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First look inside YFZ Ranch

First look: Quiet is unnerving as FLDS members seek answers

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  • GK from England
    April 13, 2008 1:14 a.m.

    The media in England are having a field day with this story, especcially the Daily Mail newspaper who are Anti-Mormon and love to print articles which associate polygamy with the LDS Church, despite the fact that this story is about the FLDS Church. As for the children being taken away into care, their needs and safety must be met first. But let's not forget, before we all pass a judgement, that all the people of the FLDS community are innocent until proven guilty.

  • puzzled
    April 13, 2008 4:30 a.m.

    Proven guilty of What? I worry about making judgements concerning God fearing people who largly obey the law and conduct themselves with dignity and decency.

    Are there pedophiles and 'dirty old men' lurking among these religious people? Most likely. The same could be said about almost any religion or sect. Surely most Americans are aware of the problems other churches have faced over the years in that regard.

    As a child growing up, my Family lived near a compound of polygimists; they were polite and hard working. During the 50's and early 60's they chose to mainstream their children in public schools and it really was a benefit for them and the community at large.

    My father was a principal in our community and welcomed their children into mainstream lifestyle. The complication of scrutiny and hate drove these folks underground and eventually into hiding. What damage has been done because of our persecution of their beliefs?

    Let's punish the abusers and leave the rest of them alone to worship their God as they see fit.

  • ST. George
    April 13, 2008 5:45 a.m.

    Shows we live in a police state, and the "Law Enforcerment" are really just Nazi's.

    One call, they should have found that girl first, then decided who needed to be taken. What about preliminary interviews of the children first, before wholesale taking of everyone.

  • Edwards
    April 13, 2008 5:53 a.m.

    If the mother in this article insist on how much,
    how can she explain and justify their practice of
    expelling their sons from their families when they
    are 18 and considered a threat to the older men of
    the community? These boys are still their mothers
    son even though they are older.


  • Thomas Moore
    April 13, 2008 6:27 a.m.

    Who will they see as unfit next? Whom will they come for next? In Bible thumper land anyone who is different is vulnerable. Anyone may have their constitutional rights denied.

  • Pete
    April 13, 2008 6:48 a.m.

    "Let My People Go..." I believe Texas has made a big mistake. They have scared the hell out of 400 children, their mothers and their fathers, on an assumption. Where were the overweight, undereducated deputy sheriffs when the Priest were abusing choir boys? We cannot allow this to continue, No church is safe in America anymore.

  • Pat
    April 13, 2008 7:30 a.m.

    There IS absolute power & abuse in polygamy. But only from the men. They have total control of their families and have "sold" this "religeon" over the generations to the women and children. If that`s all you know for generations, it is and stays the way you live.
    The MEN should`ve been rounded up & removed and questioning done with THEM off the property. The women & children questioned ON the property while the children were left in familiar surroundings!
    It is unforgivable for the state to abuse and traumatize the good, obediant and sweet women and children of this community. The damage done to these children is horrendous! Why is America putting up with this? These are good people with the exception of the MEN, some who use every inch of "power" their invented "religeon" gives them. Make the MEN accountable, not the innocent.
    Remove the MEN, question THEM, have THEM identify and straighten identies out or allow THEM to self-destroy the community instead of the state. The place would likely close down if the men were prevented from returning (because of non-cooperation).

  • Brooke
    April 13, 2008 7:43 a.m.

    We clearly live in a police state where religious teachings are not allowed. No prayer in school. Parents who believe in polygomy will not be allowed to raise them. They will be raised in Foster Homes where religion is frowned on. Every year they will be assigned to a new one. This action has been brought upon us by Godless judges and liberals. People need to tell Texas to give back the children!!! Their actions are evil.

  • Blackbane
    April 13, 2008 7:48 a.m.


    No proof there even is a 16 year old girl. I don't see anyone busting their rump looking for her. It could all be a hoax, some disgruntled x-FLDS woman pretending to be 16 and now she's doing it again in Arizona.
    The way I see it, the local folks feared being out populated and thus out voted for local office like Sheriff.
    So what's next, raid a sub-division because of an anonymous tip to a private re-hab clinic of a meth-lab in one out of the hundreds of homes in the town?
    This is so kool, the government just conveniently gets a third party "he said she said they said" tip and they can raid a whole town.



  • Questions for those in favor
    April 13, 2008 8:07 a.m.

    Seriously, I can't see how anyone can believe that this was the right thing to do. Please explain to me how you came to the conclusion that this was the justified correct course? Explain how taking children from their parents is not exactly what Satan would do?

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    I think Texas will be funding the FLDS church for some time. This travesty will cost Texas citizens hundreds of millions in lawsuits. How in the world can such unqualified people become judges in this land? All of these volunteer lawyers are so kind to represent the children? Rather I think they realize the potential for a huge settlement for this very un-american act. The judge should resign, or better be impeached.

  • Eddie
    April 13, 2008 8:58 a.m.

    There has been no conclusive proof offered by authorities to indicate that the alleged victim even exists. I believe that this raid was initiated by authorities who had no legal or justifiable reason to seize and take these children away from their mothers.

    The cops have nothing!! And they know it. I hope they get the hell sued out of them to the tune of several hundreds of million of dollars. The people of that compound just want to be left alone and nosy busybodies probably the "outraged" wives of politicians who don't have any other cause to pursue have latched onto this as their cause du jour.

  • DQ
    April 13, 2008 8:56 a.m.

    WE THE stupid, common, ordinary PEOPLE.

    Uh...now what exactly is this group's sin?

    Living communally and raising their children communally. Im sure our friendly Government Services pimps know how to raise kids better than us, the common man.

    The so called 'services' the state provides would vanish if people realized the the value of SELF RELIANCE. :)

    The state must create as many 'victims' as it can in order to continue it's growth. Keep feeding the beast 'victim pimps' and eventually you will have a government that knows better than you too.

    Good government, Good job. Bad ordinary people, listen to your masters!

  • Spyros
    April 13, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    I have to say, this is nothing more than the Texas government going after the FLDS members... for some reason, they see or hear the word "ploygamy", and instantly, they assume this is some sinister and abusive cult.

    This whole tragedy is unfounded, outrageous, and deeply offensive to me. I am not FLDS, but I sympathize... number one, the girls who supposedly made this call has not been found. Two, no damning evidence has been found. Three, the primary male suspect questioned, can prove he did no wrong. Third, no charges were filed before the raid, so what was there to base such a powerful warrant on? The word on ONE child, which cannot even be found? Is that the basis upon which the Texas Rangers justify destroying the lives of so many, and ripping apart families?

    Also, what the heck was the Baptist Church doing, transporting these people? If the law enforcement agents wanted to take these people, let them do it themselves... use Sheriff's transports... don't have the Baptists come and help... there was NO reason for that, other than to "stick it" to the FLDS, as if to say, "we've saved you". Yeah, right.

  • Aaron
    April 13, 2008 9:07 a.m.

    Regardless of what you think of someone's religious views or practices, this woman has a right to be with her children. Texas has committed a serious mistake, shame on them.

  • VegasBaby
    April 13, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    Texas had four years to put together a solid case against these liars and abusers. All they needed was probable cause under the fourth amendment to move in. I hope the children never go back to their parents but that will be decided when the the parents have their day in court. The children are now allowed to laugh and cry, something that wasn't allowed in their "loving" homes.

  • mom"
    April 13, 2008 9:32 a.m.

    In the early 60's the state of Arizona did this same thing. What did anyone learn? It is against the law in the United States to practice having more than one wife. So why now with all these fourty some years past is there the same practice still being allowed among the same families among the same church? Why haven't the men who are practicing something that is againt the laws of our contry still living out in the open and not being accountable. You allow the women of these men to be taken and the children. I can tell you as one who know you will have problems for these children for the rest of their lives over the way this has been handled. Just because they are children and everyone can control a child but not it's parents.
    Yes, we all are in danger and it doesn't have to be about anything different. Just the one who holds the power to say you are out of line and it is going to get a lot worse in the years to come. Practice and keep the laws of the land. This is America and we can change it. Mom:

  • LDS
    April 13, 2008 9:47 a.m.

    I agree with Pat.
    Leave the children with their mother's, remove the men for the deeds.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    I'm simply amazed at how one news article has so drastically altered people's stated opinions from what y'all were saying yesterday.

  • Grow brains
    April 13, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    PEOPLE, POLYGAMY IS A CRIME. Figure it out! It appears that the majority of comments consider this dangerous cult to be a wonderful, delightiful lifestyle just minding it's own business.
    GROW BRAINS ALREADY! Polygamy is incredibly harmful to children, robs women of independent thought, costs the taxpayers millions a year in welfare fraud and assistance and is a haven for pedophiles and those wishing to engage in incestual behaviors. Absolutely criminal and should be ERADICATED from the planet. Utahns are wacky people and generally support the wrong idea on any topic (thanks for sweeping the tyrant GWB into office) but this Texas YFZ FLDS nonsense has to go the way of the dinosaur. Wake up.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 10:06 a.m.

    Polygamy is wrong on many levels. If abuse is happening, it should be stopped. If underage marriage is forced, it should be stopped. However, in a society that allows (and often celebrates) gay relationships, gay "couples" adopting children, out-of-wedlock births and rampant divorce, for the government to punish every member of this society is ludicrous!

    In America we can have sexual relations with whomever we want, male or female, have children with whomever we want, in and out of wedlock, and it's not punishable by law. But get married to more than one woman and have children and it's worthy of a government raid. As anti-polygamy as I am (it makes me sick), there is something seriously wrong with the Texas government taking over 400 children from their homes. It's hard to believe that they were ALL being abused.

  • Reenie
    April 13, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    I am a member of the LDS church and do not believe that polygamy should be practiced. I initially thought it was right to have these children removed from their homes, but have changed my mind somewhat about that. So polygamy is unlawful - so is adultery and child abuse. When will our government start rounding up adulterers and child/women beaters. Come on Texas, go after "the really bad guys." They are everywhere. How do we judge these good mothers who have lost their children? In my eyes, they are misguided. Pray the next move is not to tell us how, when, where and whom to worship in our churches.

  • Emma
    April 13, 2008 10:14 a.m.

    I feel very sad for the Children. I'm sure the Mothers are good to their young children but what about making your teenage girls get married so young and taking away their free agency????? The men are the ones who should have been taken away. I do have to say that the poor young girls are married way to young and do not have a freedom or Free agency to choose to go to college and marry a man she falls in love with. In my eyes that is abusive...Not letting them choose there Husband. When A female child/teenager is forced to get married and told it is what God wants her to do. I think that is abusive and needs to stop. It's one thing to choose it in your twenties but forced into in your teens is just Wrong and against the law. Girls need to be teenagers not teenage Mothers...

  • Human Puppy Mill
    April 13, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    What does this article tell us? That the mothers love their children. So what. I really have no sympathy for any mother who turns her teenage daughters into puppy-mill-style baby factories.

  • Remembers Reenie :-)
    April 13, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    I feel so sorry for the whole group. I think most of them are honest, hardworking people. But the men who had a hand in forcing the youg girls to maryy at such a young age, should be punished! They are SO wrong!
    To have taken all of these children away from their homes is not right either. What good does it do to break up those families? Surely there are better ways to deal with this problem.

  • Darin
    April 13, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    Wow, this is what happens to children because of their fathers who are greedy stupid men. The children are paying for the sins of their fathers. End of story!

  • What gives here?
    April 13, 2008 10:49 a.m.

    A few points:

    1. Where I live a father that allegedly abuses a child is hauled off to jail, and the mom and child are not forcibly sequestered in a different location, they remain at home or in a professional facility to receive medical or other offered help for their wounds, physical or otherwise.

    2. Mom gets to stay with child and nurture / comfort the child and receive help and solace from those willing to help.

    3. Someone who usually exists steps forward or is usually found That made the allegations against the father, not a phantom that cannot be found, usually. Maybe they remain publicly anonymous but authorities are in contact with the person, usually. That person usually has not disappeared into the mist.

    4. The mom and child usually are not hauled off to parts unknown to them. The child and mom usually remain in comfortable surroundings or at home.

    5. There are usually far fewer offending dads than abused children and moms. Isn't it far more efficient and possibly LEGAL "usually" to haul the alleged offending dad(s) off to jail instead of traumatizing the mom and child further?

    6. Are we the USA, or NOT?




  • Systemic Abuse
    April 13, 2008 10:56 a.m.

    Instead of justifying the lifestyle, the mainstream LDS members would be better served to break up these compounds where abuse is systemic. They will tarnish the image of the church in the way the Islamic fundamentalists have tarnished mainstream Islam. It's really in your best interest to denounce these groups. Also, when you compare the Texas Rangers to the Nazis it really destroys your credibility. The Texas authorities had no choice but to follow up on the phone call from the distressed girl. What good is a help-line that ignores their callers? The reaction of removing the children was not based entirely on the phone call, it was based on 4 years of research into the community and interviews with informants and other sources.

  • Listen to Truth
    April 13, 2008 11:07 a.m.

    I find here that most people are believing the possibly fabricated stories of ex-members, they wouldn't be ex members unless FLDS wasn't something they hated. I'm not convinced beyond a doubt that all they say is absolutely true. I think there is two sides to every story, and I don't believe that the state of texas has done the right thing in doing what they did. It is reminiscent of a police state. I'm sure there is some abuses, but I seriously doubt that everything that everybody is saying is gospel.

  • culture shock
    April 13, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    Wow. Its clear not many here would survive living in a culture of arranged marriages. I never knew my ancestors were so abused.

  • Texan no more
    April 13, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    Which FLDS leader chose to move to the state of Texas? Who did the research. Texas takes more children out of the home per capita than any other state. The FLDS people are breaking the law to allow young girls to marry and they were unwise to escape the 'safer haven' of Utah/Arizona to practice such crimes. They may be peace loving people, in general, but they certainly know that they are breaking the law and that anyone who breaks the law can and may be prosecuted at some time. They were not thinking of their families and children when they chose to walk at the edge of the cliff.

  • Secret Society
    April 13, 2008 11:13 a.m.

    Another story about the victimized mothers. I notice the men are conspicuously silent. Most of the comments I have read lead me to believe that most people (myself included) could care less what alternative lifestyle their neighbors practice. Very few people however, will stand by and condone underage marriages of young girls to older men or the abandonment of the excess young boys.

    Im a married mother of 3 beautiful children and Im insulted that the FLDS teach their children that we outsiders in the world are evil and not to be trusted. Its the same faulty generalization that the polygamists complain they are characterized by. Its unfortunate that the Texas raid will have the unwanted effect of increasing their already substantial paranoia.

    Jeffs has not only brought himself down, but his entire congregation by wielding excessive power and control over their lives in creating his secret society. Most polygamists skirt bigamy laws by legally marrying only one wife. I personally dont agree with polygamy and strongly object to welfare payments, but many polygamists have chosen to integrate into society and practice their faith without subjecting minors to these abuses. Obviously, the FLDS just cant figure this out.

  • Mom
    April 13, 2008 11:31 a.m.

    Hindsight is always 20/20. Perhaps these mothers should have said who their children were when initially given the opportunity, so that they could leave with them. Perhaps they should have taught their children to always be honest, so that when people ask who their parents are, they can give a straight answer.

    If the "men" on this compound were really men, they'd own up to the abuse and trauma they've put these women and children through and turn themselves in. I can understand why there is some reluctance to place these women back with their children. In Utah, the law they are violating is "failure to protect" when they know abuse is occuring and stand idly by. I'm sure Texas has a similar law.

  • Don
    April 13, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    Reading the vicious comments over the past few days,
    it clearly portrays the hatred that sits just under
    the surface in peoples hearts. Punish the offending individual, if the facts are there. But to destroy an entire community is beyond the pale.The Native Americans know exactly what is being done in Texas.
    In the late 1800's, this same "Program" being used
    against these people today, was used to "Deprogram"
    the Indians, and break them from the "Old Ways", of
    their people. They were ripped from their families,
    and sent far from them. They were not allowed to even speak their own language, of worship as they belived. History is repeating itself. Now the story
    is coming out, that the purported phone call, may have been a hoax. If this proves true, then what. Will the State of Texas change their story as to why
    they conducted themselves in such a tawdry manner, and how will they justify themselves. At least in Waco, Texas and the Feds got to burn up the evidence.

  • Right Thing
    April 13, 2008 11:34 a.m.

    Texas did the right thing in removing these children from an abusive situation.

  • From Arizona
    April 13, 2008 11:51 a.m.

    Amen to Don's comment.

    Unfortunately, vicious people and vicious practices still exist in this country and will never be stamped out.

    I just hope that "innocent until proven guilty" survives. I don't agree in any way with the FLDS, but let's prosecute the real offenders, where and when they exist, and let's PROVE they are guilty.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 11:47 a.m.

    >>But let's not forget, before we all pass a judgment, that all the people of the FLDS community are innocent until proven guilty.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 11:56 a.m.

    >>Are there pedophiles and 'dirty old men' lurking among these religious people? Most likely.

  • CL
    April 13, 2008 11:58 a.m.

    Underage girls forced to marry and yes, I said forced because they have been so indoctrinated that everything else in the world is so evil, is just wrong and against the law. Why do the polygamists marry off the girls so young? Can somebody answer that? This is the 21st century, not the pioneer days when people lived much shorter lives.
    Isn't it just an abuse of power over others?
    Believe what you will, but it's not a free choice when you live in fear. They have to investigate whether there was abuse. The story sounds so pitiful from these moms, but sorry, the inbreeding and coercion makes me think they wouldn't admit abuse anyway.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 12:03 p.m.

    >>Regardless of what you think of someone's religious views or practices, this woman has a right to be with her children. Texas has committed a serious mistake, shame on them.

  • What Rights?
    April 13, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    I would like 2 point out The Fourth Amendment "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." AMERICA is FAILING and will 4ever go down hill If we as a people don't stand up for our Constitutional Rights...Our Forefathers fought lived and died 4 our freedom. Is this how we repay them?...

  • Tell The Truth
    April 13, 2008 12:10 p.m.

    CL what proof do you have that more than 1 or 2 cases of what you call underaged is happening? As I'm aware it wasn't even illegal in that state until Congress pushed a law through specifically targeting this group. I though Congress was to pass no law like that. You are the ones that are brainwashed to believe all that the media tells. Or all that people with less than pure motives express. I am chagrined to see so many people pass judgment here, and want to take these precious pure children and indoctrinate them in the "freedom" of the world this day. Let's teach them that premarital sex is ok, that not covering your body is a expression of freedom, that dirty old men go everywhere in this world to fulfill their filthy desires. Let's pull all the children out of the slums in NY, Detroit, and on top of that the child trafficking that is happening all over the globe to fulfill men's sickness. You are all hypocrites, and know full well that this boils down to their religion and their beliefs. Keep spouting all your perceived wrongs with this group and manifest your own hearts.

  • Tell the Truth
    April 13, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    What Rights!!

    Smack on comment. America doesn't care, they have lost their rights so far now in the name of protection, and safety that before they know it, they will have none left and our Once Great Country will be a shell of itself, and we will be subject to greater tyranny than could be thought possible. I am moving from this nation.

  • loveathome
    April 13, 2008 12:11 p.m.

    What I don't understand is why the FLDS were so secretive about their lifestyle? If it was so wholesome and God-fearing and honest and wonderful, why not just live in mainstream society and just practice your religion like the rest of the Christians do? Maybe because it wasn't?! ... well, duh...

  • Susan
    April 13, 2008 12:18 p.m.

    **I'm simply amazed at how one news article has so drastically altered people's stated opinions from what y'all were saying yesterday.**

    It is amazing what happens when the truth becomes known.

  • CL
    April 13, 2008 12:19 p.m.

    This is where the social imperative of protecting the young and the vulnerable collides with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
    There are laws in that state about underage marriage whether you like it or not. Look it up.
    Go on and on about all the other abuses in the world, but because this is associated with "religion" it is more palatable to you?
    I'm for equal opportunity in going after abusers, whether they are religious nuts or anything else.
    That's not hypocrisy. Saying that is about their religious beliefs alone is hypocrisy. Victims are often voiceless and that's part of the problem with all types of abuse cases. Don't try to tell me it's about religion only. It's not.

  • camille
    April 13, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    i feel sorry for the mothers - most of them have been probably abused when they were younger so they dont know any better - i dont know whether they are right or wrong - but in my country kids are abused all the time - and if the athorities are told of such an incident the man is immediatly removed from the situation... and charged... too much of this has been going on and while i disagree with the removal of so many children, i believe they were right to act so swiftly ...children are not chattels - to be used and treated like so much garbage. I pray for them and ask God that the truth come to light - if these women know that their children have been hurt then now is the time to stand up and fight for these kids... dont let the same be done to them... Please..

  • Re: What Rights?
    April 13, 2008 12:25 p.m.

    How do YOU know that their 4th amendment rights were violated? Were YOU there? I believe this question will be addressed in court on Thursday. My understanding is that while the authorities were there LEGALLY to search for a caller, they found numerous underage pregnant and teen mothers. Do you really want the police to ignore calls for help, even if it turns out the call was bogus? Would you expect the police to turn a blind eye to violations of the law that they actually witness?

    Broadening the scope of the search warrant for evidence and removing all the children did not occur until AFTER officers had found 18 underage girls who were either pregnant or had recently given birtha clear violation of statutory rape laws. It was in the news.

    Get your facts straight and educate yourself on State and Federal laws, especially those involving search and seizure.

  • Hal
    April 13, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    ===What I don't understand is why the FLDS were so secretive about their lifestyle?===

    My guess is that they wanted to live apart so as not have their children influenced by the immoral world that we see around us.

    ===If it was so wholesome and God-fearing and honest and wonderful, why not just live in mainstream society and just practice your religion like the rest of the Christians do?===

    Maybe for the same reason the Amish, Mennonites, etc., want to live apart.

  • Nation of Laws
    April 13, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    Use your IQ not your emotion please. Please think with your head not with your heart. If anyone knows what the constitution says, knows that this search was illegal, as was the subsequent removal of these children.

    We are a nation of laws. And despite what you may want, those laws are often set up to protect the accused. Our constitution was written, not for the people, but in order to keep the government at bay, to keep the government from having too much power over the people. Yes, they practice polygamy, which is in violation of our laws. But last time I checked in the constitution, the supreme law of this land, never says a word about polygamy or the practice thereof. But it does setup grounds for lawful searches and rights of the government.

  • Look it up
    April 13, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    "This is where the social imperative of protecting the young and the vulnerable collides with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
    There are laws in that state about underage marriage whether you like it or not. Look it up."

    Marriage age in Texas once was 14. That's one reason why FLDS move there. Then Texas upped it to 16. Fourteen was apparently OK for Texans but not for FLDS.

  • Get the facts
    April 13, 2008 12:43 p.m.

    Agree with the poster at 12:25.
    It's about the law to some of the stupid people who think it's about religion only.
    Agree with CL; all abuse is wrong, whether under the "religious" guise or not.

    Authorities investigated based upon a legal search. If there were mistakes, then let the legal system work. And yeah, before you start with your rantings, there are laws there specific to underage marriage and living in a "religious" compound does not exempt people from obeying those laws.


  • David
    April 13, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    Apparently many of you feel that we should just have let the FLDS alone despite the fact the fact that 16 year old GIRLS in the community have 2 or more children by 50 year old husbands. "Oh boo hoo we should leave these people alone and sue the State of Texas." I disagree. These babies have been taught that sexual abuse is NORMAL. Getting them off the compound gives them the opportunity to feel safer and possibly talk which they would not do if they REMAINED on site.

    Apparently you all also forget that 16 year old boys are kicked out of the group as competition for females. You see a few tears and forget the big picture. The FLDS are about abuse and the cycle needs to be changed. This action was the start of that change unless you cry to leave the abusers alone which is what it does sound like.

  • Stright facts
    April 13, 2008 12:44 p.m.

    >>Get your facts straight and educate yourself on State and Federal laws, especially those involving search and seizure.

  • So?
    April 13, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    What the age used to be is irrelavant.
    It is 16 and they are breaking the law!!
    Stupid.
    Why do they move there? Maybe because UTAH didn't want them and would go after them.

  • Please...
    April 13, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    Stop whining!
    These people are stupid sheep who were following a doctrine that was renounced by the mainstream church. And marrying girls who are underage is against the law there, no matter how much you don't like it. Don't excuse it and act like the leaders of this sect are not horrible men.

  • Huh?
    April 13, 2008 12:52 p.m.

    "Yes, they practice polygamy, which is in violation of our laws."

    Polygamy is being MARRIED to more than one person at a time. If these people were "married" spiritually (not by the laws of the state) in their temple, were they practicing polygamy? I think not. They were merely having sex with more than one person (not their spouse) at a time... Something you see in Hollywood and elsewhere all the time. One professional b-ball player reportedly has 9 kids with 8 different women. Go figure.

  • Pity her?
    April 13, 2008 1:00 p.m.

    Just a question for the mothers in the article: Would you allow these innocent children, who cling so piteously to your skirts now, to marry at age 14? Would you allow a man, 50 years old or so, to marry your teenage daughter and take her from you then? Would you attend her marriage ceremony and convince her not to run away? If you were married at a young age and you allow your daughter to be forced into that lifestyle because YOU believe it is right, how are you being a good parent? Mothers in this plight are to be pitied, but if they are preparing their daughters to follow in their footsteps, it seems abusive to me.

  • Don
    April 13, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    As Hal pointed out,that as the Amish and Mennonites
    desire to live peaceful, quiet and dignified lives,
    can we not allow them to do so. Must we compel all
    to some "National Standard" of conformity?
    Just food for thought,all of us might consider reading about "Perpetua", Roman History, 203 A.D.
    city of Carthage.There is an interesting parallel with today. The story is very moving. Again follow the Constitution, it is amazing how well it works,
    when it is followed. And if a true crime exists, then address that issue and that individual. But don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

  • Freedom
    April 13, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    These kids have been kidnapped. Back in 1953 LeRoy Johnson made a promise to find every child after the state of Arizona kidnapped them. He fought the state in court to prevent the kids from getting addopted out. He defended the Navajo Nation at the same time because the State would steel their children away and adopt them out without permission of the parents. Roy Johnson helped to stop that. Roy related an incident about meeting the Chief of the Navajo near Paige Utah. The chief thanked him and promised to help the people of Short creek with anything they needed. Maybe it's time to call in the great Navajo nation to help to free these kids.

  • For Nancy, Monica and Shannon
    April 13, 2008 1:07 p.m.

    Tell it to the judge!!!

  • Stop complaining
    April 13, 2008 1:13 p.m.

    This just is creating more martyrdom with some of the religious nuts who think these people were targeted. The law enforcement offices there had a good relationship with the compound it was reported.
    It was the phone calls received and then the affidavit of a rape allegation and abuse that led them to get a warrant for search.
    The kids and mothers are innocent, I'll agree with that. But their leaders are not.
    Don't worry; all you people who think that the goverment went too far will feel justified when it turns out that none of the victims turn on their
    "leaders" because they are too afraid.

  • Mark
    April 13, 2008 1:28 p.m.

    These people are human beings not some sub-human species. They may belong to a "different" kind of religion, but they are still human and need to be treated with respect.

  • Re: Stright facts
    April 13, 2008 1:24 p.m.

    Seizure and kidnapping?

    If you think that is what CPS does when they remove children from potentially abusive environments, then you scare me. However this situation went down, it is about making sure that the kids are safe in their religious commune before returning them to their parents. All children have a constitutional right to be safe and free from abuse and neglect. Parents cant abdicate their responsibility to their children and whether you like it or not, the government is required to remove children and investigate complaints of alleged abuse or neglect on their behalf.

  • Get some air.
    April 13, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    Looks like every government conspiracy, religious nut WACKO in the world came out of the woodwork to post today.

  • Joyce
    April 13, 2008 1:31 p.m.

    DNA will prove who the mother's and father's are.
    Then charges can be filed.
    Rape is rape I don't care who or where you are.

  • Worried about police power
    April 13, 2008 1:41 p.m.

    If a judge thought that guns were harmful and considered a potential for abuse - does that give the courts and police the right to go into the homes of everyone they think "might" have a gun and take the children from them "for their protection". What type of "counseling" would their be to make sure the children could transition away from the harmful and evil side of guns?

  • David
    April 13, 2008 1:52 p.m.

    I will treat the FLDS adults with respect when they stop abusing their sons and daughters. When the FLDS community allows other members to rape children, then they too are guilty. The big picture is about removing children from homes that ALLOW for child rape not about pretended religious freedom since the religious freedom would be in allowing old men to have sex with young girls....that remains child rape. Boo hoo families are being separated...tough. Again folks, it's about child abuse and child sexual abuse. Don't forget that when the FLDS mothers cry. How much protest was made by those SAME MOTHERS as 13 year olds were "taken" on the "holy temple bed" immediately following marriage? How quickly were those same mothers to let the "church authorities" know that there daughters were now "women?" Sorry, I feel no sympathy for crocodile tears considering the situation.

  • poorly thought out
    April 13, 2008 1:51 p.m.

    My problem with this raidsince the beginningis how poorly thought out it appears to have been. There are likely cases of abuse going on, and perhaps a whole lot of them. If the state wanted to take down the FLDS faith, the best way to do it is to destroy their credibility and systematically demonstrate systematic abuse. Instead, they've raided the compound, taken the abused (instead of the accused) and sequestered them from their loved ones. Now, the state is in a very defensive mode and has to prove everyone's guilt all at one.
    Instead, they could have identified a single case of abuse. Then another, then another. After several such cases came into the public eye, the entire public would be on the State's side. We are, after all, a national of precedence.
    All they have done is to create a martyred group that they cannot possibly fend off all at once, and to solidify any beliefs--misconceived or otherwise--that these folks had about the 'outside' world.
    This was just stupid.

  • Mitoshi
    April 13, 2008 2:09 p.m.

    Seems to me that Texas authorities had some reason to look into the situation at the fundamentalist ranch. It was handled very wrongly however. In the process of protecting one persons rights they violated a great many other person's rights. Was the raid for the greater good? No! The raid was fashioned as not to have another Waco incident. Texas has a history of dealing with reclusive religions in a "Jack Boot" style. It will happen again I'll bet. The role of law is to protect the indiviual from the rest of us. In doing so the law can not violate the rights of others. This business is tragic and wrong. Texas should have investigated the reason for the aledged call for help by going to the ranch with search warrent. I'm sure the sheriff doesn't follow up anonymous phone calls from other places in his jurisdiction with such zeal and back up. This whole mess could have been a voined with some thought.

