Louise's Reviews > Lost Boy

Lost Boy by Brent W. Jeffs
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2143983
's review
Jun 19, 09

bookshelves: memoirs
Read in June, 2009

Brent Jeffs is the nephew of Warren Steed Jeffs the now imprisoned former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as the FLDS. The FLDS is a polygamous Mormon sect which was run by Rulon Jeffs, Warren’s father and Brent’s grandfather. Warren is now serving two consecutive terms of five years to life and is facing additional charges of sexual misconduct with minors.

The story is based on Brent’s own memories and recollections of people who were close to him. By no means was it an easy task for Brent to break from the FLDS Church and its teachings and to eventually come forward with the allegations he did.

Brent attended the Alta Academy, a private religious school built and run by Warren Jeffs. Brent’s own father, his 3 wives, and Brent’s 19 brothers and sisters were all born into the church. Brent was born the 10th child. Susan is Brent’s biological mother, Susan’s biological sister, Felicia, was his father’s second wife, and a 16-year-old girl named Vera was his 3rd.

First raped by Warren in kindergarten and continuing until approximately age 7, Brent would become terrified of the “bathroom” in the school and terribly fearful of his Uncle Warren. The memories of the continued rapes would later result in some devastating nightmares and bad behaviour for Brent. He said he was never the same after that, his feelings disappeared, his sensitivity, and any sense that the world was a good place. He said: “I didn’t know there was such a thing as rape, or that it could happen to a boy.” Brent described how he would “leave” his body during the rapes and that each time he did that to protect himself he was less and less able to bring himself back. He began to space out more because he never knew when it was going to happen.

Brent admits to some good times as youngster, thoroughly enjoying the fishing trips with his father and older brothers at the Strawberry Reservoir. He didn’t realize he was any different than any other kid in the world until he went shopping or was exposed to people outside of their church. At a young age he quickly realized the differences weren’t just about the church, it was the way they dressed and carried themselves, and people often pointed at them calling them “plygs”, an unpleasant slang word for polygamists. They were taught at home not to speak to outsiders as their church believed outsiders were worldly and would corrupt them. The kids were told they were “chosen”, so even though Brent knew he was different and felt different, he also “felt special.”

In his early childhood, the church wasn’t as strict as it would become later on. They were allowed to have books and watch approved television shows. However, Warren Jeffs soon abolished that luxury for the children by banishing all books except for the Bible, The Book of Mormon and Warren’s own teachings. Soon to follow was the abolishment of television and movies.

In 1988 Brent’s parents decided to send his little sister Patricia to a public school because the Church’s school, Alta Academy, didn’t have a kindergarten. A few months later Brent was sent to the same school so Patricia wouldn’t be alone. It was during this time that Brent learned the “...implicit knowledge that outsiders weren’t all that different or bad”, and in fact, had been kind and good. For Brent, this experience made him a little less afraid when he’d venture again into the outside world as a teenager. This early experience of public school also provided Brent with hope as he later faced “...the great evil that lurked” inside his own church’s leadership.

After Rulon, Brent’s grandfather died, Warren Jeffs became the preacher or “The Prophet” as he liked to call himself. Warren’s motto was: “Perfect obedience produces perfect faith, which produces perfect people.” Brent felt brainwashed, hearing day after day after day to “obey, obey, obey and fear hell.” After so much repetition, one tends to become like a robot just going through the motions, programmed to speak and live a certain way. Warren was all about power and control and that was what drove him. However, his greed, narcisstic personality and his penchant for young boys would eventually be his downfall.

The abuse these children incurred during their time in the FLDS not only came from Warren, but their multiple mothers who often beat them, chased them, threw things at them, yelled, swore and belittled them. The mere fact that any of these kids escaped is a miracle.

I was deeply moved by Brent’s story as a “Lost Boy” and am astounded to learn that many of them were able to overcome the severe abuse and trauma they suffered, but sadly, a few were not including Brent’s brothers Clayne and David. This is a book ALL people should read, especially those of us who feel that our own lives are horrible, as I can assure you, nothing is more heinous or abhorrent than what these innocent children suffered. Personally, I’d like to say “thank you” to Brent Jeffs for having the courage to come forward with the abuse he suffered in order to free other children!

(Note: To Goodreads...I sincerely apologize for taking so long to read and write a review of this book. It wasn’t intentional as I was in hospital for a number of weeks...thank you).




likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Lost Boy.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.