Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Picture this

Picture this. You and your family all live in a small and very cramped one room home. There are spaces where there should be windows, but they are boarded-up and no light ever come through them.

Although you share the home with other members of your family, you find it really hard to see them, as the only illumination comes from a small, 5 watt bulb suspended from the middle of the room. So the room is very dimly lit and you can only ever catch glimpses of the other members of your family when they walk directly beneath the .light bulb.

Every-so-often water starts to drip down on to you and your family. This, you are told, is special water sent from God to bless you. Funny. But to you it feels cold and unpleasant. And not much of a blessing at all.

At regular intervals your family is visited by a pair of men who come to check on you and your family to ensure that all is well. They wear strange, thick clothing and have goggles on their faces to protect them from the evil that is outside of your hut.

They knock on the door with a special knock and are quickly hustled in, lest the evil influence of outside contaminate the home.

But still, you sometimes wonder what outside actually is and how evil it might really be. One evening, someone is a little slower than normal in closing the door and you catch a glimpse of outside. All you were able to see was that it looked really interesting. So, you decide to leave the safety of your family home to find out what outside was like.

When the others are praying with the visitors, you sneak out through the door, closing it behind you. You gaze around you. All you can do is say: Wow!” You see the remains of the setting sun in the West, watch the first stars coming out, twinkling in the gathering night.

You wander away, looking at everything. It all looks so beautiful. Presently, overcome by exhaustion, you fall asleep under a hedge.

The next morning you are awoken by the singing of many different types of birds. And you see the sun rise. You look around you, shielding your eyes. You are unaccustomed to such brightness, but your eyes gradually adjust.

You retrace your footsteps as best you can. Eventually you find your home. What a terrible shock. Your home, of which your parents are so proud, is, you see, nothing but a small and cramped shack. But worse than that.

It is quite clear that it is built out of a variety of strange materials, all from different sources. Old packing crates, randomly sized bits of wood, all held together with bent nails, bits of old string. From where you stand you can see the flat roof of the hovel that you have called home all your life. There were so many holes in it that there was no wonder water fell on you and your family.

As you walk towards your home, you see a pair of the visitors staggering down the street, in their thick clothing, clutching each other. You wonder if one of them is ill. But then you notice that they are both wearing goggles that are totally painted over with black paint. They are clutching each other because they can barely see where they are going.

Somehow they make it to a neighbouring hovel that is similar to the one you call home. There are, you notice, a small number of these hovels all gathered together in a piece of rough land bounded by a tumbledown fence. There is a rickety slam as they are hustled into the hovel.

All around them there is fantastic beauty. Trees, vales, open pastures, farmland, gorgeous hills, valleys, majestic mountains. Everything. As your gaze shifts toward your home, the hovel, you start to weep. How could you and your family have lived in such a horrible home, whilst all around was not great evil and horrors but a truly beautiful world?

You resolve to tell your family the truth. You run to your door and open it. The action of your family surprises you. Shocks you, even. As the light of the day falls on them, they scream in terror. They push you out, shouting that you had been tainted by the evils of the world. They slam the door behind you, and you see the whole, pitiful shack shake and vibrate with the force.

You spend hours and hours hammering on the door, shouting for your family to join you in the light. But they do not even deign to give you a direct response. Instead they sing hymns to drown out the sound of your voice.

Eventually, you realise that you will never reach your family. So you turn to leave, noticing that it is already coming upon the evening time, again.

As you stand outside the hovel, wondering what to do next, several people approach you. They identify themselves as fellow former dwellers in the hovels with their own families. Some had their entire family with them, others one or two family members but most were like you, with only themselves having been able to escape their family’s hovel.

They invite you to join them. So you do, wandering off to see what great adventures might exist outside of the hovel that your family called home. Picture this.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

“OK, Matt! Apart from posting on RFM and your Notamormon blog, what exactly do you do?”

I write. All day long at work I write. I work as a journalist for a small publishing company. Although the company is small that doesn’t stop it from publishing five different magazines every month. (Actually, 2 are published 17 times a year, rather than 12 times) Unfortunately I am the only full time journalist employed by the company. We use some freelance writers, (some are a hinderence rather than a help as I have to sub-edit their work and do some re-writes) but I write most of the copy for the magazines, all of which are between 40 something to 64 pages, depending on advertising sold.

So, what do I do when I get back home? I write. Why? Because the way I earn my living is also my hobby. Great. I found someone kind enough to pay me for my hobby!

One of the things I run is my own News Portal, which is found at www.thatsnews.org.uk which leads on to a variety of news channels. News, health and nutrition, building and construction, business news, book reviews, etc.

There’s even a special section for Apple Mac users (called Apple Mac Heaven!) and I have a weekly humour column by Jason Love.

You know something? Although my lifestyle is a bit high stress, I love it to bits! Would I have been able to do the same kind of stuff had I been a Mormon? Hell, no! There’s no way my life would have worked out the way it did with the dead hand of Mormonism laying its rotting hand on my shoulder.

