Hard to believe the state wants to hold one hearing to determine collectivly
if a given parent is guilty of neglect in regard to a given child. I guess the
state just needs to appoint one guardian ad litem for all the children, and make
all the attorneys for the parents appoint a spokesperson to make all the oral
arguments. Since the culture is on trial and the individuals rights are
irrelevant, no argument or proof as to specific grounds suggesting fitness or
lack thereof should be heard. Then, punishment can be delivered to the
community as a whole - maybe make them all wear an armband, tattoo their social
security number on their wrist, and limit any application for visitation with a
child by thats child's parents to evidence on how the group's culture has become
more mainstream. I find it hard to concentrate running my law office
knowing that anywhere in our country this wholesale trampling of our
Constitution is occuring. I sit in shock, reading these blogs, waiting on our
government to wake up, acknowledge its mistakes, return the kids and start over
on their investigation. Shame on the ACLU for their absence.
Presenting a court case in defense of FLDS parents and children would logically
begin by determining parentage. A mother and a father with a valid marriage
certificate for themselves and a valid birth certificate for the child should
have legal standing as parents if no abuse is claimed or suspected. All other children should be treated as abandoned and become wards of the
state. Mothers who were impregnated under legal age and who refuse to identify
the father (physical sire) of their child (or children) in order to protect him
from criminal charges, may need counseling before they resume parenting roles.
Now the government should goto all the low income projects around the US and rip
there kids away from them!! All we have to do is to have ONE kid call the cops
for help and call in the SWAT TEAM!! save all the would be drug dealers and gang
Would it not have made more sense to remove the adult males, and let the
children stay in their own homes? Cheaper too. I think Texas may be answering
to the USSC on this one, and pretty soon, at that.
I have look on and wondered where all the civil rights people have been during
the time this has been going on. I thought that the ACLU might have been out of
the country while this was going on.. We all know that if these parents would
have been black or brown or purple in color that the ACLU would have been going
crazy by now.. How can a cell phone call from one person, that hasn't been found
yet, cause the civil rights of all these people to be taken away. It seems like
we are back in the 1930's again and we all are living in Hitler's Germany
Thank you Douglas.Where is the outrage? 416 children are yanked from
their homes. They and their mothers are held incommunicado. If there are broken
laws, convict and punish the guilty. But why is this entire community being
punished? Doesn't the law required that a parent be found guilty of neglect or
abuse in order to remove that parent's child? Is it automatically
considered "abusive" to associate with a group that others find distasteful? Is
it automatically considered "abusive" to associate with a person who may have
engaged in underage sex?
Extending your thoughts - should the government look into all children where the
parents do not have a valid marriage certificate? Where do you suppose this
Tom Green Courthouse? My, my!!!
How is the State going to prove that the teenager became pregnant in Texas?
No crime unless the state proves it occured in the prosecuting jurisdiction. I
suspect the mothers are resiting talking to the interogators, although I am
certain we will see no child unclaimed when the custody proceedings get
underway. Since in 2005 a 14 year old in Texas could lawfully marry and bear
children, age at conception is also an issue.
What I would like to know is what judical policy or procedure manual is Texas
following. This is unprecedented. As such, they have no choice but to make
things up as they go along. How does a judge know when and who these kids can
talk to or visit. How is it that we effectively assume that even the mothers
cannot be allowed access to they're own children. No one has made any
allegations against a mother yet but no matter 'no can do'. Texas is in
unchartered territory and making up the judicial rules as they go has a horrible
constitutional track record. Want to bet the US Supreme Court gets a number of
cases out of this mess.
I am LDS and while I don't agree with the FLDS stance on polygamy it seems to me
that this has gotten so out of hand that it is ridiculous! To take children
away and to not let mothers see or talk to their children breaks my heart. I am
a mother and I would be so distraught over not being able to be a mother to my
child when he/she needed me. There could be abuse going on and if that is the
case remove those children but an entire community? Come on if this isn't
religious persecution I don't know what is. At first I was glad they took
the kids but now it seems that the government has violated every right that
these people have! Let them go home and do this the right way if they are being
abused look at each case individually and go from there.
