Last week I saw a play called The Progressive Polygamists

It was a very hilarious satire that came to Saskatoon for the Fringe. Those in Vancouver should check it out in September. Emmelia Gordon and Pippa Mackie play sister-wives Eden-Grace and Mercy Eve who explain to their audiences how terrific it is to have such a close relationship with another woman (somewhat) willing to be married to the same old man, the prophet of Plentiful. They do this with songs and audience participation and a skipping rope — oh, a little loss of innocence there.. never will think about jump ropes the same again…

As terrific as the bonds of sister-wives might be, the realities of life in a Mormon polygamist commune have been in the news lately and Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was just convicted of sexual assault against minors.

Jeffs, who had 78 wives in addition to his legal spouse, 24 of whom were under the age of 17, was convicted of the rape of two young followers, aged 12 and 14. The girls had grown up at Jeffs’ Yearning for Zion ranch, according to authorities. The AP reports that as a prophet of his polygamist sect — which has more than 10,000 members nationwide — Jeffs “documented everything he did, keeping track of every marriage he performed, every young woman he wed, even recording his intimate moments.” Many of those records were seized in a 2008 raid on a ranch his church operates near Eldorado, Texas, according to CNN. Items seized included “a 20-minute audiotape that began and ended with a man saying a prayer” that prosecutors alleged was the recording “of Jeffs’ sexual assault of a then-12-year-old girl in the presence of three other ‘wives.'” Ultimately, these records were used to secure the conviction. The jury deliberation lasted 3 1/2 hours.

Sentencing started on Friday, with a worst case scenario of 119 years in jail when adding up all counts, and reportedly read out a statement that morning declaring the world would see a “whirlwind of judgment” if he, God’s “humble servant,” wasn’t set free. Then he boycotted proceedings, opting to remain in another room while his future was decided for him. I expect his future will consist of nothing but a room from now on.

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