I’ve renamed and reposted today’s blog:
“Part 19: A-Z –
Mom, Pop, Me, and the Perils of Polygamy,”
Because I’ve rewritten segments of it.
Today’s post consists of “Part 19: A-M,”
To be followed next week by “Part 19: N-Z.“
(These 26 memoir blogs in my “Part 19” series
Exist as individual posts, also.)
The following posts are largely grouped memoir blogs
of experiences with my parents and others.
It’s rather difficult to present one’s Memoir in separate blog posts.
But bear with me till it all comes together, one way or another.
My Memoir Backstory
My Ma Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer,
Pa, Me, And the Perils of Polygamy
My Mama and Grandmama
No influence is so powerful
as the that of the mother.
Sarah Josepha Hale
Picking up from:
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer:
Ma ‘n’ Pa
As I’ve bemoaned before,
Mummsy couldn’t live polygamy herself –
at least not during her twenty-two years of marriage to my father.
So I highly resent she maneuvered and manipulated me into a harem –
a life she couldn’t stomach herself.
But what’s new!
She and Pa raised me to believe
I would go to hell if I didn’t live polygamy …
because Joseph Smith said so.
But they expected me and the rest of their kids to do things they, themselves, were never able to do. Were they trying to save me from going to hell, though they couldn’t save themselves?
How thoughtful of them! Or were they simply thoughtless tyrants?
Though I was barely sixteen, still tied to Mum’s apron strings,
and too young to know better,
she, along with Pappy’s priestcraft and support,
worked her witchcraft that dumped me into
William Preston Tucker’s family/harem –
an arranged polygamic marriage –
one that would bring glory to her’s and Pappy’s name, of course;
for Bill Tucker was the biggest catch in town.
To manipulate me, Mummsy 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 Daddy) had simply secretly read my private diary
wherein I had stated that Bill was the man I was in love with!
A few years after I was married to Bill/ William Preston Tucker,
I discovered half the town was in love with this alpha male – Men and women!
To be sure, Mormon fundamentalism/polygamy allows for mayhem.
My parents had convinced me they were perfect … and saints.
So it never entered my innocent mind that
while I was away, dutifully doing my teaching job for the LeBaron colony –
an unpaid job they dumped me into, starting when I was only fourteen
– they were secretly reading my journal wherein I spilled my guts daily;
then always took great pains to hide well … So I thought.
I never could have dreamed my parents were reading,
then daily discussing together
my most private and secret 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 that diary.
You could say I had “diarrhea/dia-ry’-a” of the mouth.
I realize, now, this writing kept me alive and sane while in the sect.
I never dreamed it also enabled my parents –
and later on other manipulators and enemies –
to basically read my mind,
so as to have power over me and my life.
Since I recorded all my private thoughts and feelings,
intruders into my personal journal
(such as my husband and his other wives, later on down the line)
had perfect access to my mental processes –
all my problems, griefs, secret feelings about them and others;
and so on and so forth!
Golly Gee! It was like having my mind, unbeknownst to me,
opened up for Cons, rivals, and criminals to covertly listen in on my private, personal plans
and thoughts, so they could take my power.
A born writer,
I did stream of consciousness writing/catharting/thought farting;
and otherwise wended my way through the LeBaron Mormon mayhem
adolescent me had to deal with on a daily basis
while going through the perils of coming of age
in a foreign land, in a fanatic fundamentalist
mind-boggling belief system.
And wouldn’t you know it!
My Uncle Ervil LeBaron
also played his part in manipulating my life
and turning it upside down.
I’ll take up with that in next week’s Blog.
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer,
Me, and More Perils of Polygamy
Middle photo is how I remember my
Uncle Ervil M. LeBaron in the 1960s
A wise leader inspires and motivates,
rather than intimidating and manipulating.
Continuing where we left off in the previous blog
wherein my life was being hijacked in the name of plural marriage:
As I mentioned previously,
Mother’s brother Ervil M. LeBaron was in on the manipulation of my love-life too. What’s new?! Whose life wasn’t he in on? But I didn’t know that back then.
As it turns out, Ervil LeBaron had time for everyone’s family but his own.
This cunning Con was too busy using and abusing others – all the new converts and you name it – under the highfalutin pretense of being The Second Grand Head of God’s church on earth.
His maneuvering and manipulating others to his own advantage was only outdone by his coercion and priestcraft, when it came to pulling the wool over the eyes of the “lambs” and fleecing the newbie true-believing Church of the Firstborn sheep.
