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Mary: She Married Who Now?


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9 hours ago, Malvina said:

I just listened to this and was coming here to post it- I’m so glad you did! These audio recordings of Mary in church are horrifying. Yelling at her parishioners for not giving enough money and calling them stingy while she flaunts her wealth, which came from swindling these same parishioners.

As the show has aired, I started to feel a bit sad for Mary when she discussed her marriage. It does seem she was groomed from a young age. But this abuse of her congregants erases any sympathy I have for her. 

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This is Mary's uncle Ernest on the video. Highlights: Mary was married when she took up with her stepgrandfather. Her first husband committed suicide. The grandmother owned multiple businesses (real estate, radio station, mortgage company) and her secretary supposedly was the mastermind of the plot to steal those assets after grandma's death. Mary and stepgrandfather pushed out the secretary; it's a lie that grandmother wanted Mary to marry Crosby. For decades there was no will and the estate was in probate. With the launch of the TV show, suddenly there is a will. When grandmother was exhumed three years after her death, the examiner stated there was a high level of Valium still in her tissues.

Lots of stuff about physical violence, threats, brainwashing of church members.

Also, apparently Mary made the rounds of, I think, a Utah basketball team before all this mess started.

Quotes: "Are you calling Mary a mastermind?" "I'm calling her no good." LOL

"Why would someone with this messy background go on TV?" "Cause she's stupid."

'I've never seen Mary's child until the TV show. (pause) He don't look nothin' like Crosby."

Netflix or HBO needs to get on this story STAT.

Edited by pasdetrois
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My sister and I actually have a step grandad(for all intents and purposes he raised my dad) ... he has passed but my sister hates it when I remind her that this would be like her marrying one of our pop pops

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On 12/13/2020 at 12:11 PM, pasdetrois said:

This is Mary's uncle Ernest on the video. Highlights: Mary was married when she took up with her stepgrandfather. Her first husband committed suicide. The grandmother owned multiple businesses (real estate, radio station, mortgage company) and her secretary supposedly was the mastermind of the plot to steal those assets after grandma's death. Mary and stepgrandfather pushed out the secretary; it's a lie that grandmother wanted Mary to marry Crosby. For decades there was no will and the estate was in probate. With the launch of the TV show, suddenly there is a will. When grandmother was exhumed three years after her death, the examiner stated there was a high level of Valium still in her tissues.

Lots of stuff about physical violence, threats, brainwashing of church members.

Also, apparently Mary made the rounds of, I think, a Utah basketball team before all this mess started.

Quotes: "Are you calling Mary a mastermind?" "I'm calling her no good." LOL

"Why would someone with this messy background go on TV?" "Cause she's stupid."

'I've never seen Mary's child until the TV show. (pause) He don't look nothin' like Crosby."

Netflix or HBO needs to get on this story STAT.

Thanks for the summary.  Does the uncle provide evidence or is this a he said she said thing?  Creepy they exhumed the grandma three years later.

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"Mary has been keeping busy by reorganizing her bedroom/closet, getting rid of old designer clothes, while making sure to keep her skeletons safe inside."

Interesting how Bravo portrayed Mary Martha Jesus on the finale ending.  I think it tends to piss off production when these famewhores are not forthcoming with their sin.  lol.

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I had read the back story on Mary when the series started and it completely colored my feelings towards her. I am predisposed to loathe these kinds of preachers anyway as they exude Tammy Sue/Jim Baker exploitation of gullible poor people. They live like royalty on the donations of their gullible generally poor or working class congregants and have a business empire that exists tax free for the most part.

From what I read her "church" is more like a cult than even most of these are.

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Robert was 22 when he married mama. Mary said he's 18 years her elder, so she was 4 when he became her step-grandpa. I doubt a man in his twenties took on much of a grandfatherly role, but still he was an adult of influence in her childhood, so its gross. 

Mary saying she was thankful to be on her period on her wedding night says it all. I'm sure any cringeworthy sex they had was for the purpose of an heir. 

As a minister and a human, Mary has the empathy of a tree stump. I don't recall her ever referencing any charitable works or donations. Designer labels make her happy. Helping people, not so much. If she were on a sinking ship and had to choose to save her trunk of Gucci or another person, the trunk would have no worries. 

 

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Long expose on Mary's cult from The Daily Beast

https://www.thedailybeast.com/rhoslcs-mary-cosby-is-accused-of-running-a-religious-cult-by-former-congregation-members

Is This ‘Real Housewives’ Star Really Running a Cult? Ex-Church Members Say Yes

Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has always been about drama—petty digs at so-called best friends, mascara-streaked tears over crumbling relationships, and a healthy dose of flipping tables and smashing wine glasses.

But recently, season storylines have been overtaken by serious criminal investigations, with Teresa Giudice serving prison time for financial fraud, Jen Shah facing charges over conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and Erika Jayne currently entangled in allegations that her husband embezzled his clients’ settlement funds to bankroll their extravagant lifestyle.

In the new season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Mary Cosby will take her turn in the hot seat in response to accusations that she has transformed her late grandmother’s Faith Temple Pentecostal Church into a cult.

Eyebrows were raised from the moment viewers first met Cosby, and learned about her unconventional religious path. The eccentric, designer-clad preacher married her step-grandfather Bishop Robert Cosby shortly after her grandmother Rosemary “Mama” Redmon Cosby passed away in 1997, thereby inheriting her multimillion-dollar estate, her various businesses, and her commanding position in the church.

