Imagine having 19 brothers and sisters, 87 aunts and uncles, 3 mothers and thousands of cousins. This is the life story of Brent Jeffs. Some would say he was born into royalty. His grandfather was a prophet and when he died, his son became the next prophet, Brent's uncle Warren Jeff.
Brent describes his life growing up in a polygamous cult, the FLDS (Fundamentlist Church of Latter Day Saints). In the FLDS, women's primary purpose is to produce and raise children. They are the property of their fathers and once married, they are the property of their husbands. They are the vessel by which waiting souls are brought into the world. God/Jesus only speaks to men. A 14 years old boy, becomes a low level priest and his opinion is more valuable than a women even his mother. God/Jesus speaks to the prophet and tells him which girl/woman should be married to which man. The prophet has total control as to who is married to who and if he is displeased with any man, he can re-assign his wife and kids to someone else and would kick the man out of the cult. A man needs to be married to at least 3 women (and have many) kids, to enter celestial heaven.
As Brent points out, it may seem that men have the best of all worlds but the men have to treat, in theory, all his wives equally. He can not show favoritism. He has to make sure that their is no squabble between his wives and children. If he fails to control them, the prophet can take his family away, throw him out of the cult and re-assign his wives and kids to other more worthy men.
Considering that an equal number of boys and girls are born to any woman, there is an excess of boys. If men are to have multiple wives, there needs to be way of reducing the numbers. At around 14 years of age, the boys become a threat to the teenage girls. There is a chance they could fall in love. To minimize that problem, boys are either forced out or kicked out of the cult. Those who leave forceably or voluntarily are known as the lost boys. They can no longer have contact with their families, they have no education and no money. Brent was one of these boys. Many turn to drugs and alcohol . Brent lost one brother to drugs and one to suicide. Brent describes his struggles to make a life for himself after the cult. He was the first boy to file a sexual abuse lawsuit against Warren Jeffs.
It is a very interesting book to read.