Zions, and Mormons, and polygamists, oh my!

There seems to be Mormonism and polygamy in the air lately (at least for us), so we wanted to spread the love to you and you and you and…:

  • Escape — Just finished this crazy page-turner of a memoir from Carolyn Jessop, one of the few women to escape The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or FLDS (of Warren Jeffs infamy) with her 8 kids (and 8 is a low number for this radical polygamist sect). She recounts how the cult basically imprisons women as sex/baby-making slaves — you’ll boggle over how something like this could exist in America in the 21st century. Katherine Heigl is slated to make the movie version of the book (which, we hate to admit, we’re morbidly excited about).

  • Sister Wives — This TLC TV series is in the middle of its second season. With only 4 sister wives (who seem allowed to express their opinion) and their mere 16 kids, the Browns look like the Cleavers compared to the FLDS clans. Still, we really wish the show would delve a little deeper into the religious justification for the double standard of multiple wives but not multiple husbands (in Season 1, when his first wife of 20 years asked him to imagine her taking another husband, husband Kody admitted the thought sickened him — hmmm, funny how that works).

  • The Book of Mormon — Everyone’s raving about this new Broadway musical by the dudes behind South Park, including Jon Stewart, who said it’s “so fucking good it makes me angry.” Think Urinetown and Jerry Springer: The Musical rather than Wicked or Brigadoon.

  • Mitt Romney — This time around, what will be the bigger deal for his presidential campaign: his version of “Obamacare” in Massachusetts or the special underwear?

  • Lives of the Saints — It’s worth revisiting this 2002 New Yorker article on the history of Mormonism. Like their recent expose on Scientology illustrated: the younger the religion, the crazier it seems. Which makes one consider how two thousand years of religious “tradition” can make one blindly accept pretty much anything.

  • The Young Women of the FLDS photos — After the raid on the FLDS compound in Texas a few years ago, the New York Times Magazine had photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair take some amazing shots (including the one above) of the sect’s women and children. This is probably the arty-ist thing you’ll find on the subject.