Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mormon Polygamy on Trial: Day 6 notes from the courthouse

Reader Beware: This is not an official court transcript - and I am not a qualified court stenographer. While I am doing my best to provide an accurate reflection of events, in most cases I am paraphrasing what was said and errors are likely.

Testimony of Angela Campbell:
Amicus to take Dr. Campbell through the affidavits collected at Bountiful and ask for clarifications - what was she purporting to address, etc.

On FLDS theology: Marriage is fundamental and central to Mormon theology. From mid 19th century, polygamy was understood to be a requirement to reach highest level of celestial kingdom. Polygamy was practiced openly until the manifesto that was necessary for Utah’s statehood, however polygamy continued until early 20th century and actually ended with the 2nd manifesto. At this point, the LDS church split into mainstream and fundamentalism. Fundamentalists believe polygamy is a necessary requirement to reach the celestial kingdom.

Her opinion is that polygamy is still practiced in Bountiful as a religious requirement. She further asked members of the community how they can reconcile remaining monogamous with the scriptural injunction for polygamy. Some believed that an openness to polygamy was all that was required. however, others believed that practicing polygamy was necessary.

Asked how criminalization affected the views on polygamy by the people in bountiful, she answered that their religious beliefs are a higher norm than society values.

When asked about her research objectives - she felt it was best to be transparent and offer her opinion that the state has a requirement to justify why an act is criminalized. She stated that she did not believe that polygamy should be criminalized because the state does not criminalize many other similar sexual practices. This conclusion was based upon her previous research and understandings and she stated this opinion at the conclusion of one of her interview sessions in Bountiful.

Part of her research was to determine how coersion and free choice interplayed in the choices that women made about their marriage and reproduction. Earlier, teen-age marriages were very common, however, recently it has become unpopular for marriages to occur at ages younger than 18. It is her impression that prior to the split, teen age marriages were more common.

In one of her interviews, a mother reflected that her teenage daughter wanted to get married and she did not approve. However, she could not stop the daughter.

Marriages are typically arranged. However, individuals are now making more choices about who they will marry and whether they will be monogamous or polygamous. In earlier times, individuals did not know each other prior to marriages. However, courting is becoming more common and is seen as a more desirable way to achieve a marriage that will last.

Reproduction and family planning: Several women spoke of making choices about marriage and family. WIth respect to reproduction, it is a very high value in the FLDS church to have large families. However, some families were smaller. Several women indicated that they could make choices about contraception and would consult with other women in the community to make contraceptive choices. Often without consulting their husbands. It is recognized that the lives of young women are much more hectic today and it is not possible to have so many children or to have children born so close together.

With respect to children: it is very difficult to not notice the children in the community. She only had off the record informal discussions with the children. There is a deep connection between the children and their biological mothers. However, they see other polygamous wives as Mother X and Mother Y, etc. There was always someone there for their guidance. Children, especially siblings, and those who are half siblings don’t really discriminate. There is sibling rivalry as seen in most households.

In relationships among the adults: Among Sister wives - these were the easiest relationships to hear about because she interviewed women. Many women felt their greatest loss if the marriage dissolved would be the loss of their sister wives. For example if one woman works outside the home, another wife will care for children or do household work. This sometimes results in specialization of labour where women work where they are most interested. Some communal experience evolves in terms of negotiating household finance, etc.

In terms of the hardest things about being in a plural marriage: First, jealousy and competition for husbands resources and affection. Second, competition for space and place. Sometimes it does not work for a family to cohabit and sometimes a woman will want to move to another house. Third, there is a strong negative reaction to one woman disciplining another woman’s child.

In terms of woman’s appearance and dress: There have been changes in the community as to the way that women appear. What was most surprizing is that many women did not appear as FLDS women do in the media. They were dressing in more conventional clothes, some cut their hair. Jewellry is not common, pieced ears, etc. And since these choices are not universal in the community. Some women feel that adopting these practices are stepping outside the boundaries of the faith.

In terms of self-expression and fulfillment: Women are becoming more financially independent - in spite of extreme communal background, there is a tendency for women to pursue education and work that is financially and emotionally fullfilling. Most women pursue conventional feminine vocations, healthcare, teaching, childcare, etc. This way they can work in roles that help the community. Work also included working in nearby towns in service industry, etc.

In terms of education: there is an encouragement for young children to go to school. IN terms of pursuing post secondary education, this sometimes occurs - especially in nearby towns and sometimes in the states. Scheduling education and child reading, often children are born first and then the women have extra difficulties returning to school. However, sister wives sometimes help in enabling this through child care, etc.

Understanding of formal law in Bountiful:

First phase of research was about whether they understood the law regarding polygamy in Canada. Did they understand the prohibition in the law?

