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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 Paperback – Jun 15 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Pince-Nez Press (June 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930074131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930074132
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #344,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
To understand the complex and convoluted issue of Mormon fundamentalist and Christian polygamy in this country, it is essential to know something of the history of its beginnings in the Mormon Church. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Neufeld on Jan. 8 2009
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. For an engrossing fictional treatment of the subject of polygamy please see The 19th Wife: A Novel.
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By A Customer on Sept. 14 2004
Format: Paperback
As I read these stories I kept racking my brain to try and figure out a way to help these people.... and I am truly stumped. It's a helpless feeling.
I cannot believe that these crimes can be so hard to prove and punish. Americans so harshly judge other countries for allowing this type of abuse of women and children and yet we are helpless to stop it here in our own country.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Existentialistic Philosopher on Sept. 18 2004
Format: Paperback
Though I ache for those individuals who are in any way abused, and indeed appreciate this forum, which allows them to share their story (in a hopefully therapeutic manner), I caution readers to read with an open mind, recognizing that it is not the culture, but the individual members, who abuse. Abuse in any form must be stopped. But to say that polygamy is abuse (between consenting adults) is to abrogating freedom. I would encourage the readers to also read the book "Voices in Harmony," which presents the stories of women who live in plural marriage. There are two sides to every issues. In some way, plural marriage was indeed approved by the God of the Old Testament. But I agree that it's a life which is only for those who choose it. There were a few typos in the book. It was a quick read, and I would recommend it as long as it is read in conjunction with the book above.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 40 reviews
83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Yikes! Nov. 8 2006
By LindaT - Published on Amazon.com
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. When the whole state is majority Mormon, I can understand the uneasiness about prosecuting polygamy in general, although I think it needs to be done. But how about outright abuse that is against the law? Or, for those who think they are above the law of the United States, how about against the Bible itself?

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 half-brothers and sisters who are descended from a different mother. It can breed a lot of jealousy and resentment because many men will have their favorite wives and neglect the others.

It's a thorny problem that won't go away soon. But thanks to this and other books like it, our attention can be guided to the problem and some time in the future we can find a solution. We must never forget about it.
62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Chilling Expose on Sexual Slavery in the Name of God Aug. 19 2004
By K. A. Palmer - Published on Amazon.com
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. Polygamy in God's name is certainly NOT "sex between consenting adults" when young girls are treated as wombs and chattel, and given no choice in who or when they wed.

By giving a voice to the brave sister-wives, and creating an underground railroad route for others to escape, "God's Brothel," the author and other members of TAPESTRY may be the Harriet Tubmans of our time.
95 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Hell on Earth Nov. 23 2004
By Susan K - Published on Amazon.com
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.
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Wake-up call on the abuses inherent in polygamy July 30 2005
By Gordon Neufeld - Published on Amazon.com
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.
91 of 109 people found the following review helpful
I thought my eyes were open Sept. 19 2004
By S. R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
to what horrors do go on in polygamous communities. I've read a lot about it and living in Utah and having been raised in the mormon community, I figured I had a good feel for what might go on behind the walls of these compounds and homes. The stories in this book describe pretty much every perversion and abuse I might have guessed could occur in such an environment. All it takes is an understanding of patriarchal cult/religion and power combined with human nature to figure that what these women describe makes sense.

I learned a little bit more about the state of Utah and how far it is from bringing justice and support where it is most needed. With the prevailing mainstream mormon influence within the power structures of this state, it seems they are still in the business of protecting their own polygamous doctrine and history first and foremost.

So far, the most revealing book I've read on polygamy. Others that I've read have left me feeling that there was much untold.


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