A former child bride who helped bring down notorious cult leader Warren Jeffs opened up during an A&E interview regarding her life as a child bride, degraded because she continued to have miscarriages.
FOX News reports that Elissa Wall took part in the A&E documentary, “Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil,” which details Jeffs and his thousands of followers under the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). Jeffs is now in prison, thanks in part to Wall, who worked with authorities to take down the infamous cult leader, who had 78 wives and over 50 children.
Wall was just 14 when she was forced to marry her 19-year-old cousin. She explained to FOX News that she was brainwashed into submission at an early age and didn’t see a way out of it.
“I really think at the time it was about submission. I could have become a really big problem for the community and for Warren. I was a little more outspoken than the average girl. But I really think it was about pounding me into submission… I was just the next player he wanted to eliminate and to quickly get control over.”
Wall, who was born into the cult, described how they led a “secretive lifestyle” that entailed no public schooling and no interactions with the outside world. She started questioning the lifestyle early on, a lifestyle she thought to be led by “evil disciples of the devil,” with Jeffs constantly looming over her as she grew up.
In 2001, Jeffs forced Wall to her marry her 19-year-old cousin, Allen Steed. She said was forced into Steed’s submission almost immediately, who deamnded sex relentlessly, in hopes of having children. When she resisted, Steed beat her. Wall said she called out to Jeffs for help, who told her she had to be obedient to her “husband.”
“But he [Jeffs] reprimanded me over and over for not being submissive. Reminding me of my teachings. Reminding me that I was the property of this man and he could do whatever he wanted to me.”
From 2001 to 2005, Wall had a number miscarriages, as well as a stillbirth. She found the courage to flee when she was 18, and by 2006, Jeffs was arrested. Wall faced him in court in 2007, during his criminal trial, where she looked him in the eye to prove that he didn’t control her anymore.
“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.”
CNN reports that Jeffs was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting two minor girls that he called his “spiritual wives.” He’s currently serving out a life sentence in prison.
Wall, now a mother of two children, lives in Utah and has no affiliation with the FLDS church. She’s also the author of the best-selling book, “Stolen Innocence.”
[Feature Photo: Elissa Wall/Facebook]