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Cleopatra7

Horrific Christian Vampire Cult Ends in Mass Death/Suicide

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Cleopatra7

I mentioned this case in the Ardnt family thread, but I think it deserves a thread of its own. The short version is that this psychotic narcissist pervert, Marcus Wesson, started his own family-cult that taught that the End Times were near, that Jesus was a vampire, and that they should be prepared to commit suicide at any moment. He took on his own nieces and daughters (step and bio) as "sister wives" and numerous children were born of these incestous unions. When two of the nieces tried to leave the cult and take their children with them, Wesson set in place a murder-suicide pact that left nine people dead, including most of the young children who had been born via incest.

This article gives a good overview of the cult, and the brainwashing the members underwent:

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/marcus-wesson-mass-murder-surviving-family-speaks-abuse/story?id=11089648

I noticed a number of similarities to some of the tactics our fundies use, including:

  • isolationist homeschooling to keep kids ignorant, not just about the world in general, but ignorant about how dysfunctional their family is
  • the father became "god" in the eyes of the children, while mother is beaten down and ineffectual
  • children identifying with their abuser(s)
  • poor living conditions rationalized as "holy" or just convenient to hide the kids from people who might ask uncomfortable questions
  • an obsession with the end times
  • abuse (sexual, physical, emotional) is seen as a routine part of life
  • endless prayer and Bible study sessions used to indoctrinate
  • sexuality is strictly controlled or monitored

Now, I'm not suggesting that any of the families that are usually discussed here are as psychotic as Marcus Wesson, but reading about this case really impressed on me how easy it is to create a cult within a family, especially when the children are isolated from the outside world and have no other points of reference or trusted adults who might be able to intervene. Although the cult ended in the worst way possible for the youngest victims, at least Wesson's remaining young adult children have been able to overcome their traumatic pasts and build normal, healthy lives.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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December

I vaguely remember the news about this happening. So disturbing. 

You bring up some very good points, esp. the living conditions one. Any situation that's so enmeshed and isolating is going to make it easier to cover up abuse from the world, and keep any victims from fully understand how bad their situation is. 

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EmainMacha

I remember seeing a show on ID about this. It was harrowing. Poor kids:pb_cry:

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Firiel

Wow, how have I never heard of this?  Thanks for mentioning this... I'm gonna read up on it.

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Eternalbluepearl

Oh my goodness this story is horrifying. I swear Steve Maxwell sees himself as God to his family. *shudder* *vomit* 

I watched the video clips. How did this guy have the opportunity to "marry" an 8 year old little girl in the first place? Where were her parents? Also, how did he have access to his nieces to impregnate them? Where were the parents of these nieces? I have so many questions. Ugh, I don't even want to know...

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socalrules

I remember the Marcus Wesson story. It was in Fresno or Stockton, not sure which. I recall that pretty much every type of depravity you could think of. Wesson was really a God to his family and whose orders were met with blind obedience. It is terrifying to think how much control one person can have over a group of people, especially those who have no way of knowing that what he is doing is wrong and that they deserve better. 

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Waffle Time
mango_fandango
7 hours ago, Eternalbluepearl said:

Oh my goodness this story is horrifying. I swear Steve Maxwell sees himself as God to his family. *shudder* *vomit* 

I watched the video clips. How did this guy have the opportunity to "marry" an 8 year old little girl in the first place? Where were her parents? Also, how did he have access to his nieces to impregnate them? Where were the parents of these nieces? I have so many questions. Ugh, I don't even want to know...

EXACTLY what I was thinking. As I read the list I was thinking "yep, that's a Maxwell thing, yep that too" except the abuse one. Well, emotional abuse probably, but not sexual. Possibly physical (I bet the kids were 'spanked' or similar). Something's GOT to happen in that house. And when it does, we'll be here watching it go down. I request toffee popcorn.

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salex

The list also sounds like Fred Phelps family dynamics

 

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nausicaa
15 hours ago, Eternalbluepearl said:

Oh my goodness this story is horrifying. I swear Steve Maxwell sees himself as God to his family. *shudder* *vomit* 

I watched the video clips. How did this guy have the opportunity to "marry" an 8 year old little girl in the first place? Where were her parents? Also, how did he have access to his nieces to impregnate them? Where were the parents of these nieces? I have so many questions. Ugh, I don't even want to know...

The eight year old was the daughter of his girlfriend at the time. He began molesting her at eight, and her mother claims she didn't know. When she was fifteen she became pregnant with his child and they married since she was of legal age in CA. 

