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Polygamy's Lost Boys

Country Available: Canada, USA

As a boy, it was Ben Blackmore's dream to play professional hockey.   That dream has died along with most every other hope Ben had for the future.   He has little education, a dead-end job, a wife he didn't choose and four young children.

When Ben left the polygamous fundamentalist Mormon group in Bountiful, BC, it was like freefalling into another galaxy. Ben is one of Polygamy's Lost Boys -   hundreds of boys and young men who've either been kicked out of the Fundamentalist Mormon church or, profoundly disillusioned, left of their own accord.

They grew up in the closed communities of Bountiful, British Columbia and Colorado City, which straddles the Utah-Arizona border. This is a society where a child has no individual identity.   It is supplanted by blind obedience.   They emerge uneducated, unworldly and unwanted.   Some are damned by their religion, denied by their families. Others are still puppets of their religion's powerbrokers, working to support a church that doesn't support them.

The official name for the church is Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - FLDS.   When the mainstream Mormon Church in Utah renounced polygamy in 1890 to gain statehood, the Fundamentalists carried on with their core belief: one man, multiple wives.   The more wives a man has on this earth, the higher he climbs the celestial ladder in heaven.   As children reach puberty, the church's leader dictates who will marry whom.    The group's powerful elders end up with most of the girls, leaving a surplus of virile young men.   Polygamy's Lost Boys tells the stories of three boys from that "surplus," as they struggle to survive in the world they were raised to believe is wicked.

Ben Blackmore, 26, is a nephew of Winston Blackmore, the former powerful Bishop of Bountiful and, to many of the faithful, still the true leader of the fundamentalist Mormon faith in Canada.   Ben is one of 14 children born to his father's two wives.

Ray Blackmore, 20, is also Winston Blackmore's nephew - and Ray's cousin.   He is one of 29 children born to his father's three wives.

Tom Sam Steed 20 was born into Fundamentalist Mormon royalty and came of age in Colorado City, under the harsh rule of current supreme leader, Warren Jeffs.   He's one of 30 children born to his father's eight wives.

Their struggle is set against a dramatic backdrop which threatens to engulf the Fundamentalist Mormon Church: the volatile political clash between the church's two leaders, Warren Jeffs in the United States and Winston Blackmore in Canada.  

Jeffs, on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List was arrested in August in Las Vegas. He stands accused of child sexual abuse, rape and racketeering.    American authorities have frozen church assets   - reputed to be more than a 100 million dollars.   In Canada, the RCMP is investigating Winston Blackmore.    Many of his companies are in financial trouble.   The faithful have been forced to choose sides and families within the church have been ripped apart.

Polygamy's Lost Boys explores the impact of the leaders' feud on polygamy's discarded boys. The boys are poorly educated, but far from stupid. The dissonance between the family-first values they've been taught all their lives and the values lived by their leaders becomes too much to swallow. Viewers will see how the clash of titans helps transform blindly obedient boys into questioning, critical thinking young men.  

And their transformation will rock the Church that so devalued them.  

View a printer friendly version of this page...Copyright Date: 2006 Closed Captioned Length: 50 minutes Library Audience:
  • General Interest
  • Personal Development
  • School Audience:
  • Grades 9 - 12
  • Post Secondary Education
  • Subjects:
  • Developmental Studies
  • Multicultural and Religious Studies
  • Formats Available:
  • DVD