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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lance Allred - 400 Cousins: Growing Up In A Polygamist Commune

Meet Lance Allred, Christine’s first cousin. Actually, as the title says, one of 400. Maybe she’s #362, who knows? Lance’s father and Christine’s father are brothers. Rulon Allred was their famous grandfather. Lance’s father did not become a polygamist. However, he grew up in Pinesdale, MT amongst his polygamist family. He also became a basketball player despite the fact he has O.C.D. and is deaf, overcoming some very strong odds. He is the first legally deaf player in NBA history. My interest is what he has to say about growing up around the Allred group. In the video, he paints a very honest view of what he observed.

Excerpt of an overview by John C.://Lance Allred has a gift for anecdotes and his stories of growing up polygamous are vivid. They range from stabbings and out-of-wedlock pregnancies to his favorite uncle’s pastime of randomly shooting the neighbor kids with BBs. Every story is steeped in rural poverty, scored by Garth Brooks and featuring large breakfasts and hosts of screaming kids. Allred also describes the isolation of living polygamous in the suburbs, where your friends are primarily your family and you all live too close together.

Owen Allred is prominent in polygamous circles for advocating against underage marriage and sexual abuse. However, Lance Allred repeats accusations in this memoir that sexual abuse occurred in the Pinesdale community. While Lance wasn’t a witness or victim, he implies that he knows those who were and that, one day, his father will write a summary of his experiences in the AUB. It was accusations of sexual abuse within the group’s leading Council that led the elder Allred to renounce them. He and his wife (they had never taken another spouse) left with their family in the aftermath of those accusations. I won’t spoil the events of their escape, but they do parallel classic Mormon tropes regarding the presence of evil and divine intervention.

Lance and his family eventually turn to the church, which is interesting because Lance greatly dislikes organized religion. He cites the LDS faith as giving his sister the motivation to become a doctor and he frequently records prayers and thoughts devoted to God. Lance Allred appears as a somewhat idiosyncratic Mormon, one prone to cussing and stories of his friends’ pranks involving gay pron, but also as a clearly devout, believing Mormon. His story, for those not inclined to read about the perils of playing under Rick Majerus or on shady Turkish professional teams, will appeal most to people who want some insight into life on a polygamous compound and in Utah suburbia, along with an interesting escape narrative. For those who really enjoy basketball, there is a lot of that, too.//

 They’ve sparked my interest, have they yours? I want to hear about growing up, leaving then returning to all this. And, the remarkable young man’s ambition to play ball He’s played with many: USA Deaf Basketball team (2002), SPO Rouen Basket (2005), JL Bourg Basket (2005–2006), Sedesa Lliria (2006–2007), Idaho Stampede (2007–2009), Cleveland Cavaliers (2008), Scavolini Spar Pesaro (2009-2010), Maroussi B.C. (2010), Utah Flash (2010-11), Trotamundos de Carabobo (2011), Otago Nuggets (2011-present). In other videos, he also speaks of O.C.D. and how he deals with and speaks to children about. He’s overcome many obstacles and can be seen as a role model to children dealing with some of the same issues. 

He’s also: Christine’s first cousin and first cousin 3 times removed; Meri’s third cousin once removed; David Preston Jessop’s first cousin, you get the drift…

(Partial of the book review courtesy of http://bycommonconsent.com/2009/11/02/longshots-lance-allreds-polygamous-roots-and-my-familys-narratives/)


  1. What an awesome guy! I praise his accomplishments and his honesty!

    Did you see the lawsuit updates? Attorneys weighing in from media coverage say that first the Brown's have to prove prosecution and that high court judges will not weigh in on something that may or may not ever happen. Also, the Brown's say they EXPECT to move back to Utah.

    I think Kody's shenanigan's and FLDS persecution complex are catching up to him. Just because he imagines crap in his head and terrorizes his children with it doesn't make it true.

    I thought his agenda was fame, money and attention. Now, his narcissistic behavior truly shows it was always a religious and political agenda. I wonder if the show will lose fan base.

    Then again, not much of the truth about the Brown's ever gets to come to light. I know TLC will remove postings that put the Browns in anything less than a perfect light.

  2. I thought he was great! I'd love to have him meet a little guy I know who is 5 and deaf.
    No, I am issing alot, under the weather. Annony, send me some spots via email and I'll put them up

  3. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52182460-78/family-utah-law-turley.html.csp

    sorry for the delay looks like you got it. The SLT has been running coverage with updates. On the side bar is the "at a glance" that gives basics.

