Let’s talk about Harvey Weinstein.
No, Keith Raniere. He must know the word “cult” well. He is a studious guy and Nxvim was no accident. Jeffs’ life blew up some ten years ago and for Raniere it was a similar plan in action.
Elissa Wall and Rebecca Musser are women who broke free. They sound exactly like Lucia Evans (Weinstein). They are both extraordinary women and simply women who have grown up too. Now they are successful, independent, and also attractive women.
A lot of #me too is about women.
These men went to prison because of individual cases brought by tenacious victims. Just like with Raniere, for Jeffs the charges (conspiracy to commit underage sex) are just an introduction to the overall harm done. They even appear as odd charges given the crimes and damage. Everyone and each separate story is what makes these criminals so fascinating. Call it justice if you will but there is a happy ending: it is over.
Banking on Heaven, I still cannot find it. Damned to Heaven popped-up and was excruciating and informative. Dateline, fairly recently, is excellent; Prophet’s Pray is very good. The Lifetime movie (Tony Goldwyn) was fun but very misleading. Mike Watkiss has talent: “Mr. Jeffs, are you ready for prison?” It makes me want to read Under the Banner of Heaven.
Then I watched Putin’s War on Frontline.
One learning is that it is very much like organized crime. Both rely on trusted lieutenants, family, and strict codes of silence. They engage in crime conspiracies in that they know it is illegal yet they do it anyway. They go to extraordinary lengths to plan, execute, and cover-up.
They are both cases where people in some organizations worked to bring them down. Any charge–Utah and Arizona gave way to Texas to put Jeffs away–that will remove the leader is a start and the immediate goal.
FLDS and NXIVM are similar–Weinstein too, for that matter–in that they get at this thing of, do I feel sorry for the victims? “Justice” aside, I can never lose track of the focus and that is the victims. Ten thousand, 8,000, or more–that is the FLDS member estimate–is a pretty small number for a city but it is a large number of crime victims. Now, Short Creek, right on the border between Utah and Arizona, may turn into more of a refugee camp or social project than anything else. Worshiping a man in prison cannot go on indefinitely.
It is pretty property but the fences, and particularly the walls, ruin it. The houses and mobile homes where many of the wives and children live look like slums. A high percentage are on welfare. It is like opioid addiction without the opioids.
Oh yes, cults. Another learning is that a family can be a cult. We want you to be an alcoholic. Exercise and education are bad. Obedience are respect are good. That is a cult too.
Warren Jeffs is the person who turned the FLDS church into a criminal conspiracy.
The Lifetime movie is an action film, great cast, and an introduction. Probably Jeffs was not a born preacher (or connected to God) because he was a whipsaw private school principal with thick glasses. Good work if you can get it. Jethro Clamplett used to be the only one who said “I’ll learn ’em.” That is not meant to be funny. The 1-8 curriculum covered the church and obedient retention only; Jeffs ruled with a monotone voice and stick. It is not funny. “I will break you,” he said to Musser and that, in the form of marriage to his 85-year old father was no joke either.