A Short Summary of My Deconversion
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14-03-2014, 03:03 AM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2014 03:10 AM by Dark Phoenix.)
A Short Summary of My Deconversion
I was raised a Mormon. Our family was as fundamentalist as you can get without being a Mormon splinter group that still practices polygamy.

Before the age of ten I had already encountered the failure of prayer, the failure of divine protection, and the absurdity of literal biblical truth. Through a combination of fear, shame, and guilt, my doubts were repressed.

In my early teen years I exploded into sexual maturity only to discover that my nature was condemned as sinful. This paradox of the "sacred" and the "filthy" being one and the same, and the creation of the impulse followed by its condemnation, drove me to the brink of insanity.

My teen years were spent in a dictatorship operated by my parents. I was subjected to a total surveillance and denied any right to personal property. Every aspect of my life including my schedule, behavior, the information I had access to, my friends, etc, was rigidly controlled. The situation was nothing short of abusive, and was justified in the name of god.

In high school I was exposed to Evolutionary science for the first time. I attempted to disprove it, and failed. Although I rationalized and recovered, it was a devastating blow to my faith.

Ultimately, my sexual desire, and my need to accept it and who I was inside, drove me over the edge into a state where I was willing to consider alternatives. By the time I was sixteen I was actively rebelling against the church, and against my family even though I still believed it was true. I made the decision to live outside of it anyway.

When I was eighteen I got into the most volatile argument of my life with some of my family members over my rebellious behavior. It ended in violence, and my removal from the home by force. I was sent to a faith based addiction recovery facility to cure my "sex addiction" and to set me otherwise back on the straight and narrow.

My parents' plan backfired, since without their twenty-four hour surveillance and control, I was free to study Mormonism objectively without reproach. Dedicated to my task with what can only be called fanatical religious fervor, I set out to discover if Mormonism was true or false, by way of fact, not faith. I discovered, in short order (about six months) that everything I had believed was demonstrably false, and the information had been available to me all along, if I had known where to look for it.

I abandoned Mormonism, and graduated the program. My "sex addiction" had cleared up instantly. Apparently removing repression returns sexual activity to normal levels. After all I had been through, I had been cured of the real ailment, a profoundly volatile case of fundamentalist religion.

For two years I continued to believe in god, if only because I had begun life with this assertion spoon fed to me. My upbringing instilled a sense that belief in god was the default. I had not yet even considered that there was another option. I did not pray or otherwise engage in religion of any kind. I was essentially a deist without knowing what that was.

Through a stroke of luck, and a very rich friend from my childhood, I took advantage of an opportunity to travel, especially to Europe. During my time in Italy, I was shut up in an apartment for several weeks, since my guide was delayed by an emergency. Equipped with nothing but a laptop computer to pass the time, I joined an online community "Life After Mormonism".

While searching youtube for ex-Mormons like myself, I discovered George Carlin's famous bit on religion being bullshit. Carlin led to Seth and TTA, then Harris, and Dawkins, and finally Christopher Hitchens

The Hitch made me an Atheist. He will always hold that honor in my heart. He was the one to utterly convince me.

I celebrated that New Years Day in Italy by becoming an Atheist. Now that was an independence day.

I joined this community shortly afterwards and have been posting every since.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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14-03-2014, 03:23 AM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
Wow! thank you for sharing!! I've heard that Mormonism is particular difficult to leave if a person has been in for long because of the extent of the indoctrination and fear/guilt.
(I found Dawkins and Hitch yesterday and today. I fell in love and am now an agnostic atheist. I have been glued to you-tube most of the day watching debates)
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14-03-2014, 03:23 AM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
I love the idea of you coming back from the addiction clinic

"Hello mother, hello father"
"Hello DP, how was the clinic?"
"Very successful! I am no longer a sex addict"
"Oh how wonderful"
"... because I am no longer a mormon.".
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14-03-2014, 03:47 AM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2014 03:57 AM by DLJ.)
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
tl;dr

hehehe

I got stuck on thinking what an "assertion spoon" would look like but otherwise, that was a joy to read.

Thank you.

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14-03-2014, 12:45 PM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
(14-03-2014 03:23 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I love the idea of you coming back from the addiction clinic

"Hello mother, hello father"
"Hello DP, how was the clinic?"
"Very successful! I am no longer a sex addict"
"Oh how wonderful"
"... because I am no longer a mormon.".

Although, I adore this idea, I kept it secret for some time.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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14-03-2014, 01:10 PM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
(14-03-2014 12:45 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Although, I adore this idea, I kept it secret for some time.

When did you eventually tell them. How did they take it?
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14-03-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
Good and honest read as always. It is amazing how clearly and tactfully you can go about dismantling faith so soon after you officially had left it altogether.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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14-03-2014, 01:48 PM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
Hitch was brilliant. I think he was the one who ultimately convinced me... a shame I only discovered him a month after he died.

I remember what he said when summing up religion's control of people's minds and bodies... "You are created sick, and commanded to be well."

I think religion is particularly damaging to teenagers. Its the time when your body is flooded with hormones and urges over which you have no control. Perfectly natural acts (like sex or masturbation) are condemned as evil. Its enough to send you crazy.

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14-03-2014, 03:01 PM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
(14-03-2014 12:45 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 03:23 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  I love the idea of you coming back from the addiction clinic

"Hello mother, hello father"
"Hello DP, how was the clinic?"
"Very successful! I am no longer a sex addict"
"Oh how wonderful"
"... because I am no longer a mormon.".

Although, I adore this idea, I kept it secret for some time.

Wow Dark. This is a similar story that I keep seeing all over the internet, on different atheist forums and blogs. I was raised as a freethinker from birth and when I started reading these testimonials about the horrors of those raised in especially, strict church environments I saw a world I never knew existed.

Three years ago my oldest daughter, 18 at the time, came to me with a heavy heart, tremendous fear and trepidation and told me she was transgender. It was an incredibly difficult thing for her to do and she was terrified that we would reject her. I'm not going to say it was easy for my husband and I but we accepted her without reservation and she is doing very well and is extremely happy now. When I read stories like yours I can't imagine what would have happened if we had been mormon or even a mainstream religion. My guess is that she would have remained silent and perhaps committed suicide. There are so many kids that are murdered with rejection in the name of jesus or some god. You survived. Welcome to life, my friend.

Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1
“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”
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14-03-2014, 03:03 PM
RE: A Short Summary of My Deconversion
I remember reading some particularly vitriolic comments from the theist fraternity when he died. Makes me shudder to think how they can wake up and feel good about themselves.

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