Cosby was already quizzed over the cult allegations at the Season 1 reunion, which aired in February. Host Andy Cohen brought up leaked audio recordings of Cosby’s sermons, including one where she complained about not getting enough birthday cards and called the congregation “stingy” and “poor.”

Cosby denied to Cohen that she was pilfering money from the church to fund her expensive lifestyle, calling the claim cruel. “My church couldn’t possibly take care of me,” Cosby said. “I’m a God-fearing woman. I would never do that.”

“Clearly I’m not gonna get on national television, be a Housewife and be in a cult,” Cosby defended herself to Entertainment Tonight. “Like, come on. I believe in my church. There’s no cult. My church members, they know those are false allegations. Those are ridiculous. It’s the people that are looking for fault.”

But questions have only intensified, and the Season 2 trailer shows Cosby’s co-star Lisa Barlow meeting with the late Salt Lake City community leader Cameron Williams, who states unequivocally, “Is it a cult? Yes. Does she call herself ‘God’? Yes.” (Williams’ family declined to comment when approached by The Daily Beast.)

The Daily Beast spoke with seven former Faith Temple church members, six who agree with claims that Cosby has been operating her church like a “cult”—alleging she refers to herself as God, encourages members to work at her family’s various businesses for free or minimum wage, berates congregation members from the podium, and instills the fear that if anyone ever leaves Faith Temple for another church, they will be condemned to hell.

Cosby’s own uncle Ernest Walton believes Cosby is running a “cult,” saying his mother would be disappointed. “I think it’s an abomination,” he says. “Everything's coming out into the light now and everything’s coming down.”

A second former male member, who requested to have his name withheld and was at the church for 25 years before leaving in around 2018, says Williams was spot on with what he told Barlow. “It’s cultish what they’ve done,” he says. “It’s the mental manipulation to try to get people to believe that she has power to either take them to heaven or condemn them to hell.”

“It’s not a joke,” says Abby, a former member raised in the church who left age 22 in the late 1990s, and requested to have her full name withheld because a close relative is still an active member. “She’s got these people terrified. That woman is the most evil thing that ever walked this Earth. You have no idea, all those smiles and shit—that is not real.”

Former church member Ralph Arnold Jr. says he “unequivocally” believes Cosby is running a cult, and her teachings go against fundamental Christian beliefs. “She preaches that she is God on earth,” he explains. “The church has gone to ruin and most everyone has left because Mary has no anointing whatsoever when she preaches. 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.”

“We were going to church for religious reasons,” ex-member Rosebud, who asked for her last name to be withheld, adds. “We thought we were learning a new way of life, a new way to praise God, but that was never the case… There is so much shady stuff going on in that church.”

You are afraid to not go to that church and you’re afraid to go to the church as well.

A female former member, who requested anonymity because a family member is still in the church, likened Cosby and her husband to con artists. “They make you afraid,” she says. “You are afraid to not go to that church and you’re afraid to go to the church as well. It’s really messed up… If not a cult, they are definitely scam artists that manipulate the members of the church into giving them pretty much all of their money so that they can live high and mighty on the hill.”

And while former member Ernest Enoch disagrees with the term “cult” and expresses his upset with former members who spoke out against Cosby, saying the issues dividing Faith Temple should be addressed internally rather than in public, he admits that when he left the church in Jan. 2021 it cost him his relationship with someone he considered family.

“I would never say that I personally belonged to a cult, that’s making me look like a fool,” Enoch says. “I disagree with some things, but they’re my disagreements. People [are] not talking to each other right now because of all this stuff. I saw somebody and it broke my heart because he’s like a son to me and he barely could look at me, he barely could talk to me… because he knows that I’m not affiliated with them anymore.”

A lawyer for Cosby stated that, “[A]ll religious institutions, including the Faith Temple Pentecostal, accept donations from their parishioners; however they don’t force parishioners into poverty to make such contributions.” He stated the suggestion that Cosby calls herself “God” is “extremely offensive and has no basis in reality.” (In the trailer for next season of RHOSLC, Mary is seen angrily telling cast-mate Lisa Barlow “I’m not God—I worship the God in me.”)

Faith Temple Pentecostal Church was started by Cosby’s grandmother Dr. Rosemary Redmon Cosby, known to her congregation as “Mama.” According to Faith Temple’s website, Mama left her hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, with her four children in January 1961 on a pilgrimage to Salt Lake City, believing she had been called there by God.

In 1975, she married Robert Cosby, who was 20 years her junior, and he became Bishop of Faith Temple. Over the years, Mama amassed a sizable fortune through the church and running various businesses, including restaurants. She owned three homes in the Salt Lake City area, a condo in nearby Zion Summit, as well as a vacation home in St. Cloud, Florida.

“God established through Mama, a church of ministers, as Elisha established a school of prophets,” Robert Cosby wrote on the church’s website. “Mama teaching the ministers to be of one mind, going against everything that mainstream Christianity teaches and allowed God to manifest himself in her.”

The church was at its peak in the 1990s, with Rosebud and Ralph estimating at least 500 people packed into the pews on Sundays. Rosebud’s mother was so deeply invested in the church that Rosebud says she followed Mama from Indiana to Utah, and that she herself was named in honor of Mama, whose first name is Rosemary.

