An inside look at how belief can corrupt
John R. Llewellyn
© Copyright 2011
An inside look at how belief can corrupt
John R. Llewellyn
© Copyright 2011
In the year 2007, I wrote Mormon Polygamy, A Virus of the Mind with the idea of self-publishing it. But due to the aversions of life, among them the lack of finance, it sat gathering cyber dust on my computer.
A lot has happened since 2007. On April 3, 2008, the Yearning for Zion, FLDS temple compound was raided. Evidence gathered during that raid is being used to systematically prosecute several FLDS men including Warren Jeffs for having sex with underage girls.
There seems to be a question as to whether the Yearning for Zion raid was a setup, meaning someone pretending to be an underage victim, Sarah Barlow, called Texas Child Protective Services claiming to have been sexually attacked. A woman named Rozita Swinton was suspected. Regardless, the Texas Child Protective Services and Texas Rangers acted in good faith. As a result, many of us in Utah watched with fascination over the differences between Utah and Texas justice.
In the mean time, in January 2009, Winston Blackmore and James Oler, of Creston, British Colombia, Canada were charged with practicing polygamy. The charges were dismissed due to technicalities. Nevertheless, the charges apparently stimulated a debate before the British Columbia Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of Canada’s bigamy statute barring the practice of polygamy. Known as The Reference Case, it is the first time in the history of Canada that a law has been sent to court to test its constitutionality.
Canada does things a little different than the United States when it comes to controversial issues like polygamy. It gets right down to business. As a result pro polygamists and anti polygamists mobilized preparing to argue and testify before the British Columbia courts. Pundits on both sides were invited to submit affidavits on the assumption they were willing to testify at their own expense.
Stop Polygamy in Canada (SPC) a grassroots campaign comprising individuals and groups from Canada and the international community could not afford a lawyer. Once an affidavit was filed by organizer, Nancy Mereska, two legal groups stepped forward to represent SPC pro bono.
Not without a lot of work – Kathleen Mackert spent many hours on the phone finding one team, and Mereska spent many more hours finding the other team. They both accepted simultaneously. What that means is the attorneys were willing to donate their time and expertise to convince the court that polygamy, especially the Mormon brand of polygamy, is oppressive, demeaning and barbaric.
Yours truly was invited by SPC to submit an affidavit which I did. However, only those who authored affidavits that were challenged by the opposition, were required to testify. As it happened my affidavit was not challenged – darnit. Nevertheless, my affidavit is still alive and well in The Reference Case.
Nancy Mereska of Stop Polygamy in Canada has kept us all well informed of what happened. The arguing and testifying started in November 2010. The evidentiary phase wound up at the end of January. Arguments regarding allowing television cameras in the court room for the closing arguments and summations at the end of March and early April will be heard sometime this month, February. SPC has advised its legal team that they are in favor of allowing television coverage. Canadian court rooms ordinarily do not allow television cameras in the court rooms, or in the court house. All television interviews have to be done outside the court house.
Chief Justice Robert Bauman is not expected to render his decision until later this year. We are now anxiously awaiting the results because whatever decision the Canadian court hands down will undoubtedly have an impact upon the bigamy statute in the United States.
In 2010, TLC Television aired Sister Wives, a purported reality show featuring the flamboyant Kody Brown, his four plural wives and 16 children. The series ran from September 26th to October 17th. The Brown family lived in Lehi, Utah and were reputed to belong to the second largest polygamist group, Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). Like Big Love, the ratings were high, at least outside of Utah. But to those of us who are familiar with the Mormon polygamist life style, Sister Wives was not reality. Kody had long hair which was reminiscent of Tom Green who served 5 years in the Utah State Prison for Bigamy, Criminal Non Support and Child Rape. Kody’s act however, was devoid of any criminal conduct other than bigamy.
The Lehi police investigated Kody and turned what they found over to the Utah County Attorney. It is presumed Kody was investigated for bigamy as the reality show depicted all the evidence Lehi needed. To this date, February 8, 2011, the Utah County Attorney has not issued a complaint – presumably because he alleges he doesn’t have the resources to go after polygamists unless there is child abuse or child trafficking. Sure! Apparently, to be on the safe side, the Kody Brown family is reported to have moved to Las Vegas.
The failure of the Utah County Attorney to prosecute is not surprising. It would undoubtedly turn into a circus. The State of Utah has had enough bad press as it is with characters like Brian David Mitchell, who was finally convicted of sexually assaulting Elizabeth Smart. Going as far back as 1977, when Ervil LeBaron had Rulon C. Allred killed, there has been one screwy polygamist event after another. The pattern is well established, who will be next?
Utah is a red state, meaning it is predominately Republican and very conservative. However, Utah’s apparent tolerance of Mormon polygamy, except where underage girls are involved, presents a contradiction. Where Mormonism is involved Utah can be very liberal.
I think it is a fair assumption that outside of Mormonism the world sees polygamy as a moral issue. But in Utah it is treated as a religious issue. Virus of the Mind will present clear and convincing evidence that Mormon polygamy is in reality a moral problem disguised as religion.
Since my first book, Murder of a Prophet, in 2000, there have been dozens of books published about Mormon polygamy. Those authored by women escaping Mormon fundamentalism, describing in detail the nefariousness of Mormon plural marriage have been excellent. But because so many books have been published you may think the subject has been thoroughly covered and there is nothing new to say. If so, you’d be wrong.
Mormon Polygamy, A Virus of the Mind takes a unique, secular look at what I contend is a fraudulent document that was inspired by Joseph Smith’s Y-chromosome. You may not agree with my theories but you’ll have to grant me, its compelling – iconoclasm at its best.
That said, I’ve decided to preview Mormon Polygamy, A Virus of the Mind on my blog, www.polygamybooks.org. starting with the Glossary, Contents, and then a chapter at a time. Because the chapters are lengthy there may be a week, or two week gap between chapters.
In reading, please keep in mind my © Copyright, 2011.
All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from the author, except in brief quotations and critical articles or reviews.
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