Utah, Arizona AGs feel fallout from FLDS raid

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  • freethinker
    Nov. 16, 2008 3:27 p.m.

    Leave the FLDS people alone they should be allowed to worship as they please. No amount of self-righteousness or indignation should bring raids on people simply because they are different from the majority church. Use your best logic to see the freedoms assured by the constitution are being whittled away and the FLDS matter is the prime example.

  • Anne
    May 9, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    Statutory rape laws are stupid, arbitrary and unconstitutional. They are nothing but a tool for selective prosecution of religious groups. It really scares me that anyone could be foolish enough to not know the difference between a 14 year old woman and a child. That is some good brainwashing. A young woman should have the right to get married when she wants to the husband she wants and have babies when she wants without some no good bigoted busy bodies second guessing her. How about a womans right to live peacefully on a farm with her family on a farm without having to worry about the gestapo swooping in to steal her happy children and wisk them off to the foster care Gulag.
    To those of you worried about welfare fraud ...
    The adoption and foster care are subsidized by your tax dollars you are now losing more money than you were before.

    The damaged children will be kicked to the curb as soon as they turn 18.
    I'm disgusted that this could happen to such clean living people. Nobody is safe if they aren't.

  • Paul
    May 9, 2008 12:44 a.m.

    I won't join in making false accusations, Ann. None of the people in this Texas community received welfare.

    Yes, protect the children. Return them to their moms and dads, who love them.

  • Protect the children
    May 8, 2008 3:36 a.m.

    I absolutely disagree with Shurtleff. It is NEVER too far to protect children and young women and men from abusive and oppresive situations like those at YFZ.

    The state must absolutely find a way to help these youngsters.

  • ann mere
    May 6, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    I'm going to start a writing campaign to the U.S. Dept of Justice that they should take all necessary actions to investigate & prosecute the religious criminal conspiracies which are financing their activities with U.S. public taxes though
    U.S. grants,
    DOD contracts,
    food stamps,
    Aid to families with dependent children,
    & other government assistance

    given to these polygamous spiritual "wives" who are posing as single mothers yet living as multiple wives in communal situations. It is called FRAUD.

    Will some of you join me?

  • Gregory in SC
    May 6, 2008 11:14 a.m.

    I think a quote in the book "Freedom," by C.S. Lewis a famous Christian author and apologetic really fits the condition of this nation well - "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

  • Lacey in AZ
    May 6, 2008 2:35 a.m.

    Re: BlueEyedDevil

    We do not live in a time that is thousands of years ago. We live in the here and now, and despite the challenge of time moving on, it is not moral or Christian to blithely accept the impregnation of young teenage women with the seed of any man, old or young, without their consent and/or legality to place consent, especially when these young women are placed in the position to choose between status quo and their own souls; that is why there is a major problem. When any of the men you are speaking for stands up and faces the laws of the greater society they live in (youre not in a cocoon, sorry), and supports every single one of their offspring, without allowing them to take welfare, and/or move to another state to dodge the laws of decency, then you might have a leg to stand on, maybe. Until then, perpetrators of these crimes are just that, criminals; preying on the vulnerability of innocence and it does not matter which religion they ascribe to, it is still most certainly wrong.

  • BlueEyedDevil
    May 5, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    Wasn't Mary in her early teens when God got her pregnant? Now there's an age difference for you!

    Cultures different than ours should be respected, just as we expect other cultures to respect ours. The FLDS custom is for older men to have children by younger brides, who are raised not to see anything wrong with that - just as it was for most of our contry's history, btw.

    The controlling power elite fostered women's "liberation" because they wanted women "liberated" from motherhood so they could join the workforce and thereby double the government's tax revenues. This resulted in the worst possible type of child abuse, namely mothers abandoning their young children to be raised by day care centers.

  • Zeerover
    May 5, 2008 12:46 p.m.

    When did the government get the power to decide when I'm being abused? Everything's being done in the name of some kind of "abuse" these days. Government's a bunch of little 'ol ladies of both sexes sticking their noses into everyone's business. Why is it the government's business who you live with or "marry", beyond perhaps a blood test for medical reasons. What is the pursuit of happiness. Who decides when I'm happy? The polygamists all seemed happy enough 'til the government got involved.

  • Red
    May 5, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    Logical thinker, duh!: "The only way you could prosecute bigamy or polygamy is if the marriage were performed by authorities and/or without the knowledge of the other wife."

    Law 102: "Obvious statement of the day: ... these people were not practicing polygamy in a legal sense, as their additional "marriages" amounted to little more than mutual pretense. [Spiritual marriage] carries no legal weight, ...."

    This used to be true, but Utah has twisted family law into a pretzel.

    Utah didn't recognize "common law" marriages; now it does, and defines them such that a young man "two-timing" with a couple of young ladies is a polygamist if the Attorney General wants to declare him one.

    Utah also now says that, after a divorce, you're still married if the AG says you are. A second marriage, after a divorce, makes you a polygamist if the AG wants to declare you one.

    There's a saying, "Hard cases make bad law." Family law in Utah, as it has been perverted to make polygamy convictions more attainable, is an outstanding example of this.

    Any state Utah has "helped" re-define its marriage and family law is likely to wind up with a similar abomination.

