Mocking Mormon underwear, unironically

Oh, yuck. Look, the Mormon underwear thing is ridiculous, but so is wearing a crucifix, and dunking your baby’s head in water, and dotting your forehead with ashes once a year, and praying. The Mormons I’ve known never make a big deal of wearing it, and it’s generally not a huge issue — it’s silly and they know it, and it’s more like a baseball player wearing his lucky socks during every game rather than a dominating part of doctrine that will influence political policy.

I can enjoy a good mocking of the goofiness of it all, except that in this video, their sources are motherfucking Bob Larson and an evangelical Christian street preacher. And the irony of their complaints goes completely unremarked.

Bob Larson, for those who don’t know of him, is a radio preacher best known for doing demonic exorcisms over the air, and for fueling the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s and 90s that baselessly ruined so many people’s lives. I could not go on to poke fun at an idiotic religious ritual after watching goddamned evil Bob Larson shoveling pancakes into his mouth. It would be like going on a hunt for wicked Unitarians by first consulting the Witchfinder General.


  1. says

    This video had the reverse of the effect intended on me: it made the few Mormons they talked to seem normal and ordinary and nice next to that odious monster, Larson.

  2. Brownian says

    It’s kind of hard to see the funny about the Mormon sacred underwear.

    “Ha-ha! You wear culturally specific cloths on yourselves because of a mixture of tradition and superstitions about the body regarding concepts of sacred and profane.”

    Who doesn’t that apply to?

  3. carolw says

    I don’t think anyone, Mormon or not, would like to be asked to show Bob Larson their underwear.

  4. anteprepro says

    It’s kind of hard to see the funny about the Mormon sacred underwear.

    It’s because it is underwear! And because it is not a mainstream religious belief! Then there is demon exorcism, Satanic conspiracies, cracker and wine magic, a god that was a man who sacrificed himself to the god that is him in order to let the god who is him let people who believe in him out of eternal punishment that he is somehow obliged to send people to against his own apparent wishes despite the fact that he is omnipotent, a book that is the word of god because it was written by people who claimed to speak for god, healing hands, Jesus on toast, angels everywhere, churches needing 10% of your income, sacrificing McDonalds for Jesus, living after you die, getting closer to the universe’s creator by trying to parse a randomly selected two or three sentences in a special book every week, using the thing that killed your man-god as a holy symbol, praying that an all-knowing god with a perfect plan will do something as you command, and the belief that your religion provides absolute moral standards while also providing an explicit “Get out of moral culpability for your actions free” card. Those are all serious as fuck and not to be snickered at. They aren’t just arbitrarily considered respectable because they are common! No, they are very sophisticated beliefs. Unlike *snerk* underwear. Holy clothing to be worn under clothes! How ridiculous!

  5. Brownian says

    Also under pants teehee

    It’s because it is underwear!


    As for me, while I tend towards minimal clothing in my home, I can’t leave the house without wearing a belt. I’d feel naked, vulnerable. And not just because of that time in jail.

  6. Brownian says

    It’s too bad the temple garment looks so damn dorky. I could really get behind wearing something like that myself, if it was sleeker and more form-fitting. A little waist-coat on top, some Persian-style pants, and then a light, loose tunic over the whole deal. Something with convenient pockets.

    Yessir, that’s what my people are going to wear when we live in space.

    Also, penis sheaths.

  7. raven says

    for fueling the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s and 90s that…

    It’s still there.

    A lot of the fundie groups are big on satan as are the Mormons. It’s just that most people have stopped paying attention to them.

    These days the big monsters are the gays, atheists, Moslems, and that Kenyan born, Moslem terrorist guy.

    My natal church wasn’t really too concerned about satan. According to the fundies and Mormon, satan is an immensely powerful, hard working, omnipresent god himself. Oddly enough, if you don’t believe in him, he can’t do anything!!!

  8. chigau (違わない) says

    Why is Larson the only one eating?
    Nice outfit, Brownian.
    Does everyone get a penis sheath?

  9. says

    I’m totally in agreement with PZ when it comes to Larson and his ilk. I mean, there are plenty of arguments to be made against mormonism, but the dunderheads like Larson give objectors to mormonism a bad name. [squicky, shudder-inducing, irony-meter-shattering]

  10. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    This video had the reverse of the effect intended on me: it made the few Mormons they talked to seem normal and ordinary and nice next to that odious monster, Larson.


