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Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Rambling horror stories

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I was disappointed to see HCN join the long list of publications choosing to print rambling horror stories about polygamy in Utah and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In the future, I hope you will clearly distinguish facts about individual misconduct (i.e., Warren Jeffs' pedophile conviction), from rumors and allegations about groups. Collective denunciations are not appropriate without detailed support. Every source cited in this story has a personal agenda with respect to the FLDS that could have been discovered with reasonable investigation. A useful maxim is "follow the money." The author could have asked attorney Roger Hoole what his financial interest is in the ongoing judicial actions. 

What is "polygamy"? It is impossible to tell in this article whether the author is speaking about sex with underage women, sexual relations between adults, or simply non-sexual relations.

There are a number of fascinating untold stories about the role that religious polygamy has played in Utah's history. Is the commitment that FLDS members have to their faith qualitatively different from other religious commitments accepted without question by the broader public? Or is the problem that they take their religion too seriously?

Scott Berry Lifelong atheist and former FLDS attorney,
Salt Lake City, Utah

Cara Kociela
Cara Kociela
Jul 31, 2012 11:32 AM
Yes, indeed, let's follow the money. Let's follow the money as it traces back to the construction companies located on the Utah-Arizona border that undercut legitimate firms because they employ underage boys to work their job sites. Let's follow the money that comes from the widespread abuses of the welfare system ("Bleeding the Beast.") Let's follow the money to the offshore accounts held in Bermuda by the FLDS church. As far as your very Johnny Cochran-esque question, "What is polygamy?" It is the forfeiture of women's rights, the abuse of the welfare system, and the sexual abuse of little girls, which you try to write-off as insignificant, infrequent occurrences when they are not. Read 'plygs,' a new book about the horror stories that are oh, so real in the polygamous culture and maybe it will open your eyes to the criminal, immoral activities taking place in the name of religion.

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