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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What happened to Randy Maudsley?

THANKS to A. who found this!

The world watched in fascination as the State of Texas seized 460 children from their polygamist parents in a raid on a mysterious breakaway group of the Mormon Church. People thought it was a first time look into a multi wife settlement.

But several years ago I managed to get into a small secretive Utah town and convinced some of it’s 2,500 residents to accept me doing a story on their private lifestyle. If everyone knew how to have more than one wife, I’d suggested, polygamy could be legal and men with more than one wife would no longer be persecuted.

The Texas children raid has brought dire consequences to that little town. And now Texas authorities are looking for further branches of the breakaway church. Is Manti one of them?

It began in Salt Lake City when I asked a man at the Hertz office if he knew of a nice town in Utah where men had more than one wife. He smiled knowingly and sent me off in my rental car to Manti, 130 miles to the south.

I wondered what would it be like to have two wives, maybe three or four – maybe even five. A friend in Kenya had four wives but Mohammed Hatami said it was Hell, that in an argument his street would fill with eight angry wives and mothers-in-law. If one wife had a headache, all four would share it and he’d get nothing. But he was a Muslim. What did he know? American Manti might be different.

The town was surrounded by mountains, and as I drove in, I saw no billboards, supermarkets, neon signs or much traffic. It was old time America and very appealing.

But weren’t its people breaking the law every time they went to bed at night?

Manti is deep in polygamy country. A survey showed that 60,000 American families live under polygamy with one father and more than one wife.

As I drove in I looked carefully at its people. ‘Is that man standing on a lawn with two attractive women sleeping with both of them? They’re beautiful. How does he get away with it?' There goes a woman with seven children following. Is she their mother or one of many? Do they all share the same husband?

In the Western world having more than one wife is illegal and considered so immoral, people who did it were once burned at the stake.

The Mormon Church changed polygamy forever when its American founder Joseph Smith took more than one wife. Later, when Smith was lynched by a mob his followers fled into the American wilderness, founded the state of Utah and openly practiced polygamy until modern times. Women in those days died often in child birth. Life was hard. Those early Mormons wanted their faith to spread.

Today’s official and powerful Mormon Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City and with branches throughout the world allows only one wife. But thousands have refused to give up the church’s old way – which ended when Mormons in Utah agreed to give up polygamy in exchange for statehood in 1896.

The people of Manti, because they practice polygamy – what they simply call plural marriage – have been thrown out of the Mormon mother church.

Manti’s Quorum of Twelve, as it is called, is part of the excommunicated members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The dozen men have more than forty wives among them. (See Picture) These ladies are not plain-looking religious fanatics dressed in plain old time dresses, but beautiful women, many with college degrees, who don’t mind sharing their husbands. One of them, (she doesn't want her name revealed) came to do a story 15 years earlier for the Chicago Tribune Newspaper, and stayed and married the leader.

The group wants to spread polygamy so that when everyone has more than one wife there will no longer be any reason to persecute them and people will realize polygamy is the natural order of life.

They expect opposition, especially in Western European societies where many men have secret girlfriends and would like to have several wives, but are afraid.

Bart Malstrom, 39, owner of a small homeopathic medicine factory, run by him and his four wives and fourteen children, was a tall, handsome man. Although he is surrounded with responsibilities he seemed very happy, relaxed and fatherly. Before taking pictures, we sat down in his spotlessly clean home. He said any man can legally have more than one wife as long as they are joined in church weddings and not a state marriage.

He got right to the point. “Men have the urge to have more than one woman and women have the urge to have more than one child. That’s the difference of our God-given roles.”

He told me no woman is forced into plural marriage or pressured to remain and that he is proof. A year ago he had five wives, now he has only four. He admitted there other break-away Mormon groups that marry very young teenage girls. “We have nothing like that here. We would never allow that. They give all Mormons a bad name.”

These Mormons base their many-wife practice on the Bible which revealed that Patriarchs such as Abraham and Jacob had several wives. They bitterly accuse the mother Mormon Church of giving up its principles for the sake of being politically correct.

I had started off by going to the office of the Sanpete County Sheriff Department and spoke there with Deputy Blake Edwards, who said: “This is an area of low crime. The Mormon polygamists are peaceful and law abiding as long as they have church weddings. The moment they try to have state sanctioned marriages I would have to arrest them for breaking the law. These Mormons are perfect citizens. They may be breaking Civil laws with plural marriages. But they are the most honest and decent people I’ve ever met.” Then he gave me the names and addresses of several Mormon members to see.

Having more than one wife – a different lover to sleep with every night – could be a fantasy come true for many men and I listened as the Mormons of Manti told how to set up a plural marriage.

But, they start with a daunting and serious warning: Plural marriage based only on sex is bound to fail.

There are tremendous responsibilities, they explain, including budgeting sex time for each wife.

“People think its all an orgy and there’s five of us in bed. But that’s not true,” says Tamara, 41, who lives with her husband Randy Maudlsey, 46, and his three other young and pretty wives.

