Recollections from a Trip to Bountiful

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Helen and I both have been to Bountiful, she for filming on Leaving Bountiful, me for shooting Polygamy’s Lost Boys, so we’re both keenly following the BC government’s court case. Does polygamy violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Glad I don’t have to be the one to answer that question.

Polygamy in itself may actually be the choice of well informed, educated women. But the girls of Bountiful are not well informed, or well educated. The concept of choice that you and I enjoy, is an anathema to them.

From my trip to Bountiful: I’m in the home of a former Bountiful resident, known as a “Lost Boy.” That’s the term used to refer to a whole group of disenfranchised young men who have left Bountiful largely because they had no access to power, education, well-paying jobs, or wives. Stands to reason if one substantially older man has several wives, younger men have none.

We’re talking in the kitchen and a young cousin comes to visit. I’d put her age 15, maybe 16. She is a wraith of girl, frail wrists, tiny shoulders yet an incongruously huge stomach. She’s got to be 8 months pregnant. She’s one of several wives of a Bountiful elder. And she’s clearly not happy about the impending birth. In fact, she looks completely devoid of life. Her eyes are dead.

Her future should be ripe with choices. Yet she has none. Polygamy is inextricably intertwined in that lack of choice. Yet the boys and girls of Bountiful were raised in this belief system and we have to move carefully to bring them into the outside world. Even devoid of life, that young woman won’t necessarily think she’s being abused.

I’m glad the BC government is pushing this court case, even if it ultimately fails. Because the pressure to stop the blatant violation of young girls’ rights in Bountiful must continue. I was offended by what I saw in that kitchen. Anyone who shares my wealth of choice, should be too.

…. Maureen

You can watch the trailers for our documentaries on Bountiful, and purchase them online by clicking on the images below.

Leaving Bountiful

Polygamy’s Lost Boys

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