#2. A Massive Criminal Empire
The idea of a crime boss still running the show behind bars is not new. It's so well known, you could consider it a trope at this point -- it's been done on TV and in movies and probably one or two really snazzy off-Broadway shows that feature original music and the acting talents of Willie Aames. But running an empire within the prison, with the help of prison officials, including forming literal families, well that's something new altogether.
At the Baltimore City Detention Center, Tavon White managed to run a drug empire within the walls, making over $15,000 a month in the prison itself with the help of an army of loyal prison guards. How loyal were the guards? He impregnated four of them. I can't even get co-workers to pick up lunch for me when I offer to pay for it. A total of 13 guards were indicted, and it's rumored that even more were helping out, because what's the fun in just making sure inmates get regular meals and don't kill each other when you can get their names tattooed on your neck and buy new cars with the money you get from them for smuggling in Percocet?
Most of the ladies involved have claimed their innocence, apparently unaware of all the taped phone conversations that indicate they're the exact opposite of innocent, but the best lies are the ones that you cling to like a desperate little koala, hoping against hope that your idiot lie doesn't fall right out of that fabricated eucalyptus tree and bash your skull on every branch of mistruth and bullshittery on the way down.
White apparently was allowed to continue his criminal activities thanks to an informal deal whereby he'd keep gang violence to a minimum if everyone turned a blind eye to contraband smuggling, which is also known as the old "I'll stop one kind of crime if you let me commit another kind of crime" maneuver, which you'd think wouldn't work in an actual prison since, you know, it's prison, but here we are.
#1. Running a Religion
Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an absolute gong show. Just ridiculous. If Scientology is a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread, the FLDS church is a panini in an ankle-length wool dress cursing you as the devil. You may have heard of them in the recent past as a result of the arrest and imprisonment of their insane cult leader, Warren Jeffs, the batshit dickhead prophet of his little community who had 80 wives and was convicted of sexually assaulting two underage girls.
The cult itself, made up of about 8,000 people, lives in an isolated community called Yearning for Zion Ranch, apparently totally unaware of the Matrix or how disappointing Zion actually is. They avoid anything to do with the outside world, including television, the Internet, even mainstream clothing. It's all evil in their eyes, and their eyes are all controlled by superdouche Jeffs.
Despite the fact that Jeffs was put in jail five years ago, the people in the community still consider him a prophet. A skinny-headed, sexually depraved prophet, which seem to be the only kind of prophet anyone hears about these days. Jeffs issues commands from prison on such prophetic topics as not allowing children to ride bicycles and ensuring that only 15 men in the entire community are allowed to father children. Because if you can't be a creepy perv in person, be a creepy perv by proxy.
"I have 30 wives and think peanut butter is evil!"
Other important orders include eating only beans and water to save money for the church and building him a mansion, which he promised would melt the bars of his prison cell when it was built. They must have used non-union labor or some such, since it doesn't look like that panned out so well. They did manage to include a secret pornography-filled rape room that has since been gutted by the new owner, however, so that's something.
Officials say they can't really stop Jeffs from verbally giving orders to visitors who then take them back to others, although it'd be nice if someone went to visit him and then just went home and told everyone that he admitted he's guilty and now he wants everyone to convert to Buddhism and take up surfing and organic farming, but, since most people still think he's God's chosen twat waffle on Earth, that probably won't happen soon.