April 18th, 2008
10:24 PM ET

FLDS became more restrictive, secretive and threatening

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/18/art.escapefinal.jpg%5D

Carolyn Jessop
co-author of ESCAPE, her memoir of life in the FLDS and her escape from it

One of the aspects of my former life people are always curious about is the clothing women in the FLDS wear. Sometimes the media refers to it as “pioneer-style” clothing or “Little House on the Prairie” attire. With their long dresses, long underwear and hair piled high on their heads women in the FLDS look like they are racing headlong into the 19th century.

It looks bizarre to me now, but I wore clothing like that for 35 years. This all started after the disastrous Short Creek raid in 1953. That raid is a focal point in FLDS history. Arizona officials raided the polygamist community and tried to break it up. But they failed when wrenching pictures of mothers being separated from their children were published in newspapers and there was a huge public outcry.

But the raid turned out to be a huge plus for the FLDS because so much sympathy was generated. After the court case was tossed out, people came home and continued the polygamist lifestyle but became even more secretive.

That’s when the clothing changed drastically for women—but it wasn’t the only thing. Women lost a lot of rights in 1953. They no longer had any say in who they could marry nor could they choose how to dress. The way this was spun was that since the community had come through the raid so successfully, it was now ready to practice a higher form of God’s law. (God is always the explanation when things get more restrictive; change is presented as a prize for being righteous and faithful. We were always told we were worthy of a higher law.)

The new rules forbid women to wear pants, short sleeves, or low cut necklines. Hair had to be worn long; trimmed, but never cut. It had to be worn up on the head, nothing short, convenient, or easy to manage.

In those first years, women could wear prints, plaids or any color they chose. But every ten of fifteen years it seemed things got more restrictive. (Men had restrictions, too. They could not wear short sleeves and were not allowed to roll up their cuffs.)

Thankfully, when I was growing up, I did not have to wear long underwear. That change came in with the prophet Rulon Jeffs. We were told it was preparations for the sacred underwear we might one day wear as Temple garments.

A lot of us hated the long underwear. It was hot, uncomfortable and made us look like big blobs. When Warren Jeffs took over, even children had to wear long underwear as soon as they were potty-trained. Warren also banned the color red. He prohibited us from wearing bright purple or any florescent colors.

One thing the dresses did was set us apart. It made us outsiders. People made fun of us. We’d be called “polygs.” I was one of the rare women of my era to go to college and I remember the cruel stares of strangers and how bad that made me feel.

The clothing also desexualizes women. Our chests are flattened out and any natural shape is hidden.

We were always told by Warren Jeffs when the dress and choices became more restrictive that is was a sign that “God loves you so much he wants you to be more like him.” (We believed Warren received direct revelations from God.) What we were losing were rights and any sense of control over our lives and all individuality.

For several years, a small group of women in the FLDS had a secret coffee club. We bitched about the long underwear. We’d say we didn’t need to diet; “all we have to do is take off our long underwear and we’ll lose 30 pounds!” We hated that our breasts were so squished we looked like boys.

The clothing we wore was like a fence drawn around us that made us untouchable.

One woman in the coffee club was more rebellious than most. She cut her long underwear off at the knees to make it more comfortable. When she had her period she refused to wear it at all. Her husband reported her to the prophet—then it was Uncle Rulon.

He had other complaints; he said she wouldn’t turn over the money she made to him and she wouldn’t fix his dinner. She also had stopped having sex with him because they only had one bedroom and she didn’t want to have sex in the same room with their kids.

The prophet said she could lose her husband and her children if she didn’t shape up. The threat to a woman is always that her kids will be taken away from her if she doesn’t behave. This woman’s husband bought her new pots and pans to make him dinner. She stayed for another six years before she finally found a way out of the FLDS.

I escaped with my eight children five years ago this month. It’s been astonishing how much our lives have changed. It was really hard at first. We spent a month in a homeless shelter and I went on welfare. For a time I was even sewing underwear for “Big Love” when it was just getting started.

I had to go into hiding after I escaped because my then-husband—Merril Jessop–who now runs the compound in El Dorado, Texas, had a posse of men hunting me down immediately. A friend of a friend hid us in her home.

One of my sweetest memories of my children is from that first night. I was exhausted and told to go and rest. My friend gave my children a bath while I napped and got them ready for bed. (In 17 years of marriage, that was the first time anyone helped me get my children settled down for the night. Never ever did I have help—not even when I was sick and pregnant nor when I was overwhelmed in caring for my handicapped son.)

