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He's a charmer
February 23, 2011 4:19 AM   Subscribe

The world's biggest family: The man with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren
posted by rodmandirect (66 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
But do they call me? How hard would it be to call me? I'm just sitting at home. 94 children. They say they're doing other things. But they could call me. Really.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:22 AM on February 23, 2011 [22 favorites]


Coincidentally, Mr Chana is also head of a sect that allows members to take as many wives as he wants.

Coincidentally.
posted by three blind mice at 4:28 AM on February 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.
posted by Scoo at 4:30 AM on February 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


Call me an incurable romantic, but I think the first fourteen wives are the best.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:36 AM on February 23, 2011 [24 favorites]


Natural selection seems really unfair sometimes.
posted by mondo dentro at 4:37 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


And not a looker in the bunch.

The ones with all the broccoli look pretty happy though.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:43 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do they make their own clothes? What about food I am assuming they have a big farm too? If not, how exactly is all of that paid for?

I didn't read anything about their jobs, just the strategic placement of poon-tang for Mr. Ziona Chana
posted by AndrewKemendo at 4:46 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also noticed a certain amount of disgruntlement among the wives. Maybe they aren't used to photos, but I'd kind of like to know how literal this "taking" of wives is.
posted by DU at 4:46 AM on February 23, 2011


I can't see what the Daily Mail's interest is in this story. I mean, we learn it is a 100 room mansion, but nothing on what house prices are doing in Mizoram. He has 94 kids, but no mention of the drain on benefits and the health system.

What gives?
posted by MuffinMan at 4:47 AM on February 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Do they make their own clothes?

Theirs and ours too, I'd suggest.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:47 AM on February 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


From the comments:
He's heading here with his whole family as he has heard from a Mr Vaz that the benfits system is great and he can have a stately home just outside Leicester at the taxpayers expense just as long as he commits his family to voting Labour at the next election.
If you needed an insight into the mindset of a typical Daily Mail reader, that's as concise as it gets.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:48 AM on February 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


Also, point of order it is Baktawng, not Baktwang.

Baktwang is an arthritic condition typically found among old men trying to give their thirty-ninth wife their ninety-fifth child.
posted by MuffinMan at 4:51 AM on February 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


If you needed an insight into the mindset of a typical Daily Mail reader, that's as concise as it gets.

Nothing about the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman?
posted by londonmark at 4:51 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of his sons insisted that Mr Chana, whose grandfather also had many wives, marries the poor women from the village so he can look after them.

Okay, so 1) this man lives to give, and those are some lucky ladies what get to share "the most handsome man in the village." Everybody gets a piece of the town Clooney!
2) Lots of sons=lots of Oedipal tensions. Watch your back, Hef.
3) "Mansion," with wife dormitories. Again, watch your back.
4) Is this 'sect' religious? Is this guy the head of a cult or some sort of social movement or what? He wants to expand to other countries, so does that mean he's got other men emulating his domestic choice, is he franchising, what? The article might as well be instant fiction for all the depth it provides.
posted by biddeford at 4:59 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The minister dies and the congregation decides, after some time, that his widow, should marry again. Since it is a small village the only available candidate is the local butcher. Although very reluctantly, since she was used to living with a bible scholar, she accepts.

After the marriage, on Friday night just after taking a bath - the new husband tells his wife, "Look, my mother always said that before the beginning of the weekend it was a blessing to have sex."

They do it and then on Saturday he tells her, "According to my father it is a blessing to have sex during the day before the Sabbath.

There they go again and when it is time to go to sleep he tells her, "My grandfather told me that one should always have sex on Sabbath night."

Finally they go to sleep and when they wake up the next morning he tells her, "My aunt says that a Christian man always starts the Sabbath by having sex. So lets do it."

Finally on Monday she goes out to the market and meets a friend that asks her, "So how is the new husband?"

"Well, an intellectual he isn't, but he comes from a wonderful family."
posted by netbros at 5:03 AM on February 23, 2011 [21 favorites]


The World Breaking Record website gives more information about him.

