The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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What I Think about Polygamy Now

What do I really think about polygamy? Well that has changed over the years from thinking it was something God expected of me, to seeing it as a religious abuse and a human rights abuse against women and everything in between.

Having multiple sex partners and making lots of love sounds fabulous in theory, yet in reality I believe it is sadly missing the most crucial elements for genuine joy. It is important to understand that joy and happiness are two different things. Happiness is an emotion that can be generated in the belief that we are happy. It is generated by the perception of our choices and actions. Some people are perfectly happy in their misery, not realizing that joy is accessible. Joy is a state of being and occurs when we are fulfilled within ourselves and we no longer live our lives by the beliefs and expectations of anyone or anything else outside of ourselves. It is the result of our heart working to its full potential in alignment with our own inner truth.

Back to polygamy. Polygamy stems from a time in our human history when women were owned and collected by men and traded along with other livestock to build the kingdoms of men. King Solomon had hundreds of wives because he was a king with a very wealthy kingdom. Men gave him their daughters to earn favor with the king and in the hopes that their daughters would have a better life.

What does that have to do with today’s polygamy? Polygamy, now (except where polyamory is practiced – the newest hip term for open relationships, and a few ancient cultures where polyandry is practiced) only exists in cultures and belief systems where women are still recognized as being worth less than men and is justified by religion, otherwise recognized as religiously coerced polygyny. Some argue that it should be a person’s choice and yet any choice based in coercion, when there is a proverbial gun held at your head, isn’t really a free-will choice. It is a choice based in fear and is among the fear-based beliefs I often speak of.

Taking it a step further and assuming it is a choice based in freedom, there are still other issues to consider. It is nearly impossible to have a relationship that is balanced in the masculine and feminine when the numbers are lopsided. In a world where we are attempting to create balance and equality, polygamy simply does not make sense. The more women in the relationship the more masculine and authoritarian the man in the relationship is. That is why extremely authoritarian men are drawn to this form of relationship. The practice of polygyny also causes an imbalance among men. Men who are the most desirable attract the most women, leaving ordinary men without partners. Studies have shown that this imbalance increases violence in men and more hatred toward women. Precisely the opposite of the masculine/feminine balance and mutual respect so many of us are working to create.

And one more thought for consideration. Polygamy is heart breaking, or at the very least prevents the heart from working to its full potential. Women must guard their heart and cannot allow themselves to fully and completely love and connect with their husbands, simply because it hurts too much, and lovemaking lacks the creation of love. It also prevents men from opening up their heart and giving to their full ability out of the fear propagating jealousy and resentment between their wives. And yet, this is sold as love and beauty. What kind of love is it when we intentionally block our hearts from loving and creating to their greatest capacity?

In all honesty I don’t think polygamy can work until the world finally recognizes, once and for all, that men and women are equal. That if men can have more than one wife, women should be allowed the same courtesy, and that love can and should be given openly and freely without fear, coercion or jealousy.  It is certainly not my cup of tea, but in a perfect world it just might work. In a perfect world!


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In a Quandary

I began this blog for the purpose of enlightening readers on the subject of polygamy, its relationship with religion and my own experiences of growing up in a polygamist commune. It has been my intent from the beginning to express my viewpoints and share my memories from a place of acceptance and compassion while remaining free from judgment.

Over the past month I have connected with many other people who were brought up with the polygamist lifestyle. I have heard their opinions, research and findings with regard to polygamy and its impact in their lives and upon society as a whole. Most of them are adamantly against polygamy because of the pain it has caused in their lives and the lives of those they love. They have all been abused in some form as a result of this lifestyle, some as children and some as wives. They come from all over the world and from various religions with the intent of bringing into the light the truth behind the practice of polygamy; the truth of what goes on behind closed doors.  This group is made up of both men and women who wish to see progress toward equality and better treatment of humanity.  

As a result of being part of this group I began to feel againstness in my heart. I have become so spiritually in tune with myself that I can feel when I am not in perfect alignment with my own internal truth.  The feeling of againstness does not resonate with my soul and asks that I take a deeper look into how I really feel about polygamy.  This feeling of againstness has pulled the energy away from my original intent with this blog. In my feelings of againstness I lost sight of the compassion and acceptance that are the foundation of my life and who I have become.

