Pt 20-A: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy-On-The-Down-Low
Tom Weston said you can tell
God created people in his own image
because he hates all the same people,
coincidentally, that you do.
(The Christian far-right)
I left off in “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And Polygamy On the Down-Low, Part 19-Z” remarking on a trip I managed to go on with Bill to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1965 — about a year after my trip with Bill and Bruce to Chihuahua City, Mexico.
Although a naïve nineteen-year-old, there I witnessed Bill with his buddy Stephen Silver making what I now know was a hit at the Mariachi Square, famous the world over as a gathering place for homosexuals.
I got sidetracked for a while writing about that “trip.” Now let’s get back to my trip to Chihuahua City, where I got “screwed.” But to add to Bill’s screwing me over, on the way to Bruce’s first wife Juna’s home in Chihuahua City and then back to Bruce’s second wife’s home in Colonia LeBaron, where Bill and I lived, I discovered how much men gossip — even “Saints.”
Right in front of me, while leaving me out of their conversation, these two Mormon-fundamentalist “priesthood holding Saints,” aye Plyg men, talked incessantly about my parents (one of Bill’s three sets of mothers and fathers-in-law) and my family — “The Spencer’s” … Their latest escapades, shenanigans, Spencer bigotry, narrow-mindedness … you name it!
When I attempted to stick up for my family, Bill cut me off with, “You told me …” and he went on from there. In other words, in order to further run me and my family down, my chameleon-faced husband Bill was actually betraying me by telling his buddy Bruce things I had shared with him privately!
It showed me he was ashamed to be married to me, at least when around Bruce — though somehow my uncle’s Joel and Ervil, my mother’s brothers, were good enough for Bill — and Bruce! As mentioned in previous blogs, my husband and Uncle Ervil were best buddies. And Bill was Uncle Ervil’s right-hand man! Go figure! But if you know how Uncle “Evil” Ervil lived, you better understand how ironic all this really was!
However, bully Bruce showed how high class and superior to me he thought he and Billy were when he quipped:
“You can take the girl out of the mountains but you can’t take the mountains out of the girl!” My ears hung, my tears stung. I could’ve shrunk into the seat beside my unsupportive spouse busy cutting ME to shreds by cutting down my family. I felt like the bottom of the barrel at the bargain basement sale!
But the irony is, this is the same Bruce Wakeham who, around 1958, joined my Uncle Joel LeBaron’s Mormon fundamentalist cult and moved himself and his family, including his parents, to the little backward LeBaron colony my maternal grandparents started on land my father and mother left them when, in 1947, my parents returned to live in the United States!
Even more hilarious: A few years after my hay-seed, self-proclaimed “profit” Uncle Joel died, Bruce, himself, was one of a number of Joel’s followers who took up claiming to be the new One-Mighty-and-Strong Prophet to replace Uncle Joel! Now tell me about class and Bruce’s being superior to me and my family!
I realize, now I’m older and wiser, my family and I were scapegoats for Bill and his bisexual buddies and lesbian harems — all big bullies and shams passing for perfect Mormon fundamentalist Saints. In that cult, they passed pretty well. But they were big frogs in a very little LeBaron pond!
When it came to Bill and Bruce making mincemeat out of my family, I realize one thing “eating” little 5.6 ft screwball-Billy with the nine-inch-six-pack-willy was my parents: They were deathly against homosexuality — as if my parents, themselves, were saintly examples in this or any other realm! Trip on that if you will!
Pt 20-B: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy On-The-Down-Low
My parents Esther LeBaron-McDonald and Floyd Otto Spencer
“To describe my mother would be
to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.”
I left off with “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And Polygamy On The Down-Low — Part 20-A.” Let’s now backtrack a few blogs — go back to before I was married to Bill.
I had barely graduated from eighth grade in Hurricane, Utah, in June of 1960, when my parents pulled us up, locks, stocks, shocks, ‘n’ barrels, to move to the desolate Rocky Mountain Range desert enclave Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico to gather with the “Saints” to escape the calamities soon to hit the US. In other words, they believed the Chicken-Little tales that the sky was falling. Armageddon was imminent.
Once in that baron colony, I got no opportunity for further formal education beyond the eighth grade. Nor was I allowed to read, let alone have contact with the outside world in any way, shape, or form. That precluded TV and radio, of course.
In other words, I was cut off from all outside influences. High Tech and other computer technology hadn’t been invented yet, as far as I knew — cut off from “the world,” I would’ve been the last to know.
All that being what it was, had my parents and Uncle Ervil had the integrity to leave things in my own nubile life to take their natural course, I would at least never have been thrown into a marriage where I was deeply in love with a man who (unbeknownst to me and my family) didn’t even believe in Mormonism anymore — let alone polygamy — let alone did he want another wife … let alone would he care about her — let alone did he tell my parents or anyone else what he really valued or believed! Chameleons never do. They do what makes them look and feel best under the circumstances.
The idol of the LeBaron cult and colony, Bill/William Preston Tucker, the man I was pawned off onto, lacked integrity. In plain English, he was two-faced. Known for being a good diplomat, he couldn’t stand confrontation. That means he couldn’t say “No!” So, with social pressure put upon him by my Uncle Ervil, Bill’s best buddy, and by my parents — Bill went ahead and married me, the lesser of two evils — as far as he could see.
Only other bisexuals in the clan, and Uncle Joel, the clan’s prophet, knew the real “Bill”… The real deal … the bisexual Bill — the gay guy who wanted more time for his boyfriends — not more wives. Two was quite enough to keep his wives from knowing where he was and what he was doing at all times.
I mean, having more than one wife was his perfect Plyg ploy for passing as normal or straight while hiding his male sexual sprees he regularly carried on behind our backs — on the down-low.
Pt 20-C: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy On-The-Down-Low
Advice on How to Handle Overt and
Saying “I do not consent” won’t work with narcissists:
They don’t care about boundaries.
They will keep coming at you.
Look up “grey rock,” quietly let authorities know
of the toxic person, and, so you are taken seriously,
allude to the narcissist your willingness
to go to court on grounds of harassment.
