Atheist at Brigham Young University Leaves School and Submits Resignation Letter to Church

Earlier this month, Curtis Penfold was a student at Brigham Young University hiding his doubts about faith. But last week, he submitted his resignation letter to the Mormon church (and therefore BYU) and posted it publicly for all to see.

The word above it couldn’t be more perfect

It all began when Curtis’ stake (kind of like the head of a local Catholic diocese) summoned him into his office after receiving, from an anonymous source, a collection of Curtis’ online writings — like a post he wrote claiming the LDS church was sexist:

Here was a man who had my entire future in his hands. If he didn’t like me, he could kick me out of my school, my job, and my housing. I was already seriously considering leaving BYU and the LDS Church after this semester.

President [Bart] MacKay had received a portfolio from an anonymous source that contained much of my online activity. My bishop and the honor code office also received the same portfolio from the same anonymous source.

He called me a covenant breaker for writing about the temple, and whenever I would try to express how I was feeling, he said he couldn’t believe a word I said because of it. He’d cut me off any times I’d try to express myself. He’d tell me why I did what I did instead of letting me explain myself. He raised his voice to me. He compared me to Korihor multiple times. At one point he even compared me to a criminal on the stand.

Korihor is the Mormon version of the anti-Christ. So… that’s pleasant.

Thankfully, none of MacKay’s words were enough to stop Curtis from following his mind:

I decided right then and there that I would drop out of BYU, quit my work, look for new housing, and resign from the LDS Church. I was going to do this so that I wouldn’t be like self-serving Korihor with his fake repentance.

I don’t want to be like Korihor. I don’t want to justify lying any longer. I want to live up to my ideals even under the threat of losing everything. And I want to leave the LDS Church and everything that comes with it, including my school, work, and housing so that I can be the master of my own destiny.

Good for him. You should read his resignation letter. It’s a beauty.

I had a chance to speak with Curtis last night — the same day he received his eviction notice from his “BYU-approved” alcohol-free, sex-free, coffee-free apartment. (The contract states “I also understand if I am banned from BYU, I am not eligible to live in BYU Contracted Housing.”)

As Curtis wrote in his post, it was likely that he would have been “disfellowshipped” in a matter of weeks if he didn’t repent for his beliefs and actions. And since he had no intention of doing that, he decided to be honest and stop the charade now.

I asked Curtis what the response had been like since he posted his resignation letter online. He said his “excellent friends” have been great, helping him find a place to live and expressing their support for him throughout the ordeal. His family has been pretty critical of him, but they’ve been that way for a while, ever since he returned from his mission trip a year ago and began getting involved in LGBT activism (as a straight ally).

For the time being, Curtis plans to look for work and then apply to a nearby secular college to finish off his bachelor’s degree.

Some of you may hear his story and think, “Well, it’s BYU. It’s a private religious school. What did you really expect?” But Curtis pointed out that many students, like him, come into BYU as believers. A major problem with a school like BYU is that it doesn’t allow anyone to change his mind about faith without disrupting his entire life in the process. Once they find out you’re an atheist, you’re no longer allowed to work at your campus job, you’re kicked out of school, and you’re banned from BYU-approved housing. For an institution of higher learning — even a religious one — to adhere to such an unjust policy makes it all the more difficult for students to really explore their beliefs and ask the tough questions. And shouldn’t that be what college is really about?

More than anything else, Curtis just didn’t want other people to go through what he went through, which is why he told his story. He also invited anyone to contact him if they had any questions.

Or, you know, happened to be a closeted atheist at BYU and needed some advice.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Rationalist1

    It should be a warning for all students not to pursue an education at a religious institution. Even if you agree with all the tenets of the denomination now, if you dare waver in your beliefs you can lose everything. It’s the same for working for a religious based organization (Note : I did years ago). They have the right to fire you for reasons that are not acceptable in the secular world and their morality does not prevent them from excerising that right. Be very wary.

    • kielc

      I attended a religious undergrad institution, but very liberal: booze allowed if old enough, co-ed dorms, etc., etc. And no one ever asked anyone about their religious beliefs. So…beware blanket statements.

      • Rationalist1

        It’s less a blanket statement and more a warning. I went to a secular university but dormed in a residence next door on a Catholic religious college (it was cheaper). I never had a problem but I would still warn prospective students that they could be kicked out for reasons that would be unacceptable in a non religious university.

      • Janice Gordon

        Apparently in Curtis Penfold’s case, had he resigned membership and switched religious affiliations he might have been allowed to remain with a letter of recommendation from his new religious pastor. But as he is an atheist, it’s a no-go.

        • guest5

          No actually, according to BYU’s honor code resigning from the lds church automatically gets you kicked out–doesn’t matter if you want to be some other religion. I know I looked through it all before I left myself.

          • Curtis Penfold

            Guest5 is right. You can’t leave the LDS Church and remain at BYU.

            Non-Mormons can attend BYU. Ex-Mormons cannot.

            • kaydenpat

              Interesting.

    • Randay

      BYU has been relatively competitive and successful in college sports. How many of the sometimes excellent athletes they recruit follow the no alcohol/sex/coffee rules? Just do a search on “sports scandals at byu”.

      • Janice Gordon

        True. And very few of their top athletes are booted from the college if they ‘err’.

        • heywaitaminit

          So the lesson here is be an athlete or keep your mouth shut. :D

          • jensen122

            I believe the difference here is the willingness to change.. just from an outsiders opinion

    • Buckley

      I always set my students straight about what to expect at that “wonderful’ evangelical college that is working really hard to get them there. Once they hear the truth about honor code violations and the lifestyle contracts they are forced to sign (and if violated could be the basis of their expulsion), they quickly begin to look elsewhere. I ought to know, I worked two years at an evangelical university…longest two years of my life.

      • Rationalist1

        My nephew decided to get his teaching certificate after his undergraduate degree and opted for the local fundamentalist college because of cost (He could live at home). He’s not of that denomination and that college has been in the news because they don’t allow gay students or staff. He just wants to save money but I was warning him that he may find his degree tainted because of association with this policy.

        Note : To get out of mandatory chapel attendance he can pay a fee of a few hundred dollars. Bizarre.

  • Jeff

    The philosophy class I took in my first semester of college at BYU was the catalyst that spawned my atheism. Thanks BYU!

    • Rationalist1

      My working for a religious organization many years ago was what started me on the track to atheism. I say from the inside what it was really like.

      • Buckley

        Same here! Nothing says hypocrisy like the leadership at all levels at a certain Nazarene university in Illinois

    • lmern

      I was never really a ‘believer’, but my exposure to Religion at an early age from my father and brother definitely spurred me to atheism when I grew up. It was brave of you to move on, Jeff.

  • KMR

    I’m sorry that this happened to him but come on. It’s a religious university. To be mad at the university is like being mad at an alligator for eating your pet dog (I live in the south. This happens). It’s the nature of the beast. Anyway secular public universities are cheaper. I have no idea why anyone chooses a religious university anyway.

    • islandbrewer

      BYU is pretty well endowed for a private institution and can be pretty free with its financial aid, if you fit certain demographics. I’ve known a few people who got free rides (and decent educations) at BYU, then after graduation, “discovering” that they liked coffee and beer (and presumably sex, too).

    • Daniel

      BYU is subsidized for its members through tithing funds. Especially for Mormons who aren’t interested in state schools, tuition there can be cheaper than paying out-of-state tuition anywhere else.

      Besides, most 18-19 year old kids don’t step into the mouth of the alligator fully understanding what they’re getting into. Maybe a trap is a better metaphor – because if it’s a good trap, you don’t realize you’re caught until it’s too late.

      • KMR

        I didn’t realize BYU could be cheap. Thanks. That explains a lot.
        And as far as the metaphor goes, perhaps :) Either way I wish Penfold much success.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          Here in Washington religious schools aren’t subsidized like that. PLU (Pacific Lutheran university) charges about three times what the University of Washington does. And the UW is a fantastic school.

    • C Peterson

      You underestimate the power of a belief system presented as truth to a child. Such indoctrination is nearly impossible for most people to recover from.

    • eric

      There is some element of caveat emptor here, but at the same time the BYU staff are humans, not alligators. They can certainly decide not to eat the dog. There are probably a lot of religious (and even secular) schools that have harsh rules ‘on the books’, but who seriously consider the welfare of the student when deciding wether and when to enforce them. BYU staff chose not to take a lenient hand towards a member. It’s on them more than the student.

    • Deus Otiosus

      “You knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Farmer_and_the_Viper

  • The Other Weirdo

    Alcohol-free, sex-free and coffee-free.

    I think you just pinpointed the problem with Mormons.

    • advancedatheist

      Do atheists want to stay healthy and live a long time, or not? The Mormons’ “problem,” as you call it, looks pretty good from a medical perspective:

      Cancer morbidity and mortality in USA Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1449267

      Lifestyle and reduced mortality among active California Mormons, 1980-2004.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17920112

      • Rationalist1

        And not only will you live longer, it will seem many times longer as well. :->

      • Timmah

        To answer your question yes I’d rather shave a couple years off my life if the alternative is living like a robot who is not allowed to think for themselves or have any fun.

      • Sven2547

        There’s nothing wrong with making health decisions of your own volition. Threatening expulsion from colleges and communities because of things like coffee is authoritarian garbage.

        • spillz

          I go to BYU, i have friends that drink coffee by choice and no one bats an eye. its not illegal nor would it breach the contract.

          Those of us who believe God is real, and are born in his image, feel its a great blessing to live a code of health described in scripture. its entirely by ones own volition. I choose to live that way and choose to attend church where most of the others willfully go to learn to be in better harmony with our bodies, our spirits, and how we treat them.

          authoritarian, may be a word that describes your experience with religion, but not mine. Please dont infer mistruths about school policy of which you seem to know very little.

          When life’s trials bring you to your knees, stay there a bit, humbly ask to know God better, who created you. Ask him how to learn His will, and your life will feel full and clear.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Now that you mention it, I’d like to make the choice for myself, not some weirdo with a funny title who derives his faux authority from a 150 text written by a known con. And yes, I like to have a drink, and to woo hoo, and also have an occasional shot of espresso, especially when facing an 18-hour cross-country drive that starts at 2am. So, in other words, if I wasn’t being plain enough, screw you.

        Edit 1: And double screw you because you are defending an organization that tattle tells on its own members.

      • Jeff

        I’m sorry, I must be missing the point here. The difference is CHOICE. I’m pretty sure there is a tremendous, positive correlation between the lifestyle and longevity, not the religious FAITH and longevity. The difference is I can choose to live the lifestyle without a belief in imaginary beings, and without some judgmental folks threatening me because I’m not ENOUGH of a believer.

    • Njen

      I was a Mormon for the first 20 or so years of my life (I am now an anti-theist). While I look back on my younger days with a mixture of wasted opportunities and time, interestingly, one of the aspects of being a Mormon that has carried over to me to this day (I am 36 now), is the Word of Wisdom. I have never and still do not smoke, drink, take drugs and drink coffee. For all of my railings against the church, I have to be completely honest with my feelings that the Word of Wisdom was one of the few good things that came from the Mormon church. It is a lifestyle choice that I will try to teach my children to live.

      • The Other Weirdo

        You know, it’s quite possible to live life and enjoy a drink or two, have the occasional woohoo and go for coffee with friends without becoming a fiend at any of them. Maybe this Word of Wisdom of which you speak is right, but if it is, it’s for all the wrong reasons. Though, in all honesty, any time I hear someone call their own mouthings “Wisdom” I immediately know they are spewing bullshit.

      • Pofarmer

        I drink in moderation and enjoy my coffee in the morning. Each to their own, but I don’t think it is worth brainwashing kids over.

      • Jack

        There’s actually evidence that some alcohol is actually good for you. Red wine, obviously in moderation, is good for the heart and can make you live longer. There’s also nothing really wrong with coffee. It’s addictive but if you drink coffee regularly you are absolutely no different than a normal non-caffeine drinker. So it doesn’t actually mess with the mind at all.

        Teaching kids not to drink has actually been shown to be one of the worst ways to raise kids. The best way to raise them is by them watching their parents enjoy a drink now and again in moderation and who offer a taste to their children. When they are adolescents, maybe allowing them a watered down wine with their meals. This way the children experience alcohol as something to be enjoyed in moderation and associating it with an more calm and sophisticated social situation, like a dinner without people getting drunk and disorderly. Parents who don’t drink and who warn against it are only more likely to activate the rebellious side of a child into wanting to try it and when they finally gain that independence and the opportunity to indulge, they’re far more likely to over-indulge.

