Fox News contributor's new memoir details abusive childhood at the hands of Mormon father

 March 11, 2024

Carrie Sheffield is an accomplished journalist and contributor to Fox News, CNN, NBC, and the BBC, but her new memoir Motorhome Prophecies details her abusive childhood at the hands of her mentally ill father, who believed he was a Mormon prophet.

Sheffield's father Ralph was a "busker," a street musician who involved the whole family in his activities. They lived in poverty and once had to eat soup made from grass from a local park and chicken bullion.

Her father didn't believe in hospitals, health insurance, or government assistance, so all her brothers and sisters except for her were born at home and delivered by him. During frequent visits by children and youth services, he coached them on what to say so they would be left alone and not helped.

When she finally left home at 18 to go to college, the family disowned her, photoshopped her out of pictures, and told her she would be raped or killed.

"False perfectionism"

Sheffield wrote the memoir in order to stop pretending her life had been perfect even though it was anything but.

"I spent years pretending, masking the dark abuse I suffered from my father and other family members. I didn't realize that by suppressing my past, I created a false perfectionism," she wrote.

Ralph subscribed to Mormon beliefs, but he isolated the family from the church and claimed he had a "mission" from God to become president of the U.S. and fix the bad stuff happening in the world.

She believes the dysfunctional family structure after his radicalization led to two of her older brothers developing schizophrenia, and one of them tried to sexually assault her when she was 17 and he was 24.

At one point her father forced the family--then 10 people--to live in a shed without running water or electricity except for a generator, even though they had the motorhome right there on the property.


It took Sheffield years to overcome the abuse. As much as she wanted to get away from her father, she felt guilty about leaving the rest of the family and had to work through her issues from that.

She spent all of her money on beauty pageant fees in a failed attempt to do something different from her upbringing, following in the footsteps of an aunt who had been Miss America in 1957.

After this attempt failed, she took a full scholarship to Brigham Young University and then to Harvard.

She got a Fulbright scholarship and worked on Wall Street after graduating.

It's doubtful that anyone gets over the kind of abuse she suffered, but she has healed and forgave her parents in 2016.

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