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John Quiñones Lies in "Unreality" on ABC-TV

     By: Mark Henkel
Date: Apr 03, 2009
Word Count: 4000 words
Cross-Reference: John Quiñones, Elissa Wall, "What Would YOU Do?"

AUTHOR: Mark Henkel 
Mark Henkel is the National Polygamy Advocate 
and the Founder of the organization, 
the non-Mormon, cross-denominational, Christian 
polygamy rights organization. He has been reported 
by ABC's 20/20, The Associated Press, the 700 Club, 
The Washington Times, Newsweek, CourtTV, 
NBC's TODAY Show, and many more, as noted at 

On March 17, 2009, ABC-TV's new "unreality" show, "What Would YOU Do?," teased the question for one of its segments, asking, "How far would you go for money and fame?" The host, John Quinones, asked someone on the show, "So you would lie for money?" But the reality is – as yet again proven in a separate set-up segment with actors pretending to be "polygamists" in the same episode - John Quinones, himself, has repeatedly lied for money and fame.

============= OUTLINE ============== 
John Quiñones is the host of a new television show on ABC, called, "What Would YOU Do?" Over many previous years, Quiñones has often appeared on ABC News programs as a would-be "reporter." Hence, "What Would YOU Do?" capitalizes on John Quiñones' name recognition for past news "reports" in order to suggest "added credibility" for the entertainment show. By doing so, the show subliminally implies a connection - that does not actually exist in reality - between itself and real news. 
To manufacture the different segments for "What Would YOU Do?", John Quiñones deliberately lies to normal people in their everyday lives. To dupe such unsuspecting real-life people, the show hires actors and actresses, writes a script, and intentionally sets up completely fake scenarios. Each made-up story is then used as a soapbox for Quiñones to portray himself as the would-be "moralist" judging the same real-life people to whom he and the show had lied in contriving each set-up scenario. 
This reality-wannabe-show-that-is-not-reality has no valid comparison with the harmlessly benign "Candid Camera" TV-show of decades past. After all, "Candid Camera" had brought humor to people's lives. In direct contrast to such a humorous show, though, "What Would YOU Do?" frequently takes the disturbingly dark approach. It even sets people up to appear as doing "bad things" or as not doing "good things" in supposedly "real life." 
Because the show is so premised on lies and made-up stories with actors and actresses, such make-believe "scenes" are entirely fake. And Quiñones' conclusions with his condescending "moralisms" are equally unreal, as well. Obviously, when people are duped by lies, no valid "moralism" can be legitimately real, either. 
As such, in reality, "What Would YOU Do?" is "unreality." 
Moreover, no legitimate media journalist would ever be involved in overtly inventing stories that are admittedly not even real – never mind using such contrived stories for insincere "moralisms." But then again, the reality is that John Quiñones' past "work" over many years proves that he has, unfortunately, ceased being a credible journalist anyway. 
On past news magazine shows such as ABC's "PrimeTime," Quiñones had often "reported" about "polygamists." But he exclusively targeted his focus on one single Mormon sect, the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS), where real crimes were involved. The FLDS share roughly 99.9% in commonality with "mainstream" Mormons (LDS), even though the LDS try to deny the FLDS are "even Mormon." But having so much more in common with Mormons than with consenting adult pro-polygamists around the country, the FLDS are, in reality, a Mormon sect more than anything else. Yet, Quiñones always identified the Mormon sect, FLDS, as "the polygamists" or "the polygamist sect." The only time when the FLDS were not his visible focus was when he once "reported" about a second Mormon group who had sub-divided away from the FLDS. While that second Mormon group also opposed the FLDS' crimes, they still shared the same history and anti-black race-based "Lamanite" doctrines with the FLDS. Quiñones exploited those similarities to still connect all of "the polygamists" to the criminal FLDS – his hidden actual focus. Basing all of his "polygamy reports" on subdivided Mormons, Quiñones repeatedly misrepresented what he called "the world of polygamy," portraying himself as ABC's would-be "polygamy expert." 
But in reality, anything John Quiñones has ever "reported" about polygamy is "unreality." 
Such past "polygamy reports" have already proven that Quiñones is, unfortunately, willing to lie to make his money and fame. So it was no surprise that, on "What Would YOU Do?," Quiñones would further make his money and fame by lying to real-life people, hurting them with televised humiliation, and consequently twisting reality before all viewers. And it was no surprise that he would also invent a lying, contrived story "about polygamists." 
