Multiple Versions Of CES Letter History

This blog post shares specific time points in Jeremy Runnell’s life that contradict statements he later made about his intentions

“I almost put this post together a couple years ago, but I was torn. In interviews, Jeremy Runnells comes across as such a nice guy. And yet the very nature of this post calls into question his motives.”

Jeremy claimed he never intends to hurt the Church or its members. Yet, earlier he was already on record stating he didn’t want his kids being brainwashed and had a goal to get others out of the Church. Jeremy’s tone, approach, and stated goals changed.

This thread is available in the LDS forum of reddit:

When the author wrote the original CES Letter in 2013, he was already totally out of the church and self-identifying as an apostate. In this post dated November 15, 2012 for example, he describes himself as an exmormon and asks for advice on how to keep his kids out of the church even though his wife is still in.

“I’m BIC, RM, Temple Married who left the church a few months ago”

“I’m mainly worried about two things at this point: 1) TSCC undermining me as a father by feeding them “your dad lost the spirit” bulls**t. 2) TSCC brainwashing my kids into TBM “Follow the Prophet” robots.”

“When is the right time to bring up my disbelief and the details that caused my disbelief?”

“I want to know the most effective way to save them from Mormonism”

That’s just an example of where he was before he wrote the CES letter. That’s his reddit account.

After he published the first draft he said “I wrote this for my kids who one day are going to ask their dad why he left the faith.”

If you use Google’s “custom date range” search feature you can see a more of what he was saying at the time.

The original CES Letter was different than the one that is available today – he used more aggressive language that made his position at the time a lot more clear. For example (and this was read at his disciplinary council as one of the evidences for his apostasy):

“So, Christ is the crazy god of the Old Testament. The Christ of the Old Testament and the Christ of the New Testament are light years different. Again, I’m asked to believe in not only a part-time racist god and a part-time polygamous god but a part-time psychopathic schizophrenic one as well.”


“Delusion is believing when there is an abundance of evidence against something. To me, it’s absolute insanity to bet my life, my precious time, my money, my heart, and my mind into an organization that has so many serious problematic challenges to its foundational truth claims.”

You see that the current subtitle of the CES Letter “My Search for Answers to my Mormon Doubts” is not an accurate description of why he wrote the letter, the content of the letter, or his spiritual state at the time. He wasn’t someone searching for answers as he commonly portrays himself now – he had left the church, had resentment toward it, and was involved in trying to bring his family out of it. The original subtitle was “How I lost my testimony”; he crowdsourced the current subtitle at /r/exmormon in 2015 before releasing the current version.

By 2015 the way he described his position in 2013 had shifted from a strong antagonism closer to what he currently claims: that he was just looking for answers, man. The current release was modified from the previous one “for a softer tone” according to Runnells, and that is characteristic of what he was doing across the board. Here is a good example of the way he describes the period when he was writing all of the stuff I quoted above:

I didn’t lead people away from the Church. I don’t accept this phraseology.” (compare to his posts about how to apply a strategy to get his family out of the church.)

“All I did was share my reasons for doubting.” (compare to his clear antagonism and resentment of the church earlier – that’s not doubt)

“Yes, my position in 2015 is that the LDS Church is based on a foundation of fraud but I was still wrestling with figuring things out 2 years ago when I was approached by the CES Director.” (compare to his statements about the church from 2 years previous – he was quite certain it was a fraud and he spoke openly about it).

Since 2015 he’s really fortified his statements that he was just looking for answers to his doubts when he wrote the letter, but I think the selection of quotes I’ve given here shows that actually that’s not the case.

After he wrote the CES Letter he started speaking publicly against the church. This is what ultimately led to his disciplinary council.

You can read the transcript if you like. As evidence of his apostasy they picked out sections from the original CES Letter (I’ve quoted them above) and they picked out statements he made during that “press tour” period in 2014-2015.