Rena Chynoweth: A Journey from Cult Allegiance to Advocate for Freedom

In the gripping Hulu documentary series, “Daughters of the Cult,” the enigmatic story of Rena Chynoweth unfolds amidst the dark legacy of Ervil LeBaron’s Mormon fundamentalist cult. Delving deep into her tumultuous past, the series sheds light on Rena’s life, from a young child forced into polygamous marriage to a harrowing encounter with violence. Today, Rena has transformed herself into an advocate for those escaping the clutches of such cults, demonstrating resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

Early Years in the Cult

Rena’s entanglement with the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times in Mexico began when she was only three years old. Raised in a devout family, Rena’s life took a drastic turn when the cult’s leader, Ervil LeBaron, sought to expand his following by splitting from his brother’s sect. Rena, at the tender age of 16, found herself becoming Ervil’s 13th and youngest bride, a decision coerced by religious beliefs and fear.

The Dark Turn

Trapped in a web of manipulation and coercion, Rena faced unspeakable horrors at the hands of Ervil. Forced into a murder plot against Dr. Rulon Clark Allred, a rival sect leader, Rena and her accomplice executed the crime, with Rena ultimately delivering the fatal shot. Her trial for the murder in 1979 ended in an acquittal, clouded by lies, doubts, and sympathetic considerations for her pregnancy.

The Turning Point

Upon Ervil’s arrest in 1979 and his subsequent conviction for ordering the murder, Rena decided to break free from the cult that had held her captive. Her journey to emancipation was marked by resilience and strength as she faced a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Allred family. Although found liable and ordered to pay damages, Rena managed to escape the clutches of her past.

Life After the Cult

In 1990, Rena courageously penned her memoir, “The Blood Covenant,” detailing her experiences as a child bride and unwilling accomplice to murder. However, her pursuit of a peaceful life was interrupted by a civil trial in 1992, where she was held responsible for damages but never required to pay. This legal outcome allowed Rena to finally move on from her haunting past.

Present Day

Rena Chynoweth, now living under an undisclosed name in an urban area of the United States, has successfully built a new life for herself. Reports suggest that she is happily married and a mother of two, actively working to assist those seeking refuge from the traumas of polygamous cults. Her journey from victim to advocate serves as an inspiring testament to the strength of the human spirit.


Rena Chynoweth’s life is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity. From the clutches of a notorious cult to her emergence as an advocate for those seeking freedom, Rena’s story is one of redemption, strength, and the unwavering pursuit of a better life. In her transformation, she not only found her own liberation but also extended a helping hand to others trapped in similar circumstances, making her a beacon of hope for those on the path to recovery.

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