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Monday, October 31, 2011

REVIEW!! S03E07: July 4th Rebellion

Cue the ominous music - Sister Wives is about to begin! You would think after three seasons I would know not to get too excited. But I always do. Major fail for me.

As Kody intones "Vegas is really hot on the 4th of July", we see Christine marshaling her brood outside to test just how hot it really is. Now as anyone who lives in a hot climate knows - we have to put up with all sorts of questions of just how hot it is. For example, if we say it was 118 degrees yesterday, invariably someone will wisecrack "But I bet it was a dry heat!" Or sometimes, people want to know how it feels to be so hot outside - and I tell them to turn their oven on 500 degrees. Wait a few minutes, then stick their head into the oven. THAT's how hot it feels.

But the proverbial "it's so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk", there is a defined way to go about that demonstration. Unfortunately, Christine's was not the way.

First, you put the egg directly on the sidewalk, not in a frying pan. And actually, I've heard opening the egg on the actual street tarmac is best because dark colored items retains heat better. Second, it has to be during the heat of the day, and trust me, if it were hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, you would not want to be outside, anyway. That's why air conditioning was invented. Third, if we are to believe the temperature shown on the thermometer, 98 degrees is simply not hot enough for this experiment to succeed. Major fail Christine.

I'm thinking, if this is any indication of what this episode is going to be like, this is going to be an excruciating half hour.

As Kody continues, the heat is "...just o' pressive. So we're gathering the family. We're gonna get out of this heat...we're hitting Big Bear Lake in California!"

What is it about Kody that he always needs to be running away from something? He ran away from the "o' pressive" law enforcement in Utah. Now he's running away from the "o' pressive" heat in Nevada.

Kody, it's beginning to look like a pattern.

But first, we find out Christine's eight year old daughter Ysabel is moving in with Meri. Yep, seems like one the "perks" of polygamy is you can farm off your kid to another sisterwife. Of course, Christine gives the reason as Ysabel just doesn't respect her. And Shit for Brains (SfB) Kody thinks "its the funniest thing..." that Ysabel doesn't respect her mother. Thank goodness Christine did interrupt SfB Kody by saying "IT IS NOT THE FUNNIEST THING!"

So Christine, whose idea was it for Ysabel to move in with Meri?" Oh really, it was SfB Kody's , huh? And you listened. Wow. Christine, who's older, you or the eight year old? Major fail #2, Christine.

And I will choose to ignore your statement that maybe Ysabel was meant to be Meri's child not yours. On second thought, I can't ignore it. Major fail #3 Christine.

Shut up, SHUT UP SHUT UP ROBYN!! Dear Lord, that woman is insufferable! Blah blah blah...why don't we call them BONUS CHILDREN when Kody says "there is technically not a coined term for another mother's children." I rather like Meri's short response "I always refer to them as my kids". 'Nuff said. Now get back on your broomstick and fly away, Robyn! And take SfB Kody with ya!

 Robyn lays out her evil plan to prevent Meri from having to suffer empty nest syndrome by having her daughter Breanna move in with Meri, too. Holy cow. Meri, run away now! Because if you don't, YOU will be taking care of Kody's and Robyn's BONUS CHILDREN. Run like the wind and don't look back!

 Meri's most memorable words this episode (and probably this season) were spoken to the camera..."Do you like how they're talking about me like I'm not even here?". No Meri, we don't like it at all. Major fail #1 for not standing up for yourself.
Good gracious, when is the road trip going to start? We're only ten minutes into this episode and it seems like it has been on for hours. I want to see tires blowing, engines blowing and Kody leading the pack in his "old" $60K (when new) Lexus sportscar. Haha, SfB Kody makes a funny and calls his sports car his 5th wife. I guess he's relegated his hair to 6th wife status.

Did I tell ya'll that when I was in 5th grade, my Girl Scout troop camped out at Big Bear? And I got my camping badge? And that I hated EVERY SINGLE SECOND including the campfire which the troop leader had to put out because the forest ranger told her there was a fire warning and only fires for cooking were being allowed and the forced hike we had to make the next day.

 I can really relate to the teenagers - I mean, they aren't even getting a badge out of this torture, so what's the point?

Is there a Stupid Motorist Law in Big Bear? They need one, cause driving those cars into water like that was just plain stupid. And who takes a damn sports car on a camping trip, anyway?

Why didn't Janelle put the plate down and just drive Hunter et al to the lake so they could fish instead of making him wait? What was the point?

Logan doesn't like being called Johnny Appleseed
And Hunter calling Logan a Johnny Appleseed. Is this how the teenagers of polygamist fight? Your mother smells of elderberries and wears army boots! Take that!

Breanna crying...Again

Good grief Breanna. Come on, we all know you take after your mother, who can cry at the drop of a hat. Well, pretend cry.

Who can forget this child boohooing last season because someone pulled her hair? This episode it's someone hitting her in the eye. Next week it'll be someone stepping on her foot. Whatever.

Nice show of support by the sisterwives for Meri actually doing what a parent should do - discipline their children. I expect inaction from Robyn and Kody - but Christine and Janelle? Major fails for Christine and Janelle. Christine you are now on probation.

For those of you wondering why I haven't given any major fails to Robyn and SfB Kody. It's simple. They failed the program a long time ago.

Robyn, no one believes your fake crying anymore. Yeah, like you are so worried your children will want to leave you. The only saving grace is we see Robyn make yet another face, one that will cement her position as the sister wife most likely to look like a witch when she grows older. Wow, sometimes words just can't describe....

