Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs

Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs

by Rachel Jeffs


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In this searing memoir of survival in the spirit of Stolen Innocence, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS Church, takes you deep inside the secretive polygamist Mormon fundamentalist cult run by her family and how she escaped it.

Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its leader Warren Jeffs—Rachel’s father.

Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Jeffs arranged marriages between under-age girls and middle-aged and elderly members of his congregation. In 2006, he gained international notoriety when the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Though he is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs’ iron grip on the church remains firm, and his edicts to his followers increasingly restrictive and bizarre.

In Breaking Free, Rachel blows the lid off this taciturn community made famous by Jon Krakauer’s bestselling Under the Banner of Heaven to offer a harrowing look at her life with Warren Jeffs, and the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered. Sexually assaulted, compelled into an arranged polygamous marriage, locked away in "houses of hiding" as punishment for perceived transgressions, and physically separated from her children, Rachel, Jeffs’ first plural daughter by his second of more than fifty wives, eventually found the courage to leave the church in 2015. But Breaking Free is not only her story—Rachel’s experiences illuminate those of her family and the countless others who remain trapped in the strange world she left behind.

A shocking and mesmerizing memoir of faith, abuse, courage, and freedom, Breaking Free is an expose of religious extremism and a beacon of hope for anyone trying to overcome personal obstacles.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062670533
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 96,312
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rachel Jeffs grew up in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the polygamous Mormon sect, which she escaped in 2015. Rachel lives in Idaho with her five children and two dogs.

Table of Contents

Authors Note ix

Prologue 1

Part 1

1 You Could Drive a Car Through My Family Tree 7

2 Sins of the Father 15

3 Mind Games 27

4 Rebellion 37

5 Keep Your Enemy Close 51

6 Heavenly Father Offers a Blessing 55

7 Wedding 67

8 Love, Plural Style 75

9 The Prophet Rises 87

Part 2

10 Plural Wife 97

11 Do You Have Cows? 113

12 Land of Refuge 123

13 This Is What Hell Feels Like 131

14 The Good Years 141

15 The Raid 151

16 Life Goes On 161

17 The Noose Tightens 169

18 Purgatory 185

19 Back in the Fold 205

Part 3

20 Solitary Confinement 215

21 Enough 227

22 Flirting with Damnation 237

23 Sister Secret 243

24 First One Out 247

25 Over the Wall 257

26 Answered Prayers 269

Epilogue 279

Family Tree 283

Acknowledgments 287

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Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and my Father, Warren Jeffs 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t wait to read this book and finished it in 3 days. I met the author while on a flight to NY in February. We sat next to each other chatted for a while and exchanged first names as you sometimes do. She had told me she escaped from a polygamist life but I had no idea of who she was. I asked only a few questions because I wanted to respect her privacy. Once we landed in NY we walked together to claim our bags. And it wasn’t until I saw her last name on the card held by the waiting driver that I realized who she was. I wanted to wish her well but she had already gone. How this lovely young woman endured all that she did I will never understand. She spoke in a gentile voice and with such kindness in her eyes you would never have imagined this was the same person. I wish her all the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book but not the circumstances that led to it. So sad. Unreal to me that this poor girl actually lived thru it yet was mindful and brave enough to figure out how twisted her life was and was able to brake free.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Heartbreaking how someone with obvious mental issues is able to control so many people. Rachel’s story shows how anything is possible and surviving and thriving after years of mental and sexual abuse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could hardly put it down. Interesting and informative and discrete about certain topics. Well written and easy reading. Thanks for sharing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the way she shared her story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After seeing Rachel on escaping Polygamy and hearing part of her story, I had to read her book. The things she went through in the flds were horrible and it's nice to see that her life turned out great after leaving. It definitely deserves five stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful and inspirational book. Rachel is a great author, easy to read and very informative. Great job Rachel, loved your life story and the positive outlook you have on life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warren Jeffs is a nut job and it amzed me how putting him in prison didn't stop his abuse.