism: Social Science Perspectives, eds., Marie Cornwall, Tim B. Heaton and Lawrence A. Young (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994, 2001)

Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (New York: Anchor Books, 1967)

Bryan Wilson, The Social Dimensions of Sectarianism: Sects and New Religious Movements in Contemporary Society (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990),

Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (New York: Perennial Classics HarperCollins Publishers, 2002)

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It is clear to me that Juliann is not talking about all ex-Mormons. I'm going to clarify that because too many posters aren't listeing and that is what I think is creating the problem. She can correct me if I'm wrong. The people that she is talking about are a small part of people who leave the church but who spend a good part of their time attacking the church they left. Most ex-Mormons don't do that. If that is correct and I have figured it out there is no reason to be saying anything differently.

I am about ready to move this into Pundit myself because we are short on mods during the holidays. Beastieseven can go in as well as anybody who has staid on topic. Would that please everyone? Meanwhile, I'm going to fix the title so I can tell the difference between the two threads.

It is clear to me also that Juliann is not talking about all ex-Mormons. She has made this clear in all of her previous attempts to discuss this topic. I'm mystified why some seem unable to see that.

I would encourage Juliann to okay a move to the pundits forum.

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It is clear to me that Juliann is not talking about all ex-Mormons. I'm going to clarify that because too many posters aren't listeing and that is what I think is creating the problem. She can correct me if I'm wrong. The people that she is talking about are a small part of people who leave the church but who spend a good part of their time attacking the church they left. Most ex-Mormons don't do that. If that is correct and I have figured it out there is no reason to be saying anything differently.

I am about ready to move this into Pundit myself because we are short on mods during the holidays. Beastieseven can go in as well as anybody who has staid on topic. Would that please everyone? Meanwhile, I'm going to fix the title so I can tell the difference between the two threads.

Maybe this will be on topic. I hope so.

Part of the reasoning, I think, of why some ex-mormons (or, as I heard them call themselves - post-mormon) attack the church is that, once they leave it, they feel that the church has been untruthful to them.

It's kind of like the wronged spouse, or the kid who tells his friends there is no Santa Claus: they both want to lash back at the the one who, at one point they could believe with no reservations, and who now has been shown that trust to have been misplaced.

Many of the ex-mormons that I have run across sincerely feel that they were fed a lie from the very beginning. One person talked about the analogy that, for all your life, you're told that blue is red. Then, all of a sudden, you find that blue is really blue. You wonder how people could tell you something, and believe in it, if it was so patently false.

Anyway, that's what I see looking in from the outside.

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I see the distinction between the two groups. What does the secular bunch complain about? And do they show up on anti-Mormon message boards?

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It's kind of like the wronged spouse, or the kid who tells his friends there is no Santa Claus: they both want to lash back at the the one who, at one point they could believe with no reservations, and who now has been shown that trust to have been misplaced.

I think almost all those who have interacted with exmormons in general have seen this type of behaviour on occasion so it's very recognizable. And it's in general a pretty good analogy for how many feel about their past and current relationship with the Church, imo though I am leary about using it myself as I'd rather go with the more empirically established relationships...however, I haven't taken the opportunity yet to familiarize myself with the data out there on this subject, which is the reason why I've stayed out of these threads for the most part even though I usually enjoy topics of behavioural analysis based on psych or social research (as opposed to personal anecdotal).

That is not to say that the sociologists would find it an inappropriate analogy though. Their criteria may require more common behaviours that may or may not exist (perhaps beastie or Juliann or someone else with the resources can indicate whether the experts use this same commonly used analogy).

The "divorce" analogy is where the "atrocity tale" fits in from what I've gleaned here. This may be based completely or partially or not at all on actual events, but the reality of the source of the "atrocity tale" is a separate discussion from the attributes of the tale itself--something that at times seems to be troubling or confusing to some responders here.

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Incidentally, I received two emails today: one from Mauss and another from Bromley. It seems that neither of them are happy with how their work is being used by religious zealots to club ex-members of whatever Church. Once I get permission from them, I will post what they had to say.

Please post the email you sent since you have publicized its existence. Did you send out an email using my name with this misrepresentation? Let's see the question before you bother with the replies.

As for pundit, I'd rather it stay here because everybody that wants to discuss the topic would have to get permission to post instead of just posting. Ozemc looks like s/he has something to offer...Abu has given really good information (the best, actually) from opposing scholars. Is it possible to just tell the posters who haven't done anything but complain to stay out?

