It's been around 150 years since we gave much respect to Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle's so-called Great Man Theory of history. While there are unquestionable great men and great women who helped shape culture and history, the number of great men and women who made impacts that are worth studying outside of the context of their society is virtually nil. It's not an interesting or accurate way to view history and, as a result, we don't give credence to people who try it.
It's even less informative to view tragedy through an Awful Man Theory. It's almost inconceivable to imagine an interpretation of World War II, for example, that said, "So Germany was just going along fine and then Hitler came and ruined everything." As monstrous as Hitler was, you'd never write a story of Nazi atrocities in which you reached the end and said, "And it was all Hitler's fault." It's a total dead-end when it comes to ongoing conversation.
Amy Berg's disappointing "Prophet's Prey" isn't looking at anything as wide-reaching as pre-WWII Germany or the crimes of the Nazis, but she still offers up an almost absurdly one-dimensional Awful Man Theory when it comes to last decade's scandal in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church), a scandal which, in Berg's hands, can be boiled down to: Warren Jeffs is an evil monster.
And I think we can mostly agree on this one. When you're sentenced to Life+20 for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old and the world agrees that that's only the tip of the horrifying iceberg of things that you probably could have been charged with, then the vast majority of people will probably co-sign the "monster" accusation.
But the Warren Jeffs case wasn't a case that the media ignored. It was covered very adequately by the most mainstream of organizations and was the subject of various cable specials and whatnot. Ample evidence was given and disseminated that reenforced the monster narrative, which is part of why Warren Jeffs is -- SPOILER ALERT -- in prison today.