The Polygamy Wars were a series of civil conflicts beginning on the Deseret colony of Goshen, spreading to other Deseret colonies, then the Compact of Humanity in Assembly at large. The conflict began with a sect of polygamists on Goshen who believed men should decide whom they took as wives. Some described the sect as “Jeffsian,” after a disgraced Mormon leader, Warren Jeffs, from the World War Era. As time went on, the “Goshenites,” or “radical polygamists,” distanced themselves from most forms of Mormonism. Noted Goshenite fighter Tyler Wat pointed out he wasn’t in it for the multiple wives or any religious reasons. Wat himself said, “I just wanted to see the world burn.”
The Goshenites lived among practicing polygamists on the colony that gave them their name. While plural marriages of all varieties were legal, or at least tolerated, on the colony and its parent world, it had restrictions to prevent historical abuses, mainly coercing underage and unwilling women into unions. The radical polygamists did not see this as an issue. At first, they kept it among their own community. However, eventually, they began abducting women beyond their own groups. Soon, Colonial Defense had to get involved, but unfortunately, they had cultivated followers within the planetary defense command.
At this point in time, Deseret opted to leave it to those on Goshen to deal with the matter. That proved to be a mistake.
When elements of the movement in the Colonial Guard funneled weapons to the rebels, they began abducting women on other Deseret colonies and eventually Deseret itself. The core world could no longer ignore the problem as other core worlds and their colonies issued travel advisories warning other Compact citizens away from the Deseret’s interstellar presence.
Deseret secured use of an Olympus Mons-class starship to support Planetary Guard troops in putting down the rebellion. Instead, Goshen collapsed into civil chaos with the movement declaring itself the governing authority. Despite pleas to the Security Council, the Compact did little aside from supplying arms to the parent world.
Spreading to the Compact
By 413, Goshenites boldly abducted women from non-Deseret worlds* and even attacked Orags under the authority of Gohem. The former prompted fears of renewed colony poaching, which had not happened in nearly forty years. Mars and Tian, in particular, threatened to seize Goshen and place it under military control with or without the Security Council’s approval.
By 419, after several bombing sorties and attacks with kinetic and fusion weapons, the radical polygamists surrendered. Deseret selected a plural marriage threesome to govern the planet, Peter Nelson as military governor, with one wife as attorney general and his other wife as head of security. The symbolism of a mainstream polygamist couple was not lost on Goshen’s population.
*In a deleted flashback scene from Suicide Run, Suicide, then known only as Cui Yun, spots a captive woman in a spaceport. Determining her escort to be a Goshenite, she subdues him and liberates the woman.