Prophet's Prey
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Prophet's Prey

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  1,285 ratings  ·  212 reviews
"A remarkable man on many levels, Sam Brower is the real deal. Readers are apt to find his firsthand account of bringing Warren Jeffs to justice both extremely disturbing and absolutely riveting."-Jon Krakauer, from the foreword

From the private investigator who cracked open the case that led to the arrest of Warren Jeffs, the maniacal prophet of the polygamous Fundamentali...more
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Published August 1st 2011 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Note: There’s some bad words below, that bugs some people, so consider yourself warned.

Sam Brower, a private investigator and Mormon who lives an hour away from Short Creek, started his professional experience with FLDS when a little guy, Ross Chatwin, was excommunicated from FLDS and was required to leave Short Creek, and leave his wife and his children. (His crime: wanting another wife, choosing one on his own with his wife’s input, and being very low in the pecking order.) He didn’t want to...more
As a practicing member of the LDS church, I have always found myself see-sawing between repulsion and horrified fascination when I read about the twisted atrocities that the FLDS have made of polygamy and LDS church doctrine. As I've read some of the news accounts over the years, I've wondered "How could they possibly read the same scriptures I do, and NOT see how impossibly screwed up their practices are??"

So I really appreciated how Sam Brower, a private investigator and also a practicing LDS...more
Jenalyn C
Make that 4 stars for content and 3 1/2 for writing (because of the repetition). When I moved to Utah 31 years ago I was puzzled by the pioneer-clothed people I encountered. They regularly frequented the same fabric stores as I did. I saw middle-aged women with young daughters picking out fabric for wedding dresses. After asking around I learned they were polygamists and Fundamentalists, a break-off group of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also learned that the huge white comp...more
Out of all the books I've read about polygamy, this is definitely my favorite. It is written by an LDS cowboy who makes his living doing private investigating and a little bounty hunting on the side. I was expecting some red neck language, but he is surprisingly eloquent, and an excellent writer. I liked his perspective because it had a much wider scope than "Escape" or "Stolen Innocence." Sam Brower tells many different individual stories, and then outlines the legal battles against Warren Jeff...more
I first saw the cover of this book from a distance and couldn't get to it fast enough! I had thought it was a Jon Krakauer book that I had been waiting to read. I had already read Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven," which pertained to the history of Mormonism in the USA and placed a focus on the FLDS and how two brothers murdered their sister-in-law and baby/toddler niece in the name of God. It was such a compelling book that I wanted to learn more about this group of people and found mysel...more
Alisha Marie
I've read a few books about polygamy and I've always felt that it's reprehensible the way these cults treat their women and children, demeaning them, abusing them, by taking the word of the Bible and skewing those ideas to excuse their perverseness. It's just one subject that pisses me off to no end. So, I liked that Sam Brower didn't shy away from the cruelty that the FLDS inflicts on its members and didn't sugarcoat it. It is what it is. That being said, I found the Prophet's Prey, while an ok...more
I must say that this is a page turner. I am so concerned for the FLDS members now. I see Jim Jones and Branch Davidians and Nazis all over again, only worse.

I was very impressed with the structure of this story. The explanations and history really helped me understand more how this mess happened and continues on. I give thanks to Sam Brower and other hard working activists who never give up on exposing injustice when they see it. I wish I could say that our government agencies had the guts to ta...more
I realize that the title of this book makes it appear to be one of those poorly-researched and sensational true crime books. Not so. I decided to trust Booklist on this one (partly motivated by my obsession with Big Love), and I was absorbed within minutes. In PP, author Sam Brower details his efforts to reveal and halt the multitude of abuses that FLDS leadership has perpetrated on it's membership. Brower is genuine in his celebration of small victories and his regret that more hasn't been done...more
Diane S.
3 .5 I found this book very disturbing, not just because of the subject matter, but because this happened here in America. How one man and a church could be so perverted and have so much power over people is astonishing. The fact that our government and authorities let it go on so long, when so many laws were broken. My heart goes out to all those young girls and boys that were caught up in this perversion. Thank good ness for Sam Brower and the other who took on this supposed church, definitely...more
I like seeing the FLDS from the POV of an investigator who spent 7 years on various cases in its midst. But what i really wanted was some insight into what makes someone a crazy cult leader and why people follow along, even when exposed to other ideas.

From June 2011:
Look -- I started a polygamy shelf in goodreads.
It is no secret that I am eternally fascinated by the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), the uber conservative and notorious break off branch of the LDS Church. My first reading experience regarding this group was UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, a book my Jon Krakauer that I picked up at my parents house and then couldn't put down. After reading many books, I saw this one at the library, and knew that I needed to take it home.

