Idle Speculation

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People finally seem to be getting suspicious about this whole Elizabeth Smart abduction thing, but I haven't seen anyone else espouse my pet theory about the affair. It's probably wrong but I'm posting it here anyway so that, if it's right, I can claim to be prescient:

She was gone for nine months. She came back "puffier" and more "womanly." Am I the only person who thinks she might have run off to, you know, have a baby?

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  1. Perhaps the sarcasm of my earlier closing statement failed to register. Perhaps not.

    In any event, I read Reason because I have come to expect thoughtful and interesting commentary on subjects that matter in the world. I was very disappointed to see an item in Reason degenerate to banal gossip, even in a venue as wide-ranging as a blog.

  2. I have not heard accounts of threats or other means used to hold Miss. Smart captive. For this reason I cannot consider that information in my thoughs on the matter.

    It seems to me that given nine months in the company of only two *guards* (often in public), that I would have made numerous attempts to escape.

    Perhaps further news will shed some light on this aspect of the story.

    I was astonished by CNN’s recent front page headline “Safe at Home”. Wasn’t she “Safe at Home” when she was initially abudcted?

  3. Well, if an occurrence becomes a much publicized story that has political consequences as this story has had and undoubtedly will have for some time, probing questions are in order. It is not far fetched to claim that several parties are much concerned with the protection of their own reputations and the furthering of their own agendas.
    Call me cynical, but even if all this did not happen against her will, by the time the social workers and counselors get done with her, she will have been abducted, abused and raped too.
    I hope she will have the strength to get beyond all this and live her own life as she sees fit. Good luck to her.

  4. Let me get this straight. You’re hypothesizing that Elizabeth Smart was pregnant, so she had herself kidnapped from her home at knifepoint by a homeless Mormon religious fanatic and spent nine months living with him on the streets so she could have the baby in secret.

    Congrats, I think that’s the stupidest theory I’ve heard since “the Afghanistan war was all about building a pipeline”.

  5. I believe Jesse is just reflecting the more and more skeptical public that is coming to realize that the mainstream news is more and more getting the story wrong.

  6. Dan: I’m saying that many people are starting to question the kidnapping story itself, in light of her apparent unwillingness to escape, her reported refusal to identify herself as Elizabeth Smart when found by the police, and various alleged anomalies in the account of the original crime. I offered one alternative theory. There are others, and I’ll be the first to admit that they’re at least as plausible as this one. (Just because I came up with an idea doesn’t mean I believe it. Read the post again.)

  7. I, for one, find it a VERY interesting theory. Do I believe it? Not hardly. Can I see the possibility? Sure. In addition to Jesse’s musings, let’s add the following:

    1. Dad’s tears are all too fake for my liking when she disappears. Steve thinks something is up. Is it possible dad arranged this?

    2. The girl is hiding in plain sight, covered in what amounts to a burka. Easy way to hide a pregnancy.

    3. Family of good Mormons would NEVER want an unmarried, pregnant daughter running around the Ward.

    I don’t know, sounds like motive and opportunity to me.

  8. Having had the recent experience of raising a daughter through her teens, let me add my two cents:
    She was probably abducted, but very quickly became a willing participant. I don’t think she was brainwashed, she probably wanted to run away, for the thrill and attention, two things she probably wasn’t getting enough of at home. She was manipulated, but girls that age are easy to manipulate if you tell them what they want to hear. I imagine she “became a woman” while gone, and time will tell if this episode has harmed her. I’m sure she thinks she knows the world now, as my daughter equated becoming sexually active with actually turning into a grown-up. Her parent’s are going to need patience, luck and a large dose of perseverance.

  9. Only an anti-Semite would raise any questions about the Elizebeth Smart case.

  10. The “nine months” echoed in my head as well. But then, she was found (caught?) after people identified Mitchell and called police. If people hadn’t been looking for Mitchell, she might not have come back at all.

  11. I too have questioned her apparent willingness to stay with her captors and don a burka.

    But are you saying that, because the time frame matches with gestation, she had the baby and decided to end her “abduction?”

    I’ll take my answer off the air. I have to get back to “Celebrity Justice.”

  12. Well, obviously she didn’t choose to end her abduction. That’s one of the holes in the pregnancy theory. There are ways to account for it, but they run afoul of Occam’s Razor.

    The most likely scenario, I think, is something like what Scott laid out in his comment above — except I think there’s a good chance she went willingly in the first place. Time will tell. Maybe.

  13. I agree that there is something that doesn’t add up with the Elizabeth Smart story. I react to the fathers zealousness. He gets my spidy sense going big time.

    Could this whole story go from America’s Most Wanter to Jerry Springer?

