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Author Topic: If Al Qaida were like the Mormons
TL
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The fact that I was once impressed by the sincerity of an LDS missionary? You would have wept like a baby, no doubt. This was like the most sincere missionary of all time.
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TL
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Anyone would have!
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TL
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'Cept me.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by TL:
And you're rivka.

So glad we cleared that up! [Big Grin]
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TL
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It was important.
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rivka
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I know. My identity is very important to me.

Why, it's, it's . . . it's, like, who I am!

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TL
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Don't twist my words.
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rivka
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Uh . . .

[Confused]

[Dont Know]

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by TL:
The fact that I was once impressed by the sincerity of an LDS missionary? You would have wept like a baby, no doubt. This was like the most sincere missionary of all time.

Actually, I probably would've been a little creeped out. Possibly offended.

-pH

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TL
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May I ask why, pH, you would have been offended?

I'm going to make an assumption that you've never been LDS and/or don't know much about Mormon culture. Missionaries knocking on your door when you're LDS is very different than when you're not. Missionaries are valued and protected in LDS communities.

He wasn't crossing a line at all, because we shared a common cultural understanding, he and I. This was a circumstance far different than ... How do I explain this?

It's like this: When you're LDS, no missionary is a stranger to you. Though that was our only meeting, we were not strangers.

Now, having said that, I feel the need to clarify my position about the LDS church. I believe the LDS church is a decent thing with some wonderful teachings and intentions. I defend it, as an organization, frequently.

I am not LDS, but I have great respect for many people who are (including family).

I no longer believe in the religion and honestly, I never did -- not really. Not even when I was a kid. But it took me a long time to get to the point where I would/could say "I'm not Mormon."

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TL
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quote:
Uh . . .
[Smile]
Yes!

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pH
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I was thinking of the offense more in the same way, if say, a Baptist missionary came to my door. Although it would probably apply to LDS as well. I become offended when people interrupt my life to tell me about God. I'm Christian, and I'll be Christian the way I want to be. And my version of Christianity does not include butting into other people's lives to tell them that they're going to hell/need to read the Bible/whatever. If someone were to come to me and ask me how I felt about religion, I'd share, but I think it's rude to shove it into people's faces like that. Actually, I think that point was a major factor in my refusing to go back to a Southern Baptist church. They put a really strong emphasis on witnessing once you get into the youth group, and the idea of doing that just didn't feel right to me.

Add to that the fact that I'm really too nice to tell someone to get the hell off my property, and you've created a terribly uncomfortable situation for me, even if the missionary really thinks he's going to help somehow.

-pH

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TL
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Well, common culture, not strangers, etc.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by TL:
quote:
Uh . . .
[Smile]
Yes!

AHA! So much for
quote:
My entire job on hatrack so far has been to go around being cynical.

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TL
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quote:
If someone were to come to me and ask me how I felt about religion, I'd share, but I think it's rude to shove it into people's faces like that. Actually, I think that point was a major factor in my refusing to go back to a Southern Baptist church. They put a really strong emphasis on witnessing once you get into the youth group, and the idea of doing that just didn't feel right to me.
I feel the same way, generally speaking. Yeah, pretty much exactly the same way.
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TL
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quote:
AHA! So much for
What?
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Rakeesh
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Why is it not considered nice to tell someone, who is a stranger and uninvited, to get the hell of one's property?

I do not understand this mentality. Perhaps I wouldn't say, "Get the hell off my property,"-although I probably would-but certainly, "You are not welcome here. Please leave, now," doesn't seem un-nice to me.

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Theca
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
With all due respect then, you obviously coudldn't understand where those of us who have had negative experiences with solicitors are coming from. [/QB]

Which is why I asked the question. [Confused] I got some pretty good answers, too.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Dag's analogy made no sense.
Yes, it did. To pretend that it blatantly made no sense is simply ignoring a huge aspect of the issue.

Now, you may disagree that it was a good analogy, or that it made demonstrated the likelihood of a bad motive, but the analogy made perfect sense.

However, it seems you do agree with the point of the analogy, since you state it's conclusion yourself:

quote:
The woman who went around warning her neighbors about the Mormons was almost-certainly unfairly biased against the Mormon church.
quote:
I'm simply asking that you wait to be asked, or otherwise have someone express interest.
You may think that is a simple request, but I can assure you many others do not.

The answer, quite simply, is going to be "no" to that request. That's different than violating a no solicitors sign or a request to leave.

To clarify: Someone who believes that one of the few direct commands from the Incarnation of God motivates them to do door-to-door missionary work is not going to allow you to speak for millions of other people in this regard.

