Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Insomnia runs rampant, but there are always the plygs, among other people and things, about which to think

I don't think I'll be awake until the sun comes up tonight, but I am still up into the wee hours, and not by choice.

The Colorado City polyg churches look a great deal like mainstream LDS churhces.

Looking at the picture of the polygamous sister wives caused me to think of the time a few summers ago when my pseudouncle, pseudoaunt, and I visited southern Utah for the purpose of catching a little polygamous activity. (It had been a miserable spring and summer for me, with serious injuries that were not healing fast, and this was supposed to be the equivalent to my trip to Disneyland to make up for the not-so-fun times of the summer.

We even attended  one of the Church services in Colorado City. (Looking back. it's hard to believe we had the nerve to even drive onto the compound, much less to barge in on one of their church services.)  The strange specially-ordered cast I had on my leg to allow air to heal my skin infections while holding my bones in place, in addition to the sling on my arm, made me look like a little crippled girl, which made them feel sorry for us.  Pseudouncle has a booming baritone voice, and i had, as I still have, the sweet little-girl soprano thing going on, so after hearing us sing the opening hymn,  the polygs invited us to sing a sing for them. Pseudoaunt bowed out. she can carry a tune but does not perform in public, and probably for good reason. We sang "O My Father" from the Mormon hymnal. The Jeffs' branch of the fundies  use, if I recall correctly, the second-most-recent edition of the mainstream LDS church's hymnal.

We had brought conservative clothing to somewhat dress the part.  None of us own prairie style clothing, but we had on stuff that was sufficiently modest.  We had already planned our "story." I was pseudouncle's daughter. My mother was dead. Pseudoaunt was his new bride, He'd tried out two other brides since my mama passed,  but they both left us to return to the secular and monogamous world.  According to our story, Daddy went to Juarez, Mexico to find a bride because the women there were reportedly more compliant. Pseudoaunt said as little as possible because she isn't good at faking a Mexican accent, but fundies like their women silent anyway, so it worked out well. she pretended not to speak English at all, and the two of us "communicated" through both of our very limited Spanish. peudouncle spoke to her in Spanish a lot, apparently issuing orders. he's fluent. She just nodded. i tried t talk pseudoaunt into pretending to be one of his daughters, too, but she said she didn''t look enough like him, and besides, it would be creepy.

My fondest memory of the entire trip was the homemade fudge that we bought at some mercantile or general store there. only God knows if the kitchen in which is was made was clean enough in which to prepare food for a pet rat, but god, the fudge tasted good. there were several flavors. We bought a bit of divinity, but mostly we bought  chocolate fudge and a brown sugar-flavored kind. I ate so much of it that first night that Pseudouncle made me stop because he was afraid I would get Montezuma's revenge despite not having crossed any national borders. He did swing back by there on our way home to pick up some more of the stuff, which we carefully rationed to make it last two weeks.

Driving through the streets of Colorado City and its twin city, Hilldale, was quite an experience.  The twin cities straddled the border of Utah and Arizona. The reason the cities were originally so located was that in earlier anti-polygamy days, if Utah authorities showed up to raid the place, all the polygs could run across the border to Arizona. If the Arizona authorities showed up for the same purpose, all the polygs would run across the border into Utah. It took the two states and the feds considerable time to coordinate their efforts so that the "run for the the border" plan didn't work.  thus we had the infamous Short Creek Raid." (The place was originally was called Short Creek.)

My feelings about polygamy are that it's difficult to justify making the practice itself illegal when others are allowed to have sex with whomever they choose, and to have children with whomever they choose, with no legal repercussions. On the other hand, I have problems with several aspects of it.  One of my issues is with their reported method of thinning the herd by kicking teen-aged boys off their compound before they really have the job skills to fend for themselves. Another of my issues is with  the rampant underage marriage and even with  those who wait until they are of age to marry but have  no experience with the outside world and, this, think plural marriage is normal and is the only way to live.  Another issue I have is with the inbreeding that occurs -- with the arranged marriages of cousins and even closer relatives, which promote all sorts of health conditions and birth defects, the most notable of which is fumarase deficiency. One of my most major issues with the fundies'  system is with them having, through multiple wives, more children, than one man and however many wives he has can possibly support. Thus, government welfare then becomes the primary means of support. I have the same conflict with the polygs using welfare in this way as I do with single mothers who have multiple babies  who they cannot support and whose fathers cannot contribute to their support. I wish something could be done to stop this abuse, as we're soon going to reach a point where too few of the working people re supporting too many of those who multiply like rabbits.

I wish there were a way to allow the adults who chose the lifestyle and were able to finance it to live their religion, while forbidding those who attempt to access government funding to support their way of life from doing so. Likewise, I wish there were a way to insure that young people were neither either kicked out of their homes and off the compound without adequate means of support , nor were girls ever allowed to marry before legal adulthood, Furthermore, i wish there were a way of forcing public schooling upon these people so that girls would know if only by association that the polygamous way of life was not their only choice.

Perhaps if the government could force, as a condition for allowing polygamous communities to continue to exist in our nation, , a period of Rumspringa (also spelled Rumschpringe) as the Amish practice, whereby the youth experience a period of life in the outside world before deciding whether or not to continue with the Amish way of life.  Jeffs' church, or the other polygamous sects around, should be forced to provide a decent stipend so that the young people could at least survive while experiencing the outside world. If the young adults wished to experience life more fully nd more luxuriously, part-time jobs could be obtained, but that's not always easy to do in the present economy, especially with no job history. Part-time jobs at Wendy's or McDonald's are not that difficult by which to come, but some subsidy from the church and community would be appropriate as well for a year or eighteen month, as it's doubtless that the church and community have obtained more than their share of free labor from the youth.

I would be more comfortable with a young woman choosing a polygamous lifestyle if I knew that she was aware she had a choice in the matter. Likewise, I'd feel better about the Lost Boys being tossed out were they to receive a year's worth of subsidy while they looked for work or honed job skills.

The current system, at least as practiced by Jeffs' followers and similar cults, is inadequate for all except for the relatively few men (and a few of their favored wives) who hold power in the local communities and in the churches, which are essentially one and the same.


  1. Wow... that took some serious guts to go to an FLDS service.

    I don't have a problem with polygamy, per se... but like you, I do have a problem with the way it's done in Warren Jeffs' circles. If everyone is a consenting adult and they aren't bleeding the government or abusing children, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world. It's not for me, though.

  2. Konyyt, I agree. It's not my cup of tea, either, but what goes on between consenting adults that has no impact on government funding and does ho [hysocal or psychological harm to children isn't of great concern to me.

    Paul, I'm hanging in there. It took me a few days to recover from my final exam for me "Physicx and mechanics of Fractures" class, but I'm over it, plus grades were posted and i was able to eke out a 98, which was more than I needed for an A in the class.

    How are things going for you?

    1. Well done.
      Must catch up on your blog, it's been a hectic few months trying to build up some work for myself. I'm hoping to get some projects going this summer but it's all slowly slowly. Talk to you again soon.