April 4, 2008
Overkill In Eldorado Texas?
Posted by Guy Murray under FLDS, FLDS Texas Raid, Polygamy, Warren Jeffs | Tags: FLDS, FLDS Texas Raid, Polygamy, Warren Jeffs |
FLDS RaidThe FLDS Church is again making headlines, this time in Eldorado Texas, the latest FLDS compound. This is the biggest news splash since the Warren Jeffs’ conviction last year on charges of accomplice to rape. There are several MSM sources for this breaking story. (My Update posted here).
One of the better stories appears in the Salt Lake Tribune:
An investigation into whether a middle-aged man married a teenage girl has spurred child services agents in Texas to remove 52 girls from an FLDS compound there. Eighteen of the 52 girls have been taken into state custody. The rest are being interviewed away from the compound. The girls range in age from 6 months to 17 years of age.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Patrick Crimmins, said he did not know why the children were removed.
A search and arrest warrant shows Texas authorities are investigating whether 50-year-old Dale Barlow married and fathered a child with a 16-year-old polygamy.
Barlow is not new to criminal sexual abuse investigations, having previously pled no contest to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor:
Barlow, 50, is a son of former Colorado City, Ariz., mayor Dan Barlow; he also was one of eight Colorado City men accused by Arizona prosecutors in 2005 of marrying underage girls and committing sex crimes.
He pleaded no contest in Superior Court in April 2007 to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, and a second charge was dropped. The victim was a 16-year-old girl with whom he had a son. He was later sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years on probation.
The Texas warrants, provided by the San Angelo Standard newspaper, allow police to arrest Barlow and seize records of his alleged marriage to the girl and records of a baby girl he may have fathered with the teenager. The baby is believed to be 8 months old, the warrant says. Barlow and the teenager are the only people named in the warrant. It’s unclear how an investigation into their relationship lead to the removal of 52 other girls.
Texas raid removes girls from FLDS compoundUnclear indeed how this type of investigation would result in the removal of 52 other girls. Either 52 girls were named in these warrants or criminal complaints, or someone has gone a little overboard in this investigation. I have not read anything in any of the media accounts that would suggest facts sufficient to support the wholesale removal of 52 other girls, or the armed response of the equivalent of a small army.
Certainly if there are facts supporting criminal allegations of child abuse, sexual abuse, or any other criminal violations, those facts should be thoroughly investigated, and prosecuted if warranted. I am a bit troubled by the investigation focusing on a middle aged man who allegedly married a minor, which results in the removal of some 52 other girls from the compound.
The Tribune also reported the investigation began as a result of claims of sexual abuse:
Questions at the ranch. At the Texas ranch, investigators interviewed children throughout the morning. Schleicher County Attorney Raymond Loomis said a girl’s accusation that she was sexually abused triggered the raid, which began about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. “Some girl at the compound called the sheriff’s office and said she was being abused,” Loomis told The Salt Lake Tribune.
This version is contradicted by reports out of a San Angelo Texas newspaper:
Earlier today, Meisner confirmed that CPS responded to a complaint, but officials at the scene could not say whether the complaint was made from within or outside the ranch. A DPS spokesman declined to say how many people were being interviewed, or how many officers were involved.
Schleicher County Justice of the Peace James C. Doyle dismissed reports appearing in Utah newspapers that a specific allegation of sexual abuse triggered the complaint, calling it “hearsay” - one of several rumors circulating around Eldorado and repeated by another Schleicher County official.
Also troubling is the fact that these arrest and search warrants have apparently not yet been publicly released:
The warrants, signed by Tom Green County District Judge Barbara Walther, and the affidavits filed with them have not been released pending a decision on whether they can or should be made public, a court administrator said.
I have looked, and not yet found the actual search and arrest warrants, which I will post, if I can find them. Other good media sources for this story include:
(Update 4/5/08 7:30 a.m.) This morning’s Deseret News reports that 167 children have been removed from the FLDS compound in Texas. This seems like an astounding number. If there were evidence sufficient for the state of Texas to remove 167 children from their homes, where did it come from, and what is it? If there is that much evidence of child and sexual abuse, why did it take this long for Texas to raid this compound? This story gets more bizzare as it develops.
(Further Update 4/5/08 8:00 a.m.) A new Salt Lake Tribune story reports that a Texas judge has now ordered the removal of all FLDS children, boys and girls, under age 18, from the FLDS compound.
For other bloggernacle discussion see Matt B’s post over a Mormon Mentality. Also, BIV has a good post as well over at Hieing to Kolob.
The Eldorado Success
Salt Lake Tribune (On why the raid may do more harm than good)
The worst captioned story belongs, not surprisingly to the New York Times, which contains the egregious error of describing the FLDS Church as a “Mormon” sect, which is of course just sloppy reporting.
39 Responses to “Overkill In Eldorado Texas?”
1. Nick Literski Says:
April 5, 2008 at 8:10 am
167 children? Fascinating, given that yesterday’s news reports only estimated 200 residents of the YFZ Ranch. It makes me wonder what percentage of children on the ranch (or at least what percentage of female children?) that represents.
The whole thing has shades of Short Creek, except that the fathers haven’t all been rounded up and arrested yet. With yesterday’s motivation claim (young girl calling in, claiming she was being sexually abused) now being denied, you have to wonder who made the supposed “complaint,” and how many child “protection” service workers were just chomping at the bit to “rescue” all the children from their families.
2. mondo cool Says:
April 5, 2008 at 9:29 am
Wonder if the fact that two “First Baptist Church of Eldorado” buses were used to remove the children means anything?
3. Guy Murray Says:
April 5, 2008 at 11:54 am
Nick and Mondo,
Yeah, this is a fascinating story. Watching it unfold will be an interesting endeavor. Perhaps there is evidence to support such a wide ranging investigation/raid. Time will tell. I thought the same thing about the Baptist connection here. I don’t know the answer to be truthful.
Thanks for your thoughts.
4. Jeff Day Says:
April 5, 2008 at 2:57 pm
One site I read said the children taken were ranging from 6 months old and up. I am absolutely shocked and offended that anyone would take 6 month old children (and even older ones) away from their homes without disclosing to the public the reasoning behind it. This compound is a religious group, and while their understanding of marriage may be different than some, I believe them for the most part to be dedicated people of high moral standards. I cannot believe that these children would be taken away without their mothers (and father or fathers), and I refuse to believe that the entire group of parents would be “dangerous” enough to warrant this removal.
