Sunday, March 08, 2009

how polygamy might work

How polygamy might work: Some ramblings of an unaccomplished philosopher .
Lets start with monogamy, defined as: two people in a relationship. Lets define success of this relationship: by the degree of satisfaction experienced by the people involved in this relationship. Now this satisfaction * will continue as long the characteristics of the two people remain compatible. let’s now begin to add more people to the relationship. With each person added, the chances of mutual compatibility are lowered dramatically. So in order for a degree of satisfaction to exist , sufficient to hold this relationship together, there must be another element added that will outweigh the incompatibilities of the participants . This can be a common goal desired by all, such as survival, a political ideology, a religion or a mutual effort to acquire wealth etc. as long as the participants find sufficient satisfaction in progress toward this common goal, the relationship will likely hold together. I have seen some, though a very few polygamous relationships last because of mutual compatibility, however most of those that fail, are do to a loss of faith in the common goal. So as long as the participants continue to believe they are attaining what they believe they want through this relationship, there satisfaction will likely keep them there.

*I first used the word “happiness” here, but quickly realized that the word “satisfaction” was far more appropriate. there is a huge difference between happiness and satisfaction.

50 comments:

silver said...

" however most of those that fail, are (due) to a loss of faith in the common goal."

Understood. That is true for most situations that fail, including monogamous relationships.

Rebeckah said...

As there are cases, albeit relatively rare, of non-religious polygamous relationships, clearly there are individuals in this world who can and do find satisfaction in a plural relationship. I find that rather mind boggling but I have issues with simply being touched or being around groups of people, so I imagine at least part of my mystification is my own issues. However, when you have a system where the goal at hand is not mutal satisfaction, but is instead to be tested, refined and forged for some "higher" afterlife goals, I don't see how polygamy could be fair to anyone. Personally, I feel that making polygyny a requirement for "righteous" living is the act of a sadistic lunatic, not that of any deity with a claim to compassion or love.

Anonymous said...

Women genetically feel marriage differently than men.
Women see relationship in marriage as a deep emotional committment. Men also see the marriage as a committment, but in all honesty, men feel on the more physical aspect (sexual).
I'm certainly not saying a woman never cheats on her husband. But, inherently its the male who more likely to have physical urge to have sex with someone other than his wife.

Another difference, because women take committment more emotionally, assuming taking on another wife to share your husband with, isn't as exceptable as one might believe.
Women for the most part are nourishers, and if they deeply love their husband, sharing him becomes unacceptable. And then there's children in the picture.
I have a sister with 2 children. I love my biological sister and love her children, but I wouldn't want to raise them, and could never love them as much as I do my own. I clearly believe any marriage is difficult, and it take both partners growing and working together for it to be successful.
Women do have a natural tendency for jealously, and even a religous belief doesn't stop those feelings.

Anonymous said...

I have wondered often, how it would be to turn the situation around? What if women wanted several husbands?
How would this work with the male population, have brother husbands?

Rebeckah said...

Not in the FLDS, Anonymous 6:55, but it seems to work in Tibet. There polandry is an acceptable practice. Not sure how it works, though and I'm pretty sure it isn't based on religious principles. It's in place for some social reason -- I think. ;)

Anonymous said...

Polyandry in the Himalaya is a cultural adaptation to a severe constraint for arable land. The woman does not marriage multiple unrelated partners but a cluster of brothers. This means that the land of the father is not split into smaller and smaller fragments but stays within the same family.

modej said...

Ditto Rebeckah and anonymous 6:53! Except that jealousy is definately not just a female characteristic! Imagine the rage and jealousy if a man had to share his wife with other men in order to attain "celestial glory". It's a funny thought to me. And the biggest equation in this is supposed to be the children since that's what polygamy is all about, right? Children who grow up with opposing feelings about their siblings and parents. On one hand it's fun to have so many playmates, but then they can't help feeling resentful towards the kids who seem to get more of, everything, from a father who has only one of himself to spread around......just a little bitter. :)

modej said...

