‘Escaping Polygamy’: Daniel Kingston Making His Move to Get His Kids to Return to The Order

Update: EXCLUSIVE sneak peek of Yolanda’s transformation, “Escaping Polygamy: After the Escape”

“Escaping Polygamy” continues to amaze each week on A&E. Last night, cult leader Daniel Kingston was working to lure his older children back to the order–succeeding with some, not so much with others. But, what was truly amazing was seeing the effects such an organization can have and continue to have on an individual, even after they have supposedly left for good.

Take Vanna, for instance. She is a young woman who the sisters helped escape from the FLDS several months ago, along with her sister, Ariel. On the one hand, Ariel appears to be adapting well, just looking at the way she now presents herself. She has gotten a stylish haircut, is wearing makeup, wearing nice clothes. Ariel is more quiet on her current belief system than her sister, not really speaking out for or against the FLDS or its leaders, but she just appears to be adjusting better.

Vanna, on the other hand, still looks like she is part of the cult from which she and her sister escaped. She has not changed her appearance like her sister has–no new haircut, no makeup, clothes that, while not her FLDS get-up, are every bit as drab and dull. And, she is very vocal about defending the cult leaders. Last night, she was defending Lyle Jeffs, the FLDS leader who was arrested on charges of committing food stamp fraud and money laundering. It was really sad–and confusing. Why did she even leave?

Really sad.

Meanwhile, on the Kingston Clan front, the sisters’ half-brother, Joe, took a meeting with Order leader Daniel Kingston last night. He looked nervous, but also looked like he was thinking of returning, and just did not want to admit it to his sisters. He seemed really lonely, and no doubt that had to be a factor in his even taking the meeting.

Joe’s situation was different, because he did not choose to leave; he was kicked out. Even so, we had to wonder why the sisters did not give him more social support after he left; Jessica even said she had not seen him since he came out. And, it was obvious that he really missed his family. But, fortunately, he did not go back. And, about three weeks after the meeting with Daniel, he confirmed to Jessica that he did not want to return to Order life, and told Jessica he wanted to “continue to find more people like you and other people that can help me emotionally, because that’s for sure the hardest part.”

It’s understandable that the sisters cannot spend huge amounts of time with ALL of the people who leave The Order; they have their own lives, too! But, it does still seem like, with a sibling, regardless of the fact that, as Jessica said, they were not close on the inside, reaching out to him when he was kicked out would have been the right thing to do. Jessica may have felt a bit guilty about that, too, since she went to the trouble to explain, “I have over 130 siblings. So, I didn’t have a relationship with him in The Order, and since he left, our paths haven’t crossed.” Hopefully, the sisters will at least check in with him from time to time after this near-miss. We realize, he was not an escapee who they helped leave; he was kicked out. But, he’s still their brother, if only a half-sibling. And, they knew he was on the outside; checking in with him may have been a nice gesture, at least?

On the other hand, the sister that they helped escape earlier this season, Jennifer, went back to The Order. It sort of seemed like she never wanted to leave when she did; now that she has returned, it has to make one wonder: Did she do it all just to get leverage for marrying her first cousin, Michael? Icky, yes, but she wanted to marry him, and that was not the man who was picked out for her. Coming out like she did, she got Daniel to agree to let her marry Michael if she came back, which she did. So, it just makes a person think: Did she just play the sisters to get what she wanted with The Order leaders? Hard to say, but the end result is the same, as the “insider” said last night: Another incestuous marriage in The Order.

Sometimes this show just goes from amazing–and not in a positive way–to downright depressing.

Stay tuned.

“Escaping Polygamy” airs on A&E on Sunday nights at 10/9c.

Image:  Courtesy of A&E, Used with Permission. Photo by RIVR media. Copyright 2016.

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9 thoughts on “‘Escaping Polygamy’: Daniel Kingston Making His Move to Get His Kids to Return to The Order