Out of all of the overall media's numerous dishonest "reporters" about polygamy, John Quiñones has consistently been viewed by the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults as the single biggest media liar. His name is at the very "top of the list" of proven liars about polygamy in the media. He has zero credibility. 
Not once – not even once - has Quiñones ever reported the truth that nationwide, regular consenting adult pro-polygamists also oppose the FLDS, underage marriage, and arranged marriage. Not once has he ever reported about all of the various forms of normal polygamists who do not even believe in anything Mormon-based at all.  
Instead, John Quiñones has slandered all pro-polygamists as if all of "the polygamists" are connected to - and defined by - the abusive crimes of the rogue Mormon sect, the FLDS. His untruths have been as similarly slanderous as someone describing all of "the teachers" around the country as if they are somehow connected to - and defined by - Mary Kay Letourneau, the teacher who had a sexual relationship with a 13 year old student. 
As an example of such slander, years ago on July 28, 2005, John Quiñones "reported" about a woman who had been molested as a child by her father in that same criminal Mormon sect, the FLDS. Quiñones misrepresented the woman's horribly tragic Mormon-based sect-cultish experience by falsely identifying it as if it was "the world of polygamy." 
The very next day after ABC broadcast that slanderous "report," the well-established organization issued a national press release, expressing compassion for the woman in her pain because normal polygamists vehemently opposed that which she had suffered too. The national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults has always and completely opposed the FLDS and opposed the abuses which the hurt woman had endured. The nationwide press release thereby pointed out Quiñones' deliberate slander against all of "the polygamists" around the country. And ABC had been informed of the release. 
In the subsequent years, Quiñones performed even more "polygamy reports" for ABC. In every case, he slandered all of "the polygamists" by using the same one example of the subdivided Mormons. He never presented the real facts about the national movement, and he never mentioned other forms of polygamy - ranging from Christian polygamy to secular polygamy to any other form of consenting adult polygamy. Unfortunately, Quiñones really has proven his willingness to lie to make his money and fame when "reporting" anything about polygamy. 
It cannot be truthfully suggested that the absence of such important facts was somehow based on a mere "reporter's mistake." The facts were always readily available to him. Quiñones simply chose to lie. 
It also cannot be truthfully suggested that the "reason" the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults opposes Quiñones is supposedly "because" he "tells the truth" that polygamists supposedly "do not like." Such a suggestion would be totally false. 
Rather, with lies by omission, lies by mis-representation, and lies by intentional generalization of "the polygamists," it is a disheartening fact: John Quiñones is a liar about polygamy.  
For that reason, in my own interview discussions with ABC, I (Mark Henkel) have shared the sound-bite nickname by which the national polygamy rights movement unfortunately views him: "John Quin-nutcase" – a lunatic liar, living in his intentionally-imaginary "unreality." 
Accordingly, the reality is that John Quiñones is absolutely no "expert" on polygamy in any way whatsoever. 
So, on March 17, 2009, Quiñones did it again, with his new "unreality" show, "What Would YOU Do?" To set up his fake story with an actor and actresses, he teamed up with Elissa Wall - yet another woman who was horribly treated by the authoritarian Mormon sect, the FLDS. 
In a September, 2007, trial in Utah, Elissa Wall had bravely testified against the FLDS' criminal leader, Warren Jeffs. The national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults had issued national press releases - utterly opposing Warren Jeffs, the FLDS, as well as the abusive underaged and arranged marriages that Jeffs forced upon his rogue Mormon sect's followers. As the National Polygamy Advocate, I (Mark Henkel) made many appearances on CourtTV during the trial, expressing the national movement's opposition to Jeffs and his crimes, and expressing the movement's sympathy for Elissa Wall. An AP article in USA Today published my point clearly, "Henkel said polygamists without Mormon roots disavow Jeffs and the crimes he's accused of." Without question, the hearts of such regular pro-polygamists around the country had always gone out to Elissa Wall for what that Mormon sect had forced upon her. 
The point is, Elissa Wall, herself, had come out of the FLDS - that same, one criminal sect about which Quiñones repeatedly used in order to slander all normal polygamists. Because she had indeed come from that same Mormon sect, Elissa Wall was a "perfect match" for Quiñones to exploit for his new "unreality" show. 
She embraced Quiñones' offer and allowed her real story of cult-style abuse by the FLDS to be erroneously misused. She allowed Quiñones to slander all consenting-adult pro-polygamists whose hearts otherwise deeply sympathize with her. 
