THE MORMON CURTAIN
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HBO BIG LOVE
HBO's "Big Love" and how the Mormon Church has fought against it.
| Mormons Can Perform Temple Ceremonies On Unconsenting Jews, But Gawd Forbid You Show It On TV |
Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009, at 08:44 AM
Original Author(s): Punky's Dilemma
Topic: HBO BIG LOVE -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| This is another case of bad religious boundaries.
Mormons *insist* that they are asking for "respect" for their religion. The same kind of respect you would show any other religion (Jews are mentioned specifically in the letter the church recently released regarding the upcoming BIG LOVE episode).
Where is the Mormon church's respect for the Jewish faith? Continuing to perform temple rites for Holocaust Jews, despite repeated public objections by the Jewish community doesn't seem like "respect" to me.
I think HBO should "respect" Mormon religious rites in the same fashion. Express a little token reconciliation, and then do as it pleases.
If a Mormon can perform temple ceremonies on behalf of some Jew's deceased relation, then I think that Jewish person should get to see that ceremony depicted on TV.
If "marriage" is so sacred that Mormons feel the need to meddle in CA state legislation, then maybe Californians should get to see a depiction of what Mormons consider a "sacred" marriage.
If the temple is really as wonderful as Mormons like to say it is, maybe this will be a selling point. Maybe the "Spirit" will touch hundreds and thousands of viewers, and the missionaries will get flooded with calls about the sacred and spiritual ceremony they viewed on TV.
Of course, I tend to doubt that. I think, deep down, Mormons know the temple rites are weird, and they are just embarassed to have the world looking in.
| I am amused at just how much this whole thing is stirring up the Mormon hive. You know, those Mormons, the ones who lied about Proposition 8, stating how much it would destroy the "family" because those Homosexuals "have no morals" and "have wild pig sex" (see Chris Buttars, Mormon Senator from Utah).
Well, they are all up in arms, getting on the intertubes trying hard to keep HBO from showing their secret (oops, sorry, SACRED) temple rituals.
Mormons are ... gasp... canceling their AOL accounts left and right!
Mormons who received the TV guide with the picture of a polygamist in temple garb - are ... GASP... tearing the page out and tossing in the trash. What, are they afraid of it? Ashamed of it?
The Mormon cult has pushed hard the last two years about those polygamists - they are NOT us, they have NO connection to us, stop calling them Mormons! - And yet, they get their garments in a twist when suddenly those polygamists are shown in temple garbs!
Comon Mormon Church, these are not your temple rituals, these are the polygamist temple rituals! These are the polygamist temple clothes! You made news statements to the effect that there was no link whatsoever to the One And Only True Church!
Why not just deny it like they have in the past?
Once Mormons go through the temple, they must wear "holy garments" for the rest of their lives:
While in the temple, they will do bizarre ceremonies like this:
Yes, Mormons who go to the temple learn how to do secret handshakes, they receive secret new names and wear strange clothing:
Mormons DO wear these costumes in their temples:
From the Mormon owned KSL.COM:
"It isn't something that we want to keep away from everyone who isn't a member of our faith, but rather something we would like to share with those who are personally and spiritually prepared to appreciate it." Richard Cowan, BYU Professor of Church History And Doctrine
By "spiritually prepared to appreciate it" he is really stating those who have been indoctrinated into the Cult of Mormonism and have paid 10% of their gross income for a year. Then and only then can enter the International House Of Handshakes.
Mormons: "We're Christians! Don't look at our whacky temple clothes! Don't look at our whacky garments! Don't look at our whacky temple rituals! We're just like you! We're mainstream! We're CHRISTIANS"
| From USA Today:
SALT LAKE CITY – HBO on Tuesday defended its plans to depict a sacred Mormon temple ceremony in an upcoming episode of Big Love.
The drama about a Utah polygamous family will show an endowment ceremony Sunday.
HBO said it did not intend to be disrespectful of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and apologized.
"Obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church, but to those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology," the premium cable channel said in a statement issued Tuesday.
