By Keith Johnson, Deseret News
Texas authorities executed a carefully orchestrated plan to force dozens of Fundamentalist LDS Church mothers into leaving their children behind in state care, said women who spoke to reporters at the YFZ Ranch Monday night.
10:27 a.m. |
Some of the FLDS mothers who were sent home without their children console one another at the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado, Texas.
David | 1:10 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
This is outrageous beyond belief. I'm thinking of my numerous nephews and nieces, particularly ages 6 and under...I can't imagine them being away from their parents for a night, let alone a couple weeks/months. The people have spoken: they want the security of big gov't over trust in family. Families aren't perfect, people aren't perfect, but somehow the gov't is? We're trusting in an organization that takes hundreds of years to figure out slavery isn't okay. It's called bureaucracy, people, and there are so many levels of authority/chain of command that it is laughable how long anything takes to get assistance. People whine about the gov't's failure with Katrina, but we've spoken: we voted for more gov't assistance. This is beautiful to think of in the context of this being taxes day. Pay our bill to Uncle Sam for...better roads? ROTFL! I'll keep my money, thanks. The invisible hand (see Adam Smith) is infinitely better than what we have now. How can ANYONE vote for bigger gov't?
Zach | 1:14 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
This is horrible for the children. Absolutely horrible. I loathe lawyers, but we better see some huge lawsuits come out of this. Children being taken away from the security of their family that they've been immersed in for such a long time is more destructive than most realize. It can emotionally scar them for years, confuse them and can do no good--especially considering they have no clue why they're being separated.
GK from England | 1:15 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
There's something not quite right with this whole situation and I feel that the rights of the FLDS people have and are being violated. I do not know whether there has been any child abuse(as alledged from one source) and I as a Father would hope and pray that NO abuse has taken place. But to persecute a whole community of predominantly peace keeping people in this way is a backward step. Didn't the Nazi's do something similar to the Jews?
Amy | 1:19 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
This story has made me physically ill over the mistreatment of these women. Why are the women being punished? It is the men that are forcing the young girls to marry and such. As I have followed this story it has made me so depressed that something like this could happen in America.
candace from WA | 1:33 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
As a mother my heart is breaking for all the mothers that can't be with there children. I think this is getting out of control. If there are children that are 14 and 15 years old and are pregnant then we do have to realize that laws are being broken. It is disturbing and horrifying to watch unfold and my feelings are so mixed. There is no religious persecution going on here though. They are trying to protect a child from being abused they do it everyday. Its just on a different scale because there are so many children in this situation.
Exasperated | 1:34 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
" We are legal, law-abiding and a peaceful people. " she said. "We have literally been terrorized."
hereinlies the crux of the matter.They are so brainwashed, they genuinely believe they are law abiding citizens, but the evidence to date- upon which the state must make child welfare decisions- is that they have broken the law on three fronts at least- the worst of these being underage marriage and child abandonment of their young men. Mothers deserve their children back only when their children will be free from terror at home. The children here are the innocents who have been 'terrorised'.
Deseret Dawg | 2:03 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Texas has given America another black eye. First LBJ, then Dubya, now this. Texas is a reproach upon this great nation.
Worse | 2:08 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
I do not condone Polygamy but what was done by these authorities and HOW they did it was clearly wrong. There needs to be some accountability on this. These people (mothers and children) were not breaking the law, but the men were. This is one of the messy outcomes of Polygamy...how to end it (I understand better why the LDS church officially stopped it in 1890 but you can't break up families immediately.
The children are the consequences of this mess. Now they suffer from the law too. Who can guarantee their well-being is any better? Can you imagine having your 5 year old taken from you and an end of legal rights??
This is typical of many messes our gov't steps into - they do not think through all the implications of a decision.
Evan | 2:08 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Unbelieveable ! Same thing occured with the Nazi's and the Jews ! The Jews were lied too as well, have we learned nothing from the past !!!
This warped and twisted society called FLDS has been allowed to go on too long ! I agree with "Exasperated" they ARE NOT law-abiding citizens, they have been living in a bubble that is not reality ! Will be interesting to see how this mess ends up !
RE-Exasperated | 2:15 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Wrong. Remove your shoes when dealing with the souls of children: you're on holy ground. The innocent lives, the hopes and dreams of children are not to be crushed so that another group's perception of justice is to be realized. Truth takes time. Justice takes time. The greater good isn't about immediately changing something you feel is not right. Consider all aspects. If a person does not like Social Security, doesn't mean we pull the cord immediately on millions of lives. Millions of people on welfare that may not be worthy of their check still don't get thrown into the streets the instant the funding is cut. Not only will you have a riot on your hands, but you will actually have taken 3 steps backward. You have lost what little trust you had in the group you're trying to educate. It will take generations to heal.