Otherwise, ignore the person unless
communication is unavoidable.
Learn not to take the narcissist’s behavior personally.
Keep in mind the overt/ covert narcissist
is a delusional, mentally ill person”
Emphasizing what I said previously in “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And Polygamy On-The-Down-Low — Part 20-B:”
Had Dad, Mom, and her brother Ervil, left me alone, I would’ve had a chance to grow up and learn to think for myself. That’s precisely what they didn’t want. They wanted to use me to their advantage … to run my life as it best suited them.
But they did it in the name of making sure I go to heaven. That is, Mormon fundamentalists believe you have to live polygamy to go to the highest degree of glory. They don’t realize you can’t force anyone to be saved: It doesn’t work that way:
“A person convinced against their will,
Is of the same opinion still.”
My parents and Uncle Ervil should have waited to see if Bill showed interest in me before they pawned me off onto him! They didn’t care. In plural marriage, it’s easy-come-easy-go.
Bill Tucker, like the rest of the single and married men in the LeBaron cult, was attracted to me from the day I arrived there in the colony at age fourteen. Two years later, when Bill and I married, he told me: “I was always in love with you but I didn’t ask to marry you because I thought you were too young!” Yeah, right!
What he didn’t tell was the whole truth: He was gradually and quietly pulling up stakes, preparing to leave the LeBaron cult and colony in the dead of night, burning his bridges behind him, the first chance he got without being caught and killed. Bill Tucker knew too much to be let out alive!
Had things been done properly, I would not have been an adolescent thrown to the wolves in a marriage where the man had both arms twisted till he gave in to taking a plural wife he didn’t want. He didn’t want wife number-three. Two was plenty, thank you! Nevertheless, Uncle Ervil LeBaron was twisting one arm, my parents the other. Worse yet, Bill’s harem didn’t want another wife — at least, not one who wasn’t bisexual — wouldn’t fit into their Big Love nest/fest.
Pt 20-D: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy On-The-Down-Low
“People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a clause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform. Ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.
“The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Green, 1998
Taking up where we left off in “My Memoir: Esther LeBaron McDonald de Spencer — And Polygamy On-The-Down-Low — Part 20-C:
Other than my Honeymoon, a one-day trip to Chihuahua City, Mexico, and a five-day trip to Guadalajara, Mexico — all with my husband Bill — plus a trip up to the mountain town of Nico Las Bravos, Mexico, to visit relatives, from 1960 till 1967 I was pretty much stuck in the little windswept Colonia LeBaron, Mexico, a secluded Chihuahuan mountain desert enclave if ever there was one. I didn’t know Spanish, had a baby, no money, and couldn’t drive. Had no car if I could’ve.
To make matters worse, there were no means of public transportation. I was lucky if I could hop a ride now and then with somebody who lived in the LeBaron colony to go to Casas Grandes, the quite dilapidated — at least in the 1960’s — small Mexican town where our colony members usually shopped for most of their groceries and other needs.
In other words, I was cut off from the outside world and its influences. Our little primitive colony had no indoor plumbing let alone electricity, telephones, telegraphs, newspapers, magazines, schools, libraries … the list gets longer! So it precluded TVs, or any other news or information source, of course, though a few people had radios — a luxury I could not afford.
But, eight months after I was married and sharing a home with Bill’s second wife Lolita, thanks to an old box of magazines and books Serendipity and Synchronicity joined hands to leave on our front porch by way of a disgruntled member — an apostate who fled LeBaron — I found myself with informative and investigative things to read — thanks be to God, my Higher Power!
I was seventeen years old and no longer under the watchful eye of my parents. But even Bill’s other two wives were careful to report me to him if they caught me reading! I was to spend all my time working!
But, before anyone could see what was in the box, I hastily gathered it up and hid the inflammatory material, magazines, and pamphlets. Though I was supposed to burn the “Godsend,” I secretly devoured its contents. Ever a God-fearing, yet intellectual and curious person — a bookworm — I couldn’t resist the temptation! I was hoping it would have answers to some of my probing questions. I wasn’t disappointed.
One book in the box, “The Power Of Positive Thinking,” by Norman Vincent Peale, was a most influential work in my developing the ability to think for myself and to see through things such as the fallacies of polygamy — though common sense helped me see through that anyway. But Peale’s work created the means of a breakthrough for me.
Along with Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy, my husband Bill Tucker’s influence and input, and my own experiences and reasoning, at age 17, Dr. Peale helped me to see through the glittering generalities and other mumbo-jumbo of mind-controlling religions.
He taught me how to put into down-to-earth terms scriptural verses, catchphrases, and other terminologies and clichés religions and cults commonly use to control their followers and keep them brainwashed and fearful.
I’ve forgotten more than I ever knew in this area — threw it out with the bathwater when I flew the coop and fled the cult. So, 55 years later, I’m unable to come up with a good example of what I’m talking about. Soon as I think of one, I’ll clarify what I mean.
But another wonderful bonus that came from reading Dr. Peale’s book is he taught me how to overcome my worst problems: Shyness and fear of talking to people — other than my immediate family. His book taught me how to face my fears and overcome them! Before his “blessing” arrived on my doorstep, I was a teenager and still unable to go knock on the door of even an aunt I really wanted to visit! And I would even cross the street so I wouldn’t have to say “Hi” to my own cousins! That’s how timid and bashful I was. People used to tell me the cat had my tongue.
But getting back to Colonia LeBaron in 1963 — back to where I was before I sprouted wings and flew over the prison walls that bound me — after four years of watching for my chance, a loophole opened where I could finally escape the LeBaron cult, Mormonism — and all other cults that have presented themselves ever since.
The “cult of doubt and disbelief” is the only one I have not been able to fully escape since then. But after 40 years of “wandering in the wilderness” literally, I’ve finally gathered enough input and information to know that, among other things, making no choice is also a choice, as is indecision.
