Monday, April 18, 2005

To a Mormon missionary

I just sent the following to the Taipei Times:

Editor:

On Saturday around 12:45 on Kwangfu Rd. in Hsinchu I saw you. You and your fellow Mormon missionary were accosting Taiwanese on the sidewalk in front of the Post Office, one more annoying impediment to foot traffic in an area already overcrowded with parked motorcycles, people struggling to carry on their postal and banking business, ATM customers, and pedestrians threading their way through the crush. At that point your presence was already obnoxious but at least it wasn't life-threatening.

I pulled up to the light and a motorcycle pulled into the space in front of me. And then you decided you had to confront that man on the motorcycle. And so you ran out into the street.

I've been in Taiwan for over a decade and have met many missionaries. On the whole, they are no more savvy or ignorant than any other group of foreigners, with one exception: Mormons. All newbies to Taiwan are virgins, but Mormon missionaries arrive here in a state that can only be described as pre-pubescent. This is not the place to discuss the Leninist political and social structure of the Mormon Church, but it is appropriate to highlight the fact that the tight controls on the minds and bodies of Mormon victims/believers have serious ramifications for their health and safety, and the health and safety of others whom they interact with. Your behavior that day was a perfect illustration.

You did manage to look both ways on your way out into the road but I doubt you or your partner has really taken the heart to fact that the post office faced a T-intersection, and such intersections are notoriousfor red-light running. You probably didn't even notice the motorcycle that shot out from behind you, or the one driving onto the sidewalk in the wrong direction. Or the cars inching out into the zebra stripes. It probably never occurred to you that you could get hit by someone driving the wrong way, and die too. You don't have the right reflexes yet. Obviously.

Once you were out in the street I shouted at you to get out of there and quit hassling the motorists. Ofcourse, in your self-absorbed little universe, it probably never occurred to you that the foreigner in the van behind the motorcycle might actually know a thing or two about Taiwanese streets. How, for example, four-lane roads are apt to turn into seven or eight lane roads on crowded Saturday afternoons, andnow the motorcycles even then driving illegally between the waiting cars might emerge suddenly to hit you and kill you, seeing you too late because my van blocked their vision. And how rude you were being to a passing motorist who never would have shoved his religion down your throat in the same way.

I doubt you realized that Taiwan is not the US. No, not in your bones. Otherwise you might have thought about what happens to people who hit pedestrians in Taiwan. The way the Taiwanese customarily assess "fault" the driver of the vehicle is almost always at fault, and if the pedestrian struck dies, then the driver goes to jail. Had myself or any other driver hit you, even though it would have been your fault ethically, we still would have gone to jail. When you strode out into that street, you threatened the safetyof every motorist in it, including that of my wife and children. But that didn't occur to you, did it? Instead of human beings, each with their own lives, you saw nothing but possible recruits -- objects,instead of people. When you ran out onto Kwangfu Rd, you objectified and dehumanized everyone in it.

Not content to be rude merely to one passing motorist, you then made the entire line of cars behind me wait for you while you walked over to my van attempting to say something to me. It is true that I answered your rudeness with a four-letter comment of my own, for which I was totally wrong and thus must beg your forgiveness. But it is also true that you had no business making the world wait on our private conversation. Aware of waiting vehicles, I did not stop. But because I had to allow for your threatening presence on a busy road, I had to slow down, abusing the patience of everyone behind me, and swerve, endangering other drivers.

Your behavior raises another issue. I have been here since you were in kindergarten, and I will probably still be here many years from now. You may leave after a year, but it is we here who have to live in the stink that you leave behind. Each time a foreigner like you abuses the patience and politeness that Taiwanese offer to foreigners, it impinges on the well-being of every foreigner in Taiwan. We long-termers are fortunate that Taiwanese are generally able to make the separation between Mormons and other foreigners and continue to offer the deference and hospitality for which Taiwan is famous. But someday even that seemingly inexhaustible well might run dry.

I didn't look back to see what had happened to you, as I had other things to concentrate on. But I suppose that it shouldn't really be surprising that an adherent of LDS Church, a Church that is enthusiastically committing slow-motion political suicide by voting in each election for candidates from a Christian Right determined to destroy the Mormon heretics when it gains real power, doesn't even know enough to stay out of the road.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clyde said:

Ouch!

Anonymous said...

LOL. Kid was clueless, and so arrogant. No wonder the world doesn't respect us.

Overshop said...

It's not just in Taiwan that Mormons behave that way. At the tender age of 18, the "True Believer" males are let loose on an unsuspecting world. Totally without any experience in the real world, and generally without having actually made any close acquaintances outside of their own belief system, they cannot comprehend exactly how unwelcome their advances are. They will keep up their rude behavior with their chosen victim until the victim loses every tiny drop of patience ever possessed. The only way to ensure that they never bother you again is to tell them to fuck off and also a nice finish is to tell them you worship Satan. It's about the only way you'll get them to understand you really mean NO.

Anonymous said...

Scott Sommers says,
While the Mormons are going nowhere in Asia, they are one of the fastest growing churches in the world. I was raised nominally in the Presbyterian Church and compared with our missionaries in Taiwan or the Catholics I know here, they seem like Boy Scouts hunting for souls. I don't mind talking with them when they accoust me, but they seem to have no sense of moderation. They either want all your time or nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

Clyde, who has been researching the Mormons, should weigh in here...

Michael

Anonymous said...

Brainwashed, mindcontrolled little bastards, I say. They are a cult, a sick sick cult. Mormonis are the worst of America, and they should be banned from Taiwan. I know of a few locals here who have been harrassed by them by late night phone calls trying to recruit them to join the church.

In their white shirts and ties, they look like well-scrubbed harmless kids on bikes, but they are harmful, soul-dirtied, mind-fucked danger kids on hormone speed. Get them outta this country and all countries.

The entire Book of Mormoni is a big ugly lie. Sure, Joe Smith found a goldplated book in the dirt in upstate New York! And the Earth is flat.

Did the Times ever publish your letter? Of course, not. They are run by a religious cabal themselves, look at their Saturday religion page advertisements and PR for the missionaries like World Vision every chance they get!

The dear Taiwanese don't get it. The missionaries want to rob their souls and steal their country for Jesus. They should be a law against this.

Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

So much for religious tolerance.

Adam He said...

Dear Sir,

As a former and future resident of Taiwan, I am very appreciative of the information you provide on a daily basis. Taiwan is a place very close to my heart, and you do a wonderful job in capturing the feeling of being there.

Naturally, I will follow a good compliment with some good criticism.

The plight of Mormon missionaries all across the world is something that you don't, and perhaps never will, understand.

Mormons hold their faith in a complex and peculiar set of beliefs. The message presented by its young representatives is a difficult sell (obviously). This point is very clear in the minds of all of the 19 year olds that choose to serve.

