WillySteed*ChristineMarie*KolleneSnow*AudienceMember*EdKociela AuthorPlygsAnswersQuestions *JewelryAtGuilt* DickJaneFlipbook*Spoilers*Tweets*RebeccaMusser*My5WivesGreat Stories*BuyTeamKolleenTshirtTodayDon'tMissOut!!!Review!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Troy Bowles - Growing up Mormon fundamentalist

I've had an amazing experience lately and it opened my eyes to a lot of things.  My colleagues and I have been reading the book Love Times Three and in the process I even met them at a book-signing.

The book was very boring to me, having grown up around polygamy.  The subject may seem very unusual and even exotic, and this may be why it has become popular to view polygamists with a sense of curiosity that blinds people to the actual abuse.  But there is simply no way for a society to allow men to marry as many women as they choose.  Doing this creates an elitism among polygamous men and inevitably casts of excess bachelors who are under no less "divinely" obligated to practice polygamy themselves.  In a polygamous society it's simply impossible for everyone to have the option to get married.  Most men in these societies end up leaving, but if you're female and you're living in such a society, it is against the better interest of the elite men to allow the women to slip away so easily.  The whole situation is chaotic and ends up exploiting people as a result.  The power structure between men and women is heavily slanted to the male in this situation.  The Dargers are nice people and seem to take care of themselves, but it is irresponsible to engage in practices that affect the whole of society in a negative way.  If the god of Mormon fundamentalism truly demands polygamy, then that god cannot possibly be just.  It reduces women to objects to be collected by the elite and casts aside whole parts of its humanity as troublesome if not undesirable.

The only time this book got interesting was when Valerie started discussing what polygamy ends up being for so many people.  Just a week after high school, she became the fifth wife of a man more than twice her age, and was obliged to raise children with this abusive man.  Before she married Joe Darger, she was married to a more typical Mormon fundamentalist who kept his family in penury while he indulged in his weaknesses, like perpetual gambling.  This is more like what I'm accustomed to seeing in polygamy.  What the Dargers portray may appear pleasant to some people, but only to someone who refuses to see how their own behavior affects others: an immoral person.  Society cannot provide for men who want to collect multiple wives.  All of us are in this together and to take more than society can provide is selfish and immoral.  Morality goes much deeper than the Dargers' strained attempt to portray their relationship as sexually-puritanical.  For instance, they give great emphasis to the fact that they waited until the day Joe married both Alina and Vicky.  Is this the point of chastity?  Is this really what God wants?

The Dargers are nice people, but this book is just another attempt to portray polygamy as loving and normal.  Perhaps Joe treats his wives more kindly than most polygamists, but the whole system is backward and misogynistic.  Repeatedly I hear polygamous women referring to polygamy as a challenge in which they must prove themselves.  But it always sounded silly to hear this from the men.  They are the ones in control.  They do practically nothing to raise the children but they typically pride themselves on being able to keep a harem happy.  Fundamentally-speaking, in a polygamous society, if you're male, you're superfluous and if you leave, people will barely notice.  But if you're female, there is no option to leave.  You can't just fade out of that society.  My dear friend Flora Jessop can explain that situation.  She was kept under virtual house arrest because she tried to leave.  But look at how that society values their young men.  Despicable.

Love Times Three is not worth your money.  There's an ulterior motive behind it and Brooke Adams has apparently been hoodwinked as well.  For being a reporter on the polygamy beat, she certainly has taken a one-sided approach.  If you want to learn about the realities of Mormon-based polygamy, you'd be much better off starting with Church of Lies, by Flora Jessop.  Polygamy is abusive in every situation in one way or another.  When men collect women and use them as status symbols, it is an abuse of their dignity and decency.  Don't contribute to people who do this.

Troy's review on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1IP0XJAIBHPS3/ref=cm_pdp_rev_more?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview#R3PQK2HILP6M0

Thanks Troy! We hope to hear your teaching on the Muslim religion soon! (hint)!



75 comments:

  1. I have read Church of Lies by Flora Jessop a few times. To say that this book is amazing does not do it justice! It gives a very real raw view of life inside of polygamy. Everyone should read this book - I would think it would be very difficult to argue the "benefit of polygamy" afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Troy - a man who speaks the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Troy, I love reading your wisdom. I won't waste my time on the Darger's book, or my money!!
    I have a question. Anyone help from anyone appreciated.
    Is Robyn's mom's name Dianne Workman? Now married to a Dee Sullivan? and.. her real dad Robert Marck? Thanks! Trying to do some AUB stuff-

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great Review! It was boring. Plain and simple. I am glad you added WHY we shouldn't take it at face value, either. So many people just don't know. They have been trying to get a show forever and are all over You tube.

