Rock Springs, Wyoming – Follow-up

My brother Clark, his wife Susan, and I each had the opportunity to speak to approximately 70 interested people last Friday evening. We each talked for about 20 minutes about our experiences and feelings about polygamy and then had a Q & A session for the last half hour.

Susan told the audience that most of younger years growing up in her kind (but alcoholic) father’s large polygamist family was happy and rewarding in many ways. She discussed many of the difference between fundamentalists as far as their beliefs and actions. (All of us agree that to say “they” or to stereotype or cast every polygamist’s life, words and actions into the same category would be inaccurate.) After her fifth and last child Susan was able to pull herself out of a long, deep depression by realizing that every good thing about her would die if she chose to live polygamy.

Clark talked about his mother grooming him to become the next prophet. He studied, honored, pleased and tried to exemplify our father as he was growing up. He thought of the power and glory he’d have when he attained such a state of command… and talked of his sorrow when his mother told him that she plead with the Lord to take his life, after he chose not to participate in that life style.

I shared a quick over-view of my life and a few experiences that I also wrote about in my book: how I felt like a split personality trying to live God’s commandments while always wondering why it didn’t feel right; how hard it was to be a happy polygamist wife when I knew I was wicked because I wasn’t happy – but somehow convinced myself (like so many others do) that I was…

How exuberating it feels to have found true happiness – to know the difference.

Warren Jeffs Trial and Conviction

Earlier today I cried tears of joy when I heard that Warren Jeffs had been found “guilty of child sex abuse.” I only wished he’d have been found culpable for the thousands of other barbarities he’s committed in his lifetime. After all, a huge portion of his grandiose attitudes have been fueled and powered by the many legal battles he and his clan have won. I hear them say, “See, we won! It is God’s will because we are His chosen…”

Today, August 4, 2011 the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints are still convinced that “their beloved prophet Warren Jeffs” has been persecuted; and is a martyr for the gospel of plural marriage.

One of my hundreds of first cousins who still lives in Colorado City, Arizona called me this evening. We met only a month ago. After I watched a publication called “Banking on Heaven” I drove to Colorado City to meet her and see if I could help. That was the second time I’d heard bits and pieces about her horrendous life that make my past look and feel like a bed of roses. From childhood, until she was assigned to an abusive man, she had been continuously raped by her father. Her children were beaten and molested by their father. When she tried to protect her daughter by calling the local police, her ‘priesthood’ leaders had her beaten up and drugged; and later placed in a mental institute. She was then forced to sign custody papers releasing her children to their abuser. And yet, after all of that and so much more, she told me tonight that she was really sad because of the verdict of Warren’s Jeff’s trial. When I reminded her of the tape with Jeff’s own voice molesting a young girl, the DNA, the age of the girls – none of that evidence mattered to her. She defended her prophet and his actions as she’s been programed to do all of her life. “It’s mostly a bunch of lies and fabrications,” she said.

On my end of the phone I was crying again. Not for her. She, I feel, since she’s close to my age, might be a lost cause; but I cried for her nearly twelve-year-old daughter who is still in her sexually abusive father’s home and for the thousands of young boys and girls who will most certainly continue to justify being perpetrators and victims since they are ingrained in past and present mind control.

In 2008, when the FLDS children in Texas were “rescued” and placed in “protective custody,” I wept because I knew and felt their fears and heart-aches. However I believed there were enough of us on the “outside” who would love and care for them. Away from the perverted religious dictates of their parents who were told by Jeff to “obey his perfect examples” most of those children would have had a chance to lead productive, morally healthy and happy lives. They’d have been safe from Jeff’s religious dictates that under the guise of religion claim that pedophilia and other such perversions are in direct obedience to God’s will…

Knowingly or not, some of the laws and people of the United States of America have literally allowed, supported and condoned this man (who studied and admired Hitler’s leadership tactics) and the growth of his thousands of like-minded followers. The majority of the FLDS will continue to propagate hundreds of thousands who, like my cousin, will continue to defend, support, condone and probably carry out “Jeff’s” perversions under the realm of our constitution and “God’s will.” Even from his prison cell, it has been Jeff’s legal and religious rights to govern, steal land, homes and properties – to prostitute hundreds of women and children whom will co “multiplying and replenishing the earth with righteous (like minded) seed.”