Continue Reading Below Advertisement Some of the members of the latter, in fact, murdered the head of one of the largest fundamentalist polygamist churches, a guy named Rulon Allred. A man named Gerald Peterson Sr. Allred's son, Owen, wasn't about to be denied his inheritance by some ghost story. He fought back and took most of his dad's church. But a small chunk splintered off with Peterson, and that's how my church -- the Righteous Branch -- began.
Continue Reading Below Advertisement In , the mainstream church the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS allowed black people to be ordained for the first time, which convinced my father that the church had lost its way "Everyone knows the real Jesus was in favor of polygamy and was a bitter racist!
He sought out one of the fundamentalist sects that agreed with him on that issue and that would let him collect a bunch of hot, young wives. He wanted to find wives who were younger and skinnier than my mom, so he could add babies to them.
At one point before we joined, he even left my mom to pursue a much younger woman, convinced he'd been called to it like a sacred task. It was quite a disappointment to him when he finally got assigned his first official second wife when I was about She was about his age, postmenopausal, and overweight -- which is the downside of having some old dude choose for you I'll get into the disturbing reason he got stuck with her in a moment.
Continue Reading Below Not that it was any better for her, probably. I can say from experience that My father officiated, and the first wife had to give her blessing. When it was done, he kissed me on the cheek and we were married. There was a wedding party after -- I was excited. I really wanted to sit next to my husband. But his wife was on one side, his daughter on the other, and they didn't make any room for me. They also made it clear I wouldn't be allowed to take pictures alone with him, only with the family.
That night I slept on the living room floor. He squeezed my shoulder before going to bed with his wife, and that was my wedding night. Continue Reading Below Advertisement Let's pause here: Well, I didn't kiss my husband for more than a month.
Remember when I said the current wife wasn't exactly on board with this arrangement? Well, let's just say that Bill slept in my room the following week, but we just slept in the same bed -- no intimacy, certainly not sex.
According to our church, we weren't actually married until it was consummated, and it took five months for that to happen. When it did, well The night before, Beth had told me that Bill would come to my room early the next morning to do the deed he'd have to leave my room before the kids woke up, she said. He came in, we prayed and dedicated the room to the lord, then we stripped down to our long garments yes, we wore "magic underwear" -- they were like long underwear with the crotch open from the navel around to the small of the back and ties across the front.
We spent less than 10 minutes on the actual act, and he didn't even kiss me, because he had a cold sore. When it was over, he lay next to me for five minutes while I cried, then went back to bed with Beth. Continue Reading Below Continue Reading Below Advertisement There were periods when Beth would have such trouble coping with me that she'd cut me off from all interaction with Bill unless she or the kids were around.
I got depressed and cried myself to sleep every night. I lost an unhealthy amount of weight. Eventually, I decided that if I could have a baby I'd be fine -- that was my whole reason for getting married anyway. I thought if I had a child I could stay in the marriage and focus all of my love on my baby, because I sure as hell couldn't focus it on my husband. So, I told them I wanted to have a baby, that it was my right as his wife.
Want to guess how that went? Bill came back a week later and said, "My family is falling apart, and you're the reason why. He performed a ceremony, and I moved out the following day. Most fundamentalist polygamist sects don't really acknowledge depression; you don't get medication or therapy -- you just pray that God will help you through it and "if your faith is strong enough," he will.
If you remain depressed, it must mean your faith is weak, which gives you more reason to be depressed. Clearly what I needed, according to the church, was to be bundled into another marriage. Continue Reading Below Continue Reading Below Advertisement So, after a tough few months, my sister and her husband came to me and said I should marry her husband and be part of their family. They call us sister-wives, which is supposed to symbolize how tight the relationship between plural wives should be.
In reality, men use the term as an excuse, figuring, "Hell, the word 'sister' is right there -- why not just fuck the whole family? It lasted a week before I realized there was no way I could stay. It turned out the church leadership had again gone behind my back to encourage my brother-in-law and sister to make that offer. They were determined to keep me in the church young, desirable women are their most precious commodity, after all and felt they were under pressure to "reward" my brother-in-law's service and dedication.
They decided to kill two birds with one stone by "giving" me to him. There are probably a lot of you who don't get why there's such a knee-jerk revulsion toward polygamy in the modern world. After all, if anyone can marry whom they choose, what's wrong with a bunch of women choosing to marry the same dude, or vice-versa?
The problem is that, in the real world, it hasn't worked out that way. You'll notice you never hear about one woman marrying four guys -- in polygamist cultures it's all about males collecting lots of wives, usually in a way that gives the females very little say in the matter.
Traditionally, there is also a lot of overlap on the Venn diagram between "sister-wives" and "child brides. Then there was my sister's brother-in-law, who was accused of molesting his daughter. He admitted to it and was excommunicated At least two other men were accused and convicted of molesting their children. One guy had four daughters, every one of them a victim -- he spent years in prison despite his wife's defense of him. Continue Reading Below Advertisement That's what happens when women are treated as commodities to be collected or gems to be awarded to males as prizes.
The reason for this is that he was poor at the time, and that's all he could afford. Oh, they don't have you pay an advertised price for the girls, or anything -- it's just an unspoken agreement based on how much you donate. And my dad simply hadn't been able to donate much money to building their giant pyramid temple.
Yeah, we had a pyramid. The top floor was where the temple resided, and only those deemed worthy were permitted inside. There we engaged in weird temple ceremonies that you're forbidden to discuss outside of the temple, to the point that during the ceremony you vow not to discuss it on penalty of death.
Which, for context, sounds a lot more legit when you've spent your entire life in a clandestine, fanatical splinter group. So the older, wealthier men had money, they donated it to help build the temple, and those men got the younger wives. The young women are basically just currency for all of this -- living, breathing cash to be exchanged for a sweet, sweet pyramid.
I got the fuck out of Utah and took a job nannying on the East Coast. I spent the next 10 years getting over the brainwashing I had endured during the previous I suffered from a long, undiagnosed, and untreated depression. I made a lot of mistakes and did a lot of foolish things trying to reconcile the bullshit dogma of the Righteous Branch with the real world I was finally beginning to see with unclouded eyes.
Within five years we'd all left the church -- my sister and her husband were next, and then eventually my mom and dad. After that, my siblings and I not only fell away from the church but from religion entirely. For me, that journey away from God began when I married a man for all eternity, and then found out that an eternity was only eight months. That is, the length of time it took the man to decide it was inconvenient. But not everyone's story ends like mine -- there's a reason some Mormon sects have been doing this for almost years now.
For instance, at the time my dad left he had a second, second wife. He asked her to leave with them, but at the same time the leaders of the church asked her to stay and offered her a new husband. She took them up on it.
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