Until I hear news justifying this, my personal sympathy for this group of polygamists is going way up.
BTW: Nick Literski, could you please email me? I am afraid my email sent about 6 months ago and another more recently didn’t get through to you.
5. Liza Says:
April 6, 2008 at 12:26 am
“I could hardly breathe, just knowing what these woman & children had to go thru”! But, not only that, knowing that my parents live in Sonora, Texas. God is good, and Justice shall be done.
6. Liza Says:
April 6, 2008 at 12:31 am
To modo cool-
after entering my comment. I went back to read all others. (As for the Baptist- God Forbid You Are Wrong)!
7. jes Says:
April 6, 2008 at 5:37 am
To Jeff Day
Would you leave a 6 mos old in the hands of a meth dealer? Do you condone the sexual abuse of children in the name of God? Do you believe the sexual abuse of children represents ‘high moral standards?
These people are accused of criminal activity and their children should be removed, especially if the crimes involve the abuse of their children. This is not marriage. That is between consenting ADULTS.
8. JMOEM Says:
April 6, 2008 at 8:31 pm
Has anyone been to Hildale/Colorado City and seen the look of fear in the eyes of the women and children that live there when they see a stranger in town? I have it it’s a very sad thing to see in these United States. Those eyes show fear and curiosity. Their mental state is plain to see. Should you try talking to them they will look to see if anyone is watching and then hurry off. It is like visiting the “Twilight Zone” right here in America.
9. Jane Says:
April 7, 2008 at 10:24 am
The children were taken in voluntary accompaniment of their female adult relatives, including their mothers if their mothers chose to go. Most of the mothers had been forced into marriage to strangers or relatives at a young age and did not have the freedom to come and go as they pleased and as is mandated under U.S. law. They are prisoners of the FLDS men. Until you get these women and children away from the men, and the women came choicefully, they are not free to speak without fear for their safety and future freedom and without fear for the safety and freedom of their children. The six-month olds in some cases were likely children of teenaged children who had been forced to marry older men. Would you take the underaged mothers for questioning and examination of their mental and physical health and leave their infants behind? The leaders of this cult put the women and children in this position, and I guarantee that though they are afraid, some will hope to escape and live in freedom, freedom to live and worship freely according to their conscience and their choice, free to marry who they will and to raise their children safely according to their conscience and not according to fear.
10. Jane Says:
April 7, 2008 at 10:57 am
If the FLDS guards had complied with the law and produced the girl in the first place, they would not necessarily have exposed all the community to the search and questioning. As it was, eighteen girls were deemed to have been abused or in imminent danger of being abused. I wonder how many of those are child brides, possibly pregnant or with small children already.
11. G Haskins Says:
April 7, 2008 at 12:52 pm
Something doesn’t add up here… They estimate between 300 - 400 people at the compound. Of that number, about 200 children have been removed. That leaves 100-200 adults? Now if each man is said to have multiple wives, how many of that remaining 100 or 200 people could be men? Maybe 50 or so? So now how is it that 50 men could build an entire city, complete with a utilities infrastructure, not to mention a temple as well, and still have any time left for low and filthy habits of sexual abuse against young girls?
12. D Stevenson Says:
April 7, 2008 at 2:02 pm
The rescue of more than 400 children to date from the FLDS compound in Schleicher County (El Dorado), Texas, is considerably ovedue. There are only a handful of men. Most of the construction on the ‘child abuse temple’ is done by male children, who are employed as a mobile, expendible labor force. The women now in a shelter should be arrested on violations of Chapters 20 (Kidnappping and unlawful restraint), 20A (Trafficking of Persons), 21 (Sexual Offenses) and 25 (Offenses against the Family) of the Texas Penal Code. More than half of the children, particularly the male children have no parents present in Schleicher or Tom Green County (San Angelo), Texas. They have been brought in as part of a “forced labor” (TPC 20A.01 (1) group to work in the compound. In all likelihood they were tranported across state lines in violation of Federal law. The so-called FLDS Church is not a religious organization in any sense of the word. It is a criminal organization. Its women are the glue that holds the organization together. Not only should the children be placed permanently in good Christian foster homes in Texas. The women involved should be prosecuted for their role in the exploitation and abuse of these children. They are the persons directly responsible for the abuse.
13. Al Says:
April 7, 2008 at 2:32 pm
My opinion is that all these women and children were removed to assure their safety during search, (nobody wants another Waco incident), and all court dates postponed until there is enough evidence for next legal steps.
Believing and practicing religion are two different things.
Only fundamentalists have need to “shield” their members from outside world, and it’s not hard to figure out why.
My issue is this double standard those FLDS members are imposing at other people. The “wicked” people from outside are evil, according to their teaching, but their working and business opportunities, as well as the social security checks (they all are getting and turning in, instead using them for its purpose)…..are good and not poisoned??
Just imagine that all churches build nice tall walls around their properties and members keep their children home schooling by barely literate mothers…. what would happen next?
14. Christopher Says:
April 7, 2008 at 4:43 pm
The response by authorities to a rumored phone call from a girl without a name that no one can locate is a terrible and scary indictment of the justice and legal system in Texas. I don’t see how that justifies taking 400+ children from their homes under the pretense that they appear “to have been abused or in imminent danger of being abused” (a terribly ambiguous notion in and of itself).
There’s too much that doesn’t add up here. Based on the evidence to this point, it seems to me that the most reasonable explanation is that either (a) no phone call was ever placed, or (b) the phone call was from a phony person.
By no means am I defending abuse or exploitation of children, but I don’t see enough hard evidence to convince me that that’s going on here.
15. Joseph Says:
April 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm
CPS has a right and is bound by law to take these kids if they notice any problems.. Maybe locals have grown cold and approve of this sick behavior but the real world is not going to stand by and watch these filthy old men use the kids for there own wishes get a life this is 21st century.
16. Steve 45 Says:
April 7, 2008 at 4:55 pm
Lots of gossip & opinion above, but how much fact?