  • Re: David and Huh?
    April 13, 2008 2:08 p.m.

    To David--

    Your point is exactly the same as mine. Religion or no religion, tears or no tears, bias or no bias, this is abuse. Plain, outright abuse.

    What most people tend to whine, then, is "well, other people abuse girls toooooo . . ."

    So that must make the FLDS abuse A-OK.

    What's wrong with the FLDS is that they teach that this is NORMAL (like David said). It is NORMAL there for a husband to beat up his wife.


    To Huh?--

    Okay. I get it. So being "spiritually" married makes it all okay.

    GARBAGE!

    I can't believe you are trying to snake your way out of the truth like this.
    -------
    polygamy [puh-lig-uh-mee]

    noun 1. the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, esp. wife, at one time.
    -------
    Does it say *by the laws of the state???*

  • Jessejames
    April 13, 2008 2:27 p.m.

    Wow! Regardless of what we all might think of polygamy, to hear this mother of five talk about her loss is heart wrenching. The affects of this will affect us all. Wow! Look at the power we've given Child Protective Services. Big Government. Let's give em more power more money. Good work Law Enforcement. Yet another example of poorly executed judgement on the part of our elected officials. Government knows best. The state of Texas is treating their citizens like chattel. Unbelievable.

  • To Huh:
    April 13, 2008 2:38 p.m.

    Having sex with another besides your legal lawful wife and telling someone about it and having children by another woman is called, under the law "common law" marriage. You are married to more than one person. I called it adultery. What you called it not a legal description. OH, year, it's just sex. Reality eludes you.

  • Jessejames
    April 13, 2008 2:34 p.m.

    David:

    Remember the proverbial "cloak of charity". Now, would be a great time excerise the use of it. I understand your frustration, but maybe you could just hang back awhile and let this situation work out and see who violated whom.

  • My 2 cents
    April 13, 2008 3:05 p.m.

    We all know these women wouldn't be talking without the express permission of the higher-ups. It's interesting to note the stone-deaf silence coming from the men. It shows what cowards the male predators really are. In the long run, I hope these kids (especially all of the pregnant teens who have been raped) are able to lead happy, normal lives away from the mind control and abuse.

  • Roger
    April 13, 2008 3:05 p.m.

    "Women and Children first!" Is not meant to cause pain, and seperate loved ones in this age of awareness and care. This Texas case is a throw-back historically to when "women and cildren" had no rights. We are witness to the devolution of justice.

    It is much easier to round-up the weak and defenseless and bully them into submission. If there are victims here, it IS the women & children. If there are victimizers, it IS the men!

    "GET THE MEN!!" Incarcerate them, for safe-keeping, if they are a danger and a threat to their community's defenseless members.

    Then exercise "due process". That's the way in any country that protects its citizens from abuse. We are all too familiar with countries that run counter to those standards. Now in America? So very sad.

  • Why are they still there?
    April 13, 2008 3:29 p.m.

    If these women love their children SO much, why are they not with them? Other women left with the children.

    No one would take my children with out me going too.... and from my understanding there are many women who went with their chilren...

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    Kudos to Texas.

  • ToJesseJames
    April 13, 2008 4:00 p.m.

    There is no need for a "cloak of charity" when we already have a long track record. We already know that within the FLDS community men marry underage women. How do we know this? We have witnesses/victims that have told us so. We also have young women with multiple children. We have "lost boys" that have been kicked out of the community and struggle to survive along with their eye witness accounts. Why were they kicked out? Because they were competition for females. The truths have already been laid out with other names of other victims. We also know that incest occurs as a standard course, so you may want to look up fumerase deficiency to get you up to speed. Adultery, whether church sanctioned or not, is not the issue. The issue at hand is child abuse and child sexual abuse, again recent history shows us that this is not only likely but probable.
    Now look at your bible and point to the first polygamist...oh a murderer. Then we have Abraham with Hagar and still suffer the trouble that union caused.
    Again it is about crimes that are consistent with the group.

  • john b
    April 13, 2008 4:03 p.m.

    the law says CPS has to investegate child abuse by taking the children from the parents until they are sure the children will be safe in the home .sence nether the children or the mothers would say who the children belonged to and they knew that some of them had been abused by law they had to take all of them. and if the mothers let their 13yr old girls be forceed into mariage and yet as the report said had contact with the outside world they are as guilty as the men in the site of justus this probley wont be printed because it dont agree with most posts here

  • Dave
    April 13, 2008 4:01 p.m.

    I believe that there was probable cause to search. However I also agree that the men should have been removed and not the women and children from the compound. The authorities found evidence of under age mothers. So there was child abuse going on. Let the justice system take it's course.

  • jessejames
    April 13, 2008 4:05 p.m.

    TO JESSE JAMES:

    The issue is not the long history of Polygamy as you say it is, but what has happened in Eldorado Tx, over the past ten days. Your bias shows brother or sister. The issue is how CPS handled this matter, and how or if they violated citizens of the U.S. Civil Liberty's. I agree there's abuses, but again, the focus should be on what is unfolding in Texas.

  • JesseJames
    April 13, 2008 4:08 p.m.

    (sloop)John B.

    Your comments are unsubstantiated and vague at best. There is no proof of abuse yet. You've heard the media talk about 16 yr old girls being pregnant. That's not against Texas law buddy.

  • russ
    April 13, 2008 4:13 p.m.

    Hal: please don't drag the Amish and the Mennonites into this cat fight. They don't do what the FLDS has been practicing: polygamy, and based on convictions in court, child abuse. We have Mennonites live in our area and they mingle with us, etc. They even, forbid, hold scientific research positions at the university. They are my neighbors. They send their children out into the world to do good.

    The Mennonites are not like the FLDS.

  • M
    April 13, 2008 4:22 p.m.

    First and foremost, the children must be safe. Kudos to Texas for stepping in. FLDS member states "How can this happen in America?" The polygamists can't choose which laws they want to obey and which to ignore.

    These pedophiles (men and women)are brainwashing children and raising their own little sex slaves.

  • commonsense1
    April 13, 2008 4:24 p.m.

    The inability of the FLDS to be honest and upright US citizens with something as simple as who their family members are, is indicative of the secretive, illegal practices and beliefs they espouse. The police evidence will show the abuses are more numerous than a few underage marriages.

    It's time to turn on the lights and expose the injustices committed against the women and children of this closed community. The weak and cowardly male members (improper to call them men) of the FLDS group need to be rounded-up and prosecuted for their pedophilia.

  • texan
    April 13, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    It is hard to feel sorry for these women. They live in a society where sexual abuse is so accepted that they don't even seem to realize it's wrong.

  • Don't mess with Texas
    April 13, 2008 4:48 p.m.

    I agree, the men should have been extracted instead of women and children, but once CPS was called in, the choice was made to extract all possible victims.

    Where are these men now? Why do we not hear anything about them?

    Raising girls to have babies as soon as they reach puberty, what barbarism under the guise of religion!

  • the Ogre
    April 13, 2008 5:23 p.m.

    "Instead of justifying the lifestyle, the mainstream LDS members would be better served to break up these compounds where abuse is systemic. They will tarnish the image of the church in the way the Islamic fundamentalists have tarnished mainstream Islam. It's really in your best interest to denounce these groups."

    Yeah, right!!! the LDS church has the ability to project its whims upon any other person or organization. These folks have not been a part of the LDS church for over a hundred years. Church discipline would never work.

    These folks are also not in the same vein as Wahabists or other Islamic fundies. They are not murderbombing anyone. They seem fairly peaceful.

    There are allocations of abuse. I think Texas will work it out, but to expect the LDS church to is silly and exceptionally immature.

  • Alf
    April 13, 2008 5:31 p.m.

    "And marrying girls who are underage is against the law there..."

    Whoa friend. They are not married. By the law of the land anyway. Their marriages are spiritual... in their temple.

  • Bert
    April 13, 2008 5:38 p.m.

    "If you think that is what CPS does when they remove children from potentially abusive environments, then you scare me."

    And what scares me is conduct that you would typically find in Nazi Germany.

  • therin
    April 13, 2008 5:47 p.m.

    ===DNA will prove who the mother's and father's are.
    Then charges can be filed.=== Joice

    They are all related. Their DNA all matches.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 5:42 p.m.

    >>If a judge thought that guns were harmful and considered a potential for abuse - does that give the courts and police the right to go into the homes of everyone they think "might" have a gun and take the children from them "for their protection". What type of "counseling" would their be to make sure the children could transition away from the harmful and evil side of guns?

  • Huh?
    April 13, 2008 5:47 p.m.

    **noun 1. the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, esp. wife, at one time.
    -------
    Does it say *by the laws of the state???**

    Then, of course, you'd want Hollywood raided. Or perhaps the Bunny Ranch.

  • Texas Ute
    April 13, 2008 5:56 p.m.

    It's called slavery.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    >>If these women love their children SO much, why are they not with them? Other women left with the children.

  • SKAT
    April 13, 2008 5:56 p.m.

    If they "love" their children so much...why do they allow them to be abused. Read some of the stories, of which there are many, about people women and the lost boys who are kicked out...read their stories there are many. And explain this...a 16 year old was taken who already had 4 kids...YOU DO THE MATH! It is sexual/rape abuse of kids.
    I agree it might have been a much better idea to take the men away instead...but hindsite is always better.
    My question is how do you claim to love your children but yet allow them to be sexually abused by the gross old men...pretators. Does not matter which religion it is...catholic, Baptist, Morman whatever....ABUSE IS ABUSE...any way you look at it.

  • Charlesh
    April 13, 2008 6:00 p.m.

    The FLDS are secretive because a raid just like this one happened in 1953 in Shortcreek.

    They want to be apart, which is THEIR RIGHT.

    The Constitution is DEAD.

    It was killed in action by the Texas Rangers on orders from the Texas law enforcement.

    If you want to see the FLDS open up, then stop using Nazi tactics and strategy.

  • David
    April 13, 2008 6:07 p.m.

    This whole news thing is separating L-D-S members. MOST PEOPLE IN OUR WARD TODAY WERE APPALLED with the dumb feel sorry for polygamy routine going on within the news of Utah. IT'S ALL EXTREMELY SMELLY HOG WASH!
    Come on guys! This is nothing but pure old CHILD ABUSE with adulterers, porn pevies, slavery and fornication. There is nothing religious going on in those polygamist cults. Some of us know this.

  • Tex transplant
    April 13, 2008 6:09 p.m.

    These men are just perverts, having sex with underage girls, which yes, is statutory rape, and now stand silent?
    We have a term for that that can't be published here.
    I don't give a whit about what their religious practices are, it's about whether it's proven they broke the law and damaged the innocent. The complaints are about rape and abuse. They have to investigate that. We'll see what happens in court. And let it play out before all the anti government ranting continues. I can't imagine the logistical nightmare of who the mothers are, what the names are, how many children, who are the fathers, etc etc.

  • Fred
    April 13, 2008 6:13 p.m.

    ---Having sex with another besides your legal lawful wife and telling someone about it and having children by another woman is called, under the law "common law" marriage. You are married to more than one person.---

    Let's see... So, if two high school kids had sex, had a child, and told someone (a parent, Priest, or counselor) about it they are married? Is that your point?

    ---I called it adultery.---

    I call it a rather common occurrence.

  • Former Texan
    April 13, 2008 6:20 p.m.

    I've had close friends in Texas falsely accused and then abused by the Texas dept. of child protective services (whatever its exact name). Both families went through tremendous grief and fear because of false accusations.

    In one case, their children played barefoot in the front yard of their home, and so a neighbor accused them of neglecting their children, and the agency threatened to take away their children. That was the full extent of the "crime" and the evidence, and they nearly lost their children.

    So it comes as no surprise to me (or to Texans) that the state over-reacted so dramatically.

    As egregious as polygamy and underage marriage is, Texas took the wrong action. They should have rounded up the men. But instead, child protective services got the call and sent in the cavalry.

  • Seriously, Deseret News
    April 13, 2008 6:27 p.m.

    No more "first name only" stories. For the love!

    Perhaps it's all right to use a single-name source sparingly to crack open a story. Day after day, though? You've lost credibility, Deseret News, when you abandon journalistic ethics repeatedly.

    Tell your news sources this: Tell me your first and last names, or your comments can't be used in the news. It's as simple as that. If the things they have to say are as important to them as they're saying here, they'll let you use it. If not, then why present this shoddy, ambiguous story to us?

    If there are dozens of Monicas, Shannons, Andreas, Virginias with no last name out there clamoring to be hear by your readers, then tell them this, as well: You expect credibility in the public eye by requesting anonymity, yet you're asking us to deny the believability of an anonymous phone call from one of your fellow church members? GIVE ME A BREAK!

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 6:32 p.m.

    I think whatever this eventually costs will be worth it to get a look at what is happening inside these human puppy mills (as someone previously said). And I think it will be worth it to get a good look at the impotence of the LDS as they stand by and point fingers at FLDS while hoping no one will notice that that IS the teaching of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young that's turning the nation's stomach now as it did then.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 7:01 p.m.

    Listening to thest interviews, religion isn't the issue here. It is a cult, people's human rights are being taken away from them and they are fearful of the 'outsiders'. Young boys and men are chased off to leave the females to the older men. This is atrocious! Action is long overdue. These women and children in the shelters will not be there forever, there is work that needs to be done. As free citizens, we must support our freedom. These people are held by fear, alienation and punishment. If we don't keep citizens rights free, then we will all eventually suffer.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 7:12 p.m.

    I agree with 4:46. It is hard to feel sorry for these people.

    They are perverse and corrupt with their sexual slavery and now they want to whine they are being mistreated by the immoral outsiders, denied of their rights.

    I think we traveled that path before - 1861-1865. Sorry FLDS, this war, like the other, is one you are destined to lose. Get in line behind the Confederate flag wavers to complain.

  • Alf, Fred, others
    April 13, 2008 7:33 p.m.

    Having sex with a minor is against the law.
    Whether you people think it's "spritual marriage" or not. It's an abuse of power.

  • Mike
    April 13, 2008 7:37 p.m.

    Leave it to the government to goof this up. As mentioned by others, why terrorize these children? Find the men clearly identified as abusive and haul them away.

  • Senior with Wisdom
    April 13, 2008 7:40 p.m.

    Since when is forcing 14 year old girl to have sex with men 17 years old or old enough to be her grandfather not a crime? Sure sounds like a lot of conditioning reflex and brain washing went on in this church.
    Sure sounds like another Jonestown, right here in the US. Stepford wifes..just plain weird.

  • Tater
    April 13, 2008 7:44 p.m.

    Any mother who allows her minor children to be used in ritual sex is complicit in my opinion. I don't think the adult females should automatically get a free ride here. The adult women were not raised here. The news said this place was built in 2004. The grown adult women over the age of 22 have seen life on the outside. They should know better.

  • KP
    April 13, 2008 7:50 p.m.

    Why is our government in love with the idea of taking children away from their parents? Maybe because Marx loved the idea as well. One complaint is made by one child and yet over 400 children are confiscated like animals.
    For all of you who are oh so happy that all of these lives have been destoyed, remember; next time it might be your child that is ripped from your arms forever. A Marxist government doesn't play favorites.

  • Kevin
    April 13, 2008 7:57 p.m.

    If this had been a bunch of eco-warriors or some other left-wing compound, the government wouldn't have touched them with a ten foot pole. Jim Jones operated his nut-house for years and nobody said anything because he was a good Socialist comrade and Christian-hater. Funny the media never talked about that, and yet they apply the Kool-aid cliche' to religious groups now.

  • Sarah
    April 13, 2008 8:02 p.m.

    I am sure these mothers love their kids but getting them out of this compound is the first step towards letting them live a life of freedom. We live in a society where we value choice, yet those women don't know what other choices they have. Good job law enforcement for finally stepping in!

  • wm
    April 13, 2008 8:03 p.m.

    it is simply astomishing to me that so many people are willing to defend institutionalized pedophilia.

  • torabora
    April 13, 2008 8:05 p.m.

    I wonder how many of those folks were getting government assistance. It doesn't look like there was any work going on. In fact the only "work" was probably making babies. Sick.

  • Jared
    April 13, 2008 7:58 p.m.

    Few thoughts:

    1) I think one lesson we can learn from this is that there should be a NATIONAL Standard that dictates the age of marriage. Its interesting that young kids can get married before they can drink, vote or even drive. I think the national age of marriage should be 18 for both genders.

    2) The Federal Government failed horribly in conducting the raid and unless they find the mystery caller...all evidence seized will be held illegal under the "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" Doctrine.

    3) Don't forget that they found a bed inside the temple to consummate the marriage. That's just wrong.

    4) There's a HUGE difference between the LDS Church (headquartered in SLC) and the FLDS Church in TX. Please don't mix or confuse the two as being the same denomination.

  • Roy
    April 13, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    Whoever heard of a legal warrant being based on an annonynous phone call? This epidsode is a sickening display of abuse of power. The predominant religion of the area provided the buses that hauled the children away. So we have the principle of separation of church and state roundly abused by some very ignorant and ill advised people.

  • Diana
    April 13, 2008 8:16 p.m.

    They should ask the men to voluntarily switch places with the women and children until they can investigate matters and proceed accordingly. I can't see how they could arrest the men without an investigation. (Some of the men may not have any wives, or may have only one adult wife.) However, the men might willingly switch places, so that the women and children could return home. The authorities could continue to investigate the women and children on the ranch.

  • Sue Crisp
    April 13, 2008 8:14 p.m.

    Since Polygamy is agaimst the law, Why are the Muslims allowed to practice it? When are the police going to raid their homes & Mosques? To set the record straight. these people are not Mormons. Mormons have not practiced polygamy in 100 years or so.Also, I believe these people have the "RIGHT" to
    worship as they please. This is guaranteed by our
    Constitution. Or is the Constitution no longer relevant? These Baptist & Evangicals need to leave other Religions alone.They are just a bunch of busy-
    bodies.

  • Anon
    April 13, 2008 8:14 p.m.

    I am more amazed at the blind defence of the pedophile, polygamist than I am of the original act. What is going on in FLDS compounds is plainly against the laws of the US, which do apply to the members of this church. Polygamy is a crime in the US and even the LDS church had a convenient revelation to ensure its statehood. It was tough for them, but hey they get to practice polygamy in heaven so it isn't all that bad for them.

    No one in the US is above the law (except Mayor Kilpatrick in Detroit), even when they hide behind the warped beliefs of their "religion". Clearly the men of the FLDS should be locked up and if the women turn a blind eye as their daughters are sexually abused by predators at age 13 then they are equally guilty and should be arrested.

    Save the children! Give them a chance to live without their innocence stolen by the practices of pedophile polygamists. No sympathy here for the mothers and certainly not for the fathers.

  • John
    April 13, 2008 8:22 p.m.

    Boo hoo,

    If she wanted to keep her children she should have answered the police officers.

    These people have no qualms in using the "police" in Colorado City/Hildale to do their nasty bidding; yet now they can't cooperate with a simple police question.

    Inbreeding and teen marriages, lost boys and all this under the watch of Merril Jessop, the villain of the true-life story "Escape!" (by his ex-"wife").

    I have no sympathy for these people.

    These children deserve to be taken away and brought up in homes where they will learn that black people are not "monkeys" (gasp!), education is not a sin, and that the purpose of life is not to accumulate a many sex partners as possible.

  • David Mittelstadt
    April 13, 2008 8:24 p.m.

    How interesting that the government is so concerned for 400 children that it would remove them from their mothers, while looking the other way for decades as over 30 million children were murdered in a wave of genocide in this "free" country.

  • sad...
    April 13, 2008 8:25 p.m.

    Merrill Jessop is a liar... Just pick up the book ESCAPE written by one of his wives who did just that... The women undoubtedly love their children but they have no voice and must allow their daughters to be 'wedded' to these men old enough to be their grandfathers. (And what about the Hundreds of lost boys that get sent packing every year because they are competition to the old bulls?) These "husbands" have all the power... It's sad that it has come to this. I'm glad something is happening for these women and children who have no voice or a voice that speaks only what they have been taught to say.
    Carolyn I'm praying for Betsy...

  • Jason
    April 13, 2008 8:30 p.m.

    Do Texans always shoot first and think later? They screwed up with Waco to... And child protective services has NEVER been a champion for children :-(

  • George
    April 13, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    Have they found the 16 year old girl? What if they don't find her or it is proven to be a hoax?

    Does the government pay for the mistake? Why did they take all the children if they were just looking forr a 16 year old?

  • James
    April 13, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    Lucy, somebody got a whole lot a 'splainin' to do!

  • Due Process
    April 13, 2008 8:28 p.m.

    Usually, when a crime is alleged; a search warrant is served. When probable cause is found, the search warrant is expanded to match the new evidence. After the guilty are identified, they are arrested and the rest go about their lives.

    In this case, we have a 'phantom' accuser. Now, there is this irritating little scrap of paper called the US Constitution that says that we have a 'right' to face our accuser. We are also living under the "innocent until proved guilty" type of law - except if you are FLDS.

    If you are FLDS, you can have an unsubstantiated phone call cause 400+ people to be rounded up like animals, and forcibly separated. The parallel to Nazi Germany is uncanny. Instead of Jews being rounded up and shipped off, their property seized without charge or trial, we have the FLDS group.

    Why bother with a trial? The papers have found them guilty, as have some people here. Is Warren Jeffs a criminal? Yup. But, he got his day in trial.

    What ever they do to the FLDS, they can also do to YOU. I'd suggest we follow our Constitution, it's served us well for 200+ years.

  • robert
    April 13, 2008 8:29 p.m.

    One reader wondered how much government assistance these people were receiving. Likely no more than those living in New Orleans. As much as I disagree with their FLDS religious social practices they are known to be hardworking and independent. I would like to see how many Muslims in this country with multiple wives have their doors crashed in searching for evidence of child and spousal abuse. The law should be applied equally to all.

  • mm
    April 13, 2008 8:31 p.m.

    Read Escape by Carolyn Jessop. Published last year. Merril Jessop is a madman.

  • Michael
    April 13, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    These saints are just the newest victims of the New World Order. They are lucky that Janet Reno is not in charge, or they would have been burned alive as in Waco. These are moral people seeking privacy and peace. I don't share all of their beliefs, and you don't share mine. But I still believe in "due process of law." What we have here is the Iron Heel of Tyranny. These Mormons don't advocate gay marriage or serial divorces -- they advocate marriage, committment and family values. I have met polygamists and their happy wives. Although I myself wouldn't want to have multiple mothers-in-law, that is their business and not mine. I have seen more wholesomeness in polygamous households than I have in what passes for marriage in contemporary America. THOSE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES ------------------ SHOULDN'T THROW STONES!!!!

  • EDRO
    April 13, 2008 8:39 p.m.

    Buggery, prostitution, porn, adultery and other deviant behaviors are legal but POLYGAMY now that is a REAL crime.

  • M
    April 13, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    Religion is destroying civilization.. Anyone who defends polygamist practices must either be a woman who thinks little of her sex or a man. You may have the "right" to follow religious practices, but that doesn't give you the "right" to degrade women or abuse children.

  • gbj
    April 13, 2008 8:35 p.m.

    The one thing that has confused me about this story from the start is how the grown women (not the girls) would continually tolerate the abusive system portrayed in the press. It just seems impossible to believe that in a community this large, some women wouldn't come forward and demand an end to it. Maybe the reason is, the allegations aren't true, or that we aren't being told the whole story.
    At this point, I really don't know who to believe. The mistake the government made at Waco was that, instead of simply arresting Koresh (which they had every opportunity to do), they forced a showdown with an entire community. I hope maybe they learned something from that.

  • 2lazy2p
    April 13, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    the last time there was a raid in Texas of a religious camp the government burned women and children alive. At least the Dems were not in charge of this illegal raid.

  • Rick
    April 13, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    It is sad to see how many people are fooled by this groups play for sympathy. FLDS is not a religion. It is a criminal organization that traffics young girls and women into sexual slavery. When the children involved reach adulthood they deserve the same right to freedom and self determination that every other American has.

  • JR
    April 13, 2008 8:39 p.m.

    Polygamists are all pedophiles

  • Kittybugs
    April 13, 2008 8:46 p.m.

    Hellloooooo -- Earth to FLDS -- polygamy is ILLEGAL!! It isn't fair to the women or their children but I'm sure the men love it since they created it. These poor women are brainwashed from birth; they are not responsible for this travesty of a religion. It's always the men who have to have plenty of backups -- women know better. Remember, "gentlemen", what you sow is what you will reap. You should all pray that God is merciful because you men are all violating His will.

  • John
    April 13, 2008 8:47 p.m.


    Hal | 12:32 p.m. Apr. 13, 2008
    ===What I don't understand is why the FLDS were so secretive about their lifestyle?===

    My guess is that they wanted to live apart so as not have their children influenced by the immoral world that we see around us.

    ===If it was so wholesome and God-fearing and honest and wonderful, why not just live in mainstream society and just practice your religion like the rest of the Christians do?===

    Maybe for the same reason the Amish, Mennonites, etc., want to live apart.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    1. If the mothers had answered the police, they would have been left with "their" children.

    They refused to answer (as did the children).

    It is their fault.

    2. Don't even try to compare these people with the Amish. There are two reasons to hide: to beark the law or to stay pure. They sure as heck weren't the latter.

  • Lewis
    April 13, 2008 8:41 p.m.

    Define the difference between a cult and a religion. A cult takes away human rights...if these leaders hadn't been so busy getting rid of the young men, abusing & brainwashing the women and children they wouldn't be a situation as now. These 'men' stole these peoples human rights! The people worked in the leaders 'businesses' without pay to proser the leaders and did not have a say in the matter. Read Carolyn Jessop's book, Escape. Then those of you who want to still say 'leave them to their own lifesytle' should have to go and live in it for awhile. Read Carolyn Jessop's book, she testified in the Warren Jeffs case...a tip of the iceberg.

  • Marie Mrow
    April 13, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    Sooo surprised that the state government is shocked, shocked that 15 year old girls are having sex and getting pregnant. Go into any city and any rural area and find untold numbers of teenage girls, victims of state-sponsored sex education and in-school birth control clinics, pregnant, caring for babies, no thought of a husband, no one supporting these girls or their children but the state. Who had more "choice" regarding their lifestyle -- the compound girls married off at young ages, or the young girls on the outside using their sex appeal for male attention?? Funny how one is intolerable to the state, where the other is heavily funded, and therefore, encouraged.

  • Tammi
    April 13, 2008 8:48 p.m.

    This sounds like a Nazi Germany. Lets also get it right they took all the kids people not just this 16 year old who supposedly called. So take all the pregnant ones leave the rest!
    Does anyone really think they are better off at a foster home? These parents have a God given right to their children. And they are INNOCENT until proven guilty. Well that was I guess long past. We shoot first and ask questions later. If I was one of those mothers I would be sitting in jail right now because they would not have taken my kids w/o fight!
    Oh the ones judging why they live the way they do...hmm do you also judge those with alt lifestyles. Live your life the way you want in the end God will be the judge. I believe in right and wrong. These people are not perfect but they have a right to live in peace. So what if they want to be separated from society. Sometimes I do to there are a lot of behaviors I do not want my kids immitating. Good thing I know my rights!

  • John
    April 13, 2008 8:51 p.m.


    commonsense1 | 4:24 p.m. Apr. 13, 2008
    The inability of the FLDS to be honest and upright US citizens with something as simple as who their family members are, is indicative of the secretive, illegal practices and beliefs they espouse. The police evidence will show the abuses are more numerous than a few underage marriages.

    It's time to turn on the lights and expose the injustices committed against the women and children of this closed community. The weak and cowardly male members (improper to call them men) of the FLDS group need to be rounded-up and prosecuted for their pedophilia.

    ================================================

    Spot on.

    These people are not "honest" at all!

    They cannot even answer, in a straightforward manner, a simple question about who their family members are.

    And the best their defenders can do is say: "Other people abuse too!"

    Is that any justification?!! Are they serious!?

    The difference between this and sexual abuse outside the ranch is that most people wouldn't come online to vehemently argue that sexual abuse outside the ranch is a "peaceful" activity.

  • Tx.girl
    April 13, 2008 8:51 p.m.

    Wake up people. Texas was already funding this "self reliant" home. These folks were receiving hundreds and thousands of dollars in welfare, WIC, etc. There is proof. And as to the Fathers and Mothers, they are laminting the loss of their children. Maybe when the officials said "whose children are these", they should have stepped forward. Instead they are "pleading" thier case in the media. And thier high powered expensive lawyers are now spinning "freedom of religion" garbage. Worship of God is not the issue. Making 16 year old girls and younger, marry 50 year old men is illegal, period. Having multiple wives is also illegal. Teaching your wives that it is okay to cheat the government because it is evil. Not the real issue of as a man...I have too many wives and children and I can't provide for them...that is just wrong on many levels... I feel for the children and for the many 14, 15 & 16 year old girls (not women) that are pregnant - it isn't good when you find out your parents lied to you, no matter how many mothers and fathers you have....

  • Disgusted
    April 13, 2008 8:58 p.m.

    My heart goes out to these mothers, and all I can say is God have mercy on the souls of the beasts who did this dastardly act! They WILL get their reward!

  • martha
    April 13, 2008 8:59 p.m.

    It is abusive to force a young girl to marry a middle aged man who has a bunch of other wives. How could any mother want that for her daughter unless she has been brainwashed to believe that is what God wants. This whole religion is just a hoax to give men the pleasure of having sex with multiple women, and in many cases practically children. I think they should have taken the men away and locked them up, and left the mothers and children together. Then had counselors come in and educate them about what rights they have and whether or not they really want to live this way - especially the young girls who haven't been married off yet. They also ought to teach these mothers that it is not exactly loving to have your sons sent away or deprived of a normal life just so that some middle aged pig can do what he wants without competition or so that the girls have no other option than to give their young lives to a selfish, sadistic egomaniac. This is America - where all people are supposed to have a right to the pursuit of happiness.