On our first night of freedom, Merrilee, my five year-old, had her first bubble bath. She had been given a nightgown to wear and panties with rosettes. When she saw me she pulled up her nightgown and squealed, “See the roses!!!!” She was elated and discovering the joys of being a little girl for the first time in her life.

I wrote about this and so much more in my memoir ESCAPE which I, of course, hope you have a chance to read.

Filed under: Carolyn Jessop • FLDS court hearing • Polygamy
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that each spiritual wife collects welfare. The more children, the more money. So, the men use females (adults and children) for sex and money.

    It's amazing the the federal and state govenments have tolerated this lifestyle for so long. Illegal is illegal.

    This liberal country needs to wake up!

    April 19, 2008 at 7:34 am |
  2. Jake in DC

    The most interesting and telling thing about this and so many other polygimous stories is that you can really see how the so-called "mainstream" Mormon church still supports it. Were the regular LDS really opposed to polygomy as they claim wouldn't we reasonably be able to expect that the church would attempt to reach out to these women in a public manner to offer them help and support for starting a new life? Seems odd that we have heard nothing out of Slat Lake City and lends evidence to the argument that the Mormon church continues to support such discriminatory practices, only putting on a mask of opposition to the general public.

    April 19, 2008 at 7:33 am |
  3. Barb

    Carolyn, I read your book about 3 months ago and therefore, was very interested watching this story unfold. You are a very courageous woman and I wish you only the best. When I read the negative comments that have been left, I wonder how people can judge when they've never lived the FLDS lifesyle? Keep on talking, Carolyn.....maybe it will help someone else who has escaped. God bless!

    April 19, 2008 at 7:30 am |
  4. Katrina

    I admire your courage to leave that horrible position you were in. i am glad you children are doing well. I hope that you and your children continue to live a happy and full life. Anyone who is upset by you should be asahmed of themselves.

    April 19, 2008 at 7:30 am |
  5. Carol Kalinich

    Carolyn, you are indeed an inspiration to any woman who is suffering at the hands of an abuser. Women who have 2 or 3 children think that they can't make it in the world alone. How wrong they are and you have proved to any woman that all it takes is strength and determination to make a better life for yourself. You are a very strong woman and I applaud you for taking a stand against these monsters. You can tell me the blogs that you are admired everywhere. Those who are against you are indeed like the abusers you left behind. Have a GREAT LIFE and I look forward to seeing you again on any show.

    April 19, 2008 at 7:29 am |
  6. WJS

    David in Seattle – I read that Warren Jeffs owned a major weapons supply company and had huge contracts with the Pentagon to provide spare parts to the Department of Defense.

    April 19, 2008 at 7:29 am |
  7. HTK

    The leaders of the FLDS, with their cynical manipulation of women and children in order to provide a ready supply of sexual and household slaves, and their excommunication of boys who might serve as rivals for wives, are truly sick. How dare any person or group of persons subjugate humans like this in the 21st century.

    April 19, 2008 at 7:27 am |
  8. s wood

    Repression through religion.


    April 19, 2008 at 7:18 am |
  9. Anna


    Please keep speaking out and sharing your story. You and the other women helping others get out of this horrible cult are heroes.

    April 19, 2008 at 6:25 am |
  10. Mariann, OR

    Carolyn, God bless you and your family. I know the other half of your life will be better than the first.

    I was wondering now that they will be DNA testing children............is there a chance the authorities would need to go into the other compounds around the US to find the rightful parents of all these children. Also, the mothers have said they will do anything to get the children back. Is there a chance as soon as they do, they could change their mind and move back into the compound after things calm down?

    I am worried that all will go back at some point and someone will end it all for everybody and bury all the secrets in a fire or other devastating circumstances.

    Thanks for standing up for your neighbors, God will reward you as He sees fit.

    April 19, 2008 at 5:46 am |
  11. Melodie Moshure

    I'm buying your book tomorrow...You are brave beyond imagination.

    It will take someone like you to interpret for the rest of us as to how so many women,young men and children could have been ensnared into such a surreal horrible life style...
    and I applaud your helping the others who manage to break away...

    History seems too often to repeat with good intentioned religion being corrupted to suit the greedy perverse desires of men.

