Read Escape by Carolyn Jessop Laura Palmer Online


The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriThe dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with her eight children.When she was eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: a man thirty-two years her senior. Merril Jessop already had three wives. But arranged plural marriages were an integral part of Carolyn’s heritage: She was born into and raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the radical offshoot of the Mormon Church that had settled in small communities along the Arizona-Utah border. Over the next fifteen years, Carolyn had eight children and withstood her husband’s psychological abuse and the watchful eyes of his other wives who were locked in a constant battle for supremacy.Carolyn’s every move was dictated by her husband’s whims. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned as a school teacher. He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. For in the FLDS, a wife’s compliance with her husband determined how much status both she and her children held in the family. 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. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But in 2003, Carolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. She had $20 to her name.Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers 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 their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs....

Title : Escape
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780767927574
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 426 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Escape Reviews

  • Lena
    2019-03-29 03:47

    Carolyn Jessop's story of her life in the polygamous community the FLDS is one of those books that is simultaneously hard to read and difficult to put down. It's hard to read because her tale is one of non-stop abuse, from the apocalyptic nightmare that was drilled into her head as a child to the regular violence committed against women and children in the community in the name of God. But it is when Carolyn is given at 18 to be the fourth wife of a man 30 years her senior that things really become twisted. Though those in favor of polygamy may wax poetic about how wonderful and supportive it is to have "sister-wives," the dynamic in Jessop's family was one of ruthless competition, with women who had no rights of their own battling for their husband's attention in order to ensure such basic needs as food and protection for their children.Having been born at a time when the women ahead of me were fighting hard so I could have rights that I pretty much take for granted, Jessop's story is a chilling reminder of what life is like for women who are raised in a religion which tells them that their only hope of salvation is perfect devotion to their husbands and, if their husband beats them, it is simply because of their own failings. Those who think the women of the FLDS should just refuse to put up with such treatment and walk away fail to understand that these women are held captive not only by their life-long belief systems, but their extreme isolation and community practices that ensure that, if they do speak up, they get no support from anyone. Even the local police were members of the FLDS and would not interfere with another man's right to run his family as he saw fit, no matter how visible the bruises. Should a woman get up the courage to actually leave the only lifestyle she has ever known, orchestrated searches, enormous pressure from family and religious leaders and a total lack of familiarity with and skills for the outside world will make it very difficult for her to survive on her own. In the wake of the recent raid that removed hundreds of children from an FLDS ranch in Texas (a sister community to Jessop's that is reportedly now run by her ex-husband) I heard a lot of talk about freedom of religion. Those who think the State of Texas acted too overzealously would do well to read this book. If there is anything that Jessop's account makes abundantly clear, it's that women who have had obedience beaten into them since they were children are anything but free. The question of how much the government should intervene in groups like these is, to say the least, a thorny one, particularly when most victims are too terrified to go against everything they have been taught to testify against their abusers. Jessop's disturbing recitation of how things got even worse after Warren Jeffs rose to power is also chilling reminder of how easily blind obedience to irrational doctrines can be horrifically abused by ambitious, power-hungry men like Jeffs.Jessop was lucky in that she was permitted to go to college, and her work experiences and occasional contact with the outside world enabled her to build the determination to fight the abuse and make a better life for her own children. It is this determination that makes the book hard to put down, as I was anxious to discover just how, in fact, she ultimately managed to escape her hellish life with no money, eight children, and suspicious sister-wives watching her every move.

