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raum's avatar

If the leader of a cult is indicted, should all of their branches be shut down?

Asked by raum (7100points) September 3rd, 2019 from iPhone

The leader of La Luz del Mundo
has been charged with child rape and human trafficking.

A local sect is located kitty-corner to a school. If their leader is indicted, should the whole organization be forced to dismantle?

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23 Answers

jca2's avatar

Since that cult is based in Mexico, I don’t think our laws could make them do anything.

I also think that like any organization, if the leader is taken out, a new leader will rise up and take his place.

raum's avatar

He’s being charged and held without bail in Los Angeles.

I’m in the Bay Area.

stanleybmanly's avatar

How do you shut down a cult? Who has successfully outlawed a belief?

raum's avatar

Good points.

It just seems crazy to me that a local sect could continue to occupy a space across from a school.

Sex offenders aren’t allowed to live within a certain distance from a school. Yet a church of personality that allegedly tells their female disciples that they would be going against God if they didn’t acquiesce to García’s sexual demands is allowed to operate across from a school?

KNOWITALL's avatar

No. A bad apple or three, doesn’t negate the church’s right to legally exist, it’s the individual’s crime that should be punished.

raum's avatar

Yes, that’s the crux of it. One bad leader doesn’t negate their right to freedom of religion.

But this isn’t a regular church where a minister is preaching from a bible. This is a cult of personality where their leader is treated as an apostle.

If their apostle is preaching to their young women to acquiesce to his demands, is it appropriate for them to be located across the street from a school.

Is freedom of religion also freedom to practice anywhere?

KNOWITALL's avatar

They actually do live strictly by the bible, according to the link above.

If they have an apostle who they give power to, over God’s word/ Bible, that’s a sin. Maybe go to a service and tell the church how you feel in a non-aggressive, safe way (with back-up.)

And yes, even pedophiles can live within a certain distance of schools and parks-in the end, our rights do not surpass their rights.

raum's avatar

Hmmm…you’re right. There was a 2015 ruling that overturned Jessica’s Law that sex offenders could not live within 2000 feet of a school or place where children congregate.

I understand why.
But still find that pretty disturbing.

jca2's avatar

@raum: It’s in Mexico. Our laws don’t apply there.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Does the leader represent the actions of the group? Is the entire group suspected of molestation? Or just this guy?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca2 Actually, from the link provided….“The Church is now present in more than 50 countries and has between 1 and 5 million adherents worldwide.”

@raum I second that. We, as a city, purchased new park land, only to discover a registered offender lived on the block. So we can build it there, but he doesn’t have to move, since he was there first-we checked the legalities.

jca2's avatar

@KNOWITALL: I see, according to Wiki, that there are charges in the US:

“On June 4, 2019, current La Luz del Mundo leader Naasón Joaquín García and a church follower were arrested after their chartered flight from Mexico landed at Los Angeles International Airport.[143] The California Department of Justice alleges that between 2015 and 2018 Naasón Joaquín and three co-defendants committed twenty-six felonies including human trafficking, production of child pornography, and forcible rape of a minor.[144] Before being denied bail,[145] Naasón Joaquín’s bail was set at $50 million due to fears that his followers could raise enough money to free him and that he would then flee the country.[126] According to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the bail is the highest ever imposed on anyone in Los Angeles county.[126] La Luz del Mundo denies the accusations.:

I’m not sure, however (have to research it more), whether or not the school in the question is in the US or Mexico.

raum's avatar

@elbanditoroso I think it goes beyond just the leader representing the group. La Luz Del Mundo is a cult of personality, meaning their leader is treated as an apostle.

How do you separate religion from the leader when the leader is part of their religion?

@KNOWITALL So what did you guys end up doing?

@jca2 The school is local and I’m in the San Francisco Bay Area.

raum's avatar

@KNOWITALL I know that giving power to a false prophet would be considered a sin. But not about to point that out to a congregation of cult members—even with @MrGrimm888 as back-up.


jca2's avatar

I think if the cult can prove that they are not committing violations, it was just the leader, then they will say they have a freedom of religion and can continue. If they were all committing violations then the DA has to prove it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raum Still considering it, probably have Public Hearings about the park location. We can always sell the land and recoup money, and buy somewhere else.

Well if they are bible literists, you could make a written case to them (that’s biblical) and leave on all their car windows, along with a list of charges per @jca2. :)

zenvelo's avatar

The Federal Government has not shut down The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) despite its leader having been convicted as an accomplice to rape.

So why would we shut down a Mexican cult?

Zaku's avatar

“If the leader of a cult is indicted, should all of their branches be shut down?”
No, that’s another example of over-simplified knee-jerk over-reaction.

The organizations of people who do horrible crimes should be investigated appropriately, and appropriate action should be taken.

Where I do think there should be changes, is in the case where an organization itself is found to be causing problems. In those cases, when an organization is systematically acting in ways that lead to damage to people and/or the commons and/or the environment and/or the general good, then I think it needs to become common practice to investigate and analyze such things and then re-organize and/or abolish those organizations and the people responsible for them.

Mainly I think that would apply to things like corporations that have a pattern of, say, causing ecological disasters, or interfering with democratic government. The corporations should have their charters and policies re-written so that they will stop or greatly reduce their problematic behavior, and/or be abolished and the bad actors prosecuted and barred from further such activities and from lobbying government, etc. No more fines that can be written off as expenses while the company keeps on doing damage.

raum's avatar

@zenvelo Yikes. Wasn’t aware of that.

@Zaku I would be all for the cult to rewrite their doctrines in order to “stop or greatly reduce their problematic behavior, and/or be abolished and the bad actors prosecuted and barred from further such activities”.

@zenvelo Has FLDS taken any steps to ensure this wouldn’t happen again?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Would you close down Christianity if the pope commits a crime?

raum's avatar

Legally, no. Freedom of religion and all of that.

Personally, if I felt that the Pope’s crime was encouraged by their doctrine, then yes.

The difference to me would be is the pope committing this crime on his own time? Or is he using Christianity to commit said crime? And does the Christianity that he preaches encourages others to do the same?

I’m not saying this is the right answer. It’s a slippery slope into thought police. But that’s honestly my personal take on it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@raum Ever heard of this kind of thing? Legalizing pedo’s? Pretty sick stuff. Article on bottom.

United States
Childhood Sensuality Circle (CSC). Founded in 1971 in San Diego, California, by a student of Wilhelm Reich.[7]
North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). 1978–present. Considered to be largely defunct.[34][35]
Pedophile Information Society.[36]
Project Truth. One of the organizations which was expelled from ILGA in 1994 as a pedophile organization.[3] Defunct.
René Guyon Society. Possibly fictitious. Its slogan was supposedly “sex before eight, or it’s too late.”[24]

raum's avatar

The first time I heard of NAMBLA was probably on South Park. I don’t think anyone takes them seriously.

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