Rulon C. Allred

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Rulon C. Allred
Rulon C. Allred in 1975
Allred in 1975
President of the Priesthood of
the Apostolic United Brethren[1]
March 29, 1954 (1954-03-29) – May 10, 1977 (1977-05-10)
Called byJoseph White Musser
PredecessorJoseph White Musser
SuccessorOwen A. Allred (AUB)
Gerald Peterson (Righteous Branch)
First Counselor to the President of the Priesthood[1]
September 18, 1950 (1950-09-18) – 1954
Called byJoseph White Musser
Personal details
BornRulon Clark Allred
(1906-03-29)March 29, 1906
Chihuahua, Mexico
DiedMay 10, 1977(1977-05-10) (aged 71)
Murray, Utah
Cause of deathHomicide
Resting placeLarkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery
40°44′28″N 111°49′23″W / 40.741°N 111.823°W / 40.741; -111.823 (Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery)
Occupationhomeopath
chiropractor
Spouse(s)At least 7
ChildrenAt least 48

Rulon Clark Allred (March 29, 1906 – May 10, 1977) was a homeopath and chiropractor in Salt Lake City and the leader of what is now the Apostolic United Brethren, a breakaway sect of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, United States. This fundamentalist offshoot often called "The Allred Group" has recently come into the Hollywood spotlight with the release of the hit Reality TV series Sister Wives aired in 2010 because his granddaughter Christine is one of the stars. Rulon was murdered on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, the head of a rival polygamous sect.

Biography[edit]

Having turned away from the polygamous religion of his father and grandfather as a young man, Allred's decision to take plural wives came in his twenties following what he described as a vision; the decision resulted in the estrangement of his first wife, Katherine Handy.

Allred began to assume greater responsibilities in the Short Creek, Arizona, polygamous community following the paralytic stroke of its leader, Joseph White Musser. Allred was imprisoned for bigamy following Arizona governor John Howard Pyle's 1953 "Short Creek raid", but he resumed his polygamous lifestyle upon his release. During his imprisonment, he met the LeBaron group through correspondence and eventually fled to Mexico to live on their compound with promises of wealth, which never materialized. Allred ultimately assumed leadership of a polygamous group.

In his later years, Allred made no attempt to hide his polygamous beliefs and openly spoke of his adherence to the principle of plural marriage on talk shows and in print interviews. Allred was the husband of at least seven wives and the father of forty-eight children. His daughter's biography reveals that after the original seven wives, Allred was pressured by his peers to be sealed to widows and other women requesting to be bound to "their prophet". At the time of his death, he had been sealed to 16 women in total. Though extremely conservative by the standards of outsiders, Allred's sect was far more moderate than the community headed by Rulon and Warren Jeffs and certainly more so than the organization headed by LeBaron. He was not on good terms with either of the rival sects, and he began receiving death threats from the LeBaron group in the 1960s. Allred's grandson, Lance Allred, who was born in 1981 and raised in Rulon's polygamist commune of Pinesdale, Montana, was the first legally deaf player in National Basketball Association history and is now a keynote motivational speaker. Regarding his grandfather, he has stated: "In the context of polygamist leaders, Rulon was actually very liberal, in that he encouraged his followers to go out into the real world and make money and bring it back, rather than keeping them all within a compound like the Jeffs and others do." Lance Allred has also said: "Rulon was actually again, in the context, a very ethical man, in that he never introduced new doctrine. He tried to adhere strictly to Joseph Smith's teachings and never disclosed new 'revelation' whereas the LeBarons and Jeffs continually consolidated their power of their subjects with new and more radical doctrine."

Death[edit]

On May 10, 1977, two women, both disguised by wigs and sunglasses, visited his office in Murray, Utah, and opened fire with handguns. Only Allred was injured; he died of his wounds the same day. One of the women was later identified as Rena Chynoweth, one of LeBaron's wives. Although acquitted (Chynoweth was found not guilty in a 9:3 jury ruling), Chynoweth later confessed to the crime in her memoir, The Blood Covenant. LeBaron was eventually convicted of association with several other murders, including that of his daughter, Rebecca.

Allred's family is the subject of two memoirs written by one of his daughters, Dorothy Allred Solomon: In My Father's House and Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk: Growing Up in Polygamy. Samuel W. Taylor's I Have Six Wives was based on Allred's life. Allred's niece, Irene Spencer, writes of her uncle in her memoir Shattered Dreams: My Life As A Polygamist's Wife. Spencer, now a remarried monogamist, was the second of ten wives of LeBaron's younger brother and opponent, Verlan.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brian C, Brian C. "Rulon C. Allred". Mormon Fundamentalism. MormonFundamentalism.com. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  • Dorothy Allred Solomon. In My Father's House. (Franklin Watts, 1984)
  • Dorothy Allred Solomon. Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk: Growing Up in Polygamy. (W.W. Norton, 2003)
  • Dorothy Allred Solomon. Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up In Polygamy. (W.W. Norton, 2003).
  • Dorothy Allred Solomon. The Sisterhood: Inside the Lives of Mormon Women. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
  • Irene Spencer. Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife.
  • Ben Bradlee, Jr. and Dale Van Atta, Prophet of Blood: The Untold Story of Ervil LeBaron and the Lambs of God (G.G. Putnam's Sons, 1981)

External links[edit]

Apostolic United Brethren titles
Preceded by
Joseph White Musser
as Senior Member of the Priesthood Council 
President of the Priesthood
March 29, 1954 (1954-03-29)–May 10, 1977 (1977-05-10)
Succeeded by
Owen A. Allred
As President of the Priesthood
of the Apostolic United Brethren
Succeeded by
Gerald Peterson, Sr.
As President of the Priesthood of the
Righteous Branch of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints