TIME Magazine Video on Polygamy and Darger Family

This last Friday Time Magazine publish and article titled, “I do, I do, I do, I do.” The woman who wrote the article, Belinda Luscomb is from Australia and put together this video on the piece. Overall I think it captures our family well and she is a very good writer. However, I felt that some points that she has in the article and this video are worth commenting on. One is that I am not trying to be the face that you think of when you think of polygamy, what we are trying to show is that there is a very diverse face that represents people living in plural marriages.

In the article she also quotes a well known anti-polygamous activists as saying that while we may be OK, 90% of polygamists are from closed societies and are the problem. This is factually inconsistent with the fact that the largest amount of Fundamentalist Mormons are independent of any affiliation or so called closed society. Those kind of brash generalizations are unproductive in the dialogue about whether we should decriminalize families like ours; in fact most of the reason they are “closed” is because of the history of fear that permeates the culture.

Her assertion that some how we are part of the gay marriage debate and will not have the same credibility of that movement is really quite an easy trap for people to fall into. Certainly the parallels of the changes in society accepting all kinds of alternative family arrangements, first with single parents losing their stigma, to gay couples adopting and forming families, to now seeking legal recognition, all has an impact on how we are perceived. This ‘slippery slope’ argument that it somehow means having to decide on whether to legalize polygamy or not does a disservice to both movements however.

We know we are a very small minority to that population, and our desire is very different from seeking legalization. For us we want our civil rights, we want freedom from prosecution and from being classified as a criminal element. Legal recognition is not our goal, and in that regard she is right, society is not ready to legalize polygamy, but they are ready to see the absurdity of criminalizing it.

Finally, the idea that somehow polygamy is automatically associated with cultures abusive towards woman, and tending to uneducated children is exactly what it is, a stereotype. She brings up our daughter getting married at 19 and having a child as though somehow is it s point for this. In fact we encouraged her, as we have all of our children to attend college, but like we have all of our children, we have left choices up to them and support her in her decision to become a mother. What she could not know is that Laura graduated a year early, has the equivalent of an associates degree in education and will most likely continue in her education interests independently.

As a percentage, very few children actually adopt and follow plural marriages for a variety of reasons. However, their work ethic, sense of responsibility and ability to contribute to society remains very high in our observations. How many mother’s someone has does not impact how long they live or what level of education they can achieve. The fact remains, that there are families like ours, the Brown’s, and many more afraid to be public that are healthy functional families. We are not perfect, but our families deserve the same freedoms and respect that all families deserve.

All in all, we are grateful for the Time Magazine article. I think the pictures alone are a testament to the love of our family. Any time the discussion can be brought to the forefront minds are opened and hearts are softened. We have a long ways to go and encourage all of you who have shared in your support for us to continue to enroll others in the possibilities for a world with greater love and acceptance.

Love Time Three is an adventure in love, it is our love story, but it is about our love of family, our love of faith, and our love of freedom and the ideals that are behind all of those. Love is not a feeling or a notion. Love is simply acceptance. We don’t need anyone to condone, agree or make us right or wrong, but in the end what we want is to share our love with the world, and make it a better place for love everywhere.


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14 Responses to TIME Magazine Video on Polygamy and Darger Family

  1. Lady says:

    You all are so Brave Joe, please never stop. I know what you mean about Laura having a child at 19.. I am 18 and pregnant, my boyfriend and I having a considerable age difference.. I too worry if my family ever went public that they would bring this up and say that polygamous families marry off their daughters too early. When in fact, my parents did not support the relationship entirely at first, understandably because of our age difference… and they also encouraged I get an education, I did graduate at 16 and I do plan to attend college.
    My relationship/lifestyle has very very little to do with my being raised in plural marriage, ya know?

    Really glad you posted this and clarified those few things.

  2. Paweł Szulik says:

    Being 19 and a mother is a completely natural thing. It annoys me when someone treats it as a problem. The problem is that the last 100 years changed a lot of what the humanity believed for 6500 years of know history.

    As I said, for 6500 years civilisations persevered despite many problems. For 6500 years it was normal for 15 years old boy to work and earn money. Jesus started working as a carpenter when he was 12. 12 years old boy was treated as a yound adult at the time Jesus stepped on this earth. Today people called it abusive when a teenager works. For 6500 years of human history it was normal for 16-17 years old young woman to have a child. Mary according to extrabiblical tradition was about 16 when she gave birth to Jesus. Today people call it pathology. They don’t even call a 16 years old female ‘a woman’. They call her a girl.

    As for education, it doesn’t always guarantee high earnings. I don’t have any idea about how it is in USA, but I can tell you how it is in Poland. I work as a chemical analyst. I am a scientist. I have a university diploma. I earn a lot less than some of my friends who work as construction workers without high education. I have nothing against education, but as I always say to people “we don’t need everybody to have PhD”.

    • Kat says:

      I get what you mean, but “statistically speaking” is not the same as “always”. The Polish economy is also in a very different place as the American one. In general earnings do go up with education. Period.

      There are statistic repercussions to being 19 and having a child. The question is whether Laura will escape them or not. The Dargers themselves married young… and it worked out fine. So Laura has a good example to follow.
      If I were a parent with a 19 year old married daughter with a child of her own (and a friend of mine did precisely that: She married at 19, had a child at 20 ), I would be scared of how the young family would support themselves (in the case of my friend, her parents and parents in law support the family financially). And whether they will stay together or divorce (again, statistically speaking younger couples are more likely to divorce; but again: Laura’s parents set a good example). But tying that to polygamy seems completely weird: How many non-polygamists marry young or worse are single teen moms?! So odd argument on the author’s part to make.

