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 Post subject: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:48 pm 
Star A

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I can't recommend the book Heaven Up Here enough. It's an honest reflection of what serving an LDS Mission is like and it is extremely well written. I can relate to so much from his experience.

Hearing about Joseph Bishop made me think back to it and the chapter in the book about The MTC. I assume when Runtu quotes the head of the MTC he's quoting Joseph Bishop telling him on arriving that there would be "no visitors, no phone calls, no fraternizing with the opposite sex". This was particularly relevant since Runtu's girlfriend worked at the MTC at the time and he mentions the following exchange with another missionary

Heaven Up Here wrote:
"Dude, I'm so jealous," said Elder Lynn.
"Don't be," I said. "How would you like to see your girlfriend every day and not be able to even shake her hand?"


Now we know that while missionaries weren't allowed any real contact with their loved ones Joseph Bishop was acting inappropriately with sister missionaires, asked one to show their breasts and attempted to rape another sister missionary in the MTC basement. Runtu goes on to explain the culture of guilt in the MTC including the "constant source of irritation to the hierarchy was that missionaries would order pizzas and have them delivered to the back fence."

Heaven Up Here wrote:
My problems with Grolsch weighed on me, along with the guilt and shame I was feeling, much of which the MTC experience seemed designed to bring out. Through it all the drumbeat of "confess... confess... confess" continued, with constant reminders that we all carried burdens that we need to cast at the Savior's feet. One guy I knew finally broke down and admitted that he and his girlfriend had been together in a hot tub naked the night before he went into the MTC. "But nothing happened, he insisted. "I swear." He, with the rest of the other confessors, had to have an interview with one of the leaders of the Church from Salt Lake City.

Each week a church leader would come to the MTC from Salt Lake City to hear the confessions of the egregiously guilty, and then he would decide on appropriate discipline. If you had done something particularly heinous, such as anything sexual, you might even be sent home, which you definitely did not want. Those who went home early were treated as pariahs within the church. No one wanted to be tagged with that kind of failure. Because the consequences would be so severe, a lot of people simply lied and carried the guilt into the mission with them.

But not my friend. The guilt had weighed on him enough that he needed to clear it up. That week the assigned leader was apostle Bruce McConkie, who at that time was well-known for being extremely stern and utterly lacking in humor. My friend was terrified to talk to him, but in the end, McConkie decided my friend was penitent enough to continue his mission.


So General Authorities were going to take confessions from Missionaries weekly at the MTC and not one of them had the spirit of discernment about Joseph Bishop? Bishop confessed to sexual improprieties to Wells and yet he never had to face the kind of ostracism that some of these missionaries who were sent home faced, why not?

Something else that struck me from Runtu's account of his time in the MTC were the claims being made by various Church leaders about the divine protection at the MTC.

Heaven Up Here wrote:
One story in particular I heard from the pulpit: a leader at the MTC had been shown in vision the dark forces arrayed against Missionary work, but he had seen an army of angels in white surrounding the MTC to protect it. He warned us, however, that soon we would be outside the MTC and our only protection would be our own righteousness.


Runtu doesn't say who this leader was, was it a member of the MTC Presidency? The Branch Presidency? A General Authority? I would like to know. Regardless, leaders at the MTC were claiming at the time that they were having visions of angels protecting the MTC from dark forces where were these angels when Bishop raped that sister missionary? It seems to me the only dark forces were already in place in the MTC running it. And then another claim about divine protection from his Branch President,

Heaven Up Here wrote:
Along with the push for confession, the other mantra was that we must be totally obedient to the rules. Over and over, instructors and speakers reminded us of the Book of Mormon scripture that said we should obey every commandment "with exactness".... After a missionary in our branch got concussion by sliding on some ice, the branch president explained that the missionary was injured because, in breaking the rules, he had forfeited the right to divine protection.


This is the sick conclusion of this mentality. If something bad happens on your mission then you must have "forfeited" your divine protection, all to manipulate young missionaries into following their nonsensical rules. It's disgusting.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:00 pm 
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I had to speak with a G.A. (Henry D. Taylor) before submitting my papers to go on a mission. The year prior I was freshman at BYU and had hooked up with a gal who was anxious to try EVERYTHING her mother told her not to do with a guy (thanks mom!!). In speaking with Elder Taylor, he was such a nice, kind, gentle old man that I couldn’t bring myself to tell him everything (like my gal made a surprise visit to me two weeks prior and we banged like a screen door in a hurricane). I feared his “Spirit of Discernment” would kick in and he would call lightning down from above to blow me away. Didn’t happen. Instead he put his arm around me, walked me to the door, and said “Be careful out there…there are plenty of women who would love to jump a missionary’s bones.”

