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When Stupidity Attacks: FLDS Children Ordered Returned

Sarah's picture

An Austin appeals court today slapped the State of Texas and advocates for children's health and safety in the face, ruling that authorities had not proved each and every child removed from the Yearning For Zion Ranch was individually endangered. Children were ordered returned to 38 mothers within 10 days.
Sometimes there ain't no justice, and Texas leads the parade. (WARNING: PDF)
Since the April raid, the FLDS, which traffics in girls and women across state and national borders for its prophets' satisfaction of their appetites for underage sex, which destroys families

at the whims of its "prophets" in order to reward their faithful minions or punish those who doubt these men's holiness and power above all Earthly matters, which indulges in child rape under the guise of "marriage" and defrauds the taxpayers of every state in which it is allowed to create one of its perfidious, perverted enclaves, has been crying "foul" -- just as its lawyers, advocates and sympathizers did after the Short Creek raid.
The Department of Children's Protective Services will likely appeal this ruling; but the victory has gone to the theocracy already, and there is much rejoicing tonight among the perverts, the polygamists, the pedophiles, and the plain brainwashed.
The appeals court said the presence of underage mothers and pregnant underage girls at the YFZ ranch did not indicate that other children in the households were at risk.
Texas elects its judges. It's up to this panel now to determine, should CPS appeal, whether the laws of the State of Texas are equal to the "laws" of the FLDS, or whether theocracy can legitimize rape and pedophilia.

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FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

I saw this on the news. It's un-freakin'-believable. What do these people have to do to be held accountable according to the same standards you and I have to abide by?

Because, let's not kid ourselves, everybody knows what's going on in that hellhole. It's child exploitation, child rape, child marriage, child abuse, child labor, you name it, they do it.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

perhaps we need a federal law that polygyny itself is a form of child abuse. Given that so many underage girls were either mothers or pregnant, it seems to me that the "patriarchs" are open to consipiracy to commit statuetory rape charges. But that is just me.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

and one of their recent plaints is that the State of Texas would not accept ID from other sources to verify birth dates.

NOTE: The FLDS is NOT one of those cults who turn their backs on modern medicine. However, given the prevalence of polygamists and/or sympathizers among local authorities in places like Utah, Arizona, etc. -- how reliable would YOU consider those papers?

I'd be awful damn careful about believing anything the FLDS wanted me to believe about the age of any member who didn't have gray hair yet.

Note: this does not change the fact that Bob Deuell is an idiot. It isn't that he isn't on the right track -- like happened with Jim and Tammy Faye, the way you shut down one of these illicit operations is to take away their money and property -- but Texas doesn't have a legal foot to stand on trying, at this point.

If I were Rick Perry (good FSM and ceiling cat help me, perish that thought) damn if I wouldn't be calling an emergency session of the Texas Lege for, like, Tomorrow Morning to see if there's anything at all in the laws of the State as they currently exist that can be interpreted to protect these kids from these predators.

Legal Aid and the ACLU be damned, on this case. Child abuse and rape are NOT protected rights, and I don't give a flying damn how they fit into religion.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

this says they messed up bigtime-- "... Earlier today, attorneys for Child Protective Services confirmed that 15 of the 31 "child" mothers placed in foster care were actually adults. One is 27. A 14-year-old removed as a child mother apparently has no children. The state had raided the ranch after a 16-year-old girl called an abuse hotline saying she had been beaten and raped by her 50-year-old husband, but that girl has not been found. ...

But what the Texas appeals court found today was that your horror alone, or the horror of the incredibly well-meaning folks at Child Protective Services, does not rise to the legal standard of imminent physical danger to that child. There are formal legal steps to be taken before removing a child from her home and family, and you don't get to cut corners in the interest of grand symbolic gestures, even when the grand symbolic gesture is that incest, abuse, and polygamy have no place in America. ..." -- http://www.slate.com/id/2191009/

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

but if they really didn't have good evidence to back up their actions, they totally messed this up.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

first, or cops or child protective services people or social workers in first--as a result of allegations, or to say they had received allegations even if they hadn't--then if they refused to allow them in, they could have definitely acted--or if they allowed them in, those people could have gotten evidence maybe.

or something... i know you can't just charge in and take kids without proof.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

My definition is pretty straightforward.
A call comes in about an abusive situation, you don't jack around for a week to find out if the call is legitimate. You go out on the call and you investigate the report, and you respond to the conditions at the scene.

