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FLDS parents hit with court papers for pending custody battle

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  • Mike Richards
    April 13, 2008 4:20 p.m.

    And what is to be done for those parents who do not subscribe to that local newspaper? Are they to have their children taken away simply because they were not informed of a pending court case?

    Are these human beings worth no more than cattle who can be driven as a herd by someone carrying a stick or a gun?

    It's time that every American gets out of his easy-chair and demand that the Government abide by the Constitution - popular opinion be damned.

  • parkcity
    April 13, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    translation: we stole all your kids, because we have been apprehensive about having you as neighbors, but its really expensive housing all the kids we stole, so give us all your money.

  • RuleOfLaw
    April 13, 2008 4:37 p.m.

    These fundy mormons should have all gone to mexico and parts south so they could grease a few palms and avoid the rule of law. Big miscalculation just moving to texas.

  • Fire Power
    April 13, 2008 4:43 p.m.

    Instead of "Remember The Alamo" it might be more like "Remember The Guantanamo Of Texas". How does one take all those women who went their children, "voluntarily", tell them you are going to help them, then publish a notice that you are attempting to sever their parental rights? How about some military tribunals to make it all look good?

    Lay on the artillery and look for the family pieces later.

    I'm not certain how declaring a default end of parents rights could be more personal. It would seem that if this is legitimate, then a counter-suits could also be served by simply publishing a notice to all would-be Foster Parents and involved officials that they are being sued by he FLDS and individual groups(makes it more expensive to defend)- the details coming later, after each infraction is discovered.


  • Liz
    April 13, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    Thank you Texas for doing what Arizona and Utah won't.

  • Jon
    April 13, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    How are these parents supposed to know when the hearing for their child is being held if the names of the children are not even listed? And when the parents show up, will they be questioned on whether or not they really are the parents as has been the case with some of the women?

  • Jane
    April 13, 2008 4:48 p.m.

    These children have admitted to sexual, mental and physical abuse from the ANIMALS who are the older people in the compound. If it weren't for the Texas law enforcement officials, they would still be in their so called "TEMPLE" being abused by old dirty men who act on their desires under the guise of RELIGION. Come on, give Law Enforcement a break. They are upholding the LAW. It is ILLEGAL to have more than one wife, and is illegal to have sex with a minor. Get a life, people.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 4:57 p.m.

    I'm still confused. Who is in charge of this ordeal. The State of Texas, FBI, or really good baptist.
    Don't get me wrong the FLDS should be stoped from marrying off little girls. But the way Texas is going about this is wrong.

  • VegasBaby
    April 13, 2008 4:51 p.m.

    I'm certain the sheriff made sure the accused parents and their high priced criminal defense lawyers all received copies.

  • California
    April 13, 2008 4:54 p.m.

    I dont believe that every single one of those children were abused or neglected, but if these mothers and fathers dont step up to the plate, cooperate and identify themselves and their children, then the State is going to consider that the children have been abandoned and take permanent custody. The FLDS are foolish if they dont cooperate with the investigation. Those among them who have not committed or contributed to these terrible acts will be able to get their children back. It is never worth sacrificing your own family just to protect those who are guilty.

  • Seems to me
    April 13, 2008 4:55 p.m.

    It seems to me that all posters so far have forgotten that crimes have taken place. Warren Jeffs is already in prison for his crimes. If Jeffs as their leader allowed for child abuse and child rape and incest, it is not outrageous to believe that his followers will commit the same crime even if they profess religious freedom as the excuse.

    Quit your delusions that this is about polygamy. It is not. This is about crimes against children including, rape, abuse and in the case of boys (polyg males don't like competition) abandonment.

    To repeat myself. This is not about polygamy but about child abuse and rape. These same mothers allowed their daughters to be raped....RAPED.

  • Seems to Me II
    April 13, 2008 5:08 p.m.

    Seems to me like you have listened to the media spin, and ex-FLDS who have an agenda, how many of these people do you personally know? How many have personally told you they were abused? How many of those stories are corroborated? You go on and on and on about what you think happened in there, yet, not one bit of it has been proved, not one bit of it has been justified!! You take such an holier than thou approach you make me sick. If you judge, then I want to know who gave you that right? The phone call is going to be proved a hoax, and then tell me, what are you going to do?

  • Gloria
    April 13, 2008 5:20 p.m.

    How I wish that the Deseret Morning News would not get involved in any way covering any aspect of this bizarre story. It contributes to the confusion. It is hard enough for the general public to realize this story is not about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, without the Deseret News adding to the confusion.... Leave the story alone, please!!!!!!

  • Man Fraid
    April 13, 2008 5:43 p.m.

    Seems to me that Texas intends to challenge these mothers on their own true age and paternity to the children they claim.

    If some of these women are now so concerned about the children's care, they should have being outrage about girls going up into the white tower at 13-14. They're in this with the adult men. Probably telling the girls 'be sweet'...shame

  • Update
    April 13, 2008 5:38 p.m.

    Well, that is the end of the calls to DNews reporters from the FLDS moms. The Trib reports that the women were told to turn in their cell phones under court order to avoid witness tampering, and if they refused the FLDS women could leave Fort Concho.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 5:46 p.m.

    "And what is to be done for those parents who do not subscribe to that local newspaper? Are they to have their children taken away simply because they were not informed of a pending court case?"

    Hi there, Mike Richards, you don't seriously think the parents aren't going to get the word on this, do you?

