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Over the summer in a social media group, a woman commented that most ex-Mormons leave the faith because they have read the CES letter, begun exploring the underside of their religion’s history, and become convinced that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t true.
“Nope,” she insisted. I was quite wrong, and she knew I was wrong because she was part of several huge ex-Mormon Facebook groups where one disaffiliate after another shared the same basic story. Also, she had read a different study that confirmed that conflict over church history is why people leave, SO THERE.
Discussion - Members - Difference - Sample - NMS
What followed was a discussion in which I and several other members tried to educate her about the difference between a nationally representative sample like the NMS and a “snowball sample” that is generated via social media affinity groups like the ones she is a part of online. Snowball samples are skewed by nature of the way they are spread among people who hear about them because they are already interested in that topic or point of view.
It did not go well, and she seemed to take it personally that her experience was not universal. That discussion has stayed on my mind, and it helped inform an experiment I just did online in preparation for the follow-up book Benjamin Knoll and I are writing about former Mormons.
Order - Interviewees - Stories - Book - Google
In order to find interviewees for the personal stories of this second book, I created a Google Form and asked people to share it. I made it clear that this was not the basis of any quantitative data that would be used in the research, merely an attempt to broaden the potential pool of interviewees for the qualitative portion.
My underlying other hope, though, was to understand some of the segmentation in the former Mormon community. So for...
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