When I am Gone

Posted by: Andee / Category:

After reading a message board about funerals, my roommate and I got to talking about what we would like when we pass away. Neither one of us wants anything traditional. No church service please.

What would I like?

I would like to have a memorial outside (if the weather permits). I would love to have no set list or program of what was to happen at the memorial, instead I would like it if people just shared stories that made them happy. I would much rather be remembered by family stories of crazy Halloween costumes and triple chocolate fudge recipes than sad hymns and prayers.

During the memorial, I would love to have a dessert bar set up with coffee and soda... maybe some harder drinks for the non-designated drivers. All my favorite desserts would be set up... chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter bars, chocolate turtles, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and my ultimate favorite... white chocolate dipped pretzels.

Peanut Butter Caramel Bars... yummy.

I have never been sure if I wanted to be cremated or not... my Mom is kind of against the idea, but since we are both leaving Mormonism and we both have new ideas of the afterlife (if there is one) it's a decision I should make myself. If I decide to be buried, I would like to have female pallbearers (my Mom wants that as well.)

Now that I am free of the Mormon Church, I can hold the funeral the way I want it... and not the way the church wants it.

Mormon funerals have always been looked at as opportunities to share the Mormon gospel to non-members in attendance. The bishop usually gets up and gives a speech on what to expect in the afterlife according to Mormonism. I have been to funerals where the person who passed away were not even Mormon, and the bishop still gave this speech because they were in the mormon chapel. People who commit suicide (I have lost several family members and friends to suicide, and I always knew the Mormon thought process about suicide was wrong) are talked about like they are going to be in limbo forever... and the bishop warns those in attendance to get baptized and save themselves. It's ridiculous.

The funeral or memorial should be about the person who is gone, not about the church. It's a time to say goodbye to someone you love, and no cookie-cutter service will do. Something personal and meaningful is the best thing to do.

Just my opinion.


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Optical Illusions

Posted by: Andee / Category:

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The Ghostie

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I suffer from insomnia. I will lay down in bed and my brain will kick on. I can't stop thinking, worrying (which is pointless) and my imagination soars. It's annoying, and I am always tired. That being said, I have a story to tell ya.

About 4 months ago I was about half asleep. I was tossing and turning trying to get comfortable and I had almost drifted into dreamland when I heard, "HEY!" from the left side of my bed. I thought my roommate was trying to play a trick on me, and I sat straight up in bed and got ready to kick his ass. When I looked around, there was no one. My heart was racing, my blood pressure went up and I tried to convince myself that it was a dream or my imagination playing tricks on me.

I didn't even think much of it, but a few weeks later it happened again... from the same place, the same voice (deep, male) and it was pretty loud. I then told my roommate about it, and he didn't really believe me. I told my Mom about it a couple weeks ago when she came for a visit, and she was creeped out by it as well. (Which was pretty mean of me because she always went to bed before me and we shared my bedroom...)

Well, flash forward to yesterday... I decided to take some "self-portraits" to use for my myspace page and I snapped about 20 photos of me in my bathroom mirror. My roommate was bored, so he went through them later on in the day and he handed me the camera and said, "Hey, what's this?" I honestly don't know what it is... there was only one photo out of 20 with this thing in it.

I asked my friends on postMormon.org (I have many photographer buddies there) what they thought it was and they convinced me it was due to my camera's shutter speed. I will gladly take their explanation! They also told me of a thing called "Exploding Head Syndrome" which causes you to hear loud noises during the night, sometimes waking you from a sound sleep. I love the scientific explanation and I will go with that!

Anyway, I thought it was a pretty cool story, and I will use the "Hey!" ghost and photos for my next Halloween party!

Have a good day everyone!

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Couple Arrested for Quintuplet Scam

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

LADY'S ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - A couple claiming they were having quintuplets and received thousands of dollars in donations from the community have been arrested for obtaining goods under false pretences.

Nancy Cantu and her boyfriend Juan Solis were arrested by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office at their home around 7:30pm Monday. The Sheriff's Office has been investigating the couple after their claim of having the quintuplets gained large amounts of media and community attention.

It was through this investigation that authorities say they discovered the couple's claims were false and Cantu is not pregnant. Sheriff's investigators report this was confirmed by an ultrasound examination Friday at Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

"We interviewed her last Friday, she received gifts on Sunday," said Beaufort County sheriff PJ Tanner. "So even after a law enforcement interview and to a degree her admission she in fact was not pregnant, we couldn't believe that so that's when we had to require an ultrasound for proof."

The couple was asking for money and other donations for their expected children. Deputies say they received anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in gifts and money and could face up to five years in prison if convicted for this felony charge.

News about the couple's arrest traveled quickly especially to those who donated items to them, like local business owner. Dwayne Hinkle. "They said they were needing things, they got a washer and dryer, TV, everything else and they really didn't need it," said Hinkle. "It was just mind boggling to think how would someone have the nerve to do that."

Over at Beaufort High School, members of the National Honors Society feel the same way. They raised $500 for the couple but luckily hadn't handed over any of the donations.

Bond was set at $25,000 at a hearing Tuesday morning. The pair remain in the Beaufort County jail.

Additionally, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has since been notified of the case and will be following up in efforts not only to help confirm the couple's identity, but also to determine their immigration status. Both Cantu and Solis claim to have originally immigrated from Mexico.

If you have given to the couple, the sheriff's office needs you to come forward. You can call Investigator Jeff Purdy at 843.470.3483.

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Racism in the Mormon Church

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I was born and raised in Utah, in an extremely small town. There was only one African-American family in the town, and a member of that family was my best friend in high school. I was never taught about the church's past, something I mention frequently, and when I read some of these quotes I got sick to my stomach. How could I have been a member of this church and been a good friend to this young man at the same time?

African-American men were not allowed to hold the priesthood until 1978, a year before I was born. It was taught that blacks were denied the priesthood because they were from the lineage of Cain, and they were cursed with their black skin because Cain killed his brother, Abel. The Church has never apologized for this, and avoids the topic as much as possible. Here are some horrible comments made by Mormon Church leaders:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.)

