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Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; 1 edition (August 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446538191
  • ASIN: B0046LUJ82
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,606,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Irene Spencer resides in Northern California with her husband of twenty-one years, Hector J. Spencer. During the twenty-eight years of her first marriage to a polygamous husband, Irene gave birth to thirteen children (all single births). She additionally adopted a newborn girl, who became her ninth child.

Irene has 123 grandchildren and sixty great-grandchildren. Among her many talents, she is an accomplished seamstress, a great cook, and is fluent in Spanish, and she has traveled to twenty-three countries and twenty-three states speaking on polygamy and related issues.





More About the Author

Irene Spencer came from five generations of polygamy. As the second of ten wives, she was the mother of 14 of her husband's 58 children. During her twenty-eight years in a polygamous marriage, Irene gave birth to thirteen children (all single births). Her ninth child was adopted as a newborn daughter. Irene and Hector J. Spencer, her faithful husband of twenty-two years, travel spreading their love between all of their children and loved ones. Irene has 127 grandchildren and 121 great-grandchildren . . . AND . . . there are more great-grandchildren on the way. Irene tells people she doesn't have a family tree, she has a family forest!

Customer Reviews

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All in all a very interesting read.
tmtrvlr
I wish I would've read that book first, because at times I was a bit lost with all the wives and the extended family.
kellyreaderofbooks
She is such an incredible woman and I was just amazed at her story.
Kay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Judith on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Here is the true story of Ervil LeBaron, the "Mormon Manson" as told from the point of view of his sister-in-law, Irene Spencer.

This is Mrs. Spencer's second book about being a plural wife in the LeBaron cult. I've read her first book, Shattered Dreams, as well. That first one was about her marriage to Verlan LeBaron, her jealousy of being one of ten wives, the depressing poverty they lived in as one man vainly tried to support ten wives and 58 children.

In Cult Insanity she discusses the history of the LeBaron cult, how several of the LeBaron brothers believed themselves to be God's prophet on Earth, and how brother Ervil's thirst for power led to murder, violence, and constant fear within the group. Ervil has his followers murder his brother Joel, repeatedly attempt to murder his brother Verlan, murder his own daughter, and kill about 25 people from his death list. The murders went on even after he died in prison as his followers continued to eliminate people from his death list, and then began to turn on one another. It's an amazing story of what can happen when a mentally ill person is able to recruit believers to carry out his evil plans.

Now I have read several books about the LeBarons--these two by Irene Spencer, another by her sister wife Susan, and one by Ervil's wife Rena, who killed for him. Despite all that, sometimes this new book was hard to follow. It was hard to keep track of who all the people were and how they were relatd to one another. With all the plural marriages, you'd have somebody married to one woman whose sister was married to that person's father who was also married to the first person's daughter. Very confusing. Some more charts would have been helpful, as well as more explanations.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By kellyreaderofbooks on January 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Cult Insanity is the true-life memoir of the author, a woman who for years was married to one of the LeBaron brothers. To say that this family was simply "crazy" is putting it lightly: several generations of family members hearing voices, being locked up in insane asylums, running around nude in preparation of UFOs landing, and, oh yeah, all the murders places this family in the realms of the seriously mentally disturbed.

I didn't read the first book the author wrote (Shattered Dreams), which tells her life being married in polygamy. I wish I would've read that book first, because at times I was a bit lost with all the wives and the extended family. Cult Insanity focuses more on how the cult started, and on the murders; so there isn't much background on the family itself, except for a few of the LeBaron brothers.

The first two-thirds of the book moves a bit slow; with not much happening except the cult growing stronger and getting wierder. It's not until the last third of the book that it gets truly chilling and disturbing. Also, most of the murders are just a short footnote at the end; don't expect to find a detailed account of all that happened. I wish too the author would've written more what her own emotions were during this time. Often, she comes across as very detached, which certainly makes sense after some of the things she's been through
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeannie Howard on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book got only 3 stars due to the disjointed way it was written, there were too many names thrown around with no explanation of who they really were, it like to drove me nuts reading it. Lets put it this way...this is NOT a smooth read. The subject matter on the other hand was so interesting. I just don't understand the fundamentalists Mormons, the whole time I am readng this I am thinking "any normal, sane person would of walked away" why anyone would subject their children or themselves to this kind of life is beyond my comprehension, I'm sorry, I think this is for sure child neglect if not outright child abuse. I felt no sympathy for the author, not that I believe she was asking for any, I felt no connection, I just kept shaking my head. What a bunch of idiots!! Insanity is too mild a word for this kind of life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on April 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book was somewhat slow for me to get into, though once I had gotten a basic grasp of the story, it became a real page-turner. Mrs. Spencer's story illustrates one of the scariest things about cults, how most of the members are actually (or at least start out as) pretty normal people who, for one reason or another, were influenced by the promises of a charismatic leader or drawn in by a lifestyle or belief system that seemed to make sense at the time they got involved. In this book, we get to know people like Nephi Marston, Mauro Gutierrez, the author's uncle Dr. Rulon Allred, the leader of a rival FLDS group, and a number of the co-wives in the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, all normal and sympathetic people who would not have thought of themselves as members of a cult. There were a lot of brothers in the LeBaron family, and as Irene was warned prior to her marriage to Verlan, craziness ran in that family, though the LeBaron brother who takes center stage for his craziness here is the creepy, abusive, murderous, insane Ervil. (I loved how a typo rendered his name as Evil near the end of the book!Read more ›
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