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Finding Polygamists 'Guilty of Polygamy' Pushes Canada Backwards

     By: Mark Henkel
Date: Aug 07, 2017
Word Count: 1800 words
Cross-Reference: Bountiful, Henrich, Witte

After anti-polygamy law deemed *constitutional* to criminalize in Canada, one lone judge finds two leaders of Bountiful group *guilty of polygamy,* even as case involved only adult women and no other real crimes. 
AUTHOR: Mark Henkel  
Mark Henkel is the National Polygamy Advocate for the overall National Polygamy Rights Movement for Consenting Adults. He has been interviewed and reported by numerous major media in the United States and Canada. He is also a professional speaker who has given numerous speeches before non-polygamous audiences, including a Keynote Speech at Yale.  
FMI, see  
Finding Polygamists "Guilty of Polygamy" Pushes Canada Backwards 
. . . . . . . . . by  
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Henkel  
Copyright © 2017 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

After anti-polygamy law deemed "constitutional" to criminalize in Canada, one lone judge finds two leaders of Bountiful group "guilty of polygamy," even as case involved only adult women and no other real crimes.

Canadians   often   believe   that   their   country   is   accepting,   tolerant,   and   forward-thinking.     Contradicting   those   very   values,   Canada   was   pushed   backwards   on   July   24,   2017.   Lone   British   Columbia   Supreme   Court   Justice   Sheri   Ann   Donegan   found   two   Mormon   polygamists   "guilty   of   polygamy."   Winston   Blackmore,   60,   was   married   to   25   women,   and   James   Oler,   53,   was   married   to   five   women.   This   case   involved   no   real   crimes   -   no   underage   marriage,   no   welfare   abuse,   nothing.     Because   each   charge   was   only   about   polygamy   as   a   supposed   crime,   the   defendants   never   denied   the   polygamy   in   court   either. 
The   most   visibly   evident   negative   issue   working   against   the   two   men   is   their   past   connection   to   the   FLDS,   the   Fundamentalist   Latter   Day   Saints,   as   led   by   the   notorious   now-jailed   criminal   Warren   Jeffs   in   the   US.     In   Bountiful,   British   Columbia,   Canada,   the   men   lead   their   own   isolated   Mormon   religious   sect,   which   originated   as   a   satellite   community   of   that   FLDS   cult,   but   from   which   a   schism   of   members   later   rejected   and   broke   away. 
It   is   in   that   connection,   therefore,   that   the   issue   of   polygamy   is   confused   and   conflated   in   the   context   of   cults   and   other   real   crimes.     For   this   reason,   when   defendants   Blackmore   and   Oler   claim   "religious   liberty"   as   their   defense   for   polygamy,   it   falls   on   deaf   ears.     But   neither   is   there   such   a   charge   as   "cult   polygamy"   nor   are   there   other   crimes   charged.     The   "guilty   of   polygamy"   finding   is   so   generalized   and   so   broad-based   that   it   even   criminalizes   non-cult,   non-religious,   unrelated   consenting   adults   making   a   free   choice   of   polygamy   that   could   actually   work   for   them   in   a   modern   western   society. 
News   reports   of   the   two   guilty-findings   have   referred   to   the   Decision   as   being   made   by   the   British   Columbia   Supreme   Court.   Thereby,   such   news   reports   impute   and   imply   a   greater   sense   of   "authority"   to   the   "finding   of   guilty"   Decision.     Actually,   that   court   is   a   superior   court   in   the   province   of   British   Columbia   –   not   the   top-level   Supreme   Court   of   Canada.     Provinces   in   Canada   are   comparable   to   States   in   the   US.     Moreover,   the   Decision   was   not   made   by   a   panel   of   "Supreme   Court   Justices;"   it   was   decided   by   one   lone   Justice,   Sheri   Ann   Donegan. 
It   can   be   said   that   Justice   Donegan's   "hands   were   tied"   because   of   a   previous   lone-decision   made   by   another   lone   Justice   at   the   B.C.   Supreme   Court. 


