The Futility and Brutality of Mormon Excommunication

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Only last week did I discover, through my parents, that I was secretly excommunicated in October for challenging the accepted dogma of Mormonism. The reason for being cast out of the Church is what they call Apostacy. Or “open, public opposition to the Church.” Basicly because I dared to challenge their authority and speak the truth.

Here’s a link to The Independent newspaper article about my Secret Excommunication.

I’m often asked, “why would anyone want to stay in an organisation they neither believe in, nor where they are welcome?”

Let me be clear, once I realised the Mormon Church was founded on the lies told by the convicted con-man, charlatan, adulterous paedophile Joseph Smith, I resigned as bishop and wanted to immediately resign my membership of this fraudulent Corporation masquerading as a religion.

I pleaded to stay as a ‘member of record’ initially for the sake of my extended family, many of whom are still believing members, but also to campaign to shine a spotlight on the hateful, regressive and medieval practice of excommunication.

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I never stayed a Mormon for my own sake.

It was to shine a light on the unkind and deceptive tactics of the Church.

Their arrogance blinds them to their own deceipt and brutality.

When John Dehlin was excommunicated for standing up for the LGBTQ community my friend Ty Lundell very eloquently criticised the Church for what it did to him:

Stake presidents consider excommunication as a way of protecting the Church. Is it good for the church to excommunicate its thinkers, doers, and people brave enough to ask difficult questions and point out obvious deficiencies?

Putting the fear of eternal separation from God and family into its members isn’t right, and it reveals just how much fear and shame the Church is harboring. Putting this fear, the fear of having no love in the afterlife, into its members is not the solution for people who shine a spotlight on the Church’s dirty parts and ask, “what is this?”

Any institution that expells people who shine a light into the dark places of that institution and ask uncomfortable questions has a dangerous problem.

The Church is not coming from a place of love, but of fear and shame.

The Church has no love, because they have no faith in open dialogue. Only faith in controlling the message.

~ Ty Lundell

I believe in the ideas put forward by free-speech advocate Maajid Nawaz:

The right to heresy, to blasphemy, and to speak against prevalent dogma is as sacred and divine as any act of prayer.

If our hard earned liberty, our desire to be irreverent of the old and to question the new, can be reduced to one, basic and indispensable right: it must be the right to free speech.

Our freedom to speak represents our freedom to think, our freedom to think our ability to create, innovate and progress.

~ Maajid Nawaz

My reasons for standing up against excommunication are:

1. It is wrong in principle to try to expunge a person’s culture

2. It is wrong to try to silence free-speech

3. It is wrong to use fear to keep members under control

4. It is wrong to publicly shame someone for speaking openly about their different beliefs, or challenging the accepted dogma

5. It’s wrong for a wealthy Corporation to masquerade as a Church, getting charitable status & tax benefits and not be accountable under the law

6. It’s wrong to seek revenge against me for being named as a witness in a criminal case of alleged corporate fraud.

I believe that as caring secular societies we should fight against any organisation which enforces cultural and religious shaming.

We should stand up in defence of the most vulnerable in society including those who may question the prevailing dogma within their group identity.

As Maajid Nawaz says,

we should unhesitatingly support the dissenting individual over the group, the heretic over the orthodox, innovation over stagnation and free speech over offence.

Or, as John Maynard Keynes would say, to “appear unorthodox, troublesome, dangerous, disobedient to them that begat us”.

No idea is above scrutiny. No people are beneath dignity.

Taking the easy route by condemning the radical for causing unnecessary trouble is overwhelmingly tempting, and incredibly lazy.

~ Maajid Nawaz

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I’m hoping my actions give people hope and courage as they deal with the feelings of isolation when their religious beliefs change and they are shunned by their own culture or religious community.

We must always oppose the tendency of religions to assume they have an entitlement to control and order and organise our lives according to their peculiar norms and traditions.

The LDS Church should be ashamed of the way it discriminates against those who think differently, of those who are unafraid to ask important questions and those who shine a light on its inadequacies and failings.

If we behave similarly we are colluding.