Her motivation to allow Quiñones' deception was revealed on the show: Elissa Wall stood to make money and fame by selling a book she had written about the FLDS, but which was mis-titled as if being about "all polygamy." Hence, Elissa Wall had (disappointingly) fully sold out, seeking to earn money and fame by allowing her story of real cultish abuse in the FLDS Mormon sect to thereby falsely imply that it had anything to about polygamy - when it did not. 
John Quiñones was apparently quite happy to exploit her willingness to sell out, even promoting her book on the show. 
Undoubtedly, Elissa Wall had truly suffered abuse by the FLDS. And normal consenting adult polygamists had always sympathized with her because of equally opposing the FLDS with her too. But the reality is that her suffering was completely based upon Mormon principles (e.g., unquestioned acceptance of that whichever "the prophet" decrees). None of her real suffering had anything to do with polygamy – especially with non-Mormon polygamy. 
Additionally, there is one undeniable fact that was not ever mentioned on Quiñones' show. That is, Elissa Wall, in her own testimony against Warren Jeffs, revealed that she had never - that's right, never - experienced the act of being forced into any form of polygamy whatsoever. 
When I (Mark Henkel) appeared in a Special Report with John Stossel for ABC's "20/20," I re-iterated the revealed facts of that same trial. "The case actually involved incest and arranged marriage, of a girl with her 19-year-old cousin. There wasn't anything that had to do with polygamy," I explained in the interview. 
Truly, Elissa Wall had bravely testified against the FLDS' criminal "prophet" Warren Jeffs that she had been forced, at age 14, to marry her unmarried teenaged cousin. Was it underaged marriage? Yes. Arranged marriage? Yes. Abuse by a sect leader? Yes. But, as the truly credible journalist, John Stossel, equally recognized was true about my explanation, none of Elissa Wall's testimony had to do with polygamy – not a bit of it. 
Accordingly, despite her tragic and abusive experience at the Mormon sect of the FLDS, the reality is that Elissa Wall is absolutely no "expert" on polygamy in any way whatsoever, either. 
So, two people - who, in reality, have no expertise regarding polygamy at all - worked together to produce fiction for the "unreality" show, "What Would YOU Do?" Indeed, John Quiñones teamed up with - and exploited - Elissa Wall to stage a wildly fake scenario in order to slander all normal consenting adult pro-polygamists yet again. Broadcast on March 17, 2009, the segment was titled, "Forced Into Polygamy in Public - What Would You Do If You Thought You Saw a Child Bride?" 
For the fake story, John Quiñones' team had hired an elderly actor and four actresses. Their pretended characters were dressed up in well-recognized "FLDS style" clothing, more reminiscent of 1800s' clothes. The characters in the make-believe family were named as The Jones: husband Frank, wife Sherry, another wife Laura, yet another wife Kathy, and finally, 15 year old Susan played by a 20 year old actress. The women also had the same FLDS form of hairstyles. As the segment opened, Elissa Wall was shown putting hairspray on one of the actresses' hair.  
The make-believe scenario was pre-set at that which Quiñones identified as a restaurant located "a few hours drive" from Colorado City (where the isolated FLDS live, far removed from the rest of society). Supposedly, according to the pre-scripted storyline, the 15 year old character was not yet married to the husband's character. The diners there and the viewers watching the show were supposed to believe that she was somehow travelling with the family that many miles and miles away – on the very day before such a supposed marriage. 
In uncharacteristically loud voices to ensure being heard by other diners, the script-following actresses and actor used lots of very cultish and oppressively domineering rhetoric about "obedience." Such intentionally offensive terminology would inflame most everyone, including consenting adult polygamists who oppose such rhetoric too. One actress began an exchange of scripted dialogue, saying to the youngest actress, "Tomorrow, you're getting married" – as if that unnatural, date-specific statement would ever somehow occur in that context. The youngest actress replied in a voice loud enough to be heard by everyone, "I don't want to be married. I'm only 15." Not only did the 20 year old actress not look like she was that young, but her fake "crying" never once even showed a single tear - not a one. With such bad acting, it is understandable why few people would be duped by such an obviously fake scenario.  
Many faces of various diners were fuzzed out in the segment – precisely because they would not give contractual consent to ABC to broadcast their faces. Clearly, many diners would not agree to appear in the lies of the contrived TV set-up. 
At one point, all of the other known actresses and actor left the room. (It is unknown how many of the diners may have been paid actors, too.) The youngest actress - "crying" without shedding a single tear - remained standing at the table alone by herself. Quiñones explained his would-be "moralizing" shock, "For almost 4 minutes, no one does a thing" to respond to the tearless young actress, supposedly standing there all by herself with no one else to interfere with a would-be intervention. 
