Episode 203: Secrets and Wives with Sanjiv Bhattacharya

John and Zilpha discuss Utah’s polygamist underground with author, reporter, and documentary film-maker Sanjiv Bhattacharya.

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Episode 203

10 comments on “Episode 203: Secrets and Wives with Sanjiv Bhattacharya”

  1. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Sanjiv is interesting to listen to. … They are living among us … I did not think that this practice is probably widespread not just in isolated remote areas.

  2. Hermes Reply

    I agree that this stuff needs to be brought out of the shadows.  Polyamory needs to become legal so that we can deal directly with the problems created by Mormon polygamy (and any other polygamous cultures that routinely and systematically enslave and abuse children).

    This makes the mainline LDS church’s position on homosexuality seem even sillier. What was it that Jesus is supposed to have said about taking care of the beam in one’s own eye before going after the mote in someone else’s?

    • Hermes Reply

      My wife and I watched Sanjiv’s documentary on searching for Warren Jeffs.  It was thought-provoking (in a good way).  I think I may have to read his book now.

  3. Zilpha Reply

    My favorite Sanjiv quote from this interview, “This Mormon stuff is strong potion!”
    Yes, it is.

    • Hermes Reply

      This is something that insiders often don’t get.  When I think back to my mission, it floors me to think how casually some of my companions and I invited people to turn their lives totally upside down for reasons that outsiders see as totally screwy.

  4. Elder Vader Reply

    Whilst listening to this, I got deja vu.  It felt like I was reading the Smoot hearings all over again.  When Utah had achieved statehood and Senator Smoot (mormon apostle) was being seated there was a huge objection to it, and before he could be seated there was a big congressional hearing.  Church leaders testified, and overall it was a huge fiasco, and a huge embarrassment to the church.  I remember thinking as I read through it (kind of tedious reading) that the US Government was just tired of all the bullshit coming from the Mormons.  

    I got that vibe from Sanjiv as well, in regard to the polygamists.  To try to sum up kind of a take away message:  “Its not that any of us care how consenting adults choose to configure their household.  We object to the bullshit (in other words the child labor, child abuse, incest, criminal activity, and exploitation).”  
    I also loved John Larsen’s image of the church radioactively spitting out polygamists.  

  5. Joe Geisner Reply
  6. Lindsay P Reply

    Wow! This was such a fascinating podcast, albeit a little depressing. I couldn’t help but make constant connections to the mainstream LDS church.  I think often of the women in the 19th century that were politically active to rally around polygamy and related causes. We often brag about those women and their fight and drive to buck societal trends and take up political causes. When I think of that in relation to polygamous women today that are public and political advocates for polygamy and it’s very dangerous practices, I can’t help but feel very, very sad for the legacy that was left to us.

  7. iamse7en Reply

    Some of these more private Fundamentalist groups are so fascinating… Sinister, sure, but fascinating. Interesting discussion. I like it when you have guests like this.

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