I grew up in a polygamous cult in Salt Lake City, Utah. My dad had 27 wives and I have over 200 brothers and sisters from other mothers. I'm the oldest of 11 children from my biological mother. I escaped at age 17 to avoid an arranged marriage to my 1st cousin, and I recently wrote a book about it called The Leader's Daughter AMA! Proof and more proof.

Comments: 4302 • Responses: 150  • Date: 

SyckTycket3872 karma

When was the first time you realized “wait a minute, something is off here?”

EternalSurvivor7660 karma

When I was gang raped at 6 years old.

happenstanz4557 karma

This is the most show stopping, gut wrenching response I've ever read.

EternalSurvivor3637 karma

Yeah, I couldn't really think of a nice way to put it.

pahobee2631 karma

That’s because it’s not a nice thing. It’s a great and powerful thing that you can speak your truth.

EternalSurvivor1920 karma

thank you

Defqon1punk500 karma

I live in Utah. What is the best way, in your opinion, to fight this and/or spread awareness for this? How would a stranger such as myself get involved in action against these cults?

EternalSurvivor1043 karma

I think changing political policies is the best way to fix the problems. 16 year olds should not be legally married

SyckTycket2168 karma

Wow. I can’t even imagine. Your candid AMA has made me aware of my own ignorance of what is going on in these cults. Thank you and I wish you a happy future.

EternalSurvivor1399 karma

Thank you so much for reading :)

sudorobot1044 karma

Did you even realise what that was at 6 years old? I can’t imagine a 6 year old would even know what’s happening! That’s fucking crazy omg!

EternalSurvivor2020 karma

I didn't understand it at all. I thought I was dying. It was very painful

nbb45886 karma

I am so very sorry that you went through that. How horrifying...

EternalSurvivor943 karma

thank you. It's over now, thank God

PantherU42 karma

I just wanna hurt them for you.

EternalSurvivor31 karma

I've learned to forgive for my own sake :)

mozzarelladaddy448 karma

I’m so sorry. I’m glad you’re a survivor and got out of the cult.

EternalSurvivor320 karma

thank you!

jashleyren277 karma

Whatever faith or spirituality you have now, I hope it gives you the strength to overcome this horror of your past. I have two daughters, and anyone who would touch them in that way will be pulverized. By me. Not joking.

EternalSurvivor139 karma

I have a daughter now and I totally get it. NO ONE will touch my daughter that way

enor_musprick3105 karma

Have you found it difficult to maintain relationships on the outside after growing up in such an environment? Have you done any kind of therapy to adjust?

EternalSurvivor5720 karma

After I left the cult, I became very promiscuous and actually avoided relationships. When I met my husband, he encouraged me to go to therapy. I have been in therapy for about 3 years

LeaveItToYourGoat2922 karma

What was the biggest "WTF. that's not true" realization you had regarding the FLDS teachings after leaving?

EternalSurvivor6251 karma

My family is very racist and we were taught that African American people had an extra bone in their body because they were descended from a monkey. I felt so stupid when I voiced that belief lol

Dzugavili4526 karma

I know I'm going to regret asking, but what was the extra bone?

EternalSurvivor6934 karma

The extra bone was in the leg. This allowed them to jump higher

pwniess5936 karma

The NBA is shook

EternalSurvivor3779 karma

Yeah, it's definitely one of the most ridiculous things we were taught

obsydianx1579 karma

So, is it like just one extra bone? Or an extra bone per leg?

EternalSurvivor2590 karma

one extra bone :)

thismightbelong100 karma

I’ve heard dickheads say this same thing not in any religious way to explain why they’re not as good at sports as black people

EternalSurvivor134 karma

Have they seen an anatomy book?

EaterOfFood68 karma

Just one? In one leg? Wouldn't that make them walk in circles?

EternalSurvivor92 karma

I would think it would just make them slouch a little :)

Psykpatient501 karma

So they believe in evolution?

EternalSurvivor1362 karma

They claim they don't. Most of their beliefs contradict each other though

KonigderWasserpfeife62 karma

Kind of? This is a way to dehumanize black and dark-skinned people. Remember, Mormon belief is that dark-skinned people were cursed by God to have darker skin. For more fun reading, try this!

EternalSurvivor44 karma

yes, I'm aware of that story. The story of when Cain was cursed by God for killing his brother Seth. That's actually a bible story though. They just interpreted it differently.

fragilebird_m2546 karma

How did anyone make enough money to support that many children/wives?

EternalSurvivor5264 karma

In my group, the men don't financially support the wives. They own the house for the family and the woman is expected to pay rent to the man. Most of the women are on government assistance or they don't eat.

texasgyrl2086 karma

How do they get government assistance? As single mothers?

EternalSurvivor3344 karma

yes, only the first wife is legally married

Queen_of_Chloe1338 karma

So what’s the benefit for the other wives in this situation?

EternalSurvivor2520 karma

They are able to claim single mother and get help from the state.

dodge_thiss1216 karma

Does the father have to pay child support? In other states when a mother and children get state assistance the father must pay child support to off-set the assistance.

EternalSurvivor2976 karma

The women claim they don't know who the father of their children is. They are taught to lie to the state about everything including the paternity of their children.

whitecompass1353 karma

Wow. That is massive fraud. How is that not investigated further by the state or feds?

EternalSurvivor2012 karma

There's really no way to prove it. When they tried to charge my dad with incest, he sent all his related wives out of state until the order expired.

thatsMYpi342 karma

How do the leaders square this with the group’s religious beliefs?