Before   these   cases   could   be   decided,   the   British   Columbia   provincial   government   opened   a   "constitutional-reference"   case   before   the   Supreme   Court   in   British   Columbia   in   2009.   They   requested   for   it   to   be   determined   whether   or   not   Canada's   1890   anti-polygamy   law   was   "constitutional"   with   the   Canadian   Charter   of   Rights   and   Freedoms   (Canada's   broader   equivalent   to   US   Bill   of   Rights). 
On   Monday,   July   19,   2010,   the   Vancouver   Sun   reported   the   following   speculative   hyperbole   as   news: 
"Increased   crime,   prostitution   and   anti-social   behaviour.   Greater   inequality   between   men   and   women.   Less   parental   investment   in   children.   And,   a   general   driving   down   of   the   age   of   marriage   for   all   women.     These   are   some   of   the   harms   of   polygamy   (or   more   correctly,   polygyny,   since   it   is   almost   always   men   marrying   more   than   once)   that   are   outlined   in   a   45-page   research   paper   by   noted   Canadian   scholar   Joseph   Henrich,   filed   Friday   [July   16,   2010]   in   B.C.   Supreme   Court.     Henrich   is   uniquely   qualified   to   look   at   polygamy's   harm.   He's   a   member   of   the   departments   of   economics,   psychology   and   anthropology   at   the   University   of   British   Columbia   and   holds   the   Canada   Research   Chair   in   Culture,   Cognition   and   Coevolution.     But   he'd   never   really   thought   about   it   until   this   year..." 
Imagine   that.     In   his   opening   remarks   on   Page   3   of   the   legal   affidavit,   Henrich   confirmed   and   confessed,   "I   have   never   before   written   or   published   on   polygamy."     His   admittedly-inexperienced,   biased   testimony   was   received   as   the   so-called   "expert"   on   the   "need"   for   anti-polygamy   laws   to   criminalize   the   free   choice   of   unrelated   consenting   adults. 
In   the   United   States,   on   September   1,   2010,   I   (Mark   Henkel),   as   the   established   National   Polygamy   Advocate   ™,   authored   a   5000-word   must-read   refutation,   titled,   "Scholar's   Anti-Polygamy   Report   for   Court   is   Discredited."   In   it,   I   explained,   "The   report   regurgitated   the   unproven   'unmarried   criminals'   theory   without   source-attribution,   used   the   same   flawed   interpretation   technique   which   [Henrich's]   other   published   academic   research   denounced,   and   contradicted   established   economic   principles   and   easily   available   evidence   in   Western   societies   that   actually   indicate   an   under-supply   of   men   who   want   to   marry   women." 


As   that   "constitutional-reference"   case   advanced   over   that   subsequent   year,   the   B.C.   government   grew   afraid   of   the   "religious   liberty"   defense   against   the   anti-polygamy   law.   On   January   10,   2011,   Canada's   CBCNews   reported,   "The   B.C.   government's   own   lawyer   has   conceded   that,   if   the   prohibition   dating   back   to   1890   is   in   fact   a   religious   law   originally   intended   to   impose   Christianity   onto   society,   it   must   be   struck   down." 
So,   the   government   brought   in   another   professor   to   serve   their   bidding:   John   Witte   Jr.,   a   law   professor   of   Emery   College   in   the   US.     Fulfilling   his   function   for   the   government,   Witte   testified   that   anti-polygamy   laws   were   somehow   "pre-Christian"   and   therefore   were   not   "religious"   in   nature,   despite   the   contradicting   historic   fact   of   anti-polygamy   being   later   imposed   by   Catholicism-controlled   governments. 
On   January   17,   2011,   only   one   week   after   Witte's   January   10,   2011,   testimony,   I   (Mark   Henkel),   speaking   as   the   National   Polygamy   Advocate   ™,   gave   a   speech   followed   by   a   Q&A   with   non-polygamists,   titled,   "2   Professors'   Opinions   NOT   Based   on   Evidence."     Therein,   I   noted   how   Professor   Witte's   assertion   of   attributing   anti-polygamy   to   the   Greeks   was   directly   discredited   by   none   other   than   Professor   Henrich's   testimony   in   the   same   case. 
Namely,   six   months   before   Witte's   2011   testimony,   Henrich   had   testified,   "While   Greek   monogamy   limited   each   male   citizen   to   a   single   wife,   it   was   considered   acceptable   to   import   sex   slaves,   which   wealthy   men   did." 