    ReplyDelete
  5. misogynistic is a perfect term for polygamy. They portray the women as ruling, yet, they are treated with such disrespect.
    I hate to be too coarse, but simply, if a man truly loved his first wife and was pure enough with the lord - he couldn't perform with a second one. I guess once they get over that, bring them on!
    Also the welfare aspect and racket needs to be addressed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rhea said...apparently you are not aware that many homeschooled children exceed public schooled children academically if it is done properly.
    -----------------------------
    Most of the Brown children were going to Mountain Valley School, when they were in Utah, which is the AUB "Priesthood" School in Bluffdale, This has classes a few days a week supplemented by whatever parents choose to do with their children at home. Some enthusiastic and hard working teachers (no qualifications required) other teachers not so good. The educational standards are not so hot either. I think even Kody commented in one show that the kids weren't going anywhere if they stayed at the "group school." I would like to see Kody Browns' children get a good education, but think they might feel uncomfortable in a high flying college, even if the sycophantic minister/college prof could, by some wild stretch of the imagination get them in on grounds of "diversity." I agree that they would do far better by getting their General Education at a community college, and then transfer for their major to a state university. Good luck to them, a good education might open their eyes (especially the girls) to other possibilities than what is being modeled to them as the "perfect" way to live!

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOVE Troy Bowles and his blog. (that's actually where i first read this book review.) Also, he's done two excellent and recent interviews with Doris Hanson on her TV show, Polygamy - What Love is This? you can watch it online there at her website. Thanks Troy! you really are a wonderful man. And Doris is one classy lady. I had no idea she's almost 80.

    Church of Lies is an excellent begiining read for understanding the early childhood of indoctrination and abuse in polygamy that makes it all seem so normal. You may hate it but it's all you know. And it gives great insight into just how difficult it really is to leave it.

    I really wish people here would take some time to educate themselves a little through Troy and Doris. It gets tiring to see the same old remarks by some of the same people here based on ignorance of it all. You're certainly not going to learn the facts by watching Sister Wives!

    Anyway, thanks again Troy for all the time you've taken here in answering questions and your educational posts here. I've been a good student in reading and absorbing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could u send me a link to Troy Bowles blog? I would like to check it out.

      Delete
  8. Hi Yoming Yokel: I truly appreciate your comments about Troy and myself and the TV Show: Polygamy, What Love is this? However, I do protest at being almost 80, I am not even close to being almost 80, I wonder where that came from? I'm not even almost 70.

    Troy is indeed a great interview and will be on our show again this week, Nov 11th.
    Doris!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Disagree yet again with Troy on many levels, but everyone is entitled to their views.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thankyou for pointing out that, "If the god of Mormon fundamentalism truly demands polygamy, then that god cannot possibly be just. It reduces women to...
    OBJECTS...OBJECTS...objects...objects...objects..."
    ('echo' for emphasis!)

    Of the half dozen books I've read published by polygamous cult escapees, Flora Jessop's "Church of Lies" is the best/my favorite!

    ...POLYGAMY IS ABUSE...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thankyou "ChinnyChinChin" for your words also: "if a man truly loved his first wife and was pure enough with the lord - he couldn't perform with a second one."

    Other titles that tell the truth about polygamy for those who are just learning of it:

    Elissa Wall's "Stolen Innocence"
    Irene Spencer's "Shattered Dreams"
    Brent W. Jeffs's "Lost Boy"
    Carolyn Jessop's "Escape"...

    ...to name a few,

    Robin

    ReplyDelete
  12. To Annon 6:55:
    I agree with you. I came to this blog thinking that it would have pros and cons of the polygamous lifestyle. But instead it seems to be trying to put it down at every turn. Yes, I believe many polygamous families are abusive (e.i. The FLDS). But some 'normal' American families are also abusive. I don't think this lifestyle is a put down to women at all. Wouldn't you like to have your best friends around you constantly? Someone to care for your children just as you do? Yes, you share a husband. But just because your husband doesn't spend all his time/attention with or on you doesn't make it abusive. My father travels constantly for his business and is away from my mother all the time. She could choose to leave but she is very independent and happens to like having her 'me time'. That doesn't make it abusive. The Browns and The Dargers aren't braking any bigamy laws: Kody and Joe are only married to their first wife. The only 'law' they are breaking would be the 'co-habitation' law, which is stupid and outdated anyway. My boyfriend and I live together. So what, it's 2011. As long as their isn't actual abuse and/or child brides I think these families should be able to live how they want. You know, religious freedom and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lol. I'd like to blame my misspellings on my iPhone's auto correct but the truth is I'm just very tired. I meant to say i.e. instead of e.i. And breaking instead of braking. I know you probably don't care but my OCD does. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. to Jess marie - first of all, i don't see these women being portrayed as each other's best friends. there's a lot of jealousy going on and a couple just plain don't like each other at all. they just tolerate each other cause they're "commanded" to.