  • Red
    May 5, 2008 11:20 a.m.

    Rule of Law: "What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?"

    The part that says, "The rule of law doesn't limit the State."

    That's the truly scary part.

  • Ronald A. Young
    May 5, 2008 3:52 a.m.

    Anon. True about what you say, except the Girls are underage and can't say yes, even with a so called parents consent. Some people have trouble with the age of the men. I have trouble with the age of the girls. If everyone was over 18 I could care less. Age spreads are very common. My wife and I have a 15 year age spread, and we have enjoyed for over 20 years and still do. However everyone was well over 18 when we got started. If everyone was over 18, we could just go to the child abuse and remove the kids for that. In 2008 we are not supposed to beat children. As an abused child I know it is hard to break the cycle of violence, but it can be done. Violence is a learned behavior. Violence against Women is a learned behavior that is reinforced by the person (not always male) getting away with it. Total dependence forces women and a few men to have to watch and just put up with it. If he/she is beating or raping them, then he/she is not beating or raping me. It is about the rapes and beatings.

  • Robin Wildflower
    May 5, 2008 2:46 a.m.

    Bill of Rights
    Amendment VII

    In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    Amendment VIII

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    I do believe - as do many others - that the
    U.S. Bill of Rights is VERY IMPORTANT INDEED!

    It "IS LAW".

    To remove all children and infants from a community is ABUSE.
    To do so based on rumor, innuendo and hoax IS "illegal".

    Child Rape is a "crime". . . where are the charges and arrests?
    If this were Salem we'd all be smelling burning hair and broom-straw by now.

  • Enforce the Law
    May 4, 2008 11:39 p.m.

    Mr. Shurtleff, all we ask is that you enforce the law against polygamy. You don't need to prosecute every single polygamist. Start with half a dozen of them, and you'll see a migration of polygamists either out of the "principle" or to other states that have more resources than Utah or don't care about people's extra-marital sexual activities. If you have think there's a constitutional problem with laws against polygamy, let the courts sort that out later. We didn't vote for you to act as legislator, enforcer and supreme court justice. Just do your job -- prosecute our laws. Let the Utah Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court do their job. And let the Legislature do its job. If the legislators decide to change the Utah Constitution and reverse the laws against polygamy, let them do it, and even encourage them to do it, but enforce the law in the meanwhile.

  • Robin Wildflower
    May 4, 2008 11:28 p.m.

    In regards to "welfare fraud".
    Do "facts" matter?
    No one at the "Yearning For Zion Ranch" was a "welfare recipient".

  • Kev
    May 4, 2008 10:59 p.m.

    The rape will show itself with FLDS men soon or later.

  • Paul
    May 4, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    I agree with most of what you said, Matthew. Not one member of this community pressed one charge against one member of this community. No arrests were made. No trials are pending. Two guys were charged with obstruction. Those charges were dropped. Let's hope that evidence is not created or shaped to prosecute a "possible" crime.

  • Paul
    May 4, 2008 10:20 p.m.

    Provide just *one* piece of proof that "child rape" and "forced marriage" took place in this Texas community. I ask for one shred of evidence, not personal opinion based on media hysterics. A girl of age, who chooses to wed her boyfriend, is not a raped child in a forced marriage. Chances are that not one *child* was harmed in such a way. If any *child* was abused, may the hammer of justice come down on the person who abused them.

  • Matthew
    May 4, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    If there is overwhelming proof, let them criminally prosecute. There isn't overwhelming proof, so they just persecute.

    You can't have it both ways. If you want others to obey the law, then you and the authorities need to obey the law. Texas wants to impose their standards on others while not being bound by their own laws or the US Consitution.

    Everyone trying to support Texas seems to rely on either personal opinion, lies, or unsupported accusations. Where are the sound principles or facts. Nowhere!

    Until they can prove something with evidence, what Texas did was a Nazi Genocide or a Baptist Witch Hunt. You can take you pick but those are the only two rational labels.

    Prosecute all criminals the same, but don't single people out because of their religion. Don't do an end run on the law when you have no evidence. Tyranny will be the result if you do.

  • Child rape and forced marriage
    May 4, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    Under the law underage girls may not give consent to marry or have sex with older men. The law recognizes that they are not mature enough to make a rational decision at that age and are subject to being pressured or intimidated into a decision that society recognizes in inappropriate and exploitative and abusive. The term statutory rape applies to such relationships, regardless of any supposed "consent" on the part of the child. When older FLDS men engage in sham marriages with underage girls it is CHILD RAPE and any "marriages" (common law, "spiritual", etc) are FORCED MARRIAGES.


  • betty
    May 4, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    i am a texan who is very proud right now. your politicians and lawmen seem to be afraid of the polygamist in your midst. why?? you great big he men cannt do anything about abuse of women and children??? why are my federal dollars paying for the care of all those inbred children. why are we giving them food stamps for 100 s of children that are supposed to be spiritual wives children. when the polys men stand up and be proud on the public square and say they will provide for each and every one of their spritiual wives and children. they are too chicken, just like your lawmen. go to texas, see what real men are like.

  • jr
    May 4, 2008 8:39 p.m.

