Polygamous Problems

The community of Centennial Park, Arizona, was founded by a group of fundamental Mormons seeking a safe haven to practice their religion, a religion that practices polygamy. In this modern day, the Elder’s of Centennial Park face a tremendous challenge trying to keep their young in the faith, while outside influences are constantly derailing their efforts.

Ezra, 18, has been a thorn in his father, Arthur’s, side. Ezra has been dating a girl, an activity that is frowned upon in this community where the enforced belief is on placement marriage. For Arthur, a community elder, he is faced with the decision to either accept Ezra’s actions or risk losing his son as a member of the faith. Ezra wants to live plural marriage in this community, but his girlfriend, Tiffany, was not raised in a polygamous family and isn’t sure that’s what she wants for her future. Sacrifices will need to be made if the two want to get married.

Hyrum, 22, is Centennial Park’s oldest missionary whose life is about to radically change. For over three and a half years, Hyrum has served his community as part of the Mission program where young men perform community service. But, in an instant, Hyrum learns that the community’s Elders have released him of his duties, both a liberating and daunting feeling. Unsure of his future, Hyrum waits for further instructions, only to learn he is to marry a woman he barely knows.

There can be many challenges for a polygamous Mormon family that keeps growing. For Michael, his three wives and 18 children, just keeping up with everyday needs is a big feat. Managing this small army of people requires strict scheduling, organizing of household chores, and budgeting for expenses, especially groceries. When the final bills come in, Michael realizes that the family is financially in the red and one of his wives will need to get a job. But, with nine children at home needing round the clock care, can they afford to lose a mother to the work force?

Isaiah and his two wives, Marleen and Becca, take the family out bowling in nearby St. George. For many of the Thomsons’ children, this is their first experience being seen as a polygamous family in the outside world. Marleen is tired of the stares her family receives, prompting her to meet with the town’s volunteer activist group, CPAC (Centennial Park Action Committee). With them, she will learn how to help cast a more positive light on plural marriage within their own community and the general public.

Tune in to Polygamy USA: The Priesthood Council tonight at 9P


  1. Eleanor Kutney
    east coast
    May 29, 2013, 8:32 am

    I just don’t understand why any woman would live in a situation like the ones in these shows. And although all “about God”, why is this legal?
    hope Hyrum,s wife thinks more about this !

  2. gail
    May 29, 2013, 5:20 pm

    some of the shows, especially this one disgust me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! breaking God’s laws. I used to love the natgeo channel. will probably take it out of my favorites on my channel guide.

  3. Leigh
    May 30, 2013, 7:19 pm

    I was shocked that Hyrum didn’t even get out of his truck to open the door for his future bride!

  4. Amy
    Las Vegas, NV
    May 31, 2013, 1:55 am

    It’s not legal, but law enforcement has generally “turned a blind eye” since the prosectuion of Warren Jeff and his faction, which is not the Centennial Park group who is relatively innocuous. (I just read this on another page on this site which provides a summary of polygamy’s history in this country)

    Nat Geo is just exposing a reality that exists right here under our noses, in a journalistic and objective way. They are not so much condoning or disapproving of this subculture as reporting on it and its inner dynamics, from an anthropological/socialogical perspective. Is it inherent in our natures to disparage a culture because it’s different than ours, or because we don’t understand it? I can’t relate to these women and this lifestyle at all; it strikes me as a most repugnant option, for myself personally. But that doesn’t mean that people who DO choose this lifestyle are disgusting, or that I am not or should not be curious about how others live. They are harming no one, so live and let live. And franky, the world has bigger problems so if law enforcment wants to turn a blind eye, cheers! Let them expend their limited resources on the multitude of real criminals in our midst, commiting true violence and atrocity.