The ACLU is absent because of the child abuse allegation. Some people
deserve killing, but no child deserves rape, the most socially repugnant crime
and affront to morality in our Country. Raise child abuse/rape up the flagpole
and everyone salutes. Child molesters have a short life-span in prison, being
despised by even the most devious of violent criminals. As such, it
appears that the ACLU is sitting on their hands, petrified to act in case some
really nasty facts indicating child abuse are unearthed. While they have taken
unpopular positions in the past, it seems that being viewed as siding with the
child molesters is too much for them. The child protective services people have
played this card to the max, but soon they will have to prove their sweeping
allegations on a case by case basis, without using religious affiliation as
their sole factual support of parental unfitness.
Seriously, where is the ACLU on this one? The ACLU is really showing its true
I can`t believe some people are concerned so much about decent people trying to
separate themselves from a world that teaches...It`s ok to drink booze smoke
drugs...have teen mothers that cost us for years, let lude and lascivious
behavior be a matter of fashion..... These people take care of their own
problems and do not ask for help...What you have done is wrong..You have
condemned innocent people. Some states have allowed teen marriage since
1812..BIBLE men had many wives and some places still have this. You want to go
after corruption and sin??..Start at home...At church...Your own heart!!
Our state DOES have a right to intervene whenever there is suspected abuse and
neglect of underaged children! Some of these children are not even sure who
their biological parents are! These children are naming multiple mothers, for
goodness sakes! Do you know who your mother is? I suspect you do and probably
who your father is also! These children have a right to know who their parents
are at the very least! This is just one of the problems that I see with this
group of people who have separated themselves from mainstream society. Anytime
a group of people cuts itself off from mainstream society, we all should be
asking what is going on behind this need to be isolated. When the stronger are
controlling the weaker, something is not right!
In a country where the principle is innocent, until proven guilty, why would the
mothers have to prove anything? They are charged with no crimes. Why can't the
simply leave with the children that call them Mommy? Certainly enough people we
all agree to be their neighbors are there, no one is disputing which child
belongs to which mother, I am sure.
All of you are pathetic. These people are not being punished for their
religion, abiet it is a cult and not a religion. They just call it a religion
to justify what they do. These people are breaking the law, i.e. old people
marrying underage girls. They only marry them spiritually because they know
they can't marry them legally. That is rape - statutory RAPE. Regardless of
what religion/cult you belong to, if the male is over a certain age and the
female is under a certain age it is rape regardless of consent. And it should
be. The FLDS do everything possible to skirt the law. It is disgusting. If
they can't be faithful to one wife, at least they should be unfaithful with
other adults and not children. I fail to understand why everyone is defending
them. They are disgusting. It makes me sick to think of these older men having
sex with girls that are under the age of 16. They are just "babies" themselves
and certainly not mature enough to be a mother.
Polygamy is clearly illegal in this country. Frankly, in my opinion the State of
Texas is simply being responsible and effective, i.e. aggressively investigating
in order to protect the right of its littlest and most defenseless citizens to
grow up in an environment secure from child sexual abuse, child abuse and
prearranged underage polygamous marriages. If abuses are not established in
these cases, has any harm really been done through aggressive investigation? No.
This is a situation where children deserve protection and I for one am grateful
that the authorities in Texas are being responsible and looking out for the best
interest of the children.
Religious freedom? Do the women and children in Mormon fundamentalism have
religious freedom? No. They are coerced into polygyny, sharing a husband with
many wives, forced pregnancy and mandatory motherhood amounting to slavery --
all by religious beliefs that are dictated to them by men who are making it up
as they go along. Do the women and children have normal access to
education, safety, services like other US citizens? No. They are isolated and
deprived of normal rights.Do the women and children have any options
or support for pursuing education and training and careers and paychecks, and a
life they choose? No. They are coerced into a pioneer lifestyle.How
can anyone call this religious freedom? This is not about freedom of religious
speech or belief--this is about BEHAVIOR or inflicting your relgious beliefs and
practices upon others, not to mention bondage, pregnancy, motherhood, abuse, and
female and child slavery.On top of these abuses, are rape, child
abuse, incest, forced labor, mind control, and complete exploitation of bodies,
minds and lives. This is about control, of others, not about freedom of any
Well, they do everything big in Texas - football, barbeques, bigotry, ...it's no
The FLDS is a cult and should be treated as one. I agree that Polygamy is not
only disgusting, but wrong and so are the people that follow this so called
religion. The children are better off where they are than staying at a compound
that might eventually end up like the Waco standoff.