By and large, there is a firm understanding that polygamy is criminalized. Some women did not know this before, however, currently this is widely known through law enforcement, media, etc. There is a distinction between de-criminalization and state recognition of polygamy and often this was not understood. Within the community, the opinion is that even if there is a penalty according to the state law, it would not affect their desire to be in a polygamous marriage because their faith is a stronger normative rule than the state law.

Women accessing or not accessing services in the outside towns: There is a willingness for people in the community to go to nearby towns regularly. They are not a self-sufficient community so people regularly go shopping for necessary goods and services. There is complete openness for “benign services” however, there is resistance for women to go for help in cases where the services that are required have a strong link to polygamy. Historically, this was the case in child-birth because the mother would have to identify the father. Transcripts show cases where women are reticent to go to the community for marriage counseling. When asked if women will go for any counseling, reluctance is generally expressed.

Next section: Polygamy outside bountiful:
This section describes a literature review Dr. Campbell performed for a report she prepared for National Council for the Status of Women . Describes social, economic and health related consequences of polygamy for women in a variety of cultures, settings, etc. Provided motivation for the Bountiful research.

What did she find in literature versus what she found on the ground. Literature suggested adverse outcomes for women in polygamy. In many cases, this led to violence among them due to jealousy, cramped space, shortage of resources, etc. First wives are often target because they are assigned and others are chosen. Also some literature suggests valuable relationships among sister wives and also mutual support. In Bountiful, she did not hear about conflicts that actually led to violence. In bountiful she did observe “sisterhood solidarity”.

Risks of insularity: This links to the idea that when the practice is criminalized, there is a tendency for the family structure to be kept secret - by religious dictates and fear of prosecution -this is harmful because individuals are told not to trust people from the outside. This was observed in bountiful. Their practices are seen as object of scorn, etc. Religious isolation was reinforced because they were told not to seek services from outside by their leaders. This was not typical of her recent observations.

Literature suggests that polygynous relationships are unequal because one man can have many wives. The husband was more rights than the woman. That framework can lead to abuse, control and abuse of authority. The literature also suggests that the numbers may not always lead to inequality that the women can exercise some element of control. When asked about the rights and equality of women, Respondents say they feel sorry for the men because they are outnumbered. Women say they want to live in polygamy, because they believe it is right. when asked about the outside perception that the polygamous structure is open to abuse, they agree that when there is abuse, that the abuse should always be handled appropriately through law enforcement procedures.

WIth respect to children : literature suggests that teenage boys will be exiled or shunned by the community by the male leaders to increase the number of girls in the marriage pool. She is aware that affidavits exist that suggest that this was the case. It is not clear to her whether this ever existed and if it did exist, it may have been the result of specific male leaders. She often saw family functions where the numbers of boys and girls seemed relatively even.

Cheryl Milne; CRCC:

About children: on second visit, her observations about a wedding and a slide show, as well as a presentation by the Bountiful children, Dr. Campbell, stated that she knew that these were special occasions and the community was aware that she was coming during these times.

Dr. Campbell confirmed that she has no particular expertise in child development, child raising, education, what curriculum is used in school, determination of child abuse, etc. Her comments in these areas are only as a lay person.

She was not there to present the voices of children in any way.

In some cases, she made observations in her reports about “all those children” etc. can not be used as general statements. When referring to special and intense relationships within the families - she can only speak to the children and women that she observed. She stated that children in the same family, born to sister wives, have intense relationships, this cannot be generalized beyond the people that she observed. Concerning the relationships with fathers, she did not spend much time with fathers and she cannot honestly assess this relationship. She cannot speak to the experience of children with disabilities.

Campbell made observations about educational attainments, etc. She does not have expertise in childhood education, however, she was reporting from literature and relying on those authors.

When she stated that the school curriculum was under state scrutiny - she did not know this first hand but was relying on media reports.

About the choice of a sixteen year old daughter who wanted to marry - she did not get the sense that there was a complete powerlessness by the mother, but it was more of a sense that she could not stop her daughter from doing what she was going to do.

Relating to the YFZ congregation - women spoke frequently about how authorities took children into custody based on “unfounded” claims of child abuse. When asked if this was her opinion - she stated it was based on her conversation with an attorney who represented the women in the Texas case.

Cross-examine by Craig (AG BC)

Bountiful was settled in 1946 by settlers who were descended from polygamous families who came to Canada from Utah at the turn of the last century. Mentioned that the LDS church cracked down on polygamy and there was a split in the mormon church. This is the origin of the FLDS who started in Hilldale and colorado city.

A recent split occurred when warren jeffs assumed the role of prophet in the flds church and half the followers rejected his authority. These now follow blackmore and they are much more liberal.

