Ep 111 – Our Mormon Expression – Part 2

Panel Discussion

Posted September 25th, 2014

Part 2 of our stroll down Mormon Expression memory lane.

  • Bret

    The dream mine & MMM with Gene Sessions were two of my all time favorite episodes. Thanks Tom, I appreciated your work on those.

    • Dick

      Kiss ass

    • Tom Perry

      Thanks Bret! I accept that those old podcasts aren’t for everyone, but it’s kinda nice that it touched a few out there.

  • Clay

    I enjoyed these episodes. Here are my two cents:

    I found Mormon Stories a few months ago through a friend who knew that I was struggling with the Church. This began something close to an addiction for me an I listened to almost everything available from Mormon Stories. That helped me to get some answers and start to realize that I am not alone in the doubts and questions that I have always had. This friend also suggested Mormon Expression and I listened to a few of those podcasts.

    When I saw my friend again, I told him that I was rather turned off by John Larsen’s tone. Even though I enjoyed some of the topics, he came across as an egotist that feels like everyone should agree with him or they are stupid. This friend suggested IOT, and I began listening to you guys and I have loved almost everything that I have listened to. I had no idea that many of you guys came from Mormon Expression until these last two podcasts.

    I hope that you keep doing what you are doing. I love the humor and the irreverent tone. I am getting past my anger and I don’t need to revisit that by listening to someone rail against people for being inflexible and just sounding mean. I am trying to transition away from inflexibility and people who think that they know what is best for me, so I don’t want to trade the Church for a group of mean spirited exmos.

    I find your recordings to be cathartic. Sometimes I just need a laugh and to hear people who seem to be finding their way through some similar things and hope that I might get to where you guys are without being a jaded, cold person who has too many scars to be well adjusted.


    • Glenn

      Wow. Thank you!

  • MichaelGonda

    Still wading through this monstrous memory lane stroll of yours. It reminds me of how many hours of Mormon podcasts I have listened to over the last several years. Tom, sounds like you got the shaft from ME, but I am glad you are still letting your voice be heard.

    Just had to also throw out that it is nice that Matt and Randy still remember me. I really pissed you guys off on occasion, but I’m glad it amounts to good memories for you now.

    Anyways, I think it was great you guys set this one up, and one of these days I will have to go give Infants on Thrones a five-star rating…

    • Matt

      Yes, Michael I was thinking exactly of our exchange years ago lol. We got along in person but seemed to clash on the boards. I’m glad to know you’re still around the post Mormon world. Yours was an important voice and I haven’t seen you active online in some time. All in all I think we agree about more than we disagreed, but where’s the fun in that?

      • Randy_Snyder

        Good to hear from you Michael! Hope all is well.

        • MichaelGonda

          I’m glad some of our more spirited disagreements are behind us! Needless to say, I don’t always agree with you guys. I am not a “listen to every IOT podcast imaginable” kinda guy. But the truth is, this podcast really brought to the forefront for me how much ME lost when all this ugly stuff went down.

          I started listening to ME again because a friend of mine invited me to listen to some episodes to get my reaction. They are not bad, but the podcast as a whole is not the same. It is just a live panel pretty much every time. I realize that all the zany stuff, the interviews that Tom did, just all the elements that made ME worth listening to pretty much every time had a lot to do with Glenn and Tom’s working “behind the scenes.”

          It’s still kind of a bummer, but I enjoy your creative format here. I think my favorite for all time will probably be “Little Factories” which probably ties with the recent Placebo one. I don’t post so much on boards and discussions in past years because I just don’t feel like taking the time most of the time. But I am out here listening still. So keep them coming!

    • Tom Perry

      Thanks Michael! Good to see you again!

  • David

    Great episode, you guys. As a fan of both the early Mormon Expression episodes and Infants on Thrones, this episode really pieced together a lot of questions that I had. My favorite ME episodes usually had Glenn and Tom on there along with John. I guess you guys could say that I’ve been with you for quite a long time–even though I’ve only been listening to Mormon themed podcasts for only a couple of years.

