Religious Wierdness, Bigotry, and Harm

The call of an alleged sixteen-year-old has set off a firestorm of government “protection” and upended the lives of more than 400 children and 133 women. Who will really have done the greater harm?

What concerns me about this remarkably heavy-handed police action is that I see no evidence yet that all of these 401 children siezed by the State of Texas were really in "imminent danger". State officials have yet so much as to prove the "sixteen-year-old" who made the initial complaint on which the raid was predicated even exists. None the less all these children, who have been raised in so radically isolated an environment that they will have no means for dealing socially with potential foster homes, are now in the hands of an agency that has demonstrably insufficient resources to care for them, and has an apallingly poor record of providing care for the children who regularly are run through the system with compelling issues.

Furthermore, regarding the alleged girl's relationship with "convicted sex offender" Dale Barlow, Texas has such rules on calling people "sex offenders" that we in the public have no way of determining at the outset of this investigation whether this brutally prejudicial term has been applied to someone convicted on the basis of outright sexual perversion or because he was engaged in what his religion had taught him was a legitimate marriage.

Are these polygamists wierd? In our eyes, yes they are. Then, again, the State of Texas would have thrown a lot of our Old-Testament heroes in jail and God himself, in the guise of the Holy Spirit, would likely have been considered a child molester under Texas law, given that Mary was likely only fourteen years old. Wierdness clearly is in the eyes of the dominant cultural zeitgeist.

One might think long and hard about when religions get wierd in the eyes of the law and how much harm we are willing to do to the people raised in their care to "save" them from the wierdness we think we see.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at April 8, 2008 10:20 AM
Comments
Comment #250045

Lee:

I have to ask. You really think polygamy, and marriage to children is just “religious weirdness”?

Aren’t they both against the law?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 8, 2008 12:36 PM
Comment #250046

wm,
The issue is what harms the children more in the context in which they have been raised, not what is “illegal” in our eyes. “Normal” in their world is a community founded in polygamy and having a more technologically Amish than Amish life ethic. the state will rip them from that sheltered environment and theow them into a world swimming with horrifying terrors like television advertizing, vulgar music, and the color red.

What I know of childhood psychology tells me this will be, at minimum, a deeply wrenching time for them that could easily do them permament psychological harm. It is the psychological equivalent of rape made acceptable to the masses by our current revulsion for a lifestyle that was normal for the vast majority of human history.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 8, 2008 12:54 PM
Comment #250049

Lee,
I agree with you. “What ‘you’ know of childhood psychology…. is at minimum…” I know, I took your original statement out of context, and paraphrased it to fit what I wanted to say. I did so, because it is obvious you know nothing about child psychology. Nor do you know much about the Amish, or Mennonite cultures.

First off, you can’t compare the Amish to this group. While the Amish do not adhere to the ‘English’ notions of progress, they do respect them, and even encourage their children to explore them. Rumspringa takes place.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5455572

When Amish children turn 16, the rules change. They’re encouraged to experiment and explore. The idea is that teens will come back to the church after tasting the modern world. Their children are constantly aware of the differences between their lives and that of the ‘English’.

As to the psychological abuses experienced by the children:
1.Under our laws, marriage is restricted for obvious reasons, between an obvious minor and an adult. Forcing ‘marriage ideals’ onto these ‘CHILDREN’ is most definitely wrong. They do not have the maturity, the knowledge, or the ability to act as a partner in marriage, let alone the opportunity to say NO if they don’t want to do so.

2.Sexual intercourse between a minor and anyone is considered STATUTORY RAPE. It is considered that for a reason. Children DO NOT have the emotional ability to understand sex. Frequently their bodies have not matured enough for sexual intercourse, let alone the great possibility of pregnancy. In addition they are frequently afraid to say ‘NO’, or even to complain to another adult. The fear itself is damaging, let alone the fact that their bodies are not ready for sexual intercourse, let alone having babies.

3.Polygamy is illegal in our country. Like it or not, religious ideals or not, it is still ILLEGAL. If nothing else, this behavior is encouraging these children to break the law. To teach a child to break a law, any law, is confusing in the growth of he child. It is difficult for a child to determine which laws to maintain, and which to break. This can cause extreme disorientation for a child.

4.The children of the past years cannot be compared to those of today. The life expectancy during Biblical times were vastly different from today. Health, mental health, physical well-being did not even come into play during Biblical times.
I do not want to dwell on the idiotic ideas you raise on this notion.

5. Teaching children to become trained ‘robots’, with no imagination, no creative outlets, little to no education, and no worldly input is very detrimental to the development of a child.

I could go on and on, but hopefully that would only serve to insult your intelligence.

While I grant you that our Social Services department is sorely lacking in its ability to serve as well as we would like, placing these children in psychologically balanced homes, with therapy, and much counseling, can only serve to benefit these children, and the rest so the world as they grow. Children have proven to be very
self-resilient if they are given the opportunity to feel safe, nurtured, and loved.

“The state will ‘NOT’ rip them from that sheltered environment and throw them into a world…”

This will not happen if only because of the notoriety that has all ready been given to this case. Yes, these children will most likely become ‘test subjects’ as they grow, but the PR that has already occurred will serve to keep them in a relatively safe environment.

I, for one cannot begin to understand why you do not understand the problems these children have already encountered, will continue to encounter, and the help they so badly need. Help that they will only received with out intervention.

Posted by: Linda H. at April 8, 2008 2:31 PM
Comment #250051

Linda
Why isn’t ignorance the real enemy here? We have no idea of what their life was like, only an alledged incident, but yet, the govt forcefully ripped 401 children from their parents and homes.

How is it that you understand the problems these children have already encountered, will continue to encounter and the help they so badly need, when you do not know the whole story? Why do you assume the worst? Because they are Christians who believe the end is near?

I, for one, cannot begin to understand why you are so eager to condemn these people, but yet, ask for understanding and respect for muslims whose religious beliefs are far worse.

Posted by: kctim at April 8, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #250057

Lee said: “The issue is what harms the children more in the context in which they have been raised, not what is “illegal” in our eyes.”

Wrong. We are a nation ruled by law, not the prejudices, opinions, or drothers of individuals as they may deem appropriate. The law, like anything else, has an opportunity cost associated with it, but the opportunity cost of lawlessness or disregard for the law widespread is vastly greater.

Some of these children may be emotionally hurt by what is taking place, but, for the law to turn its head to claims of child and female abuses defined by our laws, raises the spectre of far higher costs to be paid by many more.

If your comment were are a bit less purist and a bit more comprehensive in perspective and weighing of consequences, I am sure you would have arrived at this more fundamental issue of rule of law at play, and rightly and justly so for the benefit of all in our society.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 8, 2008 5:00 PM
Comment #250071

david

“We are a nation ruled by law, not the prejudices, opinions, or drothers of individuals as they may deem appropriate.”

just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right. the very laws you speak of often times come about out of those same individual opinions and prejudices. the law in some southern states used to segregate blacks and whites. just because it’s the law doesn’t nessesarily mean it’s best for society.BTW i’m not deffending poligamy, or the abuse of children, only responding to your statement. in this case we don’t have all the facts, only what the media has presented. if it turns out there was no investigation of the claim, and they just kicked the door in, this could end up looking like waco lite. when the will of the majority interferes with a minority living thier lives as they choose, civil disobedience is sometimes the only option.

Posted by: dbs at April 8, 2008 6:06 PM
Comment #250081

David,
We are indeed a nation of laws and, in other situations, I have stated we should live by those laws even if they are wrong. However, in this case there is a huge assumption at work. In at least one of the stories I read investigators were said to have been searching through photos and other documents in an effort to show the person who is alleged to have made the call which precipitated the raid and subsequent human round-up. In other words there is more than a little doubt the authorities were responding to a legitimate complaint- a huge problem generally in CPS interventions.

Linda H,
I actually know quite a bit about the Amish and used them only as an indication to the general public the kind of technological isolation in which these children were being raised in. I have a deep admiration for their committment to faith and their extraordinary capacity to dole out love and forgiveness to an uncomprehending world- something we seem not to be able to extend even to those about whose faith we know virtually nothing (and do not appear to care to learn of either).

