Read Church of Lies by Flora Jessop Paul T. Brown Online


From the Preface: "My name is Flora Jessop. I've been called apostate, vigilante, and crazy bitch, and maybe I am. But some people call me a hero, and I'd like to think they're right too. If I am a hero, maybe it's because every time I can play a part in saving a child or a woman from a life of servitude and degradation, I'm saving a little piece of me, too.I was one of tFrom the Preface: "My name is Flora Jessop. I've been called apostate, vigilante, and crazy bitch, and maybe I am. But some people call me a hero, and I'd like to think they're right too. If I am a hero, maybe it's because every time I can play a part in saving a child or a woman from a life of servitude and degradation, I'm saving a little piece of me, too.I was one of twenty-eight children born to my dad and his three wives. Indoctrinated to believe that the outside world was evil, and that I resided among the righteous, I was destined to marry a man chosen for me by the Prophet. I would then live in harmony with my sister-wives, bear many children, and obey and serve my future husband in this life and throughout eternity. But my innocence didn't last long. While still a child, I understood that the church of the righteous was nothing but a church of lies.When I was eight years old my father sexually molested me for the first time, raping me when I was twelve. I tried to kill myself. Beaten, molested, taunted, and abused by family members alleging they only wanted to save my soul became a daily routine, I ran from this abuse more than once in my early teens--even attempting to cross the desert on foot. My family hunted me down. I thought government agencies would provide me safety if I reported my father. Instead, police and social services colluded with the FLDS to return me to my family and I ended up back inside polygamy, right where I started."Flora goes on from there to tell the dramatic true story of how she ultimately escaped and has been fighting against frustrating obstacles with hard fought successes in rescuing women and children from the FLDS. It's a story you can't put down....

Title : Church of Lies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780787994624
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 296 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Church of Lies Reviews

  • Rae
    2019-04-11 23:40

    I've been reading a lot of these memoirs about escaping cults of all sorts and this one tops them all in the 'gut-wrenching brutality' department. My heart goes out to Flora Jessop along with all the others of FLDS children enduring such abuse. I'd like to throw out there that God is good. It is people that are bad.

  • Rod
    2019-04-17 07:24

    What a horrific tale of sexual abuse and religious insanity. However, this is rather normal for the world we live in. And that is the problem; people think this craziness is just happening on the fringes of humanity and the rest of the world is wonderfully normal. And that is Flora's problem...Here's why I think this:Hinduism has polygamy throughout it history (as well as endless sexual abuse of minors and even infants - read Amy Carmichael's adventures in India for more information, and don't forget the caste system). Islam allows up to 4 wives depending on what mood the men are in - they also claim Allah bases this on finances and love??? Sure. The Mormon church was founded on the benefits of polygamy and men's eternal lusts to achieve Godhood. Have a look at the first few founders of the latter Day Saints movement - now of course the loony religion backtracked and claims to be against polygamy??? What the HELL! Time to get a new god that can make up his mind. Of course, atheism says Do Whatever The Hell You Want - there is no Cosmic Justice or Divine Law.And that is the big problem I have with Flora's noble quest: She's fighting a small battle and doesn't realize there's a huge war of eternal significance happening all around her. If there is no god then technically anything goes - there really is no eternal justice or consequences for abysmal actions. But the God of the Bible clearly lays out goodness and calls actual sin: SIN. (the 10 commandments do not leave room for RAPE)Flora keeps saying how evil the FLDS is (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints). But as she even showed us a time or two in this book, the general Mormon Latter Day Saints are only a day or two away from reinstating Mormonism and all of its abuses...imagine what might happen if a Mormon U.S. President had power over everything? Would he obey HIS prophet and their original doctrinal core beliefs? I bet Mormonism would have a civil war right before our eyes. That would be disturbingly fun...but as we know - most Mormons pretend life is pleasant and that most problems disappear if they are ignored. Flora's Mom was very skilled at this. Imagine if Polygamy was made a legal tolerant option??? It's coming.Flora needs to realize that sexual abuse and religious insanity are not just a Fundamentalist problem. It's much bigger than that. It's a theological problem that is fought at the very foundation of truth and love. To help someone out of a lie you must give them truth. Flora is partially an atheist - so her truth is that we are basically plants that live and die and have no real meaning or cosmic purpose. So clearly that doesn't put fear into an oppressive Fundamentalist prophet or their victims. To undo the damage you must give someone a ROCK that can squash any resistance, and has enough meaning to help someone fight through the toughest challenges and evils. What is this?Why it's the God of the Bible that has clearly said what is what. He calls a sin a sin, and deals with evil as it comes. Is it no surprise that Flora mentions nasty polygamists really don't want members having a Bible? I'm surprised Mormons even know what a Bible looks like. So before people start complaining about the obvious I'll get right to it:Sure, the Bible indeed mentions polygamy (many many times). It also clearly shows the damages polygamy does to families and nations. Does God ever request polygamy in the Bible? NO, no he doesn't. He spends so much time showing the evils and abuses of it that most smart people quickly get the clue. God also states in the very beginning of the Bible what makes a healthy family...and polygamy is NOT mentioned. God later discusses what type of man is wise and trustworthy for certain important positions - and polygamous men are NOT eligible for those positions. God indeed lets us act out our desires and debaucheries in the name of freedom and choice. Is that fun or what? Don't blame God for our insanities and abuses. We are fully to blame. The Bible told us how to behave and fight evil - but we often call evil: GOOD - and good: EVIL. Then we complain when the world goes to hell. How dare us.I thank Flora for showing us another dark side of existence. Men and Women are to blame for the evils they do - and I think Satan is to blame for the religions that help these desires along. Mankind doesn't go around creating religions, we are too busy abusing each other and getting are desires fulfilled - and Pride is at the top of the list.If there is no GOD, then polygamy isn't really wrong. It's just not always pleasant and desirable. So I'll stick with the God of the Bible and the joy and love he provides in the name of our King and Savior Jesus. (Yes, Jesus is God. Trinity indeed)I'm glad I don't live in Utah and own a shotgun - I'd probably be in jail for helping Flora save children from abuse. I'll fight things from a theological perspective. The truth is there whenever someone needs it. I enjoy watching your efforts on youtube Flora. I'd love to meet you in person. Well done.

