Skepticism

New Cult Update

Tying in with yesterday’s child murder/pedophile subject, Warren Jeffs was recently apprehended. If you’ll recall, I wrote about Jeffs just a few months ago when he made the FBI’s top ten most wanted criminals, right up there alongside Osama. He’s the leader of a peculiar sect of polygamists, suspected of being a brutal cult leader who likely sexually abused (or encouraged the sexual abuse of) young teenage girls.

Fox News (I know, I know) interviewed Flora Jessop, a former member of the cult who escaped to become an activist against them. She expresses relief and also fear at the possibility of violence occurring to anyone who might be able to testify against Jeffs.

(As an aside, while Googling around for more info on the story, I found this letter written in to the Arizona Republic that betrays a certain amount of ignorance and perhaps innocence:


The legal team responsible for prosecuting Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is facing a tough battle with possible witnesses who refuse to testify.

But if members of the FLDS group are as legitimate as they say they are, why are they so hesitant to speak truthfully – no matter who asks the question (defense or prosecution)?

It seems to me, as an outsider, that the truth should not be feared. Rather, it is freeing.
Immortality should not be feared when one is truthful. Isn’t this what Jeffs preaches?

Fear is numbing for his followers. Perhaps, the truth, for them, has an equally numbing effect. Too bad. – Martha Wood, Sun Lakes

I think it’s important that people realize that not everyone in this cult is there of their own free will. Many are born into it, and it is all they know. In addition to the threat of violence were they to testify against Jeffs, there is the fact that they’ve been essentially brainwashed into believing that this way of life is the only good and holy one. I wish it were simply a matter of people being “scared of the truth.”)

Jessop’s interview with Fox got pretty disturbing when she gave the names of two people she expects to vie for Jeffs place once he is deposed: Wendell Nelson and Merrill Jessop. The cycle continues, I guess.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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7 Comments

  1. I encourage everyone to read, "Under the Banner of Heaven" for a little context. Jon Krakauer writes well, and he certainly seems to have nailed the Fundamentalist Mormans right on the head.

    The good old regular Mormans have done a good thing by distancing themselves as much as they can from these whack jobs.

  2. Honestly, if they don't teach pedophilia or killing for their god on this planet, I couldn't care less what they teach about morality in fantasy locations they'll get to go visit after they die.

    Seriously, why do you care what they believe about Heaven?

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