  • Read the Book!
    April 13, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    Those who scream 'Religious Persecution' need to read Carolyn Jessop's book "Escape" (then Jon Krakuer's "Under the Banner of Heaven"). Carolyn gives her personal story of what it was like to grow up in this 'cult' (as she calls it). After reading it, it sounds like the FLDS men (especially the self-proclaimed prophet, etc) have the perfect scam going. Scare the hell out of everyone (namingly the women & children) into a future of eternal damnation if they are not 'perfectly obedient' to their husbands/the prophet. These men have truly lost focus (if God really was it to start with)...they seem to worship the Almighty Dollar. This sect has millions...the women & children are forced to hand over anything they receive (welfare), live in poverty, therefore ensuring their EVIL leaders' pockets remain fat. The men, especially those 'in charge' should be the ones punished. I believe these women and children will definitely have a place in Heaven for all that they have endured and their abiding faith in God. I think that most of these men (Warren Jeffs and Merril Jessop, etc) deserve the opposite. They have truly perverted what it means to have faith in God.

  • Angela
    April 13, 2008 9:01 p.m.

    Why are men so controlled by sex that they would go to this length to get a constant access to the youngest of our girls? Makes me want to slap every man I see.

  • Pie
    April 13, 2008 9:01 p.m.

    I just hope the judge that issued the search warrent has credible grounds for it and did not do it as a favor or on pure hearsay evidence.
    If you cannot trust a judge to follow the law then no one in government can be trusted.

  • joe a
    April 13, 2008 8:55 p.m.

    This article by Nancy & Brian is way off base. I have been in San Anglo a lot the last week. The people of Texas are taking very good care of the women and children. The men of this group are nothing but pediophiles. Nazi Germany my left foot.

  • anonomous
    April 13, 2008 8:56 p.m.

    wrz - 'I'm sure there are dirty old men lurking in perhaps Dallas, Houston, or Fort Worth. Do you see Texas law enforcement emptying those communities of all their children?'

    I would hope in Texas and any other state the law enforcement would step in when 'fathers' and others are abusing women and children.

    Read Escape by Carolyn Jessop.

  • Robert
    April 13, 2008 9:00 p.m.

    It's another Waco Texas, Ruby Ridge, or countless other crimes perpetrated upon innocent people who are deemed "different" by the federal, state, school, local and county governments .. The problem is the folks in the FLDS compound took hold of their valises and boarded the boxcars without complaint. Didn't something similar happen maybe sixty years ago in Europe somewhere? Oh, I should have known--- the raid was for the good of the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n. Now that the children are under direct government ownership, they'll never be abused ever again.. poor things...

  • Remember Jane Reno
    April 13, 2008 9:07 p.m.

    Interesting.. remember Janet Reno using the fbi to grab the boy from Cuba so he could be sent back to be with his father, and essentally brainwashed for life. Our government did this with no knowledge of his home in Cuba, yet our government breaks up American families?? While polygamy is wrong, it is also wrong to strip children from their parents. This must be investigated by all sides and the children who were not abused need to be returned to their natural parents NOW.

  • Lewis
    April 13, 2008 9:03 p.m.

    I see where terms of common law marriage, polygamy, spiritual marriage. When these women/child brides go to apply for social services/welfare and 'free' subsidies, how are they labeled? Single mothers. How honorable of these male abusers. Not only do they abuse, but they committ fraud and from the reading of these posts, apparently have gotten away with it with many tax payers blessings!

  • sarah
    April 13, 2008 9:10 p.m.

    It's outrageous. It's only because these people live outside the society that is controlled and monitored by our police state.

    I don't agree with this lifestyle, but I don't agree with the gangbanger lifestyle, the slacker lifestyle, the surfer lifestyle, the city-slicker lifestyle etc. But as long as people live within reasonable laws, they should be left alone. Polygamy is a choice between consenting adults.

    NOW, in cases like the single one reported, yes, law enforcement should intervene. But this blanket attack on a community should not be tolerated by a just nation.

  • Michael R
    April 13, 2008 9:09 p.m.

    King Soloman, who God favored, had 700 wifes. What's the problem? What ever happened to freedom and independence for God fearing, quiet people in this land of the free? If a teenager got raped then arrest the perp. Why do jack booted Texas thugs arrest innocent women and children who weren't hurting anybody? Taking babies away from their mothers? What is this? Nazi Germany?

  • Patrick
    April 13, 2008 9:05 p.m.

    At least the Government Storm troops did not burn these women and children out like Janet Reno did in Waco. Who's next. Maybe the authorities might not like what the catholics are doing, or maybe it will be the Baptists. Maybe it will be you.

  • Lewis
    April 13, 2008 9:05 p.m.

    How about the sixteen year old who called authorities back in March, does anyone know where she is? Doesn't this worry anyone? This outfit sounds more like a mafia operation all the time.

  • dukas
    April 13, 2008 9:05 p.m.

    There is something not right with what the Texas authorities did. I spent may years in Arabia they also take many wives. Ive heard not griping about that. We get our oil from them and the government deals with them everyday. Maybe we should insist that our goverment not deal with Arabs.
    Where were the warrants of particulars? Something really stinks. Didnt they learn from Waco, or are we really slaves serving at the whims of authority. The great American experiment seems over. With lies being bantered about as truth, and elitists seeking to control all others, with the excuse of socialism. I do not like what these cops did at all, I hope someone sues the pants off them.

  • kitty hogan
    April 13, 2008 9:07 p.m.

    Oh good grief....come into the year 2008. Stop making little girls get married and have 8 kids! Let these kids have a normal life with FREEDOM...the men who run this phony church all seem to be perverts...........do what's right for your babies and stop believing the nonsense this "church" preaches.............

  • Robin
    April 13, 2008 9:17 p.m.

    It was very telling that they took away the children in Baptist Church vehicles.

  • BMOC2001
    April 13, 2008 9:15 p.m.

    Maybe since the Texas Rangers are practiced up on raiding Churches they can now ransack the Catholic Churches in Texas and remove all of the altar boys into State custody. I'm sure that would go over well. I don't agree with the FLDS, but if you agre going to raid every Church with a sex scandal be prepared to face a long legal fight with numerous Church/State ethical questions. You'd think after Waco, Texas would have learned a few things.

  • Fact vs. Assumption?
    April 13, 2008 9:20 p.m.

    We jumped into Iraq based on the assumption there were WMD. Texas Ranges ripped children from their parents based on assumptions. Texas seems to generate a mind-set of act first and think second. Clearly abusers needs to be punished and punished harshly. There had better be compelling facts to back-up the actions of ripping all children from their mothers...

  • Astonished
    April 13, 2008 9:18 p.m.

    I'm just glad that this wasn't in Waco, Janet Reno wasn't involved and there was no fire.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 9:18 p.m.

    As a God fearing person, I believe Jesus is crying about how these people can call themselves Christians. It sickens me that these people think they are doing God work when they are forcing 13 year old girls to have sex with 50 year old men. All people are evil and you can not escape that by being in a compound and cut off from the rest of the world.

    What they are doing is RAPE, and no amount of "understanding" will undo that.

  • B Young
    April 13, 2008 9:24 p.m.

    They should have stayed in Utah, where their polygamist lifestyle is mainstream, legal and approved of.

  • responsibleformyactions
    April 13, 2008 9:20 p.m.

    I just think it is to early to make a judgement. If one little girl was abused the it was worth it. I say wait and see and hold judgement until then.

  • Alek Hidell
    April 13, 2008 9:26 p.m.

    Brainwashed women raising brainwashed children, all the result of a few sexual-perverted men hiding behind the cloak of religion, who want to sleep with teenagers and slap them around from time to time for the fun of it.
    And we thought muslims were bad . . .

  • kdogz13
    April 13, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    If there is any chance of children being sexually abused then something has to be done. The parents that voluntarily marry their young daughters to old men are brain washed and not looking out for the best interest of their daughters.

  • Bob
    April 13, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    What I'd like to know is: Where is the 16 year old that made the complaint? If they don't have her, then they don't have any legal basis for doing their legal illegal raid. Where is the complainant?

    I think in the end Texas will end up paying through the nose for this travesty. Is it just the first of many trials to see how far they, Texas, can go in taking away religious freedom?

  • Shadowcaster
    April 13, 2008 9:27 p.m.

    America is lost.

  • gunnut
    April 13, 2008 9:34 p.m.

    Make no mistake. This action was not necessarily to protect the children. It was an excuse for a deeper motive of the Government of Texas. The action, like Waco, was an effort to stretch and test the limits of the Texas constitution and the Constitution of the United States. Also, the first amendment does say that CONGRESS shall MAKE NO LAW, regarding the ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION. I don't believe the government has the right to tell any faith they can't practice polygamy. What it can do is protect prosecute people for hurting others. NO PROOF HAS BEEN BROUGHT FORTH in this case. The FLDS's culture is diffent than the vast majority of the rest of America. That doesn't make their culture bad. Just different. If they are breaking laws concerning rape, statutory rape, physical abuse, incest and or marriage before coming of age, then the State of Texas can do something. Otherwise, leave'em alone. I agree that the men should've been taken off campus, leaving the women and children there.

  • Dennis
    April 13, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    Oh by the way Pat (7:30 a.m. Apr. 13, 2008);
    Polygamy is not a religion; it is a cultural practice where a man has two or more wives.
    That fact that this group cloysters and brain-washes their children and then has 13 year old girls marry old men has nothing to do with polygamy.
    And another thing; do we see anybody complaining about the atrocities perpetrated on women and children in Islamic countries? These are most horrendous but of course we can't say anything because that might be contrued to be Islam-a-phobic. But it't alright to bash people if they are in anyway identified as christians, however remotely.

  • A.J.
    April 13, 2008 9:37 p.m.

    The children should be taken away from their mothers as well since the mothers support having their under 16 year old daughters wed older men in a pologamy marriage arrangement. The moms are sex abusers of the girls as much as the older men. Like it or not, none of those kids are going back to their parents.

  • What do....
    April 13, 2008 9:37 p.m.

    these Beautiful Women see in these men? How could they have such strong control over these women? What a sad sad deal...

  • Scott
    April 13, 2008 9:43 p.m.

    Outrageous! How can we stand idly by and let this happen in our country! Can we really let this happen in America? I will not, and cannot, think that we can seriously let this go without serious repercussions toward the Texas law officials who actually directed this action. Reprehensible! Who's next? The Amish, the Mennonites, the Mormons, the Jews, the Jehovah's Witnesses? Fear NOW for your country.

  • Bobbie
    April 13, 2008 9:38 p.m.

    Where are the men?? They are the ones who broke the law. Saw a expose' on TV a couple of years ago about these pologimist. The men have 12,14,16 children, from several different wifes, and they are all on welfare. The women won't say who the fathers are, and the state pays welfare. The women are brainwashed by the men and so are the children. I do not want my tax dollars to pay for a mans "right" to have as many children as possible from several wifes. Do you really think that if wefare wasn't there, that they could afford to pro-create these days, like they do?? Not to mention the insest that is rampent amoung the sect,first cousins married to first cousins,etc. and old men marrying young girls. The men have and love the power they have over the women and children, and they love having the power of multiple sexual relationships for themselves. What happens if one of the women decided they want muliple relationships with other men ??

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 9:45 p.m.

    "Don't forget that they found a bed inside the temple to consummate the marriage. That's just wrong."

    Then they should have arrested and sequestered the bed for being complicit.

  • Darren
    April 13, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    I hope at least some of these kids now have a chance to live a normal life, something they didn't have before...it might be hard on the kids for a while, but children adapt quickly and cope well with change...

    BTW- maybe they'll be able to go the movies or play baseball for the first time!

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 9:48 p.m.

    Don says it so well
    Reading the vicious comments over the past few days,
    it clearly portrays the hatred that sits just under
    the surface in peoples hearts. Punish the offending individual, if the facts are there. But to destroy an entire community is beyond the pale.The Native Americans know exactly what is being done in Texas.
    In the late 1800's, this same "Program" being used
    against these people today, was used to "Deprogram"
    the Indians, and break them from the "Old Ways", of
    their people. They were ripped from their families,
    and sent far from them. They were not allowed to even speak their own language, of worship as they belived. History is repeating itself. Now the story
    is coming out, that the purported phone call, may have been a hoax. If this proves true, then what. Will the State of Texas change their story as to why
    they conducted themselves in such a tawdry manner, and how will they justify themselves. At least in Waco, Texas and the Feds got to burn up the evidence.

  • K. Wright
    April 13, 2008 9:45 p.m.

    I think the evidence lies in the pregnant bellies of so many minors who are already parenting multiple children at 16 and 17. I am proud that Texas has rescued these children from predatory men and women who look the other way, and/or aid and abet their crimes. Let's not forget the beds in the temple where these little girls were being raped. As one Texas trooper said, when you have a 16 year old girl, pregnant, with 3 other babies, well, you do the math. It is obvious there was a whole community working to groom these girls for their eventual rapes (it is rape in Texas), and then protect their attackers. In such an environment, it is not hard to consider the difficulties a young accuser would face in coming forward at this point. I don't think these complaining mothers will find much sympathy in Texas, and as far as suing the state--bring it on. We don't put up with this kind of crap in these parts. They got their 4 years of due process, and then we got the call that allowed us to move in and free the captives. God bless Texas!

  • COMMON SENSE
    April 13, 2008 9:46 p.m.

    Oh, some here want to grow rich by suing. While no seated judge is gonna just welcome in rabid lawsuits against the state. Sorry. Call it a big toss out the windah.

    As to the "mothers" ... I seem to think that originally, birth mothers WERE NOT WITH THEIR CHILDREN! This Monica was "out." So, young mothers did get OUT of the compound. Leaving in charge women who call themselves "mothers."

    When the authorities as the "mothers" to identify their chilren; they went silent, instead. Maybe, a dumb lawyer told them that trick?

    The authority actually has VESTED POWERS. And, they proceeded against this cult. Good luck to ya on your lawsuits. Hey. You can go to Vegas with your winnings, and then really, really grow rich.

    I feel sorry for the girls. As to the men, involved? Good luck trying to find them. A big clue, too, was the "mothers" with fake birth certificates. This cult knew how to protect itself; yeah.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    "And what about the Hundreds of lost boys that get sent packing every year because they are competition to the old bulls?"

    Where's the beef? By what many have posted here they are the lucky ones for having "escaped."

  • No god
    April 13, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    nut jobs ... Polygamy is a crime. None of these people should ever get their children back

  • carm
    April 13, 2008 9:54 p.m.

    I've tried to write what needs to be said to all of this, but Anonymous said it so much better,
    "Polygamy is wrong on many levels. If abuse is happening, it should be stopped. If underage marriage is forced, it should be stopped. However, in a society that allows (and often celebrates) gay relationships, gay "couples" adopting children, out-of-wedlock births and rampant divorce, for the government to punish every member of this society is ludicrous!"

    In America we can have sexual relations with whomever we want, male or female, have children with whomever we want, in and out of wedlock, and it's not punishable by law. But get married to more than one woman and have children and it's worthy of a government raid. As anti-polygamy as I am (it makes me sick), there is something seriously wrong with the Texas government taking over 400 children from their homes. It's hard to believe that they were ALL being abused.

  • wrz
    April 13, 2008 9:59 p.m.

    >>The one thing that has confused me about this story from the start is how the grown women (not the girls) would continually tolerate the abusive system portrayed in the press.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 9:54 p.m.

    "I want the world to know that there is a nothing stronger than love and there is an inborn, God-given love between a mother and her children, and all a mother wants for her children is the very best" Monica said."

    I can not believe how many people are supporting these women after the things they've allowed. The very best? Is the very best being secluded from the world, married off as a child, cast away as a teenage boy, given a high likelihood of a genetic disease because of inbreeding? Aren't all these things illegal? You can argue these things haven't been "proven." I say I've seen enough to make my mind up that this does occur at SOME level. It's darn sure enough to take these children into a safer environment for the time being.

    I don't feel sorry for their crocodile tears. The ones not allowed to go should have spoken up about identities. Why so secret?

    Kudos to officials.

  • Bucky
    April 13, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    What is wrong with polygamy? Aside from the abuses practiced by "religious" people, I can find no reason in my experience to deny any people the right to live as they please as long as it causes no harm to them or others.

    Warping social norms of what constitutes harm for religious purposes (underage sex, statutory rape, etc.) is the only danger I see. If these people followed the law of the land instead of supposing that God wanted them to have sex with 13-year-olds, we would not have a problem with polygamy; it would be just another alternative lifestyle.

    It seems more likely that it is the oddball religious aspects of the practice of polygamy that have always thrown it outside the mainstream rather than the practice itself.

    Keep the Kool-Aid in the fridge and obey the law, folks.

  • jlb
    April 13, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    What have they done? They can't produce the alleged accuser and it seems to me their worst offense is dressing funny and getting married young. If that is against the law, let's start rounding up the freaking Muslims.

  • Jesse
    April 13, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    They need to appeal to both the governor (as they are doing) and John McCain. President Bush has nothing to lose at this point and John McCain will have to make a move!

    The second amendment provides for a civilian check on excessive government. It is time for the leaders of our country to enforce some common sense or risk civilians taking up arms to defend themselves against such ridiculous actions by overzealous judges and police pawns.

    I applaud the people of this church for their restraint but at some point there must be a time for action to take back their children.

    Wake up America!

  • To John
    April 13, 2008 10:09 p.m.

    "1. If the mothers had answered the police, they would have been left with "their" children.

    They refused to answer (as did the children).

    It is their fault."

    No one is required to answer any questions (even the Miranda Rights says they have the right to remain silent). And especially without the presence of their lawyer. And especially if they've committed no crime. The exception is, of course, if your in Nazi's Germany.

    "2. Don't even try to compare these people with the Amish. There are two reasons to hide: to beark the law or to stay pure. They sure as heck weren't the latter."

    Why not compare? Both groups want to be separated from the rest of the world... And apparently for good reasons.

  • greeting from CT
    April 13, 2008 10:11 p.m.


    Brothers & Sisters,

    Ask the questions:

    1) At what age were both the parents when the child was born?

    2) How many half brothers and sisters does the child have?

    I, for one, have zero doubt in my mind as to what will be found.

    Do DNA testing to determine the true parents...
    Map out the "family" trees...
    End the speculation...


    Certainly, you could ask the Mormons for help.as the Genealogy records are quite rich.
    The Family Search database must be of some value in this situation..if not, why would this be?

    Lastly, I was in Utah during this raid and was absolutely shocked at the local news reporting. As an East Coaster, our friends in Texas are doing the right thing if it saves generations of children in the future, without question. Laws are laws, so I'm surprised at the emphasis on this story by local papers and the overall discussions locally at the time.

    The ultimate step to recovery is admitting the problem, not hiding it. Wasnt this already agreed a century ago?

  • From Missouri
    April 13, 2008 10:13 p.m.

    Give me a break Texas. Lets follow the basic rights given to us by our constitution. Don't try and force you ways upon people with strange beliefs. If they're sexually abusing kids, arrest the pedophiles. Don't try and judge how parents are raising their kids. Only step in if their is a true victim like any other complaint that may be received.

    Unreal, in America?

  • John George
    April 13, 2008 10:14 p.m.

    I am sure if nothing is found to substantiate the raid, something will be planted to ensure this doesn't come back on the government as a blunder. Remember Waco and Ruby Ridge.

  • EnoughProof
    April 13, 2008 10:15 p.m.

    Children who are pregnant and mothers who have had children when they were children themselves is plenty of proof for me. Molestation and grooming females for sexual abuse is very hard to get any proof of - think about it.

    These woman are just another example of people being abused and perputrating that same abuse onto their off spring - Their perception is Skewed, read about it so you will know what you are talking about folks.... You are dealing with SEXUAL abuse victims when dealing with most of these parents - they are not the ones to be directing these innocent children's future - try to remember that!

    Enough is Enough people. Thank God TEXAS drew the line....

    Don't Mess with Texas!

  • Ross
    April 13, 2008 10:24 p.m.

    Sounds like we Floridians have lost Janet Reno to a higher calling!!!!!

  • Matthew
    April 13, 2008 10:24 p.m.


    Leave these people alone. If there are crimes, run them through the system. This is nothing but religous persecution.

    All you self righteous types can just go fly a kite. Of course the good people of your state might decide that is wrong and take your children away. That would be "justice," NOT.

  • Liz
    April 13, 2008 10:20 p.m.

    We don't have all the facts. But if these are all the facts, Texas should be funding the FLDS for the next 20 years after losing a MAJOR lawsuit, so they NEVER violate family rights and privacy again. This is the most frightening thing, knowing some lib judge activist can order that my kids be taken from me because of some anonymous phonecall. That's spooky.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 10:27 p.m.

    I live in New York, am a Columbia University grad student, and have lived my whole life in liberal, secular America, but it hurts me to see children taken from their mothers to be put in state custody and create future monsters like all the failed liberal programs created here in New York. I hate the trumped up sexual allegations, too, that always fits into the whole demonization, Stalin, etc always used trumped up sexual charges. I really think it will be impossible in the future to live life as we see fit and not as some unelected commissars see it.

  • Vituperator
    April 13, 2008 10:29 p.m.

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
    - H.L. Mencken

  • Christian Mom
    April 13, 2008 10:29 p.m.

    You know, it's pretty sad that the women and children are being punished. First of all, even if a 13 year old girl got pregnant and gave birth to a child, the state would have absolutely right to take that child. What is the basis for these children being siezed and put into foster homes, with strangers, and then denying the mothers the right to see their children? Was it because of some alleged phone call from a 16 year old girl? She may have a point about what was being done to her, but how does that make it alright to take over 400 children from their mothers....because of the acts of one person? You know, if you want to get something done fast, don't bring in the courts or the feds, they'll take forever. The kids will be adults by the time they are returned to their mothers. Whoever made the decision to raid the place and separate those kids from their mothers should be prosecuted for overstepping their authority. This situation reminds me of the Waco incident, although it's not violent. It's was just as invasive, however, with all being punished because of one man.

  • Eman
    April 13, 2008 10:35 p.m.

    So, some stranger calls the abuse hotline knowing the authorities are hot to get their hands on these people...? What a joke. Texans are nothing more than a bunch of hair trigger rednecks waiting to get these "polygamists". I've yet to see a single young abused girl. I'm sure if we wait long enough, they'll "plant" something on these people.

  • scott
    April 13, 2008 10:31 p.m.

    hey remember how this all started, with a phone call from a girl who was 14 married to a 60 something man. truth be told it was probably a fake phone call, the feds have been tearing it to bits for years trying to figure out how to get in there, now they have some phone call but havent been able to find the girl or the old man, sound a little funny to you it does to me

  • david
    April 13, 2008 10:39 p.m.

    Polygamy is illegal. We can debate the merits of it, but it's illegal. What more is there to debate? If you don't like it, write your congressman (as if he cares).

  • Joseph
    April 13, 2008 10:39 p.m.

    The polygamist embarrassment has gone on long enough in our country and now is the time to put an end to the brain washing of women and children by evil men for their own ends. Before you start saying mindless and ridiculous things about a police state and calling people Nazi's, read some of the books by the women who have escaped the FLDS church.

    FLDS are the Nazi's, not the police who are doing their job, not the people who care about the children. I've seen the pictures of the beaten children on the news, I've seen the cases tried in the courts, and the convictions of child rapists who call themselves Men of God.

    The time has come for the FLDS church's sinful and barbaric ways to come to an end.

  • Jimmy
    April 13, 2008 10:37 p.m.

    **And the best their defenders can do is say: "Other people abuse too!"**

    The point being is that the "other" people are never called to account for the abuse.

  • RC
    April 13, 2008 10:44 p.m.

    Notice whenever the police raid a home or a Church with the help of the media they change the names of these homes or Churches to a "compound". This supposedly legitimizes their Nazi actions.
    I am ashamed of my government. No better than a banana republic.

  • Mick
    April 13, 2008 10:38 p.m.

    What you do not hear is that these "poligamists" are only "legally" married to one woman. How is that any different that someone who has kids with more than one person? I do not agree with poligamy, but I have more respect for someone who fathers kids with different mothers and stays there to support them than I do for the million of others who don't. The difference is that it is easy to point fingers at "them" as being "abusive" because they are a religious sect, but then ignore the deadbeats having kids out of wedlock and not sticking around, which are far worse.

  • cricker
    April 13, 2008 10:50 p.m.

    since the 1953 raid on short creek Arizona there hasn't been such an abuse of constitutional rights. We pride ourselves here in AMERICA on certain inaliable human rights, such as freedom of religion.
    1. Amendment #1 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
    2 As Americans, we think it's a tragedy what's currently happening in Tibet, but we willingly accept this horrible violation of human rights in our own country, shame on us!!!!!
    3. Amendment #4 speaks of the right of people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures etc.
    The state of Texas will lose this fight. America should be embarrassed and ashamed for allowing such an absolute violation of civil rights.
    Where is the A.C.L.U in this matter? The FBI wasn't called in to raid the Catholic church when there were a few rotten apples in their group, why should this be any different? Target those that are at fault and leave the rest alone! It is disgusting that dogs are given more rights than these people.

  • ed
    April 13, 2008 10:46 p.m.

    This seem so much like the fate of the "Branch Dividians"...This just another example of governemental abuse of the rights of Christians...had this same Nazi-type taactic been applied to anyother sect, the news media would have never allowed us to hear the end of it!

    May God have Mercy on us all..and may he protect these FLDS familes as they attempt to find recourse the legal system...and should the government fail toprove its case, I pray a jury will award them billions in punative damagees. ANd the overzealous bueaucrats be fired on the spot!

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 10:52 p.m.

    What is WRONG with you people. These so called MEN are abusing young girls for there own gratification!

  • richwill
    April 13, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    The only difference between this and Waco is that the government burned Waco and the people. Seperatting children from their mothers is wrong. I agree with the concept to arresting the men and leaving the women and children on the compound. I find it egregious that people cannot punish a child, but the state can tear a family apart. Does the word traumatize have a meaning in this situation?

  • harold
    April 13, 2008 10:55 p.m.

    ((When the authorities as the "mothers" to identify their chilren; they went silent, instead. Maybe, a dumb lawyer told them that trick?))

    No one is required to testify or provide evidence against themselves... even in the streets of a "compound."

  • ChurchOfJesusChrist.Net
    April 13, 2008 10:51 p.m.

    Things like this haven't been done since the Nazis: just to come in and round up a whole town based on a group's religion, and trumped-up charges. LDS denominations are historically the most-persecuted religion in this country.

    My hope is that they've screwed it up big-time enough to really get some recompense for these people! Just like in the 50s, the gov is gonna turn the public to the REAL victims' side.

    This will either probably end with a big ca$h check to the REAL victims--that community--or end in a hail of bullets or consuming fire. These ppl have nothing left to live for anymore. It's silly to think these ppl will continue to put up with this BS indefinitely if no one stands up for them. I bet that's just what the government wants. Itching for another fight, hungry after 13 years from Waco? To see if they can snuff out another entire religion in a fit of violence (to "protect the children"! ah! yes--of course!), even if it be a smallish misfit religion. Just for the thrill.

    Maybe your religion or community is next. Where are there not abusers?

    WHY NOT CLOSE ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS W/UNDERAGE PREGNANCIES?!!!

  • Allen
    April 13, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    Um, there WAS no 16 year old pregnant girl calling for help from a cell phone. That was a very simple harrassment technique .. the equivalent of anonymously reporting that a neighbor (or school board member) you don't like has child porn on their computer or are beating their wife. By law, the authorities HAVE to respond even though the accusation is anonymous. Let the lawsuits begin. Although 'progressive' judges have re-interpreted it for the 'greater good, the Constitution explicitly forbids anonymous accusations and this whole episode is a reminder of why.

  • KrisGill
    April 13, 2008 10:58 p.m.

    What people are noticing, I hope, is that CPS practices are entirely able to circumvent rights defined in the name of the constitution.

  • Jim Eagle Feather
    April 13, 2008 10:53 p.m.

    I was shocked that the mother's and other Mormons were shocked. The authorities have been acting this way for now up to 35 years. Likely even before most of these mothers were born. I see they are in the dark about the news or even old news about this nation. They think this is 1960 or something. Have not not heard about Ruby Ridge where a mother was shot out from under her baby (that she held) by an FBI sniper? And their pleas to America - they might as well spit on a forest fire, as much good it will do them.

  • theyshouldnotdoths
    April 13, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    This reminds me of waco I am so suprised that they did not ask janet reno back in for techniques on how to burn the place down. Why go after our own people when our unguarded borders are teaming with terrorists tying to sneak in.
    theyshouldnotdoths

  • Linda
    April 13, 2008 11:04 p.m.

    Savages - they're nothing but savages. If they want to be heathens and practice polygamy, well fine, but not with children present.

  • Disugusting....
    April 13, 2008 10:58 p.m.

    What law has THIS mother broken? These poor children are being raped by the very establishment that is aiming to protect them. Who is to say their religion is wrong? If there is abuse, then get THE abuser. This sounds so fishy anyways. Wher eis the girl that made the accusation. Did they prove she was even there? They should have gotten HER only and then determined what was going on. THIS MAKES ME SICK! SAVE THE CHILDREN..FROM US!

  • Jim
    April 13, 2008 10:58 p.m.

    Another Waco-style disaster created by liberal- and power hungry law-enforcement -officials in the making. The only abuse and neglect I can see here is on the part of the government. What happened to facing your accuser? The Governor needs to step in and stop the madness now.

  • Dee
    April 13, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    It is Illegal to practice polygamy in the USA.
    It is Illegal for a man to impregnate a minor(really a child themselves) in the USA. Thats called Statutory Rape. In my book it just plain Rape. Someone needs to pay! Texas has done whats best for these young Children in getting them out of that environment. The proof of these mens Sin is in the bellys of these young girls.
    Now mysteriously some of these mothers appear with tears trying to rally support from the people of the USA for their sins. Where were these mothers when the raid was going on? Now days later they come home to check on their children? Give me a break. Sure a mothers love runs deep, but a mother that would want one of her 13 yr old daughters to be impregnated by a 60 yr old man has gotta be sick in the head. Im sorry but that is cold hearted.
    Laws have been broken, both judicial and moral....God Bless Texas for caring about America and little Children.

  • nmorris
    April 13, 2008 11:15 p.m.

    I too am concerned about the abuse that young adolescent girls and boys face in this sect. But is it right to wrench the young toddler childern away from their mothers? What harm are we doing to these kids by separating them from their mums. If this had happened to me when I was a child, I don't think I could ever have recovered. I think the government has gone too far.

    Is there someone we can contact to help these poor children? My heart just aches for them.

  • .
    April 13, 2008 11:18 p.m.

