Then, On the Other Side of the Spectrum …

Hooo boy.  A couple of days ago I wrote about a pastor who went on a rant about the negative reaction from both his fellow clergymen and members of his congregation to President Obama’s support of same sex marriage.  I felt encouraged about how a Southern Baptist had the courage to stand on the pulpit and endorse a full separation of church and state while reminding everyone exactly how much Jesus had to say about homosexuality.

Then there’s Peter Lucas Moses.  He’s a cult leader in North Carolina who was arrested last year for killing one of his common law wives and a four year old boy … because he suspected the latter was gay.  Get a load of this:

As WRAL is reporting, prosecutors had been planning to seek the death penalty for Peter Lucas Moses, who has been charged with the deaths of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28.

The 27-year-old Moses is also allegedly the leader of radical religious sect [called the Black Hebrews], whose members comprised a number of women and children who called him “Lord.” Moses reportedly lived together with at least three of those women, who counted themselves as his “wives,” and nine children and in a one-bedroom Durham home. Moses is the biological father of all the children, except for Jadon.

The Black Hebrews are a religious group who believe they are the direct descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  I’m not too sure how that works, to be honest, since they’re African and the Israelites are … well … not … but hey, I guess it’s about as ration a foundation as anything else I’ve heard, so why not. Regardless of their origins, I honestly don’t think that most of them would hole up in a one bedroom house, marry several women, and form a cult that punishes those who choose to leave with death …

Last year, a report from the News-Observer, a local Durham County paper stated:

Investigators discovered the remains in June, months after their investigation began as a missing person case.”

Homosexuality, [District Attorney] Cline contended, is frowned upon by the Black Hebrews, so the defendant asked the boy’s mother to get rid of him.

Moses then ordered two of the other women to set up computers and speakers in the garage, prosecutors contend, then the defendant took the boy into the garage, where music and the Lord’s Prayer in Hebrew blared, and a gunshot sounded. One of the women told investigators the boy was shot in the head.

Some of the women cleaned up his bloodied body, prosecutors said, then put it in a suitcase in the master bedroom until Moses complained about the smell.

AND … upon hearing that one of his common law wives couldn’t bear children and wanted to leave …

On the day she died, prosecutors said, McKoy ran to a neighbor’s house and asked to use a cell phone to call her mother in Washington, D.C. The neighbor said she didn’t call police because she thought that it was a group home and that McKoy might be mentally disturbed.

Prosecutors said the neighbor told them that the other women came out of the house, and Moses struggled with McKoy and dragged her back inside.

Moses beat her throughout most of the day, with the women joining in at least once, and tried to strangle her with an extension cord, according to the witness.

The witness described how McKoy begged for her life, but Sisk got the gun Moses used to kill Jadon and took it to the bathroom, prosecutors said. The women told Moses “you cannot let her go” and said they feared him going to jail, Cline said.

They turned on the same music in the bathroom and took McKoy in there, prosecutors said. Sisk shot McKoy several times, killing her, they said.

The headline in one of the articles calls this “cult-like behavior”, which makes me laugh because there’s nothing “cult-like” about it.  It IS a cult.  Control by fear, delusions of divinity and grandeur, and the elimination of people who want to leave for fear of them telling others what’s being done behind closed doors … it’s all there.  This provides no comfort to Jadon and Antoinetta, but it’s fortunate that this group was so small and the murders were reported quickly enough to prevent others from occurring later on.  It sounds like the women in the house had so thoroughly submitted their will to him that they were willing to commit murder right alongside him.

As it stands, three of the women – Vania Rae Sisk (Jadon’s mother), 25, Lavada Quinzetta Harris, 40, and Larhonda Renee Smith, 27 – are being charged with first degree murder.  Three others – Sheilda Harris, P. Leonard Moses and Sheila Moses – are being charged for accessory to murder.

That’s pretty much it, I’m afraid.  I’m not going to pretend that this guy comes even close to representing modern Christianity or Judaism … but I’ll venture a guess that some places in the tribal regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan probably have things like this going on all the time, and no one bats an eye.  Mandates to exert this degree of control over other people you are allowed to call your possessions are part of every Abrahamic religion, but society – as a whole – has come to see these things as cruel and barbaric.  Incidents like these serve to remind us of the way of life that existed during the time the Torah and the Bible were written, and how we’ve thankfully left it in the past.

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6 Responses to Then, On the Other Side of the Spectrum …

  1. You are right, it is not modern Christianity or Judaism, and the most successful cult of personality in the World is now on its third generation in North Korea and is atheist. I am pleased to know that the FSM does not condemn homosexuality.

    • I know it’s a common assumption that North Korea is atheist – and I know I’m going against what I suppose is “popular knowledge”, but they clearly aren’t. It’s true they may not believe in a “god” or have religion as we define them in the western world, but they have in their place this monumental cult of personality built around the Kim family and just worship them as gods instead.

      I wrote about this a while back, but here’s the important part:

      One last point is that North Korea is also officially an atheist state … making it a constant talking point for some religious folks, who use it along with Soviet Russia, China, and Cuba to show the horrible, oppressive results of the “atheist belief system” on society. Of course, atheism is not the source of the problem in these cases as it is one of the results. People like Stalin, Mao, etc., realized immediately that if they were to establish a system of government in which the state is the final authority, the worship of a supreme creator and a belief in an afterlife would really have to go. Leave it to the Koreans to take it one step further and try to turn their rulers into actual gods. That’s chutzpah.

      • Er, um. Not, Atheism is Oppressive: but while religion may be used for oppression (and then claim to set people free) it is not necessary. And some people find their freedom levels raised by religion.

        • Sorry if I dumped a wall of text on you earlier; I just wanted to address the common association made between atheism and dictatorship since I wasn’t sure if that’s where the conversation was headed. It’s quite true that you don’t need religion for oppression, though generally there is a strong relationship between the two because of the degree of dogmatism inherent to it. Unfortunately, this past century has shown what can happen when such absolute moral certainty instead takes the form of blind nationalism – “state worship”, if you will.

          • Franco was closely allied to the Catholic church. It should have resisted him. The Russian Orthodox church supported the Tsar. In Britain we have to go back to Charles II for religious tyranny, everyone enforced to the State church.

            I think we are both for rational freedom. I am for mysticism as well- woo-woo bullshit, you might say- because it works for me.

          • “I am for mysticism as well- woo-woo bullshit, you might say- because it works for me.”

            *shrug* if you’re happy and you’re not forcing anyone else to live by your standards or teach it as science, then woo all you like 🙂

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