My Memoir, Part 19-F: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
“Leadership is not wielding authority –
It’s empowering people.”
I left off in “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-E” on the following note:
I Now know my mother’s brother, Ervil LeBaron, was a psychopath and sociopath and, therefore, lacked a conscience. But I wonder if Homer didn’t have a twinge of conscience in secretly pulling this marriage off without my parents knowing it — especially since he had known my mother since childhood.
Yes, didn’t Homer feel at least a little guilt in taking off, behind my parents’ back, with Mother’s then-favorite and best-looking, sexiest daughter? — especially since he had been a companion of Mother and her brothers there in the Mexico-Mormon colonies where they had grown up together!
In my diary, during this high-pressured and off-balance time Uncle Ervil was putting me through by way of his false revelations, I wrote: “I’m not looking forward to marrying Homer … I don’t even know this strange man. He barely arrived in the colony three days ago! I feel very nervous, confused, and “discumbooberated”[discombobulated] over suddenly, out of the blue, being married to him.
“But I am happy and feel so special because God revealed to Uncle Ervil what I’m supposed to do. I had been so longing to know what my mission in life was — who I was supposed to marry, and how I could best serve God — and so longing to get away from home and be on my own!
“Bill Tucker’s the man I’m in love with. But I am going to marry Homer Babbitt because I definitely want to serve God. And Uncle Ervil told me this was how I could best serve “Him” and the building up of “His” Kingdom.”
I see now that I was really only serving Uncle Ervil and “his” kingdom. But I had been taught, back then, that Ervil LeBaron was “like God to the people,” and second in command to Uncle Joel, our main Prophet. So what was a girl to do?!
At this stressful time, I also said in my diary, “Uncle Ervil told me he had a revelation I was supposed to marry Homer. I just wish I could feel in love with the man I’m supposed to marry. And how come I didn’t get this revelation from God too? Why did it only come through my uncle?”
But, at that time, I trusted implicitly my towering 6′ 4″, seemingly magnanimous, articulate, and charismatic uncle! It didn’t enter my mind that he could do any wrong because I was taught he could only do right: He was “a prophet of God.” But now I know he did wrong and was only a “profit” of evil.
Of course, Ervil did not let me know he was simply trading me, one of his nieces, to his friend Homer for some of Homer’s land. I found all that out many years later, as I discovered more and more the freeloading, free-wheeling -“n”- dealing con Ervil was.
From reading peoples’ memoirs, and other such, I discovered I was far from the only one “Evil Ervil” got “special revelation” for. And far from the only one whose marriage and life he’d manipulated and ultimately ruined with his dastardly and devilish deceptions.
It seems he screwed up everyone’s lives and marriages he came in contact with. But everybody I knew trusted him implicitly. Nobody dreamed he was deceiving them by pretending he got revelations from God as to what they were supposed to do when all he was really doing was taking advantage of their trust in him so as to use them.*
(Continued October 11, 2017: “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-G”)
*The memoirs of other Ex-LeBaron cult members relate how Ervil manipulated their lives and marriages. See my Menubar for “Media on My Extended Family, Friends, and Fundamentalist Mormon Cults.” There I have listed some memoirs and books about Ervil, such as “Prophet of Blood,” by Ben Bradley and Dale Van Atta.
This following interview with my Aunts Rebecca Kimbel, Susan Ray Shmidt, and others is one of the many great interviews Doris Hanson has posted on YouTube that explain well what my upbringing in the Mormon fundamentalist cults entailed.