    I'd imagine if the alleged accuser is still alive, and in state custody, that there are very good reasons for not parading her before the media.

  • Jane
    April 13, 2008 11:15 p.m.

    I feel so sorry for these children, forced into having sex with dirty old men with multiple wives sounds like a horror story. I hope the govt finally puts a stop to this sex abuse.

  • Joe
    April 13, 2008 11:18 p.m.

    This makes me sick. How can they separate families like this? What country do we live in? Even through the many things our government has done, this it the first time I have questioned whether we are free any more.

    It is a sad day for these families and an even sadder day for America.

  • MR. Gail
    April 13, 2008 11:34 p.m.

    When the law breaks the law. Then there is no law!

  • Paul
    April 13, 2008 11:36 p.m.

    Not knowing the extent to which certain unusual practices were "forced" it is hard to comment on how I want this case to resolve. What I do know is that the Government has taken upon itself to ignore the rights of individuals and groups.

    Widespread abuse of the scale that warrants the forced removal of hundreds of children couldn't be hidden or destroyed. At the very most, if sufficent reason existed to believe the teenage girl's calls were genuine a detailed search of the ranch would have been in order.

    Not this.. Not in America

  • Lisa
    April 13, 2008 11:41 p.m.

    I cannot believe when I read people say Texas is "violating these freaks' constitutional rights." Child RAPE is not a right, it's a horrendous crime. Dont mess with Texas, and dont mess with kids.
    Americans should be and are permitted to worship whatever Diety they choose. They should even be permitted to have their stupid "plural families". Just dont rape young girls.

  • yosif
    April 13, 2008 11:42 p.m.

    No one has proven to why having multiple wives is a crime. Sure, I understand we live in a Constitutional Republic and we are under duress to live by the laws. I dont mean to shatter your comfort but just because something is a law doesnt mean its right or that a valid study was done to support the need for such a law. The only thing I can tell is Utah was forced to drop polygamy in order to join the union. Thats simply not proof in as of its self. Please educate me and Im not looking for your opinion. I want proof.

  • ron
    April 13, 2008 11:52 p.m.

    Take the children to San Fransicko and bring them up among the wierdos there??? It's no wonder that this group wants to be secluded. All you have to do is look at TV for a day and you'll see more depravity than you'll see in 10 years on that FLDS compound. If you want to charge someone. Charge the men, --after you have proof. Texas is the 'Wild West. Not as wild tho' as SF. This is becoming a Godless country. Surely there has to be a reckoning some day. The whole thing is sick. Pity all those little children.

  • blackhawk
    April 13, 2008 11:58 p.m.

    Why weren't all the Catholic schools closed down when the priest scandel broke?

  • joe shmoe from U.S.
    April 13, 2008 11:59 p.m.

    Well, I'm not big on the whole combine thing, but it looks like there is very little proof so far as to a mass child abuse thing going on there. Maybe it was just one isolated incident, so the question is..will the state now take every child that lives on the same random street as one who was abused? This looks like a case of discrimination against religion, which is supposed to be free here.

  • Bill
    April 14, 2008 12:02 a.m.

    How is polygamy any different than someone getting married 3 times and having children in each relationship? Or even having children outside of marriage with several partners? Isn't the end product the same?

    Maybe someone should target some politician with children and call in some claim similar to this situation? Or perhaps target one of the posters above?

    Indeed, this is very much like 1938 Germany. The masses site idle while Marxism disguised as good intentions march forward unopposed.

  • Me
    April 14, 2008 12:11 a.m.

    I attended Jordan High School in Sandy in the late 60's and early 70's. There was a compound of Jeffs who lived up 9400 S. not far from the mouth of the canyon. We had a lot of the Jeffs and Allred kids who attended school with us. Most of them did well in school and graduated with the rest of us in their class. My how these groups have changed, I understand they don't educate the girls past the 8th grade now...how sad. I guess that's one way to have submissive women.

  • RG in Arizona
    April 14, 2008 12:56 a.m.

    I notice that the terms Nazi and Hitler are thrown about already. And now:
    "If anyone knows what the constitution says, knows that this search was illegal, as was the subsequent removal of these children."

    Sorry but both state and county courts issued warrants. It is to be determined if they were correct. Quite a few of us know our Constitution well. Emotions run amok do not help.
    But following Warren Jeff's actions in Arizona we do know several women trying to leave his compound has disappeared. I have had the privilege of assisting a run away bride from Colorado City. Their lives are hard and not at all akin to the Amish or Mennonites.
    Let's keep the emotions in check and let this play out in the courts. All involved will get their say.

  • Mud Flap
    April 14, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    Before you judge whether or not the authorities in Texas were right or wrong in their actions against the FLDS compound you should read "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop, one of Merrill Jessop's many wifes, who was born and raised to believe in plural marriage. Carolyn Jessop tells a story that will shock you! The FLDS is nothing more than an American Taliban the way the abuse women and children and claim that the edicts come from God directly to their prophet. I dare you. Read that book!!!

  • PrairieVoice
    April 14, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    I've seen cases where immigrant families practice polygamy. They avoid prosecution by calling the extra wives "aunts". Would authorities also go after them?

  • London, England
    April 14, 2008 1:34 a.m.

    The papers here sure have got the story scewed. This story's half way around the world. Sympathy seems to be building for these people. I wonder if this might back fire with your local Government and national government. Awful abuse of power, and the Judiciary Branch of government seems to have no moral or constitutional base in Texas. American citizens really should be a bit more alarmed about this. They seem to be having a bit of yawn session instead of a support rally.

  • Jim from MD
    April 14, 2008 1:46 a.m.

    Is your church government approved? It appears the lessons of Waco are now forgotten. I don't like the tone of the media which is from day one has demonized these people with code words like compound and cult. Remember that this country was founded by religious extremists. Its part of our fabric.

    The unspoken criticism I hear in these media reports is that the government is upset that FLDS is teaching their kids that their first loyalty is not to the state. Beyond that they are criticized for being self sufficient, fertile, and dowdy dressers. The media goes nuts over the polygamy and patriarchal authority aspects while it blindly supports gay marriage, homosexual teachers, and criticizes the Boy Scouts for keeping poofters out of their ranks. The FLDS has a right to be secretive about their affairs. People have been hounding or killing them for 175 years for their non mainstream beliefs.

    I don't think the 16 year old girl will ever be found. She never existed in the first place. I could see through the smokescreen from day one.

  • Finn Nielsen
    April 14, 2008 1:55 a.m.

    An observer from Helsinki, Finland writes: History will compare the taking of these children from their families to the taking of native American children from their families or the taking of aborigine Australian children from their families ... a horrible example of cultural arrogance ... a human rights atrocity.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 2:02 a.m.

    so marrying 50 year old uncle bob,when you're 14 is totally cool with you people . NO!

  • Jeffrey
    April 14, 2008 2:04 a.m.

    What's wrong with this picture is that pedophilia
    becomes systems, couched in terms that this is the
    Lord's wish. Which no one can ever argue you against. So very young girls are taught to endure
    sexual contact with relatives, even fathers, and
    people even have to wonder why a government would
    have the right to step. Comparing what the Texas
    authorities did to Nazis shows an apparent ignorance
    about Nazi atrocities. The Nazis took your children
    away and gassed them. Hardly whats happening in Texas.
    At the end of the story, the founding men of this
    church thought this would be a good way to sleep with young girls and God bless us for it.

  • PFinman
    April 14, 2008 2:09 a.m.

    The events in Texas match my personal experience with child protective services, the county sheriff, and the school attendance review board in the Conejo Valley Unified School District in Ventura County California. I am a homeschooling parent with a PhD in EE from Stanford University and a BS in Physics from MIT. The CVUSD designated my 8-year-old son a "habitual truant" and presented absolutely terrifying police force to him and his mother. When my child responded to this terror by crying and vomiting, the school district dropped my child from school rolls and pretended he did not exist. Since then, my "habitual truant" received an $80K merit scholarship at Johns Hopkins University when he was 17 and he is just now graduating with his MS in computer science. I predict that the dishonesty and abuse of child protective services towards some of the best parents will have catastrophic social consequences. Those children will remember being taken from their families for the rest of their lives.

  • Bryan Abbott
    April 14, 2008 2:09 a.m.

    Fear not! These kids will be ingesting MTV, HBO and the internet in no time. If they just dive into our multi-cultural philosophies and accept that having two moms or two dads is A-OK but having one dad and two moms is wrong, then we will cure what ails them. What they really need is a steady diet of moral relativism, poor manners and a complete lack of motivation. Just think of the progress they will make once we teach them to hate Christianity and to worship musicians and bumbling idiot actors. Maybe we should be happy they didn't cook the kids like they did in Waco? Seems we didn't learn any lessons last time. God bless these kids and God help their families. And if any of the men are guilty of child abuse, prosecute them. Certainly good families have been destroyed in this unconstitutional pursuit of "Justice" Shame on Texas. Shame on that judge!

  • Angela
    April 14, 2008 2:14 a.m.

    Before you get outraged by the removal of children & women, wait until you see the evidence presented at the trial. There is a big difference between manipulating, frightening or forcing young children into a life of subservience and sexual abuse and freedom of religion. The Texas authorities are doing the right thing - giving many who are too scared to speak up, an opportunity of getting out of that judgmental environment where you are not allowed an opinion of your own, you are forced to agree with old, perverted men. Let them get out of that and start putting things into perspective. When the investigation is over, those that are innocent may return. Those that have committed crimes will be dealt with fairly, by a jury of their peers. Justice is finally being done. The older perverts have freedom of religion. Imagine a 13 y/o girl in this sect. No options, no say over her future. If she disagrees, forced & blamed. Allow HER freedom of choice. She has no outside education or support to get away from it. This raid & investigation is overdue. God bless Texas authorities.

  • howard hofelich
    April 14, 2008 2:27 a.m.

    This is a crime committed by government. We need to clean our government out of all these do gooders who want to make gay marraige the norm. I am a Catholic but I fully support the FLDS and I hope they sue the bejesus out of Texas and win.

  • Steven
    April 14, 2008 3:19 a.m.

    The people at YFZ Ranch keep talking about how they cant believe this can happen in America?

    WHAT ABOUT THE WAY THEY CUT THEIR CHILDREN OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND FORCE THEM INTO THIS LIFESTYLE?

    It doesn't seem like the freedom they are asking for is being given to their own children. Marrying off underaged girls into a polygamist relationship(which is illegal in every state they operate) and teaching young boys that this is the only way they will go to heaven is wrong. Its fraudulent. And while this kids and the women and children will suffer, they have to due to their brain washing, it will help some others get out and stop the repeated cycle.

  • Makes you wonder
    April 14, 2008 3:25 a.m.

    So did I miss the story where they took the boys away from the catholic priests? Or the one where they took the Muslim kids away because they had more than one wife?

  • Peter Gee, Nairobi, Kenya
    April 14, 2008 3:29 a.m.

    It is incredibly ironic that the Daily Mail in England is leading a charge of demonizing the situation of the FLDS in this ranch incident, whilst at the same time turning a blind eye to Britain allowing "creeping sharia" in government mandated programmes to pay welfare to up to four Muslim wives and allow Muslim wives to join another wife if both come from abroad.

    The Government is extremely wrong to separate these children from their mothers and a gross abuse of Government power. They have the right to look into allegations of sexual abuse, but not to destroy the lives and relationships of women, children and whichever men are innocent.

    I'll bet the majority of those on this forum who are attacking the FDLDS are themselves totally ambivalent over Muslim polygamy and if from the left, would never dare tell a Muslim that their religious family life is an "abuse" etc and support abortion, state fosteriung and other anti-family programmes. Hipocrites.

    Amish, Mennonites etc who wish to leave in peace away from the world should be allowed to do so as long as direct abuse is not involved.

  • a critic
    April 14, 2008 3:45 a.m.

    nice pictures of hands. they are so informative. so different from any other hands. bravo.

  • nate
    April 14, 2008 4:14 a.m.

    In response to Hal, 12:32 pm April 13 (first page, last comment) -

    The Amish and Mennonite seclude themselves, but do not cut off the outside world. Outsiders may enter, provided they follow some simple rules (no picture-taking), and most Amish and Mennonite villages trade with the outside world. They are not strictly self-sufficient. Obviously it's not illegal to cut out the world entirely, but cutting out the world is not usually done to protect children from the world. IT is done to hide questionable acts from the authorities. Never, ever, in the history of any sect, has any sect found it necessary to cut off the world entirely and not had something illegal, immoral, and often sexual going on behind closed doors, not even when the first Christians were praying in the catacombs.

  • m
    April 14, 2008 4:20 a.m.

    When people behave like animals and they break the laws of this country in such a heinous way then they should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. I noticed only 2 people were actually arrested, there were warrants for the search and after entering it was decided there was an imminent threat to the children at which time they were removed in a very legal way. The children were potential witnesses in a case who were in danger of being manipulated and hurt. If there was no crime the children will be returned. Now if a crime has been committed I hope everyone wishes that they be punished to the fullest extent of the law and that the sickos who commit crimes against children rot in the pits of hell.

  • Dennis
    April 14, 2008 4:39 a.m.

    OK, let's assume polygamy was being practiced there.
    Why is this criminal, but having children out of wedlock is OK? How many children in America have been abandoned by their fathers or traumatized by divorce, yet the government can't seem to get a handle on these social problems.

    Leave it to politicians to make a mountain out of a mole hill so they can portray themselves as heros. From what I've seen, most of them can't manage their own lives much less tell others what's best for them.

  • noel
    April 14, 2008 4:37 a.m.

    boys who are over 18 are thrown out because they are a threat to older men. who are these older men who don't want to be threatened? and what is the threat? the battle for the women, especially the younger women and girls? does anybody see a problem here?

  • dNova
    April 14, 2008 4:44 a.m.

    If the children weren't being abused before, they certainly ARE being abused now.

  • Stephanie
    April 14, 2008 4:46 a.m.

    I dont know what is wrong with all of you?? There were SEVERAL PREGNANT teenagaers which prove there is child abuse going on inside this cult. I am appalled that anyone can sit here and say we should not have gone in and taken all the children. We need to protect them first and foremost above anyones religion. How dare anyone say getting a teenager pregnant is ok!! I am ashamed that no one on here has any morals!

  • Debbie
    April 14, 2008 4:58 a.m.

    This is one of the few things that the government has done that's right! These people aren't abusive? Not in their own eyes, of course. Their god wants them to marry off 13 year old girls to 50 year old men. They don't deny it. This isn't a case of people accusing them of doing such things. They freely acknowledge it and don't see it as abuse. They also throw out young men so that there will be enough women to go around. What kind of loving parents throw their children out?

  • Ann
    April 14, 2008 4:59 a.m.

    At puberty (could be as early as 9 if not earlier), these mothers willingly hand over their daughters to be "married" and sexually abused. duh.

  • Mother of 3
    April 14, 2008 5:07 a.m.

    The media can spin a story any way it feels will get the best reaction and this has absolutely higlighted the natural feelings of mothers for their children without taking in to account that these same mothers are party to some very shocking abuse. As a mother I understand the distress such a forceful separation would cause. Let us keep in mind however that the women interviewed were unwilling to talk about underage marriages or any of the alleged abuses related to the siege in the first place. My heart is with the poor 16 year girl who already has FOUR children! It is a very traumatic time for all involved but better to save the children from such a future, not forgetting that their mothers were allowing the alleged abuse to continue. Those mothers would do better to find some help for themselves in order to better protect their children.

  • Valerie
    April 14, 2008 5:10 a.m.

    Sex without desire is painful for a woman; sex without desire is rape.

    A judge is convinced that there *is probable cause* to believe that the women have been victims of rape while the young girls are at high risk of rape.

    Current thinking is that rape isn't a wholesome thing. Current thinking is that child rape is particularly heinous. Current thinking is that the government has a duty to protect girls who are at high risk in their homes.

    If you don't like the way Texas handled this, lobby to make child rape legal.

    Let parents mentally torture their little girls, making them believe that they'll burn in hell if they don't have sex with a man they don't desire the moment they get their first periods.

    Make child rape legal. Let 50 yo men take frightened, pubescent girls and rape them. Yes, child rape is mostly ugly, but out in the country with girls who are first properly conditioned to believe that this is the way to earn Heaven in the afterlife, child rape could be a beautiful thing.

    Gag.

    Stockholm Syndrome.

  • Justin
    April 14, 2008 5:07 a.m.

    The problem is the sexual abuse of children. Everything else that is being brought up is a smoke screen. The mothers agreed to talk if they were not asked questions about sexual abuse, therefore they have nothing of substance to add to the discussion.

    There is no easy way to protect children when it is the parents who prepare the children to be raped. To allow it to continue would make us guilty of the crime as well, in the eyes of God.

  • wow
    April 14, 2008 5:20 a.m.

    it is stupid government telling their people how to live. They want to live the way they do, it's their business. Law enforcement officers should respond to 16 year old case only in her family, not rest of families!

    Govt presumed all families are stereotypically guilty of one 16 year-old's rape, therefore all raids are justified in their own eyes. Not my eyes.

  • Ralph
    April 14, 2008 5:26 a.m.

    Why would you publish such a one-sided interview? What purpose does this serve? Would you publish an article about the government's claims when there was no willingness to address questions or "undesirable" topics? Clearly these folks were polygamist child abusers, they need no sympathy.

  • RM
    April 14, 2008 5:30 a.m.

    I personally think this is another case of the government out of control.I mean it makes no sense to remove anyone except girls ages 13-16 that was the issue.I mean it starting to come out now the guy accused has not even been in texas since 1979 and so they dropped the warrant and no arrest is Being made.I gather my kids up and we stand in a big circle and everybody takes their turn praying we do this everyday.I imagine someday the goverment will consider this brainwashing and conditioning.I hope people realize what they are advocating more intrusive government and more government control.Today its some kids from a sect in Texas tomorrow it will be your home your kids and you'll wish you stood on the side of freedom because by that point it'll be gone.

  • just a Lutheran
    April 14, 2008 5:35 a.m.

    i am praying for all involved.
    too much pain to think about,
    too much recovery to go through,
    but these people must begin somewhere.
    Jesus, heal the broken hearted and set free the captives, as your Father has sent you to do.
    Amen

  • texyak
    April 14, 2008 5:38 a.m.

    I find it interesting that the Deseret News chose to paint the FLDS church in such a glowing light after years of writing negative articles about it. Opportunism at its finest. The people of Utah and the LDS church can't stand FLDS either. Thus, they moved to another state where they thought they could be less conspicuous. The facts of the case are that a child made an outcry of sexual abuse against a member of the compound and that the alleged sexual abuse is widespread throughout the compound. What the news doesn't tell you is the mothers were all given the opportunity to leave with their children when the kids were removed and some of them chose to remain with the men instead. Funny...none of the women interviewed express any concern about the sexual abuse allegations.

  • agenda
    April 14, 2008 5:40 a.m.

    "...So did I miss the story where they took the boys away from the catholic priests? Or the one where they took the Muslim kids away because they had more than one wife?..."

    Nope, you didn't miss it; but you might have missed the fact that it isn't a part of their 'program'. Child rape is not organized nor is it condoned.

  • Todd
    April 14, 2008 5:49 a.m.

    Simply put, religions must abide by all the laws of the community they live in. They were not abiding the laws, hence the children were taken.

  • Mike
    April 14, 2008 5:44 a.m.

    While it may suit to justify the Law Enforcement communities actions in this case that 400 children, some so young as to be NURSING, were taken from their homes and separated from their mothers, who now allegedly are not allowed time with their children even when documentation is presented that proves the relationship, It is a false justification that pregnant underage girls were found , or even underage mothers. I am sure that these eager Lawmen could have found pregnant underage girls in Houston or Dallas, or by subpoenaing medical records at any abortion clinic, as was recently attempted to be done in Kansas. That deal caused a huge public backlash because the guilty parties were not a religious group. If these folks would have been abouting the children to avoid any evidence that anything was happening, it would have been ok and they still be happily molesting each other with no consquences... At least the LDS folks had the good judgement not to resist the confiscation of their children, so that no state sponsored cremations resulted.

  • Rock
    April 14, 2008 5:45 a.m.

    Texans...when will you rise and take back the state that used to be yours?

    These folks might appear different, but so do Baptists, Jews, Catholics...and Gun-owners, Hunters, Constitutionalists, etc. Show me their crime!

    How long will God-given rights be stolen? How long will yall allow the prejudice of bureaucrats to trump the rights secured to you by generations of vigilance and sacrifice?

    With apologies to Neimoller:

    In Texas, they first came for Davidians,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Davidian.
    Then they came for FLDS,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an FLDS.
    Then they came for gun-owners,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a gun-owner.
    Then they came for Conservatives,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Moderate.
    Then they came for me -
    and by that time no one was left to protest.

    Can't happen in Texas? It just did (Again!)! And y'all do nothing!?!

    Sam Houston said, Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may. Today, hes apparently wrong! Where are your cajones?

    This ex-pat Texan living temporarily in Virginia is ashamed that this tyranny is unopposed in Texas.

  • Nutvise
    April 14, 2008 5:52 a.m.

    It was only a matter of time before someone wrote a sympathetic article in defense of the pedophiles and their servile, submissive wives. Oddly, there is no mention of the fumarase deficiency caused by inbreeding, the techniques similar to waterboarding that they use on their children to force them into obedience, or how they expel many of the male children from the sect to eliminate the competition for the young girls. Inclusion of the above would bring a whole new meaning to the statement, "We love our children".

  • Helen
    April 14, 2008 5:51 a.m.

    Earlier "Pat" commented that they should have taken the men out of the compound and left the women and children. I couldn't agree more. Who in our country allows men to be married to 7 or 8 women, whether true marriages or "spiritual" marriages. These men wanted unlimited sex with young girls and all the babies they could make to keep them under control. But, Texas got it backwards. Remove the predators, not the prey.

  • John Gilbert
    April 14, 2008 5:56 a.m.

    Wether the government was right or not. the article is clearly bias. No mention of older teenage girls taken away. No comment from any male, just 30+ and older women. If the article had comments from a teen girl taken away that was having sex since 13 or 15 you might feel different. Point being it showed a side of the ranch, which is fine, but don't allow that to cloud the fact of sexual activities in the ranch of minors with men. None of this is good. Its a sad situation that a group of men are responsible for.

  • Cate
    April 14, 2008 5:56 a.m.

    So many people are claiming that since polygamy is still on the books as a crime, these people are fundamentally criminals who deserve the treatment they're getting. In most states, adultery and cohabitation are still on the books as crimes (or at least they were until recently), and yet, no one expects the police to round up the 90% of Manhattan and Orange County CA who are living "in sin".

    What about the man who has a wife and kids and a pregnant mistress. Should they round up all his kids and throw him into jail?

    If there is proven child abuse, punish the abusers. Otherwise the law should be upheld (or ignored) equally.

    Also, when I was a foster mom, the state wouldn't remove any children from a home except the one who had actually sufferes abuse. Even then, the goal was to get them back home as soon as possible. Let's see some evidence of abuse other than a few sensational minutes on Nightline or Montel before overreact.

    You'd think our government would've learned the lessons of WACO.

  • Rach
    April 14, 2008 6:02 a.m.

    It's the filthy old men that need to be removed- not the children from their mothers. I can't believe that was the course of action chosen. How ignorant.
    I think polygamy is wrong on many levels, but if a consenting adult chooses that lifestyle then so be it. On the other hand, they should not be forcing little girls (or FORCING ANYONE for that matter) to wed and bear children for old men. There's a difference between choosing that life and being forced into it. It's the use of sexual and marital force and deception that is a crime here- not the polygamy.

  • Quick to condem
    April 14, 2008 6:05 a.m.

    People seems rather quick to condem the government today, yet you don't have many facts. How many 12 year old girls have to be found pregnant before you change your mind? How many pregnant teenagers did they find? Is that just cause for pulling the at risk 9-12 year olds out too? What about the emotional toll of breaking up families? Depending on what is happening that we don't know about, taking every child and the mothers could be the most benevolant solution.

  • Bewildered.
    April 14, 2008 6:05 a.m.

    I would like to know more about the Texas officials who initiated this action.

  • Michael
    April 14, 2008 6:06 a.m.

    The tyranny we fought a revolution over 200 years ago we have now created. An unsubstantiated phone call from a 16 year old, and American authorities March into a community and take away the children from their parents. If we are not outraged and fight for these people, the government will come for our children next! Freedom of Religion my foot!

    Thank God the Mormons are peaceful people, and the Clintons are not in the White house or: we would have had another Waco.

  • George
    April 14, 2008 6:07 a.m.

    The most troubling aspect of these comments is the defense of the FLDS cult and its obvious, clear and convincing abuses of human rights and oppression of women and children.

    Those commenters complain about "the government".

    Can you imagine what our government would be like if FLDS believers were in control of our government?

    Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we lived under an FLDS-controlled government?

    THAT is frightening to conjure.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 6:11 a.m.

    Churches are safe in America but cults are not. God bless USA

  • Ryan
    April 14, 2008 6:12 a.m.

    Nobody is saying the "c"-word, but that's really what this is. It's a cult. It's the reason for the isolation and it's the reason for the Stockholm Syndrome-like reaction.

    And if the possibility exist that any of these children are being arranged in marriage before the age of 16 or 17, then the government is correct in protecting them.

  • mindcrime
    April 14, 2008 6:13 a.m.

    Yeah these kids were well cared for until they hit age 13, then they were abused. Maybe if the members had of been more cooperative with authorities it wouldn't have came to this, but the fact that they wouldn't tell them what children belonged to what mother sounds like they were trying to be evasive. Misguided religious zealots should not be tolerated. Religion should not conflict with the larger societies laws to the degree that this cult did.

  • Mike Dashner
    April 14, 2008 6:21 a.m.

    Only in Utah and in an LDS owned paper would any one justify Polygamy. The apple does not fall far from the tree. I guess its all right for a mother to let her daughter be raped in the name of furthering the so called Kingdom of God.

  • Russ from MI
    April 14, 2008 6:16 a.m.

    This is another case of our government out of control and slow removal of personal freedoms and parental rights.I mean the warrant that was issued is dropped because the man accused hasn't been in Texas since 1979 and no arrest have been made.I could almost see them removing girls 11 or 12 -16 I mean that was the issue to begin with. I gather up my children everday and we stand in big circle and take turns praying this is we start our days before everyone heads out.I imagine the day will come when this is determined dangerous and brainwashing then my kids will be the ones being removed. Today its some sect in Texas tommorow it'll be you kids,your beliefs,and your personal property the government decides to strip away.As a christian I morally disagree with polygamy but as a liberterian I always side with personal freedoms for that is the only way to ensure all our freddoms.I mean I disagree with adultery,fornication,homosexuality,
    and many other thing but I don't think our government should be making laws about these things and riping people lives apart.Freedom is the key that keeps the door of liberty open.

  • Wayne
    April 14, 2008 6:25 a.m.

    I have only one concern. And that is that the children here have been traumatized deeply. This entire situation should be handled carefully.

  • RG
    April 14, 2008 6:19 a.m.

    At least they are not as bad and the global warming cult. YFZ is not trying to bring down the world economy with there lies like the GW cult is doing

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 6:23 a.m.

    This is the most unbalanced article I've ever read. No details on why the children were taken, just a sentence at the very end.

    Pathetic reporting.

    Also, no information on how many of the children were already married and had children of their own.

    Terrible, terrible reporting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    And I don't know what church keeps a bed in the temple, specifically for the purpose of sex with minors.

  • Stephen Clark
    April 14, 2008 6:30 a.m.

    These mothers are good and decent people. You can tell by the way they dress(with decency and modesty) and the things they're now saying about their lives and children. The state is wrong in doing this and we must rise up and defend these people against this evil government. This travesty of justice (much like the evil practice of torture and spying) is just another small step in the dismantling of our constitution and bill of rights. The government is not protecting these children, they are in fact now placed in a greater danger. It's well known and documented that many children taken by CPS end up sexually abused in that system. These mothers and fathers know what is best for their children, not the state. This criminal government should release all of the children back to their parents now and stop violating our rights as US Citizens!

  • motherof3
    April 14, 2008 6:33 a.m.

    Poligamy, incest and rape are illegal. How can mothers let this happen to their daughters and have their sons banished so the older men can have more wives?

  • cwm
    April 14, 2008 6:35 a.m.

    In W's Texas no less! Well folks there are no longer the civil rights that there once were. You are now living in W's post 9-11 country. What absolutely shocks me is that this happened once again in Texas. Before, during, and after W ruled there as governor. What kind of leadership does he offer? I think that the present state of the US economy offers an answer, as does the state of affairs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Incomplete and failure are this man's signature. This too will become a part of his legacy.

    God bless the chicks they called him correctly years ago. Time has proved them correct too.

  • J.Raye
    April 14, 2008 6:29 a.m.

    As long as we're quoting the constitution, how about the 13th amendment: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude...shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." These young girls are kept as chattel slaves by the old men of this sect. The old men forced these young girls "marry", force them to become pregnant over and over, year after year, and keep them imprisoned behind a locked gate. Where is John Brown when we need him? No one should be importing slavey into the great state of Texas.

  • get off it
    April 14, 2008 6:40 a.m.

    it happened all the time in American History..to the Native Americans and nobody was griping then. Then you wonder why we keep from going under!

  • Susan
    April 14, 2008 6:41 a.m.

    I am a bit surprised by the all the comments about how wonderful and noble this particular FLDS compound is. Sure this mother is missing her children....and sure she wants to know that they are o.k. But where were those instincts when her daughters were being married to older men as a second or third wife...Come on. The issue here isn't whether or not this mother loves her children....some of the worst parents in the world will say they "love" their children. The issue at hand is whether or not these mothers knowingly supported practices that put their children's mental and social development in danger. Call it whatever you want....But I call it decades of brainwashing control. Funny how quickly some are willing to defend adult males exercising sexual control over minor females. I guess society has not advanced as far as I thought it had.

