This is actually a difficult blog for me to write, but I feel it must be done. I may say a thing or two in this that some may find offensive, so it is your choice to continue reading. See, I am a father of a daughter and a step-father to other daughters. So, I may be a little uptight today. The subject of polygamy was thrown into the forefront of our attention, at least by my reckoning in the early 2,000's with such shows as "Big Love" "Sister Wives" "My Five Wives" and so on. And let's be intellectually honest, everyone is curious what it would be like. I wonder, sure. While I rant and rave while A&E is displaying Kody Brown sitting frazzled on a couch while the wives argue over who should get their house painted first, I secretly wonder "What would it be like?" Here's my first mistake (Besides speaking freely on a blog), I'm thinking like a person who has a choice in the matter.
Last week, Al and I had the honor of speaking with Ellisa Wall, a former member of what she describes as a "Cult", a branch of the "Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints" Church, a sect who still practices polygamy and was overseen by a Mr. Warren Jeffs (who is now serving a prison term for his involvement in a number of abuses connected to this cult. Ellisa tells us of a lifetime spent being groomed to be a wife, submissive, abused, married at 14 and witnessing a number of horrors, all before adulthood. While I spent my childhood riding bikes, watching "Dukes of Hazzard (the REAL one) and shooting my brother in the butt with pellet guns, Ellisa was being taught to wash dishes, scrub floors, never speak back to a man, Be the best wife so you are not the last wife and shameful. Her youth stolen by a religious, self serving idea and a man who fostered it. Warren Jeffs, the man who wielded the FLDS like a sword. A young girl, youthful dreams crushed by a created hell.
Ellisa and Church Leader Warren Jeffs
At the tender age of 14, Ellisa was married in an arranged marriage to a 19 year old boy, Allen Steed her biological cousin; almost a reward for his commitment to studies and loyalty to the church. This went very badly for her. Ellisa describes abuse both mental and physical. Immaturity on both parts combined with strict religious hard-lining was a virulent mix.
How could someone get away with this you ask? Well, let's ask Ellisa; "“We led a very secret lifestyle,” she described. “We didn’t interact with the outside world. We didn’t go to public school. We were educated, cultivated and bred to be products of the church and the religion."
"I have this one vivid memory being at a beach in northern Utah. I was watching this family play about 500 yards away from us. They looked loving, kind and caring. The mother was hugging and holding her children. They were laughing and they didn’t look like these evil disciples of the devil like I have been told they were. So I think my questions really started early on.”
These questions led to a personal rebellion, a sudden burst of vivid thought. Be it self preservation, realization, no one is sure. But Ellisa made a run for it!. In 2005, Ellisa escaped from the cult and Warren Jeffs. In 2006, Jeffs was arrested and charged with facilitating polygamous marriages involving underage girls. He had been on the run from criminal charges for more than four months. Wall would face him again in 2007.
“I remember locking eyes with him for the first time [in court],” said Wall. “I felt this overwhelming power that consumed my very soul and I refused to drop eyes. That was my stand. If I can keep contact with him, I can prove to myself that he didn’t control me… I was liberating myself from his control. I was beginning to free myself from the anger I had towards him.” Once all was said and done, the court ordered Jeffs to pay 16 million dollars to Ellisa. A sum unheard of. Ellisa still continues to tell her story, to inspire others who may be in the same situation. I took this especially hard as a father of young girls. As I watch my daughter now, Ellisa's words float through my mind, thoughts of stolen youth, abuse, and how men can create horror in the name of belief. See Ellisa's story soon on an A&E special; "Warren Jeffs; Prophet of Evil" This Monday at 9:00 pm
A man sits alone at a small steel table, thunderous, muffled pounding echoes along the cold concrete walls from outside. He blinks as dust falls from the ceiling gently onto his eyelashes. He sits silently staring at the table, to his right are rolled maps. He has no need for them anymore, there is no more land to map. To his left, a pair of binoculars. Again, no need for them, there is nothing left to survey. He sighs deeply and unfolds his hands and runs a shaky hand through his dusty hair. Finally he stands, straightens his jacket and opens a heavy steel door. Nervous officers snap to attention in the hall. He stops, surveys them a moment then slightly smiles "You all have done well. We have and will change history. What we have done will live beyond us." He says in a shaky voice. The officers look sideways at each other. He walks down the narrow hallway, lights flickering as the booming grows louder.
He turns to a man in uniform, "Bring my wife to my office." He orders, the soldier salutes and scurries away into the bowels of the tunnel. He enters another room and sits at a large desk, as he reaches to turn on a lamp a thunderous, shaking boom shakes the walls. He flinches as it echoes through the bunker, men and women cry out in alarm. Somewhere in the distance a child begins crying. A short time later, a small frame brunette enters the room. A strange calm on her face, she looks at the feeble man with faith in her eyes. "Are we leaving Berlin?" She asks. He stands and guides her to a chair and sits across from her.
"Yes, we are leaving in a fashion." He answers as he strokes her hair lovingly. He pauses, an indescribable emotion crosses his eyes as he hands her a small box. She gasps slightly as she opens it and looks at the content. She looks up at him, he smiles slightly and nods. She extracts a small pill and holds it in front of her. "Are you sure?" She asks, "Yes, my love. Its the only way." He softly answers. Again the moment is shook literally from a deafening thunder outside. The walls shake in their efforts to hold back the cacophony. "You must hurry now, Dear. I will join you shortly." He pushes the pill towards her lips. She holds back a tear as she takes the pill in her mouth and crushes the small ampule in her teeth.