    Paul

  14. To: Reason Staff
    Re: White Lies
    From: Planet Earth

    I’m not sure how the story is playing on your planet, but back on Earth, *nobody* believes that Liz was detained against her will for 9 months. However we will *all* say that we do and encourage our friends to also tell the same lie. It’s part of our culture, here on Earth, to play act that we don’t see the most obvious problems. A carefully charred cinder is just like mom used to make, our crazy uncles are all eccentrics, our children’s scribbles look just like birds/trees/whatever, and no pants ever make our friends look fat. I myself am not fat, but big boned. Also runaways are always welcomed home and not asked a lot of questions.

  15. From the little I saw the family seemed so fanatically religious as to be somewhat creepy, so it wouldn’t be entirely surprising why a normal teenage girl would be happy to be away from them. Why she would choose to escape with someone even CREEPIER is perhaps a matter for the psychiatrists. I was particularly nauseated by the father’s assertion that God had answered their prayers. The only logical understanding of this statement is that God has the power to choose whose prayers to answer, and for some reason chooses not to answer the prayers of all the other parents of abducted children. Why would anyone want to worship a being which can be so sadistic? Why does God get all the credit when things go right and none of the blame when things go wrong?

  16. Hank,
    The same reason you’ll never read, “Kitna Throws 3 INTs in Bengals Loss, Blames Jesus,” in the sports section (though I’d buy that paper in a second).

  17. Looks like someone’s got a pretty limited grasp of the ways people think and act on Planet Earth.

  18. I have to agree that there are a lot of holes in the elizebeth smart abduction case. While it is unlikely that she left because she was pregnant(and i say unlikely, not impossible) there is definitely something amiss, and further investigation should be pending, but only if those involved request it. After all, the kidnapper may be crazy, but what if he’s innocent?

  19. If the guy’s innocent and this is all a setup, who’s going to believe him? He’s a nutjob. We’ll all say, “Of course he’s saying he was setup and he’s innocent. who wouldn’t. And besides, he’s just a crazy, homeless street preacher.” This guy is toast, either way.

  20. Hank:

    The other side of your point is, that a schizophrenic, self-proclaimed prophet in flowing white robes probably doesn’t stand out all that much in Utah. Come on, is he that different from Orrin Hatch? Imagine being raised by those cultish Stepford wives, and then being told by a bearded and berobed “prophet” that God had selected you for his wife. I mean, it’s unlikely her parents made a point of schooling her to beware of religious fanatics.

    That whole state is just a theocratic version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”; the pod people just managed to act human enough to keep the U.S. Army from turning SLC into a smoking crater in the nineteenth century.

  21. What the hell is wrong with you people?

  22. What the hell is wrong with you people?

    The fact that she was physically capable of calling for help or escaping doesn’t mean she was actually in a state to do so.

    You libertoids have all the understanding of human psychology of Ayn Rand.

  23. Joe,

    Please remember that you’re talking about the greatest intellect in human history. And the second greatest intellect (or third, after Aristotle, depending on contending doctors at the ARI) was a practicing psychotherapist. Of course, his intellectual ranking fell catastrophically in the late ’60s, when he committed the intellectual crime of noticing that Rand was dick-rottingly hideous.

  24. Lovely, lovely. Irrational Rand-bashing. Just what the doctor ordered.

  25. i thought meth was what her doctor ordered? har har.

  26. Don’t you have anything better to do than contribute to a media feeding frenzy with speculation about pregnancy?

    Get a job.

  27. I believe the proper word for your complaint, Mark, is “self-undermining.”

  28. Read the Drudge article on Smart’s behavior when she was apprehended, Joe. That goes way beyond the psychological state you’re talking about.

    http://www.drudgereport.com/smart.htm

  29. Jesse,

    It’s a little ghoulish to speculate in public about a 15 year old girl who has just been through what in all likelihood was a hellish experience in a way that makes it seem like her fault.

    Imagine your comment being made on NBC, and you’ll be on the right track toward understanding why some of the posters are somewhat outraged by it. Obviously, this is a less public place than a television network, but the same principle holds: have some respect for the girl’s and the family’s privacy, at least to the point that you give her the benefit of the doubt. It used to be called “decency.”

  30. Reason.com has been on a downward death spiral in terms of intelligent commentary for several months now – but this is far lower than anything I could have imagined possible. Even for an idiot like Jesse Walker.

    Ron Bailey – do you really want to be associated with these buffoons?

  31. For the record, I don’t think she’s spectacular looking. I’m not sure where all the talk is coming from that she is. Clearly she’s not hideous, but let’s get real here.

  32. I also consider the possibility that she was pregnant as plausible. The theory fits the data, so if you can remove the “uugghh” factor from your thinking, you have to consider it. The righteous indignation expressed here is deja vu all over again

  33. I don’t think privacy is really an issue here, JDM. If we were camped out on her lawn yelling personal questions, you’d have a point. Joining in the already widespread cyber-speculation circle isn’t exactly the same thing.