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That is not to say that the sociologists would find it an inappropriate analogy though. Their criteria may require more common behaviours that may or may not exist (perhaps beastie or Juliann or someone else with the resources can indicate whether the experts use this same commonly used analogy).

The "divorce" analogy is where the "atrocity tale" fits in from what I've gleaned here. This may be based completely or partially or not at all on actual events, but the reality of the source of the "atrocity tale" is a separate discussion from the attributes of the tale itself--something that at times seems to be troubling or confusing to some responders here.

I haven't read it yet, but I have Ebaugh's Becoming an EX: The Process of Role Exit. It covers everything from ex-nuns to prostitutes. This covers what she considers to be common stages in any role exit. It is a more personal evaluation I think.

Your second paragraph sums up the problem here. :P

Charity, I don't understand the question about the secular bunch on anti boards.

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Although anti-Mormons consider it acceptable to talk about members of the church, they have shown outrage when they are put in the same spotlight they feel so entitled to shine on others. Whenever these threads have begun they have been immediately hijacked by angry exmos lecturing on their right to do whatever they please without consequence and certainly without analysis. The most common tactic for derailment is to insist that there is no difference being made between leave-takers and apostates and then to begin a defense of particular people. If this doesn't stay on topic (and I'm asking the mods to keep it on topic), I'll move it to Pundit.

You make too many generalizations to respond meaningful to. I have participated on several of these threads with you in the past and donâ??t recall anyone claiming that anti-mormons cannot be discussed (they are discussed all the time), nor have I seen anyone claim the â??right to do whatever they please without consequenceâ?. So could you provide some examples that demonstrate this behavior?

However, I will deal with your specific â??spotlightâ?.

I know you do not like it when I refer to old threads, but I think itâ??s necessary to evaluate your present claims. This was your initial post in your first thread about this topic:

We regularly hear the conversion narratives that sustain the myth of the "courageous" apostate who is only searching for "truth" while willing to suffer all sorts of indignity to follow his/her "conscience" in order to "help" others. In their eagerness to "inform" and "help" they are oblivious to the fact that deconversion follows a natural history as surely and consistently as conversion does.

The word "apostate" is not mine and it is a designation that is not limited to religion. It is used by sociologists and describes one set of behaviors that we would designate as "anti-Mormon" ... meaning there is active opposition to the church that distinguishes the "apostate" from the average person who simply does not believe a certain set of teachings but does not devote any time or energy to fighting those teachings or believers. I do not want to get into personal discussions as to which poster is an "apostate" as opposed to a "defector" or "whistleblower". We have plenty of public figures to discuss.

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=14738

I certainly understand the use of quotation marks around words that have a specialized definition, but look at your first paragraph is also loaded with quotation marks.

â??courageousâ? â??truthâ?, â??conscienceâ? â??helpâ? â??informâ?

This was your first post. You were framing the conversation. Is it any wonder that people believed you werenâ??t as interested in discussing anti-mormons from a sociological perspective as you were in creating a stick with which to beat anti-mormons, or, â??angry exmormonsâ??

How about if I started a thread with this:

We regularly hear the conversion narratives that sustain the myth of the "courageous" and â??spiritualâ? missionaries who are only seeking to share "truth" while willing to suffer all sorts of indignity to follow his/her "conscience" in order to "help" others. In their eagerness to "inform" and "help" they are oblivious to the fact that conversion follows a natural history as surely and consistently as deconversion does.

Do you think that beginning a conversation with believers in this manner might frame the conversation in a certain negative fashion? Do you think that believers might immediately be on the defensive with this introduction? And would they be justified to be so?

In addition, part of the differentiation you offer for the difference between leavetakers and apostates (or exmormons and antimormons) is the â??angryâ? factor. This must be of your own construction, since I donâ??t recall reading any passages in the Bromley text that focused on anger as a differential, nor do any of your current quotes focus on that particular characteristic. So not only is it your construction, but an impossibly subjective determination. Do you realize, for example, how frequently you refer to me as â??angryâ?, â??hystericalâ?, â??screamingâ?, â??howlingâ?? And yet not one of those times were you accurately perceiving my actual emotional or physical state.

So unless a person tells us theyâ??re angry, how is this a helpful determinant? And is it possible to be angry as, say, a whistleblower? And is it possible for a person sensitive to criticisms of his/her faith to interpret criticism as â??angryâ?, even when no anger is present on the part of the critic?

Part of the subsequent confusion in the threads you have created on this topic has to do with exactly that sort of ambiguity. Bromley, on the other hand, was quite specific and clear in his definitions of his terms. The problem is that his terms are far too specific and narrow for your use, which I think you are realizing. He was describing one particular, fairly unique phenomenon, but you have attempted to broaden it to the point where it is no longer an accurate reflection of his model.

