’8: The Mormon Proposition’: Brainwashing Mormons to Hurt the Gays

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8: The Mormon Proposition

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8: The Mormon PropositionWould a speech like this work on any of you assholes? Probably not. (If it did though please let us know, because we could really use the $30 billion the Mormon Church made as of 1997 and the $5.6 billion annual gross that would place it above Nike and Gap Inc on The Fortune 500) But a terrifyingly similar one did work when it was given by M. Russell Ballard and two other “living prophets,” then beamed into the homes of a bajillion Mormons in the ’90s.

This is how 8: The Mormon Proposition, a documentary from Wolfe Releasing begins. This is one of those documentaries I normally avoid because I know it’s going to freak me out or piss me off and just as I expected, it was terrifying. Narrated by Dustin Lance Black, an ex-Mormon himself, the film analyzes the role of the Mormon Church in the passing of Proposition 8 in California, which denied LGBT citizens the right to marry.

We were going to present you with a whole review of this documentary, but it turned out super boring. I don’t want you to think this movie was boring; it was actually fascinating and actually required watching for every gay person everywhere! YOU NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE! If you have Netflix you can watch it right now!

You can watch the preview here if you haven’t done so already.

So in the interest of our Internet-shortened attention spans, here’s a top 10 list for you instead of a review! But obviously there are 8, not 10.

Top 8 Moments

+

1. Most Shocking

The Mormon Church is even more fucked up and shady than you’d even imagined. Think of something really, really fucked up and shady. Now imagine something MORE fucked up and or shady than that thing. THE MORMON CHURCH IS EVEN WORSE THAN WHAT YOU’RE IMAGINING IN THIS MOMENT.

2. Most Gratifying

The main gay couple interviewed in the movie? One of them is the direct descendant of the founder of the Mormon Church. That was a great reveal.

8: The Mormon Proposition

3. Favorite Quote

Jesus doesn’t judge people! What the hell are you doing?!” Obvs yelled at some asshole by a cute girl who believes in both equality and irony.

4. Saddest

At a protest in San Francisco, the mother of one half of the main gay couple is trying to reason with the hateful protestors who’d been bused in from all over the country. She eventually gives up and resorts to a chant of her own, with tears streaming down her face. It summed up exactly what it feels like to go head-to-head with people who hate you for no reason: you’re left sort of talking to yourself, without much hope.

8: The Mormon Proposition

5. Most Traumatizing

BYU graduate, Bruce Barton, recounting how gay students were treated while he was attending the university. After being accused of homosexual behavior, Barton was brought in by administrators, forced to disrobe and watch porn that was being projected onto a wall. He was given two-times an adult dose of ipecac syrup, which induces vomiting. In subsequent visits, electrodes were attached to Barton’s wrists, chest and genitals, while projected images of nude men flashed across the wall. He was ordered to press a button that would send electricity through his body whenever he saw something that was either sinful or something he wanted to do.

What. The. Fuck. World.

6. Most Fucked Up Quote From a Normal-Looking Human

This is a tie between, “I don’t want my kids to grow up in a genderless society,” and, “It makes me feel like an American!” Both of these statements were made by Mormon or Mormon-influenced young women with huge smiles on their faces. The latter was in reference to her support of Prop 8.

Then Alex, the one who makes stuff pretty around here said, “This is not what I thought the world was going to be like when I was learning about it,” and I think we can all relate to that feeling.

7. Did You Know

There’s such a thing as Mormon training videos. Like, several of them.

8. Did You Also Know

Utah has the highest suicide rate of any other state in the country and, of course, a disproportionate amount of those suicides are by young gay people who’ve been ostracized from their church, home and community.

Avatar of Laneia Nicole

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and she thinks you're fucking rad. She's 33, has two kids, two dogs, one Megan, some personal essays and a lot of emails in her inbox.

Laneia Nicole has written 345 articles for us.

89 Comments

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        i do too, riese. i do too.

        ps. while i was having a get-a-hold-of-yourself smoke, i remembered a commercial i saw when i was younger. it was basically two girls in a diner and one girl is all like “you seem happy” and the the other was all “yeah, it’s because i read the book of mormon. it’s amazing. you need to read it. here, read it. READ IT.” and i remember getting a weird feeling every time it aired. and this was before i was seriously into social issues and before i was out to myself. but the fact that i had a weird feeling says a lot of how the Mormon Church is just chock full of bad news bears.

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      i hear ya sister. i feel so torn by this movie, growing up Mormon until 16 and then leaving. i need to see it, i just think of the stuff they teach people about “evil speaking” its sad and scary. yikes i wouldnt watch this with my mother(crazy mormon psycho).