    I'm glad you were able to break away and I wish for you many blessing and happiness for you and your dear children...

    April 19, 2008 at 4:20 am |
  12. Anna

    Why is the religious doctrine not discussed by any of the former LDS on these shows? It isn't just about the physical abuse. These girls and boys have their MINDS raped by the revelation from Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants section 132.

    The mainstream LDS church still believes in polygamy but it is only on hold until Jesus returns or it is authorized by the Mormon Prophet.

    Joseph Smith married teenage girls as young as 14. He had at least 33 well documented plural wives, many of whom already had husbands.(polyandry) He would ask the men for their wives as a test of loyalty. There was a time in 19th century Utah that you could not find a 14 year old girl who had not been married off. (most of them to old polygamist men)

    I can't believe the media isn't digging into the history of the LDS Prophets and current doctrine that remains in their scriptures TODAY
    They are disingenuous to say that the mainstream church disavowed polygamy.

    April 19, 2008 at 3:55 am |
  13. Kate Tucker

    it is so interesting to me how someone like you can live with yourself when you have helped cause such a mess. When these children are sexually abused in their foster homes or beaten or become drug addicts or alcoholics or worse yet become pregnant I hope you can look yourself in the mirror and say well done Carolyn. You did a good job. and I hope you are able to live in fear of the lives and life of your children like these ladies have to. It isn't over yet. You know that and I know that. You should live and let live. Find some other way to get back at Merrill. Your hatred for him shines through bright and clear; but why make all of these people suffer? I don't mean to be harsh but you should talk about yourself and your life, let others do the same. Please follow these children take responsibility where you can.

    April 19, 2008 at 3:29 am |
  14. karen

    I am impressed by your strength, carolyn. It is amazing how ignorant people can be about "accents" and religon in general. Being LDS myself...not FLDS....i didn't know I talked funny....hmmm. I appreciate that you were able to better your life and help us try to understand this very difficult unfamiliar situation that the whole world is watching.

    April 19, 2008 at 3:11 am |
  15. Diane

    God bless you for doing the hardest thing in your life by taking a chance and leaving in search of a better live for you and your children. I could not even began to understand this life you and your children endured. I'm sure your children are safe and loved more than if you would have had if you were to afraid to do anything about this life style. Bottom line, you are a true inspirational to women who feel trapped of any life style regardless of situations. I wish you and your family well.

    April 19, 2008 at 2:27 am |
  16. sofia

    In response to Carol and Kati,
    Carol, how can you say she is pushing her book! She didn't ask that the compound be raided. The shows needed an expert on FLDS and there are not that many out there if you noticed. There are 3 – herself, Flora Jessop and Kathie Jo. She just happened to have written a book – and she hasn't been on any shows prior to this to "push" it. As for Kati, that is just plain cruel what you are saying. This woman is so brave to have left such an abusive situation, and to be able to take all of her children with her! I can't even fathom the stress she was under. Have you ever tried taking care of 8 children in a normal setting? Imagine doing it under the roof of abusive, sexual predators!

    Bravo Carolyn, and may God bless you and your children. Ipray the other children in that horrible compound will be blessed with a good life and that the rapists will be put in jail for the rest of their lives.

    April 19, 2008 at 2:21 am |
  17. roxy

    Please DO NOT confuse the LDS faith with the FLDS faith... they are NOT THE SAME. I have read many posts confusing the two. I repeat, they are NOT the same.

    Thank you Carolyn for sharing with us what these women, who are still stuck in this cult, are not willing or too blind or unaware to share with the rest of the world. Your insight is very important to helping the rest of the world understand what goes on.

    April 19, 2008 at 2:15 am |
  18. Laura


    Thank you for telling your story. I read your book and was profoundly moved by it. I work in a bookstore and recommend it frequently.
    I admire your strength and bravery and the love you have for your children.

    When you wrote about your epiphany- that you would rather spend eternity in hell alone than be in heaven with all the wives- I related as this was similar to my epiphany that led to me leaving Mormonism.

    Keep telling your story. It needs to be heard.

    April 19, 2008 at 2:11 am |
  19. Carla Ontario Canada

    I read on Cnn blog today that some of the men own manufacturing companies that make airplane parts etc and have made tons of money from Pentagon defense contracts. The articule also stated that the men donate up to $50,000/month to the church. That must be how they built their homes and that HUGE church.