        I don’t drink, do drugs, smoke or drink coffee by choice myself. And honestly, not drinking is something I worry abowith regards to fatherhood because I would rather my kids grow up with their parents being able to enjoy drink in moderation as a sort of goal for them to aspire to rather than them having no exposure to it.

  • Sven2547

    Compiling a portfolio of a person’s personal activities and using it against them is the kind of shady behavior I’d expect from Scientology and other sketchy cults.

    • C Peterson

      Scientology and other sketchy cults

      Yes… your point?

      • Sven2547

        I’m just gonna leave that there :)

    • Buckley

      A bit Orwellian

    • JET

      I always imagine Mormons everywhere saying, “Thank God for those crazy Scientologists!”

      • John

        Scientology: making other religions look sane since 1953!

        • Jim Jones

          TIL: Sane is a relative term.

      • vidriera

        Ex-mormon here and you’re pretty much spot on

    • Janice Gordon

      From what I understand, the anonymous individual is in violation of Facebook policy for doing what he did. It’s possible he could face stalking and defamation charges as well if he or she could be identified. I’ve got a few ideas about who might be behind this action, as does Curtis. But hunches aren’t admissible in legal actions.

      • gilbert gripe

        Strengthening the Church Members Committee, created under Ezra Taft Benson, their purpose is to search through media and see if any of the members are publicly out of tune with their teachings. They put a file together and send it to your Stake President so he can call you in and schedule that “Court of Love”. (I know! George Orwell must make this stuff up.)

        • tweedmeister

          Yup. I know two families who were ejected after being surveilled by the SCMC and turned into their stake president. This is a good reason for which I no longer consider Mormons as “Christians.” Not in my wildest dreams.

    • Sam

      On the spectrum of cult religions, the Mormon Church is worse than the Jehova’s Witnesses, but not as bad as the Church of Scientology. However, there were times in the history of the Mormon Church when it was worse than the Church of Scientology has ever been.

      • Stev84

        The JWs are even more repressive than the Mormons though, even if the beliefs themselves are a bit less crazy.

      • David

        I don’t know I think Jehovah’s Witnesses take the shunning a little more seriously than the Mormons and that puts them up quite a few notches on the cult scale in my book. There are some Mormon families that shun apostates but it is getting more and more rare and the church leaders don’t preach that you should do it or require it. I think shunning for Jehovah’s Witnesses is still mandatory and if you don’t you will be shunned as well.

      • JasonT

        Curtis got kicked out of one cult for being more active in the Thelema cult, go figure.

        This kid got kicked out of his religious school by someone who was weirded out by him doing seances and doing Satanic rituals. Maybe he is just a LARP casting spells on fellow students, that would be fun to see.

        sounds farfetched for a so-called atheist but the buz in the lower part of the feed is posting links to Curtis’ own self saying he prays to the Church of Satan’s Baphomet.

        worshiping anti-christian gods doesn’t make someone an atheist. it just makes them an enemy to the LDS church.

        “I just read about Baphomet in wikipdedia, and I got interested in having
        experiences with him/her. I didn’t really know where to post this thread, so perhaps I should’ve posted it among the
        Satanist threads. But I knew Wiccans practiced magick, and that some
        might be aware of Aleister Crowley’s
        magick which also gives reference to Baphomet.

        Should I repost this in the Satanist board?”

        http://www.interfaithforums.com/wicca/14140-baphomet.html

        “Hmm
        you sure that’s Baphomet you want? I
        only ask because it’s usually used in
        Satanism”

        “Since
        posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
        Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
        containing both good and bad, masculine and
        feminine, light and dark, weak and strong. He/She also represents the
        Universe, full of good and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow
        to love Him/Her, I grow to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

        “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
        of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
        hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
        trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and
        female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form
        as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring
        the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and
        uncomfortable to light.” http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25548-baphomet/

        sounds like a halloween worshipper. The LDS church is like any other church or organization. like Natalie posted below, “his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders. It is not unusual for ANY organization, secular or religious to remove a member if they begin publicly opposing the groups theology and fundamental ideals. I don’t understand the outrage. I see an organization behaving as any would to protect the supportive enviroment it has endeavored to create.”

        • Curtis Penfold

          My relationship with the Occult is similar to my relationship with theatre or art. I might like Baphomet in the same way I might like Harry Potter or Cthluhu or Hamlet.

          Do you think people should get kicked out of an accredited university, lose their job, and get evicted from their homes for reading Lovecraft, too, and relating with the characters in there?

    • motormouthrush

      Sven2547: i dont blame you for falling victim to a bleeding heart story by that guy. The shady behavior is done by curtis. After reading some of his satanic quotes you’ll likely think twice about what curtis says. I doubt someone even turned a portfolio in, he may have turned himself in and made up an elaborate story for all we know.

      I was doing a paper for my Institute about atheism/agnosticism, and was looking up Stories of BYU students turning to atheism, and atheists becoming religious and the dynamics that each person might encounter in their transition. I couldn’t help but notice this story of a kid leaving BYU. in the comment sections of another website i saw someone post link to this kid’s satanic influence disguised as atheism.

      Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums. That Aleister promotes child-sacrifice inside a pentagram drawing on the ground. Curtis teaches others how to lie to the bishop online so they can get a temple recommend. He lights candles to Santa Muerte,kisses her picture, and kneels for hours while calling down her spirit to take over his body when his roomates go to sleep… just google his name and any of the above to see he’s batting for the opposing team and later acting confused why his team’s coach was scratching his head.

      I saw someone post his quote in a comment section where Curtis said, “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
      Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
      containing both good and bad, masculine and
      feminine, light and dark, He/She also represents the Universe, full of good
      and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow
      to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

      “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
      of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
      hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
      trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.”

      The devil is the serpent in the adam and eve story. The devil is baphomet. (just google image who baphomet is). Curtis says Baphomet inspires him to take the knowledge he’s gained, while being possessed, to the rest of humanity. To teach others and bring evil to things to the public.

      I can only imagine what else admitted to his Bishop. With how bizarre he sounds i can’t help but wonder what the school’s side of the story is.

      Imagine this. Imagine If he were part of an atheist organization but decided to go around publicizing how he actually thought God is real and that we need to follow his teachings or we’ll be damned. What do you think that atheist organization might think? do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them? .. of course you’d agree… Just be honest with yourself, you posted your comment because you are angry at religion and therefore assume any religious leader must be in the wrong.

      you nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

      every institution/organization has a set of codes or set of values of which the members adhere to. If a football player secretly hated his team, and took advice from the opposing team’s coach and then returned to his teamates, encouraging them to leave the team, dont you think some of his fellow teamates and coach might have cause for concern?

      only in this case it appears that Curtis proudly has devoted himself to Satan (his own words) and is trying to cause dissention from within.

      I dont feel bad for a devil worshipper, his christian church asked if they could help him and he embarrassingly leaves. and makes it look like he was a victim of oppression. He had to have expected this to happen unless he wanted the drama and brought it up himself as a publicity stunt.

      I saw someone else post this quotes of his:

      > >”Because it’s been suggested to make new threads regarding the deities we work with, I’ve decided to make a new thread for Kali describing my relationship with Her.

      After spending weeks of chanting her name, I
      did a meditation on her image..the head she was holding became my head. All the heads became my head. I pondered on the significance..

      ..I found that I was in her womb as a
      full-grown man with an umbilical cord..
      I’ve entered a stage of darkness ..Santa Muerte has been
      helping me through this darkness, helping me learn to love the darkness as a place where all is possible..

      As I love Kali,
      I can love the Darkness that much more.”
      Kali says, “I am the mighty sorceress,

      ..she drinks the blood of the saints through the Holy Grail.
      (Kali also drinks the blood of a certain demon.. is impregnated by the blood that she drinks and gives birth to the Saints that she seems to have killed. As the Gnostic Creed goes:
      in Her name BABALON.”"

      Natalie is perfectly right, “his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders.”

      one cant help but flag Curtis’ sob story after hearing that he prays to satan and other gods who poesses his self proclaimed hermophroditic body. This god he prays to kills and eats the saints of god. those saints are members of his former church.

      a little freaky, praying to a demon and feeling that “her head became my head, all the heads became my head,” thats devil worshipping to a T.

      Every bishop i’ve had has been an exemplary person with the most love and kindness etc. With quotes like Curtis, of worshipping Satan for inspiration, i cant help but not take him at his word.

      If curtis came to me saying he does elaborate rituals to summon down spirits of santa Muerte, Baphomet, Kali, etc. i’d try to help him. but he clearly doesn’t like praying to just God alone as the LDS church teaches, he prays to Lucifer. Red flag!!

      • MD

        Lol.

        What you actually believe all of this? Shit, you need help. Atheists don’t believe in the Devil either.

        • tangentialspiral

          I can vouch for Motormouthrush. i just searched Bing for his name and part of the quotes he or she posted. sure enough, a Curtis Penfold, from Utah, openly talks about his hours of prayer and kneeling down to pray to strange gods.

          Maybe he is an atheist now but as of a few months ago he was praying to that freakish Baphomet spirit and strange gods. http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25676-my-first-experience-w-santa-muerte/

          Just search it yourself you you dont believe it.

          thats his business, i dont think someone needs to judge him for the life he has chosen. I wont choose a side since i wasn’t there when his Stake President spoke with him. Heck he may have treated Curtis poorly but so far its at least apparent that Curtis was deep into occult things. praying for devils to take over his body etc. Religious people take offense to that.

          “As I’ve worshiped Her, I’ve felt this desire to cross-dress. I feel there’s a part of the Mother in me. I haven’t done so since I am almost never alone, but as I imagine doing so I feel that Divine Feminine inside of me. And afterwards, I love my masculinity even more. My scruff, my penis, my desire to hang loose with the guys–I just love that even more after imagining myself as a woman.”

          http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25331-cross-dressing-and-worship/

          maybe now he turned into an atheist. who knows.

          • MD

            Motormouth rush has been copy pasting the same occultist thing all over this thread. ALL over the thread.
            That Curtis decided to look into the occult has the same significance to me as someone who goes from Catholicism to Buddhism.
            It doesn’t make his current stop in non-belief invalid.

            • Motormouthrush

              Good MD, you noticed my posts. Its nice that someone else realized Curtis was letting demons possess him.

              And yes, it matters. Yesterday I figured he was nothing more than an devil worshipper but looks like he publicly denounces the LDS church on national interviews like with CNN. that just shows he was opening up a can of worms.

              and thanks, you made my point exactly. If a catholic chooses to become Buddhist thats truly up to them. But if that Buddhist wants to then show up to catholic church and tell everyone at church that their religion is hogwash, then dont you think it completely normal for the catholic church leaders to say, “hey, wait a minute, if you’re gonna be preaching to our members that Jesus is a joke, then we’d ask you to not be a member while you do so. If you’re to go on tv, wearing your ‘catholic badge’ but mock jesus, its probably better you not be a catholic any longer.

              Curtis uses his membership in the Mormon church to trumpet his disbelief of it, to CNN, http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-947025



 and other national news.

              the problem seems to be that he isn’t doing it in private. he is stirring up contention and using blogs and CNN as platforms to misrepresent the LDS church. He probably has been confronted by teachers at his private university, other students, online bloggers, and anyone else. He calls himself an activist and that as such, Baphomet gave him a message to take to humanity (his words). Because he is confrontational and opposes core LDS beliefs on a national stage i bet they were bothered by him as much as he was bothered by them.

              But he doesn’t seems to have been treated any differently than had he been a member of any run-of-the-mill atheist organization. Lets see a member of an atheist organization go around on CNN explaining all the problems he sees with evolution, and how he has been baptized and admits God is real.

              tell me with a straight face, the atheist organization would ignore him and not confront him about it?! any group, organiation, and/or church would naturally fire that person or ask them to leave.

              and blindly some here, in this blog, fly to his support thinking his church shouldn’t have asked him about all the public rants and hate speech against them? thats really funny to hear.. shouldn’t you be gleeful that he is finally able to live and express his life free from a bad relationship he had with his church? He can continue to pock at the church all he wants, run protests, and touch himself while praying to the enemy of God, but at least he isn’t using the church as a platform. wouldn’t you agree?

