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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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San Angelo Native

The author wants to make this intervention about polygamy, but it is about abuse and neglect of children. And so the article forgot to mention the pregnant 14-year-olds; the 16-year-old with 4 kids and exclusion of most teenage boys. Throw in the fact that most of the children are not vaccinated or educated (many of the mothers can barely read and write - one could not write her own last name).

There are many polygamous and polyamorous groups throughout the country - they, for the most part, are left alone by the authorities. But when there are allegations of sexual assault of a minor, then the authorities must step in.

HawksOverhead

This is a cult, people--not a religion. Cults by their very nature separate themselves from the rest of society; teach that the outside world is evil or mislead in some way; teach that their way (and only their way) leads to salvation; usually have some guy in charge who claims a unique connection to God and God's truth; and cults usually require some kind of strange or unsavory practices among their faithful. The problem with this particular cult is the self-perpetuating quality to it, since breeding seems to be its only activity in the world. Texas absolutely did the right thing when it raided this ranch. Both the mothers and the children probably need extensive therapy, and the men should all be put in jail for a long time.

Jack

This is an outrage! The type of actions one would expect in a police state.

Gary Schroeder

This post is not about Warren Steed Jeffs; he is serving his sentence at the Utah State Prison. No, this post is about freedom of religion, Texas and polygamy. This post is not about the LDS; they excommunicates members who engage in the practice of polygamy. Sheriff Doran, Texas Rangers and CPS conducted weeklong raids on a church in Eldorado, Texas. The hold 416 Texan kids and 139 Texans adult women. We need to ask why our US Constitutional Right of freedom of religion were violated?

Dave

Wow, a few quick comments people. The law will have a heck of a time prosecuting any of the people for Polygamy as they typically LEGALLY marry only the first wife, other wives are married only in the church's eyes, so there isn't a law being broken there. Those of you saying they hope that this group sues the state and/or police for millions, use your heads people, the police and state get their money from the citizens, not out of their own pockets. And finally, I have a hard time believing that all of this occurred as a result of a single anonymous phone call. The sheriffs office said that they had an inside informant for at least 4 years so I'm guessing that more will come out on what prompted the raid. With that said, I feel for the children and hope they will heal from what must be an emotional hell right now.

A free country?

This my friends.... is the US government at its worst. Whenever you hear a politician say how we must protect our freedoms etc..., bring up this example of how kids are separated from their mothers, and the mothers are unable to see their kids because they cannot prove who their kids are. My how our government is beginning to resemble certain infamous governments of the past. Can anyone honestly say that these kids are going to be better off in state foster care than with their mothers?

Marcel

These people believe in polygamy, a practice condemned by most Americans, and unlawful. No doubt there are some bad apples in the YFZ barrel. So what do the authorities of Texas do about it? They haul in the entire barrel!!! Typical bureaucratic overkill.

Laura

I am literally sick to my stomach with disgust at those of you who think these children were wrongfully taken. These are 14, 15 and 16-year old girls that are pregnant by older men. This is not an allegation, it's a fact.
As for the abuse, anyone who thinks you aren't better safe than sorry hasn't faced abuse themselves. Shame on all of you.

Pete

Some crimes are so egregious that innocence is an inadequate defense.

Child abuse is one such crime. It seems that the claim of child abuse, with no evidence to support the claim, is enough to take this drastic action.

Luckily, that can't possibly happen to you or I because "those people" area little different; a little weird. I suppose that makes it OK.

its_Chet

Given that there was an allegation that a 16 year old girl was being abused, and that the state allegedly felt a need to prevent any alleged further abuse, and that polygamy is illegal in this country regardless of whether the involved individuals are consenting, there are some very significant and egregious violations of human and civil rights here.
Allegedly, a 16 year old girl was being abused. Is that the justification for ripping crying, screaming children from their mothers? Did the alleged victim say her mother was abusing her? Even if she had, would it be grounds for mass kidnapping of 400 children? One allegation does not justify the invasion of all these homes, and the abduction of innocent children from the mothers, and their fathers too. Legality of polygamy aside, is it fair to kidnap a fathers children just because of one allegation? This could have been handled much better. Common sense says that not every one of the fathers were monsters, and certainly not all of the mothers, if any.
This is the depraved act of a fascist state run amok. Disagree with their religion if you like, but that is no basis for mass kidnapping.

dsanunnaki

I am outraged at the government stealing children away from their parents. It happens in my county too -- one may be CHARGED with a petty crime and the county runs in and grabs the children. You see, the more children the county has control of the more grant $$ it receives.

