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Why do I keep falling for this?

March 17, 2009

So, in a past tweet (yes, I’m am so cool and self-absorbed that I think people actually read my twitter!) I mentioned back to Seth Payne’s little report (which I wrote about in a previous article here). Really, the thing that kinda got me suspicious and antsy was his reliance on accounts from Recovery from Mormonism for ex-Mormon narratives. I mean, I guess that would be the logical place to go for such narratives, but in my opinion, RfM is muuuuch too whiny for me. I mean, geez, I’m an exmember too, but at some point you have to get a grip.

No offense to any RfMers to visit the site, but seriously now.

So, on Twitter, I got an @reply from the Liberal Mormon (who I also believe is the Liberal Mormon Chef [but NOT to be confused with the Liberal Mormon That Could]). Anyway, he replied:

@subversiveasset Yes it is a VERY Whiny unrepresentative web site, go to

OK, no problem.

After fixing the end of the website (it’s a .org, not a .com, but that’s an honest mistake that even I make sometimes), I decided to check a few topics here. I guess I should’ve expected the worst, but somehow, I still went in.


Why Do Non-LDS Listen to Ex-Mormons?, Is there any value to what they say?

First, let me say this is not a hit piece on former members. I question the reliability of people who failed to understand and implement the gospel in their lives as we teach and understand it. It seems to me that people who have been successful in this endeavor can teach more about it than those who failed. Former missionaries or bishops or anyone who claims special insights into our theology fail the credibility test when they leave the church voluntarily or otherwise. One doesn’t have to ask an ex-Mormon about our teachings or obscure beliefs. We openly talk about such things. There is nothing we hide. We may not discuss sacred things openly but the information is still available from credible sources. So what is the attraction?

At times like this, I’m sad that they put a metal retainer on the back of my lower teeth…because for some reason it magnetizes my face, attracting and affixing my palm to my face.

…Fortunately, as the conversation went on, the magnet in my face lessened, and I was able to resume typing.

No, I guess that was it.

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  1. *sigh*

    That is an incredibly cringe-worthy statement.

    *deeper sigh*

  2. Narratives are influenced by community. Just as those who join the church will model the structure and even content of their conversion stories on what they’ve heard at testimony meetings, so those who deconvert will follow a narrative format modeled by the new community with which they identify. If the community they choose is RfM, their narratives will be different than if their community is FLAK or MDB or First Baptist Church of Provo. Studying RfM narratives might be useful for illustrating the interplay between community narratives and narrative-construction by new members, but it’s not at all likely to be representative of all ex-Mormons. I’m not sure what Seth was trying to do, so I can’t comment on its appropriateness.

  3. Seth covered all of these things Chris, so you don’t have to worry (so the paper in the end wasn’t bad), but I’m just regretting that we have this RfM community narrative that seems to be (most) popular.

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