Circa 1956: My family (I’m 10, middle row, 2nd from left)

Bio Ballad of a Cult Survivor:
My Bio in Verse, for Better or Worse
(Lyrics and music by Stephany Spencer-LeBaron)

1- I was born some time ago,
Away out in the sticks,
In a Mormon cult in Mexico
In nineteen forty-six.

By the time I turned eleven,
We were a family of twelve;
For everything I ever got
I had to dig and delve.

Dig and delve?
Yes, dig and delve!
For everything I ever got,
I had to dig and delve.

2- We hid among the hicks,
Created toys out of sticks,
But thought we were the best–
God’s most blest zygotics.

‘Twas the only life I knew,
All the while I grew;
To pass God’s tests
Was what we must do.

Oh, a hick,
A dad-gum polygamist hick!
Born into a cult,
“Plyg!” the ultimate insult.

But how was I to know
Someday I would grow
And leave it all behind,
This ridgid life of woe?

Life of woe,
Oh, misery and woe;
So I left it all behind …
Let the fandom go.

3- A masochistic life
We all did sow.
It was the only world
I would ever know.

Till one day I did find
These people were all blind,
And sniffing after
Some false “Profit’s” behind!

5- So I fled that fundy faith;
Left it all behind.
Into the world I went,
A whole new life to find.

I settled in LA,
And found a better way.
Now I am a Graduate

6- When I fled that stoic sect,
Didn’t know what the heck to expect;
Times were Herculean,
Money hard to get.

But I kept on pressing on.
Though progress was slow,
‘Twas better than I got
In Old Mexico.

7- Now here I am today,
Living in a much better way
Than the previous life
I once had to obey.

I’m grateful for each day,
And the good ole USA.
“You’ve come a long way, Babe,”
I tell myself today …
I’m a cult survivor
And thriver in every way!


   Circa 1958: 11 of my parents’ ultimately 14 children
(I’m age 12, middle row, 2nd to left)

Bio Ballad in Verse for Better or Worse
by Stephany Spencer-LeBaron

I was born some time ago
Way out in the sticks
In Mexico’s Rocky Mountain Range
In 1946.

Was then raised in Mormon cults
Where self-righteous hicks
Thought sinful
With the world to mix.

Like egoistic extremist fools
In fanatic backwoods schools,
We thought ourselves
God’s holy handful –
His Saints and Chosen People.

But we were backwards bigots
And misinformed hypocrites.
Fanatics full of ignorance,
False pride and narcissism,
We fed on fear,
Self-denial and masochism.

One can lead a horse to water
But can’t make it think.
Same goes for blind followers
Led to the brink.

Those who can’t lift their blinders
And use their own head
Are mind-controlled believers …
Sheeple instead.

That said, in 6 years
Ma’d born seven girls in a row.
When we went walking down the street,
My, what a show!

By the time I turned twelve,
She’d born kid number eleven –
Mormon Plygs believe birth control
Will keep them from heaven!

So by the time I turned fourteen,
I had siblings twelve.
For everything I ever got
I had to dig and delve.

When I turned twenty,
And fit to go under,
Synchronicity’s Serendipity
Wrought a miraculous wonder!

Suddenly big bolts of thunder
Tossed me asunder
Into “the wicked world
Where my new life unfurled!

Now on the outside looking in
At those “Saints” knee-deep in sin,
I gaze at them and grin,
And thank God who helped me win
A chance to begin again.

And gave me my own voice,
And freedom of choice;
Then heard my cries
Begging to self-actualize.

I’m grateful I escaped that cult
And left the hell behind
To join “the wicked world,”
A richer life to find.

Every year’s been better
Since I fled that bitter bind.
I’ve found in this wide world
A more compassionate kind;
People better-educated,
Charitable and refined.

Thank you, my new world.
Oh, how you shine!
Thanks for your excellence,
New friends of mine.
God bless you all,
Dear Humankind!

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