Adult members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stand around as children play with bottles of bubble water at their temporary housing, Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, in San Angelo, Texas, Monday, April 7, 2008. Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez.
Texas Sect Earns Cult Status
By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 09 April 2008 11:56 am ET
The allegedly polygamous group whose compound was raided this week in Texas is either a religious sect or a full-blown cult, depending on whom you ask. The raided compound was founded by jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, who took over in 2002 as prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), which broke off from the Mormon church in the 1930s over the issue of polygamy. Authorities have reportedly taken into legal custody more than 400 children and 133 women, deemed to have been harmed or in imminent danger of harm. While the media and some sociologists call the group a religious sect, other experts see it as a clear-cut cult, defined by charismatic leadership and abuse. According to news accounts of the FLDS, pubescent girls were forced into "spiritual marriages" to older men. Inside the compound's walls, researchers say, a new reality was born, with members indoctrinated so fully they had no concept of reality outside the walls.
Also from LiveScience, a Top 10 List of Wacky Cults. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not crazy enough to qualify, however...
Heaven's Gate leader Marshall Applewhite
Top 10 Crazy Cults
9. Cargo Cults
8. Villa Baviera ...
(also known as Raël)
ADDENDUM: The Smoking Gun has posted a copy of the affidavit filed by a Child Protective Services investigator, who charged that children at the FLDS compound were placed at risk of "emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse." Perhaps this group should replace Cargo Cults on the Top 10 List...
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