Wow, right? If you mix your seed with a black person, Brigham Young believes you should be killed on the spot. This is a prophet of God speaking... don't forget that. Here are a couple more gems from Briggie:

Brigham Young
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un- comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion. - (Journal of Discourses 7:290-291, October 9, 1859)
"You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:336).

It is not the prerogative of the President of the United States to meddle with this matter, and Congress is not allowed, according to the [p.40] Constitution, to legislate upon it. If Utah was admitted into the Union as a sovereign State, and we chose to introduce slavery here, it is not their business to meddle with it; and even if we treated our slaves in an oppressive manner, it is still none of their business and they ought not to meddle with it. Journal of Discourses 4:39-40 (Aug 31, 1856)

Yeah... so Brigham Young, supposed prophet of God said these things. He taught openly that having a black person accept and live the gospel would cause their skin to grow lighter and lighter as the curse of Cain was lifted. He was speaking as a prophet, as he was talking to his flock when making these comments. Many Mormons believe that God wanted the ban on blacks holding the priesthood until 1978, and the ban was lifted only after revelation was given to the prophet at the time, Specncer W. Kimball. The Church denies the lifting of the ban had anything to do with civil rights movement. Does this add up? Nope. Here are more quotes from other LDS leaders:

“And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;...” John Taylor, president/prophet Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304 "And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cain the only way he could get rid of it or have Salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off and spill his blood upon the ground- it would also take the life of his children." Wilford Woodruff, 4th President/prophet (Wilford Woodruff Journal) ”I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. "Darkies" are wonderful people, and they have their place in our church." Joseph Fielding Smith, President/prophet, Look magazine, October 22, 1963, page 79.
The first time I read those remarks I was so angry I couldn't sleep. I couldn't stop thinking about how many times I was taught that these men were noble, kind, sincere, and honest. These men were as good as saints to me at one point in my life, and I was taught to remember the good things they added to the church. I was never taught anything about the ban on blacks holding the priesthood or the "curse of cain." The Church is trying desperately to distance itself from these and many other remarks made by former leaders.

They are trying to distance themselves to the point that they actually changed their scriptures to reflect their new stance. It has been said many times that the Book of Mormon was supposed to be the most correct book on the face of the earth, yet the church has changed it many times to reflect a more open and politically correct church. Take for example this quote from the Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi 5: 21- 'And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.'
The term "white and delightsome" was changed to "pure and delightsome" in 1981. So much for the Book of Mormon being the most correct book on earth, huh?

The Church likes to act like this racism never existed. In an Ensign article in September of 2000, General Authority Alexander Morrison made this comment:

"How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations."

Ummm.... is it that he didn't know about the church's history, or he was just openly denying it? How could you say that with a straight face? Brigham Young was for slavery for crying out loud!

Gordon B. Hinkley, the most recent LDS President (who passed away a few days ago) had this to say about racism:

Now I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible?

GBH is openly saying that what the church did in the past was wrong, isn't he? The church assumed black people were not eligible for the priesthood no matter how righteous they were, and they did it for 150 years.

The Mormon Church used to teach that even faithful black people were destined to just be servants in the next life, and that was openly taught until the 1950's. Mark E. Peterson, and LDS Apostle had this to say in a sermon given at Brigham Young University:

"In spite of all he [the Black person] did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. “

"If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the Celestial Kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory."
Never have I been more ashamed of my past beliefs. Granted, these things were never taught to me, but they should have been. I should have been given the full story and all of the information to make the right decision for myself. Thank God I learned this on my own and I am getting out. I don't even want to be associated with a group of people that held these beliefs.

Had I not researched Mormonism on my own, I would have never known any of this. It's not discussed, and certainly not shared with potential converts to the church. This information, or digging things up from the past the church doesn't like is considered "anti-Mormon" and you are warned against doing this from your local Mormon leaders. They don't want you to know about it because they know it will hurt your testimony. It should hurt your testimony. I have no idea how you can make these statements okay in your mind.

Before I am done with this post, I have to mention the fact that women are still not allowed the priesthood. The church claims that women and men have equal status, which is a lie. Women are not allowed to bless their own babies, pass the sacrament, or even officiate Sacrament meeting. It has to be a priesthood holder. David Peters wrote this statement that I agree with, and I will close with that...
"If an African-American fellow is just as talented as a Caucasian, does this mean either should stick to their "racial" roles? Why then, should there be "sex" derived ones?"


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Not for the easily offended...

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Most of the people who read my blog already know about the passing of the Mormon leader and "profit" Gordon B. Hinkley. He died after living a long and happy life at the age of 97. It shouldn't have come as a shock to anyone that he was about ready to drop, considering his age.

Don't get me wrong, he seemed like a really nice guy... it's just that I can't understand how he somehow decided to spend billions (yes, billions) on a Salt Lake City shopping mall and build Mormon temples throughout the world. The Church's money comes from tithing from members of the church as well as the businesses the church runs (Deseret Book among many, many others..)

This money could have gone to the poor, the hungry, and the sick. Bottom line. We don't need more multi-million dollar temples, we need to take care of our fellow man. The Mormon church doesn't share it's finances with the general public, and I would assume that is because they don't donate a whole lot of it.

One of my favorite shows, The Colbert Report, made this report on his death:

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Overheard at the Office

Posted by: Andee / Category:

I am probably the last person on Earth to find this website, but I love it... it's called Overheard at the Office.

People overhear conversations at work that strike them as funny or odd, and then post them anonymously online for others to read. Some of them are hilarious, and here are my favorites!

9AM That's the Ulcer Perforating

Coworker on phone with QC guy: Um... You just hit the printer icon... What? Well, just type it on a Word document. Uh, you type, then hit that aforementioned printer icon... Okay, hold up. Let's just start from square one, shall we? First, is your computer on this time? Okay, hit your start button, down there at the bottom of your screen. Uh, and don't really hit it -- just click, okay? Now click 'All programs'... M-hmmm... Now click 'Microsoft Office, and then 'Microsoft Word.' You get a pop-up on your computer about macros. Click the 'X.' [Sighs.] Well, give it a minute -- you'll have a pop-up. Very good. Yes, hit the 'X.' [After pause] Now you type -- you know -- typey-type-type-type? Then print. Right. No, if you don't save it, then it won't stay on your computer... What exactly are you typing and printing in there? ... You know what? Never mind. It's better if I just don't know. [Hangs up, then speaks to self.] And I can't ship anything without him checking the parts first... I have a good feeling in my belly now.

