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A Fundamental Fault -- a Pervasive Delusion -- Lawlessness Beyond the FLDS

Sarah's picture

John Taylor, the Mormons' fourth president, defending the practice of polygamy: "God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven we will be ranged under the banner of heaven against the Government. The United States says we cannot marry more than one wife. God says different..."

And apparently that's enough for the State Supreme Court of Texas, too.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

"It's an unknown now," said Jessop, ex-wife of Merril Jessop, presumed leader at the compound. "The cost of this is killing the state. This would be a real convenient out for them financially. But the long-term cost would be horrific if they don't help these kids."

they are going to turn those children over to child molestors because it would be too expensive to do the right thing.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I always read but don't know what to say about. Because every time I read them, I'm overwhelmed with anger and sadness. And I feel bad I'm not contributing because if I could stand to read more I think I'd have something to say about the criminal prosecution/legal aspect of it and what paths might be pursued, especially federally.

Good work here, Sarah, for keeping up the posts. It's a very, very tough subject.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Most likely it would fall to the FBI investigating with the U.S. Attorney's office overseeing it, although there are sections of Main Justice that could handle the prosecution.

Keep in mind that there could be an investigation right now for all we know. If there's an interest (and I have to think there would be, the FBI loves media,* US Attorneys love media), then they could launch an investigation. Although the FBI isn't known for its cooperation with State and locals, how well they work together is going to depend on personal relationships in a particular jurisdiction. That could be important because I'm guessing Texas got a ton of information when they executed the search warrants, at least they should've if they did them right. And information about a group like this is hard to come by.

An investigation into a group like this takes time and is extremely difficult because it's so insular. Members of the group are unlikely to cooperate, so no CIs wearing wires or funneling info to you. You aren't going to be able to get an undercover agent into them. Many of them would probably go to jail before they cooperate. It's going to have to be done the old fashioned way - subpoenas to third parties (banks, phone companies, etc., assuming they use them), surveillance if you can get close enough, and probably wire taps and/or mail covers. To even get wire taps takes a lot of ground work and are usually preceded by pen registers (I know everyone thinks the government listens to everything now and that may be true, somewhere, but in law enforcement you still have to get a legal wire tap, which requires main DOJ approval and then a court order and then coordinating the install with the phone companies, which can take time, and then praying if they use cell phones they don't drop them). Wire taps are also hugely resource intensive as they have to be monitored and minimized so you have to have a plan in place and the resources to back it up before you get them, which is doable but can also take time. And, of course, if it turns out these folks don't use the phone to discuss their criminal activities, you're fucked and go right back at square one, looking for a way in.

Among the many reasons it's too bad the kids and underaged wives are going back - they're witnesses and could provide information to investigators. And you can bet that's one reason why the sect wants them back. Sure they want dominion and control (and I'm sure some love the kids), but part of why they want that is people who get away physically, might also escape the mental hold and begin to talk. And access to the kids is a way of controlling the mothers (or losing control if the State is the one who can dangle that access). I'm sure that makes me a sound like a jack-booted bastard, but these men count on control and isolation to keep their crimes hidden. Break down that wall and you find out what's really been going on.

This case does call out for a federal investigation. But any such investigation, even with lots of resources, will take time, could be a year or two, and will be difficult to conduct in any way that's effective. It's not a reason not to do one, quite the opposite since the Feds are in the best position, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Knowing someone is breaking the law and proving it are two different things.

* A very old government joke about the FBI. There's a raid on a house. The DEA takes its drug dog in and finds 3 kilos of cocaine. The ATF sends its explosives dog in and finds 3 sticks of dynamite. The FBI sends its dog in, finds nothing and immediately holds a press conference to announce the seizure of 3 kilos of cocaine and 3 sticks of dynamite.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

George Bush flew into Salt Lake City on the taxpayer’s dime to schmooze at a a couple of high-roller fundraisers put on by Mitt Romney. Romney, who is now trying to bribe his way to be VP after laying out $40 million in a failed attempt to buy the Presidency, raised $2 Million for John McCain. Maybe waiting in the wings behind a 71-year-old is a better plan than was trying to convince voters to elect him to the office.

But I digress.

Friday morning on his way out of town, Bush dropped by the Mormon Church headquarters to meet with Daddy’s old buddy the new LDS Prophet (and justify the taxpayer cost for the trip).

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From the church-owned Deseret News:

"They had a good visit," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said.

Topics discussed included President Thomas S. Monson's relationship with Bush's parents, former President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush, Perino said.

Also talked about were "foreign policy issues, Middle East peace, domestic issues ranging from the economy and energy, and then a little bit about what the president will do" after his term ends in January, she said.

Asked whether Bush raised any religious issues with the First Presidency, Perino said nothing "specifically religious" was discussed. She was one of three White House staffers who sat in on the meeting.

"They did say that they do pray for the president, they support the presidency, and (are) a very patriotic people," Perino said. "But they didn't talk about any specific thing in terms of their church and their needs."

An hour’s chat with the Prophet, hello from Daddy and Mumsie, kick around major policy issues, but no time for the physical and emotional abuse going on down in Hildale, where the polygamous FLDS have hidden out for over a hundred years with the mainline LDS looking the other way and where child abuse is still routinely practiced.

The LDS leadership didn’t see fit to ask for federal help to clean up the festering mess they’ve covered for all these years, certainly don’t want to attract any attention to that fact, and the President of the United States didn’t think to offer any.

Too busy being John McCain’s bag man.

The President of All the People didn’t have any time for anyone who wasn’t willing to pay for the privilege, including the several dozen airmen who stood in the rain as an honor guard for Air Force One. Standard procedure is for the Commander in Chief to take a few minutes to shake hands and pose for a picture, a meaningful moment for the brave individuals who serve in our military. Bush couldn’t be bothered; straight onto the plane and up, up and away to the next fundraiser. Priorities, you know.

I have really come to hate that arrogant little prick.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

For your focus and insights on this horrific tragedy. I saw an interview with some of those "lost boys" and it was heartbreaking, and that is just the boys. I can't imagine the hell all of those children are living through.

Hundreds and hundreds of people involved in a criminal organization built on the express premise of systematic child rape and abuse. Soul-numbing.

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Good night and good riddance!