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  #51  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:04 PM
Jaudrum Jaudrum is offline
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I have a question for you regarding time share! If i remember correctly, you mentioned that Mondays always meant great sex! Do you do schedule time share and do you all have your own rooms like you do? I just recently met and went on a first date with someone who had been in a V for quite for quite some time and is quite comfortable with them. This is totally something I am opening up to more and more and really curious about these days...
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  #52  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:21 PM
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Heh, due to changes in work schedules, Monday encounters have been switched to Wednesday encounters. (Might later be switched to Saturday but I guess we'll see.)

Being the V consists of two guys (the legs/ends/arms) and one gal (the hinge/point/pivot), each guy essentially has his own bedroom, and the gal alternates from night to night which bedroom she'll sleep in.

How time is shared during the day is a little less structured. Sometimes we're all three doing something together, sometimes the guys pair up, sometimes it's one guy and the gal doing something together, other times it's the other guy and the gal doing something together. I'm pretty darn sure it's been a long time since we've kept track of exactly how much time each guy is getting. It seems that as you settle into your life together, you become more relaxed about such things.

I still crave having my own bedroom though, especially with its attached bath. The perfect cave for me to hunker down in, whenever I may feel the need for whatever reason. Heck I just like a lot of alone time in general and that's reason enough.

Everyone's different of course, but whenever poly (heck even mono) companions are living together, I recommend making provisions for privacy. It can be a lifesaver, especially in the early stages of the relationship.

Send me some follow-up questions if there's anything I didn't cover here; I'm always happy to answer (to the best of my knowledge).
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  #53  
Old 06-21-2014, 12:16 AM
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Default Why Mormons Don't Leave the Church

I wasn't sure where to put this post; I don't want to hijack any threads (including this one), yet I don't know that it's likely to prompt enough forum response to result in a decent sized thread of its own. I haven't "tended my blog garden" for awhile, so maybe this is as good a "blog update" as any. It harks back to my March 25 post; maybe this is like a sequel.

When looking out from within, churchmembers think, "How could you leave the church? How could anyone do such a thing?" Up until now I have responded to that viewpoint, not considering that when looking in from without, nonmembers may think, "How could you stay in the church? How could anyone be so gullible?"

I know the Mormon church looks pretty wacky to outsiders, but try to imagine if you were steeped in Mormon doctrine and culture (in the heart of Utah) from the cradle on up, sheltered from all outside points of view, and spooked out of doing your own research. The Mormon world becomes "the normal world" to those who were born into the midst of it.

But nevermind the plentiful minions who remain (active in and) loyal to the church for all of their adult lives. What about me, what's my excuse? What do I have to say for myself? It's one thing to be duped as a kid. Nobody should need 35 years to figure out that the church is a sham.

I've spent the last 12 or so years trying to figure that out myself. Why did I "believe" (pretend to believe, really -- want to believe, fervently enough to tell myself I believed) in a church, a body of doctrine, and a set of scriptures, that were so obviously false? Can anyone be so stupid? Can I?

I guess I can, but I couldn't tell you how. Maybe I'm too much of a people pleaser? "Must please my parents." "Must please my numerous aunts and uncles." "Must please my authority figures." "Must please my fellow churchmembers." Always wanting to get along. Always willing to sweep my misgivings under the rug for the sake of social acceptance. Perhaps if I had any mettle I'd have said, "Fuck this! This is ridiculous; this is for the birds." Instead I was always trying to be Mr. Switzerland, hoping I'd find the common ground the church and I (supposedly) shared around the next bend.

The other possibility is that I'm too much of a slow learner. I mean when I get a lesson learned, I usually learn it well, but it takes me a long time to get that far. Good aim; slow on the draw. Maybe a case of tunnel vision. A shortage of critical thinking. Most likely it's a combination of everything in this paragraph, and in the paragraph above.

But I don't want to excuse myself. You get to a certain age, and you start being responsible for your own choices. You even start being responsible for your own brainwashing. At some point (or over the course of many points), I decided to let myself remain brainwashed. It was my call. I screwed up.