  34. Jesse,

    I understand that. I don’t think it’s so awful myself, just that it is a *little* media jackalish. Others seem to think it is more so.

  35. Jesse was simply speculating on the possible circumstances of Smart’s disappearance, which is something that pretty much everybody is doing. Her behavior has been rather strange hasn’t it?

  36. jdm-

    i don’t think the pregnancy theory necessarily means that the ordeal was her fault. she could have been raped and still felt like she had to drop out of sight to have the baby.

  37. For those handful utterly lacking the imagination to understand how a kidnapped teenage girl could be so inextricably in the grip of her kidnapper that she not only didn’t try to escape (as things appear), but wept after being freed from captivity (worried about her captors), here’s one scenario that I of course have no way of verifying, but which, I suggest, is plausible…

    14 years old, Elizabeth Smart is taken from her bedroom at knifepoint, in the presence of her stunned little sister, by a street guy named Emmanuel. Not a large man, he is bearded and disheveled. He is chronically mentally ill and harbors a messianic complex. He mumbles to himself. Apocalyptic images dominate his thinking. Fear dominates his feelings.

    As Emmanuel whisks Elizabeth from the house, he whispers into her ear that God continuously speaks to Emmanuel. God has explained his will to his servant Emmanuel. Elizabeth is destined to be Emmanuel’s spiritual companion. Emmanuel explains that he’ll make all this clear to Elizabeth, little by little, as days go by.

    Later, Emmanuel does indeed begin explaining, but only as he prematurely and involuntarily initiates Elizabeth into womanhood. Each day he forces young Elizabeth Smart to have sex with him. As Emmanuel presses himself upon her, his whispers envelope and penetrate Elizabeth’s mind and heart. She’s absolutely unable to move or escape. This brutalizing he does each day, again and again.

    Over the next few months, Emmanuel elaborates, with a fevered intensity, about his purportedly divine mission and his vision of Elizabeth’s supporting role. He moans, rants, and whines, ad nauseam. His fixation on Elizabeth is not content to rest in only religious or sexual perversions but insists on invading and dominating every aspect of their lives. He would have no separation between his and her realities, so convince her of his reality he must.

    Emmanuel sustains and develops a relentlessly pseudo religious patter, pressing his twisted themes on her again and again. Every aspect of Emmanuel’s world is but grist for this mill. “You are bound to me, Elizabeth,” he says. “God has made you responsible for this holy mission. If you try to escape, I will be forced to kill you. I don’t want to–I really don’t want to–but if you try to escape, I must and will. God has commanded me. You may think you can escape when we’re walking down a street, or in a store buying groceries, but there is no escape. Truly God has willed for me to guide you in this life, in our mission.” And so forth…

    Each day, every day, Elizabeth is abused by Emmanuel’s admonitory words, repeated rapes, emotional batterings, humiliations, and multiple threats which are variously stated, yelled, or whispered according to time and circumstance. Emmanuel’s behavior is a cacophony of innuendo, bravado, paranoia, anxiety, complaint, schizophrenic Biblical exegesis, insult, verbal assault, and promise of pain and death if Elizabeth fails to perfectly follow the twisted path carved by his words. She is overtaken and acutely anxious that she not fail Emmanuel’s expectations. To fail is, after all, to at least encounter extreme pain. Likely, death.

    All this perversity poisons and infects the very fiber of Elizabeth’s being. Emmanuel’s other and much older “wife” serves as a turgid example of desired compliance. (After all, if this grown woman is Emmanuel’s acquiescent slave, what can Elizabeth possibly hope to do?) Every event in Elizabeth Smart’s life is reinterpreted according to this nut case’s paranoid, grandiose rationales.

    Of course, not one scintilla of this scenario I’ve invented may actually be the case, but something similar must have occurred. Certainly we can imagine–can we not? (however vile and nauseating such an image might be to most of us)–the brutalization of a teenage girl entirely under Emmanuel’s depraved and absolute domination?

    We detest imaginatively engaging such possibilities, for if such a beautiful young woman as Elizabeth Smart, a teenager with a family who evidently adores her, can be so quickly and thoroughly psychologically dismantled–so emotionally eviscerated and so spiritually deconstructed–in the demented weltanschaaung of her kidnapper, how fragile are the hearts and souls of even the strongest of us?

    “What might be MY breaking point?” one understandably now asks. “Under such circumstances, how readily might I lose my sense of myself and act (literally) like an entirely different person?

  38. O.J.

    Fair enough. I just think that some people are seeing it as smearing the good name of 15 year old. Which is not surprising.

