Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam of Mormonism!

turnonthelights sep 2012

At 25 I really started having serious doubts and started to regret my temple marriage to my tbm husband. By 30 I knew it was and always had been nothing more than a scam for suckers. I was grateful that I had been intuitive enough to see through it all. But what about my parents? Why hadn't they seen the warning signs years earlier? My dad is a lawyer and smarter than I am but here he is blinded for years by the lies. He at least should have been smart enough to have caught on by now.

My parents brainwashed 7 kids to fall for this crap and I am feeling so pissed off at them right now for being such suckers. I am even more shocked that my convert inlaws have been so pulled into the church. When you are brainwashed from infancy to never doubt it can be harder to see the cracks but for converts it should be easier to not be so manipulated. I am feeling so horribly alone lately being the only one out of a very large family who isn't falling for this bullsh*t religion. I want to just run away from my life and never have to see any tbm family member again. Every trip to see my parents they rub this religion in our faces with forced family prayer at all hours of the day. Even in the car before we drive a short distance we have to have family prayer. Then there are the forced family home evenings on Mondays and the forced testimony meetings. I feel like one of their inactive ward projects they are trying to reactivate. My mother is paying to have the Ensign mailed to us each month in hopes of feeding my starving spirit. And they wonder why we rarely visit. I am seen as the damaged dangerous one who is under the influce of Satan. Sorry for this long rant I guess I may have gotten carried away!

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Oh Dear turnonthelights, I can't believe how much your words sound like they were written by me. I can relate so very much. I am also the only one out of a very large family who isn't falling for this bullsh*t religion. I also want to just run away from my life and never have to see any tbm family member again. I am also seen as the damaged dangerous one who is under the influence of satan. And I can't understand how my parents can still be so tbm.

I am so hurt by all of it. I came to a breaking point about a week and a half ago. I usually talk to my mom a few times a week, and also text with other family members. But I broke down. I can't play the pretend I'm o.k. you're o.k. game anymore. It's just too hard. I stopped answering the phone, and excepting texts.

I have been talking to a couple therapists trying to get on the right track. I have been hearing through the grapevine that my family is "worried" about me because they haven't heard from me in a while.

What has also been really helpful for me is when I am reading these posts here on rfm, if I come across one that makes me laugh out loud, I write it down. And then I can go back and read them all and really have a good laugh! You should try that. It's something simple that helps me a lot.

Peter Bowen
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!

I felt much the same way about my parents a few years ago when I realised that they had raised me to believe in a lie.

I live a long way from them, so, by default rather than choice our contact was limited. This turned out to be a good thing. I was able to avoid damaging our relationship.

Four years later, I'm grateful to have parents who love me in spite of our religious differences (doesn't this sound like testimony meeting).

They still believe, they still pray for me and put my name on the temple prayer roll, but, I feel differently about that now. You may also feel different about them as time heals the feelings of betrayal brought about by uncovering the mormon lies.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Dear Lovely Lady,

Please don't blame your parents. They did not create the church. They are not responsible for the hoax at the core. "Our" Mormon culture is socially incredibly powerful. It is a sub-culture within America and a microcosm of American life. Many people like your parents sacrificed in indescribable ways to create a community where they feel protected and have a distinct identity to claim and they believe they are major stakeholders in its existence (yes crazy Mormon life.) It's all they know, and they can't imagine life any other way especially with you not fully in step with them.

Now that doesn't mean they are right, and I wouldn't want to call them victims in the strictest sense (because they love the way they live.) You don't have to cut them slack after you tell them how you feel and they still hover, invade, and dictate your life. You may need to make a final stand and withdraw from them, and totally cut their support and assistance from your life completely no matter what that means e.g. baby sitting, dinners, social engagements. Your relationship will change big time when you come out the other end of this, and it hurts like hell because you can't have that rapport with them you had when you were very young or cling to the last vestiges of your childhood relationship that you had when you still needed them. You ARE justified to be pissed at them for treating you like crap because of this, however.

I just came through what you are experiencing. Im 39 years old with 3 kids and married in temple 15 years ago. My parents were out this summer (we live far from UT, which helps) and my mother finally understood that not I or my wife or kids will ever be part of the church. They cried, she about passed out several times. I cried explaining my position about how I felt heart broken to realize the church was a hoax at the core asking her to see it from my position. It was brutal. (I was their golden boy, did what I was told, apparently my mothers "favorite." It was almost like a divorce and it sucked.)

