Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Last COV for 2007!

Hi! Welcome to the last COV for 2007. A bit sparse this issue, but with the holiday season, that’s only to be expected.

The first is a review of The Golden Compass from the Eight Hour Lunch blog. Actually, no, that’s not quite true. It is a review of a campaign to smear the film. Glad to see Eight Hour Lunch back with blogs.

http://www.eighthourlunch.com/2007/12/-vatican-newspaper-pans.html
“I've been following with some disgust the Catholic smear campaign against The Golden Compass. I know I'm a little late to the controversy, but that's because I've been busy doing something the critics at the Vatican were either too busy or too dishonest to do--I'm actually reading it.

I'm two-thirds of the way through the last book of the trilogy now, and I'd recommend the books to anyone. As I've read, the main characters have demonstrated nothing if not a driving hope for a better life and a deep and loyal commitment to the people who deserve their love. Pullman's clever and engaging style create a universe that's easy and enjoyable to immerse yourself in.”

(COV EDITOR: I have to admit I can’t get into Pullman’s style. Not my cup of tea, somehow…)

And the second one is another submission from Eight Hour Lunch. Two for the price of one! Can’t be a bad deal!

http://www.eighthourlunch.com/2007/12/not-a-bad-year.html

“Fighting a Losing Battle
Good news (un)faithful readers and podcast listeners! Your diligent work on the Web is starting to show returns. Mormon "apostle" Melvin Russell Ballard wants the faithful to step up the blogging!

“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches.”

Well, I've got news for you Melvin, your church doesn't have a leg to stand on even as you define it. As one of your sincere and devoted critics please allow me to congratulate you for arriving (albeit embarrassingly late) to the party.

Before you get too excited imagining the hoards of devoted young believers falling over themselves to follow your counsel, consider the humble numbers of this single blog. Last year, the Eight Hour Lunch Podcast was downloaded 14,582 times. Since January 1, 2007 this single site has served over 33,530 pages. And I've done a piss-poor job of keeping it current.”

(COV EDITOR: Great post! It makes some very telling points. But what faithful Mormon knows what their church teaches now? (Hinckley has spent so long denying the basic tenets of Mormon Doctrine that they are wandering around wondering who or what to believe.)

And from me, Matt, here is my post-Christmas post

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/12/post-christmas-musings-from-matt.html

“Hi. Hope you all had a good Christmas. I did. Champagne, wine, Sherry, Scotch, Port, real ale, lager, tea, coffee and some Vimto, too. (Vimto is a cordial that you add to water, though it is also available as a ready mixed drink, often carbonated. So you see the difference between me and a Mormon is that I can chose to drink alcohol or to not drink alcohol. Mormons do not have the luxury of free will.”

Also, a bit of fun with online photomanipulation of Mormon prophets

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/12/fun-photomanipulating-brigham-young-and.html

And also, a bit of fun, the Nativity story, seem from the point of view of the Cat at the Inn.

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/12/cats-nativity-story-for-christmas.html

Hope you enjoy that piece of fiction.

Happy New Year!
See you in two weeks time!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fun photomanipulating Brigham Young and others



Whilst whiling away a few moments I thought: "Why not play Wordo at http://www.miniclip.com/? When I arrived at Miniclip my attention was drawn to the following game: Putty Face.




My first effort is above.


Have fun!

Post Christmas musings from Matt

Hi. Hope you all had a good Christmas. I did. Champagne, wine, Sherry, Scotch, Port, real ale, lager, tea, coffee and some Vimto, too. (Vimto is a cordial that you add to water, though it is also available as a ready mixed drink, often carbonated. So you see the difference between me and a Mormon is that I can chose to drink alcohol or to not drink alcohol. Mormons do not have the luxury of free will.

Visited my mother on Christmas Eve, which was nice. She is getting better but oddly enough made little mention of her usual favourite topic, Mormonism, which made a nice change.

More post-Christmas expense. My poor Compaq laptop is getting a little tired and old so will be given a life of partial retirement. I have bought an HP Pavilion. It was the only computer close to my budget and has a much bigger screen so that should be good for my aging eyes!

Also had to buy a new modem, a Zyxel. I was going to use it in wireless mode but decided to use Ethernet, instead. AOL has cocked up and it is not possible at the moment to have AOL on my new computer at the moment.

I think that’s enough waffle from me. Happy New Year, everyone! See you in two weeks!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Cat's Nativity. A story for the Christmas season

This story is for your enjoyment.

THE CAT’S CHRISTMAS

It was springtime. While the days were getting warmer, it was still very cold at nights when you could see the stars, bright and twinkly in the sky. When I was a kitten I used to try and catch them. But now I am an adult cat I know I would have to jump very high to catch them, perhaps even twenty times my length- far too high for a cat!

I am not usually allowed in the part of the house where my people lived. Though I am sometimes allowed in, but I can see no reason why sometimes I am allowed in, but other times not. It is hard to work out what human people do. With cat people, it is easy.

My special human friend lives there with her parents. Usually we play together; sometimes we both cuddle up and sleep in front of the oven in the back room.

She is usually kind. Sometimes she oversteps the mark, but a thump with a paw or -occasionally- a slap with one claw across the back of her hand is enough to re-establish the limits. Well, you have to keep kittens in their place (even human ones) or very soon you would not know where you are!

The lady -the mistress- is kind enough to me and gets me food and water. Still, as she says, it is my job to kill any mice and rats that dare to enter her territory.

The master is different. Although he swears about me, he is really secretly very fond of me, making a fuss of me when he thinks nobody is watching. Although he tells the mistress off for feeding me too much, he secretly feeds me much more tasty morsels than she EVER does!

The master always talks to me, as he paces up and down in the back room. But recently he began to become more and more angry. I don’t mind this, but I do have to be very wary of his legs and feet and try to keep out of his way, whilst doing my best to look attentive.

I’ts a disgrace, cat! He shouted. How can we be expected to house all the hundreds of people who will be coming back to Bethlehem, just so they can be counted? The people know they exist, we know they exist, so what is the problem?

Don’t tell me! –It’s because a stupid Roman thought up the idea. Mind you, cat, that’s all the Romans know about anything. Building straight roads through things, not round them like good, God fearing people, worshipping false idols and counting people for tax reasons, as if they were wine sponges to be squeezed!

I sat watching him. I know my part.

He suddenly bent down and ruffled my fur and gave me a piece of meat. I purred as I eat it, just to show how much I appreciate his acts of kindness. In a way, I suppose I like him best of all.

I was normally indifferent to the strangers who come. -I remember when I was a kitten I did not like them, but quickly I realised that humans kick you or tread on your tail usually because as their heads and eyes are in such a funny position they cant see anything in front of them properly! I Laughed when I worked this out. It seems such a sad deformity for them to be burdened with.

Also, I realised that there was a link between the people staying and how much food would be bought. The strangers came with money that the mistress used to go to the market and exchange for food in the market.

I used to follow her there every morning when I was a kitten, but I soon found that not everyone liked cats, so I decided to stay at home and wait for her, instead.

I began not to like the place so much as more and more people began to come and stay. There was so many of them that they even slept in the back room where mistress prepared the food -and that had NEVER happened before!

To stay out of harms way I began spending more and more of my time in the stable across the back of the yard with the sheep, goats and cattle. -Mind you, the master’s cousin and uncle had just taken the sheep up into the hills as they do every spring.

I was in the house late one evening -just waiting for an opportunity to retreat to the stable in a huff!- when someone -it was a man from some place in the North -wherever THAT is!- said; This is strange -its light outside, yet there’s no moon tonight. Must be an omen of some kind. Should we get a Rabbi, do you think?

If he can fit in here, said a young man with a gruff voice. Anyway, what would you do, hide beneath his beard?! Everyone laughed, but I could tell they were all a bit nervous, which made me worried, too.

As the laughing died down, there was a thumping on the door.

No! We can’t fit anyone else in. -Cant they read the notice you put on the door?

The master said; Maybe not. Not all can read. I’ll deal with it. Shouldn’t take me too long. I followed him to the door. -After all, I am a cat and it is in our nature to need to know what is happening. Besides, I like to greet and inspect our guests!

As he stood before the door I could see that he was working himself up to turn the latecomer away. As he opened the door the words seemed to die in his throat as we were met by a pitiful sight.

On the doorstep was a man who looked so tired that he lent on his staff, nearly ready to drop. He looked like a well-to-do craftsman, but he was covered with the dirt of many days journey.

