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God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 Women Who Escaped Paperback – June 1, 2004


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God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 Women Who Escaped + Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs + Escape
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pince-Nez Press (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930074131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930074132
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Not a single woman I've ever known is happy,' one polygamous wife says. Reading 'God's Brothel,' you'll understand why." -- Denver Post, August 15, 2004

"... a stinging indictment of the hidden practice of polygamy, in which patriarchy reaches an almost unfathomable extreme." -- Patricia Ireland, former president of the NOW

"As God's Brothel makes clear, fundamentalist Mormon polygamy can lead to pedophilia, rape, domestic violence... incest and welfare fraud." -- Editorial, Salt Lake Tribune, August 15, 2004

"Reading [these stories] I felt like a curious spectator to a gruesome accident." -- Fred Silverstein, former producer, CNN, CNBC

"[An] illuminating new book..." -- CNN.com, August 1, 2004

From the Publisher

Until I received the manuscript for God’s Brothel, I had given little thought to polygamy, even though I had grown up in Utah and attended school with the children of polygamists. I thought, "Whatever. They don’t seem to be hurting anyone."

God’s Brothel changed my view entirely, with its reports of the women who escaped from polygamist groups and several independent families. The book describes a patriarchal world where girls from a very young age are treated as sexual objects and denied an education.  Sexual abuse and coercion are at the core of these chilling accounts of Christian and Mormon fundamentalist polygamy.   

The women’s stories told in God’s Brothel offer a rare insight into the complexities of polygamy in the United States. The book debunks any idea that polygamy as practiced in the U.S. is a "quaint lifestyle choice," or that the instances of abuse are rare.


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Customer Reviews

This book is poorly written and overly simplistic.
ourmissboo
I attribute this to the book trying to tackle so many different topics at one time.
Joseph Dewey
Now after reading this book I want to and need to do something about this.
S. Bever

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
This expose is badly needed.

I am not a Mormon, but I do know that the original believers advocated polygamy and later on the mainstream LDS church repudiated it. Since I don't have a thorough knowledge of Mormon doctrine so I'll not attempt to do a critique on it here.

But I do know that the kind of polygamy shown in this book is ghastly. That's the only way I can describe it.

1. First of all, the young age of these brides is unbelievable. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old. I believe that no matter what the culture, a person needs to mature emotionally and physically before marriage.

2. The refusal of many of these men to support their wives and children, making them dependent on the welfare system. This is just plain unbiblical. Even in the early cases of polygamous marriages in the Old Testament, the Patriarchs kept their wives and families fed and cared for.

3. The spousal beatings. If these people claim to believe the Bible along with their Mormon doctrines, they will have to realize that there is not one command given to men (in either the Old or New Testaments)that they can beat their wives. In one of the examples given in Moore-Emmet's book, a man hit his wife so hard that he broke her eardrum. Religion or no religion, there's one word for an act like that -- it's a CRIME! And it needs to be prosecuted as one. (By the way, the man I just mentioned was prosecuted later on.)

4. Although this book mostly concentrated on the plight of the girls, it also showed that young boys can be victimized, too -- that sometimes they are considered threats to the older men who want the young wives.

5. The slowness of the city and state governments to do anything about it.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By K. A. Palmer on August 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
Anyone who believes polygamy and slavery are sins of other cultures or times, will find this disturbing collection of true stories about contemporary American women who have escaped from polygamous marriages both shocking and a call to action. Readers learn about girls who are "bred" to become young brides of their own male relatives or of their father's close friends, of women denied education, freedom, and even the use of money, and of local government officials complicit in keeping the women and girls enslaved, even physically beaten.

Most chilling to me is the patriarchy's justification for polygamy, rooted primarily in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (Mormon) history and doctrine. Although polygamy was officially outlawed by the Church in the late 1800s via a revelation (that many fundamentalists believe was politically motivated so Utah would attain statehood), the practice flourishes in growing enclaves in Utah and surrounding areas.

This powerful expose shows how the huge families of sister-wives and children drain welfare funds in order to survive and typically live in poverty while the patriarch enjoys his sexual, monetary, and religious status. It also tells of a group called TAPESTRY that is dedicated to helping the women and children escape from the religious and sexual domination of these men.

My feelings while reading this book included anger and disbelief, shock and sorrow, a voyeuristic horror, and finally pride in the women brave enough to tell their stories to the author so that the sexual predators could be "outed" and their victims, especially the young girls, offered hope of escaping the horror of this slavery.
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95 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Susan K on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Andrea Moore Emmett opens our eyes to a horror that most of us assumed did not exist in modern-day America. How wrong we were. Through heart-wrenching tales told by the women who lived them we learn of a dark, dismal world in which girls are nothing more then human cattle. This is a must read for any one who doubts the existence of polygamy in the Land of the Free. This is an especially important read in light of the current threats to all women's rights.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Neufeld on July 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
This powerful book is hard to read at any length because of the horrifying stories it contains. It is clear that polygamy (specifically the marriage of many women to one man) turns ordinary men into abusive cult leaders. Want to create your very own Jim Jones, David Koresh or Sun Myung Moon? Then tell a man it is God's will that he should marry many wives. He will proceed to ignore the emotional anguish of his wives as they try and fail to suppress their inevitable jealousy, and he will walk around as if he is perfect and beyond reproach even as he perpetrates or encourages rape, incest, child abuse, neglect, welfare fraud, and murder. Only a truly cruel God would wish such a fate on women and children. The mainstream Mormon Church should have not merely discontinued the practice of polygamy (as they did in 1890); they should have declared that the entire revelation of Joseph Smith with regard to polygamy had been mistaken. But they didn't, and as a result breakaway sects of fundamentalist Mormons still feel encouraged to engage in this destructive practice. Meanwhile, the State of Utah, being dominated by Mormons, tries as much as possible to ignore the abuses. After a thoughtful introduction by the author, this book contains the painful stories of 18 women who broke free. You will not be able to take a laissez-faire attitude to polygamy again after you read this.
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