As Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow face homicide indictments related to the deaths of Chad’s wife, Tammy; Lori’s husband, Charles; Lori’s brother, Alex; Lori’s children, JJ and Tylee, many LDS church members have taken issue with the suggestion that Mormon beliefs played any role in these deaths.

In our two-part series, Lauren and John Matthias, co-hosts of Hidden: A True Crime Podcast, and Mindy Caldwell join John in exploring the Mormon influences on Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow.


Hidden: A True Crime Podcast explores the hidden motives behind unimaginable crimes, while examining our deepest fears along the way. Join us on a journey into the darkest recesses of the human mind and the unconscious motivations that drive human behaviors, both good and bad, in order to understand the world and ourselves. Pull up a chair at our dinner table as the husband and wife team of Dr. John Matthias, a forensic psychologist, and Lauren Matthias, a journalist, delve into the psychological facets of unthinkable crimes. What are you hiding? What are you hiding from? What remains hidden?


Show Notes:

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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  1. Pat September 24, 2021 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Interesting podcast but you are missing a big part of the prepper movement. In the early nineties in Idaho, I discovered an area that was filled with all you are talking about. Just a few words and phrases should tell this. Many, were and still are into food storage, possessing tractor-trailers filled with tons of wheat kept for when it was needed by the community. There are guns of all kinds and many taking tactical training. Famous military Mormon, Bo Gritz, Ruby Ridge’s Randy Weaver, Covenant Communities called “Almost Heaven”, “Almost Heaven 2” and “Shenandoah”, watching for U.N. soldiers in blue helmets and black helicopters, meeting where a noose was placed in front of county commissioners saying “no building permits”, Mormons having sacrament meetings in their homes, meetings where the speaker said he was at the Last Supper with Jesus, talk of working with angels, others besides Julie Rowe talking about NDE’s, some, including me, were members of AVOW, people looking for places to build future tent cities in our area, people saying that the remnant would be in our area, “the map” which showed what would be left in the U.S. when water would flood North America (most places except for this county,), people building Faraday cages for EMP protection, county leaders preparing for EMP and storing rooms with MRE’s for continuity of local government in case our big dam was blown and a town of 40,000 people would be taken out. In the early nineties so many Mormons were moving here that our bishop would read in 2–4 families a week arriving. Most people moving here both LDS and non said they were instructed to come here by God. We were taught by bishop’s counselors that soon John the Baptist would take the righteous into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years eventually arriving in Jackson County. Fundamentalism was alive and well and eventually polygamy came in for a few years, but gradually many diehards moved away and things quieted down.

    But now there is a resurgence. Local paper opinion pages show how much distrust is in the area for government. This is probably the most conservative county in Idaho with many Mormons. More conservatives with guns are moving here. And many believe that the “last days” are here. The John Birch Society was never very active here, except for me who was a chapter leader in S.E. Idaho in the early 70’s where I began learning about all this prepper stuff. A couple years ago two young friends of mine were exed for being Snufferites. Most people here will not take the vaccine. Most believe in the deep state formerly the Illuminati. Some, even Mormons believe aliens rule this country. I though, when my wife and I moved from Washington State nearly 30 years ago that we had gone back in time to “the old west”.

    • Yvette September 27, 2021 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      I really appreciate the summary of what was going on up in Idaho back then. I always wondered because friends of ours had moved up to be with the Gritz group and came back divorced. They wouldn’t talk much about it except to say it was the worst mistake they had ever made. Mormonism has spawned so many pathological cults. It’s one of the things that caused me to take a closer look at what kind of programming we are getting in the church that regularly leads people to fall for this kind on nonsense. My son in laws’s family participated in the Zion Society in Ogden. Their family has been utterly devastated even up to this moment from the fallout. I dabbled in Snufferite-ism for awhile as I was exiting the Church before I saw that pig under the lipstick. There is so much damage being done to people with this crap.

  2. Robyn B. September 25, 2021 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Lauren Matthias last 10 minutes of part one, sums this up beautifully, let’s not forget those beautiful children, their families and the folks of Rexburg who have been devastated by this “cults” horrific choices.

    The flock needs its Shepard’s and yes…that is The Mormon/LDS leaders. Do better, please.

  3. Bill Jones September 29, 2021 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Will this be released in the podcast feeds? Haven’t seen it yet….

  4. Pat October 2, 2021 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    An hour into part 2 really gets me to remembering. In Idaho, our first few years, I remember a lady using energy a lot when talking to me, lots of muscle testing while lying on a cushioned table. There were group meetings. This was in the early nineties. There was lots of talk about Manti, Utah. Everything was about “last days”. I thought we were all the elite and part of the remnant that was continually talked about. Every once in a while a participant would go to our bishop and tattle which then took our gatherings to more secret places. Glad I wasn’t in Utah then but Idaho is currently 26% Mormon, so the eastern Idaho influence moves west and so a lot of what east Idaho, we also got. The united order was begun some here, but gradually people realized it was hard to make a living here so many returned to the Idaho Falls and Utah areas. Maybe this early fundamentalism was a reason why I was in AVOW for 10 years and why my “elect” friends and I were scouting the country-side looking for areas to build tent cities. Glad I no longer attend church. Thanks for this interview, John. Brings back wierd memories.

