Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mormon Polygamy on Trial : Day 14 courtroom notes

Please Note: These notes do not represent an official transcript. There are likely many errors and omissions, perhaps more than usual because I am out of practice typing and the court proceedings seemed to be rather rough and uneven this morning.

Dr. W. John Walsh called as an expert witness by Mr. Wickett on behalf of the FLDS.

Holds Doctorate of religious studies, which is a scientific study - cross disciplinary between humanities and social sciences as opposed to theology which is the study of dogma and doctrinal absolutes. Graduate of LDS CES church Education System seminary training system. Graduate of Arizona state university, LDS institute. CES is considered theological training. Received a degree in Jewish religion. Phd is on religious studies and thesis was on the theology of Joseph Smith.

Currently attending Catholic seminary classes in Texas.

Walsh is currently working on a major book, and testifying as an expert witness in court cases relating to mormonism. Provides background information on mormonism to media, etc. Been qualified as an expert witness on mormonism in two cases in texas.

Cross examination by Craig Jones AGBC on qualifications:

On page 2 of affidavit: questions as to professional experience -

is currently a full time scholar. Only income is from court testifying and investment income. Professional background was with Ford motor company. Most university has been distance education.

Craig: Why would you pursue a degree on mormonism from a university in wales while living in the United States?

The University in Wales was one of the few universities that would sponsor a PhD in Mormon theology. However, all of the research materials for mormonism are in the united states.

Craig: As far as your professional experience, have you only testified in favour of FLDS as a professional witness?

Dr. W. No - has testified on various aspects of Mormonism depending on what was required by attorneys. Testified in the eldorado child custody case.

Craig: your article “Are Jesus and Satan brothers?” is in a peer reviewed journal however, this journal is hardly a leading journal in the field as it has only been in print since 2008.

Dr. W. This is one of the first major attempts towards an academic journal for mormonism which is a very specialized field.

Craig: Normally with an expert witness there is a long list of bursaries, awards, scholarships, etc. Have you received any of these?

Dr W. no

Craig: are you a member of the flds, or is there any part of your family members?

W: no

Craig: You are more familiar with Flds theology than day to day practice

W: yes

Craig: Would it be fair to say that you have no expertise in the harms of polygamy?

W: no - it would not be fair to say because very familiar with literature on the subject

Craig: over the course of your studies - have you interviewed people from the flds faith

W: over the past 20 years, perhaps in discussions with 50 to 100 people from flds tradition. not formal interviews

craig: Is it fair to say that you are not qualified to assess the sociological harms or psychological harms?

W; sociology is best for social harm, psychologist is better for psych harms however religious studies is important for the interface between these.

Craig: Do you recognize this essay from the internet as being something you wrote?

