Friday, April 15, 2016

The BYU Honor Code: the Standards Cut Students Both Ways

In case you haven't heard, BYU is at the center of a huge controversy, again. This time, the school's Honor Code Office is being accused of going after rape victims, kicking them out for violations.

Yes, that's keeping it classy BYU; go after rape victims, because they're the real threat on your campus.

I'm writing this not only as an author, but also as a graduate of the school. I lived under the fear of the Honor Code and knew many others who did as well. It wasn't because we were bad kids - I actually towed the line more than you might suspect. Still, the Honor Code Office was notorious for its gotcha tactics. I knew people who pretty much followed the rules, but one little slip-up got them on probation, or worse.

If you don't know what the Honor Code requires, check it out here. Those policies might seem silly or archaic, but that's the way they like it at BYU.

Now, this quest of going after rape victims if they were doing anything against the Honor Code right before the attack is downright insidious and immoral. The argument is that the girls all knew the Honor Code and signed it before they attended, and do so every year. I know all about that, because I did as well. This is the ace-in-the-hole argument against any criticism of the Honor Code Office and its dream of purging all scofflaws from the school.

While these people have a point, they're not entirely right. I knew quite a few people who were pressured big time into going to BYU. Friends of mine had parents who threatened to cut them off financially, emotionally, etc. if they didn't attend, because BYU would ensure they were "living right." Others felt like they had to go there to receive approval from parents, siblings, etc (that was me). Sure, for some it was all about the cheap tuition.

Whatever the reasons, once you start attending it can be difficult to get out. BYU has a reputation for cancelling a student's credits if they leave the church while still attending, so you have to go along with the game until you either graduate or successfully get in somewhere else. The level of social pressure and cognitive dissonance among the students is incredible, and that honestly clouds the students' judgment. So this simple dismissal of people who say the Honor Code is too much, or that the Honor Code Office is oppressive and tyrannical doesn't take any of these factors into consideration. Quite simply, the situation is complex and needs to be treated as such. 

Even among many Mormons the school is notorious for being oppressive. After all, Mormonism supposedly teaches people to "govern themselves." Of course, bishops and stake presidents can excommunicate people who say or do things they don't like, seemingly with little oversight from the general leadership (if recent LDS Church official responses to high-profile cases are to be believed, that is). The Honor Code Office seems more aggressive to most Mormons in its quest to make people do what's right, and they don't like that encroachment on personal freedom - nor should they.

The fact is the BYU Honor Code cuts students both ways. I holds them up to some ridiculously high standards like not taking a piss at a friend's apartment, then makes them feel like they're horribly guilty if they make a minor infraction and are sexually assaulted or otherwise harmed as a result. It's obvious that the Honor Code wasn't established and isn't maintained for the betterment of the student body. Instead, it was devised as a selfish means of controlling the masses, of setting up and maintaining a Mormon utopian college environment.

What happens under this oppressive watch is pure human nature. I can tell you that Honor Code violations are rampant at BYU. Most students don't turn each other in, because quite frankly they don't give a flying fuck. They know 99% of the rules are silly bullshit, so they only comply enough to not get into trouble. But if you do something that another person doesn't like, some lowlife students will turn in their enemies to the Honor Code Office as retaliation. It sounds like in at least one of these rape cases, the guy's friends were the one who tipped off the Honor Code Office because the girl called the cops and got their buddy in trouble. Rather than see they're being used as a tool to intimidate, the Honor Code Office has jumped into these kids of situations like a dumbass Labrador, eager to do the only thing they know: punish awful sinners that violate that long-ass list of rules.

I could go on, but I've probably said enough. I hope BYU gets its just desserts here, because the school deserves it. Things need to change in a big way; victimizing rape victims and discouraging people from reporting criminal activity is downright wrong on many, many levels. The Honor Code Office should be ashamed. BYU should be ashamed. The LDS Church should be ashamed. But none of them are. It's time they're made to see why that's the wrong choice. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Get Ready For Hot Sex With the Mormons!

Hey everyone,

I don't have a lot of time because I'm busy getting Hot Sex With the Mormons ready for publication! I don't have an exact date for the book yet, but it should be ready by the summer. Oh, and it's going to be HOT!

Stay tuned for more details, especially about the plot. This is going to be so much fucking fun, I promise ;)

~ Bailey

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mormons Are Anything But Just Victims

Mormons are great at acting like they're constantly the victim. It's a skill, really, that comes from growing up in a culture that teaches you how to always be the persecuted one.

