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Reflections on “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop – from Lahna Morakis

    The book in reference is “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop. (Copyright©2007, author- Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer, published by Broadway Books NY, ISBN- 978-0-76792756-7) In case you may not be aware, Carolyn Jessop was married to Merril Jessop, a high ranking official in the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) until she had the courage to escape this polygamous and abusive cult.  I had this book on my shelf for several years, but did not read it until last week.  I realize now how timing is of such importance. I have had time to heal from my involvement with WOFF or so I thought. It has been my experience, once you are exposed to cult life and cult practices you never totally heal. The mind is like a computer storing information and there are triggers that set memories in motion. For me, it was reading this book. The similarities between the FLDS and Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) were/are uncanny.  Aside from the “prairie dresses” as I call them and the plural marriages, the premise for these two cults is the same. Remember, mind control is the basis for all cults. It is exercised in every and all aspects of a cult member’s life. It was interesting to learn that the FLDS started out much like WOFF, and just like WOFF, as time went on there were “new revelations” given to “leadership”. As a result, members were forced to relinquish more and more freedoms.  If they did not comply, they were shunned. Since I do not believe the average person can fathom exactly what that means, I’d like to share from my experiences of being shunned. 

     My background is Italian and Greek, both of which reflect a very tightly knit family unit. In 2007, a family reunion was planned in Tarpon Springs, Florida for all the people who were from the same island in Greece as my father.  My mother and father were elderly and could not travel alone; therefore I offered to take them. Because there would be dancing and music, and as a result of Jane Whaley’s counsel; my husband refused to take me to the airport, watch our dog for the week, pick me up when I returned or speak to me the entire time I was away. At that time, it was too early for me to realize where the “orders” were coming from. When a spouse shuns you to that degree, which is totally foreign to their nature, you know they are being controlled by someone or something else.

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