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Despite considerable press coverage and a lengthy trial, the full story of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints has remained largely untold. Only one man can reveal the whole, astounding truth: Sam Brower, the private investigator who devoted years of his life to breaking open the secret practices of the FLDS and bringing Warren Jeffs and his inner circle to justice.In Prophet's Prey, Brower implicates Jeff in his own words, bringing to light the contents of Jeffs's personal priesthood journal, discovered in a hidden underground vault, and revealing to readers the shocking inside world of FLDS members, whose trust he earned and who showed him the staggering truth of their lives.
Prophet's Prey offers the gripping, behind-the-scenes account of a bizarre world from the only man who knows the full story.
I first learned of the FLDS church a few years ago when I read "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. I was horrified, and have followed the developing story and Jeffs trial ever since. I snagged this audiobook as soon as I noticed it, and worked my way through it very quickly.
This story is told in the first person by Sam Brower (narrated by Jonah Cummings, who does an awesome job), a private investigator working hard to break down and expose the incredible evil taking place in the world of the FLDS. The story is an interesting look into the innerworkings of a sad religious, a lunatic religious leader, legions of followers, poor unfortunate children, and how a private investigator goes about infiltrating this mess.
This is not an easy book to listen to. It's depressing and frustrating. It's hard enough to hear about the atrocities happening within the FLDS church, and even harder to hear about how difficult it is to get the government to intervene.
The only complaint I have is that the timeline of the story jumps around quite a bit. There are lots of characters in this book, and it's hard to keep them all straight. On top of this the author jumps back and forth in time frequently, and it can be easy to get lost at times. A fairly minor complaint, but I can't help but this this would be a stronger story if told in a more linear fashion.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful
I picked this up after reading “The 19th Wife” to get more information about the modern-day fundamentalist Mormon sects that continue to practice polygamy today. There are a variety of books to choose from, but I picked this one because I was particularly interested in finding out what had become of the fundamentalist compound in Texas that was investigated by the FBI in 2008. About all I could recall from the episode was dozens of women in prairie-style dresses, along with hundreds of children, being taken into state custody because of alleged child abuse at the fundamentalist compound.
This book more than delivered what I was looking for. Brower is a private investigator and a Mormon who was working in Utah when he heard about a family, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), who had been kicked out of their home by their “prophet,” Warren Jeffs. Thus began Brower’s involvement in multiple investigations into the crimes perpetrated by this psychopath in the name of God. Brower had a ringside seat investigating and helping prosecute those responsible for these crimes, which include not only child abuse, rape and underage marriage but also racketeering, defrauding the US Government via entitlement schemes, and much more.
This book is not for the faint of heart. I was shocked at how cavalierly many government officials, including law enforcement, treated the crimes that were occurring under their noses. The ultimate fate of all those children we saw on television? Every single one was returned to the cult, where the girls will be forced to wed men three times their age and the boys will be abandoned (too many boys=too much competition for young brides). At least Warren Jeffs, a pedophile and megalomaniac, is serving a life sentence, but he still has followers, and that is what makes the whole thing so disturbing.
I listened to this as an audio book read by Jonah Cummings. About halfway through, I decided to speed up and turned my player to 1.5 speed. I am glad I did so. The book was gripping, but Cummings’ delivery was just too slow.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
Sam Brower knows more about the inner workings of the FLDS than many members of the cult do. He demonstrates a cycle of horrific abuse that is not likely to end without significant government intervention in an accessible, interesting manner. He approaches the community with an open mind, and though he reveals a thoroughly corrupt social system that can't be allowed to stand, he still treats each individual with the respect they deserve. In other words, he doesn't paint everyone with the same broad brush. It's a rich portrait of members of an isolated community that is intended to be "good" but turns out to be very bad.
Jonah Cummings did a great narration. I felt like I was listening to the author himself recount his experiences.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Prophet's Prey?
Seriously, Sam Brower is a fantastically awesome human being. The story is truly captivating! I appreciate the detail to the timeline. <br/><br/>The narrator is slightly annoying with his mispronunciation of names and places.
Any additional comments?
Would love any other books in the future from Sam Brower.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I do not very often judge another human being, but in this case I can tell you that Warren Jeffs is one of the most evil men on the face of the earth. I pray he NEVER gets out of prison. Although he has never actually killed someone (that we know of), nevertheless, he has taken so many lives and destroyed their freedom that he should and must be held accountable.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
How can this happen today and in this country? Not only did it happen, but it is still happening. We like to look at other countries (Afghanistan, North Korea, Africa, Middle East, etc.) and go on about how barbaric they are. I thought we had laws against raping twelve year old girls, but it seems our laws just don't work when it comes to religions that have rape as part of there beliefs. I have no problem with multiple marriage between consenting adults, but 12-16 year old girls!!!
