Just like my Buffy phase, I also recently went through a phase where I read a multitude of books and memoirs about life as a Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint (FLDS) you know, a polygamist Mormon, like the kind on Big Love. Now, if you know me, you know that the one "religion" that I truly hate is scientology, but I also think FLDS' are pretty crazy. I can't imagine being married off to an eighty year old man who already has six wives, but reading these books help me do that a little! Shattered Dreams tells the tale of Irene Spencer who was:
raised strictly in the Principle as it was lived secretly and illegally by fringe communities of Mormon Fundamentalists- groups that split off from the LDS Church when it abandoned polygamy more than a century ago. In spite of her mother's warnings and the devotion of a boyfriend with monogamist intentions, Spencer followed her religious convictions-that living in polygamy was essential for eternal salvation-and became a second wife herself at the age of 16 in 1953. It's hard to tell which is more devasting in this memoir: the strains of husband sharing with - ultimately- nine other wives, or the unremitting poverty that came with maintaining so many households and 56 children. - Amazon.com
This whole thing is so messed up to me. Far be for me to judge someone based on their religious beliefs, but this doesn't seem like that to me. What is seems like is a way for a few select older men to completely dominate everyone in their lives, treat their families like dirt, and rape innocent little girls. Also, I feel awful for the young boys who get thrown out into the street, because the older men want to keep all the young girls for themselves. Disgusting. I was so happy when the government raided that compound and took out all of those children, but I wasn't surprised when they wanted to go back. It's hard to compete with years of torture and brainwashing. Other really great books that deal with this topic are "Stolen Innocence" by Lisa Pulitzer, "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop and "The 19th Wife" (which is fiction and has an awesome history of how the LDS church came to be) by David Ebershoff. I really urge people to read more about this topic and educate themselves about the horrors that are going on in this country, pretty much right next door.