But he was not really what caught our attention, for he was not alone. With him, a little way back in the road, was a young girl on a very tired donkey. As I looked at her I could see that she looked worn out and was heavily in kitten.

Please, the man sounded tired beyond endurance. I know you are full, but my wife is pregnant and we have come from Nazareth for the Roman Census.

The master looked upset, for all his gruff ways he is a very kindly man.

I’m sorry, but there really is no room at the inn. -Why not try Zac’s place further down on the market street?

We did. He sent us to you.

The girl gave a little gasp. Joseph. -Please. Just take me to the edge of town. I think I must be near to my time. You’ll have to build me a little tent with your cloak.

You will do no such thing! Shouted the master. I am sure we can find a corner or... Suddenly he stopped. What am I thinking of? We have as much room as you could want and more, besides! -Come with me!

He went outside and if I hadn’t nimbly jumped to one side, he would have kicked me as he hurried round to the side gate which led to the yard.

He pointed to the stable; When I first started the inn, that was it. Guests and us upstairs, animals downstairs. We built the new place six years ago.

It’s not too bad. -The floors upstairs are too dangerous; otherwise you could have gone upstairs and used that. But there’s plenty of room downstairs, so long as you don’t mind sharing with the animals. -Still, the lads collected the sheep a week or two back to take them up to the hills, so there’s more room than there would have been.

Get your belongings sorted out and whilst you do that, Ill go and get the wife to bring you some blankets and some food. -I thought she was mad when she and some lad she’d hired to help her turned up with so much food from the market this morning. Told me she had a feeling that she should. Maybe she was right.

The man and the woman looked at each other and a smile passed between them as if they were sharing some secret joke.

As he strode across the yard the master said; normally can’t see a thing at night when the moon isn’t out, without a lantern, but there’s a big star or something up there, right above us. I suppose King Herrod’s wise men will be trying to work out what it means. -Much good it will do them. He’s not a patch on his Father, the old king, that one!

He left the couple in the stables and as he returned to the house I waited and watched the couple as they settled in.

There was something strange about the woman. -Strange but sort of beautiful. It was odd, but she was almost as beautiful as a cat.

Her husband and my mistress helped put her down on a bed of straw my master had hurriedly put together. He apologised for how rough it was, but she said it felt as if she was in a palace. She smiled at him and he went bright red, and coughed.

Not long after that, she gave birth. Now, I have seen my mistress drop a litter of human kittens –well, I say litter, but she only ever has one at a time!- and normally there is a lot of shouting and yelling, but the woman was very quiet and almost peaceful.

But when her kitten was born, he looked at me! I know he did. And he smiled at me. I stared at him and I felt all weak on my legs, like I had never felt before. But it was a good, warm feeling. Like when your mother cuddles you and licks you all over. That kind of feeling. They wrapped him up –I expect it was because all human children lose their fur, somehow, and laid him in a little box thing, called a manger. He seemed a lot more quiet than most human kittens, I thought. All the while, through the night there was a funny bright light in the sky. It did not make much difference to me (I can get by in the day or night with my sharp eyes) but it upset and intrigued the humans.

The man sorted out the Roman Census for him and his wife. Though there was a bit of confusion as the child had been born here in Bethlehem and not where they came from. But that was sorted out.

Soon, everyone had gone back to their homes, everyone except our regular guests, a travelling salesman and our family in the stables. Master and mistress begged them to come in –their names were Joseph and Mary, but they said they were very comfortable where they were and did not wish to move again so soon! Mistress was worried she would look like a bad landlady, but I told her it would be alright, as I would look after them and keep an eye on them. The lads with the sheep came down to see the baby, they even bought a lamb with them. They said it could not have lived outside, but it wasn’t that cold out there. I think the boy with them just wanted to introduce his favourite lamb to the special human kitten!

It was one of these occasions when I was watching over them that I saw three very important looking humans on camels. In case you have never seen a camel they are like horses, but not quite. They were dressed in fine robes and they gave presents to the baby, but the mother and the father seemed anxious.

Then, as quickly as they came, the family went away again. Some important person came looking for them, a messenger from the King, but my humans were only able to say they had gone to Egypt and had not said if they would be back.

***

I am an old cat now, my whiskers are drooping a bit, my fur is going grey, my bones ache sometimes and me and master do not do very much now, but sit by the fire and we both purr, but I still miss that human kitten, the one they called Jesus.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

COV 16th December 2007

Well, here we are. The last COV before Christmas! I nearly have all of my Christmas shopping done, but will probably be out on Christmas Eve, doing some last minute gift buying!

But on with the COV for 16th of December!

Sideon writes:
Here's the link for my COV contribution, which is about Romney. I love the guy like I love George Bush and Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, which is the kind of love that can best be measured with an electronic microscope. Other measurements would require a ruler, but that's another topic for another day.

http://sideon.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/sl-trib-comments-about-romney

“SL Trib comments about Romney
It’s been curious seeing the headlines change through the day about Romney and his “historic” speech. Initially, the headlines highlighted this gem: “Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.” (Hey Jesus, can you come back down here and bitch-slap your followers starting with Romney, please pretty please?)”


And now to From the Ashes a Christmas-themed posting
http://emergingfromtheashes.blogspot.com/2006/12/winter-solstice-and-ritual.html

“I grew up thinking that pagans were the epitome of evil. Worse than Catholics or Muslims, because at least they believed in God. My exposure to pagans and paganism was extremely limited, of course. My only exposure, I think, was from the movie Dragnet with Dan Aykroyd. Those pagans partied, did drugs, stole police cars, dressed in animal skins, and sacrificed virgins. And wasn't there something about playboy bunnies? They were bad. Okay, so I still think sacrificing virgins or anyone else is definitely not a good idea, but my thoughts on paganism have changed.”

MATT INTERJECTS: This was the Mormon upbringing that I had, too. I tried to square it with the fact that my Grandmother was a descendent of the Wise Women of Wales (she could cure warts, for example) and I failed. Grandmother would be pleased with the fact that I left Mormonism)


And a Christmas time post From The Ashes Post

http://emergingfromtheashes.blogspot.com/2007/12/were-happier-than-everyone-else.html

“We got roped into attending a Baptist church's Christmas choir performance today, as my father-in-law was playing in the orchestra. Not our cup of tea, but we wanted to go at least to support him. You know, the "the relationship is most important" mantra I'm trying to use to negotiate this Mormon-EvilAtheist divide in the family.”

And next we go over to the blog of Sister Mary Lisa
http://sistermarylisa.blogspot.com/2007/12/if-i-were-free-from-all-fear-i-would.html

“If I were free of all fear, I would...
I have an idea that I'd like to try with the help of my friends who read my blog. Once a very good friend gave me the assignment to write about this topic:

I posted it elsewhere, and it was raw and scary and amazing to write about my fears and to interact with others about them from the relative anonymity of the internet. So I hereby propose that it'd be cool for anyone who wishes to anonymously send me their thoughts on this topic, and I'll post them here for anyone to read and comment on. Trust me, this is way cool to do. It puts you in touch with yourself in a way that is not common, and I was so glad I did it.”

Now to South Bay Soliloquies

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/12/bricked-ipod-update.html

This is really scary and NOT for the fainthearted! It’s about IPod surgery!!

“Bricked iPod, Update
I finally got around to cracking my iPod case open. It took a penknife and a guitar pick. If you try this at home, know that there's a little trick to it and you really have to dig at the case to get it to pop open the first time. There are videos floating around on youTube if you want a little guidance.”


And here’s one from CV Rick aka Ninja Writer but NOT Clutch, as that’s not what he is known by in the Blogosphere. Sorry ‘bout that. I’ll keep that in mind for the future!

Hey,

Here's my submission.
http://www.cvrick.com/cv_rick/2007/12/growing-up-morm.html

It's about the Christmas Tree, so that's appropriate.


And here is the submission of Matt

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/12/i-think-my-brother-has-problem-with-me.html

“I think my brother has a problem with me. But I am not entirely certain why. In fact, in truth, I haven’t got the foggiest notion what crap he is pulling through him! Seriously I would like some input on this one as it is a puzzle to me. Can you please comment on this problem I have? I think there might be multiple causes.”

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, folks!

The next COV will be Sunday 30th of December.

I think my brother has a problem with me...

I think my brother has a problem with me... But I am not entirely certain why. In fact, in truth, I haven’t got the foggiest notion what crap he is pulling through him! Seriously I would like some input on this one as it is a puzzle to me. Can you please comment on this problem I have? I think there might be multiple causes.