Uncle “Evil Ervil” was truly something else! And in his heyday and depth of glory, now that he had all those trusting, true-believing followers and converts suddenly at his deceptive fingertips! And this, thanks to his brother and self-proclaimed Prophet Joel LeBaron’s new “Church” having begun to take off in the late 1950s – and that was thanks to the French missionaries having joined this sect/cult/ offshoot of the mainstream Mormon church/The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As it turns out, while Uncle Ervil was horrendously manipulating my life on one level, my parents –another set of controllers found wanting in the area of integrity – unbeknownst to me, were secretly snooping in my personal belongings and betraying my trust in them, as they managed to find every new place I hid my diary. (I hid it “just in case,” having not the least idea my own parents were actually reading it behind my back while I was gone teaching school during the day.)
By regularly reading my entries, they, along with Uncle “ErVile,” were able to control and manipulate my life … in the end, causing me great distress and unhappiness!
However, for my parents, reading my diaries behind my back was the entertainment of the day for them as they colluded and eavesdropped, by way of my diaries, in order to run my life and future.
I can’t even imagine their “entertainment” when they read in my journal that Ervil, Mumma’s younger brother, had, behind my parents’ back, secretly bartered me off in marriage in exchange for land (in the name of God, revelation, and building up “His” kingdom) to Homer Babbitt, a man Mum’s age/ 26 years older than I, her second cousin, and a girlhood friend!
In my Journal entry for July 15, 1962, I wrote:
“Ervil told me not to tell my parents about my upcoming marriage to Homer – so the devil can’t interfere with God’s plans.” I also wrote that I was not at all attracted to Homer Babbitt – and that when we kissed, to cement our engagement to marry, it felt icky.
Homer’s kiss wasn’t much more than a peck on the lips, thank God. And That was my first kiss ever!
Oh dear and Heaven help us! Also, my first date ever — though hardly a kiss and hardly a date. But no matter how Homer had kissed me, I would’ve gotten no pleasure out of it because I had no feelings for him.
I don’t recall doing anything else with this extremely shy, middle-aged stranger, Homer. Only recall that, to cement our coerced marriage vows, Uncle Ervil arranged for a secret rendezvous wherein Homer and I could convene in Homer’s black Buick he’d skillfully hidden behind a secluded clump of mesquite bushes toward the outskirts of the LeBaron scrabble colony.
Situated in the Chihuahuan desert, in 1962 the cult was amply surrounded by cacti, mesquite,
and other desert vegetation suitable for hiding out!
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer –
And More Perils of Polygamy
Circa 1962: Me, age 16, on our land in Colonia, LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico
“Nearly all men can stand adversity,
But if you want to test a man’s character,
Give him power.”
Me, And More Perils of Polygamy
COUSIN HOMER’S KISS
In Cousin Homer’s kiss
There’d be no connubial bliss;
Though my first kiss and first date,
It was barely a kiss and hardly a date!
But “Profit”of Evil Ervil
Prophesied he was my preordained mate.
However Cousin Homer kissed me,
I’d ‘ave missed marital bliss, believe me,
‘Cause in Er-VILE’s wheelings ‘n’ dealings,
Were lacking my amorous feelings
For this pockmarked Mormon Mister.
He could go marry my sister!
My love-sick stomach was reeling!
When it came to a conjugal sealing,
I longed to be kissing Bill Tucker;
Not this pock-marred,
Talk about an upcoming frigid Miss
In a marriage missing marital bliss;
Stuck with a husband she couldn’t kiss
‘Cause her wedlock lacked love and luster,
Thanks to her finagling Uncle Ervil ,
The fuckin’ fuck-Buster!
But scheming Er-Vile LeBaron,
Head of Colonia LeBaron,
Further forwarded his meddlin,’
While my present and future peddlin,’
By callin’ my parents to a meetin’
So I could slip out for a greetin’
With my pre-arranged-polygamist spouse,
While my parents weren’t about the house
To smell the hidden louse trap
Set behind their trustful back
To make their kid cohabit
With her cousin Homer Babbitt.
“UncleEVIL’s“ corrupt setup –
Our clandestine malevolent meetup
To cement my secret prenup
To homely Homer Babbitt
In his Black Cadillac –
Was set behind a cacti outback;
Us blushing to beat the band
As Homely shyly took my hand
To pledge me in Plyg marriage
To push his baby carriage.
‘Twas my first time ever with a guy;
On top of that, I had to lie
While making our prenuptial vows,
‘Cause Babbitt couldn’t my love arouse.
With flushing countenance
‘Neath moonlight intense,
The whole situation making no sense,
We couldn’t hide how uncomfortable we felt
As “Bandit” Babbitt stood, then knelt;
Being alone together that night
Didn’t feel the least bit right!
Tongue-tied Homer Babbitt,
Shyness his worst habit,
Couldn’t utter a word
In this merger utterly absurd,
Where 16-year-adolescent me
Was promised to him in BIGAMY –
My ‘Merican-Mexican cousin
Going on forty-three!
We didn’t even know each other;
It felt like sister and brother.
