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This won't be 'another Short Creek'

Action: Criminal charges are urged

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  • Barb
    May 20, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    Hey, Blackbane, how come their all-wise prophet didn't move them all to Mass? Looks like Uncle Warren guessed wrong.

  • Re: Ralph
    May 2, 2008 12:45 p.m.

    Not back in the Victorian era. It was commonplace for older, more settled men to marry women as young as 14 and 15. Kinda weird now tho.

  • Ralph
    May 2, 2008 9:55 a.m.

    The early mormon polygamist that took girls of fourteen years of age as wives, would the be considered pedophiles.

  • Not based on innocence
    May 1, 2008 7:35 a.m.

    A previous post stated: "Comparisons to Missouri or Nauvoo are perverse. Those were illegal mob actions against innocent people." Illegal actions do not just become legal because the victims are guilty as opposed to innocent. Constitutional protections apply to all, not only the innocent. This is a case of gross constitional violations (not referring to freedom of religion, but freedom from unreasonable search and seizure--there was not the necessary evidence to do this right). Everyone keeps posting that we're going to wait and see the truth come to light, but that's not how the law works. We can't overstep constitutional rights--even in the name of getting to the truth.

  • Anonymous
    May 1, 2008 12:00 a.m.

    No one argues that having sex with an underage girl is wrong however the way the state of Texas took the children smacks of intolerance and religious persecution. The small children are in no danger, why take them? There was no due process. The way they did it was if one is guilty than all are guilty. If the state can do it to these people, who is next? It would be like the Catholic priest abuse scandal. If you are Catholic then your children are in danger of being molested so hand over your children. The FLDS constitutional rights were trampled on without proof. I am a firm believer in the rule of law and Texas is not following it.

  • people
    April 30, 2008 10:29 a.m.

    This isn't about polygamy, you need only read thesmokinggun to see the control used by men against women/girls/children. A girl from the compound was asked her age, answered the question as 16 and then was told by Ray Jessop her age "was eighteen" and which she responded as directed by Ray Jessop.

  • re: convicts himself
    April 30, 2008 9:20 a.m.

    you make a valad point. This is an eerie echo of the Edmunds anti-polygamy act of 1882. An act aimed at a specific group of people.

  • convicts himself
    April 30, 2008 3:50 a.m.

    Don't you love this quote: "This violates Texas values and our lifestyle and the way we see traditional relationships. We are not going to tolerate it."
    I guess with that reasoning for making a law, maybe we shouldn't be so surprised that the verdict wasn't against any specific cases of Actions against the law, but against believing the law was wrong...
    - Welcome to "land of the free" where if I don't like what you believe, I'll make a law against it - then "save" your children by forcibly taking them from you - not for actions against my new law, but for not believing my new law is right!

  • Pico
    April 29, 2008 3:59 p.m.

    You've illustrated beautifully the point I was trying to make. Aside from this fiasco, how does texas stand with teen pregnancies? Abused children?
    Rapes? Not all that well. texas is a mess. So far we've gotten a dim witted vp, a dimmer witted president, a load of state sponsered executions, and loads of undocumented workers from texas. At least the compound wasn't burned to the ground to protect these folks from themselves.

  • To Pico
    April 29, 2008 1:52 p.m.

    Don't mess with Texas, means just what it implies. You included. Don't mess with the children here, we value them.

    Don't ever move here, you'd be boo'ed out of the Alamo

  • amazed
    April 29, 2008 1:40 p.m.

    HELLO people remember innocent until PROVEN guilty,we in this country have a CONSTITUTION to be governed by, and all Judges ,Governors etc take an oath of office to uphold THE CONSTITUTION....looks like we are prosecuting the wrong people!!!

  • Nano
    April 29, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    Just curious. Let me know what you think. Do you suppose we'll hear about the abuse that will statistically unavoidably occur after these children are runn through the foster care system?

  • John Lambert
    April 29, 2008 11:37 a.m.

    TO to about Missouri mobs:
    The Missouri mobs and not Joseph Smith were the ones who destroyed a printing press.
    The printing press destruction you refer to was done in Nauvoo under order of the city council. It was done because the Nauvoo Expositor sought to destroy the Nauvoo Charter which the saints knew was the only thing between them and the persecution that had existed in Missouri.
    However Joseph Smith was incarcerated not on charges relatated to the destruction of the press, he had been released on bail on those chages by Daniel H. Wells, the most prominant non-Mormon in Nauvoo (yes he later joined the church, but that is not the issue). He was inprisoned on charges related to having declared martial law to prevent riots in the wake of the destruction of the press.
    If you think destroying a press is a capital offense than calling his killers a vigilante mob may make sense. However, since most people do not think property destuction is a capital offense especially when done in self defense, your characterization of the situation is inconsistent with prevaling views.

  • John Lambert
    April 29, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    I have thought about the Shurtleff approach again. Besides the fact he likes to take too much of the credit for it, it does work.
    A raid like Texas did hurts the cause of bringing about real, permanent change. What you want is actual convictions which Shurtleff is getting. Once you put people in jail for statutory rape and being accesories to statutory rape, the marriage age will go up. This is the way to stop the marriage of underage girls. Head on assaults will result in nothing except defensiveness and a greater desire to continue the practices in the face of persecution.

  • John Lambert
    April 29, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    Fortunantly CPS has not used the term pedophile, but many people on these boards have.
    A pedophile is someone who is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children. No one has brought up any charges of sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children in this case.
    I do not think any criminal charges will be filed. The fruit of the forbidden tree doctrine will block them.
    I guess I was wrong and Texas has made marriage with someone under age 16 criminal. It is hard to see such a law being upheld when anti-sodomy laws have been overthrown and the ability of the state to dictate what relationships can recieve state recognition is in question.
    However, since the post-1970 Supreme Court is an activist court that acts more like a legislature, I can see it actually supporting such a non-logical set of laws.
    I think that the state should be able to dictate the limits of what relationships can recieve state recognition, but I do not think the mere act of saying a relationship is a marriage should be prosecutale. I do oppose the broad use of marraige, but this is my political view, and should be allowed others under free speech.

  • Pico
    April 29, 2008 9:03 a.m.

    Every time a certain brand of texan opens their mouth, you get some arrogant remark usually followed by the phrase "don't mess with texas", as though that explains everything they say and do.
    Many posters on here are not polygomist apologists, but are still appalled at the obvious heavy-handed, predudicial, and probably unconstitutional actions of the lone excuse state.

  • JB
    April 29, 2008 8:04 a.m.

    I this united states, child pornography is against the law, child rape is against the law. we have registered sex offenders. what best describes the men in this compound? perverts,sexual addicts,child molesters,, what???

    can you possibly imagine, a ten year old little girl in bed with a 50 year old man, or any man. can you picture this disgusting scenario in your mind? some of you have little girls, some of you were little girls. at what age does a little girl quit being a little girl? is it at the time she is forced into the bed of a man she married,and then 9 months later she experiences the excruciating pain of childbirth? accepts the life style she was born into,, because thats all she knows. crying herself to sleep at night, after she has been violated over and over. having been programed that her role in life was to bear as many children as she can, so her little girls can become victims of these monsters just as she had, and her sons, what about them ? kicked out at the tender age of 14,never to see their family again, all under the disguise of a religion.

  • Socrates
    April 29, 2008 7:20 a.m.

    Mr. Hilderbran:

    The following statistics (www.dshs.state.tx.us/famplan/tpp.shtm) were taken from an official Texas website. Every ten hours a 14 year old gets pregnant in Texas. This begs the question, How many children born to these teens were taken from their mothers? How many good ol boys were prosecuted for statutory rape?

    Medicaid paid for 173,226 deliveries in Texas at an estimated total cost of $420 million . . . Approximately 10% of these deliveries were to teen mothers aged-13-17, at a cost of $41 million . . .

    Every 10 minutes, a teen in Texas gets pregnant.
    Every 10 hours, a 14-year-old teen gets pregnant.
    Every 3 hours, a 15-year-old teen gets pregnant.
    Every 10 minutes a teen gives birth.
    Every 48 minutes a teen has an abortion. . . .

    A wise man once said, He who is without sin cast the first stone. It would appear from the above facts that your glass house is about to get stoned for a policy of social imperialism engineered by a Baptist Legislature and unilaterally enforced on an ethnic minority.

    The Constitution is a pretty big stone Mr. Hilderbran and its coming your way . . .

  • HeyNow
    April 29, 2008 12:48 a.m.

    Way to go, Texas! Someone needs to save these brainwashed women from themselves. The obvious psychological abuses perpetuated upon the children of this group (of both genders) warrants such extreme action as has been taken. Truly the hand of God can be said to have led this group to a place where at least some of the children born into this non-religion can be saved. As for the men, clearly a group of opportunistic perverts. Some people will claim anything in order to get their way. The male perps all need to go to jail.

  • hankram
    April 29, 2008 12:43 a.m.

