Love Times Three: Cult

Is This a Cult?
"Is this a cult?" Dr. Phil asks the foursome outright.

"There is no way I could brainwash these women," Joe answers. "They are so strong. No, absolutely not."

"We see a lot of these sects that are on food stamps and living off the government that they want out of their lives," Dr. Phil says. "But you don't do that; you never have."

"We work very hard to provide for the children," Alina says. "There are families that need [state assistance], and that's what it's there for. But to live on it, and live off the system, that's very against what we believe."

Alina also says that she strongly supports tolerance and open-mindedness to other lifestyles. "I wouldn't want my children to pick [this] unless they really thought it was right for them."

[AD]Dr. Phil asks Vicki if she would be OK in a non-plural relationship with Joe.

"I would be devastated that I lost my good friends," Vicki says of her sister wives. "But we could be a totally monogamous couple. We could go on. But we would have to take care of a lot of kids on our own!"

"What do you do that you can afford this?" Dr. Phil asks the group.

"I own my own business," Joe explains.

"I also own a business," Valerie says.
"What do [Alina's] seven children call you, Vicki?" Dr. Phil asks.

"They call me Aunt Vicki," she explains. "But they call all of us ‘The Parents.'"

"And, if they chose to not [be] in a plural marriage relationship, are you OK with that?" Dr. Phil asks.

Joe explains that one of their daughters was just married into a monogamous relationship and many of the children question whether it would work for them.

Alina shares that her children, just like herself, have struggled with degrading slurs from those who judge their lifestyle.

"Are you discriminated against in the business world?" Dr. Phil asks Joe.

Joe explains that, more than prosecution, he fears persecution from clients who would discover his lifestyle and refuse to do business with him.

"On page 219 of the book, you talk about your 16-year-old who got to that rebellious phase and blamed everything on polygamy," Dr. Phil says.

[AD]"What got him through, ironically, was his relationship with Vicki," Joe says of the other sister wife. "We were too defensive to hear it."

The group also speak candidly about the way they reach out for help in tough times. Alina says they have consulted with a marriage counselor in the past. "However, you can't just open the phone book and look up marriage counseling for quads," she quips.

Joe explains that when Vicki went through postpartum depression following a pregnancy, she had to get help.
The group also tackle the topic of the notorious FLDS. "Warren Jeffs and his sect are part of the same [polygamous] tradition," Joe says. "But they are a whole other sect. In reality, they are not the largest segment. The largest segment are people like me. I believe that plural marriage is the most traditional. Polygamy is worldwide. It is the most widely accepted practice outside western society. So, polygamy isn't just Mormon.

"We want the state out of our bedroom, out of our pants and out of our lives," Joe says.

[AD]The foursome are quick to separate themselves from Warren Jeffs' sect, and say that aside from the practice of plural marriage, their lives are starkly different.

"You said being here today will cost you on the persecution front " if not the prosecution front. Then, why do it?"