  • Dannielle Albert
    2019-04-26 07:23

    Best line ever from the book:(The police are at Flora's house, trying to get the two runaway girls and Flora is telling them off.)"Dude, I don't know where the hell these kids are, and if I did I would not tell you so you can betray them like the dozens of other children betrayed from Colorado City." Finally, they got tired of playing nice and started threatening me. "You tell us where these kids are at or we're going to handcuff you and take you to jail.""Fine handcuff me. Don't threaten me, cuff me." I held my hands out. "You mean you're actually willing to go to jail for these kids?" The cop was still trying to convince me to come clean. "It's not worth it Flora." "You don't get it do you? I stared straight in his eyes. I'm actually willing to lay my life down to protect these kids. How far would you go to protect kids?" Now they were getting nasty with me and I finally lost it. "You people seem to be under the impression that CPS stands for Child Protective Services but you know what I think? I think it stands for Can't Protect Sh*t!"Flora is a hero. Physically and sexually abused herself, she ran away from the FLDS and dedicated the rest of her life to helping other people escape from the evil cult. The whole book, though a completely bizarre, stranger than fiction story... is believable except the weird Indian who supposedly helped her and then disappeared. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it's just so far out there. It almost discredits the entire memoir and I would have left it out if I were writing the autobiography. But she chose to leave it in and I hope that others do not discredit her for it. She is also very outspoken which I love her for, but sometimes her passion and enthusiasm can get her in trouble with people. I do admire her fire! The world needs more people like her.Word of warning: the rape scenes are VERY vivid and if you can't stomach it, skip it.

  • Marichee
    2019-04-05 03:52

    The only thing that brought the rating down on this book was the total lack of grammar. I'm sorry, but I'm one of those who believes that if you're going to do any kind of formal writing, grammar and proper editing have to be present. And I know that's kind of a contradiction, because my writing mechanics are weak, but I'M NOT WRITING ANY BOOKS. Just the occassional review and a ton of emails and text mesages. LOL.All that being said, this book does give you a look into what life is like inside a religious polygamist compound. I know Ms Jessop's credibility has taken a beating lately, and I understand why, but I can't be totally against her when all she wants is a healthy childhood for those in her family. Is it really too much to ask for children to grow up without sexual, physical and emotional abuse? Can it be a bad thing for children to grow up with a mother and a father and not a priesthood head and 78 mothers?I do get the feeling that Ms Jessop might exagerate her plight or her heroism from time to time, but i think her motives are pure - a healthy childhood that includes education, contact with the outside world and the choice to marry who you want to marry when you're ready to marry.I have nothing against polygamy. I know several polygamists who are living quite happy lives and are raising well adjusted children. But they don't hide in society.And this branch of the mormons . . . well, it is a Church of Lies.

  • Kavita
    2019-04-25 02:47

    Flora Jessop was the first woman to break free from the FLDS and she started the campaign to help other runaways with the help of different activists. I have read memoirs of women fleeing the sect at a much later date and things were much easier for them. Even though they had a lot of trouble with their families, they mostly did not end up on the streets. Unfortunately, that was not an option for Jessop who did drugs and worked as a stripper to deal with life and make ends meet.The author goes into excruciating detail about some of her ordeals, which made me wince. It was definitely hard to read, but that's exactly the reason why this book is worth reading. Her childhood is described in detail, along with the abuse and the molestation, and then she talks about her escape, and finally her life as an activist, which started when her younger sister, Ruby, asked her for help in leaving. So it's a book about her own personal journey and not just about her experience within polygamy.It's interesting to see how the government wants to take the easy way out and ignore these people citing 'freedom of religion'. When it comes to women, there are no rights anyway. How can these children be sent back to their families again and again, even when the State knows that they are sexually abused and some kids as young as 13 are pregnant?! That's pretty dumb at best and evil at worst. Now that Warren Jeffs is in prison, things have come a long way since the authorities were reluctant to touch the polygamists. However, there are still hundreds of women and children being held captive in these societies, not to mention all the boys and young men being thrown out penniless and defenceless on a regular basis.Some people are born with an innate sense of independence in them, and Jessop appears to be one of them. I can truly only appreciate the fact that she never buckled down even when she was being beaten terribly. An outspoken critic of polygamy since a young age, Jessop turned to activism when her little sister was pushed into a forced marriage. Though Ruby had not managed to escape at the time this book was published, she managed to do so in 2013 and has got in touch with Flora again.

  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    2019-04-06 05:42

    Flora Jessup is a bulldog! After years of suffering mental cruelty, incest, physical abuse, and religious indoctrination to become a champion of so many children also running from the FLDS (please keep in mind this is a cult splintered off of the LDS- NOT the same religion) is a major accomplishment. Something clicked inside and she realized "this is not how I'm supposed to live. This is not right!", and did something about it. She ran away. Multiple times. And finally succeeded in separating, or as they call it, became an apostate. And became a pole dancer. And a drug addict. Then reclaimed her life. And became advocate for daughters and sister wives. Sadly it was the sister wives who constantly disappointed her and would return to the fold. She pressured the government to investigate crimes being committed; she gave numerous television interviews to educate America about these atrocities in the sandy regions of Colorado and Arizona. And she won! This is her story and I'm proud of her for sharing it.

  • ElphaReads
    2019-03-28 23:32

    It's no secret that I've read many a book about the FLDS. While I think they all have their separate insights and such, the bottom line is usually the same: Warren Jeffs and the FLDS victimize people, mainly women and girls, and it shouldn't be taken any more. I was under the impression that Flora Jessop's book would be very similar to that of Carolyn Jessop's, and Elisa Wall's. Not that they are any less interesting, don't get me wrong, but similar in their tones and stories. But boy was I wrong. Because Flora Jessop has a very distinct characteristic to her story; she is filled with a large amount of rage that is palpable and practically busting out of hte pages. After a childhood of sexual and physical abuse, she escaped the FLDS and is now an advocate for children who want to escape as well. All of the women who write these books are incredibly brave and incredibly resilient, and Flora has been threatened, attacked, nearly run off a country road and she STILL stands up for these girls and tells her story. This book was just more proof that these stories are NOT all the same, and that the women are all brave in many different ways. At times hard to read and at other times really very funny, CHURCH OF LIES was a great read, and a MUST read for those interested in the FLDS and those who have escaped.

  • Bonnie Morse
    2019-04-06 01:23

    No matter how much I learn about the FLDS, every book brings new surprises. This one in particular, because it's not just one survivor's story, it's also the story of her tireless work to help other women and children escape lives of polygamous and abuse. One of the girls Flora Jessop rescued, first from the FLDS and then from the government agencies who insisted on returning her to her parents, was Fawn Broadbent. Fawn and her friend, Fawn Holm, ran away at the age of 15 to escape being married. One was promised to a first cousin, a common practice in Colorado City (Flora herself was married to a 19 year old first cousin at the age of 16), and the other to a man twice her age who had other wives and whom she hated. Fawn Broadbent's mother, Joyce, was interviewed for a National Geographic cover story in 2010 and was portrayed as an average, happy, loving mother who delighted in her lifestyle. No mention was made of her daughter or the many court battles that had finally resulted in her freedom. It was that Nat Geo article that made me pursue the issue more fully, as the writer painted an extremely positive picture of life in a polygamous cult. Perhaps the crew didn't interview anyone without a member of the "priesthood" present. Or maybe they just weren't aware of or interested in how deeply lifelong brainwashing can affect a person's POV.Anyway, despite a rough beginning (some of Jessop's accounts of her own childhood abuse read too much like kiddy porn, but as I read I grew to understand her lack of objectivity on the matter), it became an excellent account of life among the FLDS and how unbelievably hard it is to escape. Even those who succeed too often give up and go back due to a total lack of understanding about the outside world, which they're taught from birth is purely evil. Because the girls often leave school between the ages of 10 and 13 and are immediately married off and impregnated, their emotional and psychological development stops, making it all but impossible to take up growing and learning as adults on the outside. That makes it all the more incredible that Jessop is able to do the work she does, as well as writing such a smart and readable book as this.

  • Dionne
    2019-04-02 00:37

    It's amusing how many people now want to take credit for the fall of Warren Jeffs.  It's a seductive story.  Everybody wants to be seen as the hero...But Flora Jessop--well, she's the real McCoy--one of the original warriors and genuine heroes.  In fact, in many ways, Flora Jessop and a childhood friend of hers from Colorado City are truly Arizona's Founding Mothers of this hard-fought, human rights revolution.  A campaign that had to overcome more than a half-century of institutionalized neglect and indifference on the part of Utah and Arizona officials before a man like Warren Jeffs could finally be brought to justice.There are people who might dispute that claim--but I would argue that they are people who either don't really know the story or are lying to cover their own asses.--Mike Watkiss--After reading Carolyn Jessop's two books, Escape and Triumph, about the abuse in the FLDS polygamous community, I decided I wanted to learn more.--Flora Jessop is Carolyn Jessop's cousin, since most of the FLDS community are related to each other.  Flora escaped long before Carolyn, while she was still a teenager.  Flora was being sexually assaulted by her father from a very young age.  She tried to escape numerous times before she was eventually successful.--Flora's book details her early childhood, her escape from the FLDS cult and her struggle to live a normal life afterwards.  She eventually finds peace and a good life in the outside world.  It is then that she begins to help many other women and teenagers who want to escape from the FLDS as well.--The more I learn about the FLDS cult, the more like the mob they seem.  They indoctrinate, brainwash and abuse their members in order to keep them imprisoned.  They don't want you to escape to tell the truth, so they manipulate and try to control your every move.  If you do escape, they hunt you down and try everything in their power to force you to return.--The women that are able to escape intact, are some of the bravest and most courageous warriors I have ever seen. --Flora Jessop is the Executive Director of The Child Protection Project, which is an amazing organization helping many escape their lives of abuse in the FLDS.--To this day, Jessop continues to fight for victims of abuse, wherever they may be.  As Mike Watkiss says, she is one of the "original warriors and genuine heroes" of this movement.

  • Rennie Heza
    2019-04-18 02:23

    In Church of Lies, Flora Jessop tells her story of growing up in the FLDS where she was abused, molested, raped, tortured, held captive, and married off to a cousin at 14. This book has been the most gut wrenching and traumatic yet. Her story opened my eyes to the issues that I can hardly believe still exist in twenty-first century America. I believe in Religious freedom..but this takes it to a whole other level. I am absolutely disgusted with the way Arizona and Utah's government programs and officials (especially the State Attorneys) ignored the abuse and send these children right back into these situations. I think it is horrible that the abuse that goes on there is widely ignored! The brainwashing, the intimidation, the fear for their lives! Jessop has convinced me strongly that something needs to change. The FLDS really does believe they are above the law, sometimes even buying their way right into that belief! Flora Jessop escaped tortuous hell hole and started a life of her own outside of the FLDS. That alone is quite the accomplishment. Yet, Jessop didn't stop there. Despite being on the run, left to stripping and drugs, she has continued her fight against the FLDS. Despite the trauma she faced as a child, she married a wonderful man and started her own underground secret system of helping young girls escape their own hell. She has fought all of the court systems and process' helping young girls, women with children, and anyone that needed help leaving. The only downside of this book was the lack of grammar. However, it basically goes unnoticed amongst the horrifying story of her life. Flora Jessop is an amazing person with an amazing story that anyone can be inspired by.

  • Rhonda
    2019-04-19 02:23

    While reading this book, I felt all kinds of emotions come out. From sheer rage because of the way that the women and children were treated as property, sadness because they felt they had no way out...and anger again at the FLDS leaders who kept their women and children ignorant so that they could never really ever leave the sect.Most children stopped formal education at 8th grade, if not before. Young girls were married off at the age of 12 or younger if they were perceived to be a "problem" child. In later years, the young men were disowned by the sect so that the females could be married to the older men.Incest and rape are a common every day occurrence within this sect.I was at times appalled and confused. I have read the KJV Bible and no where in my Bible does God sanction a marriage between an adult and a child nor does He condone rape and molestation. I have also studied some Wicca and this religion also does not sanction such a union nor condone the abuses that the women and children have suffered,And through it all- the authorities chose to turn a blind eye.I applaud Flora's bravery to get out of the sect and also to help forge a path so that others may leave the sect and live a normal life.

  • Stefani
    2019-04-16 02:31

    Initially I was interested in this book since I was raised in the mainstream Mormon faith. I wanted to know exactly what the differences are in the mainstream faith and the fundamentalist sect. I found out the differences are slight, which didn't shock me too much. What shocked me was the story of Flora Jessup. This tale was told with frank honesty and a level of bluntness that is admirable but definitely would make most people cringe at times. This book perfectly highlights the numerous ways this sect is abusing the basic civil rights of women and children that this country hold dear, and illustrates the numerous ways that we should care "for example, the rampant welfare fraud". This book is enlightening, sad, difficult to read at times, and enraging to any rational human being.

