Star: Two of the Sister Wives want out, could be barred from seeing their kids

Star Magazine has a story that injects some more controversy into the new face of polygamy, the “Sister Wives” Brown family of Lehi, Utah. Star’s source is a former polygamist wife who escaped from the fundamentalist Mormon sect to which the Brown’s belong. She is sort-of Kody’s former sister-in-law (see the story below, she was a sister wife along with Kody’s sister) and tells Star that if any of the four wives want to leave Kody they’ll probably be permanently separated from their kids and excommunicated, as is common among followers of their religion/cult. It’s a sobering look into what really goes on in typical polygamist families, and shows that the reality for The Brown wives isn’t what we’re seeing on TV. I think Star just added the stuff about Janelle and Christine wanting out based on what this woman told them, but it could be true. Here’s part of Star’s story:

What would you do if you had to choose between staying in a bad marriage or losing your children? That’s the heartbreaking dilemma behind the scenes of Sister Wives for Janelle and Christine Brown, the second and third wives of Utah polygamist Kody Brown. Sources say the duo have grown increasingly unhappy about their lives with Kody, to the point that they’ve considered leaving him.

But should that happen, Star has learned, they could automatically lose custody of their combined 12 children to Kody, by order of their mysterious religious sect. And there could be even more frightening consequences.

“Janelle and Christine can smile for the cameras all they want and say how everything is great, but Janelle has cried on my shoulder many times,” a family friend tells Star. “She told me she and Christine are so sick of how Kody’s desire to be a TV star is pulling the family apart, plus all the attention he lavishes on his new, young wife, Robyn, that they’ve talked about divorce.”

But to do that would mean leaving themselves at the mercy of the mysterious sect Kody, 42, and his wives belong to. Star has learned that the Apolistic United Brethren – also known as the Allred Group – is a sect that broke away from the traditional Mormom church long ago and is headquartered in the town of Bluffdale, Utah less than 10 miles from the Brown family home in the neighboring town of Lehi.

Trying to break away from a marriage within the sect can be a nightmare, says Janae Thorne-Bird – who did just that and founded Utah’s Heartstrong Living Center, a safe haven for women escaping polygamy. Incredibly, Janae tells Star that she formerly shared a husband in Montana with Kody’s younger sister, Christy, 39 – and she warns Janelle, 41, and Christine, 38, of the possible dangers ahead should they choose to leave Kody.

“I was forced by our sect to give my ex-husband full custody of our 10 children, and they were raised by Christy and his other wives,” claims Janae. “I was barred from even seeing my kids, and they were hidden away from me. I reunited with seven of them once they were no longer minors and could choose to walk away, but my three youngest are still trapped in the sect.”

[From Star Magazine, print edition, October 18, 2010]

That’s heartbreaking and now I understand why there’s an investigation into the Brown family. The wives may have entered into this arrangement by choice, but do they also have the choice to get out of it?

This story sheds more light onto how this family makes polygamy seem like a valid choice when it often puts women and children in very difficult, inescapable conditions, even outside the compounds. This isn’t a story from someone involved in polygamy in general, it’s the story of a woman who shared a husband with Kody’s sister and was cut off from her kids for years. Her close connection to the Browns makes this all the more convincing.

TMZ has a blurb about how Kody sought approval from local church leaders before doing the show. They essentially told him that they didn’t agree, but that it was up to him. His moved forward with the show and now the polygamist families are said to be scared of the repercussions. There have to be some wives who are hopeful that things will change as a result.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

62 Responses to “Star: Two of the Sister Wives want out, could be barred from seeing their kids”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Kerri says:

    Wow. WTF is wrong with Utah that they need a shelter for women escaping polygamy? How rampant is this problem?

  2. Praise St. Angie! says:

    if they’re not legally married, then how in hell could the father/cult legally keep custody of the kids?

    that part doesn’t make sense to me.

  3. bizzy says:

    she and Christine are so sick of … Kody’s desire to be a TV star

    HEAD. DESK. because, yes, kody’s wanting to be on tv is the only possible problem with this otherwise fantastic arrangement.

    personally, i hope this show runs and runs, at least long enough for us to see them chirpily ditch their male children on the side of the highway.

    also, i do see that being married to a quarter of kody is a way more attractive proposition than being married to the whole thing.