Oh, and Undacuff, I really appreciate you pointing out the difference between satisfaction and happiness! :)

Rosa said...

In any family, you add more people - most monogamous couples have children, lots of us have parents or siblings in the house as well, or indigent friends, or servants - look how many celebrity marriages break up over the nanny. They're all in the compatibility mix, even if they're not in the marriage.

Anonymous said...

Regardless there is enough havoc with just one man and one woman being married and growing in their relationship without having it turn into turmoil by bringing in multiple wives, which illegal anyway.

Anonymous said...

Considering all the cheating and
sex outside wedlock. I see polygamy
as a positive solution

DW

Anonymous said...

Polygamist don't cheat?
Polygamist are the ultimate cheaters! They just use religion to justify it.

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask a question.
Why didn't members of this group who were kicked out, stand UP to the leadership as ONE and do something about having your families and everything you held dear away from you??
Im sure there were enough of you to have been able to make a difference!

Anonymous said...

It's pretty sad when an 8 month old child who died, his family had to fight Flds to bury the baby in the cemetary, because he wasn't an flds member in good standing.
If I was xflds, I would do whatever was needed, even testifying in court as how brutal flds leadership is to people!
Please xflds, create a voice for yourselves!!!!

bbgae said...

Anons 3-29 @ 8:37 and 3-30 @ 11:24-

To answer your questions:
It's kinda like this. Have you ever heard the old phrase, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink?" Well, you can't stop people from believing what they want to believe. Many of us, if the leadership of in FLDS were to loose control of the people, would still not be able to talk to our families.

1-Most of the ex FLDS don't even know how or where to contact others (or don't want to). My own nephew left Colorado City a year before I did. It has been 5 yrs. now and I barely met up with him again a few months ago. We had been living within a half-hour drive of each other for the past four years and we didn't even know it.

2- Even if all the ex-FLDS were to get together, there is in reality nothing they can do short of going after the FLDS in court which is what many of the ex- FLDS ARE doing by themselves.

3- No one can force another person to do something that person doesn't want to do. And that includes believing in a weird religion. We can't stop our families from believing. With most of us our families are going to keep believing the FLDS way even if their prophet was gone and their religion had "ended" and there is nothing we can do to stop that.

4-We all knew we would be treated like we are treated by our families before we left. We all knew that was the price we would pay. I'm not saying that it is right for parents to turn their backs on their children- because it isn't- but we all knew it would happen. Some of us felt the price was high but worth it and some of us thought the price was unfair (which it is) but can't do anything to change it but can only complain.

5-It's not like the ex FLDS are THE ONLY PEOPLE in the whole world whose parents and families disapprove of them and/or disown them. And some of us are not completely cut off from our families- just mostly cut off from our families. We've learned to deal with it- you should too.

silver said...

bbgae,
I always learn a lot from your writings, and I appreciate the fact that you write without anger. I think there are several reasons why people who have left a strongly cohesive group do not themselves form another group to stand up to it. First. It takes most of one's energy just to heal and create something new. Hopefully, the new thing you are creating does have the effect in a few instances of influencing others. But those instances, should never be devalued due to their small number. Because the people who come into contact with you, and are healed by you, will continue on with what you gave them. Second. Being "against" something does not make a long lasting contribution. In fact, I think that is one of the weaknesses of the FLDS. They are "against" too much of the world.

Anonymous said...

bbgae
thank you for your answer. In some ways I understand what your saying. In other ways I don't.
This is what bothers me. Lots of people were kicked out for unvalid reasons. Some I believe honestly feel like they are now apostate, and therefore gave up or they are still hoping to get back into the religion.
There are several who have decided to fight for what they worked so hard for all their lives, and deserve to have it back.
For over a year now, we have heard how FLDS strive each day to live like God. But, it's hyprocisy, because of the way they allow their own families to be treated.
I guess I just wonder if the faith and spirit FLDS could really be based on what a prophet is saying, rather than what God said.

bbgae said...