    Infants on Thrones has quickly become my favorite Mormon themed podcast, I look forward to listening to the new episodes. You all are doing an important work and I’m glad that you’re having a good time doing it. During those times when all my family and friends think I’m either deceived, proud, or possessed by satan himself because of my viewpoint on the church, I can throw on an Infants on Thrones episode and just laugh with you guys. Thanks for everything!

    • Glenn

      Thanks David. It really is our pleasure.

  • Daniel

    Sorry guys, this last episode was inscrutable (for me). A bunch of anecdotes with no context, I couldn’t follow as you jumped relived experiences. If you’re speaking to outsiders you gotta provide a backstory (not that you don’t know) otherwise just sounds like you’re just eavesdropping on a group of friends together at a bar sharing stories. I say that understanding that it would have added another hour or two to an already long episode.
    Anyways, my transition was from Mormon Stories (a couple years) and straight to you guys, (never transitioned to Mormon Expressions.) I became an instant fan of Brother Jake because of his videos and someone in the Mormon Stories Community said he was a participant here (8 months ago), I’ve been hooked ever since.

    • Glenn

      Yeah, sorry about that, Daniel. We knew there would be a portion of our audience who didn’t have that context. I think it’s sort of like anything we do, though — it’s going to connect with some people but not others. If it makes you feel any better, Jake felt exactly the same way you are describing. Nice adjective, though. Inscrutable. Twenty bonus points for that one. 😉

      • Daniel

        Cool beans, just sharing my own lived experience of having lived through your guys’ collective lived experience 😉 Also, it may go without saying at this point but Glenn I think your editing is awesome, adds another dimension of enjoyment.

    • Glad to hear this feedback! We haven’t heard much from listeners who enjoy our work independent of any association with Mormon Expression. Behind the scenes, we debated if we should even release this the way we recorded it precisely because it would mean very little to your crowd (which we assume is a minority but hope is growing!). Long story short, there’s little chance of another “no context” approach like this one. It was kind of a one time thing.

  • Chad

    Well, I really liked this series. As a die-hard OIT I’ve wondered how this all got started and how it spun off of ME.

    As a guy who followed Mormon Expression since it started, and who has had some runs in with Larsen, this was quite intriguing, and eye opening.

    Brought back a lot of memories for me. The first thing I did after listening to this, was load the Hell House episode on phone so I can listen to it again on the way to work.

    I knew that Glenn and Tom were heavily involved in the production of ME, but I did not realize just how much. I always assumed John was doing most of the leg work, and you guys were just part of the podcast panel. I had no idea that Tom was putting that much into the production. I also knew that Matt and Randy and Jesse were on ME, but didn’t realize just how much.

    I have to say, since the OIT core departed, ME just hasn’t been the same. I think the OIT core really made ME. Yes, John is the most talented, smooth speaking mormon podcaster bar none…but the production and the material and guests just isn’t as entertaining and exciting anymore in my opinion.

    I miss the “good ol days.”

    It’s interesting that on the latest ME episode, John addressed this very issue and spent a lot of time talking about this and how he was still friends with all the original ME folks (except for one) and trying to contain the rumors and discussion. Did he know that this OIT episode was in the works? Obviously there was something going on between or within the OIT and ME networks the last month.

    I would also be very interested in hearing how he responses, which we all know he will. I’m sure this episode will piss him off, as well as probably hurt his feeling some as well, even thought it was obvious that all the OIT were extremely polite and careful and did the best they could to not make it just a John Larsen bash session.

    Hey Glenn, I have one suggestion, not that you need any…but I think you need to have more Mike Tannihill on OIT. My very favorite ME episodes were 14 Fs of the Prophet, Expositor, and WoW, where Mike gets a little crazy (and represents the church) and gets into it with Nyal and George etc. Those were some really fun episodes. Don’t let Randy convince you otherwise. If he knows Mike is coming on, he can just have an extra sip of whiskey prior. He’ll be just fine.

    Thanks guys.

    • Glenn

      OIT? On Infant Thrones? Methinks me seen you do that somewhere else before….

      Thanks Chad. We are still friends with Mike T and will still invite him on from time to time.