He is a 66-year-old carpenter. His mansion has "its own school, a playground, carpentry workshops, piggery and poultry farms, paddy fields - and a vegetable garden big enough to feed the entire extended family." They receive no state support. He is doing this because his religious belief is that his sect will rule the world.
posted by Houstonian at 5:05 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing about the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman?

It's generally understood by Mail readers that dark skinned savages can't control their carnal lusts.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:18 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


FLDS head: "Showboat."
posted by bwg at 5:18 AM on February 23, 2011


'To expand my sect, I am willing to go even to the U.S. to marry,' he said.

I hear a new Reality TV Show!
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:19 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus, will you look at all the pathetic, jokey comments from the one-wife losers in this thread. Fate gave you men a zillion sperm and the unceasing challenge of natural selection, but you're so stupid and fugly you can only attract one wife, maximum, at a time. Meanwhile there are strands of DNA out there that worship this guy as a GOD.

1,000 years from now humanity will probably all be descended from this one guy - but the gene for smart-arse internerd will be utterly wiped out. And then NO-ONE will be a "pc", and NO-ONE will be a "mac". That's the REAL tragedy here.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:21 AM on February 23, 2011 [23 favorites]


The Daily Fail and I have drastically different standards for what constitutes a "mansion", vs. say, a "cult compound."
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:22 AM on February 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Notice in the first photo that one of the wives in the back is attempting an escape.

Then, she is missing from the "wives" portrait, but the wife in the peach colored top is looking off screen to where they probably have her tied up!
posted by orme at 5:23 AM on February 23, 2011


Excuse of the year: "marries the poor women from the village so he can look after them." I'm going to start using that in all sorts of ways. "I'm downloading the music so I can look after it", etc.

Also, I want whatever herbal juice he's taking to keep his energy level up. He looks pretty damn good for a man his age.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:25 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't really muster outrage about consenting adults choosing to marry. It's not the path I would choose, but it's not for me to choose their path.
posted by Houstonian at 5:36 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Nagging 94 children to produce more grandchildren already has to be practically a full time job all by itself.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:00 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


It takes 30 whole chickens just to make dinner

Regardless of how well-trained these chickens are, that does not seem sanitary.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:04 AM on February 23, 2011 [68 favorites]


He may have 38 more wives than me and 92 more children but I wouldn't want to change places with him for anything in the world.

Well, most days.
posted by mazola at 6:06 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The low number of grandchildren is startling to me. In modern large-ish Mormon families (more than 8 kids, basically,) men in their sixties are generally seeing the benefits of mathematics - 8 kids, 23 grandkids, etc. Obituararies of octogenarians often say something like 9 kids, 29 grandkids, 13 great-grandkids, 1 great-great-grandkid. And that's with one wife.

I mean, two-thirds of his children have produced no offspring whatsoever?
posted by SMPA at 6:10 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


how exactly is all of that paid for?

He's the head of a four thousand member cult, you have to ask?
posted by IndigoJones at 6:17 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


It takes a village, to bone this dude.
posted by The Whelk at 6:30 AM on February 23, 2011 [12 favorites]


I mean, two-thirds of his children have produced no offspring whatsoever?

I was wondering about that too, but a closer look at the photo shows a lot of his kids (I'm guessing it's most of the people in the middle group?) are still fairly young teenagers.
posted by elizardbits at 6:36 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


He is doing this because his religious belief is that his sect will rule the world.

That's the secret agenda for a lot of religions, so I commend them for their directness and honesty. Groups like the Catholic Church have to feed you some bullshit line about sperm and life, when clearly it's born of "we want our followers to have lots of children to bring into the faith, and overwhelm competing religions with sheer numbers."
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:46 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Natural selection seems really unfair sometimes.

Dammit, that's not how natural selection works. Grr.
posted by grubi at 7:02 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also noticed that there are almost no pre-toddler infants (I can only spot two possibles), which would seem odd.

Maybe this is why:
Polygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.

Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce.

"Although it's great in terms of number of children for successful males to have harems, the data show that for every new woman added to a male's household, the number each wife produced goes down by one child or so"
posted by taz at 7:06 AM on February 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Dammit, that's not how natural selection works. Grr.

