For most of human history, marriage has not been between one man and one woman. Polygamy was a common practice. Though it is not the norm these days, there are still men who are married to multiple women at the same time.
Escaping Polygamy is a reality show that has been on Lifetime’s schedule since 2014. It can also be viewed on Hulu. The program follows three sisters from Salt Lake City who escaped a polygamous group. Their goal is to help as many women as possible to do the same. They come from the FLDS and AUB Church, where polygamy is the norm and young girls are often married off to men who are sometimes many years their senior.
Though this is reality television, I feel like it is more “real” than other programs in the genre. What these women are doing (if they are being truthful) is allowing these girls to live on their own terms and not be forced into second-class citizenship.
For many of us, religion is a very important part of our daily lives. But there is a distinct line between believing in a higher power and using that belief to enrich your own needs.
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a new Netflix four-part miniseries. It tells the story of the FLDS and the group’s infamous leader, Warren Jeffs. Known for being polygamous and practicing a strict adaptation of Mormonism, Jeff was arrested for marrying young, underage girls and having sexual relations with them. Interviewing former members of the FLDS, law enforcement, media, etc, a picture is painted of a man who instead of representing his heavenly creator, twisted religious doctrine to fit his own needs.
As I got further into this program, my stomach kept turning and I kept getting angrier. I am not a religious person, but I respect a lay leader who in turn respects their congregation and the doctrines of their faith. What I do not like is using their power and status to take advantage of those who trust them.
What struck me was the strength of the women who survived the ordeal and have thrived in what they would previously called the “gentile” world. It’s more than coming out of it and living a normal life, it’s having the strength to tell their story to strangers who might judge them in a negative manner.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is available for streaming on Netflix.