We’d never ever met afore,
Far less been together before
This secret sinister rendezvous
Devil-deranged Ervil LeBaron
Hustled us into,
To put me in Homer’s harem
In exchange for Homer’s land then.
Before that, damn them,
I’d never heard of Cousin Babbitt–man
Till he knocked on my back door back then!
With this, I’ll zip my lip
And say no more;
But promise you more trivia galore
Continued in the following memoir:
The following video is an excellent depiction of my upbringing in Mormon fundamentalism.
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer –
And More Perils of Polygamy
“The successful leader
is the one who makes the right move
at the right moment with the right motive.”
Continuing where we left off in “My Memoir Backstory: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-C:
Heck! Here I am alone in the dark in a car with a middle-aged male Mormon stranger in an arranged marriage situation and this was the first time I’d ever been alone with a man! To think, thanks to my uncle ErVIL, it had to be in this bizarre, coerced, traumatic, unnatural setting — not romantic at all, despite the moonlit night. Fortunately and unfortunately, as it turns out, it was to be my first and final meeting with Ervil’s well-meaning but badly misused and abused “amigo,” Homer Babbitt.
When inhibited and bashful Babbitt
attempted to make conversation with timid,
discombobulated me, out of habit,
he and I were so shy the cat got our tongues
before we could grab it!
So he was barely able to bashfully babble:
“The Prophet Ervil said the Lord revealed to him we are supposed to be married in a couple of days. I’m to give him a piece of land because he got me you for my second wife so I can further build the work of God. So I want to know, do you agree to be my plural wife so I can enter into ‘the principle of celestial marriage’ to better serve God?”
I replied, “I agree to marry you because Uncle Ervil prophesied it was what God wanted me to do to help build up the kingdom of God on earth.”
After that “proposal,” so unmemorable for me was that secret evening rendezvous that all I pretty much recall is Homer then drove me back to the outskirts of my home and dropped me off where nobody would see nor hear his car coming and going.
I don’t remember anything else about that time with homely Homer, except that I didn’t feel good about it! The whole event was a bummer. It left me off-balance with anxious nausea in the pit of my troubled mind and nervous stomach. Some date, right?
I didn’t understand what was coming off nor going on with this marriage Uncle Ervil had suddenly arranged — ALL behind my parents’ back, on the spur of the moment, in the dead of day, in the name of God. It made me question whether there could really be a God.
For one thing, it wasn’t at all like I had fantasized — not at all how I had romanticized matrimony and meeting my future husband would be. Instead, I didn’t look forward to being Homer Babbitt’s wife/ plural wife. “Why did God want me to do something that seemed so unnatural,” is what I would have asked myself if I knew enough to ask questions.
Missing was the passion
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 —
All my dreams going up in smoke.
Though I surely wanted to do
What God wanted me to do,
I truly wished something would happen
So this marriage wouldn’t happen …
Couldn’t go through.
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,” if 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 sure 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 the 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, mostly married men, who had gone to my father and asked for permission to marry me. It had been going on the whole two years since my family moved to homestead in the LeBaron cult in 1960 when I was only fourteen. Daddy had turned most of those male suitors 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.” I even know of one seven-year-old in Short Creek, the polygamist town on the border of Utah and Arizona, whose father told her to go tell the “profit” Uncle Roy she wanted to marry him! He told her to go home and wait till she was nine, then return. Roy married this little girl when she was only nine years old — just another woman in his harem!
I know of another case in Short Creek where the father, Lawrence Stud (pseudonym) traded his nine-year-old daughter to a polygamist for some land! 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.
In this video, Producer Rebecca Kimbel, one of my aunts-in-law, 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.
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/ 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 about 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 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″, magnanimous, articulate, and charismatic uncle! It didn’t enter my mind he could do any wrong. I was taught he could only do right: He was “a perfect prophet of God.” But now I know he did wrong and was only a perfect “profit” of evil.
Of course, Ervil did not let me know he was simply horse-trading me, one of his nieces, to his friend Homer for some of Homer’s land. I found that out 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 devilish deceptions.
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 — only pretending he got revelations from God as to what they were supposed to do when, in reality, he was but taking advantage of their trust in him. Was only using them.*
*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.
My Memoir, Part 19-G: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
“Use power to help people.
For we are given power
not to advance our own purposes
nor to make a great show
in the world, nor a name.
There is but one just use of power
and it is to serve people.”
In “My Memoir Backstory: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-F” I left off saying:
Nobody knew Ervil was doing and saying the same things to everybody. For example, he would tell them he “got a revelation” they were supposed to marry so-and-so. Or HE got a revelation he, Ervil, was supposed to marry them … or so-and-so’s wife! And so on and so forth. You get the idea.
Yes, Ervil was even getting revelations that he was supposed to marry women who were already married! That is, Ervil said God told him to take women away from their husband and make them one of his own wives!
