Just because a Professor expresses or publishes any opinions, it does not mean that his assertions are accurate, unbiased, or even scientifically determined. As Professor John Witte, Jr., of Emery University, prepares to profit off of the growing National Polygamy Rights Movement for Consenting Adults for his own personal gain, by authoring a new intentionally anti-polygamy book purported to be released this year, he continues to prove this point.
As the National Polygamy Advocate, I (Mark Henkel) have been familiar with this biased anti-polygamist for some time. For example, in a speech I presented two years ago, titled, "2 Professors' Opinions Not Based on Any Relevant Evidence," Witte was one of the two Professors exposed for unsupported bias. Both Professor Witte and another professor named Joseph Henrich had simply declared unscientific assertions to fit their biases against polygamy, while self-cloaking themselves in their credentials of academia. My speech even exposed how the other Professor Henrich had unwittingly - but profoundly - discredited an assertion made by Professor Witte.
In his January, 2011, testimony before the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada, Witte claimed that prohibitions of polygamy are pre-Christian and not religious in formulation, having originated in Greek city states. Thereby, he was trying to remove the religious connection to one-man/one-woman dogma - which is Witte's main agenda.
But Henrich, in his earlier July, 2010, written testimony before the same Canadian Court, declared about the Greek city-states that, quote, "all accounts in that time suggest that polygyny was common, at least among the nobility, and monogamy was a strange ‘Greek idea' (instituted legally in the early 6th century BCE in Athens). While Greek monogamy limited each male citizen to a single wife, it was considered acceptable to import sex slaves, which wealthy men did." So, by Henrich's testimony stating that that "strange 'Greek idea'" did not even prohibit polygamy, it was not an exclusivity of only one-man/one-woman. It only limited marriage for poor men to only marry one local woman each; it was neither society-wide nor having anything to do with contemporary egalitarian ideals. As Henrich's testimony unintentionally revealed, that limited "Greek monogamy" was, ultimately, just a simple socialism/re-distribution of local women among the poor men – excluding the nobility and foreign women. Hence, that Greek experiment - on which Witte's point so relied - is actually more accurately described as being "one-poor-man/one-local-woman." All the while, as Henrich put it, "polygyny was common."
As a publicity preparation for his forthcoming book this year, Witte wrote another opinion piece that was published at the Washington Post on November 9th, 2012. It was titled, "Why not polygamy?" Witte posited a wildly libelous, imaginative, and wholly unproven assertion: "I argue that polygamy is dangerous because it harms women, children, and men alike, and will allow some religious communities to become a law unto themselves." If he was simply stating that hysterical assertion as only being his opinion, then that would be one thing. But instead, he irresponsibly exploited his academic "credential" as a Professor to imply that his claim is somehow factual and relevant, saying, "That's what Western history tells us." Witte then continued the claim: "Western writers have long argued, and modern studies now document, that polygamy is unjust to women and children – a violation of their fundamental rights and dignity."
Rather than use any relevant evidence to support such wild claims, Witte only employed the same anti-scientific methodology used frequently by many anti-polygamists. He merely cited unproven, stereotypical assertions that have nothing to do with how modern, educated, consenting adults in a Western society would respond to having the choice of consenting adult polygamy.
First writing about women, Witte exposed himself as an unrealized latent-misogynist who apparently has little to no respect whatsoever for the intelligence, strength, and capability of modern women in Western society. Indeed, ignoring the meanings of the words, "consenting" and "adult," his claim actually insults women today. Talking about polygamy, Witte actually declared, "Young women are harmed because they are often coerced into early marriages with older men. Once pushed aside for a rival co-wife, women are reduced to rival slaves within the household. They are then exploited periodically for sex and procreation by emotionally detached husbands. They are forced to make do for themselves and their children with dwindling resources as still other women and children are added to the household against their wishes. If they protest their plight, if they resort to self-help, if they lose their youthful figure and vigor, they are often cast out of their homes -- impoverished, undereducated, and often incapable of survival without serious help from others." To actually believe that hysterical hyperbole, Witte is apparently convinced that women in a modern Western society are just too stupid, weak, and feeble-minded, that society "must" empower a paternalistic government to protect women from choosing consenting adult polygamy! Even before seeing this article from Witte, a sound-bite I created in a keynote speech that I had given at Yale University last year, titled, "Repeal Anti-Polygamy Laws for Consenting Adults," utterly crushed the absurdity of Witte's apparent misogyny. Explaining how supporting anti-polygamy requires a misogynistic perspective, I loudly and strongly refuted such offensive male chauvinism, saying, "Women are not stupid! They are not weak! They are not feeble-minded! They are not incapable of asserting their equality in a relationship!" But to Witte and his fellow anti-polygamists, their consistent view relies upon perceiving that women are all of those frail things (to which I say, God forbid).
