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Behind the Cloak of Polygamy:

Ms. asks what really goes on in fundamentalist-Mormon cults

like the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas

 

As a grand jury in Texas investigates reports of child abuse at the Yearning for Zion ranch near El Dorado , the summer issue of Ms. magazine-on newsstands 7/29/08 -features a cutting look at fundamentalist cults.

According to writer Andrea Moore-Emmett, an expert in polygamy cults and author of the book God's Brothel , women and children in cults face complete servitude to husbands and fathers, arranged marriages for young girls, incest, violence and hard labor. Claims of religious and parental rights, says the author, can be a cloak for abusive and criminal behavior-and those rights must sometimes be outweighed by the need to protect women and children.

Moore-Emmett has interviewed dozens of women, adolescents, children and men who formerly lived or are currently living in fundamentalist Mormon and polygamous Christian families. "It's hard to explain to someone what it feels like to be enslaved," said one of her interviewees.

Note to editors: Author Andrea Moore-Emmett is available for interviews.