    That was video horrible

  11. says

    Mormons make vows related to wearing garmies. Some ex-mormons have a hard time doffing the mormon undies even after they formally leave the church. This thread talks about the deprogramming needed to free oneself of the armor of god:

    More here:
    Ex-mormons seeking advice on how to ditch the garmies, and even how to shop for normal undergarments. Buying normal underwear on a Sunday gives one a double kick of rebellion.

    Ex-mormons have to watch out for the garment police and garmie feel-ups (are you wearing them?) if they have not yet formally announced their exit from the LDS Church.

    At work today one of my TBM coworkers pulled me aside and said, “Can I ask you something? I have noticed that you do not wear your angel chaps anymore. What’s going on?” (I’ve worked with him for 2 years and stopped wearing my garments in March when I stopped attending church). I politely said “I am not a hypocrite. I don’t believe in the doctrine of the church and choose not to be a part of it anymore. There fore I do not wear the garments or attend church.” What I really wanted to say is “NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!!” Where else but Mo Mo land (Utah) would anyone even consider asking you about your underwear much less even think about it. I was so ticked!!! One of my nevermo friends after me relaying what happened said “yeah, and he wishes he wasn’t a hypocrite too.”

    I particularly loathe the “hey buddy” shoulder/back affection, where the garment inspector pats you on the shoulder, or goes for an arm-over-the-shoulder manuever to see if he can feel garment seams. It’s spooky, and just plain *wrong*.

    I’ve had mormon women who don’t know who I am give me all too intimate hugs that are more like a pat down. I finally figured out that those were garmie feel-ups. If the weather is at all cool, I like to frustrate them with lots of layers.

    On the other hand, if they are really nice about it I don’t mind the hugs. There is a hug deficient in the human population in my opinion.

  12. says

    The managing editor of may have to face the trauma of throwing away (or burning) his mormon undies soon. Mormon leaders are considering excommunicating him because he criticized Mitt Romney.
    Daily Beast link.


    David Twede, 47, a scientist, novelist, and fifth-generation Mormon, is managing editor of, an online magazine produced largely by members of the Mormon Church that welcomes scholarly debate about the religion’s history from both critics and true believers.

    A Mormon in good standing, Twede has never been disciplined by Latter Day Saints leadership. But it now appears his days as a Mormon may be numbered because of a series of articles he wrote this past week that were critical of Mitt Romney.

    On Sunday, Twede says his bishop, stake president, and two church executives brought him into Florida Mormon church offices in Orlando and interrogated him for nearly an hour about his writings, telling him, “Cease and desist, Brother Twede.”…

  13. raven says

    Satanism, Child Abuse and the CIA « Theupliftingcrane’s Blog

    18 Feb 2011 – In the case of Gunderson, exposing the widespread satanic ritual murder, abuse, and kidnapping of young children for the degenerate …

    The satanic ritual abuser crowd is still around.

    The fundies once got the FBI to investigate the the kidnapping and killing of thousands (Hagee says millions) of children by satanists for their bloody rituals. The FBI never found a single case.

    Which didn’t stop the fundies. This is UFOology for xian death cultists.

    It’s also highly destructive in a lot of ways. The fundies sometimes convince their children that they were satanically abused or that it could happen to them. These children grow up fearful in a dark world where powerful supernatural evil entities lurk everywhere. Even the brighter among the xians are trying to get away from it.

  14. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Ex-mormons seeking advice on how to ditch the garmies, and even how to shop for normal undergarments. Buying normal underwear on a Sunday gives one a double kick of rebellion

    I had thoughts of a few comments regarding underwear choices of exmormons here but decided it would be best to leash my inner 12 year old.

  15. says

    Not a mormon underwear story, so somewhat OT, but still indicative of twisted approaches to sexuality: A megachurch in Oklahoma is in deep shit after five of its employees waited two weeks before reporting the rape of a 13-year-old girl.


    …Tulsa police say the girl is among at least three victims of alleged sex crimes by two former employees of Victory Christian Center who face criminal charges. …

    Authorities, however, fear some parishioners in the large, tight-knit south Tulsa congregation may choose to pray about the allegations rather than provide concrete evidence.

    Police said this week that the worldwide ministry’s pastor and co-founder, Sharon Daugherty, whose daily broadcasts are beamed via satellite to more than 200 countries, knew about the abuse allegations, but trusted ministry employees to follow in-house policies on reporting such incidents….

  16. says

    I think Rev. Big Dumb Chimp should unleash his inner child. Seems an appropriate response to some of the immature approaches of mormonism to underwear.