“Each of our marriages is separate and private. I know nothing about my husband’s love life with his other wives. They know nothing of mine.”

While many polygamist husbands have days set aside for each wife, Randy says he just invites whichever wife he feels like into his bed.

Says Randy, “If we all got into bed together it could destroy the whole thing. We’ve had families fall into that trap and it destroyed them.”

Various Mormons hammered over and over again that the number one rule for success in having more than one wife is: Do not have a civil marriage!

“That’s when you get caught and imprisoned,” cautions Jeff Hanks, 38, a Manti chiropractor with two wives. “Be married in a church, but nothing more.” No government can stop a church sanctioned marriage.

Says wife, Joanne, 38, “Choose someone with similar beliefs. If you’re a woman simply propose marriage to the man you want. If you’re a married man, talk it over with your wife and help her face her natural jealousy.

“The first wife and husband must both desire a plural marriage otherwise you’ll have nothing but misery. Work it out and all three of you will have a great life.”

She admits she went through bouts of jealousy when her husband decided to marry a 17-year-old girl. “But I’m over it now and Jeff spends two days with each of us at a time and two days off for himself.”

The Quorum believes you must have even higher ethics than in a monogamous marriage because the feelings of so many are involved.

And that most men haven’t proper spiritual and moral strength so the idea of having more than one wife frightens them and they’d rather have one woman run their life.

Better to follow nature, say members. Nature is perfect. In the animal world males lead and females follow.

“In today’s world women are are doing all the housework and expected to be a bread winner also,” says Jeanine, one of the eight wives of Jim Harmston, leader of the Quorum of Twelve, and the mother of ten.

She says families are better off with firm leadership. In families around the world kids are defiant and rebellious towards leadership because family discipline has been lost.

“A man must lead the family,” says Jeanine. He obeys God, the wife obeys the husband, and the children obey the parents.

Adds Jeanine, “You must let your husband solve the worries. That’s what he’s there for.”

Harmston’s wives say they are more moral than many women around the world who are replacing love with sex, swingers and wife swappers. They are shocked that single girls in countries around the world often have different lovers instead of one.

A Harmston wife, Karen, says, “Women are looking for great orgasms but those great feelings have nothing to do with the perfect marriage.”

Wives in Mormon plural marriages believe they are ensured a place in Heaven by their life-style. Meanwhile, they say there are many advantages: They never worry about baby sitters or being lonely. There is never pressure to satisfy their husband because another wife is always available. And they live in contentment with their closest friends – their ‘sister wives’, as they call them.

According to Jim Harmston, leader of the Quorum of 12, “If an attractive and righteous young woman comes into our church, she can pick any man she chooses, married or not.”

At the home of Church Apostate Randy Maudsley, I asked, if it’s so wonderful for men, then why couldn’t a woman have more than one husband, something known as ‘polyandry?”

“Because it’s God’s law,” thundered black-bearded Randy, causing his four young wives to cringe, “I didn’t make the law. God did!”

When I was leaving Manti Jim Harmston, told me, "Ron, you have leadership qualities. You should stay and we’ll give you a crash course in Mormonism. Then in about ten days I’ll marry you to four beautiful young women.

I told him I wouldn’t mind four wives if they were clones of my wife, Linda. But I couldn’t help asking, “How old would these girls be?

“Seventeen,” he replied.

I soon left for my wife and family in the outside world thinking the people of Manti were among the happiest I’d ever met.

But what is Manti like today?

Randy Maudsley and his four young wives have broken up. Chiropractor Jeff Hanks and his two wives have moved away, Bart Malstrom wasn’t as calm as he had appeared. Bart had suffered a nervous breakdown and his four wives and fourteen children left him and live together now somewhere in Utah. Only Jim Harmston and his State married first wife and seven ‘sister’ wives have survived.

Deputy Sheriff Blake Edwards has died. The new men in the Sheriff’s office describe the town derisively as ‘a bunch of ‘break away Mormons’. The town of Manti once again, is cloaked in secrecy and the local police, who once supported them, are now viewed by townspeople as the enemy, ready to take their children away.

(Source: By Ron Laytner/http://editinternational.com/read.php?id=48220e16294c6)


  1. "Randy Maudsley and his four young wives have broken up."
    Boy, you could see that coming in the the film, couldn't you? Only the rally older one that left all her kids seemed ok. What, YOUNG WIVES? I thought they were mostly older.
    Oh well, guess he's rounding up some new ones.
    Marriage is hard enough, marriage with no real intimacy or marriage lic. isn't a marriage anyway.

  2. The State of Utah has responded to the Browns :http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52527809-78/utah-state-law-motion.html.csp

  3. Interesting. No excuse not to move back now.

  4. Wow, I guess that punching bag in the basement didn't help the wives deal with their feelings after all.

  5. He got right to the point. “Men have the urge to have more than one woman and women have the urge to have more than one child. That’s the difference of our God-given roles.”

