Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife - Irene Spencer Irene Spencer's memoir is a sobering tale about the realities of life for women in the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints (FLDS) world. She speaks frankly of the horrid squalor and poverty in which she and her "sister-wives" lived during their marriage to FLDS President Verlan LeBaron until his death in 1981.To say that LeBaron was psychologically abusive is to greatly understate the situation; he eventually took 10 wives, often dumping their children on Irene to care for (he had a total of 58 children). Spencer endured life-threatening pregnancy after pregnancy in a hard-scrabble existence that often featured no indoor plumbing or electricity.She tried repeatedly to leave, but with no job skills - and no "blessing" from the FLDS to do so -- she was stuck. She writes poignantly of the constant battle in her head concerning her abject misery and depression and the FLDS promise of "glory in the next life" for "exalting the Principle" of polygyny (polyandry is strictly forbidden) by having dozens of children. Women are really seen as nothing but life support systems for a uterus by the FLDS; they have no perceived value beyond their childbearing. This book is an eye-opener.