Meanwhile, I had written in my journal: “Bill Tucker’s the man I’m in love with. But I am going to marry Homer Babbit 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.”
After my parents read in my diary the above words (and about Ervil and Homer’s collusion to secretly marry me without my parents knowing about it) they secretly contacted William Preston Tucker/ AKA Bill, and made arrangements (behind Ervil’s, Homer’s, and my back!) for Bill to marry me instead — post haste! More on this in an upcoming blog.
Meanwhile, UncleErvil, “Second Grand Head” of the church; i.e., cult, had no idea (nor did I) that my parents had quickly hustled me off onto Bill Tucker ONLY after having snuck into my diary and read that Ervil was about to have me secretly married to Homer! (Wow! All this secrecy, sneaking around, deception, and controlling of people behind their back!!)
I’ve gotten off onto a bunny trail and ahead of the story, too, when I say it’s wonderful to be married to the man you’re deeply in love with. But it would have been more wonderful if that man had returned the respect and feelings — especially would it have been wonderful if you’re a naïve sixteen-year-old who has no idea what love, marriage, and polygamy are all about, but has lots of idealized fantasies about what she thinks it’s all about — such as how “wonderful” it will be. (LOL!!!)
For example, besides all the crap Mom and Pop instilled in me* about “how wonderful” polygamy is, I still believed what I’d learned in fairytales: That sex and everything else ended once you were married. Because, once you were married, you simply sailed off into the beautiful blue yonder and “lived happily ever after!” Well, isn’t that how every fairytale ends: Boy-gets-girl, “Then they live happily ever after”?
Girl, was I in for a shock! Example: I found, after I was married, that not only did I still want my husband’s kisses, but I very much wanted him sexually too. And the desire only grew stronger and stronger and sex only grew better and better with each lovemaking session. (Believe me, it wouldn’t have been like this had I been married to Homer Babbitt!)
Then I came to realize the other two wives felt the same way as I did about “our”/ their husband, Bill Tucker. Not only that, but I also came to realize they, too, were still having sex with him — and even more so once their husband took me “on”!
*The following interview features my Aunt-in-law Rebecca Kimbel and my bright cyberspace friend Kathleen Covington. I’ve posted it as it gives great insight into the Mormon fundamentalist cult and the propaganda I was raised on.
My Memoir, Part 19-H: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
“History is little more than
the register of the crimes, follies,
and misfortunes of mankind.”
I left off in “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-G” relating that I had come to realize people did not simply sail off into the sunny sunset and “live happily ever after” once they were married — the way fairytales I heard and read had always ended. Children’s fairy tales, my Mormon fundamentalist parents, and the cult had filled me full of SUCH poppycock! They didn’t prepare me for reality!
One of my first wake-up calls and reality checks came when I found my/”our” husband Bill Tucker was having sex with his other two wives, AFTER marriage — because they felt the same way about their husband as I: They wanted him just as much as I did — because we were all very much in love with him.
(To add to our sexual pleasure, Bill, though only about 5’7″ tall, was endowed with nearly a ten-inch pecker — when extended to its fullest! (Not hiding when the “pricks” were passed out, he had proudly allowed me to measure his gorgeous member.)
But it took innocent childbride me around four more months before I realized I was not the only one still having sex with him once pregnant — and still really wanting him sexually. It was such a shock to find sex didn’t end once we were “married happily ever after,” nor did it even end after we got pregnant! Shocking! Because I was raised on the “law of chastity” and Victorian values: Sex was not to be enjoyed. It was only for procreation!
But why was it so shocking to find Bill was still having sex with his other pregnant wives when it seemed okay for him to still be having sex with me when I was pregnant? It was just one more revelation, after I was married into polygamy as an adolescent, to realize Bill’s other wives had the same sexual feelings and desires I had.
I was pregnant within two months of marriage to Bill. What’s more, and common in polygamy, is all three of Bill’s wives were expecting a new baby around the same time. Sex during pregnancy definitely went against the teachings of our church/cult — and against our prophets Joel and Ervil’s teachings. However, I was in for even a bigger shocks when, eventually, I learned Bill’s other two wives wanted him sexually even more so once their husband “took me on”!
I can’t tell you how this realization affected me, my true-believing faith, and my understanding of “the law of chastity” and “the gospel” that I was raised on and taught extensively, especially by my mother Esther LeBaron. “The law of chastity” was one of the many fanatic fundamentalist gospel teachings she had ingrained in her by her own stoic Mormon Victorian parents.*
Ma bragged to me, among other things, that she and Pa had lived the “law of chastity” during the whole of their twenty-two-year marriage! (The jury is still out on that one!) Since I was her favorite child before I escaped the church/cult at age twenty-one, she proudly told me, when I was around age sixteen, “Beulah, one of the reasons you turned out so special, beautiful, and bright is I conceived you under the protection of the holy temple garments and the law of chastity.”(!!)
