“Jan had probably the most ebulent personality I ever saw,” Bob Broberg says to begin the film. It is a difficult task, ten hours of video that millions will see. He meant to say ebullient. Yes it is exploitative.
There is a big part of me that wants to say they all got what they deserved. That is what happens when you go to Pocatello to film LDS/country bumkins. And for each of the families involved, they walked right into it.
It is at that point that I have to take a step back and recognize the source of the problem. Bob and Mary Ann are too chicken to come forward because they are afraid of exposing their own”dirty laundry” in terms of Berchtold. They also do not want to snitch on their own in terms of the LDS; this includes the roundabout logic that everyone in the church is a good family person.
It is not clear if the Brobergs are up to handling this consciously or cognitively, but what lies at the roots of it is that they are unaware/poor parents and their–indeed the whole LDS family community–is a myth. They were not paying attention at all in letting Jan be alone with Berchtold and their own family was coming apart because of it. Then they inexplicably tolerated escalation after escalation of his advances. They refused to provide a proper upbringing for her so that as an adult she could make her own decisions.
Church-sanctioned pedophilia is nothing new, but with Mormonism it is even more ingrained. This is not just because of historic polygamy and beliefs surrounding women, child-bearing, and the home. The LDS church must stand for families because that is their marketing hook. Families mean less attrition and continuous new member indoctrination. The numbers, including financial well-being, require the constant recruitment of members.
Forget the brainwashing, both in terms of the LDS church and aliens and child rape.
Polygamy is illegal in the United States as is making such advances (e.g., kidnapping, drugging, and sexual contact) toward a child. It is one of those things that, if it happens, you are guilty (strict liability). There is no such thing as consent.
If you have no moral or ethical guidance, or if you have an attention problem, follow the law. It is there for a reason. Smart people put a lot of effort into it.