What Kind of Religion Won’t Let You Quit?

I know…you’re all expecting that I’ll answer the question in the title by saying, “a CULT, of course!”

Well, I’m not gonna do that.  I’ll let you, the reader (yes, that’s singular INTENTIONALLY*) decide what kind of religion won’t let a person quit.  Also, this marks the last time I’ll bother apologizing for the unreasonable length of my post.  It’s long get used to it.

That’s what she said.

I have been an atheist for, hell, nearly a decade.  As an apostate of the Mormon faith I’ve heard other ex-members mention having their “name removed from church records,” and for the longest time I thought that this was a silly, reactionary thing to do.  I mean, does anyone think they can stick it to Salt Lake City’s biggest pyramid scheme by sending them a resignation letter?  Do they really think it would be honored?

Well, I ended up resigning a few weeks ago.  I’ve moved maybe a half-dozen times since becoming a godless heathen, never bothering to let the church know my whereabouts.  They’d always manage to track me down, and missionaries would inevitably stop by and ask for me by name.  But missionaries, the poor saps, are a tasty breakfast treat, easily taken in a single bite.  HOME TEACHERS on the other hand (the Church’s way of letting you know that your peers are checking up on you and will be stopping by your home occasionally to ask you questions about your private affairs) are not so easy to eschew.  For one thing, you often know these people, and they are just low-level do-gooder henchmen, after all.  Sometimes they even bring treats.  It’s tough to be rude to these people, and as an atheist struggling to be seen as a legitimate human being by these Mobots, I just don’t want to give them the impression that the d-d-devil is living next door and can’t be trusted.  You think they watch you close when you’re a member, try letting them know you aren’t anymore and see what happens.  Besides, I like people to like me, and I might need to borrow a pinch of salt some time.

That’s why, when they stopped by t’other day, after I stopped puzzling over how the hell they knew where I lived and chalked it up to my mother’s meddlng, I decided to make it all stop.  But they won’t let me to quit, which is odd, ’cause I stopped paying tithing years and years ago.

This incident with the visitors was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I have problems and oppositions against that organization on pretty much every level and on nearly every policy, and that is in fact why I quit attending and calling myself a Mormon…why I stopped arguing with people as a Mormon apologist.  But 2008 was a bad year.  There was the issue with Prop 8, the recurrence of the issue of the church YET AGAIN baptising holocaust victims despite the Jewish community’s outrage, and my revelation (from a friend, not from Jeebus) that the “15 or so million members” of that church included people like me, yet that number was still being touted as some sort of ad populi argument for the truth of their flavor of sky-god worship.   I couldn’t let them count me as a supporter any longer.

So I sent them a letter.  The wife of a friend had done this some years ago and had gotten a letter from the church in question saying, basically,

We are so grateful for your interest in the informercial-cult that is Mormanity, here’s a free holy undershirt, and expect 2 hired goons to visit you soon.  Remember the d-d-devil is using you, and the d-d-devil is bad.”

So I did my research, and discovered through www.MormonNoMore.com that technically speaking, if you say the magic words in the right order and put it in a letter, that you are effectively NO LONGER a member the moment someone from the customer retention department of Mormon Corp, Llc reads the notice.  So I went to the USPS, dropped $5 US on priority, got delivery confirmation so they wouldn’t pull the kind of tricks that MormonNoMore says they like to do:

You sent a letter, huh?  Well, uh, we never saw one.  Just a sec…Hey, Jedidiah, you see a letter?

Naw, didn’t see no letter…

Sorry, the United States gov’ment’s postal service musta lost yer letter.  Next year vote on the Utah House Bill to relinquish letter delivery and editing over to the LdS Church…or don’t, we’ll get the vote anyways.  Thanks a bunch for calling, we’re so grateful ya did!

In my letter I made a few things clear:

  1. I quit, effective immediately
  2. I know that when you read this I am officially NO LONGER a member
  3. I know you think that’s a big deal
  4. I don’t
  5. The only thing I want to hear from you in return, E-V-E-R, is a letter saying that you closed out my account
  6. I know that you dick people around…I know my rights, so don’t do it to me
  7. Since I am no longer a member no other member has any authority over me…DO NOT SEND PEOPLE MY WAY
  8. Your church is ruining my state, and now it’s trying to ruin California, give up the ghost

Guess who didn’t listen?  I mean, maybe I’m wrong, but that seems pretty straight forward.  Of course, I worded it much better than that.  Made it all official-like, and shit.  Still, just this weekend I got a letter saying, basically:

We are so grateful for your letter.  But we know what’s best for you.  You are clearly confused.  Obviously you are not competent, so we’ll have a couple goons swing by and talk you down.”

