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Church of Lies

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,236 ratings  ·  130 reviews
From the Preface:

"My name is Flora Jessop. I've been called apostate, vigilante, and crazy bitch, and maybe I am. But some people call me a hero, and I'd like to think they're right too. If I am a hero, maybe it's because every time I can play a part in saving a child or a woman from a life of servitude and degradation, I'm saving a little piece of me, too.

I was one of twe

...more
296 pages
Published (first published December 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Marichee
The only thing that brought the rating down on this book was the total lack of grammar. I'm sorry, but I'm one of those who believes that if you're going to do any kind of formal writing, grammar and proper editing have to be present. And I know that's kind of a contradiction, because my writing mechanics are weak, but I'M NOT WRITING ANY BOOKS. Just the occassional review and a ton of emails and text mesages. LOL.

All that being said, this book does give you a look into what life is like inside
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Rod
What a horrific tale of sexual abuse and religious insanity.

However, this is rather normal for the world we live in. And that is the problem; people think this craziness is just happening on the fringes of humanity and the rest of the world is wonderfully normal. And that is Flora's problem...

Here's why I think this:
Hinduism has polygamy throughout it history (as well as endless sexual abuse of minors and even infants - read Amy Carmichael's adventures in India for more information, and don't f
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Dannielle Buckley
Sep 12, 2010 Dannielle Buckley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah Hyatt
Best line ever from the book:
(The police are at Flora's house, trying to get the two runaway girls and Flora is telling them off.)
"Dude, I don't know where the hell these kids are, and if I did I would not tell you so you can betray them like the dozens of other children betrayed from Colorado City." Finally, they got tired of playing nice and started threatening me.
"You tell us where these kids are at or we're going to handcuff you and take you to jail."
"Fine handcuff me. Don't threaten me, cu
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Bonnie Morse
No matter how much I learn about the FLDS, every book brings new surprises. This one in particular, because it's not just one survivor's story, it's also the story of her tireless work to help other women and children escape lives of polygamous and abuse. One of the girls Flora Jessop rescued, first from the FLDS and then from the government agencies who insisted on returning her to her parents, was Fawn Broadbent. Fawn and her friend, Fawn Holm, ran away at the age of 15 to escape being married ...more
ElphabaNewlin
It's no secret that I've read many a book about the FLDS. While I think they all have their separate insights and such, the bottom line is usually the same: Warren Jeffs and the FLDS victimize people, mainly women and girls, and it shouldn't be taken any more. I was under the impression that Flora Jessop's book would be very similar to that of Carolyn Jessop's, and Elisa Wall's. Not that they are any less interesting, don't get me wrong, but similar in their tones and stories. But boy was I wron ...more
Rhonda
While reading this book, I felt all kinds of emotions come out. From sheer rage because of the way that the women and children were treated as property, sadness because they felt they had no way out...and anger again at the FLDS leaders who kept their women and children ignorant so that they could never really ever leave the sect.

Most children stopped formal education at 8th grade, if not before. Young girls were married off at the age of 12 or younger if they were perceived to be a "problem" ch
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Molly
By the end of this book, the flaws I found had become endearing and I was completely charmed by the charm, bluster, honesty and courage that Flora Jessop possesses. I understood why so many people in her life helped her with her causes, because she is a big person with a bright brain and heart to match. The difficulty of thinking independently after having been brainwashed since birth cannot be underestimated...her ability to flout all that was safe and secure to carve out a place for herself in ...more
Rennie Heza
Aug 21, 2013 Rennie Heza rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Rennie by: Kobo
In Church of Lies, Flora Jessop tells her story of growing up in the FLDS where she was abused, molested, raped, tortured, held captive, and married off to a cousin at 14. This book has been the most gut wrenching and traumatic yet. Her story opened my eyes to the issues that I can hardly believe still exist in twenty-first century America. I believe in Religious freedom..but this takes it to a whole other level. I am absolutely disgusted with the way Arizona and Utah's government programs and o ...more
Jessica
It seems like a teenager wrote this. And really, in many ways, the author probably is like a teenager because of her lack of quality education (the education she did receive equates to brainwashing - I am surprised that it is allowed to go on). She frequently says, "Dude" and tosses out swear words like B**ch and Damn trying to sound tough but to the point of detracting from her message. The sexual abuse in this book is disturbing and way too graphic. It was not necessary to go into every single ...more
Stefani
Initially I was interested in this book since I was raised in the mainstream Mormon faith. I wanted to know exactly what the differences are in the mainstream faith and the fundamentalist sect. I found out the differences are slight, which didn't shock me too much. What shocked me was the story of Flora Jessup. This tale was told with frank honesty and a level of bluntness that is admirable but definitely would make most people cringe at times. This book perfectly highlights the numerous ways th ...more
Dana
A sad and interesting story. It is horrible the way that Flora was abused and so many other women and children are abused within the FLDS system. This book brings to light not only the abuse that she suffered, but the rampant abuses in that community and the failure of our government to protect the women and children within those communities. I do not think that women and children should be allowed to be abused under the guise of "freedom of religion". It sounds like Flora is doing the best that ...more
Jeannie
Feb 08, 2011 Jeannie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in this subject or wanting to know more about the FLDS
Wow, Flora Jessop is probably one of the most passionate authors I have ever read on this subject! She's a real fireball when it comes to the FLDS! This book was so fast paced, I couldn't put it down. Her work to protect and save women and children caught up in this cult is so awe-inspiring and desperately needed. I don't think she'll ever stop trying to bring this matter to the publics attention and that's a great achievement. Another woman whom I deeply admire for not only saving herself but s ...more
Sarah
I’m on a cult kick. Light, uplifting summer reading, is it not?

Cults are difficult to read about in general. Memoirs by cult survivors are even harder. I think this is because while facts are disturbing on a logical level, raw emotions and lived experience are where things really start to hit home. Well-written memoirs poke at us in a much deeper way; they remind us of our connection to one another and provide an emotional sense of experiences that we may not have lived ourselves. Walking a mile
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Mazola1
In Church of Lies, Flora Jessop tells the story of her upbringing in the fundamentalist polygamist sect, the FLDS, and how she escaped from it, and wenbt on to help other woman also escape. The book doesn't pull any punches, and tells the unvarnished truth. That makes it a bit difficult to read, as Jessop's upbringing was truly horrific. The strength of her character is inspiring, and her story is well worth reading. It offers encouragement to anyone in difficult circumstances.
Anastacia
I sometimes have a really hard time writing a review of a memoir, because I feel like I'm critiquing the person's life, and not the book itself - isn't it one and the same? This one is no different.

I had a really, really hard time liking Flora Jessop, though naturally I felt sympathy for what she went through. But she's awfully big on martyrdom, the "poor me" syndrome (which I can't get, because I can't imagine what she went through), but she also constantly praises herself for how awesome she i
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Dionne

It's amusing how many people now want to take credit for the fall of Warren Jeffs. It's a seductive story. Everybody wants to be seen as the hero...

But Flora Jessop--well, she's the real McCoy--one of the original warriors and genuine heroes. In fact, in many ways, Flora Jessop and a childhood friend of hers from Colorado City are truly Arizona's Founding Mothers of this hard-fought, human rights revolution. A campaign that had to overcome more than a half-century of institutionalized neglect an
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Kellie
I cannot say I enjoyed reading this, as it is so depraved, sickening and unbelievable that it's actually true. Flora Jessop was one of 28 children born to a man who had 3 wives. She was brought up in a polygamous cult and taught to believe the outside world was evil and that she lived among the righteous. Her innocence didn't last long .. Being sexually abused continually by her father from a young age to bring confined in a closet, and then being married to her first cousin at 16, I was not wan ...more
Milliey
This book was such a page turning,emotional roller coaster for me. as I read it I could feel her emotions as if I was sitting right in front of her as she was telling these happenings to me personally. At times her recollections were hard for me to read, I can't imagine having to go through the emotional and physical trauma/abuse she did...... If you think you have or have had a hard life you must read this book and see how wrong you are. This books really makes me appreciate my life and my free ...more
Aggy
the day i read a review about this book, is the day i'm looking for this book. It's too bad i can't found brick and mortar shops near my area that sells this book so i had to read the electronic version. that's why at first i thought i won't feel a single thing about this book.

oh boy, i was wrong.
reading how one person's life changing upside down when she's trying to challenge and questions the religion practice she was raised moves my heart. Flora "Jessie" Jessop, has wrote a graphic story of h
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Rashmi
Finished the book at last! This is my second book about FLDS and both books have surprised me in a horrific way! To read about the abuse of women and children is beyond one's comprehension.

The write still seems to have lot of anger towards FLDS and her family for putting her through the worst situation anyone could imagine(I am not judging and whatever she went through is not easy to overcome). The book starts slow and picks up pace and explains about the abuse of other women and kids. As a chi
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Tara
This is one of several books I've read about the FLDS (a fundamentalist Mormon sect) but it's by far the most horrifying. Not only are most of these women married off at a very young age to be one of multiple wives, but apparently abuse runs rampant in these communities. Flora Jessop tells her story about how she was raped and abused as a child before she had enough and ran away as a teen.

