This book by Carolyn Jessup TOTALLY changed my whole perspective on this story. I hate to admit it but I had made up a negative attitude about this wo...moreThis book by Carolyn Jessup TOTALLY changed my whole perspective on this story. I hate to admit it but I had made up a negative attitude about this woman for letting herself be in this situation, especially for having her children in this environment. After reading this book, which I bought spur of the moment at Wal-Mart, I began to see the real picture and see that this woman was literally TRAPPED. I cannot believe she actually made it out of that marriage and that world and to do so took such guts and strength. The ending was fantatsic because I was rooting for her the whole time and what happened with some of her children is heart breaking. The details involved helped to give a whole picture of that life also for me. (less)
I was worried this wouldn't do for me what Escape did. By that I mean get me interested and feeling more passionately than I already do about this sub...moreI was worried this wouldn't do for me what Escape did. By that I mean get me interested and feeling more passionately than I already do about this subject. But I worried for nothing. Carolyn really seems like a genuinely good person. She seems like someone I'd love to sit down for a cup of coffee with and talk about anything, not just this subject she's so close to. When I look at her picture on the cover of this book I'm astounded. She looks so young. But that's because she is so young. Not that an older person would necessarily be better equipped to deal with what Carolyn has but for someone so, so young to have lived through what she has - it's a miracle and nothing less in my opinion. I can't imagine how hard any of what she's dealt with has been but for me, what affects me most from her story, is Betty. I can't imagine getting myself and my children out of the hell she lived in only to deal with Betty leaving and going back. I admire her for realizing and stepping back when she decided not to physically intervene with Betty going back when she was 18 but how does one do that? How do you let your child walk into the depths of hell? I can't imagine the pain that must have caused her and I'm sure still causes her to this day. I hope and pray for both of their sakes that Betty realizes the life of lies she's been fed and gets the hell out of there. I'm not a big fan of this country's "justice" system and Texas botched the ranch raid horribly bad, but I'm glad they at least put what's-his-name away and charged/sentenced some of the other men. I'm glad our courts wouldn't let these men hide behind religion as a reason for their crimes. In Triumph Carolyn basically takes readers back - a little - to her past and details some of the things she had to live through. She tells of how she's been instrumental (not in a gloating manner mind you) in teaching others about cult life. I usually wouldn't much care for a second book of this nature. I read everything that truly matters the first time around probably right? Well, since this was so on-going this was needed I believe. Carolyn even gives examples of some blatant inconsistencies in this so-called "religion" and the men (and women) who "believe". (Warren Jeffs. Just remembered what's-his-name's name.) This is a quick one, especially if it's an interest of yours. I read it in less than two days without even a lot of reading time. I hope many, many people read this because a lot of us are going through our daily lives never knowing exactly how these women - and more importantly to me - these children are living. We shouldn't be able to hurt our children because of our "religious beliefs".
Astonishing. I think, for me, this was even more astonishing than Carolyn Jessups book Escape which was my entrance into the polygamy. I knew only the...moreAstonishing. I think, for me, this was even more astonishing than Carolyn Jessups book Escape which was my entrance into the polygamy. I knew only the definition of the word before reading Escape and have since been gathering almost everything I can find on the subject. This was a real quick book- mainly because you really can't put it down. The emotion is so raw it's scary. I found myself feeling so many different things at so many different points in her life story. One thing I liked a lot is that the reader gets two points of view from Mrs. Wall, one from her childhood and one from her "adult" life. I use that term sparingly since she was technically a grown-up in the FLDS at age 14. She didn't leave the group until years later so we do see a much desired difference in her ways. Adding what happened with the court case, as of the time of writing was nice also for anyone who didn't follow the court proceedings like myself. This is definitely in the top five books I've read this year- I was engaged the whole time and didn't find one page that I wasn't thinking, thinking, thinking. It scares me to no end to think this is still happening and that there are still women and young children trapped in this type of situation. Eliss Wall did an excellent job of sharing with her readers why us "normal" people have such a hard time understanding FLDS people. Before reading this and Escape I probably would have been one of the ones saying, "Just walk away. Leave. Get out." Now I realize it's not that easy. These people are taught that "normal" people are evil and will go to hell. They're taught that we will hurt them and take away from them when nothing is further than the truth. I truly hope the rest of Mrs. Walls life is exactly the opposite of the beginning of her life in terms of pain and happiness. I also hope she can continue to help the young girls and women who are still stuck in the mentality that Warren Jeffs continued long after Joseph Smith and his father, Rulon Jeffs died.