  • Anastacia
    2019-04-12 03:49

    I sometimes have a really hard time writing a review of a memoir, because I feel like I'm critiquing the person's life, and not the book itself - isn't it one and the same? This one is no different.I had a really, really hard time liking Flora Jessop, though naturally I felt sympathy for what she went through. But she's awfully big on martyrdom, the "poor me" syndrome (which I can't get, because I can't imagine what she went through), but she also constantly praises herself for how awesome she is, even when she's doing drugs and stripping. I understand that, too - lack of self confidence usually turns into a "look at me, look at how great I am!"The big thing that really bugged me about the whole book, and made me doubt a lot of what Flora said, was the one line she devotes to quitting drugs - she basically just says "I decided to stop, so I did". I've never done drugs, never even smoked a cigarette, but I've never heard of anyone quitting drugs by just deciding to. You're telling me she never once looked back? She never once struggled with her addiction? I get that her drug abuse wasn't the story here - saving the kids from abuse is - but it really bugged me that she just casually mentions quitting drugs & never mentions it again. What else was she over simplifying? She also makes out that she's the only person ever who tries to rescue the kids and she's the only one ever in the whole world who could possibly actually rescue a child - and that's just not true. She likes to paint CPS as the bad guys, but that's discrimination - claiming everyone who works there is a bad guy is as bad as any other discrimination/racism/etc. CPS is trying to work within the laws of our country - for better or for worse. I'm not saying that they are actually helping the kids - clearly, they aren't - but they are trying to follow the law, and that doesn't make someone working for CPS as evil, just someone who's trying to follow the law.

  • Molly
    2019-04-27 06:33

    By the end of this book, the flaws I found had become endearing and I was completely charmed by the charm, bluster, honesty and courage that Flora Jessop possesses. I understood why so many people in her life helped her with her causes, because she is a big person with a bright brain and heart to match. The difficulty of thinking independently after having been brainwashed since birth cannot be underestimated...her ability to flout all that was safe and secure to carve out a place for herself in a world she was supposed to despise amazed me. She has lived a much bigger life than the FLDS women will ever get to experience, and it pains me that these women live in brainwashed slavery. In the past, my attitude toward polygamy has been tolerant, and I do believe people should be able to choose such a life, but a minor cannot make those choices, choices like having a baby or getting married. And it simply isn't a level playing field when you have been brainwashed since birth. I especially liked this book because I was brought up Mormon, and I understand sexist, racist and nonsensical belief systems and the pressure that is placed on members to conform to them. It is no light decision to leave a church that your family members believe in, let alone leave town and speak out against it. Flora, decked out in her leather jacket with her loaded gun, guided by an Indian spirit, booby dancing and chain smoking, is so easy to love and her cause an easy one to embrace, even if it requires possibly creative interpretations of constitutional law to be put into practice.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-05 23:39

    It seems like a teenager wrote this. And really, in many ways, the author probably is like a teenager because of her lack of quality education (the education she did receive equates to brainwashing - I am surprised that it is allowed to go on). She frequently says, "Dude" and tosses out swear words like B**ch and Damn trying to sound tough but to the point of detracting from her message. The sexual abuse in this book is disturbing and way too graphic. It was not necessary to go into every single detail to get her message across and I think it really limits the audience. I wouldn't recommend this to my friends for that reason. The first half of this book details Flora's life and abuse in the FLDS community and is a revealing insight into that horrific environment. However the second half of the book is harder to follow -- it includes tales of the Italian mafia, an attack on a serial rapist, topless dancing, agency corruption, and heroics to save others from the FLDS. I am sure much of it is true but I did not find it to be 100% believable.

  • Dana
    2019-04-15 06:48

    A sad and interesting story. It is horrible the way that Flora was abused and so many other women and children are abused within the FLDS system. This book brings to light not only the abuse that she suffered, but the rampant abuses in that community and the failure of our government to protect the women and children within those communities. I do not think that women and children should be allowed to be abused under the guise of "freedom of religion". It sounds like Flora is doing the best that she can to help save people out of the FLDS. It would be good if our government would too.

  • Jeannie
    2019-04-02 04:29

    Wow, Flora Jessop is probably one of the most passionate authors I have ever read on this subject! She's a real fireball when it comes to the FLDS! This book was so fast paced, I couldn't put it down. Her work to protect and save women and children caught up in this cult is so awe-inspiring and desperately needed. I don't think she'll ever stop trying to bring this matter to the publics attention and that's a great achievement. Another woman whom I deeply admire for not only saving herself but saving others. Good job Flora, this was a great read!

  • Mazola1
    2019-04-12 02:34

    In Church of Lies, Flora Jessop tells the story of her upbringing in the fundamentalist polygamist sect, the FLDS, and how she escaped from it, and wenbt on to help other woman also escape. The book doesn't pull any punches, and tells the unvarnished truth. That makes it a bit difficult to read, as Jessop's upbringing was truly horrific. The strength of her character is inspiring, and her story is well worth reading. It offers encouragement to anyone in difficult circumstances.

  • Marianne Jay
    2019-03-31 01:23

    This is the courageous story of Flora Jessop. This woman endured things that no one should have to endure. She came out on top and is, a pretty big bad ass. She is literally a hero.