But the ceremony is an important part of the Big Love story line, HBO said.
| The Fact That They Are All "Offended" Shows What A Cult They Are |
Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: HBO BIG LOVE -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| So all the Mormonites are so horribly "offended" by the fact that "Big Love" is going to show an endowment ceremony with actual Temple Robes (except blue apron for the "flashback" aspect). They keep talking about how they are "mocking" sacred things.
What mocking? Has anyone read the script? Do they know that it will be "mocked?"
Or is it because the Mormon Church is really a big cult with it's secret rituals that makes them uncomfortable when any of it is represented ANYWHERE but under tight Mormon control?
Is it mocking when a movie shows communion at a Catholic Church? Well, say the Mormons, that's not the same.
Exactly right. THAT'S NOT THE SAME! It's not the same because the Catholics don't have any super-secret ceremony that is so secret that husband and wife are not supposed to talk about it when alone in their own home. The problem with the Mormon Church is that they have this super-secret thing that no other mainstream religion has. Only cults have this kind of thing.
Way back when the Usenet News first chartered soc/religion/mormon, the first monotered newsgroup on Mormonism the charter stated that any quotes or paraphrases of what was currently or in the past or ALLEGDLY in the Endowment Ceremony would not be allowed to be posted.
Now there has always been charters which say "no name calling, no off-topic posts selling crap and no profanity" etc. But soc/religion/mormon was the first usenet news group to be censored for CONTENT. There were tons of soc/religion groups and NONE of them were censored for content. That was because none of the other religions has a stupid "secret" ceremony that nobody can talk about.
It was interesting when one pained mormon posted on another group about people putting transcripts of the the endowment online, "We don't publish other church's secret ceremonies." I asked him what he was talking about since the 'other churches' don't have such "secret ceremonies"
If Mormonism is important [and Mormons swear it is] and if the Endowment ceremony is a big part of any Mormon's psyche [and according to the Mormons it is] then any literature, film or TV program that deals with the life of Mormons [either mainstream or fundamentalist] would be shirking its duty to the audience if it neglected this aspect of things.
"We're really important and we're trying to convert the world but don't show what we REALLY do behind closed doors."
Yeah, right. These hypocrites gave up the right to play that card when they sent missionaries out knocking on doors. If they want to be "left alone" then they need to keep to themselves like the Amish. But when you have a full-court press of PR and missionary work then what you REALLY are needs to be known. And if you won't tell the truth then somebody else must step in and do it.
Kudos to "Big Love" for doing the right thing.
Oh, and my advice to the Mormons who are so "offended" by this? Take advice from one of your own apostles, David Bednar: "The time to stop being offended is now."
| Personally I love these statements. They show respect and dignity, compared to the pompous statement put out by LDS Inc. and all the TBM's online freaking out over this. The morg and its morgbots shot themshelves in the foot with their overreaction
Statement from HBO
"We know that the writers/executive producers of the series have gone to great lengths to be respectful and accurate in portraying the endowment ceremony. That ceremony is an important part of this year's storyline. Obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church. To those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology. It should also be noted that throughout the series' three-year run, the writer/executive producers have made abundantly clear the distinction between the LDS church and those extreme fringe groups who practice polygamy. "
Statement from Big Love creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer
"In approaching the dramatization of the endowment ceremony, we knew we had a responsibility to be completely accurate and to show the ceremony in the proper context and with respect. We therefore took great pains to depict the ceremony with the dignity and reverence it is due. This approach is entirely evident in the scene portrayed in this episode and certainly reflected in Jeanne Tripplehorn's beautiful and moving performance as she faces losing the Church she loved so much. In order to assure the accuracy of the ceremony, it was thoroughly vetted by an adviser who is familiar with temple practices and rituals. This consultant was actually on the set throughout the filming of the scenes to make sure every detail was correct."
| A lot of believing Mormons are understandably upset about HBO’s decision to recreate part of the LDS temple ceremony, commonly called the “endowment” by Mormons. For those who don’t know what it is, the endowment is a sacred ceremony performed only within Mormon temples. Joseph Smith, the church’s founder, became a Master Mason on March 16, 1842 and then on May 4 of the same year introduced the new endowment ceremony in an upper room of his store in Nauvoo, Illinois.
