Update: Exclusive sneak peek of Yolanda’s story of transformation “Escaping Polygamy After the Escape”
One of the most amazing things about “Escaping Polygamy” is the members’ unwillingness to leave, even when they are being abused, neglected or mistreated in some other shape or form. Last night, viewers watched as one daughter, Mandi, long escaped from the cult, tried to get her father, suffering from Parkinson’s and not being properly cared for by his supposed Order “caretaker,” Shain, the help he needed.
Did he take it?
The Order is in full control of members’ lives, top to bottom. And, that means financially, as well, compromising any care that may be needed for the sick or elderly members. It takes money to properly care for someone who is sick or elderly, as anyone who has dealt with either situation in their own lives knows. And, the more money spent on caring for a sick or elderly Order member, the less is available for The Order to receive after that person’s death.
A sad allegation made by “Escaping Polygamy” last night–and not a hard one to believe, given what has been aired in the past.
Members, “The Insider” clarified last night, are required to sign wills, giving The Order the right to all they have accumulated over their lifetimes after their death. This way, the organization becomes richer–or, as was pointed out on last night’s episode, leader Paul Kingston does–and actual relatives have no claim to any inheritance that may have rightfully gone to them otherwise.
It appeared last night that this was where Fred Kingston was in his life, old and suffering from Parkinson’s. And, from what his daughter indicated, he had already signed his worldly possessions over to The Order in his will, so there was no incentive for them to keep watching after his health. And, apparently, from what the show indicated last night, they weren’t; they were just letting him waste away–he had gone from about 220 pounds to 140–waiting to legally inherit his possessions. Sad that he would allow this to happen to him, but it seems lifelong brainwashing can do that.
What was curious was the sisters’ willingness to help him at all, being that he was a “numbered” man in the organization. Let’s face it: If what they say is true, as they age, these “leading men” get back what they perpetrated on others during their younger, more able days. The sisters said he was one of the more “respectful” leaders they had known while still in the group, but, come on: If he was a leader, a “numbered man,” it seems unlikely that he was not a part of these very types of situations during his younger, healthier, a.k.a. useful years.
Makes one think of the age-old mantra, paraphrased from Galatians 6:7, “reap what you sow.” But, of course, this was Mandi’s father, who she loved–as well as a human being. Not at least trying to help him–if he wanted help–was not an option.
Of course, sick or not, they could not just go in and take him away; he is an adult, after all. He has Parkinson’s but did not seem mentally incapacitated in any way. So, it had to be his choice to leave. If he said no? Then there was nothing the sisters and Mandi could do. But, he DID say that he wanted Mandi’s help. But, when he agreed to be interviewed by the producers, he said he believed completely in The Order and trusted Paul Kingston. On what could make him leave? “Nothing unless the ship goes down, and if it goes down, I’ll go down with it,” he said.
It was sad, but definitive.
Mandi said she was just concerned about his health, not trying to get him to leave The Order. But, it did not seem like one could happen without the other.
They went to try to take Fred to a clinic to help him–get bloodwork and whatever else was needed. They took security, just as they do when they help someone escape. But, when Shain and others came around, he said he did not want to go. Again, sad, but a grown man’s decision–and, not a surprising decision, given he is a numbered man in The Order.
A few days later, Mandi got a call from Adult Protective Services, indicating that she was not taking care of her father–an allegation of caretaker neglect apparently made against her by the Kingston Clan. Seems like a dangerous game to be playing–unless they know the game is rigged in their favor. Authorities certainly don’t seem interested in making a move to help Fred, since, when the show ended, no formal charges had been filed against Mandi by APS, but he was still under The Order’s watch. Makes one continue to wonder: Where do the authorities stand on all of this?
Sad, sad stuff, for so many reasons.
For those who are interested in finding out more information about resources on organizations that help women escaping polygamy and assist victims of sexual assault, visit the official A&E “Escaping Polygamy” website.
The Season Finale of “Escaping Polygamy” is scheduled for next Sunday night, September 11, at 10/9c, on A&E.
Image: Courtesy of A&E, Used with Permission.