Firstly, I think he might resent the fact that I am out of TSCC. I mean, let’s face it? What will I do this Christmas?

After a leisurely and late breakfast with a mug of Irish Coffee, or freshly brewed coffee, we will enjoy mince pies and a glass or two of vintage Port or Sherry.

We might enjoy a glass or two of 10 year old single malt and settle down to watch some Carol service on the TV. We might even take in a Carol service at the local church. (We probably won’t, but we could, if we wanted to.)

With our Christmas dinner we will enjoy some suitable white and red wines –perhaps a Rose?- to go with the various courses. And afterwards we will open up a bottle of Champagne.

We will then sample various beers and with our supper (turkey and stuffing sandwiches) we will drink a little more wine and go for a walk in the cold air here on the English/Welsh border. When we get back we will enjoy glasses of Smoking Bishop and more mince pies!

(Here’s the recipe for Smoking Bishop http://www.msgr.ca/msgr-2/dickens_smoking_bishop.htm which is basically a mulled wine punch.)

And what will my brother and his family enjoy?

Breakfast with Barleycup. (A vile concoction that many people have a life-threatening allergy to).

Mince pies with Welch's Grape Juice. (I tried Welch’s grape juice at a food show recently. It has to be one of the most evil-tasting drinks I have ever tried. Any Mormon who expresses “love” for it is a liar, in my opinion.

And then it’s a case of “Anyone for another drink of Hemlock... err... sorry!... Barleycup?

With Christmas dinner there’s either Welch’s Grape Juice or Schloer grape juice which is just a little more palatable than Welch’s. But not by much!

My bother did not want me to know he was emigrating to Canada with his family. And seemed really put out when our mother mentioned this to me in passing.

Even more galling only months later it seems his darling wife who was pushing to emigrate to Canada now decides she doesn’t like Canada, so is pushing for them to move back!

He came back home for a week –he stayed at our mother’s flat- but not once made any effort to contact me. I phoned my mother on Monday to check if he was alright, he came later that day and he left late Friday afternoon, just before I phoned my mother again.

He clearly wants nowt to do with me. But why?

The summer before last my aunt had her 90th birthday. I was holding a plate and a can of lager when my nephew asked me to write down my email address. I asked him to hold my plate and drink whilst I wrote it down. At this my brother came running over, knocking an elderly relative out of the way in his haste. He realised what had happened –that I had not been offering my nephew (who is 16) a drink and looked very, very foolish indeed. (I’ll add here that under UK law it is perfectly permissible for children to drink alcohol within the home, and also for children 14 aqnd up to consume alcohol in licensed premises with a meal.)

What my brother did not know was that I had been giving my nephew the kind of talk HE should give him! My brother is under the impression that his son does not drink alcohol because “the church teaches that we should not drink alcohol.” WRONG! Sadly, my nephew drinks like a fish. Not wisely or sensibly, mind you, but spirits and he and his friends guzzle the bottles down until they are empty.

I pointed out that this was not sensible as it would make him feel very ill. He admitted that it did, I advised him to either keep of spirits altogether, or to mix water or soft drinks with them. If you want to drink alcohol, I told him, stick to small amounts of lager, or beer. I told him about the advantages of drinking real ale over other alcoholic drinks (highly carbonated lagers will make you drunk much quicker.)

Actually, my brother –who is a couple of years younger than me- has resented me for quite a while before that incident, so I don’t think it could be that.

At another family party my mother had found me in the kitchen chatting about various types of real ale that we had tried. She looked at me, looked over at my brother (who had his “smug git” expression on) and she surprised me by saying: “Talking about beer with the lads, are you?” To which I proudly acknowledged .

She looked at me, looked at my cousin, patted me on the arm and said: “Well, thank God ONE of my boys has turned out normal!”

As she walked off, a smile on her lips, my cousin –who is a nevermo- said: “What the bloody hell was all that about?” To which I replied: “I haven’t a clue!”

My brother also has a problem with my wife. She is a Catholic and that has caused some friction.

So… any ideas? Please post your comments!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mitt Romney Agitates Confederate Descendants

Sons of Confederate Veterans leader Christopher M. Sullivan issued the following statement in response to the CNN Republican debate Wednesday 28 November. "Mitt Romney proposes himself to be president of the United States but last night he clearly demonstrated not only his ignorance of American history but also his contempt for Southerners who love and respect their Confederate ancestors.

"Gov. Romney went way over the line when he attacked Southerners for respecting the historical significance of the Confederate flag. Perhaps the citizens of his state of Massachusetts still hate Southerners, but Gov. Romney should not expect us to accept his outrageous attack on Southern heritage."

Responding to a question about the Confederate flag, Romney said, "That flag frankly, is divisive and shouldn't be shown. Right now with the kinds of issues we've got in this country, I'm not going to get involved with a flag like that."

"That's not a flag that I would recognise so that I would hold it up in my room."

"The people of our country have decided not to fly that flag. I think that's the right thing."

Sullivan went on to say, "We were not aware that the people of the country have had their First Amendment rights abridged as Mr. Romney seems to desire. Whether Gov. Romney likes it or not, Confederate flags are freely flown throughout the U.S. and in other countries as well."

"The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. does not participate in partisan politics. We do speak out when anyone disparages the honorable service of Confederate soldiers and the symbols which identified them," Sullivan concluded.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Here it is! The latest issue of COV for Sunday 2nd December

This week (says aneweric) I speak my mind about the current flap concerning the speech given by Julie Beck at LDS conference, and how many LDS women are banding together to protest the image of an ideal woman as espoused by Beck.

“Yesterday I posted the "talk" given by Julie Beck, Relief Society General President, unedited. I needed to think about how I wanted to formulate my final response to this topic, so I posted it without commentary. I gave myself some time to mull it over.

In my opinion, Beck is either kidding herself or acting as a flunky for church leadership.

I see why the group at whatwomenknow.org are upset with Beck. In one short, relatively inane address Beck managed to insult just about any woman, LDS or not. Despite my feelings on this subject, I will focus more on the technical aspects of her speech as well as the meaning of her words.”

Eric’s analysis of what Beck said is on the money, to my way of thinking. Of course, it is possible that Beck was only saying what she had been told to say. The GOF (Grand Old Fossils) of TSCC (The So-called Church) might have wanted this message sent out to out of control Mormon females. “Some of them have GASP!- got more than one piercing! And of them are not popping out babies like rabbits! We must stop this wild behaviour!”


Next up is something rather special from Kita Kazoo. It is an article she has written for her own webpage:

”This week I have written an article for our webpage that I want to submit. http://happy-valley-tattoo.com/2007/11/mormon-tattoo-piercing-controversy.html

This is a very well researched piece. One quote from it is “To further the injury of one’s personal opinion of fashion being stated as if it is a law from God, President Hinckley allows for one sort of permanent decorative change to ones appearance and not another, which seems hypocritical to me. Mr. Hinckley allows within the church for women to have their faces tattooed with permanent cosmetics and wear pierced earrings, (but one pair only – one in each ear) as those are socially acceptable with in his peer group.”

Is it possible that Mr Hinckley just hasn’t heard of permanent cosmetics at his advanced time in life? So this means that his decisions –and here’s a shocker!- are based not on revelations from God but on his own prejudicial views, only!


And now, here’s one from Clutch. Quite a sad one, actually.

http://www.cvrick.com/cv_rick/2007/11/growing-up-mo-4.html

“I watched my father's music choices change as he gave his life over to the Mormon church.”

(Yes, the Mormon church destroyed my family’s happy pre-Mormon life, too, slowly, for several years after my mother decided we were going to become Mormons. Then there was none of it left…)


And from South Bay Soliloquies, a movie review of Hitman. (Or a film review for us Brits. Some of which still call them The Flicks, based on the original touring Victorian showmen who used to tour with hand-cranked devices with moving images caused by the flicking of pictures…)

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/11/movie-review-hitman.html


And here is mine for this issue:-

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/12/agenda-take-your-agenda-and-shove-it.html

“Agenda? Take your agenda and shove it!

Sometimes the RFM board pisses me off. There are some people who use it to push a particular agenda. These usually have naff-all to do with the real agenda of the board, that of Recovery From Mormonism.”


That’s it for this issue!

See you in two weeks time, Sunday 23rd December. Yes. That’s Christmas week. Have fun! And please do send your entry in.