From “What is purpose of plural marriage” - credited to W. John Walsh on

Craig (AGBC) read the following:
“Occasionally, I have met people, both men and women, who have objected to the sacrifices required by plural marriage. To put it simply, many women don't look forward to sharing their husbands emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Many men don't look forward to supporting multiple families emotionally, spiritually, or physically. To help people understand the goodness of plural marriage, I have used a simple techninque which almost always works:
For Women:
I hate plural marriage and will never accept it!
 Let me ask you a question. You are close to your sister, are you not?
 Yes, we grew up together, and now that we are grown, we love to call and visit one another.
 What if your sister were in a situation in which she had no hope of a righteous marriage partner unless she were to live the law of plural marriage? The only way she could enjoy the blessings of marriage and children would be if she was taken as a plural wife. Would you let her live single, knowing that she wants marriage and family, while enjoying your own marriage and children? Furthermore, would you stand in the way of her being sealed for eternity to a righteous man and risk her marrying a man would is faithless and lose her exaltation? Or would you change your mind about plural marriage and let her marry your husband?
 Well, I would hate to watch her suffer. I love her too much for that. And I would feel terrible if she married outside of the covenant, just because I refused to let her marry my husband. I guess we have such a good relationship that I would not mind so much under those circumstances. 
 Since you can see that plural marriage would be acceptable in some circumstances, what makes other circumstances different? What if your best friend were in that situation instead of your sister? Could you accept plural marriage to help your best friend receive these important blessings?
 I love my best friend too. It wouldn't be so bad to have her in my household. We could have so much fun together. I guess that would be okay too. But I wouldn't just do it for anybody.
 Why did you draw that line? You know that people asked to live the principle of plural marriage are righteous people, so you know that your husband's plural wife would not be wicked. She would be trying to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Should not all of your gospel sisters be truly loved as sisters and friends? Could you let some women suffer and deny them marriage and children, while letting others enjoy the blessings you enjoy? What does that say about your own Christ-like feelings and behaviors?
For Men:
I could never accept plural marriage! The whole idea is repugnant to me.
 Let me ask you a question. Do you love your family?
 Of course I do. I'm close to all of my family. 
 How would you feel if your sister or daughter could not find a righteous husband? The only way they could receive the blessings of marriage and family with a righteous man is if they were to live the principle of plural marriage. Now, what if they would only do it if you accepted the marriage? Would you still reject plural marriage, denying your sister or your daughter the blessings of righteous family life? Would you risk letting them marry a faithless man just so they could have marriage and family, rather than living singly and alone? Or would you accept their plural marriages?
 Well, those are pretty stark circumstances. But, if that were to ever happen, I would be grateful that they had a righteous husband, regardless.
 Now, what if your wife's sister were in the same circumstance. What if your wife came to you and told you of her sister's longing for a husband and children, how she loved the Lord, and how she could not find a righteous husband and feared she may never marry in this world. Then your wife were to ask you to consider marrying her sister, someone she loved so much and suffered watching her suffer, so that her sister could receive the blessings she desired. Could you reject such a plea?
 I never thought my own wife would make such a request, but I can see why she would in such circumstances. If she felt that way about it, I guess I could not refuse her sister's desire for righteous family.
 Now, what if your wife came to you and told you about her best friend in the same circumstance. Could you reject this woman's righteous desires?
 No, I guess I could not.
 Now, if you would do this for someone that you and your wife both had great love for, why is plural marriage so repugnant? Do you think that you would not love a righteous woman who desired husband and children and loved the Lord?
 When you put it that way, I think I would love her, or learn to love her. But there's still issues to consider: personality conflicts, having so many children that I couldn't provide for them, not having enough time for everyone, I have a hard enough time just pleasing my own family.
 If marriage is a way we prepare for eternal life, would more family life help you prepare even better? I think so. Personality conflicts can be overcome through righteous living, repentence, forgiveness, and patience. Large families help you prioritize your time, money, and efforts. You can't waste time doing things of little worth. You must spend your time focusing on raising your family, teaching them how to work and about the Gospel. The traits you develop in this family can only further your development as you strive to become more like the Father of us all.
 I never thought about it that way. I thought plural marriage was mostly about sex, but I can see it is actually designed to make us more like our heavenly parents.”

Dr W: I don’t remember specifically writing this - however I may have written this many years ago when I was a new convert to the mainstream mormon church. However, the article, in context, is representative of traditional LDS doctrine and beliefs.

Craig: Does this embarrass you?

W: anything i wrote prior to my phd embarrasses me - however, I wrote many, perhaps hundreds of articles between 10 and 20 years ago as a new convert to mormonism.

Craig: Does this document represent your personal view as a scholar?

W: Not as a scholar - no

Craig - goes to another article but there is alot of unclarity between what Walsh wrote and when. Dr. Walsh also commented that on the internet, many of the things that he wrote were in the form of postings on bulletin boards and these may have been edited, added to and changed by other people who reposted his comments.

Craig - going to article about why the mormon church abandoned polygamy ( ) - asks whether Dr. Walsh believes that polygamy was abandoned by the mainstream church because of revelation or because they bowed to the laws of men.

W: currently has no opinion on this

Craig: Is it your view that the Reynolds decision should be overturned?

W: as a scholar, i have no opinion - personally, i don’t agree with the reynolds decision - i believe people should be able to associate as they see fit.

Craig: Do you believe strongly that members of the LDS religion should be able to practice polygamy?

