Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carolyn Jessop - Escape

I was profoundly moved by this book. Like "Stolen Innocence" by Elissa Wall, I appreciated that this book gave me the chance to hear about the FLDS from a first-hand perspective. I would even go to the point of saying that Carolyn Jessop is one of my new heroes for having overcome such terrible odds and having helped to take down such an evil man (Warren Jeffs, that is, since obviously the institution of the FLDS will probably be around for much longer than I will). I had heard her story before but it was so interesting to read the entire back-story and the circumstances surrounding it. I had already known a lot about what happens in the FLDS but much of what I knew was based on circumstantial fact and snippets I'd gathered from the news and other sources. I was astonished not only to discover that the abuses that have gone on are even worse than I had thought, but that the level of degradation within the family structures, religious integrity and general stability of the FLDS was in such large part due to Warren Jeffs [and that consequently, Carolyn Jessops was able to get a university degree and profession. It was great to read this after the two other books on polygamy since I found this to be the most useful and informative, the most well-written and cohesive, and perhaps even more moving than Elissa's (simply because Carolyn endured the cult's abuse for so much longer than poor Elissa did, and therefore experienced a more varied type of abuse over a much greater number of years). What really astonishes me, though, is that both she and Elissa were able to overcome the persistent psychological abuse and indoctrination they were forced to endure.  

Daphne Bramham - The Secret Lives of Saints

I really enjoyed this book, particularly because it focused on the Canadian side of such a well-known and traditionally American group. I was fascinated but disgusted to find out how terribly Canada has failed its children and women, but I'm glad that someone has finally unearthed this story and that something might therefore be done to improve it.