              His relationship with the church and BYU was as bad as an abusive relationship. Are you arguing that their ‘marriage’ should have continued on, despite the verbal abuse? of course the church asked for a divorce.

              http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/user/11935-curtis-penfold/page__tab__topics

              http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25591-gods-and-talismans/

              http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/22667-kali-worship/

            • Jack

              Exactly! It’s still a moot point regardless of whether it’s true or not.

          • tweedmeister

            Whattaya mean? You’re the same damn guy. What you’re doing is called “sock-puppeting.”

      • Sven2547

        You’re making some mighty big claims here. Would you mind sharing where you found this “information” that he prays to Satan?

        • Tangentialspiral

          Sven2547, it looks like the big claims weren’t hard to verify if you know how to use a computer.

          just copy paste some of those quotes. i read like 2 or 3 pages and feel like its a waste of time to look further. but it looks like Curtis was at least dumb enough to use his name while posting frightening things (depending on who you ask) in at least 2 forums. just search for yourself.

          i found this after another poster suggested to:

          http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25331-cross-dressing-and-worship/

          “I originally viewed them all as manifestations of the same God…
          Yesterday, I was chanting to Kali in the morning and it gave me great peace. Later that day, I need some creative juices for my work and I felt Baphomet come along and help me. I needed some self-control so I could sit down and do some homework after work, so I prayed to Jesus to help me.

          At night, after chanting to Kali, I gave a prayer thanking both Jesus and Baphomet for the help I received during the day. And that’s when it hit me how weird it was that I was praying to both Jesus and Baphomet. I started laughing just like you as I prayed. But I can’t deny that that’s what’s best for me right now.

          Tonight, I’m setting up an altar for Santa Muerte.”

          http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25654-what-gods-do-you-work-with-the-most-right-now/

          “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.”

          Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form of the Serpent, who I now view to be the hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was, trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience. He helps us leave this childish, false utopia and enter a more complicated and unsure world we call Reality.

          Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.

          http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25548-baphomet/

          what has to make sense is at least the guy getting kicked out of BYU was doing some bizarre stuff that doesn’t mesh well with the LDS church- summoning the devil for guidance-

          a roomate must of turned him in. For someone who believes in life after death and God etc, i’d be bothered if my roomate was spending hours praying to Baphomet characters and whatever.

          i digress.

          • Curtis Penfold

            You’ll notice that some of your posts your quoting me from are from a year ago. I was still transitioning into agnosticism at that time (later atheism).

            That recent post about Baphomet explains how I view Baphomet now, like a character from a book that I really relate with.

            Even if I was worshiping the devil, that’s a terrible reason to kick somebody out of an accredited university, out of their job, and out of their housing. And like I’ve said elsewhere, if you want to know what I believe, ask ME. Don’t stalk me and misquote me like this.

      • tweedmeister

        Your tinfoil hat is no longer fitting quite right. Go make yourself another.

      • Curtis Penfold

        What the fuck, you don’t even know me. And judging by your post, it doesn’t seem you know anything about the Occult, Satanism, Crowley, Hinduism or atheism either.

        Having spirits possess my body? Worshiping the fucking devil? What the fuck are you talking about? Stop making shit up. Stop following me online and stop trying to misquote me. If you want to know what I believe or don’t believe, ASK ME!

        You can e-mail me anytime.

      • 3lemenope

        Sued for libel in 3…2…1….
        ————————-

        I’m curious what your colorful spiel is supposed to convince the audience of, exactly, except that your church is comfortable slandering folks in order to protect its market share.

    • Jack

      Other sketchy cults? You do realise morons…sorry mormons (easy slip) are in a sketchy cult, right?

  • C Peterson

    While I can understand how somebody in his position would see these events as representing a kind of loss, even “losing it all”, the reality is that he lost nothing. The loss is an illusion, and in this separation from a corrupt organization he is actually gaining something huge. It takes courage to voluntarily separate yourself from a world that has provided comfort your whole life, even if it is a false comfort. I predict that Curtis will excel in his new life.

    • islandbrewer

      I honestly never wrestled with questions like that as an undergraduate. I am continuously impressed by young people (I’ll leave the definition of “young” subject to interpretation) who become so self-aware and make decisions like this.

    • Lando

      I’d guess the biggest loss is suddenly finding yourself without employment, housing, and financial assistance (not to mention any help from parents) at a very formative time. Not a great time to end up looking for a place to live on no income (not that it ever is, but I’d guess the guy didn’t have much of a security blanket/rainy day fund)

      • C Peterson

        Maybe so, but far better to run into such hardships as a college student, when his only real responsibility is himself. Later, he will have family, assets, a career. He’s still young enough to really change his direction with much less difficulty and risk.

        • Janice Gordon

          Perhaps now that he is no longer affiliated with the Mormon faith, he’ll avoid the pitfalls so many young LDS men and women fall into when they heed the admonitions of their religious leaders to marry and begin procreating A.S.A.P. and don’t worry about how you’re going to support your family.

      • Janice Gordon

        Not many BYU students do. Remember…he had only recently returned from a two year stint as a Mormon missionary. He came to the Y, and had only recently found employment.

    • This User Name

      Because secular academia is so ethical and un-corrupt…

      • C Peterson

        Well, yes, by and large it is.

        And I wasn’t particularly referring to BYU, but to Mormonism in general.

      • alfaretta

        For any institution that purports to be the unique possessor of the highest truth in the universe, “we’re no worse than the other guys” is a terrible defense.

    • Janice Gordon

      Curtis did lose quite a bit. He has lost the respect of his LDS relatives and a number of his LDS friends. He lost his employment, and his home on three days notice. Interestingly…the contract he signed requires that if he cannot sell his apartment contract, he must continue to pay rent even though he’s not allowed to live there. I DO agree with your prediction though. Curtis will excel wherever he goes and whatever he does.

      • C Peterson

        Well, as I suggested, those “losses” are actually gains. These are short-term losses that will lead to long term gains.

      • Steph

        As an LDS relative of Curtis, I am asking you not to speak for us.
        Curtis has just as much respect and love from us as he always has. We care about his situation and will do whatever we can to help. We still talk to him just as much as we used to and invite him to all of our family functions, just like we always have. Curtis leaving the church does not change the fact that he is a member of our family. He’s not the first to leave and I expect he won’t be the last. We have never and will never treat any member of the family that chooses to believe differently than us with any less respect. And as a family that’s terrible at keeping secrets, lying and being fake, that means we have no less respect. Thank you for refraining from speaking for this family.

        • Sam

          “We have never and will never treat any member of the family that chooses to believe differently than us with any less respect.”

          This is a pretty uncommon attitude for an LDS family. Shunning would be a more typical response.

          • Steph

            Shunning is a very un-Christ like thing to do. Besides that, every family is different. To assume that all LDS families are alike is very close-minded and judgemental of you. You clearly do not know us.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Here you go:
              2 John 1:9-11
              Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

              2 Thessalonians 3:6
              Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.

              The point is that nobody is Christ-like, unless you are all insane and intending to commit suicide-by-cop before your 34th birthday. I would venture to say that nobody today knows anything about Christ, assuming such a person ever even existed. Today you follow a book, interpreted by men who interpret it how those who came before interpreted it, with minor variations cropping up every once in a while, sometimes leading to gnashing of teeth and lamentation of women.

              The NT is chock-full of instructions of what to do with unbelievers, and usually it’s to ignore them and let them be. It may be not Christ-like, but it is definitely Christian-like.

        • R2D3

          I dont feel comfortable telling Curtis how i feel on his facebook wall, or he’d probably unfriend me and blame me, but as a fellow student on campus and friend i can’t help but agree with the school. I do feel bad for his situation, i really do, but there’s an old post of his i read on cuteculturechick.com, and in the comments someone commented how Curtis prayed to Heavenly Mother, and cross-dreased while talking about his private parts or something. it was a while back. But a few of us saw a couple other Luciferian posts of his and it always made me feel uncomfortable etc.

          thats fine and all, but when your school is funded through tithing of the other members, and you’re living a lie, and going into the sacred temple, while praying to demons, i dont feel bad for him. im happy he’s not living a lie anymore. he’ll be able to better express himself.

          One of his roomate’s friends told me how concearned they were when they heard he brought in evil spirits into their dorm building:

          “I’ve been wanting to pray to Santa Muerte. I have no
          room for an altar in my little apartment shared with three otherMormons. So as everybody’s asleep, I print off
          a picture of Santa Muerte, stick it to my bathroom wall, light a whitecandle on the container of water on my toilet, light some jasmine incense, kneeldown and call on her. “I’m thinking perhaps I should approach her in
          Spanish. Thanks for helping me with the posture part. I’m used to kneeling to pray, so it takes me awhile before my knees start to hurt. But I’ll try to make the prayers a little longer so I can get to that point.. I felt the need to kiss the picture. I feel my love for her growing, and I’m starting to think about her more and more.”

          http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25676-my-first-experience-w-santa-muerte/

          • http://an-expatriate-in-cambridge.blogspot.com The Expatriate

            No offense, but you sound like you should be in a mental ward, not BYU.

            • R2D3

              for the record. that quote at the end is attributed to Curtis not me. I dont think its fair for you to say his comment merits him going to a mental ward, just because he’s different.

              just because he thinks differently doesn’t make him any more crazy than someone else.

              He’s not a bad person, in fact he’s entirely sweet and wonderful. But this few months he seems a little off. He’s just really confused, in my opinion. I clicked on that link to see that first weird quote of his, and then looked to see if there were others on that site. the other ones were about praying to dark beings who he called down. I had no clue that curtis was so deeply invovled and even talks about reading books from Alistar Crawly.

              Alistar teaches animal blood sacrifice and says its desirable to do child-sacrifice and sorcery in elaborate rituals.

              While its clear he’s confused, i know him as to be a good person but I’ll admit that his associating with occultists like Alistar worries me and other friends of his.

              Anyone who prays to dark beings to enter their body or possess them, needs help. I really hope he finds a way to get over this dark path.

              • C Peterson

                I think it’s you who was being told you should be in an institution, not Curtis.

                People who pray are off, and confused. It doesn’t matter if they pray to “dark beings” or “angels” or “gods”. Crazy is crazy. People who seriously use words like “Luciferian” are crazy. People who think occultism is more dangerous than any other religion are crazy.

      • Jeremiah

        Janice, you presume to speak for a very large and diverse family as Curtis’s without actually knowing us and as his cousin I clearly respect him still and his decisions and still love him as he is family and families love eachother no matter the decisions one make. Please do not presume to speak for us on this matter.

    • Dredsina

      BYU tries to make sure you lose as much as they can make you when they kick you out. They’ll put a hold on your transcripts, and sometimes retroactively revoke your degree. They want you to suffer for not believing.

  • advancedatheist

    This guy basically did it all wrong because you need to become employable, find a job, get out of debt and have an F.U. Fund (a year’s living expenses in savings) before you announce your apostasy. The last especially should take priority because you don’t want to have to move back in with your religiously obsessed parents in case you lose your job. You just don’t have any urgency to tell your family that you’ve forsworn their gods until you can protect yourself financially.

    • alfaretta

      It may have escaped your notice, but he didn’t announce his apostasy to his church — he was outed as having opinions they didn’t like. When faced with the near-certainty of being disfellowshipped and thrown out of his home, his job and his school in the very near future, he decided to be pro-active and leave on his own.

    • Artor

      Certainly things would be easier that way, but the guy got tired of lying just to get along. Points for honesty to him, and you don’t exactly have the standing to tell him how to live rationally, knowing your posting history.

    • Randay

      When I started college, I left my Lutheran fundamentalist parent’s without a care. Whatever would happen to me was better than what had been happening. I got through, but I don’t care if I hadn’t and wasn’t here to write this. There was no alternative. Basically your advice is BS.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Cause lying and getting everything you can from the system is MUCH more important than personal integrity……

    • Sven2547

      This guy basically did it all wrong…

      It’s rare to see a more obvious example of blaming-the-victim than this.

      • baal

        I’ll grant AA one award. He’s pretty clear and open about his various bigotries.

      • motormouthrush

        there you go again little Sven2547.

        Its rare to see a more obvious example of claiming-the-religious leader than this.

        as i posted above. below posts and blogs penned by Curtis himself, there are those who have shed light on who he really is. He’s not some helpless atheist so much as he is a devil worshipper. Literally calling down BAPHOMET or Santa Muerte to possess his body and all the other things i posted. And Kali, who’s spirit brainwashed him and gave him a psychological high, who proceeded to change his head into her goddess head etc. the guy is scary.

        there’s no way this kid is the victim… if its fun for you to believe his story though, be my guest.