You folks don't seem to understand the ACLU's role in America.They
are a partisan far left advocacy group.They don't have a dog in this
When the media sways its readers to believe, it is time for the readers to find
the real truth. I remember a few years ago a Utah teenager was kidnapped by a
stranger and the stranger made her either a spiritual wife or spiritual
daughter. Utah stood up and was proud of how the law enforcement and judicial
system handled the case. It was sad to think what that stranger had done to
that child.The FLDS men are not strangers to their victims of
teenage spiritual wives. The women and men have allowed abuse of children to
continue.It is the government's responsibility to protect those that
cannot protect themselves. That is what the State of Texas has done.
The LDS church practiced polyamy in the 1800s. The federal govenment prosecuted
and persucuted them until they stopped that practice. I hope the states
persecute and prosecute the FLDS and other polygamy groups until they either
stop the practice or are destroyed as a church, cult, whatever. Their finances
should also be examined.
Polygamy is not the issue in this case. Child abuse is the issue. We cannot
allow people to sway the focus from abuse to polygamy. Forced marriage,underage
marriage, sexual or physical abuse these are the issues.This is not
about FLDS it is about practices within this community by individuals. The
INDIVIDUALS should be held responsible. If the mothers knowingly failed to
protect their children then they too should be held responsible.A
mass court hearing is ridiculous. Have we forgotten due process. This reminds
me of the Japanese internment after Pearl Harbor. If one FLDS member did it
they must all do it. Americans should be standing up and shouting about the
blatant disregard for civil rights. Hardened criminal, mass
murderers and the unibomber received due process. How could anyone know what
happened in a persons home without allowing each individual home to express
their story.Wake up you self righteous judgemental people. I'm not
FLDS but I can see their cry for fair treatment and I must agree. Even
Polygamists have a right to our constitutionally protected rights.May the lord bless those poor mothers and children and give them strength and
comfort in their time of need.
So, here in Utah among the predominant religion we hear of a lot of sexual
abuse of children in their own homes, pregnancy by incest, mind control. Much
older men with "authority" talking about masturbation with 12 year old girls
behind closed doors, and yes even the occasional Bishop found guilty of sexually
abusing a girl in his congregation. Read about the lawsuits if this seems
unbelievable. Is this Texas Raid a religious issue? If it is not, then why the
whole entire round-up? Is it time for the State of Utah to round up all women
and child members and remove them to make shift shelters until the law can sort
through who is being abused and who is not.This is a case by case issue. Will
this be the "phone call heard round the world?" Of course there will not be
birth certificates for all of these children. Many are home births without State
documemtation. Why are the cell phones being taken away? I commend the strength
and self restraint which the men and boys displayed as they have not used force.
I hope the Amish way of life is not the next to be attacked.
I note that the FLDS moms are only calling Utah newspapers. No such contact is
being reported from Texas papers. How 'bout the DNews not sensationalize this
thing based on only cell phone calls from media-desperate moms? Texas has capable family services professionals, district attorneys, and law
enforcement. There is more to this action than is being reported. Keep
digging and don't only report the cell phone chats.
The State of Texas has little regard for these women and children. Instead the
state has used a specific allegation of abuse as a pretext to attack an entire
group simply because they have an alternative family, social and economic
system. The problem with allowing the government to intervene in the affairs of
others without due process is that everyone becomes vulnerable to the whims of
the state. If this is allowed to stand, it will be a set back to all our civil
liberties; as such, it should be of significant interest to the ACLU.
