Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

CA girl Mar. 2014

In response to the following blog post currently going around FB, I've [CA girl] made a list of Five Things EX-Mormons Wish You Knew.

1. We didn't leave because we are offended. Or lazy or want to sin. We all left for one reason - we don't believe in Mormonism any more. Maybe because of what we learned about the history or doctrine or lifestyle of Mormonism, we came to the decision that we couldn't, in good conscience, continue with the Mormon faith. To say anything else is to be in danger of bearing false witness against your neighbor. Unless an ex-Mormon said, to your face, that they left for one of the above reasons, you shouldn't use derogatory terms that do not apply. Imagine if someone used such terms to describe why you chose to be Mormon.

2. Disagreeing with your religious beliefs does not mean we hate you, we want to destroy your religion, or we are angry ex-Mormons. We just don't agree with you. Adults can agree to disagree without seeing it as an attack. We understand why you think we are angry - we must seem that way when we get frustrated that you won't just leave us alone to live our beliefs the way you want to be left alone to live yours. We don't feel loved by your constant pestering, paper plates full of cookies or refusal to take no for an answer. We feel stalked and harassed. Stay friends with us, by all means, but accept us and don't try to change us. Would YOU want to hang out with people who were trying to save you from Mormonism all the time?

3. We know as much or more about Mormonism than you do. An increasing number of Ex-Mormons have served missions, graduated from BYU, served as Relief Society Presidents and Bishops. To treat us like we forgot everything we learned in decades of the church attendance is insulting and misguided. And you don't know as much about your church as you think you do. Every exmo has had multiple occasions where they have presented a Mormon with facts from church publications and been accused of sharing anti-Mormon information. Just because YOU don't know something about your church (or were never taught certain things) it doesn't mean it's anti-Mormon. If a former Mormon points out something to you, it's a simple matter to research and see if it's true or false. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if information is Pro-Mormon or Anti-Mormon. It only matters if it's TRUE.

4. You aren't making the impression on outsiders that you think you are. One of the things that shocked me most upon leaving Mormonism is finding out what people REALLY think of Mormons. Mormons spend all their time at church being told their standards are high, their values are special, that they are a light unto the world and that people would want to be like them, if only they knew how. This is profoundly untrue. Mormons individually may be very nice and they are undeniably trying very hard to present a good image for their church. But because they don't take feedback (thinking it's an anti-Mormon attack whenever anyone disagrees) they are falling on their face in the positive public image department. Your good intentions are not translating to good actions so YOU need to reassess your behavior and see where YOU are going wrong. Hint: Whining "But Mormons are NICE people" isn't convincing anyone.

5. Don't say Mormonism is NOT a cult unless you know exactly what a cult is. There are plenty of websites that define the 10-12 characteristics of cults. If your church has those qualities, you are in a cult whether you know it or not. People think Mormonism is a cult because the MEMBERS make it look cultish. Constant recruiting is a cult technique so if you are friendly with people only to "share the gospel" with them, then drop them when they don't convert, you are going to make your church seem like a cult. Worshipping a central leader is also a cult characteristic so getting on your blog or Facebook and waxing poetic about your love of the prophet will also make people assume you are in a cult. You get the idea. If you are convinced your church is not a cult, maybe you should find out what IS a cult and make sure you don't give people the wrong impression.

When making a big purchase, writing a newspaper article, publishing a textbook or choosing a religion, it NEVER is a good idea to just read one side of the story. Of COURSE the Ford dealership wants you to only listen to their information when shopping for a truck. That never pays off. You need to listen to the pro, the con and the neutral information whenever trying to understand history or create a future. Only listening to product advice from people selling the product will get you taken advantage of every. single. time. You need to listen to all sides and then decide.

Oh, and by the way, control of the information - only letting people get information about your group from group members - is one of the defining characteristics of a cult.

Original article:

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew
A good list. But, I have to disagree with number one. I actually did leave because I was offended. I am and always will be offended when people lie to me, especially if the lies are told to innocent little children, as was the case when I first learned about Mormonism.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Yes, lies are in fact offensive. Good point!!

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew
I like this list a lot. A real lot.

I left because I did not believe and certainly didn't "know" anymore.

I wasn't offended, but I was wounded spiritually and emotionally by the cult. I suspect they would still call that "offended" but when they do that they are just lying to themselves rather than face the truth.

CA girl
Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

When I use the word offended, I use it the way Mormons mean it which is "Someone insulted my funeral potatoes so I'm going to stomp off and sulk and not return until people soothe my ego."