  • ConureDelSol

    Maybe we could set up a small fundraiser to help this guy until he gets a new job or money for finishing his degree? I can’t imagine his parents are helping him with the costs after all this.

  • Art_Vandelay

    This reminds me…I think I’m still a registered Catholic with the local diocese. How do I get excommunicated? Can I just write the bishop a scathing letter telling him what a shithead I think he is?

    • Quintin van Zuijlen

      These days you have to get excommunicated.

      • alfaretta

        An American Mormon sued a few years ago for the right to resign rather than be excommunicated, and as I recall, he won. It was his choice to leave, which the church was denying him.

        If the Catholic Church refuses to allow resigning, I think some American Catholic should follow suit.

        • Matt Potter

          His name was Norman Hancock and it was in 1985. He submitted his resignation before they excommunicated him. There’s also precedence from Guinn V. The Church of Christ in Collinville (OK).

          • alfaretta

            Didn’t realize it had been that long ago! Thanks!

            That makes it even more surprising to me that there’s been no similar attempt by Catholics in the U.S.

            I seem to recall reading that in Ireland there WAS a mechanism for resigning at one time, but then too many people took advantage of it for the Church’s taste and they withdrew that capability.

      • Art_Vandelay

        And I’m willing but seriously, what do I do? I’m a straight, white, male…almost powerless to piss them off enough.

        • Pofarmer

          Good luck. Right now I’m trying to get it to where my boys don’t have to be confirmed. If they want to do it later, then that’s O.K. But, I don’t believe in putting that kind of pressure on 14 year old kids. Plus, as you illustrate, once the Church has you, they want to keep you.

        • Sweetredtele

          Attend mass, when they ring the dinner bell, pull out a bag of unconsecrated wafers and have a snack.

          • Art_Vandelay

            Yeah but that would require…you know…”Attending Mass.”

            Ew.

          • BoGardiner

            Or for greater effectiveness, use consecrated wafers.

        • alfaretta

          If you try to resign, you don’t have to do anything outrageous to piss them off — just write a letter to your local bishop and tell him you don’t want to be a Catholic anymore because you don’t believe in God. ([on edit] Any particular doctrines or actions of the Church you object to should/could be included too.)

          • Art_Vandelay

            ([on edit] Any particular doctrines or actions of the Church you object to should/could be included too.)

            Oh Jeez…I’m not sure there’s enough paper. Do I have to write this in like sacrificed Ram’s blood or do they just have a form online? I’m guessing they don’t make it that easy.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Might as well. What’s the worst that can happen? Is he going to send you to hell? Lol.

    • ShoeUnited

      I’ve been thinking about this for some time. My current idea is sitting through mass, and then going to the priest and grabbing a handful of wafers from the chalice and scattering them all over the floor. Then do nothing else disruptive. Not sure yet.

    • islandbrewer

      Traditionally and statistically, the best way of getting excommunicated is to declare yourself the Pope. Moving to Avignon is optional, I think. Can I start calling you your Holiness, now?

      • Art_Vandelay

        I prefer “Vandelay the Awesome.”

    • Janice Gordon

      All you need do to be excommunicated is to resign membership.

    • Ranger Ginger

      Nope, the only real way today is to blasphem the Holy Spirit! Calling the bishop a shithead may in fact just be the truth! They have taken away the option of resigning! It keeps those numbers up! So find a priest, record the event and blasphem away! Then send that to the Pope lol!

    • Y. A. Warren

      I think you have to publicly denounce one of the dogmatic beliefs of The RCC. Let us know if it works.

  • Bob Becker

    BYU makes no bones about its conduct and belief standards and you agree to them on enrollment. Nothing wrong with the school holding students to their agreements. However, when something like this happens, the school could/ should act with a modicum of class, inform the student that the association is not working for either party anymore and so at the end of the current semester he will have to leave. End of the current semester.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Class? When has any religion shown class when faced with apostasy.

      • baal

        At least they aren’t directly murdering apostates? (heh and this points out why comparing down is a bad thing)

    • Stev84

      Very few people really understand what they get themselves into when they sign such “code of conduct” BS.

      • baal

        I’m far from convinced that signing a “code of conduct” can grant another party legal rights to do all those things.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        What kind of code of conduct infringes on your first ammendment rights? I’m pretty sure that’s unconstitutional….

    • alfaretta

      Calling a student the anti-Christ and shutting him down any time he tries to say anything is not behaving with even a minimum of class.

      He is being cast into the outer darkness in their eyes and therefore they have no obligation to treat him with any respect or consideration.

      • Motorheadrush

        Alfaretta, bro, why you gotta be so anxious to throw down your opinion before knowing both sides to the argument? .. Im just playing, i dont blame you for falling victim to a bleeding heart story by that guy.

        I was doing a paper for my Institute about atheism/agnosticism, and was looking up Stories of BYU students turning to atheism, and atheists becoming religious and the dynamics that each person might encounter in their transition. I couldn’t help but notice this story of a kid leaving BYU. in the comment sections of another website i saw someone post link to this kid’s satanic influence disguised as atheism.

        Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums. That Aleister promotes child-sacrifice inside a pentagram drawing on the ground. Curtis teaches others how to lie to the bishop online so they can get a temple recommend. He lights candles to Santa Muerte,kisses her picture, and kneels for hours while calling down her spirit to take over his body when his roomates go to sleep… just google his name and any of the above to see he’s batting for the opposing team and later acting confused why his team’s coach was scratching his head.

        I saw someone post his quote in a comment section where Curtis said, “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
        Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
        containing both good and bad, masculine and
        feminine, light and dark, He/She also represents the Universe, full of good
        and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow
        to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

        “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
        of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
        hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
        trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form
        as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring
        the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.”

        The devil is the serpent in the adam and eve story. The devil is baphomet. (just google image who baphomet is). Curtis says Baphomet inspires him to take the knowledge he’s gained, while being possessed, to the rest of humanity. To teach others and bring evil to things to the public.

        I can only imagine what else admitted to his Bishop. With how bizarre he sounds i can’t help but wonder what the Bishops side of the story is.

        Imagine this. Imagine If he were part of an atheist organization but decided to go around publicizing how he actually thought God is real and that we need to follow his teachings or we’ll be damned. What do you think that atheist organization might think? do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them? .. of course you’d agree… Just be honest with yourself, you posted your comment because you are angry at religion and therefore assume any religious leader must be in the wrong.

        you nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

        every institution/organization has a set of codes or set of values of which the members adhere to. If a football player secretly hated his team, and took advice from the opposing team’s coach and then returned to his teamates, encouraging them to leave the team, dont you think some of his fellow teamates and coach might have cause for concern?

        only in this case it appears that Curtis proudly has devoted himself to Satan (his own words) and is trying to cause dissention from within.

        poor devil worshipper, his christian church asked if they could help him and he embarrassingly leaves. and makes it look like he was a victim of oppression.

  • M.S.

    I wonder what would’ve been the outcome in Curtis’s faith-life or Mormon doubts if he had been kindly and humanely engaged in a conversation with his stake, rather than degraded and subdued.

    • Motormouthrush

      who said he was degraded and subdued? looks like an atheist read between the lines of an atheist article, written by an atheist who is retelling the story of a self proclaimed devil worshipper (curtis P)

      I hate to repost but the ignorance on this page is unbearable.

      Curtis admits all over in posts:

      a member of the occult forum cautions Curtis and asks him, “Hmm you sure that’s Baphomet you want? I only ask because it’s usually used in Satanism”
      Curtis doesn’t seem to be bothered:
      “Since posting this, I’ve gained
      a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come
      to love a great deal.. For me, Baphomet has come to become the
      Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as
      a complete person, containing both good and bad, masculine and feminine, light and dark, weak and strong. He/She
      also represents the Universe, full of good and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow to love every moment, both
      pleasurable and painful…”

      “Baphomet has also come to me
      in my mind’s eye in the form of the
      Serpent, who I now view to be the hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the
      Serpent was, trying to free us from this
      false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and
      disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form
      as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring the
      knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and
      uncomfortable to light.” http://www.interfaithforums.com/wicca/14140-baphomet.html

      did you see that? He basically just admitted he gets inspired to be an activist after praying to satan. Baphomet and/or the snake are the devil.

      “I just read about Baphomet in wikipdedia, and I got interested in having
      experiences with him/her. I didn’t really know where to post this thread, so perhaps I should’ve posted it among the
      Satanist threads. But I knew Wiccans practiced magick, and that some
      might be aware of Aleister Crowley’s
      magick which also gives reference to Baphomet.

      Should I repost this in the Satanist board?”

      http://www.interfaithforums.com/wicca/14140-baphomet.html

      “I’ve been currently worshiping God
      in the form of my Heavenly Mother. As I worship her, I feel that femininity is something sacred, and I’m
      beginning to feel connected to my
      inner-feminine. I have this desire to cross-dress. As I do so in my mind, I
      feel more strongly connected to my inner-feminine. Afterwards, I feel even more
      masculine. I love my scruff and penis
      and hanging loose with the guys even more.

      Anybody else have any experiences worshiping the Great Mother?”

      http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/24939-mother-goddess/

      “I’ve been wanting to pray to Santa Muerte. I
      have no room for an altar in my little apartment shared with three other
      Mormons. So as everybody’s asleep, I print off a picture of Santa Muerte, stick
      it to my bathroom wall, light a white candle on the container of water on my
      toilet, light some jasmine incense, kneel down and give a “Our
      Father,” 3 Hail Marys, and a Glory Be…” Then he proceeds to kiss her… “I’m thinking perhaps I should approach her in
      Spanish. Thanks for helping me with the posture part. I’m used to kneeling
      to pray, so it takes me awhile before my
      knees start to hurt. But I’ll try to make the prayers a little longer so I
      can get to that point.

      Last night, I remembered how
      many Mexicans kiss their Saints out of respect. And so, I felt the need to kiss the picture. I feel my love for her growing,
      and I’m starting to think about her more and more.”

      http://occultcorpus.com/forums/index.php?/topic/25676-my-first-experience-w-santa-muerte/

      these are quotes that people in the comment sections have been throwing around since he announced his dissent from the church.

      The Satanic book titles he boasts to have read and studied elaborate how to do child-sacrifice. I wouldn’t dare assume he’s into that sort of thing but only to point out that he is batting for the wrong team and then acting surprised why his coach is pulling him aside for questioning.

      • David

        In reading these posts it sounds to me like he is just inventing different ‘gods’ that represent something to him. Like for Santa Muerta he is coming to terms with his mortality and trying to appreciate every moment of life that he has. For Baphomet he is embracing the masculine and feminine sides of his nature. From what he says I don’t think he even really believes that any such beings exist. They just represent something meaningful for him. I think Curtis probably would have felt right at home in Joseph Smith’s church. Many fundamentalist Christians are convinced Mormonism is satanic because of Joseph Smith’s association with the occult. Curtis’ avatar on the occult site appears to be Joseph Smith with his head in a hat receiving the Book of Mormon translation through his seer stone. My understanding is that all kinds of magical beliefs were prevalent among early members of the church. Maybe that is why he still felt a connection to Mormonism and was sticking around BYU and going to the temple. He definitely has an appreciation for ritual. And he also seems to feel a connection to the Mormon doctrine that there is a heavenly mother. I don’t feel that bad for him because I think Curtis should have transferred to another school after the last semester. He already knew he was an atheist in February so he should have made plans to transfer in the fall. In posting so publicly about his beliefs under his real name he was just asking for a literal believer in Mormonism to freak out that he was calling down evil spirits into the dorm and report him to the stake president.

        • Curtis Penfold

          I really should’ve left BYU last summer. I’m with you there. I thought I could keep hiding, but as this semester went on, the weight of hiding and pretending to be something I’m not grew stronger and stronger.

          Which is why I started planning on just leaving after this semester. And then, I got called into the stake president’s office.

          (And yes, for me these occult concepts are symbolic, poetic, artistic, theatrical. I don’t believe in any supernatural entities out there, just to make that clear).

          • David

            You could have easily cried and told the stake president you repent. I guarantee the spirit wouldn’t have clued him in on anything as long as you were a good enough actor. Good for you for not letting them manipulate you into doing that, using the money you had already paid in tuition as leverage. It sucks that you lost that money plus all the work that you had put into your classes so far this semester but at least BYU is about the cheapest school in the country and now you are free.