Fast forward to the MTC. Every day I am pounded with the “water torture” of, “If there is anything you haven’t confessed of…blah, blah, blah,…you won’t have the spirit with you, you won’t be able to learn the language…blah, blah, blah”. I cracked. I was sent to the top (MTC Prez Max Pinegar) who told me to write three letters explaining what I had done…one to my Stake Prez, one to my Bishop, and one to…my father. I told him two out of three wasn’t bad because I wasn’t going to write a letter to my father detailing ANY aspect of my sex life. He told me to write the other two and we would get back together in a week.

The following week I was told to meet with Pinegar after a Sunday evening G.A. MTC fireside. The G.A. happened to be Carlos Asay (Interesting now since Asay is the G.A. who supposedly was later informed about Joseph Bishop’s antics). When I got to Pinegar’s office Asay was there as well. Pinegar handed me the phone and I spoke with my Stake Prez. He told me everything was O.K., my Bishop was O.K. with me as well, and to have a great mission. After I hung up I was feeling pretty good until Asay spoke up and said, “Oh, and we told your father”.

I was in shock. I said, “You told my father?!?!?” Asay said, “Yes…and he supports keeping you on your mission as well.” Still in shock, I muttered, “You sons of bitches. I told you he wasn’t to be told.” There was a pause, and then I said, “I’m outta here. Do I make my own travel arrangements or do you?” Then THEY were in shock. They tried to convince me to stay (Them - ”But what about those souls in S. America that have been waiting to hear the gospel from you?” Me - “I guess they’ll just have to hear it from someone else.”)

Long story short, about four hours later I was walking out of the front doors of the MTC into a waiting van to drive to the Salt Lake City airport. It was VERY difficult to leave my district of Elders/Hermanas who I had grown to love. On top of that, I faced a whole new HELL when I returned home.

I guess it could have been worse though. Pinegar and Asay could have taken me to a secret basement sex room and had me expose my chest.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:17 pm 
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Goldenbrass wrote:
So General Authorities were going to take confessions from Missionaries weekly at the MTC and not one of them had the spirit of discernment about Joseph Bishop? Bishop confessed to sexual improprieties to Wells and yet he never had to face the kind of ostracism that some of these missionaries who were sent home faced, why not?


Thank you for the thread, Goldenbrass. Runtu has provided us with innumerable classics over the years.

I have an answer for you. I can explain the mystery. This is something I've posted about a few times in the past, in fact.

Things don't work at all like we were taught they did. The test isn't what we thought it was. When you face the Bishop (the, er, leader of the ward, not the unpolished member) and are asked the standard set of embarrassing questions along with tithing questions, and the answers aren't a clear yes (yes, you live that law), then what is the right way to proceed?

If you imagine the voice of the Lord God speaking and saying "these I will make my rulers" he is not referring to those passing the test of obedience. Obedience is optional. The elect spirits sealed up to become his leaders are those who instinctively realize they must deny everything. The answer is "yes" no matter what. Holding to the iron rod means to answer yes. Those who out themselves with honesty do have their place in the Church, as tithe payers and underlings; many could be 11% on gross payers just to be safe, or to compensate for other sins. In fact, for the membership track, the greater the guilt, the greater the dedication and the greater the fulfillment of the Church's core needs.

However, to be a leader? The leaders ride high upon the backs of the guilty, but they themselves feel no shame. Can you imagine the guy who confesses eating the fries offered him by his roommate who hit the drive through after church moving up the ranks? What is he going to do as a high ranking leader when he learns the truth about something business or historically unflattering? What is he going to do when he must assert his opinion as if he's speaking for God, while knowing full well he's just blowing sunshine? What happens when it's time to cover for his fellow leaders, when he knows they've done something seriously wrong? What is Mr. Guilty going to do then?

There is no way to learn the quality of guiltlessness. One must be a natural, like a violin virtuoso, and live ambitious and guiltless from a young age. Those not so gifted are simply weeded out over the process of their lives up through their missions. I'm not saying all the Brethren have horribly dark secrets and are experts at covering it all up. Some do and some don't. Sure, those that do need to be experts at covering it up. And that's a man you want at the helm, who can do the same thing for the Lord. Those who don't still see through the futility of living the lower law, and assume their own purity.