8220 England Street
Charlotte, North Carolina


4PM I Stand by My Earlier Assessment

Employee #1: Who's that new blonde girl that works here?
Employee #2: Which new blonde girl? That doesn't narrow it down.
Employee #1: You know, the... the slow one. She sounds kind of retarded when she talks.
Employee #2: Kelly*? She's not retarded, you jerk -- she's from Sweden. English isn't her first language.

Boston Post Road
Sudbury, Massachusetts


11AM 10,000 CSRs Can't Be Funny

CSR #1 on phone: Hello, are you there? Marco? Marco?
CSRs #2 and #3, simultaneously: Polo? Polo?

473 Ridge Road
Dayton, New Jersey

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Incredible Hi Res 3D Motion Photo Panoramas

Posted by: Andee / Category:

You have got to go to this site and check out these amazing panoramic photos! It's awesome!

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Well, I won't do that again...

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I don't know what I was thinking. My brain must have turned off and I was functioning without it. That has to be it, because normally I wouldn't do such a thing.

What did I do? Well, lets just say that I logged onto a Mormon faith message board and asked some questions about the things that were bothering me about the church. For the record, I did *NOT* lie to these people. I was completely honest. I told them that my testimony was in question (not a lie) and that I had questions I needed answers to (not a lie.)

This is one of the paintings I was shown as a child. Everything in this painting is pure fiction.

My main questions were based on the translation of the Gold Plates by Joseph Smith. I shared the painting that I was shown as a child that shows the gold plates sitting on a table right in front of Joseph Smith and his scribe. Since doing more research I have learned that Joseph used a Seer Stone that he had before he found the gold plates and put it in a top hat, covered the light, and "translated" the plates with the plates buried somewhere else.

Questions: If it wasn't important that Joseph have the plates for translation, why was it necessary for him to dig them up in the first place? Couldn't the divine intervention that allowed him to translate the plates by use of a rock in a hat have done so without having to dig up and hide the plates over and over again?

Their reply was the usual... "You once believed that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. Why is it important to you how he translated if you know in your heart and the holy ghost testifies to you that he was inspired by God to restore the church?"

My reply was this: "If Joseph Smith translated the plates with a rock in a hat, why did the church teach me something different? Why was I lied to? Why was I shown paintings like this that didn't depict what really happened?"

They didn't understand how I had been lied to. They asked me over and over who I felt had lied to me and when. I told them over and over again that my church leaders/teachers lied when they told me a false story of the translation. They didn't see how that was lying.


The Church says that you should always be honest, why were they not honest with me about the history of the church? Why?

I will leave that one open...


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Sunday Secrets!

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Sunday Secrets are up! Click the postcard for the direct link!

I wonder if my true-blue-Mormon cousin sent this in...

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Photo Update

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

Here are some photos I took this week, enjoy!

Bounce Balls at Wal-Mart

"Hey... Whatcha Doin?"

"Can I have some privacy please?"

King of the Mountain.

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The Plane Crash

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

I was doing my daily browsing of internet material and found this frightening story told by "Inconceivable." I have been to meetings exactly like the one he talks about, and I agree with his thoughts on the matter. Enjoy.

When I was about 14 or so, I went to a combined mutual night (all the teenaged boys and girls together).

We were all given make believe airline tickets and told we were all going on a flight to a fun and exciting tropical paradise. Some of the adult members were dressed as stewardesses, pilot etc. We all boarded this make believe plane (between the chapel and cultural hall where there is a 12 foot wide space between the big curtain dividers). They served us snacks and tried hard to make it seem real. Most of us were cutting up, not paying much attention because the whole thing was a little pre-adolescent.

Then it happened. the pilot comes on and says we have some sort of engine trouble, they blink the lights for about a minute while engine noises, wind and stuff are piped through the sound system then some sort of plane crash noise. Some of us boys are still carrying on hamming it up screaming like the girls etc. Then all goes quiet and everything goes dark.

One of the leaders then states, "You are all dead now" Things got pretty serious at this point. We all got sober. It wasn't funny anymore.

Then a few lights went on and an adult member came in dressed in white and started saying things like, "were you ready to die tonight?", "your time is up and it's too late to repent", "where will you go?", "will you be with your family forever or somewhere else?" etc.. Some of the girls started crying and everything really hit an all time low.

Because this was so long ago, what I remember next was an endowed married couple I respected entering together all dressed in their temple whites. I just remembered their smiles and holding each other's hands as the bishop explained that they were members of the celestial kingdom and they were happy because they kept the commandments... the whole thing was very disturbing and frightening.

It had the effect of frightening us into a willingness to fall in line with whatever they told us. The event has come to mind a couple times over the years, but for the most part, I have blocked it out.
This was about 1977.

Anyone else witness this psycho drama as a teen?
If any adult attempted to do this to my kids I'd press charges and still end up spending a night in jail.

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Paul Is Dead

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

My senior year in high school my music teacher did a week-long Beatles lecture on the "Paul is Dead" Hoax. The way my teacher pulled out his vinyl records and showed us the photos/clues really stuck with me, and I thought I would post some of them just for the hell of it. Since I couldn't remember them all I got some help from this lovely website, check it out. Hope ya like it!

  • Near the top is a photo of Paul screaming (in the accident he lost his hair and teeth and was decapitated).
  • Paul is facing to the side on the cover, showing non-conformity with the other living Beatles, who are facing front.