Why then, would you seemingly toss their efforts aside in an assuming that they are being 'trained' or 'missionized' by trudging through their days with little or no success? There is an interesting mindset that you and several other foreigners in Taiwan seem to subscribe to when it comes to Mormon missionaries.

Your assumtions are too shallow. You attempt to speak for others in describing how unwelcome their advances are. What about the searching soul that finds eventual peace and comfort from such an encounter? Have you considered that, from the point of view of a missionary, even just helping ONE individual find what they are looking for is worth going into a 'risky' intersection a million times over? (Give me a break, man. What about simply WALKING across the intersection? Wouldn't one run the same risk as the missionary that you're talking about?)

What about the elderly mormon missionary woman who, incidentally, was struck by a Taiwanese motorist not long ago? Were you not aware of the compassion that she excercised on the at-fault motorist? Would you not expect the younger generation of Mormons to hold those same values?

You treat the Mormon religion as if it's purely Amercian. Do you not realize that there are FAR more Mormons outside of the U.S. than inside? (Don't worry. 'Mormon' does not equal 'Republican'. Just calm down.)

Comparing the Mormon faith to...well......Leninism???? Man, you've got a lot to learn....even with your advanced degree and all...

Oh well. Have fun over there.

Michael Turton said...

The plight of Mormon missionaries all across the world is something that you don't, and perhaps never will, understand.

No, Adam, I understand it all too well.

Mormons hold their faith in a complex and peculiar set of beliefs. The message presented by its young representatives is a difficult sell (obviously). This point is very clear in the minds of all of the 19 year olds that choose to serve.

Right. So ask yourself, since conversion by cold visits are so rare, why expend so many resources on the mission program? The answer is pretty clear: it's to socialize young Mormons, not to convert others.

Why then, would you seemingly toss their efforts aside in an assuming that they are being 'trained' or 'missionized' by trudging through their days with little or no success?

The value of something is not determined by the amount of effort that is put into it. Hard work in the service of idiocy does not redeem that idiocy.

There is an interesting mindset that you and several other foreigners in Taiwan seem to subscribe to when it comes to Mormon missionaries.

Well, the Mormon faith is so obviously fraudulent that it is hard for anyone not in it to respect it.

Your assumtions are too shallow. You attempt to speak for others in describing how unwelcome their advances are.

Actually, I didn't say that they were unwelcome. I DID note that the Mormon was being rude, and threatening others.

What about the searching soul that finds eventual peace and comfort from such an encounter?

I feel sorry for them.

Have you considered that, from the point of view of a missionary, even just helping ONE individual find what they are looking for is worth going into a 'risky' intersection a million times over? (Give me a break, man. What about simply WALKING across the intersection? Wouldn't one run the same risk as the missionary that you're talking about?)

The point was not that the missionary was taking a personal risk. It was that he was threatening others by his behavior, yet seemed oblivious to that. And also that he dehumanized us by treating us as potential targets, not as humans. Missionary work is dehumanizing and destructive, and should probably be banned.

What about the elderly mormon missionary woman who, incidentally, was struck by a Taiwanese motorist not long ago? Were you not aware of the compassion that she excercised on the at-fault motorist? Would you not expect the younger generation of Mormons to hold those same values?

How is this related to the topic at hand?

You treat the Mormon religion as if it's purely Amercian. Do you not realize that there are FAR more Mormons outside of the U.S. than inside? (Don't worry. 'Mormon' does not equal 'Republican'. Just calm down.)

In most histories that I've seen, Mormonism is an American invention. And whatever political beliefs Mormons hold, it is indisputable that the Church itself is allied with the Christian right, and that the vast majority of Mormons are conservatives.

Comparing the Mormon faith to...well......Leninism???? Man, you've got a lot to learn....

Alas, you are the one with a lot to learn here. In fact Mormon control over its adherents is very similar to KMT control over Taiwan. It's just that Mormons never seem to make the connection.

Michael

Adam He said...

But Mr. Turton,

Correct me if I'm wrong in assuming that you have never looked at Mormonism form the inside (i.e. you have never been a 'believer').

What control does the Mormon church hold over anyone?? How can it be compared to the KMT?? Any subscriber to any faith can ultimately choose to stop associating with or believing that faith. ESPECIALLY MORMONS.

The 'control' which you speak of is in fact nonexistent. Rather, it is a self driven motivation to do what one believes is right and good. Keep your idiocy to yourself, and please do not attempt to pile it on those that pursue something that is of value in this world.

Also, I wonder why you would consider banning missionary work. The practice of telivision, radio, billboard, or any other form of advertising is no different, so long as the effort imposes no infringement on anyone's rights. If any missionary goes outside the boundaries of law, then of course they are in the wrong. But until then, your complaint lacks open mindedness and tolerance.

You said:

"In most histories that I've seen, Mormonism is an American invention."

Lastly, (and I hate to call you out on a poor argument, you being in the education field and all) this is pretty weak. The basis of Mormon belief lies in the idea that their religion is an explanation of the eternities. In other words, they practice exactly what was practiced since the beginning of time. They believe that they know what is real. (of course, this is what the vast majority of religions believe.)

Michael Turton said...

Correct me if I'm wrong in assuming that you have never looked at Mormonism form the inside (i.e. you have never been a 'believer').

Yes, I have looked at in from the inside. I have lived in a couple of police states, so I know exactly what Mormonism is about. The tune is the same, only the words are different.

What control does the Mormon church hold over anyone?? How can it be compared to the KMT?? Any subscriber to any faith can ultimately choose to stop associating with or believing that faith. ESPECIALLY MORMONS.

Adam, this is naive. Authority belief systems -- Mormon, Christian, Communist, Facist, Islamic, corporate, whatever -- generate numerous mechanisms of control and behavior modification. Mostly the achieve this by starting early, and getting the victim in the habit of identifying with the Authority before the poor wretch is old enough to understand what is going on. The believer internalizes the mechanisms of control (What is the purpose of prayer? Sin? -- Control, Adam) so that the System can control the victim's behavior even in the absense of overt monitoring. The results are obvious in any sort of ex-Authority belief testimony. For example, here's one from an ex-Mormon

My father didn’t speak to me for an entire year. If he had anything to communicate to me, he always did it through a third party, even if I was in the same room. I became a pariah in my house and in my town as well. I grew my hair long. I started smoking pot. And still I went to church, and for the most part continued to do what I was told. The power that early conditioning has on the human mind is amazing.

...or...


When I finished high school, I discovered to my dismay that I had reached a dead end. In the Mormon world, the conclusion of high school is the time for only one thing – a mission. To choose any other course is to swim against a very swift and unyielding social current.


There are thousands of such testimonies. Mormon control is very strong, and breaking out of it is very difficult. That is why so many ex-Mormons, I've found, are often people with interesting and powerful personalities.

