Mormons Brainwashed my Friend! Help

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_exal555, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. D_exal555

    D_exal555 New Member

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    I totally support freedom of religion and i've always respected Mormons: theyve always seemed hard-working, devout, and good family people.

    But now my best friend, after ordering a Book of Mormon, met with the "elders" and before I knew it he was converted and baptized (he kept it a secret from me until after the fact).

    I am so so sad because he has changed and I feel like I'm losing my friend. He never has time to see or speak to me. The "elders" and bishops are constantly dropping by his house without notice (he welcomes them, sigh). He is hyper-secretive and distant. He blows 10 percent of his GROSS salary on these people.

    They must be experts in brainwashing.

    I'm very distressed and dont know what to do.

    I couldnt find any message boards about this so I gave this place a try.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Not_Punny

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    Ain't nothing you can DO about it. He felt something was missing in his life, and he thinks he's getting "it" with this religion, so smile and be nice to him.

    Be there for him if he ever changes his mind, but I'd get a new best friend if I were you.
     
  3. Meniscus

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    Are you distressed because you've lost a friend or is there something else about what he's doing that worries you?

    I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Latter-day Saints (LDS), but I do have a M.A. in religious studies and I have some knowledge of "new religious movements" so I will try to help.

    First of all, the concepts of "brainwashing" and "mind-control" are very controversial. It has never been proven that it's possible to "brainwash" someone. So my first piece of advice is to discard the belief that your friend has been brainwashed. You have no proof and if you approach him with that belief in mind, you're likely to come across as being condescending and disrespectful, and that will only alienate him further.

    In the United States, most people "compartmentalize" religion. That is, we regard religion as separate from other areas of our lives such as work, hobbies, entertainment, travel, family, etc. In a sense, many of us are only religious for a few hours on the Sabbath and on religious holidays.

    Latter-Day Saints are different. As I understand it, the LDS Church places a tremendous emphasis on family, both one's biological family and on the LDS community as a sort of extended family. When you become a LDS, your religion permeates your entire life, and your relationships to your family and your community become your highest priorities. Mormons believe that before being born on earth, everyone was born in a spirit body to Heavenly Parents. In earthly life, families are "sealed" so that their relationships as husband-wife, parent-child, etc., continue on after death.

    All LDS men are ordained to the priesthood. With ordination come responsibilities to actively serve the church. Those responsibilities often take up most of a person's free time, hence members of the LDS Church socialize mainly with other people from their church.

    I suspect the reason your friend has joined the LDS Church is because he's getting something positive out of it. It's not that the church has brainwashed him, but with all the attention they're giving him, they're making him feel special, important, valued, and appreciated. If he's single maybe they've become a kind of family to him, and/or given him hope of someday marrying and having children. If he has a family, maybe they've helped him strengthen his family relationships. Maybe your friend has spiritual needs that have gone unfulfilled until he got involved in the LDS Church.

    You have to consider the possibility that your friend wanted a more meaningful, spiritual life than the one he was living before, and that now he's found what he needed. Like anything in life that is worthwhile, his new relationships with God and with the church are going to take up some of his time and energy, and he's going to have to sacrifice some things he used to enjoy (alcohol, coffee, porn, lust, premarital sex, etc.) Maybe he's willingly making these sacrifices and considers them to be worthwhile.

    Maybe your friend is growing distant from you because you are involved in some of the things he's decided to give up. Or maybe he eagerly wants to share his new religion with the people in his life, but he's knows you're not interested. Or maybe you just don't have anything much in common anymore.

    You'll notice that I'm saying "maybe" a lot. That's because I don't know him, I don't know you, and I don't know anything about your friendship with him, so I don't have much to go on.

    The only suggestion I have for you at the moment is to tell your friend that since he's become LDS you feel that he's become distant. Tell him that you're hurt by this and you don't understand why he no longer seems to value your frienship. Tell him that you still value his friendship and that you want to remain friends with him, and ask him if that's possible and if he wants to continue to be friends. Be prepared for the possibility that he no longer wants to be friends with you. If he says he wants to continue to be friends, make plans with him, but remember that he has to live according to certain standards now, so you can no longer do things with him that involve drinking, drugs, sex, or even coffee.

    Do not criticize the Mormon religion or accuse him of being brainwashed by the LDS Church. If you are genuinely interested in learning about his new religion, say so and ask if you can talk about it with him. Throughout that conversation, be respectful of your friend, his beliefs, and his new religious community. He might say something like, "I'm too new to the church to answer your questions well, you should talk to Elder Smith." (If that happens, let me know, and maybe I can help prep you for such a meeting.)

    If you're not interested in learning about Mormonism, then I wouldn't bring up religion with him at all. If he brings it up, tell him that it's not something your interested in talking about, but be prepared for the possibility that he may want to share this with you, and may not be interested in continuing to be friends with people who aren't intersted in his new religion.

    I don't have time to do it right now, but I will try to find some Web sites with helpful information. In the meantime, let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to help further.
     
