LISTEN: William "Accidental Terrorist" Shunn on Mormonism and science fiction

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Just think if 50 shades of gray had existed 150 years ago it would not have been of high enough quality to get published, but it would have been of high enough quality to found a religion around.

the bizarre circumstances in which Shunn, as a teenaged Mormon missionary stationed in Calgary, Alberta, was arrested and deported for terrorism.

He phoned in a bomb threat to an airline. The explanation is weird, and he was let off basically scot-free, but he was arrested and deported for phoning in a bomb threat to an airline. The only bizarre thing is that he got off lightly, not that he was charged with terrorism.


Sure. I mean, it’s arguable to a certain extent whether a hoax phone call that wasn’t intended to be terroristic should be classified by terrorism, or whether this thing or the other thing, etc. But I’m not going to argue about that.

The bizarre thing wasn’t the getting charged for committing a crime, the bizarre thing is how this kid thought that the best thing he could do in those circumstances was to make a hoax bomb threat. That’s the thing that I took away from the interview, at least, that the LDS did such a number on his head that he thought that God wanted him to do literally anything to stop another kid going home because he’d had enough of missionary work. Maybe we’re lucky he didn’t have the time or expertise to make a real bomb.


Hi all!

I served a domestic Mormon mission, like Mr. Shunn did. He was in Calgary in 1987, and I was in Milwaukee in 1997.

If anyone’s curious about the stuff he said in the interview I’d be happy to discuss.


I’ve been listening to the dogma debate podcast, and they interviewed a formon who made the LDS church look like a business. Like they call meetings to make sure people are tithing correctly and stuff.

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Right, that’s Tithing Settlement.

It’s an annual meeting with the Bishop or one of his counselors where you discuss whether you’ve “paid a full tithe” for the year. Lots of people wait all year until Tithing Settlement and just write one check.

This matters because you can’t go to the temple unless you’re a Full-Tithe Payer.

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One of the first podcasts I ever listened to was by/about this story…

The explanation really doesn’t make it sound better.

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I’m not attempting to make it sound any certain way.

And my explanations don’t necessarily follow the logic of a rank-and-file member’s justification for whatever doctrinal point to themselves.


suddenly it makes kind of sense


Hard drugs or hard religion; both to be avoided in my book, or if taken, only in moderation.


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