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July 2nd, 2012
04:09 AM ET

Wife Speaks Out Against Polygamy

Randi Kaye talks with a former polygamist who says, polygamy is not an option.

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Filed under: Anchors • Randi Kaye
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Rod

    This must have been the hardest thing you have ever done. I hope you find the love you deserve

    July 3, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  2. pockets

    That interview just confirms to me that religion is actually a "poison". Women are used like cattle and used for breeding by sick men under the guise of a religion. RIP Hitch you were right, Religion Poisons Everything". Its very very sick.

    July 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  3. Michael B.

    There's a time and a place. Now is not the time or place to have polygamy exist.

    July 5, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  4. carrie

    no human being can be in this type of relationship and never be jealous or be truly happy.

    July 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  5. Wakeup

    To use the same argument that is being brought up in more and more communities, why can’t a person marry who they want? If it is ok for an un-natural union of the same sex (if it were natural and meant to be, we’ll all be hermaphrodites or sequential hermaphrodites) then why shouldn’t it be ok for a multiple spouse marriage (as long as all involved consent)? If marriage is nothing more than a legal contract between two individuals, then why not more? After all if two business’ legally join, nothing prevents them from legally joining more companies. Polygyny has been around since well before recorded history. Yet it is vilified while the same-sex “is natural too” (not) is accepted.
    No, I am not a member of that religion nor currently a member of an specific religion atm. I'm just pointing out the hypocracy of our current times.

    July 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  6. Esme

    Wakeup –

    My first thought was - well, it is in reality just the same as what many men practice, having a wife and having a mistress, and sometimes both parties know of "the other" - and some people want that and decide that is their happiness... so be it. But then it dawned on me.. One issue: when it comes from religion that this is practice.. girls are born and brought up to believe this is their calling, thus they are in other words as I see it largely indoctrinated to accept it, or else, in the name of the Lord. That's a real issue. Could be handled by making dang sure by law that they go to school learning about other ways of life by law.. but, that is not the case in this country where school and church is not necessarily separated. Thus I agree, by law, it must be illegal.

    July 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  7. wakeup-indeed

    wakeup –

    equating same-genedered consensual adult relationships with religious-induced slavery sounds just like something a religious person would do. Christians just can't stand it when grown adults who are complete people in full control over their own lives make informed life choices. Of course, that should be vilified where raising women in ignorance in order to make them semi-willing s e x slaves and breeding stock is totally normal.

    July 7, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  8. wakeup-indeed

    I also sincerely believe that at least 50% of the reason religious fasci sts hate and fear same-gendered marriage is that if two guys marry one another, then that's two guys who aren't keeping two or more women in their place. The momentum of so much of religion's efforts are spent getting women to this state of ignorant, impoverished, uncontrolled breeding and marriage to oppressive, usually older, husbands.

    They really can't stand it when someone escapes that treadmill, and they truly, bitterly, hate it when women don't play along with their creepy dominance games. Have s e x when they say, not when you want, and with people they choose, not who you choose, and only in contexts that they approve of, like post-marriage baby-making, and never, ever, ever do this for any other reason, like, say, it's fun and you enjoy it.

    This is desperately abusive. Religion is cruel and controlling toward everyone, but especially toward women.

    Their hatred of same-gendered relationships, their constant war on birth control, and their demand for control over womens' reproductive health, they're all part and parcel of their perverse desire to dominate women, and force their sick belief system on the next generation. Everyone knows the younger you indoctrinate children, the harder it is for them to break out of their brainwashing, so religion inevitably turns into a baby mill.

    It's not about respect for, or love of, life. If it were, they'd be against the death penalty. Religion is about turning humanity into a puppy mill so that they'll have new recruits to brainwash.

    July 7, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  9. working on becoming a woman (not an accessory to a man)

    To Wake-up indeed:
    I think marriage as an institution is going to go the way of the dodo in the next 100 years. Women are more able to support themselves, and they are finding that marriage does not serve them as it does men.
    Most still only find this out after having gotten married. Choices are good. Marriage limits them.

    July 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  10. Lost

    In these types of relationships, it's puzzling to me that the man with multiple wives feels threatened when one of the wives wants to leave or finds another man.

