Tara_WestoverThe righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. Proverbs 13:5


Of all the lies in the world—individual, corporate, political and all the rest—some of the most disturbing lies I’ve ever heard were told by Tara Westover’s father, recounted in her gripping memoir, Educated. Westover was raised in a family of fundamentalist Mormon survivalists on a remote mountain farm in Idaho. Tara describes her father as one of the most dysfunctional individuals ever to walk the face of the earth. He believed the US government could not be trusted and often told of other Mormon families who had been murdered at the hands of law enforcement agents. No one could be trusted outside the family, but the father himself could be trusted least of all. He regarded his numerous children as free labor, engaging them in work that put their lives at risk daily. Numerous injuries occurred under his watch, but he did not believe in taking his family members to a hospital. All injuries and illnesses were treated at home by Tara’s mother, who studied folk medicine. An older brother who had suffered several closed head injuries preyed on Tara and filled her life with terror. Because the family did not believe in public education, Tara was seventeen the first time she set foot in a traditional classroom. But a spark in her spirit and the example of another brother seeking schooling set Tara on a journey to obtain a formal education. She completed advanced degrees at both Harvard and Cambridge, finding that education was her way out of her former way of life.


Tara’s father believed himself to be more righteous than anyone else alive. He perpetrated horrendous lies and egregious treatment on his children, creating a profoundly dysfunctional family. Tara and one brother were the only ones who were able to escape and make lives for themselves. But their freedom was hard won, and their healing will need to be ongoing.


Proverbs 13:5 provides a picture into what God thinks about wicked people, especially those who mislead children and the downtrodden. Matthew 12:37 says, “On the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified…(or)…condemned.”


Gentle Healer, make a way where there is no way for abused children to find peace. Amen


Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger, to the delight of all who read her work and hear her speak. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s