A forum to tell my story? Really? I have been discounted and labeled a sinner by Mormon leadership and doctrine for so many years it’s impossible for me to believe any one actually cares to hear my story unless it’s to condemn me while promoting the truthfulness of the Mormon Gospel. Currently our 12-year-old granddaughter is being treated at an OCD clinic where, among other phobias, she been labeled one who suffers from scrupulosity, a fear of living a life of sin or one that God wouldn’t approve of. She’s just a 12-year-old lovely young girl and for years she’s felt God doesn’t approve of her. There’s something terribly wrong with this picture and it isn’t our lovely granddaughter — it’s the religion she’s been exposed to and those grooming her in that religion. Well that isn’t my story, it’s hers. But her emotional tragedy reminds me how damaging her exposure to religion has become. So I add my history with Mormonism to others for the sake of all those precious grandchildren who desperately need an advocate. This forum, our combined voices, might just be a healing advocacy for thousands and thousands of groomed-to-be-silent LDS children suffering from the results of “secret combinations” held behind closed religious doors. And it sure as Hell gives this 74-year-old man a chance to vent years and years of personal anger for LDS abusive grooming.
Where to start? Let’s see, my dad’s father told him masturbating caused pimples. Like lots of kids my age I too had a few pimples so I kind’a thought most everyone during adolescence enjoyed one-handed sex – I wasn’t alone. My mom said it was natural and not to worry about it. My Mormon Church leaders told me I was sexually unclean for practicing “self abuse.” And I eventually learned from Church leaders I couldn’t be sexually unclean and go on a mission or be married in the temple – two things I dreamed of eventually doing. So during those private behind-closed-door critical interviews with bishops, stake presidents and mission presidents, I lied about my morally unclean addiction. In my mind, keeping secret my addiction to masturbation was my only option. It came at a high price: nagging fear of being found out, self-loathing and constant demoralizing shame. The cognitive dissonance became unbearable when I thought about eventually having to lie to my eternal wife if I were to be married in the temple. How could I love and at the same time deceive my eternal wife? I could marry outside the Church and be miserable; I could marry inside the Church and be miserable. Over this dilemma, I cried myself to sleep many a night.
Well, I’m getting ahead of myself. So I lied. Passed all the interviews and went on a mission, the Berlin Mission (1965-1967). Pres. Tate led the Berlin Mission. Continuing, I lied to Pres. Tate about my addiction to masturbation. Although baptisms were comparatively rare in Germany at that time, I knew I would never baptize anyone because converting someone required guidance from the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. Lying, sexually unclean missionaries could not have the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. Since other honest and morally clean missionaries rarely got baptisms anyway, my lying wasn’t exposed for lack of baptisms.
Not too long after arriving in Germany, my senior companion and I and four other missionaries were traveling back to our proselytizing areas in Berlin on the U-bahn (subway). We had all just participated in a mission conference and personal interviews in Dahlem, an upper-class subdivision of Berlin. The U-bahn coach we were in was nearly empty. A couple of the senior missionaries moved to the very back of the coach where a long empty seat spread across the entire breadth of the coach and together they began to act out a mocking travesty of their private interviews held earlier that day with President Tate. One said to the other in a stern exaggerated deep voice, “Now you don’t practice self abuse do you?” The other pretending to shiver in fear answered, “Oh no sir! I don’t men-stra-bate . . . well, maybe once but it was a long, long time ago and I can’t even remember! And I didn’t like it anyway.” They continued mocking the interviews especially joking about parts dealing with abstinence from sexual activity while on their missions. Some of the remaining audience of missionaries giggled and laughed at the colorful impersonations and appeared to be oblivious to the damning consequences for masturbation. In fact it seemed to me they thought masturbation was a joke, not a sin. Apparently those interviews were considered jokes. To this day, I’ve never understood why those missionaries didn’t feel like I felt – that masturbation was a really serious sin. Maybe, unlike me, they believed their mother when she said “it was natural and nothing to worry about.” Or maybe everyone gets a few pimples now and then so everyone does it and it’s just not that big’a deal . . . I honestly can’t explain their mockery. But back then I do know I believed the Church leaders when they said I was unclean and practicing it was a bad sexual behavior; that the Holy Ghost would not abide with me. I was very sure of that . . . I believed my Church leaders! I believed Mormonism was the true Church led by God through His prophets!
Toward the end of my mission, I had risen in ranks to a district leader and as such once interviewed a potential convert for baptism. I read the interview questions from the district leader’s handbook which included asking if the investigator masturbated. (The German word for masturbation is spelled the same in English, just pronounced differently.) His faced blushed; he asked if that was a requirement and then decided not to be baptized. I remember feeling so bad that a rare baptism and convert was lost but at the same time I was really proud of this fellow for being honest about his sexual sin. Apparently he suffered from the same bad sexual addiction and sin that I did – but he was not also a liar like me.
Here’s an ironic tangential piece of information. I was on my mission in Germany preaching a racist religion right in the middle of the civil rights movement in America. After my honorable mission, I was drafted and spent an honorable year in Vietnam doing my part to kill over 1,000,000 Vietnamese. I take no pride in either one of these noble missions. Here’s some more irony. Today my wife and I sleep on a beautiful hardwood bed made in Vietnam.
All right, on with my story. Eventually my first wife and I married in the temple and had three children. Our eleven-year marriage ended. She joined a fundamental Mormon polygamist group near St. George led by its prophet, John Bryant. Shortly thereafter, I became a Bible thumping born-again follower of Christ, remarried a real daughter of Christ and was excommunicated from the LDS Church.
Today my lovely wife of 38 years remains an independent divinely precious child and daughter of Christ while I have grown to hate with vigor almost everything associated with organized religions, especially repugnant to me are all the Mormon religions. I loath the gods of my past and would joyously slay them all given the chance . . . but there are no gods so my dream battle is that of a mad man.
The grooming bamboozle Mormonism employs to rape the very innocent souls of its own children is reprehensible. I paraphrase an idea from page 47 of Bill Bryson’s book, Seeing Further – Perhaps religions don’t intend to cause harm, but by refusing to admit the adverse consequences of their actions, they cause it anyway.
Mormonism’s closed-door invasive sexually explicit interviews, especially with children, are evil. Children must be protected from the sins of religion especially the abusive Mormon behind-closed-door child sex interviews! This enables predators, it’s repulsive and must be stopped! Why doesn’t the Mormon God come forth to correct this evil??? If the Mormon Church is run by God, where’s the leadership? Where’s the guidance? Where’s the moral compass of the divine? WHERE??? The God of Mormonism is like all the other gods – It’s an absentee parent or a malevolent interloper . . . or both depending on Its whim.
Well, that’s it . . . thanks for reading all that stuff . . . did it make a difference? For the better?