At the same time, I give myself credit for leaving when I did. Many social/subconscious forces resisted the decision, and I'd never dreamed that I'd ever go through with it. I can't tell you how many friends and relatives I have who have (so far at least) failed to do likewise. A handful have left the church; a small handful. Brainwashing is a formidable enemy.

I've heard it said that the Book of Mormon is obviously bogus due to the crude way it imitates the King James Bible (the Bible Joseph Smith was familiar with). Aside Joseph Smith's assertion that God wanted the Scriptures to be written that way, the fact is that far more substantial issues plague the Book of Mormon. The three biggest issues in my mind are
  • DNA studies,
  • archeological evidence,
  • the Pearl of Great Price.
Re: DNA ... studies have been done on ethnic groups around the world, showing which ethnicities are the closest relatives of which other ethnicities. It's been found that Native American DNA is most-closely-related to Far Eastern (Oriental) DNA. This supports the idea that humans were first introduced to the Americas via a bridge of land connecting Alaska and Russia during the last Ice Age. However, the Book of Mormon asserts that the Americas were seeded by Hebrew people (who were guided by God in ships sailing across the Pacific). But modern DNA studies indicate that Native Americans have little or no ancestral connection with the people of Palestine.

Re: archeological evidence ... the Book of Mormon is rife with references to animals and materials in the Americas that simply don't exist in any pre-European archeological finds. One example is the horse which was introduced to the Americas via European conquest and colonization. Yet, Book of Mormon narratives describe an abundance of ancient American horses. And that's just one example. IIRC there are hundreds of other examples.

Re: other scriptures ... people often don't realize that the Mormon church uses several volumes of scripture besides the Book of Mormon. It uses the Bible, and it uses two other volumes composed mostly by Joseph Smith: the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

The Pearl of Great Price includes the Book of Abraham, with facsimiles of ancient Egyptian drawings and hieroglyphics. Joseph Smith claimed to translate some ancient papyrus into the Book of Abraham which then became part of the Pearl of Great Price.

Well in more recent years, scholars obtained the original papyrus and translated it independently. Their translation turned out to have nothing at all in common with Joseph Smith's "translation." The facsimiles in particular, which can be visually seen in church scriptures today, were translated completely erroneously by Joseph Smith when compared to what modern scholars know about hieroglyphics.

All of this discredits Joseph Smith as an inspired translator of ancient records, and so, indirectly, disqualifies him as an inspired translator of the ancient Golden Plates from which he claimed to have derived the Book of Mormon. In fact, the Pearl of Great Price fiasco proves pretty darn conclusively that Joseph Smith was a con artist rather than a Prophet. So that then discredits the church in toto; the Book of Mormon is just one of its casualties.

This information is readily available today via the internet. But when I was younger I had no internet; my first computer was gifted to me for Christmas in 1994. After that it took me awhile to get plugged into the available information, and even then I'd have never left the church if I hadn't been badly mistreated by authorities and by rank-and-file members. Indeed, the mistreatment had to get much worse before I'd finally had enough.

I think that in many or even most cases, the reason Mormons don't leave the church is because they've already invested so many years (decades) of their lives into serving and supporting the church. Nobody wants to think that they've done all that service for nothing. So while the internet may be church's undoing, it probably won't undo the church for many centuries to come.
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  #54  
Old 06-22-2014, 06:26 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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I think you are being too hard on yourself. The only reason anyone needs for staying in an environment like that is brainwashing. When it continues long enough, you can't see through it. When you grow up with it, you never learn of anything else, and what you need to break away is some really bad treatment, and even that is not enough for some, because, if you leave, you risk losing everything you know of and you are headed towards the unknown. It's always easier to choose tho familiar even when it is not good.