  4. Whatever says:

    “if any of the four wives want to leave Kody they’ll probably be permanently separated from their kids and excommunicated, as is common among followers of their religion/cult.”

    This is why I will never watch this show. Polygamy is abusive to women and children, regardless of how they try to pretty it up for television.

  5. gillie says:

    Praise St Angie– it has to do with the way the religion is set up. Wives and children are property of NOT the husband, but the CHURCH. When a person leaves the fundamentalist morman sect, it’s called “apostating,” and to them, its a crime worse than murder. They are no longer human beings in the eyes of the sect. The church keeps the children, because women are not people in their lifestyle. it is, honestly, quite common in Arizon, Utah, and parts of Idaho. Utah just gets the most attention.

  6. Persistent Cat says:

    @Bizzy, he is quite gross, isn’t he? He’s like a less polished Billy Ray Cyrus and that’s just a horrible thing to compare anyone too.

    This whole thing is going to turn into the biggest reality trainwreck fallout. I don’t know whether I should start trying to keep up or just add them to my click-boycott list.

  7. Angela says:

    The elders of the cult run the courts, the police, the political structures of the town. They have ALL the control. It doesn’t matter if they are legally married or not, the men would keep custody. read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer to understand how this can happen. For these women, for these followers, there is no separation of church and state. And getting free is almost impossible.

  8. sharylmj says:

    the TV show is going to ruin this family. The they seem like they have a good relationship with each other, but fame is going to change all that.. Kody made a big mistake taking on celebrity

  9. Cletus says:

    Do they have immunity from the court system? Can husband arbitrarily decide to keep the kids away from the mothers and family court is all “You go, Boy”? I don’t understand.

  10. mary jane says:

    I think the chemistry he’s got going with the 4th wife Robyn is major.

    I think it’s more “sisterly” with the others but he is hot for the new one. They see a change in him because of her. She’s prettier, way more refined, needy and well-behaved.

  11. Praise St. Angie! says:

    gillie, thanks for the info, but I still don’t understand how legally, (not church law but state/federal law), the children can be kept from their mother.

    could a woman who leaves the cult not go to, say, the FBI, and report the children as kidnapped? can they not go to the press and get some famewhore lawyer like Allred (who would take their case pro bono) to argue/fight on their behalf?

    ugh…the whole thing just makes my skin crawl.

  12. Embee says:

    “also, i do see that being married to a quarter of kody is a way more attractive proposition than being married to the whole thing. ”


  13. cantbelievethis says:

    ‘could a woman who leaves the cult not go to, say, the FBI, and report the children as kidnapped?’

    That’s the thing, without custody papers you can’t report a child as kidnapped. I found that out when my ex and i separated and he was threatening to come back to our house and take our son. In the eyes of the court I couldn’t stop him from even coming into the house we rented. The state we lived in had no legal separation. I had to file temporary custody motion. Many times judges will award temporary custody to the parent with the child(ren) in their possession. So had I moved out and left my son with my ex, even temporarily, he would’ve been awarded temporary custoday.

    Without custody papers it isn’t kidnapping. Even with custody papers it is called “custodial interference” and treated differently.

  14. Brian says:

    I have not seen the show nor will I start but just reading the few stories here, I’m amazed any woman would choose that lifestyle if they knew in advance that divorce means not seeing your children anymore. It seems like the women are willfully giving up their power. And in this day and age, I can’t wrap my mind around that. Janae broke away (so it can be done). Why couldn’t a woman who no longer wanted to be in the cult, kidnap her kids and escape? I know it would not be easy but you would think any woman considering divorce would at least consider it, right? I mean, if I was a woman and was a member of the cult and wanted out, I would try to come up with some plan.

  15. Jane says:

    The elders of the cult may be in positions of power locally, but it sounds to me like they are following the law of their cult instead the law of the state and/or federal government. That should be challenged. No judge that is a member of the cult should be hearing a case involving the cult. That judge should be challenged and there are courts of appeal.

    However, I realize this takes money. I hope there is a way to obtain legal aid.

  16. TaylorB says:

    “…i do see that being married to a quarter of kody is a way more attractive proposition than being married to the whole thing.”

    Hahahahahaa! Thank you Bizzy.