Most importantly, the cream rising to the top must keep the bar high, and preach obedience and guilt, to get the most work out of the drones that can be got, and to ensure those who do enter their ranks are trustworthy, and won't crack and talk like a canary when they are faced with something that they know is wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:35 pm 
God

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Gadianton wrote:
Goldenbrass wrote:
So General Authorities were going to take confessions from Missionaries weekly at the MTC and not one of them had the spirit of discernment about Joseph Bishop? Bishop confessed to sexual improprieties to Wells and yet he never had to face the kind of ostracism that some of these missionaries who were sent home faced, why not?


Thank you for the thread, Goldenbrass. Runtu has provided us with innumerable classics over the years.

I have an answer for you. I can explain the mystery. This is something I've posted about a few times in the past, in fact.

Things don't work at all like we were taught they did. The test isn't what we thought it was. When you face the Bishop (the, er, leader of the ward, not the unpolished member) and are asked the standard set of embarrassing questions along with tithing questions, and the answers aren't a clear yes (yes, you live that law), then what is the right way to proceed?

If you imagine the voice of the Lord God speaking and saying "these I will make my rulers" he is not referring to those passing the test of obedience. Obedience is optional. The elect spirits sealed up to become his leaders are those who instinctively realize they must deny everything. The answer is "yes" no matter what. Holding to the iron rod means to answer yes. Those who out themselves with honesty do have their place in the Church, as tithe payers and underlings; many could be 11% on gross payers just to be safe, or to compensate for other sins. In fact, for the membership track, the greater the guilt, the greater the dedication and the greater the fulfillment of the Church's core needs.

However, to be a leader? The leaders ride high upon the backs of the guilty, but they themselves feel no shame. Can you imagine the guy who confesses eating the fries offered him by his roommate who hit the drive through after church moving up the ranks? What is he going to do as a high ranking leader when he learns the truth about something business or historically unflattering? What is he going to do when he must assert his opinion as if he's speaking for God, while knowing full well he's just blowing sunshine? What happens when it's time to cover for his fellow leaders, when he knows they've done something seriously wrong? What is Mr. Guilty going to do then?

There is no way to learn the quality of guiltlessness. One must be a natural, like a violin virtuoso, and live ambitious and guiltless from a young age. Those not so gifted are simply weeded out over the process of their lives up through their missions. I'm not saying all the Brethren have horribly dark secrets and are experts at covering it all up. Some do and some don't. Sure, those that do need to be experts at covering it up. And that's a man you want at the helm, who can do the same thing for the Lord. Those who don't still see through the futility of living the lower law, and assume their own purity.

Most importantly, the cream rising to the top must keep the bar high, and preach obedience and guilt, to get the most work out of the drones that can be got, and to ensure those who do enter their ranks are trustworthy, and won't crack and talk like a canary when they are faced with something that they know is wrong.

Can you please put this post somewhere where everyone can see it. It eases the pain of the horrible guilt and fear instilled in so many. I wish this could be put in a place for all missionaries to see. I thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:23 pm 
Star A

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:03 am
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Jonah wrote:
I had to speak with a G.A. (Henry D. Taylor) before submitting my papers to go on a mission. The year prior I was freshman at BYU and had hooked up with a gal who was anxious to try EVERYTHING her mother told her not to do with a guy (thanks mom!!). In speaking with Elder Taylor, he was such a nice, kind, gentle old man that I couldn’t bring myself to tell him everything (like my gal made a surprise visit to me two weeks prior and we banged like a screen door in a hurricane). I feared his “Spirit of Discernment” would kick in and he would call lightning down from above to blow me away. Didn’t happen. Instead he put his arm around me, walked me to the door, and said “Be careful out there…there are plenty of women who would love to jump a missionary’s bones.”

Fast forward to the MTC. Every day I am pounded with the “water torture” of, “If there is anything you haven’t confessed of…blah, blah, blah,…you won’t have the spirit with you, you won’t be able to learn the language…blah, blah, blah”. I cracked. I was sent to the top (MTC Prez Max Pinegar) who told me to write three letters explaining what I had done…one to my Stake Prez, one to my Bishop, and one to…my father. I told him two out of three wasn’t bad because I wasn’t going to write a letter to my father detailing ANY aspect of my sex life. He told me to write the other two and we would get back together in a week.

