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Friday, August 14, 2009

ARC Arrival: Cult Insanity by Irene Spencer

Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement by Irene Spencer

Publisher: Center Street

About the book: In Shattered Dreams, Irene Spencer told the devastating story of her arduous life in a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon sect, sharing her husband with nine other women (and fifty-six children) in abject poverty and intense mental and emotional anguish. As harrowing as the story was, it was only just the beginning.

Cult Insanity delves deeper into her story, focusing on the terrifying acts of Ervil LeBaron, her brother-in-law and a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he had been called to set the house of God in order.

The older brother of Irene's husband, Verlan, Ervil LeBaron had a zeal for living and teaching that was at first admired but soon took on a sinister tone. Ervil's ambitions quickly turned lethal when he uncovered a doctrine concerning blood atonement--the act of redeeming a sinner's soul by taking his or her life. Seeing himself as God's avenger, he used the role as a means to terrorize and destroy those who challenged him.

Irene quickly became enveloped in a dark cloud of fear and anguish. Survival for herself and her ever-growing family turned into a constant flight from one desert camp to another across the harsh badlands of Baja, California. Food was scarce and living conditions abhorrent. Irene didn't see her husband for months, never knowing if Ervil would make good on his vow to kill him. (book jacket)

About the author: Irene Spencer resides in Northern California with her husband of twenty-one years, Hector J. Spencer. During the twenty-eight years of her first marriage to a polygamous husband, Irene gave birth to thirteen children (all single births). She additionally adopted a newborn girl, who became her ninth child.

Irene has 123 grandchildren and 60 great-grandchildren. Among her many talents, she is an accomplished seamstress, is a great cook, and is fluent in Spanish, and she has traveled to twenty-three countries and twenty-three states speaking on polygamy and related issues. (book jacket)

Cult Insanity
Publisher/Publication Date: Center Street, August 12, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-446-53819-0
352 pages


2 comments:

teabird said...

Oh dear - I read the first book, and I couldn't imagine anything worse than her life with the sect - I'm not sure I have the strength to read this one...

Sheila Deeth said...

I've not read the first one yet, but intend to sometime.

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