W; I believe that people should be able to live as they see fit - my views are not the same as flds or lds church. For example, i personal believe in samesex marriage while those churches do not. I also believe that if a woman wants to live in a house with 5 men, that is her business or if a man wants to live in house with 5 women that is his business. There should be reasonable limits on relationships, like age of consent, but otherwise people should be able to associate as they freely choose.

AG Canada: Relating to the informal research that you have conducted - the interviews that you have conducted with flds are not official qualitative interviews

W; correct

AG Canada challenges Dr. Walsh’s qualifications.

AG Canada: You do not have any training in conducting social science interviews

W: I have taken some courses in research techniques - stats, interviewing, etc - but this is not relevant because I have not conducted these types of interviews with FLDS members.

AG Canada: please restate the difference between theology and religious studies

W: theology studies and re-enforces dogma : religious studies is a subset of anthropology which details the religious aspects of man. religious studies is primarily focused on comparative religions, etc.

AG Canada: Does any of your published work relate to how religious beliefs affect the quality of people’s lives?

W: no

Craig (AGBC interjects): Absolutely has no reservation relating to Dr W ability to testify relating to doctrinal issues, etc. However, is not comfortable in that Dr. Walsh is not qualified to speak to how things are implemented in practice. For example, he may say that it is not doctrinal to force someone into polygamy - however, this may be done in practice - and he can not say whether or not this is true.

AG Canada: Backs up AG BC comments - would insist that testimony should be restricted matters of doctrinal nature.

Justice Bauman: Qualifies Dr. Walsh as expert witness

Direct examination by Mr. Wickett (FLDS attorney)

On paragraph 10 or report on page 3 - where you describe the common heritage between LDS and FLDS you say that about 95% of theology remains in common while there is only 75% similarity in practice.

W: FLDS continue to live in polygamous marriages where LDS do not. LDS continues to believe in law of consecration but do not live it while the FLDS members continue to live in communes. LDS dress more like broader society while FLDS dress more modestly with a separate identity.

Mr. Wickett: You state that both churches share the same scriptures - bible, book of mormon, doctrine and covenants, pearl of great price - please explain.

W: describes scriptures of the LDS churches

Mr. W. Referring to the polygamy manifesto - please describe how this was treated doctrinally in the church

W: Officially there has been no change in the LDS church’s theological position on the doctrine of polygamy. However, practically, the LDS church is divided into two main groups. One group believes that polygamy is a holy, Celestial principle and it should be re-instated. The other group believes that polygamy is an archaic principle and should be removed completely from the church.

Mr. Wickett: How has the practice of polygamy led to schism in the LDS church?

DR. W. traces the way that the mormon leadership moved away from polygamy - including the way that the church embraced mainstream social values, changes in leadership, the international expansion of the church -

traces how the church moved towards monogamy and how in the 1930s they began to excommunicate polygamous families. These families initially formed loose associations and eventually these groups became the core of the FLDS and other fundamentalist Mormon groups.

Mr. W: you have stated that there are about 50000 fundamentalist LDS and of these, 10000 are in FLDS. Have you met with people from the other groups?

Dr. W: Attended church services with AUB, independents, FLDS, etc. and studied how they have interpreted mormonism in their practical lives.

Mr. W: How do the flds interpret civil marriage vs celestial marriage.

Dr W: Cilvl marriage is a function of the established government that provides certain rights for the married status. Celestial marriage is a way to link people into a chain of family structure that includes everyone from Adam downwards. FLDS believe that everyone needs to be sealed to be part of a celestial group.

Wickett: do FLDS believe that all sealings require sexual relations?

Dr W: No, for example some older widows may be sealed to younger men as a way of providing for their care. They do not believe in nursing homes, etc.

Wickett: How is Priesthood authority understood in the FLDS?

Dr. W; the only things that are in effect are things that are sealed by the holy spirit of promise. this is a safety valve in the priesthood because if a man claims to have the priesthood but is not acting righteously, his priesthood actions have no authority.

Mr. W: How are marriage partners chosen in the FLDS tradition?

Dr. W: from the outside perspective, FLDS marriages are match-making or arranged marriages. within FLDS these assignments are seen as revelations from God through the prophet. Vast majority of marriages in other fundamentalist mormon marriages are self-selecting.

