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  #1  
Old 08-12-2011, 08:18 AM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is online now
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How does, or did, one join the FLDS?

Now, this is asked out of morbid curiosity. I have no intention of joining such a group.

How does, or did, one join the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (that polygamist group...) if they were not born into it?

I know that the mainstream LDS church has a rather strong and institutionalized missionary system that sends out thousands each year to try to gain converts. Has the FLDS had anything similar?
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2011, 10:55 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Sorry, not a GQ answer, but I imagine it like some of the exclusive clubz. If you're a male, be prepared to pay a cover. If you're a female (one with fake IDs preferred to those with real IDs it seems), come on in, and be sure do visit Rev. Jeffs in the champagne room ASAP.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:29 AM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is offline
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I doubt it's really all that hard to do.

You seek out a member and express your interest in joining. You offer to provide them any financial resources you have, and prove that you are worthy enough to join. I assume there is a background check, if only an informal one, to make sure you aren't an undercover law enforcement officer since what they are doing is illegal.

It helps if you have known someone for a long time who is affiliated with the group so they can personally vouch for you.

Last edited by dolphinboy; 08-12-2011 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:51 PM
wei ji wei ji is offline
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You could hang out at my local Walmart and ask the groups of FLDS women who shop there (though I wouldn't expect a friendly response). Many people who know them stop to chat and no one pays them any unusual attention.

You could listen-in at the local bookstore while an FLDS head of household introduces his children to the proprietor "this is my third son from #2 wife," and then provides the Biblical references supporting this practice--as he read them in the original Hebrew and Aramaic--and then ask him how to join (I would expect a very suspicious response).

More likely, however, you are born LDS (Mormon), you know the culture, doctrines, and church history backwards and forwards, and by some process decide the church made an error when it changed course on it. Then you join a church that practices these doctrines (FLDS), there are some in nearby small communities I believe, and then, if you're smart, accept the unspoken "rules" in Utah regarding plural marriage and the law.

Cross that line, as did Warren Jeffs, and you are asking for trouble. Stay within the law and the line of tolerance in Utah and you will not be bothered--at least that is my best understanding of things. Taking this lifestyle and its beliefs to Texas was extremely risky, even reckless.
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  #5  
Old 08-13-2011, 07:03 PM
KlondikeGeoff KlondikeGeoff is offline
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So, if you find a way to join, how long before you can start having multiple wives?
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2011, 07:14 PM
Muffin Muffin is offline
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Now that Jeffs is busted, what is happening with his wives?
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:46 PM
Bartman Bartman is offline
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Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
Now that Jeffs is busted, what is happening with his wives?
I haven't heard any specifics. But welfare fraud is a big part of how these women were getting along in the first place. Legally speaking they are single un-wed mothers. So Their homes are owned by the church and they were living off of the government and the "largess" of the church. With Jeffs out of the picture, they are likely to continue taking welfare and living in church owned homes.

A question I think at least as interesting, is what is happening with the church? A number of the elders weren't happy to see control pass from Rulon Jeffs to Warren Jeffs. And evidently they haven't been happy under his leadership. By some accounts for example the rate of underage wives (while never zero) was increased dramatically. With Jeffs now likely out of the picture, it will be interesting to see over the next few years, who emerges as the new prophet (or at least prophet pro tem) and if the church moderates under increased scrutiny.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:13 PM
Muffin Muffin is offline
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Since the wives are a valuable commodity, through their welfare income and through the social influence gained with the number of wives a man has, I wonder if there will be divorces followed by new placements of Warren Jeff's wives to the next leader, the way Warren Jeffs married all but a couple of his father's wives as part of his take-over when his father died.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2011, 08:37 PM
medstar medstar is offline
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Originally Posted by Muffin View Post
Since the wives are a valuable commodity, through their welfare income and through the social influence gained with the number of wives a man has, I wonder if there will be divorces followed by new placements of Warren Jeff's wives to the next leader, the way Warren Jeffs married all but a couple of his father's wives as part of his take-over when his father died.
Did Warren Jeffs marry any of the older, less attractive wives? Or did Rulon have the same taste for young, pretty women that his son indulged in?
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:01 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Originally Posted by wei ji View Post
You could hang out at my local Walmart and ask the groups of FLDS women who shop there (though I wouldn't expect a friendly response). Many people who know them stop to chat and no one pays them any unusual attention.

You could listen-in at the local bookstore while an FLDS head of household introduces his children to the proprietor "this is my third son from #2 wife," and then provides the Biblical references supporting this practice--as he read them in the original Hebrew and Aramaic--and then ask him how to join (I would expect a very suspicious response).

