Today has been a study in testimonial contrasts. Two witnesses, on either side of the argument, made appearances via video.
The first, Don Fisher, was an ex-FLDS member, having left the faith at the age of eighteen. He spoke as follows: "I was born in Colorado City into an FLDS family. I had 3 mothers and 33 siblings. We lived in one house with 15 bathrooms. I attended public school to Grade 5 before Warren Jeffs had it shut down and opened a church school. We were taught that we had to be good to go to heaven, and should have lots of wives and lots of kids. As soon as you're old enough to walk you're allowed to roam free, and you're off exploring the world on your own. I didn't know anything different.
I didn't get along with my Dad. I was the only kid who wouldn't take punishment; I stood up to him. I went to Canada (Bountiful) because my Dad wanted to get rid of me. I was 14. He said I was interfering with God's work by trying to stop him beating the kids. I'd run away - one time I was away for 2 days - and in the FLDS you just don't run away. In Bountiful life with that many kids was not bad - there was a lot of friends, our own football team. It was a sort of work camp experience. I got paid $120 a month. I really looked up to Winston Blackmore - he was almost a father figure to me.
In Colorado City Warren Jeffs split up Dad's family. Mom was assigned to another man. She called me to come to the marriage ceremony - I was fifteen. I stayed in the U.S. and had 16 brothers and sisters. I started watching movies and going to town. I was kicked out again, given $100 and spent a night in a motel. Warren told me that I could go back if I promised to tithe to the church and be baptized. So I did, and I really put on a show of being good - no movies, no music, no girls, no thinking, just be obedient. I was told girls were snakes, and I should treat 'em like pigs, never to have anything to do with them. I never hugged my brothers or sisters. I was told that the whole purpose of a girl was to produce kids for God. A guy's purpose was to have lots of wives and kids and be a man of God.
After the church split, after one more year in Canada, I got out completely. If you're not good you won't get a wife. After FLDS I have life - I didn't exist in FLDS. Out of it I can do whatever I want. Up there you don't have options, we're treated like cattle. Here you get to be a person.
My brother is a dentist, my sister is a doctor, other brothers are firefighters. Everything they do has to conform to the needs of the church.
I don't have any relationship any more with Mom and the family. After my second child was born, when he was about two months old, I met Mom in the street and handed the baby to her to hold. She handed him back after 30 seconds, scared to death she would go to hell for meeting up with an apostate like me."
Don Fisher was followed by Anne Wilde, an enthusiastic advocate of plural marriage .
Her testimony took place in five parts, which can be found at
One of the rare FLDS wives who is highly educated, Wilde is an author, with her husband, of 65 books on her way of life.
I urge you watch her testimony, and if afterwards you are sure you know who is telling the truth about polygamy, I will be impressed!
The Court will not sit tomorrow, and re-convenes on Monday 17th January.