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FLDS at ranch detail raid by Texas officials

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  • RavenPrecept
    May 24, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    Look at the enlarged photo of that vehicle. You can see the kill marks. 2 people and a car.

  • Sarah
    April 25, 2008 1:57 p.m.

    Open your eyes, America!!! What CPS did do the FLDS is happening to individual families on a daily basis all across America. Look up "fight CPS" on a search engine. It will open your eyes. As one of the FLDS mothers said, it can happen to you. If someone has a vendetta against you, they can destroy your family. For those of you who have had their children removed or may at some point in the future, remember: At the Adversary Hearing, you must oppose to your children being in custody and you must ask for a court-appointed attorney if you cannot afford one. Contact your local, state, and federal lawmakers to stop this insane violation of our Constitutional rights. Go to your state's website to find your representatives. Write to them as well as all of the representatives. If they get a ton of e-mails, letters, & phone calls, maybe they will create the necessary legislation to end this abuse of power. Remember, we put these people in office to represent us. VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!!

  • Frances Wright
    April 23, 2008 12:28 p.m.

    Go back and read about Branch Davidians and read about Randy Weaver. Read about the persecution of Mormons in the 1800's, about the murder of Joseph Smith. Is our government allowed to use Gestapo tactics on citizens whose religion they disagree with. How is the kids on drugs who become addicts and hookers (but have freedom) better off than these young people.?

  • wow
    April 19, 2008 10:16 a.m.

    The difference between these young ladies and thier counterparts in society is choice. They have very limited choices, and an even more limited education with which to make those choices.
    Think about this if they choose to participate with the government they will lose their families, due to reassignment, and if they choose not to go along with the government they will lose thier families due to abuse.

  • Anonymous
    April 17, 2008 7:10 p.m.

    duh....pacific...where is the evidence?

  • PacificGatePost
    April 17, 2008 1:06 p.m.

    It is amazing that there are so many comments here effectively supporting rape and abuse of children. This is 2008, and it should have been dealt with long ago.

    It is also surprising that excuses are being made for the adult women of the sect, who have supported the rape of their own children. Yet, as is becoming apparent, they are not being charged.

    There's way too much confusion on the parameters around "religion" and what is should entail or be allowed.

  • Have a Brain
    April 16, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    Do you think it takes a plig to think these people are descent?? Texas?? Turn on the TV look at us! Look at your self. Most 12 13 year old kids in school are having sex, Getting pregnant, killing there babies. We the usa are all about SEX. Thats wat we,you teach your kids on TV every day. We should look at are morals, and if are morals are Better then theres.(FLDS) If you like the way we, the us are, then so be it. But to come in and say that these people are morally wrong.. Well huh thats not the reason for this raid. You better start by defending your own Rights.. Thers not many people that can see past there nose. But those of you that want to see the REAL PICTURE just look a little farther and you will be astonished.

  • False statement
    April 16, 2008 12:35 a.m.

    The girls phone call alleged that a specific person was sexually abusing her in the compound, they tracked down the accused man and he doesn't even live in Texas and he hasn't for several years, the call was obviously a hoax.

  • Rule of Law anyone?
    April 16, 2008 12:25 a.m.

    BMar (9:49pm) stated, "from a legal standpoint, it doesn't matter if they found the girl who called."

    Hello? Do we still live in the United States?

    I am not excusing the FLDS people for any acts they may have committed. That is not the point.

    The laws of this country must be followed. If the laws have devolved to the point where anyone with a
    Walmart pre-paid phone can cause someone else to loose their children, our country, the country I have loved and pledged allegiance to, has truely fallen.

    Is there a neighbor on your street who hates you? Maybe you called the "dog catcher" when his Springer Spanial got into your garbage.

    "911 what is your emergency?"
    "I just saw a man at 401 Cliffside Lane beating his son in their back yard! The man was screaming and kicking the boy! The poor child couldn't have been older than 10!"

    Do I hope all the pedophiles are thrown in prison? Oh yeah. I also hope that BMar kissed his kids goodbye this morning before leaving for work, because if he has ever called a "dog catcher" his kids may not be there when he gets home.

  • Boise Leon
    April 16, 2008 12:11 a.m.

    It all started when Mitt Romney let it out that he was going to be candidate for President in the spring of 2006. Then someone in Washington convinced the FBI to add Jeffs to the 10 most wanted list along with Osama and a string of murders and bank robbers. Then the reward was raised twice to $100,000 with press releases throughout the USA. Finally an unknown snitch whispered in the Sheriffs ear that there were beds in the temple, attack now! At the same time the No Mitt for VP ad was released. Sheriff, check the phone records of your snitch. She probably has disappeared by now. No use looking for the 16 year old. Look for the snitch. Sometimes there really is a conspiracy. Texans, remember the Alamo, the Texas book depository, Waco and the FLDS "compound"
    This is not about child abuse, religion or polygamy, it's politics at its ugliest. Follow the $100,000 reward money.