  • Stephen Clark
    April 14, 2008 6:43 a.m.

    gunnut I agree completely with your post! You said it so well that it deserves another look. "Make no mistake. This action was not necessarily to protect the children. It was an excuse for a deeper motive of the Government of Texas. The action, like Waco, was an effort to stretch and test the limits of the Texas constitution and the Constitution of the United States. Also, the first amendment does say that CONGRESS shall MAKE NO LAW, regarding the ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION. I don't believe the government has the right to tell any faith they can't practice polygamy. What it can do is protect prosecute people for hurting others. NO PROOF HAS BEEN BROUGHT FORTH in this case. The FLDS's culture is different than the vast majority of the rest of America. That doesn't make their culture bad. Just different. If they are breaking laws concerning rape, statutory rape, physical abuse, incest and or marriage before coming of age, then the State of Texas can do something. Otherwise, leave'em alone. I agree that the men should've been taken off campus, leaving the women and children there."

  • Shelley
    April 14, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    I have no opinion about the way these people live at all BUT I do have a problem with the fact that there are children pregnant, made to marry fifty year old men, sex rooms off of the chapels where they have church services and I am sure much more that we have not heard. That is sick!! They needed to take these children until they can sort out and make sure they are safe! This is NOT about religion so people stop making it about that!! This is about emotional and sexual abuse to innocent children!!!

  • from_the _woods
    April 14, 2008 6:40 a.m.

    You have to wonder if some of the men you join the Church are sex offenders. To many stories of 14 year old girls getting 'married' in the church, but in society it would be called rape.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 6:48 a.m.

    There was an informant inside for 4 years. This was not a rash decision. it is a very complex situation when you have 400 + people involved - many of whom are brainwashed 2nd and 3rd generations abuse vistims! Don't be so quick to judge when you don't know all the facts.

  • Daniel
    April 14, 2008 6:42 a.m.

    I see a lot of women angry at men, and people in general angry at authority harping on how this is so wrong and the officials that came in are horrible. Give me a break. If I was in their situation I would want to react quickly, and effectively. If there are kids in a potentially abusive home you would have to be an idiot to leave them with a parent (even if it is the mom). All of the complaints about how the fathers need to take responsibility is garbage. The mothers are likely just as guilty for being enablers or possibly for abuse themselves. Does anyone honestly think that the law enforcement went in there thinking "I want to be as evil and illogical as possible". NO, they were acting the best way possibly to diffuse a difficult situation. To clean a dirty room it's always easiest to pull everything out and separate it first then put the necessary things back where they go and throw out the trash. Law enforcement acted responsibly here and if there was a kid living with abusive parents I would hope that they wouldn't leave the child with the mom.

  • Rick
    April 14, 2008 6:43 a.m.

    A little faith in the justice system please. The state was justified in acting because we had serious allegations of child abuse, forced mariages and rape in this compound. Is any of that true? Maybe not, would not be the first time the US Govenment was overzealous, but then it wouldn't be the first time we found some cult was brainwashing young women into slavery either. On the facts presented it sounds to me like this was a clasic cult, not a legitimate religious group and the state was perfectly justified in their actions. You'll have your day in court to disprove that. Bring FACTS to court with you not emotional appeals.

  • Robert H
    April 14, 2008 6:43 a.m.

    Remember, the reason the authorities went in there was a 16-year old girl calling in that she was being physically abused by an older "husband" who'd fathered children on her. This 'church' turns out many of their young men once they reach 18 to leave the underage girls for the middle-aged men. It is strictly illegal in Texas for an adult to engage in sex with an under-18 female, yet this group has done so for years in other states under color of religion. They picked the wrong place to try their pedophilic nonsense, and I only hope those taken away can be helped to understand the abusive nature of what was done to them.

  • Dave in DC
    April 14, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    It's all about power and money. There is a small core of men who run the cult - that is what it is - a cult because behind the curtain, there is a small group controlling the mass of souls. Who gets to decided who is going to marry who? How about, when or if they want to marry? The people outside of the Core dont have choices. They live in the comfort provided to them by others without any worries. Their dues is a loss of rights that the rest of civilized free citizens would not put up with loosing. Children should not be exposed to that environment.

    The authorities should do everything possible to break this cult up. They can start with pulling their tax exempt status - federal and state.

  • Fed Up American
    April 14, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    My father fought in WWII to protect our rights. I have always been taught that we live in the best country in the world. Now as a 44 year old father of two I can say I am truly concerned with the blatant disregard of our constitution. Our system is failing us daily in the name of fear. Everyone is convinced that we must be protected from the evil when everything I see points to evil government control WAKE UP PEOPLE! Every day another right is taken away. We as a nation are more worried about Britney Spears Rehab than our freedoms. This is just another example of "abuse of power". Innocent until proven guilty, only if you can afford $1500.00 for a lawyer.. other wise you sit in the cell until your court date Im tired and disgusted with what our wonderful nation has become. I most go back to work now, I have to pay my taxes on the money I (like you) work for....

  • Invisible, Apparently
    April 14, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    I am a teacher, and I am also a very devoted mother. I homeschooled my child because the public schools would not meet his advanced needs. I was a single parent at the time and still am. My husband had left me. I am chaste. I complained about a day care I temporarily had my son in so I could raise capital for a work at home business. They had left multiple bruises on him. They knew a person in CPS and had me threatened. That traumatized me and my child. So, I had a bad experience with CPS and don't automatically assume they are doing the right thing.

    However, CPS is doing the right thing in this case. The parents are not cooperating at a normal level. It is not normal for parents not to claim their individual children and state their parentage. What American parent would not produce a birth certificate and any other proof of parenting to get their children back? What parent wouldn't try to bargain, offer to live independently, etc. to get their child back? These people are playing the victims, but they are making their kids the victims. Get real, folks.

  • Samantha
    April 14, 2008 6:52 a.m.

    Anything I have every seen regarding these people and their practices are very abusive to the children. You girls, not women, are forced to marry old men. Their mothers stand by and let it happen. I saw a television documentary where if the young boys get to a point where they are threatening the old guys positions, they are to pack a bag, taken to the out skirts of town and told to leave. No money and no place to go they ended up on the streets in prostitution. So I think the government did a very humane thing going in there and removing these children, giving them the opportunity to come forward if they are being abused and have to opportunity to escape that awful situation. It isn't like they went in there without a complaint being made.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 6:57 a.m.

    Amazing how my comments never get posted on this site. I am respectful, well-spoken and coherent. But, I do not support the FLDS crimes. Is there a proscribed limit to the proportion of negative versus positive comments allowed in regards to FLDS?

    I would like to say, again, that the FLDS members are breaking the law in many ways and also refusing to cooperate with authorities even in identifying their own children.

    My tax dollars are paying to feed and house them, just as they were when they were at the compound. I am a single mom struggling to pay my bills. Should I feel sorry for them for having to sleep on cots for a couple of weeks? Did they expect the Hilton Hotel? Who even knew there were that many children unknown to the state in there?

    I am not a proponent of heavy state control, but children deserve basic protection of their rights to be safe and to be taught truthfully. Parents are obligated to obey the laws of the land or change it through political action. These people have taken no responsibility for these things and want us to feel sorry for them. Grow up.

  • The Dean
    April 14, 2008 6:58 a.m.

    Unbeknownst to many people the state(s)have the legal right to protect all children till they are 16 years old. This is written in state(s) law.

  • George
    April 14, 2008 6:58 a.m.

    That was the most boring "exclusive" story I've ever read. "Collectively, their hearts are broken but their spirits undaunted." Uh. Terrible. I love all the constitutional scholars out there protecting these sexual abusers. Dopes.

  • Erik
    April 14, 2008 7:06 a.m.

    Wow...a lot of people here are defending these people. The main issue here ISN'T polygamy, it is child abuse. Someone made an outrageous argument that the ex-members of this church are naturally going to trash this group because they had to hate the group to get out of it. That makes as much sense as saying that naturally an ex-drug dealer who rails against his former profession is only doing so because he had to hate it in order to get out of it. Nobody is mentioning the bed discovered in the sanctuary of this place where young girls were having sex with older men. As to the constitutional argument, there was probable cause. This place has been under the government microscope for years, and they held off this long before doing anything. This shows an extreme amount of restraint on the government's part.

  • uhhuh
    April 14, 2008 7:11 a.m.

    They deserved it. it was the right thing. There is no where in the bible or the law that condones sexual acts with underage kids. disgusting perverts.

  • mary, small town Pa.
    April 14, 2008 7:14 a.m.

    My heart breaks for these Mothers and children. Where is that abused 16 yr. old? The evident abuse is the with the Texan bureaucrats who, like predators , compromised the innocence of bonds between a mother and her child. Who are we to judge a lifestyle we may/may not agree with or lack understanding of? How dare they! And where is the outrage??

  • sandy
    April 14, 2008 7:10 a.m.


    THEY DID THE RIGHT THING in removing these women and children. It is NOT the same as removing one man from a woman and children. How could they protect all those women and children from the male rapist molesters in that compound when it is so large? No one was sure what the heck they were doing to children and women in that place. To make the mistake on the side of caution was the right thing to do. If they had not taken them, and something happened to them (some other men came for them and spirited them away, beat them, etc. Oh how you would all be in a rage over that!!!!
    I do not care for the faulty system we have in public services, but at least these kids could have a chance to experience freedom, free will, choices, opportunities, and AVOID RAPE by some old pedophile.

  • Stephan
    April 14, 2008 7:10 a.m.

    I don't believe this would have happened if journalists would have been permitted to photograph what was taking place. Sunlight is the world's greatest disinfectant.

  • Jer
    April 14, 2008 7:11 a.m.

    A sad day in America, in which our society has dilapidated to such an extreme that the government is illegally seizing hundreds of children from their rightful families.

    Imagine if the local police suddenly barged into your home and hauled off your kids to an undisclosed location.

    No matter what religion you practice, even if it none at all, keep your thoughts and prayers with the welfare of the children, not with the government's fascist binge.

  • Slim
    April 14, 2008 7:19 a.m.

    Remember folks, the government owns you. We have given them the power. They, at any time can take away anything you think you own, including yourself and your family. The burden and cost is then on you to get any of it back. A sad reality, and this is one more example. Let's get these power hungry fools out of office and close down these over-powered agencies. Vote correctly and make your voice and monetary support work from your locality on up.

  • Julia
    April 14, 2008 7:28 a.m.

    I feel for the innocent among this community, but if they are not going to cooperate with authorities and turn in the rapists among their men, there is little that can be done to protect those who will be raped.

    If they truly loved their little ones, they would speak up and out against the rapists and not protect them.

    Mother's, grandmothers, aunts who allow their daughters to be raped and then do nothing when justice comes knocking are accomplices to crime.

  • save the kids from rape
    April 14, 2008 7:24 a.m.

    I am glad the women LOVE their children. But how is it love to give your BABIES to old rapists and tell them this is God's will? Mental abuse? THAT is mental abuse. To LIE and tell a child God says you must be sold off and raped as a child by an old man , that is the worst mental abuse there is. Are they handling it just right? Probably not. Bet they could use some help, so go help. An evil world for sure. But God is good. Brain washing, sexual abuse, these are evil things. "Better a millstone was tied around their necks then to harm the least of these (children)". Who will say rape is not harm to

  • Freakedout
    April 14, 2008 7:33 a.m.

    Let's mark this day as a symbolic date of Complete Decline of the United State of Arrests.

  • David
    April 14, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    If we regard a POLYGAMIST to be a criminal notice who we would also be calling a criminal: Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah (father of Samuel the prophet), King David (a man after Gods own heart) to name a few. You cannot find any word of condemnation in the bible for their POLYGAMIST life style. In fact Hebrews Chapter 11 stated that all these men received a righteous report. They would be in prison in America.

    Whats the point of placing our hands on the Bible in public swearing in ceremonies and in court when most people including Christians hate the words written in it? Notice this:

    Exodus 21:10-11
    10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing, and marital rights.

    Read also Deuteronomy 21:15-16

    No condemnation from the bible. In fact our Savior said that Abraham and Jacob would be in the Kingdom Matthew 8:11.

    The real crime of the polygamist is the same crime the Jews committed in Germany: Be Different.

    If the mothers and girls were normal wearing short, skin tight clothes and exposing their chest, attracting one or more boy friends, (having no husband), on welfare they would be FREE.

  • Pam
    April 14, 2008 7:27 a.m.

    There was proof that many of the girls taken away from the ranch were under aged and pregnant. Polygamy is against the law even if your faith believes in it. It's the same as Sharia law being criminal here and for good reason. These woman are not given an education, made to marry men old enough to be their grandfathers and having children. It's not exactly a healthy situation when a small number of men control such a large population and then make the boys leave so they aren't competition. That's not religion, that's a cult.

    Yes there are pedophiles in other religions,and in schools, homes, etc..., but other religions don't believe in it because those responsible are breaking their own religions rules and the laws of this country.

  • YFZ=Sexual abuse
    April 14, 2008 7:37 a.m.

    Are you all actually defending this group? Are people so easily swayed? Throw a couple of heart-wrenching sob stories up there and suddenly it is the state abusing its police power?

    Never mind the fact that among the children taken into custody were numerous teenage mothers. Never mind the multiple calls from girls inside the community to family violence centers.

    Its just all a giant mistake because a mother wants to be with her children, right? Whatever. In this country we allow freedom of religion, bu the state has an overarching interest- to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Every single one of those "happy little girls" wouldn't be so happy when they were forced into marriage at the age of 14 or 15. Imagine that happening to your kids, and ask yourself if you'd be so sympathetic to a mother who knowingly lived in a place where that happens to everyone.

  • San Angelo Native
    April 14, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    The author wants to make this intervention about polygamy, but it is about abuse and neglect of children. And so the article forgot to mention the pregnant 14-year-olds; the 16-year-old with 4 kids and exclusion of most teenage boys. Throw in the fact that most of the children are not vaccinated or educated (many of the mothers can barely read and write - one could not write her own last name).

    There are many polygamous and polyamorous groups throughout the country - they, for the most part, are left alone by the authorities. But when there are allegations of sexual assault of a minor, then the authorities must step in.

  • HawksOverhead
    April 14, 2008 7:37 a.m.

    This is a cult, people--not a religion. Cults by their very nature separate themselves from the rest of society; teach that the outside world is evil or mislead in some way; teach that their way (and only their way) leads to salvation; usually have some guy in charge who claims a unique connection to God and God's truth; and cults usually require some kind of strange or unsavory practices among their faithful. The problem with this particular cult is the self-perpetuating quality to it, since breeding seems to be its only activity in the world. Texas absolutely did the right thing when it raided this ranch. Both the mothers and the children probably need extensive therapy, and the men should all be put in jail for a long time.

  • Jack
    April 14, 2008 7:52 a.m.

    This is an outrage! The type of actions one would expect in a police state.

  • Gary Schroeder
    April 14, 2008 7:49 a.m.

    This post is not about Warren Steed Jeffs; he is serving his sentence at the Utah State Prison. No, this post is about freedom of religion, Texas and polygamy. This post is not about the LDS; they excommunicates members who engage in the practice of polygamy. Sheriff Doran, Texas Rangers and CPS conducted weeklong raids on a church in Eldorado, Texas. The hold 416 Texan kids and 139 Texans adult women. We need to ask why our US Constitutional Right of freedom of religion were violated?

  • Dave
    April 14, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    Wow, a few quick comments people. The law will have a heck of a time prosecuting any of the people for Polygamy as they typically LEGALLY marry only the first wife, other wives are married only in the church's eyes, so there isn't a law being broken there. Those of you saying they hope that this group sues the state and/or police for millions, use your heads people, the police and state get their money from the citizens, not out of their own pockets. And finally, I have a hard time believing that all of this occurred as a result of a single anonymous phone call. The sheriffs office said that they had an inside informant for at least 4 years so I'm guessing that more will come out on what prompted the raid. With that said, I feel for the children and hope they will heal from what must be an emotional hell right now.

  • A free country?
    April 14, 2008 8:01 a.m.

    This my friends.... is the US government at its worst. Whenever you hear a politician say how we must protect our freedoms etc..., bring up this example of how kids are separated from their mothers, and the mothers are unable to see their kids because they cannot prove who their kids are. My how our government is beginning to resemble certain infamous governments of the past. Can anyone honestly say that these kids are going to be better off in state foster care than with their mothers?

  • Marcel
    April 14, 2008 8:02 a.m.

    These people believe in polygamy, a practice condemned by most Americans, and unlawful. No doubt there are some bad apples in the YFZ barrel. So what do the authorities of Texas do about it? They haul in the entire barrel!!! Typical bureaucratic overkill.

  • Laura
    April 14, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    I am literally sick to my stomach with disgust at those of you who think these children were wrongfully taken. These are 14, 15 and 16-year old girls that are pregnant by older men. This is not an allegation, it's a fact.
    As for the abuse, anyone who thinks you aren't better safe than sorry hasn't faced abuse themselves. Shame on all of you.

  • Pete
    April 14, 2008 8:14 a.m.

    Some crimes are so egregious that innocence is an inadequate defense.

    Child abuse is one such crime. It seems that the claim of child abuse, with no evidence to support the claim, is enough to take this drastic action.

    Luckily, that can't possibly happen to you or I because "those people" area little different; a little weird. I suppose that makes it OK.

  • its_Chet
    April 14, 2008 8:24 a.m.

    Given that there was an allegation that a 16 year old girl was being abused, and that the state allegedly felt a need to prevent any alleged further abuse, and that polygamy is illegal in this country regardless of whether the involved individuals are consenting, there are some very significant and egregious violations of human and civil rights here.
    Allegedly, a 16 year old girl was being abused. Is that the justification for ripping crying, screaming children from their mothers? Did the alleged victim say her mother was abusing her? Even if she had, would it be grounds for mass kidnapping of 400 children? One allegation does not justify the invasion of all these homes, and the abduction of innocent children from the mothers, and their fathers too. Legality of polygamy aside, is it fair to kidnap a fathers children just because of one allegation? This could have been handled much better. Common sense says that not every one of the fathers were monsters, and certainly not all of the mothers, if any.
    This is the depraved act of a fascist state run amok. Disagree with their religion if you like, but that is no basis for mass kidnapping.

  • dsanunnaki
    April 14, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    I am outraged at the government stealing children away from their parents. It happens in my county too -- one may be CHARGED with a petty crime and the county runs in and grabs the children. You see, the more children the county has control of the more grant $$ it receives.

    Think about it from the child's point of view. Can you imagine the horror and the guilt. They must surely believe that they were taken from their parents because they (the children) did something wrong . . . .

  • its_Chet
    April 14, 2008 8:35 a.m.

    Lets put aside for a moment our sentiments regarding polygamy, and its illegality in this country.

    It is illogical to assume that every father of these children was a monster. Its even more illogical to assume that all the mothers were. This act of mass kidnapping was not warranted, justified, or conscionable.

    Some have speculated here that the allegation that set off all of this could have been a hoax. Maybe a lie from a disgruntled former member of the group. Maybe even a false allegation cooked up by some facet of the government in order to persecute a religion they found unfashionable. Wouldnt be the first time weve seen that happen in America. Times like this make me ashamed of this country.

    The children need to be reunited with at least their mothers, somewhere, somehow. The fathers need to be investigated and cleared if possible, as soon as possible, so the real abuse of these children (having their families ripped to pieces) can be stopped and hopefully repaired as soon as possible.

    If the government feels such an urge to address polygamy, let them do it in an orderly and as low impact as possible manner.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 9:02 a.m.

    I too am outraged that this kind of injustice is happening in American...this sounds too much like Waco and it is very scary. I will pray for these people even though I am not of their faith. Patti

  • Jimmie
    April 14, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    If these people had resisted arrest in anyway how many of these children would have gotten Permanent protection (dead) Isn't it comforting to know that if I took a dis-liking to YOU I could call the STATE and tell them that I heard from some guy that his cousin said that YOU were not taking proper care of your wife and Children...say goodbye...these kids are NOT receiving good care...the STATE is just not capable. They have been harmed by the STATE (thankfully not burned) and the longer they are in custody the more harm done.

  • Barbara
    April 14, 2008 9:17 a.m.

    As I read the story interviews with the mothers/grandmothers, it became almost impossible to breathe - the depth of their pain feeling like tons of weight. I have not known a government agency yet that operates in perfection! This action puts everyone in this country at grave risk. Again. I pray for the children and their mothers. I pray for our country and a return to sanity. How dare we even attempt to police a world and expound democracy when we can't even practice it within our own borders.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    a DNA TEST would clearly show Who is the Mother of each Child
    If this Woman Demands a DNA Test of herself and her children then this could aid in the return of her children to her.
    However the mothers may not know of this technology and its wait in the court system.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    Teaching children such a warped view of the world is child abuse in itself. Could any one of these children ever be expected to grow up to be a biologist, doctor, astronomer, or anything regardind a rational view of the world. If adults want to live in a make believe world of pioneer dresses and sexual tyranny thats their right. The fact that they are condeming there children to such a lifestyle is abuse, whether they love them or not.

  • Sarah
    April 14, 2008 9:51 a.m.

    Oh, their living conditions in San Angelo aren't good enough for these welfare cheats? Medical examinations are horrifying for girls who have sex and babies at 12, 13, and 14 years old?

    Put these mothers in jail. Along with the men. Uncover the welfare fraud, sell their compound, and pay us taxpayers back.

  • AloysiusMiller
    April 14, 2008 9:53 a.m.

    I don't have any solutions but I do think that society has a duty and obligation to protect children (that is a person < 18) from sexual and physical abuse.

    I would hope that every child born into these complicated circumstances would have the choice to leave and reject this way of life and be protected from the consequences.

    A few years ago Lawrence vs. Texas established the rights of adults to privacy in their sexual behavior. This was widely seen as a step toward legalized polygamy. Many were dismissive but here we are.

    I say to the polygamists that if they want to protect some part of their way of life they best do it by protecting their children from abuse, allowing their children to freely choose to leave, and that they quit their depredations on the welfare system of the US.

    As long as they think otherwise then the Texas type tragedies will continue but it will be their own fault.

  • Al
    April 14, 2008 9:52 a.m.

    Freedom in America is dead. Some news reporter mentions something about somebody that is different than the norm and Americans stand by and justify why they should not have the same "rights" as they do.

    Freedom is ensured by the people and the constitution is merely a document that limited the power of the federal government. Without a society that puts teeth in the constitution, it's just a piece of paper. As it has become.

    So most of America sits back and hears words like: Fringe religion, polygamy, sexual abuse, etc etc. Add in a supposed phone call from somebody supposedly in the compound (who for some reason they can't find or have any idea who it is) and the gov't can come in and take everyone out of the compound? They can take children away from their parents with no proof whatsoever?

    Sleep tight tonight, for tomorrow the same thing can happen to you. Welcome to the new America.

  • Leanne
    April 14, 2008 9:54 a.m.

    Here's a question, why doesn't the FDLS church allow the women to have multiple husbands? They don't because polygamy is about male domination and control. Also keep in mind the allegations of child abuse are not new, the state has been hearing these stories for years. This was just the straw that broke the camels back.

  • ZZ
    April 14, 2008 10:01 a.m.

    These are the same "law-abiding" people who have children with all of their "wives" and then use them to make welfare claims for the "single" mothers, and yet operate in such a way that they individuals have no income (it's all within the church), so that they don't pay taxes. Wake up people. They've had it coming for some time. Their "prophet" is in jail for abusing children right now. You can't possibly think Warren Jeffs removal would change their culture?

  • metaljaybird
    April 14, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    Wow, no proof to substantiate the abuse. Yet, they simply go in and kidnap the children.

    I am a born again Christian that does not agree with the beliefs of the LDS or FLDS, but I support their right to raise their children as they please (without abusing them, of course). The government, as usual, has grossly overstepped its boundaries and totally ignored these citizens constitutional rights.

    I hope the state of Texas gets sued BIG TIME.

  • fwaviator63
    April 14, 2008 10:30 a.m.

    I can understand the concern from LDS members, especially in Utah. But the fact remains that it is illegal in Texas, as in most if not all other states, to take a 16 year old and, without her consent or approval, put her with older men for the purpose of "marriage". That is statuatory rape under the law. The YFZ people should be the first to want to comply. They are taking on the definition of a cult. If it looks like what it probably is in many cases, it needs to come to an end or at least changed to where it is legal. Living apart is not the issue, holding people captive against their wishes and having sex with underage children is.

  • rhoden
    April 14, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    Wake up folks. These children are held under running water as infants to stop them from crying. The child rearing theory of control thru brain washing is used.
    No Baptist or Catholic or Muslim or whatever is allowed freedom to treat children or any citizen abusively. These 'mothers' have been endoctrinated and brain washed by men who are power mongers. Who knows what the women and children have been programmed to say. Love and well cared for could mean anything in the language of this church.
    Please, folks, may no mistake. Merrell Jessop and others are scripting these women. These are no innocent pioneer women....they are pawns of dirty old/young men.

  • DigitalBob
    April 14, 2008 10:37 a.m.

    My guess is there never was 16 year old making this call. Either it was done by law enforcement wanting an excuse to raid or it never happened, your pick. I think this entire episode is a travesty of justice. Is this lifestyle any more harmful than one of drugs, promiscuity, alcoholism, or any other of a number of modern day social ills that the youngof this sect is immune from?

  • The Dean
    April 14, 2008 10:37 a.m.

    No one is talking about the father's of these children not paying or paying child support towards these children if they are collecting welfare benefits from the state of Texas. If the mother's are recieving welfare benefits (cash, food stamps and medical )the state has a right to step in to protect the taxpayers interests. I see welfare fraud and non-payment of child support. These mother's may be collecting welfare from more than one state which is illegal. This may come down to checking DNA of all the father's on the ranch to fine out who the father are to which children.

  • deseretnews.com moderator
    April 14, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    One of our servers is down, which has slowed access to the site. In order to improve access to our Web site we will not be posting comments for the next couple of hours.

  • Amie
    April 14, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    America is the land of the free. I find this controlling, brainwashing pratice of pologomy sick. Why are they so clueless? In the name of God, they are being controlled and not experiencing love between 1 man and 1 women. The sickest part of it all is that at age 14, 15, 16 they are marrying and having sex with 40,50 year old men. This is disgusting. It is bad enough if the girls were being mated with boys their own age. It is rape- they are under 17- rape, rape, rape.

  • Califas
    April 14, 2008 10:53 a.m.

    How can anyone excuse the horrendous and reprehensible behavior of these FLDS men? And what about the adult women who have been complicit--FOR YEARS--in enabling the repetetive rape and forced "spiritual marriages" of their underage daughters to perverted old men? HUH? How innocent do these mothers think their daughters will be after a trip to the temple mattress? How is it that a felonious sub-culture is allowed to flourish in this country, today? The FLDS is an abomination and should be held accountable (like any other church in the USA) for their illegal behaviors. If these little girls were anywhere else, or belonged to any other religion--they would have been removed from their abusive environment LONG AGO!!! Just because these little girls know no other home, does not mean that they should be returned to the place of their abuse. How crazy is that? WHERE ARE THE BOYS AND YOUNG MEN OF THIS COMMUNITY? We see NO EVIDENCE OF THEM! That's because boys and young men are systematically exiled from the only homes they know when they begin to pose a threat to the perverted older men of the community. The older pervs don't want competition!

  • Texas Pro
    April 14, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    As has been documented over and over and over again, this is not about worshipping a god, or separation for moral cleanliness sake or any of the other PC drivel that has been posted here. It is about several men demanding absolute power. Their women are brainwashed to fear the outside world. Their women and children are brainwashed to think that it is their duty to service the men at their every sexual whim. Young boys are thrown out of the camps and villages in order to make a surplus of young women (read that young teenage girls) for the old men.

    This is no different than a Jim Jones cult that is psychologically controlling his masses to do his bidding. Beatings and sexual abuse are common.

    You need to become better informed about what this cult is and what it is doing. Abuse in the name of god is first of all not of God, nor is it ever anything but abuse.

  • Tamara
    April 14, 2008 11:03 a.m.

    I feel sorry for children and mothers, I can't even imagine having my children taken from me. I would be on the brick of insanity. But polygamy is wrong in many aspects. It is bad for women, it is bad for children, but they don't know any different. It is normal life for them. But not knowing that it is wrong and still doing it, doesn't make it right. Without knowing it (or not wanting to submit to law)they or mostly their men called it on themselves. They should learn from mistakes of their past, not us. They are Americans and they need to obey their country's law. My prayers are with this peole. Lord may open their hearts to the Truth.

  • Jenny Bea
    April 14, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    It's nice to see that everyone cares about these children, but I want to play the Devil's Advocate here. These people are isolated from society and raised to believe VERY BAD things about the world. Who knows what the husbands told the wives and mothers to say to the media, under some sort of threat. While I agree with most comments, I think that we should just slow down and see what happens- after all a Judge issued the warrant. No one is purposely breaking the law here. The police aren't Nazi's. Having no idea what goes on and what's said behind their closed doors, let's be thankful that for now, everyone's okay- even if depressed. This will all work out- but you can't go just on what someone said. Again- you have no idea what pressure the men put on the women to say what they did to the media. They could be telling the truth, they could be doing what they were told by their husbands. They could be brainwashed. We just don't know- and at the end of the day, I'll pray for them. I'm sure they'd genuinely appreciate that.

  • Bill
    April 14, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    Pray for the children. How very sad.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 11:23 a.m.

    If these mothers really loved their children, they would be glad they have been from such a perverse "religious" sect. They are child molesters and enablers. Spare them no sympathy.

    No one cares if a woman is stupid enough to want to be a polygamist slave. What people SHOULD care about is the abuse of underage girls and the abandonment of underage boys.

  • jimmy6969
    April 14, 2008 11:28 a.m.

    The woman wouldn't speak to the poilce, so they lost their rights immidately.

    Just think what the outcry would be if the police did nothing in response to the 16 year old girl's phone call for help. It would be , "Where were the police? - they got the call, they should have went in" , afterwards.

    You whiny libs would cry and moan either way.

  • Joe
    April 14, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    Strange how the government has yet to produce the "16 year-old girl who called authorities." And why would they take ALL the children based on an unfounded allegations? Texas CPS has enough problems and cannot be trusted. It is state sanctioned kidnapping and state sanctioned religious harassment, nothing more, nothing less. They came for immigrants, now they've come for the children, who will be next? Welkome to AmeriKa.

  • Eric
    April 14, 2008 11:32 a.m.

    Three Words:
    Certified Birth Certificate.

    Visit the county office, pay $20 and have them notarize a new copy of the birth certificate.

    Sure its a hassle, but the police won't likely reject that document as a fake when it has todays date - right next to the the county clerk's signature and seal.

  • Carney
    April 14, 2008 11:34 a.m.