You go out to a place and you find several women claiming to be married to one man at the same time -- and kids who can't identify their mothers and dads by name or by sight, and both those things are evidence.

Evidence that the laws of the State of Texas are being broken, right out in front of God and everybody. Walk away from that and you invite things to go waytoowrong damn fast.

There is evidence of child abuse.
There is evidence of forcible rape of underage girls.
There is evidence of blackmail.
There is evidence of domestic violence on a mind-bending scale.
There are underage mothers.

I keep hearing that Texas was wrong, that these people have a right to their religion.

What about the girls? Don't they have a right to grow up without being raped "for the glory of God"?
Don't the boys have a right to grow up in their homes, instead of being excommunicated at 14 or 16 because the girls might prefer them to the prophets?

There's plenty of evidence of the corruption Rulon Jeffs and his devilspawn offspring have spread throughout these people's lives in at least five states and three nations -- the FLDS has compounds in Utah, Arizona, the Dakotas, and Texas as well as in British Columbia and Mexico.

The question is, when does that evidence become enough?

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

unless the abused are willing to press charges or they have hard evidence of crimes, where's the case? They didn't charge them with polygamy at all, i don't think. It was all about child abuse, and that the place was endangering ALL the kids there so they had to do a mass removal.

it's like if cops go to someone's apartment and the guy has been beating the girl--but she says she fell or something and won't press charges--what do you do? unless they either saw stuff with their own eyes or have hard proof, the guy doesn't get arrested bec there's no one willing to provide evidence.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

testimony from the girls/teens they pulled out of there, or hoping disgruntled "wives" might tell all? From what i've seen of the (creepy, creepy, creepy) "wives" on tv, they're thoroughly rehearsed and don't reveal anything they don't want to.

If they really didn't have hard evidence of crimes or abuse, they messed up bigtime, and now these kids are condemned to being abused for the rest of their lives.

And if BIO was right about them having faked papers for everything, then even if they are raped and/or married off at 13 or 14, the papers wouldn't reflect that.

Incitatus's picture
Submitted by Incitatus on

Given that the original complaint appears to have been a bogus call. Thing is, there are two sides to the religious motivations in this story. The FLDS on the one hand, and some equally crazy right wing Christian weirdos on the other. This whole thing has been heavy with hearsay, but lacking in hard evidence and reliable witnesses.

Frankly, I'm thankful this botched effort was smacked down in court. The idea that cops can break into my home and forcefully take my kids away on the basis of an anonymous phone call is not terribly appealing.

The only bummer is, if there has been some wrong doing (and clearly, in terms of the polygamy, there has), the authorities have so completely compromised their integrity that they are going to have a hell of a time making any thing stick.

So much for the gung ho approach. I guess they didn't torch the place this time and kill everyone in the compound, so that's something.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"they should have ensured they had hard evidence before rushing in and taking such big and extreme action"

Submitted by Elliott Lake on

. . . at least in highly LDS areas--don't know about TX, but this doesn't get prosecuted in areas where the civil or legal officials, or the majority of the populace, is LDS. It's too strongly a part of the culture, plus the fact that men in positions of power seem to think there's nothing wrong with lots of wives (underage seems to be a rashomon thing too), with denying freedom and education to girls, and the totally mindless OH ITS A RELIGIOUS THING SO ITS OK.

In my home town, there are any number of "bishops" who have gotten away with abuse of their children for years, having charges dropped and children returned---promises that the church will take care of it, that the children will be disciplined for "lying" (!), etc. The same behavior as the Catholic church officials covering up for pedophile priests; can't allow the group to look bad, so the problems get swept under the rug.

It's sad and frightening that TX is in the same stupid hole. In my state, the atty gen. can't bring charges unless the local officials with jurisdiction do, they can't even investigate. So if the locals are sympathetic, the children are SOL.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

This case looked shaky right from the start, but I was so hopeful they'd make something stick and bust them up. The FLDS are plain awful, and almost impossible to deal with. Once you get to know them it becomes easy to understand why the early LDS, with exactly the same set of practices, were driven out of every region they settled in.

In Utah the best the state could do was the prosecution of Jeffs and a couple of others for statutory rape - hopefully they can get some of this crowd the same way - and tax and fraud charges that let the state take over the finances and property. Ton of money still missing, but the principle system has been broken. However, unless the towns are placed under some form of martial law they'll just go right back to what they've been doing; it'll be a long haul to clean up that mess.

El Dorado looks like the Short Creek raid all over again. Poor little children. Terrible thing.