Thank you Silver. :)

Anonymous said...

I was reading some of the private priesthood records of Warren Jeffs available from the Hope Organization site. On January 18, 2007 he writes that "Around 3:00 a.m. the Lord awakened me still in the heavenly session and told me that Naomie Jeffs had been taken in death and was with Him." Later warren writes about funeral and burial arrangements for her. Is he referring to his wife or another Naomie Jeffs? Did a Naomie Jeffs die or was this just another false prophecy?

Anonymous said...

Naomi is alive and visits Jeffs in prison. She is his scribe remember?

bbgae said...

Anon 04-04 @9:48-
I'm sorry, I didn't see your comment when I answered Silver. I didn't see it until just barley so that's why I haven't answered you yet.
Yes, lots of people were kicked out for invalid reasons. I know a man who lost his family because someone saw him watching the women working out at the gym across the street and they accused him of committing adultery in his heart. He lost his wife and children over this. I assume you have heard other stories like this one and this is what you are talking about. Like the boy who gave a girl a necklace and was kicked out for that.
The thing you have to remember in these instances is the FLDS live by an entirely different set of rules than most normal people. I totally agree with you that it is not right. I totally agree with you that it is not logical. But I will again try to explain so you can understand.
They don't know any other way. All they know is to blindly obey. They told us in church that to question authority is a sin and the word "why" doesn't exist in heaven. The example was used, "Could God get anything done if every time He asked His angels to do something they asked Him why." You have to realize these people were raised this way. Mothers read searmons to their babies to put them to sleep. The children who grow up into adults there don't know anything else. They don't know any better.
Maybe you are saying to yourself, "I would never do that. How can anyone live like that and allow those things to happen to them? It's not logical." But the thing you don't realize is it is as scary and illogical to their way of thinking to be like you as it is for you to contemplate being like them.
The rules have been getting harsher and harsher in the FLDS for the last 30 yrs. or more. It used to be couples could marry who they chose. Then they were taught it was proper to put their lives in God's hands by submitting to marrying the person the prophet picked out for them. When I was growing up most people did things this way and that was normal. All my friends parents were married like this and we all planned on doing the same thing. There were people who would get married to someone they liked instead of submitting to the prophet's will. Some girls who got pregnant and were married legally to their baby's daddy. Then after a year or two they could go to the prophet and get the same eternal sealing and blessings as the people received who had been "placed" in marriage. But then that came to a stop and any couple who married someone outside of an arranged marriage were denied the blessings of heaven. The were openly scorned by the people and horror stories were told to the children about them so they would not grow up and do the same thing. We were taught that the boys were to treat the girls like snakes and the girls were to do the same. They aren't supposed to look at the boys. They aren't supposed to think about the boys. This way they will be pure when they are given to their husband and be able to love him, whoever he is as they ought to. I tell you this so you will understand why he boy who gave the girl the necklace was kicked out of town. He knew he wasn't supposed to give it to her. He knew he wasn't supposed to talk to her or like her- but he did and he was severely punished for his rebellion. The reason why is because we all know if he was allowed to like her he might then want to be her boyfriend and things would progress from there.
Does that make it right what happened to him? No. Does it make it right for him to be irrevocably separated from his home, friends and families? No. Is there anything he can do about it? No. Because like once people in the FLDS used to be able to marry whomever they wanted, once people used to be able to break the rules and go live "out in the world" for a time of repentance and then be able to return as though nothing was wrong. Now, a boy cannot even give a girl a necklace without being kicked out of town, and once someone has been kicked out of town, they may not ever return regardless of how slight the transgression was.
Yes, there is something we who have been asked to leave can do. If we really wanted to, we could buy a house in Colorado City form Mr. Wisan and live at home again. But it would never be the same. We wouldn't be allowed to go to church. We would be shunned every place we went. Can you imagine the hell it is to go into the grocery store and see your own mother, or father or sister, walk up to them and say hello and be completely ignored as if you didn't exist over and over and over? Or, worse, hear them whisper you sins to their children and slap them for looking at you or smiling at or waving to you? Would you willingly submit yourself to a life like this?
Some do. Some feel like it is worth the scorn to live in their home town. Some have hope (forgive my cynicism here, but false hope) that eventually their families will break down and say hi.
Some of us do not. We don't want to subject ourselves and our children to their spite and scorn. We feel it is better to simply go on with our lives and be as happy as we can be. And we do. And we are.
You wonder how the FLDS can hurt each other like they do and still consider themselves Godly? Think of the Catholic priests at the time of the Spanish Inquisition. It's the same kind of thing.