    Isn't that a hoot! Punching bag, nope your right, didn't work. Didn't you just feel all that with Roundy Randy wasn't going to work. And now, they've messed up more kids with that bull.

  6. Roundy Randy is disgusting and so possessive...I can totally understand why they are all no longer together. He kind of reminds me of the only cock in the henhouse.
    He was just strutting around. So what happens to the "family" when they break up. Does Randy have to pay support or alimony? Probably not since they are not legally married. The government eats it again....and guess who is supporting them?

    It would be interesting to know how many families have split and are being supported by the government via our taxes.

  7. That Manti group of polygamists were more off the wall than most. They deserve a page all to themselves. Every new person who joined was declared to be the reincarnation of some significant Mormon from the past (Eliza R Snow for example). If the convert then later left the group, that didn't deter the leadership from declaring a new convert to be Eliza R Snow reincarnated!

  8. WOW! that's nuts. So, are they still a group?

  9. And more illigetimate babies probably on welfare.

  10. I find it interesting that Harmstron says "stay and in ten days I will marry you to 4 beautiful girls". All 17 of couse. (That's a nice little nugget sugar coated and dipped in chocolate and tossed into a middle aged man's mouth). Funnyo but didn't he say all their wives are older and have free will to marry who they want and leave when they want? I may be wrong as to marriagable age in Utah but is it not 18. I do not believe you are gonna find 4 teenage girls with their hands up saying "ooh, oooh pick me, pick me" in ten days. To me these people are just as bad as someone who marries a 14 year old! If you are of legal age and have true fee will and desire to pursue a polygamous relationship more power to ya! But leave the "children" alone!

  11. I was the one that posted this on the other post, so you're welcome. Mr. Maudsley struck me as an emotional and physical abuser (no evidence to that fact, just a sense) so I had to find more after I saw that documentary awhile back. I was happy to know his wives finally got wise and dumped his ass. I bet his outsized ego has an outsized bruise now.

  12. Good enough for him

  13. I went back and looked at the other video. So Randy Maudsley is the fat bearded guy with the four wives? It was obvious that the fourth wife was his favorite because he held her hand during some of the segments. At the end, she said that she wouldn't want to live any other way and Randy actually seemed to take pleasure in that comment. And one of the other wives said that she is often asked how she can share a husband. She said that if she had a sister she would want that sister to have a good husband (hers) rather than no husband at all. I wanted to tell her that any husband who has multiple wives is NOT a good husband. Well, they are no longer together so I guess he wasn't a good husband after all??

  14. I know, that part about the sister KILLED me. Can my husband be there for her, help her out, SURE! Make love to her NO!

  15. I know the "wife" who made the comment about sisters, and I have met Maudsley and his wives. Except for the last one, none of them were young and there were no children living in the house. His legal wife divorced him, but the "wife" I know moved with him and the new young wife to another state. Eventually, she left him. It was an extraordinarily complicated situation. Maudsley was a toad.

  16. Judy, can you say more about him? I am curious (morbidly) as to whether my surface impression of him as a "rageoholic" has any validity...

  17. I wondered what had happened to them. Does anybody know if any of them are in new polygamus marraiges? I heard many members of TLC left the group, anybody know current membership numbers?

  18. Anonymous 6:15 -- I was in the house for over an hour, to visit with my friend who was one of his wives at that point. Randy is egotistical, domineering, narcisstic, and condescending, though I don't think he's physically abusive. He was sure that his family line would lead back to Jesus, after Jesus escaped to France following the crucifixion and had children with Mary Magdalene. He assumed that I was ignorant about that version of Jesus when in fact I was quite conversant with it and could hold my own when he brought it up, which he didn't like. Since the purpose of my visit was to see my friend, whom I had not seen in many years, I had to use all of my southern charm to cut him off and get him out of the room. Otherwise, he would have "held court" and dominated my visit. When I was there, they were "courting" a young woman, a woman of child bearing years, much younger than his other wives, all of whom had grandchildren though they were only in their 40s and early 50s. I don't know the time line, but "they" married the young woman and then all wives but my friend left him. Maudsley, the young wife, and my friend left the state. My friend finally left "them" and moved back to be near her children and grandchildren. Randy was simply a loathesome, pompous, toady ass. I can't image he's changed much. I don't know what happened to Sam, his legal wife, who divorced him or if he's still with the younger wife. My friend has remarried, to one man.

  19. Does anyone know what happened to the first wife? I think it was her that I had really liked in the video. She seemed nice. Now I understand she divorced Randy and his ego, but has she remarried? Still in polygamy?

  20. I came to this while I was googling to find out just what did happened to Randy Maudsley. That's supposed to be what this article is all about, according to it's title. Instead what I find this work of fiction, so completely inaccurate that I am convinced that it's author never actually visited Manti. A secretive polygamist dominated town? Hardly. Even at their peak, the Harmstonites were a tiny minority, and no other polygamist group has any noticeable presence. Manti and the Sanpete Valley are actually a very beautiful, welcoming place, where every Summer the (real) Mormons put on an elaborate live production that brings in large crowds.