That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows Mormons well. After all, the greatest Mormon ever was Joseph Smith, who was murdered by a mob while he was in jail. Mormons love going on and on about how their beloved prophet was in jail on false charges, that he had never done anything contrary to the law and it was just the devil in the hearts of men that made the mob do it.

Around that same time, there were mobs in Missouri that raided Mormon settlements. It was horrible, but what Mormons won't tell you (and probably don't even know) is that Mormon mobs also sacked non-Mormon settlements. But the Mormons were the victims, always and forever.

Enough with the history and let's get down to modern times. Mormons love to go on and on about how people hate them for no reason at all. After all, they never break any laws, are always respectful and brush their teeth after eating too many onions. They're ideal citizens and neighbors, absolute joys to be around all the time. What gives?

What they seem to be so blind to is that people hate them for coming over to their house and trying to shove religion down their throat via two grinning, hapless kids called misisonaries. They seem to have a knack for coming around right at dinnertime or when you're really busy, and they don't know how to take no for an answer.

Just the other day I had a reader email me about how they had moved to a new house, hadn't been to church in years and years, and somehow the ward in their area got their records. That's when the harrassment started, with ward leaders showing up and even the missionaries, all in an effort to get them back to church. It continued after the people nicely explained that they hadn't been to church in years, didn't want to go back and wanted everyone from the ward to stop coming by. Were their wishes respected? Fuck no! Why would they be? Mormons are carrying the Word of God, by damn, and that means that they have to shove it down your throat, whether you like it or not. And when you finally tell them to fuck themselves and you'll shoot them where they stand if they don't stop coming back, that's when they get all giddy and say they'll testify against you on judgement day, because they've done their job and you're a horrible heathen.

If you live in Utah or some other states in the Intermountain West, you get to endure laws being passed by Mormon legislatures that push their religious ideals, neighbors who won't shut the fuck up about how great their church is while giving you the evil eye for holding a coffee and not letting their kids even talk to yours, businesses that put preachy shit up on their walls, etc.

Oh, but Mormons are just so clueless and don't know why anyone hates them. It isn't from anything they've done or said, because they're fucking perfect.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Different Types of Mormonism

When I was growing up, I had a friend in grade school who had some Mormon relatives in the Great Lakes area. She told me that they drank coffee and did other things I as a recently-baptized eight year old knew Mormons just didn't do. I had to set my friend straight, and so let her know that her relatives were frauds, people pretending to be Mormon when they really weren't.

Then when I was a teenager, my family took a pilgrimage to Missouri, visiting old church sites. That's where I learned there were a hell of a lot of Mormon churches, not just the one I was raised in. Their beliefs weren't all just alike, either. Some (shocker) thought Brigham Young was a complete fraud, detested polygamy, etc. Alice Cooper was even raised in one of these "other" Mormon groups.

It was an eye-opening time in my life. If you want to know more about the different Mormon groups, watch this video. It doesn't cover them all, but it will give you a basis for researching the topic more thoroughly.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fuck the Groundhog!

So today was Groundhog Day. With all of the weird-ass tradition, including ridiculous top hats, some guys held up Punxsutawney Phil and declared that the fat little rodent didn't see its shadow. That somehow makes us all believe that an early spring is coming.

There's one big problem with this whole arrangement: it's complete bullshit. Biologists will tell you that groundhogs are far more intelligent than the asshats that take part in this tradition, which by the way gives groundhogs a bad rap.

You see, the ol' Phil doesn't really predict a damn thing. Instead, that work is done by the same people who tell you it isn't going to rain on the weekend, only for it to fucking pour! Yes, I'm talking about meteorologists, the group of scientists who brag if their accuracy rating is like 3%.

So there you have it, Groundhog Day is a sham and it doesn't predict a fucking thing. I think we should change the tradition to where we cram the meterologists in a hole, make them come out and shit their pants at seeing their shadows. Then if they don't predict if there will be an early spring or not, we publicly humiliate them for the next year.

The whole thing reminds me of bullshit religions, like Mormonism. It's a completely ridiculous facade, yet there are some naive individuals who actually think that's how things are. Meanwhile some men behind a curtain make guesses and are wrong 95% of the time. There are those who realize what a stupid scam the whole thing is, but they're just too attached to the tradition to really do anything about it.

Both are such a stupid bullshit scam, but sadly neither Groundhog Day or religion is going anywhere anytime soon.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Kids Are Not Alright

People were shocked when the Mormon church recently announced the children who live in a household with a same-sex couple can't be blessed or baptized. While it's not very likely children in such positions would be wanting to join the organization, people have felt outrage at the principle of the decision.

