I need a vat of vodka to swallow this shit….

So I was reading, for the first time, about young Thomas Larsen, an innocent young man who fell in love with a fair young Mormon girl and desired to marry her. Anybody who has read anything about the FLDS religion and how they cast out young men who might vie with the old creepy guys for the sisterwives, can just about guess what happens here.

Only it’s worse. Apparently, he was pretty intent on marrying his bride, and didn’t really care what Bishop Warren S. Snow desired. What Bishop Snow desired, apparently, was the young girl. Surprise, surprise! And when the boy didn’t give in and give up his love for the girl, or his desire to marry her, Bishop Snow decided to make sure he would NEVER be much use to ANY woman, except possibly for mowing the lawn, and feeding the chickens and stuff like that.

Yup, the Bish had him CASTRATED!!

Now, Mormons, before you get all up in arms here, and accuse me of making this shit….er, stuff…. up, just take a minute and research it, and you will find that all these facts are true. What changes between the Mormon story and the real story just amounts to how you spin it.

For example, on the FairWiki Board, I found this information.


* I have read about a group of men (LDS) that went around castrating immoral men (who were also LDS) with the express permission of local church leaders. These events supposedly happened during the Brigham Young’s administration. It is claimed that Brigham was aware of and approved of this and may have given the order. What can you tell me about this?
* I read that missionaries who selected plural wives from female converts before allowing church leaders to select from them first were castrated.

See also: Source(s) of the criticism

Critics (often relying on D. Michael’s Quinn’s treatment) have over-simplified and sensationalized this event. Critics claim that Bishop Warren S. Snow forcibly castrated twenty-four-year-old Thomas Lewis, whose “crime” was wanting to marry a young woman that was desired by an older man as a plural wife. Critics also claim that Brigham Young wrote in a letter his approval after the fact in 1857.

The full story gives a somewhat different picture of these events. Warren Snow’s biographer explains the matter thusly:

1. These events occurred during the Mormon Reformation, when inflammatory rhetoric called for harsh punishment for sin and crime. For Brigham the time for the actual implementation of such punishment was not yet, and partly hyperbole designed to stir a sinful population to improvement. Some listeners like Snow got confused and took things literally.
2. The rumor that Lewis was being punished for competing against an older polygamist is likely false. Kathryn Daynes gives another example where Brigham Young advised a young woman to marry a single, young man against her parents wishes that she marry a older polygamist. [citation needed]
3. Even if there is an element of truth in point #2, Lewis was being transported to the penitentiary for a sexual crime. He was not an innocent who was attacked simply for desiring a marriage.
4. While being transported at night, Snow and his gang secretly intercepted Lewis and carried out the castration.
5. Joseph Young (Brigham’s brother) of the Presidents of the Seventy later learned about the incident and was incensed and “entirely disapproved” of it.
6. When Brigham Young heard about Lewis’ sex crime and the punishment, he reiterated his stance that the time for such measures was still in the future, and not to be implemented in the here-and-now.
7. Brigham did not think Warren Snow did what was right, but felt Warren was “trying to do right” and that he should be sustained in his calling as Bishop.
8. Warren wanted Brigham to write a letter to members in Sanpete county to explain Warren’s action. Brigham declined to do, indicating that that would make matters worse. “Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it and it will soon die away amongst the people,” Brigham counseled.
9. Snow’s life and experience had given him a “violent and vengeful world view,” which helps in understanding his decision to attack and maim Lewis.
10. Federal marshals and judges were aware of the Lewis incident, and sought Snow’s capture. However, they were eventually instructed by political leaders in Washington to let the matter drop. It was a Gentile political decision not to prosecute Snow for his actions.[1]

A second such event?

One other event from journals in 1859 reports an unnamed bishop supposedly castrating someone because they wanted to marry their girlfriend. Snow is named by one source in the 1859 account; given Brigham’s reaction to the first event, it seems unlikely that Snow would do the same thing again.

His inclusion in an account of the second event may well be due to conflation, which may demonstrate how unusual such events were. It may be that rumor and frontier “urban legend” confused the Snow story with the passage of time.

As a presiding Bishop, Snow became increasingly unpopular with members in his area, and by 1860 was accused of malfeasance with tithing funds. Snow admitted to mismanagement, but denied any attempt to willfully defraud the Church. (The same patience for Snow’s weaknesses was also manifested in this case; he was forgiven by his congregation and the general authorities, even while they still insisted that he bore responsibility for his mismanagement.)

The Lewis affair was much talked about among Snow’s critics in 1860; it may be that the rumor mill was already in motion by 1859.[2]

There are no names given for the 1859 “event,” and it is not known if this was just rumor, or who the participant(s) and victim were.
Hosea Stout diary

There is an account in Hosea Stout’s diary which reads:

Saturday 27 Feb. 1858: “This evening several persons disguised as Indians entered Henry Jones’ house and dragged him out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square & close amputation.”

Jones was later killed, and the anti-Mormon newspaper Valley Tan printed an affidavit from Nathaniel Case claiming that Jones’ bishop had plotted his death with several other members.[3] If true, Jones was not attacked for trying to marry someone, but for adultery with a prostitute. Reportedly, the murder of Jones and his mother sprang from accusations of incest.[4]

There is no evidence linking the attack on Jones to anyone but local members. Joseph Hancock was found guilty of second degree murder in 1890.[5]

The castrated males were guilty of sexual assault or incest, not merely competing for a woman’s affections.

Despite these sexual crimes or perversions, Brigham and other Church leaders did not approve the action taken by the local members.

Critics try to use these as an example of a “tip of the iceberg,” problem, implying that many such extra-legal castrations occurred in Utah, and that the Church or its doctrines or leaders are somehow to blame. Such a characterization is unfair.

