Posted on Sat, Feb. 02, 2002
Olympics Bring Utah's Polygamists Into Spotlight
BY ROBERT WOODWARD
SALT LAKE CITY - (Reuters) - Rowenna Erickson wants Utah to take polygamy seriously and the Winter Olympics has offered her the perfect opportunity to publicize what she describes as the ''horrors'' of the practice of taking multiple wives.
Erickson, now 62, ran away from her 38-year marriage to a member of one of the biggest of Utah's polygamous families and four years ago established Tapestry against Polygamy.
The organization helps women, children and even men from polygamous marriages by offering them support and safe houses.
``There are a lot of people leaving these marriages and many are afraid,'' Erickson said. ``These are cults practicing brain-washing and mind control and when they leave it is a horrendous effort to make the transition.
``We are assisting refugees in their transition from polygamy to a new life of freedom.''
Polygamy was originally encouraged by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- commonly called the Mormon church -- in the Utah territory, where they settled after their trek across America fleeing religious persecution....
``It's time for Utah to wake up and take it seriously,'' she told Reuters in an interview. ``The abuses in polygamy are so horrific, it's a breeding ground for sexual abuse.
``The groups are isolated, they live in secrecy and avoid the law -- and the law doesn't go after them....
``This form of terrorism must be recognized by the International Olympic Committee ... for the rights of the vulnerable who will be left behind long after the Games are gone,'' it said in a statement...
Found at: http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aber...on/2593113.htm