Book Review: Prophet’s Prey – by Sam Brower

Prophets Prey

San Brower is a private investigator who took on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS, as it is commonly referred to, and gradually, over years of painstaking work, exposed it and its leader and “prophet,” Warren Jeffs, as an organized criminal enterprise of massive proportions.

Prophet’s Prey is his chilling exposé of the Fundamentalist Mormon religion and the endless, brutal crimes perpetrated by the “leadership” all in the name of God.

The FLDS is acult with its headquarters in Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, two neighboring towns in a remote and isolated strip of the country, bordered by the Grand Canyon to the south and cliffs to the north. Pretty much all the people who live there are part of the cult.

The Mormon religion was founded by Joseph Smith in 1820. In my opinion, Smith was a pedophile and a con man. He started a religion to create a lifestyle for himself. When he eventually was murdered, Brigham Young, another autocratic child abuser and power-grabbing dictator built up the Mormon church. One of the tenets of the religion was polygamy. When the practice started becoming unpopular in the United States about 100 years ago, the “mainstream” Mormons renounced polygamy.

Some of the faithful didn’t like that, and eventually split off to start the FLDS. It exists to this day.

The flock is not allowed to listen to the radio, watch TV or movies, read books, listen to music or get an education. Most children stop school at the elementary level. The people have lived in this environment their entire lives and are completely brainwashed about what the “real world” is like. They think they are God’s chosen people, and their leader is the prophet who speaks God’s will. Everyone is in on it. The doctors and nurses in the hospital. The judges. The police. The mayor. The bishop. The contractors. The health inspectors. The teachers. You can’t escape the reach of the church leadership, and their word, their will, is God’s word and will. People blindly follow orders, whether the orders are legal or not.

When God wants the prophet to be “sealed” to a 12-year-old girl in marriage, then the father of that child has no choice but give up his daughter. Systematic child abuse, rape of boys as young as five to eight years old in the guise of God’s will, and getting underage girls as young as 12 and 13 pregnant by the dozens is apparently commonplace and normal in that environment.

Prophets Prey 2

A recently married and newly pregnant Veda Keate, the thirteen-year-old daughter of convicted child molester Allen Keate. Shortly after Allen gave Veda in marriage to Warren, he took an underage bride of his own. He is serving thirty-three years in Huntsville State Prison in Texas.

— Brower, Sam (2011-08-01). Prophet’s Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (p. 311). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Prophets Prey 1

Ora Bonnie Steed posing with underage sister wife Veda Keate. Warren wrote that both conceived their babies during the same “heavenly session” with him. Veda also appeared in a photo in a National Geographic cover story on the FLDS, along with her daughter Serena. The caption in the magazine identified them only as two of the children taken in the raid on the YFZ Ranch.

— Brower, Sam (2011-08-01). Prophet’s Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (p. 311). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

“Heavenly session” is what the man of God and FLDS leader calls group sex with multiple underage girls at the same time – because somehow that helps the salvation of the world. The entire religion buys into this.

One girl, who eventually escaped, tells her story of growing up in a house with 20 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms with her father, his six wives and 52 children. This seems normal to them. Yet, we all know that this kind of lifestyle is not supportable. Most American’s have trouble supporting a family of four or five people with two incomes. How does a man support six wives and 52 children?

By having five of the wives apply for welfare as single mothers with the State of Arizona or Utah, or both. By sending boys as young as 11 off to work on construction sites as slave laborers. By sucking as much money as possible out of the system, out of our taxes and welfare money. They call it “bleeding the beast” and justify it since they are God’s chosen people.

Prophet’s Prey is a shocking book that provides a view into what almost seems like an alternate universe. It is astonishing that these things can be going on right now, in our time, with very little interference from law enforcement of any kind. After reading Prophet’s Prey, you will never think about the Mormon religion the same way again.

The “mainstream” Mormons are distancing themselves from the Fundamentalists. I don’t buy it. It’s the same messed-up cult, just a different, more drastic flavor of it.

But read about it yourself, and be your own judge. Prophet’s Prey is a must-read book for any educated and responsible American.