Maybe we could have a bit of Christmas fun with that one…

Agenda? Take your agenda and shove it!

Sometimes the RFM board pisses me off. There are some people who use it to push a particular agenda. These usually have naff-all to do with the real agenda of the board, that of Recovery From Mormonism.

We have had people fulminating about the evils of the education system (which one? Some people forget not everyone on RFM lives where THEY do! A bit of cultural imperialism if ever I saw it!).

Others fulminate about the dangers of NOT using the education system and drone on interminably about the evils and dangers of home schooling. (They base this on the fact that a family member home schools and is not doing a particularly good job. –In their opinion, that is… They seem to overlook the fact that it might be their family who can’t home school, or that their opinion of how their family member teachers their child is flawed.)

There are others who just because someone mentions in passing using a so-called alternative health remedy for a minor ailment drag out their own “anti-alternative health” agenda and take over RFM ranting and raving against each and every “alternative medicine paradigm” as if it were the same.

Salt water douche for the nose? Acupuncture, massage therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, meditation, Yoga, ear candles, breathing exercises, Reiki, Traditional Chinese Medicine, NLP, Vitamins, minerals, Bio-feedback, flower essences, herbal medicine, etc., it is all treated in exactly the same way. With- Hysterical Ignorance.

Actually Several of us on the RFM board have concluded –based on years of observation – that most of these anti-alternative medicine people only ever turn up when someone posts something mentioning alternative medicine in a positive light.

There was an experiment to this end. A post with only a passing positive reference to an alternative health remedy was put on the board. And, sure enough, within a very short period of time a group of people (who were new to RFM) began posting anti-alternative health attacks (mostly ad hom attacks on RFM posters) and the usual suspects on the board who like to think of themselves as experts on every subject under the sun joined in, unaware that they had been dragged in to a bogus debate by a bunch of paid professional sock puppets with an agenda far removed from RFM!

Amusingly some of the posters quoted from some VERY dubious sources: For example a doctor who had LOST a case in which he had libelled another MD, and who had thus lost the respect of his colleagues. Others quoted from a Canadian doctor who had been running a campaign to have any mother whose child died in a house fire caused by the child playing with matches or fire lighters charged with murder. But of course, they were only interested in his crackpot views on medicine, not any of his other equally deluded and dangerous views… And why only mothers, not fathers?)

Then there’s the Darwin ID and atheism agenda and the “debate” this engenders. If you can call being a rude SOB a debate! There are those who think that by quoting great lumpen wodges of barely relevant text from Wikipedia and Google that this proves the point that they are making. It doesn’t. It just pisses others off.

Of course, whenever this is pointed out on the board, toys are thrown out of the pram, and nappies/diapers filled as the poor wee mite loses control of their bowel movements as they contort their little baby faces in to masks of rage!

They give the impression of not really wanting views that differ from their own to be expressed on RFM...

And others seem to have the agenda of always having to be right. They just love to argue. They claim knowledge they can’t have, claiming that YOUR personal experience did not happen! For example: “YOU could not have had to get the police to issue an order to the local Bishop! YOU could not have served in three different countries on your mission! YOU could not have been spoken to like that by a Bishop!” (Well gee, thanks, mate. But I was there. You weren’t.)

I remember one poster who denied on the board that the temperature at 1pm where I live was 90oF. He based this on the fact that the temperature at a place 200 miles distant had been projected to be only 70oF at 6am. (That’s 200 miles distant, and 7 hours earlier, before the sun had risen in the sky, and projected figures only. And in the UK even only 2 miles can mean the difference between sunshine and torrential rain. It’s due to the fact that three different weather centres meet over the UK.)

Even though at least five other posters in the UK confirmed that the temperature had risen to the 90s from as far a field as South Wales and Scotland, he STILL claimed that he was right and that all the posts from the UK were coming from one person. Even though the other posters confirming this were regular posters who had ALL signed in on the board!

Oh. Sorry. That turned into a rant. But I DID enjoy it! Maybe we should rant a bit more, I wonder?!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Carnival of the Veil Blast from the past! AKA COV Eighteen and a half!

Thanks for your archived posts. Here they are

This is from Clutch

“And here's one of my favorites from my blog, it's about how a Mormon 
family can certainly interfere with young relationships:”
http://www.cvrick.com/cv_rick/2007/07/growing-up-mo-3.html

And from South Bay Soliloquies a rather sobering post about sexual violence in Utah

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2006/03/sexual-violence-in-utah.html

And here is my achieved post as to why MLMs seem to be so very popular amongst Mormons

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2006/08/why-do-so-many-mormons-enter-mlm.html

Should this be a new, occasional feature of COV? What does everyone think?

Carnival of the Veil for Sunday 18 November


Here is the Carnival of the Veil for Sunday 18 November.

We start off with A New Eric.

http://www.aneweric.com/index.php?blog=1&title=theoanthropological_revisionism_does_tru&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

‘As I’m sure my voice will be one of thousands upon thousands who throw their two cents into this discussion, I will do my best to limit the tone of this article to a less-emotional voice.

On November 8th, 2007, it was revealed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was changing a single word in the Book of Mormon to reflect “details of the Book of Mormon demography which are not known.”’

As Eric points out this is revisionism. Mormon-style.


Sideon has moved. He no longer users Blogger he is now over at Wordpress

http://sideon.wordpress.com/2007/11/16/gender-roles/

Takes you to his latest posting, which is about gender roles

“A “powerful” woman is as frightening today as it was in the 1700’s, just as much as a foppish man gets little or no respect. And nothing makes straight men more instantly insane than the thought of a gay man that can kick their ass, an even more fearful image than actually seeing a man kiss another man. I’m muddying the waters here, because sexuality and gender roles are not mutually exclusive.”

Hey there, Carnival of the Veil folks.

I have stopped blogging on BLOGGER and I migrated to WordPress.

If you're so inclined, please update your links to the new address: http://sideon.wordpress.com/

I'm in the process of updating my links. Let me know if you do/don't want to be listed.

Much thanks. -Donavan aka Sideon


And the latest from South Bay Soliloquies covers an art event which sounded kind of cool!

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/11/lacma-dal-painting-film.html

Saturday, instead of going to a Marine Corps Ball or some such other Leatherneck event, I went to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to see their exhibit of DalĂ­: Painting and Film. I think it goes until the 6th of January, so if you haven't seen it I recommend checking it out.

It was really very enjoyable. I don't go to enough art museums, although I like the feeling of having my mind kneaded by art.

It was also incredibly crowded! Wow! The first room was the worst, but after that it was OK. It was really refreshing to see a crowded art exhibit too; the stereotypical impression I have of art musuems is that "no one goes to them"


And at Clutch we learn how to cheat, as taught by the Mormon Church.

http://www.cvrick.com/cv_rick/2007/11/growing-up-mo-2.html

“Essentially they brought in a Missionary consultant to teach us how to cheat in order to win a game of searching through scriptures. I laughed at the irony. But the funniest part of the whole team experience was that I was the fastest of all the cheaters on our cheating team, and when it came time to go to the competition, the High School Basketball team was invited to a tournament in Butte, Montana. I went there instead.”


And here is my contribution

“Last Sunday was a good day. It was cold, but dry. We went to Birmingham for the Diwali celebrations. Saw some great performances, Bangra dancing and music, some live Bollywood style singing and dancing, some real Indian food, and a really good firework display.”

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/11/it-was-snowing-earlier-today.html

I have decided to include the classic blog posts in a separate COV posting.

See you next time on Sunday 2 December.

It was snowing, earlier today. It turned to rain, and the snow did not stick.

Last Sunday was a good day. It was cold, but dry. We went to Birmingham for the Diwali celebrations. Saw some great performances, Bangra dancing and music, some live Bollywood style singing and dancing, some real Indian food, and a really good firework display.

Some of my wife's family are from India, which is why I get to go to such cool events.

We went with friends. We took the train from Shropshire and when we got back at 9pm it was so cold the car doors froze to the frame!

I would never have been able to attend such wonderful and culturally enriching events as a Mormon. Such things were never done. And if ever a Mormon does see traditional Indian dancing -for example- the Mormon will say in patronising terms: "That was very nice. But what a pity they do not have the light of the Gospel in their lives!" If only they knew!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Carnival of the Veil Sunday 4 November


Here is COV for Sunday 4 November.

