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Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and my Father, Warren Jeffs

Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and my Father, Warren Jeffs

Written by Rachel Jeffs

Narrated by Rachel Jeffs


Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and my Father, Warren Jeffs

Written by Rachel Jeffs

Narrated by Rachel Jeffs

ratings:
4.5/5 (170 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 14, 2017
ISBN:
9780062694836
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

In this searing memoir of survival in the spirit of Stolen Innocence, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS Church, takes you deep inside the secretive polygamist Mormon fundamentalist cult run by her family and how she escaped it.

Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its leader Warren Jeffs—Rachel's father.

Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Jeffs arranged marriages between under-age girls and middle-aged and elderly members of his congregation. In 2006, he gained international notoriety when the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Though he is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs' iron grip on the church remains firm, and his edicts to his followers increasingly restrictive and bizarre.

In Breaking Free, Rachel blows the lid off this taciturn community made famous by John Krakauer's bestselling Under the Banner of Heaven to offer a harrowing look at her life with Warren Jeffs, and the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered. Sexually assaulted, 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' first plural daughter by his second of more than fifty wives, eventually found the courage to leave the church in 2015. But Breaking Free is not only her story—Rachel's experiences illuminate those of her family and the countless others who remain trapped in the strange world she left behind.

A shocking and mesmerizing memoir of faith, abuse, courage, and freedom, Breaking Free is an expose of religious extremism and a beacon of hope for anyone trying to overcome personal obstacles.

Publisher:
Released:
Nov 14, 2017
ISBN:
9780062694836
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Rachel Jeffs grew up in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the polygamous Mormon sect, which she escaped in 2015. Rachel lives in Idaho with her five children and two dogs.


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Reviews

What people think about Breaking Free

4.6
170 ratings / 18 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The FLDS is worse than I had imagined...well done Rachel and I wish you a long life of happiness!
  • (5/5)
    While many parts of this book were difficult to listen to because of the descriptions of sexual abuse, I am left with a sense of awe at the bravery of this young woman. Her strength in the face of true torture is an incredible testimony. I truly felt her pain in the impossible dilemma of living in polygamy, poverty and isolation and the equally frightening prospect of leaving behind the only community she had ever known. I am left with enormous compassion for the women, children and even some of the men who are trapped in this desperately evil cult. Highly recommend.
  • (5/5)
    This story demonstrates Rachel Jeff’s courage in so many realms. May she, and her children, be blessed in their new lives.
  • (5/5)
    Very Interesting. Well written. Personal account of being born into the FLDS
  • (2/5)
    The book is great but the narrator makes it beyond hard to listen to. I know she wrote the book, but they need to record another version because it’s awful.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting story. Usually I enjoy the writer being the narrator, especially with a true story - but Rachel’s voice was just too monotone. Good for her for escaping that crazy life !!
  • (5/5)
    Este audio livro é de muita qualidade. Realmente inspirador para muitos.
  • (5/5)
    This book is touching and compelling, a true example of courage
  • (5/5)
    I'm not going to lie...this one was tough but a facinating read. I didn't know much about Warren Jeffs and his church and now I feel like I know a bit too much. Heartbreaking and horrible. Definitely a few cringe moments but an important insight to this life from his own daughter's eyes. I can't imagine what her and everyone else who suffered at Jeffs' hands have gone through, but this book opened my eyes a lot to something I can't even believe still goes on in this world.
  • (4/5)
    Breaking Free:How I Escaped Polygamy, The FLDS Cult, and my Father, Warren Jeffs.
    By Rachel Jeffs
    2017
    Harper's Collins

    Intriguing. ....Honest.....must read!!

    Rachel Jeffs was one of the "favorites" of more than 50 wives of Warren Jeffs, the self proclaimed "prophet" of the FLDS. She was also one of the many women abused and taken advantage of by this cowardly and deprived "prophet", and his "revelations from God".

    "I am not a victim, and I do not want anyone's sympathy. I wrote this book to help others who have suffered from similar experiences, whether in the FLDS church, or in thrall to some other circumstance beyond their control. I want people to know it is possible not only to overcome their trials but also to use those difficult experiences to help others. No matter where you came from or what you've been through, we are all in this together."

    Forced into a polygamous marriage, Rachel eventually grew to love and enjoy her husband, Rich. They had 5 children. Polygamy was difficult for Rachel, but she knew it was something she had no control over, and it was best to keep quiet. When she did speak up, or for any other "transgression", the prophet would expel her to a "house of hiding", in remote areas and in enclosed compounds, with no communication with family or children. This lasted months, and happened frequently to Rachel.She was refused medical treatment for her children until "the prophet" deemed it, which could take weeks. Constantly moving "wife mothers" to various houses or to build new homesteads for the worthiest, called "land of refuse", there was never a feeling of family. This was something Rachel wanted for her children and motivated her to seek their freedom.