This revered Mormon fundamentalist law included that having sex was only to get pregnant. Sex was to be discontinued as soon as you were pregnant. And only participated in while you were fully clothed in your temple garments that covered you from neck to ankle and shoulder to wrist. And NO sex was to be had while you were nursing, either.
You wonder how my horny dad ever held out — especially since masturbation and bestiality, in the teachings of the law of chastity, were also dire sins — as rightly bestiality should be a mortal sin: It’s raping animals!! (Or did Dad hold out? I may tell you in my upcoming book.)
But that’s only part of the “law of chastity” the early Mormon prophets taught. To further complicate married life, not only was sex purely for procreation but considered lustful if you enjoyed it even then. And this is only the half of it!
Needless to say, fuck the law of chastity! My being added to the harem greatly affected the other two wives, Bill, and his and their love life. It made them hunger for more sex more often. There’ll be more on this in my upcoming Memoir/ book. I’ll just tell you now they did not believe in, let alone keep the Mormon fundamentalist principles of “The Law of Chastity”– and that’s not the half of it! For example, they even had sex in the nude! (LOL!) And Bill told me one of his wives was more horny and hot WHEN she was pregnant — so that was his favorite time with her!
*The following video productions are excellent overviews and introductions into some of what my life was like growing up and living in Mormon fundamentalist cults.
My Memoir, Part 19-I: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
“Man, created in God’s image and likeness,
is not just flesh and blood.
The sexual instinct is not all that he has:
Man is also, and preeminently, intelligent and free.
And thanks to these powers, he is and must remain
superior to the rest of creation;
they give him mastery over his physical,
psychological, and affective appetites.”
Pope Paul VI
I left off in the last blog, “My Memoir Backstory: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-H,” pronouncing:
“Fuck The Law of Chastity”! My being added to the harem greatly affected the other two wives and Bill Tucker, too — especially did it affect his and their love life. They did not believe in, let alone live the Mormon fundamentalist doctrine of “The Law of Chastity” — and that’s not the half of it!!
But nothing whets the sexual appetite more than your husband getting a new, sexy, nubile, plural wife six to fifteen years younger than you! Bill’s first wife was thirty-one, the second twenty-two years old when I, sexy-sixteen, was married to their/my husband.
Suffice it, for now, to say the rivalry was rampant, and I would not have suffered half as much in my arranged marriage had I been married to Homer Babbitt whom I did not love and wasn’t attracted to … so I would not have been longing for him, sexually nor otherwise.
I say “arranged marriage” because, Bill, ever a people-pleaser who could not say “no” when under pressure, only married me due to the manipulation and social pressure his buddy Ervil LeBaron put on him to get him to marry me.
Bill, always out to collect more prestige and popularity, knew it would be a notch on his belt — as well as on the Mormon-LeBaron blueblood totem pole — were he to marry me. You see, I was “royalty”! I was a niece of “The Second Grand Head,” Ervil LeBaron, and of Joel LeBaron, the Prophet of our “Church.”
On top of that, I was/ am a great-great-granddaughter of the “renowned” Benjamin F. Johnson whom the self-proclaimed Prophet Joseph Smith had sealed to him as a son — and through whom the self-proclaimed “profit” Joel LeBaron claimed his priesthood keys and the “Scepter of Power” — the priesthood power which made Joel “The One Mighty and Strong;” i.e., the Prophet the “Profit” Joseph Smith prophesied was to come in the last days to set the house of God in order. (My uncle Joel set it in order alright, LOL!)
So, against the wishes of his first two plural wives, and though they fought him tooth-‘n’-toenail, Bill added me to his harem — even though it lacked integrity (I learned years later) because, secretly, Bill no longer believed in polygamy and was making plans to leave the LeBaron cult and colony!
Bill, as a Mormon, had always felt a little inferior, when it came to the prestigious Mormon totem-pole and its pecking-order because he was not part of the blueblood of the Mormon church nor of the Mormon fundamentalist LeBaron “Church” … though he was totally “top notch” in about every other way, they say!
But by marrying me, Bill not only became related to the prophets of our church/cult but also related to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the god of Mormonism! That is, he finally became a part of the Mormon royal blood — just in time to leave Mormonism altogether … four years later!)
*The following video production, produced by my Aunt-in-law Rebecca Kunz Kimbel featuring her half-sister, my Aunt Irene Kunz LeBaron-Spencer, is an excellent overview and introduction to what my life was like growing up in and living in the LeBaron colony in Mexico and in Mormon fundamentalist cults, in general.
My Memoir, Part 19-J: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
becomes more and more
a race between education
Taking up where we left off in my last blog, “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And More Perils of Polygamy — Part 19-I”:
My husband William Preston Tucker/ Bill
Had been at the top of his class and hill —
And tops elsewhere else, if you will.