  • Boise Leon
    April 16, 2008 12:06 a.m.

    No one in law enforcement in Utah and Arizona can explain how Warren Jeffs was put on the FBI 10 Most Wanted list. Both Attorney Generals have tried to dodge stirring up a hornets nest like the 1953 Arizona raid on Shortcreek. It is like the Wizard of OZ. Someone pulled additional strings to add up to $100,000 of reward money for Jeffs capture in increments and timing to coincide with the presidential election. Jeffs was held for about 16 months in solitary confinement in Purgatory Jail before he could face his accuser. Arizona had 61 complaints like the Texas complaint and found 50 of them bogus with no victim to be found. The Texas sheriff fell for it on the third nibble, just in time to coincide with the rumor of Mitt Romney becoming a VP candidate. The Texas sheriff has a snitch advising him of what to do, but I would lay a big bet that she and all the other string pullers are connected to the Democratic National Committee. All this trouble is not about what you think it is. Yes, there are bad characters, but there is someone else pulling strings to achieve a different end.

  • Send more to Texas!!!!
    April 15, 2008 11:37 p.m.

    As a TAX paying Arizona resident and a resident of Mohave County (yeah the same county as whacked out Colorado City)- I say send them ALL to Texas. There has been numerous outcrys from Colorado City of Abuse, Neglect, Rape, Sodomy, Molestation,etc....but since this flipping state is so Mormon then everyone looks the other way. The last statistics coming from our county office was that 79% of the population in Colorado City was getting welfare, Medicaid, WIC, Food Stamps, HUD, etc- while over 400 million in assests was in the hands of their "church" (and I use that term loosely as this cult has Nothing to do with religion). The few of use Tax-Paying Arizonians was tickled pink when Warren decided that God was returing to them near the Gulf Of Mexico...ie, anywhere but here. I for one have "paid" for this cult long enough. Someone else can have a turn now. Our old County Commisioner said he couldn't fix the problem but that maybe the cult would inbreed so much that they would eventually kill themselves all off. Instead of stopping this HUGE problem- everyone here looks the other way (praying they'll die)- Don't mess with Texas!

  • sandra
    April 15, 2008 11:22 p.m.

    It is unthinkable that the Amish would sexually abuse their children or would engage in plural marriage.

  • Sandra
    April 15, 2008 11:17 p.m.

    How could anyone compare this group of pedophiles with the Amish?

  • wrz
    April 15, 2008 11:14 p.m.

    To: Come on! @10:19

    The accuser might be bogus and probably is. But for sure the accusation is bogus. The accused was interviewed by the police and let go. He has a water-tight, verifiable alibi. That leaves the Texas authorities with a bit of egg on their collective faces. As it does the accuser as well.

  • annonymous
    April 15, 2008 10:48 p.m.

    I think it is interesting that dfs in any state operates outside the foundation of the rest of our legal system which is you are guilty until your innocence is proven. i have talked to many workers in 3 different states I have lived in
    who took intake calls and they freely admit that as many as 80% of the calls they receive are false and motivated by
    grudges and discord with the families involved and have no basis in fact. It seems to me that far more damage can be done emotionally and psychologicly to these families to separate them from each other on such flimsy evidence. My view has nothing to do with supporting a polygamist lifestyle which I personally feel is wrong but with our constutional rights. There is a big difference between potential and actual abuse and it should be handled on a case by case not enmasse.

  • ExTexan
    April 15, 2008 10:48 p.m.

    To BMar: you may be right that the authorities found evidence of abuse once they got there. However, to take 416 innocent children away from their parents makes them now a victim of the abuse perpetrated by the government as well (especially in their own minds, do you think for a minute that they want the state's protection at this point?) Rather than just pile all the kids into some Baptist church bus and haul them off in a terrified mess, they should take the "evidence of abuse" that they found and go after the men that are impregnating those teenagers. These kids are now victims from both sides.

  • Jen Shostak
    April 15, 2008 10:48 p.m.

    Photo caption: "A Midland County Sheriff's Department armored vehicle is seen during the raid on the Yearning For Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas, April 4."

    The photograph of the armored vehicle says it all.

    Armored vehicles used against people exercising their right of free speech in Tianamen Square. Armored vehicles used against Buddist monks protesting for the right of Tibetan people to exercise their right of religion in China.