Rosebud says her mother took her sisters and her to the church nearly every day, and on Sunday they would be there from sunup until sundown. “That was our life,” she says. “They would give the adults weekly schedules. If you became a member of Mama’s church, you were dedicated to attending the whole weekly schedule.”

I don’t even remember getting any money at all, to be honest with you. I was just grateful that she chose me.

When congregants were not at Faith Temple, those who didn’t have full-time jobs outside of the church did housework at Mama’s home or at one of her various businesses. Rosebud says her mother, who worked at a local hospital, did free work in her spare time at Mama’s balloon and flower shop, or would go to Mama’s house to clean.

Abby says she was also made to work for free at one of Mama’s restaurants. “I don’t even remember getting any money at all, to be honest with you,” she says. “I was just grateful that she chose me.”

Mama died from heart failure at the age of 64 in January 1997, at her vacation home in St. Cloud, Florida, leaving behind a multimillion-dollar fortune. Her daughter Rosalind Cazares—Cosby’s mother—claimed Mama was in perfect health before her sudden death and suggested her stepfather could have been the cause, according to local reports. Although a judge granted Cazares’ request to have Mama’s body exhumed and have an autopsy performed, it was ultimately determined that she died of natural causes.

Cosby claims that it was Mama’s wish for her to marry her step grandfather, who she is not related to by blood, because he was 20 years younger than Mama. “My grandmother told me for herself that she wanted me to take her place,” Cosby previously said. “My grandmother felt like she robbed his youth and so she said, ‘If something ever happens, I want you to marry one of my girls because I know they’ll be loyal to you and treat you good like you treated me.’”

“I did marry him,” she added. “I didn’t want to… That’s weird to me. But [my grandmother] really did want me to, so I obeyed her. I trusted every word.”

Cosby claimed they waited and prayed about their relationship for “two years” before tying the knot. However, local reports from the time claim they married in Chicago in September 1998. Cosby was 25 and Robert Cosby was 45.

Cosby’s marriage divided the church, prompting Cazares to split from Faith Temple and start her own church, taking half of the congregation with her, about 200 members, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Cazares ended up filing suit against Robert Cosby, once in 1997 and again in 2007, claiming he had mishandled assets from her mother’s multimillion-dollar estate and intended to cut her out of her inheritance. (Cazares and Robert Cosby had both been made representatives of Mama’s estate.)

“This includes the failure to identify and account for the articles of personal property that were given away, sold, destroyed or otherwise not preserved by defendant Cosby while he was acting as personal representative of the estate,” her 2007 suit claimed. Cazares alleged that Mama’s signature had been forged on deeds and mortgages prior to her death. A jury ultimately ruled in Cazares’ favor, and ordered Robert Cosby and Faith Temple’s business manager Annie Johnson to pay her $1.2 million.

Around the time Cazares left and divided the church in spring 1998, Ralph and some of his family members left the church as well. Not only did he disapprove of the marriage, Ralph says, but he also didn’t believe that Mama or Cosby were God. “I was raised hearing it all the time and watched the adults in my family worship [Mama] and say it all the time,” he explains. “Not only the adults in my family but her herself. She would preach it… It was beaten into our brains and psyche.”

Some sources say that while Mama’s leadership tactics were questionable, the situation at Faith Temple deteriorated significantly under Mary’s reign. One of the most shocking claims is the verbal dressing downs Cosby allegedly issue from the podium, singling out certain members of the church.

The male former member says under Cosby and Robert Cosby “it was all about money.” On Sundays, he alleges, there would be “grueling hours and hours of people badgered” for 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 claims. “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.”

“I witnessed Mary ridiculing [senior leaders] a couple of the times that I went back,” Ralph says. “There would be church meetings where [senior leaders] were picked apart and mentally beaten down in front of the entire congregation… She is blatantly making fun of, ridiculing, and verbally abusing her congregation members.”

There's been a handful of Cosby's sermons posted on YouTube, one of which was played at the RHOSLC Season 1 reunion. In one particular recording, Cosby can be heard calling her congregation poor and stingy, apparently over a lack of tithe money coming into the church and not receiving enough birthday cards.

“You’re not in church, you think I’m stupid,” she asks. “Coming in here draining me? I ain’t preaching over y’all’s sin. I’m doing everything else, y’all ain’t helping. Halfway pay your tithes. I got 14 birthday cards. Your old stingy selves. You old poor people. I don’t want no poor people around me. You’re poor as hell. And if you ain’t poor, you stingy cause you still poor! God said you was poor.”

While many Christians believe in paying tithe to the church, around 10 percent of their earnings, several sources say that both Mama and Cosby demanded a much higher percentage. Rosebud recalls that her mother was paying almost half of her checks to the church when it was led by Mama, taken from her wage as a cleaner at a hospital, where Rosebud estimates her mother was making $5 an hour in the late 1990s.

“Mary and [her husband] require all of their members to give them way more money than their monthly tithes. They call them love offerings,” Ralph explains, saying that such donations kept his family in poverty and subjection.

“There were a lot of times we would come home [and] we had no lights because my mom said she had to pay her tithe, or she put a little extra in the collection plate for offerings,” Rosebud recalls of the earlier years of the church when it was led by Mama. “If [Mama or leadership found] out you gave two cents to anybody else’s church, they would go off. They will stand up there on the pulpit, and they will call you out.”

