Polygamists Practice Big Love In Arizona
They're an all-American family -- only with multiple wives.
Aug. 14, 2007— -- Welcome to Centennial Park -- population 1200 -- a tiny speck in the vast Arizona desert. A place where everyone considers themselves to be typical, All-American families in every way except one: the residents here practice polygamy.
Ariel Hammon, 32, his wife Helen, 30, their seven children, Ariel's second wife Lisa, 20, and their two children -- all twelve squeeze into a tiny two-bedroom cottage with just 1400 square feet of living space. As the kids grow and the family adds more wives and babies, the house will only get smaller.
But in the polygamous community of Centennial Park, overcrowding is a problem with a solution -- volunteer work crews. "We build each other's homes," says Ariel, who will pay for materials.
In a scene straight out of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the volunteers dig the hole, lay the foundation and frame an addition that will double the size of the Hammon house in just two days! "It's definitely an answer to my prayers," says a teary-eyed Helen. "I've been wondering how we're gonna accomplish it and here it is."
Ariel first caught the eye of his two wives in exactly the same way, he was their math teacher. "I was a senior and the minute I saw him it was like, 'that's it. That's who I'm supposed to marry,'" recalls Helen.
But dating is prohibited by the church; instead Helen prays and consults with her parents and church leaders. "My goal is to do my father's will, not what I necessarily would like to do," she says.
Incredibly, according to custom, the man is also in the dark about being a prospective husband until everyone else is in agreement.
Lisa says it happened exactly the same way for her and the fact that he was already married didn't bother her. "That wasn't a problem, that was a bonus!" she exclaims. Wife number one's reaction? "Wonderful! I've been praying for this since before I was married," Helen says.
It all seems hard to believe, so "Primetime" turns to every community's social rebels --