Modern Polygamy: Arizona Mormon Fundamentalists Seek to Shed Stereotypes

While more tolerant than the FLDS, the Centennial Park polygamist community is not quite as laid back as the polygamy family featured on TLC's "Sister Wives" either. Women in Centennial Park get the inspiration for who they will marry, but then they can't say no to an additional wife if one gets an inspiration to join their family.

"They way I came in was that I believed that I belonged to Michael and I can't say that there is nobody else who belongs to you," Rose said. "That's between Michael and God."

There is no dating allowed. Women have to be at least 18 years old to marry, and God can tell them to marry just about anyone in town, even if they were many years older.

If his daughter gets the inspiration to marry someone who is 70 years old, Michael Cawley doesn't disagree with that decision.

"If that is what the answer is that comes from out Father in Heaven through inspiration to our elders and to her and to me and her mother, great," he said.

If Rose Marie marries into a home where she is the fifth or sixth wife, Cawley said that is also fine with him.

Future husbands can be revealed anywhere and at any time. For Connie Cawley, inspiration came when she was in the sixth grade. Once her science teacher, Michael is now her husband.

There are other polygamy families in Centennial Park. Arthur Hammon, one of the town elders and a husband to three wives with more than 20 children overseas a small army of young men who alearning the teachings to be good polygamist husbands.

Memories of the 1953 Short Creek raid, when the authorities arrested members of a polygamist community and removed the children from their homes, remain strong here. When asked if he were afraid of the police coming and shutting down his town, Hammon said "afraid" is the wrong term.

"If I let fear rule me, I would not do what I have done," he said. "It's a concern, they could do that."

Nevertheless, the polygamist community said they are tired of living in secret and want to demonstrate plural marriage as the way they say it should be seen. Hammon said that the stereotype that women in polygamist marriages have no rights, no freedom to leave the community and are only there to have babies is false, as far as he is concerned.

"I can tell you that my door swings both ways," he said. "If they come in, they can go out. I know of no greater freedom for a woman than living in a responsible, caring polygamist home."

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