My point is that there seems a rather large chance there was no legitimate charge made and that all the reporting from both authorities and from the media is founded in assumptions and bigotry. To cover their asses the authorities are now in a position to destroy these people no matter how right or wrong they were. As usual the masses and the media respond to what is not “normal” (We all know what that is, don’t we?) by a policy of scorching the Earth.

Don’t worry, though, YOU’RE normal.
For now.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 8, 2008 9:03 PM
Comment #250087

These children were molested, abused and kept in the same claustrophobic way that all abused women are. Without resources, no women can escape these confines. How is this any different than any other abused woman. Thank God, they are now safe

Posted by: Shelly at April 8, 2008 11:57 PM
Comment #250088

PS Where is ANY right wing media speaking on this. I have been watching FOX for the last 2 hours. No mention.

Posted by: Shelly at April 8, 2008 11:59 PM
Comment #250089

For me, it’s not so much an issue of the age at which people should be allowed to marry.

I happen to agree with you that such a question is more culturally determined than a matter of simple “right and wrong,” and that different cultures and religions have very different ideas about it.

Personally, I wouldn’t have a major problem with lowering age-of-consent laws or allowing people to marry when they hit puberty. That is, if it’s their choice to do so.

In this case, it sounds more like kidnapping and coercision than people freely choosing who they’re going to marry. These children weren’t allowed to even leave the compound. It sounds like they were prisoners. If that’s culturally-determined, then it’s a culture of slavery. Not the same thing at all as differing attitudes about marriage, so I feel like you’re talking about the wrong issues.

Posted by: Liam at April 9, 2008 12:00 AM
Comment #250096

Lee,

Before you go off half-cocked on this issue I suggest you do some more research on this “cult” and their imprisoned leader, Warren Jeffs.
Look up information on what has been happening in Colorado City, on the Arizona-Utah border for decades.
Here’s a good place to start;

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4629320

and here;

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/15766/warren-jeffs-fugitive-mormon-leaders-reign-of-fear-ended-by-traffic-violation


Posted by: Rocky at April 9, 2008 7:51 AM
Comment #250100

Lee said: “just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right.”

True, there can be unjust laws, permitting slavery for example. But, laws which allow the state to rescue children from abuse, childhood pregnancy, and the like are just laws.

And just laws can be administered unjustly. But, that does not appear to be the case here. Cults, whether religious or secular, which violate basic human rights and protections under the law, should never have immunity from it.

There are many LDS polygamous groups who abide the laws of both state and religion, and they are protected as well under the law.

I think it is a mistake to read more into this situation than just laws, justly administered, so far. Investigation of reported crimes is a just administration of the law, including detaining material witnesses and taking children into protective custody under court order, where reasonable suspicion of abuse may be present.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 9, 2008 8:33 AM
Comment #250101

A call to support polygamy and child abuse? You are on the short end of the stick on this one. I can see “progressive liberals” supporting this along with their “man-boy love” and teaching children to accept the homosexual life style but not a conservative.

Posted by: Stephen at April 9, 2008 8:38 AM
Comment #250108

David,
I did not say “just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right.” dbs made that statement. I am not even supporting the abuse of women and children under any circumstances. If what is being said of this group is true their actions are reprehensible and should not be condoned, nor even protected.

However, I am, even at the risk of being proven wrong, standing up for the right of a minority to not have the government manufacture reasons to poke its nose into their business. The pawl on the ratchet of power always swings the government’s way. Once they have abused power they always have the means to cover the grime of their own errors and smear whomever they choose to incriminate. Believe me, using CPS to crush a religious minority is a damn sight cleverer than using ATF ever was.

I’ll be up-front about this. I have precious little trust in government. My personal experience with employees of state and federal government has been of interactions with a band of little Napoleons. This colors my response to every thing I see them do. When they go after some religious sect anywhere, for any reason at all, my first response is to wonder if my children are next.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 9, 2008 9:30 AM
Comment #250113

Shelly,
Do you need the permission of the media of your choosing to draw attention to an issue? The point of a political blog is not to get in line with all the rest of the cattle in a particular rut. It is to provide insights and take risks for the sake of core principals.

Here the discussion should be on the manner in which fundamental protections of human rights and dignity are balanced against the dangers of government’s capacity to abuse its power. This is a core issue in the very existence of this nation.

My raising of the issue should not be seen, Stephen, as a call for support of polygamy (which is not, given the long history of the institution in ancient cultures, a major threat to the fabric of society) or of child abuse (which is). It is simply a call to carefully examine the process by which this intervention has unfolded and hold the government responsible for any wrong-doing.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 9, 2008 9:53 AM
Comment #250117

kctim, and Lee,
Would you prefer to wait until we have another WACO or Jim Jones situation on our hands?
Please read the information submitted by Rocky.
Also, it appears that the information that the Government acted upon was correct, at least according to this morning’s news.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5686276.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080408/ap_on_re_us/polygamist_retreat

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/07/texas.ranch/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/04/08/texas.ranch/index.html?iref=werecommend

If these people were following the laws of our country, I would not have a problem. However, they are not. As an once abused child myself, I probably relate better to the traumas that are affecting these children, and the ones that will affect these children, than many other people.

As for the Muslims, as long as they follow the laws of the country where they reside, I have no problem with them. I can disagree with their beliefs, but I still must defend ALL religious beliefs, practices, values, and morals, AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT ILLEGAL.

Posted by: Linda H. at April 9, 2008 11:16 AM
Comment #250125

Lee, people don’t hold govt responsible for any wrong-doing unless its for issues they do not agree with.
You are not a racist because of the company you keep, but you are a child rapist because someone in your company may be.
Violating the 2nd Amendment isn’t an issue and should be kept out of the MSM, but violating the 4th Amendment should be shouted from the rooftops.

If you are on the wrong side of the issue, you are guilty until proven innocent.

Posted by: kctim at April 9, 2008 1:12 PM
Comment #250156

Lee, my apology, for misattributing that quote to you instead of dbs.

Lee said: “I am, even at the risk of being proven wrong, standing up for the right of a minority to not have the government manufacture reasons to poke its nose into their business.”

I am with you there. Though 9/11 calls are generally recorded, leaving an evidence trail, which can potentially be investigated and verified as to whether the 16 year old’s call was legitimate or not.

Texas has not always been a keen observer of law and due process. However, its public officials ordinarily don’t hang themselves. You are right to be vigilant on following this story. More citizen vigilance over government action is what America desperately needs.

Provided vigilance does not lead to actions predicated on prejudgment and prejudice, but investigation, I am an absolute supporter of your position on vigilant oversight of government action.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 9, 2008 7:30 PM
Comment #250157

Lee said: “I’ll be up-front about this. I have precious little trust in government.”

As long as that diminished trust is equally applied to all facets of government regardless of political party controlling it, I commend you on this.

Bush’s and Republican’s abject failure to oversee the actions of their own and check their excesses and breaches of the Constitution and law, should be as much on your vigilance and indignation list as any such breaches committed by Democrats.

The entire unitary executive theory proposed by those in the Bush administration as cover for violating the Constitutional checks and balances should be very high on your indignation list of abuse of power. The Unitary Executive theory discussed by our founders was over whether there should be a tribunal of presidents or just one. To offer it up as defense of dictatorial and authoritarian control by the President in time of war, is a complete fabrication and violation of not only the Constitution, but the very meaning of the unitary executive concept discussed by our founders.

As long as your indignation, vigilance, and demand for government to observe our laws is bi-partisan, I support your call to vigilance entirely.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 9, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #250161

Lee

I’ll be up-front about this. I have precious little trust in government. My personal experience with employees of state and federal government has been of interactions with a band of little Napoleons.

Does this include the military?

dbs

“just because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right.”

sort of like we shouldn’t go after illegal aliens just because they are illegal?

Posted by: 037 at April 9, 2008 8:31 PM
Comment #250164

I’m thinking if religion was not involved we’d just be talking about a bunch of perverts!

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2008 9:05 PM
Comment #250168

I’m thinking if religion was not involved we’d just be talking about a bunch of perverts!

