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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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Anonymous

Polygamy is wrong on many levels. If abuse is happening, it should be stopped. If underage marriage is forced, it should be stopped. However, in a society that allows (and often celebrates) gay relationships, gay "couples" adopting children, out-of-wedlock births and rampant divorce, for the government to punish every member of this society is ludicrous!

In America we can have sexual relations with whomever we want, male or female, have children with whomever we want, in and out of wedlock, and it's not punishable by law. But get married to more than one woman and have children and it's worthy of a government raid. As anti-polygamy as I am (it makes me sick), there is something seriously wrong with the Texas government taking over 400 children from their homes. It's hard to believe that they were ALL being abused.

Reenie

I am a member of the LDS church and do not believe that polygamy should be practiced. I initially thought it was right to have these children removed from their homes, but have changed my mind somewhat about that. So polygamy is unlawful - so is adultery and child abuse. When will our government start rounding up adulterers and child/women beaters. Come on Texas, go after "the really bad guys." They are everywhere. How do we judge these good mothers who have lost their children? In my eyes, they are misguided. Pray the next move is not to tell us how, when, where and whom to worship in our churches.

Emma

I feel very sad for the Children. I'm sure the Mothers are good to their young children but what about making your teenage girls get married so young and taking away their free agency????? The men are the ones who should have been taken away. I do have to say that the poor young girls are married way to young and do not have a freedom or Free agency to choose to go to college and marry a man she falls in love with. In my eyes that is abusive...Not letting them choose there Husband. When A female child/teenager is forced to get married and told it is what God wants her to do. I think that is abusive and needs to stop. It's one thing to choose it in your twenties but forced into in your teens is just Wrong and against the law. Girls need to be teenagers not teenage Mothers...

Human Puppy Mill

What does this article tell us? That the mothers love their children. So what. I really have no sympathy for any mother who turns her teenage daughters into puppy-mill-style baby factories.

Remembers Reenie :-)

I feel so sorry for the whole group. I think most of them are honest, hardworking people. But the men who had a hand in forcing the youg girls to maryy at such a young age, should be punished! They are SO wrong!
To have taken all of these children away from their homes is not right either. What good does it do to break up those families? Surely there are better ways to deal with this problem.

Darin

Wow, this is what happens to children because of their fathers who are greedy stupid men. The children are paying for the sins of their fathers. End of story!

What gives here?

A few points:

1. Where I live a father that allegedly abuses a child is hauled off to jail, and the mom and child are not forcibly sequestered in a different location, they remain at home or in a professional facility to receive medical or other offered help for their wounds, physical or otherwise.

2. Mom gets to stay with child and nurture / comfort the child and receive help and solace from those willing to help.

3. Someone who usually exists steps forward or is usually found That made the allegations against the father, not a phantom that cannot be found, usually. Maybe they remain publicly anonymous but authorities are in contact with the person, usually. That person usually has not disappeared into the mist.

4. The mom and child usually are not hauled off to parts unknown to them. The child and mom usually remain in comfortable surroundings or at home.

5. There are usually far fewer offending dads than abused children and moms. Isn't it far more efficient and possibly LEGAL "usually" to haul the alleged offending dad(s) off to jail instead of traumatizing the mom and child further?

6. Are we the USA, or NOT?




Systemic Abuse

Instead of justifying the lifestyle, the mainstream LDS members would be better served to break up these compounds where abuse is systemic. They will tarnish the image of the church in the way the Islamic fundamentalists have tarnished mainstream Islam. It's really in your best interest to denounce these groups. Also, when you compare the Texas Rangers to the Nazis it really destroys your credibility. The Texas authorities had no choice but to follow up on the phone call from the distressed girl. What good is a help-line that ignores their callers? The reaction of removing the children was not based entirely on the phone call, it was based on 4 years of research into the community and interviews with informants and other sources.

Listen to Truth

I find here that most people are believing the possibly fabricated stories of ex-members, they wouldn't be ex members unless FLDS wasn't something they hated. I'm not convinced beyond a doubt that all they say is absolutely true. I think there is two sides to every story, and I don't believe that the state of texas has done the right thing in doing what they did. It is reminiscent of a police state. I'm sure there is some abuses, but I seriously doubt that everything that everybody is saying is gospel.

culture shock

Wow. Its clear not many here would survive living in a culture of arranged marriages. I never knew my ancestors were so abused.

Texan no more

Which FLDS leader chose to move to the state of Texas? Who did the research. Texas takes more children out of the home per capita than any other state. The FLDS people are breaking the law to allow young girls to marry and they were unwise to escape the 'safer haven' of Utah/Arizona to practice such crimes. They may be peace loving people, in general, but they certainly know that they are breaking the law and that anyone who breaks the law can and may be prosecuted at some time. They were not thinking of their families and children when they chose to walk at the edge of the cliff.

Secret Society

Another story about the victimized mothers. I notice the men are conspicuously silent. Most of the comments I have read lead me to believe that most people (myself included) could care less what alternative lifestyle their neighbors practice. Very few people however, will stand by and condone underage marriages of young girls to older men or the abandonment of the excess young boys.

Im a married mother of 3 beautiful children and Im insulted that the FLDS teach their children that we outsiders in the world are evil and not to be trusted. Its the same faulty generalization that the polygamists complain they are characterized by. Its unfortunate that the Texas raid will have the unwanted effect of increasing their already substantial paranoia.

Jeffs has not only brought himself down, but his entire congregation by wielding excessive power and control over their lives in creating his secret society. Most polygamists skirt bigamy laws by legally marrying only one wife. I personally dont agree with polygamy and strongly object to welfare payments, but many polygamists have chosen to integrate into society and practice their faith without subjecting minors to these abuses. Obviously, the FLDS just cant figure this out.

Mom

Hindsight is always 20/20. Perhaps these mothers should have said who their children were when initially given the opportunity, so that they could leave with them. Perhaps they should have taught their children to always be honest, so that when people ask who their parents are, they can give a straight answer.

If the "men" on this compound were really men, they'd own up to the abuse and trauma they've put these women and children through and turn themselves in. I can understand why there is some reluctance to place these women back with their children. In Utah, the law they are violating is "failure to protect" when they know abuse is occuring and stand idly by. I'm sure Texas has a similar law.

Don

Reading the vicious comments over the past few days,
it clearly portrays the hatred that sits just under
the surface in peoples hearts. Punish the offending individual, if the facts are there. But to destroy an entire community is beyond the pale.The Native Americans know exactly what is being done in Texas.
In the late 1800's, this same "Program" being used
against these people today, was used to "Deprogram"
the Indians, and break them from the "Old Ways", of
their people. They were ripped from their families,
and sent far from them. They were not allowed to even speak their own language, of worship as they belived. History is repeating itself. Now the story
is coming out, that the purported phone call, may have been a hoax. If this proves true, then what. Will the State of Texas change their story as to why
they conducted themselves in such a tawdry manner, and how will they justify themselves. At least in Waco, Texas and the Feds got to burn up the evidence.

Right Thing

Texas did the right thing in removing these children from an abusive situation.

From Arizona

Amen to Don's comment.

Unfortunately, vicious people and vicious practices still exist in this country and will never be stamped out.

I just hope that "innocent until proven guilty" survives. I don't agree in any way with the FLDS, but let's prosecute the real offenders, where and when they exist, and let's PROVE they are guilty.

wrz

>>But let's not forget, before we all pass a judgment, that all the people of the FLDS community are innocent until proven guilty.<< - GK from England

Then why, one would wonder, are the kids being kidnapped by Texas law enforcement and "jailed?"

wrz

>>Are there pedophiles and 'dirty old men' lurking among these religious people? Most likely.<< - puzzled

I'm sure there are dirty old men lurking in perhaps Dallas, Houston, or Fort Worth. Do you see Texas law enforcement emptying those communities of all their children?

CL

Underage girls forced to marry and yes, I said forced because they have been so indoctrinated that everything else in the world is so evil, is just wrong and against the law. Why do the polygamists marry off the girls so young? Can somebody answer that? This is the 21st century, not the pioneer days when people lived much shorter lives.
Isn't it just an abuse of power over others?
Believe what you will, but it's not a free choice when you live in fear. They have to investigate whether there was abuse. The story sounds so pitiful from these moms, but sorry, the inbreeding and coercion makes me think they wouldn't admit abuse anyway.

wrz

>>Regardless of what you think of someone's religious views or practices, this woman has a right to be with her children. Texas has committed a serious mistake, shame on them.<< Aaron

You're right, Aaron. And if I were the FLDS I would get the best lawyers in the land and sue the pants off Texas.

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