Flora Jessop

Almost exactly a year ago ABC News reported that Flora Jessop had managed to rescue her sister Ruby and Ruby’s six children from Colorado City and the FLDS. The linked report is annoying because it autoplays, but it’s worth it for the content.

It’s all there, just as it is in the Learning Channel episode, right down to the intimidation by theocops in grey SUVs.

Flora Jessop had been trying to get Ruby Jessop out for twelve years. The Arizona Attorney General stands in front of the cameras and says that women are held hostage by the FLDS.

If you have a copy of Under the Banner of Heaven handy, check out pp 49-50. Krakauer describes the nightmare situation of Ruby Jessop and Flora Jessop’s attempts to rescue her. The publication date on the book is 2003. Two thousand fucking three – eleven years ago. [Read more…]

Reality horror tv

There’s a new tv series on the risibly-named “Learning Channel”: Escaping the Prophet. It’s surprisingly grim and real for TLC – home of the endless Duggar show, in which the role of fundamentalist hyper-patriarchal religion is drastically downplayed while a woman’s persistence in attempting life-threatening pregnancies is presented as heroic, and of a show about a Mormon guy with four wives, presented as a kind of cuddly soap opera.

Escaping the Prophet is what it sounds like – it’s about escaping that horrible little town on the Arizona-Utah border which is a miniature theocracy which people are not allowed to leave. Jon Krakauer wrote a brilliant book on Colorado City and the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, Under the Banner of Heaven. Its “prophet” – the one who needs to be escaped – is Warren Jeffs, who is in prison doing time for raping two underage girls. [Read more…]