Cornerstone

Why the Brineys Decided to do a Reality TV Show

Written by Angela

The Brineys on a Reality TV Show

The Briney family appearing on a reality tv show almost didn’t happen.  We said “no” four or five times – even when approached by TLCs reality tv talent scout, charming as she was (really)!  We knew friends who were considering doing the reality show when they were approached and we thought they were CRAZY!  We would never do that!  Hahaha.

We did not want to expose our plural family.  Doing so in Utah is essentially asking for trouble.  Plus, who wants to put their everyday life in the hands of editors looking for drama?  People who can twist anything to make it look a certain way…?  To do so would be asinine.  Hahaha.

Drew and April told the talent scouts that our family was not who they were looking for as they sent them on their way.  When the talent scouts left, April went downstairs and said a prayer, “God, please send the network the family that will do the most good for this show.”  After all, we had a high interest in who would be a representation of ours and so many other plural families.  We can’t all be painted with the same broad brush, but we are interested in showing at least another color than what the news dramas report on.

How We Got to Yes

We were approached a few times before saying “yes.”  At the end of the day, HB99 had passed the House and the Senate, which came as a very unhappy surprise to many plural families.  Utah was now making plurally married men and their plural wives felons and threatening to make their children wards of the State.

While with their lips they stated they wouldn’t prosecute unless in conjunction with other crimes, they wouldn’t codify that into the law.  In the words of Joe Darger, “This is more for persecution than it ever is intended for prosecution.”  What they are doing is essentially scaring us into hiding, which breeds many of the problems that they are supposedly concerned with about polygamy.  Utah is ashamed of us.  They want to push us into the shadows as they try to separate themselves from their religious history.  The sponsor of HB99 went so far as to say that he wanted to show polygamists that they were “apostates” and that they were “hijacking” his religion. 

For all of the talk about wanting to protect victims of polygamy, the bill’s sponsor put on a chief witness who was later exposed as a fraud who made up her stories and when victim’s advocacy groups testified against the law, they were given no heed. A more carefully thought out bill that (1) corrected multiple constitutional problems with HB99 and (2) facilitated the prosecution of abusive practices while leaving consenting adults alone was completely ignored despite being sent to every representative and senator within the State of Utah. A friend of ours reported that when she discussed egregious abuses with Utah’s governor, he responded not by initiating an investigation – he reportedly answered: “We passed HB99.”  The alleged abuses remain without investigation despite being exposed in great detail by Utah news reporters.  In the end, it appears that the law really is more about persecution than stopping abuses as legislators claim.  It’s about “apostates” not criminal activity.

We hear friends reporting to us that people are wondering… Did you hear about the Brineys showing up on a reality tv show?!  Well now you know, this is what pushed me, Angela, personally, over the edge.  I wanted to do the show as a statement that they will not shut us up.  No, we will not be quiet.  No, you will not push us into hiding and remove our liberties.

As a family we prayed about and felt that we should do the show.

Religious Persecution

Utah is behind the times with their religious persecution.  While most minority groups are obtaining their rights and freedoms, things are going backwards for polygamists.  What century are we in?

We know that every minority group has to make their voice heard to earn their freedom.  We can be no different.  But even the man having multiple affairs and having children he doesn’t even know about, let alone care for, has his.  Oh, the irony.

At the end of the day, we considered it a calling to do the show.  If not us, then who?  If not now, then when?  If we risk appearing fools and our vulnerability scrutinized, so be it.  We also stand to potentially gain freedom for ourselves and for other plural families by doing so.  We firmly believe the world needs to see more plural families to humanize us.  They will see that we are as diverse as monogamous families.  When we can be humanized, we can be empathized with.  When we can be empathized with ‘we the people’ will no longer remain passive in the persecution of plural families.  We believe in ‘the people’.  But more education and information is necessary – so that is what we’ve set out to do.

Thank you for seeing and hearing us.  Please tune in Sunday nights to TLC at 10/9 Central following the new season of Sister Wives to see the Briney’s reality tv show, Seeking Sister Wife.  The show premieres January 14th.

God bless!
~Angela

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18 thoughts on “Why the Brineys Decided to do a Reality TV Show

    1. Thank you, Shannon! We hope it does more good than harm. We are really putting ourselves out there as we know the show is made in editing… Trusting God for his hand in it!

  1. I’ve always believed in loving as many people as you can. Love is different in every relationship. I’m blessed that my ex husband has a wife that cares for my children as hers whenever they are with them. I’m very blessed that my currenthusband loves my kids and has been there for them from the day they met him. I don’t believe that anyone should have to hide who they love, based on archaic laws, and laws implemented to make people feel insecure. Bless you and your family. All of your family.

