Polygamy has organized control in the form of a “pyramid game”. Everyone is subordinate to the one above them and responsible to control those beneath them, or they leave themselves wide open to suffer the consequences. No one is free. Even in FLDS theology, the pyramid game continues through eternity where Gods are subservient to Gods above them. The God’s themselves are not free. It’s a “house of cards”, constructed on fear of eternal hell or destruction. Destruction among the “saints”can be loosing your wives, children, home, property, business, possessions or possibly “blood atonement” to “save your soul”.
Polygamy is a secretive, underground network, which attracts predators that can hide in its ranks, sucking the production, the money and the lives out of its followers. Like all organized crime, only the “God father” at the top wins (until someone takes his place.) With threats of retaliation from the law outside, and from “God” inside, few complain. The mind set of the FLDS requires blind obedience.
Polygamy has been defined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as sophisticated organized crime. See Federal task force, victim aid proposal, title “Polygamist sects likened to mob. McClatchy Newspapers/ July 25, 2008
Rational thinking asks, “Would a just God or parent: 1- Let one child enjoy endless sexual pleasure and destroy another child for sexual pleasure? 2- Make one child a master and another a slave? 3- Have one child aspire to God privileges on earth and the other suffers for rewards in heaven? 4- Let one do the thinking and force the other into blind obedience? 5- Make one a God and make the other to serve him throughout time and eternity? 6- Give one complete control and the other no rights? 7- Destroy his children who didn’t guess correctly which one of the hundreds of men claiming to speak for God, was the right one?
Logic knows no just God or parent would do any of these, but FLDS believes have to believe, because the price of not believing is the same price for getting out of any organized crime. Thus fear masquerades as faith, common sense yields to obedience and another generation is born and raised in slavery to the masters of “Godly” greed.
The plight of naïve ignorance among the FLDS is as visible to rational people as web sites are to the inquisitive but no one can effectively help or change another person until that person really wants to change. People usually follow the course of least resistance which in this case is choosing the second worst alternative. With all of its draw backs, for women trapped in polygamy, raising children together is easier than trying to make it alone, with no skills, education or safety net in the “out side world and facing retaliation from inside their secret world, which includes risks of loosing their children, salvation or life.
See: Double Exposure by John Dougherty where “blood atonement” and similar threats are used to cause escaped victims to return.
This same “religious” conviction causes witnesses to become silent, women to fight for the release of the men who abuse them, and publicly endorse the “love” of polygamy. Some who escape, like Laurence Jessup, who advocated against the FLDS, informed the public of isolation, being taken by force to a mental institution three times for disobeying her husband, and being sexually abused by her father and escaping with the help of an anti polygamist activist, but her freedom was temporary. She ended up back in ColoradoCity with the FLDS “saints”. Similar responses to “saving one’s soul” are;
Victims’ pleas bring leniency in sex abuse case (ColoradoCity mayors son, Dan Barlow)
Men also face serious consequences for disobedience or leaving, but for some the rewards are high and staying is often a matter of convenience, not conviction.
Crimes and murders initiated though powerful polygamist cult leader Ervil LeBaron are notorious. In the epilogue of her book, Cult Insanity, New York Times best selling author Irene Spencer documents scores of victims and scores of murders who carried out the “blood atonement”. Contrary to polygamist propaganda, there were also murders outside the Lebanon clan. Dan Lafferty, and others, not only preached “blood atonement” they too acted on it. Polygamist groups claim no association to those who get caught for murder, despite the fact that all groups are related not only by marriage, but by the same FLDS “blood atonement” doctrine, despite the “church ”title they use. They “reprint” (and edit) books of history to justify their crimes today. See the NEW Journal of Discourses.
On Jan 10, 2004, Colorado City Mayor Dan Barlow and about 20 other men were excommunicated and stripped of their wives and children (who would be reassigned to other men). This is a typical example of “leadership” and retaliation in FLDS communities.
Warren Jeff’s methodically rid his town of those who dare to challenge his power, excommunicating an untold number of men, including four of his own bothers, said Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Throughout history men have worked in dangerous circumstances, for meager wages, where they were brutalized or demeaned by unjust superiors, but the price they felt they paid was not as high as the price of not providing for their family. Historically women have stayed in abusive situations because they believed the price of not being able to provide for their children was worse than the abuse. Abuse is abuse, but it boils down to one thing, the PRICE.
When women begin to understand the COST, they may develop the courage to change.
The cost is knowing your daughters are born into the same slavery you are in and you are perpetrating it. The cost is seeing your sons as they learn the “art” of becoming “Gods” and exploiting others. The cost is looking in the mirror and knowing you will live and die a pawn in somebody else’s game, knowing your life was nothing but “grist for the mill”of polygamy. The cost is loss of self respect, knowing you are afraid to acknowledge truth or leave.
You won’t leave until you’ve been pushed far enough to understand that the things worth living for and the things worth dying for, are the same things. When you get that, you’ll not only respect the person in the mirror but you’ll change and nobody can do it for you.
When the reality of your responsibility to your children hits you, when you know your refusal to face your own fears gives them no chance and no hope, when you accept that you can CHOOSE to find a way to escape, even if it takes years of planning (as my escape did), you will follow through because life in slavery isn’t living. Life in fear isn’t living, but to accept the challenges before you with conviction and courage, for a purpose greater than yourself, that’s living and it’s living with no regrets. Every human being dies. Some dare to live. Are you one of them?