Okay everybody that as mad and outraged by this as I am, what the heck are we
going to do about it? I am like Douglas, I cannot concentrate on anything
because I am constantly thinking about this awful violation of rights that is
occurring and it is hundreds of miles away from me. I feel powerless to make a
difference but I want to do something to help these poor people be treated
fairly. Posting this message leaves me feeling like I have done nothing. I
wrote to the Governor of Texas, I begged the Texas ACLU to step in, etc., but
nothing is making me feel like I am doing something worthwhile to help these
mothers stay with their children. I am seriously asking for ideas about what I
can do and, if you are of the same mind, what WE can do because I want to be
able to do something of worth to benefit these people. I will check back for
responses. If you don't agree with me I really don't care what you have to say
about how these people are getting what they deserve--EVERYONE deserves the
protection of the law and due process.
I know this may come as a shock to many FSB's (fundamental southern
baptists), etc - but if all these women and children are all slaves, oppressed,
abused, subject to rape, or otherwise unhappy with their way of life, why have
none of them raised their hand to the investigators and said "I want out."
While I imagine most FSB's still say they are brainwashed, at what point will a
difference of religious preference be other than brainwashing in the FSB mind?
Scream polygamy, forced marriage, etc all you want, but the only victim and
perpetrator identified turned out to be bogus. Meanwhile the FSB's justify this
Constitutional outrage by saying rapists have no rights. Now they just need to
find the rapist.
"EVERYONE deserves the protection of the law and due process"that is
what the children are finally gettinglet the process play out
It's obvious the Deseret News is the propaganda outlet for the FLDS. All these
slanted articles with claims of neglect and so called rights abuses by the Texas
authorities are without merit. These children were rescued from the clutches of
a cruel, abusive cult known as the FLDS, run by a group of pedophiles. This is a
proven fact and neither the Deseret News nor the other FLDS sympathizers can
change that. There is no religious subversion on the part of the Texas
authorities and claims of such are just more well planned diverions from the
truth of the matter. Thank God that my fellow Texans are so kindhearted and took
action to halt this abusive cult in it's tracks. Well done DPS and CPS. Kudos to
all those volunteers also.
>>These children are naming multiple mothers, for goodness sakes! Do you know
who your mother is? I suspect you do and probably who your father is also! These
children have a right to know who their parents are at the very least!
They may have been rescued, but it must be done constitutionally. This is not a
question of the activities that went on in the sect, many of which are
abhorrent. This is a blatant violation of the civil rights of the citizens that
claim affiliation with this sect. The disregard for the fifth and fourteenth
amendments shown by TX law enforcement is an embarrassment to the rule of law
and the thousands of officers faithful to the constitution each day. Please
understand that it is not a defense of child abuse, brainwashing, rape, incest,
or any other vile and evil practice. The outrage stems from the basic rights we
all enjoy, guilty or not, which are being blatantly trodden under by TX
officials who then try and create justification on the backside.
stephanie, I have also emailed the gov. of Texas telling him how horrible this
is not only for the FLDS but for everyone who has any kind of religion. I agree
totally with what you had to say and I like you would like to help these people.
Let me know what I can do. And to all who feel the same as I THANK YOU for your
support and comments in behalf of these people. Every comment helps.
I think, from reports of women who've escaped, we've established this is a
brainwasing cult, that uses religion as a way to continue the molestation of
young girls. The fact that some of these kids can't even tell the officials who
there parents are is horrible. Texas authorities are winging it, and
mistakes will probably be made here, but I don't think theres a rule book
written for this kind of mass abuse. Can you imagine being a mother of 3 at 18
yrs of age? I sure can't They can't prove their relationships to these
children, they can't be allowed to see them. Listen, has it occured to all of
you who feel so bad, that through no fault of their own, the Mom's are
perpetuating the problem here. This is going to be difficult to deal with, but
it needs to be done. Forcing young girls into marriage is bad enough,
but if just a quarter of the other reported abuses are true, then these poor
kids are going to be MUCH better off out of that hell.
It will be an interesting day on Thursday. I wonder how many of the biological
fathers will step forward to claim their children.
