Founders of Mormon Doomsday Cult Traded Daughters as Child “Brides”

The founders of a new fundamentalist Mormon doomsday cult reportedly married each other’s seven- and eight-year-old daughters, and one of the men has been charged with sodomy of a child.

Samuel Shaffer (left) and John Coltharp
Samuel Shaffer (left) and John Coltharp

Last month we reported on the self-described “prophet” of the Knights of the Crystal Blade, Samuel Warren Shaffer, and how he was arrested for kidnapping two young daughters of his friend and co-founder John Coltharp. Now new information is coming out about their sick arrangement.

Iron County Sheriff’s Office Detective Nathan Houchen detailed an interview with Shaffer in a search warrant affidavit submitted Dec. 11. Shaffer told police that he married Coltharp’s 8-year-old daughter, and that Coltharp married his 7-year-old daughter.

Coltharp has been charged with sodomy of a child for a sexual assault that occurred on Aug. 1, but Shaffer has yet to be charged with crimes other than kidnapping and child abuse. It seems like more charges may be brought against Shaffer, though, considering other actions he reportedly took to facilitate marriages to children.

According to the affidavit, Spring City Police Chief Clarke Christensen was contacted by an out-of-state man who said he communicated with Shaffer and Coltharp through social media regarding Knights of the Crystal Blade.

The man said he traveled to Utah to “investigate” the religious group, according to the affidavit, was “forcefully” baptized into the church by Shaffer and was promised a child bride.

This story was messed up from the very beginning, but as we learn more, it seems to be getting worse and worse. In fact, the police are also currently investigating abuse against their four-year-old daughters.

Deputy Attorney Daniels also told 2News both Shaffer and Coltharp also allegedly married their own 4-year old daughters.

“At this point, we don’t have any evidence that the four-year-olds were abused but we will certainly investigate that to the fullest,” Daniels said.

During the interview, Shaffer admitted that as part of the process, he examined the genitals of Coltharp’s daughter to confirm if her hymen was still intact. Shaffer claimed it was not.

“Absolutely inappropriate behavior and our office will hold them accountable,” Daniels said.

These men, who are apparently battling over who is the current “prophet” of their little child sex cult, did unimaginable things to these little girls — in the name of God. Their sect, a fundamentalist representation of Mormonism that emphasizes polygamy and child brides, treated these children like sexual property. “Prophet” or not, they will have to face a secular justice system for these crimes.

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