    On another note, is it just me or does the woman on the left (in the horrid purple, white and black vest) remind anyone else of Tina Yothers from Family Ties? I know it isn’t her, but dang, if Tina had been tossed into a cult and whelped a litter of babies I would bet a dime to a dollar that is exactly what she would look like now.

  17. Moreaces says:

    Oh Please, hire a real lawyer, no judge in the US would not allow these women to see their children.. give me a break

  18. Moreaces says:

    Praise St Angie– it has to do with the way the religion is set up. Wives and children are property of NOT the husband, but the CHURCH. When a person leaves the fundamentalist morman sect, it’s called “apostating,” and to them, its a crime worse than murder. They are no longer human beings in the eyes of the sect. The church keeps the children, because women are not people in their lifestyle. it is, honestly, quite common in Arizon, Utah, and parts of Idaho. Utah just gets the most attention.
    Leave the cult, opps, I mean church, and the man, case closed

  19. Praise St. Angie! says:

    thanks for your info, too, #14 (can’t read your name), but there would be no custody papers because in this case there is no legal marriage and, therefore, no legal separation…just two people living together (with others…) as a couple.

    sorry, but it STILL doesn’t make sense to me. and I’m not trying to be argumentative here, I truly don’t get how they can legally keep her from seeing her kids. State and federal law will almost always trump church law.

  20. gillie says:

    Moreaces– its not that simple. These are girls and women who’re not allowed an education, they have no life skills with which to obtain jobs; theyre often not allowed to speak to “Gentiles (non-mormons, regardless of fundamental or not), who are frequently sexually assaulted and often subjected to incest; physically and psychologically abused, and are treated as little more than a uterus.
    Im sure youve heard of Stockholm Syndrome; frequently, girls who have grown up in a fundamentalist setting are exposed to such serious abuse that they identify with their abusers, in this case, the leaders of the church/their husbands/dads. People are brainwashed into believing that if you leave the fundamentalist fold, you are condemned to hell for eternity.
    Reasoning logically with people from this type of background fails. I fully understand the point you make when you say “Just leave,” but more often than not they are incapable of doing so.

  21. Lindy says:

    I have to agree with gillie here. I’m a professor of religious studies and have spent some time researching polygamy and the gender imbalances that are in play there. It’s incredibly difficult to just walk away from a life that you have firmly, completely, totally, and wholly believed is the ONLY right way of life to live. If you leave, you could go to hell (which for these folks is a real place with real and eternal torments). You could jeopardize the safety of your children. You yourself, even if you begin to have doubts, will still struggle for quite a long time to free yourself from a set of beliefs that governed every last second of your day and every action you took. And add in the likely lack of an education, lack of any real-world skills, lack of any knowledge about how the outside world works…. It is not that simple. This is not just a question of people with an open marriage, or people who enjoy sharing their partners/spouses with others in a totally open and consensual manner because it pep up their sex life.

    This is an entrenched institution supported by a thoroughgoing, sexist and misogynist religious ideology. Doesn’t matter how cute or sweet you make it look in this reality show. If you’ve ever seen Big Love, the compound that the Chloe Sevigny character comes from is more realistic. Though even that is a bit sanitized.

  22. gillie says:

    Praise St Angie– a lot of times, the sect leaders hide behind the constitutionally protected right to exercise freedom of religion. a lot of politicians are hestitant to get involved because commonly, these groups vote as a bloc. more often than not, in these areas, the people in charge of enforcing laws are members of the same sect, and therefore see nothing wrong with the behavior.
    i have mentioned it before, and angela has mentioned it since, but for a really in depth, unbiased look at the history of the mormon church and how fundamentalism and polygamy are a part of that history, read Under the Banner of Heaven. Jon Krakauer does a phenomenal job.

  23. Belle1228 says:

    If they are not “legally” married, I know in the state of FL that the mother has ALL rights to the children until the courts intervene and set a parenting plan.

    I’d high tail it out and take my kids too, Utah law can’t be too different from FL on this issue.

  24. Praise St. Angie! says:

    “the sect leaders hide behind the constitutionally protected right to exercise freedom of religion.”

    but freedom of religion STILL won’t trump state/federal law.