    Here's what I think:

    I don't always like Texas, but if you're in any state other than Utah or Arizona, and the CPS workers find underage pregnant girls, YOU BETCHA THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE THE KIDS.

    If the FLDS were actually "Mormons", then here's what they should believe in:

    1. The 12th Article of Faith (obeying and sustaining the law).
    2. That polygamy and statutory rape are both illegal in Texas.
    3. That President Thomas S. Monson is the ACTUAL Prophet, Seer, and Revelator today.
    4. That President Willford Woodruff was correct when he received the Manifesto from the Lord, and it would have countermanded any "claim" by President John Taylor when supposedly gave four men the power to practice polygamy (which the "claim" doesn't exist).

    I have the sympathy for those brainwashed women and children in Stepford, Texas. They need constant therapy from hereon out.

  • Kathy
    April 28, 2008 11:40 p.m.

    Ya, I was going to say, go onto any street in america and you find young pregnant girls. Are they married? Next to never. Do they have someone to take care of them and their baby? If they are lucky they have parents to help them. This is not about under age marriage, it is about religious persecution.

  • It is written
    April 28, 2008 9:26 p.m.

    Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.
    Peace I bring unto you.
    Love one another.
    Love your enemies.

  • timeforachangenow
    April 28, 2008 8:52 p.m.

    shame on you Texas!
    Having been raised in Texas for 17 years as a boy I can only say...
    Texas is a good place to be FROM...
    won't ever live there again...
    in this case they have TRULY overstepped their authority...it IS timeoforachangeNOW

  • Barb
    April 28, 2008 8:03 p.m.

    1. Why did Warren Jeffs discountinue sports, celebrations, and dances. Brigham Young in particular approved of dances.
    2. Why did Warren Jeffs harp so much on Black people being a conduit of evil, when Elijah Abel and others were ordained to the priesthood? Abel's activities were not restricted until the 1840s and both a son and grandson of his held priesthood office after him, yet everyone knew. Mormonism under Joseph Smith did not specifically ban Blacks from the priesthood.
    3. Didn't President John Taylor quiety drop the Adam-God Doctrine, that President Brigham Young taught?
    4. On the FLDSTruth.org website, they describe Lorin Wooley as claiming in 1923 that, "The resurrection is going on. There are those I have known in life who have passed away, and I have since seen and shaken hands with them." What are the implications of that?

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 6:33 p.m.

    SJ Bobkins -

    Some of us aren't FLDS apologists so much as we are civil libertarians who realize that what's happening to the FLDS now could easily happen to us in a few years. If Texas wants to prosecute, then prosecute. But play by the rules.

    Incidentally, the second paragraph of your post is a classical "et tu" logical fallacy.

  • SJ Bobkins
    April 28, 2008 6:05 p.m.

    The FLDS apologists, which means (for those living in Beaver) defending the faith not apologizing, are so active, it might seem that the majority view is in strong disfavor with the Texas action, which doesn't reflect the results of all the polls on the subject. Just know that we know you're out there and you have more time on your hands.
    I would appreciate it if you would help me understand how you can compare this action with Hitler's Germany, yet the FLDS takes children away from it's men constantly? Along with property and wives, which are also considered property, Jeff's rules that if a father isn't forthcoming with his tithing plus $1000/month, or with his young daughters, or if he makes a statement the leaders don't care for he's gone without the ability to appeal the decision.
    The FLDS men in Texas will have the opportunity to appeal. The Hitler's Germany comparison seems better connected to Colorado City, than Texas.
    Don't you think that if God wished all men to have 3+ wives, the female to male birth rate would be 3 to 1? I doubt God wishes that 2/3 rds of the men be banished.

  • hmmmmmm
    April 28, 2008 5:42 p.m.

    It is pretty obvious even the FDLS doesnt know how many children there are either they lost count 100 births ago

  • G
    April 28, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    "anyone believe what either Texas CPS or the FLDS have to say at this point?"

    I tend to agree. FLDS, regardless of how much their rights have been trampled, aren't nominees for any good citizen awards. And Texas, my goodness, "found" another child in their custody today--and said it was because it's easier to get a better count in foster homes. Ohhkay--I don't think any adult (or gov't agency) that cannot count should be trusted with 400-something children.

    The difference is that CPS is a government agency, is supposed to employ qualified personnel, and will ultimately be accountable for this sort of thing. FLDS, well nobody really expected anything of them.

    But at least those numbers are going up rather than down.

  • Me Oh My
    April 28, 2008 4:42 p.m.

    The fathers and the male leaders are strangely silent or absent. Your implication that they have something to hide is right on.

    Of course they have something to hide. This country has, unconstitutionaly, made polygamy illegal. And yes I say unconstitutionally because polygamy is a tenant of their religion whether the rest of society believes it or not. If any of these men attempt to stand up for their rights they will be told that they don't have any and be convicted for living polygamy that is why there is no way of saying that this raid is not based off of a relious biase and is ranks of religious persecution.

  • Rich
    April 28, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    Harvey, when you say the polygamists violate Texas lifestyle and traditional relationships, do you include homosexual activity and extramarital and premarital sex? Those have been traditional for more than a century in Texas, so are they protected? Swingers advertise for couplings in all your Texas big city newspapers; is that OK with you as long as there are no 14- to 17-year-old girls involved. And how about Texas boys having sex with girls in similar age classes? Is that protected and tolerated by Texas tradition? Just asking. Ouch! I just bit the inside of my mouth!

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    "Dearest G", I think G meant that you should collect evidence in accordance with the safeguards incorporated in the Bill of Rights. You know--"innocent until proven guilty", "probable cause" and all that.

  • Don't stop with the FLDS
    April 28, 2008 4:21 p.m.

    This is good as soon as Texas is done with the FLDS they'll go after their professional athletes too. The law is the law, right Texas?

  • Dearest G
    April 28, 2008 4:17 p.m.

    Thank You for your suggestions.

    1) We are, thanks.

    2) We have cells (and cellmates!) ready and waiting.

    3) Fat Chance. Why would we return children to the cult to be abused as soon as they turn 12? (Besides, there aren't many adults who will get past 2) above.)

    Kindest Regards,
    Texas

  • How can
    April 28, 2008 4:11 p.m.

    anyone believe what either Texas CPS or the FLDS have to say at this point? Both are in this up to their necks. It will be good when these cases start to be looked at child by child. That's when I expect the truth will really come out.

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 4:10 p.m.

    Not to turn this into a Mormon Battalion threadjack, but . . .

    As I understand it, Young (or some other high church officials, or their representatives) actually engineered the recruitment of the Mormon Battalion through quiet negotiations in Washington. Lots in the US government didn't think the Mormons were sufficiently loyal to serve in the army, but Young realized that their salaries were desperately needed for the trip west.

  • G
    April 28, 2008 3:59 p.m.

    "Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar says 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were living on the ranch in Eldorado."

    Okay, 53 girls at risk.

    How many kids did CPS actually take away? 400 or so?

    Here's my suggestion for Texas:

    (1) Get evidence

    (2) Prosecute the males responsible.

    (3) Let the rest of the church get on with their lives and live where they see fit.

  • Widespread Abuse
    April 28, 2008 3:56 p.m.

    It's all starting to come out:

    Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar says 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were living on the ranch in Eldorado. Of that group, 31 already have children or are pregnant.

    Child welfare officials say there was a pattern of underage girls forced into "spiritual marriages" with much older men at the ranch.

    Loving parents who were concerned about protecting their children from the evil "outsiders"? Or child abusers?

  • duh?!
    April 28, 2008 3:53 p.m.

    I was taught the Mormon Battalion was considered a blessing because it provided cash at a desperate time, and that Church leaders encouraged men to sign up.

  • huh?!
    April 28, 2008 3:48 p.m.

    "...
    everybody knows | 3:00 p.m. April 28, 2008
    the Mexican War couldn't have been won with out the MORMON BATTALION. you're welcome, Texas..."

    ?

    "...For years, Mormons viewed the Mormon Battalion as an unjust imposition upon the Mormons, and as a further act of persecution by the United States (Carrington 1857, p. 5)..."

    "...Approaching Tucson, in future Arizona, the battalion nearly had a battle with a small detachment of provisional Mexican soldiers on December 16, 1846..."

    "...Nearing the end of their journey, the battalion passed through Temecula, California during the aftermath of the Temecula Massacre..."


    Ummm..thanks for nearly getting into a battle, and for arriving after another one and watching the dead get buried?

  • BeeCareful
    April 28, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    Hypocrite: a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

    Texas law enforcement establishment credo:

    FLDS girls have children at a young age. They are wicked and bad and we won't tolerate them because they believe in weird things and wear long dresses and no makeup. Let's raid their church building and take away their children and mothers.