But, as a Mormon, Will’d always felt
A little at the bottom, classwise,
‘Cause he couldn’t rise to the top ranks
Of the Mormon priesthood pecking-order.
Why? He wasn’t part of the blueblood
Of the Mormon church nor of the
Mormon fundamentalist LeBaron “Church.”
And there wasn’t much he could do about it,
Though he was “top notch”
In most every other way … they say.
But, by “wisely” marrying me,
Bill instantly became part of “royalty”–
Because he was now not only
Related to Joel and Ervil LeBaron,
The self-appointed prophets of our cult,
But to the Prophet Joseph Smith,
The god of Mormonism —
And plural matrimony!
That is, he finally became part of
The Mormon royal blood —
Just in time to leave Mormonism
For good and forever!
But it wasn’t till years later
Bill finally outed himself —
At least when it came
To announcing he’d left the LeBaron cult
And Mormonism altogether!
In other words, taking me “on,” literally,
As his third wife in “Plurality,”
Placated Bill’s going against his wives’ will —
Their adamant insistence he NOT marry me —
Because it catapulted this social climber
To a higher level still on the
Mormon-blueblood totem pole
Where “ancestor worship,” bloodline,
And who you’re related to
Toward your value and prestige —
If you’re a Mormon.
So “Billy-goat Fucker” got
Some of HIS needs met by marrying me.
But few of mine were met by marrying Billy
And becoming his wife “Number Three.”
So let me give a word of advice
To the innocent Mormon maiden
Whose virginity’s being taken —
Not once but twice —
First, through manipulative covert vice;
Second, through holy-name-of-matrimony lies:
If you must live polygyny,
To save your soul eternally,
Marry a man you’ll not fall for,
Let alone want sexually.
This assures he can’t hurt you emotionally.
And you won’t hunger to be with him constantly,
Nor miss him when he’s gone long hours —
A bumblebee sniffing other little flowers,
Or bedding and abetting his many wives.
“Them’s” just the facts, guys!
If you’re not in love with Hubby,
You won’t suffer the pains of polygamy
I endured the five years I was
Trapped ‘n’ strapped to “BIG Dick-Dicky,”
(Bill Tucker, the fricken-prick fucker)
All the while trying to sort things out —
As a teenage bride on the “in-and-outs.”
I cried and cried, I’ll now confide,
When I found myself in a Plyg marriage,
But abandoned, barefoot and pregnant,
And stuck pushing a baby carriage.
Religiously and intensely, I tried
To understand, incessantly,
The ups ‘n’ downs of polygamy,
And what was going on with it and me,
In my arranged concubinage —
And in plural marriage/BIGamy!
Over time, I came to realize I,
A horny, idealistic, innocent,
Brainwashed female adolescent,
Was “boiled alive” by my parents
And Uncle Ervil’s meddling in my life,
Peddling me off as a present — a bride —
At barely sweet-sixteen,
To twenty-six-year-old bigamist Bill
As his third but much younger,
Much less educated,
Much less worldly-wise wife …
And much less wanted!
Thus, I found myself thrust
Into a marriage that was
But a hotbed for heartaches
At Heartbreak Hotel.
However, though filled with grief,
Struggle, strife, and travail,
I was warned by the other wives
To never, EVER my parents tell,
Nor tell anyone else, as well,
About my marriage life —
Its dilemmas, melodramas, lies;
My tremendous trauma and travail.
All was covered up and masked well
By religiosity’s saintly disguise and veil.
To put it bluntly and succinctly,
My arranged polygamic marriage
Had but a modicum of ecstasy
Mixed with pure agony, angst, and hell —
Stuff NO naïve “don’t-ask-don’t-tell,”
Should ever have to suffer or confide —
And all in the name of:
“The Celestial Law of Matrimony;
I.e., Plural Marriage”… or Big-amy.
Ah, well — Oh, HELL!
The following Video gives more excellent background on how I was raised as a Mormon fundamentalist Plyg. The photo shows eight of my handsome Uncle Verlan’s ten wives. And features my aunt Irene Kunz LeBaron/ Spencer being interviewed by her half-sister and my half-aunt-in-law, Producer Rebecca Kunz Kimbel.
My Memoir, Part 19-K: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
and More Perils of Polygamy
“True leadership must be
for the benefit of the followers,
not the enrichment of the leaders.”
Warren G. Bennis
Taking up where we left off in
My Memoir Backstory:
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy,
In a very short time after being married into Bill Tucker’s family or “love nest,” I found I had simply been catapulted out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-flames. I’d thought I was escaping my hellish home life with my family of origin for a heavenly love life with the man I was deeply in love with, idolized, and adored. It turned out to be just the opposite.
