Tuesday, April 5, 2016

FLDS Apocalypse Tomorrow

Once again, sorry about the late notice. I just found out myself today. 

According to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the world will end tomorrow. Of course, accepting that prophecy requires believing that Warren Jeffs, a man who has abused his position as Prophet of the Church for years and is currently serving time in prison for child rape. Let's just say that on my list of self-proclaimed prophets alive in the world, he's one of the folks at the bottom of my list.

Elissa Wall, who escaped the FLDS years ago, told The Guardian that on Wednesday, the FLDS people have been told that Warren Jeffs, the man they consider their prophet will be freed from jail when an earthquake crumbles the walls of the prison where he is jailed. At the same time, his brother Lyle Jeffs, who ran the FLDS community in his absence but was recently jailed on fraud charges, will break free from the Salt Lake federal court house when he appears for a hearing.

Tonia Tewell, Executive Director and Founder of Holding Out For Help, a group that helps about 200 people escape polygamy every year, said she too has heard about the end-of-the-world prophesy and she feels confident Warren Jeffs sent that message to his followers from his Texas prison cell. "I think it's very convenient that April 6 is the apocalypse," said Tewell.

She said her gut tells her that Warren Jeffs made the prophesy because he needs money for the legal defense of his brother Lyle and ten others who were also recently charged with committing food stamp fraud -- duping the government out of millions of dollars. Tewell said in the past, when Jeffs predicted doom for his people, he also asked them for money. In the past, some FLDS people have reached out to her group desperate for loans to fulfill the requests of their leaders.

It's not just the money. Lots of evangelists raise money on false promises and while I have a fair amount of contempt for them, it really doesn't rise to the level of contempt I have for Jeffs. When he took over his FLDS group it was already insular and conservative, but it was Jeffs who went full cult-leader on its followers. He issued dictates prohibiting basically everything members of the group enjoyed and at the same time used his position to enrich himself. Even among false prophets, the guy is pretty clearly a scumbag.

So here's my prediction. Tomorrow will come and go with no Apocalypse, and no miraculous escapes for Jeffs or his brother. Because there's absolutely no way that God would tell Warren Jeffs about the Apocalypse. You know, unless God was pranking him or something.

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