Thursday, December 12 2013, 12:00 PM MST
Web Exclusive: Mental Fortitude
SHAUNA LAKE: I've been shocked that at 14 years old you had that kind of mental fortitude. I think anyone who reads your book will have that same feeling. Who was I at 14 years old? Could I have had that sort of calmness and that ability to manipulate such a crazy, ill man? Where did that come from?
ELIZABETH SMART: I watched him do it successfully for 9 months. I mean I knew what happened when I tried to escape. I knew what happened when I would disobey him or not go along with what he said. I knew what the bad side of that was so I remember thinking I know what happens if I don't do that but what if I go the other way? What will happen? Will I be able to get back? Will I be able to get him to do something I want him to do if I pretend to step over to his side? I'm guessing because Id never done that before that he genuinely thought that I genuinely believed him. That I honestly believed everything he told me and so that's what really sort of made him be like, 'oh yes!'
SHAUNA LAKE: You talk so much about surviving. You made that decision that first day; I will survive; even if it takes outliving him for 20 years. I will beat them and I will survive this. Did that on some level mean kind of going to his side? Or making him think you were complicit in what he was doing.
ELIZABETH SMART: Well all my decisions came by thinking 'okay if I do this will I survive? If I don't do this will I survive?' So yes, I did a lot of things I never wanted to do, things I would never choose to do. A lot of things that I was forced to do but I ended up doing them because that was the decision to survive. That was the way to go to make it back home.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)