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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ed Kociela - Author of "Plygs" on "Polygamy USA" Dixie State Discussion on Polygamy - and Video

**Ed is answering all questions posted tonight!!!

Today is a great day to tie in a post about "Polygamy USA" s01e06 "The New Polygamists"

Ed Kociela - Author of "Plygs" was on the show Polygamy USA after going to the discussion at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. "Polygamist Culture and Alternative Religious Traditions" were discussed at the forum. Here's a link  Dixie Today

Remember in Polygamy USA when Marleen Barlow aka Thomson, was driving to the discussion telling us how she wanted to tell her story, and how they feared "her whole family ripped apart?" The Browns had a similar storyline...well, one good reason to watch "What Love is This" below... Ed Kociela and Doris Hanson discuss if there is a reason for fear, and why the TV stars always tell us about it....

In short, the Centennial Park ladies go to "tell the truth" about their lives in polygamy. Sorta like the Browns tonight. 

Marleen asks the crowd if they associate polygamy with Warren Jeffs or some type of abuse...I don't have a pic but UP goes Ed's hand.  Ed was the long haired cool looking guy in the audience that the camera kept going back to in the episode...and next to him is his lovely wife Cara, whom also is a poster here at SWB. The camera liked the couple and kept going back to them during the show.
Author Ed Kociela Questions and wife Cara observes

 Audience questions leads to Ed's "We have heard there are misconceptions but we're not told which ones they are." "We are told there is a difference between the CPark group and the FLDS." 
"What are you, where are you, and where do you stand?" Ed questions the ladies.
CPAC members Polly, Marlyne Hammon, Priscilla, and Maureen Thomson (Barlow)answer

Priscilla responds: "CPark people have never been a part of the FLDS.  The organized after we were out in CP already.""To say that we are an offshoot of the FLDS just isn't true and one of those misconceptions." 

Marlyne responds, "There's laws to take care of that today...it happens in monogomy...it's not polygamy that creates these type of people, it's people that created this type of people." 

I contacted Ed and asked him to write a little piece about the filming. We got lucky and he did. We're lucky enough to get 2 behind the scenes views of televised debates with polygamists. BIG thanks to Ed for writing this piece and overall helping me this week, and to his wife Cara, who also has been a great support and helps me when I have blonde moments and keeps me going--- THANKS GUYS!!!

FROM ED: I spent a lot of years in the media as a reporter, columnist, editor in the print field and commentator in broadcast. My blood would boil as I would hear people spit out epithets about “The Media” and its failures.
I left my last job in the newspaper business as a local news editor/columnist for one of the newspapers in the Gannett chain two years ago to write the book ‘plygs’ (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008NRZT1M), a journalistic novel about life within a polygamous community located on the Utah-Arizona state line. My wife, Cara, and I moved to the tip of Baja California, Mexico to remove ourselves from the day-to-day lifestyle and         pressures of life in the southern Utah to allow me the comfort and distance to string together what I hope were some coherent words.
From afar, we observed the “Sister Wives” phenomena and, since our return, as we work PR and promotions for the book, “My Three Wives” and the latest entry into the world of polygamy TV, National Geographic’s “Polygamy, USA.”
After examining these shows, I have to jump the fence and agree that, well, “The Media” has let us down. You see, polygamy as practiced in the real world by Mormon fundamentalists is nothing like what is portrayed in these shows.
It is dark, perverse, criminal. And, it is eliciting support among a group of civil libertarians who argue that the government has no right to peak behind our bedroom curtains. The sad truth, however, is that the issue of polygamy is much more complex, that while individual freedoms should be guaranteed for all, they should not come at the expense of little girls who are sexually abused when forced into marriage with much older men; that it should not come at the expense of women who are coerced into a life of servitude to ensure their eternal salvation; that it should not come at the expense of young boys who are forced out of school and into the shops, work crews, and factories of the church-owned businesses; that it should not come at the expense of the taxpaying public who forks over nearly $14,000 a month in welfare benefits as the people of the community participate in the practice of “bleeding the beast,” which in simpler terms is defrauding the government to obtain money, food stamps, health care, and other government benefits that kick in the moment they write “father unknown” on their child’s birth certificate.
You won’t see that on “Sister Wives,” you won’t see that on “My Three Wives,” you won’t see that on “Polygamy, USA.” Instead, you will see a sanitized polygamous lifestyle that has little in common, other than plural marriage, with the overwhelming majority of polygamists in this country.
“Polygamy USA” takes us inside of the tiny community of Centennial Park, Ariz., where about 1,500 people who live three miles from the fundamentalist Mormons who follow Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed prophet of the FLDS church who is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in a Texas prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls—one 12, the other 14—who he took as “spiritual wives.” A dozen other men were also charged after an investigation revealed that 12 girls, between the ages of 12 and 15, had been given in “spiritual married” to much older men and that seven of them had one or more children.
The Centennial Park group, which is known as “The Work of Jesus Christ” and “The Second Ward” claims no ties to Jeffs and the FLDS after a nasty break in the 1980s over leadership, something they proclaimed loudly when we went to Dixie State University in St. George, Utah recently to listen to a group of women from the community speak.
Although we had heard about “Polygamy, USA,” we didn’t know that the National Geographic crew would be present that day, filming the women for a segment of the show. And, when I asked a question of the women, I didn’t have a clue whether it would make the show’s final cut.
I was more surprised with how the responses to my question that day were edited and was even more surprised when a spiel by one of the women about how she explained to her children, who came to her after learning of a raid on the Texas FLDS compound, that the police took all the children away because they had “more than one mommy” when the reality was that the police raided the FLDS compound because of reported sexual offenses against children.
I am concerned because these shows do little to expose the complexities of polygamy, the dark side of it, at a time when there is a serious movement to have Utah’s anti-polygamy laws overturned. We already have an attorney general who has stated that he will follow his predecessor’s policy of not prosecuting polygamy violations, we have the Kody Brown (“Sister Wives”) family suing to overturn the state’s polygamy laws, and we have some traction among a small group of people who are well-intentioned in their belief in civil liberties, but are woefully uninformed when it comes to the abuses of polygamy.
There are those who support legalization or, at least, decriminalization. However, the danger is that either step would eliminate all oversight and make the crimes against children easier to commit and closet from the public eye. Legalization or decriminalization would legitimize a culture built upon perversion and fraud. Legalization or decriminalization would continue the coercion of women into servitude under the guise of religion, depriving them of their basic human rights.
But, you won’t get that by watching “Sister Wives,” “My Three Wives,” or “Polygamy, USA.”  Damn media!

**If you haven't already, read the new book by Ed, "plygs" a journalistic novel based on historical facts that is riveting. Many have been talking about it here the past few days. We will be reviewing the book soon!

**This is another must see. Doris and Ed have such a great discussion on many facets of polygamy including the politics of, The Brown family, Polygamy USA, should polygamy be legal, well, you've got to watch it for yourself! Great show.  

Polygamy: What Love Is This? with author Ed Kociela (2 May 2013)

Author Ed Kociela has a knack for taking his readers behind closed doors. He has taken readers into the home of a family victimized by the nuclear fallout of the Cold War Era nuclear blasts at the Nevada Test Site in "Downwinders...the play," opened the doors to the frightening secrets locked away within a fundamentalist Mormon polygamous cult in "plygs," and now walks you backstage to hang out with some of the biggest stars in rock 'n' roll history in "It Rocked! (Recollections of a reclusive rock critic)." The book includes intimate looks at such musical giants as George Harrison, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Beach Boys, Peter Frampton, KISS, Foreigner, Journey, BB King, Frank Zappa, Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Dick Clark, and many others who he interviewed, worked with, and got to know as a rock critic for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and music industry publicist.

"Plygs" is the culmination of his 16-year career as a newspaper reporter, columnist, and city editor for The Spectrum, a Gannett newspaper located in St. George, Utah, which is located about 45 minutes from the community along the Utah-Arizona state line upon which his novel is based.

 "Downwinders," was one of only three presented for a series of readings by the Utah Shakespeare Festival's "New American Playwright Series" in 2005. Kociela has also written two screenplays.

He is an acclaimed writer whose work has bridged many aspects of the media world. As a newspaperman, he won numerous awards from the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. He now works as a freelance writer and weekly columnist for STGnews, an online news outlet. His career includes newspaper, magazine, and broadcast experience as a sportswriter, rock critic, news reporter, columnist, blogger, and essayist. Over the years, his work has been featured in myriad publications ranging from the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Herald-Examiner to US magazine and GOAL!, the magazine of the National Hockey League.

(Source: Ed Kociela, Cara Curfew-Kociela, PolygamyUSA s01e06, Polygamy: What Love Is This? with author Ed Kociela (2 May 2013))


  1. Just a quick thanks to Ed, Cara and MS for this! Will be back later to view videos.

  2. Ed, I think you could help so many of us trying to learn about polygamy, I appreciate you taking the time to come here. I'm one of your biggest fans.

    Amazed at how much editing goes into these shows. They made such a big deal about them going, and one question!! I don't think they were honest in the answers, maybe Ed can help. Wasn't CP a off-break group of the FLDS when they went to the one man rule? Seems they ARE a part of that group, just with different Prophets or whatever they are called. i had to laugh when the head of CP wouldn't show his face on the show. I don't think they will get arrested, do you?

    I am off for a bit to watch the video.
    I bet Ed saw a lot as a reporter...care to give us a few insights?

    1. Hello Joan...
      You have it right. The Centennial Park group is an off-shoot of the FLDS. There was a split in the 1980s over the one-man vs. council leadership. The Centennial Park group moved about three miles down the road and called themselves The Second Ward. They claim, however, that the FLDS group is actually an offshoot of theirs. Fact is, they both came from the same seed. In numerous statements, the CP tries to separate itself from the FLDS. They strive for the image of being "the good polygamists." The truth, however, is that they still have a connection and empathy for the FLDS. At the Dixie State Forum, when discussion came around to the most recent rescue mission in Texas, where evidence was accumulated to prosecute Jeffs, the women talked about how their children cried at the news of what occurred in Texas.

      One woman said the kids asked "Why did they take those people away?" and that she answered "Because they have more than one mommy."

      As a newsman, I saw a lot. There were several women I met who had just escaped from the FLDS culture. Every one of them was nearly incoherent with rage, fear, self-esteem issues and insecurities, which they fueled with alcohol and drug abuse and tried to soothe with indiscriminate sex. The young men -- The Lost Boys -- would turn up frequently in our arrest reports for drug and alcohol violations. Sometimes even assaults.

      It seems once they were on their own, they simply could not handle the "real" world.

      I will need to continue this answer in another window. Sorry it is so long.


    2. Back again, Joan...
      We would -- still do, as a matter of fact -- see the women shepherded through Costco and Wal-Mart, led by a young boy. They cannot go out in public alone and the boys were the authority over these grown women. They would all be driving these huge, brand-new trucks or Suburbans or Excursions, yet the average income of the Hildale-Colorado City population is well below the poverty level.

      They would buy goods by the caseload and fill up these huge, warehouse-style carts,

      We saw a fire chief get caught putting things like turkeys purchased for his Thanksgiving dinner, TVs, couches, a refrigerator, even personal items like socks, on the fire department expense report. He had his wrist slapped.

      I had reporters who had mud flung on their vehicles when they went into the community. There was a Salt Lake City reporter who had their tires slashed. Any time a strange vehicle pulls into town, the Town Marshal follows it, runs the plates and finds out who it belongs to, no matter what. (It happened to Cara and me.) The houses are unfinished (they claim there are no taxes due if they are left that way.) The businesses employ under-age kids. And, at least one metal shop factory makes tools under contract to the U.S. Department of Defense, with under-age kids working for them.

      Yeah...we saw and learned a lot.

      One more panel coming up.

    3. Finally, I spoke with a person from Mexico, near Chihuahua where the Mormon polygamists fled beginning in 1885. (They also went to Sonora and now have a settlement near Ensenada.) It is where Gov. Mitt Romney's family lived there. His grandfather was a polygamist who fled the U.S. Mitt's father was not a polygamist, but lived there as well. He still has family there that has gone to great pains to declare its opposition to the cartels and marijuana.

      Anyway, my source tells me how their family worked in a community where the polygamists live in a big complex up on a ridge overlooking a valley and hire the locals to grow marijuana which is exported to the U.S. (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0705/S00311.htm) It does not surprise me.


    4. Now that is juicy, and interesting. I knew his grandparents were, and many still were in Mexico. I often wondered if his father didn't leave so he could be in politics?

    5. MS...
      Well, there was this little thing called the Mexican Revolution that occurred, which forced George Romney (Mitt's father) and his family to leave.

      The interesting thing is that in later years, the Romneys sued the Mexican government because they were forced to flee. The money they received helped finance George Romney's entry into politics.


    6. Yes, interesting back story about the drug money. I believe it. I've heard stories where there are some other high up politicians turn a blind eye to running drug money through their states too. So wish campaigns were financed by federal money, but that is another topic.