Mr W. Have the FLDS always had arranged marriages -

Dr. W. No - this placement system was incorporated as part of a re-trenchment system that occurred in the 1950s because a leader felt that the group was becoming too worldly.

AGBC: this is going beyond affidavit evidence - should be restricted

Justice Bauman : agrees

Mr. W. relative to your statement on free agency in FLDS

Dr W: mormonism has a higher understanding of free agency. in christianity, judaism, islam, humans are created. they have only rights to the extent god grants them. In mormonism, human beings are co-eternal with God and have rights that not even God can contravene.

Mr W: completes examination

Cross-examination by AGBC:
AGBC; are you familiar with collected writings of Rulon jeffs called light and truth ?

Dr W; Yes - i have read part

AGBC - is this book used by mainstream lds?

Dr. w: no

AGBC: you stated that 75% of the practice is in common - where does this come from?

Dr. W: this is a personal observation based upon attending fundamentalist and mormon worship services and talking to people about how they interpret the religion in their lives. it is an estimate only.

AGBC: are you familiar with the evidence relative to harms in this constitutional question?

Dr. W: no

AGBC; In your affidavit, you describe an FLDS marriage service. have you ever attended one?

Dr W; No - this description comes from descriptions of the way Joseph smith performed marriages and this has been compared to writings from journals from flds members and this seems to have remained consistent.

AGBC; You state that both parties to the sealing must come of their own free will. how is this determined?

Dr W: this comes from the theology. if either party is forced, then god would not approve of the sealing and it would not be in force

AGBC: would this be abuse of authority if one party was not willing

Dr. it would be abuse of power and god would not authorize

AGBC; turning to page 54 of life and truth - the writings of leroy johnson, “there is no place in the celestial kingdom for a bachelor or someone who has not care for those who the lord has given them .... - cast out” Does this mean that being cast out of the community or being destroyed is a spiritual consequence?

Dr. on a theoretical or practical level?

AGBC practical

Okay - if a person behaves in ways that is not accepted by the community they can be cast out. this happens in every community in one way or another

AGBC does this happen if someone does not agree to get married?

not normally - not at first - however, if anyone is causing a great deal of harm to the harmony of the community they may be asked to leave.

AGBC you have testified that you are not familiar with dr beals testimony where he has stated that a young man or woman can not freely give consent within these communities - do you agree?

Mr. W: objects because it is not appropriate for a witness to evaluate information provided to the court by another witness

AGBC; Relating to the trial transcripts from texas - is there anything in flds theology that indicates that women should submit to men in their community. yes - from first timothy in bible - flds, mormon and methodist women have interpreted this in various ways over time.

AGBC; referring to light and truth - from leroy johnson - “unless a man can take these young girls and train them to love their husband and love the lord they will lose them” does this allow freedom for women in these situations?

W; yes - where that says training, it means teaching - unless a man can teach a woman properly it will have spiritual consequences for him.

AGBC _ quoting “there must be order in families as there is in the priesthood - from ephesians - women must submit themselves to their husbands as you would to the lord - even if your husband is not worthy of you

Dr. W; the way i read this in the context of lds theology is that men and women are imperfect but unless there is some major abuse in the marriage - which has separate rules in the community - that the sealing needs to be held and people need to work to make the marriage work.

AGBC- I disagree with you that the marriages are entered into willingly - you and i both know...

Is there anything in LDS theology that indicates the age for marriage?

Dr. W: there is nothing that says that the lord says that you must marry at a specific age.

AGBC; quoting from transcript - relative to the age of marriage - some flds leaders have said in meetings that 18 is the correct age, others say 16, still some when a girl has her cycle” did you say this?
Dr W; yes

AGBC: reading from summary of the YFZ case, table shows that 1 out of every 4 underage girls where involved in a marriage. so if one in 4 girls is in an underage marriage is this not something more than doctrine. there must be another reason.

Dr. W; there is no doctrine about this - it is a deviation from traditional lds and flds practice. For example, in this example, 12 yr old girl was married here and most FLDS members would be shocked and troubled by this occurrence.

