Just so you know, I think Dawkins's concept of "memes" is silly and without merit.
I don’t care what term you use, the idea is sound, which is that there are some ideas that become very entrenched and popular in certain groups of people.
Just as commonly, in my experience, apostates are "on the offense."
That's a very common phenomenon with apostates from any group, and it certainly occurs in the case of Mormon apostates. (I submit much on this board, and very much on the so-called "Recovery" board, as Exhibits A and B.)
I think it's simply ridiculous and patently false to suggest that "it all begins with LDS teachings."
It begins with human nature, and I cheerfully admit that apostate Mormons are at least as human as believing Latter-day Saints are.
It's the nature of the religious commitment that creates the drama. Leaving Methodism for Presbyterianism isn't a very consequential step. But leaving orthodox Judaism for Presbyterianism is. And so is leaving Presbyterianism for orthodox Judaism. It isn't that the religion necessarily passes on some sort of silly "meme." It's that consequential life-changing steps -- religious or not -- invariably create drama (at least, for humans).
You misunderstood my use of the word “defense”. They are defensive as to why they lost faith, and often seek aggressively to explain that process, and how it differs from the entrenched and popular idea about apostates in the LDS faith, which originated in the Book of Mormon. So yes, they go “on the offense”, but the reason they’re going on the offense in the first place is to explain and justify their loss of faith. The logical question is why the need to explain and justify their loss of faith exists in the first place.
It certainly is not, as you later suggest, simply “human nature” that exists outside any reaction to any particular teaching of the group. I grew up in various protestant sects, and, along with some other siblings, completely disassociated from our last faith - the Methodist church – and declared ourselves agnostic and/or atheist. I would think that would constitute as drastic a change as converting to Judaism, and yet there was no severe reaction, in my family or our larger community of faith. In fact, my family is a great example, because we all converted to Mormonism later and I eventually lost faith in that religion as well. My parents’ reaction was completely different as Mormons than it was when they were Methodists. I don’t remember any sort of particular reaction to our loss of Methodist faith at all. Yet, when I left Mormonism, you’d think the world ended by their reaction. It took us years to get to a peaceful relationship over that, and it largely requires completely ignoring the religious question altogether. We’re all the same human beings, and atheism is quite different than Methodism. It wasn’t my humanity, or my parents’ humanity, that resulted in such a vastly different reaction to the loss of faith. It was Mormonism that changed their reaction.
This is just common sense. If you have a religion that teaches it is the ONE TRUE religion, and that only by its authority and faithfulness to its teachings will we return to our Heavenly Father and be united as a family again, if someone rejects that faith it will have entirely different repercussions than it will in the Methodist faith, which doesn’t teach such exclusivity. Add to that the teaching that apostates are sinful, proud, lazy (insert pejorative adjective here), and of course it’s a time bomb. Churches that do not teach “one true” and “evil apostate” paradigms normally do not have to deal with angry, combative exmembers. What do they have to be angry about? No one is teaching anything insulting about them or their loss of faith in particular, even if they’d rather it had not occurred.