    7. Thank you so much for answering me. I have to read through your post here and learn even more. I think it takes awhile to soak in, especially now they have shows and appear...ok. I hope I didn't bother you too much. THANK YOU. (hugs)

  3. Yes! Thank-you!!

    Ed's book "plygs" is outstanding. I highly recommend it, and its price point is excellent, too. ;)

    1. Thank you so much for answering Mr. Kociela. You have given me much food for thought.

      I have a question for you that I hope MS doesn't think is crossing a line, for I love this blog! In fact, those that come here tend to be defensive of all the work everyone has put into it.

      MS has never said, but I am guessing the Browns would not come here and talk. Even in the beginning, when there were many glowing posts about the ladies, long before I think she or any of us had an idea about them.

      Is this typical for polygamists to shun an outlet? Would it not be better for them to come here? It seems to me all press, even the cute pictures, etc., are good publicity for the show and draw in viewers, one way or another. As a member of the press, what do you think?

      Why do they get so darn mad when anyone opposes them, when they are, in fact, wanting us to go along with celestial planets and polygamy, which the rest of America does not believe in? Why not just speak?

      Thanks again for answering, youve given me much to ponder.

    2. Sorry, this should be up above.

    3. Hello again, Joan...
      I can't and won't comment for Kody Brown. Again, it would be conjecture and rather unfair. If he has reasons for not wanting to participate here and talk to people, well, that is his decision (a bad one, I might add.)

      I think this blog is a great place to come together and talk. Yes, indeed, there is a wonderful publicity opportunity. But understand that I come here primarily as a communicator. It is what I have done all of my life in the newspaper business, then as a writer. We have this tremendous ego thing where we want to tell the story, explain what is going on, and, most importantly, be a voice for those who have no voice. We are like Toto clones from the "Wizard of Oz." Our job is to provide comfort and friendship to our masters -- the readers -- and to also pull back the curtain on the wizards of this world who would do you harm, whether mentally, physically or monetarily.

      As far as the polygamist groups being defensive, in all honesty, mainstream LDS, Catholics, Muslims and others of various religions can be very defensive when pressed on their faith; Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians are defensive when pushed on their political beliefs; and we of Italian heritage get a bit uncomfortable when we are lumped in excessively with opera singers or Tony Soprano. (OK, I DID have this Uncle Joe...) So, I think that is fairly typical and predictable.That said, if they would simply engage in discussion truthfully, they might get much different response.


  4. Seems as thought they didn't answer your question by a long shot!

    1. They really did not answer any questions. It was very strange. It was all left still kind of up in the air. At the end it was like "OK, time is up, we are done" but nothing was really "said" .. if that makes any sense...

    2. Kind of how the discussion went Sunday. Most religious people I know can go on for hours and never fear a discussion- that's what it is all about, informing others and helping them see God. I hear they don't believe in the same God, Jesus, or even Virgin Mary. Is this true?

  5. hmmm New to this, but interesting both polygamy shows would air a segment on a debate or panel discussion. Persecution theme, interesting...learn a bit more daily. Will watch video later and come back.

    1. Yes, Anon. 9/15 1:57pm, interesting that both polygamy shows aired segments on a debate/panel discussion. If what I've read here is correct, I find it also strangely interesting that both these debates happened on the same date, at two different colleges 4/25/13....Persecution theme + very well organized propaganda program?! Just 'sayin.

  6. Ohhh the plot thickens.
    Another discussion edited..
    Oh do tell us how you were edited and how they twisted things!

    1. Oh yes! We were so sucked in to the Brown family at first, thinking it was their choice or lifestyle. After watching the video, nice choice of words, huh? Shame on them for getting on TV and lying about religion.

      What do you think of the Brown lawsuit?

    2. Fan...
      My personal thought is that Kody Brown is not terribly bright. I think there is a greater risk of him being arrested for bigamy/polygamy in Nevada than in Utah, where the previous and current Attorneys General have made public policy of not prosecuting polygamy/bigamy violations.

      I am 100 percent opposed to decriminalization or legalization because by doing either, what happens is a complete lack of oversight. As it is, law enforcement rarely goes out into the area known as Short Creek, or The Creek (Hildale-Colorado City.) What will happen if polygamy is legalized? They would have even less reason to go out there or investigate, which means it opens the doors to more "spiritual marriages" of older men to under-age girls.

      From a purely practical side as well, what happens to the tax code/structure? A man can suddenly start claiming 10 wives, 47 kids for tax purposes for participating in plural marriage. What about health benefits? Would an employer be willing to even pay partially for a health insurance policy for a man with 5, 10 or more wives? If that man loses his job, the family could legally apply for welfare/foodstamps (they already do that out there in what is termed "bleeding the beast.") Inheritance? Divorce? Surviving spousal rights (a man on Social Security with five wives...who gets his lifelong benefit?)

      A lot of reasons why I oppose it.


    3. I too am curious about your thoughts on the Brown lawsuit.

  7. ed Said: ""After examining these shows, I have to jump the fence and agree that, well, “The Media” has let us down. You see, polygamy as practiced in the real world by Mormon fundamentalists is nothing like what is portrayed in these shows""

    1. That is interesting to hear from someone that knows first hand. I know I wonder, as many do, if sometimes we are thinking to harshly or going to easy on the TV families. Most of the people I have seen on this blog are simply searching to what is really going on. I appreciate your insight so much on this little blog. (Been here a long time as a commenter)
    We know now both were edited heavily. How were you edited, and was her answer chopped in as well. I have to nod you and the participants of the panel for behaving in a civilized manner. I don't think we will see that tonight.

    2. What was it like in Utah during the Jeffs circus? did you ever fear for your own self during the time of reporting? We've seen how they have gates and try to intimidate people.

    3. I've read here that the Govt.. actually called Jeffs corp. an organized crime unit, but the Govt. also gives them the huge contracts, Ed what do you make of that?

    4. Actually going back to my first question - what is the normal life of a poor FM family? Not the glamorized ones we see on TV.

    I will defiantly watch the video tomorrow once the kids are at school, and come back with more questions. Thank you for taking the time out to come and talk with all of us.

    1. Hello, Sunny...
      Good questions.

      Quite simply, "what is really going on" is that the Browns and Dargers are getting paid to do a reality television show. They have a unique, curious, titillating lifestyle that a network that was once respected for its good work, but cashed it all in for better ratings. Let's face it, sex sells and there is that curiosity when watching the show about that aspect, watching a guy who has convinced several women to be his sister wives, sleep with him, feed him, have his children.

      Like all reality shows, I suspect there is some influence, if not outright scripting, that goes on to make things more interesting.

      As far as our event in St. George, from the opening portion of our segment, we were pitted as being a source of confrontation. In fact, the narrator uses that word as the camera bounces between Cara and me and the women on the panel. My question was used in its entirety. The answer was pieced together from a rather long, rambling bit where all four women added fragments. The editing process put together words that highlighted their sense of "persecution" while omitting other comments that were evasive, particularly their references to being separate from the FLDS. I was very surprised and disappointed that National Geographic was so one-sided in not only that segment, but the remainder of their "Polygamy USA" shows.

      We'll go to questions 3 and 4 in the next window.


    2. Hello again, Sunny...
      Don't be surprised at the U.S. government doing business with anybody. Remember that J. Edgar Hoover promoted a lot of his people within the FBI who had Mormon backgrounds. Of course, Howard Hughes employed a lot of people of Mormon faith in his Las Vegas holdings as well.

      As far as contracts, the government looks for the lowest bidder. The types of contracts they have do not require sensitive security backgrounds, so the investigations don't run deep. And, their price is always right. But local and state governments employ these companies as well. A lot of city, county and school district buildings have been constructed with polygamist contractors doing a large share of the subcontracting work. The kids they bring to the worksite are very good at disappearing at the slight thought of an OSHA inspector arriving or other city official.

      Fear? I was in the business a long, long time and received a lot of threats over the years, mostly for being a liberal political columnist in a very conservative part of the country. If you allow fear to guide your news judgment it is time to hang it up. At the time of the Jeffs trial, I was the City Editor, so I was directing my staff, pointing them at areas for investigation/reporting. My writing during that time was contained to my columns, which were highly charged, anti-Warren Jeffs, anti-FLDS positions. In fact, at one point, Jeffs' defense team tried to get a change of venue for his St. George trial because of us and the coverage we provided. Some of our stories and my columns were used in the courtroom by the defense as they said we had influenced the jury pool. The judge told them that it would be no different in any other Utah city and denied the request for change of venue.

      Ooops...I continue to be long-winded (sorry!!!!) will answer No. 4 in next window.


    3. Hello again, Sunny...
      What is the normal life of an FM family?

      Difficult to answer. First off, what is "normal" by any definition?

      The children of Short Creek are home schooled. The boys are put to work in the construction companies, in the fields, wherever they are needed to help the men and lower costs. The girls are taught to tend babies and do household chores. Toys were banned a long time ago. Supposedly, so were televisions, newspapers, magazines, computers (the Internet), movies and anything else that we on the outside take for granted.

      Themen work long, hard hours, the women bear children and serve their husbands quietly. The man is definitely in charge, although their job is to serve the prophet faithfully to acquire more wives and further secure their place in the Celestial Kingdom. There are few luxuries.

      The town is located among some beautiful landscapes. Unfortunately, the town itself is rather bleak and dreary. No life, no sound of children playing, no spark and you don't see a lot of folks out and mingling. Unless they are working on a community project, like building a house, you don't see many people. The streets are dusty, the homes dreary and, mostly, looking like they are in a state of disrepair. The school house is overgrown with weeds about 6 feet tall because they haven't had students there in years.

      Not a pleasant place to visit.

      Final answer coming in next window.


    4. OK, Sunny, regarding the Jeffs trial.

      St. George, Utah is a moderately sized city that wants, in some ways, to be big-time and, in others, Smalltown, USA. I can remember when the city bells would ring every day at noon, telling people it was time for lunch.

      When Warren Jeffs went on trial here, we had media from all over the world. CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, the local network affiliates from Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, and print reporters from all over converged here. The small courthouse was cramped, barely allowing room for civilians to get in to watch the trial. TV trucks were parked in and around the small area of the courthouse and each TV outlet had their own little spot carved out in front of the building.

      Members of the FLDS community would arrive every morning, vying for a seat in the courtroom. Those who could not get in mingled on the sidewalks silently, sort of how Manson's followers held vigils when he was on trial. We worried about security, even though there were SWAT team members all over the place.

      Jeffs was brought to court each day in a helicopter that landed about 100 feet from the back door of our office in the courthouse parking lot. Getting to work was a problem because of the many vehicles and narrow streets.

      Our greater sense was to lead the coverage. This was our story and we wanted to own it, which we did. In fact, the day the verdict came down, we were first to report it, even before TV, where all they had to do was step out of the courtroom and in front of a live camera. We beat CNN with announcing the verdict online through a well-executed plan that involved me, our photo editor and two reporters that beat their report by 30 seconds. A small victory? Well, we beat the big guys.

      Oh, yeah...I also think the local liquor stores had a difficult time keeping up with the demands of the out-of-town reporters and their crews.

      We worked long, difficult days and nights, but it was all worth it. My staff rocked.


    5. ED - you reminded me of a good laugh we had when we were at a restaurant bar as out of state visitors and were informed all about the Zion Curtain re:a unique state liquor law. I've had a great time repeating it to others in my own state and they find it equally hilarious as well. Utah really needs to grow up and be adults. lol

    6. I now that Ed answered your questions but I must chime in about #2... I was also working at the paper and our office was catty-corner from the court house. there is a road that goes along a ridge above all of these buildings.. Ed spoke of the security and pulls it off all guy-like... it was terrifying!! We had snipers up on the ridge aimed at us in the parking lot, we even had a couple on the roof of our building a couple of times... just to walk out to our cars or go out for a smoke break was horrid... the main reason for the snipers was due to a rumor that Jeffs had told his followers that if it looked like it was going bad to kill him.. well, even if they wanted to there was no way to get close to him.. AND trying to be on the phone with that damn helicopter going all the time was a pain... yes, it was a zoo!!

    7. oOw refreshing to get answers. I certainly will take this all in. you are changing the way I see polygamy on TV. thank you both.

  8. I don't really understand the difference between the AUB, the CP and the FLDS. Didn't they all start with the FLDS?

  9. Thank you both for sharing and talking with us.

    I bet you have seen or heard a lot of things you can't tell. Is it heartbreaking to see some of these women so trapped? Is it true that some women actually get thrown out of their homes and a new family moves in?
    In my world, it's hard to believe a man would banish a wife to a trailer out in the dust, only come see her when her check comes in. Real or Created?

    In honestly, I have never heard of your books until now, but will be an avid reader of them soon. Very interesting piece.

    1. Thank you for being so interested in the truth and I hope you enjoy the books.
      Yes, we have seen and know of many things but there is nothing that we are not willing to share. It is heart breaking to see a young girl at the store with an infant and wonder if it is her sibling or her child.. We are here to answer your questions and will never sugar coat the truth.