    July 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  11. Formerly LDS

    This woman displays some of the confusion surrounding the Mormon faith today. This polygamous sect she belonged to considered themselves to be fully "Mormon." And she's probably correct. The church's first two prophet, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young would be excommunicated from modern Mormonism if they taught or practiced some of the things they held to be eternal truths in their day. Indeed, Smith and Young would be welcomed at Warren Jeff's FLDS and the sect this woman belonged to, but ousted from the mainstream Mormon church.

    Mormonism's human-led structure shines most brightly in its continually altering doctrines. Polygamy was at first denied when Smith practiced it secretly during his lifetime. It was later revealed and taught to be an eternal doctrine required for exaltation. It was then later still prohibited, but is still practiced when a wife dies and a husband may take another wife for "time and all eternity." According to their beliefs, Mormon apostle Dallin Oaks is currently married to two women, one of whom is deceased, but will be his plural wife in the hereafter.

    July 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  12. Happy atheist

    @wake-up indeed: hear hear! Hitch WAS right; religion DOES poison everything! I am so tired of hearing what is "natural" or "right" out of the mouths of those too brainwashed by tales of an imaginary friend to think for themselves. I saw a secret in the Postsecret book that made me laugh out loud, but is terribly, awfully true: "I'm a Christian but I'm afraid to learn too much about God because I'm afraid it won't make sense and I'll stop believing." Wake up, sheeple! Religion is a myth perpetrated to control you! You can be happy, moral, loving, kind people, free to love whomever you wish, without some angry guy in the sky telling you what to do. Enjoy this wonderful life, for it is the only one you will get.

    July 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  13. nolimits3333

    Don't tell Mitt.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  14. Wakeup

    Do you actually read the whole statement? Or just bits and pieces because bits and pieces are the only thing that will make your statements "justified". I said I WASN'T religious. The only reason I included that, though from your responces it sounds like all you read was "I am religious". If you really want your argument to sound logical, atleast read all the words. It looks like you used an opportunity to try and justify your veiw into a religion bashing event. Nice side-step. How about adressing the point of my statement which is that biologically, it isn't natural. My final sentence was to take religion out of the argument but it seems obvious you are unable to do so and still have an argument for your point of view on the topic

    July 9, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  15. Mike Buck

    Can you imagine multiple wives with credit cards on a shopping spree?

    July 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  16. bsanders

    Yes, after the first wife welfare rolls in

    July 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  17. luv19122

    here's an idea. if you want to allow polygamy, why don't we allow women to have four husbands... this way all of our children would have at least one involved father and better financial stability... just saying.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  18. Carr

    From a legal standpoint, there's no way polygamy can pass the test in America because for some time now U.S. law has recognized men and women as being equal partners in a marriage. (That is why samesex marriage poses no legal issue and SHOULD BE LEGAL: the law does not recognize the difference between men and women in a marriage arrangement.) If multiple women are married to one man then they are not equal by definition. The women may know that and not care, but U.S. law need not, and should not, recognize an arrangement where women are property. The same would be true of one woman with multiple husbands, but we know that the religious kooks who practice polygamy will never have that...

    July 11, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  19. scir91onYouTube

    polygamy has its place in society. some women would want a husband who would take care of them and their children even if they have another wife. there are plenty of widows or women who are alone and it doesn't hurt to have a father as well as a mother. one parent is not more important than the other.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  20. Angela Birch

    scir. What makes you think a polygamous father is more likely to take care of them than a father wo only has one wife. IF you actually look into facts you would find that a polygamous father is less involved in each child's life than one who had fewer wives and children. As for widows and women who are alone. Why would they get an advantage from being part of a group of women sharing one spouse. there is almost always insufficient money, love, or affection to go around. To be honest I would far rather be alone than have a husband who slept with me on a schedule of every Thursday. For mychild I would either want a father who was there all the time or I would raise my child with out some guy who showed up on an irregular basis. What the heck is so awful about being alone.
    I don't care if a woman is stupid enough to join such an arrangement but they should be 21 and fully informed befoe such an arrangement should be entered into and NO female or male should EVER be allowed to enter into such a relationship until they are 21 and have lived as an independent adult. The grooming of young children to enter into such a "marriage" should be stopped firmly. In fact the US would benefit from raising the age of consent for marriage to 21.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  21. John

    How is this brainwashing and practice any different then the rest of the crap all religions try to brainwash people into believing. We would be better off as a society if ALL religions and believers just ceased to exist and their "gods" would take them to someplace else in the universe!