Here’s a sample of some the sparkling gems of respectful consideration with which they bejeweled their correspondence to me:

Such a request [is] considered an ecclesiastical matter that must be handled by local priesthood leaders before being processed by Church Employees. …This, despite the fact that it is patently untrue, and in spite of the fact that I let them know IN MY LETTER that I knew that they would play this card and not to bother, and just to piss me off even though I specifically stated that no clergy members have any authority to act with me in ecclesiastical or disciplinary actions, they’re gonna send some ANYWAY!  Assholes.

In view of the eternal consequences…[we] urge you to reconsider your request and to prayerfully consider the enclosed statement from the First Presidency (the Mormon leaders)” …Eternal consequences!?  Reconsider!? Prayerful consideration!?  I told them I was an atheist! ROFL. So what did the “enclosed statement” have to tell me?

We invite you to return and partake of the happiness you once knew.” Right.  Because I left the church due to the unbearable agony of pure truth and endless, blissful happiness.  My face hurt from smiling so damn much.  Apparently they think that ex-Mormons are the only people in the world who  are not influenced by the economic principle of rational self-interest.  Somehow it is our own misery that makes us as atheists happy?  Pair Of Docs, anyone?  Ya know, I find this one offensive.  REAL fucking offensive.   Becoming an atheist can be an arduous mental task, one which alienates you from friends, family, and good social standing.  It is a trial by fire, for sure, and often a painful journey of awakening.  Most zealots-turned-atheists are so in-your-face about their atheism because they are so damn proud of their accomplishment, and yet at every turn, strangers are compounding this pride by saying “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God.  It’s in the Bible, so it’s true!  You’re a fool!  (as if that would persuade an atheist – and apparently ignoring the New Testament verse where Jesus prohibits calling men fools),” family members cry over your new beliefs, and old friends recieve your harrowing tale of overcoming impossible intellectual odds and abolishing mental slavery with, “Oh you fell away from the true church.  How sad.”  God damnit, that’s just asinine.  No wonder fresh meat atheists are so pissed all the time.

I’ll tell you what’s sad…being so junked-out on Christamphetamines that you can’t imagine any happiness that doesn’t include your sunday fix.  Nothing in life is good unless you can cling to your belief that I’m going to hell and you aren’t.  That’s sad.  REAL fucking sad.

So now I play the waiting game.  And, to pass the time, perhaps I’ll play the tuck-away game for a minute or two.  Whatev, I’m keeping my schedule loose.  The Mormon Mafia should swing by someitme in the next few days (I’ve been assured that all my relatives will get a “still small voice” or perhaps just a written letter telling them about my resignation, and asking for their help in saving me.  So it’s a debate they want, eh?

They can’t think like us.  They just aren’t able.  That’s why they can’t win.  That’s why they’re making the mistake of coming to visit me, and why I’m getting my damn confirmation letter a lot sooner than they thought.

Keep your prayers with me…LOL

TheicidalManiac

 

* Statement based on an evaluation of current and past readership

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19 Responses to “What Kind of Religion Won’t Let You Quit?”

  1. I just wrote a reply to your post in the Facebook group, however, I wanted to reply here, too and say that I hope it goes smoothly with you. I am interested in how this turns out, so keep me posted!

    – Sarah

  2. I too have recently resigned from the church I chronicled this on my own blog, keep at it and don’t let them force you to give up they will eventually cave.

  3. I love this post!

    I hope you don’t mind that I linked to it on my blog. If you want me to take the link down, just let me know.

    I have been a member of the church my entire life, and once I realized how much I had been lied to, I became angry. You know how many mormons take an angry ex-Member seriously? None of ’em.

    I began blogging and helped put together SigningforSomething.org, which led tons of people out of the church due to Proposition H8.

    Your blog is amazing, and it’s nice to meet you!

    Andee

  4. Going through the EXACT same thing. A few weeks ago the primary sent a letter to mykids (!) saying they missed them. My kids are ages 14 down to age 8 (five of them) and I have not been to church in almost 9 years. And I have moved to different cities and different neighborhoods in those 9 years. This I ask: how do you miss someone you have never even met? And since when has it been acceptable to send unsolicited mail about religion (!) to minors. They would be LIVID if I sent atheist material to their kids. Absolutely lvid. Why is this differnt?

  5. In the interest of not overloading my comments section with comments from MYSELF, I’d like to briefly acknowledge those of you who ave responded thus far.

    Sarah – Thanks for the support. I posted this in several facebook groups, so when I find your comment there (perhaps you can clue me in as to which group you belong to) I will certainly keep you posted. I will, of course post the resolution here on my blog as well.

    Nathan – thanks man! No wonder they are trying to hold on to people like us, eh? Feel free to post a link here to your blog where you chronicled your own misadventures with the Morg.