The female former congregation member, whose grandparents and mother were also part of the church, says she remembers people were forced to hand over their food stamps in those days. “My mom never had Christmas growing up because all the money [her parents] had for Christmas gifts were given to the church,” she says. “My grandpa got injured in the war and got a settlement of money and they took it from him, all of it. A lot of the members there are on food stamps, and they struggle to pay their own bills. They [would] make them give them everything.”

The male former member says Mama was always transparent about where the funds were going. “Mama had the utmost respect for the people, she was transparent in everything, including financial situations within the church,” he says.”She didn’t hide nothing from nobody.” However, somewhere down the line after Cosby married Robert Cosby, he claims “somebody had got an addiction to the finer life and saw that they [could] milk the church members for funds, and live this exotic life.”

Abby says while she knew that Cosby and her husband were wealthy due to inheriting Mama’s various businesses, it wasn’t until seeing Cosby on RHOSLCthat she realized the degree of their wealth, describing the ostentatious display of Cosby’s homes as a slap in the face to her struggling congregation.

While church members were used to visiting and doing household work at Mama and Robert Cosby’s marital home, Abby recalls that after Mama died, Robert Cosby addressed the church, saying things would be different.

“I’ll never forget the bishop said, ‘This is not going to be the same as when Mama was here. Y’all abused her, wore her out, killed her. Now, I’m not going to be like that, you will not get my face, you’re not going to intrude upon my privacy, things are going to change.’”

“All of us never knew,” Abby says of seeing Cosby’s mansion and the rooms filled with racks 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.”

“I think it’s an abomination,” Walton adds, of his niece’s grand display of wealth on the show. “And it’s the worst thing that they explored it all on TV and got to be movie stars and stuff. And it’s ridiculous.”

“It’s sickening to think about all the people on fixed income and to know friends and family that have took the equity out of their homes… because they gave to that,” the male former member says.

Abby believes that Mary and Robert Cosby are hellbent on using the church to fund their extravagant lifestyle. “Trust me, whatever those people have, she takes,” she claims.

Several sources believe Mama and Cosby’s teachings go against fundamental Christian beliefs by referring to themselves as God, as well as allowing their congregants to refer to them as God, and by instilling fear in members that they will not get to heaven unless they believe in them and follow their teachings. “They felt like they were next to Jesus,” Rosebud says. “[Cosby] preaches that she is God on earth,” Ralph adds.

You ain’t coming back unless you come through me, I know that. I know the father, honey, and he comes to me.

“Mary is trying to convince people that she’s God, or like this special mediator,” the ex male member explains. “That she has power that she can talk to God and she can decide where you’re going [heaven or hell]. Mary tries to equate herself to like a female Jesus.”

In an audio recording from one of Cosby’s sermons, Cosby tells the congregation, “You don’t just walk up back in here. You got to go through the door… For there’s one God, and one mediator between God and man. Who do you think that is?” A congregation member appears to call out, “You, Mary!”

“I don’t know, I ain’t say it,” Cosby responds. “But you ain’t coming back unless you come through me, I know that. I know the father, honey, and he comes to me.”

“They put the fear in you, that if you don’t go to that church, you’re going to go to hell,” the female former member says. “My mom has some issues with the damnation of feeling like she’s going to hell. As a grown adult, she has it beaten into her head, that’s the only way. She just is so torn in her heart knowing that it’s not the truth, but because she believed that for so long… I mean, it’s brainwashing.”

Rosebud says she felt compelled to speak out after watching Cosby on The Real Housewives, and in anticipation of Bravo not taking the cult allegations as seriously as they deserve. Abby and Rosebud say they want their relatives and others who are still at Faith Temple to realize what’s happening around them. “Their brains are still clouded, and they’re still devoted,” Rosebud says. “They don’t see anything wrong.”

Ralph echoed their sentiments. “I would tell them to open their eyes and really examine what has happened,” he adds. “In their heart of hearts, they have to know that God left the leadership of Faith Temple long ago and is now only in their hearts. I would behest them to run for their lives as fast as they can away from her and [Robert Cosby]. To protect whatever faith they may still have and try to start healing. [The congregation] is faithful to a fault, and what has happened to them is just heartbreaking.”

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Sometimes I think this dingy thing is an act from Mary - but on WWHL tonight Andy asked her what the M stood for in “Mary M Cosby” and she literally said “my middle name.”  He had to prompt her to ask what her middle name was.  I just don’t understand her.

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On 9/24/2021 at 10:37 PM, amarante said:

Long expose on Mary's cult from The Daily Beast

https://www.thedailybeast.com/rhoslcs-mary-cosby-is-accused-of-running-a-religious-cult-by-former-congregation-members

Is This ‘Real Housewives’ Star Really Running a Cult? Ex-Church Members Say Yes

Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has always been about drama—petty digs at so-called best friends, mascara-streaked tears over crumbling relationships, and a healthy dose of flipping tables and smashing wine glasses.

But recently, season storylines have been overtaken by serious criminal investigations, with Teresa Giudice serving prison time for financial fraud, Jen Shah facing charges over conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and Erika Jayne currently entangled in allegations that her husband embezzled his clients’ settlement funds to bankroll their extravagant lifestyle.

In the new season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Mary Cosby will take her turn in the hot seat in response to accusations that she has transformed her late grandmother’s Faith Temple Pentecostal Church into a cult.