  • Laura Debenham
    2019-04-08 05:43

    I sat up til 2 A.M. finishing this book. It was an intense experience. It made me grieve for the inequities in my own culture between men and women along with the fear that holds me down. Having lived near Colorado City, reading this book made me look back on my experience living in St. George, Utah with new eyes. I attended Dixie College in the mid 1980's. There had been a girl in my Spanish class who wore the "plig" uniform and did her hair in the dippidy-doo flip. She was ostracized by most of the students but I determined to make friends with her. At first she was curt and guarded but eventually she opened up enough to have a casual friendship. We often walked to or from class together and I learned about her family. She had several younger siblings and spoke of them with love. When I married over a year later I gave my entire stuffed animal collection to Veronica for her little brother and sisters. She was so grateful that her eyes misted over and I somehow knew stuffed animals were a foreign item in her world. She and her family made a beautiful hand-stitched quilt for my wedding gift. I still have it 24 years later. They sewed an image of the St. George Temple onto a silky pink background. Because of the silkiness of the fabric it is one of my children's favorite quilts to cuddle in. I have tried my best to keep it out of the reach of dirty little hands over the years. It is the only wedding gift in tact and I think of Veronica whenever I see it.I'm glad I reached out to lonely Veronica in my College days at Dixie and realized she was likely going through something similar to Carolyn. I wondered if Veronica was the third or fourth wife to some old guy or was she sent to college because she was plain and would likely never marry.As an adult I lived in St. George for three years between 2003 and 2006. I saw polygamists at Wal-Mart every time I went there. I was disturbed by my own reaction to them. Having lived all over the U.S. I was aware of how limited the perspective of people who stayed in one place their whole lives can be. Yet I still looked at them as "lesser" individuals. Because I was so disturbed by my own inner hateful response to this people, I decided to learn more about them. I met a woman who had written a book and was actively helping girls escape. She was selling her books at a booth at the county fair. She was putting her life on the line by speaking out and I was impressed. I wrote a speech on her service and invited her to attend the toastmasters meeting when I gave the presentation. I called her the "Harriet Tubman" of Colorado City.In my speech I compared the polygamists with the Jews of Europe during the Nazi era. Looking at this group of God's children with compassion and understanding changed how I saw them completely. It had been many years since my friendship with Veronica and I had to overcome my own feelings of inadequacy as a woman to not judge them for living in such a bizarre culture. It was after recognizing their value as individuals that I started up conversations with the women I saw in Wal-Mart. I was aware they had been told that the rest of us were "evil" but I knew they were just struggling mothers like the rest of us. I began greeting them with a smile and "hello". I still avoided the men completely, even gave them the evil eye if my teenaged daughters were with me.I came up with ways of starting conversations with the women. I asked one mother if she thought the sore on my son's head could be chickenpox. At first she balked but we ended up having a regular conversation and she gave me advice on dealing with the childhood illness. Often, if I was in an isle and a Colorado City woman was nearby I would comment on products that were sold and probably sounded like a bad commercial as I searched for ways to reach out and connect. My goal was to help these women recognize that the rest of us were human too.Whenever I saw the little polygamist boys working on construction sights I would call the phone number advertized on trucks and signs and complain to whoever answered that there are child labor laws and I would report children working to the police if I saw it again. I was especially repulsed by the "lost boys" and grieved over the stories of male prostitution and drug use.This book brought home the reality and horror of being brainwashed and the dangers of living in a completely controlled environment. I can't help but wonder how "true" of a book it is. I don't want to believe that there was motivation to make things up as the truth seems dramatic enough. Did Carolyn ever abuse her children or the other wives kids? It seems likely that she would, coming from such an abusive mother, but she paints herself in a favorable light, as is expected. I was amazed at her determination to get educated and her ability to recognize that it was the only way out. I was so saddened at the end when her daughter returns to the cult and would love to know the rest of the story.It also made me think of Veronica and wonder where and how she is.

  • Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
    2019-03-29 07:31

    All right. We're going an even three on this one.I finished Escape a few days ago and felt a little confused about my feelings over this book. I even mentioned this in a phone conversation with another writer-friend.The story is compelling. It would be compelling if it were fiction; the fact that it's true takes it somewhat beyond compelling and into horrifying territory. The FLDS "church" is perpetrating human rights atrocities on American soil, and the government has, until very recent years, turned a blind eye to it because of how much we all like to tip-toe around any time a person starts screaming about their right to the free practice of religion. In a country where religious rights are often far more precious than human rights, is it any wonder that the FLDS have developed a tradition, a memetic heritage, in fact, of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse, all stitched neatly into the doctrines of their twisted faith? Add to that a healthy dose of interstate and international trafficking in children and adults for the purpose of sexual slavery and you've got a story shocking enough to keep anybody engaged to the very end.The weakness of Escape is in its terrible writing. Truly, it is terrible; it is, I think, the worst I've ever seen in a traditionally published book, just in terms of repeated failure of craft. I tried to be kind and lenient in this regard, at first. Carolyn Jessop was born into a culture that actively hates and fears education. There is no reason to expect her to be an excellent writer, and why should somebody who's already escaped and survived the misery she endured -- and brought eight children out with her -- have to shoulder the extra life burden of learning how to write well?Jessop doesn't need to be a good writer. But her GHOST WRITER, so prominently involved with the production of this book that her NAME IS ON THE COVER, really ought to do better. I found myself growing increasingly more frustrated with needless repetitions (telling the reader once that sex is the only form of power or currency available to FLDS women was sufficient. Two or three times would have been understandable. I saw this same sentiment expressed, often in the same exact words, at least once per chapter, or so it seemed, and sometimes more than once.) The writing was lackluster beyond mere dullness; if not for the sensationalism of the story I would not have read past the first chapter simply due to the frustration of slogging through the poorly written words. Dull, dull, dull. And sloppy. There is just no reason to repeat the same sentence, verbatim, at both the beginning and the end of a paragraph. Laura Palmer, this is your fault. I lay the blame squarely on you. What did you do to earn your paycheck on this gig? Just put your name on the cover?Oh, how I would love to read the same story with writing that's even slightly stronger. Even a tiny bit more professional, more conscious, more engaging. It would have been an auto-five-star, no question. I think it's a very important story. People need to know about the crimes perpetrated by the FLDS. It should be read. But gird up your loins.