    Andee – BY ALL MEANS, go ahead and leave the link in tact. I very much appreciate it, and of course I am flattered by the gracious compliments! Especially coming from an accomplished freedom fighter like yourself. I have seen the ad on http://www.PostMormon.org that links to Signing for Something, but I have to admit, I had never clicked the link. As soon as I post this I will check it out!
    Your reply mirrors my sentiments in a very creepy way. How have you managed to steal my innermost thoughts? My tooth fillings are transmitting signals again, aren’t they? Blast!
    Vive la Resistance!

    Jennifer…WTF! They seriously went there? What hurts the most is the total lack of respect they show for us. Well, the inability to get hymnals out of your head years after quitting hurts the most. But the total lack of respect…that hurts the second-most. And they targeted your CHILDREN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    Shameless! Immoral! Self-righteous! Nothing new there.

    Thanks for visiting, kids. Hoe to hear from you all in the future!

  6. Hey, I saw your link on the AANR group on facebook, and I just wanted to swing by and tell you that this is an excellent blog and big congratulations for getting out of that cult. Both my parents are ex-mormons and I have many family members who are mormon, so I can sympathize to a degree.

    I especially like when you said “most zealots-turned-atheists are so in-your-face about their atheism because they are so damn proud of their accomplishment,” that is soooo true. I was a devout evangelical christian up until about 2 years ago, when I started becoming an atheist. My friends and family members don’t understand why I’m so enthusiastic about my atheism now, but it’s just like you said. I am damn proud that I was able to overcome beliefs that have been indoctrinated into me since birth, and I think I have good reason to be. Not much chance they’ll understand that though, right?

    Anyway, best of luck on this endeavor of yours!

  7. I am planning on resigning from the LDS church soon, but I am dreading this process of them lying to me that it’s a matter for “local priesthood leaders” etc.

    Your experience is similar to others I’ve read. The cult is so arrogant and controlling that it makes me sick.

    Good luck with the rest of the process!

  8. when i resigned i sent three letters just reg mail- one to the bishop one to the stake president and one to records- i got the same ” local level” crap- waited 30 days- received the “please come back” and then jumped for joy when i got my “you are no longer a member” letter-

    such an awesome free feeling–

  9. Methinks it’s time for another lawsuit. This is bullshit, and the worst part, is that it is apparently SOP. Eventually, someone will sue them again, but they’ll keep pulling this as long as they can. Maybe it’s the Devil in me, but I think it’s almost more fun to get excommunicated.

  10. Comic Geek Chick Says:

    I feel your pain. I had my name “removed” from the records about seven years ago because the RS, VT’s, and HT’s would not leave me be. Even when I moved, they kept tracking me down. It was not enough that my family lectured and pestered me with every visit, and peppered me with nonstop church and Jeebus crap being rammed down my throat with a mallet every time I would talk to them. My mother even went so far as to accuse my husband (a never-mo), and my best friend (a fo-mo) of “corrupting” me. That went over *really* well, as I can think for myself, thank you very much, and it was MY fucking choice to leave that toxic, lie-based church in the first place (before I met my husband).

    It’s still a source of pain and aggravation that my family doesn’t understand why I would possibly want to leave “the church.” I won’t even talk to them about my atheist beliefs.

    At least there’s Mr. Deity for when I’m feeling really crappy and need a good laugh. And, there’s people out there like you, and the ex-Mormons Worldwide group on facebook, who know where I’m coming from, and get where I’m going.

  11. Re: Comic Geek Chick

    I feel your pain, too. I thought it was funny that you said your mother blamed your spouse and friend…I had been an atheist for years, had even told my parents (who pretended not to hear), then I met my wife, who was raised Muslim. She claims that although she had always had doubts, it was my line of thought that finally brought HER around to atheism. Yet I’m nearly POSITIVE that my mother thinks she turned me.

    My folks, too, like to pretend that I am just taking a break from their church. That organization gives you this bullshit rockstar fantasy where you get to be a god and have mansions and lots of sex-slaves, and they feed you all these lines about how cosmically significant you are, and so the cognitive dissonance from seeing your “special” child – whose patriarchal blessing claimed that he himself helped toss Satan out of God’s presence – actively engaged in trying to shift public thought AWAY from cultism is, I think, more than they can make sense of.

    P.S. Mr Deity freakin rocks…I didn’t know anyone else watched that show. Anyway, you should check out postmormon.com, vent a little bit.

