-A Fistful of Kingston Dollars

-A Brief History of Kingston: part two

-Those Darn Kingstons

-It's A Kingston Life

-A Brief History of Kingston: part one

Liz Smart

-Crackpot Theories

-Life of Brian Mitchell_

Weird and Wonderful


A Brief History of Kingston, part two

The media pig-piled on the hapless Kingston Clan. Local newspapers like The Salt Lake Tribune and The Ogden Standard Examiner ran an endless stream of exposes. Even out-of-state papers like The Rocky Mountain News and The San Jose Mercury News got in on the act. Salon and Time magazines ran in depth stories. The Kingstons, after years of obscurity, were news.

Rowenna Erickson was willing to tell tales about her Kingston ordeal to anyone that would listen. "Ex-members" dished up the dirt to reporters with wanton abandon. Everything Kingston became fair game for the starved media.

Countless stories about teenage brides, incest convictions, and business holdings filled newspapers.

For the most part, the Kingstons hunkered down in siege mode and kept their mouths shut. Maybe they hoped the feeding frenzy would play out and they could get on with the business of acquiring wealth and wedding relatives away from the steely gaze of the public.

Elden Kingston, owner of record of several Kingston enterprises like Rocky Mountain Coin, did give a faxed interview to The Rocky Mountain News. He claimed the Kingstons were just plain folks trying to make their way in the world.

"If you ever got to know me, you would see that I put my pants on one leg at a time, the same as you," Elden Kingston claimed in the article. " I follow the Denver Nuggets, Broncos, Utah Jazz and other sporting events. I pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in state, local and federal taxes, and I try to comply with all the laws."

Just an ordinary guy!

Usually, the best the media can hope for is a terse response from Carl E. Kingston, clan leader Paul Kingston's brother and the lawyer handling most of the Kingstons' woes. more>>


A Fistful of Kingston Dollars

The chances are, if you live in Beehive state, you have done business with the Kingstons. Bought sodas from their vending machines, shopped at their stores, played one of their pinball or video games, rented an apartment, purchased restaurant supplies from them, heated yourself with their coal.

Kingston-owned businesses pepper the state. If someone is a Utah resident, they have put cash into Kingston pockets. The tangled thread of business ownership is like the Gordian knot. Trying to unravel it, a feat worthy of Alexander the Great.

This much is known, the Kingston empire stretches across at least six states and is valued at $150 to $170 million. Many insiders put that dollar estimate much higher. These polygamists are worth some big bucks.

Pubic records show the clan affiliated with 48 businesses in Salt Lake County alone. Tax records reveal $3.3 million in commercial and residential real estate holdings owned by the Kingston entity World Enterprises, which shares the same 53 West Angelo address as The Davis County Cooperative Society (a.k.a. The Latter Day Church of Christ a.k.a. the Kingston Clan). Many Kingston businesses are listed at this nondescript building on Angelo.

The Kingstons even own the 160,000-acre Wine Cup Ranch in northern Nevada, once the property of actor Jimmy Stewart. Merlin Kingston runs a massive cattle operation known as Holtz Inc. from the palatial ranch. more>>


Who Are The Kingstons?

The Kingston Clan is one of the biggest success stories in Mormon splinter group history. While other Utah polygamous clans were making news with bloody purges and stand-offs against the federal government, the Kingstons remained under the radar, acquiring teenage wives and wealth.

The media's roving eye often focused on groups like the FLDS in Hildale, Utah or the crazed Lafferty brothers' murderous spree. National new services regaled us with lurid tales of Ervil LaBaron and that former spokesman for fun-loving polygamy, Tom Greene. The Kingston Clan was left alone to count the dollars rolling in from its voluminous business holdings, unheralded - out of the public eye.

All that changed in May 1998 when sixteen-year-old Mary Ann Kingston put in a call to the Box Elder County Sheriffs. The teenager had stumbled over seven miles in search of a phone after escaping from the clan-owned Washakie Ranch near Plymouth in northern Utah. MORE>>



It's A Kingston Life

The beliefs and religious practices of the Kingstons have remained a murky affair. Despite intense media and law enforcement scrutiny since 1998, little is known about the tenets of the Latter Day Church of Christ (a.k.a. the Kingston Clan).

Most of this due to a centralized leadership that allows few into its inner circle. Church leadership and "higher" religious tenets seems to be delegated among seven brothers, all sons of the first wife of former church patriarch, John Ortell Kingston. It is a sweet deal if you can get it. MORE>>



A Brief History of Kingston: Part One

It all began in the great depression. The unemployment rate in Utah had reached 60 percent, far higher than the national average. Roosevelt's New Deal was years from fruition, and relief seemed an unattainable ideal. No one had work. Charles Elden Kingston saw all this and wondered how to end the suffering. In 1935 he had a vision, a revelation from God that would put all things in order and foist the Kingston Clan on the west.

Like his counterpoint, Joseph Smith, the story of his epiphany is a maze of conflicting reports. The exact nature of the revelation, or even where this defining moment took place, varies with the teller.

Charles Elden Kingston, founder of the clan.

One version has Charles Elden praying near a cave in Bountiful, Utah when God informed him he had to start a religion based on Fundamentalist Mormonism, including polygamy, a practice outlawed in the orthodox church since the 1890s.

Others claim Charles Elden's father, Charles W. Kingston, authored a tract in 1931 that championed the fundamentalist canard that former Mormon president John Taylor had set aside a select group. These elected were charged to keep polygamy alive even though the church was publicly distancing itself in a bid for Utah statehood.

Charles Elden was just following in dear-old dad's footsteps when he launched The Davis County Cooperative Society (a.k.a. the Latter Day Church of Christ a.k.a. the Kingston Clan) in 1935. MORE>>


Crackpot Theories about Liz Smart

Only a few hours after Brian David Mitchell snuck in through window of the ritzy Federal Heights home on June 5, 2002 and abducted Elizabeth Smart, theories about the kidnapping began flying around Salt Lake.

And not only in Utah. Elizabeth Smart was a national obsession. With the arrival of the tabloids on the scene the rumors began to fly, the wilder the better.

Everyone had an opinion. She was killed by a family member and the kidnapping was a cover up. She was a runaway. A crazed psychopath had abducted her for unspeakable purposes. The lurid nature of the crime excited the darkest revulsion and titillation in the nation's collective unconscious. More>>

The Life, Times, Wit, and Wisdom of Brian David Mitchell

Before his metamorphosis into mad Mormon street prophet Immanuel David Isaiah, collector of plural wives, David Brian Mitchell, to all appearances, led a fairly straight-laced LDS life. Closer examination reveals the cracks that led to one of the nation's most notorious abductions. It is a story that is pure Utah to its core.

Mitchell was born Oct. 18, 1953 in Salt Lake City. Like all six of the Mitchell children, he was delivered in the parents' small home just south of Parley's canyon.

Neighbors remember the Mitchells as a frugal, little weird, but devout Mormon family. They were a vegetarian bunch, being served only meals of whole-wheat bread and steamed vegetables. No Happy Meals for these guys.

It seems father Shirl had some strange ideas about child rearing. He has claimed his son was a "maladjusted misfit," but his own child rearing practices probably had much to do with his son's peccadilloes. MORE>>