Saturday, May 9, 1970

Reflections on First Excommunication

Event: Mother's Day 1966;
Updated: 18 Sep 2012
Cain by Dupre'

I didn't learn about the excommunication until the following month--on Mother's Day, in fact, while on the phone to my mother!

I had called Mother on Mother's Day from the beach house in Laguna Beach to wish her well. While on the phone two men in dark suits came to the door and knocked. I opened the door while still on the phone to find out what they wanted, since I didn't recognize them. After asking my name, they handed me an official envelope in LDS stationery and left without comment. I described the event to Mother and opened the envelope to read its contents to her. It was the most terrible news she could have imagined: an official notification of my excommunication on April 2, 1966. Until her death in 2003, Mother believed I saved that letter to read to her on that date.

After ending the phone call and determining the actual date of the decision in the letter, I went to my dream journal to see if there was anything there and discovered this dream:

3 April 1966
CarmelCA 0515. I am walking alone, naked. An older man, official looking, also naked, approaches me with recognition. "Come, I've been waiting for you, looking forward to this," he says. Then he leads me on a circuitous route through unseen barriers over the wooden floor in the middle of a large deserted hall, like a basketball court in LDS church building. As I follow him he talks about how he has been looking forward to this and how much he has wanted to do this and how ready I seem to be.
 Eventually we come to a sophisticated machine. On it is the word "spectroscope". There is a chair attached to it in which I am to sit. A metal arm holds some kind of mirror with a slit device that is positioned in back of the chair which faces the consul part of the machine. Apparently I am to be examined through this slit from my back.
 Now I am aware of lying face down, still naked, between two metal posts on some kind of altar. Many men are milling around, members of the LDS priesthood (in their temple robes), going about their business in preparation to experiment with me. I'm being groomed or prepared for something.
 One of the men comes over to me, having recognized me, and asks, "How was Mazatlan?" (Up to this time everything had seemed impersonal.) I reply, "Oh, there were some complications and we haven't made it yet. It's still pending." Another brother (familiar face, reddish hair, one who curries favor with leaders) looks up a little surprised and asks if my first name is Gene.
 I acknowledge this and then realize he now knows who I am and of the stake action taken against me. I watch him go over to Brother Kenner, the presiding authority, and whisper in his ear while looking and pointing at me. Brother Kenner looks up with an angry start at me and with a fierce look and quick gesture with his right arm motions me to get out immediately (like being put out of a baseball game).
 Frightened, I get up and begin running away still naked and feeling like Cain fleeing. On my way out I hear angry voices behind me. Someone shouts, "I'll kill him!" Then another voice, interrupting, but emphatic and calm, says "No. In this church nobody better be found killing one of these!" 
[The voice is that of Ferren L. Christensen.]

 Arrive at another part of the building and come upon an Elders quorum meeting. It is the priesthood meeting of my old Berkeley Quorum that has just let out, while another quorum is starting its meeting. However, the officers of previous meeting have remained in the room (my old quorum). Art Wood is there, looks up to see me and looks startled. The other quorum is doing some official ordinance work (I am not acquainted with any of the members).  President Wood goes over to one of the new quorum officers and whispers in his ear. (I sense he knows my situation also.) The quorum officers and members begin moving themselves out of the room. I leave. Notice an envelope or letterhead or brochure about whatever is going on the big hall.  It is some kind of demonstration with modern computer type equipment.
 I awake deeply distressed.
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