    I vividly remember, back when I was a tender young girl in the 1970s, that older men would occasionally stand up in testimony meeting to express their happiness that their children had been conceived through the garment of the holy priesthood.

    I don’t know about wearing garments during sex but my mother is a L&D nurse and has seen many women who insist on keeping some portion of their garments on during childbirth–and at least one who was furious that her garments were removed for an emergency c-section.

    Oral sex could be difficult.

  17. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    God’s Moral Law Never Changes
    “Doesn’t it make you deeply grateful to belong to a church with apostles and prophets at the head—knowing that one link will always hold, one light will never go out? As the world moves deeper and deeper into sin, this wonderful Church stands like a giant granite boulder.”

    “Aren’t you thankful to God that the apostles and prophets never waver on sin? No matter how strong the winds of public opinion may blow, the Church is immovable.”

    “Those who espouse perverse principles and deviant behavior are living in sin. Consenting adults that teach contrary to the gospel are wrong even if the majority accepts them. Sin is sin, and that is God’s truth.”
    – Apostle Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Carry the Torch,” October 1999 General Conference, also New Era, Mar. 2001, page 40

    Good grief what a giant load of shit

  18. says

    More sex and mormon garmie stories:

    …early 90s.

    When we got married our Bishop told us that we should have sexual intercourse while wearing the garments. I was confused because the woman’s garment doesn’t have a flap like the man’s.

    I think this guy and his wife must have still been wearing the old one-piece garments, since both genders had flaps.

    My ex- would have LOVED to have received this advice during our marriage. She WORSHIPPED her garments. She tenderly removed them right before ‘the act’ (folding and laying them carefully on the chair next to the bed), and quickly put them back on again as soon as the train left the station.

    Our stake president said that if we happened to fall asleep together afterwards without putting them back on, god would understand.

    My parents got married in the early 80s and I know for a fact they had sex without their garments on because I walked in on them once when I was about 11 *blush*.,326714,326714

  19. says

    New Mormon garmie guidelines, from late 2011, with backlash from early 2012:

    “…The garment should not be removed, either entirely or partially, to work in the yard or for other activities that can reasonably be done with the garment worn properly beneath the clothing…”

    Mormon church first presidency letter dated Dec. 9, 2011 states that the above should be read to members during the temple recommend interview….

  20. glodson says

    I just liked how Larson was making fun of Mormonism for having symbols that the Mormon’s believe have power and have saved lives. That amused me to no end.

    But this Larson guy, what a douche. I am fine with criticizing a religion. However, he’s more about demonizing the Mormons than he is about criticizing Mormonism.

  21. raven says

    However, he’s more about demonizing the Mormons than he is about criticizing Mormonism.

    The cults do compete for members and especially, for their money.

    Larson is a greedy conman who runs a business charging money to exorcize nonexistent demons.

    The more Mormons and Catholics there are, the less his potential market is. It’s just capitalism 101.

  22. says

    However, he’s more about demonizing the Mormons than he is about criticizing Mormonism.

    Quite true. But one of the things that bothers me about fundie cultists throwing rotten tomatoes at mormonism is that sometimes they make shit up about mormonism.

    I mean, you can’t find enough real stuff to object to? You have to also make shit up?

    In other news, mormon leaders are trying to tread a very fine line regarding the separation of church and state when they so desperately want everyone to vote for the Mitt Romney MorgBot (Mormon organization robot).


    In a provocative move within a religious organization that has sought to display strict political neutrality, an official of the Mormon church has disseminated a presentation across the key swing state of Nevada that urges members to vote and speak “with one voice” in the coming Presidential election that pits Mormon Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama.

    “Any Mormon would understand exactly what’s being said there,” said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth religion professor who has studied the church’s handling of Romney’s presidential bids. “This is very thinly coded language.”

    Mormon officials have permitted church leaders to encourage voting, but have stressed that it not be done in a partisan fashion. A senior church member emailed the presentation to Nevada “stake presidents” — similar to Catholic bishops — last month. The email was first reported last week by Jon Ralston, an independent Nevada journalist.