The 'control' which you speak of is in fact nonexistent.

Control is in fact the core of any authority system like Mormonism. One day, when you are ready, you will realize this. Functionally, there's no difference between Mormon indoctrination of the young and Communist indoctrination of the young. Functionally, there's no difference between Mormon youth groups and Fascist youth groups. Functionally, there's no difference between absurd Mormon claims about North American archaeology and absurd Nazi claims about Aryan anthropology. They all have the same goal: to build identities through repetition, indoctrination, control of time, and isolation from the social mainstream.

By Leninist I refer to the Mormon structure of control, under which no facet of life is safe from Mormonism, and it deeply interpenetrates with the social and personal lives of its believers/victims. This is a classic Leninist stance. A Mormon church is a cell, the mormon officials are the political officers. Mormon Church organization is Leninist, and everything is under centralized control.

This robust system of control is what makes leaving Mormonism so difficult. For to leave Mormonism is to lose one's family and friends, often to get divorced, fired by one's Mormon boss, etc. Recall what happens to other ex-members of authoritarian outgroups, such as the Amish. Mormonism has exactly the same kind of control, but has achieved a certain respectability, and thus, it is impolitic to point this out.

Rather, it is a self driven motivation to do what one believes is right and good.

Yes, that is typically how authority beliefs are presented to insiders.

Who does not want to do what "one thinks is right and good?" The issue is that what Mormons think is right and good looks cult-like to everyone not in the group.

Keep your idiocy to yourself, and please do not attempt to pile it on those that pursue something that is of value in this world.

Whatever...but few outside of Mormonism see any value in it.

Also, I wonder why you would consider banning missionary work.

I wouldn't ban it. That simply an expression of my frustration at the attempts of missionaries to stamp out all other lifeways and replace them with their own.

But until then, your complaint lacks open mindedness and tolerance.

It's precisely because I am open-minded, tolerant, and loving, that I see missionaries as a problem. Gandhi felt exactly the same way I do. You want to call him "intolerant"?

Did you ever stop and think what it is missionaries are out to do? Their ultimate goal is to destroy every other form of belief on earth and replace it with their own. In the ideal world of the Mormon missionaries, there are no non-Mormons. Is there anything more intolerant than that?

Lastly, (and I hate to call you out on a poor argument, you being in the education field and all) this is pretty weak. The basis of Mormon belief lies in the idea that their religion is an explanation of the eternities. In other words, they practice exactly what was practiced since the beginning of time. They believe that they know what is real. (of course, this is what the vast majority of religions believe.)

You have credible evidence that Mormonism was practiced outside the US prior to its invention by Joseph Smith in the first half of the 19th century?

Michael

Anonymous said...

Although I'm sure this does not represents all mormons, the following news article sheds some light on Mormons in

Utah:http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/latimests/20050613/ts_latimes/losttotheonlylifetheyknew

Anonymous said...

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/latimests/20050613/ts_latimes/losttotheonlylifetheyknew

Michael Turton said...

Lost to the Only Life They Knew

Charles Phipps said...

No point in posting the above link. The people mentioned in the article are not affiliated with the Mormon church, other than the fact that they hate the Mormons and, in effect, are a rebel break-off. In fact, the group mentioned is an anti-mormon group. I lived in Utah for several years, and they make the news a lot over there.

After reading these posts, it seems to me that whoever runs this site has a bit of a vendetta against Mormons. Wierd.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, I knew that is an offshoot, that's why I didn't post the link.

*confused* Why do you think the news site has a vendatta against Mormons?

Charles Phipps said...

Nope.

Didn't say the news site has any vendetta. I said that you do, Mr. Turton. It's obvious you could use a big dose of tolerance. In today's world, it's interesting to see which type of people embrace and accept some of these volunteer evangelist groups, and which type of people think they should be stopped.

You fit the mold of a grumpy, whining old man who is pissed off at everything the Bushes are doing in the name of freedom. Well, you are correct in that sense, but you don't need to blame in on any religious group. The U.S. president has roped in a lot of feeble Christians and rallied them against a fake enemy. Anyone with any amount of sense can see this. But, that doesn't mean all Christians support his worthless agenda. If you start placing things like Mormon missionary work in that category, then you fall in the same trap that many idiotic Americans do when they assume those of Islamic faith are all crazed fanatics.

The truth is, Mr. Bush's only interest is money. It has nothing to do with God.

Michael Turton said...

Didn't say the news site has any vendetta. I said that you do, Mr. Turton. It's obvious you could use a big dose of tolerance.

Of course I'm intolerant. That's why I live in a foreign country, served in the Peace Corps, served as a Peace Corps trainer, married a foreigner and Buddhist, worked for the Taiwan democracy movement, sent my Christian kid to Christian school, give money to progressive political causes...

In my ideal world, there is a huge diversity of religious belief. In the Mormon ideal world, there is no diversity of religious belief. Everyone is a Mormon. The Mormons seek to stamp out all competing religious beliefs, and replace them with their own. Please explain why you believe my stance is more intolerant than theirs. Be concrete.

In today's world, it's interesting to see which type of people embrace and accept some of these volunteer evangelist groups, and which type of people think they should be stopped.

Yes, and I've noted that people who oppose missionary work by authoritarian religious groups tend to place a high value on human freedom and growth. Real community oriented volunteerism, such as that embraced by mainstream Protestant, liberal Protestant, and Liberal Catholic and Jewish groups, is very rare among evangelicals.

This may be too big an idea for you to wrap your head around, but it is precisely because I have a powerful human-centered ethos that I oppose all forms of authoritarianism, whether they manifest themselves as religious stances or political beliefs.

BTW, Gandhi also opposed missionary work and thought it should be banned. Do you think he was intolerant?

You fit the mold of a grumpy, whining old man who is pissed off at everything the Bushes are doing in the name of freedom.

How did we segue to Bush from here?

It's fascinating that I haven't complained about Methodists, Cathlics, Buddhists, Quakers, Hindus, Muslims, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Jews, Mandeans, Parsis...but nevertheless, if I mention that Mormonism is a problem, it must be because I am intolerant. I assume you carry a parachute with you at all times, the way you leap to conclusions....

Well, you are correct in that sense, but you don't need to blame in on any religious group. The U.S. president has roped in a lot of feeble Christians and rallied them against a fake enemy.

Here are some terms you should Google:

James Dobson
Gary North
Council on National Policy
Christian Reconstructionism
Dominionism

Start over at theocracywatch.org. Your analysis is a mite simplistic.

But, that doesn't mean all Christians support his worthless agenda.

I never said they did, either. Would like a garden to go with this strawman?

If you start placing things like Mormon missionary work in that category, then you fall in the same trap that many idiotic Americans do when they assume those of Islamic faith are all crazed fanatics.

