Another Sunday Night Wrap Up But A Little Different This Week!! I Want To Talk About Steve Benson's Attitude Problems!!
Over on the RFM board the past few days, there has been a raging debate regarding Steve Benson's apparent "discovery" that Sandra Tanner is still a die-hard Christian. Anyway, a lady named Cheryl, among others has been defending Sandra Tanners decision to still believe in Jesus Christ, the Bible and Christianity. I couldn't possibly relay to everyone here, all that has been said since there are at least 3-4 posts of 30+ comments each, plus other posts that were offshoots of the original posts. (I wanted to also mention that it appears that Sandra's Husband, Jerald has been ill, with possible alzheimers, so how about we cut Sandra a little slack, especially with the pain that she must already be going through. Then again, if your Steve Benson, lets kick her while she's down to build up our own self and ego!!)
If you want to read them all, just head on over there and search for Steve Benson or Sandra Tanner and you'll be able to find them. Anyway, I couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer and felt that I needed to support Cheryl and those others that were being belittled and insulted and this was my response below. I also wanted to mention that Cheryl made a post tonight saying that her daughter had been in an accident and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Sadly, Steve Benson continued on in his arrogant manner trying to debate with "bona dea" about who started the post instead of easing out of his arrogance and showing true concern for Cheryl's daughter. What is this guy, 2 years old? He sure acts like it. I believe he mentioned in one post "I wished Cheryl well, too, as did some others. If you are sick of the subject, then . . ."
In any case, I was repulsed by his lack of sympathy and that it was still, by all appearances, all about him, despite what had happened to Cheryl's daughter and I wrote the following post in response to him and in defense of Cheryl and anybody else that was being insulted by him. Sometimes you may not feel like getting involved but you have no choice and have to do the right thing. Like I mentioned below, who cares if it's the popular thing to do as long as it's the right thing to do. Steve Benson is very popular, revered and loved on the RFM boards and apparently can do no wrong. But the last few days and especially tonight, I just felt that he crossed the line.
It's one thing to respond respectfully to people that respectfully disagree with you but another thing to constantly berate them and basically mock them by acting as if you are so far above them and so much better than they are and then appearing to receive great joy from your actions. That is what I believe was happening!! There are many great people on that board and they just don't deserve to be treated that way by anyone, in particular, Steve Benson. Who he thinks he is, I have no idea, but it's someone pretty high in the world. He can't consider himself to be God, since he is an atheist. All I know is that his arrogance and condescending attitude have reached a crescendo and I'm not the only one that is sick of it. I can't think of one other person over there that constantly attacks others for having differing opinions. It's just getting ridiculous!!
When I was first in the process of leaving the Church and discovered "The Recovery Board", he was no where to be found. Apparently he had stopped posting for several months. Everyone was asking and wondering about him and they just said that he had left on his own with no explanation. Some thought that maybe he might have been banned, etc but I have no clue except to know that he wasn't there. Then, sometime in the last 2 months or so, he made his grand re-entrance.
In the beginning he just seemed to mostly be posting or reposting informative things that had previously been prepared or written but now he seems to have a lack of material or something. It's pretty pathetic that he has to act the way he is acting in my opinion. One thing that everyone should know before debating him.......you are stupid, he knows everything and you will lose. He is the absolute complete authority and he will personally insult you every step of the way. He will get personal and accuse you of having mental problems or lack of intelligence, etc. Don't ever question him!! I thought that I had met or known some arrogant people in my life but he takes the prize. Now if he isn't really this way in his real life, I do sincerely apologize and maybe he shouldn't act like it while posting on the RFM Board!! It does give people a very bad impression!!
My favorite tactic when he can't win on substance is to just attack and belittle the person and act all powerful. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that Steve likes to respond to people using different names to further instigate the situation or his own post. That is against the rules on RFM and should get you banned if you do it on a regular basis!! Unless of course you are the almighty Steve Benson!! He likes to bate people so that he can then tear into them and try to make them look like a complete uneducated dumb ass. A regular contributor "Preston Bissell" on "RFM", apparently made the mistake of questioning Steve Benson's tone and motives. Well, he was immediately taken to task and gang tackled by all of the Steve Benson lovers in no time.