  4. I have a question. Christine says that Rulon Allred's family was split up and they never got to see each other again. I'm to lazy to read up on it, other than I know his first wife Kathleen left after he became a polygamist, but didn't' the family all get back together in Pinesdale?
    I don't see where the families were split for ever. Maybe for awhile while he was in prison. Anyone?
    This young man I have seen before and had never put the connection together. I'm sure that not all polygamists are bad. The religion is bad. He seems like an outstanding young man with a lot of difficulties to overcome and is very special.
    Ache and Anxiety in women. So sad.
    Great read! Wonder if the Browns or David Jessop even know him.
    He says that "Big Love" insulted his intelligence, and Meri and Kody love it!
    Has anyone read the book and have more insight?

  5. Fine young man. Still struggles with being a Mormon. A Mormon is a Mormon is a Mormon.

  6. Glad to see that some of the AUB members for family members came out somewhat unscathed. He seems like a real asset to society.
    make you wonder, though, it all his afflictions weren't caused by the earlier generations of intermarriage.

  7. See - many polygamist families are just fine.

  8. No one said that they weren't.

  9. The AUB has a large baby cemetery as does the FLDS. I wonder how many of dead children died due to inbreeding induced genetic disease.

  10. Many polygamist families are just fine...
    Drum up the music - time for the Safety Net Song !
    The kids love the parents,
    The parents love the kids,
    They are good people,
    Just ignore that large crowd of child brides and the Lost Boys - it's all about choice, they chose their lifestyle too !

  11. I watched this earlier. Good Post.

  12. Can you not see the conflict here?
    The AUB does not feel in competetion/nor do they oppose the LDS. The LDS Mormons often act like have nothing in common with the AUB, or any other polygamist group. However, they ALL believe the basic principal that is blasphemous. They assert that Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 with the express purpose of restoring His Church and gospel in its purity and fullness to the earth.
    Many believe that Mormons are Christian like baptists to Methodists. This couldn't be farther from the truth. ALL Mormons believe in the same principles, even if they don't agree on polygamy, and their beliefs are NOT CHRISTIAN. Example. The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that there is only one True and Living God and apart from Him there are no other Gods (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:21,22; 46:9; Mark 12:29-34).

    By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there are many Gods (Book of Abraham 4:3ff), and that we can become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20; Gospel Principles, p. 245; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 130). It also teaches that those who achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them, just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p. 302).
    Another example. The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Jesus is the unique Son of God; he has always existed as God, and is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; Colossians 2:9). While never less than God, at the appointed time He laid aside the glory He shared with the Father (John 17:4, 5; Philippians 2:6-11) and was made flesh for our salvation; His incarnation was accomplished through being conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35).

    By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is our elder brother who progressed to godhood, having first been procreated as a spirit child by Heavenly Father and a heavenly mother; He was later conceived physically through intercourse between Heavenly Father and the virgin Mary (D&C 93:21; Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51; Gospel Principles, p. 11-13; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547; 742; Ezra Taft Benson, Come unto Christ, p. 4; Robert L. Millet, The Mormon Faith: Understanding Restored Christianity, p. 31). Mormon doctrine affirms that Jesus, all angels, Lucifer, all demons, and all human beings are originally spirit brothers and sisters (Abraham 3:22-27; Moses 4:1-2; Gospel Principles, pp. 17-18; Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).

    SCARY to us "Christians"! Whoever said it was right. a Mormon is a Mormon is a Mormon and this kid is a Mormon.

  13. I don't mean to be preachy, but feel it's important for people to understand.
    New religions such as Mormonism claim to be Christian, but accept as Scripture writings outside of the Bible, teach doctrines that contradict the Bible, and hold to beliefs completely foreign to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles.

    Mormons share with orthodox Christians some important moral precepts from the Bible. However, the above points are examples of the many fundamental and irreconcilable differences between historic, biblical Christianity and Mormonism. While these differences do not keep us from being friendly with Mormons, we cannot consider them brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible specifically warns of false prophets who will teach "another gospel" centered around "another Jesus," and witnessed to by "another spirit" (2 Corinthians 11:4,13-15; Galatians 1:6-9). Based on the evidence presented above, we believe Mormonism represents just such a counterfeit gospel.

    It has been pointed out that if one claimed to be a Mormon but denied all the basic tenets of Mormonism — that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is true and divinely inspired, that god was once a man who progressed to godhood through keeping the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church, and that the Mormon Church was divinely established — the Mormon Church would reject such a person’s claim to being a Latter-day Saint. One cannot fairly call oneself a Mormon if one does not believe the fundamental doctrines taught by the Mormon Church. By the same token, if the Mormon Church does not hold to even the basic biblical truths believed by the greater Christian community down through the ages, how can Christians reasonably be expected to accept Mormonism as authentic Christianity?

