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Okay, not entirely, but... I'm getting ahead of myself. Anybody catch HBO's hilarious! and satirical! and sexy! show about "Mormon" Polygamy? Hahaha! Because it's all that, and more! Lemme be upfront with definitions, so I don't get a lynch mob after me:

POLYANDRY/POLYAMOROUS relationship: brought about by a group of people interested in forging a relationship due to love, sex, admiration, large house and sturdy sheets. I have no problems with this. You're grownups, have at it, and take a multi-vitamin. What, you don't need a B Complex? You'll thank me later.

"MORMON" POLYGAMY: relationship brought about because "God" or the "prophet" has told this man to marry such and such women. Women have no property, no title, no worth other than to bring about a Righteous Dominion on Earth, and can be taken and passed around should the husband do something displeasing. This begins as soon as a girl is capable of menstruating.


Sound like I know what I'm talking about on #2? It's because I do, as some long-time flisters know. My family has polygamous members. My great-grandfather was one of the men "called of God" in the early days of the Mormon Church to live "The Principle." It's frickin' disgusting and horrible and cruel and on level with how the Taliban treats women. I lived just outside the largest stronghold of polygamists in Colorado City and helped try and get girls OUT. People are killed for even TALKING to non-plygs. That is not a flippant statement on my part. People die. Women are beaten. They are taken from schools after they've learned basic reading and writing. They are not allowed to dress like anyone else, listen to radio, TV, look at magazines... They are allowed to listen to the "prophet" speak. And have babies.

Now, about that whole living arrangement... #1 wife has ALL the female power, which is to say, not a lot. She orders the other sister-wives around. Some of them may even be her own daughters. Married to their father. Or uncle. Happens all the time. If a woman is nursing, menstruating, pregnant, or past menopause, no sex for her. Often times the man will just get a new "wife." Most times wives are handed to a man and told to marry as it is "the Lord's Will." He may be in his 60s, and she may be about 12. Again, happens all the time. There's a disproportionate number of girls to boys. Why? Because they don't WANT COMPETITION. Boys are killed or drummed out. Lots of desert to "lose" a child in. Yep. That's the lord's work, all right.

I did mention that I used to help and try and rescue these kids, right? These brainwashed young girls who didn't know they ever had a choice in love or life? Just in case some of you aren't believing ol' Stoney here. I don't know what the MO of this show is, but my hope is they aren't going to glamorize "Mormon" Polygamy. Happened in the 50s, and those SOBs were given federal grants to go back and start up again, after State Troopers in Utah and AZ. went to so much trouble to round the men up and jail them.

The prophet owns everything: everyone's house, everyone's car, everyone's business, the banks, the police, the firemen, the grocery store... It's called the Law of Consecration - the United Order. Which means, you piss the wrong person off and you're out. And your wife and kids and home are given to "whom the Lord has chosen." Anyone remember Elizabeth Smart? The guy that took her was a plyg that was drummed out of the commune. THAT is what they look like. That is their mindset.

THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE IN POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS. Because there is no CHOICE. There is no out, if anyone grows apart from the group. That being said, Chloe Sevigne's hair was spot on, minus the ever-present Angel Bang. And her clothes. But where were the G's? The ever-present painting of John Taylor over the mantel? And when they went to the commune, THAT is what it looks like. But they wouldn't be allowed back - the characters on the show - because they LEFT and you don't get to LEAVE.

Hmmm. Again, that show was lazy writing, IMO. The guys who wrote it (ahem) wanted the male fantasy of a harem, but want it to have Social Significance and so threw in the whole Mormon angle. Not impressed, and frankly, a bit worried. Okay. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. (If you want to see who the current "prophet" of the "church" is, google Warren Jeffs. Oh, he's building a compound in Eldorado, Texas right now and we Are Not Amused.)

*I say "Mormon" polygamy, because they outlawed it publicly in 1892. Although the President John Taylor did pull men aside and told them to practice in secret. I know this because my Great-great Uncle was one of those men, and if there's one thing Mormons know, it's genealogy and to keep a record. The LDS church excommunicates for the practice today.

Comments

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ladycat777
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
Actually, as far as I'm aware, the show is very, very careful not to claim that these are Mormons or an acurate depition of Mormon polygamy, and there are reasons why my default depiction of most of Mormonism is "cult". But I don't think this is as bad as it could be -- then again, I don't know that people are discerning enough to understand the difference, either, or that the way it's practiced in so abhorrently cruel, as compared to the tv show which is ... lighter, from my understanding.

Haven't seen it yet, but my mom has plans to watch it so I'll have a better response later.

But ... I'm kind of very shocked that this show has been made. It's a little on the scary side, frankly, because of all the reasons you've mentioned.
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
ACK! No, no, no. They are TOTALLY going for the Mormon Polygamy thing, which is why thyey had a shot of the SLC temple in the background, they use Mormon prayers, they use the lingo... They did just enough research to make it resemble the Utah plygs, trust me.