So I’ve chosen to “Let go and let God.” That is, some years ago, I finally realized that fear of believing in something (for fear another cult would be able to overtake me) was actually a “cult of fear.” I’m happy to say that now I have finally been able to regain a spiritual basis.
For example, I now acknowledge there is some kind of hereafter, Life is the “College of Hard Knocks,” and when opportunity knocks, answer! I believe we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, we have probably lived many lifetimes — and will continue on where we leave off in this life.
To my credit, within five months of escaping polygamy and Mormonism in 1967, I realized the philosopher Ayn Rand, herself, was a cult leader! She was my husband Bill Tucker’s new-found philosophical leader, shortly before he died — your philosophy of life being your religion.
Although my husband hadn’t seen it before he died at age 31, I, at age 21, was able to comprehend the above and to also see that Ayn Rand and other atheists had no more proof that God does not exist than religious people have proof God does exist. Quite a conundrum? I’ll leave you this yummy-gummy gumdrop to chew on till I come up with new dewdrops containing more oxymorons to gum up your reasoning. LOL!
Pretty City Chick
By Stephany Spencer
Dearest friends and fans, please note:
This “sorta” silly song I wrote
Is half-finished so I won’t gloat —
And pray my poem won’t get your goat.
But it’s late — my blog’s due “mañana.”
If you check this song later on … uh …
You may find it partly “re-wrote.”
It needs work,” is my last quote.
Even so, enjoy what I wrote,
As I humorously emote:
Pretty City Chick
NOTE: The following is a tongue-in-cheek song I wrote:
Hi! I’m a Hack Who’s
Written a Hit
Called “Pretty City chick,”
A Hee-ha Comedy Song —
A Bit o’ Bio in Verse,
For Better or Worse —
With Truth ‘n’ Exaggeration
Hey, they say I’m a pretty city chick
And Hillbilly music makes some sick;
But my Hillbilly ways are here to stick,
So you may as well get over it —
And join in ’n’ sing a bit,
‘Cause I’m a city chick
And shit-kickin’ music is my shtick.
Born in Mexican sticks in 1946.
I’ve dual citizenship,
And that’s pretty hip —
And now I’m a city chick.
I’m an all-American-mongrel,
Apple-pie girl —
A Hines-57 mixed-up mutt,
With apple pie stickin’ to my gut ’n’ butt;
But red-necked reactionary ignoramuses
Ain’t my thing.
I’m here for music and to sing!
Yeah, I’m an All-American-Mexican,
With Welch ’n’ English,
So sure, I’m a Brit,
With French, German,
And Mohawk Indian a bit.
If there’s no Tom Slick hidin’ in the pit,
Far as I know, that’s about it —
That‘s my story
And I’m “shitickin” to it!
My father was a proud Veteran
Of World War I.
Those Vets were well-appreciated
For what they’d done!
Pa was an artist, creative,
Master of a few —
Good at so many things,
There seemed little he couldn’t do.
Ma was a creative, author,
And artist, thru ’n’ thru;
Trained concert pianist — Whew!
She loved to discuss religious principles
And read religious Lit, old ’n’ new —
Long as it agreed with
What she already “knew.”
She graduated with a BA
In Journalism too;
Quite an accomplishment
‘Cause Ma was sixty-two!
She was runnin’ me competition then,
For I was still in College too,
Strugglin’ to make it up
From the cult she’d put me thru …
If she only knew!
But her motto was:
“Anything you can do,
I can do better;
I can do anything better than you!”
(And she meant it too!)
Hey, they call me a pretty city chick,
But Hillbilly music is my “shtick,”
And my Hillbilly ways are here to stick;
So you may as well “git” over it
And join in ‘n’ sing a bit
With this pretty city chick,
‘Cause shit-kickin’ music is my shtick.
Born in Mexican sticks in 1946,
I’ve dual citizenship
And that’s pretty hip.
Well, that’s my story
And I’m “shtickin’ ” to it:
“I’m a pretty city chick.”
*The following is an iPhone video of me in 2017 at age 71 performing the above lyrics at the California Writers Club — fifty years after escaping polygamy & Mormon fundamentalism. It’s a standup-comedy song I wrote called “I’m a Hit.” I recently “re-writ” part of it and renamed it “Pretty City-Chick”:
Pt 20-E: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy On-The-Down-Low
“You have to have standards,
no matter how low!”
Picking up from the previous blog, “Part 20-D: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy On-The-Down-Low:“
Previously, I said William Preston Tucker/ AKA: Bill, the 26-year-old polygamist I was pawned off on, was commonly two-faced. It was too important for him to be liked. In order to be liked, he couldn’t possibly let people know how he felt, what he really believed, and who and what he actually was — for example, gay/ bisexual, and a nonbeliever. If the “True believing” orthodox Mormons knew this stuff, Bill would have been run out of the cult and colony on a steel rail, with one up his ass!!
But duplicitous Bill worked amazingly well the trusting crowd of naïve sect followers. His charisma, good diplomacy, and clever deceptions were only outdone by his charm, cunning cons, mastery of the Scriptures — and his good looks and lies.
Part of Bill’s above package was he couldn’t stand confrontation. That means he couldn’t say “No.” So when push came to shove, he caved in to all the arm-twisting and married adolescent me though he didn’t really want me. But there were perks in it for him, some of which I mentioned in earlier blogs.
I didn’t mention that my Uncle Ervil LeBaron convinced his buddy Bill one perk to having a third wife was it would help him handle his first two waring wives. Bill told me, soon after we were married, they fought like cats and dogs! Well, marrying me certainly solved that problem. I was such a threat to Bill’s first two wives, they quickly bonded and banded together to keep him away from me! That’s a story in itself.
But getting back to where I left off a few blogs back saying Mummy, besides sneaking into my diary, reading that I was in love with Bill Tucker, and then falsely claiming she’d had a revelation I was to marry him, further exhibited lack of integrity by incessantly preaching and promoting “The glorious principle of holy matrimony;” i.e., “Plural Marriage” — though she could not live this “holy principle” herself! Not much anyway. But, again, what’s new? She often didn’t practice what she preached. (Sorry, all you Esther-idolizers.)
