11 Jan 2009

Call it a cult, a sect, a commune or a religion -- but just don't call it right.

The Winnipeg Sun - Canada
January 11, 2009

Exploited, controlled women

by Martin Hudson | Editorial/Opinion

If marriage is an institution, Winston Blackmore and the men of Bountiful are running the asylum.

Most men, after all, wouldn't want 20 wives, even if it were morally and legally acceptable.

Talk about trouble and strife.

But we'd hazard a guess most Canadians don't waste much time worrying about how Blackmore keeps his harem happy.

That's nothing more than titillation.

It's the other aspects of life in Bountiful that give us pause.

In mainstream Canadian society, self-respecting, strong, independent women wouldn't dream of sharing their man -- or woman, it seems, in these enlightened times. Nor do young women look forward to marrying men old enough to be their father.

Sure it happens -- but by choice.

The women of Bountiful are not open-minded -- in fact, they are very much the opposite.

Canadian girls grow up with unlimited opportunities in both their personal and professional lives.

From our perspective, the women of this sect are being abused and exploited, no matter their apparent willingness to accept this lifestyle.

This acceptance of polygamy is nothing more than the result of a lifetime of brainwashing.

Call it a cult, a sect, a commune or a religion -- but just don't call it right.

Add the children and young adults of Bountiful to the extended mix and it becomes even more disturbing.

We must point out the only charges brought against Blackmore and James Oler involve practising polygamy.

Although there have long been allegations of sexual abuse in Bountiful, numerous investigations have yet to result in any such charges.

Blackmore himself says the very idea of child abuse is disgusting to the relatively isolated community near Creston, B.C.

Yet the fact children are raised under the belief system of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which clearly is as much about lifestyle and society as it is about religion, separates them from the reality and limitless opportunities of being Canadian. Blackmore can claim religious persecution until he's blue in the face, but only a negligent government would turn a blind eye to the goings on in Bountiful.

For the kids' sakes, we're hoping the honeymoons are over.

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