silver said...

bbgae,
That was helpful. Thank you. I can understand that 2 people who had a outwardly common experience may find a radically different meaning in that experience, interpret it differently, and describe it very differently. My own siblings and I might as well have grown up in different families, as different as our interpretations and even memories are. But I am still puzzled by how contradictory descriptions of life in the FLDS culture are. It is almost as if there are 2 entirely different worlds existing together. Many, if not most of the FLDS faithful that post on these blogs state categorically that the apostates are lying in every single assertion they make about their former lives. There is a contributor to Regina's new blog "Just Ducky" that claims that Carolyn Jessop is full of hate and bitterness, and is a liar. Why is the reality so untenable, that some people may find their personal situation rewarding, while others may find themselves miserable and demeaned by what looks like the same situation?

bbgae said...

Silver,
It all depends on the kind of person you are, I guess. You can take the lemons life gives you and make lemonade, or you can suck on the lemons and pull sour faces and complain. The choice is yours.

Anonymous said...

im against polygamy, i believe it is wrong and for religion to be used is also very wrong. This man warren deserves to be in prison and i hope he gets a taste of his own medicine. Are all the men in the cult are pedophile, and molesters. These women and children are brainwashed and breeded within. The people within who have done bad or have not stood up are as guilty as those boy who call themselves a man. No women or children should ever go through that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you bbgae,
I understand why many don't want to buy the houses they gave their time, sweat and love to build. But, it's just a tradgedy.

Im not of any relgion, but I read many different ways to God. And they all seem to say one thing commonly. That God is all loving, all forgiving, all knowing.
I never understood that God didn't like questions. After all, sometimes doubt makes your faith stronger. Children are gifts as far as Im concerned, and Im sure they are to you also. If you love the gift someone gives you, you treasure and protect it. It wouldn't matter who told you, you weren't allowed to. No offense to you but most women seem they never grow up into adulthood, making any kind of decision or free thought of their own.
They aren't allowed those particular choices.

I don't believe God ever turns his back on any of his children. Are we tested by life, circumstance, of course, daily. That is what builds our strength, in knowing how to deal with those tests. Without knowledge of everyday testing in the world,and skills to deal with issues, once your tossed out into the world, you are lost. And yes I can see why so many young people from Flds , kicked out, or who left could get into trouble with drinking, drugs etc. Knowing they will never see, speak to, or hear the word I Love You from a mother who bore you, or a sister or brother, or father would be almost unbearable to deal with.

Anonymous said...

I heard that William (Timpson) Jessop got kicked out. Does anybody know where he is?

Anonymous said...

As a teen, Laurene was married to an older man chosen by the sect named Val Jessop. He had already married Laurene's sister, so Laurene says she knew him "a bit." But she adds, "I always felt like I was an intruder."

Laurene says Marie was bitterly jealous from day one, and was even present when she and her husband consummated the marriage.

"He invited her into our bed," Laurene said. "She just hugged his back — hugged him all the way through."

Laurene says Marie soon began mistreating her children. She adds that Val did nothing to stop it, so she began acting out — and he called the cops.

