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Topic: Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall (memoir, FLDS, Child abuse)

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L. G. (L)
Subject: Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall (memoir, FLDS, Child abuse)
Date Posted: 12/12/2008 2:42 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Here is a link to the book here at PBS:


(It has over 200 wishers, so I got it from the library.  For me, it's almost a keeper though, so may be worth the wait on the WL.)

Wow - what an incredible story!  Very well written memoir of growing up in the FLDS communities in Utah and Colorado.  Elissa Wall was forced to marry her 1st cousin at age 14.  This book is better than Escape by Carolyn Jessup in so many ways- though it's told mainly from the child's point of view whereas the Jessup book was told from the adult point of view.  Elissa Wall also had more interaction and dealings with Warren Jeffs - and was the individual responsible for putting him in prison.  This is a book that will affect you greatly, and one that you will have a hard time putting down.


Date Posted: 12/12/2008 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2007
Posts: 604
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I totally agree, L. I just finished this book a few days ago. I could feel her pain. No child should have to go through that.

It was horrible. The moment I listed it, someone got a wish granted!! Great book. I wish her and her new family well.

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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I started reading this about a month ago, then life got in the way of finishing it. I really should pick it back up.


Last Edited on: 12/12/08 10:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/13/2008 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2007
Posts: 812
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I read this one , too. The thing with this books that bugs me so much (along with many others), is how the parents don't act on behalf of their children. I also found it interesting that she gave some details on Warren Jeffs. I find it deplorable that the "higher up" bishops/priests have such different living conditions than the "regular" people! Wouldn't that make you wonder why the rules were different for them???!!!

Last Edited on: 12/13/08 6:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2008 3:14 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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Have you read David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife? There is quite a discussion about it on another forum I belong to.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,567
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If you are interested in another story about LDS life, you should really read Martha Beck's books:   Expecting Adam and Leaving the Saints.  Both are really amazing.  She is from a family of LDS in the eye of the storm of recent scandals about the teachings and academics of the church.  Both she and her (former) husband have left the church and she pretty fearlessly tells her story which includes child abuse at the hands of her father who was an apologist for the church.

By the way,  one of the people on this planet I love without condition is my sister-in-law who is LDS.  My brother is Catholic, like me.  I have found her through the years to be the best example of a Christian I have ever met.  Martha Beck has left the church, but I am saying that alot of people have not had her experiences.  Just like those abused by authority figures in my church.  Unfortunately, it is how the churches deal with the failings of some members that must be examined.

Last Edited on: 12/18/08 8:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 1:02 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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LB, I have not read The 19th Wife - will look for it.

Pamela, I have read Expecting Adam - wasn't too impressed, mainly because I found her whiny and repetitious, though I did identify with her experiences.  There is probably our discussion of it here in a thread, still.  I will look for Leaving the Saints.

One thing to be aware of is that there is a HUGE difference between FLDS and LDS.  The FLDS split from the LDS in the 1890's mainly because they wanted to continue polygamy.  The LDS church is nothing like the FLDS.  One of my best friends here is LDS.

Lisa, I agree and was horrified that the Mothers didn't protect their children more effectively.  It particularly hit me when reading Escape by Carolyn Jessop, when her children were being starved.  It's quite evident that many of the "fathers" didn't care at all about the children - that they are seen as disposable.  Sickening!


Date Posted: 12/20/2008 4:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2006
Posts: 8,426
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Last Edited on: 1/4/09 10:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/27/2008 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,392
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Read this a couple of weeks ago (and passed it on through PBS).  It was disturbing, and hard to believe that the mothers didn't protect their children more, but they've been raised that way and brainwashed so it's to be expected.  Look at what happened in Texas.  It's hard to breakaway when you've been raised that way. 

bTW - there is a great difference between the FLDS and the LDS churches.    Pat