WHO WE ARE
kristyn decker ( President and founder)
Kristyn Decker is finally free after seven generations of psychological manipulation tactics that kept her in polygamy for 50 years. She is the daughter of Own Allred, late Prophet of the Apostolic United Brethern. ( Allred Group ) In 2003 she ended her 33-year marriage and left polygamy. After publishing her first book, Fifty Years in Polygamy – Big Secrets and Little White Lies, Decker founded the Sound Choices Coalition. She has since spent countless hours volunteering in many aspects of the SCC. As a result of her work, Kristyn has had a wonderful opportunity to speak in many places across our country. She has appeared on, among others, The Today Show; CNN Weekend News; Good Morning AZ; NPR Community Voices; The Fawn Rigan Show – WCCO – Minneapolis; KTAR Talk Radio; Jay Lawrence, KSL A.M. News; as well as frequent presentations and conferences. She’s been involved with many survivors of polygamy and is still dedicated to helping everyone find GENUINE HAPPINESS AND FREEDOM.
melissa ellis ( Vice President)
Melissa’s first attempt to escape from the polygamy lifestyle within the Kingston Group was at the age of 17. Her family found her and forced her back home. She went to school with other “members“ and was kept track of. After school she would be taken to work surrounded by other members, then taken home surrounded by her family. She got married at the age of 18, her husband was 26 years old. She was then required to move from SLC to Huntington, UT and was assigned a job to work at the Kingston coal mine. A week after they were married her husband approached her about the first girl he wanted to add to the marriage even though before they got married he told her that he felt like he did not need to live polygamy. During their 10 year marriage her husband pursued many girls ages ranging from 12 to 18. Melissa attempted to leave 5 times during the summer of 2012. She had nowhere to go, had no funds that were accessible to buy food and had no support. She had seen a billboard about Holding Out Help on the way from SLC back to Huntington. That night her husband raped her, and that last act gave her the courage to protect herself and children. She escaped a week later. From the moment she was born her entire family and the entire culture that she was raised in told her that she had to live polygamy, that it wasn’t a choice. It was a directive from God. If she did not live polygamy she would simply go to hell. She now raises her voice speaking out about the harms and also about the real freedom and happiness she now experiences.
Angela Kelly (Director):
Prior to her position with Sound Choices Coalition she served as a volunteer events coordinator for Operation Underground Railroad for two years. Prior to that Angela has been involved in community organizing and non-profit work for over ten years. The social causes she is most passionate about are children’s rights, child abuse, trafficking, homelessness, domestic violence, and polygamy. Her interest in polygamy stems from her upbringing in the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This led to her eventually meeting Briell Decker and Roy Jeffs. No amount of research could have prepared her for the realities of what polygamous cultures are like except for talking to real people who lived it and left. Recently she has been commended for her efforts in the concepetualiztion and subsequent passing of House Bill 214. Her expertise and research were crucial in explaining to both the public and other legislators the absolute need to add bigamy to the list in which victims can receive reparations. Outside of work Angela loves biking and art, abstract painting in particular.
nicole van tassel ( secretary)
Nicole was raised in the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. At the age of 15, the man she would marry at 18, began the grooming process. For the next three years he categorically denied ever being from a polygamist group, even when it came up on several occasions. Nicole, being young, and unaware of his true intentions fell for the charm. He was 22 years old, a returned missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and was working on a project at the high school she attended. Many unsuspecting youth have no idea that the polygamist groups throughout Utah actually preach to their young men that they will need to fall in love with women from the “mainstream church.” The sad reality is, they can talk the talk, and know all the right things to say, because they believe the majority of the current doctrines , except they include polygamy. He obviously lied in order to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It’s a calculated grooming tactic. Many young women in the mainstream church are encouraged to marry returned missionaries. The tactics worked and they married when she was just 18. Only after they married, and she became pregnant with their first child, did he inform her that she was to find him another wife. Can you imagine the heartache! She had 15 children in 19 years. She finally got the courage to leave after the domestic violence got so bad it nearly killed her. She is an incredible advocate for this cause and wants everyone to know it is not what you think it is.