While this book didn't tell me much that I didn't alre...more
Anne Hawn Smith
This is the story of the Warren Jeffs saga told from the viewpoint of the private detective who spent seven years of his life tracking down Jeffs and helping to bring him and his henchmen to justice. Sam Brower was uniquely positioned to deal with the FLDS as he is a Mormon and understands how this polygamist cult differs from the mainline church and the effects of the abuses of the practice of polygamy. He also had and continues to have strong feelings about the abuse, sexual, financial and psy...more
This is one of the few books that I think “everyone” should read. It’s an exhausting, harrowing look at the inside workings of cult leader Warren Jeffs and his FLDS.

The author’s credibility is unimpeachable. Brower worked as a private investigator for seven years on behalf of FLDS members who were kicked out of the church and on behalf of attorneys filing claims against the FLDS. He became friends with some of the former members, and he recalls past cordial working relationships with church mem...more
Feb 24, 2013 Kay marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I HATE to start a book and not finish it. It really bothers me. But I’m afraid I can’t finish this one. I read a few chapters, but hate how it makes me feel. It is the story of a cult and of a very evil man- Warren Jeffs, their so-called prophet. I think I maybe could stand to read the sordid details if I thought the story was over. . . If I thought Warren Jeffs was behind bars and could never hurt or wrong or destroy people again. But nearly every week there’s more in the news about him and his...more
Michelle Robinson
I have read almost every nonfiction work that I can find related to polygamy, fundamentalist Mormonism, underage marriage, and the FLDS in America. So, when I heard that this book was coming out

I read a few reviews of this book before reading, Prophet's Prey, the one review that really gave me pause was one that stated that Brower's book was just a rehash of basically other books that had already been written.

I thought of this statement often, as I read. That did not really seem to be true,in my...more
Kathy Panton
The subject matter is nightmarish, for sure. Because the Yearning For Zion raid and its aftermath went down in Texas, I kept up with media reports here at the time, and thought I already knew most of what these people were up to. But this book has shown that those things were just the tip of an iceberg of horrific abuse. This book gives great insight into just how isolated these FLDS communities are; how it is really quite impossible for even a grown woman to extract herself from the FLDS; how t...more
Prophet’s Prey is the riveting story of a bounty-hunter-turned-private-investigator who made it his singular obsession to bring down FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs. I admit that, in the past, I’ve been very suspicious of popular books written by two authors—who are we kidding, they are usually terrible. But, this book is different. It certainly helps that Jon Krakauer, masterful storyteller, is one of the authors. But, Sam Brower, the other author and protagonist of the story, is certainly no slouch....more
Darcia Helle
Prophet's Prey is not about bigamy. Yes, bigamy is a part of the story but, bigamy in itself is far from the main issue. This is about a cult hiding under the sanctions of religion. This is about one man's journey to ultimate power, the corruption of an entire town, horrendous child abuse, the total absence of women's rights, ingrained fear, warped beliefs, and helplessness. This is also the story of a handful of people who stood up and, no matter the obstacles, did the right thing.

Before readin...more
Denise MacDonald
This was a very eye opening book. It answered a lot of questions I had about the FLDS, but it also brought up a lot more. I was absolutely horrified by the actions of the government,legal system and child protective services when it came to protecting the children from human trafficking and sexual abuse. I cannot wrap my mind around how some many of the things Brower talks about in this book can be so blatantly obviously happening, yet there is little being done about it. And what is being done...more
This book was between 4 and 4 1/2 stars.

This was a very compelling and disturbing look into the physical, emotional and sexual abuses perpetrated by the FLDS community on their children. As someone who was irate at the sympathy generated for the mothers of the children taken at the YFZ Ranch, it was nice to read a book that detailed how wrong it was to just hand these children back to their abusers. While satisfying to follow the steps that helped lead Warren Jeffs to his life sentence, I feel f...more
3 1/2 stars

Very disturbing. It's sad that some people think this group is associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm glad to be more informed about the practices of this cult, which I can hardly call a church. It is shocking that law enforcement efforts are sometimes so lax or uncoordinated that the practices go on unchecked. Almost nobody in authority really wants to deal with this complex and difficult issue.

Despite the fact that Warren Jeffs is behind bars, almost no...more
After reading The 19th Wife, Amazon told me to read this next. Okay, I will.

Finished it now:
I loved it. This is a true story about a mind-blowing amount of corruption and criminal activity happening right here in the US of A, under the banner of religious freedom. It reads like a crazy, made-up account of a criminal madman.

