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53 Teen Girls Found at FLDS Ranch; 31 Either Pregnant or Already Mothers

Sarah's picture
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and although perhaps one, or maybe two, of these young women might be actually legally married to the men who fathered their children, Texas law suggests NONE had a legal marriage.

State officials took custody of all 463 children at the ranch controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, saying a pattern of teen girls forced into underage "spiritual" marriages and sex with much older men created an unsafe environment for the sect's children.

Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of these girls is believed to have a legal marriage under state law.

Under Texas law -- or any other state law in the US -- only the first non-divorced female partner in a marital relationship is a wife, legally.

So even if you don't want to call this child abuse, and I certainly wouldn't hesitate to call it that,

despite the ingrained nature of the cultural imperatives behind it, you must admit it breaks the law: these young women, under the legal age of consent and not married legally, are traded among the men of this sect as prizes. That's a form of prostitution. Some of these trades cross state lines; this particular branch of the Mormon church (and make no mistake: these consider themselves the true faithful of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, no matter what the "mainstream" LDS says) has compounds not just in Utah and Arizona, but in Canada as well.

Furthermore, our famously free press, in continuing to refer to the multiple partners of the men of the FLDS as "wives", is furthering the myth this sect wishes to spin positively. Readers of Houston's Chronicle and the Arizona Republic
aren't all buying the spin the FDLS wants to put forward.

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Submitted by lambert on

WaPo:

The Defense Department has contracted with three companies that are closely tied to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and some lawmakers want to know if money from those deals supported the sect, whose ranch was raided this month after allegations of child abuse.

Pentagon officials said the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency bought $1.7 million worth of airplane parts from three companies with close ties to the sect. Some officials are raising questions about statements by an employee of one of the companies that much of that money went directly to the FLDS church and its polygamist leader, Warren Jeffs.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The whole structure and function of the FLDS is dependent on continued abuse of such an extreme nature that outside of the protection of religious freedom it would clearly be seen as criminal. It is criminal.

One other statistic about these kids from Child Protective Services: amongst the children under the age of 13 there are 197 girls and 196 boys. But between the ages of 14 to 17, there are 53 girls and only 17 boys - just the 3:1 ratio that FLDS mythology requires for polygamist "marriage".

Somewhere out there in the world are 35 or so emotionally crippled boys aged 14 - 17 who have been thrown away; will anyone be taking care of them?

Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

Listening to New Hampshire Public Radio's broadcast of NPR yesterday afternoon as I drove home, I heard a fairly lengthy segment on this. The discussion opened with a presentation of the "facts" from a Salt Lake City lawyer said to be representing the families. Eventually there were some counter arguments, but one exposed solely to this show would come away with a strong predisposition to believe that Texas had over-reacted to a hoax complaint, exceeded its authority in separating the "families" and engaged in religious persecution. I lost the broadcast when they were addressing the question of the kids' housing while in state custody, and whether that was done in a way consistent with the FLDS norms. The contractor doing this earnestly said they were trying, demonstrating what I suppose is the professional detachment necessary to stay sane when dealing daily with kids removed from parental abuse. With growing outrage, I kept trying to call, but the phone line was never answered. Maybe this was a rebroadcast. In any event, the unusual structure of this show seems unlikely to have been the natural outgrowth of a producer's independent judgment.

I would be surprised if this is the only success from what is almost surely spin from the FLDS and it's enablers. Has anyone else seen or heard similar news treatment?