Teenage Mary Jacobs was instructed to marry her cousin and have a dozen or more children drink in a polygamous closed cult known as The Order for the rest of her life.
Instead, she is now happily married to the love of her life and has two beautiful children.
Mary broke her silence to tell about her brave escape from a forced marriage in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com.
Mary knew she had a chance to escape. The then 17-year-old had to make an early morning of the house where she lived with her mother and 15 brothers and sisters, and walked a quarter of a mile across a public park where her boyfriend and his parents would be waiting for her.
Anything can go wrong. She hadn't been drinking as a punishment or even drinking water for days, but the price of failure was too much to think about. If that didn't work out, she would have to commit to marrying her cousin within a few days as soon as she turned 18.
As she ran as fast as she could across Millrace Park in Taylorsville, a southern suburb of Salt Lake City, she stumbled and started vomiting. But there was nothing in her stomach to bring up. Somehow a burst of adrenaline started and she pulled herself up and ran on.
Mary had finally reached the outside world, away from the Order, a very mysterious polygamous cult on the fringes of Mormonism. She knew her parents and their powerful relatives would soon be looking for her, but at last she had hope.
Mary Jacobs escaped the Order, a very mysterious polygamous cult on the outskirts of Mormonism in Utah, at the age of 17 on June 15, 2013, with the help of her now husband Bryan Nelson (pictured together). Mary broke her silence to tell about her brave escape from a forced marriage in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
To escape, Mary had to leave the house where she lived with her mother and 15 siblings, and walk a quarter of a mile through a public park where Bryan and his parents would be waiting for her. If she did not succeed, she would have to commit within a few days to marry her first cousin David Kingston when she turned 18. Pictured: Mary & # 39; s graduation photo
She spent the next five months hiding in a rented room in Las Vegas before finally turning 18 and becoming her own wife, away from the people who tried to control her every movement from the day she was born.
She married on her 18th birthday, but it was the man she loved, the man who had orchestrated her escape. Now, almost six years later, they are the parents of two adorable boys, who live just a few miles from the suffocating temptations of the cult.
Mary & # 39; s story and the alleged criminal background surrounding hundreds of her family members is told on Friday night at the CBS Whistleblower, but DailyMail.com can tell the full story of how she escaped marrying her true love, unlike so many girls in her family who are forced into teenage marriages with uncles, cousins or other relatives.
& # 39; My entire life has been controlled by the Order, & # 39; Mary – now Mary Nelson, 23, – told DailyMail.com. & # 39; They have their own primary school, they have their own stores, they have their own bank. Everything is enclosed.
& # 39; They decide where you work, they decide what you go to school for, they decide who you marry. Everything is determined for you. & # 39;
& # 39; If I were still there, I would have been married and would have had several children. I would have been my cousin's second wife. & # 39;
Mary escaped on June 15, 2013. She and her husband Bryan Nelson (32) are still busy overthrowing the Order. Two of her cousins are currently in prison awaiting trial in a $ 511 million fraud case. The FBI is actively working on other related matters.
It all started in early 2013. Mary attended business classes at Salt Lake Community College. Her future had already been mapped out for her. She would work at The Order's internal bank.
& # 39; My entire life was controlled by the Order & # 39 ;, Mary told DailyMail.com. & # 39; They have their own primary school, they have their own stores, they have their own bank. Everything is enclosed. They decide where you work, they decide what you go to school for, they decide who you marry. Everything is determined for you. & # 39; Pictured: Maria in an old family photo
Mary is the niece of Paul Kingston, the head of the Order, a group that manages a church known as the Church of the Last Days of Christ. Paul, a grandson of the group's founder, has 27 women and more than 300 children, Mary said. Her own father David Kingston has 18 women and about 200 children. & # 39; I am the daughter of his fifth wife & # 39 ;, she said. I am the fourth of her 16 children. & # 39; Pictured: Maria with her father in a collage of family photos & # 39; s
Mary & # 39; s father David (left and right) spent four years in prison for his 15-year-old niece. Then the Order insisted that members should wait until the girl was 18 before they were allowed to get married. Then the women often have one child per year as long as they are physically capable
WHAT IS THE ORDER?
The Order has its roots in the Great Depression of the 1920s when Mary Nelson & # 39; s great-great-grandfather Charles Kingston broke with the Mormon Church on the issue of polygamy.