AGBC: if there is evidence in this court that the flds have typically engaged in underage marriage, do you have any evidence to contradict this?

Dr. W: i have no specific information about flds in canada, i can only say that this is not what i have experienced in my research and experience.

AGBC: could birth records be used as a way to determine marriage age in the community?

Dr. W. yes - provided it is an accurate statistical survey

Cross examination by AG Canada:

AGC; celestial marriages in the flds community must be performed by someone who is recognised as having priesthood authority and these marriages involve the exchange of certain vows between the parties. is this correct?

Dr. W: yes

AGC: from a trial in utah,reads from transcript - describing a marriage between holms and ruth stubbs performed by warren jeffs ... does this describe a typical marriage ceremony in the flds tradition

Dr. W: this description contains all the typical elements

agc: after this ceremony, the couple considered themselves husband and wife - is this typical?

Dr W: yes, this is typical - however, not all sealings are marriages.

AGC: Is it true that sexual intercourse is only sanctioned within a sealed relationship within these communities?

Dr. W yes

agc: within the theology, is there any specification of the appropriate age of marriage. Is there anything to prevent underage marriage?

Dr. W: there is nothing specific in the theology to restrict the age of marriage. no dogmatic statements are given on this. however, the members of the flds community would generally be shocked by marriages of girls 12 or 13 years old.

AGC: are you aware that girls of this age have been married?

Dr: W. I am aware of these allegations

AGC: reads from court transcript which claims that marriage is talked about in the home, in the family in the church. their whole lives are centered around marriage, families, etc. In the transcript it states that warren jeffs has performed marriages for girls as young as 13.

Dr. W. yes - i have heard of this.

AG Canada completes Cross examine. No other cross-examination. Court dismisses for lunch.

2:00 court returns

video testimony from Brent Jeffs filmed in Salt Lake

Son of Warren and Susan Jeffs. Grandson of Rulon Jeffs - grew up in compound near Sandy Utah - about 20 mins out of Salt Lake. His father had 3 wives and he has 20 siblings. His father always taught to be yourself - however, with so many siblings it was difficult to get attention from the parents. There was a frequent problem with other wives being jealous and taking this out on the children of the other mothers. Even though he was the grandson of the prophet, he only saw him on a few occasions (he was one of 300 grandchildren) and thinks the prophet did not know his name. By the time Rulon died, he had approximately 80 wives. About 16 yrs ago, his father found out that the 3rd wife was very abusive to the other children and when he confronted her, she left and returned to Colorado city. Shortly after, his father and mother sheltered an older brother who had been cut-off by Warren. The family was confronted for “harbouring Gentiles” and when his father stood up against Warren Jeffs, he was threatened with ex-communication. His father then left the church to live in Sandy Utah - and now lives with only one of the three wives. His father could either stay in the church, live alone and have his family given to another man or leave the church with this family.

One of Brent’s main goals in trying to stop Warren Jeffs was because of Warren’s policy of re-assigning families and tearing children from their parents.

Growing up, Brent went to school at Alta academy which is an FLDS school in Salt lake. All the children from the compound went to Alta for an education. No other children went to the school except FLDS. Kids came from families who lived all over the salt lake valley.

At school, the hour long morning class was all about the teachings of the church. Strict odedience was taught because the leaders were led by god and perfect faith and obedience was all that was required of the membership. Boys were taught that they must grow up, work for their priesthood and then god would talk to the prophet and tell him who his wife would be. The closer you are to the prophet, the more wives that you get. The higher ranking men got the first choice of the younger women. that is part of the reason why there are so many lost boys.

Exposure to the outside world was threatening because it could provide a means to form a different opinion about the church. about 4th grade, boys and girls were separated in school. boys were taught that girls were like snakes and you had to wait until you are married before you could talk to girls. Brent was in trouble with the principle (Warren Jeffs) many times for talking to girls - because he liked girls.

Over the 8 hour school day, approximately 2 hours were committed to church teachings. however, science did not included dinosaurs anything like that, and history was more about the history of the church, rather than the history of the world.