EternalSurvivor1455 karma

They believe the government is evil so it's not a bad thing to take money and resources from them. It's called "bleeding the beast" and most polygamous groups practice it

cfryant2301 karma

Was there one person in particular that was the voice of reason and persuaded you to get out? If you can talk about them without worrying about outing them of course.

EternalSurvivor6055 karma

When I was about 16, I started sneaking out to go to a martial arts class. My sensei would listen to my crazy ideas and then debate with me about them. He would research my questions and help me see things from an outside perspective. The more I questioned my belief system, the more I realized the religion was abusive and wrong

cfryant9331 karma

You broke out of a cult with the help and encouragement of your secret sensei? This needs to be a movie immediately.

EternalSurvivor3357 karma

lol thank you

ClareEli1397 karma

10/10 would watch that Netflix Original. Also, do you still keep in contact with your sensei?

EternalSurvivor1987 karma

We lost touch over the years, but we have recently started talking again.

youngforever88092262 karma

How are you related to the girls who do Escaping Polygamy? They are all Kingston’s as well...

EternalSurvivor3214 karma

They are all my first cousins. Shanell and I are actually still very close

lonelyystarss795 karma

Is that show fairly accurate? I’ve always wondered if it was all scripted or not

EternalSurvivor1528 karma

It's actually pretty scripted. I think only a couple of the escapes have actually been real time

lonelyystarss280 karma

Thanks for responding! I’m glad you’re out, and I wish you well

EternalSurvivor224 karma

Thank you!

AlmaMaterFcker2135 karma

Have you read/heard of “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer, and if so, how accurate is its portrayal of Rulon and Warren?

EternalSurvivor2718 karma

Yes I have read Under the Banner of Heaven. I really enjoyed the book and found it very accurate. I've recommended it to many people who have been curious about my backround

LIV25001807 karma

What are some businesses that are run by polygamous groups that Utahns don't realize? I was thinking about buying a precision rifle from Desert Tech until I realized that they were owned by the Kingstons.

EternalSurvivor1652 karma

There used to be a huge list online called kingstonclan.com, but it was taken down. I hope they update it again soon.

I_justwantbig_quads828 karma

Quick google:

It says this is only 1/3...sorry about formatting. On mobile.

1 A-1 Disposal 3363 South 700 West, Salt Lake City, UT
2 A-FAB Engineering 3379 S 700 W, South Salt Lake, UT 84119
3 AAA Alarm Co 624 300 North Panther Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84103 4 AAA Security 3950 S 700 E Millcreek, UT 84107
6 Advance Vending 3363 South 700 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
7 Advanced Copy & Photo 4850 Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84123
8 Advance Auto
9 Advance Self Storage 3320 Redwood Rd, West Valley City, UT 84119
10 AM Security Alarm Co.
11 American Digital Systems 624 N 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT
12 American Wellness Rehab Clinic 677 5300 S, Murray, UT 84123
13 ANR Company Inc.
14 Arrow Real Estate 635 W 5300 S Suite 202 Murray, Utah
15 Attco Trucking 2005 E Eastridge Rd, Price, UT 84501
16 Best Distributing Amusement Games 2140 S 3600 W Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
17 Best Distributing Amusement Games 405 W 500 N, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
18 Clyde's Trailer Park
19 Coalition Lodge 1300 Park Ave, Park City, UT 84060
20 C.O.P. Coal Development Co. 53 W Angelo Ave Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
21 C.W. Mining Co. (Related entities: Co-Op Mine; CoOp Mining Co.) 53 W Angelo Ave Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
22 Coalt Inc. 864 S 1800 W Woods Cross, UT 84087
23 D.U. Company Inc.
25 Davis County Cooperative Society Inc. 53 W Angelo Ave Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
26 Desert Tech DesertTech.com aka Desert Tactical Arms, DTA (Summit Printing Sign) 1995 Alexander St, West Valley City, UT 84119
27 East Side Market 1234 S 1100 E, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105
28 Family Stores True Value 4860 S Redwood Rd, Taylorsville, UT 84123
29 Farmers Insurance: Tamara Stowell 2580 4700 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84118
30 Fidelity Funding Corp. 10 Century Park Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
31 Fidelity Lending
32 Fountain of Youth Health & Athletic Club 4300 Commerce Drive Salt Lake City, UT 84107
33 Four Corners Precision MFG. 624 N 300 W Salt Lake City, UT 84103
34 Garco Industrial Park 3994 S 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
35 H.K. Engineering Inc.
36 Hiawatha Coal Co. Inc. 3212 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
37 Holtz Inc.
38 IA Castle Corp.
39 Jake's Quick Lube & Service (Sinclair Gas Station) 4793 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
40 John's Market 4141 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84123
41 K.C.P.C. Inc. 3212 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
42 K.J.E Inc.
43 Kalvin Property Company
44 Kearns Property Company
45 Kingston & Associates (Detective, Guard and Armored Car Services) 3212 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
46 Kingston Dairy
47 Kwik Industries
48 Kwik Vending 451 W 500 N, Salt Lake City, UT 84103
49 Latter Day Church of Christ 1880 W Parkway Blvd, West Valley, UT 84119
50 Lake Elsinore Hotel & Casino 20930 Malaga Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
51 Little Red Schoolhouse Montessori 1400 S Indiana Ave Salt Lake City, UT 84104
52 M.B.S.C. 3212 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115 53 Meadow Brook 3950 S 700 E Millcreek, UT 84107
54 Men's Shoe Repair and Men's Store 3580 Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
55 Michael's Shoe Repair and Men's Shop 3580 Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
56 Mountain Coin Machine Distributors 3753 South State Street, Salt Lake City UT 84115 57 (Colorado) 345 W. 62 Avenue Denver, Colorado 80216
58 (Nevada) 5675 S Valley View Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89118
59 (Oregon) 8700 N.E. Columbia, Portland Oregon 97220
60 (Washington) 3902 B Street NW Auburn Washington 98001
61 Mountain Vendors Machine Distributors 3753 South State Street, Salt Lake City UT 84115 62 North Low Creek Irrigation & Power Co.
63 N.U.B. Corp. 3753 South State Street, Salt Lake City UT 84115 64 NUR
65 N.W.R. Limited Partnership 24060 N 6000 W, Plymouth, UT
66 National Business Management Inc. 53 W Angelo Ave Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
67 Ninth Street Development 3212 South State Street Salt Lake City, UT 84115 68 Ninth Street Development 20 West Century Parkway Salt Lake City, UT 84115 69 Perpetual Youth
70 P.M.C. Inc
71 P.P.M.C. Inc. 2950 South Main Street Salt Lake City, UT 84115
72 PGAC Inc. 3212 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
73 Phoenix Property
74 Plymouth Company
75 Railco Inc. 3212 S State St Salt Lake City, UT 84115
76 RE Company Inc.
77 Security Funding Company
78 Security Funding Inc
79 Shoppers Boot Corral & Western Wear 3580 Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
80 Specialty Consulting Services Inc. 3500 West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
81 Spectrum Inc.
82 Specialized Inc.
83 Spiffy Ice & Cold Storage 3500 West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
84 Spiking Tourist Lodge 2866 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
85 Sportsman's Bail Bonds 3363 South 700 West, South Salt Lake, UT 84119 86 Sportsman's Fast Cash
87 Sportsman's Pawn Shops
88 Sportsman's Fast Cash Pawn Shop 3930 S Redwood Rd, West Valley City, UT
89 Sportsman's Fast Cash Pawn Shop 4081 S State St, Murray Ut
90 Sportsman's Fast Cash Pawn Shop 7106 S Redwood Rd, West Jordan, UT
91 Standard Restaurant Supply 3500 W Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
92 (Arizona) 1305 West Main Street Mesa, AZ
93 (Las Vegas) 5675 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89118
94 Standard Industries Inc. 3500 West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
95 Standard Restaurant Equipment Co. 3500 West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
96 Stowell Insurance 2580 W 4700 S, Salt Lake City, UT
97 Stevens Warehouse
98 The Larken Ranch
99 United Fuel Supply 3950 S 700 E Suite 202 Millcreek, UT 84107
100 U Bail 3363 South 700 West, South Salt Lake, UT 84119 101 U.P.C. Inc. 4793 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84107
102 Washakie Ranch
103 Washakie Renewable Energy PO Box 192 Plymouth Utah 84330
104 West Deep Creek Irrigation & Power Co. P.O. Box 6045, Ibapah UT 84034
105 Western Enterprises
106 Westmark Inc.
107 Westwood Inc.
108 World Enterprises 3753 S State St, Salt Lake City, UT
109 Young Insurance

