I just learned that my first cousin has joined up with the Canadian branch of the polygs who used to be affiliated with the Warren Jeffs branch. I believe a man named Winston Blackmore is the head honcho of the community. I can't recall the specific incident that split up Blackmore and Jeffs, but such rifts usually occur as a result of greed or a power struggle.
The cousin in question is twenty-six and had not been married. If I were twenty-six and not yet married, my parents would be pleased that I had so many years to focus onn my education and career before marriage and children came along. My LDS aunts and uncles, on the other hand, start quoting statistic about how a woman is more likely to be killed by a terrorist than she is to ever marry if she hasn't married before some arbitrary age such as twenty-eight. In the LDS church, women are told that they will be married in the millenium (when Jesus personally regins over the Earth for one-thousand years) or in the afterlife. Most of the time, this means the women will be married to men who already have other wives and will have to share their husbands.
If you've ever watched either "Big Love" or "Sister Wives," you would be gullible to believe that real polygamy exists as depicted in those series. The reality is that except for factions among wives that form, hardly anyone gets along in polygamous families, and women frequently mistreat other women's children. Most of these people are under-educated. Some women work, while others collect welfare. The wife with the most seniority, the "first wife," typically hold most of the authority in the household. The only exception to this is if the "first wife" falls out of favor with her husband, which isn't as common as one might think. Husbands do picke out newer and more modern versions of feminity to marry, and the young ones enjoy attention of the husband early in the marriage. In most cases, however, a new and improved model eventually shows up to replace the previous new wife and to claim the favors formerly possessed by her.
I'm relactant to state this, but in seeing the news coverage of the raid on Warrn Jeffs' community in Texas, it was apparent that the vast majority of the polygamous females are not classic beauties by any stretch of the definition. In every book I've ever read by a polygamist female, the author would say something to the effect of, "My mother was beautiful, and the girls in our family were very pretty as well, so the others were jealous of us." I'd like to know where these attractive female polygamists are being stored. I've read more coverage concerning than has the average person, and I've actually been to the Colorado City/Hillsdale compound, and I've yet to see one female over the age of twelve who could be accurately characterized as beautiful, pretty, striking, attractive, cute, or even of average appearance. Their space alien hairstyles do nothing to enhance their appearances, but even if their hair were done by the same hairdresser who does Jessica Alba's hair, these women would be homely at best. Mt cousin is no exception in the regard.
I tend to be a bit callous and to think things like this are funny. My parents, on the other hand, are concerned about the emphasis on early marriage within the mainstream LDS culture and the way my cousin must've been made to feel when she didn't marry at the standard LDS age of twenty to twenty-two. They're also worried that she may have difficulty escaping if she ever changes her mind. They're considering driving to British Columbia this summer to attempt to find my cousin, They want to be sure she knows what she's getting into and that they will help her get away at any time she wants to. They also want to tell her she can live with them if she ever needs to.
I suppose, if my parents ever find her, they'll try to talk her out of leaving and use their limited funds to educate her as well. I only hope she doesn't have three kids by the time she breaks away, because the court battle my parents will surely finance for her to gain custody of her children is likely to usurp any inheritance I might ever have been bequeathed. Then again, there are more important things than money.
The cousin's parents are laissez-faire about the whole thing. They vacillate between "It was meant to be" and "She's exercising her free agency. Now she can lie in the bed she's made." My grandfather is a major player in the LDS church. He doesn't want anyone to even talk about the subject, which is precisely the reason I chose to blog about it.