After I got that out of the way, and we agreed to love each other no matter what and both agreed to not incite the other with pro or anti church talk (we ALWAYS had church talk so now our conversations are really short) our relationship has started to heal, though it will never be what it once was. I do not talk with them like I once did, but I still call.

So I realized I can't blame them. And as much as I am identified as my fathers clone or consider how things could be different or how they are delusional about Mormonism, I finally feel grateful that they had me and raised me, paid for my early existence, educated me, and loved me. As a new atheist or something like one, and now understanding the power of people in groups and humans' susceptibility to believing fervently in myths and hoaxes, I now consider myself lucky that I am who I am and where I come from and that I made it out, despite the hurt.

We want the families we left behind to have empathy for us or maybe to even be excited or happy for us in our new lives. They won't be, ever. That's our cross to bear.

Sorry to be preachy. Hope to offer something to your plight. Been there too. Good luck. And remember to make leaving the church look like the good time it is- more free time, more smiles, more laughs, more cash on hand, more lazy Sundays...make sure they know they are the ones burdened more than they should be, on account of TSCC. They will be baffled that the blessings of heaven are equal if not more in number upon us apostates :-)

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
I just wrote a book in reply to your post- and realized I was overdoing it a little- so suffice it to say:

- I too used to hold a ton of anger towards my parents for the way they treated me as a child, how they punished me for my 'sins', and how they continue to make me feel like a worthless sinner who is in Satan's grasp- (Mother: But you had so much potential!)

- How little respect they have for me and my non-belief. Did they ask if it was ok to offer a blessing on the food in my home? No...

- In the end, though I have a ton of anger and frustration bottled inside me, I have to admit to myself it is not their fault.

- Though my parents both being very educated and cultured, they both have been thoroughly pickled. They have been heavily saturated with everything that we have learned to loathe in TSCC. And I simply cannot hold it against them. Ironic as it may seem, my mother's favorite quote by Monson 'Never let a problem to be solved become important than a person to be loved.' is applicable regardless of it's origins.

Yes, TBMs are very difficult to deal with, especially when they are family members. It is difficult to swallow all the hurt, pain and damage the Church has caused and continues to cause both to or through it's members, but I try to remember that a person is able to be blinded by very little (as we ALL know very well).

I choose to be better than TSCC in not trying create more strife in my family due to my faithlessness because I choose to continue to respect their beliefs and behavior regardless of their lack of respect for mine.

No, it's not fair, and there might come a time when simply venting on RfM will not be enough, and things might change to the point of TSCC completely separating me from my immediate and extended family.

Till then, I choose the higher and less crowded road.

You didn't get carried away & you have a right to rant a bit.
Unfortunately, exmos can't fit their lives around their TBM family's manipulations and faulty thinking.

It's natural to expect families to be accepting and supportive, but it isn't realistic when families are consumed with TBM ideas. They've lost control. It's their church running their brains and we can't take that personally.

Fair? No.

We have to eventually reach out and find gratification in the real nonmormon world because believing mormons will always see us as damaged. When we're with them, that's reality.

BUT what I've learned is that TBMs respect us more if we don't cater to them so much. I think you need to call Ensign and ask for a refund. Tell them not to accept subscriptions for you again. You can let your mom know you've done this. Many exmos do this all the time and it's a good place to start earning your wings.

Nothing wrong with a little blame for deluded parents.
It's parents who keep the scam going, not exmos.

You live with daily "loathing?" That's a bad feeling.
Perhaps therapy would help.

In the meantime, there's nothing wrong with setting livable boundaries with TBMs.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
I know how you feel turnonthelights. It can be very frustrating. My daughter was asked to fold her arms and bow her head at a family dinner, so that they could proceed with the blessing. I was shocked and angry but as usual, couldn't think of the proper response fast enough. That event made me realize how important it is to stick up for my belief in "non-belief". What kind of a parent was I being and what a bad example to my daughter?

Last year in December, I decided it was time to set clear boundaries. My strategy up until then was to swallow my urge to speak-up and bite my tongue. It was all about respect; I was afraid of overstepping the respect boundary. What I didn't realize, is that by not setting boundaries of my own, "they" were trampling all over my right to believe differently. I decided that in all fairness, they needed to know what I believe so that they would be aware of where they are overstepping - and I could call them on it.

