Strangers Once More : Patterns of Disaffiliation from Mormonism
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Wiley ; Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
The personal accounts of 30 ex-Mormons are employed to illuminate the processes of disaffiliation from Mormonism. Some of the most common patterns of falling away are portrayed and some of the challenges these people faced as they became ex-Mormons are recounted. Because of the low sample, the findings were not generalized to religious or Mormon disaffiliates. However flawed the sample, they found that most disaffiliates from Mormonism were always marginal members who drifted along on the fringes of Church activity. Among the disaffiliates, there was a high rate of divorce in their own and their parent's families. The minority of disaffiliates from Mormonism who were once fervent followers exhibited several common factors associated with their disaffiliation: family break-up, intellectual apostasy, and the 'push' of unmet needs or exclusionary practices. They found that most disaffiliates from Mormonism pointed to multiple causes for their defection. They found the Brinkerhoff- Burke typology of the disaffiliation process to be too limiting and extended it from four to nine cells.