Polygamy Under Attack: From Tom Green to Brian David Mitchell

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9781888106763: Polygamy Under Attack: From Tom Green to Brian David Mitchell

THE WORLDWIDE BOMBSHELL of Brian David Mitchell, the itinerant sidewalk preacher who kidnaped Elizabeth Smart, finally brought the world's attention to what Oprah Winfrey's show labeled as third-world Taliban-type abuses in Utah and Arizona. The entire world had been focused on publicity hungry Tom Green and his claim of a peaceful life as a polygamist, when Mitchell and his accomplice wife shocked the world by their crime against Elizabeth Smart. POLYGAMY expert and retired law enforcement officer John Llewellyn provides a dramatic inside look at each of the polygamist groups, how they began, how they rule their people, their beliefs, and how many are living off your tax dollars. He explores serious human rights abuses that occur in many groups such as forcing young girls to marry men old enough to be their father. A former friend of Tom Green, the author provides deep background on Tom's life and polygamist activities. John explores the fascinating underground fraud by the various groups and evaluates Brian David Mitchell's efforts to turn Elizabeth Smart into a compliant plural wife. FINALLY, he takes a hard look at the possible value of decriminalizing polygamy so that the many hidden abuses, including tens of millions of dollars of welfare fraud when polygamist wives pose as single mothers with children, can be brought out into the open and finally be dealt with realistically. A CONSULTANT FOR THE UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, John R. Llewellyn is recognized as an expert on Mormon Fundamentalism and polygamy. A retired Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lieutenant, he specialized in sex crime investigation that included polygamy complaints, and was a polygamist for a time. His book Murder of a Prophet is a paradigm of the Allred murder, and factual expose of the dark side of Utah polygamist cults. A Teenager's Tears: When Parents Convert to Polygamy is a tender, emotionally-charged walk in their shoes.

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About the Author:

A CONSULTANT FOR THE UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE, John R. Llewellyn is recognized as an expert on Mormon Fundamentalism and polygamy. A retired Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lieutenant, he specialized in sex crime investigation that included polygamy complaints, and was a polygamist for a time. His book Murder of a Prophet is a paradigm of the Allred murder, and factual expose of the dark side of Utah polygamist cults. A Teenager’s Tears: When Parents Convert to Polygamy is a tender, emotionally-charged walk in their shoes.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

After sitting through the trial and providing testimony for Juab County prosecutor David Leavitt as he convicted Tom Green of child rape, I began working on this book. As I continued writing, other Polygamy Fundamentalists kept leaping into the headlines with stories of abuse. Then came the worldwide bombshell of Brian David Mitchell, the itinerant sidewalk preacher who kidnaped Elizabeth Smart. The entire world had been focused on publicity hungry Tom Green and his claim of a peaceful life as a polygamist, when Mitchell and his accomplice wife shocked the world by their crime against Elizabeth Smart. These highly publicized cases brought the world’s attention to modern-day abuses that many thought only existed in third world countries. The abuses gained so much attention that Oprah Winfrey aired a segment on abusive polygamy in Utah and Arizona, and followed with an interview of Elizabeth and her family in the Smart’s home. Mounting public concern caused me to realize that people were finally ready to become informed about the practices of each of the Mormon Fundamentalist groups, what they do, and why they say they do it. Organized anti-polygamy groups need public support as they press the government to find realistic solutions. As a result of all the publicity, Arizona and Utah are taking a hard look at the human rights violations, not to mention the millions of dollars of state and federal welfare money that support the groups when polygamist wives -- claiming to be single mothers with children -- sign up for welfare benefits. One informant reported that her welfare checks are often taken directly to the priesthood leaders of their group. Concerned citizens need to understand that all these polygamists -- Tom Green, Brian David Mitchell, David Kingston, and others -- have a motivating common denominator from the 1800s. While the mainstream LDS Church abandoned polygamy a century ago, there are thousands of dissidents practicing plural marriage, who call themselves Mormon Fundamentalists. This book will examine how what is a sacred belief to many people has been criminalized by some of the men within the Fundamentalist Groups. The question every decent citizen must ask: What can be done about it? What will, or can, Utah and the neighboring state of Arizona actually do, if anything? What resources are available. The victims are not just young girls, but women and men too, conditioned from birth to endure abuse under the guise of religious beliefs. They don’t know what to do or where to go. It is my hope that this book will enlighten society so that the abuses within these groups can be targeted for action, in particular the young girls forced into a plural marriage with men old enough to be their father. In one group, incest is encouraged to “keep a pure blood line.” To make these girls and women become real to unenlightened citizens, I wrote an emotionally-charged and tender fact-based novel A Teenager’s Tears: When Parents Convert to Polygamy. I wanted people to be able to walk in their shoes and feel what they feel, to be on the inside looking out. It is important to understand that the vast majority of polygamists do not represent a criminal threat to the peace and dignity of American principles. They feel that plural marriage should be decriminalized. And many involved in dealing with the abuses believe that decriminalizing plural marriage would remove the veil of secrecy that allows these abuses to go on, so read the chapter on Decriminalizing Polygamy. With recent Supreme Court decisions, many believe that plural marriage has a good chance to gain legal acceptance. Those involved in plural marriage who conduct their lives with dignity and respect are as outraged at the abuses as everyone else. This book is intended to help the public and law enforcement better understand what goes on and how it develops. Before solutions can be found, one must first understand the intricate problems involved. America was founded on religious freedom and individual rights. The government must find a way to preserve these for each citizen, without trampling on the rights we hold so dear.

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