Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Witness wore Red


Today’s nonfiction post is on The Witness Wore Red: The 19th wife who brought polygamous cult leaders to justice by Rebecca Musser and M. Bridget Cook. It is 340 and is published by Grand Central Publishing. The cover has two pictures on it on top one of Rulon Jeffs with his many other -wives wives and Rebecca colored in red and on bottom with her standing wearing red as she is going to testify against Warren Jeffs. The intended reader is someone who is interested in this case, cults in America, or just autobiographies. There is language, rape, and violence in this book so adults only. This is a autobiography of Rebecca Musser and is told from her view point. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, living downstairs from her father’s “real” family, and concealing her family’s polygamous livestyle from the “dangerous” outside world. Covered head-to-toe in modest clothing, she attended Alta Academy, a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints school headed by principal Warren Jeffs.
In her teens, she became the nineteenth wife of her people’s Prophet: eighty-five-year-old Rulon Jeffs. Warren’s father, and watched as forty-eight additional wives were added to her marriage. After she was widowed, Warren Jeffs threated t her with remarriage, she pulled off a daring escape and sough to build a new life and family on her own terms.
But by 2007, though far from the church, she was no longer able to stand for the abuse and underage marriages still being perpetuated within it- ones that she believed put her sisters at risk. So Rebecca took the witness stand against Warren Jeffs, the new self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS.
The following year, as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, and FLDS stronghold, Rebecca was called to the scene, advising law enforcement to an outcome that avoided bloodshed. Her subsequent testimony revealed the horrific secrets behind the temple’s closed doors, sending the leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life.
Now, for the very first time, Rebecca Musser tell the full story- one of crimes committed in the name of God, the abuse of power played out across generations, and her own perseverance as well as the strength of those around her. A revealing memoir of escape from fanaticism and a fast-paced courtroom drama, THE WITNESS WORE RED is a testament to the power of one woman’s decisions to change the world.

Review- This was a very interesting and eye-opening read. I remember the raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch but other than that I really knew very little about the FLDS. Now that I have read two books about the FLDS I know a bit more and that is horrifying and stomach turning. Musser tells her story with heart-breaking honesty. She does not pull her punches when dealing with the abuse that happened and happens nor does she spare herself from the same gaze. Unlike Sam Bower, who at times I had trouble believing, I believe Musser. Because she does not have to prove herself in anyway. Bower would say things like “ I didn’t believe her” or “ I had my doubts about that witness” but Musser does not. She says that she believed because she knew it could happen. Musser just wants people to understand and have mercy on those who lived and live under FLDS teachings and control. Her story is about grace, forgiveness, and mercy towards and self.

I give this book a Five out of Five Stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.