When I find a subject that interests me and I will read a bunch of books in a short amount of time on that subject. In this case, its all of the FLDS polygamous sect stories. I just read Escape by Carolyn Jessop and wanted to learn a little more.
I finished Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall this weekend. It was quite a stunning read. At age fourteen, Elissa was forced to marry her twenty year old cousin. As if that's not bad enough, she was told to submit to him "mind, body and soul." Despite her begging and pleading to the men responsible for this union, she was made to go through with this and there was little anyone could do to help. If her mother or sisters spoke out on her behalf, they would be in deep trouble. Everything has to go through the father or husband. Women must submit and not speak out in disagreement. These women live in fear and are made to "keep sweet" in other words, don't cause any trouble.
This teenage girl never learned about sex or how babies were made so she went into this marriage completely ignorant of her own body. This is just the beginning of Elissa's struggles. The belief system of the FLDS seems so crazy to us in the outside world. What they are taught, the way to salvation, is beyond what we can imagine. Warren Jeffs took an already strange religion and made it unbearable. You must read the book to gain an understanding of this sect.
From the publisher:
In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sect's women.