As Daniel Goleman says in his book ‘Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception’ –

The dynamic of information flow within and among us points to a particularly human malady: to avoid anxiety, we close
off crucial portions of awareness, creating blind spots (lacunas). That diagnosis applies both to self-deceptions and shared illusions.

Questions that can’t – or won’t – be asked are a sure sign of a ‘lacuna’. The creation of blind spots is a key tool of repressive regimes, allowing them to obliterate information that threatens their official line. In doing so they define one frame for events as valid, any others as subversive and still other events are beyond the permissible bounds for attention.

Frames create social reality by directing attention toward the business at hand and away from the irrelevant; what is out of frame does not exist, for the moment. For the most part, this selective attention is useful, but the capacity to keep information out of frame can fall prey to a collusion that buys social coziness at the expense of important truths. These collusions create lacunas, warping social reality to suppress unpleasant information.

The truth is replaced by silence, and the silence is a lie!

Chris Ralph Explains More Details About the Church Lies Leading Upto the Secret Excommunication of Steve Bloor

This entry was posted in Free Speech, Humanism, Mormon Issues, Psychology, Religious Epiphany, TRUTH and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Futility and Brutality of Mormon Excommunication

  1. Reblogged this on journeyofloyaldissent and commented:
    Long ago, when our distant ancestors were what we now refer to as ‘hunter-gatherers’, there were those who hunted, and those who gathered, and also those who watched out in order to warn the rest when danger threatened. The watchers performed an invaluable function in protecting the whole tribe.

    Today we no longer call them watchers; they are sometimes called whistle-blowers, writers, heretics, apostates, questioners, truth-seekers, and they tend to spoil the game for those who mistakenly believe they are in control.

    Hear what Steve Bloor has to say about the function he performs….

  2. William Covington says:

    Steve, I read your piece re: backdoor excommunication and I agree with your view that the manner in which you were treated was inappropriate. I am left wondering why you would want to retain membership in the church given that your views about the church brought about your decision to no longer be active in the church. Thank you

    • SteveBloor says:

      Have you read my post?

      I wanted to shine a light on the negative aspects of excommunication.

      Even whilst serving as a faithful bishop I struggled to equate Christlike compassion with the whole concept of excommunication. It’s so full of hate and shaming.

      • William Covington says:

        I commented that I had read your post re: your excommunication. Personally, I would not expect to find any ‘Christlike compassion’ in the leadership of the LDS church. Having worked for the church I did not see a lot of ‘Christlike ‘ behaviour coming from LDS leaders when it came to how I was treated and from my own experience I understand where you are coming from when you comment that you wanted to ‘shine a light on the negative aspects of excommunication’. I find the LDS church doctrine regarding the treatment of members who question the doctrine of the church is grounded in the dogma of Joseph Smith and his dreadful ‘death and destruction’ doctrine to those who react against perceived wrongs committed by LDS leaders
        ( see D & C 132: 54 ). To me, Joseph Smith instituted the doctrine of hate & shaming when he declared to his wife that the Lord ..’will destroy her if she abide not in my law’
        ( D & C 134: 54 ) after Emma Smith discovered Joseph Smith’s clandestine marriages.
        I don’t recognize ‘Christlike’ love and understanding in Smith’s treatment of his wife in the above example, and Joseph Smith’s ‘mad’ rants against anyone who opposed him on points of doctrine provided the basis on which his successors treated others who questioned church doctrine. I read a lot of articles in LDS publications about ‘Christlike
        Compassion’ but, in practice I don’t expect to see it.

      • SteveBloor says:

        Thank you William.

        Great points, well made.

  3. This is a cry for justice and integrity. The Church teaches high principles by precept and utterly abandons them in practice. Steve, you are a hero.

  4. Max says:

    Those in power will always seek to silence the critics first. As George Orwell said in 1984, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    It is often an act with a death sentence. In telling the truth they have to silence you in the only legal way they can, by removing you from the tribe.

