Episode 256: Dialogs with Myself – How John Larsen Disagrees with John Larsen

14 comments on “Episode 256: Dialogs with Myself – How John Larsen Disagrees with John Larsen”

  1. Christopher Allman Reply

    It is interesting that a religious person may see someone need for a weekly therapist session as a sign of that person’s weakness and inability to deal with their own issues. The irony is that these people seem not to recognizing, among the primary reasons they attend Church once a week,is to essentially be ‘Therapied’ by God, because they are ‘sinners’ and trying to be better, looking to someone outside theirselves for input on how to live. (something most all of us need, since we all lack self awareness and the accumulated wisdom of others can be of benefit).
    Of course, therapy tends to be significantly more effective than religion. I took the Church VERY seriously as a teenager and as a directly consequence I ultimately had a mental breakdown when I was 17. This led my taking anti-depressants and receiving counseling as a late teen/ early twenties. Although I was only in therapy for a couple years, it is among the best things that happened to me and is something I recommend often.
    I learned much more about how to be the person I want to be and how to manage stress and negative emotions than I ever did in Church. Wheras the Church’s methods for dealing with life issues tend to make one even more dependent on the Church, the therapist allows one to become independent and ultimately use their toolbox to navigate obstacles without the therapist.

    Therapy is essentially our modern version of Church. We are all ‘sinners’ in need of ‘God’. We have evolved to need third party input on how to live. Input from people with experience to walk us through our often stagnant ways of thinking and help us improve. We all lack self awareness and can benefit from the accumulated wisdom of the ages distilled to us through a master teacher (which can be hard to find, but they exist!)
    P.s. Why did you change the comment section? I sure you had your reason, but I find the Disqus comment format to be much better than the current one.

  2. Christopher Allman Reply

    By the way, I love these introspective episodes….I find your bombastic-ness thoroughly entertaining, but it is these more thoughtful, introspective episodes that really get my dude. (Get My Dude=hits me in the heart).
    Although, I will say that I often…chuckle within myself when I hear you talking about wanting to ‘model’ behavior for us. That seems to me a remnant of Mormonism.
    As Mormons everything we did or said had to be some type of life lesson for others and we were always in a state of ‘preaching’ to one another. It took me a long time after leaving the Church to even recognize this and then a little longer still to overcome it.
    As Moromons we tended to think that not only was our way the right way, even the best way, but that part of our moral responsibility was to get others to see and recognize this as well.

    I remember when you first spoke of modeling, it was in reference to your marriage. A short time later, you announced the divorce. My point being, (as was also illustrated by this episode as a whole), we all change our minds a LOT (generally the smarter and more rational we are, the more often we change our minds.).
    Particularly those of us who have come out of Mormonism know just how incredibly and thoroughly wrong we can be. The greatest good can come to seem evil and the greatest evil can come to seem good.
    Because of this, I think we should all have a deep reluctance to ‘model’ any sort of behaviors to anyone because…what if we are wrong? And what if someone happened to follow our modeling? Then, not only were we misguided, but we made the world around us more misguided in the process.

    • Noell Hyman Reply

      The modeling and the “be an example” part of Mormonism did a number on me post-mission. After I came back I did not know how to be a real friend to anyone because I no longer knew how to be real and genuine and vulnerable. I wasn’t fake, but I was always “shining a light” I guess, though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I just knew that for years I could not get close to anyone, other than my husband.

      One of the best things that happened to me when I left the church — and maybe this is why leaving was more happy than painful for me — was that after I left the church at age 30 I no longer had a need or desire to be an example for the church. I could just be me. After that I was able to start forming deep friendships again, just by being real and not having to worry about whether I’m encouraging other people to live by certain church standards.

  3. Rusty Reply

    Enjoyed John’s energy in the podcast. Enjoyed that John got a little emotional at times. Enjoyed John’s somewhat battle cry to get others to join him in his cause. It’s amazing how the church plays the persecution card so much and acts like it’s the little guy, but for us exmormons we are little guys, we are the David’s, and the church is the Goliath. Someone has to stand up to Goliath and I’m glad that John is willing to do that.