Eyebrows were raised from the moment viewers first met Cosby, and learned about her unconventional religious path. The eccentric, designer-clad preacher married her step-grandfather Bishop Robert Cosby shortly after her grandmother Rosemary “Mama” Redmon Cosby passed away in 1997, thereby inheriting her multimillion-dollar estate, her various businesses, and her commanding position in the church.

Cosby was already quizzed over the cult allegations at the Season 1 reunion, which aired in February. Host Andy Cohen brought up leaked audio recordings of Cosby’s sermons, including one where she complained about not getting enough birthday cards and called the congregation “stingy” and “poor.”

Cosby denied to Cohen that she was pilfering money from the church to fund her expensive lifestyle, calling the claim cruel. “My church couldn’t possibly take care of me,” Cosby said. “I’m a God-fearing woman. I would never do that.”

“Clearly I’m not gonna get on national television, be a Housewife and be in a cult,” Cosby defended herself to Entertainment Tonight. “Like, come on. I believe in my church. There’s no cult. My church members, they know those are false allegations. Those are ridiculous. It’s the people that are looking for fault.”

But questions have only intensified, and the Season 2 trailer shows Cosby’s co-star Lisa Barlow meeting with the late Salt Lake City community leader Cameron Williams, who states unequivocally, “Is it a cult? Yes. Does she call herself ‘God’? Yes.” (Williams’ family declined to comment when approached by The Daily Beast.)

The Daily Beast spoke with seven former Faith Temple church members, six who agree with claims that Cosby has been operating her church like a “cult”—alleging she refers to herself as God, encourages members to work at her family’s various businesses for free or minimum wage, berates congregation members from the podium, and instills the fear that if anyone ever leaves Faith Temple for another church, they will be condemned to hell.

Cosby’s own uncle Ernest Walton believes Cosby is running a “cult,” saying his mother would be disappointed. “I think it’s an abomination,” he says. “Everything's coming out into the light now and everything’s coming down.”

A second former male member, who requested to have his name withheld and was at the church for 25 years before leaving in around 2018, says Williams was spot on with what he told Barlow. “It’s cultish what they’ve done,” he says. “It’s the mental manipulation to try to get people to believe that she has power to either take them to heaven or condemn them to hell.”

“It’s not a joke,” says Abby, a former member raised in the church who left age 22 in the late 1990s, and requested to have her full name withheld because a close relative is still an active member. “She’s got these people terrified. That woman is the most evil thing that ever walked this Earth. You have no idea, all those smiles and shit—that is not real.”

Former church member Ralph Arnold Jr. says he “unequivocally” believes Cosby is running a cult, and her teachings go against fundamental Christian beliefs. “She preaches that she is God on earth,” he explains. “The church has gone to ruin and most everyone has left because Mary has no anointing whatsoever when she preaches. 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.”

“We were going to church for religious reasons,” ex-member Rosebud, who asked for her last name to be withheld, adds. “We thought we were learning a new way of life, a new way to praise God, but that was never the case… There is so much shady stuff going on in that church.”

You are afraid to not go to that church and you’re afraid to go to the church as well.

A female former member, who requested anonymity because a family member is still in the church, likened Cosby and her husband to con artists. “They make you afraid,” she says. “You are afraid to not go to that church and you’re afraid to go to the church as well. It’s really messed up… If not a cult, they are definitely scam artists that manipulate the members of the church into giving them pretty much all of their money so that they can live high and mighty on the hill.”

And while former member Ernest Enoch disagrees with the term “cult” and expresses his upset with former members who spoke out against Cosby, saying the issues dividing Faith Temple should be addressed internally rather than in public, he admits that when he left the church in Jan. 2021 it cost him his relationship with someone he considered family.

“I would never say that I personally belonged to a cult, that’s making me look like a fool,” Enoch says. “I disagree with some things, but they’re my disagreements. People [are] not talking to each other right now because of all this stuff. I saw somebody and it broke my heart because he’s like a son to me and he barely could look at me, he barely could talk to me… because he knows that I’m not affiliated with them anymore.”

A lawyer for Cosby stated that, “[A]ll religious institutions, including the Faith Temple Pentecostal, accept donations from their parishioners; however they don’t force parishioners into poverty to make such contributions.” He stated the suggestion that Cosby calls herself “God” is “extremely offensive and has no basis in reality.” (In the trailer for next season of RHOSLC, Mary is seen angrily telling cast-mate Lisa Barlow “I’m not God—I worship the God in me.”)

Faith Temple Pentecostal Church was started by Cosby’s grandmother Dr. Rosemary Redmon Cosby, known to her congregation as “Mama.” According to Faith Temple’s website, Mama left her hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, with her four children in January 1961 on a pilgrimage to Salt Lake City, believing she had been called there by God.

In 1975, she married Robert Cosby, who was 20 years her junior, and he became Bishop of Faith Temple. Over the years, Mama amassed a sizable fortune through the church and running various businesses, including restaurants. She owned three homes in the Salt Lake City area, a condo in nearby Zion Summit, as well as a vacation home in St. Cloud, Florida.

“God established through Mama, a church of ministers, as Elisha established a school of prophets,” Robert Cosby wrote on the church’s website. “Mama teaching the ministers to be of one mind, going against everything that mainstream Christianity teaches and allowed God to manifest himself in her.”