    What a biased article. Full of weeping and wailing. Nary a mention of polygamy, which even in the mid 19th century was widely recognized as an outdated relic of babarism.

    Anyway, as for the comments talking about "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (IUPGBARD)" in rebuking the public and media, the only people required to observe that standard are the justice system, specifically the jury. THE PUBLIC AND MEDIA ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO SO.

    IUPGBARD basically means you have to ignore common sense. But the reality is that extremely unlikely claims are ... extremely unlikely. The desperately stammered explanation by the wide-eyed creepy guy holding a dripping knife while standing over a corpse in an alley MAY be true. But almost certainly not.

    And unless we're in a jury, we don't have to pretend he's innocent. It's perfectly all right to draw the obvious conclusion.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 11:35 a.m.

    =====Use your IQ not your emotion please. Please think with your head not with your heart. If anyone knows what the constitution says, knows that this search was illegal, as was the subsequent removal of these children=====

    Nope. WRONG! Once it is proven, or even highly suspected, that underage children are being forced to have sex with adults ALL bets are off. The Constitution protects them too doesn't it? This atrocity happens every day at this compound, and these people deserve what they get and have created this situation. The State of Texas is doing the right and responsible thing in moving to protect these children from the monsters that lurk behind the secret walls.

  • bill brady
    April 14, 2008 11:37 a.m.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom, family values, care of children, etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    1. Polygamy is against the law ! ! !
    2. Sex with a minor is called RAPE ! ! !

    End of discussion

  • Babette
    April 14, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    In this day and age it truly baffles me that anyone believes that a polygamist lifestyle is ok. Is this not one of the things we outlawed many years ago? If you do not abide by the laws of our nation you have to pay the price. I do believe that the men in this sick lifestyle are completely to blame. What man would not like to have sex with young, ignorant, girls who are always told to "keep sweet"?
    I believe that all of the men in this compound should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The women and children may then have some hope of a normal life in society. It will of course take years of counseling, and education to bring these people into the 21st century. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the children who have been so violated by the people they trusted.

  • Land of the Free??
    April 14, 2008 11:53 a.m.

    This reminds me of something George Carlin (comedian) once observed: Americans have no RIGHTS, merely privileges that are "suspended" when convenient for the government. He reminded us of the "rights" given to the loyal and patriotic japanese-american citizens in WWII, and the pattern holds true today. It doesn't look like you have freedom of religion!

    Wonder how many innocent, untouched children are now going to be beaten and raped by the foster families they have been put with?

    Good thing the government took away their phones so they can't dial for help...

  • Steve
    April 14, 2008 11:55 a.m.

    Can someone be charged with polygamy if they are living with multiple "wives", but not married in the eyes of the law (no certificate)? If that is the case, we can arrest cohabiting people in every large city in America.

  • Doug
    April 14, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    Umm.. sounds to me like this is good excuse for old men to have sex with young girls and get away with it. The moms were complicit by allowing their young teen daughters to be raped by pedos.

  • NAU2010
    April 14, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    Freedom of religion? Mass removal of citizens? All based on an allegation? For these people, FLDS, there is no America. I hope the Texas government pays dearly for what they have done. BTW- isn't our current leader from Texas? Makes you wonder!

  • Troy McClure
    April 14, 2008 12:07 p.m.

    These people are abusing their children just by the simple fact they are sheltering them from normal lives. It's bad enough that some will have genetic defects from inbreeding. Lets also not forget that these so called "Americans" refuse to serve in our military! There is nothing normal about this group, how they live and what they do to their children. The government should step in and end this abnormal indoctrination that the pedophilic parents are engaging in.

  • Ron B.
    April 14, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    I see the issue clearly the clue is throwing out the Constitution that gets in the way of preserving power when a good ol boy systems power is threatened by outsiders. As the increasing numbers of outsiders (Fundamentalists) are perceived as a threat to the local good ol boys that have run that rural community for generations they feel threatened as they will start losing elections. They of course need a way to dislodge them before they took over their community with their voting power. Hence the creation or perceptions of some vague and phony conflict. They build up the Fundamentalism vs Feminism conflict to preserve the local good ol. Boys power and control as the low population in the area soon tips the balance of votes to the outsiders who are of the Fundamentalist church and once in office will change the good ol Boy system and they will no longer be in control.

  • Elbeau
    April 14, 2008 12:09 p.m.

    This article is pathetic. They "interview" the mothers while the mothers refuse to talk about abuse...which is the HEART of the whole matter. This is irresponsible journalism. Journalists should present all angles of a story, not let their interviewees decide what is "allowable" to talk about.

    Texas had reports of abuse...from the caller AND from informants. I guess all you sympathizers want the government to ignore abuse reports.

    It sounds to me like the law enforcement officials showed up and NOBODY claimed to be the mothers of the children. Does anybody else find that a little disturbing...oh...and exactly how did Texas take children from their mothers when the mothers wouldn't claim the children. Texas had reports of abuse and found hundreds of children with no legal guardianship.

    ...and Why wouldn't the mothers claim the children???

    That one's pretty easy. If a mother is 20 and a child is 8, then claiming the child is also another report of abuse...and that is EXACTLY what they are finding out about these children.

    Good job Texas!

  • Texan
    April 14, 2008 12:11 p.m.

    I think many of you are forgetting the idea of "enabling" in which you can be guilty of a crime for allowing it to take place.

    Take for instance the bartender who serves beyond a persons limit and that person kills someone while driving drunk. The bartender has been proven liable in this country for doing nothing other than his job (serving alcohol). There are times when a reasonable person needs to have some judgement of right and wrong.

    Marrying your underage daughter away to an older man is child abuse, plain and simple. Even though the mom is not directly involved in the actual deed, her actions are criminal at best.

    Think of it like a woman selling her daughter into prostitution. Even though the mom thinks it is the right thing to do at the time(for money or whatever) does it make the act a morally correct act? In no circumstances can I think of anytime this would be morally right. I know it goes on, but it is not right.

    This is why Texas has taken the kids from the men and women of this compound. They are both guilty of the abuse, just in different ways.

  • BenM
    April 14, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    Are you people serious? This isn't about freedom of religion. It isn't about religion at all. It's all about domination and control of women. You can't, in the name of religion, force young girls to marry men four times their age. How sick is that? The woman who had an 11-year-old will within the next couple of years give her little girl away to be raped. Maybe you think that's OK. Most of us don't. Thank God someone had enough courage to do something about it.

  • bob
    April 14, 2008 12:17 p.m.

    I have sympathy for the families that have been seperated however polygamy is illegal. The polygamous groups have been allowed to continue this practice for too long and should not be able to live outside the law.

  • Alex
    April 14, 2008 12:20 p.m.

    I have nothing kind to say about any sexual and physical abuser. I also have nothing kind to say about governmental abuse of constitutional liberties. All I can say about the authorities in Texas is this: you had better be right!

  • Marko Ramius
    April 14, 2008 12:22 p.m.

    Well, the allegations had to come from somewhere. And even if they aren't guilty, shining a light on what exactly IS going on over at that ranch is the first step to them being left alone in the future. Nobody's been bothering the Amish for what seems like ages -- perhaps the FLDS in Texas can share that same certainty after this farce.

  • James Staley
    April 14, 2008 12:24 p.m.

    It is iteresting how many wifes and childres a Man does have and I have never read any thing about how many jobs the Men have. How do they Pay for the up-keep of all the children and wifes. I heard that the welfare department pays them every month and the more children that they have the more money that they get. If this is true the goverment should be able to go in and do what ever, to see when their money is going.

    Michigan
    Ann Arbor

  • Poppy
    April 14, 2008 12:28 p.m.

    Wake up people! "A bed in the sanctuary so that marriages (often to juvenile girls) could be immediately CONSUMMATED"??? This is about SEX. Religion my foot.....

  • CPO
    April 14, 2008 12:30 p.m.

    As a former narcotics detective I swore out scores of warrants based upon the testimony of a single CRI--confidential reliable informant--whose veracity had to be specified in the supporting affidavit. We could not act upon a single phone call without corroborating evidence such as a follow-up drug buy(s), either by an undercover agent or the CRI.

    However, when minors are possibly involved in a criminal activity (abuse), the courts are much more inclined to err on the side of child safety because exigent circumstances now exist in the court's mind.

    So yes, an anonymous phone call from someone purporting to be an abused 16-year old mom can be all it takes to get the ponderous wheels of justice/injustice rolling. It sucks, but it's the best system we've got compared to other forms of law in other countries. Freedom isn't free because someone had to pay.

  • Mitch
    April 14, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    Does anyone believe that the Government had proof that child abuse was goin on for years and never did anything about it?.Better think long and hard about this .It might be your Daycare or Church groop next,be very carefull about where you leave your children while you are at work.

  • Jaci
    April 14, 2008 12:33 p.m.

    I feel sorry for the children, because they have no control over what's going on. But remember, both the mothers AND the fathers were taught that this was an acceptable lifestyle. The younger, second- or third-generation men were brought up in this community and taught that this behavior was not only acceptable but expected. So yeah, I feel sorry for the men and boys too who were taught the behave in a way that is truly horrible. The same people that taught the women that being a child-bride to an older man was normal taught the men that taking multiple child-brides was normal. Everyone was brainwashed here, not just the women.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 12:35 p.m.

    the children are relly not thair's that place was like a big orfange to me it seams a littel scandeles dont you think?

  • Another Waco?
    April 14, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    These children were taken because Texas officials drew a correlation between this compound and the Waco stand-off, where many children died.

    I'm not condoning what happened here, I'm just saying, if you were in a position of authority in Texas, wouldn't you take actions to show the public that you learned from a previously horrendous outcome?

    Now, just like Iraq, they are stuck with all these problems and bad PR. Now its time to start frantically looking for a way out while saving face before it costs you dearly...

  • Soloman
    April 14, 2008 12:44 p.m.

    I suggest we cut the children in half so that the state and the parents will be satisfied with their portion.

  • Jason
    April 14, 2008 12:48 p.m.

    Are women really so stupid as to be brainwashed by a few men? Are you feminists who sit hear repeatedly blaming the men for these problems really advocating the notion that somehow men are smart enough to outwit all of these poor witless females? Wake up please! Everyone is culpable... the men AND the women.

  • Nic
    April 14, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    What I want to know if why did it take the Texas officials so long to investigate/break up this horrid situation? 400 children? When it takes 9 months to have a baby.. MY LORD... this has probably been going on for quite some time and it is ashame.

    Nation of Laws, if you go back and read your American History you will see that the federal government did regulate something called polygamy..... going way back. The Federal Government also regulated and set up laws prohibiting the marriage of one man to more than one woman.. These federal laws have been around for quite some time and even though the prohibition of polygamy is not written into the constitution there are federal laws making it illegal.



  • A sickened American
    April 14, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    How could a DNA test prove anything? They marry their girls off to cousins and then those cousins who have children, marry other cousins. Their DNA is warped.

    This is a sick, sick, sick 'religion'. That marries perverted, filthy 50 year old men off to virginal 14 year olds. That's not religion. That's abuse.

    50 year old men taking away a child's innocence has nothing at all to do w/ their 'GOD'. It has everything to do with perversion and selfish lust. period.

  • Responsibility
    April 14, 2008 1:01 p.m.

    This video appears to be scripted, staged and rehearsed. The photography is fine, but the content and acting is absurd. I suspect it was written by their attorneys or male leaders. When Monica dabbed her nose with a tissue, it looked totally fake.

    The point is not whether the parents get their way without cooperating with the law. The point is the safety, physically and mentally, of the children.

    Anytime you have hundreds of children, some will be ill, some will require medication, and one or more may have to visit a hospital, no matter where they are.

    Yes, the change in their normal circumstances is bound to upset them and their parents. And, close quarters can be stressful. However, security and legal issues must be considered as well. CPS has been generous and practical in allowing the mothers to come and keeping them all together more or less. Would they prefer that all the kids were placed in temporary foster homes without the moms and with TV and so on? How would they group them with little information about who they belong to? The kids are also getting free legal and medical care.

    The complaints are irresponsible.

  • Lee
    April 14, 2008 1:01 p.m.

    I keep hearing from whats being posted here that this is only an attack on a religion.

    Wake up people, there are reports of YOUNG teenage girls that are pregnant or already have infants probably fathered by men in thier 40's and 50's. They believed in marrying off young girls as soon as they reached puberty, 12/13 years old. The majority of the children are girls.

    This looks like a FLDS compound for the sole purpose of creating child brides for older men. They can claim that this is religous persecution all they want while they are in prison for the rape of a child. They will get out of prison as Level III sex offenders for life which will pretty much put an end to the FLDS.

  • Ed
    April 14, 2008 1:16 p.m.

    Anytime you want to know WHY something is happening, all you have to do is "Follow the money". In other words who profits or benefits from the action. Is this another case like the Duke Lacros team where the team where the DA is running for re-election? Does someone with influence has a score to settle whit the FLDS church or one of it's members? Was this action the repayment for a campaign contribution? Hopefully the media will, "Follow The Money" and come up with the answer as they did in the Duke case. And, I hope that those responsible for what happened are made to pay and pay dearly for their actions.

  • E. Zach Lee
    April 14, 2008 1:26 p.m.

    Texas has arrested 400 children and almost no adult males. This is so backwards. Since they cannot make a case against the men, they arrest the kids thinking they will not have to come up with a case against them. At least they are not killing them like they did in Waco, yet. Thank goodness for small tyrants.

  • Don
    April 14, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    We are indeed a nation of Laws and Loopholes. Laws we must obey or else, and loopholes for the government's convenience!

  • Duffy Spies
    April 14, 2008 2:27 p.m.

    It is the responsibility of the United States Government to protect the freedom of religion this country was founded on...not to persecute people or make laws against people based on their religious beliefs. The reason the United States is here (besides attempted extermination of the natives) was to guarantee religious freedom. Just because you don't agree with a religion doesn't make it any more important than your own beliefs. Grow up, people! Remember what our country is here for!

  • hey Ron B.
    April 14, 2008 2:25 p.m.

    First of all , one is suppose to be obeying the law not practicing polygamy which is against the law...you just gave Utah and Arizona away. As they probably have been letting these people vote over the original natives of both states. What a farce! Yet worse happened to the red man and nobody gave a hoot! So run your double standards some more but don't expect no allegiance here amongst the people who fought for the rights to vote for the people who really needed it and were locked out. I bet these guys were voting way before 1954 and that is what really irks me as my children's granfather wasn't allowed too yet he recieved high medals of honor way before that time. So you all can cry a river but these are sick , sick people who look at a child with lust and can't control it! Who's the Savages and who's the Dogs?

  • Land of the Free?
    April 14, 2008 2:35 p.m.

    FLDS is a cult - but in America we have freedom of religon.

    Polygamy is against the law - so if Texas wishes to prosecute one of the MEN, so be it.

    But rounding up the women and children and forcing them out of their homes? What crime have these women and children committed? If the women have consented to forcing their underage daughters into sexual relationships, then prosecute them too!

    But until these ADULTS have been ARRESTED and CHARGED for a CRIME, then how can law enforcement force these mass evictions!?!??

  • Lawsy
    April 14, 2008 2:37 p.m.

    Could someone explain the concept of "freedom of religion" to me?
    Asking this in regard to the adults there not the kids. Or has it gone the same way as Freedom of speech?

  • Greg
    April 14, 2008 2:48 p.m.

    The government agencies and its employees at this point are the criminals. This was totally unjustifiable. This proves suggests that no one is safe from this type of criminal intrusion.

  • US Citizen
    April 14, 2008 2:48 p.m.

    Well, I guess we should be thankful they didn't just drive a tank right into
    the house , inject flammable gas and simply incinerate the women and kids
    like Waco.

  • Dan
    April 14, 2008 2:51 p.m.

    How come these sites all have polygamist on them trying to change everyones mind that sex abuse of children is just ok? You guys are all nuts! The FLDS church is a sexual, abusive, immoral cult, not a religion.

  • George Green
    April 14, 2008 3:00 p.m.

    The only blessing for the Mothers and children is that Clinton and Janet Reno are not involved.


  • Beez
    April 14, 2008 2:55 p.m.

    Here's the problem: the government KNOWS they overstepped their bounds...but they're too stubborn to back down and lose face. Therefore, this is just going to get uglier and uglier. They will eventually decide that they have to bring a whole raft of charges to make the raid seem justified - and then a year later, nearly all of the charges will be tossed out as baseless.

    The sad thing is that there were probably at least a handful of children that NEEDED some sort of intervention...but because of the ham-handed way that the government handled this, they will have needlessly traumatized many perfectly safe children, and probably won't even be able to properly help the ones who needed it most.

  • Duffy Spies
    April 14, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    F E A R Y O U R G O V E R N M E N T ! !

  • Sheryl
    April 14, 2008 2:58 p.m.

    Come on people - wake up! I can't believe the total stupidity of so many posters in this thread. You CAN'T round up the men because there isn't yet concrete proof of who committed the crimes - the men would be out in 48 hours and then the women and children would be in worse danger!

    It was imperative that they remove all the children to keep them safe and to find out exactly what was happening to them. There's no way any of the children or the mothers would have talked while still in the confines of the ranch. Their fear of retribution and punishment would have prevented the authorities from getting any useful information.

    If this had been a Jim Jones type tragedy, then so many of you here would be screaming "why didn't the government step in and do something!"

    Oh - and you stupid libs - this has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the fact that President Bush is from Texas. Making comments like that just shows your stupidity.

    This article was written for the express purpose of gaining sympathy for these evildoers - and I have no doubt the leaders of FLDS were behind it!

  • Patrick
    April 14, 2008 2:59 p.m.

    Most of the commentors here are missing the point, The state of Texas did not move in because they are polygamists ( I mean, really, how long did it take to build that compound and everyone knew they were FLDS) It is the fact that these disturbed leaders are ordering underage girls into marriages of much older pedophile men.That is the true crime in all of this, If they want to remain polygamists, and all parties to a polygamous marriage are adults, who cares, but if they are forcing kids into marriage then that is revolting, and violates dozens of our laws designed to protect children.

  • nikalseyn
    April 14, 2008 3:01 p.m.

    Where are all those Republicans who were upset at the Elian Gonzales and David Koresh situations? They remain silent now. This is what happens when you want the government to take care of you---health care, schools, pay your mortgage, etc. If you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind.

  • Eddie
    April 14, 2008 3:01 p.m.

    Since when is child rape considered free expression of religion?

  • Texan
    April 14, 2008 3:03 p.m.

    This is not about religion as some have commented. It is strictly about childhood sexual abuse.

    For all the women in the audience, when was it right for you to be given away by your parents at the young age of 12-16 and offered to a 30-50 year old man as a bride? Is this not against everyhitng the women's right has fought for over these last centuries??

    (an illegimate bride at that, as some have also commented that many of these men don't actually marry multiple times rather they just co-habitate with them).

    For any guy here that thinks marrying a 12-16 year old (or co-habitating with them if you will) is normal, you probably are already on the sex offenders database already.

    Wake up people, it is not about Gov't vs. FLDS, it is about sexual abuse!!

  • John N
    April 14, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    (1) If my religion compels me to kill you, am I free to practice it? Freedom of religion isn't license to break the secular laws.

    (2) Polygamy leaves a "bachelor herd" with little hope of marrying. Young men with no prospects are dangerous.

    These are not laissez faire lifestyle choices. These actions have consequences which are destructive to the culture as evidenced by other current world affairs.

    Fifty year-old men bedding barely post-pubescent women isn't love, it isn't pedophilia as (biologically, at least) these aren't children. It is perversion. Even in countries where arranged marriages are common and successful, you do not have this arrangement.

    (Where are all the feminists decrying the lack of 14-year-old boys being married to fifty-something women, he asked satirically?)

  • Nancy
    April 14, 2008 3:07 p.m.

    First, I think that the very small children do belong with their mothers - especially if there is no evidence of abuse. That said - I don't care how many wives a man wants, but those wives should be over the age of 18 and enter polygamy without being forced. This sounds like a bunch of pedophiles who are hiding behind religion to have sex with girls. These thirteen and fourteen year old girls are brainwashed and told that it's the only way they'll ever get to Heaven. Disgusting. I think that the mother in the article that complains that authorities are ignoring the law is laughable - their whole lifestyle is built around ignoring the laws of the land. Again - marry as many adult women as you can talk into it - but leave the little girls alone.

  • they're nothing but thugs...
    April 14, 2008 3:08 p.m.

    Well...look on the bright side: the last time the government raided a church compound in Texas, a lot of men, women, and children ended up dying as a result. I think that, too, was done in the name of "helping the abused children".
    It's sickening to the core, but at least they haven't killed anyone or burned the place to the ground (yet).

  • Rita
    April 14, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    Do you people read? This is not about religion. This is about sexual and physical abuse of children.

  • wayne
    April 14, 2008 3:10 p.m.

    Is the government funding this organization through some program or welfare payments ? I got that impression through one news report. Crimes against children trump finances. What do these people do for a living ? Does our government make this possible? Follow the money.

  • Victoria
    April 14, 2008 3:17 p.m.

    I think this is just difficult in every sense.
    Do they promise underage girls, yes, I was "promised" at 7 YO for later when I was 14, but my mother got me away. Even then at 16 they tracked me down and sent pictures of the man I was "promised" to. So I know that part is true.
    I don't much care what happens to the parents, they knowingly set this up and supported it.However, traumatizing 400 children just cannot be the right answer.These children will never feel safe or trusting again.

    I think the power of the State went a little crazy, and I hope somebody has some common sense soon. But do you send them back to this totally controlled, restricted, unrealistic situation?

    How do you give them back trust, safety, normalicy?

    Time for a modern day Solomon.

    Why haven't these cults been treated like James Jones or David Koresh? Because they are clean and polite, its different? A cult,is a cult, is a cult, is a cult.

  • Rachel
    April 14, 2008 3:14 p.m.

    Right on, Nation of Laws. You have said it all. Find the girl, if she exists. Let the others have their God-given right to their religion.

  • Beth
    April 14, 2008 3:16 p.m.

    I feel so torn on this issue. As the mother of 2 daughters - 2 and 4 years old, I can't imagine being apart from them and not knowing if I would lose custody of them. My kids are my life . . . I feel for the children involved - how scared they must be -and the parents who are worried about losing their kids.

    But on the other hand if there are underage LITTLE GIRLS being "married" to older men, in my opinion that is nothing more than a pedophile raping a little girl and that needs to stop.

  • wordhungry
    April 14, 2008 3:17 p.m.

    This from the lawyers for the no longer great state of Texas
    "Attorneys for the children told the judge this weekend that cell phones needed to be removed to prevent 'improper communication, tampering with witnesses and interference with the attorney-client relationship.'

    So, I guess the "stolen children" no longer can have contact with their mothers.

  • Famileeguy
    April 14, 2008 3:26 p.m.

    Wow! Another raid by jack booted thugs against women and children is Texas. Well at least Janet Reno wasn't there to send in the tanks this time around.
    Funny thing, Muslims are allowed to have multiple wives. Do you think none of the practicing Muslims in this country are taking advantage of it? Of course they are. The fact is the authorities will NEVER take action against them.

  • janvanholland
    April 14, 2008 3:22 p.m.

    Yet another group that have replaced reason for belief in yet another version of the 'sky god'. This time using him to endorse their claim on reproductive rights with groups of females. Where did we see this before? They should not be allowed to brainwash their kids. But then, this kind of 'unreason' (belief in a sky god) is so widespread and persistent in this world, that chances of a cure seem remote.

  • Anne
    April 14, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    From what I've read, "What Rights" is correct; they investigated this girl's call (sobbing, obviously distraught), and found young girls pregnant, and (supposedly), some with several children already. One of the church elders is apparently serving time in Arizona for conspiracy to have sex with a minor.

    Regardless of whether or not you think freedom of religion extends to polygamy (if you read Nonie Darwish's book you'll see how polygamy has destroyed trust and families in Muslim countries), an underage girl pregnant is WRONG; don't tell me laws were passed to target this group. Sex with youths is wrong and has been wrong for a long time.

    If the authorities saw a pattern of this on the ranch, that's surely probably cause for a complete search. The reason the kids were taken I'm sure is over concern that instead of stopping this pattern, everyone knew about it; speaks of complicity in committing the crime (sex with a minor).

  • Jack J
    April 14, 2008 3:25 p.m.

    Adult males sexually abusing under-age girls is illegal, a felony! What part of this do FLDS members not understand? The issue here is NOT polygamy, though that is also illegal. Its about adults abusing children sexually and trying to justify it by citing some bush "religion"! I salute the Texas officials, they're doing what had to be done. Its going to be a long, tough case, because FLDS will attempt a cover-up. But they won't succeed.

  • patriotnky
    April 14, 2008 3:28 p.m.

    IF CRIMES WERE COMMITED,CHARGE THE INDIVIDUALS,PROVE THE CASE. THE WAY THIS HAS BEEN HANDLED IS WRONG AND DANGEROUS!. WHAT MESSAGE IS BEING SENT? JACK BOOTED THUGS WILL RAID YOUR HOME AND DRAG YOU AWAY IF SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS AN ANONOMUS PHONE CALL IS RECIEVED SAYING SOMETHING ILLEGLE IS OCCURING? DO THEY (LAW ENFORCEMENT) WANT MORE WACOS? NOT EVERY HOME WILL BE "PUSHOVERS". GOD HELP US ALL! BUY MORE AMMO!

  • TAW
    April 14, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    It was wrong to remove all the children from their homes. These little ones will be traumatized by this government abuse for the rest of their lives. The investigation could have taken place without removing the children from their homes.

    I remember when Florida CPS was out of control under Fl. State Attny. Gen. Janet Reno and all parents were guilty until proven innocent. Many children removed from their homes on the flimsiest of allegations.

    I remember Waco and the Branch Davidians. All killed by the government on exagerated charges so the BATF could justify a bigger budget.

    I remember Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. FBI shot his son and wife, because 'they were those religious gun nuts'.

    As a home schooling Christian, I wonder when my door will be knocked down and my children taken away because of an anonymous complaint from someone who doesn't like me or the way we live. And if I resist, and am killed, I won't be there to help you when its your turn.

  • Bea
    April 14, 2008 3:34 p.m.

    Everyone is forgetting one thing.

    Polygamy is against state and federal law.

    When they broke the law they opened themselves up to the authorities. It was inevitable that they would be held to account in some way. The FLDS have brought ALL of this on themselves.
    Merril Jessop is a cruel and ambitious man who cloaks himself in a fake "holiness" and refuses to be humbled.

  • Texas
    April 14, 2008 3:39 p.m.

    This is Texas telling the FLDS to get out. I'm sure they'll listen after this. FLDS, and other promoters of polygamy and forced underage marriages, can go live in other states, particularly Utah.

    I'd rather they stay out of mine. I applaud the governor. You elect yours. I elect mine.

  • Hermann
    April 14, 2008 3:42 p.m.

    So barely 15 years after the murderous attack on Waco, where dozens died in a self-righteous attack by government agents, the government was again at it. Without search warrant or prior public hearings, the Children Welfare Department scooped down and dragged innocent children away from their mothers.
    This outrageous attach should be the incentive for a long overdue review of this governmental agency, that for so long has been allowed to trample on the God-given natural rights of every American, guaranteed by the Constitution.
    Let's take back our country from the Nanny State, before it destroys us.

  • Richard H T
    April 14, 2008 3:40 p.m.

    I think it is far past time on cleaning out the polygamy cults. Too bad there have to be so many kids born to these perverts. These men are not normal men in any respect.

  • Margaret
    April 14, 2008 3:43 p.m.

    Read the book by Merrill Jessop's ex-wife. Good grief people. Merrill Jessop should be locked up, along with the other men.

  • Due Process?
    April 14, 2008 3:44 p.m.

    Some Quick Observations:

    * This raid was precipitated by an alleged call from a girl that authorities can't produce or even prove exists.

    * There's no way of knowing who made the call--if a call was indeed ever made.

    * The alleged call allegedly named a man as the criminal, but women and children were rounded up and taken away while the men remain free and uncharged.

    * Mothers with ID and birth certificate in hand are being denied access to their children.

    * Hundreds of women and children are being detained without charges (if only they were Muslims, we could accuse them of terrorism and send them to Guantanamo).

    * Authorities have taken all cell phones from those women and children being held. This in a country where even convicted murderers get one call.

    * These and many other obtuse miscarriages of the law have been widely publicized by a media that, rather than asking questions, has merely consumed and regurgitated the news.

    * Millions of Americans have followed this story without a thought to the fact that those involved are being denied their legal rights as American citizens.

    Whatever happend to us, America? Seriously?

  • Big Brother
    April 14, 2008 3:49 p.m.

    This is target p[ractice. Wait until you are part of the next "undesirable" group that the government wants to "explore". It won't be long because it seems eveyone has got some politcally incorrect something that is unappealing to someone else, and anyone can call anonymously about you and report SOMETHING-- everything from dog control, to child abuse, to tax fraud. Have fun people, the roller coaster is just getting started.

    And BTW I pary for these innocent children!

  • May
    April 14, 2008 3:50 p.m.

    Just because they did not get married does not mean that they are not breaking the laws against polygamy. They chose to do all of this in a state with common law marriage.

    Three elements must be present to form a common law marriage in Texas.
    First, you must have "agreed to be married."
    Second, you must have "held yourselves out" as husband and wife. You must have represented to others that you were married to each other. As an example of this, you may have introduced you partner socially as "my husband," or you may have filed a joint income tax return.
    Third, you must have lived together in this state as husband and wife.

  • whynot
    April 14, 2008 3:54 p.m.

    If sodomites and lesbians can have their practices protected why not CONSENTING(18 and older) polygamists?

  • Sound Familiar
    April 14, 2008 3:55 p.m.

    Whether you agree with their religon or practices or not; the bottom line- this all starts with a phone call from a girl that STILL HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED.

    Just like the WMD in Iraq... we went in on a supposition because we 'knew they were there' and did we find any...and was America judged for it.

    I believe America will be judged yet again. Sure they've found 'other crimes' but we've violated these peoples Right to Privacy on an accusation that can't be substantiated.

    I suspect they lived apart because they knew their way of life was not mainstream; and frankly I'm glad. I can think of quite a few religious beliefs and practices I'd love to see disappear!

  • Sue
    April 14, 2008 3:58 p.m.

    It's been known for years, if not decades, that the FLDS sexually exploits children in the name of their so-called "religion".

