Monday, April 14, 2008

Book Review "Escape"

I just finished reading "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop, former multiple wife of Merill Jessop. It's the story of how she left the fundamentalist branch of the Mormon 'church' shortly before Warren Jeffs moved them all to the YFZ ranch in Texas, which is big in the news right now because of the recent raid on their compound.

It's a horrifying book - I can't believe it took the government so long to do anything about this cult. The abuse that goes on in that group is staggering. Speaking of the US being so worried about the Taliban's oppression - something just as bad has been going on right in their own back yard for many, many years.

I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for - the women like Carolyn Jessop who recognize that they're in an abusive situation but can't find a way out, or the ones who are so brainwashed and beaten that they believe the hooey that they're taught. The men in authority in that place are simply power-hungry control-freaks. If you're interested in reading more about her story, there's a link below to an excerpt from her book.

I saw a movie on TV a few months ago - unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out what the title was - but it was based on a true story about a woman in a FLDS compound who's little daughter is almost molested by a young man in the community. The man blames the little girl for being a temptress, and says that he should marry her. I can't remember how old she was, but definitely younger then 12. The woman's husband actually contemplates doing this, so the woman sets fire to her house, and in the ensuing chaos escapes with all her children and heads for social services, hoping that they can help her. The husband lures back the oldest daughter (who's about 16 and his step-daughter) with the promise that he'll let her marry the boy she likes, but when she gets there she finds out that she's actually to marry her step-father. It was a ghastly story!

In my research in the last few days I've found a lot of stories of women who've escaped abuse at an FLDS compound. If there's so many of them, with stories that are so similar, why hasn't anyone in authority DONE anything about it before now? And I'm not even sure that the way they're going about it now (taking 400+ kids and putting them in a shelter) is the best way to deal with the situation. I really feel for those kids - they don't understand that they've been abused and brainwashed, and most of the women there don't realize they've been abused and brainwashed either. I can only pray that something good comes out of this situation!


Leah said...

I saw the movie too! But I can't remember what it's called either...sorry. But the little girl that was almost raped was 12 and the lady left the cult because this 12 year old girl was to be taken by the prophet for marriage in another community.

It really is frustrating!

Anonymous said...

The movie was on Lifetime and it was called "In God's Country". I also read Carolyn Jessop's book "Escape". It is my belief that her son had fumerase disease, which is prevalent in FLDS community. It causes all of the symptoms that her son has. She says it was cancer, all the symptoms are of fumerase, but whatever. It is caused by inbreeding within the polygamous community for so many generations. The book was a real eye opener. I am grateful that I was not born into this unnatural community.