    If the Mormon Church believes it is the only true Christian Church, it should not attempt to publicly present itself as a part of a broader Christian community. Instead it should tell the world openly that those who claim to be orthodox Christians are not really Christians at all, and that the Mormon Church is the only true Christian Church. This in fact is what it teaches privately, but not publicly.

  14. The poster above is absolutely correct regarding the differences between Mormonism and Christianity. Excellent synopsis.

  15. Lance is a super guy. He is not AUB.

  16. Sissy Sickening,
    The Rulon Allred family got back together after his arrest. After a few months in prison, Mr. Allred was released on condition that he promise to stop practicing polygamy. He made the promise and then promptly got all his wives and children back together. While he was on parole and being watched, he proceeded to have sex with two of his wives in his examining rooms. When they got pregnant he decided to move the wives to different locations and he visited them periodically. He provided Rose (his second wife) with only carrots to eat, and she lost her will to live. Her oldest son (I think his name was Malcolm) then molested his sisters and got one pregnant.

    That's all I remember from the book for now.

  17. Hickster, WELCOME, and I am impressed. I read this - thanks for spelling out such a confusing issue. A Mormon is not a Christian, as we see it, nor do they feel we are. Simple.

  18. I love reading all of your comments. But I have to take offense with HICKSTER! Kody Brown is not Mormon and Mormons have not practiced pologmy for over 100 years. I am a member of the Mormon church and for your information in the 1980's Pres. Reagan came to Utah to see how the Mormon Church runs it's welfare program. You see, we have our own welfare program that the government was trying to emulate. Look into it sometime, you might learn a thing or too, before passing judgement on a relgion you obviously know nothing about.

  19. Hicker, thank you. I see it clearly now.

  20. Great Article! Positive young man!

  21. I found a must read article: The Allreds on living and leaving polygamy, Written by Jon Adams
    It is about Lance's dad and the AUB church.
    Here's some interesting clips:
    Vance Allred was raised in one of the most famous polygamist families. His father, Rulon C. Allred, was the leader/prophet of a 9,000-member strong polygamous sect, now called the Apostolic United Brethren. Rulon had 7 wives (all of whom he wooed with identical love letters), and at least 48 children. On May 10, 1977, he was assassinated on the orders of Ervil LeBaron, head of a rival sect.
    Growing up in a polygamous family was difficult for Vance. His family was scattered across various states in order to disguise their practice of polygamy. He was also not allowed to invite childhood friends over to the house for fear of outing the family as polygamists.

    At 19, his father arranged for him to marry a 16-year-old girl, Tana. Vance was initially resistant, because he was already in love with a girl he met at the University of Utah. His father reassured him that, “If you marry enough women, you’ll get all the attributes you want.”

    Eventually, though, Vance feel madly in love with Tana. While a polygamist, he married a couple more women, but his love for Tana was never diminished. And when they left polygamy, they left together. (By the time they left, Tana was his only wife; his other two marriages were short-lived.) Vance and Tana have been happily married for 39 years.

    They moved to Montana with many others in the Allred group to establish the Kingdom of God and await the Second Coming of Christ, which they believed was imminent. There, they lived the communal Law of Consecration, whereby all possessions were shared among the church. Vance reports that those years were the happiest of his life, because there was an intoxicating sense of purpose, belonging, and community.

    When he wasn’t busy building the Kingdom of God, he was busy getting a secular education. Vance studied history at the University of Montana. In 1984, he finished his senior thesis, “Mormon Polygamy and the Manifesto of 1890: A study of Hegemony and Social Conflict.” It was the first historical treatment of the 1890 Manifesto and a robust theological defense of polygamy. Mormon fundamentalists still refer to it today.

    Tana Allred then spoke briefly about the struggles of being a woman in polygamy. She recalls wrestling with insecurities that were magnified by having to ‘compete’ for her husband’s love. When she lost weight due to stress and depression, she was chastised by her mother and grandmother for giving the public appearance that living polygamously was anything but ‘celestial.’

    She mentioned, as an interesting aside, that one of Vance’s nieces is on “Sister Wives”, a new reality TV show on TLC that features a polygamist family in Lehi, Utah. And behind the happy facade displayed for the cameras, Tana claims Vance’s niece is privately unhappy.

    In 1993, Vance discovered that a number of the apostles were guilty of incest and child molestation. He concluded that these men could not be men of god and that the church they headed was a fraud. Upon this discovery, he and his family immediately left the Allred group, and the police helped them go into hiding in Salt Lake City.