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

  • The whole album is a funeral scene. The headstone is the stone statue to the right of the drum. In front of that is a yellow floral display which, when looked at carefully, can be read as "paul?" or simply the letter "P" for "Paul." Note the younger Ringo is sad, as if he had lost a friend.
  • To the right of the stone statue is a statue of a girl who is looking down and to the right at a flaming car. This is "Lovely Rita the meter maid," who saw Paul's accident and the flaming car. The reason Paul was in the accident was because he was looking at "Lovely Rita".
  • Paul himself is seen with a hand over his head, which is an Eastern blessing for the deceased.
  • Paul holds a cor anglais, at the end of which is a small hook, representing the reaper's scythe.
  • The four-armed doll at the bottom of the cover points with one arm to Paul and is holding some sort of floral bouquet.
  • On the record version, the inside photo of the band shows Paul with a patch on his left arm which reads "O.P.D." or, "Officially Pronounced Dead." Other sources say that it stands for "Ontario Provincial Police," where William Campbell was an officer when he won the infamous look-alike contest
  • On the back cover of the record version, Paul is facing backwords, symbolizing his non-conformance with the living (being dead and all).
  • On the back cover of the record version, George points to the line, "Wednesday morning at five o'clock," the day and time of the accident.
  • The record sleeve for the first printing of the album came in psychedelic red colors, which looked like it had been soaked in blood. A picture of the sleeve is on the inside back cover of the CD version.
  • When a mirror is put up to the drum on the cover in the middle and horizontally, it reads, "1 ONE 1 X = HE DIE (arrow pointing to Paul)." The "1 ONE 1" refers to the three remaining Beatles; the "X" to Paul.
  • The word "BEATLES" on the cover spelled out in stars becomes a phone number when viewed upside-down. The number is either 537-1438 or 231-7438. The latter is rumored to be the number to a London mortuary, but some say that when they called the number they heard, "You're getting closer..."
  • In the movie and in a picture in the booklet to the record version, it shows Paul at a desk with a sticker on it that reads, "I WAS."
  • On page 12 of the booklet in the record version, Paul is not wearing any shoes; they are to the left and covered in blood. Tire tracks are seen leading up to Paul.

Yellow Submarine

  • On the front of the cover Paul has a hand above his head, again, the Eastern blessing for the dead.
  • The Yellow Submarine on the cover is underground, beneath the remaining Beatles. This is Paul's coffin.
Abbey Road
  • The cover is symbolic of a funeral procession; John is dressed as the preacher, Ringo as the pallbearer, Paul as the corpse, and George as the grave digger.
  • Paul is walking with his eyes closed, like a dead man.
  • Paul is walking out of step with the other Beatles. He leads with his right foot, the others with their left. This is a symbol of non-conformity with the living (because he is dead).
  • Also, Paul is walking with a cigarette in his right hand, while the real Paul is left-handed. Cigarettes were also known as "coffin nails."
  • The Volkswagon Beetle has a license plate which reads, "28IF." In other words, Paul would have been 28 when Abbey Road was released, if he had lived.
  • On the back cover, the word "Beatles" has a crack running down the letter "S," symbolizing a break in the band (Paul's death).
  • To the left of the "Beatles" sign are five circles. Four of these are in the light because they represent people who are alive; John, George, Ringo, and William Campbell (Paul's replacement). The fifth circle is in the shade because it represents Paul, who is dead.

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Sunday Secrets!

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Don't forget to check out the Sunday Secrets!

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Lies or Misleading Statements Most Mormons Will Say...

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

During my daily visit to PostMormon.org, one of my favorite websites that help people with advice and support when they leave the Mormon Church, I saw a post by DennisK that spoke to me. I identified with everything he said, and asked permission to post it here on my blog. Thanks again, DennisK!

Here are my Top 10 Lies or Misleading Statements That Most Mormons will say... These include things I used to repeat as a TBM and I did so only thinking I was defending the faith... These are things people say to make Mormonism APPEAR more palatable and to convince themselves that believing the Latter-day Saint story is a rational path:

1. "Mormons stopped believing in polygamy in 1890 and haven't practiced it since. It's in the PAST"

I see this statement in newspaper Letters to the Editor and Blogs all the time. First of all, as long as D&C 132 is canonized scripture, polygamy is still an LDS belief. Honesty would be to say it is no longer actively PRACTICED. When a widower can get sealed to another woman for "time and eternity," that is in effect polygamy in the hereafter. Even though it's not talked about a lot, even though the prophet & members pretend it doesn't exist it IS a part of LDS doctrine until those elements of scripture and practice are changed. The belief in still very much in the PRESENT.

2. "We don't talk badly about other religions in our church"

I'm very clear that Mormons really believe this and they'll never really get it when I tell them this but the doctrine of the Apostasy and the Restoration are in and of themselves insulting and offensive to most Catholics and Protestants. Even when you try to couch your statement in term of things like "they have elements of truth, just not a fulness" and "Let us just ADD to the truths you already believe in" it is arrogant and condescending...and inherently speaking "badly" of another religion.

3. "I know the Church is True."

Join any discussion in Elder's Quorum or RS on "Sons of Perdition" and you'll hear how rare it is for anyone to actually be at the point that they really"know" enough to be damned for denying it. They pretend like almost nobody has a sure knowledge like that and so very few will be damned. Come Fast & Testimony Meeting, however, and the whole congregation "knows." Would it really kill the church to teach members to be honest and say they "believe" the church is true?

4. "The Church has never hidden anything about its history or doctrine."

Potential members of a church shouldn't have to go to outside sources or wait until after a few years of membership until the "meat" of the doctrine is available to them. When church approved lesson plans leave out potentially uncomfortable information on topics such as polygamy, the First Vision, The BOA and such, then it IS hiding something.

5. "The fastest growing religion" or "13 Million Members"

Let's face it, if the church wants to use the "13 million" number, they have every right to do so, but they should then also admit that the average Mormon in that case is someone who never goes to church, doesn't consider themselves Mormon and most likely doesn't behave like a polished "Mitt-like" mannequin of a Mormon. If they whittle it down to an honest 4-6 million, then I say go ahead and present your white-bread, sparkly teeth, Osmond-like PR version. But you can't have it both ways....13 Millions members and I'm your poster boy....4-6 Million and you can gloat about Steve Young all you want...

