How many wives is too many wives?

Letters from the week of May 8, 2003

 Unsafe at Home

He's Gross, man: I am shocked, appalled and disgusted by John Grossman's treatment of his invalid wife ("Paralyzed in Paradise," Amy Silverman, May 1). As a domestic-abuse survivor myself, I believe Heather's story 100 percent. When you have no self-esteem, you are too afraid to tell anyone about how bad you get treated. Not only is it embarrassing, but the fear of retaliation from your abuser makes you fear for your life. Please explain to me why Mr. Grossman keeps a video monitoring system on his wife. Oh, I'm sure he'll say it's so he can make sure she's okay, but we all know that's not the case here. Rick Romley needs to have his head examined. If the prior police reports aren't enough to get this man arrested and put behind bars for the rest of his life, I don't know what is. Why, Mr. Romley, are the children so deathly afraid of this man? And can you tell me why they went through 50 nurses in a four-year period? Sound normal to you? Not to me. Unfortunately, what's happening here is one word: money. Because of Mr. Grossman's financial status, he can get away with murder, essentially. Do we need to wait until Heather is found decapitated and floating in a ditch somewhere before we act? Mr. Grossman is an insecure little boy who can only feel better about himself by berating his wife and those around him. I think that Mr. Grossman should move out of the country. This story is going to get a lot of people angry, and he should probably look over his shoulder.

Name withheld by request

Patients Be Damned

Stuck with the bill: I was totally appalled by this story ("Rent a Patient," Paul Rubin, April 24). I am a Blue Cross/Blue Shield customer. We have to depend on them to pay our bills, and they pay so little that we still end up owing hundreds of dollars. They never send us checks -- always to the medical center or the hospitals. So to see our insurance company penalize us for them being so stupid, I was really furious.

Judy Coerber
Phoenix

Wives Aplenty

So who's the Don?: John Dougherty's multi-part exposé on Arizona's polygamous communities opened my eyes ("Polygamists Probed," May 1). I was aware of some of the shenanigans of these groups, but I learned a great deal more about them, thanks to New Times.

Is a Mormon Mafia running the state? They are conditioned since early childhood to obey without question, and to lead, for the most part, exemplary lives in the community. Boys invariably join the scouts, and girls learn to be model housewives. Every detail in their lives is governed by someone in the LDS hierarchy. Eventually, while the women are busy with the mass production of babies, the men gravitate toward government at all levels. Some returned missionaries end up in federal agency billets, such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc., inasmuch as their patriotism and ability to follow orders are never questioned; many men, though, end up in local, county and state government, being assured of bloc voting power from their very supporting religionists. That explains Mecham, the Flakes, the Freestones, etc.

New Times could provide a valuable service by identifying the Mormons who rule Arizona, at all levels, to show how and why the governor is unable to take legal action against the freeloading polygamist cults in the Arizona Strip. Sure, they claim not to be alike in their practice, but there must be certain sympathy between the mainstream LDS and the breakaway faction, to the detriment of Arizona.

I look forward to your identification of the Mormons who rule over our state.

Name withheld by request

The obvious remedy?: As usual, John Dougherty has produced a masterwork of investigative journalism. It is great to see that at least one reporter in Arizona has the courage to speak the truth about this lawless polygamy cult.

The solution to the problem is so obvious nobody seems to be able to see it. CPS and law enforcement need to be in the polygamous communities, not coming in from outside. If there were a CPS office and police substation in Colorado City, they could observe the activities of the polygamists without being challenged by FLDS thugs whenever they enter town. At the same time, kids who want to escape that lifestyle would have a place to go for help.

I heard one girl describe her efforts to leave Colorado City. She packed a bag and actually got as far as Hurricane, Utah. She went into JB's restaurant and there her trip came to an end. She had never spoken to an "outsider." She didn't know how to ask for help. She ended up simply going back to Colorado City because it was the only life she knew. Clearly what is needed is to bring the functions of normal government to them, not in the form of a raid, but as a continuous presence.

Jim Ashurst
Henderson, Nevada

Gut check: If you are going to print the rantings of a bigot, the least you could do is require that his name be shown ("Righteous bothers," Letters, April 17). I use the masculine gender because that makes it easier for me to say that it is too bad that this coward did not meet my granddad who was a Mormon pioneer who settled in the upper Gila River valley in 1895. My grandfather would have first explained to this craven caitiff that as a devout member of his faith, he condemned polygamy and those who practiced it, particularly those who professed belief in the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but who had either been precluded from membership in the Church or had been excommunicated therefrom. My grandfather would have asked this pusillanimous poltroon to say to him what he was afraid to attach his name to. My granddad would then have delivered to this gutless wonder a physical lesson that would not soon be forgotten and might cause him to think twice before attacking that and those of which he is obviously ignorant. My granddad is long dead, but if this spineless snake is so inclined, I would be pleased to deliver my granddad's message for him.

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