As   an   aside   for   further   insight   about   this   specific   detail,   when   Witte   prepared   to   write   an   anti-polygamy   book   for   profit   two   years   later,   I   authored   yet   another   essay   on   March   8,   2013,   titled,   "Another   Anti-Polygamist   Scholar   is   Discredited." 
That   article   further   explained,   "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.'" 
Indeed.     Professor   Henrich   had   actually   testified   that   "polygyny   was   common." 
As   such,   neither   of   these   inexperienced,   obviously-biased   professors'   testimonies   should   have   carried   any   weight   whatsoever   –   having   been   so   thoroughly   discredited.     Horrifyingly,   though,   their   testimonies   were   deemed   sufficient   for   the   eventual   Decision. 


On   November   23,   2011,   the   lone   B.C.   Supreme   Court   Justice   Robert   Bauman   decided   that   polygamy   could   be   justifiably   criminalized   under   the   Canadian   Charter   of   Rights   and   Freedoms.   As   the   Vancouver   Sun   explained   that   same   day,   Justice   Bauman   perceived   the   never-proven   propaganda   that   polygamy   "encourages   abuse   of   women,   endangers   children   and   creates   an   underclass   of   dangerously   ostracized   young   men." 
Anti-polygamists   everywhere   were   over-joyed   that   their   biased   hostile   propaganda   could   thereby   be   regurgitated   repeatedly   from   the   Decision   of   this   one   lone   judge.     Indeed,   during   the   run   up   of   the   2011-2017   "Sister   Wives"   polygamy   case   of   Brown   v.   Buhman   in   the   United   States,   prior   to   its   previous   court-victories   being   declined   in   January   2017   on   "mooted   legal   standing"   technicalities   by   the   US   Supreme   Court,   anti-polygamous   arguments   made   in   the   case   specifically   cited   Justice   Bauman's   B.C.   Supreme   Court's   2011   Decision   and   its   outrageous,   biased,   and   never-proven   justifications. 
Hence,   with   this   "B.C.   Supreme   Court   clarification"   in   2011   achieved   by   the   government,   that   the   "crime"   of   polygamy   could   indeed   obtain   a   "constitutional"   conviction   in   Canada,   the   cases   against   Blackmore   and   Oler   were   then   easily   re-kickstarted. 


