A Teenage Girl Was Forced to Marry A Polygamous Cult Leader
Carol Christie was just 17 when her mother forced her into a polygamous marriage with Stan King, a charismatic cult leader.
Carol Christie’s mother was convinced that the world was an evil place and that God’s judgment would destroy it. That tendency towards extreme religious beliefs made her a target when she took Carol with her to a charismatic church run by a minister from the Church of Jesus Christ Restored, an offshoot of Mormonism.
Carol’s mother was drawn into the inner circle of church leadership and grew closer to the preacher, Stan King. Carol was unprepared for what came next — her mother approached her and let her know that God was calling Carol to marry Stan and give birth to children who would do important work for God.
There were just a few problems: Carol was 17, Stan was more than twice her age, and Stan already had one wife.
“From that point on,” Carol recalled. “My life was sheer hell.”
Carol’s mother forced her into compliance by medicating her until she was a “walking zombie,” she said. In 1971, once Carol was 18, she could refuse no more, and she was sent to live on a property with Stan’s legal wife, as well as other church wives. Stan attempted to make sexual advances that Carol dodged for as long as possible. Eventually, Stan sexually assaulted Carol. The horror was just beginning.
Stan seemed to have an affinity for underage girls. Carol was soon joined by other underage church wives, one as young as 10. It was common for Stan to force his victims into group sex. Resistance was futile — anybody who didn’t make the prophet happy was then shunned by the other wives and Stan’s adult children.
Pleasing the prophet wasn’t the only task the wives were expected to do — the cult maintained a farm that required daily chores to keep it running, and there were always dishes or laundry to attend to. Carol had never wanted to be part of that life, but with no ability to leave, she fell into her work and eventually got pregnant with her oldest son, who was born in 1977. 18 months later, she gave birth to a second son, and for the first time since she’d been forced to marry Stan, she felt some degree of contentment. It definitely wasn’t a good situation, but she loved her boys, and Stan loved them as well.
By 1986, Stan was up to 7 wives and 10 children, but tragedy was coming. That year, Carol received a call from one of the other wives — Stan had suffered a stroke and was asking for her. At the hospital, doctors determined it wasn’t a stroke; it was actually two aneurysms and Stan needed emergency surgery.
Stan, however, refused and instead insisted that his wives take him home so he could die. Once Stan did pass, Carol realized a horrible truth: Stan’s adult son, Fred, had just acquired the title of prophet and possession of all of his father’s wives.
Hear Carol tell her own words on Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry on Nov. 5 on ID at 10/9c. More episodes are available now on discovery+.