So, basically, if anyone speaks out against the almighty Steve Benson, they are accused of having problems, they have a persecution complex and on and on. He has his own band of followers and apologists. Now I'm not referring to those that read and follow his posts that are actually "informative", I'm talking about those that jump to his defense the second someone disagrees with him like "Preston Bissell" did. I mean, come on guys, is Steve Benson your new God or what? In my opinion, way to much respect is being given to a guy that most don't personally know and a guy that seems to belittle everybody that dares even question him. Yes, he has written some great informative stuff but that doesn't give him the license to act as he pleases and treat anyone anyway he likes.
I had no idea that he was like this and I'm very disappointed in him and his actions. I've read so much of what he has written, especially when I was in the process of leaving the Church and it was very helpful to me. It's unfortunate his live actions on the RFM board, don't seem to correspond with the impressions that you get from his writings. I found him to be very insightful since his Grandpa was the Prophet Ezra Taft Benson and that he had been on the inside. Now I find myself wondering how much of what he says is true or maybe just embellished in order to make himself bigger than life itself. His ego seems to be so big that I'm not sure how the earth can contain it let alone the RFM board. I loved his personal interview experiences with the Apostles Oaks and Maxwell that helped lead to his exit from the Mormon Church. But now, based on the character that I've seen from him in the last little while, I have to wonder how much of it was true and how much was fiction.
I can't help but have the feeling that if it was anyone else on the board acting the way he was acting, they would be booted or severely warned. He's only breaking like 3-4 of their main rules but hey, who's counting, he's Steve Benson and I guess the rules don't apply to him. Hopefully they have already talked to him about his attitude issues and asked him to tone it down. One can only hope!!
Let me list a few of the rules and for those that read his posts, especially last night, you tell me if he's breaking their rules:
2. Be polite(yeah right)
3. Use a consistent screen name.(Some say he uses different names)
5. No personal attacks. Discuss and debate, but do not insult or attack.(He not only breaks this rule in basically every post but he shatters this rule)
Here are some examples of posts that will get removed:
1. personal attacks
4. attempts to deliberately stir up trouble(hmm....sounds exactly like Steve)
5. faking a conversation by answering your own posts under different names
Deliberate attacks on the board itself or repeatedly ignoring rules or instructions from the admins is likely to result in all of your posts being removed. Our moderators' time is too valuable to waste on on people who deliberately cause trouble. Don't do it. (Then boot him)
I would say that Mr. Steve Benson easily breaks these rules on a regular basis. I'm not saying that they guy should be banned if he can tone it down but damn, at least treat people with sincere respect if you even have that ability in you.
Here are a few more bits of info regarding what should be discussed and how it should be discussed:
Our posters take many different paths away from Mormonism and we would like this to be a forum where they can all have a voice. That said, we do not allow preaching;
Remember, be polite and thoughtful in your postings. Don't preach. Tell how you feel about something personally and tell what you yourself have experienced. Don't make assumptions about the beliefs of those who read your post. People will disagree with you. If that hurts, all I can suggest is that you grow a thicker skin or find somewhere else to post.
If I get banned from RFM for calling out the almighty, untouchable Steve Benson for his disgusting behavior and treatment of others, that's fine!! It doesn't matter to me. I wouldn't want to be part of any chat board or community that protects someone like him anyway. So, if you guys don't see me in there anymore , those that are used to my posts, you'll know why. You will always be able to find me here, so just come on over. Also, anyone that wants to email me, feel free. It's on my profile post. Either way, my life goes on without missing a beat. I didn't leave the Mormon Church only to be censored by some Ex-Mormon community board when I stand up for something that I believe in.
There are plenty of other places to go if one doesn't work out. Now I'm not saying that they are going to ban me, just that it wouldn't surprise me. I feel like I've contributed a lot to that board and helped a lot of people with links, etc, and they've thanked for it publicly and personally, but if it is the end of the road for me over there...so be it!! At least I went out on my terms expressing how I felt about Steve Benson. The RFM board has been a great help to me in my recovery process and I will forever be grateful for the knowledge that I have gained there. Life comes in many phases and sometimes it's just time to move on!! I wish everyone only the best over there, I really do, even Steve Benson!! Maybe someday he can actually learn how to treat people with respect!!