    The roughly 30-minute PowerPoint presentation appears to have two goals — to motivate Mormons in Nevada to register and vote in November, and to help them prepare for questions they may get as their church garners attention as a result of Romney’s bid. Three of the 20 slides that were shared with ABC News pointedly urge members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to remember the “importance of speaking with one voice.”…

    There’s a link to a PDF of the actual PowerPoint presentation if you feel the need to judge for yourself whether or not mormon leaders are, once again, mobilizing the sheeple for political purposes.
    Of course there is a PowerPoint slide stating the LDS Church’s political neutrality, followed by a slide in which Elder M. Russell Ballard says:

    •“We are at war with the influences of Satan.”
    •“Things are hard and they are going to get worse.”
    •“Our doctrines are going to be challenged.”
    •“We are trying to move the message of the restoration through a spiritually dead society.”


  23. glodson says

    I guess that’s what gets me about the fundies that attack Mormonism, or Islam. There is no lack of real, and fundamental, problems with the religions. But instead, they often go after the people, or just harp on bullshit points. But I guess the fundies don’t go after the rotten core since they share the same rotten core.

    @ raven: I think there’s some marketing, but I would suspect a strong bit of tribalism at play as well. The idea is “look at those weird people with different rituals, they’re bad different!” Which takes the focus off the in-group. Having an enemy is a hell of a unifier.

  24. says

    Follow up to post #14: The New York Times has now picked up the mormon excommunication story.


    “They said that they felt I was a spy and a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Mr. Twede said. “They said that they need to protect the flock from the Antichrist, from an apostate.”

    They handed him a brief letter signed by the stake president, Allan T. Pratt, which said that “because you are reported to have been in apostasy,” they were convening a “disciplinary council” that could excommunicate him. They had spelled his name wrong.

    Mr. Twede said that they pressed him for the names of others involved in MormonThink, but that he did not cooperate. He said that there were about 12 occasional writers and 5 steady editors, all volunteers. Mr. Twede said he took over only in July from the managing editor, who quit when he was also faced with excommunication.

  25. ibbica says

    In case anyone’s in need of a brain-cleanse, just try replacing “Bob Larson” with “Gary Larson”. Hilarity ensues!

    (Seriously, my brain does this every. single. time. anyone mentions *anyone* with the last name “Larson”. You’d think I could train it out of doing that, what with me sharing a (different) famous surname and all (no relation, I swear!). Ah well.)

  26. says

    More on mormon garmies and sex/cleanliness/craziness:

    I knew a super TBM older couple who would teach in church that you should only take off half of the garmie at a time, not the bottom or top, one leg out and one arm out to shower. Dry off the wet half then wash the other half after you put the clean garmies on the dry side. They claimed they never ever were naked, even during sex, which they only did to conceive. They both said they never even had seen each other naked, just down to the garmies.

  27. says

    More on mormon underwear, with warnings:


    One lesson I learned as a Mormon is nylon-to-nylon garment sex can be dangerous.

    You must follow rules when your garments have become so nasty that you have to replace them:

    She would cut the symbols out, and then light them in the ashtray. She did this with almost ordinance like precision, AND almost as if it were a sacred procedure in and of itself. Her facial expression would be very serious, and it seemed as if she would almost inhale the magical smoke in bonglike fashion. Even as a kid I thought this was most peculiar.

    Don’t drop your garmies on the floor:

    I told her how, in the temple, we were instructed not to let them touch the floor because of their holy status, which reminded me of a mission companion I had. Granted, she was a little high-strung, but one night she dropped her garments on the floor accidentally and began crying because she was so ashamed she defiled these sacred items. She was afraid she had really sinned and wanted to call the mission president immediately to repent so God would forgive her.

    Don’t bother recycling your mormon garmies:

    They don’t work well as oil change rags as they don’t really absorb a whole lot. They also leave streaks on windows when cleaning them.

  28. says

    Gay mormons and garmies, a cautionary tale:

    I have a gay friend who moved to Utah from the south, so he didn’t know much at all about mormons, mormon culture, etc. He was in Liberty Park in Salt Lake one afternoon and was hit on by another gay guy. The guy told my friend that his van was parked close by and that they could have sex in the back of his van. So he agreed. (Ok, my friend is pretty slutty.)

    So they’re in the back of this van and things are getting all hot and heavy when all of a sudden the guy just starts freaking out! My friend was trying to remove the guys underwear, and the guy was FREAKING OUT because his sacred mormon garments are to never, ever not touch his body!

    So picking up a stranger in a park for sex was somehow ok for this guy. And having sex in the back of his van in a public place was ok for him. But heaven forbid he ever remove his temple garments from his body!!!!!

