Friday, May 18, 2012

"Cult Insanity" by Irene Spencer

330 pages

Life was never easy for Irene Spencer. She was born into a polygamist family and at a 16 became the second wife of a much older man named Verlan LeBaron. She would eventually bear 13 of his 54 children and struggle to provide for all of them. Irene put up with it all because she was raised to believe that living in polygamy was the only way to get to heaven. However, things got even worse when her brother-in-law Ervil gained power as a self-proclaimed prophet sent by God to put His people in order. As he became more and more extreme, it became clear that Ervil was insane. Irene realized that she would have to go against everything she'd been taught to keep herself and her children safe.

This is a really intense memoir. I thought it felt a bit repetitive at times, but for the most part Irene did a great job of telling her story. The way that she stayed strong and fought for what she cared about throughout the whole ordeal is an inspiration. Considering that she'd been 
brainwashed from the time she was born, it's amazing that she managed to break free of the cult. A definite must-read for anyone who is interested in modern polygamist groups. 

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