In FLDS News

In the court of public opinion this new evidence presented by The Smoking Gun will go a long way.  All I think I will say is 12 and 14.


33 thoughts on “In FLDS News

  1. Go a long way toward what?

    Convincing us that Texas CPS isn’t an absolute Mickey Mouse operation?

    Or convincing us that polygamy is wrong?

    Or convincing us that people in compounds with funny dresses are dangerous?


  2. I agree. I think the relevance is extremely attenuated at best.

    While I do think that the relationship between the LDS and FLDS churches is generally relevant (especially as a point of comparison and contrast to Protestant denominations’ relationships to their… less than savory offshoots), I’m not sure it warrants a newsfeed.

  3. Go a long way toward what?

    Convincing people that Warren Jeffs and the FLDS are creepy.

    Patrick, are you calling me a hypocrite? I think that guy is creepy too.

  4. Ok, so this proves why Warren Jeffs deserves to be in jail, but tearing 450+ children away from their mother’s and father’s? What about the teenager who was visiting the compound at the time, a girl who lived in Canada with her family? Why hasn’t she been released? What about the mother who was away from the compound during the original raid, and has since been seperated from her three year old. The little girl was said to have cried all night, night after night for her mother. What about the mothers who were forced to stop breastfeeding because the state said they couldn’t stay with their children? What about the adult women who were classified as minors and were detained? My husband is as Protestant as they come, and even he thinks this is the world’s biggest farce. It is so obvious to him that this is persecution by Texas CPS. The phone call was a fake and the original accused suspect has been cleared. You Evangelicals shouldn’t be so smug about this, because if they could do this to the FLDS, they could do this to YOU. Evangelicals like to teach their children to worship God, not the state, and so you are just as much a threat to some people in the government bureaucracy as these people. I was so happy the day the Texas Appeals Court overturned the lower court ruling, and I pray that the Texas Supreme Court will uphold the Appeals Court ruling. My husband told me from the beginning not to worry, that all the children will eventually be released and reunited with their families, and the Texas CPS is going to have the world’s biggest lawsuit filed against it. Even so, I’ll feel better when it really is over.

  5. And the FLDS are not creepy. You may think some of their practices are creepy. Warren Jeffs, in my opinion, is creepy. But the FLDS are human beings who deserved to be treated with fairness and with due process of law. Before my daughter was born, I volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children. In my state, every time a child is removed from a home, within 72 hours there has to be a Show Cause hearing. This “hearing” they had in Texas was such a total joke. It was not a proper show/cause hearing, as far as I’m concerned. In my state, the goal is always to try and protect the family unit, and to work towards preserving it. I thought it was supposed to be the same way everywhere. I don’t know what Texas was thinking. They just ripped all these babies and children out of their families for absolutely no reason, and have been allowed to get away with it–so far anyway. Really scary.

  6. Using your logic, Tim, the link I cited proves that all Evangelicals are creepy. So yes, you’re a hypocrite.

  7. Using your logic, Tim, the link I cited proves that all Evangelicals are creepy. So yes, you’re a hypocrite.

    What?!? That’s such a stretch. The people in that pastor’s church didn’t know he was doing that, and when they found out they dumped him. 99% of Evangelicals have never heard of that pastor or his church. Even if they did, the evangelical community would not condone that behavior as the FLDS community did.

    I don’t at all disagree with you that the due process of the law must be given to everyone in the YFZ Ranch. Don’t assume I think the law should be disregarded.

  8. Of course you think its a stretch, Tim. You are, after all, an evangelical, and understandably don’t want to be labeled “creepy.”

    The point is that you are holding up the example of one man’s actions to justify labeling all FLDS “creepy.” And that’s not fair. It’s hypocritical.

  9. Nah. Organizationally, structurally, and culturally, the two are apples and oranges. Jeffs is the absolute ruler of a hierarchical, authoritarian cultlike organization. He sopeaks for the group, and the group affirms his ability to speak for them.

    Any given Evangelical is just that… some Evangelical.

  10. I’m at a loss for some LDS’ need to defend the FLDS with the same passion they defend their own faith.

    These photos of Jeffs were open, approved, normative and considered righteous.

  11. Tim, Texas CPS removed OVER 400 CHILDREN from their parents solely on the proposition that a faith tradition is inherently abusive.

    I don’t understand why that doesn’t make your blood run cold.

    The Constitution and due process of law was absolutely trampled underfoot here, for no other reason than the recipients were distasteful to the surrounding evangelical population. The legal grounds for the raid have been so thoroughly discredited here, that I see no other conclusion.

    Look. I’m not a fan of what the FLDS are doing, and I do think there is systematized abuse going on there. The FLDS took a horrible wrong turn back in the 1950s when a vocal and assertive minority faction within the community unilaterally did away with parental consent and bride and groom consent as prerequisites for marriage. It’s been a long and ugly downhill ever since.