  4. Crystal Reply

    I really like this episode. I also really, really hope some of us are included who were in the Ending Mormon (now MotherFucking) Misogyny Group… It would be shamed to have the only feminists be of the apologetic sort, but that is just me 😉

    I also will say, last summer, was sheer hell for me, personally. I was 6 months out of the church. Going through nasty divorce things, without a tribe (having left the church), lonely, frustrated, and pretty easily provoked.

    I started Cognitive-Based Therapy this fall, and I am so much better for it. To quote a famous mormon feminist, “being Mormon does not wash off.” It was a nearly impossible time for me, and I for one, would love to hash this out civilly. I really miss John, I terribly missed Lindsay (we made up), and I even made up with John Dehlin, but he is actually pretty easy to forgive people (as is Lindsay).

    Anyway, I hope it is ok that I commented.

  5. Maria Reply

    I enjoyed this episode.
    Lindsey – unschooling is *not* unlearning! It is de-schooling, undoing the indoctrination mindset of traditional schooling. Funny you should say (in quote) that there is no type of education that is not indoctrination when there is! And it is called unschooling or life learning!

  6. Chuck Reply

    Hi Lindsey, I listed to the Podcast and found it very enjoyable as always! I have found that it is very cathartic to listen to other people who are going through similar cognitive dissidence episodes in there lives. Thanks for the shout out!

  7. Julie Reply

    Religion is like underwear, not one size or style fits all, and some people go commando.

    • icebreaker Reply

      Religion is like underwear – sexy design on the outside usually nasty and the potential to be full of crap on the inside. Anyone else – i think we can get more mileage out of this analogy.

  8. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    Thank you John, Zilpha, and Lindsey, not only for this enjoyable thought provoking pod cast, but mostly for so long sharing of yourself in a way that you get little or nothing from us. We all get so much from this one sided relationship without risking sharing any of the risk of intimacy that you three have shared. All of you have shared much that has enriched my life as if you were my good friends and I have sit back and listen and give no relationship back. Thank you for giving so much to me for years.

  9. Chad Reply

    This was my favorite ME pod in well over a year. I appreciated the discussion about NOMs and spiritually. I think this will go a long way to mend some of the bridges. I posted a thread at NOM and linked the episode. NOMs frustrate me, and I am one, but I have to remember life, faith, is complicated and each person must travel their own path.

    Thanks John, and the whole White Fields team. I believe in the vision.

  10. Noell Hyman Reply

    I’m glad you brought up the sleeveless top dilemma! It’s a funny thing about our culture. I felt such a massive feeling of freedom when I took off my garments. I hadn’t realized how literally physically binding they were and it felt amazing to remove them and be able to wear sleeveless tops in Arizona’s 110-115 degree weather. I quickly decided that appropriate clothing in summer heat has nothing to do with modesty, and everything to do with comfort. Appropriate clothing in the hot summer = wearing as little as possible.

    So dressing how I wanted with family around was one thing I painfully got out of the way early so I could get it over with and be able to dress however I wanted. It was only awkward and difficult at first. Having a glass of wine with family around took me many years, but after all the “immodest” dressing I’d been doing, it wasn’t too bad once I did it. Although, as we get ready to have a family cabin trip where half the siblings are ex-mo’s and half are true believers, one family called all the ex-mo’s and told us that if alcohol was going to be present, they would not come.


  11. Ryan Reply

    Your discussion about people who stay with the church hit on something that I have had a strong reaction to as a (to be brief) ‘nom-ish’ type. I felt pretty disrespected by your essay and other comments made on the podcast over the years, though not enough to “de-friend” you or stop listening to ME (as an active LDS of my ilk, I get a lot of practice with sticking with people that I strongly disagree with on certain issues). Your words hit right on the head the way I feel about my own sense of integrity. I’ll spare you the details, but wanted to say as a long time ME listener it was nice to see that you have changed your views a bit on this issue. I have and continue to appreciate the passion that you (and company) have for this project.

  12. Ray Arias Reply

    Sorry. I wasn’t sure where to post this. Is there any chance you guys could do a podcast on Unitarian Universalism and why a lot of ExMormons get into it either temporarily or permanently? If you guys want I can prepare some material myself, but because I’m way in Illinois, the only way I can be on an actual podcast would be if you guys Skyped me in.

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