First, the rumor was that the FLDS didn't allow their ladies to have cell phones
or access to the outside world. Then, the state authorities said the prisoners
did not want to talk to the media. But, come to find out, not only did they
want to talk the media, but they used cell phones to do it, and sent pictures to
boot. This not only casts doubt on the accuracy of the authorities, but also
the books of "escaped" wives who said such things were forbidden.Second, the telephone calls from the "16 year old" mentioned a specific
perpetrator, armed guards at the compounds, "outsiders," and was repeated to
Arizona authorities. It turns out that accused perpetrator was in Arizona under
the watch of his probation officer, there were no armed guards at the compound,
the FLDS use the term "gentiles," and Arizona authorities found nothing of merit
in the phone calls. So, once again the officials lose credibility, and likely
endanger any case against the real perpetrators they are after.So,
can anyone tell me why the officials should be trusted on other things they have
said? Is there really any legal evidence?
I hope that these children can be saved from the future inside the FLDS.
Children should be loved and adored. Not traded off as sex slaves for some
middle aged man to act out his sick fantasies with. This is America not some
third world country. These women need some serious help and are obviously
suffering from low self esteem amognst many other issues I am sure. I just hope
that its not to late to save these people from themselves and maybe break the
cycle of abuse. The Constitution is set up to protect people and I am glad TX
stepped up and did something about it.
While I do NOT support any plural marriage format, I have heard many comments
decrying Morman men with many wives, and young wives at that. Odd that in all
jurisdictions in the United States, a man may marry as many women as he may talk
into the arrangement - with "'Til death do you part." in the vows - so long as
it's one at a time. You know - serial monogamy. I feel it necessary
to point out that several states permit marriage at 16. No hue and cry there,
either.Methinks I hear hypocrites at large! As a "Child of the
'60's," I remember communal living, group marriage, and "free love" - all
tolerated by this society as "freedom of expression."While none of
those things are acceptable in my personal moral code, neither is it acceptable
to tell others how - or what - they must worship. So long as marriage or sex is
not forced, no one else - state, federal, or any other power under Heaven - has
a dog in this hunt. Abuse must be proven, not just alleged.Remember,
sex not only sells, it can be used to buy votes.Keep your agency.
We're sitting her in California, reading all of these comments. Thank you,
D.N., for having at least attempted to share some of the views of the victims of
this outrageous affront to the rule of law. If there is clear evidence of
specific child abuse, rape, or whatever, then by all means prosecute! But
nothing can justify rounding up all these women and children and creating a
Texas version of Gitmo. And when they try to tell their story, their cell
phones are confiscated? Something stinks in the state of Texas. Oh, one more
thing--what's up with all those Baptist buses that were used to transport these
prisoners? Is that the Texan verion of separation of Church and State?
To Douglas: If you are an attorney in Utah interested in a similar case here in
this state, please let me know with a way to contact you.I too have
difficulty not thinking of these children in how they have truly been abused, BY
THE STATE OF TEXAS. I find that these authorities, and many posting comments
fail to understand the Golden Rule as well as "innocent until proven guilty".I do not know that there has not been abuse of children, of which I
would find unacceptable. But how many of you that have condemned these people
KNOW that there has been abuse? And do you know it is attributable to all the
parents that have had their children taken? Such actions in a "free"
country are inexcusable. To deny the basic associations of family on an
anonymous accusation is horrific at best.If this were anything above
board, the state of Texas would allow total access to everyone involved. Instead
they seek to squelch the truth in every way possible so they can manipulate
public opinion.When they can excercise tyranny against the unpopular
with impunity, you can be sure others will follow. You may be next.
I am amazed at those who would return the children to a potentially dangerous
community in the name of due process. Since when should we assume law
enforcement releases all the facts to the media before the trial.Numerous officials including the judge feel they are acting in the best
interest of these children.Listening to the "mothers" of the
children only provides one biased point of view. I will respect the law
enforcement officers on this one, and let them complete their investigation,
before I get too riled.
Took the women and kids away to get to "the truth". No luck. Took the cell
phones away from the moms to get to "the truth". No luck. Took the moms away
from the kids to get to "the truth". The increasing desperation exhibited by
CPS is truly alarming, especially since the CPS has the benefit of full
hindsight as to how tenuous their removal case is. And the
authorities complain about isolation and brainwashing, like the public at large
is too dense to recognize their same behavior, the big difference being that all
American parents have the right to raise their children under the religion of
their choice. Excuse me for completly ignoring any concern for
alleged child neglect or abuse issues, the wholesale rape of our Constitution is
the only really clear fact I have seen so far, and the degree to which these
American's rights have been trampled is simply unprecidented in modern times.