    What has the AG done over the years of all these spiritual wives collecting welfare to support their religious beliefs? That in itself is Fraud. Not just those in the FLDS but what about the Kingston one having 100 children and stating he could not afford to support them so the taxpayer is supporting them and the religion. Great going AG. Young girls being forced into a life of servitude to dirty old men. mmmmm nothing will change in Utah as they LDS believe in polygamy and it is still practised in the spiritual sense. Thank God that Texas had the guts to take action ad that lot moved to Texas thinking the law allowed them to rape 14 year olds

  • Living near by
    May 4, 2008 8:27 p.m.

    I live 20 miles from Colorado City. Ive known many of these people.. These are my observations..

    1. They want to be treated well, but dont treat outsiders well. Just drive though their town. (I have many times)
    2. There is NOTHING fundamental about fundamentalism. Not much resembles the LDS church. In fact, try to attend church there.. You will not be allowed.. Period..
    3. VERY very few women look you in the eye, have any self esteem or education.
    4. Hang around a while, you will find that they have a very high rate of birth defects. Ask anyone working at Dixie Regional Hospital.
    5. They subscribe to an idea they call "Bleeding the beast" Meaning , get all that you can by defrauding the US Government.
    Never mind working to better the world, God doesn't care about the rest the world Anyway, (Opposite to the LDS that will help anyone in need) The whole idea is to make lots of kids, and build a private society.. Weird.
    Once again, there is Nothing Fundamental in Fundamentalism

  • Paul
    May 4, 2008 7:50 p.m.

    "Child rape" and "forced marriage" are very charged terms. One should be careful when posting such accusations. There is absolutely no proof that this particular community engaged in such monstrous things. Neither term can be used to describe the voluntary wedding of a girl (of legal age) and her boyfriend. Of course, these definitions might be applicable in the Nancy Grace Dictionary.

  • To Oregonian
    May 4, 2008 7:45 p.m.

    No one outside FLDS uses the words "Spiritual Wives". So you gave yourself away. Next time use a different choice of words.

  • Nancy
    May 4, 2008 7:35 p.m.

    I really doubt you are a woman talking in that matter, but if you are you must look like my bow wow who is one ugly dog. And if you went through 2 husbands, I imagine it was probably your fault... However, you sound and write more like a man pretending to be a woman...lol! You keep posting the same B-S so I'm really thinking you are a polygamist man. You never use a name only the same gripes and judgmental grumbles about how men and women look outside FLDS cult. I am another woman who would never live plural marriage. NO WAY IN THIS LIFE OR THE NEXT, and my husband feels the same way about it. I have as well to my delight been married to the same good man since we married 40 years ago, and we have 8 kids. So how does that wobble your belly.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 7:30 p.m.

    law 102: Texas has Common Law Marriage. Under Texas law these would be actual marriages as they declare themselves married. More than one. Plural. Polygamous. Illegal. Prosecuteable. You're not in Utah or Arizona anymore Dorothy.

  • awesomeron
    May 4, 2008 7:13 p.m.

    I have a huge issue with the people that grip about the laws that may or may not have been broken in this raid. The call may or may not have been a hoax and the person(s) on the other end of the line may or may not have known that. The law may or may not have used that call as an excuse to go in. However having gone in they are sure as heck going to win it. If you are treating your community as private then all the houses are one house, 1 big happy family. The objection with some is not so much what they found. But that they found it at all. When the smoke cleared we have, forced marriage of underage girls, Child Rape and Beatings of Children, among other things. I have always been appalled by the reaction of some to this event. They largely just wanted is the States of Utah, Arizona and Texas to leave them alone. Because you are isolated does not make you above the law. You can not have your own little kingdom, and Texas said Not In My House. Good for them!!!

  • Lacey in AZ
    May 4, 2008 6:55 p.m.

    Re: Wildflower

    "Polygamy depends on definition.
    "Plural Parenting"?
    Going on everywhere - with full blessings of Family Courts.
    Gonna take everyone's children?"

    Ummm, no - just the children who are subjected to abuse, rape, and/or other illegal activities. Isn't that supposed to be a more important concern than adult rights? The wellbeing and protection of our children?

    Debating the pros/cons of polygamy is one thing, but blindly supporting a group of people (FLDS) who flout the laws and take advantage of public services while putting their children in harms way is sick and illegal! What part of that do enablers not understand?

  • Oregonian
    May 4, 2008 6:38 p.m.

    Did anyone notice there is no obesity in that FLDS group? And no slutty looking teenage girls with earrings hanging down to their shoulders, or teenage boys with their pants falling off? There are no reports of alcohol or drug abuse either.... so it looks like a pretty good lifestyle to me.

    And to "Jenny":
    I've had two husbands and if I had it to do over again I might decide to be a "sister wife". You said you had never heard a single woman say she would live with a polygamist. Well...now you have. So settle down! Try it...you might like it.

  • SJ Bobkins
    May 4, 2008 6:36 p.m.

