Underage Marriages: Exploring the Dark Practices of the FLDS Community

Are you ready to explore the dark practices of the FLDS community? In this article titled “Underage Marriages: Exploring the Dark Practices of the FLDS Community,” you’ll be introduced to two individuals named Lyndon and McKay who grew up in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, an offshoot of the Mormon Church. The interview was conducted by Soft White Underbelly and provides an uncensored and ad-free experience. By subscribing to the Soft White Underbelly subscription channel for $10 a month, you’ll gain access to the video content, which can be viewed on various platforms such as Apple and Android mobile apps, Roku TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.

Lyndon and McKay, former members of the FLDS community, currently reside in Sacramento, California. They share their experiences growing up in a small town called Short Creek, which is situated on the border of Utah and Arizona. As children, they were raised with strict rules and limited exposure to the outside world. The community followed the teachings of the FLDS church, which included the practice of underage marriages. Join us as we delve into their captivating story of escaping the clutches of this fundamentalist Mormon sect.

Table of Contents

Background of the FLDS Community

Introduction to the FLDS sect

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is a sect that branched off from the Mormon Church. The FLDS follows the original teachings of the Mormon faith and places a strong emphasis on polygamy and strict adherence to their beliefs.

Geographical location of the community

The FLDS community is primarily located in a small town called Short Creek, which straddles the border of Utah and Arizona. This unique geographical location has allowed the community to thrive and maintain their distinct way of life.

Connection to the Mormon Church

Although the FLDS is a separate sect, it has its roots in the Mormon Church. The FLDS follows the teachings and principles of the early Mormon leaders, particularly regarding polygamy. However, the Mormon Church officially disavowed the practice of polygamy in 1890, leading to the formation of various fundamentalist sects, including the FLDS.

Leadership of Warren Jeffs

Warren Jeffs was a central figure in the FLDS community and served as its leader. He assumed leadership in 2002 after his father’s death and became notorious for his authoritarian rule and numerous allegations of abuse. In 2006, Jeffs was arrested and later sentenced to life in prison for charges related to underage marriages and money laundering.

Upbringing in the FLDS Community

Lyndon and McKay’s family background

Lyndon and McKay grew up in the FLDS with a unique family background. Their father left the church in 2001, leaving their mother to remarry a man who already had seven wives. This large family structure was characterized by strict adherence to religious rules and traditions.

Large family structure with multiple mothers

Within the FLDS community, having multiple mothers and a large number of siblings is not uncommon. Lyndon and McKay grew up with nine mothers and a host of siblings, creating a complex and crowded family dynamic that played a significant role in their upbringing.

Strict rules and limited exposure to the outside world

Life within the FLDS community is characterized by strict rules and limited exposure to the outside world. Music, the internet, and alcohol were prohibited, and the community adhered strictly to the teachings of the church. This limited exposure to the outside world shaped Lyndon and McKay’s perspectives and influenced their desires for freedom and autonomy.

Religious-based homeschooling curriculum

Education within the FLDS community was predominantly conducted through a religious-based homeschooling curriculum. The teachings focused on the core principles of the FLDS, perpetuating the sect’s beliefs and traditions among its younger members.

Underage Marriages: Exploring the Dark Practices of the FLDS Community

Realization of Impending Marriages

Lack of choice in selecting partners

One of the harsh realities faced by teenagers within the FLDS community is the lack of choice in selecting their life partners. Marriage in the FLDS is often determined by church leaders, and individuals have little say in the matter. Lyndon and McKay experienced the weight of this realization as they approached marriageable age.

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Teenagers’ understanding of marriage expectations

Growing up in the FLDS, Lyndon and McKay were raised with a clear understanding of the expectations surrounding marriage. The community placed a strong emphasis on procreation and perpetuating the faith, and the young teenagers were fully aware of the role they would be expected to play in this regard.

Desire for freedom and autonomy

As teenagers, Lyndon and McKay began to develop a strong desire for freedom and autonomy. They yearned for the ability to make their own choices and decisions regarding their lives, including who they would marry. This desire for independence was a driving force in their eventual departure from the FLDS community.

Lyndon’s Early Disillusionment

Lyndon’s realization of not wanting to be part of the community

From an early age, Lyndon realized that he did not want to be a part of the FLDS community. He questioned the beliefs and practices of the sect, feeling restricted by its strict rules and the lack of personal autonomy. This personal realization was a significant turning point in Lyndon’s life.

Influence on McKay’s decision to leave

Lyndon’s decision to leave the FLDS community had a profound influence on McKay. As McKay looked up to his older brother and saw the courage and determination he displayed in pursuing a life outside the community, McKay felt inspired and emboldened to make the same choice.

Challenges faced by Lyndon for his beliefs

Leaving the FLDS community came with numerous challenges for Lyndon. The sect’s tight-knit nature and the social ostracism faced by those who leave made it difficult for him to navigate life outside the community. However, Lyndon’s conviction in his beliefs and his determination to forge his own path helped him overcome these obstacles.

