Commune leader slammed by priest

CRESTON, B.C. — Winston Blackmore may be the spiritual leader of a group of polygamists, but he is no part of a legitimate religion, says a high priest of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “(Blackmore) has false and foolish notions about polygamy,” Wayne Bourne said, referring to the man in a Sun story yesterday who has at least 20 wives and numerous children.

“Winston Blackmore’s religion has as much to do with the Church of Latter-day Saints as Martin Luther has to do with Catholicism.”

Polygamy was outlawed by the Mormon church in the late 1800s and Blackmore’s grandfather, John Blackmore, was kicked out of the church for refusing to bow to the rule.

Winston was excommunicated from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints — along with about 500 men, women and children — for his beliefs and practices in Bountifulnear Creston, 520 km of southwest of Calgary. Blackmore and his followers are under the scrutiny of a B.C. law enforcement task force looking into allegations of sexual exploitation, forced marriage and child abuse in Bountiful.

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