    I lived with a farming family in Leeds, while I was a student at Dixie College. It wasn't uncommon for girls to leave Colorado City, find a way to the surrounding towns, like Leeds, and knock on someone's door asking for money for a bus ticket to Phoenix, or Salt Lake City or a ride. The county sheriff was normally called and the girls, being under 18 were taken back to their fathers. There were no help groups who could give aid to the girls who may have been trying to leave a marriage to an older man, or to escape such a marriage from taking place. Many of the boys also left, and found work in St. George or just hung around going crazy with their new found freedom. They weren't returned, in the manner of the girls. Utah has always condoned teen marriages in the FLDS community, and the neglecting of the unneeded young boys. Certainly there should have been actions to stop the 12 to 16 year old girls being forced to marry old men, and yes they were forced by their fathers to marry. Utah has been terribly lax in protecting these girls.

  • FBI - IRS
    May 4, 2008 6:19 p.m.

    Sen. Harry Reid should alert the IRS and FBI that the West's Attorney Generals are looking the other way on this widespread criminal enterprise. The FBI or IRS forensic tax agents should pay all the compounds a visit. They can do an unbiased and though investigation of racketeering and criminal tax evasion of the perps.

  • Law 102:
    May 4, 2008 6:05 p.m.

    Obvious statement of the day: Polygamy is illegal. The problem here is that these people were not practicing polygamy in a legal sense, as their additional "marriages" amounted to little more than mutual pretense. A person can actually be "spiritually wed" to as many others as he/she chooses, since this practice carries no legal weight, and can neither be proven nor prosecuted. THIS is why Utah and Arizona never arrested the FLDS for polygamy.

  • Cookie's alert
    May 4, 2008 5:44 p.m.

    May 7 National Geographic Channel-'Strong City';
    Texas, AZ., and Utah are not the only states...

  • Morning Glory
    May 4, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    I have spent the last week reading both sides of the FLDS question, from where I stand there is MORE than enough evidence based on testimony and their own court findings to warrent a complete undercover investigation. But you missed it, by their own admission they do not want to investigate this. And for those of you whining about constitutional rights, you can not break the law and hide behind the constitution. By the way I live in Guatemala where 1% of all crime is investigated, I thought the US was better.

  • Karen
    May 4, 2008 5:19 p.m.

    Who cares if they wear makeup or not? It's a woman free agency to look her best. Even the pioneers used certain things like berries to brighten their cheeks, lips or whatever. It was their own choice. You can go clear back to biblical times and the women wore makeup. So what's the deal? I think the FLDS should be allowed to wear make up too. It's their controlling polygamist dictators who refuse and choose for them not to wear makeup(NO FREEDOM TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES)

    My 2 teenagers wear makeup and it doesn't make them look older or like bad girls. They look good and are very happy young ladies. And they date decent boys THEIR OWN AGE.

    I wear make up and I have been married to the same man for 28 years. In fact he likes it when I wear a little make up and IT'S MY OWN CHOICE.

  • Ages
    May 4, 2008 4:52 p.m.

    The 60% pregnancy rate was determined by age based on looks by a non-age expert but merely a CPS employee. These women do not wear makeup. Typical girls wear makeup to appear older.

  • To Morning Glory and James
    May 4, 2008 4:27 p.m.

    "UGH! Let me see if I read this correctly. Polygamy is a crime in Utah and Arizona, yes? Sex with a minor is sex abuse in Utah and Arizona? Slavery and bondage is a crime in Utah and Arizona? Child abandonment is a crime in Utah and Arizona? Welfare fraud is a crime in Utah and Arizona? Or what about child labor, or refusal to educate a child."

    UGH is right, of course all of these things are a crime, nobody doubting that, but you seem to forget that in America, where we believe in freedom the benefit of the doubt is supposed to go to the accused, not a politician who hates the accused (watch out if it's you, maybe you'll stand up for your own rights).

    These men cannot prosecute because they don't have an accuser or evidence, it's ILLEGAL to prosecute without those 2 things in UT and AZ too for your info. (a prank caller is not a victim or evidence)
    watch out if a politician hates you and rips into your home at gun point, maybe you'll get the beam out of your eye and defend the rights of others.

  • Jenny
    May 4, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    To Polygamist men only!

    I know many, many woman and I have never known or ever heard a single woman that know ever say that she would live in a polygamist relationship. Most women turn their nose up to it and make fun of it. It's not the responsibility of any man to take the free will away from another living being and that includes woman. I don't believe God ever intended women to be miserable for all eternity AND WE WON'T BE. You sexiest polygamist men need to stop placing yourselves above God and other human beings. God has NEVER NEVER told you to make slaves of women and children. Shame on you wicked men. No woman in her "RIGHT MIND" I repeat- RIGHT MIND! would ever want of you repulsive jerks! FEWY-PEWY-YUCK!

  • James
    May 4, 2008 4:07 p.m.

    This is not just about illegal polygamy, it is also about a religious criminal enterprise feeding off public taxes through US Government grants/ contracts and public welfare assistance. I for one want the Western States - Attorney Generals to take all actions necessary to stop this criminal enterprise of thieves.
    Logan, UT

  • Morning Glory
    May 4, 2008 3:57 p.m.