Your Thoughts?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

DISCUSSION PLACE for S03E07 Sister Wives

Tonight is going to be a barn burner for sure!
We are already all a twit about it!

Don't forget to ask Troy Bowles a question on his post if you want to know more about the AUB!

Readers, utilize what you have!

So MANY of you have questions about the AUB, and the religious life.  Troy Bowles was blessed us by answering questions on his post-

Philosophy and Polygamy: Ins and Outs, with Troy Bowles 

So if you have a question about the Brown's religion, post it, ask him!!! I bet he will be able to tell us more than anyone here about the AUB, Brown's religion, and be happy to do so! Simple post a question.I have posted about the undies. Does the AUB wear them? We'll find out! Ask away!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Sister Wives - Hunter Having Problems

According to Radar Online:
When you have one dad, four moms and 17 children there is bound to be some tension, but it is currently hitting an all time high for the ever burgeoning Sister Wives family.
In a sneak peek of the upcoming episode of the reality show, obtained by RadarOnline.com, teenage son, Hunter, is at the center of the discord in the polygamist family.

“Hunter is a raging testosterone monster,” Kody says about his son. “He just has this attitude of my parents are stupid and I am God.”

On a family camping trip Hunter is mad that two of the mothers are putting on makeup when he wants to go fishing.

“Maybe they should get off their lazy butts,” he smarts off, only to be quickly reprimanded by his biological mother.

“You better never speak disrespectful like that again.  You need to respect adults, Hunter,” Janelle tells him.

Unfortunately for Hunter, many of his siblings seem to agree that he is disrespectful, causing a yelling fight between the kids.

Click the link to see the new clip:


**UPDATE!! Solomon Brown is HERE !! New Pic

***New pick at the bottom, and any other news ones of Solomon will be put here for awhile. The woman lost her stomach in 8 hrs! Lucky her! 

I had to laugh when I saw the layers, though. Buy a long sleeve! Jeez!

People magazine reports Solomon Brown made his appearance this morning at 2:02 AM.

According to the People Magazine article, Solomon was born at "the couple's " home and weighed 9 lbs 10.5 oz and is 22 inches long.

Kody said Solomon " [is] perfect and we couldn't be happier...we are so thrilled."

And so are we.

So, my questions are - Is People Magazine part of TLC?

Will the Browns be able to afford that "Big House" now?

Will Solomon have Kody's nose and Robyn's chin?

What are your thoughts?

OK, Ladies, look at this picture, then look the unmarked one below- does this really look like someone who gave birth 8 hrs ago? Seriously?If so, maybe I need some of that Detox!

Pictures courtesy of TLC/Jana Cruder

Sister Wives Kid Swap

TLC's 'Sister Wives' gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a very unique American family: Kody Brown, his four wives and their now 17 kids are your typical polygamist family, but for most people, it's considered an unorthodox lifestyle.

In our exclusive sneak peek from this week's episode (Sun., Oct. 30, 9PM ET), we see a storyline that might be the show's most controversial yet. Wife Christine admits that she doesn't get along with her eight-year-old daughter Ysabel -- "I know it's ridiculous to butt heads with an eight-year-old, but we do" -- so Ysabel is packing her bags and moving in with other wife Meri.

"Christine gets disrespect from Ysabel, and it's the funniest thing ... " Kody says during one confessional, before Christine promptly corrects him. "It is not the funniest thing."

It may not be funny, but is letting an eight-year-old child move out of your house a smart parenting decision? Even if she's just moving to another part of your house with another one of your husband's wives?

"I know that Ysabel respects Meri," Christine explains. "There's a lot of things that Meri can give her that I can't."

Philosophy and Polygamy: Ins and Outs, with Troy Bowles

  I'll be the first to admit I know very little about Polygamy and Fundy Mormons. Having a brother that graduated from Cornell in Philosophy, educated parents, and too lively conversations of politics, war, and religion in the 60's when I was a wee child and everyone else in the house was an adult -- probably turned me off of all things other than my own Christan religion. Until now. Heck, I just wanted to play Battling Tops!

  To understand WHY these folks, the "Sister Wives" crew, would be into polygamy, suffer constant jealousies and oppression to women, I have been trying to read and understand the AUB, Mormon, and all that follows. I am completely and utterly disturbed by WHAT I have learned so far. Throughout these pages are documentation of what they believe and why they must be polygamists to reach heaven. Feel free to browse through the past months posts if you haven't.

  I was lucky enough to meet so many great people on this journey. Through a new friend of a friend I have "met" Troy Bowles. He was raised in the AUB-and left, and has a vast amount of knowledge and understanding of the religious sect.  I think he reminds me of my brothers style of speaking and teaching. He is easy to comprehend and very interesting. Extremely fair-he is simply looking for the truth. You can almost tell he is weighing his words-so diplomatic in his style. We first printed his piece for the Salt Lake Tribune here.  http://sisterwivesblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/polygamy-and-religious-liberty.html

Troy was recently on the show, Polygamy, What Love Is This?This is an excellent place to learn about Polygamy. I really encourage you to watch the entire clip; however, if you are only interested in their thoughts on the "Sister Wives" show- start watching about 30 minutes into it. However, if you'd like to learn about this unsettling religion, watch this entire segment, and we will be posting more to discuss together.

Episode 4.35 Doris interviews Troy Bowles, formerly of the AUB fundamentalist group, about his story and the characteristics of modern polygamist groups.

He has graciously allowed us to reprint his recent post to learn from. Let's take a look.