Ask yourself the next time you're driving a few miles above the speed limit: if a society says it's okay or not okay, is it?
Assumptions make an... | 2:17 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Brainwashing says you, faith and belief says them. Marriage for underaged individuals is not always illegal. When the guardian gives consent, it is usually allowed. Maybe if you want to tell them how to raise their kids, you should be willing to offer up yours to them. It's a good thing that they are calmer about the government sanctioned kidnapping of their children than some would be. There would be no wall tall enough nor people thick enough to keep me from keeping my children away from a group that has proven itself to be untrustworthy and deceitful. And let me tell you, these people seem quite thick.
Eye Dee Ten Tee | 2:42 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
We're still waiting to find out who the 'judge' is that has issued these warrants. How did the baptist buses just happen to be there when the police and CPS stormed the ranch? Is there a reporter who is willing to investigate these questions? These poor people are just going to have their civil rights ignored until someone exposes the root of the problem.
The silence from the ACLU is deafening. There is no mention of this atrocity on their web site. They are too busy keeping bibles out of Texas schools and supporting same genger 'marriages' in Philadelphia. By their fruits you shall know them. They are only interested in defending civil liberties when it fits their agenda.
Archaea Cougarguard | 2:47 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
As difficult as this short term pain may be, it is a necessary task in order to stop the vicious and destructive cycle of polygamy. In the long term, it is in the best interest of these children to be taken out of the selfish and abusive FLDS environment. Better to keep focused on the long term and eventually redeeming objective.
Outsider | 2:54 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Only in your neck of the woods could these oddball losers get away with their histrionics.
Drama | 2:55 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
All I can say is that the Texas authorities better have some good hard evidence of 416 cases of abuse, or this is a terrible miscarriage of justice.
Personally, I would like to see a little more balanced reporting of these stories from DN. Lately, nearly everything I’ve read here has been nothing but major drama and tears from FLDS mothers making all sorts of accusations. What do people involved in Texas have to say? And what about the FLDS men, have they been struck dumb?
Anonymous | 3:09 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
How can you be unsure about if there was child abuse present on the compound? Children are forced to marry older men and produce bodies for spirit babies. That is sexual abuse. They are taught from the cradle that this is the right thing do to and to accept this sexual abuse. It's sick.
shocking | 3:33 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
What is shocking is the supportive comments towards women who have been perpetuating child rape.
Texas lied to you? Bit like the pot calling the kettle black. You have been lying about your names and refusing to identify your children.
Give me a break. You perpetuated a felony.
Utahn's; get over your outrage. Save your dismay for the real victims; the molested children of this cult. Those children are better off out of such a destructive home
also exasperated | 4:54 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Reading the story from the Deseret News' perspective, yes this is a horrible thing happening to these poor women. But that seems to be the view Deseret News wants you to have. I'm so tired of the Abusive Texan Authorities point of view. Does the FLDS own Deseret News?! In USA Today's story they tell that this was done for the children's safety (maybe to keep them from being forced into marriage with a 50 year old uncle you think?) and that some women "chose to return to their ranch and others accepted the state's offer of "a safe place" elsewhere" (that would be a women's shelter). Also, USA Today said that some of the children DO have lawyers. Funny how many things were in a paper outside of Utah that the newspaper in Utah just happened to miss. Yeah, I'm outside of Utah, too. Grew up there thought and I'm glad to see Texas doing what Utah never had the guts to do, step and and stop young girls forced into marriages they didn't want with men they didn't want.
Brian | 5:19 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Law abiding citizend who marry their 13 year olds to aunts and uncles? Must have missed that part of the statutory rape seminar...and what a job by the media to make us feel sorry for them forcing their kids into marriages as teenagers. Wow. From the Deseret News, not less. I'm very disappointed in everyone who is getting taken in by this.
just thinking | 5:35 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
each day the news gets worse. would someone stand up against these thugs. lets take the mothers to the right and the children to the left so they can have showers. that is what the nazis did to the jews. and now it is happening all over again. there have been a few convictions of child abuse. those men had trials and were proven guilty. go after the men. dont leave them on the ranch and take the children. dont lie to the mothers. we live in america, of course maybe this is all a lie. what freedoms do we really have? these same things happened to the main lds church in the last century, and now it is lifting its ugly head again. i pray each day that Christ will come again, and restore peace to this earth.