I’m thinking if religion wasn’t involved they would be a bunch of liberal perverts.

Posted by: 037 at April 9, 2008 9:25 PM
Comment #250170

I should add that the Republican Party has become the arbiter concerning what religiosity is and/or is not acceptable in America.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2008 9:42 PM
Comment #250172

“I’m thinking if religion wasn’t involved they would be a bunch of liberal perverts.”

“037”,

Let’s give that a quick “smell” test:

How many Republican women ran for the Presidency this time around?

Oh, that’s right, they know there place in society!

No uppity blacks or women on your side of the aisle!

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2008 9:50 PM
Comment #250176

KansasDem 037

not having much luck trolling at your last blog, so you wandered in here huh. good to you see you guys it’s been awhile.

Posted by: dbs at April 9, 2008 10:08 PM
Comment #250183

dbs,

Try again!

KansasDem is an established, although recently absent, presence here.

I’m in no way associated with “037” or for that matter “007”.

My comments are totally my own!

I replied to “037” just as I’m replying to you!

Jack will even verify that I’m not a troll! A pain in the ass maybe, but not a troll!

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2008 11:19 PM
Comment #250185

Good to see you too. I don’t know what trolling a blog is since this is the only one I know how to use and I’m obviously not very good at it. Can I assume its not a compliment?

At any rate, I very much enjoy watching Lee and other conservatives make such a wonderful case for moral relativism.

You see its all about what the Bible says….depending..

Posted by: 037 at April 9, 2008 11:27 PM
Comment #250186

Teens made to have sex after sect-unions

SAN ANGELO, Texas - Young teenage girls at a polygamist compound in West Texas were required to have sex in a soaring white temple after they were married in sect-recognized unions, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.

The temple “contains an area where there is a bed where males over the age of 17 engage in sexual activity with female children under the age of 17,” said an affidavit quoting a confidential informant who left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Texas law prohibits polygamy and the marriage of girls under 16.
Texas has an outstanding arrest warrant for the man alleged to have been the girl’s husband, Dale Barlow, 50. He’s a registered sex offender who pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor in Mohave County, Ariz., last year.

Some info.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 9, 2008 11:30 PM
Comment #250188

oooo…I googled troll. I think I was called a name for asking some questions….sorry to inflame.

Posted by: 037 at April 9, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #250190

037,

You didn’t enflame me.

I just didn’t appreciate “dbs” trying to combine us into one “troll” entity.

In fact, I remember dbs from when I was active here and if his memory is worse than mine he should perhaps consider a nursing home.

If anyone was ‘flaming’ it was dbs.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 9, 2008 11:57 PM
Comment #250199

My wife will vouch that I’m no troll….maybe.

But yes KansasDem if I am a troll, I too want to be my own troll.

Posted by: 037 at April 10, 2008 5:06 AM
Comment #250206

“not having much luck trolling at your last blog, so you wandered in here huh”

Having a bad day dbs, if your accusing these guys of such nonsense why would you let Stepehen’s cheap shot go unnoticed?

“A call to support polygamy and child abuse? You are on the short end of the stick on this one. I can see “progressive liberals” supporting this along with their “man-boy love” and teaching children to accept the homosexual life style but not a conservative.”

Time to get off your conservative high horse guys because you aint got no room to talk. Your elected reps sems to have being doing a little trolling of their own lately as I recall, wasnt it in the bathrooms at the airport and for the young pages in the senate?


Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2008 8:49 AM
Comment #250208

Lee,

You are, historically speaking, a reasoned and logical individual. I may disagree with your political views, but not with your approach to them. So I really have to ask: did you research the FCLS before you wrote this blog post? It is, by anyone’s estimation, a cult used to enrich and “amuse” a few top individuals and it’s leader in particular. Just because it is hiding under the guise of a religion does not mean that it should get to be accepted as one. As KansasDem said above, if “religion” wasn’t involved, especially one claiming to be related to an established sect, there would be no uproar whatsoever. They would be just a bunch of pedophile perverts. Instead, since they claim to have religious reasons for their behaviors, you are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt? C’mon.

Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that instead of the FLDS, this was a Wiccan sect that performed public sexual religious rituals based on the pagan holidays and allowed any girl who had “flowered” (which means possibly as young as 12 or 13) to participate. One whose leaders doled out these young girls as favors to those men at the top of the food chain. In all and perfect honesty, would you give them the same benefit of the doubt that you give the FLDS?

Disclaimer: I am quite familiar with Wicca, and in no way, shape, or form am I insinuating that such practices are part of that religion. Just making a point, so nobody better jump up my backside. :-)

L

Posted by: leatherankh at April 10, 2008 9:36 AM
Comment #250210

To everyone,
The more I hear about the FLDS the ickier they look, which, of course, tends to taint my effort in raising the discussion. One of the problems with our system is that it requires a sort of intellectual dissociation from immediate reality. Mass murderers, for example, have a constitutional right to competent legal representation, no matter what emotional burden that places on both their representatives and the public. They also have as much right to the protection of the technicalities of the law. (As an example, I will state here that I have written elsewhere that I think Miranda protections should be reframed to permit the use of improperly obtained evidence as long as those who gathered evidence illegally are prosecuted criminally. This instance has occurred under current Miranda rules, however, and should live by those rules.)
Here, the immediate reality seems to be that the religious practice of this community is a deep perversion of Mormon faith and a hideous abuse of children. That said, the predication this series of raids on the possibly manufactured complaint of an imaginary sixteen-year-old would still render the entire investigation illegal- no matter what was found in the compound.

David,
Your points about the government, and about unitary executive are well taken. Where the issue is muddied is in the area of supposed war powers. Congress either did or did not give these powers. One can argue their intent all day long but there was a (perhaps naive) authorization of war powers. That is a different animal from the peacetime powers of a President. Without that authorization the administration’s assertions of executive power are founded in sand.

Is it dangerous? Sure it is! All unchecked government power is dangerous. Will the Democrats want to eliminate these powers if they will all three branches of the government? Not on your life.

Thus we should all be frightened.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2008 9:50 AM
Comment #250214
That said, the predication this series of raids on the possibly manufactured complaint of an imaginary sixteen-year-old would still render the entire investigation illegal

Are you even suggesting that allegations such as this shouldn’t be investigated? Manufactured or not, it could not be known until an investigation if performed. I thought that’s what children’s services was for, to investigate allegations. It appears they went through all the proper channels and got properly executed search warrents. What exactly is your problem with the procedures?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2008 10:31 AM
Comment #250219

Lee,

I live in Arizona and this truly has been an issue in this state for decades.
A local weekly New Times has had numerous articles on the situation with the FLDS here in Arizona and southern Utah;

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2006-29,GGLG:en&q=New+Times+phoenix%2bFLDS

While I do believe that innocence is presumed until proven otherwise, too much has been written, and proved, at least here in Arizona, to the point that it is impossible to view any of these goings on in Texas without a raised eyebrow.

FLDS is a cult, and as with most cults, weird things just keep happening.

Posted by: Rocky at April 10, 2008 11:25 AM
Comment #250221

womanmarine,
That goes to the heart of what I don’t like about the current manifestation of Miranda. The jist of the current rule is exactly that.

I want government to be honest with us about process. If they are just suspicious but can’t get a source to cooperate shouldn’t we at least require someone to commit to throwing themselves on the sword for their belief that something ought to be done? The current Miranda regime lets perpetrators go free and makes good evidence unusable. If this investigation does not turn up a pregnant sixteen-year-old with a cell phone and evidence of broken ribs, no matter who issued the warrants, there is no case and everything you think you see legally ceases to exist.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2008 11:39 AM
Comment #250229

Lee:

Sorry, you lost me. I think your stated concern is bullshit based on your intense dislike of anything government.

If there is child abuse there, and it has recently been proved against the leader of this cult, they should be going after it. There is no way to tell a legitimate phone call from any other until an investigation is made. You want a sixteen year old to throw herself on her sword and reap…just what exactly?

