This is a short bio of my life growing up in a cult in Mexico, then coming to the US at age seventeen and how my journey through studying music, learning to paint and becoming involved in social change helped me to become the person I am today.
I am the youngest daughter of Ervil LeBaron, a polygamist cult leader who died in Utah State Prison in 1981. I grew up in the cult, isolated with my siblings in the Sonoran Desert of Mexico. We were not allowed to participate in the world, have friends or attend public school, but we were made to study at home; I learned to read, write and do basic math. I am mostly self-educated and have always enjoyed reading and learning about how things work, whether it was science, math, economy, history, or any other social study.
When I arrived in the United States, I had just passed my seventeenth birthday and had never experienced life outside the cult. My siblings and I were “rescued” by US law-enforcement and given a new start in life. My start began in rural Texas where I had little exposure to society; three years later, though, I was finally able to go live in a big city (Phoenix, AZ) and attempt college. Because of complications with my legal status, I was not able to formally attend school until some years later.
The shock of the cult falling apart and my world-as-I-knew-it completely coming to an end was extreme. I suffered depression, anxiety and deep confusion. Fortunately, I had discovered my love for music and art. I moved to Austin, TX, where my older sister was living, and immersed myself completely into the study of music, then art, and this kept my focus on creative work while I assimilated into my new non-cult reality.
I also stumbled upon the subject of social change while at a party with my musician friends. It grabbed my attention and I immediately began reading everything I could on the topic. This led me to seek to join the Zapatistas in Chiapas (I lived there for a year), which in turn spurred me onto a long journey of searching for answers to my own suffering as well as that of all of humanity.
While I did my own research, I also listened to anyone and everyone who had an opinion on either social change or spiritual healing; I was desperate to find a new Truth I could live with, having given up all ideas of the cult and what I used to believe in. This journey took me to through the tunnels of my own emotional and spiritual healing, and lasted for over fifteen years at various levels of intensity. I eventually was able to tie most of my philosophical strings together and enter the world anew as a much wiser woman who was sure of her own identity.
This second time found me in Ithaca, NY where I mingled with many of the intellectual elite of the world – graduate students and professors from Cornell University. I eventually applied to Cornell and was accepted; I graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science. While in college, I was granted the Societal Solutions Scholars award which funded a microfinance organization I was creating in Honduras and Mexico. This organization has evolved, over a period of a few years, into R2 Society, the project I am currently working on. (Read more about this here.)
After graduating from Cornell, I moved back to Austin to provide support to my family during a major crisis and began working at a Texas Government agency until I was laid off, due to the pandemic lockdowns and lack of funds for my position. Because of my sudden increase of free time, I was able to dedicate myself to the development of R2 Society and the courses that will debut there in the near future.
Click here to read a more detailed version of my biography.