EternalSurvivor362 karma

This list is awesome. Thank you for sharing!

Whatsthedealwithit111785 karma

Do you believe that your father actually believes what the religion preaches (especially in regards to polygamy), or does he just use it as manipulation for personal gain/desire?

EternalSurvivor2323 karma

I think he believes in polygamy and the LDS doctrine, but I think he's taken it and practices it in a way that just hurts people

home_ec_dropout1516 karma

What has been the hardest part of raising your children differently than you were raised?

I really admire anyone like you who can break free and break the cycle of abuse. I wish you nothing but peace for the rest of your life.

I'm also buying the Kindle book. Thanks for this AMA.

EternalSurvivor2599 karma

Thank you so much for the support.

Because I have a licensed daycare, I am required by the state to take child training classes. (20+ hours a year.) These classes have been my lifeline in raising my own children, because I didn't have a blueprint to take with me. Even if my mother and I were on good terms, I would never trust her to care for my children.

SharpTenor1312 karma

What was the extent of your contact with the outside world while in?

While you were in what caused you to doubt your brainwashing?

EternalSurvivor1906 karma

I went to a public school for kindergarten and 1st grade and then my dad pulled everyone out of school to keep outside beliefs from getting in. I went to college when I was 15, but wasn't allowed to see anyone outside class. We were not allowed to make outside friends

fragilebird_m1271 karma

How old are you now? And have you spoken to any of your family members since you left?

EternalSurvivor1989 karma

I'm 28. I keep contact with 3 of my full siblings who are still in the group, but that's about it

snuggle-butt809 karma

Are they going alright?

EternalSurvivor2586 karma

Two of them are on the verge of leaving. My sister is currently married at 17 and having her second baby. Her first died at 6 weeks due to a genetic disorder

snuggle-butt1156 karma

Wow. It doesn't get much bleaker than that. I hope she makes it out, especially for the sake of rescuing the next generation.

You're amazing, thank you for sharing with us.

EternalSurvivor591 karma

thank you!

Bigluce440 karma

Is that because of close familial relationships?

Do they not worry about that sort of thing?

EternalSurvivor922 karma

I believe it's because of the incest, but they don't seem to worry about it too much.

NewtonGimmick244 karma

Do you happen to know what the disorder was? I know there are concerns about fumarase deficiency with the FLDS and the ever-increasing number of babies that are born with such an otherwise rare disorder.

IIRC, Arizona has around half of all the known cases from the entire world due to the inbreeding found in these polygamist communities.

