Tom Green dies, documentary

Public forum to discuss interesting and helpful books.
Post Reply
User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5636
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by SamBee » 09 Mar 2021, 03:38

Polygamist Tom Green has died. I first became aware of him through this British documentary which I saw many years ago:

https://youtu.be/vqORJHyNWJc

This is definitely worth a look. It gives a big insight into the polygamist mindset.

He occasionally popped up on other shows. I think he was on Jerry Springer or something similar at one point. He was certainly not camera shy and took the plural marriage issue to the courts.

He didn't really have a lot of money, so he failed to support all his wives and kids properly and some of them abandoned him. You can see in the documentary made years ago they live in basic conditions. The law shied away from prosecuting him directly on the polygamy issue, but instead convicted him of sex with minors. He married one (or two) of his wives when they were in their early teens.

[Disclaimer to any casual readers: Tom Green was not a member of the main Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which most forum members belong(ed) to. He was part of a small splinter group practising polygamy. Our church does not endorse polygamy or child marriage. Polygamy in our church was practised in the past, but not within living memory. It was officially abolished in the 1800s.]
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
Posts: 6250
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by Roy » 09 Mar 2021, 10:50

SamBee wrote:
09 Mar 2021, 03:38
He married one (or two) of his wives when they were in their early teens.
It seems interesting to me that many of the modern polygamists seem to get in trouble for this. Law enforcement might have given them some peace if they had avoided crossing that particular line.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5636
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by SamBee » 09 Mar 2021, 18:48

Roy wrote:
09 Mar 2021, 10:50
SamBee wrote:
09 Mar 2021, 03:38
He married one (or two) of his wives when they were in their early teens.
It seems interesting to me that many of the modern polygamists seem to get in trouble for this. Law enforcement might have given them some peace if they had avoided crossing that particular line.
Yes, I think so. But it reminds me of how Al Capone was finally convicted on tax evasion not all the other stuff.

Personally I don't have a huge problem with this. Abuse of minors is a serious issue, but consenting adults is another. He evidently did not look after his kids properly either.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
Posts: 6250
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by Roy » 10 Mar 2021, 17:58

I think that there are factors that limit/complicate consent even among adults.

In regards to minors, they cannot consent to sexual contact legally or morally.

There are some states that allow marriages of minors with the consent of the parents. I personally do not feel that this should be legal.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5636
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by SamBee » 11 Mar 2021, 03:17

Roy wrote:
10 Mar 2021, 17:58
I think that there are factors that limit/complicate consent even among adults.
I think we have massive hypocrisy on the issue in the west. The mainline LDS is pro-monogamy or at least serial monogamy, but outside the church(es), the world encourages promiscuity. You can even live with more than one sexual partner publicly, like Hugh Hefner did and be a celebrity. But when it comes to "put a ring on it" (as Beyoncé says) then it's a no no. Polyamory is okay according to the world, polygamy isn't.

If the people are adults and not forced into it, I don't have a huge problem with it.

The main problem with Green was the underage thing, which is inexcusable. The other problem is that he was not supporting his own children properly. (And yes, he should have supported his adult wives properly although some of them would be capable of getting work of their own.)
There are some states that allow marriages of minors with the consent of the parents. I personally do not feel that this should be legal.
Well you can get married at sixteen here and join the army, but you can't drive or vote. I used to know a couple who had married at sixteen and were happy decades later - the exception rather than the rule. I shudder when I think about some of the girls I was interested in as a teenager - I realise that it would have been a disaster if I had married any of them (I met a schoolfriend who had married one of them a few years ago - she turned out to be a very abusive spouse.)

We have rampant teen pregnancy here among poorer people. It is very common to see fifteen year olds wandering around with a big bump (which is under the legal age). Very few sixteen to twenty year olds get married here although they produce plenty of babies. Some of the girls I see with babies are so young it is hard to know if they are their mothers or older sisters.

It's not like they don't know about contraception. We have very detailed sex ed. Too detailed some would say. But it hasn't made much of an impact on this. We also have sky high STIs now among teens and twenty somethings esp. chlamidya.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Limhah
Posts: 55
Joined: 11 Jun 2010, 02:01

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by Limhah » 12 Mar 2021, 21:28

Interesting to read about this, I'd heard of Green years ago and had totally forgotten about him until now. I was never particularly impressed by him or his efforts though I never really investigated him that closely.

Back in the day (1990s ... !) I was very interested in the ramifications of some of the early Church doctrines such as plural marriage (by whatever technical term was favored ... celestial, patriarchal order of marriage, etc.) and checked out a few practitioners of it. Finally came to agree w/some early church leaders that it really is a hard ordinance to follow 'righteously' or in accordance with gospel principles. One thing I think is clear is that it only really works in concert with other ordinances, notably United Order. All of which are extremely difficult to follow, especially in our era.

I know folks who practice 'polyamory' (not my favorite term) but that's another kettle of fish entirely.

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 5636
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by SamBee » 13 Mar 2021, 04:09

Limhah wrote:
12 Mar 2021, 21:28
I know folks who practice 'polyamory' (not my favorite term) but that's another kettle of fish entirely.
I don't like the term either, but the result is the same - multiple sexual/romantic partners. They just don't "put a ring on it". But I think polyamory is also more likely to spread disease like other open ended forms of sexuality than closed systems like polygamy.
Limhah wrote:
12 Mar 2021, 21:28
Interesting to read about this, I'd heard of Green years ago and had totally forgotten about him until now. I was never particularly impressed by him or his efforts though I never really investigated him that closely.
He was a big self-publicist, but not a good campaigner. There are other polygamy campaigners who were more convincing - like an English aristocrat, Lord Bath who had 74 "wifelets" at one point. As far as I know Bath never went for underage girls, thankfully, but he was open about it.

One thing I don't like about the documentary is it calls Green "Mormon", but does not bother to explain he is not part of our church. (Likewise the media describes Mel Gibson as Catholic when he belongs to a church with a few hundred members.) It is hard to find out much about his religious practice.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Limhah
Posts: 55
Joined: 11 Jun 2010, 02:01

Re: Tom Green dies, documentary

Post by Limhah » 19 Mar 2021, 22:23

My daughter's mother, who was once very much a devoted (& temple worthy fwiw) church member lives in another city with her wife and husband of 20+ years, and all three of them have been together for quite a long time as far as I can recall. I believe that she and her husband were married in the temple but this was before both of them, evidently, left (I never bothered to ask if they are just inactive or officially off the rolls.) I'm also not sure but I think they're equilaterally mutual (i.e. all three are married to each other, not just one to the other two as in some types of patriarchal arrangements.)

It's quite a confusing post-modern 'current year' household that they live in with my adult daughter, her new daughter (my granddaughter who I've yet to meet), two teens from her own prior marriage and another son from her husband's prior marriage. Or something along those lines, I don't keep up with them enough to sort it all out though we're nominally Facebook friends. I suppose they do as well as anyone in or out of the church and sometimes I secretly envy the way they really support each other.

Post Reply