Why Do We Speak Up About Polygamy?

It is taboo in our culture to speak out. We have had many think we are putting what is sacred out to the world, some have said we have done it for attention, for money or other selfish motives, and still others have just been genuinely concerned for our safety. Our grandfathers all were in prison for plural marriage as we call it, or polygamy as the rest of the world calls it. I remember my mother telling us about visiting her Father in prison in Draper Utah, she would only see him from the road as he waved out the window. My Father would tell me countless stories, one of which I relate in the book of his family running from the law, living in every western state and going by an alias (The Brown’s of all alias polygamous names :) ) So when our families get upset, or when they don’t understand why we do what we do it is not without basis.

Darger Family

Valerie, Alina, Joe and Vicki`

From those without the culture, there is a similar misunderstanding as to why we would do this. We had one reporter who had covered polygamy for 20 years repeatedly ask us why we were writing this book? Why would we risk it? He said he had never encountered polygamous families willing to talk except off the record? So in his experience he could not reconcile why.

The truth of the matter is that there is more to risk financially than gain to speak up, and it has taken all of the courage we could muster to lose our anonymity. We hope those that read the book understand our journey. This is not something we woke up one day and decided to do. The fact is we have felt lead and inspired by our Father in Heaven to move forward in faith, and we have been inspired by good people before us who have stepped forward for causes for freedom of the unpopular.

I recently listened to an old radio clip of the great broadcaster, Edward R. Murrow, and as I listened to the words I thought they articulated better than I the feelings that had inspired me to speak out.

“If we dig deep into our history and our doctrine, we will remember we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend the causes that were for the moment, unpopular.”

And then he went on to say, “We can deny our heritage and our history but we cannot escape the responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of the republic to abdicate his responsibilities.”

I abhor people who use religion to justify horrible acts against the innocent, and my faith alone cannot justify my unlawful act of plural marriage. But this is a country that was borne to allow the most unpopular of faiths to practice according to their conscience, it is a country that is dedicated to the pursuit of happiness, the idea that as long as we do no harm to our fellow citizens we should be left alone by our government. When we allow the least of us to suffer injustice we erode the foundation of the Republic.

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11 Responses to Why Do We Speak Up About Polygamy?

  1. Yusuf Livermore says:

    Fantastic post. Some great points you mention in there.

  2. A.L. says:

    I stumbled upon your family through a blogger, and I was so happy to do so. While my family’s relationship is not based in religious belief, we are similar in that my best friend and I actively sought to, and have for many years, share a relationship with one man. I had never before seen a relationship that started like ours, where three individuals decided to build their relationship. Thank you for sharing, for that reason alone. I believe it makes us more giving, more patient, kinder, more fulfilled people, but we struggle constantly with justifying our decision and explaining that we are a normal, happy family in all aspects. I’ve watched clips of interviews with you all, and it is maddening how people are so interested in what goes on in someone’s bedroom. We also find that the most difficult to explain and I’m shocked by what people will ask or assume. Strangely enough, jealousy is our rarest form of conflict. Sure, it’s there, but we knew it would be and manage it. We argue much more about money, child rearing, who’s working too much… you know, just like everyone else.

    I can’t wait to read the book. I just wanted to say thank you, in advance. It’s lonely sometimes.

  3. You may not remember me, but we used to be pals, many years ago. You recognize my name.

    I must say that this whole publicity thing seems…off putting.
    Can you explain to me what gain there is beyond financial in doing this?

    • Vicki says:

      We certainly recognize the name, your own namesake went to prison for his beliefs, and was one of the first to be public about this lifestyle. I am not sure if you found him to be off putting also. If after reading this blog, and the book you still are unable to understand then no amount of more explanation could suffice. We ask not that people agree with us, or even understand our voice, only that they respect our choice and our right to it.

  4. Jessika Reed says:

    I heard you guys on x96 and immediately purchased your ebook and just finished it. I have been facinated with what seems to be the recent polygamist coverage, with things like sister wives on tlc and big love on HBO and now your book. I just wanted to say how ridiculous it is that you even have to come out publicly in the hopes to legalize your lifestyle. I think it is great that you are standing up for yourselves and looking to educate people and hopefully one day correct their misconceptions. I am a firm believer that decisions between consenting adults that do not harm others, especially children, are none of my business. I am also amazed at how people lump people into groups and have blanket assumptions, if that were the case, all men in monogamous relationships would be cheaters, etc. I am sorry you have to defend yourselves, it is not fair and in my opinion completely unchristian. But despite that it is great you are willing to stand up for yourself and have the courage to do so. I sincerely wish you and your family the best and thoroughly enjoyed your story.

  5. Emily says:

    I have not yet had the chance to buy your book as I live in Scotland and not sure where to purchase it from. I have seen many of your interviews on YouTube and find your lifestyle fascinating. I don’t think we have many Mormons and don’t know if we have any Fundementalist Mormons in the UK but I find it crazy how judgemental American society seems to be on your lifestyle. I find Mormon polygamy very interesting and don’t agree with some of the organizations such as the FLDS but I just cannot believe it is a felony crime to live this way as consenting adults.

    Personally I am not a religous person and do not think your lifestyle is one that I would choose or be able to live however you all seem like strong moral people who I’m sure are great role models for your many children. Regardless of why you chose to go ‘public’ with your story I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to live your lifestyle freely and publicly and I think the fact you have chosen to be open and honest only demonstrates that living this way as consenting adults shouldn’t be a crime.

    • Joe says:

      Emily,
      Thanks for the support all the way from the UK. Just finished an interview this morning with a UK publication called The Guardian. If find many in the UK with the same reaction, it makes no sense to them, but perhaps it is because they have not been as exposed to the negative stereotypes. The book should be available anywhere books are sold, you may look at Waterstones, or go to our website and click on the link to Amazon as it may be the cheapest there. Share your thoughts after you get the book.
      Cheers,
      Joe

      • Emily says:

        Thanks for your reply. I found your book on Amazon so will definitely let you know what I think when I’ve read it and will look out for your interview with the Guardian, its a very good paper.

        I just think in the UK we probably haven’t come across lifestyles such as yours and that probably makes us more interested rather than judgemental. Do you think polygamy will ever be de-criminalized in your state or in America (not too sure how the legal system works on a state/national level)? I can imagine that while your own situation seems to be consenting and appropriate it must be difficult to argue your case as there are a lot of communities that may abuse plural marriage.

        Sorry to ask so many questions just think its a very interesting topic. I followed the case in Canada and think it’s odd that they upheld that the anti-polygamy law was constitutional even though it infringed on religous freedom.

        • Joe says:

          We expect it to be a long battle, and one most likely to be won in the court system. This month the Brown’s (of Sisterwives show on TLC) lawsuit will be decided on standing, that is if they have a case or not. That case has a good chance of challenging the law. I suspect when we get some time we will blog more about the Canadian case, but is was certainly disappointing. In reality there is only one sect of that has caused 90% of the problem, but the negative images are so pervasive that it is an uphill battle. We only hope by being open with out story we will inspire change, not just legally but in getting people to have some insight into their own relationships and to reexamine the importance of family in their own lives.

  6. Jason says:

    The idea of persecuting consenting adults who choose to follow a belief that is based on love, comittment, and sacrifice is absurd. I think its time for polygamy marches. Come out of hiding and be proud of who you are. We need to change the mindsets of our government and those who appose polygamy. Once we do that then we can be free to live just like everyone else.

  7. Pingback: Why “My Three Wives” Special On TLC | Love Times Three - Our True Story Of A Polygamous Marriage!

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