I admit it; I am hopelessly addicted to TLC’s TV show Sister Wives. For those of you in the dark, it is a reality show based on a man named Kody Brown and his four wives, not to mention countless children. Not having much experience with the polygamist lifestyle, I was surprised to see how normal and seemingly logical the lifestyle is. The idea of having “sister wives” actually makes sense when watching the show, so reading this memoir was a shock to my system!
Carolyn Jessop married her husband, Merril Jessop, straight after high school after being coerced by her parents and other members of the FDLS church. Merrill was over twice her age, and Carolyn had absolutely no interest in marrying him. However, she had grown up in the church and believed that she had no choice but to enter into this mandated marriage to a man that already had three wives and numerous children.
Carolyn spent many years being stifled in a loveless marriage. Merril allowed
Merril Jessop and six of his wives
her to continue in her schooling, but he was also a very possessive and controlling husband who cared little about what any of his wives wanted. Carolyn risked her life to bear eight children, one of which had severe health issues. Because of her lifestyle, Carolyn had to fight to get her son the healthcare he desperately needed. Unbelievably, the police officers in her area were all members of the FDLS, so she wasn’t even able to call an ambulance for her son unless her husband consented.
Carolyn had hoped to escape her lifestyle for years, but was hindered by the health issues of her son, not to mention the danger involved. She was eventually able to flee one night when Merril was out of town, but the FDLS was on her trail almost the second she left. And although she was able to escape,, her older children were used to the lifestyle they had grown up in, and were not happy that they were forced to leave the only family they had ever known.
I was shocked by the behavior exhibited in Escape by Merril and other members of the church. The FDLS is portrayed as a dangerous cult, which is the opposite of what we see on Sister Wives. I tend to believe that Escape is probably a more accurate portrayal of the FDLS church as it was operated under Warren Jeffs. Kody Brown and his wives seem to be secretive about their religion, so there are a lot of questions surrounding their beliefs and how closely they follow the FDLS doctrines.
I guess you could say Escape brought up a lot of questions for me, and now I am even more curious about the FDLS faith.
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I purchased this book for my Kindle.
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