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Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
#1

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
I am an ex-Mormon and I hang out on a couple of exmo forums and the topic of confronting missionaries came up. A lot of folks take the stance that these kids are only 18 years old, usually this is the first time they've ever been away from home for this long(typical LDS mission is 2 years for men and 1 1/2 years for women). Not only that, they're often undereducated about their own doctrine, so, they're not really prepared to engage in challenges to their faith, such as historical questions or Book of Mormon theology. So, a lot of exmos take pity on them, not wanting to traumatize someone so young who's only out there doing what indoctrination has told them to do.

I have a slightly different opinion. So, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a cult(it ranks high using the BITE model as a scale) and the unspoken purpose of the 2 year mission for young men and young women when they turn 18, is to solidify and hammer in the indoctrination they grew up with. The mission consists of two years of heavily monitored activity, where a missionary is expected to live and breathe the scriptures nonstop, with no privacy and answering to a direct authority figure for status updates and tracting numbers. Proselytizing is merely an arena for young people to hone the blade of their faith; the more you talk about and teach the program, the more you believe in it.

Having a faith crisis later in life after all my youthful choices have been spent is pretty difficult and what hurts about it now is that I would have made different choices if I'd had my eyes opened earlier. I certainly would have done better without paying all that tithing. 

So, although I don't think missionaries should be bludgeoned with the truth, I don't see the harm in having honest conversations with them about the truth the church hides. Even if being confronted with that during such a vulnerable time might be painful for them. It doesn't really get easier and if they're going to stand as a representative for the church, they deserve to be told the truth when no one else in the church will give it to them. 

I'm also an anti-theist. I don't really subscribe to the notion of allowing people to engage in their comforting delusions because I think that is damaging not only to individuals but the community and society as a whole. So, if they're going to come to my door trying to spread their falsehoods, I think it should be stopped. For their sake and those who would listen to them.

I don't know why I made this thread. I just wanted to share and see what others thought about confronting missionaries and challenging them with the truth.
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#2

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Several years ago while out walking my dog in the evening - I always wait until the sun goes down because I don't want the dog to burn his feet on hot Arizona pavement - I spotted two young men coming towards me wearing white shirts and ties.  This made them stand out like sore thumbs in Arizona. I have ties in my closet and they have dust on them!

Anyway Simba, the dog, was so well trained that when he saw anyone coming towards him he would stop and wait until they made some indication that they wanted him to approach.  Sure enough, they got to about 6 feet away and one of them said "oh, can we pet your dog?"  I said "of course."  Simba was a love bug and as soon as they put a hand out to him he sat down in front of them and enjoyed the attention.  At one point one of them offered me a business card and asked if I knew about the Mormon Church. I said something along the lines of "about as much as I know or care about any church." They must have been rookies because that was enough to dissuade them from pursuing the matter.  So they petted Simba for a few moments and we said our goodbyes.

I thought they were fairly inept.  Simba, OTOH, apparently thought they were just great.  Such are the differences in the expectations of humans and dogs.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#3

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
"I don't know why I made this thread. I just wanted to share and see what others thought about confronting missionaries and challenging them with the truth."
Maybe because this a good place to share it?

Since we have a gate on our driveway, we are spared the door to doors.
Looking back on that, maybe it was a mistake to build the gate but it gave my wife much comfort when she was home alone and I was either on a distant job or working nights.
The mormons here will do yard work or whatever to make contacts, and it would be a great time to get them thinking while out pulling weeds.
I do think that confrontation is not a productive method or term. I prefer the idea of subtle coercion Big Grin
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#4

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
A couple days ago my wife and I got a nice hand-written letter inviting us to attend a JCLD service on such and such day and time in a neighboring community. Don't know the person who signed it, but apparently they feel it worth their time to cold-call (write) anyone nearby to draw them in. Very odd and I suppose it works enough times to justify the effort.
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#5

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Years ago, living in Oxnard, I had a crummy row apartment complete with shared balcony. For a time, the other residence upstairs next to us, and sharing a common balcony, was occupied by a gal who was diving into LDS and so the missionaries were regular visitors as I sat on the balcony on my days off.

One day Tasha wasn't home, and so the two young men turned to me. After settling that yes, she wasn't home, we started chatting, and it really turned out kinda nice. I made my atheism plain in a polite manner and we just started talking. I was deliberate in trying to do Socratic dialogue. We ended up talking about an hour, and over the next few months further conversations ensued.