Bullshit.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2008 12:33 PM
Comment #250233

Lee the thing that is different in this particular case is that instead of calling in BAFT they called in Child Protective Services. These agencies in most states have been used to fight the war on drugs for many years and have powers that are truely frightning. With 416 children in custody one does have to wonder if they have overstepped their bounds, as I think it will be tough for the Texas CPS to properly care for this many children better than ther care they were receiving from their mothers. At least they are still alive, after Waco it is obvoius it could have gone the other way.

They seem to err on the side of the child in most cases and seem to have done so here. They are damned if they do and damned if they dont. With this cults track record of convictions you can only wonder why CPS wasnt involved in Utah and AZ.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2008 1:07 PM
Comment #250237

womanmarine,
That’s not what I said. If LAW ENFORCEMENT is so sure there is a violation that they must do something illegal to get evidence then let THEM fall on the sword. It couldn’t involve the “sixteen-yera-old” who, if she really exists inside the cult, would be a legitimate witness. That tossing on swords, in any event, would require a change in Miranda.

I think there is evidence the sixteen-year-old does not exist, the whole story was a plant, and the subsequent investigation is illegal. That would make all the fruit of the investigation inadmissable as evidence.

Are these people really reprehesible? Well it certainly appears they are, which means we are only the sadder yet if what we are seeing is the result of bad, or criminal, police “work” that could threaten the very cases we think we see.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #250238

j2t2,
The point was made earlier that the children would be better off in the homes of well-rounded foster parents and receiving proper psychological counceling. I agree with that to the extent it is the situation available, but is it? I’ve heard some reports in recent months of children abused in foster homes in Texas as it is. Here 416 new children will need particularly culturally aware volunteer foster homes and a level of psychological assistance I don’t think I see in the system.

Yeah, I don’t trust government, except that I do. I trust them to be just as human, limited, short-sighted, narrowly educated, and small as the rest of us.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2008 2:43 PM
Comment #250240

Lee:

You need to forget your conspiracy theory. She really exists and they even know who her “husband” is and can’t find him. She may be in hiding or being protected by someone.

What evidence is there that she does not exist? You are much too quick to protect those cultists and have demonstrably less concern for the children and women. Too bad.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2008 3:17 PM
Comment #250241

“If there is child abuse there, and it has recently been proved against the leader of this cult, they should be going after it. There is no way to tell a legitimate phone call from any other until an investigation is made.”

wm,
Did you feel this way when you heard about the wiretapping issue?

Posted by: BOHICA at April 10, 2008 3:19 PM
Comment #250242

Oh, and speak for yourself:

I trust them to be just as human, limited, short-sighted, narrowly educated, and small as the rest of us.

Don’t think much of your fellow Americans, huh?

Sorry, the wiretapping program is an entirely different issue. Different government program, different laws. No comparison.

Nice try at a red herring though.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2008 3:21 PM
Comment #250246

“I think there is evidence the sixteen-year-old does not exist, the whole story was a plant, and the subsequent investigation is illegal.”

Lee what kind of proof is there that this whole “16yo” is a plant? That was my first thought but have seen nothing that would indicate that it is correct.

Does it really make a difference whether the 16yo called or not with CPS? I dont think they need anything more than suspicion to take a child out of the custody of their parents.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #250253

There is newly released information being reported now and that is: there has been an ongoing investigation of this complex by the local police for about 4 years. They have an informant inside the complex who has been supplying information to them. Seems though, that the local Sheriff has been negligent, or at least hesitant, to do anything proactive since he says they have been paying their taxes and he didn’t feel they were a problem.
Guess the call from the young girl was just what necessitated moving on the compound.

Posted by: janedoe at April 10, 2008 4:43 PM
Comment #250258

womanmarine,
The chief investigator said (I’m paraphrasing here) “I’m confident this is a real girl making a real complaint.” She didn’t say she knew who the girl was, unless she has done so in the last 24 hours.
The girl’s “husband”, if the reports I read were correct, is in jail for having admitted to child abuse. That’s one of the reasons I’m suspicious.

If all CPS had to do to invesigate something was “be suspicious” we could all be in trouble, don’t you think? In fact, at least in Texas, CPS must have an actual, verifiable (to a judge’s satisfaction), complainant, not a pretend one. Believe me, that is a thin enough pretext for intrusive government intervention.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 10, 2008 5:13 PM
Comment #250269

Lee, it seems you’re completely ignoring what I posted. A four year investigation would surely have yielded more than adequate information to justify a “raid”.

Posted by: janedoe at April 10, 2008 8:46 PM
Comment #250273

Lee: From the link I posted earlier:

Texas has an outstanding arrest warrant for the man alleged to have been the girl’s husband, Dale Barlow, 50. He’s a registered sex offender who pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor in Mohave County, Ariz., last year.
Posted by: womanmarine at April 10, 2008 9:53 PM
Comment #250294

womanmarine,
My error. I didn’t realize he was out.

As to your question- “Don’t think much of your fellow Americans, huh?”, I include myself in the equation I listed. I am narrowminded. I can be small minded and I also have a limited education. I live in the context of a culture that has shaped my view of the world and what I think is acceptable and unacceptable, what I am prejudiced for and what I am prejudiced against. I know that if I wore the mantle of governmental power I would be tempted to use it to enforce the preferences of my own bigotries. Most important of all, though, I know many, many people who do wear that mantle have not been taught to look their world view so squarely in the eye nor can they force themselves to question it.

jane doe,
I wasn’t really ignoring you. It just seemed odd to me that a four-year investigation showing compelling evidence of felony wrongdoing would not have provided sufficient pretext for a raid by the sherriff’s office earlier. Unlike CPS the sherriff does not need a complaint to get a warrant. He needs only reasonable cause. Why didn’t he think he had reasonable cause?

Again, I raised an issue, risking the strong possibility I could be wrong in this particular case, on the basis of my belief we should not simply blindly trust either government or media when they make strong accusations against religious minorities that most of us would think of as wierd or dangerous. News reports this morning indicate all of the children are being isolated incommunicado from their mothers. That bothers me terribly because it indicates the working assumption is that everyone in the cult behaved exactly the same and everyone was bad. I just don’t believe that. I also believe such isolation facilitates coercive interrogations of children on the part of CPS because there is no independent witness to guarantee interviews were not designed to lead them to incriminate their parents.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 9:30 AM
Comment #250306

Lee:

Just a few points from the news I have read:

First, there are a number of pregnant teenage girls. They will not state how many.

Second, everyone in the cult supports the marriage of underaged girls to adults. Otherwise they would not stay. Including the mothers.

Third, according to what I have read, many of the children cannot say who their mothers are, some claiming two mothers. What is CPS to do in those cases? I think they are doing thier best to sort this out as best they can, and CPS takes many children away from their mothers historically. This is not new, just a larger amount at a time in this circumstance.

Fourth, please don’t imply that those who disagree with you are “blindly trusting the government or media”. You couldn’t be more wrong.

Two last thoughts:

1. Weirdness is one thing, dangerous is another.

2. With the availability of education and media in today’s world, lacking more knowledge of that world is by choice, in order to maintain beliefs rather than choose to examine those beliefs honestly.

JMHO

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 11:26 AM
Comment #250307

wm,
On your points- You are right on the first. Period.

On the second, the world is such a complex, even bewildering thing I’m not sure you can make such a statement. Even here we constantly see people who are clearly open to discussion of their own values displaying divergent ideas on fundamental issues. I don’t think we are refusing to look our beliefs in the eyes. There is just so much information to weigh in making choices. For example I would commend to our readers this story by an anthropologist on attitudes throughout the world on marriage.

Are all those cultures wrong, or just different? Am I committing moral relativism to ask that question? Isn’t it just as possible that we either don’t have all the information we need to make completely informed choices or couldn’t process it all even if we did?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 11:54 AM
Comment #250308

Woops. Here’s the LINK again.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 11:56 AM
Comment #250309

Lee:

That well may be. There are many cultures in the world. But this is OUR culture and our laws, which they all well knew. There is no room for fudging this.

