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First look: Quiet is unnerving as FLDS members seek answers

Published: Sunday, April 13 2008 1:02 a.m. MDT

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Ryan

Nobody is saying the "c"-word, but that's really what this is. It's a cult. It's the reason for the isolation and it's the reason for the Stockholm Syndrome-like reaction.

And if the possibility exist that any of these children are being arranged in marriage before the age of 16 or 17, then the government is correct in protecting them.

mindcrime

Yeah these kids were well cared for until they hit age 13, then they were abused. Maybe if the members had of been more cooperative with authorities it wouldn't have came to this, but the fact that they wouldn't tell them what children belonged to what mother sounds like they were trying to be evasive. Misguided religious zealots should not be tolerated. Religion should not conflict with the larger societies laws to the degree that this cult did.

Mike Dashner

Only in Utah and in an LDS owned paper would any one justify Polygamy. The apple does not fall far from the tree. I guess its all right for a mother to let her daughter be raped in the name of furthering the so called Kingdom of God.

Russ from MI

This is another case of our government out of control and slow removal of personal freedoms and parental rights.I mean the warrant that was issued is dropped because the man accused hasn't been in Texas since 1979 and no arrest have been made.I could almost see them removing girls 11 or 12 -16 I mean that was the issue to begin with. I gather up my children everday and we stand in big circle and take turns praying this is we start our days before everyone heads out.I imagine the day will come when this is determined dangerous and brainwashing then my kids will be the ones being removed. Today its some sect in Texas tommorow it'll be you kids,your beliefs,and your personal property the government decides to strip away.As a christian I morally disagree with polygamy but as a liberterian I always side with personal freedoms for that is the only way to ensure all our freddoms.I mean I disagree with adultery,fornication,homosexuality,
and many other thing but I don't think our government should be making laws about these things and riping people lives apart.Freedom is the key that keeps the door of liberty open.

Wayne

I have only one concern. And that is that the children here have been traumatized deeply. This entire situation should be handled carefully.

RG

At least they are not as bad and the global warming cult. YFZ is not trying to bring down the world economy with there lies like the GW cult is doing

Anonymous

This is the most unbalanced article I've ever read. No details on why the children were taken, just a sentence at the very end.

Pathetic reporting.

Also, no information on how many of the children were already married and had children of their own.

Terrible, terrible reporting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

And I don't know what church keeps a bed in the temple, specifically for the purpose of sex with minors.

Stephen Clark

These mothers are good and decent people. You can tell by the way they dress(with decency and modesty) and the things they're now saying about their lives and children. The state is wrong in doing this and we must rise up and defend these people against this evil government. This travesty of justice (much like the evil practice of torture and spying) is just another small step in the dismantling of our constitution and bill of rights. The government is not protecting these children, they are in fact now placed in a greater danger. It's well known and documented that many children taken by CPS end up sexually abused in that system. These mothers and fathers know what is best for their children, not the state. This criminal government should release all of the children back to their parents now and stop violating our rights as US Citizens!

motherof3

Poligamy, incest and rape are illegal. How can mothers let this happen to their daughters and have their sons banished so the older men can have more wives?

cwm

In W's Texas no less! Well folks there are no longer the civil rights that there once were. You are now living in W's post 9-11 country. What absolutely shocks me is that this happened once again in Texas. Before, during, and after W ruled there as governor. What kind of leadership does he offer? I think that the present state of the US economy offers an answer, as does the state of affairs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Incomplete and failure are this man's signature. This too will become a part of his legacy.

God bless the chicks they called him correctly years ago. Time has proved them correct too.

J.Raye

As long as we're quoting the constitution, how about the 13th amendment: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." These young girls are kept as chattel slaves by the old men of this sect. The old men forced these young girls "marry", force them to become pregnant over and over, year after year, and keep them imprisoned behind a locked gate. Where is John Brown when we need him? No one should be importing slavey into the great state of Texas.

get off it

it happened all the time in American History..to the Native Americans and nobody was griping then. Then you wonder why we keep from going under!