  • Robin
    2019-03-29 04:45

    Have you ever read a book that completely encompassed your entire life? That is precisely how I felt about "Escape". Even when I was not reading it it would constantly be in the back of my mind. As I took my kid's to the park and then to Target for a special treat I would think, "How horrible that Carolyn did not even have the freedom to do something as small and inconsequential as this." When I was doing my laundry I would realize how easy it was for me and what a terrible ordeal it was for Carolyn (and no, that's not because she had 8 kids!). :O) This was a morbidly fascinating book. I devoured it and plan on passing it on to my mother and sister to read.I am LDS and confidently can say how very few similarities there are between the FLDS and LDS churches. Glory be!!! As an LDS woman I have the freedom to be who I am and pursue my different interests. I can get as much education as I desire. I have a car that is not only registered but is insured with up-to-date license plates. The FLDS cult made a prison for women and children. The LDS church actively preaches how important and indispensable women are.A definite must read for all!

  • Mariah
    2019-04-10 03:52

    Wow! This author did it again! I loved her book Triumph so I had to read Escape. Both were amazing and super eye opening!!!*P.s. This is my first 5 star book of 2018*This book goes through Carolyn's life. It starts off with her being born into Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and ending with her freedom and her success of her children.When she was eighteen years old she had an arranged marriage Merril Jessop, a man 30 years older than her and who already had three wives. Carolyn stayed married to him for over fifteen years and eight children. She was verbal abused and her life was completely controlled. This book was so heart breaking. However, it had a great ending of success!

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-03 23:48

    I head read Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, had read about the raids in Texas, and heard about the arrest of Warren Jeffs, but nothing opened my eyes to what the FLDS was up to, until I read this book. It is scary to see how religion can become perversed by power hungry people. In fact, I was shocked to see that many of the tactics used to keep people loyal to the church are being used by our government to do the same with the American people. The kind of fear and mistrust of others that keeps people from questioning authority. Additionally, if frieghtens me how little the government pays attention to the plight of these poor women and the "Lost Boys" of the church. So scary that this could be happening under our own noses. A Jim Jones kind of warping of something that was meant to be pure.Carolyn Jessop tells the story of her life growing up in the FLDS in a family that had been involved and deeply faithful for many generations. She tells of the pain polygamy caused for her mother and the abuse she and her sisters endured as a result. She tells of being married off to a 50 year old man at the age of 18 and the rape and mental abuse she endured by him and his family, as well as feeliing helpless to protect the 8 children she would go on to be forced to have with him (3 pregnancies of which almost killed her, one child of which struggled with cancer of the spine). At one point, Jessop's husband puts her in direct harm of death and brags about it to anyone who will listen. So disgusting. Over 17 years of marriage, Jessop beings to see things clearly and question her once blind devotion to the authority of her faith. The final straw comes, when Warren Jeffs, now serving a prison sentence for actions having to do with accusations of incestual rape and the marrying off of underage girls, becomes the prophet of the church and begins to pull children out of school, burn books, and preach the need for blood atonement (the cutting of throats). He pulls apart families, and begins marrying off younger and younger girls to older and older men, banishing under age men from the faith. Carolyn finally fears for her children enough to escape and become the first woman in history to win full custody of her children, against a powerful man of the FLDS faith. Truelly an amazing women.You must read this story!!!

  • Catie
    2019-04-07 07:44

    I don’t know why I spend so much time reading and searching for the next “utopian society gone horribly wrong” fiction, when there is a real such society existing right in my former backyard (Hi Arizona!). Actually, I do know why. When I stop and consider that not only is this shit real, but occurring in my own country (not to mention, to women around the world), it depresses the hell out of me. The polygamy isn’t really the scariest part – in theory, I actually don’t have a problem with polygamy. If a few (or more) people want to get together and make it work, I say, “hey, why not?” (Not to mention, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, which I recently read, presents an interesting view on the likely multiple man/woman origins of human relationships.) No, the scariest part is the complete and systematic control and degradation of women and children that occurs in this society. In this world, women and children are the property of their “priesthood head” and must follow his every demand and whim. This becomes incredibly dangerous when the men in charge are power hungry, abusive hypocrites. In 2003, Carolyn Jessup risked everything to escape the FLDS compound in Colorado City with all of her eight children in tow. She had spent seventeen years married to a man more than thirty years her senior and lived under constant controlling scrutiny from her husband and his family. When Rulon Jeffs and his son Warren began to lead and control the sect, her world became even more radical and extremist. Warren Jeffs, an unstable, racist man (and alleged child rapist), began making irrational decrees to the community. All books, movies and formal schooling were banned. He prohibited the color red and large prints like plaids. He claimed that anyone needing medical attention to heal “was a person of little faith.” As he gained more and more power, he began committing unbelievably cruel acts. He subjected the children to intense “survival” classes during which they would be made to witness the large scale slaughter of animals. He once rounded up and killed every dog in the community. He began arranging marriages between young teenage girls and men sometimes sixty or more years older. If a man in the community displeased him, he would strip him of his wives and children and excommunicate him. Hundreds of teenage boys were kicked out of the community to get rid of any competition for wives. But, more than just an objective recounting of the atrocities committed by Warren Jeffs and his cronies, this is one woman’s very personal and subjective story of her experiences in the FLDS, and her incredible determination to get out. The majority of this book is Carolyn’s very intimate, detailed retelling of her day to day life in a home that she shared with five sister wives and dozens of children. I found these details to be both horrifying and fascinating. With every other control stripped from these women, they took the only control that they had left and used it to break each other down. It sickens me that these wives have essentially been tricked into competing with each other for the attentions of a man that repulses them. Carolyn’s own poisoning by this twisted system comes through. She complains that her sister wives had little sympathy for the horrible pregnancy symptoms that she suffered (morning sickness is seen as a sign of “rebellion”), but then accuses one of them of faking pregnancy side-effects to gain sympathy with almost the same breath. She is sometimes very harsh in her judgment of these women, when I was feeling that they all deserve quite a bit of sympathy. While this extreme subjectivity of the narrator was sometimes a little hard to take, I also found it fascinating. This is a real inside view of the FLDS home dynamic. This book has a ghost writer, but Carolyn’s voice really comes through.Carolyn’s incredible tenacity and strength are also striking. This is a very inspirational story, and makes every hardship I’ve ever dealt with look paltry in comparison. Carolyn has since become the only woman to retain full custody of all of her children after escaping the FLDS. Most women who attempt to escape will only take their youngest children, or none of them. It would have been much easier for Carolyn to get out by herself, but she chose the much harder road. Throughout this book she emerges as a powerfully strong woman and devoted mother. Her slow awakening from complete compliance, to questioning of her beliefs, to revolt is very affecting.Perfect Musical PairingNine Inch Nails – SunspotsMore than anything, this book makes me want to bust out the angry, fanatical religion bashing music and no one does that for me better than Nine Inch Nails. It’s really tempting to go for a more obvious choice like “God Given” or “Heresy.” But, I’ve always loved this song. I think that the lyrics are open to some interpretation – is it about shedding everything that you once were and emerging renewed? Is it about his complete emasculation by a powerful woman? Feel free to discuss. For me, this song works on many levels.