There was a strong dress-code. Very little skin should be shown. The long under-garments were recommended but not strictly enforced by all families. As warren became stronger, the rules about dress-code, behaviour, etc, became more and more strict. His parents were born and raised in Salt Lake City, but his father had travelled prior to having a family.

When his father left the church, Brent was very afraid and confused. He had always been told that he would burn in hell if he left. He contacted a friend in colorado city - when he was about 15 yrs old - and went to stay with his family to see if the church was for him. After a few months, he decided the church was not for him - he had been treated very badly. Eventually he started to talk to girls and warren found out. The girl was sent to canada to the “reform camp” up there and he was kicked out of the church by warren. He then returned to salt lake with his family.

When he got back to salt lake, he went back to public school (in the 9th grade) because his parents insisted. During his time in Colorado city, he did not go to school, but instead worked on tractor maintenance. He was paid very little money and had to pay rent to the family where he lived.

Living in the church community, he did not have freedom of choice, everyone was trying to get attention. Polygamy was a form of control and it was like brain-washing. everything was based upon fear. if you do anything wrong, you will burn in hell. they are taught the same thing over and over - and everything is controlled by the leader of the church.

What are the girls taught about marriage? As far as he knows, when they reach their teenage years they are supposed to wait for the phone to ring to see who they should marry. Once a woman is married, she is supposed to give up every part of herself except what her husband approves of. She is supposed to give up her individuality and become a part of her husband.

Brent has written a book (with help from a co-writer). He has also filed a law suit against Warren because Warren abused him when he was a child. Two of his older brothers were also molested by Warren and they have since committed suicide in their adult years. Warren lost the law suit and since then it has turned into other charges that resulted in Warren’s arrest.

What are the harms of polygamy? The first is trauma to children. Children grow up in a terrible environment. The law of polygamy is nothing more than the rule of men who try to control everything to get what they want. It has been like that since the beginning - starting with Joseph Smith. He holds nothing against any church, but it should not be like that.

Video testimony from Ruth Lane: Her father had two wives. She grew up in Colorado City and she really enjoyed her time growing up there. She describes the FLDS church as the church that remained true to the fundamentals that the Mormon church was based on.

Ruth had 13 siblings. Her second mother had 3 children. Ruth was in the middle of the birth order. Growing up in Colorado city, she was taught that God knew who each person should marry and He would tell this to the prophet. When she grew up, the average age for first marriages was around 20 to 25. When her mother was growing up, women were younger when they were married - often 17 to 20. Rulon was responsible for raising the marriage age. She became aware of Bountiful during her teen age years. Bountiful leaders would speak in their church during conferences. When Ruth grew up, she went to a public school, but the children were 98% FLDS - both run by and attended by primarily FLDS. Marriage was not spoken openly about in school, but it was all around school.

When she was 17, she left colorado city to live with a sister who had left earlier. During this time, she became involved with a boy who had also left the FLDS community and became pregnant. She went back to her parents home and the Bishop and her parents were very understanding and happy to have her back in the fold. In the FLDS tradition, a legal/government sanctioned marriage is inferior to a celestial marriage because these marriages are only for this life. Ruth’s father always taught the fundamental church doctrines, however, he also told his daughters that they would never have to marry anyone that they did not want to. Not all families are the same.

Ruth considers it a miracle that she was able to get married - especially to a church leader - since she had been sexualy active before marriage. She had a spiritual experience that suggested that she and her child should be with Winston. She went to the prophet - Rulon Jeffs at the time - and he approved that she should be married to Winston. Two weeks before her marriage, she asked to be married to Winston. She had never actually married to him. A week later, Winston married two sisters in Colorado City, then a week after that, Ruth was married to Winston (by Rulon Jeffs) in Salt Lake City. Winston then drove Ruth, the two sisters, and Ruth’s child all back to Canada. Ruth was Winston’s 10th wife. The house was very cramped, but each woman had a bedroom. They were married in 1994. She is 17 yrs younger than Winston.