    Armored vehicles running down crowds of Poles as the Nazis advanced towards Warsaw.

    The armored vehicle says it all.

    Women and children are enemies of the state.

    I am glad I am old and going to die soon because I cannot live under a government which feels the need to use armored vehicles against people who are U.S. citizens.

  • SkepticalDoug
    April 15, 2008 10:48 p.m.

    Is an anonymous accusation from a single teenager sufficient justification for breaking up an entire community, including forcibly separating parents from small children? Does the abundance of wild rumors alone empower the state to systematically attack a religious minority? To what extend does weirdness justify persecution? What should the public conclude if the facts ultimately show the state failed to follow due process in depriving minorities of their liberties? I have no interest in promoting polygamy or child-rape. But all Americans should have a strong interest in freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and freedom from the unbridled power of the state. Texas had better come up with legally unimpeachable justification for this military-style invasion.

  • bunk
    April 15, 2008 10:34 p.m.

    It doesn't sit well with me when these mothers talk about being lied to. I know they were lied to, and I know why they were lied to. Somehow though, their complaints don't hold any weight when this sect has withheld names, ages, biological relationships, and anything pertinent to this whole process.

    Their secrecy is what's hurting them. They won't get their children back by withholding necessary information. It's absurd.

    I wonder about the six women who chose safehavens instead of returning to the compound. I would love to know their motives.

    Can't wait to see how it unfolds, Thursday.

  • Melinda
    April 15, 2008 10:31 p.m.

    There was not due process. What can we do to help the families who had their children ripped away from them.
    Can any of you imagine that a neighbor who did not like you - could call CPS...and without any proof - CPS - came and took all your children? How would you feel? How about they don't like your religion - would that be grounds to take your kids?
    There has not yet been any proof of a girl under age being pregnant.
    I hope a really smart, powerful lawyer - goes to their defense.

  • Chris MacAskill
    April 15, 2008 10:32 p.m.

    > But dang, people! You think they should just be allowed to
    > keep on impregnating teen-agers, marrying them off to men
    > four times their age?

    Reading the accounts of the people who escaped makes you recoil. How about the lost boys who are driven out of the community so the older men can marry a dozen teens? Of the 419 children, only about 50 are boys. They are completely unprepared for life on the outside.

    It's a tough situation for everyone but the one thing that's clear and right about U.S. law is child abuse has to trump all.

  • Come on!
    April 15, 2008 10:19 p.m.

    I am so sick of hearing people say there is no "girl", it is all an excuse for the FBI to go in-whatever. She is not going to stand up and say "Hi, it's me"-especially now. Give me a break! I wouldn't be surprised if she used a false name when she called. If she were caught who knows what would of happened to her and do you think she would speak up now after all of this. Come on!

  • RLDS
    April 15, 2008 10:09 p.m.

    I have seen the goodness and humility of people that have been persecuted and reviled for their faith, always having to flee danger. No one loves their family more than these gentle children of God.

    The question about the phone call can be answered if the authorities will reveal the "E911" information that will pinpoint the call's origination.

    Why were the detailed records that the church made during the arrests confiscated?
    We need a full investigation of the government's actions, also, but let us blame no one and try to heal these wounds.

  • JohnSeattle
    April 15, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    I knew something was off about this raid when they hauled them off in baptist buses. Baptist organized to bring Romneys Presidential hopes down leaving us without a conservative candidate, only because he was Mormon. These guys in the compound were Mormon apostates. I don't think they should have purged the compound. You prosecute individuals. No one in California is planning a raid on Hugh Heffner. I guess baptist hate everybody.

  • SkepticalDoug
    April 15, 2008 10:05 p.m.

    The state of Texas should be able to reconstitute families with DNA. They can probably use DNA also to prove paternity and statutory rape of minors. But the state had better come up with legally unimpeachable justification for this raid, or this is going to make the Duke Lacrosse travesty look elementary. No one is immune from religious bigotry, but Texas and the Bible Belt is especially ripe with it. Our legal system has a serious weakness when it comes to balancing the rights of adults with the need to protect children. Just look at the Wikipedia entry for "Day care sex abuse hysteria" and see the numerous lives destroyed by baseless accusations.

  • Kyle
    April 15, 2008 10:03 p.m.

    Just an interesting note: The CPS claim that by taking the moms away, these kids will be more "truthful". Truth is, they realize there's no abuse... they had to isolate COMPLETELY these little kids who don't have the ability to tell the world the truth so they (CPS) can make up their own story. They also realize the initial "phone call" that prompted this raid has no credit. Else why would they take one of the captured moms aside and threaten her to tell the world she was the alleged victim or they would take her own child away and she would never see it again? Of course she would not, cause the call was bogus! And whoever threw the thought that the men involved are not crying, sounds like you haven't been reading much... I also pray, return these children to their families.

  • Janet
    April 15, 2008 9:59 p.m.

    WOW, what a bunch of whacked out people on here. Are you certain you people are law abiding citizens or just law breaking sympathizers and polygamists. What's be coming of these two cults? It all looks pretty fishy to many of us. Good work D_N.

  • Gerardo
    April 15, 2008 9:58 p.m.

    To Jack Triump (7:08 pm) and Anonymous (8:02 pm), it looks like you're okay with the raiding of your home based on a trumped up charge. Great. Give us your personal info and we'll get it done.

    You both (and I'm sure others) still believe there was a call. You also believe in the tooth fairy.

    Think (I know it's hard). Authorities were ready to raid the camp, but just needed a phone call? Right.

    There was no phone call. That will never be proven just like the 16 year-old girl will never appear because she's not real.

    But you'll believe anything since all polygamists are evil child abusers and wife beaters.

  • BMar
    April 15, 2008 9:49 p.m.

    First, from a legal standpoint, it doesn't matter if they found the girl who called. That was reason for a search warrant and they could then act on whatever evidence they found of wrongdoing. But dang, people! You think they should just be allowed to keep on impregnating teen-agers, marrying them off to men four times their age? Do you really?

  • Those wacky Amish
    April 15, 2008 9:48 p.m.

    Of course, the Amish don't trade their 14 and 15 year old daughters around and kick their sons out of the village when they get old enough to be a threat to the status quo, do they?

  • About the Amish
    April 15, 2008 9:38 p.m.

    The FLDS has had and will always have a PR problem. Unlike the Amish who are generally respected and beloved in their region and around the country. They don't have to worry about persecution, since their customs don't offend the general public in the way the FLDS clearly does. The worse you could say about the Amish is they shun those who leave the community, but will accept them back if they choose to return.

  • to ExTexan
    April 15, 2008 9:21 p.m.

    Great post!

  • Heaven on Earth
    April 15, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    Is what the FLDS thought they had. Turns out they have hell in Texas. They are the modern day victims of a nazi-like government organizing and conducting a gestapo-like raid and kidnapping of all their children. This amounts to genocide for those poor families. Texas authorities are criminals. The good Christian citizens of Schleicher County are criminal conspirators. Imagine the First Baptist Church of Eldorado providing buses to haul off the children, the church building to initially house them in and the upstanding Baptist Men's Organization making filthy lucre to feed the stolen people.

  • Brian
    April 15, 2008 9:18 p.m.

    I originally thought this was a good thing going in to save girls who were being forced into marriages and sex at such a young age. The more I hear about it the more I feel it violates our constitutional rights. If something is happening with someone underage go in there and arrest the suspect. These people aren't armed, you don't need to roll in and tear an entire society apart. Serve the search warrant, search for the suspect(s) and take them into custody. End of story.

  • Anne Marie
    April 15, 2008 9:06 p.m.

    "Land of the free"? I think not. The whole affair si horrendous. Abuse? By the Texas authorities, maybe. Separating children from their mothers? I remember these things only back in nazi Germany and stalinist Russia. I never lived in China but heard that there too these things have been going on. Today FLDS, tomorrow...? I pity the poor children and I pity us. I do not, for one minute, believe the purpose of all this was to save them from an abuse. I do not believe there was a phone call from a sixteen year old. I do not agree with polygamy but my heart goes to these poor people and I hope the children will be allowed to go home soon. We pray for them.

  • Post
    April 15, 2008 8:54 p.m.

    The Amish don't go to jail in mass numbers ('course they're not livin' in Texas) if they were there, umm, yup, they would have ended up the same way..

    The Wacoites... I mean, the Branch Davidians of the Seventh Day Adventist Church got pummeled by the Texas and Fed authorities..

    I saw Terry Nicholes standing outside the Compound in Waco as that occurred.

    The results of that raid are obvious. The former Wacoites (branch Davidians) like Terry Nichols took out those that issued the warrants for the arrest... oh, and their entire building they were housed in.

    Do children need protected. Yes. Do the Amish children need protected, or the Quakers, or the Hudderites? (you can look that one up).
    Yes, but, in the cases where abuse occurs in other States, they prosecute individually.