Kingston claimed he followed the word of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, a convinced advocate of multiple marriage.
His son Elden Kingston founded the Davis County cooperative that over the years changed into the Church of the Last Days of Christ or LDCC and the Order.
Elden was followed by his son John and John & # 39; s son Paul Kingston, now 59, took over the reins in 1987.
Mary is the niece of Paul Kingston (photo), the head of the Order, a group that runs a church known as the Church of the Last Days of Christ
Under Paul are six of his brothers, including the father of Mary, David, who are the pillars of the church. Below are numbered men, each of whom is assigned a number in the order in which they will enter heaven.
Because the leaders of the group often have dozens of women with up to 20 children each, the Order has grown enormously in 90 years. But men who are not so closely associated with the leaders get the short end of the stick. Many never marry because there just aren't enough women to go around if the leaders have so many women.
& # 39; The numbers just don't match, & # 39; told lawyer Mark Pugles to DailyMail.com.
Unlike many other fundamentalist sects, members of The LDCC do not stand out. & # 39; They hide in view, & # 39; said Bryan Nelson.
They wear modern clothing and use computers, mobile phones and other modern conveniences. They go to college to follow the training required to work in the approximately 300 companies run by The Order.
& # 39; We were not allowed to wear shoulderless dresses or skirts that were more than five centimeters above the knee, but it was, & # 39; Mary told DailyMail.com.
& # 39; When we went swimming, it had to be a piece, never a bikini. & # 39;
But over the years, allegations of child marriage and abuse against leaders have been widespread. Mary & # 39; s father turned out to be married to a 15-year-old when she walked naked from a house to a public telephone booth and dialed 911. The girl's father hit her so hard because she tried to escape that she fainted after counting 28 lashes.
Now the Order is confronted with its strictest test of Jacob and Isaiah Kingston's trial of cheating the government.
Pugsley said that many basic Mormons see nothing wrong with taking money in every possible way from the government.
& # 39; Earlier in the 20th century, the government persecuted polygamists, so the Mormon church leaders developed a philosophy about the government because it persecutes us.
& # 39; That remains today, they have the ethos of & # 39; the beast bleed & # 39 ;. When it comes to the government, they believe they are entitled to take the money. & # 39;
Bryan saw her sitting at a table and studying at college, and at the suggestion of a friend, she went to talk to her.
& # 39; I thought she was absolutely beautiful, & # 39; Bryan told DailyMail.com. & # 39; We started immediately and that was the start of our dating. & # 39;
But he could see that something was wrong, her stories about her home life were wrong. & # 39; She wasn't completely honest about everything. She invented a persona for herself, & he said.
They managed to go on a date, to the movies or to restaurants. & # 39; I had to be very, very secretive, & # 39; said Mary. & # 39; I would tell my mother that I had to study at college. It was because I went to college that we were leaving to see each other. & # 39;
When they went to dinner, it was restaurants that Mary knew that members of The Order would never go. When Bryan dropped her off after a date, she had to be in the park that was never at her place.
& # 39; She would say: & # 39; & # 39; Don't worry, I'll tell you more about why I do this later. & # 39; & # 39; I had no idea what the Order was, & # 39; Bryan said. & # 39; I just thought she had really controlling parents or a very offensive father – both of whom were ultimately true, just not the way I thought. & # 39;
Finally Mary told him the truth. She was the niece of Paul Kingston, the head of the Order, a group that runs a church known as the Church of the Last Days of Christ.
Paul, a grandson of the group's founder, has 27 women and more than 300 children, Mary said. Her own father David Kingston has 18 women and about 200 children. & # 39; I am the daughter of his fifth wife & # 39 ;, she said. I am the fourth of her 16 children. & # 39;
David spent four years in prison for his 15-year-old niece. Then the Order insisted that members should wait until the girl was 18 before they were allowed to get married. Then the women often have one child per year as long as they are physically capable.
The Order, which was formed between the World Wars, has grown at an alarming rate. The federal government estimates that there are now 7,000 members. Bryan believes that this is a conservative figure and that there are actually around 10,000.
& # 39; I would say that 80-85% of them are Kingstons & # 39 ;, said Mary, who bore the name Jacobs, because that was a name her mother Katharine chose in an effort to fool outsiders, So they would not know that almost the entire group is a large family.