  • Kim
    2019-03-24 05:32

    I am not even halfway through this book and I am going to give it high marks already for being one of those books that you cannot put down. It is exceedingly appealing to the tiniest crumb of voyeur that you have in you, that which might be interested in polygamists, spouse abuse (not only husband-to-wife, but also wife-to-wife), weird clothing, weird sex, and just freaky shit in general. I race from page to page thinking, "That cannot have happened!" and "In this day and age?" and "Women, treated like pure property, in the USA, still?" But the worst was once she had kids. As a Mom, I can't stop worrying about what is going to happen to those kids. If I keep reading at this pace, I should know in another day or so. Jessop also does a great job making it crystal clear how a grown woman could put up with all this. She shows with example after example how children are indoctrinated into believing this is all normal, then with chilling detail, shows how impossible it is for a woman to leave FLDS. That she had a sense of self, and a sense that this was all terribly wrong, is only a small indication of what a strong woman she is.What will sustain you and make this not a yucky reading experience is that we all know from the title that she does, in fact, escape. In other words, there is a happy ending. I hope.--- a day later ---Yesterday my kids watched two dreadful Barbie movies back to back so I could read this book, then I stayed up late to finish it. The book remains can't-put-it-down to the very end. And indeed, there is a happy ending. But there's one small problem -- I want to read more about this woman and her family! OK, Carolyn Jessop, where's the sequel?!

  • Aileen
    2019-03-30 04:30

    It is as I finish this book and write this review that federal agents are serving search and arrest warrants at the Fundamental Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) current compound in El Dorado, TX. Escape is written by a former FLDS member who recently escaped a polygamous marriage in Colorado City, UT with her 8 children. She testified in last year's trial against their "prophet" Warren Jeffs (though this trial is not covered in the book) which resulted in his state conviction and a sentence of 10 years in prison for accomplice to rape for arranging the marriage of a 14 year old girl to her 19 year old first cousin. That background gives you a glimpse into the author's previous life.Although this is the best written book, it is hard to put down. It describes a world that is hard to believe exists in the U.S. As described by the Utah attorney general, "I have a corner of my state that is worse than [under] the Taliban." Women are forced into arranged marriages. They are encouraged to have as many children as possible. This not only gives them more "power" in their polygamous household, but it also is progress towards their exalted place in the celestial kingdom. Complete subservience to their "priesthood" (husband) is demanded. Violence, both physical and sexual, is common. Mothers are basically not permitted to "mother" their children; physical affection is discouraged; hugs and kisses, a sign of weakness and coddling, extinct past the nursing years. Sons and daughters, future priesthoods and mothers/wives, continue to be raised in this environment today.It is amazing that this woman not only escaped, but that she succeeded in being awarded custody of her children. It is a complete testament to her personal strength, determination, and individuality. She rose above and thought for herself. She wanted more for her children and knew that more was "out there." Unfortunately, once her eldest daughter (who had escaped with her) turned 18, she (the daughter) opted to return to the FLDS community. I cannot imagine the author's heartache and sense of loss, now losing her daughter to everything she (the author) has fought against. As of the writing of the book, the author had not heard from her daughter after her return to the FLDS. In the trial which I mentioned above, the author was a witness for the prosecution; her eldest daughter, a noted witness for the defendant, Warren Jeffs. Family against family.This book brought me lots of sadness. As a mother to 3 girls, I cannot imagine raising them to their teen years, only to have them sent off to an arranged marriage by some "prophet." This is a cult, pure and simple. The mind control is incredible. The use of religion as a form of power and control mirrors all domestic violence relationships. The girls are not raised to know they have control of their own destiny; education is an after-thought; women are for procreation only, and even that appears to be to satisfy the sexual deviancy of the (much) older men.What's scary is this is today. Today. In the United States. I say prayers today that another Waco isn't on the way as agents surround and seal off the current FLDS compound in Texas.N.B. The FLDS is completely separate from mainstream Mormonism, which is refered to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ disavowed polygamy in 1890.