The following week I was told to meet with Pinegar after a Sunday evening G.A. MTC fireside. The G.A. happened to be Carlos Asay (Interesting now since Asay is the G.A. who supposedly was later informed about Joseph Bishop’s antics). When I got to Pinegar’s office Asay was there as well. Pinegar handed me the phone and I spoke with my Stake Prez. He told me everything was O.K., my Bishop was O.K. with me as well, and to have a great mission. After I hung up I was feeling pretty good until Asay spoke up and said, “Oh, and we told your father”.

I was in shock. I said, “You told my father?!?!?” Asay said, “Yes…and he supports keeping you on your mission as well.” Still in shock, I muttered, “You sons of bitches. I told you he wasn’t to be told.” There was a pause, and then I said, “I’m outta here. Do I make my own travel arrangements or do you?” Then THEY were in shock. They tried to convince me to stay (Them - ”But what about those souls in S. America that have been waiting to hear the gospel from you?” Me - “I guess they’ll just have to hear it from someone else.”)

Long story short, about four hours later I was walking out of the front doors of the MTC into a waiting van to drive to the Salt Lake City airport. It was VERY difficult to leave my district of Elders/Hermanas who I had grown to love. On top of that, I faced a whole new HELL when I returned home.

I guess it could have been worse though. Pinegar and Asay could have taken me to a secret basement sex room and had me expose my chest.


Pinegar was MTC President from 1988-1991 so your experience would have been in the three years following him hearing about Bishop and sweeping it under the rug. It's amazing the number of legal cases the Church has chosen to spend a lot of money to avoid their leaders from testifying claiming that confidentiality of confessions are so important even where it will mean a rapist or pedophile will avoid the sentence they deserve, but when it comes to your confidentiality they have no issues contacting your family.

It sounds like you had a lucky escape Jonah in more ways than one and I applaud you on drawing a line at what they did and leaving even with all the pressure, that takes some serious balls.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:56 pm 
Star A

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:03 am
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Gadianton wrote:
Thank you for the thread, Goldenbrass. Runtu has provided us with innumerable classics over the years.

I have an answer for you. I can explain the mystery. This is something I've posted about a few times in the past, in fact.

Things don't work at all like we were taught they did. The test isn't what we thought it was. When you face the Bishop (the, er, leader of the ward, not the unpolished member) and are asked the standard set of embarrassing questions along with tithing questions, and the answers aren't a clear yes (yes, you live that law), then what is the right way to proceed?

If you imagine the voice of the Lord God speaking and saying "these I will make my rulers" he is not referring to those passing the test of obedience. Obedience is optional. The elect spirits sealed up to become his leaders are those who instinctively realize they must deny everything. The answer is "yes" no matter what. Holding to the iron rod means to answer yes. Those who out themselves with honesty do have their place in the Church, as tithe payers and underlings; many could be 11% on gross payers just to be safe, or to compensate for other sins. In fact, for the membership track, the greater the guilt, the greater the dedication and the greater the fulfillment of the Church's core needs.

However, to be a leader? The leaders ride high upon the backs of the guilty, but they themselves feel no shame. Can you imagine the guy who confesses eating the fries offered him by his roommate who hit the drive through after church moving up the ranks? What is he going to do as a high ranking leader when he learns the truth about something business or historically unflattering? What is he going to do when he must assert his opinion as if he's speaking for God, while knowing full well he's just blowing sunshine? What happens when it's time to cover for his fellow leaders, when he knows they've done something seriously wrong? What is Mr. Guilty going to do then?

There is no way to learn the quality of guiltlessness. One must be a natural, like a violin virtuoso, and live ambitious and guiltless from a young age. Those not so gifted are simply weeded out over the process of their lives up through their missions. I'm not saying all the Brethren have horribly dark secrets and are experts at covering it all up. Some do and some don't. Sure, those that do need to be experts at covering it up. And that's a man you want at the helm, who can do the same thing for the Lord. Those who don't still see through the futility of living the lower law, and assume their own purity.

Most importantly, the cream rising to the top must keep the bar high, and preach obedience and guilt, to get the most work out of the drones that can be got, and to ensure those who do enter their ranks are trustworthy, and won't crack and talk like a canary when they are faced with something that they know is wrong.


I'm not shocked that Runtu has contributed a lot he's a legend.

Thank you Gadianton for your answer, if only prayers asking complex questions could be answered as quickly and as thoroughly as you answered my questions. It's a question that has been playing on my mind for quite a while and your explanation makes the most sense of all of my experiences I've had in the Church over the years, but I hadn't put all the pieces together to see the larger picture.