With the huge PR fallout that has been ongoing, Mormons have been doing exactly as they're trained: taking to social media and trying to spin the shit out of this policy. The most popular narrative, one that the church itself has been using, is that the policy has been put into place to protect the children.

Won't someone think of the children?!

Seriously, they say that by banning children who have gay parents from joining the church, it actually protects the children. I know, your first reaction is that it keeps those kids from joining a bullshit church and having dogma shoved down their throat, but the real argument is that it keeps the kiddos from hearing one thing at church and another thing at home. Obviously, none of these people heard their dad cussing up a storm while fixing the car, because that creates the exact same scenario.

This argument that it's all about keeping the kids safe is a nice diversion. The reality is it's all about keeping the church's finances safe. More specifically, the policy exists to keep the members' butts in the pews and the cash from tithing, fast offerings, etc. flowing in.

The key to why this policy exists is to realize that it's the exact same one that's applied to children from polygamous households. That's right, whether you have two mommies, two daddies, or one daddy and five mommies, you can't join the Mormon church until you turn 18. That's not enough, you have to move out of the house and disavow your parents' lifestyle.

You have to wonder what polygamist children and kids from a gay household have in common. Is it that both are living in a "sinful" household as defined by Mormon doctrine? If that were the case, then children whose parents live together but aren't married should be thrown in the same group, but they're not. The only similarity I've been able to find is that they both are products of an alternative form of family.

Mormons most firmly believe that for a kid to not be screwed up, there needs to be one mom and one dad present in the home. The fact is that there are a lot of kids who grow up without one parent. I'm not of the belief that you're doomed in such a situation, but if you read what Mormon leadership has to say on the issue (you can read about it here) it's pretty apparent what they think.

Just think what would happen if kids who have gay parents were to go to church and show everyone, from kids to adults that they aren't fucked up any more than normal people. That would create a huge shift in Mormons' opinions on gay marriage, which would put the leaders in a precarious position. By keeping kids with gay parents out of the church until they're adults and renounce their upbringing, they keep those kids as a scary other, instead of a familiar factor. This is a calculated and sneaky move, one that's covered up with some PR moves that people who are familiar with the church and not brainwashed can see straight through.

So there you have it, people, the whole Mormon policy for kids with homosexual parents is all about reinforcing the narrow agenda of the church. And it's covered up by lies, which the leadership is so proficient at doing.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

BYU Will Kick You Out!

When I was a little BYU student I heard about people getting kicked out of the school all the time. The general attitude there was that if you didn't want to follow the rules, there literally was a line of people waiting to take your place.

Why? Because Mormons mistakenly think that BYU is on par with Harvard, Stanford, etc. They're so naive it's actually kind of cute. I'm not saying it's a bad school - no, I went there and know better. But it's not the greatest school out there, not by far.

Anyway, you could get yourself kicked out of BYU in a myriad of ways. Like other schools, performing horribly in your classes would result in probation and then expulsion. It didn't stop there. If you didn't follow the Honor Code you were out, unless you caught the winning touchdown from a few weeks before.

The list of Honor Code violations is long and ridiculous. For example, if you use the bathroom at an apartment/house where members of the opposite sex live, you can get kicked out. If you take a single sip of a Starbucks Frappuccino, you're out. If you don't attend your regular brainwashing, I mean religion classes, you're going to get kicked out.

The most ridiculous reason for getting kicked out of BYU is if a person who's Mormon and going to the school decides to switch religions. If you do, you not only will get yourself kicked out, BYU will zero out of all of your academic credits and you'll be completely fucked. Good luck transferring to another school, because the BYU administration will have set your entire academic career on fire.

It's a fact that Mormon students pay less than others at BYU. The fact that you get subsidized tuition is hung over your head constantly, like you're a bad person who should eat shit and die. So if you decide that you're done with the church, but want to finish out school while at BYU, you have to hide your true convictions.

Most Mormons would be shocked to know how many students at BYU become completely disenchanted with the church. It's a real problem, because they do research while at the school and find out some shocking, disturbing things about their church. They also get a close view of how controlling and abusive the religion truly is. It goes so far as their having to put on a smiley face and continue to attend church each Sunday until they graduate or transfer to another school, otherwise all their college coursework goes up in smoke.

If a person going to another religious school converted to Mormonism, then was kicked out and had all of their credits erased, Mormons would be livid. When stories of this practice hit social media a few weeks ago, Mormons had the attitude that people who leave the church are scum and the students who depart from the religion exist all of this and worse. This policy and the reaction to it perfectly demonstrate how nasty so many Mormons can be, and how ruthless the church as an organization is.