Rating - Four Stars

Other articles and reviews I wrote related to Mormonism:

Play Review: The Book of Mormon

Mormon Apostles Paid Off

Mormon Handcarts

Romney Going Psycho about Mormonism

To Mormon or Not to Mormon

Mormonism in Decline

Institutional Lies and Deception of Mormonism

Atrocities in Mormon History

Mormon Doctrine on Race (White and Black)

Mormons and Masturbation

Mormons Baptize Jews Posthumously

Book Review: Wife No. 19 – by Ann Eliza Young

Park Romney’s Book and Mitt Romney’s Waffling

Book Review: An American Fraud – by Kate Burningham


Play Review: The Book of Mormon

Book of Mormon 1

A musical not for the faint of heart, or anyone subscribing to any religion at all. If you are religious, you are likely to be offended by The Book of Mormon.

The story follows two Mormon missionaries to Uganda where they are assigned to share their scriptures with the inhabitants of a village. The locals in Africa, of course, have their own problems, including AIDS, oppression and hunger. Stories in a book about an American farmer two hundred years ago in upstate New York who received the word of God on golden plates do not interest them much, or appear relevant at all.

The Book of Mormon is a religious satire, brutal to Mormonism, but surely offensive to any religion. If you thought that the image of the “missionary position” is compromising, you don’t know what is expecting you. While some of the songs are mild and funny, others are bursting with severe verbal obscenity and extreme graphic imagery of sexuality, wrapped into catchy music and colorful stage play.

Book, lyrics and music are by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, the creators of the animated comedy South Park. Lopez was a co-composer and co-lyricist for Avenue Q, another musical I enjoyed very much.

The Book of Mormon does not pull any punches. As an atheist, I thought it was hilarious and brutal at the same time. It was good, funny entertainment. For my religious friends, I would recommend skipping it. I can’t see how they are going to enjoy the musical, with the continuous barrage of off-color, crass humor and ridicule of the God concept, delivered by exposing the peculiarities of Mormonism.

Rating - Three Stars

Thanks for the tickets, Devin!


Book Review: Wife No. 19 – by Ann Eliza Young

The full title of this book is:

Wife No. 19: The Story of a Life in Bondage, Being a Complete Exposé of Mormonism, and Revealing the Sorrows, Sacrifices and Sufferings of Women in Polygamy

Wife No. 19

Ann Eliza Young was – well – the 19th wife of Brigham Young, the second “Prophet” of the Mormon Church, the supposed hero who led his chosen people, like Moses of old, through the frontierlands of America in the middle of the 19th century, to finally settle in Utah.

Ann Eliza did not want to marry Brigham Young. She was forced into the marriage after steadfastly refusing, for a long time. Only when Young used his religious, political and social influence to threaten financial ruin on her family, including her parents and her businessmen brothers, she eventually succumbed.

Mormon men during the polygamous years of their church were pressured into “marrying” as many women as possible. Never mind that they could not afford to feed them, shelter them, educate them and provide them with a dignified life. Even Brigham Young, who basically embezzled the money of the church for his own indiscriminate use, who was therefore by far the richest man in Utah, was a terrible miser. He sent Ann Eliza and her mother to work on a family farm managing it, for years, without pay, supplies, and even the basic necessities.

It is so much cheaper to marry domestics than to hire them. Under the latter arrangement he would be compelled to pay them for their services, while by the former he is only obliged to give them shelter, food, and clothing.

(Kindle Locations 7099-7101).

Ann Eliza eventually broke free of the church and became an outspoken critic of  the church, of its leadership, the system of polygamy and the overall glaring hypocrisy of the entire Mormon structure.

Polygamy wasn’t what the popular TV show Big Love portrays. Polygamy in the 19th century was a destructive system that took down healthy families, crippled all women and girls emotionally, abused and exploited them for their labor as lifelong indentured servants, damaged young boys by taking their opportunities for normal family lives away, and gave old men a license to sexually abuse young girls by the dozens, under the eyes of their wives, all under the banner of heaven.

In Wife No. 19, Ann Eliza Young, maiden name Webb, tells her story pretty much from the beginnings of Mormonism, starting with her parents’ happy lives before Joseph Smith, the cunning and boorish founder of Mormonism,  appeared on the scene and made misery out of it. We follow her parents’ early marriage, the trek of the Mormons out west, Ann Eliza’s childhood, youth and young adult life. She describes the Mormon system from the inside.

The corruption was staggering. New recruits were lied to and deceived. They usually lost all their worldly belongings and ended up in Utah, at the end of the world, without a way out or back. Leaving the church in the early days was a death sentence. Brigham Young had hordes of thugs who did his dirty work. Apostates would leave town, heading back east or to California, only to be found weeks later dead, face down in the desert, shot in the back, “by Indians.” Poor souls who left the church and Utah, always got robbed and murdered by the Indians.