This topic has to do with the study of New Religious Movements (NRM) and the scholars/researchers who study them. The terms used will be the terms used by them. The definitions used will be the definitions used by them. If the definition I am using does not suit you then use your own, if you can support it through the literature.

Apostate is defined as followed:

QUOTE

â??Apostateâ? is now a term used frequently when social scientists anyalyze defectors from new religious movements. The apostate role is understood to be one in which a person exists, either voluntarily or involuntarily, an unconventional or â??newâ? religious group or movement (hereafter NRM) and then becomes an outspoken, visible critic of the latter. Moreover, such persons are understood to represent important resources for any countercult, anti-cult, or oppositional movement seeking to soil the identity of specific religious groups.

Anson Shupe, â??The Role of Apostates in the North American Anticult Movement,â? in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 209.

I know that it irritated you that I provided much more text than you normally do along with my commentary, and refused to even read it. But the problem is that when you simply put out one or two sentences, completely removed from their context, people are left on their own to figure out just how you interpret these few sentences, whether or not you provided accurate context, and what it has to do with your larger point.

For example, what is meant by â??soil the identityâ?? How is it that apostates do this and not whistleblowers? The whistleblower mentioned in one of the essays is Fawn Brodie. Was she not â??soiling the identityâ? of Mormonism? Why or why not? And how is this different from what the apostate does, according to Shupe? Is Shupe following Bromleyâ??s model?

QUOTE

The apostate is a defector who is aligned with an oppositional coalition in an effort to broaden a dispute, and embraces public claims making activities to attack his or her former group. Unlike typical leave takers whose responses range from indifference to quiet disenchantment, the apostate assumes a vituperative or hostile posture and pursues a moral campaign to discredit the group.

Daniel Carson Johnson, â??Apostates Who Never Were: The Social Construction of Absque Facto Apostate Narratives,â? in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 109.

What does Johnson mean by â??broaden a disputeâ?? And, again, how is the campaign of the whistleblower like Fawn Brodie differentiated by the apostate? Fawn Brodie was certainly hostile, and I think many people felt she was vituperative. Was her book intended to â??discredit the groupâ?? Whistleblowers, by definition, are engaged in a moral campaign so that does not differentiate the group.

For the purposes of this thread, internet groups are considered to be "oppositional coalitions" in the same sense that the countermopologists consider mopologists to be a coalition dedicated to the same purpose and working together. We are going to be consistent here. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Are you using â??oppositional coalitionâ? in the same way it is used in the Bromley model? If so, what are the other groups with which exmormons have joined with the intent of escalating tension between the LDS church and the host society in order to pressure the host society to utilize regulatory units to control the LDS church?

If you are not using the term â??oppositional coalitionâ? in the same way, and just mean the term in a generic way of â??a group of people working togetherâ?, then how can you consistently use this identifier as some sort of â??proofâ? that RFM, or another group, fits the Bromley model of an â??oppositional coalitionâ?? The answer is you cannot. So how are you going to divide that term from the other terms that Bromley uses and you also use that have highly specific meanings â?? changing the meaning of one term changes the entire dynamic of the model.

QUOTE

At the broadest level, the anticult movement in North America can be subdivided into two wings, consisting of secular anticultists and conservative Christian anticultists. While these two wings share certain traits and in the past have occasionally cooperated with each other, the target of much Christian anticultism is a minority religionâ??s deviation from traditional doctrineâ??a concern most secular anticultists do not share.

James R. Lewis, ed., Odd Gods: New Religions & the Cult Controversy (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2001), 24.

I will be concentrating on the fascinating similarities between these two groups who have much more in common than either wants to admit. Lewis addresses the secular antis and Cowan (who notes the changes made by the internet that would apply to both groups) addresses the Christian antis.

QUOTE

Until the late 1980s and early 1990s, countercult apologists were restricted, by and large, either to religious publishing houses or to the often prohibitively expensive path of self-publishing. The advent of the Internet, however, as well as the ready availability of Web authoring tools, domain hosting, and server support, has resulted in an explosion of interrelated countercult sites,. Now, those who have felt called to this ministry but in the past have been unable to participate can, for the price of Microsoft Frontpage and a local Internet service provider, actively participate in the countercult.

Douglas E. Cowan, Bearing False Witness?: An Introduction to the Christian Countercult (Westport, Connecticut, 2003), 113.