    UGH! Let me see if I read this correctly. Polygamy is a crime in Utah and Arizona, yes? Sex with a minor is sex abuse in Utah and Arizona? Slavery and bondage is a crime in Utah and Arizona? Child abandonment is a crime in Utah and Arizona? Welfare fraud is a crime in Utah and Arizona? Or what about child labor, or refusal to educate a child. Then we have those who are elected to enforce the law saying we just kind of turned a blind eye to all the law breaking because we don't have the resourses to deal with it? What kind of wacky states do you all live in? Thank God Texans have the guts to protect the children from this cult. Sounds to me like two politicians afraid to loose a few votes or maybe a couple of mil on the side.

  • Sick People
    May 4, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    The people who have been spewing out ugly accusations and hate speech against these people have a very serious problem of their own they need to focus on. It is not normal to feel hate toward a group of people you don't even know and that are far removed from your own life. Some of you need to read about "The Salem Witch Hunt".

  • john b
    May 4, 2008 3:25 p.m.

    you people are right what he said was right but use all of what he said not just what you think about the first thing he said was he didn't think they should take all of them but what else could they do'

    in other words they went by the law not their hearts
    i would rather no mother or father ever have to lose a child but we all will at some time

    DMN if you dont run this email me and tell me why please

  • Karl J
    May 4, 2008 3:19 p.m.

    To Polygamy,
    No matter what you say or think. At least mainstream American woman are not forced into slavery, no matter what their moral status may be. Freedom is what America is about. SLAVERY is NOT what America is about.

  • Robin Wildflower
    May 4, 2008 3:13 p.m.

    Yeah. Polygamy. Plural parenting. Shocking.

    Some religions forbid divorce.

    The majority of Americans "divorce" and "remarry" - having children from both - creating "four parental units".

    If folks they've re-married - are themselves divorced with children - it creates a larger number of "custodial figures".
    Often, folks divorce and re-marry lots - dating in between (creating babies as they go).
    There's folks who have affairs while married - resulting in children from both (sometimes multiple pregnancies - at the same time). Though "legally" this isn't considered "multiple wives or husbands" - "parental rights" and "child support" awarded - prove things differ in actuality.
    Fathers producing children from many different women (marrying none - so not considered polygamy) still hold their parental rights.

    These folks can live "together" in the "same apartments" or "small towns" and are encouraged to.

    Family Court Judges maintain multiple "parental figures" creates "more adults" present "to love and care for children" - urging "all concerned" to "work together" ("ruling against" those who don't) and stress "geographical closeness".

    Same DNA "confusion", same complicated set of "siblings".

    Polygamy depends on definition.
    "Plural Parenting"?
    Going on everywhere - with full blessings of Family Courts.
    Gonna take everyone's children?

  • Polygamy
    May 4, 2008 3:08 p.m.

    People who are getting their shorts in a wad over polygamy are either extremely sheltered or major hypocrites! How many men out there marry 3 or 4 times with girlfriends on the side? And the number of women committing adultry in this country is finally comparable to the men.

    Where are the marriage licenses to confirm charges of polygamy or bigamy in that FLDS community? Maybe they're just fornicating like the rest of America.

    Pleeeeze stop these self rightous comments. The hypocrisy makes me gag!

  • James
    May 4, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    The recent publicity causes great harm to Utah's worldwide reputation and diminishes future economic viability of the State and the Mormon church. Shurtleff is rightly under the Worlds spot light and is fighting for his political life for a perceived failure to take sufficient action on Polygamy crimes of the FLDS and others in Utah. Shurtleff is suggesting he has lead a concerted effort to investigate the est.+60,000 polygamists in Utah, but has produced little in hard evidence or any significant prosecution (except for Jeffs & Hildale Police). He admits his investigations have failed to prosecute the many cases with DNA samples in hand of polygamist men and the child mothers they impregnate. Shertleff & Goddard should take careful notes from Texas investigators using DNA. It's shameful that the State Attorney Generals of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado to excuse all for a lack of agency money and continue toward tolerance of these unlawful acts. Let's have no more money excuses as Sen.Harry Reid offers you Federal assistance. For the publics sake, please seek out the Feds money and assistance to prosecute the horrific crimes inflicted on their ilbred children.
    Logan, UT

  • Wait and see
    May 4, 2008 2:46 p.m.

    I have spent too much time thinking about this. Now, I have decided that I will just wait and see what happens. Honestly, people have taken such strong sides on this issue - just read the postings on this story. Why should everyone be armchair prosecutors in this case? In my opinion, the consititution of the US is at stake here.

  • Non-believer
    May 4, 2008 2:30 p.m.

    Texas went too far, but at least they have tried to protect the innocent. Utah and Arizona officials have been cowards in this situation. Sure Shurtless brags about the trust he has with the FLDS people. They absolutely trust him TO DO NOTHING regardless of what is getting hurt. He is a disgrace. He is so busy covering his backside so he can keep his job.

  • knowitall
    May 4, 2008 1:58 p.m.