Dr. campbell has experience with blackmore followers due to their increasing openness. How does she reconcile the statement that there was always some degree of openness in the community with the statement that there was previously more fear of the outside community. She indicated that they would seek help in areas that were not related to polygamy. Is bountiful evolving? she is not sure.

Is more openness occurring now that criminalization is more in the news. She says that it is her understanding that the time period coincides but does not know if this is the cause.

Craig noted that there were charges laid about child rape after the YFZ raid. She clarified that she was aware of child rape charges but she did not believe that these were related to the people who lived at YFZ, rather originated in Colorado city.

Harms relating to polygamy: child abuse, child brides, lost boys, impacts to status of women, negative impacts on children and girls eduction - agreed that literature reports these things.

True that in 2005 did she become concerned that the harms of criminalization were not being considered enough in the analysis of harms. She states that the literature about harms due to polygamy were primarily coming from places that are outside of canada. Was she concerned that there is a lack of primary research on both the harms of polygamy and the harms due to criminalization of polygamy.

in 2005, she stated that there should not be consideration of de-criminalization until there is more first-hand research of the situation. She stated that a richer examination of the actual situation in bountiful was an important element.

Has she publicly advocated that polygamy should be de-criminalized. Yes - she believes that de-criminalization is probably the best path to follow. This chrystalization happened around 2008 after she had visited the community. This was combined with her further research.

She believes that criminalization should not be based on our current assumptions but rather on a more careful study of the issue. She says that she has not intended to make a blanket statement that polygamy should be de-criminalized.

Prior to her 4 days experience in Bountiful, what other information was she aware of? She was not aware of any other primary research on the area.

As a person who has thought deeply and long about this - have you done all you can to gather information about the analysis of harms? yes.

Research methodology - esp. qualitative methodology - is not representative and quantitative data is more representative for extrapolating harms. yes.

On child brides - they were not uncommon prior to split - sure. Were they routine, - don’t know. Would quantitative data be helpful - yes. One woman reported that 24 out of 25 sisters were married before 18. Yes.

If we want to determine what percentage of women who were married as child brides ... want to refer to transcript.

If we wanted to find out more about child brides, could she have asked her survey participants at what age they were married? yes.

Stated that teenage marriages are now discouraged - who discourages this? parents.

Would it be helpful to have information about how many children are married in a given year. yes.

Since unmarried women generally do not have children in bountiful - could you use birth records as a proxy.


disparity between ages of mothers and fathers on the birth records can be used as a way to determine age differences in marriages and this may be used to talk about power discrepency in the marriages and related to harms associated with polygamy?


IF records also indicate place of birth of the mothers, and this showed many of the mothers were born in the states - this would be suggestive of immigration patterns -

It might be.

As to the importance of marriage in the LDS and FLDS communities - are marriages a big deal? Does the whole community know about the marriages?

don’t know.

Do you know of any polygamous marriages in bountiful since 2002.

She is not aware.

As far as she knows, child brides and polygamous marriages may be in the past in the community she studied.

They may be.

As for lost boys - could you ask whether anyone was aware of that happening. Did you ask the question - do you know of anyone being expelled from community.

yes, but she did not ask.

Could demographics be used to assess the potential of lost boys -
yes, but she did not do this.

Mentioned small gender imbalance at some social functions.

However, did not take any notes about the gender numbers -

Number of men and women at these settings were roughly equal at these functions - if there were some polygamous marriages - how can this be?

She did not do a headcount -

Craig “Polygamy means more women than men” then among married people in the community, there must be more women than men. Then in a partially polygynous community, there must be more women than men among the married people.

yes - but she did not do a headcount.

On to contraception: Females rights to control their reproduction is an indicator of female equality in literature. The more children that a woman has, the less equality there is in a society.


She stated that birth control is often without the husbands consent. Are there any instances in her transcripts where the husband actually gave consent for the woman to use contraception?

She was not aware of any.

Does this give her pause?
She feels this is indicitive of potential problems.

Does she agree that a woman should have ABSOLUTE CONTROL over her reproduction?

On to education of women and children:
In studying education outcomes, it would be very useful to have information about drop-out rates, etc. Did you ask about graduation certificates?

No, she did not ask.

Did she ask if the dropped out of school?

would this be helpful in addressing harms to community?

Would it be useful to the lordship to know what post secondary education that the children went onto.


Aware of the recent Quebec report on polygamy? yes - have you read it - no. Is there anything in the English summary that leads you to reconsider your opinion concerning polygamy. No. Are you aware that this has been adopted by the quebec assembly? no.