The girl's mom left the picture, and then the girl's sister left her seven children with them (because they were such stellar parents...) Wesson's wife claims she had no idea he was molesting their children or the nieces. (:kitty-shifty:)

I fell down the rabbit hole of this story after Cleopatra7 posted about it. 

Edited by nausicaa

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Eternalbluepearl
1 hour ago, nausicaa said:

The eight year old was the daughter of his girlfriend at the time. He began molesting her at eight, and her mother claims she didn't know. When she was fifteen she became pregnant with his child and they married since she was of legal age in CA. 

The girl's mom left the picture, and then the girl's sister left her seven children with them (because they were such stellar parents...) Wesson's wife claims she had no idea he was molesting their children or the nieces. (:kitty-shifty:)

I fell down the rabbit hole of this story after Cleopatra7 posted about it. 

Holy crap. The original girlfriend had no idea her kid is being molested until what she's pregnant and by the way it's step-daddy's baby? And we're getting legally married? But we already unofficially married when step daughter was 8? Then the cycle repeats itself when the daughters and nieces are pregnant and it's oh by the way daddy or uncle is the father?  wtf? I can't with this story. I had nightmares last night. :my_angry: Horrifying thing that happened to these people. Really enraging. I hope to God these grown children find some sort of peace in their lives. What a monster.

I know I'm jumping to ridiculous conclusions but stories like this actually make me worry for some of the fundie families we snark on. I feel like they are raised to believe in nothing but the authority of their fathers. And they are taught to fear the government and things like school. 

Edited by Eternalbluepearl

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salex
1 hour ago, Eternalbluepearl said:

I know I'm jumping to ridiculous conclusions but stories like this actually make me worry for some of the fundie families we snark on. I feel like they are raised to believe in nothing but the authority of their fathers. And they are taught to fear the government and things like school. 

Certainly the Papa Pilgrim story is like this as far as the physical and sexual abuse goes.... stopped short of mass murder.

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Khan

How the hell do these things happen? I need to slowly explore this rabbit hole for some answers. Please keep rescue ferrets around.

How does one house so many people with nobody noticing? Every place I have lived had zoning regulations about how many people can live in a dwelling.  I did see a boat mentioned. How big a boat would you need or are they Stacked Like Cordwood?

Is it safe to assume these were all home births? How many bodies will we find dumped or buried by this perverted monster? 

Ew. So much ew.

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Johanna25
12 hours ago, Khan said:

 

How does one house so many people with nobody noticing? Every place I have lived had zoning regulations about how many people can live in a dwelling.  I did see a boat mentioned. How big a boat would you need or are they Stacked Like Cordwood?

In most places occupancy rules only apply to rental housing. If you own the house you can stuff as many people into it as you want. Some communities who are worried about parking, utility system overload, rooming houses, etc. have passed rules that apply to owner-occupied houses, but it's pretty rare. Property rights, a man's home is his castle y'all.

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Happy
PennySycamore
On February 2, 2016 at 5:48 PM, socalrules said:

I remember the Marcus Wesson story. It was in Fresno or Stockton, not sure which. I recall that pretty much every type of depravity you could think of. Wesson was really a God to his family and whose orders were met with blind obedience. It is terrifying to think how much control one person can have over a group of people, especially those who have no way of knowing that what he is doing is wrong and that they deserve better. 

Fresno.

Some people just fly under the radar.

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nausicaa
On 2/4/2016 at 8:40 PM, Khan said:

How the hell do these things happen? I need to slowly explore this rabbit hole for some answers. Please keep rescue ferrets around.

How does one house so many people with nobody noticing? Every place I have lived had zoning regulations about how many people can live in a dwelling.  I did see a boat mentioned. How big a boat would you need or are they Stacked Like Cordwood?

Is it safe to assume these were all home births? How many bodies will we find dumped or buried by this perverted monster? 

Ew. So much ew.

They were absolutely stacked like cordwood.

It is weird how long they flew under the radar. It does sound like they lived in more rural areas and the children were sometimes divided up, some living on the boat and others in campsites along the shore. One of the women owned the house they lived in and neighbors did think they were very odd and had seen Wesson striking and dragging the women around before. 

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Spent
Shoobydoo

You know, I was sort of curious about the "Jesus was a vampire" angle here before clicking on the thread and then I got to the incest and just nope nope nope 

I can't help but wonder if there was anything neighbors/employers could have done. I'm sure they had more than a few doubts about these people. I would be overwhelmed with guilt if I had suspicions there was abuse going on but failed to act and something like this happened.

That said, I don't think it's the neighbor's fault, either. Who in their right mind would even suspect that this level of abuse might be going on? Maybe I'm just naive. That's why I don't hunt predators for a living, I guess.

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