Yes, this fearful, fanatic Mormon fundamentalist preached and wrote numerous articles teaching the glories and importance of living the law of plural marriage as if she were an authority on it, though almost everything she had to say about it was hearsay!
As far back as I can remember, she incessantly discussed with others “The Principle” — Joseph Smith’s mandate to live polygamy or be banned from the highest degree of glory in heaven. It was a typical topic among intellectual well-meaning orthodox Mormons.
But Mother led all the rest when it came to pushing polygamy — other than perhaps Rhea Kunz, a well-known independent Mormon fundamentalist in my time. She was my Aunt Charlotte Kunz LeBaron’s mother — my Uncle Verlan LeBaron’s mother-in-law … one of his many mothers-in-law: He had ten wives.
It’s a blast from the past to remember jealous Ma and zealous Rhea exuberantly and fervently going on and ON about the virtues and principles of polygamy. In fact, Rhea had designs on becoming my father’s plural wife! But Daddy couldn’t stand strong, outspoken women who “wore the pants.” So in no time, Daddy, with his razor-sharp tongue, put intellectual and scholarly Rhea in her place and sent her packing. Mother was SO relieved she didn’t have to share her husband with her cohort Rhea!
Nonetheless, Mother ever and always worked overtime to get her kids, converts, and others to live “The highest and most heavenly, God-given principle of Polygamy,” as well as “The the law of Chastity” … all the while not living either, herself. But people didn’t notice she was not living “The Principle” — only talking about it! Far less did they know she wasn’t living The Law of Chastity either!
My twin sisters, who shared the common wall between our parents’ bedroom and their’s, told me they regularly heard springs squeaking and squawking — and other “squeaks and squawks” going on at night in Ma and Pa’s sanctuary, though Mother was pregnant or nursing. And when wasn’t she pregnant during the whole 22 years she was married to Pa before he died at about age 69?! To cut her some slack, though,
Yet, when wasn’t she pregnant or nursing during the whole 22 years she was married to Pa before he died at about age 70?! To cut her some slack, though, perhaps she was but constantly procrastinating when it came to practicing what she preached.
To defend her “spring-squawking,” she told me (when I was around 20 years old): “Beulah, when a woman is a man’s only wife, she’s obligated to break The Law of Chastity, as the lesser of two evils. Because if a man doesn’t have sex regularly, he can become impotent and then not be able to have any more children. That would be terrible! One of the advantages to polygamy” she continued “is a woman can more easily abide by ‘The Law of Chastity,’ and doesn’t have to have sex as often!”
She made sex sound like an evil ordeal to be endured — all the while getting her fair share of it, it appears, with her old man 26 years her senior. (Once, after I was married, she told me, “Your pa seems mean and gruff but he is so kind and tender when we are all alone together in bed at night.)
Wow! You can bet Mama sure never preached nor wrote about that stuff in her severe sermons to others on living “The Law of Chastity.”
To repeat what I’ve said in previous blogs, living “The Law of Chastity” includes having sex only while fully clothed in your white Temple garments and ONLY, and I mean ONLY to get the female pregnant!! To enjoy it even then is considered unspiritual, lustful, and lecherous! (Talk about obsessive-compulsive, perfectionistic, control-freak thinking!)
Rhea Kunz also got off on incessantly and piously preaching The Law of Holy Matrimony and The Law of Chastity. This stalwart sanctimonious fanatic even wrote rather virulent books and pamphlets on these subjects as if she were some great saintly leader and the perfect female example who stood above all the rest of us when it came to living plural marriage and all the other “righteous” principles of early Mormonism.
But, like Mother, Rhea also never married into polygamy again after her polygamous marriage went on the rocks, even though living polygamy and the law of chastity were the hallmarks of a good, faithful, high-standing Mormon fundamentalist!
What it boils down to is Ma and Rhea said one thing, did another: They were great windbags — big frogs, in a little pond, that intimidated and worried all the rest.
They told others how to live but were all talk; not examples. Still, people looked up to them, revered them — and yearned to have their “calling and election made sure” the way Mother claimed she had hers made sure!
In other words, Mother went around telling people in the cult that she knew for sure she was going to the highest degree of glory when she died! And people believed her! (Can you believe that?!) Well, these people believed Joel LeBaron was “the one mighty and strong prophet.” And Mother was his sister. So in their eyes, she was practically a prophet!
Even so, neither Mother nor Rhea were living “Celestial Marriage,” the very thing they were preaching to everyone else they had to live in order to have their “Callings and Elections” made sure. Is there a message here or what? People, wake up!
Psychologists say what people talk most about is what they most want to cover up. They are smoke-screening — hiding their shadow-self … what they are most ashamed of or guilty of … what they cannot deal with in themselves and don’t want others to know about or see.
So, though Mama held herself as more righteous and holy, above all others, and the leader of God’s chosen handful of faithful women, she remained monogamous in her around twenty-two-year marriage to Papa … except for her first six months (As written about in previous blogs, Poppy’s first wife left him six months after he took Mummy as his plural wife). Was there a double standard in Mormon fundamentalism or what?
But, let it be noted, during Mummy’s adult life, though she was too jealous to endure Poppy taking a plural wife, she definitely did “endure” being a plural wife to other women’s husbands — though none of these flirtations or marriages ever lasted long.
For example, in her early 20s, before she met Poppy, she dated polygamist Rulon Jeffs, the now-infamous Warren Jeffs’ father!! One of my sisters once quipped, “He could’ve been our brother by a different mother!”
Some years after Poppy died, Mommy had a short-lived plural marriage as secret second wife to LDS Mormon Mel Orchard — another windbag like herself. (Mel’s LDS Mormon legal wife did not know about this polygamous wife her husband had taken!) After that illicit liaison failed, Mother joined Rev. Moon’s family and cult, “The Moonies.” More on that in next week’s blog.
Pt 20-F: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy on-the-down-low
Notes from a Chat Site:
“Narcissists make me melt down and cry like a child.
