Selective Amnesia Regarding Adult Consent in Polygamy

1945-prisoners

one man two womenHello Again Everyone,

It seems like the more things there are to do, the more the list gets longer rather than shorter. So please forgive me for not up-dating more often.

We’re still working on getting my uncensored version of my book published. Today, I’m asking friends and acquaintances to help with an intriguing title.  Hopefully it will be ready by the end of this month. Meanwhile I thought I’d add this update and great information.

AS most of you know, I was born into polygamy, lived it and spent 50 years in that dire condition before I finally fled to freedom. During the last 8 years of that marriage, I became involved in several state advocacy programs and humanitarian activities. Through those services and therapy sessions, I learned more about the violations within my own polygamous life–one I believed I had chosen for myself and my children. I was learning how to become a stronger person; how to wake up and abandon those harmful and cohesive beliefs of 7 generations. Today my passion is to advocate for those who have left polygamy, as well as help educate society in general about the Human Rights violations within generational, patriarchal polygamy that is destructive to children, is NOT about free will choice, nor is it the same as same sex partnerships.

The Sound Choices Coalition advocates that states keep their anti-polygamy laws that are already in tack, to establish laws that will allow law enforcement to protect the thousands of innocent children who are still being abused under that guise of religious freedom.

We hope to help others find their way out of that demeaning, spiritually fraudulent belief and into productive, genuinely happy lives, as we have discovered.

I have attached some researched information so you may better understand why the following studies reflect the concerns, feelings and beliefs of the Sound Choices Coalition. This will also be updated in the near future with sites you can instantly refer to for more information as you read.

The SOUND CHOICES COALITION is a partnership of organizations and individuals who are uniting in an effort to end human rights violations due to polygamy and other forms of patriarchal abuse. 

If you have any questions or concerns and/or feel it in your heart to join this honorable cause, please email soundchoicescoaltion@gmail.com Please donate @ sound-choices.com – every dollar helps promote Human Rights and Education.

Selective Amnesia Regarding Adult Consent in Polygamy:

What We Must Forget in Order to Justify Legalization or Decriminalization of Patriarchal Polygamy and why there is no such thing as “consenting adults” in patriarchal polygamy.   C.M. Katas

Below is a list of facts which must be forgotten or ignored in order to believe that patriarchal polygamy should be legalized as a free choice for adult females, that it takes place among consenting adults, and that it is a victim-less crime.

Terrifying Consequences

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that women in many Mormon offshoot polygamous sects believe that “living the principle” is a requirement for godhood, and that refusing to live it will cause severe consequences to their eternal welfare. For true believers, fear of this consequence is so terrifying, they have no viable alternative.

Victims of Undue Influence

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that women believe that their prophet receives revelation from God concerning them, granting him a staggering ecclesiastical and the fiduciary power over them. When he imposes his will while disregarding the desires of the women, it is undue influence.

Consequences for Dissenting

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that “dissent against leadership or the institution of polygamy may land some women in psychiatric institutions.”

Disobedience Means Loss of Everything

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that exhibiting independence or refusing to comply with marriage assignments can result in banishment, losing one’s family, friends, community, home, dreams, ability to survive financially, faith, reputation, and fear you will forever be subject to the buffetings of Satan.

Coercion Nullifies Consent

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that “coercion nullifies the morally transformative power of consent,” and that coercion can be situational, psychological, non-violent, and non-physical. Coercion serves to “invalidate any consent that may have been given and to render impermissible any actions derived from the consent.” Loyola Law Professor, Kathleen Kim, “The Coercion of Trafficked Workers”

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget the gender inequality and imbalance of power between the man and his plural wives. We must forget that women believe their husbands can determine their eternal outcomes, and if they displease their husbands in mortality, husbands have the power to damn them for all eternity.

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must not know that women are compelled to covenant to obey (or hearken unto) their husbands – as he obeys God “in righteousness,” and that righteousness is subject to interpretation by the males in the community.

Broken into Submissiveness

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that the women are required to repent of their sins, and that the repentance process can be publicly humiliating, psychologically devastating and even physically violent if necessary to achieve the desired humility and obedience.

Manipulation

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that women are manipulated through a series of rewards and punishments in an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback, inhibits the woman’s natural personality and behavior, makes her feel powerless and teaches her to deny her natural feelings.

Consecrate Their Whole Lives

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that righteous women must covenant to “live the law of consecration” or consent to be enslaved – giving their time, talent, possessions, resources to the building of the kingdom on this earth.

Unhealthy Foundation

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that in several large polygamous communities, abuse and incest are rampant, and women immersed in this culture often have a damaged psychological foundation and sense of self.

Uneducated About Choices

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that in many sects, children and young women are not properly educated about their choices or provided information pertaining to the outside world. “Even for adult women, there can be no true choice where the opportunity to examine alternative lifestyles/beliefs is denied in their youth.”