  • Camille
    2019-04-01 07:44

    Church of Lies by Flora JessopPolygamist memoirs are something of a hobby of mine. I find them fascinating and heartbreaking and compelling.So, I checked out Church of Lies by Flora Jessop from my local public library.Flora Jessop was born into the polygamy and raised in the twin polygamist cities of Colorado City and Hilldale, one on each side of the Utah/Arizona border.Before I continue on, I want to give my readers the disclaimer that adult themes were present in this book as some pretty vile things happened to Flora by male relatives. I won't be recounting explicit details, but if knowing about any of what happened to her is too much for you, please stop reading now!From the age of 8 years old, Flora Jessop was molested by her own biological father. Young and naive she had no idea that what was happening to her was wrong, just that she should submit to her father as her priesthood head, and that she didn't enjoy what he did to her.At the age of 12 he began raping her.Flora Jessop wanted to die.And so, she attempted to commit suicide to find a way out, feeling it was her only escape route from the horrible life she was born into...By the grace of God, Flora was saved, though she wouldn't realize it until later.She attempted to run away several times, and finally after escaping to Vegas and then returning, Flora's father laid down a choice: get married, or go to a mental hospital.She chose the option of marrying, and married her first cousin at 18. While he was a much kinder man, she tasted her first bits of freedom and within 3 weeks he took her to Vegas and she left the FLDS for the last time.The horrors of her life were not close to over yet. Convinced she was already going to hell, Flora partied harder and harder, alcohol, drugs, cocaine, and a series of unsavory men.And that's when she finally had the realization that she wasn't going to hell, she had been born there. Finally, after having a daughter and working as a topless dancer she turned her life around, and got better.She also met an amazing man who loved and supported her despite her turbulent past. And now that she was healing, she began her current work, crusading to save other women and children from the FLDS. She recounts her work trying to rescue young women and children from the cult, and tells both stories of success, and stories where the women are so brainwashed and damaged, that they eventually return to the FLDS.She continues her work today trying to help all the women and children she can, sometimes using rather unconventional methods.I have to say that this book was more graphic with details of abuse than prior memoirs I have read. Whilst other women who have written memoirs were also molested and raped, Flora is unafraid to go into more detail which both disgusted me, and tore my heart apart as a reader. I was simultaneously in disbelief about what she went through, and disgusted that men could do that to young women.As a result, I will warn my readers that due to the language, content, and themes, this book definitely isRATED RUnlike an erotica novel though, it's not unnecessary adult themes, it's just a recounting of the horrors she survived.My only criticism would be that her writing style leaves something to desire, but I cannot really fault her for that as she was forced to leave school as a young teenager and had no higher education since. Honestly though it can be a little harder to grasp her writing style it is amazing that she is able to convey everything that happened to her so well with such a weak educational background. However, it is clear she is an intelligent strong woman who has survived horrors must of us can't even have nightmares about.What I also found to be amazing about Flora is her personal journey with God. When she first left the FLDS she had a complete and total bitterness against God that is so understandable considering the lies she was raised on in the FLDS. For a long time she was bitter, angry and almost hateful towards the idea of God because it was so hard for her to let go of the horrors she had been subjected to, falsely claimed to be in the name of God...But by the end of the book, due to a strong, patient mother-in-law, Flora rediscovers church, and God and has begun a relationship with the loving, caring, and wonderful God that the rest of us know and love. It is truly a testament to a loving God that someone who suffered so much could find a way to have love for God.All-in-all 3.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-15 00:42

    A friend of mine once reviewed a book that was an auto-biography and said that it was hard to give it a star rating because it was the person who wrote the book's personal story. I agree, and didn't quite know how to rate this book. It held me and kept me reading all day (also I was on a layover in Montreal on a rainy cold day, so staying in the hotel room seemed really nice! :) ).I believe fully what Flora writes about the FLDS and how they brainwash their followers into believing what they do. I think that it is a horrible thing, when a child grows up with abuse thinking it is normal and when they get married to another person who has also been abused (physically, sexually, emotionally) as a child that the cycle will continue.I find it really scary when a religion has one person who is thought to be a god, and that one person is the only one who can hear or discern God's will/voice, especially when they control the whole cults money and land (in the case of the FLDS {Fundamentalist Church of Later Day Saints} through the UEP or United Effort Plan, which holds all the deeds to the land as well as get's a tithe of I believe 10% of the cult followers money).I find the FLDS and Mormonism really interesting, and I have read a lot of books about both the past and how the religion started as well as about the extreme cult that it has become (the FLDS, not so much modern Mormonism). Flora's story is written in a way that makes you understand the unhappiness that she lived with, and the terror of getting out. So often we think, "why don't these women just leave?". But what we forget is that this is all these women know! They have been brainwashed from birth almost that women are nothing without their husbands, that the outside world is evil and that if they don't follow the prophet they will go to hell! If you look at it like that, the outside world is really not someplace you want to go to, even if your home life is hell itself!Another way the FLDS keeps their women (and men) in 'bondage' is through lack of education. I believe the normal length of education is up until gr. 8, and even that is taught in a FLDS school, so more brainwashing can take place.I have read the auto-biography of other 'escapees" like Carolyn Jessop, and I was left with a feeling that they have laid their demons to rest, however, as much as it seems like Flora is trying to get over it (and she has done some amazing avocation work for getting others out, which is great!) I felt sad for her. That she is still suffering and angry, and still searching for something...I hope that since this book has been written that she has found peace in her life! That she has been able to continue with her advocacy work, but that she has laid the horrible demons that have followed her since childhood to rest!Thank you to Flora Jessop for telling her story.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-21 01:35