From about 1960-1963, when growing up in California as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of my best friends was a boy named Steven (”Steve” ;) Michael Murphy, oldest son of James B. (native of Milwaukee, WI) and Roxie Hawkins Murphy (of Safford, AZ). This couple had other children: Kim, Terry and Shawn Michael. Kim married Dick Young (prominent attorney), and they live in Littleton, CO. I believe Terry and Shawn, both married, live in the Salt Lake Valley. These families are/were all active in the L.D.S. Church the last I heard, except for Steve.
As a teenager, I spent nearly every afternoon at the Murphy home in Santa Clara with other friends lifting weights, playing ping-pong, just having good clean fun.
At 19, Steve went on an L.D.S. mission to The Netherlands. His mission president was Alvin R. Dyer, and I always wondered how it changed his life. I was at BYU when he returned. We soon became roommates. By changed life, I mean he had different behaviors than I’d ever seen before in any L.D.S. person. The most noticeable was that he would always keep his head bowed for another 10-20 seconds following the close of a simple blessing on food, or any other prayer. In a way, I guess I still respected him for this, yet I wondered. BYU is a haven for dating, and he did get right into that. However, his dating was restricted to reading the scriptures with any girl he took out. Really different. I often wondered how different girls responded. Most Mormons read and study scriptures, but this was extreme.
I’d guess, in about 1968, Steve married a young woman named Vicki (can’t recall her maiden name) from Virginia who lived across the street from our apartments. She was full of life, a relatively new convert to the Church. Later, I moved into a house in a nearby neighborhood, and discovered that they lived just a few doors down, so we continued our friendship.
In 1972, after marrying, I finished a masters degree. My wife and I moved to California. A couple of weekends later, I flew back to Utah for my thesis defense, and stayed with them in Salt Lake City for a few days. While in their home, Steve introduced me to a series of John Birch Society tapes about the New World Order, how an evil secret global leftist society of elitists (Kennedys, Rothschilds, etc.) was going to take us over with a one-world government. I must admit that it was quite impressionable.
A few years later, when my family and I were traveling through Utah, we stopped to see them again, this time in Sandy, Utah. They had no children, and were living with another family. I thought that was a little odd, but people do find different living accommodations. During a long late evening walk, Steve told me that the L.D.S. Church was going through a great transition, that there would be a great divide among its membership soon.
The next year, I was passing through the Denver Airport and stopped to phone his sister Kim. With great emotion, she explained that at the time we’d visited them in Sandy, he was already practicing polygamy. Hence, the other family they were living with. She said he had at that time already been excommunicated from the Mormon Church. He was a youth seminary teacher in North Salt Lake City, and had tried to talk a girl in his class into marrying him in polygamy. She also said that he’d taken his several families into the Wasatch Mountains to live, that he was then a private school principal, and that they lived on a goat farm. She said that the whole deal had ripped her extended family apart. In years later, Kim wrote to say that Steve and Vicki had divorced.
In 1984, I passed through Salt Lake City again. I couldn’t find Steve’s phone number in the directory, but found his brother, Terry’s and phoned him. He seemed very reluctant to even talk with me, and outright refused to give me Steve’s phone number. I suggested I give my number to him so he could have Steve phone me. In a few moments, my phone rang, and Steve drove up to the front of the L.D.S. Church office building shortly thereafter, the last time I saw him. As we rode around together for the ensuing 4 hours, we talked about everything.
I know Steve is a very religious person, in word and deed. I’m certain he practically has the scriptures memorized. He explained that his group had their own temple activity. As far as he was concerned, his organization (not sure it had a name) was many steps above the (evil) Mormon Church, and that God was leading his church.
A few years ago, through another friend, I got an e-mail address for Steve’s father, Jim who lived in/near Nephi, Utah with wife Roxie. He explained that Steve and families then lived in Nevada (where polygamy is/was apparently legal), and often secretly visited his parents in Nephi. I haven’t had communication with any of these folks for the past 15-20 years.
I know these people are very good people. The kid was my best friend when we were teenagers. I have no idea if Steve is involved with the Jeffs group, but have been curious. He just really took a strange leap, I thought. Certainly nothing to do with my church today.
17. Richard 59 Says:
April 7, 2008 at 6:37 pm
The LDS church is probably the most family oriented church in existense today albeit they really do have a very strange belief system. The FLDS on the other hand are no better than the Fundamental extreme muslims that breed terrorism throughout thw worls. FLDS , I think, should be considered domestic trerrorists and delat with accordingly. The bible I read does not defend nor preach such criminal acts as these people have done to their OWN women and children.
The LDS need to stand up and condemn these criminal acts.
18. Shannon 41 Says:
April 7, 2008 at 8:24 pm
God bless those innocent children and may the rest of your community band together to help ANY child, regardless of religion, if they are in need. If I can help support one, or several children and their mothers through this ordeal I will do just that.
Let’s hope that the long arm of the law puts an end to public abuse of women and children.
Shannon 41 - former long time resident of Creston B.C. Canada (home of Bountiful colony)
19. GMcDaniel Says:
April 7, 2008 at 9:00 pm
Due to meth abuse, the CPS system in the state of Texas is so overworked and underpaid that is unreasonable to believe the CPS workers were dying to go anywhere and take on 400 new cases. I lived in San Angelo for 20 years and worked for an agency that had to work with CPS on many cases and know that in my dealings with the CPS employees they tried to be fair and get all the facts before making decisions about removing children. They had to have a court order to remove anyone and the judge had to believe there was grounds for removal. In order for CPS to remove anyone, there would need to be statements made by the victims or the victims’ mother about abuse or neglect or the threat of imminent danger. Because juvenile cases are not open to the public, we will never know the details of the cases, nor should we. Why we as Americans believe we have the right to know everything, is amazing to me. If it were my child or family members, I would want the rest of the world to take a hike and leave us alone. We need to not keep victimizing these people by insisting we need to know the whole story. Since the women were taken with the children, the children are with people they know and trust. The news clips I have seen of the children outside playing at the church and or community center showed children acting like children. They did not seem to be too fearful to play. Have any of you considered the amount of foster homes that will be needed to house all of these children? When I moved away from there last summer, they were in dire need of foster homes. I have no reason to believe that there is an abundance of them at this time. Especially not to house that many children.