They were cool and very non-pushy, so it was nice to just ask away and then listen. I hope some of my questions planted some seeds.

Don't ask me about when I was shacked up with a JW girlfriend for some few months, though.
Freedom isn't free.
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#6

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Depends on the context for me - some of the people that walk the streets trying to get people to talk them are mostly just get laughed at here.

Those that come to your door, again it depends on the context. i've had some say "here is some literature, you're welcome at the church should you want to come down" and thats it. That I actually don't mind. But it's when I'm asked about something religious, which I tend to say "....this isn't for me", and I get pressed further on it. Like I'm an Atheist but I don't really have the time to point out why that is, to people like that - there is SO much you want to say [in my case, namely wanting to absolutely bollock them from taking little kids out with them as well.....like if you're older and WANT to do it, fair enough, but don't make kids go - they dont know what the fuck is going on] but I just have the time to point out why their religion is fucking dumbass to me.

So yeah, context, but generally they get told to do one.
Make Your Own Future. Make Your Own Past. Its All Right Now. - Barry Allen
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#7

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
I have a silhouette target hanging in the window beside the front door. The 10 ring is completely gone. We don't get door knockers.
  [Image: attachment.php?aid=31] Dog  
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#8

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
We don't really have those here. I mean, I think there must be some, holed up somewhere, terrified of this wild wild... well, east, that I live in, but I have never ever seen a "prostaliser" here (whereas I came across several just walking down the street in Brazil, and there was a JW mission on my way to the shop in Cape Town).

I think some of them did come after communism fell, together with others like them - there was a huge outcry against SECTS! SECTS! BEWARE THE EVIL SEEEEEECTS! This, coupled with the idea that if communism was against religion, and we were sick of communism, religion must be good, led to little interest in other religious sects.

A funny (or so I think at least) story:

A friend if mine moved to the States quite some time ago and she'd just moved into a new building when someone comes to her apartment doors and asks her:
Do you know Jesus?
To which she replies, perfectly honestly:
I'm sorry, I just moved here and don't know the neighbours yet.

The Jesus guy was NOT amused Chuckle
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#9

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-23-2021, 10:16 AM)OakTree500 Wrote: Depends on the context for me - some of the people that walk the streets trying to get people to talk them are mostly just get laughed at here.

Those that come to your door, again it depends on the context. i've had some say "here is some literature, you're welcome at the church should you want to come down" and thats it. That I actually don't mind. But it's when I'm asked about something religious, which I tend to say "....this isn't for me", and I get pressed further on it. Like I'm an Atheist but I don't really have the time to point out why that is, to people like that - there is SO much you want to say [in my case, namely wanting to absolutely bollock them from taking little kids out with them as well.....like if you're older and WANT to do it, fair enough, but don't make kids go - they dont know what the fuck is going on] but I just have the time to point out why their religion is fucking dumbass to me.

So yeah, context, but generally they get told to do one.

That sounds like JWs. I know they'll go out with young kids sometimes, in case the family they meet at the door has any children. So, while the parents are talking, the two kids can engage.

I agree. The biggest thing I'm anti-theist about is indoctrinating little kids. When you're an adult and starting to make decisions about your life, you can decide what you want to believe. But the indoctrination that happens to younger children, who will often accept whatever adults tell them because they trust older people, doesn't even really give them a choice. The Mormons piss me off royally about this because they right from toddler have separate classes for youth where they sing songs like "Follow the Prophet" which has a chorus of "follow the prophet, follow the prophet" 10 times and they tell whitewashed stories about Joseph Smith as if he was Jesus 2.0. Granted, all of it is bad, even talking about heaven as if it's a real place with kids. But the manipulation of youth among the LDS and JWs is hard core.
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#10

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-23-2021, 11:02 AM)Teddy Wrote: The Mormons piss me off royally about this because they right from toddler have separate classes for youth where they sing songs like "Follow the Prophet" which has a chorus of "follow the prophet, follow the prophet" 10 times and they tell whitewashed stories about Joseph Smith as if he was Jesus 2.0. Granted, all of it is bad, even talking about heaven as if it's a real place with kids. But the manipulation of youth among the LDS and JWs is hard core.