Following his would-be "moralizing" shock, Quiñones then announced Elissa Wall's involvement in the contrived story, exploiting her introduction to yet again repeat his "polygamist sect" falsehood. "This is all too familiar to Elissa Wall who grew up in a polygamist sect and who's watching with us." The video then displayed an old picture of Elissa Wall at 14 on her wedding day with her 19 year old previously-unmarried cousin. Quiñones continued, "She was forced into marriage at the age of 14 and wishes someone had helped her." The scene then cut to Ellissa Wall saying, "It's about what people will do with that window of opportunity, that opportunity to protect, and do for someone else what you would want them to do for you." Quiñones asked her, "What should people do, in your opinion?" Wall responded, "If nothing else, call. Call the authorities. Call someone, or make sure that that girl does not walk out of there, because once she walks out of that door, she's gone. That window's shut." 
Elissa Wall's heart may have been sincerely trying to be in the right place, hoping for help for coerced girls in the FLDS. But polygamy has nothing to do with the crimes and abuses of that one rogue Mormon sect. And Quiñones exploited her likely sincerity to repeat his "polygamist sect" falsehood, slanderously connecting the fictional scenario to all polygamists.  
The scene then cut to a woman who – if she was not an actress herself - was duped into taking action to help who she perceived was a minor in trouble. Quiñones told her that she was a hero. The woman replied that she was not a hero, but that she was just doing what people should do. Indeed, if the situation had actually been real, most consenting adult pro-polygamists would have helped a minor in trouble too. Afterward, the video displayed Elissa Wall crying as she talked to the woman. The woman who was duped – if she was an actual unsuspecting diner - expressed that she believed that Elissa Wall is an even "louder voice." 
Quiñones then declared, "Over 100 diners witnessed our scenario, but only four people intervened to help that child bride. Three of them were women." The segment concluded with a teary-eyed Elissa Wall declaring that the fact that someone - anyone - actually responded to help the adult actress (pretending to be a minor in need of help) was that which she was hoping to see would occur. 
Quiñones' clever spin - on how "only four people" were duped by the lies of the fake set-up – actually reveals the profound depths of outright dishonesty to which he can twist a story in "unreality." In reality, if that Quiñones-invented "fact" showed anything, then it more realistically demonstrated the reverse as the obvious and actual reality in fact: more than 96 people were not duped into taking action in the fake scenario. 
But actual facts, unfortunately, never matter to John Quiñones when it comes to polygamy, anyway. Indeed, he has previously proven to have no concern for actual reality on polygamy. 
Hence, Quiñones continued using that one rogue, criminal, Mormon sect, the FLDS, to further produce invented lies for broadcast on ABC about polygamy. That Elissa Wall had come out of that criminal Mormon sect simply enabled him to – once again - perpetuate the intentional deception of connecting and defining all of "the polygamists" to that one criminal Mormon sect and its self-separated community. 
Therewith, John Quiñones contrived the repeated "unreality" that "all polygamy" is supposedly "forced" on underaged girls, in arranged marriages, based on Mormon FLDS doctrines. 
In contrast to the fictional set-up scenario, there are many well-established differences between Quiñones' "unreality" and actual reality about polygamy. 
Numerous polygamists around the country do not live in any isolated communities, neither do they believe any Mormon doctrines, nor do they wear clothing or hairstyles similar to FLDS "fashions." They oppose such offensive and inflammatory "obedience" rhetoric. And on top of all that, forcing polygamy on anyone is utterly opposed by all normal pro-polygamists. 
Indeed, the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults has officially opposed forcing polygamy on anyone. To make that point undeniably clear, back in 1999, the official standard of "love-not-force" was established - as detailed at . That standard was set so as to wholly reject the offensive and obnoxious concept which normal polygamists now identify as, "force polygamy." As far as normal polygamists are concerned, no valid or genuine polygamist would ever force polygamy against the will of any woman involved - not even "force" by subtle religious doctrine or implication. It is just not what polygamy has ever really been about. 
As well, in multiple press releases and op-eds, the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults has also made it clear that the FLDS, all of that Mormon sect's abuses, underage marriage, and arranged marriage are vehemently opposed. Simultaneously, sincere empathy, sympathy, and compassion have been repeatedly expressed to all who have suffered abuses from the FLDS or any other isolated religious sect. 
Authoritarian cults and sects like the Mormon FLDS may be responsible for horrific abuses of their followers, but polygamy has nothing to do with the abuse. It has always been a falsehood to connect rogue sects' abuse to consenting adult polygamy. 
