Monday, April 07, 2008

Interview with an escaped polygamous daughter and wife.

Possummomma - How do you feel about the raid in El Dorado? Do you have family there?
Jane Doe - I'm feeling emotions I can't describe. I'm relieved that this may end YFZ.
Possummomma - Do you think this will end it for that compound?
Jane Doe - No. They'll come back. If not in Texas then somewhere else...probably in Mexico. Warren taught everyone that we would be chased out of the US.
Possummomma - ...and then he built a temple in Texas?
Jane Doe - Yeah. We were told it was going to be a place to finally give ordinances and official sealings. I guess I was told we would be chased out but the temple would stand in El Dorado as a reminder of where we needed to be.
Possummomma - So do you have family at the compound? Obviously you're not going to name names, but have you heard from your family?
Jane Doe - Yeah I have a lot of family at YFZ...they don't speak to me anymore but I saw my sister and her children on CNN until they blurred out the faces. I have about forty...er...maybe forty-seven relatives there. I really worry about them. I don't think they've even found all the children because I know there've got to be five or six hundred kids there.
Possummomma - 500? Last I saw, they are claiming they've got 400 in custody.
Jane Doe - They don't have all of them then. You have to remember that the compound is thousands of acres and was ready for Armegeddon. They can hide and live well for months.
Possummomma - Now when you say they are prepared for Armegeddon, what does that mean?
Jane Doe - Just that it wouldn't shock me if they could live for years without dependence.
Possummomma - Can you tell us about your childhood? Were you born in polygamy...
Jane Doe - (Interupts) Yes. I was sixth generation plyg'. A fifth generation creeker. I don't know if I was born in the United States. I never asked because that's not a question you ask but I think I was born in Chihuahua.
Possummomma- What do you mean when you say that, "You don't ask."?
Jane Doe - I wasn't even sure which mother was my biological mother until I was ten. I was told that I was born in exhile and I guess I assumed that meant Mexico. My mother was only 19 when I was born as her third daughter. My dad was 63 when I was born. He kept some of his wives in Mexico and some at the Creek.
Possummomma - So, did you go to school? What was your life like as a polygamous daughter?
Jane Doe - I went to school. After eight grade, Warren disallowed any more education...parents could school the kids at home, but we didn't go to the public school anymore. We couldn't go. *pause* We were taught to Keep Sweet and learn obedience over books. The men rule and you don't ask "why?" or you lose your welcome in God's kingdom.
Possummomma - How many siblings did you have?
Jane Doe - I was 28th to my father. There were not many after me... I think there may have been 33 total, me included. We didn't live together so it was hard to track and when I left the numbers were cloudy. Some people I thought were siblings weren't and some who weren't were...you don't understand how blended it gets.
Possummomma - I know this is sensitive, but how old were you when you were married the first time? How old was your husband? How long did you stay, etcetera...
Jane Doe - I was 15 when I was told I was going to marry. *pauses* My intended husband was...middle age...42. He already had two wives which isn't a lot for a guy that age in our group. I tried leaving multiple times and I ended up being counselled by my uncle into staying. I had my son when I was 17. I left the next year. I'm lucky because I have my son. Some girls get trapped with more kids! I left because my sister wives were abusive and my husband allowed it. People don't see that. The men don't have to be physically violent because they have wives who can do it.
Possummomma - Wow. Did your husband fight you for custody?
Jane Doe - He said he would but he wrote me off when I went to live with an aunt and got an attorney. Polygs hate the law if they're not running it. My son has seen his dad once and his sister wives tried to flee with my son and that was that. If I have my way he will never see his father or even know who he is.
Possummomma - Well, I can't say that I blame you for that choice. What do you think will happen with the raid in El Dorado? Do you think the kids will be removed?
Jane Doe - That's hard to say. Permanantly? I woud doubt it. Some of the mothers left willingly I hear and they may stay out if the State helps them stay out. But, you need to understand that some of the women worship their husbands and the principle and they'll not forskae the principle for anything. They can always have more children. Even if you take these there are more souls to be born and that sort of thing. This isn't the only group of polygamists.
Possummomma - Well, I know you're doing other interviews today, but I wanted your thoughts. Thank you for agreeing to do this.
Jane Doe - Thank you for letting me share.

7 comments:

lesliepear said...

Very interesting.

What is YFZ?

James said...

Yearning For Zion. It's the name of the compound that was raided.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

Wow. Just... wow.

Kori said...

Hm, no wonder I don't fit in with teh local churches (predominatley LDS here), because I never did get the hang of keeping sweet. I al ready can't get into their version of heaven because I have been divorced not once but TWICE, and, GASP! am so much better off single! Hm, I am pretty sure they have a special place in hell reserved for people like me....but in all sereiousness, this is just really, really sad and scary to me.

April said...

I think the part that most shocked me was that she didn't even know who her biological mother was until she was 10! This is so heartbreaking, but I'm grateful to her for sharing her story, and grateful to you, P-Momma, for writing about this.

Sunrunner said...

Interesting, frightening, and heartbreaking. I've heard that there's a few women who have granted interviews. Thanks for sharing her story.

Beth said...

That is just messed up.

The trouble with religion, is it can be used to control and justify just about anything.