Can you give me concrete ways in which Mormons improve the world around them the way that Quakers or Methodists or liberal Catholics do? Can you give me a list of the many Mormon hospitals and orphanages in Taiwan? Can you provide some documents showing strong Mormon support during the critical period of martial law for democracy and independence in Taiwan? Can you show me the many Mormons who occupy high positions in organizations in Taiwan that further progressive, democratic, environmental, consumer, and other causes? Can you list some of the prominent progressive, humanist Mormon scholars, businessmen, artists, and scientists in Taiwan?

The truth is, Mr. Bush's only interest is money. It has nothing to do with God.

Who said it had anything to do with God? It's the alliance between Mormons and the religious right. And when the latter get real power, you can bet they will work against the former. Mormons are not only conservative, they are suicidally so. They serve the interests of parties who work unceasingly to ensure that Mormonism is stamped out. Mormon religious beliefs are no sillier than anyone else's, but Mormon political beliefs can only be described as clincally insane.

Michael Turton

Le Gourmande said...

Oh, they're relentless alright. They even speak Hakka/Hoklo these days.

Missionaries have been in Taiwan since the Dutch colonial days, but have had little success: 93% of Taiwanese still call themselves Buddhist/Taoist/Confusian, though they are more or less irreligious.

Anonymous said...

Pre-warning... You're going to see a lot of Mormons in summer of '06, as that is the 50th anniversary of the Church's first missionaries arriving in Taiwan. Look for renewed vigor from them. Also, FYI- about 2000 Taiwanese become Mormon every year.

RuffestRoad said...

It certainly seems you're the center of your OWN universe when you make a statement like "they were making the whole world wait behind me". I feel sorry for people who don't have enough courage to tell a person they're not interest in whatever it is the person is "selling". I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I never feel trapped when a member of any other Church or organization wants to "witness" to me or sell me something. If I don't have the time to listen or don't wish to visit, I tell them so. Perhaps the diatribe you wanted your local paper to publish was your way of trying to apologize for your own rudeness. You talked about the young person who was shunned by his father. How sad he was treated that way but guess what? Not all Mormans react in the same manner. As good as a story it makes, not all of our children are brainwashed. Believe it or not, most of us let them choose for themselves and just like any other group, we have those who make mistakes. It sounds to me like perhaps the father in your story didn't choose wisely. My eldest daughter made the decision to not attend our Church during her teen years. Do I love her any less than before? No! Do I treat her differently than my other daughter? No! You see, we all have free agency--even you. We're allowed to choose for ourselves and guess what? We're going to make mistakes because we're human. Perhaps some day you'll be blessed with compassion and understanding and not limit yourself to your own little world.

Michael Turton said...

As good as a story it makes, not all of our children are brainwashed. Believe it or not, most of us let them choose for themselves and just like any other group, we have those who make mistakes.

LOL. OF COURSE you're all brainwashed as children. Are you introduced to the Mormon religion at a young age? When people introduce it to you, do they do so before you are able to think for yourself? Do they present any outside or critical information?

OF COURSE NOT. The very essence of brainwashing is what Mormons do to their kids. I'm glad that your daughter was able to get out and that you were able to deal with it, but as deconversion testimony after deconversion testimony shows, leaving Mormonism (or any other controlling authority belief) is extremely difficult.

Perhaps some day you'll be blessed with compassion and understanding and not limit yourself to your own little world.

ROFL. As if you knew anything about me.

Michael

RuffestRoad said...

OK, you're free to believe what you want but guess what? Us mindless Mormons are regular people just like you!

Michael Turton said...

I never said you weren't regular people just like me. I was brainwashed into religious belief as a young'n too. The difference is that I managed to get out.

Michael

RuffestRoad said...

The difference is you think you were brainwashed and I know I was not. It appears you're making an assumption that I was raised in the Church from a child; I was not. I'm 49 years old and have only been a member for 11 years. I made an informed decision. No one had to tie me up and prop my eyelids open with toothpicks to bring me into the fold. I am a free and willing participant.

Michael Turton said...

I made an informed decision.

Not hardly. Thanks, though.

Micahel

RuffestRoad said...

ahahahhaaa--I get to borrow your words..."as if you knew anything about me."

One thing is quite evident...you're a very smug fellow. Enjoy yourself!

Michael Turton said...

It's true! I am a smug fellow. I haven't fallen for any authority cult, and I play no part in the misery they spread upon the earth, nor in their support for the NeoCon fascism currently destroying our country.

Michael

Anonymous said...

Wow!

Anonymous said...

Maybe its the older/balding/overweight/couldn't speak Chinese if their life depended on it/couldn't make it in the real world/English teaching/white/leech/preys on younger Taiwanese women/male, who leaves a bad impression of Americans?. And maybe the Taiwanese actually appreciate a kid who's given up two whole years of his life/devotes a lot of time and effort to speak Mandarin and Taiwanese fluently (something tells me isn't easy)/works his butt of to spread what he honestly believes will bring a little happiness to the people around him? Maybe?
You probably won't post this, but I hope you'd appreciate their honest and well intentioned effort, no matter how much you may disagree with their system of beliefs.

Melinda said...

I served my LDS mission in Taiwan.

Before my mission, I was an English teacher myself for a year and was able to live with a Taiwanese family and experience the culture first hand. I went to worship at the buddhist temples with them, I went to the family barbecues, rode the mopeds, listened to the music, went to church every Sunday all by myself every Sunday even though nobody cared or knew if I was there or not (meaning my family back home in U.S.A) because I actually wanted to. I invited my host family to come, they didn't want to and that was that, I still loved them very much and still do. I didn't ever see them as "object" or a project to work on.

Later I chose to go back as a missionary. You speak of brainwashing and manipulation by the leaders or parents to get the youth to do, say and be whatever they tell them to do. There is always CHOICE and there isn't a church I know of on the earth (and I studied religion extensively in college) that teaches, preaches and acknowledges the freedom of choice more than the LDS church. If you choose to look at it the way you do, you can look into your religion of buddhism-it is (from an outsiders point of view) a very controlling religion in and of itself. Yet, you or many others would not view it as such who live it. Many times while SERVING the people of Taiwan out of a complete love and desire for their happiness, I would meet someone who had great interest and learned all they could, choose to be baptized and then be threatened and disowned by their own parents and friends.

Sure, a few missionaries while serving might do stupid things, some are new and have been exposed to a completely different culture, language. Some decide a mission is not for them. Some give into temptations and misconduct, but they are EXTREMELY rare and it seems hardly fair to judge the whole "mormon" religion on only a few.

My experience while living there was that of complete welcoming and acceptance. I still loved and respected even those who cursed at me and slammed the gate or door in my face, or flipped me off, but those cases were very rare. On the most part, people wanted to hear what I had to share. They were curious themselves and were looking for some sort of direction. We had what they were looking for. Why is that hard to accept on your part. I did sacrifice a lot to serve my misison. I guess my whole reason for writing is because I feel completely hurt and misjudged. I'm sorry that you feel the way you do, you obviously have been offended in more ways by the LDS church then just the one incident you wrote the article about. I hope I haven't added to that bitterness. I in no way think that I am better than you or anyone else.

