Big Love Season 4:The one with Alby and Dale

This post originated on another journal and is being added to HDJM’s canon

You should pretty much know that there’s going to be some pretty triggery stuff for people who suffered as closeted homosexuals. Also, I should throw in that I’m going to do some massive exposing (following along with the stuff the show said) about how the Mormon Church REALLY feels about lesbians and gays. (Trans people are straight up sinners in their eyes. Flat out, a person who is trans is barred from heaven, no ifs ands or buts to these dudes.)

Again, if you didn’t know that Alby was based on Warren Jeffs, well. He is. Because Jeffs had rumors swirling about him for YEARS that he was gay. And that’s one of the reasons he was so brutal to women, because in his sick, twisted mind, that’s how you show your manliness. WHATEVER, the guy’s in jail getting taught daily (I’m sure) that same lesson.

Show stuff before I go into the other:

But I have to ask myself, Bill: Is this truly for us, or is it really just for you? Or are you just trying to fix something that’s broken in you?” Barb trying to keep hold of all of this crap she’s been living with and lying to herself about – then her confrontation with Bill about him and Ana having sex before marriage. And that’s what happened with Margene, too? Yeah, those walls are about to come tumbling down. She’s going to remember how difficult it was to be excommunicated from the Big Church (the LDS) and really start questioning this life decision. That happens a lot out there – people who think they’re going back to the “true church” that Joseph Smith taught (because let’s face it, they are – that’s the stuff Smith taught and lived.) And then realizing how awful that life really is. An author of a few books on growing up under the polygamist/Colorado City leader Rulon Allred is Dorothy Solomon Allred. Interesting, she left a life of polygamy, became a standard Mormon, married a guy, then they experimented with polygamy because he was fascinated with her family. Another interesting note – she left that husband, went back to being Mormon, and rewrote the book detailing that she had been polygamist. But I have the original, which is out of print. Ashamed of her foray into polygamy? I’m sure. I’m also noticing some similarities with the book to Barb’s journey, so that’s my guess to where that’s headed – Barb is going to have to make a black or white decision about her family.

(Side note: the family that killed Rulon Allred, the LeBarons, is being portrayed as the Green Family on Big Love. And it’s freakishly accurate, if only I could find some pictures of them all. The weirdness? Yeah, that’s spot on. CREEPY. I’ve mentioned before but a former coworker of mine was a runaway daughter from that family. She used to be raped and beaten regularly, not to mention being chained to the dirt outside their hacienda in Mexico. Good people, in other words.)

“I went from being a little girl to being a married woman. There was no in between. I’m finding my voice; what’s wrong with wanting more?” While Margene’s story makes me sad about all of the potential she has being thrown away to simply be a help-meet to her sister wives (you know Bill is going to put the kibosh on this burgeoning career of hers because it’s not focused on their family’s “eternal goals”) Nikki is BREAKING MY HEART. “I think I’m broken,” and “I never had the little girl part, let alone the in between!” Her absolute (and justified) freakout about her daughter Cara Lynn having gone missing, then finding her with that creepy old man to be sealed as his 7th wife. “This was arranged by your father before he died.” That’s JUST how it happens, too. They (the actual FLDS) had a place out in Nevada just over the border and a short drive on I-15 past the Peppermill – a casino on the border of Utah/Nevada and the only thing in Mesquite, Nevada of note) that they frequented for those sealings. In fact, I believe they were leaving that – Warren Jeffs, his brother and his first wife – when Jeffs was arrested.

(Side note: I’ve mentioned before that my ex-husband used to work for the Jessops – as in Merrill Jessop, who is currently running the show at the YFZ Ranch. They used to own the motel that was used for the sealings. That’s how they were able to do all of this so conveniently. People would still complain about it, so they had to be under the radar, even at their own property. Carolyn Jessop talked about this place in her book, too.)

How AWFUL was that moment with Nikki running to each door and you see all of the women being told their fate? And that’s how it works: you’re told MINUTES before you’re married off to some nasty old man. And HOW CREEPY was the scene with Nikki’s MOM and her ex-husband, as he’s singing his freaky song??? There’s not enough bleach in the world to clean off something like that. You did notice the garments, yes? (Those – I don’t believe – weren’t regulation. I tried to see if they had the “sacred markings” sewn over the navel and nipples, but I couldn’t see them. I think they decided that might be too far? I don’t know.) And you noticed how Adalene wore her underwear OVER the garments? That’s because nothing comes between you and your G’s, until you’re bathing or copulating. Awful, awful, AWFUL. So sad, her mother. Just practically comatose.