Plus, as long as I have my blog, I can keep you guys informed on what's going on in the Mormon Church, my life and mind. The original purpose of my blog was exactly for moments like this one; when I had something that I wanted to get off of my chest and express and I would need my own place to do it, without any fear of being censored. I know that Steve loves to read and post his hate mail, so he should really eat this post up, if he manages to read it that is. I don't care who you are, what blood lines you might have, who your Grandpa was, when you act like a jerk, you're a jerk!! It's pretty simple!!
Anyway, here was my post regarding Cheryl and Steve Benson:
First I want to say that I hope that your daughter will be okay, that is horrible that she was in an accident!! When something like this happens to someone you know, even just as a poster in RFM, it should help most people to remember what is really important. Sadly, some individuals can't seem to make that connection. They appear to be caught up in their own insecurities about who they are and of needing to be insulting and better than everyone else, to even really care about your daughter being injured. It's all about them!! They would rather argue about who started the post than the substance of the post and the accident of your daughter. Just so you know, I'm sure that would be the minority here and in the real world.
Secondly I want to say that you are a great person in here and I've enjoyed your comments very much. Don't leave us just because of a few immature or uncouth people that are full of themselves and rude.
We need more people like yourself that express heartfelt, passionate opinions and not just what comes of the top of their head. There are many great people in here and I would say that the rude ones, with personal agendas, are very much in the minority. Sorry that you felt so ganged up on!! Some people seem to feel the extreme need to create divisions and instigate arguments that get personal instead of having an adult debate on the substance of what is being discussed. I'm finding that sometimes it seems that there can be as much hostility or intolerance in the EX-MO world as their is for a "TBM" leaving the Mormon Church. Maybe it's just the opinion of "I know everything" that has carried over for some from their old "TBM" days, I don't know.
I know that for me, since I've left the Mormon Church, I've realized how much I need to learn, how little I know and it has been very humbling for me. I study a lot but I will never get even close to knowing everything. I'm just grateful that these people who seem to "know it all" seem to be in the minority. Most people are able to carry on adult conversations without seeming to have the goal of trying to personally insult almost everyone that questions them or what they consider to be their "authoritative" opinions.
For some things, there is not right or wrong and everyone has to recover and survive in their own way. If that means clinging to Christian beliefs of Jesus and the Bible, then so be it. Nothing in this world is 100% perfect, including our knowledge or any individual. For those that think they have every single thing figured out about this life, I honestly feel sorry for you. There is so much to learn for all of us and none of us know it all. Nobody is perfect!!
What one person feels is 100% correct for them, may not be right for another. We don't want those people to condemn us anymore than they want us to condemn them for their beliefs. We need more love, respect, understanding and tolerance in the EX-MO community and the world in general, instead of the constant criticism of what someone has chosen to embrace in order to survive this life.
For those that choose to stay in the Mormon Church or never investigate the Churches history, that is their choice and it works for them. If Somebody needs to be a JW, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholic, atheist, etc, great!! Whatever they feel they need to do in their life. Everybody has to choose their path. The thing that I detest the most about the Mormon Church is their arrogant opinion of the fact that they are "the one and only true Church." I taught that for 2 years on my mission.
They are the only Church with God's authority they say. But then they pretend to say that they respect all religions. If you believe that you are the only one that knows everything and that you have the only truth that exists, then you don't respect anybody, in reality. You sit alone, arrogant and condescending to the rest of the world. That is the Mormon Church in a nutshell!! Everyone else is merely an abomination and false in their eyes. So, it's not surprising when this attitude carries over for some when they leave the Mormon Church.
Most of us left the Church to get away from this very behavior and mindset. It's possible to figure out that Mormonism is a fraud without a complete understanding of what comes after Mormonism. It's like studying algebra and understanding it but not having a clue about calculus and how it works. Everything takes time, study and much pondering. A lot of us here are recently finding out about the fraud of Mormonism, some have known for a long time and we are all just trying to figure out where to go next.