  12. Hey man, great blog! My wife and I went through much the same thing! Thank goodness we found mormonnomore.com, I read that site and I was like “yeah bitches! You can’t make me stay in your church!” I have to admit when it comes to my kids, sometimes I am like that guy on the Matrix who wants to go back in so he can taste steak again, no matter that he knows the steak isn’t real. Except I only want the steak if it is real, which it clearly is not.. too bad. It is almost like someone who gets out of prison and only thinks they can make it on the inside. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to go back at all. I love being able to think for myself. Now I don’t have to go to great lengths to avoid thinking about the dinosaurs or how Noah got all those millions of animals on one boat….LOL. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being gay? Sweet, I don’t have to in anyway support prop 8 or send my money to support it. I don’t have to be ashamed or make up excuses for why black people couldn’t hold the preisthood, ah finally peace.. Still it was hard. It would have been so much harder if my wife didn’t come, but she did. I almost feel like it was an act of God…. LOL! Anyway, good stuff. Almost everyday I read something that blows my mind.. The other day I read Gen chapter 19 to find out what was so immoral about gay people. Holy SHIT are you kidding me? The good guy offered his two virgin daughters to be raped by a mob? WTF… who believes that BS? Then his wife is killed by God for looking over her shoulder? Again WTF… Then Lot gets both of his virgin daughters pregnant? Are you freaking kidding me? And being gay is evil? Oh, the things I never knew when I “knew” the church was true. I intend to spend the rest of my life pretending that I never have heard of, nor believed in the the Mormon church! Later man.

  13. I don’t get the part about baptizing Jewish holocaust victims… I mean, the baptized Jews must have agreed to it, right? Do you really baptize adults without their consent?
    BTW, Mormons *do* smile a lot. At least, on the outside!
    Joshua, religion may not inspire me, but you do.
    Sarah

  14. James Dean Says:

    Keep on keep’n on my brother from another mother [church-infidel].

    Grew up Xian and the fam would even think it slightly distasteful if not blasphemous for me to spell it that way. haha Its good to be free.

    My exit had to do with reason, terrible betrayal, and the confounding if not mortal wounding of religion at the hands of logic.

    Why, just hours ago, I thought I might be able to pray some friend off a ledge -she was literally suicidal! And I don’t even believe there’s convincing evidence to believe in any religion! That stuff gets hardwired into you: What your dealing with is no joke which is exactly why you need to keep your sense of humor, even develop it further. -For myself, I looked at ‘prayer’ all logically, and I based it on being other-focused as I could be and then dismissed the thing as unfounded wish deluding -though I addressed it as something within me, figuring what the hell [another trumped up expression] if particles can affect each other across incredible distances: All the while not even believing in it, except for the moment in which I allowed myself to do it. SO, I’m glad I told her to text me today just to let me know she is alright, after I had a good long listen-talk with her.

    … Why tell you all this? It is sites like your site that can help a guy who can logic himself out of religion, reposition himself into now, in a wholesome, albeit iconoclastic atheism. Gay, straight, cross-dressing, tooth-fairy defending, whatever [ 🙂 its gallows humor], YOU ARE OUT!!!
    [I was in another ‘magic’ group which I think has some loose ties or exchanges of services connected with the Morg. Never going back to anything like that. I’ve read up and as Ace of Base says “I saw the sign.”]

    Breathe some fresh air today, if you get the chance. Actual, fresh air.

    When you need to face it on the serious front, if that isn’t all behind you, the following link should get you miles further down the healthy road to clarity: http://www.itaa-net.org/TAJNet/articles/english-fundamentalism.html. It really touches on how damned fools can be just wise enough to pull our levers and make us dance -f-u-c-k that!

    Be well as you are and as only you can be. Not that I know you, but maybe you’ll get something useful in your head to replace the drivel and the down-loads of religion, superstition, and bad psychology.

    Hope this may have been of some help.

    James

  15. James Dean Says:

    “something useful in your head” may have sounded too arrogant
    I bet you’ll be able to empathize better, you already are leading people to a more adjusted lifestyle(s), and you’re meeting up with like-minded folks who want to be the change in their world. What more could there be than that!? [Except for that you’ll see the “what more” without any religion/deity to get you through -if you don’t already: If I understand you correctly, none of that [religion/deity] stuff matters.] *Alright! :)*

  16. OMG. The missionaries have tracked me down (YET AGAIN) Over two years ago I wrote my letter telling them IN WRITING that I am NOT a Mormon. CHRIST! They just won’t leave me alone. GAWD. Millions of them are probably praying for me right now. sheesh. LEAVE ME ALONE. I do NOT believe in god. True, when I was a child I did, I also believed in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa. I am now all grown up, with a university degree, teaching science to middle schoolers. QUIT HARASSING ME. I don’t harass them about THEIR BELIEFS, leave me the FUCK alone! I actually had a BLACK missionary. The Mormon church is so racist. How did they ever brainwash him????

  17. Bill Miller Says:

    If they bother you call the police and have them removed. File a harassment complaint with the local police. They’ll stop or else eventually the bishop or president will be arrested. They’ll stop.

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