    The jealousy is because it's not normal human behavior to be ok sleeping with your "best friend's" husband. jealousy is NORMAL in that respect. They treat it as a character flaw they need to overcome. but they still haven't after all their years of practicing it.

    does you best friend that you would love to hang out with 24/7 sleep with your live-in boyfriend every other night away from you? was your mom ok with your dad's travels because he was away on business or because he was away at another woman's house?

    and you don't have to be FLDS to be in the abusive aspects of polygamy.

    you do a disservice to abused plyg victims by making it sound like it's the same "choice" your mom has in leaving if she wanted to. Has your mom been told that if she chooses to leave, she's condemning herself to hell as well as probably can't take her kids with her?

    go educate yourself about all forms of polygamy first before you get up on your soapbox to us here.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Under the Banner of Heaven by Krakauer is a must-read for the background on polygamy, the FLDS, and the LDS church now. It is a riveting read and exposes polygamy as the sickness that it is! Sam Brower's book, Prophet's Prey, is another brilliant read. I agree with the other references to Doris Hanson, Flora Jessop, and Carolyn Jessop. Please don't be deceived that polygamy is fine and dandy and that everyone should be able to live how they want! The shape of this country now is the direct result of people living and doing what they want and not what a holy God deserves from us. Polygamy was practiced and preached by Mormonism's founders and remains a critical piece of salvation by works for fundamentalists. The Browns and the Dargers are just out there making a buck off an illegal lifestyle that is harmful to all involved, with impacts to our government and economic well-being among countless others. While it may not be the politically correct thing to discuss, the Browns and the Dargers belong to a fundamentalist Mormon group. There is no freedom in abuse, and polygamy is abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  16. it is ok to discuss it publicly when they've all made a choice to go public with their religion while breaking the law. They are trying to get the law changed! Fine! therefore, i'm sure they've realized there will be judgments made both pro and con.

    This ain't their first rodeo ya know. They've heard it all before - pro and con. I'm sure they're very familiar w/Tom Green and where he went wrong in going public. They know what they're up against and they decided to go public and fight the fight. They decided this way back when they approached TLC to market them.

    Dargars are the same. They wrote a book hoping to sell their lifestyle to the public. They are on talk shows promoting it. If you're going to step in the arena, you're very well aware you'd better be able to take the hits along with the high fives.

    The public arena is not for wusses. It's where the big boys play. No, Robyn, you don't get to just cry the whole time. Ya gotta put your big girl panties on and deal with it sooner or later - or just be quiet. That's better than constant tears. You need to command (not demand or manipulate) respect and credibility when you want people to listen up. Especially when you've got one strike against you that you're already being given a break for breaking the law to begin with. You'd better be squeaky clean on everything else. You'd better be showing all the healthy and positive benefits of polygamy.

    So far, it's a fail in those arenas for the Browns to instigate a law change.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anon 8:10

    First, yes, the wives have said that they have become each others best friends. And yes, they have jealousy issues that they have overcome. Just like I as a woman in the 'normal' world overcome jealousies in my life and work.  Yes, they share their 'man'. That is their choice. As log as they have a choice in the matter it's not our concern.

    When you say "  Has your mom been told that if she chooses to leave, she's condemning herself to hell as well as probably can't take her kids with her? " that is extremely ignorant. That is something that the FLDS an other extreme groups tell their women and yes it is wrong. But the both the AUB and Independent Fundamentalist Mormons have repeatedly said that the women in their communities always have the option to leave and take their children with them. Hasn't Kody Brown repeatedly stated that if a wife wanted to leave he would support their decision, would rent or buy a home for them that was close so the kids could be close to their siblings? Did Robyn not leave her previous marriage?Did she not get to take her children? Her marriage was monogamous but they still lived in a community that believed in polygamy. 

    The entire point that I am trying to make is that these women (Browns and Dargers) obviously want to live this lifestyle. What right do we have to say that our religious beliefs (mine happens to be Baptist) should stop them from being able to live life how they want to. Again, as long as they are not marrying child brides and abusing their wives and children we have no right to say they can't have this lifestyle.

    And, just as a little bit of information, I am currently completing my masters degree in English with a minor in Religious Interests. My dissertation was done solely on modern polygamy. So thank you for your concern, but I have done my research.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4. Independent Fundamentalist Mormon - An "Independent" is someone who is not affiliated with a polygamous group or church, has no leader or "prophet",

      Kody is AUB and correctly calls himself an independent fundamentallist Mormon. (see)
      http://pluralwife.blogspot.com/2011/01/canadian-polygamy-court-case.html

      Delete
  18. Obviously I sympathize with women who are forced or brainwashed into this lifestyle. And the groups who do that are also the ones committing incest/molestation/abuse/ and underage marriage. Just in case anyone thinks I support that believe me I don't. Those women should be helped to the best of our ability. Since those crimes are illegal, it's common sense that the government should step in. But the AUB and Independent Fundamentalist Mormons are in an entirely different category. Yes, we don't see any abuse happening on the Brown's show, but if they were being abused we would definitely know (reactions to kody/bruising/hospital records). This is these women's choice in a lifestyle... Just like gay and lesbian couples choose to live their own lifestyle.

    And a little bit of cool information that I have recently found. I live in Oklahoma and am a tiny bit Cherokee Indian (besides the blonde hair and green eyes ;-) Recently our Chief elections were in the news. Our old Chief Chad Smith was in a polygamous relationship. He has one wife as well as a girlfriend/mistress that he has children with. I find this very entertaining because I live in the 'Bible Belt' and everyone seems to overlook this fact.