How are secularists the same as anticultists if they are not concerned with the deviation from traditional doctrine? Are secularists critical of mainstream religious groups as well? Your citation makes it appear they are not. What evidence does your author provide to justify that claim? Every secularist I know is just as wiling to criticize mainstream religions as what your source calls â??cultsâ?. What unites these two groups other than the fact that they both criticize certain truth claims that religious movements make? And if the criticism is the sole uniting factor, how is this distinguished from the whistleblower?

There is a divide within the field itself which tends to pair off in the same manner as what it studies. This also shows itself in a divide between psychology based fields and sociology based fields. Liberals who do not use pejoratives and judgements ("cults") are routinely called "cult apologists" by those who need to rely on discredited concepts such as "brainwashing" to privilege mainstream religion. Even the courts have rejected a brainwashing model so other than to acknowledge these scholars, I'm going to use the liberals.

These are some of my sources (these are books from my own library):

This quote, on its own, doesnâ??t really give enough information to even comment, in terms of your larger thesis. Why did you think this quote was important enough to share in your introductory statement? What is it saying that you think is pertinent to the discussion about antimormons? For example, I do not use the term â??cultâ? to describe religious movements unless I am referring to a source that utilizes the term. I also believe it is a pejorative term that those with power (mainstream religions) use against those without power (new religious movements). Does that make me a â??cult apologistâ?? I also reject the idea of brainwashing (I hope you finally understood that point.) Does that make me a â??cult apologistâ?? Why or why not?

In the last thread you stated you are â??moving beyond Bromleyâ?. What does that mean? Are you going to continue using the very specialized terms he utilized in his model? Will they still mean the same thing they meant in his model? If you are altering the meanings, will you explain how this alteration impacts the rest of the terminology you utilize? (see the â??oppositional coalitionâ? questions above.)

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I think almost all those who have interacted with exmormons in general have seen this type of behaviour on occasion so it's very recognizable. And it's in general a pretty good analogy for how many feel about their past and current relationship with the Church, imo though I am leary about using it myself as I'd rather go with the more empirically established relationships...however, I haven't taken the opportunity yet to familiarize myself with the data out there on this subject, which is the reason why I've stayed out of these threads for the most part even though I usually enjoy topics of behavioural analysis based on psych or social research (as opposed to personal anecdotal).

That is not to say that the sociologists would find it an inappropriate analogy though. Their criteria may require more common behaviours that may or may not exist (perhaps beastie or Juliann or someone else with the resources can indicate whether the experts use this same commonly used analogy).

The "divorce" analogy is where the "atrocity tale" fits in from what I've gleaned here. This may be based completely or partially or not at all on actual events, but the reality of the source of the "atrocity tale" is a separate discussion from the attributes of the tale itself--something that at times seems to be troubling or confusing to some responders here.

I think the divorce analogy is one that has merit, and have used it myself. But I mean in generic terms, to try and explain the emotional impact the loss of faith has. I don't recall any of the Bromley essays using that analogy off the top of my head, (I will look through the book a bit later) but you have to remember that the Bromley model is desribing one very specific social phenomenon. It is far too narrow for Juliann to be using in the manner that she does, and it does not work to compare the "atrocity tale" to the divorce analogy if one is using Bromley's model, except under specific circumstances.

The problem that Juliann, as far as I can see, continues to have with utilizing Bromley's terms is that the atrocity tale and the captivity tale are embedded in the apostate narrative. An apostate narrative is not just a story an exbeliever tells about why he/she lost faith. It is a narrative that is constructed to meet certain criteria, which I shared on the previous thread. The key point about the apostate, in the Bromley sense, is not just that they are a vocal critic of the former religion, but that they are a resource for the oppositional coalition (this is why it is so important to be clear on what that term means, see my reply to Juliann above). The oppositional coalition, in the Bromley model, is formed of various disparate groups who join together with the common goal of increasing social tension between the NRM and the host society, in order to convince the host society the NRM is dangerous enough to intervene with regulatory units. So the atrocity tales aren't just "wah wah my exhusband was meeeeannn" but they are literal tales of atrocities. IOW, these tales contain horrific charges that most members of society would view as, well atrocious, horrific, and so serious as to justify the intervention of a regulatory unit - which is a very unusual move for a society based on freedom of religion and expression. Many atrocity tales contain tales of child abuse for that reason.

This is why I believe the fact that Juliann referred to both my mentioning my concern over how religion can be used to manipulate good people to do bad things and to dart's saying the church controlled his life as "atrocity tales" reveals that she really is not using the term in the sense that the Bromley model does. If she has changed the meaning of this term, once again, she needs to inform us and inform us as to how that change will impact the entire model.