  39. You know, it’s possible that “Elizabeth Smart” isn’t really who her “parents” say she is. Maybe she’s the Prophet Emmanuel’s child bride, presented to him by the angel Gabriel as a blessed infant 15 years ago and around the time she would have entered preschool she was abducted by the Smarts and brainwashed into thinking she was “Elizabeth Smart”. Maybe–just maybe–Emmanuel and his other wife had rescued their young bride.

    Three years from now, when she performs great miracles involving a deck of cards, a smoked turkey leg and a cordless drill in downtown Provo, we’ll all know the truth.

  40. Above Jesse writes:
    “A lot of you seem to think it unbecoming even to speculate about what’s going on.”

    If you remember Jesse, teenagers do foolish things. Mostly we managed to stay out of the news, at least I don’t remember reading about you. Life would be hard if everyone remembered the stupid things we did back then. Once the girl got home, her story stopped being a public affair and became this became the type of matter we are supposed to expunge from our memories.

    The more the public holds onto this private matter, the more the Smarts are going to feel compelled to play public roles. Just think about that for a minute. Just give this two weeks and you are going to be wondering how you fell into this story.

  41. Such speculation seems ungenerous. A girl her age could look quite different after nine months without having been pregnant.

    It is a very curious case, and the fact that she is such a beauty gives it high priority on TV news. But the story will be little more than a Rorschach test until she tells us what happened. And if what happened is embarrassing, I wouldn’t blame her if she just doesn’t.

  42. I think wne4 was in on it.

  43. Now I’m a libertarian (circa ’72), but this original Walker post and most of the comments just demonstrate that the really repugnant have influence in the libertarian movement. Walker first, and the rest of you tofu moralists can go to hell. You are anethema. G

  44. Other Joe,

    I’ll get to that Drudge story as soon as I finish reading about who the Weekly World News alien is going to endorse for president.

  45. Wne4’s graphic scenario — I hope you didn’t enjoy writing that, whoever you are — is possible too, though for various reasons I don’t think it’s the most likely explanation.

    A lot of you seem to think it unbecoming even to speculate about what’s going on. I’m honestly curious as to why. I’m not advocating any theory here, and I’m not starting a discussion that wasn’t already taking place. While I confess to being an idiot — for once, PLC is right about something — I think I’m a reasonably bright idiot, and I don’t see where this squeamishness is coming from.

  46. Mr. Walker:
    I was formerly an admirer of yours for your defense of the Catholic Church against Glenn Reynolds, but this was a shameful, disgusting post.

  47. Brainwashing is very real. Anyone that doubts its existence might consider doing some research into the tactics used by Chinese communists and the results obtained by them. (This is only one possibility, but it is one I am familiar with from some of my own work.) Not everyone is as firmly rational as readers of Reason, and thus immune to outside persuasion. And I can hardly think of a group less rational and more open to outside persuasion than 14-15 year old girls: witness popular music.

    There is plenty of data that shows how people can change their perceptions of themselves and their identities readily and rapidly, under the right circumstances–circumstances that can be created in short time and without anything except control.

    This is not to say anything directly about the Smart case, except that brainwashing is a possible explanation. Until more facts are known, speculation is just that: speculation. It seems to me irresponsible to make insinuations about the Smart family without justification, whether or not we agree with their religious principles.

  48. G? Tofu? Moralists? And going to hell?

    I don’t think anyone here is moralizing, but rather, speculating. No blood, no foul.

    The only one moralizing is you.

  49. Tofu moralists?

  50. When Michael Savage spoke about the Smart case a couple of days ago, he did not come out and say Smart was pregnant at the time of the abduction. However, reading between the lines- the way he said “9 months” – I came to my own conclusion that pregnancy was in fact a possibility, however unlikely. One cannot deny the discrepancies in the Smart case: for example, was it a knife, or was it a gun?

  51. Perhaps the reason why Elizabeth Smart did not
    seek help (although in a public place)could be
    explained by the actions of an older woman in a
    similar situation. Colleen Stan, who was kidnapped and held hostage for 7 years by Cameron
    Hooker was programmed daily during her ordeal to believe that Hooker was part of a ramified,
    sophisticated network of powerful deviants who could destroy her family with perfect impunity and immunity.

    Hooker also made the weird threat to Colleen that
    he would ‘torture her to the point of death” –
    in other words, this quintessential sadist terrorized the young woman by convincing her that
    he would not allow her the comforting prospect
    of killing her so that she might escape her
    horrible peonage by merciful death; instead,
    Hooker tortured Colleen emotionally and physically, maximizing her suffering in order to
    retain both physical and psychological control
    over Colleen for as long as he pleased.

    So, most likely Elizabeth Smart dared to “flaunt”
    her presence so openly without seeking help because she, too, may have been convinced by her captor that she was being watched constantly, and
    that any hint of independence or outright rebellion would provoke full-scale, bloody
    retaliation against her loved ones by an imaginary coterie of “powerful co-conspirators”.
    Possibly she had been conditioned to trust no one; therefore, she felt emotionally isolated and feared being betrayed instead of being rescued.