I'm very happy that you are out and hopefully more of your siblings will follow your lead. I wish you only the best!

EternalSurvivor323 karma

Thank you. Her baby was born with Williams Syndrome

ButtsexEurope85 karma

That’s really sad. Williams syndrome babies can easily live to adulthood with proper care but if they’re just using “prayer” to deal with the resulting heart conditions then the baby will die.

EternalSurvivor152 karma

her baby was born at home and left to suffer for 8 hours before he was brought to the hospital. by the time they got there it was too late.

fragilebird_m1250 karma

How exactly did you escape? What was the plan and how did you follow through with it? (Housing, money, running away, food, etc)

EternalSurvivor2663 karma

One night, when I was 17, I packed my photo album, journals, and some clothes in the back of my car and I disappeared. I was homeless for a month, before I found a friend who allowed me to stay with him. When I contacted my family, they brainwashed me into coming back. When I was 18, I left again. I stayed with a boyfriend's parents while I waited tables and struggled through college.

cheesegenie1136 karma

You had a car/had access to a car?

I'm not at all questioning your story, I'm just surprised it was so easy. Was it harder the second time?

EternalSurvivor2603 karma

I had a car because I threatened to turn my father into the authorities if he didn't allow me to spend my money to get a car.

It was much easier to leave after I was 18. I was able to legally be free of my parents.

KLK75330 karma

How were you able to have a car at that age? How did you get money for it?

EternalSurvivor1114 karma

I had been employed since I was 11 years old. I was not allowed to spend any of the money I made. I ended up leaving most of my money in the cult after I left because I couldn't prove it was mine.

chipsmagee83 karma

What kind of job did you have? Were you paid in cash? How was it kept? (Under the mattress? In a bank account? With other people’s money?)

EternalSurvivor249 karma

I started working in my dad's accounting office at age 11. I slowly got more responsibility until I was 17 and I worked at my dad's grocery store until I left. I worked part time at a lot of the other businesses during the years as well.

We were paid in units (made up currency). We never saw our money and the only way to get it was to ask my dad for permission

eNonsense234 karma

Jesus. This is child slavery. Especially since you technically weren't even family.

EternalSurvivor190 karma

yes it is. Since we never really got paid, that made it worse

harssk1154 karma

As someone that escaped, what would you say we as outsiders can do to help others who want to escape?

EternalSurvivor2071 karma

The best thing an outsider can do is to be a person to talk to while they figure out their trauma. People from the cult don't know how to make their own decisions. Encouraging them to make their own decisions and be strong is the best way you can help them help themselves.

Zer0Summoner1130 karma

What part of mainstream life do you think we who have never been in a cult wouldn't realize how close it is to cultlike behavior?

EternalSurvivor2882 karma

lol I'm still trying to figure out mainstream life haha. I would probably have to say consumerism. We really don't need 98% of the things we buy

KLK751025 karma

Are members concerned about genetic issues due to first cousins marrying? Did you see a lot of genetic problems within the community?

EternalSurvivor1619 karma

They have recently started genetically testing people before they get married due to the high birth defect rate in recent years. This was not a thing when I was there though

fiendlittlewing968 karma

Can you tell us some stuff about the logistics of a household/ community that size? Like grocery shopping and stuff.

EternalSurvivor1904 karma

In my home, we got our food from the garbage. We would hop in the dumpster at Smiths every Saturday night to find whatever we could eat. Then, we would buy the rest of the Order grocery store on Sunday after church.

As far as bedroom, we had 5 girls share 1 bedroom and 3 boys in another bedroom. My mom had her room and my dad had his own room even though he was never there.

My mom owned a Ford Aerostar van and we never wore seatbelts. There weren't enough seatbelts for that many kids

Not_floridaman367 karma

This is terribly ignorant and I'm sorry but you guys had a family car, I saw you had a car: were you guys immersed in your cult's world or did you have contact with the outside world often? (E.g. public schooling, restaurants, etcetera)

EternalSurvivor773 karma

I went to public school for kindergarten and 1st grade. I was pulled out of public school half way through second grade to keep any outside views out. The order (the cult) owns grocery stores, their own school, etc. We never had access to the outside world. Even our employment was at an Order business.

Reminrudy265 karma

I was friends with a girl from the Kingston group in the 3rd grade. Do you think that was “normal” for someone from the order to go that long in public school, or do you think her family was not as strong in the order as say your bio father was?

EternalSurvivor353 karma

What year was she in the public school? My father tightened control and pulled everyone out of public school when I was in 2nd grade. Also, if you tell me her name, I'll probably know her :)

scared_pony946 karma

Forgive me if this has been asked already, but could someone report the sexual abuse of children in the cult to the Dept of Social Services? Wouldn’t they have to investigate?

EternalSurvivor1839 karma

The problem with reporting is the statue of limitations. I was sexually abused at 14, and I didn't know I could even report it until I was 18. By that time, it had been 4 years and the statue of limitations had expired. I've reported abuse for my siblings, but they are so afraid of the outside world that they won't cooperate with an investigation

third_and_seneca786 karma

I heard that in order to achieve a gender imbalance of a high number of women (wives) to few men, boys/younger men are being outcast by the older men. Any truth in that?

EternalSurvivor1308 karma

That's something that happens more in Warren Jeffs group. Paul has complete control over his followers and no one gets married without his approval. He doesn't have to cast out younger boys. He just doesn't let them get married

third_and_seneca503 karma

Thank you for your answer. Both ways sound equally depressing. I am very impressed that you left the group. It shows immense strength. I wish you all the best for your path in life.