    Inner-city girls have children at a young age. They are to be supported and accepted because they are only reflecting the culture they were brought up in. They dress like prostitutes, do drugs and wear tons of makeup, but at least they don't have any funny religious beliefs. Let's send them a bigger welfare check each month and subsidize their rent. Then fight any effort by the state to separate them from
    their children.

    Anybody else smell the rank double standard?

  • William F. Butler
    April 28, 2008 3:35 p.m.

    Red Texan:

    You had better learn your law a little more before you start lecturing. Marriage age of 14 is based on English Common Law and was extent throughout the various states (with some variations). In fact, a number of states back in the 1800s had 12 as the age of consent for the girl and 14 as the age of consent for the boy because the original English Common Law had those ages.

    During the 19th century the laws were slowly changed wih the age creeping up to 14 and 14, respectively. Even so, some states had the age several years older while some states continued until the first decade or so of the 20th century to have the ages young (like 12 & 14 or 14 & 14). It has only been in the 20th century (and now 21st century) that the expectation for age of marriage/consent has risen to the older ages. That was because of the extension of childhood and the urbanization of the nation in general.

    More agrarian and traditional societies have always had a younger age of consent than more urban societies.

  • Short Creek?
    April 28, 2008 3:17 p.m.

    You are right...it's worse!

  • everybody knows
    April 28, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    irony when they read it

  • G
    April 28, 2008 3:12 p.m.

    Red Texan: "G--it wasn't shame or religion but folks coming together to raise a child. You know--us yahoos in Texas put the welfare of women and children pretty high up there"

    Yeah, 14-year-old folks.

    Marrying kids that are too young to legally have a job and expecting them to raise a child of their own is not my idea of welfare for women or children, whether it's FLDS or Southern Baptists, who marry their pregnant daughters to keep the neighbors from shaming them. I don't see how anyone can possibly call that "helping" the daughter is beyond comprehension, but not important to the point at hand.

    What irks me about this case, and I think a lot of others, is how so many Texans come to bat for their own dirty laundry but at the same time cry horror at the FLDS take on child marriage.

    I think many commentators here could stand for more objectivity and less hypocrisy. Until then, it's clear that this entire boondoggle is nothing more than religious bias. FLDS made the neighbors nervous and the state took care of it at their first opportunity.

    If you want to find teenagers at risk, raid a clinic.

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 3:05 p.m.

    Everybody Knows - I wouldn't go that far. From a strategic standpoint the Mormon Battalion didn't really do a heck of a lot, except wander around in the wilderness for a few months (enduring great hardship and making military history, to be sure). Heck, the war was practically over before they even got to the battlefront.

  • everybody knows
    April 28, 2008 3:00 p.m.

    the Mexican War couldn't have been won with out the MORMON BATTALION. you're welcome, Texas

  • Re: Blackbane
    April 28, 2008 2:57 p.m.

    How long do you think it would take New Hampshire to change their marriage laws if the FLDS were to establish a YFZ Ranch in New Hampshire?

  • Re: Willy Steele
    April 28, 2008 2:53 p.m.

    "Where is the PROOF of abuse..."

    There can be no PROOF, in any case, until there has been a trial.

    Until then, all we have is evidence and PROBABLE CAUSE.

    That doesn't mean that people aren't allowed to look at the evidence so far and form their own opinions.

    For PROOF of abuse, look to your leader, Warren Jeffs and his many followers who have already been convicted of child abuse for similar offenses.

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 2:42 p.m.

    Red Texan: Your knowledge of your own state's history is worse than your knowledge of your own nation's constitution.

    Texas was just one of many factors that triggered the Mexican War, and once the war started the US Army made it into Mexico City just fine without Texas' help.

    Get over yourselves.

  • Re5: Shout Rooftops
    April 28, 2008 2:41 p.m.

    Practically speaking, I can see the difference. Legally speaking, I can't. The law can't assume that all people of a group will behave identically even if taught the same "precepts". Otherwise, our law enforcement will begin to resemble the police in "Minority Report". You can't arrest people because you're "sure" they will eventually break the law. According to many legal experts that are speaking up, you can't take a parent's children because you're "sure" that his/her beliefs will lead to abuse years later. That's not how our civil or criminal legal systems are supposed to work. And thank goodness for that!

  • Red Texan
    April 28, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    SL Trib is reporting 31 of 53 teenaged girls from FLDS compound have been pregnant. Systemic abuse.

    Go Texas!

  • Red Texan
    April 28, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    G--it wasn't shame or religion but folks coming together to raise a child. You know--us yahoos in Texas put the welfare of women and children pretty high up there. Plenty of children are adopted out in Texas, as elsewhere, but it is not for everyone and we don't force that on girls either. I know it's kind of hard for you so I'll speak slowly: t h e l a w w a s f o r t h e e x c e p t i o n, n o t t h e r u l e - o r i n t h i s c a s e e v e r y d a y a b u s e a n d c h i l d r a p e.

  • Re5: Gal50
    April 28, 2008 2:33 p.m.

    We shall see.

  • Anonymous
    April 28, 2008 2:24 p.m.

    The ACLU filed a law suit for NAMBLA (Old geezers that want to have sex with young boys.)The ACLU had better act for the FLDS or it will show them as the liberal cesspool that they are. I feel sorry for most of the FLDS people because all their children were removed without due process and without proof of imminent harm to all their children. The problem these people face is back woods justice. Where capital punishment is a sport.

  • Willy Steele
    April 28, 2008 2:21 p.m.

    Where is the PROOF of abuse, posters against the FLDS???? You all speculate and rehash the ignorance spewed by anti-Christian mobsters and illegitimate moralists on this forum but where is YOUR PROOF of wrong doing? Just an opinion, your view or feelings doesnt cut it. Individuals not groups are held accountable for breaking a law. Where is your proof Texas CPS that you can hold these entire people hostage and forcibly collect information to use against them? Are you still waiting for Public sympathy to make your case legal? Innuendo and maybes arent proof it in a real justice system Texas CPS! These people have Constitutional guarantees against government interference and a system of due process when real laws are broken. You have a collective NOTHING on all these people so drop the protection act and return the children to their mothers. Do the right thing, Judge Walther, return the case back to the Devil where it originated.

  • G
    April 28, 2008 2:14 p.m.

    "The reason Texas used to allow 14 year-olds to marry was because the kids were pregnant, single-parent offspring faced discrimination and the divorce rate was low."

    There is no excuse for underage pregnancy, even if it's Baptists practicing it.

    That's still underage girls being pressured into marriage to fulfill religious purposes (covering the shame of single motherhood), only when non-"Mormons" practice it lots of Texans are willing to go to the bat for them.

    I ask again, do they not have adoption in Texas? Because I fail to see any common sense in marrying off a child just because she pregnant simply because you're afraid of what your neighbors think. This particular Texan mentality doesn't seem so different from the FLDS to me.

  • to: Re4: Gal50 | 1:52 p.m.
    April 28, 2008 2:11 p.m.

    Brent Jeffs couldn't make children, that didn't protect him from abuse.

  • Red Texan
    April 28, 2008 2:07 p.m.

    While you plig apologists are bashing Texas, you might want to stop and consider that without us and our courageous ("Don't Mess with Texas") stands at San Jacinto, Goliad and the Alamo, there would be no western US. You would all be part of Mexico, and I would just love to see what due process you could count on there.

    As for the law being changed from 14 (13 only by a judge) to 16, this was to provide for parents of kids who had gotten into "trouble" voluntarily. It became clear after the FLDS moved in that it had the potential to enable child abusers and rapists.

    Go Harvey! Go Texas. Thanks for having the courage that others lacked! Texas can be forever known as protecting women and children from pligs and their meglomania and abuse. The.Great.State.of.Texas. God bless her forever.

  • Re: RE4 Gal50
    April 28, 2008 2:05 p.m.

    We have never known a Lawyer or an FLDS member to lie before...NOT

  • Re4:Shout Rooftops
    April 28, 2008 2:04 p.m.

    This was not actually an apartment building of different people with different beliefs from different walks of life. This was a compound of Polygamists that were all receiving their orders and endoctrination from the same "Prophet": Can you see the difference?

  • bound and gagged
    April 28, 2008 2:01 p.m.

    FLDS functioned as a group, all members practicing the same. There are no distinct "families", half of the women don't even know who their own children are. If there were illegal practices in the compound the only choice is to protect all the children, for the purpose of the "bound and gagged" example all 400+ children live in the same apartment as the lady you discover being tortured.

  • Re4: Gal50
    April 28, 2008 1:52 p.m.

    Their purpose is to make children, as many and as often as possible. With this mindset, why would they abuse girls who can't have children?

    You can't legally hold all people of a group responsible for what one or some do.

    I didn't say there was a monogamous household on the ranch, their lawyers did. Since this is easy to verify, I doubt their lawyers would make it up. But we shall see.

  • Anon
    April 28, 2008 1:52 p.m.

    Law is my next-door-neighbor holding a gun to my head and commanding me to do what I would not, or refrain from what I wish.

