The Secret Lives of Saints

The Secret Lives of Saints

Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada's Polygamous Mormon Sect

Book - 2008
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A riveting, shocking account of the founding and flourishing of the polygamous, fundamentalist Mormon sect in Bountiful, B.C. Winston Blackmore of Bountiful, B.C., says it's God's will that he has twenty-two wives and more than one hundred children. Canada's most outspoken polygamist insists his faith left him no choice but to marry and impregnate nearly a dozen teens, and he has publicly admitted to marrying girls as young as fifteen. Polygamy and sex with minors are both illegal in Canada and yet Blackmore and this cult flourish. He believes that he and his religion are invincible, protected by the country's constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, and he keeps a framed copy of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms hanging on his office wall. So far, no one has challenged him. The Secret Lives of Saints documents the rise of the fundamentalist Mormons and unravels Blackmore's story using his own words as well as those of people who have escaped the cult to live in the outside world. It details the intermarriages and intrigues among the patriarchs as they fight for control of minds, money, property and women. And running through the narrative are the most troubling questions of all: Why has nothing been done to stop the illegal practices of this cult? Why haven't the polygamists, pedophiles and abusers been charged and jailed? As well as telling a story that will raise the hairs on your arms, The Secret Lives of Saints will leave you pondering the notion of tolerance, whether it is possible to have both religiousfreedom and individual rights, and where the line needs to be drawn between them.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Random House Canada, 2008.
ISBN: 9780307355881
Characteristics: 464 pages :,illustrations, facsimiles, geneological table, portraits ;,24 cm.


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WVMLStaffPicks Oct 26, 2014

Daphne Bramham gives us an interesting and compelling look at issues raised by the Fundamentalists of the Latter Day Saints. She examines child brides, lost boys, polygamy, freedom of religion, personal rights, cross border immigration and extradition and abuse of government funding and policies. I found it fascinating.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 22, 2013

This is an intricately detailed account of the rise of the fundamentalist polygamous Mormon sects not only here in BC’s southern interior, but also in the well-known mainstream Mormon stronghold of Utah. Vancouver Sun journalist Daphne Bramham tells Blackmore’s story, desrcibing the intermarriages and intrigues among the patriarchs as they fight for control of minds, money, property and women. This book poses questions about religious tolerance, religious freedom and individual rights, and where the line needs to be drawn between them.

Nov 12, 2011

Having just read Escape, by Carolyn Jessop, this was a fascinating read and parts of the information cross over between the two books. Having been in my teens in the 70's and growing up in the Kootenays, this was happening in my backyard and I had no idea.

Oct 27, 2010

I found this book to be a great read. You can definitely tell where bias lays but at the same time it's impossible not to have the same bias when dealing with the abuse of children.

Nov 04, 2009

Overall, a really interesting book; I did enjoy the author's rather biting tone - it was pretty clear where the bias lay.

Aug 05, 2009

An interesting read, but the lack of footnotes makes it untrustworthy.

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