Thursday, January 15, 2009

Leaving the church, but not really...

I posted this idea on NOM, and people seemed to like it, so I'm putting it here for posterity.

Ever wish you could really just get away from church visitors but don't want to officially remove your name? Moving soon? Here's a "permanent" solution I came up with (but haven't tested). It only requires a little white lie.

Here's my (only slightly unethical) suggestion based on my knowledge of church IT systems and practices. First, move to a new ward. Don't give a forwarding address. Eventually the church WILL track you down. When that happens, eventually someone from the local unit, probably the missionaries, will come to see if the address is legitimate.

Now for the finger-crossing part.

Tell them that they are looking for the former residents, who, as it happens, recently moved. Then--and this is where the magic happens--give them a "real" forwarding address. In the middle of nowhere. Preferably in a foreign country, but a US address is probably more likely to make it back through the clerk without a hiccup. Use to find a spot In Montana or Alaska (or northern Canada?) that is literally 4+ hours from a meeting house. You'll be safe until someone from that unit tries to find you, which will honestly probably be never. Thus your record will be considered "located," and they will never track you down again.

I might start with a foreign address--in Iran.

They may send you a letter after you move (rather than the missionaries), in which case you could just send a letter back to the sender explaining the same story.

Little bit of a lie, but I love messing with systems. You could show up and make an apology (without mentioning your name) to the local bishop, if it made you feel better, but only after waiting another 18-24 months.


Blogger H├╝ffenhardt said...

What will happen is they will discover that the new address is not your address, which will move your file to the "unknown location" bin. Then the COB employees will do their thing (i.e., call all of your relatives to see if they will give your current address, if that doesn't work use search engines that comb all phone books, etc, to try to find you again).

January 19, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger D'Arcy said...

Thank you for your comments on the recent FMHW forum. Yours was just above mine and I thought, thank the Lord there is someone else who feels like I do!

February 16, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Shadow Spawn said...

hmmmm. Or you could just be up front from the start and tell them you don't want missionaries or visiting teachers, or home teachers and avoid purposefully wasting good people's time and energy based on a lie born of contempt.

I think this is simply born from your desire to stick it to the Church in your own little passive aggressive way since you can't quit and have to keep pretending to believe in it. So, you have to find little ways like this to feel like you are somewhat in control of the situation.

May 4, 2009 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Ujlapana said...

Shadow Spawn, are you always this unpleasant? I'll hope not--you might start reflecting poorly on us Mormons.

I haven't tried this, of course, but a member who doesn't wish to formally relinquish their membership (which is their option) has little else they can do when their family is used to track them down. I think this idea would work, but I doubt it will ever be tried. As for wasting good people's time, no HTer is going to travel 15 hours to find an inactive person living in the mountains of China (whatever branch that would be). A lot more time gets wasted by a HTer who lives 10 minutes away. I think everyone benefits from my plan!

May 4, 2009 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Shadow Spawn said...

Yes, you are right. Let's not do anything that would cause a poor light to shine upon us Mormons. I know you are pretty sensitive about that.

Sorry if I seem unpleasant. Just trying to shake you up a bit. Maybe help you see yourself from a different perspective. Maybe brutal bluntness isn't the right approach.

That said, my sister who has pretty much denounced the Church, but has never gone as far as removing her records, still gets betrayed by good old Mom who will actually contact the missionaries occasionally and have them stop by.

It wouldn't matter if her address was the outer steppes of Mongolia family is always going to betray her efforts to stay insulated from contact.

So I say again. Best to just be brutally honest with the members in your new area and let them know how you feel. I mean there are people in my ward that we don't contact in an official Church capacity because they have made that request and it is respected. I still treat them like I would any neighbor, but I don't invite them over for FHE.

What's so difficult about that?

May 5, 2009 at 1:55 AM  
Blogger Ujlapana said...

Sorry if I seem unpleasant. Just trying to shake you up a bit. Maybe help you see yourself from a different perspective.When people are rude I generally see them from a different perspective. Putting negative emotions in someone else's head (as you did to me) just makes you seem petty. I'm sure that's not your intention.

I mean there are people in my ward that we don't contact in an official Church capacity because they have made that request and it is respected. You are in a unique area. In my stake (not ward) this is not acceptable. Everyone must be contacted at least annually. I figure that some people might not want good HTer's wasting their time. My idea would help everyone. (The church adding a "Do Not Contact" checkbox--that meant something--in MLS would be even better.)

May 6, 2009 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Shadow Spawn said...

Well, if you are having that kind of trouble with people being that persistent than do what you need to do I guess. I can't believe that you couldn't go to your bishop and or Stake presidency and tell them that under no circumstances are they to send HTrs to your home.

You could put a "Trespassing Mormons will be SHOT on sight" sign in your yard.

If I was you I'd just let the HTrs come. Chances are the visits will be few and far between anyway. Maybe you could make it a personal challenge to try to shake their testimonies and cause their fall from grace.

May 6, 2009 at 5:59 PM  

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