The Presence of One Man Rule in FLDS Mormonism: Contextualizing an American Religion that Became Synonymous with Abuse

The Presence of One Man Rule in FLDS Mormonism: Contextualizing an American Religion that Became Synonymous with Abuse Cristina Rosetti In the 1980s, the religious community that later incorporated as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) underwent a hierarchical transformation that shifted the locus of power away from a multi-person council who oversaw the faith toward One Man Rule, a doctrine that solidified authority around a single man. One Man Rule permeated every aspect of the faith, including marriage, family arrangements, and the economic order of the community. More than simply temporal affairs, the One […]

Clericalism as a Cultural Pattern: Aiding and Abetting Abuse

Clericalism as a Cultural Pattern: Aiding and Abetting Abuse Michael Horan Clericalism, like racism or sexism, festers within cultures and inside individual imaginations. Clericalism is based on social location in the Catholic church’s cultural system for both worship and governance, a system developed a millennium ago. Theologian Paul Lakeland asserts that all isms at their root are moved by a belief in the lesser humanity of the oppressed group. You know when you are adversely affected by an ism, but you hardly notice it if the ism benefits you. Just as sexism or racism privileges men over women and whites […]

Manufacturing Consent: Creating Hierarchies in the Guru-Disciple Relationship

Manufacturing Consent: Creating Hierarchies in the Guru-Disciple Relationship Amanda Lucia Sexual abuse happens across the globe and in nearly every environment. Recognizing this, religion scholar Andrea Jain argues that focusing on a specific religious context can be distracting and detrimental to tackling what is a global and ubiquitous problem. She writes, “The appeal to the dangers of guru charisma and devotion as an explanation for sexual violence pulls our attention away from larger social structures and norms that cultivate a dominant global culture of sexual violence … and lends itself to an orientalist stereotype of South Asians, their religions, and […]

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future Christopher Miller In recent years, abuse scandals have shaken the yoga world once again, overturning previously held conceptions of yoga gurus, their teachings, and the individuals and organizations that have enabled their abuse. Most importantly, these abuse scenarios – whether they have involved sexual assault, cruelty, financial exploitation, etc. – have left individuals and communities disoriented, deeply traumatized, and desperately searching for answers. As Sacred Matters editor Gary Laderman writes, “the sacred is not always what it seems, can be associated with just about anything, and remains […]