Smart's Journey to a Mormon-Style Underworld

Smart's Journey to a Mormon-Style Underworld

This week, Elizabeth Smart, who in 2002 was kidnapped from her family home at the age of fourteen and held captive as a "plural wife" for nine months by self-styled Mormon prophet Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee, returned from serving a voluntary Mormon proselytizing mission in Paris, France, to testify against her captors in federal court.

Smart's testimony reads like the transcript of a journey into the underworld: make that a Mormon-style underworld, saturated by a mind-bending mash-up of scripture, obscure prophecies, profaned temple ceremonies, and abusive plural marriage, as well as forays into the strange urban subculture where Salt Lake City's ravers, absinthe-drinkers, street people, and mental illness sufferers mix.

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