This text provides an account of Taliban-like theocracies in the American heartland controlled by renegade Mormon prophets. At the core of the book is a double murder committed by a pair of brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they were commanded to kill by God. Beginning with an account of this "divinely inspired" crime, Krakauer constructs ...
This text provides an account of Taliban-like theocracies in the American heartland controlled by renegade Mormon prophets. At the core of the book is a double murder committed by a pair of brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they were commanded to kill by God. Beginning with an account of this "divinely inspired" crime, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered narrative of polygamy, savage violence and unyielding faith. Along the away he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America's fastest growing religion and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.
While the theme was very depressing, it told the story of the beginning and evolution of the Mormon church and offered several very real examples of religion at its worst. The general theme could be applied at one time or another to any and all religions, in the past and in the future. Frightening, terrible, but honest and real.
Jan 5, 2012
Compelling to read.
This book will probably figure in this election year with a Mormon in the political picture. It does merit consideration. The Arizona towns told about in the book are in current news and make one wonder.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-06-30 Using as a focal point the chilling story of offshoot Mormon fundamentalist brothers Dan and Ron Lafferty, who in 1984 brutally butchered their sister-in-law and 15-month-old niece in the name of a divine revelation, Krakauer explores what he sees as the nature of radical Mormon sects with Svengali-like leaders. Using mostly secondary historical texts and some contemporary primary sources, Krakauer compellingly details the history of the Mormon church from its early 19th-century creation by Joseph Smith (whom Krakauer describes as a convicted con man) to its violent journey from upstate New York to the Midwest and finally Utah, where, after the 1890 renunciation of the church's holy doctrine sanctioning multiple marriages, it transformed itself into one of the world's fastest-growing religions. Through interviews with family members and an unremorseful Dan Lafferty (who is currently serving a life sentence), Krakauer chronologically tracks what led to the double murder, from the brothers' theological misgivings about the Mormon church to starting their own fundamentalist sect that relies on their direct communications with God to guide their actions. According to Dan's chilling step-by-step account, when their new religion led to Ron's divorce and both men's excommunication from the Mormon church, the brothers followed divine revelations and sought to kill, starting with their sister-in-law, those who stood in the way of their new beliefs. Relying on his strong journalistic and storytelling skills, Krakauer peppers the book with an array of disturbing firsthand accounts and news stories (such as the recent kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart) of physical and sexual brutality, which he sees as an outgrowth of some fundamentalists' belief in polygamy and the notion that every male speaks to God and can do God's bidding. While Krakauer demonstrates that most nonfundamentalist Mormons are community oriented, industrious and law-abiding, he poses some striking questions about the closed-minded, closed-door policies of the religion-and many religions in general. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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