The misery memoir of a devoted polyamorist

The rules of sex can kill. In 1844 an angry mob shot Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, for his polygamous ways. But in the counterculture today, polyamorists face less of a physical threat and more of a metaphysical one, as chronicled by the journalist Rachel Krantz in her tortured book Open: An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation and Non-Monogamy. At its heart it’s the dark tale of a vulnerable woman falling for a manipulative man who slowly sucks the soul and marrow out of her. I wondered: why write this book, Rachel? You’re on the path to healing, so why peel your skin off with your nib and present

What Mormons like me really believe

As one of the 200,000 British members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my heart doesn’t leap when I hear about a new documentary made about us. Such films tend not to be flattering. But here’s the puzzle: if our faith is really based on nonsense, why is it growing? Why would people like me convert? If you can bear with me, I’d like to say a bit about who we are — and what we are not. We’re followers of Jesus Christ (i.e. Christians). Our scripture is the Bible. We also believe that the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ, revealed to Joseph Smith

Damian Thompson

The troubling history of Mormonism

The new three-part Netflix series Murder Among the Mormons is attracting big audiences, and deservedly so. Finally someone has made a major documentary about Mark Hofmann, the squeaky-voiced Mormon nerd who was both the most brilliant document-forger in history and a psychopathic murderer. In the early 1980s, the young Hofmann manufactured a series of documents that portrayed its prophet Joseph Smith — the discoverer of the ‘gold plates’ that supposedly described a great Israelite civilisation in America — as a conman up to his ears in the occult. In 1985, panicking that he was about to be discovered, he blew up two Mormons with pipe bombs, was caught by police