  5. Paul
    United States
    June 1, 2013, 4:34 pm

    Certainly, I have heard all the negative comments about the poly lifestyle. There are a number of people in the U.S. that live a poly lifestyle. One area this program has not dealt with is people who are older. A man and two wives, no children. I know of such a situation, unfortunately one woman passed-away from breast cancer. Years later the couple finally learned how to handle their terrible loss and began looking for a woman. You may be surprised of the women who seriously consider the poly lifestyle.
    As been said “typical guy” his outlook for another wife is broad as to age, personality, physical attractiveness (whatever you may feel as an individual). She wants a woman who is close to the same age so they may have shared more in-common in their lives.
    People are often rude inquiring what bedroom does everyone sleep – none of your business! What consenting adults do in their own home is no business of anyone else.
    I can tell you it is not about sex, rather about LOVE. Religion is not an issue. All experience levels of Love beyond what they knew prior in their lives. One time the couple became a married couple and discovered what they both thought as BLISS. All will admit now that the Love and Bliss they have now found is far beyond the Bliss they experienced prior in their lives as a couple (husband & wife).
    This poly lifestyle, no-one is pressured into, the complete free choice of adults who just happen to (now) be in their 50’s.
    Women & relationships. . . the greatest mystery in the universe!
    Jealously is a strong negative emotion, they claim has no place in their household. A person could easily admire their special relationship. They are open-minded, no prejudice, no bigotry, not judgmental all the qualities of “a perfect match”.
    If the poly lifestyle is not for you, then good, I’m happy for you. People who are different than you and the only way you know how to react is hate? The problem is with the person who hates, not with those who freely choose to live a different lifestyle. The few hundred year of Christianity, polygamy was not only accepted, but encouraged.
    Polygamy gets a bad rap, and many areas rightfully so. Women should not be raised to be submissive to any man. A woman should only have a relationship, sexual or not, when she is ready, the same with a man.
    This particular lifestyle, without children, is also satisfying.
    The U.S. is suppose to be the country of tolerance. I prefer to use the word acceptance.
    There was a time when a woman was considered property, directed to who she would enter into a marriage with, no opinion on anything until her husband told her what is her opinion. Fortunately, those days are gone, should be gone.
    If two women and a man decide to live together all as if husband and wife, then only the closed-mind, prejudice person is unable to see.
    I am a cripple, condemned to a wheelchair. Women shun me even at a glance. Hundreds of women who refuse to allow me to get to know them I’ve experienced. So I admire the unique relationship my friends have and hope that someday people can see with an open-mind. Take it from a man who must have a wheelchair to have any kind of life, the worse handicap is a “closed mind”.

  6. Kathryn
    Grand Prairie, TX
    June 1, 2013, 6:26 pm

    I believe that the Bible is the word of God, and I believe in Baptism by submersion. I think that these women appear to be great, loving mothers. We are not to judge others, and I am not trying to pass judgement on them. However it is illegal, the Bible specifically teaches marriage to be between one man and one woman. I can see that they are people of faith, good people at that, but how do they reconcile this? Also, marriage is difficult enough I can’t imagine adding the stress of pleurality to it!! Have none of them received the conviction of the Holy Spirit regarding this? They seem to have a strong sense of community, and seem to value human life, faith, and family. Godbless them, but they should know that ANY man, specifically the founder of their religion’s belief’s, CANNOT trump the word of God. Go back to the Bible, and turn away from their sin. We all must do that, not just polygamists.

  7. Neil Nelson
    June 2, 2013, 6:32 am

    The goal of total control over women is the way these men with low self esteem chase satisfaction.

