Email Exchange 1 (16 February 2003)
Dear Stanisław Krˇlewiec,
Thank you for your quick reply. I will, indeed write to Kasia, but am wondering if you would please be willing to answer some questions for me:
How was the ministry you belong to formed, and when and how did you become involved? How did you hear about it?
The Introduction at www.nccg.org/intro.html gives an outline of our inception and development. It started in Oxford, England, in the mid- to late-1980's in response to a revelation received by its founder to organise an end-time community. The best account I am aware of is at www.nccg.org/043Art-Bergen.html though there are probably others on the webpage. I, like all the earliest members, was led to NCCG by prophetic dreams back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
If polygamy were to become officially legal according to the your country, how do you think this would change your life?
Apart from some tax relief, probably very little. We would maintain our low profile. Other Christian/Messianic polygamists would undoubtedly go public. But I am under no illusions as to how large sections of the public would view the lifestyle and continue their hostility, a favourable law notwithstanding. My chief reason for remaining 'underground' would be for the psychological welfare of my children.
Do you see this happening anytime soon?
I doubt it. In Europe, at any rate, the reverse trend seems to be happening. It was recently made illegal in France. Since it is chiefly Moslems pressing for polygamy legislation, and in view of the fact that the popularity of Moslems in non-Moslem countries will likely plummet with each new terrorist outrage, I suspect polygamy will be lumped together with Islam and continue to be looked upon unfavourably. Given the UN pledge to eliminate polygamy as being an abuse of women's rights, and taking all these factors into consideration, I think it unlikely that polygamy will ever become legal anywhere in the West. It may happen in the United States ... eventually, given sufficient peer group pressure, but I am sceptical.
How do you think it would impact the community?
After the initial novelty followed by the usual media attention has subsided, very little. People would continue as before. There would probably be a mad rush to 'try it out' by the least qualified people (mostly men) leading to its becoming discredited generally. The cost of legislating polygyny and polyandry (as has been suggested by the Swedish Liberal Party) would be high, and this would be followed by demands for polyamory and every other possible combination. I forsee a legal nightmare. I consider family life a private affair and would therefore disfavour any attempts to cast such life into the public spotlight.
Do you believe that more people would practice polygamy, if it were legalized in the eyes of the country?
Hard to say. Probably.
What do you say in response to the accusations that women are oppressed while in polygamamous relationships?
I would say that women are oppressed in some polygamous marriages just as they are in some monogamous marriages and in the same way they are oppressed in some non-marriage relationships. There is an inherent risk in all types of relationship where brutal men are involved. And brutal men are to be found in every lifestyle. Furthermore, there are many different kinds of polygamy just as there are different kinds of monogamy (as, for instance, between Russian and American monogamy where the experience is very different). The differences between some Christian/Messianic polygamy in the USA is, for example, very different from our own here. Banning or stigmatising one form of marriage over another will not prevent the abuse of women. The abuse of women will end when gender r˘les are properly understood and egotism gives way to selfless love.
What do you think of the Western viewpoint of polygamy (the way culture has shaped our minds)? How do you think one can get rid of this viewpoint, and why do you think this negative connotation towards polygamy exists?
The cultural forces that have shaped us are complex as any historian will testify. There are a number of articles on my site that adress these questions but perhaps www.nccg.org/fecpp/CPMFAQ015-Introduced.html would be the most useful to you.
The Western mindset has basically been shaped by Augustinian-Catholic values which view marriage as the 'lesser of two evils', celibacy being viewed as the ideal, though marriage is required to propagate the race. This has in turn created a cultural psychosis which in the 1960s exploded by swinging in the direction of sexual anarchy.
The major obstacle to an acceptance of polygamy will always boil down to the principle of 'mathematical equality' and the mistaken belief that love is a fixed quanity that necessarily diminishes for one wife as others are introduced into a family. Polygamy will never be understood or accepted until the two-dimensional mathematical model has been replaced by a three-dimensional one that recognises that true love is not a linear quantity.
Our problem in the West is that we have tended to define love in terms of what we can 'get' instead of what we can 'give'. Another problem is that people tend to look at the 'sex quotient' before anything else in a marriage relationship. Probably the only group who have really benefited from polygamy in terms of our egotistical cultural expectations and norms (whether you agree with them or not) are women bisexuals for whom polygamy might possibly be said to be their paradise, offering them an established sexual outlet coupled with the stability of family life.
Asking how we can change the Western viewpoint on polygamy is, in my view, putting the cart before the horse. Polygamy cannot work until there is a value system in place that would create moral men. And given the contemporary Western anarchistic, egocentric value system, I would say that polygamy is wholly inappropriate generally - people have problems enough making monogamy work! I am therefore opposed to making polygamy legal whilst at the same time would wish to see the various anti-bigamy laws removed as has occurred in Colombia recently. Far better to allow people to form polygamous common law relationships (as we do) without the support of the tax system as this will only attract responsible men who are prepared to work harder to support such a family. Quite frankly I do not think the West is mature enough for legal polygamy.
As to the negative connotations in society, the reasons are again manifold. For one, it is usually the abuse cases that hit the sensationalist-minded media (as with Tom Green and his family). Were more positive cases spotlighted people might think differently. Secondly, traditions die hard - we have been conditioned to think in a monogamy-only mindset for nearly one and a half millennia. It is planted deep within the psychic unconscious. And finally, there are connections with Islam at a time when Islam is currently being viewed with increasing hostility.
Thank you very much, and I hope to hear from you in the following days. Once again, I am doing this for a college research project on polygamy, and your answers would greatly benifit my paper, as well as my understanding of polygamy. Thank you once again.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any further questions. And I should be interested to read your paper when it is finished
Email Exchange #2 (18 February 2003)
Dear Stanisław Krolewiec,
Thank you very much, once again, for the quick reply, and the honest responses. It is much appreciated. I have a couple follow up questions:
When I asked about the abuse of women, you responded that, 'The abuse of women will end when gender roles are properly understood and egotism gives way to selfless love.' What are the gender roles, for women and men? And how is this practiced in your household?
Without a doubt this is probably the thorniest of areas, one where even polygamists disagree amongst each other, and the one open to potentially the greatest abuse.
In a little cluster of scriptures penned by Paul, the gender r˘les are defined as follows: wives are to obey their husbands in all things as husbands love their wives selflessly [the abusers ommit the 'loving' clause .. and are in part responsible for the violent feminist backlash]. In short, patriarchal headship. This is not, I hasten to add, BDSM or the Dom/Sub culture but what we call the doctrine of 'Proactive Love' - see www.nccg.org/fecpp/CPM050-DD.html.
In my own family, I expect obedience from my wives but to not compell it. I believe, as Christ taught, in teaching by example. They have come to themselves discover the blessedness of this order so that it is now natural to them. Other polygamists I know (and who I strongly oppose) believe in forcing it.
What are the legal rights of women in a polygamist marriage?
Because it is not recognised by the state, there are none. This is a major risk for women who may find themselves in abusive households which is why they should think twice before entering such a relationship and to thoroughly research out potential families by being around them a good while before joining. I know of some families who draw up contracts so that a wife leaving would have certain rights though we have never done it in our family. My own wives have their own pensions in their own names which I do not touch as a matter of principle.
Do many members in the ministry belong to practice polygamy?
Hardly any. Of about 5,000 members worldwide, about 200 do, and almost all in Africa.
I spoke to a practicing member in the United States (where I am from) and he said that polygamy is not generally a large part of your ministry's doctrine. What do you believe?
This is basically correct (though currently we have no practicing polygamists in the USA). We do not promote the doctrine because of the potential for abuse. Those coming into our fellowship (as in Africa) who may already be living polygamy undergo marriage education to align their practices with what we expect from a New Testament perspective. That is my responsibility and we have a subdivision that handles that. People coming to the fellowship for the express purpose of practicing polygamy are usually turned away. Currently only those who are at a minimum Elders are eligible to practice it in the West because of the general lack of maturity but they are not exposed to polygamy in the local congregations but in the Chavurat Bekorot, our Priesthood Order (www.nccg.org/fecpp/CB.html), where it is an option for them.
Somewhere on the website it stated that in the endtime there will be more and more polygamous relationships. (if I understood it correctly) What do you see in the future of polygamy? Do you believe more Christians or your own fellowship's members will take up this practice?
Yes, as law and order collapses and with it the welfare state and its safety nets, and as male believers are greatly outnumbered by female ones. In some respects we are getting an insight into how it will be globally through the lens of our work in Rwanda where, as you may know, a terrible civil war of mass genocide destroyed a huge porportion of the male population very recently. As you will see from articles on our website, there is a huge surplass of widows and orphans. One solution we believe is to place orphans with widows who are interested in polygamy and encourage its practice as a means both to give widows and orphans homes. It would, of course, be voluntary, and there will be much cultural prejudice to overcome (Rwanda having previously been a colony of Belgium, a Catholic nation where that religion predominates and where polygamy is illegal).
Thank you very much! It means a lot to me, also, I emailed a couple questions to Kasia Merezhkovska, the wife you had told me to comment, if you get this before she replies, could you tell her that I'd very much like to hear about polygyny from a sisterwife's point of view, and ask her to check her email, and reply if she wants to, please?
I have mentioned to her that you have written and she says she will be getting back to you presently. I think I mentioned her website to you which is at
I have also taken the liberty to post your questions and my answers at her MSN Community in the hope that you may get some other views and which I can either forward on to you or which you can glean yourself by joining the Community itself. You'll find it under the title, 'Dialogue with a Student'.
Thank you very much, hope to hear from you soon, and have a great day!
Author: SBSK &c.