    "We didn't invite them here, but by God we are going to make sure they follow the law," Hilderbran said. "This violates Texas values and our lifestyle and the way we see traditional relationships. We are not going to tolerate it."

    'nuff said.

  • Re4: Shout Rooftops
    April 28, 2008 1:47 p.m.

    Of course not! Let's look at a more applicable example. You are a policeman walking down the street, and you hear a woman's screams coming from an apartment building. You decide to enter the building, and you find the screams are coming from a TV, but there is a woman bound and gagged with a man torturing her. After arresting the man and freeing the woman, should you then search every other apartment in the building assuming that women are bound and gagged in each one or that they may eventually be bound and gagged if what goes on in that building is allowed to continue?

    Same answer - Of course not!

  • Re3:Gal50
    April 28, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    So it is your belief that if Texas had taken all of the girls 12-17 that the perverts would not decide that girls under the age of 12 would be acceptable. And that also applies to the boys. Read the story of Brent Jeffs who was molested as a young boy by his Uncles. And he was the Grandson of the Prophet. I do not believe there were monogamous households in this compound. These people were hand picked and brought to Texas only 4 years ago. I don't think they would have brought some that did not practice the beliefs.

  • Re3: Shout Rooftops
    April 28, 2008 1:33 p.m.

    Scenario: You are a policeman walking down the street and you hear a womans screams coming from a house. The screams are loud and asking for Help. You decide to enter the residence and you find the Screams are coming from the TV but there is a woman bound and gagged with a man torturing her. Should you close the door and leave since she was not able to scream and you were not responding to her scream?

  • Re2: gal50
    April 28, 2008 1:30 p.m.

    It is not "standard practice" (even in Texas) to remove all children in all cases of abuse. According to my research, CPS has the option of removing none, some or all children, depending on the circumstances. They are expected to apply the "imminent harm" rule to all children they remove. So, explain how the "imminent harm" rule applies to the monogamous couple with young children (not close to 12) who lived on ranch property in their own house? (And according to the Texas lawyers represnting them, such a couple exists.)

    I'm glad they removed all girls ages 12-17. I'm sure some of the boys and younger children should have been removed, but I don't think they'll be able to justify the removal of all the children of all ages from all parents. That's like using howitzer to kill a bear - unnecessary, overreaching and abusive of power.

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 1:30 p.m.

    In point of fact, neither the Nauvoo Expositor building nor the press itself was "burned" by Smith or the Nauvoo authorities. The press was destroyed with a sledgehammer and the type scattered in the street (the same as was done to the Mormon press in Independence, Missouri--except the Nauvoo action was done by city authorities and after a protracted hearing of the City Council).

    The Expositor's publishers, William Law and Robert Foster, set fire to the building after the city authorities left and then hightailed it to Carthage where they spread the story that the Mormons had destroyed the building as well as the press. Unfortunately for them, a Nauvoo policeman discovered the fire and it was extinguished before any significant damage was done to the structure. Anyone who had bothered to come to Nauvoo to follow up on Law and Foster's story would have found the Expositor building still standing, and for the most part undamaged.

  • fear not to act
    April 28, 2008 1:23 p.m.

    I understand the concerns expressed about due process etc etc, however the usual pattern is for the lawyers to dicker and grow rich while the victims continue to suffer.

    If Texas' tactics are "questionable" then I saw take the kids and run and let the lawyers dicker after the fact.

    The magnitude of the wrong and the helplessness of the victims suggests a more proactive approach vs endless legal wrangling.

  • worth the price
    April 28, 2008 1:15 p.m.

    Just because the means are messy doesn't make them illegal or oppressive.

  • Re2: shout from the rooftops
    April 28, 2008 1:14 p.m.

    "The ends are worth the means" is also contrary to the admonition to "obey, honor and sustain the law."

    And you don't need to follow up with a statement about FLDS lawbreaking. Of course, they are lawbreakers of the first order - polygamy (or adultery, take your pick), underage marriages, illegal restraint...

    True also that they have brought this upon their own heads. But I will never shout "GO TEXAS", when Texas's tactics are legally questionable at best.

  • Re:gal50
    April 28, 2008 1:09 p.m.

    You said it perfectily. It eludes me why there are so many people commenting on here that cannot see what is so clear. I can only assume it is due to a prejudice that has formed due to some kind of an endoctrination that has occured in their lifetime.

  • For me
    April 28, 2008 1:05 p.m.

    I will forever associate FLDS with child abuse.

  • Robert F. O'Roark
    April 28, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    To about MO mobs:

    While I understand the point you are trying to make, I would suggest that if you really think Joseph Smith was killed for destroying other people's property then you should do some more reading and studying of Mormon history. Smith's death was the result of a number of factors, the least of which was the actual destruction of the press (which, I might add, took place in other towns in antebellum America -- so Joseph Smith and the Nauvoo city council had precendent for their actions).

  • Re: shout it from the rooftops
    April 28, 2008 1:03 p.m.

    You are clever in your board names - I'll give you that. "The ends are worth the means" is the battle cry of either the oppressed or the oppressor. Which is Texas?

  • gal50
    April 28, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    Glad to see the applicable Texas law printed.

    The reason Texas used to allow 14 year-olds to marry was because the kids were pregnant, single-parent offspring faced discrimination and the divorce rate was low. The FLDS intended to use this law to encourage its 14 year-old girls to marry, have sex and give birth. That wasn't the intention of this law and the reasons for this law no longer existed, so it was changed.

    When two stupid 14 year-olds are hot for each other and as a result one gets pregnant, that is not a CPS issue. A CPS issue is when an adult male engages in a predatory relationship(sex)with an underage girl. There is an imbalance of power.

    "Imminent harm" applies directly to the teens in this sect and clearly justifies their removal. In this case, twenty underage girls had babies or fetuses. The mothers, fathers and "marriage" partners are not acting in the best interest of their children. Because of this, for each underage girl, her parents' and her "husband's" children are removed. It's standard practice. The siblings of the girl who died of treatable diabetes have been removed from their praying, anti-medicine parents too.

  • shout it from the rooftops
    April 28, 2008 12:55 p.m.

    The practices of FLDS make it unlikely any solution will involve a satisfying clear cut legal "knight in shining armor". It will be a messy drawn out struggle, not for the squimish or faint of heart.

    The stakes are so high for the children, however, that then ends are worth the means.

    There are lots of examples for comparison if one wishes to discuss state over reach that actually might have a passing resemblance to events in Texas; the Missouri and Nauvoo mob actions do not.

  • Mink
    April 28, 2008 12:54 p.m.

    For heaven's sake, there is a lot of "if you're not with me, you're against me" thinking on this board. If you don't stand and applaud Texas without reservation, then you're some kind of flunky for the FLDS.

    Well, I for one, don't buy into that kind of thinking. What you have here are a large number of innocent children and, likely, some innocent parents. The FLDS have abused them and now the State of Texas is abusing them.

    If you hate the FLDS, then, hey, "GO TEXAS". If you hate government interference, then the FLDS are just a bunch of religious people being destroyed by Texas.

    Neither one of these is true. The FLDS have become increasingly strange and dangerous. Actions need to be taken to enforce the law, and ensure that they understand that breaking the child abuse laws, no matter when they were inacted, will not be tolerated.

    However, the state also has the obligation to ensure constitutional rights and settled law are followed as they take action. Texas has not done this. And don't take my word for it; numerous legal experts have raised serious concerns about the actions of Texas.

  • about MO mobs
    April 28, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    Joseph Smith was incarcerated for burning down a printing press when they were about to expose his polygamy. Ultimately vigilante justice murdered him. This action is VERY different, so I do not understand why so many bring up Joseph Smith or the LDS church save that both consider J.S. their founding father. Polygamy was not the issue to either though both actively participate(d) in that form of marriage. Joseph Smith died because he destroyed property not his own. The FLDS are in trouble because they chose not to obey the law and marry children away, against their will, and sometimes to close relatives. Leave Joseph out of it!

  • Eric v. K.
    April 28, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    I admire the restraint of the FLDS parents, and they are saints if they maintain their restraint. I wouldn't blame them if they turned to violence, though. After all, that's what the Founders did.

  • Ekim
    April 28, 2008 12:36 p.m.

    Go Texas. Finally a State with some guts.

  • Doug S
    April 28, 2008 12:35 p.m.

    "By God", Harvey? *"BY GOD"*?

    Tells me all I need to know about Texas politics.

  • Belzeebub's flunky
    April 28, 2008 12:34 p.m.

    You are free to resent the Evangelicals and Baptist to your heart's content but when you let that resentment seduce you into defending FLDS then you are throwing in with the worst kind of evil, and it will rub off on you.

    It seems like too high a price, but that may just be me.