    July 12, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  22. Meh

    This just adds more unwanted and under-watched kids to an over-populated planet. Polygamy is an unnecessary premise for todays society.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  23. A Flock of Illegals

    So if you wear a wife beater shirt, how do you tell who is the target?

    July 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  24. Raven

    If polygamy is fair game, then how about "open relationships", where you love your spouse and would never leave them, but you each recognize there is room in your heart to love another person, as well. I know many couples who are in working open relationships where honesty is key, and even have friendly relartionships with their spouse's partners. They call it "extended family with benefits", and one of those couples is coming to visit us in two weeks along with one spouse's partner traveling with them. We're going out to dinnere with them all. I can't say it is a situation that *I* would call ideal; I'm too insecure and have abandonment and jealousy issues, but I know it's a kink my husband wishes i *could* embrace, but would never pressure me into. And I've seen how happy our friends are – i mean really happy, not play-acting happy. How about polygamy if it was the woman with multiple husbands? Would that make it more palatable? What if it had no religious overtones AT ALL; was just a lifestyle choice? Lots of things to consider.

    July 13, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  25. Bill

    In response to the comment about hypocrisy. You really are spouting rhetoric. Unatural, if two people are in love what is unatural about that? Then you go to say if it is consentual to have multiple wives why not? First of all these so called religious practices are then sexist and male dominated. We have seen many stories of young girls and arranged marriages, seen convictions in court in the cases, hardly seems consentual to me. Your comment is a hypocrisy in itself perpetuating sexism and bigotry.Women in the situations are clearly opressed.

    July 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  26. tamara

    well, it certainly took a lot of guts for the wife to leave. it takes further guts for her to speak out. she seems intelligent and well-aware of where she is in life. what about the thousands of slave wives who actually believe participating in this type of harem to these selfish men will get them into heaven? wow? what are the rest of us going to do? we can't go to heaven because...hopefully she is paving the way for others. you are a brave woman to leave this cult and write this book. May you have a happy life.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  27. chester

    Nearly everyone posting on this topic is generalizing to the extreme and making associations that do not exist. There is nothing inherently wrong with polygamy. The problem is and always will be the humans involved. That includes the critics who are no better than the religious "kooks" they chastise by trying to restrict the lifestyles of people who have no impact on your liberty, just your conditioned sense of what is right or moral.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  28. Kelly

    Sweet, wakeup-indeed. Real kind to me and my family. Christiains/Catholics are nothing like that, and if you were not a brainwashed liberal, you would do your research. Christian men are not controllers any more than other men are. And thank you, chester, for calling me a kook. Very polite.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  29. Eric

    Wow... Are you folks all just scouring the news to find something you can use to bash religion, men, marriage, or personal beliefs? This type of event is an unbelievably rare occurance in this day and age. It is also incredibly rare for any other religious person to support this behavior. As far as marriage in general, we are personally accountable for our marriage to another person; and the law allows for for divorce if someone is duped or changes their mind.

    Personally, I married my best friend 33 years ago and we have a blessed life and family. It is all about personal choice and accountability people!

    July 17, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  30. GenXcynic

    I'll never understand why anyone would want more than one wife. Must all be masochists!

    July 17, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  31. Diana

    The mormons everybody knows the big church is not polygamist we have only one wife we are not allowed to have more !! we are 15 millions the Antimormons a small group they have multiple wifes but everybody thinks the belong to our church they dont!!!!! is that clearrrrrrr

    July 17, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  32. DoctrineFolk

    Its not about religion – sometimes religion can provide comfort, community and faith – but polygamy is about power. Its using the norms (religious norms or secular norms) of the society to one's advantage; gaining influence and power over others. In the case of polygamy one can see that it is a measure of sexual power over women.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  33. Bill

    Forcing children to marry, or deceitfully marrying multiple spouses without informing them, or anything else that violates common sense respect of the rights of others is NOT polygamy.