Concerning the 2008 trip -

did you meet with research associates in montreal. changed planes in western canada and flew to cranbrook. Drove to hotel first in creston. Did all interviews take place at the same place? No, some took place in peoples homes but some interviews were arranged on the spot - on-site.

After her arrival, she got to the hotel late in the afternoon. Contacted some of the people that they had been in touch with. Confirmed a couple of interviews that were set up. Did not interview on that day. However, interviewed someone in Cranbrook on that day, That took about an hour. Then went back to the hotel.

Other interviews were an ongoing process. Primarily met in one space. No interviews during the first year were in a personal home. In second year, interviews were in people’s homes. Interviews varied between 30 and 60 mins generally - times are recorded on transcripts.

They had guides in community at some times. These guides told them how the split had affected the community.

Left the hotel on Friday. interviewed another person while in cranbrook but cannot identify if it is the same person because of confidentiality reasons.

For a five day trip, really only spent 3 days in community. Transcript numbers are not consistent between years.

When she went back in 09; similar number of people interviewed but fewer new people.

In terms of her affidavits - in terms of her research conclusions - it was structured in terms of specific requests.

Is the information about approximately equal people of both genders - was this part of her research? It informed her impression of the community but was not formal research.

Have you read other evidence that has been given to this case. She has read Proff bala and one other and some of Proff Heinricks.

The argument with respect to child brides is that polygamy requires more women than men and that to increase the market for available women there is a downward pressure on the age at which women are targetted for marriage. She if familiar with the theory.

IF international research indicates that this pattern exists around the world, would it be universally proof of a harm of polygamy?

Does the concern exist even if marriages occur at the age of 30? Have you ever considered this in terms of your research? No.

Have you considered this in terms of the lost boys? Yes.

Are you aware of the international literature that gender imbalance is correlated with increased crime and anti-social behavior - no.

If you were aware of this and if polygamy causes this harm, should this be a concern? yes.

Craig: Follow up questions to conclude.

Did you do focus groups on both trips. Yes; the first year there was one FG on the third of five days. The second year, there were 2 on days 4 and 5. On the second trip, there were several individual interviews and then the focus groups.

Turn attention to Bountiful Voices article:
On page 200, participant 1 says I was 18 when i got married. Of my 25 sisters, there were only 2 or 3 who were over 18 when they were married. Yes - that is what appears to be correct.

AG Canada: Cameron (same guy with parents from Germany)

Trimmed cross examination from 1 hr. to 5 mins (2:05)
Verify specific points about trips to Bountiful.

Who determined specific timing? She did. How long did it take to plan the timing for the trip - It took about a month to coordinate the trip.

For 2009, there was some attempt to coordinate the trip with some community events. She aimed to accomodate the trip to match these events. The timing was somewhat dictated because of commitments during the academic year.

Did she ever arrive in the community unannounced? yes, several times she arrived in the community and no one was at the arranged place. Meetings often happened on an ad hoc basis and there was no real fixed schedule.

Did she attend any church services? Yes, one.

Did someone grant permission for the trip? yes - however, she does not remember who granted permission.

From which contact did how many interviewees arrive (his words)? In 2005, how many interviewees contacted her? About 4 or 5. She did not interview all the people who contacted her.

She has contacted people who had spoken both for and against polygamy in public. Approximately 7 or 8 people people she spoke to had spoken out publicly. Of the remaining interviewees, most of these people were met on site - however, she is not aware of any firm connection between the remainder group and the ones who were connected. It is possible that all the women had some contact.

She did not speak to any community leaders before she arrived on the first visit. She also was not aware of who was married to whom when she made arrangements -

Is it likely that some of the initial contacts were married to male community leaders? It is likely.

Did she meet any of the male community leaders? Only on the second visit. She did ask permission to attend church. Did she discuss her project with him? No. Did she ask permission from any male leaders? No.

(finished at 2:15)

West Coast Leaf (ms. Gafar)

She did not interview any young women aged 15 to 18 for her research project.

When the lawyer reviewed the transcripts, it was very apparent that there is more freedom of choice after the split than to before. Campbell confirmed that this is true.

Campbell also confirmed that there is a distinction between Blackmore’s group and the groups in the USA in terms of a woman’s ability to make decisions. The FLDS are more conservative, it is difficult to determine if things have improved on the Jeffs side. Since there is little contact between the two groups, it is difficult to say whether someone from the Winston side can know anything about what is happening on the other side.

Dr. Campbell interviewed only one person from the FLDS side of the split - and this same person was interviewed on both of her visits. No other woman from the FLDS side showed any interest in speaking to her.

Reader Beware: This is not an official court transcript - and I am not a qualified court stenographer. While I am doing my best to provide an accurate reflection of events, in most cases I am paraphrasing what was said and errors are likely.

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