The members think they are playing checkers, while the leaders are playing chess and they are using the members as pawns. So while the members are fed talk of them being the elect, the chosen for the last days before Jesus comes back and that they in the world, but are better than it, the leaders are given a similar spiel only it's the sheep in the Church that they reign over. So many rules that apply to the members simply don't apply to the leadership, they do have a paid ministry, they have access to all the dirt that the Church has on you if it becomes necessary to use it, they don't have to attend Church all the time, they don't have to deal with the same repentance process unless it becomes so public the Church can't hide it anymore and they are saved by grace through the second anointing. In the past they had polygamy too, but since Wilford Woodruff that went back to being publicly disavowed. If you look at the way Joseph Smith handled Church discipline it hasn't changed much since the Church was founded.

Joseph Bishop's confession in the taped interview with McKenna confirms it too, with him mentioning his tactical half-confessions, no shame, no guilt, he knew what he had to say to get the right response from his superiors and it worked. In the same way that CEOs often have psychopathic traits the Corporation of the President is designed to promote those with the most ambition and least conscience, the most outwardly obedient and those with the most to lose if they abandon it because their whole ego is invested in it.

I agree with candygal, I would like to see your post or a thread, whether a past one or in the future, only devoted to the ideas you presented in your post. It's an incredibly insightful analysis of Mormon culture that everyone with any experience within it should be able to acknowledge even if they haven't found the words to describe it.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:11 pm 
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Goldenbrass wrote:
Pinegar was MTC President from 1988-1991 so your experience would have been in the three years following him hearing about Bishop and sweeping it under the rug. It's amazing the number of legal cases the Church has chosen to spend a lot of money to avoid their leaders from testifying claiming that confidentiality of confessions are so important even where it will mean a rapist or pedophile will avoid the sentence they deserve, but when it comes to your confidentiality they have no issues contacting your family.

I was there in early December 1976 and ejected five weeks later in January 1977. Pinegar was the MTC President from 1974 - 1979.

Goldenbrass wrote:
It sounds like you had a lucky escape Jonah in more ways than one and I applaud you on drawing a line at what they did and leaving even with all the pressure, that takes some serious balls.

Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, in retrospect it took some balls. At the time I was just so pissed that ALL trust and desire to serve left me in an instant. The scary part was not knowing if anyone would show up at the airport to get me when I landed. My father WAS there, when he saw me he STUCK HIS HAND OUT for a handshake (no hug), said “You look good…I can’t say I am glad to see you”, and then proceeded to scream at me at the top of his lungs for the 30 minute car ride home. Things went downhill from there. I had nowhere else to go and it was somewhat difficult living with a “loving” family who, if I were to come home early, would have preferred it be so in a wooden box.

Some 40 years later when I read stories about early returned missionaries and their fears and how they are treated upon returning home…it still triggers the emotions in me. I’ve toyed around with the idea of making a documentary about my story and others like mine. My working title - “Returning Without Honor”. We’ll see.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:30 pm 
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Jonah wrote:
Goldenbrass wrote:
Pinegar was MTC President from 1988-1991 so your experience would have been in the three years following him hearing about Bishop and sweeping it under the rug. It's amazing the number of legal cases the Church has chosen to spend a lot of money to avoid their leaders from testifying claiming that confidentiality of confessions are so important even where it will mean a rapist or pedophile will avoid the sentence they deserve, but when it comes to your confidentiality they have no issues contacting your family.

I was there in early December 1976 and ejected five weeks later in January 1977. Pinegar was the MTC President from 1974 - 1979.

Goldenbrass wrote:
It sounds like you had a lucky escape Jonah in more ways than one and I applaud you on drawing a line at what they did and leaving even with all the pressure, that takes some serious balls.

Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, in retrospect it took some balls. At the time I was just so pissed that ALL trust and desire to serve left me in an instant. The scary part was not knowing if anyone would show up at the airport to get me when I landed. My father WAS there, when he saw me he STUCK HIS HAND OUT for a handshake (no hug), said “You look good…I can’t say I am glad to see you”, and then proceeded to scream at me at the top of his lungs for the 30 minute car ride home. Things went downhill from there. I had nowhere else to go and it was somewhat difficult living with a “loving” family who, if I were to come home early, would have preferred it be so in a wooden box.