The abuse in this book is so horrific, you almost feel like you're reading fiction. Flora was strong enough
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Camille
Church of Lies by Flora Jessop


Polygamist memoirs are something of a hobby of mine. I find them fascinating and heartbreaking and compelling.

So, I checked out Church of Lies by Flora Jessop from my local public library.

Flora Jessop was born into the polygamy and raised in the twin polygamist cities of Colorado City and Hilldale, one on each side of the Utah/Arizona border.

Before I continue on, I want to give my readers the disclaimer that adult themes were present in this book as some pretty vile
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Rebecca
A friend of mine once reviewed a book that was an auto-biography and said that it was hard to give it a star rating because it was the person who wrote the book's personal story. I agree, and didn't quite know how to rate this book. It held me and kept me reading all day (also I was on a layover in Montreal on a rainy cold day, so staying in the hotel room seemed really nice! :) ).

I believe fully what Flora writes about the FLDS and how they brainwash their followers into believing what they do.
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Gymdogfran
This book adds another dimension to the stories of the FLDS told by others (Brent Jeffs, Elissa Wall, Carolyn Jessop), that being the complicity of local and state governments and law enforcement in widespread FLDS crimes and abuses, particularly those perpetrated against children. Whether through fear, ignorance, legal constraints, laziness or outright corruption, state authorities in Utah and Arizona, particularly CPS and juvenile courts, continually turned a blind eye to the physical and emot ...more
Margaret
As I watched the Warren Jeffs story unfold on television, I kept asking myself how these women and children stayed within this compound? Why did they continue to let one man determine every aspect of their lives? Why didn't they get help? I was an outsider looking in. Flora Jessop tells the story eloquently. To suffer degradation and physical and mental abuse beyond my understanding, all under the guise of religion, not knowing any other kind of life, fearing the wrath of God for not "staying sw ...more
Ashley (yAdult Review)
Originally posted at Nose in a Book

This book is probably the last thing Tina and Lauren ever saw being featured on our little blog, yet here I am!

Here’s an un-known tidbit about me: I enjoy books about the Mormon church and the FLDS. Yes, I understand the FLDS has nothing to do with the Mormon church (anymore), but I enjoy reading about both of them. In my undergrad schooling, I even took a class about Mormonism! The joys of having to fill up credit hours my last semester. Back to the topic at h
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Ana Mardoll
Church of Lies / 978-0470565469

I'm coming late to "Church of Lies", having already read "Escape" and "Stolen Innocence", as well as "Answer Them Nothing", but I'm glad that I kept reading on this subject because "Church of Lies" is an incredible and moving read.

This book probably isn't going to be a bestseller or made into a movie; I can't even find an audiobook version to sit alongside my audiobook versions of "Escape" and "Stolen Innocence". It's not surprising that this book won't appeal to
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Carmen
Of all of the books I've read so far by escapees, this, I felt, was the most honest and remarkable. Flora Jessup doesn't sugar coat her past behavior or the horrible things she lived through. She is open and straightforward. She's a fighter, and I could not help but love her for all she does to help give people their right to lives of their own choosing.

Flora is not afraid to thumb her nose at authority if authority isn't serving its purpose. She's a force. Worth the read. I'll continue to foll
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Jenn
Given the experiences of abuse she describes, I can understand (on a cognitive level) why the author feels so angry and bitter. She seems to believe that her anger is a good thing because it has motivated her to help others. However, this was just the thing that I didn't like about this book. Her bitterness permeates the book to the point that she loses all objectivity. I don't doubt much of what she describes is real, but I do doubt that the universe is one conspiracy orchestrated against Flora ...more
Nura Yusof
I was horrified reading this book and felt worse still that this continues to exist. Or allowed to exist.

Words cannot describe the many kinds of punishments I would like inflicted on the perpetrators. To take advantage and abuse women and children? I cannot fathom such cruel sick behaviour.

I can only hope that many more will escape the clutches of these evil-doers. No one should be forced into a religion or a way of life against their own will. Everyone should be allowed to have choices and the
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  • Prophet's Prey: My Seven-Year Investigation into Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints
  • Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up in Polygamy
  • The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in a Polygamous Mormon Sect
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  • God's Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation
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  • Prophet of Death: The Mormon Blood-Atonement Killings
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  • I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing
  • Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs
  • Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith
  • Wife No. 19

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“To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who protect the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. Stand up for the innocent or go down with the rest.” 179 likes
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