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Polygamy in the Media

Las Vegas Weekly Interviews Founder
   About Polygamy, for Published article

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Las Vegas Weekly
Kate Silver
November 22, 2001
(Interview: Nov. 14, 2001)
Las Vegas Weekly Interviews Founder
About Polygamy, for Published article

On November 14, 2001, a writer for the Las Vegas Weekly newspaper, Kate Silver, interviewed the Founder of TruthBearer.org. The 40-minute telephone interview was for an article which would be published in the following week's issue of Las Vegas Weekly. The entire interview was recorded on audiocassette tape, to be available for use.

As can be heard on the audiocassette recording of the interview, at the very beginning of the taped interview, prior to the Founder consenting to doing the interview, the writer was asked and thus affirmed that the purpose of the article was being written within the confines of journalistic integrity, as a matter of curiosity. With that affirmation accepted, the interview was thereafter conducted very excellently and the whole discussion was very positive indeed.

When the writer's finished-product of the article was published a week later, it was clear that much of what had been written in the article was NOT in line with the flow, content, and quotes of the actual interview and discussion. The Founder was mis-quoted. Motives were incorrectly ascribed to him. And, the Founder's "placement" in the article was inaccurately juxtapositioned against the "placement" of others who were also mentioned in the piece (leaving readers with an erring perspective that the others mentioned in the piece were somehow "against" the Founder).

Beyond making the brief commentaries and clarifications which will follow below, this ministry simply makes a hard-copy of the published article and the audiocassette-tape recorded interview available. This is done, knowing that anyone, such as a journalism-college-professor, reviewing these materials, for example, would very quickly determine that the writer wholly failed the writing-assignment to accurately portray in the writing of the article that which was actually discussed in the interview, if accuracy was the goal. Of course, if deliberate inaccuracy was the goal, with entertainment and a slice of sensationalism more as the goal, then the piece succeeded, even as the promise to not do that had been broken.

Howbeit, even as the overall tone of the article was perhaps a bit negatively mocking of polygamy (even as the intent appears to simply be trying to be humorous for the specific audience of readers to whom that particular newspaper serves), the writing was still more positive than it might have otherwise been. The advance of the Cause of Christian Polygamy has long had this kind of matter to deal with and overcome, anyway. And so, surely, even despite the inaccuracy and perhaps even the tone, the piece still can be seen as being a positive assistance in getting our message out. After all, when any reader of the article would actually visit the TruthBearer.org web-site, the truth of what Christian Polygamy is "about" would be clear, thus revealing the truth of the matter anyway.

Again, in addition to making the audiocassette of the telephone interview to be available, copies of the published article are thus indeed also being made available (alongside the audiocassette tape recording).

What now follows is the article in general, with some brief commentaries and clarifications added along the way.



Jesus loves polygamy, this I know

Christians use Internet as polygamy tool

By Kate Silver

The Internet offers a taste of everything these days--even personal ads for polygamists.

Here's a sample from polygamy.com: "A Ph.D. engineer, now an investment manager and wife, a teacher, building new home in (Texas) in a private reserve seeks another wife, age 25-40.

We seek a kind, gentle, intelligent, attractive and committed lady to share our home. Prospective wife should be career minded, a committed submissive to the husband. She should have a high libido and be very open minded and willing to explore in her relationship to her husband."

Although polygamy is illegal in all 50 states, it's practiced by an estimated 100,000 Americans, and is commonly associated with the Mormon Church, though church members are loath to admit it. Says William Stoddard, local Mormon Church spokesman: "(Polygamy) is absolutely prohibited and has been for over 100 years.

But the Internet has helped the practice expand: Men and women in search of multiple marriage partners need look no further than such sites as TruthBearer.org, 3coins.com [...].

The kicker: The ad-placers aren't Mormons, and the sites don't operate from Utah. This ain't your mother's polygamy.

 

COMMENTARY  from  TruthBearer.org:
The beginning of this piece with this opening section (above) is, understandably, intended to grab the reader's attention. The means by which it does so, though, is with reverting to stereotypical sensationalism. To wit, the specific choice of "personal ad" used. That could have instead used any other "ad" from among the vast quantities of "personal ads" out there on the internet; yet, the particular "ad" which was chosen with which to begin this piece was one that is referring to "libido". Such unfortunate sensationalism further advances the false stereotype of flesh, even though that is exactly what polygamy is NOT "about". Moreover, TruthBearer.org is clearly not about "searching for multiple marriages". The section ends quite well, though, with a catchy segue about "this ain't your mother's polygamy".

WHY HAVE JUST ONE?

Mark H*****, founder of TruthBearer.org, a pro-Christian-polygamy Web site operated out of Maine, is a conservative Christian who, after extensive Bible study, realized that the marriage lessons he's learned are wrong. Since Isaiah, Abraham, Moses, and other figures had more than one wife, H***** decided to follow in the "mighty heroes" footsteps. Once he hit the Internet, he found he wasn't alone.

