Jessop grew up in Colorado City, Arizona. She was raised in a polygamous family, with two mothers and twenty-seven siblings, all members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). When she was sixteen years old, after years of abuse, including being impregnated by her own father and being forced to marry her first cousin, Phillip Jessop, she fled her family and faith. After many years as a vagabond in Middle and Southwest America, Jessop gave birth to her first child, daughter Shauna.
Jessop moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she soon met a man named Tim and created a family unit with him and their daughters, Shauna and Megan. Tim's mother, Carol, would eventually reintroduce Jessop to Christianity. Jessop's divorce from her cousin Philip was finalized in 1995.
In February 2001, Jessop and Tim married at the Church of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona. In April 2001, her younger sister Ruby was forced to marry her stepbrother, Haven Barlow. The ceremony, officiated by Warren Jeffs, would be the catalyst that turned Jessop into an advocate against child abuse in the FLDS community. She helped, in a large part, to create the Child Protection Project.
Flora is the cousin-by-marriage of Carolyn Jessop, another former FLDS member who wrote Escape, an autobiographical account of her upbringing in the polygamist sect and later flight from that community.
Flora has been active since the early 2000s in anti-child abuse work particularly focusing on the plight of women and children in the FLDS. She founded an organization, "Help the Child Brides" (later dissolved) and later joined "Child Protection Project" with fellow activist Linda Walker.
Jessop is the author of a book, Church of Lies, telling her personal story.
- Dorothy Allred Solomon
- Mormon fundamentalism
- Polygamy and the Latter Day Saint movement
- Current state of polygamy in the Latter Day Saint movement
- List of Latter Day Saint practitioners of plural marriage
- List of former Mormon fundamentalists
- Palmer, Laura; Jessop, Carolyn (2007). Escape. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-2756-7.
- Jessop, Flora (2009). Church of Lies. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0-7879-9462-4.
- Weyermann, Debra (2011). Answer Them Nothing:bringing down the polygamous empire of Warren Jeffs. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 978-1-56976-531-9.
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