    ReplyDelete
  19. JessMarie, there are forms of abuse other than physical. The emotional stress of dealing with polygamy is intense. Just read between the lines when you are watching sister wives. There is a lot of hidden (and not so hidden) pain. Because they are anxious to be supportive in public of something that is a religious requirement, they are going to put on a happy face most of the time. I did the same thing once, but I was dying inside. Don't be misled into thinking that this is a truly free choice. You are right however that women from AUB can leave and take their children with them, although there is no guarantee about custody arrangements after legal proceedings, and it is very hard to leave with many children, little or no money, and sometimes little education. Another point - about a woman having her "best friends" around her - frequently the women are not friends, and there is a lot of friction and bad feeling that gets transmitted to the children too. Anyway, I would prefer my best friends not to sleep with my husband. Gay and Lesbian couple are just that - couples, and their relationships are not fraught with the worry that another partner might be introduced into the mix at any time - which is even worse for any children involved. The gay argument is just a red herring in this debate and has no relationship to polygamy as it is practiced.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear Troy,
    How do you feel about AUB Divorce?
    Could one of the sister wives divorce, or leave as easily as Kody says, and still be in the AUB?

    Also, do they wear the required undies? Sorry is you answered that before and I missed it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What I would like to hear the Browns admit is that the women believe that being in a plural marriage is their only hope to salvation. Mary once said on the show that if it wasn't part of her faith, she probably wouldn't have chosen plural marriage. While they say their children can choose their own religion and path in life, why would they say that if they truly believe it in necessary for salvation? Either they believe their faith is the truth or they don't.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thankyou "ChinnyChinChin" for your words also: "if a man truly loved his first wife and was pure enough with the lord - he couldn't perform with a second one."

    Other titles that tell the truth about polygamy for those who are just learning of it:

    Elissa Wall's "Stolen Innocence"
    Irene Spencer's "Shattered Dreams"
    Brent W. Jeffs's "Lost Boy"
    Carolyn Jessop's "Escape"...

    ...to name a few,

    Robin


    Robin, were you making fun of Chinny Chin chin, cause I thought she had a good point.....

    ReplyDelete
  23. Troy- what is the difference between a Christian and a Muslim?

    ReplyDelete
  24. Troy, I have learned so much from you and thank you for taking the time to talk to us here.

    PLEASE start watching the show and come here and tell us what's bunk and what's not.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dear Troy,
    Since the show this week was on Colleges, i was wondering your take on that. Is the AUB more progressive in wanting their children to go to college?
    If so, why do they homeschool?

    ReplyDelete
  26. These women can SAY all the right things they need to say in their public self-interest fight to make their situation legal. HOWEVER, their actions speak louder than words as well as the fact that most of the teens have stated no interest in pursuing polygamy based on the fact they've seen the complicated factor of it all as well as the jealousy factor.

    "The proof is in the pudding" to put Robyn's words back at her. ;')


    AND, what about Meri when she felt the need to back up and clarify her "special sister wife relationships" with " well, there CAN be special relationships with your sister wives." very telling...

    ReplyDelete
  27. crazyeyes,
    I would say are definitely NOT completely open to letting their kids go to college. This was a huge issue for me. I had to look for a field of study that didn't conflict with AUB beliefs. That wasn't easy and it was on of the things that drove me away in the end. Studying philosophy would have been out of the question, since we never ignore any questions.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Drita69 said...
    Troy- what is the difference between a Christian and a Muslim?
    __________________________
    There are some general differences. Christians worship God as a trinity of three beings, one of them being Jesus Christ. Muslims believe in Allah, who has no human resemblance. Muslims also do not consider themselves the children of Allah, which they consider sacrilegious.

    Christians formed earlier than Muslims, by a difference of some 600 years. This could get into a very long discussion, but these are some basic differences. Muslims accept Christ as a prophet, but their most important prophet was Mohammed.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The reason my parents have home-schooled in the past, quite honestly, was because the AUB schools were so terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  30. so Troy...or anyone.. how about a non religious based poly relationship of consenting adults with no children involved.. where does that fall into this?

    ReplyDelete
  31. It doesn't fall into this if you ask me. They don't purport to be married and it's just a loose sexual arrangement. There's no reason why the law should be blind to the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God and he died for us to pay our debt as sinners so that all who accept him can have eternal life. Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the son of God. Rather than follow Jesus, a peaceful loving man, the choose to follow "the prophet" Muhammed, a man with multiple wives (one age nine) who preached death to all those who did not believe he was the prophet. Personally, I'd rather model my life after a man who modeled righteous moral peaceful loving behavior rather than one who rewrites laws to suit his egotistical & pedophiliac desires.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm more partial to certain Eastern religions. The Abrahamic religions have not sworn off violence and there's little moral point in determining which is less violent than the other. The battle between Christianity and Islam is the most dangerous thing going on today.

    Personally, I'll take Jainism or Buddhism instead, where the most important tenets of all are in not injuring or harming anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  34. About divorce in the AUB, it's a huge problem. I've heard statistics that say 50% of plural marriages fail in the first year. They don't use the term "divorce" to describe this. They call it a "release."