Trust me, it's just as bad with Southern Baptists. Sunday school, Wednesday night classes ... I can still remember the choruses of some of the songs I learnt as a boy.
Freedom isn't free.
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#11

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
I was out taking a walk one evening and a White Shirt/Bicycle Duo was out canvasing the neighborhood and tried to hail me down to talk Mormon talk.  I said something like,  "the Bible is a fairytale full of utter shit." and kept walking.    I doubt it de-converted them though.   Shake
                                                         T4618
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#12

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
I don't mind talking with anyone about most things. If I resent anything, it would be a teenager who could be my grandchild, insisting on being referred to as "Elder ___".

No dues paid - respect not earned.
Fuck. That.

Deadpan Coffee Drinker
________________________________________________
A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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#13

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Door knocking for the purpose of selling merchandise, energy plans, insurance policies,
political purposes, marketing research, and religious proselytising is banned here. The
JW missionaries and their ilk have disappeared, thankfully, from out doorsteps permanently.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#14

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
I never encountered Mormons other than at a neighbor's dinner I was invited to back in California, and they were well behaved there. No religious talk.

JW are another story, they find me wherever I move to, even in my secluded country place.

Long time ago, also in California, they showed up while my first husband and I were moving into an apartment. He asked them to help and they worked hard for an hour or so. They got nothing for it. Another time I opened a door in my robe with a boa as belt (lost the belt, the boa loved the warmth). That sent them off asap.

Nowadays I let the Goddess take care of it. She decided to bark whenever they speak, looking right at them. Very frustrating for them, she is a Great Dane and her bark is like thunder, you can't hear anything else.

They stopped coming here.
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#15

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-23-2021, 05:44 PM)Dom Wrote: Nowadays I let the Goddess take care of it. She decided to bark whenever they speak, looking right at them. Very frustrating for them, she is a  Great Dane and her bark is like thunder, you can't hear anything else.

A friend of mine in LA had a harlequin Dane named "Domino". She used to walk up behind the couch where I was sitting, put both front legs on my shoulders and her chin on my head. Never did that with anyone else. I imagine people are still showing pictures they took of us. She was a very cool lady.
  [Image: attachment.php?aid=31] Dog  
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#16

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
When I saw the Broadway show, "Book of Mormon" musical the actors had that fake Mormon smile down pat.  What a funny show that was.

I always wonder if Mormans realize how ridiculous they look running around on their bicycles.  For those of you who might be interested here is one of the songs from the Broadway musical at the Tony awards show which makes Mormons look so utterly silly.   

 Ding dong...  "Hello, my name is Elder Price..."  

                                                         T4618
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#17

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#18

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-23-2021, 02:22 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: A couple days ago my wife and I got a nice hand-written letter inviting us to attend a JCLD service on such and such day and time in a neighboring community.  Don't know the person who signed it, but apparently they feel it worth their time to cold-call (write) anyone nearby to draw them in.  Very odd and I suppose it works enough times to justify the effort.

I got one of those also! Went on about how hard things were in the world these days, and how they would like to lend a hand...Never heard of the sender. Didn't bother to find out who it was either.
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#19

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
when we were not behind a gate in our first home, we had a knock on the door and there stood a young boy with tattered clothes and no shoes.  
Dad was staying back a bit, but they were on a mission and the lad was apparently getting a lesson in humility from his loving god. It was cold and raining . Angry
My wife is a sharp cookie, and she got me  to engage them and kept BS'ing from around the corner while she called 911.
The sheriff caught up to them while they were still in the neighborhood.
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#20

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 02:09 AM)Minimalist Wrote:

Bahaha! That was great.  Big Grin

I wouldn't worry about baptisms for the dead. Not just for the fact that there is nothing after, so, nothing has actually happened except everyone got wet. But also because in the LDS faith, it's not a "force you to be Mormon" ritual, it's a "Here is the physical contract done up for you just in case the missionaries on the other side are able to convert you. And why wouldn't they? Mormonism is obviously the only answer after you die." 

Once you leave the church and realize the miniscule percentage of people in the world who are and have ever been Mormon, you understand that the whole time, genealogy was nothing but busywork. All that time spent scouring through death records and birth certificates to find the names of your dead relatives all the way back, and then going to the temple to baptise each one, one by one, was merely to keep you and the other members occupied, so you would never look too closely at what the First Presidency is doing with $100 billion in investments and tithing money.
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#21

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 03:40 AM)skyking Wrote: when we were not behind a gate in our first home, we had a knock on the door and there stood a young boy with tattered clothes and no shoes.  
Dad was staying back a bit, but they were on a mission and the lad was apparently getting a lesson in humility from his loving god. It was cold and raining . Angry
My wife is a sharp cookie, and she got me  to engage them and kept BS'ing from around the corner while she called 911.
The sheriff caught up to them while they were still in the neighborhood.