Nothing I can write here will do this book justice. I wish I was as talented with my words as the authors because maybe then there would be a chance f...moreNothing I can write here will do this book justice. I wish I was as talented with my words as the authors because maybe then there would be a chance for me to get my opinion through to the people who will see this. I can't gush about Hidden Wives enough. I knew, before reading this, that I would love it. I had that feeling (hopefully you've had it also for a book and know what I mean!) after only seeing the cover and knowing the title. That's a great, great, super great feeling. Even though I knew I'd love Hidden Wives I was still shocked when I opened to the first page. I hadn't though about how much I'd love it - the very first sentence and I fell in love deeper. I'm sure there will be people who don't like this book - there always are and not every book is for everyone - but I think those people will be few and far betwee. I'm not only amazed that this is the first novel from Claire Avery but also at the talent that poured out. It's a rare, rare book that evokes such emotion. I've read much more non-fiction in my life than fiction and most of the non hasn't forced such feeling out of me. There was a constant fight going on in my head because a part of me kept my eyes skipping ahead - I just had to know. Another part was making myself move as slow as possible so I could savor every sentence. One could say that I read this twice already because I reread every paragraph - and only because they were all so beautiful. I have no doubt that I'll reread this many times over the years. I haven't reread a book, even from an all-time favorite author, in...... well, almost forever. Even if the subject of polygamy doesn't interest you I would recommend not passing by this easily. Whether you're into non-fiction, fiction, whatever, this will probably touch you like you never imagined. I felt such fear so many times and such joy so many others. I wanted to reach in the book and help Sara and Rachel and Irvin. Irvin brings me to another subject. Race is a very sensitive subject with me. I don't like all the stereotypes and distinctions found everywhere. I don't like anything like that - in my eyes we're all the same and everyone should be treated and viewed the same. Most books have a hard time accomplishing this. A very hard time. Taking into account that Sara and Rachel grew up in a polygamist family and the problems with race they had to face, that part of the book could have easily went downhill. It was the opposite. I don't think I could name one other book I have ever, in my entire life, read that handles the subject so beautifully. There was nothing I would have wished differently and being that I'm so conscious of the subject that really says a lot. I could go on forever about Hidden Wives. I had a ton of books piled up waiting for me and I bypassed them all because of the feeling I had about this book and I didn't let myself down. Or, I should say, Claire Avery didn't let me down. I can only hope and pray that another book is in the works right now - I'll be in line to buy it the exact day it's released. Please, do not pass this book up because you think it's only for a certain type of reader - exactly the opposite is true. This book is for so many people. You'll be missing out tremendously. Please also take this review and times it by 1,000 because like I said above, my words cannot do justice to my feelings. (less)
Crap. I forgot to write the review when I was finished this. Those who know me well know my memory. All I can say is this is worth reading. It's a goo...moreCrap. I forgot to write the review when I was finished this. Those who know me well know my memory. All I can say is this is worth reading. It's a good book, tells a lot about the community where Brent W. Jeffs grew up. I'd recommend reading it in addition to some other memoirs, authors like Carolyn Jessop, Elissa Wall, etc. What Warren Jeffs did to Brent is atrocious and the fact that this man lived through all of it, and what came afterward as a direct effect of Jeffs' actions towards Brent's family is amazing. It's really, really, really, (throw a few more in if you'd like) hard for me to imagine how people buy this crap. I believe in God while not being "crazy" about it. I don't believe my God is more important than anyone else's, nor do I believe my God is the only God. Who am I to say that? That's not faith. That's a joke. But to believe that one man is the mouthpiece for God? Come the hell on. Here, give ME all of your money, your houses, your kids, and everything else and I'll tell you one day, all of a sudden, that red is reserved for God and no one else can have anything red too. Come on, gimme da loot! (RIP Biggie) I mean, seriously, how does one believe this? I've read (and rated highly) the memoirs but I'm not getting it. These people are so needy that they're allowing their children to be shunned, abused, and murdered. Is that faith? If it is I don't want it. You can have it. (less)