    Thus, if a young woman such as Colleen Stan
    (in her twenties)could have been effectively
    brainwashed by a cold-blooded, sociopathic
    “control freak” such as Hooker, so, too, could
    a young teenager like 14-year-old Elizabeth
    Smart, who was apparently reared in a more
    sheltered, circumscribed environment than Stan
    (evidently enough of a free spirit to have been
    hitchhiking on the highway, and whose “free ride”
    proved to be the costliest experience of her life.)

    I say if Elizabeth Smart is to be interrogated, she should be questioned briefly, at intervals, by a sympathetic female investigator skilled in handling sexual abuse cases (assuming that Elizabeth Smart was preyed upon by the moron who abducted her); in no instance should she be subjected to an “intensive grilling” by a self-righteous and censorious male detective (who, in Utah, may even be an elder or a bishop in the Smart’s Church.) That sort of individual may visit further trauma upon the adolescent victim if he attempted to convey to her that she had been irretrievably “ruined” by her harrowing experience.

    Elizabeth Smart should be accorded maximally compassionate treatment so that she is not victimized a second time – this time, by the legal system which may exploit her in order to obtain convictions at all costs – even at the risk of her mental health.

  52. Mormons believe in having many wifes. Maybe Mitchell wished to have Elizabeth as his wife as well and he got her pregnant. Somehow… the Smart family and the people who spotted Elizabeth (wearing a robe, wig and sunglasses) are involved in this whole kidnapping. Hmm.. will Ed Smart be running for a political posistion sometime soon? Do we all feel sorry enough for him to vote for him? It will all come out some day.

  53. Does anyone know what Mr. Smart does for a living???

  54. Jessica, Mormons DON’T believe in having many wives.

  55. Coming from a similiar background I must say that I understand how easy and vulnerable a niave 15 year old can be overtaken by the manipulative powers of a mind player or in psychological terms a psychopath, sociopath or hmmmmmmm down right great manipulator. I really feel for the confusion she is going through. It is not easy to be taught a strict lifestyle and then try and deny feelings that go against ur beliefs. It is very easy to be trusting of —hmmmmm—all adults and in some cases of all people and desire to believe that all is right and good in the world even when the world is crashing. We call it in Utah the cinderalla syndrome—-where the woman is raised most all her life believing it is her duty to make the man happy at all costs, where just out of school she should get married to a highly religious young man that follows the word of God to the “t” and be a handmaiden housewife all her life—-living happily everafter.

    Instead of trying to explain the pheonoman behind it all—-
    I just have one thing to say—–IT IS NOT WISE TO JUDGE SOMEONE OR A SITUATION WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE A CLUE AS TO ALL THE DYNAMICS INVOLVED AND ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THE CULTURE AND BACKGROUND THAT PERSON IS COMING FROM.

    There is a saying I was once told “How stupid you are all depends on where you are at and what part of the country you are from—” Meaning in NY a person from Utah may sound stupid but if the roll was reversed a person in NY may sound stupid in downtown Utah. Just a thought
    Leave the family alone they have enough to deal with right now in life.

  56. Jessica,
    It would be best that you learn a little about the mormons before u start telling us about their beliefs. Polygamy was banned ages ago and when it was in practice it was to take care of the families that had no male person to care for them because their husbands and fathers died crossing the plains. Hmmmm—-trying to take care of your own people in your own community —-now that is a crime —isn’t it?

    If I were you, I think I would get my facts straight before forming an opinion and making noise that will only show how much you truely do not know what you are talking about.

  57. I have no trouble believing that Elizabeth Smart ran away — except that I just don’t picture a 14-year old girl choosing to stay with this guy instead of joining the young runaway culture. If he were moderately good looking, or young, or charming, perhaps, but this guy? The idea that when deciding to run away she picked a homeless “prophet” and his wife to stay with strikes me as vanishingly unlikely. There’s something odd going on here, but “Elizabeth Smart ran to Emmanuel” strikes me as more implausible than the original scenario.