Independent Thinking Shunned

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that independent thinking and outside information are often shunned. “The fathers in the polygamous group are figures to respect but the mothers are only to be obeyed if they are in “perfect harmony” with the father. A child should never seek information other than what is offered by the leader, and this is to be accepted implicitly. In fact, children are not given conditions that require them to think. They fulfill their responsibilities to the cult or family, or they answer to someone over them.

Programmed People Do Not Have Free Will

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that a body of scientific work shows that the neuronal behaviors of brainwashed people behave so differently, critical thinking is nearly impossible.

Choice in Marriage

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that in some sects marriages are arranged by the leaders, and young women are prohibited from dating, falling in love, or choosing their own marriage partner. Often, they are required to marry men they have never met.

Changing Conditions in Marriages

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that even when women do choose their partners, conditions can change. In some polygamous cultures men take other wives without the knowledge or approval of the first wives. The circumstances of marriage have altered as economic, emotional and physical resources must now be shared with a stranger, but the wives are already bound.

Group Think – Do Not Self-Identify as Victims

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that women are pressured to suffer in silence while portraying an outward happiness, and that exploited people commonly do not realize they have been manipulated, or realize how deeply they have been victimized until they have had time away from their situation, learned to develop critical thinking skills, become educated on their rights and have had time to heal. “The most disconcerting thing about some victims of brainwashing is the vehemence with which they claim to have free will, to have chosen their destiny rather that to have been coerced into it.”

Women Are Dis-empowered

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget the “patriarchal, antidemocratic nature of polygamous communities that dis-empower women, individually and collectively, from being educated and making informed choices about their lives.”

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that when women must share their husbands with other women, personal desires for affection must be restrained and scheduled. Women must subdue their natural desires and spend countless lonely nights without a partner.

Sexual Exploitation

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that in some polygamous sects women can be assigned new husbands without notice or input, and they are required to become intimate with these men regardless of their personal feelings. Where is the choice in this?

Cult Mind Control

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must ignore the power of religious fundamentalism and the ability of cult mind-control and spiritual blackmail to impair proper decision-making. “When one has committed to a belief, renouncing it is unpleasant in any situation; on is renouncing part of one’s own identity.”

Objectification of Women

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget it objectifies women, and that polygamous leaders have frequently used the granting of wives and daughters, or the trading of wives and daughters, as currency or reward for favored males.

Loss of Reproductive Choice

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that ‘choosing’ polygamy often includes loss of reproductive choice, and that women are commanded to continually bear children, that their bodies are vessels to be worn out in childbirth.

Sex with Religious Counselor is Non-Consensual

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, particularly if a woman is called to be a ‘wife’ of a religious leader we must forget the description of non-consensual sex. Example:  Utah Code § 76-5-406 – Sexual offenses against the victim without consent of victim.

Clergy Abuse – Violation of Fiduciary Trust

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must agree that protecting freedom of religion trumps crimes committed by those in ecclesiastical/fiduciary positions of trust, even when they issue terroristic threats to the woman’s eternal well-being if they do not subjugate themselves to the desires of the fiduciary spiritual adviser.  This includes the requirement to consent to a felony being committed against them.

Abnormal Seems Normal

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must ignore the fact that women immersed in a culture with patriarchal practices, gender mistreatment or deviant behaviors are more likely to find female subjugation and other mistreatment to be normal and acceptable.

Polygamy Sometimes Work Well?

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that the benign media portrayal of the ‘normal’ polygamous Browns on the TV show ‘Sister Wives’ is entertaining propaganda, and does not represent the true realities and choices of most of the women in polygamy.

 “But can’t it work for some families?”

“In all my years living polygamy, I never knew a happy family. I knew many who would put on a happy family show for the media, but behind closed doors, the women were always suffering.” Vicky Prunty, co-founder, Tapestry Against Polygamy

There is no such thing as so-called ‘good polygamy’.”

Supreme Court of British Columbia: Decision November 23, 2011 -Religion Cannot Be Used as a Defense To justify legalizing polygamy as a free religious choice for women, we must forget that it is a felony, that religion cannot be used as a defense, and that the Utah Supreme Court ruled that “the protections enshrined in the federal constitution, as well as our state constitution, guaranteeing the free exercise of religion and conscience … do not shield polygamous practices from state prosecution.”

Cannot Consent to a Felony Against Yourself

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must disregard the law, superseding it with a personal opinion that “because a woman was over 18,” she must have been able to consent to the felony committed against her, therefore she could not be a victim and no crime was committed.

Slave-like Conditions

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that women often live in poverty and if they work, it is frequently under slave-like conditions, working for little or no pay but giving it to the “building of the kingdom” which is run by men. This is also known as human trafficking. “One of the most common misconceptions about human trafficking is that it is primarily a crime of movement. It is not. In fact, the law does not require any movement or crossing of jurisdictional boundaries for a trafficking crime to occur. Human trafficking is primarily a crime of exploitation. Human trafficking occurs when an individual’s freedom is curtailed and labor or other services are extracted through force, fraud, or coercion by another individual.”