      • Jack

        I love that you think stating this over and over makes all this okay. You’re obviously more deluded than anyone could imagine if you think atheists are suddenly going to think this was all right because he’s not an atheists, he’s a satanist and that makes it bad. I’ve said it before, atheists don’t believe in satan and so we couldn’t care less if he’s praying to a difference non-existent being. In fact that’s preferable over being a part of a church that discriminates!

  • cryofly

    Although I know very little of the fictional life of fictional Korihor, I would still be honored to be called one.

    My belief is that Mr. Curtis Penfold is turning a corner and is getting on to the real road to living a truthful and fruitful life. All the best to him.

  • SattaMassagana

    “to finish off his bachelor’s degree.” I was under the impression they withhold the transfer credits as well in this scenario, good for him if they don’t

    • Artor

      I think he could sue the school if they withheld his credits. Of course, another school might not accept credits from BYU, depending on their academic reputation in the subject.

  • Loic

    Those criticizing Curtis for attending a religious school (the “you knew what you were getting into” finger-pointers) should remember that the college decision is made when a young person is usually still very much under the influence of their parents and religious group. Researchers tell us that at the age of 18 or so, the brain makes a big leap in the development of judgement … just in time for college. Many kids, for the first time, are distant from the influence of their parents’ religious indoctrination, and are able to see religion for what it really is. Woe unto the budding atheist who wakes up from their programming and finds him- or herself at a religious college!

    However, as other posters have mentioned, religious colleges can also be a great place to sort out your atheism. The intensive study of holy scriptures helps smart kids see what a crock they are. I myself was coerced to attend a Christian college (my parents wouldn’t help me pay for a secular school, and even if they would, I was too young and confused to go against their wishes). The college featured a very scholarly study of the bible, including the historic origins, archaeology, etc.–which was just what I needed to escape the programming! And still comes in handy upon the occasional event of having a conversation about that particular fiction with believers.

    My experience upon being outed as a doubter was similar to that of Curtis. I was interrogated at length by a series of school officials, treated as a criminal, and eventually expelled. My crimes were thought crimes–but the professor who sounded the alarm about my questioning did me a favor. Cast out of the garden, I was forced to wrest myself from the religious world more quickly than I otherwise might have.

    The only thing I regret is that my parents took a lot of shit for having a non-believer child … I wish they hadn’t been collateral damage.

    • Janice Gordon

      With Mormons…it’s pretty much in for a dime, in for a dollar. When my extended family realized the direction I was headed, they pretty much shunned me completely. I’m not invited to the family activities and reunions. My son was pretty much ignored by his Mormon aunts, uncles and cousins. I hope you still have a decent relationship with your parents, Loic.

    • nonhating unbeliever

      All of this “he was still young and impressionable” stuff is complete bunk. Even if it was true that he was intellectually undeveloped to the point that he just did what he was told at 18 or 19, he could, later, after having decided he was no longer interested in his church, have transferred to a different school and taken most of his credits with him while still in good standing. If he needed to speak out against his church, or leave it, he could have done so with no educational or housing repercussions at that point. The FACT is; he is flatly refusing to be in ANY way responsible for the actions leading up to this. The person who turned in a folder on him is a cowardly busybody, but they aren’t the one who signed contracts and then violated them under his own name on multiple public forums.

      • rileyfuzzel

        I wouldn’t be so judgmental. You assume he knew how fast things were developing. If he was still coming to grips with his changing view of religion he may have had some other plans for the future, but suddenly being confronted and forced to make choices changes things drastically. Had he not been confronted he may well have transferred the next semester, it isn’t clear at all from the story what his future plans were. As for using his own name on multiple public forums… naiveté is a possibility.

        The things I suggest here could be completely off, but I would hold off judgement without more information.

      • Jack

        Mormons really shelter their kids though so this is assuming that they’ve actually had the opportunity to question. They’re indoctrinated and surrounded by those of the same belief. Only when they start to gain more freedom and independence with age, and especially college age, do many find out that not everyone shares their beliefs and despite that, they’re not actually these immoral monsters they’re taught to believe people who don’t believe in God are. Many may have actually had doubts for years, but because of the indoctrination and potential shunning from their family and peers they’ve kept it quiet. Once they gain that independence and freedom to research and ask questions (something the internet is great for) can they escape indoctrination and get a more true view of the rest of the world and that it’s actually okay to question your faith and even completely drop it!

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

    I fucking hate religious schools. They charge three times the tuition of other colleges, force students to conform to their ridiculous behavior standards that forbid basic human needs and experiences , and they push their dogma and mythology in every class. Who wants to pay three times the price so that you can get the same indoctrination that been getting at church anyway, minus the education and fun experiences you’d get at a secular college?

    • Rebel

      Actually, BYU’s tuition is phenomenally low for LDS members, less than $2500 a semester, and less than $5000 for non-LDS. Say what you want about the other things that go along with attending a private religious institution, but that’s not one of their problems.

      • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

        See my comment below about PLU and UW. I don’t know shit about BYU living in WA.

    • midnight rambler

      BYU actually has a very good (and genuinely scientific) biology department. I would have applied for a job there if it weren’t for the insane rules they make you comply with (no shorts, no facial hair, men must have short hair and women must have long hair, etc.).

  • Pofarmer

    Korb Lund has a pretty good song about it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t90u1nPuNgQ

  • baal

    I didn’t know about Korihor…Mr.Smith had an active imagination (unless the big K was added later?).

    I love that Curtis ended his blog post with a quote from Albert Camus,

    The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

  • Matt Potter

    My wife and I grew up in LDS households, married in the temple, and submitted our resignations a little over 4 years ago. This particular story is actually fairly common at BYU and the LDS church as a whole. The church is very critical of members writing anything that could even remotely be seen as disapproving or questioning. This is a church where a member of their twelve apostles, Boyd K. Packer, has publicly stated “Some things that are true are not very useful.” The church has no interest in members sharing their opinions and constantly monitors the activities of the members, especially those posted online.

    • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

      Sickening. They are violating their members first ammendment rights and punishing them for thought crime. The church of lds shouldn’t exist. What they are doing is evil.

    • Stev84

      Maybe stop calling it a church and name it for what it is: a cult

      And yes, contrary to popular quips, there is a difference and there are criteria for cults especially when it comes to behavior and mind control.

      • Ron

        “The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own” ~Frank Zappa

      • Lochetic

        Characteristics of a Cult;

        1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

        2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

        3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

        4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

        5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

        6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

        7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

        8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

        9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

        10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

        11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

        12. The group is preoccupied with making money.

        13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

        14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

        • Stev84

          Yep. Some of those points are a matter of degrees, but you can still easily distinguish Catholics and Mormons for example.

          The Pope may be god’s representative on Earth on paper, but in practice he holds far less direct power than the top Mormon apostle. If you are a lay Catholic who doesn’t directly work for the church, you are not going to be punished for disagreement. If you leave, you won’t be shunned. The Catholic Church does not direct you to only socialize with other Catholics. Catholic ceremony aren’t secretive. They don’t hide their own history. Again for non-employees, Church rules are rarely enforced.

          Or take the level of enforced conformity and pastoral authority between a mainline Protestant church and a fundamentalist church with a dictatorial head pastor (Independent Baptist Fundamentalist or something like Mars Hill).

          • N.Y.ismine

            “sir, why are you catholic?”
            response, every time, “uhhhhhh, well, my dad was catholic, his dad was catholic….”

            i rarely meet a catholic that believes the church is constructive. they inherently believe in God, but past that they dont know anything about any verse in the bible.

            Church services include ZERO learning. Just repeating prayers that someone else wrote. there’s a dark feeling, when everything is robotic, there is no enlightenment going on. their faith doesn’t motivate and thats why every catholic i know is as foul mouthed, gets drunk at parties, talks about women in degrading ways and the list goes on.

            basically, they dont live their religion. that is proof to me that if Christ’s gospel is so compelling, then why are they not living exemplary lives?

            The mormons ive met through work and school actually seem to live according to what they preach. Its as if they attend church, learn something, and apply it. I went to a service 4 years back and i was surprised how laid back it felt, i learned some applicable life lessons. On the other hand, ive been to the catholic church countless times and its is void of any cheerfulness, no sharing with one another, no striving to improve, nothing.

          • Anna

            It seems to me like Mormons are much closer to conservative evangelicals. Catholics have their share of fundies, though. I talked to one in the comment section who said she refused to allow her children to socialize with kids who were not from (presumably conservative) Catholic families. And SJH admitted that he would not let his teenagers (teenagers!) have a conversation with people of opposing views unless he was there in the room to monitor what was being said.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    Is it not time we started to boycott the businesses of these steak presidents and elders muffets?

  • http://thecriticalatheist.com/ David Joseph Post

    I went through this myself earlier this year. Granted, I wasn’t going to BYU, don’t work for the church or live in church housing, but my wife is still a member. If you are investigating the church (a Mormon term for non-members who are interested in learning more) they fully welcome you, if you question their beliefs they will try to keep you away with a 10 foot pole for fear that others might be influenced by you.
    You can find my story here:
    http://thecriticalatheist.com/blog/im-an-atheist-now-what/

  • Iothisk

    Okay, for any who want to know the Korihor story:

    Korihor is Joseph Smith’s caricature of an atheist. He was an anti-christ that got kicked from town to town for blasphemy. His philosophy preached an odd mixture of naturalism and nihilism. After an absurdly fallacious argument with Alma, the political and spiritual ruler of the land (who posited that the stars and planets are signs of God) He struck Korihor silent with the power of god. Korihor then wrote a confession explaining that Satan appeared to him as an angel of light that told him what to say. Korihor begged to be able to speak again but Alma refused to lift the holy “curse” and the mute Korihor, who became a beggar, was later trampled to death by an evil mob, because god’s love obviously.

    Read Alma 30 if you want the unabridged story.

    There are certain things I like about Korihor: that he spoke out against religious oppression and the foolishness of christian tradition for example. However, because he is a caricature, he is an amoral bastard who preached might is right not because that was his own rational conclusion, but because he was coached by Satan himself.

    Which just goes to show: If Satan loves you enough, he’ll actually show up!

    • Lochetic

      I feel bad for Korihor. He stated (wrote) he was wrong and admitted he was deceived by an angel (or Satan) yet instead of extending “christ-like” forgiveness, Alma kicked him to the curb. Also, the story goes out of its way to tell the reader that Korihor was free to express his thoughts. That there was no law against what he was doing, yet he was arrested (bound) and brought before Alma. To much contradiction, even for a fictional work.

      • Iothisk

        I would feel bad for Korihor if his teachings were well-reasoned or included some type of humanist compassion, but they aren’t and they don’t. He said that “whatsoever a man did was no crime” so why should he complain about being smitten silent or getting trampled? Why should he care that others were being deceived? The inconsistency is obvious, so a reader can only assume he’s there just to be a villain. Korihor’s character isn’t meant to have depth or redeeming qualities. He’s a caricature, a straw man for god to knock down. Typical antagonist for pro-religious propaganda.

        • Lochetic

          I don’t completely disagree with your assessment. However, he was arrested and punished for doing something that wasn’t illegal. Further, all the claims regarding forgiveness and rescuing the lost sheep (Korihor) are completely inconsistent with the story. I was merely pointing out the ridiculousness of the contradictions within the story. How can Korihor be an “Atheist” if he sees a supernatural being?

          • Iothisk

            It is indeed it’s own caliber of ridiculous. But what do you expect? it’s basically bible fanfiction.

            I do count Korihor as an atheist, at least at first – he denies or doubts the existence of god, that’s all that’s required. We do well to remember that just because one doesn’t believe in god doesn’t always mean they’re also critical/skeptical of other supernatural or ill-reasoned baloney. I don’t personally know anyone like that, but I’m sure there are a handful of kooks out there that believe in angels and demons but not in gods. Such people would technically be atheists, as inconsistent as it seems.

  • Jeff

    Well written letter. But it’s like going to a FB post (or hey, a blog like this one), screaming how much you hate something that was said, posting your hatred, then telling everyone you are unfriending/not subscribing to the blog any more. Other than personal satisfaction, does he really believe anyone in power at BYU is going to get their magic undies in a test over this?

    • islandbrewer

      I can’t speak to what Curtis believes, but the LDS church is rather desperate to be taken seriously as a mainstream belief system. They really really don’t like bad publicity.