    I would think that Law Enforcement would have their collective act together on this, and when they've completed their interviews of the women & children we'll get further details.

  • IN IRAQ
    April 14, 2008 4:05 p.m.

    Last I checked it was a federal offense to practice polygamy. We had the military sent out to Utah after us, so why have these idiots gotten a free ride up until now? I say, they're lucky it wasn't Waco II. Get counseling and join America, guys.

  • Matt
    April 14, 2008 3:59 p.m.

    Wow. They refused to address allegations of sexual or physical abuse, yet they have no problems accusing the government of abuse of power. I don't know if that's an example of irony or idiocy.

  • Matthew
    April 14, 2008 4:05 p.m.

    As soon as the government starts creating Death Camps, then we can start using the term Nazi. Until then, get a grip.

  • Sheryl
    April 14, 2008 4:11 p.m.

    It seems reading comprehension is a problem here. Yes, the initial raid was made because of anonymous complaints - but the government has the responsibility to protect children and this girl seemed legitimately traumatized. But, keep in mind that the authorities also had inside informants who could substantiate the claims.

    But the most important fact here is this: once the Texas Rangers were inside the ranch, they discovered widespread abuse and many underage girls who were pregnant. At that time, they went back to the judge and asked that the warrant be expanded and the judge agreed that the facts warranted a total search of the property. Once the Rangers determined the extent of the abuse, they saw no other recourse than to remove all the children.

    These were NOT "jackbooted thugs" who went in with guns blazing in the middle of the night!

    The parents are getting their day in court and CPS is working hard to lessen the trauma to these children. They have provided counselors and lawyers.

    The reason cellphones were confiscated is so the parents at the ranch can't "coach" their children on what to tell the authorities - again this is for the children's protection.

  • Rev. Craig X Rubin
    April 14, 2008 4:06 p.m.

    My church was raided too. There is no freedom of religion in America. This raid is crazy.

    I am not a polygamist...my wife would kill me...but what happened to due process?

    They can't find the person who made the complaint. The man who the complaint was made about is from another state and has never been to TX.

    These people cost taxpayers nothing...now, they cost $60,000 per day. Where is the freedom and justice?

  • Mike
    April 14, 2008 4:08 p.m.

    Sounds like classic FLDS behavior was going on at that ranch, putting their own religion ahead of the secular law. Sorry, but the rights of adults to practice their religion as they see fit are superseded by the rights of children to grow up without being abused.

    When you have teens becoming pregnant, children are being abused. That's a fact. Can anyone here say in good conscience that you don't believe the FLDS accepts polygamy and sex with girls under 18? You know they do. They are the reason much of America considers LDS a lawless and non-Christian cult, and you contribute to this perception when you defend them in any way.

  • Russ from MI
    April 14, 2008 4:08 p.m.

    I accidentally posted twice early but I'd like to add I totally disagree with chilren or anyone for that matter being forced into marriage or raped or any violations of someones personal freedoms. I just have not heard any proof of that anywhere yet and seems to me the government acted without due cause. I mean what if your 16 year old gets mad at you and decide to throw out some accusation without any proof other than that should the government be allowed to come in and ripp your home and life apart.I think this is a severe abuse of power. I think its scares me anytime our government starts saying your guilty without any evidence other than a phone call.These cases like this set a terrible precident. I also want to know whats in the water down there in lonestar state 1st Waco now this.

  • Jeb
    April 14, 2008 4:15 p.m.

    Seems to be a lot of people on this site support polygamy - Thank You for your Love! As a 50 year old man, I can now breathe a sigh of relief. So can my two 14- year-old wives who love me. They chose to be with me when we fell in love 5 years ago. I'm happy to say that we're expecting. Even better, their pediatrician told me that we're expecting boys! Amen and thanks for the supportive words. I'll read them these letters and maybe some day, we'll teach them to read the letters on their own. God bless!

  • IN IRAQ
    April 14, 2008 4:14 p.m.

    What happens is that we no longer see each other as fellow human beings. We see each other as a label or category. i.e. black, white, asian, Mormon, Evangelical, racist, loser, illegal immigrant, terrorist, etc, etc. It makes it easy to disregard each other that way. When a human becomes an object, we don't feel as guilty letting them get abused.

  • An Actual Texan
    April 14, 2008 4:15 p.m.

    before we all start shedding crocodile tears, lets review a few facts that this article fails to mention. Like the nearly 200 women who left of their own accord as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Like the 14 & 15 year old girls forced to wed against their will AND AGAINST THE LAWS OF EVERY STATE IN THE UNION. Like the prisoners of this sect who were never allowed outside the compound and were lied to about life outside. This article sounds all warm and fuzzy, no doubt a condition of entry into the compound

  • RE: Due Process?
    April 14, 2008 4:22 p.m.

    You read a news story and think you clearly understand the situation. You have no idea what is happening, and I wouldn't put it past the FLDS to make up a bunch of nonsense. Everything is hearsay at this point, and you are eating it up.

    Due process is required BY LAW. I trust my authorities are doing the right thing, and I refuse to accept that a news story has every single little detail about the REAL situation.

    Like I said, I elect my officials. You elect yours. I'm happy with the decision. Child abusers are not welcome in Texas.

  • Pete
    April 14, 2008 4:18 p.m.

    The problem with a lot of these compounds is that they abuse the children. How do they have so many more daughters than sons? What happens to the sons? Many girls get raped. Kids dont get their own free will. Not saying that this happens everywhere, but it does happen at a lot of these places.

    The problem with this case is that an anonymous unproven tip ended up with 400+ children being unlawfully taken away from their parents. Anyone can make an anonymous tip without any proof out of hate or jealousy.

    If anyone ever took my kids away from me for no good reason, I would definately take matters into my own hands.

    I would do everything it took to get my kids back legally for 6 months to 1 year. After that period of time, if I don't have my kids back, I will do whatever it takes to get them back. By "whatever" I mean "Anything goes including revenge".

  • Utah
    April 14, 2008 4:21 p.m.

    Hey Texas-
    "FLDS and other promoters of underage marrage, can go live in other states, particularly Utah"

    Utah is the one PROSECUTING the REAL perpatrators like Warren Jeffs! DUH!

  • Actual Texan
    April 14, 2008 4:31 p.m.

    whynot -
    OK, 18 & over. What about the 14 & 15 year olds forced into marriages? Oh, thats right, the article didn't mention them. Like it didn't bother to mention the 200 women who immediately left of their own accord, like it didn't mention the sect founder who is in jail for child molesting. Sorta makes you wonder what else the article just failed to mention

  • Lee
    April 14, 2008 4:28 p.m.

    So what's next on the agenda? Will the Texas authorities be raiding inner city slums and rounding up unwed teenage mothers who are collecting welfare and living a dangerous gangster lifestyle? It seems to me that the social environment that exists there is pretty damaging?

    How about going to migrant labor camps and rounding up any children who are there? Their parents are most likely illegal aliens and prefer working to education. Many of these children get caught up in gangs and graffiti. I don't think that would past muster with the baptists either.

    Maybe the authorities in Minnesota could round up the children of Muslim immigrants who are being taught anti-American propaganda by their Imams. We don't want them to carry on the the belligerent actions of their parents: Muslim cab drivers who fail to pick up fairs with alcohol, or Target workers who refuse to allow people to purchase pork chops or bacon.

    Would they raid a scout encampment and round up all of the scouts if an anonymous caller alleged that he was a scout being abused by one of the leaders? These actions are just plain wrong.

  • Liberty is life
    April 14, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    Plural marriage should be legal for both men and women. The government should get out of our bedrooms and our private lives so it can concern itself with real problems like... well... government tyranny. But I guess that's really up to citizens to solve. Too bad voters shunned Ron Paul -- the only forward-thinking Republican seeking the presidential nomination.

  • Alex
    April 14, 2008 4:33 p.m.

    Let me explain something to those of you who think that this is simply resolved by prosecuting this group for violation of antipolygamy laws.

    Look, you couldn't prosecute these people for polygamy, even if you tried. That is because only one wife would ever be registered as a wife with the state. In the eyes of the law, the other wives could only be considered live-in affairs at the worst, and as we all know, the law is quite comfortable with affairs and divorce, but not with plural marriage.

    In the end, if anyone goes after them for unlawful cohabitation head on, would not the antipolygamy laws from the 1800s most likely be struck down by the Supreme Court on the grounds of equal protection under the law? After all, if you go after the polygamists, you have to go after everyone that is cohabiting outside of marriage.

    You see the problem? People who don't want polygamy to be legalized have a vested interest that an unlawful cohabitation charge against a polygamist group never sees the light of a courtroom.

  • mcam
    April 14, 2008 4:37 p.m.

    As a mother and grandmother I feel deeply for the children envolved. I'm sure they are afraid and feel very lost but they must be protected. I have been listening to the interviews of women who left the FLDS and if what they say is true all of these children were at risk. I'm sure the mothers love their children, but most of them were raised to believe that what they are doing is right, so they are not capable of making decisions about the welfare of these underage girls. To question whether her underage daughter should "marry" a much older man and become his second or third wife would mean she would have to question her whole life and everything she has been taught by her mother who was some older mans second or third wife. The main goal has to be to protect these children from men who are nothing more than pedophiles. If the mothers are not emotionally equiped to do it, the government must.

  • actual texan
    April 14, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    OOh, wow, craig rubins church was raided and he can't figure out why. Maybe it's because you consider Marijuana a sacrament. Religion or not, pot is still illegal in Texas. Rev Rubin, do I need to use smaller words or CAN YOU HERE ME NOW?

  • How Dumb Are You?
    April 14, 2008 4:53 p.m.

    How is it that so many people are able to ignore the systematic abuse within this cult/group? Forcing young girls to marry, kicking out young boys to limit competition, consumating marriages in the temple? If this community existed without calling itself a religion, the entire nation would be up in arms about allowing a community of pedophiles to exist. Stop falling for the PC crap - this is child abuse plain and simple, not religious freedom. The investigators followed the appropriate procedures, did not violate the constitution (you would know this if you actually understood the constitution, which most of you apparently don't), and are trying to prevent a continuation of abuse.
    How sick are you that you would allow this abuse to exist?
    I don't care how much the moms and dads cry. If you plan to marry off your 15 yr old girl to anyone, you are sick and belong in jail.
    Why did they build compounds? Because if they didn't society would catch on sooner to their sick child abusing society.
    I am disgusted at you all. You should be ashamed at yourselves. How can you just abandon these children? Sick.

  • Roxan Shores
    April 14, 2008 4:50 p.m.

    The mother said that she did not know why they took her children. Well, yes she knows. She knows that the lifestyle that she has chosen and put her children into is illegal. Mr. Deseret comments how nice the homes of FLDS was. Well yeah, this immoral world (to quote Hal), this lewd and abusive government has been supporting all wives except wife #1 and all children for years. Does God condon theft by deception. Of course they do not live in the main stream. If our government programs don't ask, these sects will definately not tell. I may cost them several big, modern houses, a temple, several acres and all the perks. If they chose to live this lifestyle; I do not want my tax dollars supporting. The government doesn't support me in the manner that these people have become accustom to. They should have to pay back the money with interest and penalties or live in some other country that approves or allows that lifestyle. Such as third world countries with no government aide programs. I blame all of the adults that preach right from wrong to their children.

  • AR
    April 14, 2008 4:56 p.m.

    NO ONE IN THE USA IS DENIED THE RIGHT TO MARRY MULTIPLE SPOUSES AND HAVE CHILDREN BY EACH be carefull not to condem ye aduterers>

  • cdub
    April 14, 2008 4:57 p.m.

    Remember Waco.
    It all begins with the "government" being concerned for the "well-being" of the people in the compound.
    When the para-military arrives with tanks and assualt vehicles, then it had to have been the fault of the folks in the compound.
    This will happen to every church in the US when the NWO forces them to bow to the AntiChrist.
    It is just a matter of time until they reach your house.

  • its_Chet
    April 14, 2008 4:59 p.m.

    First they supported the mobs as they raped, murdered, pillaged, and drove the Mormons
    But I did not complain because I was not a Mormon

    Then they stormed Ruby Ridge
    But I did not complain because I was not a member of the Weaver family.

    Then they laid siege on the Branch Davidians
    But I did not complain because I was not a Branch Davidian.

    Then they took Elian Gonzalez away from his grandparents at gunpoint, to return him to Cuba
    But I did not complain because I have never lived under the boot of a communist dictator.

    Then they came for the innocent children of the Yearning for Zion community
    But I did not complain because I am not FLDS.

    And when they came for me, there was no one left to help me.

  • Re: IN IRAQ
    April 14, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    Sure, polygamy is against the law, but none of the children being held against their will without charges are polygamists. Their parents may be, but they're just little kids. And the men who ARE polygamists have not been charged or detained. Never mind that we can't find a plaintiff in the case, let's punish the innocent without due process and let the perpetrators walk--is this the American you're telling them to join? I guess they would need counseling to get onboard with an outfit like that.

  • reinhard
    April 14, 2008 5:11 p.m.

    this just proves there are just as many right wing nuts as left wing nuts in this country

  • its_Chet
    April 14, 2008 5:20 p.m.

    This is an abomination. One charge, made by one supposed 16 year old girl who has yet to materialize, has somehow justified the kidnapping of over 400 children. This revolting disdain the human rights is the work of a communist or fascist regime. Karl Marx would be proud at the precedent set for the ease with which the government may abduct your children. No proof. No credible accusation. And the accusation doesnt even have to be made against you, just somebody who lives in your neighborhood. OH WHAT THE HECK!!! TAKE ALL THE CHILDREN!!!

    I can hear Janet Reno lamenting that they didnt manage to bring in the tanks and flammable gas so they could burn down the whole place and any remaining victims, conveniently hiding their lack of evidence.

    Oh, but were clearing the world of those pesky cultists!

    Define cultist. All religions start as what some would consider a cult. For many people (including some who have posted here), a cult is any religion which you find disagreeable.

    Who makes some people such authorities, that they can pass judgment like this? You must be arrested, kidnapped, shot, crushed, or burned alive because I dont like your religion.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 5:21 p.m.

    A sick world with a few sick people. No religion involved. Just sick perverted old men who like to have sex with little girls. Somehow this makes these old never minds feel a bit more important as OLD man. Well, not men by any means. Real men don't have sex slaves. No real religion has sex slaves. Only the gutters of city slums.

  • IN IRAQ
    April 14, 2008 5:24 p.m.

    Notice the "child" angle the FLDS church is trying to take. They're distracting us away from their unlawful acts with their innocent, abused children. They must be paying big buck$$ for their lawyers. That's good spin advice.

    As for the Due Process, I'm sure the authorities are following the rules with this situation being watched on a global basis.

  • Portia
    April 14, 2008 5:25 p.m.

    Human Puppy Mill -- Ha -- Good one.

    Add "private brothel for dirty old men."

    While you're yowling about violation of rights and the constitution and crying crocodile tears for the children parted from their mothers, think about the deflowering of a twelve year old girl by a fifty year old man -- and the mothers who let this happen to their little girls.

    That this kind of sexual abuse and slavery could be ignored for so many years in America is what is disgusting.

  • Actual Texan
    April 14, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    Mcam,
    Well said.
    But,if you defend the mothers by saying that this is what they were raised to believe, therefor they couldn't act against it, then you can't say the men are all pedo's. Same logic must apply

  • jerry in cleveland
    April 14, 2008 5:28 p.m.

    i wish the kids in my neighborhood were cared for as well as the kids in this compound. its more of a crime to see whats going on with abuse of children in the ghetto's across america. kids are starving and left alone with no clothes while the parents are out doing drugs and gangbanging. all this with no religion. this whole thing in texas seems absurd. i can see why people are comparing this to nazi germany. a police state. let these people go home and live their lives. and for all you judgemental people who think you have a say so over someone elses life, who died and made you god?? is your life so great you can cast judgement on others? i don't think so... what is freedom anyways? we don't practice it in this country. i was just told by my state that lap dances are now illegal. costa rica, here i come, the usa is no longer a free country. oh yeah!! is it still ok to say merry christmas? i think some places will arrest you for that.

  • Rockerz
    April 14, 2008 5:33 p.m.

    The problem these people have is that they are the wrong religion. Had they been Muslims, the Feds would have hightailed it in the opposite direction.

  • Tex
    April 14, 2008 5:43 p.m.

    aww, shux....was ridin' over there on my horse, to join up....dang

  • its_Chet
    April 14, 2008 5:42 p.m.

    How I know this is really about religion:

    One allegation, made against one man, somehow resulted in the kidnapping of 400+ children, and only because there werent more. Did they arrest any suspects? The allegation was made against one. Lets throw in some more just for good measure. Lets just say they found evidence implicating 10 men. Instead of removing or arresting 10 men, they kidnapped over 400 children. Logical? No. Persecution? Undoubtedly.

    How convenient for the government that they had an allegation upon which to base this mass kidnapping. How convenient that they were able to ransack peoples homes and all they found was a bed in a Temple, when they havent even found the rumored whistle-blower. How convenient that so many people are so quick to condemn these people for their lifestyle, their beliefs, etc., that they will be willing sycophants for the Texas Gestapo.

    They believe in polygamy! They must pay! They believe in removing themselves from society! They must pay! Some have left the group and made accusations against them! Never mind vetting those accusations, They must pay!!

    If this was about abuse, they would have arrested a few individuals. But its not.

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 5:38 p.m.

    Any 20,30, 40, 50 etc. year old man that enters into a "spiritial marriage" with a child of 13,14,15, 16... is a problem.

  • Rufus T. Firefly
    April 14, 2008 5:58 p.m.

    If this were a compound with 1700 Muslims in it the "Brilliant Ones" in the press and the Universities would be falling all over themselves defending them. The out cry would be deafening, there would be riots and bombings.

    The same thing is practiced all over the world in Islam by hundreds of millions of people and no one bats an eye. At least the FDLS isn't raising sucide bombers.

    Just wait till the lawyers figure out how to hold TX accountable for trashing these people's rights. Where was the emergency? Tx is going to have to pay big bucks for this screwup. This has been going on for decades! Could have been handled much better.

    You may not like the polygimists but remember this: First they came for you and I did nothing, then they came for my neighbor and I was silent. Now they come for me.

  • Mark Naperville, IL
    April 14, 2008 5:53 p.m.

    First, The government should have left those kids with their mothers and seperated all the men to another area in the property. The next thing to do should have been to conduct the investigtions to see who committed a crime. Take away the criminals and leave the others alone. I am not sure why the liberals are mad at this sitauation as this sounds like the dream of a 60's hippie feee love communial life style.

  • Religion & Pedophilia
    April 14, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    mothers who allow grown men to have sex with and marry their children are enablers and cant see the damage. i would err on the side of caution and remove the children as well. most all women love and want to protect their babies, but even women outside of polygamy have a hard time recognizing or removing themselves from abusive situations that involve them or their children. if its all they know, then it's not abuse in their eyes. i'm not judging their religion or way of life. i really dont care. but its no secret that incest and pedophilia are alive and well within these ranches and that is something that should never be okay - no matter what religion.

  • kelly wisconsin
    April 14, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    read Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven and then you will understand that Texas is brave enough to end the generations of mothers and daughters that are brainwashed. These mothers are understandably distressed about their young children, but it's time this abuse was ended. These girls are in for a shock when they reach puberty and then where will the concerned mothers be?

  • Vince
    April 14, 2008 5:56 p.m.

    I have no problem with what the State did. There are so many nut jobs hiding behind "religion" that the police could not take a chance. Remember Waco, anyone? A lot times these religious sects like to hide because they know they are doing something wrong. Protect the kids first at all costs.

  • George
    April 14, 2008 5:59 p.m.

    The white man's burden is to end slavery and polygamy. We can't compare ourselves to Muslims and Africans and others. Monogamy is a better way. I concede that we probably cannot end it but they must not abuse their children and they must be free to leave.

  • Bonnie
    April 14, 2008 6:01 p.m.

    Way to go, Pat. Round up the MEN and carry them off!! THEY are the abusers, not the brainwashed women and children.

  • Randy
    April 14, 2008 6:12 p.m.

    Let me make sure I understand the legal logic of the State of Texas. They want to take all 416 children because they need more human rights. But they want to take all 416 at the same time because the state does not want to spend even 5 minutes for each attorney which would be like 70 hours of testimony. OK. I get it. Each individual is not even worth 5 minutes of the State's time. Who is the Cult here? The FLDS or the State of Texas? The state could careless about each individual (and this because they bit off more than they could possibly choose, so now they want to screw up hundreds of lives in their arrogance).

  • MikeH
    April 14, 2008 6:09 p.m.

    I would like anyone that is complaining about polygamy to think of the benefits that it would bring to the black inner-city where positive, male role models are all but non-existent!! Is it better to have 1 willing and able man to stand ready to father or is it better to be hanging out on a street corner with the homeys?

    To all of you who's objection to polygamy boils down to: It's illegal or it's yucky. Wake up!!! If you are willing to accept 2 married men/women calling themselves a family and cannot deal with this, you are in some serious need of examining the vacuous lack of logic between the ears.

    To all the trolls: I am not a polygamist and will not become one. I, however, do have the ability to think beyond my narrow scope of experience. To you liberals, if it truly 'takes a village' to raise a child, why is this so bad? The only thing in here that I am against is children under the age of consent getting married. Past that, I hope that they have a rich and rewarding life! (Hint to the clueless: It is not just about money.)

  • Scott
    April 14, 2008 6:10 p.m.

    eThe facts. Sheriff stated he was looking for a reason to enter compound. Sheriff had plan for raiding compound BEFORE a complaint was issued. Sheriff did not have informant on "inside". He had someone who advised him about FLDS. No "victim" has been found. The criminal in the complaint has not been in Texas for over a year as far as anyone knows and has not been arrested. If pregnant teenagers equals abuse, then we need to arrest all the teachers at the local compound, oops I mean High School.
    Arrest warrants have been thrown out because they searched 414 1/2 Main St. instead of 414 Main St. Yet one anonymous complaint justifies searching 100's of homes. The evidence so far a bed in a church. How many priests/ministers live in the CHURCH.
    Whether or not someone is guilty there WILL be charges. Texas must justify it's actions. They will tell the children they can't go home until they admit to being abused. They will plant thoughts then reinterview them until the child believes it to be true. I have personally seen US social services do this. Want proof? google Wenatchee and abuse.
    Who isolated women/children by taking cellphones? Texas.

  • IN IRAQ
    April 14, 2008 6:15 p.m.

    How are you people so sure anyone's rights are being trampled on by the State? Maybe you've all been tainted by my Commander in Chief and the lies that got me to Iraq and are now hesistant to trust the Gov.

    It's so basic to me. If there's even a threat of a child being abused, whether or not there's evidence, you move in. It's just like how you can joke about a bomb at the airport. It's so serious that you take action right away. Read, "Escape". It tells of the abuses this cult practices on women and children.

  • Deception
    April 14, 2008 6:35 p.m.

    Polygamy is nothing more then to control women. These particular men think they have the right to control women so that they can have multiple sex parters, and then these perverts try to make the rest of the world think that God Almighty said that it was just ok for them to do this. However, God did NO SUCH THING. Polygamy is not Christian. It is the worship of the deceptive devil himself.

    Religion based on deception.

  • Scott
    April 14, 2008 6:48 p.m.

    To IN IRAQ "If there's even a threat of a child abused, whether or not there's evidence, you move in." Have you happened to read the scientific studies that detail the effects of the trauma on a child whom is removed from their home? While the gov't is sorting it out they are moved to several "homes". The studies say after the third move the child has been PERMENANTLY harmed. This harm is often worse then any harm from the alleged abuse. Apparently you have no problem administering known harm to a child whether or not there is evidence. Once the state takes a child they MUST justify there actions or risk lawsuit. The caseworker tells the child the counselor the child was abused. The child tells counselor they weren't. The counselor recommends children remain out of the home because they are not "opening up". Caseworker goes in front of judge and says removal was justified and that the counselors do not recommend children going home. I have seen this with my own eyes. WAKE UP!

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 7:14 p.m.

    My only question to everyone on this site that is stupid enough to post a comment about "innocent until proven guilty", is if Polygamy is against the law, how are they not guilty. Texas officials did the right thing when they removed innocent children from a harmful situation. The cult known as the FLDS. Yes, they are a cult, why would they feel the need to build a giant compound if they weren't doing something illegal and wanted to try to get away with it. You people really need to wake up, quite being small minded and look at the big picture.

  • Barbara W.
    April 14, 2008 7:19 p.m.

    It's a good thing that these children who have been brainwashed since birth, that they as well have been removed from this polygamy cult. Hopefully the authorities can get the children to open up. Although, it may not happen because they have been taught WHATEVER since babies. This is a horrible episode of true brainwashing and physical abuse in the worst way possible. Hopefully Texas authorities will win on this.

  • Total deception
    April 14, 2008 7:24 p.m.

    Why do polygamists marry underage girls?
    Does any thinking member of society who believes in equality for the sexes in terms of education and opportunity, feel that raising young women for the pleasure of old perverted men who would be kicked out of the mainstream church is correct? Forget the religious part, it's just wrong on many levels.
    And trying to justify by blathering on with everything else wrong in society does not change the fact of underage females being forced to marry
    "spiritually" It's called statutory rape.
    Please; it is nauseating that some people can defend this by any measure.

  • Stupid!
    April 14, 2008 7:48 p.m.

    The right of Religious beliefs???? Are you people stupid? Who cares if the children are married at such a young age or have kids by the time they are 14, 15, 16. I can't believe that people are sticking up for that kind of abuse! I say that it is high time that something was done about it.
    In our world old men who sexually abuse kids are listed on websites and most of them have went to jail a time or two. I don't get why some people are wanting to support them!!!

  • Randy
    April 14, 2008 7:49 p.m.

    I have a hard time as a LDS person finding anything righteous about polygamy. This the part of the LDS history that I do not accept in anyway. And I come down through two polygamy ancestors. Somehow none of this sounds right to me, and I feel like perhaps Joseph Smith was deceived by Satan.

  • Dee in VEGAS.
    April 14, 2008 8:01 p.m.

    what a shame that these Men of the FLDS church have taken advantage of these young GIRLS. Every FLDS MAN found to be guilty of sex or marage to a minor child should recive some good old TEXAS style justice. DEATH fixes all abuse to childeren, it is the only way to stop a PEDAFILE for good. GOD bless TEXAS for protecting those childern. Sell the ranch they all live on to pay the bills.

  • Dee
    April 14, 2008 8:07 p.m.

    GOD BLESS TEXAS for protecting those young GIRLS. We should HANG anybody who harms a child in any way.

  • Louisa
    April 14, 2008 8:37 p.m.

    I agree with Texas. I only wished Utah had of stepped up to this long ago. Maybe things would be better here in Utah and people wouldn't be trying to protect these foolish polygamist men. I know a bit of the ugly side of polygamy. I believe it is abusive rather anyone in Utah wants to believe this or not. Some need to pull the wool from their eyes.

  • Mike
    April 14, 2008 9:09 p.m.

    Mormon children today, your children tomorow.

    It's just one more step towards destroying the White Race and Christianity.

    It's interesting to me, that Elizabeth Segal, a Jewish lesbian who's book, "An Introduction to Profession of Social Work - Becoming a Change Agent" has done tons of research into the Mormon religion. In her book she spews anti white, anti male, anti heterosexual, anti family, anti Christian, anti Protestant, rhetoric.

    I am looking for connections between her and this case. Is it being ran by some of her 'students'? Is she directly involved in some official capacity somewhere along the line?

  • Rich
    April 14, 2008 9:43 p.m.

    By the time the state of Texas looks at all the evidence, including birth certificates and testing DNA if necessary, it most likely will have plenty of evidence to arrest several men on charges of statutory rape. My view is that if women knew what was going on, then they should be considered accomplishes -- alleged accomplices for now, of course. Thus, they should not be allowed anywhere near children, especially children that were the result of polygamous relationships. I believe that that non-polygamous men who sire children by various women and then don't support them should be in the same place as where the polygamists ought to be -- in prison until they vow to change their ways.

  • Warren Jeffs the Prophet
    April 14, 2008 10:01 p.m.

    How come no one has mentioning on here that Warren Jeffs, who was the Prophet of the FLDS church has admitted that he was a false prophet. He was thier leader. So this says these FLDS polygamist are all living a lie and are as well adulterous child abusers. Warren Jeffs even admitted to incest with his sister, and who know who else. These people are wicked and BAD!

    Go for it TEXAS! You have my support!

  • Pot, meet Kettle.
    April 14, 2008 10:17 p.m.

    FLDS are attacked for polygamy.
    It, polygamy, is against the law of the land.

    Illegal immigration is against the law of the land, also.

    Yet we give it a pass.

    How many children have been harmed because of this? Living in shadows, mom and dad on the run full time...never encouraged to assimilate.

    It's a given the FLDS women are psychologically duped, but how is this different from Islam? The Burka? Male theocratic psychosis running amok.

    Islam allows 4 wives and as many secondary wives as one desires. There are MULTIPLE occasions where it is going on here in America. Where is the outrage?

    The U.K., Germany, and Canada have already shown to be clear in allowing Islamic Polygamy to stand and thrive.

    If we are going to 'enforce' the 'law of the land' can we PLEASE be consistent and enforce ALL OF IT. Illegal Immigration, polygamy, etc. None of this 'buffet style' picking and choosing.

    Give the land to the women and children, and IMPRISON the MEN and however many complicit women are there also.


  • Irrated American
    April 14, 2008 10:26 p.m.

    What have the authorities in Texas done? They have these poor children begging to go home. Let them go!!! If these children choose to tell you they were abused and by whom, then arrest and prosecute that person. These children have suffered enough though the Texas Government that does not have the right to expect these children to live outside of their domain. Shame on you Texas!!!! You now have the EYES OF THE WORLD UPON YOU.

  • Pamela
    April 14, 2008 10:36 p.m.

    Has anyone stop really listen to the press thier has been no arrest,Why? they can't find the 16 year old girl ,WHY? and the town been watching them for 4 year,why did they allow this to go on for 4 years? cause it not true, maybe it just away for them to get them off thier land so that THAT TOWN CAN TAP IT FOR OIL?But i see everyday how these kids are kept and now i think they are in prison it is horrible how the cps has got them, I have listen very closely to whats going on, they need our help, and we has americans need to keep our noses out of very one bussiness, please america help me help them,I live right down the road where they are housing these kids and i tell you it is horrible.

  • Jeffrey
    April 14, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    Pat said the right thing. The men should have been taken and hauled off to jail and questioned. The women and children should have stayed put on the YFZ Ranch and questioned there. Was there child abuse going on?(Older men having sex with underage Girls). I believe there was. I believe the women were being forceably (brainwashed) into believing that their children had to be married and have children as soon as they were able to have children themselves.
    Rather than fight the YFZ on polygamy charges, the lawmakers in Texas probably thought this would be a better and quicker way to get into the YFZ Ranch and close it. Will they ever find the 16 year old girl who made the phone call???
    I read the article today (4-14) about the Texas CPS confiscating all the cell-phones after the images of the sleeping arrangements hit the papers yesterday. They (CPS) are just trying to CYA as best they can.
    People should say a prayer for the kids who are caught in the middle of this mess.

  • Jackal
    April 14, 2008 10:59 p.m.

    There are neither Andrea bathtub-killer Yateses nor Susan drowns-her-kids-in-the-car Smiths in the FLDS communities. Also, FLDS children do not have autism at epidemic rates found in mainstream society. FLDS children don't need Ritalin. FLDS children don't deal in drugs, much less even use any. And FLDS children don't go postal and kill each other at school. In fact, where regular society is over-run with every stripe of inbred, FLDS communities thrive healthily in body, mind, and spirit. There are messages here for all the anti-family, anti-male, anti-religion, dim-witted travelers. Maybe the home kitchen is healthier than fast food. Maybe home-schooling prevents child assassins. Maybe family life is an antidote to the wretched Britney "crotch" Spears of the world. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but the only overweight FLDS women are the anti-polygamy activist rejects who need make-overs before appearing on TV news shows. From my viewpoint, America needs more communities like this and less of bankrupt mainstream society. Sure, the FLDS may have some bad apples, but certainly not as many as in mainstream society. When we judge, we judge ourselves. I think every lawman and official in Texas responsible for this raid should have their children taken away from them.

  • pamela
    April 14, 2008 11:42 p.m.

    OK i just wnat to point out a little fact, my daughter is a senior at lake view and the baby rate here is extremly high,thier is a girl on her 4th child and many more ready to pop out a baby,she is not married nor have a job so who do you think pays for her 3babys right now thats you we do, at least these people were not on the welfare system,And so what if they don't live in the 20th centery, good for them,Let them have thier kids back, if it wasnt for you anscetors who who old maids at 16 you would not be her today. they live in the old ways,and people to this day still have pre arranged marriges, but you need to stop and think were they really married to this men, i dont think spiritaul is a marriage in the real world.I use to be proud to be a texan now i'm ashamed.and why hasn't anyone being arrested? for rape or abuse makes nosence, and how many kids a negelated here in S.A. everyday?100's Why isn't cps doing something about that ?This make me so mad,

  • Michelle
    April 15, 2008 12:13 a.m.

    Okay, so if a girl under age 16 gets pregnant, it is "child abuse". So, why aren't the parents of all the pregnant teens in Texas removed from their homes as well? At least these girls are married! These poor children, taken away from their mothers, it is a disgrace! CPS is always making mistakes in this state, they take away the wrong children and leave other children in horrible abusive situations. A mother on drugs is an abusive situation! I have yet to hear of any real abuse that was going on, give these mothers back their babies! And by the way, I don't agree with polgamy, but how is it any different from homosexuals and adulters with children? I love the state of Texas, but this is ridiculous!

  • Elizabeth
    April 15, 2008 12:46 a.m.

    Well, it's pretty obvious from the comments on this story that the people of Utah have more problems than just the FLDS. They have a lot of people who are in serious denial about polygamy and child abuse. Warren Jeffs is in jail in Utah, then Merrill Jessop tried to set up the cult again in Texas, but the Texans stopped him. These women and children from Eldorado are going to need a lot of help to get deprogrammed and reintegrated into more normal society, and I hope that they will be welcomed back in Utah, and that the LDS will send missionaries and social workers to help them get educated. Jessop and these other older men need to go to jail with Jeffs. It will take a while to sort all this out, so be patient, folks.

  • comment 1
    April 15, 2008 1:59 a.m.

    I don't get why everyone is bashing TX. They are following protocol, as best they can. 90% of you people don't GET that the children were removed to PROTECT them. If abuse is reported & evidence is found to support it, CPS in ANY state would remove the child. You keep complaining that what the state did was so wrong and shame on them & these children should be with their mothers. Right or wrong, that's not how CPS works. They are looking out for the best interest of the children, in the long run. Yes, being away from someone they've known is traumatizing, but if the efforts of CPS save one young girl from becoming a slave, then good for TX & CPS.

  • comment 2
    April 15, 2008 2:00 a.m.


    Let justice be served. The sheer magnitude of cases means that this isn't going to be over in a few days, but I believe the ones being hurt, the ones in danger of being hurt, will be saved. And those committing the crimes will be punished.
    By the way, the crying mothers are just as responsible for the abuse as the men because they allowed it to happen. If a woman lets child abuse happen to her child in any other situation, they would be arrested & charged with neglect, if nothing else. Why should this be any different?

  • Stan
    April 15, 2008 5:40 a.m.

    This Texas government officials vs. YFZ FLDS religious zealots offers further support to my decision to abandon my returned LDS-missionary, temple covenanted past in favor of agnostic/atheistic belief. In this incident I see further proof that the worst atrocities of one group of humans against another are usually done "in the name of God."

    Our Founding Fathers, the wisest of whom affiliated with no particular religion, advocated altering or abolishing a government that interferes with its peoples unailenenable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    If polygamy were legal, then its supporters could practice in mainstream society rather than creating isolated communities of inbred, brainwashed believer. If prostitution were legal then the high-libido male could obtain a sexual balance to compensate for his partner's inadequacies without having to brainwash young girls to accept an pervert's desire. Abolish socialized transfer payments and then there will be no opportunity for welfare fraud.

    In a society of true liberty, a productive, benevolent man should be allowed to care for all he is capable of. A dead beat could neither provide for nor attract any mates.

    Liberty is natural.. give us liberty.

  • PROTECT OUR CHILDREN!!!!
    April 15, 2008 6:53 a.m.

    As I read this all that keeps going threw my mind is my three little girls. The idea of a 16 yr old BOY touching my 16 yr old girl makes me sick much less a 50yr old man. A song from my childhood keeps going threw my head.
    PLEASE DON'T LET THEM HURT YOUR CHILDREN
    WE NEED LOVE AND SHELTER FROM THE STORM
    PLEASE DONT LET THEM HURT YOUR CHILDREN
    WONT YOU KEEP US SAFE AND WARM.

    THATS OUR JOB AS PARENT TO PROTECT ALL CHILDREN!!

  • Wonderer
    April 15, 2008 7:44 a.m.

    I wonder when the government will wake up to the real threats to our society, and look in on other religions, sects, terrorist sympathizing organizations and their "beliefs". When will the government break in on the Muslims and separate the mothers from the children in the "sharia law" society? These FLDS folks aren't trying to gain control of society outside them as are the Muslims. Priorities need to be examined. I guess that all depends on who gets to set the priorities.

  • To cdub
    April 15, 2008 8:20 a.m.

    Get your head out of the sand. Waco is non-sequitur. The only comparison is the idiots at the head of both organizations. They're Wac(k)o.

  • How Polygamy Hurts My Child
    April 15, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    When I was a single parent having been left my child's father, I tried to get food stamps and temporary assistance so I could meet my child's special needs and find a way to start a home business to support us. My child's father had threatened to take my child to a foreign country if I named him as the father. So, I was reluctant to name him. I was told that I could not receive assistance if I did not name him. I was also told that my child could not be homeschooled if assistance were provided for him. But, the public schools could not meet his needs and refused to consider accommodations.

    I am still a single mom and have been paying taxes for years, as I did before that brief period when I needed assistance. I am paying for those men's children that they won't acknowledge and for children of the women who choose to or are forced by men into polygamy such that they have too many children to support and don't work outside the home. I would like to stay home too, but I work partly to pay so they can.

  • calgal1211
    April 15, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    If the state of Texas was looking at this ranch and gathering info for 4 years ..maybe they are guilty of child abuse by letting it go on for so long. But it seems that 4 yrs is a long time to decide to raid the ranch and only after someone made a snitch call. Judge not lest you also will be judged!

  • BF
    April 15, 2008 2:59 p.m.

    To Polygamy hurts my child-
    Didn't you read about the hundreds of thousands of dollars those lazy buggers have been paying to government in property taxes alone?
    What really hurts your child is having to grow up in a country where citizens so willingly give up the rights of "others" in the name of safety "for the children". "He who gives up essential liberty for temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety"

  • Mr. Ed
    April 15, 2008 3:30 p.m.

    I have been attempting to understand this situation based on an understanding of the fallen nature of humankind. Looking at the various players in the scene, for starters we have the polygamists accused of statutory rape. Unregenerated man throughout history has sought out sex with females of all ages, males, animal species, and inanimate objects. Is it believable that underneath all that pioneer charm and piety lurks machinery for the satisfaction of lust? Sure. We have CPS accused of vague, unspecified wrongdoing. CPS is widely considered to be as corrupt and inefficient as any other bureaucracy. Does CPS have a financial interest in increasing their clientele and their visibility? Sure. Then we have law enforcement. They are accused of acting on a whim, arresting and detaining all the wrong people, and violating their rights. Law enforcement is hanged if they do and hanged if they don't. For "rescuing" (detaining) 400 children, have they chosen the group that exposes them to the least risk? Sure. White nonconformist fundamentalists. Their selection of this group appears strategic. Society is conditioned to dehumanize groups such as FLDS by mass media. LE gets to appear brave while not offending vocal special interests. Not exactly brave.

  • Mao
    April 15, 2008 8:30 p.m.

    Hmong practice polygamy and marry underage girls.
    US doesn't stop the Hmong.
    Its only white groups that must be stopped from having children.

  • rj in cache valley
    April 15, 2008 10:35 p.m.

    The Texas "Authorities" entered the compound using a warrent that was based upon what appears to be a fabrication. The party accused in the warrent was known to law enforcement and in constant contact with an officer of the court over 800 miles away.

    And now these 'Authorities" are attempting to terminate 400+ child/parent relationships?

    There was no probable cause. A simple computer backgound search on the accused name would have yeilded the accused mans probation officer's phone number. One computer check on the name of the accused before a 100+ person blitzkrieg. Is that asking to much? NO! A single phone call to a probation officer before abducting 400+. Is that asking to much? NO!!

    The Texas "Authorites" did not make a good faith effort to corroborate the grounds for the search warrent. QED the warrent was illegal and invalid.

    What is next? I hope the Amish in Pennsylvania are hiring lawyers. I hope home-schooling parents who teach their children "Creation" are ready to loose their children. I hope all the LDS in this country are ready to have their temples searched because one of the "North Temple" protesters picked up a pay phone.

  • Jay
    April 16, 2008 6:14 a.m.

    Polygamy is already defacto legal in the US. Why else are all the babydaddys with multiple children by multiple women still allowed to roam the streets?
    Like it or not there has also been a defacto repeal of the statutory rape laws as long as the acting male is also underage. We have legalized underage sex for children in imitation of chimps who practice play sex when young since of course there is no god, and we are all just smart animals anyway.
    The fact that young girls lives are just as ruined by having a baby with a thirteen year old father as with a 50 year old father is overlooked by our society in the pursuit of some sort of mythic feminist quest for sexual parity. Which until men start having the babies is just that, a myth. If abuse took place the men need to be prosecuted, but by golly we better start locking up the baby daddies also. The law is supposed to apply equally to all, and it doesn't anymore.

  • Anonymous
    April 16, 2008 6:36 a.m.

    This entire situation was and is clearly being handled wrong. Assumptions, allegations, jumping to conclusions, acting on instinct, we are doing everything that law school and our constitution would consider unethical.

    Motivations - I understand that - and I am a sociology major, I am usually fighting for the underdog, and agreeing when people disagree, but in this case, the prioity is backwards.

    The priority should be the aspect or the practice of Polygamy. This is the main issue, this is what is causing poeple to see the "bad" things that are apparently going on, but the attention is directed to the wrong individuals.

    Like a former commentor wrote, the Men should have been questioned from the begining. If we are worried about the children being abused and scared, our recent actions have only made that worse.

    come on now officials, get with the program, is this how you would execute a large scale project in a corporation? No! It would be a mess. There is no planning, no structure, no order, and absolutely no regard for human rights! what the heck is that??? America - let's not give others ammunition to judge us more...let's THINK before we ACT -

  • Anonymous
    April 16, 2008 7:14 a.m.

    I say do all that you can to put an end to all sex cults.

  • Randy
    April 16, 2008 4:41 p.m.

    The DMN can practice all their un-american censorship to protect the church from american free speach but everyone knows that mormonism is responsible for these terrible events.

  • Texas family code, people!
    April 16, 2008 7:05 p.m.

    For all of you who are so outraged about what's happening,Google the Texas family code.
    you'll see that everything CPS did was not only perfectly legal, but it was legally required of them.





  • We're not fools....
    April 16, 2008 7:36 p.m.

    These people are doing their job, and there was good reason to do it. It's not all a bowl of cherries at the ranch. I think they are desperate to invite reporters in and give those rehearsed speeches, all with the sobs, clutching of foreheads, and so on. They are being dishonest in acting that way, and I think the children deserve to be raised in an honest, ethical environment. Obviously, it's the abuse and neglect that is the heart of the issue, but the playacting doesn't help.

  • I hope the brethren
    April 16, 2008 11:29 p.m.

    are aware of some these blogs by members , they are down right scary...i will keep an eye on my daughter of 13 as we travel the state..it pays to read between the lines.

  • Brennie
    April 17, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    I think its pretty obvious that the women have been put to the front to bear the consequences...where are the men?...this question was asked of them, and they all avoided the question...I think they have all been brain-washed, and its difficult to believe in this day and age that ppl can be so blind as to the nonsense thats being forced down their throats..

  • Amy
    April 17, 2008 12:16 p.m.

    What I don't understand is why are the men the only ones allowed to marry so many wives? Why are the women ruled over so dominantly? Did anyone see Larry King last night? The men wouldn't even come out!! They made the women speak and they wouldn't even answer questions about where their husbands are at! Texas has spent so much money on welfare paid to these people. If their lives are so pure, why are there "sex beds" in the churches? You could clearly tell these women are brainwashed!

    I can understand them wanting to live apart, and worship God, but God condemns multiple marriages, and if they so worship God so much, why last night when they showed inside their house, are there pictures of Warren Jeffs everywhere? Why not pictures of God or Jesus?

    I am glad I am not one of them b/c I would be danged having men tell me what to do whey they got to screw around with every other woman in the "ranch!" All this is is a big pimp parade and the children are paying the price!

  • Your right warren jeffs
    April 17, 2008 1:04 p.m.

    is closer to being a Pimp than a prohet , he was caught in a ride, digging the scene with a ganster lean, sun roof top , money in a bag ooh oooh

  • kristen A.
    April 17, 2008 2:53 p.m.

    I think this whole thing is ridiculous honestly...and i dont think god put men/women on this earth to have multiple spouses. That is insane...and not to mention a good way to spread AIDS and other STDS...apparently polygamist people aren't aware that this disease kills you and won't go away. If they were honestly concerned for their childrens safety they wouldn't let their children live that way either. I mean really how could a man live like that...and why would a woman accept that lifestyle.Im sure if they wanted to they could leave and choose to not live like that.

  • Dricks
    April 17, 2008 3:12 p.m.

    It is not just the men, it is the women who are the more spiritual and who most believe and want to practice polygamy, they have a deep sincere believe in mormonism, most of them like and prefer their live style and believe that it is God's will. Who can prove them wrong.

  • Hopefully the State of Texas
    April 17, 2008 4:00 p.m.

    "It is not just the men, it is the women who are the more spiritual and who most believe and want to practice polygamy, they have a deep sincere believe in mormonism, most of them like and prefer their live style and believe that it is God's will. Who can prove them wrong."

    ... can prove them wrong if part of their belief involves the seemingly necessary "lost boys" and forced marriage of young girls to keep the men meeting the 3 wife criteria for going to ,,, where is it? ... their version of heaven?

  • Beam
    April 17, 2008 8:50 p.m.

    The reason that all the kids were taken is because when they were asked who the kids' parents were, no one would answer. The kids said multiple women were their mothers, none of the men would claim to be the fathers, some of the women admitted that they said nothing.

    When everything's on the up & up, families & parents have no problem identifying & owning up to who their kids are.

  • feminist?
    April 17, 2008 11:29 p.m.

    "The Texas authorities are doing the right thing - giving many who are too scared to speak up, an opportunity of getting out of that judgmental environment where you are not allowed an opinion of your own, you are forced to agree with old, perverted men."

    Careful. You might be labeled a feminist.

  • V. Carter
    April 21, 2008 12:36 p.m.

    I represent two of the children. CPS painted with much too broad a brush in applying abuse to all of the children in the community. CPS needs to be held accountable for their actions and it is up to individuals to voice their complaint to make a change. This is just WRONG. It is my understanding that the children need and want to be returned to their mothers, but no one will listen to their story. Additionally, CPS complained to the Court that the mother's would not identify themselves, but then there was evidence in court that the mothers offered driver's licenses and birth certificates, but CPS said they did not want to view the documents. CPS has way too much power and usually very little education. They just have to have a college degree in ANYTHING and 90 days at their school, and then they are ready to investigate allegations of child abuse, interview child victims, and refer the case to law enforcement. Turnover is high. The living situation in the coliseum that I viewed was horrible, and the thoughts of the babies crying at night for their mothers is heartbreaking. Write your Texas legislators and Governor Perry! Please.

  • Playing God
    April 21, 2008 1:22 p.m.

    I think it was wrong for the Children to be removed from their person. This phone call could of been investigated while the children and their mother remained.They should of removed the men from the compound and questioned them until they got some answers. This is not abuse it's about a life style that America is outraged about. And yet they close a blind eye until now. Why punish the parents and the children. This could of been handled differently. It's shameful.

  • David
    April 21, 2008 1:59 p.m.

    Those of you crying religious freedom I want to ask what about the rights of the young girls these old perverts had sex with? What about them? Huh?

  • PunchDrunk
    April 21, 2008 4:23 p.m.

    FLDS is an authoritarian religion (um, like LDS?). Do you supporters have any problem with,
    1) Women "reassigned" to new husbands?
    2) First cousins unlawfully marrying producing children with genetic disorders?
    3) The lost boys?
    4) Mothers refusing to identify their children to authorities?
    Perhaps this trauma to the children is a necessary first step to a life of liberty, or else the girls will become baby machines (18 kids anyone?) and the boys will be tossed out on the streets of SLC and Las Vegas. But then, I must be punch drunk.

  • Momof5
    April 21, 2008 7:59 p.m.

    WOW-everything here is about how wrong the state of texas is- I think there are alot of people here not seeing the bigger picture--Underage girls being married off--HELLO!!! Being forced to mary older men, that is not religious freedom-ITS SICK!!!
    Having no choice to make any decisions for yourself-what to learn , what to wear, what to say , how to live--again having no choices is not freedom of any sort.
    While I am no way saying ALL these kids should be taken from thier parents, most should be because the parents are so freakin backwards in thier thinking. I mean, come on why so many lies to hide the truths??

  • EDD
    April 21, 2008 8:59 p.m.

    WHEN A RELIGIOUS SECT CAN ARBITRARILY BE RAIDED AND DESTROYED WITH NO PROOF, THEN THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN THIS COUNTRY. ALL CHRISTIAN PEOPLE, AND INDEED ALL PEOPLE OF FAITH MUST STAND UP AND SAY "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" ! IF THIS CAN HAPPEN TO THE FLDS, THEN IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY AND ALL CHURCHES. THIS IS AMONG THE FIRST STEPS IN THIS COUNTRY'S DRIVE TO REMOVE GOD FORM OUR LIVES. THIS TRAVESTY CANNOT STAND.

  • i care
    April 21, 2008 11:23 p.m.

    Its not the living apart that cocerns me it is the way women are taught they are baby making machines and young boys are either thrown out or trained to abuse women no matter what age. all of these child are going to have too learn a different way f life. your family tree has to have limbs not just a trunk. Then everyone wonders why they have handicapped child .

  • TE
    April 22, 2008 1:02 a.m.

    Maybe a few of you ought to read the new book Escape by Carolyn Jessop.( a former member of the FLDS.) you may have different thoughts regarding religious freedoms when it comes to mental, physical and emotional abuse to women and children all in the name of God. Theyre religion is nothing but a mockery! I was disgusted that this has gone on in our society and we havent done anything until now! Those women and children are entraped in a world of hostile abuse of every kind. meanwhile remember you are paying for thier so -called religion with your tax dollars they fraud the government out of to support thier wives and children they dont claim. It kills me that alot of you dont call this abuse!! way to go Texas! Finally a state ready to stand up!

  • Harry Winsor
    April 22, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    Our Zionist Social Marxist government is OUT OF CONTROL and must be STOPPED!

  • PunchDrunk
    April 23, 2008 8:51 a.m.

    Remarkable. In one sentence poster Harry Winsor has framed the concern for the children at the TFZ Ranch (Harry, the Z stands for Zion) in anti-semitic and, excuse me, ignorant, terms. Uh Harry, "Social Marxist" is just a little redundant, don't you think?

  • Texas Veteran
    April 23, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    Perhaps we should wait on all of these comments until the truth comes out. Religious freedom is a right in this country....but not at the expense of our humanity. If these children have been forced into marriages and childbirth with multiple husbands....then they are at fault and must be dealt with. We do not live in the stone age anymore. Our ancestors had to practice polygamy(for lack of a better word) in order to create a wide enough gene pool to ensure the survival of the species. That is not the case any more. My personal opinion... we just caught a bunch of dirty old men. If you disagree... thank a veteran for keeping your right to free speech... FREE

  • Jennifer
    April 23, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    So typical of criminals to try to hide rape, pedophilia, incest, and polygyny (no polyandry going on here) behind the freedom of religion clause in the First Amendment. Their "religion" is a complete fabrication so these men can exert control over other humans whom they set up to be their sexual slaves. To the men in control, it's about one thing: them getting all the sex they want. So many cults boil down to just perversions of religion for overt or subtle sex purposes. That's not true religion, folks.

    This is no religious freedom matter. It's human slavery, rape, pedophilia, incest, and polygyny. Government authorities have been studying and investigating this group for decades and have the evidence. The DNA results will further support their case. The children don't even know who their fathers OR mothers are. If this kind of behavior were discovered on a single-family basis, or if it were a stranger who kidnapped another person, everyone would be up in arms to prosecute and convict the perpetrator. However, throw on a phony "religious freedom" charade, and suddenly smart Americans fall for the trick. Unbelievable.

  • Jennifer
    April 23, 2008 12:25 p.m.

    > My guess is that they wanted to live apart so as not have their children influenced by the immoral world that we see around us.

    Except the FLDS are the immoral ones.

    > Maybe for the same reason the Amish, Mennonites, etc., want to live apart.

    However, they don't. I know, as I live near Amish and Mennonites. In fact, the more conservative Amish encourage their young adults (older teens, early 20s) to jump headfirst into "Yankee" society for a couple of years to see what it's like, to determine if they want to leave the Amish life and join western society instead, which they are FREE to do, if they so choose. The Amish don't fear real education for their children and grant their children the God-given, human right of self-determination. This is 180 degrees opposite to your claim.

  • homskewl
    April 24, 2008 1:16 p.m.

    "What I don't understand is why the FLDS were so secretive about their lifestyle? If it was so wholesome and God-fearing and honest and wonderful, why not just live in mainstream society and just practice your religion like the rest of the Christians do?"

  • Rosalyn
    April 26, 2008 8:03 p.m.

    I agree that they should have removed the men to shelters and questioned them there and left the women and children in familiar surroundings. It would have been far more humane to leave the children with familiar caretakers in their own homes. However, there is a double standard operating in the comments. If this was a Muslim compound, how would America react? There would be no comments of "innocent until proven guilty" or "two sides to every story." America would have assumed that they were guilty, deviant and evil, simply because they were Muslims. As long as they are white and Christian (even perverted Christians), we are willing to see them as sweet, innocent and polite.

  • josh
    April 28, 2008 1:08 a.m.

    I think the the State needs to destroy the ranch, and takes the children away. These children have been abused and should be away from their parents. I was on the ranch today and climbed the fence to get a better look. If you saw waht I saw then you know that all the women and grown men should be in prison

  • Leftwingmuch?
    April 29, 2008 3:20 p.m.

    Homskewl, the children weren't removed from the encampment because their mothers were dressed conservatively. And yes, if he calls the woman his wife, technically, he is a criminal. You only get one (at a time).
    Maybe do a little research next time. More than half a dozen girls 16 and under with kids or pregnant? Children who won't/can't name their parents? Women who won't name their children? Men who say . . oh yeah, NOTHING. Something is awry.
    What these children are subjected to is not only ethically perverse, it's illegal. The CPS did its job. Have no doubt - if they did it wrong, they'll get theirs as well. Expand your mind. Come out of the box . . . it's ok.

  • PICKING UP THE TAB!
    May 1, 2008 8:31 a.m.

    I don't feel sorry for these mothers at all. Abuse comes in many forms. Turning a blind eye at what is going on is ABUSE. Not protecting your child is ABUSE. Handing over your young daughters and turning out your sons is ABUSE. We are not interested in what's in the best welfare for the mothers; just the children. I am sad to say that it is probably too late to reform a lot of the mothers in this case. But hopefully, the children can be "reprogrammed" to live a happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Oh, yea...and I am sick and tired of "PICKING UP THE TAB" for "child support" in the form of welfare! Get a job lady.

  • Editor
    May 2, 2008 11:43 p.m.

    I can't fathom how anyone could be so cruel and so stupid as to think the FLDS raid was justified, and that those poor children and babies should be separated even from their mothers. It's sickening to think that there are people who are cheering on this kind of vicious totalitarianism. What will they do when the police come for their children, all because of a fake phone call. Surrogate bullies, hoping to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of the police state - check out what happened with Stalin's flunkies - your fate will be the same.

    This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. -Plato

  • Anonymous
    May 2, 2008 11:56 p.m.

    First of all the girls were never forced to marry at a young age. They were encouraged to wait but these girls wanted families. FLDS revolves around raising principled god fearing children above replacement levels unlike the fruitless immoral stubbleizing west. How ironic, if there was ever a time in history when polygamy might be considered it is now.

  • Concerned
    May 3, 2008 8:37 p.m.

    The YFZ Ranch religion seems to be designed purely to promote racism and to allow old men to have sex with underage girls.

    Hopefully all of the adults will go straight to prison.

  • Debbie
    May 6, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    Yes, they used to attend public schools and started out as good people with good intentions. During the former "prophet", Rulon Jeffs' rule over the community, his son, Warren saw the opportunity to step in and take over and completely control every aspect of their lives. The women and children ARE abused, neglected, starved, beaten, sexually harassed and abused, and they have NO say over their own lives,or even their bodies. Among other things, Warren Jeffs outlawed the color red and the word "fun". What does this tell you. Wake up, people. Al Quaida killed thousands in the name of religion. Just because they operate under the guise of a church, does not make them God-fearing people. These children need out of there and the women need to be counseled. Most of them have never known anything different, and aren't allowed to investigate other means of living.

  • Carol
    May 23, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    The religious beliefs of the FLDS are the reason most mainstream Christians feel bad about what has happened. Imagine this: a cult of satan worshippers was living on a secluded ranch in texas in which polygamy was openly practiced.
    How many people would then be upset about the children being removed? We would all be convinced they were better off in foster care than with the "devil worshippers" who practice polygamy.
    Despite this group's profession of Christian faith, the practice of polygamy is the dangerous part of this socity. This teaches the daughters to believe they are less worthy of God's love than their brothers. This is the most dangerous aspect of this situation and has such long reaching consequences that the removal of this generation will not effectively solve the problem.

  • Carol
    June 22, 2008 4:46 p.m.

    After just reading the book "Escape" by Carolyn Jessup, I wouldn't believe a word of any flds members. They are all brainwashed and know nothing else. It incenses me to think about all the abuses going on in that fanatical religious sect..and the people trapped in it.

  • Garrett
    Aug. 28, 2008 3:32 a.m.

    I agree with Carol's comment. One thing people forget when they read these distraught interviews is how very flexible the concept of "truth" is to cult members. Much of the offenses spewed here - that cops were "ransacking their homes", were "yanking their children out of their arms" - may simply be fabricated to buttress their case as defenseless victims, as they fight for even the tiny, tiny piece of happiness that they have been allowed in life, by their male "owners": Access to their kids. Really: If you had nothing else, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, not even control of your own body, your own MIND, what's left for you to value in life but your children? These poor people need a way out. Or if it's too late for them, their children need a way out.

  • Melinda
    March 30, 2009 4:00 p.m.

    Good grief! Are these people hurting anyone?? Are they bothering people to become part of their religion?? Are the children starning or homeless?? LEAVE THEM ALONE!!

  • Anonymous
    June 23, 2009 10:54 p.m.

    I don't understand how these people can be living for God.
    They certainly don't seem to be living for the same God as I am.
    My God, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ does not condone this stuff.. he doesn't condone polygamous relationships or segregating yourselves from the world.

    i don't understand how they can believe to be following Him, yet doing all this stuff that he teaches against.

  • Oma
    Oct. 23, 2009 10:51 a.m.

    I am not a Mormon or member of any sect affiliated with Mormonism, but after reading "Escape," by Carolyn Jessop, Ex FDLS wife of Merril Jessop, I know that the children's individual mothers love their, and the communities kids, but the fathers have a very distant and mentally abusive relationship. The family in the book had one wife that was very abusive to the other wives, and their children. She would often beat a toddler (under 3) till it would stop crying due to fatigue from crying. If this isn't abuse, what is abuse.
    And M. Jessop would place a wife that he was upset with in a job that would seperate her from her kids. This would mentally terrorize the woman, as she wouldn't know if her children were getting proper care and meals. The wife, Carolyn, had 4 dangerous pregnancies, and 1 handicapped child, these were attributed to her disobidiance, and not being "In harmony with her Prieshood Head. (husband.") I feel that it is one right to practice a religion of their choice, and worship as they choose. But the religions, and religious leaders should follow the laws of the land.