It is a remarkable trick Narcissists pull.
They are petty and acquisitive — and have no scruples.
They value themselves by how much they can
steal from someone else through cunning, manipulation,
or simply believing they are entitled:
‘What is mine is mine; what is yours is mine.’
They get you to give up the goods with
some very clever lies and manipulations.
They are conmen, plain and simple.
Sooner or later, inconsistencies emerge,
but even the most educated mind can be towed under.
I have reached for help, and there is never anyone there.”
Taking up from my last blog, My Memoir: Part 20-E: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy On-The-Down-Low:”
When my amazing Mummy became disillusioned with her brother Joel LeBaron’s Mormon fundamentalist cult and Mormonism too, she and my sister Mary joined Rev. Moon’s organization for some time. Mary told me: Mumma even married Rev. Moon as one of his wives.
Later on, both Mummy and Mary left The Moon Organization — The Unification Church. That took some doing! But after that, Mummy was a desperate dummy: She returned to the doomsday Messianic Mormon cult in which her brother Joel LeBaron had been “The One Mighty and Strong” prophet. But Joel had died years earlier. I guess she’d had another one of her revelations? Or was waiting for “the prophet Joel’s” successor? Or a “successor” Mummy could believe in had laid claim to the position by then. I was long gone so don’t know all the details.
I only know how difficult it is to have nothing but the abyss to wake up to every morning because you have lost your faith, direction, and purpose — your explanation that gives meaning to life. This helps explain why, historically, most people, when they leave one cult, end up in another.
In a world where we don’t know where we came from, why we are here, or where we’re going, desperate people do desperate things. At best, we prove who we are by who we are not. For example, “We are God’s chosen people,” so we are not “the wicked world.” Or: “We are Christians so we are saved “– and so on and so forth.
My sister Judas (pseudonym) who died in 2012 at age sixty-four due to a brain tumor and ALS (ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – Signs and Symptoms | Muscular …), was never one to mince words. She explained Mummy thus: Though quite gifted intellectually, somewhere along the line, all Mother’s marbles rolled to one side and got stuck … never again to get unstuck!
Judas, herself, had joined the LDS or mainstream Mormon church a number of years after she and her husband Hector Spencer* left the LeBaron cult and Mormon fundamentalism. Her marriage to Hec, when she was 18 and he around 42, started out as a polygamous marriage — again, totally orchestrated by Mother.
That’s one of the problems with religious polygamy: It leads to manipulating especially the young girls’ lives because they become pawns in a huge power play whenever men can have more than one wife — not to mention, it leaves no wives for the young men in the cult. They, too, are pawns in the hands of the authoritarian, totalitarian, theocratic leaders: Sadly, they’re often simply used to help support their father’s many wives and children!
Mother had good qualities. But her belief in Mormon fundamentalism and her weakness for wanting popularity and power, coupled with the faults and temptations inherent in mandated polygamy, taught her to believe she was doing God, her daughters, and the priesthood holders a great service when she placed them — her ten bright, beautiful, talented young daughters — as polygamous wives with the most prestigious men in the cult, namely older married men she liked and wanted to please and gain favor with.
However, Judas’s marriage she arranged with Hector, so he could enter “The Principle,” soon became monogamous: His first wife, a mainstream LDS Mormon, divorced him immediately when she discovered he’d secretly taken a plural wife — 24 years his junior, no less! What’s worse, he couldn’t even support her and her children worth a darn, let alone a plural wife and her children.
Judas and Hec’s marriage lasted about twenty-three years before it crumbled: Judas had begun to rove. Around age 40, she fell in love with and married her Mormon boss, owner of a successful Real Estate business in southern Utah. At 56, he was fifteen years her senior. “But he’s young in comparison to ‘that old bag-of-bones’ Hector,” she told me. “Hec’s going on 66 now!“
To add to the drama, her new husband left his first wife — though they had been married in the Mormon Temple — to marry Judas in the Mormon temple! (Talk about a marriage made on earth!)
Let’s tell it for what it was: My sister Judas took another woman’s husband, whatever the justification. And, of course, she couldn’t do it alone. All’s fair in love and war? But being raised in orthodox Mormonism certainly affects one’s values and actions, even after one has “escaped polygamy” — as in the case of my sister Judas — the perennial Judas. But she explained it thus: “My marriage to Hector was arranged. I was never really in love with him. But I definitely experienced true love in my second marriage!”
As for my now-deceased sister Mary Spencer, she was married at the tender age of 15 as the second or plural wife of a much older man, Siegfried Widmar — another catastrophic polygamous marriage arranged by Mother, although Daddy may have colluded.
But Siegfried totally abandoned my sister Mary and their three darling little sons when she became ill with a life-threatening bone marrow disease brought on by radiation poisoning due to fallout from the H-bomb testing, tests that took place in the Nevada Flats area close to where my family lived in St. George, Utah when Mary was a baby.*
As regularly happens with polygamous marriages where the plural wife was a freebie, deprived and poorly educated child-bride Mary was left to raise her three little boys all by herself.* No financial support whatsoever came from Sigfried! What’s worse, he never even visited his precious fatherless sons when in the United States — where Mary fled after she left the Mexico LeBaron cult!
Once again: Whenever there is an abundance of something, it’s not much appreciated — an abundance of wives and children, in this case. (By this time, I don’t know how many more wives and children Sigfried had acquired. He was an important man in the cult. He had even become the leader of one of the cults that split off from Joel’s sect after Joel was killed by his competitive brother Ervil!)
Mary told me even our own mother became a plural wife (for a while) of HER ex-husband, Siegfried — despite how “Sig,” her Ex-son-in-law, had abused and abandoned her/Mary and her three sons/ Mumma’s grandsons!! (Polygamy breaks down all barriers and boundaries, in some people, in the name of “having a priesthood head,” if you’re a woman.)
Sadly, Mary died alone in a Utah hospital of cervical cancer on October 6, 2017, one month before her sixty-ninth birthday. The last I knew, she was a fervent follower of Marianne Williamson.
