Thought Provoking: Excerpts from “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass
On why Joanne Hanks wrote “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass ...
“One of the reasons I wanted to write the book, especially in a humorous way ... if there had been a book like this, and I’d heard about it and read it, think how much misery in my life I could have avoided.” — From an interview on the Mormon-friendly The Cultural Hall podcast
Joanne Hanks on faith versus reason ...
“Faith is believing in something that isn’t seen. I try to stay away from the supernatural, superstitious, or mythological, or anything that doesn’t have evidence to prove it. I just want to be sure that whatever I think is real can be proven to be real. So I like to call myself a realist or a humanist or a scientist or a skeptic … I like stories, but i don’t want to take them literally.” — From an interview on the Mormon-friendly The Cultural Hall podcast
On Mitt Romney...
The United States outlawed polygamy in 1862. Three years later, a few Mormon families would flee to Juarez, Mexico, where they could practice polygamy prosecution-free and remain in full fellowship with the mainstream Mormon Church. The polygamous emigrants’ leaders included Helaman Pratt, who surely never dreamed that half a century later his descendants would return to the United States, where eventually grandson George W. Romney and great-grandson Mitt Romney would become prominent politicians and Republican presidential candidates. — From Chapter 2
On loonies, underwear, and revealing the obvious ...
I marvel at God’s ability to reveal the truth after it has become evident. — From Chapter 7
All of these people are loony. — From Chapter 11
When you leave Mormonism or a Mormon-based splinter group, nothing feels quite so liberating and wonderfully rebellious as changing your underwear. — From Chapter 12
On not getting it ...
Ironically, we thought that the irony wasn’t lost on us. — From Chapter 8
When end-of-the-world prophecies fail, as all have to date, followers who have conspicuously sacrificed—moved, given up jobs and worldly goods, witnessed to the world and endured public ridicule—usually emerge more, not less, convinced. Most default to one or a combination of three explanations: they were right but for a slight miscalculation of the date; they were right but God heard the prayers of the righteous and stayed his hand at the last minute; or they were right and the prophecy was fulfilled, but not in the way they’d expected. — From Chapter 11
Whenever you find your emotions pulling you toward believing the opposite of what the evidence says, overrule your emotions and trust the evidence. — From Chapter 12
On sexual predators and polygamy ...
Polygamist cults attract the benignly deluded like Jeff and me. But they also attract child molesters and other predators the way expensive carpet attracts the butter-and-jam side of falling toast. — From Chapter 8
Predators excel at winning trust and looking like the last person you should fear. Those who joined our ranks knew better than to stand up in church on their first day and say, “Bring on the flails, enemas and sheep.” — From Chapter 8
On how cult thinking takes hold ...
The umpteenth crazy idea doesn’t seem so crazy when it’s only one more pebble on a mound you’ve been building up over time. — From Chapter 4
When you look at a cult from the outside, it’s hard to fathom how anyone could buy into its insanity. But cults suck their victims in, degree by degree, until everything is viewed from the inside. All sense of rational detachment is lost. — From Chapter 9
When leaders get away with dictating minute matters as personal as what underwear to wear, along with when it’s OK and not OK to remove it, it tells you something about the control that cultish organizations exert over followers. The distance from “wear this weird underwear at all times” to “drink the Kool-Aid” is shorter than the distance from “thou shalt not lie.” — From Chapter 12
Under a banner of trying to remain untainted, Mormons congratulate themselves on what the rest of the world calls intolerance. — From Chapter 12
One thing to keep in mind is that a cult is defined more by how it behaves than what it believes. — From Appendix A (written by Steven Novella, MD)
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