The dramatic first-person account of life inside an ultra-fundamentalist American religious sect, and one woman’s courageous flight to freedom with. Escape is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre memoirs you are ever likely to Written by Carolyn Jessop, a woman who was born into the. A member of Warren Jeff’s fundamentalist cult, Jessop talks about escaping a brutal life, what it was like being one wife of many, and why she.

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Escape by Carolyn Jessop

Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return esccape Book Page. Preview — Escape by Carolyn Jessop. Escape by Carolyn Jessop. When she escxpe eighteen years old, Carolyn Jessop was coerced into an arranged marriage with a total stranger: Merril Jessop already had three wives. He decided where she lived and how her children would be treated. He controlled the money she earned czrolyn a school teacher.

He chose when they had sex; Carolyn could only refuse—at her peril. Carolyn was miserable for escwpe and wanted out, but she knew that if she tried to leave and got caught, her children would be taken away from her. No woman in the country had ever escaped from the FLDS and managed to get her children out, too. But inCarolyn chose freedom over fear and fled her home with her eight children. Escape exposes a world tantamount to a prison camp, created by religious fanatics who, in the name of God, deprive their followers the right to make choices, force women to be totally subservient to men, and brainwash children in church-run schools.

Not only did she manage a daring escape from a brutal environment, she esape the first woman ever granted full custody of her children in a contested suit involving the FLDS.

And inher reports to the Utah attorney general on church abuses formed a crucial part of the case that led to the arrest of their notorious leader, Warren Jeffs. Hardcoverpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Escapeplease sign up. This is an unbelievably amazing true story! Once again, I live in my own little world and have not idea what is happening “out there” Highly recommend!!

Carolyn Jessop

Anyone else read secape It is troubling that these unlawful cults are allowed to continue. Is this book interesting? Shari L As much as it disturbed me to read this true accounting of the author’s life, I enjoyed it very much as it was both educational and enlightening. See all 4 questions about Escape…. Lists with This Book. Jun caroyn, Lena rated it really liked it Shelves: Carolyn Jessop’s story of her life in the polygamous community the FLDS is one of those books that is simultaneously hard to read and difficult to put down.

It’s hard to read because her tale is one of non-stop abuse, from the apocalyptic nightmare that was drilled into her head as a child to the regular cagolyn committed against women and children in the community in the name of God. But it is when Carolyn is given at 18 to be the fourth wife of a man 30 years her senior that things really bec Carolyn Jessop’s story of her life in the polygamous community the FLDS is one of those books that is simultaneously hard to read and difficult to put down.

But it is when Carolyn is iessop at 18 to be the fourth wife of a man 30 years her senior that things really become twisted. Though those in favor of polygamy may wax poetic about how wonderful and supportive it is to have “sister-wives,” the dynamic in Jessop’s family was one of ruthless competition, with women who had no rights of their own battling for their husband’s attention in order to ensure such basic needs as food and protection for their children.


Having been born at a time when the women ahead of me were fighting hard so I could have rights that I pretty much take for granted, Jessop’s story is a chilling reminder of what life is like for women who are raised in a religion which tells them that their only hope of salvation is perfect devotion to their husbands and, if their husband beats them, it is simply because of their own failings.

Those who think the women of the FLDS should just refuse to put up with such treatment and walk away fail to understand that these women are held captive not only by their life-long belief systems, but their extreme isolation and community practices that ensure that, if they do speak up, they get no support from anyone. Even the local police were members of the FLDS and would not interfere with another man’s right to run his family as he saw fit, no matter how visible the bruises.

Should a woman get up the courage to actually leave the only lifestyle she has ever known, orchestrated jessop, enormous pressure from family and religious leaders and a total lack of familiarity with and skills for the outside world will make it very difficult for her to survive on her own.

In the wake of the recent raid that removed hundreds of children from an FLDS ranch in Texas a sister community to Jessop’s that is reportedly now run by her ex-husband I heard a lot of talk about freedom of religion. Those who think the State of Texas acted too overzealously would do well to read this book. If there is anything that Jessop’s account makes abundantly clear, it’s that women who have had obedience beaten into them since they were children are anything but free.