  • Rachel
    April 28, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    This whole situation is scary. Sure polygamy and sexual abuse are wrong and against the law, but the way that Texas is handling this is frighteningly similar to the days of Mormon persecution in the 1800s. I agree that it's a little fishy that the Texas government didn't see fit to change the law about the legal age of marriage until it was aimed at a particular religion.

    It also scares me that CPS has so much power...people are now guilty until proven innocent.

  • William F. Butler
    April 28, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    First of all, I am not defending the FLDS -- I disagree with their theology and most of their social customs. I am, hoever, offended by the actions of the CPS and law officials. They have overstepped their bounds and this has turned into a travesty of justice.

    People have said CPS followed the laws and did the right thing. Here is a question than. The hoax caller claimed to have been beaten several times and to have been taken to the hospital with bruised or broken ribs. In other states it is a law to report possible abuse when someone is brought to the hospital with questionable injuries. Therefore, there should have been a record that both CPS and law officials could have checked to verify the claim made by the hoax caller.

    There is no evidencee that was done -- I personally think they were just waiting for some excuse to raid the compound. That is not justice, that is trampling on basic civil rights because the FLDS do not conform to the majority white, evangelical Protestants. That is where this action has not been to protect the children but to go after the FLDS with a vengeance.

  • Re: So
    April 28, 2008 12:27 p.m.

    The FLDS don't have any missionaries. That's another part of the scriptures they don't follow. One of many.

  • To: call'um like I see'um
    April 28, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    I was not comparing the FLDS to the early saints. I was comparing the actions of Texas to the actions of the authorities in Missouri and Illinois. I'm in no way defending the FLDS. Unfortunately, I believe that Texas will now have trouble prosecuting anybody, and I would like to see them prosecute the evil perpetrators within the FLDS.

    You seem to be saying that it is okay for the state to act in way they see fit as long as they (and the public) are "sure" that they are going after the bad guys. That may result in stopping some abuse in this case, but where do you draw the line? If the state can take any actions they see fit (constitutional or otherwise) based on their own moral compass, there will be innocents harmed in the future.

    The "good people' of Jackson County thought they were right to take their actions against us (and they clearly weren't). The State of Texas thinks they're right to take the actions they have against the FLDS (and to some extent, they likely are). But the ends don't justify the means.

    And please, there is no need to shout.

  • So
    April 28, 2008 12:17 p.m.

    let me get this straigth , when your own prophet is in jail w/out bail...for rape, then there's 14-16 year olds running around on yeah right a RANCH...sounds more like the chicken ranch to me, then everyone is crying foul...and i have asked before where can i contact these guys missionaries in all fairness as i am a laminite..who these guys claim wrote the BoM...to get to the truth and nothing but the truth!

  • G
    April 28, 2008 12:16 p.m.

    "Can't you see a difference between the young girls that are running around the streets of Dallas and Houston getting pregnant and A group that controls these girls from birth and FORCES them to submit to molestation by old perverts."

    No, because consent laws don't recognize a difference. The politics are the only difference: raid an abortion clinic and your political career is over. Attacking a compound belonging to religious "weirdos" that make their neighbors nervous is a good way to get the Evangelical vote next election.

  • My thoughts
    April 28, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    I don't like the way some evanalicals raise their kids at all. Nope. Can't have that. So, I want the big megga churches raided this weekend, and all the children under the age of 20, taken away, until it can be sorted out who the parents REALLY are. In my case, DNA would not work, as all my kids are adopted. But heck, I'm not (thanfully) in Texas where the rule of law is flouted for the sake of the dominent religion.

  • Unconstitutional
    April 28, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    Harvey "helped pass legislation strengthening the states marriage laws IN RESPONSE to the FLDS Church presence in his state."

    Is this not religious persecution:
    UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

  • get real
    April 28, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    "Texas FLDS is a case of government acting legally and with moral authority to protect children from depraved abusers."

    Legally and with moral authority? That's debatable.

    Depraved abusers? yeah whatever.

  • Re:JohnJ
    April 28, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    The others that married at 14 were prior to the change in the law. And the Key word is "Married" in Texas that is between one man and one woman and performed after receiving a "marriage license". And if they are under the age of consent, which is now 16, the parents must be present, consent and show proof of the childs age. NONE of this has been done by the FLDS with their "spiritual marriage". They take a young girl of whatever age they deem appropriate and FORCE her into a relationship with a man that is old enough to be her grandfather. That my friend is wrong and the perverts should go to jail. I think they will before it is over.

  • Re:Not Surpriesed 4:48 am
    April 28, 2008 11:56 a.m.

    You feel that when a bad law is detected it should not be changed to protect innocent children. Can't you see a difference between the young girls that are running around the streets of Dallas and Houston getting pregnant and A group that controls these girls from birth and FORCES them to submit to molestation by old perverts. I am proud of Mr. Hilderbran, Texas and Proud to be a Texan.

  • bombadil
    April 28, 2008 11:56 a.m.

    "They should have reviewed our history. ... I am surprised they didn't check it out here. We're tougher on crime and a little no-nonsense."

    "The message from Texas is that we're not going to allow older men to sexually assault or commit rape of minors or marry minors here... I think our law enforcement and our agencies are doing right."

    Interesting. So, all the children can be pulled because of one apparently fake phone call. If there have been crimes committed, more power to them. But the lack of selectivity and heavy handedness would make the third reich proud. The tax payers in Texas better hang onto their wallets. This one is going to end up costing them a bit. The other point is- now that the texas authorities have acted unilaterally, you know they know that their jobs are on the line if they can't produce crimes- lots of them. It will be interesting to see what is fact and what is fiction.

  • Re :Matthew
    April 28, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    Leaving the children at YFZ would have been better for the children?? Sure, Better for the flds male leaders and the complicit mothers, but hardly better for the children. If you have an environment that is harmful to children you remove the children from that environment. If you left 11 year old girls there would you go back in in 2 years when they are 13? By then the girls would have been sent to Colorado, South Dakota, British Columbia to be marrie off as the 4rth wife to some 50 year old man. Better to get the all of the chilldren out of there. GO TEXAS..

  • Greywolf
    April 28, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    What Harvey Hilderbran did is also illegal and ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

    ROMER v. EVANS

    On May 20, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Amendment 2 to
    Colorado's State Constitution. Voter-approved in 1992, the amendment
    was titled, "No Protected Status Based on Homosexual, Lesbian, or
    Bisexual Orientation."

    The Court's majority declared Amendment 2 unconstitutional because it
    was an "impermissible targeting" of a "class" of people; it had
    "impermissibly targeted" homosexuals.

  • call'um like I see'um
    April 28, 2008 11:44 a.m.

    Texas FLDS is a case of government acting legally and with moral authority to protect children from depraved abusers.

    Missouri and Nauvoo were the Saints suffering religious persecution of the vilest kind.

    They are in no way comparable or similar.

    To compare the FLDS abusers to those early Saints does an gross injustice to the memory of the Saints.

    To use the moral currency earned by those early Saints to defend FLDS is PERVERSE.

    It is also unfair to LDS members to draw such comparisons.

  • To: insanangelo
    April 28, 2008 11:36 a.m.

    However at the 14-day hearing, the children's (and the parents') representatives were not permitted to individually address the judge and question CPS. They were forced to work as groups, so individual differences in circumstances did not come forward. I understand that their is a monogamous couple that lives on the ranch in their own home. Their young children were also taken. Another divorced, single woman with a child lived there. These people had no chance in that hearing to bring out their unique circumstances.

    I'm hopeful that much of this gets worked out over time, but how do you repay the innocent children (all of them) and parents (some of them) for the time lost, the trauma caused, the health issues, etc.? The checks and balances on CPS in this case have been far too weak.

  • insanangelo
    April 28, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    Cougar: that is why CPS has checks and balances, why every child is appointed an attorney and a guardian (CASA). The State has their position that they portray to the Judge, the Attorneys job is to represent to the Judge what the child WANTS, and CASAs job is represent to the Judge what the child wants and NEEDS. The parents have the opportunity to have attorneys appointed or can retain them on their own. CPS may have the power to remove (with a Judges order), but once that happens there are many others that do not work for CPS who get involved.

  • mypc46
    April 28, 2008 11:07 a.m.

    Ask yourself..if our kids were such bad parents and we raised them, why are we now relative caregivers? The kids grew up and rejected our values, and now we are trusted to clean up the mess our grandkids were raised in. The schools taught tem to not relyh on God and report your parents for abusing you. CALL 911 and it got out of hand. So many false reports. I saw these children take better care of than most folks ever do. Since when do we need to rescue kids from parents. Just for they beliefs of the church.Have you noticed the rescues we did overseas? And no cps there.Big Brother is watching you. How about texass get a new slogan..no door or family left unbroken.

  • To: got it BACKWARDS
    April 28, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    The Jackson County mob met in the Independence Courthouse. The leaders of the mob included Samuel D. Lucas, judge of the county court; Samuel C. Owens, county clerk; John Smith, justice of the peace; William Brown, constable; and Thomas Pitcher, deputy constable. Lilburn W. Boggs, lieutenant governor of Missouri, abetted the mob's actions.