- Hector Spencer was the Bishop of the LDS Mormon Church in Colonia Dublan when he left the mainstream Mormon church to join the LeBaron cult around 1964. He was close to Mother’s age and was one of the pals Mother and her brothers grew up with there in the Mexican Mormon colonies.)
- Mother proudly left Mary outside in her baby carriage so she could watch the radiation clouds from the H-bomb tests as they floated overhead because we people living in the area had been propagandized to believe we were lucky to get to see history in the making — lucky to be living in the area where we could see these radiation clouds passing overhead!
As it turns out, “these lovely clouds” were radiating all the grass and alfalfa the cows and goats ate — among other foods and things — later to be passed on into the milk and milk products babies and others ate. (We are what we eat ate.)
Check out this radiation-poisoning of the people in our area that started, say some, in 1951 (some articles I read say it started at least by 1945 — and I believe that is more like it):
- DOWNWIND FROM THE BOMB – The New York Times
- I believe Mary was around 19 or 20 years old when Siegfried dumped her and her/his three little boys. At the time, Mary was lucky if she had five years of formal education. It’s amazing, therefore, what my sister survived and achieved in the years to come, despite her life of abuse, poverty, deprivation, illness, heartaches, and more.
** NOTE: The following Essay by blogger Bruce Holt posted here by permission:
The BITE model: The specific methods that cults use to recruit and maintain control over people.
“B”: Behavior Control
- Promote dependence and obedience
- Modify behavior with rewards and punishments
- Dictate where and with whom you live
- Restrict or control sexuality
- Control clothing and hairstyle
- Regulate what and how much you eat and drink
- Deprive you of seven to nine hours of sleep
- Exploit you financially
- Restrict leisure time and activities
- Require you to seek permission for major decisions
To me, a former member of the LDS Church, these are self-evident. To a current member, they may not be so evident. Why? Confirmation bias. Obedience to authority, depending on authority for the current word of God, behaving in accordance with proscribed actions, paying tithes and generous offerings in order to receive anticipated rewards (blessings, status, ability to participate in ordinances not available to those who don’t), sexuality (including modes of dress, abstinence until marriage, heterosexual only, personal arousal, etc.), “busy work” (Ministering – formerly Home/Visiting Teaching), time-consuming callings and assignments, recommendation to date and marry within the Church, Word of Wisdom, etc.
These are methods to control behavior! Period!
Members will protest, saying they choose these things and are not forced. However, each of these things has a reward, if they are chosen, meaning they ARE, absolutely, forms of control! Sure, one does not have to follow or comply with these things, but where does that leave this member? What will happen? Will he/she be left alone?
If they are noticed, no (have you ever attended a Ward Council meeting??)!
This is behavior control, pure and simple.
Thoughts Pro/Con? Please comment!
My Memoir: Pt 20-G, Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy Parasites
“Everything can be taken
from a person but one thing:
The last of the human freedoms –
to choose one’s attitude
in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.
“Man’s Search for Meaning”
Continuing where we left off in “Pt 20-F, Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy Parasites,” it bears repeating what I said in an earlier blog: It’s reprehensible that Mormon fundamentalist dogma encourages women to intrude upon established marriages and break them up, all in the name of “living a higher law” — as 22-year-old Mother inadvertently did, though she thought she was doing right — doing what God wanted when she fell for 48-year-old mainstream Mormon Pa who was already married and had going-on eleven children with his wife Eva who did not want to live polygamy!
In other words, Mormon fundamentalist doctrine encourages adultery: It encourages a woman to go after the married man she’s attracted to in the name of “a higher law” — “The celestial law of marriage” — though he is another woman’s “Contracted Property.” Orthodox Mormon thought: God’s laws supersede man’s laws. I say, what a bunch of bull pucky!! But what can you expect fairly illiterate Mormon male self-proclaimed “profits” to teach and prophesy when fundamentalism is all about power?
Polygamy simply creates disorganization, lawlessness, and laws onto themselves; i.e., havoc in the social order in the name of God! It encourages men to womanize and women to “man-ize;” — to seduce a married man to have and to share as her husband in the name of “celestial marriage.”
But these Mormon fundamentalist women are usually thinking like monogamists. In other words, due to human nature, there is inbuilt and immediate competition: These women are generally hoping and working to be the man’s favorite wife … the one he spends most of his time with — all the while wishing they were his only wife.
Glittering generalities (e.g., Celestial Marriage) aside, in the end, “Celestial Marriage” or polygamy — commonly called “eternal marriage” in Mormon fundamentalism — is literally “Telestial marriage” — or Hell on earth!
Religious polygamy opens the door to disorganization, rampant lechery, waywardness, lawlessness –– not Godliness — and encourages women to be the natural predators they already biologically are when not hemmed in by law, religion, good sense, and social pressure.
Example: One of my nine sisters has married and dropped at least nineteen different polygamist men since she was an adolescent. Her first marriage was arranged by my parents when she was only around 16 years old. The rest is history.
She was very offended when I told her it sounded to me like legalized prostitution! She told me and her kids that she was (paraphrased): “Just teaching those men a lesson! I showed other polygamist women how to stand up for themselves against husbands who don’t treat their plural wives right!”
One of her sons added, “My mom sure kicked ass down there in the LeBaron colony! By leaving each husband when they didn’t do right by her, she sure taught those men a thing or two!”
If she had been married to all of those men at the same time, she would really have taught them “a thing or three;” that is, an even a greater lesson — a real honest-to-god lesson about what it’s like to be mistreated as a polygamist’s wife!
But one reason women don’t have harems is they’d, more likely than not, have a lot of men to clean up after, serve, and cook for rather than just one. I saw a comic strip on Facebook where a woman had come home from work to find all five of her husbands sitting on the couch raucously watching sports on TV while gobbling bags of popcorn. “Whose turn was it to take out the garbage today?!” She cried disgustedly. “It’s spilling all over the garage floor!”