I just read a book about life in North-Korea, maybe you can find it in English http://english.chosun.com/site/data/...102300493.html
I think it might give you some insights on how brainwashing works and how long people are willing to put up with a screwed up system, what keeps them in, and what they are willing to do to keep the system running… and why. At least it gave me these questions…

Instead of criticising yourself for staying in the Church for so long, you should be proud that you broke free. Like you said. So many others are unable to do that… Ever?
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  #55  
Old 06-22-2014, 11:46 AM
Nadya Nadya is offline
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I agree with copperhead. Kevin, please try to be more merciful towards yourself. You did break free in the end, right? And that is all that counts.

I am coming from a similar background. Not mormon, but brainwashed by a church anyway. My salvation was the fact that I moved geographically far away from my fellow church members. Several years of being away from the daily / weekly / even monthly influence of the church made me free enough to start re-thinking things.

Actually, Kevin, I admire you for being able to break free from the brainwashing while living physically close to the fellow church members. My surroundings did support me in the breaking free, yours did not.

It takes time to change your world view. It took time for me, many many years. I hope you will find peace within yourself with this and accept your past. It took time, but eventually you found freedom.
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  #56  
Old 06-22-2014, 05:17 PM
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Thanks guys.

I suppose an outsider would pick up the Book of Mormon and after so many pages would say, "What a laughable crock of shit! How could anyone be stupid enough to believe that this was real scripture?" But to a member born and raised in the heart of Mormon life and country, the Book of Mormon is no joke.

Lots of parents have told (and many still tell) their young children that there's a Santa Claus -- and children believe it. The difference here is that when a faithful Latter-day Saint tells their child that the Book of Mormon is true, that parent believes what they're saying with all their heart, and will continue to assure their child of the Book of Mormon's truthfulness throughout that child's adult (and pre-adult) life. Not only that, but thousands of other churchmembers will give that child the same assurance over the years. That's an awful lot of people saying over and over again, "This book is true; I promise you that it's true." And giving many specific reasons why we can "safely" believe that it's true.

Plus there is a culture of avoiding "anti-Mormon literature," a fear that such literature is the indirect creation of Satan himself, designed to ruin our chances to make it to the Celestial Kingdom (the best part of Heaven) to live with our Heavenly Father and enjoy ultimate glory and joy for all eternity. To consider apostate influences for a microsecond is to teeter on the edge of throwing that eternity away (as well as breaking your family's hearts -- and the church gets you feeling beholden to all of your relatives). So yeah, the brainwashing is pretty thorough and has its hooks in many parts of the brain.

Some of those hooks are the simple comfort zone created by being accustomed to spending tons (most/all) of your spare time on service to the church. It's a lot more involved than just attending Sunday meetings. Being a faithful Latter-day Saint is a 24/7/365 job. You read from all the volumes of Mormon Scriptures every day, and grow comfortable with their linguistic style and their content.

And you don't choose what service you'll do; your authority figures make such decisions for you. A good Mormon home is a strict home with many rules. You learn absolute obedience to your parents, and with their help, you then learn absolute obedience to your church leaders -- both local and General.

Your many years of meeting attendance (where the meetings are designed to lull the brain into an altered state) afford many opportunities to "feel the warmth of the Spirit" and think "this must be internal proof that it's all true." Interactions with the many churchmembers who are sincerely kind and enlightened people further prop up the illusion. "I'm in the right place; this is where I need to be."

Whenever you visit the temple (a special building for special rites and services not like regular services) -- and you're strongly encouraged to visit the temple regularly -- you make solemn promises that you'll forever remain 100% loyal to the church, to its commandments and its teachings, and that you'll dedicate all the time and talents (and money and materials) you possess to the building up of the Kingdom of God (which is exclusively defined as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Yet another hook in your mind. Don't you become the worst, most Satanic kind of liar if you break your temple covenants?

I think the church works especially hard on its youth (its teenagers), making their church experience as fun, enjoyable, and as positive as possible, so as to secure their loyalty at a time of their lives when they're vulnerable to questioning things. I found that my teen years in the church were the most reassuring times of my life. But by degrees, as I grew older and older and my teen years receded further into the past, I discovered that the church was making less and less of an effort to make my church experience a good one. Since it all happened slowly, it took me a long time to muster the sense to say, "Wait a minute; enough is enough."

