Prophet’s Prey by Sam Brower–book review

Prophet’s Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints

By Sam Brower


A Book Review

By Nancy Mereska

            Sam Brower is to be congratulated for putting his experiences investigating the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints under the despotic prophet Warren Jeffs in a methodical, easy-to-follow pattern.  I recommend that this book be read by anyone and everyone who has had any type of experience researching, investigating, or personal with the FLDS or any other offshoot Mormon polygamous cult.

Sam Brower is a private investigator who had a good background and had built up an excellent network of resources before he took on the challenge of the FLDS.  He did it accidently through learning of the plight of a man by the name of Ross Chatwin who was being thrown out of his home in Short Creek by the FLDS for some infraction real or imagined by the dictatorial priesthood leaders.

Over the course of his book, Brower introduces us to many other FLDS members wronged by this unbelievably corrupt cult.  His descriptions of its miserable leadership and the treatment of its own members match those identically of all the ex-FLDS I have communicated with over the years.

At times, we can see Sam literally drowning in all that is corrupt about the FLDS, as many others, including myself, have done who have taken it upon themselves (paid or unpaid) to find out about this cult and to teach the outside world about it.

Brower’s description of Willie Jessop as a thug is so correct, the words just danced off the page.  His understanding of AG Mark Shurtleff as nothing but a politician playing both sides is dumbfounding.  How many times on this blog, have I referred to the AG as Shiftless Shurtleff?  I wanted to sing when he criticized the social media, namely Oprah, for her whitewashing the YFZ raid incident.  My campaign wrote hundreds of letters to her show protesting what she did.

But Brower’s description of Warren Jeffs himself, the hours and hours he must have spent pouring over the documents, listening to those terrible monotone tapes had to have been very trying at times, but his efforts paid off.  We have an accurate, detailed description of this pedophilic despot which is like no other written in any other book.

The only place I would fault Sam Brower is his description and ongoing relationship with Winston Blackmore.  On page 100, Brower writes referring to Winston Blackmore, “Although admitting to having taken at least two underage brides while still a member of the FLDS church. . .”  and on page 101 “If I were to have found out he was lying to me (which I have not). . .  Unfortunately, for us in Canada, this is a black mark in Sam’s book.

Winston Blackmore did lie to him.  If he had done just a little research, e.g. asked me, the women who head the Altering Destiny Through Education Ctte. in Creston,  or researched the Vancouver Sun’s blog on polygamy, he would have found that in the summer of 2009 when Blackmore was under indictment for polygamy, RCMP Constable Shelley Livingstone went before a BC Supreme Court Judge with a list of nine under aged girls impregnated by Winston Blackmore.

Brower narrowed his Canadian research for his book only to Winston Blackmore. He nearly made him look like a saint.

Brower is very honest and open about how he was stalked and intimidated by the FLDS.  Anyone who treads on the imaginary boundaries of this cult suffers thusly.  It’s a given.  But, those “outsiders” who are stalked and intimidated know their very salvation does not rest on the opinion of this cult’s leaders as its victims are.  We survive knowing the law is on our side.

Brower’s exposure of the Texas Child Protection Service’s handling and mishandling of the raid is well worth the read.  A member of my campaign to Stop Polygamy in Canada will be very happy to know that Sam researched and tells the story of Fumarase Deficiency Disorder and its prevalence in this cult.

I have often said that polygamy is a boil on the soil of any nation it infests; and, Prophet’s Prey does a fine job of illustrating just that.

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