I am 30 years old and more than capable to make an informed, EDUCATED decision, please do not insult me or that right by saying its not just because you don't believe it.

By the way, you have awesome pictures of the culture. I have a few great ones of my own that I could share if you're interested. Taiwan is so beautiful and has such a wonderful ancient culture that is so filled with wisdoms and beliefs-some of which are not too far off from what mormons believe. I could share a few if you're interested. Wink Wink!

Thanks for your time!

Michael Turton said...

There is always CHOICE and there isn't a church I know of on the earth (and I studied religion extensively in college) that teaches, preaches and acknowledges the freedom of choice more than the LDS church.

Thanks. That comment, well, it made my day.

BTW, I'm an atheist, not a buddhist.

I guess my whole reason for writing is because I feel completely hurt and misjudged. I'm sorry that you feel the way you do, you obviously have been offended in more ways by the LDS church then just the one incident you wrote the article about.

Well, the Church's worship of Authority and its centralized, Leninist political structure offend me, for they are inhuman and inherently anti-democracy -- the same reason any Leninist political structure, from Communism to the KMT offends me. The stupid results -- self-centered nitwits attempting to kill themselves on Taiwan streets while socializing themselves into their religion at their own expense -- what a great scam, wish I'd thought of it! -- that's just fallout from the greater issues of power and control.

Many times while SERVING the people of Taiwan out of a complete love and desire for their happiness

Ill ask you what I asked the person above:

Can you give me concrete ways in which Mormons improve the world around them the way that Quakers or Methodists or liberal Catholics do? Can you give me a list of the many Mormon hospitals and orphanages in Taiwan? Can you provide some documents showing strong Mormon support during the critical period of martial law for democracy and independence in Taiwan? Can you show me the many Mormons who occupy high positions in organizations in Taiwan that further progressive, democratic, environmental, consumer, and other causes? Can you list some of the prominent progressive, humanist Mormon scholars, businessmen, artists, and scientists in Taiwan?

You weren't serving the people of Taiwan. You were objectifying and dehumanizing them in pursuit of your own self-validation. If you really wanted to serve them, you'd have done something concrete in their service, and refrained from attempting to stamp out their religions and replace them with your own.

The one good thing is that the Mormon experience here has created a constituency of people who are supportive of Taiwan in the US, though sadly most are right-wingers. Another bit of fall-out from worship of Authority.

Thanks for the kind words about the pictures. If you build your own picture site I'll be happy to link to it, but I can't think what I'd do with your pictures.

Thanks for the kindness of your tone, although your assertions, which are obviously at odds with reality, I found deeply disturbing.

Michael

Anonymous said...

With all do respect, you've taken one instance where a Mormon missionary walked onto Guang Fu road and built a backstory so intricate that it would make M Night Shyamalan dizzy! First off, How does one belittle an entire people and their social morays by walking out into a street? You have no idea who that missionary was going out to talk to! For all you know, it could have been a guy that was looking for them! Also, I really believe you're confusing missonaries from another religion, initials JW with Mormon Missionaries. Mormon Missionaries are taught to seek out the elect of God, or by the mormon definition, people who are seeking the truth. They structure their teaching efforts by categorizing people into Initial Contact, Teaching, and Baptising pools depending on the Investigators interest and or progress. If you tell a Mormon Missionary that you are NOT interested, they leave you alone. If they don't, they they are going against what they are taught in the Missonary Training Center.
Long story short, don't suppose you can categorize and demean a creed based on a very fleeting observation. I guy walks into a street and suddenly he's a social pariah?! Is it lonely up their on your pedestal, pal?
P.S. I highly doubt that you love the People of Taiwan any more than I do.
Also, I highly doubt this comment will get onto your forum because it happens to not be in accordance with your own.
Ron

Michael Turton said...

First off, How does one belittle an entire people and their social morays by walking out into a street?

Um...do you know how many times i have seen and photographed idiot Mormons walking into the street in traffic?

You have no idea who that missionary was going out to talk to!

Wrong again, for I watched him speak to other drivers before I yelled at him.

Also, I really believe you're confusing missonaries from another religion, initials JW with Mormon Missionaries.

Yes, because JWs also dress in white and wear black nametags with "ELDER ____" on them.

Mormon Missionaries are taught to seek out the elect of God, or by the mormon definition, people who are seeking the truth.

They miss me every time, then.

They structure their teaching efforts by categorizing people into Initial Contact, Teaching, and Baptising pools depending on the Investigators interest and or progress. If you tell a Mormon Missionary that you are NOT interested, they leave you alone.

Thankfully, that is usually true. Although our houses quickly get on a list, I have been accosted many times while walking.

Long story short, don't suppose you can categorize and demean a creed based on a very fleeting observation.

As the letter makes clear, it's not a fleeting observation, but one about Mormons that I have made many times. The combination of tight controls on thought, youth, and inexperience results in some amazingly naive and stupid behavior.

Is it lonely up their on your pedestal, pal?

Why no, I know quite a lot of people who despise Mormons the way I do. In fact, most of the educated non-believing foreigners here would probably agree with me. As would a large percentage of the locals.

P.S. I highly doubt that you love the People of Taiwan any more than I do.

I highly doubt that you can come up with a measure that would prove that.

Also, I highly doubt this comment will get onto your forum because it happens to not be in accordance with your own.Ron

Oh believe me, you're hardly a threat. More like...target practice. In any case, unlike Mormons, I don't practice thought control and don't block what goes on here, save for legally actionable comments. Don't want to get sued. :)

It's amazing how many comments this post continues to draw over the years.

Michael

Melinda said...

It's me again! Again, thanks for sharing your awesome pictures of the culture. I miss it.

Now I'm going to get a little tough. Please know that I am defending myself, my religion.

I want to respond to your following comments:

"Can you give me concrete ways in which Mormons improve the world around them the way that Quakers or Methodists or liberal Catholics do?"

Too many to list, but I will name a few:
Humanitarian work-there is NO other church in the WORLD that does more and provides more goods and services than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Other churches go to the LDS church to get help and aid.

The earthquake in Taiwan in Sept. 99', the church provided extensive goods and supplies, while the LDS missionaries helped EXTENSIVELY to clean up the mess and help families who lost loved ones.

VALUE OF HUMANITARIAN MATERIAL ASSISTANCE of the LDS Church SINCE 1985 $705 million ----
HUMANITARIAN CASH DONATIONS SINCE 1985 $201 million http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/statistical-information

Match that from any other church, let alone all of the hours of time and service given by the LDS members and missionaries. I was always involved in cleaning up parks, and sides of roads, helping members get their businesses started by moving stuff and cleaning.

