I'm wondering what happens to a polygamous patriarch when all his wives are gone. This thought nagged at me right after the raid on Eldorado, as videographers followed the men around their empty houses and gardens, missing their wives and children, fighting tears, and wondering what to do with themselves. What a switch it must have been for these family-besieged men, to have their lives suddenly transformed from being in constant demand to being utterly alone!

Of course, some of the fundamentalist men may have enjoyed the break, the intense quiet, the possibility of finishing a shower without a flushed toilet sending frigid water over them, the quiet pleasure of reading a whole passage of scripture from beginning to end without being interrupted once. Some polygamists may actually enjoy their own companionship. But I suspect that most of them felt the echo of silence in their minds and hearts. And maybe in their libidos, too. Which brings up another question: What have they been doing with all the stress in this incredibly tense situation?

This is not the first time FLDS men have been consigned to loneliness. Warren Jeffs has been famous for shuffling families around, sending any man who opposed or displeased him to "repent from afar" and giving the exiled man's wives, children and homes to one of his (Warren's) toadies. Those disenfranchised men certainly knew what it was like to be lonely. As did the polygamous patriarchs incarcerated in 1935, 1945, and 1953. Which do you think has been hardest for these lonely men—to be deprived of their plural wives by the state or to be cut off from their loved ones' presence by their "prophet"?

What Do You Think?