I was a little nervous about starting this- I'm kind of funny about anything religious and even though I've read a decent amount of non-fictional cult...moreI was a little nervous about starting this- I'm kind of funny about anything religious and even though I've read a decent amount of non-fictional cult stories, this was my first fictional cult book. In the end I was worried for no reason- from the second page on I got the distinct feeling that Lena Phoenix actually saw this story unfold in her head. I think some people assume this is how all writers come up with their stories but I know I've read many, many, many books that seemed.....strained. Very strained. Like the author was groping for the "right" word(s). This wasn't the case at all with The Heart of a Cult. I could see this unfolding in her mind, as well as mine. I didn't read one sentence that didn't fit together, not one sentence that seemed as if it "didn't go". I know this was based on true accounts but I still didn't expect the story to feel so real. Needless to say this was very surprising and welcomed. There is no doubt in my mind that if Lena Phoenix wrote another book that I'd pick it up right away. (less)
I was expecting this to be so-so at best and was shocked when I started. I loved the entire book and I love the way Hrdlitschka writes. Before I start...moreI was expecting this to be so-so at best and was shocked when I started. I loved the entire book and I love the way Hrdlitschka writes. Before I started this I saw that this wasn't her first book but as the other two I found didn't stick out to me I wasn't going to read them. Shortly after starting this I knew I'd have to read both of them. This is fantastic. I'm not sure how much this is based on truth since my religon is far different but it was a very fun read nonetheless. (less)
This would be rated a 3.5 if possible for me. I expected it to be written differently - I expected it to be more in memoir form and it's not. It's rea...moreThis would be rated a 3.5 if possible for me. I expected it to be written differently - I expected it to be more in memoir form and it's not. It's really a bunch os short - very short - stories. There are 18 different stories from 18 different women who among them, have lived in 10 of the 12 main polygamist groups that have been established for at least five years. The stories of what these women and their children endured are no less than horrific. I got interested in polygamy after reading Escape by Carolyn Jessup and have since been buying and reading anything and everything I can on the subject. When I started this I'd already read a few books on polygamy and still this taught me things I didn't know. There is a forword and introduction in the book that shouldn't be skipped. I learned some valuable information not only from the stories but from those two sections. It's so hard to understand why these women, especially the women not born into polygamy, got involved with these groups in the first place but a few of the stories in God's Brothel hit on that and make it somewhat more understandable. These people believe many, many, many insane ideas, one of which is that doctors are not to be used. They believe if someone is sick or hurt it's God's way of punishing them and they need to repent in order to heal. Women give birth with no aid or sometimes the aid of a midwife who has little to no education at all, much less any trainging or knowledge of childbirth. Some believe that to keep their bloodline 'pure' they cannot procreate outside of their family. This leads to babies being born with deformities, illnesses, all sorts of health issues, etc. Yet other groups have people who simple disappear when they don't accept the way of life. Usually the young girls are married off to a much older man, many times a man who is related to them in some way. The young boys who refuse to conform sometimes meet with unfortunate 'accidents'. Girls as young as 8 and 9 have been known to marry men in their 40's, 50's, 60's and older. They become 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 16th wives to these men. One thing that really struck me back when I read Escape and with every book since then, is that these women, while in the actual lifestyle try to pull other women in for sister-wives, they try to hide what's really going on from the outside world and they hide their true feelings even within their own community. Yet as soon as they come to terms with their feelings once out out polygamous relationships they are able to speak on the feelings and relate a polygamous relationship to hell. It's heartbreaking it what it is. How any mother - no matter what God or anything else she believes in - can sit by and watch her baby be molested, abused, and raped is beyond me. There is no force so deep to make someone think that's okay. I'm done ranting - until the next book anyway. :D If you're looking for a *different* book about the polygamy I'd say give this a shot. It's different in the way it's written. I do think it would have had more of an impact if Moore-Emmett had put her personal touch to the book and then stepped back for the 18 women to handle the rest. Instead it's more like Moore-Emmett interviewed the women and then pieced the stories together herself. It took away from the book for me but it's most definitely still worth reading. It's also a fairly fast read since it's broken up like it is.