The endowment incorporated much of the symbolism of the Masons, including signs, tokens, key words, and penalties, but modified them to fit within a story of the creation, fall, and redemption of humans. The ceremony has changed significantly over the years (most recently in 1990 with the removal of the penalties and other elements, such as the long section involving a “sectarian minister”).
Growing up in the church, I went to the Los Angeles temple once or twice a year to do proxy baptisms for the dead. I knew that, once you were of a certain age, you went to the temple to perform sacred ordinances, the most sacred being the sealing of husband and wife (and children) as an eternal family.
But the endowment was a mystery to me. Unlike most Mormon kids, I didn’t know about temple garments, mostly because my father, although he had been to the temple, never wore them. My mother wore hers, but I never saw her in just her garments. My oldest sister told me recently that she had seen my mom exactly twice in her garments.
So the endowment wasn't part of my experience at all. When I was 12, I got a job working at a gas station a few blocks west of the Los Angeles temple, and I remember talking to a young woman who had a BYU sticker on her car. She mentioned she had been at the temple, and I asked her what she had done there. She looked a little flustered and said, “Um, temple work.” I had no idea what she meant.
At 18 I finally went to the temple for the first time. My grandfather met me at the Provo temple, and I went through what at the time was a bewildering and sometimes troubling three-hour (or so) experience. With time I got used to the ceremony, and only occasionally would I feel like I was engaged in something absurd. I went through the endowment (again as proxy for a dead person) hundreds of times over the next 22 years, and I pretty much had the ceremony memorized.
When I left the church, my bishop told me that the best way to regain my testimony would be to attend the temple, along with the usual “pray and read the Book of Mormon.” It didn’t work, obviously, and when I attended the temple no longer wanting it to be true, it was hard to force it into something spiritually uplifting. It was what it was, and it left me feeling rather cold. So I never went again.
So, what to make of the furor over Big Love’s recreation of at least parts of the endowment? If this had happened when I was still a believer, I would have been mightily pissed off. For believing Mormons, discussing specific temple content outside the temple (even among believers) is to profane that which is sacred. As one believer commented, it’s the context of the ceremony that makes it sacred, and you can’t understand the context without the presence of the Holy Ghost. So, for HBO to detach the endowment from its physical and spiritual context is blasphemy in the extreme.
I suspect that the presentation of the endowment in the show is an intentional middle finger to Mormons, probably payback for Proposition 8, though I could be wrong. So I sympathize with Mormons who feel violated, and I understand completely why they feel that way. But on the other hand, the endowment is no longer sacred to me, and it doesn’t bother me much that someone else is interested in it enough to put it on TV.
Some ex-Mormons I know are rejoicing at the opportunity to make the church look badľand seriously, who is going to watch the endowment and say to themselves, I want to be part of that? Some people obviously delight in profaning what other people find sacred. And in all honesty, I’ve been guilty of that in the past.
But at this stage in my life, I’m not interested in seeing the depiction (I don’t subscribe to HBO), so I probably won’t see it. But I wonder what the reaction from the public will be. Even if they do a completely faithful rendering of the ceremony, most non-Mormons will find it bizarre and maybe a little creepy (but then most Mormons feel that way the first time they go, hence my bishop’s and stake president’s counsel not to worry if the ceremony upset me when I went the first time).
But the genie’s been out of the bottle a long time. On the Internet there are audio recordings and transcripts of the ceremony, photos of the temple robes, and illustrations of the signs and tokens. I suspect that, after viewing Big Love, more than a few people will become curious and hit Google right after the show ends.
For me, though, revisiting the endowment is like watching “classic” sports games on TV. I was on pins and needles in 1988 when Kirk Gibson hit his walk-off home run in game one of the World Series. Twenty years later, the moment has lost some of its luster. It just doesn’t mean much to me anymore.