    Though appearing sympathetic, Governor Daniel Dunklin was either unable or unwilling to take any effective action to deal with the mob.

    Of course, the situation in Texas is different. The actions there do not come near to the nefarious illegalities of Missouri and Illinois. However, when legal authorities do not uphold their oaths to follow the constitution (ensuring rights and due process), then to whom do the innocent go for redress? This story has a long way to play out, and some of the state's excesses will hopefully be addressed and corrected to the extent possible.

    You were unnecessarily judgemental (and somewhat incorrect) when you referred to the previous comments about Missouri and Nauvoo as "perverse".

  • Hoosier
    April 28, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    I think that if need be, Governor Perry of Texas can and will call on that former Texas Governor, George Bush to get some federal help to protect the Texas CPS and do what is necessary to prosecute the flds leaders. If I were an flds leader I would think of taking a long vacation in a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the USA.

  • To: transplant
    April 28, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    My understanding (from legal sources within Texas) is that at the 14-day hearing, each child and each parent had the right to question CPS individually to establish if the state's actions were merited in the case of their individual. Judge Walther did not allow this to happen. Therefore, you have numerous writs of habeas corpus being filed trying force Texas to bring the individual children before a judge so that it can be determined if they are being wrongfully detained.

    It does not matter how hard it is for the state to ensure due process to each individual. Texas has an obligation to ensure it.

  • HeatherD
    April 28, 2008 10:44 a.m.

    It's kind of weird that they haven't taken the men away. I mean, if there's all this abuse going on, wouldn't they take away the criminals?

    Unless, of course, very little abuse has been going on, they don't have enough evidence to take away the men, and the CPS has broken the law big time...we'll just have to see.

  • CONCERNED
    April 28, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    GETTA TEXAS, LAWS ARE FOR EVERYONE NOT JUST SOME OF US... WAY TO GO...

  • brear rabit
    April 28, 2008 10:28 a.m.

    I have no problem with Texas values or their dedication to keep it traditional. I just don't like the selectiveness of the enforcement. I've been to the multi level apartments in Texas towns and most other large cities in every state in the union. Talk about co-habitation!!! These kids don't evan know who their father is and few of them have the same father. And talk about girls being mothers! And I will gurantee who is paying for all of their housing, utilities, clothes, health care and what education they do get. I would say evan if the FLDS are getting a little welfare, as a business man I'd take the FLDS any day. Don't try to tell me that this was done for the sake of the children. 400+ compared to the thousands in the situation described above not of FLDS orentation but none the less indoctrinated and imprisoned by tradition and poverty.

  • Matthew
    April 28, 2008 10:25 a.m.

    Still waiting to see the State of Texas' case of all this abuse people are refering to.

    If the State of Texas can't abide by the law, then why should the FLDS be expected to?

    If someone broke the law, arrest them. Oh, no evidence for a criminal prosectution? No problem, we can just kidnap all their children and that solves everything, NOT. Unless you are willing to admit that your strategy is to use genocide.

    If someone broke the law, put up or shut up. Don't hide behind a smoke screen of "protecting the children." Those preadolesent children were much safer a YFZ Ranch than they are in foster care. Perhaps a case could made for removing girls aged 11 through 16 (mind you the case hasn't been made). All the rest of those children were in no danger and were much better cared for than the average Texas child.

    This about religion, plain and simple.

    I hadn't realized what a hold the Nazis had on Texas.

  • Denise
    April 28, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    I agree that this whole thing could have been better. Rather than removing the women and children and leaving the men, the MEN should have been rounded up and taken to jail. In most states you can hold someone for 48 hours on suspicion alone. They got the call (yes, now a Hoax, but good enough for the raid) and they could have picked up all the men on suspicion of committing a crime, witnessing a crime, being party to a crime. etc. They would have them all fingerprinted, pictures taken, etc.

    They could have left the women and children at the Ranch. CPS could have had a presence there. Plain-clothed Law enforcement could have stayed there. They are spending over a million dollars on the rounding up and caring for the kids. They could have paid for people to remain at the Ranch to oversea it.

    Doing it the way they did... now they have older children even MORE upset and convinced the "outsiders" are evil. They have women who might need help seeing the state as the enemy. And the men, well, the men who most likely did wrong are gone with the wind.

  • To Ace Ventura
    April 28, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    I lived in Texas until I was 23. I'm not an apologist for anyone, but I'm a critical thinker and I'm objective, and I have yet to see any evidence of anything illegal at the YFZ ranch. I see the CPS repeatedly claiming they have evidence, but utterly failing to produce it. They've released a document with three women on it they think are pregnant. One turns eighteen in a couple months, so her pregnancy cannot at all be illegal. Another is only presumed to be pregnant because she refused to take a pregnancy test. Another was underage when she gave birth to her first child over a decade ago in another state. A lot of people here are condemning the FLDS because they assume a priori that they're guilty. I would say I'm glad those people aren't running the government, but it appears most of the officials in Texas are the same way, and that's abominable. Once this gets out of the hands of Texas' frontier justice courts the United States is going to come down hard on those abusive CPS workers and Judge Walther.

  • Tom
    April 28, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    When this mess gets sorted out I hope that any laws broken by the raiding Texas authorities will be enforced and violators prosecuted just as throughly as they are attempting to prosecute the FLDS for their crimes. My LDS grandmother spoke harsh words about polygamists when I was a child, but I know that she would have hated seeing nursing children pulled from their mothers and deprived of good nutrition, regardless of the crimes of the children's fathers and complicity by the mothers.

  • Abe
    April 28, 2008 10:04 a.m.

    How do you collect welfare for a child if you don't have a birth certificate to prove it's your child?

  • transplant
    April 28, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    What due process are you talking about? The women went voluntarily with the children. The men are still free on the ranch as they always have been. The women who returned to the ranch are just as free. To establish that the children were not kidnaped, their DNA was taken in order to be returned to their rightful parents. No one has been arrested for "due process" to take place. If it is found that sexual abuse has occurred THEN there will be charges brought and due process will proceed. "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" It's nobody's business why they bought the land. They didn't have to deceive the community. But they did. It's their tangled web. They are responsible for this whole horrible mess. A ye sow so shall ye reap.

  • Phil
    April 28, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    Why is desnews publishing this. This evidence can never be used in criminal court.

  • Re: got it BACKWARDS
    April 28, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    The actions in Missouri and Nauvoo were state-sanctioned mob actions.

  • Re: insanangelo
    April 28, 2008 9:44 a.m.

    Due process applies to both civil and criminal cases. The 14-day hearing circus did not allow due process for the both the children and the parents. Every child (through their ad litems) and every parent (through their lawyers) had the right to face CPS individually and question their assertions. Did that happen?

    Well established child custody law requires that a "reasonable person" would conclude that "imminent harm" is likely to occur unless the children are removed. Was there "imminent harm" present for the nursing babies, toddlers, etc.?

    I want Texas to apply its laws, but the state is also obligated to operate within the law. Otherwise, there are no safeguards. The FLDS are no exceptions to the law - and neither is the State of Texas.

  • anon
    April 28, 2008 9:44 a.m.

    The FLDS have been thumbing their noses at the laws of the United States for a hundred years. I'm glad to see someone is taking steps to stop this tradition. I just hope it sticks.

  • got it BACKWARDS
    April 28, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    The abuse of religion here is BY the FLDS, not against it. They are engaged in pervasive criminal abusive behavior and seek to excuse it and avoid answering to the law by calling it religion.

    Reasonable people see that legal authorities in Texas are struggling in the face of a difficult situation to protect the children and enforce the law. Reasonable people are sickened by the scale and circumstances of the abuse at YFZ and applaud efforts to eliminate it.

    Comparisons to Missouri or Nauvoo are perverse. Those were illegal mob actions against innocent people.

  • Chemist
    April 28, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    The flds lived in Utah and Arizona for a long time before the authorities prosecuted them and got some convictions. They were in Texas for only a few years before Texas reacted with a raid and DNA testing of everyone. In addition to their unsavory lifestyle the flds are also racist. Reading or hearing Warren Jeffs' views on blacks is chilling. He (the flds) consider blacks to be inferior to whites and to be a cursed race. How anyone can support them is beyond me.

  • Re: Cougar
    April 28, 2008 9:36 a.m.

    This is the way CPS works every day. They play by different rules than criminal courts do. That is why it can become dangerous. They have saved many children but have harmed many more. They do not need evidence, proof, or facts...just a "feeling" by women who may not have children themselves and in most cases and have been taught that all parents do not know how to parent and are incompetent. Google CPS corruption--even in YouTube.. I cried all night long. CPS has a job but they are leaving a wide field of destruction in their paths...and this involves LIVES. I even found recordings of people placing orders for neighborhood children to adopt and CPS saying they would get them for them. They have higher price tags for blond hair white children=more money for the state. I am not a conspiracy theorist but when CPS does not do what their own PhD psychiatrist suggests and would have taken the newborns (which there is rumor that 6 have been taken since the raid to mothers who have birthed them since then) and infants under 12 months had it not been a divine hand of God on Walthers--makes you wonder.