Consent Impossible for Enslaved, or Trafficked, Women

In order to view polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that legally, there is no such thing as ‘consent’ to being trafficked, and in the law, consent is irrelevant. http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview/myths-and-misconceptions

ABUSE OF POWER – Often Traumatized

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that many consider polygamy a form of slavery, or human trafficking, and we must forget that women who escape almost always have post-traumatic stress disorder at levels akin to torture.

Rampant Psychological Abuse

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that they do not choose the inter-family politics and rivalries, sister-wife cruelty, psychological manipulations, and unmet needs for intimacy.

Overwhelming Anguish

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that if these choices were truly what women desired, depression and suicide attempts among the women in these communities would not be so elevated; nor, would there be so many wives and teens fleeing from this divine “lifestyle.” No one chooses. “It has been important to the author that in this field of “the psychological impact of polygamy on its victims,” there is a great deal of convergence of data, too much in fact, to ignore.”

Negative Harms of Polygamy

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, as if it is a victimless crime between consenting adults, we must forget the plethora of studies documenting the harmful effects of polygamy. Some of these harms are listed in an affidavit by Susan Stickevers, M.D., but this is the tip of the ice berg.

• Higher rates of depression

• Higher rates of anxiety

• Higher rates of psychiatric hospitalization and outpatient psychiatric treatment

• Higher rates of marital dissatisfaction in wives of polygamous marriages

• Lower levels of self- esteem in wives of polygamous marriages

• Higher levels of solemnization, phobia and other psychological problems in wives of polygamous marriages

• Lower levels of academic achievement in wives of polygamous marriages

• Lower levels of academic achievement and more difficulty with mental health and social adjustment in the children of polygamous marriages

Canadian Conclusions:

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that Canada, a country so liberal that they legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, and prostitution in 2012; then sought to overturn the ban on polygamy. But after “the most comprehensive judicial record on the subject ever produced,” Chief Justice Bauman wrote the following.

“I have concluded that the Attorneys General and their allied Interested Persons have demonstrated a very strong basis for a reasoned apprehension of harm to many in our society inherent in the practice of polygamy as I have defined it in these reasons…

• Women in polygamous relationships are at an elevated risk of physical and psychological harm.

•They face higher rates of domestic violence and abuse, including sexual abuse.

•Competition for material and emotional access to a shared husband can lead to fractious co-wife relationships.

•These factors contribute to the higher rates of depressive disorders and other mental health issues women in polygamous relationships face.

•They have more children, are more likely to die in childbirth and live shorter lives than their monogamous counterparts.

•They tend to have less autonomy, and report higher rates of marital dissatisfaction and lower levels of self-esteem.

•They also fare worse economically, as resources may be inequitably divided or simply insufficient.

Regarding Harms to Children

•Children in polygamous families face higher infant mortality, even controlling for economic status and other relevant variables.

•They tend to suffer more emotional, behavioral and physical problems, as well as lower educational achievement than children in monogamous families.

•These outcomes are likely the result of higher levels of conflict, emotional stress and tension in polygamous families.

• In particular, rivalry and jealousy among co-wives can cause significant emotional problems for their children.

•The inability of fathers to give sufficient affection and disciplinary attention to all of their children can further reduce children’s emotional security.

•Children are also at enhanced risk of psychological and physical abuse and neglect.

Women Deserve Equality

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that polygamy suffers the opprobrium of international human rights condemnation, that it contravenes a woman’s right to equality with men, can have serious emotional and financial consequences, and that it undermines the rights of women in relation to family life, security and citizenship.

Violation of Human Rights

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that polygamy is replete with violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.”

Harms Are Endemic

To justify legalizing polygamy as a free choice for women, we must forget that Canadian Chief Justice Bauman wrote in his decision that “the harms associated with the practice are endemic; they are inherent,” and that the harms “are not simply the product of individual misconduct; they arise inevitably out of the practice.” In other words, he was not talking about the harms that come from specific crimes or abuses committed by individuals living in polygamy, but the harms of polygamy even when there is no religion or abuse involved.

“Polygamy’s harm to society includes the critical fact that a great many of its individual harms are not specific to any particular religious, cultural or regional context. They can be generalized and expected to occur wherever polygamy exists.” ~Justice Bauman

PATRIARCHAL POLYGAMY IS NOT ABOUT CONSENTING ADULTS.

POLYGAMY IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME.

For references more details and details read the whole article: http://voicesfordignity.com/what-we-must-forget-in-order-to-justify-the-legalization-or-decriminalization-of-patriarchal-polygamy/

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One Response to Selective Amnesia Regarding Adult Consent in Polygamy

  1. Kristyn says:

    Thanks so much Sarah. Everyone’s encouragement means a lot when the going gets tough.

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