      As for women being thrown out, not so much... the men and boys are usually the ones thrown out then the women and their children are "re-assigned" to another man. You need to understand that in the FLDS every woman and every child is $$$ to the community. The latest report from Colorado City, AZ was to a tune of $27MILLION in food and medical assistance for only 4.5K people over a 20 month period.. I have the break down and am happy to share it if you would like. The fact is, if the women were "sent away" they could not get the $$... thus another reason that the women are forces to ESCAPE if they want out.
      So, long story short... Created...

      I hope this helps you:)

  10. I wonder if anyone in the audience was video-recording the discussion, or did National Geographic insist that only their cameras/recording devices could be used? If there's an existing tape of the entire program, it would be terrific if it becomes available.

    We are learning so much about polygamy from this blog!

    When my husband and I used to watch "Big Love" together, I wondered if the show was bombarded w/ complaints from polygamists who objected to the extreme portrayals of abuse, alienation, severe beatings, and killings, particularly in Nicolette's former compound. I told him last night that I now believe that "Big Love" accurately depicted some horrible realities. I'm curious to find out what others think about this, so I hope you'll comment.

    1. We were all asked to put away our phones but we were able to shoot some still photos. As far as we know no one has a tape of the entire show and if NG has one they are not sharing with us. Our daughter's boyfriend's instructor at the school was the moderator and he might be able to get ahold of it for us... I honestly never thought of asking him until now.. I will do that this week. The college has never put it up for all to see and so I think it might be the property of NG, But I will check. Thanks for the great idea :)

      The actual time we were there was about 2 hours and honestly, we were the only ones that asked any "hard" questions... the rest of the gallery was quite docile and not very interactive. I need to get "Big Love" on DVD and watch it again because as I remember it still does not show the true story of these families or the lies they tell their children.

      I am glad that we also have found this great blog to help people understand that what they see on TV is not the whole truth and I only hope that we can answer all your questions to the tune of understanding but still questioning... without questioning there is no truth :)

  11. It would be hard for me to meet young kids and not reach out and help them more. Was this a problem for you? So sad they call themselves religious and abuse children in such a terrible world.
    I see you worked at the Spectrum. I am far away from there, but read avidly when the "Pecan Picking" was going on. For those of you unaware, the FLDS took kids out of school and had them picking pecans, an atrocious sight.
    Did any of these parties have to due any time for that travesty? Paragon Contractors Corp., Brian Jessop, or Dale Barlow?

    1. Hello Anon...
      The children we have seen all seem fairly dour and are warned, from an early age, not to have contact with any outsiders (non-believers are termed "Gentiles" in the Mormon world) so they are unapproachable. There are also legal restrictions regarding the kinds of assistance one can offer. We know of a 15-year-old girl who a friend saw walking away from Hildale one afternoon with a small bag. She was running away because a couple of days before, on her 15th birthday, she was told she was going to be placed into marriage. The man offered her a ride to town to help her get away. He didn't know what to do, so he took her to the nearest police station. The cops returned her to her family.

      Cara and I will meet with some members of Utah's Safety Net program, an organization that was formed to help those trying to escape polygamy, in a couple of weeks, in an attempt to help them understand the kinds of complications that can arise from reaching out to assist. It is a little easier with the women who have reached 18 because then they are no longer minors and, legally, can go where they choose.

      The problem is that the Town Marshals, often referred to as the God Squad, will return anybody to their husband/father no matter what. They have a sworn allegiance to Warren Jeffs -- which they made public while he was on the run. Interestingly, most of the Town Marshals were later charged with a variety of crimes. Mohave County Arizona Supervisor Buster Johnson has been working extensively to decertify the Town Marshals and replace them with Mohave County Sheriff's deputies. The Arizona Legislature has yet to appropriate the funds necessary.

    2. Hadn't thought of that at all. Is Anne Wilde on the Safety Net, or is she another program?

      What about kids that are 18? Can someone donate clothes, can goods etc, and to where? thank you.

    3. Hello Anon...
      Anne Wilde is a part of the Safety Net committee. She is also co-founder of Principle Voices, a polygamy advocacy group.

      At 18, those kids become legal adults, too old for the child and family services assistance.

      However, there is an excellent organization called Holding Out Help that does wonderful things. Check out their website at http://holdingouthelp.org/

      We know these people and admire all they do.

  12. Thrilled to have Mr. Kociela back again! I am learning so much from your posts. You wife is very informative too. I went back to my DVR and watched the episode again. For those that want to know, Ed and Marleen are on at abt 36 minutes.

  13. No offense to anyone who has written a book, lived the life (and written a book), investigated (and written a book)....but how many have to be written before this Government (system) we have realizes HOW WRONG this lifestyle is and how little it has to do with "religion"....watching that Dateline was so disturbing to me...that whole town should have been demolished and the families relocated. That "White room" was unbelievable! It just made me sick!..........How could any "sane" individual be part of a "religion" "lifestyle" or WHATEVER......that is connected to this abuse of children and women as "Polygamy" is....some people need to open their eyes! And yes...I say Polygamy, Plural Marriage....again WHATEVER.... And sorry Brown family, but you have to stop the whole thing....not just some....the whole "lifestyle"...you can't give an inch to some people, cuz they abuse it!!!!

    1. yeah, i honestly don't get it either. we, the TAXPAYERS, are the beast they proudly claim to bleed! The government doesn't have its own money to spend on them. It's OUR money that's being taken from the government and then being given to these "bleeding the beast" people's lifestyle. I don't give a fat rat's patootie if they want this lifestyle for their religion and supposed eternal salvation but WHY do we have to keep subsidizing it?

      the authorities not only don't go after them aggressively for breaking the law against polygamy, they also don't aggressively pursue the thousands who are "bleeding the beast" criminal activity either! that needs to STOP IMMEDIATELY and they can be left to subsidize their own religious selves! taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for all the people who choose to bring kids into the world time after time with no idea of how to support them other than off the taxpayer's back.

    2. JAT...
      No offense taken by any means. That is a question we all ask. The only thing I can come up with is church influence and money. I would ALWAYS instruct my reporters to follow the money. The thing is, it can filter in so many ways, it can be difficult to trace, but there is a lot of money involved here. A lot.

      I have known many members of the mainstream LDS church who give a nod and a wink when discussing polygamy and, with tongue in cheek, explain that it is against current church doctrine. Old-line beliefs die hard, I guess.

      We also have a situation where the previous and current Attorneys General have made public statements that they will not prosecute violations of Utah's polygamy/bigamy statutes. They both claimed that they would, however, be strident in going after the pedophiles who marry under-age girls. I haven't seen an indictment, however, come since this policy was instituted.

      The Arizona Department of Economic Security reported that more than $8 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance was paid out from July of 2011 to February of 2013 to the residents in the area of Colorado City, Ariz., a town with a population of only 4,821. During the same time frame, 95,057 visits to a doctor were made, costing taxpayers about $19 million.


    3. there are currently 3 of the 12 apostles in the mainstream Quorum of the Twelve who are currently sealed for eternity (celestial kingdom bound) to their first deceased wife and their now current (and never having been sealed to another man) wife. And yes, they most definitely plan on being married for eternity to both of those wives polygamously as well as any more that may be given to them in the celestial kingdom. So, while mainstream mormons don't actively practice polygamy currently per se - it is most definitely alive and well for them in the next life.

    4. that is what truly disgusts me, ED is the insult to injury to the taxpayer having to foot the bill. why have a law if you're not only not going to enforce it but actually require the taxpayers to pay for to sustain the illegal lifestyle, too?? blech

    5. Ed, July 2011 to Feb 2013 is 19 months. 95,057 doctor visits divided by 4,821 people is 19.72 doctor visits PER PERSON for those 19 months. That means, on average, every plyg resident of Colorado City went to the doctor at least once a month. THIS MERITS INVESTIGATION. What is going on? Somebody is getting rich from Medicaid payments and I bet somebody is getting kickbacks from Medicaid doctor visits.

      I live in Texas. Can I request an investigation for federal Medicaid fraud? Where do I start?

    6. Nice job on the math, Anon...

      Our friend, Buster Johnson, a Mohave County Supervisor, is working that aspect of things. He also has some other interesting tidbits he intends to introduce.

      Texas, eh?

      At least you guys went into that compound, charged and prosecuted Jeffs and the 11 others who are now in prison with him.

      Nice work.

  14. Watching What Love Is This now....I love Doris Hanson but this and the one Kollene are the best! Watch it folks

    1. I watched the one with Kollene yesterday. She broke my heart! Her memories from being a three year old being beaten by her father were obviously still so fresh and raw. Her father, and the polygamist fathers in general, I just have no explanation for their cruelty. But I really don't understand how the mothers allow it. I know, they have been indoctrinated all their lives, yada yada yada, but how could a mother not protect her child? I just wanted to comfort Kollene and tell her that her it was not her fault. I know she "knows" that in her head, but I'm not sure if she "feels" it in her heart.

    2. Cross your fingers..Kollene has agreed to come talk to us at a later date. All of the Doris Hanson shows are great, but these two are some of the best I have seen. I've got many more on my list. Twins are great!!!

    3. i agree! lots of insightful info gleaned from Kollene. i've watched Doris' show off and on for the past 4 years. It's always excellent. I'm constantly amazed at the courage and integrity her plyg escapee guests display. Really incredible people.

    4. I agree, Doris does great work to bring the truth to light. she is an amazing woman and I am honored to have met her.

      No-one that has not been in that position can understand how a woman can let things happen to her children like that. It is a form of brain washing that starts at birth. The women truly believe and are taught that their husband and their prophet rule everything including the children. How can a woman (in her right mind) allow her daughter of only 14 yrs old be wed to a 80 yr old man? how can a woman allow her husband to bed a girl of only 14 yrs of age.. it is not normal, it is VERY evil and all that I have spoken to that have left or been "removed" from the FLDS share the same story.. it is like they are zombies... not thinking for themselves and so not having the willing to leave, they are almost in a trance, even when we see them at stores they are so unresponsive.. brain washed...

    5. Doris does a great job with her show! And I hope Kollene will agree to answer questions on our forum. Both are so strong and brave.

  15. Off topic, hope you will post Mister Sister.
    Been reading about you since coming here Mr. Kociela. Seems like you have led quite a life. Would love to hear any non plyg story, getting ready to read your new book.

    1. Anon 3:18
      Would love to do that at some point...been busy trying to provide some coherent responses to the great questions I have seen here today.

      Maybe Mister Sister will have a non-plyg event...would be happy to participate...


  16. Yes! tell us how things are edited!

  17. Both Cara and Ed are going to be watching today and tonight, so folks, you always have questions...here is the place to ask them and get a first hand look at the inner gears of polygamy. Thanks!!

  18. Sunny in SC, you have asked some excellent questions. I think all of us thirsting for more information, and I'm glad that Ed is visiting this blog, so a big thank-you, Ed, once again! I'm happy, too, that Cara is a frequent commenter, and that we've heard from Kristyn Decker as well. I feel as if window shades are popping up all around letting in so much light!

    Ed's description of what has happened to so many women, young girls, and the Lost Boys who fled the FLDS communities is heartbreaking. However, when you have been raised from the cradle to believe that anything less than complete adherence to the rules or any departure from subservience results in punishment, exclusion, or eternal damnation, it's not hard to understand how shredded a person's mental framework would become once outside the cult.

    I know that there are organizations who reach out to individuals who want to flee. One of the young women, formerly from the Kingston group, who appeared on Doris Hanson's show related a story that was particularly tragic. She had been contacted by a girl in the Kingston group who requested her help, so after informing the girl that she'd contact her the next day with solid information, she obtained the girl's phone number. When she phoned the next day, the girl picked up, but another voice was audible in the background, so it was clear that she was being monitored. The girl apologized profusely for having made the call in the first place, and that she'd made a mistake. One can only imagine what repercussions awaited that poor girl! She did not make further contact. (Huge sigh.) The young woman on the program maintains that people who want to help must be ready to take that one call and be able to do something about it right then because that might be the ONLY chance. I think she's right, but how on earth can this work? I think the only way is for there to be a significant increase in the numbers of sincerely good people who want to help the women and children seeking escape. I hope that Ed, Cara, Kristyn, and others can provide information about trustworthy organizations who are offering real help so they can receive support. I would like to contribute to this b/c it's obvious that safe houses require financial support for utilities, food, clothing, gas to drive people to interviews or jobs, etc.

    The more educated I become about polygamy, the more convinced I am that I must do more than just comment on this wonderful blog.

    1. That's the same reason I made the blog. Another blog would not allow me to question the Mormon religion, which I knew nothing about. We are all learning together, and we've got a great teacher and his wife among us.

      I am not being corny when I say this. we make fun of Kody, well, because it's easy to with all the lies, uppidty attitudes, and cash flow/persecution tears we see. But the fact is, if he were a NICE man, we would not do that. If he were SINCERE we would not do that. But he is not, I doubt the Polygamy USA group is either. I just want the truth, and the Browns won't give it to me.

      So when I run into folks like Ed, I literally beg and plead for them to come and share. (I am not afraid to BEG for the blog!) All I want is the truth. When I hear it, it's almost like I could start singing "I Saw the Light" because of all the side roads we've taken to get to it!