"We know that we have to bring this to others," says H*****. "... It's not the mainstream at this point. That we put the words Christianity and polygamy together--which used to be an oxymoron--is testament to the growth that we've done."

H***** adds that Christian polygamy differs from Mormon polygamy. With Mormons, he says, the main purpose for polygamy is procreation; they believe it's their duty to give life to a multitude of children's unborn souls. With Christians, it's about following Scripture.

"There are places where God will call a family to one more wife," H***** says. "This is not about flesh. It's not about a harem or women as possessions. This is marriage--it's pro marriage."

He points out that "love not force" is a large part of Christian polygamy: Women aren't forced into a relationship. He insists there's no abuse of women, and men don't take the "chest-pounder" view, forcing women to do anything against their will.

Of course, not everyone agrees.

 

COMMENTARY  from  TruthBearer.org:
While understandably attempting to entertain the reader with the intended-to-be humorous subject heading (above) of "Why Have Just One?", this too, though, also panders to stereotypical sensationalism. That is, such an idea suggests that the concept of polygamy would somehow view women as "countable", as if being "objects" to somehow be collected, which is not what polygamy is "about". Nevertheless, given the audience to whom the article was written, if the subject heading is read with humor in mind, it can be understood as mildly funny for its audience, anyway.



 

CLARIFICATION  from  TruthBearer.org:
In the above section, while a number of good things are accurately and positively presented, a number of glaring mis-quotes were also made.

* Many Christians will immediately recognize that they cannot find any reference in the Scriptures to Isaiah being polygynously married. And indeed, that is NOT what the Founder had said in the interview. The name to whom the Founder actually referred in the interview was, "ISRAEL" (as in Jacob), not Isaiah.

* While the Founder did indeed refer to "mighty heroes" in the Scriptures as being polygynous, he never once said (nor would say) that that somehow caused or motivated him to "decide" to "follow in their footsteps".

* Considering that the Founder was first publishing the original useable, duplicatable doctrines of Christian Polygamy exegeses in a newspaper, from which one his newspaper's readers brought the argumentations learned from that newspaper to the WWW for the first time later (in February, 1996), the comment which suggests that, after the Founder "hit the Internet, found he wasn't alone", is not completely accurate.


Aside from other semantic and non-verbatim issues, much of the remainder of the quotes were very well and positively presented ---EXCEPT: the context of one very important key point was completely missed in one important paragraph, and which subsequently then greatly and negatively effected the entire remaining theme of the writing.

Namely, in the interview, when the Founder was speaking in the paragraph about "love not force", the actual CONTEXT of it was specifically saying that there ARE indeed some FORCE polygamy people out there hurting women, trying to claim to be "Christian Polygamy", and that if anyone is going to know what is TRUE Christian Polygamy, they must first determine whether "love-not-force" is involved. Accordingly, the Founder was NOT "insisting" that there were no cruel men out there at all. Contrariwise, he had said how "love-not-force" provides the means by which to know what is TRUE Christian Polygamy and to thus make sure that women are not abused. So, the context was that those who walk in TRUE Christian Polygamy, walking in love-not-force, are the ones who "don't take the 'chest-pounder' view, forcing women to do anything against their will."

By not spelling out that correct and very important context, the writing instead presents the Founder as one who was then somehow being "opposed" by the other people mentioned in the subsequent sections. Indeed, as the very last sentence of the above section implies, that supposedly "not everyone agrees".

POLYGAMIST2 TURNED MONOGAMIST

Carmen Thompson has been in two polygamous relationships: one Mormon, in which she was the sixth of eight wives; and one Christian--to a couple she met over the Internet.

"The Mormon fundamentalists are more inclusive, and prefer to increase their numbers in breeding, while Christians increase their numbers in adults via the 'Net," says Thompson, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Thompson disagrees with H***** when it comes to abuse. "It's about power, control and sex and has very little to do with God," Thompson says. "I believe (men) are using God and Jesus as their seduction pull. The men are usually very charismatic, very good with scripture, and they use God's word to basically get you to do what they want." She endured abuse in both polygamous marriages.

Thompson is now in a monogamous relationship and helps refugees, or former polygamous wives and sisterwives. She runs www.polgyamyinfo.com, where she exposes abuses and offers help for those looking to leave a polygamous relationship.

 

CLARIFICATION  from  TruthBearer.org:
In continuing the assertion that "not every one agrees" with what the Founder said in the previous section (and with not having the full context of what he actually said), the writing then turns to an interview with a woman with a known anti-polygamy web-site. But it makes two implications which are not accurate.

* The implication that somehow Carmen Thompson "disagrees" with the Founder about abuse is wholly incorrect. By understanding the actual CONTEXT of what the Founder had actually said in the interview (as explained in the previous clarification), the fact can be more clearly seen: both the Founder and Carmen Thompson, who have positively and respectfully corresponded with each other previously, stand together against the abuses of women. With love-not-force, there is no real disagreement indeed.