That’s how I feel about the endowment. It took me years to make myself comfortable with the ceremony, and even longer to find something uplifting and spiritual in it. But now it’s just part of the past, devoid of meaning. And once something has lost its meaning, it’s no longer sacred or profane.
| Embarrassment Is The Real Reason Mormons Are Upset Over Big Love "Temple" Episode |
Monday, Mar 16, 2009, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Apostate J.
Topic: HBO BIG LOVE -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I believe most TBMs feel silly about the temple deep down inside. The outfits are silly. The handshakes are silly.
The standing, sitting, and etc is all just silly.
TBMs are constantly beat over the head that attending the temple is the highest pinnacle of "making it" in this life. When they actually go, it is a little unsettling and silly, yet no one dares say otherwise since the temple is the ultimate goal TBMs are told to acheive. They feel goofy about it, but they can at least keep it secret.
Now they have to justify all this nonsense to other people. Imagine being the only Mormon guy in the office. Everyone knows you as the nice guy who doesn't drink and is into his family. Everyone looks at you as the nice clean cut Mormon guy. No big deal. Now what happens when you show up to work one day and a co-worker asks you if you really wore a bakers hat and a green apron and did secret handshakes to and learned passwords to get to heaven. How do you explain this to coworkers without looking stupid?
Now you have gone from being that nice guy who doesn't drink coffee to the weird cult guy in the office who wears funny costumes and has secret passwords that God only makes available to worthy Mormons.
Deep down TBMs are embarrassed by the temple it has nothing to do with sacredness. Deep down they know its silly and if Temple stuff is shown on a TV show it opens up a huge can of worms as now the silliness is out in the open and they have to justify it.
I truly feel sorry for the embarrassment many TBMs will undoubtably experience on Monday.
| What Happened To Me In The Temple That Led Me Out Of The Church Completely |
Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009, at 08:34 AM
Original Author(s): Cherie
Topic: HBO BIG LOVE -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Actually, it has been over 15 years now so it's time to talk about it.
What initially led me out of the church wasn't the doctrine (at least not on a deep level yet), but it was my own exhaustion. I was the Young Adult leader in my singles ward and I was very good at it. It was a full time job keeping everyone happy, entertained and living righteously. I had a horribly abusive family, but I had moved away from them and thought that would be enough. After going through just hell with them, it hadn't yet occurred to me that the problem was the church and it had poisoned my family.
So, I was going through the motions of my calling and became quite the celebrity in the ward. That wasn't my intention, I'm just naturally outgoing.
I need to say that at the time I was living with a relative and was not working full time because I was "serving the Lord" full time instead thinking at the time that if I did that that he would bless me with a husband. (Obviously I don't feel that way now, just Morg crap from years of indoctrination).
So, I've been doing the calling for about 6 months. Remember, this is after doing the same calling in a different ward in a different state for over a year, doing the mission and all the stupid callings as a teenager. Also remember I was what I thought was a TBM.
Well, in July of that year we all went to the temple. I walk in the endowment room and go to sit down and immediately start to feel like the energy, my life force almost was being drained from me. I just couldn't focus, felt horribly tired and like my body was dead. When it came time to stand up, I did, but then colasped to the floor. Obviously this freaked me out because I was the picture of health, robust and a "friend of the friendless". Well, I somehow pulled myself together and was asked if I wanted to continue. I said "no". This in and of itself was a big deal. So I left the endowment room and got just outside and collapsed again. I just couldn't move. All the temple patron was worried about was giving her back that damned piece of paper with that name on it. It was stupid.
Fast forward. I go home, start feeling better, shake the whole thing off and go back to the temple a month later. Same thing happened. This was not cool. Something was wrong and now my sub-conscience was awakening to the fact that something about the church was dead wrong.