  • kal
    April 28, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    In this whole situation it was good to finally hear the laws stated and listed.
    Yes, it is totally sad from many sides.
    I applaud Texas for following its laws.
    The FLDS have broken laws from the beginning by not
    telling the truth about why they purchased the land.
    How can anyone think that you can break the law. But then the FLDS think they are exceptions to the rules. Not.

  • insanangelo
    April 28, 2008 9:23 a.m.

    at least we protect our children in texas. the CPS action is a civil action, it has no bearing one way or another on the criminal action. they are different burdens of proof. so even if the criminal case fizzles, the CPS case will go on, parental rights can still be terminated or individual families can be reunited.

    none of this would happen if children were not being groomed to be raped, groomed to be breeders and if babies were not being waterboarded in an effort to teach them to keep sweet.

  • CougarKeith
    April 28, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    Yeah that is right, punish the men by taking the children away from their mothers, makes perfectly good sense to me! That's almost like fining me for a speeding ticket by taking away my wife's drivers license and her car? In future generations this will be seen as a "historical blunder" and totally mishandled. If Texas is so tough on crime does this also include the breaking of constitutional rights to Freedom of Worship and Religious Freedom being violated? I am not supporting "Polygamy" at all, but to shred every family in the Ranch is surely a violation of Religious Freedoms to those people.

  • dingo
    April 28, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    there is NO constitutional protection to violate the laws and call it freedom of religion. the supreme court has ruled time and again that religious freedoms must be kept within the bounds of the law. not to long ago in this country lynching was a "religious" expression, witch burning was a "religious" cleansing. human and animal sacrifice in the name of religion is also not legal. i fail to see how rape, incest, abuse, and imprisonment are protect "religious" behaviors.

    you dont see the FLDS men because standard operating procedure is run out the crying women and children and play up the emotions of everyone. we tend to forget that these "mothers" sold thier daughters into this. they are willing participants in the lifestyle of rape, incest, abuse, and imprisonment. it doesnt matter rto the FLDS male leadership what you do as long as all you see is the women crying tears and wailing with hurt and injustice. you are being manipulated and have fallen victim to a well orginized and rehearsed propaganda machine.

    maybe texas did over react but the law will work all of that out. lets not read protections into the constitution that are not there.

  • Matt in Tucson
    April 28, 2008 8:59 a.m.

    He says they are "tough on crime." Does that include hate crimes committed against the FLDS?

  • Re: no fuzzy thinking here
    April 28, 2008 8:54 a.m.

    No apologies for the FLDS here. But does Texas have a right to deny due process to anyone? Does Texas have a right to disregard well established child custody law that uses the "imminent harm" test for taking and keeping children away from parents? If you think the ends justify the means, then you are not supporting the constitutional law of the land.

    Texas (and all other states) should take reasonable action to protect children, but they must scrupulously follow the law, respecting the rights even of the suspected criminal. Anything less than this leads to more Missouris and Nauvoos.

  • Re: Chemist
    April 28, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    What are you talking about? What about the convictions of Warren Jeffs, Rodney Holm, Terrill C. Johnson, David Ortell Kingston, Jeremy Kingston, Tom Green, Kelly Fischer, Donald Barlow, Orson William Black, David Bateman, Dale Barlow, etc. in Utah and Arizona. Why do you think the FLDS started building compounds in Texas, Colorado and South Dakota?

    Unfortunately, the probable cause for the search warrant of the El Dorado compound looks weak. While this didn't stop CPS from their ludicrous overreaction, it lowers the chance that Texas will get any convictions out of this. And anyway, don't you expect that the men who broke the law are long gone now? Texas was too busy herding mothers and children to pay attention.

  • G
    April 28, 2008 8:40 a.m.

    "
    RE the article--only if you've lived in Texas can you understand: "Don't Mess with Texas!!!""

    I agree "don't mess with Texas". Give them back to Mexico.

  • no fuzzy thinking here
    April 28, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    It is true that in other states, and especially in the South,the ambivalence toward polygamy that apparently exists among Utah civil authorities is absent.
    It is a mistake to attribute that to anti-Mormon sentiment.
    Many LDS where I live feel nothing but revulsion for FLDS practices. I am aware of nothing in LDS teachings that would lead members to condone in the least degree FLDS practices, quite the opposite.
    As a "mission field" LDS I find many of the attitudes posted on these boards supportive of YTF puzzling and disturbing.

    One also really wonders what made FLDS think Texas would be a supportive place. Quite a miscalculation, but a blessing for the children.

  • LeeB
    April 28, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    How would you feel if it was your child that was kidnapped, forced into such an environment and molested (under the guise of religious freedom). Yet that is exactly what has happened to many Men (and more than a few women) who appose or disagree with the FLDS Leadership.

    Their children are "removed" from that individual and "given" to another (susposably better) individual or family. It is appaling the level of deception and manipulation the leaders of the FLDS and their "faithful" followers go to to distort the truth.

    Let Texas do their very dificult job and we will eventually see what the truth really is.

  • To WRZ
    April 28, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    The Waco incident was an FBI operation.

  • results
    April 28, 2008 8:31 a.m.

    This is my estimate of the results:

    Texas: 1 conviction.

    FLDS: $1,000,000,000.00

  • Ace Ventura
    April 28, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    Hmmm...a lot of polygamy apologists posting today (or is it just one or two posting again and again under different names??). Yes there's human tragedy here of children being separated from their mothers. Aside from those who think the whole FLDS scenario is OK, is there any better way to prevent underage girls from being married off to much older men (or forcibly married to a cousin or someone else)? The boys who are booted from the nest when the hormones start kicking in so they don't spoil the "perfect" scenario for the duffers are no less the victims. Don't many of them retain their brainwashed outlook on life and find a naive young girl with whom to start their own little clan? My guess is that's the source for all these mini-enclaves we find embedded in neighborhoods throughout the west.

    There's no painless way to remove children from an abusive situation. You just have to do it (and do it NOW) hoping and praying you weren't too late to rehabilitate the children and give them hope of a somewhat normal, self-directed, happy life.

    RE the article--only if you've lived in Texas can you understand: "Don't Mess with Texas!!!"

  • Howdy There
    April 28, 2008 8:24 a.m.

    Why were the children taken from the monagomous families at the ranch?

  • William F. Butler
    April 28, 2008 8:22 a.m.

    According to the Washington Post, Texas is going to argue that all FLDS children were at risk because the FLDS culture encouraged girls to marry and bear children in their teens.

    This from the state that ranked, according to Guttmacher Institute, second highest in the country in teenage (15-19 years old)birthrates in 2000. In 2001, the Texas Department of Health announced that 1 out of every 34 teenage girls ages 13-17 gets pregnant and that 13.1% were repeat births. But thank goodness the Texas officials felt the FLDS chilren (all of them down to babies) were in imminent danger because of their belief in marrying and having children young -- they jumped right in there, took the children and are now placing some of the females into foster homes for pregnant teens. I guess from these statistics there should be plenty of teen preganncy homes available and one can only imagine the great atmosphere and potential influence on these girls who had come from loving families and homes.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I smell hypocrisy wafting up from Texas and it doesn't smell very good.

  • Okay, it's not Short Creek
    April 28, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    I don't believe the government lost anyone after that raid....

  • St. George
    April 28, 2008 8:05 a.m.

    Scary --- NAZI GERMANY

  • G
    April 28, 2008 8:06 a.m.

    "This violates Texas values and our lifestyle and the way we see traditional relationships. We are not going to tolerate it."

    An interesting choice of words.

    The FLDS didn't believe in Texas (Southern Baptist) "values", "lifestyles" and "traditional relationships", and many Texans apparently don't "tolerate" other religious views. So they took advantage of abuse allegations to kick them out of the state.

    Did you notice his remarks about the hunting preserve? That makes me suspect they were thinking about coming after them for zoning violation.

  • TheMadNuker
    April 28, 2008 7:57 a.m.

    The Texas Spin Machine is working on a new song and
    dance. The truth is being revealed, that this RAID
    was, and is about religion. The Baptists are flexing
    their religous bigotry, thru the power of the state
    of Texas. Rome did the same thing 2,000 years ago.
    Things truly never change.
    The Exalted Harvy Hilderbran has crawled out for his
    day in the sun, and is prancing for a greater office
    such as the Govenorship.

  • be aware of EX POST FACT LAW
    April 28, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    Be aware of EX POST FACT LAW

  • Hoosier, Re: Abe
    April 28, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    I fully agree. The fathers and the male leaders are strangely silent or absent. Your implication that they have something to hide is right on. The only father I have heard about is the man from Nevada who was kicked out of the flds and had his children assigned to another man.

