Mormonism | Inhuman Swill | William Shunn
Mormonism
            

My novelette "After the Earthquake a Fire" is now available as a 99¢ ebook.

This story tells a fictionalized version of some of my experiences as a Mormon missionary in Idaho after I was ejected from Canada. If you finished reading The Accidental Terrorist and wondered what what the rest of my mission was like ... well, I hope you won't read too much into this.

Be aware that this story includes scenes of animal cruelty which may be disturbing to some readers.

Um, I hope you like it.

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Taboo Tales

I'm very excited to be part of the second Taboo Tales event in New York City on Monday, October 10th. Taboo Tales is the long-running show from Los Angeles where people tell stories about their fucked-up lives. Come out and see us at The PIT on Monday and I guarantee you'll feel better about yourself.

Now, I'll let Taboo Tales tell you more...


We've learned New Yorkers are pretty fucked up so we're putting on our second show on October 10th. It's Columbus Day so tell all your friends to come out and discover this one of a kind storytelling show where we talk about topics no one wants to discuss in public.

Our BRAVE storytellers for this show will be:

  • Allison Guerra
  • Tony Carnevale
  • Kent Koren
  • William Shunn
  • Karen Fratti
  • Bobby Hankinson

    Hosted by Vanessa Golenia and Kejal Macdonald
    Happening at the PIT theater (24th and Lex)
    7pm. Arrive by 6:30pm.

    Save some money and get your tickets in advance!
    $10 online tickets // $13 at the door

    Want to see how much fun we had at the last one? Say no more. Check our event photos.

    SEE YOU THERE!


    More info:
    http://tabootalestheshow.com/about-2/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1781798598730652/

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    Tarring and feathering of Joseph Smith
    The term "anti-Mormon" is tossed around too lightly.

    A few months back, I linked to a video in which Lewis Black read an angry rant submitted by an 18-year-old Mormon apostate named Trevor Sepulvida. A week after the video appeared online, Jana Riess of Religion News Service casually called it "anti-Mormon."

    One of my old mission companions emailed me recently to share his impressions of The Accidental Terrorist, which he wanted to read because I wrote about our time serving together. He generally enjoyed the book and had only minor quibbles with what I'd written about him. But, he told me, he skipped the chapters about LDS Church history because they were "anti-Mormon."

    My own sister is one of many church members I've heard call the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon "anti-Mormon," sight unseen.

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    Wired.com's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy Podcast
    Though it doesn't officially come out until tomorrow, my interview with the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast is now live and available through iTunes and elsewhere.

    I really enjoyed doing this interview. Host David Barr Kirtley asked great questions, and we chatted not just about the writing of The Accidental Terrorist, but also how charismatic religious leaders manage to get away with so much and why there are so many Mormon science fiction writers.

    Dave does a heroic job with this podcast in general, and if you're not listening to it regularly, you should. In fact, you should listen to a few of the many great past episodes and then help support the show.

    Listen below now!

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    After years of work, The Accidental Terrorist, my memoir of Mormon missionary life, is out today! And what better way to celebrate than to mail a letter that, honestly, is years if not decades overdue...


    10 November 2015

    Member Records Division, LDS Church
    50 E North Temple Rm 1372
    Salt Lake City, UT 84150-5310

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    Is there a religious equivalent to the term "civil disobedience"? As in, a term for defying one's church leaders when you find their edicts unjust or immoral? Something more warm-sounding than "heresy"?

    Oh, well. For lack of a better term, I'd like to challenge a Mormon bishop to commit heresy.


    Before I get to that, I'd like to talk about the Boy Scouts for a minute. I was very happy last month that the LDS Church decided not to sever its ties with the Boy Scouts of America over the issue of permitting troop sponsors to allow openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters.

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    book_of_mormon_poster.jpg
    It used to be that when people would find out I'm a former Mormon, they'd ask me whether or not I watch Big Love and how closely it matches my experience of growing up in Utah. (Answers: "Yes" and "Not much.") Over the past year, though, that has changed. Now they ask whether or not I've seen The Book of Mormon.

    The answer to that is yes. In fact, as soon as the Broadway production was announced, Laura and I started making plans to visit New York and see it. With my background, how could we not? We put together a group of friends that included my agent and got tickets for April 9th, about two weeks after the show's official opening. I bought our tickets early enough that it wasn't hard to get seats for a group of eight on our preferred date. But by the time we actually saw it, the hype had revved up to such a wild extent that people were asking us how on earth we'd managed to score tickets.

    The Book of Mormon—from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez—was the most celebrated new musical of the 2011 Broadway season, and it's easy to see why. It has everything an audience in search of some dangerous New York City titillation could ask for—dirty words, blasphemy, violence, Mormons, sexual innuendo, frequently all crammed together into catchy production numbers—all consumable from the relative safety of a plush theater seat. It's been a giant hit with crowds and critics alike, landing nine Tony Awards (including Best Musical), five Drama Desk Awards (including Outstanding Musical), and who knows how many best-stuff-of-the-year lists. It kicks off a national tour this August, and a Chicago production will take up residence in the Bank of America Theatre this December. People are falling all over themselves to tell you how good it is.

    Is it really that good? I don't think so. Did I enjoy it? Yes, to an extent. Was it funny? Yes, to an extent. Was it anything like my experience as a missionary? Yes—but to a very small, almost irrelevant extent.

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