Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rusty Yates

We're posting an e-mail that came in Saturday and posting it in full. We do not vouch for the comments in it, we do not disavow the comments in it. We found it to be an interesting e-mail.

It's not signed and we have no idea who it came from. (We won't reprint the e-mail address.) Ty periodically checks the e-mails during the writing of these editions to find out if there's anything breaking a regular member wants noted. He read this and shared it with us. It's responding to Ava and C.I.'s "TV: What Could Be Lower Than A Cesspool?" from July 30, 2006. Again, there TV commentaries have long, long shelf lives. In that commentary, they addressed ABC's Primetime Live and the e-mail is about that episode's coverage of the Andrea Yates case.

You are correct in stating the obvious. Rusty Yates was deep into the Michael Woroniecki cult and was the whole basis for Andrea's indoctrination.

I was a member of this "mail order" cult for 4 years. Although I never knew Rusty Yates back then (I do now, but we had a falling out over his denial of responsibility in the tragedy), I heard his name mentioned on a letter tape distributed to disciples in the fall of 1984. Rusty abandoned his naval scholarship and dropped out of the military only months after meeting Woroniecki at Auburn. It is clear to me he had persuaded Rusty to abandon it, although from the world's point of view, that's not conclusive. Woroniecki persuaded me to abandon a career. That was the one thing Woroniecki was not able to effect with Rusty, as he apparently picked up the pieces from Woroniecki's influence, finished his degree and went on to NASA to work. It became the reason Woroniecki would emphasis why his kids would never get saved and why he was going to hell.

Woroniecki had almost fully converted this man. He had abandoned living in a home for RV life--he bought the preacher's bus. He was pumping out children at light-speed. He was implementing home schooling. He had almost completely isolated his family from the "world." He was the authority in that family in accordance to cult teaching, and nothing happened in it without his approval. Rusty was determined however to walk a comfortable line between two realities, a cult and the real world. This drove Woroniecki batty. In Woroniecki's mind, despite his strides to conform, Rusty still loved the world and was still headed for hell.

Although Rusty had a falling out with the preacher in 1999, notice Rusty still "could not find a church that he liked" (he wasn't looking--the preacher convinced him, like he did me, that the "churches were of Satan.") Rusty had simply refused to have a further relationship with the preacher, but he still held his teachings. He tenaciously hung onto that RV bus after buying the second home at the insistence of Andrea's mother. He spent thousands of dollars to install a driveway for it. Woroniecki was a closed door, but the dream was still operationally intact. Rusty chose the three bedroom house because he could set up a home-schooling room in it.

Primetime didn't peer too closely into the cult, but one could say they only had time to focus on a few aspects of a very large case. You are correct in saying they obscured the fact that Rusty violated doctor's orders in leaving her unattended. Rusty's motives were based on his former belief about depression, that all these people needed was a "swift kick in the pants" to get motivated, he told Brian Kennedy (CNN transcript). I was satisfied at least that they connected Andrea's delusions to the bizarre cult teachings of Michael Woroniecki, and showed a portion of the video where those ideas principally came from. I own a copy, and I made a 30 minute excerpt of the teaching from it for the net:


We've added the link which ran as a stand alone address in the e-mail (including it as such would throw the entry off -- see Elaine's "Isaiah, Kevin & Monica Benderman, 3800" for an example, scroll down to her Green Party excerpt -- because the web address was too long). Otherwsie, the e-mail is as sent. Again, we can't vouch for it, we don't even know the name of the person who sent it. But we did think it was worthy of inclusion.
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