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Scott R
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rivka:

I'm pretty astounded that you're willing to give the busybody old woman the benefit of the doubt and not TL's busybody missionary.

What's up with that?

At the beginning of my mission, I was there because I loved Mormonism, and I loved God. As time went on, I grew to love Italy, and the people I served.

Those are the terms I thought in. So when I hear some of you talking about missionaries being 'salesmen...' well, it torks me a bit. I understand that you feel that way, and I understand your reasons for your feelings. I think they're valid feelings, inasmuch as they are your own, and you don't like people ringing your doorbell.

But don't presume to think missionaries are 'just like salesmen.' The term 'salesman,' as used in this discussion, has a negative connotation-- to me, it assumes that the person the term addresses doesn't care about the state of the product, doesn't care about the people he's trying to convince to take the product, and that his only concern is to get numbers.

The term 'salesman,' as used by rivka and others, does not take into account the very real personal sacrifice that most missionaries must go through. It doesn't touch the amount of love that most missionaries feel for the people they serve. It doesn't hint at the level of busy-bodiness most missionaries must be capable of to do what they do every day.

I've yet to see a car dealer willing to die for his customers. I've known missionaries who were willing and showed proof of their willingness to die for the people (that's important here-- the PEOPLE, not the gospel) they served.

It's not just belief, rivka. It's not just an attachment to a particular brand of doctrine. For most missionaries, it's love of people. Calling the Sisters and Elders 'salesmen' demeans them.

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rivka
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quote:
I'm pretty astounded that you're willing to give the busybody old woman the benefit of the doubt and not TL's busybody missionary.

What's up with that?

I'm confused. Who is it I'm not giving the benefit of the doubt? Because I absolutely believe that the missionary who TL spoke to was sincere. I do not question that for a minute.


I get that you think that "salesman" is a negative; I don't. Probably because I have plenty of friends who not only sell things for a living, but specifically only sell products that they believe in. (Not in the way that one believes in religion, agreed.)

Now, I have met the other kind of salesmen. But I'm not friends with any of 'em. So that's not who I tend to think of when I use the word. But I apologize for using it when it has such negative vibes for some of you.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Why is it not considered nice to tell someone, who is a stranger and uninvited, to get the hell of one's property?

I do not understand this mentality. Perhaps I wouldn't say, "Get the hell off my property,"-although I probably would-but certainly, "You are not welcome here. Please leave, now," doesn't seem un-nice to me.

I don't know how to explain it, but I just get really uncomfortable having to ask people to leave my house. Especially since I'm probably asking them to leave because they're making me uncomfortable anyway, and I really don't like being uncomfortable in my own home. It's a little easier for me to ask to be left alone out on the street, but it can still be a little difficult.

And I, too, do not think selling or salespeople are negative terms, rivka. For me though, I guess it's because I think of selling in terms of marketing, in which you sell not only the physical product, but the ideas/feelings surrounding it. And I used to sell things at concerts all the time. I'm not going to say that I, personally, believed in every product for myself, but I knew that there were plenty of people who would love it, and I had no problem introducing them to it.

-pH

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TL
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quote:
Yes, it did. To pretend that it blatantly made no sense is simply ignoring a huge aspect of the issue.
No. I'm not ignoring a huge aspect of the issue, I'm questioning whether or not you made the kind of sense you wanted to make. I'll rephrase it to this: Dag's analogy made no sense to me.

However, since we are in agreement on the ultimate point, it hardly seems to matter.

But Mr.Squicky had to suffer a bit of abuse over the issue and I felt the need to back him up, since I think he was 100% correct.

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TL
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Black people = LDS missionaries -- is an analogy that makes no sense in any kind of real-world way. The missionaries weren't being discriminated against because of the color of their skin (at least - not in this case). Mormon missionaries being in the neighborhood meant (probably), to this old woman = These people are going door to door challenging our beliefs and trying to steer me and my neighbors spiritually awry! I can't let this happen! Specifically, probably, because she cares about the well-being of her neighbors. Black people being in a neighborhood is not a factor that will endanger your salvation. In other words, she wasn't discriminating for no reason. In her mind, she was reacting to an offense of action. Not an offense of being
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Belle
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I was partially raised by my grandmother - my parents worked and I spent most afternoons and all my summers at her house. This was a woman who embodied "Southern hospitality" and a genteelness (is that a word?) that one doesn't see much now. I know for a fact that routinely invited missionaries of any persuasion into her home, served them something to eat and drink, the pulled out her Bible and proceeded to read to them why they were wrong and she was right. You can be certain she was the soul of politness while she did it. [Wink]

In other words, it's been ingrained into me from a young age forward that you don't slam doors on people or rudely tell them to go away. While I can do it, and have when I felt like I had to, I still don't like doing it. Rakeesh obviously has less trouble telling people to go away. There are times I wish I were like that, but I'm not. I cannot do it, without feeling terrible about it for a long time afterwards.