    In a community of about 700 FLDS members, 31 girls, which is about 60% of the underage girls were pregnant or had delivered a baby. DNA testing will reveal that these children were fathered, not by the teen boys, but by the adult men who did not show up for testing and appear to have fled the compound. Doing the math, Utah and Arizona have 442 girls currently in the same situation. The FLDS compound in Texas is relatively new while the Short Creek population has existed for decades, so it would not be unreasonable to suppose that some 5000 girls have been raped in Short Creek. In this article, the Utah and Arizona attorneys general cite 4 Utah cases, 6 Arizona cases and 3 combined cases against the FLDS. Shurtleff blames a lack of resources and Goddard blames ineffective laws. Shurtleff worries that the Texas raid will harm the trust he has built with the FLDS. NEWSFLASH-GIVEN NUMBERS LIKE THESE 99.9% OF THESE MINOR GIRLS ARE STILL BEING RAPED. BECOME A LEADER - GET THE FUNDING, PASS THE LAWS AND CONVINCE THE PUBLIC THAT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE.

  • The Law
    May 4, 2008 1:46 p.m.

    Horah for Shurtliff Leave the polygamists alone if no crimes against humaniy are committed. Warren Jeffs alone is destroying the culture of the Utah and Ariona polygs. So many of hem have come out in the open to be a part of society. I myself am a polygamist who left with my family to the outside world. I have turned against the FLDS way of life, but I will not abandon any of my plural families. I love them all dearly and we are able to adapt well independantly without hiding who we are.
    If we want to totally go thru the criminal code to arrest all law breakers, lets start with all the dads who might share a beer with their 18 year old son during the super bowl game. ya know alcahol to a minor. it is illegal even at home.

  • JAKE & not a fake
    May 4, 2008 1:36 p.m.

    RE RE To Jake 1:19 Find your own name! Please don't post mine.
    Why do your FLDS woman seek food stamps and welfare if you men are such bread winners?
    As far as mainstream woman who are NOT slaves. That is their choice to work if they want to help out. And their are a very small few who have abortions from either incest and rape, do you understand incest or rape? You need to go look up what you sit around and scold non FLDS women about. At least our women can think for themselves and are not zombies brainwashed by a bunch of bullies!

  • To Jake
    May 4, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    Do you suppose the FLDS women built the cement plant, the cheese plant, the temple, and the homes on the FLDS property?

    Polygamy offers clear advantages to women who want to have several children and be at home to raise them and educate them.

    In our time most American women must chemically or surgically alter themselves to prevent having more than one or two children; when they do have babies they cannot nurse them because they must go back to work outside the home; as the children grow they must be farmed out to daycare and then they are abandoned to state indoctrination at public schools and the "education" of the ubiquitous television. Working women rarely have time to learn anything about gardening, cooking, or nutrition, but feed their families processed foods which have dubious nutritional value. Looking at the photos and videos of the people at YFZ ranch could make a lot of over-worked, underpaid, part-time mothers think about polygamy in a different light.

  • JND
    May 4, 2008 12:51 p.m.

    Hey, Bruce!

    "Texas had better get out it's checkbook when the truth about this is brought out."

    You better get yours out. You'll need the money to travel to Texas to visit your friends in prison.

    Love you!

  • Jake
    May 4, 2008 12:33 p.m.

    To Polygamy,
    Yeah you are right. The more wives, the more slave service, and the more one supreme man can set around on his rump all day, and talk online to potential anonymous wives. Now hows that for a superior life style. If you ever notice on tv it's the women who are also in the gardens and the ones tilling and tending the fields for food. The men hangout behind closed doors.

  • Young Children
    May 4, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    He's right in my opinion. The youngest children should not have been taken away. I think that it's terrible to take a baby from the arms of it's mother,or a small child.

    These women are confused, but they are not dangerous. Their children are so clean and tidy and well behaved at the grocery stores, and I have never seen one that looked abused. They look much better than most kids.

    Believe it or not, the women don't appear to be depressed or unhappy with their lives. I have observed this, living near to an FLDS group. I have never understood it, but they actually like their lifestyle. You see them in the craft stores, you see them all over town. They don't appear to be a troubled group.

    I am not defending the abuse of young girls. But I do think that if most people were to live around them, you would see that they are a very peaceful people.

  • transplant
    May 4, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    why us guys are upset over polygamy: Oyeah at sltrib: "The worlds where Polygamy exists, result in backwards evolution for us as a species. Birth defects rise in number, and education for women is non-existent, except for the very well placed, and young males are devalued except as tools of war.

    Those armies of rapists in Somalia, are the extra sons. The armies of Ghengis Khan, were extra sons. The militias and personal armies of warlords all over Africa, the Middle East, and Pakistan, are the extra sons, that cannot marry, but can carry a gun."

    ***education education education. That it is so lacking in the citizens who have the advantage of twelve years of free education and access to all the written knowledge of the free world is frightening.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 11:54 a.m.

    Why don't the people of Utah and Arizona care about the children?

    The young girls are forced to sexual relationships at puberty.

    The young boys are forced out due to the math problem. There is not engough girls for all to have multiple wives.

    Why don't you force your Attorney General out, he is not interested in upholding the law.

  • wm
    May 4, 2008 11:45 a.m.

    Authorities found that 35 of 51 minor girls were either pregnant or already had children. If the FLDS are locking these children away in order to shield them from our "immoral" society - they aren't doing a very good job of it. Underage pregnancy statistics are better at my local public school!