      Here in California, during the Prop. 8 campaign, the LDS church not only bankrolled the movement in favor of Prop. 8 (against same sex marriage), but spent tons and tons of money on an elaborate shell game to disguise the fact that they bankrolled it, including using the Catholic Church as cover. Mormon Inc., aka The Church of Jesus Christ Later-Day Saints, has an enormous PR department.

      In short, yeah, I think there are already several pairs of magic undies bunched up over this.

      • Stev84

        Seems like they got over that though. They are currently very heavily involved in preventing a marriage equality bill in Hawaii. Complete with letting readings for everyone and commands to do something against it. The exact same thing they did in 1993

    • alfaretta

      How many already-questioning BYU students and other young LDS will hear his story and read his letter? How many will start to question because of it? You never know how many people you’ll affect with an episode like this.

  • Janice Gordon

    The interesting thing about the way Curtis Penfold is being treated, is that non Mormons are allowed to study at BYU, and allowed to live in BYU approved housing, while Mormon students who resign membership are booted to the curb. Another interesting thing…BYU students are required to live in housing which is specifically approved by the Administration of BYU. There is such a thing as the Fair Housing Act, but it appears that it doesn’t apply to Universities owned and operated by religious corporations. This needs to be changed. An individual should not be evicted with 3 days notice simply because he stops believing in a specific religion.

  • aflockofplatypi

    So I’m a Mormon and I attend BYU. I consider myself a faithful member and active in my religion. With that said, I highly disagree with BYU’s policy on kicking people out based on religious choices. As a religion that touts religious tolerance and allowing “all men the privilege to worship how, where, or what they may” I find their behaviour hypocritical and abhorrent.

    My sympathies are with Curtis and any others like him at our university. Exploration of beliefs and asking questions is the only true way to find one’s self and their true beliefs.

    • Rationalist1

      Good for you.

      Now will you petition your university to change its policy and encourage like minded students to do the same. Change comes only from within.

      • aflockofplatypi

        I actually did a few years ago when I deferred from the university for a few years. I was trying to figure out where I was going and knew that it wasn’t a place for me to be at the time. After discussing my situation with a group of peers, together we wrote to the president of the school and expressed our concerns. In my program (music) we talk about it a lot…maybe we’re all just a little more liberal than the rest of the school. The letters themselves didn’t seem to do much, but I intend to write another letter before I graduate this semester. :)

        Regardless of whether or not change comes, at least I know that I stood up for what I believed in and have tried to support others who feel cast out; that’s not a feeling anyone should have to feel ever.

        • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

          I must say, you are surprisingly accepting and rational. That hasn’t always been my experience with mormons. I applaud you sir. It sounds like you’d fit right in with us secular humanists but if you are happy where you are then hopefully you can convince more of your fellows to think like you.

    • Motormouthrush

      aflockofplatpi:

      your sympathies are with curtis? people can worship who and what they want? what if that being is Satan and they are openly doing satanic rituals to be possessed by demons? if your roomate was doing that, tell me you would be fine with it?

      i’ll repost what i posted earlier:

      i dont blame you for falling victim to a bleeding heart story by that guy. The shady behavior is done by curtis. After reading some of his satanic quotes you’ll likely think twice about what curtis says. I doubt someone even turned a portfolio in, he may have turned himself in and made up an elaborate story for all we know.

      I was doing a paper for my Institute about atheism/agnosticism, and was looking up Stories of BYU students turning to atheism, and atheists becoming religious and the dynamics that each person might encounter in their transition. I couldn’t help but notice this story of a kid leaving BYU. in the comment sections of another website i saw someone post link to this kid’s satanic influence disguised as atheism.

      Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums. That Aleister promotes child-sacrifice inside a pentagram drawing on the ground. Curtis teaches others how to lie to the bishop online so they can get a temple recommend. He lights candles to Santa Muerte,kisses her picture, and kneels for hours while calling down her spirit to take over his body when his roomates go to sleep… just google his name and any of the above to see he’s batting for the opposing team and later acting confused why his team’s coach was scratching his head.

      I saw someone post his quote in a comment section where Curtis said, “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
      Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
      containing both good and bad, masculine and
      feminine, light and dark, He/She also represents the Universe, full of good
      and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow
      to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

      “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
      of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
      hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
      trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.”

      The devil is the serpent in the adam and eve story. The devil is baphomet. (just google image who baphomet is). Curtis says Baphomet inspires him to take the knowledge he’s gained, while being possessed, to the rest of humanity. To teach others and bring evil to things to the public.

      I can only imagine what else admitted to his Bishop. With how bizarre he sounds i can’t help but wonder what the school’s side of the story is.

      Imagine this. Imagine If he were part of an atheist organization but decided to go around publicizing how he actually thought God is real and that we need to follow his teachings or we’ll be damned. What do you think that atheist organization might think? do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them? .. of course you’d agree… Just be honest with yourself, you posted your comment because you are angry at religion and therefore assume any religious leader must be in the wrong.

      you nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

      every institution/organization has a set of codes or set of values of which the members adhere to. If a football player secretly hated his team, and took advice from the opposing team’s coach and then returned to his teamates, encouraging them to leave the team, dont you think some of his fellow teamates and coach might have cause for concern?

      only in this case it appears that Curtis proudly has devoted himself to Satan (his own words) and is trying to cause dissention from within.

      I dont feel bad for a devil worshipper, his christian church asked if they could help him and he embarrassingly leaves. and makes it look like he was a victim of oppression. He had to have expected this to happen unless he wanted the drama and brought it up himself as a publicity stunt.

      I saw someone else post this quotes of his:

      > >”Because it’s been suggested to make new threads regarding the deities we work with, I’ve decided to make a new thread for Kali describing my relationship with Her.

      After spending weeks of chanting her name, I
      did a meditation on her image..the head she was holding became my head. All the heads became my head. I pondered on the significance..

      ..I found that I was in her womb as a
      full-grown man with an umbilical cord..
      I’ve entered a stage of darkness ..Santa Muerte has been
      helping me through this darkness, helping me learn to love the darkness as a place where all is possible..

      As I love Kali,
      I can love the Darkness that much more.”
      Kali says, “I am the mighty sorceress,

      ..she drinks the blood of the saints through the Holy Grail.
      (Kali also drinks the blood of a certain demon.. is impregnated by the blood that she drinks and gives birth to the Saints that she seems to have killed. As the Gnostic Creed goes:
      in Her name BABALON.”"

      Natalie is perfectly right, “his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders.”

      one cant help but flag Curtis’ sob story after hearing that he prays to satan and other gods who poesses his self proclaimed hermophroditic body. This god he prays to kills and eats the saints of god. those saints are members of his former church.

      a little freaky, praying to a demon and feeling that “her head became my head, all the heads became my head,” thats devil worshipping to a T.

      Every bishop i’ve had has been an exemplary person with the most love and kindness etc. With quotes like Curtis, of worshipping Satan for inspiration, i cant help but not take him at his word.

      If curtis came to me saying he does elaborate rituals to summon down spirits of santa Muerte, Baphomet, Kali, etc. i’d try to help him. There’s no doubt. but do you think he sounds like a trustworthy guy? Baphomet inspires him to be an activist and take that info to all of humanity etc. there’s more going on than meets the eye.

      He writes for the school newspaper, has been interviewed by national news agencies, like CNN for his having started the LGBT parade in provo, etc etc, you dont think its a priestcraft, to walk around in the lime light as a devout member or the church while actually trying to rip the church apart?

      the devil is in the details. If only he we saw the real evidence that seems to have been turned in. there’s just a few quotes form these forums.

      • Whiskey_Tango

        If there is no God then how can there be a Satan? If he really does have these silly little beliefs then how can that be a problem for anyone? Satanism is as powerless as Mormonism

      • Jack

        I worry less about Satan worshippers than I ever will about any other religion. A lot of atheists would likely say the same because there is no god and therefore no Satan so I fear not about what some Satanist is doing because it’s never going to affect me. Contrary to that, religious institutions try to affect politics and that does affect me and my fellow human beings. So why would any of us care if someone prayed for some non existent bad guy to do something when we have a bunch of so-called “good guys” actually managing to force actions that discriminate against women and the LGBT community because of some piece of fiction written in ancient times?

      • Curtis Penfold

        As I’ve told you multiple times, you’re making up bullshit. I’m not a devil worshiper. And even if I was, I wouldn’t deserve to get kicked out of my work, my school, and my housing.

        I also want to make clear that my goal has never been to tare the LDS Church apart. Rather, make it a safer place for all people: atheist, gay, women, transgender people, etc.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Since Satan is just as imaginary as God, I don’t see what the problem is with Satanic rituals. So long as they aren’t doing any sacrifices or hurting anyone, who cares? Prancing around in fancy clothes saying “magic words” is pretty silly no matter which imaginary entity you’re trying to talk to.

  • Sappho

    You can be an atheist at BYU. My Bishop knows that I am, and so do a couple of my BYU professors. You just can’t have your records removed. I am relatively open about my lack of faith in the church and have no punishment or threat of punishment.

    • Rationalist1

      What do you mean by “have your records removed”?

      • steve25

        It means formally resigning from the Mormon church. Its a very big deal in Mormonism, because all of the Mormon “ordinances,” like baptism and joining the priesthood, are revoked if you formally resign. If your family are also Mormons, then you’ve likely been “sealed” to them in the temple as an “eternal family.” If you resign, this “seal” is broken and, according to Mormon doctrine, you’re no longer a part of their family in the afterlife.

        But if you don’t formally resign, and instead simply quit attending, they’ll still consider you a “member” of their church for your entire life, and keep tracking you down and trying to reconvert you.

      • Whiskey_Tango

        The Mormon Church as a rule,hates the concept of “Resignation”. Until about 1985 the only formal way out the door was through a church court for Apostasy. Following a lawsuit, they were required to allow a vehicle for resignation. This brings us to “Name Removal” or “having your records removed”. The term “Resignation” implies that there could be a legitimate reason for leaving the faith. To an active Mormon and therefore to the Church all you are doing is “removing” your name or records. They are pacifying you in your “silly” idea that you could just “walk-away”.

        • Rationalist1

          Thank you. In the Catholic Church in which I was raised you have to have a notation made on the Baptismal registry of the church where you were baptized to indicate that you have left the faith. In practice it is very hard to do and in fact they still count you as Catholic as once baptized you can’t be unbaptized.

          Curiously the Catholic CHurch in many dioceses used to send their baptisimal registries (when they were 100 years old) to the Mormons to .be microfilmed. The Mormons would send back a microfilm copy and keep a copy that they would send to their geneological centre for reference and having people proxy baptised, When parishioners found out the Church had to stop this practice.

    • islandbrewer

      So, you just can’t write about your lack of faith publicly? Or is it revealing the super secret mormon temple secrety things that gets you in trouble?

    • Thayne Warner

      In the church this is what we call “priesthood leader roulette.” If your bishop or stake president is an ass, you’re screwed. They have absolute authority and there is no right to or method of appeal. If he’s a cool guy, you can stick around and stay part of the institution.

  • L.G. Keltner

    I read his letter, and I have no doubt he’ll go far in life. Good luck Curtis!

  • swansarepretty

    I thought atheists believed in the importance of ‘evidence.’ Yet you choose to share a story without reporting any evidence whatsoever, only baseless accusation from a less then reliable source…

    • Lochetic

      I’m curious what your qualifications are to lay the claim that the accusation was from “a less than reliable source…”

    • motorheadrush

      swansarepretty: you may be the only intelligent person here. for how often atheists purport to follow science and evidence, each of them chose to share a stroy without any evidence or sources.

      i’ll repost this:

      Sven2547: i dont blame you for falling victim to a bleeding heart story by that guy. The shady behavior is done by curtis. After reading some of his satanic quotes you’ll likely think twice about what curtis says. I doubt someone even turned a portfolio in, he may have turned himself in and made up an elaborate story for all we know.

      I was doing a paper for my Institute about atheism/agnosticism, and was looking up Stories of BYU students turning to atheism, and atheists becoming religious and the dynamics that each person might encounter in their transition. I couldn’t help but notice this story of a kid leaving BYU. in the comment sections of another website i saw someone post link to this kid’s satanic influence disguised as atheism.

      Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums. That Aleister promotes child-sacrifice inside a pentagram drawing on the ground. Curtis teaches others how to lie to the bishop online so they can get a temple recommend. He lights candles to Santa Muerte,kisses her picture, and kneels for hours while calling down her spirit to take over his body when his roomates go to sleep… just google his name and any of the above to see he’s batting for the opposing team and later acting confused why his team’s coach was scratching his head.