EternalSurvivor236 karma

Thank you!

balls89719 karma

What was the last straw for you to actually make the decision to leave?

EternalSurvivor1352 karma

My dad sat me down on my 16th birthday and told me I had to get married. I knew I was leaving about that point even if I couldn't admit it to anyone yet

CH1CK3NW1N95713 karma

Have they tried to reach out and get you back into the cult? And were they accepting of your wish to leave or did they try to stop you?

EternalSurvivor1535 karma

They tried to get me back into the cult for the first 2 years after I left. They finally gave up after I tried to help the authorities arrest my dad

purpleglitteralpaca693 karma

What do you feel is the worst part of your upbringing? Do you see any benefits to your upbringing?

EternalSurvivor1456 karma

The worst part of my upbringing is the extremely traumatic physical and sexual abuse. Also the brainwashing.

EternalSurvivor1443 karma

I guess the benefits would have to be: I graduated high school at 14 because I wasn't allowed to go to a real school. I had to do an online distance program. Also, I learned a lot about running a business. My dad was a lawyer so I learned a lot about the law too

purpleglitteralpaca156 karma

Thanks for your response. I’m sorry that happened to you.

EternalSurvivor146 karma

thank you

TheHappiestBug15 karma

Brainwashing? What did they try and tell you?

EternalSurvivor52 karma

They have to brainwash to keep people in the cult. They take everything you own and make all your decisions for you. No healthy person would allow that

twintrapped661 karma

I've always wondered if kids, or even fathers/other mothers, remember ALL 200+ of their siblings and their names. Don't they just kind if blend together after a while?

EternalSurvivor1554 karma

My dad doesn't know half of his kids names. When John Daniel Kingston went to court, the judge asked him to name all his kids. He couldn't name half of them.

civil_liberty653 karma

How old was the cousin they had arranged for you to marry?

EternalSurvivor1099 karma

I had a choice between a first cousin and a second cousin. 1st cousin was 19 (I was 17). 2nd cousin was 27 (I was 16)

iwouldrun500miles552 karma

Why were those your two choices, why not one of the few thousand other people that weren't related to you? Do they not know that marrying close relatives can result in so many issues with reproduction?

EternalSurvivor1184 karma

Getting married is a business transaction. You are given to a man as payment for something else (money, a business, strengthen family ties, etc.)

daddakamabb911 karma

That is so demeaning, you're a person, not property. I am sorry that is how you were viewed. You're so much more than that.

EternalSurvivor558 karma

Thank you so much

CitricBloodBath602 karma

Did your cult call themselves "Mormons"? Did they take a lot of their beliefs from that religion?

EternalSurvivor1019 karma

We called ourselves fundamentalist Mormons and yes, most of the doctrine is the same. We believed the LDS church fell away from God when they stopped following polygamy and consecration and that's the reason our particular group was formed in the first place.

fencerman362 karma

Okay, polygamy is widely known... but "consecration"?

AnneShirleysHat1195 karma

Basically means if you follow the church, your belongings belong to the church. As in you hand over the deed to your house to the church.

In concept it's supposed to shun materialism. In practice it ties people to the cult, unable to escape.

EternalSurvivor613 karma

Exactly AnneShirleysHat

fragilebird_m549 karma

Were you shunned when you left? Are your siblings technically not allowed to speak to you?

EternalSurvivor1395 karma

When I left, I was definitely shunned. I was not allowed to see or speak to any of my siblings. When I showed up on my little sister's birthday to give her a present, my mom called the cops on me for trespassing. It was very difficult when I left. The only thing I could do, is assure my brothers and sisters that I was there for them in any way I could be. I'm the oldest of 11, so I raised most of them while my mom worked 2 jobs. Eventually most of the older ones reached out to me, even though none of them have had the courage to leave the group. I'm currently close to 3 of my full siblings, though our relationship has stayed secret

LeDinosaur429 karma

I’m really curious about the mothers and children on why they stay. Especially your mom calling the cops. Is it simply brain washed? Are they told lies about the outside word? Are they happy with that life style?

EternalSurvivor789 karma

They really are brainwashed into believing the Order is everything. I've tried so hard to have a relationship with my mother, but it's impossible because she will always put the cult before everything else, including her children. It breaks my heart

pizzatoppings8820 karma

WHAT the cult is still on-going?!

EternalSurvivor55 karma

Yes, they are alive and well and only getting bigger. They have recently expanded their reach into healthcare, firearms, and fast food.

LeDinosaur531 karma

What do you like about your life now? Read all the questions and they are mainly about your past.

Tell us how you feel now?

EternalSurvivor1469 karma

Lol I'm pretty boring now haha. I have PTSD and Bipolar 2, which comes from the PTSD and I'm in therapy and on medication to deal with that. I'm hoping to be off medication in the next 2 years.

I've been running a licensed home daycare for the past 5 years, and I'm 3 classes away from a bachelor's degree in business management. I have kids and a husband whom I'm pretty happy with. (yes it's the same husband I write about in my book lol).

I love writing and I love fitness.

Calingh471 karma

How do groups like this operate without attracting attention from the different authorities?

EternalSurvivor917 karma

My cousin Jacob Kingston is currently in prison pending a trial for fraud and money laundering of 500 million dollars. If you google Heidi Foster, Jacob Kingston, John Daniel Kingston, David Kingston, all these people have been in prison or have had charges against them. They don't prosecute polygamy because it's hard to prove and it's recently been decriminalized. (not legalized)

darkerthandarth414 karma

What are the illegal activities, in terms of child abuse, domestic violence, etc that go on in such a cult? And how do people in the cult ome to terms with it?

