Carolyn was miserable for years and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. But in 2003 Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children.
Escape exposes a world that is tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics. Against this background, Carolyn Jessop's flight takes on an extraordinary, inspiring power. 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.
©2007 Visionary Classics, LLC; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"The story Carolyn Jessop tells is so weird and shocking that one hesitates to believe a sect like this, with 10,000 polygamous followers, could really exist in 21st-century America. But Jessop's courageous, heart-wrenching account is absolutely factual. This riveting book reminds us that truth can indeed be much, much stranger than fiction." (Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air and Into the Wild)
I became so intrigued with the latest news stories coming from Texas that I went on a hunt to find out more about the FLDS. As a result, I found this book and discovered a society which is completely foreign to me. Despite this, I was able to relate to Carolynn's experiences, because I, too, have dealt with abusive people for most of my life. It seems that no matter the culture, these types of people are essentially the same across the board.
This is one of those books that keeps you wanting to learn more, and I took very few breaks during the listen.
I loved this audiobook. I saw an interview with the author on one of the morning shows and became interested in reading the book. I was so happy audible had it. The book exceeded my expectations. I thought the narrator did a great job and the book keep my attention. I listened to it every spare moment until I finished it. I learned alot about the FLDS and it gave me new insight into all the things happening in West Texas with the 400 or so children taken from an FLDS compound by CPS. I would highly recomemend you listen to this book.
First of all I'll state that I'm mainstream Mormon. I grew up in northern Arizona and in Utah Valley. I knew that various polygamous existed but had never spoken with anyone who practiced polygamy. Due to the Texas raid I decided it was time to try and understand a little more about who they were
I have to admit I never knew how bad it was. I was raised by very loving parents in a large family (13 kids) so I can relate to them a little about living in a large family. I was shocked and felt horrible that such things were going on so close and nothing was being done. I have read many books about the Muslim world and other cultures and understand how much peer pressure works. Woman in some muslim countries are treated as slaves and property just like the woman in the FLDS cult. It isn't necessarily Islam that is the source of woman being abused it is people perverting religion and using it for power. It happens across many religions and places. Once the tradition gets started it is hard to break free and it perpetuates itself. You can't even really blame most of the men in the FLDS for what they do because they are taught to do it since they were small children. It is all they know. This book really shows how a closed culture can be easily turned into a cult.
I have no idea if the Texas raid will finally break the FLDS rein of terror and brainwashing but I hope it makes a sizable dent. It disgusted me like no other to read the horrors Carolyn went through. No human being should be subjected to that but it happens all the time all over the world. It makes me grateful for the opportunities the US offers to most of its citizens. Carolyn is a brave woman and her story touched me deeply. I have rarely felt so mad at a someone (Merill) before. I can't believe he isn't in jail if his wife and kids are willing to testify to his abuse. I knocked off one star because she kept repeating a few things over and over in the book.
Carolyn Jessup does an incredible job of telling this stunning and shocking story. She is so personal and present as she describes her life in the FLDS cult. I had been reading Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner Of Heaven and could not finish it because it was so upsetting though I will pick it up again after this. (He does the best research and is so through). Carolyn personalizes her story in a way that holds your attention and you hope for her future and the future of her children. I admire her so much. What can we do? A must read.
Now I know more than I ever wanted to know. I just can't wrap my arms around the idea that this is taking place right now and in our country. And, it's always the women and children that are the victims. This one is really haunting me. It's not a pity party, although I don't know how she could not feel sorry for herself. I'd be wallowing in self pity if it were me. It's told in a very neutral tone. She answers, "Why, why, why?" satisfactorily. There's an interview with her editor at the end where she speaks of freedom with such appreciation it makes you realize that's something we take for granted. Go for it!
Used to read classic lit for pleasure of well-written prose. Now, with MS, it's thrillers, courtroom/police dramas, and adventure to escape!
I am giving this book five stars. I was so outraged to learn of this "hidden" world, and so ashamed that I was completely ignorant of its existance, that I think everyone in this country should be aware of it. The story starts out fast and engaging, revealing to the reader the most suspensful part of the story right away, but then begins the flashback of Carolyn Jessop's life. Yes, it can move slowly at times, and yes, there is an incredibly long (and sometimes repetitive) account of her 17 years of marriage to an abusive, controlling, manipulative, cruel, and, worst of all, brainwashing husband. However, I found that each layer she added would have crumbled without the foundation of the previous information. I can see how Ms. Jessop needed to be detailed, lest the reader not completely understand the true depth of fear felt by these women in the FLDS cult. Upon first discovery of this lifestyle and its shocking cruelty, one's immediate reaction might be to simply pass these women off as weak, and ignorant. Otherwise, why would they not simply leave? Ms. Jessop builds her story until the listener can completely understand the horrific plight, and hopeless existence in which they live. Her escape is truly a landmark event in this country, as she was the first woman to successfully escape from this cult, both with her freedom, and full custody of all eight of her children. It is a remarkable story of an intelligent, courageous woman's fight to overcome seemingly overwhelming odds against owning her own life. Personally, I had no idea that, in a time when we are sending troops overseas to fight opression, a small sect of a different kind of terrorism is thriving in our own country. If you have ever wondered how Adolf Hitler, Jim Johnson, or David Koresh managed to convince otherwise honorable people to subjugate themselves to torture, child abuse, death, this book will make you understand.
I cannot believe that this has been happening in my country! Jessup's tale is horrifying yet hopeful. I thought the pace was a bit uneven throughout, and started slow, but the injustices mount until you reach saturation levels and know the escape must be imminent. It was not the best read book I've downloaded, but not the worst either. Would recommend.
This book is of course about an escape from a polygamist religious group. However, what I found the most striking is the underlying explanation on how some fanatics can manipulate people just on the basis of religious grounds; how this can be continued for tens of years just by cutting believers out of communication and education. The comparison with the way other religious group operate could come into the readers' mind. This book is about control and power, and what you need to do to survive in such environment. Escape was the outcome for the author, but is even not an option for many.
A really engaging memoir of the author's years in the FLDS church and her participation in a plural marriage with a prominent older member of the church. It's amazing to think of all the insular sub-cultures in the US, and how different the world seems to them than it does to outsiders. At times the story seemed a bit sensationalized, and at other times as though the author was letting her therapist tell the story rather than telling it herself, as the self she was when she experienced her time in the FLDS and her departure from it. Rightly or wrongly, I assigned all this to her co-author. Still, I was left with the unsettled feeling that Carolyn Jessop's experience hovers ambiguously between two extremely different accounts of it: the one the FLDS would tell, and the one that Jessop's "rescuers" in the larger American culture would tell. For me, that was the whole point of it, how dramatically your own experiences can shift underneath you depending on what framework you use to interpret them. I was left wondering where Jessop would be now, and how she would think about her life, if the FLDS's leadership hadn't gotten so freaky.
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