That is awful. Wow. I'm glad you guys got the police involved to possibly help them.

I have heard a lot in the past year about horror stories from people's LDS missions, mostly related to mental health struggles and not getting the right amount of support from church leaders while in a different country and suffering with mental or physical illness. It comes from that whole Protestant ideal of suffering being virtuous and putting work ethic above everything else instead of health. Plus, as the secondary adult indoctrination tool, I'm sure it doesn't hurt the church's goals, during a time when young men and young women are meant to depend entirely on the church, they are deprived of comfort and safety as a further "bind them through trauma" measure. Isn't that how brainwashing is done? Make someone sleep deprived and starve them a little?

It also makes me wonder, because LDS missionaries are required to pay for their mission themselves. And they do not get a cent for their work; it's not a job, they're a "volunteer for God" so, the church doesn't pay them anything. So, the food and clothes and any other necessities are coming out of a missionary's(and their family's) pocket.
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#22

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 11:03 AM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-24-2021, 03:40 AM)skyking Wrote: when we were not behind a gate in our first home, we had a knock on the door and there stood a young boy with tattered clothes and no shoes.  
Dad was staying back a bit, but they were on a mission and the lad was apparently getting a lesson in humility from his loving god. It was cold and raining .  Angry
My wife is a sharp cookie, and she got me  to engage them and kept BS'ing from around the corner while she called 911.
The sheriff caught up to them while they were still in the neighborhood.

That is awful. Wow. I'm glad you guys got the police involved to possibly help them.

I have heard a lot in the past year about horror stories from people's LDS missions, mostly related to mental health struggles and not getting the right amount of support from church leaders while in a different country and suffering with mental or physical illness. It comes from that whole Protestant ideal of suffering being virtuous and putting work ethic above everything else instead of health. Plus, as the secondary adult indoctrination tool, I'm sure it doesn't hurt the church's goals, during a time when young men and young women are meant to depend entirely on the church, they are deprived of comfort and safety as a further "bind them through trauma" measure. Isn't that how brainwashing is done? Make someone sleep deprived and starve them a little?

It also makes me wonder, because LDS missionaries are required to pay for their mission themselves. And they do not get a cent for their work; it's not a job, they're a "volunteer for God" so, the church doesn't pay them anything. So, the food and clothes and any other necessities are coming out of a missionary's(and their family's) pocket.

There's a reddit sub-forum of x-mormons and some of their stories of leaving the church are horrific.  
https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/

I was just over on the regular atheist reddit forum and a 14 or 15 year old asked the question,  "How can I tell my Mormon parents I'm an atheist."

The first reply out of the blocks was:

Quote:Not. You do not tell them. Not until you can do it in a house you own over a meal you paid for 

What do you think of that answer, Teddy? I think a 14 year old kid telling his Mormon parents he's an atheist could be a disaster in the making.  The boy has no power or autonomy in his life. He's at the mercy of his folks.  

https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comment...m_atheist/
                                                         T4618
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#23

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
(08-24-2021, 03:49 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(08-24-2021, 11:03 AM)Teddy Wrote:
(08-24-2021, 03:40 AM)skyking Wrote: when we were not behind a gate in our first home, we had a knock on the door and there stood a young boy with tattered clothes and no shoes.  
Dad was staying back a bit, but they were on a mission and the lad was apparently getting a lesson in humility from his loving god. It was cold and raining .  Angry
My wife is a sharp cookie, and she got me  to engage them and kept BS'ing from around the corner while she called 911.
The sheriff caught up to them while they were still in the neighborhood.

That is awful. Wow. I'm glad you guys got the police involved to possibly help them.

I have heard a lot in the past year about horror stories from people's LDS missions, mostly related to mental health struggles and not getting the right amount of support from church leaders while in a different country and suffering with mental or physical illness. It comes from that whole Protestant ideal of suffering being virtuous and putting work ethic above everything else instead of health. Plus, as the secondary adult indoctrination tool, I'm sure it doesn't hurt the church's goals, during a time when young men and young women are meant to depend entirely on the church, they are deprived of comfort and safety as a further "bind them through trauma" measure. Isn't that how brainwashing is done? Make someone sleep deprived and starve them a little?