And so I return again to how I really feel about polygamy as a lifestyle choice. Let us not forget that polygamy is a lifestyle choice. Unlike homosexuality and pedophilia which are physical and mental conditions respectively, polygamy is purely a choice. It is not a choice that I consider attractive in any way personally, but it is a choice that others find desirable. For some it is about real and genuine love, for some it is nothing more than sexual gratification or desperation, and for some it is based in fear and coercion with justification by religion.

I find myself in a quandary because I support love. When love is genuinely expressed between mutually consenting, loving and respectful adults I wholeheartedly support it. If men and women choose to invite other loving relationships into their marriage without coercion or control that should be their choice. And in actuality it always has been, but without the label of marriage. So why must that change? An open relationship allows the freedom of partners to make love with whomever they choose. The issue as I see it is with marriage itself. Leave morality out of marriage and allow it to simply be about love and all of the issues about who gets to marry simply goes away. But many people insist that marriage must be sanctified by their God and in order to make polygamy politically and morally correct it must be made legal.

How do we create an environment that allows people to openly express love with whomever they choose? (within legal age of course) How do we place limitations on the genuine expression of love? Do we sacrifice the good of the whole for the desires of the few who wish to be in a relationship with more than one person at a time?  The lifestyle of polygamy has overwhelmingly been proven to be harmful to the families who live it. How can we justify legalizing a lifestyle that has been proven harmful to society? If polygamy is legalized how do we protect those women and children who are and will continue to be abused by it?  Is it time for a complete restructuring and redefinition of marriage as a whole?  Do we even need marriage or is it an age old custom that has run its course?  These are the questions that plague my mind when I consider the ramifications of polygamy on an ever evolving society.  Humanity is evolving into a new way of being based in love and compassion for the whole human family. How does this play out on the subject of polygamy?  How can we support love while penalizing those who use the guise of love to harm and control others?

I am not a legal expert and this is a battle I am not qualified to fight. I will leave the legalities to those who are better equipped, to those who carry the evidence to support their arguments, and to those who are working toward the betterment of humanity.  The best that I can do is to continue to hold those who have been traumatized by this lifestyle in love and compassion and continue to hold myself in the truth that I support love.


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Book Research

Over the past few months, and quite honestly years, I have been writing several books on growing up in polygamy. Unlike most other books on the subject of polygamy that are from the viewpoint of an adult, my books are based on the story of my childhood; what I personally saw, felt and experienced as a child in a closed community and my experience with the real world as I became more exposed to outside expectations.

As part of my research I wanted not only to share my perspective but also provide facts regarding how and why my community was created. My desire for more detail including specific dates led me to Dorothy Allred Solomon’s book “Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk”. Although Dorothy changed most of the names in her book I did recognize many of the family members she mentioned. This book was a great read, not just for research about my community, but for getting to know the history of polygamy in the Mormon Church and how it evolved into the fundamentalist movement it has become today.

I also stumbled across a small booklet in a 3 clasp pocket binder while cleaning out my parents’ home after they both passed away. “A Town is Born” is a summary of the history of Pinesdale, Montana that was compiled in 1985 by the Pines Academy 7th grade Montana History Class. The Pinesdale time line was provided by Ruth P. Scott, the town secretary and one of the original founding families of what was then known as The Ranch. This booklet was very enlightening as I discovered that my parents moved onto The Ranch before I was born and not afterward. I had always believed that my parents moved up the hill after they were excommunicated from the Mormon Church. But they were excommunicated from the church because they moved up the hill and were consorting with polygamists.

There have been other books as well, including several regarding the FLDS. I found it fascinating to see the differences between our two communities. As a child I heard about the community “Short Creek” which eventually become Colorado City. Several members of my community had migrated from there. In reading “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop, I discovered that as my childhood community progressed and began allowing outside exposure, education and influence, her community regressed. In Jon Krakauer’s book “Under the Banner of Heaven”, I saw the dark side of the religion I was raised with. None of this is ever openly taught to the young, as we were indoctrinated into only what our parents and leaders wanted us to know. Our violent history and the greater expectations were kept secret and only divulged to those who had proven themselves worthy of learning “higher” principles.

The research to discover the truth behind my roots has been a fascinating and enlightening one as I come closer to understanding why others choose the polygamist lifestyle and why so many choose to remain in it, even when deep within themselves they know what they are being told is not right for them. The key word that runs through all of my research is “fear”.