More likely, however, you are born LDS (Mormon), you know the culture, doctrines, and church history backwards and forwards, and by some process decide the church made an error when it changed course on it. Then you join a church that practices these doctrines (FLDS), there are some in nearby small communities I believe, and then, if you're smart, accept the unspoken "rules" in Utah regarding plural marriage and the law.
Are these people actually FLDS in the sense that they belong to the formerly-Colorado-City-and-Hilldale-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or are they just general fundamentalist Latter-day Saint types? There are numerous polygamist wives that come to shop at the Costco and Wal-Mart nearest to me (often referred to using the epithet "pligs") but none of them are actually FLDS. (Except for the one family that is FLDS, but the FLDS stands for a completely different group that calls itself FLDS and is unrelated to the big FLDS group.)
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:16 PM
The Lurker Above The Lurker Above is offline
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Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
How does, or did, one join the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (that polygamist group...) if they were not born into it?
No one seems to have addressed this in their responses, but I was under the impression that a subculture practicing polygyny needs a solution to the 'too many men' problem. Either there needs to be a continual influx of women from the general population, a continual outflow of males, or on average a man is only married for a very short period of time (ie. each woman is married to many different men over the course of her life).

I'm sure different polygamist groups use these three strategies to different degrees; but if men have to kick-out or encourage their sons to leave the group I don't think a [single] man would have an easy time getting in. Unless he was loaded.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:30 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medstar View Post
Did Warren Jeffs marry any of the older, less attractive wives? Or did Rulon have the same taste for young, pretty women that his son indulged in?
His father had something like 19 or 20 wives, and Warren married all but 2 - one of those two being his own mother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lurker Above View Post
No one seems to have addressed this in their responses, but I was under the impression that a subculture practicing polygyny needs a solution to the 'too many men' problem. Either there needs to be a continual influx of women from the general population, a continual outflow of males, or on average a man is only married for a very short period of time (ie. each woman is married to many different men over the course of her life).

I'm sure different polygamist groups use these three strategies to different degrees; but if men have to kick-out or encourage their sons to leave the group I don't think a [single] man would have an easy time getting in. Unless he was loaded.
The Jeffs crowd seems to mainly rely on kicking out young men - teens, in many cases. See lost boys. I doubt most outsiders would be welcome - not outside men, because of competition for women, and not women, because they might give the FLDS women strange notions about being treated as human beings equal to men.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:32 PM
Bartman Bartman is offline
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Originally Posted by medstar View Post
Did Warren Jeffs marry any of the older, less attractive wives? Or did Rulon have the same taste for young, pretty women that his son indulged in?
It is unclear how many wives Rulon had... or how many he had at the time of his death. Estimates vary between 19 and 75. But within seven days of Rulon's death, Warren had married all but two of of his "mothers." One exception was his actual mother. The other refused Warren and moved back to live with her father. Supposedly she has never remarried. She is reserved for Rulon or his placeholder Warren only. Which is a huge thing for the community. Multiple wives are a sign of status. So it is apparently not unusual for any and all widows to be snatched up pretty quickly, even if they are advanced in age.

The marriages were due to the fact that there had been a prophesy that Rulon wouldn't ever die and that he would be periodically renewed so that he would live to be 350 years old and could greet Jesus at the second coming. Warren claimed that he had received a revelation that Rulon had been renewed within Warren. Basically Warren is now carrying a double dose of souls. And thus he re-married his "mothers" in the name of his father. I understand that a number of Warren's later wives have also been married to Warren in his Rulon's name. Whether this was a power play to consolidate rule of the church under Warren, or an attempt to simply gather as many wives as possible, or a mixture of both is up for debate.

As to your second question, supposedly Rulon never had the obsession with underage brides that Warren does. But he still married them youngish (20s), there is at least one wife with which he had a 70+ year age difference.
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  #14  
Old 08-14-2011, 12:00 AM
astro astro is offline
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Per that the others said I can't see ANY outside man being welcomed into a group where status is based on how many wives you have, and the patriarchs are notorious for kicking out their own sons.

Unless you are determined to somehow bribe or buy your way into this group I'd think you'd be SOL.
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  #15  
Old 08-14-2011, 12:04 AM
astro astro is offline
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Originally Posted by medstar View Post
Did Warren Jeffs marry any of the older, less attractive wives? Or did Rulon have the same taste for young, pretty women that his son indulged in?
Jeffs reputedly engages in chronic public masturbation many times a day while in custody in plain sight of the guards, so I'd guess he has issues over and above his legal predicaments.
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  #16  
Old 08-14-2011, 12:24 AM
Monty Monty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wei ji View Post
More likely, however, you are born LDS (Mormon), you know the culture, doctrines, and church history backwards and forwards, and by some process decide the church made an error when it changed course on it. Then you join a church that practices these doctrines (FLDS), there are some in nearby small communities I believe, and then, if you're smart, accept the unspoken "rules" in Utah regarding plural marriage and the law.

Cross that line, as did Warren Jeffs, and you are asking for trouble. Stay within the law and the line of tolerance in Utah and you will not be bothered--at least that is my best understanding of things. Taking this lifestyle and its beliefs to Texas was extremely risky, even reckless.
I'm curious about a couple of things in this post:
  1. Really, how much of the FLDS membership are converts from the LDS church?
  2. Is there really a level of tolerance in Utah (my only time in Utah was approximately an hour at the airport so I don't know what the local situation is) for polygamists, especially those practicing that with underage women?
  3. Or is it the case the various prosecutors in Utah's counties need witnesses to substantiate charges of bigamy/polygamy and it seems to me quite unlikely that FLDS who are faithful to Jeffs won't testify against him.
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