    Just as polygamy is illegal (an example of federal law trumping the Mormon sects’ “religious expression”), so is taking children away from a mother without her consent (unless a COURT decides to do so). The church/cult has NO legal claim to those children. I could stand out on a street corner and smoke a big fat joint and say “hey, I’m a rasta, freedom of religion, you stupid cops!” and I’d still get arrested. Even if I only did it in my own home, I could still be busted for possession.

    it doesn’t matter how a bloc votes…if their actions are illegal, they’re illegal. and kidnapping is a federal issue/law, not a local one, so whoever is in control of the cops/courts in these areas won’t have any say in a prosecution for kidnapping.

    again, not trying to be argumentative…it just seems pretty black and white to me. I don’t see how this “church” would have a legal leg to stand on.

    but hey, I’m sure learning a lot!

  25. gillie says:

    PSA- You are totally right, and Im not arguing that you’re not. Federal law is federal law, and religious doctrine is SUPPOSED to take take a backseat to it. Often with these groups, it doesn’t specifically because law enforcement is a part of it too, and politicians are hestiant to involve themselves for fear of alienating a voting base. Its NOT right, and its SO VERY gross and illegal, but people everywhere are gross and wierd and selfish. And there you have it; Im just as dumbfounded as you are. But there are a lot of things that play into how this very illegal living situation arises and how participants skirt around the illegality of it. I really recommend reading Under the Banner of Heaven. Its very nuanced and unbiased, and you’ll understand a lot of how traumatic polygamy is and how hard it is to extricate yourself from it can be.

  26. Lindy says:

    Also, two more great books to read if you’re interested (I have used excerpts in a class I taught on women and religion):

    God’s Brothel: The Extortion of Sex for Salvation in Contemporary Mormon and Christian Fundamentalist Polygamy and the Stories of 18 Women Who Escaped (by Andrea Moore-Emmett)

    The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in a Polygamous Mormon Sect (by Daphne Bramham)

    These are not academic books–they’re meant for the general public, so they’re fascinating and accessible–hard to put down.

  27. Praise St. Angie! says:

    gillie, I didn’t mean to give you the impression that I thought you were saying I was wrong…sorry if I came off that way.

    I understand what you’re saying about law enforcement being a part of it but, in THIS situation, where a kidnapping charge could be leveled, local law enforcement wouldn’t have diddly to say about it.

    I appreciate being able to have a civil discussion with others on here…as I said, I’m learning a lot! Thanks for the recommendation on the book.

  28. skibunny says:

    What??? This is the USA? Land of the free? I could swear I’m reading about another version of the Taliban.

  29. Mandhy says:

    this is not a joke. This is sick. I would NEVER watch this. It is promoting women as slaves. Mormonism is bad enough, this is glamourizing torture. I know what i am talking about. BOYCOTT THIS NOW!!

  30. Chrissy says:

    Okay, so if this is the case, how could the new wife divorce her husband and end up with the kids??? It doesn’t seem like her ex sees the children at all. I’m not buying that these women wouldn’t be able to see their children. I understand it in the super-secretive cults but in this case? I can’t see it.

  31. Shannon says:

    SEE? SEE?! I told you, the people who suffer are the children. All that crap about them having free will doesn’t mean squat if they don’t even get to acknowledge their mother’s humanity until they turn 18.

    Chrissy, the new wife was not in a polygamous relationship previously. She was her husband’s only wife and used legal recourse to get custody.

  32. cantbelievethis says:

    ‘sorry, but it STILL doesn’t make sense to me. and I’m not trying to be argumentative here, I truly don’t get how they can legally keep her from seeing her kids. State and federal law will almost always trump church law.’

    It doesn’t make sense to me either, but I can definitely see how it would happen.

    We have to remember these women may not think like we do or have our resources. So if wife #2 decides she wants out, she’s going to have to leave with no money and if she doesn’t have family (family this isn’t a part of the cult) she’ll have no support. Sometimes women will leave with intention of getting themselves settled and their own money and then they plan to go back to get the kids. However once they leave the kids behind they are going to need $$ for a lawyer. Custodial issues cost ALOT of money.

    If she were to leave WITH the kids and go to a women’s shelter (like the one mentioned in the article) then I’m betting she would get to keep the kids. The biggest mistake is usually leaving the kids behind.

    If it were me I’d take the kids and run, but I’m also not brainwashed by anti-woman cult religion.

