2/12/2014 6:00:00 AM THE BOOKSHELF: Escape and Triumph at the library
In 2003 Carolyn Jessop, 35, a lifelong member of the extremist Mormon sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), gathered together her eight children, which included her profoundly disabled 4-year old son, and fled in the middle of night to freedom. In her 2007 book, Escape, Carolyn describes the reasons for leaving the FLDS and her early life outside the cult.
BLYTHE. Calif. - In 2003 Carolyn Jessop, 35, a lifelong member of the extremist Mormon sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), gathered together her eight children, which included her profoundly disabled 4-year old son, and fled in the middle of night to freedom. In her 2007 book, Escape, Carolyn describes the reasons for leaving the FLDS and her early life outside the cult.
On April 3, 2008, millions of Americans were glued to their television screens watching the unfolding drama as the state of Texas, acting on a tip from a young girl who had called a hotline alleging child abuse, prepared to invade the YZR (Yearning for Zion Ranch), a sprawling, 1,700 acre compound near Eldorado, Texas, to which the FLDS "Prophet" Warren Jeffs relocated his sect's most "worthy" members three years earlier.
Carolyn was once again drawn into the Frey, this time as an expert called upon to help authorities understand the customs and beliefs of the extremist religious sect with which they were dealing. To date the state of Texas has spent close to twenty million dollars preparing cases for trial. The state deserves a lot of credit for its aggressive prosecution and its determination to hold the FLDS legally accountable for crimes against underage women.
In 2010, Carolyn came out with her second book, Triumph. The first half of the book speaks to the real and more harrowing misinformation that flooded the media in the aftermath of the raids.
Carolyn recounts the setbacks when the Supreme Court of Texas allowed the children in state custody to return to their parents, as well as the successes when evidence seized in the raid provided information for a string of criminal trials of FDLS leaders that began in October 2009.
In the second half of Triumph Carolyn shares her early life after she left the church. Besides becoming an advocate for emancipated womanhood she flung her doors wide open to here-to-fore forbidden experiences - everything from a workout in the Curves exercise class to hugging her children goodnight. She devoured self-help literature; her idol was radio's Dr. Laura.
Brian has come into Carolyn's life. He is involved with her family of eight children, taking trips to places like Sea World, Disneyland and on outdoor adventures. The kids love him as a father. With the unconditional love of a good man and her persistence towards her goal of emancipation for all women, Carolyn has come a long way in the last six years.
Both of these books are available at the Palo Verde Valley Library. Escape is on the non-fiction shelf under 923 JESSO. Triumph is on the new book, non-fiction shelf under 923 JESSO. If interested in reading both books, its suggested to start with the first book, Escape.
The Palo Verde Valley Library is located on Chanslorway at the corner of Broadway in Blythe. Library hours are from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturdays the library is open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Closed Sundays. The library welcomes winter visitors.