SALT LAKE CITY — A new reality show coming to The Learning Channel (TLC) tonight will feature a Utah polygamist and his five wives, with whom he has fathered 24 children.
My Five Wives will follow the life of Brady Williams, 43, and his wives Rhonda, 43, Paulie, 41, Robyn, 40, Rosemary, 40, and Nonie, 35. Williams is married to Paulie, and the others co-habitate with Williams without marriage licences. Each have conceived a range of four to six children with Williams.
“Believing in equality for everyone and a God who loves and accepts all—a belief system Brady and his family call progressive polygamy—the Williams family emphasize that their choice to be together is more about their mutual love and commitment than it is about religion,” a summary of the show from TLC outlines. “Though their beliefs and their decision to leave their church have led them to be shunned by their community and estranged from many family members, the Williams believe their sacrifices are worth it.”
“When I married Brady, I still had it in my mind that, that was how I was going to make it to heaven was by living in a plural marriage situation and I wanted to make it to heaven,” Rhonda told reporters.
Williams, a former Mormon, joined the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) for a time, but states that he no longer belongs to any religion.
“There shouldn’t be the fear of hell or the promise of heaven,” he told television station KUTV.
According to reports, Williams’ wives live in two separate homes, and each night he stays with a different woman. Cameras followed Williams and his wives for three months, recording their interactions, including inter-“family” disputes and rumors of pregnancy and adoption.
“[E]ach one-hour episode offers a candid look at a controversial lifestyle and goes behind closed doors to share an intimate portrait of this big, loving, progressive family,” TLC outlines. “From dealing with everyday issues like maintaining a strong marriage and raising children to more complicated issues such as jealousy, loneliness and their schedules with Brady, nothing is off-limits.”
“We’re just like any other family, just on a bigger scale,” one of the women states in the trailer for the broadcast.
Similar to the reality show Sister Wives featuring Kody Brown and his four wives, My Fives Wives Seeks to gain acceptance and tolerance of the polygamist lifestyle.
“[I]t’s important to stand up for what’s right. And it’s right to allow consenting adults who are well-adjusted and not coerced to be able to share their lives and raise their children in a stable and loving environment,” Williams told the Salt Lake Tribune.
But others have stated that promoting polygamy is far from “what’s right”—especially in the eyes of God.
“When we take a look back at Scripture, and the immoral behavior of those living in Sodom and Gomorrah, we find everything that is taking place today with the sexual immoral behavior, as it was back in those days. So what can we truly expect from God if he destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah?” asks the blog Prophesies of the End Times. “[Many] Bible verses have significance to why God said a man should have one wife…and a woman as his wife. So why has America and other countries taken a path to that of Sodom and Gomorrah?”
Warning: Implied profanity