9 May 2008

Sects are all about sex

Batesville Herald Tribune - May 8, 2008

The raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas, that liberated 400 children from a life of abuse a few weeks ago was just the latest in a sorry history of messianic cults in the land of the free.
The sect’s leader, Warren Jeffs, is in prison for raping children. With him gone there was apparently no leader, but also no shortage of men to keep the outfit and its philosophy going. It was a 911 call that brought police to the compound. Presumably made by a 16-year-old girl in the compound, no one has identified the caller and some speculate the call might have been bogus. Still, the call accomplished what it intended — to bust up a sect where men enjoyed the sexual services of numerous women and children, including boys.
The compound was part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an offshoot of Mormonism that believes in polygamy and practices it. Mormons outlawed polygamy more than century ago, but radical sects, like the one run by Jeffs, kept it going because the men loved the power and variety of partners.
All of these sects have one thing in common: sex. That’s all they are about, and the leaders use religion and fear to keep the women and children in place. Think of David Koresh who ran the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas. He was using the Lord to gain as many sexual partners as possible. He read in the Bible about a woman with no breasts and concluded he had to have sex with a 12-year-old girl.
Jim Jones, the charismatic psychotic who led 900 people to their deaths, used sexual humiliation to keep his followers in line. The trials of the male residents of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, most of them descended from Fletcher Christian who led the mutiny on the HMS Bounty in 1789, resulted in rape convictions. The Pitcairn way of life was apparently one long epsiode of child abuse. There was no religion involved on the island, just isolation and patriarchy.
In his book “Rogue Messiahs,” Colin Wilson tells about the phenomenon of religious nuts who declare themselves to be the son of God or some such nonsense. These people have unusual powers to persuade and will only pick weak people who will back their psychosis with unlimited adulation.
They have sex with numerous partners but get incensed if other men in the sect begin straying. They are into absolute control. It makes one wonder what kind of person would follow someone like that, give in to his every demand and obey his every command. It could be concluded that anyone who enters into a sect or cult, from the leader on down, has a dysfunctional personality. The children, however, don’t even have time to develop a personality before they are degraded and force-fed the dogma that will keep them in line.
Here religion is the key. Messiahs have to convince their followers that they have insight into the ways of God. Once that’s accomplished, through trickery, the false messiahs can get the followers to do anything. Here’s the most valuable lesson I ever taught my son about religion: Find even the most religious person, one who quotes the Bible at length, one with most saint-like qualities, and realize that he or she doesn’t know anymore about God than anyone else. There is no human prophet who will give people a shortcut to salvation.
When religion becomes an obsession, however, there are always these phony messiahs to capitalize on people’s fears.
Many of the teen girls rescued in Texas were pregnant. The mothers were dressed like bit players out of “Gunsmoke.” Texas did the right thing taking these children and women away from sexual slavery at the hands of self-deluded leaders.
Lawyers have descended upon Eldorado like locusts to try and get the children reunited with their mothers, many of whom returned to the compound because it’s the only life they know, the only life, they figure, that God would want them to have. Photos of weeping mothers and children shouldn’t deter Texas from trying to give these children a decent life.
I’m well aware that we have freedom of religion in this country. We can worship as we see fit, but there’s a difference between worshipping and committing illegal acts in the name of the Lord. Christianity, like most religions, treats women and children as second-class citizens, but sects take that attitude to an even darker level.
Two of the reasons these messianic charlatans are rarely exposed are religion and family, two areas that states fear to tread. But once people realize that religious sects are simply an excuse to prop up delusional power and insatiable pedophilia the sooner the innocent can be set free.
Just this week, Wayne Bent, 66, was arrested in New Mexico on charges of felony sex crimes against children. He led the Lord of Our Righteousness Church and claimed he was, you guessed it, the Messiah.
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