She was taken to a mental institution in Flagstaff, Ariz., more than 200 miles away. The police were not interested in her side of the story, Laurene said.

When she returned home, she says she still found it impossible to be the perfect servant to her husband's every whim. She was sent to the institution three more times.



"I was trapped. I felt like I had done my very best in trying to live my religion," she said. "I was taught that, the only rights a woman has is to be obedient to her husband."

Anonymous said...

In rightousness my dear, in rightousness. This blog is like the blind leading the blind...... we have all been taught. There are no excuses. Val is not here. Let the dead be dead. You who hear, let it be....... for the Lord is just in what he done.....

Anonymous said...

JESSOP: OK. Well, he left them with me, actually, and he found out that I was starting to break some of the rules of what the requirements are, the dress code, you know, just having a boyfriend, for instance.

They believed—he believed that I should stay single, stay alone for the rest of my life so that in the next life, than I could have some kind of exaltation and belong to a man there and be assigned basically. I think that it was him that I was supposed to be assigned to.

NORVILLE: In the afterlife as well.

JESSOP: Yes. But you know, he lived with a wife for five years. I lived alone, and that was fine for him.

Anonymous said...

Val is dead. God is just. You do not know. Let the matter alone.

Anonymous said...

besides, if Laurene was on the sweet medicine of the state she could have said anything. Does not make it true. Leave the matter alone. Val is dead........Leave it alone. I am talking about sweet prescribed medicine.....Leave the matter alone.

Anonymous said...

Laurene Jessop said she signed the custody of her children to her husband when she was put on drugs in the institution

Anonymous said...

As a teen, Laurene was married to an older man chosen by the sect named Val Jessop. He had already married Laurene's sister, so Laurene says she knew him "a bit." But she adds, "I always felt like I was an intruder."

Laurene says Marie was bitterly jealous from day one, and was even present when she and her husband consummated the marriage.

"He invited her into our bed," Laurene said. "She just hugged his back -- hugged him all the way through."

Laurene says Marie soon began mistreating her children. She adds that Val did nothing to stop it, so she began acting out -- and he called the cops.

She was taken to a mental institution in Flagstaff, Ariz., more than 200 miles away. The police were not interested in her side of the story, Laurene said.

Anonymous said...

Spousal abuse and battery are used for one purpose: to gain and maintain total control over the victim. In addition to physical violence, abusers use the following tactics to exert power over their wives or partners:

Dominance — Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They will make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as his possession.
Humiliation — An abuser will do everything he can to make you feel bad about yourself, or defective in some way. After all, if you believe you're worthless and that no one else will want you, you're less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-esteem and make you feel powerless.
Isolation — In order to increase your dependence on him, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. He may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone. Source: Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, MN
Threats — Abusers commonly use threats to keep their victims from leaving or to scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. He may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.
Intimidation — Your abuser may use a variety of intimation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The clear message is that if you don't obey, there will be violent consequences.
Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his violence and abuse is your fault.

Anonymous said...

Yes this is true. It confuses the vitum. then they feel trapped. And when they are out they wonder why they could not see enough to get out. They wonder why they stayed. The world seems greater.......es, abuse is a terrible thing. The man I lived with had a terrible temper, but every time he was around other people he was just the sweetest and darlingest of all men. I would wonder at other's blindness. I would get confused myself. I felt hopless and trapped. Just as this article describes.......But he had to keep shifting friends. any one who got to close to his family he turned from his house. I wondered why every one abandoned me. They wondered why I rejected them and he controled and manipulated through illusions. Confusion, secrets and illusions.........and great punishment.......but every one does not live this way. I was forced to repent of what i had not done. He would not take that as a reason. I was supposed to confess and repent. I was punished and punished and punished and punished......and sycolgicly it affects a person.....and you can tell by looking. Yes, abuse is a terrible thing.......and it needs stopped in every society.....this is not a condition of any one church. All abuser's are the same......they seek and find the ones who they think no one cares about. The ones who will not dare to speak.....but there are people who care...every where....find these people. Abuse is a horrible thing to live with.....may you all find freedom......and courage....abuse is the fault of the one who is abusing. It was there choice.....No one deserves to be hurt. this is a safe motto; be kind to yourself and every one else.......you can not lose this way........and there are too many people hurt.