As far as the lying, of course it's offensive but I class that in a part of the Mormon lifestyle I couldn't, in good conscience, live. In fact, the main reason I left was because they were lying to me and I couldn't live with people like that or allow them to influence my children. But it wasn't the sort of offense that makes me take my toys and leave the playground. It was the sort that made the playground itself unsafe.

Hope that clarifies.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

If I was on facebook I would totally post this.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

There's another similar blog going around right now with Mormons on Facebook. I don't want to go searching for it but just know it's as stupid as this Gertie one. She sounds like she's 12 yrs old and just learned how to type.

"I dont know about slitting throats and stuff...ew yucky!"

Of course you don't you freaking moron. That's why people are trying to tell you about your cult.

It's way too frustrating to have to pay attention to every new Mormon blog that shows up on Facebook. And the comments sections are chock full of people just stuck on stupid.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

I really really liked this! And I may have to post it on FB if someone posts the blog post you are speaking of to me. If that is ok with you of course.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Mormons don't even give us the dignity of accepting how hurt we are by the church and our realizing it's not true. It's a deep, emotional and psychological trauma just to come to terms with it, forget about the actually process of tearing ourselves from our former lives. We are deeply wounded, some of us fatally sadly, some of us carrying the scars for the rest of our lives. Then we are told by Mormons we left because of shallow, petty reasons: some person offended us, we just want to "sin," we believe everything we read on the internet, etc. They can't comprehend that a perfectly reasoning, decent human being can leave the church.

Brother Of Jerry
Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Agree on all except number 5. I'd omit the entire paragraph. It sounds like an argument over name calling. Cult! Am not! Are too! Jeez. Time outs all around until recess is over.

Apple Computer is a cult. I recognize that, and still have a ton of Apple products. There are all kinds of cults out there. Star Trek is a cult. William Shatner is Fearless Leader. (Happy 82nd, Cap'n)

Microsoft is not a cult. It wishes it were. It used to be evil, but that is not the same thing. Now it is just dazed and confused, and hoping to not trip. Mormonism is a cult, but it is also mostly dazed and confused, and hoping to not trip. As cults go, it is pretty second rate, though it tries hard. As corporations go, Mormonism is pretty good.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew
That is excellent.

CA girl
Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Cults employ mind-control techniques. If they are present in Microsoft, Mormonism, your Yoga class, North Korea or at your self-improvement weekend, then it qualifies as a cult. If you make your perfectly respectable religion sound like a cult by chanting things that are cultish, you probably need to know that you are behaving in an off-putting way and making your religion look bad. Most people do not know what a cult is exactly but they know when something feels wrong. Defining the mind-control techniques puts a label on that feeling.

Basically, though, I addressed this because one of the author's original points was Mormonism wasn't a cult. I simply want her to research what a cult is and consider why Mormon behavior reinforces this perception.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

It's just as soon as you even mention the word "cult" to them, they're no longer listening to you. They're now saying, "Talk to the hand."

I know, because I used to do that myself.

Hold Your Tapirs
Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Great list. I'm using this in future conversations.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

In my paper on methods and application of indoctrination and mind control I list 18 indicators of a theological cult.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Your #4 came to light for me when I was dating a never Mormon doctor. He was so frustrated that he could never find a good time to go on a date with me because I was so booked-up with church activities. I actually took him to a temple open-house for one of our dates LoL! And he actually defended me and the church when someone made fun of the open house. This guy was one of the nicest guys I ever dated but eventually he just couldn't take the Mormon factor any longer. Let's face it. Mormonism looks, sounds, and is very weird to outsiders.

No, the outside world doesn't think much of Mormonism. However, they do like the Mormon Ads. Seems they really fall for the idea that Mormons are family friendly. But I don't think they believe that a person has to be a Mormon to be family friendly. In other words, Mormon ads are not bringing in converts. They are just warm fuzzies that people don't mind watching.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Your #2: at times I am very angry! I'm angry at the church for all the lies. I'm angry at myself for believing them. I'm angry that the promises aren't true. I'm angry for the loss of time, energy, money. I'm angry for feeling guilty all the time. I'm angry at my life being controlled. I'm angry that mormons don't think I should be angry. They want to think I wasn't very serious about the gospel. That it meant nothing to me. It's easier for them to feel secure about their position. I'm tired of people thinking that anger is a bad thing. It's not. It's a greiving stage we have to go through in order to heal from the abuse done to us. It is equally absurd to think a person physically or sexually abused shouldn't be angry with the abuser. I was abused by the church and I am damned mad about it.