  58. A few random comments/questions: If Dad does not want to traumatize ES any further, why is he actively considering movie and book deals? Smarmy, to say the least. Why did Dad not tell police about Mitchell early on? Did I miss something? Wouldn’t a father remember the drifter who had called himself Jesus? Is the younger sister the key? How could she have seen all that detail from under her covers? Sorry, but I can’t believe she sat in bed 2 hrs before going to Mom and Dad. General comment to those who think we should leave this whole thing alone: Mr. Mitchell has a constitutional right to face his accuser in court. There are ways to do this with the minimum amount of trauma to ES, but it’s gotta be done. Especially if Mr. M faces life behind bars. As a citizen who pays taxes, I DEMAND an open trial and will continue to post, question, publish, goad, what-have-you, until some resolution has been achieved. The family deserves privacy? What? This is likely going to be a major Federal criminal trial [esp if M crossed borders w/ ES]. The public has a right to know. This ain’t N. Korea, my friends. Nor is this a run-of-the-mill case. Dad and Uncle are, IMHO, ten times as creepy as Mitchell. At least M is out in the open w/ his [psychotic] beliefs, but Dad and Unc are obviously hiding behind the *poor little girl’s privacy* argument. Theories? Speculation? Such of the non-lunatic kind are numerous. One: Dad and/or Uncle Smoothie abused ES previously [perhaps years ago], and psyched her into being quiet. All was well in their abuser-weirdo world until the unexpected, unspeakable, happened. The little girl was kidnapped. Dad and Smoothie freaked because they thought that maybe, just maybe, the cops might find the little darling and she’d spill. Then, something even more frightening [for Dad and Uncle] transpired: ES was found ALIVE by cops. Priority One is now to control access to ES by press, police, media, et al. Yeah, it sounds like a soap opera [my comedian friend would call it Brigham Young And The Restless], and indeed it is. Watch for one of two things to happen: Dad or Uncle will commit suicide, or Mom will come clean if [big if] she knows the background. Another theory that I’m personally fond of is that Gary Condit had something to do with this. But that one’s automatically shot down since ES is ALIVE. If she’d *dated* Gary, they’d have found her head and leg-bone in a nearby park. Other suspects the cops should talk to: Peter Townshend, Paula Poundstone [fond of children], Kenny Rogers [likes to talk dirty to teenie chix], William Jefferson *Movin’ On Up* Clinton [into chix of any age], Woody Allen [shoot, he would have married her in a secret ceremony], Catholic Priests who live in the area [check that. ES is female]. And let’s not overlook the possibility that a member of the Kennedy family is involved. They’ve been stalking/raping/killing females of ALL ages since the turn of the century. Ask not why. Personal note to Mr. Koppelman: That’s some funny stuff in your post, my friend. If you’re not doing stand-up, you should be. Had me on the floor. And, seriously again now, each day I wish someone would just strap Dad and Uncle Smoothie to a lie detector and let me ask away. Can you imagine D and Unc’s fear of being cross-examined in open court? Or their fear of ES being interviewed about her sexual history? Those two smarm kings can’t be sleeping very well these days. That’s as it should be. Bottom line: I think Dad and/or Uncle are child-abusers who fear being outed. This kidnapping and publicity is thier WORST nightmare.

  59. For all those who think that Elizabeth Smart was a willing victim. You know nothing. This 14-year-old girl was abducted out of her bed, repeatedly raped by a religious fanatic, was never left alone for months and subjected to physical and ritual abuse. If she did ANYTHING that she wasn’t told to do first by her captors, including talk and meet their eyes, she was punished. If you think you maintain your free will and plan an escape under those circumstances, then you have obviously never undergone anything remotely like she did. Do not judge her because you are not qualified.

    There are other men like her abductor. Jim Jones, Charles Manson and lets not forget David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians. The power of ritual abuse can make you think black is white. I only hope that massive amounts of therapy and the love of her family can hope her overcome this. I don’t think I could.

  60. her being pregnant is a ridiculous notion.the reason she didn’t excape was she was conditioned by her captives.this guy used her belief system against her.remember,she is only 14 not an adult like you and i.he proffesses to be a profit of the god that her parent’s have raised her to believe in,this made it easier for her fragile young mind to be “brainwashed”there have been several documented cases of kidnap victum’s being left alone and not trying to escape.there was a woman who was trapped by her captor’s for 7 year’s,you think she never had a chance to escape?let’s let this poor girl have a chance to heal and not make her look like the bad person in this case.

  61. Let’s forget the theories for a moment and review a few facts about the Mormon religion:

    1. The Mormon church renounced polygamy over a century ago, and Utah was rewarded with statehood. While the church has since dutifully excommunicated those who practice polygamy, it is still a well-accepted part of the Mormon afterlife.

    2. Those who participate in Mormon temple ceremonies are given secret names, different from their birth names.

    3. Incest and sexual abuse, while not condoned, does occur within the Mormon church.

    My opinion is this: the strange beliefs indoctrinated in Elizabeth during her captivity are not that different than the regular Mormon beliefs and culture. Being “brainwashed” is just a part of the Mormon experience – I feel that my conversion to Mormonism involved some brainwashing. Marrying young is encouraged – my bishop once told me to marry before age 25, as my chances of finding a suitable husband would deteriorate thereafter. Her return to “freedom” was really just a transition from one cult to another.

