Escaping Polygamy’s Jessica: My Church Considers Elderly Members to Be ‘Costly and Disposable’

 

His days may be "numbered." Escaping Polygamy's Mandi approaches Jessica Christensen and Kollene Snow about helping her sick, elderly father, Fred, break free from the toxic control of "numbered men" in the Sunday, September 4, episode of the A&E unscripted series.

In Us Weekly’s exclusive sneak peek, Christensen explains how the ranking system works for men within the polygamist Salt Lake City–based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “It’s kind of like a business," she tells the camera. "The numbered men are the board members at the top.” 

The former Order member continues, “Their numbers are in ranking of their power: The lower the number, the closer you are to God, the higher your place in heaven and the more power you have.”

"The leader, Paul, has more power over my father, Daniel, because he’s 9 and Daniel is 15," Christensen adds.

Mandi, whose father has been a member of the church his entire life, is now suffering from Parkinson’s disease and unable to take care of himself. (Members of the Order discourage using doctors who are outside of the faith.) With Fred's health continuing to decline, Christensen points out that it's not unusual for the religious sect to turn its back on older males.

"The elderly numbered men are costly and disposable," she tells the camera. "They’re no longer productive in building up the kingdom of heaven.”

Watch the harrowing clip in the video above. Escaping Polygamy airs on A&E Sundays at 10 p.m. ET.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!