We start with a contribution from South Bay Soliloquies
http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/10/movie-review-lust-caution.html

It is a very interesting film (sorry, Movie!) review:
“I went to this amazing movie tonight. Alone.

It was an incredible cinematic experience. Ang Lee has outdone himself. My only disappointment is that I feel most American audiences would not "get" the film. What available character development is subtle, and I don't think the average American does well with subtle. Perhaps it would be better to read the short story the film is based on first, although I think I would have enjoyed the movie, either way.”

Next is from A New Eric:

Who writes:

“Sorry I don't respond to Carnival very often... I took it for granted while Donavan was doing it, 'cause he'd often just grab something off my blog without telling me!

This last week I talked about the truthiness o the church. The link
is at
http://www.aneweric.com/index.php?blog=1&title=the_doctrine_of_truthiness&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

“The Doctrine of Truthiness
The Doctrine of Truthiness
Main Entry: truthiness
Part of Speech: n
Definition: the state of wishing things to be true; also, conformity to beliefs one feels or wishes to be true
Example: Truthiness is a satirical term coined by television comedian Stephen Colbert to describe things that a person claims to know intuitively, instinctively, or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts.
Etymology: 2005”

And also now From the Ashes
http://emergingfromtheashes.blogspot.com/2007/10/baggage.html

“The other day I turned on the TV to find an afternoon cartoon for my son. The TV was tuned to some random channel, and a woman was on telling the story of Samuel from the Hebrew Bible to a group of children. "And Samuel said, 'Here I am, Lord'."

I immediately tensed up. I bristled at the thought of my son hearing that story about god talking to a boy. It could have been any Bible, story, though, and I still would have gone on the defensive. I turned the channel as quickly as possible. To me, that TV show represented the literalist religious tradition I have rejected, as well as the figurative or mythological tradition I have rejected as the standard and origin for morals. To me, the Bible is baggage. “


And new this time, we welcome CVRick and his groovy blog

http://www.cvrick.com/cv_rick/2007/11/growing-up-morm.html

He has a fascinating insight into growing up Mormon. What some people call: “Hmmm!” Moments)

"Growing Up Mormon - Inactive Families
One Halloween my whole Mormon world was turned upside down.
When I was fourteen, we went on a young adult scavenger hunt for a church Halloween activity. The object was to go to member's houses and obtain items to complete a list of requirements, bring all those items back to the church, and assemble the perfect scarecrow. Items included an old flannel shirt, straw for stuffing, a hat, boots, etc. We were given the list and a ward directory. Each team had an adult leader to drive them around and we were off."


And here is my contribution
http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/11/are-you-frightened-of-mormonism.html

Are you frightened of Mormonism?
Well... are you?

Moronism annoys me. It pisses me off, but it does not (at least, I do not think) frighten me. Yet it does seem to frighten other people.

Oh, please do not get me wrong! I am -for want of a better way of expressing this- frightened of the damage Mormonism can do to people and to families (my own family is a prime example of this, after all!) but am I scared of Mormonism, per se? No, I do not think so.

Yet there are some people who seem scared of the whole concept of Mormonism. Let's take this example…
See you in two weeks time. And if you do not have a new post to send in, then just send me a post from your archives! And do tell other exmo bloggers about what we are up to.

Are you frightened of Mormonism?

Well... are you?

Moronism annoys me. It pisses me off, but it does not (at least, I do not think) frighten me. Yet it does seem to frighten other people.

Oh, please do not get me wrong! I am -for want of a better way of expressing this- frightened of the damage Mormonism can do to people and to families (my own family is a prime example of this, after all!) but am I scare of Mormonism, per se? No, I do not think so.

Yet there are some people who seem scared of the whole concept of Mormonism. Let's take this example. I always put adsense adverts on my blogs. The "fun" ones like Notamormon and the serious ones, which are not really blogs, but ways of using the www.blogger.com platform to publish online magazines. (Please, if you want to take a look you can access them via my portal site at www.thatsnews.org.uk)

But there are some people who got really upset about my notamormon blog when I first started it! Why? Because some of the adverts that came up where gasp! pro-Mormon!

And... the problem with that would be... what, exactly?

"Well, it is promoting the Mormon church!"

No. All it is doing is running an advert like any other advert-carrying publication. You have a problem with that?

"Yes! Yes, I DO! You can't DO that!"

"Why? Why not?"

The problem is that the people who complained loudly about my advert carrying some Mormon adverts (and who did so on the RFM board, too, thus helping bring down a firestorm of anti-bloggness which reigned until Eric kindly gave ex-Mormon bloggers a link page) seem incapable of spotting the delicious irony of the stituation of an ex-Mormon blog being funded by the Mormon Church! I thought that it was partially a payback for all the tithing that the Mormon Church took off me while I was a member.

Maybe I should keep score?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ex-Mormon Carnival of the Veil October 21 2007


Hello and welcome to this issue of Carnival of the Veil. At present we are having unusually warm sunny days. This is not uncommon in October in Britain. But the cloudless days give way to cloudless nights and the damp cold does then start to bite. And we are getting ground frosts. Time to get the vulnerable plants under cover or in doors. We are sharing our kitchen with two potted trees at the moment. Eventually when we build a conservatory, they will live in there.

First off this time is a post from South Bay Soliloquise

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/10/knotts-scary-farm-2007.html

“I went to Knott's Scary Farm last night.I had, for want of a better, more intense, more descriptive phrase, a blast. Everyone in our party of six got spooked at least twice.Some friends from my happy hour group got together and we carpooled down to Buena Park. For dinner we went to the pre-scare dinner special buffet - Mrs. Knott's fried chicken, mashed potatoes, assorted salads, dinner rolls (with boysenberry jam!) and pie. I, of course, had to have a slice of the boysenberry pie. The fried chicken was most delicious.”

Sounds like a great time was had by all!

Next up is Equality’s Blog.

http://equalitysblog.typepad.com/equality_time/2007/10/recommended-sit.html

“With all the great resources out there for people who are engaged in religious studies generally and Mormon studies in particular, I thought I would start a new recurring feature here at Equality Time to help people find the best blogs and web sites out there on the "Internets" that deal with these subjects. For the inaugural post in what I intend to be a regular series, I feature a newly created blog by a talented artist (who, it seems, at this point wants to remain anonymous). The blog is called Images of the Restoration. The author/artist of this blog has created a number of compelling depictions of events from Mormon history--events that Mormon apologists, studious members of the LDS Church who venture outside the correlated materials, and critics of the LDS Church alike are aware of but which are seldom if ever mentioned or depicted in official LDS Church lesson materials.”

Cool! Looks like this could be a really great idea for a continuing series on the blog.

Sister Mary Lisa (blogger and artist) is here with

http://sistermarylisa.blogspot.com/2007/10/leavin-on-jet-plane-part-three.html

“Jet lag was a term I had heard of but had never experienced until I arrived at that scouting lodge in Austria. We were shown into big rooms full of single twin beds and bunkbeds, where we all fell into an exhausted sleep almost immediately.

I discovered cultural differences the next morning while getting ready that until then I had been ignorant of. Standing at the sink next to a girl from France, I reached for the cold faucet and turned it on at the exact same time she turned on the hot. We had each also simultaneously lowered our toothbrushes under the water to get the toothpaste wet before brushing. We looked at each other in surprise, and she spoke first. “You use cold water when you brush your teeth?!” I replied, “You use hot?!” Interesting. I let her go first. She shook her head and laughed about using cold water with another French girl.”

(HOT water? Gosh! Do these French people have no shame? No sense of conservation?!)
By the way, I might have mentioned this before, but Sister Mary Lisa has the coolest photograph I have ever seen on any blog. Ever. Just check it out to see what I mean.


And from Fiddley Gomme we have a General Conference blog post
http://fiddley.com/archive/200710/conference_weekend “Around our house, LDS General Conference has become and excuse for Donna to hole up in her craft room and scrapbook with a friend. For them, the weekend is meant to be free of spouses and children. An orgy of die-cuts and heart-shaped punches, not to be interrupted by the trivial goings-on of the rest of us.” Crafting is a damn serious business! And finally, here is my blog for this edition of Carnival of the Veil http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/10/matt-really-must-get-his-act-together.html “I really must get my act together and finish of my book. I am writing my very own “book of the bog” a book based on the best of my posts here at Notamormon.
Why? Well I have always wanted to write a book and as I already have the material that I have published on the blog it would seem to be silly to ignore that wealth of material.”

Matt REALLY must get his act together!