  4. dreamer20

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    You are sad because he has become one of those people who you spoke of in such glowing terms?:confused: From your description of the Mormons I do not see why you are so concerned about him. When he tries to sacrifice a cat or your baby then you should be worried.


    Despite this new development he is still your friend. Spend time with him when you can.
     
  5. PumpinSteelskin77

    PumpinSteelskin77 New Member

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    I'm from Salt Lake City... LMAO!!!!
     
  6. Calboner

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    Outstanding post, Meniscus.

    For further information about the Mormon church, see South Park episode 108, "All about Mormons."
     
  7. AlteredEgo

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    Meniscus' post is sheer genius, and dreamer20's is exactly what I was thinking.
     
  8. Guy-jin

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    I've known a number of Mormons. Some of them were friends of mine. All but one of them basically stopped all communication with me when they found out I'm an Atheist. One of them actually tried to get in a fist-fight with me because I wouldn't agree with him that there's a god.

    I'm not judging.

    However, I will say that many of them do drink the Kool-Aid, and it's an unfortunate reality that your friend may no longer be the person you once knew. That can definitely suck for you, and maybe you should try to talk to him about it directly and see what's up. He may not realize he's pushing you out of his life, or maybe he's completely concious of it, and if that's the case, it would be best to get it out in the open and find out if that's the case.

    Good luck.

    Anyway, all of that said, they are one of the most impressive religious groups in terms of expansion. They do manage to fill a void for some people, and though I've found them to be less than welcoming to outsiders not interested in converting, for that I would applaud them.
     
  9. D_exal555

    D_exal555 New Member

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    A small correction: he's not my best friend but one of my closest friends. If he was my best friend I don't think I could cope with this.

    That being said, I think I have no other choice then to do the best i can without confronting his religion. Just asking he spend more time with him is a good start.

    Thanks hope to hear more
     
  10. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Fantastic post Meniscus!
     
  11. Meniscus

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    Thanks, Cal. I love that South Park episode, but I also think it's important to pay attention the the Mormon kid's words at the end.

    Thanks also to AlteredEgo and jason.
     
  12. simcha

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    For information on organizations that deal with deprogramming cult victims see:

    Organizations & People Dealing With Cults and/or Spiritual Abuse

    And here's a specific site that deals with Recovery from Mormonism....

    Recovery from Mormonism

    Yeah, some Mormons seem harmless enough. My Grandfather who lived in Las Vegas most of his life supported organizations that deprogrammed Mormons. He was a Free Mason. Now Free Masons are very tolerant people and even he found Mormonism to be cultish and Free Masons are seen as a cult from other religions... So...

    Anyway, do you're own research. Usually there's not much you can do. What you can do is educate yourself on many religions and decide for yourself what is and isn't a cult. It's a freedom we all have here in the USA, at least last time I checked... The present administration might strike that one down soon like they did with privacy...

    Anyway, personally, I believe that Mormonism is a cult. I've had enough dealings with Mormon missionaries out here in Oakland to be very wary of them. They have a giant temple in the Oakland Hills that looks like it's ready to re-join the Mother Ship... They strike me the same as the Moonies, the Hare Krishnas, and the Raelians. Most of the individual people seem to be harmless enough. It's when they all get in a group that things seem to happen....

    It's my opinion and my right as an American to have these beliefs as it is any other American's right to join these organizations and have other beliefs about them. So, you'll have to weigh what's important to you and make decisions on what to do concerning your friendship. I don't envy your position. Best Wishes, Simcha...
     
  13. dreamer20

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  14. crossy

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    I suspect this fellow will always be friendly to you. The Mormons have made this fellow feel important and provided him (and his family) something that they found lacking in their lives. The Mormon folks I deal with are professional, compassionate, very trustworthy and health conscious. I have dismissed their early church history entirely as pure fantasy. BUT other than trying to convert folks to their beliefs I find the Mormons "delightsome". I agree with Meniscus entirely.
    I would be quite surprized if there were any really imvolved LDS members connected with LPSG.
     
    #14 crossy, Dec 31, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  15. houtx48

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    maybe he just wanted some cool new underwear
     
  16. D_CountdeGrandePinja

    D_CountdeGrandePinja Account Disabled

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    Check out Latter Days - and see the prejudice. Let's all remember - God doesn't make any junk! We are ALL valuable - happy '09.
     
  17. crossy

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    The Mormon underwear has something do with preventing erections. The LDS are suppose to have erections only with their wives. I believe they would have to perform some community service or something if caught with an unbridled erection. Occasional, I'm told, these garments are soiled inadvertently from sexual thoughts. The Bishop is allowed to recommend electro convulsive shock treatments if this becomes a chronic issue.
    The authority for this treatment comes from an early disciple of Joseph Smith named Peyronie.
     
  18. sfniceguy

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    Yes, just the uninvolved. :) (In Mormon-speak, that would be called "less-active.")
     
  19. Notaguru2

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    He wasn't brainwashed, he became enlightened. For most people that find faith, it is quite an warm, and especially happy time in their life. Nothing to fear.
     
  20. B_Monster

    B_Monster New Member

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