Two months later I'm at church and I meet this young woman who obviously had had a rough life. She was LDS newly off her mission but physically she was not the preferred size or shape and was treated as such. I saw her pain and befriended her. I did this knowing that I was sort of bending down to help her up emotionally, but I thought that this is what Christ would do and excused the fact that I knew I was getting involved with someone who had some really serious issues. But I was "Cherie!" I was the "friend of the friendless" whose job it was to make everyone feel like they were loved, even to her own determent. (btw, I'm over that thinking now. If the "Lord" has some work to do, he can bloody well do it himself!) Well, apparently I was about the only person who had befriended this person in a long time and she decided I was her savior. It became totally suffocating for me. I listened, I understood, I helped, I did everything a good friend was supposed to do, but she was railroading all over my boundaries, the ones I didn't know I had yet.
One day, I don't remember if I was at home or at church, but I was walking and then suddenly, all my energy was gone and I collapsed. Every time I was around her this happened. I was scared. I tried to will myself to be "fine" as all good Mormons do, but it never lasted more than a couple of days. If I was at church, and someone started spouting Mormon crap I'd just lose all my energy and fall in the floor and I'd have to be taken home. I felt like I was a cripple.
Finally, it happened, the most frightening, most wonderful day of my life. I collapsed and couldn't get up for 3 months.
During this time the most amazing thing was happening to me. I was reconnecting with my "true self". Whenever I'd try to get out of bed and assume the normal "Cherie, the expected entertainer, 'friend to the friendless', the one who never has any problems but who is always there for others", my energy would just leave me. It was as if my true self was saying..."Cherie, it is time to leave this church, this family, these people, and realize that you are ok, you have boundaries, you don't have to say 'ok' when you don't feel 'ok', and you can say no!"
Finally, after three months, I had learned to stay away from all things that would suck my energy and I've been fine ever since.
However, it was my wake up call that something was horribly amiss with the church and that is when I googled "anti mormon" and found this site! I stopped going to church before I found out about the real history. For me that was profound.
From there I started a major journey to reconnect with myself and the world and plug back into my hopes and dreams. I went to counselling and for the first time learned the word "boundary". She actually asked me "how I was". No one had ever asked me that before. It just changed my life.
I've now walked away from my tbm family, the church, and even my country for awhile to give myself a chance to be with "Cherie" again. It has been amazing.
I think the point to all of this is that under all the bullshit we are taught at church, there is still the current of "self" that still flows through us and for some of us that "current" becomes a raging "river" and you are forced to listen to it. I'm so glad I did.
I think that to be in touch with yourself is to be free and it is true that when you follow your self, your heart or what have you, you will always find your own happiness. It might not be others, but it will always be for you.
I just sit here so thrilled that my spirit was so smart to collapse. It knew that that was the only way to get my attention as I was so TBM at the time. Our "selves" are amazing.
Go HBO! Show the world the crap that lives in the temple!!! Whoo Hoo!!
| All the fuss over "Big Love" made me realize, yet again, how complete the misery of polygamy has been over the years. It has never gone away, and it has never quit having influence on Mormons.
I still watch the efforts to explain it with considerable interest. The Texas cult dragged the whole thing out again, and the church entered spin mode, trying to distance themselves from their origins. Very few non-Mormons make any real separation in their minds between the Texas cult, and mainstream Mormonism. Its all the same to people, because it all has the same place of origin. Saying "We don't practice it now" means nothing, because it was practiced, and that fact cannot be escaped. It also continues to be Mormon doctrine. The mistake cannot be admitted to.
No matter what corner of the world a missionary goes to, he hears about polygamy. "Mormon" always equals "polygamy." All the denials, explanations, and cover-ups mean nothing. Facts and history are very stubborn things to make lame explanations for.
Many leave the church when they finally find out the truth of the institution. Learning that Joseph took young girls, and the wives of other men, does not build a testimony. The story of the angel with the flaming sword is a huge joke. When the truth comes out, people leave. I doubt anyone believed the flaming sword bit when Joseph trotted it out. Now, Mormons don't hear about it unless they do a little research.
