Is Mormon Leader ‘John Bryant’ Based on a Real Person? Where is John Bryant Now? – The sixth episode of FX’s crime drama ‘Under the Banner of Heaven‘ on Hulu focuses on Ron Lafferty’s history. Detectives Pyre and Bill strive to learn more about Ron’s conversion to fundamentalist beliefs, his relationships with other fundamentalists, and his journey from a typical pious Mormon to a fundamentalist through Bernard Brady.
Brady tells the police about Ron’s trip to Oregon and his encounter with John Bryant, a fundamentalist Mormon leader who believes in polygamy. Because Ron’s contact with Bryant is such a big part of the show, we’ve learned a lot more about him. Here’s what we know so far!
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Is John Bryant Based on a fictional or a Real Person?
Yes, John Bryant is, in fact, based on a real person. The figure is based on John W. Bryant, the founder of the Church of the New Covenant in Christ, which is based in Oregon. Bryant established a polygamist community in Woodburn, Oregon, after creating similar communities in Utah, California, and Nevada, according to Jon Krakauer’s eponymous book, which served as the show’s primary text source.
Unlike other Mormon fundamentalists, Bryant’s teachings stressed drug experimentation and same-sex sexual activities, according to Krakauer’s book. He had six wives at the time, according to J. Gordon Melton’s ‘Encyclopedia of American Religions.’
Bryant has highlighted what he sees as a challenge to Mormon fundamentalism as the president of the Church of the New Covenant in Christ, arguing that Mormon fundamentalists have ignored Jesus in favour of an emphasis on polygamy and male dominance.
Bryant changed the name of his church from the “Evangelical Church of Christ” to the “Church of the New Covenant in Christ” after he was “born again” after moving to Salem. Bryant stopped teaching plural marriage, pledged not to take any more wives, and restructured his family to be less patriarchal. Bryant, on the other hand, stayed married to his wives in order to keep his family together.
Ron paid a visit to Bryant and his village after Dianna divorced him, according to Krakauer’s book. During the visit, Ron, who grew up in a strict Mormon home, drank wine as a sacrament, experiencing alcohol for the first time in his life.
In 1984, Ron returned to Bryant’s village, this time with Dan, Chip, and Ricky. During his second visit, he preached about “the City of Refuge,” a refuge for fundamentalist Mormons that the School of the Prophets wanted to build.
Bryant was a member of the Evangelical Church of Christ at one point, but he left before it disintegrated. Bryant restructured the Church into the Church of the New Covenant in Christ with 120 families, according to J. Gordon Melton’s ‘Encyclopedia of American Religions.’
According to Melton’s book, Bryant eventually quit preaching multiple marriages and pledged never to marry again because he believed Mormon fundamentalists focused solely on polygamy and ignored Jesus.
Also Read: Is FX’s Under the Banner of Heaven Based on a True Story?
What Happened to John Bryant and Where Is He Now?
John W. Bryant has opted to live a solitary life. Bryant left his group in 1987 after becoming disillusioned, according to Steven Shields’ ‘Divergent Paths of the Restoration.’ Bryant was a well-known figure in the early days of Mormon fundamentalism. He was also one of the few fundamentalist leaders who appeared to criticise the practises of sects adhering to fundamentalist ideas.
You can watch ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ episodes on FX and Hulu.