It's hard for me to reconcile someone having 400+ personalities. It's hard to swallow. However, I can "understand" it after going through the things t...moreIt's hard for me to reconcile someone having 400+ personalities. It's hard to swallow. However, I can "understand" it after going through the things this girl went through. And that's only what was written here. Who knows what else there is. I find it suspicious that because of her "fair skin" could "not seem to be marked." "Burns and cuts healed almost instantly, leaving scars so faint they could barely be seen." Really? Hmm. Also, how exactly does another personality show a scar? Aren't they sharing the same body? I'd like that explained. There were some conversational instances where Jenny would mistake someones name. Apparently this "proved" she was ill. This "proved" she had other personalities. All it proves to me is she's either forgetful or slick. Slick - not sick. I found it extremely intriguing how very easy it was to bring forth and expel personalities. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, bing, bam, done. Huh. Hard to believe. I'm pessimistic when it comes to this sort of thing. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I'm seriously skeptical. And this book, and the authors, didn't give me any information to teach me otherwise. I learned a lot about what THEY think and how Jenny is according to THEM. Which is, of course, the point, but one would think with a subject such as this the author(s) would have gone more through the ins and outs. I didn't want to just read about this, I wanted to learn about her story and take something away. Instead I was left feeling the therapists were suckered.(less)
I would give this 3.5 stars if I had the option. I liked that the book was quite different than anything else I've read on the subject- Escape and Sto...moreI would give this 3.5 stars if I had the option. I liked that the book was quite different than anything else I've read on the subject- Escape and Stolen Innocence My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs, for instance, are basically only about the authors experiences themselves while this is much more in depth. Solomon goes back several generations and teaches the reader about things that the more personal accounts don't. I was surprised it took me as long as it did to get through- this wasn't something I couldn't put down- but I was interested the whole time. Solomon definitely has a certain flow to her writing. (less)
Frustrated. That's what comes to my mind when I think of this book and this woman. Frustrated. I honestly don't think we come from the same planet, th...moreFrustrated. That's what comes to my mind when I think of this book and this woman. Frustrated. I honestly don't think we come from the same planet, this woman and I. We can't. I think I can get past her seeing demons and "casting them away" by telling them they "are not inside" of her and that they "can't hurt her". Okay. I don't believe children should be subjected to mothers who see demons but hey. What do I know right? (I'm not going in order here and this may read strange but I'm going by pages I checked- sorry.) But, and here we get to the real good stuff, we have a man, who was in this cult for years and who recently got out, claiming that Ms. Williams, the leaders and the followers are all crazy and all perverts. Well, yes, they are. But weren't they when YOU were in the cult? Or did that just happen AFTER you left? Here we have a woman that claims that she would do ANYTHING for her children. No. I would do anything for my children. Ms. Williams, you on the other hand, would not. She claims to have "gotten out" because of her love for her children. I ask this then- where was that supposed love when these kids were hungry because you were giving all your money to you oh so heavenly leaders? Where was your love for them when they were forced to stand on buses and in restaurants begging for money for the leaders? Where was it then? Where was it when they were looking at pamphlets with sexual drawings on them? Where was the love (for them) while you were having threesomes? That's just the tip of the iceberg. I believe with all my heart that these children should have been taken away from her. I despise, DESPISE, women who claim to love their children and then put them in harms way. That's NOT A MOTHER. Giving birth DOES NOT make you a mother. It doesn't any more than giving sperm makes you a father. How dare she spout about her love for them after years and years and years of making sure they had an abnormal childhood? And for what? To find her heavenly purpose. How about making sure you're kids grow up to be useful human beings that aren't messed up because of their fucking parents? How about making THAT your purpose? Miriam Williams, and anyone else like her, disgusts me with every ounce of disgust I can dredge up. I hope those children make it in their lives and I also hope she thinks about what she's done every night of the rest of her life. (less)
May as well start out with that since it's been the running theme since I cracked open the book. I just don't know. The book was okay b...moreI don't know....
May as well start out with that since it's been the running theme since I cracked open the book. I just don't know. The book was okay but, as of this day and time, it was not "life changing" for me. I'll be sure to update if that changes. I'd suggest to anyone thinking of reading this to read the reviews, here and elsewhere. The great reviews I personally would take lightly because most of these people want to believe. Three stars and under are most likely people who didn't want to believe, didn't already believe or just don't know. I'm in the don't know category myself. I believe in God very much. I was raised Catholic, my daughter was baptized. I'm not active in a church but I do belong to one and my daughter and I pray at least once a day and we have talk about what we believe and what we don't. Our beliefs don't always align with the church. But that's neither here nor there. I was skeptical picking this up, I'm still skeptical now. Some reviewers bring up very valid points. Points that I thought about while reading before reading the reviews. If my daughter walked up and told me she visited heaven we'd be having a fairly lengthy conversation asap. I wouldn't wait over a period of years to ask "usual" questions. But hey, I'm not the most normal person in the