The church was at its peak in the 1990s, with Rosebud and Ralph estimating at least 500 people packed into the pews on Sundays. Rosebud’s mother was so deeply invested in the church that Rosebud says she followed Mama from Indiana to Utah, and that she herself was named in honor of Mama, whose first name is Rosemary.

Rosebud says her mother took her sisters and her to the church nearly every day, and on Sunday they would be there from sunup until sundown. “That was our life,” she says. “They would give the adults weekly schedules. If you became a member of Mama’s church, you were dedicated to attending the whole weekly schedule.”

I don’t even remember getting any money at all, to be honest with you. I was just grateful that she chose me.

When congregants were not at Faith Temple, those who didn’t have full-time jobs outside of the church did housework at Mama’s home or at one of her various businesses. Rosebud says her mother, who worked at a local hospital, did free work in her spare time at Mama’s balloon and flower shop, or would go to Mama’s house to clean.

Abby says she was also made to work for free at one of Mama’s restaurants. “I don’t even remember getting any money at all, to be honest with you,” she says. “I was just grateful that she chose me.”

Mama died from heart failure at the age of 64 in January 1997, at her vacation home in St. Cloud, Florida, leaving behind a multimillion-dollar fortune. Her daughter Rosalind Cazares—Cosby’s mother—claimed Mama was in perfect health before her sudden death and suggested her stepfather could have been the cause, according to local reports. Although a judge granted Cazares’ request to have Mama’s body exhumed and have an autopsy performed, it was ultimately determined that she died of natural causes.

Cosby claims that it was Mama’s wish for her to marry her step grandfather, who she is not related to by blood, because he was 20 years younger than Mama. “My grandmother told me for herself that she wanted me to take her place,” Cosby previously said. “My grandmother felt like she robbed his youth and so she said, ‘If something ever happens, I want you to marry one of my girls because I know they’ll be loyal to you and treat you good like you treated me.’”

“I did marry him,” she added. “I didn’t want to… That’s weird to me. But [my grandmother] really did want me to, so I obeyed her. I trusted every word.”

Cosby claimed they waited and prayed about their relationship for “two years” before tying the knot. However, local reports from the time claim they married in Chicago in September 1998. Cosby was 25 and Robert Cosby was 45.

Cosby’s marriage divided the church, prompting Cazares to split from Faith Temple and start her own church, taking half of the congregation with her, about 200 members, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Cazares ended up filing suit against Robert Cosby, once in 1997 and again in 2007, claiming he had mishandled assets from her mother’s multimillion-dollar estate and intended to cut her out of her inheritance. (Cazares and Robert Cosby had both been made representatives of Mama’s estate.)

“This includes the failure to identify and account for the articles of personal property that were given away, sold, destroyed or otherwise not preserved by defendant Cosby while he was acting as personal representative of the estate,” her 2007 suit claimed. Cazares alleged that Mama’s signature had been forged on deeds and mortgages prior to her death. A jury ultimately ruled in Cazares’ favor, and ordered Robert Cosby and Faith Temple’s business manager Annie Johnson to pay her $1.2 million.

Around the time Cazares left and divided the church in spring 1998, Ralph and some of his family members left the church as well. Not only did he disapprove of the marriage, Ralph says, but he also didn’t believe that Mama or Cosby were God. “I was raised hearing it all the time and watched the adults in my family worship [Mama] and say it all the time,” he explains. “Not only the adults in my family but her herself. She would preach it… It was beaten into our brains and psyche.”

Some sources say that while Mama’s leadership tactics were questionable, the situation at Faith Temple deteriorated significantly under Mary’s reign. One of the most shocking claims is the verbal dressing downs Cosby allegedly issue from the podium, singling out certain members of the church.

The male former member says under Cosby and Robert Cosby “it was all about money.” On Sundays, he alleges, there would be “grueling hours and hours of people badgered” for 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 claims. “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.”

“I witnessed Mary ridiculing [senior leaders] a couple of the times that I went back,” Ralph says. “There would be church meetings where [senior leaders] were picked apart and mentally beaten down in front of the entire congregation… She is blatantly making fun of, ridiculing, and verbally abusing her congregation members.”

There's been a handful of Cosby's sermons posted on YouTube, one of which was played at the RHOSLC Season 1 reunion. In one particular recording, Cosby can be heard calling her congregation poor and stingy, apparently over a lack of tithe money coming into the church and not receiving enough birthday cards.

“You’re not in church, you think I’m stupid,” she asks. “Coming in here draining me? I ain’t preaching over y’all’s sin. I’m doing everything else, y’all ain’t helping. Halfway pay your tithes. I got 14 birthday cards. Your old stingy selves. You old poor people. I don’t want no poor people around me. You’re poor as hell. And if you ain’t poor, you stingy cause you still poor! God said you was poor.”

While many Christians believe in paying tithe to the church, around 10 percent of their earnings, several sources say that both Mama and Cosby demanded a much higher percentage. Rosebud recalls that her mother was paying almost half of her checks to the church when it was led by Mama, taken from her wage as a cleaner at a hospital, where Rosebud estimates her mother was making $5 an hour in the late 1990s.

“Mary and [her husband] require all of their members to give them way more money than their monthly tithes. They call them love offerings,” Ralph explains, saying that such donations kept his family in poverty and subjection.