  62. Dittos to that, w.

    Odd, isn’t it, that your comment would be considered *Mormon Bashing* on the ABC site. They call any critical reference to Mormonism, or ANY questioning of the parents, *BASHING*, thus making ABC’s site (as well as NBC’s and CBS’s) definitely not an open forum. I contend, as you infer, that ES may have been delivered from one set of loonies to another (her mega-spooky family). Can she *heal* in that environment?

    To find out the answer, tune in to the next episode of Brigham Young And The Restless, or see the upcoming feature film, Joseph Smith Goes To Washington. As that Mormon comedian used to say, *Take my WIVES, please.*

  63. I agree with Dan, but would add: Yes, let her heal, but FIRST, for the benefit of ALL FUTURE KIDNAP victims, there must be a trial at which we’ll find out who was involved in her abduction, who’s telling the truth, and who’s got something to hide. The trial may require ES to take the stand and testify. Otherwise, ALL the bad women/men are set free to rape, kidnap, and torture more children. Of utmost importance, of course, is determining whether she is, AT THIS MINUTE, truly *safe and sound*. If Daddy or Uncle was in ANY WAY involved with this, (or even if either of them abused her in the past), then the trial will produce that information, and we can rescue her from THAT situation.
    Let’s be sure, in any case, to have someone stop by the Smart home each night around 8pm and remind Daddy to lock all the doors and turn the alarm on. Maybe a couple well-publicized guns in the house would help, too. As an added precaution, perhaps the local cops can give Mommy a pamphlet about the dangers of bringing ex-cons and vagrants into the home to do odd jobs.
    What a shame if ES was rescued from one set of loonies, only to be delivered into the hands of negligent (or perhaps abusive) parents.
    The healing can start when we KNOW that ES is in a safe environment. Right now, there are some serious questions about that. To pass over these areas, and jump right to the *healing* phase, would do more harm than good.
    I urge Dad and Uncle to take lie-detector tests and give FULL depositions to the authorities. They should both be encouraged to explain the contradictions and discrepancies in their stories (and there are indeed MANY of those).
    Something is rotten in the state of Utah, my friends, and the stench is not confined to Mr M and his psycho accomplice.

  64. I live in Utah and alot of my friends are mormons. There is ALOT of brainwashing that goes on within their circles. There is alot ALOT of catholic bashing that they do when they get alot of them togehter. They do it in normal conversation. They want to be good people but they usually beat them selves up when they dont live up to being “perfect”. I hope the ES gets over all her past whatevers and lives a normal live. But there was some weird crap going on in SLC 9 months ago and what it was we will probably never know.

  65. Dittos to you Steve P. I grew up Catholic, and remember references to *Morons* by some of the older folks in the Parish. Guess that goes both ways. Geez, Southern Baptists diss EVERY religion, EVEN other (non-southern) Baptists. But the BIG difference here, as you alluded to Steve, is that Mormons are pretty much hermetically sealed up there in Utah. They are very geographically isolated, unlike Catholics, Baptists, Jews (in America anyway), and others. That’s one reason I’m afraid we’re not getting the whole story here. Mr. Ed, et al, have a tight grip on the social machinery up there in SLC.
    Thanks for the post.
    Joke of the week: Three Mormons walked into a bar.

  66. Mormons are hardly isolated in Utah; in fact, they have metastasized far and wide. Mormon temples grace countries around the world. The new governor of Massachusetts is a Mormon.

    However, all-emcompassing Mormon theocracy is pretty unique to Utah. We often don’t get the whole story on *anything* scandalous in Utah – because the LDS church controls the media. Any information that might damage the church’s reputation has a hard time getting released. One recent example is the discovery of a document that suggested Brigham Young ordered the massacre at Mountain Meadows. This story was not released until the document was determined to be forged, possibly by the notorious Mark Hoffman. To hide their embarrassing blunders, the church will go as far as to hinder legal investigations – think back to the Hoffman murders of the 1980’s, when church leaders kept key information from law enforcement authorities for YEARS.

    I doubt that Mr. Smart alone has much leverage on Utah’s social/religious machinery, but he definitely has his own reputation to protect. Popular opinion says he’s creepy and he’s weird. Perhaps he IS hiding something, despite how emphatically he stated (during his polygraph tests) that he had “nothing to hide.”

    w

    p.s. what’s the rest of the joke?