Here   in   the   United   States,   the   National   Polygamy   Rights   Movement   for   Unrelated   Consenting   Adults   has   always   had   to   proverbially   hold   a   "slightly   held-back   arm   of   hesitation"   when   it   comes   to   the   Bountiful   Mormon   polygamy   cases.     This   is   because   UCAP,   Unrelated   Consenting   Adult   Polygamy,   has   always   opposed   and   rejected   the   FLDS   as   a   cult   with   other   real   criminal   situations   to   prosecute. 
  At   the   same   time,   as   many   families   at   Bountiful   have   broken   away   from   the   FLDS,   that   correctly   good   action   must   be   acknowledged   as   a   positive.     Most   importantly,   the   Blackmore   and   Oler   cases   only   involved   adults   and   no   other   real   crimes,   which   is   a   true   positive   indeed. 
But   acknowledgement   of   positive   moves   does   not   equate   with   embracing   the   structures   and   methods   by   which   -   and   how   -   they   apply   polygamy   or   cultishly   organize   their   isolated   group. 
The   "should-be   legality"   of   UCAP,   Unrelated   Consenting   Adult   Polygamy,   cannot   be   defined   in   any   context   of   the   mind-surrendering   methods   of   the   isolated   Mormon-based   Bountiful   group.     One   cannot   legitimately   super-impose   what   that   one   group   "does"   with   polygamy   upon   other   consenting   adult   polygamists   any   more   than   one   can   validly   super-impose   it   upon   the   larger   secular   society.   No,   mainstream   society   would   never   "do"   de-criminalized   Unrelated   Consenting   Adult   Polygamy   in   the   same   way   as   the   Bountiful   group   "does"   polygamy.     Hence,   Blackmore's   and   Oler's   cases   are   neither   accurate   nor   appropriate   cases   to   represent   the   defense   of   "typical   UCAP   polygamy."       Likewise,   their   cases   are   neither   accurate   nor   appropriate   to   represent   being   "found   guilty   of   polygamy"   in   all   forms   either.     Moreover,   the   "religious   liberty"   defense   in   a   cult-control   context   ("cult   polygamy")   cannot   equate   with   an   otherwise   rational   use   as   defense   for   everyday   Unrelated   Consenting   Adult   Polygamy. 
Nevertheless,   it   is   of   undeniable   relief   to   UCAPs   that   these   cases   did   neither   involve   minors   nor   other   real   crimes. 


With   neither   defendant   denying   his   polygamy,   compounded   with   Justice   Bauman's   2011   "clarification"   of   the   anti-polygamy   law's   "Canadian   constitutionality,"   one   could   say   that   Justice   Donegan   had   little   option   but   to   find   Blackmore   and   Oler   both   "guilty   of   polygamy"   on   July   24,   2017. 
In   doing   so,   however,   normal   everyday   UCAP   is   subsequently   prosecutable.   Unrelated   Consenting   Adult   Polygamists   are   tyrannically   pushed   into   hiding   by   a   bias-sourced   Decision   regarding   an   isolated   Mormon   group's   methods   and   reasons   for   polygamy   –   all   of   which   UCAPs   would   never   apply. 
Worse,   as   citizens   in   both   Canada   and   the   US   discuss   the   term,   "polygamy,"   many   will   exploit   this   2017   Decision   to   hereinafter   suggest   (propagandize,   really)   that   it   "also"   relevantly   applied   to   all   UCAPs,   despite   the   fact   that   the   only   connection   was   that   the   "found-guilty"   polygamists   of   Bountiful   committed   no   other   real   crimes   and   only   married   adults. 
The   Decision   will   likely   be   appealed   up   to   the   Canadian   Supreme   Court   where   these   important   issues   could   possibly   be   corrected.     But   until   and   unless   such   appeal   actually   and   successfully   happens,   this   "guilty   of   polygamy"   Decision   currently   moves   Canada   backwards   –   no   longer   accepting,   tolerant,   and   forward-thinking.



Bibliographic URLs:

Canadian polygamous leader found guilty of having 25 wives 
Former Religious Sect Leader With 25 Wives Found Guilty of Polygamy in Canada 
Two former bishops guilty of polygamy involving isolated sect in Bountiful, B.C. 
Polygamy is harmful to society, scholar finds 
Polygamy ruling won't be appealed 
Affidavit #1 of Joseph Henrich, July 15, 2010 
Scholar's Anti-Polygamy Report for Court is Discredited 
Polygamy produces a host of social ills, court told 
Polygamy ban centuries old, B.C. court told 
2 Professors' Opinions NOT Based on Evidence 
Another Anti-Polygamist Scholar is Discredited 
B.C. court upholds anti-polygamy law as constitutional 
Supreme Court Declined to Hear 'Sister Wives' Polygamy case 
Polygamy should never be linked with religious freedom 
FLDS was Always Opposed by National Polygamy Movement - Quotes 
Warren Jeffs was Always Opposed by National Polygamy Movement 
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