Mormon Sect's Polygamy Causes Most Of The World's Fumarase Deficiency Cases: Polygamist Community Faces Rare Genetic Disorder
Those stories of inbreeding and mental retardation are true. A sect of Mormons has the largest population of fumarase deficiency in the world. A rare disorder that until recently was unheard of is cropping up in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah.
Those two towns are the home bases of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a break away group from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The group is composed of many of the descendants of Joseph Smith Jessop one of the founders of the communities, and his wife either of which could have carried the gene.
The disability is caused by an enzyme irregularity that causes severe mental retardation brought on by cousin marriage.
"Arizona has about half the world's population of known fumarase deficiency patients," said Dr. Theodore Tarby, a pediatric neurologist who has treated many of the children at Arizona clinics under contracts with the state.
"It exists in a certain percentage of the broader population but once you get a tendency to inbreed you're inbreeding people who have the gene there, so you markedly increase the risk of developing the condition," he said.
It has become common enough among the group to be nicknamed "Polygamist's downs". The condition causes not only severe mental retardation but also unusual facial features, brain malformation, and epileptic seizures.
The two towns make up the community of about 10,000 people who shun outsiders. They broke away from the Mormon faith 72 years ago over their views of polygamy. About 85% of the residents are the blood relatives of two men, John Y. Barlow and Joseph Smith Jessop.
"There aren't any new people coming in. It's a closed door and that gene just keeps getting passed around," said Bruce Wisan, a court-appointed accountant overseeing a trust of the sect's assets.
They avoid all forms of media. The women dress in conservative 19th century clothing. They marry young and marrying a cousin is common practice.
"The disease itself is very rare in the rest of the world," said Dr. Vinodh Narayanan of Arizona's St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center and Barrow Neurological Institute. Doctors worldwide had only studied about 10 cases just a decade ago.
"Once you get people within in the same community marrying, then the chances grow of having two people carrying the exact same mutation."
The community doesn't believe that the children affected with the condition suffer because of inbreeding. They think it's in the water. They are wrong but with outdated theories which as that the disease will continue to crop up in town.
OK, you ... with the more scientific bent will probably conclude that we have finally stumbled upon the religion gene here, the one that makes you stupid for god. I wouldn't be so prejudiced to confine it to one religion, but will generously apply toward all religions. Equal opportunity!
I'm thinking I would like to check Mitt R's genealogy for a Barlow or Jessop ancestor (maybe both, that would be beautiful). This would knock him right out of the game & would personally feel good. The man seriously creeps me out!
As I'm sure I've stated previously many times, this whole polyg community along the AZ border is being paid for by you & me. The mothers & children are on numerous govt aid programs, due to being classfied as "no father households" (because as you know, god told them to plural marry, just don't do it legally). So here is another multi-million $$$ extortion: extensive environmental & water testing (because they believe it MUST be the water, could not possibly be due to the fact that many of them are marrying their half-brothers & half-sisters).
BTW, I see these people EVERY trip to the Wal-Mart & Costco. The kids are slack-jawed & vacant-eyed. They have no spark of life. I've smiled at them & even made little kid small talk ... no response, none whatsoever. Zombies for Christ!
Doesn't "foo" in french mean "crazy"? ! ?
ps, there are many articles on this subject being published over the last month going into some detail about how there were only 10 cases of fumarase WORLDWIDE until this little polyg pocket was discovered.
Have a foo-free day! ~~ D.K