    Also I saw on CTV.CA that some of the children are CANADIANS! and that they shuffled back/forth btwn US & Canada.

    Can CNN look into this further. Watched tonight but did not hear this.

    April 19, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  20. Kim

    To Carol who posted a comment above...do you have children and your lack of compassion is undescribable. This story HAS to be told, often and everywhere...these children have got to be rescued immediately and if Carolyn and her story help to move that effort forward then my heart goes out to her and I praise her efforts! It's difficult for me to imagine such irresponsible judgement on your part. We as human beings need to be the force that stops these monsters so whatever it takes is 100% justified...can you imagine what these youngsters are and have been going through? Please don't waste your time and energy judging this bravery, use it to pray for these kids!

    April 19, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  21. Kim

    I am curious if there is any indication as to motive for the person suspected of making the call to the police? Whatever her reason, if in fact she made the call, God Bless her and her motive. It is time that we, as a nation, stand up and say enough to these criminal acts and protect these children for they are the innocent and if their own mothers will not be their voices and protectors, then it is our obligation as human beings to do so for them and stop this evil entity taking up residence behind those gates!

    April 19, 2008 at 1:18 am |
  22. Mike Grinberg

    What if the FLDS fathers refuse to submit to DNA testing, citing it violates their 5th amendment rights (which it probably DOES)? Could giving DNA be a requirement for regaining parental rights, nevertheless?

    April 19, 2008 at 1:09 am |
  23. Pam

    You are an inspiration and proof positive that escape is possible. I pray that the other women have the courage to leave especially now for their children's sake but it seems like most of the women from the cult I've seen don't seem to be that bothered that their children were taken from them. You seem to be a woman who genuinely cares deeply for her children and I respect you for that.
    Keep telling your story because you are making a huge difference.

    April 19, 2008 at 1:01 am |
  24. Carol

    I do not understand why if these children were getting medical care in the outside world, which apparantly they werem why this abuse didn't show up. How were they able to get food stamps without some investigation of their lives. None of this has been addressed that I have read. It sounds like this all should have come to the attention of the authorities a long time ago.

    April 19, 2008 at 12:52 am |
  25. Carole Scarborough West Valley Utah

    All I can say is you truly are an inspiration to me. I wish you, only the best. I look forward to buying your book.

    April 19, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  26. Lewis Eigen

    The problem is clear. The general solution is not. However, one thing occurs to me and that is the unintended interaction between the education laws and religious cults who teach harmful and illegal activity. If it were reuired for all the FLDS children to go to the public schools, at least the children and women would not be ignorant of the law, their rights, oblgations and dangers. I'm sure that they have no clue about the problems of inbreeding and incest.

    Forcing children to attend public school would preclude the really good parochial schools which do such a fine job however. So perhaps a route to go would be for the State to require all schools and all home schooling to teach a curriculum of the basic family laws, rights, etc. I am sure that the "men" who benefit from the FLDS ignorance of the wives and children will claim that this would be contrary to their religion. However, the courts have already upheld the right and obligation to support the civil and criminal law. Religions may not practice human or animal sacrifice or marry children. There are few but real limits in a reasonable society.

    The State Education Department could, if the health and safety and civics courses are not taught, then force the children to attend public schools and not ONLY be home schooled.

    And state-wide tests that include these sex, rape, health and marriage laws would not be a bod idea in general.

    The bottom line is that if I were a pervert who liked having sex with young children, all I would have to do under the existing system, is to find others of like view, form a religion, have an isolated community, create and raise our own children, condition them to our particualr perversions and claim the protection of the FIrst Amendment.

    We need to have some very skilled and artful legislation drawn here.

    Another approach is that of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Use the civil law to obtain financial recompense for the victims. The first step would be to have people who have escaped not only have web sites and appear on TV but sue the FLDS and other cults for damages if they have been abused.

    April 19, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  27. jeff

    congrats on your 5 years removed from that place. you did the right thing for you and your kids. I am a foster parent and CASA volunteer in Kansas so I know alot of the wrong going on and always applaud someone who will stand up and do what is right for themself and there kids. you never mention your oldest daughter Betty (I read the book and know she went back) is she still in a compound somewhere and do you speak with her?? again I know you are probably getting tired of being on all these shows and the time it takes away from your kids but you are really giving excellent info to the public keep up the good work. THANKS

    April 19, 2008 at 12:40 am |
  28. Lissa In Alberta Canada

    You are an amazing person, and I just know that all your children must be very proud that you are their Mother. Ignore those who wish to drag you down for having the courage to stand up and say "NO, I will not allow my children to be abused any longer" Bless you for speaking out still against what is in it's base form the enslavement of women and children. For those that would wish you to "sit down and be quite" or accuse you of using this situation for your own gain, know that many, many more women and men applaud your efforts to help us understand what is going on, right now, this minute. Because right now this minute women and children are being abused all in the name of religon, and their souls are being used to pave the way for someone else's selfish idea that it will get them into heaven.

