Trashing the Mormons -- via the book "Blood of the Prophets"

Adam Levenstein cleon42 at
Fri Aug 30 14:32:30 MDT 2002

--- Hunter Gray <hunterbadbear at> wrote:
> Blood of the Prophets -- and its flare-up media hype -- are
> reminiscent of
> the 1998 Christy Turner book, Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in
> the
> Prehistoric American Southwest and the big play it briefly got before
> all
> Indians and virtually all Anthros [among many others] shot it down.
> Man
> Corn claimed -- with no proof -- that the peaceful Anasazi of 800-900
> years ago were practicing cannibals -- and Turner sought to link them
> with
> far away, alleged Toltec "witchcraft."

What Turner claimed was that there was cannibalism practiced at one
time in the Anasazi community. He never claimed that it was widespread
or long-lived, and his evidence was fairly compelling--if memory
serves, it consisted of human proteins found in coprolites (feces) that
normally wouldn't be there--unless they arrived by consuming human
flesh. Furthermore, he found cuts on human bones from the period that
looked suspiciously like marks found on butchered animals.

His theory (again, working from memory) was that a group of people from
central Mexico arrived and took power, however briefly, and cannibalism
was a ritual part of that power base. (Think about it--seeing a guy who
a week ago was stirring rebellion cooked in a stew and served to the
Guys in Charge would scare the hell out of anyone.) His evidence on the
Central Mexico connection were the remains found of individuals with
teeth filed to sharp points, similar to remains found in period Mexican

Personally, I don't think it implied any moral judgement upon the
Anasazi, and tells a rather fascinating tale if true. I don't
particularly care to judge an entire civilization as "warlike" or, for
that matter, "peace-loving," as it is a broad generalization that
doesn't take into account changing society attitudes over time. Even
so, if Turner's theory is true, it shows the Anasazi as victims, not

In any event, I have to agree with Jim on his characterization of the
Mormon Church. For starters, this is a cult that is unquestionably
founded on racist ideology, and only recently did someone have a
"vision" telling him that racism wasn't such a hot idea after all.
Second, how many Natives did these people exterminate in order to found
their Deseret? Third, their entire ideal of polygamy (which, like their
racism, was changed for practical rather than religious reasons)
objectified women in the most extreme manner possible. Sure, individual
Mormons might be decent enough--hell, I know a couple of decent
Baptists--but this cult (and it is a cult) is reactionary in the


Adam Levenstein                          cleon42 at
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