Lonely, abusive childhood recalled at B.C. polygamy case

The daughter of the man whose property became the home of Canada’s Bountiful polygamous community testified Monday that her father eventually renounced the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS, which had taken control of the community.

“He was a devout man, he was a very religious man, and he got faced with so many disappointments when it came to how they (the church) lived their lives and destroyed the lives of other people,” his daughter, Brenda Jensen, said at the hearings examining the constitutionality of Canada’s law against polygamy.

Brenda Jensen also described her childhood growing up in polygamous communities in Canada and the United States, as cold, lonely and isolated.

Last week, Jensen’s niece Carolyn Jessop testified that water torture of babies is one way that members — usually men — in the FLDS instill fear of authority.

In addition to being physically abused, Jensen told the court that she had also been sexually abused as a child in Bountiful. But, voice thick with tears, Jensen said the emotional abuse was worse.

“The unworthiness, the never being good enough, the not having a parent who was accessible to talk to when things happened to you that you couldn’t explain it. Even if you had the courage to bring it up, it was disclaimed as God’s will. You must have done something wrong.


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This post was last updated: Nov. 22, 2013