      Truth sets you free.

      Now I know why the Browns, Dargers, and others don't want you to hear it.

      In fact, they would NEVER come here and talk freely like Ed, now why is that? Fear of the truth coming out.

      Giltee Guilt and others, I enjoy reading all your posts, and keep them coming!

    2. I am so glad you asked :) We have come in contact with many groups but the two that I recommend if you want to really help is Holding Out Help and the Sound Choices Coalition.

      Holding out H.E.L.P. is run by a wonderful woman. Her name is Tonia Tewell. She does amazing work and is setting up a community canter in the "creek" for those that have been dis-placed by the FLDS. She is a very giving woman and her fight is to keep the children safe. HOH is NON-political and is an assistance program with a way to get out, a bed for as much time as needed, food, clothing, other necessary items... It is incredible and they do SO much good for the "outcast" and ESCAPED!!

      Sound Choices Coalition is more on the political side. It is headed by Kristyn Decker who is a very dear friend and an incredible woman. SCC is more to gain awareness and fight against the A.G. and the law that allows the rape of young girls, the homeless young boys the horror that is the FLDS and the AUB. This group is the one fighting to keep this practice illegal. BUT, there are also phone #'s, emails, info for people wanting to escape within this group as it is needed.

      they are BOTH worthy causes, it just depends on how political you want to be. They both have FB pages that you can visit and learn more about them.

      Understand that most ALL of the groups out there want to help. it is just the ones that do not take the over head that I would recommend to you... every dollar these two take in gets turned round for the good of those that need it.

  19. So your question on PolygamyUSA was asked as is; they took what the ladies said and made it into a nice neat package they not doubt approved. Sounds like what any 1 sided group would show.

  20. Mr. Kociela,
    Thank you, first of all, for being kind and listening to us.

    It does appear that PolygamyUSA is not afraid to talk more about their religion than the Browns on Sister Wives. I remember that now famous scene where Creepy Cawley told his dtr that a monogamous woman was setting her children up to be harlots in the streets! But other than that, do you feel they are covering up many more things?

    I have watched What Love is this before, and skimmed it to find my question. Doris Hanson made a point of saying that the FM religion is the ONLY religion in the world that required a woman to have sex with a man to get to heaven. that was shocking to me. Thoughts?

    You discuss how they will say it is not a religious issue, but it IS a religious issue. Many blogs, forums, shy away from the topic, but it is the centerpiece of all polygamy in the USA, is it not? Also, the abuse issue. I have a question on that. The ladies said there are laws to take care of people that abuse others. How is it we are to believe that the CP group would follow the abuse laws, when they do not follow the laws now?

    As far as bleeding the beast -----Is it not a sin to lie? BIG lies, like who your daddy is or forms on a welfare sheet? Why is this ok with them too.

    Kody Brown always said lifestyle. Glad I came here and am realizing that's just a word to cover up things.

    Thank you so much!

    1. JuJuBeans,
      When "Big Love" came on HBO, I thought a more appropriate title would be "Big Lies."

      There were elements of truth, but there were other elements that were glorification. Tom Hanks, who was behind the show, went in vastly uninformed. He is a civil libertarian, but had not educated himself enough into the fraud and abuse aspects, which were not a part of the episodes I watched. Of course, I cannot guess how extensively he was involved, but, then again, Tom was a member of the LDS faith for several years when he was young and has also been a part of other fundamentalist religions. I think he is pretty much a religious freelancer at this point. Not sure.

      But, there are a lot of obvious lies we encountered when we dealt with the CP at that forum in St. George and, seriously, if somebody lies to you once, can you trust them again?

      Kody uses the word lifestyle a lot. I don't think, however, that he understands the difference between lifestyle and religion. There is a huge difference.


    2. Tom Hanks is a Greek Orthodox Christian.

    3. Question: isn't the Attorney General, Mark Shurliff a Morman? I was told that Las Vegas, in a large part was run by Mormans, thus the Browns confidence to build and live there.

    4. Anon...
      He is? I know he has sampled from the religion buffet a lot.

      Yes, Mark Shurtleff is mainstream LDS.

      Las Vegas has a deep Mormon heritage. They came from Utah to help settle and build the city and Brigham Young sent a number of missionaries there. Many remained. (Also, many LDS members played integral roles in settling the West and in the Gold Rush.)

      Members of the Mormon faith also became a big part of the casino/hotel businesses in Las Vegas, particularly those owned by Howard Hughes, who hired them because he believed in their integrity and appreciated the fact that they didn't drink or smoke.

      According to Kody Brown, he and his family have few friends in Las Vegas. The mainstream LDS shun him and there aren't, he says, many fundamentalists located there.


  21. Playing Devil's advocate here
    The Browns are not
    Bleeding the beast
    Under-age sexual abuse
    Throwing out their young boys
    Allowing their teens and education.
    Why shouldn't they have their rights to polygamy?


    1. What do you mean by "rights to polygamy"? Are you speaking of some sort of constitutional right? A legal right to be married to more than one person? What "rights"?

    2. My feeling is....you cannot pick and choose who can be a Polygamist, I'm thinking there is just too much stuff going on behind the curtain to allow it to continue. So to nip it in the bud, you are going to have to shut it ALL down

      My personal opinion, the Brown family is in the minority in Polygamy (their situation) They cannot be honest with the public because they have their own TV show and bringing in the money with it.

      Take away the show, you will have different feel from these people. The Browns did "bleed the beast" before the money rolled in from TLC (Ive seen doc's on internet) as they will when the show is over.

      Their children are going to College right now because of "The Show" (bottom line)

    3. (Apparently I misplaced this response...sorry.)

      Anon 5:23
      Great question.

      I am not concerned with who Kody Brown sleeps with, lives with, has children with or supports. That is entirely his business.

      However, we must look societally. We have seen polygamy exist across the globe and in each instance, the overwhelming evidence is that the effects of it are deleterious to children and women; creates an inequality within the society; and places one religious branch above another.

      There are, as I mentioned in another response, a great number of socio-economic issues attached to this -- taxes, welfare, etc.

      It is not my place to preach morals or religion. Those are personal and private decisions each individual should make on their own. However, I damn well will stand up against the pedophiles who would violate young girls, a culture that would place a boy into the work place when he should be playing Little League baseball, and any group that would demean women or infringe upon their human rights and dignity.

      Remember, my civil rights end when they endanger or impinge yours. I can laugh, I can boo, I can hiss, I can applaud in a crowded theater, but I cannot yell "Fire!" A follower of a particular faith has the right to pray, worship, believe all they want, as long as in the process they are not harming anyone or the tenets of that religion embrace a precept that would harm anyone. We have seen that the Browns apparently -- hopefully -- do not embrace the negative aspects of their religion. I pray it continues. But, it does not mean that there are no inherent dangers in promoting the polygamous lifestyle. The AUB, from which the Browns come, does practice under-age marriage, does prevent the full education of their young, and does deny women their rights. And, to be honest, do we really know what they believe? All we see is what is placed before us on the TV.

    4. The Browns of Sisterwives did bleed the beast when the father, Kody Brown, didn't support his children and his wives were on welfare and foodstamps.

  22. Dear Mr. Kociela,
    Me again.
    Thank you for the insight into the filming of Polygamy U.S.A. and how it is edited, as well as your insight into the underbelly of polygamy.

    Lots of questions.

    A clip on the blog 2008-2009 (posted below) Christine Brown, Kody Brown, Anne Wilde, and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff at a principle voices meeting??//Utah Town Hall Summit at St. George (not sure). There are other videos on here where Mark S. states he will not prosecute unless there is child brides or abuse.

    Christine gleefully says "bring it on" when the reporter states "you almost want to get charged don't you?"


    1. Have you seen these? I am sure you have. What then, did reporters like yourself think when Kody pulled the ole running from the law snafu on the series? Were you at any of the meetings we have seen here?

    2.Anne Wilde states, "It's a lifestyle" that magic word again. Do you know her, and what are your thoughts on her and her husbands "revelations" that God had 3 wives?

    3. I agree with my little knowledge that Centennial Park does not own up to the fact they were FLDS until the split. Why do they lie and not just say, "Yes we once were."
    Are they really any different that the FLDS other than being ran by more than one man?

    3. I will be getting your book from the library this week. Can't wait to read!

    1. great questions Denise, I second that, would like to hear Ed's opinions.

    2. Hello Denise...
      I was the City Editor of the newspaper at the time of that meeting and did not attend, although I did have a reporter there. I spent hours on end with the reporter I had assigned to cover Short Creek in developing stories, contacts, leads. I had people I talked to and interviewed for background to develop even more stories -- from social to economic.

      As far as Kody and the running from the law angle...well, it makes for good TV. He knew/knows that Utah officials will not arrest him, but it looks good for TV.

      I have never met Anne Wilde, but know of her. She supports the decriminalization of polygamy, and insists on calling it a lifestyle choice. I think that is the convenient tag for it and makes it more palatable to the public. Cara and I will be meeting with the Utah Safety Net people in a few weeks, which she is also a member of. I don't believe she will be there, however. As far as revelations are concerned...uh...yeah...well...revelations have historically played a large role in the Mormon faith, from changing its stance on polygamy when seeking statehood to changing its stance on black men achieving priesthood within the church in 1978 when there was a real racial image problem for the church.

      Why won't the CP acknowledge they came from the FLDS?

      Perhaps it is because they position themselves so frequently as the "good polygamists."

    3. Thank you so much Ed. I thought so, but like verification. Sad they won't claim their own kin of sorts.

  23. Anon...
    Great question.

    I am not concerned with who Kody Brown sleeps with, lives with, has children with or supports. That is entirely his business.

    However, we must look societally. We have seen polygamy exist across the globe and in each instance, the overwhelming evidence is that the effects of it are deleterious to children and women; creates an inequality within the society; and places one religious branch above another.

    There are, as I mentioned in another response, a great number of socio-economic issues attached to this -- taxes, welfare, etc.

    It is not my place to preach morals or religion. Those are personal and private decisions each individual should make on their own. However, I damn well will stand up against the pedophiles who would violate young girls, a culture that would place a boy into the work place when he should be playing Little League baseball, and any group that would demean women or infringe upon their human rights and dignity.

    Remember, my civil rights end when they endanger or impinge yours. I can laugh, I can boo, I can hiss, I can applaud in a crowded theater, but I cannot yell "Fire!" A follower of a particular faith has the right to pray, worship, believe all they want, as long as in the process they are not harming anyone or the tenets of that religion embrace a precept that would harm anyone. We have seen that the Browns apparently -- hopefully -- do not embrace the negative aspects of their religion. I pray it continues. But, it does not mean that there are no inherent dangers in promoting the polygamous lifestyle. The AUB, from which the Browns come, does practice under-age marriage, does prevent the full education of their young, and does deny women their rights. And, to be honest, do we really know what they believe? All we see is what is placed before us on the TV.

    1. This response so clearly sums up the entire issue. Thank you so much for participating in this online forum. Your knowledge and perspective are invaluable to these discussions.

  24. The Brown's have "bled the beast" plenty. They were getting benefits when they lived in Utah. I personally saw Christine using WIC as well as a Horizon card, which is food stamps when I lived in Lehi.

    According to their own book Kody and Merri courted an underage girl after they were married to one another but before they married Janells. Kody and Merri were both adults at that point...really no different from the other plyg men.

    They may not throw out their kids, and now at least they allow them to go to regular public schools but this is all recent since they started working for TLC.

    You really just have to scratch the surface and look into their recent history to see that abuses within their own family that are typical of plygs!

  25. Mr. Kociela,
    I am so excited you are here!!

    Ed said:
    The AUB, from which the Browns come, does practice under-age marriage, does prevent the full education of their young, and does deny women their rights. And, to be honest, do we really know what they believe?

    Heck no, we don't know!! That's what I say!!!

  26. Hi Ed!

    Darla D. back for more!

    you made a great point on "What Love is this?" about the Dargers and Browns claim that since they are only legally married to one, they are not breaking the law. Would you like to expand on that, and enlighten folks here? I know it's a great topic you went over, and when other readers come later in the week, a really good area to touch on. Thank you, as always! Nice hair, BTW. Cara, you are beautiful

    1. Darla D 6:50...
      I will respond after first telling you that Cara sits here blushing at your remark. (She IS beautiful, though!)

      The federal government outlawed polygamy with the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act in 1862.

      The Mormon fundamentalists think they found a loophole by officially marrying their first spouse -- marriage license and ceremony performed by somebody licensed by the state -- and entering what they call "spiritual marriages" with their subsequent wives, thinking this avoids legal problems. As discussed with Doris, the Utah statute on bigamy defines it as: "A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person." So, the moment a man with a legal wife takes a spiritual wife, he "purports" (presents himself) as being married to more than one woman, which violates the law. When a man with a legal wife "cohabits" with another woman, he violates the law. So the "spiritual marriage" claim is invalid.


    2. That's what I don't understand. If it is illegal, why are they not arrested? I understand you've told us the Attorney General will not. But why? What if my religion decides that they want to smoke pot. Not bleed the beast, not keep their names off of birth certificates, just smoke a bit of weed, which is illegal in Indiana. Would the govt turn a blind eye if our "church paid million of dollars to the campaigns? This is very new to me.