  67. W: Points well taken. There is no rest of joke. That’s it. Along the lines of *Bill Clinton died and went to heaven.* The joke is in the opening, so no punch is needed. More later. Thanks for the info. -Larry

  68. how about this one:

    Q. What does a good mormon girl do at a party when someone brings drugs and alcohol?

    A. She puts on her clothes and leaves.

  69. Good one W. I only KNOW of three people who are in Hell. Adolf Hitler, natch. Joseph Stalin, slam-dunk. And that guy who invented internet pop-up ads. He BETTER be there. If he’s not, I’ve got a letter to write. *Dear Devil: It has come to my attention……* By the way, how would you mail a letter to the Devil? Maybe we could just give it to Saddam Hussein, and let him drop it off when he gets there. Ba-doom. I’ll be here all week. Please tip your servers.
    -Larry at http://WWW.LARRYKENNY.COM

  70. jesse walker- i agree with you. when i found out that she was gone for 9 months, i didnt think it was a coincidence~

  71. ELIZEBETH DIDNT LOOK WOMANLY TO ME. IF SHE DO SHE’S SUPPOSE TO BECAUSE SHES A TEENAGER!!!!!!& IN 9 MONTHS EVERYONE CHANGES!!DUH!

  72. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

  73. hey guys,
    I have like no Idea like what like you like are like talking about cuz im just like a dumb blonde! but reely knock it off its old news and none of ur business. I mean realy leave it alone. I mean its not you that got kidnapped so just stick your noses somewhere else instead of budding into her life. + nothing u say is helping the world or Elizbeth anyways

  74. I think that it is very suspicious too, that she was gone for 9 months but things can be ironic you know

  75. Brainwashed my foot. She wasn’t brainwashed, she ran and she ran as fast as she could. Having to share a bedroom with a younger sister is bad enough, but to share a bed as well? Now she finally has her own bedroom, bet the parents are willing to give her anything to keep her mouth shut. She wasn’t brainwashed when she was with Mitchell and Barzee, she was brainwashed and beaten IMO when she returned home.

  76. Hi everyone, doesnt look like anyone has looked on this site in a while but oh well, i am here to state my peace. I watched the Elizebeth Smart Story last night on CBS, and after reading your comments on here i just have to say…that you all have some weird ways of looking at things, i mean, sure she WAS gone for 9 months but that doesnt mean she ran off and had a baby…you have no idea what that poor girl went through and neither did i..but i do know that they told her that if she ever ran away or got help for herself that they would kill her and her family….so what was she suppose to do?…i think all of you would have done the same thing she did…i might be wrong about all this but oh well, it’s a free country….bye for now

  77. Thanks Foy, I’m glad to hear that your son and you and a good time last night while spending time together.

  78. i didnt know this site was even on here until tonight and i agree with brittney im just so glad shes at home and she is adult enough now that if she wants to leave hell she sure can,and also tell her side of the story.i didnt get a chance to see tonights show on her,my son and i enjoyed a good movie together and had a good time and im glad hes with me and out of harms way.
    foy

  79. To those who say we have no right to speculate on Elizabeth Smart:

    1.) This is America. We do have the right to state our opinion, whether it be right or wrong.

    2.) How do YOU know what happened? All the general public knows is what the news tells us, and if you have two brain cells to rub together, you know that those pricks doctor and edit the truth to come out favorably to whatever is the favorable side. That’s brainwashing in of itself.

    3.) Telling those who believe that Smart ran away what happened is speculation, too. You don’t know what happened either. So it’s a tad bit hypocritical to bash the rest when you’re doing the same thing, just on a different opinion.

    I feel in my gut that something isn’t right. I’ve been reading all the news reports I can find since her disappearance and reading between the lines. I don’t know what happened, but as the Bard states, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” But in this case, Utah.

  80. I fully belive that Daddy needed media attetion HE GOT IT

  81. I fully belive that Daddy needed media attetion HE GOT IT

  82. I would have to agree with Mr Walker that it’s most certainly an idea to consider. I was a 14 year old girl once too, and I was just itching to do anything to get away from my parents. I wasn’t abused, but I can imagine if he were my dad, I’d run like hell too. He’s creepy in the fact that his eyes and smile..*shudder* He could probably fake that smile while he stabbed someone to death. I Live in Salt Lake City, so-called Ground Zero *gag* I’ve seen the Smart’s house, and that’s all the motivation in the world. Did any of you happen to know it’s over 1 million dollars? Did you also happen to know that at the time of her kidnapping, it was up for sale? Here we are, 1 1 2/ years later, and what do you know?! They still live there…hmmmmm…They live in the most upscale neighborhood – Federal Heights – in Salt Lake City. Maybe it wasn’t a baby she had, but daddy was invovled. Either way, Brian David Mitchell burns..why? Because they found the little sweetheart with him, and don’t you know, association always equals guilt? Did you know the Salt Lake City mayor, Rocky Anderson, put up $10K reward for her? What about all the other children that disappear in SLC? Now, tell me Daddy didn’t do it. He needed a scapegoat, and who better than someone different..someone who calls himself Emmanuel…someone….crazy, by societal standards. Of course he’ll burn..don’t you know all ‘freaks’ babble about how they’re innocent. Ed Smart should burn in hell.

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