The Basic Problem with Polygamy      By: Troy Bowles

 If a whole culture is operating under a belief system that mandates polygamy, it's safe to say a few things in general without making irrelevent stereotypes. By itself, marriage doesn't set up a situation for human rights abuses to proliferate. Religiously-mandated polygamy does. First of all, it is always patriarchal. Polyandry exists, but it is extremely rare. In the vast majority of cases, polygamy is polygyny. Also, in almost every case of religiously-mandated polygamy, the people who practice it isolate themselves into societies that are effectively closed to members moving in and out freely. In these societies, polygamy inevitably sets up a situation that throws human rights out of balance.

Women in polygamous societies are under no ordinary pressure to marry. Each of the men are trying to marry at least three wives in order to set up his "future kingdom," which is exaltation to godhood. The men compete intensely and the women are under implicit, but severe orders to provide themselves as means to the exaltation the men are striving to reach. As more men become polygamists, the available women become scarce and the pressures intensify. All Mormon fundamentalist societies show evidence of this imbalance with the problem of excess unmarried men too. Most of them are driven off while they're young, since they are competing with senior priesthood holders for the few available women left. Of course the polygamous men start marrying the women ever younger, since they are the only ones who are "available." Underage girls are under severe pressure and indeed, underage polygamous marriage is rampant in these societies. Excess men are cast off, even though all are commanded to practice polygamy, and women are held hostage since they are a means for the men to reach exaltation. The women are not ends unto themselves as they should be under a human rights conception.  In these societies, women are the means by which the men succeed.  If their goals don't align with this, it spells trouble for them.  They're not allowed to conceive their own goals.

It is the polygamists who are following a religious mandate who are trying to get polygamy legalized. We can't do it for their sake; not with the way it throws things out of balance as soon as men start taking extra wives. But for non-religious polygamy, many would argue that they are not putting anyone's human rights at risk. But we have to consider what we're trying to prohibit and weigh the odds with due concern to the pressure to legalize polygamy in the interest of maximizing people's liberties. But is this "liberty" to practice polygamy such a desirable thing? Since when is polygamy necessary for anyone? One may argue that "marriage" isn't perfectly necessary either, but if everyone just takes one spouse at a time, isn't that a reasonable thing to ask? It's quite reasonable and fair to limit everyone to just one spouse. Gender need not be any kind of deciding factor either. But monogamy is what human rights theory best supports and the risk of legalizing polygamy is too great to outweigh the potential added "liberties" we may receive by doing so. I don't care who sleeps with whom, but if it causes human rights abuses in some way, we can't allow it. That is a public matter.

So put your philosophical hats on and tell us what YOU think~!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sister Wives: We Don't Like Las Vegas Video

Robyn is full of emotion as she expresses her concern with their children struggling to fit in with the rest of the family.
Maddie says "We were basically chased out of Utah" - uh, Maddie, take a looks here, honey, your parents have said different!



OH PLEASE! I guess those kids need "special" treatment, even though they are filmed more, loud and generally not as well behaved in this family of well behaved kids! SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL There, I said it!
We want to hear what YOU have to think!!!

TLC is premiering an all-new episode of the hit series SISTER WIVES this Sunday, October 30 at 9/8c.
Christine's daughter, Ysabel, and Robyn's daughter, Breanna, are moving out -- to Meri's house. Will Meri be in over her head having two "bonus" daughters temporarily under her roof? 
Then, the Browns are off to Big Bear Lake for some camping and fireworks, but some of the teens have different ideas.  They express their frustrations with moving to Vegas in addition to the struggles they are facing getting along within the family. Will the emotional fireworks overshadow the Independence Day celebration?

Peek at Sunday's Sister Wives Show

 This Sundays show peek:  July 4th Rebellion

Ysabel and Breanna move into Meri's house; the family is off for some camping fun, but the teens have different ideas.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bargain Babe has a great suggestion! Donations to your nearest Pantry!

Bargain Babe said...
"I suggested that we all band together and donate to a food pantry this week.
Ridiculous people are donating to the Brown's so they can have a fancy new house and eat out. Let's counter that by donating to WORTHY causes. I'm taking peanut butter to our church food pantry this week. MS is donating a bag of canned goods.
Who is next?

**Or I might add, some other random act of kindness, clean out a drawer and give clothes away, etc.

Bargain Babe, everyone knows I am off my rocker anyway!!! hee hee

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Play Fair! Character Counts Part 5--- "Sister Wives"

Play Fair!
Character Counts – Part 5


Fairness:  It almost seems too simple a concept to have to discuss, right?  We all learned in school as kids to be equal (or equitable), impartial, consistent and employ due process.  However, as adults we sometimes forget these lessons.  Many of us comment on how Kody is unequal / inequitable with his time and affection among his wives.  A big concern is how he spends his time as a dad with his kids.  Is it equal / equitable?  That would be very difficult when Mariah would receive more attention during his stay at Meri’s than would occur for Janelle’s 6 kids or Christine’s 6 kids during his stays at their homes.  This is one thing that bothers me a lot because children are so important and once we harm their psyches we cannot “unring the bell”.

I had hoped to see “Big Love” style family meetings or wives planning sessions when I first tuned in to Sister Wives.  Yes, I know, I’m hopelessly naive (I thought a 401K is what you get when you are almost finished writing the letter “K” 500 times).  Everyone would get their turn to say their piece and have their turn at doing things their way.  Ha ha.  I also learned that Kody is happy go lucky only when everyone agrees with him.  When there are disagreements he quickly shuts down discussions and becomes Kommissar Kody, the not-so-benevolent family dictator.

