Religious cults aren’t unique to China

This is right here in my backyard, and it makes me totally sick.

The freckle-faced 17-year-old said he was left to fend for himself last year after being forced out of Colorado City, Ariz., a town about 40 miles east of here, just over the state line.

“I couldn’t see how my mom would let them do what they did to me,” he said.

When he tried to visit her on Mother’s Day, he said, she told him to stay away. When he begged to give her a present, she said she wanted nothing.

“I am dead to her now,” he said.

Gideon is one of the “Lost Boys,” a group of more than 400 teenagers — some as young as 13 — who authorities in Utah and Arizona say have fled or been driven out of the polygamous enclaves of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City over the last four years.

His stated offenses: wearing short-sleeved shirts, listening to CDs and having a girlfriend. Other boys say they were booted out for going to movies, watching television and staying out past curfew.

Some say they were sometimes given as little as two hours’ notice before being driven to St. George or nearby Hurricane, Utah, and left like unwanted pets along the road.

Make no mistake about it: I hate all irrational, birdbrained cults. They don’t have to be in China. They leave nothing in their wake except misery and brainwashed misfits. Arrest them and hold them to the law. (Though, of course, that can only be done in a country that recognizes and respects the rule of law.)

The Discussion: 16 Comments


Anyone for a cup of kool-aid?

June 13, 2005 @ 9:40 pm | Comment

Can I make a big damn generalization here?

Fundamentalism SUCKS!

June 13, 2005 @ 9:50 pm | Comment

This isn’t “Fundamentalism”, this is a lunatic cult engaged in sexual exploitation.

June 13, 2005 @ 11:00 pm | Comment

Name one form of religious fundamentalism that does not have some aspect of sexual exploitation embedded in it.

June 14, 2005 @ 12:46 am | Comment

I know!…wait…

Oh yeah!…uh wait minute.

Remember the…..damn.

Can’t think of one.

June 14, 2005 @ 12:48 am | Comment

How about Buddhists? After I wrote that I stopped for a minute and thought…well, how about the Buddhists?

Otherwise, I’m out of ideas.

June 14, 2005 @ 1:14 am | Comment

Buddhists aren’t a cult. In fact, they aren’t really even a religion.

How would you classify Buddhists?


June 14, 2005 @ 1:27 am | Comment

Well, buddhists aren’t that nice allways too. I think it was on Sri Lanka where buddhists justified killing of non-buddhists by saying they where just helping them, cause in theire next life they had the chance to become buddhits and so a step closer to final salvation. That’s at least what I recall from a lecture about the worlds religions.
I’m not that much into it but doesn’t China have a long record of buddhist cults that also engaged in weird sexual practics; or is that just confucian propaganda?

June 14, 2005 @ 1:42 am | Comment

John Lennon’s also big on sexual exploitation too, and Yoko used to procure for him, that sly pretend peacenik hippie, as bad as the worst of the bully corporate execs. Does worship of Lennon qualify as a cult, one of personality?

June 14, 2005 @ 2:38 am | Comment

Richard, you (and others) may find Jon Krakauer’s book “Under the Banner of Heaven” interesting. It covers the origins and issues of these Southwestern polygamist communities, which are tangentially related to the much more mainstream Mormon church. It’s spooky but fascinating reading.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:25 am | Comment

Well, ‘plural marriage’ used to be a mainstream Mormon practice, until Utah Territory decided to apply for statehood, at which point a Mormon ‘prophet’ announced that polygamy was no longer OK. Six years later, Utah became a state.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:46 am | Comment

Wanted – Dead or Alive

The animal pictured to the right is Warren S. Jeffs, The Prophet, and also judge and jury, bank and police, and above all defender of the faith as head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This church broke away from the…

June 14, 2005 @ 8:41 am | Comment

Some comments:
I would argue that polygamy, or polyandry, is a civil right inferred in the U.S. Constitution to consenting adults under the “no establishment” clause. The problem is, as highlighted by the most recent Utah case, many of the “women” tend to be underage. The latest is a 16 year old procured for a 28 year old adult. So their “consent” is invalid under law even if they meet the statutory age for marriage. Polygamy can also be found outside religious cults, particularly in Southeast Asia. My wife refused a request for financial aid from a niece in Vietnam based upon the fact that she had become the third wife of a communist official. As for Buddhism. Marriage practices follow the customs and mores of the societies within which it exists. Mainstream Buddhism can hardly be termed a “cult”, but the practices of some tantric buddhist groups certainly merits the term. And yes, Buddhism is a religion, certainly for all the laity, and the great majority of the monks and nuns. That said, there are some practicing Zen Buddhists, particularly westerners, for whom Buddhism can rightly be described as a philosophy.

June 14, 2005 @ 9:13 am | Comment

Sheriff Declines to Serve Warrant On Polygamist

The sheriff of Schleicher County, Texas has declined to seek out FLDS polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. A warrant for Jeffs arrest was issued by Mohave County, Arizona last week (he is also wanted on another warrant in Utah). Jeffs’ whereabouts

June 14, 2005 @ 2:02 pm | Comment

What laws are these mormons breaking, exactly? I mean, I find them to be disgusting people, and I suppose you could charge them with child endagerment depending on how they remit their sons to the outside world, but I’d rather their sons be out here where they can be taught how crazy their parents are.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:20 pm | Comment

Aaron, haven’t you been reading the stories here in Arizona? Forcing underage girls to marry….beating and terrorizing women….polygamy….child abuse…child abandonment… These are crimes. And yes, I agree that their kids are better off far away from them. But it’s still illegal to just dump your kids along the road and drive far away.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:28 pm | Comment

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