EternalSurvivor797 karma

In a cult, you are taught that the law doesn't matter. God's law is higher and the leaders determine God's law. Illegal activities include: Child abuse, welfare fraud, business fraud, pretty much any kind of fraud, money laundering, tax fraud, evading the law, etc. I'm sure there's more

GetAGripDud3386 karma

What's your favorite food?

EternalSurvivor815 karma

Cinnamon rolls. My mom used to make them instead of cake for my birthday every year :)

Lorde_Trouser_Snake351 karma

How do the various wives deal with their husband constantly laying down with other women? Living under the same roof while this occurs has to be borderline torturous, right?

EternalSurvivor669 karma

Most of the women don't really know their husbands very well. Even so, there is so much jealousy in my cult. One of my half moms actually tried to run over a new wife with her van, who was marrying into our family. Most of the wives only live with another wife for the first 6 months to a year after they marry into the family. Most of the women have too many children to live together anyways.

beanstalkel315 karma

Was your cousin into the idea of you two ending up together?

EternalSurvivor618 karma

Yes, he cried when I told him we weren't getting married

YVRJon302 karma

Did your group have any contact with the Blackmore/Oler group in British Columbia? The two leaders of that group were charged with trafficking girls for marriage across the Canada/US border (in both directions, IIRC), but I think it was with the Jeffs group in the States.

EternalSurvivor497 karma

The blackmore group is actually a part of the FLDS (warren jeffs) group. They just live farther away. We had contact with them and have cross married with their group

MaybeYouHaveAPoint273 karma

Some of your answers suggest your siblings are trying to forget/repress traumatic abuse and move on within the cult. That makes it sound the abuse is in the past. If talking to you brings up these bad memories, that sounds like they aren't just getting more and more bad memories now. Can you expand on that?

EternalSurvivor747 karma

I'm specifically referring to two of my sisters who are currently married in the group. Their husbands don't beat them. They were beaten as children. I believe they are happy with their situation now because it's not as bad as it was when we were children. They are still neglected but they don't care because the physical abuse has stopped. Does that make sense?

Essnem-258 karma

How have your beliefs in religion changed after you left?

EternalSurvivor726 karma

I don't believe in organized religion at all. I do like the idea of spirituality though.

jdr420777223 karma

I cant imagine. Just wanted to say your username is so very fitting!

Did your group have a militia wing or focus on training with guns , prep for government raids/doomsday or anything like that?

EternalSurvivor332 karma

We were taught about doomsday in church, but we never really had extensive training. We were mostly taught how to lie to the authorities if they ever questioned us about the cult.

proficy222 karma

Were you ever threatened for leaving?

EternalSurvivor476 karma

I received death threats for about 6 months after I left. My boyfriend was terrified

tatterdermalion197 karma

How are kids disciplined?

EternalSurvivor420 karma

The parents have not been taught how to discipline their children, and each parent does the best they can. Most of the children are just beaten until they obey

PtyP507194 karma

Wow. How do your siblings still in the group feel about this, do they also want to leave? How did the rest of your family react to your leaving?

EternalSurvivor285 karma

When I left, I was cut off. I was not allowed to see or speak to my siblings at all. When I showed up on my little sister's birthday to give her a present, my mom called the cops on me for trespassing. It was very difficult when I left. The only thing I could do, is assure my siblings that I was here for them no matter what. Eventually most of them reached out to me, even though none of them had the courage to leave the group. I'm the oldest of 11 and my mother worked 2 jobs so I raised most of them. I'm currently close to 3 of my siblings still in the group. None of them have chosen to leave.

mypatronusisyourmom193 karma

Forgive my ignorance, but you said your moment of “this is wrong” was when you were gang raped at 6 years old... is that normal within the cult? Are many of the girls experiencing this?

Is it apart of the cult culture? Meaning, is it justified in some manner or do people simply turn a blind eye to it?

Thank you for sharing and I’m so glad you escaped and are receiving therapy. You sound like an incredibly brave, strong person.

EternalSurvivor282 karma

Almost every girl I grew up with in the cult was sexually abused in some form or another. It's more rare to find a girl who was not abused.

RoslynTheRogue188 karma

How do you feel about the raids that the FBI made on several businesses that are owned by the Kingston Clan and the role that the Insider (seen on Escaping Polygamy) may have had?

I'm really glad that you escaped!

EternalSurvivor384 karma

The insider on escaping polygamy was actually multiple people giving them information.

I was very happy with the raids on the businesses. Those raids are potentially going to put Jacob Kingston and Isaiah Kingston in prison for a long time. They definitely deserve to be there.

quiteunicorn178 karma

Did you guys mingle with any of the other big FLDS groups or is there like a rivalry or something. I’m assuming there must be some slight differences between the ideologies, did they teach you that the others were wrong?

EternalSurvivor299 karma

Some of the leaders have rivalry. Most groups pretty much keep to themselves after the Ervil Lebaron hit list where a leader ordered all the other groups to join his group or they would be killed. The leader of the Allred group was killed by a 15 year old girl before Ervil was caught. We were not really taught about the other groups. I didn't even know other groups existed until I was a teenager and Tom Greene was arrested for bigamy.

Ovakilz174 karma

Aren’t you a little worried that now that you’ve been publishing a book and even going on reddit to tell us about these things, that they are going to try to find you and possibly do something terrible to you?

If I was in a cult with that much control of a certain area, I would be scared shitless.