  • Books Ring Mah Bell
    2019-03-31 02:51

    I have a strange obsession with the FLDS. I really can't help myself. They REALLY BELIEVE in magical underwear; underwear with magical, protective qualities. Blows my mind. They believe that having multiple wives will get you into heaven - where those lucky wives will continue to serve their husbands for all eternity! Eek!They believe all sorts of wonky things that I see as wonky because I was not born into it, so, from the outside, that stuff just seems crazy jacked up. Really jacked up. So how does one born into that community ever know any different? One woman, Carolyn Jessop, had just enough exposure to the outside world, some higher education, and a fiercely independent and stubborn streak that after nearly 20 years of polygamous marriage, (abuse at the hands of her husband and sister wives included with vows! Sign up today!) she had the balls to leave.Should a woman decide to leave, she needs serious courage. The FLDS does not make it easy for a woman to get out. They will keep your children. They will tell horrible lies to your children so they fear and hate you. Carolyn's story is simply amazing. The only thing that could make it better is some tighter editing. For example, at least the fact that the FLDS has a major presence in the local police force (thus making it hard to escape), is mentioned several times. Have a little faith that a reader can read it once and retain it.I have so very much respect for her. She is clearly a very independent thinker and was willing to question that which challenged her beliefs. I love strong women. Great read.

  • Ever
    2019-03-24 02:41

    I couldn't put this book down, so I read it in one day. I'm not sure what's more outrageous - the fact that this book is NOT fiction, or the fact that this craziness is going on in the 21st century United States. Despite the horror of Jessop's story, her words are still uplifting and her triumphs against such impossible odds are inspiring. I was tearing up at the end. Definitely a must-read.

  • Liza Fireman
    2019-04-11 00:52

    Fascinating and crazy, or maybe the order should be reversed. It is almost impossible to believe that this could be anybody's reality. Horrifying is probably the more accurate word for this story.This book is so much better than The Sound of Gravel, that I read earlier in 2016. It gives a true glimpse into the core of polygamy, into the crazy world of (insane) prophets. Into a world of complete obedience, where control is being achieved in unimaginable ways. Control preventing the minimum necessity, spreading hate and quarrel between the women, spreading fear and using threats that become terrible reality. Creating helplessness and frustration, isolation and loneliness as a strategy. Many small things could be considered as committing a sin unto death, the day-to-day basics are neglected and used to punish and control.We had been out of things such as shampoo, toothpaste, and soap for weeks. Once winter came and the garden froze, the only food we had left in the house was cracked wheat, which we ate for breakfast, and the makings of tomato sandwiches, which we had for lunch and dinner. In a world, where men (several of them) are making ALL the decisions, a woman is a tool that is made to serve, a doll that needs to do anything they tell her. She will marry or leave her husband if she is told. (e.g. She also had to agree to be reassigned in marriage by the prophet to another man). She will cook or do laundry (or will be prevented from this), she will have intercourse. She cannot even go to the ER in an emergency case without permission. I said I’d take her to the ER in St. George. I knew she would go only if Merril agreed, so I called him... Merril said he saw no reason to rush to any conclusion... Merril said there was no reason to get bent out of shape about this. He would handle it that evening when he came home.How does it all make sense? Brain wash from young age. A woman’s destiny in the FLDS is handed to her... She is assigned in marriage by the prophet who’s told by God the name of her husband-to-be. . Of course, they might be married to much older men, that are already married to many women, and have countless children. At eighteen, she had been married to the prophet Uncle Roy.The one who married the most was the favorite son among the prophet’s seventy children. The prophet is above all, All of us, myself included, believed that Uncle Rulon was the true prophet of God, so we would never dream of criticizing anything he said or did. , and his closest people get the same type of superiority. Any act of insanity is considered an act of divine inspiration. All are made to believe that a woman could become celestial goddess only if she was married to a man in this life who was worthy of becoming a god after death and only if she behaved herself, so he would choose to do so. She would get after she dies an appreciation for her in death that her husband never had for her in life.There is so much pain in this book, and much more than I highlighted here. There is a terrible culture, that should not exist. There are women and children that are suffering. I highly recommend to read it, even though Carolyn Jessop is not a writer. 4 stars, and a heartache.