Given that in the 19th century there was a common tendency among non-Mormons for “frontier justice” to be carried out extra-legally, especially in the case of sexual crimes, its occurrence in areas far from central Church control on one or two occasions is not particularly surprising.

Heh heh heh. Those FAIR peeps are so damn funny.

I especially like this one.

1. These events occurred during the Mormon Reformation, when inflammatory rhetoric called for harsh punishment for sin and crime. For Brigham the time for the actual implementation of such punishment was not yet, and partly hyperbole designed to stir a sinful population to improvement. Some listeners like Snow got confused and took things literally.

This is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Inflammatory RHETORIC? Snow got confused and TOOK THINGS LITERALLY?

Inflammatory rhetoric called for harsh punishment? Have these people even READ any of Brigham’s diatribes from this time? Brigham Young was all about the blood atonement, and the more blood spilled the better. How the fuck do you spin castration? I picture every guy reading this blog right now squirming uncomfortably, even those who want to immediately jump to Brigham’s defense.

Old Brother Brig was not fucking around when he talked about blood atonement.

Anybody who says he is must have gone a little soft in the head. Or maybe a little soft in other parts, hence the defense of those who would castrate strapping, vital young men, just because they can’t get it up anymore.

So, here again, I spotlight Brutal Brigham in ways that are pretty damn hard to spin. Remember folks, these are HIS WORDS. Not twisted. Not taken out of context. JUST QUOTED. How unique.

There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world. ….I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves, and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God….It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit…. (President Brigham Young, Deseret News, Sept. 21, 1856, page 235 (285?); very similar to Journal of Discourses 4:53-54).

Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins, and be received into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; and under such circumstances, I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her heart, and I would do it with clean hands. (President Brigham Young, March 16, 1856, Journal of Discourses, 3:247).

I could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain, in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are now angels to the devil, until our elder brother Jesus Christ raises them up­­conquers death, hell, and the grave. I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. (President Brigham Young, February 8, 1857, Journal of Discourses, 4:220).

And this is the man the FairTards are saying did not mean these things to be taken LITERALLY? Puhleeezzze. And this, folks, is why I write about Mormonism. You can take the girl out of Mormonism, but you can ALSO take the Mormonism out of the girl, especially when she has half a brain.


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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10 Responses to I need a vat of vodka to swallow this shit….

  1. uzza says:

    Wow. I never knew about this (and I was married to a mormon for thirteen years)
    Thank you for posting it.


  2. WendyP. says:

    This was one of the incidences that I researched back in 2003 that finally got me to throw out the garments and get on with my life. Brigham Young was vile. His own words testify to this over and over.


  3. K*tty says:

    I agree, Wendy. This was one of many. So many “good” Mormons don’t even know that Joseph Smith practiced Polygamy. And if they do know, most think it was in name only. When I was leaving the church and was asked if I stilled believed Smith was a prophet of God, I said, “No way, and as a matter of fact, I don’t even like or respect the man.” He was a major cheater and blamed the Lord. You’ve got to love his gall.


  4. Walrus says:

    When i read his last quotes, it took me back to the old testament…why did God command that adulturers be stoned? (and others for lesser deeds?) If one commits an unpardonable sin…like murder…then if they don’t pay for it with their own life, the sin is upon their own head, and they will be unredeemed. When a population achieves a high standard of morality and living then strict consequences are introduce to keep the line straight. As it is, our society has degraded to the point where God allows divorce due to the hardness of our hearts, and minds. Other such laws and consequences have been laxed for the love of his children…though I know not what the eternal consequences might be.
    In 2010, spearing someone for adultry simply wouldn’t do…half our population would be wiped out…If you think of Brigham Young in a 2010 mentality, it doesn’t work. Pretty simple. If you can’t understand the era, then you cannot understand the man, nor his words.
    I didn’t see the quote saying men ought to be castrated…though i feel our society WOULD benefit if sexual deviants were some how treated in that way…if a man were a repeat rapist, for instance. Cut them off…he need not harm another. If he uses other methods, let other methods be employed. His ‘right’ as a human would supercede the rights of future victims, though, and I’m labeled an extremist. Pretty extreme, i do admit…but so is rape. Christ said, “if your right hand offendeth you, cut it off, your left eye…pluck it out” …more symbolic but if you have NO selfcontrol, it’s better that a limb is lost then eternal damage be continued


  5. Worm says:

    WTF Walrus…are you actually defending blood atonement? We’re not talking Old Testament eye for an eye, we are talking about his followers committing sins that he recognized as unforgivable and being sacraficed for those sins so they can be saved according to BY’s beliefs.


  6. Retief says:

    Yeah these two stories are exactly the same. “Powerful man castrates rival for girl’s affections, and prophet approves” is exactly the same thing as “vigilantes castrate convicted rapist, prophet disapproves” Who could imagine arguing that there’s any difference between them?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tammy says:

    I am very interested in the beginnings of the mormon church. I was born into a mormon family and have had sex with my dad and all five of my brothers. I’m curious how common incest is in the mormon community. I think maybe we should castrate all the old dudes coveting the young and beautiful girls. Me? I was brought up to be a prositute in my own family from the early age of five.


  8. ehartsay says:

    Suppose you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of them, you would be justified

    I’m guessiing if the genders were switched, the wife would just be expected to smile and put up with the husband doign her sister?


  9. Natalie says:

    Tammy, uh, well, not sure what to say here but CALL THE POLICE. This is criminal.

    And get a good counselor.


  10. anti mormon says:

    mormons are freaks and have committed many crimes. this sect should be vanished


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