Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Official announcement: I'm now an ex-post-Mormon and maybe an ex-ex-Mormon also

Attention all post and ex Mormons: Recent engagements online and in person with "post-Mormon" and "ex-Mormons" have revealed to me the following: Regarding labels I'd rather just use "human," "naturalist," and "atheist." Post-Mormon is also a fairly irrelevant term. If you were a Mormon you'll always be impacted in your future life by what happened to you. If you were impacted sufficiently you'll always want to fight and to help free people from the brain washing prison. But, when it comes to groups, the label "postmo" or "exmo" is not quite sufficient. It's too limited in scope, as apparently are the groups who use these labels.

Related post:
Mormons, Exmormons, "post-mormons," and the "need" to control the speech of others and to "mother" people.

explorations & activities after leaving Mormonism: nudism, & Temple Square protests

explorations & activities made after leaving Mormonism: Protests at Temple Square in 1999 and 2002. Nudist group experiences. Nudists claim their activities have nothing to do with sex. Such a claim is a lie, and an indicator that Puritanism infects even this aspect of American culture.

By the term "girl" I mean an attractive woman. References:
"2. a young unmarried woman; lass; maid"
"4. Informal a woman of any age"

12-24-2014 addendum:

In response to the question posted in a comment below, regarding have I ever been to a nudist event:

Yes I have. Some of the leadership of those activities are very highly hipocritical. Claiming that events are "non-sexual," when they themselves are self-proclaimed "sex goddesness." But the truth only comes out after a while.

The general American nudist position on sexuality shows how they are very much afraid of sex and how they are inhibited. Adding and stating many extra rules for behavior when people have their clothes off - rules never ever stated when people are at parties with their clothes on - it's all nn indication of their being completely and fully inhibited while lying about being uninhibited. This is the general state of nudism in America today.

It's a fundamental lie to assume that sexuality is ever disconnected from an activity when *adult* humans are together naked. To claim this, to think this, and to require that others think this as a condition of participation, is abusive, hypocritical, just plain crazy, and an indication of some type of Puritanical memetic disease pervading nudist culture.

Nudists in America express even more fear of sex, when their clothes are off!

Uninhibited? I don't think so.

Related thoughts from others:!topic/rec.nude/9Say7QWoaT4[1-25-false]

Anyway, there's something particularly perverse about asking humans to get naked, and them playing mind games with them and with yourself by claiming that when adults get naked the activities are "non-sexual." That's just plain bullshit. Utter abusive bullshit. A lie. And why? One may well ask. Perhaps nudism as it stands today is really a playground for liars, so long as they keep up what they're doing & claiming.

Adult humans are sexual animals. Taking your clothes off can mean "being free," but don't ever claim that your nudist event where adult humans can see each other naked is "non sexual." If you do, you're a liar.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mormons, Exmormons, "post-mormons," and the "need" to control the speech of others and to "mother" people.

In Mormonism they tried to control our thoughts & our speech. So, upon leaving Mormonism I've found high value in opposite actions to these, and in fighting against people who are too controlling. I don't go on the net to be anyone's child per se. I've been here since 1994, and I wasn't born yesterday. Perhaps you cater to those who were, but there's been too much water under the bridge for me to kowtow to anyone.

Some exmormon websites do have forums with a very limited scope. Such controlling & micromanaging groups cater to exmos (people who've left Mormonism) who've just been out of the Mormon Church for perhaps one or two weeks - and that's all. Once you've become more psychologically adult, more than a "2 week exmo," you'll find such controlling forums infantile & incredible myopic.

Once you've exposed yourself to the writings, speeches, and debates of people who don't speak at Mormon General Conference (eg: Enlightenment Values speakers & thinkers), you will find controlling personalities to be even more distasteful.

Hey you, controlling forum admin: We don't exist to serve or exist at the pleasure of yourself or people who get angry at an open expression of ideas. People who want us to shut up - whether those people are Mormons, or control freak exmormons like you - no, you won't control what we say & think.

So to the mothering admin who tries to maintain "harmony" via suppressing a highly valuable crucible of ideas, here's my message to you: I stand by my videos and links, and the opinions expressed therein. People exposed to authoritarian culture can be authoritarian too - even in their desire to ensure that no one is ever offended.