Maybe I should have said "gene dumping"?
posted by mondo dentro at 7:14 AM on February 23, 2011


The world's biggest irresponsible arsehole.

There will come a time when people like this will be forcibly sterilised. And people like this are bringing that time closer, faster.
posted by Decani at 7:20 AM on February 23, 2011


The man with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren...

... and not a moment of peace.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:28 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


There will come a time when people like this will be forcibly sterilised.

Why?
posted by flatluigi at 7:31 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]



I mean, two-thirds of his children have produced no offspring whatsoever?


Maybe it's because the supply of womenfolk in the region has already been monopolized by him, leaving few for his children.
posted by Pantalaimon at 7:32 AM on February 23, 2011


I've always wondered how many children I could produce if that was my only goal.

If I traveled the earth and purposefully tried to court ugly, desperate, vulnerable, self-loathing, and dimwitted women into unprotected sex, all day, every day for the rest of my life, how many unaborted pregnancies would that plausibly lead to?
posted by dgaicun at 7:47 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I pasted that into Google, and got the very sensible reply,
Did you mean: If I traveled the earth and purposely tried to court ugly, desperate, vulnerable, self-loathing, and dimwitted women into unprotected sex, all day, every day for the rest of my life, how many unaborted pregnancies would that plausibly lead to?
posted by Wolfdog at 7:53 AM on February 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


purposefully tried to court ugly, desperate, vulnerable, self-loathing, and dimwitted women into unprotected sex

Let's assume he meant "ugly" in the sense of "character" and not "personal appearance" before the riot police have to be called.

dgaicun, I just threw a rag over the puke you left in the hallway so no one will step in it, but I think it's up to you to clean it up. (I understand what you were going for, but you mis-phrased that for around here.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:57 AM on February 23, 2011


As I believe Norman Schwarzkopf said, "Quantity has a quality all it's own."
posted by Xoebe at 8:02 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, speaking as an ugly, desperate, vulnerab— GODDAMN, I JUST SLIPPED ON A RAG AND NOW I'M COVERED IN PUKE.

Somebody get over here an impregnate me immediately before come to my senses!

{\}
posted by taz at 8:25 AM on February 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm coming...

... right over.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:32 AM on February 23, 2011


Ironically this feral, selfish, ignorant man considers himself a gift to the world. If he wants to provide shelter for women fine but to impregnate them all over and over? Insane.
posted by chance at 8:35 AM on February 23, 2011


Ah, we're not allowed to think anyone is ugly anymore? Or are we just supposed to pretend that ugly has no effect on their conjugal prospects?
posted by chundo at 8:39 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Someone please delete this post before it gets any worse...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:40 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


At any rate, I think I've figured out Chana's favorite song.
posted by taz at 9:25 AM on February 23, 2011


Ah, we're not allowed to think anyone is ugly anymore?

I think that judging people who live in poverty severe enough that they are willing to marry the local religious lunatic by how hot they are is kind of a mug's game, yes?

Or are we just supposed to pretend that ugly has no effect on their conjugal prospects?

Well, yeah, that actually is the case in many traditional societies, where marriages are arranged for reasons of social advancement, not on the basis of who looks most like the ladies in the magazines.

So you're 0 for 2 on that one, yeah.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:55 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am torn between really loving the wit in some of these comments (twoleftfeet's first one is great) and being dismayed that the only reaction to the situation of a bunch of desperately poor women whose best opportunity in their misogynist society is to ally themselves with a megalomaniac is jokes (not to mention the "I wouldn't hit that" bullshit).

Can I blame The Daily Mail for framing the situation so two-dimensionally that it's hard to take the people who are really living in it seriously? Because I hate The Daily Mail and I love MeFi.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or are we just supposed to pretend that ugly has no effect on their conjugal prospects?

I've known a few promiscuous people of both genders who were less physically attractive than a warthog covered in flaming sewerage. They all had one thing going for them-- they were interested in men and it's not hard to find a man who, when presented with an opportunity to sex up the aforementioned troubled warthog, will say "well it's not radioactive, right? Let me down the rest of this beer and get the fire extinguisher and paper towels."
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


His wives take it in turns to share his bed.