    I can’t say I’d be unhappy to see that particular faith tradition meet a rather terminal end. But not like this.

    Let me put it this way – I regard the FLDS as the rude and obnoxious drunkard brother who shows up for family reunions and usually manages to disgrace himself and make everyone uncomfortable.

    But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit quietly by while people try to arrest and imprison him without warrant and without trial.

  12. Ditto. The FLDS are most definitely creepy, but even creepy people have Constitutional rights and are entitled to due process of law.

  13. I’m at a loss for some LDS’ need to defend the FLDS with the same passion they defend their own faith.

    I’m at a loss for some LDS’s need to disclaim and condemn the FLDS.

  14. I’m not entirely sure where I’ve defended the FLDS or the LDS “with … passion.” I simply called you out on a bit of a hypocritical post. That’s all.

  15. I don’t think he was talking about you Patrick. There’s been a lot of outrage expressed about the way this has been handled on the Mormon blogging community.

  16. I don’t believe I ever asserted that all of the children should be stripped away from the entire FLDS community. And if my RSS headline feed is correct, the judicial system is returning them to their parents.

    Kullervo #16, LDS as decent upstanding people should look at those photos and be creeped out. They don’t need to have that reaction based on their on anything particular in their faith. The photo is evidence that their’s something more than being drunk and obnoxious.

  17. The photos really are creepy. Due process of law ought to be followed, and my hope is that there is some way to do so and to find the abusers, because child abuse is the most horrific offense I can think of.

  18. What does it being “far more than drunk and obnoxious” have to do with the price of eggs? My analogy still holds quite well.

    I haven’t heard any LDS trying to defend Warren Jeffs. All I’ve heard is people outraged at what a bunch of screw-ups Texas law enforcement has turned out to be. Perhaps you could point to some examples of where LDS have defended FLDS practices?

  19. I’m not about to defend FLDS faith and practice. But I agree with what various folks have said here: Even people with abhorrent practices are entitled to their constitutional rights. For Texas to remove hundreds of children from their parents in the way that was done was wrong, and even the Texas Supreme Court has said so now.

  20. Kullervo #16, LDS as decent upstanding people should look at those photos and be creeped out. They don’t need to have that reaction based on their on anything particular in their faith. The photo is evidence that their’s something more than being drunk and obnoxious.

    You’ll get no argument from me!

    I was actually referring to something completely different, which is the intensity with which the LDS PR machine has tried to disassociate itself with the FLDS. On the one hand, it’s fair–I mean, they’re different organizations and are not affiliated. On the other hand, to claim that they have nothing to do with each other is incredibly disingenuous.

    The sympathy shown in the Bloggernacle for the parents and their children–and even the gut-sympathy for Mirror-universe Mormons being cracked down on by the government–is what I would expect and what I would find reasonable.

    The washing of the hands that you see in other quarters is just nasty.

  21. Tim,

    The reason that we LDS are so absolutely schizophrenic about this is that you could relabel the photographs “Joseph Smith and Helen Mar Kimball, first anniversary” without too much of a stretch.

    The bottom line is that we LDS can call it creepy all we want, but then we still sing “Praise to the Man.” That’s a recipe conflicted behavior.

  22. I don’t think most LDS are at all conflicted about Jeffs. Most don’t believe/know about Joseph Smith’s relationships with teenage girls and don’t equate Smith with Jeffs in any way. Jeffs is in prison because of evidence and testimony secured by lawful means. No non FLDS Mormon I know has ever defended him. But the photos are simply part a systematic attempt to slander a religion. No matter how creepy Jeffs is, all those who believe in religious freedom should be far more outraged at the state of Texas.

    I think many LDS are outraged (and all religious people in America should be outraged) because the state of Texas perpetrated in one of the most overt forms of religious bias in recent memory. Those who believe in liberty in religion should be outraged when a state agency removes children from homes simply because of religion, regardless of whether it is a “creepy” religion or not.

    Imagine the outrage if CPS shut down all catholic schools in Boston on evidence that the Catholic church was covering up the sex abuse by priests. What about taking all muslim children away from their parents because Mohammed taught you can physically discipline wifes and children? What about removing the children from all of those Evangelical homes that believe that sparing the rod spoils the child. Those who agree at all with while expecting religious liberty are hypocritical. Texas action injurious to any sense of justice and was ridiculously counter productive. Who in that community is going to come forward now, for fear that all of their brothers and sisters are going to be shipped off to another town?

    Its sickening that this happened in the US, any Evangelical who is not outraged is a hypocrite considering how much many of them bellyache about the state infringing on religious practice.

