A private investigator exposes the horrors of a fundamentalist Mormon sect.
First-time author Brower knows the Mormon faith better than most because of his heritage. But he knew almost nothing about the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints until stumbling on their practices after accepting a seemingly routine case as part of his private-investigator business based in Cedar City, Utah. The fundamentalists, led by a supposedly divine prophet named Warren Jeffs, illegally practiced polygamy. Brower, however, did not develop his investigation around the multiple-marriage culture. Instead, he became engaged far beyond helping his original client due to the dominance of the fundamentalist leaders over the women, including girls who had not reached adulthood. The author concluded that no religious doctrine could justify what looked like rape and incest. Furthermore, Brower learned about financial irregularities that, in his opinion, qualified the FLDS as an ongoing criminal enterprise as objectionable as the storied Mafia. Partly because of the author’s moral outrage and shoe-leather doggedness, law-enforcement agencies in Utah, Arizona and Texas, among other locales, began criminal investigations. Jeffs lost his liberty after a rape-related trial in a Utah courtroom, but an appellate court overturned his conviction on technical grounds. As Brower completed his manuscript during early 2011, the ultimate legal fate of Jeffs remained uncertain. The next trial is scheduled to occur in Texas on felony child-abuse charges. Brower documents how the seemingly all-powerful Jeffs has deteriorated physically and mentally while in prison. No matter what the verdicts in cases filed against Jeffs, he and his followers, numbering in the tens of thousands, have damaged countless lives. The author wisely focuses significant sections of the narrative on the victims.
An excruciatingly detailed, nightmarish saga demonstrating the sometimes inexplicable power of human evil.