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Splinter Groups Kingstons Doris Hanson Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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September 10, 2020 11:33 am

Splinter Groups Kingstons Doris Hanson Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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September 10, 2020 11:33 am

This week’s series focuses on the Kingston group based in Utah, with all of their controversies, including incestuous polygamous relationships. For more information on this group, go to

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Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a biblical perspective. Viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism Research Ministry. Since 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism.

Welcome to this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM. But as we mentioned in yesterday's show, we have with us today a very good friend of ours, Doris Hansen. Doris runs a ministry called Shield and Refuge, and if you want to check out her website, it's But today we want to hear more about Doris experiences in what we've been describing for the past few days, an organization known officially as the Latter-day Church of Christ.

It's otherwise known as the Davis County Cooperative Society. And in a more, I guess you could say a more pejorative term, it's known as the Kingston Clan. So Doris was involved in this group, came out of the group, and we thought you would be fascinated to hear some of her experiences and knowledge regarding the Kingston group. So Doris, welcome to the show. Glad you could be with us today.

Well, thank you. It's so great to be asked to share and to be involved with letting others know about my experiences and for your ministry that allows this kind of talking and discussion on things that are going on around us. Yeah, we've been trying to give an explanation of a lot of these groups that are not a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the one, of course, here in Utah. Everyone knows about them, but they're probably a lot less familiar with these smaller groups. And of course, the Kingston group is very much a part of Utah, since this is where they're based. And I think it's important that we realize that there are a lot of other groups out there, and as we've been saying through this series, many times a Latter-day Saint will try to bring up the denominations of Christianity as a proof in their mind that Christianity can't be true. But yet there are a lot of other groups under the umbrella of the Restoration Movement that trace their roots back to Joseph Smith, or at least claim they do.

And of course, this is one of them. Doris, could you tell us a little bit about when you were in this group and what it was like being involved with the Kingston clan? I was born and raised in the Kingston group. My mother was a second wife, so I was in a polygamous family. And because I was born in a group, I belonged to it by default. But I escaped when I turned 18 years old, and that was in 1964.

You asked what it was like to be involved in the group. Using a few descriptive words, it was oppressive, controlling, patriarchal, it was abusive, it was abusive physically, there was a lot of physical abuse in most of the families. And I was spared sexual abuse, but there was a lot of sexual abuse and others suffered through it terribly and still do. There is spiritual and emotional abuse as well.

And I would add that the abuse is aggravated enough and with enough frequency to be called traumatic for many of the victims. Of course, from the cradle, everyone is taught that heaven is available only to those in the group, but only if we obeyed and submitted without question. They spent hours teaching children as they grew up how to lie to anyone who may ask us questions about our families. And of course, we were taught to lie for the Lord to protect the group. It wasn't until years later that I realized that God can do his own protecting.

He doesn't need humans to lie for him or for his kingdom. So many of the things they taught us about God put him in such a negative light that many people who do get out completely throw out the baby with the bathwater, which is a tragedy because their teachings about God and Jesus and heaven and hell and salvation are all desperately and degradingly wrong. So in a nutshell, growing up in the group for me and for many others was a very negative experience. Doris, tell us a little bit about the Kingston leaders when you grew up. Were they stiff, approachable, or how did they handle themselves?

Well, for me personally, they were not approachable. The prophet or the leader of the group when I was growing up was J.O. Kingston. The current leader is Paul Kingston, his son.

But J.O. Kingston was the leader and he scared me. My mother always told me that he was present when I was born. And immediately when he saw that she had a girl, he immediately claimed me for a plural wife when I grew up. And he was already an adult married polygamous man when that happened.

And she'd tell me about it while I was growing up and the idea made me sick every time she talked about it. But he was not approachable. He was very stiff.

Stiff is actually a perfect description for him. He presented himself as holier than thou and a perfect example for all of us to emulate. And yet he was very abusive to his own children and he neglected his wives.

And he had about a dozen wives and I really don't know how many children. But he was treated by everybody as though he was already a god. They did have a board of directors and all of them were also unapproachable and presented themselves as the example of perfect behavior. But of course those with the Kingston name, they were all treated as monarchy. They were then and they still are.

Many have said the Kinksons who I counted and I try to come up with a number and I'm going to say between two and three hundred different businesses today that they run their church more as a business than a religion. What is your opinion about that? Well I think it is. But there's a little backdrop to that. When I was there the religion was not separated at all from the businesses.