For example, me saying that religion can be manipulated to make good people do bad things is not going to be viewed as an horrendous atrocity by larger society that merits the intervention of regulatory units. It has to be extreme.

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The present understanding of Christiandom, whether you view it as maturing or not, has been due to Apostasy as you call it.

Throughout mans history Apostasy is the one thing that free's thought, and actions, growing pains. For the good and the bad.

The range of attitudes that Apostasy brings out are inumerable.

The similarity of aggressive Apostites is that they are right and everyone else is wrong, and God wants me to fix it for Him.

We spend far to much time and energy on fixing others. We need to get our walk straight so we can help others from strength and not ego, pride, and the ever growing I am right-ism. My church is the truth and you are deceived positions.

If we could just get off our bibles and do what they teach, maybe our light will shine and our words grow kinder, and be filled with power.

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In addition, part of the differentiation you offer for the difference between leavetakers and apostates (or exmormons and antimormons) is the â??angryâ? factor. This must be of your own construction, since I donâ??t recall reading any passages in the Bromley text that focused on anger as a differential, nor do any of your current quotes focus on that particular characteristic. So not only is it your construction, but an impossibly subjective determination. Do you realize, for example, how frequently you refer to me as â??angryâ?, â??hystericalâ?, â??screamingâ?, â??howlingâ?? And yet not one of those times were you accurately perceiving my actual emotional or physical state.

Okay so forgive me if I'm wrong but to me "an outspoken, visible critic" translates very nicely to "angry". Do you not see that?

â??Apostateâ? is now a term used frequently when social scientists anyalyze defectors from new religious movements. The apostate role is understood to be one in which a person exists, either voluntarily or involuntarily, an unconventional or â??newâ? religious group or movement (hereafter NRM) and then becomes an outspoken, visible critic of the latter. Moreover, such persons are understood to represent important resources for any countercult, anti-cult, or oppositional movement seeking to soil the identity of specific religious groups.

Anson Shupe, â??The Role of Apostates in the North American Anticult Movement,â? in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 209.

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Part of the reasoning, I think, of why some ex-mormons (or, as I heard them call themselves - post-mormon) attack the church is that, once they leave it, they feel that the church has been untruthful to them.

It's kind of like the wronged spouse, or the kid who tells his friends there is no Santa Claus: they both want to lash back at the the one who, at one point they could believe with no reservations, and who now has been shown that trust to have been misplaced.

Many of the ex-mormons that I have run across sincerely feel that they were fed a lie from the very beginning. One person talked about the analogy that, for all your life, you're told that blue is red. Then, all of a sudden, you find that blue is really blue. You wonder how people could tell you something, and believe in it, if it was so patently false.

Anyway, that's what I see looking in from the outside.

I find this reasoning fascinating (and i don't doubt that it could a legitimate reaction) but i do wonder (as i honestly have no idea) if this kind of reaction is also manifested by people who were raised in non-LDS religions and then discovered that those religions, in their belief, were untrue.

Are there many ex-lutheran sites, for example, on the web and such (again, honestly, there could be i have no idea). I would just wonder if this particular ex-mormon reaction is peculiar to the religion or is seen equally in among all religions.

Also, how do ex-members mesh this reasoning with the teachings of the leadership of the LDS church that every person is responsible for finding the truth out for themselves and that no one is to rely anyone else's testimony.

thanks...

:P

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Donâ??t worry, I did not use your name, and there was no misrepresentation involved. As I said, I am waiting for their permission to post.

There was no misrepresentation involved because . . . you say so? :P

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The least I can do is respect the possibility that they want to keep it private.
Juliann was asking for your email you sent to them, not theirs so I would think they wouldn't mind. I think your posting that specific letter immediately would remove any concerns of misrepresentation and help us anticipate what direction the conversation might take.

It would be wonderful for them to post here any sort of response even if only the email responses. Scholars who are willing to take the time to explain to and interact with individuals or even small groups of mostly strangers (I believe Dr. Mauss knows several of those who post on this board, some pretty well even) are obvious those who are sincere seekers of knowledge themselves as they are gracious enough to help others seeking the same thing.

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I find this reasoning fascinating (and i don't doubt that it could a legitimate reaction) but i do wonder (as i honestly have no idea) if this kind of reaction is also manifested by people who were raised in non-LDS religions and then discovered that those religions, in their belief, were untrue.

Are there many ex-lutheran sites, for example, on the web and such (again, honestly, there could be i have no idea). I would just wonder if this particular ex-mormon reaction is peculiar to the religion or is seen equally in among all religions.

