“Shattered Dreams: My Life As A Polygamous Wife” by Irene Spencer

 
 
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rab
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30 October 2009 06:32
 

I just finished reading “Shattered Dreams” by Irene Spencer, who lived life as a polygamous wife in a fundamentalist Mormon sect from the late 19590s until 1981.

She was raised in the cult and having been indoctrinated at an early age, believed it was her destiny to be the wife of a man named Verlan LaBaron. LaBaron already had one wife when he married Irene. His wife Charlotte and he already had one child.

Because the U.S. had laws against polygamy, LaBaron moved his two wives to Mexico. What follows is over 20 years of hardships, abject poverty, more children, more wives, and the strange incident that lead them to continually move from compound to compound. Their prophet head was murdered by a jealous brother and rival, and the LaBaron clan had to keep moving to stay out of his radar.

At one point, they lived in Nicaragua before the revolution. All the wives and kids had to take medicine for intestinal worms and at the same time were forced to work in the rains and hot sun from sunup to sun down to keep the crops tilled and growing. What they didn’t sell to survive, they shared with their neighbors who were even more destitute.

Like the other books I’ve read about polygamous sects, this too was wrought with jealousies, resentments, disappointments, and the wife finally leaving. Irene left but returned to Mexico for a year to be with her husband after receiving a revelation by a sooth sayer in Las Vegas. Her life as a polygamous wife finally ended with the death of Verlan LaBaron, who left behind 58 children by 8 wives.

 
Keep The Reason
 
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Keep The Reason
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31 December 2009 12:46
 
rab - 30 October 2009 10:32 AM

I just finished reading “Shattered Dreams” by Irene Spencer, who lived life as a polygamous wife in a fundamentalist Mormon sect from the late 19590s until 1981.

She’s still not free of the god delusions though.  From the FAQ:

Q: Irene, how did you meet Hector J. Spencer?

A: I am writing our love story in one of my upcoming books. To make a long story short, I knew him because he and my late husband, Verlan LeBaron, grew up together. He had been an LDS Mormon, who later gave up Mormonism and moved to the states.
My late husband was dead and I was lonelier than ever. I hadn’t seen Hector in SIX years. Believe it or not, I cried out to God, “Who is there in life for me? I don’t want to be alone.”

An audible voice told me, “His name begins with an ‘H’, but it’s not a common name.”

 
 
 
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rab
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05 March 2010 17:27
 

Yeah, I know she’s still a believer. But her story is still fascinating nonetheless.