    P. 113:"When Father bade us to move to the lands of refuge, he told us that the gentiles and apostates (former members who had left the church) wanted to kill us, and that soon there would be a great martyrdom in the city of Short Creek. The people's only chance for survival and redemption would be to move to the lands of refuge."
    "Since only the worthiest people could live on the lands of the refuge, Father had recorded hours of "special trainings" for people there to listen to and live by. Every new person who came to live on the lands had to complete all of the trainings before they did anything else. If we listened from morning till night, it took about two weeks to get through them all."

    This is a compelling and straightforward memoir, that is both an honest expose of extremism and abuse; and a story of personal belief and strength, perseverance and faith. The harrowing accounts of the emotional trauma and abusive system of belief, led by a maniacal and psychologically unstable self proclaimed "prophet", really touched me. I read the entire book, and was so drawn in I could not stop reading.
    Rachel Jeffs is an extraordinary woman, a remarkable person and a loyal mother. I have so much respect for her and this book will give inspiration and insight to anyone who reads it.
    Highly recommended memoir!
  • (4/5)
    What a dink.

    I’m always drawn to these kinds of books. I don’t know what my problem is. I love learning about cults, and serial killers and all that weird, disturbing stuff. I just want to know why people do what they do.

    This book is fascinating and gives a very clear idea of what goes on behind big stone walls. I’m sorry for what Rachel has gone through, and her children, but I’m glad they are free and happy now. Everyone deserves to be happy.
  • (4/5)
    A new polygamy book – yay! Breaking Free is a memoir by Rachel Jeffs, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, leader of the FLDS church. The Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, or FLDS, is a polygamous sect that is basically a cult. Jeffs himself has more than 70 wives. He dictates who women marry and got in trouble with the law for marrying off girls as young as twelve years-old. You may remember when the FLDS’s compound in Texas was raided by law enforcement in April 2008.Since Jeffs was God’s chosen profit and God spoke through him to tell people how to live their lives, he was followed without question by FLDS members. When Rachel was only eight years-old, her father began sexually abusing her, telling her that he was preparing her for her husband. Even at a young age, she knew it wasn’t right and doubt that her father was the true prophet started to form in her mind.Luckily, Rachel actually liked the husband Jeffs chose for her. He seemed like a nice guy but frustratingly, he bought into every revelation from God Jeffs espoused hook, line and sinker. Jeffs was eventually arrested and convicted of sexual assault of a child. He continued to release ridiculous edicts from jail, like that husbands and wives couldn’t touch each other, which his followers continued to blindly obey. He also continued to arrange marriages and rearrange families – taking children from one mother and giving them to another. As always, it’s fascinating to me how much people will go along with in the name of religion. For Rachel, the threat of losing her children was the last straw.I’ve read a few other books about the FLDS and some of the same people come up time and time again in the various books. It’s interesting to see the church and its people through various perspectives. For instance, Rebecca Musser, whose memoir of her time in the FLDS church is called The Witness Wore Red, is mentioned in this book. She was married to Warren’s father, Rulon Jeffs and therefor was one of his mothers even though she was only a few years older than him. That also makes her one of Rachel’s grandmas. I liked hearing Rachel’s view on the testimony that Rebecca gave at Jeffs trial.Rachel’s story is both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Breaking Free is a solid addition to the polygamy section of my home library.
  • (5/5)
    Interesting, yet heart sickening read. This book offers a view into the evils of FLDS and the dangers of a strictly patriarchal society. This book made me angry and happy all at the same time, which evolved into me cheering for the author. She made it when everything was stacked against her in this abusive and toxic cult. I commend her breaking away and being a beacon of hope for others.
  • (5/5)
    A very great book, she is very brave. Recommend for sure
  • (3/5)
    Subject matter is very intriguing. Something is weird with the audio though.
  • (5/5)
    Hard to hear the 1st few chapters, it's unbelievable what Warren Jeffs had his followers believing. I'm so happy for Rachel & her kids that she round the courage to leave.
  • (5/5)
    What a psycho Warren Jeffs was. And I do not understand how so many people can be so fooled.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Heartbreaking but honest! The author not only tells the horror of her life inside this cult but remembers good times as well and freely shares them. A reminder to us all that no matter how horrible we think things are, a lot of people have it worse!

    1 person found this helpful