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Fundamentalist Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints

1404 words - 6 pages

A cult may be defined as a group of people centred about one person’s religious, social or political ideology (Martin, 2003). It is a movement that venerates a specific person, and uses manipulative techniques to recruit members and raise funds. Cults demand complete obedience from the members and use them to work, provide money and provide sexual favours for the benefit of the leaders. Most cults engage in criminal activities such as child marriages, sexual abuse, kidnapping, assault, arson and even murder (Snow, 2003). Over the years, there has been a brisk rise in the number of people starting up cults and those joining them. Individuals are in a bid to discover their significance through passionate and spiritual experiences, which are provided by cults. Reasons why people turn to cults include loneliness, lack of personal identity and alienation (Martin, 2003). There have been many cults in the course of American history. One of the most infamous cults is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). This paper will give a brief history of the cult, its methods of action, the toxic effects of its beliefs and the methods of treatment used for survivors.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints cult was founded in the early twentieth century after its founders separated from the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The split occurred after the parent church outlawed polygamy and threatened to excommunicate any members who continued its practice (Jacobson, 2011). The FLDS cult also disagreed with the parent church’s decision in 1978, to allow all male members to hold the priesthood, regardless of their race. This is because the FLDS cult is intrinsically racist and believes that the devil brings evil unto the earth through the black race. The cult has an estimated membership of between six thousand and ten thousand. Most of these members reside in the states of Utah, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and South Dakota. They mostly occupy towns on the border of Utah and Arizona. This location is strategic because it allows them to lead a private life with minimal intrusion. The current sect leader is Warren Jeff who took over when his father Rulon Jeffs died in 2002. Warren Jeffs was convicted for sex-crimes in 2011 and sentenced to life imprisonment and $10,000 fine (Jacobson, 2011).
One defining characteristic of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the practice of polygamy. The cult teaches that polygamy is ordained by God and it is necessary for any man to attain the highest level of salvation. The general belief in the cult is that a man must have a minimum of three wives to satisfy this condition. Moreover, the FLDS cult is patriarchal and the members believe that wives must be submissive to their husbands (Bromley & Melton, 2002). The cult observes placement marriage in which young girls are allocated to their husbands based on a revelation given to...

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