On the border of Utah and Arizona, Mormon fundamentalists have long lived according to their own rules. When a former sect member and his family moved to the town where he’d grown up, they expected a homecoming. What they got was a war.
Ervil LeBaron, the Mormon Manson, terrorized Mexico’s Mormon compounds, ordering the killing of enemies and relatives alike. Even after he was captured, followers continued treat the “Hit List” he left behind as the word of God.
But you were drinking and having premarital sex, right? Isn’t that kind of an indirect way of questioning your faith? Is disobeying questioning? It can be, but I don't think I was really pondering questions of faith when I started drinking in high school, and the premarital sex didn't actually happen until after I graduated. I think looking back the answer is yes, I was looking at other options. But I didn't think about it in those terms then. I think lots of people of every faith experiment in these ways but ultimately decide to embrace their religion.
437 children were removed from Yearning for Zion Ranch as part of the largest custody battle in American history. They were eventually returned to the compound polygamist Warren Jeffs made infamous—but questions remained.
On Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and their new Broadway musical about Mormons, which “may just be their highest artistic achievement yet.”
Bruce Wisan received one of the toughest assignments ever thrust upon an accountant; to take control of the assets (and by proxy, followers) of the polygamist Mormon breakaway sect, F.L.D.S., after their prophet, Warren Jeffs, went on the lam and their compound was raided.
He was an itinerant preacher who claimed god have revealed him to be the one true prophet. He kidnapped Elizabeth Smart and lived with her in a makeshift camp for years. She was hard to find; not because he was sly, but because Utah is full of prophets with multiple young wives.