Enoch Foster first rose to fame in 2017, at which point he and his unusual family were featured in the second season of Channel 4’s “Three Wives, One Husband” – a documentary TV series whose name offers more than a hint regarding its subject of narration. Its events are situated in the birthplace of one of the most unique groups of people in modern society.
Rockland Ranch, also known as ‘The Rock,’ is a fundamentalist Mormon polygamous community nestled in the rugged terrain near Moab, Utah. According to records, the community was founded in 1977, which some would say was done out of revenge.
Specifically, it was founded by Robert Dean ‘Bob’ Foster, an excommunicated polygamist Mormon, as a haven for fundamentalist Mormons to live and practice plural marriage out of the public eye. He was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1972 for marrying a second wife, which was illegal in Utah at the time.
Foster’s vision was to create a sanctuary for his family to survive the impending world chaos that he believed was imminent. Today, the community consists of approximately 15 families and 100 people who live in around Moab. Robert’s son Enoch, is the exemplification of his father’s beliefs, which makes him a prime candidate for television.
The Rock’s unique geography plays a central role in the community’s history and creation. It’s located on a sandstone formation near Canyonlands National Park, and the homes are built into the rock wall, making them almost invisible from the surrounding area. The community’s original name was Rockdale Ranch, and consisted of 82 acres of land leased from the government for roughly $6,400 per year.
This segregated group now includes both polygamist and monogamist families. Foster, who has two wives and 13 children, is one of the leaders of the community, responsible for overseeing the construction of new homes and other buildings in the area.
The community has faced criticism and scrutiny over the years due to their practice of polygamy, which is illegal in the US. There is fame in infamy, though, and thus the community has managed to attract all manner of television producers and journalists, becoming the topic of various documentaries and news reports.
The people of Rockland Ranch live a unique and isolated lifestyle, in modern homes that have literally been carved into the face of a mountain. This unconventional living arrangement provides them with a certain level of protection and privacy from the outside world, but it also means that they are responsible for their own water and power supply.
The community operates largely independently, providing for their own needs through agriculture, ranching, and other means of self-sustenance. The main reason for this need, aside from being located in the middle of nowhere, is the group’s integral belief that the world is about to end, which they are doing their absolute best to be ready for.
What's next for the families of Rockland Ranch? A new #3Wives1Husband starts now!
While Rockland Ranch is often associated with polygamy, many of its members live in monogamous relationships. The community is tight-knit and family-oriented, with members often working together on various projects and activities. Despite their unconventional lifestyle, the members seem to value tradition, community and family above all else, much like their conservative critics.
Their isolation has also presented significant issues over the years, such as in 2018, when a house fire claimed the life of Enoch Foster’s two-year-old son Adonijah Jahiah John Foster. The community rallied around the family in their time of grief, but the incident brought attention to the risks associated with living in such a remote and isolated area.
In spite of constantly being criticized and rejected by their fellow Americans, the people of Rockland Ranch seem more committed than ever to living on their own terms. They’ve created a unique and well-sustained community in a harsh and unforgiving environment, and seem to take pride in their ability to thrive in such challenging circumstances.
— TLC Network (@TLC) February 15, 2018
It’s important to note that while polygamy is illegal in the US, the people of Rockland Ranch practice their lifestyle openly and without fear of prosecution. They believe that their way of life is protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom, and they argue that the government has no right to interfere in their personal relationships.
It’s difficult to ascertain whether their plea of the first is enough to permanently shield them from the law, with the core of its protection being the fact that having multiple wives is ordained by their faith, in which case the state would be at fault for suppressing their religious freedom if it were to charge them with polygamy.
The juice of “Three Wives, One Husband”
The show captures the complexities of Foster’s life, as he navigates his multiple relationships and tries to keep his family together. Despite the looming prospect of prison time brought on by the practice of polygamy, Foster is determined to live his life according to his beliefs, even if it means surviving on the fringes of society. His story highlights the tensions that can arise between individual beliefs and societal norms, but which in turn makes for great television.
Enoch grew up in the community as the seventh of ten children of his father and just his mother, with another two of his father’s wives and 28 siblings in total. As a given, he followed in his father’s footsteps, and sought to have multiple wives of his own, with only the community’s ideals in mind for the future.
He fell in love with a local named Catrina at an early age, eventually marrying his childhood sweetheart in 1997, when he was 21 years old; the couple has 10 children together. Their first, a son named Isaiah, was born in 1998, and their youngest, a daughter named Kaela, in 2016.
Enoch’s second wife is Lillian, who joined the family after Enoch and Catrina had already been together for eight years. Enoch and Lillian were married in 2005, and they have seven children together – Lillian was pregnant with their seventh child when the show began filming. Their first child, a son named Isaiah, was born in 2006, and their youngest, daughter Layla, in 2019.
Foster was also eager to take a certain Lydia Rose into the family as his third wife, whom he indeed married sometime after the show was filmed, either in late 2017 or early 2018. She was a widow with two children who had expressed great interest in spending the rest of her life with Enoch. Lydia’s inclusion into the family brought the total number of children to 19.
Probably one of the most fascinating aspects of Foster’s life is that his relationships with all three wives are unique, with each woman having their own home on the property. Enoch rotates his time between the homes, spending a few days with one wife before moving on to another. This arrangement allows for each wife to have their own space and privacy, while still being a part of the family.
The Fosters’ many trials and tribulations
Beginning with the very premise on which they base everything they do, it’s indeed quite challenging to live some semblance of an ordinary and peaceful life as a Foster. Aside from the aforementioned house fire, whose casualty could’ve been avoided with the appropriate response of relevant authorities, the family has faced additional tragedy, and subsequently prosecution.
Lydia Compton Foster’s life changed forever on 21 March 2019, when she was involved in an horrific car accident on US Highway 191 between Moab and the Foster family enclave. The TV star was driving with her son Arrhen in the back seat when the car was hit by a semitruck, causing severe injuries that left her in critical condition. She was pregnant at the time of the accident, and her unborn child of 23 weeks didn’t survive.
The accident was a devastating blow to the Foster family, who were already grappling with the loss of a child from not even a year prior to the car crash. Lydia’s injuries were severe, including five broken bones in her pelvis, nine broken ribs, and general internal trauma. She required multiple surgeries and spent weeks in the hospital recovering from the incident. It’s unclear what caused the accident, as investigations are still ongoing.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help cover Lydia’s medical bills, which quickly reached its goal thanks to the outpouring of support from 185 fans and well-wishers. Her recovery was a long and difficult journey, but she eventually regained her strength and returned to her family, who were overjoyed to have her back home.
Enoch frequently provided updates to the situation in the hospital as it unfolded, informing the public on 23 March 2019 that the doctors had discovered an injury on Lydia’s kidney, but that it was going to heal on its own. Her broken pelvis required surgery, with screws being permanently inserted into it.
Their unborn daughter was named Lilly Rose in the aftermath, and promptly buried with most inhabitants of Rockland Ranch attending the funeral to pay their respects. As for the driver whose vehicle smashed into Lydia’s, he is yet to be identified. In spite of his immediate departure from the scene, however, it hasn’t been determined that he is at fault for the accident.
It’s been theorized by Enoch himself that the collision might’ve occurred due to a semi-truck that was parked in the turn lane from which the vehicle sped towards Lydia, which could’ve easily obscured her view of oncoming traffic.
Trouble with the law
Legal issues with the Fosters’ lifestyle began when Utah passed a new law in 2017, which reclassified polygamy from a third-degree to a second-degree felony. Accordingly, cohabitation with multiple partners is considered illegal, even if the individuals are not legally married. Enoch’s family is one of several polygamist families in Utah who are now facing potential legal consequences as a result.
Almost as a response to the booming popularity of “Sister Wives” (a reality TV series with the same premise as “Three Wives, One Husband”), the state also passed an anti-bigamy law not long after the show’s release, which made anyone living with a purported spouse while legally married to another, liable for criminal prosecution.
Although Enoch has not yet been sentenced for polygamy, he and his family are facing the prospect of being charged as criminals. That said, they’re far from being a unique case, especially over where they live.
Polygamy has a long history in Utah, and there are estimated to be around 30,000 people living in polygamous communities all over the state. The topic of polygamy and its legality has remained a complex and controversial issue in the state, with many arguing both for and against.
Regardless of how many supporters of the practice there may be, the state intends to charge each of its residents individually, if they are found to be engaging in precisely what brought fame to Enoch and the Fosters.
Consequently, many fans have been worried sick about the fate of the family, with some pointing out that Enoch pretty much put a target on his forehead by agreeing to partake in the show, while all he really wanted to do was help normalize the lifestyle of his community.
As the charges of bigamy and polygamy carry a minimum sentence of five to ten years in prison in the state of Utah, if Enoch is found to be in violation these new laws, it could be up to a decade before he’s seen again.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the Foster couples have immensely proliferated, and each of their 20 children could incur additional time in prison for all four of them, with the law primarily focused on protecting the rights of children in such marriage arrangements. With no official news on what’s happening to the family, it remains to be seen whether they’ll still be able to evade prison by pleading the First Amendment.