Here's an excerpt from the letter I sent if you're interested:

As a multi lingual and mixed-religion family, we have pointedly tried to teach our children tolerance in regard to religion. Our form of tolerance should not be confused with ignorance as we have made it a point to learn about other religions, respecting their beliefs for being at least as important to them as ours are to us. While learning about other religions, we have encountered the confusing and sometimes amusing situation that many of them believe that they are the only true faith or the only one with access to all the truths. This abundance of truth actually makes perfect sense and we have come to appreciate the care and compassion with which people all over the world represent "their" respective religions though we do not endorse the idea that there is only one containing the full truth therefore implying that all others are either entirely or to some extent left in the dark or insufficiently informed.

Furthermore, because of the pain and suffering caused in the name of religion, we ourselves have chosen to be open and accepting to all religions including the practice of non religion but expressly avoid adherence to a single belief. This doesn't mean that we incorporate all or none of their practices into our lives but that we accept others' practice and expect the same consideration in return.

For example, prayer and meditation is a central practice in all religions. Christians usually fold their hands or arms and bow their heads during prayer, while others spread their arms in an opening, welcoming gesture. Native Americans dance as a form of prayer or meditation while the Orthodox Jews sway back and forth and all practicing Jews partially kneel and bow their bodies at some point in the prayer. The Muslims combine exercise and meditation with prayer. The Hindus chant the mantras. All of these practices fill the same need for the practitioner, regardless of the words and motions. While we teach our kids to show respect when others are praying, it is not appropriate for us to actively participate or submit ourselves to any certain faiths' practice. For example, we would no sooner ask our children to kneel with their foreheads touching the ground when in the company of a praying Muslim than ask them to fold their hands or arms and bow their heads when a Christian prays. We do teach our children to quietly respect others' practice of prayer or meditation, but we feel that it would be inappropriate for them to take part in any of these.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Thanks everyone for your kind words. It feels nice finally being understood in my lonely world!

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
If your parents suffered from dementia or alzheimers and were acting odd, would you hate them for that?

Your parents were brainwashed as little kids and they could not overcome the brainwashing, as so many TBMs cannot overcome it. There is no 5 step program out there to help TBMs. Society does not (yet) recognize it as a problem even. So cut them some slack, love them, be frustrated, but continue loving them.

You only get so many parents in life and so many truly good relationships, however imperfect they may be.


Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
I could have written this post a few months ago. Why do I have to be the one that sees through the con? All of these smart, intelligent people before me couldn't see it? And what about converts? Are they just gullible or what? Once we are a few steps away, it is so easy to fee the fraud that sometimes we forget how blinded they are.

It isn't easy being the one paying the price of being the game changer. But your posterity will thank you! Thank whatever gods may be that YOU finally figured it out and won't be perpetuating the cult on anymore innocent people.

I still go back and forth feeling the way you are right now but overall it has gotten much easier. Good luck! You are a Hero!

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Yep. After realizing the fraud is pretty easy to uncover if you grow some balls and think that you need to check what you're teaching your kids, I too have lost all respect for my parents.

I now realize my father knows a lot about a lot of BS, and that if he bothered to check reality against his dogma, he would see how much sh!t he spews during his theological debates. On other subjects he's clueless.

Mum refuses to even consider facts that contradict (current) cult teachings.

I have such low respect for them as people now, and absolutely no trust in anything they say.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
I can sure identify with that feeling. It annoys me that my parents to this day are complete suckers. My father, particularly. He's better and smarter than this. I'm disappointed in him, and it's hard for me to hide it.
mutual respect
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
There's a lot worst religion. Just respect them for their beliefs, and they respect you for ur own.
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
mormonism is an abusive organization and everyone in mormonism is both a victim and a perpetrator of the abuse

my father is a scientist and is smarter than this, too - it helps me to see that it is not about "smart" but about things like pressure and manipulation and family obligation and habit and fear

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
there are lots of reasons to respect someone - silly beliefs shouldn't be one of them...
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Most people won't even know about most of the lies whether they are smart or not. The church does a pretty good job of hiding its history from the members so unless they take a particular interest in it they will just know the sanitized version. If If your mom and dad are overall fairly satisfied with the church they don't have any reason to go looking for something that they don't know is there. I probably would still be in the church if it wasn't for some stuff I read by Christopher Hitchens and also just random online comments on articles about Mitt Romney that spurred me to do some research. The church also has brainwashed your parents to automatically fear anything that puts the church in a bad light. My mom told me that the anti-mormon literature I had been reading was a tool of Satan. It makes me upset just thinking back to that moment. Our relationship has remained pretty good since then but it was a painful conversation. Your in-laws might have gotten sucked in at any point when they were vulnerable. The church trains missionaries to specifically look for young families who have just had a child or for people who have recently experienced the death of a loved one. Back when they converted it probably wasn't as simple as going on the internet and finding all the historical information in just a few minutes.
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
It is not about intelligence, it is about open mindedness.

