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The little girl leaned in and whispered to Wariner, "Did you know that we're sisters? "She's our sister too." The girls all had the same father: Joel Le Baron, the self-professed prophet who led the polygamist Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times.
They were the three youngest of Le Baron's 42 children, born within five months of each other to three of his seven wives, but had never met until that first day of class.
"We learned that the destruction was going to come from the States."But not all their views were so shocking.
"Le Baron had more conservative people and more liberal people.
Every trip across the border into the States brought waves of anxiety."Whenever I went across the border, you never knew what was going to come," she says.She remembers being 8 or 9 years old when she was playing Barbies with Maria, the daughter of one of Lane's other wives.As they swapped out the doll's outfits, Maria boldly announced that she was going to be a fashion designer one day.When Wariner and her stepdad were alone, she alleges he would sexually abuse her.She writes in her book: Wariner told her mom, who promised to talk to Lane.I couldn't show my shoulders." While we often think of polygamous families living together or in houses side-by-side, Wariner rarely saw her half-siblings or her mom's sister wives.When her stepdad Lane took a third wife, Wariner, her mom and siblings were moved to a series of campers and mobile homes on the outskirts of town."Polygamy is very hard on women and children."Wariner's mother Kathy was only 17 when she married Joel Le Baron, the leader of her church, a man 25 years her senior.In 1972, shortly after they wed, Joel was killed in a plot concocted by his brother, Ervil Le Baron, the leader of a different sect who would later be known as "the Mormon Manson" because of the brutal murders he was believed to have ordered.Her mother remarried two years after Joel's death, becoming the second wife of another polygamist man living in the colony named Lane.Wariner's grandfather, Alma Dayer Le Baron, was the original prophet who, in 1944, founded Colonia Le Baron, where Wariner grew up.