Lost Boy by Brent W. Jeffs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the forth book on this subject which I have read recently. It covers a different perspective than the others. It concerns the boys who were raised in the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS)and were either forced out by the prophet, Warren Jeffs, or who ran away. Boys were undervalued in this society because the church leaders often had 40, 60 or more wives and they married girls as young as 12. There was always a need for more young girls, but that left scores of boys for whom marriage was impossible. This was doubly difficult since a man was unable to enter the "Celestial Heaven" unless he had at least three wives.
These boys were forced out of a closed society which totally controlled their lives. When they left, they were penniless, abandoned, ill educated, and totally alone. They not only lost their homes, families, and friends, but their whole culture. These boys were raised to not only distrust the "gentiles," (non FLDS) but to hate them. The schools they went to while in the FLDS emphasized church history and were devoid of subjects like science and US or World history. They were hopelessly under educated and unprepared for life outside the FLDS. Most of them drifted into drugs and alcohol and many died of overdoses or suicide.
The author of the book, Brent Jeffs, also had to cope with horrible nightmares and an all pervasive fear. His drug use was a double edged sword; it blunted his dreams and memories, but it also left him less able to repress the horror of his childhood. After the suicide of his beloved brother, Clayne, who had recently confessed to his family that his uncle Warren Jeffs had repeatedly raped him as a young boy, Brent's nightmares and panic attacks reached a level which left him unable to cope. He was beginning to remember his own attacks by Jeffs beginning when he was 5.
Eventually, Brent’s story and those of other lost boys led to criminal and civil charges of Warren Jeffs and ultimately his downfall. The book is well written and documented and provides a much fuller understanding of the FLDS and it’s prophet, Warren Jeffs.
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