on 17 June 2015
When Rebecca Musser was barely nineteen, she became one of Rulon Jeffs' (the then so-called "Prophet" of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) "young wives". As one of the first young women to be sacrificed to Jeffs (he married more than forty other women and girls after her, two within days of the wedding), she was at the heart of the FLDS, able to see Warren Jeffs' rise to absolute power and the rapidly-decreasing age of marriage.
Throughout the book, you see the control the men have over the lives of the women. The women have no control over who they marry, or over their bodies when they do marry, and their salvation is held above their head as the stick to force them to total obedience.
It's heart-breaking to read, and shocking that people can be so subjugated in a Western country such as the United States: young girls forced to marry men older than their fathers, even as they're sobbing, and having their spirit "bred" out of them (as the FLDS phrase goes). With her place at the top of the cult (apparently "privileged", but with no ability to travel freely, and constantly-monitored, I'd question the term), she was able to see the machinations of the cult up close, making her testimony incredibly valuable for anybody reading about the FLDS.
It's an absorbing but horrific read. It's very emotionally-difficult to read some of the details, especially regarding the abuses of notorious cult-leader Warren Jeffs, whose rise to power and manipulation is laid bare here.
Musser writes very well, and it's inspiring to see how she overcame a background of such abuse to speak against the leaders of the cult, and against oppression in general.
Recommended for scholars and people interested in the FLDS, but expect an emotional punch.
on 13 December 2013
I have read several books by former FLDS wives, and I never get tired of them, though they make difficult reading because of their intensely moving stories.
Rebecca (Becky) Musser's book is hard to put down, extremely easy to read in terms of style, and so full of information I hadn't read before because she was one of the first of Rulon Jeffs's 'young wives', and therefore at the very heart of the organisation. She was privy to major decisions, watched as - even on her 'Honeymoon' - Rulon Jeffs married a succession of younger women, and was able to see the workings of the people surrounding him, including the notorious Warren Jeffs - as he pushed his way to the top, and manipulated everyone around him.
I haven't finished reading the book yet: intriguing and absorbing as it is, I measure how much I subject myself to at any one time, so that it doesn't become overwhelming and sadden me too much, but I absolutely recommend reading her book. I've read Carolyn Jessop's and Becky's sister's book, and I would have to say that I am finding this the most satisfying read. That is not to detract from the others - which were amazing, especially Carolyn's, as it was the first I read of its kind - but Becky's book is very well written and edited.
With the issues she is revealing - which are hard to take in today's enlightened Western society - it really has its place as one of the foremost books on the subject, not least because of her position, and ultimately, how she has brought the subject to the world's attention due to her "privileged" (??!) position at the top.
Well done, Becky, for turning your abuse into a major force for good, positivity, and enlightenment for others.
on 30 October 2014
This was a real eye-opener. To be honest, there's too much to comment on. It's a very interesting read, full of domineering, disgusting men, and brainwashed, submissive women. And, all done in the name of their faith; shocking! I gave it 4 stars for the author/victims, not because I enjoyed reading it.
on 27 January 2016
I have read the book 'Escape' written by Rebecca's sister Elyssa and just like that book I often found myself open mouthed with shock at the treatment of women within the FLDS movement. Despite that, Rebecca writes with no bitterness that I could discern and simply tells the story like it is. I've really become interested in the many tv programmes that now deal openly with this subject and the former members who try to liberate those who want to leave. Freedom to think our own thoughts, live our own lives and make our own choices, is a privilege we are all entitled to.