    3. Hello, Suzy,
      It is very difficult, when discussing selective enforcement, what determines comparing apples to oranges. I guess it is all a matter of perspective?

      As far as allowing religion some special allowances, we know, of course, that American Indians are allowed to partake of peyote in sacred prayer rituals. But, that is a far cry from raping underage girls and defrauding the government welfare system.

      The church, by the way, has found itself in trouble for donating to and conducting political campaigns. There was the campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, where many church elders were sent across the country to preach the church opposition to the amendment. There was, most recently, the California campaign to overthrow the voter-approved gay marriage decision. It was proved that the church paid millions to support the anti-gay campaign.

      From the Federal Election Commission: Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, incorporated charitable organizations--like other corporations--are prohibited from making contributions in connection with federal elections. Unlike most other corporations, charities face additional restrictions on political activity under provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Churches are considered charitable organizations.


  27. The Browns are media and publicity hogs. When is someone, in front of a camera, going to ask them about their personal experiences abusing our welfare system?

    1. As mentioned before, I am considerably disappointed in today's media. They do not ask enough questions, are afraid of confrontation in interview situations, and seem to have lost their sense of being a community watchdog. The fact that they toss softball questions at Kody Brown and his wives is not a surprise.

  28. Teacher Tried and TrueSeptember 15, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    I teach second grade. I distinctly remember seeing this ep. I watch all of them. You were discussing how many FM children don't have a 2nd grade education. That is mortifying. Even where I teach in Indiana, there is testing done for home schooled children. At least for grades 1-4, the home schooled children are tested more thoroughly that many regular classroom students.

    In Utah is there nothing in place for home schooled children or children in general?

    This is a frightening area for me. Everyone deserves an education. My father grew up in the early 20's and on a farm with only 13 in his school. He mastered the three r's better than most do today. Why are they not getting at least what a poor farm boy did in the 20's? A farm boy that missed during harvest, planting etc., no less.

    1. TT&T 6:57...
      There are safeguards, supposedly, in place to ensure that home-schooled children are, indeed, home schooled. It is up to the local Child and Family Services officials to ensure that takes place. There are not enough DCFS workers to go around, apparently.

  29. I dont understand how they felt judged and worried about thd cops coming in Utah, fled to Vegas because I think their words were, that Vegas was more open to their lifestyle but then judge mermaids, gamblers, cocktail waitress's........thr waitress's and mermaids have JOBS and the gambling folks are keeping dealersand so on working. ????????

  30. Ed,
    1. I would like to thank you for being willing to share (and educate) with us.
    2. On Doris' show their was a gentleman named Daniel who called. He stated that the children were attending school. Do you believe that this is true? Also, is it normal for non=members to live in Colorado City?
    3. What do you suggest for people not living in the areas where we would write our state officials to arrest ect these people? I live in New Jersey.
    4. Is there something in the federal government that can be done about the laws not being followed?

    Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.


    1. Anon &;05
      We saw the elementary school in Short Creek. It was abandoned. The school yard was overgrown with weeds 6-feet tall. The Mohave County School District reported that all of the children had been pulled out of the school.

      There are very few non-FLDS people living in the community. Very few.

      As far as influencing state officials, the Utah Attorney General is John Swallow. He has an accessible email through his Utah.gov site, although I doubt it would do much good. And, because he is a Republican in a state that is 75 percent Republican, he doesn't worry about being booted out at election time.

      You can encourage the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute polygamy violations. I think, however, you will find that they are uneducated about what is taking place there and will consider it a "lesser crime," without realizing what is at stake.

      The most effective thing is for the people of Utah to boot out the current AG and replace him with somebody who will enforce the law and encourage local law enforcement agencies to enforce the law on the books.


  31. We've been asking you all sorts of questions and been lucky to have you come and share with us. I think it's time for you to tell us about your book we are going to read!

    1. Hello Clueless,
      The book is what I cakk a journalistic novel, meaning it if fact-based fiction. The characters are based on real people, some are composites, others are pretty direct parallels.

      The book takes you through the trials of a family caught up in the fundamental Mormon lifestyle. Without giving too much away, the wife is burned out on the lifestyle, the husband is torn between the beliefs he was raised with, and they have a very young daughter, who the prophet intends to take as one of his wives.

      We meet the wife's parents, a kind woman and brutal man. We meet the prophet and get into his thought process. We learn how he holds his control over his followers and in his community. These are the primary characters, who face personal challenges to not only their belief systems, but the circumstances that occur in the book.

      The book also includes two characters who work at the local newspaper, one a reporter and the other an editor, who are charged with reporting the news from that community. They, too, have their own challenges.

      The incidents that occur within the storyline? Taken from real life.

      I also use the book to offer some insight into the history of Mormon belief -- from the founders to the fundamentalists to the mainstream LDS.

      I hope you enjoy it.

    2. I will be getting it the next time I am at the library, along with the book on the years in LA. I have learned alot here and hope you come back.

  32. Why does the government give the FLDS contracts? Why does our president not step in when he knows there's a bean diet imposed on these children?


  33. Cara and Ed, what fun is this meeting you guys and having you here. I hope you will watch tonights shows and come post here your thoughts on them, where we can find them!

    1. Yes, Ed, why does the government give the FLDS large contracts?

  34. I admit, I know little about plyg life, so ,ease bear with me. I have been reading today about how awful it would be to legalize plural marriage, but I have formed a different opinion, I think it should be legalized and serious amounts of money spent on letting polygamists know it is legal.
    First, it would allow the second, third, fourth wive etc, legal rights. It would allow them to list the true fathers on birh certificates. Makes it harder to commit welfare fraud if the truth is out in the open.
    I would also think it would make it harder to marry off young girls because it would no longer be in secret. Over time, won't families learn to require the marriages to be legal in order to protect their children?
    It seems to me, the hiding from the law enables the "Profetts" and others to manipulate their followers with fear of what will happen if you try to get help from the outside world. If we accept their belief as nothing more than a religious ideology, we could open the door to save those in danger.
    Please be nice in your replies, this is just a though.

    1. Anon...
      I understand your thoughts. The problem, however, is that there is an apparent appetite for young girls within the community. There were a number of legal-aged women for Warren Jeffs to choose from in Texas, yet he "married" a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old. It wasn't for a lack of unattached women. There were 11 other men who were also arrested, charged, and convicted of child rape/sexual abuse along with Jeffs. There could have been even more but Texas opted to not do a massive arrest, as occurred in Short Creek in 1953. About a third of the under-age girls in the Texas compound were pregnant or had given birth. It sounds, on the surface, to be a viable solution, however, legalization would not remove this from the equation.

    2. Wow, I didn't know that even more men could have been charged, but the state held back because of the 1953 case! So disturbing, but I am thankful they were able to make the prosecutions they did.

  35. As to the census remarks in the last thread I stand by the too many women argument. The railroad workers were largely single men and not members of the church. There were more adult women than adult men in the church for at the beginning decades. Not for every man to take multiple wives. But it wasn't for them all. And the uneven membership evened out which is part why they accepted the ban in exchange for statehood.

    1. Respectfully - this is untrue - that there was this surplus of women. That was never the rationale for polygamy in Mormonism. Reading Mormon scriptures and readings from the time makes this crystal clear. "Welfare polygamy" is present day PR by the mainstream Mormon church.

  36. I don't really care for the Browns, am not a polygamist, and not even Mormon, but I do think this blog post is shedding some clarity on why the Browns are so serious about their "freedom preaching". The previous posts and comments on this blog have been snarky, curious, and often started with "They can do what they want but..." focusing on the family dynamic and not judgement on an entire lifestyle holistically. Now with this post the Browns have been thrown in with mothers letting their children be abused by Warren Jeffs,kids not being educated properly, and child brides. As much as I am not a fan of how the Browns live, I would never equate them to child abusers. They do not deserve to be thrown in a big pile with the destructive doings of the FLDS. They are not the same. And to say they are is to say every monogamist family abuses their children too, because there is a lot of abuse in family homes. (I know, my husband has served many years working in juvenile campuses for boys. Their stories are no more horrifying than the FLDS. It is all so sad.) So do we do away with the privacy of the monogamist home life in fear of abuse? Having more than one spouse does not need to stem from religion at all, and if legal and regulated I am sure a lot of abuse would come out (but not all) and a lot of "welfare lies" would be taken care of. There would be a new way to look at polygamy, too. Can't openly cheat the system because it is legal- can you really afford another wife? The Browns always talk about the Old Testament men with multiple wives.. what they fail to mention is that back then more than one wife usually meant lots of wealth, because you HAD to be able to take care of all that family. It also had nothing to do with religion, besides taking care of related widows. Homosexuals are fighting a battle to be added to the description of legal marriage right now, but 50 years ago- weren't the concerns just like this? Immorality, abuse, legality. Now look.

    1. ThisisaMERica...
      Look very closely again. Nobody today has accused the Browns of child abuse, rape, or fraud. I think if you re-read you will see when I was asked why he did or did not do something, I answered that I cannot and would not answer for Kody Brown, Kristyn Decker, nor anybody else. We are not throwing him in with the FLDS. As a matter of fact, he comes from the AUB, not FLDS. Your argument that polygamy should be legalized because the Browns seem upright citizens does not support the overwhelming evidence of what occurs in the polygamous communities and within the lifestyle.

      Bringing in the gay marriage issue is not relevant. That is truly a lifestyle decision, not one based on religious coercion.


    2. Just a bit more...

      The Canadian government legalized same-sex marriage in 2004 and prostitution in 2012, but when the Supreme Court of British Columbia sought to overturn the ban on polygamy, after reviewing the most comprehensive judicial record on polygamy ever produced in history, Chief Justice Bauman declared that there was inherently too much harm to justify legalizing polygamy.

      In his decision, Bauman outlined some of the harms:
      -Women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychological harm.
      -They face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse.
      -Competition for material and emotional access to a shared husband can lead to fractious co-wife relationships.
      -These factors contribute to the higher rates of depressive disorders and other mental health issues that women in polygamous relationships face.
      -They have more children, are more likely to die in childbirth and live shorter lives than their monogamous counterparts.
      -They tend to have less autonomy and report higher rates of marital dissatisfaction and lower levels of self-esteem.
      -They also fare worse economically, as resources may be inequitably divided or simply insufficient.
      -Children in polygamous families face higher infant mortality, even controlling for economic status and other relevant variables.
      -They tend to suffer more emotional, behavioral and physical problems, as well as lower educational achievement than children in monogamous families.
      -These outcomes are likely the result of higher levels of conflict, emotional stress and tension in polygamous families.
      -In particular, rivalry and jealousy among co-wives can cause significant emotional problems for their children.
      -The inability of fathers to give sufficient affection and disciplinary attention to all of their children can further reduce children’s emotional security.
      -Children are also at enhanced risk of psychological and physical abuse and neglect.

    3. Personally, I think it is abusive for a grown man and woman to try and date an under age girl like Kody and Meri did. I also believe it is abusive to have children that you neglect and foist upon the taxpayers to feed.

      And yes, their religious group ARE fundamentalist Mormons. They denigrate women by teaching their children that the only way a female can go to Heaven unless they have sex with a man and commit adultery.

      Any light that be shined on this deathstyle should be shined. Because telling the lie to those women that they are worthless in the eyes of God except for their vaginas is death to the soul.

  37. Ed, Kdoy just said he had to listen to "noises" - so is us having to listen to him "music"

  38. Why is their personal experience invalidated by others speaking their truth? I never felt that way, have you ed?

  39. Ed, where are the other million dollar homes and wives like the Browns? Why are they being so cruel to Kristyn? Why can't they hear the other side?

  40. I am embarrassed for the Brown family acting so poorly to Kristyn Decker. Ed, as a panelist yourself, was that neccesary?

  41. Why is Christine so traumatized? Why do they not realize there are 2 sides of every story. The anti' aren't saying hate. THEY ARE, thoughts?

  42. For all asking questions about tonight's shows, we are on MST so will not see it for a while yet... please be patient Ed or I will answer all after we see the shows...

  43. Candy, Teacher and Anon...
    First, Candy, there is a defense mechanism, I think, that triggers that response. It also surfaces most frequently among the men, who have become so accustomed to never being challenged that they have no other way to respond.

    Teacher...If you sign a TV deal you can afford a million-dollar home. Why are they mean to Kristyn? Because she came from that sect. They know her, know her family, attack her in a more personal manner. And, Kristyn is a very sweet, calm, passive woman. Why can't they hear the other side? They refuse to challenge their own beliefs.

    Anon...I was not on this panel. The day Kristyn was in Las Vegas doing this show we were in St. George at the forum presented by the Centennial Park women. Couldn't be in both places because of bad timing. But, knowing Kristyn, I am offended that somebody would treat her poorly. She is a very sweet and kind woman.

  44. Doesn't sound like Kody Brown is a very religious person. Shouldn't he be more...mature? Why did he say he was persecuted as a kid when he wasn't in the sect? Ed, I am enjoying reading all your posts and am sure I will have more questions tomorrow. thank you.