Take it...in turns....you say? Well. I'll be.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:23 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm curious about his ethnic and cultural background - is his religion an offshot of a larger religion? It mentioned his grandfather had many wives as well - was that common for his ethnicity/culture at the time?

I'm sadly ignorant of that region so I don't even know what terms to google.
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:37 AM on February 23, 2011


I finally found a couple of different articles that explain a little bit more. Apparently his religion is an splinter of a larger religion — Presbyterianism.

The second article said that he was married 50 times (at that time, 2007), but three wives left, and three died.

Also, I'm wondering if the whole village isn't mostly this sect? The sect is supposed to number around 4,000, most of whom live in that village.
posted by taz at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm just happy to hear the term "piggery."
posted by fyrebelley at 12:33 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe I should have said "gene dumping"?

I gene-dumped this morning in the shower.

Let's go ahead and close this up now.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 2:16 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Straight Pimp
posted by jnnla at 2:36 PM on February 23, 2011


Take my 39 wives, please.

Nope, doesn't work..
posted by gfrobe at 5:34 PM on February 23, 2011


If I traveled the earth and purposefully tried to court ugly, desperate, vulnerable, self-loathing, and dimwitted women into unprotected sex, all day, every day for the rest of my life, how many unaborted pregnancies would that plausibly lead to?

Hopefully all of them.

But anyways, we get all this way into the thread and no mention of our very own Duggars and Quiverfulls? Where's your pride (shame) America?

I'm guessing the older women in a situation like this might be happy that they don't have to sleep with the old mug anymore, now that he's got newer victims, ah, wives.

I imagine marrying him is more attractive than taking a sweatshop job; he probably only bothers you once a month or so and as you get older, not even that. The rest of the time you just work in the garden and raise your kid. And maybe get to know the friendly young dude who delivers the groceries.
posted by emjaybee at 8:03 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Derp, I meant, hopefully all the pregnancies would get aborted. Bon mot fail.
posted by emjaybee at 8:04 PM on February 23, 2011


"... maybe get to know the friendly young dude who delivers the groceries."

True. And then, like lionesses and the younger, fitter, awesome-r, hotter new lion chase the old lion from the territory. The ladies need to take evolutionary theory to the next level. There's power in those numbers gals!
posted by honey-barbara at 10:35 PM on February 23, 2011


The Daily Mail such fun!
Actually he makes the guy in 'Big Love' look like an amateur.
There aren't a lot of government benefits in India, and like a couple people said upthread, maybe the deal for the women isn't so aweful.

One huge benefit for women in polygyny is that it is easier for individual women to space their pregnancies to the 2 years apart which is optimumal for women's
recovery between pregnancies.

In places with few or no birth control options this is a good thing.

Apparently Mr. Chana's sect has existed since before India gained freedom. They are a Christian sect.

Oh on ugly people and sex, there's probably some truth to a few comments upthread on the subject. The absolute ugliest woman I ever met in my life, 360 lbs, huge facial warts with hair, an ugly voice and no personality to speak of routinely had threesomes with guys while her two kids were at school.
The next ugliest woman I ever knew was always going into the bushes with guys in the park. NOT for money in either case. Well it takes all kinds I guess.
Mostly I think they enjoyed bragging about their exploits and shocking people.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:03 PM on February 23, 2011


Could you give them dgaicun's number?
posted by taz at 4:12 AM on February 24, 2011


"... maybe get to know the friendly young dude who delivers the groceries."

Except in this village, they're prolly your stepsons. (sister-wife-sons? hm.)
posted by elizardbits at 5:19 AM on February 24, 2011


I think that judging people who live in poverty severe enough that they are willing to marry the local religious lunatic by how hot they are is kind of a mug's game, yes?

The only previous mention of "ugly" in this thread was not about the 39 wives, but part of dgaicun's pondering.

Well, yeah, that actually is the case in many traditional societies, where marriages are arranged for reasons of social advancement, not on the basis of who looks most like the ladies in the magazines.

I'm pretty sure he wasn't looking to procreate in the context of a traditional society's arranged marriage.

Guess we're tied at 0-2. Tie breaker!
posted by chundo at 10:49 AM on February 24, 2011


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