Where Does the Exmormon Community Go From Here?
I wanted to announce how happy I am to see the growth of the DAMU (Disaffected Mormon Underground) over the last 6 years I have been part of the discussion–starting out as a scared lurker hiding from his wife in a dark room with a laptop as if a discussion forum were some kind of porn, and moving on to become the perfected man whose countenance shines before you today:)
There is something for every doubter and dissident:
- MormonThink for the facts
- Postmormon for rational discussion,
- Mormon Expression for podcasts,
- Exmormon.org for self-defeating vitriol,
- Mormon Infographics for Images,
- True Believing Mormons and Ward Gossip for humor,
- Life After Mormonism for social connection,
- And Main Street Plaza/Outer Blogness, of course, to tie it all together.
I posted an interview recently with Mithryn, the moderator of the Exmormon sub-reddit, about reaching the milestone of 8,000 members, up from 2,000 just a year or two ago:
VERY exciting to see this growth, and according to John Dehlin’s presentation somewhere sometime he projected that active Mormon membership can only decrease over time, which means MORE exmormons to join the discussion and MORE awesome comments and material to help you find support and move on to a more authentic life.
What else would you like to see happen within our community?
What needs are still not being met?
What did you wish were available when you left the church that is not here currently, or could be done better?
I’m interested in getting your thoughts, as there is much more work to be done. Let’s brainstorm some ideas in the comments below.
Something that sticks out to me is that as a community we are not always in the same place during our disaffection. Some of us are stuck in the angry apostate phase longer than others, some have moved on and some are still scared and just beginning. It’s nice to have someone like Mithryn to give solid facts and context to things we may feel but not know.
It would be nice to have a more organized community to help people along in some of the confusing areas that others have been through. Mentors and physical places to go for help and to regain a sense of community which supports our new paradigm. Create a safe place to be introduced to people who share our passions and build freindships outside of the online world. We don’t have to hide in the dark anymore.
@1 I feel like there’s more opportunity than ever to make real-life connections: with enormous discussion groups like the exmo reddit, explicitly social groups like LAM, and groups that organize worldwide local chapters postmormon.
When I first left Mormonism (in the early 90’s), I didn’t know any exmos outside my own family, and had no way of meeting any. Now that I’ve been out for two decades, I’m part of a fun group of former Mormons here in Switzerland! (As you might imagine, former Mormons are pretty rare in Switzerland — and most of us would certainly not have found each other without the Internet, postmormon.org in particular).
Personally, I’ve been out long enough that it’s more about making a social connection than about group therapy, but some of the members of our group left the church more recently — and in that case, I think it has been helpful to have people to talk to in person who really understand and have been there.
p.s. There are actually quite a lot of good podcasts. I still need to do some work on the “Podcasts and Video Channels” section of the sidebar.
I think that the facts are available on websites and by asking groups so fact worshippers like M can respond:)
And support started with forums & the conference, and has moved to social networks like Facebook groups, LAM, and live events (which were also helpful to me in SLC).
What I think has been lacking during my 6 years is an emphasis on HOW to move on, and what people are doing with their lives that is NEW instead of talking about the past the vast majority of the time.
Of course it is necessary to work through the past. But I would like to see more living, breathing examples of happy people who have moved on and have overcome their anxiety, depression, anger, and codependency.
Exmormons to me seem to pat themselves on the back for being free of the church without realizing how deep the programming goes and how much active effort is required. We should be discussing these methods, and what works.
After all, healing is part grieving and support, and part mental and emotional exercises and setting new wellness habits, is it not?
@4 But… if you find the people who have moved on and ask them to tell you how they did it and what’s new, then you’re sucking them back in again! The irony! 😉
Kidding. Actually, a lot of Outer Blogness is focused on what people are doing with their lives that is new. It is a collection of blogs (mostly) by former Mormons, but quite a lot of them don’t talk about Mormonism very often. And in the weekly Sunday in Outer Blogness roundup, you’ll see a mix of stuff about Mormonism and of random other topics various exmos are discussing.