They Alive, Dammit!

Was watching the Netflix documentary Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, and was preparing myself to doze off after the first few minutes (or switch back to watching old Justice League Unlimited episodes) but the presentation was surprisingly fast-paced and gripping unlike many documentaries that just linger and linger with aerial shots of the town and such.

Strangely I’ve never heard of this cult, not even when it was unfolding in the news (early 2000’s). In brief: Warren Jeffs is the prophet of this huge religion (an extreme offshoot of the LDS) that espouses polygamy, as in a man should marry as many women as he can (even 12-year olds!) to get closer to heaven. At some point the women were required to strictly wear their hair a certain way, and dress in long prairie dresses in light pastel colors. As soon as I saw the poor women in this get up the first thing that came to mind was: “UNBREAKABLE! They alive, damn it!” the theme song of magnificent sitcom The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, because that is their exact look in the show. I’ve been re-watching Kimmy Schmidt recently and realized I’d missed a lot of jokes the first time around.

In the series, Kimmy and 4 other women were kidnapped and kept in a bunker for many, many years by a demented reverend, played by Jon Hamm. Warren Jeffs is obviously a billion miles away from the gorgeousness of Jon Hamm, but as cult experts say, there are multiple factors why people would fall head over heels for a cult leader, and not necessarily because he’s hot.

Back in college while I was sitting forlornly in the UP Sunken Garden, 3 cheery boys approached me and asked if I wanted to join their Bible study. Being vulnerable (vulnerable!) at that time, I joined. Everything seemed routine at first, until one of them said something like: “All right, I want you to write on a piece of paper, the number of times you masturbate in a day. Me? I masturbate twice a day. Whenever I see a hot girl in the jeep, it really gets me hard. Now YOU indicate how often you masturbate and specify what makes you hard.”

So maybe I’ve embellished his dialogue–it was over twenty years ago–but that was the gist of it. Essentially, tell us how horny you are so we can judge you!

I never went back.

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