Day 11, Reference, Article by Daphne Bramham

Note:  Dr. Henrich is the lead expert witness for the AGBC.  I have appended both his affidavits into the court documents section–right side bar.  He is a brilliant man, and I simply enjoyed his presentation yesterday. 

Those who cross-examined him couldn’t really shake a dent in his credibility or his research.  I am posting the next two articles.  His testimony and cross-examination ended yesterday at 4:00 p.m. 

 It was my last day to be in court here in Vancouver.  I’m heading home to prepare for Christmas and to raise enough money to be here on January 19th when Dr. Steve Kent will be testifying. 

There has been no decision yet for the last two weeks of closing statements and summations.  I’m planning on returning for those.

I’ll continue posting articles on the proceedings.  These three weeks have been very exciting for “our” side.  And, statistics for the Stop Polygamy in Canada blog show that hundreds of you are tuning in every day.

Nancy Mereska, President
Stop Polygamy in Canada

One third of men ‘missing’ from polygamous B.C. community: expert

By Daphne Bramham, Postmedia NewsDecember 9, 2010

VANCOUVER — The population of men living in B.C.’s controversial polygamous community is anything but bountiful, a court heard Thursday.

In fact, Joseph Henrich, an expert witness who teaches at the University of British Columbia, testified that 30 per cent of the adult men who should be living in the southeastern B.C. community of Bountiful “appear to be missing.”

The economics and psychology professor said the figures — which are included in one of two affidavits he has filed — indicates that even if the data are adjusted to account for some demographic imbalance because women live longer, at least 20 per cent of the men are missing.

The deficit is seen specifically among 16- and 17-year-olds. Of the 22, there are nearly three times as many girls as boys — 16 girls and six boys.

So where are all the men?

“These patterns suggest some combination of an outflow of men and an inflow of women,” said Henrich at the B.C. Supreme Court constitutional reference case to determine the validity of Canada’s law against polygamy.

Earlier arguments suggested young men were being driven out of Bountiful either “by accident or design.”

The data Henrich drew his conclusions from is a self-census done by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which has 548 members in Bountiful. Another 500 or so people live in Bountiful, practise polygamy and follow Winston Blackmore, another fundamentalist Mormon leader.

Henrich called Bountiful “highly polygamous” by global and historical standards. A third of the men from the settlement have more than one wife, he said.

Polygamy has been illegal in Canada since 1890, although there hasn’t been a prosecution in the past 50 years. Two religious leaders — Winston Blackmore and James Oler of Bountiful, in southeastern B.C. — were charged in 2008, but those charges were stayed. That case was the genesis of the current case.

Henrich’s testimony continues Thursday and is expected to continue Friday as well.

The community of Bountiful, near Lister, B.C., is at the centre of a legal debate over Canada’s anti-polygamy laws.

The community of Bountiful, near Lister, B.C., is at the centre of a legal debate over Canada’s anti-polygamy laws.

Photograph by: Ric Ernst, PNG



8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Status on December 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    We need to remember the BC Attorney General has said that harm from polygamy is only a women equality matter, so I don’t see why we anyone is talking about lost boys here. The AG has said that polygamy only means polygyny. Obviously polygamy does not harm males, according to the BC attorney general.


    • Posted by st0pp0lygamy on December 10, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      Obviously you have not been following the conversation very well. Lost boys have been discussed throughout. More video testimony is going to be shown from several men who either left the oppressive conditions on their own or were tossed out. I approved your comment only because you do not appear to be another polyamory person wishing to flood my blog with inane, insulting comments.

      Nancy Mereska, President
      Stop Polygamy in Canada


      • Posted by Status on December 13, 2010 at 11:35 pm

        No, I am not a poly person. It just seems weird that the BC AG claims women can legally have multiple spouses, but men cannot, as the “harm” only stems from polygynous relationships?

  2. Posted by Barbara Gobbi on December 11, 2010 at 4:01 am

    This is a very interesting case to follow and the newspapers are doing a credible job in their coverage.

    The first commentator called ‘Status’ said that Attorney General (of BC or of Canada? ) said that polygamy means only polygyny. I’ll look over my printed materials to see if I can find that statement. Polyamory is also a form of polygamy and our society can do without it. Two women and one man in a bed or two men and one woman in a bed definitely fits into the legal meaning of polygamy.

    Children, according to the polyamorists affidavits, are an integral part of this so called ‘big love’ scene. The children involved deserve more stability than such conjugal-like relationships offer. There is also a very real chance of an increased rate of incest in these relationships it would seem since step-fathers are more likely to abuse their step-daughters than biological fathers are. There is also an air of accepted promiscuity in the polyamory adherents.

    Hopefully, a lot of people are becoming more aware that a drive for multiple partner marriage may soon follow if the law against polygamy is removed. Social chaos will surely increase.


  3. Posted by st0pp0lygamy on December 12, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Thank you, Barbara.


  4. Posted by Status on December 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Hi Barbara,
    For clarity, it is the AG of BC who says polygamy excludes women with multiples spouses as well as same sex spouses with mutiple partners. The Federal AG has said polygamy includes both genders but excludes “state-sponsored” or “state-authorized” polygamy. The federal AG is basically saying that if a province allows uncoerced polygamy then its ok. In Canada, it is provincial authorities that define who is and who is not spouses using family law acts. As such the Federal AG is positiong polygamy on a federal criminal code level while leaving provinces open to “state-sanctioning” polygamy. With this type of legal positioning, polygamy will be “authorized” provincially if any province wishes to do so.


  5. Posted by Status on December 13, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Barbara, additional information comes from a provincial court of family law judicial decree and judgement:

    “As the formation of a common-law relationship does not require the civil solemnization of a marriage, there is no risk of violating the criminal sanction against bigamy. The formation of a common-law relationship is not hindered by the existence of a subsisting marriage. Mutual intention of the parties consummated by their conduct, perhaps with an expressive public component, is all that is required for the formation of the relationship.”

    In this case the judge made the married woman the spouse of another person under provincial legislation.

    As such, it appears multiple spousal approval, whether covered under bigamy or polygamy legisltation does fall under provincial jurisdiction, not federal.


  6. Posted by st0pp0lygamy on December 14, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Hello Status,

    The attorney for the AGBC said polyandry (woman with more than one spouse) is very rare. He did not say anything about it being legal. His opening statement is on this blog. Please read it; and, please don’t put words in his mouth that were never uttered!


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