Exodus in Arizona
If you haven’t read the Jon Krakauer book Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, on the fundamentalist polygamous Mormon communities in the US and Canada, please do this weekend.
Because right now, an entire Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) community is leaving their strongholds in Colorado City, AZ and neighboring Hillsdale aka Short Creek, where they have lived for over a century.
In both towns, nearly all of the land was controlled by polygamous leader Warren Jeffs, currently serving life plus twenty years for two felony counts of child sexual assault, under the United Effort Plan. Now, the land is managed by the state, and families are either being evicted or choosing to leave rather than sign a living agreement with "apostates."
The Salt Lake Tribune has a fascinating series on the exodus, with haunting images of immaculately-coiffed young women in matching blue dresses. Often not the only wife in a family, "spiritually" married but single in the eyes of the law, have no credit or job skills, and are now looking for a home for their families.