I have stood at the door and listened to pitches on the days I just got home from chemo. I wanted nothing more than to go lie down and ignore these people but I couldn't. I must have looked awful one day because the salesman at the door asked me "Are you all right, Ma'am?" which gave me the opening to say no, I'm sick and graciously leave.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by TL:
The fact that I was once impressed by the sincerity of an LDS missionary? You would have wept like a baby, no doubt. This was like the most sincere missionary of all time.

I would have been horrified, and possibly a little frightened. And I spend a lot of time helping to convert people to catholicism. The difference is that they have asked for my (our) help.
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katharina
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I think what this thread shows is that it isn't safe to share important things. Someone tells a story of what moved him, and the response is a cynical appreciation of a SALES PITCH and self-righteousness. I think it's too bad that people are intent to find something rotten where there is good intent and love. That you're sure it was there says more about what you look for than about the missionary.
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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I think what this thread shows is that it isn't safe to share important things. Someone tells a story of what moved him, and the response is a cynical appreciation of a SALES PITCH and self-righteousness. I think it's too bad that people are intent to find something rotten where there is good intent and love. That you're sure it was there says more about what you look for than about the missionary.

I don't think anyone here was saying it was anything rotten. I know that for myself (and maybe kmbboots), I don't think that the missionary would be a BAD PERSON, but I'd still feel that I was being made uncomfortable in my own home.

I also don't think that a "sales pitch" is a nasty thing.

-pH

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MrSquicky
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TL,
I gotta tell you, my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture, but if a missionary did something like that to me, I'd kick him out of my house and call around to the neighbors to warn people about him and the group he belonged to.

Again, this may be very different because you were already LDS, but there was no intellectual content to what he had to say. It was a purely charismatic emotional appeal. The content of the message was irrelevant. It didn't matter if he wsa talking about Jesus, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard, Jim Jones, whatever. The devotion, emotion, and the unconcious effects of his physical actions such as coming into your personal space so quickly and grabbing your shoulder were what had the effect on you, not the specifics of the message.

In my experiences with prostyletizing missionaries, I've noticed that they all seemed trained to go after the weak spots in people. You know, do you lack a sense of meaning, are you unhappy, do you feel unloved, do you feel like you are out of control? But this goes far beyond that. It's extremely blatant content-free emotional manipulation.

I'm not saying that it is insincere by the way. But people who belong to cults are very sincere too and man are they dedicated.

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pH
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What always irritated me about the Southern Baptist strategy is that they think that if the witnessee is being made uncomfortable, that just means that the witness is showing him/her his/her wicked ways, and the person is responding to God.

No, dude. Some people are just being made uncomfortable.

-pH

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Scott R
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:sigh:

I'm not really sure what to say here. I don't think rivka was being self-righteous. I don't fault her her mistrust of proselyting religions...mostly. (I continue to be similarly mistrustful of Judaism because it DOESN'T proselyte-- how's that for irony?)

Mistrustful isn't the right word...I can't think of a better one right now.

I think we're all telling the truth.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
(I continue to be similarly mistrustful of Judaism because it DOESN'T proselyte-- how's that for irony?)

[Big Grin]
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Scott R
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quote:
there was no intellectual content to what he had to say. It was a purely charismatic emotional appeal. The content of the message was irrelevant.
1) Why is a charismatic appeal necessarily to be frowned upon in proselyting/discussion?

2)
quote:
"The message is, God loves you. He loves you. You're a child of God, and if you pray, you will know this."
Er...that was the content of the missionary's message to TL. We could go about this several ways-- how when a Mormon says to another Mormon 'I am a child of God,' it means something completely different from when a protestant says it; we could talk about the Mormon belief in personal connection to the divine through prayer; we could talk about how first the Spirit touches us (the charismatic bit), and then edifies us through instruction (the intellectual/teaching bit).

In any case, the missionary touched on some of the most peculiar and striking and deep and unique doctrines that the LDS church has to offer.

Funny how you didn't notice that, Squick.

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MrSquicky
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Scott,
The charasmatic appeal is to frowned on because it's completely content free. And it is one of the main recruiting techiques cults use.

And yeah, being a Child of God as a teaching or statement is something LDS shares with tons of sects of Christianity and a whole slew of cults.

The "You've got a divine parental figure who loves and looks out for you." is again one of the main recruiting techniques of many cults.

I'm not kidding when my first impression was that the whole description could be lifted out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. I've read pretty much the same thing out of them.

---

And, you may not have noticed it Scott, but I made specific allowance for this as probably being different for someone who is inside LDS culture. However, TL was specifically extending this same situation to people outside this context and I explained what my reaction would be and why I would have this reaction.

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Scott R
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I'm contesting your statement that the missionary's expression was content free.

From TL's account, it is plain that there WAS content to the message.

As well as song. I mean, freak; DOCTRINE and a MUSICAL NUMBER? I could sell tickets.

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MrSquicky
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And I said:
quote:
Again, this may be very different because you were already LDS, but there was no intellectual content to what he had to say.
To which you responded with a nasty little insult. Nice.
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Samarkand
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I liked Belle's post above. I know that when two LDS missionaries showed up at my apartment, I greeted them politely, asked if they would like a drink of water or anything, and then told them that I was quite familiar with LDS and had great respect for many aspects of the religion, but there were certain things I was uncomfortable with and that prevented me from wishing to join the religion. I also said that the things I objected to were certainly not unique to the Churh of LDS.

One of the missionaries inquired as to what one of the things I was uncomfortable with were, and I said that I personally felt that being homosexual was not a choice, and knew someone who had been raised in a Mormon family, realized he was gay, and went through pure hell with his family and church trying to tell him he was choosing to sin, and wound up losing both. I also said that I personally would not feel comfortable raising a child in a religion that espoused that particular belief.

He accepted my explanation, no pushing, I asked how their missions were going, they said they were going well, I asked again if they wanted something to drink or to use the restroom, they said they were just fine, they went on their way.

I just - regardless of what someone believes, until they are rude to me, I don't think it's ok for me to be rude to them. So if I had been hosting a party or on my way to work, I would have told them that, and perhaps also that I was versed in LDS ideas and not interested, thank you, so they wouldn't bother to drop by again. And then if they wouldn't let me go I'd be firmer, and possibly eventually rude, but I think that ought to be a last resort.

I also know that No Solicitors signs don't say No Proselytizers, but I think that wise people going to door-to-door for any reason other than asking to borrow an egg from their already known neighbor or informing someone that their roof is on fire must accept the fact that their visit will likely not be welcomed, and recognize that ringing the doorbell or knocking may itself be interpreted as a rude act, and may be responded to with rudeness. And anyone who doesn't want random people to knock on their door ought to purchase a sign so people know that, and they can be more justifiably annoyed with salesmen or missionaries or Girl Scouts when they ignore the sign.

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Scott R
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quote:
my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture...
quote:
The charasmatic appeal is to frowned on because it's completely content free. And it is one of the main recruiting techiques cults use.

And yeah, being a Child of God as a teaching or statement is something LDS shares with tons of sects of Christianity and a whole slew of cults.

The "You've got a divine parental figure who loves and looks out for you." is again one of the main recruiting techniques of many cults.

I'm not kidding when my first impression was that the whole description could be lifted out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. I've read pretty much the same thing out of them.


Mormons have horns.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
quote:
my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. It's probably different for you, being in the culture...
quote:
The charasmatic appeal is to frowned on because it's completely content free. And it is one of the main recruiting techiques cults use.

And yeah, being a Child of God as a teaching or statement is something LDS shares with tons of sects of Christianity and a whole slew of cults.

The "You've got a divine parental figure who loves and looks out for you." is again one of the main recruiting techniques of many cults.

I'm not kidding when my first impression was that the whole description could be lifted out of a book on cult recruitment techniques. I've read pretty much the same thing out of them.


Mormons have horns.

I'm just preserving this so you can't delete it. My fault for expecting better of you.

edit: Originally, Scott only had the word "cults" bolded.

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Scott R
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Aw... now you've gone and foiled me.

Shucks.

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Scott R
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quote:
I also know that No Solicitors signs don't say No Proselytizers, but I think that wise people going to door-to-door for any reason other than asking to borrow an egg from their already known neighbor or informing someone that their roof is on fire must accept the fact that their visit will likely not be welcomed, and recognize that ringing the doorbell or knocking may itself be interpreted as a rude act, and may be responded to with rudeness. And anyone who doesn't want random people to knock on their door ought to purchase a sign so people know that, and they can be more justifiably annoyed with salesmen or missionaries or Girl Scouts when they ignore the sign.
I agree with this almost 100%.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
What if they didn't have phones?