      I saw someone post his quote in a comment section where Curtis said, “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
      Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
      containing both good and bad, masculine and
      feminine, light and dark, He/She also represents the Universe, full of good
      and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow
      to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

      “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
      of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
      hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
      trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.”

      The devil is the serpent in the adam and eve story. The devil is baphomet. (just google image who baphomet is). Curtis says Baphomet inspires him to take the knowledge he’s gained, while being possessed, to the rest of humanity. To teach others and bring evil to things to the public.

      I can only imagine what else admitted to his Bishop. With how bizarre he sounds i can’t help but wonder what the school’s side of the story is.

      Imagine this. Imagine If he were part of an atheist organization but decided to go around publicizing how he actually thought God is real and that we need to follow his teachings or we’ll be damned. What do you think that atheist organization might think? do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them? .. of course you’d agree… Just be honest with yourself, you posted your comment because you are angry at religion and therefore assume any religious leader must be in the wrong.

      you nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

      every institution/organization has a set of codes or set of values of which the members adhere to. If a football player secretly hated his team, and took advice from the opposing team’s coach and then returned to his teamates, encouraging them to leave the team, dont you think some of his fellow teamates and coach might have cause for concern?

      only in this case it appears that Curtis proudly has devoted himself to Satan (his own words) and is trying to cause dissention from within.

      I dont feel bad for a devil worshipper, his christian church asked if they could help him and he embarrassingly leaves. and makes it look like he was a victim of oppression. He had to have expected this to happen unless he wanted the drama and brought it up himself as a publicity stunt.

      I saw someone else post this quotes of his:

      > >”Because it’s been suggested to make new threads regarding the deities we work with, I’ve decided to make a new thread for Kali describing my relationship with Her.

      After spending weeks of chanting her name, I
      did a meditation on her image..the head she was holding became my head. All the heads became my head. I pondered on the significance..

      ..I found that I was in her womb as a
      full-grown man with an umbilical cord..
      I’ve entered a stage of darkness ..Santa Muerte has been
      helping me through this darkness, helping me learn to love the darkness as a place where all is possible..

      As I love Kali,
      I can love the Darkness that much more.”
      Kali says, “I am the mighty sorceress,

      ..she drinks the blood of the saints through the Holy Grail.
      (Kali also drinks the blood of a certain demon.. is impregnated by the blood that she drinks and gives birth to the Saints that she seems to have killed. As the Gnostic Creed goes:
      in Her name BABALON.”"

      Natalie is perfectly right, “his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders.”

      one cant help but flag Curtis’ sob story after hearing that he prays to satan and other gods who poesses his self proclaimed hermophroditic body. This god he prays to kills and eats the saints of god. those saints are members of his former church.

      a little freaky, praying to a demon and feeling that “her head became my head, all the heads became my head,” thats devil worshipping to a T.

      Every bishop i’ve had has been an exemplary person with the most love and kindness etc. With quotes like Curtis, of worshipping Satan for inspiration, i cant help but not take him at his word.

      If curtis came to me saying he does elaborate rituals to summon down spirits of santa Muerte, Baphomet, Kali, etc. i’d try to help him. but he clearly doesn’t like praying to just God alone as the LDS church teaches, he prays to Lucifer. Red flag!!

    • Curtis Penfold

      Baseless accusations? If you want, I can forward you all legal documents regarding my case.

  • Croquet_Player

    I contacted Curtis and let him know, but I wanted to let others here know too, that the American Atheists will be holding their 2014 convention in April in Salt Lake City. One of the goals is to offer outreach to ex-Mormons. I’d encourage interested folks to attend, or heck just stop by the Hilton Bar and meet some atheists. (We tend to congregate in the bar areas of whatever hotel we’re in – go figure!) http://www.atheists.org/convention2014

  • Chris Utah Man 2013

    The mormon church is a cult. What do you expect?

  • Muddy Mudskipper

    I grew up in Utah, and I’m pretty sure my sister & I were the only non-Mormons at our tiny elementary school. It sucked. It’s because of stories like these that I always smile when BYU loses. At anything.

  • Natalie Anderson

    Well I’ll be honest it’s sad that a decision that should have been contemplated and mediated over for as long as necessary was shoved at him by his Stake Leader…the reality is, his writing show that he really hasn’t been Mormon for a while. He doesn’t agree with the doctrine and hasn’t felt aligned with the principles. So why not leave and find a group that he feels more in alignment with. All church is, is a man-made institution to connect with others and their Lord. A Church run school is going to further preach those ideologies and encourage their attendees to think the same. It’s not cult-like to want that kind of environment.

    Furthermore, his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders. It is not unusual for ANY organization, secular or religious to remove a member if they begin publicly opposing the groups theology and fundamental ideals. I don’t understand the outrage. I see an organization behaving as any would to protect the supportive enviroment it has endeavored to create.

    As for his family, I believe that many who leave the church find themselves distanced from their family…but in my experience it is because of disrespect on their part. Many ex-mormons find the need to run around “enlightening” their mormon family on how they no longer believe…and why their family is ignorant to still believe. It is this behavior that I have seen tear families and friendships apart.

    • Compuholic

      A Church run school is going to further preach those ideologies and encourage their attendees to think the same.

      “Encouraging to think the same” is a nice euphemism for threatening one’s education and place to live. That sounds a lot closer to coercion to me.

      Add to it, that somebody actually went through the trouble of collecting his internet activities, that anonymous denunciations are possible, and a single person is acting as a judge and the whole thing becomes downright Orwellian.

      It’s not cult-like to want that kind of environment.

      Actually it is very cult-like. No matter what literature you read, one theme is common in pretty much all cults: The attempts of the cult to isolate its members from other people and ideas.

      It is not unusual for ANY organization, secular or religious to remove a member if they begin publicly opposing the groups theology and fundamental ideals.

      It is very unusual for an educational organization. I have never heard of a single student to be expelled from a secular educational organization for his political affiliation or his religious conviction.

      I believe that many who leave the church find themselves distanced from their family…but in my experience it is because of disrespect on their part.

      Well in some rare instances I’m sure that happens. But in most cases I’m sure it is religious bigotry that is the cause. Several reasons for that:

      1. The bigotry of religious people (especially in the bible belt) is world famous
      2. If you were right there would be a simple remedy. If you talk to the person: “Hey I get it you don’t believe but leave us out of it or we will do X”, the problem would be solved in most cases. However if the reason is religious bigotry there is no easy solution because the religious person wants to coerce the other person into changing their beliefs.

      Which incidentally also is the core of the problem here: If BYU really only wanted to encourage belief they would maybe offer religious classes. But to kick out students who change their religion is coercion rooted in religious bigotry.

      • Motormouthrush

        Compuholic:

        Natalie said it how it is. Im sorry you hate religion and had a bad experience to which you now feel it your duty to call any moral institution orwellian.

        why you gotta be so anxious to throw down your opinion before knowing both sides to the argument? .. Im just playing, i dont blame you for falling victim to a bleeding heart story by that guy.

        I was doing a paper for my Institute about atheism/agnosticism, and was looking up Stories of BYU students turning to atheism, and atheists becoming religious and the dynamics that each person might encounter in their transition. I couldn’t help but notice this story of a kid leaving BYU. in the comment sections of another website i saw someone post link to this kid’s satanic influence disguised as atheism.

        Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums. That Aleister promotes child-sacrifice inside a pentagram drawing on the ground. Curtis teaches others how to lie to the bishop online so they can get a temple recommend. He lights candles to Santa Muerte,kisses her picture, and kneels for hours while calling down her spirit to take over his body when his roomates go to sleep… just google his name and any of the above to see he’s batting for the opposing team and later acting confused why his team’s coach was scratching his head.

        I saw someone post his quote in a comment section where Curtis said, “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
        Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
        containing both good and bad, masculine and
        feminine, light and dark, He/She also represents the Universe, full of good
        and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow
        to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

        “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
        of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
        hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
        trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form
        as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring
        the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.”

        The devil is the serpent in the adam and eve story. The devil is baphomet. (just google image who baphomet is). Curtis says Baphomet inspires him to take the knowledge he’s gained, while being possessed, to the rest of humanity. To teach others and bring evil to things to the public.

        I can only imagine what else admitted to his Bishop. With how bizarre he sounds i can’t help but wonder what the Bishops side of the story is.

        Imagine this. Imagine If he were part of an atheist organization but decided to go around publicizing how he actually thought God is real and that we need to follow his teachings or we’ll be damned. What do you think that atheist organization might think? do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them? .. of course you’d agree… Just be honest with yourself, you posted your comment because you are angry at religion and therefore assume any religious leader must be in the wrong.

        you nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

        every institution/organization has a set of codes or set of values of which the members adhere to. If a football player secretly hated his team, and took advice from the opposing team’s coach and then returned to his teamates, encouraging them to leave the team, dont you think some of his fellow teamates and coach might have cause for concern?

        only in this case it appears that Curtis proudly has devoted himself to Satan (his own words) and is trying to cause dissention from within.

        poor devil worshipper, his christian church asked if they could help him and he embarrassingly leaves. and makes it look like he was a victim of oppression.

        I saw someone else post this quotes of his:

        > >”Because it’s been suggested to make new threads regarding the deities we work with, I’ve decided
        to make a new thread for Kali describing my relationship with Her.

        After spending weeks of chanting her name, I
        did a meditation on her image..the head she was holding became my head. All the heads became my
        head. I pondered on the significance..

        ..I found that I was in her womb as a
        full-grown man with an umbilical cord..
        I’ve entered a stage of darkness where all was unknown and where I wasn’t sure
        of anything. Santa Muerte has been
        helping me through this darkness, helping me learn to love the darkness
        as a place where all is possible. But I thought, pondering on the image, that the darkness was
        Kali’s womb and that I was developing in it. The umbilical cord is my desire to
        find truth and act correctly in this time of darkness.

        As I love Kali,
        I can love the Darkness that much more.”

        “Reading Aleister
        Crowley, I associated the womb of Kali, the darkness, with the Abyss. Here I
        was in this unknown, unsureness, open to all possibilities. I recently found an
        interesting passage in “The Vision and the Voice” that led me to
        associate Kali with Babalon.

        Kali says, “I am the mighty sorceress,
        the lust of the spirit. And by my dancing I gather for my mother Nuit the heads
        of all them that are baptized in the waters of life. I am the lust of the spirit that eateth up the soul of man. I have prepared a feast for the adepts, and they that partake
        thereof shall see God.”

        ..she
        drinks the blood of the saints through the Holy Grail.
        (Kali also drinks the blood of a certain demon at some point in her mythos. An important part of the Kali image is the plate that carries the blood of the beheaded). I then read that Babalon, who’s on the other side of the Abyss beckoning, is impregnated by the blood that she drinks and gives birth to the Saints that she seems to have killed. As the Gnostic Creed goes:
        in Her name BABALON.”"

        Natalie is perfectly right, “his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders.”

        one cant help but flag Curtis’ sob story after hearing that he prays to satan and other gods who poesses his self proclaimed hermophroditic body. This god he prays to kills and eats the saints of god. those saints are members of his former church.

        a little freaky. Every bishop i’ve had has been an exemplary person with the most love and kindness etc. With quotes like Curtis, of worshipping Satan for inspiration, i cant help but not take him at his word.

        • Compuholic

          Im sorry you hate religion and had a bad experience to which you now feel it your duty to call any moral institution orwellian. [...] why you gotta be so anxious to throw down your opinion before knowing both sides to the argument?

          I’m sorry, what other side could there possibly be? An anonymous person tracking your internet activity who denunciated you, a single person acting as judge capable of destroying your education and a 3 day evition notice. All this are not the hallmarks of a “moral” institution. If you think that those things are moral then your religion has screwed up your moral compass badly.

          But in one thing you are right: I do hate religion. And one big reason for that is, that it drives people to actually defend those outragious practices.

          Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums.

          Even if that is true, so what? He should be able to worship whatever he wants, be it the god of the christians, the flying spaghetti monster, the great unicorn in the sky or Baphomet. As long as he is not disrupting classes the university should have no business to interfere with anybodies belief.

          do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them?

          If someone was using the groups name to promote religion you might be right. However that doesn’t seem to be what happened here: Do you have any data that suggests that he was using BYU’s name to promote his beliefs? And even in that case: A decent human being would give a previous warning.

          nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

          Well I don’t know what happened at the conversation. But the actions that followed the conversation do give a good hint.