She didn't even know that David was her father until she was 13, and he suddenly announced that she and her brothers and sisters would call him father, not Uncle David.
No one in her family could know more about her romance with Bryan. But inevitably the secret came out. She could have connected her iPod to mobile services and in May 2013 a younger brother saw her texting to Bryan.
Mary said: & He told my mother and she involved my father and then they found out that I was dating someone on the outside.
& # 39; My father has given me a three-day fast, not given food or water to recharge my spiritual batteries and bring them into line with what Heavenly Father wants. He told me it was my goal to be engaged to David Kingston, my cousin by the end of two weeks.
& # 39; I had to sleep in my mother's bed and held my hand & # 39; stuck at night so she would know I was there and I couldn't go anywhere without her. & # 39;
She even had to use a toilet without a door so that she could be constantly monitored.
At work she was assigned a computer without internet access. She wrote Bryan a letter and said goodbye to her because she had to marry someone else and had secretly transferred it to another computer and sent it. & # 39; I had to be very quick about that & # 39 ;, she said.
At that time, Bryan knew he had to help. He received a message that he would hide a phone under a car in Mary's driveway so that they could stay in sporadic contact.
Mary has no contact with a member of her family. Some have tried to contact her to find out how they too could escape, but after short conversations the lines of communication became cold
Pictured: the home of Mary & # 39; s mother in Taylorsville, a southern suburb of Salt Lake City, where she had to sneak and escape in 2013
Mary ran as fast as she could across Millrace Park in Taylorsville (photo), but she stumbled and started vomiting. Somehow a burst of adrenaline started and she pulled herself up and ran on
& # 39; I knew the phone was there & # 39; would be in the morning, so I asked my mother if I could go to the toilet and instead of going to the room I would use, I went to a door on the right in front of the door.
& # 39; I ran outside, grabbed the phone, put it in my pocket, and then went to the bathroom. While I was using the bathroom, my mother knocked on the door and asked: & # 39; What are you doing here, Mary? You should use my bathroom. & # 39;
If her mother had found the phone, Mary would have been drawn to her uncle Paul. & # 39; I would have been in big trouble & # 39 ;, she revealed.
With the help of Bryan & # 39; s parents, Dan and Mariana Nelson, they invented the escape plan. Around five in the morning on Father's Day, Mary would let her escape. If something went wrong, both knew it was over.
Bryan rented two cars so that they could transfer her from one to the other. Once she came through Millrace Park, Bryan & # 39; s father Dan rushed her to a safe house.
Within a few minutes after Dan had gone home, Mary's mother was at his door. & # 39; My parents played that they didn't know what she was talking about – they didn't even know who Mary was, & # 39; Bryan said.
Then Mary drove the 400 miles to Vegas. & # 39; We had rented a room in a house for cash, with a completely different name and persona, so no one would know who she was, & # 39; Bryan said.
With the help of Bryan & # 39; s parents, Dan and Mariana Nelson, they invented the escape plan. Around five in the morning on Father's Day, Mary would let her escape. If something went wrong, both knew it was over. Mary says she still loves her mother. & # 39; I know she has been brainwashed. She was born in the same situation as me & # 39;
Now, almost six years after Bryan helped Mary escape, they are the parents of two adorable boys who live just a few miles from the suffocating temptations of the cult
They chose Vegas because Nevada has lax rules about teenage boys. If they had stayed in Utah, Mary & # 39; s parents would have had a good chance of forcing her to return home.
If that had happened, Mary believes, she would have been detained under the pretext of having drug or alcohol problems.
She stayed in Vegas for five months until November 19, her 18th birthday. Then she finally returned to Utah for a wedding at the courthouse with the man who had released her.
In the court papers, Mary's mother said earlier that she was worried about the nine-year-old age gap between Bryan and Mary and said her daughter had told her that she was starting to have sex with Bryan when she was sixteen.
Bryan insisted on DailyMail.com that they wait until they were married.
Katharine Jacobs also denied Maria sleeping in her bed or forcing her to use a toilet without a door. She also said there was no plan to force her to marry her cousin.
Attempts to reach Katharine were unsuccessful. Kent Johnson, a spokesperson for the LDCC, did not immediately respond to calls for comments.
Now Mary has no contact with a member of her family. Some have tried to contact her to find out how they too could escape, but after short conversations the lines of communication became cold.
She says she still loves her mother. & # 39; I know she has been brainwashed. She was born in the same situation as me.