My understanding is that they were cut off from any exposure to the outside world, most of them. Not much chance there to make any evaluation of thier beliefs when they are not exposed to open information about others.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 12:10 PM
Comment #250311

wm,
Yeah, Linda H pointed that out in one of her posts. That is, of course, one of the sure signs of a cult. They are so insecure in their own beliefs that they can’t risk exposure to the outside world for fear that their followers would abandon them.

Gee, I wish only perfect people had wacko beliefs so I could raise these points without the distractions of human imperfections getting in the way.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 1:08 PM
Comment #250313
Gee, I wish only perfect people had wacko beliefs so I could raise these points without the distractions of human imperfections getting in the way.

Wish I knew what you meant by this, I sure don’t know. Of course people are imperfect. But, we are a civilized society with laws so hopefully we can all live together in some kind of harmony. I, for one, love the differences I find in people and even the weirdness and imperfections. Up until the point that it is offensive, usually at the point it is against the law.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #250314

Lee,

It very admirable of you that you might be so excepting of other cultures morals, that said I have to agree with womanmarine.
America isn’t some third world country where it is necessary to breed children as early as possible because our society doesn’t need to depend on that for survival.
The fact that young teen girls are sexually mature enough to become pregnant is immaterial, and, especially in American society, where although most teens are exposed to sexuality at an early age through the media, rarely are they taught the necessary skills to give them the mental maturity to make these decisions by themselves.

Getting pregnant is the easy part.

The FLDS, though a closed society, has a support structure in place, yet this support structure is self serving, and only necessary because their belief system goes totally against societal norms.
In Colorado City, and Hilldale, there are documented cases of teen aged boys being ostracized from the group because they were seen as competition with the older men for the favors of the teen girls.

Warren Jeffs, and his father before him, because of the closed nature of the FLDS, have been able to set themselves up as the group’s “link with God”, and their word, right or wrong, has been law within these communities.

Jeffs built this compound in Texas precisely because it was out in the middle of nowhere, and theoretically he could avoid the scrutiny that has plagued him in Arizona and Utah.

Your comparison with the Amish is illogical. The Amish aren’t trying to hide from anyone, and are truly a benefit to the society within which they live.
The same cannot be said of the FLDS.

You guys on the right have all been about this “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” attitude.
It’s high time for the FLDS to be exposed to the light of day.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2008 1:31 PM
Comment #250315

KansasDem

“KansasDem is an established, although recently absent, presence here.”

“I’m in no way associated with “037” or for that matter “007”.”

sorry if you didn’t under stand. i was replying to you both at the same time. guess i should have left more space betwwen kansasdem and 037. whoops.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2008 1:36 PM
Comment #250316

j2t2

“Having a bad day dbs, if your accusing these guys of such nonsense why would you let Stepehen’s cheap shot go unnoticed?”

actually i was, little bout with the stomach flu. i hadn’t noticed stephens remark. i’ll have to go back and take a look.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2008 1:43 PM
Comment #250317

KansasDem

reread my own post. here’s what i said.

“good to you see you guys it’s been awhile.”

guess it wasn’t my mistake after all. notice “you guys” this means more than one.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2008 1:51 PM
Comment #250318

Lee,
No where have I read that the mothers who have have chosen to leave the FLDS have been denied access to their children. It is apparent you know very little about CFS.

For your edification:
(Many of the hearings have differing names, I will use the most common ones.)

While Children and Family Services is far from perfect, the entire point of CFS is to try to unite the children and their families.

1. The first thing that must happen is what is often called a ‘probable cause’ hearing.This hearing must be held within 3 business days of a child removal. In large cases such as this one, it is not unusual to have the hearings within 3 days of removal, regardless of business days.During this three day wait,the child is placed in a temporary foster facility, usually a group home, and counseling is offered, for both the child and the parent.

2. A JUDGE will hear both from the parents and CFS regarding the BEST INTERESTS of the child. IF HE RULES that CFS is correct to intervene, then a custody order is issued placing the child in CFS’s custody. He will also encourage the parents(s) to obtain the services of a lawyer - whether by themselves, or a Public Defender.

BTW - Public Defenders’ have a very undeserved bad reputation. They are often very competent lawyers through-out the area who serve, and fight for their clients just as hard as they do for the paying ones. In particular they fight harder when a child is involved,regardless of which side they may be on. I know this to be true for many lawyers. i have seen them in action, and have a daughter who is a lawyer. I not only spend time with her friends, but have worked within our legal system for many years. (Besides if the client doesn’t like his\her lawyer, all they need to do is ask and a new one will appointed.)

3. After the probable cause hearing more permanent housing is sought out by CFS. While in most situations siblings are placed to together, in this particular case because of the shear numbers of potential relations, I doubt this will be the case, although I am sure the effort will be made.

4. CFS will draw up a plan of action - usually called a ‘Treatment Plan’. CFS will want to require that the parent(s), do certain types of things. Depending upon the situation that called for the removal,the parent(s)may be required to submit to regular drug tests, drug treatment programs, parenting classes, have psychological counseling,anger management and address educational concerns. In this type of case, the parent(s) may receive educational training so they can receive either a HS diplomas,or GED. There is usually some type of job training.

5. Within 30 days of the Probable Cause Hearing,a Merit hearing will usually take place. Both the Parent(s),(with their lawyer, if they chose to have one) and CFS will again meet in Family Court.

The parent(s) may give further information about anything they wish to state,including, issues not that were not handled at the merits hearing. They also have the opportunity to agree or disagree to the ‘Treatment Plan’, explain their oppositions, offer evidence of mistreatment on the part of CFS, or anyone else involved in their case, etc. The role of a lawyer is particularly important in this case, as they can guide their client though this procedure.

6. Once the ‘Treatment Plan’ has been agreed on a date for a future hearing is set.This is a Review hearing. At this time the child may be united with the parent(s),longer time may be requested to allow the parent(s) to finish their ‘Treatment Plan”, etc. CFS CANNOT add to or change anything to the ‘Treatment Plan’ at this time. If the parent has completed the plan according to the individuals who are in charge (not CFS workers) then the judge has no other choice than to send the child home, (even if CFS is against it.)

The date Of the Review Hearing may range from 30 days to one year, however either party can ask, and receive an earlier hearing if they desire. In general the time period is 3-6 months.

7.MEANWHILE, as long as parent(s) follow their treatment plans, they will be will be STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to see their children as frequently as possible. This is usually done as the offices of CFS, so transportation can be provided for both the child and parent(s) if necessary.

Generally the first few visits are supervised, but as time goes on,they are left alone. Supervision only done to observe the relationship between the parents(s)and child, and to make sure the child is not injured, physically, or emotionally(i.e. Parent blaming child for intervention).

Yes, Lee, and others,
I know all about the major screw-ups of CFS. I have dealt with these screw-ups most of my professional career. One reads about them in the newspaper, or hears about them on the TV or radio all the time. CFS is frequently depicted as the ‘bad-guy’ on many television shows. The thing is, for every case they screw-up, there are literally thousands that actually do work out. Unfortunately one seldom hears about the cases that do work out.

I call it the “chewing gum theory”. One kid puts gum under the desk at school, and suddenly no one is allowed to chew gum because they might also put gum under the desk. The one bad apple theory.

One CFS devision, or even just one case worker, makes a mistake, and all of the rest of it’s services are immediately suspect. Do you folks have any idea how many cases the average case worker has a day? Try somewhere between 75- 100 - and each one of those cases may have lots of children involved.

While sometimes it has seemed to me that I have dealt with many of losers in my history with CFS, I have also dealt with may of the winners. I am aware that most of the employees try to do the best job they can do - within the governmental funding they receive.

Lee,
One thing you have missed in the legal area. If evidence of a crime (even unlawful evidence) can be arrived at through a legal method, (i.e. the investigation being done by the sheriff’s department)then it is not necessary to produce the girl. Therefore,using what you seem to believe is unlawful obtained evidence is no longer the issue.

Also, any complaint of child abuse must be acted on within a 24-48hour time period (depending on the state), regardless of the possibility that the call may be not even be regarded as true. This applies to even if the person answering knows it is a crank call, or one from a presumed child. Not all 911 calls are acted upon in this manner - in particular a call from a child. Frequently calls made by children to 911 operators are not given any attention, because the operator has been taught not to give a lot of credibility to the calls from children.