I really must get my act together and finish of my book. I am writing my very own “book of the bog” a book based on the best of my posts here at Notamormon.

Why? Well I have always wanted to write a book and as I already have the material that I have published on the blog it would seem to be silly to ignore that wealth of material.

It will tell some of the highs and the lows of being a former Mormon. And God knows, there are enough highs and lows.

Being an ex-Mormon is hard enough if none of your family members joined the Mormon Church. But if your entire immediate family joined or you family has been under the cosh of the Mormon cult for many years, then it must be infinitely worse.

Does anyone know of a publisher who might want to take a look at my ex-Mormon book? If you do, then please email me their contact details at matt_exmo@yahoo.co.uk

By the way, do you know anyone who writes an ex-Mormon or post-Mormon blog and who is not yet a member of the Carnival of the Veil? If so, please do invite them to join us here at the Carnival of the Veil. All they need do is to email me at matt_exmo@yahoo.co.uk and I will add them to the Carnival of the Veil mailing list.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Carnival of the Veil 7 October 2007

Welcome to this edition of Carnival of the Veil, for 7 October, 2007.

First we kick of with something from South Bay Soliloquies.

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/10/im-leaf-on-wind-watch-me-soar.html

“I don't know what happened the past couple of days that turned my mood around.

Okay, I have an idea, but I never knew that it would bring me into the happiest state I've ever known myself to be in. I wish I could share the gritty details but it's a little too personal to share with the world. Some secrets are best left secrets.”

And another one

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/10/tied-to-ideals.html

“It never ceases to amaze me how much we value ideas, especially those ideas pertaining to hope, freedom, and happiness. Those ideas enrich our souls and give meaning to life.

I think this is why I enjoy reading dystopian fiction so much - in forcing a society to live up to an ideal, the society ends up robbing the people belonging to it the very things most societies (and people) should value most.”

And here is Emerging From the Ashes. (Being from Britain, I always expect this to be about Cricket. But of course, it never is! -The Ashes is a major Cricket Tournament between The MCC (The English/Welsh cricket team and the Australians)

http://emergingfromtheashes.blogspot.com/2007/09/remembering.html

“Do all churches do this? Do all churches eulogize and remember a person as if he had been a perfect, faithful, believing member? Even when he hadn't been to church since he was old enough to tell his parents, "I ain't goin' "? Do they all pick songs to sing at the funeral that the deceased probably didn't recognize, let alone like?

"Rebellion" and swearing and alcoholism and bar fights and no-mission and no-temple are all rendered "free spirit" and "did things his own way," with a sideways smile. They are, I suppose, trying their best to be nice and polite and remember the best of him. Which is fine. Who doesn't want to be remembered well? For people to forget the foibles and faults. But foibles and faults according to whom? The deceased? Sure, I'd bet he'd admit he did some stupid things in his life, that there were some things that he'd not repeat if he had the chance.


A special post, next. A guest appearance from Fiddley Gomme’s wife! Who is marking a very important anniversary!

http://fiddley.com/archive/200709/its_all_about_me

“Since tomorrow is the fifteenth anniversary of our first date, and of my nineteenth birthday (don't spend too much time doing the math) I thought it was time I formally introduce myself.

My name is Donna and I am married to Pete. We have been married most of those fifteen years and have 4 beautiful girls. And I'm not just saying that because they are mine, everyone says so. Even the ones that don't look like me.”

And here is my effort for this time

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/10/general-conference-it-used-to-be.html

"General Conference. My God. That used to be so important to us, as a Mormon family, living in Britain.

We used to have to go by coach to the Stake Centre 30 to 40 miles away and join with everyone from the stake listening to the conference brought by transatlantic cable."

And that is it until next time in two weeks. Please do send your entry in to matt_exmo@yahoo.co.uk in time for Sunday 21 October. See you then!

PS. If you know anyone who has an exmo blog but who doesn't subscribe to COV, please forward an invite for them to get on board!

General Conference. It USED to be important to me...

General Conference. My God. That used to be so important to us, as a Mormon family, living in Britain.

We used to have to go by coach to the Stake Centre 30 to 40 miles away and join with everyone from the stake listening to the conference brought by transatlantic cable.

Every so often during the broadcast we would hear the following exchange, always in a flat South East England accent: “Hello New York, Hello New York. This is London calling for a line check.” For some reason we never heard the reply from New York.

One year –does anyone else remember this? - we accidentally got the Spanish language version of the conference for about 30 minutes until someone (maybe Mr “Hello, New York” or the person he spoke to in New York) realised there was a problem and sorted it out.

One year, at the insistence of the rat faced Sister missionary, whose husband was the branch president, the coach went early so we missed the trip to the conference.

We walked back home and I spent an hour or so combing the short wave bands until I found a radio station that was carrying the live feed from Salt Lake City. WNWY, Radio New York, World Wide, it was, a station then owned by The Mormon Church.

“It was SUCH a pity that you missed the conference!” wittered sister Busybody, the branch busybody.”

“Oh, but we didn’t! Said my mother. “Matt was able to find it on the radio for us, so we heard it all live!” That shut her up. “Nice one, mum,” I thought.

But now, as an exmo, I can’t see why many of my fellow exmos are so interested in the conference. After all, it is the same crap year after year. “Tithe, tithe, tithe! Temple, temple, temple! Missionary work, missionary work, missionary work!”

All set to the backdrop of lies, distortions and half-truths from the paid clergy of the Mormon Church. (See, the point is that when the Mormon Church tells you it doesn’t have a paid clergy, they are lying. They DO have a paid clergy, although not as many as some churches do.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Welcome to the Carnival of the Veil!

We start this edition with a posting from the blog of paranoidfr33k, with a posting explaining why paranoidfr33k is paranoid.

http://paranoidfr33k.blogspot.com/2007/09/why-i-am-paranoid.html

“Why am I paranoid? Because everyone is out to get me. Thats why! If you were in my position, you would be paranoid too.” (ED: That’s not paranoia! It is enlightened self-protection and commonsense! Actually, paranoidfr33k makes some very good points on what it is like to be an exmo if your family is still very much in…)

The next post is from South Bay Soliloquies who is suffering at the moment. My thoughts go out to you. It is tough, but hang on in there…
http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/09/loss-of-great-love.html
“I lost a Great Love tonight.I have no one with whom to share my bed, my food, my home, or my life with. Not to mention my dreams, the great sorrows and triumphs of life, and my soul.”

On, now, to Thoughts from Sister Mary Lisa who writes on the topic of Utah drivers. (Who are, probably, mainly Mormon)

http://sistermarylisa.blogspot.com/2007/09/utah-drivers.html

“OK, I had to laugh at Melliferous Pants' blog...she's so damn funny. She recently moved to Utah from California and has discovered the suckiness that is Utah drivers.”
And DO have fun with the comments on the good Sister’s post!

This next one is from Utarnia who has a heartfelt plea that I am sure we can all sympathise with:

http://utarnia.com/2007/09/uncle.html

“I give up! I just want to be normal! No more Mormonism - ever again! I'm sick of the way I get treated. The stares... The pointing... God two year olds have better manners. The inaction and lies from the local police when my business is attacked by lunatics.”

And here is the Eight Hour Lunch contribution
http://www.eighthourlunch.com/archives/20070930.php#episode23

This week’s podcast starts with some cool music and an apology. And it is clear that there has not been a lunch anything like eight hours in length for our host! The podcast includes an interview with the host/owner of http://www.postmormon.org/ and listener’s letters. Including a drink of the week from Nicole, and a whole lot more.

And finally, here is my contribution.

In March 2006 I posted about the bitterness and anger that I felt about the Mormon Church. Someone read this post within the past week and sent me a comment, which I allowed to be published on the site.

This is what Sam said:
“Hey Matt - sorry to hear of your bad experiences with mormonism. You have every right to be angry. Unfortunately as long as you have bitterness and hatred, it still has power over you. If you want to be free, it has to be God's way - through forgiveness. If you want help to come out from under this curse through Jesus, go to freedomkeepers.com or boblarson.com”

Well, that’s kind of Sam. But exactly how do you forgive a Mormon? Can Mormons really accept forgiveness?
http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/09/bitterness-and-anger-against-mormonism.html

See you later, in two weeks time.

Bitterness and anger against Mormonism and Mormons and exactly how can you forgive a Mormon?