& # 39; But as far as my father is concerned, he knows exactly what he is doing and he knows it is not religious, it is just a form of control. He is the reason I have nothing to do with my family. & # 39;
HOW MARY JACOBS IS THE STAR WITNESS IN & # 39; $ 511M & # 39; FRAUD TRIAL OF HER MINE SISTER
Four members of Mary & # 39; s family will stand trial in July on charges of attempting to cheat the government of more than $ 1 billion by falsely claiming tax credits for their biofuel business.
Her cousins Jakob and Isaiah Kingston, their mother Rachel Kingston and Jacob's wife Sally have all been accused in the federal case.
Jacob, 43 and Isaiah, 39, are detained separately — the older brother in Salt Lake County prison and the younger one in Weber County prison in Ogden, Utah — in an effort to stop them from working together. They each have 417 years or live in prison.
The case surrounds their company, Washakie Renewable Energy, which allegedly produced millions of gallons of biofuel over a six-year period, while actually producing only a fraction of that amount.
The government claims that Washakie then forged paperwork by saying it was sold to other companies controlled by The Order and claimed a $ 1-gallon tax credit. Court papers say the company received $ 511 million in credits and another $ 500 million was pending, but was stopped after the government discovered the alleged fraud.
Jacob and Isaiah are also charged with threatening witnesses and lying to government investigators.
Mary Jacob & cousins Jacob (left) and Isaiah Kingston (right) will stand trial in July on charges of trying to cheat the government of more than $ 1 billion by falsely claiming tax credits for their biofuel business. They each have 417 years or live in prison
Jacob and Isiah used the money they had made from their plan to purchase more than $ 20 million worth of real estate in Utah (Jacob & # 39; s huge house in Sandy, Utah, where he built two additional homes after purchasing it property and driveway)
The case was brought after Bryan and Mary Nelson informed the FBI of the plan after Mary & # 39; s escape from the cults' claws. Their story will be told on Friday's episode of Whistleblower on CBS.
& # 39; A few months after we got married, Mary told me everything about The Order's financial system and I knew what she told me were crimes and I had to do something about it, & # 39; Bryan told DailyMail.com.
& # 39; Mary was the only person who could escape who worked at the bank and saw how all transactions were fraudulently processed and how they would change and tax return invoices would change.
& # 39; She has a photographic memory, so she could remember all these different transactions and numbers. & # 39;
Jacob was first arrested in August when he and Sally tried to take a family to a plane to Turkey, where the brothers were allegedly promised a safe haven by autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They claimed to accompany a son on his honeymoon, but prosecutors pointed out that this was unlikely because they had bought their plane tickets only three days in advance.
According to the court's document, Jacob had led $ 135 million to that country, some being put to his name and the rest going to the government, which promised not to handle a request for extradition to the United States.
& # 39; Mary will be the star witness during the trial, Nelsons lawyer Mark Pugsley told DailyMail.com
That is why both men have been in jail without bail since August last year, with the judge in the case agreeing that the Kingston brothers with their money and ties with Erdoğan pose a flight risk.
Their mother, Rachel, 63, was charged with five charges, including conspiracy, money laundering, and data destruction.
Sally, 41, faces a count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering.
The two women were allowed to return home after they agreed to surrender their passport.
& # 39; Mary will be the star witness during the trial, Nelsons lawyer Mark Pugsley told DailyMail.com.
Jacob and Isaiah allegedly spent more than $ 20 million on real estate in Utah – including a giant $ 4 million one-bedroom house, six-bedroom Sandy now being let – as well as a $ 1.72 million Bugatti Veyron and others luxury cars & # 39; s.
Prosecutors request that all purchased properties be forfeited.
But while the men at the top of De Orde lived in luxury, dozens of women and children often remained in poverty.
Mary told DailyMail.com that her mother gave her a newspaper route from the age of 6 to help family finances. She and her brothers and sisters even went & # 39; dumpster diving & # 39; to stale pizza for dinner. But when her father came to visit about twice a month, her mother made sure to give him king crab parties, his favorite delicacy.
Pugsley believes the pair is eligible according to whistleblower statutes for rewards for surrendering members of The Order. But because rewards depend on how much is recovered, and much of the money is now in Turkey, that reward may not be huge.
& # 39; It is not easy to get money from Turkey & he said.
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