For more than a year, news accounts have portrayed the Fundamentalist Mormon community at Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, as a cesspool of sexual molestation, open rebellion against the law, welfare thievery, and potentially another Waco or Jonestown. These characterizations have been made by embittered former members, politicians, muckraking journalists, and a writer of wilderness and mountain-climbing books. The only people with access to the community who have come to their defense have been their Salt Lake City attorneys. Since the January 2004 excommunication of Colorado City Mayor Dan Barlow and others in what appears to be a power struggle, no one inside the community has effectively presented his or her viewpoint. I am quite familiar with these communities, considering myself sympathetic with but not uncritical of their situation and recent events. I do not claim to have all the answers but will share a number of observations, strong impressions, and historical insights into what is happening.
Ken Driggs, Hillary Groutage