Saturday, May 8, 2010

FLDS - The Book

I am fascinated with cults & extremest groups. In the late 90's I learned about these people in Utah and Arizona that practiced plural marriage and although the material was brief and really didn't say much other than they were "break away Mormon groups" My interest was peeked. Then in recent history when Warren Jeffs was arrested and an FLDS compound raided I was glued to the news stories. Dr Phil did a few shows on girls that had run away from there and The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FLDS, life.

So, last weekend I was in the book store with C and saw a discount hard cover that caught my eye, Stolen Innocence, about a young girl born into FLDS and forced to marry at 14. I purchased it and started in two days ago. It is so much more real than the news stories. For example, the author, Elissa explains in detail why her mother would choose FLDS over her children when faced with adversity, and how she could not be angry with her mom for doing what she had been trained to believe and know as the truth her entire life. The root of their religion was the promise of the Celestial Kingdom, your salvation is everything and time is short were drilled into them so much that it is all they knew. But moreover the book details the steps from believing that the prophet Warren's father had direct revelations from God and following him wholeheartedly and the baby steps that ended up with complete isolation and FLDS regulations or religious restrictions changing all the time so that there was nothing anyone could do that was righteous. Right now I am learning how she survived her marriage and the general oppression of her life, I cannot wait to see how she gets out.

I am only half way through the book, I spent the first part of the week finishing the book club book. The book club I am leaving - LOL, but I wanted to finish the book anyway. It was okay. The Wettest County in the World. I think the movies is going to be good when and if it comes out. It was about family of brothers who brewed alcohol during prohibition and there is a murder and a trial. The book gets pretty good reviews and has some interesting parts but it just wasn't my cup of tea. For one thing there are no quotation marks in the book. So at times I wasn't sure there was a conversation going on and had to reread the passage. That sort of stuff just makes me feel retarded. I suppose, I am just not literary enough to appreciate that style.

And back to FLDS:

So I love the show Big Love. What I didn't realize was how "ripped from the headlines" that show has been. Some episodes closely follow some of the accounts that Elissa portrays, like how they sneak over the border to a seedy motel to marry and how the prophet's son just sort of takes over. It is uncanny how closely the show resembles this sect. It isn't like FLDS is the only plural marriage sect out there, I wonder if other groups have had publications like Stolen Innocence. I bet I could find parallel stories there too.

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