  33. Allie says:

    CNN reported recently about how on the TLC link for this show, it’s says something about “We live a private life in secrecy,”……When you choose to do a “reality” show, there’s nothing private about that. I do believe doing this show, was pretty much Kody’s idea, in his never ending search for attention.

  34. xxodettexx says:

    oh thank science i never let my fundamentalist upbringing make me a meek woman, incapable of seeing my self-servitude to a religion that benefits only men

    all i know is that i agree with lindy and gillie, its not black and white and the very way these women and children are brought up leaves them little realistic recourse for escaping some of these situations [like how will they leave, drive hah! how do they afford bus tickets?? where to live?? how to find jobs to have a normal outside life?? how do they assimilate into society??]…

    im not saying it cant be done, its just that they face such overwhelming obstacles on their way out… i am encouraged that there are shelters for these specific women and i plan on looking them up to see how i can contribute

  35. Diva says:

    I believe the new wife was in a potentially polygamous marriage. They were a part of the religion, they just had not taken on another wife, yet. If the children belong to the “Church”, why would it have been any different for her and her ex-husband?

    I’m having a hard time believing, ESPECIALLY in this case, now that it’s so public, that those women would lose their children if they left.

  36. kiki says:

    i wonder why the court cant intervene i dont get it we live in a society with laws

  37. gillie says:

    Skibunny, many people have drawn parallels between fundamental mormonism and fundamental islam. the founder of mormonism, joseph smith, did so himself.

    PSA- i understand you’re stating your viewpoint and not being argumentative. the sad fact of the matter is that, as much as i completely and utterly agree with you, these sects are functioning as though theyre above the law because they are secret and few people in mainstream mormonism want to admit they exist. ask mitt romney when he runs for president about “polygs” in his religion and watch how fast you get kicked out of the townhall.

  38. Jerry says:

    I don’t watch the show – watched a clip for a few minutes and that was beyond tolerable.

    Brainwashed by choice, nice for them, not for me. These women aren’t role models, they are examples of how easy it is to be a scapegoat, and burden on society in general.

    There is enough people in the world to find just one mate. Sharing obviously takes away from all the opportunities of being in a healthy relationship/ marriage, and this applies to the children involved too.

    If we lived in the stone age, yeah – hanging out like the lions would be the way to go, but in today’s age?? Come ‘on!

    To me, these women accept this lifestyle out of sheer laziness and/or fear of being independent. They are selfish and stupid to deny their children a healthy environment where they will have the full attention of one mother, and one father.

    There are way too many options in this country to live a decent life without making up lame excuses that you will be ‘shunned’ from your kids, doesn’t matter what state you live in – the law will trump religion practise every time when it comes to the welfare of a human being.

    So you say their community is monopolized by other ‘members’ – then go to the next town, go to the next person who will listen and get help – millions of people out there! When people make up excuses and try to rationalize a shitty/unhealthy situation, they are ignorant and need to be EDUCATED!

  39. Shannon says:

    I think a lot of you either don’t know or are forgetting that in the parts of Utah that have these fundamentalist sects, the men of the religion ARE the legal authorities. They are the police force, they may even be the judges in those particular areas. Every single aspect of life in these sects is carefully controlled by the prophet and the elders (men with influence in the sect), and every single member must obey any orders they are given without question. They have been taught to do so. If that means hiding away these children so that the mothers can never find them, they will. That’s why these women are afraid to rock the boat, speak out, or leave. Because the moment the prophet gets a whiff of it, the woman’s children will disappear. They will be sent far away, probably to another state and all of the other sect members will cover it up and make sure that the woman cannot get access. A court order means nothing to these people because they believe they have the divine right to break the country’s laws. They owe their allegiance only to the prophet, and his word, his laws, mean more than state or federal laws to these people. On top of that, even if this DID get to a court fight, the prophet has oodles of money – notice that the lawyer this family is employing to fight polygamy charges is top of the line? That is courtesy of the prophet. If a woman were able to leave and sue for custody, she would have to rely on the goodwill of donations and charities for legal aid. It would be *very* difficult to find a lawyer who could stand up against the prophet’s attorney without spending a lot of money that the woman frankly wouldn’t have.