  5. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest – an international speaker and author, wrote the following in his book ‘Hope Against Darkness’….
    “ . . . . it is amazing that institutional Christianity ever created the very concept of excommunication. Only the individual can do that to himself, and we had best not make it our corporate concern. Hinduism, the oldest religion in the world, has never excommunicated anybody”
    In his book ‘Everything Belongs’, he also says:
    “All other systems exclude, expel, punish and protect to find identity for their members in ideological perfection, or some kind of ‘purity.’ The contaminating element always has to be searched out and scolded.”

  6. Gale H. Thorne Jr. says:

    Steve,
    Another great post. Thank you for continuing to speak to and often for all of us who suffer under the crushing evils propagated by this church. I live in Elder Henry Eyring’s ward. In fact, he lives just up the street from me. His son is the bishop. I spiritually left the church about eleven years ago, but remain a member on the church’s lists albeit as an inactive one. I am a grandfather and I am proud to say that nearly all of my family have left the church as I have. Some have resigned. I am inactive for many of the reasons you mention in your posts. I have never been happier since leaving.

    As good of a person as Elder Eyring seems to be, I am appalled at how he can support the latest policy changes relative to using innocent babies and children as bargaining chips relative to gay couples in this church. It offends me that they target just gay couples. What about criminals? How about those who commit adultery? How about targeting those who drink alcohol – or even more so, those who drink alcohol and drive under the influence? Why not go after those who commit acts of domestic violence? Nope, they just want to go after good people who simply are very different than themselves due to no fault of their own.

    Incidentally, I am not gay, but I do have loved ones who are. I don’t have a problem standing up for anyone who is wronged – and this is wrong. After all, “an injustice to one is an injustice to all” (Martin Luther King). The thing that amazes me is how many Mormons can remain faithful in light of the clear evidence. I understand it on a certain level, because it is so hard to unwind out of this religion i.e. cult, but wow, what does it take for people to see the light?
    Best,
    Gale

  7. Pingback: Former Mormon Bishop of Helston may have been secretly excommunicated for speaking publicly about issues in the Church | Steve Bloor's Blog

  8. Pingback: Ex-Bispo Mórmon Solicita Transparência | Vozes Mórmons

  9. anthony brownlow says:

    LDS excommunication is being misrepresented here IMHO. Membership of the LDS church involves holding certain beliefs and having the responsibility of specific membership obligations or covenants. If a person demonstrates in word and / or deed that they no longer hold and wish to abide by those beliefs and obligations / covenants then the logical and sensible thing to do is to release them from such obligations – which is achieved by excommunication. It is in fact not only the logical thing to do but also the kindest and most sensible thing to do and is not intended to be vindictive or as some kind of punishment. It is merely recognizing the reality of a person’s position. The door is always open to attend church and to re-join the church if a person is ready again to embrace the churches beliefs and obligations. Why remain tied as a member to something you no longer believe in, and remain obligated to do things you no longer intend to do? It seems to be common that people leave the church but then still can’t leave it alone! The old saying goes that you can’t have your cake and eat it!

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Anthony,

      Do you have empathy?

      Do you understand that people have emotional attachments?

      Can you imagine that people who are brought up in a religion which helped form their character might find it difficult to extract themselves from that culture even if they no longer believe it’s tenets?

      Do you think it easy for someone who’s life decisions have been based around the Church narrative to suddenly cut themselves off from that foundational ideology?

      What sort of emotional stresses do you think might ensue for those involved, both the disenfranchised and their close still believing family members and friends?

      How would Christ treat those who question or doubt?

      Is the biblical analogy of doubters being like blind people who have lost their way, not applicable to those who dissent from the Church?

      Did Christ really mean what he said about loving one’s enemies?

      How does the term “excommunication” imply love and empathy?

      When members say “you can leave the Church, but you can’t leave the Church alone” what they’re really saying is, we don’t want you any more. We’re not interested in your welfare. It is a sign that the person saying it feels threatened and maybe even feels persecuted by those who are disenfranchised.

      When members or leaders say the door is always open for the dissenter to return it implies they only have conditional love for the one who leaves formed from an arrogant self-righteous piety.

      I hope you can begin to comprehend the pain of those who leave.

      Church leaders need to put love and acceptance first. It needs to start with openness, honesty and transparency.

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