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Cult Insanity by Irene Spencer
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Cult Insanity (2009)

by Irene Spencer

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Wow...this book took me a long time to wade through. It doesn't have the same zing as other cult books I've read, but the story is every bit as penetrating. The thing that strikes me most about this book is that the author never seems to regret living a polygamist lifestyle, and even though her husband abandoned her and her children repeatedly, she still held him in the highest esteem.
I went into the book thinking it was going to be about how Spencer and her children escaped polygamy and a cult, but the book was more about how power can really mess with peoples' heads.
The book reads almost like the Bible... there are false prophets and successions of patriarchs and begats, lots of suffering and multiple wives and hundreds of children, but scariest of all: blood atonement.
It's frightening that a charismatic, intelligent man can turn into a murderer who people continue to follow and believe in. ( )
  amyolivia | Oct 25, 2013 |
I like Irene's book they are easy to read and read more like fiction.
Ervil Lebaron , they should have the "r" out of his name. He hurt everyone who was loyal to him, or loved him, just to get his own way.
He had no respect for women and the things his wives and followers endured is beyond belief. ( )
  dara85 | Nov 14, 2010 |
This is the second book from Spencer, and somewhat less exciting than her first. This details the sordid details of the cult she married into. It's an interesting read, but it took me a couple of months to finish it.

I recommend her first book much more highly, as it was a more compelling read. ( )
  sister_t | May 1, 2010 |
Cult Insanity is a riveting true story of a woman who lived in a Mormon polygamist cult in the 1970s. Unlike the polygamist members you may have seen living a wealthy lifestyle on TV, both in fiction and news shows, this cult lived in abject poverty in Mexico. It is an interesting story of the generational hold that this type of cult has on its members. There are quite a few people that you have to keep track of, but that is to be expected when the men had 10 or more wives and dozens of children.

It is an interesting story of self-declared prophets, poverty, abuse, murder and finally freedom. There are photographs, a map, and an interesting chart with the wives and children of Ervil LeBaron showing which ones were murdered, put in prison, or died by their own hands. The story jumps around a little, and I found it disturbing to read about the author’s complicity in keeping a woman locked in a room for years. It was just too simplistic of an explanation to read that this woman “lost her mind” when she found out her husband took a second wife and needed to be locked up. There is little information about the author's life outside the Mormon cult, but she has written other books which may include that information. ( )
1 vote Tmtrvlr | Oct 26, 2009 |
This book was an intense and powerful look at a life I never knew existed. Although the writing was a bit amateurish in some areas, the subject matter and the actual story kept me enthralled with every page. It is the story of Evril LeBaron, the leader of a fundamentalist faction of the Mormon faith. Irene, the author is Evril's sister in-law and lived years in the same compound as Evril, with him being the "Patriarch" of the group. The things Irene describes are terrible and frightening. I am still reeling from this book and I read it over a week ago.

I think in saying the writing was a bit amateurish I need to explain myself. I found a lot of areas to repeat themselves and things moved along in a very choppily and it was hard to get a grip on during some parts. Especially during the climax of the book, she explains her way, then another persons view and then another. Either way this book is worth the read, especially if you are interested in cult societies.

(Believe me when I say, I know my writing is amateurish, as well) ( )
1 vote faith42love | Oct 22, 2009 |
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Ervil LeBaron, often referred to as "the Mormon Manson" who ordered the deaths of at least twenty-eight family members, friends and church members--and who had threatened to kill my husbandand me--was my brother-in-law. I was married to his brother, Verlan LeBaron for twenty-eight years.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446538191, Hardcover)

Life for Irene Spencer was a series of devastating disappointments and hardships. Irene's first book, Shattered Dreams, is the staggering chronicle of her struggle to provide for her children in abject poverty and feelings of abandonment each time her husband left to be with one of his other wives. Irene was raised to believe polygamy was the way of life necessary for her ticket to heaven.

The hard knocks of her environment were just the beginning of Irene's shocking tale. Insanity ran rampant in her husband's family and was the source of inconceivable events that unfolded throughout Irene's adult life. CULT INSANITY takes readers deeper into her story to uncover the outrageous behavior of her brother-in-law Ervil -- a self-proclaimed prophet who determined he was called to set the house of God in order -- and how he terrorized their colony. Claiming to be God's avenger and to have a license to kill in the name of God, Ervil ordered the murders of friends and family members, eliminating all those who challenged his authority.

For those who were gripped by Shattered Dreams, the rest of the story will blow them away. CULT INSANITY is a riveting, terrifying memoir of polygamist life under the tyranny of a madman.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:52 -0400)

"Irene Spencer tells the full story of her brother-in-law Ervil LeBaron and his unimaginable reign of terror and violence in their polygamist community"--Provided by the publisher

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