ARIZONA: The Great Love-Nest Raid

The Mormon Church outlawed polygamy 63 years ago, but tiny outlaw cults, defiantly devoted to plural marriage, have gone on springing up in out-of-the-way corners of the Southwest ever since. Back in the '30s half a dozen renegade Mormon fundamentalists and their women trekked into one of the wildest and loneliest areas left in the U.S.—the unpoliced, almost uninhabited strip of tumbled, gorge-cut Arizona desert north of the Grand Canyon. They settled there at the little shack town of Short Creek, beneath high red cliffs named the Towers of Tummurru.

By 1942, the colony was formally organized as the United Effort,...

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