Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints

If you have Netflix, look for the short documentary series on the FDLS. It’s a pretty amazing look inside a cult. The documentation is detailed, and the members and former members range from the older ones who knew the original leader, and the young ones who were taken by the Texas Rangers.

The community is still there. Warren Jeffs still writes stuff for them, from prison.

We watched that, very fascinating, but also telling. As I watched, I kept thinking about the cult of trump supporters and christian cons in general. The only difference I see between them and the Keep Sweet cult is a matter of degree, not a difference in kind.

Also reminded me of my catholic upbringing which had many of these same cult like sides to it. Again a difference in degree, not kind.

Also - the thing that made me wonder is, what if Warren and his predecessor actually believed what they preached? From the outside it looks like old white men using religion to have sex with girls. Disgusting to the core. And yet, it also seems like their interpretation of the bible, taken to its logical extreme, which is what they do, it seems like that behavior IS a natural result.

That’s difficult to know, and even more difficult to prove in court. I think he had the feelings, and found a way to justify his a acts, then maintained whatever cognitive dissonance he had.


Funny thing is, when they show him in prison it sure seemed to me that he wasn’t troubled, kept on providing sermons, etc. as if he was thinking that he did truly believe what he was saying. But like you say, intent is difficult to prove in court. The thing that really weighs against that (that he truly believes…) is that this comes up quite a bit it seems like in these religious cults. So there’s a pattern, even though I think they’re not all based on the same interpretation of the bible.

Another documentary about a religious cult is on HBO called The Weigh Down. Boy by comparison, the Keep Sweet cult was relatively “normal”. But they share the same traits, and what’s kind of frustrating is that no one seems to see these so-called cults as nothing more than a logical extension of mainstream organized religion. It’s just that mainstream has been around much much longer so that the cult-like aspects are sort of hidden in the sense of having been around so long that they’re accepted as normal.