    I’m on a cult kick. Light, uplifting summer reading, is it not?Cults are difficult to read about in general. Memoirs by cult survivors are even harder. I think this is because while facts are disturbing on a logical level, raw emotions and lived experience are where things really start to hit home. Well-written memoirs poke at us in a much deeper way; they remind us of our connection to one another and provide an emotional sense of experiences that we may not have lived ourselves. Walking a mile in another’s shoes, so to speak. Flora Jessop, a little spitfire of a woman, does just that in Church of Lies. She brings the facts to life; gives the inhumanity of the FLDS community a name, a face, feelings. Born to FLDS parents in a polygamist community, Jessop seemed destined to suffer the brutality and lifelong imprisonment that FLDS women have somehow managed to live for decades. But, being a naturally rebellious and fiery little girl, she didn’t. She ran and, miraculously, made it out. After escaping from abusive hands and her fate of miserable FLDS baby-breeding, Jessop wanted to experience a different kind of life. And experience she did— all the good, bad, and ugly of the world. Ten years later, having developed a sense of self and regained her own mental and physical health, Jessop became a rescuer of runaways and a fierce enemy of the FLDS way of life. At times going quite beyond the boundaries of appropriate self-care and preservation, Jessop risked life and limb to help women and children follow her path to freedom. No easy task, easing the thoroughly brainwashed and terrified into a world that they’ve grown to accept as utterly evil and dangerous. A heart-wrenching read at times, Jessop uses this memoir as a space to uncover the depravities and criminal offenses that have gone on uninterrupted within our society for far too long. She relives molestation and rape perpetrated by her father, sickening abuse sustained by friends and family members, infuriating ineptitude and undermining actions of the U.S. criminal justice systems. The list of horrors goes on and on.I always think it’s important to read hard things. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose, but knowledge is right. And knowledge is power. So put on your big kid pants, inform yourself, and do something about whatever injustice you find compelling. Is there a better purpose than doing good in this world? I think not.

  • Eden
    2019-04-25 07:36

    Flora Jessop was born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Colorado City.After enduring much physical and sexual abuse, Flora fled when she was 14 and shortly returned after feeling afraid. She was sent to live with her Uncle Fred and was a prisoner for two years until at 16 she was forced to marry her cousin Philip. After her marriage, Flora fled the FLDS for good and for many years has helped women and children escape the FLDS.Before January of this year, I never knew groups like the FLDS existed. When you hear about the extreme oppression of women it is usually in other countries and usually associated with Muslims. It is sort of shocking that this is happening America, but at the same time it is not since there is a lot of bad that happens in America I'm sure no one knows about.But, what I think is most shocking, to me anyway, is that not everyone in America knows about the FLDS and similar groups. I know I had certainly never heard of them before and it was only because I saw a documentary on Lifetime called Escaping Polygamy that I know of them. Because of that documentary, I did some research and found books by former-FLDS members. All I hear ever on TV is about Muslims oppressing women and having more than one wife. Not about the FLDS and similar groups.I am happy that people like Flora are fighting against what's going on and helping the victims.I think Flora is amazing and she really had a hard life. What happened to her was just horrible. And I should mention there are graphic details in book about physical and sexual abuse. It was difficult to read, but at the same time the truth needed to be told and Flora definitely told it.Flora is honest and doesn't hold back. She is passionate about helping abused children and women and fighting against the FLDS. I'll say again, I think she is amazing. Flora is also brave.Flora was trying to help her younger sister Ruby escape, but she was kidnapped by FLDS members and taken back. At the time this book was published Ruby was still with the FLDS. I think I should mention that in 2013 Ruby finally escaped and has custody of her kids. I think it is great Flora was finally able to reunite with her sister.This book was difficult to read at times, but I thank Flora for sharing her story. I think what she does is great and this book is a great read if you want to know what really goes on in the FLDS.

  • Tara
    2019-04-03 06:52

    This is one of several books I've read about the FLDS (a fundamentalist Mormon sect) but it's by far the most horrifying. Not only are most of these women married off at a very young age to be one of multiple wives, but apparently abuse runs rampant in these communities. Flora Jessop tells her story about how she was raped and abused as a child before she had enough and ran away as a teen.The abuse in this book is so horrific, you almost feel like you're reading fiction. Flora was strong enough to realize that she needed to get out, but unfortunately a lot of women don't realize that there are other options. There's also not a lot of help. When she told the police about her father molesting her, they sent her back home. Realizing that the law wasn't going to help her, now Flora spends her life trying to help other girls and women to escape.The FLDS compounds are scary. I can't even imagine being born into a community like that and it being all you've ever known. They are taught that the outside world is evil, so most women are even more afraid of leaving than staying. I think it's brave of these women to write their stories when they're losing their entire families by leaving the religion and going public. Hopefully their bravery can save more women from this lifestyle.Overall, the book was good. It wasn't the most well written book, but Flora Jessop isn't a professional writer. She tells her story effectively and leaves an impact on the reader. I would definitely recommend this book if you're interested in polygamy and the FLDS.

