15-Year-Olds Married to Fundamental Mormon Polygamist in Bountiful, BC

The trial for Bountiful polygamists Winston Blackmore and James Oler began in Creston, BC this week. Each has been charged with one count of polygamy. (Oler has yet to be sentenced for his conviction of cross-border transportation of his 13-year-old daughter for sex.)

Records show Blackmore, now in his sixties, married 24 wives (other sources list more), half of them 17 years old or younger, with some as young as 15. Records show Oler married four women, and possibly a fifth.

In reading the scant media information available on the trial so far, my thoughts turned to a quote from Blackmore to his new wives, the day he married two young teenage sisters he’d just met, “Which one of you wants to go first? We’re in the business of making babies.”

Would you want this for your 15-year-old sister, daughter, niece, or neighbour? The prosecution is arguing for the conviction of Blackmore and Oler to protect all girls and women in Bountiful from this fate. The defence is arguing that its a-okay, all in the name of religion. The defence’s argument reminds me of the girls and women sacrificed on stone alters in ancient rituals. What century are we in again?

 

Friends of the White Rock Library “Read Local” Authors’ Open House Video on Youtube

On April 2, 2017 authors Robin Brunet (Red Robinson: The Last Deejay), Sheila Johnson (Buckskin and Broadcloth: A Celebration of E. Pauline Johnson), Patricia Sandberg (Sundogs and Yellow Cake: Gunnar Mines – A Canadian Story), Cristy Watson (On Cue), and I (In Polygamy’s Shadow: From a Mormon Childhood to a Life of Choice) participated in the annual Friends of the White Rock Library “Read Local” Authors’ Open House held at the library in White Rock.

A heartfelt thank you to Betty McDougall and all the Friends of the White Rock Library for organizing and providing an entertaining – and informative – afternoon. Thank you as well to Irene Plett of the White Rock and Surrey Writers for taping the event and posting it on youtube.

Click here to view my presentation of “In Polygamy’s Shadow.”