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          I was still going to church when the whole Prop 8 shit happened and I remember the congregation being TOTALLY confused as to why people were chaining themselves to the fence at the temple and getting all pissed off.

          “Like, don’t they know that like, they’re all really gross and dirty and like, they don’t need to get married?”

          So even though we have logic on our side, Mormons still don’t *get* it.

          Also, they’re more scared of us than we are of them etc etc.

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          This is the biggest pile of bull I’ve Ever seen, listen I think it’s great that you’re exercising your freedom of speech, and honestly, I don’t have a problem with gays. Or even gays getting married. But I don’t think you should be badmouthing a religion you know nothing about. You only have the words and references of an anti- ex Mormon who obviously has an agenda. I believe that before you can pass judgement on others, judge yourselves. And then, if you’re still set on doing so, at least learn all the facts

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          And another thing. Quit trying to force things so much. Like I stated before, I have no problem with gays. Bu I choose to live a different lifestyle. I shouldn’t be forced to accept an lgbt way of life. And if this law passes, it would rip down the barrier between church and state. A coincidence, but a certain situation is brought to mind. in masssechusetts, a gay couple wanted to be married by a minister. When the minister refused, the couple sued. The result was the minister lost his right to perform marriages. I mean either way. Whether this law passes or doesn’t someone is going to be hurt. I also believe that if this law passes, polygamy is next. I mean, if two people of the same gender can marry, why not three people or four?

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          Anyway guys sorry for the rant, I hope you all have a wonderful day. And maybe sometime in the future a middle ground can be found. I am here simply to present “the other side of the fence”

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          Hey Guys,

          There is no requirement for any church to perform a wedding that it does not want to – whether for a same-sex or opposite-sex couple. Churches regularly refuse to perform marriages between people who are not of the same faith; Catholic churches won’t marry people who have previously been divorced, etc.

          Please point me to reliable information about the case you’re referencing and I’ll be glad to help explain your misunderstanding of the facts.

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          1. When people say “I don’t have a problem with the gays”, they usually have a problem with the gays.
          2. There’s more than one ex-Mormon on this forum. Exhibit B, myself.
          3. You do realize Mormons used to practice polygamy, right? And that it’s technically still a part of eternal marriage?
          4. Proper punctuation and grammar go a long way towards making your point more effectively.
          5. “The other side of the fence” is ALL OVER THE PLACE. We don’t need your assistance to find it. This forum is not the place.

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          Typically there is a reason people become ex-Mormons. Ex-Mormons are not simply to be disregarded because they left, if anything people should listen to us more because we’ve seen both sides of it.

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    I keep trying to have my records removed, the Stake President has refused me twice – I was hoping my coloring book would get me excommunicated. But in Canada – they want to keep you because they think you’ll come back around. No matter how hard you say “no, enough is enough.”

    The worst part? My family is still giving them money. Even though they openly accept me and my queer identity, they interact with me like all is right in the world with how I choose to live my life and yet, still can’t see how the church is a single entity. Just because things are different in ONE little branch – that as a whole it’s a stinking pile with rotten roots that’s going to thread it’s way into their kids lives like a cancer.

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      Uh, so I don’t know about Canada, but if any American ex-Mormons are reading this, THEY CAN’T REFUSE YOUR RESIGNATION. It falls under the 1st amendment. You can associate, and NOT ASSOCIATE, with whomever you please. Don’t let them make you think otherwise.

      And darling, keep fighting. I know it’s hard to get out one reason or another but the cathartic release when you’re finally free… hoo boy better than sex. (Which is something Mormons don’t think should be fun. I mean really.)

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      I’m with Cait: I don’t know about Canadian law, but you can [should] send your resignation directly to Salt Lake City and the COB [Church Office Building]. Visit here: http://www.mormonresignation.com follow their instructions and try again. Living in Canada or not, you CANNOT be denied the right to NOT associate with any group/religion you choose!

      Uh… that includes your parents as well. If *you* want their respect then it behooves you to respect their beliefs, too. It just means you have to join the fray and fight doubly hard for *your* rights… and send your 10% to your favorite LGBT-supportive group. [That'll get 'em where they live!] ;)

      Meanwhile… I’ll contact a few former mormons I know and see if there’s any difference in resigning from Canada and the U.S.

      Safe journeys!

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      Rockets: I checked… you should send your resignation directly to SLC and, if they continue to give you a hard time, CALL Member Services. All the #s and addresses are in the above link.

