jessopChurch of Lies by Flora Jessop
Release Date: January 27, 2009
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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 twenty-eight children born to my dad and his three wives. Indoctrinated to believe that the outside world was evil, and that I resided among the righteous, I was destined to marry a man chosen for me by the Prophet. I would then live in harmony with my sister-wives, bear many children, and obey and serve my future husband in this life and throughout eternity. But my innocence didn’t last long. While still a child, I understood that the church of the righteous was nothing but a church of lies.

When I was eight years old my father sexually molested me for the first time, raping me when I was twelve. I tried to kill myself. Beaten, molested, taunted, and abused by family members alleging they only wanted to save my soul became a daily routine, I ran from this abuse more than once in my early teens–even attempting to cross the desert on foot. My family hunted me down. I thought government agencies would provide me safety if I reported my father. Instead, police and social services colluded with the FLDS to return me to my family and I ended up back inside polygamy, right where I started.”

Flora goes on from there to tell the dramatic true story of how she ultimately escaped and has been fighting against frustrating obstacles with hard fought successes in rescuing women and children from the FLDS. It’s a story you can’t put down. – Goodreads

This book is probably the last thing Tina 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 hand: The Church of Lies, is told by a woman who was in the FLDS church. Her last name is known throughout the church, and to be honest mainstream society. Also important to point out, I live in Arizona where this church and last name are really known.

This book though is the story of a woman who was born into a family and a faith that she knew she never really belonged to. Thankfully she was lucky, she was able to get out. When the leader forced her to marry her first cousin (yes, you read that right, her first cousin), her cousin let her go. Yes, he always hoped she would come back but when she asked for a divorce after many, many, many years of being separated, he let her have it. She knows she was lucky.

She’s also using her background to help young girls get out if they want to, which many do. Although many go back to the church for various reasons (brainwashing) many want to be free and are lucky cause they have her helping them.

If you have no interest in polygamy or the FLDS this book will be of no interest to you; however, to someone with slight interest it was a very fascinating read.