My biggest question is why didn’t the sheriff’s department pursue the FLDS years ago. IMO I believe the sheriff’s department also needs to be investigated.

Posted by: Linda H. at April 11, 2008 1:54 PM
Comment #250319

If you find it necessary to take more than 1 wife you should at the least be able to support them. It seems the FLDS had many “wives” legally on welfare, as only one marraige is recognized the other “wives” were simply single parents and receiving welfare from the government. When the taxpayer is footing the bill for the weird religious beliefs they also have a reason to investigate the lifestyles of those they are supporting IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 11, 2008 1:57 PM
Comment #250320

j2t2

lee said

“I think there is evidence the sixteen-year-old does not exist, the whole story was a plant, and the subsequent investigation is illegal.”


j2t2 said

“Lee what kind of proof is there that this whole “16yo” is a plant? That was my first thought but have seen nothing that would indicate that it is correct.”

thats the problem. the whole incident is based on this phone call, yet this 16yr old has not materialized. after all that has happened, the children being removed from the compound and all, why would she not step forward ? in the long run maybe in good homes these children will be much better off. you have to ask yourself though does the end always justify the means, even if it involves the gov’t using possibly illegal tactics.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2008 2:07 PM
Comment #250322

DBS:

Illegal tactics? That’s quite an assumption. Wrong, too.

As to why hasn’t she come forward, see one of my posts above. I’m also certain they aren’t releasing a lot of details publicly.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 3:11 PM
Comment #250323

womanmarine,
My comment on “perfect people” was made largely tounge in cheek. I try not to take myself too seriously, especially when I have painted myself into a difficult corner. There are legitimate issues here. Unfortunately, I have planted my soapbox in a dungheap.

Linda H,
“No where have I read that the mothers who have have chosen to leave the FLDS have been denied access to their children. It is apparent you know very little about CFS.”
The report about women complaining of being denied access was on the ABC local affiliate (KTRK) in Houston this morning. It appeared to have been a combination of their reporting and network video.

Thank you for the information on CFS. I’m afraid my attitudes have been colored by too many instances of having acquaintances accused of child abuse in an effort to manipulate divorce proceedings and two instances where the agency descended on my own family. It is difficult to express the outrage of having the custody of one’s children threatened because of a one-year-old’s brilliantly verbal expression of the operation of a child seat or a relative’s misunderstanding of medical records to which she should not have had access.

I also have a cousin who is a public defender.

I am not seeking to condemn CFS or to impugn their service. They are, nonetheless, a govenment agency that brings the power of government, sometimes inappropriately, to bear on people in ways that can change their lives forever. My wife will not permit ANYONE in our home anymore. The emotional trauma on our family has been serious and long lasting.

That is not the fault of the agency. They do the best they can, for the most part. But they are only human. And so are we.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 3:12 PM
Comment #250324

womanmarine

“Illegal tactics? That’s quite an assumption. Wrong, too.

As to why hasn’t she come forward, see one of my posts above. I’m also certain they aren’t releasing a lot of details publicly.”


actually it’s not an assumption, though it is a possibility. i agree this young woman could have feared for her saftey, but being as these children have all been removed it would seem she would be able to come forward. i’m basing my comments on the available info, and merely making a point about the end always justifying the means. if there’s info that isn’t being made public, and that could very well be the case. it could completely change the discussion.

Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2008 3:27 PM
Comment #250328

DBS:

It’s another possibility that some of the “elders” of the community have had the time and means to put her elsewhere, out of reach. Keep that in mind too.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #250329

You have not painted yourself into any corner Lee. The subject has been changed from govt using heavy handed tactics to child abuse, in order to justify the govts actions.

Everybody knows child abuse is terrible and nowhere did you suggest otherwise. What you did suggest though, is that was it right for govt to forcefully displace 400+ children in order to investigate one alleged abuse?
Are all of these people guilty because of the words or actions of their preacher? Is it now ok to assume people believe and agree with everything their preacher says?

Or what if these people were muslims and the govt swept in and took 400+ children from their neighborhood, because somebody alleged they were strapping explosive vests to their kid?

People don’t care about the harm they inflict while they are trying to stop the harm the perceive. These people are “religious weirdos,” they have to be guilty of something, so its all ok.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2008 3:56 PM
Comment #250333

kctim,

Rightly or wrongly, heavy handed or not, the government has the right to enforce the laws we all live by.
Like it or not, we just cannot allow anyone with a messianic chip on their shoulder to thumb their nose at the rules our elected leaders (us) have passed.
FLDS has a long sorrid history of these abuses, if a Muslim sect had a history of abuse like this that could be demonstrated I personally would be all for a raid of this type.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2008 4:30 PM
Comment #250334

kctim,
In fact there was a case a number of years ago in which a Muslim family living in America lost custody of their child as a direct result of someone’s reported observation of what was apparently, in the father’s culture, a fairly common form of familiar touching. The child was removed to a Christian family and the court, as of the report several years ago, had kept the child with Christian families exclusively for, I think, two years.

I believe the original report was on a TV news magazine, probably ABC’s 20/20.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #250335

I found a source referencing the case I mentioned above. It was broadcast in 1996 on 20/20. I hadn’t thought it was that long ago.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 4:55 PM
Comment #250336

Rightly or wrongly, it went through a legitimate court, and “apparently” was a jury decision. It wasn’t necessaryily “apparently” a cultural issue. And remember, this was Texas and the judge was an advisor to our esteemed president.

I’ll say no more.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 5:30 PM
Comment #250337

Rocky
Nobody is saying to not enforce the laws. It is about whether govt should rip 400+ children from their parents and homes, in order to investigate one alleged abuse.

What law have we passed that says govt can take away the children of an entire community because one of them may be a perv?

“FLDS has a long sorrid history of these abuses, if a Muslim sect had a history of abuse like this that could be demonstrated I personally would be all for a raid of this type”

Its history is a factor and should be taken into account. But are all members of the congregation guilty because of the actions of other members? Or is it possible that some members didn’t agree with that part and had no part in it? Should their families have been torn apart in this raid?

Thanks for the link Lee. Thank goodness it happened in 96 and not today or we would be hearing how it was all part of Bushs’ evil plan to take over the world or something.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2008 5:34 PM
Comment #250339

wm,
There were seven other sources. I chose the one that looked the least inflamatory. I had only seen the original report (and can’t believe it was from twelve years ago!). The jury trial aspect seems bizarre to me. Why on earth a civil jury trial?

These kids are probably all grown up now. I wonder what has become of them?

kctim,
Trouble is, someone could still take it up from that aspect- “See!?! Even back in 1995 the man was trying to destroy the Muslim people!” By the way, one of the other links to this issue is a book entitled “The War on Islam”…

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 5:50 PM
Comment #250340

kctim,

As far as I am concerned anyone that knew about the abuses, and stood idly by allowing to happen again and again is just as guilty as those that committed the abuses.

That the government may have overstepped the bounds is a moot point. Somebody had to take the responsibility for this, and I am glad somebody finally did.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2008 5:57 PM
Comment #250341

Rocky
Really? So, standing idly by for 23 years while someone preaches hatred, means one is just as guilty?

Govt overstepping its bounds is never a moot point my friend.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2008 6:05 PM
Comment #250343

Having knowledge of a criminal act being committed makes one just as guilty as the perpetrator.

Posted by: janedoe at April 11, 2008 6:24 PM
Comment #250345

kctim,

As far as I know Rev Wright (if that is who you are speaking of) hasn’t yet committed a criminal act.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2008 6:33 PM
Comment #250347

Rocky

“That the government may have overstepped the bounds is a moot point.”

no it’s not. how can you say the gov’t over stepping it’s bounds is a moot point? are you saying the gov’t is above it’s own laws, and they don’t have to play by the rules, when it suits them?


Posted by: dbs at April 11, 2008 7:00 PM
Comment #250348

dbs,

I live in Arizona.
For decades the State of Arizona sat on their collective thumbs and looked the other way while Warren Jeffs, and his cohorts took advantage of the naivete of teenage girls to satisfy their sick desires.
That is fact. Look it up.
What’s worse is that Jeffs did it under the guise of being a prophet of God.