There are also a number of LDS church programs to help out those who are un-employed or who need help getting thru school. There are other programs to help counsel and serve abused women and children, and that also helps families work thru their problems.

Another way is spiritual and a little harder to give statistics on, but I will say that I saw many men go from drunks, abusers, adulterers, and thiefs learn about the church become clean, sober and loving husbands and even better businessmen, neighbor and friend. I saw countless numbers of women change and improve their lives, became better mothers and wives.

"Can you give me a list of the many Mormon hospitals and orphanages in Taiwan? Can you provide some documents showing strong Mormon support during the critical period of martial law for democracy and independence in Taiwan? "

I spent many hours serving in the hospitals, visiting and helping cheer up many depressed and lonely patients. Particularly in several rest homes, in which the owners told us, no other religion had come to cheer up and sing to and just love like the LDS church had. As far as politics goes, the church remains seperate, it does in the U.S. as well as in foreign countries, why would the church get involved in that?

"Can you show me the many Mormons who occupy high positions in organizations in Taiwan that further progressive, democratic, environmental, consumer, and other causes? Can you list some of the prominent progressive, humanist Mormon scholars, businessmen, artists, and scientists in Taiwan?"

Members of the LDS church all over Taiwan are heavily involved in different careers and causes that are personal and quiet. Why would you assume there are none? They're a very smart, very well-educated group of men and women in the church. I have met them and seen their good works. Just because they're not in the newspapers or on the news does not mean they do not exist, and they care very much about their country and where it's going.

Furthermore, for you to make the claim the "mormons" haven't done any good in Taiwan is completely ignorant. How would YOU know? I have probably talked to more people in Taiwan everyday than you have in your whole time there. I know them as a people also, I have lived among them as a friend, english teacher (living with a Taiwanese family) and as an LDS missionary speaking with them for 12 hours a day, EVERY DAY for 18 months. That's over 6000 hours of personal one on one communication with the Taiwanese people of all different backgrounds and beliefs, talking to them specifically about religion. I think I could say that I know a little bit more about them religiously speaking than you do. But, for you to portray yourself as one who has ultimate and superior knowledge of how the Taiwanese people feel and what they need concerning religion is arrogant. I know that personally most do not feel the way that you do especially about the LDS missionaries.

Seriously though, people all over Taiwan, mormon missionary or not are constantly walking right thru traffic all day long. It's crazy. You'll have a truck, an old man with his bike full of goods, 5 mopeds, 2 school students all walking across the street at the same point and time. Don't be rediculous and say otherwise. I've seen it first hand. The Taiwanese could care less about traffic situations, or who is walking across the street or who is standing in the middle of the street. They just go around. I have video to prove it. It's unfair of you to discriminate against this poor Elder for living like the rest of the culture does concerning traffic.

I have seen much good brought about in Taiwan by my church and you have chosen to see only the bad (which is totally unfounded and prejudice) You choose to be blind to all that is good and true about the mormons.

Michael Turton said...

Melinda, I can't believe you're still here.

It's me again! Again, thanks for sharing your awesome pictures of the culture. I miss it.

Me too, when I am not here. I think it is addictive. Unfortunately of late I haen't been able to take many pictures. Too busy, and the weather sucks.

oo many to list, but I will name a few:
Humanitarian work-there is NO other church in the WORLD that does more and provides more goods and services than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Other churches go to the LDS church to get help and aid.

The earthquake in Taiwan in Sept. 99', the church provided extensive goods and supplies, while the LDS missionaries helped EXTENSIVELY to clean up the mess and help families who lost loved ones.

VALUE OF HUMANITARIAN MATERIAL ASSISTANCE of the LDS Church SINCE 1985 $705 million ----
HUMANITARIAN CASH DONATIONS SINCE 1985 $201 million http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/statistical-information

Match that from any other church, let alone all of the hours of time and service given by the LDS members and missionaries. I was always involved in cleaning up parks, and sides of roads, helping members get their businesses started by moving stuff and cleaning.


Melinda, do you realize what a tiny sum that is? Almost any large private charity exceeds that by many multiples...and the Catholic and mainstream protestant churches dwarf the charitable output of the Mormon Church, as do Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh faiths, to name only a few. You guys are so far down the list, you don't even show up on the radar. Take a look at the annual report for Cathlic Charities USA, for example.

Do yourself a favor. Google the largest private charities, look at their aid budgets, and compare to the immensely richer LDS Church, and then see how Mormonism has failed.

"Can you give me a list of the many Mormon hospitals and orphanages in Taiwan? Can you provide some documents showing strong Mormon support during the critical period of martial law for democracy and independence in Taiwan? "

I spent many hours serving in the hospitals, visiting and helping cheer up many depressed and lonely patients. Particularly in several rest homes, in which the owners told us, no other religion had come to cheer up and sing to and just love like the LDS church had. As far as politics goes, the church remains seperate, it does in the U.S. as well as in foreign countries, why would the church get involved in that?


Why should the Church get involved in politics? Because politics is about values -- the real test of a belief is the social action it drives. And I note that Mormons are linked to the most regressive anti-democracy types in the US -- the Christian Right/Reich. In Taiwan, other churches got involved in the fight against oppression -- see the shining history of the Presbyterian Church. Where were the Mormons? Doing nothing.

So you cannot list even a single Mormon institution in Taiwan such as a hospital or orphanage. As I noted, there are none.

"Can you show me the many Mormons who occupy high positions in organizations in Taiwan that further progressive, democratic, environmental, consumer, and other causes? Can you list some of the prominent progressive, humanist Mormon scholars, businessmen, artists, and scientists in Taiwan?"

Members of the LDS church all over Taiwan are heavily involved in different careers and causes that are personal and quiet. Why would you assume there are none?


I didn't assume anything, although I have never met one, and my list of local contacts is vast. I asked you to provide me with the names of such people. Obviously, you can't point to even a single example.

Furthermore, for you to make the claim the "mormons" haven't done any good in Taiwan is completely ignorant. How would YOU know? I have probably talked to more people in Taiwan everyday than you have in your whole time there. I know them as a people also, I have lived among them as a friend, english teacher (living with a Taiwanese family) and as an LDS missionary speaking with them for 12 hours a day, EVERY DAY for 18 months. That's over 6000 hours of personal one on one communication with the Taiwanese people of all different backgrounds and beliefs, talking to them specifically about religion. I think I could say that I know a little bit more about them religiously speaking than you do.

Are you on crack? That's the funniest thing I've ever heard. You've spent more time talking to taiwanese than me?

Also, Taiwanese do despise Mormonism intensely (you have no idea what they really think). In fact, the Mormon Church in Taiwan has made so little progress that a few years ago they hired a local marketing expert to determine why Taiwanese don't accept Mormonism, so frustrated are they with their inability to sell their product in Taiwan. What the Church tells you, and the reality, are totally different.