If you have ever worked for a state agency you would not believe any other state agency would want to have to process the paperwork for 400 cases that were not legitimate.It will be a paperwork nightmare for all involved.
It also seems that many have not considered that if they are practicing polygamy, it is against the law. If the teen age girls were forced into marriages and were raped, that is illegal, too. The only safe way to sort this out would be to have them moved to a location where they were not with possible abusers.
I do have concerns about why any legitimate group, religious or otherwise, would need to guard their place with assault weapons and night vision goggles. I have personally seen guards at the gate of the compound with weapons while traveling past it to complete a home visit. Were they trying to keep the public out or the people in? All other churches I know of, seek those in need and welcome them into their temples or churches. When we start keeping people in or out at gunpoint, one would have to wonder why.
The comment about the Baptist Church buses being used was rather interesting. If you had ever been to Eldorado, you would realize that there were not alot of options for transporting that many people, anywhere. There were not alot of options about where to put that many people, either. They could have used school buses, if they could find whoever was in charge of them when the police and CPS called to find transportation. I assume since they had already contacted the church about taking the people in, it only makes sense the church would volunteer the buses, too or vice versa. I know many people in Eldorado, they are just good old West Texas people for the most part. I know rich ones, poor ones, nosey ones and private ones, religous ones and some that probably never graced the doors of a church but when called upon to help out, they would all do so in a heart beat. I have watched them pull together and help one another on many occasions and am not surprised they were doing what they could to help. Some of you seem to think this a huge conspiracy but the mere logistical problems of feeding and sheltering that many people in a town that size is a daunting one. If you are not from a small town that does not even have a fast food place unless you count the grill inside the convenience store, you cannot imagine the task and expense of feeding 450 people three meals a day plus taking care of your own. When you decide to go offer assistance in one of these situations, then you might have a whole different perspective of what has gone on in the West Texas town of Eldorado. If we find out they over reacted, well so what? How many times do we have to read that CPS left a child or children in a home and then they were killed for people to understand it is better to remove the children while sorting through the details then leaving them to be whisked off in the middle of the night to continue being abused. Being removed from their home for a few days is not nearly as detrimental to a child as being left in the situation by the ones you hoped would save you. By the way, if the 50 year old has done nothing wrong, why has he not turned himself in?
20. From Bad To Worse in The West Texas Town of Eldorado « Messenger and Advocate Says:
April 7, 2008 at 9:55 pm
[...] and disrupted their family life, keeping the mothers and the children from their fathers: (previous FLDS raid post) The children are being kept at a temporary shelter at historic Fort Concho in nearby San Angelo [...]
21. Faye M. Says:
April 7, 2008 at 11:06 pm
The last post indicated this person has much more knowledge of the Texas CPS system than most. All need to be aware of Texas Family Code laws governing CPS actions to understand what is happening. And has the law has required, now a Court has heard evidence and has removed all the children based on that evidence. CPS has to quickly appear in Court and the Court rules.
22. W, A, Summers Says:
April 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm
I’m beginning to sense why many folks give up on
the daily hard copy media and come online for what
facts and reason they can find regarding a story.
I am dismayed 300% by the “lap dog” quality of the
journalism in the Houston Chronicle and the Austin
Statesman American. On the surface one wonders if
the Duke Lacross rape story looked about this way
when it was initially deemed front-page worthy. I am more scared to a wayward State of Texas than of an
eccentric group of “other worlders”.
23. Tossed to and Fro Says:
April 8, 2008 at 1:32 pm
Above is link you might be interested in. Some intriguing videos as well.
24. Schumacher Says:
April 8, 2008 at 8:56 pm
Wichita, KS Oops made a mistake on KAKE 10 a couple of days ago and called them a ‘militia’. Could the demonization have begun? Like they did at Waco. I think the lawyers should pull up all the video this station ran and find that. I believe what is going on is a real ugly matter and all of the hurt these people are facing is absolutely horrible. My prayers are with them and my anger burns inside for how authorities are handling a simple call of what they say is due to one man. But I’m also glad I don’t have many more years left to witness this kind of evil much anymore.
25. Dr. D. E. Stevenson, Ph.D. Says:
April 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm
It is a tribute to Texas that they had the courage to do what Utah, Arizona, Nevada and other western states have been afraid to do. They raided the FLDS ranch in Schleicher County and arrested the leaders. Now they need to arrest at least some of the women. Many are just as bad as the men.
The smartest thing Texas CPS and law enforcement could do was to get the children and adult females out of Schleicher County, where the County Sheriff, Sheriff David Doran (Phone: 325-853-2737), sympathizes with the FLDS cult leaders. The next thing they need to do is get the children placed with permanent foster parents all over Texas.
The women who went to the shelter with the children must be separated from the children. The children must be sent to different parts of Texas, and the women, particularly the children’s mothers must never be allowed to see them again before their 18th birthdays. Mothers less than 18 must be placed in foster care without their children. Mothers older than 18 must be taken into custody and their children removed from them.
Senior adult females must be prosecuted for child endangerment (5 TPC 22.041) and child abuse (5 TPC 22.04). They contribute to the abuse as much as the males in this cult. Females over 18 and under 25 should be placed in protective custody as material witnesses. They should then be placed in shelters for abused and battered women and required to receive counseling to help them overcome many years of mental, physical and sexual abuse. Many were married as young as 12 and most were married before age 15.
Too many people see the women in the FLDS cult as victims of the men who ostensibly run the cult. To some degree this is true. However, by the time they have reached the age of 25, most have been married for more than 10 years. By this time they have participated in the physical, mental and sexual abuse of their own children. By the time they are 30, most have consented to father-daughter incest and the forced marriage of their daughters to other males in the cult.
When their husbands are absent, the FLDS women are the glue that holds the cult together. They are the ones that brain wash the children. When a husband has 10 to 15 wives, he can only be in the home about once a month. Most of the damage in these families is done by the women. When the men are imprisoned or have to go into hiding outside the community or outside the country, the women hold the community together.
I first became aware of what is now the FLDS polygamist cult in 1975, about 13 years before moving to Texas to work for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. At that time I was working as a field Agronomist and Entomologist for the Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) Co-op, a large interstate farmers Cooperative with its headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT. In March of 1975, I was introduced to LeRoy Johnson, the leader of the polygamist cult known as the Council of Friends. This cult later became the FLDS, which bought the ranch that was recently raided in Schleicher County (El Dorado), TX.