Winston required special permission from all of his other wives to marry Ruth because she had a child out-of-wedlock. Winston did not have to ask permission to marry any of the other women. Jane was still living in the house when Winston married her. After Ruth, more wives were added and as the number of children grew, the situation grew more stressful. The next wife, Ruths actual younger sister, was married to Winston only a few months later. Her family had come to Canada for a visit and Winston was looking for women to marry the young men. Ruth does not understand why Winston decided to marry her rather than marrying her to one of the younger men. She spoke with Wink about getting married and then ended up marrying him. She was about 19 yrs old at the time. By June, Winston married two more sisters. There was a lull for a year or two and then a couple of more sister pairs. Then there were a few “hodge podge” women. There were a couple of older women who were added to the family.

When Rulon had the stroke, marriages were made with younger women. Winston married two 15 yr olds and this was a big burden for the family. After the split, Winston started losing wives. Jane left about the same time as the split - then some other women left shortly after - just because they were fed up. About the time of the split, Winston had about 80 children. Currently he has about 136 children. Ruth believes that Winston loves them all and can name them all. However, there is just not enough time in the day for Winston to spend quality time with each kid. Financially, it is not too difficult for women who are legal in Canada and can receive child tax credit. Also before the split, Winston’s company was doing very well and there was enough money. After the split, half the company went to the Warrenites and money got much more difficult to come by. For a period of time, Ruth and her sister lived on a small farm outside of bountiful by themselves with their children. THis was very good. After the split, they were moved back to Bountiful and the situation was total chaos (around 2005). Many of the children were out of control, undisciplined, destructive, etc. Everyone was trying to get along, but cliques formed among the women who got along better.

When the split happened, Ruth was not living in the community. She came back around 2004 or 2005. Jane left at that time. Other women went back to their families in colorado city. Some left the flds altogether. Two of them became a warrenites and went back to colorado city. One is still there - married to another man - and another left the flds altogether. Ruth left the FLDS in 2006. It was out of sheer frustration. She was pregnant again, but she felt like she was doing this all by herself. Winston had already said that he would not work on a relationship with any one of them. Winston sent her to Utah for education and did not contact her. She felt abandoned and decided to leave him. She was going to school in Cedar City and living in hurricane. Ruth indicated that she got more time from Winston when she was not pregnant. Perhaps if she had not gotten pregnant, she would still be with Winston in Canada. Her older children live in Canada with their dad. Her other kids are with her in Utah. She would be shocked if her children wanted to get into a polygamous marriage. She does not desire for her children to get involved in polygamy but she will continue to love them no matter what.

For the past 4 years, she still has to provide for their children, but she does not have to answer to anyone else about the decisions that she makes. She feels more connected to her children and she really values her freedom. During her time in Canada, she had disagreed with Winston on some issues and he always won because he was the head of the household. Ruth had many questions about the FLDS theology before she left the church. Many teachings did not seem consistent with the idea of a loving God. She questioned the whole idea of placement marriage. Too many things were about looks and appearance. On a business or family basis, your options were often dependent on how you looked on the surface.

Would you ever see yourself in a polygamous relationship again? “Maybe reversed.... No, really don’t see that would ever happen again.” Ruth feels that things might have been better if Winston would have quit after having 10 wives. She noticed that most of the smaller families tend to take better care of everyone both on an emotional and physical basis. Ruth believes that Winston truly loves all his children. Even the ones who he only sees very rarely.

Ruth does not totally agree with the polygamy situation. She does not agree with under-age marriages. However, she does not want the law to be upheld because she would like people who choose to live that life-style to be able to do so in the open. IF the law is upheld, Ruth believes that it will drive polygamy into secret again. Communities will return to being more isolated and closed off. This will tend to increase the level of control and abuse.

For Ruth’s law, she would like to see something where people have to be 21 years old before they can enter into a polygamous marriage. From her own experience, she doesn’t believe she was old enough at 18 to make an life-long “free” choice. That is why she wants a higher age limit. At that time, if they freely choose to be a part of a polygamous marriage they should be able to do so. For Ruth, underage marriage is a perversion of plural marriage. When people have freedom of choice , they should be able to choose the lifestyle they want. If a law were implemented with better boundaries, like age limits, etc. - it would be much easier for law enforcement to prosecute cases were abuse occurs. If the law were clarified, so women could be actual plural wives, it would make it easier for some women to stay and make their lives and other women would actually find it easier to leave.

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