It is now. But that's a legality that they've done since I've been there. But still the separation is only in form not in activity. They claim that their motto is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Yet their abuse of actions and deceit and the way they treat others prove that they're just words they're not practice. Of course businesses they claimed when I was growing up that they needed the businesses to finance God's kingdom. So every nickel and dime that we had was to be consecrated to the group which meant that we turned all of our money into their coffers. We could spend nothing without their consent and of course that was often refused. The businesses were managed by the group leadership and they employed the members to work in the businesses especially the plural wives and sometimes their young kids. But we never got a paycheck just a monthly voucher stating how much money we earned and all the earnings were put into the consecration account. So the church and the businesses were one single operation and in church meetings the businesses were talked about, we needed to support them, all that rhetoric, and we were supposed to save all of our money so they could buy new businesses so the kingdom of God could grow.

They actually taught some people that if the group failed then Jesus fails. Not much has changed with them in that respect since I've left. I saw many stories where many young women in the group are getting married 14 and 15 years old. Today the group says they wait until the girls are of legal age which today is 16. What was it like when you were growing up? Growing up everything was so secretive. Little information was available to the regular member especially the ages that the girls got married. We often didn't even know when they got married until they became pregnant.

But in the group propaganda thrives but truth is hidden. So as a young girl into my early teens I didn't know much about what was going on with others but I myself was lectured frequently about the necessity of being a plural wife and the rewards that I would get in heaven for submitting to it. Now there were underage marriages then but not as much as there were later because more and more young girls ran away like I did to avoid their future plans for the plural marriages for them. So they ran away and so to keep them from running they began to marry the girls off younger and younger and that would hold them in. But even now they begin marriage classes for girls at 11 years old and these classes train them how to love being a plural wife and the blessings of submitting to her husband and obedience to anyone in authority above her.

The phrase keep them barefoot and pregnant is actually a reality in the Kingston group. You know if they can marry them young and keep them pregnant then they won't lose them. But when the Warren Jeffs and the FLDS scandal and the legal pitfalls that arose from that happened instead of marrying the girls off young they began betroling them instead at a young age but not actually doing a marriage ceremony until they were 18 and that way they could claim that they don't marry them under age.

But their betrotals are deceptive because many of the men will tell the girls they're betrothed to that when they're betrothed they have marital rights they're just careful not to get pregnant and those betrotals can happen to young girls 12, 13, 14 years old. So their practice is basically the same but their definitions are different. Well let me clarify something for our listeners because their website says that they do believe certainly in the structure of marriage but not by coercion but by what you're explaining it sounds like coercion can and probably often is very much a part of these marriage relationships would you agree? Yes absolutely. I've seen that website and they do not tell the truth about their group.

They have glossed it over to look pretty darn good but on the inside it's not. No they do coerce you. When they give you a choice of getting married and doing it their way or going to hell that's coercion.

That's the only choices you have that's coercion. Doris in your mind what is the worst thing about a polygamous group such as the Kingstons? Well there are a lot of worst things and among them of course is removal of basic human rights, freedom to choose, abuse, other tragedies or brainwashing to keep you in and shunning and rejection for those who get out. Another worst thing is their business and religious practices are so underhanded and based on false statements that essentially the truth is totally unavailable and their abuses and mind control techniques are all done in the name of God. But the worst of the worst is that they have changed God's gospel message. They've changed how a person can get to heaven and how a person pleases God and they've changed who Jesus is, who our Savior is. They've turned God's beautiful message of grace into an ugly and legalistic man-centered abusive works oriented salvation plan and everyone by the way who gets saved is saved by grace alone through faith alone but they have made polygamy and their united order and their group the Savior and that's the worst because eternity is a long long time and there are no second chances but polygamists from the cradle to the grave they believe and embrace and live and die serving a false salvation plan and there's nothing worse than that. Because they have all these requirements the fact that an individual member has any assurance of their salvation is probably something that they don't have.

I would agree with that and also in their thinking they can have it and then if they disobey they can lose it and then they have to work to gain it back and then they can lose it again and so it's a rollercoaster where there really is no peace no assurance at all. We've been talking to Doris Hansen. She's the head of an organization called Shield and Refuge. You can check out her website at Tomorrow we're going to continue this conversation with Doris Hansen from Shield and Refuge Ministry.

Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry we encourage you to visit our website at where you can request our free newsletter Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism. Have you ever wondered what life is like for women and children who are trapped in polygamy?

If so, you're invited to hear from ministries aimed at reaching those in polygamy as well as testimonies of former polygamists who are now Christians. This event will be held in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, September 19th from 830 to 2.30 p.m. Registration is $20 per person and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. For questions or to register, call Chris at 801-754-3636. Again, that's 801-754-3636.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-16 01:36:09 / 2024-03-16 01:41:41 / 6

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