Susan

I am a bit surprised by the all the comments about how wonderful and noble this particular FLDS compound is. Sure this mother is missing her children....and sure she wants to know that they are o.k. But where were those instincts when her daughters were being married to older men as a second or third wife...Come on. The issue here isn't whether or not this mother loves her children....some of the worst parents in the world will say they "love" their children. The issue at hand is whether or not these mothers knowingly supported practices that put their children's mental and social development in danger. Call it whatever you want....But I call it decades of brainwashing control. Funny how quickly some are willing to defend adult males exercising sexual control over minor females. I guess society has not advanced as far as I thought it had.

Stephen Clark

gunnut I agree completely with your post! You said it so well that it deserves another look. "Make no mistake. This action was not necessarily to protect the children. It was an excuse for a deeper motive of the Government of Texas. The action, like Waco, was an effort to stretch and test the limits of the Texas constitution and the Constitution of the United States. Also, the first amendment does say that CONGRESS shall MAKE NO LAW, regarding the ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION. I don't believe the government has the right to tell any faith they can't practice polygamy. What it can do is protect prosecute people for hurting others. NO PROOF HAS BEEN BROUGHT FORTH in this case. The FLDS's culture is different than the vast majority of the rest of America. That doesn't make their culture bad. Just different. If they are breaking laws concerning rape, statutory rape, physical abuse, incest and or marriage before coming of age, then the State of Texas can do something. Otherwise, leave'em alone. I agree that the men should've been taken off campus, leaving the women and children there."

Shelley

I have no opinion about the way these people live at all BUT I do have a problem with the fact that there are children pregnant, made to marry fifty year old men, sex rooms off of the chapels where they have church services and I am sure much more that we have not heard. That is sick!! They needed to take these children until they can sort out and make sure they are safe! This is NOT about religion so people stop making it about that!! This is about emotional and sexual abuse to innocent children!!!

from_the _woods

You have to wonder if some of the men you join the Church are sex offenders. To many stories of 14 year old girls getting 'married' in the church, but in society it would be called rape.

Anonymous

There was an informant inside for 4 years. This was not a rash decision. it is a very complex situation when you have 400 + people involved - many of whom are brainwashed 2nd and 3rd generations abuse vistims! Don't be so quick to judge when you don't know all the facts.

Daniel

I see a lot of women angry at men, and people in general angry at authority harping on how this is so wrong and the officials that came in are horrible. Give me a break. If I was in their situation I would want to react quickly, and effectively. If there are kids in a potentially abusive home you would have to be an idiot to leave them with a parent (even if it is the mom). All of the complaints about how the fathers need to take responsibility is garbage. The mothers are likely just as guilty for being enablers or possibly for abuse themselves. Does anyone honestly think that the law enforcement went in there thinking "I want to be as evil and illogical as possible". NO, they were acting the best way possibly to diffuse a difficult situation. To clean a dirty room it's always easiest to pull everything out and separate it first then put the necessary things back where they go and throw out the trash. Law enforcement acted responsibly here and if there was a kid living with abusive parents I would hope that they wouldn't leave the child with the mom.

Rick

A little faith in the justice system please. The state was justified in acting because we had serious allegations of child abuse, forced mariages and rape in this compound. Is any of that true? Maybe not, would not be the first time the US Govenment was overzealous, but then it wouldn't be the first time we found some cult was brainwashing young women into slavery either. On the facts presented it sounds to me like this was a clasic cult, not a legitimate religious group and the state was perfectly justified in their actions. You'll have your day in court to disprove that. Bring FACTS to court with you not emotional appeals.

Robert H

Remember, the reason the authorities went in there was a 16-year old girl calling in that she was being physically abused by an older "husband" who'd fathered children on her. This 'church' turns out many of their young men once they reach 18 to leave the underage girls for the middle-aged men. It is strictly illegal in Texas for an adult to engage in sex with an under-18 female, yet this group has done so for years in other states under color of religion. They picked the wrong place to try their pedophilic nonsense, and I only hope those taken away can be helped to understand the abusive nature of what was done to them.

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