Polygamist Groups in Salt Lake City and Utah

From Deseret News and Associated Press - 4/24/99

      Some 25,000 Utah residents are involved in polygamy, says Lt. Mike King of the attorney general's criminal division.

      The most prominent groups are based on early Mormon doctrine, and there are two basic types: generational and convert groups.

      The generational groups have been around longer. An older patriarch is in charge and they do not actively recruit new members. Such groups sometimes accept new members, but they are generally kept at arm's length.

      The convert groups have younger leaders, often a man who has abandoned or been excommunicated from a generational group. Such groups are trying to build Zion on earth and need money, King said.

      Most polygamist clans require members to turn over their possessions to holding companies, which enjoy nonprofit status as religious groups.

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced polygamy in its early years, but renounced it in 1890. It was outlawed by the Utah Constitution as a precondition for statehood in 1896.

      The following are brief descriptions of the state's prominent polygamist groups, based on information from King and other sources:

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Page Modified April 24, 1999