      Success to you!!

      P.S. No matter what “They” tell you, you ceased being a member when they received your original letter… THAT is the law!

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    Since it’s late and I’ve had two Ketel One Citroen cosmos because I am, of course, gay and fabulous (thanks), I can’t really speak to the hateful, despicable behavior of these people, but I will say this:

    Dear sweet, beautiful gay children of Utah,

    Please don’t kill yourselves. My incredible wife and I will adopt you and nurture your bruised and shamed precious queer souls and sooner than you can possibly imagine you’ll be cherished and celebrated and throwing sequins in the vague direction from whence you came.

    I mean it.

    xoxo,

    FFAF

  3. Thumb up 1

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    I should watch this movie. I was a member for 17 years until I left, after all.

    But I don’t think I can do it alone.

    I don’t know what’s exactly said on that film but I have a feeling it’s gonna hit really close to home and then I’ll have FEELINGS AND TEARS. Because really, I don’t think I could ever adequately describe what it’s like being a member.

    Okay, try this: You’re sitting in a semi-circle with 10-12 other women your age. They’re all dressed similarly – skirts or dresses (because a woman wearing pants just isn’t sacred enough for church). The topic of the day? “The Role of Women.”

    And what, exactly, is the role of women according to Mormons? That you’re not complete without a man. That it is your “divine duty” to “become a rock for your husband” and to “raise your progeny.”

    So basically, if you don’t get married and have a bunch of kids, you’re a deadbeat.

    Now I’m on a roll.

    The majority of ex-Mormons, especially women won’t talk about their experiences within the church. That’s part of the reason the church spreads so quickly – those who leave it are just too darn afraid to speak against it. I spent the first two weeks after making the deliberate decision to leave curled up on my bed crying. THAT’S what the church does to people. It makes them dependent on this unattainable IDEAL for their own self worth.

    I have *so* much to say on what it’s like to be a Mormon, but I feel like I’ve already overstepped comment and into soapbox territory.

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        I’d rather write an extended essay and put it on the internet somewhere. I can’t afford to give out free books and I’m not going to charge people to hear the truth.

        However, I *can* go get my third beer and cry a little more from reading the internet re: this movie. (I think alcohol is a perfectly acceptable way of coping with feelings w/r/t Mormons and yes I’m heading towards drunk.)

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          I want to, you know? I have things to say. I have feelings! But seriously Autostraddle lovelies, where should I put it? I have a tumblr but I feel like I’m too long winded for Tumblr. I could submit it here, but that feels super pretentious. Ideas?

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          Go here: http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/home

          There is an entire section devoted to mormon exit stories and yours, m’dear, would be a GOOD one!!

          The Fine Print: Yes, you have to register… but it is still completely anonymous; just a screenname [like "Cait"] and an e-mail addy. All are welcome and it is a *very* supportive environment… even for a never-mo like me!!

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    I’m a little drunk, so perhaps I’m reading something wrong or doing something wrong, but netflix is saying that it isn’t on instant play and it doesn’t come out on DVD until like the 13th or something, and I like run-on sentences. I really, really very much want to watch this, though. Help?

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        Now that I’m more sober I’m kinda sad about this because even if it is rated R, you better believe members are prohibited from seeing it. It’s like they don’t want people to know things….

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          Splitting hairs here:

          Mormons are TOLD not to view R-rated movies. The Law of the Land — even in Utah — is that ANY PERSON over the age of 18 or any person 14 to 17 and ACCOMPANIED by someone over 18 is LEGALLY allowed to go to a theatre and see an R-rated movie.

          It’s that a so-called church can dictate to the minds of its followers — and them allow it to do so — is the greater pity.

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    once again i am proud and relieved to be british. i guess we have some religious nut groups. but 99.9% of the population laughs at them and takes the piss!
    my thoughts are with you my american sisters.

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    While on my nightly stalk/lurk on Autostraddle I came across this. Not only did it kill the buzz from the eight hits I just took but it made me vomit in my mouth. It really is truly terrifying that despite what is progressing in the world, this kind of crap happens. The scariest part is the suicide rate that is happening. I mean I’m Jewish so I don’t get the whole Jesus fascination but wasn’t he a love them all despite who they are kind of guy? I don’t care if you don’t agree with homosexuality, you should at least love your kids unconditionally. This is sad. And if I wasn’t craving a bucket of KFC and chocolate pudding I would be crying.

