Ep 385 – Behind Closed Doors


Posted July 16th, 2017

Our new friend Bill Reel has published a document called the Mormon Primer, or Primmer, or something like that. Think of it as a softer, gentler CES Letter for believers. How could we not start to smack down a document like this? But why is this episode called Behind Closed Doors? You’ll have to listen to find out.


  • Sean Bates


    You’ve gotta hit the pronunciation of definition 2 of Primer… we’re not laying down a base layer of paint here! ^_^

    google girl pronounces it “prim-er”

    Thank you for an amazing breakdown of Bill’s attempt at providing a serious “intro to your faith crisis” page. I’m hoping documents like this will contribute to a secular acceptance of Mormonism…

    Is that a thing? Secular Mormonism? Well, it should be.


  • In Episode 128 of the Year of Polygamy podcast Lindsay says, “PRIM-mer.” So there.

  • Loved the ending

  • Dinah

    Glenn, you are much too kind with this faux CES Letter wannabe. I find Reel to be annoying and inauthentic. If you continue this series, please sic Matt on this. Reel needs to deal with reality instead of existing in his twilight state.

    • Glenn

      You lost me at inauthentic.

  • CocoaCoveredHeretic

    I really like Bill, and I appreciate his desire to want to find something worth saving from the religion that he feels like saved him from a bad path. But I just can’t get onboard with the way he wants to twist himself into a pretzel to make it to Fowler’s elusive “stage 5”.

    The flaw in the logic he uses to approach the church was demonstrated in a podcast he recently published. He’s started a new “Cognitive Dissidents” sub-podcast that he publishes under the umbrella of the Mormon Discussion Podcast family. In the first episode he explained his thinking behind the opening that he put together for it. The music is a remake of “Ice Ice Baby”. It’s sung in a more emo style. (Picture Dashboard Confessional singing Ice Ice Baby) This is what Bill’s explanation was:

    “The music that you’re hearing on the front and back sides of these episodes, the artist is named Marty Ray, it’s his redo of ‘Ice Ice Baby’ from Vanilla Ice. I chose this song for a couple of reasons. One is that this idea that you have this artist in the begining who does this song, and now time has passed, and our culture is different, and the things we like and find appealing are different, because we’ve grown in some way. And the idea that this song has been redone, and it’s really catchy, and while, when I was a kid I looked at that song as such a simple song, not really anything deep, when I listen to those words now coming out of Marty Ray’s voice, like when it comes out of his mouth, I sense there is more of a depth to these words. And so just the idea that we can take something and repurpose it, and deconstruct it and reconstruct it, put it back together and have something that’s useful [is why I used it].”

    I think this perfectly illustrates how I see Bill right now. He’s fooled into thinking that something is deep simply because of the way it is sung.

    Look, no matter how soulfully you sing the words to “Ice Ice Baby” it is still a shitty song. There is no more “depth to the words” simply because of the way that Marty Ray sings them. The depth is all illusion.

    I think a lot of the value that he’s sees in the church is also a mirage. He previously felt that the church was divine. That it was from God Himself! He can’t shake that feeling, so even though he sees that the church is just singing the doctrinal equivalent of ‘Ice Ice Baby’, he thinks that “there must be something deep here” because they’re putting so much emotion into it.

    But maybe I’m wrong. If somebody can point how how the song is actually deep, I’d be happy to — stop, collaborate and listen!