    ReplyDelete
  35. troy ill ask again with clarification. I did not mean nor state polyamorous. .. how about a non religious based poly relationship of consenting adults with no children involved?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Troy, I could be totally off here, but to the public, it feels like the Dargers may have a bit better grip on their life than do the Browns. What is your thought?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would oppose non-religious polygamy too. It isn't religion that is causing the problem. Also, I can't help wondering how many children are being abused simply because we don't prosecute offenders. Should we legalize polygamy for the sake of non-religious polygamists? I don't see why. It's not a person's sexual orientation, and if there aren't enough women for cultural polygamy, that's simply the end of it. They aren't going to pop up out of nowhere.

    In human rights there is a principle called universalization. It's just a thought experiment wherein we ask ourselves if everyone engaged in the act in question. If everyone practiced monogamy, an orderly hypothetical situation is easy to imagine. Now, imagine if everyone practiced polygyny. It's impossible for everyone to do it so therefore it can't be given status as a "human right."

    ReplyDelete
  38. I can only go by appearances, but I agree that the Dargers seem to have things going a little better than the Browns do. But I can't take this too seriously because both are trying to create a favorable impression out of a situation that is inherently unfair.

    ReplyDelete
  39. non traditional husbandNovember 16, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Troy,
    As stated we have no children and I am not saying that we want to a) be on tv b) would pursue legal means to make changes and c) see the subject of gay marriage a little differently that polygamy as do you( i agree) .
    That being said if it is a fair and balanced situation for us and society ( we own houses, pay huge taxes, do not use any form of public aid etc)
    should it matter?
    I am not saying legalize it for everyone.. what I am saying is that should i not be able to cover both my spouses in case of soemthing happening to me? or one of them?
    I do not believe universalization covers this either ut in some cases, the bahah'i fo rexample to not preach polygamy but do allow it in certain socioeconmic situations such as in wartime when there are many more women than men but the men must provide fully for all women/children. The same goes fo rthe Jewish religion even further stating that the man must provide seperate homes fo rthe women and if the first wife objects that it is grounds for divorce. I realiz what you grew up with can and probably often does border or cross over into abuse and in no way do i condone that.

    ReplyDelete
  40. What kind of moral behavior is only OK if a limited number of people engage in it? That's not morality; it's more akin to a sense of entitlement.

    Please don't make any guesses about my experiences and how those experiences influence my views as a professional philosopher. All you need to do is ask me.

    Every now and then someone mentions the "need" for polygamy during wartime. I call it a rationalization. It's completely hypothetical anyway. There is no shortage of available men in the US, so there's no point in mentioning it as a justification for polygamy. I'd like to see just one historical occasion where polygamy actually solved a problem other than too much libido.

    I'm not sure if you understand what I mean by universalization. It is impossible for polygamy to pass this test. There is no possible way for every man in the world to be a polygamist. Human rights are an all or nothing affair. Either we all have exactly the same rights or none of us have any rights at all. And these human rights I'm discussing include the right to religious liberty. Polygamy fails this test and thus it cannot be considered a human right. It's a privilege that certain people extend to themselves; it is not a right under any definition.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous wrote: "Disagree yet again with Troy on many levels, but everyone is entitled to their views."
    ________________________
    I hardly need to be reminded that I'm entitled to my views. That's something that isn't even in question. And if you won't even say what you disagree with, it must not matter to anyone but you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. non traditional husband wrote: "I am not saying legalize it for everyone..."
    __________________--
    That would be called a privilege; not a right. And it isn't even a privilege that the law will allow. If you are committing bigamy you are breaking the law, and the law is there to protect human rights.

    ReplyDelete
  43. A lot of people see this issue as an opportunity to champion the religious rights of others, and thus many people consider it "enlightened" to show tolerance to polygamy. But this is a philosophy of a different age. We are well aware that not every behavior can be considered a legitimate religious right. That argument is hopeless. We do indeed have limits on what people can do in the name of religion. Nobody has the right to break the law unless the law itself is unjust; and it has long been established that the laws against bigamy are just.

    It is not an enlightened position to grant unbridled religious liberties to anyone who claims them. I think pseudo-enlightenment is a better term. I can't just break the law and claim that my religion says it's OK. That's true of everyone in this country. Polygamists are not special.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Troy, I did not go into my reason for disagreeing with you as the moderators of this blog do not like it when I over take their blog as I am long winded. (This is not a jab at them just the way they feel and it is their blog so I respect their wishes.

    Therefore I posted my thoughts here http://nontraditionalpolygamist.blogspot.com/2011/11/dicussion-for-troy-bowles.html

    As I am always open to discussions about differing beliefs, and welcome the same with you. I am the type I may not agree but I can at least gain a better understanding of where your views come from. It can be here. or on my link or via email whichever you prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh lord, don't let her try to take over here again.

    Troy Bowles. What else do you feel we should know when watching sister wives?

    How many siblings did you end up having?

    What's sad to me is, yes, right now they are close, but if they start up their own big family, the uncles/aunts probably aren't NEAR as close, since they have all the "moms".

    I am surprised that the AUB hasn't thrown them out. And if they are asking for it to be ok to live this way, they really aren't asking for marriages are they Troy? So that way, the welfare stays.

    ReplyDelete
  46. In all, I had 27 siblings, 11 of whom were step-children who had come from other broken polygamous homes.