When you are feeling resentful, just remember the time you spent believing it yourself. Some of us take way longer than others to figure it out, most never do. Smart people are very good at coming up with reasons to justify their beliefs. "Why People Believe Weird Things", (Shermer) is worth a read. When I look at people close to me, and they seem so incredibly naive and credulous to believe things that are so blatently false, (My father is a very intelligent man) I just try to realize that I am looking at myself as I was not so long ago.

It is so obvious to me now, that I really can't see how I didn't see it until I was nearly 50. Yet, somehow I spent most of my own life believing very stupid things. Any resentfulness toward those who naively helped to brainwash me, for me, is far overshadowed by my own embarrassment in not opening my own eyes sooner.

Respecting people because of silly worthless beliefs makes no sense.
Respecting them for the good things they do and their smart ideas is much more valid reasoning.

Respect needs to be earned. If it's given for nothing, it's worth nothing.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Humans in general are stupid and have a very difficult time changing what they believe (even we ex-mos are that way despite having figured out that the church is false.)

The vast majority of believing Mormon's continue to believe it their whole life.

It seems a bit unfair to be angry with your parents for just being human.

On the other hand it seems very fair for you to be angry with them for the way they continue to treat you.

I think my parents saw through it, but were too small minded and insecure to act on it.
My dad was always this little 6-year-old boy who lost his father and got an abusive stepfather instead, trying to control what he could. Mormonism told him he was the boss, and he really needed that. So, even though only his mother was active in the church and he wasn't raised very Mormon, he stuck with it because it gave him power. I think he might have been more inclined to reject it if the man I knew as Grandpa had been into the church.

Also, my dad apparently never questioned or maybe just never wanted to question the very stupid idea that your elders are always right. He was one of them now, as an adult, so why would he discard an idea that fed his need for control.

With my mom, it's a little more complicated. I talked about her upbringing and the elders thing in this post:


So these two very insecure people fell in love and got married. And they partied and were pretty normal, it sounds like, until my mom joined the church. I can only guess why. I think I remember her baptism--just a vague little snippet, and it might even be my earliest childhood memory. I was 2ish, maybe even just barely walking around.

They must have gone to church for a while, but I don't remember a single instance of them going on Sunday until I was 13. My mom was involved in Primary as a chorister and a teacher until I was 4 or 5. Otherwise, she and my dad stayed home from church and avoided the home teachers and drank occasionally and swore and even once went to a topless bar. I also remember a play fight that got out of hand, where they ripped each other's shirts to shreds right there in the livingroom, with me sitting on the rug.

Anyway, I think my dad was the reluctant churchgoer. Because of his mood disorder, he was kind of a job hopper and not the best provider. My mom was a stay-home mom from the time I was born until I was 9. She resented having to go back to work, which was only supposed to be while my dad got a 2-year accounting degree but ended up being for the next 30 years. She was unhappy after we moved to Colorado, and I'm pretty sure that's why I was suddenly dragged to church at 13 or 14, on the heels of this move--because my mother regretted her choice of a husband and was hoping the temple would fix her marriage, and because my dad really loved her.

My brother thinks he had at least one girlfriend, and maybe he did. I don't know--but I do think he loved my mom more than she loved him.

I believe they both had a lot of doubts, but were just incapable of facing and fixing their mistakes. Neither of them ever admitted to being wrong about anything that I remember. Their marriage wasn't fixed, but they stayed together and reverted to inactivity 6 years later, after moving back to Utah. My mom always said she'd go to church if Dad would go with, but she ended up going by herself after he died.

Now, ironically, this woman who was raised by an atheist and an agnostic is the biggest Mormon my family has ever seen, except maybe for my dad's mother, who in her old age was a Salt Lake Temple matron. She's dead now, too, and you have to go out to 2nd cousins to find a more mormier Mormon than my mom has become.