  29. raven says

    Lynna quoting the NYT:

    “They said that they felt I was a spy and a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Mr. Twede said. “They said that they need to protect the flock from the Antichrist, from an apostate.”

    There is no doubt that the Mormon church is a dictatorial thought control cult.

    This is just more evidence.

    Vote the way we tell you or we will excommunicate you. The Romney 3000 Morbot is your Morbot.

    They’ve done the same thing is the past with women who didn’t buy the primitive 19th century gender role stereotypes that the Mormons have hauled into the 21st century.

    The Mormon church desperately wants acceptance and political power. The way they act frightens off a huge number of people, anyone who doesn’t buy into a weird mind control cult run, of course, by the usual twisted old men of the gerontocracy.

  30. says

    Laundry and mormon garmies:

    It’s hilarious how mormons are prisoners to their panties. As a kid helping with laudry, I had to be careful to hide the garmies on clothes lines with sheets or bath towels covering the underwear from anyone passing on the highway.

    Steve Benson’s comments on BuzzFeed’s “Brief Guide to Mormon Underwear”:,560353,636796

    BuzzFeed link, comes with photos of the “celestial smile” outline of mormon garmies worn by Mitt Romney:

  31. hypatiasdaughter says


    …but one night she dropped her garments on the floor accidentally and began crying because she was so ashamed she defiled these sacred items. She was afraid she had really sinned and wanted to call the mission president immediately to repent so God would forgive her.

    Does she know WHAT “profane” parts of her body those sacred garmies are touching while she is wearing them?

    Ritual objects, from Mormon underwear to sacred crackers, that are required to keep the gods happy always seem to wrong to me (besides the “no gods” part.) In essence, they are saying god threw you into the world naked and you have to get busy, busy busy manufacturing things to show your true devotion.
    And don’t get me started on slicing off body parts to make the body that god created more acceptable to god.
    Sacred & profane, clean and unclean, are also way stupid. Why is the ground (that god went to great effort to create) unclean, but someone’s armpits and butt hole not?
    A pile of rotting manure is as much a wonder and testimony to god’s act of creation as the alb worn around a priest’s neck that he kisses in reverent awe. (Not that we mere mortals should go around kissing manure piles – not very healthy – but they are as vital to life on earth as a ripe apple hanging from a tree branch.)

  32. n00blet says

    I’m not sure if PZ remembers, but he’s been interviewed on the presenter’s radio show a while back.

    His name is John Safran, and had a TV show called John Safran vs God which is where this clip is from. You shouldn’t take anything he does seriously, he’s a well known prankster and master of the piss-take. From what I know, he is a non-religious secular Jew.

    There was a later episode all about Bob Larson that was pretty controversial at the time, that exposes just how much of a nutbag he really is. Safran had an ‘exorcism’ and there’s some debate over whether he was acting, but in later interviews has said it was ‘real’ but probably some form of hypnosis/power of suggestion induced hysteria.

  33. n00blet says

    I’m not a huge John Safran fan btw, just providing some context. The whole series was basically exposing and mocking various religions around the world e.g. attempting to join the KKK, voodoo rituals, Scientology, Atheist doorknocking, getting a fatwa placed on Rove McManus (another Aussie TV host).

    While it’s true Larson goes unchallenged in this clip, there’s a whole episode about the guy later in the series.

  34. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Seriously, raven, it is well past the time for you to quit using people with psychiatric diagnoses as a bludgeon to mock others.


    It’s kind of hard to see the funny about the Mormon sacred underwear.

    “Ha-ha! You wear culturally specific cloths on yourselves because of a mixture of tradition and superstitions about the body regarding concepts of sacred and profane.”

    Who doesn’t that apply to?


  35. johnmarley says

    …and for fueling the satanic ritual abuse panic of the 1980s and 90s that baselessly ruined so many people’s lives.

    Oh, that asshole. I thought I recognized the name.

  36. anteprepro says


    Birthday suits don’t count as clothes!? You can imagine how much trouble I could have avoided if I had known that sooner.

  37. Muz says

    Nooblet has the background.
    Larson’s bit were cut from about two long interviews they must have done with him for the show and cut into the various segments. All of his outrageous views get an airing and are undercut by the various segments about the actual religions he’s investigating.
    It’s basically an exercise in giving the guy plenty of rope. If you’d watched the whole series up to this segment you’d have a pretty good idea that he’s at least as nutty as anything else Safran is investigating and just loves the attention.
    The central arc of the series is that Safran subjects himself to all these religious practices and gets converted once or twice, so that he has to tell Larson about this and Larson performs an exorcism on him to get rid of his accumulated demons.