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    Anyone who want to see this, don’t have to wait for it to come to a theater.
    1. It’s available “on demand” through most Cable companies – you might have to hunt around for it, usually under “New Releases.”
    2. DVD release date is July 13 – available for preorder on Amazon now.
    3. Put it on your Netflix queue. Should be available around the time the DVD comes out.
    4. Should be available for download in iTunes sometime later this month.

    Everyone should see this movie. And if you want to see what they did with some of that money and have some time on your hands, watch the videos in this series.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngbAPVVPD5k

    These are the consultants Yes on 8 hired. They were faced with the problem that Californians are pretty tolerant and aren’t prone to stripping people of rights – so they had to find a way to make people willing to do it. It’s chilling.

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    This is a separation of Church and State, and One has to consider the origins of marriage for over 5 millenniums marriage has been an institution of religion. Only in the past few centuries has government infringed upon the religious responsibilities and practices. In a Constitutional Republic, the Constitution is the highest law of the land, and to fix this problem either way, an amendment must added to the Constitution to either adopt marriage as a individual unalienable right under natural law, or an Amendment that states that this is a non state issue, and that the Government can not infringe upon the Church’s rights of practice.

    Anyone who believes the founders and the Constitution had developed a wall or separation, does not understand the context in Jefferson’s personal correspondence to the Dan-bury Baptists his personal perspective, and that the origin of this philosophy came from Supreme Justice Black, the Roosevelt appointed Ku-Klux-Klan member to the court, to “ignore” the Constitution in the Courts Constitutional role, and give Roosevelt and the Federal Government powers that are unconstitutional.

    However, looking at this forums focus, it appears that noone cares about the Constitution or the role a Constitution has in a Constitutional Republic. I’ll bet 90% as a recent survey has shown that the readers and people who have thus far made comments believe we live in a democracy.

    Here is the dilemma. If you throw away the Constitution, you have no protection from tyrant’s whether they be your Socialist leaders stealing personal property and rights or evil Church People who are killing self indulgence. As someone said, you get the government you deserve.

    Remember this all 50 states had anti-sodomy laws on the books in 1960, and took interpretation not Constitutional law to make and dissolve these laws, and these are subject to future interpretation until this matter is resolved with an Amendment. One may believe you are better off with interpretation, but Amendments are made outside the Bench. Check out Article 5 as to how an Amendment is made and you will see the Bench has no influence on the matter. A democratic process as this bias movie purports or through bias propositions, will not finalize this matter. This will only be finalized when this is resolved as an amendment.

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      Maybe it’s late or maybe I’m dumb but all I understood is:

      Constitution Constitution Constitutional Constitution Constitutional Unconstitutional Constitution

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      Sigh… I get so tired of these people who like to rewrite history (or listen to the revisionist history fed them by others). To ‘Noone special’, Contrary to your claim, the church only decided to make marriage a holy sacrament relatively late in its history; ‘traditionally’ marriage was mostly a way to secure alliances and property rights.

      As to the the founding fathers’ views of religion’s place in government, why don’t you actually read the Federal Papers (and other primary sources) instead of regurgitating the made up ‘facts’ of whacko organizations like the Wall Builders.

      It’s also clear you don’t understand our Constitution, the role of the judiciary, and how law evolves in this country. I spent years in law school gaining my understanding, but I’m sure there are some good high school civics textbooks (the real kind, not those created for home schooling) from which you could learn the basics.

      I am constantly reminded of what a strong vested interest the ultra conservatives in this country have in maintaining a willfully ignorant electorate.

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    Naturally, being the outspoken supporter of freedom that I am, and being so close to the festivities, I would be remiss in my duties were I not to cover this year’s Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco. Because Proposition 8, a sneaky ballot bill designed to quash the gay marriage movement in California, was pushed through by a bunch of activist conservative right-wing, religious fanatics, an unprecedented number of people showed up to support the basic and inalienable human right of people to marry whomever they choose. I hope you enjoy the photos! http://freethegods.blogspot.com/2010/07/san-francisco-gay-pride-day-1.html

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      Lol whut.

      I have a feeling that the people you’re referring to are members, who won’t tell you the truth because either they don’t know it, they’re scared, or they’re in on it. Any lame attempts to discredit this movie or Autostraddle aren’t going to get you very far.

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        You do realize that members would loose their temple recommends for “Fraternizing” with organizations/people who do not support or “persecute” the church and it’s views. It’s a temple recommend question, this is how I know.

        So, if you’re a member, who believes 100% that your salvation lies with the lds church, you wouldn’t do ANYTHING to jeopardize your reserved campsite in the highest heaven. Open only to those who enter into marriage etc. etc. etc.

        This is why families ostracize their sons and daughters, friends turn from friends… because if you don’t have your salvation, what do you have?

        I personally now have a larger percentage of my income, love for myself and others that isn’t based on someone else interpretation of how to be a good person and my self respect back. Because nobody puts baby in a corner… not Joseph Smith or Thomas S. Monson…

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          Yes, I do! As an ex-Member, I totally get it. My criticism meant to lie with the church, not the individual. The fear is real, I’ve lived with it and dealt with it.

          No, the misinformation comes from the church, not the ex members. The fear mongering is the problem.

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          (Cait -I’m sorry if my sarcasm didn’t come across as such. I know I’m “preaching to the choir” and all) You’re spot on with “The fear mongering is the problem.” Johanna D. won’t get a straight answer talking to the bishopric or her young women’s/relief society leadership… because 1/2 don’t understand or acknowledge the “truth” of what they know while other 1/2 do and still think they’re in the right.

          P.S. I’ll write a book with you – I can draw the pictures. :)

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    A large group of mormons were staying where I work. I’d just watched this documentary and the next day, four hundred mormon teenagers were hanging out here. I carefully watched for any potential queers so I could send them a note or gluten free vegan cookies or spirit them away to FFAF’s house, but there were no obvious takers. MORMONS I AM HERE TO HELP YOU.

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    Okay, TMI incoming: I’m still in tears over this. It’s hard to explain, but when you’ve been excomunnicated since you were 17, many of us tend to cope by using the ‘out of sight/out of mind’ tactic. For the first time in 10 years, I’m starting to have FEELINGS again and understand that there are amazing people (i.e. all of you Autostraddlers) to show me more about loving others in a way that the teachings of my childhood made me feel I fell short.

    Speaking of which:

    Dear FFAF(and wife),
    I’m not from Utah. Just a little town not far from Chicago, IL. But I’ll pretend if it means you’re gonna throw glitter anywhere near my father.
    Always,
    Jenin.

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      This is so true, and I didn’t even realize it until you said something – but it’s true! We deal with it by ignoring all things mormon and not even thinking about it and then when it comes back and hits us in the face it’s a little terrifying. What do we do with this information, especially when it’s in our face? A lot of things are happening that I didn’t even know were happening.

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        I am the epitome of self-awareness. (’cause ima Scorpio) :) It’s true for a lot of us though; we spend so many years being trained to model ourselves after an ideal behavior that we know that we can never live up to. The concept that we want to live a completely different life is almost inconceivable at first. When we finally come to terms with our ‘failure’ to the point of breaking free/coming out, it can still take a lot of time before we’re able to reconcile the two lives. In the meantime, I feel like I’ve just been in a holding pattern of Guinness proportions.

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      YES. I also feel like Mormons are encouraged to not really have feelings, unless they are special testimony-strengthening feelings, which don’t really count. I remember feeling cut off from about half the world when I was a member because…I don’t know why really, but it was like I was on one side of a frosted glass panel and much of the world was on the other side and I couldn’t really figure out what was going on over there but I felt like I was missing something.
      Anyway. To recovery.

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      Check out my post above about other ways to see it. It’s supposed to be available on iTunes (and I think for download from Amazon) later this month. I don’t know if there are region considerations. Same for the DVD – available for purchase July 13, but don’t know if it will be region specific.

      You could contact the distributors at the film’s website:
      http://www.mormonproposition.com/

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    Prior to Prop 8, all I knew about Mormons was that the one girl I used to know wasn’t allowed to drink. From reading these comments I’m finding out there’s still a LOT I’m missing. I don’t know if I should be happy because I’m so sheltered from the madness, or sad that I can’t really take part in intelligent/informed commenting. But I WILL see this movie, even though I know it will depress/anger me to the max.

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    i haven’t even seen this movie yet but i already need a cuddle from my girlfriend.

    and cait and all ex-mormons- please get the word out. you have the knowledge. i’ll read anything you write, and tell everyone i know. don’t be afraid to speak up.

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    Ok, well as ‘speechless’ as I was when I saw this. This really should be a reminder of how messed up this world really is…in sooo many ways. So, I say we rise above this calm ourselves down and accept that there are freaking idiots out there….it only makes me want to love more. SO, lets all accept that they are brain washed and piss them off further by LOVE EACH OTHER MORE and OPENLY..fuck em…actaually lets all fuck each other! haha – ( we really just have to accept the world we live in and the MORONS who live n it too ) Kill ‘em with kindness!!

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