TBM: “You are just bitter and you hate the Mormon church!”EXMO: “Now, what on earth would I have to be bitter about regarding the Mormon church? And why would I hate it?”
Could it possible be because before my parents joined the Mormon church my mother was a kind, loving and wise person, yet within 20 years had degenerated in to a shrill, hateful sour person who was unrecognisable as the woman who had raised me?
Could that be it do you think? Or perhaps it might be because the Mormon church took my father who was sensitive and creative and fucked him over so much that he became totally dependent on the church for every aspect of his life?

My father used to have hobbies. The Mormon church made certain that he had no time for hobbies. How? Their stupid incessant “busy, busy, work, work” programme of meetings, all part of their cult brainwashing techniques.

Or could it be the fact that my little brother was subject to psychological abuse by the Bishop, do you think? Would that make someone bitter, do you think? Possibly? I wanted to beat the crap out of him, but my mother begged me not to. Years later I feel anger towards myself for NOT beating up the shit.

Do I feel anger that my parents wanted to move us back to our home city, yet were forced by the local Mormons into staying in an area that they really were not comfortable with and in which we never really fitted in? Who, me? Angry?

Do I feel bitter that the Mormon church forced my parents to stay in an area with a very poor educational system, rather than going back to our home city which had a very good educational system so that I would have been able to get a degree and lived a fuller and better life? Who, me? Bitter?

Am I angry that the Mormon church made my parents stay in an area with low job prospects as well as a poor educational system?

Some people will say: “Well, Matt, that’s a little unfair. You cannot blame the Mormon church for every bad thing in your life, since your parents joined the Mormon church.”Oh, really? Who says? I say that everyone who is a Mormon or who was a Mormon has been damaged by the Mormon Church to a greater or lesser extent.
I call it the MDO, or Mormon Domino Theory.

If you have 1,000 dominos, all lined up together, if you push domino 1 down, eventually the who line of dominos will have fallen over and domino 999 will knock down domino 1000. So, domino number 1 had nothing to do with it, then? Why, yes! Of course it did! It started the whole process off!

Another example. Let’s imagine there are three people on a railway station platform. Person three deliberately pushed person two, knocking them into person one on purpose, causing person one to get killed by a train. Who caused the death? Person two? Or person three? It is cause and effect.

A different example. Let’s picture the following scene. A child is walking along a pavement (aka sidewalk) and a drunken driver mounts the pavement and strikes them, causing them such terrible injuries that they lose most of the use of their leg.

Now, for the rest of their life as they grow up, that person will always walk with a limp. They’ll work hard to compensate for it, but they WILL always walk with a limp. Nobody in their right mind would say: “Oh, for God’s sake! Stop walking with that limp! You have walked with a limp for years, ever since the car ran you down!”

And that is another way to view the terrible damage caused by Mormonism. You get up and leave Mormonism (recover from the accident) but there’s always the fact that you were a Mormon and the brainwashing/cult indoctrination damaged the way you think, the way you react to situations, etc.

You CAN recover from Mormonism, but like the person in the Road Traffic Accident, you will always have a limp of some kind, no matter how hard you try to cope with it and to hide it.Bitter against Mormonism? Angry with it? Hell, yes. I AM! And I DEMAND the right to be bitter and angry with the cult that destroyed my family and damaged my life.

I created the above post in March 2006. And it received the following comment within the past week:

In March 2006 I posted about the bitterness and anger that I felt about the Mormon Church. Someone read this post within the past week and sent me a comment, which I allowed to be published on the site.

This is what Sam said:
“Hey Matt - sorry to hear of your bad experiences with mormonism. You have every right to be angry. Unfortunately as long as you have bitterness and hatred, it still has power over you. If you want to be free, it has to be God's way - through forgiveness. If you want help to come out from under this curse through Jesus, go to www.freedomkeepers.com or http://www.boblarson.com/

Well, that’s kind of Sam. But exactly how do you forgive a Mormon? Can Mormons really accept forgiveness?”

But exactly how could I forgive the Mormon Church? It is not a sentient being, so forgiving the Mormon Church would be impossible.

Could I forgive what Mormons did to me? Did against me? Well, in theory, yes. But exactly how could I offer them my forgiveness?

Mormons are not capable of accepting forgiveness (at least from someone they would view as an heretical apostate) because Mormons do no wrong.

I can think of at least 20 times when members of my Mormon family did the dirty on me, including when they lied to me, lied about me, gossiped about me, backstabbed me, cheated me (in a business deal) when my brother and sister-in-law and Sister and brother-in-law all moved house at the same time (just after my mother went on her mission) without bothering to give me their new addresses or new ‘phone numbers. And those are only a few of my favourite things, to quote Julie Andrews.

But in order to be forgiven, my family would need to understand and accept that their behaviour has been wrong and that it merited an apology and the opportunity to accept my forgiveness.

I actually tried this a couple of years ago. And it was thrown back in my face. I wrote my mother a letter that took me weeks to write, going through several editions. The letter I got back from my mother was vindictive, mean, cruel and filled with lie upon lie.

I reminded my mother why I left the Mormon Church (I put Moroni’s promise to the test.

(Moroni 10:3-5.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Imagine (in 1982) my surprise when I received, in answer to much prayer, a personal answer from God that the Mormon Church was not true.)

My mother wrote back that she did not believe what I had told her: “We know the REAL reason why you left the church!” This “we” referred to the family, so it is clear that I have been a source of constant gossip, lies and innuendo in my family from 1982 to the present day. God knows what my mother meant by her remark. I chose not to ask her as I really did not want to know what sick, warped nonsense they have cooked up against me.

So, it is not possible –for a filthy apostate, at any rate- to forgive a Mormon anything. Because as Mormonism is perfect, the Mormon cannot be at fault. So the only other option is that the other person (the wronged person!) is the one who is at fault!

Forgiving a Mormon is never easy. Because they have no concept that their behaviour is in any way wrong. Your average Mormon is forever the naughty little boy who, with biscuit crumbs on his clothing, with chocolate daubing his face, with his hand in the biscuit jar who says, through a mouthful of biscuit: “Me, mother? Eating the biscuits mother? Oh, no! Not I!”

In order to be forgiven, a person must first have the self-knowledge that they have done wrong. And most Mormons don’t have that.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Carnival of the Veil


Welcome to Carnival of the Veil for Sunday 9 September, 2007.

In this issue we have the following blog entries

From Sideon we have Mormon Makeover

“Gays and lesbians threaten the very foundation of Mormonism. In God's plans, even Satan had his place, but what in Kolob's name is a Heavenly Father-Figure (who would be HOT if he sang like George Michael) going to do with a fabulous and free-spirited folk? Let me tell you.”

http://sideon.blogspot.com/2007/09/mormon-makeover.html

We also have something from Sister Mary Lisa

Sunday Thoughts
“Sunday morning I walk through the chapel doors, greeted by Brother Jones who hands me a program. I find my usual pew and sit with my children and my dad who's visiting. We hear a beautiful prelude hymn, “O My Father” being played by the organist. I open my Book of Mormon to prepare for my lesson and read through the story of Alma and the sons of Mosiah. My daughter asks me who I'm reading about, and then she asks who my favorite women in the Book of Mormon are. I struggle to think of any, but I assure her there must be some.”
http://sistermarylisa.blogspot.com/2007/08/sunday-morning-i-walk-through-chapel.html

And from South Bay Soliloquies we read the following


“I woke up this morning and had a craving for Vu Villa pizza. Which would be fine except for the fact that the Vu Villa is in Butte, Montana, and I'm here in L.A. I'm fairly certain they don't deliver interstate. This is a sad thing. I guess I'll have to wait until they start marketing frozen Vu Villa pizzas at my local grocery store.”

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/09/vu-villa-pizza.html

And lastly, here is my own contribution

Is a visit by the Mormon missionaries a little bit like getting a spam email? Some of those emails have very interesting and catchy headlines, don’t they? Like: “Important message re your business proposal.”

http://notamormon.blogspot.com/2007/09/are-mormon-missionaries-door-to-door.html

See you in another two weeks!

Are Mormon missionaries door-to-door spam?

Is a visit by the Mormon missionaries a little bit like getting a spam email? Some of those emails have very interesting and catchy headlines, don’t they? Like: “Important message re your business proposal.”

Now, you are expecting an email about a business proposal, so with excitement you open the email… only to find that it is not even selling you something vaguely helpful like a wonderful new Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) scheme (ha!) but something that is totally bogus such as how to enhance your bodily parts, a hot stock tip or a genuine fake watch.

