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Church of Lies

ISBN: 978-0-470-56546-9
336 pages
March 2010, Jossey-Bass
Church of Lies (0470565462) cover image
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.

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Acknowledgments.

Introduction: My Name Is Flora Jessop.

Part One: Pligville.

1. The End of Innocence.

2. Home Sweet Home.

3. The Rape.

4. The Great Escape.

5. Little Runaway.

6. The Prisoner.

Part Two: Apostate.

7. Married.

8. Gone for Good.

9. No Boundaries.

10. The End of the Road.

11. Shauna.

12. No One’s Property.

13. Family.

Part Three: Outlaw.

14. Ruby.

15. Lost and Found.

16. Changes.

17. Rescuing the Fawns.

18. Running Away Again.

19. Laurene.

20. No Sympathy for the Devil.

Part Four: No More Pain.

21. Fighting On.

Epilogue.

Notes.

About the Authors.

Index.

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February 26, 2010
CHURCH OF LIES: How Flora Jessop Escaped the Slavery and Sexual Abuse of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

"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.”

– Flora Jessop, from the introduction to Church of Lies

One of the past decade’s most noteworthy headlines was the raid on a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound in Eldorado, Texas that removed nearly 400 children from their homes. And at the forefront of the story, there was anti-polygamist activist and author Flora Jessop who had been the recipient of the phone calls that prompted Texas Rangers’ investigations.

Flora Jessop’s rise to fame began when she was featured in Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven as the stunning young girl who escaped from Warren Jeff’s polygamous sect and then returned to rescue women and children who were being sexually abused. Never before now has she agreed to tell her harrowing life story in her own words. With a gritty and fearless voice, CHURCH OF LIES: How Flora Jessop Escaped the Slavery and Sexual Abuse of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Dedicated Herself to the Continuing Rescue and Successful Liberation of Women and Children from this Notorious Sect (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint; March 2010; $14.95 / Paper; ISBN: 978-0-470-56546-9), by Flora Jessop and Paul T. Brown, is a gripping account of growing up in one of the most notorious cults in our nation’s history, the FLDS, and how it led to a life of impassioned activism.

Now in paperback, CHURCH OF LIES is a raw, heart-breaking, and hopeful story you won’t soon forget. According to Publishers Weekly, “Readers will be repelled at some of what Jessop has to say, but in the end, they will be heartened by her efforts to free others in the grip of the FLDS leadership.”

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