Former members of Mary Cosby‘s church are speaking out against the First Lady and sharing why they allege her Faith Temple Church is a cult.
Before the first season of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City even premiered, many began to question the dynamic within Mary’s church as well as her motives as First Lady. She’s been accused of running a cult, and she’s also been accused of using tithes to fund her lavish lifestyle.
Though she’s denied the allegations on multiple occasions, including at the season one reunion, former members of her congregation are now coming forward and sharing their side of the story. In fact, seven former members recently spoke with the Daily Beast, and six of those people claim Mary refers to herself as God and operates the temple like a cult.
Furthermore, they claim Mary strongly encourages members to work for her businesses without pay, rebukes them from the pulpit, and even tells members they’ll wind up in hell if they leave or join another church.
One anonymous male member, who was part of the church for 25 years, shared his thoughts with the outlet.
“It’s cultish what they’ve done,” he asserted. “It’s the mental manipulation to try to get people to believe that she has the power to either take them to heaven or condemn them to hell.”
A former female member, who still has close family in the church, alleged Mary is the exact opposite of a holy individual.
“She’s got these people terrified. That woman is the most evil thing that ever walked this Earth,” she declared. “You have no idea, all those smiles and sh*t—that is not real.”
A third person said he “unequivocally” believes Mary has turned the church into a cult, stating her teachings are much different than normal Christian beliefs.
“She preaches that she is God on earth. The church has gone to ruin and most everyone has left because Mary has no anointing whatsoever when she preaches,” he explained. “She just screams at her members and mentally abuses them into submission. [She] brainwashes them on the regular, not to mention the utterly flamboyant and hypocritical life she lives.”
Speaking of her alleged “hypocritical life,” her current congregation was apparently in the dark about her extravagant lifestyle until they got a glimpse into her world on RHOSLC. According to one woman who has since left the church, it was like a slap in the face as she believed they had been saving the members’ offerings to build a new temple.
“All of us never knew,” she said regarding Mary’s mansion and giant closet full of designer clothes. “That’s the first time we all saw what she had; it is overwhelming hoarding. We didn’t know that. We all did think, ‘Where’s all this money going?’ They said we were going to build a temple, a temple greater than the Mormon Temple. Seriously, we’ve been so damn poor. And that’s the first time in all these years I ever saw what they had.”
Another former member said “it was all about the money” for Mary and her husband/step-grandfather, Bishop Robert Cosby. He claimed the pair would often force the congregation to sit through “grueling hours and hours” while they demanded money and donations.
“They would sit and demand money until they got a certain dollar figure, whatever [sum] was in their head before they let people go” he alleged. “Now, that didn’t mean they had guns to your head, but they would shame you if you left. They would shame you if you didn’t give enough. So, it was a form of mental manipulation.”
He added, “Mary and [her husband] require all of their members to give them way more money than their monthly tithes. They call them love offerings.”
Nevertheless, Mary’s attorney told the outlet that, “All religious institutions, including the Faith Temple Pentecostal, accept donations from their parishioners; however they don’t force parishioners into poverty to make such contributions.”
As for the claim that Mary refers to herself as God, the attorney said the allegation is “extremely offensive and has no basis in reality.”
As fans have likely seen in the season two trailer, Mary will be addressing the allegations this season as her co-stars also have a lot of questions
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City season two airs Sunday nights on Bravo at 9/8c.
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