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Leaving Bountiful

Country Available: Canada, USA

Bountiful, a community of approximately 1000 people just outside of Creston, British Columbia, was established in the late ‘50’s by the fundamentalist Church of The Latter Day Saints. The “bountiful” society believes that polygamy establishes everlasting life (for a man): the more wives he has in this life, the higher up the celestial ladder he climbs in the next.

Raised in Bountiful from the age of two, at 15, Debbie was “given in marriage” to 57 year-old Ray Blackmore. Even though she was his sixth wife, she was proud to marry a leader in the community. Ray’s son, Winston ruled Bountiful, had thirty wives and 80 children. He had complete control over every aspect of life: he was the church bishop, superintendent of the school, ran the businesses, edited the newspaper and was even allowed by local child welfare authorities to share control of reporting of abuse allegations.

Debbie’s life took a change for the worse when Ray died. The sect leaders “gave” Debbie in marriage three times, but when her third husband’s eyes moved to her 13 year old daughter, Memory Dawn, she snapped and filed a complaint with the RCMP.

This documentary follows Debbie as she loses all power, resources and grace within the community.  As her adversary tightens control, Debbie sets her house on fire, flees and ultimately becomes a crusader against what she calls the “illegal cross-border trade in Canadian and American female children for sexual and breeding purposes.”

View a printer friendly version of this page...Copyright Date: 2002 Closed Captioned Length: 48 minutes Library Audience:
  • General Interest
  • Personal Development
  • School Audience:
  • Grades 9 - 12
  • Post Secondary Education
  • Subjects:
  • Developmental Studies
  • Multicultural and Religious Studies
  • Formats Available:
  • VHS Tape
  • DVD