EternalSurvivor315 karma

I think they are more worried about going to prison for money laundering and fraud right now. Google Jacob Kingston and Washakie. They are accused of laundering over 500 million.

LeaveItToYourGoat162 karma

In your experience, does the FLDS actively try to recruit new members from the outside? Or do they mainly just focus on growing from within (like trying to marry cousin to cousin, in your case)?

EternalSurvivor311 karma

They focus on growing from within because they have a belief about pure bloodlines. They believe the Kingstons have royal bloodlines

doodbro86161 karma

I guess I'm less concerned with what demonination they claimed and more with is polygamy a widespread belief there? Or is this something mostly fringe believers do?

EternalSurvivor419 karma

The polygamist breakoffs of the LDS church consider themselves to be fundamentalist Mormons. There are 3 very large groups here in Utah, with members all over the United States. 1. FLDS (Warren Jeffs group. About 10,000 members), The Allred group (about 5,000 members), and the Kingston group (I'm from this group, and we had about 5,000 members). There's also alot of independent polygamist families who practice the religion but aren't affiliated with a group

Gden152 karma

I feel that this js a heartless question But Do they for some reason feel they are immune to the effects of inbreeding?

EternalSurvivor275 karma

Yes. They believe God will keep their blood pure and prevent any defects.

Boondogs147 karma

Was it some knowledge of the outside world or fear of going into a marriage that you didn’t want that drove you to leave? What were your perceived risks in leaving?

Great AMA, thank you.

EternalSurvivor261 karma

I was supposed to marry my first cousin, whose dad had gone to prison for beating his daughter nearly to death. (google maryanne kingston). I was very terrified of marrying him.

My perceived risks of leaving were the fact that I would never see my family or my friends again and I would be going into a world I didn't know or understand.

StitchesBe_crazy117 karma

How did you meet your boyfriend? (Or did you say you're married now?)

EternalSurvivor456 karma

Lol I met my husband through the guy I moved in with when I was homeless. My boyfriend (now husband) got me drunk for my first time after I left the cult. We stayed friends for 2 years while I figured out how to navigate life, and then we got married and have kids now. He's still my favorite drinking buddy :)

ohlordiejordie106 karma

What would they do if a woman was unable to have children?

EternalSurvivor196 karma

My cousin was actually born with a disorder where she didn't have a uterus, so she couldn't have kids. She married as a 5th or 6th wife and she never really saw her husband again.

paulyvc26102 karma

How many others if any got out? Does the leader marry any of his own blood relations in the cult?

EternalSurvivor255 karma

I am the fifth child who left out of 200+

I'm no longer in contact with most of my family, but I've heard about 10 of my siblings have left

mbrooks972 karma

How do they contact you?

EternalSurvivor184 karma

Lol my mom has my phone number in her phone

kiko129978 karma

What did you do when you left? And I hope therapy helps you I can’t imagine growing up in a situation like that.

EternalSurvivor338 karma

Thank you! Therapy has been a life saver. When I left, I went to college. I knew it was the only way out of my situation. I waited tables to support myself and then I started my own child care business. I have been running a licensed home daycare for 5 years now and I am finishing up my last semester for my bachelor's degree.

HelpMeWithCreditPls67 karma

Just wanted to chime in and say good for you. It seems like you've gone through a lot of strife, and to see you come out on top is just quite nice.

EternalSurvivor48 karma

Thank you!

onyxvoice74 karma

Were there any people of color that were apart of the cult?

EternalSurvivor130 karma

No. You have to be white to be a member

arpsgirl74 karma

Wh t do you think about the popularity of shows like “Sister Wives”? Do you see it as contributing to the problem or helping in some way?

EternalSurvivor181 karma

I think anything to bring awareness is a good thing. Most people can't believe this is happening in the 21st century in America of all places. A problem can't be fixed unless people care enough to try to fix it. It's the reason I published my book in the first place. There are so many people from Warren Jeffs group who have published a book, but none from the Kingston's. I wanted to bring awareness to what's going on.

JPWRana68 karma

How do you think women are convinced to stay and marry, and share a husband? What biblical support from the New Testament does the FLDS give for polygamy?

EternalSurvivor155 karma

There is nothing in the bible that condones polygamy. The Doctrine Covenants is the book that talks about polygamy. This is not a Christian book. It is strictly LDS and FLDS religions.

Women believe they will go to hell if they don't follow their husband. He is the "head of the household" and women are expected to obey him in everything.

blackbird_ess64 karma

How common was suicide within the group?

EternalSurvivor122 karma

I know of 2 suicides. One was a grown woman (she shot herself) and one was a 14 year old girl (she hung herself)

relddir12348 karma

Do you currently see a problem inherent in polygamy? What about polyamory?

EternalSurvivor246 karma

I don't see a problem with polygamy. I see a problem with coercion, underage marriages, and brainwashing a person into being in a lifestyle they didn't choose. I have no problems with polygamy, polyamory, or any other lifestyle as long as it's between consenting adults.

krupu36 karma

Have you watched Sons of Perdition documentary about Warren Jeffs exile boys? It's very tough stuff, the casting out especially drives the kids nuts. Is that the hardest part of leaving for you too? If yeah, what's the second hardest?

EternalSurvivor101 karma

I have seen Sons of Perdition. I actually knew the boys from the documentary. lol Utah is a very small place. My cult didn't believe in casting people out. They went the opposite direction and did their best to keep people there. The hardest part of leaving for me was leaving my family and my friends. I left everyone I knew and trusted and embarked on my own path completely alone. It was terrifying.

Fool0fShit25 karma

How was your relationship with your siblings, did you have what you considered a close relationship with them? how would you compare that relationship now?