Seriously though, people all over Taiwan, mormon missionary or not are constantly walking right thru traffic all day long. It's crazy. You'll have a truck, an old man with his bike full of goods, 5 mopeds, 2 school students all walking across the street at the same point and time. Don't be rediculous and say otherwise. I've seen it first hand. The Taiwanese could care less about traffic situations, or who is walking across the street or who is standing in the middle of the street. They just go around. I have video to prove it. It's unfair of you to discriminate against this poor Elder for living like the rest of the culture does concerning traffic.

Ummm...no. The rest of the Taiwanese don't stop each other on the street and sell religion, forcing traffic to stop or go around. Mormons are totally different from normal traffic behavior.

Plus, the locals know the traffic patterns. Imported 18 year olds are clueless. It's stupid and dangerous for newbies to haul people out of the streets.

I have seen much good brought about in Taiwan by my church and you have chosen to see only the bad (which is totally unfounded and prejudice)

Actually, I have asked for specific evidence of that good. It's not prejudice to oppose centralized authority worship like Communism or Mormonism, Melinda. Merely sound politics.

You choose to be blind to all that is good and true about the mormons.

Rather, I choose to have a more robust view of Mormonism and its goals and means. I do not ask "what good does Mormonism do?" though it does not do much good -- its nice that you visit hospitals and pick up trash, but who doesn't? Instead, I ask: "What is the purpose of this good?" And the answer is the same:

Power and control.

Michael

Anonymous said...

"Do yourself a favor. Google the largest private charities, look at their aid budgets, and compare to the immensely richer LDS Church, and then see how Mormonism has failed."

Can you do me a favor and post these numbers? I'd be interested to see them in comparison.

Anonymous said...

How much have you donated to charities?

Please post to which charities with amounts.

As long as you are at it please post your political involvement and how you have changed your community and state for the better through your civic involvement. Remember specific offices held with dates. Go ahead and throw in vote tallies while you are at it.

In short your tirade is highly prejudiced. Your reference to the religious right is ironic since these are the groups that encourage free speech within the public forum unlike the left which encourages free speech only if it supports their agenda. Here in my city it is against the law to show my kids how to use a POWER TOOL, against the law for them to drive with another teenager in the car. In the US 400 children were taken out of their homes under the suspicion of abuse with no evidence, just a net thrown out to see what they could get.

It isn't that far fetched to see them placing these groups onto buses and off to camps. Then come the ovens . . .

From the tone of your postings I'm not so sure you wouldn't be pushing them onto the bus or shoving the baby into the oven.

Michael Turton said...

How much have you donated to charities?

I don't keep track. Why is it relevant to know? I don't belong to a belief system that imagines itself to be a charitable institution.

As long as you are at it please post your political involvement and how you have changed your community and state for the better through your civic involvement. Remember specific offices held with dates. Go ahead and throw in vote tallies while you are at it.

Ummm...do I need to have been an officeholder? Or can I just have been a Peace Corps volunteer, soccer coach, church volunteer, etc. Can I count my time in the Taiwan independence movement?

Again -- I don't belong to any centralized authority belief that fronts itself by doing charity. So what's your point?

In short your tirade is highly prejudiced. Your reference to the religious right is ironic since these are the groups that encourage free speech within the public forum unlike the left which encourages free speech only if it supports their agenda.

At present, the Right supports a President who is trashing our Constitution, spies on our citizenry, engages in illegal wars, tortures those he holds in prison, imprisons without basic civil rights, and is widely regarded as the most venal and least competent president in history.

'nuff said.

Here in my city it is against the law to show my kids how to use a POWER TOOL, against the law for them to drive with another teenager in the car.

How this is a restriction on free speech is beyond me. It is well known that having more than one teenager in the car leads to higher accident rates. No doubt your city has decided to act on that knowledge. What does the law specifically say? And what makes you think this is a Left-Right issue? Don't right-wing people have teenagers too?

In the US 400 children were taken out of their homes under the suspicion of abuse with no evidence, just a net thrown out to see what they could get.

Yup. By Christians, not atheists, my friend. You got problems, talk to your fellows in the Reich.

It isn't that far fetched to see them placing these groups onto buses and off to camps. Then come the ovens . . .

The last set of ovens was prepared by an overwhelming Christian population, with the full support of the Churches both Protestant and Catholic. So don't whine to me about how you poor Mormons are threatened by atheists like me. Why in god's name do you ally with Christians whose sole goal is to stamp out your belief system? Your real allies are people like me, and the Jews, and everyone else with an unorthodox belief. But you crap on us.

From the tone of your postings I'm not so sure you wouldn't be pushing them onto the bus or shoving the baby into the oven.

Sorry, I don't subscribe to any centralized authority belief like Christianity or Communism, so don't feel the need to kill people who disagree with me.

Michael

Michael Turton said...

Can you do me a favor and post these numbers? I'd be interested to see them in comparison.

Try Google.

Michael Turton said...

And I notice that 40 comments in, still no Mormon has dared answer the question I keep posing: Why has the Mormon Church politically allied to Christian Churches that seek to destroy it?

Michael

Anonymous said...

Mormons (not the church - whose recent leaders have been democrats), align politically with the Christian right based on social issues. I think it is an alliance similar to the Russians and the US in WWII. The common enemy is abortion, same sex marriage, porn, etc. The Huckabee success as the anti-Romney candidate is an example of the underlying mistrust/dislike of Mormons by the religious right.

I guess the other answer is that there is no reason not to ally over social issues, because the religious right can't destroy the mormon religion, any more than the mormon religion can destroy the religious right.

Anonymous said...

My little sister just got called on a mission to Taiwan so I came across your post. It made me sad.
I'll have to talk to her about that.

I just notiticed that they have a temple there. They only build temples in places that the church is doing well in. In other words, there must be a lot of people paying their tithing there...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w40cLJcwcc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A9UPZQtXLo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVifAGdLXZM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD3q0mvTJXs

Anonymous said...

Here is a clip that tells why mormons REALLY build temples

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x_-TQivCx8

Anonymous said...

For all of your pseudo open-mindedness and intellectualism, you are a very intolerant man, Mr. Turton.

Michael Turton said...

Anon, I said it already"

In the ideal world of the Mormon missionaries, there are no non-Mormons. Is there anything more intolerant than that?

I am totally tolerant of any belief system that is tolerant of others. But any belief system whose avowed goal is the destruction of all other beliefs and their replacement by some universal authoritarian madness, like Mormonism, or Islam, or Communism, or Fascism, will receive only opposition from me.

Opposition to authoritarianism is not intolerance, unless you think support of democracy and a progressive, democratic, diverse society is intolerance.