  • Lady Jane
    2019-04-13 03:36

    "Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people in the West have a hard time accepting: All human beings are equal but all cultures and religions are not. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nomad, p. 212I could barely put Caroly Jessop's harrowing story of her life within and escape from the FLDS church and community down and I can't stop thinking about it now.Tony Campolo theorizes in The Power Delusion that in personal and corporate relationships, those that love least have the most power. His point is that Christians are called to love, but instead often erroneously seek power while jettisoning love. Ms. Jessop's depiction of the FLDS faith community is one utterly devoid of love and dominated by members seeking to have power over one another in the most jaw-dropping, vicious, abusive means imaginable. Leaders dissolved families, abruptly drove some children out to fend for themselves and sexually abused others, created a fear-based culture with the threat of whimsical, eternal excommunications, and incrementally cut off members from the outside world. Some men ruled their families selfishly and abusively, extracting obedience to cruelty and exploitation based on the fear that they would not select the rebellious to rule with them in the after-life--a tenant of Mormon theology. Wives and children eked out their survival in a cutthroat environment they helped create, jostling for position and advantage within their families and bullying whomever they could. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.What one puts faith in matters. Carolyn Jessop's story debunks the popular, 60s era thought that "It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere." Ayaan Hirsi Ali takes it farther in Infidel and Nomad, her memoirs of leaving fundamentalist Islam, when she asserts that some religions and cultures--for her those that promote or permit the abuse of women and children--are inferior to others. "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge...but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Cor. 13:2So many well-intentioned, sincere people have "drunk the Kool Aid," so to speak. Why? The pattern seems to be that when groups drift from embracing the authority of Scripture and begin turning to the "revelations" of what appears to be an anointed prophet having direct, red-phone contact to God no one else shares, they begin their descent into misery. History is littered with the abused despair and, sometimes, bodies of their followers.Carolyn Jessop enjoyed some advantages other FLDS women were denied, increasing her ability to escape. She was college educated and worked at various times away from the FLDS compound, giving her exposure to thoughts and people outside of the control of her FLDS leaders. Even then, her leaving was miraculous. I admire Ms. Jessop's courage, tenacity and survivor spirit. No one in love with being a victim could ever have the spark of hope of leaving that nightmare on earth, much less made a concrete plan under the circumstances with which she had to work.I recommend Carolyn Jessop's engaging, thought provoking memoir, Escape, to those who enjoy the stories of people who have thrived despite overwhelming odds and the downfall of the well-established perpetrators.

  • Bethany
    2019-03-28 00:52

    A fascinating memoir and look into the FLDS freakshow (not to be confused with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have nothing to do with this group and have been very outspoken about the FLDS's heinous and unlawful ways). It was really interesting to see into family dynamics in a polygamist household and my heart just ached at the helplessness of the women and children to do anything about their situations without taking drastic measures. It also chronicled the reign of Warren Jeffs (Yes, that sicko who is finally locked up for raping children and incest). Scary that a group like that can exist in the US today... and it still does!Ms. Jessop details her life from being forced into a marriage at 18 to a 50 year old man (barf!) to her unbelievable escape with all 8 of her children (she was only in her early 30's) and how she was finally able to make her situation permanent. The writing was simple, without flourish, but the story itself was enough to keep the reader interested and drove the story forward quickly. I would have given more stars if the writing was better.

  • Gina
    2019-04-08 05:45

    This book opened my eyes to how things are so different and challenging. It really makes you think that maybe you don't have it so bad. It drew me in, I felt like that I was there with her. I really enjoyed this book. I think that it will stay with me for a long time.

  • Megan
    2019-04-08 04:39

    Interesting -- kind of like watching Cops is interesting. You don't really like it, but you can't pull yourself away beause it's so unbelievable.

  • Lisa Butterworth
    2019-04-01 04:40

    This book was very informative about flds culture and easy to read. I admit I skimmed parts, but I was more interested in getting the big picture and dude, what a hard life. It always frustrates me so much when people are so blithe about pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, as though it's just so easy to escape the circumstances of our birth and culture and build an independent life. This book clearly illustrates the many flaws in the whole boot-strap mind-set. It took a lot of lucky breaks and an incredible force of will for Ms. Jessop to change her life. I don't think I could have done it. It also illustrated in a general anecdotal kinda way how some poly marriages (generally those not manipulated too much by authority figures) such as the marriages of ms. Jessop's own parents can be healthy overall, but how the more these marriage were used as a tool of power and politics, the more people were forced and manipulated into marriages, the less healthy they seemed to be. And once again, I get nervous over doctrines of obedience.