At that time, he maintained several households in different parts of Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. I first met him in Manti, Utah, but I did most of my business with him in Colorado City, Arizona. I never knew his first name until I heard his death announced in 1986. I only knew him as “Brother Johnson.” From 1975 until 1986, I sold fertilizer, seed, pesticides and other farm supplies to him and other members of this cult.
It is true that the cult members are leery of outsiders, particularly those whom they have not met before. However, it is untrue that they regard all outsiders as agents of Satan. I have remained on good terms with many of the men and some of their wives and children from that time. I also saw much of the abuse produced by this and two other large polygamous cults in Utah.
The women of the cult usually acted as a front and as a shield for the men, who were far more paranoid about outside contacts. When I received word that “Brother Johnson” wanted to see me about one of his farms, I would drive to the IFA branch in St. George, Utah. There, I would call his telephone number. A woman would answer, and I would leave a message that I would be in that area for the day. A few minutes later, the telephone would ring and “Brother Johnson” would tell me some isolated place to meet him. There we would conduct our business.
It was during this time that I discovered how much the women of the cult were involved. It should have been intuitive after the 1944 and 1953 arrest and imprisonment of the male adherents to the cult. The women held the cult together until their mates were out of prison. In all business with Johnson and others, I usually had to go through a wife or daughter.
I also discovered that it was often the wives of the male adherents to the cult that recruited other men and women. The women usually broached the subject to wives they considered prime candidates for their husband. When this did not yield results, they then appealed to the husband and his wife together.
Household goods were usually purchased by women. A shopping group would often come to town with an older woman leading the group with two teenage wives and a number of older children of both sexes to help carry items to the car or pickup truck to carry them home. The older wives were dependable senior members of the cult and would prevent runaways. The teenage wives always left their infants behind, which was effective in preventing escapes.
It was in 1978, when I found out about the forced marriages of 12 to 15 year old girls. In April of that year, 16 year old Jeff Carlisle appeared on the streets of my home town. He appeared lost and was picked up by the police. He informed them that he was the oldest son of a local polygamist farmer named Elmo Carlisle. He had run away from home because he was about to be married to four girls from Colorado City, AZ. He was placed in foster care and was not allowed to return to his parents. He did not return to the polygamists after he finished high school and now enjoys a comparatively normal life.
However, the affair did not end there. The following spring, in May of 1979, while delivering corn seed to the Carlisle farm, I was met by Elmo and Jeff’s younger brother. Elmo had his son help me unload the corn seed and informed me that his son had married the girls intended for Jeff. Elmo pointed to four single wide trailer houses and said that they were the homes of his son’s new wives. While we were putting the corn seed away, a girl that appeared to be 12 or 13 years old poked her head out of one of the mobile homes and called to Jeff’s brother. He hung his head and turned and walked toward the trailer with all the appearance of a whipped dog. It was then I saw the effect of these child marriages on everyone involved.
Through Johnson’s time, most families held their own property, ran their own farms and businesses, and paid their own taxes. After Johnson’s death, the entire personality of the cult changed with Rulon Jeffs’ seizure of power in 1986. He changed the name of the cult from the Council of Friends to FLDS. After registering it as a church, he consolidated all privately held properties under the church’s corporate authority with him as president. Jeffs refused to recognize government authority or to pay taxes. Many properties outside the area of Colorado City, AZ, were lost to tax auctions. The Carlisle farm was auctioned in 1988, and the Carlisles were thrown onto the road. I moved to Texas for the next 20 years. Now that I have retired and returned home, no one appears to know what became of them.
Rulon Jeffs was secretive, incestuous and paranoid. It was during this time that Jeffs began isolating the group from outsiders. After 1987, they began to teach members that outsiders were all agents of Satan, and that contact with persons outside the group was a sin. Serious physical, mental and sexual abuse of wives and children began at this time. Increasing accounts of incest began at about the same time.
In March, 1985, while working as the Utah Sales Manager for Snake River Chemical, Inc., a branch of United Agri-Products, Inc., then a subsidiary of Con-Agra Corp., I was looking for a warehouse. I contacted a realtor about a building in Orem, UT. When I went to inspect the building, I was met by a woman who showed the building. She made arrangements for me to meet the building’s owner, J. O. Kingston. His office was on the second floor of a dilapidated building that had a biker bar on the ground floor. He was a fidgety little man who appeared suspicious of everything. We could not come to an agreement, and only later I found out that he was the notorious leader of the Kingston polygamy group who was under indictment for more than 170 counts of welfare fraud.
The group led by J. O. Kingston was probably the most notorious for its incest practices. Male members married cousins, nieces, sisters and daughters to produce hundreds of children. Kingston’s offspring were used primarily as disposable labor. In the CO-OP Coal Mine in Huntington Canyon, Emory County, Utah, children were used as mine labor to produce coal, which was sold in a coal yard in Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah. When a children were killed in mine accidents, they were buried in the slack pile. When the Emory County Sheriff investigated reports of these accidents, the slack pile caught fire. It is still burning to this day.
Rulon Jeffs took a leaf out of the Kingston’s book, when he began to use surplus male children as a mobile, disposable labor force. Male children between the ages of 8 and 18 are used in construction and mining projects. By this time their sisters are actively engaged in sexual activities with their fathers or are married to older men. If males are lost or run away from forced labor projects, the ratio of males to females declines in favor of the polygamous practices of the cult.
These are the children of the Schleicher County FLDS compound. If there is any justice, they will be taken away from their mothers and put in decent foster homes until they are 18. The mothers under 18 should likewise be placed in foster care and given serious counseling. The women under 25, who were forced into marriage and were victims of incest should be placed in shelters apart from each other and treated for the mental trauma of their ordeal. Older, senior “wives” should be prosecuted and given sentences equal to or greater than their husbands, because they are the glue that hold this cult together. Without them, it couldn’t exist.
26. Skeptic Says:
April 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm
The demonization sounds much the same as the Waco tragedy. The Waco debacle started as a gun case and ended with all of the Davidians being demonized as monsters. Any time I see elaborate justifications and demonization occurring I am skeptical.