Now explain why you regard Mormons as tolerant but me as intolerant. Be concrete.

Michael

Michael Turton said...

Once again, it is amazing how many comments this post has gathered over the years.

Michael

Dead Mao Zedong said...

The Mormon boys need a real mission, one that will make them earn their stanky, itchy garments!

Thousands of the moon-faced morons should be air dropped into North Korea, right at Kim Jong Il's door step. What better way to bring him and North Korea into compliance.

In fact, keep air dropping the boogers into North Korea, until they demilitarize and become a part of South Korea!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should learn more about the Mormon church before you decide to unleash your biased and uninformed views. Your comment on missionaries only approaching attractive females seem more descriptive of foreign English instructors than the missionaries. I feel sorry for your students to have to be taught by someone as ignorant as yourself.

Michael Turton said...

Are you on crack? There are no comments about females in the post or the comments.

ati_sd said...

I guess I met one in Tainan, but he introduced himself as Jewish since I told him that I am Muslim. I was acknowledge from the neighborhood that he runs the missionary...I am not sure, if they like to lie to people too...

P. Diddy said...

Um..the irony of the situation is those same mormon boys that ride those pathetic bicycles around all day and choke on smog with their gift of speaking Chinese, are often found on adultfriendfinder dot com...I have no shame, I am on that site and its sad to see those bicycling TWINKS wasted cyberspace on this old pervs favorite site.

Note to mormons: go ride your bicycles and stay the fuck off adultfriendfinder...you're ruining my already low chances of getting laid.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I think I read the whole thing. I am about to move to Taiwan next month. On my last trip there I was very dismayed to see so many pumping missionaries; trying to pump a vile, ugly religion into some truly beautiful people. The reason Mormons are in Utah is because they were kicked out of the United States into unincorporated territory; I wish history would repeat itself.

Anonymous said...

Stupid Rant. How many Taiwan tourists have gotten in the way while taking pictures no matter what country they are in?

Kent said...

I would just like to add that I joined the LDS church because I wanted to learn for myself. I am happy I did. My life has changed. I am now a better person than I was before after getting to know my Savior through HIS church. I wanted to share that with everyone. I volunteered two years of time and thousands of dollars that I earned to share that message with everyone. I served on the beautiful island of Taiwan. I love the Taiwanese people. I speak their language and eat their food.
I do want to confess that I too crossed an intersection or two while I was there. Just as the Taiwanese people do. I told everyone about my love for the Gospel and invited them to learn more. Many people did and it has brought happiness to their lives as well. Go as a Taiwanese LDS member about their experience with the church. It will shed new light on the subject.

(p.s. I am sure that missionary has already accepted the apology for your "four letter word". It is what Christians do)

Michael Turton said...

I've spoken to Taiwanese LDS members before. They don't sound different from any other member of any of a thousand religious cults.

Once again, still amazed at how many comments this post has drawn over the years.

Marcello Jun said...

Michael,

I was born and raised in the LDS Church and served my Mormon mission in Eastern Europe.

I just dropped by to say that you are spot-on! Could NOT agree with you more!

BTW, excellent site on GMark. Always a great tool to refer back to.

Cheers.

Chino Blanco said...

We're talking about this thread over at exmormon.reddit.com and I had to drop by with a x-post of this comment:

"When I was a missionary there (in the 80s), the Area President came to speak to us. He told us to 'accidentally' drop a Book of Mormon on the ground. When a polite and helpful person picked it up for us, we were to put our hands in our pockets and preach at them instead of taking the book back. Their politeness would force them to stand there and listen to us. I was aghast, as were most missionaries, but a few thought it was a great idea."

o.O

Richard said...

OK, so I popped in 6 years too late. Yes, Michael, people are still reading your post.

I wanted to answer Melinda's request for ONE religious charity's figures. Of course we cannot take the overall 20 year figure of $705,000,000 since 1985 that the LDS church flaunts around.

Since the post was written in 2005 I'm taking Melinda's number and dividing it by 20 years to obtain a figure of $35,250,000 per year

I'll take only one religious charity, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Their audited report for 2009 can be found at:

http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/media/annualreport/auditedfinancials2009.pdf

Total Operating Revenue $51,119,082

Total Charitable Donations $56,507,409

Total Fundraising and Management Expenses $5,707,866

(There was a reserve in their restricted fund of over $12,000,000 which explains the discrepancy in the above numbers)

Those Methodists sorta put the Mormons to shame, don't they?

Theresa said...

Well said, in everything you've posted, Michael. Excellent reads.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks, Chino!

Anonymous said...

Mormons, or should I say morons, because they are morons, are so deluded and brainwashed & fanatical with the falsehood they try desperately so hard to push on an unsuspecting world, they really have absolutely no Idea of the real world and certainly do not deserve any welcome anywhere in any Asian country. it's a good thing they are banned in China, my second home by the way. You can check out my youtube page username 'billymeier182' your all welcome anytime...
Phillip The Antimormon

Anonymous said...

You seem haughty

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the Taiwanese think of Mormon missionaries there. I honestly don't know.

From this seems like maybe westerners in Taiwan have more hate for Mormons then 99% of Taiwanese.

Perhaps you have some personal vendetta against the Mormon people? I wonder because what seems to be a minor, insignificant occurrence (based on my experience with traffic etiquette, or lack thereof in Taiwan), make you outraged!

Anonymous said...

Came across this post while being annoyed at seeing two bicycling boneheads accost some people at an intersection in Jhubei today during lunch.

Taiwanese are generally very nice and polite, especially to foreigners. What bothers me is when people take advantage of this politeness and try to convert someone in order to spread their own personal religion. Anyway, great post and great responses over the past... 7 years(!), Michael.

-Josh

Anonymous said...

Interesting thread. 20 years ago I lived in an apartment next to four Mormon missionaries while I was in Taiwan studying the language and teaching a little English. They were nice to me and we had some good conversations. I also saw them help a few others here and there. I asked them if the people were going to join their church. They just smiled and said they weren't really interested, but helping them was worth it. They also didn't want to shovel anything down my throat. Is this thread being stereotypical?

Anonymous said...

I've spent quite a bit of my life in Aisa as well. I've found most Asian cultures to be wonderfully adaptive and welcoming of foreign ideas. Its too bad that you don't seem to be picking up any of this despite your time in Taiwan. The arrogance and intolerance you display towards others makes it clear that it is not these Mormons impacting your precious little world negatively but that you can't be doing much good there yourself.

Michael Turton said...

"Arrogant" and "intolerant" is traveling the world hoping to stamp out the religions of others and replace them with your own, while maintaining a facade over the racism and ethnocentricism of your own group. Like Mormons.

Michael

Peter Hall said...

As an ex-Mormon, this article is very spot on. The organization's sole purpose is to make its belief the only one, not sure why this is hard for other people to grasp.