While on sabbatical from religious blogging a number of blog-post worthy things happened, mostly on television. One of those events was Oprah Winfrey’s journey into the heart of Fundamental Mormonism for some fresh baked bread.
I had two strong thoughts on Oprah’s visit to the Yearning for Zion Ranch. The first was that she is extraordinarily savvy at disarming people and becoming accepted by them enough for interviews. The second was that she wasn’t prepared enough to probe past the “milk-before-meat” half-truth answers they were giving. She quite often just accepted their answers on face value. Perhaps that was part of her plan though, to limit any and all confrontations (for future visits).
What surprised me the most was that she used the word “cult” several times (the irony of Oprah talking about cults aside). I think Oprah correctly used the term in referring to the FLDS as a cult. Every expert on mind-control and sociological cults classifies them as a cult and they meet every qualification you can think of.
I recognize that LDS are sensitive to the use of the “C” word. But I’m wondering what LDS think of the FLDS. If you’re LDS, do you consider the FLDS a cult? If not, is that because you eschew the word entirely, because you don’t think any group should be called a cult, because you don’t believe there is any such thing as a mind-controlling cult, or for some other reason specific to the FLDS?
Please note: this discussion is NOT about polygamy or government’s misuse of power in protecting children. It IS about mind-control and the FLDS use of such tactics.
Please ALSO note: To be absolutely clear. I’m not asking if you think the words “cult” and “brain washed” are good terms for defining groups we don’t like.
I’m asking if you think the FLDS meet the strictest of definitions used by psychological professionals.