The question of how much the government should intervene in groups like these is, to say the least, a thorny one, particularly when most victims are too terrified to go against everything they have been taught to testify against their abusers. Jessop’s disturbing recitation of how things got even worse after Warren Jeffs rose to power is also chilling reminder of how easily blind obedience to irrational doctrines can be horrifically abused by ambitious, power-hungry men like Jeffs.

Jessop was lucky in that she was permitted to go to college, and her work experiences and occasional contact with the outside world enabled her to build the jwssop to fight the abuse and make a better life for her own children. It is this determination that makes the book hard to put down, as I was anxious to discover just how, in fact, she ultimately fscape to escape her hellish life with no money, eight children, and suspicious sister-wives watching her every move.

View all 15 comments. Escspe 20, Laura Debenham rated it liked it. It was an intense experience. It made me grieve for the inequities in my own culture between men and women along with the fear that holds me down.

Having lived near Colorado City, reading this book made me look back on my experience living in St.

George, Utah with new eyes. I uessop Dixie College in the mid ‘s. There had been a girl in my Spanish class who wore the “plig” uniform and did her hair in the dippidy-doo flip.

She was ostracized by most o I sat up til 2 A. She was ostracized by most of the students but I determined to make friends with her.

Carolyn Jessop – Wikipedia

At first she was curt and guarded but eventually she opened up enough to have a casual friendship. We often walked to or from class together eecape I learned about her family.

She had several younger siblings and spoke of them with love. When I married over a year later I gave my entire stuffed animal collection to Veronica for her little brother and sisters. She was so grateful that her eyes misted over and I somehow knew stuffed animals were a foreign item in her world.


She and her family made a beautiful hand-stitched quilt for my wedding gift. I still have it 24 years later. They sewed an image of the St. George Temple onto a silky pink background. Because of the silkiness of the fabric it is one of my children’s favorite quilts to cuddle in.

I have tried my best to keep it out of the reach of dirty little hands over the years. jesspo

It is the only wedding gift in tact and I think of Veronica whenever I see it. I’m glad I reached out to lonely Veronica in my College days at Dixie and realized she was likely going through something similar to Carolyn. I wondered if Veronica was the third or fourth wife to some old guy or was she sent to college because she was plain and would likely never marry.

As an adult I lived in St. George for three years between and I saw polygamists at Wal-Mart every time I went there. I was disturbed by my own reaction to them.

Having lived all over the U. I was aware of how limited the perspective of people who stayed in one place their whole lives can be.

Yet I still looked at them as “lesser” individuals. Because I was so disturbed by my own inner hateful response to this people, I decided to learn more about them.

I met a woman who had written a book and was actively helping girls escape. She was selling her books at a booth at the county fair. She was putting her life on the line by speaking out and I was impressed. I wrote a speech on her service and invited her to attend the toastmasters meeting when I gave the presentation. I called her the “Harriet Tubman” of Colorado City.

In my speech I compared the polygamists with jfssop Jews of Europe during the Nazi era. Looking at this group of God’s children with compassion and understanding changed how I saw them completely.

It had been many years since my friendship with Veronica and I had to jesskp my own feelings of inadequacy as a woman to not judge them for living in such a bizarre culture. It was after recognizing their value as individuals that I started up conversations with the women I saw in Wal-Mart.

I was aware they had been told that the rest of us were “evil” but I knew they were just struggling mothers like the rest of us. I began greeting them with a smile and “hello”.

I still avoided the men completely, even gave them the evil eye if my teenaged daughters were with me. I came up secape ways of starting conversations with the women. I asked one mother if she thought the sore on my son’s head could be chickenpox. At first she balked but caolyn ended up having a regular conversation and she gave me advice on dealing with the childhood illness. Often, if I was in an isle and a Colorado City woman was nearby I would comment on products that were sold and probably sounded like a bad commercial as I searched for ways to reach out and connect.

My goal was to help these women recognize that the rest of us were human too. Whenever I saw the little polygamist boys working on construction sights I would call the phone number advertized on trucks and jesxop and complain to whoever answered that there are child labor laws and I would report children working to the police if I saw it again.

I was especially repulsed by the “lost boys” and grieved over the stories of male prostitution and drug use.