Her silliness is best illustrated by my dad's headstone, which I was horrified to see for the first time on Find A Grave:


Anyway, I hear ya about being angry at your parents. I was angry at mine, too, for trying to keep me out of the big scary world instead of teaching me how to get along in it, and for filling my head with dumb ideas and generally holding me back. I feel like I didn't really start to grow up until I was about 40. It helped a lot to realize how my parents' childhoods shaped their behavior. I had almost forgiven or at least accepted their stupidity until the other day, when I watched the full temple ceremony on YouTube and realized they were even bigger idiots than I thought. :)

In the end, though, I'm OK with my mom's present involvement because it gave her a social life, and the people in her ward take very good care of her, and she seems genuinely happy in her little kooky mo-mom world.

ambivalent exmo
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Well said.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
IF you're a member of the generation that's grown up with access to the internet, it may be difficult to understand that information about the church was difficult to come by.

Some of the best information that we have now, was hidden by the church. Only a few Mormon scholars and historians had any kind of access to information on church history.

If you lived in Utah, you might have been able to find out a tiny bit more. The church worked overtime hiding, destroying, and lying about evidence of its past.

Most members only knew what they were taught at church. The local library had nothing. There was no internet. My parents, and their parents before them had even less information.

The internet is changing that. The church has desperately tried to keep members from doing online research. There are many members who won't look because they've been told not to. I was raised to NEVER question. To do so, was a sin. I've know people who have been excommunicated for asking questions.

It's been this atmosphere that has kept so many in the dark. The church is still excommunication people who question. For many, that's their worst nightmare. It could destroy their lives. They stay silent in an attempt to keep their lives in tact.

I feel like i'm one of a very lucky few. I had questions. I looked them up. My husband and I left together. We didn't lose friends at church, because we didn't have any. We had moved a lot the last few years, and didn't really care for most of the members in our new ward. DH family is nevermo. My family has been non functioning for years. My one sibling that i'm friends with, remains my friend. My adult children left the church with me and DH. We had nothing to lose, and everything to gain by leaving the church. Sundays had become what we referred to as emotional abuse day.

When we were in, we were dedicated members. We didn't do it half way. We felt like it was an all or nothing type commitment. We had callings, temple recommends, and did just about everything we were asked. When we found the truth we were pretty shaken. We felt very betrayed.

The first thing we did is talk to our kids. Two out of three left. One is still in. I don't know if he will ever leave. Only time will tell.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
"There are many members who won't look because they've been told not to. "

Ironically members have been told in general conference talks to go out on the internet and defend the faith on online comments and blogs.

I suspect that this will backfire and a lot of these members will end up learning a lot more information than they expected.

Eventually I'd guess members will be discouraged from engaging is this sort of stuff online and it will be left to a large team of PR professionals employed by the church.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Mormons have never respected non Mormons or their beliefs.

Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
To Mormons, truth and facts are tools of Satan. You have to ask yourself about the level of brainwashing. It's Nth Korea with a Prozac smile.

Dee Lightsum
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Did I write this and have no memory of doing so? I seriously could have written this. Everything is exactly how I feel and how my family acts.
Re: Feeling alot of anger towards my parents for not seeing through the scam!
Whenever you feel a lot of anger, you can be sure it is personal. By that I mean it is about YOU, not about the person you are projecting it on.

What therapy does is help you to peel back your anger and ask the painful questions underneath. FOr example, you know full well intellectually that your parents did and are doing what they think is right. Correct?

But emotionally, you are not feeling the tolerance/love/understanding you might have for people of other beliefs. Where did you learn to be so judgmental. Damn right, at the wardhouse, my friend.

Many of us leave Mormonism but the Mormon intolerance and lack of humility is still with us. We just flip the script. Before,we were judgmental of stupid, blind Gentiles, blinded by their false-church lies, getting along with just a little light when they good have the full light of the true gospel.

So now you are an enlightened exMormon judging your own parents for not having the blinding insight that you now enjoy. One of my children described true compassion this way, she said, "When you realize that other people are like you inside their heads, you know that they are just you having another experience.

You are like Neo waking up from the matrix and then --what, blaming all the people asleep around you? Guess what--they didn't choose to be brainwashed. Sure, you can just distance yourself from all the people so stupid they still believe. Or you can realize how easily that could be you choosing to redouble your efforts to please God rather than deciding to spend some effort researching what the church is teaching you.

I'm being blunt here for your own good, you are still at the beginning of your recovery. You have much work to do inside your own head to get rid of the intolerance and judgmental attitude that you were brainwashed into.

I hope you come out of the Mormon mindframe while your parents are still alive--for your own sake. Mark my words, when they are dead you will have the rest of your life to regret your condemnation of the people who dedicated their life to raising you the best they knew how.


"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"