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Church of Lies Paperback – March 1, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Church of Lies + Escape + Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs
Price for all three: $28.62

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470565462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470565469
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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 womans 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"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) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Customer Reviews

Good book, informative, well written.
william Gleason
For those that want to understand life within the FLDS this will make you feel you are walking in their foot steps.
Kathleen Holloway
I was concerned that the Fawns would go back while I was reading the book but Flora keeps her promises.
Sylviastel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Hagen on August 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I came to this book knowing only the basics about polygamy. I'd never heard of Flora Jessop. To some extent I agree with one of the earlier reviews comparing the language used to that of a Jerry Springer show. Like that reviewer, I also keep the rating at five.

I've already typed in (and erased) three reviews but found it difficult to do justice to the power contained in the book. Let me try once more...

This story is raw. The words, cruelty and horror, are far to cliche. On a number of occasions I came close to getting sick. Rape of little kids, prearranged marriages of kids fourteen and under (often to men 2 or 3 times their age), incest and inbreeding, the occasional exchanging of wives (and kids). Kids were taught that this, and much more, was actually required of them to escape damnation to hell. No rods were spared in the teaching either. Further, these type of actions, at least as described in the book, were overwelmingly normal within the sect, as opposed to isolated cases.

Even more powerful reading developed from the author's attempts to save her family after her own escape. This was made difficult by family members' fear of eternal damnation. This wall and others frustrated the author to no end. She kept pushing, hard.

Lastly, the complicity of state/local agencies was evident throughout. I'm left wondering where members of Congress came down on the issue of polygamy.

Read the book...
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Kent Ponder on February 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As indicated, I rate this 5 stars, though the language style dips somewhat into the Jerry Springer range (because it's written by a pro copy writer who punches up the wording to make it "catchy"). Consequently, some of the "trailer trash" language ostensibly coming from Flora Jessop, the escaped Mormon fundamentalist, lacks the ring of linguistic genuineness. Other than the tabloid language style, though, the account is too important to slight by rating it lower than 5 stars.

Flora is an outstanding example of determination and persistence, overcoming years of destructive mental programming by indoctrination, and years of mental and physical abuse that would be very difficult for a less valiant woman to surmount. Overall, this is an inspiring and very instructive story, true in most of its features.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte A. Stracener on March 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a book this is! Cannot put it down, even if you try. I waited so long for Flora to write a book and she didn't let me down. With the life she had, I'm surprised she's not in the loony bin. I have read many, many, many books on Polygamy and this one is on top, right behind "Escape". No wonder she's a crusader. And a good one at that. If you've ever wanted a true story on polygamy, don't turn this one down. After reading this, you'll see why she's always on the forefront and why she fights so hard. Good work, Flora!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Pristine on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Flora Jessop's odyssey from polygamist daughter / plural wife of the FLDS (fundamentalist sect of mormons) to grassroots activist to save FLDS-abused children is not only a page turner, but a rich portrait of middle America and its people. Jessop attempts to escape since her childhood days, assisted by a courageous underground network between Colorado City and Las Vegas. It's not until she is married to her first cousin- an understanding and open-minded partner - that she makes headway. Once out, she manages to travel cross country, meeting a broad range of people from strip clubs, troubled bikers, and junkies to former FLDS couples, truckers, compassionate working class folk, mafia gangsters, law enforcers, and corrupt bureaucrats. If Carolyn Jessop's Escape is the Beatles version, then Flora's is surely the Rolling Stones.

If you've heard of the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas and the arrest of Warren Jeffs, the sect's current prophet, then you will vaguely know the setting for her story. The FLDS, not to be confused with regular Mormons, have leaders who are involved in seedy activities such as welfare fraud, tax evasion, property deed manipulation, underaged arranged marriages, molestation (both of boys and girls), and domestic abuse - all in the name of god. The problem here is that even after the FLDS members attempt to get out, the mentality that has been indoctrinated into them since birth, the distrust of outsiders after the Raid of Short Creek in '53, combined with the lack of stateside infrastructure to support their livelihood and education, all work to create a harrowing situation.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Apathy no more on May 25, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
I have met this amazing woman and cannot believe anyone could have the courage and determination over such a long period of time to challenge the powerful forces in FLDS, along with apathy and outright opposition from the very government agencies that whose charter is to help her and the victims of abuse.

This entire country should forget about lecturing other countries about "human rights" as long as we look the other way on such travesties.

Where are all the organizations who have rightfully fought for women's rights and yet seemingly have ignored this horrible situation?

I have yet to know any Arizona politician who has taken on this issue and rallied others around it. If it has happened, I have not been aware of it. Could it be that the public just doesn't really care and the politicians don't believe the issue is important enough to help them at election time? Could it be that Arizona's LDS voting population makes it difficult for politicians to speak out?

Is this too sensitive an issue for the state of Utah and the LDS church to really do something about it to minimize the spillover bad image resulting from allowing this to occur for so long?

Have we become so self-centered that this issue is not on our radar screen, even after becoming aware of it?

I, for one, am angry about such apathy and will be challenging everyone I know to read this book and, along with myself, find a way to be part of the solution.
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