  • Debbie
    April 28, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    If he is right, we should all be supporting stricter laws enforcing marriage as a legal institution between one man and one woman. This should be a federal mandate.

    Further, we should not tolerate ANY sexual exploit of underage girls - "married" or not. Of course if we follow Tesas' example, we should round up whole groups of children who were the product of such young mothers (often unwed and therefore similar to the "spiritual wives" of the FLDS) and separate them from their mothers for their own good. We should put them in foster homes because clearly there was sexual abuse and could be other problems as well, related to poverty, communal living and immoral attitudes.

    Surely foster care would be superior over a single, teenage mother, right? This is the message they are sending. Foster care does not have a record for producing great results.

    Why isn't Texas worried about the other mothers, sometimes a young as 12? Why does the country allow abortions without questions. No baby; no problem? Oh, yeah, we made that "legal." Is Texas sending "raiders" out to the abortion clinics to round up all these young girls who have clearly been violated?

  • Anonymous
    April 28, 2008 7:38 a.m.

    There is only one right way to live. Texas has identified it (until they change it again) and is enforcing it at he barrel of a gun. What's the problem?

    I wonder how long it will be before Texas finds out what Jews and many Christians do to their newborn sons . . . .

  • napayshni
    April 28, 2008 7:34 a.m.

    Perhaps he should of worked harder on cleaning the drugs out of his own county. To keep the children safe in Kerr county from the drugs there. We should clean off our own front porches before we clean up someone elses.

  • wrz
    April 28, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    "This violates Texas values and our lifestyle... We are not going to tolerate it." Hilderbran

    Wow! That's powerful, Hilderbran. Your lifestyle allowed 14 year olds to marry... until FLDS came to town.

    Does your lifestyle also include burning down temples... Waco style?

  • Chemist
    April 28, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    I am so happy to learn that Texas will pursue criminal charges against the male leaders of the flds. I wish other states would follow the example Texas is setting.

  • Kevin In Texas
    April 28, 2008 7:28 a.m.

    It was foolish of FLDS to move to Texas. However it is clear that this is whole situation is religious persection and bigotry. I am a supporter of prosecuting those who break the law. Prosecute the men not the women and children! I still do not agree that these children are in "immediate danger" to justify what has happened. No charges have been filed and little evidence has been presented.

  • JOHNJ
    April 28, 2008 7:25 a.m.

    What about all other Texans that married at 14? you should take all the children not just the FLDS kids Hilderbran!!!!! What's happening are all the other religons protected?

  • recowger
    April 28, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    I notice the San Angelo newspaper now longer has articles about the FLDS child removal.
    I guess the NBC DateLine program last night (Sunday) really showed exactly how wrong the locals were about the living conditions of the children.
    I was startled by the smashed open door, the empty beds, the excellent teaching conditions, and the entering of the church.
    I am ashamed of what has been done in the name of "law and order".
    I wonder what happened to the two missing children.

  • Blackbane
    April 28, 2008 7:16 a.m.

    New Hampshire Law:
    457:4 Marriageable. no female below the age of 13 years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage

  • Abe
    April 28, 2008 6:57 a.m.

    So if 25 or so families all decide to live in some communal setting and then authorities believe they have probable cause to remove the children because of abuse, wouldn't we be hearing from more than the mothers? Wouldn't one of the fathers become a spokesperson and have daily press conferences to state their case? I think that would be the expected response unless the group's leaders had something to hide...

  • Svoboda
    April 28, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    I've spent most of my life in Texas before moving to Utah. I was surprised that the FLDS "moved" there, because I know my home state...sooner or later the FLDS would be caught ignoring state law and authorities there wouldn't hesitate to act.

    I also expect that there will eventually felony convictions from these "spiritual" marriages with underage girls. This is a crushing blow to the FLDS.

    I hate to see children separated from their mothers, but in this case, it probably is for the best. What future do the boys have, when two thirds will be kicked out of their religion and families to maintain the 3 to 1 ratio for wives to husbands. What future do young girls have, pregnant at such young ages? What a mess.

  • aday
    April 28, 2008 6:21 a.m.

    To be honest this guys comments certainly sound as if he would have been right there burning the homes of "those mormons" in the early days of this country too. Sad that we haven't learned anything over the years. How about going into any slum in the country and taking all the children away because over 50% of all child birth in the country now are to unwed mothers and many are underage. Very sad they aren't willing to go after problems like that instead of just people that don't believe the same as them.

  • russ
    April 28, 2008 6:09 a.m.

    We will see. Odds are that he is right.

  • Hoosier
    April 28, 2008 5:54 a.m.

    My reading of Harvey Hildebran's comments are;
    The political establishment in Texas will go to great lengths to support the Texas CPS. Texas does not want the flds there. If my reading is correct the flds won't be getting their children back for a long time, if ever. Life for the flds at the YFZ compound will never return to what it was like before the raid. Will the flds now leave Texas and go back to the more tolerable environs of Utah and Arizona?

  • Lois in NC
    April 28, 2008 5:51 a.m.

    I agree with the sentiments of this lawyer and hope the State of Texas can protect these children from the environment they were growing up in. This is sad for all concerned.

  • Rico
    April 28, 2008 5:28 a.m.

    A little late for that. It's already another Short Creek.

  • Not Surprised
    April 28, 2008 4:48 a.m.

    This guy makes my skin crawl, and makes me ashamed to call myself not only a Republican, but an American. What a crock to tailor legislation again a specific religion. They certainly have no problem with young unmarried, immature girls slutting around Dallas or Houston with older men getting pregnant. No...you take responsibility and you're charged with a crime. I look forward to the day your state gets charged with crimes against humanity.

  • SJ Bobkins
    April 28, 2008 4:29 a.m.

    Marriage law should be simple: No female child can be legally married without both parents (exception 1 parent if 1 parent has legal custody) permission if she is under 18. No female child can be married if under the age of 16, with concent. A female child under 16 is considered a victim of rape, regardless of consent, if the person having sex with the child, is more than 5 years older. Marriage of the female child under 16 to a man more than 5 years her senior is not legal and binding, hence the male partner is charged with rape, regardless of consent.
    A man or woman can be married to no more than 1 man or woman, of the opposite sex, at one time. A common law marriage is considered a legal marriage if there have been sexually relations between the parties.
    (this should help separated spouses, clarify the consequences of their actions, recalling that until a divorce is final they are indeed married)
    Why doesn't Utah have a simple common sense law such as this? I welcome your comments.

  • KHgrizzly
    April 28, 2008 4:24 a.m.

    Thank you Rep. Harvey Hilderbran of Texas!
    As a 67 year old member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I applaud your efforts. May God bless the good people of Texas!

    khs@xmission.com

  • DB
    April 28, 2008 4:15 a.m.

    In other words, up until the time that FLDS moved in, Texas thought it was perfectly OK for 13 year old females to be married with parental consent (yes 13, not 14 as this aricle states).

  • Chuckles55
    April 28, 2008 3:33 a.m.

    Only time and legal trials will vindicate Texas authorities or show their mistakes. I suspect that Mr. Hilderbran is crossing his fingers and hoping that their laws will stand up. Religious freedom still has a bit to say about how all this will end up in the long run. Child sexual abuse should not be tolerated. However, early marriage and raising a family to serve God as the FLDS believe is a totally different thing. A woman who leaves the FLDS and joins a very vocal Christian church should not be allowed to define what others who remain in the FLDS really believe just as LDS, Baptist, Catholic apostates are not very good sources for evaluating the beliefs and doctrines of their respective religions.

  • Interloper
    April 28, 2008 3:30 a.m.

    It should also be noted that the Texas Criminal Code makes it a crime for a person more than three years older than a minor under 17 to have sex with such a minor. Some of the FLDS defenders are relying on the girls being older than 14 at the time of carnal knowledge as a way out. But, even so, most men involved in the conduct would be more than three years older than the minor.

  • Me
    April 28, 2008 2:59 a.m.

    So Harvey, you idea of punishing the men is to take the children from their mothers? Sort of like stopping bullies by taking the rest of the kids off the playground.

  • ayzel
    April 28, 2008 2:30 a.m.

    Yay! Hilderbran. Thank goodness somebody updated that ridiculous law. No 14 year old is mature enough to have a long term boyfriend, nevermind get married! It is absurd that it took so long to raise that age up. For once a republican got it right.

  • Gnostic
    April 28, 2008 1:36 a.m.


    Texas CPS shouted PEDOPHILE in the theater and needs to be held accountable.

    Americans have civil liberties that the state of Texas has decided don't really count. Remember Tulia? We see the exact same forces of the state engaged in the most outrageous behavior. And the apologist for the state keep saying the end justifies the means. The state of Texas is clearly engaged in un-American and illegal aggression against its citizens.

    Return those children to their homes now.