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A young woman who escaped from a polygamous and incestuous breakaway Mormon sect has broken her silence to tell how she tipped off the FBI to the group's alleged $511million tax scam.
Mary Nelson, 23, spoke out in a new episode of Whistleblowers set to air on Friday night, describing how she fled the group at age 17 with her 26-year-old secret boyfriend Bryan Nelson, whom she went on to marry.
Kingston - Clan - Members - Order - Salt
Growing up in the Kingston Clan, known by members as 'The Order', in Salt Lake County, Utah, Nelson says that her father had 18 wives, and that she had more than 200 siblings.
When her family found out about her secret boyfriend Bryan, a fellow student at Salt Lake Community College, Nelson says that her mother disapproved and began watching her like a hawk.
Sect - Charles - Kingston - Theories - Inbreeding
The sect, founded in 1935 by Charles Kingston, developed genetic theories that inbreeding could be used to 'purify' and 'perfect' the Kingston family bloodline.
In 2013, when she was 17, Nelson said that her family ordered her to marry her own cousin, who was also 17.
Instructions - Questions - Episode
'They'd give you instructions. They say, 'Don't ask questions,'' she said in the new episode.
Nelson claimed in a lawsuit she later filed that her mother made her sleep in bed with her to prevent her from sneaking out, and the only bathroom she was allowed to use was one attached to her mother's bedroom and had no door.
Affidavit - Suit - Nelson - Mother - Measures
In a sworn affidavit responding to the suit, Nelson's mother denied taking such extreme measures to watch her daughter or that there was any plan for the then-teen to wed a cousin. The suit was settled confidentially.
When she was 17, Nelson planned her escape with the help of her then-boyfriend Bryan and his father, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
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