    These people thought they'd be cute, committing crimes against children with impunity by playing dumb. Guess again, child abusers.

  • Seems to Me III
    April 13, 2008 5:49 p.m.

    I agree with II, no evidence has been released to the public, just spins and expectations. Jane, where is the evidence for those claims that the FLDS are just animals(the treatment they are getting)?

    We all think something wrong may have happened, but have seen no documents to verify it. Few would try to destroy or label an entire culture on the basis of unproven or minority allegations. We all live in some CULT(ure). Lets give it time and the truth will come to the surface.

    The phone calls that supposedly started it all appear to be fabricated, either by design, or, hoax. It appears the man involved hasn't been in Texas since 1977. Not a good indication for the thoroughness or honesty of the investigation.

  • fincenMIB
    April 13, 2008 5:46 p.m.

    Its all to interesting how so many in utah want to throw out the baby with the bath water! The abuse is rampant! I was the FKS Child Abuse rep for utah & arizona 1996-2001 and had clients who were apostate FLDS. I lived then in Hurricane Utah 26 miles away. I have spent nights with friends up there and I have most of their doctrine in Text and on Audio.

    Then in blogs mostly in Utah, the apologist and constitutionalist are crying foul, thowing very little about what goes on inside!

  • Seems to me
    April 13, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    Warren Jeffs was CONVICTED in the event that you do not pay attention. Did he have crimes of which he was proven guilty? YES. Did Jeffs command that underage girls marry relatives (fumerase deficiency is the end result)? Yes. Oh geez, I must be nuts to believe that such would happen again and again when the leader leads in such criminal actions. The parents that allow it are just as guilty.

    And yes, I have corresponded with former polygamist women. While you can ignore the abuse they experienced, I cannot nor will not.

    I hold no holier than thou approach, but base this new situation on track record of the group. God gives all the right to judge in righteousness. Try reading your bible. I don't see any commandments stating that children should be forced to marry while children giving birth to children either.

    Again, it's about abuse. Perhaps you believe your prophet enough to sacrifice your children to him, but I refuse to check my brain at the door. Again, it is in the track record of the group.

  • MoJules
    April 13, 2008 5:53 p.m.

    The proof is in the pudding, if these mothers care enough about their children, and most of them are with the children and about three are at the ranch, these mothers will take ownership. If they really want to claim their child, they need to have the courage, especially if they are under 16, to stand up and say, this is my child. The 16 year old mother is not at fault, if they find out that her child was fathered by someone older than 18, then the law is broken. If these young mothers will not step forward to claim and to prove they are the mothers, then they can consider these children abandoned in my opinion and put them in foster care and up for adoption. The only people at this point who need to sweat are the adult fathers and parents that placed their young daughters into these marriages. If they find nothing happened, then there is egg on the face, but based on the past in this group and others in Utah, I would be very surprised if they didn't find sexual abuse.

  • To: Mike Richards
    April 13, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    Apparently the FLDS stay in touch with one another quite well. If they do not subscribe to the newspaper posting the legal notices, perhaps they have read about it here as you did.

    If not, then by now the concerned parents should have been in contact with authorities to tell them, yes, my child was taken. This is his or her name, and this is who I am and who the child's other parent is. You may contact us at this number.

    A major problem with this situation is the apparent reluctance to speak out, be responsible, have your name taken, and work with authorities to have the situation rectified and children returned to their families.

    How can a child be returned if the parents are hiding or refusing to give first and last names and documentation proving familial bonds? If it were my child, I'd be assembling every document and photograph, and giving everyone in the legal and child welfare system my name so they knew darned well where to contact me. That doesn't seem to be happening here.

  • Mark
    April 13, 2008 6:07 p.m.

    Outrageous stories directed at polygamists... Not much hard evidence to go on... everyone involved has an axe to grind on one side of this issue or another... Is this Texas circa 2008 or Utah circa 1885?

    I don't like polygamy and despise child abuse. But I honestly can't see through this haze at this point.

    Heaven help us all!

  • Curious
    April 13, 2008 6:05 p.m.

    Other than phone calls from an unidentified person, what is the evidence of mass abuse.

    If the issue is polygamy, just say so, and prove that, too. Probable cause, arrest, trial, then sentence. Wrong order in El Dora..doh!

  • root of the problem
    April 13, 2008 6:21 p.m.

    It is heartening that Texas authorities are focusing on the child abuse aspects of the case at this point; protecting these young victims must be the overriding concern.

    However it will be a mistake to ignore the polygamy aspects. It is living polygamy outside the law that renders groups like FLDS clannish and closed to outsiders. That circumstance leaves the children isolated and at the mercy of the adults. The difficulty of recruiting new women into the group means the predator males will inevitably turn to the female children of the group. Any polygamous cult living outside the law is inevitably going to be an abusive environment for the children, the only question is the degree of abuse.

    It is time to quit tiptoeing around the fact that POLYGAMY IS ILLEGAL. No one should apologize for enforcing the laws. No one should shirk from enforcing the laws (are you listening, Utah?)

    Groups that insist on living polygamy should find a country that's laws accommodate their beliefs or work to change the laws where they live.

    Otherwise the tragedies of Utah and Texas will be repeated.

  • the publish in the paper
    April 13, 2008 6:22 p.m.

