I blogged much earlier about one of my cousins, who was declared an old maid at the age of twenty-six. Her way of dealing with it was to join up with the some segment of the Blackmore cult up in British Columbia. If you're well-versed in the history of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you'll know that the Blackmore group broke away from the Johnson/Jeffs group in the not-too-distant past and still retains some ties.
My cousin's parents weren't sure which was more humiliating: having a twenty-six-year-old daughter who was still single, or having her join up with the polygs. This in and of itself and without furhter evidence, plenty of which is available, epitomizes just how screwed up my dad's side of the family is. (Being hooked up with the polygs at least proved their daughter probably was not a lesbian, which made her choice of lifestyle perhaps the lesser of two evils, her parents thought. Becoming a heterosexual prostitute might have lent evidence along the same lines, but would that have made selling her body a viable option?) My grandfather, who is a relatively high-ranking mainstream (although calling any portion of the LDS church "mainstream" seems somewhat oxymoronic, akin to being a known as "a gifted tone-deaf singer") LDS official, has chosen to ignore the situation. (I have to admit that, as sorry as I feel for my cousin, it's gratifying in is own unique way to have someone in the family rank lower in the pecking order than I do for once, however temporary the status may be.) I will offer as a disclaimer that we all know Mormons who are good, upstanding, and apparently sane people. My relatives on my dad's side are not among that faction of the LDS church. My grandfather, who holds a relatively high-ranking poition in the LDS church, has convinced the rest of the family to join hom in his state of denial. (The state of denial and the State of the Deseret, when represented in the form of a Venn Diagram, show a large circle depicting the state of denial, while a much smaller circle, representing the State of the Deseret, lies almost entirely within the larger circle representing the state of denial, with only a tiny shard to the right of the larger cirle as you face it representing the State of the Deseret extending very slightly outside the circle representing the state of denial.) My dad's family does not occupy that tiny shard to the right extending outside the state of denial.
My parents and my Uncle steve have been concerned about this situation ever since they initially became aware of it. My Uncle Steve received a letter from my cousin last week. She said she wants out. She's not sure if they'll let her out. They have supposely told her she's free to leave as soon as her baby is born as long as she leaves her baby. (I forgot to mention that she's pregnant. I don't know how far along she is. For that matter, she could be experiencing a hysterical pregnancy. I've never actually known anyone who's had such a condition, but leave it to her to be the first.) Some church and municipal authorities (one and the same thing where she lives) have supposedly also told her she's free to go at any time and does not need to wait for the birth of her baby before leaving. My cousin told my uncle in the letter that it's not safe to attempt to correspond with her at the compound. There's supposedly a bar fifteen or so miles down the road where mesaages can be left for her.
I've seen Blackmore (his first name may be Winston; that somehow rings a bell) on a TV interview, and he presents as a far more reasonable man than do any of those nutcases I've observed on news programs in either Colorado City/ Hilldale or the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas. If I had to trust one of them, he's the one I would trust. Furthermore, this cousin of mine has typically by choice started off most games of Uno with more than a few cards in excess usual startubg amount of seven. (Uno's one of ths egames where onw wanta to be rid of one's cards as soon as possible; it's no advantage to steal extras. That would be like adding strokes to your golf score.) Between Blackckmore and my cousin, he could easily the more lucid of the two.
Still, she has claimed at least once that she's not being allowed to leave until the birth of her child, and not with the child once it's born. This seems worth checking out. Beyond that, she may be thousands of miles away from home with no means for getting home. This alone is a cause for concern. Her parents say she got herself up there. Let her get herself back. I'm not sure it's that clear-cut. She's a simple soul, despite a bachelor's degree, and her options are limited.
This young woman was made to feel that everything about her was so sub-par that she was willig to take a rather desperate step in order either to mke herself more socially acceptable or to get out of the situation that made her feek as miserable as she felt about herself. She is clearly in need of assistance. My parents, my Uncle Steve and Aunt Heather, and a sixty-year-old great Uncle on my maternal grandmother's side who still retains Canadian citizenship are planning to travel to British Columbia to bring her home nd help her to get her life back in order. They admit they have no idea how difficult or how dangerous this may be.
I'm a bit nervous about my parents undertaking this operation, but glad they're not doing it alone. I wish my mother and Aunt Heather did not need to go, as it seems that it could be potentially more dangerous for them. What if, for example, the polygs take a liking to either of them. My father says that the women will not accompany the men to the compound, but are instead there in the event that either ompetency is an issue or that my cousin may be in sohat hteolme sory of danger being released to the company of just three men. Still, what if some extreme polygs find out in what hotel my mom and my aunt are staying, I've seen those polygamous wome, and by comparison, my mom and my aunt are Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz.
This operation will take place early next week. I'm still sick, and my mom will not leave until my fever and most of the symptoms are gone. This whole thing makes me terribly apprehensive, and I wish there were a simpler and safer way of getting my cousin out of there. I've seen too many episodes of "Big Love" not to be afraid of the bad things tha could happen. On the other hand, just think of the stories my cousin will have to tell when she gets out of there,