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October 18, 2004

<< The Reality-Based Community | He's Like the Gannett of Blogs >>

While We're Talking About Cults ...

That November evening marked the beginning of what would become one of the most sensational child abuse cases the Bay Area has seen. In the investigation that followed, it was revealed that the four women — Carol Bremner, then 43; Deirdre Wilson, 37; Mary Campbell, 37; and Kali Polk-Matthews, 19 — were part of a mom-and-pop cult led by a dreadlocked, self-styled mystic named Winnfred Wright. Together, the women had borne him 13 children, who, investigators found, had been living in almost total seclusion in the family’s rented house in Marinwood, north of San Francisco. The children didn’t go to school, or to the doctor or dentist; they ate a strict, nearly vegan diet. Many of them were suffering from rickets, a disease caused by a vitamin D deficiency. A few of the children were in advanced stages of the illness and had noticeable bone deformities. …

Far from being monsters, Wright’s wives were actually smart, gutsy, warmhearted people. Bremner and Wilson had been popular student leaders at the center of their respective college-activist communities. They had been, those who knew them said over and over again, critical thinkers and independent women, the last people you’d imagine getting suckered into a cult. Campbell had been a vivacious Manhattan secretary; her family had always believed she would become a teacher because of her love for children. There was no sign she could become the kind of mother who’d let her baby die of malnutrition.

These people certainly weren’t part of the reality-based community.

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Posted October 18, 2004 at 8:09 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Society/Culture

Comments

That is so sad. I'm surprized that nobody found out sooner.
I wanted to thank you guys for coming to OSU last week and speaking. It was really great to listen to somebody in journalism that didn't have a stick up their ass. My friend (the blonde) and I came up and talked to you after. My URL is included (prepare for teen angst and sentences that don't make... sense.), I'll tell her to leave her's later.
muchos gracias.
~*N*~

Word up, Natalie.

I'm sooo glad that the first thing you found on our awesome blog of the future was an item about a polygamous cult of child abusers.

THANKS A LOT, MATT.

Posted by: Robin on October 18, 2004 at 11:04 PM

Welcome, Natalie, thanks for the props. And shhh, don't talk too loudly about your blog, you'll make Robin jealous, 'cause his is kinda lame.

Posted by: Matt on October 18, 2004 at 11:17 PM

I actually thought the cult thing was kinda interesting. As if scary religious cults weren't bad enough, some guy has to rent a house and start his own - CREEPY.
As for "Robin's Blog," I enjoyed it very much.
Hah.
How sad...

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