Uncle Fred | 5:44 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
"Anyone with a mother knows how we're feeling right now. What would they do if they were in our place? If we had known this was ahead of us, we couldn't have lived another day."
That is the real reason for the raid. Well, not really, it's the money, but, these people are just waiting for an order to drink the cool-aid. These mothers are trained to kill their children before letting the state take them. That is why the authorities did what they did in the manner in which they did it. This drivel is simply TV hype from the mothers. I blame the prosecutor(s) through the years from Utah and Arizona that let this mess get as far out of hand as it has.
JND | 5:59 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
The women repeatedly lied to CPS. And now they are surprised that CPS lied to them? I'm shocked!
Where's the proof? | 6:04 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
All this based on an anonymous phone call? Has anybody been formally charged with facilitating underage marriage or child abandonment? If they can do this to them they can do it to you. Better pray that someone doesn't trump up a charge against you. Your children may be the next wards of the state.
I do hope... | 6:09 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
that all things will sorted out fairly and promptly for the sake of the sanity of all parties involved, very soon...
FLUtahn | 6:14 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Wake up Americans! Our government has proven once again (ie Waco, Ruby Ridge) that it is more than willing to spit on the Constitution and then rub our faces in it. An overzealous and heavy-handed government can and must be met with ire from the people who GIVE IT its authority in the first place. I have seen far too much complacency amongst Americans in recent years. And, as punishment for that, our government has stealthily and surreptitiously removed some of our most time honored rights...such as: Due Process, Habeas Corpus, and fair treatment. I wonder which reasons they will use to remove children next in order to "protect" them? Maybe your political positions are "odd" or "not normal" or maybe you just dont like the government, so one day a government trooper shows up at your door to "protect" your children. Think about it...this is just the beginning.
Georgia | 6:23 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
There has only been an accusation of broken law - no evidence so far has been produced since they cannot even locate the girl who made the initial phone call. Without evidence, arrests cannot be made and (in theory)children cannot be removed from parents custody. What concerns me is the idea that someone can make a phone call to authorities accusing someone/some group of illegal actions and without evidence that person/group can suffer harsh consequences! I would not be surprised if a law (or many laws) were broken, but as a citizen of the United States I expect and have the right to demand that lawful and legal procedures are followed! These children have been taken into custody not on the grounds of EVIDENCE, but instead they have been taken in order to COLLECT evidence! Completely backwards and in full disregard for due process! If this case stirs your emotions and sense of justice, then you should write to your congressmen/women and express your concern over Texas officials disregard for the legal rights of these parents. I don't agree with their lifestyle, but standing up for their rights is standing up for my own!
Candace is next | 6:23 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Candace from WA,
How would you like being the next mother to have your children "protected"?
Difficult thing | 6:24 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
I have been a foster parent. I have witnessed a mother working very hard and did get her child back by doing what the CPS plan laid out for her to do. I have seen a teen mother run and dissappear for months at a time only to return and demand visits and she got them. Supervised yes, but from the 4+ years I worked with CPS and the foster care system their main priority is to RETURN CHILDREN TO THEIR FAMILIES. They are duty bound by that, and what some of you don't understand is that we aren't getting all the information here. We are not suppose to. Some information is very guarded due to protection of rights and confidentiality of these children. Please don't thnk we have all the information CPS and officials have. There is much we don't know and know that media is hindering and making this much worse for everyone involved.
Nope | 6:28 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
No sympathy. If you are an enabler to hurting any child.
CITIZEN | 6:37 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Texas authorities lie to someone????NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Wise Man vs Foolish Man | 6:40 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Now will you people accepting this outrageous raid by the government wake up? How can you continue to support a raid which was brought about by an unsubstantiated phone call and a late night phone call to a judge?
The germans were tricked in this same exact manner. Their government told them the jews were to blame for their financial troubles, "look the jews are getting richer while you suffer." So they praised the nazis for "teaching those jews a lesson." Likewise, people are tricked into thinking they are in the moral right, because after all these people are child molesters, aren't they?
Whether they be or not, we are a nation of laws and despite what you may think the government must also follow them. Innocent until proven guilty is a foundational element of our legal system. A foundation build upon a rock. A foolish man would support this house upon the sand in which you support CPS operating on.
The question to you is which on are you? Foolish or Wise?
VegasBaby | 6:40 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
And just how many FLDS members have lied to the authorities? Can't wait to see what happens Thursday.