For example: Carefully read over the restrictions at,45 - the forum rules for people who are just leaving Mormonism. It's a largely highly disgusting list of what's not allowed in their little forum:
1. personal attacks
2. politics (terrorism, party politics, foreign policy etc)
3. preaching
4. attempts to deliberately stir up trouble
5. faking a conversation by answering your own posts under different names (puppeteering)
6. complaints about censorship (ironic, ain't it)
7. questions for the admins (send those to instead)
8. complaints about the admins (ditto)
9. advertising and solicitations for money
10. legal issues not cleared in ADVANCE through admin
11. copyrighted material
12. posts about a topic that the moderators have said to drop
13. anything that collects personal information, requests for signatures on petitions or links to petitions, interview requests not cleared IN ADVANCE with admin. Requests for people to contact you off board.
14. anything illegal.
The above list is not exhaustive.
---quote ends 

Item 1 may be ok, as along as the term "personal attack" is construed to mean that we should generally not tell people to "FOAD," and as long as we aren't, again generally speaking, telling people to "shut up." I generally won't advocate that you shut up, unless such a demand is warranted, such as in cases of people who go around destroying the lives of children, people such as Boyd Packer or Spencer Kimball.

Item 2 on their list is evil. For example: Utah is still a theocracy in some respects, and especially outside of Salt Lake City itself. So, "policitcs" does relate to the state of being an ex-mormon. Also politics is about life and what leaders may choose to try & do with yours. So in any case such a restiction is not only myopic, it's abusive.

Item 3 may be ok, but advocating strongly for your position could be interpreted as "preaching," and again, we don't exist to serve at the pleasure of control freak forum admins or of people who cannot handle open discussion & debate. In general "trolls" should be allowed, because they can be Mormons or fundie Christians who simply need more exposure to atheists.

Item 4 is also a perniciously evil request to make of a former Mormon. Hey, we ARE here to "stir up trouble!" We left Mormonism! That stirs up trouble for Mormon leaders! And we're also here to "stir up trouble" with people who want to control the speech & thoughts of others. Yes, this means you micromanaging forum admin at, and your kin on other sites. Item 4 is an OUTRAGEOUSLY ABUSIVE request.

Go read the works of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris. Are they "stirring up trouble?" Damn right they are! No, you're not going to shut us up.

Item 5 is a stupid thing to worry about. Who cares.

Item 6 shows what we have here is exmormons behaving EXACTLY like Mormon leaders.

Item 7 shows that the admins are very afraid of having their abusive micro-managing ways questioned in public.

Item 8 -same as item 6.

Item 10 - who cares

Item 11 - who cares

Item 12 - we don't exist to serve or speak or live at the pleasure of micro-managing forum admins. Now, there's a difference between telling people to stop directly attacking each other (eg: telling people to stop saying "f-off" or "shut up" to each other), and telling people to "stop talking about a given topic." Do you know the difference, forum admin? "Stop talking about a given topic" means an order to stop thinking, to stop the crubicle from doing it's work. And, forum admins seem quite adept at shelling out their own personal attacks while shielding themselves in their own propped up self importance and access to instruments of control. More on that below.

Item 13 - who cares

Item 14 - freedom of speech & thought may be illegal in North Korea, and in even in some places where the Internet now reaches.

So, what's the bottom line specifically about the forums at It's a site that can be useful to help you leave Mormonism initially, and it's useful for most people during the first week they're out - but that's it! There is on there some separate good informational articles about Mormonism, but avoid the forums like the plague. Go out and find yourself a good old fashioned atheist forum or group. Seriously. Generally speaking groups with balls enough to actually use the term "atheist" in their group name will have people who're more psychologically adult, more intelligent, more willing to have pointed discussions & debates, and, generally speaking, be less controlling of free speech & thought.

Who are my heros, as a former Mormon Temple Worker, Sunday School President, and Mormon missionary?
Christopher Hitchens.
Richard Dawkins.
Daniel Dennett.
Stephen Pinker.
Sam Harris.
Carl Sagan.
Google all these people to hear & read their thoughts & words.

To the control freak "exmo" or "postmo" admins, listen to these people! Do they "stir up trouble?" Do they "question the admins?" Do they even bother to care about whether their speech "offends others?" Well on that last point yes they do, but they aren't afraid to nevertheless make judgements about others when they feel such actions are warranted. Judgements about religion. Judgements about religious leaders, or political leaders who act in in similar controlling ways. Judgements about otherwise slimy behavior.

