Polygamists Practice Big Love In Arizona


The wild, uninhibited sex portrayed in show isn't a reality for them because in their small home the children are everywhere. But, they still look forward to a few stolen moments alone. "Sex is an expression of love," says Ariel. "There is a lot of love here."

Who will sleep with Ariel on any particular night is decided mutually by the adults. "In our case it's a triple decision," says Ariel. "We have to take each other's feelings and needs and wants into consideration." If they both want him at the same time "someone is going to be disappointed," he says.

The women admit, it's only human to get jealous at times. "[It] is a very important thing in our lifestyle, to be open enough that you can say 'this is how I feel,'" says Helen. "And they can listen to that and you can work through those problems and not get your feelings hurt."

Lisa agrees, saying she doesn't want Ariel to lose interest in Helen. "If it goes away for her, what's gonna happen to me when another wife comes in? I want him to love her as much as he loves me."

As for the husband's challenge to perform for multiple wives, "I'm not Superman," Ariel says with a smile.

Portrait Of A Family

The Hammon family and the residents of Centennial Park allowed "Primetime" into their homes in order to distance themselves from the backward and isolationist image of the notorious polygamist community in neighboring Colorado City, Arizona.

Just two miles away, outside society is shunned and visitors are not welcome. "Just go to hell," and "Go now! Not quick enough" are just some the responses "Primetime" received by locals during visits. There we are the Outsiders.

By going public and inviting cameras into his home, Ariel and his wives know he's risking prosecution, because according to the law, polygamy is a crime -- the fear that the authorities might come in and shut down the community and destroy his family is very real.

"They have [done it] before, so that is a threat," says Ariel. "They can wreck the homes, they can tear up the streets, but they're not going to do away with us."

While the town fights to change the law, one thing is certain: Ariel Hammon, his wives Helen and Lisa, and their nine children -- the portrait of a young and growing polygamous family -- are intent on living and preserving what they view as the sacred principle of polygamy. This report originally aired on February 13, 2007.

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