The State of Texas has done us all a great favor, and no I don’t have a problem if the State of Texas may have bent the rules a bit to put a stop to this perversity perpetrated in the name of God.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2008 7:11 PM
Comment #250352

According to CNN the county sheriff had an informer in the compound the past 4 years. On the other hand the guy they were actually hunting for was reportedly still in AZ. as required by his probation.
The 16yo is to young to be identified publically by the police isnt she?

I agree that uprooting 416 children for 1 unproven case of abuse is reaching, however I think with the informer ‘s info (if the informer is real) it will be a judgement call by the Texas CPS. With all the convicted sex offender in the cult its hard to think that the state of Texas is not justified in their pursuit of these guys.

The real issue is the laws passed during the past 25 years allowing so much power into a state agency such as CPS. After the California child care hysteria of the ’80s it was rather easy to beef up CPS to this point. Of course those cases proved to be untrue but that didnt stop the laws from passing all around the country. Maybe its time to take a look at these laws.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 11, 2008 8:22 PM
Comment #250353

I find it ironic that some of the same folks that find it plausible that our government has stopped multiple terrorist plots within this country, now have the temerity to question a state entity on whether it had enough evidence to raid the compound of a cult with a documented history of marriages of underage teen girls to adult males.

Some times I just have to wonder.

Posted by: Rocky at April 11, 2008 8:34 PM
Comment #250365

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080412/ap_on_re_us/polygamist_retreat_147

Posted by: janedoe at April 11, 2008 10:14 PM
Comment #250366

Touche, Rocky.

j2t2,
The reference to the “child care hysteria” in the ’80s is chilling at best. As I recall one case (in Massachusetts I think) included leading interviews of multiple children that incriminated someone to the point of their being convicted of assaults which were later proven to have been physically impossible. Ten years later this formerly respectable owner of a child-care facility was still under the cloud of house arrest, unable to hold a job, burdened by a quirk of state law that demanded he admit to pedophilia before he could be freed from his electronic shackles, even though he had been pardoned for the crime that never happened!

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 10:16 PM
Comment #250370

The case I mention above, the Gerald Amirault case, actually also involved his wife and mother. They were imprisoned for more than a decade each and he was only paroled in the last few years.

That case is obviously unrelated to the current issue, but it (and several other similar cases) are part of my general concern.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 11, 2008 10:55 PM
Comment #250372

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial

This is the one I was referring to Lee. Now Im not saying that this Texas cult is anything near the McMartin case , I was just making the point that the CPS has a lot of power when it comes to kids. Perhaps to much.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 11, 2008 11:47 PM
Comment #250375

This country has made a lot of mistakes in coming to terms with child abuse. So what? We have made a lot of mistakes in many other areas. Do we learn from those mistakes? Or go to the other extreme? That’s what I get from these posts, that if we do wrong or might do wrong, we should do nothing.

I don’t believe that. Like Lee has posted a few times, we are human, with human failings, imperfect. That we try to achieve a proper balance and don’t make it the first time doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying or let the pendulum swing too far the other way.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2008 11:52 PM
Comment #250381

Polygamy was very controversial in the LDS church from the beginning. Many of the women that Brigham Young married were widows, who were without alternatives on the frontier, and he was protecting them to some extent.

The FLDS church is run by a bunch of pervs doing things that are illegal, and they should have been stopped from doing it a very long time ago. If a 13 year old girl gets pregnant, it would be abusive if the guy was 18. If the guy is any older than that, he is a sick twisted child molester.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 12, 2008 1:24 AM
Comment #250405

One caution I have taken from the wild events of the ’80s and the horrors visited on innocent child-care workers by very literal 20th century witchunts is that we should all be very careful how evidence is gathered from children. We have to face the fact that well-meaning people crucified good people in those events.

We also need to remember that people are innocent, no matter what the media and law enforcement feed to us (and they meant well when they threw chum into the feeding frenzy in the ’80s) in the process of informing us of what is going on, until PROVEN GUILTY in a court of law.

I will guarantee you all that there are people on all sides of this issue who are sure they mean well and are trying to do the best, as they see it, for these children. The more stridently we rush to early judgement the more likely whatever evils are done in the long run will have at least some of their roots in our reactions.

The government should be required to prove its case and we should try to come to grips with how a bunch of women who probably are not perverts themselves see goodness in the life they have chosen for themselves and their children.

We could, by that process, probably all come to comprehend things about being human we are resistant to knowing at present.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 12, 2008 11:28 AM
Comment #250411

Lee,

I don’t disagree that the state should have all it’s ducks in a row in a case like this, if for nothing else that the perpetrators don’t go free on a technicality.

“…we should try to come to grips with how a bunch of women who probably are not perverts themselves see goodness in the life they have chosen for themselves and their children.”

Therein lies the rub.
Most of these women have been indoctrinated that life outside the compound is evil, that safety lies inside the compound. I would submit that most of these women chose the life they lead because they were raised in it, and they know no other.
The human mind is a fragile thing, and given only the information that their leaders want them to hear, how could they possibly choose anything else?
Look, I am not against these folks because of their religion, frankly I could care less.
I am against cults of this type because they totally isolate their members out in the middle of nowhere, separate them from reality, and because the leaders of these cults set themselves up as the unquestionable “Voice of God”.
Jeffs didn’t surround himself with thinking people.
If I was a religious person, and I’m not, I seriously doubt that God would want his followers to be merely drones.

Posted by: Rocky at April 12, 2008 12:39 PM
Comment #250420

Rocky

“The State of Texas has done us all a great favor, and no I don’t have a problem if the State of Texas may have bent the rules a bit to put a stop to this perversity perpetrated in the name of God.”

that may very well be, but where should we draw the line ? in this case maybe everything turns out fine, and these kids are better off. what about the other times ? what if it were your life and they bent the rules, and they were wrong ? if we allow the gov’t to bend the rules, who’s to stop them from bending them for the wrong reasons ? we put limits on gov’t for a reason. if don’t insist on them observing those limits they mean nothing, and we’re all in danger.


Posted by: dbs at April 12, 2008 1:40 PM
Comment #250425

“This country has made a lot of mistakes in coming to terms with child abuse. So what?”

The so what is that people go to jail and/or have their lives traumatically disrupted. They get branded sexual predator when they may not be. Their businesses are ruined. On the other side the children are neglected sometimes to the point of death.
WomenMarine, Im not saying that this is the case here in fact I think the CPS acted appropriately based upon the information in the media. I am saying that a majority of states enacted laws based upon the hysteria of the ’80s and it is time to review these laws and make corrections as needed.

The people that work for the CPS in the different states are for the most part good dedicated people IMHO. I believe CPS in most states are underfunded and overworked and cannot monitor foster care as they should.

Further, Women Marine, I believe that the sexual predator laws need to be reviewed and changed. What we want to stop is this
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-24-sex-crimes-cover_x.htm

and we still have problems
http://www.amw.com/features/feature_story_detail.cfm?id=356

The problem is we also have these people caught up in sexual predator cases when they shpouldnt be IMHO.

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4783650
and

http://netscape.com.com/Police+blotter+Teens+prosecuted+for+racy+photos/2100-1030_3-6157857.html

So now that some of the hysteria has died down and now that we can see the results of the laws in question IMO we should make corrections. Because quite frankly when kids are charged as sexual predators and will have to live with the predator tag forever it just isnt right and it numbs us as a society when these kids are lumped in with real sexual predators.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 12, 2008 6:16 PM
Comment #250427

One of the reasons the laws may be the way they are could be due to who we have making the laws. If half of this is true its to much.

http://www.armchairsubversive.org/

Posted by: j2t2 at April 12, 2008 6:22 PM
Comment #250432

j2t2,
The trouble is it is half the truth. That site is also the sort of pandering to political and philosophical hatred that turns well mannered discussions into shouting matches between people with bullhorns and earmuffs- exactly the kind of thing that makes political discussion look stupid to the uninitiated. Those fools and worse on both sides of the aisle are OUR fault, we, the people who allowed political talk to devolve into assertions of bigotry’s correctness for the modern day. We did that.