(And remember: I was raised Mormon, and it is a cult. A well-regarded cult, but a cult. SORRY ANY ACTIVE MEMBERS. It is.)

Mostly, my fear is that this show makes the lifestyle look intriguing, and then legislation that is trying to get passed to outlaw some of the more abhorrent elements (like under-aged marriages to elderly family members - there is no incest in this lifesstyle, you see. It's all good. Um....) I worry that there will be compacency and confusion as to what it really is.

Argh. Sorry! This is one of my few hot buttons.
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yin_again
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC)
TV = scary.
Real life = scary.

That's it - I'm staying in bed for the rest of my life.
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)
Hahaha! *climbs in with you* Rawr.
elisi
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
Scary. I didn't know that it was that bad - I remember seeing a documentary once about this guy (middle 50s I think) living in the desert with his four wives (in 7 trailers or something) and 20-odd children. And by far the worst bit was towards the end when he was thinking about getting wife #5. They arranged for this big picnic with this girl (who was 16 or something) and her family, to see if they all got along etc. And it was this veneer of normality and friendlyness that was so incredibly creepy - like Nazi's organising a bun sale...

But thank you for the post.
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah. Tom... Green? Gardener? He's the one that went "public." They live in a blasted out cave outside of Kanab and he is constantly living in fear of his life.

It's VERY creepy.
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floweringjudas
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:27 am (UTC)
.............asdkajsldkajsldkjasdlaksdj


SO. MUCH. RAGE.

I have to go slash two of the prophets now. *subversive liek wo* *evidence: icon*
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 06:29 am (UTC)
Ahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

OMG, BDSM kink fic with Spencer W. Kimball in leathers and Brigham Young holding the whip OMG I am going to be murdered in my SLEEP.

(did you watch it??)
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tinpanalley
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:14 am (UTC)

I've seen a few documentaries on real Mormon life and I can't watch anymore. I don't understand that way of thinking and it just makes me angry. It's sort of like watching movies/documentaries featuring the KKK. Uh-uh, can't deal.

I can't even imagine what it was like to be raised in that lifestyle. However, you seem to have escaped unscathed. *hugs*

stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:27 am (UTC)
I will say again that modern Mormons ABHOR the practice of polygamy. It's not an acceptable life-style.

Most of them are trying to be good people, love their families, etc. But the institution they hold up with esteem is so very, very flawed.
urbangonzo
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:22 am (UTC)
Wandered in from tsp.

Please forgive me for asking a stupid question but I have several Mormon friends in Michigan, who act nothing like this and don't really seem to identify with the Mormons in western states. Is there a break in the church or are these people just unique?
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
Hi! (tsp?)

Utah Mormons ARE unique from other Mormons, mostly because they are so insular in their every day lives. EVERYONE is Mormon, or knows ABOUT being Mormon. But then, go to the backwoods of Kentucky or other places and you'll find the same with Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, etc. It's the insular nature of the state of Utah that encourages this "cut off from the world" mentality, not to mention the church, as well. One of the LDS church's "mottos" is: In the world, but not of it.

Now. The MODERN LDS church does not in ANY WAY support polygamy. That is it's history. However, all of the people who have grown up in the lifestyle that originated in the early days of the church still live there, so they can be close to the epicenter of what created them, if that makes sense. THEY consider themselves the "true" Mormons, while the ACTUAL Mormons (those with their names in the church records) look at them with contempt.

And I grew up in Texas, so to say I was an outsider as a Mormon here is an understatement. :D (Am no longer a mormon, for the record.)
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thepiratequeen
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)
Wow. I knew a little about that but not everything. I had no idea about the compounds. I actually thought the show was making that bit up so people wouldn't automatically think Mormon.

Huh.

So is it just that there are different sects? Cause Tina Majorino's character seemed to be a Mormon more along the lines of what I knew them as.

Do you mind if I link to this post when I talk about the show in my LJ?
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
Hey, cookie! Again, MODERN Mormons do not practice polygamy. This is like... a subversive offshoot. Okay, that's exactly what it is. But back in the day when it was regular practice? Compounds were the norm - each woman has their own household. That's how it's done by the plygs. And there are varying sects among THEM, too. All battling for who is the "true prophet."

"Under the Banner of Heaven" and "In My Father's House" are two great books about polygamy.

And feel free. :*
dlgood
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:38 am (UTC)
According to an article I read on Slate, it said the two guys who created the show are gay, and Slate interpreted the show as basically taking the "harem fantasy" and making it look like confining squareness in the way that has been previously done to the suburban marriage...
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
Ahhhh. See, I can see that. But, that's what's bugging me: this idea of "normalizing" that brand of relationship, because it's so very, very damaging. It's not the same as, say... Rachel and Tina and Lucille and Bill living in Oregon and having a multi-partner relationship. Because if Rachel meets Tom, and decides to leave, she could.

And not be killed. Or have her kids taken from her. Or... see?