6. "I've read all that 'anti' trash and it's so bitter, angry and dishonest"

I honestly don't believe these people have read what they claim to have read. Nobody ever expects you to read "anti" material. But let's be clear about what "anti" material really is. As a former missionary to Brazil, I can pretty easily detail weaknesses and errors in Catholicism. Does that make me anti-Catholic? Just because a writer or an organization disagrees with Mormonism, it does not automatically qualify it as "anti." In fact, many many books that have nothing whatsoever to do with Mormonsim at all will help you realize that the strongest evidence against Mormonism come from people who probably know nothing about it. Try, "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond, "A History of God" by Karen Armstong, "The Age of Reason", by Thomas Paine to start off...

7. "Sacred not Secret"

The scriptures and Joseph Smith's entire life pretty easily show that the Mormon God expects those who have experienced Him to some degree to share their experiences. There absolutely no precedence for keeping things hush-hush. And what good is a modern day "witness" who won't relate their experiences? A "witness" witnesses. Keeping things secret under the guise of being sacred only means there's deception involved or the supposed experiences never happened in the first place. Be honest, it's SECRET because to the unitiated it would all just seem way too kooky! Whenver I hear a Mormon say "It's sacred", my mind trasnslates that as "It's embarrassing to admit out loud."

8. "It's all about families"

This makes me want to throw up more than any of the others... What they really mean is "It's all about one kind of family - OUR kind." From my experience as a father, the more actively I participated in the LDS church, the higher the calling I accepted, the less time I spent with my family and the crappier husband and father I became. I even spent a while as a TBM studying biographies of the modern prophets and came to the conclusion that most of them were crappy fathers - devoting most of their time to the church and expecting their wives to do almost all of the child-rearing. Come to think of it, the Mormons God is a pretty horrible father in my opinion. I'd never father my children like that..all the faith testing, the conditional love, the innane busy work....

9 "Thou Shalt Not Lie"

How many times have you been in an LDS meeting only to hear the speaker talk about an experience which glorified lying for the greater good of spreading the gospel? Missionaries doing "surveys" to contact people rather than admitting they are proselyting... Missionaries who took their tags off as they passed through customs... Members making friends with some unsuspecting neighbor as they work their courage up to inviting them to church or to accept a Book of Mormon. I remember a Hartman Rector talk about how he got the Temple Film into East Germany by lying about what it was to customs officials. A Mormon will always say, "We don't believe X,Y,Z" if they know XYZ is embarrassing OR if they think admitting XYZ will prevent the other person from joining the church.

10 "Follow the Prophet"

It's funny to watch Mormons themselves tear apart a dead prophet. And they'll do it without blinking an eye. Just point out to them something that Brigham Young, Spencer W Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson or Bruce R McKonkie (Apostle are sustained as prophets too) said. If a statement is ever posthumously found to be blatantly false, then said prophet was only giving his opinion or speaking "as a man." If a prophets words can be so blatantly incorrect, then what's the point in ever following one? EVER? If a prophet can be wrong and if he's only human at times, then why do we never hear one correcting himself? Why doesn't a prophet set a perfect example of repentance?

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An Eventful Day

Posted by: Andee / Category: , ,

Today I took a drive to Tooele, Utah to pick up my Mom for a weekend visit. It was almost hard to see that town again because the small town I used to visit growing up has turned into a busy city! On the drive in I kept telling roomie, "Wow, that building is new... that one too! Oh, wow... that building used to be the end of town!" There are literally houses everywhere, and they are still popping up.

One thing that hasn't changed (and that's a good thing) is my favorite quick-bite restaurant. The Dairy Delight! I love this place. Their menu fills a complete wall, and one side of it is strictly milkshakes (more flavors than you ever dreamed of) and sundaes. Since I am on an informal "diet" I went as far as I could go and didn't order dessert... that sure didn't stop me from ordering a bacon double cheeseburger with gems. Gems are informal tater-tots, and they come with a little cup of Utah's famous fry sauce. If you had not tried dipping your fries in fry sauce, you haven't lived.

Damn, that was good.

Growing up in Utah, I just assumed everyone ate fry sauce... when I went to California with my band in High School I remember asking the McDonald's cashier for fry sauce... she looked at me like I was trying to play a prank on her. She winked and brought me back a couple packets of ketchup. Not the same, sadly.

The Haunted Hotel

One block down from the Dairy Delight stands the Kirk Hotel. This hotel is infamous with folks in my area for being haunted. I am not sure who haunts the hotel, but there are many stories of people being murdered or committing suicide. It's even listed on Shadowlands... I had to take some shots in hopes that I could catch a ghostie or two peeking out from the windows. When I was editing the photos with my Mom we thought we saw something in one of the windows, but then again... we wanted to see something and it was probably our minds playing tricks on us.

Brr... I took this photo on the walk.

Mom and I went for a little walk to burn off some of the horrific calories, but we didn't quite realize how cold it was until we were pretty far from the house. Poor Mom was almost frozen solid by the time we returned, and it took her a while to warm back up. Note to self: No more walks in freezing temperatures. What was I thinking?

Hope you enjoy the photos, and have a good one guys!

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My Cat has a Sense of Humor!

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Spooky Bear fell asleep on her cat tree, and she was sleeping so peacefully that I decided to take some photos. The first couple turned out just fine, then she woke up... then yawned... and sat like this for about 3 full minutes.

Roomie and I were laughing our asses off, and poor little Spooky Bear didn't understand what was so funny... Ahh, good times.

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Is it a Cult? Part 2

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Yesterday I wrote a little about the Mormon Church being a cult in the eyes of many who have been inside the church and who have studied it from the outside. Here is the rest of the article:

"Have confessionals where people demonize their early lives and only praise their life inside the group. Rewrite the past as terrible, even though it might have been great."

Testimony meetings are great for this kind of thing. People get up to the microphone and tell about the trials they have in their lives and how the Mormon gospel helps them cope. They also tell of times where they were not following the gospel and how much harder their life was.

"Isolate them from the rest of the world. Make them feel like they are part of an elite group with an important mission."

Most of the Mormons in Utah can identify with this quote. Everything in the state of Utah has some kind of influence from the Mormon Church. When you go to BYU (luckily for me I didn't!) you are in a mindset of following every rule the church lays out for you. You are pretty much cut off from everyone else, and you don't have the same issues as everyone else. Most people consider themselves lucky, I, on the other hand, think this stops people from growing up and dealing with real issues. You are also taught that you are part of an elite group in the Mormon Church... you are there to share the gospel with everyone you can. Every member a missionary is a common saying. What better mission is there?