          This god he prays to, kills and eats the saints of god. those saints are members of his former church.

          Well, its not like the christian god is a nice guy either. But in the end who cares? They are all equally imaginary. But the fact that people still have fights over whose imaginary friend is better tells me that great parts of the human race are still stuck in a medieval mindset, afraid of demons.

          Every bishop i’ve had has been an exemplary person with the most love and kindness

          That might be true as long as you are a part of the club.

        • Curtis Penfold

          Hey, you stalking jack ass. Stop making shit up about me. Thank you.

          You accuse me of dishonesty here. I’m wondering: What’s your name? What’s your story? What do you believe? What really makes you so interested in my story? How honest are you being here?

      • Motorheadrush

        Natalie said it how it is. Im sorry you hate religion and had a bad experience to which you now feel it your duty to call any moral institution orwellian.

        why you gotta be so anxious to throw down your opinion before knowing both sides to the argument? .. Im just playing, i dont blame you for falling victim to a bleeding heart story by that guy.

        I was doing a paper for my Institute about atheism/agnosticism, and was looking up Stories of BYU students turning to atheism, and atheists becoming religious and the dynamics that each person might encounter in their transition. I couldn’t help but notice this story of a kid leaving BYU. in the comment sections of another website i saw someone post link to this kid’s satanic influence disguised as atheism.

        Curtis prays to Satan. Calls down Baphomet to possess his body. He reads Satanist books from Aleister Crowley, according to posts from the occult forums. That Aleister promotes child-sacrifice inside a pentagram drawing on the ground. Curtis teaches others how to lie to the bishop online so they can get a temple recommend. He lights candles to Santa Muerte,kisses her picture, and kneels for hours while calling down her spirit to take over his body when his roomates go to sleep… just google his name and any of the above to see he’s batting for the opposing team and later acting confused why his team’s coach was scratching his head.

        I saw someone post his quote in a comment section where Curtis said, “Since posting this, I’ve gained a rich relationship with Baphomet who I’ve come to love a great deal.. For me,
        Baphomet has come to become the Great Hermaphrodite. He/She represents me as a complete person,
        containing both good and bad, masculine and
        feminine, light and dark, He/She also represents the Universe, full of good
        and evil, living and dead, human and animal. As I grow to love Him/Her, I grow
        to love every moment, both pleasurable and painful…”

        “Baphomet has also come to me in my mind’s eye in the form
        of the Serpent, who I now view to be the
        hero in the Adam and Eve story. Here the Serpent was,
        trying to free us from this false dichotomy of good and evil, male and female, obedience and disobedience… Since I’m a journalist and an activist, his form
        as the Serpent has been important for me. He inspires me to bring
        the knowledge I find to the rest of humanity, to help bring the unknown and uncomfortable to light.”

        The devil is the serpent in the adam and eve story. The devil is baphomet. (just google image who baphomet is). Curtis says Baphomet inspires him to take the knowledge he’s gained, while being possessed, to the rest of humanity. To teach others and bring evil to things to the public.

        I can only imagine what else admitted to his Bishop. With how bizarre he sounds i can’t help but wonder what the Bishops side of the story is.

        Imagine this. Imagine If he were part of an atheist organization but decided to go around publicizing how he actually thought God is real and that we need to follow his teachings or we’ll be damned. What do you think that atheist organization might think? do you think they might kick him out for using the group’s name but then misrepresenting them? .. of course you’d agree… Just be honest with yourself, you posted your comment because you are angry at religion and therefore assume any religious leader must be in the wrong.

        you nor i have any clue if curtis was really treated disrespectfully etc.

        every institution/organization has a set of codes or set of values of which the members adhere to. If a football player secretly hated his team, and took advice from the opposing team’s coach and then returned to his teamates, encouraging them to leave the team, dont you think some of his fellow teamates and coach might have cause for concern?

        only in this case it appears that Curtis proudly has devoted himself to Satan (his own words) and is trying to cause dissention from within.

        poor devil worshipper, his christian church asked if they could help him and he embarrassingly leaves. and makes it look like he was a victim of oppression.

        I saw someone else post this quotes of his:

        > >”Because it’s been suggested to make new threads regarding the deities we work with, I’ve decided
        to make a new thread for Kali describing my relationship with Her.

        After spending weeks of chanting her name, I
        did a meditation on her image..the head she was holding became my head. All the heads became my
        head. I pondered on the significance..

        ..I found that I was in her womb as a
        full-grown man with an umbilical cord..
        I’ve entered a stage of darkness where all was unknown and where I wasn’t sure of anything. Santa Muerte has been
        helping me through this darkness, helping me learn to love the darkness as a place where all is possible..

        As I love Kali,
        I can love the Darkness that much more.”
        Kali says, “I am the mighty sorceress,

        ..she drinks the blood of the saints through the Holy Grail.
        (Kali also drinks the blood of a certain demon.. is impregnated by the blood that she drinks and gives birth to the Saints that she seems to have killed. As the Gnostic Creed goes:
        in Her name BABALON.”"

        Natalie is perfectly right, “his public writings are evidence that he was out-spoken about his opposing ideals and my guess is that he spoke of them to others and that is how they found their way to the Stake leaders.”

        one cant help but flag Curtis’ sob story after hearing that he prays to satan and other gods who poesses his self proclaimed hermophroditic body. This god he prays to kills and eats the saints of god. those saints are members of his former church.

        a little freaky, praying to a demon and feeling that “her head became my head, all the heads became my head,” thats devil worshipping to a T.

        Every bishop i’ve had has been an exemplary person with the most love and kindness etc. With quotes like Curtis, of worshipping Satan for inspiration, i cant help but not take him at his word.

    • Curtis Penfold

      Right, it’s not unusual for a college to ask its students to not be critical of certain things. Because college is all about learning to not be critical.

      You don’t know me nor my family, so please don’t assume things about us. I’ve never treated my family as ignorant, because I don’t think reunions and Sunday dinners are the place for that type of discussion. My parents may have called me to repentance multiple times since I became public about my opinions concerning LGBTQIA issues, but I’ve never done the same to them.

      And the rest of my family, besides my parents, have reacted just fine. My change of beliefs hasn’t seemed to cause any strain between myself and the rest of my family.

      So stop discriminating against ex-Mormons, Natalie, just because you had one bad experience with one of us.

      • Natalie Anderson

        Curtis you seem like a stand up guy, and I do have some friends and family members who fall into both categories as respectful ex-mormons and non-respectful…just like some families are respectful of your decisions and others are not. I don’t place all the blame on the one leaving he church.members are equally dis-trusting and dis-respectful of their decisions. I simply believe this particular case is not one you can use to prove your case Curtis. He was very discriminating and his writings (if you read them) are very judgmental. Believe it or not, sir, I left the church for several years as well. But I did so without the need to announce it online or to every family member who would listen. My mother was very supportive and prayed for me to return, but she never judged me. I know it was this unconditional love that allowed me to return without any fanfare either. I’m sorry I offended you Curtis, but I stand by my original opinion.

        • Curtis Penfold

          Natalie, just saw your comment. I just want to say, I’m not sharing my story to help “my case.”

          I’m sharing it because I was one of thousands who are screwed over by BYU’s policies, people who are discriminated against, harassed, silenced, and forced into hiding because of the way BYU does things.

          I’m sharing my story hoping that more people will listen to their stories. Maybe if enough people listen, things will change.

  • Kreulin

    Do a follow-up article on BYU’s Honor Code office and the things it has done over the years.

  • Amy

    Same thing happened to me: I went to BYU a believer, a good Mormon, and I left with many, many cracks in my faith, and became an atheist not long after.

  • Thayne Warner

    As a fellow return missionary and now atheist, I marvel at this young man’s courage. I began to doubt the Mormon church’s truth claims at age 19, four months in to my 2 year mission. But I did not have the courage to leave for another 20 years. Unlike this brave young man, I could not face down the social and familial pressure. I salute him and wish him the best.

  • steve25

    Wow! My story is very similar to his!

    I went to BYU as a totally indoctrinated Mormon, but starting on my mission, I just kept running across more and more things that caused me to doubt first Mormonism, and then Christianity, and then the very concept of God. I knew Mormonism was totally bunk, and I was basically an atheist by the time I graduated. But by the time I had put it all together I was almost done with my degree, and transferring at that point would have been difficult. I looked into it, and even applied to a couple schools, but due to differences in upper-level courses between schools, transferring at that point would have been more like starting over than carrying on where I’d left off. So I just kept my head down, finished up my bachelor’s, and got out of there!

    It sucked. I lived in an apartment with a bunch of Mormons. In classes, the teachers just assume that everyone there is Mormon, and casually bring up their crazy beliefs in lectures. At work, I had a picture of the pedophilic con man, Joseph Smith, hanging on the wall across from my desk. And the school’s honor code required me to continue attending a church I now believed was nothing but a pernicious con. I felt totally isolated, but I was too afraid of being found out and kicked out, so I didn’t dare reach out to try to find any like-minded people.

    One thing the article didn’t mention is that ALL unmarried undergrad students at BYU are REQUIRED to live in BYU-approved housing. So I felt like I had to keep my beliefs a secret. If my true beliefs were known, I would have lost not only my school, but also my job, and I would have been kicked out of my home!

    So, as an atheist BYU alumni, I admire Curtis’ courage and I completely understand his decision to leave BYU. If I’d gotten my head out of my backside a year or two earlier, I would have done the same!

  • tweedmeister

    Curtis may have been one of the several questioning BYU students and LDS missionaries who visit our site “Recovery from Mormonism” (http://www.exmormon.org) because they want to know how to get out of the church. We caution both the students and the missionaries to never use the LDS webmail because the church makes it quite clear that they are being spied on. But even if the live in BYU-approved off-campus housing, there is a big risk, since the off-campus housing office requires students to spy on others and report them to BYU’s “Standards Office” (BYU’s spying arm of the university) or the Mormon church’s spying arm, the Strengthening Church Members Committee (SCMC). (Yes, life in Mormonism is just that weird. And yes, it is that much like Scientology.) There are even more ways Mormon church officers can spy on members, but those methods are less likely. For instance, the LDS church as been able many, many times to illegally co-opt LDS law enforcement officers. You might remember the time in 1977 when one Salt Lake cop accidentally shot his partner during a moment of great boredom while staking out a private citizen on behalf of the LDS church.

    • Gehennah

      It amazes me on how similar Mormonism and Scientology are.

  • Curtis Penfold

    So a bunch of assholes are getting on here and keep misquoting me and misrepresenting my views on the Occult.

    I enjoy the Occult. I enjoy rituals. I enjoy Tarot.

    But my relationship with the Occult is similar to my relationship with literature or art. I like Santa Muerte in the same way that I like Hamlet, Harry Potter, or Cthulhu.

    I don’t believe in anything supernatural out there, though. I’ve never prayed to Satan, although that does sound like fun. I’ve never been possessed by any spirits, although that sounds like it’d be interesting, too. I’m just an atheist who has a thing for the Occult.

    If you’d like to better understand my views on that subject, feel free to message me. The best way to know what somebody believes is by asking them.

  • Brian

    So a kid makes promises and then breaks those promises, and then get’s punished.

    • 3lemenope

      Where’s the dotted line? What promises did he make?

      • Brian

        BYU Honor Code. Everybody who wants to attend BYU has to sign it, every year.

        • 3lemenope

          What part of the honor code did he violate?

          • Brian

            You can read it online yourself. I don’t even know the kid myself, but counted at least five or six infractions just from the article and attached blog post. Honesty was certainly a big one.

            • 3lemenope

              I read it. It was unsurprisingly vague and fairly useless at indicating what might actually be a violation. So, I’m curious, you not “even knowing the kid yourself”, how you could determine from your comfy armchair what five or six infractions he incurred.

              So, which are they? Be specific.

  • robbie

    Atheism. Ummmm yeah. You guys claim to be against religion yet u guys are a religion too! I’m a Born Again Christian and mus t inform u that JESUS CHRIST is real and He gave us all a chance to go to Heaven. The Bible also says that we are all destined for tHell unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Before u tell me there’s no God take into account that The Bible has been proven to be true. I love u all please accept JESUS CHRIST today. The time to repent is now.

  • Jayson Carmona

    He broke the honor code. He signed a statement saying that he would keep it and he broke it.

    Not really news. He knew what he agreed to before he came to the school.