* The implication that one of Carmen Thompson's experiences supposedly was involving "Christian Polygamy" is also incorrect. Anyone can SAY they are "Christian", and clearly, just because one SAYS they are "Christian" does not mean they actually are a TRUE Christian. Given the profoundly hurtful experiences which Carmen Thompson described as happening to her in that experience, any kind of such actions demonstrated toward her would thus certainly seem to be the case for the man with whom Carmen Thompson had been involved who may have just SAID he was "Christian". In any event, what she describes in her terrible experience is most definitely not TRUE Christian Polygamy. And the hearts of many in true Christian Polygamy have gone out to her. It has even been expressed to her directly all the love and sorrow which many in true Christian Polygamy feel for her, for what she says she experienced.


Other than those two incorrect implications, the section (above) was otherwise well-written. And, of course, the inclusion of this kind of a section was to be expected as a form of attempted "balance".

THREE'S COMPANY

Michael Shone Sr., of Bellingham, Wash., operates the largest polygamy personal ads site on the Internet (www.3coins.com), with almost 400 ads--all for women. He says religion has nothing to do with the fact that he has two wives.

"We'd been to college and decided to all get married, and thought that hadn't happened to anyone else, so we were in the closet," he says. Then we got on the Internet and thought 'hey!'"

It was 1996, and they'd come across the Web's first polygamy sites. They realized they weren't alone, and watched as the Internet became a meeting place for other polygamists.

"There's gay bars and regular bars out there, there's no polygamy bars or groups or organizations or associations," he says. "The advent of the Internet has exploded the availability (of polygamy)."

Though he was thrilled to find so many Web sites, he found that they all had one thing in common: They promoted patriarchal Christian polygamy. He knew that wasn't for him.

"The first thing we thought was that the women were being abused. There was sort of a patriarchal deal ... that sounded like just an excuse to 'own' women. ... I didn't agree with that. Neither did (my wives)," says Shone. We decided we'll put together a personal site for women, because it's really about women. If the women get along there's the possibility for a relationship."

Though his site's been responsible for more than 90 polygamous unions since '96, Shone insists he's not pushing the practice.

"I don't feel like I promote polygamy. These people are going to do it anyhow, so why not do it through our site, where there's at least some rhyme or reason and someone's watching what's going on? I can only go through my own experience and say it's a really neat relationship."

 

COMMENTARY  from  TruthBearer.org:
While this article was clearly involving others in it, the implication of the juxtaposition of such others with that which was inaccurately said of the Founder of the ministry of TruthBearer.org otherwise could leave readers with a wholly false understanding about Christian Polygamy. Indeed, again, in still following the assertion that "not every one agrees" with what the Founder said in an earlier section (and with not having the full context of what he actually said), the writing then turns to an interview with a committed, personal friend of the Founder, a very kind-hearted man who runs a polygamy "personal ads" web-site. The section (above) of this writing, too, gives the reader the implication that somehow this person, Michael Shone, is also "against" the Founder. The quotes about Michael Shone's opposition to the wrong "woman-owning concepts" of polygamy out there were not in disagreement with the Founder either. In fact, Michael Shone and the Founder stand together against the abuses of women ---vehemently so. With love-not-force, there is genuinely deep agreement indeed. In fact, being in so much agreement with the ministry of TruthBearer.org and the message of love-not-force, Michael Shone's web-site of 3Coins.com (which actually started in Spring 1998, not 1996) overtly makes a link to TruthBearer.org on almost every web-page on his site (and the web-site of TruthBearer.org also gladly reciprocates).

Aside from that, though, the writing does end well and in a positive way, for which anyone can certainly and reasonably be grateful.

<><

The audiocassette recording of the 40-minute telephone interview with the Founder of Truthbearer.org, pertaining to the above published article, is being mass produced. For anyone who is interested in obtaining one of these tapes, along with a hard-copy of the above mentioned article as it appeared in the actual November 22, 2001 edition of the Las Vegas Weekly newspaper, please simply send an email to Email@TruthBearer.org.

Final comments:

The ministry of TruthBearer.org web-site is truly and genuinely grateful to Kate Silver and the Las Vegas Weekly newspaper for the truly positive telephone interview which she conducted prior to writing this article, as well as for writing the article itself. Notwithstanding the aforementioned commentaries and clarifications, the interview and the article provided yet another constructive opportunity with which to get out our positive message about TRUE Christian Polygamy, per love-not-force.

For truly, as even the article rightly cited from the Founder...

"'Love not force' is a large part of Christian polygamy".

Amen! Love-not-Force IS what makes it TRUE Christian Polygamy.
Glory to God that that message gets out! Alleluia Hallelujah!

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