Next writing about children, Witte further claimed that polygamy is harmful to the polygamous offspring. Continuing the same vein of his seeming misogyny about supposedly stupid and weak women in a Western society, Witte asserted that, in a polygamous family, the one man supposedly dominates the whole family so authoritatively that polygamy itself allegedly deprives the children "of healthy models of authority and liberty, equality and charity, marital love and fidelity." But as I also said in that aforementioned Yale speech, "the minute that that guy thinks he is going to be an idiot, they [the wives] will gang up on him. Hello? Women are not stupid!" Contrary to Witte's imaginations, the reality is that any man capable of being chosen by more than one modern consenting adult woman for polygamy in a contemporary Western society would have to be more committed to the very ideals that Witte asserts that polygamy supposedly "deprives" for children. If Witte truly held to those ideals as "essential values" for children, then he would actually be supporting consenting adult polygamy – not opposing it.
Next writing about men, Witte claimed, "Men, too, are harmed by polygamy. Polygamy promotes marriage by the richest not necessarily the fittest men in body, mind, or virtue. In isolated communities, polygamy often leads to ostracism of rival younger men. Polygamy inflames a man's lust, for once he adds a second wife, he will inevitably desire more, even the wife of another." Wow. Witte thereby exposed his absolute absence of knowledge about actual consenting adult polygamy in application in a modern Western society. First, that (again) revealed his apparent misogyny by insulting women in a modern Western society. To Witte, women are apparently incapable of their own successes or life goals, being nothing more than proverbial prostitutes whose only objectives for marriage are to find a wealthy "sugar daddy." Second, Witte also insulted all of modern Western society. To Witte, the normal citizens of modern Western societies "must" be deprived of their freedom of choice for consenting adult polygamy because of what some rogue isolated communities and cults might do. Third, not only did Witte's commentary about men and lust insult all other men, and not only did it also show that he himself apparently objectifies women as sex objects, but it actually exposed Witte of doing that which psychologists identify as a "transference." Anti-polygamist men commonly manifest this dysfunction. After introspectively seeing his own inferiority feelings of lustfulness within himself, the guilt-ridden anti-polygamist man then interprets those feelings to "mean" that he "must" transfer those inferiority feelings as if they apply onto all other men. Witte's comment here about men's lustfulness demonstrates this same transference so frequently observed in those particular men who so vehemently insist on anti-polygamy propaganda. Witte's visibly apparent transference thereby exposed that he himself seemingly perceives women as sex objects. His commentary simply repeated the frequently-repeated commonality among most anti-polygamist men, based on the transference of their own guilt and lustfulness: asserting the insulting and misogynistic perspectives that because men are supposedly nothing more than sexual beasts and that women are supposedly nothing more than objectified prostitutes, modern citizens of a Western society "must" be deprived of the freedom of choosing consenting adult polygamy.
Lastly, Witte had declared that "modern studies now document" the wild and even libelous claims he was making. Yet, he never provided any valid evidence whatsoever. Rather, he has only done that which most anti-polygamists do when discussing so-called "studies" about polygamy: he merely repeated un-original, derivative interpretations which are premised solely upon studies and examples of non-Western societies and/or of cults. But what people will do in a modern Western society can not be compared to what people do in non-Western, non-modern societies or in isolated cults. Hence, regurgitating the anti-polygamists' illogic before him, Witte thereby insulted every normal, mentally-healthy citizen of modern secular Western societies. To the professor, allowing consenting adult polygamy in a modern Western society somehow "means" that all the citizens would respond to de-criminalized consenting adult polygamy as do people in non-Western societies and cults. And he made such broad insults without any relevant evidence as applied to today's modern, educated, Western society.
In 2010, I (Mark Henkel) authored a published 5,000-word Special Report, titled, "Scholar's Anti-Polygamy Report for Court is Discredited." That comprehensive report exposed the unsupported bias of the anti-polygamist academic, Professor Joseph Henrich, who had also made many of the same wild claims and insults against women, children, men, and modern Western society. Despite the fact that that other professor Henrich also disproved Witte's claim about the so-called "Greek monogamy" experiment around 600 BC of "one-poor-man/one-local-woman," John Witte, Jr., otherwise mostly just regurgitated Henrich's same unsupported anti-polygamist propaganda. Hence, just as Henrich had been thoroughly discredited based on his own bias and words, Witte has joined Henrich in the same way.
Now, as the National Polygamy Rights Movement for Consenting Adults continues to keep growing, Professor John Witte, Jr., is therefore preparing to profit for himself at the expense of the movement. Using such flawed arguments for his pending anti-polygamy book, Witte unwittingly revealed that his anti-scientific opinions "prove" little more than his anti-scholarship, bias, transference – and even a seeming misogyny. Hence, even before its release, Professor John Witte, Jr., has already demonstrated that his book - and his credibility – are now thoroughly discredited.
Professor John Witte, Jr.
Mark Henkel, National Polygamy Advocate
SPEECH: "2 Professors' Opinions NOT Based on Evidence"
SPECIAL REPORT: "Scholar's Anti-Polygamy Report for Court is Discredited"
OP-ED: "Why not polygamy?"
SPEECH: Mark Henkel - Yale - Repeal Anti-Polygamy Laws for Consenting Adults - [TRAILER]
[Reviewed for publication - Pro-Polygamy.com Review Board.]