More on those wacky Mormons

This time they’re kicking out teenage boys (hundreds of them) so there’s less competition for the men who are marrying as many as a dozen teenage girls. Read the story in the L.A. Times.

Gideon is one of the “Lost Boys,” a group of more than 400 teenagers — some as young as 13 — who authorities in Utah and Arizona say have fled or been driven out of the polygamous enclaves of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City over the last four years.
His stated offenses: wearing short-sleeved shirts, listening to CDs and having a girlfriend. Other boys say they were booted out for going to movies, watching television and staying out past curfew.
Some say they were sometimes given as little as two hours’ notice before being driven to St. George or nearby Hurricane, Utah, and left like unwanted pets along the road.
Authorities say the teens aren’t really being expelled for what they watch or wear, but rather to reduce competition for women in places where men can have dozens of wives.
“It’s a mathematical thing. If you are marrying all these girls to one man, what do you do with all the boys?” said Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff, who has had boys in his office crying to see their mothers. “People have said to me: ‘Why don’t you prosecute the parents?’ But the kids don’t want their parents prosecuted; they want us to get the No. 1 bad guy — Warren Jeffs. He is chiefly responsible for kicking out these boys.”

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Will

    I can’t stand the Mormons any more than any of us but, to be fair, this sect separated itself from the Mormons a century ago. They still use the Mormon name and practice the polygamy the Mormons had to abandon to remain in accord with U.S. Law. But these people aren’t actual Mormons any more.

  2. Steph Mineart

    Technically, they are indeed Mormons, they’re just not part of the mainstream church. If you read “Under the Banner of Heaven” it’s obvious that the line the separates Fundamentalist Mormons from the main Mormon church is VERY fluid, because of the nature of the religion.
    Part of the problem is the belief that any adult male has a direct line to God and can interpret scripture in his own way, which leads to lots of splinter cells of the church when someone gets disgruntled, or when someone decides that he’s the next Messiah and he should get 20 wives.
    Most of the people from this Fundie sect weren’t born into it at all but were recruited into it from the mainstream church over the years.
    Another very important point is that this Fundie sect of the church is HUGE. And I mean HUGE — they control large swaths of Arizona and Utah in that they own all the land, and control all the elected offices in the city and county governments of numerous counties. They’ve run out anyone who isn’t part of the church, and they can get away with Polygamy because there’s no one to enforce the laws against it. As they noted in the story, the last time someone attempted to enforce the law, they knocked the governor out of office.
    That’s fucking scary, especially for the thousands of young women who are basically raped from the time they’re young women and forcibly pregnant all of their lives with no hope of every having a normal existence. It’s basically female slavery. I can’t imagine myself in such a horrible life. I’d have killed myself as a teenager.

  3. Button

    I would disagree that these people are “technically” Mormons. Yes, they may practice that faith to some degree, but the official Mormon church wants nothing to do with them. This particular sect doesn’t interact with the Mormon church, has their own (insane) leader, and builds their own churches.
    Thankfully the Feds are looking at ways to shut them down, but as you noted it’s very difficult since they essentially own several towns in Utah and Arizona, and have recently started building churches in Texas.

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