Ideally I believe life is not so much about whether we offend others, it's about speaking the truth. We only have so much time on this rock to make a difference. For what it's worth, here's a copy of my the talk I gave at my mother's funeral, given inside a Mormon meeting house:

And here's some related videos:

Richard Dawkins on being offended:

Stephen Fry:

Chrisopher Hitchens on the importance of having freedom of expression including the license of offend:

To control freak hippies who want to impose "harmony" by quelling freedom of thought & speech:

The 60s was your great experiment. The 70s was the hangover result. When I left Mormonism I didn't loose my ability to evaluate the behavior of others. Yes there are moral judgements worth dropping which are popular in Mormonism. Prohibitions against premarital sex & masturbation. Prohibitions against coffee, tea, and the moderate consumption of alcohol. But, there are some "generally universal human morals," and I'm less willing to drop these as a human who happens to also be a former Mormon.

No, becoming and "postmo," an "exmo," an atheist, or continuing to be a human doesn't mean that I loose my ability to judge the actions of others.

It's not my goal to show how accepting I am. I care more about the facts, the truth, and yes even how I get to advocate for my own position. I care more about long term survival than your "feewings."

Not every path in life is an equally valid one. If you disagree with my approach or think it's inappropriate, I welcome your direct feedback (as long as your feedback is not "shut up," or nicely-put versions of such a demand).

After leaving Mormonism I did try out a few "hippie culture" groups. Nudists. Groups which advocate more sexual openness. In the end I found serious problems with such groups. A fear of being human (nudist leaders), and strange controlling whackjobs (polyamorists). Their leaders were either hypocritical harmony-imposing-two-faced-deceptive-control-freaks or just strange.

I found going all the other way culturally and socially was not a good option. There's a reason the 70s were a hangover from the activities of the 60s. There's elements of 60s culture worth embracing, but the 1970s shows we can go too far with letting it all hang out.

Ok, so, here's a demand I received from one forum admin," on their super secret facebook page for the group SLC Postmos. The same group also exists on meetup.
Jonathan you wanted input about why people felt there were not enough kid friendly events. You received plenty of offers to them. You brought beefs with other groups on her and you posted blogs and videos meant to insult others. You may not have said those things on this page but you posted links to places that did. Yes name calling is not good here but you need to stop as well. As admin I suggest we drop this thread.
 And here is my video response:

My history with Mormonism:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The importance of having "kid friendly" events as a rule rather than an exception in atheist & exmormon groups

2. Original video (below).
3. Addendum added after I received a response from one of the groups involved.
4. Addendum video (also below)
5. Previous blog post (separate page).
6. Remaining concerns of note:

          A. The following Exmormon Foundation policy statement:

"...Due to the nature of the conference presentations and the serving of alcohol during the evenings, we have established a strict policy that no children are allowed except for nursing infants..."
B. Working to ensure that kids are welcome within the relevant groups I may be a part of, and perhaps starting groups or events of my own as needed.
C. Unitarian Universalism churches i.) requiring that children go away during their main meetings, ii.) being apologists for Mohamed & Islam, and iii.) having taboos against being critical of wacky New Age / Pagan type ideas (the freedom to believe - in bullshit). Believing bullshit is a time waster, whether you believe in Jesus, Thor, Zeus, or in homeopathy, the wacky woo woo of Depak Chopra, crystals, or in The Secret.

(2.) First video:

(4.) Second video:

(1.) Original open letter:

An open letter to atheist & ex-Mormon groups, on the issue of whether children are welcome at your events or not: [I did receive a further response from a relevant atheist group - click here to read my reply.]

Speaking frankly, I have no use for events which aren't "kid friendly." Family isn't a dirty word. Funny how people can embrace "Pride" and then jump straight on to having "kids around" as an "exception" rather than a rule. Where's the pride parade for straight people with kids? Maybe we deserve one too.

I never really thought about this issue until I had a kid myself. Pretty much the only "events" I *might* consider attending without my kid are these:

1. A gay bar I have been to before, with my gay nephew - if he happens to come to town and decides to pay a visit to my house & asks me to go there for a short visit to the bar & I decide to say yes.

2. The very occasional (officially rated as, & not merely "unrated") NC-17 film that is economically viable enough to actually be shown, and that's worth watching - a perhaps once every 20 year occurrence.

Other than that, from ex-Mormon meetings to atheist ones to church meetings, if my kid isn't welcome to sit beside me while I'm present, then neither am I. My family is more important than your little meetings - speaking frankly...
"...Due to the nature of the conference presentations and the serving of alcohol during the evenings, we have established a strict policy that no children are allowed except for nursing infants..." quoted from an exmormon conference website. But more recently I've encountered a similar de facto prohibition on admitting that I have a child in connection with an atheist semi-annual party at which elections were to be voted on. Well, I guess I won't be running in that election, right? I've got a kid after all, and the crazy meeting where they'll be doing the voting doesn't seem to be kid friendly. What's up with that?