    It’s sort of gonzo journalism satire.

  38. Muz says

    Of course, I sort of missed how nooblet actually covered most of that.
    Meaning one should never post before coffee.

  39. kayden says

    “the satanic ritual abuse panic of the the 1980s and 90s that baselessly ruined so many people’s lives.”

    I remember those from my youth — specifically the daycare centers where children were allegedly being molested. Need to google Mr. Larson to find out how he was so influential that he generated such mass hysteria, especially since he’s Australian and I recall most of the craziness happening in the US.

  40. Rorie says

    I remember seeing this one when it aired in 2004. n00blet provides a bit more context a few posts above me. The final episode, in which Larson performs an exorcism on Safran made it abundantly clear what type of person Bob Larson is.

    From what I can remember, there were another couple of segments on mormonism in the series [John Safran vs. God]. One in which John produced a trailer for a film called “Xtreme Mormons” about BMX bike riding missionaries, and another in which he and his producer went door to door promoting atheism in Salt Lake city, as a way to get back at the mormons for annoying him in the morning.

  41. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    If I was an exmormon I would wear hello kitty underoos anytime I might be in for a garment check.

  42. chigau (違わない) says

    If anyone tried to check my undergarments (while not in an airport security line) I would treat it as an assault and defend myself.

  43. spamamander, more skeptical-er and rational-er than you says

    So, it’s a bit like the Underwear Gnomes, really.

    1. Make magic underpants
    2. ????
    3. PROPHET!!!

  44. paulburnett says

    anteprepro (#43) wrote: “Birthday suits don’t count as clothes!?”

    That’s what “skyclad” means.

  45. randay says

    Beyond the silly, there is the serious. You probably haven’t heard of the Mountain Meadows Massacre perpetrated by Mormons. Today’s Mormons probably haven’t either. Mark Twain reports on it in Roughing It.

    Wherefore, according to Mrs. C. V. Waite’s entertaining book, “The Mormon Prophet,” it transpired that–

    “A ‘revelation’ from Brigham Young, as Great Grand Archee or God, was dispatched to President J. C. Haight, Bishop Higbee and J. D. Lee (adopted son of Brigham), commanding them to raise all the forces they could muster and trust, follow those cursed Gentiles (so read the revelation), attack them disguised as Indians, and with the arrows of the Almighty make a clean sweep of them, and leave none to tell the tale; and if they needed any assistance they were commanded to hire the Indians as their allies, promising them a share of the booty. They were to be neither slothful nor negligent in their duty, and to be punctual in sending the teams back to him before winter set in, for this was the mandate of Almighty God.”

    The command of the “revelation” was faithfully obeyed.”

    About 140 or so people were murdered.

  46. paulburnett says

    shripathikamath (#46) wrote: “…it is time people asked the Mormon for his birth certificate. … Look, he lists USA as a foreign country.”

    For Mitt’s father and grandfather, the USA was a “foreign country” – they were both born in Mexico, in a Mormon polygamists’ “colony.”

  47. chigau (違わない) says

    I am aware of Mountain Meadows.
    I’m still waiting for an opportunity to bring it up to a Mormon missionary.

  48. todd bstevens says

    Hey, Larson is really scary. People went to jail for years on the satanic panic. Years. IN JAIL.

    But there is now way I can disprove magical underwear. And God scares me.

    So I say to you, why are you less scared by God? (And “god doesn’t exist” does not count as an argument)

    Agnostic gets some bad press for being on a fence. I think I am going to be for a while less scared by God.


  49. DLC says

    have to agree with PZ on this. Magic Underwear is not any different kind from magic crackers. On the other hand, some underwear models have made me sit up and say “holy shit!” when seeing their pictures. But that’s another story.

    Oh, and I agree about the jerkboy radio guy. He’s a scumbag with no redeeming qualities.

  50. Ichthyic says

    If anyone tried to check my undergarments (while not in an airport security line) I would treat it as an assault and defend myself.

    then I suggest removing the airport line exception, as if EVERYONE stopped agreeing to unreasonable searches, they would simply stop.

  51. Usernames are smart says

    ProTip: while eating while being taped, finish your godsdamned point before taking a bite.

  52. Electric Shaman says

    Ok, ok, ok I think we just need to calm down here a bit. I am a long time lurker and am now de-lurking because I feel I have to defend this clip.

