Synopses & Reviews
This disturbing expos examines how the powerful Mormon Church tried to destroy the Salt Lake Tribune
, a voice that had long been critical of many of its activities and its secrets. The author, a Mormon and a journalist who once worked for the Tribune
, tells a story of secret deals, behind-the-scenes backstabbing, and manipulation of the political and legal systems by a church that controls the politics of Utah.
Based on many interviews and extensive research, the book describes the history of enmity between the Church and the newspaper, which came to a head in 2000. In that year, the Tribune reopened an investigation into an 1857 murder of a wagon train of 120 men, women, and children passing through Utah. The Mountain Meadow Massacre had been conducted by highly-placed church members and historians have said it was condoned by Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormon Church.
The published stories intensified efforts by the Church to kill the newspaper. When a hedge fund took ownership of the Tribune, the Church in 2013 saw an opportunity to take advantage and ensure the paper's demise. Just as the paper appeared to be going under, a small group of citizens became the David that took down the Mormon Goliath and delivered the Pulitzer Prize-winning paper to a steady local owner who is willing to fight for its long-term survival.
This is a cautionary tale about the dangers of mingling church and state and the ways in which big money can threaten the freedom of the press.