As a Myles Reiff-directed docuseries living up to its title in nearly every way imaginable, A&E’s ‘Secrets of Polygamy’ can only be described as equal parts bone-chilling, gripping, and shocking. That’s because it incorporates not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews with key figures to really shine a light upon the dark realities of life within non-monogamous religious societies. Amongst those to thus help navigate the same here is Matson “Matt” Browning — so now, if you wish to learn more about him, his experiences, as well as his current standing, here’s what we know.
Who is Matt Browning?
Although born and raised in the Phoenix, Arizona, division of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) amid fierce polygamy, Matt is not at all like most of his ancestors. We say most since his great-aunt was Ann Eliza Young, one of religious patriarch Brigham Young’s 55 wives that went on to ultimately divorce him before evolving into a fierce critic of this cult as a whole. Then there’s the fact he has been with one woman almost all his life — his high school sweetheart Tawni is now his loving wife of over 30 years, and they share a total of five children.
“We both come from polygamous backgrounds,” Tawni once said. “I mean, as far as… five generations back, mind you, but still, my grandfather fought in the Mormon battalion and had several wives.” Coming to this couple’s own personal opinions on this practice, while Mark believes it can one day be eradicated, his wife thinks it can never fully be erased as it has been here since the beginning of time. “Nobody can show me in the Bible where it says we need to kick you out of the church because I want to take your wife,” he said, referring to an FLDS custom. “I belong to a religion. They belong to a cult.”
It hence comes as no surprise Matt willingly left the church relatively young, only to then work hard to become a law enforcement official and provide a good, joyful, stable life to his loved ones. He actually served at the Mesa Police Department for two decades in various positions, at the tale end of which he even got opportunities to join FBI Task Forces as well as work undercover. In fact, he’s most renowned for his covert work related to white supremacists — he used to join extremely racist, hateful groups like the National Alliance to help bring prominent crews/members down from the inside out.
According to reports, Matt went public with this work of his in 2007 while ensuring legal action, just for his family to unfortunately become targets of Neo-nazi individuals and supporters alike. In one truly horrific incident, a lamb with its throat cut was left at their doorstep with no note or clearly written message, driving his wife to get involved too — she researched matters online to help him take action, unaware this particular partnership of theirs would continue in a rather unexpected way following his retirement in 2011. As he’d continue helping others across the nations, she’d run things from behind the scenes.
Where is Matt Browning Now?
It was back in 2014 that Matt began serving as a Security plus Investigative Consultant at RIVR Media, all the while also running his own enterprise, Skinhead Intelligence Network (established in 2005). Moreover, and more importantly, this Arizona State University graduate is a Court Certified Gang Expert as well as an Investigator helping members of the FLDS church escape its clutches with their children. He has now even started aiding ex-members in finding their missing kids, especially as most of them either had to leave their youngsters behind or the latter were maybe kidnapped back by senior leaders.
Matt’s issue with FLDS admittedly has nothing significant to do with his own past or religious beliefs but everything to do with protecting basic human rights. He once said, “If you take religion out, you still have human trafficking, you still have frauds, you still have assaults, you still have child molesters, you still have kids thrown out to the streets that we as a society are going to have to take care of… Now you put the religion back into it [and] God has sanctioned that.”
That’s why this co-author of ‘The Hate Next Door: Undercover Within the New Face of White Supremacy’ plus cast member of A&E’s ‘Escaping Polygamy’ won’t stop working in tandem with his wife, members, and authorities anytime soon. We should also mention that Tawni, the proud mother of this Phoenix native’s five children, served as the supervising/casting producer on ‘Escaping Polygamy’ and continues to work alongside her husband to this day.
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