Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trading the collar for stripes: A prophet goes to prison.

I realize I'm not going out on a limb too much here.

Undoubtedly, any rational human being would agree with my viewpoint on this subject, so I'm not too worried about being de-friended over this one.

Earlier today,Warren Jeffs, leader of a fundamentalist polygamist sect, pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a twelve-year-old girl following a "spiritual marriage." Jeffs is the self-proclaimed prophet of a splinter group of the FLDS organization, formerly located at the "Yearning For Zion Ranch" in Eldorado, Texas. I'm not sure it was Zion he was yearning for.

I suppose pleading guilty would be ill-advised, even if fifty people witnessed your alleged transgression...oh, hang on a second...they did. This group has been in and out of the news for the past several years; their compound in Texas was raided by federal authorities, men were arrested and a massive group of children was removed while everything was sorted out.

I guess I understand why these men do what they do. Just like Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson, and L. Ron Hubbard before him, Jeffs mastered the art of manipulation through spiritual dogma and utilized it toward his own jaded ends. Those in power tend to have a smorgasbord of insatiable appetites.

But how do these guys do it? Jones originally helped people dig themselves out of poverty, Manson could play a little guitar and Koresh had a youthful, rock star appearance. I'm not sure about Hubbard. Maybe he reeled them in out by promising spiritual enlightenment and free Mud Pie Blizzards.

So what's this Jeffs guy's shtick? He's definitely no Tom Selleck. Look at him. His face says, "I'm the product of so much inbreeding, I'm my own half sister." Does he provide comfort and encouragement to his flock? Maybe, but the only followers who are comforted and encouraged are those old men who are thrilled to marry someone who hasn't reached the pre-menopausal age of twenty.

I reserve a special place in my soul for those who victimize kids, and Mr. Jeffs, you are among the worst. From what I've heard, marriages can also be arranged in prison, but they tend end right after the honeymoon. May you marry many times in your new life.

Okay, so I'm preaching to the choir. He abused minors, broke the law and will pay the price. But what about polygamist families who slide under the radar until deciding to participate in a reality show, as showcased in TLC's Sister Wives? The alpha dog in this classic looks like he could play bass in Van Halen, only all the groupies are wives and none of the music can have nasty words.

Religious beliefs aside, he's got four wives. Four.

One question: Who's crazier, his wives...or him?

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