The original warrant is the keystone of the entry so the authorities must locate the caller if they expect the case to survive. The state has attempted to develop a second warrant after the initial entry, so I would surmise they have doubts about the original claims. The second warrant will not survive if the initial complaint is proven to be unfounded.
There will be a powerful case against the state here due to the sweeping nature of the removal. The state has removed 100% of the children which strikes at the heart of the religion itself, making the move unconstitutional. The order will more than likely be quashed due to the sweeping nature of the removal.
I do not know anything about this religion and am not very interested learning about it. This case will become a major federal challenge on constitutional grounds. Many errors have occurred and the authorities will be forced to address them tomorrow when the church files to quash the original warrant in San Angelo.
If abuse is occurring it must be addressed, however the way it has been addressed here is not acceptable under our constitution. The laws of the land are for everyone, even those who society hates. I know activists hate our constitution; however the difficulties of this case must be addressed properly.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
27. Dr. D. E. Stevenson, Ph.D. Says:
April 9, 2008 at 9:28 am
The arrest of the criminals at the YFZ Ranch in Schleicher County, TX, and actions to rescue their victims has nothing to do with “free exercise” of religion. It has everything to do with the enforcement of constitutional laws.
The First Amendment does not apply to the authority of Texas to arrest religious polygamists or take their children away from them. The First Amendment issues surrounding State and Federal sovergnty over the religious actions of citizens was decided exactly 130 years ago in the case of Reynolds v. United States.
Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 25 L. Ed. 244 (1878), was a Supreme Court of the United States decision that held that religious duty was not a suitable defense to a criminal indictment. George Reynolds was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, charged with violation of the Morrill Anti Bigamy Act of 1862 (5352 Revised Statutes, now 8 US Code 1154 and 18 US Code 633) after marrying Amelia Jane Schofield while still married to Mary Ann Tuddenham.
Reynolds primary argument was that the act was unconstitutional and violated his right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Reynolds had argued that as a Mormon, it was his religious duty as a male member of the church to practice polygamy. The Supreme Court held that he was entitled to his religious opinion, but in knowingly violating US laws, his acts were punishable under that code.
The opinion, written by Chief Justice Morrison Waite, was unanimous and was joined by Justices Nathan Clifford, Noah Haynes Swayne, Samuel Freeman Miller, William Strong, Joseph Philo Bradley, Ward Hunt and John Marshall Harlan, with Justice Stephen Johnson Field writing a concurring opinion. Such unanimous decisions have never been overturned.
The opinion stated: “The freedom to act is conditional and relative and Congress may prescribe and enforce certain conditions to control conduct which may be contrary to a person’s religious beliefs in the interest of the public welfare and protection of society. Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices.” (98 U.S. at 167.)
The Supreme Court recognized that under the First Amendment, the Congress cannot pass a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion. However it argued that the law prohibiting bigamy did not fall under this.
Although the constitution did not define religion, the Court investigated the history of religious freedom in the United States. In the ruling, the court quoted Thomas Jefferson’s Danbury letter, in which he stated that there was a distinction between religious belief and action that flowed from religious belief. The former “lies solely between man and his God,” therefore “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.”
The court argued that if we allowed polygamy, how long before someone argued that human sacrifice was a necessary part of their religion. The Court recognized that religious practice could not be accepted as justification for an overt criminal act; that to permit a man to excuse his unlawful practices because of his religious belief “would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.” (98 U.S. 167)
The Court believed the true spirit of the First Amendment was that Congress could not legislate against opinion but could legislate against action.
The criminals in the FLDS cult should and must be prosecuted for their crimes under the Texas Penal Code, other Texas Statutes and the U.S. Code. Their victims should receive all the aid and protection afforded by the U.S. and Texas Constitutions and Texas State Codes.
28. Skeptic Says:
April 9, 2008 at 11:03 am
The search warrants will be the issue here not polygamy. Allowing hatred of these people to cloud legal judgment is not wise. The courts will be the arbitrator in this case. I have seen a lot of legal debate on this subject over the last few days and I have yet to see a single attorney agree with how this warrant was executed. I had never heard of this religion until a few days ago and do not agree with the religion they practice. This is a legal battle that will be resolved in the courts not on blogs where passion overtakes judgment.
If the search warrant used is based on false information to achieve a result it will be quashed. If the allegations are proven and the warrant is upheld the reach of the warrant will to be adjudicated. I do not make judgments on the religious nature of the church; I am concerned about the techniques used to achieve the end result. Activists are quick to toss freedoms in the garbage when they feel they have the only answer. Americans must always be diligent and keep everyone involved in cases like this honest.
Religion is going to be the centerpiece because the authorities made a sweeping accusation that applies to the entire organization instead of a thorough case by case adjudication of each case. Argument based on emotion not law is a very unstable philosophy. If abuses occurred they must be prosecuted according to Texas state law. The Supreme Court Reynolds v. United States case is based on a single litigant not an entire organization and that is a very important legal distinction. The reach of the warrant has entered new territory and the courts will be the final arbiter in this case. We will not see the final result of this action for many years.
The Supreme Court Reynolds v. United States:
The version of Jefferson’s Danbury letter which the Court used in Reynolds v. United States was in fact a mistaken transcription. While the Court quoted Jefferson as writing, “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions”, Jefferson’s original handwriting reads “the legitimate powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.”
29. Dr. D. E. Stevenosn, Ph.D. Says:
April 9, 2008 at 5:36 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court’s transcription of Jefferson’s Danbury letter used in Reynolds v. United States was in fact a mistaken transcription, but it was not a misreading. The decision, however biased and prejudiced against the Mormons, is now law. And it is based on the actual read of “the legitimate powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.”
If religion is the centerpiece, then the FLDS criminals have lost already. More than a dozen precedents in the US Supreme Court go against religion as a defense of criminal activities. The defense has to be the narrowness of the warrant, which concerned a Jane Doe allegation of specific abuse. The warrant has not yet yielded specific evidence brought by the allegation. What it has yielded is evidence of a much larger, organized criminal activity. This evidence may be thrown out if the warrants came as a result of prejudice against the religious practices, previous criminal activity and other bad actions of the defendants.
This may let many of the senior and elderly women on the YFZ ranch off. Both of the men will go to prison for between two and five years. The two men both committed violations of the Texas Penal Code (TPC) for which juries in Texas always convict. These are resisting search (8 TPC 38.03), interference with an officer in the performance of his duty (8 TPC 38.15), and tampering with evidence (8 TPC 37.09). Each offense carries a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison. These boys are going to be in Huntsville for a long time.
As far as the warrants are concerned, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) is one of the most liberal in the country. In all likelihood, the original warrant, naming Dale Barlow, will be quashed due to confusion in allegations to a specific offender. However, any evidence collected under it will not be subject to the exclusionary rule because of the “good faith” of the courts and officers issuing and executing the warrant (See Arizona v. Leon (1984). The second warrant issued under 1 CCP 18.021 to collect evidence of an injured child will be upheld because it was not only a “good faith” result of a report of child abuse, it was issued in good faith following a lawful report under Title 5 of the Texas Family Code (5 TFC 261.109 (a)). The exclusionary rule does not apply.
Under 5 TFC 261.109(a), “A person commits an offense if the person has cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect and knowingly fails to report as provided in this chapter (Chapter 261).”
There is no way that the person receiving the call could legally ignore or refuse to report it. Warrants issued on that basis will not only be upheld, but all evidence collected pursuant to the warrant will be admissible in court.
The 16 year old girl making the call, however, has been identified (name of minors withheld by law) and is the two-year bride of Dale J. Barlow, a 50 year old cousin of Dale Barlow of Colorado City, AZ, convicted in Utah and Arizona of the rape of a child.
Texas authorities had no way of knowing this, and although the girl’s identity, and the correct identity of her husband, is “common knowledge” in Colorado City, AZ, and Hildale, UT, it is not generally know outside the two communities. It is unlikely that evidence of a criminal nature obtained in “good faith” in the search of the YFZ ranch will be declared “fruit of the poisoned tree.”
Under 1 CCP 18.021(a), “A search warrant may be issued to search for and photograph a child who is alleged to be the victim of the offenses of injury to a child as prohibited by Section 22.04, Penal Code; sexual assault of a child as prohibited by Section 22.011(a), Penal Code; aggravated sexual assault of a child as prohibited by Section 22.021, Penal Code; or continuous sexual abuse of young child or children as prohibited by Section 21.02, Penal Code.”
Under 1 CCP 18.10, the evidence obtained under an illegal warrant will still be admissible at trial, and the spousal privilege of so-called “plural wives” not to be called as a witness for the state “does not apply in any proceeding in which the person is charged with: (1) a crime committed against the person’s spouse, a minor child, or a member of the household of either spouse; or (2) an offense under Section 25.01, Penal Code (Bigamy).” Not only this, but under 1 CCP 38.072, hearsay evidence is admissible in the prosecution of crimes against minor children under the age of 12.
The exclusion of legitimate evidence from an overturned warrant in which a search was conducted in “good faith” has virtually no chance under the exclusionary rule in the Texas Courts (particularly the West Texas Courts), the Texas Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court.
The exclusionary rule is still regularly invoked by criminal defendants, including the FLDS criminals. However its golden age has passed. Since the 1980s, the U.S. Supreme Court has severely limited its application. According to the Court, this rule was not devised to cure all Fourth Amendment violations. Rather, it was designed primarily to deter police misconduct. This construction led to the Good Faith exception to Fourth Amendment violations established in United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 104 S. Ct. 3405, 82 L. Ed. 2d 677 (1984). The U.S. Supreme Court reversed state courts, holding that “evidence gathered in a search executed pursuant to a warrant later found to be defective should not be excluded from trial.”
Whether or not the warrants were defective, the evidence gathered under them is not a product of deliberate police misconduct. The evidence of criminal activity by FLDS adult males and females is incontrovertible and will be used in their prosecution. There are going to be a lot more inmates in Huntsville. In US v. Leon (1984), the Supreme Court found that the Fourth Amendment “contains no provisions expressly precluding the use of evidence obtained in violation of its commands.” “The exclusionary rule,” according to the majority, “was not designed to be a personal right. It was created by the Court to deter police misconduct rather than to punish the errors of judges and magistrates.” Under this interpretation, excluding evidence obtained through an honest mistake would serve no purpose.
The fact that the warrants were issued in “good faith” by the 51st District Court (Judge Barbara Walther) in Tom Green County (San Angelo), dispels much of allegation of the local prejudice against the sect. Had the warrants come from the Schleicher County Court (Judge Johnny Griffen), local prejudice and bias by the court might be called into question. However, it helps the state’s case that the 51st District Court covers multiple counties and is located in a major urban area (San Angelo). This places it to some degree away from the small town rural politics of Schleicher County.
Most of the later warrants will be upheld because in one way or another they involve polygamy and were issued in good faith. These issues have already been tested in the U.S. Supreme Court and allow for many exemptions of civil rights under the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The decisions regarding religion occurred from 1878 to 1890, when the court was patently biased against the Mormons (See Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (187 8) and The Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. United States, 136 U.S. 1 (1890), which not only criminalized religious practices, but also permitted seizure of religious property. Unfortunately, unlike Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), the decisions are grounded in constitutional law. In spite of 19th century bigotry, overturning them is unlikely.
The exclusionary rule will not work here either because of United States v. Leon (1984), Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 115 S. Ct. 1185, 131 L. Ed. 2d 34 (1995), and Florida v. White, 526 U.S. 559, 119 S. Ct. 1555, 143 L. Ed. 2d 748 (1999). (See Calabresi, Guido. 2003. “The Exclusionary Rule.” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 26.)
The federal warrants served by the FBI are all legal because the involve separate statutes. These involve violation of 18 US Code 109A.2243 (Sexual abuse of children), 18 US Code 55.1201 (Kidnapping), 18 US Code 77.1201(a) (Trafficking in Persons), 18 US Code 13.242 (Deprivation of rights under color of law), 18 US Code 47.1071 (Concealing person from arrest), and 18 US Code 47.1073 (Flight to avoid prosecution or giving testimony). All of these warrants are going to stand up. Any evidence seized by federal authorities from an illegal search by state authorities under any of these warrants will also be admissible in federal prosecutions of either state officials or those upon whom the illegal searches were executed (See Florida v. White (1999).