    I think the only reason the AUB hasn't thrown them out is because they're terrified of publicity. They've got some very ugly skeletons that I could discuss, like three apostles who got busted for molesting children. In the LDS Church, it would be like Boyd K. Packer getting busted for such a thing. Owen Allred had three apostles who were doing it in the name of religion. That's how they convinced their victims to go along. Despicable.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Non-traditional polygamist wife, I'm more than willing to discuss all of this, but you can't take it upon yourself to explain why I think the way I do. I'm reading your response and seeing a lot of this.

    You can only ask me to explain my thoughts, not attempt to explain them to me. So let's not try that here. In debate, that's like suicide, and I take debate very seriously. Don't attempt to say that I think the way I do because of resentment over my childhood. I sense you going there, as I've seen people do this hundreds of times before. The truth is that I can't imagine anyone comprehending what goes on in my head without the benefit of my experiences or philosophical training. I will tell my story to you; not the other way around.

    I'll get back after I've read more.

    ReplyDelete
  48. So, what else should people know about the Browns' group? Well, there are sex scandals involving children for one thing. Another notable event is that their prophet, Owen Allred, was found guilty of theft of 1.5 million dollars from a prospective convert. After his death, the AUB were fined 6.5 million dollars. The members had to come up with it. Whatever happened to the original 1.5 million is anyone's guess.

    That's something people should know about the group the Browns are affiliated with. These are genuine concerns with these groups. There is a general disregard for law that permeates their whole group, and we can see that in Kody's attitude. Lawless communities are a serious danger to the rights of anyone but their own elite. And it's always the children who pay the highest price for this excuse for adultery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know people mostly talk about the show sister wives on here, for obvious reasons but I was curious if you ever watched the show Big Love and what do you think about that show and it's portrayal of polygamy?

      Delete
  49. "I am unsure how the Dargers are having a negative impact on society, as well as how we are."
    ______________________
    If I walk into Walmart and steal a candy bar, it probably won't even be noticed, but theft is still a crime that harms people, even if the harm is barely noticeable in some cases. If polygamy is against the law and people don't have religious reasons for doing it, how should we react to people who insist on doing it? To say that it's OK for some people is just ignorance of law. We can't make laws permitting behaviors that only a limited number of people can engage in. Laws have to be for everyone. We can't have people simply deciding that the law doesn't apply to them. Any sociopath can use that excuse.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Questions for Troy:

    I don't quite understand it all - Mormon, fundy Mormon, but, I would have to say that the Fundamentalist Mormons are AT LEAST practicing what they were taught, where as the LDS are not.Isn't it odd that the LDS church say that the AUB, etc., are not Mormon?

    Why would the AUB allow Kody to marry, after turning him down once, the same month his "wife" #3 files bankruptcy and both her and Robyn are on food stamps EVEN while they are filming. If they go on income, that doesn't make sense.

    I appreciate your thoughts on the Islam religion. You have a way of explaining it to us non-religion educated (or I should say other than Christian) folks where we "get it" and don't go over our heads. Thank you for all your work on here. We do appreciate it.

    I know this will probably get deleted, well I will put it in another post so my questions wonT!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am sorry if the moderators are offended by this; delete but please don't delete me!

    The "Crew" of this blog asked Troy Bowles to come and speak to us to educate us about the Mormon religion. He has been a big hit, and many of us are happy. I resent folks who come on here (with different names at times)
    and try to object or bully him. I wish they would stop - I for one, don't want to lose the opportunity to see great questions asked and answered by Troy, who seems very fair and honest. Have you not seen this man on TV?
    I guess I am saying, take your propaganda elsewhere, and quit trying to bully the man. Get it?

    ReplyDelete
  52. "Isn't it odd that the LDS church say that the AUB, etc., are not Mormon?"
    _________________
    Odd indeed! I don't let them get away with this. The leaders of the LDS Church do not own the term "Mormon." They have the authority to say who is and who is not welcome in their church, but they can't rule on who gets to use that term. Mormon fundamentalists, one and all, believe that they are the real Mormons and that the LDS Church is in apostasy.

    I use the term to describe someone who practices what Joseph Smith started in religion. The polygamists are Mormons too. They just don't happen to be members of the LDS Church.

    Try to imagine the Catholic Church declaring that protestants are not Christian. That's a little like what the LDS leaders are trying to do.

    ReplyDelete
  53. NTPW wrote: "Granted many in mainstream society are against polygamy, but there are also those of my faith against marrying outside of our faith (and there are more Jewish women than men in most areas of the world)."
    ________________________
    These are not good comparisons. Many in mainstream society are against polygamy, but that is not all. It is illegal because it is a threat to human rights. You ask how your family can possibly be a threat when you have no children or underage brides, but you're asking to be the exception. Where is that justified? Since when do you get to decide which laws to obey and which to ignore?

    There are powerful arguments against legalizing polygamy. Too powerful, in fact, to be overcome by the opposing position. It's more than reasonable to limit everyone to just one spouse. This way, it's fair for everyone. Gay marriage is no problem because it's just another kind of monogamy, but polygamy is so notoriously abusive that we have people like you who write arguments explaining that you are different from the others, that you are not abusive. But do you see the problem? You're asking for something that society can't provide for people in general. So why do you get to be the rare family that is entitled to break this law?