He reaches over and pulls her close to him, her head in his chest. He rubs her back and looks grimly at the wall for awhile. Suddenly she begins to shake violently, and gasp for breath. He holds her tightly against him, whispering in her ear. She stiffens and he stands quickly and guides her stiff body to a couch as she stares at him in horror, ashen and bluish lips marring her beauty. He watches as her death throes stop and closes her eyes for her. He stares at her now still body, resolute. The blank expression of a man giving in to his fate. He walks calmly to the desk, opens a drawer and with draws a pistol. He sits on the couch next to Eva's body, turning the pistol over in his hand.
Outside the room, a shot rings out. Ringing metallic inside the bunker halls. Almost drowned out by the distinctive squeek of tank wheels outside the reinforced bunker doors. Soldiers run and crowd around the doorway as an officer opens the door slowly, fearing his fears will be true. He enters, then slowly backs out and closes the door grimly. "What is it Sir?" one asks. The Officer looks up, face ashen. "It is the Fuhrer. He is dead."
This is how many imagine the death of Adolf Hitler. Suicide after his newlywed wife poisoned herself with cyanide at his behest. A tyrant dead, by the most cowardly of acts as the soviets were pounding Berlin and at the doors of his bunker. Russian artillery firing near the Chancellery from the streets of Berlin.
With the Fuhrer dead, the war for Berlin was effectively over with Joseph Goebbels choosing suicide for him and his family, like his mentor rather than surrender. Or was the Fuhrer dead? Yes, you heard me right. Many scholars and explorers of history believe that Hitler escaped Germany just before the Soviets moved over a million troops into the hills surrounding Berlin. Inquiring minds want to know, DID HITLER ESCAPE? So we asked Mike Simpson to join us on the House of Mystery to answer that question.
Mike Simpson serves as a consultant/adventurer for the History Channel's hit series "Hunting Hitler". He has served over three decades in the military as an Airborne Ranger, a Special Forces Operator and as a Doctor of Emergency Medicine assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Throughout his career, Mike has deployed to 17 different countries, from counter-narcotics operations in the jungles of South America to the Global War on Terror (GWOT) in Southwest Asia and North Africa. Specializing in both rural and urban reconnaissance, Mike has worked directly with law enforcement and intelligence organizations around the world, including clandestine and classified “black ops,” in order to bring criminals and terrorists to justice.
I'm not going to ruin the show, but Mike and his team of Dr's, Investigators, Scholars, Historians all agree that it is possible that Hitler found himself in Argentina, South America. Mike has had to sift through the clues, interviews with possible witnesses and possible artifacts all in search of that elusive connection between Adolf Hitler and South America. We have all seen "The Boys From Brazil" But is it possible? Given the hints Mike gave us, Yes, it is possible. Does a fourth Reich exists now? Mike agrees it does exist on a scale we can't imagine, or more accurately where we don't see it.
Steve Lampley asked an important question; How many of the third Reich are alive now? Probably none, but the danger actually lies in the passing of the mantle to a younger generation. Could your neighbor be a nazi? How about the person in line in front of you in the grocery store? How about your new son-in-law? Think about that the next time you meet that person who isn't "Quite right". Want more? Listen to us on:
Can we really live forever? A question we all ponder at one point or another. I mean, doesn't the story of Adam and Eve allude to a creation that was slated for immortality, till sin entered the equation? Hollywood has given us different visions of immortality in movies such as "Selfless" , "Highlander" and swing a stick and you'll hit a vampire movie. But can we REALLY be immortal? Al and I brought a fascinating guest aboard the House of Mystery to help us gain clarity on this glaring question, Dr. Michael Shermer.
Michael Shermer is an American science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine "Skeptic", which is largely devoted to investigating pseudo scientific and supernatural claims. The Skeptics Society currently has over 55,000 members. Shermer engages in debates on topics pertaining to pseudoscience and religion in which he emphasizes scientific skepticism. Which we touched on, but centered mostly on the idea of immortality.
We all can agree that science is in fact working on ways to extend life. We all see the commercials for supplements, products, pharmaceuticals, the latest fads promoting "Extend your life, shed those years, renew your youth, younger looking skin!" But will they really work? Can science make us immortal? Dr. Shermer does not think so, at least not at this time. So, we have to ask? Can we transfer a persons consciousness, i.e a spirit, into another body or even an artificial body (example: Selfless)? Well, as Michael points out, that depends on how and where you define the soul? Where is the spirit located? In the brain? In the cells? Is is some ethereal concept? Many of us, myself included, believe the soul/spirit is the splinter of G-D we all carry in us. That which connects this physical body to the Eternal/Cosmos/the Universe. That intangible ether that makes us US and connects us to G-D and each other, therefore making us eternal.
But as Michael pointed out, correctly, in order to prove the existence of a soul per se, we have to be able to do it scientifically. We have to be able to measure it. In short, we may never know if a soul exist and if we can transfer it. I was quick to point out the theory of organ recipients appearing to take on traits of the donors, perhaps the soul is cellular. Michael chuckled and stated "No, there is no real evidence, scientifically of this occurrence." Damn.
We discussed many other things, such as; does the mind heal the body? Do we shape reality? Michael was warm, well informed and a very good speaker. Can we heal ourselves without drugs? Well, you'll have to listen to find out.
Keep up with our latest shows on our site:
or on our Youtube channel