  45. I have a question for our esteemed scholar! First, thank you for being on this little blog. I usually read at work on Mondays and Tuesdays during my break, but had to get my questions in!

    Sir, what can we do to educate our peers that know nothing about polygamy?

    What would you say is the #1crime of the FLDS?

    Many say this blog is not fair, but I feel it is very fair, the polygamists don't want to show their faces here because they don't want to answer questions. How can we get them to come, without denying our own right to ask fair questions? Is it even worth it? Would they lie?
    What was the most AMAZING thing you saw in L.A.?

    Will the next book of plygs be an extension of the first?
    Thank you sir.

    Thank you Cara.

    1. Hello, Tillie...
      Thanks for jumping in.

      The best way to educate your peers about polygamy is to explain the plight of the children--the sexual and physical abuse, the lack of education, the enforced labor. Appeal to their sense of decency.

      Explain the plight of women. Look, women have it tough in the "real" world where they are overworked, underpaid, harassed, have their integrity and self-esteem questioned, let alone what happens in this patriarchal society where they have no respect, no rights, are treated as possessions.

      Explain the fraud that takes place, the "Bleeding of the Beast." Explain how legalization of polygamy would require huge chunks of the tax code to be rewritten (maybe not a bad idea on some levels), how spousal benefits and rights would be affected with multiple wives.

      They will argue that what happens between consenting adults is nobody's business, which is true, but these are not consenting adults. There are children thrown into under-age marriage and women of consenting age? They were raised to believe their spiritual salvation depends on their fealty to their husbands.

      Fair questions, showing their faces, and telling the truth? It won't happen. They have an agenda, religious fervor, a refusal to open to both sides.

      Is it worth it?

      Think of the 12-year-old girl forced to marry Warren Jeffs. You bet it is worth it.

      Most amazing thing I saw in L.A.? Bruce Springsteen at The Roxy, July 1978.

      'plygs' sequel? It will take begin where the original left off.

    2. I have got to read your books! I love to read about polygamy, I will do it first, then as a relief, jump to It Rocked!!!

      Bruce you say? They say he is rockin it again this year. Funny, when I was growing up, there were no older rock stars. I think it's pretty cool that our generation gets to share with their children. Too much music today is...noise.....junk....Do you agree?

      Worst Experience? (with rock stars, shows, etc)

    3. Hello Rocker Chic...
      A good idea to go from something as heavy as polygamy to something much lighter like rock 'n' roll. It can clear the head a bit. If nothing else, it will revive some nice memories.

      In all honesty, I must say I have great difficulty relating to a lot of the stuff out there. I was hanging in pretty well with Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I think Dave Grohl is so energetic and a terrific entertainer. I think Lady Gaga has flashes of brilliance. But, wow, do I have a problem connecting with the likes of many others. From Limp Bizkit (I know, some time ago) to fun., Justin, Mylie and the others, I just don't hang there. And rap pretty much leaves me cold.

      Worst experience? Rod Stewart. He did an absolutely lousy show, I wrote an appropriate review and he wanted to punch me out for it. I loved him with Faces, but after he died his hair blonde, he lost his rock 'n' roll cred and became a tabloid star.

      Bruce? He ROCKS! Petty? You bet. Have pretty good, I think, chapters on them plus my old friend George Harrison, BB King, Stones, Beach Boys...a bunch of others.

    4. Tillie...
      I am finally getting around to answering one of your questions: "What is the No. 1 crime of the FLDS?"

      I have great difficulty with this and when dealing with it in my book, I had many sleepless nights, but the worst crime of the FLDS, without doubt, argument, or debate, is the sexual abuse of the children -- boys and girls -- who lose their innocence and carry the scars for a lifetime.

      There is no sin as egregious or horrific as a sin committed against a child. Warren Jeffs and many of his followers are nothing more than pedophiles cloaking their perversion under the guise of religion. The white room they discovered in the Texas temple where these young girls were taken, is a chamber of horrors. Warren had a similar room built in a complex Short Creek that he, thankfully, will never see.

      He and many of his male followers have inflicted themselves upon innocent children. Their debt to society, as they call it, can never be paid.

  46. Is there any way to force the A.G, to at least look into Welfare fraud?

    1. The Sound Choices Coalition is working on that and other issues.

  47. ED:
    Meri bragged this tonight:
    Meri Brown ✔ @MeriBrown1
    We have 3 kids in college, and high schoolers planning on going. Not bad for us polygamists.

    I want to scream, yes, because us tax payers of Utah paid for them until now, and now, you are selling your soul to be on TV. Not your average polygamist. Thoughts?

    1. TV money buys a lot of things.

    2. I did not mean to sound flippant, but TV money can be substantial, at least when I compare mine. I have heard mixed reports that the adults each receive $75,000 per episode. I have also heard that they get from $50,000 to $100,000 per episode. I am sure they have other ventures. I know they sell jewelry, a book and probably get a lot of perks through the TLC network.

      However, I also understand that one of the first episodes of the show supposedly revealed one of the wives shopping with a food stamp card.

    3. Actually, if you haven't seen their welfare papers, they are here under welfare at the beginning of the blog. Even though they had been given the show and had finished taping; Christine was on food stamps in apr 2011 when she filed bankruptcy.

      Fair much?

      Robyn Brown has a lien against her new home. I guess she's not paying her bills now.

    4. Ed thanks for commenting on what you have heard as far as their income goes. So many of us have wondered, commented, questioned etc. how they could buy these homes. You are the first to give us a range of income.

  48. Cult-De-De-la-Do
    Not sure why Kody says he was persecuted as a child. Maybe he was the last one picked for baseball games, I don't know. As far as his maturity, you would expect more from a 44-year-old. But, look...we're guys and we always have a problem with maturity...some more than others. Look forward to your questions.

  49. One thing that really confuses me when it comes to the practice of polygamy, and perhaps Ed could shed some light on this, is that they somehow do not run out of women to marry. Given the size of these families, they would HAVE to be related to everyone else in their town or church after no more than three generations. If that is the case, there must be some sort of "recruitment" process in order to keep fresh blood in their compounds and guard against the inevitable birth defects that would come with close relatives breeding with each other. I understand that brides are shipped in from other parts of the country, but would that be enough? The more frequently these groups splinter and fight with each other, the fewer marriageable women the leaders would have access to. How do they get around this problem?

  50. Anon,
    Depending on which source you cite, there are either two or three bloodlines that make up the Short Creek population. About 90 percent of the people in the community are related. That results in a disproportionate number of cases of an illness called Fumarase Deficiency, a disease caused by marriage within families.

    Fumarase Deficiency is an enzyme irregularity that causes severe mental retardation, epileptic seizures and other effects that leave children nearly helpless and unable to care for themselves.

    Until 1990, there had only been 13 cases of the rare disease diagnosed worldwide. Since then, however, there have been at least 20 cases diagnosed in Short Creek alone, all within a three-block area.

    hey are very wary of outsiders, but some women are recruited. Most come from within. Now, women and girls are moved around. In fact, the RCMP in Canada is investigating the FLDS on the grounds that they believe they have sent young girls to Canada to be placed into marriage. And, most recently, a large number of young people have been moved from Texas and Utah to Pringle, South Dakota. When the numbers get far too one-sided, they throw the young men out of the community. These young men are called "The Lost Boys."

  51. Ed or Cara,

    I live in Eastern South Dakota and had no idea that there was a Warren Jeff's community in my state until coming to this blog. I worry about the children. I'm not sure what I could do to help them, do you have any suggestions? I highly doubt the average person here would know anything about their community and so am not sure writing a letter to a politician would have any result. I'm sure that is why they picked this state, whereas many know about polygamy in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Texas.

    1. Hello 8haron
      We contacted the local newspaper and shared info with them. What they choose to do with it is beyond us.

      Go to city council meetings, go to county commission meetings. Things they want to do -- building permits, business licenses, etc. -- must go through them. Make yourself aware.

      Do not do business with them. They will pretty much stay within their compound. But let your local government officials know your concerns. Let your neighbors know your concerns. Tell them about this page on this website and have them educate themselves. Make sure your local law enforcement is on its toes. Talk to your neighbors. Inform them. Information is key.

      I wish you luck.


    2. I'm in south western SD. I had no idea there was an flds compound so close (less than 60 miles away) but I had, had my suspicions because of some of the people I had seen around. My husband and I watched the Dateline episode the other night and I had mentioned my suspicion to him and how it's pretty much the perfect place for one, since it's so desolate.
      I am now going to make it a priority to attend meetings and voice my concerns. Along with spreading the word on various social media networks. Hopefully, more attention and concern will be raised about what is going on in own back yard.

    3. Those are great ideas, hadn't thought of the local media. I live on the opposite side of the state where they are located (a good 6 hr drive or further) so wouldn't be able to attend city counsel mtgs. And I will mention this blog and your work! Thanks :)

  52. Hi ED, have been enjoying reading your posts the past few days.
    What did you think of the panel discussion?

  53. Hello, Anon...
    I thought it was contrived, a farce. Robyn complains about being ambushed, yet TLC arranged the whole thing, as I understand it. Christine's melodrama about facing Kristyn was clearly scripted in my mind. Kody is a not-so-bright authoritarian wannabe bully.

    How any of them could be intimidated by Kristyn, Christine Marie, Kollene or Willie is beyond me.

    Their feelings of persecution are unwarranted. They put themselves in the public eye by agreeing to do the show. If they don't like it, quit doing it.

    I would not describe it as a panel discussion. There was no real back and forth, no points made other than the Browns complaints about their image.

    I find this to be simply a latter-day soap opera.

    But, I DID learn that the word "Sweetie" can be a very, very snarky thing to say to somebody, so to Robyn Brown? Good night, Sweetie!

    1. Ed, I've just gotta say it.
      You, here, are the BOSS.

  54. I hope this hasn't already been asked. But, If this was decriminalized. Wouldn't this open up a can of worms as far as other types of polygamists? And then the next thing they will want to be able to collect welfare benefits like they can in the UK.

    1. PsychoSisterWife (great handle!)
      Well, I don't think you can allow one form of polygamy and not all. I mean legally, I cannot see how they could pass a law legalizing Mormon polygamy and not legalizing Muslim polygamy.

      I mentioned a little earlier -- somewhere in this very lengthy and interesting thread -- that there are practical dangers to legalizing polygamy. They would have to rewrite huge chunks of the tax code, there would be a need for new laws regarding spousal rights (inheritance, SSI benefits, etc.), welfare benefit regulations, etc. Yes...it would be a legal quagmire. And, if you are an employer who provides health and life insurance and pay a portion of it, how would you feel if an employee came in with five wives and 23 kids that you had to pick up part of the tab for? What would you do for employees with one wife and two kids, or single employees to compensate for the extra benefit payout? Could cause a lot of grief in the workplace.

  55. Isn't bigamy in fact illegal in all states? I have heard both that the other 3 sister wives are "spiritual" wives and also that they are all married to the same man. You cannot have your cake and eat it too if you ask me. It is an extremely dangerous precedent to put blatant criminal activity on primetime TV, especially cult-based (and this religion is certainly not mainstream, there is a charismatic leader, they are dedicated to bringing in (or giving birth to) new members, dissention is discouraged, just listen to the session, they are founded on non-standard beliefs, the group's leader is accountable to no authority, every marker of a cult).

    I think the only way to end this is going to be a final episode, hopefully sooner rather than later, where the Brown cult-compound is stormed by either the Vegas or Federal authorities, the children are evaluated for significant brainwashing and psychological damage away from their indoctrinators (father AND mothers) and place either with other family members or social services until a complete investigation is finished.

    1. that scenario seems a bit extreme...I think they'll just be so boring, even WE will lose interest, Kody is already displaying signs of Kate Gosselin-like entitlement and TLC is giving the family some pretty unflattering edits (although that said, maybe its the best they can do OR they know where the ratings are). The show will be cancelled, and it won't be the feds storming their cuddle sac, it will be the sheriff or whoever serves foreclosure notices in that area, telling them it's time to get the eff out!

  56. Ed, thank you for the time you have taken here to explain these issues. I grew up in a LDS family in Utah, and while I left the religion as an adult all of my extended family is still actively LDS. I was shocked to learn about the extent of polygamy happening today, definitely not something I ever learned about at church. You have done a fantastic job explaining the abuses towards women and children in these communities, it's time for these "education" networks to show the full picture on polygamy. Another issue that I am frustrated has not been portrayed at all is the racism that exists today in these religions. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the AUB endowment house was built when the LDS church ended the priesthood ban and the then AUB leader declared that LDS temples were now defiled by the entrance of African Americans. My question to you is do all of these fundamentalist Mormon groups have these same racist beliefs? Do "independent" polygamist families such as the Dargers have these racist beliefs? Are their any other races represented in these flds groups? And why do you think these television networks have completely ignored, actually hidden this issue?

