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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
Frequently Bought Together
"'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 Gods 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 dont seem to be hurting anyone."
Gods 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 womens stories told in Gods 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite the sensational title, this short book has some redeeming qualities. It tells, briefly, the stories of several women who, either from birth, or by some later choice, were... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Maryann Kowalczyk
I haven't read the book, but am already appalled by the typos in the descriptions and notes from the publisher! Doesn't Amazon (or the editor) screen for such errors?Published 15 months ago by snookie24
I think polygamy is set up for problems, and I'm not just saying this because I'm female. History is full of family squabbles over the children of one mother ganging up on their... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Burt Levy