Also, how do ex-members mesh this reasoning with the teachings of the leadership of the LDS church that every person is responsible for finding the truth out for themselves and that no one is to rely anyone else's testimony.

thanks...

:P

Isn't the protestant movement and the EV movement all about anti- Catholic, LDS,Buddist,Hinduism,Islam etc...

LDS are not singled out, Ex-mos will criticise their previous belief, just as protestants theirs. It helps to make them feel right, without having having to have a continually growing relationship with God. It is a distractor to true godliness (Love). A snare of Satan if you will, it takes mans attention off of the straight and narrow way which leads to righteousness and the kingdom of heaven.

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You gave information about the secular anticultists and Conservative Christian anticultists. I wondered what the rationale of opposition was in the secular anticultists, and if the secular anticultists show up on message boards. Sorry I wasn't clear.

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Okay so forgive me if I'm wrong but to me "an outspoken, visible critic" translates very nicely to "angry". Do you not see that?

Oh, absolutely not. Do you really believe it is not possible to be an outspoken, visible critic of something and not be angry about it?

I'm kind of amazed you think that they mean the same thing, and suspect the processes that lead us to see this so differently may have a lot to do with other difficulties in communications.

Certainly outspoken, visible critics may be angry.. but that does not mean being angry is a necessary component.

I'm certainly an outspoken visible critic in a way (on the internet). Yet I'm not angry at all over any of this. I have always found it interesting that Juliann so consistently reads me as angry, hysterical, screaming, etc, and have frankly wondered if she is projecting her own feelings onto me. Either that, or people simply cannot "hear" criticism of a very cherished belief without "hearing" anger, hysterica, etc.

Moreover, people can be quite angry and not be outspoken, visible critics. I've used the example of my sister before because I know her very well. She is not an outspoken, visible critic at all, and only talks about it to me. Yet she has more anger and disdain over mormon teachings and its impact on her life than I have. I am much more ambivalent about it.

And this doesn't address how you would differentiate a whistleblower from an apostate, either. They are outspoken, visible critics. Some of them are very angry. What is the differentiation?

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Are there many ex-lutheran sites, for example, on the web and such (again, honestly, there could be i have no idea). I would just wonder if this particular ex-mormon reaction is peculiar to the religion or is seen equally in among all religions.

thanks...

:P

There are many sites like this for many religions though I don't have a list to know if a Lutheran one is out there. Mormonism is not unique in this and probably not among even those with the highest percentage of "apostates" doing this kind of stuff.

I'm most interested in the research on what type of person and 'sub-group' within the larger NRM or other organization is prone to apostate-like behaviour (and of course there would be a continuum of this where some demonstrate some of the behavours at a certain level of intensity and frequency and others do another variation where it's the cumulative behaviour picture that places one on one side of the 'dividing' point between leavetaking and apostate).

The problem with the ex-mormon narrative occuring (whether verging into an "atrocity tale" or not) is that one doesn't know whether or not the similarities of past environment are the reality or the perception (for example, the rigidity of the family) or some sort of mixture of both (most probable...but still how much of each?).

If one were to take the narratives at literal 'face value', it would seem to demonstrate from my experience here and on ZLMB (limited experience to be sure) that not only did the majority of the exmormons who take the time to assertively share their narrative with others (as opposed to just discussing it when asked) where very conversative (in the theological sense) in their understanding and behaviour in the faith, but their families were and are even more extreme not only in a religious sense, but in others as well. So this could mean that it is the overall family dynamics that are most likely to result in the production of "apostates", but it could also mean that this is just a very dominant produced attribute of the narratives as people reinterpret their past lives (I always get a healthy dose of reality as to how much reinterpretation of our lives actually goes on during the holidays as family members bring up events and relationships that I perceive now and believe I experienced in the past in a completely different way, lol--which is probably why this aspect of the topic is beginning to really interest me right now).

Also, how do ex-members mesh this reasoning with the teachings of the leadership of the LDS church that every person is responsible for finding the truth out for themselves and that no one is to rely anyone else's testimony.

It appears to me that a majority (how large, I don't know) of the vocal exmembers that I've encountered present the position that these teachings are overwhelmed (and even ignored or discounted as not really what is meant) by the teachings to "follow the Prophet" and other church leaders (for example, the phrase "when the prophet speaks, the thinking is done" is often mentioned as a guiding principle in their former life).

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You gave information about the secular anticultists and Conservative Christian anticultists. I wondered what the rationale of opposition was in the secular anticultists, and if the secular anticultists show up on message boards. Sorry I wasn't clear.