    The transition from a polygamous cult to ‘normal’ society overwhelmed the family at times. Shortly after the move to Salt Lake, for instance, Vance was admitted to a local hospital on suicide watch. And Tana remembers seeing one of their sons repeatedly say “Stupid boy!” to his reflection in the bathroom mirror, faulting himself for ever having believed in Mormon fundamentalism.

  22. Tana said that each family member needed a “year of healing.” Now, 17 years later, they have all successfully acclimated to their new lives. Vance and Tana are members of the mainstream LDS Church, but most of their kids are inactive or disbelieving. This isn’t a source of familial conflict for the Allreds, however. They respect their kids’ divergent paths.

    “My father clipped my and my siblings’ wings,” Vance said, “I won’t do that to my kids. I’ll let them fly.”

    And fly they have. Their children are leading fulfilling and successful lives, from studying medicine to playing in the NBA.

  23. THIS was the really kicker for ME:

    She mentioned, as an interesting aside, that one of Vance’s nieces is on “Sister Wives”, a new reality TV show on TLC that features a polygamist family in Lehi, Utah. And behind the happy facade displayed for the cameras, Tana claims Vance’s niece is privately unhappy.

    In 1993, Vance discovered that a number of the apostles were guilty of incest and child molestation. He concluded that these men could not be men of god and that the church they headed was a fraud. Upon this discovery, he and his family immediately left the Allred group, and the police helped them go into hiding in Salt Lake City.

  24. So Christine isn't happy? Maybe that's why she's on this cause, to fulfill a part of her that is empty. She says her and Kody never talk.

  25. Yes, Christine is an activist for polygamy - it is a matter of pride for her as she is an Allred. It is a political agenda for her, not a matter of devotion to her family or to Kody. So sad. Makes you wonder how many women in these marriages are actually happy and not in the lifestyle for fear of damnation. My heart goes out to these women.

  26. That explains so much about her outbursts when she found out about Kody kissing Robyn before marriage and the wedding dress "bomb". She must have felt so betrayed. Sad, really.

  27. I find it interesting that Mormon's get offended when told they're not considered Christians by most other Christians, yet they also get offended that members of the FLDS and AUB consider themselves Mormons.

  28. I'm confused. Don't the FLDS, LDS, AUB, Kingston, Lebaron, etc, all follow Joseph Smith? Wouldn't that be a Mormon of some type?

  29. Lance and his entire family are OUT of Polygamy. So is Christine's, except herself. If she wanted out, she'd have plenty of ways. As a matter of fact, her dad was part of a 50 million dollar settlement. Why is she on food stamps?

  30. WOW! I hope fans read through all this. so much information. Christine isn't happy? Mormons can't even decide who's Mormons. wow.

  31. Great Young men can come from all religions....

  32. I know first hand: (1) there are no baby cemeteries in AUB. Childhood mortality rate from all indications appears to be the same as it is everywhere else. (2) there is absolutely no evidence of genetic "inbreeding" disease in the AUB population, whose disease and illness rate mirrors that of other Utahns. (3) AUB member economic solvency, education level, SAT scores, IQ levels, etc., have never been studied in such a way or to the degree that would yield valid or generalizable information -- so any remarks about their education (or lack thereof) or poverty status are premature or misguided. (My personal experience with AUB members is this: I am directly acquainted with several doctors, a lawyer or two, nurses and teachers by the dozens (yes, educated, licensed), musicians, physical therapists, many with bachelor's and master's degrees, and a small handful of really over-your-head scholars)... I also know some people on food stamps or Medicaid, but most are tax-paying employed citizens who pay their mortgages, medical bills, and car payments exactly like the rest of you.

    Also, I get discouraged when definitions of "Mormon" are so scattered. Here's how it looks to me: a "Mormon" is anyone who believes that Joseph Smith, as a bona fide prophet, translated a true historical record called the Book of Mormon. There were tens of "Mormon" groups within 25 years of the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, all differing on some crucial point or other but holding fast to the basic tenant. FLDS are Mormons, LDS are Mormons, AUB are Mormons, and a plethora of others, who have, in practical religion, little in common but their shared belief in Joseph Smith's prophetic mission and calling. [And an LDS liberal thinker who questions the historicity of the B of M, or who thinks Joseph Smith was bi-polar or had temporal lobe seizures is not really a "Mormon"] With this in mind, I submit that a Christian is anyone who believes in a man named Jesus Christ being this world's sole salvation bringer. What's now accepted as "Orthodox" Christianity got that way after lots of philosophical (and sometimes nasty) infighting about some of the same principles that are accepted as dogma today by most "Christians." Most "Mormons" are "Christians," regardless of whether they accept "orthodox" approaches to Christianity or not.