My Memoir, Part 19-E: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy
“An important question for leaders:
‘Am I building people,
or building my dream
and using people to do it?’ “
I left off in “My Memoir Backstory: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-D” saying:
The secretly arranged marriage my Uncle Ervil LeBaron had manipulated me into wasn’t at all like I had fantasized marriage would be — not at all how I had romanticized matrimony and the meeting of my future husband would come about. Instead, I didn’t look forward to being Homer Babbit’s wife/ plural wife.
“Why did God want me to do something that seemed so unnatural,” is what I would have asked myself if, at the brainwashed and controlled age of “sweet sixteen,” I’d known enough to ask crucial questions. But there were few respected boundaries, let alone rights, in my cultish upbringing. I was simply to do what I was told and not ask questions. Children were to be seen, not heard. I had been threatened by my father with a beating, at age fifteen, for simply daring to respectfully ask, “Why?”
Notwithstanding, missing was the passion and desire I’d expected there would be as my wedding day approached. I was sad and out of sorts about how it was all coming down. I had been in love before, a number of times, and this wasn’t it! And though I surely wanted to do what God wanted me to do, I surely wished something would happen, too, so this marriage wouldn’t happen … wouldn’t go through!
Ervil was going to have Homer and me marry sans dating and sans me even knowing the guy, let alone being attracted to him! It blows me over, now, to think my unscrupulous uncle would care so little about me and my needs and feelings that he would use priestcraft to manipulate totally naïve, trusting, and special me for his own power and financial gain — would pretend that he stood as God to us people, got revelation for us, and could, therefore, tell me who I was supposed to marry — and without even bringing my parents in on it!
He was using me and the members of his cult as though we were nothing but animals and human pawns in his hands put on earth to fulfill his plans — as though nobody mattered but him. This is evil. And it has left its repercussions reverberating in my life ever since. (More on that later.)
Evil Ervil had everyone duped. But I fail to see why all those who raised him and/or grew up with him and knew him well — his mother, my mother, her brothers, and their friends such as Homer — didn’t see and prevent what Ervil was doing to those in his fold. In other words, by saying or doing nothing, and looking the other way, these adults basically condoned it.
Uncle Ervil knew the most important thing in my sixteen-year-old Mormon fundamentalist female mind at that time was: Who am I supposed to marry and when? And how can I best help build up the kingdom of God? He knew this because this was what I was born and bred on. The woman’s whole purpose in life, in Mormon fundamentalism, was to marry the right man — as revealed to her by revelation — and to serve God or “The Work;” i.e., “The work of God/ Building up God’s kingdom on earth.”
There were already many men in the LeBaron cult who had gone to my father and asked to have permission to marry me. It had been going on for the whole two years since my family moved to the LeBaron colony cult in 1960 when I was only fourteen. Daddy had turned most of them down, using the excuse that I was too young — which, of course, made them dislike my father more than maybe they already did. Or, at least, being refused permission to court or marry me hurt those men’s feelings.
To my LeBaron uncles and Mormon fundamentalist members, thirteen was not too young to be married off as a polygamist’s “wife.” So in Uncle Ervil’s mind, sixteen was the perfect age for a woman to marry; i.e., Get her before she could think for herself! Nor did he care how I felt about it. Again, I was just somebody for this sociopathic/ psychopathic master manipulator to use for his own vain purposes, glorification, and financial gain.
(Continued October 4, 2017: “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-F”)
In this video, Producer Rebecca Kimbel, one of my aunt-in-laws, is interviewing one of my many first cousins, Donna LeBaron Goldberg, who grew up in Colonia LeBaron where I spent over eight years of my life as a child and young adult.