Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Thursday, April 30, 2015
The first thing you should know in reading my review of Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story by Mary Ann Broberg is that I have a personal connection http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Innocence-The-Broberg-Story/dp/0974515205
I had the honor of hiring Jan Broberg, an amazingly talented actress, to perform in an experimental audio book I produced many years ago. Despite the fact that Jan had been kidnapped twice as a child and abused by an adult male from her Church for many years, she grew into an amazingly beautiful, talented and well balanced individual. I enjoyed working with Jan immensely and would continue to hire her except she is living in Hollywood where she in enjoying a successful acting career. One of the projects Jan is working on now is a film adaptation of the book her mother wrote about the kidnapping
No story about the abuse of a child is easy to read, but Stolen Innocence was especially trying due to the way the adults in the case had also been duped by the perpetrator, Robert Berchtold. The Brobergs met Berchtold family at their LDS Church and became fast friends. Sadly, Robert Berchtold used this friendship as a way of getting the Brobergs to trust him with their daughter.
When Jan was just 12 years old Berchtold offered to take her horseback riding. Her parents consented, but instead of horseback riding, Berchtold drugged Jan, tied her up in the back of a motor home and drove to Mexico. The two were gone several days before Jan's parents got the authorities involved. Berchtold had done such a good job in conning the Broberg family they couldn't imagine he would ever harm Jan http://www.suindependent.com/news/id_6500/Actress,-child-abuse-survivor-Jan-Broberg-speaks-out-with-new-documentary-Stolen-Innocence-.html
Even more astonishing, the Brobergs and the Berchtolds continued to socialize attend the same Church even after the authorities returned both Robert and Jan to their homes in Pocatello, Idaho. During the five weeks Bertchtold held Jan captive in Mexico, he brainwashed her into thinking she was supposed to bear his child or else her family would face terrible consequences. Because Jan already been kidnapped and sexually abused for many weeks, why would she have any reason to doubt this? As a result, Jan secretly continued to stay in personal contact with Berchtold.
A few years later, Berchtold once again kidnapped Jan, this time taking her to a Catholic school in California. Jan was eventually returned to her parents several months later and the story about the sexual abuse was finally revealed to them. Since Broberg came out with her story, six other women have come forward with claims of abuse at the hands of Berchtold. Unfortunately, these victims will never get the justice they seek because Berchtold took his own life when he was finally sentenced to serve jail time for his crimes against Jan.
The upside to this tragic tale? Jan was able to heal enough to reveal to her parents what really happened during the times when Berchtold held her in captivity. She must be one heck of a resilient person, because Jan has gone on to have a hugely successful career, appearing in numerous movies including co-starring with Elijah Wood in Maniac. To learn more about Jan, check out her Wikipedia page:
Abuse stories are never fun to read, but they can help us grow and understand those who are affected by this horrible crime. I gave Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story by Mary Ann Broberg four stars on GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4673038.Adele_Park
Thursday, April 23, 2015
I have long been aware of motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, but for some reason never listened to any of his lectures until just recently https://www.tonyrobbins.com/
I listened to Unleash the Power Within by Tony Robbins as an audio book and must say I was very impressed
Robbins has a gravely voice, but his enthusiasm, charm and sense of humor make him totally relatable and likeable. It isn't hard to understand why millions of people tune in to Robbins for advice on how to become motivated, excited about life and able to meet great challenges.
Unleash the Power Within is designed to help people help themselves. My take away was that in order to make a change, we need to first decide to change. Robbins' points out that thinking we should change for the better doesn't work in the long run. Instead, we need to think of achieving our goals in terms of something we absolutely must do no matter what. The tricky part comes in training ourselves to do the latter.
Some of the “breakthrough” advice by Robbins includes destroying limiting beliefs and getting ourselves in a “state” where we are most susceptible to positive thinking. I didn't understand all of what Robbins had to say, but the part that did stick was the idea that we should remember what we were thinking about when we made a big change in the past. When I do this little exercise, I discover that past changes were only made when I decided they were a must instead of a should.
I was so impressed by Unleash the Power Within that I have now ordered another book by Robbins called The Power to Shape Your Destiny http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Shape-Your-Destiny/dp/1442352655/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1K7TYNWMWT8YPR0904P8
I would recommend Tony Robbins to anyone who is trying to get themselves pumped up about their lives and careers. I awarded Unleash the Power Within 4 out of 5 stars on my Goodreads Page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4673038.Adele_Park
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
What happens when Quirky Polygamists wander out of the desert? Find out on Downpour.com in the Quirky Audio Book Series by Adele Park.