    Polygamists are never going to get anywhere with the law if they simply keep demanding to be the exceptions. It's a very common appeal in polygamist societies, that the practice remain illegal, but that they should be left alone. If that isn't a double-standard, I don't know what is, but I hear it constantly.

    When it comes to human rights and law, exceptionalism is precisely the thing we're trying to avoid. We have to strive for equality in these matters. An attitude of exceptionalism is simply incompatible with human rights. It's like asking to be exempt from shoplifting laws so that you can steal a candy bar from Walmart. They'd never even notice the loss, but it is still illegal and it's still theft. If everyone did it there would be a huge problem, and we can't make exceptions for people who just want free candy bars.

    You'll likely never run into any trouble from me, since you aren't a direct threat to anyone. But your behavior is an indirect threat to the well-being of society. Therefore we must forbid that behavior by law. Your example alone could be a cause of harm, albeit indirectly. But indirect harms are just as harmful.

    If it's illegal and you don't believe that God is commanding you to do it, why should anyone be sympathetic? Polygamy is not necessary for anyone. It's not a sexual orientation, although I've seen plenty of people try to make that argument. We don't have men who are "naturally polygamous." That very idea is so loaded with logical fallacies I'd steer clear of it.

    ReplyDelete
  54. There are more females than males in the world. This isn't just true in Judaism. It's true of any healthy human society that has senior citizens. In that sector, women consistently outnumber men, since they tend to live longer. But let's be very careful with this statistic. If a population has more females than males by a small percentage, it is only noticeable in society's oldest members. This is never justification for polygamy. It's as if polygamists have rationalized that a shortage of men is imminent, therefore it is actual. But it's neither.

    I think the discussion about excess women is long due for the trash can. I've yet to see a real historical situation where polygamy became necessary, to say nothing of it actually solving any conceivable problems in a society. Mormon polygamists have claimed that in early Mormon society, it was necessary because so many men were being killed off. This is simply false. In the 1800's the western US frontier had a shortage of women. Utah was no exception, yet polygamists will lie and deny this. It's their word against the records of the US Census. So let's not discuss polygamy as a way of solving any kind of population problems. That seems like pure fantasy to me, based on all of my studies and research. It hasn't been necessary in the past and we don't expect that situation to change without a huge kind of catastrophe. People just need to realize that polygamy is off limits and then learn to live within the limits of the law, which is there to protect the human rights of people who can't do it for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  55. If polygamous men want to see themselves as noble in taking care of potentially-single women, they need to focus on only marrying older women and widows. We don't have excess women of child-bearing age, although these are the only women that seem to interest Mormon fundamentalist polygamists.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Here's a point I'd like to mention: Some people ask me how many moms I have. I have only had one mother in my life. My dad just happened to be married to four women. Only one of them was my mom. The other women were intruders. I was close to them, but they were not parental figures to me. They wouldn't have tried to assume that role either. It would have caused a war.

    ReplyDelete
  57. JessMarie414 wrote: "I came to this blog thinking that it would have pros and cons of the polygamous lifestyle. But instead it seems to be trying to put it down at every turn."
    ________________________
    I'll just come right out and say it. I'm unaware of any moral benefits that come from polygamy. I've searched high and low. I haven't always been a proponent of the laws against polygamy, but it took some time to learn everything I needed to learn about this matter. At one time, even I thought the libertarian position was a good idea: to just legalize it expecting them to come out in the open with the abuses. But over the years I found that position to be naive.

    I honestly have nothing positive to say about polygamy, but I have volumes to say about the problems. Sometimes things just aren't a matter of pro and con.

    Shall we discuss the pros and cons of forgery? Shoplifting?

    ReplyDelete
  58. non traditional husbandNovember 17, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    troy,
    again some good points, and I'd like to ask another question as I do appreciate your input even if we are on opposite sides of the fence so to speak.
    The issue of legalizing polygamy is not on my agenda at all. I simply would like to be able to afford L the same benefits as C has which include me being able to add her to my health insurance ( yes, i have offered to pay for it) and similar items.
    All of us are in our mid 40's and there will be no children involved other than the one L and I took guardianship of. She stays at Ls house and follows L's rules etc. We gave this some thought and her staying at one house with one set of rules made so much more sense.
    we have explained our choice and stressed the fact that it is by no means right for everyone and that she needs to make her own choice on what to do and we will support her 100%. What we really want her to do is to get through high school, go to college and get a job in the field she wants to be in (law enforcement.. go figure?)
    So my simple question is who are we, and we only hurting?
    we pay more than our share of taxes, do not use any form of welfare at all and have taken guardianship of a 16 yr old from her her meth addicted mother who had her in 3 different high schools in less than a year and is currently living in a 2br apt with 6 other adults in section 8 housing, not working and getting high.
    you may not agree, or even damm out life choice but in reality what bad are we, and we only doing?

    for the record I do not agree with you comparing polygamy to forgery or shoplifting but will respect it as your opinion

    NTH

    ReplyDelete
  59. NTH, believe it or not, I think we can work something out for people in a situation similar to yours. We certainly don't want anyone to be left deprived and I've met polyamorists who are outstanding and intelligent people.