Sam Brower is the author of this book and all Krakauer does is write a small Introduction. I bought the book thinking he was a co-writer. I am a big fan of Krakauer and have read all that I know that he has written. Having said that this is still a good book and a very important book. Brower is a private investigator and not an author, so the writing of this is not as polished as a JK book, but the content makes up for it. Jon Krakauer's "Under The Banner of Heaven" is an excellent book and is on the same subject. It is more polished, but has less of the facts and none on the trial. I think everyone should read both books.
It can be hard to take. This is a society who treats women or little girls as baby making machines, They marry the girls off at very young ages to men, decades older then they are. They are forced to have sex. They are often the second, third or 90th wife. In a ten year marriage a women is likely to have nine kids and they keep going until they can not have kids anymore and then they are discarded. Little boys are considered competition and many are driven out of town and told don't come back, don't call and don't write. Many times men are ex-communicated and kicked out. Then their wives and children are given to another man, like cattle. Some women get passed around several times.
This is a sad book, but an important one and I have only scratched the surface of what you find out in the book.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I might. This type of book is not for everyone so it depends on the person.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Prophet's Prey?
When they finally caught the slime sucker Warren Jeff's.
Would you be willing to try another one of Jonah Cummings’s performances?
No. His mispronunciation of common Utah/Mormon words was horrifying. Obviously did not research any of it before reading this book. If you know how to pronounce Hurricane, Nephi, Cumorah, Rulon, Zion, or Helaman, this narration will make you crazy.
Was Prophet's Prey worth the listening time?
Yes. I have a sick fascination with the FLDS, so I liked it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
As a member of Latter Day Saints and as a convert, I haven't practice my faith in a long time, but when I was going to church, I heard stories about Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. It always bothered me and still does when the public thinks that Mormons still practice polygamy and other myths which isn't true anymore.
As I read more about Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints and their leader, Warren Jeffs and his root of evil, it bothered me to read more, just because the doctrine and the commandments of the Book of Mormon is being twisted for their evil. Such as, Word of Wisdom and allowing the Prophet to drink and having multiple wives with underage girls in order to go to the Celestial Kingdom.
FLDS is a total sham.
As I read more and more of "Prohet's Prey", I could not help thinking "WTF" when I learned more about FLDS and the constant abuse to their members and underage girls.
The only refreshing part of this book is how the author, Sam Brower, regained his faith again after over 20 years of being non active as a Latter Day Saints.
I don't regret at buying this book. It's extremely interesting about Warren Jeffs and his followers of FLDS, but it was also hard to fathom because I've learned a lot as being a Latter Day Saints and their true teaching from the doctrine.
No matter how far I stray away from the church, I still feel the Holy Spirit from time to time.
That is one part of my life that will always be with me.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Sam Brower and Jon Krakauer and/or Jonah Cummings?
Yes I would. I have read every book by Krakauer.
What did you like best about this story?
The interesting details and insight into Short Creek and the FLDS and especially Warren Jeffs.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
The narration was difficult for me at times. It would have really been a great idea for this narrator to do some research into the local pronunciations. I would be listening along and all of a sudden something so common would be mispronounced. Common if you have spent time in Utah, and I grew up there. For example, its not the 'Desert News' - the newspaper in Salt Lake is the
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Prophet's Prey to be better than the print version?
I certainly prefer to have a book read to me rather than reading it myself.
What other book might you compare Prophet's Prey to and why?
I would compare it with "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer.Another expose into the FLDS. Both books deal with the excess of this cult and its complete power over its congregation.
What does Jonah Cummings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I thought his narration of the book was thoughtful, and hit the right tone for this subject matter.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Where do you start, these FLDS people have violated every convention of civilised society.Animal cruelty, incest, slavery, child abuse, rape, etc.
Any additional comments?
The FLDS is an insidious organisation that uses religion as a tool of manipulation for self profit. I saw nothing in this group that in anyway inspires hope in their congregation.Legislators have to have resolve to put an end to this disgusting group.In the 21st century while we are busy liberating foreign nations, our very own citizens live under a pseudo religious tyranny.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful