Cindy Blackmore said Thursday that two Mounties flew to her home in Las Vegas late last year to talk to her as part of their investigation in the practice of polygamy and allegations of sexual abuse in the community in southeastern B.C.
The seventeen-year-old, who was raised with two mothers in a polygamous family but left home at 14, says she is not a polygamist but is not against it and she questions the decision of the B.C. Crown to charge her uncle.
Blackmore, 52, and James Oler, 44, each face one charge of practising a form of polygamy. The men are the leaders of two rival factions of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Bountiful, located near Creston . . .
She echoed her uncle, who said Thursday that tens of thousands of people from different cultural backgrounds practice polygamy quietly across the country.
“It’s kind of interesting because there’s a lot of people who practise polygamy. What are they going to do, arrest them all?” Cindy Blackmore said in a telephone interview . . .
Blackmore said she grew up in a polygamous household in Bountiful. She said she has two mothers and 10 brothers and sisters.
At 14, she said she decided to leave Bountiful to live in Cranbrook, located about 90 minutes drive northeast. She then left Cranbrook for Mesquite, Nevada, before moving to Las Vegas where she is attending college and studying social work.
Blackmore said she rejects the polygamous lifestyle for herself, but does not oppose it for others.
“My family is very, very good,” she said. “My parents, they accept me and they respect my choices. At first it wasn’t like that but now they’re, they’re very awesome. I live with my boyfriend and we’ve been together for almost three years.” . . .
She said the RCMP officers interviewed her in Las Vegas prior to the Christmas holidays.
“They were just asking me how I lived,” Blackmore said. “How I grew up and what I knew about Winston and what not.”
She said the RCMP also asked her about allegations of sexual abuse in the community.
“I haven’t encountered any sexual abuse of any in my family,” Blackmore said.
So, lacking any evidence of sexual or other abuse within these polygamous groups, the Canadian authorities are going after them for, horror of horrors, living an alternative lifestyle–this one based on religious beliefs. OK, Royal Mounties . . . good luck with that.