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FLDS is far more "Mormon sect" than "Polygamist sect"

Date: Apr 08, 2008
Word Count: 750 words
Cross-Reference: FLDS, Mormon sect, polygamy rights

The self-isolated FLDS have absolutely no part in the polygamy movement and do not represent polygamy whatsoever; and they actually have far more in common with most Mormons than with most polygamists around the country.

The   national   polygamy   rights   movement   has   never   had   anything   in   common   with   the   Fundamentalist   Church   of   Jesus   Christ   of   Latter   Day   Saints   –   i.e.,   the   FLDS   -   and   its   convicted   criminal   "prophet"   Warren   Jeffs   -   excepting   only   polygamy.     Even   the   way   in   which   the   FLDS   apply   polygamy   is   not   in   common   with   the   consenting-adult   movement   around   the   country. 
Indeed,   the   FLDS   are   not   even   involved   with   the   movement   for   polygamy   rights   of   consenting   adults. 
When   people   isolate   themselves   in   a   sect,   they   are   not   part   of   any   movement   –   precisely   because   they   have   isolated   themselves.     It   is   a   no-brainer. 
But   most   news   manufacturing   outlets   continue   the   deceptive   insanity   of   portraying   the   FLDS,   a   self-isolated   Mormon   sect,   as   if   they   somehow   represent   the   movement   for   polygamy.     The   FLDS   do   not. 
A   movement   involves   activism   and   at   least   someone   being   a   professional   advocate,   all   working   together   to   publicly   vocalize   their   values   for   political   support.     The   people   build   organization   of   like-minded   supporters   in   the   public.     They   purchase   advertising.     They   develop   web-sites.       Their   professional   leaders   give   media   interviews.     They   issue   press   releases.     They   promote   their   values   in   the   public   marketplace. 
For   polygamy   rights,   the   organization   has   done   all   those   things.     The   organization’s   founder,   the   National   Polygamy   Advocate,   Mark   Henkel,   has   undoubtedly   been   at   the   forefront,   providing   numerous   media   interviews   and   promotions.     His   sound-bite,   "'Polygamy   rights'   is   the   next   civil   rights   battle,"   is   now   famous. 
But   where   are   the   FLDS   doing   anything   for   polygamy   rights   or   even   for   their   religion?     Where   is   their   advertising?     Where   is   the   FLDS   web-site?     Where   are   any   FLDS   leaders   giving   media   interviews?     Where   are   their   press   releases?     Where   have   they   done   anything   publicly   to   promote   their   values?     It   is   precisely   because   the   FLDS   have   intentionally   isolated   themselves   that   they   have   not   done   any   of   these   things. 
Clearly,   having   done   nothing   but   self-isolate   themselves,   the   FLDS   do   not   represent   anything   about   the   movement   for   polygamy   rights.     They   are   not   even   a   "movement"   at   all,   much   less   representative   of   a   polygamy   movement. 
And   they   have   far   more   in   common   with   "mainstream"   Mormons   than   polygamists. 
It   is   true   that   "mainstream"   Mormons   reject   arranged   and   underaged   marriage.     But   it   is   equally   true   -   despite   many   news   manufacturing   outlets’   intentional   silence   about   it   -   that   normal   consenting-adult   polygamists   around   the   country   adamantly   oppose   those   issues   too.     Indeed,   the   FLDS   stand   alone   on   those   two   issues.     While   the   "mainstream"   Mormons   and   consenting-adult   polygamists   typically   only   share   their   similar   opposition   to   those   issues   together,   they   do   not   share   a   commonality   together   on   much   of   anything   else. 
In   reality,   the   FLDS   are   simply   fundamentalist   Mormons   who   have   isolated   themselves   as   a   separate   sect,   holding   fast   to   the   Mormon   religion   as   it   was   first   created   in   the   1800s.     Their   theologies,   hierarchies,   “prophet”   leadership   systems,   and   religious   beliefs   mostly   mirror   that   of   the   so-called   "mainstream"   Mormons.     Aside   from   the   issues   of   polygamy   (and   how   they   apply   it   with   arranged   and   underaged   marriage)   and   their   "selection"   of   individual   to   be   their   "prophet"   leader,   the   FLDS   mostly   share   everything   else   in   common   belief   with   the   "mainstream"   Mormons. 
Conversely,   except   for   the   one   solitary   issue   of   polygamous   relationships,   the   FLDS   otherwise   have   nothing   else   in   common   with   the   polygamy   rights   movement,   and   they   especially   have   nothing   else   in   common   with   non-Mormon   polygamists   throughout   the   country.     Indeed,   the   FLDS   share   only   one   single   commonality   –   polygamy   in   general   terms   –   with   normal   consenting-adult   polygamists   (even   though   they   do   not   share   any   commonality   in   applying   polygamy,   disagreeing   on   arranged   and   underaged   marriage.) 
Clearly,   the   FLDS   have   far   more   in   common   with   all   Mormons,   Mitt   Romney,   and   any   other   well-known   Mormon,   than   they   could   ever   be   considered   having   in   common   with   the   national   polygamy   rights   movement   for   consenting-adults.      
Ergo,   it   is   a   much,   much   deeper   journalistic   accuracy   to   define   the   FLDS   as   "Mormon"   than   "polygamist."    
Unfortunately,   much   of   the   media   have   betrayed   all   journalistic   integrity   and   ethics.     Rather   than   portray   the   FLDS   accurately   as   a   “Mormon   sect,”   many   news   manufacturing   outlets   continue   the   deceptive   insanity   of   portraying   the   FLDS   exclusively   as   a   “polygamist   sect.” 
Clearly,   as   the   FLDS   are   self-isolated   and   are   therefore   doing   nothing   to   promote   polygamy,   it   is   an   outright   fraud   for   any   media   to   present   the   FLDS   as   if   some   legitimate   example   of   polygamy,   polygamists,   or   the   polygamy   rights   movement.     And   because   the   FLDS   clearly   share   vastly   more   in   common   with   Mormons   than   polygamists   around   the   country,   it   is   also   an   outright   fraud   for   any   media   to   identify   them   as   a   "polygamist   sect"   rather   than   as   a   "Mormon   sect." 
The   FLDS   do   not   represent   polygamy.     Period.


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[Reviewed for publication - Review Board.]

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