Let me say here as a side note that the organizers of these various groups do work very hard, and deserve a lot of credit for helping a lot of people. But, on the other hand, my son takes precedence over even these otherwise hard working people. It's just that they don't (yet) realize what it means to be fully inclusive.

If you wish to be inclusive of "gay issues" then you also need to be inclusive of "straight ones," and of people who, yes, have children. And, from what I've been told, gay and bi people sometimes have kids also.

Does the right wing get to hijack and use-solely the word "family?" I don't think so. But the "left" doesn't either.

I'm not really into the self-hatred of the left or the right. Yes, family is a good thing and it should be supported and promoted. And social groups which are supporting people recovering from religion & people who're finding new ways to live after leaving religion should take into account that humans actually engage in sexual reproduction...

I don't leave home without my genitals attached - as Mormons would have preferred. And, I should not be required to leave home without my new son - or to keep him hidden away just for the privilege of socializing with fellows who are supposedly on a similar life path.

Children sometimes make a bit of noise. Yes, I'm willing to take them out temporarily if they're screaming. But the occasional child-originated outburst should be well tolerated in any group which is supposedly trying to be "welcoming" and "inclusive."

Also, I agree that there is a need for singles events & singles type dances in atheist & ex-mormon groups. That's fine. But, as for alcohol, remember that alcohol is also served at pubs, and pubs do not exclude children.

So anyway unless your event is somehow exactly the same as the singular gay bar my nephew may or may not ever invite me to visit again, or is similar to a loud dive-bar (a largely unhealthy atmosphere for anyone which I suggest you not try to emulate regardless), don't expect me to hide my children away...  Occasional "singles" events may be ok, which are designed for single people to meet each other. But sometimes single people have kids also.



Related post:
Regarding the group Atheists of Utah, suggestions posted June 12, 2013

postscript: After leaving Mormonism I searched for new groups to associate with. The groups mentioned above represent at least three I've tried so far. Nothing is absolutely cut & dry and I realize that anyone can start a group. But this is just something I've noticed after a.) leaving Mormonism, and now b.) having a kid.

In the old days the exmo conferences were more laid back. But I was shocked to see the more recent restrictions on kids - strange. The Unitarians can only tolerate kids at their meetings for the first few minutes. Why? What if I don't want my kid to be shuffled away to some other room, and what if I think all the kids should stay with their parents?

Also separately UUism is I've found not really friendly to Enlightenment values, since they embrace the "freedom to believe - in bullshit" via embracing paganism/fluff-a-muff-crazy-unfounded-views and they have a taboo against being critical of views which are otherwise crazy.

Well, anyway, I do have suspicions on exactly why things are the way they are. Discrimination against people who have kids - yes, it exists, apparently. And apparently those of us with kids have to fight for our rights to "come out" as straight people with kids as well...


(4.) June 13, 2013 10:45PM addendum:

I received a more cogent response from the president of Atheists of Utah regarding my concerns in this & the previous blog post. Here is what I have posted in reply:

---quote begins



>I couldn't find any such post on any of our
>online presence locations. I saw you post this at
>several locations, but no "copy" of your blog post.

There was an original copy which I then deleted once it was copied in total to my blog, and then a link to the post was posted for convenience & consolidation.

The original queries which caused the original first concerns were posted in the announcement for the party itself. Regarding the discouragement of the attendance of children, as far as I could tell at least one board member and another attendee recommended (in rather strong terms) that children not attend - in the specific announcement area for the meeting. Then I heard nothing from anyone else, and no further feedback until now.


The wheelbarrow is perhaps indicative of the target audience for the meeting in question. I had forgotten about Joel starting the wheelbarrow thing - perhaps once the meetings were moved to Richard T.’s house. Back when they were still at Joel’s house I don’t think such a thing was occurring.  Clearly there’s a need to attract college age fratsters to atheist meetings (seriously & not in jest). They have a lot of dynamic energy worth tapping into.

Regarding music we never heard back whether there would be music at this particular party. But for us it’s a moot point at this point.


>Most of the members in the group have children of various ages.
>There are only a few of the more than 150 of our gatherings where the exclusion
>of children is explicitly stated.

In the wake of my previous chats with people about these issues I came away with the impression that it was only the “ice cream socials” which were really welcoming for children.


>It is always stated explicitly in the event description
>if it is recommended that children do not attend. For all other events,
>children are implicitly welcome.