"Tighten your groups by establishing scapegoats and enemies. Demonize outsiders as less than human: biased, corrupt, or conspiring against the group. Develop an "us verses them" mentality."

Anyone who disagrees with anything the brethren have to say is immediately labeled and dealt with. You are in meetings with your bishop, stake president, and your family members and friends are spoken with to try and 'save you.' If you disagree with the church, you are anti-Mormon to them. Us vs. them? Check.

"Fighting Resistance... tell them that critical thoughts about the group are evidence of "crimes" against the group. Investigate them and make up crimes."
Again, if you disagree with the Mormon leaders you are committing crimes against your own church and you are dealt with immediately. It happens every day.

"Make them feel guilty by making comments like:

  • We are doing important work here!
  • You expect saving the world to be easy?
  • We are all called upon to make sacrifices for the cause!
  • Just when things get tough you want to give up.
  • What is more important? Our mission, our eternal salvation, or your petty grievances?
  • Our leader is flawless
  • The doctrine is flawless
  • There must be something wrong with you.
This little piece of the puzzle sticks out for me. Why? Because it is what I am dealing with right now. My family and friends who are still in the church will ask me these very questions, and do their best to make me feel guilty about leaving the church. I have even been asked, "What is wrong with you? You don't want to be with me for all eternity?" How do you answer that? Of course I want to be with my family and friends for all eternity... but I don't see how following the Mormon Church's rules is going to make that happen. They are proven liars, and you can't trust them or anything they say. Point blank. My conscience won't let me stay in the church any longer.

"Indoctrinate with fear. Tell them that they could be possessed by evil spirits, or suggest that if they should ever leave something bad could happen to them. Say things like:

  • I'm warning you that without us you are likely to get into a bad accident or get sick, or even die.
  • If you leave, you will just be reincarnated into a lower life form.
I have mentioned on this blog that I have been told that I am possessed by Satan for leaving the Mormon Church. A friend of mine actually said, "You must be being led away by Satan because that is the only way someone could walk away from the one true church." Sickening, isn't it? Maybe it's just *ME* making my own decisions for once instead of letting this CULT make them for me!

As you can see, I clearly believe the Mormon Church fits the mold of a cult...

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Sunday Secrets!

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Sunday Secrets are here! Don't forget to check them out!

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Staples Packages Five Small Notepads In Five Separate Boxes

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Now thats funny...

Dear Staples:

Thanks for your recent delivery of the items we ordered. Your drivers must know how to drive fast because it always arrives very fast and we think that's swell. However, your shipping department might be drinking on the job or something because the amount of packaging used for our most recent order was ridiculous. You might want to go down there and check.

Here is the major malfunction:

The shipment was prepared such that each of the...

Item Number: 708146 -
Ampad Gold Fibre® Designer Series Top Wirebound Writing Pad, Brown, Wide Ruled, 8 1/2″ x 11 3/4″
Quantity: 5 Price: $3.58

..that I ordered was packaged and shipped in a separate box. Are you kidding me? Its just too much for me to bear! In addition to being very un-environmental, shipping one NOTEBOOK in a box that measures 2 feet by 1 foot 2 inches is costly, perhaps costing US more money and YOU for certain. We dont pay you for shipping, so it's not like it was a clever ruse to squeeze more money from this cash cow.

I am speechless! SEE attached photos of the carnage from ALL the packaging from the delivery. I ordered 41, no wait, 38 items from you and they were shipped in 8 different boxes, most of which I could fit in! And I am not a dwarf OR a child. Actually, 1 item is backordered so 37 items shipped. The other 3 items were catalogs that I have requested NOT to have delivered since I do all my ordering ONLINE. That's 4.625 items per box. And the "items" were things like "pens" and "highlighters" not "Hummer engines" or "flat screen tv's." Is this some kind of joke? If so, it's not funny Staples, not funny. Most of the items could have fit in one box. Didn't YOU see An Inconvenient Truth like the rest of America?

Above: Large mess cleaned up by ME, not staples.

My Account Manager has been the most helpful and enthusiastic customer representative I have ever had the pleasure to interact with, but the firestorm-a-brewing right now may be enough to have cost you a customer. Silly Staples.

The amount of time I spent breaking down boxes and properly discarding those "plastic bubbles" used to cushion each individually boxed notebook was ridiculous. You have wasted my time Staples.

And I am very, very upset.

The stupid shipping gang is a menace to the environment. Bubblewrap makers gaze dreamily as Walmart, Crate & Barrel, and Staples strike fear into the hearts of forests everywhere. Does an insider want to let us know how these packaging nightmares, which are a waste to everyone but the shipping companies, make it out the door?

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It is a Cult?

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

When I first asked my Mom questions about the Mormon Church being far from what I grew up believing, I accidentally used the word "cult." She didn't like it, not one single bit. Most Mormons will cringe if you call their religion a cult (I assume that would go along with any religion) and testify they have the one and only true church on the face of the planet.

A few days ago someone mentioned Mormonism being a cult again, and now that Mom is almost as ready to leave this church as I am, she sat down and considered the evidence. What evidence?

I took the information from this YouTube clip by Carey Burtt.

"Do you want devoted followers? People who leave their families to you? Give all their money to you? People who would give up their bodies and lives for you?"

O.k., so we start here at the beginning... the Mormon Church preaches a lot of family togetherness, but... if someone leaves the church the Mormon leaders warn the faithful family members left over to be very wary of the apostate. I do consider this leaving your family for a religious cult. Choosing to follow someone else's rules and plans instead of loving your family for who they are.

I have never met a Mormon that considers anyone but God to be God, but they sure spend a lot of time preaching about Joseph Smith and telling people to follow the prophet who supposedly speaks to God. It is actually scary to me that I believed this at one time.