    And this is only if she somehow manages to commandeer a car large enough for her children, keeping the little ones quiet and escaping in the middle of the night without raising the alarm. She would need to get at least 30 miles away to be out of the jursdiction of the town she’s been living in, and you can bet that as soon as that happens Kody will initiate kidnapping charges against her.

    And keep in mind, these woman know very few people outside of the sect. They are generally discouraged from contacting the outside world, and they have been taught from birth to be distrustful. Finding an organization that can help them or someone who wouldn’t immediately turn them in is hard. The organizations that help these women escape have resorted to posting their phone numbers on billboards right outside of the fundamentalist towns. But here’s the kicker – some of the toll free numbers only work during the day. Nobody escapes during the day. Even getting the privacy to call that number during the day would be near impossible because these women are never alone. Coordinating this dangerous rescue is NOT as easy as you might think, especially because these women are terrified of the consequences. They are frightened of being found out and punished. They are worried that they may end up having to leave a kid behind if that kid doesn’t understand why there is a necessity to leave – keep in mind these kids have been raised to be in lockstep with the fundamentalist beliefs. They KNOW what apostasy means, especially the older ones. And they might even turn their mother in.

  40. RHONYC says:

    these b%tches are fightin’ over HIM?

    geez, maybe god IS a man! :-(

  41. TaylorB says:

    Ok, I do not mean this as a joke. But hypothetically speaking… from what I gather if a ‘wife’ leaves him she loses the kids as ‘punishment’. I wonder how he would feel if all 4 of his wives hit the trail at the same time and instead of having his personal little army of wife slaves there to take care of those kids, he was suddenly in charge of feeding, dressing, caring for 16 children all by his lonesome.

    I have no problem with multiple marriages, if, AND ONLY IF, the people involved are all of sound mind, over 18 years old, and are treated respectfully as EQUALS. In this, and sadly most multiple marriage relationships the women seem to be treated as lesser beings and that is simply not acceptable.

    If a woman wants to marry 10 men, and the are all ok with the idea well that is their choice, and that goes both ways. However; if a person, be they male of female, chooses to marry multiple partners to use them as cooks, maids, sexual objects, walking baby makers, and gives them no respect then there is a problem. All relationships should include honesty, equality and above all respect. If you treat a person(s) like a slave, be it in a multi partner situation or in a more traditional two person union, you are violating the basic human rights of your partner. I normally attempt to see shades of grey but in this case I think it is clear, you either treat your partner or partners as equals or you don’t, and if you don’t you do not deserve them.

  42. skibunny says:

    The taliban twists Islam to justify their bad behaviour. Mormonisn is doing the same thing with Christianity.
    Does anyone know of any religion that has been founded by a woman?

  43. gillie says:

    its a …unique?… religion, for sure. i mean, Joseph Smith stuck his head into a hat and wore “magic glasses” to “read” “golden tablets” so the “egyptian hieroglyphics” in order to transcribe the Book of Mormon.
    And while mormons believe in jesus christ, they don’t think hes a saviour, just a prophet, and that “one mighty and strong….to set in order [Gods] house” will come. Any man can claim to be the One Mighty and Strong. Case in Point: Brian David Mitchell, the guy who kidnapped and repeatedly raped Elizabeth Smart, claiming that she was proclaimed by god to be his plural wife.

  44. Kaitx says:

    I can’t remember who it was, but someone commenting on this family in previous posts said to read “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer. I just wanted to say thank you – I went out and bought it and now I can’t put it down! Brilliant book!

  45. Bopa says:

    I don’t think they know that they have options. If these women decided to leave and Kody and church tried to railroad them I’m sure they would be helped to get out and keep their kids. Especially now that they’re on this show. I’m sure there are plenty of lawyers who would take their cases for free and groups that would help them get adjusted.

  46. Maritza says:

    Religion can drive people crazy. There is nothing more dangerous than religious fanatics. Polygamy only benefits the men, women lose their self esteem and are used just to breed.