    April 19, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  29. Gayla Wells

    About three months ago I was roaming around Barnes and Noble and I spotted your book, so I bought it. It caught my attention because I have read alot about the Morman religion. My son had to do a college term paper about the Mountain Meadows Massacre (which was in 1857 not recent news for those not familier with the event).

    After reading your book, I can understand exactly why the state of Texas has taken these children. However, what I think is sad is that many of these women are probably like you, very good mothers. I do feel for them. But, they are in bad need of being de-programed that this is a good way of life. They would be so much happier. I just want to tell them so badly that these men they are assigned to are not going to get them to Heaven. These men probably aren't going there themselves unless they drastically change their ways! But I'm sure they wouldn't listen to a Southern Baptist like myself.

    Also, where are these men? Aren't they just a bunch of cowards. Hiding behind these women. If they have nothing to hide, if these aligations aren't true, then they would show their faces and stand up like real men. But no, they are obviously hiding, for fear they will end up in the jail house like Warren Jeffs! These women need to wake up like you did. It's so sad.

    Like another blogger, I wonder about your daughter Betty? I know it's silly, but I would like love to see Barbara to put a face to her character. I got to see Kathleen the other night.

    April 19, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  30. Sada

    Will you and/or other former FLDS members travel to Texas to help make the children more comfortable, maybe advise social workers and /or prospective foster families on how to make the transition easier?

    It's such a delicat situation. I hope the situation will be handled with the utmost care.

    April 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  31. Suzie

    I have watched you on the various programs and find myself more and more "fascinated" by your story and by your life in the FLDS. It is almost impossible to imagine that this is happening in our free country, as well as imagining these women not only choosing to live this way but choosing to allow their children to live this way too. Though I do believe and understand that these women are brainwashed, controlled and devoid of any free, independent thought process etc..., it is still difficult to accept that this is indeed a "choice". After all, you made the choice as well...but a different one at that...you choose to listen to what remained of your inner voice, your inner self and independent thoughts and decided to care for yourself and for your children by LEAVING, GETTING OUT, SO LONG!!! BRAVO TO YOU!!! I am so proud of you as I can only imagine how difficult and scary that "choice" must have been for you. May you and your sweet little ones be richly blessed. You are in my prayers. You may lay your head to rest tonight knowing that you, Carolyn Jessop, have made a difference to many women and have given many of these women "hope" even if they aren't openly admitting it. "The power of one can incite the presence of two".

    April 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  32. John in Arizona

    I would like to see a census count of how many males have the name "Dale Barlow" in the FLDS. There has to be more than just one! The name Barlow is very common in the FLDS. I wonder if they keep Family Tree records like the LDS Church do. Very interesting!

    April 18, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  33. Janet, Nelson, BC, Canada

    This in response to "Kati". After all that Carolyn has been through and all these years of struggle, she absolutely has the right to tell her story to all the outlets that have ask her on. And since freedom of speech is suppose to be a foundation of your country, I think it's perfectly appropriate for her to speak against her abusers. Everyone should have the right to stand up and be heard.

    April 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  34. Jill

    Your courage and bravery is amazing. I enjoy hearing your 'insider' insight into the FLDS. I was deeply affected listening to you describe your first supermarket experience in "regular" clothes. Please continue to stay strong for your family. You have given a face to the possibilites of life outside the compounds and Warren Jeff's influences. I hope your story will be inspirational to those women who are too afraid to make changes in their life.

    April 18, 2008 at 11:11 pm |
  35. Judy Carver


    You are a very brave woman, I know first hand the courage it takes to leave to end a relationship that is poison. You left an even more difficult and isolating situation, leaving your entire behind with no job or means of support. At least I had the opportunity to put these things in place first. You are setting a wonderful example for all of us. You inspire all with your courage and sucess.