    Legal notices like this are place in the paper in addition to serving people in person. I seriously doubt that the women in the shelters and the people in the ranch haven't been served. It's not in the best interest in the state to not make a reasonable effort to serve them.
    No one really knows what happened except the people who lived in the yfz ranch. I'd wait before hypothesizing. Everybody has an agenda. many ex-flds have such radical agendas as - not wanting to be raped, not wanting their kids to be beaten, not wanting to commit fraud and volience in the name of their "prophet", not wanting to have their wive(s) and child(ren) "reassigned" to other men. Moreover, regardless of whether or not they find the "girl", as long as the state can show that they had probable cause- all the evidence they are going to find is going to be admissible. 12 year old girls are people two. they have civil rights.

    and there's so much rumor. Until the facts come out, wait.

  • D.Lynn
    April 13, 2008 6:25 p.m.

    If these old men want to have more than one wife, then so be it, but make sure they are of legal age. Not one that is brain washed from birth. Think of the feelings you would have to know your little daughter was being mulled by some old man? If any of you can't think this happens, take a road trip to Southern, Utah. Go into the Walmarts, grocery stores. Look at these woman and hoards of children buying baskets of food on food stamps. Come and take a look at these little girls with new babies. Do any of them have insurance? Who is paying for these old men to 25 children in one family? Why was Tom Green put in jail? He admitted to having teen brides. Why is Warren Jeffs in jail? Because he ran a stop sign? These woman and children need a voice, not brain washing. Thank You TEXAS!

  • Joe McManus
    April 13, 2008 6:37 p.m.

    RuleOfLaw is absolutely right. This particular polygamous cult has been inbreeding for so long that the IQ of their leaders must be somewhere in the low-mid 50s. They leave Hildale/Colorado City where they were getting some heat after being tolerated for the 50 years since the Short Creek raid. But they move to Texas? They execute people for double-parking in Texas! What were they thinking you ask? Well, years of inbreeding have rendered them incapable of intelligent thought. These poor idiots are now facing extinction due to natural selection brought on by their bizarre lifestyle. What a waste of human lives. God have mercy on them.

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

    I suspect the mothers are lying about who is their child, in order to protect the man.

    They lie if they were legally too young to have a baby, without it being rape.

    Lying for the Lord. Its been done before.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 6:37 p.m.

    After working in CPS for overall 14 years, a agency needs a disclosure or evidence before going to court. Texas is no exception

  • we'll see
    April 13, 2008 6:38 p.m.

    Lawyer up!
    Every child will have one. The FLDS better step up and cooperate. Some of you may not like it, but there are numerous charges of rape and abuse.
    It's not just one phone call.

    And to the poster who thinks it's all a hoax, UH, what have you been smoking? Statutory rape is the charge for sex with a minor. Don't care what your religion is, ain't about that.

  • An observer
    April 13, 2008 6:41 p.m.

    Some of the children are pregnant. There is no legal way they should be pregnant so rape has been committed. "Seems to Me II" should get real - Texas is doing the right thing.

  • Gail
    April 13, 2008 7:02 p.m.

    Does this remind anyone else of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"? A young unknown girl makes some allegations and , wow! what a witch hunt has ensued. I really think this is about religious bigotry when there are comments like "we have an entire community to de-program"

  • dixie
    April 13, 2008 7:09 p.m.

    and the parents for the money in keeping these kids, it would just be getting back all the welfare they have been collecting anyways with all "the unwed mothers for government aid" but spiritually married. I dont care about the plural marriages but the child abuse and taking welfare while acting like they are above the law they deserve what they get.

  • commonsense1
    April 13, 2008 7:10 p.m.


    By being subject to underage "spiritual marriage" all these children have been abused. Imagine being a 12 or 13 year-old girl knowing that you will shortly be married to some repugnant, 50 year-old male. Shame on the so-called "adults" of this sect.

    It's time to expose the injustices committed against the women and children of this community. The weak and cowardly male members (improper to call them men) of the FLDS that hide behind the skirts of religion need to be rounded-up and prosecuted for their pedophilia.

  • ScottAZ
    April 13, 2008 7:15 p.m.

    Like I've said before, I hope Texas knows what it's doing. If not then in a year or so from now we''ll be saying "thank you Utah and Arizona for not doing what Texas did and costing us millions of dollars in law suits." Weed out and prosecute the abusers. As far as the polygamy part, were their marraiges sanctioned by the state of Texas or were they 'spiritual marraiges'? Can you prosecute them for polygamy if they were not sactioned by the state? I see this thing going to the Supreme Court.

  • i have a question?
    April 13, 2008 7:16 p.m.

    if this a viable religion...where is it chartered or recognized? I want to contact their missionaries to hear their stance on how holy they are..their temple , garments etc. And where are the minority members? So that I can really feel for them , you know, you see , you know!

  • Canadian
    April 13, 2008 7:23 p.m.

    I think the best moms for those kids are their moms. The best homes for them are their homes. If you're worried about abuse, don't go in and take the kids. Go in and educate the moms on what abuse is and how to be better mothers. Why take the children from a whole community over one report of abuse?
    Texas, you've failed them.

  • anonymous
    April 13, 2008 7:43 p.m.

    These women are taught to avoid all forms of media. Do the social service people really expect that they will see the newspaper notices?

    Yes, I know it's been stated, that "word gets around" in the FLDS community, but, for all their talk of trying to be considerate of the faith/culture of the women involved, this seems rather an oversight.

