Wednesday, March 24, 2010
To watch the whole thing go to YouTube and search the title of the documentary: Strong City.
This 48 minute movie documentary about a cult leader who has sex with his female followers made me think of Joseph Smith. In fact, I consider this a case study in how Smith was able to create his mass following and eventually seduce young women.
Instead of claiming to be the Messiah or embodiment of God as the cult leader Wayne Bent does in the film, Joseph Smith claimed to channel the voice and will of Jesus, which is known in the LDS church as the Doctrine and Covenants. Smith claimed to have direct communications with God on a regular basis. Like Bent, Smith and the early Mormon Church leaders attempted to isolate its members. Smith also had a troubled childhood like Bent did, having to have surgery on his leg at a young age. Both men claimed to have been "forced" by heaven to have sex with one of their followers. More parallels can be given which could fill a page. But I will allow the viewer to find the similarities themselves between Smith and Bent.
After this movie was filmed Bent was later arrested and imprisoned, see here.
Just as Mormons today continue to praise Joseph Smith by singing a hymn in his honor titled Praise to the Man, the followers of Bent also praise him. See the blog here.
For information on Joseph Smith and his "marriages" to teenagers and other men's wives see Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith and Mormon Polygamy: A History.
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