To: Conrad Knudson Oct-20-93 09:15:00 Subject: Mormons are Ch

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From: Gwen Todd To: Conrad Knudson Oct-20-93 09:15:00 Subject: Mormons are Christian David Rice waxed eloquent to Conrad Knudson about Mormons are Christian CK> Have you ever been to Church with a Mormon? Have you read CK> the Book of Mormon all the way through? If not, do these CK> things and then get back to me. Darling, I *was* a Mormon. I was baptised in the Parkersburg Ward of the West Virginia Stake on January 28, 1978. I received my endowments at the Washingtion DC Temple in June of 1986. I was excommunicated in December of 1988 for being pregnant with the baby of a High Priest. He was not excommunicated because (in the words of the Bishop) "his sin was not obvious" as I was the one pregnant. CK> Steve or whoever does not need to defend all Mormons nor CK> should he try. There will always be people who will try to CK> tear down any religion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- CK> day Saints teaches its members to be loving parents, good CK> children, good citizens [...] What did not punishing Stuart (the High Priest) do? It let him have the guts to come back two years later and, with the help of his wife, steal my baby. They didn't even punish him then. He still holds his membership. And my baby. During the whole mess when I was pregnant I was harassed by the Bishop. I could have not been excommmunicated by signing papers giving the baby to the church at birth. The Bishop actually came to my home and threatened me with the loss of all my children if I did not comply "with the will of God". When I still refused, he called Social Services and reported me as an unfit mother. Social Services was horrified when they came to my house and found me in premature labor (at six and half months) with bronchial pneumonia and dehydration. They did put my kids in a foster home, but only so I could get healthy enough to have a healthy baby. Later I agreed to come here to Colorado with some Mormon friends. They brought two of my kids with them. I brought the other on the bus. When I got here they told me I was depressed and needed to check into a mental hospital. They took all the money I had brought to get an apartment and spent (although they did buy clothes for two of my kids) it. When they had me vulnerable they told me they wanted custody of my kids until I got my life together and the Bishop here supported them. He said that I was to give them custody and go back to North Carolina until I had gotten my life together. I went to Social Services and threatened violence to someone if they didn't go and get my kids for me. They did. Seems the "good" Mormons in question had a record of child abuse in another state. Now, on one hand, you can believe that I was mentally unstable and the Mormons were correct in what they did. On the other, you can know that within a month I had earned enough money to get an apartment and my kids with me. That a few short months later I met my new husband who is a Software Engineer with MCI and who has degrees in Math, Computer, Literature, and a PhD in Psychology. He was also born in Boston from an unbroken line of very wealthy Scotsmen. People of his breeding and education do not marry mentally ill folks....especially not welfare moms. So where does that leave your "teaches members to be loving parents, good children, good citizens". Several of the people involved in this entire fiasco did more than behave unethically....they broke the law. They lied. They tried to destroy my family on the word of adulterers and child abusers because I was poor and single. I have seen "good Mormons" do all kinds of stuff and get away with it. Like the Bishop's counselor who was a police captain and was seducing single sisters and brutalizing suspects. Or the Bishops counselor who was abusing his kids. Or how about the Bishop who attended temple regularly for ten years....the whole while he was abusing his position by raping the boys in the Aaronic Priesthood. I have no doubt there is good about the Mormon Church. Or I wouldn't have stuck it out so long. And there is alot to be said for it having lots of rules to keep people in line. That is why I had joined it. I needed someone to tell me what to do since my own upbringing (which included alot of abuse) did not give me a clue as to what was acceptable. And when I think of Deena and Jim (one's that wanted my kids) living only by the Wiccan Rede....I shudder. She could twist Mormon law around to hurt people and get what she wanted. She would have no qualms about justifying that she was doing stuff to help others under our law. And there is alot to be said for being able to go anywhere in the world and find a branch or ward to shelter in. Still, the price for membership and acceptance is too great. As a poem I learned in Relief Society said "I have to live with myself and so, I want to be someone that I'd like to know"....now I am. No more kissing bishops feet for me, boy. Gwenny ... I love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

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