A lot of these FLDS criminals are going to prisons, both Texas and Federal. About half of their offenses will be tried by administrative law judges - no chance of a jury trial here. Criminal trials by juries will probably get them longer sentences. No matter what, The adults taken into custody in the YFZ ranch arrests are facing long years in prison. Finally the children will get some justice.
30. Dr. D. E. Stevenson Says:
April 10, 2008 at 10:24 am
Just a word in defense of the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). I don’t work for the agency. I’am a retired entomologist living in Utah (46 years in Utah (1943-1988, 2006-2008), 19 in Texas (1988-2006)). Texas CPS is presently protecting more than 33,000 children from neglect, abandonment, abuse, exploitation and sometimes mortal danger.
They sometimes don’t arrive on time. One of the mandates by the Texas Family Code (5 TFC 261.004) is the annual Texas Child Fatality Review Teams Biennial Report. Texas has the longest running annual conference for child fatality review in the United States and each year welcomes people from across the nation to learn more about reducing the number of preventable child deaths.
Every year the review teams report about 3,592 child fatalities in Texas. On average, 10 children less than 18 years of age died every day. About half died violently. Violence, either self-inflicted or inflicted by another, remains a leading cause of death for young children and teens.
Each week, on average, five children die violently Texas. About 250 deaths are homicide, most resulting at the hands of parents or guardians. However, since the 78th Texas Legislature put more teeth into the Texas Family Code, child victims of homicide have decline more than 50 percent, from nearly 600 prior to 1999 to about 250 in 2005.
Other reports include child injuries. In 2003, more than 913,000 women were battered in domestic violence. That same year, more than 185,000 children were treated for injuries received in domestic violence incidents. The Texas Family code makes it a crime not to forward reports of domestic violence or abuse (5 TFC 261.109). It was when the report of domestic violence on the YFZ Ranch in Schleicher County Texas was forwarded to the proper authorities that local police and Texas Rangers entered the FLDS community. All of this was mandated by law (5 TFC 261.3011). It is a tribute to the Texas FCS that they stepped in before anyone suffered serious injury or death.
31. Elle Says:
April 10, 2008 at 5:02 pm
How about the women and children who are not educated beyond a second grade level? Who are locked away and held against their will? Where are their constitutional rights? I do believe in the freedom of religion but this did not included women and children being imprisoned mentally and physically. I support the government and their safe raid on this compound. Hopefully, they will be able to help these victims of the FLDS.
32. Dr. D. E. Stevenson, Ph.D. Says:
April 11, 2008 at 9:39 am
Great statement Elle! It is a tribute to Texas that the authorities had the fortitude and the legal authority to intervene on behalf of the women and children held captive by this cult.
33. Dr. Steve Evans, J.D. Says:
April 11, 2008 at 10:04 am
It’s a tribute to Texas that an Aggie with a Ph.D. calls himself “Dr.”
34. Dr. Steve Evans, J.D. Says:
April 11, 2008 at 10:12 am
All right, all right. That was just lame. But so is calling people criminals without evidence, charges, trials or convictions. Also lame is pretending to educate us all on Reynolds. Size up your audience, Doctor.
35. Christopher Says:
April 11, 2008 at 10:33 am
Dr. D.E. Stevenson, Ph.D.,
Your fancy title loses all credibility when you use sensationalistic and provocative language like your statement that these women and children are being “held captive by this cult.”
36. Guy Murray Says:
April 11, 2008 at 9:22 pm
Dr. D.E. Stevenson, Ph.D.
While I appreciate you leaving comments in this ongoing dialouge, I will insist that you no longer refer to the FLDS or any other religious movement, at least while commenting over here, as a “cult”. That is a religious, pornographic/obscene characterization, which I will edit from here on out.
Dr. Steve Evans, J.D. you crack me up.
37. Laura Williams Says:
April 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm
This sounds like another case of liberal, heavy handed social workers ripping children from their parents and asking questions later. Not a single charge has been made against these mothers, but look what is happening to them.
38. seen it before Says:
April 13, 2008 at 6:47 pm
The manner in which the children are being treated in the hands of the state is much worse than you can imagine. Notice for starters that they just took all cels away from the childrena nd are preventing contact with the mothers.
if you want to see proof of who is in charge of torturing those children now, look up Neil Brick and his Dale-Griffis cult and especially look up Bobbi Gagne who is one of the primary activists across a dozen sex-investigation agencies in Vernmont, Howard Dean land, nice secluded cult-like nursery of the people now in charge of terrorizing the children with demands that they accuse their parents of every crime imaginable.
It was said that one of the reasons for the wholesale exodus of the children was the “sight” of the pregnant teenagers.
I am in no way supporting FLDS, but it is from the frying pan to the fire for those children and their mothers.
Look at the screens at the new website thomwhitememorial.blogspot.com and you will see the connection of the Women’s Services to the psychopath group run by self-proclaimed “Manchurian Candidate” Neil Brick and you will wonder where First Baptist comes in, well follow the church trail out from the Neil Brick psychopath group into a whole number of pseudo-denominations designed to cover their tracks.
“Finally the children will get some justice”? I wish you were right, but the state will destroy them and let the men go on a variety of pleas, and they will flee even further into their cult to avoid the filthy cult that is the USA.
The media is not telling anyone that the women have NO civil rights in Texas. This IS a slave state. There is NO ERA here. Judges are elected, and the FLDS has voters.
Change the law to eradicate legal slavery from Texas and then the FLDS and its type of cult would not have a means to control the women in the first place.
39. D E Stevenson, PhD Says:
April 15, 2008 at 11:51 am
seen it before:
Outstanding comments. It is time for a joint federal and multi-state effort to stamp out the organizations that claim descent from Loren C. Wooley (self-appointed defender of religious polygamy), including the FLDS (formerly ), United Apostolic Brethren (Allred group), and United Order Cooperative (Kingston group). These are the largest (approximately 40,000 adherents) and most pernicious of the polygamous religious organizations. Without federal and multi-state actions with supporting changes in present legislation, these and similar organizations can continue to skip across state lines to commit actions patently illegal but seldom prosecuted.
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