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Documents reveal disturbing influence Josh Powell had on his children

Young boys reflect father's anti-Mormon views

Published: Saturday, Feb. 18 2012 9:21 a.m. MST

In June, Charlie told a student who wanted to sit next to him and be his friend that he was "going to come to your house at night and kill you." He also said, "I hate Mormons."

Charlie was taken to a counselor's office where he said his mom lives a mile away. But he said he couldn't see her because her parents "are Mormon and they abuse her."

He also told the counselor that he "wanted to kill the boy because he is Mormon and they kill people; they are ordered to kill people and all scientists who believe in Jesus," according to welfare documents.

On Sept. 22, 2011, the children were taken into protective state custody after Steven Powell, Josh Powell's father, was arrested and charged with voyeurism and possession of child pornography. Six days later, the Coxes were granted temporary custody of the children.

Child welfare officials noted at that time from police reports that pornography was found lying openly in Steven Powell's room, another relative "runs around the home nude and in a diaper" and has greeted police at the door naked.

In a November report, a welfare worker noted that "Josh and his siblings appear to be circling the wagons around his father."

During continual visits by social workers after the boys were removed from Josh Powell's house, they noted in their reports negative comments by the boys against religion and particularly members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"Do you know what I hate? I hate Jesus. He is made up and fake," Charlie Powell, the older boy, said at one point. The boys explained to the social worker that these were sentiments shared by their father.

The next day, Charlie told the social worker that the "Mormons are trying to steal me" and that they moved to Washington from Utah because a Mormon in Utah was trying to take him to the desert.

In another visit while at the Cox home, the Coxes noted that Charlie was making comments like, "some police are bad" and "my daddy is a little bad."

During the first supervised visit at Josh Powell's rented residence in October, Charlie asked his father if "he was going to get lost too," according to the child welfare report. When Braden asked Josh if he lived with his mom, Powell told him that house was in Colorado.

During another visitation at the Cox home, Charlie told a social worker that the Coxes were abusing him and had "abused my dad." The social worker noted it was clear that Charlie was saying things his father had told him. Charlie also indicated that his father was being abused by comments Chuck Cox made about him in the media, and by abusing his father, he was also being abused, according to the report.

During another hearing, the boy told the social worker that his missing mother, Susan Cox Powell, was "hiding from everyone so that his grandparents don't abuse her."

In one report, the social worker noted that Chuck Cox was having trouble getting the boys to bed because "they like to sleep without any PJs or underwear on" and that they "insist their dad lets them sleep without any clothes and walk around their house without clothes and they want to go by their dad's rules."

The Coxes also noted that the boys were making sexualized comments.

On Feb. 1, four days before he killed himself and his two boys, Josh Powell was ordered by a judge to undergo a psychosexual examination and submit to a lie detector test. The judge also ruled that the Coxes would continue to have custody of the boys until at least July.

Documents released Friday indicate that those involved with Powell's case considered hiring a Vancouver psychologist to conduct the psychosexual exam until they learned the doctor was an active member of the LDS Church.

Josh Powell "will not allow us to use a provider at all affiliated with the Mormon religion," a report states.

When Josh and Susan Powell were first married in an LDS temple, both were active in the church, former neighbors said. But once the couple moved from Washington to Utah, Josh Powell stopped attending church.

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