Care Bear Kody

The central reason we have manners and ethics is because of caring, the 5th pillar of ethics.  Ethical people care about how their actions affect other people.  Ethical people do not treat other people as tools to be used and exploited to further their own ends.  Ethical people do things for the good of others that they don’t even know and they do things for the good of others when there is no benefit in it for themselves because they care about the well being of others.

I am very sorry to say that I don’t see a lot of evidence of caring, selfless actions by the Brown family on this show – or off it either. 

Logan has shown himself to be a fine young man who cares for and about his siblings.  I don’t know too many 15 or 16 year old boys who are up and making breakfast.  To be fair, we did see the family paint Grandma Brown’s house and help on the ranch in one episode.  Perhaps those kinds of things are done all the time; if so it would be nice to at least hear more references to them.  I am, however, thinking more along the lines of caring touches when there were tears on the TH couch and other everyday gestures of caring; I rarely saw any type of comforting gestures when heavy emotions are present. 

The final ethical pillar is citizenship.  We are individuals, but also belong to communities.  This brings with it obligations to know and obey laws, volunteer our time (and perhaps some money) to charities and good causes, stay informed about current issues and events, and contribute to community life (recycle, conserve resources, etc.).  As good citizens we give back more than we take.
I guess I don’t even have to “go there” regarding the Brown family’s record on knowing and obeying laws.  Honestly, I have no idea whether they volunteer their time to charities and good causes.  I know from their bankruptcy papers that they give substantial amounts of money to charity, which I assume to be “tithing”. So many things that they have said lead me to believe that they would rather be insular than mix with their community.    This can be a difficult value for many people to live, but it can also be the most rewarding.  Hopefully the Brown family will change a little over time.
We have come to the end of the pillars.  I wanted to say more nice things about the Browns and am sad that I couldn’t.  Hopefully, things will be different in a year or 2.

Written By; TERRASOLA!

Sister Wives, food stamps to fame.

By Rebecca Kimbel

Monday, October 24, 2011

REVIEW S03Ep06: The Wives Diet Woes

This has got to be the worse episode of Sister Wives, ever. Worse than the Pumpkin picking episode. Worse than the Christmas tree episode. When you consider all the DVR conflicts I had to work out in order to record this half hour, I AM MAD AS HELL! DAMMIT, I MISSED THE FIRST HALF HOUR OF DEXTER FOR THIS CRAP!

The preview promised so much. Oh well...

Kody told me he actually likes curvy girls

Meri is shown sitting on her stairs, saying she is taking "the sisterwives" to the gym. Not MY sisterwives, mind you. She said THE sisterwives. And even though she says she's been going to this gym for several months, she is getting really breathless while putting on her athletic shoes. What's up with that?

At the gym, [cue the sad music, please] Janelle goes up first to be weighed. Maybe it was that assertiveness training I had so many years ago. But if I did not want my weight to be "...blatantly broadcast..." TO THE WORLD, it would not have happened. Sorry, no sympathy from me, Janelle. You should have given that trainer Bill guy the patented Teresa Giudice shove out of the way as you flipped a bird to "the" sisterwives on your way out of that joint. And I would have made sure those bitches WALKED home - after all, everyone knows that walking IS better for you. And cheaper, too. Surely there are other gyms out there that would not only help people lose the weight, but do it in a way that is not condescending and won't embarrass the hell out of the person! SHEESH!!

Meri, of course,  knows Kody loves "me for me, and he loves Robyn for Robyn and it doesn't have anything to do with our body size". Nicely put, Meri, especially when you squeeze yourself into those size 14 clothes.

And when Robyn adds "Kody told me in a very nice way at one point that he actually likes curvy girls. And I'm not really a curvy girl" it makes you wonder 1) did Kody say that after Robyn said something like "Those other sisterwives of yours sure are packing on the poundage" and 2) who in their right mind would refer to Janelle, Meri and Christine - who have given birth to a total of THIRTEEN children over a span of about 18 years - as GIRLS? They are WOMEN! Last, I just want to say, Robyn you are neither curvy nor a GIRL and you make bitchy remarks and you dress funny and you didn't use the words salacious and connotation in a sentence tonight. So take THAT, you Sxinney wench!

When Trainer Bill said to Janelle, "If you continue on with this lifestyle, not only will you live unhealthy you're going to live unhappy..." I literally fell out of my chair. Cuz if you took his words out of context, he could be talking about polygamy. Right on, Trainer Bill! And thanks to Kody and Krew for referring to polygamy as a "lifestyle". Ha!

Are you serious? A Chinese buffet?

If I was going to impress someone, I'd take them to a real restaurant, not a buffet. Some place like that mexican food restaurant maybe. But I guess "all you can eat" trumps "kids eat free", especially if there are no kids eating. Thank goodness the menu was checked out online by Janelle and it passed the wives's diet requirements. Too bad someone didn't check with Robyn first about those nasty FOOD smells, though. And it looks like Robyn made some points with a line cook as she was "checking" out the food. Did you catch the look he gave her? Priceless.

Who cares about Rev. Danielle? Who IS this woman, anyway? Is this the best the producers could come up with? Really? Hard hitting questions my ample rear-end. We only saw her ask two questions, and those were hardly hard hitting. I've asked more hard hitting questions in a job interview! I wanted to see squirming sister wives and an inarticulate Kody trying to explain his religion. All I got was Janelle taking a sip of her drink and Robyn shoving noodles into her mouth and making these strange faces while an inarticulate Kody tried to explain his religion to a star-struck Rev. Danielle. Oh yeah, and she invited Kody and Krew to come to the east and be the guest speakers in one of her classes. I'm seeing another book on the horizon for Rev. Danielle...

I NEVER want to see Robyn eat noodles again. That includes spaghetti.

Happy Birthday, Mariah!

Oh great, Rev. Danielle shows up with her husband to Mariah's 16th birthday party. He looked really excited to be there. NOT.  And he takes a balloon right in the face - priceless.

Hey, Meri got the couch she wanted after all. Did you see it in her other living room?

And this time, when the DVR abruptly stopped while Mariah was blowing out the candles on her cake, I was glad. At least I was able to catch the last half hour of Dexter.

Was it as bad for you as it was for me? Your thoughts?

Responsibility Character Counts Part 4 "Sister Wives"

**Be sure and check back tonight for some of Cynical's Review!

Love always involves responsibility
William Barclay

Character Counts Part 4

Continuing on with our character series, we come to the 3rd pillar of character, Responsibility.  When we are responsible we own our choices and their consequences; we are accountable for what we do and who we are.  Freedom to make meaningful choices and responsibility are linked.  We have to have real freedom to make real choices in order to have true responsibility for those free choices.   Can we hold Christine responsible for the consequences of fleeing Utah at the drop of a hat if she did not want to go and tried to express her opinions, but was prevented from, or intimidated from, doing so?  It is a complex question but one thing is certain, we can hold people responsible for taking free choice away from others.

So what is responsibility if it is so complex?  It involves freedom to be responsible, accountability, pursuit of excellence, and self-discipline.  A responsible person assumes accountability for their actions and does not try to shift blame to someone else, such as blaming others for feeling betrayed about a change in faith.  Sure, we all think Kody’s friend Ken is a bit over-the-top, but Kody is accountable for the way he told Ken about his change in religion and how he handled the strain on their friendship (and yes, Ken is accountable for his own actions, too).   Responsible people are also accountable for their financial decisions – ‘nuff said.

Responsible people are always trying to improve themselves when it is important to do so; for example, to improve their money management skills.  They are diligent and they persevere in continually trying to improve the skills that they need in work and in life.  HINT HINT HINT.

Responsible people also exercise self-discipline and self control, foregoing such things as the big house they “deserve” when they clearly cannot afford it for the sake of their long term well being.  Again HINT HINT HINT.

Speaking of responsibility, check this out! Poor kid! 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

UPDATED : DISCUSSION: Sister Wives The Wives Diet Woes S03E06

Discussion here about the Upcoming Episode: The Wives Diet Woes, (we've all had those) and of course- the Priests "tough" questions!

Many have wondered.. Is this baby ever coming? And, why is she constantly putting out her gift list? How many times has it been posted?
What is Progressive Jack Mormon?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T "Sister Wives"

R – E – S – P – E – C – T

Character Counts Part 3

Continuing on with our character series, we come to the second pillar of character, Respect.  Perhaps the best way to talk about this pillar is to explain the Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

When we respect others we do not exploit, humiliate, violate, or manipulate them.  We are civil, courteous, decent, tolerant, and accepting – basically, we are considerate.  We really listen to what others have to say.  We treat others with dignity and allow them the autonomy they need to conduct their lives.

A number of times in the Talking Heads (TH) segments, it appears to me as though Kody and the wives are not listening to each other.  Janelle appears to not listen to Robyn; Robyn appears to be thinking about what she can say next; and Kody appears shocked to hear things as though he hasn’t been listening in the past and has heard something for the first time.  During last year’s episodes related to the Nevada move, it appeared that Kody did not want to listen to Christine’s opinions and feelings, and from my vantage point it appeared that some interactions involved intimidation, which was not at all respectful.  

One item I have not discussed before in much detail is the Pastor Ray fiasco.  That interaction was disrespectful to Pastor Ray, Presbyterians, sharks, and also showed that Christine disrespected Kody and her sister wives by putting them in such an uncomfortable position, IMHO.

I won’t beat the dead horse about the teens and autonomy / participation in discussions as I like horses.

We don’t know much about the Browns’ opinions regarding tolerance and acceptance of those who are different.  Except that they (meaning Christine) don’t want their kids to associate socially with them because they might be sharks.  Poor Christine, she will never live this down.  To me this smacks of a double standard wherein the Browns want the world to be tolerant and accepting of them, but don’t necessarily want to be held to the same standard.

I started out watching Sister Wives because I respect and accept other people.  I thought I could learn something about patience, cooperation and love.  I wanted to listen to what they might have to teach me; maybe I could apply it to my own marriage.   Maybe you did, too.  Boy was I wrong.  How do you feel 3 seasons in?  

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB
Aretha Franklin

Next – responsibility.
Written By: TERRASOLA!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My take: Why this female priest loves 'Sister Wives'

Editor's Note: Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is ordained in the Episcopal Church and has taught a variety of educational institutions, including Yale University. She is also the author of "God and Harry at Yale: Faith and Fiction in the Classroom."

By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN

“Sister Wives” is virtually sacred time in my home. When it’s on, I refuse to answer the phone or move from the couch, and anyone who talks risks both a DVR rewind and a scornful look for interrupting the episode’s flow.

I admit that referring to any television viewing as “sacred time” is a bit sacrilegious, especially coming from an Episcopal priest. But I can’t help it — I’m so fascinated by this show that I’ve seen every episode twice (including the honeymoon special), researched fundamentalist Mormon wedding rituals, and dreamed of visiting the cake tasting bakery.

Yet many don’t appreciate my enthusiasm. Every time I confess my love for Meri, Christine, Janelle, Robyn, their flock of children and their bushy-haired husband, I tend to receive responses like:

“But you’re a woman.”

“But you’re a feminist.”

“But you’re a priest.”

“But you’re monogamous … right?”

My answers to each are “Yes,” “yes,” “yes” — and “of course!”

So how can a liberal Christian monogamist feminist female priest such as myself love a sensationalistic reality TV show about a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon family?

I think it all goes back to the meaning of marriage itself. Most adults in our society understand marriage as a special kind of intimacy, a closeness so connected that two become one—as stated by Genesis 2:24, or, if you prefer, the Spice Girls.

This relationship is defined by an imposing “till death do us part” commitment to share all that you are and all that you have with a single other person. For many couples that special love expands with time, creating space for children who will be adored, cuddled, and raised with the best of intentions.

Christians today see marriage as an institution that provides a constant and daily opportunity to practice loving well. By caring about a single other, one learns what it means to love all people well, and then take that love into the world.

This is a beautiful image, but hard to live up to. Late nights at work, dressing kids for soccer practice, dusting, cooking, vacuuming, trying to get that orange stain out of a spouse’s favorite shirt for the sixth time – it can transform marriage into a black hole.

You can read the article in its entirety at: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/28/my-take-why-this-female-priest-loves-sister-wives/

Character Counts!! Sister Wives

Character Counts 
Since the opening scene of Sister Wives season 3 (since the Brown family filed their lawsuit against the State of Utah, really) my thoughts have turned to the issue of character.
My parents taught me that character, a person’s moral and ethical qualities, defines a person.  You may lose all your possessions and wealth, your job, and your loved ones through circumstances beyond your control, but your character will remain.  In a number of organizations where I have worked, character – beyond all other education, skills and/or abilities – will get you or lose you the job.  Yes, character is that important.
We all have ideas about what makes up a person’s character.  So I turned to the trusty Internet and learned about the “Six Pillars of Character” that a lot of U.S. schools are using to teach character to our kids.  These pillars are:

This is the start of a multi-part series examining the Brown family and their recent actions in light of the Six Pillars of Character.  Stay tuned and please feel free to express your thoughts.  None of us are perfect, but most of us try to do the best we can; as Michael J. Fox said, “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.  Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”  

Honesty is Such  A Lonely Word
Character Counts Part 2

Today I would like to talk about trustworthiness.    Being trustworthy is complex.  We understand on a gut level what it means, but it can be difficult to explain in words, which is why many of us find it difficult to explain sometimes exactly why we don’t think someone is trustworthy (such as one of the Browns).   It involves being honest, having integrity, keeping promises and being loyal.  To make it even more complex, trust may mean different things to different people and in different situations.

Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.
Billy Joel, “Honesty”

The most fundamental part of being trustworthy is honesty.  Honesty is more than not lying.  When we communicate to others, being honest includes being truthful, or expressing the facts as we know them.  It involves sincerity and being genuine, and not tricking people with half truths, omissions, or being misleading.  It also incorporates candor; this means that needed information is volunteered rather than being withheld and that we are frank and forthright.

Being honest in your actions involves playing by the rules without cheating, stealing, defrauding or tricking.  My personal opinion is that the Browns’  “rotating bankruptcies” method of financial sustainability is a type of trickery, but others may not share my opinion.

This is one of the things that bothers me about Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown.  I am not sure that they have been honest about their reasons for moving to Nevada.  Was it because of the threat of prosecution or not?  Janelle’s differing responses confuse me (See Mister Sister’s post on Janelle Brown’s affidavit:  http://sisterwivesblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/janelle-brown-excerpts-from-court.html).  I am also not sure of their true reasons for suing the State of Utah, their ultimate goals in pursuing this suit, or who their advisors are in this endeavor (who is behind the scenes).  I haven’t even touched on their reluctance to discuss their religion, even with multiple outlets of Facebook, Twitter and media interviews – or the recent MLM issue.  Looking at this evidence I cannot say that I consider them to be honest.

Trustworthiness also includes integrity.   People of integrity act according to their beliefs.  They do not ditch those beliefs because it is convenient, for instance, when discussing moral issues with their teenagers, or when faced with financial difficulties.  There are so many examples that I consider to show the Browns’ lack of integrity that I cannot list them all.  I’d love to see them discussed in the comments for this post.  

In my post on hypocrisy (http://sisterwivesblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/but-they-seem-like-such-honest-people_19.html) I discussed how I feel the Brown parents do not keep promises.  I feel that “Sister Wives” showed how the parents misled their teenaged children into believing that the kids would have religious choice and meaningful input into family dialogue, which was televised to not be the case.  It is one thing to say that your family is not a democracy and mean it, but another to say you will listen to your teens and then to shut them down when they try to participate in family discussions.

Finally, trustworthiness involves loyalty.  Loyal people do not play off one partner against another.  They do not betray confidences.  My personal opinion is that polygamy is antithetical to loyalty. I think that being loyal to a spouse involves responsibilities to promote that spouse’s best interests.  How can you do that in plural marriage when  spousal interests conflict?  Answer, you must prioritize one over the other, only satisfy partial interests, or choose none – none of this sounds particularly loyal to me when all spouses are supposedly equal.  As per Matt 6:24, “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”  While the Bible was discussing faith and money, this also holds true in matters of love.  I do think that there are limitations on loyalty when maintaining loyalty would be contrary to our integrity.
Next time I will discuss respect, and possibly responsibility (if I feel like it and I don’t have anything better to do – like flipping my hair around).
Resource:  http://josephsoninstitute.org/MED/MED-2sixpillars.html
1.       Phrase borrowed from the Josephson Institute:  http://charactercounts.org/


'Sister Wives' say bigamy probe harms their family

The family from cable television's polygamous Sister Wives reality show has told a federal judge in Utah how much they've been hurt by the threat of prosecution under the state's bigamy law.
Kody Brown and his wives wrote in new court papers that they've lost jobs, were forced to move to Nevada, and suffered harm to their reputations after police launched an investigation last year after the fall 2010 launch of their TLC show.
In July, Brown and wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn filed a lawsuit challenging Utah's bigamy law in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court. They contended the law is unconstitutional and unfairly applied to polygamists.
"Because the Browns are open about their polygamist lifestyle, the criminal bigamy statute has the effect of publicly labeling them as presumptive felons," the Browns' Washington-based attorney, Jonathan Turley, wrote in court papers filed Monday. "The statute further brands them as immoral and societal outsiders."
The papers were a response to a petition filed by the Utah Attorney General's Office asking a federal judge to dismiss the case. It wasn't clear Tuesday whether a judge would issue a decision based on the court pleadings or schedule a hearing for oral arguments.
State prosecutors contend the Browns, who haven't been charged, aren't facing real harm and won't likely face prosecution, because the state has rarely prosecuted individuals for bigamy without also prosecuting underlying crimes, such as underage marriages, abuse, or welfare fraud.
But the Browns said that the harms to their family are real and that the public statements of Utah County prosecutors actually support their contention that prosecution remains a threat. In one magazine article, for example, Deputy Utah County Attorney Donna Kelley said "the Browns have definitely made it easier for us by admitting to felonies on national TV."
Turley contended such statements had had a "chilling effect" on the family's right to free speech, influencing what they can say publicly or on their TV show, and curtailing their ability to practice their religion.
Affidavits from Kody, Meri, and Janelle Brown detailed financial impacts on the family. Those included a loss of sales accounts for Kody Brown and the termination of Meri Brown's employment because her bosses were concerned about the criminal investigation and the public statements suggesting she was a felon.
Our continued labeling as presumptive felons has proven a barrier in finding new positions for the adults in Nevada," Kody Brown stated in his affidavit. Other financial impacts included a loss of health insurance, moving expenses, increased housing expenses, and travel expenses because the Browns must travel back to Utah if they want to attend their church.
The Browns also stated that their children, more than a dozen of them, had also suffered at school, where some had endured remarks about their family being labeled criminals.
Under Utah law it is illegal for unmarried persons to cohabitate, or "purport" to be married. A person is also guilty of bigamy if he holds multiple legal marriage licenses.
The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in state prison. Both men and women can be prosecuted under the law, which also applies to unmarried, monogamous couples who live together.
Like most polygamists in Utah, Brown is legally married only to his first wife, Meri. He subsequently "wed" Janelle, Christine, and Robyn in religious ceremonies.

(Source: Courtesy of:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sister Wives: Danielle's Tough Questions

Danielle, an Episcopal minister sits down with Kody and the wives to discuss some pretty tough questions.

Janelle Brown Filing Against Bigamy Statutes of Utah

Click the link to view the document on Scribd :
Janelle Brown Filing Against Bigamy Statutes of Utah

Multi-Level Marketing Plan$ "Sister Wives"

Multi-Level Marketing Plan$

If you follow the Brown family, you have heard a lot about multi-level marketing plans over the last two days.  Do you know what a multi-level marketing plan (MLM) is?  I decided to do some investigative reporting and went to the heart of my hometown financial district (the Frostbite Falls combination Money Mart and Tattoo Parlor) to find out about MLMs.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy where the sales force is compensated for the sales they generate AND for the sales of other salespeople that they recruit, creating a hierarchy of multiple levels of compensation.  Other terms for multi-level marketing include network marketing, pyramid selling, and referral marketing. 
Usually, the salespeople sell directly to customers through relationship referrals and word-of-mouth marketing.  Some people use “direct selling” as a name for MLM, but it isn’t really because MLM always involves multiple layers of sales people who receive differing levels of compensation and lots of types of direct selling does not involve this.  MLMs are contrasted with a single level marketing network where there is 1 level of salespeople selling directly to the customer.
MLMs have been the subject of criticism and even lawsuits.  The criticism focuses on the similarity of MLMs to illegal pyramid schemes, product price-fixing, high initial start-up costs, emphasis on recruiting new (lower) levels of salespeople over actual product sales, requiring product use by salespeople, exploiting personal relationships to develop sales and recruit new salespeople, overly complex compensation schemes, and cultish motivation techniques.  There are claims that the success rate for breaking even or making money are far worse than with other types of businesses.
Many illegal pyramid schemes try to pass themselves off as legitimate MLMs.  The U.S. Federal Trade Commission says that pyramid schemes are dangerous because plans that pay commissions to recruit new levels of salespeople (or members, distributors, associates, consultants, or whatever they may be called) collapse when no new salespeople can be found.  When such a plan collapses most people end up empty handed – except, perhaps for those at the very top of the pyramid. 
Here are a couple of quick tests to differentiate between a legal MLM and an illegal pyramid scheme.  Check with the experts if you need to know more:
·      Is there more emphasis on recruiting new members than on selling the product or service?  If so it might be a pyramid scheme.
·      Is the plan designed so that more money is made by recruiting new members than by selling the product or service?  If so it might be a pyramid scheme.
We should also remember, however, that many long-standing successful companies such as Avon, Mary Kay, and Tupperware use this sales method.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kody Brown and Meri Brown **Affidavit 10/18/2011 "Sister Wives Blog"

Here are the highlights of Kody and Meri's statements:

• I was a resident of Lehi, Utah, where I was civilly married to Plaintiff Meri Brown, and spiritually married to Plaintiffs Janelle Brown, Christine Brown, and Robyn Sullivan.

