Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Carolyn Jessop--A Portrait of Courage

--At 18 years of age, Carolyn Blackmore was forced to marry 50 year old Merril Jessop. She became his 4th wife. Even though she got violently ill with each pregnancy, and the last 4 endangered her life, she gave birth to 8 children.  One of whom had numerous medical needs, and required 24/7 care.

--She lived with abuse for 17 years. Her husband was physically, emotionally and verbally abusive.  He also manipulated his other wives to punish her for not being an "obedient wife".

--She finally became disillusioned with the FLDS and polygamy.  She started planning her escape in the year 2000, and was successful on April 21, 2003.

--She was the first woman to gain full custody of her children after leaving the FDLS community.

--Carolyn Jessop has written two books, Escape and Triumph: Life After the Cult--A Survivor's Lessons.  A movie was made based on her life, In God's Country.

--I have always known that polygamy was oppressive and abusive towards women and children, but I was horrified as I learned of Carolyn's story.  I am just flabbergasted that so many men, women and children can be brainwashed so completely.

--In the FLDS, everything in a woman's life is about pleasing and obeying her husband (her priesthood head).  It is through her husband that a woman is able to get to heaven.  So, the man's needs are not only more important than a woman's, but even more important than the children's needs.

--I was shocked to hear about how the children were sexually and physically abused and neglected.  The wives couldn't risk displeasing their husbands (because that would endanger their chance of getting into heaven), so children were often neglected as a result.

--Carolyn's ability to not only survive years of brainwashing and abuse, but to escape from it is a profile in courage.  She is a heroine for women of all walks of life.

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