  • polygamy
    May 4, 2008 11:14 a.m.

    why are you guys so upset about polygamy? I know plenty of men who have children with several women. Some they were married to, some they were not. At least with spirit wives the guys feel a bit responsible. Forcing underage girls into a marriage is rape. That needs to be persecuted but polygamy, it is all around us. We just don't call it that, we call it riff raff but essentially it is the same, regardless of how it is stated in the law. There is no evidence that the FLDS abused their children. The only thing to be persecuted should be child rape with the children returned to their moms!!

  • transplant
    May 4, 2008 10:30 a.m.

    GLOBE and MAIL : "Ms. Jensen broke away from the church at age 17. Her family had moved to an FLDS community in the U.S. three years earlier and she had been assigned to an American husband she did not want to marry. She said she does not regard the FLDS as a religion.
    "This is an abusive cult."

    Our problem; how to legislate to protect our own rights but monitor, oversee, regulate their's. It's a legal dilemma however one rational, educated minds can overcome. Mine is working on it. I'll be raising the issue with candidates for the Texas State Legislature.

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2008 10:20 a.m.

    dont forget these same women on food stamps are driving the nicest/newest suv's in the parking lot.

  • Mary
    May 4, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    You can read the Bishop's list at myeldorado dot net it lists Elisabeth Lawrence Jessop 16 married to LeRay Steed 28 who has 2 other wives.

    Rachel Keele Allred 16 married to Lehi Allred 28 who has 2 other wives.

    Suzanne Jessup Jeffs 16 married to Abram Hacker Jeffs 35 has 4 other wives.

    There are 2 other 16 yr old brides listed married to younger men, 19 and 22 (if memory serves) they are listed as the only spouse.

    You can also get to the list through flds eldorado.

  • Bruce
    May 4, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    "In Texas we go by the law"

    In 2006 alone there were 63 reported cases of rape of children while in the state of Texas' care.
    You'll pardon the rest of the nation for shuddering when "Texas" and "law" are used in the same sentence.
    The polygamist lifestyle and the actions of individuals are separate issues.
    Texas CPS should be shut down and the individuals that participated in this illegal raid should be held personally responsible.
    Texas had better get out it's checkbook when the truth about this is brought out.

  • transplant
    May 4, 2008 9:53 a.m.

    "every" child from "every" Mother.... Every child was rescued from every abusive adult who are either a predator or who stood by and allowed the abuse AND as required, under Texas law, DID NOT REPORT IT TO THE AUTHORITIES. They live under Texas law while they live in Texas. They need to take some lessons from the Penn. and Ohio Amish. They live their own way and obey the laws of the state. Texas may have gone too far with the polygamy part of the law as they have allowed these relationships to exist without prosecuting the individuals. We either have to start now, my wish, or amend the law. As it stands these spiritual marriages are actual marriages under Texas common law marriage. Therefore fully prosecutable.

  • Rule of Law
    May 4, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    Polygamy is against the law. Child rape is against the law. What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

  • Dave
    May 4, 2008 9:28 a.m.

    ""One of the best things you can say about Arizona and Utah is (the FLDS) went to Texas to get away from us," Goddard said.


    Apparently Goddard and Shurtleff don't really care if child sexual abuse occurs. Just as long as it doesn't happen in their jurisdiction.

  • Law?
    May 4, 2008 9:06 a.m.

    Utah doesn't enforce any law that I know of. There are still women from polygamous areas that go into the grocery stores using food stamps and WIC certificates. When my husband died, I was told that I didn't qualify for any of that, so how come the polygamous women rate? There are laws on the books banning polygamy--and even more laws against food stamp fraud. Shurtleff should take a look at what he ISN'T doing, because what he is doing isn't much.

  • TexAnne
    May 4, 2008 9:04 a.m.

    Interesting, there's a Polygamy Summit this week. Check this Deseret News article, put / after .com and then paste this at the end: article/1,5143,695276285,00.html

  • Logical thinker, duh!
    May 4, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    Think about it. The only way you could prosecute bigamy or polygamy is if the marriage were performed by authorities and/or without the knowledge of the other wife. Without this it is no different than adultery which apparently is not against the law - try prosecuting it. Are we going to start rounding up all adulterers (might not be a bad idea). Men keep mistresses, secret from their wives. They lie and emotionally abuse their families. These people should be identified and punished.

    We live in an immoral society where casual sex is accepted and even embraced, teen pregnancies are rampant across the nation and often the young girls are impregnated by a legal adult (18 or over), but how often do we prosecute? We consider that to be their freedom to choose. The polygamists are no different in that way so you can't prosecute them for breaking a law if they are consenting adults having free sex just because they have someone without authority conducting a ceremony. Who's protecting these offspring?

    If they are children, there's a case but you don't round up all polygamists who had the ceremony rather than just sex and lock up the victims.

  • olive branches and handcuffs
    May 4, 2008 7:27 a.m.

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear Utah authorities ever have anything in their hands.
    Anytime I have seen them they are wringing their hands about how hard their job is.

  • accessories before the fact
    May 4, 2008 7:02 a.m.

    Ignoring illegal polygamy while going after the resultant abuse and fraud is a recipe for perpetual abuse and fraud.

    The solution to a leaking roof isn't to buy more buckets to catch the drip.

    It is cruel to the women and children who are the victims of the predictable and inevitable abuse to simply wait outside the compounds with stretchers to cart away the human wreckage.