    For the record, I am not for or against polygamy. I am, however, against abuse, of people by their spiritual leaders, AND by their government.

  • Observing2
    April 13, 2008 7:51 p.m.

    The media is an interesting entity. Generally liberal, they vehemently support homosexuals and scream bloody murder if one of these folks are discriminated against. How is polygamy any different when it comes to an alternative life style? I DO NOT condone children giving birth to children, and if these men are having sex with 14 year olds in their "temple," I think they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But if we are just talking about polygamy among consenting adults, let's leave them alone - otherwise it's a double standard.

  • WomanSavedByGrace
    April 13, 2008 8:21 p.m.

    If these women are subjecting their children to sexual abuse (and the under-aged pregnant girls would indicate proof they are), then they are just as guilty as the men. May God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit be with these girls, and may they know Him and become saved by His grace.

  • GetYourFactsStraight
    April 13, 2008 8:18 p.m.

    Yes, I am from Utah. (This is a UT paper.) I have been watching this unfold and believe that this could have been handled better, differently. But hindsight is 20/20, and I'm glad they decided to error on the side of caution and help the 16 year (mom).

    For those folks that want to take pot shots at UT and AZ, you should read up on what they have accomplished over the past few years to try and combat this deplorable group of incestuous men.

    Contrats to the three states for sending a consistent message to the FLDS brethren that rape/incest is illegal in UT, AZ, TX, and the rest of the US.

  • we talking incest
    April 13, 2008 8:24 p.m.

    here ...are you guys still trying to defend this group while the whole world watches your sick rendition of LA Law.

  • Man Fraid
    April 13, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    Canadian, you speak as if that ranch is a free place where moms, children can come and go as they wish. If they find evidence of abuse then case workers can and should move to protect the children. Then, let a court review and decide.

    The FLDS bunch better be sure to have verifiable records. Not some stuff they created themselves.. They'll be challenged hard in court.

    I smell both State and Federal charges coming.

    The 'lone star' state has struck a mighty blow against the FLDS.

    That compound should be declared off-limits to children!!!!

  • Yes to Canada
    April 13, 2008 8:41 p.m.

    You have made the most sense so far!!!

  • Grandmother of 10
    April 13, 2008 8:49 p.m.

    If not abuse of young girls or even abuse of grown women, why then is there a bed in their temple? I know of no other religion who have a bed in their temple.

  • Canada is right
    April 13, 2008 8:44 p.m.

    Education is better than evacuation. No law suits because the state might require that all children learn of their rights by the time they are 8.

  • bigal
    April 13, 2008 8:50 p.m.

    If children are being abused lock up all of the men. Let the mothers stay with their children until this is all sorted out. Why terrorize and punish the innocent children? Family Protective Services is a business and they protect their jobs just like any other business. Children are pawns in the system. More kids mean more employees, more employees means more supervisors and more money, and the beat goes on.
    Where are all of the pregnant teens we have been told about? We have pregnant teens all over the U.S.where are the prosecutions of the abusers? There are more questions than answers in this entire mess!!!

  • MUST BE FLDS WRITING
    April 13, 2008 9:09 p.m.

    I THINK THE PEOPLE WRITING HERE WHO ARE DEFENDING THE SICKOS ARE THOSE THAT ARE PART OF THE ORGANIZATION BECAUSE NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND COULD DEFEND THIS TERRIBLE TRAGEDY.

    YES, TEXAS, DID WHAT ARIZ AND UTAH WOULD NOT DO AS ONE OF THE ABOVE WRITERS STATED, SHE/HE IS RIGHT ON. BLESS THESE PEOPLE THAT THEY FIND PEACE AT LAST.

  • Misguided
    April 13, 2008 9:04 p.m.

    I guess they now know that it would have been better to stay clear of the beast rather than try to bleed it. The beast will now turn and bite them in the behind.

    I used to do computer forensic work and because of the sloppy and over zealous work that completely ignores our rules of law, there will be no convictions that will stick from this. No initial complaint victim, and a second source that is what looks like the typical unreliable confidential informant; leading to what amounts to a falsified request for the initial warrant, and then the fishing operation. They won't be able to use any evidence they find and the perps everyone hates will get off, saved by double jeopardy, and the dual state/federal jurisdictional ploy with the federal warrant will not work either, just watch.

    OH and to all the self righteous souls out there: We do not have statutory rape in Texas, it is sexual assault with a minor; aggregated if they are under 14.

  • Anonymous II
    April 13, 2008 9:17 p.m.

    Abusers should be prosecuted, absolutely. However, to accuse the whole church based on one (or more) allegation seems heavy handed. We know the Catholic church has problems with abuse. Does this mean we should round up the children of all Catholics? Or in the case of public school teachers who abuse their students, do we shut down the entire school? No. We prosecute the offending teacher. Perhaps we should focus on catching the abusers, and let the children go home.

  • Pie
    April 13, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    I just hope that the court hearings and sessions are public and not secret so that nothing is hidden.
    Those that are guilty of a crime should be punished. Whether it be abuse of another person or abuse of power.

  • JUST ME
    April 13, 2008 9:39 p.m.

    I agree with Canadian.

  • susan
    April 13, 2008 9:40 p.m.

    And how much in public assistance has been paid to this sect each year with 400 children times approximately $200 per child dollars per month?????Is this how the sect maintained and built their compound? All the while committing incest & rape!!!