  2. Here’s to wishing for the best in how they portray your family. Also, may this new year see many blessings for you all as well. You are so very brave, daring and bold. Me likey.

  3. I understand you want to live your lives out of hiding and show the world that your no different from anyone else. What I don’t understand is if your choosing to put your life on tv for the world to know the truth, why are you making your kids lie about who you are?

    1. I’m sorry this is confusing but … #SpoilerAlert … we are not allowed to explain the storyline for now – it will become clear in later episodes.

    2. I personally think the world needs these kinds of shows. All we’ve ever been shown by the media when it comes to polygamy is bad! Most people when they hear the world polygamy they instantly think Warren Jeffs, they think of 1 controlling and abusive husband and several submissive, meek wives, they think of children being forced to marry their 40 year old uncle. Shows like seeking sister wife and Sister Wives show the world the other side of polygamy. That woman have a voice in the family, the children arent forced into the life style. The world needs to see that there is a healthy polygamy life style and that these people are happy and deserve to be because they aren’t hurting anyone! The world needs to see that these folks are being persecuted and they aren’t hurting anyone. They deserve to be able to live freely as be proud of their families. Just like I, as a gay woman, deserve to love who I choose and all I want is to raise my kids in an accepting and loving community. Isn’t that what we all want?! I’m certain that if the laws surrounding LGBTQ2 folks can change, that we can change them for our polygamist friends and neighbors too.

  4. Wow! This is an insightful & very impressive post. I’m not in to your lifestyle personally but I fell you should be free to be who you are as long as you aren’t hurting others. And you are so right—25 years ago it was in fathomable that same-sex marriage would be recognized by the government. You guys must be more humanized in the public eye so that you gain support of your religious freedom just as they gained support of their right to be married!! With a broader range of support, surely Utah will see the err of their ways. The Brown family opened the door for yours to make a difference IMHO. I’m excited for your family and those who come afterwards for the change about to come!

  5. I love your family and how real you all are. I am glad that the show shows your struggles and doesn’t portray your family as perfect. I like that you all work on trying to fix what is wrong in a godly manner. I wish you all the best and you have a beautiful family. I hope you get the rights you deserve to be able to live your lives in the open.

  6. Thanks for deciding to be on the show and expose your family. I love your family and support you all how you live. I can only imagine how hard it is to live with 2 other women as we all have different personalities. I wish you only the best and hope that there is a season 2. God bless you all!! Thanks again.

  7. Hello! First I would like to say, while I am not an advocate for plural marriage, no government or state has the right to tell you where or how to live. I think your family gracefully shared your family life and what it is like. I am very happy the children get to call Drew dad and the family gets to stay together. I do pray and wish all the best for your family and hope for better things in Utah. May blessings and happiness! Mimi

  8. Just finished your book Silencing Mormon Polygamy. I want to thank you for filling in so many gaps in my knowledge of where and how the Fundamentalist movement got going. After joining the Church in the early to mid 1960’s and being sealed in the Oakland Temple I was drawn to the truthfulness of God’s plural lifestyle. As you most certainly must be aware, it is not easy. As an independent poligger, living in a non polygamy area my neighbors were always trying to rescue my family from me. Finally after moving to an undeveloped 80 acre ranch, thinking we would be left alone (silly thought), I found myself up against several men named Young the descended from Brigham. These men controlled the county and as one deputy sheriff told me they intended to put me in prison which they succeeded to do. The decade plus of my vacation gave me time to pursue my study of the mysteries of scripture. If you are an Israelite and find that you have interest in this work either to study it or get involved in the editing & publishing of it my name is John and my email address is:
    John@concinnitybooks.com.

    {rest of comment truncated}

    1. Thank you John – that was one of my more rewarding books to write because the whole time writing it, I didn’t know what I thought about those details of history. It was later reviewed as a book disproving Mormon fundamentalism and disproving priesthood claims of the mainstream Mormon church. I didn’t believe it did either! haha

      I defended hundreds of polygamists in Utah over the years and it never ceases to surprise me the levels of persecutions they receive with little or no recourse until they hire an attorney to force the local government to grant them constitutional rights that should be afforded every citizen in this country. Still, mainstream Mormons prattle about how there are no persecutions and how everyone is treated equally, etc. and try to counter our message that the laws are messed up and need changed. So … I totally empathize for you.

      We truncated your comment to match the audience on this blog, but I’d be happy to chat with you more about it if you PM me on FB. I’m getting errors trying to email you…

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