  • Rashmi
    2019-04-12 05:25

    Finished the book at last! This is my second book about FLDS and both books have surprised me in a horrific way! To read about the abuse of women and children is beyond one's comprehension. The write still seems to have lot of anger towards FLDS and her family for putting her through the worst situation anyone could imagine(I am not judging and whatever she went through is not easy to overcome). The book starts slow and picks up pace and explains about the abuse of other women and kids. As a child Flora feels for her mother, but unable to help and unable to understand her mother's mental condition, which must have been very hard for her. She was so disgusted with FLDS that she didnt want to stay her husband (who was her first cousin) and according her he seemed like a very nice person. I was completely confused in the chapter 'Rescuing Fawns'! Too many people, and the situation was not clear. I completely lost it there. I was very happy to hear that she is still working with organizations and authorities to rescue more women and children from FLDS. The part which really hurt was the failure of the CPS and other involved authorities to care for the escapees.

  • Gymdogfran
    2019-04-20 04:33

    This book adds another dimension to the stories of the FLDS told by others (Brent Jeffs, Elissa Wall, Carolyn Jessop), that being the complicity of local and state governments and law enforcement in widespread FLDS crimes and abuses, particularly those perpetrated against children. Whether through fear, ignorance, legal constraints, laziness or outright corruption, state authorities in Utah and Arizona, particularly CPS and juvenile courts, continually turned a blind eye to the physical and emotional abuse of minors in the community. This book shows how children fleeing from these abuses were betrayed or returned to their homes over and over again. The author shares both her experience with abuse as a child, as well as her crusade to force authorities to take this abuse seriously as an adult. (While not a focus of the book, it certainly makes the reader grateful that the FLDS chose Texas as it's next Zion - a state that turned out to be not nearly as afraid to take on the FLDS power structure, enforce sex abuse laws, and protect children.) Even if you've read all the others, this is one not to miss! Great book and great heroine.

  • Aggy
    2019-04-16 00:40

    the day i read a review about this book, is the day i'm looking for this book. It's too bad i can't found brick and mortar shops near my area that sells this book so i had to read the electronic version. that's why at first i thought i won't feel a single thing about this book.oh boy, i was wrong.reading how one person's life changing upside down when she's trying to challenge and questions the religion practice she was raised moves my heart. Flora "Jessie" Jessop, has wrote a graphic story of how she was abused, molested, and raped when she was underaged. her childhood scattered everywhere in the name of religion practice. i was moved by her act to help other 'victims' of FLDS practice of polygamy and other defiancy happened inside the FLDS church. what at once seems to be boring question about how america has raised taliban on their backdoor was changed with the question of why america seems to have failed protecting their children in the twin cities. i found comfort in Flora's books. i had hoped to someday have a further discussion about this with her.

  • Kellie
    2019-04-20 02:48

    I cannot say I enjoyed reading this, as it is so depraved, sickening and unbelievable that it's actually true. Flora Jessop was one of 28 children born to a man who had 3 wives. She was brought up in a polygamous cult and taught to believe the outside world was evil and that she lived among the righteous. Her innocence didn't last long .. Being sexually abused continually by her father from a young age to bring confined in a closet, and then being married to her first cousin at 16, I was not wanting to read anymore. I did finish the book and I am happy I did. The world is a terrifying place and some people have taken it upon themselves to make it worse. All praise to Flora for speaking out about her and her families atrocities against them. May they live in peace now that it has been made public.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-10 02:45

    This one was another one about the FLDS. This one is told by Flora Jessop and goes into a lot more detail about the abuse that she suffered by member of the FLDS including her own father who raped and molested her repeatedly. After she finally escaped from the FLDS she spent many years not living her life any better. She was into drugs, had no stable home life and moved around alot. At one time she even danced in a topless bar. She eventually got her life together and she started helping out those that ran away from the FLDS. So far this one has been my favorite that I have read on the FLDS. There is just something about Flora that makes you wanna look her up and say, "What can I do to help out?"

  • Fiona
    2019-04-20 02:36

    I'll admit it, I've been bitten by the FLDS bug. I've been reading a lot of lurid true-crime type books about cults, but the FLDS memoirs have gotten me hooked. This one was great- a breezy style and awkward dialog, horrifying details that seem too awful to be true but probably are, and the ultimate redemption arc from polygamous wife to stripper to biker to savior. Whether or not all of it is true... well, that's not really the point to these sort of misery-porn books, is it? It's definitely at least mostly true. Up next, I'm going back to the LeBaron murders after reading all of Irene Spencer's works with her sister-wife's memoir. At some point I have to read something with literary merit, I suppose, but I'm on a kick right now, so, whatevs.