I’m sad and ashamed to say my serial-polygamist sister has children fathered by at least three different fathers — though her first two husbands left her by default, thanks to polygamy and its inherent faults — including male irresponsibility. But that still does not smooth over her lifestyle-choices that suffer for lack of good values, education, and intellectual insight.
It seems she was unable to take into account the law of cause-and-effect and other down-to-earth concepts. She was too busy with irrational up-in-the-sky concepts; i.e., sacrificing for the hereafter! I mean, anything’s okay in Mormon fundamentalism if it’s done in the name of living The “holy matrimonial law of polygamy” … so as to bear many children for God’s kingdom.
Pt 20-H: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy Parasites
Listen on YouTube to my Aunt Irene (Kunz-LeBaron) Spencer’s half-sister, my aunt-in-law Rebecca Kunz Kimbel’s outstanding interview of Author Ed Kociela who wrote two excellent books I recommend: “Plygs,” and “Plygs 2.”*
Till we learn from past mistakes,
we’re bound to repeat them
and pass them on to our progeny ad infinitum
in the form of bizarre institutions,
miscreant behavior, myths, and misconceptions.
I left off in “Pt 20-G: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy Parasites” relating how one of my nine sisters has children fathered by at least three different husbands — though her first two left her by default, thanks to polygamy, its inherent negligence, delinquency, derelicts — and easy-come-easy-go plural wives.
But that still doesn’t smooth over my sister’s lifestyle choices that suffer for lack of good values, education, logical thinking — and learning from past mistakes.
As said before, it seems she was unable to take into account the law of cause-and-effect and other down-to-earth concepts. She was too busy living for irrational up-in-the-sky concepts — too busy sacrificing for the hereafter.
I mean, anything’s okay in Mormon fundamentalism if it’s done in the name of living “The holy matrimonial law of polygamy.” It comes first and foremost — and above all else, because J. Smith said living celestial marriage was our ticket to heaven — the highest degree of glory. (See Doctrine and Covenants, Section 132 — Mormon Scriptures: Revelation, 12 July 1843 [D&C 132], Page 1 – The Joseph Smith Papers)
Out in the wicked world, people would generally consider my sister White trash; i.e., living an illiterate lifestyle wherein underclass people follow their whims rather than use forbearance, common sense, and rational reasoning before they make serious life-leaps. But, unfortunately, you can expect most any dastardly lifestyle and bizarre behavior when it comes to cults.
In my sister’s case, after each divorce, she continued to seek a new, attractive, already married Plyg, never seeing nor accepting polygamy would never work because it was not right! — despite what Joe Smith said!
But my Sis also kept remarrying for the usual: Love, loneliness, sex — and always thinking the next marriage would work … And because she needed financial support, help, and a father for her kids.
She kept remarrying, too, because she was brainwashed, fearful, hardheaded, not well-educated, even less well-read … and a follower, not a deep thinker. Therefore, she couldn’t see past what had been instilled in her growing up in the authoritarian theocracy of Mormon orthodoxy: “Women can only go to heaven on their husband’s coattails.”
My sister probably thought: If I don’t have a husband, how in hell can I make it to heaven?!? That is, how could she hitch a ride to heaven if she had no husband’s coattails to sail there on?!*
So, for this one of my parents’ ten girls, it was try, try, try again … and again … and again … and again … and again … and again ... ad infinitum! But never give in. Never give up trying to “Do what’s right.” If anything, the Mormon fundamentalist motto is: Do what is right — or die trying!
One wonders if she was bullheaded, dull, sociopathic, crazy, inconsiderate, horny, helpless, lonely, … or what!? Or simply a brain-dead, misled, sadomasochistic-glutton for punishment — and a foot-washing, fanatic Mormon cult member putting into practice Joe Smith and Brig Young’s commandment to “Live polygyny or be damned!”
Never mind that living religious polygyny/polygamy in the here-and-now dumps one into a hell on earth “here-and-now”!! That is, one doesn’t have to wait till “The Hereafter” to go to hell if one chooses not to live “Plural Marriage” so as to raise up lots of little kids for the glory and power of the self-proclaimed “Profit.”
But what about her kids?! How did it affect her babies when their mother married then divorced so many different “daddies”? Go figure! Polygamy leads to Hell here and Hell hereafter.
According to early self-proclaimed Mormon Prophets, you are doomed to suffer eternal Hell in the hereafter if you do not live plural marriage in the here-and-now … the “Herebefore”! But then they add, “Plural marriage will damn more than it will save.” Well, you’re Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!
~Those damned self-proclaimed “profits”
Have you by the horns in fits,
coming and going,
Turned upside down by the balls,
Strung out ‘n’ crowing!
*NOTE: See YouTube for super discussions between Ex-Mormon- fundamentalist-turned-Producer Rebecca Kimbel (my aunt) and Ed Kociela, outstanding Author, Journalist, and expert on Mormon fundamentalists.
The Following is a Spoof on Mormonism/Mormon Fundamentalism
Pt 20-I: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy on Parade
“When fear rules,
Obedience is the only
“God Help the Child”
My parents, though trying prodigiously to do what was right, foolishly spawned a bunch of foot-washing fundamentalist children bound by fear and preposterous polygamy propaganda.
Example: Continuing with the expose of how one sister was affected by this Mormon fundamentalist dogma, I asked her why she dropped each “husband” — that is, those that hadn’t dropped her first. Her innocent, non-introspective response was:
“Because they didn’t treat me right, weren’t living polygamy right … and weren’t hard workers like Daddy — couldn’t compare to him. Therefore, I was smart to leave them. It taught them a lesson: They couldn’t get away with neglecting me and not supporting me and my children. Then, of course, I had to remarry: Women are supposed to have a husband as their head, their priesthood leader.”
She never could see that living polygamy “right” is wrong. Because living religious polygamy, itself, IS WRONG. It enslaves women, for starters. It’s a Satanic utopian ideal built on some male “profit’s” foolish, selfish, testosterone-based fantasy.
I say: Wake up, Sister, before another Mister makes you mother of yet another brother or sister by yet another Mister … who’s also “not like your father”!
