Brent W. Jeffs- Lost Boy (Broadway Books 2009) 5 Stars
Normally I would do my own summary of the book, but in this case I think that the author is the best person to summarize this portion of his life. Jeffs is the nephew of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the FLDS. The son of a prominent family in the church, Brent could have grown up to have multiple wives of his own and significant power in the 10,000-strong community. But he knew that behind the group’s pious public image—women in chaste dresses carrying babies on their hips—lay a much darker reality. So he walked away, and was the first to file a sexual-abuse lawsuit against his uncle. Now Brent shares his courageous story and that of many other young men who have become “lost boys” when they leave the FLDS, either by choice or by expulsion. Brent experienced firsthand the absolute power that church leaders wield—the kind of power that corrupts and perverts those who will do anything to maintain it. Once young men no longer belong to the church, they are cast out into a world for which they are utterly unprepared. More often than not, they succumb to the temptations of alcohol and other drugs. Tragically, Brent lost two of his brothers in this struggle, one to suicide, the other to overdose. In this book he shows that lost boys can triumph and that abuse and trauma can be overcome, and he hopes that readers will be inspired to help former FLDS members find their way in the world.
What an amazing memoir. Lost Boy is Brent Jeffs’ story growing up, from his most early memories to the most recent. He is brutally honest, even when it may make him appear in a negative manner. I respect the author greatly after reading this as I appreciated his honesty. I enjoyed some of his stories as they were humorous at times, other stories I did not enjoy so much (especially the ones of his being sexually abused) as they were very hard to make it through. I definitely felt very angry at times that such terrible things could happen to so many children. It was very educational though and I loved the fact that I learned so much about a religion that seems foreign to me as we do not have any FLDS compounds around my town, we do have other religious groups that can be very strict, but none that practice polygamy. I love to be able to learn new things when I read so it was very good. Now all of the news stories I heard make just a little more sense, as I could never get a proper grasp on what was happening through the media. This is a great book for anyone looking to learn about FLDS culture, or wishing to learn about how power can corrupt when abused, or given to one person. Religious texts should never be used out of context as it is so dangerous when in the wrong hands. A good speaker can make anything seem like it is backed by their religion, just look at what is happening to our world. The same is the case when someone declares themselves a prophet and then takes control of many putting in place their own restrictions, this is a dangerous power for anyone to have. Lost Boys was an eye opener for me and I will definitely watch for these things more closely.
Lost Boys is a great book for anyone looking to learn about FLDS culture, or wishing to learn about how power can corrupt when abused, or given to one person.
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