Learning that your entire belief pattern from birth was basically a fraud, is quite jarring emotionally and psychologically and very painful for most people. It takes time to work through what you are feeling and isn't a snap your fingers type of thing. Then, on top of what you go through personally, you have your Family and friends and all that added baggage. So, as many of us know, it's not a simple process and we can't judge anyone for how they choose to handle it.
I have to say that it's hard for me to imagine that we came from no where, appeared here on earth and then we go no where. In other words, this life has no purpose other than to live it up and do whatever the hell we want. That's just my opinion. I believe that there has to be a higher power somewhere, but that's my crutch that I need in order to get through this life. So who is anybody to criticize what I feel I need. It may seem irrational and stupid to a complete atheist, but hey, we are all independently free to believe and use what we need to survive on a daily basis.
As one of the posters said, in the last thread that Cheryl started, I too have lost dear and loved ones and the thought that I'll never ever see them again is just more than I can even begin to bare. I cling to the hope of an after life where we can be reunited. If we aren't, then we aren't but until I get to that point, I choose to believe it out of pure survival and necessity.
So by me believing that there is a higher power, does that invalidate me as a human being? Does that make me illogical, weak and stupid? Does that invalidate the fraud that I've discovered in the Mormon Church? Is anyone that choses to believe in God just a worthless, hopeless moron and loser in life? I would say that the answer is unequivocally no!! I may not understand why an atheist believes how they believe anymore than they understand what I believe. But guess what? It's okay!! Who cares? It's one thing to share your opinions and try to help someone that wants your help, preferably when they ask for it and another thing to just tear them down for your own purposes or I guess to feel better about who you are.
I can accept that someone has chosen to be an atheist, who am I to be an expert on their life and judge them to be beneath me because they don't believe what I do. That smacks of complete arrogance and of being Mormon, with the "one and only truth" on the face of the planet. Nobody has the "one and only truth", NOBODY!! Since discovering that the Mormon Church is a fraud, I've outgrown my "I have the only truth on the planet" attitude.
I know the Mormon Church is a fraud and I'm very passionate about that but I also allow the fact that almost anything could now be possible as far as God goes. I have just chosen what I need for now. That could change in the future but I am where I am for the here and now and nobody should have to apologize for where they are as they work through many deep emotions.
Things come in many stages and people are on all different levels all the time. Where I'm at may not be where you are at, etc. Everybody progresses at their own pace and in their own way. Who are we to try to force people to see things exactly the way we do, right now or they are buffoons!! Whose to say we aren't wrong? Unless you are that God or higher force, I don't believe anyone really knows for sure, 100%, what's on the other side or how we got here to earth. If someone out there does have every answer to every question of life and beyond, I'd love to meet you and pick your brain. You must be God-like and amazing, at least in your world.
That belief of God or a higher force is what I and many others need to survive. Does the fact that Sandra Tanner still believes that Jesus was resurrected and is her personal, literal Savior change anything about what she discovered about Mormonism? Obviously NO!! It may seem irrational to some that she wouldn't apply the same scrutiny to Christianity but maybe she just can't survive without something.
Maybe she just needs to cling to her belief in Jesus and the Bible in order to get by. I'm not in her head or her life and I don't know every single thing that she is thinking and feeling. Whom among us doesn't have some inconsistency in their lives? Is anybody 100% consistent and every thing checks out perfectly, all the time? I think not!
All I'm saying is it is a topic for debate but not something that we should judge her for. If we want to, we can scrutinize anybody and find a million faults and problems and pick them to death but why? What is the point? What purpose does it serve? Is it to try and elevate ourselves above her so that we feel better about who we are? Some people sadly feel the need to operate on those premises and have the need of feeling superior to everyone else. That is how they survive, so to each their own, but I don't have to like it.
If that is the case for some, then so be it!! I guess they have to be who they are and do whatever they do in order to survive as well. It's unfortunate that people are like that but that's the way it is. I would say that 95% of the people in here are caring, loving and understanding people and sincerely want to help others on their path to recovery. Leaving the Mormon Church isn't a perfect science and we all do the best that we can.