And that is the actual reality about polygamy, despite the unfortunate lies of John Quiñones' "unreality." 
Disappointing those who expect better from him and ABC, John Quiñones makes his money and fame by selling his "unreality" of lies about polygamy on TV. And that reality, itself, reveals an ironic hypocrisy. 
Later in that very same episode on March 17, 2009, of "What Would YOU Do?," another segment was broadcast, titled, "Would You Hawk a Harmful Product?" The teaser at the show's opening asked, "How far would you go for money and fame?" 
In that later segment, Quiñones' TV show had lied to real-life people in setting up yet another fake scenario. To produce his TV deception, Quiñones' show offered money to unknowingly deceived participants so as to get them to provide intentionally false testimonials for a fake infomercial of a product that does not even exist. The lied-to participants knew that that they were being asked to lie about the infomercial's "product" which they had been told was "really" on the market for sale. They were even informed that their dishonest "testimonials" could even harm people who believed the lies. That, itself, was a lie, of course, because there was no such "product" to ever harm anyone, anyway, 
Despite having directly lied to the participants in setting up the fake scenario, Quiñones still had the surprising audacity to express supposed indignation that the duped participants had actually been willing to lie on TV for money and fame, even if it hurt others. 
John Quiñones huffed – directly - to one of the segment's duped participants, "So you would lie for money?" He also further asked, "What if it hurts someone... What if they believe you?" 
At the end of the segment, one young woman - who had been duped by the show's lying set-up - explained her thoughts about having allowed herself to "make that mistake." She said, "I learned that I shouldn't – I should always trust my instincts, and that I shouldn't go along or do things just because I'm getting paid, or just to achieve something I want." 
The video immediately displayed John Quiñones in well-trained actor form. Both of his forearms were held parallel to his shoulders, with both hands flat and tight-fingered against each other in the prayer position, and leaning both of his index-finger sides up against his lips, nodding his head. The displayed portrayal was a juxtaposition of himself as some kind of holy "Saint John" versus the duped woman, "moralizing" against her because she allowed herself to lie on TV so that she could make money - because that very same TV show and host had lied to her so that they could make money. 
The young woman continued, "I mean, there's more honest ways to go around it. There's honest ways to make money." Concluding with voiceover, Quiñones affirmed her statement with his ultimate "moralization," declaring, "A lesson for us all." 
Indeed! But talk about "unreality." "What Would YOU Do?" is explicitly about John Quiñones lying to real-life people on TV, to make his own money and fame. 
And there is – honestly - no "softer" way to describe the reality of his dishonesty. On polygamy, Quiñones, himself, has knowingly lied on TV for money and fame – over and over again. His lies on TV seriously endanger and hurt normal consenting adult pro-polygamists who equally oppose the FLDS, underaged marriage, arranged marriage, and even oppose living in isolated communities. His televised lies also hurt all Americans from having an honest debate about consenting adult polygamy, unconnected to the doctrines of Mormonism. And his made-up fake scenario "about polygamists" on "What Would YOU Do?" was yet another example of his harmful lies in "unreality." 
Yet John Quiñones actually "moralized" the "lesson for us all" against lying on TV for money and fame! The irony of such hypocrisy proves the lunacy of his "unreality" – no wonder he is unfortunately and understandably perceived as "John Quin-nutcase." 
He needs a mirror. Hawking knowingly harmful lies in "unreality" for money and fame, it is John Quiñones who needs that "lesson" most of all. 
And that is the actual reality. 


Bibliographic URLs:

ABC-TV's "What Would YOU Do?" 
Forced Into Polygamy in Public 
What Would You Do If You Thought You Saw a Child Bride? 
ABC's PrimeTime commits slander, say pro-polygamists 
National Polygamy Advocate on CourtTV during Warren Jeffs Trial 
Polygamists say criminal case against Jeffs paints distorted picture 
Mark Henkel interviewed by ABC's John Stossel 
National Polygamy Rights Movement for Consenting Adults Disavows FLDS, 
Says National Polygamy Rights Leader 
FLDS is far more "Mormon sect" than "Polygamist sect" 
FLDS was Always Opposed by National Polygamy Movement - Quotes 
Polygamy Movement Opposes Warren Jeffs, 
Says National Polygamy Rights Leader 
Warren Jeffs was Always Opposed by National Polygamy Movement 
Pro-Polygamists Glad that Fugitive Warren Jeffs was Caught 
The Standard of "Love-not-Force" 
Would You Hawk a Harmful Product? 
[Reviewed for publication - Review Board.]

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