Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Escape, by Carolyn Jessop

Judy mentioned reading this book and said that she couldn't put it down. (Thanks to Beth for reminding me where I read Judy's comment).  My experience was the same. 

Carolyn Jessop was raised in a fundamentalist cult community, the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), which is a radical polygamist offshoot of the Mormon Church that is housed in small communities in Arizona and Utah. Her book takes us deep into the daily life experienced by the members--the power of some, and the helplessness of others. Reading this book made me realize that we have our own form of the Taliban right here in America. 

Carolyn was forced into an arranged marriage to a total stranger at the age of 18, then gave birth to 8 children in 15 years. She and her children were abused physically and emotionally. She was rightfully afraid that when her children were out of her sight they were in danger of being beaten by her sister wives. 

From the book flap: Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers of the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop's flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she became the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS. And in 2006, her reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of its notorious leader, Warren Jeffs. 

If you have ever watched HBO's Big Love, this book will make you understand the accuracy of the show's portrayal of a modern cult in America. 

For more information:


Beth said...

I've been meaning to read this since Judy mentioned it in a comment on your blog, Clair. I hope our local library has it. Thank God (and this brave woman)that Warren Jeffs was arrested.

Margie's Musings said...

That's awful, isn't it?

Northanna said...

This reminds me of a book I read that was written by Betty Mahmoody,who had married and had a child by an Iranian man in the US. Followed him to his family home in Iran and that's where she went through many difficulties trying to extract her daughter from her husband's family & Iran. "Not Without My Daughter"

Christina said...

There are times when I think almost anything is permissible in this society as long as we attach the word "god" to it. What these people do to women and young girls is unbelievable, like something out of the Dark Ages, and our government sits back and does nothing. Warren Jeffs was only arrested because someone said he was abusing CHILDREN - apparently women don't qualify for protection from "god's work."

Judy said...

I am so glad you read it and liked it. I guess we don't know how lucky we are that we were not born into some cult like this one. My twin daughters are very independent women and I gave them this book to read and they loved it, too. Thank God, she was able to Escape!