Also, I suggest that if someone has serious issues with Sandra Tanner and her beliefs in Christianity, they my hell, go hash it out with her. Tell her what you think of her and her Christian views to her face, not on an EX-Mormon chat site. Do the right thing, be courageous, confront her if you must and so feel inclined. What's the point of criticizing her here. It's not really a fair fight when she isn't even here to defend herself or explain why she truly believes what she believes regarding Christianity. Her website has helped me immensely and I for one feel forever indebted to her for helping me out of Mormonism and confirming the many doubts that I had. What do her views of Christianity have to do with her views on Mormonism?
I've never met her, I just defend the right of everyone to have their own personal beliefs. Now, if I go to her store and she tries to shove her agenda down my throat, then I may have a problem with her, but it is her store and I voluntarily walked in. Also, as has been suggested to many people by a few not to respond if you don't like the subject, may I suggest not frequenting her store if you don't like her beliefs, books, products, irrationality and what she stands for. Don't shop there anymore and your problem is solved.
Also, if you don't like or aren't prepared for her answers to your questions, then don't ask any questions. Just buy your books and leave, it's as easy as that. I don't think that Sandra Tanner is running her store as some type of debate club, is she? Most people that shop there are sincerely looking for help on finding the frauds in Mormonism, not there to debate whether Jesus existed or not. She is entitled to carry whatever books she wants, it's her store. If you don't like some of the books, then don't buy them!! Pretty simple!!
It's not really fair to take a 5 minute or less conversation that we are hearing second hand and sum her up as a person or pretend to know her, is it? It's not like she started this whole subject either!! So, again, my advice, if you have huge issues with what she believes, call her, set up an appointment and hash it out. That way she can explain exactly and precisely why she believes the way she does and you can do the same for her and then you can both agree to disagree. At least you'll have it off of your chest, right?
Cheryl, I greatly appreciate your sincerity and honesty!! When you respond, you express what you really feel instead of just looking for a way to top the other person, insult them or show how witty or highly intelligent you think you are. You don't ever feel the need to belittle others as some do. You Cheryl, are sincere and I for one appreciate you very much and your comments. I didn't intend to write so much but after reading everyones comments and debate regarding Sandra Tanner, well, I just felt the need to express MY opinion and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I'm sure that many will disagree with me and that's fine, I really don't care at this point. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and their is no perfect proof that either one of us is 100% right or wrong.
Everyone has to stand up for what they believe, even if it isn't accepted or popular. That's another reason that I admire you Cheryl and thanks for inspiring me to write this post. You Cheryl fight for what you think is right, even when many are against you. You don't apologize, you are just real and honest, to the core, like it or not. But what I appreciate from you, is that you express yourself in a nice and decent way. You are not intentionally trying to offend anyone. You are just you, a nice person with a big heart!!
That's the beauty of life, if we live in an open society were it is allowed, we all have our freedom to think and express how we feel. In turn, those that disagree, have the right to tell us we are screwed in the head. So be it!! There are many countries where this freedom of speech that we are all using right now, isn't allowed, so we all have a lot to be grateful for in the end. I have no problem with debate but when it gets childish and insulting by some, it's hard for me to stomach and be a bystander. I don't care who you are in this life, we are all equal in so many ways. We all came into the world naked as a baby and we will all die some day. Who we are in between those two things, what kind of person we are and how we treat others, is what I think matters most in this life.
Again, Cheryl, I wish you the best with your daughter and I hope that everything comes out okay for the both of you. Take care now and I hope to see you in here for a very long time. I know that there are those of us here that appreciate you very much and want to be here for you in your difficult and good times. Human life is far more important than any stupid debate about someone that very few of us even personally now. Please keep writing and like I said, don't let a very few that may not have the best of intentions, drive you away. Take care now Cheryl and best of wishes to you and your Family!!
Also, I'm not sure where you live but if you need any assistance or help from anyone during this time, let us know. We are here for you!!
Samuel the Utahnite
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