  • Doc
    April 13, 2008 9:37 p.m.

    I've done hundreds of deliveries, and have yet to see CPS question any of my 16 and under moms as to the age of the fathers. How often does the state go after abortion mills who routinely commit abortions on minors to cover up the crimes of pedophiles? In both these situations, CPS could easily pursue the prosecution of pedophiles, but chooses not to. The selective enforcement of the law is extremely troubling.

    I see the child victims of the foster system every day. Traumatizing 400 sheltered children in a failed foster system is equally troubling. How many of them will be physically or emotionally abused in that environment?

    Keep them with their moms until proof can or can't be found, and put them in decent facilities, not the rudimentary barracks that have been provided. If the state chooses to disrupt a potentially large number of innocent families or family members, then it should pony up to the cost of minimizing the trauma.

  • Deseret News
    April 13, 2008 9:41 p.m.

    Thank you for printing the "opposing" view letters. In the past your letters have skewed heavily in defense of the FLDS way of life. Most of my comments were edited out because of my outrage over the behavior of these cult leaders showing your clear insensitivity toward the victims and blind loyalty toward this renegade offshoot of LDS. Frankly this rallying around the cult mentality has influenced my feelings toward the mainstream LDS in my Arizona community. This defensive attitude does a disservice to the great people of LDS similar to the way the Islamic terrorists desecrate the good will of mainstream Muslims. I'm surprised and pleased in your change of course...

  • Lewis
    April 13, 2008 10:02 p.m.

    These 'fathers' & 'mothers' can read. They are smart enough to call social services if their children have been removed. They have been smart enough these years to keep this cult intact. The leaders own businesses and property, coerce 'the flock' into working in their business's w/o pay, committe welfare fraud (they collect on the 'single' mothers/children who are their spiritual spouses and children (or is that celestial) They have committed many vile acts and have apparently had the taxpayers blessings! These loving? parents dumping & abandoning their young sons like some would a stray cat or dog.

    How long will the 'males'/leaders will stay in a compound w/o women and children to rule over?
    How about the women who stayed behind with their man; are cries for children sincere or are they following the leaders orders?

    Carolyn Jessop tells in her book & an interview on line that Warren Jeff's sodomized a little boy of five. She testified against him in his case. This is not about religion, it is a mafia/cult. Human rights have been severly abused. People have been brainwashed and lived with fear and didn't even know the difference. Right here in our country.

  • Moving forward
    April 13, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    Simple solution: let the children stay with their moms and keep them the hell away from the dads. A sensible compromise is to let consenting adults stay on the ranch and continue to do their multiple wife thing. I really don't care what consenting adults do --gay, straight or whatever, as long as children are not involved in sexual activities. How about a federal law forbidding children to live in cults such as these where child abuse is a way of life. A pattern of pregnant teen wives on location would qualify as a forbidden child zone.

  • love it
    April 13, 2008 9:58 p.m.

    The State of Texas is not going to hope that their "profit" will get "a revelation" of the legal proceedings and tell the cult, as is seemingly the singular/customary method of enlightenment with these people.

    They have given notice the standard way via the paper's legal notices, as it should be. If these dolts are too ignorant/arrogant to keep up with the local news, so be it.

  • Lilathe
    April 13, 2008 10:07 p.m.

    pages 2 and 3 show the findings of the CPS investigators. Read them carefully to see what they actually found that they considered the "most important" out of 416 interviews.
    Remember they are being asked specifically if they know a 16 year old pregnant girl.
    On the second to last paragraph on page 2, there is a 15 year old that says she "knows" a 16 year old that is married with one child and pregnant with another. (no 16 year old present but a 15 year old that knows a 16 year old)

  • Sheila Johnson
    April 13, 2008 10:06 p.m.

    As a parent of 4 children, speaking from a mother's point of view, I think what you are doing in separating these children from their mothers is inhumane. I agree that the continued practice of polygamy is wrong. That the evidence of child abuse should be investigated and stopped. The state of Texas has gone too far in separating these children from their parents and causing undue pain and suffering. The children are innocent. There are better ways to handle the situtation.

  • Lilathe
    April 13, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    The last paragraph says that she interviewed a woman/girl that said she was 18 and her husband says she is 18 but the CPS worker thought she looked 16. (I have a 17 year old that everyone thinks looks 12, that doesn't make her 12)
    on page 3 by paragraph-first paragraph is continuation of page 2 (1)woman birthdate 12/9/89 - with a son born 8/1/2006
    (2)woman 9/16/1988 two children 8/19/2005 8/12/2004
    (3)girl alleges she knows a 16 year old married to a 40 year old (again this could be talking about the same 16 year old mentioned above)
    (4) girl alleges she knows a 16 year old pregnant girl due in June that is married (possibly the same 16 year old yet again)
    (5)interviewed girl who does not know her exact age but has a 2 year old and is pregnant. The eight year old child from first paragraph's allegations are again stated here, that there is a girl that is is 16 and has 4 children.


  • God Bless Texas
    April 13, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    It would appear from this article that parents who have birth records can claim their children.

    Others who refuse to produce such documentation in order to shield abuse because a mother was underage when the child was conceived, or because a "father" (physical sire) does not want to be unidentified, stand to loose custody of minor children. Is this not evidence of criminal activity?

    If Utah and Arizona had done this years ago, millions of dollars in welfare payments could have been avoided.