  • Diane Chamberlain
    2019-04-01 06:28

    This book was not particularly well written, but I give it four stars because I found it engrossing. The insight into polygamy and the cult mentality was enlightening. Jessop paints herself in a very positive light, and the cynic in me wonders what is true and what is not. However, the fact that she had a severely disabled child (along with seven others) and still managed to get them all out couldn't help but win my sympathy. The book also helped me better understand one of my favorite HBO shows, Big Love. :)

  • Danielle
    2019-03-30 06:35

    Wow. This book is quite the trip, if you're up for it. I had never really wondered all that much about what life would be like for women living in polygamy. My general attitude towards the whole FLDS culture (including Warren Jeffs, when he was getting tons of news coverage) was, "Well, that's their thing." But, this book makes it abundantly clear that this isn't just a matter of freedom of religion. It is opression, manipulation, and totalitarianism at its worst. Polygamy, as portrayed here, is a system built on controlling and degrading women. I think anyone other than a man would have to be born into this system, and not know anything different, to consider it a higher order. No wonder Jeffs was so opposed to education--it enabled Carolyn Jessop to wake up and realize how wrong things were with the FLDS religion. The main thing that struck me was the cult's complete disbelief in freedom of choice. A woman couldn't decide the religion was no longer for her and leave. That freedom to make one's own decisions was not respected. Time and again women who fled were hounded and pressured until they relented and returned. As Jeffs power grew, he began more and more to take decisions out of the hands of individuals and arbitrarily control their destinies. This to me sounds a lot like a plan we already rejected once. Anyway, Jessop's story is incredible and eye-opening. What makes this book great, though, is that she didn't try to write it alone. In fact, my only qualm with her collaborator is that occassionally there were devices and phrasing that bore the stamp of an experienced writer, whereas the rest of the book was the simple and straightforward account of an individual. But, those differences were infrequent, and not too distracting, so no doubt the book was helped immensely by Laura (can't remember her last name). I wish all non-witers with an interesting story to tell would enlist help in doing so. It makes for a much more enjoyable read.Oh, also, I bumped this one up my to-read queue because I read several reviews that said they couldn't put it down. I second that. When I wasn't reading this book I was thinking about it, and I finished it in two days.

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2019-04-15 02:41

    I'm reading this book again. Sometimes it contradicts in some places and it gets repetitive but the main thing to remember is WHY THE HELL DO PEOPLE HAVE TO STAY IN THESE STUPID ASS CULTS?I reckon they are brain washed into them, but it's so warped! Children are supposed to be gifts from God but you smack them around and beat them. Women have no choice and get stuck marrying men they don't want to marry. It's not like the men have it any better, but at least they don't have to bow to some jerk who treats them like crap.More later.So I am a bit bitter when it comes to religion. Especially the contradictions in it. Such as homosexuality being an abomination, but child abuse in this FDLS culture being ok. What do you DO about this?Carolyn Jessop showed a lot of courage getting out with all of her children, but what can you do for the other women stuck in situations like this and the lost boys as well?I just don't know where you'd start. I guess reading books like this and so many other books about polygamy can open your eyes to the issue, but then what?

  • Elyse
    2019-04-19 23:42

    Can you say "Rush to publish"?There are two things I'm going to review here. One is the premise and the value of the story. The second is the actual writing and presentation of the story.First thing. Great story. Harrowing, scary, sick. Thought-provoking.Second thing. Horrible, horrible, horrible writing. If the story wasn't so compelling by itself, I never would have kept reading. I don't think this ever got past a second editor review. Awkward sentences, bad grammar, rotten phrasing, boring and confusing voice. It was terrible. Terrible. Terrible!!!!How long did it take you to figure out who Uncle Roy was? I had a guess, but I finally gave up after the first quarter of the book and looked it up on the Internet! The Internet! I had the book right there! No one had bothered to tell me who a main character was. It finally was explained about the middle of the book. Whatever!Anyway, read if you want a glimpse into one polygamous family in Colorado City. But don't read for a fabulous literary experience.

  • Laura
    2019-04-13 06:45

    This is certainly a must-read if you live in Utah, or Texas; if you are Mormon; or if you think polygamy is a victimless crime. It would certainly be interesting if a current polygamist wife could write her version of life in the FLDS community! This book is horrifying, but fascinating. It's difficult to believe anything like this is happening in THIS century.

  • Patti
    2019-03-30 23:54

    You hear about these things,but wonder to yourself if it's really true,and then put it out of your mind. After reading this book I not only belive these things are truly happening,but while reading it,I wanted to jump up and try to get all of those women out of that religion!! LOL Of course,I'm just an itty bitty woman that lives in an itty bitty town in Wisconsin,so not much I can do for these women.I just thank God that America's Most Wanted was able to "capture" the guy that became the Leader of this so called religion. A religion that belives that the Men are the rulers,Women are to be nothing more than slaves,and do as they are told,and the wife can be of any age,,starting at age 12,the younger the better,in fact. She's 12 yrs old? That's great! The thought is the younger they are the more gullible and naive they will be? And will do anything?? And of course,not question it. The important issue of sex in these marriages is not something I think God had in mind. To procreate,yes,but to use it against another "wife" in a polygamist marriage is/was disgusting to me. I know these woman,and men,as well,are brought up in this religion and know no better,but really after a time one would think that more of them would realize what kind of horse---- are they living in/with? I'm so glad that the author of this book,finally started get some sense into your noggin',and got the good sense to GET OUT! Although,the act of just getting herself out was one thing,but getting her 8 children out as well,and with one that was ill to boot,was an act of God in and of itself. I just hope her older daughter...will one day see the light as her Mother did. A very good read. Here's the link at America's Most Wanted regarding "Warren Steed Jeffs"-the Leader,who may not have started all this,but became more bold than all the other leaders and that is what became the undoing of him and hopefuly most of the "cult" that he tried so hard to control.

