Sunday, January 29, 2006

Friends, Family and Flu

This has been a fun past couple of days.

Last night we invited local exmos over to our house and had a great time. I nearly broke my back cleaning the place, but it was well worth it. We had lots to laugh about, and we were able to get to know each other a little better. It's nice to know that in this surreal bubble that is Utah County there are others who are like-minded.

Something I learned last night: when a bartender mixes lime juice with vodka (making a kamikaze) he's not just using freshly squeezed limes. He's using something with a LOT of sugar; probably something like limeade. Well let me just testify that 2 wedges of lime squeezed into a shot of vodka is NOTHING like a kamikaze. Oh my god, it was bad. Next time I'll stick to Malibu and Cran. Can't really go wrong with that...

Today my mom had a family dinner at her house in honor of 2 birthdays. I always love my family get-togethers. Even though there is often yelling and/or arguments, you can bet there is always loud laughter and lewdness. We all know it's dinner time at mom's when excrement or sex comes up as a topic of conversation. We are a unique family, but no way in hell would I change that.

On a darker, more painful note, I think I have a titch of the flu. My sister, the nurse, diagnosed me with minor flu OR malaria. Either way, I've been having nighttime fevers which don't allow me to sleep very well. I think I'm taking Nyquil tonight. That stuff knocks me out. I have no other symptom other than a fever at night. So maybe I'm slowly dying of malaria. Damn mosquitoes in Utah in January!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Finding a daily LIFE

I live in the Morridor. Wasatch Front. Mormon Centrale. I was born and raised here, only leaving for a 7 year stint in North Carolina.

I was born in Provo, raised in Orem and Alpine. I did the whole church thing. I got my patriarchal blessing at 14. I was addicted to doing baptisms for the dead in the Jordan River Temple. I couldn't wait for my mission (or marriage, in the unlikely event that it came instead of a mission), when I could go forth into the temple. I didn't like just heading straight downstairs. I wanted the MEAT.

There's a lot more to my life, of course, but suffice it to say that denouncing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (LDS gospel, of course) was nowhere in my "life goals". 5 years ago I would never have believed it if you told me that not only would I stop believing, but I'd be insistent to take my name off the records. Crazy talk...

So here it is, 2006, and I got my letter on Tuesday, saying that it's an "ecclesiastical matter", yada yada yada. I'm out. Legally, I have no ties to the church anymore. So how do I continue to live here in this breeding ground for Mormons?

My first inclination is to be true to myself. Have unfailing integrity. Get involved with community. Get involved with my children's school. In essence, live my life. Have fun, laugh, enjoy my family and friends. Be a sublimely decent human being.

I have a fear, however. I have a fear that my children will be shunned. Kids suck! They'll find anything that could be a sore spot, and they'll exploit it. I pray (which I don't, but I do sincerely hope) that my kids will have strong convictions. They are sweet, and they'll be liked. But this valley is NASTY when it comes to apostates. We'll just have to see how it goes.

Thanks for hearing my rant today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


...we went to dinner with my sister and brother-in-law. It was a very lovely dinner at Macaroni Grill. Yummy stuff.

As we entered the restaurant, there was a large group of ladies in line ahead of us. I immediately recognized 2 of them, and mistakenly thought they were just out together, having dinner. But then, as I looked around, there was nearly half of my ex-ward's Relief Society. This is exciting, because I just resigned my membership from the Church.

The funny part was when I told the original 2 ladies, "I thought you 2 were out together, then Margot turned around, and I'm like, 'Oh my God! Everyone is here!'" The reason this is funny, is because as soon as I declared that blaspheme, all the heads of the other ladies whipped around to see who could've been talking like that! HAHAHA!!! They didn't expect to see their local apostate, I'm sure.

Thus ends my first confrontation as an ex-Mormon.

Mormon=Cult ???

While I was a Mormon, and even after the transition out, I wondered why I would hear Mormons referred to as a "cult". Cults, to me, were sects like Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, Jonestown (Peoples Temple), and usually anything that is associated with the occult.

According to Webster's dictionary, any religious group can be considered a cult. I believe that the definition of cult, and the idea of cult are two different things. The idea of cult has mostly a negative connotation. So I did some research and found this checklist on This is from a group called International Cultic Studies Association. I took the checklist and added my own experience with Mormons, mostly to prove to myself why I used to be a member of a cult. Please, if you can think of other related things, post a comment.

Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups:
Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.

*The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
Follow the prophet. Praise to the man.
*Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
September 6, temple worthiness interview.
*Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
Chanting: recitation of articles of faith, YW theme, hosanna shout. Other mind-altering practices: bearing of testimonies, fear of consequences (such as outer darkness) Debilitating work routines: 3 hours of church, various meetings on Sunday, YW/YM night once a week, RS once a month, temple attendance once a week, family home evening on Monday, date night, etc.
*The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
Perfect the Saints, Word of Wisdom, standards of 'chastity', family home evening, date night, interviews with Bishop and SP for marital permission (if temple marriage).
*The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
"Peculiar people", "one true church", "celestial kingdom", "redeem the dead".
*The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
"Mission field", honed duty to "Proclaim the Gospel", "one true church".
*The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
Gordon B. Hinkley is accountable for the whole church, yet the church has no say what he does. There is no sustaining vote to buy up property for new temples. The way tithing money is spent is not up to the people, and it’s not accounted for in detail.
*The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
Countless stories about guilt with masturbation, questioning existing or new revelation, drinking caffeinated sodas, having too few (or no) children.
*Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
Focus shifts to "what can I do for my church?" upon membership. Family members cannot witness a marriage that takes place in a temple.
*The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
"Proclaim the Gospel". 52,000 fulltime missionaries in the field.
*The group is preoccupied with making money.
Temple attendance is conditional on full payment of tithing. Temple attendance is 'required' for eternal exaultation.
*The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
This was me about 1 year ago. Another thing is that they absolutely cannot recognize it as a cult until they are outside looking in.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Maiden Bloggage

Hello to the Blog world. I have to admit that the reason I signed up for this is so I could reply to other people's blogs. But at the same time, I have had some thoughts running through my head and this seemed like an appropriate venue for venting them.

So here's to new experiences!