  8. Paul
    United States
    June 2, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Is polygamy legal?
    Please look at the “Emancipation Proclamation”, widely known as freedom to slaves, issued by President Abraham Lincoln. In the same Proclamation contains prohibition upon polygamy. Later came laws from the Legislative Branch.
    Mormon elders in Utah challenged the issue of polygamy to the Supreme Court, issuing a decision against polygamy.
    I understand the decision of those days, prior to women having the right to vote, considered a whole real person rather than property. Our past, is not admirable (other than us changing) where young women (girls) were wed to who someone else decided for them. Young women married to men as old as or older than their father. Women had no choice but to belong to a polygamy lifestyle.
    In the closet, incest upon young women as accepted in the micro-culture. Women were simply “property”, beaten by men, raped by men, and more situations we all would rather not imagine.
    Polygamy is still illegal to this day. If females are raised in a culture restricting them from freedom of choice, a freedom to be aware of other cultures/lifestyles, then these females are NOT raised in the modern world we hope we have built.
    The 14th Amendment gives people the freedom to live their lives as they see fit without the interference of government. “We the People …” freedom throughout our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers wanted a government designed to be controlled by society, rather than society controlled by government; in this respect many are in total agreement of the growth of our government in an improper direction.
    People who dislike ANY particular culture, lifestyle, language, even differences between people are “closed-minded” taking a step into our past that is dark and what we should not be proud of.
    Nazi’s, you can take a Jew, Polish, German, all standing together with the same color of skin, dark hair, on the surface you could not pick which person is which until you gained further knowledge of religion, nationality, language. I still ask how YOU can tell which is better?
    A persons’ heart, character, integrity & ethics, is what we should judge each other and not upon such narrow-mindedness of race, color, nationality, religion, lifestyle (including polygamy).
    I personally do not think a woman is attractive with piercings on her tongue, lips, nose, cheeks; tattoos excessive (other than cute pictures) covering large parts of their body. If a woman decides to participate in many piercings, tattoos then that ONLY means she enjoys a particular look about her that I do not find attractive, AND THAT IS ALL!
    MORAL OF THE STORY — You inappropriately elevate yourself (in your mind only) in your judgmental lowering the standing of other people due to your prejudices (you lower yourself in the eyes of everyone else). If history has taught us anything, it has taught us — when you learn to devalue other people, you only devalue yourself!
    If you disagree with polygamy, good, but in the U.S. you do NOT have a right to devalue anyone!

  9. Brandon
    June 4, 2013, 11:23 am

    Im curious what Tiffanys parents think of all this. 17. I want to get married. Not only that mom and dad I want to get married in a polygamist family. Id be interested in knowing more about her and her family.

  10. Shade
    June 4, 2013, 10:19 pm

    Hyrum is hot. He should leave and go to Hollywood! Seriously, what do I care if these people choose polygamy – that’s their business, none of mine, none of yours and certainly a waste of taxpayer money to have the government hassle these people for something they have freely chosen. What law is being broken here? Some of you argue this is immoral and against “Gods Law” we have separation of church and state in this country as guaranteed by the constitution. Gods law has no place in civil law. Keep your ideas of Gods Law to yourselves, judge not….

  11. Johnny
    St George Utah
    June 4, 2013, 10:35 pm

    Hey, you want to have 18 kids and three wives? Not a problem, but PAY FOR IT ALL YOURSELVES……..EBT food stamp cards need to stop as well as Earned income credit for all those little ones, and the other “Wives” who would file Single on their income taxes?? Come on…a national Flat tax without any deductions would end Polyagamy pretty damn quick. I see this everday as we live just a hour away from them.

  12. Ash
    June 5, 2013, 8:11 am

    I love this show! I’m no longer practicing Mormonism & never lived a poly life but the CP community seems so much happier than mainstream America. All are consenting and they have the absolute right to live this lifestyle. My only concern is the quantity of chi,dren per family in this quite crowded World. I have no right to judge nor does anyone else but their own God.
    So to you vile judging commenters, YOU ARE NOT GOD & YOUR JUDGEMENT IS UNJUSTIFIED. do you want someone telling you that your lifestyle is wrong? Both ways idiots

  13. Kathy
    San Diego
    June 11, 2013, 10:18 pm

    Hyrum is so sexy, I would teach him so many dirty things. Hyrum! Why are u wasting your hotness on that plain fat girl?? You could have any beautiful woman you want! Come to San Diego, I’ll show you what God gave you that sexy ass body for!

  14. Sienna
    Paris, France
    June 16, 2013, 5:24 pm

    I can’t believe no girl/woman in CP had earlier inspiration for Huyum than that ugly little duckling. I got ‘inspired’ within the first minute that I saw him. Yummie.
    It must suck to wait for a woman to choose you and then get stuck with that one. :-S

  15. Ernest
    United Kingdom
    June 18, 2013, 8:44 am

    I find it very strange in today’s world there are NO people of colour in this so called religion.
    This show make me sick!
    It’s not about religion, it’s only about dirty sick old white men pushing their sexually needs above women, all in the name of “religion”

  16. Ema
    July 8, 2013, 8:00 pm

    Both mono and poly have probs.