*off to read the article now*
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stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 08:48 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's the positive spin that has be so bothered. They're being incredibly flippant about something that is DEVASTATING to a group of women. It is NOT polyandry. It's NOT.

I don't know what the objective is here, and that's what's got me bugged.
julia_here
Mar. 13th, 2006 08:40 am (UTC)
You make me strangely comfortable with the fact that Miss Perfect's Mormon boyfriend broke up with her just before Valentines day.

I go to this very PC lefty Episcopalian church where the vicar is a lipstick lesbian and one of the associate priests is a Yungian analyst and a world-famous authority on treating victims of torture, and people work with the food bank and habitat for humanity and donate clothes and money to a program that gets poor kids equipped for school, and the OTHER kind of religion seems a poorly remembered nightmare when I'm around them.

Julia, remembering a family of Assembly of God hill-folk of my childhood whose father protested his girls being sent to school. Am vastly amused that one of this granddaughters is a Seagal.

stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 08:46 am (UTC)
While I find no comfort or joy from religion, or belief in a higher power, I accept that others do. I just wish there weren't so many cavemen shaking their spears at The Sun and falling down in fear and smiting the Mighty Saber-Tooth in The Sun's name, you know?

Ergh.
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cherusha
Mar. 13th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
Some of them may even be her own daughters. Married to their father. Or uncle.

I threw up a little just from reading that.

Were there any that got out? Truly got out (from your experience)? I'd imagine they'd have to start a whole new life all by themselves.
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 09:59 am (UTC)
Yeah. It's frickin' HORRIFIC. Or... the dads who are mad the "prophet" is giving their 12 year old to himself, so they rape them first, then claim the daughter was wanton so they don't have to send them on as a wife. WHAT THE FUCK.

And unfortunately, the % is low. Imagine I told you that actually, the CHinese were Bad. That everything they believed, their way of life, the culture was Bad. And you should never have anything to do with them again, because now that you know, they'll kill you. I'm talking, you can't even wear SILK.

it's very difficult to make people see things they don't want to see. Or for them to grasp that everything they've been told about their lives, about the world (remember, the earth is 6000 years old, dinosaurs are a myth, man never went to the moon) is a lie.

And you know that saying: the arm of the Emperor is long? Same with these people.
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stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:04 am (UTC)
Oh, the Vegas Mormons are STRONG. Whoa-nelly. Because there's this unspoken pride of living so close to the Lion's Den and not getting eaten. (Gubler, Young, Gardener...)

See, and my dad, an educated man, a believer in gay rights and the arts and intellect, remains a Mormon because he prefers the sense of community it fosters. And I will say that for the LDS Chuch - they look out for their own.

ANd your last paragraph is a great point. The book "Under The Banner Of Heaven" makes an interesting point about how Mormonism is the only TRUE AMerican religion. The first one created here in the US. how it has this sense of entreprenurialship to it. That's fascinating to me. *cough* and it's no coincidence that Salt Lake COunty has the highest number of fraud cases in the country, no lie.

God Tols Me To Start A Pyramid Scheme. And steal your daughter and marry her. Yeeeeeesh.
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crayonbreakygal
Mar. 13th, 2006 09:13 am (UTC)
As always, I am educated by your posts.

When I worked on the Hill, as in Capitol Hill, I was able to meet several pages (these are the kids that work for Congress, sort of like an internship for a semester) from Utah. They were of course all Mormom. They couldn't eat chocolate, couldn't drink soda, etc., etc. You know what they did when they got to DC? They went wild. These were usually the girls and boys (they were teenagers) that got into trouble. You know, doing teenagery things. The problem was they couldn't do that since they were pages and had to be on their best behavior. I swear, they were always the ones that I had to watch out for when I was working there. They just wanted to be kids.

I can't understand how they could glamorize polygamy on television.
stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:05 am (UTC)
See, I really think that the whle "glamorizing" of polygamy is just lazy writing, honest and for true. I think it's them confusing POLYANDRY - a group of folks making a go at it by choice, with polygamy, which is about God Telling Men how to Control Women and Exercise Their Dominion and Stewardship of the Earth.

(And you know it! I was one of those good mormon girls that freaked out when I got away from my home.)
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stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:17 am (UTC)
Her hair was EXCELLENT. As was her dress. But the girls in the burger joint talking about the other Mormons? Uh-uh. Nooooo. not out in public. And Morbot? Come on. It's Molly. (Molly Mormon)

...still have little sickies in my house. :(
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stoney321
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
re: second paragraph. YES! They would NOT be allowed back to the commune!! Exactly. (Although I did hear "Oh my heck" and about died laughing.)

OMG THAT WAS SAMARA?!?!?!?! holy fucking shit. (And that was accurate. I did think the commune life was accurately depicted. Did you see a bunch of plygs when you came out for a visit that time? Didn't I take you to Colorado City? Or Harmons? Heh. That's the plyg owned grocery store in St. George.)

TONY. (Oh, and wtf with all the plant life?! When they cut to the backyards of red clay, I nodded. Ooookay. That's what it looks like.)
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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