  • Anonymous
    April 13, 2008 10:07 p.m.

    Layola | 6:32 p.m. Apr. 13, 2008
    I suspect the mothers are lying about who is their child, in order to protect the man.
    They lie if they were legally too young to have a baby, without it being rape.
    Lying for the Lord. Its been done before. Anonymous | 6:37 p.m. Apr. 13, 2008

    So, Layola...is the man the same as Lord?

  • Elizabeth
    April 13, 2008 10:12 p.m.

    These poor women who have been born into this incestuous slavery need help. Is the LDS in Salt Lake City going to send missionaries to help to re-educate them? It seems to me that mainstream Mormons would have the best chance of conversing with these women and convincing them that what their men have been doing is wrong.

  • Robert Allen
    April 13, 2008 10:46 p.m.

    I have taken the time to read all these comments because I think the story is a very important one, and the actions taken in Texas will certainly determine what action Utah and Arizona authorities take in the coming months with respect to the FLDS. My view is that Canadian and Sheila Peterson have put forth the best thoughts. The bond between mothers and their children should be of primary concern, with specific allegations, or suspicions, of abuse in individual cases being only secondary.

  • EP
    April 13, 2008 11:11 p.m.

    1)For those concerned about the newspaper posting of the legal actions: its been over a week since many of the children were taken from the compound. If their parents werent aware of what was going on at that time (unlikely, since the community was so close-knit), they should have gone looking for the kids the moment they got home to find them missing. If any caring parents children suddenly disappeared, wouldnt they have found them and been camped out in front of the civic center long before now, not just waiting--sans newspaper--at the compound with no idea whats going on?
    2)As for whether or not the emergency call was legitimate, I say its better to be safe than sorry when a teenage girl calls with a terrified plea for rescue from rape. Its on the heads of investigators to be honest about whether they truly acted on belief of imminent danger to the girl. Id venture to say most of you with comments supporting the YFZ Ranch community are the same people who felt President Bush was fully justified in entering into a war with Iraq based on less evidence than the emergency response teams in Texas had.

  • @shelia
    April 13, 2008 11:20 p.m.

    I disagree, I think what is inhumane is that these mothers allowed their children to be married to older men and abused by them.

  • Michael
    April 13, 2008 11:33 p.m.

    I agree that these women may need help and the LDS church may be the key on helping them. However; Do you really think they would listen to the leaders or the missionaries of the LDS church? If I thought it would help I would be the first to go to Texas and talk with the women and children and teach them the all that they would want to learn.

  • Lu
    April 13, 2008 11:51 p.m.

    Canada, You sound more sensible and intelligent than anyone else posting!

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 12:16 a.m.

    If the children are taught to lie, don't know who their real parents are, or are afraid to tell the truth, it is the parents' fault. Any parent worthy of a child would be at the doorstep of where their child is held, identifying themself, their child, their child's other parent, the birth dates and ages, photos, etc.

    Instead, these cowards are depending on lies, lack of cooperation, silence, changing stories, scripted testimony to "journalists," and whining about the accommodations my blood, sweat and tears has provided for their children while I struggle to pay the bills for my own child!

    If they were so innocent, they would not have to resort to lies, hiding, tricks and scripted "testimonials." They would just be open and truthful, cooperative and transparent.

    I have no pity on dads who have several wives, starting from when the women are not yet women, dozens of children they can only barely know, welfare checks coming in monthly and out of my wallet, and a different woman every night. Gee, how are they handling it?

    I don't feel sorry for the dads. The moms need to be deprogrammed to be adults who can think for themselves.

  • Lu
    April 14, 2008 12:12 a.m.

    Pretty presumptuous EP in comparing "supporters" of YFZ Ranch to President Bush supporters. From the reading of the comments I've done, I have not seen a lot of supporters, mostly people concerned with the rights of other citizens of the USA. There is not a 'cut and dried' solution to this terrible problem. Child abuse or adult abuse cannot be tolerated. Parental rights of citizens being taken away without just cause cannot be tolerted either. I agree that there are better ways of working with this solution. Prejudice regarding polygamy is evident in this situation. I do not like polygamy. I do not like a lot of things, but taking children away from parents to 'de-program' them is not the right of the government! Polygamy is illegal. So is illegal immigration. There are a lot less polygamists than illegal immigrants. Why aren't the same government officials rounding up children of illegal immigrants because their children need to be 'de-programmed'? Living off the government, collecting welfare, free education, free emergency room visits so the rest of us pay more, etc. hmmmm... let's have a witch hunt on everyone or no one!

  • RE: Curious
    April 14, 2008 12:23 a.m.

    "Other than phone calls from an unidentified person, what is the evidence of mass abuse."

    --Curious

    Hello? Other than newspaper interviews from unidentified people with no last names, what evidence is there that the children taken by Texas child service advocates is there of discontent? If we only take accounts from fully identified people with a full name and full identity, then we have no stories saying this raid has caused any issues.

    How are the female sources the Deseret News is quoting any different from this unidentified teenage source? Answer: THERE IS NONE! No female FLDS member has yet acquiesced to allowing her full name being disclosed in a news story. Why believe them anymore than a secretive phone call? Any questions?

  • Lu
    April 14, 2008 12:36 a.m.

