110036502709068983

A review of GOD’S BROTHEL and other musings on polygamy
If polygamy is so wrong, why are the women so happy? This is a refrain you hear over and over again from proponents of this peculiar lifestyle. Before he was put in prison for bigamy, every time Tom Green paraded his gaggle of wives on television, they were always smiling, laughing, joking—happy.

Surely something that makes so many women happy can’t be so bad?

Or maybe they aren’t as happy as they seem. In her book, God’s Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18, Andrea Moore-Emmett addresses that very issue.

The book tells, as the title says, the stories of 18 women and their experiences in polygamy. Now opponents of this book will probably note that most of these women have since left their polygamous relationships behind, and thus it is not an accurate picture. I disagree, for in this book, they are not just telling their own stories. They are telling the stories of the women left behind, the ones who can’t or won’t leave, because they fear for their lives, the loss of their children, or even their eternal damnation.

Throughout the book there is no “tone” or “agenda,” as some critics have accused. It is all told matter-of-factly, often with what feels like a lack of concern or a lot of detachment. To me, it makes sense, as the author has noted, that these women do indeed learn to detach. They have to, for their very own emotional survival.

For me, the most poignant story was the last one, that of a woman who found herself victimized over and over again, not just by the polygamists, but by the legal system in Utah AFTER she left polygamy. Wisely, Moore-Emmett uses Sarah’s story to end her book. When Sarah testified in private against Tom Green, Utah’s most well-known and flamboyant polygamist, her name, address and phone number were given to his attorney: And since Green was serving as his attorney’s paralegal, he had access to them. Her information was sent to EVERYONE in the polygamous communities, including her parents. She will never be able to stop looking over her shoulder. Ever.

There is no democratic voice for women in polygamy. They are chattel. The property of their “master.” Children are victimized repeatedly, because they, too, have no voice.

It’s time for this to stop. Utah’s legal leaders need to take a hard line with the polygamists—not just those like Green, who flaunt their “beliefs” and make themselves a target, but also those who carry on their ways behind the closed doors of secret societies. There should be no doubt, however, that there is a very real danger for those who dare to confront these polygamists, who justify all in the name of God.

Judge Andrew Valdez, who has been involved in the case of John Daniel Kingston, a member of the infamous Kingston Clan, discovered that someone was attempting to monitor his comings and goings from the courthouse. That someone was a member of the Kingston clan. Despite this, he has refused to recuse himself from the case of a man who has 106 children with 14 wives, and when asked to name those with Heidi Mattingly Foster (who were removed from the home under Valdez’s order), he could not do so.

As Valdez has stated, the man is running a puppy mill. Can it get any more disgusting.

Andrew Valdez is a hero.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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6 Responses to 110036502709068983

  1. Anonymous says:

    I live next door to these so called polygamous people that you seem to enjoy insulting so much. The only people you are fooling are the ignorant. I have a tremendous respect for these women, and I think you should think twice before making blatant accusations. If anyone lives in fear, these people do. They deal everyday with the repurcussions of ignorant bigots who suck up every mistruth you feed them in websites like this one. These people don’t stay out of fear, but out of love, something you obviously don’t understand.

    Like

  2. Beth Campbell says:

    Sometimes looking happy is just a front for fear and well behaved children are often abused and fearful. Perceptive people can see it. However, ….
    the DCFS workers in the Kingston case were/are worse than the Kingstons as the DCFS is a corrupt institution due to these mostly ignorant, garment wearing Morman caseworkers who indulge in gossip and enjoy tearing families apart. They do not have the integrity or backbone to stand up to the wrongdoings of the DCFS and so become corrupt themselves and further enable corruption. They need to Mind their own business, work on their own dysfunctional families and quit meddling. They are worse than the families that are in court and they don’t even know it!!

    Like

  3. Gregory Knight says:

    You say, “There is no democratic voice for women in polygamy. They are chattel. The property of their “master.” Children are victimized repeatedly, because they, too, have no voice.”

    I’ll keep this short… you obviously have no clue what you’re talking about… and you’ve probably never really met a polygamist.

    It was a revelation from God. The church did just fine before the U.S. Government got involved. Learn your history before you speak.

    Like

  4. Rick says:

    “It was a revelation from God.”

    And you know this how? It’s always a cop-out to use this line, IMO. Nobody can prove or disprove it because it is 100% subjective (the burning bosom thing…). When others (from different faiths) claim to have a “witness” that their beliefs are true and from God, and they totally contradict with yours, how is anybody to know which one is the correct message?

    To me it’s simple. If the message leads to total unconditional love and respect of others, I will consider it possible to have come from a higher source (whatever he/she/it looks like). Anything less than that will go in my delete box because I cannot imagine a “source” that would pit one people against another.

    “The church did just fine before the U.S. Government got involved. Learn your history before you speak.”

    Denial is bliss. If any culture raised its young to live a certain way, they wouldn’t know any better. Throughout history we have many examples of this. One well accepted trait of a cult is when it prohibits its members from exposure to the outside world and its knowledge. Apply this where it fits….

    ~Rick

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  5. Todd says:

    “When others (from different faiths) claim to have a “witness” that their beliefs are true and from God, and they totally contradict with yours, how is anybody to know which one is the correct message?”

    Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    “One well accepted trait of a cult is when it prohibits its members from exposure to the outside world and its knowledge.”

    I trust that you’re not applying this to mormons.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

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  6. Rick says:

    “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

    Absolutely no argument here. We may differ as to what constitutes “good fruits,” but the end result I agree with.

    For example, If a person is truly happy, at peace with himself and the world, serves humankind and his family, can love others unconditionally, I see good fruits there. “Bad fruits” I would define as the opposite of this.

    “I trust that you’re not applying this to mormons.”

    Perhaps. It all depends on the freedom one feels to study and live — whether in Mormonism or another institution. If one feels shackled in his ability to study outside information because of a teaching that the information is “evil,” one may consider the “shackler” cultlike. I think that can apply to politics, business — as well as religion.

    I had no problem studying what I did to learn of the false teachings in mormonism. I was only threatened with my eternal damnation (which I was strong enough to see as fluff); but my physical well-being was never threatened. Fortunately, the church has evolved to a much kinder institution than it was when my great-great grandfather’s barn was burned down by the Danites for lack of tithing payment.

    Other groups are much more clearly cultish as they don’t allow its members to leave a compound at all. My reference above was mainly towards the FLDS which got the media attention last year, but I think most religions have their cult tendencies. I think a true non-cult institution would have as part of their teachings the encouragement to study the criticisms of their religion freely and without threat of any kind.

    If a group can survive and thrive this way, I think it says loads about its foundation.

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