"Structure your cult like an onion with the most benign and helpful features on the outside and the most kookie, controlling and evil parts at the secret inner core."
This definitely strikes me as Mormon... when investigators are spending time learning about the LDS Church, they are taught about the wonderful things the church does for the world. All the donations given to the sick, poor and hungry... all the aid given to unwed mothers. They make it seem like a fantastic organization. What they don't tell you is that Brigham Young once preached that Quakers lived on the Moon, and that Joseph Smith gave revelation that God lived on a planet called Kolob. If you were to hear that from a missionary, it would scream "CULT!" wouldn't it? That's why they don't tell you. They also don't tell you about temple garments, temple ceremonies, or any doctrine they find would scare you away. You learn this after you are baptized only.

"Use deception, don't tell them who you really are. Lie, leave out important information or distort information."

I was shown this photo when I was growing up in the Mormon Church.
I have since learned this painting has nothing to do with what actually happened during the translation of the plates.

Deception is the name of the game in the Mormon Church. They would have you believe that they were champions in the 60's regarding racism. They would also have you believe that they do wonderful things for women's rights. Wrong. The Mormon church wouldn't allow blacks to hold the priesthood until 1978, and that was only because they were going to loose their tax exempt status from the government. *POOF* The Prophet receives revelation that blacks are allowed to have the priesthood... a little convenient, isn't it? This is also never mentioned to investigators. Women are still not allowed to hold the priesthood, and are treated as second class baby makers.

"Promise to fulfill their dreams. A world of unconditional love and brotherhood. We have the secrets to self-improvement. You can join us and be special. Join our elite mission to save the world. We can teach you special powers like personal power, psychic power, past life regression, and telekinesis."
The Mormon Church promises to its members that they will be with their family for eternity if they follow the prophet and his teachings. You are told that you are special if you are born into the church, and that you must have been a good spirit in the pre-existence. They give men the power of the priesthood which supposedly gives them powers to tell if people are telling the truth or not (like bishops or temple workers) and powers of the holy ghost after you are baptized. You are a part of an amazing group of people that want to share the gospel with everyone they can... to save them.

"Don't give them time to think. Diminish doubting by separating your new recruits from each other. Surround them with happy, true believers so when they are in doubt they will tend to do what everyone around them is doing and believe it is normal."
When investigators are deciding to join the church or not, they usually get lessons from missionaries. These missionaries usually bear their testimony of the truth fullness of the gospel 7 to 8 times per lesson to emphasize their belief in the church. Once someone is interested in joining the church, they receive regular visits from church members stopping by and showing them love and attention. It's very misleading.

"Start with a prolonged period of "Love Bombing." Surround them with unconditional love and attention. Your cult family should act friendly, interested, get information and hone in on their weak spots."
Again, this screams "Mormon Church" to me... if you are going to an LDS Church for the first time you are usually treated as if you just won the lottery. Everyone wants to shake your hand, get to know you, and ask you to tell them about yourself. This information is used for manipulation. Say, for instance, a young single mother was interested in joining the church... leaders and worshipers would ask this woman things like, "Isn't it nice to know that with our gospel you can be with your children for all eternity?" and "Isn't it nice that the Mormon Church helps it's members with food or money if they need help?" Of course this would seem like a really good thing to a single mother...

"Gradually, over time, you will begin to shape your recruits behavior. Do this by granting or withholding this love and attention. After they have bonded slowly start making your demands upon them. Control their behavior through rituals, fund raising, indoctornal activities, menial labor, confessions, fasting, or all night vigils."
Once a member is baptized into the Mormon faith, they learn of the bad side of things. You are granted or withheld a temple recommend. You have to pass a bishops interview, pay your tithing, and live the gospel. The bishop has all the power. Temple rituals are very dull, and very mind-numbing. Tithing must be paid, and the bishop keeps record of what you pay and when. Indoctornal activities happen in church services as well as outside the church house during young women's meetings, boy scouts, young men's, priesthood, and relief society meetings. Members of the ward are often asked to clean the church house as a "calling from God" and receive no pay. You must confess all sins to your bishop or another priesthood holder... every 1st Sunday of the month is fast Sunday... no food/drink all day. All night prayers or Book of Mormon readings are rare from what I have seen... but they do exist. Check, check... and check.

"Keep them active and with as little sleep as possible. If you can restrict their eating habits to low-protien foods, do it. Control their thoughts by telling them "Our ideology answers all questions to all problems." and "Let our doctrine think for you."
As far as I know the LDS Church does not limit sleep... they certainly don't help matters by making so many church activities mandatory for a temple recommend. They believe and teach the Word of Wisdom which originally told members to limit eating meat to winter only... this changed to exclude coffee, tea, and other unaccepted hot drinks. I cannot tell you how many times members of the church have used the phrases, "We have answers to all your questions" and "the thinking has been done for you." The latter was even said by a Mormon General Authority... a clear example that they just want you to pray, pay and obey.

"Control their emotions, induce guilt and fear."
Members of the Mormon faith are taught that leaving the Mormon Church is the worst possible sin. It's equally as bad to not raise your children in the gospel of the Mormon Church so they can be with you in the afterlife. They claim to have all the answers, and make promises that can't be cashed in until after you are dead. If you decide to skip a Sunday service, you will be called on it by a home teacher or the bishop himself. This happened to me personally when I stopped going to church as a teenager. My Young Women's teacher came to my home every Wednesday before AND after the Young Women's meeting to tell me how much they missed me and how I needed to be there to be closer to Christ. Guilt and fear. Check.

"Control information. Keep them from knowing all the workings of the cult. Block out any information which is critical of the group."
You are told to read only what the church leaders tell you to read. You are only allowed to go on church approved websites so you don't read anything "anti-Mormon." The information changes, too. Joseph Smith taught that polygamy was necessary for salvation, yet reading any church material today you will find no mention of it at all! Even the word "wives" was conveniently switched to "wife" in many LDS manuals. They tell you what they want to tell you. Another example is the translation of the book of Mormon. Joseph Smith used a magical seer stone in a top hat, buried his head in and blocked out all the light, this was never once taught to me in church. I was told that Joseph had the plates in front of him, with a sheet or partition to shield scribe as he translated the plates. I have also since learned that the plates were nowhere near the place where the translation happened. It's an obvious decision to outright lie to people in the church to keep them in it.