    How about we find the 16 year old girl and help her. Then, let us figure out what it is that we have heard about religious freedom? Is it only if we all agree on the religion? Obviously the little children are not the girl that called. Why have they been taken away from their mothers? There should have been a better plan. I can't agree with the polygamist's religion or way of life, however, that does not mean they can't believe it. Children yanked from their home and mothers? That should not be tolerated. I don't know what really happens in their homes. Some former FLDS members have told about terrible things they experienced, but I don't know if I believe everything they have told. Former members of other churches have also reported or testifed what has turned out to be blatant lies about their former religion. Some people through a disagreement or something else, feel they have to tell lies about their former church. Church-bashing, I feel, has no place in a free America. Get the facts about child abuse, if any, prosecute harshly the abuser, then move on. Innocent should not be made to suffer.

  • obedience vs Bull Elk Syndrome
    April 14, 2008 12:41 a.m.

    When the Lord's annointed Prophet abandoned polygamy as a practice in the late 1800's and forbid it, a few outlaws disobeyed and were excommunicated from their faith. Look what has happened as these fringe cults continued, and different groups led by the "Bull Elk " syndrome fought with one another commiting murder and other crimes. If they had followd their prophet in 1890 life would have been totally different for them. Obedience is the key to a blessed life. "Where there is no Prophet the people perish"... Women and children included.

  • Take of your blinders!
    April 14, 2008 12:41 a.m.

    Many hours of investigation has happened here. If you think that officials could just waltz into this compound and take 416 minors away without just cause, you're on another planet. These people have been led and taught and commanded by Warren Jeffs, (even while he has been behind bars), on how to do everything! He was convicted on the very issues that are in question here and he admitted to these acts! Educate, yes, but, if you try to educated a drug addict while they are surrounded by drug users you aren't going to be very successful. You have to put a drug user in an isolated place and then get the drug out of their system, then you can begin trying to educate them. Then after lots of effort on everyones part, the drug addict might be able to slowly make their way back into society, but, rarely can they go back into the same home or situation without a relapse. Why would it be different in this situation. This cycle has needed to be broken for so long. I do hope the mothers and children who can be, are reunited soon, but safely!

  • Talisyn
    April 14, 2008 12:48 a.m.


    parkcity | 4:26 p.m. Apr. 13, 2008
    translation: we stole all your kids, because we have been apprehensive about having you as neighbors, but its really expensive housing all the kids we stole, so give us all your money.


    i laughed. a lot. thank you.

  • Jane
    April 14, 2008 2:01 a.m.

    I don't know Ms. Jessop and I can't say her book is true or false. Warren Jeffs is in jail, good! Anyone doing what he did should be in jail. He had a trial and a judge, I believe in a fair trial. What about all the things Ms. Jessop has told and accussed? They have not had a trial. Haven't we all read true and false things? How do we know the truth is in the book? Sometimes we humans want to believe outlandish things because they make us feel so bad and mad! We want to be outraged, lash out, help make a change. Sometimes we are told lies. I am not saying we are or are not being told lies. I am just hoping we are alert and can figure out the truth without 'believing blindly'. (book, polygamists, etc.)

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

    Are you people serious? This is nothing but a example of a police state. CPS walked in and kidnapped these children under the umbrella of a court order. CPS is no better then the nazi's. None of you know what actually went down in that complex, so before you speak out in support of commen criminals, make sure you have your facts. All they have done is gone in and taken these kids. No criminal charges have been filed against the parents. yet they have lost there children due to speculation. So plz tell me when did the government decide they could burn the constitution? Is that not what they are doing here? This is wrong, and I pray to god a judge has the courage to step in and put a end to it, before these children's lives are ruined.

  • Virginia
    April 14, 2008 12:00 p.m.

    It's actually very compassionate of the state authorities to allow the mothers to stay with the children, given that the mothers are probably cautioning the kids not to say anything. And yes, it's all legal. They have the leader of the community convicted of the alleged abuse and they have an additional allegation of continuing abuse. That constitutes probable risk to children, and a judge has agreed. No one else will see the evidence obtained until the documents are filed in court; at that point they become public. So until then, why not just keep the hysteria down a notch?

  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    If your child was missing, that would be a good clue, that you need to approach the authorities and report a missing child. Suggesting that parents will not be notified, accepts the premisis that these are bad parents, unaware that their kids MAY be missing.

    Then you have 15 mothers who were missing durring a RAID that lasted most of the night and the next 5 days. This is rural Texas, where were they? Sleep'n around? Not likely, but on another compound. They had left their children there, that doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out.

    Then someone here has figured it out! To claim a child will require DNA testing. They have reassigned so many families, that taking the word of the FLDS is SQUAT! Once claimed, you will ID mothers & those men who impregnated them. Also girls that concieved after April 2007 will be those married by Warren while he was on the Lam pursued by the FBI. More charges for Warren Jeffs & conspiracy charges for those who participated on the Texas Compound! There is much, much, more! The Faithful will have to chose between more charges against Warren or What they tell Texas.

  • Outsider
    April 14, 2008 2:47 p.m.

    To James: An excellent post!
    Some of you folks are being very judgemental when you should be concerned about whether the state's actions are constitutional because the next time they may be coming to get YOUR kids!

  • Rich
    April 14, 2008 11:31 p.m.