The law of cause-and-effect screams, “If you touch a hot stove and it burns you, stop touching the damn thing! Back off!! The burn is obviously telling you you’re doing something wrong! So stop it!!”
Cult brainwashing demolishes people’s better judgment. It causes them to mistrust their own inner voice, to live in fear, and to follow their leader — their prophet, ignoring outward signs that what they’re doing is a mistake.
I call my sister’s “sleeping around” simply legalized prostitution — the ability and “right” to proposition any married or single man she wants as her next husband. What’s worse, in her brand of polygamy, the guy believes he can’t refuse! Nor does a man’s other wives usually have a say in it. What a great way to break down family life and ties, trust, and the sacredness of holy matrimony!
One way my sister courted a new mister was to simply ask him over to repair her plumbing — literally! And to sip ‘n’ sup a bit, afterward, as reward and enticement toward acquiring her latest heartthrob or male object/ husband.
I’m told it didn’t matter if the man she was chasing had a pregnant wife at home almost on the delivery table who desperately needed him by her side. Nothing mattered but living polygamy — i.e., “getting her plumbing serviced.”
An orthodox Mormon man usually did not turn down a needy “woman in distress.” Men usually don’t — especially would-be White Knights in shining armor — especially if polygamy’s “the law”!
And get this: My Sis says, “I know I’m pretty. I don’t care how his other wives feel when I go after their husband. My having a husband and living plural marriage comes first.” This almost smells of sociopathy: She’s taking care of herself and “Screw the rest!”
And why should she care about other women? In polygamy, they are her competition. It’s not supposed to be the case in that belief system, but it is because she’s human: “The other women” get in her way when it comes to happiness and having her needs fulfilled.
Or, to look at it from a social-psychological viewpoint, perhaps she never got Daddy all to herself, as a little girl. By going after another woman’s husband, she’s simply subconsciously still trying to win her Dad from her mother (“the other woman”) when she goes after another person’s “Pa.”
Be all these conjectures what they may, the last I knew, she never caught on … never bothered to catch on how to check out, before she took on her next “husband,” whether the new hunk was going to work out — going to “treat her right” — though she married wrong! (But how do we even know she treated him right?)
Pt 20-J: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy on Parade
People see what they want to see,
believe what they want to believe;
It’s impossible to reason
with an irrational person.
I left off in “Pt 20-I: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy on Parade” saying in the cult I came from, a Mormon fundamentalist man usually did not turn down a needy “woman in distress” — if she asked him to marry her. Most men usually don’t. Especially would-be Mormon White Knights in shining armor — especially if polygamy is “the law;” i.e., part of their religious tenets!
This is only one example of how the foot-washing, stoic, three-ring circus of “The Law of Celestial Marriage” works — The “BED-lam” Joe Smith and Brig Young spawned in this helluva world. I’ve coined their so-called “Celestial Law” The Lawless Law of Telestial Marriage: The orthodox Mormon law that undoes what it took civilization 2000 years to build!
It’s barbaric, deplorable, and inexcusable that any religion could teach doctrines that break up marriages, families, and civilized life — and create laws that leave the wife broken-hearted, betrayed, her home downtrodden, and her life and that of her kids smashed to smithereens.
Often, as said previously, thanks to the numerous problems involved in trying to live polygamy, children are all too often left to grow up fatherless. And the wife is forced to be both mother and father to her huge family of small kids – a sure way to instigate misery, poverty, deprivation — and the perfect recipe for under-class living.
As mentioned before, this is what happened in my father’s case. His oldest children still at home and even his Jr-High-age children had to quit school and go to work to help support Daddy’s abandoned family. His betrayed wife Eva had to leave the home and become a minimum-wage-earner.
He had 11 children with Eva. They ranged from 23 years of age to an infant not quite two months old When Eva divorced Daddy six months after he married my mother as his plural wife.
Who was left to tend the house and babies? The older children, of course. They had to play mama to the younger ones — had to grow up too fast in order to take on the responsibilities of premature homemakers. That’s what happened! Unfortunately, all of the above is a typical scenario most broken FLDS families endure, thanks to Mormon plural-marriage doctrines.
I’m not proud of what my sister and others like her do/did. I’m sad and chagrined that my brainwashed young Mother unknowingly and unwittingly had a part in the dire loss, suffering, and hell Daddy’s first wife and children went through, quadrupled by the fact they grew up without a father — if only because Daddy’s first wife couldn’t endure the pain of abuse, betrayal, and polygamy.
Unfortunately, it was part of Mother’s fundamentalist Mormon upbringing to break up marriages and leave behind a trail of tears and destruction. Of course, these stoic masochists never consider it “breaking up marriages.” They consider it “following God’s Commandments and putting ‘doing what’s right’ above all else”– because “the more you suffer the greater your rewards in heaven.”
Bear in mind most of those brainwashed to believe in polygamy wouldn’t possibly live this lifestyle if their “profit” J. Smith hadn’t Commanded it. And if they didn’t believe their salvation depended on it, come hell or high water. (See Mormon scriptures: Revelation, 12 July 1843 [D&C 132], Page 1 – The Joseph Smith Papers
Nevertheless, Mother, though she wouldn’t admit it to herself, could never stand to have done to her what she did to others: Caught between a rock and a hard spot, she never practiced polygamy with Father — except in the first six months of marriage as Father’s plural wife before Eva divorced him.
In their following 22 years of marriage after Eva left, Mother probably always intended to practice plural marriage once more but she procrastinated so never had to further endure living this dire law with Pa.
He married Mama in around 1943 as his second wife, his attempt to have a harem in order to follow his Prophet Joseph Smith’s commandment to live polygamy or be damned. But Mama soon ended up Papa’s only wife, just as he soon ended up monogamous again.
So it bears repeating: Mama never practiced what she preached and believed. She couldn’t — especially when it came to “practicing polygamy:” She never lived Plural Marriage with Papa the twenty-two years she had him all to herself. She just talked about it.
(Continued August 9, 2018, in “Pt 21: Ma, Pa, Me, and Polygamy on Parade”)