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Church of Lies

ISBN: 978-0-7879-9462-4
328 pages
January 2009, Jossey-Bass
Church of Lies (0787994626) 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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Flora Jessop is a former victim of a polygamous community and a leading advocate for the recent rescue, separation, and ultimate liberation of the more than four hundred sexually abused FLDS children.

Paul T. Brown is a best-selling author and a nationally acclaimed wildlife photographer. He is the author of the New York Times best seller Escape in Iraq: The Thomas Hamill Story, as well as Conserving Wild America, Paul Brown's Wild Visions, and Freedom Matters.

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"For those who might feel polygamy is harmless, I suggest they read the just published book, "Church of Lies," by Flora Jessop and Paul T. Brown….Hers is not a pretty story,…But it merits reading as its core message is credible and valid." —The Examiner, February 21-23, 2009

"Church of Lies… is a compelling and heartbreaking -- but hopeful -- read." (Kansas City Star)

It is difficult for any person not affiliated with a group like the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) to imagine the motivation for living in such a system. Jessop grew up within the strictures of the FLDS cult, subjected to its forced marriages and rampant sexual abuse. Her story is a harrowing but inspiring account of one woman’s determination to break free. She relates in rather stark terms the horror of growing up in the polygamous community, the many pleasures she was denied as a child as her elders pursued a pseudo-holiness, forbidding the joys of childhood but engaging in horrible acts of pedophilia. Following her own liberation, she has worked tirelessly and fearlessly to liberate those who want out of the group. 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. (Feb.) (Publishers Weekly, December 15, 2008)

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