But when I did finally muster that sense, I grabbed those hooks and extracted them with one violent yank, leaving behind a ton of ravaged tissue and deep hemorrhaging. October 2 will be the 12th anniversary of my name being removed from the roles of the church. 12 years is a long time and I've been an atheist for most of those. Yet, I still feel the sting of that yank, and I miss the good times I once had in the church. No, I can't bring myself to abandon the Book of Mormon, even when I don't believe in it anymore.

I will emphasize, though, that Jesus' words in the Four Gospels (most often Matthew) of the New Testament are where I find most of my scriptural inspiration these days. [shrug] An atheist I remain, and have doubts of whether the actual man Jesus ever existed. But if he did, he seems to have been a pretty cool dude. I'll content myself with that.
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  #57  
Old 06-22-2014, 05:45 PM
rabbit rabbit is offline
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I grew up in a very brain-wash-y church and a lot of what you're saying resonates with me. I find that it is easier to get the hooks out of your brain than your heart. It's one thing to realize that the "facts" you've been taught don't make any sense when compared with the evidence present in daily life. It's another to realize that the ways you've been trained to feel about yourself don't make sense either. In fact, I think the guilt you are feeling right now is something trained into you by the church. Kind of funny that the church is making you feel guilty for not leaving the church earlier, huh?
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  #58  
Old 06-22-2014, 06:04 PM
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Haha, no kidding: Damned if you do; damned if you don't ... literally.

Yep, I've received criticism from both ends of the spectrum. Criticism for not ditching the church immediately, and criticism for ditching the church at any time. You sure can't please everyone, and sometimes it seems that you can't please anyone.

Others in my shoes might not have "sucked up to the church" for as long as I did (and do?). But then, those others can't know that for sure since they haven't actually been in my shoes and thus haven't had their opportunity to prove it.

Sometimes deciding how much loyalty to have to a bigger-than-life organizations such as the church seems like an impossible riddle to solve. I feel for those who leave, and I feel for those who stay.
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  #59  
Old 06-22-2014, 11:43 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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I was Mormon for about six months three years ago. Got baptized and everything.

*Some* things resonated for me. Serving others. Being friendly. The idea (at least as I understood it) that Heavenly Father speaks to *everyone*, not just to a select few who then take it upon themselves to tell everyone else what they're supposed to do.

Other things, not so much. My daughter's best friend, an openly gay young man, went to our baptisms and was invited by several people to attend meetings. Afterward, one of the missionaries told us she hoped he would come back because "We like him a lot, and we want him to understand that God loves him and doesn't want him to live a gay life."

My daughter is bisexual and gender fluid. She didn't take that too well.

Some members of our ward were excited about my books. A few even read some of them. But others verbally condemned me for writing romance novels as well as books for teenagers that contained gay characters.

After my daughter's Sunday School teacher said, "We have to be especially vigilant in speaking to the homosexuals, because that's the biggest immorality there is," we stopped attending. A few months later, I told our home teacher to stop contacting us.

I know how I felt at the beginning, hearing the lessons and doctrines and beliefs. The excitement and joy of it all. I can only imagine how one would feel if they're brought up in that.

In the end, we all do what feels right for us...whether that's staying, leaving, half-assing it, or whatever. You did what was right for you, Kevin. So try not to be hard on yourself, and try to ignore the people telling you you are/were wrong.
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  #60  
Old 06-23-2014, 12:30 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Not all parts of the Book of Mormon strike me as "bullshit".
That is what makes any group that "brainwashes" more capable of doing so; there ARE parts that DO make sense.

And for all the messed up shit they do; the mormon church is renowned for giving support to those in financial need. I have witnessed how they circle to support families in crisis. I'm not naive, it often is followed closely by manipulative control tactics. people in need are more prone to fall for that.
But-if groups that didnt manipulate, control, brainwash put THAT much effort into support, less people would fall for the bs.
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