Even the "Big Love" episode came about because of polygamy. There would be no "Big Love" at all without polygamy, and there would have been no temple episode without polygamy. Polygamy is gum on the bottom of the Mormon shoe, and it keeps sticking to the white carpet.
The whole sorry thing was a huge mistake, and nothing changes that.
It brought misery, heartace, suffering, and sorrow to everyone tainted by it.
And like Poe's baleful raven, it never leaves.
| The infamous temple ceremony episode of HBO's Big Love was watched by 2.3 million viewers Sunday night. That number will likely triple after viewers catch the episode, found sacrilegious by many Mormons, on reruns, DVR viewing and HBO on Demand.
It seems most non-LDS critics found the inclusion in the episode of a secret endowment rite "powerful" and necessary to developing the story line or at least "no big deal."
Time's James Poniewozik thinks Mormons were up in arms about the wrong thing:
I've heard none [LDS protest] about what's been a more central–and, it would seem, more damaging–focus of the season: the subplot involving the letter revealing that the church did not initially intend to renounce polygamy.
Besides the letter itself, the way its discovery has played out (Barb being excommunicated apparently as punishment for it, and the statement "Some things that are true are not very useful") has not exactly been flattering to the church.
| I was only able to pull up a few sections of Big Love's Outer Darkness episode before they were pulled, but the story seems compelling. Bill finds out about the Woodruff letter indicating the church never intended to stop polygamy, Barb borrows a recommend to go thru the temple before she is ex'd,(for polygamy or to reign in Bill for exposing the letter?).
What I did see was true to form, the temple ceremony was beautifully and accurately portrayed, Barb's victimization, courage and pain during the court were palpable, and my personal experience that being a member means becoming part of a very primitive process.
My perspective as an exmo is so different than it would have been 10 years ago (right after I went through the temple for the first time). I had struggled intermittently with masturbation, and the interviews with bishops left me feeling so violated and traumatized. At one point a Bishop pointed out he wasn't going to hold a court for this, UNLESS I ever lied about it. I was a full tithe payer for years, spent 10+ hours a week working at church in addition to meetings, and felt like shit.
Going thru the temple was the beginning of the end for me, not because it was so weird (yes it is weird) but because I felt I was finally in a place where I was conforming to mormonism. I had my genealogy ready, over 300 names I could now submit and participate in their work. Morally clean, tithe payer, honest... I was in a place where I could no longer blame myself, and that was when it all began to unravel.
My son was ridiculed by a member of the bishopric, an authority asked me to testify for a pedophile so he could be put on house arrest (I didn't and he got 20 years), my son was invited to priesthood preview (and I knew those interviews were right around the corner). I decided to reinvestigate mormonism, and found RFM.
If I had watched this episode of Big Love ten years ago, I would have agreed that Barb got herself into the position of losing her membership (and from an eternal perspective it was a blessing), that the context and having the spirit were critical to understanding the truths of the temple, and Woodruff never wrote such a letter, etc.
But it isn't ten years ago. I am not a member. I attend a church that feeds the spiritual parts of my life, and can tell the difference between myths that nurture my soul and those that subjugate me. I am offended by belief systems that isolate and marginalize people. I believe people have a right to privacy, but if the words come out of their mouths they need to be telling the truth.
I see Big Love through different eyes. I know the history (thanks in part to RFM), I have sat in front of a bishop in agony confessing very normal behavior. I have felt compelled to say yes to whatever was asked. Because of these experiences I can confidently say that Big Love exposes the core of mormonism, secrecy, deception, and control born of a history and culture that they cannot defend.
When I left mormonism I wanted others to understand what I was transitioning from. Big Love just made that a little easier.
| It is so ironic, and you have to laugh, that so many members of the Latter-day Saint faith are up in arms about HBO's "Big Love" showing a ceremony that the LDS deem to be sacred and between themselves and their God. They didn't seem to mind organizing an effort to stop a marriage ceremony that many others deem to be sacred and between themselves and their God.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
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