    1. Hello Anon...
      Another great question. (Actually, they have ALL bee great!)

      The mainstream LDS church has had a longtime problem with charges of racism (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765555339/LDS-Church-condemns-past-racism-inside-and-outside-the-church.html?pg=all) In fact, there was such a problem that the church came out with a number of statements as Mitt Romney, also a member of the church, made his run for the Presidency. Officially, the church has spoken out against racism -- particularly towards African Americans. In practice? Well, there is a reason why only 1.3 percent of the Utah population (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/49000.html) is black. It is estimated that in the U.S., only 3 percent of the mainstream LDS church is black.

      I have not seen every fundamentalist Mormon polygamist, however I have seen plenty and never seen one of color. I do know that the fundamentalists have a closeness, or at least tolerance, for Hispanics. They have traditionally hired many -- especially those undocumented ones -- to work in their alfalfa fields and on their ranches. And, the mainstream church has a heavy recruiting effort throughout Latin America and in the Pacific islands.

      As far as ignoring that aspect of fundamentalist and mainstream Mormon life, the only answer I can come up with is they don't believe it is relevant to their audience. These guys don't do anything without considering if it is or isn't of interest to their audience. Advertisers and readership/viewership now have more to do with decisions about what will be written or broadcast than ever before. A travesty.

    2. Thanks for your response! I am aware of the mainstream LDS churches history of racism, as well as the incident that occurred during Mitt Romney's campaign with BYU Professor Bott and the Washington Post. While the mainstream LDS church has "officially" changed its racist doctrine, it has failed to in any way acknowledge or apologize its former racist principles. The public statement that the LDS church made at the time of Professor Bott bringing unwanted attention to the racist doctrine of the curse of Cain was only made because they had egg on their face. It was still in no way an apology or admission of former wrongdoing. I personally suspect these FLDS religions still adhere to these racist doctrines, including the AUB. My feelings are that TLC has stayed away from this subject because they do not believe their viewers would be okay with supporting a tv show that highlights a family practicing a racist religion, or at least a racist belief system. I think it is about money, and I think it is intentional.

  57. good Lord, I wish I had a question to ask that wasn't already asked by others, but I DID want to say to Ed that you're doing a damn fine job! thank you so much!!! :) DJ

  58. OK, after a long day of interacting with so many new friends on this site and a marathon of Tweets, FB posts and the like, I have had some sleep and have a head that is a bit less fuzzy.

    I have to say that i have never seen such a shoddy job of TV journalism in all my life as was presented last night on "Sister Wives."

    I was thoroughly disgusted with the way TLC edited and presented last night's show. It was obvious to anybody paying attention that they had an agenda to make the Browns look squeaky clean, and support their claims of "persecution." I truly believe that the bit where the one wife went into the bathroom but was afraid of a confrontation with Kristyn was contrived, scripted by the show's producers. I thought the "conversation," if you will, of the panel was chopped up badly and reassembled sloppily.

    TLC used to be known as The Learning Channel. It had a reputation for good programming, credibility and dignity. All of that went out the window last night. I was tremendously disappointed. No, make that disgusted.

    I have never been a fan of Kody Brown or any of his wives. Last night I found even less reason to like or be sympathetic to any of them. I continue to view him as an arrogant, ignorant, uneducated, immature slob. I wouldn't want to even be in the same room with him. I found the arguments about being forced into this panel thing disingenuous because, well, it was set up by the show's network, TLC. If the Browns did not want to participate, I am sure they could have expressed their opinion and the forum would not have been held.

    I thought Kristyn, Christine, Kollene and Willie were credible, honest, sincere.

    We all seek truth.

    Last night, TLC tried to muzzle it.


    Ed Kociela
    author, 'plygs'

    1. You wrote, "I found the arguments about being forced into this panel thing disingenuous because, well, it was set up by the show's network, TLC. If the Browns did not want to participate, I am sure they could have expressed their opinion and the forum would not have been held."

      Many of us "regulars" on the blog hold the opinion that the Browns have sold their souls to TLC. Had they expressed their opinion to TLC and the forum NOT been held, we suspect TLC's response would have been, "Okay, Kody. No forum. No paycheck. No more seasons of the show."

      As you said in an earlier post, "Follow the money."

      By the way, thank you so much for your time with us. It has been enlightening, and affirms what many of us have seen to be the truth behind polygamy - and the Brown "family."

  59. Ed, I for one have been reading through all this and have learned so much from your posts. I thank you for coming here. I don't have a question at the moment, just soaking in all I have read. Thank you!

  60. Hi! Thrilled to have been reading all your comments...sweetie!


    When was the last time anyone was prosecuted in Utah for polygamy? Besides the one freak who had under-age wives.

  61. Hi, Ed,

    You don't know it - but I spent the weekend with you, reading all your posts, watching your segment on What Love Is This, and all I can do is echo everyone else's praises. The insight you've shared has been astounding. Thank you

    I'm honored to have you consider my question. I am still really bothered by last night's episode, especially how Christine shunned Aunt Kristin. I wondered if you could interpret the role of extended families in polygamy or share your perceptions.

    How much are relationships with siblings, half-siblings and blood relatives acknowledged, valued or cherished after polygamous marriages? Or, is the husband the center of this life and the next to the exclusion of other relatives?

    Given all the intermarriages, marriages between cousins and generations, such insular communities and the devotion to genealogy, I would expect that children would have lifelong relationships with their siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. But, I see little interaction with blood relatives in any of these shows. Meri Brown said that her sister's sisterwife raised Meri's nieces or nephews after her sister's death. In another episode, Kody expressed hope that people from their community would pass through Las Vegas and join in Sunday services. But, again, we have not seen their own extended families pass through.

    Sorry for the long description - I'm struggling, because it is so different from my own experience.

  62. Hello, Anon...
    The last instances of prosecution for bigamy in Utah, that I recall, were some time ago.

    In 2003, Rodney Holm, a former law enforcement officer in Short Creek (Hildale, Utah), was convicted of two counts of unlawful sexual contact with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy. He was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $3,000. He was granted work release to support his three wives and 20 children, which means he could leave the jail for work, then return at night.

    In 2001, Tom Green was convicted on four counts of bigamy and one count of failure to make child support payments in 2001 in Juab County. In 2002 he was convicted of child rape as a result of his spiritual marriage to a young girl. Green had five wives and 30 children. He served six years in prison. The interesting thing? David Leavitt, the Juab County Attorney who prosecuted Green, was tossed out of office in the next election by voters.

    1. So, as far as you can remember, there have been no of age marriage, relationships, whatever they want to call them, let's say Like The Browns, that have been prosecuted in a long time.

      It really saddened me to see his daughters tweets of living in fear, I believe there were some last night, I'd have to look again.They say they don't interfere with how their children believe, but we see it all the time, like last night getting Aspyn all upset about Christine's fake worries. I wonder if they are not mature enough to realize we all have issues; we don't tell our children and get them worried about.

      Isn't much what they did about being on the run, etc., a way of brainwashing their kids?

    2. Hello Valerie...
      You know, I always feel for the kids. They can't help who their parents are. I think their fears are rooted in the words and actions of Kody and his wives. Their immaturity has got to have a negative influence on those kids.

      I also suspect that the older kids are probably uncomfortable with all the attention. I mean I sure would not want to live with a camera crew in my face like that.

      We could go into a very, very long discussion regarding brainwashing, religious cults, etc. Let's just say I don't think Kody is bright enough to effectively brainwash anybody, however his actions, and those of his wives, certainly do have an impact on the children.

  63. Hello Anon...
    It's been a fun weekend for me.

    You know, as far as family relationships are concerned, I would say they are pretty much like the outside world. There are siblings who are close, some who are distant; there are typical sibling rivalries. The thing is, there are a lot more siblings and the age range can be quite large. It would not be terribly unusual for a 16-year-old, for example, to have siblings in their 20s and siblings who are infants. Older kids tend younger kids, there are multiple moms and, thus, aunts -- except in those situations where the husband has married sisters and a woman can be a sister wife mom and aunt to the same child. As they say in Facebook, it's complicated.

    Also, because the cities and towns are so small, they are in close company. I would say human nature is the same...some get along, some don't. Yes, there is the emphasis on genealogy and extended families, very large family lines. I think there is a familial connection that holds true, just a little tighter with some than others.

    I would suspect that the broader family would not participate in the show for a variety of reasons, from their displeasure with the Browns leaving the AUB to not being comfortable being on TV.

  64. Mr. Kociela,
    I have to ask since you are a media man, expert-
    What did you think of the professor last night and his statistics? Was the whole ting a set up? I read twitter, and you were asked to go? Gosh, I wish you had!e Brown family are using their plants to tweet how awful it was to be harassed by the anti polygamists. I am not an activist, just a viewer, but it was obvious those folks were not there to harm anyone, and got harmed. Thanks you for standing up for Kristyn Decker.
    If I have asked something you were going to say later, just don't respond. I know Mister Sister and sure she is pushing for more. She does when she hears truth. Thank you for taking time to come here. I am reading through and enjoying every bit of it.

    1. Hello Heather,
      Cara and I were asked by Kristyn to go to the UNLV forum, more or less as moral support rather than as a panel member. I seriously doubt I would be asked to participate in any kind of panel, simply because I have a background in asking tough questions as a newspaperman. I would love to be a part of such a panel because, well, I'm not as nice as Kristyn, Kollene, Christine, or Willie, and would probably have been much more confrontational with Kody and his wives.

      Regarding the Tweets, the thing is that I was Tweeting on my personal account while Cara was Tweeting on our 'plygs' account. She was also busy doing Facebook posts as well. She is so much better at that than I am and, in all honesty, I was also busy trying to keep up with this page and all of the lovely people we met. There was just way too much for one person and, like I said, Cara does such a great job. We both, however, came to Kristyn's defense at the same time because we know her so well. We also have great admiration for Christine, Kollene and Willie. What lovely people. We will always have their backs.

      Was it staged? Of course. What did I think of the professor and his statistics? I found them to be suspect. Was it a set-up? Absolutely. The TLC network has money invested in that show. From the way it was all arranged to the obviously weighted editing, I cannot help but feel that Kristyn, Kollene, Christine, and Willie were led into the lion's den.

  65. Twitter bashing all over thd place. Meri retweeted this one:

    Mechele R. Dillard ‏@mrdcleveland 13h

    #SISTERWIVES: Did Anti-Polygamy Panel Obscure Message w/ Personal Attack on Browns? http://wp.me/p3L7Ep-Cd @TVRuckus @realkodybrown @tlc

    Make me sick! SICK! How on EARTH are they getting the Browns were harassed on there?

    1. Hello, Tweet...
      You know, that's the same thing I am trying to figure. I think this martyr syndrome thing is self-inflicted.

  66. Thank you for answering me! So Big Love really was nothing like a normal life for a polygamist either.
    All seem to squirm when talking about their religion.
    I don't get it.

    In Season 1 of Sister Wives, they HOOKED a lot of people watching by saying that they would let their kids live however they want. now they can't go and say, but our religion believes this is a mandate... now can they?

    I know there will be a day I go, I wish I could ask you this! It's hard to think of them all at once. For many of this, this whole religion is like talking Chinese. Don't understand it.
    I am eager to read through all the postings here, and hope to read your book plygs soon.

    Ok, 2 questions instead of one....
    In Utah, can you not drive through their towns? I see gates and men with guns? What is it like there?

    1. Hello JuJuBeans,
      Religions can be very difficult to understand in the best of circumstances. Many are shrouded in secrecy. I grew up Catholic and Mass was in Latin for most of my childhood. It sounded pretty, but we had no clue what was going on. So, I think that can be a universal thing. However, there is a lot of material out there about the Mormon faith -- as other religions. I studied a lot about it, talked to some Mormon friends about things from services to ideology to present an honest and credible history when I went into detail about the religion. Not one Mormon follower or expert has challenged what I have written. In fact, they have commented about how accurate my relating their religion was in the book.

      Can you drive through Short Creek? Yes, you can, but you must be prepared to have one of the Town Marshals follow you and run your license plates to figure out who is behind the wheel of the strange vehicle. You will also be tailed by some of the locals in their big, lifted trucks. I know, because it happened to Cara and me. Gates? Men with guns? Well, the only gates we saw were those surrounding the Warren Jeffs complex. As far as men with guns, we honestly didn't see any, but that doesn't mean there were none in the vehicles that checked us out.

      What is it like? You don't see kids out playing, don't hear laughter or voices. The streets are fairly quite, not much traffic. the homes are incomplete because they believe they do not have to pay taxes on them if they remain unfinished.

      There are no outward signs of joy.

  67. Hi Ed. I have read many books on polygamy and I usually steer clear of 'fictional accounts' but so glad I read yours. The account of the young girls 'wedding night' was harrowing and what most authors shy away from but I have long suspected happens. These creepy old men need to be stopped and if that means it treads on the Browns 'right' to live polygamy then I see that as necessary collateral damage.

  68. Ed - I have a question about Warren Jeffs. I read through the other posts and did not see this so I hope I am not repeating -

    In your opinion after watching Warren Jeffs trial I am wondering if he is being punished for being all that he was told from a young age to be. I am not suggesting that he be allowed to live freely but I cant help but wonder how brainwashed or programed he was - from the time he was a very young boy to believe that he had to carry out his said duties by being the prophet? I just cant shake the look of confusion on his face through out the trial. I was left with the impression that he too is just another casualty from that group.

