POSTED AT 7:24 PM EDT
Thursday, Aug 5, 2004
Wives of B.C. polygamists poised to defend lifestyle
-- The usually cloistered wives in a B.C. polygamous colony are organizing
a public relations campaign to defend their lifestyle as the government
prepares to investigate decades-old claims of abuse in the community.
45, is a mother of six children and is married to a man who has taken several
wives in the Interior town of
going to meet on Saturday to decide what we want to say and write a press
release," she said.
Some women who
Rarely do they
speak out about their male-dominated society.
I'm just probably one of the more mouthy ones," said Ms. Palmer, who
adheres to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a
Mormon splinter group.
"I was just
so upset about all the untruths that were being spread. No one is forced to be
in our community. It's a free world."
Ms. Palmer said
the sooner the government sends in social workers to confirm her claim, the
Debbie Palmer, a
woman who fled
Marlene Palmer were married to the same man and used to be close friends.
Marlene Palmer said she doesn't understand why Debbie is so critical of her
lifestyle, which she claims was very good to her.
the Attorney General's office had probably better organize themselves and get
investigating. I think they might as well. If there was some abuse going on I
would want to know about it.
"I'm a very
liberated woman. I do what I want and I don't like any kind of problems
happening with children. Children are the innocent, wonderful people in our
49, who at 15 became the sixth wife of a 55-year-old, said her sister wife
Marlene is being controlled by
brainwashing to a whole other level. She's been inside that community her
defends her community in a way that is desperate, you hear her ranting and
raving about how beautiful it is and that there's no downside to it. That's not
realistic. She's desperate to try to preserve her own sanity."
said she is determined to help and protect women like Marlene. She filed a
complaint with the B.C. Human Right's Tribunal alleging that girls in
She isn't getting
very far though. The tribunal sent her a letter this week asking if she had the
permission of the people of
who now lives in
that women in
Police say they
are trying to decide how to approach the investigation and what kind of task
force would be most appropriate.
said it is important to bring in cult experts from the
However, the B.C.
Civil Liberties Association has warned that if police try to enforce
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