“There were a lot of times we would come home [and] we had no lights because my mom said she had to pay her tithe, or she put a little extra in the collection plate for offerings,” Rosebud recalls of the earlier years of the church when it was led by Mama. “If [Mama or leadership found] out you gave two cents to anybody else’s church, they would go off. They will stand up there on the pulpit, and they will call you out.”

The female former congregation member, whose grandparents and mother were also part of the church, says she remembers people were forced to hand over their food stamps in those days. “My mom never had Christmas growing up because all the money [her parents] had for Christmas gifts were given to the church,” she says. “My grandpa got injured in the war and got a settlement of money and they took it from him, all of it. A lot of the members there are on food stamps, and they struggle to pay their own bills. They [would] make them give them everything.”

The male former member says Mama was always transparent about where the funds were going. “Mama had the utmost respect for the people, she was transparent in everything, including financial situations within the church,” he says.”She didn’t hide nothing from nobody.” However, somewhere down the line after Cosby married Robert Cosby, he claims “somebody had got an addiction to the finer life and saw that they [could] milk the church members for funds, and live this exotic life.”

Abby says while she knew that Cosby and her husband were wealthy due to inheriting Mama’s various businesses, it wasn’t until seeing Cosby on RHOSLCthat she realized the degree of their wealth, describing the ostentatious display of Cosby’s homes as a slap in the face to her struggling congregation.

While church members were used to visiting and doing household work at Mama and Robert Cosby’s marital home, Abby recalls that after Mama died, Robert Cosby addressed the church, saying things would be different.

“I’ll never forget the bishop said, ‘This is not going to be the same as when Mama was here. Y’all abused her, wore her out, killed her. Now, I’m not going to be like that, you will not get my face, you’re not going to intrude upon my privacy, things are going to change.’”

“All of us never knew,” Abby says of seeing Cosby’s mansion and the rooms filled with racks 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.”

“I think it’s an abomination,” Walton adds, of his niece’s grand display of wealth on the show. “And it’s the worst thing that they explored it all on TV and got to be movie stars and stuff. And it’s ridiculous.”

“It’s sickening to think about all the people on fixed income and to know friends and family that have took the equity out of their homes… because they gave to that,” the male former member says.

Abby believes that Mary and Robert Cosby are hellbent on using the church to fund their extravagant lifestyle. “Trust me, whatever those people have, she takes,” she claims.

Several sources believe Mama and Cosby’s teachings go against fundamental Christian beliefs by referring to themselves as God, as well as allowing their congregants to refer to them as God, and by instilling fear in members that they will not get to heaven unless they believe in them and follow their teachings. “They felt like they were next to Jesus,” Rosebud says. “[Cosby] preaches that she is God on earth,” Ralph adds.

You ain’t coming back unless you come through me, I know that. I know the father, honey, and he comes to me.

“Mary is trying to convince people that she’s God, or like this special mediator,” the ex male member explains. “That she has power that she can talk to God and she can decide where you’re going [heaven or hell]. Mary tries to equate herself to like a female Jesus.”

In an audio recording from one of Cosby’s sermons, Cosby tells the congregation, “You don’t just walk up back in here. You got to go through the door… For there’s one God, and one mediator between God and man. Who do you think that is?” A congregation member appears to call out, “You, Mary!”

“I don’t know, I ain’t say it,” Cosby responds. “But you ain’t coming back unless you come through me, I know that. I know the father, honey, and he comes to me.”

“They put the fear in you, that if you don’t go to that church, you’re going to go to hell,” the female former member says. “My mom has some issues with the damnation of feeling like she’s going to hell. As a grown adult, she has it beaten into her head, that’s the only way. She just is so torn in her heart knowing that it’s not the truth, but because she believed that for so long… I mean, it’s brainwashing.”

Rosebud says she felt compelled to speak out after watching Cosby on The Real Housewives, and in anticipation of Bravo not taking the cult allegations as seriously as they deserve. Abby and Rosebud say they want their relatives and others who are still at Faith Temple to realize what’s happening around them. “Their brains are still clouded, and they’re still devoted,” Rosebud says. “They don’t see anything wrong.”

Ralph echoed their sentiments. “I would tell them to open their eyes and really examine what has happened,” he adds. “In their heart of hearts, they have to know that God left the leadership of Faith Temple long ago and is now only in their hearts. I would behest them to run for their lives as fast as they can away from her and [Robert Cosby]. To protect whatever faith they may still have and try to start healing. [The congregation] is faithful to a fault, and what has happened to them is just heartbreaking.”

It doesn't sound to me like Mary "turned this church into a cult" - sounds like "mama" did all that herself!

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On 9/24/2021 at 9:37 PM, amarante said:

Long expose on Mary's cult from The Daily Beast

https://www.thedailybeast.com/rhoslcs-mary-cosby-is-accused-of-running-a-religious-cult-by-former-congregation-members

Is This ‘Real Housewives’ Star Really Running a Cult? Ex-Church Members Say Yes

 

Mama sounds like a real piece of shit.  And Mary is following in her footsteps. 

 

On 10/11/2021 at 2:32 AM, Bossa Nova said:

HELLO....IRS...HELLO.....?

I am praying to Mary that the IRS starts looking into the "church."  So much evidence that it is not on the up and up.  They are basically stealing from people and hiding behind the church.