Secular anticultists are more concerned with the socially dangerous or abusive aspects of a cult group. They could care less whether Mormons are in line with traditional doctrine, but if GBH started telling people not to pursue medical care or to play with venomous snakes or to beat their children, then the secularists would start harping.

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Isn't the protestant movement and the EV movement all about anti- Catholic, LDS,Buddist,Hinduism,Islam etc...

LDS are not singled out, Ex-mos will criticise their previous belief, just as protestants theirs. It helps to make them feel right, without having having to have a continually growing relationship with God. It is a distractor to true godliness (Love). A snare of Satan if you will, it takes mans attention off of the straight and narrow way which leads to righteousness and the kingdom of heaven.

I agree with what you're saying son but i just wonder about people who specifically leave other religions (other meaning other than LDS) because they lost their belief in their truthfulness-and whether or not these people react the same way to their ex-religion as some ex mormons do to the LDS church.

I ask because i honestly don't know-but it's been my experiences that the way ex-mormon's react (some ex-mormons) is peculiar to the religion.

I served a mission and never had one convert (who came over from another faith they were active in) who was upset with their previous religion for 'teaching them lies'. I'm also married to a convert from a protestant religion and he has warm feelings and respect for his old church home and is grateful for the truths that he did learn from them...

I'm wondering because it seems like if the reason for some ex-mormons' angry reactions to the LDS church stem from feeling betrayed by being led to believe something that is actually false-then shouldn't there would be a similar number of angry ex-'other religions' who are reacting with the same degree of hostility?

Does anyone know if that is the case?

:P

There are many sites like this for many religions though I don't have a list to know if a Lutheran one is out there. Mormonism is not unique in this and probably not among even those with the highest percentage of "apostates" doing this kind of stuff.

I'm most interested in the research on what type of person and 'sub-group' within the larger NRM or other organization is prone to apostate-like behaviour (and of course there would be a continuum of this where some demonstrate some of the behavours at a certain level of intensity and frequency and others do another variation where it's the cumulative behaviour picture that places one on one side of the 'dividing' point between leavetaking and apostate).

The problem with the ex-mormon narrative occuring (whether verging into an "atrocity tale" or not) is that one doesn't know whether or not the similarities of past environment are the reality or the perception (for example, the rigidity of the family) or some sort of mixture of both (most probable...but still how much of each?).

If one were to take the narratives at literal 'face value', it would seem to demonstrate from my experience here and on ZLMB (limited experience to be sure) that not only did the majority of the exmormons who take the time to assertively share their narrative with others (as opposed to just discussing it when asked) where very conversative (in the theological sense) in their understanding and behaviour in the faith, but their families were and are even more extreme not only in a religious sense, but in others as well. So this could mean that it is the overall family dynamics that are most likely to result in the production of "apostates", but it could also mean that this is just a very dominant produced attribute of the narratives as people reinterpret their past lives (I always get a healthy dose of reality as to how much reinterpretation of our lives actually goes on during the holidays as family members bring up events and relationships that I perceive now and believe I experienced in the past in a completely different way, lol--which is probably why this aspect of the topic is beginning to really interest me right now).

It appears to me that a majority (how large, I don't know) of the vocal exmembers that I've encountered present the position that these teachings are overwhelmed (and even ignored or discounted as not really what is meant) by the teachings to "follow the Prophet" and other church leaders (for example, the phrase "when the prophet speaks, the thinking is done" is often mentioned as a guiding principle in their former life).

Thanks-i saw your post after i had already replied to son-i appreciate the added info.

<_<

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I'll see what I can do to contribute to the topic.

I'll make an analogy with leaving a religion and leaving a relationship. I can't promise it will be a perfect one, but it will have a few similarities. Let's say I am dating my high school sweetheart. We're thinking of getting married. Then one day, something goes wrong. Let's not point fingers, let's just say we break up. There are a number of things that I can do next:

* Jump into a new relationship, possibly too soon. (Join another church immediately.)

* Tell everybody that will listen about how she did me wrong, ignoring anything I did wrong. (Go on and on about what I don't like about Mormons and Mormonism.)

* Use it as a learning experience. (That's where I'm at today, hopefully.)

I'm one of the worst. I post differently here than I do on my own blog. But at least I'm hontest enough with myself to admit that some negative experiences from my youth had nothing to do with Mormonism. There were also some very strange experiences that came at the hands of a babysitter who belonged to another church. I also come from a dysfunctional family. The things I discuss are just things that came up after I left and started to do a lot of looking into the experiences that shaped my life. I try to attribute what I can to the right people.