Think about it from the child's point of view. Can you imagine the horror and the guilt. They must surely believe that they were taken from their parents because they (the children) did something wrong . . . .

its_Chet

Lets put aside for a moment our sentiments regarding polygamy, and its illegality in this country.

It is illogical to assume that every father of these children was a monster. Its even more illogical to assume that all the mothers were. This act of mass kidnapping was not warranted, justified, or conscionable.

Some have speculated here that the allegation that set off all of this could have been a hoax. Maybe a lie from a disgruntled former member of the group. Maybe even a false allegation cooked up by some facet of the government in order to persecute a religion they found unfashionable. Wouldnt be the first time weve seen that happen in America. Times like this make me ashamed of this country.

The children need to be reunited with at least their mothers, somewhere, somehow. The fathers need to be investigated and cleared if possible, as soon as possible, so the real abuse of these children (having their families ripped to pieces) can be stopped and hopefully repaired as soon as possible.

If the government feels such an urge to address polygamy, let them do it in an orderly and as low impact as possible manner.

Anonymous

I too am outraged that this kind of injustice is happening in American...this sounds too much like Waco and it is very scary. I will pray for these people even though I am not of their faith. Patti

Jimmie

If these people had resisted arrest in anyway how many of these children would have gotten Permanent protection (dead) Isn't it comforting to know that if I took a dis-liking to YOU I could call the STATE and tell them that I heard from some guy that his cousin said that YOU were not taking proper care of your wife and Children...say goodbye...these kids are NOT receiving good care...the STATE is just not capable. They have been harmed by the STATE (thankfully not burned) and the longer they are in custody the more harm done.

Barbara

As I read the story interviews with the mothers/grandmothers, it became almost impossible to breathe - the depth of their pain feeling like tons of weight. I have not known a government agency yet that operates in perfection! This action puts everyone in this country at grave risk. Again. I pray for the children and their mothers. I pray for our country and a return to sanity. How dare we even attempt to police a world and expound democracy when we can't even practice it within our own borders.

Anonymous

a DNA TEST would clearly show Who is the Mother of each Child
If this Woman Demands a DNA Test of herself and her children then this could aid in the return of her children to her.
However the mothers may not know of this technology and its wait in the court system.

Anonymous

Teaching children such a warped view of the world is child abuse in itself. Could any one of these children ever be expected to grow up to be a biologist, doctor, astronomer, or anything regardind a rational view of the world. If adults want to live in a make believe world of pioneer dresses and sexual tyranny thats their right. The fact that they are condeming there children to such a lifestyle is abuse, whether they love them or not.

Sarah

Oh, their living conditions in San Angelo aren't good enough for these welfare cheats? Medical examinations are horrifying for girls who have sex and babies at 12, 13, and 14 years old?

Put these mothers in jail. Along with the men. Uncover the welfare fraud, sell their compound, and pay us taxpayers back.

AloysiusMiller

I don't have any solutions but I do think that society has a duty and obligation to protect children (that is a person < 18) from sexual and physical abuse.

I would hope that every child born into these complicated circumstances would have the choice to leave and reject this way of life and be protected from the consequences.

A few years ago Lawrence vs. Texas established the rights of adults to privacy in their sexual behavior. This was widely seen as a step toward legalized polygamy. Many were dismissive but here we are.

I say to the polygamists that if they want to protect some part of their way of life they best do it by protecting their children from abuse, allowing their children to freely choose to leave, and that they quit their depredations on the welfare system of the US.

As long as they think otherwise then the Texas type tragedies will continue but it will be their own fault.

Al

Freedom in America is dead. Some news reporter mentions something about somebody that is different than the norm and Americans stand by and justify why they should not have the same "rights" as they do.

Freedom is ensured by the people and the constitution is merely a document that limited the power of the federal government. Without a society that puts teeth in the constitution, it's just a piece of paper. As it has become.

So most of America sits back and hears words like: Fringe religion, polygamy, sexual abuse, etc etc. Add in a supposed phone call from somebody supposedly in the compound (who for some reason they can't find or have any idea who it is) and the gov't can come in and take everyone out of the compound? They can take children away from their parents with no proof whatsoever?

Sleep tight tonight, for tomorrow the same thing can happen to you. Welcome to the new America.

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