      We recorded this partially in response to John’s list of names and omissions, and other things he said about volunteers who took training and equipment and left him high and dry. But mainly it’s just been a long time of not talking about something that was so important to us. That’s how I feel at least. It’s not an episode or approach that appeals to everyone, of course. But it will soon fade into that back catalogue as we continue to march forward and do what we do, shoulder to the wheel, and all that.

      • Chad

        “OIT “…. well shit. I guess that is what happens when you respond on a smart phone with auto correct, and I do a lot of work with Oregon Institute Technology. 😉

        I can’t even go back and edit it.

        IOT. IOT. IOT. IOT.

      • Chad

        Oh yeah. I think a Infant on thrones (IOT) remake of Hell House would be fantastic.

  • BO

    I mentioned this to Tom on the NOM board a few years ago, but my favorite experience ever with podcasts was leaving SLC to drive home to CA and listening to both of Tom’s Mountain Meadows episodes and stopping at the MMM site just as the second of the two podcasts finished up.
    I loved hearing the behind the scenes of what went on, but it bummed me out as well. All of your voices, including John’s, were really important in surviving our faith crisis. It’s always tough to hear that the people who were so instrumental did not always get along, but I guess that is human nature and how things usually work.
    I did go back and listen to the start of the Mark E Peterson episode. Made me laugh after Glenn’s initial comment about folk lore when I heard John’s curt “thanks”

    • Tom Perry

      I do recall you sharing that experience on NOM back in the day. That story was really cool. Thanks BO!

  • Mike

    To start off, I haven’t listened to these two episodes yet. I just downloaded them and can’t wait! But I have to say, when I saw the title I was surprised. I didn’t realise you guys were part of ME.

    I had my faith “crisis” last November. And came out to my wife and the church soon after. A friend of mine who I grew up with found out and let me know that he too was having issues. And he was so glad to find someone else to stand with. He told me about ME. So I downloaded a few and started listening. I really enjoyed ME. Living with a Uber TBM spouse, these podcasts were an escape. I have only been listening to ME for maybe… 2 months.

    Then I saw on a board someone mention IOT. So I downloaded a few to see what you guys were all about. And instantly fell in love with the podcast. I love the humor (as it is akin to how I am) And laugh many times while in the car listening to these. Probably getting strange looks from people in other cars, does that make me peculiar? (Anyway I digress )

    I am VERY interested to hear more about the fact that you guys left ME. And I have to say I am very happy to have found this podcast. With ME changing I was worried that my only source for this sort of podcast was going to change or probably leave all together.

    Keep up the great work all of you! I have so many episodes to catch up on! Just wanted to add my 2 cents before I get lost in more IOT episodes.


    p.s. I paid back the favor and told my friend to check you guys out!

    • Tom Perry

      Thanks Mike! I/We really appreciate it. 🙂

  • anonaone

    It’s ironic that John Larson doesn’t like dissent because he has said repeatedly that he doesn’t like being around people who only agree with him. He said he prefers being around people who challenge his point of view.

    Maybe John was only referring to philosophical discussions and not situations where something needs to be done. In the latter situation, he seems to prefer being around people who agree with him.

  • ThatDanmGuy

    I’ve got a small suggestion – would you guys mind listing the music and clips used in a footnote in the episode descriptions? Every few episodes I find myself intrigued by one of the songs used but have a hard time finding them.

    • Glenn

      Too much work. Just ask here. We’ll tell you.

      • Glenn

        I have been using a lot of Sondre Lerche lately. Love him.

        • SachmoJoe

          I actually shazam the songs as they play sometimes. Somehow my phone allows me to shazam a song while it’s bluetoothing via my car stereo – also from my phone. I’d never heard of Sondre Lerche until this morning 🙂

          – Adam the Australian Danite

  • Mike

    Ok, finished both episodes. WOW…a lot of crazy stuff. I have to say, while I have listened to a lot of ME the last two months and even though I didn’t realize you guys had been on there. I didn’t find it hard to follow a long. And as a new listener it was fun to hear how you guys had met and then why you moved over here.
    So I have 46 episodes of IOT up and ready to listen too. After listening to about 10 so far. So I may be going back and making comments on the older episodes, you are forewarned.

    While I still do enjoy ME, I love the fun atmosphere of IOT! And glad I found it, and hope to be able to contribute on comments in the future!

  • Jason

    This is Jason from the ME nudist episode. When I was asked to appear on the show, I thought it would be with several other people. The day before the recording I found out it would just be me and one other person. I was told we might do the recording naked, but that was still undecided. I was a longtime listener, so when I arrived at the Larsens’ house I was starstruck. After I went to the bathroom and changed into my robe, I was so nervous I was trembling. We went into the studio, dropped our robes, and began recording. We had to record the first part twice because I was too nervous to speak. After a few minutes I calmed down enough that we were able to get through it.

    I probably should have expected them to ask me why I enjoy nudism, and I could go on and on about it now, but in that moment, all I could think to say was that if feels amazing. I’m not going to go back and listen again, but I’m sure I sounded just like Bob’s impersonation of me. There is depth to the issue that wasn’t covered in the recording, and that’s mostly because I wasn’t prepared.

    I’m still a big fan of ME and IOT. Every time someone mentions the nudist episode I chuckle. I love you guys. Take care.

    • Glenn

      Thanks Jason. Correction — I think it was Randy who did the impression.

      For what it’s worth, I was one on the side of liking that episode (along with Matt, I think). Even the gimmicky “WE”RE NAKED RIGHT NOW!” (that was Tom’s voice) added a vulnerable and empathetic dimension to that episode that I could actually hear in John’s trembling voice, and that really appealed to me.

      Of course, I’m also the guy who enjoyed (enjoys) talking to Christa the Psychic and trying on those shoes on podcasts to say “WE’RE CHANNELING SPIRITS RIGHT NOW!” So, as the recently designated “TBM (and ‘Other’) Whisperer” of the group, I guess I just really like that kind of approach — put yourself in someone else’s shoes (not literally in this case) and really try to understand and empathize with where they are coming from. I thought it was great and brave that John and Zilpha did that with you for that episode. I always liked it when that sort of thing happened.

      I think Randy just has certain expectations when people are naked, that it will… well… maybe I’ll just leave it at that. I’ve tried being a Randy whisperer in the past. I’m not that good at it (and besides, it’s pretty scary). 😉

      • Jason

        Thanks Glenn!

        • Randy_Snyder

          To quote Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, don’t I feel like the fucking asshole. Jason, thanks for listening and for giving background to that podcast recording. Believe me when I say I can empathize with regretting how a recording went. Happens to me regularly.

          • Jason

            Thanks Randy. If I hadn’t spoken up I would have quietly resented Bob for who knows how long. I think I wanted him to feel like an asshole, so that makes me an asshole too.

      • Jason

        And sorry Bob 🙂

  • Infants Fan

    I didn’t know where else to ask this question, so here goes… What is the current state of the Children of the 80’s and the Lunchtime Movie Reviews?

    I had not heard of those podcasts until they were referenced on these episodes, so i went searching for them. I loved the ones that i found (that related to movies that i’ve seen, of course) but it seems like there may be many more out there somewhere – beyond the 12 that i found on iTunes. Are more being recorded? Are there more existing episodes that will be released?


  • disqus_CNbukinthz

    Hey guys, I’m a huge fan and relatively a new one, hence why I’m catching up on old episodes. I didn’t listen much to ME and so have been a bit lost on some of the discussion. Glenn, would you mind telling me a bit about the references to Mark E Petersen that you found so interesting? I’m intrigued and didn’t know what to Google!

  • Jose Galdamez

    These two episodes really helped put all the latter Mormon Expression jokes into perspective and answered many lingering questions I had previously had. As they say, sometimes it’s best not to know how the sausage is made.

    Hats off to Glenn & The Gang for keeping the podcast spirit alive after all the drama. You guys always had the better product anyway.

    As noted by the date of this comment, I’m someone who’s always late to the party. I didn’t come onto the Mormon podcast scene until April 2014, and back then I only listened to Mormon Stories. At one point, Dehlin live audience interviewed John Larsen about his stint at Mormon Expression. Starting down the defunct Mormon Expression path was what eventually lead me to IoT. Funny enough, a childhood friend recommended I check this out.

    The editing on this podcast is far superior to anything else I listen to. Keep up the great work!