    April 18, 2008 at 11:08 pm |
  36. Kati

    I think Carolyn is vindictive and spiteful and just plain mean. If she does not agree with life as lived by this group, certainly she should leave....as she has. But to use the media and publishing to exploit herself and her position is pandering of the worst kind. I would not want this person to be my mother and have to explain or defend her behaviors to my peers! I wonder if her children feel the same way?

    April 18, 2008 at 11:07 pm |
  37. tammi vancouver bc canada

    hi Carolyn, thanks for shareing your story ,
    you r a brave lady all the best to you and your kids.

    oh by the way i just bought your book today
    so you know what i will be reading after my kids are
    in bed

    April 18, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  38. John

    Your obsevations on the complete lack of any individuality, personal space and the omni present photographs of the group's leader were very telling.

    As you mentioned, it appears that the community is even more isolated and even more controling than in the past. Thank goodness that the men did not violenlty oppose the raid. What do you feel were the main factors in the lack of violent resistance?

    April 18, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  39. Roslyn

    I read the book. How are your children doing now? In particular, what happened to Betty?

    April 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm |
  40. sue B

    It is heartbreaking ethical dilemma to see what these women and children are going thru'. Religion, faith is all inspiring and have some place in life , I guess, but decisions based on humanity and average American perspective have to be balanced out and have to be best for these women and Children!
    I hope these children would be treated right and not fall prey to state/nation's "red tape" and to another round of Child Molestation!!

    My heart goes out to all those who have suffered and I pray to Greater Spirits that something good and noble comes out of this invasion!

    April 18, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  41. Rey Lopez

    I am very moved by the stories I see about these women but I never read about what we can do to help. Clothing, toys, time, a listening ear. Some women did leave, I understand. I am sure there are many people like me that would love to help if only they knew how.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:55 pm |
  42. Annie Kate


    Thank you for sharing your story with us and for helping in the panel discussions each night. You have added insight and facts where there used to be only speculation. I admire you for your strength of character in leaving the FLDS and for making a new life for yourself and your children. I don't know how many of us in a similar situation would have the courage you demonstrated.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 18, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  43. Dorothy Phillips

    Carolyn, I applaud you for standing up for yourself and your children. You are a courageously brave young woman. As I follow this story , I am amazed that this can happen in America. You have demonstrated that it is possilbe to get free from mind control at the higest level. I pray God best and blessings for you and your wonderful children. You are awesome.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  44. Shirley

    Do you know why the people over age 18 living in the compound were not arrested for the practice of polygamy? I thought it was against the law.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  45. Carol

    I'm sorry, but I am getting really sick of this woman. She is on every channel telling her story, which seems to get more dramatic each time she tells it. She's on 360, Larry King, Fox, Nancy Grace, The Food Network, Sesame Street, (ok I'm exaagerating a bit but not much). Hasn't she pushed her book enough yet?

    April 18, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  46. PJ

    Carolyn Jessop stated on show that only the FLDS have "that" accent, only "we" sound like that.
    That isn't true...in Nevada most mormons have "that" accent – its even referred to as "the mormon accent". You hear it in mormons from Idaho and California as well as Utah. Its just a mormon accent not exclusive to FLDS.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  47. Melinda

    Thank you, Carolyn for sharing your story with others. One of the ways that the abuses can stop is if people become aware of them. It's hard to ignore when you put a face to what is happening. You are so brave for leaving and even braver for speaking out.

    I wish good luck to you and your family!

    April 18, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  48. Maura Smith

    Thank you for sharing, and for helping the rest of understand on CNN what has been occurring with the YFZ children.
    You are a women of strength and courage to leave with your children, and give them the gift of a truly free life.
    I look forward to reading your book.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  49. H, Portland, OR

    I read Escape a couple months ago and it absolutely broke my heart that there are people in this country living like that; that you had to live like that.
    Happy 5th anniversary of your escape! I admire you greatly and I wish you the very best.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  50. David in Seattle

    The unasked question about the LDS community in Texas is WHAT do they do that brings in enough money to buy really nice cars, beautiful homes, an over the top chapel....Jeffs caught in a car that contained a huge amount of cash....where does it come from>? When I look at the compound from the air, there are no fields, no factories, no nothing of any kind that I can see where a product is being produced. Menanites make Martin guitars, the Amana colonies build appliances...but this place has no definable product. I hope that they arent selling little boys....god forbid.

    April 18, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
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