TLC’s new documentary series Three Wives, One Husband introduces us to four of the seven Fundamentalist Mormon families who live at Rockland Ranch in Utah.
In their review of the series, the Radio Times writes, “Three Wives, One Husband diverts from the stereotype that fundamentalist Mormons are a cult, and is pioneering in the way that it sympathizes with a community who get a lot of flack from the media.” Furthermore, the show makes clear that in this community, polygamy is merely an option. Some of the children we’ll meet in the series, in fact, are not religious.
The first episode will center on Enoch Foster and his family. Read on to learn more about them.
1. He Is a Fundamentalist Mormon Who Practices Polygamy
Enoch Foster, a Fundamentalist Mormon, has two wives at the start of the show, Catrina and Lillian. Catrina was Enoch’s childhood sweetheart. TLC says that after eight years of marriage, Catrina was the one who proposed Lillian join the family.
The Guardian discusses Enoch in their review of the documentary series, writing, “[Enoch] is an odd one. Wheelies seem to be his thing, on the trail bike, on the quad bike, with a wife or two or a future one (he hopes) on the back. They seem to be impressed: oh, Enoch, we love your massive wheelie, whose turn is it to bear you another child? Now he’s John the Baptist, in the water, dressed in white, dunkin’ children.”
Executive producer Will Anderson, on the other hand, appears to have a higher opinion of the community and holds we could learn from them. “It’s not like our system is so perfect,” Anderson tells the Radio Times. “The divorce rate is higher than ever before, people have affairs left right and centre… It’s clear to me that monogamy is not necessarily the perfect way of arranging a society.”
In an interview with TLC, Enoch is asked, “How many wives is too many wives?” His wives joke, “One.” Enoch, laughing, says, “I’ll let you know. If I get to the point where I’m like, ‘Oh, that last one was a mistake… that was too much’, I’m just gonna say, ‘Hey, I made a mistake guys.'”
2. He Lives in the Rockland Ranch Community
Also known as “The Rock”, the Rockland Ranch community was founded by a man named Robert Dean Foster, who hoped to find a secluded haven for a small Christian community that practiced polygamy.
The houses at “The Rock” are literally built into the sides of cliffs. According to The Atlantic, the homes are relatively modern and come complete with running water, electricity, internet access, and more.
While The Rock is remote, many of its residents work in the nearest town, called Moab. Some deliver mail, another has a tiling business, one of the wives works in a bank, and another is training to become a nurse at a local hospital, reports the Radio Times.
3. The Producer of the Documentary Hopes to Change Preconceived Ideas of Polygamy
Will Anderson, the executive producer behind Three Wives, One Husband, hopes the series changes peoples’ ideas of polygamy. He tells Stuff Entertainment, “The preconception we wanted to change was that people thought they were going to be a bunch of religious weirdos living in caves when actually they’re active and capable members of society who organise themselves incredibly efficiently and, I think, much better perhaps than we do.”
Anderson continues, “Monogamy clearly doesn’t work brilliantly for everybody otherwise the divorce rates around the world wouldn’t be so high and people wouldn’t be having affairs all the time behind their partner’s back.”
According to Stuff, filming for the show took over a year. The crew visited the families at The Rock three times to gain their trust before filming began.
Anderson admits that his experience with the families at The Rock truly did open his mind and changed his ideas about polygamy, and even relationships and marriage. Speaking about the families at Rockland Ranch, Anderson says, “They spend a lot of their time working on their relationships and they really, really invest in them. I think all of us – well I certainly am – are guilty at times of focusing on work, or on other things and letting the relationship coast.”
4. He Has Seventeen Children
Enoch’s father, Bob, founded The Rock in the 1970s; at the time, he had three wives and 38 children. His son, Bob, has 16 children at the start of the film.
According to TLC, the Fosters are the largest family at Rockland Ranch. At the start of the docuseries, Lillian is pregnant with the family’s seventeenth child.
About half of the children at Rockland Ranch study at a local state school, while the other half is home-schooled. The Telegraph writes, “… though the wives each have separate apartments, childcare – and, in the Fosters’ case, also home-schooling – is communal.”
5. The First Episode of the Series Focuses on Enoch’s Courtship with a Possible Third Wife
When we meet Enoch, he is courting 25-year-old Lydia and hopes she will become his third wife. According to the Guardian, Lillian is open about her doubts with the relationship. She says it is hard dealing with her husband falling in love with another woman. Still, she says in the show, “I would way rather have a piece of a good man than a whole man who wasn’t as good.”
We will also watch the home-birth of Enoch’s 17th child, which Lydia was invited to. Anderson tells the Radio Times that inviting Lydia was part of Enoch’s courting process. “… inviting her to witness it acted as a sort of metaphor for how Mormons invite potential wives into their family.”
Anderson elaborates, saying Lydia was invited to the birthing so she could see what Enoch would be like as a husband when she, herself, was giving birth.
Be sure to tune into part 1 of TLC’s new documentary series, Three Wives, One Husband, Sunday at 10pm ET/PT.