Some 40 years later when I read stories about early returned missionaries and their fears and how they are treated upon returning home…it still triggers the emotions in me. I’ve toyed around with the idea of making a documentary about my story and others like mine. My working title - “Returning Without Honor”. We’ll see.
Please do this. It may help you and I know that many others may need to tell their story.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:07 pm 
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Jonah wrote:
I was told to meet with Pinegar after a Sunday evening G.A. MTC fireside. The G.A. happened to be Carlos Asay (Interesting now since Asay is the G.A. who supposedly was later informed about Joseph Bishop’s antics).

Most likely the Joseph Bishop situation made it past Carlos Asay to an even higher point in the hierarchy, as well as the law firm of Kirton McConkie, before the decision was made to drop a cone of silence on the matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:52 am 
Star A

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Jonah wrote:
I was there in early December 1976 and ejected five weeks later in January 1977. Pinegar was the MTC President from 1974 - 1979.


I got the wrong Pinegar thanks for clearing that up so you were there a decade before.

Jonah wrote:
Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, in retrospect it took some balls. At the time I was just so pissed that ALL trust and desire to serve left me in an instant. The scary part was not knowing if anyone would show up at the airport to get me when I landed. My father WAS there, when he saw me he STUCK HIS HAND OUT for a handshake (no hug), said “You look good…I can’t say I am glad to see you”, and then proceeded to scream at me at the top of his lungs for the 30 minute car ride home. Things went downhill from there. I had nowhere else to go and it was somewhat difficult living with a “loving” family who, if I were to come home early, would have preferred it be so in a wooden box.

Some 40 years later when I read stories about early returned missionaries and their fears and how they are treated upon returning home…it still triggers the emotions in me. I’ve toyed around with the idea of making a documentary about my story and others like mine. My working title - “Returning Without Honor”. We’ll see.


Yeah from the few people I know who left their missions early it had a devastating effect on them. The pressure to serve missions comes from the costs of coming home early, it's designed to create that fallout. For a Church that likes marketing "Forever Families" it causes so many needless problems and conflicts in families in the here and now. Ostracism by your family and peers registers in our brains as pain because we are social animals. I think the reason why authoritarian organizations use it is because in trying to cope people often become more compliant and obedient which is what they want. You can tell it's deliberate by looking at the Church's reaction to the young women feeling similar pressure that they had to serve from guys in the Church when the age change happened.

Here's how some girls reported feeling when they started receiving the same kind of treatment that the guys receive for not serving missions.

Quote:
Megan Gorton, a UVU senior from Eagle River, Alaska, who is majoring in exercise science, prayed about whether she should serve a mission after the missionary age change, but she didn’t feel right about it. Gorton feels like she has been given many opportunities, but she’s at a disadvantage in the realm of dating.

“(Returned sister missionaries) get put on a pedestal,” Gorton said. “I feel like they are seen as more righteous or more spiritual. I’m a good member of the church, too.”

Cassandra Belliston, a recent BYU graduate in art history from Pleasant Grove, Utah, said she had an experience shortly after the missionary age change where she heard two men discussing marriages and returned missionaries.

Belliston said the men discussed how they would never marry someone who had chosen not to serve a mission, and there were no excuses now for girls who chose not to serve.

This kind of commentary can be hurtful to women who made the decision not to serve a mission, especially after prayer, these women said. “It’s not our priesthood duty to serve,” said Katie Seastrand, a senior from Salt Lake City, Utah majoring in art history.


Notice how none of them were critical of the way that men who chose not to serve or who returned early are treated, that's a "priesthood duty" they just don't like it when a fraction of the same social pressure is applied to them. Of course, Jeffrey Holland gave a speech confirming that,

Quote:
Women feeling pressure to serve is exactly what the Church was hoping to avoid. Elder Jeffery R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made a statement a year ago about women feeling pressure from others to serve.

On March 8, 2016, Elder Holland said in a Face to Face broadcast, “No young woman should be judged for not serving a mission.”

Holland went on to say that President Monson never intended for all women in the Church to serve a mission.

“We’re very grateful for those who go. It’s changed the face of the Church,” Elder Holland said. “But we do not want anyone feeling inadequate or left out or undignified or tarnished because she did not choose to serve a mission. And we’re a little irritated with young men who say, ‘Well, I’m not going to date you because you didn’t serve a mission.’ … We do not want that kind of climate over dating or marriages. … It isn’t our place to pass a judgment.”


I've never seen the Church have a problem with any of that when it comes to young men, maybe the problem is that after women have experienced it themselves they might be less likely to pressure others because now they know how devastating it is? Maintaining that pressure is imperative if they want to keep young men leaving to be indoctrinated for two years and anyone who falls through the cracks is collateral damage.

I think a documentary would be worth making and it's an issue that needs more light.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:06 am 
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Goldenbrass wrote:

Notice how none of them were critical of the way that men who chose not to serve or who returned early are treated, that's a "priesthood duty" they just don't like it when a fraction of the same social pressure is applied to them. Of course, Jeffrey Holland gave a speech confirming that,

Quote:
Women feeling pressure to serve is exactly what the Church was hoping to avoid. Elder Jeffery R. Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made a statement a year ago about women feeling pressure from others to serve.

On March 8, 2016, Elder Holland said in a Face to Face broadcast, “No young woman should be judged for not serving a mission.”

Holland went on to say that President Monson never intended for all women in the Church to serve a mission.

“We’re very grateful for those who go. It’s changed the face of the Church,” Elder Holland said. “But we do not want anyone feeling inadequate or left out or undignified or tarnished because she did not choose to serve a mission. And we’re a little irritated with young men who say, ‘Well, I’m not going to date you because you didn’t serve a mission.’ … We do not want that kind of climate over dating or marriages. … It isn’t our place to pass a judgment.”


I've never seen the Church have a problem with any of that when it comes to young men, maybe the problem is that after women have experienced it themselves they might be less likely to pressure others because now they know how devastating it is? Maintaining that pressure is imperative if they want to keep young men leaving to be indoctrinated for two years and anyone who falls through the cracks is collateral damage.

I think a documentary would be worth making and it's an issue that needs more light.


Except that Mormonism is already deeply enmeshed in judging people for their choices and Jeffrey has long been complicit.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:02 am 
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In the judgement of these people in a mortal world..free agency is obsolete; and in fact, a sad a sorry joke when condemned for not making the ONLY choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:43 am 
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candygal wrote:
In the judgement of these people in a mortal world..free agency is obsolete; and in fact, a sad a sorry joke when condemned for not making the ONLY choice.


Yes, our choice is between what they say is happiness and what they say is misery.


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Goldenbrass wrote:
I think a documentary would be worth making and it's an issue that needs more light.

Well...this is a little something I put together a few months ago and have been sitting on. It is raw, and I haven't yet decided to proceed any further. But if I do, it just might be the opening few minutes (introduction) of my project.

https://vimeo.com/265904125

password - jonah

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:01 pm 
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I was in the MTC in mid September 1980, two weeks after my 19th birthday. J. Christensen was the MTC president. I definitely still remember somethings he said on Sunday nights which seemed extremely patronizing to me. I can't remember his exact words but one time he said that if you were a hard worker on your mission then you would be a hard worker all your life and if you were a screw up on your mission then that is the way you would be in your life (Dean L. Larson countered that thought in the "Peaceable things of the Kingdom". I was in a North Eastern state in late October, 1980 and home at the beginning of December, 1980. They sent me home on a medical leave, not releasing me, only to rest, get well and get back out. I was painfully shy, depressed and had problems with learning. That was the really problem. I wish I would have stayed because of all the issues that arose after I came home. I felt extreme shame sitting in Sacrament meeting.

A couple of months later, still not released, I broke a big rule for the first time. I was sort of in shock and drove straight to the Bishops house. I spoke to the Bishop and that Sunday spoke to the Stake President who released me. About a month later the Stake President called and said Salt Lake had called and asked why I wasn't going back out in the mission field and the Stake President told them and they told him a High Council Court needed to held for me. I went to the Court and told 16 guys what happened - The Stake Presidency and the High Council and some guy recording it. I was put on probation. I could have easily been excommunicated.

A couple of months later I broke the rules again and told a Stake President's counselor on a Sunday what was happening in my life. I think that night I had my notice and on Tuesday was back in the same room with 16 men telling them what was going on. I left to sit in a small room while they were debating what should happen to me. I came back in and they went around the room and the people on my side just said I could call them at anytime I wanted to talk. They didn't talk about mercy and the atonement. The Stake President said the decision was excommunication and added that one person in room vehemently opposed it. I had to leave the room and went back into the small room sobbing. One of the Stake President's councilors took me to the restroom to wash my face but I just sat on the floor telling him that I wanted to die and that I was tired of people hurting me (I had dealt with a lot of LDS bullies in my teens with physical and emotional abuse.) I had my bike to ride home but they wouldn't let me, putting it in the back of of the Stake President's truck. I sat in the middle as the Stake President and his counselor drove me home. I was out of the Church in July 1981.

I couldn't tell my mom what had happened. She had been through enough with my Dad packing his bags and moving out a couple years before. On Sunday they announced what had happened in Priesthood meeting but said they still wanted me to attend priesthood meeting. One of the guys in the priesthood meeting lived on my street. I couldn't tell my mom and called the Stake President to ask him to talk with my mom. He called and asked her to come to his office. As she walked into the building, the wife of the guy in the priesthood meeting came up to my mom and said she was sorry to hear what had happened to me. When she asked what had happened she said that I had been excommunicated. My mom came home laying on the bed crying. She then got real sick and stayed in bed for about six months. I felt like I was responsible for everything.

I already mentioned in some previous posts about my Bishop showing me a letter written by President Kimball to all the Stake Presidents in our area about the need to be patient with the youth saying that they are facing temptation the world has never seen. I'm pretty sure it was a couple months after my my last court.


Then things started getting real bad. I was dealing with major depression and voices since I was 16. At 20 the depression and voices started moving exponentially. I was having obsessive morbid thoughts in my mind and once there, I would "verbally (and apparently visually, whisper) "erase _____" what ever the morbid thought was. By the time I was 23 the ritual started when I woke up and ended when I went to sleep. I was saying "erase ____" hundreds of times a day. Right after I finished another morbid thought would appear and the cycle would repeat. Why I said visually was because one time my sister took me to an LDS young adult party. The voices started and I started countering them with my "erase ___" ritual. It was a normal party with everyone talking but then I noticed that the room had gotten really quite and kind of came out of what I was doing and most of the people were staring at me, very uncomfortably. Eventually as I got to my 30's I just ignored the voices. They appear every once in a while now but are very rare and I just ignore them. I didn't really get professional help until my 40's. A small amount of Geodon can do wonders.

For me the Orthodox LDS culture is not for everyone and those who don't want to be involved are not bad people. The combination of LDS bullies with an insane amount pressure to live the orthodox way can send someone into a mental spiral. Coming home from my mission was bad and mean things were said that I still remember. Coming home and being excommunicated is really bad. Coming home, being excommunicated and having mental health problems makes you an outcast. I'm still single asking why anyone would want to marry me. I still judge myself by LDS cultural standards decades later.

For those outside the Church it's hard to fathom what goes on. I think twice in my life I have explained to some people heavily involved in their local Church that I was excommunicated. When I said the word excommunicated their face suddenly turned to almost anger, shaking their head mentioning it should only be used for extreme cases. Once I was explaining to a friend about Mormonism and if I should go back and she used the term "hook, line and sinker" about the LDS faith. If my friends that I grew up with on my street in Southern California (all born in 60, 61, 62) had seen me on the floor, sobbing, saying that I wanted to die when I was 19, they would have been speechless trying to understand what could put me in that state of mind.

But not to leave on a sad note I will say that focusing on mercy and the atonement are practiced at times. What happened to me doesn't happen to everyone.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:40 pm 
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Damn it, Karl, that was heartbreaking. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Hey Karl...I feel ya man. I wasn't ex'd but I was disfellowshipped. I struggled mightily with how to tell my parents before it was announced in Priesthood meeting. I told them, but it was TOUGH.

{{{HUGS}}} to you my brother.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:22 pm 
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karl61 wrote:
I was in the MTC in mid September 1980, two weeks after my 19th birthday.

[SNIP!]

But not to leave on a sad note I will say that focusing on mercy and the atonement are practiced at times. What happened to me doesn't happen to everyone.

Your story is reason enough to keep fighting this horrible organization. There are too many stories like yours where the cold, cultish shoulder is given to those who aren't equipped to handle it. Regardless of what you did and my guess is it was normal behavior for normal teens, you shouldn't have been subjected to such inhuman treatment.

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:54 pm 
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I agree..time to take the bullies down and their esteemed egos down with them. Karl, your strength..courage..and all you have been through is a testament of the failure of the church. This is something you are NOT...a failure. I so admire you,


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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:33 pm 
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I find these accounts interesting and very sad.
Early 1960's, US mission and Salt Lake Mission home for a week before we shipped out.
It was nothing but positive. Dug out the old journal and nothing in it about "confess, confess, confess" or anything close to it. All positive and "build the spirit". Even the Temple upper room with GA's was an open discussion when some pointed questions were asked.

Maybe I was lucky or maybe things have really changed since then?

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 Post subject: Re: Runtu's Insights Into The MTC in 1984
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:24 pm 
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Thank you for the support and kind thoughts.

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