With the trial of Warren Jeffs, the ecclesiastical head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) in full swing, countless media outlets are again paying attention to the plight of woman caught up in the polygamous cult.
[Update: Warren Jeffs convicted]
Wall was the ‘Jane Doe’ whose testimony helped convict Warren Jeffs:
Jeffs told her that if she fought his decrees — in this case that, at 14 years of age, she remain married to, and have marital relations with, her cousin — she would lose her salvation.
In July 2010 his conviction for rape as an accomplish was overturned on a technicality.
She is the cousin, by marriage, of Carolyn Jessop, another former FLDS member who wrote Escape, an autobiographical account of her upbringing in the polygamist sect and later flight from the sect.
Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs, by Elissa Wall
Church of Lies, by Flora Jessop
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
The FLDS, which is believed to have about 10,000 members, splintered from the Mormon Church more than a century ago when Mormon leaders renounced the practice (though not necessarily the LDS Church’s theology) of polygamy.
The sect believes polygamy brings exaltation in heaven and should be protected under U.S. religious freedoms.
Theologically, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) is a sect of Mormonism.
Sociologically, the FLDS is a high-demand, high-control, destructive cult. Among other things, it teaches and practices polygamy, breaks up families and marriages, and has engaged in arranged and forced marriages.