Paul A. Ibbetson
Sister Wives: the concubines of the cult of Kody Brown
By Paul A. Ibbetson
July 22, 2011

If you want to see another blatant example of social activism at the expense of traditional marriage, go no further than The Learning Channel (TLC). Part of TLC's knowledge-enhancing program lineup is the show featuring polygamist Kody Brown and his ever-growing, Utah-based harem of "Sister Wives." The show is spun as a unique look at a non-traditional family that faces the same struggles as regular folks and manages to make it through life with strong bonds of love and respect. That sounds really nice doesn't it? The truth of this dysfunctional group and their attempts at TV stardom are much darker, and much more dangerous to traditional American culture.

Researching the Kody Brown clan forced me to delve into the TV program. From doing so I discovered that Kody Brown, a sales and advertising agent, married his first wife Meri conventionally in 1990. Since then, Brown has been collecting and impregnating additional concubines, like Janelle, Christine and Robyn, at a consistent rate. Brown's women take on his last name, bear his offspring, and work to pay for the cost of the polygamist lifestyle. The show, Sister Wives, despite being given a positive spin, still highlights the cult-like mentality of polygamy groups.

Kody Brown emanates a shyster vibe that is common with manipulators found in cult settings. He preaches to his bedroom cohorts that they are each individually special and respected while at the same time adding new women to his brothel. Even during the two seasons of Sister Wives so far, Kody Brown has decided that three special wives is just not enough, and has added another woman to his collection. What we have here is one serious jive turkey in Kody Brown running some even more serious jive of some impressionable women. However, if we look at Sister Wives more critically, we can access Brown and the layers of hypocrisy in this show more adequately.

Brown's jive is more clearly seen as a constant manipulation of the women he exploits. Within the Brown polygamy system, he alone receives the carnal benefit of a sexual smorgasbord of duped female lovers, while the women do nothing more than bear and raise his children and sell jelly at the airport. This is truly cult-like activity. It is doubtful that Kody Brown's cherub-like smile would withstand a request from his stable to bring another man into the love circle. I suspect that would spoil the "specialness" of these marriages.

The next example of hypocrisy that screams to be addressed is the fact that this cult is not behind bars. Utah has anti-polygamy laws and this faction has more than written their confession to the crime of polygamy on national television. Where is the law here? One cult leader, four wives, sixteen children and no legal accountability.

Brent Bozell in NewsBusters adequately shows that Kody Brown and his Sister Wives wish to push polygamy into the mainstream culture and are willing to flout the laws of the land to do so. For them, breaking down traditional marriage is more than potentially circumventing the law; it is an attempt to be accepted into a culture that has traditionally been bound by biblical values on the subject. Sister Wives is nothing less than a counterculture advocacy program that undermines biblical values and promotes sexual perversion.

Lastly, and probably the largest example of hypocrisy is that TLC allows itself to be the vehicle for the dissemination, and the accomplice in the crime of polygamy. There is no rational spin that can be forwarded that will decrease their culpability in this attempt to lead the American culture astray on the values of marriage.

Traditional marriage is the cornerstone of America. The guidelines to this institution are firmly and clearly laid out within God's law and are in clear opposition to the Sister Wife lifestyle. To deviate from the cornerstone from which American life springs forth is to guarantee social calamity, suffering and pain. It matters not whether the merchants of deviance wish to push gay marriage, adultery, polygamy or any other cleverly altered variation of this kind. We would be wise to fight it, we would be just to defeat it, and we would be blessed to teach our children to do the same.

© Paul A. Ibbetson


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Paul A. Ibbetson

Dr. Paul A. Ibbetson is a former Chief of Police of Cherryvale, Kansas, and member of the Montgomery County Drug Task Force. Paul received his Bachelor's and Master's degree in Criminal Justice at Wichita State University, and his PhD. in sociology at Kansas State University. Paul is the author of several books and is also the radio host of the Kansas Broadcasting Association's 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 award winning, Conscience of Kansas airing across the state. Visit his website at For interviews or questions, please contact


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