And the travesty becomes more egregious every day it seems, while the silence
from CPS becomes more blaring. The Cyanide document turns out to be part of a
first aid manual, and still no facts of abuse???
If the parents are found guilty of abuse in this case, will they be branded as
sexual offenders?How odd that such a finding could be made in regard
to a person following dictates of conscience while practicing his religion.Beware! It may soon be a "Hate Crime," or "Abuse" to proclaim one's
Check out the welfare that these people get at most levels of government.
They have more money than we will ever know and still get wellfare because they
have so many children and each mother gets to claim what they want even though
there is only one father. Each wife can claim a family with the same dad.
Bring the the money on!!! We lie in St. George and if you feel sorry for the
FLDS, come and live with us, and see for yourselves.
Would love to see the baby daddys step up and claim their offspring, then they
could go straight to jail for welfare fraud. I have not one iota of sympathy for
the adults in this "religion". They use and abuse their children then cry foul
when the state stops them. Too bad, boo hoo. Those kids are better off in state
Bob/ The FLDS "belief" that it is ok to sexually assault young girls is as far
from religion then anything can be. Try again pal.
I think the families should be restored with conditions. All the children
should be required to attend public schools until they complete high school.
And no girls should be allowed to marry (spiritually or otherwise) until the
legal age in Texas. And, people must be allowed to leave if/when they choose to
do so. If the families all comply, this is at least the best first step to
helping these people understand that they can be safe outside their compound,
that not all "gentiles" are evil or out to hurt them. And that they have the
right to direct their own lives.No one wins the way it's being done
now. The CPS is not prepared to deal with children on this large scale and the
forced separation may be causing the children more harm than good.Hopefully by requiring public education, it will be enough exposure to life
outside their walls to help equip them all with the abilities to live a
different way if they choose to do so.
I have heard a lot of allegations from various Texas state agencies. I have
heard or seen no proof or evidence to support the allegations. I have seen small
children separated from their mothers, the mother cell phones confiscated and
communication with the media and others in the outside world cutoff. Whats going
on? Looks like another Crook Creek to me.
Deseret News, thank you for covering this story and for giving all parties a
voice. I'm for ending polygamy outright. Utah should enforce its law against
polygamy, which is a curse on our society, a drain on our welfare system, and a
giant brainwashing cult that is harmful for generations. Allowing children to
be exposed to a polygamous and illegal lifestyle should be a crime.
Bob, if it was my religion to rob banks would that make it OK? I agree with "we
know". They take public assistance but refuse to comply with the laws. If
outsiders were evil, they wouldn't take their dirty money. Also, those mothers
can and should be charged with "Failure to Protect." In Idaho that is a law and
if you protect a criminal act against a child, as a mom you are just as guilty.
As a former resident of SLC not of LDS orgin I think it is difficult for people
to understand that these types of situations are not normal. Sex with minors, 16
and younger is statutory rape, not "religon."
It's none of the State's business. This country was founded on freedom of
religion. As long as they don't insist we all become polygamists let them be!
And the women & kids have done NOTHING so reunite them immediately. No the State
would rather put them in horrible, abusive foster homes 3with strangers.
The manner in which the legal system operating in this case uses the guise of
"child protection," is so obviously pointed. In urban communities across the US,
particular men are fathering large numbers of children by various women, and
most, if not all, not only lack the means to care for their copious offspring,
but they have no intention or interest to do so in the first place. Why is
nothing being done to bring to these irresponsible parents to justice? It seems
to me that the children of San Angelo have a much more stable life than those
urban children to which I referred earlier. FLDS children will probably not end
up on drugs, in gangs, or being shot by their "brothers" on their own doorsteps.
I think that it is painfully clear why this double standard is being practiced,
and those who cannot see it are either blind, oblivious or simply dishonest with