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WOW 😳‼️ Just watched " A House Divided ".....😱 I have never been fond of Mary but after tonight, I convinced she's not cracked upstairs...she's got evil in her heart. That is one dangerous person. I will continue to watch it like a car crash, because I love Heather, but these other women are savage and nutso ‼️

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On 12/13/2021 at 4:57 PM, nexxie said:

Mary really is sick - perhaps sociopathic.  It’s hard to imagine people falling for her con game, but it happens.

Sadly, con games happen all the time to even those you wouldn’t think would  be susceptible.
That being said, if find it hard that Mary could actually be charismatic enough to lure new members to her flock (cult).

I think Mary is definitely a sociopath but not a smart one. She fell into the lure of her grandmother’s cult (she was young and inexperienced when she did so - but she decided to throw her mom under the bus, and marry her step grandfather instead of her mom doing so (just yuck).She then cut her mom off all together. Mary was always about the money (as any high end hoarder would do).

 Now she is claiming that she was a victim of her situation and not a willing accomplice- She was at the time and she still is.  She is lecturing her congregants about not giving her enough money to pay for something personal- she is a disgusting human being.

These other housewives who support who and/or Jen Shah just suck…

Edited by Stats Queen
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Not, by ANY means, trying to defend Mary, but don't she and her grusband own other businesses as well? Could some of the income come from them or are they just shells in a game to launder money from the church? Is that what they're alleging she tried to do with Cameron mortgaging his house? funnel the money through the mortgage company, into Mary's closet bank account?

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I'm watching a show featuring people who have escaped different cults. Some of the red-flags they mention, that seem to apply to Mary and her church:

-The leader has no accountability -answers to no one.

-Don't ever question the leader (I'm assuming that includes Googling)

-The members, especially children are forced to work for businesses owned by the cult/leader for free. Some were sent to "work camps". They mentioned, at least in one situation, the money went to pay for the leader's clothes (judging from the photo shown -he has Mary's taste).

 

Mary's church, as far as we know, doesn't engage in the physical or psychological punishments that other cults do, unless you count her trying to shame her congregation for not sending her birthday cards and gifts, but that's nothing compared to what these people experienced. And they haven't been encouraged to leave their homes to move to  a compound, to the best of my knowledge, but I think what she's got going on, that we're aware of, is close enough to at the very least, give major side eye, and stay at a safe distance. imo. It may not check off all of the boxes, but I think there are enough similarities for it to be thisclose.

Does anyone know, is Mary in charge of the church or is her grusband?  

 

 

Edited by SweetieDarling
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On 12/21/2021 at 11:03 AM, SweetieDarling said:

I'm watching a show featuring people who have escaped different cults. Some of the red-flags they mention, that seem to apply to Mary and her church:

-The leader has no accountability -answers to no one.

-Don't ever question the leader (I'm assuming that includes Googling)

-The members, especially children are forced to work for businesses owned by the cult/leader for free. Some were sent to "work camps". They mentioned, at least in one situation, the money went to pay for the leader's clothes (judging from the photo shown -he has Mary's taste).

 

Mary's church, as far as we know, doesn't engage in the physical or psychological punishments that other cults do, unless you count her trying to shame her congregation for not sending her birthday cards and gifts, but that's nothing compared to what these people experienced. And they haven't been encouraged to leave their homes to move to  a compound, to the best of my knowledge, but I think what she's got going on, that we're aware of, is close enough to at the very least, give major side eye, and stay at a safe distance. imo. It may not check off all of the boxes, but I think there are enough similarities for it to be thisclose.

Does anyone know, is Mary in charge of the church or is her grusband?  

 

 

So according to what's been said publicly by former parishioners:

  1. Physical/psychological punishments: Mary's church uses shamming and shunning as punishment for parishioners that are not giving enough
  2. Leave home to move to a compound: Parishioner's that originally followed Mama (Mary's grandmother) were encouraged to move to SLC when she relocated there. There are actually two churches, the SLC church and the original church Mama founded back east.

To your point, I think this was a con originally set by Mary's grandma. At some point she married a man significantly younger than her (Mary's step-granddaddy, now husband) who was also brought into the con. When Mama died, Robert used what he learned from Mama to control the parishioners and maintain a hold on the church rather than having it revert to one of Mama's kids. He selected a granddaughter to marry, giving him 1) control as Mary was very young, 2) legitimacy as it was still one of Mama's direct relations that succeeded her and 3) continued access to the cash cow that is the membership. My guess is that Mary ended up  on the show as a way to get her away from the day-to-day running of the church or any of the businesses, and out of Robert's hair. They truly don't seem to like one another.

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On 2/6/2022 at 7:58 PM, b2H said:

So is she or isn’t she gone?  Bravo says yes, but she says no.

Who’s right?

Mary has a lot of fans, and even Andy said he was disappointed she didn't make the reunion when Tamra was on WWHL the other day.  I understand that failing to show for reunions is the kiss of death, but in Mary's case, I wonder if Bravo will make an exception. I kinda don't think so only because the only cast member she gets along with is Meredith.

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On 2/22/2022 at 4:57 PM, pasdetrois said:

 Did we know that Mary is facing a May 2022 trial for harboring an underage runaway? Her son was also charged, but the charges for him were just dropped.

 

I thought this was announcing that Wendy Williams was going to star as Mary in a new Lifetime original movie: The Gilded Guru Grifter: The Mary M. Cosby Story.

Edited by JenE4
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