    I know nooblet and Rorie (and sorry if I missed any others) have already given background to this, but this entire series is a giant piss take of religion and religious rituals. Safran would have known about Larson and what Larson does. Otherwise, why not just go to some church in the US and find some random person who has the same views? Surely it wouldn’t have been that hard to do so. Larson’s infamy, in my opinion, is exactly why he was interviewed for this episode. The whole vibe of the series is “I find all this crazy shit interesting, and somehow I’ve convinced someone to pay me money to film me explore this and carry on like (I hope) a humorous asshole”. For which I give him some credit.

    I’m an American, and I’ve been living in Australia for about a third of my life now, and I think the whole point of this episode was to show Australians just how ridiculous Americans are about their religion. Because that level of crazy, thankfully,just doesn’t exist here. He’s a satirist, not a journalist, and the point was to ask how one fundamentalist who adheres to overtly stupid beliefs can confidently and assuredly mock the overtly stupid beliefs of a different yet ultimately same religion (as in Jesus=Awesomeness). And the humour behind this series was often to mock these people without them quite knowing that he was there to do just that, the epitome of which was when he tried to join a faction of the KKK. This approach is opposed to obviously mocking them, like perhaps eating a cracker. And that’s not a judgement call, just different styles. I find both to be amusing.

    Forgive me if I am paraphrasing incorrectly, but PZ’s point seems to be how can one ridicule someone else’s ridiculous religious beliefs and justify it with their own or someone else’s ridiculous religious beliefs. Which is also, in my opinion, Safran’s point of having Larson on there in the first place. I see PZ’s point entirely if this was just a standalone clip, but I don’t think his criticism holds too much weight when this episode is viewed within the context of the entire series.

    I think somewhere wires got crossed between Safran’s intention and PZ’s interpretation. If PZ has seen the entire series and still holds this view, which his seeing the entire series seems unlikely to me since he is only discussing it now when the show aired years ago, then it is just a matter of agreeing to disagree.

    What is completely deserving of criticism about Safran and this series, and which has been touched upon above, is the now infamous episode where Safran gets “exorcised” by Larson in the final episode. According to Wikipedia, the Lazy Person’s Fountain of Knowledge, Safran has never stated what he actually believes took place during that whole exorcism thing that happened. As in, did he think what happened was bullshit and at the time he was cheekily mocking them by playing along or he actually thought he had some sort of spiritual experience.

    I obviously like the show, which I acknowledge has its faults. I also tend to find myself agreeing with PZ on nearly everything, but I think he missed the mark on this one. And thank you to anyone who actually bothered to read the entirety of my War and Peace length comment, brevity has never been a strength of mine.

  53. says

    This is a follow up to comments 14, 28 and 33.

    For those outside the bubble of mormonism, it can be difficult to imagine how scary it is to have church leaders questioning you and threatening excommunication.

    The evolving story of Mr. Twede reveals the depth of the emotional turmoil the LDS Church can create, and it also reveals the threats against one’s livelihood, against one’s financial solvency the church can bring to bear.

    Another aspect of this story is the sneaky, underhanded means that church apologists and leaders take to silence a member they feel is out of line. They’ll hide the identity of accusers so that the accused does not know to whom he/she should respond. Leaders will claim “inspiration” informs them of the facts, when it is rats that inform. They’ll arrange for one’s blog to be taken over by accusers. They’ll marshall mormon forces to smear the reputation of a Daily Beast reporter (Jamie Reno), often under assumed names.

    Twede posted this today:

    During my “interview”, the stake presidency and bishop spent a disproportionate amount of time asking me about the other members of M.T. [Mormon Think] and about why we hide our identities. However, I was “reported to be in apostasy” according to my letter, and when I asked the local leaders how they came to learn my identity, they would only say they were inspired. We now see Gordon [Scott Gordon, a mormon apologist] has indicated he sent the information.

    How did Gordon get my name? I don’t know him. I have it on good word that someone who knew me sent my information to another FAIR [Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research] member named Tyler Livingston. Likewise, as soon as my disciplinary council went public and I made an attempt at reconciliation by vacating my blog, it was taken over by another FAIR member Trevor Holyoak (sic?). The details of this are on Dr. Shades mormondisc site. Lastly, Steve Benson is reporting here (thanks, Steve!) that another member of FAIR John Lynch is attempting a smear on me across the internet.

    What I see here is a coordinated campaign by FAIR from top down to get me and the rest of contributors. Perhaps they also belong to the Strengthening Church Members Committee that Holland has acknowledged once existed. It still does, we believe.