NOTE: I word things in the first person for simplicity. Not all of the experiences written in the first person are mine, especially the one about the disastrous relationships.

Happy new year, everybody! (First night, for you people in Provo/Orem :P )

T-Bone

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Oh, absolutely not. Do you really believe it is not possible to be an outspoken, visible critic of something and not be angry about it?

I'm kind of amazed you think that they mean the same thing, and suspect the processes that lead us to see this so differently may have a lot to do with other difficulties in communications.

Certainly outspoken, visible critics may be angry.. but that does not mean being angry is a necessary component.

I'm certainly an outspoken visible critic in a way (on the internet). Yet I'm not angry at all over any of this. I have always found it interesting that Juliann so consistently reads me as angry, hysterical, screaming, etc, and have frankly wondered if she is projecting her own feelings onto me. Either that, or people simply cannot "hear" criticism of a very cherished belief without "hearing" anger, hysterica, etc.

Moreover, people can be quite angry and not be outspoken, visible critics. I've used the example of my sister before because I know her very well. She is not an outspoken, visible critic at all, and only talks about it to me. Yet she has more anger and disdain over mormon teachings and its impact on her life than I have. I am much more ambivalent about it.

And this doesn't address how you would differentiate a whistleblower from an apostate, either. They are outspoken, visible critics. Some of them are very angry. What is the differentiation?

Except that Bromley continues with "Moreover, such persons are understood to represent important resources for any countercult, anti-cult, or oppositional movement seeking to soil the identity of specific religious groups."

Sorry, but to me only an angry person seeks to go that one step further and "soil the identity of specific religious groups." In this instance, Mormonism.

And that is what some online Internet message boards are all about: "soiling the identity of specific religious groups".

By the way one can be angry and yet not be hysterically or screamingly so.

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I agree with what you're saying son but i just wonder about people who specifically leave other religions (other meaning other than LDS) because they lost their belief in their truthfulness-and whether or not these people react the same way to their ex-religion as some ex mormons do to the LDS church.

I ask because i honestly don't know-but it's been my experiences that the way ex-mormon's react (some ex-mormons) is peculiar to the religion.

I served a mission and never had one convert (who came over from another faith they were active in) who was upset with their previous religion for 'teaching them lies'. I'm also married to a convert from a protestant religion and he has warm feelings and respect for his old church home and is grateful for the truths that he did learn from them...

I'm wondering because it seems like if the reason for some ex-mormons' angry reactions to the LDS church stem from feeling betrayed by being led to believe something that is actually false-then shouldn't there would be a similar number of angry ex-'other religions' who are reacting with the same degree of hostility?

Does anyone know if that is the case?

:P

For one I think that the LDS faith has been so misrepresented and practiced by modern members, that when there is someone that leaves the church to join an EV based faith it can seem like going from working in a rock quarry to being on vacation all the time. The pressure is off.

Even though the way is easy and the burden light, the ex-LDS must feel a great weight lifted when attending a need do nothing faith.

Also, there must be a sense of guilt and the rhetoric/venom to kill the pain and focus on "saving" those that were once dear to them, now that "they" are free from the lies (in their opinion)

We are speaking of people so this is just a snap shot of what some may feel, and how they may react. Everyone is obviously very different according to circumstances.

son

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Beastie, this isn't going to go anywhere if all you are going to do is replay your old battles. I've given you my definitions time and time again. If you don't like them say so but then move on.

!. No one could possibly be confused that I am using "angry exmo" as a euphemism for descriptions of "apostate" that have been put up. And it is a little too convenient that LDS posters get it and only the countermos don't.

2. I am going to apply the literature I am using in the way I choose. If you don't like it...offer your own way and move on. I'm not just going to rely on one author. Your nagging is clogging up the thread.

Now can we get past this or not? If we can then I can move on with what you want to debate.

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Moreover, people can be quite angry and not be outspoken, visible critics. I've used the example of my sister before because I know her very well. She is not an outspoken, visible critic at all, and only talks about it to me. Yet she has more anger and disdain over mormon teachings and its impact on her life than I have. I am much more ambivalent about it.

But that is what is so confusing. To say you are ambivalent about something which you spend time and energy criticising is contradictory. Usually ambivalent behavior ignores, doesn't confront or get involved. To use the ex-spouse analogy, you are totally free of the other person when they no longer hold any interest or emotion. Until then even your discourse about the person shows involvement and some degree of emotion, usually anger or hostility.

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