The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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Witnessing A Miracle

Uncle Rulon, as I knew Rulon Allred to be, was as close to God as any man could be in my young eyes, and I was in complete awe of him.

His thick, white hair, soft blue eyes and gentle voice, gave him an angelic resemblance. We didn’t see him as often as we would like and when we did, his words and presence were precious. On his visits from Utah we felt truly honored and blessed. When he spoke, all who knew him listened intently, hanging on his every breath as though his words were directly the word of God and God spoke through him on our behalf. His instructions were God’s instructions and his voice the voice of God. We felt fortunate to have several of his wives living among us, and on occasion that he came to visit them, he shared his messages of truth and revelation with the rest of us. Not only did Uncle Rulon have the highest order of the priesthood but he also inherited the keys to God’s kingdom from his predecessor, which made him a virtual superman.

In my book, Fly Fly Away, I share the story of my sister Hannah’s drowning and near-death experience in the pond at one of Rulon’s homes on The Ranch.

… Learning of the situation, Uncle Rulon ran from the house and began performing CPR on Hannah, but to no avail. There was no heartbeat, no pulse and no sign of life. Then he did the one thing he knew would help. He laid his hands upon Hannah’s head, and prayed to the Lord to spare her young life as we all stood silently bowing our heads in reverent faith and prayer. Moments later she began coughing and sputtering back to life. While she sat on the ground crying over the trauma of the near death experience, the rest of us praised God, for we knew in that moment we had surely witnessed a miracle…

Moments like this solidified my parent’s faith in their religion and in the man who we knew as the one-and-only mouthpiece of God.

As a child, men with the priesthood had the healing power that miracles are made of. This reverence to men and their unlimited power led some men to use their power as a means of control. Now of course I know that a man and his priesthood have nothing to do with miracles. Both men and women are equally capable of magnificent works of faith, without anointed oil, without special privileges, without secret hand-gestures and without priesthood.

Yes, I do think miracles can happen, especially when many minds, and not just one superior mind, are focused on the end result. There is power in numbers and unified fields of thought. In my sister’s case, her near-death experience and return-to-life was her choice, and not one made by any of the rest of us, not even the chosen man of God.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story!

Victoria Reynolds Signature

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The Difference between Spiritual Abuse and Religious Abuse

What is the difference between spiritual abuse and religious abuse?

Many people go through life believing that religion and spirituality are the same.  Religion has claimed ownership of the word “faith” as though it is synonymous with dogma.  In reality, religion and spirituality are two completely different experiences. They can, and do, exist without each other.  In this awareness we can recognize that spiritual abuse and religious abuse are separate experiences.

Religious abuse is attributed to abuse that affects individuals physically.  It is generally recognized as physical or sexual abuse that is justified by religious dogma or exercised by religious opportunists.  Religious abuse is connected to human rights abuses. It affects the physical reality of those who are abused as well as those who are perpetuating the abuse.  The physical and emotional trauma caused by religious abuse requires a lifetime of understanding, healing and acceptance.

Spiritual abuse is much more subtle and more difficult to detect than religious abuse.  Similar to emotional abuse, it leaves no physical scars, yet causes a lifetime of fear, depression, mistrust and lack of fulfillment.  Spiritual abuse is found within the religious and organizational beliefs, rather than physical actions.  Spiritual abuse prevents individuals from achieving a true connection to God and accessing genuine spirituality. Through the fear-based teachings of religion, many are unable to access their own true divine worth and potential.  Unlike religious abuse, which affects the physical experience of those affected by the abuse, spiritual abuse causes trauma to the soul.  It affects our life experience, as well as our perception of our eternal experience.  Unlike religious abuse, most individuals who are perpetuating spiritual abuse are completely unaware of the role that they are playing, because they themselves are affected by the abuse.

We cannot truly heal spiritual abuse and religious abuse with the same beliefs that abused us. Recovering from spiritual abuse requires that we first recognize its existence and where it stems from. Learning how to diagnose the fears that have controlled our lives and how to work through them, can be a long and painful process.  Yet that process is well worth the effort.  It requires that we recognize our fears, understand them, and learn to love them.  The process then becomes a tremendously rewarding and liberating experience.  It brings us to understand our true divine worth, our true connection to ourselves and a deeper knowing of Spirit. It brings an inner peace and joy that truly is heaven on earth.


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Child Friendly Faith

Child Friendly Faith

I am part of an online group titled “Child Friendly Faith.”  It is our collaborative goal to bring spiritual abuse into the light and ask that our religions serve us, rather than us serving them.  It is our intent to create an environment of faith that is based solely in love and not in fear, and to create an environment that cultivates faith through desire, rather than force.  It is my purpose, in association with others, to create an environment that promotes healing from spiritual abuse.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Jan Heimlich, the creator of Child Friendly Faith and author of “Religious Child Maltreatment”.  Jan is a journalist who has taken great pains to research the subject of religion, and when religious beliefs and practices become harmful to children.  She takes into consideration that maltreatment it is more than the abuse of children, but also the neglect that often occurs as a result of well-meaning parents whose minds are influenced by their religious leaders.

On Sunday afternoon I watched a presentation Jan was giving to a group of Atheists. Her presentation was shared in collaboration with Bethany, a woman who Jan interviewed for her book. Bethany’s story was heartbreaking as she described the physical abuse that began when she was only six months old at the suggestion of her parent’s minister.  Even more heartbreaking was the expectation that Bethany begin beating her baby sister as part of her sisterly responsibilities.

In my own perspective spiritual abuse is more than just physical or sexual assault, it is emotional and psychological as well. Many of the perpetrators are unaware that they are abusing their children because they themselves are being controlled by their religious beliefs.  It is not the religion itself that is at fault, but the interpretation and manipulation of those who use it to assert control over its followers.  Spiritual abuse causes trauma to the human spirit, and prevents to connection to God that is supposedly the purpose of religion itself.

Following the presentation, several members of the audience asked me what my religious beliefs are.  I could not come up with an answer for them.  I am not Atheist, although I do not believe in a man-made deity. I believe that infinite intelligence is energy that does not take the physical form of a man (or woman).  It simply is that it is. I thought about the word Spiritualist, but that word is already taken by a church. I thought about the word Energist, but that word has been coined as well.  I do not like labels and after great internal deliberation over the next few days I came to realize that I am not able to lump myself into a category.  There is no name for who I am and what I believe.  And then it hit me, I am that I am.  I do not need a label, a person or a group to identify me.  I simply am.

I have ascended beyond religion, as religion no longer serves a purpose in my life. I do not need to pretend to believe in something for my own comfort or for the comfort of those around me. I no longer live my life based on how others will judge me for my lack of what they perceive as faith. I do not need to cling desperately to the fear that I will be rewarded or imprisoned for my lack of belief after I transition out of this world. Faith for me is not intertwined with religion but a higher understanding of what is possible, a deep knowing that I shape my reality in co-creation with the intelligence of the universe, aka God.  Faith for me is an internal connection to Spirit and freedom from fear and doubt. My faith is stronger than it has ever been and is far more powerful without the interruption of religion.

For me, child friendly faith, is teaching our children about their own power and their ability to experience a life that is filled with awe and wonder. It is teaching them that they are the creators of their realities and that they work in creative collaboration with God, in the energy of unconditional love.  It is teaching them that they are born in perfection with the potential for greatness; it is raising them up to their own possibilities and showing them the magnificence that each one of us holds within us.