-pH

Taiwan is 2nd only to Japan in how well their phone systems work. Just FYI, I might comment more in this thread later, I'm going to eat first so that I am more passive. [Wink]
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Amanecer
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quote:
I think what this thread shows is that it isn't safe to share important things.
I think this thread says that for absolutely any event people are going to perceive it differently. If you only want to be surrounded by agreement, then I guess it's not safe. If you are open to discussing your own thoughts on an event and will not be offended when people think differently than you, then I don't see why it is unsafe.

quote:
my first impression was that that sounds like something right out of a book on cult recruitment techniques
I think this comparison is inaccurate. TL was already a member of the church and the missionary was sharing a song and message that any Mormon would know. There was no recruitment. I see nothing remotely questionable about the missionary's actions or message in this context.
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MrSquicky
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Which is why I was talking about it from my perspective.
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Dagonee
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I'm just preserving this so you can't delete it. My fault for expecting better of you.

edit: Originally, Scott only had the word "cults" bolded.

I don't understand the point of this. Evidently you think Scott did something wrong. But you haven't commented on what it is. The only thing you've done is, assuming Scott ever did decide this post were a mistake, prevent him from removing it.

Why? I could see if you had invested some time into a reply wanting to ensure the inspiring post wasn't removed.

As it is, it seems all you want to do is preserve evidence of Scott's "wrongdoing" for some reason.

Do you also take videos of people who don't wash their hands after using a public restroom and post them for everyone to see?

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Amanecer
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I think it was a joke about Scott admitting Mormons have horns.
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Dagonee
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It doesn't appear that way from the context.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Sharpie:
Maybe it's because I'm reading this all at once, but it seems a little ... ironic? ... to be concerned about whether BB was being insulted by the Taiwanese woman, considering his first posts in this thread. I say this as gently as I can, really I do, but BlackBlade, don't you at all wonder if your attitude towards the "unattractive" people came through? Or your rather boorish laughing and waving at the Chinese people "who laugh at the most stupid things". Their waves meant "go away" and you knew it and WAVED BACK, laughingly.

I have not been approached by a missionary, but -- and like I said, I mean this as gently as I can -- I have kind of a sour taste in my mouth from those descriptions of your point of view, as a missionary.

Now, mind you, I'm definitely the kind who would hang up a clever sign to keep ANYONE from knocking on my door. I'm a hermit, I am. [Smile]

I really think you misunderstood the feelings I have towards Chinese people.

I LOVE the Chinese people, I grew up around them, I was deeply honored to work as a missionary amongst them. The first girl I ever fell in love with was Chinese and we remain close friends to this day.

You called my waving "boorish" but you are not Taiwanese. Honestly if you had time to absorb the culture you would realize interaction just does not work the same way. I was not some maniac waving my hand like an idiot. I just recognized that I could get Chinese people to laugh with antics such as that, and believe me, getting them to laugh was loads better then just letting them reject my message. Its often difficult to retain a positive outlook in the face of such constant rejection.

If you make eye contact with just about any Taiwanese person and give them a big grin and a nod, they will ALWAYS do it back. They are very happy culture overall. Their sense of humor is (I dont want to say primitive) but it does not incorporate the vast amount of sarcasm that you pick up in the US.

If a man rolled up on his scooter and I saw a COMPLETELY unrelated women driving a BMW I could say to the man, "Why do you put up with this? Why do you drive the scooter while your wife drives the BMW?!" the response EVERY TIME was

"HA! Thats not MY BMW! If I could afford a BMW do you think I'd bother with a scooter!?" and this was said complete in the spirit of humor.

If I said that in the US they'de say something like "What are you some sort of idiot?" or "I'm gonna kick you butt for that stupid comment."

It just doesnt work the same way here.

I am not an idiot. If I see a situation where humor was not applicable I was simply cordial. Sometimes I was completely serious and very focused.

I hate talking about all this, I am not a big fan of complimenting myself, but I honestly strongly disagree with anyone that accuses me of looking down on the Chinese. I honestly hope one day I can live among them, not because I think they are all circus monkeys that entertain me, but because they are wonderful human beings that brighten my life.

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Amanecer
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I could be wrong. I read it a few times before coming to that conclusion. [Dont Know]
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MrSquicky
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Wow, I really thought it was clearer than that. Scott made a nasty unwarranted attack. I called him on it. He responds by implying that I was saying that Mormons are a cult. Am I alone in thinking that this makes him look bad?
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