screenshot187 The story of the FLDS and Warren Jeffs has long fascinated me. With a plethora of books  to choose from about the sect/cult and it’s deranged leader, what drove me to Prophet’s Prey was Jon Krakauer’s affiliation with the book. I enjoy Krakauer’s books and respect the research and detail he puts into them. While Sam Brower is the primary author of the book, Krakauer gave it instant credibility.

This is one I listened to, rather than read. Jonah Cummings, the narrator, is great- the right intonation and inflection in telling the story, and an audiobook listening experience I recommend.

Brower pulls no punches in exposing Warren Jeffs for the manipulative bastard he is.  He is, probably to some extent, mentally ill. But that in no way excuses his manipulation and exploitation of his flock. He’s a megalomaniac, a liar, a thief, a rapist, a pedophile, and a false prophet.  Brower, a private investigator instrumental in exposing and ammassing evidence against Jeffs,  presents his account in a straightforward manner, providing details to authenticate his account without exposing details in an overly salacious manner.

Prophet’s Prey itself is simultaneously engrossing and nauseating.  Brower presents well the level of indoctrination the members of the FLDS have been subjected to.  And to me, that was the hardest part of the book to digest.  It is so hard for me to identify with a group of people the truly cannot think for themselves.  It was stomach turning to me that so few people questioned the acceptability of girls as young as 12 marrying men four or more times their age.  But it also provided insight into why cases against the FLDS have been so hard to prosecute, and to life inside the sect. But the best, most compelling part of the book is hearing the courage it took for people to stand up to  Warren Jeffs and the church leadership, to take control of their own lives, and to tell horrific stories to the courts to ensure Jeffs is locked aways (hopefully for time and all eternity).

This one gets a recommendation from me.