    My favorite quote on the subject happens to come from the Supreme Court of Utah:

    “This recognition of the due process and retained rights of parents promotes values essential to the preservation of human freedom and dignity and to the perpetuation of our democratic society. The family is a principal conservator and transmitter of cherished values and traditions. Any invasion of the sanctity of the family, even with the loftiest motives, unavoidably threatens those traditions and values.

    For example, family autonomy helps to assure the diversity characteristic of a free society. There is no surer way to preserve pluralism than to allow parents maximum latitude in rearing their own children. Much of the rich variety in American culture has been transmitted from generation to generation by determined parents who were acting against the best interest of their children, as defined by official dogma. Conversely, there is no surer way to threaten pluralism than to terminate the rights of parents who contradict officially approved values imposed by reformers empowered to determine what is in the “best interest” of someone else’s child.”

    (Opinion by Dallin Oakes in In Re J.P.)

    So, Tim, I agree with your point that Jeffs is creepy but so what? The implied point you are making by pointing out the photo on this blog is that its a good thing that somebody is doing something about those darn, creepy, FLDS. I think that attitude is anti-liberty. The absolutely overshadowing issue is not the delusion of a few thousand people but the liberty of all of us Americans who have their own strange “delusions” about God to teach our children without fear that the Government is going to take them away.

  23. So, Tim, I agree with your point that Jeffs is creepy but so what? The implied point you are making by pointing out the photo on this blog is that its a good thing that somebody is doing something about those darn, creepy, FLDS. I think that attitude is anti-liberty.

    I think the photo points out that an investigation by Texas CPS is warranted. They obviously got over zealous by taking ALL the children, but the photo is evidence enough that some children are at risk. An investigation isn’t at all the same thing as detaining children.

    It’s clear that the liberty of pre-pubescent girls is at stake within the confines of the YFZ Ranch. It’s the responsibility of the state to preserve their liberty. The state’s ends don’t justify the means. But there is justification for some sort of state intrusion into this community.

  24. I agree that the State should investigate abuse, I have no problem with Jeffs being in prison now. But the photos are not used to investigate allegations, Jeffs is already in prison, its an attempt to make the argument that a wholesale removal is warranted. Its not really relevant to specific allegations of abuse. Texas was not investigating Jeffs were they?

  25. I think from a legal standpoint, it’s obvious that the photos don’t really have anything to do with establishing any sort of proof that is going to be relevant to Texas defending its actions in an overreaching CPS sweep.

    What the photo was released for was to score political points with the citizens of Texas. To reassure good Texans that their government isn’t a total Mickey Mouse operation. That was why the photos were released. They are likely to be quite irrelevant to the actual court case.

    But they have a big impact on whether a few key Texas officials keep their jobs or not. And that is why they were released. It was an irresponsible and legally irrelevant move by Texas law enforcement to protect their butts. And they did it by using GOVERNMENT apparatus to discredit and demonize a RELIGION.

    Why does this not bother you Tim?

  26. Texas CPS is in a difficult position now, because the original complaint which sparked the raid is apparently a hoax, and the supposed victim has never been found. Some people have said that any evidence found in that original raid is now “fruit of the poison tree” and legally, should not be allowed in court. According to what I’ve read, (and I may be wrong) there isn’t even a recording of the original telephone call/outcry for help. We’re just supposed to believe Texas CPS that such a phone call was made. My personal opinion is that, provided the evidence obtained in the raid is found to be legally admissible in court, it would seem that Texas CPS has evidence that five girls have been sexually abused. I read yesterday that three justices on the Texas Supreme Court wrote a dissent in which they said that CPS should have had the right to detain these five girls. Depending on how strong their evidence is, I could agree with this. For everyone else though, if at this point there is no evidence of any kind on any of the other children (and I haven’t read that there is), then they should be released to the custody of their parents, and their files should be closed and expunged from the record. The investigation should be immediately and permanently closed on all the other children. In my opinion, Texas CPS shouldn’t be given the right to go on a permanent fishing expedition into this community. Do it legally, or don’t do it at all. Texas CPS is charged with protection of children in Texas, so unless the photo was taken in Texas, I don’t see how that photo alone would be enough to warrant continued investigation into the Texas community. In my opinion, and from my experience as a CASA, it would seem to me that it is the responsibility of CPS in the state where the photo was taken to launch an investigation, and it would be an investigation against Warren Jeffs. Just my opinion.

  27. I’m just waiting for a lawsuit to be filed against Texas. They could end up funding the very group they wanted to shut down just because they were so hasty to get in there.

  28. Can you imagine the backlash TX will experience, from all their citizens that thought it was OK for them to take those children away, when they find out that they will have to pay the FLDS Church millions of dollars as a result of the states overeagerness. The fallout is going to be very interesting to watch.

  29. Eh, there won’t really be any backlash. States get sued all the time. For tons of money. You’d probably be surprised.

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