"Encourage other members to spy and report on one another."
Many priesthood meetings, as well as Relief Society meetings are spent talking about other people in the ward and how to "help" them. You are encouraged to share any personal information you might have, to "help" them. In reality, this information is usually given to the bishop and he decides what happens... he might even hold a bishops court to show his authority over you, and call you out on the things the other members say you have done. It's very high school, only with some crazy power-hungry guy pointing his finger in your face and calling you a sinner.

"Seperate the recruit from his/herself by attacking the self and inducing a mental breakdown. Disguise the breakdown as a spiritual awakening. When they start to hallucinate tell them they are flushing out the bad stuff inside."

I have never seen anyone have a mental breakdown in church services, but close... testimony meetings are designed to have members share their powerful testimonies of the Mormon gospel. Many members end up sobbing and sharing their hardships, but they claim the religion and their faith in the gospel is helping them through. They feel they are closer to God by sharing their testimony. It's different from what is described, yet very similar.

"Make them paranoid about their own bodies or thought processes."
Mormon teenagers go through many lessons, interviews and social settings that show them they are not to touch themselves or anyone else. They are told to be afraid of it, because it's Satan's way of leading them away from the church and their eternal family. Even grown adults fear sexual contact due to the indoctrination. It makes them feel dirty and used, and they only have sex in order to have children (as many children as possible). Not all Mormon couples deal with this, thankfully...

"Claim authority. It can come from a divine source, such as the Holy Bible."

Or in this case, the Book of Mormon. Mormon leaders are excellent at this... all priesthood members have authority over non-priesthood holders. All men are priesthood holders by the time they are 12, and women never have the priesthood. This means a woman's 12 year old son has authority over his own mother and sisters. Also, the Mormon leadership, including the prophet himself, make sure their rules are followed. An example was when the prophet decided that women should only wear one pair of earrings. What? Why does God care how many pairs of earrings we wear? But, since the Mormon leaders have authority, the rule was followed by all women.

"Make up stories about yourself to boost your importance. A good con man takes a little truth and a lot of lies and pulls the wool over the eyes of the ignorant."

Joseph Smith was the king of this... his made up story about being visited by God and his son, his story about the angel Moroni, his story about the Nephites, his story that God commanded him to practice polygamy and keep it secret from his wife. It's amazing what a good con man can pull off, isn't it? This is also showing that any living prophet has the power to say anything, tell the followers God told him to say it, and they will humbly follow what he says. It's an excellent con.

"Revert them back to childhood dependence and mindless obedience. Encourage separation from their non-believing families. "Maybe you should stay away from them... it's not healthy for you to be around un-enlightened people anyway."
Many of my Mormon friends don't know how to make normal decisions. They require prayer, seeking the counsel of the bishop, the reading of scriptures and many other things before they feel okay about making general every-day decisions. As I mentioned before, if one family member leaves the church, the church leaders warn the staying family members to stay away from the apostate because they might mislead you into leaving the church yourself. Apostates are not to be trusted, and in the past they were killed.

"Encourage dependency, conformity, and discourage individuality."

Again, the two earring rule can be seen here. All girls learn to be good little mommies when they grow up, all boys learn to be powerful priesthood holders and to go on a mission. If you decide to be an individual and not do as taught, you will not be treated the same as everyone else. I can personally promise this because it happened to me.

So far, the Mormon Church fits the description of a mind control cult pretty well, doesn't it? I will post part 2 of the article tomorrow! -Sydney

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Law and Order without Writers

Posted by: Andee / Category:

As a couch potato I am ready for the writers strike to be over. I miss my shows! Luckily for me, random cast members from Law and Order made this little spoof to show their respect and admiration for their writers. It's funny as hell, you should watch it.

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Poor Kitty!

Posted by: Andee / Category:

Animal control officials in Hunterdon County rescued a feral cat today that had been wandering for days with its head stuck in a glass jar.

The 8-month old domestic shorthair male was found wedged under a deck along Routes 202/31 in Raritan Township. A veterinarian used cooking oil to remove the container, described as a mason jar, typically used to store vegetables or fruit.

"We just worked a little on the neck and it popped right off," said Thomas Dodd, the animal control officer for Raritan Township.

Officials found the cat around 5:30 a.m. "hollering and screaming" with its rear end jutting from under the deck of a real estate office.

The animal had been seen walking the property near the Copper Hill Country Club, but efforts to catch him were unsuccessful.

The cat will be transported to the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter on Friday, and will be available for adoption after seven days, officials said.

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Polish teen derails tram after hacking train network

Posted by: Andee / Category:

A Polish teenager allegedly turned the tram system in the city of Lodz into his own personal train set, triggering chaos and derailing four vehicles in the process. Twelve people were injured in one of the incidents.

This photo is NOT from the incident in the article... I just really liked it... hahaha

The 14-year-old modified a TV remote control so that it could be used to change track points, The Telegraph reports. Local police said the youngster trespassed in tram depots to gather information needed to build the device. The teenager told police that he modified track setting for a prank.

"He studied the trams and the tracks for a long time and then built a device that looked like a TV remote control and used it to manoeuvre the trams and the tracks," said Miroslaw Micor, a spokesman for Lodz police.

"He had converted the television control into a device capable of controlling all the junctions on the line and wrote in the pages of a school exercise book where the best junctions were to move trams around and what signals to change.

"He treated it like any other schoolboy might a giant train set, but it was lucky nobody was killed. Four trams were derailed, and others had to make emergency stops that left passengers hurt. He clearly did not think about the consequences of his actions," Micor added.

Transport command and control systems are commonly designed by engineers with little exposure or knowledge about security using commodity electronics and a little native wit. The apparent ease with which Lodz's tram network was hacked, even by these low standards, is still a bit of an eye opener.

Problems with the signalling system on Lodz's tram network became apparent on Tuesday when a driver attempting to steer his vehicle to the right was involuntarily taken to the left. As a result the rear wagon of the train jumped the rails and collided with another passing tram. Transport staff immediately suspected outside interference.

The youth, described by his teachers as an electronics buff and exemplary student, faces charges at a special juvenile court of endangering public safety.

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