  1. My take away was the sisters said they were not close to Joe and in fact hardly knew him while they were in the Order. Although half brothers and sisters, they had different mothers and I thought they said over 100 siblings or something crazy like that. I do agree that NOW that they know Joe, Jessica and Shannell SHOULD definitely do more to support him. Of course, I don’t know what they do in their personal lives, but what was shown at the end was Jessica meeting Joe at a park. He decided not to return to the Order. She said, “Try to keep in touch”. I thought wow she could have offered him more than that. He was so clear with them how lonely he was. He said he performed magic tricks in the park as a way to connect with people and meet new people and all she could offer was “try to stay in touch”. It’s your brother! He’s alone! I elt they could have invited him over to become a part of their families – thinking holiday, other get togethers, and kept in touch with him via phone. I mean the girls all keep in touch with each other. Maybe Joe might be interested in helping others leave the order and he could have been a help to them. I do wonder sometimes why it doesn’t seem like they do an awful lot for these people AFTER they get out. I know many struggle to find jobs – when they are planning an escape for these people you would think the sister would have the resources and connections to get these young girls (occasionally young men) at least a simple retail job or cleaning job or something, They seem to find them temporary housing – why not some kind of help with work or school? I also wondered on Shanell Mom who was kicked out and it seems she is floating from friend to friend and essentially homeless. Doesn’t she have multiple minor children with her also? The show didn’t really address it but Kollene and Shanell didn’t seem to be doing anything to help her with finding housing, but maybe they are and it’s just not shown. I like the show and what they do but there are some questions raised.

    • Joe is living with a sister who had also left the Order. It’s not like he’s all alone. Joe needs the help of a psychologist since it’s obvious he’s deeply depressed.

  2. I was also confused about the mom and sounding like she was basically homeless. With some people, they don’t even know them and put them into furnished apartments. They tried to get their mom to leave for years. They definitely need to give more support.

    • I believe Mom received $5,000 for every episode she was in. And I am sure she did get support from her daughters as well. We shouldn’t pretend we know what is really going on in their lives.

  3. I realize they have their own lives and families. Shanell and Jessica both have husbands and smaller children. Jessica is working on a masters degree in social work she said. Andrea isn’t even in Utah but in Seattle and in law school to boot. I think Kollene might be out of the area now too. Still if you are going to do this type of work there shoudl be some sort of support system beyond an intial place to stay There are organizations that they might be able to hook these people up with that’s sole purpose is to help people who have been in cults get out and get mainstreamed. I was really most disturbed by Shirley’s story. She really was on the fence about going. She just wanted better living conditions. Seems her older daughters (Shanell and Kollene, I think) really wanted her to leave, but when she was more or less forced it seems she is basically homeless and bouncing around with minor children. They don’t show that the older daughters are helping other than took her to see if her piano was still at the old sham-shack apartment. Also the entire Joe situation really bugged me. Some of the girls are half sister and some full sisters, but they seem to all keep in contact, get together and support one another. Joe – while they were not close to him in the order is out on his own very literally. He was kicked out with nothing and no one. At least when Jessica and Andrea left they were young enough to be adopted. They didn’t have to support themselves. Not to minimze what happened to them but they had a family support system. IT didn’t seem like any of them were offering anything at all to Joe until he contacted them. Then after the entire meeting with Daniel and Joe decided not to return the only response was “try to keep in touch” and Jessica did give him some encouraging words. I was like”that’s all you got? He IS your brother – close or not.” I felt particularly bad for Joe. He is completely alone. I will pray for that young man daily. He seemed to sweet. He was the ONLY one in his family to recognize something was not right with the way his ill mother was being treated. He knew inherently it was wrong and stood up and questioned and he paid for it by being kicked out.

  4. I agree… shouldve offered him more..1 or 130 you are still his sister. I felt so bD for Joe I would offer him a safe loving home in a minute! Such a sweet boy! Joe please stay out of that horrible place! There are many people that care about you out here..all you have to do is reach out and ask. ❤