Regarding group and committee suggestions, I’ll consider which options would be most fruitful. There’s certainly room to grow in either direction.

Well, in this case I don’t wish to impede anyone’s ability to have a raging good time with fellow youngsters without the perceived impediments or impositions the presence of a child may pose, since it was rather strongly previously made clear to me by others in the related forums that for the event in question that children not attend.

I realize the main announcement didn’t explicitly exclude kids, but like I say later conversations, which weren't merely completely unofficial (to my perception) made it clear to me that it would be unusual and not advisable to bring kids to this particular event.

Like I say there is a need for such events which are young-person-party-animal-wild-man-and-woman focused, so by all means have fun at the party - all those people who want to hook up with some hot atheist chick or dude. Just remember what may happen if you do:

I’ll see about amending my text & video blogs appropriately in response, now that I’ve finally received a more official response. I’m glad that you were finally able to get back. In this case I still believe the party in question is really more of one intended for young people to get more than a bit tipsy so that they can more effectively meet each other. And I shall take the advice of others and keep our son home. He’s too young for a baby sitter.

At the very least we’ll work on announcing events which may be of value to those with youngsters... Here’s some related ideas I found:

So by all means attend & have fun. We'll just stay home with our young kid - that's all...

Our kid is too young for a baby sitter. But to tell you the truth I wasn't just concerned about this group. There's another group which does have a more explicit "no kids" policy which is quite a bummer. So the conversation here was kind of a tipping point, for what it's worth.


---end of quote of addendum to Atheists of Utah.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Regarding the group Atheists of Utah, suggestions posted June 12, 2013

Copy of a post made in an Atheists of Utah forum today. Posted here in part to keep track of my own thoughts & writings... Note that I did receive further feedback. See this newer post with key addendum notes and videos.

---------------- quote begins

Group suggestions:

Regarding the summer solstice party, it sounds as if it's really primarily a members-only singles event where children are not welcome (and by default, people who have infant children are not welcome either). I agree there's a need for there to be atheist singles groups. The Unitarians certainly aren't stepping up (& their church really isn't atheist, Enlightenment-values, and science & skepticism friendly). And in past years there was pretty much no options other than bar hopping & random chance. Now there's the Internet though & more opportunities to start groups.

As for this group, for the future may I suggest:

1. Having meetings/parties that don't have a membership requirement - but allow for donations via a donation box at the party.
2. Having parties that are pot lock, and simple.
3. Having parties that allow for alcohol to be brought, but not to raffle off a "wheelbarrow of booze" at such parties. We could also raffle off a "wheelbarrow of cigarettes," or a "wheelbarrow of hydrogenated oil" - with similar outcomes & value.
4. Having parties which do not have amplified music.
5. Having parties which do not explicitly or implicitly exclude people who happen to have engaged in sexual reproduction (eg: they have children).

I'm aware that anyone can host a party or start a group. "Official parties & events" should be more inclusive though, if your goal is to be inclusive. And I know that running an atheist group or any group requires a lot of work, and a partially-unfair personal investment of funds.

So without question there's a need for events focused on the need for single people to meet, and for dances which serve to meet that need, and so on, outside of the context of religious groups. I would just suggest being rather explicit about how events are labeled, so as to avoid confusion.

"This party is for single people who don't have young children, or for married people who don't have children or who only have older children - children who can be kept at home away from our party or event." Please add that label up front to events if it turns out that a given event deserves such a label.

I suggest opening up this facebook group so as to allow "trolls" to once again be educated. If a given troll becomes a rather large problem, they can then be banned. But until then, they should at the very least be allowed to be educated. By comparison, if comparisons are valid, the Atheist Community of Austin manages to have an open group on this website.

There are inherent problems with an increased organizational structure being created. But I'd like to thank Zac, Joel, and Richard for their past work with creating groups and organizing things at various venues, restaurants, cafes, and houses. And Harald and Qian Qian. Our new son probably would not be here if it weren't for all these factors being present, and people who worked to organize atheist meetings in the past.

As for group dynamics & politics: I've seen the evolution of various groups, related to atheism and not. I know where I personally stand within the "movement" - pretty much with the left leaning anti-authoritarians, with occasional alliances with right leaning anti-authoritarians where necessary and fruitful... There is definitely an evolution that takes place with groups, depending on personality type and who happens to show up. Perhaps it's time for more such evolution now (making a note to myself also)...


Related post:
The importance of having "kid friendly" events as a rule rather than an exception in atheist & exmormon groups