Posts Tagged ‘cults’

The final installment in a longer-than-I-intended series on Mormon fundamentalism. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to get some background, otherwise, forge ahead!

True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days

Flock: 300-500

Locale: Manti, Utah

Extracurricular Beliefs: Wow, this is going to be long. First there’s polygamy, Adam-God Doctrine and the Law of Consecration, which are basically standard at this point, but there’s more here. They believe in “multiple mortal probations,” which is like reincarnation, but one keeps one’s gender and personality as one gets closer to godhood. They also believe in “rescuing” women: since women cannot hold the priesthood themselves, their place in heaven depends on the man they’re married to. If a woman is married to a man of low stature within the church, she can be “rescued,” by a man of more church authority. Essentially, more important men can take women away from less important men at will.

Two more. The TLC church believes that if the Temple rite is done correctly, one can “pierce the veil,” and talk to the dead. This is important, because then you can ask whether they would like to be baptised postmortem. It would seem that the dead usually say “Yes.” Finally, the leader, Jim Harmston, prophesied that the end times would come in 1999 and everyone but their church would be swept from the earth.

Mannerisms: Women are usually educated adults when married; they also own the Red Brick Store in Manti, UT.

Trivia: The church pursued adoption by the Sioux Indian tribe, since the tribe is not obligated to the US government. They failed.

Centennial Park

Flock: about 1500

Locale: South of Colorado City, AZ

Extracurricular Beliefs: mainly polygamy. Split from the FLDS church in 1986 when the FLDS went from government by council to government by individual; Centennial Park is still governed by council.

Mannerisms: wear modern dress, don’t marry off teenagers, and though they practice a form of arranged marriage, actually seem like they live in the same world as the rest of the country. They’re the main group raising polygamy “awareness” and trying to make it legal-so, they’re pretty public about it and the normal lives they claim to lead.

Trivia: are trying to piggyback the “polygamy equality” movement on the back of the gay rights movement. I’m not quite sure what I think about that.

Nielsen / Naylor Group

Flock: 200-ish

Locale: Salt Lake valley, UT

Extracurricular Beliefs: Polygamy, and what else I have no idea. Apparently they splintered from Centennial Park in 1990 because of “disagreements.”

Mannerisms: similar to Centennial Park, I think.

Trivia: the internet knows nothing about these people.

The United Latter-day Church of Jesus Christ

Flock: 100-200

Locale: Mostly David County, UT but also some in CA, AZ and WY.

Extracurricular Beliefs: Polygamy; Law of Consecration; Excludes black men from the priesthood. They split from the FLDS group during while Leroy S. Jenkins was prophet. They still accepted that priesthoods conferred by the FLDS were valid until Warren Jeffs took over.

Mannerisms: Men and women usually wear conservative, homemade clothing. Marriages are arranged, and if a man does something “bad” his wives can be taken away and given to someone else. Their webpage says they also turn off the electricity one weekend a month to live more simply and spend quality time together.

Trivia: the original leaders both converted from Anabaptism.

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To really get the most out of this, you should probably read Part 1 of the Handy Dandy guide, where I explained the doctrines that set these groups apart from mainstream Mormonism. Yeah, you know what polygamy is, but what’s the Adam-God theory?

Today’s post outlines the groups themselves. This was going to be all one post, but it turned out to be too big, so I split it into more. Possibly three. Look forward to it!

Apostolic United Brethren

Flock: between 5,000 and 8,000

Locale: most in several towns in Utah and Ozumba, Mexico, where they have a temple; Pinesdale, MT; Lovell, WY; Mesa, AZ, Humansville, MO.

Extracurricular beliefs: the Adam-God doctrine, Law of Consecration, and Plural Marriage. The last was the main reason they split from the mainstream LDS church in 1886.

Mannerisms: church leaders do not organize marriages, people under 18 do not marry, and no one marries close relatives. One of the more liberal groups.

Trivia: in 1977 the leader, Rulon C. Allred, was shot by Rena Chynoweth , a follower of another Mormon splinter group.

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church)

Flock: between 6,000 and 8,000

Locale: Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ (formerly both known as Short Creek); recently built a temple in Eldorado, TX at the Yearning For Zion ranch. You may have read about it in the news.

Extracurricular Beliefs: Blood Atonement, the Law of Consecration, and Plural Marriage.

Mannerisms: girls are assigned to men based on a revelation by the prophet, Warren Jeffs, when they reach marriageable age. Jeffs’ definition of “marriageable age” has gotten him a ten-to-life jail sentence. Wives are required to be subordinate to their husbands, and everyone is subject to a strict dress code, which apparently derives inspiration from the stylite monks of yore: the higher the hair, the closer to God.

Trivia: Hilade / Colorado City has a gobsmackingly high occurrence of the rare genetic defect fumarase deficiency-about 60% of the world’s cases (about 20 out of 33) have occurred there. Variety in your sexual partners, folks. Don’t date people who look like you.

Latter Day Church of Christ, aka the Kingston Clan

Flock: 2,000

Locale: Salt Lake City and surrounding areas

Extraccurricular Beliefs: Polygamy is the only one I can find for sure (some of the important men have 30+ wives), but the Law of Consecration seems likely.

Mannerisms: Owns at least $70 million worth of gaming equipment throughout the Southwest, selling tp casinos, bars, etc. via the Davis County Cooperative; most members live in abject poverty. Routinely marry off underage girls.

Trivia: They specialize in incest, since the second leader of the group, John Ortell Kingston, believed he had to keep the bloodlines pure. Marrying first cousins, nieces or nephews, or half-siblings is pretty common.

Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Flock: 100-200

Locale: Modena, UT.

Extracurricular Beliefs: Mainly polygamy, but since they’re an offshoot of the AUB (outline above), I assume they also believe in the Law of Consecration and the Adam-God doctrine. The former leader, Gerald Peterson Sr., claimed that Rulon Allred’s ghost visited him after Allred was murdered and handed leadership to him.

Mannerisms: dress modernly, and claim to not marry off underage women. However, in 2001 there was a big court case in which Tom Green, a member of the church, was convicted of marrying (and having sex with) a 13-year-old, and they had a child. They are still married. Therefore, draw your own conclusions.

Trivia: Finding info on this group is pretty tricky. The best I have for this section is that, surprise, they’re secretive, but have a pyramid-shaped temple in Utah. One webpage claimed that the temple had something to do with the mainstream LDS church allowing black men to take the priesthood, but it didn’t really clarify.

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