“…baby doll.” TRUE FACT: I will go BANANAS on you if you say “baby doll” or “baby girl” to me. That is NOT sweet or loving or anything beyond creepy to me. Kudos to the writers for maximizing the nasty in this episode with the use of that and a touch to Wanda’s hair by her horrid father. (Mimicking the same thing JJ did to her when he showed up.) I totally think there was incest both with the father and JJ as far as Wanda is concerned. We’re all getting that, right? And her mother is just completely out to lunch. I’m getting that Wanda is kind of based on the same woman that called in the original tip to the YFZ ranch. I’m getting that BIG TIME. Either her, or Ruth, the crazy woman who was tossed aside by the leader and is treated like a leper out there. She pops up on the boards I follow and she makes me so sad, she’s SO CRAZY. And you know it’s the life she’s led that got her that way.

BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT ALBY. Oh, so sad. OH SO SAD!!! And delusional on his part that anything could ever be with Dale. When Bill tells Dale what Ably is REALLY like “He put rattlesnakes in my bed!” and it just went on and on and on and you could see how freaked out Dale was getting, because HE KNOWS the folks of Juniper Creek (Short Creek, aka Colorado City) are insane and wrong and against everything he’s been taught, and come on, this is a guy that spent 30 years trying to conform to what he’s been taught, so he has double the shame: he’s homosexual AND he’s consorting with a polygamist. Double whammy.

And LURA! Turning him in! So heartbroken that “Father” (gag, puke, ack) was with a man and that he had given his HEART to Dale… That was the inexcusable moment for her. But while Alby was just so devastated by his imaginary new life coming to such a horrible end, you KNOW that I’m wanting to talk about what was going on with Dale in that meeting with his bishop and priesthood leader.

1. That place at BYU is real. They really did force “gays” to watch porn after giving them medicine to throw up. Aversion therapy. They did electroshock therapies on homosexuals while they watched porn. They did that crap in the 70s, that’s not that long ago, folks. They still have “aversion” camps and things, but I don’t believe they use physical torture any more.

2. I can remember in the 90s in college in Utah when I went to Institute (omg, I got COLLEGE CREDIT for going to Mormon education classes, off campus, well, across the street from my dorm, and during the school day) and we were taught “how you become homosexual.” By the way, it all starts with the slippery slope of touching yourself. Yep, good old fashioned “Huh, that tingles,” leads to Teh Ghey. Guys are actually given a manual that tells them how long to shower (6 minutes or less) so you don’t have enough time to bust a nut. Male missionaries were told to tie their hands to the bed posts with their belts to keep themselves from touching their junk WHILE THEY SLEPT.

I have a written note in my Book of Mormon (yep, I still kept that stuff) that reads in all caps: “YOU WILL BE JUDGED BY YOUR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS! CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS.”

So you touch yourself too much, then you look at dirty pictures, and next thing you know, you’re wearing assless chaps and a hot pink mesh tank top with a handlebar mustache and pole dancing at “Rods.” And you could have been at a Jello social with respectable ladies, for shame.

3. His decision to commit suicide! Oh, so so sad. And so, so common. Here, have a link. (Utah leads the nation in suicides, it is the SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH among men 15 – 24. That’s according to the American Journal of Epidemiology, btw.) But no, it doesn’t have anything to do with Mormonism. Even though that is the PREDOMINANT culture in the state. To me, that’s like saying there’s no bearing on the number of surfers in Hawaii based on the location being Hawaii. Just because people come to McDonalds, that doesn’t mean that’s the major factor in burger consumption. I mean, come on, folks, wise up.

One of the defenses church members have given to this stat is absolutely redonk: “We just keep better records, and we’re more moral that other people, so we’re not having affairs or turning to drugs.” O RLY? (Utah also has a higher divorce rate than the US’s average. And they have higher prescription drug abuse than ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY. HEY-O.)

Something important to note: the stats also show that suicide is lower for “active” LDS guys than the inactive or non-Mormons of that age group. Hey, wanna know why? Because the church kicks you out if you’ve committed suicide (remember, you’re Mormon in the next life, too, vastly more important than being one here, see: baptisms for the dead) so OF COURSE they show fewer suicides from members. Durr.

IN SUMMATION: oh, my heart. So sad for Dale, for his kids, his wife, Alby – but not Alby.

The moment with him and Nikki and she was telling him that she knew, AND STILL LOVED HIM and he freaked out. And went right back into “Prophet mode” they even changed the camera angle to emphasize that, and then gleefully told her that “Mama” was getting sealed to JJ… Good lord, that is one broken individual. They all are, but he REALLY is.

That was exhausting. And fantastic TV. This is an outstanding show, even though it upsets me greatly. For more on homosexuality and the LDS church, this is a (working) excerpt from my book on the subject.

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