The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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Escaping Polygamy and Reality TV

escaping polygamy on the polygamists dauhter

Several weeks ago I sat with my husband and watched the television program “Escaping Polygamy.” I had hoped to do some research behind the program but decided it was not the highest and best use of my time. And so, without the research, here are my personal thoughts about the program, people and message behind “Escaping Polygamy.”

In short, it felt to me like another staged and scripted television program. Although the intention might have been to make it appear more along the lines of a documentary, or what is more commonly referred to as a docudrama, it really felt more like reality TV, and reality TV isn’t really real.

Once upon a time, fifteen years ago or so, reality television was real. It was created as a way for television networks and producers to entertain audiences while dramatically reducing costs. Human beings love watching other people’s drama, and this is the reason that soap operas have been so successful for so many years.  The brilliance behind reality television was to show real -life human drama without any of the costs associated with paid actors, script-writers and so on. It was pure entertainment for the viewing audience and made huge fortunes for the creators of those programs.

Reality television is no longer real, and it hasn’t been for a few years.  Just as with any other television programs, many so-called reality shows are now scripted, pre-staged and planned. There is prompting and product placement. Participants are paid in the same way actors are, and some are paid really well. Many have had acting classes and media training to ensure they look good on television.  There are publicity stunts and tabloid leaks to keep people coming back for more. And, to top it off, there is lots and lots of editing to ensure the show fits what the television audience expects to see.  So much for reality TV.  A friend of mine calls it Tabloid TV.

Okay, back to “Escaping Polygamy.”  While I was not thrilled with it being staged, I do love what the movie was intending to portray, which above all else was to point out the stronghold of Fundamentalist communities other than the F.L.D.S. Several years ago, Warren Jeffs and his crimes brought the F.L.D.S. into the forefront, but the beliefs in the F.L.D.S. are not all that different from any of other Fundy groups.  While the “Escaping Polygamy” television show felt obviously staged to me, I appreciate the girls who are using their stories and efforts to tell the truth about polygamy and their attempts to free other women from its bondage of so-called holy matrimony.

Underneath the supposed “lifestyle choice” of polygamy is the ownership of women in the name of God.  I call this, men using God’s name in vain. Leaving polygamy is much more difficult than leaving the lifestyle; it is leaving the belief system that controls every thought, feeling, action and perception.  It is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual control. This is the reason so many people can’t leave, and even if they do, many return after they have been set free. Indoctrination is that powerful! In the show “Escaping Polygamy,” one of the women returns to the cult; and although her leaving was obviously staged (in my perspective), her return is not far from the truth.

As for reality TV as a whole, personally I’m not a big fan of it or at least the way it is now. It feels to me more like fake TV. I used to be a HUGE fan of Survivor, and I actually auditioned for it when it was new. I could teach people a few things about survival…

Personally I find it sad that docudrama television and true television have become interlinked within tabloid television under the genre of Reality TV, because to me they are very different things. When it comes to true television, count me in.  True television is real, raw and thought-provoking, and that is something I want to be a part of.  I want to be in front of the camera and not just in the audience.  I want to be a part of feeding people not just what they want, but what they need, crave and rightfully deserve. For me there is a social responsibility that comes with being in the media. The entertainment industry affects the world more than any other industry. It tells us what to think, feel and believe.  I want be a part of telling a new story about humanity and new possibilities that cause us to rethink what we think we know. I want to be a part of telling the other side of the story.

Over the past few years I have been invited to share my perspective on television, and for that, I am extremely grateful.  Last week I was invited to audition for a new television series under the genre of reality TV, although I have been ensured it won’t be scripted and staged the way so many other shows are.  This is an opportunity for me to share my perspective that polygamy, specifically polygyny,  is a human rights abuse against women. Sadly, may people who are enslaved don’t even know they are. While I hope this will be an opportunity for me to share my truth, I have no choice but to wait and see what the producers think of me. If this doesn’t work out, I trust that something even better is coming to me in the highest and greatest good of all concerned.

Of course, you will be the first to know, right after I tell my biggest fan, my husband.

Victoria Reynolds Signature


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Polygamy Uncensored

Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Spiritually Raw Broadcasting with my friend and ex-polygamist Kristyn Decker.  We had a candid conversation about our lives in and out of polygamy. Comparing her life in the AUB in Salt Lake City, Utah as the daughter of the Prophet and my life as a convert in Pinesdale, Montana. We shared laughter, tears and frustrations on how girls were raised and how polygamy really affects women behind closed doors. The little secrets women don’t want to admit about the choice they made.

Kristyn and I met on Facebook about a year ago and we discovered in a casual conversation that we almost became sister wives, talk about spooky!

We briefly discussed my book Transcending Fear” as well as my newest book still in the publication process. Fly, Fly Away is a memoir that you won’t want to put down. Free samples coming soon to Amazon Kindle!

To listen in on my interview click here.


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Love Notes

I recently received a love note from my friend and soul sister Kristyn Decker. (I only use this term for very special people I feel infinitely connected to – sorry, I am not any version of LDS aka Mormon, and I am not your sister in Christ, so please don’t assume that you can call me sister – it’s one of my pet peeves, quite possibly the only one to be honest.)  On a funny little side note, Kristyn and I discovered we were almost sister wives in the alternate reality I chose to leave.

“Though I’m several years older than Victoria, she and I were raised in the same polygamist group, yet in different states.

I left polygamy and my husband a few months before I turned 50, and began writing many vignettes about my life, and then published Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies in April 2012.

Victoria and I met on line via our similar goals, as we were becoming published authors, advocates, leaders and educators in behalf of those who are still in, and leaving polygamy as well as other religious fear based dogma. Having the pleasure of Victoria’s company at our house for a few days was a gift from the Universe. We traded books and became re-acquainted. We each found another soul sister who emulated the process of creating an abundant life through love, light and joy.

While reading her book, I realized she had superbly described the spiritual process of my departure from polygamy as if she’d interviewed me for weeks on end. All that I hadn’t and couldn’t define—through her wisdom and insight she was able to. She spoke of the true principles that can guide human beings from the confines of religious dogma to discovering and honoring their own souls.

I know Victoria’s talents and gifts are true. She inspires me every day because of her consistent positive attitude and compassionate way she guides and teaches others to do the same.

Namaste, Victoria! Thanks for sharing you gifts with those who are receptive and ready to receive them.

Love,

Kristyn Decker”

And by the way, Kristyn’s book is fabulous for anyone who wants to know what it is really like be in a polygamist marriage. One that she chose of her own free will, well, as free as it could be with religious beliefs behind it. You can learn more about Kristyn, her work and her book at http://fiftyyearsinpolygamy.com/