    I don't know the solution, but I think we can come up with a way for ensuring that everyone gets proper and equal benefits. It's such a complex problem and the abuses simply can't be ignored. When polygamy comes with a divine mandate, all kinds of abuses spring out of the situation. And secular polygamists really aren't trying to get the law changed, as you've explained.

    I appreciate your willingness to discuss this highly emotional issue with a reasoned approach. I've met people who live like you and quite frankly, I don't have any complaints. I can appreciate that their situation will be assuredly rare. Outside of religious coercion, I think most people will choose monogamy. It's when it becomes institutionalized by people like Warren Jeffs that it gets out of control and really starts to create the predictable result. It's an impossible situation that takes its toll on human beings.

    It's difficult to work all of this out in law, but it's something that really ought to be settled one way or another. We can come up with something that's fair, especially if we take a careful, reasoned approach.

    The question that keeps coming up is a bit difficult to articulate. How do we forbid one type of polygamy but not another and not trample on everyone's rights? Targeting religiously-mandated polygamy is a very difficult path, but that is truly the enabling factor here. Without that factor, polygamy would truly be rare and we probably wouldn't have a problem. But in the end, when we weigh the balance of added liberties against the risk of human rights abuses that occur right now, it's a difficult sell.

    Privately, I hope the three of you can live to a ripe old age together. I'm also in my mid 40's and I can relate to our generation, but I think you can see the dilemma we're facing in the public sphere.

    ReplyDelete
  60. NTH, I think it's admirable that you are helping this young girl get her life together. You're doing her an invaluable service.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Troy, I have not had a chance to full read and respond. However, I do want to apologize as I did reread my post and do see where it defiantly appears as if I were explaining the goings on of your mind and beliefs.

    A lot of the information I read about you, and I do admit I googled it, stated repeatedly you were raised in a polygamist family and choose to leave. It seemed in many places to be the opening of any information pertaining to you. Thus, I did form the opinion that what you witnessed and experienced shaped your views. I doubt very seriously, it is the sole reason for your beliefs but our life’s experiences do tend to shape who we become but that is not the sole reason and again I apologize for not wording it correctly.

    I would never ever blame one’s childhood or resentment thereof for being the sole factor in driving a person forward. My childhood was a nightmare at best. It did help shape who I am but does not define all that I am. And by wording my response as I did it appears I was doing that to do you so I am sorry.

    I will read more and catch up as I will say again, I am a person who strives to understand even if on opposite sides. And I will be more careful in my responses and not respond while on flu meds and without proofreading.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I am sorry, but NTPW, please stop grabbing the spotlight. We want to hear from Troy. You don't give him a chance to talk about his personal experiences. We've heard yours.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Troy, one of the big excuses the Sister Wives say ALL the time is "It's not about the sex"

    What IS it about then? Wasn't it an excuse for Joseph Smith?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Wonders when someone saying I'm sorry became someone stealing the spotlight.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Troy
    Thank you
    M (NTH)

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you everyone for the kind words. If I missed any questions, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks, M. I appreciate your taking the time to understand.

    ReplyDelete
  68. troy,
    on a completely seperate noe I am aware you have left the AUB (if i have read right) but do you still follow any of the doctrine at all and is it similar in other aspects to LDS doctrine, like withthe no caffiene etc? we have some friends who are LDS who follow at least parts of the doctrine (the parts I know of) who are very open to explaining the LDS lifestyle versus ours (Jewish not polyg)
    M (NTH)

    ReplyDelete
  69. I grew up in Pinesdale Montana. At the time when Rulon Allred was in charge. I was there when he got shot (saw his coffin being made)and when Owen Allred took over. My Father had 2 wives and 11 children. We left as entire family when I was eight years old. The reasons we left were that my mother was very sick. Also the leaders of the ranch there in Pinesdale (Morris Jessup) have a say if you get housing needs fit for your family and if they dont like you, your screwed and homeless. No one person owns the land there in Pinesdale. AUB owns it. For myself as a child it really wasnt that bad. I was happy and healthy. I was aware that my mother and her sister wife hated each other. I was also aware when Morris Jessup got in charge. At 8 years old that man made me want to throw up. There is something really wrong with him.
    I think the biggest effect that polygamy had on me was....
    The way the main steam mormans (LDS) treated me and my family in Kaysville Ut. after we left. We were treated like shit. The whole town knew we were ex pligs and OMG they didnt ever let us forget, that they thought we were 2nd class citezens.

    Right now AUB is quite fasinating to me, cuz of the things I know. These people are really interesting believe it or not.

    Main stream LDS is disgusting to me. They dont know how to behave themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  70. There is a move to "normalize" polygamy much like the homosexuals have 'normalized"homosexuality.. positive portrayals ..happy normal people that are productive ..so why not??

    This folks is where it is all pointed

    ReplyDelete
  71. Troy Bowles excellent blog:

    cosmophilosophy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete