IVINS, UT – A southern Utah outdoor market stands by their decision to ban a book about polygamy; officials said its content is too graphic for their product standards.
Kristyn Decker is the author of “Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies.” The book is a memoir recounting her life growing up in a polygamist household.
“I was born and raised in polygamy,” Decker said. “My father was Owen Allred, the leader of the Apostolic United Brethren until he passed away. So he was the leader for 28 years and my mother was his first of 13 wives.”
Decker’s book was published just over a year ago. Since that time, she’d been selling it at the Tuacahn Outdoor Market. But earlier this month, market management told her to stop.
“I got a call from one of the women there saying that my book was considered not family friendly,” Decker said.
Tuacahn Outdoor Market Manager Chris Graham said the ban was nothing against Decker or the topic of polygamy. She said they’d received complaints from patrons about certain parts of the book that deal with child sexual abuse. Graham said those sections were deemed too graphic for the book to stay at the family friendly market.
Graham explained that every vendor signs a contract when they start to sell. Vendors agree that any product they bring will meet “family friendly” standards.
“I understand, I really do,” Decker said. “And yet I’m puzzled by that censorship because I feel like it had nothing to do with not being family friendly.”
Decker said she tried to be gentle with the sections of her book that deal with sexual abuse, but she said that’s one of the main reasons for the memoir, to show the secrets that went on behind closed doors.
“Abuse is not OK, no matter where it’s at,” Decker said. “Whether it’s in polygamy or anywhere else, it’s not OK.”
Graham said the decision was not a personal attack on Decker, and that she’d be allowed to come back and sell at the market if her product met those contract standards.