Eric.

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Ray A

Eric.

Post by Ray A »

I've just spent perhaps an hour or more talking to Eric on Skype. I had the opportunity to ask Eric some pretty pointed questions, about his life, his views, and his experiences. I hope he will be back here soon. I'm impressed with his sincerity. First, let me say that Eric didn't deserve the treatment he got, and he doesn't deserve the treatment he continues to get from some quarters. Certain "parties" intervened in what should have remained an anonymous expression of dissent from "the orthodoxy", and with good cause, if anyone understood Eric's motivation for "that post", which was not meant to injure anyone as long as it was anonymous. Some caught wind of who Eric was, and from there the escalation began.

Does he love his family? Of course. Does he want communication and continuing bonds with his family? Of course. Does he see any sense of this family bonding, love, concern and care inside Mormonism. No. Why? Basically, because if you dissent from Mormonism - you become a pariah, an "untouchable". What you believe is more important than who you are. Perhaps we can lay some of the blame on Jesus, who said that he came to "divide people", even families, depending on what they believed. No? I sense that Eric just wants a normal life, and he wants to be part of his family, but cannot do so while they continue to look at every angle from "sheep and goat", "faithful and unfaithful", "black and white", "good and evil".

Eric is a painful and poignant reminder of how Mormonism can divide people. All he's asking for is to be accepted for who he is, and what he never wanted to be, and why he rebelled against efforts to shape him into what others felt he "should be". In other words, he wanted his agency, a term Mormons would grasp. The price he paid for being who he wanted to be is exclusion, and for a couple of years incarceration in a "Mormon correctional centre".

I would hang my head in shame if I sent one of my sons to a "correctional centre" because they were out of line with my religious beliefs (or otherwise; I would deal with that myself). And yes, I'm unashamed to say that my heart does "bleed" for Eric, because he's an intelligent and fine human being, but unfortunately those qualities will never be recognised outside the purview of Mormon absolutism, and some other narrow minds who never took the opportunity to speak to Eric face to face. He totally reminds me of my three sons, a person who just wants to be normal, and accepted for being normal. A person who actually wants to be tolerant, who has found it impossible to do so considering the oppression that has been his lot.

All he asked for, from the beginning, was to be given his freedom of choice without being branded the lowest form of life.

Thank God I brought up my children outside of this MF. I wish I could find more diplomatic words, but I can't.

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Some Schmo
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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

Yep. I can completely relate.

If anyone wonders why I still have any interest at all in criticizing the church after over two decades of apostasy, it’s because of the way it divides families. I could easily forget about my Mormon past completely were it not for the constant reminder that there are two halves to my family: the Mormon and non-mormon halves.

I’d like to see Eric back. I sense he’s a genuinely good guy.
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Daniel Peterson
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Re: Eric.

Post by Daniel Peterson »

Absolutely certain of the condemnation that will come my way for pointing out the obvious, I proceed to do so:

Getting your story from only one side of that story is potentially risky. In many, many ways.

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KimberlyAnn
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Re: Eric.

Post by KimberlyAnn »

Daniel Peterson wrote:Getting your story from only one side of that story is potentially risky. In many, many ways.


Exactly. Which is why folks investigating Mormonism shouldn't go only to Mormons for their information.

To Those Who Are Investigating Mormonism

KA

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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

Daniel Peterson wrote:Absolutely certain of the condemnation that will come my way for pointing out the obvious, I proceed to do so...

Of course you proceed. Turning threads that have little/nothing to do with you into threads about you is one of your favorite things, isn't it? Especially nice is if you can get some condemnation out of the deal to further the justification of your persecution complex, huh?

Look, it worked on me! Clever!
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Some Schmo
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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

KimberlyAnn wrote: Exactly. Which is why folks investigating Mormonism shouldn't go only to Mormons for their information.

Heh... aside from DCP's pitiful, thinly-veiled request for attention, that is exactly what I thought too, KA.
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Re: Eric.

Post by asbestosman »

KimberlyAnn wrote:Exactly. Which is why folks investigating Mormonism shouldn't go only to Mormons for their information.

Indeed, they should turn to God for the rest of the story.
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Some Schmo
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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

asbestosman wrote:
KimberlyAnn wrote:Exactly. Which is why folks investigating Mormonism shouldn't go only to Mormons for their information.

Indeed, they should turn to God for the rest of the story.

Hmmm... I'd recommend someone who will actually answer specific questions with words, not easily misinterpreted feelings.
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Re: Eric.

Post by asbestosman »

Some Schmo wrote:I’d like to see Eric back. I sense he’s a genuinely good guy.

I like seeing Daniel Peterson and The Nehor back. I sense they're genuinely good guys.*

I also don't put much stock in online senses. Personal interaction with people can reveal important clues into their personality, and even then it's hard to tell. Con-men abound for a reason.