In fact, over time I came to realize I was nothing but a Mormon fundamentalist sex slave — a concubine in a harem where I wasn’t wanted, in a cult with no Dr. Phil to fill me in on the whys and wherefores of monogamy, let alone polygamy — though I needed advice, understanding, and help in the biggest way and to the endth degree.
My parents had told me they’d had a revelation Bill was the man I was supposed to be married to for all eternity. And that I would be Bill’s best, most righteous, and favorite wife, and the Savior of his family! That was only the beginning of the bunk they filled me full of before I married Bill.
My Uncle Ervil, a “prophet,” had also really pushed this marriage — Plus, I’d been so indoctrinated with a bunch of other garbage about plural marriage, that, as a teenage bride, I was up to my forehead in shit, but so full of crap, I couldn’t see past it!
To add to this mess, I found a whole different scenario and “crap” once I became Bill’s third “wife.” For the purposes of this short blog, I will simply say: What went on in my new family was done in secrecy. I did not realize, till years later, many significant things — including why my new family forbade me to visit my mother and father, let alone talk about the troubles and travails, problems, loneliness, and grief my marriage brought me, their bereft teenage daughter.
I was not allowed to talk to anyone else such as sisters or friends, either. And forget counselors. Uncle Ervil was my only source for counseling. And some counselor he was!
All he, my narcissistic and calculating, power-pushing uncle told me, when I went to him in torment and travail at age nineteen, was: “Any problems a woman has in her marriage are her fault. If you buckle down, submit to, and serve your husband unquestioningly and fervently — doing everything he tells you to do — this will cure all your marriage problems!!! (As if I wasn’t already a slave to my husband, serving him with all my heart in hopes of winning his heart!)
Now I realize there was good reason for why the second wife told me (paraphrasing): “Bill hates when we go home to visit our parents. He will put any wife aside if he should find she told her parents or ANYONE about ANYTHING going on in our marriage OR Bill’s household!! And remember: Bill is NOT one to forgive transgressions! Once he puts you aside, he will never forgive you nor take you back. He’ll be THROUGH with you!”
I sure didn’t know it then but know now reasons why my new family was adamant I didn’t visit my family-of-origin — especially my parents: They were hiding bisexuality, among other things — even from me! (In the LeBaron cult in the 1960s, homosexuality was a sin punishable by the death penalty — and that’s but the beginning of it.)
The following is one of the many excellent informative interviews you can find on YouTube that reveals many truths about the Mormon fundamentalist cult lifestyle I was raised in.
Here Aunt Rebecca Kunz Kimbel is interviewing her sister, my Aunt Irene Kunz LeBaron/Spencer, formerly a wife of my Uncle Verlan LeBaron, one of my mother’s eight brothers:
My Memoir, Part 19-L: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
More Perils of Polygamy
Two of Bill’s Mormon French-missionary friends, LDS “Saints” “Dick ‘n’ Peter”
“By their friends, ye shall know them.”
Taking up where we left off in
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer –
And More Perils of Polygamy,
I said in an earlier blog that my being married into Bill’s “family” (or “love nest”?) was out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire: I thought I was escaping my hellish home life with my family of origin for a heavenly love life with the man I was deeply in love with, idolized, and adored. It turned out to be the opposite.
I sure didn’t know it during the years I was married to Bill, but I realized years later (as I became older, wiser, and more informed) the reason Bill and his other two wives were so touchy about my having any contact with my parents or family was that around a year before I was married to Bill, my older sister had gone home to visit our parents to tell them that she was just sick because, among other things, she had discovered her husband, “Saint Dick”, was fuckin’ ‘n’ suckin’ “Saint Peter.'”
And stickin’ light bulbs and beer bottles up his butt … ‘n’ other such!
She was practically going nuts because she had witnessed it all for herself while looking through a keyhole after hearing noises in the living room way past her bedtime!
More about this in my upcoming book. Suffice it to say, “Peter” had already returned to the United States with his wife by the time my uncle Ervil, et Al, heard from my parents the details my sister had witnessed.
When “Dicky’s” buddy Billy got wind of it by way of his bosom-buddy Ervil LeBaron, Billy betrayed bosom-buddy Ervil, ran to his old Mormon-Missionary pal Dicky and cried:
Dick, get out of this colony!
Get yer family ‘n’ wife –
FLEE for your life!
Leave your belongings behind.
DO make haste!
There’s no time to waste!
Hit for the US border before daybreak!
Daylight will be too late!
Ervil LeBaron’s rounding up
A Mexican mob at the moment
To tar ‘n’ feather yer dick,
And hang you by yer balls!
Mexicans in this area don’t tolerate
Homosexuals AT ALL …
Not one LITTLE bit!
The words out!
They’ve found you out!
They’ve sent out a scout!
So ya sure better get out!
It makes me sick,
But GET, Dick!