  • Kristine
    2019-04-04 01:41

    Jessop is a sixth generation polygamist who took her 8 kids and escaped the FLDS cult in Colorado City AZ. She was one of several wives and her husband was a major leader in the cult. Pretty good book, although, her writing is a bit simple and every now and then she feels compelled to remind us how exceptional she is. I think she still has self esteem issues.There's a large population of FLDS in AZ and every now and then there are news stories about runaway wives. Especially now that Warren Jeffs has been arrested.What I like about the book is she really explains the infrastructure of the family and the cult. It's pretty horrifying to an outsider. I mean I watch Big Love and it kinda hits the mark but not really. Another thing that surprised me is that FLDS drink coffee and alcohol. I figured they'd be really hardcore on that but apparently not. Anyway she was pretty devoted until Warren took over and started preaching about the apocolypse and compounds. Women lost the small amount of freedom they had (she was allowed to travel and go to college under the previous leaders). Then he really started isolating them from the outside world. Jessop decided to take her kids before the next step was drinking the Kool-Aid Jim Jones style. I did hear a follow up interview with her on the Diane Rehm show. Unfortunately one of her daughters has gone back to the cult and chosen to stay. All her kids had a really hard time adjusting. I'm going to have to listen to that interview again.

  • Holly
    2019-04-05 02:54

    I used to think the FLDS were basically good people, just a little confused but doing their best to live their religion. I was horrified that their children were taken from them. After reading this book I am not so sure anymore??? According to Carolyn Jessop's story these people are brainwashed, seriously confused, unable to think for themselves, physically and mentally abusive to each other, They have taken a celestial principle and turned it into sheer wickedness. The way they have mangled the truths they once had is horrifying!It was really hard for me to read all that Carolyn went through as a child and especially as the 4th wife of Merril Jessop. I just wanted her and her children to get away from such an awful lifestyle quickly and it took way too long. Now I just wish there was someway to save others from having to endure such atrocities in obedience to a false prophet.Perhaps mother's and children together could be separated from their husbands and sister wives temporarily and given an opportunity to experience safety and freedom, gain a little education, and have some counseling. Then after a specified time and meeting certain criteria if they really want to return they can???????

  • Marnae
    2019-04-01 00:54

    I did like this book but it was very disturbing to me in the sense that people really live in that kind of abuse. I was interested in reading it with all of the "YFZ" stuff on the news. It is a true story about a woman who after living in a polygamy colony all her life and being one of the wives of an abusive husband finally, in her own word, "escapes". It was heartbreaking to me what she lived through. I thought I wanted to choose this book to read for book club but I have changed my mind. There are some language issues here and there and it is full of references to sex. (Of course when you have that many wives....anyway) If you are interested in learning more about polygamy it is a good book and I would suggest.

  • Stacey
    2019-04-12 04:43

    I don't know where to begin at how amazing, shocking, and ultimately hopeful this book is. When I first started I thought it would be a quick read because I had read a few memoirs from wives that had left(escaped) polygamy and the FLDS. Not so! I was fully engaged by the time Carolyn married Marril. What a hellish existance and a brave journey to freedom.I immediately looked up Jeffs and Jessop after I finished. There is a photo of Merril Jessop's first 6 wives and reading about Jeffs trial was quite an eye opener, but his persona seemed accurately described in Escape. I think when the jury saw pictues of him kissing a 12yo the case was closed right there. Ugh.Excellent read.

  • Neja
    2019-04-20 04:28

    This story blew my mind away. First of all, the story is very well written, it's very detailed. Things like these should never, EVER happen to anyone! I can't believe some people are so mean to play with other people's mind. These people brainwashed and ruined so many people, families, children, husbands, wives, parents,… I admire Carolyn for being so strong and intelligent even though she grew up in a community where people didn't think with their own brains. Having your own opinion and intelligence is power. And every single person in this world should have that.

  • Joana
    2019-04-23 03:55

    Inacreditável! Na primeira parte do livro, e de tão estranha e incompreensível é esta realidade, parecia-me quase que estava a ler ficção. Esta senhora é uma verdadeira heroína dos tempos modernos.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-04-20 23:53

    This was one of the most moving books I've ever read, it being the account of one woman's life under the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints. I'd previously read Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven and, so, already knew something of this polygamous branch of Mormonism, but this first-person account packed an emotional wallop that more journalistic account didn't. Also, and probably very importantly, this is a woman's story, a story of girlhood, marriage and motherhood under extreme conditions of patriarchy. I simply haven't read enough autobiographies of women.