    • Jessica October 4, 2021 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      How did you end up getting out of that line of thinking Pat? Was it simply leaving the church that helped you change your perspective? What triggered it? If you have shared your story elsewhere, please share a link and I will go there to read it. It’s all very interesting to me.

  5. Paul the Latter day apostle October 7, 2021 at 9:21 am - Reply

    This topic is very interesting, and the LDS angle is simply astonishing. I don’t get where people are saying that the church isn’t part of this story. The whole theology, doctrine and practices of the church are absolutely at the core of all this insanity. From the fear that is generated in decades of talks about how bad “the world is”, to the “persecution” complex narratives, to the right-wing political discourse (a la Wack-O Ezra Benson), to the belief in visions, healing, etc., it’s no wonder members get caught up in this stuff.

    The solution to the problem, though, is a paradox. As you suggested, John, the LDS church should do what it can to shut it down. The sad truth is that they have, but at the expense of being even more cult-y, where they tell members over the pulpit to listen only to them, and don’t get involved with reading and listening to un-approved sources. This then sounds like the JW’s and others who try to control all information that members are consuming. It’s a no-win situation for them. If they say, Knock off going to prepper meetings, reading about people with NDE’s, etc., then they will be treated as they are now when they come out and try a get people to get vaccinated or wear masks; “Nope, they’re speaking as men”. It also kills the ability to share made-up healing stories and fear and persecution based talks in conference.

    The other thing that struck me was that murder for God’s purposes are totally legit in the church in general. I had an EQ pres talk about if we had the faith that if the prophet told us to “go to war” against evil if we would be willing to commit ourselves to it. Very Dark! Yup, murder is wrong unless you think God approves you doing it for him. It’s very scary.

    I also find it humorous that there are so many breakoffs from the church. It’s kind of like for about 1800 years the many great thinkers and religious people were unable to find the truth until some country bumpkin that was kind of a savant genius “found” it. Since then, there are those who realize or claim to have found out where Joseph Smith or others since were “wrong” and now they have found the “truth”. This is why religion isn’t really a good source of morality. Too much weaseling!

    • Coriantumr October 8, 2021 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Actually Paul it is not humorous for the Religious elite [of all leanings] when The Creflos and the Benny Hinns of the world run over your favorite Methodist, Catholic or Presbyterian congregations. The Pharisees, Sadducees probably felt the same way about the Nazarenes. But here we are. Both sell salvation but one has a more fresh flavor of salvation than the other. I do not share the opinion that the prepper movement is a result of Mormon doctrine. The Prepper movement gained momentum after the 1970’s but I’d say that Preppers are not a monolithic movement. Their origin goes back to the Cold War. The newest faction, the one that thinks their own government will eliminate them is a Johnny come lately flavor. It is also tied, however tenuously, to the White Supremacy movement after Randy Weaver’s standoff. Weaver was not The Order. But now there is a synergy of sorts between some flavors. What it is surprising is the level of critical thinking that some members are exercising [or not exercising]. Usually LDS population is fairly educated and usually leans itself to the business community. Many have witnessed the failure of a plethora of end of the world predictions, ranging from the 7 Day Adventists to the Heaven’s Gate organization. The angle here would be that LDS members will point out the falsehood of said prophecies versus the LDS canon, and the conspicuousness of the Brethren in making predictions. I have seen the LDS evolution along with Mormon offshoots in Mexico and I see a sea of difference in behavior. LDS members there have faced not only an almost continuous draught, minus the support that members have in the US in infrastructure, but they themselves have witnessed the scourge of drug trafficking in their area. They’ve seen neighbors sequestered and some unfortunately killed. They’ve seen economic downturns break even believers, like some Mennonite communities have lost members to the drug trafficking. I’m sure LDS members have faced hard times in the US as well but the level of threats in the colonies does not really compare. From a distance, it would appear that genetics and boredom have finally gotten the “best” of the West Bubble. It is rather disingenuous from some of the folks in Mormon Stories to label the Brethren false prophets for not spitting out a list of prophecies that may not come to pass. Even a respected canonical figure, such as John the Revelator missed the big one, lamentably. And at the same time they critize the children of a lesser god for spitting prophecies that not come to pass as well….perhaps fortunately. Question here is : How about these folks? Would they issue a prophecy in the manner of the Old Testament prophets [who were more like advisors, like your favorite CPA, doctor etc.] or would they venture into the Apocalyptical area?

  6. Not Mike Stroud October 28, 2021 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    When Mike Stroud was mentioned, I screamed. I had Mike Stroud as a seminary teacher for all 4 years of high school. That dude loved to dig deep into the meat of the gospel. There are so many things I had to deconstruct and work through because of the teachings of Mike Stroud. He is a dangerous man.

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