Friday, September 21, 2012

Hey - Excuse Me - Did I Ever Mention I Don't Like Cults?

Several cult-watching sites, and even The Daily Beast, have picked up on the Mormon excommunication story I sent to Glenn Reynolds, Ann Althouse, and Robert Stacey McCain because - let's face it - with a Mormon headed to the White House THERE'S NO STORY THERE:
David Twede, 47, a scientist, novelist, and fifth-generation Mormon, is managing editor of, an online magazine produced largely by members of the Mormon Church that welcomes scholarly debate about the religion’s history from both critics and true believers. 
A Mormon in good standing, Twede has never been disciplined by Latter Day Saints leadership. But it now appears his days as a Mormon may be numbered because of a series of articles he wrote this past week that were critical of Mitt Romney. 
On Sunday, Twede says his bishop, stake president, and two church executives brought him into Florida Mormon church offices in Orlando and interrogated him for nearly an hour about his writings, telling him, "Cease and desist, Brother Twede."

Even better, as I write my own criticisms of Mormonism, I'm constantly teased and admonished by The Althouse Hillbillies that nothing could happen to me because - let's be serious - people who don't exactly follow the dictates of "the Prophet Muhammad of North America," whose slogan was “Either al-Koran or the Sword,” have nothing to fear from the LDS, riiiight?
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Twede says that during the interrogation he felt “attacked, cornered, and very anxious." 
The four church leaders verbally chastised him, he says, for hiding his identity on MormonThink and his personal blog in order to avoid discipline. Twede, who writes using only his first name, says they kept asking him why he didn’t identify himself online if he had nothing to hide. 
“I told them I hide my name precisely because of things like this,” he says. “I said, ‘Look how fast you got to me.’ I know a lot of members don’t want their life disturbed. In the Mormon church, if you’re not part of the uniform group, you are ostracized.” 
“When they interrogated me, they denied that they were on a witch hunt, but they kept asking me, ‘Who are the other individuals you work with on MormonThink?’” he says. “They continued demanding that I tell them. But I didn’t.”

"If you’re not part of the uniform group, you are ostracized.” Now THAT'S AMERICAN! Oh, how good, honest, and wholesome it all sounds. And just the kind of influence we need in the White House, as Glenn Reynolds & Co. labor, either to pooh-pooh or cover-up everything, so as to put a nice shiny gleam on all Mitt and his cult are about - and, by extension, themselves:
Twede's situation was first publicly disclosed this week on an ex-Mormon online discussion site by Steve Benson, the Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic and grandson of former secretary of agriculture and Mormon prophet Ezra Taft Benson. 
Benson, who left Mormonism in 1993, the same year he won the Pulitzer, is now a vocal critic of the church and is an active voice on the ex-Mormon sites. 
“What you’re seeing with David is not atypical of what the church has done in the past, where local leadership becomes focused on riding into battle under the flag ‘out damn spot’ and ridding itself or perceived apostates,” Benson tells The Daily Beast. “I was under this kind of investigation when I left in '93. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of an excommunication. I no longer wanted to be a member of that organization.” 
Twede insists the church shouldn’t be allowed to act in this manner and quietly get away. “This encourages them to continue with others using similar tactics,” he says. “We prefer they act responsibly with those that dissent. We believe this article will in fact halt disciplinary action against me. However, my feelings about being part of this organization are changing rapidly. Even if they proceed, it will not be considerably harmful to me anymore.”
Not even a critical word from Mitt Romney about all this, and he was just in Salt Lake a few days ago, but then I shouldn't be surprised:
Despite the unpleasant interrogation this week, Twede says he does not want to ruin the public reputation of church leaders in Florida because he believes they are “acting as agents of HQ leadership in Salt Lake.”
Yeah, just like a certain presidential candidate I know,...


  1. Twede isn't under fire from the Church for criticizing Romney. There are plenty of Mormon Democrats who do the same. A large number of them just met in Washington for the DNC convention; the Daily Beast itself reported on it! (

    Twede is under fire for posing as an active Church member, when his agenda is to tear down the faith. Whether you agree with his agenda or not is irrelevant; he's dishonest in how he goes about it:

  2. How is it "dishonest" to anonymously criticize an organization you're part of but don't trust?

    And why do you say he's "posing"? And why is telling the truth construed as "his agenda is to tear down the faith"? Can't the faith stand sunlight?

    And finally, your source for the truth is FAIR? Seriously? A group that has made it clear they won't let a little thing like the truth stand in their way?

    Come on, mormonmovieguy, you can do better.

    Can't you?

  3. Of course there are bigger fish to deal with: I ♥ Mohammed Day! Brought to you by Obama's Arab Spring.

    Did you catch The Master yet? Even Scientologists managed not to riot in the streets. Imagine that.

    Priorities dude. Priorities.

  4. Did you see The Master yet? Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix do an incredible job.

  5. I think we can safely say at this point that Mitt's campaign is officially taking on water:

    He isn't the only Mormon making these claims -- looks like Bro. Mitt has to be kept at arm's length now...because he ain't good n wholesome enough!
    I believe that right there is what you call a whiplash 180.


    -- and I still stand by what I said: if you are going to pitch a fit about one crazy group shutting down free speech and basically bossing people politically, then you have to at least not carry water for another group that's doing the same thing (which is the reason why I detested Rick Perry and his little gang of tevangelicals during the primary...well that and the praying for the drought to end; hey, how about helping the people rather than grabbing headlines with a phoney baloney prayer circle for rain? how 'bout that? ...good governor my ass...good governors don't sit around pulling that shit while their state burns)