    Polygamy is more than 2 people agreeing to be together. That's it. It has nothing to do with religion. It does not mess up kids. It does nothing.

    Being "against polygamy" is being against free will.

    July 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  34. Bill

    carrie: "no human being can be in this type of relationship and never be jealous or be truly happy."

    Wrong. YOU can't. And since we are not a hive mind, or zombies, or dead, we have differing opinions. Differing ideas of what makes us happy.

    July 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  35. gringovejo

    Looking back, the best relationships that I probably had, were poly-amorous. Between myself and 5 to 11 females. All were attractive and intelligent; and, it was not just about sex. Those relationships were relaxed, long lasting, and thoroughly enjoyable. One for All and All for One. Over time, they fell apart, because, to the rest of society, we were not the norm; and, I think now, we bowed to that, narrow minded viewpoint. Occasionally. I have run into one, and they, too, don't seem as happy as we were then. If I were given the opportunity to again be part of the same type of like minded women, I don't believe that I would hesitate. It is certainly not for everyone, but it certainly worked far better than any monogamous relationships that I have had since.

    July 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  36. RJTinRVA

    Gringovejo, did any of your partners have other male partners? If not, why?

    July 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  37. graham

    Who says that religion is posion? just because one religion believes in polygamy does not meant that all religion is horrible! o think before you bash other religons.

    July 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  38. Leo

    1. Not every religion is patriarchal. Don't lump them all together. There are more religions than just Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Got it?

    2. There are more reasons for two people to get married than just "controlling women." Some of us are actually in love, ya know.

    3. Polyamory is not the same as polygamy. Not even slightly. Please look up the difference.

    4. This discussion has nothing to do with gay marriage.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  39. JV

    Mormonism is a poison, the general public hears one thing, the members are told something else. The more you find out about how this religion was founded the more ridiculous it is. Open your eyes people.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  40. joey

    marriage is for minions

    July 24, 2012 at 5:14 am |
  41. max3333444555

    i have no issue with consenting adults marrying whoever or however-many people they want. i dont really care if someone marries a chipmunk, if you can find some way to measure consent. none of my business.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  42. max3333444555


    change mormon to christian and you still have a valid statement...

    July 24, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  43. diversity

    Polygamy is illegal, anything illegal and against the law is a crime. They should be arrested and face the consequenses of their crime, should work to provide food and education of their children, no welfare.

    July 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  44. Nietodarwin

    I can't believe there is a female who will vote republican in any race, and for a MORMON as the president. THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN IS REAL.

    July 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  45. Meghan

    Polgygamy is only unacceptable in Western civilization. To condemn it globally is ridiculous.

    I still find it laughable that few bat an eye if a single man has four girlfriends who don't know about each other or a married man can have a mistress without resulting in similar outrage. But a man has four wives and it's wrong on all levels.

    I personally could not and would not do it. But even as a Christian I don't condemn others cultures that do.

    July 30, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  46. Dynamic

    Everything we are is learned from our immediate environment and society. Sick churches led by mentally ill people have always taught bizarre ways of living (and dying). Humanity is what we make it. If groups of people choose to live their lives loving more than one person at a time, then that is far better than the abusive, sick relationships found in a large number of traditional, monogamous, faith-based marriages that ultimately end in adultery and divorce after much psychological and societal damage has occurred.

    July 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  47. Kristyn Decker

    Thanks for all of the comments. It may be too late to reply. I love that we have freedom of speech, at least at this point in lives. I am anti plurality in any form of marriage. I'm sure that is because I've seen the damage, dysfunction, abuse and pain that it causes so many. However I am also pro choice. Like many have said, "consenting adults" should be able to choose the kind of marriage they want to be part of w/o force, threats, and indoctrination... Most polygamists use their religion to control and be controlled w/o knowing the difference of true life, happiness and CHOICE.

    October 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  48. Former Plig Kid

    Way to go Kristyn! 🙂 I'm so glad I got out at 18.

    October 9, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
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