  47. psychostudent says:

    The sect of fundamental mormonism that the Brown’s belong to DO NOT require you to leave your children if you leave the religion. The FLDS will force the children to stay and shun the mother but not these people. There have been women who have left their children for example; Janae Thorne-Bird but that may have been because her ex-husband Kurt was a jerk and made her leave them or she just plain didn’t want to take care of them anymore. She did not have to leave her children because of the leaders. If they tried to keep the kids, there would be lawsuits and some jail time for kidnapping I would suspect. I believe that any woman who has been made to feel she has to leave her children was also abused by the husband whether it be physically or emotionally. There have been some families that have left as a whole, claiming that their lives were in danger. Not so, the AUB does not harm anyone when they leave, it is all a bunch of lies by people who want attention. The FLDS and others, like the Kingston group, well I wouldn’t put it past them. These women are not in any danger and can leave if they choose.

  48. Rosanna says:

    This news doesn’t make sense. COURTS award custody, not churches. No matter what the church says (ANY church), it’s the court that decides, period. Unless one lives in rural Africa that’s the way it works. This is fear-mongering targeting Mormons and polygamists.

  49. Dhavy says:

    I can’t believe this is going on in this country, I thought the law was the law but I guess it depends on WHO is enforcing them.

    If a politician runs for office and won’t do anything about it because he/she is afraid of not winning then that person is not worth voting for to begin with! I am not going to let a cult run my life much less my city. If no one does anything about it now then it will keep spreading further and the entire SW region of this country will be dominated by these type of people!

    I’m sorry if anyone thinks I’m ignorant because the problem is probably bigger than what I can comprehend but I come from a place where these type of things won’t be tolerated

    I’m all about freedom of religion and I respect other people’s religions but lately I’ve been having a hard time trying to understand why someone who all of a sudden decides that having 10 wives or wants to scream obscenities at a soldier’s funeral decides to call their group a “church” would be protected by our constitution

    yeah yeah I know this is not about politics but if these situations are being put out there as ‘reality tv shows’ people will perceive them as something that is ok to do and we don’t want that do we?

  50. spinner says:

    …Ain’t organized religion great?!!

  51. theresa says:

    For those of you who do not understand how a woman, whether legally married, or only a sister wife, could lose complete custody and access to her children. For those of you who think that these woman freely “choose” polygamy. For those of you who do not understand why these woman cannot just walk away from this kind of cult like you would. For those of you who do not understand that in these cult towns, the police, the judges, the politicians and the doctors who declare women, who rebel even slightly, to be “mentally incompetent” and commit them to their own mental hositals, are all participants in the same cult. For all of you who don’t understand why CPS and state legislators refuse to act.

    Please take about 1 hour and watch the free, 8 part, Youtube documentary, “Banking On Heaven.” Then you will know.

  52. Jacquie says:

    If they could provide for their biological children than to effing bad what the church says. These women would need to go to court to get guardianship of their children but it would be worth it.

  53. abby says:

    Think about what Kody would do if the 2 women left and Kody and the other 2 were left to take care of the 16 kids. Kody won’t be grinning then!

  54. Chessie says:

    Skibunny: Religion founded by a woman? Yes. Christian Science, founded by Mary Baker Eddy.

  55. wkh says:

    I really think you people are confusing this sect with FLDS. These people are out and about in their town, they interact with the general public, and Meri goes to a university while Janelle works at a regular job. They were not married to Kody as children, and went into it as adults. Yes, they grew up this way (in Meri and Christine and Robyn’s case, but not Janelle’s) but they had choice as you can see by Robyn’s divorce; in which yes, as noted, SHE gained full custody despite being in a potentially polygamous marriage where they simply had not taken another wife yet, but that was always their plan. Christine even gave birth in a public hospital where they discussed the difficulties about explaining various relationships between Kody,the sister wives, and all the children. Polygamy is NOT abusive to women and children. Underage marriage, religious indoctrination, and removal of agency is. While these elements are sometimes all too often present in polygamous relationships, the polygamy part is not the problem.

  56. LRN says:

    Hey wait a minute! Robin actually is DIVORCED from her first husband who was a polygamist (or at least in the life style) and SHE KEPT HER KIDS!! soooo…..whatsup with that?

  57. Palooza says:

    I am Mormon. THESE FREAKS ARE NOT MORMON, and they tell you upfront, first episode, they are NOT MORMON. If you ask me, all *normal* men have one more wife than they deserve.

  58. yayaland says:


  59. Arla Harriet says:

    You KNOW you are the winner, hands down! Damn them swagger jackers!(although I will admit, HC lookin cute there!) Tha¨’s jus the mamma in me!

  60. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write again very soon!