• The Colony

  • Faith and Blood in a Promised Land
  • By: Sally Denton
  • Narrated by: Ann Richardson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the morning of November 4, 2019, a caravan of women and children was ambushed by masked gunmen on a desolate stretch of road in northern Mexico controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel. Firing semi-automatic weapons, the attackers killed nine people and gravely injured five more. The victims were members of the LeBaron and La Mora communities-fundamentalist Mormons whose forebears broke from the LDS Church and settled in Mexico when their religion outlawed polygamy in the late nineteenth century. The massacre produced international headlines for weeks, and prompted President Donald Trump to threaten to send in the US Army.

In The Colony, Sally Denton delves into the complex story of the LeBaron clan. Their homestead—Colonia LeBaron—is a portal into the past, a place that offers a glimpse of life within a polygamous community on an arid and dangerous frontier in the mid-1800s, though with smartphones and machine guns. Rooting her narrative in written sources as well as interviews with anonymous women from LeBaron itself, Denton unfolds an epic, disturbing tale that spans the first polygamist emigrations to Mexico through the LeBarons' internal blood feud in the 1970s and up to the family's recent alliance with the NXIVM sex cult, whose now-imprisoned leader, Keith Raniere, may have based his practices on the society he witnessed in Colonia LeBaron.

©2022 Sally Denton (P)2022 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Colony

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

perfect for fans of Under the Banner of Heaven

Great book about a recent event that was covered entirely without nuance at the time. What happened when a Mormon family was slaughtered in Mexico is still not known but there is a lot more to the story than we will ever know.

1 person found this helpful

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More surface level than I would have expected

It’s a good oral history of Mormonism, but I was expecting a deeper dive into the experience of those who have left, plural wives without legal rights, children from these families, etc. The book left me wanting to hear more from the women who have actually been there.

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Great story, tolerable narrator

Having read Jon Krakauer's *Under the Banner of Heaven,* I was highly motivated to listen to this well reviewed book. Terrific content! However, the narrator's slow, light voice lacked all authority, even when sped up to 1.10 rate. Her voice is much better suited to children's literature.

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Interesting story, well told

I learnt a lot. It was very interesting and kept me engaged. I recommend it for true crime or documentary fans.

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Fascinating story...terrible narration

This well-researched story of why several Mormon women and children were murdered on a road in Mexico is engrossing, going back to the founding of the LDS church and its historical splinterings and internal debates over polygamy and other doctrinal issues. The intersections of this history with Mexican politics, American society, and international drug cartels are grim. The quality of Sally Denton's writing and research kept me listening to the end. HOWEVER...this narrator did not seem to care about this story at all. Her flat narration, bored tone, and frequent mispronunciation of Spanish words made me grit my teeth all the way through the book.

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Excellent blend of Mormon history and true crime

Seamlessly blends Mormon history with lesser-known aspects of polygamous clans in Mexico and their connections to Mexican politics, El Chapo Guzman, and the famous NEXVIUM cult. A must for fans of Under the Banner of Heaven.

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Full of lies

I know a lot of the story and most of this book is a bunch of lies

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Did not like

Not a great reader or story. Very disappointed. Would like to return but cannot find how.

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Terrible.

This book is a detailed history about Mormonism masquerading as a non fiction crime. Don’t waste your credit