Anonymous said...

He hated love. If I loved something or some one he took it away. When I cried I was bad because I cried. when i stayed I was bad because I stayed. when I went i was bad because I went. If i laughed I was bad becuase I laughed. No matter what I was not good enough for him........and that is abuse.....He hated joy and was the happiest when all around him was misserable. Then he sat on his couch and watched for ways to hurt.......He was the boss. and he corrected in private. That way no one knew all he did......He hated love....that is abuse......and maybe you can help me now help my children......for we were all affected......for we were all hurt....abusers generally tell on themselfs.......but vitums will genrally take the blame.....so it makes things difficult......I liked your article. I am not with this person any longer. I shall never go near him again. It takes a lot to heal from living with a man who hated love........do not think I am talking about Val when I am speaking. Just because he was mentioned here.....Just know the Lord is just and I do not have to speak every word about people who have passed from this life......

Anonymous said...

you have described him perfectly. the whole nine yards......I hope I never see him agian....never......Leave Laurene alone........she is fine........and Marie.........

Anonymous said...

FINE = Feeling Insecure, Numb and Empty

Anonymous said...

Uncle Alvin may be able to write a beautiful paper, but he was as abusive as any man I hae ever met, and he proteced abuse.

Anonymous said...

Why do you cut out part of what I say to protect a man who continues to abuse, but you leave part of my words to show an illusion of a dead man. Val is dead. I shall never see him agian. He was not honest. He was just like so many of the rest. but you cut out part of my words to protect an abusive man who still abuses.....

Anonymous said...

You do have a point...fine.....feeling insure numb and empty.......fine aslo is a word to say get out of the terrible horrible agony of my life and be polite....fine is a word like because.....it says nothing really......

Anonymous said...

well one thing is certian. a lot of men treat their woman like trash and think they will go to heaven. They just do not tell what they have done. Do you really think Merril Jessop was perfect? He has boys that are predators. and why were his women on medicine? I think the men had the greatest scam going and none of them really know a whole lot about the gospel. IT is called if your wife is not perfect, slam dunk her so we look better......We get to be rude, mean and hateful, because you did not bow the knee and let us walk all over you........And they celibrate when another one of the members of their church fail....

Anonymous said...

What is your concept of a perfect community? Do you still sing, dance and scratch your face to look
abused by your sister?

Anonymous said...

do not worry dear. My sister has never abused me. Not that I am aware of any way. That is a new story as I ever did hear. I will tell you something about my sisters. every one was always trying to fix them. For what? what did not exist. so I have come to the conclusion that I can not fix what is broken......And if they would all look in the mirror and be honest, they would not have to fix what was not broken......And as to a perfect community? you decide....Just leave me out of your drama. I already heard what you all said. go fix yourself.

Anonymous said...

I never sing or dance. I have no sisters. I have no family. i have no comomunity. I have no people. I have no country. I am one of those people who was what was it called. Lost....ONly I was just the germ. My husbands germ......

Anonymous said...

Lost

Apostate, your family and relatives separated from you.
You are not alone, you must have friends who are supportive of you.
Treasure them!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting story....

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/feb/22/i-was-17-and-he-was-50/

Anonymous said...

You use to dance didn't you?

A beautiful waltz!

Your voice is beautiful, you use to sing!

You are not a germ or a virus, you are true goodness!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Are you still there?

Is Laurene Okay?

Addiction said...

I agree 100%. I don't agree with polygamy in general. I work at a drug rehab and we seperate each individual people into 8 dynamics that contribute to the person functioning as a whole. All these people their 8 dynamics and incompatibility with each others dynamics would definitely be a problem.