SURVIVOR STORIES: I ESCAPED A POLYGAMIST CULT
Posted on September 25 2019
“There is in every woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.-” Washington Irving
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints (AKA FLDS), is a Mormon organization located in the United States. It is infamous for practicing polygamy, as well as being a hotbed for child sexual assault and abuse.
In FLDS, at best, women and young girls are regarded as property. At less than best, as breeding mares.
Arranged marriages between elderly men and underage girls--or male relatives and underage girls--are common in the twisted cult. In FLDS, Hair must be worn long, never to be cut--ever.
FLDS divests themselves of the opportunity for epic en masse Rapunzel cosplay by investing in the belief that they will one day need it to cleanse the feet of Jesus Christ himself, during the Second Coming. Clothing must be modest to fend off attention from men who are not your faithful, loyal husband--who also happens to be loyally faithful to his 50 other wives. . .
Suffice it to say, the futures FLDS may have in store for a comely young female may not be what that female is envisioning for herself.
Eve was raised in this community of corrupt zealots.
But Eve was a strong, independent woman who didn’t want to marry, and become the 44Th Wife of that relative in every family who always hugs way too long!
Who could blame her?
Perhaps it is embedded in our nature (a primal instinct? Our inner soul? ) That visceral feeling that makes your skin tight, internally screaming this is not right. This is not what I am destined for.
The destiny Eve had dreamed up was broken and wrong in the hive-mind of FLDS. Eve wanted to be a model featured in magazines across the world. She did not want to be the dutiful FLDS wife--a shrinking figure in the background, meant to keep to the shadows and fringes of her own life.
Eve wanted to be bold.
Eve wanted to stand up and stand out.
The founder of Army Pink was in contact with an activist organization working to empower and support women living in the FLDS community. The organization was in the process of aiding Eve in her escape from FLDS. With an agreement to converge in the desert the day following Eve’s great escape, Army Pink booked a historical location for the shoot.
The AP team headed out to the Nelson Ghost Town, where they stumbled upon the most precious treasure in the desert for miles.
Eve was no longer an FLDS prisoner. She was changing into colorful, form-fitting clothing for the first time in her life. She was soon to be a featured model in a fashion photoshoot.
The clothes she was putting on represented the opposite of what FLDS preached and practiced. These clothes were created in the name of anti-violence.
Created to provide a voice to victims of the brand of abuse so commonplace in FLDS.
The photoshoot was Eve’s dream realized.
A modeling shoot and a peaceful protest against abuse and violence in all rolled into one.
Her modeling dream was not some dirty desire or morally perverse.
Fashion was expressing who you are on the inside with what is outside.
It was the right to feel confident.
the phenomenon of to thine own self be true.
A bounty of bravery.