  5. These cults have a couple of thousand Jaycee Lee Dugards in the custody of hundreds of Phillip Garridos with no Rebecca Baileys to clean up the mess. The only difference between these girls and Jaycee is they were born into captivity not kidnapped into it. They did not chose that life any more than she did. Their brainwashed parents, at one time victims themselves are coconspirators In their abuse and exploitation. Keep in mind that they have been kept isolated all their lives and don’t have fantast idea what’s going on in the real world. Like Jaycee they have been fed a steady diet of highly manipulative misinformation. Much of it unrealistic unsupported ultra extreme religious rhetoric and threats. Just to name a few they believe Warren Jeffs is the president of the united states and is going to get out of jail tomorrow. They don’t believe inbreeding is real. They don’t believe man ever stepped foot on the moon and NASA doesn’t exists. They have intentionally introduced phobias, fear and shun outsiders, the internet and every other form electronic or printed communication. With no alternative point of view they can be told just about anything and they will believe it. They are unlikely to ask for help.
    Unlike Jaycee when they escape polygamy they lose their family not get them back. They do not get a penny from the state and are totally on their own to sink or swim. They all have issues, face seemingly insurmountable challenges and are in need of counseling. These Escapes are not always successful. Sometimes the dragon wins. Some girls make repeated unsuccessful escape attempts. Some file for emancipation and are denied. Some take their own lives. Some who have access to information about tax fraud , welfare fraud, money laundering and hidden assets try to take down the organization from inside, by supplying it to the government. They all suffer in silence and fear.
    There are two main groups the FLDS(Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) headed by The Profit Warren Jeffs(serving life +20), in the south and a splinter group called The Kingston Group or The Order headed by The Profit Paul Kingston(under investigation), around Salt Lake city. These two should share a cell with Philip and Charlie. I wonder how they would get along. Both groups are the subject of a variety of federal and a few state investigations for many violations and have many members in jail or on the run. Despite that most of what they do goes uninvestigated. There are also many civil suits pending against them as well. You would be amazed at what goes on in these groups. Both groups tell their members that gods law is above man’s law so they above the law. They are descended directly from god and there for superior to mere mortals like us(gentiles). Many people view these groups as organized crime syndicates not churches. Paul Kingston being called the John Gotti of religion. You will have to decide for yourself what they are.
    The children are exploited in every way that children can be exploited, sexily, fanatically, genetically, nutritionally, educationally and neglected. They face a life of malnutrition and food shortages, due to the size of their family. They receive absolutely no support from the father, who has a dozen or so wives and a dozen or so kids buy each one. At age 8-13 they are sent to lying school to be taught to shun or lie to everyone outside the cult especially police, social workers and welfare workers. At 12 to 13 the girls plan their wedding to an assigned husband, usually an uncle 30 years there senior or a cousin who may already have multiple wives. If they resist they are sometimes beaten by their own father. They may be reassigned at a later date. All cult members are already 5th or 6th generation inbred. Stillbirths and horrible birth defects not uncommon. Many of the babies have very short lives. If they live to see their first birthday their falsified birth certificates are filed(in Angel and Starlet’s case none where filed). At a minimum the father’s name is ether blank or factious. Falsified to protect the cult and the parents from charges of truancy, child labor law violations, incest, polygamy, statutory rape and lack of child support. By 15 or sometimes earlier they are out of school and are working long hours at subminimum wages if they are paid at all. Many girls have been repeatedly molested buy their husbands to be. Viewed as breading stock, by 16 or maybe sooner they are celestial or spiritual(not legally married) wives, pregnant, working for a cult owned business and are expected have a child every year from then on. This is how the Mormon church and the cults built themselves into what they are today. They claim to double in size every year and expect to take over North America. With their incredible birth rate they might do just that. I don’t know what these girls did to deserve to be born into a polygamist cult. Maybe they’re not righteous enough to be endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights. They certainly do not have Liberty, may not refuse sex, may not communicate outside the cult, may not own anything and they do not have freedom of speech. They are not free. The police in short crick will not help these girls. The police are members of the cult and totally corrupt. If you had been born in to one of these cults you would still be behind walls destitute, without hope of rescue and your daughters would face the same. No one in the cult is allowed to communicate with the outside world, no TV, newspaper, internet, books magazines, etcetera. Of course there are lots of walls and fences. Walls, cameras and the god squad(vigilantes) are every ware to make sure there is no communication with the outside world. They are kept totally isolated.
    While the high ranking members, the Philip Garados of the church(cult) get fresh cute young naive wives every year or so. There aren’t enough left for the lower ranking men. The surplus boys(“The lost boys” are apostatized(banished), destitute, uneducated, sometimes illiterate, shun by family and friend alike, warned never to step foot on church(cult) property again or else. The high ranking elite members live a luxurious life style with all the sex, money and power that their hart could desire while the lower ranking members go hungry, especially the children.
    Reform looks unlikely. Without outside intervention I don’t see it happening. 62.2 percent of population and 62.2 percent of the electorate of Utah is Mormon. Which means they are the government without any form of checks and balances. No elected official can attain or stay in office without their support. The Mormon church uses and has used the same tactics to grow into what it is today. They are not going to give up all the money($7 billion annually) and power they have just because of a few thousand abused and hungry children. They may still have soft spot in their hart for polygamy and all the evils that goes with it. They are not motivated to enforce existing law or eliminate the intentional loopholes in it. Children don’t vote or make campaign contributions.
    To reform these groups the first thing you would have to do would be to amend all the falsified birth certificates. That would mean cult wide DNA testing. That would allow help you to enforce truancy, child labor, incest, polygamy, rape, statutory rape and child support laws. Second close loopholes in those laws to make them enforceable. Penalties would have to be sufficient to ensure compliance. Third corrupt law enforcement and public officials would have to be replaced with non cult motivated people. Forth new legislation would need to be passed to stop other abuses.

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