Winston Blackmore, Canada’s best known polygamist, foresees a year of doom for those that deliberately break up families or interfere with a person’s freedom.
The B.C. Supreme Court is expected in 2010 to be grappling with the controversial issue of polygamy in response to a constitutional reference from the B.C. government on whether Criminal Code provisions prohibiting polygamy are consistent with the guarantee of freedom of religion provided in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The case is expected to reverberate across the country, with its impact felt by various religious and immigrant groups who accept polygamy as a way of life.
In a posting on his blog just before Christmas, Mr. Blackmore – a religious leader who police say has 25 wives – says he is reluctant to continue his custom of year-ahead predictions. “I have learned how to live just one day at a time,” he states in a blog on his website .
But after citing some aphorisms that he attributes to Jesus Christ, he changed his mind. “Maybe I will make one prediction,” he says.
“Here goes. This coming year will not be a good one for all you officers, presidents, bishops, counsellors, trustees, spokespersons, or any other responsible persons that deliberately break up families, interfere with the free agency of men, women and children, and cause an attack or assist in an attack, religious or otherwise upon any person or his family,” he states.
“This year will be the beginning of your end, and in the end you will be single, lonely, desolate and damned,” Mr. Blackmore predicts.
Mr. Blackmore is the leader of a closely knit religious sect of several hundred in southeast B.C. that split from a community of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members.
He was charged with polygamy earlier this year, but the court quashed the charges on procedural grounds, deciding that the government had unfairly gone “prosecutor shopping” to find someone to prosecute Mr. Blackmore after two independent prosecutors had advised against it.
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