I haven't noticed anything particular extrordinary from Eric, Daniel Peterson or The Nehor, so really my opinion is fairly neutral except that I tend to enjoy the humor of the latter two and tend to agree with them more.

*Daniel Peterson did not sway me to make this thread about him--I did that on my own.
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Re: Eric.

Post by asbestosman »

Some Schmo wrote:Hmmm... I'd recommend someone who will actually answer specific questions with words, not easily misinterpreted feelings.

Yet I find words are also easily misinterpreted (expecially when communicating with the opposite sex).
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Some Schmo
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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

asbestosman wrote:
Some Schmo wrote:Hmmm... I'd recommend someone who will actually answer specific questions with words, not easily misinterpreted feelings.

Yet I find words are also easily misinterpreted (expecially when communicating with the opposite sex).

LOL

Touché!
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Ray A

Re: Eric.

Post by Ray A »

asbestosman wrote:*Daniel Peterson did not sway me to make this thread about him--I did that on my own.


This thread is not about DCP (though not to report Eric's feelings would be giving an incomplete picture). In case you missed the title, it's "Eric". In case you missed the content, it's mainly about family divisions and alienation resulting from a strict (and eventually unwanted) religious upbringing. As I mentioned to Eric, when I was 14 my father gave me a choice about whether I wanted to continue going to Church. I told him no, and although disappointed he accepted my decision. I was fully accepted as a normal teenager, and had what I can only call great and happy teenaged years. If I had been forced, I might have rebelled too. Fortunately my parents always respected my "agency", always encouraged me to do with my future what I wanted, and they inculcated strong ethical values in all of us. My father always talked about "The Golden Rule", but in no way was a religious fanatic.

Perhaps some serious reflection needs to be done here on the part of those Mormon parents who feel that unless their children grow up putting pennies in the piggy bank for a mission, serving a mission, getting married in the temple, marrying the "right person, in the right place" and "enduring to the end" they are basically failures. Not everyone is cut out for this, and those who aren't should be respected for the personal choices they make. Not made into "black sheep".

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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

asbestosman wrote: I also don't put much stock in online senses. Personal interaction with people can reveal important clues into their personality, and even then it's hard to tell. Con-men abound for a reason.

I missed this post, and just wanted to point out that I completely agree; I don't put much stock in online senses either, at least in determining whether the person behind the posts is, in real life, what I sense they are.

But based on what Ray wrote in the OP, I could completely relate to Eric, and can empathize with the feelings behind what was described. It's an accurate account of something that is very real, whether Eric actually feels it or not. Many Mormon families out (or at least, look unfavorably toward) members who no longer believe. That's a fact. I have no reason to believe Eric doesn't feel it, especially given the accuracy of what was described.

And I'm sure my own experience (among other things) helped influence the comment "I sense he’s a genuinely good guy."
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Daniel Peterson
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Re: Eric.

Post by Daniel Peterson »

Some Schmo wrote:
Daniel Peterson wrote:Absolutely certain of the condemnation that will come my way for pointing out the obvious, I proceed to do so...

Of course you proceed. Turning threads that have little/nothing to do with you into threads about you is one of your favorite things, isn't it? Especially nice is if you can get some condemnation out of the deal to further the justification of your persecution complex, huh?

Look, it worked on me! Clever!

So, let me get this straight.

Ray can start a thread about x, and you can comment about x, but, if I'm not x, I can't comment? Because, if I do, I'm turning the thread into a discussion about me, and seeking persecution?

Does this make any sense to any of the sane critics out there? I mean, really. It makes no sense to me at all.

Obviously, I recognize that, for me at least, Eric is the third rail of MormonDiscussions.com. So I was trying to head that off. But am I really only permitted to comment on threads in which I'm the subject?

I repeat the obvious: There are at least two sides to every story. This one could be the exception. Except that it's not.

Those who, having heard one side of the story, imagine that they're equipped to pronounce judgment or to announce lessons learned are, pretty clearly, presuming more than they're in a position to presume.

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Re: Eric.

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Then quit futzing around and tell your side, Dan.
"[I]f, while hoping that everybody else will be honest and so forth, I can personally prosper through unethical and immoral acts without being detected and without risk, why should I not?." --Daniel Peterson, 6/4/14

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Re: Eric.

Post by asbestosman »

Some Schmo wrote:Many Mormon families out (or at least, look unfavorably toward) members who no longer believe. That's a fact.

I suppose, but then they aren't all like that nor would they be unique in that regard. I know Mormon families who seem to get along well with unbeliving family (at least as much as families who agree to disagree on hot topics like politics). I also know of families who have outted members who join the Mormons--my mother's parents did that to her when she converted. The lack of being unique isn't meant for justification, but rather it is a reason--together with the existence of strong LDS / former LDS mixed families--that I believe that this problem is not an inherent part of the church. Perhaps it's more common in the church or perhaps not--I don't know. I only know that it isn't the a core doctrine of the church.

