Corinth Author Shares Journey of Healing

Corinth Author Shares Journey of Healing

by Susan Neuhalfen

There is so much to learn from Anna LeBaron.

Author of The Polygamist’s Daughter, the Lake Cities resident has lived a life that most of us have only heard about in documentaries or on the news. She is the daughter of the famous polygamist cult leader, Ervil LeBaron, who was expelled from the Mormon church in the 1950s. LeBaron believed himself to be a prophet sent to Earth to purify the Mormon faith. Dubbed the “Mormon Manson” by the press, he ordered the killings of more than 20, including his own brother, Joel, a rival cult leader.

Ervil had 13 wives and over 50 children including Anna, who worked every day after school, either cleaning appliances in repair shops or selling baked goods on the street to make money for “the family”. They moved from one house to another, always under the cover the darkness, trying to stay one step ahead of the law.

Despite her unusual upbringing, her emotional experiences are all too common to all of us. “The themes of the book – abuse, neglect, fatherlessness, lack of provision, lack of protection – those are common,” said the author, speaker and life coach who has lived in Corinth for 12 years. “You don’t have to have born into a polygamist family to draw from the themes of the book.”

Anna’s turning point came when she finally confided in a friend about her life and all that she’d experienced. Her friend urged her to seek counseling, first through a lay minister at church who then referred her to a professional counselor.

“My ‘normal’ has been to brace myself against pain and bulldoze through it as if it weren’t happening at all,” said Anna. “I learned at an early age to pretend, deny, and internalize everything.”

Whatever you do, Anna, just don’t become a problem. As you know, problems are eliminated.

She’d heard these haunting words all too often.

Despite leaving the cult in 1982, it took several years before she sought counseling and not until 2014 did she begin writing the book. However, she has no regrets about the journey, which she says is still part of the process of healing and always will be.

“I didn’t understand the amount of abuse and trauma I had suffered,” said Anna. “I just wanted to put my past in the past and leave it there.”

Now, Anna says, she can tell the story without being re-traumatized and help others in the process. She has found that sharing her story has inspired others to pursue their own healing journey.

“God’s promise in the Bible is that He will be the father to the fatherless,” said Anna. “No matter where you find yourself, you are not alone.”

Anna said that she saw how, despite her circumstances, she saw His hand orchestrating events and people in her life, giving her protection all along.

“He is ready to bring you to wholeness and healing and aliveness again,” she said. “That redemption and restoration is available to everyone.”

Today her life in a good place right, fulfilling her dream of writing the book and helping others through speaking engagements and coaching those who are interested in writing their own stories. One part of her healing, she says, was the importance of giving her children roots and a hometown, in Corinth, where all five of her children have graduated from Guyer High School.

“All of my children have supported me in their own ways,” she said. “I’m a very proud mom.”

She speaks at many women’s events, book signings and is now a certified life coach, though she uses it more to help people interested in printing their own books. She calls herself an “author coach”. She also uses social media to highlight new books that she feels the public needs to be made aware of. All in all, she is very happy in the life that she has created for herself and her family.

“This is all part of the healing journey,” said Anna. “Giving others hope and encouragement is a
dream come true to me”.

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