How To Deconvert A Mormon

How To Deconvert A Mormon

This is a standard intervention strategy for changing behavior- any behavior.

  1. Consciousness Raising. Intentionally increase knowledge about the problems with Mormonism a little at a time. Throw out a statement here and there to arouse curiosity and get them thinking. When asked (and not before!), follow up with podcasts, articles, books, social media, discussion groups, lectures, etc.
  2. Social/Environmental Control. Invite people who are not Mormon into their social circle. Be sure to include individuals who are gay, people of color and people who differ politically. This might open their mind and their hearts.
  3. Arouse emotion. Emotional arousal works on a deeper, feeling level than consciousness raising. Films, dramatic media presentations and personal stories that elicit emotions can have a great effect.
  4. Personal Re-visioning. Look toward the future by showing them the positive new life they could have and the better person they could become through the process of letting go of the shame and burdens imposed by a powerful church, and not allowing others to think for them, control them and dictate their life.
  5. Rewarding. Use praise and other forms of reward to reinforce the positive change.
  6. Disorientation. Once the excuses are exhausted, the rationalizations easily countered, or when the old reality no longer fits, they may feel defenseless. They can’t delude themselves any longer. They can’t maintain their previous way of living. The first phase can be an emotional vortex where they spin in confusion, anger, blame, sadness, frustration, or guilt. This phase usually  lasts until the person is able to reframe what is upsetting him or her without self-blame and without blaming others.
  7. Exploration. They now start to consider options concerning how they will proceed in life with this new light and knowledge. Have support nearby to help. They may need counseling. They will become more introspective as they struggle to look inward for a new life direction and plan.
  8. Commitment. Support them if they wish to publicly announce this change in their life, but only if they feel comfortable doing that. They will likely want to help others going through the same thing and help them on their journey.
  9. Rewarding. Use praise and other forms of reward to reinforce the positive change.
  10. Countering. Help them substitute healthy behaviors for unhealthy ones. Examples might include studying science instead of religious literature, getting married and having children at an age when they are mature enough to handle it and can afford it without feeling guilt, paying bills instead of tithing, hanging out with their family instead of going to a church meeting, including gay friends in their activities, not shaming or looking down on others but being nice, not beating themselves up but thinking they are okay, figuring out what is important to them instead of living their life according to what other people say or want.
  11. Environmental management. Let them go to take control of their own life and arrange it to be the healthiest and most supportive environment they can create. Support and help them with managing their environment if they need it.
  12. Discuss tough situations. Although they may be doing great with their new life certain situations might come up that will be really difficult such as a confrontation from controlling former ward members, family members or TBM friends. Discuss how they will handle these situations in order for them to take responsibility for their own life and not get pushed around, but at the same time keep a hold of/repair as many good relationships as possible. Help them find and make new great relationships.
  13. Remember that ultimately they are only responsible for themselves; you can’t take on the responsibility of “fixing” other people. Remain in your heart- do your best. Care for them deeply; it’s their job to change. If they don’t want to, let them be.

A similar process can be done for people who are unhealthy and should take steps to be more healthy (through diet and exercise).

Basically you can do the same things to deconvert Mormons that Mormons do to convert people (tell them there is a problem with the world, control their environment, arouse emotions, give them the vision of a new person, use praise and rewards, substitute new behaviors with old ones, involve friends and family to reinforce. But don’t push it! Sometimes only the “elect” are ready to hear the truth.)

 

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