    1. Hello Anon,
      I can understand your thinking, however, I find it impossible to find him blameless. In fact, he sort of wrested control as the prophet after his father died. Prior to that, he was one of the more important elders in the church and ran the school -- Alta Academy -- where he indoctrinated the kids. Of course he was influenced by his father, but he took it many steps further.

    2. Thank you for your honest and fair answer - I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. I have posed this before and nobody else has ever answered at all- so thank you.

  69. Anon 4:46 Your point could be valid into that pesky pedophilia a comes up. Finding children sexually attractive is an incurable mental aberration. He is a pedophile who found the perfect outlet.

    But I don't think it's fair to say all FMs are so. Kody and crew are somewhat unlikable, but aren't pedphiles or child abusers. CP seems open and to have safeguards in place to prevent abuse, including following the laws about the age of consent. I haven't heard of any tales of folks having to literally "escape" from CP.

    I'm reminded of the Amish and their 8th grade education and manner of dress. I'm not sure polygamy is causal.

    I'm a little confused about, as you say, why existing laws aren't enforced. Not out of date "polygamy" laws, but laws regarding consent, incest, statutory rape, education, etc, etc.

    Where I'm from that Sheriffs Dept would have been disbanded long ago. And DYS would be visiting those kids. And a 15 yo girl who said she was going to be married against her will would be in foster care. Why aren't all these kids documented along with their legal guardian? Why are they not routinely tested re/ homeschooling? Why does no one pursue to actual father of these welfare kids, when it's knowledge who the father is? Paternity tests happen all the time.

    I'm not seeing polygamy as the problem, but the insular nature of what turned into a cult. But the flds is the flds. If you'rey not flds you're not in the cult. Why paint all with the same broad brush?

    I'm sort of getting a bit of an anti-Mormon feel to this thread. But other religions have doctrine that is anathema to many. Catholic stance on birth control, or gay marriage, for example. But not all Catholics who don't agree leave the religion wholesale.

    I'm feeling very pro-CP, I guess. They invited the state in to lecture on abuse. They encourage education. They don't marry before 18. And discourage ANY romantic contact before marriage. People seem to be able to leave if they wish. Yes, they might be told they're going to hell. But that's so in many religions. It doesn't seem to be an environment that would foster and normalize wholesale abuse.

    I do wonder how they would react to an flds that ran to them for help?

    Also, don't they preach polygamy is necessary to reacch the highest level of heaven, not that you go to hell if you don't practice it? Maybe you become a harlot... but you're not eternally dammed necessarily, are you?

    1. Hello Anon...
      I wouldn't call this an anti-LDS thread or site. I think there are many questions that are difficult to answer, as there are with many religions. I think you would pick up the same flavor if you went to a site about Catholics or Muslims. And, there is the part that must be understood of how people tend to pick and choose which pieces of dogma to follow/adhere to as members of a faith.

      The CP have done a very good job of portraying an image of the "good polygamists." However, even though we don't see evidence of child sexual abuse, and even though we are told they are big on education, it is still a very patriarchal society. It is still a male-dominated culture.

      As far as eternal damnation, the Mormon faith has a complicated take on the afterlife, with different levels of heaven and the outer darkness. More than I can really go into here.

      The broad brush? Well, the thing is the overwhelming majority of these groups do practice under-age marriage, fraud, the diminishing of women's rights.

  70. Another thought about Warren Jeffs and the close intermarriages - I wonder if along with the fumarase deficiency, they might be passing along the gene for pedophilia or other sexuality troubles...

  71. Ed, thanks so much for answering so many questions and being so insightful! You mentioned Fumarase Deficiency and how people with this disorder are mentally retarded and have seizures. Do you know how people with Fumarase Deficiency are treated within the polygamist community? It would seem to me that with so many other children it would be hard to properly care for someone with Fumarase Deficiency as their needs would be much greater than those of a typically developing child.

    1. Hi Anon,
      Until 1990, there were only 13 instances of the disease in the world. As of a few years ago, there were 20 cases reported in the Short Creek area within a three-block radius.

  72. Where do these guys find all these depressive women to cater to his every need?

    1. Hello Anon...
      Most come from within the community.

      Unfortunately, there are some who come from the outside world so battered -- emotionally, physically, sexually -- that they turn to behaviors and groups that continue to prey upon them. They are searching for something to make their lives better.

      Some turn to promiscuity, some turn to drugs and booze, some turn to religion. That is how many cults grow, through the abused, the lonely seekers. We saw it with James Jones and David Koresh. We saw it with Charles Manson, the Moonies.

      How do we help them? By not allowing them to reach that point, by loving and nurturing them from an early age; protecting them; educating them.

      So, please, support your local domestic violence shelters and child resource centers. Keep a watchful eye on our children, talk to them, listen to them.

      The law does little, in reality, to stamp out these abuses with legal penalties that in no way are commensurate with the crimes.

      And, in Utah, vote out ANY elected official who turns a blind eye to these violations of law. Sorry to get political, but that is a major part of the problem.

  73. Hi Ed Kociela,
    I had not heard of you before, but look forward to reading your books plygs and It Rocked! I can't imagine how interesting they are going to be considering how interesting and informative you've been on here!

    I have a question. Why don't they just SHUT DOWN Warren Jeffs where he can't communicate constantly with his followers?

    1. Hello Cherish...
      Even though he is in a Texas state prison, he still has certain rights, including allowing him to have visitors. He can have family, friends, attorneys -- whoever he approves -- visit on the appointed day.
      He can write letters.

      So, he can pass his edicts/messages through them to his followers, simple as that. Now, if he has arranged marriages to under-age girls and they can prove that, I am sure they could file additional charges against him. However, in the interest of the state budget, it is doubtful he would ever see a courtroom because he is already sentenced to life-plus. That's why the State of Utah is not retrying him. Remember, he was found guilty in Utah on two counts of rape as an accomplice. The decision was overturned on appeal because of an error made by the judge in issuing jury instructions.

      However, the Washington County Utah County Attorney declined to refile the charges because Jeffs is in jail in Texas for life. Arizona also had pending charges against him that have not been taken to trial for the same reason. Both states figure that since he will never be freed, it would be a waste of taxpayer money to try him, which makes sense economically, but can be argued does not bring justice to the victims.

  74. The Kingston Group. I don't know a thing about them. What can you help me learn in a nutshell?

    By far, is there any group that is ok in any way? I am not getting the feeling there is.

    What group is the most involved in criminal behavior?
    Do the sheriffs really turn a blind eye? that doesn't happen in my small town even if you are the Judge and get caught drunk driving once. I can't imagine a whole area where it always is.

    Thank you and god bless you and your wife.

    1. Hello MH...
      The Kingston Group is an interesting study. It was officially formed in 1977 as The Latter Day Church of Christ by J. Ortell Kingston, a man with a frightening Messianic complex who believed he came from the same bloodline as Jesus Christ.

      It is an interesting group because of Kingston's attempts to "purify" his bloodline. He inbred the cattle at a dairy farm where he worked, putting together a bizarre concept of genetics that led to incestuous relationships with his own children. Marriage to under-age girls was encouraged. As soon as a girl reached puberty, she was placed into marriage.

      The Kingston group, like the FLDS, is very concerned with amassing as much money as possible. Little benefits the community, however, which is impoverished. A group of Kingston followers have settled in western Canada and are suspected of transporting young girls across the border from the U.S. to place into marriages with older men -- again, a parallel to the FLDS.

      Is there any group that is OK in any way?

      I hate to pull them all under the same umbrella, but I cannot endorse any of the groups. Too many years in the news business have made me a skeptic and all of the things I have seen, read, heard, force me to be suspicious. I am not accusing the Browns or Dargers or this new bunch on 'My 5 Wives' of participating in anything illegal because there have been no charges, no accusations. The Centennial Park group claims to not engage in illegal activity. I certainly hope so. We do not need more pedophiles, welfare cheats, or men intent on demeaning women and removing their dignity and rights.

      Which group is most involved in criminal behavior?

      Impossible to really know. All I can say is that it Jeffs and the FLDS have been charged with more crimes than the others.

  75. Dear Ed, I've learned more in the past week of our "marathon" than I have in a year. I'm just so grateful that you would take the time to share. I really am.

  76. Now that I have watched Willie Steed on a show, I have to ask.

    Have the laws changed any about home schooling? That is crazy! Where I live children are tested every year and must do very well in order to keep homeschooling. UTAH is letting those children down

  77. The laws have not changed to my knowledge.

    Please, however, let's just take a moment and applaud the efforts of this young man who is doing everything he can to catch up with his education. He has been working very hard and has been assisted tremendously by Christine Marie Katas. We should be very proud of him and encourage him to continue all of his hard work.

  78. I too have seen the 20/20 show. It made me dig.

    The US government is letting the children down. I had no idea that there was no testing in place for some states but there is not for: UT, MT, KS, NE, NV,CA

    Listen to this! It really doesn't matter WHAT they require, for there is NO accountability. NONE.

    Home Schooling in the United States: A Legal Analysis 2013-2014 Edition
    Compulsory Attendance Ages:
    “Same length of time as minors are required by law to receive
    instruction in public schools,” which is “180 school days,” and for
    grades 2-12 “at least 990 instructional hours,” for grade 1 at least
    810 instructional hours, and for kindergarten at least 450
    instructional hours. Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2)(b)(ii), Utah
    Admin. Code R277-419-4(A)(1), and Utah Admin. Code R277-
    419-5(C)(3) and (4).
    “Subjects the State Board of Education requires to be taught in
    public schools.” Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2)(b)(i).
    Elementary Schools (K-2): reading/language arts, math, and
    integrated curriculum. Utah Admin. Code R277-700-4.
    Elementary Schools (3-6): reading/language arts, math, science,
    social studies, the arts, health education, physical education,
    educational technology, and library media. Utah Admin. Code
    Middle Schools (7-8): language arts, math, science, social studies,
    the arts, physical education, health education, and “career and
    technical education, life, and careers.” Utah Admin. Code R277-
    High Schools (9-12): language arts, math, science, social studies,
    the arts, physical and health education, “career and technical
    education,” educational technology, and library media skills. Utah
    Admin. Code R277-700-6.
    Home School Statute: Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2).
    A child “shall be excused from attendance” at the public school if the child’s parent annually files a
    signed affidavit with the minor’s school district.
    1. The parent must file an affidavit for each minor taught at home each year. The affidavit must contain
    a statement that the minor will be instructed in the subjects that the State Board of Education requires
    in public schools and that the minor will be instructed for the same length of time as minors are
    required by law to receive instruction in public schools. Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2)(b).
    2. The parent of a minor who attends a valid homeschool is solely responsible for (i) the selection of
    instructional materials and textbooks, (ii) the time, place, and method of instruction, and (iii) the
    evaluation of the home school instruction. Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2)(c).
    3. A local school board may not (i) require a parent of a minor who attends a home school to maintain
    educational records, (ii) require credentials for individuals providing home school instruction, (iii)
    inspect home school facilities, or (iv) require standardized or other testing of home school students.
    Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(2)(d).
    4. The school board shall issue a certificate to a homeschool program within 30 days after receipt of the
    affidavit “stating that the minor is excused from attendance during the time specified on the
    certificate.” Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-102(3).
    Alternative Statutes Allowing for Home Schools: Groups of homeschoolers have established
    themselves as a “regularly established private school” under Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-101.5(2).

    *****According to the Department of Education, the department has no jurisdiction over private schools. The only requirement that may apply is obtaining a business license. Teacher Qualifications: None. Standardized Tests: Not required by statute.

    So they do not even have to be teachers in a private school? Boy this is so foreign

  79. I saw some of your comic relief lately from following SWB on Twitter.
    Can I just say this?
    I appreciate all the time and effort you have given this week. I know that not only myself but many others will reference this post every time we get stuck on a polygamy issue.

    It took much of your time, and it is treasured. Thank Cara for allowing you to do this too. Sure it took time away from your regular activities.

    I know you were not happy watching the Browns. The show probably insulted your intelligence. But please Mr. Ed, watch this week come back here and snark in the spoiler section. You are too funny at times I know I never was on twitter much until my son talked me into it for promotion of his job. Most folks on here do not do twitter.
    PLEASE come snark on the spoilers. Listen to this:

    Season 4, Episode 10
    Episode Synopsis: Kody and his four wives confront their relationship issues at a couples retreat, which includes a meditation session that helps them get to the bottom of their internal conflicts.

    so, if you can't stand that one you must come for the Sister Wives tell all
    Season 4, Episode 11
    Episode Synopsis: Kody, Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn discuss their lives and relationships with Tamron Hall. Original Air Date: Sep 22, 2013

    These are always a hysterical mess. The best one was with Natalie Morales, but she got the boot from Kody. I don't know Tamron Hall but I guarantee that it will be so damn funny that you have got to share that humor with others here on spoilers.

    thank you sir. hope to see you then.