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 Post subject: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:59 am 
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I come back here periodically when I'm bored and enjoying a coffee on the weekend.

Reflecting on my exit, I was wondering - Is there a mental model that commonly describes the stages that people go through when they discover the truth and eventually leave the church? I've heard of "the stages of grief", but not sure if that is relevant in this situation.

I won't bore you with the details of my exit; my story is very much like many of you, I'm sure. Simply as a frame of reference of my experience, to my question, above, I'll describe my stages.

There were many items on my shelf, starting on my mission and building through my twenties. I was pretty sure the church was BS, became inactive, etc., but I wasn't 100% sure.

One Sunday, my wife and I attended a Methodist church. A man in our class made several disparaging remarks about Mormonism. Strangely, I felt defensive. I chatted with him after class and he gave me a few sites to go to.

The next week, I checked out those sites and couldn't stop reading. My first emotion was fear. What if it's all a load of crap?

Very soon after the fear, I felt a sense of relief. Like a huge burden was lifted. All of those concerns I had on the shelf were explained. It all came together, and not in favor of the church.

Weeks I spent looking through information. Late into the night I would read this stuff. I couldn't stop talking about it to my wife (never mo). My trusted nevermo friends were not immune from me rambling on about what I learned.

The next emotion was anger. I felt that I had been lied to. So much money and time wasted on this BS. That lasted for a few years. This was the peak of my posting on Mormon-related forums. I was banned a few times on the Board that Shall Not be Named.

Finally, after anger, I just don't give a crap about Mormonism anymore. Yes, I'll occasionally peruse sites for entertainment. If people ask me about my past, it might come up. I'm a BYU grad, so people sometimes ask if I'm Mormon. Some of my family members are still in the church, but they live far away and we just don't talk about it.

Mormonism is part of my past, and may have shaped me in some ways, but it really has nothing to do with my life anymore. I rarely think about it, and when I do, I laugh at the craziness of the culture and teachings.

Thanks for listening.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:48 am 
God

Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:00 pm
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The stages of grief are relevant here as with any loss, however I also use another model. First, it relies of the premise that human beings tend towards perceived safety. They will seek material and psychological safety, and this explains religions or any belief systems at their core. They offer a form of safety to their adherents.

So what happens when a person feels threatened? Generally, people fight, flee, freeze, or fawn. All four responses have their protective advantages. And all may change due to how we gauge the threat. So if a person feels threatened by their own belief community, they may predictably do one of the four. I think that the response can depend on our options. Even at the psychological level, if I'm unable to fight, flee, I may freeze or fawn. If I am capable of fleeing or fighting, I may. The struggle with the myriad connections a person has formed with the belief system will continue any combinations of the four responses.

A person may "flee" psychologically but still go through the believer's motions, but eventually, a person may perceive that more safety lies outside of physical participation. This can be complicated when the alternative to the belief system seems more dangerous. And so there is a calculus of positives and negatives. When the net experience is negative, that's when they leave.

But, once a person leaves, I think they will go through a process of rebuilding the ways they relate to the world. It may be a rebuild that is completely separate from Mormonism, it may be a re-orientation of how they relate to it. And so the various stages of a leaver can take on countless forms. Generally, I think a person who has left is in a well-developed stage when they can function and thrive independent of the old ways, including thoughts and relationships, of Mormonism.


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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:07 pm 
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Peace.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:08 pm 
Sunbeam

Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:12 am
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You can read about it. Its called deprogramming. There are 5 basic steps.

The emotions are similar to the stages of grief. People who leave high demand religions often relapse unless they find an alternative worldview.

The basic premise is to point out contradictions. “If they care about charity and Christ, why do they have 100,000,000,000 in business cash and assets?”

Anyway. that's the basic kindergarten answer.


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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:22 am 
God
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Hi selek. I remember you from the old mad board. I think we used to spar at times before they kicked me. If I remember correctly one time I called you the Antichrist. I'm sorry for saying that. It was mean. I hope you are doing well.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:22 pm 
God

Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:27 am
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The stages of grief seem quite fitting.

Image

But there’s more. On top of that difficult grief process, you endured shaming and gaslighting, and the loss of relationships and marriage. So, you have all this to deal with - but also everyone you thought loved you - turns on you. This has been compared to ptsd. How to come through ok? Some venting of anger on forums like this... But ideally, this rude awakening of herd mentality in most people inspires a stronger faith in a God who is much healthier than the Mormon or Atheist gods. But there is still loneliness and pain. Maybe many tbm’s and other herd followers sense this and is at least partly why they avoid it like the plague.

Yet, the truth does make you free. Maybe not completely all of a sudden. A life time of mind control takes time to detangle. But gradually, there’s freedom from the shame, lies, extortion, gaslighting, cultish worship of leaders... freedom from being manipulated to spend more money, time and energy than you ought to and freedom to explore truth and joy without shame. Freedom from all the dysfunctional aspects of being in a cult.

Before realizing you’re in a cult - it’s as if you don’t realize you’re in chains so you make no effort to unchain yourself. Before you wake up about it, you think all the crap you feel and experience is your fault for not studying scriptures enough etc... But as you look around, you see you had the key to unlock your chains & you can put responsibility where it belongs and thereby are not held down/depressed as before. Habits take effort and time to change - some depressing thought patterns try to stick around - but without the psychological chains - a lot more can be accomplished - there’s potential that is freed.


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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:21 pm 
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You are blessed to be out.

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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:59 pm 
2nd Quorum of Seventy
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karl61 wrote:
Hi selek. I remember you from the old mad board. I think we used to spar at times before they kicked me. If I remember correctly one time I called you the Antichrist. I'm sorry for saying that. It was mean. I hope you are doing well.


I made this same mistake a few years ago. This is selek the Selek mocker, not Selek the terrible from the old days.


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 Post subject: Re: Emotional Stages of Discovering the Truth and Leaving
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:23 am 
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Dantana wrote:
karl61 wrote:
Hi selek. I remember you from the old mad board. I think we used to spar at times before they kicked me. If I remember correctly one time I called you the Antichrist. I'm sorry for saying that. It was mean. I hope you are doing well.


I made this same mistake a few years ago. This is selek the Selek mocker, not Selek the terrible from the old days.


Okay, lol. This post didn’t sound like the old selek, but I am sorry for calling him that name.

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