  • excuses excuses excuses
    May 4, 2008 6:55 a.m.

    >>"They have extended an olive branch to polygamous communities with one hand while clasping a pair of handcuffs in the other."

    Maybe, but if so it is a rusty unused pair of handcuffs (don't make me pull out the Barney Fife analogies!)

    But, whatever the AG has in his hands is not very relevant because he has had one eye closed and the other looking away.

    It is a tough job bering a social worker and prosecutor; too tough, in fact.
    But that shouldn't concern Shurtleff because he isn't a social worker.

    Please no more excuses about resources and building bridges and trust.

    (Yes, we know the list of folks who have been locked up. Congratulations. It is the thousands who haven't made the list we are thinking of, however.)

  • Law 101
    May 4, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    It's the AG's job to enforce the law and prosecute lawbreakers, not fret about possible constitutional challenges.

    If the anti-polygamy laws are thrown out then the legislature can craft new ones or legalize polygamy.

    That will the job of the legislature, however, not Shurtleff.

    Until the laws are enforced no one will know and the inevitable collateral abuse will continue.


  • Darrel
    May 4, 2008 6:28 a.m.

    Reluctant, but makes judgments anyway.
    Even though Utahans view FLDS as a minor aberration, the rest of the country see them as extremely abnormal: in every respect.

  • Thomas
    May 4, 2008 6:22 a.m.

    Leave these people alone.

  • JND
    May 4, 2008 6:12 a.m.

    Hey Shurtleff! I guess that explains it. You make the call based on your gut. In Texas we go by the law.

  • Paul
    May 4, 2008 5:38 a.m.

    Return the kidnapped children to their parents. No arrests have been made, no charges have been filed, and no complaints have been levied. No proof of abuse or neglect has been found. Stop violating the civil rights of this community. The state authorities should follow the US Constitution. CPS, as an agency of the government, should be forced to operate in a way that will not circumvent nor contradict the Fourth Amendment. Federal law should trump state procedures. Also, free the adult women who are being held as wards of the state as if they were orphaned children just because some social worker subjectively decides that they look like they're under 18. Come on, Texas. This should be common sense!

    May 4, 2008 4:40 a.m.

    Shurtleff is RIGHT ON.

    Even under TEXAS LAW how can they justify going into ALL THE PRIVATE HOMES of any community and taking ALL THE CHILDREN without poof against that specific PRIVATE HOME. Maybe in North Korea but, not in the good old U. S. of A.

  • awesomeron
    May 4, 2008 4:39 a.m.

    Yes the Texas AG, did put pressure on both Shurtleff and Goddard. They now are forced to do something. The amount of force that Texas used was not all that overwhelming considering WACO, and you do not know what they the FLDS have or how willing they are to die. It appears though that like most Rapist they are cowards and anyone standing up to them is to much for them to handle. They can Rape and Beat Women and Children but a small Police Force with one used War Surplus Half Track is to much of a show of Force. When Goddard was running for Gov in Arizona, I lived in Safford and I Voted about 5 min to 7PM. I wanted Goddard to know that if he lost by one Vote it was mine. Utah and Arizona have ignored this problems for decades. I really have nothing against Polygamists that other wise obey the Law and do not claim to be LDS Church Members. Plural Marriage has been around for Thousands of years. What I have an issue with is forced marriage and Sex with underage girls and beating children. We call that Rape and Child Abuse

  • Contrarian
    May 4, 2008 4:31 a.m.

    Last weekend DN reported that nine FLDS children had been hospitalized, and one baby had become so dehydrated that he/she was lethargic and had gone into shock. But this disturbing news disappeared from the news to be replaced by stories of old bone breaks shown on x-rays, and now an article about the Utah AG in relation to polygamy. What happened to the hospitalized children?

  • Jeff
    May 4, 2008 2:38 a.m.

    You're darn right they went too far! "Every" child taken from "every" mother by raiders of the state is government overreach of constitutional proportions. This should concern everyone. These peoples rights have been trampled on in a horrific manner. Now, we will no doubt hear the clamor and rage of people commenting in this very venue over the coming hours. They will of course expound on charges of "child rape," as if any decent person on the planet wouldn't categorically denounce such a heinous crime, though no evidence of any such crime has heretofore been presented in the case at hand. Where such crimes exist, they should of course be vigorously prosecuted. But the tirades of certain commentators are intended only to shock the sensitivities of people who are already abundantly aware of the same misdeeds that have been reported ad nauseam. Bottom line: There are too many people today Americans, mind you who would condone the use of government power not merely to prosecute criminals, but as a means for cultural cleansing. They would wink at the shredding of individual rights while quietly delighting in the state-run destruction of a culture they find personally offensive.

  • Agreed
    May 4, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    "Our law wouldn't permit it. We have such a different situation from Eldorado."

    "...they focus on abuse, domestic violence and welfare fraud.

    "I do think we've taken the right approach," Goddard said. "It's not spectacular and it's not headline grabbing..."

    "One of the best things you can say about Arizona and Utah is (the FLDS) went to Texas to get away from us,"

    I fully agree with these statements. Utah has done well and is taking the angle that SHOULD be taken.