My Memoir, Part 19-A: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
Ma, Pa, and Perils of Polygamy
“No influence is so powerful
as the that of the mother.”
Sarah Josepha Hale
Picking up from “My Memoir Backstory: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — Ma ‘n’ Pa — Part 18:”
As I’ve said before, Mother could not live polygamy herself — at least not during her twenty-two years of marriage with my father. So I really resent she maneuvered and manipulated me into a harem — a life she couldn’t stomach herself. But what’s new?!
Since she and Pa raised me to believe I would go to hell if I didn’t live polygamy (because Joseph Smith said so). Obviously then, they expected their kids to be able to do things they were never able to do themselves. Or they were trying to at least save me from going to hell when they couldn’t save themselves. Dream on!
Therefore, though I was barely sixteen, still tied to Mother’s apron strings and too young to know any better nor have any input, Mumsy, along with Pappy’s priestcraft and support, worked her witchcraft that dumped me into William Preston Tucker’s family/ harem – an arranged polygamic marriage, and one that would bring glory to hers and Daddy’s name — for Bill Tucker was arguably the biggest catch in town.
To manipulate me, among other things, Mum told me, “I had a revelation last night that showed me plain as day that you are supposed to marry William Preston Tucker.”
Many years later, I discovered her so-called “revelation” was that she (and Dad!) had simply secretly read my private and personal diary wherein I had stated Bill was the man I was in love with.
But, I learned a few years later, at least half the town was in love with this alpha male, William Preston Tucker — Men and women! (To be sure, Mormon polygamy allows for mayhem!)
My parents had convinced me they were perfect … and saints. So it never entered my mind that while I was away from home dutifully and conscientiously doing the job they got me into, starting at age fourteen — volunteer school teaching for the LeBaron colony cult — they were regularly reading, entirely unbeknownst to me, my hidden diary. Then discussing together my most private and secret daily entries and thoughts — things I believed only I knew … personal things only I was supposed to know!!
I poured my heart and soul out in my diary. You could say I had “diarrhea/dia-ry’-a” of the mouth. This writing is what kept me alive and sane while in the cult. But I never dreamed it was also what kept my parents, and, later on, other manipulators and enemies able to read my mind and, thus, have power over me and my life.
Since I recorded all my private thoughts and feelings, intruders into my personal diaries (such as my husband and his other wives, later on down the line!) had perfect access to my mental processes, problems, plans, secret feelings about them and others — and you name it! Golly Gee!!
My brain might as well have been opened up for Cons and rivals to covertly listen in on all my most private and personal plans and thoughts so they could take my power. For I used my journals to process, cathart, and “thought fart,” and otherwise wend my way through the LeBaron Mormon polygamist cult mess I had to deal with on a daily basis as a young teen going through the perils of coming of age in a foreign land and fanatic fundamentalist, mind-boggling belief system.
And, wouldn’t you know, my Uncle Ervil LeBaron played his part in manipulating my life, and turning it upside down too. But I’ll take up with that in next week’s Blog.
(Continued September 8, 2017: “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-B”)