Child abuse, incest and child brides: Escaping Polygamy is finally giving the world an insight into the incredibly secretive polygamous cult, the Order, and the reality is shocking. Appalling though it might be, for members, these are just the basic facts of life.
Life is basically all about sex and violence.
But mainly sex.
Sister wives are real.
The LDS Church may have banned polygamy in 1890, but that hasn't stopped the Order from continuing with plural marriages. Don't expect the men to limit themselves to anything short of 14 wives. Needless to say, this doesn't go both ways: brother husbands aren't a thing.
Father figures are scarce.
The men in the family tend to show up to discipline the children or impregnate their wives. To be fair, they do have several of each to deal with; this must take up an inordinate amount of time.
You don't get a childhood.
Children are put to work at a very young age (all of eight in some cases).
Abuse is a fact of everyday life.
Family members groom girls; women are raped; men beat their children; and older children sexually abuse younger children.
Marriage happens young.
And by young, we mean underage. It's not uncommon for 15 year old girls to be married off to men in their forties.
Keeping it in the family is a thing.
Not so much taking a cousin as your date to a wedding; more getting married off to that cousin. Or an uncle, or even a half brother. When you believe yourself to be a direct descendant of Jesus Christ, it's important to keep that bloodline pure, which leaves you few options outside of your own family.
Problems with mental or physical development are commonplace.
Although what else would you expect from years of breeding within four families?
2.5 kids is not a statistic; you're likely to be one of hundreds.
When you're repopulating the earth, having numerous children is not just actively encouraged: it's essential. Members can expect to have over 200 siblings and that's nothing special. Repopulating the earth requires a lot of breeding.
So you may not remember all your siblings…
Again, you're one of hundreds. Get used to seeing people that look like you!
Living situations can be dire.
God help you if you're a married woman and not one of your husband's favourite wives. Be prepared for accommodation that would make a cockroach blanche.
Discipline comes in the form of physical violence.
Members have been jailed for child abuse, children hide their bruises from the outside world and a beating is perfectly acceptable punishment for a crying baby.
The threat of ramification hangs over your head at all times.
Be that Hell or punishment in this world from other members of the cult. Either way, you don't want to step out of line.
If you want to leave, you're going to need some help.
Hence why Jessica, Andrea and Shanell's work is vital. And why they bring the police along.