SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or the Mormon Church) has expelled sex therapist Natasha Helfer for refusing to bow down to their notions on “sexuality issues,” including its obsession with the unscientific notion of “porn addiction.”

According to a Salt Lake City Tribune report, Helfer “received a letter Wednesday from her former stake (regional) president in Kansas, where she lived before moving to Utah in 2019, explaining the reasons for her removal from the Salt Lake City-based church.”

“After carefully and prayerfully considering this matter,” the church rep informed Helfer, “it was the decision of the council to withdraw your church membership in response to conduct contrary to the law and order of the church.”

“Withdraw your church membership in response to conduct contrary to the law and order of the church” is the current LDS euphemism for what, until recently, was termed “excommunication.”

On Sunday, according to the report, “Helfer was asked to leave a church disciplinary hearing — before it even began — because she wouldn’t turn off her cell phone,” where she had her prepared notes. The “membership council” took place without her.

Helfer posted the letter on her Facebook page yesterday and added, “It is done. For now.”

‘Spiritual Violence’

Some people within the LDS Church have questioned the church’s decision. 

“I’ve felt for decades that excommunication or removal of members was unnecessary except in criminal or abusive situations,” Jody England Hansen, a Helfer supporter, told the Salt Lake City Tribune. “Anything that is done because of differences is spiritual violence.”

Membership removal “goes against what the gospel of Christ is — and against what the church I love is about,” Hansen added.

Helfer, the SLC Tribune reports, “supports same-sex marriage, counsels that masturbation is not a sin and insists pornography should not be treated as an addiction.”

Helfer had received the support of hundreds of fellow therapists, noting “it is in line with current mental health practices and [she warned] that withdrawing her church membership could ‘create a culture of stigma and shame’ and prevent clients from seeking therapy. It also could have a chilling effect on ‘other therapists providing culturally competent, clinically sound and evidence-based care.’”

A Porn-Obsessed Religion and State

The Mormon church has resisted any attempts to discuss scientific and evidence-care, and has staunchly promoted a “porn is Satan’s weapon” view that led to a religious obsession with “porn filters.” Utah is the first state to easily pass unscientific anti-porn legislation, and actively supports the ostensibly “non-religious” crusading organization Fight the New Drug.

Helfer can appeal the decision “by writing to the faith’s governing First Presidency within 30 days of her hearing.”

XBiz