    If children are in jeopardy of being married off at age 14 or 15, the state of Texas certainly was justified in splitting up the families. Only time will tell what evidence will be unearthed. Remember, Jeffs split up families, excommunicating fathers and assigning wives and children to other men, simply because the father had some beliefs that differed from those that Jeffs taught. Not only should Texas take every step necessary to protect children but it also should enforce laws against polygamy, which would be a wise step for Utah and Arizona, too.

  • KRB
    April 15, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    Bring forth the victim, without proof, the state or any other agency has no case. Until this person is brought forward all the state has is a trumped up case of hoax. The role of the CPS is in violation of all laws that the constitition repesents.

    This is taking on the same grounds as it was with the Alamo. The larger force is out to destroy the smaller (not weaker) force.

  • The Texan
    April 15, 2008 12:57 p.m.

    Gee, I wonder why Texas had to put an article in a paper to "unknown" parents. Could it just possibly be that there are a lot of children who are clueless as to who their parents are and worse yet, the parents won't claim them

    You read it right. The FLDS are causing the problem. Gee I wonder what it says on the birth certificate? Maybe, even the FLDS don't know, that possible? Let the Texans sort it out, the FLDS aren't going to do it.

  • The Texan
    April 15, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    "From the very beginning, we have been very careful and considerate to minimize the trauma to these children," said Darrell Azar, spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. "Yet we will never learn the full truth as long as adults who encourage a code of silence are standing over these children's shoulders."

    This is a cult of brainwashed individuals. The truth is going to have to be pried out of them. Their church doctrine is abusive, why not try the church for it's abuse?
    You stood and pointed fingers when people went after Catholic Priests. Ask them how this might relate to them, they don't even teach a similiar doctrine, but boy have their paid $$$$

  • To Jon
    April 16, 2008 8:30 a.m.

    Thank you for your question. It fully gives the reason the children were taken. No responsible adult could be found.

    Are these your children? Silence.

    CPS has the right to take the children. End of story.

  • John
    April 16, 2008 10:55 a.m.

    What about the need for due process - to show cause - before children are removed? Was this done in all 416 cases? Of course not. Authorities did not even find the person originally of interest. While there may be abuse - even sexual - the constitution for good reason requires due process and cause before a child (or anything) is deprived a person.

    I fully support termination of parental rights when cause is shown - I do not support abuse - but we should realize what the government has done in Texas. Government is required to show some cause - even a shred of possible evidence - in every individual case. Depriving any person first and investigating later is prohibited. This is, or should be, a constitutional principle appreciated by everyone - even those of us who find the YFZ group's practices reprehensible.

  • FLDSers
    April 16, 2008 11:08 a.m.

    right?

    I mean really now. The lamest of the lame excuses and apologetics for what is well documented. Jeffs is a freak. A convicted and jailed monster and he not only led but leads (documented by letters from the colorado city officals pledging allegiance to him while behind bars) the sheep to this day? ... systmatic shuffling of little girls to much older men. Only FLDSers could possibly be so desperate as to post just unbelieveble and horrible justifications.

  • To John
    April 16, 2008 12:20 p.m.

    "Government is required to show some cause - even a shred of possible evidence"

    Dear John, the case involves alot of minors. The state of Texas is not obligated to send you any evidence on your schedule. The public process starts Thursday April 17th. Tune in if you want.

  • Thus spaketh Warren Jeffs
    April 16, 2008 1:22 p.m.

    In other audio clips, Jeffs tells girls that they should not date or seek their own husband, but that instead they should pray that they will prepared and will be given to a husband who will be faithful to the end.

  • To John
    April 16, 2008 2:21 p.m.

    "Due process" Leave the children to be abused or????

    Your question smacks of naviety.

    Remove the children, resolve the problem. Make a disposition. It's called due process. Definitely not your version.

  • Thomas
    April 17, 2008 10:55 a.m.

    There is no Sarah and Texas says it does not matter. Such is due process in the state of Texas. Guilt is just assumed. Evidence does not matter. I fear for the FlDS because they are opposed by a ruthless state authority to whom fairness is an unknown quantity.

  • Anonymous
    April 18, 2008 7:32 p.m.

    Possibly there is no Sarah, but here is how the law works. Let's say a car is pulled over for speeding. When the officer approaches the car, the driver acts some way, or the officer sees something in the car, that leads him to believe there is a crime being committed. The officer then has the legal ride to search the car. If he or she then finds, say, narcotics in the trunk, that's admissable evidence.
    However, officers can't just pull over cars for no reason and search them. But if they happen to see evidence of crimes while they are conducting other work, they are allowed to act on that evidence.
    The phone call from "Sarah" was the basis on which the police entered the ranch. Once inside, they saw other evidence of risk to children. As far as the children still being held, they will have to be identified before being given back to their parents. At this point, it's not known whose kids they actually are - some are children of people who were kicked out of the cult, some are the kids of people in other states.

  • GB
    April 19, 2008 2:19 p.m.

    Where are some of you getting your information. I have not heard on official comment regarding this group in Texas using government as*istance. They would know who the mothers are if that was the case. They would have birth certificates.

    One of the fathers said he was 23. That is not a 50 year old man. Just because one woman who left the group married an older man does not mean all of those in Texas married older men. Where is the proof??

    I saw lots of boys maybe 25 were put in a group home. They were not kicked out.

    Also if I choose not to have disgusting music in my home and I reprimand my teen boy for that and he runs away this does not mean I threw him out.

    I do not allow video games in my home not everyone agrees with that but should someone come in and take away all of the children in my neighborhood based on a crank call?