Inside The Order
August 7, 2011 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Not being a smartass here, but it seems every week there's another "most powerful polygamist cult in America." Interesting story.
posted by Mcable at 9:28 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

From Salt Lake, the Order controls some 100 businesses spread out over the Western states, from a casino in California to a cattle ranch in Nevada to a factory that makes lifelike dolls in Utah.

Specifics, please!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:29 AM on August 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

Thunder rolled ominiously in the distance. A thin drumbeat of rain fell on the West London rooftops as the commenter clacked expertly on the keyboard. A sigh escaped his lips.

"Why do Rolling Stone always have to start with a load of irrelevant crap as background colour?" he asked.

Why Can't They Get To the Point?

With a click and whir, the scroll-wheel of the trusty but off-brand Mikom mouse responded to his touch, scrolling quickly to the bottom of the page. Darting eyes sought out the key phrases. "Everyone knows it" "Some people say" "the constant fear has subsided".

Basically, they don't know dick about what happened, he realised.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:31 AM on August 7, 2011 [23 favorites]

People tend to dispute the level of welfare fraud in polygamous clans, but the fact remains that they practice a form of communism and they more often don't own their own houses or even claim their own wives. They also don't believe in paying property taxes by way of exploiting their permanently uncompleted housing units, nor do they pay their self-schooled and underage workers anything for work. This allows them to claim maximum food stamp benefits, which are cashed in polygamous owned stores. It's just a more sophisticated fraud that is run by only a very few at the top.
posted by Brian B. at 9:44 AM on August 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

To be fair, comfrey is an excellent herb for helping cuts heal.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:49 AM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Specifics, please!

Here you go. No idea which one makes the lifelike dolls.
posted by Ahab at 9:49 AM on August 7, 2011

When I saw the title I thought of this group.

He also shared his brother's fascination with herbs and natural medicine. He became particularly obsessed with a plant called comfrey, which he believed would protect his clan from the nuclear war that would usher in the apocalypse. He mandated that children should drink tea brewed from the herb every morning, and that Order members should feed it to their cows.

Is this sort of thing common among Mormons and or Utah citizens in general for whatever reason. The nutritional supplement industry is huge around Salt Lake City; they even have their own senator.
posted by TedW at 10:06 AM on August 7, 2011

Oh, boy. Another Mormons gone bad story. A subsection of the Ameri-trash series on the seamy underside of the good old USA.

The article refers to the White Horse Prophesy in a way that suggests the writer never did much research or fact checking. It's widespread and an article of faith among the LDS/JBS subculture. "Hanging by a thread," my ass.
posted by warbaby at 10:36 AM on August 7, 2011

Huh. All I have to do is change the names, and I've got a perfect evil organization for the next urban fantasy game I run.
posted by happyroach at 12:54 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

The article refers to the White Horse Prophesy in a way that suggests the writer never did much research or fact checking.

I noticed that too, as well as this bit: "They are paid not in cash but in scrip, an arcane form of credit used by the Mormon pioneers that can only be redeemed at company stores." As if this was somehow a uniquely Mormon practice in those times, and Sixteen Tons was an old Mormon tune. (And the way the article carefully aligns working in coal mines with being paid in scrip makes me curious if that's exactly true -- it's just too close.)

I find this doubly surprising because the journalist is a Mormon (he writes about that here) who graduated from Brigham Young (credentials listed on his website here).
posted by Houstonian at 4:20 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Scrip isn't a uniquely Mormon practice as far as I know. It's been used/abused by a lot of companies. It was really common during the Great Depression on farms to pay harvesters for one example. Very often the company stores that accepted the scrip were massively overpriced.

It's basically a form of serfdom or modern slavery.
posted by loquacious at 5:02 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

So someone has a Rolling Stone subscription?
posted by Uncle Grumpy at 6:40 PM on August 7, 2011

I was really interested in this story, and I wish the author had done more research. I suppose mainstream Mormons find it easy to dismiss the fun dies as just being weird, without looking too deeply into it.

The scrip strikes me as just a way of making sure that if anyone decides to leave, they've got no money anyone would accept in exchange for a bed or food.
posted by harriet vane at 9:04 PM on August 7, 2011

I suppose mainstream Mormons find it easy to dismiss the fun dies

I hereby pronounce this typo Better Than Correct.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

an article of faith

That the White Horse meme is widespread I do not dispute, but an article of faith? That implies that believing it is crucial to good standing. That may be the case in particular fundamentalist organizations, but it is certainly not the case in the mainstream church—see the statement under "Authenticity" in Wikipedia. If my church doesn't care whether I believe it or not, then it is no more an article of faith than supersymmetric physics is.
posted by eritain at 10:15 PM on August 7, 2011

"The White Horse Prophesy" always sounded like something from a Steven King novel to me.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:54 AM on August 8, 2011

The opening line of the post sounded like a Hardy Boys novel to me.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:26 AM on August 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

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