It also makes me wonder, because LDS missionaries are required to pay for their mission themselves. And they do not get a cent for their work; it's not a job, they're a "volunteer for God" so, the church doesn't pay them anything. So, the food and clothes and any other necessities are coming out of a missionary's(and their family's) pocket.

There's a reddit sub-forum of x-mormons and some of their stories of leaving the church are horrific.  
https://www.reddit.com/r/exmormon/

I was just over on the regular atheist reddit forum and a 14 or 15 year old asked the question,  "How can I tell my Mormon parents I'm an atheist."

The first reply out of the blocks was:

Quote:Not. You do not tell them. Not until you can do it in a house you own over a meal you paid for 

What do you think of that answer, Teddy? I think a 14 year old kid telling his Mormon parents he's an atheist could be a disaster in the making.  The boy has no power or autonomy in his life. He's at the mercy of his folks.  

https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comment...m_atheist/

Absolutely, 100% agree with the responses telling him to keep it quiet until he's independent financially and in his own place.

Mormon families aren't as dramatic as JWs when it comes to shunning. I won't say all because I'm certain there are some out there who would kick a 14 year old kid out of the house if he stuck to his atheist guns. Most of the time, there will be an overwhelming amount of pressure put upon this young person, and his life will very much not be his own for a long time. He will likely be monitored in everything he does, he'll be forced to attend church and church activities, and he may be forced to meet with the Bishop or Stake President frequently.

Have you ever left a faith and had your parents or old friends say things like, "You just wanted to sin" or "Sin drew you away from God"? Mormons subscribe to that mindset. So, this kid, if he reveals his atheism, will be forced to sit down privately with the Bishop(who is just a guy called from the congregation for 4-6 years; no theological training, no psychological training, unless that is already his outside job, he is unprepared to handle social crises or mental health issues) who will then try to suss out what sins this young kid has committed to draw him away from the truth. Because in their minds, there has to be. There is no other reason for rejecting the truth. And this will involve a lot of intimate, uncomfortable, and abusive questions for a young person to be subjected to. He might even be forced to see a therapist who is also LDS, who will report to the bishop and the parents.

It'll be hell for this kid if his family is devout in any measure. Because they will try everything in their power to keep him in the fold. As an adult apostate, it's hard enough to go through this, talking to the Bishop, getting guilt tripped by him(especially painful if he's someone you look up to and trusted and you still have lingering feelings of faith, the disappointment and shame is unbearable), then getting called to a Court of Love(this is what they call the meeting with the local church leaders where you get excommunicated). I don't know/think they'll excommunicate a person under 18. They'll do everything to hang onto him, throw everything they can to press him under thumb and trigger the brainwashing he should have gotten in Primary(the pre-12 conditioning). And it'll go on until he's able to leave the house.

If he keeps quiet, they'll treat him normally, and yeah, he might have to go to church and all, and repeat the party lines, other than that, they won't be pressuring him to the extent they would if they knew.
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#24

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
The cousins have harsh means of enforcing faith, nobody dares to claim atheism while under their control. The last time one of the younger set communicated with his family was a letter from boot camp explaining why he thought the whole klan were a pack of idiots. The father and uncles showed up to "reclaim our boy from you heathens." Two dozen armed Marines talked them out of doing anything rash.
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#25

Confronting Missionaries [LDS]
Teddy, if you get Netflix there's a series about leaving Scientology with Leah Remini.  It almost doesn't matter which religion you're talking about because it's all the same crap.   That families have to be torn apart over religions and instill mental and emotional suffering on those who reject it is unbelievable.  I grew up in a secular, very non religious home and didn't even know who Jesus was until I was about 10 or 11 (it's a long story) so this rejection of family members over religion just blows me away.  When I began learning about this problem I realized how much religion relies on extortion to keep people in it's fold.   I mean, really....it's downright extortion... on par with the Mafia.

Believe in this god or you'll burn in hell forever.  Make them an offer they can't refuse.   Pay tribute to the Mafia boss or you'll end up in the East River swimming with the fishes.  It's all the same damned shit.
                                                         T4618
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