The Kingston clan, polygamy and interracial sect accused of rape and enslavement

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Warning: This story contains information that may offend some readers.

Blakeline was 16 in 2020 when she was forced to marry her cousin Travis and immediately became pregnant.

She was subdued, without the power to decide on anything in her life. Her destiny was to maintain “pure Kingston blood” and to follow the designs of her husband, 11 years older than her.

On a few occasions, Blacklin would wake up in the middle of the night while her husband was abusing her. Couldn’t complain. Within the Kingston clan, male sexual desires must be obeyed within a marriage and cannot be considered rape, even if the woman has not given consent.

But when she saw that her husband was using her child as a sex toy, she said to stop it and find a way to escape.

Blacklin’s parents—we named him by his surname to preserve his identity—were each other’s brothers and when they married, his father had four other wives at the same time.

His father and father-in-law, who had arranged an arranged marriage, are two of the “Seven Brothers” led by the Kingston clan in Salt Lake City in the state of Utah. A nativity and polygamous denomination that is a fragment of the Mormon Church that was condemned in court by 10 victims in early SeptemberIncluding Blacklin.

In the complaint, in addition to forced incest relationships, the victims state that they were taught and subjected to physical abuse, child labor from an early age, slave labor conditions (their actions were named in sect companies and did not receive payment) ) for this) and tricks to deceive the state, something that is known within the community as “Bleeding the Beast”.

The Kingston group, known internally as “The Order”, has denied his guilt in the crimes for which he has been charged.

origin of the clan

Charles Kingston, a Salt Lake City man who belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as Mormons, was excommunicated in 1929 for practicing polygamy.

The practice was removed from that cult in the late 19th century, a condition imposed by the United States on the granting of statehood to Utah.

Six years after the boycott, one of Kingston’s sons, Alden, understood that his family should continue to be governed by religious laws, and therefore established his own church. with its own rules.

The Kingston clan’s official name is Davis County Cooperative Society and their religious creed is called the Church of Christ of Latter Days.

They are governed under a strict hierarchical system. At the top of the pyramid is the “Prophet”, a man who must have “pure Kingston blood”, descended directly from Jesus Christ.

Charles’ grandson and Alden’s nephew Paul Alden Kingston has held the position since 1987, a man estimated to have 500 children from 34 wives. All decisions within the clan must have their approval.

rules within the sect

In order to control the community by extension, everyone must obey a superior, even if what he is commanding them to do is wrong or immoral.

It is governed by “the law of one over the other,” an evangelical biblical passage by Eldon Kingston’s interpretation of: “To be one with the others means that each of us is one with the One above.” To question him would be to question God.

The clan understands that state or federal laws do not apply to them, but must be guided by God’s designs, Who will be the one to judge them?

Beneath the “Prophet”, also known as “Watchtower Man”, are the “Seven Brothers”. For them to respond to “the men with the numbers”—a superior position within the community that specifies their hierarchy within the clan—below these are countless married men and, eventually, women and children.

Father is the eldest of boys and girls. Once the girls are married, their senior becomes their husband. Every unmarried married man is designated as a “numbered man” as superior, usually his father or close relative.

Women are forced to marry without asking anyone within the community if they agree. Many times they are still minors and the chosen spouse is a close relative, such as a brother, first cousin or uncle.

Men can have more than one wife. Women do not have, but must have a husband and the premise is that they have as many children as they can, even if it is against their will, so that the sect may grow. And abortion is considered a sin committed by the woman, which is punished.

The complainants affirm that the teen being pregnant from an early age and having multiple children means that they cannot run away from “The Order”.,

These children will also be child labor for their group of companies, which range from stores and supermarkets to farms and schools, which are financed with state funds. In the past he owned coal mines and an energy company that defrauded the coffers of just over $500 million, according to a lawsuit that ended two years ago.

Within the community they use their own currency, the scrip, and cannot use the dollar.

The total number of members of the Kingston clan is unknown due to the strong secrecy imposed by them, but is estimated to be between 5,000 and 10,000 people.

“plural marriage” in Utah

Polygamy, referred to as “plural marriage” by those practicing it in Utah, remains a common practice in that part of the United States not only within the Kingston clan, but also among other groups separated from Mormons.

The radical Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the most notorious after its leader, Warren Jeffs, who was sentenced in 2011 to prison for child sex abuse and incest.

Ten years ago, a Utah Mormon missionary, Tom Green, was convicted of bigamy and child sexual abuse. He had 5 wives and 35 children.

Polygamy in Utah was punishable by up to five years in prison, but in 2020 the Republican-majority Congress decriminalized it and reduced it to a misdemeanor rank comparable to a traffic ticket.

The argument used by legislators was that potential victims of such crimes would be guaranteed condemnation and would not be punished for it.

secrecy

Not interacting much with people outside the clan and answering strangers’ questions as little as possible is part of the logic with which Kingston is governed.

That the outside world knows as little as possible about life in this community is a mandate. According to the account of one of the complainants, he had a company where “The Order” announcements and wedding invitations were printed because wedding photos of little girls marrying men in incest or plural marriage could not be printed. Could have. At Walmart”.

Marriages are solemnized by clan members authorized by the state to perform such a ceremony, although sometimes the couple’s members’ surnames are changed in documents to mislead potential investigations by state officials.

it also happens In many cases the father of the newborn does not appear on the birth certificate; When registering them, their mothers lie And they allege that they don’t know who the father is or they say that he disappeared after finding out that he had impregnated her.

The complaint states, “It is common and deliberate practice for parents not to list on the birth certificates of their children to create confusion, criminal for fathers of children in underage, plural or incest marriages.” Avoid prosecuting.”

The Kingston clan has been in the eye of justice for at least 25 years, and in the past some of its members have been convicted of sex crimes, state fraud, and money laundering.

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bbc-news-src: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-internacional-62989527 Date of Import: 2022-09-23 00:50:06

Felipe Llambas (@felipellaambias)
bbc news world



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