In March 2009, Oprah traveled to Eldorado, Texas, to visit the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch
, a polygamist community. She was allowed behind the gates to see what life is really
like for the men, women and children who live there.
After getting a peek inside the YFZ homes and schools, many people wrote in to say they had a change of heart about the community. "I was one of those," Gayle King says. "I came away from your show thinking, 'This is their world. We should leave them alone.'"
One critic wasn't convinced. Carolyn Jessop
, a former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) member who escaped from a Colorado City, Arizona, compound in 2003, says one of the reasons she fled was to protect her 14-year-old daughter, Betty
, whom Carolyn said would soon be forced into marriage. Betty had a hard time adjusting to life in the outside world, and two days after her 18th birthday, she returned to the YFZ Ranch.
Betty was one of the young women Oprah spoke to during her visit.