Kolleen, Nicole, Steven and Suzanne are four young people getting desperately needed help from a Mormon Fundamentalist “rescue” group called Holding out HELP, after escaping from two extremist polygamist groups where they had been traumatized.
Suzanne fled the infamous Warren Jeff’s FLDS community with her mother and five sisters after her father was sent away from the group and was forced to tell his children that he was no longer their father. She cries as she explains that her mom and siblings now have no idea of where he is.
Kolleen ran away from her abusive home in the “Kingston” polygamist sect after a life of oppression. “One of my earliest memories is of my father beating me up,” she told Brown teen siblings, Logan, Madison and Aspyn.
Thirteen year-olds Forced to Marry 40 Year-old Men
Nicole “got out” of the Kingston community after her father tried to force her to marry someone she didn’t like at 16. She tells the Brown teens that she knew five 13-year-old girls in her community who were forced to marry 40-year-old men. “They were physically, sexually and physically abused or all three,” she recounts.
Steven was thrown out of his home and never allowed to return after he stayed out until 2 a.m. one night with friends.
All four are now bitterly opposed to polygamy much to the dismay of the Brown teens even though neither Madison nor Logan plan to personally be polygamists anyway.
Aspyn nevertheless would still like to be a sister wive.
“I wouldn’t want to live it (polygamy) because I have a brain,” insists Kolleen. “I want to yell at the Browns,” she says. “I want to tell them (polygamy) isn’t as happy as it seems.”
Madison responds that she doesn’t want to live in polygamy but “I support my parents 100% because they are good people.”
The Evil Side of Polygamy
She breaks down in tears saying that “It’s disgusting that people like Warren Jeffs took polygamy and abused it so all those kids know is the evil side of polygamy and they’re scared by it.”
All four escapees are deeply grateful to Holding Out HELP which was taken them under its wing.
“These people have lost everything. They don’t know how to navigate in the outside world,” explains Tonia from the organization. “These Fundamentalist Mormons don’t know where to turn. They’re family is cut off. Their life is cut off and they need someone to walk along side them.”
Kolleen, a pretty punky blonde, was set up with a host family that she has lived with for some time and has come to love.
“I consider my host family, my family and it’s a world of difference. I have a mom that’s there for me, and I have a dad now,” she says.
The Cruel Father Kolleen Barely Knew
Her own father visited her home growing up, very infrequently and was treated like royalty when he came. “When my dad would come over, my mom would freak. He’d have special glass dishes just for him. He was the king,” relates Kolleen.
Kolleen warns “brainwashed child” Aspyn: “The chances of you marrying a polygamist and them being as good as your family are very slim,” and she tells Madison that “you have to be a very dumb person to be a polygamist.”
It’s easy to see why Kolleen is so dead set against polygamy, Kody and his wives agree, but they are desperate to show her that THEIR family life is the complete opposite of what she grew up with.
“I was always shunned in my community,” says Kolleen. “Everyone started calling me the devil’s child.”
Nicole Calls Polygamy Prostitution
Nicole tells the Browns that she had 27 moms but “not one was around. My mom was too busy just fighting for attention from my dad.”
She thinks polygamy is “a bunch of control freaks that get into power and it’s prostitution.” Strong stuff.
The sister wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn all agree that the ugly, old-fashioned dresses that Suzanne was forced to wear in the Warren Jeff’s FLDS community were dresses “of oppression.”
But the Brown take some satisfaction showing the abused polygamist escapees that they have sadly grown up in a completely different polygamist world than theirs.
What is especially sad is how Kolleen and Nicole have desperately missed having a father in their lives. It’s so obvious in their wistful comments about Kody, who has clearly impressed them with his commitment to being a father.
Wishing They Had a Real & Loving Father
“Seeing your family, I see it is possible to live it in the right way. Seeing your dad being a real husband and dad, I have a lot of respect for him — it’s awesome.,” admits Nicole.
Kolleen sounds even more deprived over what she’s missed.
“I hated every polygamist on earth, but then I met your dad and he’s a dad…a real dad. I respect this guy and you guys are so much better than what we had to go through,” she says.
The experience of meeting these four damaged polygamist refugees leaves Christine in tears.
“I didn’t know of the problems in Kolleen’s and Nicole’s groups. I thought polygamy was a blessing and not used to control people,” she cries.
So Kody gets his wish — he convinces the abused escapees that polygamy isn’t all bad, but he and his wives and children face a sobering reality — polygamy’s very dark side.
This was the best and most riveting episode ever of Sister Wives — don’t you agree, HollywoodLifers?
— Bonnie Fuller
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