Underage Marriages: Exploring the Dark Practices of the FLDS Community

McKay’s Journey to Leaving

Idolizing Lyndon and finding inspiration to leave

McKay idolized his older brother, Lyndon, and found inspiration in his courage and desire for independence. Seeing Lyndon’s journey to leave the FLDS community gave McKay the strength to embark on his own path to freedom.

Isolation and punishment faced by McKay

McKay faced isolation and punishment within the FLDS community when he expressed his desire to leave. The community’s tight controls and fear of dissent made it challenging for McKay to openly express his feelings and intentions. This isolation tested his resolve but ultimately fueled his determination to escape.

The breaking point and decision to escape

For McKay, there came a breaking point, a moment when he could no longer tolerate the restrictive nature of the FLDS community. This breaking point, coupled with his desire for freedom and autonomy, solidified his decision to escape the community and start a new life.

Underage Marriages in the FLDS Community

Explanation of underage marriages

Underage marriages refer to marriages involving individuals below the legal age of consent. Within the FLDS community, it is not uncommon for girls as young as 14 to be married off to older men. These marriages are arranged by church leaders and are often seen as a way to perpetuate the faith and ensure the community’s growth.

Extent of the practice in the FLDS

Underage marriages were prevalent within the FLDS community, particularly under the leadership of Warren Jeffs. The sect’s emphasis on early marriage and procreation meant that many young girls were forced into marriages without their consent and before they were emotionally or mentally prepared.

Impact on the lives of underage brides

Underage marriages have significant consequences for the lives of the brides involved. These young girls often experience a loss of autonomy, limited educational opportunities, and a lack of personal agency. They are thrust into adult responsibilities and often face physical and emotional harm as a result.

Underage Marriages: Exploring the Dark Practices of the FLDS Community

Warren Jeffs’ Arrest and Legal Consequences

Reasons for Warren Jeffs’ arrest

Warren Jeffs’ arrest was prompted by a combination of factors, including allegations of underage marriages and sexual abuse within the FLDS community. Jeffs’ authoritarian rule and manipulation of his followers played a crucial role in his arrest.

Charges of underage marriages and money laundering

Warren Jeffs faced numerous charges related to underage marriages and money laundering. These charges reflected the extent of his control over the FLDS community and his exploitation of vulnerable individuals, particularly young girls.

Legal aftermath and impact on the FLDS

Warren Jeffs’ arrest had a significant impact on the FLDS community. It exposed the dark underbelly of the sect and led to increased scrutiny from both the legal system and the public. The repercussions of Jeffs’ actions continue to reverberate within the community, pushing some members to question their beliefs and seek a way out.

Life After Leaving the Church

Transitioning to life outside the FLDS

Leaving the FLDS community is incredibly challenging, as individuals must navigate a world they were sheltered from and often lack the necessary skills and resources. Lyndon and McKay faced numerous hurdles as they adjusted to life outside the church, including securing housing, finding employment, and building a support network.

Challenges faced by Lyndon and McKay

Lyndon and McKay encountered numerous challenges on their journey after leaving the FLDS community. The trauma and emotional scars from their upbringing, coupled with the difficulties of integrating into mainstream society, made their transition particularly arduous. They had to confront their suppressed emotions and learn essential life skills necessary for survival.

Personal growth and new opportunities

Despite the challenges they faced, Lyndon and McKay experienced personal growth and discovered new opportunities after leaving the FLDS community. They were able to pursue education, build meaningful relationships, and establish identities outside the constraints of the sect. Their journey serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the resilience of those who seek a life of freedom and individuality.

Awareness and Advocacy

Efforts to raise awareness about underage marriages

In recent years, there has been an increased effort to raise awareness about underage marriages within the FLDS community and other fundamentalist sects. Advocacy groups, survivors, and former members have joined forces to shine a light on these issues and bring about social change.

Support networks and organizations

Support networks and organizations have emerged to provide assistance and resources for individuals leaving fundamentalist sects. These organizations offer counseling services, transitional housing, and educational opportunities, helping survivors navigate the unique challenges they face.

Legal measures to prevent underage marriages

In response to the prevalence of underage marriages within fundamentalist sects, legal measures have been implemented to protect vulnerable individuals. Stricter laws and policies surrounding consent and marriage age now exist to prevent the exploitation of young girls and empower them to make informed choices about their lives.

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Reflection on the experiences of Lyndon and McKay

The experiences of Lyndon and McKay within the FLDS community provide a glimpse into the secretive and often oppressive nature of such sects. Despite the challenges they faced, their courage and determination to pursue a life of freedom and autonomy serve as a testament to the human spirit’s resilience.

Importance of shedding light on underage marriages

Shedding light on the issue of underage marriages within fundamentalist sects is of paramount importance. By raising awareness and advocating for change, we can protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation and facilitate their journey toward freedom and empowerment.

Call-to-action for societal change

The stories of Lyndon and McKay should inspire all of us to take action and work towards societal change. By supporting organizations, raising awareness, and advocating for legal reforms, we can create a world where everyone has the right to choose their own path in life, free from coercion and abuse.

Soft White Underbelly explores the dark practices of the FLDS Community through an interview and portrait of Lyndon and McKay, individuals who were formerly part of a fundamentalist Mormon sect and now reside in Sacramento, California.

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