Elizabeth Smart goes public

Elizabeth Smart, who (as I am about to unnecessarily explain) was abducted by Brian Mitchell and held for nine months back in 2002, has testified at a hearing to determine Mitchell’s competency and has detailed the horrors of her captivity for the first time.

Elizabeth is now 21 and a music major at Brigham Young University. She’s grown into a beautiful young woman. The details she gives don’t surprise me a bit: rape several times a day, forced to take drugs and alcohol, constantly threatened with death, etc. Elizabeth seems shockingly well-adjusted for having gone through all that — evidence for my theory that human beings are amazingly resilient and have the potential to bounce back from anything.

Elizabeth also says that Mitchell seemed perfectly rational all the time while he held her and only started going on about religion and being a prophet when he wanted something. She thinks his insanity thing is an act. I have no opinion on that, it’s not for me to decide, but frankly I’m starting to wonder if this guy is ever going to be tried. It’s been six years since his arrest and they haven’t even decided whether he’s competent or not, never mind set a trial date. It doesn’t really matter, I think, as long as he’s locked up forever.

You can read some of Elizabeth’s testimony here.

As for Wanda Barzee, Mitchell’s wife and accomplice, the press has got hold of some letters she wrote to her mom where she speaks of wanting to repent of her sins. But she doesn’t really talk about Elizabeth, only says that both she and Elizabeth were “victims” of Mitchell. She hasn’t been declared competent yet either, but she seems to be on the way there now that they’ve forced her to take antipsychotic drugs.

Additional articles:
The New York Daily News
The Associated Press
The London Daily Telegraph
The Salt Lake Tribune

7 thoughts on “Elizabeth Smart goes public

  1. Justin October 2, 2009 / 6:13 pm

    Have you ever noticed that practically all the fundamentalist, isolationist, hard core religious cult leaders (male ones anyway) all seem to want to have sex with underage children? You set yourself up as a leader who cannot be questioned, isolated your flock from the rest of the world, then after a while, they don’t think it is so unreasonable for him to do whatever he wants.

    I hate guys like him. I really do. I wish this country would bring back whippings and floggings as part of the sentences criminals get. People like him only understand their own pain. So lets give it to them.

    • Meaghan October 2, 2009 / 8:06 pm

      Are there any female cult leaders?

      There are a few cults I can think of, historically, that didn’t involve sex with children. (In fact, some have practiced total abstention.) But it is a common thing. It’s not religion that causes this but the enormous egos and perversion of those people.

      • Justin October 3, 2009 / 6:46 am

        Yes, there are plenty of female cult leaders. Just google the information and you can find several names.

        Religion is a means for cult leaders to control and dominate others. If not religion, then it can be a cult of personality like the political leaders Kim-Il Sung of North Korea or Adolf Hitler. But let’s face it, religion works the best. Some cults claim to practice total abstinence, but in practice, I seriously doubt most of them did that. I just think they covered it up better. There are probably some exceptions to the rule. I suppose the Shakers could possibly be one.

        I’m not anti-religion. Religion is supposed to be used as a guide to live a righteous and virtuous life, but has been abused as a method of control almost from its inception. Lets just say I am wary of organized religion when it becomes a political power, and anyone who insists that their religion is the only way and you are damned otherwise.

  2. deja826 October 3, 2009 / 12:02 am

    There was grandmother who took her grand child and tried to make the child say his mother practiced satanism. But that’s not really a cult leader, huh? Seems like it was on Unsolved Mysteries or a show like that and a Lifetime movie. It must have happened in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

  3. Cattt October 3, 2009 / 8:09 am

    I heard about it on the news. gross!

  4. danielle davis October 3, 2009 / 5:50 pm

    Justin: you are right….Religion is okay, but it seems the more religious they are the crazier they are. The scary thing is people follow them. I’d like to say I would not ever follow a cult leader, but the followers most likely never planned to either.
    The good thing is we are more educated and know more about cults, leaders, and other ways of weird type of living.

    Women are in the minority I bet because we think of women as more nuturing and caring than abusers or people who cause harm. Although, more and more women are becoming weird too.

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