Sunday, December 29, 2013

Breaking the Faith: More Episodes

After writing my first post about this series chronicling eight ex-FLDS young adults, I saw on the internet (which is never wrong) that this reality show is a bit faked.

Whoa... what you say?  Reality shows are fake????  Say it ain't so!

Well, this show is about their escape to freedom a couple of years ago, according to the internet (which if course has to be true).   I actually feel better about watching it now that I know that, because the FLDS so strictly controlled their lives that I had to wonder if they could truly consent to being filmed.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, it's still fascinating and true-ish enough to be worth commenting on.

For one thing, other than the child sex abuse case that landed Warren Jeffs in prison, not much is known about the FLDS.  The girls and women look somewhat Amish, and they're polygamous (what destructive cult isn't?)  The boys who get kicked out because of the impossible numbers of a polygamous community are called "lost boys" but what of their fate?

Tonight's episode was largely about the girls' hair, makeup and clothes.  The FLDS women are not allowed to cut their hair because "in heaven you are supposed to wash your husband's feet with your hair."   What a nutty idea!  Does the earthly body go to heaven and yet stay on Earth?  God tells this guy some insane stuff.  They have also never worn makeup, never worn their hair in any style but the braided up-do mandated by Jeffs, and they have always dressed in 19th-century farmwife dresses.  Blah.  In the episode, the two most hesitant girls experiment with "gentile ways" of dress and hair.

The show includes audio clips of Warren Jeffs' voice, and he is every bit as creepy and smarmy on audio as I would expect.  (I found a clip on youtube that's 10 minutes of creepiness)  Tonight's episode included his famous "keep sweet" instruction to women and girls.  Keeping sweet includes such things as never having bad thoughts, never saying less than positive things, obeying the head of the household.  Creepy, and makes me want to go to "The Crick" and kidnap all the little girls!

Toward the end they show Warren Jeffs on a prison phone addressing an obedient group of FLDS women.  He poses the same question that a fundamentalist imam might say:  do you want to attract the attention of men with your hair and clothing?   On behalf of all the women on the planet, or at least 90% depending on how many are lesbian, I answer:  HELL YES!

Relationships with "normal" mormons, a.k.a. LDS, a.k.a. gentiles.  Joining the outside world but only hanging out with the few others who also escaped would kind of defeat the point.  The series has them jumping rather quickly into "gentile" life - parties, clubs, relationships.  One interesting question for one of the boys, whose new girlfriend wants him to go to church with him, is whether he wants to belong to any church at all after getting out of the cult.   He does go to the Mormon church, and is bored to death.  I predict his spiritual direction will not be with the LDS.

Sports.  No sports at all in the FLDS!  The boys, and all children past about age ten, are supposed to be working.  Naturally, they would have to if they live in families with dozens of children, non-working moms, and only one working father.  In tonight's episode two of the boys try playing basketball.  I'm glad I knew it was fakey-fake because they were too good for boys who had never played any ball games, but one kid got winded.  I can relate to that!  This is how asthma is frequently discovered.

They were allowed to ride bicycles until Jeffs had a communication from God about them, curiously just after one of the girls had an orgasm while riding her bike.  In last week's episode two girls ride a bike and fail to achieve orgasm.  Damn I'm going to have to get out that dusty exercise bike!

Next week is the season finale.  That was quick!

Warren Jeffs and his 50 wives, showing how they "keep sweet" in pastel candy colors


Infidel753 said...

They were allowed to ride bicycles until Jeffs had a communication from God about them, curiously just after one of the girls had an orgasm while riding her bike.

Only a true religious fanatic could regard this side effect as a negative one, but religious mania is often defined by its paranoia about sexuality. In some Muslim harems in the middle ages, cucumbers had to be cut into thin slices before being served to the harem women, due to concern that they might make illicit use of whole ones. It's odd that religionists denounce secular culture for being obsessed with sex, when they are even more so -- being obsessed with suppressing something is still being obsessed with it.

That washing-the-feet-with hair kink is a new one to me, though. You'd think in Heaven people's feet wouldn't get dirty in the first place.

A bizarre and sad way of life. The more people escape it, the better.

Hausdorff said...

I checked out this show after you posted about it previously. It's really interesting, but the fakey fakey nature of it just got on my nerves. What really bugged me about it, is if they just did interviews and admitted the video was reenactments it would have been really compelling. There's clearly some stuff that's real and some that's fake, and a lot that I can't tell which category it's in.

It's a bummer, I think the show could have been really great. It's still on my DVR though, I might give it another go.

LadyAtheist said...

At least it's not steamy hot tub scenes (yet) and nobody's been forced to eat worms. A show can be fake yet still be authentic - like great fiction

Ahab said...

Having heard audio recordings of Warren Jeffs speaking, I agree that he sounds smarmy. His monotone voice and demands for obedience creeped me out -- it's not the voice of a well-adjusted man.

uzza said...

The FLDS is nothing more than a modern day slave trade.

LadyAtheist said...

I agree about Jeffs not being well-adjusted.

About the slave trade - I think it may be even worse! At least the slave trade didn't send surplus men out into the world with little education, experience, or job skills.