Anonymous | 6:47 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
The government is simply following protocol. If there is a hint of abuse on a child then that child becomes a ward of the state until the false accusations are proven otherwise. My friend had a neighbor turn her in to social workers because they saw one of her children on a garage roof. She still gets weekly visits from the state to see if any danger activity can be seen, and still threaten to take away her children if deemed necessary. If nothing here is amiss then these children will be returned. But laws are put into place, this is just a big scale operation and only noteworthy to journalists for the shock value...which seems to have worked on you people!
Mike | 6:47 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Where were these "crying" mothers when their 14 year old daughters were being married off? Were their any tears for them? Where were the "crying" mothers when their 15 year old sons were run off the compound because they were competition to the old geezers? For some reason there were no tears or complaints for those children instead abandoning them to a completely unknown life and world.
Last night I watched an interview and it was clear, you need only do the math, that one mother was clearly "lying for the lord." She was asked the ages of her children and grandchild...her child that produced the grandchild was told to be "18 plus." Her grandchild was 10 months. If one adds 10 months plus the 9 months of gestation we have a 16 year old that was pregnant. Carolyn Jessop then spoke. She shared a husband with this same woman and she also stated that the girl had just turned 18.
Folks, this is not about polygamy but about abuse and CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE. It is often also INCESTUOUS CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE (see fumerase deficiency). Your hearts are bleeding as they lie through their teeth.
john | 6:49 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
This raid should frighten anyone who is a member of an unpopular religion.
Wayne | 6:54 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
The current situation in Texas of the state kidnapping hundreds of children from their mothers is a breach of constitutional rights of due process. This is outrageous!
The immediate solution to all the chaos as to where to care for these children who are being torn-apart from their mothers is quite simple. Have all the adult males leave the compound (which they have agreed to do) and allow all children and mothers to return to their homes. Mothers and children can then be monitored within the compound by CPS and other appropriate personnel. The mothers and children can then be in their own homes while the state figures out what to do about this mess.
wbm5 | 6:54 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Here is a statement from one of the mothers. "I tried so hard to protect my children. They don't know that people hurt each other." This scares me..... She isn't preparing her children for the world we live in. I have to wonder what has happened in her life that she feels such a need to hide from the truth.
I protect my children by giving them tools to function with many types of people. They learn to get along with others, not act as if everyone is out to get them.
I am torn though to on the way things seem to be presented to us. A bunch of crying women saying they were lied to sure makes you want to feel bad for them. But the police didn't lie to get then away from their children. Those women wouldn't have left calmly if the police had said, "We are now going to separate you from your children." They were told we want to give you information, which they did. These women feel like victims and they are.... from their leaders and their "husbands" who supposedly "love" them.
Kevin In Texas | 6:57 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Prosecute those who are law breakers, perhaps the leaders of this group. But for heavens sake I do not believe that the accusations merit the removal of all children from all mothers. This is an outrage and I will definitely cast my votes this election season against those who are responsible.
Mother From Australia | 6:59 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
If there is an investigation needed, I can't imagine a more abusive and traumatic way to conduct it! Why do the authorities have the right to lie to the children and the mothers? What is next for these children? I have heard of underage children being badgered by interrogators until they have confessed to awful crimes. Who is tending to their needs? Why do they want them separated? If the women and children are victims, why do the authorities further punish them? This saga is nothing short of horrific. We should all be worried that this could happen in a "free" nation like the USA. You had all better fear this kind of power unleashed!!
The Australian government just apologized to the Aboriginal people for stealing and keeping their children over a period of 40 years or so. They are called the The Stolen Generation. What a tragedy!!
re: also exasperated | 7:01 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
You lied about the USA Today story, I just read the whole thing and watched their video clips. They are very similar to the ones the Deseret News is covering. Their story is nearly identical. Considering you are a liar, I would expect you to support the wrong course of action.
Perhaps you should look into a mirror before you call someone else a liar especially an entire news outlet. There were times where I swore off ever reading the Deseret News again because they had abandoned their base audience, Mormon families. But recently Joe Cannon has righted that ship, hopefully things will stay that way. For you to criticize them for being the first and at that time the only media outlet presenting both sides of this story is appalling. Perhaps you would be better off in China where you aren't presented with the facts so the government can tell you how you should think for you.
DeLaval Milker | 7:08 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Go Texas. Pedophiles don't usually get a soft reception in Utah, but when it's this bunch it seems to be a different story.