EternalSurvivor59 karma

My siblings and I were very close to each other because we didn't have anyone else in our lives. We weren't allowed to speak to people who weren't in the cult. My mom would leave us home alone when I was 6 years old and I was left to care for all my younger siblings. I am very close to my brother who understood everything we went through. Some of my siblings can't speak to me because it brings back traumatic memories and they have chosen to stay in the cult and get married.

jwdot23 karma

How similar is cult living to that portrayed in films, games, and other media? What aspects are the same, and what's different?

EternalSurvivor90 karma

I was actually on the Sister Wives show for 1 episode. I spent the whole week with the family and they seemed to be genuine in their lifestyle. There are definitely people who choose the lifestyle and it works for them. My story was horrible and I know a lot of other horror stories as well. Some of the shows are accurate and some are not.

MissCat2621 karma

Are you doing all right to this day? How does your past still affect you in your every day life?

EternalSurvivor57 karma

I'm currently in therapy and on medication because of my PTSD. I'm honestly doing better than I've ever been, but I'm hoping to be able to wean off medication.

ImogenPaige17 karma

How common is genetic mutation and incest within the cult? Was there not ever talk amongst you and your siblings/family about the risks of breeding with potential family members?

I'm so glad you got out. It must be hard knowing some of your siblings aren't strong enough or willing to break free.

EternalSurvivor54 karma

At this point in the group, most marriages are incest. They are in their third generation of incest and it has caused a lot of down syndrome and other very rare genetic disorders. My full sister just lost her baby at 6 weeks to Williams syndrome. The incest was a huge reason why I left in the first place.

justscottaustin16 karma

Other elephant in the room?

Do you ever think about "liberating" your sibs?

EternalSurvivor47 karma

Lol if you have any ideas about how to "liberate" my sibs, I'm all ears :)

AnneShirleysHat10 karma

How do you feel about the mainstream LDS?

EternalSurvivor24 karma

I believe they are a less extreme breakoff of Mormonism. I have in-laws who are LDS so I've softened my heart toward the religion a little, but I'm not a fan of Joseph Smith lol

NosDarkly14 karma

And Brigham Young's name is a bit too on the nose.

The_Horny_Gentleman13 karma

lol, having been raised LDS I never caught that before

EternalSurvivor9 karma

Yeah, I wouldn't call Mormonism a cult, but they are only just a step up

mc_handler9 karma

So how did your father convince 27 women to become his wives and bear his children? Did he meet women out and about and brainwash them into joining? Did he take them from other factions or LDS in general? I can see being able to brainwash those raised in the church since that's all they know, just baffled that he could pull in so many people from the outside

EternalSurvivor26 karma

All the women were born and raised in the cult

zapbark9 karma

Given that polygamy is illegal, have you ever considered turning the cult into the authorities?

And/or how do polygamous cults avoid prosecution from that law?

EternalSurvivor45 karma

I personally spoke to Mark Shurleff in the attorney general's office to try to bring some kind of change. 2 years later, Mark Shurleff resigned from office and was charged with taking bribes for his political office. Utah is corrupt. Also, if you google Jacob Kingston, he is currently in prison for laundering money and fraud in the sum of 500 million. Hopefully he gets time for it.

uhmwutlol4 karma

Have you seen the show Escaping Polygamy? If you have, how accurate would you say it is?

EternalSurvivor13 karma

Lol I have seen the show Escaping Polygamy. The main girls in the show are my cousins. Shanell and I were best friends growing up, and we are still close. Some of the show is accurate and alot of it is dramatized

thebbman3 karma

How did you escape? Was it on your own of through some of the rescue organizations here in Utah?

EternalSurvivor7 karma

One night, when I was 17 years old, I packed up my photo album, journals, and some clothes and drove away. I was homeless for a month, because I couldn't contact anyone. A friend let me move in with him. I ended up going back to the cult after 3 months because I missed my family. I left again when I was 18 and lived with a boyfriend's grandmother. I didn't know about any organizations when I left. I did it by myself

dry_ether3 karma

Have you cheated on your husband before or after marriage?

EternalSurvivor8 karma

Yes. I was very damaged and I had a low self esteem. My husband did his best to show me love, but I didn't know how to receive it. I regret it, and I spend every day appreciating the fact that he forgave me.

OhNoCosmo3 karma

Do you still consider yourself a Mormon? Or have you sought out other religious options?

EternalSurvivor21 karma

I have no affiliation with any religion. I believe religion = control. I am spiritual though

proficy5 karma

Did you forgive your family?

EternalSurvivor13 karma

For my own personal healing, I have forgiven everyone I wrote a book about lol

OhNoCosmo3 karma

Thanks for the answer. If it means anything to you at all, I'm in the same boat as far as being spiritual without being involved in any organized religion. It just feels more pure without the corrupt middle-men who deem themselves prophets, priests, preachers, pastors, etc... Best of luck on your journey wherever it takes you. I wish you well.

EternalSurvivor9 karma

Thank you! I feel the same. I believe everyone's relationship with their higher power is really no one else's concern

pussgurka-1 karma


EternalSurvivor1 karma

I submitted the proof of everything and was approved. Please put my post back up!

You Are An Approved Submitter

subreddit message via /r/IAmA[M] sent 20 days ago

you have been added as an approved submitter to /r/IAmA: I Am A, where the mundane becomes fascinating and the outrageous suddenly seems normal..mitted proof and had an email to approve my post.

natty1212-9 karma

Was your cousin hot?

EternalSurvivor16 karma

Lol not at all