• My family are members of the Apostolic United Brethren Church, a fundamentalist faith and plural marriage is central to our faith.

• In January 2011, I left Utah for fear that Utah law enforcement officials would break up my family and prosecute the adults under the state's criminal bigamy statute for maintaining a plural family. ***Hmmmmmm

• When we considered participation in the Sister Wives program on TLC, I had repeated contacts with state officials. In the course of those meetings I asked the defendants questions to determine if we be would subject to investigation or prosecution if we went public

• On at least three occasions in the year before Sister Wives aired, I spoke with Defendant Shurtleff and his press secretary about our plural family and our desire to go public. I told Defendant Shurtleffthat I was considering going public with the details and realities of our plural family. I asked Defendant Shurtleff if Shurtleff would pursue me criminally if I went public, and Defendant Shurtleff answered that he would not. At this February 2009 meeting, Defendant Shurtleff told me that Utah lacked the resources to prosecute polygamists and that I would not be prosecuted unless I was committing crimes such as marrying child brides, promoting incestuous relationships, or committing welfare or tax fraud.

• However, the day after the first episode aired, Lehi Police Department publicly announced that our family was under investigation under the bigamy statute and were subject to prosecution for our plural family structure.

• What followed were public statements from prosecutors reaffirming that the state viewed my family as felons and that we were committing criminal acts by living as a plural family.

• Deputy Utah County Attorney Julia Thomas stated that we were placed under investigation when prosecutors saw promotional trailers for Sister Wives airing on TV. Vince Horiuchi, Going Public 'Was a Risk Worth Taking,' Utah Polygamists Say, Salt Lake City Trib., Sept. 29, 2010.

• Ms. Thomas also stated that we were breaking the law and effectively admitting to criminal acts every night.These statements and the very public investigation have had an immediate, continuing, and negative impact on my family.

• We have had to prepare for the possibility that the adults could be taken from our family - leaving our children without support or parental guidance.

• Efforts of some of the adults to find employment was hampered by our being labeled as felons and guilty of open and admitted criminal acts.

• For example, the day after the investigation was announced, one of my largest sales accounts in my prior employment contacted my office manager in Orem and said "we can't have Kody be associated with us anymore and we need the account reassigned."

• I had developed this account over the course of three years and it was one of the top five accounts that I had maintained as a sales representative working for Young Electric Sign Company. This banking institution was very close to signing a new sale with me.

• I saw other sales drop after the public comments of the prosecutors and the criminal investigation into our plural family.

• The threat of prosecution and public statements had a profound impact on the family's health and lifestyle. The adults lost sleep and Robyn dropped dangerously in weight over the constant threat that our family could be destroyed at any time.

• The coercive effect on the entire family was so pronounced that any appearance of a police cruiser on our street became a matter of alarm - not knowing whether prosecutors had chosen this moment to break up our family and arrest some or all of the adults.

• I intend to continue to practice my religious faith, including polygamy, as does my entire

• We have, however, been curtailed in our speech and associations due to the threat of prosecution and continued public comments from prosecutors.

• We have been unable to fully participate in our religious community due to our separation from Utah and we curtailed some associations and religious activities to try to protect family and friends from similar treatment by state officials.

• Yet even after the move to Nevada, prosecutors have continued to stress that their investigation of our family is ongoing and that they reserved the right to prosecute the family.

• Our continued labeling as presumptive felons has proven a barrier in finding new positions for the adults in Nevada

• No family should have to live under a classification as criminals simply because the majority of citizens object to their private relationships or religious-based practices.


• Efforts of some of the adults to find employment was hampered by our being labeled as felons and guilty of open and admitted criminal acts.

• In my case, I was fired due to criminal investigation and being labeled a felon due to our family structure

• I had worked for Youth Care of Utah for 1 year.

• When we decided to participate in the Sister Wives program, I informed my supervisors
and the company management.

• There was no objection to the show and I received positive feedback from my co- workers.

• I was specifically told by my supervisor that everything was fine and that the show and my lifestyle would not be a problem.

• I was put on administrative leave at the beginning of the next regular scheduled day of work after statement from the prosecutor labeling us as criminals. Please double check this. I am not sure if there were prosecutors at that point - just the announcement of the investigation by the Lehi City Police Department.

• In October 3, 2010, I came to work on a Sunday only to find high-ranking management present - something I had never seen.

• I was pulled into an office and told that I would be placed on administrative leave until
corporate management decided how to handle "the situation."

• I was called into the office on Tuesday, October 5., I was told they had to called me in to tell they had decided to terminate my employment. I was not working due to administrative leave.

• I objected because I had been open about my polygamous family structure and the show, but the management made clear that it was not my polygamous family that motivated my termination.

• Rather, the management told me it was the fact that I was under criminal investigation and the statements in the media that the state considered me (and my family) to be committing felonies under state law. Actually they were specifically worried about police showing up to the work place.

• My employer offered me a "severance" pay with the condition that if I accepted it I would never speak of the circumstances regarding my separation.

• I refused to accept the money in exchange for my silence.