In the Mormon French mission field in the mid to late 1950s,
Peter, Dick (pseudonyms), and Bill were close friends.
They had all been high-up priesthood leaders in the Mormon French Mission Field for about two years before Bill was ousted and excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because he had begun preaching Mormon fundamentalism to his followers, other French missionaries, and converts.
I think these above details give you a good idea why my new family — Bill’s family — was so careful to keep from me their private love life. And why they thoroughly warned and threatened me that if I were to go home to my parents to tell ANYTHING that was going on in my marriage or Bill’s family, I’d be dumped!
Now, what’s an adolescent girl to do when she’s stumped, but not even allowed to visit her parents and siblings once she’s married into a quagmire — cast from the frying pan into the fire?
The following is one of the many excellent informative interviews you can find on YouTube that reveals truths about the Mormon fundamentalist lifestyle I was raised in.
Here Aunt Rebecca Kimbel is interviewing her sister, my Aunt Irene Kunz LeBaron/Spencer, formerly a wife of my Uncle Verlan LeBaron, one of my mother’s seven brothers.
My Memoir, Part 19-M: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
“To handle your self, use your head;
to handle others, use your heart.
George Bernard Shaw
Taking up where we left off in
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer —
And More Perils of Polygamy
Bill’s second wife, Lolita, played mouthpiece for “the family” when, not long after I was married to Bill, she warned me to never go home to visit my parents, exclaiming,
“Bill doesn’t like his wives going home talking to their parents and family. If he ever finds you’ve told ANYTHING about what’s going on in your marriage or his family, he’ll DUMP you! And that’s that!! That’s the end of your marriage to him!! He’ll put you aside and never take you back!!”
Newly married to Bill, the love of my life, of course, I wanted to be a good wife. So, what’s a shy, naïve, teenage Plyg to do when she’s not allowed to talk to the people who care most about her, her parents and Sibs — those who could give her the best advice and support, once she’s married, but being knifed?!
And since when does a normal husband deny his new adolescent bride/concubine the right to go home now and then to visit her parents and family?? Marriage should not mean the husband owns the wife hook, line, and sinker!
I look at this whole scenario now and think, “WHAT a stinker was Bill!! It’s unbelievable what secluded cults and cult leaders get away with!”
Once I was married into this polygamous mess, I really needed my parent’s advice and help and my sisters’ friendship — the absence of which crippled more than ever the highly disadvantaged child bride I was. And tripled the loneliness I felt. I was married and a wife, but my spouse I was so in love with was usually absent from my life.
Bill’s other two wives were no source of help nor friendship. Instead, they were my rivals — enemies. Dangerously jealous, their resentment and envy of me was only outdone by their working together to undermine me in the eyes of my husband, their friends, and the colony.
One of the main ways they did this, to begin with, was by constantly running down my family of origin. Even in front of me, I would tell Bill their latest bad stories about my/ “the Spencer family.” Making my parents and siblings look like the worst people on the planet couldn’t help but cause Bill to think less of me by association. Meanwhile, they built their own families up to high heaven!*
Therefore, I was most uncomfortable around them. That’s an understatement! I ended up alone and lost in my little yellow house on the hill where I spent most of my days waiting for Bill, coping, crying, raising my child on my own … and always longing for my husband and home! (What husband?!)
*Note: After Bill died, there was no need anymore to ruin my reputation in his eyes by, among other things, maligning my family. So Bill’s first two wives Maryilyn and Lolita (pseudonym) unbelievably became buddies with my family–the family whose character they had assassinated for the previous 4.5 years!!
Their ploy now: Make me look bad in the eyes of my family who already resented me because I’d left the cult. By becoming friends with my mother and rival sister Judith, especially, Maryilyn and Lolita built themselves up by running me down. That way, people wouldn’t think them SO bad for having ostracized me while Bill was alive.
Yes, they pretended to be in with my family — the family they had so defaced the whole four-and-a-half years I was married to Bill (so Bill would lose his love and respect for me!) Even told my mother and siblings it was MY fault they had thought so badly of my family! Their antics were easy to get away with: I was on the outs with my family and everyone else in the cult for having left their religion and escaped their clutches!*
* Paraphrasing Steven Hassan,
leading authority on destructive mind-control groups:
People are born with authentic selves.
Unhealthy parenting, groups, or cults exert undue influence,
making you but a clone – an extension of your parents or the group.
Destructive groups don’t allow you free will.
They won’t let you leave with your dignity intact. They want to control you.
You have to believe what they believe no matter what!
Steven Hassan – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Hassan
Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer –
And More Perils of Polygamy
The rest of this series is continued in the blog “Part 19: N-Z”
to be published in a week or so.
I grouped the series “Pt 19: A-Z” into these two different blogs
to make it easier for people who might not be able to easily download the full series,
“Part 19: A- Z.”