Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs

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A little girl should never have to fear her father or feel that God has commanded she be abused, but that is exactly what happened to Rachel Jeffs. In Breaking Free, Jeffs honestly and directly recounts her story, from a sheltered but sometimes happy childhood with her parents and siblings to the horrors of living in squalor as her father ran from the law.

The abuse Rachel Jeffs suffered at the hands of her father, Warren, the self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS), wasn’t solely sexual. There were years of mental and emotional abuse as well, abuse that took Jeffs years to understand and, finally, to escape. As a child, Jeffs was her father’s obsession. He doted on her publicly and abused her privately, often making her feel responsible for the abuse. Based on the principles of their faith, he determined who she would marry–a man she didn’t know, when she was just eighteen–and he named all of her children. He dictated what she and the other members of the FLDS could wear, what they could read, what they could eat: he controlled them in every way. Even as his power should have been waning–when he was in jail awaiting trial for multiple charges, including rape–he was able to manipulate and control Rachel and the members of her family.

As Rachel grew up, eventually becoming a mother to five children, she began to realize that the practices of the FLDS made her children unsafe. When her children were sick or injured, it was not the practice of the FLDS to go to the hospital, though she knew in her heart that was what was needed. After years of suffering at the hands of her father, both literally and figuratively, Jeffs finally managed to leave the church in 2015. Her story is as brave as it is shocking, and it is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in stories of the FLDS or anyone looking for a model of courage during their own difficult times.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Harper
Publish Date 2017-Nov-14
ISBN 9780062670526 Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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