    The entire thread discussing this issue, complete with more background from Steve Benson, with documentation of the pressure to say this was not about Mitt Romney, and with more comments from Twede, is here:,647139

    Excerpts from Twede’s other comments:

    I believe everyone involved from FAIR, the GAs [General Authorities] and the stake leaders know clearly that using my Romney speech as the basis for excom would be a PR disaster. So you would never expect them to bring it up. Instead they will dance around anything they can find to halt the voices at ‘MT.’ [Mormon Think]

    My feeling is the timing is very suspicious.

    … my only activity in the past week was about LDS political history. And they talked about my blog of which 3 of seven entries during that week were in fact about Romney. Specifics were not given. I asked what specifically was wrong with what I wrote, and I was told the tone and bias against the church was clear. The stake presidency never had the courage to really talk directly about specifics.

  54. says

    …the Mormons are giving Apple five years free rent to open a retail store in the new Mormon owned City Creek Mall.

    Excerpted from a post by David Twede, a mormon facing possible excommunication. The post basically outlines the size, scope, and power of LD$ Inc., the corporation that makes money off selling super special underwear for the sheeple, and off of a vast empire of other for-profit ventures.

    It’s a David and Goliath story, that’s for sure.

  55. julietdefarge says

    I’ve gotten to see the top half just once, when I was in the Army. During some NCO training it was so hot in the shack that we all went down to t-shirts. The Mormon’s was regulation tan but had a couple of little holes in it. Not sure if the Army produces a supply of these or if Mormons have to buy them from a civilian supplier.

    Personally, I wish the military would bring back the Sikhs. There are plenty of MOSs where a turban wouldn’t present an obstacle.

  56. says

    Teacher (female): [in reference to problems Mitt Romney brought up regarding education] “I have an answer for that.”

    Mitt Romney: “I didn’t ask you a question.”

    video,1:56 minutes, here:

  57. says

    Romney very clumsily claims he is not evading taxes by parking his money in the Caymans:

    … investments by the blind trusts in funds established in the Cayman Islands or other jurisdictions are taxed in the very same way they would be if the shares were held in the US rather than through a Cayman fund,” an online Romney FAQ reads. “No taxes are evaded or reduced.

    Sounds like sneaky balderdash to me. Turns out it is.

    It turns out they’re playing word games. The taxes you evade by putting your money in the Caymans aren’t your own personal income taxes, but your offshore investment fund’s corporate income taxes…. In other words, the Romneys aren’t evading income taxes by putting their money in the Caymans. The fund they put their money into is evading taxes by parking itself in the Cayman Islands. As a result, that fund (and therefore the Romneys) get to keep more of the profits. Why evade taxes when you can get somebody to do it for you?

    Excerpt from a longer article by Timothy Noah, written for The New Republic.

    Related comments on The Maddow Blog.

  58. says

    Re Juliet’s comment @67 concerning mormon underwear for persons serving in the military, here are some comments from ex-mormons:

    …you have to show your military ID to buy them at the garmi store. The non-scoop neck t-shirts used to only be available to cops and military who had to show their respective IDs to make a purchase, but that changed.

    Garments on Okinawa were hell. If I ordered the olive drab I still could not take off the BDU shirt while everyone else worked in t-shirts. Why? Because of those goddam sacred markings. If I wanted to work in a t-shirt I still needed a t-shirt over the garment. Hotter than hell, and two t-shirts. Everyone else was non-Mormons and thought I was crazy. They were right.

    They let you send in your own military t-shirts now and they’ll screen print the markings on the inside.

    We were “excused from wearing them during boot camp because the sacredness of the garments may be compromised by the rigors of the training.”

    They are basically Masonic symbols – compass, square, and rule.

    There is one like this “^” over one nipple, one like this “L” over the other nipple and one like this “_” over the navel and just above one knee.

    You must show your military ID (and either a temple recommend or membership #) to buy the olive drab garments. I was directly told by a Beehive Clothing volunteer that they added the military ID requirement to keep hunters from buying them.

    I’m in the army.
    They come in either olive or sand/tan color.
    The markings are not embroidered on the shirt, but are silkscreened in nearly the same color on the inside to not show on the outside at all, and barely show even if it’s inside-out.
    You can wear it like a t-shirt no problem.
    The marking is still emboidered above the knee but is inconspicuous.
    I had to show military ID to buy them.