    Same here, the Baptistites should have followed other States examples, and ... prosecute only those they finid guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. DCFS, CPS and the like are opposites to the Constitution, they do not follow it... alas

  • What Happens if....
    April 15, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    Wilford Woodruff (Manifesto denouncing Plural Marriage Practice): " I saw that if we continued the practice... that it would mean the destruction of the Church and the confiscation (past past tense) of Church property, and their would be no Temple work performed for the living or the dead. (hence, D&C 2:3 would be fulfilled, (you can look that one up too).

  • Anonymous
    April 15, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    The more I read on how the Texas authorities handled/are handling this it makes it look a lot less like "protect the children" and a whole lot more like "lets purge the FLDS".

  • Hedley LaMarr
    April 15, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    Come to think of it, where are the men of this outfit? The one registered sex offender that showed up in St. George we know of, and of course the other well armed one with a good squad picked up with wads of cash near Vegas...Not much concern about the herd of breeding stock on their part, is there?

  • Answer to Jodi
    April 15, 2008 8:39 p.m.

    Not if the "informant" wanted to paint the FLDS members in as bad a light as possible. The informant (aka TN) knew absolutely these people are non violent and would not resist in a confrontational manner. But he has a major grudge to bear and is putting a determined effort to destroy a way of life he once enjoyed by spewing forth outlandish lies and exaggerations. Misery loves company is his new motto.

  • EldoCitizen
    April 15, 2008 8:44 p.m.

    Also...to add to my last comment. There is no actual church at the compound. They pay taxes on all the property. The State does not recognize any part of that compound as a church...temple or otherwise.

  • EldoCitizen
    April 15, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    There was NO informant on the property. Those reports are false. If you read what was in the affidavit he had an informant that was from the group. The informant was not on the compound...doubt he/she ever was. From what I understand...the informant isn't a part of the group any more. People need to read the actual information.

  • Jodi
    April 15, 2008 8:22 p.m.

    If the sheriff had an informant on the property and was receiving information for the last four years, wouldn't they know that the FLDS were not armed and that all the weaponry they went in with was not necessary?

  • Big Show
    April 15, 2008 8:11 p.m.

    We've seen quite a few women turn on the tears but so far only 3 men have spoken out and none of them are crying.

  • Anonymous
    April 15, 2008 8:02 p.m.

    How exactly was the search unconstitutional? If you just read the news, you'll see that the call came in 3/4 days before the raid. You'll also see that local authorities had been watching the compound but was not able to actually go in and investigate until they received that call. CPS is required to investigate every allegation of abuse or neglect that is received. Thank God they did!

  • Anonymous
    April 15, 2008 7:38 p.m.

    Genocide
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation).

    Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

    While precise definition varies among genocide scholars, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."[1]

  • Tom
    April 15, 2008 7:38 p.m.

    This runs much deeper then the unfortunate conidtions at the ranch which could have been addressed more diplomatically. What really concerns me is that this is clearly another case of the 'storm trooper" mentality in which our constitutional rights have been trampled. Of course they have not located the "girl" who phoned in the abuse - because no such call took place. We might as well be living in Russia or China. I would wager that if the compound was a mosque, no such raid would have taken place (whether or not there was abuse or terrorists inside). If there was, the NY Times and the rest of the media elite would be outraged. By way of contrast, in Iraq and Afghanistan, no GI can enter a mosque even if he is being shot at. However, the polygamous sect in Texas was Christian. Therefore, no harm/no foul and no outrage at the additional loss of our precious consitutional rights and privileges. Don't be surprised when they burst through your front door under false prestenses becasue you are a Jew, Black, Christian or heaven forbid, spank your child. All it takes apparently, is one phone call, unsubstantiated or not.

  • Jackal
    April 15, 2008 7:21 p.m.

    The logistics of such a huge raid would require weeks to plan and mobilize the huge army of assets, both human and physical. It would be interesting to know if the phone call from the purported FLDS member came a week prior or within a few hours of the raid.

  • ExTexan
    April 15, 2008 7:13 p.m.

    It seems to me that the Texas authorities had a well-orchestrated plan for much more than "looking for an abused sixteen year old mother" when they raided that place. This raid was unconstitutional, plain and simple. No one can convince me that all 416 of those children were under current risk of abuse. "Potential risk of abuse" at some future date, yes. But if that argument is used, every catholic church, every mormon ward house, and elementary school in the country is suspect. God help us all. I pray for the safe return of those children to their families, and for legitimate prosecution of perpetrators of an actual crime and not a potential crime.

  • Jack Triump
    April 15, 2008 7:08 p.m.

    Looks like the folks in Texas came prepared for anything. Fortunately, the firepowere was not needed. I have wondered how long Texas was going to allow these compound people to break the laws of our state.