      I have a question (as per usual I understand if you don’t feel like answering): Do you guys know DoriAnn Stubbs?

  3. john Nomads says:

    The gay marriage debate is not about wither gay people will get legal status in their unions (although that’s exactly what will eventually happen),but rather is society ready for alternative family structures? I think that society is ready for unconstitutional laws to be discarded, but even if our relationships are free from prosecution, it will take a few generations for people’s beliefs to catch up.

  4. Kat says:

    Speaking of the contrast Luscombe creates between “You think of Warren Jeffs… you should think of Joe Darger… as the face of polygamy” : Is Amanda in Jeffs’ group or in William Jessop’s?

  5. John Nomads says:

    Hi Joe,
    In the video i noticed you have a beard, i think you look good, but how do your wives like it? My two are divided over facial hair, but came to a compromise during our monthly family meal and gtg. I’m allowed to grow a mustache, lol.

    • Joe says:

      They all like the beard if I don’t get it too long. It turns out I am the one usually shaving it off. A few actually like the goatee the best so we will see. It is a challenge getting consensus sometimes.

  6. Jancis M. Andrews says:

    Why is it we’re always reading about a man having a harem of concubines waiting on him, which is the traditional aspect of polygamy? We never read about women enjoying the same sexual largesse (polyandry). As well, women within polygamy always talk about how they can share child-rearing and domestic chores between them, as if being domestics was women’s natural function. What’s the matter — can’t the man take a turn at doing the laundry and washing the dishes? Polygamy mirrors the ancient misogynistic status quo, where men collected women for their own pleasure and comfort. It makes me wonder if these women have explored their rights? Only the man’s first (therefore legal) wife and her children can benefit from his pensions, life insurance, health, dental and vision insurance, tax benefits, etc. The concubines and their children have no legal rights and face poverty. Why would any sane woman do that to her children? There is no equality within polygamy, which contravenes women’s equality rights and harms their children. This ancient practice stems from the dark ages and should be kicked into the garbage can of history where it belongs. This is the twenty-first century, not the first.

    • Natja says:

      Ms. Andrews,

      It is very offensive to refer to women as Concubines unless they specifically identify as such. Most responsible people in many different kinds of Poly relationships (yes, I actually do know Polyandrous families) plan for the future and the protection of all members of the family, whether they are recognized by law or not. All this information is publicly documented all over the place, why not educate yourself on the facts rather than parade your ignorance for all to see?

      And FYI, I consider myself a feminist and I fully support the rights of women to enter into any relationship configuration they choose! How dare you presume to make that choice for them or disparage the choices they make?

    • Joe says:


      Thank you for sharing your concern for our family, I acknowledge you in your desire to protect and be a cause for women and children. I think short pieces like the magazine article can never fully explain how a family like ours really shares duties and child rearing and you make some valid points. I too find the concept of a harem of concubines where powerless women subject themselves to some egotist man for his personal gratification as offensive and disgusting. My wives are sane and feel that they are fully expressed, loving and loved with one another, and I with them, and I think all humans should strive for such in whatever relationships they find themselves in. I hear and share your concerns for the rights and benefits of my children and wives should something happen to me. I thank you for sharing and I encourage you to continue to be a stand for women and children.

    • Bruce Brady says:

      In our advanced 21st century our society is falling apart at an impossible rate because families are falling apart. The majority of monogamous marriages fall apart because the liberation movement tries to masculate women and emasculate men.

      So while you are fighting to wear the pants in your family and pussy whip your husband into submission, he is for a certainty screwing every woman he can behind your back to feel like a man again.

      The Dargers are a strong healthy family that is thriving open and honest with each other. You and the majority of society should be so lucky to have a family like that full of love and support. For a certainty they will have a happy and fulfilled family life long after you and the majority of monogamous society are divorced.

  7. Belinda says:

    Hi Joe,
    Hi everyone. I’m the aforementioned journalist. (Long time in joining this discussion. Had a little vacay. ) Thanks Joe, for the nice, gracious remarks about my writing. I’d expected no less from you. I do want to point out, however, that it was you who expressed concern about your daughter marrying so young, that you wanted her to finish her degree first.
    Also I didn’t really put together the video. That’s our AV crew. I’d love everyone if possible to read the magazine story and not just click the video. It gives a fuller picture of the story I’m trying to tell.
    Thanks again for opening your home to Time. All the best to the family.

  8. Bruce Brady says:

    A true journalist remains completely neutral and I think she has come into it with predetermined prejudices and intends to slant the storyline that way. She tries to come across as positive but then gently adds in negative comments by making completely false statements that lack credibility. She states that monogamous marriages create more stable financial societies and that children from monogomous marriages are better educated. She ignores the fact that well over half of monogamous marriages end in divorce and that up to 80% of married men cheat. She also ignores the fact that children from these broken homes suffer in school and throughout life because of broken homes.

    Our modern society tries to make women men and men women. In doing so it destroys family and traditions. The liberation movement ensured that families would fall apart more rapidly and crime would run rampant from a bevy of fatherless children and broken homes.

    In the bible men always had multiple wives and large families which created strong societies. We have long left god so of course society does not work…

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