My friend, Sue, got an early morning phone call Friday. Really early. Like, 1 a.m. early. Now, if you have kids, relatives, or even just a few friends, middle of the night phone calls are heart-pounders. They are almost always harbingers of doom, death, or bad boyfriend break-ups.
So, Sue was understandbly nervous, as well as half asleep, when she said, “Hello.”
It wasn’t doom. It wasn’t death. It wasn’t “but he said me loooooved meeeee.”
See, Sue is an interesting person. She is one of the founding members of the Exmormon Foundation, and she is also the great-great-great granddaughter (I might be minus or plus a few greats there, so I’ll let Sue correct it) of Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church. Even with all those direct ties to the Church, Sue still woke up one day and said “What the fuck? You want me to believe WHAT?” This happens to a lot of us. Others hear the strangeness and choose to ignore it, wearing blinders. Still others try to explain it away using circular logic and a lot of “maybes.” But Sue, like me and many others, just said, “No thanks,” and attempted to walk away. And like the others who tried to walk away, she learned it just ain’t that easy. It was even harder in Sue’s case, because she raised something like 42 children and taught them that it was “the only true Church.” (And she’s SO gonna kill me because I said she had something like 42 children. I think it was closer to seven.)
Many of those children are still Mormon, and since she’s the one that taught them it was true, she has a lot of issues to deal with now that she knows it isn’t, and they are wondering who the hell this strange woman is and what she did with their good Mormon mother.
With all these experiences, Sue is very empathetic to those who find themselves wondering, questioning, or on their way out. So empathetic she has given out her phone number to those who are questioning.
Thus, the late night phone call. But it wasn’t someone questioning. It was a 24-year-old returned missionary who saw the ads for the ExMormon Foundation in the University of Utah newspaper, and decided he needed to set the ExMormon Foundation STRAIGHT. AT ONE-FUCKING-O-CLOCK-IN-THE-MORNING. Not only that, but Sue lives on the West Coast, so it was ACTUALLY two a.m. here in Utah when he called her. Does his MOTHER know about this?
What the hell happened to common courtesy? Do Mormons think we no longer deserve it, because we have been bold enough to say we don’t believe? Sue said that while he was polite, he went on and on about how right he was, and how wrong she was, and how people leave because they are lazy and just can’t live up to the standards anymore (common rhetoric from the Mormon camp). In short, the conversation went nowhere and amounted to him trying to bring Sue back into line. Maybe he was relying on the late hour and her sleepiness to get her brainwashed back into the Mormon way of thinking.
One of the most interesting things about this encounter, at least to me, is that Mormons DENY this shit ever happens. I get so many emails from people telling me my Trapped by the Mormons story could not POSSIBLY be true. And “boo hoo, so what if someone loves you enough to try to get you back to living the Lord’s gospel?” It CAN’T be true, but if it IS, what is the big deal? Why should I be bothered?
Um, because you are crossing BOUNDARIES here, people? Are you so used to people telling you how to live your life, that you think you can do the same no matter the hour, the day, the occasion, or how well you know the person? After all, someone told YOU what was right and what was wrong. You are now obligated to go out and do the same for others!
And they do. Especially to those who once belonged (and in some cases even BELIEVED, unlike moi, who was only ever a cultural Mormon because my parents eat, sleep, breathe, drink and spout it on a regular basis).
Mormons do this stuff to former Mormons all the time.
I even got death threats there for a while. Richard Packham has had men try to curse them to die with their priesthood powers, or to be struck dumb. Didn’t work. He’s still talking. I have first hand knowledge of this. I’ve SEEN his mouth move, and heard the VOICE issue forth.
All this boundary crosses adds to the irritation level of ex-Mormons, which is one of the reasons why so many of them are so angry. For hell’s sake, people, can’t you stay on YOUR side of the fence?
Apparently not. And that’s today’s rant.