In disgust you delete the email. Hoping that it hasn’t inserted a Trojan in your computer, designed to take over your computer and fill it with programmes that you certainly do not want it to be running.

There is a knock at the door. “Hi. We have a wonderful message to share. Would you like us to share it with you?” Yes. You got it! It is the religious equivalent of spam, a visit by the Mormon missionaries!

The trouble is that with some people (like my parents who were tracted by the Mormon missionaries) they put a mental Trojan into their mind and can take over their thought processes. And fill it with programmes that you certainly do not want it to be running.
Welcome to Carnival of the Veil for Sunday 9 September, 2007.

In this issue we have the following blog entries

From Sideon we have Mormon Makeover

“Gays and lesbians threaten the very foundation of Mormonism. In God's plans, even Satan had his place, but what in Kolob's name is a Heavenly Father-Figure (who would be HOT if he sang like George Michael) going to do with a fabulous and free-spirited folk? Let me tell you.”

http://sideon.blogspot.com/2007/09/mormon-makeover.html

We also have something from Sister Mary Lisa

Sunday Thoughts
“Sunday morning I walk through the chapel doors, greeted by Brother Jones who hands me a program. I find my usual pew and sit with my children and my dad who's visiting. We hear a beautiful prelude hymn, “O My Father” being played by the organist. I open my Book of Mormon to prepare for my lesson and read through the story of Alma and the sons of Mosiah. My daughter asks me who I'm reading about, and then she asks who my favorite women in the Book of Mormon are. I struggle to think of any, but I assure her there must be some.”
http://sistermarylisa.blogspot.com/2007/08/sunday-morning-i-walk-through-chapel.html

And from South Bay Soliloquies we read the following


“I woke up this morning and had a craving for Vu Villa pizza. Which would be fine except for the fact that the Vu Villa is in Butte, Montana, and I'm here in L.A. I'm fairly certain they don't deliver interstate. This is a sad thing. I guess I'll have to wait until they start marketing frozen Vu Villa pizzas at my local grocery store.”

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/09/vu-villa-pizza.html

Friday, August 31, 2007

Abused churchgoers’ forum

In response to the launch of an organisation called Churchgoer Support which has been set up to provide a forum for victims of mistreatment by the Church – be that physical or psychological – and to expose attempts by the Church to cover its tracks, the organisation’s website has been inundated with visitors.

The new website aimed at helping people who have suffered at the hands of their church or minister, which was launched last month by Patricia Davies, herself caused much distress and mental anguish by the actions of a woman priest, is proving extremely popular with many visitors during its first weeks.

The site www.churchgoersupport.co.uk provides a forum for anyone who has been mistreated in any way by the person to whom many people turn for help and comfort – their local priest/pastor/minister/etc – and it is alleged that the Methodist Church has attempted to close it down.

“While I am pleased that many people have been able to visit the site and gained some comfort in knowing they are not alone in facing such situations, it is sad that In this Christian country, in the 21st century, there are still so many people suffering at the hands of the Church,” says Patricia Davies.

The website initially details Mrs Davies’s own experiences of attempting to effect a reconciliation with her Methodist Minister, even though it was the woman priest’s actions when Mrs Davies fell prey to depression that pushed her over the edge into deep mental distress.

The matter has been exacerbated by the Methodist Church authorities threatening to bring defamation, harassment and libel charges against Mrs Davies who, since having her formal complaint against the minister rejected on disputed evidence, has sought to publicise her plight.

Despite everything, Mrs Davies is still seeking reconciliation, but both the minister concerned and the Church continue refusing to consider her pleas, and have instead threatened to have Mrs Davies arrested if she does not drop the matter.

“Whether we can assist in preventing these despicable occurrences ever happening to anyone else in the future is unlikely,” says Mrs Davies, “but at least by creating this forum and encouraging people to speak out, we can cut through the attempts by the Church to cover up its misdeeds and let its victims know that they are not alone in suffering the wrath of local ministers.”

The Churchgoer Support movement can be contacted by email: contact@churchgoersupport.co.uk or writing to Help Project, PO Box 1026, Great Wakering, Southend on Sea SS3 OWX, or by visiting the website: www.churchgoersupport.co.uk

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Welcome to Carnival of the Veil 26 August


Carnival of the Veil 26 August

Welcome to this issue of Carnival of the Veil dated August 26. First one edited and put together by me, Matt. Unusually here in the UK we are actually having some summer weather. And after I publish this, I will join my wife sitting in the sun, enjoying a glass of chilled cider. (That's the cider with alcohol, by the way.)


Thank you everyone who has submitted something for Carnival of the Veil for this issue. If you missed submitting something for this issue, do not worry! You can submit something for the next issue in two weeks time.

We start with something from Kita Kazoo

http://seriously.kitakazoo.com/2007/08/jack-and-jill.html

“I’m sitting on the couch and the dog barfs up something really nasty. Bad enough, but then I grab a paper towel and clean it up to find that the garbage can has no liner… AGAIN! I have a hand full of ick and no place to put it!

How many times has he taken out the garbage and forgotten the simple step of putting a fresh liner in? At least twice a week for the last 22 years… this would be 2288 times! How does one forget to do something 2288 times?”

(ED: Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

And paranoidfr33k submits the following:

http://paranoidfr33k.blogspot.com/2007/08/doctrine-of-polygamy.html

The Doctrine of Polygamy

“What do you think a TBM Mormon would say if you asked them if they beleive in polygamy? They'll give you the standard "we don't practice polygamy any more" answer and leave it at that. The fact is that in order to be a TBM Mormon, you must beleive in it. You must beleive that polygamy is divine doctrine”

And Diane writes
Here are a couple to look at; I'm not sure which one would be good:

http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/08/no-mormon-for-president.html
http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/08/moving-out-moving-on.html
http://south-bay-soliloquies.blogspot.com/2007/08/rise-of-internship.html

(ED: When faced with the choice I decided to bottled it (express cowardice!) and opt for all three!)

“No Mormon For President
Yes, Romney needs to answer questions about his religion

I think this article sums it up quite nicely. I personally don't want the guy giving the green light to a missile silo in North Dakota or Montana to say that he was going off of what 'the spirit' told him. That doesn't make me feel good!”

“Moving Out, Moving On
I've moved my blog. I suspected an ex-boyfriend was cyberstalking me, and I decided that it would be best to move my blog and excise any/all mention of him from its text. If you happen to be the bastard who I'm referring to, please leave me alone. I don't want you in my life and the next step for me is to quit blogging permanently”

“The Rise of the Internship
Service Learning

I didn't have any internships when I was in college.

Not that I tried. One year I refused an internship on principle (the company dicked around with my application, then wanted me to fill out an internship application after I had been interviewed), one year I didn't get any internship because I was busy with the Marines and when I was through with them it was too late to find any summer work, and one year I didn't get an internship because, well, no one wanted to hire me.”


It all began back in June, says Fiddley Gomme
http://fiddley.com/archive/200706/age_of_accountability
Then in July...
http://fiddley.com/archive/200707/operation_covert_covenant
Then culminating in trouble in August...
http://fiddley.com/archive/200708/washed_away
http://fiddley.com/archive/200708/saturday
http://fiddley.com/archive/200708/did_it_just_get_awkward_in_here
http://fiddley.com/archive/200708/a_split_decision

Thus proving that Mormonism and families do not mix…

And in closing, here is my conrtibution to the mix with tales of my idiot brother

My idiot brother.

My brother has decided to emigrate with his wife and kids to Canada. And unless my mother had not accidentally let it slip when I phoned her one day (she doesn’t phone me, however…) I would not know that they were leaving the country.

He spoke to me on the phone, but he seemed really pissed off that our mother had told me that he was emigrating to Canada.

Why?

It is, I fear, because I am a lost cause. The evil uncle. However, I know that my brother’s son is drinking spirits at friend’s houses. Some who are TBMs, too. My brother has not taught my nephew about safe drinking, so he has been running a little wild.

At a family party (the birthday of a nevermo aunt) I gave my nephew the kind of advice my stupid brother had not given him. I told him to steer clear of spirits and, if he was going to drink, to drink beer (real ale rather than lager) and to take into account how many units of alcohol he was drinking. He thanked me for my advice and revealed that he had never had a similar chat with his father. Which is sad, but only what I would have expected.

Sadly, my brother –who was a rebel as a youth- drills it into the head of his children that they must be perfect in all things, and, as a result, is driving them away from himself.