Even though we lived on a religious compound in a foreign country nine months a year, separated from our parents who had donated us to the care of central church authorities as a demonstration of the depth of their faith, we did not in any way view ourselves as a cult or ourselves as victims. Mormons, on the other hand.
The area in which our compound was built, in the 1920s, had once been largely rural, but the city had grown up around it. A noisy street separated the two sides of the institution, and the sidewalks on each side were just as busy as well. The school mostly had adobe walls for fences, but in place it was just chain link and you could see through to the street. Mormons, to American Evangelicals, are like three rungs worse than actual Satan, and so whenever we’d catch a glimpse of a pair of missionary Mormons—never hard to miss in their white shirts and ties, their clean-shaven American faces—we’d point and laugh and sometimes maybe say things to them in English, things about the state of their soul, the nature of their face, convenient places they could re-locate their bible.
We were giving this one pair of young, blonde, surfer-looking Mormon dudes the treatment when they did something none of the others had ever done before, and which we did not think their religion allowed. They did not turn the other cheek. On the contrary, they charged us down. They came at us fast, their faces furious, swearing at us the whole way, using words that are contained nowhere in The Book of Mormon, and they chased us all the way to the chain link, which they shook with great vigour until we decided it would be best to run away and be more wary of Mormons—cult or no-cult—in the future.