Ann Eliza describes Brigham Young as a ruthless, illiterate, deceptive, greedy, egomaniac boor of a man whose only objective was power and wealth. He built the religion as his own giant Ponzi scheme, and he literally had those killed that stood in his way. He did this all by claiming he was God’s prophet and those who left the church and didn’t obey his word would smolder in eternal hell and damnation.

Wife No. 19 is a fairly long book, and at times it’s almost tedious to read. The anecdotes go on and on. But the terrible, abusive and life-ruining system of Mormonism is exposed in glaring light, almost blinding to the reader. How could all of this have been going on so long?

I cannot imagine how one could possibly take up the Mormon religion after reading this book. Or worse, I cannot imagine how a Mormon today could stay in the religion after reading this book. I imagine, like so many other true accounts of what is really going on, Wife No. 19 must be banned material by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This book was first published in by Dustin, Gilman & Co., 1875, but it reads like a modern exposé. Anyone even remotely interested in learning about Mormonism and the truth about polygamy in America, then and today, must read Wife No. 19.

Rating: ****

Buy this book here.

Read some of my other articles about Mormonism by typing Mormon in the Search box at the top of my blog and enjoy.

Book Review: An American Fraud – by Kay Burningham

The full title is:

An American Fraud. One Lawyer’s Case Against Mormonism.

Burningham does not just deliver a death punch to Mormonism, the religion, the doctrine and the lifestyle. Instead, she picks it up like one would a ragdoll and slams it over the pavement, beating the dead body to a pulp, until no more bones are intact and the flesh is hanging off in shreds. Burningham obliterates our happy and content picture of Mormons. She makes a case so solid, graphic and lasting, it’s difficult to imagine that the reader can ever get back some semblance of respect for this religion.

Many years ago I read Jon Krakauer’s book Under the Banner of Heaven, and I remember it was a brutal indictment of the Mormon religion and lifestyle, focusing more on the fundamental branches of the church, following the tracks of a group of deceiving and murderous individuals in their quest of never-ending treachery, abusing everyone they come across, all in the name of God. In contrast, An American Fraud deals more with mainstream Mormon society and the challenges its members face in today’s world.

Kay Burningham was born into Mormonism and struggled most of her life with coming to terms with the religion and the lifestyle. She did not follow the traditional path of Mormon women, getting married early and being wife and mother, forever submissive to her husband and lord. Instead, she became a lawyer. Her two marriages to Mormon men failed, mostly due to their inability to deal with a woman of substance who was not willing to submit to senseless rules, deceitful practices and abusive behavior.

She meticulously tells the story of Mormonism from the very start to today, when for the second time in history a Mormon is running for President of the United States. The first time was when Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, announced his candidacy in January 1844, not long before he was killed in jail by an angry mob of men who he had swindled, abused and whose daughters he had seduced.

Here is an excerpt:

Brigham Young’s nineteenth wife Ann Eliza, described and distinguished two classes of Mormons, the leaders from the followers, in this way:

Mind you, I am not upholding the Mormon faith; I consider it the falsest, most hypocritical, and most cruel belief under the sun. Although its founder arrogated to it the title of “church of Jesus Christ” there is nothing Christ like in its teachings or in its practice. Its leaders always have been and still are, supremely selfish, caring only for their personal aggrandizement, disloyal to the government under which they live, treacherous to their friends, revengeful to their foes; insincere, believing nothing which they teach, and tyrannical and grasping in the extreme, taking everything that their lustful eyes may desire, and greedy, grasping hands can clutch, no matter at whose expense it maybe taken, or what suffering the appropriation may cause. But the people them selves have no part in the treachery, revengefulness, hypocrisy, or cupidity of their leaders, and should be judged from an entirely different standpoint. (Kindle Locations 5951-5954).

The Mormon Church will denounce this book and forbid its members to read it. It’s obviously the work of the devil.

Anyone even remotely considering joining Mormonism, however, must read this. If Mormonism is really the only true religion and the Church is the only way to heaven and God, well, what harm could a little vengeful book by a vicious apostate do? Surely God’s word and will must be stronger than that of one little worldly female ex-Mormon.

Burningham does a masterful job of exposing the religion for what it really is: a concoction of an egotistical, licentious, lying and scamming boor of a man, Joseph Smith, kept up at any cost. Mormonism is the grandest Ponzi scheme ever pulled off, masquerading as a business and proliferating because it is such a successful money maker, all under the banner of heaven.