• Answer Them Nothing

  • Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs
  • By: Debra Weyermann
  • Narrated by: Kate Marcin
  • Length: 16 hrs and 8 mins
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

When police raided the Short Creek compound of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1953, it soon became a political and publicity nightmare and eventually cost the governor of Arizona his job. From that point on, skittish public officials allowed the polygamist sect to practice its tenants unmolested for the next 50 years and turned a blind eye to child abandonment, kidnapping, statutory rape, incest, and massive tax and welfare fraud.

But then Warren Jeffs, a new FLDS prophet, escalated the sect’s crimes to near madness. Activists watched in horror as he used his limitless authority and the resources of a tax-supported community - in essence, a feudal empire on the Utah/Arizona border - to devastate thousands of lives on cruel whims, marrying girls as young as 11 to 60-year-old men and driving off teenage “lost boys” who Jeffs felt threatened his authority.

Answer Them Nothing is the chilling story of the victims, activists, prosecutors, judges, cops, and attorneys who in 2001 began the struggle to dismantle the FLDS empire and bring Jeffs and his henchmen to justice. It is a mesmerizing journey into one of America’s darkest corners, a story that stretches over three states and deep into history of the powerful Mormon Church.

©2011 Debra Weyermann. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Answer Them Nothing

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Adequate but not impressive

Full disclosure: I am one of those people who have read or listened to almost everything available to laypeople about the FLDS, so this may not be true for you.

This book basically didn’t need to be as long as it was—not only does it repeat itself multiple times, but it spends some serious time doing character rehabilitation for Mark Shurtleff, the longtime Utah AG who oversaw a lot of failure to prosecute FLDS crimes and human rights violations.

That said, it does a very good job of putting together the narrative of how the UEP was used as a lever to begin breaking Warren Jeffs’ hold on the Short Creek community—it makes it clear that law enforcement took a similar approach to how they brought down Al Capone (focus on financials and technicalities rather than the more obvious crimes).

The narrator will really bother you if you know much about the pronunciation of names and entities in the desert Southwest. She pronounces “Moroni” as “more-oan-ee”, “Nephi” as “neffy”, and “Helaman” as “hella-man”. She does at least get “Deseret” right—although “chasm” she pronounces as though it is spelled phonetically. Yikes.

This book isn’t really a waste of time, but it could be better if it were about 2/3 the length and narrated by a person who knew how to pronounce words—I know there are some regional differences, but if you’re a voice actor I feel like it’s reasonable to expect you to say things properly when you’re paid for it.

6 people found this helpful

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I'll be returning this book

When I first began listening I thought the "narrator" was a computer, but later realized that it wasn't but her voice does sound like one sometimes. But the reason I stopped listening is that I found the "story" to hard to follow. The author jumps back and forth from the 1800's, to the 1950's to the early 2000's. I would be listening, wondering what was about to happen to people who sought and received help (at least I think they did?) but then it would switch to a different time and place...Maybe it's just me, but I prefer a story to be told in chronological order so that it can be easily followed and understood.

2 people found this helpful

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Anyone looking to move to Utah should listen

So, I moved to Utah 2 years ago and have been seriously struggling to fit in here. I am not a Mormon, it is obvious that I am not a Mormon and I get treated differently here at work and play. Listening to this book helped me understand the history of both lds and flds. It opened my eyes to the many why's I have had since moving here. Outside of the personal impact this book had for me, it also taught me more than I ever knew about flds and how they still work today. The story jumped around a little and got into some monotonous details a few times, but muscling through those very few sections was totally worth it. Great book! Highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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boring

it wasn't what I thought it would be. not many stories of polygamy. mostly legalize. I couldn't keep up with who was who

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Excellent Book

I loved this book. There’s nothing else to say. Except that some of the details were a bit out of date upon press time. Since this book was written in 2011, I had to go do some internet research and such to find the updated stuff in the press. However, this was a joy to read.

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Interesting story about a cult

It was an interesting book though it became a slog towards the end with all the legal and financial litigations.