Some Schmo wrote:And I'm sure my own experience (among other things) helped influence the comment "I sense he’s a genuinely good guy."

I give him the benefit of the doubt, or at least try to. I'm inclined to believe that he perceives things that way rather than think that it's how things actually are. The truth is probably somewhere in between the various sides. There are certainly thing he's said online I very much dislike, but then that holds true for other posters I enjoy.
Last edited by asbestosman on Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eric.

Post by Analytics »

Daniel Peterson wrote:Absolutely certain of the condemnation that will come my way for pointing out the obvious, I proceed to do so:

Getting your story from only one side of that story is potentially risky. In many, many ways.

One of the ways it is risky is that while you happily believe the one side you got your story from, you might inadvertently drive away a child who committed the “sin” of examining the issue more broadly.
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

Daniel Peterson wrote: So, let me get this straight.

Ray can start a thread about x, and you can comment about x, but, if I'm not x, I can't comment? Because, if I do, I'm turning the thread into a discussion about me, and seeking persecution?

Does this make any sense to any of the sane critics out there? I mean, really. It makes no sense to me at all.

Yeah, right Dan. It was just an innocuous little comment that had nothing to do with you. We should all just ignore the elephant in the room: your personal history on this board with Eric. Is that it? Are there any sane critics out there that don't know about it? Give me a break.

You might have a point if you didn't constantly seek attention, try to make threads about you, and insist on feeding your persecution complex.
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Daniel Peterson
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Re: Eric.

Post by Daniel Peterson »

Doctor Scratch wrote:Then quit futzing around and tell your side, Dan.

It's not "my" side. And, no, I won't get involved with this.

You're simply drooling at the thought that you might have some new basis on which to assault my character. Tough luck, though. Your trap is absurdly obvious.

I content myself by pointing out the obvious and undeniable fact that those who know only Eric's version of things are being overhasty and at least potentially unfair when they pronounce judgment on the situation. (Is there anybody out there to whom this really isn't undeniably, intuitively, apparent?)

Analytics wrote:One of the ways it is risky is that while you happily believe the one side you got your story from, you might inadvertently drive away a child who committed the “sin” of examining the issue more broadly.

As I thought was obvious, the "issue" to which I was referring was not the issue of the truthfulness of Mormonism, but the issue of who and what is to blame for Eric's situation, and to what extent.

Some Schmo wrote:Yeah, right Dan. It was just an innocuous little comment that had nothing to do with you. We should all just ignore the elephant in the room: your personal history on this board with Eric. Is that it? Are there any sane critics out there that don't know about it? Give me a break.

You might have a point if you didn't constantly seek attention, try to make threads about you, and insist on feeding your persecution complex.

Exactly who is it who's trying to make this thread about me, again?

Simple point: In a contentious dispute between A and B, those who have heard only A's side or only B's side run considerable risk of failing to understand the situation completely and, if they presume to pronounce judgment on the dispute, of judging incorrectly.

Simple and obvious. Even in cases involving Mormons.

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Some Schmo
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Re: Eric.

Post by Some Schmo »

Daniel Peterson wrote:
Some Schmo wrote:Yeah, right Dan. It was just an innocuous little comment that had nothing to do with you. We should all just ignore the elephant in the room: your personal history on this board with Eric. Is that it? Are there any sane critics out there that don't know about it? Give me a break.

You might have a point if you didn't constantly seek attention, try to make threads about you, and insist on feeding your persecution complex.

Exactly who is it who's trying to make this thread about me, again?

Clearly, you are. It's been established (you keep responding to the accusation... I'd think if you were trying to avoid making it about you, you'd ignore the charges). Funny how you can be here encouraging it, yet not acknowledge it... but then, you have a way of ignoring blatant evidence. Occupational hazard of being a Mormon apologist, I suppose.

*shrug*
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Re: Eric.

Post by Analytics »

Daniel Peterson wrote:
Analytics wrote:One of the ways it is risky is that while you happily believe the one side you got your story from, you might inadvertently drive away a child who committed the “sin” of examining the issue more broadly.

As I thought was obvious, the "issue" to which I was referring was not the issue of the truthfulness of Mormonism, but the issue of who and what is to blame for Eric's situation, and to what extent.

Yes, the "issue" to which you were referring to was in fact obvious. I was simply entertaining myself with the fact that your words are true for other issues as well.

I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Eric or his family, but I do know the scenario that Ray A described isn’t all that infrequent and perhaps could be avoided if the church and its members more frequently applied your advice to the church's truth-claims.

Have you noticed that the people who are the most judgmental and the least tolerant also tend to be the ones who get most of their information from one side?
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

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