Suzan Mazur: Open Letter To AGs Of Utah & Arizona

Opinion – Suzan Mazur

Last week you were cited in these pages Scoop: Rescind Utah’s Statehood? for refusing to dismantle the polygamy cults in your respective states, flouting federal law as well as the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which …

An Open Letter To The Attorneys General Of Utah And Arizona

From Suzan Mazur

Arizona AG Terry Goddard (left), Utah AG Mark Shurtleff (right) Photo: Jay Beswick

Last week you were cited in these pages Scoop: Rescind Utah’s Statehood? for refusing to dismantle the polygamy cults in your respective states, flouting federal law as well as the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which has declared polygamy a human rights violation. On closer scrutiny it now appears that your ease in embracing such sexism and a disdain for human rights may be your way of fitting neatly into the Bush fascist agenda for America. Please advise otherwise.

According to reports, two-thirds of those responding at the polygamy summit you convened March 3 in St. George, Utah were opposed to your position to keep the cults alive despite the fact that about half the people in the audience were from the polygamy sects (the wives are told to “keep sweet” and silent): the Allreds, Kingstons, Jeffs (FLDS) ( News Story), Blackmores (FLDS-Canada), Harmstons.

Winston Blackmore, Bishop of British Columbia’s Creston polygamist cult, seated at the polygamy summit with several of his 30 wives. Photo: Jay Beswick

Emails I received following the March 2 story were also overwhelmingly opposed to your position. A few of the emails offer further insight into the problem:

From RP: “Hey, you’re dead on about the rat’s nest of incestuous legal/political relationships in Utah, but a couple of tips: . . . 2) the money-from-legal fees is a red herring. The [LDS] church is so wealthy off real estate, continuing investment income, tithes of converts here and esp. abroad, etc. that they simply wouldn’t care about tenths or twentieths (these days the truly obnoxious are twice tithing) of even $300/hr. legal fees.

And take care. I wouldn’t want to close communication without saying that. Please be aware. These are frequently (not rarely) the same guys who run the cults that eliminate rival cultists like my aunt’s brother in law got eliminated by LeBaron. And violence gets to be a habit.”

From a filmmaker: “My producer and I are on the blood atonement list, and have been in extreme danger because of the story we got.”

From KK: “As for the Mormon Church and the gathering of tithes, I do not recall ever being asked the source of my income when I pay tithes, nor has it ever been a condition of membership that I divulge that information.”

From “dragonlady”: “I noticed you didn’t mention Oregon where I lived for many years. There is a silent epidemic there too. . . . There’s a lot of traffic between Arizona and Oregon — and Utah, of course. And Nevada is tied in too — because Mormons are trusted by the casinos — more protection. It’s all about money — almost a slave-trade, where women and children are chattel. Twelve-year-old girls being sold to lecherous old goats — turns my stomach. They never had a chance at a normal life.”

Despite the embarrassment of worldwide exposure of the photos of babies buried anonymously in the canyonlands on the Utah-Arizona border adjacent to the FLDS cult, plus the call to rescind statehood — you reaffirmed at the March 3 gathering that you will allow these cults to continue to function, while keeping a watchful eye regarding domestic violence and child abuse. How can you fail to see that these cults are by definition domestic violence and child abuse?

Child playing above at Babyland graveyard on the Utah/Arizona border adjacent to the FLDS polygamy cult, and below some of the unmarked Babyland graves. Photos: Scott Rettberg/NVision

Clearly there are other reasons for your stonewalling aside from “a lack of resources” to handle the problem. If that’s all that was needed — you could identify the polygamy crisis as a Tsunami of sorts — a human tidal wave — and request disaster relief. If the federal government won’t help, perhaps Bill Clinton can. You might also seek private donations from wealthier members of the LDS community like Bill Marriott and his previous employees who founded The Carlyle Group. (Scoop: Suzan Mazur: Bush And The Mormons)

We’d all like to know what’s really preventing you from dismantling the cults.

Is it fear of being voted out of office?

Fear and loathing of women?

Fear of crossing the local mafia — the bankers, lawyers, insurance companies — who rely on business dollars from the tens of thousands of cultists in your states?

Fear of America’s “deep politics” that feeds on and promotes pedophilia and sex rings, as in the Franklin Federal Credit Union scandal in which boys from orphanages in Nebraska were snatched up by GOP polticians for their personal pleasure. (Peculiar Ties Connect Boys Town to CIA)

Fear of the LDS Church whose scripture still includes polygamy as sacred?

Fear of all of the above?

Whatever your reason — the public is growing wise fast as to the sickness that breeds in and around the Wasaatch mountains. There is still time left for you to shut the cults down and save your place in history — as well as having to answer to the Hague Tribunal or one of the countless “truth and reconciliation commissions” taking root in the face of fascist politics that has seized the day in America.


Suzan Mazur has traveled through the western states covering polygamy for the Financial Times, Newsday and Maclean’s and was a guest on Fox television, including O’Reilly, discussing the polygamy issue (O’Reilly pulled the segment). She chaired the first major benefit for battered women in Manhattan in 1985, which brought together fifteen victim services agencies and was co-sponsored by the National and New York State Coalitions Against Domestic Violence.

Email: Suzan Mazur: sznmzrREMOVETHISBIT
Scott Rettberg: scottrettREMOVETHISBIT
Jay Beswick: patchesREMOVETHISBIT

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