They Do It So You Don’t Have To August 17, 2011

They Do It So You Don’t Have To

Ross Blocher and Carrie Poppy have an excellent podcast in which they try out all the skeptical things you always hear about.

In recent months, they’ve gotten ear-candled, visited a Sikh Gurdwara, and — this is impressive — gone through five months’ worth of classes in order to become official Mormons.

In Part 1, your favorite co-hosts spent more than five months learning about Mormon doctrine, taking classes with their missionaries, and attending three-hour church services before biting the bullet and asking to get baptized. In Part 2 of their Mormon journey, Ross and Carrie get dunked, receive the Holy Spirit, take vows of chastity, swear off hot drinks, and become official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Here they are, pre-Baptism:

It’s an awesome idea — documenting the entire process and offering their skeptical takes on it. Definitely a must-listen.

You can subscribe to the free podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Any suggestions for things they ought to try next?

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  • Is the Mormon church cool with this? If so, they are some laid back individuals.  Or are they unaware of the motives behind it?

  • Guest

    Did they lie to everyone involved or did they make their intentions known from day one?

  • Anonymous

    TThese people are sick, they should go get a homeopathic remedy at the earliest possible opportunity.

    So what, if they did lie, the whole process they went through is a shameful lie, why tell the liars that you’re lying!

  • Karen

    OK, I get the questions about the integrity of posing as interested individuals.
    On the other hand, I’m listening to the podcast now…and the couple discuss points very methodically and without sarcasm.
    And entertaining.

  • Scott Van Tussenbrook

    Former/recovering Mormon here.  I can’t wait to listen to the podcast, but to those wondering if the church (or the missionaries) were cool with their being the subject of an experiment like this, my $0.02:  On my mission, we would not have thought twice about teaching/baptizing a young, friendly, enthusiastic couple like this.  (I assume they acted at least a little enthusiastic in order to make the charade last five months…)  We would have been walking on air, counting out blessings we had found such a “golden” (i.e., ready for the message) couple of “investigators” (baptismal candidates).

    The idea that someone might “go all the way” like this and get baptized — for ulterior motives — doesn’t even figure in.  Well, it might, *now,* but zero-t0-baptized in under six months is the dream, and goal, of every Mormon missionary out there.  They wouldn’t question the sincerity of two people who took all the lessons and appeared to be “into it” — on my mission we baptized people who were absolutely not sincere — I was in an iron-curtain-adjacent mission in Europe and we had a lot of baptizees who were only in it because they thought the church would be able to find them work/get them a visa in the US.  We knew it, and we baptized them anyway.

    But no, neither the Mormon church nor the missionaries involved here would be cool with this, at all.

    I love it.

  • Annie

    I love their baptism jumpsuits (I’m assuming their jumpsuits)!  Can they become scientologists next?  That would be fascinating.  I look forward to listening to their podcast tomorrow.  And for those of you who are questioning, I see no moral dilemma … they appear to be acting as anthropologists here, and I look forward to hearing what they have learned. 

  • It was an undercover operation, that both illuminated the interior of this religion, while tying up the resources of at least a few missionaries who would otherwise be off brainwashing innocent people looking for meaning in life. Nice gig.

  • They even perfected creepy “filled with holy spirit” smiles :DDD

  • Commenter9000

    Don’t become scientologists. There’s no way to do that without giving CoS large sums of money and playing right in to their game.

  • Isn’t it the Magical Mormon Underwear©?

  • scramble

    In all seriousness, don’t become scientologists. They are vicious and relentless; a Cults and Religions professor at my local university does extensive research on scientologists, and must keep all his materials on university property at all times, to protect himself from lawsuits. Look what happened when Southpark made fun of Scientologists. These people do not mess around. I shudder to think what kind of harassment this couple would get if they were caught “spying” and creating negative publicity for the church. At the very least, if they choose to take on Scientology, they should do so with their eyes open. 

    By all means, though, go take the introductory Scientology test where they measure your thetans with what is essentially a potato battery…..that’s just good clean fun.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed this podcast a lot.  I have a few Mormon friends and I know a good bit about the church and their beliefs and rituals and practices.  I’ve never been directly proselytized though and I a terrible liar/ actor so it wouldn’t get too far.  Thus I appreciated the inside look.  

    Mormons are always very nice and friendly to non believers (in my experience) but they can get nasty towards ex-mormons very quickly.  so i imagine they were non to pleased about the deception here.

  • Anonymous

    How about making up a dead relative and going to see one of the assholes who claim they can talk to the dead? I don’t know if it would be legal to record it, but I’d love to see them punk one of those exploitative pricks by letting them go on for 30 minutes about specific details of the imaginary relative and then go “Oops sorry, I just completely made that up”.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  All I can think of is why would anyone subject themselves to that?  Clearly it is good to expose these churches for what they are but is the effort really worth it?

  • Anonymous

    I follow way too many podcasts as it is, but dammit, this is just too interesting to pass up.

  • No. Mormon underwear is much more like long johns cut off at the knee and upper arm.

  • Don’t they know that it is nearly impossible to get away from the Mormons once you join? Seriously, people like me who were born into the religion have spent serious time and effort to stop church members from trying to contact them. It’s like the mailing list you can’t get off, only in person. Even if you move, they will find you. 

    Basically, you can check out anytime, but you can never leave.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    … and — this is impressive — gone through five months’ worth of classes in order to become official Mormons.

    A waste of time. My plan is to be baptised Mormon after my death. Like the rest of you too, but you may not be aware of it.

  • Kurt

    I grew up around Mormons and always wanted to do this type of undercover operation, to see what “really” goes on!  In more strident days of youth, I even wanted to “convert” for a nice Mormon girl and go all the way with a Temple marriage, then document every detail for the outside world.  But I could never bring myself to hurt one person that badly (and unless I found that one secret Mormon-raised non-believer who would go along with the deception, she would be deeply hurt).

    Anyway, what you’re saying rings true.  Every missionary’s got to have a “body count” to show for your two years in the field.  They’ll baptize anyone who’s willing to be on the list for all time and eternity (or at least, it seems like an eternity when they’re knocking on your door and you’re pretending not to be home).

  • Rebecca “Zeek” Essenpreis

     Listen to the podcast for your answers.

  • Rebecca “Zeek” Essenpreis

    What I said above. Listen to the podcast.  They were SO honest. They developed good relationships with these people, and even after coming clean with them about not wanting to continue down the path, they remain friends with their elders.  Seriously. LISTEN to it.

  • Hi Jennie. I avoided this by never giving them my real address. 😉

  • In episode 5, we tell the missionaries about the podcast. We expected them to be very upset. What happened will probably surprise you. =)

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  What dedication.  As a former Mormon, I’ll listen to their story to see how they went about this ordeal.

  • Paula

    Just in case someone gets confused by the term “couple”. Ross and Carrie are not a couple.

    Ross’ wife would be against that, I think  😉

  • Not me. I gave them my real address and all my real info. Looking forward to a lifetime of fun with the Mormons! ;0)

  • Sinfanti

    All the more reason why I appreciate their efforts.  It’s like they took one for the team.

  • True dat.

  • Haha! I’m glad you guys are aware of this issue though. I was worried you had gotten yourselves into a lifetime of stalking without knowing. They are very persistent. 

  • Kaa

    Plus, they say on the podcast that you have to tithe for about a year before they’ll give you the option of getting the underwear.

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