The victims of the FLDS are lucky to have folks like Sam Brower on their side. He clearly can't be bullied, which is one of the main tactics of the FLDS thugs.

ALSO - I got cu...more
Holy moly. One of the most frustrating, disturbing, and sickening books I've ever read. Thank goodness the author left out all the sordid details of the endless abuse suffered by the unfortunate children born into the FLDS "church". By the end I was shaking my head, bewildered by the ineptitude of various government agencies and how the disgusting men who constantly manipulate and torture so many can keep getting away with it.

The writing is often choppy and repetitive, but writing is not what th...more
Carol Mckinley
This book gives a shocking account of how one psychopathic man took over a religion.
Toward the end, it gets a bit tedious, but maybe that's because I already knew most of what it was about.
I have worked with Sam Brower and know how hard he worked on this book. There were times when he emailed me at 3 in the morning with a point or two about Warren Jeff's trial. Kudos to Sam! I don't believe Warren Jeffs would be in jail today if it weren't for him.
Even the Texas authorities who finally got Jeffs...more
Two warnings. First, for all those who couldn’t already guess (hopefully not many of you), this book is quite disturbing. Second, this may be a rant review. You’ve been warned.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a long-ago breakaway sect of the more well known Latter Day Saints) has, since its foundation, been one of the most notoriously secretive and isolated religious groups in history. And not by accident.

Tucked away in rural areas of Utah, Arizona, Texas, and othe...more
A powerful look into Warren Jeff's and the sick, twisted, manipulative, evil world he controlled. After reading this book, I am even more disgusted by the FLDS then I ever was, and that is saying something. Warren Jeffs and his followers are more disturbed than I ever imagined. I also did not realize the extent of the man's control over an entire town, from the police right down to the building inspector. Everyone answered to him. "Wives" could be reassigned and members excommunicated with littl...more
I'm sorry I read this. I'm really sorry it was the first book I read on a topic I was interested in. Brower cures me of any desire to know more.

It wasn't hard to read because of the difficult subject matter and complicated sociological and legal questions. It was hard to read because Sam Brower is an overzealous ranting gasbag! Half red neck clown, half wanna be Mall cop, mostly media attention hound and all dumb ass! Sprinkle liberally with Al Sharpton type sermonizing on any side (usually bot...more
Fascinating topic, but the writing is purely awful. The subject shifts every half a page, which makes it seem unfocused and rather shallow. Brower repeats himself constantly, especially when he's plugging someone's book and particularly when he's describing his investigative prowess and general bad-assery (sic). Even the subtitle of the book is revealing. I didn't know it could be done, but Brower ironically attempts to upstage Warren Jeffs with his incessant braggadocio.
Parker Cole
Prophet's Prey is an in-depth view of how a man's lust for power, women, and godhood coincide to bring about the most atrocious and heinous acts perpetrated on children. The children in return grow up to allow the abuse to happen to their children.

The author chronicles his investigation into the FLDS. The polygamy sect is steeped in blind obedience to a man who is sick and twisted. The fact a man can give his twelve year old daughter to be his 'bride' shows just how much control Jeffs has over...more
Not the most well-written book ever, but it is a compelling true story about the FLDS and its "prophet" Warren Jeffs. The book was published in 2011 prior to Jeffs' Texas trial, now I want to know what has happened with the case and the church since then.
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Any decent non sensentionalist books on FLDS out there? 1 4 Feb 04, 2014 10:10AM  
  • When Men Become Gods: Mormon Polygamist Warren Jeffs, His Cult of Fear, and the Women Who Fought Back
  • Church of Lies
  • Lost Boy
  • Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement
  • Triumph
  • His Favorite Wife: Trapped in Polygamy
  • Secrets and Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy
  • The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in a Polygamous Mormon Sect
  • Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up in Polygamy
  • Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor's Story of Life and Death in the People's Temple
  • Daughters Of Zion: A Family's Conversion To Polygamy
  • God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation
  • Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith
  • A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown
  • Heaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult
  • Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement
  • No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith
  • Secret Ceremonies

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“To the narcissistic sociopath, a sexual experience is not about sex; it's about having complete control over his victims. They satisfy their sick compulsions by preying on vulnerable victims who they feel can most easily be manipulated and are least likely to expose their crimes. Warren needed the FLDS even more than the rebel religion needed a leader. His specialized psychosis was dependent on a unique religious hook that just would not work in the general population. In the outside world, he would never have been able to convince anyone to take him seriously. But with the FLDS predilection for blind religious obedience and submission to authority, he had the willing, captive audience that he needed, like a scientist needs labs rats.” 3 likes
“I believe that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior when it comes to religious fanaticism.” 1 likes
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