This is shameless self promotion. If you like my www.thatsnews.org.uk website, would you be able to help me by linking to it? (I’ll do reciprocal links, of course)

Also, does anyone have a bit of simple html code that I could use to create a linkable banner so that I will be able to replace the simple html link on the top of each portal entry page with a nice banner? If you do, please email this to me at matt_exmo@yahoo.co.uk Thanks!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I have decided to write a book.

It will be based on my Ex-Mormon blogging here at Notamormon. I think that I will called it Not a Mormon, anymore.

Those of you who have followed my blog since the early days (it seems like years, but it is only several months, honestly!) know what kind of material it will cover. To others? Well, it may come as a surprise.

Will I use my real name on the book? (That is always provided I can find someone willing to publish it!) I have thought long and hard about this. I was very tempted to use my real name.

But what if I don’t? What if I just sign myself as Matt? Now, if I do that, then nobody will know who I am. I could be that person who a TBM has not seen in church for a while. Maybe it is their cousin Billy? Or perhaps I am that British missionary they met whilst they were on their mission in Australia?

You see, if I were to say: “I am so-and-so”, every TBM could be tempted to think: “His story would never have happened in MY ward!” When, in fact, every ex-Mormon knows that our kind of story happens in every ward and branch all over the world.

In closing this blog post anyone got the contact details of a publisher who would be willing to look at publishing an exmo book? Just email me the details, please! Ta!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fictionalised references to Mountain Meadows massacre

Jack London wrote directly about the infamous moment when Mormons inflicted this secret mass murder upon innocent men, women and children.

But exactly how secret was it? Jack London wrote an outstanding novel based on it and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle msde an oblique reference to it in A Study in Scarlet.

Do you know of any other books that make mention of the Mountain Meadows Massacre?

Here is Conan Doyle' obliuque mention of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

"Arthur Conan Doyle
A Study in Scarlet
Chapter 3
John Ferrier Talks with the Prophet
Three weeks had passed since Jefferson Hope and his comrades had departed from Salt Lake City. John FerrierÂ’s heart was sore within him when he thought of the young manÂ’s return, and of the impending loss of his adopted child. Yet her bright and happy face reconciled him to the arrangement more than any argument could have done. He had always determined, deep down in his resolute heart, that nothing would ever induce him to allow his daughter to wed a Mormon. Such marriage he regarded as no marriage at all, but as a shame and a disgrace. Whatever he might think of the Mormon doctrines, upon that one point he was inflexible. He had to seal his mouth on the subject, however, for to express an unorthodox opinion was a dangerous matter in those days in the Land of the Saints.

Yes, a dangerous matter— so dangeous that even the most saintly dared only whisper their religious opinions with bated breath, lest something which fell from their lips might be misconstrued, and bring down a swift retribution upon them. The victims of persecution had now turned persecutors on their own account, and persecutors of the most terrible description. Not the Inquisition of Seville, nor the German Vehmgericht, nor the secret societies of Italy, were ever able to put a more formidable machinery in motion than that which cast a cloud over the state of Utah.

Its invisibility, and the mystery which was attached to it, made this organization doubly terrible. It appeared to be omniscient and omnipotent, and yet was neither seen nor heard. The man who held out against the Church vanished away, and none knew whither he had gone or what had befallen him. His wife and his children awaited him at home, but no father ever returned to tell them how he had fared at the hands of his secret judges.

A rash word or a hasty act was followed by annihilation, and yet none knew what the nature might be of this terrible power which was suspended over them. No wonder that men went about in fear and trembling, and that even in the heart of the wilderness they dared not whisper the doubts which oppressed them.

At first this vague and terrible power was exercised only upon the recalcitrants who, having embraced the Mormon faith, wished afterwards to pervert or to abandon it. Soon, however, it took a wider range. The supply of adult women was running short, and polygamy without a female population on which to draw was a barren doctrine indeed. Strange rumours began to be bandied about — rumours of murdered immigrants and rifled camps in regions where Indians had never been seen.

Fresh women appeared in the harems of the Elders — women who pined and wept, and bore upon their faces the traces of an unextinguishable horror. Belated wanderers upon the mountains spoke of gangs of armed men, masked, stealthy, and noiseless, who flitted by them in the darkness. These tales and rumours took substance and shape, and were corroborated and recorroborated, until they resolved themselves into a definite name. To this day, in the lonely ranches of the West, the name of the Danite Band, or the Avenging Angels, is a sinister and an ill-omened one.

Fuller knowledge of the organization which produced such terrible results served to increase rather than to lessen the horror which it inspired in the minds of men. None knew who belonged to this ruthless society. The names of the participators in the deeds of blood and violence done under the name of religion were kept profoundly secret.

The very friend to whom you communicated your misgivings as to the Prophet and his mission might be one of those who would come forth at night with fire and sword to exact a terrible reparation. Hence every man feared his neighbour, and none spoke of the things which were nearest his heart.

One fine morning John Ferrier was about to set out to his wheatfields, when he heard the click of the latch, and, looking through the window, saw a stout, sandy-haired, middle-aged man coming up the pathway. His heart leapt to his mouth, for this was none other than the great Brigham Young himself. Full of trepidation — for he knew that such a visit boded him little good — Ferrier ran to the door to greet the Mormon chief. The latter, however, received his salutations coldly, and followed him with a stern face into the sitting-room.