Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book Review: Escape

One of my friends just started a book club that I am now a part of and I just finished our assigned book for this month. Escape by Carolyn Jessop is a story of the life Jessop led in the cult-like Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) with her 8 children--and her eventual escape from FLDS and her polygamous marriage.

This was one of those books that was so horrifying, I couldn't stop reading it. Here are just a few tidbits that I found unbelievable:

  • FLDS members are brainwashed from birth with the fundamental belief that they are saints and everyone else is evil
  • Girls as young as fourteen were married to 86 year old men.
  • Women and children are constantly physically and emotionally abused and manipulated
  • Wives are not allowed to travel without their husband's permission, drive a car, make any decision about medical care for their children, get an education or keep their own paychecks
  • Small children were forced to watch and listen to animals screaming as they’re tortured and killed to teach them that anyone who feels compassion for animals is evil.
  • A teenage wife was dragged into an assembly of boys and tortured to show them how to treat their (future) wives.
  • “Favored” wives were given full reign to torture younger wives and their children: Jessop's sister wife Barbara spanked an INFANT so hard he turned blue from screaming.
  • Men withheld critical medical care for small children because it was proof that their mothers were disobedient.
  • And the list goes on and on...
Jessop was so beaten and worn down 17 years into her marriage, I'm not sure how she found the strength to escape. Her abusive husband and the corruptive leadership in the FLDS made her life living hell. Her courage to save herself and her children regardless of the consequences was beyond heroic.

There was a little retribution as the leader of the FLDS, Warren Jeffs, was sent to prision in 2007. But those poor women and children. It is truly shocking to know that things like this go on in America.


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