world so I can sort of skip by this. I have a problem with other things too - Burpo bringing up the whole "Akiane Kramarik (hoax?)", him saying on pg. 72 that his son could "name a lot of the kids he said were in heaven with him". Wouldn't any sane, normal person think to jot those down? I mean, they're names. Names give at least a slight chance of something called "proof". But maybe that's why those "names" weren't kept? It's too convenient for me. Everything falls into place and it's just too convenient. I will say this - I hope this isn't the work of Todd Burpo because if it is he's probably already messed Colton up beyond help. I don't need this book to hope heaven is real - I already have faith on that within myself. Another thing - Burpo tells himself over and over that Colton couldn't have known this or couldn't have known that and he gives a plethora of reasons. Sunday school doesn't teach this, this wasn't talked about, that wasn't in any story we read, adults don't know this so how could a kid, etc. To that I want to say, Mr. Burpo, come meet my 6 year old. She knows things I'd have never guessed and has surprised me many a time. She's heard me when I'd have sworn she couldn't have. Kids are among the smartest people on the planet, just not in the ways most adults think. My 6 year old daughter knows more facts about the animal kingdom than I can ever hope to learn. Dinosaurs? Don't get me started. She's on her way to rivalling any paleontologist. Another reviewer mentioned this and I didn't think of it while reading but I'd like it answered also - why didn't Colton write this? Or at least part of it? Kids younger than Colton have written books. My daughter can write a decent amount and she could most definitely tell me what he wanted to say. I don't get it. Something tells me this is a scam the father (and mother if by nothing else than default). I really hope not but who knows....(less)
I'm going to start by asking anyone who happens to read this to take it lightly. I'm not that knowledgable in this subject so this is purely my person...moreI'm going to start by asking anyone who happens to read this to take it lightly. I'm not that knowledgable in this subject so this is purely my personal feelings towards this book. It's not a bad book I don't think. But I didn't like it. I even skipped. (!!) I never skip. Well, I rarely skip I should say. I did up until about 20 pages from the end with only skipping some biblical quotes and then towards the end I started skipping a little more. So for the most part, I did read the book. I like how Mrs. Robertson wrote the book and she seems very open and honest. I didn't like the many, many quotes from the Bible and I didn't like that it seemed she was using the book to converts more people. There's a time and place for everything and this isn't touted as being a book for people who want to convert. Just by reading the title alone, not to mention the cover photo of the web, it's obvious this is supposed to be a relation of her experience in the Mormom church. Which it is. Amongst converting people. I'm very touchy when it comes to religon and people trying to convert me though- maybe it's not as bad I'm making it out to be. Read it and decide for yourself I say. I liked very much how she detailed some of the discrepancies between the Mormom church and Christianity. I also enjoyed hearing how she went about trying to let people know these differences. I have a very hard time understand how someone can just believe in something they know nothing about so easily. It's like someone could walk up to someone like this and tell them the sky is actually, in all honesty, NOT blue, but purple and they'll say "Really?! Wow- thanks for letting me know." Then they'll just assume they must be color blind and go on with life. Is there anything they WON'T believe? Maybe I was blessed with a little more common sense than the average person? She mentioned in the beginning of the book that she "felt dehumaized and old" wearing that awful, awful undergarment the Mormons say protects you. I certainly hope Mrs. Robertson doesn't relate old with dehumanized- that's a pretty severe thought IMO. (That sentence bothered me if you can't tell, which is why I mentioned it.) Okay, Mormons can't drink coffeee, smoke cigarettes, etc. Judy gave up coffee when she converted. Great, okay. So, in the midst of Judy coming to the realizations that the Mormon church was full of secrets and lies, she starts her research. She comes across a quote (of course) and reads that "Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence."- Colossians 2:23 The next paragraph from Mrs. Robertson is this: "I can't tell you how much that gives me a sense of freedom. I can drink this coffee and not feel guilty at all. It's not abstaining from this stuff that makes me righteous, anyway; it's faith in Jesus Christ! Wow! I'm really free!" Need I say more? I think it would have really confused her is someone had walked up and told her that coffee was evil. I hope no one ever tells her that breathing air is evil. Come on, seriously. Lastly I'll mention this because while it took me awhile to realize it, since I did think about it, it's always there when reading something related to the subject. Mrs. Robertson talks about others having so many questions once she started Concerned Christians- they asked her questions like 'Why are LDS seminary buildings across the street from every junior high and senior high school in the state of Arizone? Why is their Institute of Religon across the street from Mesa Community College?' I have my own question now. Why do they believe on "bringing down" as many "spirit babies" as their bodies can possibly handle? Hmmmm...it's all related. Maybe becuase a family of 56 is populating the world much faster than a family of 3. In 20 years that family of 56 is going to be multiplied who knows how many times. Take into account that the girls are married off and start becoming pregnant as early as before theur pre-teens years to. Am I the only one who sees this stuff or what? I welcome any intelligent comments, questions or statements about this review or the subject in general. I'm interested in the subject of course or I wouldn't have read the book. Anyone who wants to get mad that I didn't like the book or about my feelings towards the book (or anything else too for that matter) will be laughed at but anyone wanting to come correct and have a discussion is more than welcome. (less)