polygamy in the USA

I’ve just finished the book “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop, former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) member, who escaped with her 8 children, after many years of terrifying life with a man, who was one of the leaders in the FLDS.

She grew up in a polygamous household, and had to marry 50 year old man, being only 18 years old herself and becoming the forth wife. She was abused sexually, physically and emotionally throughout the marriage, not only by her husband, but by her sister-wives also.

Carolyn is the first top on the left, here with her husband and sister wives

The whole system of FLDS keeps the women as a subject to the men-powered world, which existence is based on perversity and control. They are degrading women’s lives, by diminishing them to working slaves, playing with their minds constantly to keep them vulnerable and subjected to the men’s wishes. Brain washed by the group’s leader’s, constantly abused, kept without educational opportunities, mentally tricked and emotionally drained, sooner or later, they become mentally unstable, depressed and mostly give up.

Carolyn found her strength by caring for her children, and was granted a full custody of her children after her escape from the brutality of the system, which promised heaven, but delivered hell on earth.

Very disturbing recollections of a young woman’s journey from a total believer in the cult’s religious teachings, to the world of freedom and reason.

The belief of FLDS: you can become a goddess in the afterlife if you will please your husband and live in total harmony with him (non-questionable obedience), he is destined to become god. On this picture, Carolyn is first on the right.

Carolyn’s position on the Texas court ruling (children returned to FLDS)

Read an interview with Carolyn in “Time”

Excerpt from the book

Video interview with Carolyn

22 thoughts on “polygamy in the USA

  1. wow i tell you carolyn is a truly a strong survivor. it’s very sad of what goes on in that life style. it’s truly sad that goes on here in the united states. i love in arizona and knowing that goes on so close to home frustrates and makes me sick to my stomach. i just wish the women who are controled and still living in this environment would just wake up and come to sense of thses ridiculous ways not only for themselves but for the poor children, as carolyn did. i am so proud of her, and very happy for her.

  2. how can this be let to happen it is the kids who truly need help why is merril jessop not in jail what is wrong with america why dont they make these cults illegal ban them stop them why i just dont get it the kids are inoccent help them

  3. Great admiration for a gutsy woman and a true mother to her children. I don’t understand how the church is immune from prosecution for bigamy in the State of Utah? Is it not State Law and therefore a criminal act and such followers prosecuted? In my country, bigamy is a crime and a punishable offence.

  4. I am almost finished with Carolyn’s book “Escape” and like other women who have read about what goes on behind FLDS cults (there are many), I was appalled and angry at the same time. The abuse and treatment of women and the children within this cult is parallel to the Muslim and Islamic way of life. Middle eastern men have been polygamists for centuries and they treat their wives exactly as the FLDS men treat theirs. Women are considered chattels, are brainwashed from birth, and expected to worship the man they are forced to marry. It is shocking that this cult is still at large and still growing in the U.S.! Bravo to Carolyn Jessop and Elissa Wall for their courage to break away and let the world know what is going on behind the secretive walls of FLDS.

  5. This was a great book. It gave me a look into a way of life that I didn’t know existed in America in 2009. Carolyn showed such great courage in the face of almost insurmountable odds. I want to know why the authorities haven’t arrested more men for polygamy, which is illegal. And doesn’t every state require children to go to school, or if home-schooled, tp submit an educational plan/ curriculum to the Board of Education? If these kids went to public school they would get an education, realize that non-believeres are not evil and child abuse could be reported.

  6. A Merrill Jessop has been on trial in Texas and has been convicted of sexual assault of a 16 year old and it shows his age as 38. In the book
    Escape it says that Merrill Jessop was 50 years old when Carolyn was married to him. Are there two?

  7. I have just finished reading ‘Escape’ and think Carolyn Jessop is an amazingly strong woman to flee and leave everything she has ever known. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been, but even more difficult to stay in such a horrible environment.

  8. i am half way through this book. it makes me so gratfull of the life i have. carolyn deserves a medal for all that she had to put up with, and her “sisters and choldren”. some of the things she has had to put up with is just horrifying.
    i take my hat off to carolyn, shes a strong and brave woman who deserves the very best.

  9. I have just finished reading Carrolyn’s book. I think she is a very brave woman and I wish more women and children in that terrible religion could get out as she did. Still I’m bewildered, as a European, that such abuse of Human rights can happen under the eyes and auspices of the US Authorities. Those women have far less rights than those under the Taliban regime. I think the Government is extreemely hypocritical to allow FLDS to get away with such things on American soil.

  10. Flora Jessop and carolyn Jessop are being looked at In the April 3rd raid. Carolyn finished her book around Oct. 6 of 2007 and her and Flora with Rozita Swinton a 33 year old black lady. Rozita is telling her story to police that both flora and carolyn put her up to it.

  11. I’m thinking that there are two Merril Jessop’s, probably father and son. That book was outrageous. I enjoyed it a lot. There is a similar book written by a younger girl. I can’t remember her name or the title but the cover is of a little blonde girl in a blue dress. She was raised in the same way and was married to her 1st cousin at the age of 14.
    I really don’t think there is anyway to ban them. Polygamy is already illegal but that hasn’t stopped them. I do agree that the crimes that they commit are horrendous and they should be punished for them. But its not just the men that commit the crimes. The women who abuse the children need to be punished as well.

  12. I just finished book and I so enjoyed it. Great reading. My heart goes out to Carolyn & children who knew no different until their escape. I am willing to send my book that I read instead of my usual library donation to someone who would like to read and money is an issue. I have one question……what is difference between polygamy & bygamy?

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