A hard-hitting documentary on the largest polygamous cult in the U.S., the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), located right on the Utah-Arizona border. This film shows how women and ... See full summary »





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Credited cast:
Laurie Allen ...
Linda Binder ...
Herself - Arizona Senator
Duffy Bistline ...
Himself - Evicted
Pam Black ...
Herself - Resident
Lori Chatwin ...
Herself - Resident
Ross Chatwin ...
Himself - Resident
Ruth Cooke ...
Herself - Escapee
Seth Cooke ...
Himself - Escapee
John Dougherty ...
Himself - Journalist
Gary Engels ...
Himself - Private Investigator
Dan Fischer ...
Himself (as Dr. Dan Fischer)
Terry Goddard ...
Himself - Arizona Attorney General
Sara Hammon ...
Herself - Escapee
Marilyn Jarrett ...
Elaine Jeffs ...
Herself - Escapee


A hard-hitting documentary on the largest polygamous cult in the U.S., the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), located right on the Utah-Arizona border. This film shows how women and girls are denied education and other civil rights, and are treated as slaves who are married off to the polygamous men of the cult. It investigates the role of Warren Jeffs, Head "Prophet" of the FLDS, and offers a searing indictment of his treatment of fellow cult members. It also addresses the lack of outrage from the mainstream Mormon church as well as the government's collective failure to take care of the problems that are plaguing many polygamists caught in this web of greed and deceit. See how a small group of courageous filmmakers managed to make their way into a town which shuns outsiders--particularly ones with movie cameras--and get damning testimonials from some of the women of this cult. Written by gctz1one

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28 May 2005 (USA)  »

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Referenced in Frontline: The Mormons Part 2 (2007) See more »

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It should have won an Oscar!
27 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Banking on Heaven is about the horrors of polygamy in Colorado City, Arizona where women as young as thirteen are forced into marriages with older men. You have seen the images lately as the siege in El Dorado, Texas at the other compound separated the children from their mothers who look like Laura Ingalls Wilder. First, the women are bred and born into this religion and believe what the prophet or leader has told them about the outside world. The women and children are equally suffering enough in the polygamist lifestyle while their husbands reap the benefits of a patriarchal system from another time and era. It's hard to believe that this is still going on in America but it is. As we hear about the children being ripped apart by their mothers who are as clueless in El Dorado, Texas, polygamy must be stopped more vigilantly even with the banned in the Mormon Church. The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints or FLDS believe that all others are gentiles even Mormons. I fear another Jonestown and if gay marriage (which I support) gets legalized that it would open the door to the legalization of polygamy. Laurie Allen does a remarkable job but it's not enough. This film should have won an Oscar. It should have been more publicized. Maybe because it's in our backyard, maybe Americans want the romanticized view of polygamy like in the show, Big Love. That's Hollywood! This is real. There is abuse of all sorts here. When you hear the former wives and mothers especially Ruth Cooke who was forced into exile because she wanted to save her daughter from sexual abuse and was placed in a mental hospital. On the streets, strangers such as beggars became her unlikely support. I found it interesting that the cast is not listed here. British born Arizona State Senator Linda Bader was in for awakening. We must not forget that the women and children are born and bred into this patriarchal dictatorship in America's backyard. The members are completely brainwashed as in Waco and Jonestown. Laurie Allen has first-hand experience. I admire her courage to bring polygamy to the forefront. Documentaries don't make money unless you're Michael Moore. This documentary was a labor of love for Laurie Allen and everybody involved. It should have won an Academy Award or have been nominated. They risked their lives to get the remarkable footage of the closed insular community of Colorado City, Arizona.

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