Rescuing these people, and putting an end to the abuse is going to take time and effort, the kind Utah won't step up with.
To me, one of the biggest crimes committed against these people, all of them, is the loss of themselves. They have had their self determination stripped away, and replaced with 'faith'. Forced to have procreative sex at very young ages, pooly educated, isolated and taught to fear society, it's not like their career options open up for them. Coming from this environment, I'm not surprised that they are going to consider anything in the outside world a lie.
Sad in St George | 7:09 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
I have provided medical care to many of these people for the past 10 years. They are some of the most honest, decent people I have ever met. They abuse their children at the same rate as the general population--not anywhere near 100 percent as Texas would have us believe.
I did my medical training in the inner city hospitals of St Louis. On any given day, they are full of 12-13 year old mothers having children--young mothers who truly are abused by violent drug culture. If the authorities rounded up all the kids at risk in St Louis and stole them from their families, there would be war.
Texas has perpetrated the very type of crime against our citizens that our constitution was designed to prevent.
Liz | 7:11 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
In child abuse cases, it is really common to separate parents from kids. Texas is doing it correctly. The kids won't speak if they have their mother there, who is using a cell phone to get calls from the guys back at the ranch. Let's wait for more to come out. If the women were really concerned, they wouldn't watch their 14 year old marry a 50 year old.
wrc | 7:16 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Many comments here are based upon stereotype opinions, not fact. And the same logic seems to be used by the State of Texas. A report of a crime (child rape in this case) should have been investigated and, if possible, prosecuted. Authorities should have gone to the ranch to investigate - But the REPORTED abuse of one girl is not legal cause to take into legal custody several hundred people.
This is a country of Constitutional law and all people have rights. There has been no due process here. This is totalitarian rule based upon stereotypical opinions.
I agree with 'Georgia' who wrote; "as a citizen of the United States I expect and have the right to demand that lawful and legal procedures are followed!"
Anna | 7:18 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Sickening is the only way to describe these human rights violations by the Texan authorities! Didn't we just see this kind of dishonesty, fraud, and deceit in the Duke University rape case. Justice needs to be served here! These children must be returned to their families immediately, their families compensated by the State, and criminal charges brought against the rogue prosecutors and those in Child Protective Services that have greatly overstepped their authority.
I agree | 7:20 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Hear,hear - Mike, Schocking, & Also exasperated. You said it better than I could. Shame on DN for helping this turn into another Short Creek where everyone feels so sorry for these poor, persecuted, law-abiding, polygamists.
Is there no other way? | 7:22 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
This seems so wrong on so many levels.
Could officials not just ARRANGE an official MEETING with all adult male leaders of the sect (whoever their leadership body or quarom or whatever consists of) and make the agreement that the law will stay out of their lives if they agree to not allow women to marry until they are 18 years old (which is still pretty darn young in my book). That way the FLDS would feel assurance that this won't happen again, and the state would be assured child-bride (abuse) isn't happening anymore.
These poor children. I would gladly step in as a foster parent AND ALLOW THEIR MOTHER (birth mother as proved by birth certificate)to come live with them all in my home. I don't think this is right how it is being handled.
Layola | 7:28 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Who new the deseret News was so pro polygamy?
My first reaction was sadness for these women then I remembered what they would do to their own daughters once they were 13 or 14.
Sorry ladies, if you can't take your own daughters away from men who will rape them at such a young age, you deserve to lose them to the state.
Make a choice.
Once again I ask, where are the men?
Why are they not speaking out?
Some of these women were on TV last night. One was the woman who tried to stop Carolyn Jessop from fleeing with her children. She did her cause no good.
They are so willing to turn on the waterworks for the cameras but refuse to answer some very pertinent questions. Sorry ladies, the rights of your children come before yours. Their first right is to not be in an environment that condones rape.
Bill O'Reilly reported that there are about 20 girls ages 13-16 that are pregnant among the children.
Well ladies, you let those rapes happen! Now the system is getting you.
Thomas Jefferson | 7:28 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
Here we sit and allow a massive intrusion and display of State authority in an unprecedented way. Texas has no choice but to make it up as they go because there is nothing codified that explains or gives guidance in what they are doing. I am totally against what has occured in Texas and this over-reach will inspire States and Federal agencies more intrusion than ever.
Inspired | 7:31 a.m. Apr. 15, 2008
After watching these pitiful turn of events, I'm even more convinced that the "Manifesto" to end plural marriage back in 1890 was even more Inspired. The Lord knows why he does things, hundreds of years in advance.
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