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In this searing memoir of resilience and redemption, Rachel Jeffs—daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—writes about her life inside, and triumphant escape from, a dangerous cult that still holds thousands in its thrall.
Rachel Jeffs grew up at her father’s side as he attained power and ultimate control of the FLDS Church, a strict patriarchal culture where the women are subordinate to the men, and everyone is at the mercy of an increasingly unstable Prophet. Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Warren Jeffs established a cult in which members are brainwashed to do his bidding; underage girls are married to men they don’t know; parents are separated from their children; and people are cast out forever at the Prophet’s merest whim. Even after the FBI placed Warren Jeffs on its Ten Most Wanted List and he received a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs’s iron grip on the church remains firm and his edicts to his followers grow increasingly restrictive and bizarre.
In Breaking Free, Rachel Jeffs offers a stunning look at life inside this notorious cult from the unique perspective of being both the favorite of Warren Jeffs’s more than fifty children and the object of his most depraved “revelations.” Compelled into an arranged polygamous marriage, locked away in “houses of hiding” as punishment for perceived transgressions, and physically separated from her children, Rachel—Jeffs’s first plural daughter by the second of his more than seventy wives—eventually faced a terrible decision: should she stay in this hell, or should she leave everything and everyone she’d ever known?
A shocking and mesmerizing story of faith, abuse, and courage, Breaking Free is both an exposé of religious extremism and a portrait of extraordinary resilience.
Harper Collins (US)