Blow the dust off your headphones and quench your comedic thirst with the Quirky Audio Book Series now available for mp3 digital downloads on Downpour.com:
Downpour.com is now offering the following titles from Adele Park for sale:
WHEN RADIO AND POLYGAMY COLLIDE . . . Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book
Jitters is a 2011 Audie Award Winner for Multi-Voiced Performance.
For radio shock jock Nancy Neptune, life is just one big promotion. But when she's sent to work at a radio station near a polygamist compound in Utah, trouble comes in triplicate. In a land where one good wife deserves another, Nancy Neptune hooks up with a drag queen and a one-armed reporter to rescue a mentally challenged polygamist who is being abused by one of his nine mommies and neglected by the other eight.
Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book is narrated through a series of news reports with the characters reacting to the events of the day. Jitters features a cast of 15 actors who tell their stories in comical, first person narratives.
WHEN MARIJUANA AND REALITY TV COLLIDE . . Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book
When marijuana enthusiast Blue McKenna suffers an apocalyptic case of writer's block, reality TV seems like an easy way out. A conglomerate of kooky contestants invades the polygamist community of Navel, Utah, to compete in a reality show called Yikes! Participants include Steven Finch, a loveable stoner who develops a conspiracy theory involving a rock band called the Rectal Surgeons, and Randall Smoot, a member of the Gay Mafia.
Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book features a cast of 11 actors who portray the characters in funny, engaging narratives.
WHEN ASSISTED SUICIDE AND COSMETICS COLLIED . . . Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book
Gadzooks is a 2015 Audie Finalist in the Original Work Category.
In the eyes of Nadine, a polygamist and serial bride, nudging her husbands into heaven is a testament to love. Even Nancy Neptune, a notorious shock jock, is gobsmacked by Nadine's so- called “Celestial Send-Offs.” Things go to hell in a hand basket when Nadine offs the wrong guy and is charged with assisted suicide.
Using witty narratives, a cast of nice characters transport listeners to Navel, Utah, a place where voyages to the afterlife are done with God Speed.
Get Jitters, Yikes! and Gadzooks on Downpour today: http://www.downpour.com/catalogsearch/advanced/bySeries/series/The+Quirky+Audiobook+Series/
Find out more about Adele Park and the Quirky Audio Book series: http://www.quirkyaudiobooks.com
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Those who watched the trial of polygamist cult leader, Warren Jeffs, are probably familiar with Rebecca Musser, one of the key witnesses. I recently read an account of Musser's role in the trial in the national bestseller, The Witness Wore Red, penned by Musser herself.
I live about 40 miles from the “twin” cities of Hilldale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona. I see polygamist women in their prairie dresses on daily basis, wondering what things must be like in their secretive enclave. In Musser's book, the curtains are ripped open on this lifestyle, revealing a disturbing look at a community that marries off girls as young as twelve to much older men, many of whom are their relatives. Even more horrifying, several of these young girls were raped in front of adult men and women from the cult. During the trial of Warren Jeffs, the jury was able to listen to audio recordings of these crimes, so there is little doubt they occurred.
One thing that often gets overlooked in the polygamist saga is the fate of some of the young boys. In order for the older men to have multiple wives, a alarming number of boys are kicked out of the community, left to fend for themselves. Utah residents refer to these victims as “The Lost Boys.” In The Witness Wore Red, Musser talks about this tragedy, but makes the observation that the boys aren't “lost,” they are ABANDONED.
I understand there is a great deal of indoctrination that goes on in cults like the one in Hilldale/Colorado City. Nonetheless, this doesn't excuse all the rape, violence and child abandonment that is allowed by members of both parties in the sect. My personal beliefs are that the women who stood by watching while people like 12 year old Merrianne Jessop were raped by Warren Jeffs should have also been made to face charges. One of the worst perpetrators is Naomie Jeffs, one of an estimated 80 females married to Warren Jeffs. Prior to the trial, Naomie was on the run with Warren, working as his “scribe.” It was her duty to write down all of Warren's activities, including the crimes he committed against women and children. Naomie was with Warren when he was finally captured by police, but for some strange reason, she was never made to face charges for her role in these heinous crimes.
I commend Rebecca Musser for standing up for the victims during the trial against Warren Jeffs and some of his cronies who gave their young daughters over to Jeffs and took on child brides themselves. Musser escaped from the cult, only to be ostracized by her community, including some of her one family members. One of Musser's brothers wrote his own book, calling her a liar. I've seen numerous photos of Warren Jeffs kissing girls as young as 12 years old. The tape recordings of the rapes that took place in Warren's temple in Texas were authenticated in a court of law. It seems pretty clear to me who is telling the truth here.
Although reading The Witness Wore Red was a bit like watching a train wreck in motion, I gave it five stars on my Goodreads page. Any victim who has the strength and endurance to stand up to criminals like Warren Jeffs deserves all the respect and accolades in the world.