Kody Brown recently made it clear:
Polygamy isn’t exactly the best, most admirable and/or equitable lifestyle.
Back in February, on the Sister Wives Season 16 tell-all special, the father of 17 actually questioned the concept of plural marriage, seemingly blaming God for getting him into such a mess.
“When you really start getting honest, you start looking up to the heavens and going, ‘Geez, Father. You inspired me to do this. Why is it such a mess now?'” Kody actually said on stage back then.
Coming off a season that featured tension between Kody and most of his spouses, highlighted by Christine Brown leaving the family in November, Kody added:
“It really has set me on my heels and had me questioning the lifestyle itself. It’s a challenge.”
This said, Kody has made something else clear:
He may be a polygamist and he may not always love the world he has created — but at least he’s NOT part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).
Earlier this year, Netflix came out with a documentary titled Keep Sweet: Obey and Pray.
It focused on the FLDS, most notably and disturbingly its leader, Warren Jeffs.
In 2011, Jeffs was sentenced to life-plus 20 years in prison for two counts of sexual assault of a child.
The documentary chronicled the way in which he and other Church leaders would groom children to become members of their plural marriage, telling stories of incest, abuse and assault.
We’re talking truly horrible stuff.
About a year after Jeffs was sentenced for his crimes, Kody Brown emphasized the difference in his views versus Jeffs’ views in the memoir Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage.
In the book, Kody honed in the differences between the FLDS and the Fundamentalist Mormonism sect to which he and his sister wives belong, the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB).
“When people hear the phrase ‘Mormon fundamentalist,’ they probably think about a small subset of our population — the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Brown explained back then.
“For too long this organization, and the handful of abusive men who ran it, have been the poster children of polygamy in America.”
Continued Kody in this passage:
“Until recently, the FLDS was run by Warren Jeffs, who has been found guilty of child sexual assault and is now serving a life sentence in prison.
“He ruled his organization with an iron fist, creating a climate rampant with abuse and fear. He not only tolerated but also promoted child brides.
“He summarily reassigned the wives of men he deemed unworthy to new husbands.
“These are not my beliefs. This is not my world.”
Go ahead and say what you want about Kody Brown (PLEASE!), but it’s fair to say that his behavior doesn’t mirror that as evil as someone as Warren Jeffs.
Kody mostly just comes across as sexist and selfish.
As for the main differences between the AUB and the FLDS?
Brown touched on this question as well in the aforementioned memoir.
“While we share a belief in the principle of celestial plural marriage, I want to make it clear that the practices of the FLDS have no place in my universe.
“We belong to a different religious community, one that has several thousand members worldwide.
“In our faith, incest and spousal abuse are serious crimes, which, when discovered, result in immediate legal action.”
In the end, Kody determined in 2013 that Sister Wives shined a positive example on the polygamous community, writing:
Soon after the show aired, I noticed that we had already had an impact on the way the world perceived polygamy.
I was flipping through the TV directory looking for something to watch when I came across a show called The Lost Boys. The brief blurb described the show as being about ‘Members of the Warren Jeffs FLDS sect.’
This was progress.
A few months earlier, I’m sure that the description would have been about ‘polygamist Mormons.’
But now people were beginning to differentiate between the sects, and understand that we had nothing to do with Warren Jeffs and his abusive practices.