CRESTONE, Colo. (KDVR) — Seven people are facing charges for abuse of a corpse and child abuse after a woman’s body was found mummified in a home in Moffat.
According to a warrant, the woman’s body was wrapped in Christmas lights and set up in a type of shrine. The people arrested have ties to the “Love Has Won” group, referred to as a cult.
“By the technical definition it is a religious movement that worships a particular deity. Which means most of our popular religions in the world are technically cults,” said Thad Horrell, a professor at CSU Pueblo specializing in religious and theological studies.
Horrell said the term “cult” is outdated and is more often referred to as a “new religious movement.”
“It’s worth keeping in mind that just because someone is doing something different from us doesn’t necessarily mean it’s harmful,” said Horrell.
Horrell said the issue is often identifying what’s harmful and what is not. In this case, it’s up to investigators to determine the extent of the harm done leading up to the discovery of the woman’s body.
Horrell said people often turn to alternative beliefs or religions during times of social unrest.
“There have always been and always will be alternative ways. People who are dissatisfied with their life and are looking for a way to make sense of things. For the large part, I’d say that’s fairly harmless behavior,” said Horrell.