This is my story
In the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), girls can become valuable property as plural wives but boys are expendable, even a liability. In this powerful and heartbreaking account, former FLDS member Brett Jeffs reveals both the terror and the love he experienced growing up on his prophet's compound - and the harsh exile existence that so many boys face once they're expelled from the sect.
The most memorable FLDS member in current time is past leader Warren Jeffs who is now in prison for multiple offenses. Brett Jeffs is his nephew and could have grown up to have multiple wives and power within the church. After realizing that there were darker secrets behind the church's pious public image he walked away and was the first to file sexual abuse charges against his uncle.
He shares the history of the Mormon church and startling details of his own life growing up in a polygamous family. He describes how harsh and isolated life was and the fact that his uncle, the prophet, maintained absolute power and could change the rules at will and often did. Their religion demanded complete obedience with no individuality and the reality of the outside world was distorted and viewed as evil. Since multiple wives are encouraged, young men are seen as competition and are often cast out unprepared for the real world. They frequently turn to drugs and alcohol and suffer emotional and psychological distress.
Eventually Brent Jeffs left the church with his whole family, which was highly unusual, but continued to live a polygamous life. This is usually hard to do outside of the FLDS. Fortunately they had the love and support of each other, which is also unusual. Brett Jeffs repressed memories of his uncle molesting him and other boys ages 5-7, eventually led him to press charges against him. He tells of his own struggles into adulthood and what has become of him and his family members. He has also helped establish support for other lost boys so their own transition may be easier than his was.
I was fascinated by the insight Brent Jeffs provided into the FLDS. It's sickening to realize how much power an individual can have over so many other lives and the corruption that was involved under the guise of religion and God. I'll be curious to see how these lost boys and others from the community will fare in the future. I hope that this man's courage will help them to all have an easier life. If this is a topic of interest I would highly recommend this book.
Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for a copy of this book.
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release date: 5/19/09