I won't always be angry. In fact, I'm not angry even most of the time. It's a healing process. Yes, we are accused of it like it's a shameful thing. Many of us deny we are angry and act ashamed if the thought crosses our minds. I'm tired of members of TSCC telling me how I should act and how I should feel.

Maybe you could use one of your points to acknowledge anger for a time as part of the healing process.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

CA Girl, that is so excellent. It is going in the file for sure. Thank you.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

I love this..can I use this list with my family and friends? I'm not always good at putting things into words but this pretty much sums it up.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Currently active Mormon here. I have a sincere question that I hope won't be viewed as antagonistic. I can't help but notice how often people who leave the church talk about being "lied to." They're never very specific though. Are these lies from the church as a whole? Like, about doctrine? Or the lies of certain individuals from your respective ward/branch/stake/whatever? Because I have honestly never felt unjustly dealt with by the church. Sure I haven't always gotten along with everyone, but I've never been to a church that I have. Please enlighten me. Thanks!

CA girl
Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

Really good question. For me, it was lies I found in the doctrine such as I never knew Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by sticking his head in a hat until I read Russell M. Nelson's conference talk from Fall 1997. I didn't know that Joseph Smith's own handwritten stories of the First Vision contradict what is being taught in the church today. I was told Bishop interview are confidential until I became a Relief Society President and Primary President and two different bishops spilled everything every planning meeting. It thought my tithing money was being used for good and found out that they spent $90,000 on a chandelier for the Draper temple. I thought I had real friends until I quit attending church and not ONE of them asked me why but were willing to lie and tell everyone it was because I was offended by something the bishop said. I quit attending because I wanted to study up on the contradictory stories about the First Vision, since President Hinckley said the First Vision was the greatest event in history or the biggest fraud. It seemed important to figure out which and I was being presented with info that it was a fraud. I needed to figure out what was true but people lied about me behind my back about why I quit attending. Even if you could prove to me the church is true, I don't want to hang out with people who are so willing to lie without stopping to count the cost. Although I'm willing to believe I attended a particularly bad ward too.

Anyway, if you want to understand why the lying bothers former Mormons, I suggest you get on a website called It gives the Mormon point of view, the exMormon point of view and comes to some conclusions based on evidence and common sense. But you don't have to accept their conclusions. Just listen to their claims and study up on it yourself. But even if you don't, think how you'd feel if you found out the church was lying to you after all you've given the church and you'll understand enough about how betrayed we feel and why we are upset. Thanks for asking.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew

I was bic. I'm now 60, I left two years ago.

I've been lied to by the mormon church as a whole for my entire life. My family has been lied to for 7 generations. I don't think there's any fix for that.

Myself, the mormon church ruined my life with their lies. It destroyed my family of origin. My own spouse and children have left the church with me. We are glad to be rid of it. Our lives have been so so much better.

The mormon church lied to me about every single thing, from the first vision, who JS really was, to the prophets of today. All the while laying misery and unearned guilt on me while also taking money from my family.

I grew up in a middle class family that was poor. Why were we poor? Because my parents had SIX kids they didn't want. They gave 10% plus 1000's to building funds, and fast offerings. They did this while underfeeding and clothing their children. They gave the church $1000's of dollars while we didn't have the basic necessities of life. They gave and gave. They gave their time. They gave their children. They gave and gave. Now they're in their 80's. They have nothing left. They gave it all.

They'd best not come knocking at my door when they get needy. The church owns them. They can have them. They loved the church far more than they ever loved any of their own. Now is their pay back time. Will the church come through? Fat chance in hell.

Re: Five things this EX-Mormon wish you knew


What have Mormon prophets ever prophesied? Missed equal rights for blacks by over one hundred years, got dragged into a more tenable position by the social mores of their nation of origin. Quakers got that one right when it really mattered, prior to and during the Civil War.

Prophets. Please. You know that's a lie at least, don't you?

I don't know that we teach that!


They are never very specific?

Who have you been talking to? I've never met an actual exmo (not jackmo) who wasn't SPECIFIC.

I should add--I have yet to meet a mormon (family, close friends, strangers) who wanted to hear my specifics. I've even been asked point blank to give specifics and when I do, they have a meltdown or bear their testimony or tell me they know I still believe 'deep down.' Mormons don't want to know specifics.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"