We will not solve it by asserting that conservatism is a disease or that liberalism is the same thing as intellectual laziness.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 12, 2008 7:14 PM
Comment #250434

That armchairsubversive thing shows how the internet can be used to create something out of internet searches and editing, kind of like wikipedia, but a little bit worse.

The FLDS church hides in inaccesible places to be able to do what they want, which is to own women and children, and trade them as chattel for sex and breeding. I don’t understand where the money comes from, to keep the whole thing going.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 12, 2008 7:49 PM
Comment #250439

ohrealy,

“I don’t understand where the money comes from, to keep the whole thing going.”

This may help some;

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/11486/who-will-control-sects-100-mil


dbs,

I don’t want to seem callous to the plight of those that have actually suffered under erroneous prosecution under the laws that enacted to establish the CPS and other agencies, but….

What exactly would be accomplished by me worrying about how powerful the US Government has become?

Realistically, if I was to find myself in the situation you describe, other than hoping for a sympathetic judge that might be willing to “legislate from the bench” (perish the thought), thinking about how powerful the government is probably wouldn’t be in my top 10 things to be thinking about.

That CPS is a state rather than a federal agency will probably make it easier to deal with at the legislative level.

Posted by: Rocky at April 12, 2008 8:46 PM
Comment #250441

“I don’t understand where the money comes from, to keep the whole thing going.”

Here is how the FLDS pays for things

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2008/04/09/randi-kaye-are-you-paying-for-polygamy/

Posted by: j2t2 at April 12, 2008 10:11 PM
Comment #250442

Stephen said “A call to support polygamy and child abuse? You are on the short end of the stick on this one. I can see “progressive liberals” supporting this along with their “man-boy love” and teaching children to accept the homosexual life style but not a conservative.”


Well Stephen dont choke on this but here is your “man boy love” dude:

http://www.ocweekly.com/news/news/our-thing/25902/

Lee said “We will not solve it by asserting that conservatism is a disease or that liberalism is the same thing as intellectual laziness.”

Lee I agree the armchair subversive site is extreme but then you have people like stephen with his liberal bashing comments that are as extreme as the armchair site yet go unchecked,…well they start to believe their own propaganda.

So far armchairs facts check out.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 12, 2008 10:49 PM
Comment #250443

First off, I want to start by saying that I believe a lot of illegal acts were probably happening there and something did need to be done..

now that I have said that, this is the question I have come up with after reading this entire blog:

If this was such a desperate situation that needed to be acted on immediately, then why wasn’t their 4yr. informant giving them enough information for them to act on long before this incident????? The telephone call from a missing 16yr. old does seem a little suspect giving the circumstances…that would be the perfect reason for such an abrupt search and seizure that they could never obtain from there own informant….to quote a few…”that smell test just doesn’t pass”!! LOL


I think a lot of people have taken Lee wrong…

He does not seem to me to be trying to validate there actions, just questioning the proceedure.

I think we all have interest in that proceedure considering how we are all well to familiar with the fact that all it takes is one slip up by the police or any other form of government agency….we all know where that leads…the whole thing is dropped…case over…it happens all the time!!
I’m sure somewhere heads are rolling right now with their superior screeming “Where in the hell is that 16yr. old?????? You better clean this up or heads are going to roll!!!!!” LOLOLOL

As for the comment that stated that everyone there is guilty by association for not doing anything about it while knowing it was happening….once again, what catagory does the 4yr. informent fall into??????


Just my perspective…thanx

Posted by: Traci at April 12, 2008 11:12 PM
Comment #250444

WOW….quite tired…lots of spelling and grammar errors….sorry about that :o)

Posted by: Traci at April 12, 2008 11:15 PM
Comment #250466


I wonder if any of the young girls that were in the compound are runaway’s who were recruited on My Space.

Posted by: jlw at April 13, 2008 1:48 PM
Comment #250517

j2t2,
My earlier comment about “half the truth” was essentially about the fact that there are conservative sites doing the same sort of things to liberals. That only proves that people who benefit from the cover of power can feather their nests in either party, and they will be encouraged to do so as long as bigotry is the essential factor in how we choose party affiliation. That bigotry magnifies the sins of our “enemies” while it mutes the sins of our “friends”. The essential deciding factor in good and evil is not the values by which a person lives but what label we see them wearing.

j2t2, you have been pretty consistently liberal in your general outlook, but have been honest and open-minded about it. Should I, for partizanship’s sake, lump you in with William Jefferson or Dan Rostenkowski? Of course not.

Over the weekend the tenor of the news concerning the FLDS raid has changed somewhat as news agencies seem to sense criticism of Texas’ approach in this matter may be, at least in legal technicalities, valid. So far the “sixteen-year-old” has not been found and the evidence that her “husband”, Dale Barlow, was in Texas has been, except for the originating cell phone call, nonexistent. According to news reports, Barlow has been in Arizona, where he is on parole an must regularly check in with a parole officer. He is said to have an alibi for the time period covered by the phone evidence.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 14, 2008 10:01 AM
Comment #250538

Traci you make a good point, 4 years and this is it? I am thinking that they were waiting to nab the right person or persons and didnt really care about the kids as much as they would have us believe. Time will rell.

“Over the weekend the tenor of the news concerning the FLDS raid has changed somewhat as news agencies seem to sense criticism of Texas’ approach in this matter may be, at least in legal technicalities, valid.”

Hopefully this part of the equation can stay on the minds of the public as well as the more sensational aspects of the case Lee. Maybe some one from the media will spotlight it as this whole case moves forward.
When you consider the source from your link Lee, its a poligamist women saying their alternative lifestyle should be accepted by the rest of us. I cant even argue with her except molesting young girls isnt really a lifestyle its an illness. But she didnt really speak to that point did she? As fas as poligamy, who cares, but my god get some birth control, 3 wives and 22 kids. And please get off the welfare rolls, if you cant support’em dont marry them.

Lee- Dale Barlow is old news, CNN was reporting that he was in AZ last week. Some of the confusion I’ve heard is that there are quite a few “Barlow’s” on the compound.

Lee we do seem to group people together. Since the days of Reagan and Gingrich and their all out verbal abuse and attacks on anyone liberal its became PC for those on the right to think it is a birthright to lump us in the all things wrong group despite evidence to the contrary. So for a while I turned the other cheek, but that was then and this is now. When I see or hear the foolish comments like Stephen’s I no longer let them pass. In fact I will continue to show those that would stoop to such remarks the error of their ways. While this may be confrontational I have found that by fighting fire with fire the foolish remarks tend to stop. Yes we both get burned but then Im not one of those peace at any price liberals just another liberal for peaceful co-existance.
I realize that the powers that be use these wedges to divide us but it will need to be a 2 way street, a no justice no peace approach if you will, for me. The “Gingrich approach” served to divide us as well but it was one sided and its impact is still being felt today.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 14, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #378239

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Emporio Armani AR2442 Classic Leather Strap Black Dial Men’s Watch
Emporio Armani AR2444 Classic Black Leather Date Strap Men’s Watch
Emporio Armani AR2447 Men’s Renato Chronograph Watch
Emporio Armani AR2448 Chronograph Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR2452 Stainless Steel Pink Dial Men’s Watch
Emporio Armani AR3151 Diamond Mother Of Pearl Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4200 Mens MECCANICO Leather Strap Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4201 Meccanico Automatic Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4203 Mens MECCANICO Leather Strap Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4204 Black Leather Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4205 Mens Meccanico Leather Strap Watch
Emporio Armani AR4206 Mens Quartz Watch
Emporio Armani AR4207 Mens Meccanico Stainless Steel Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4208 Meccanico Men’s Watch
Emporio Armani AR4209 Meccanico Small Seconds Gents Watch
Emporio Armani AR4210 Brown Leather Meccanico Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4213 Classic Chronograph Black Dial Men’s Watch
Emporio Armani AR4214 Meccanico Mens Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4218 Mens MECCANICO Stainless Steel Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4219 Mens Rose Gold Classic Meccanico Watch
Emporio Armani AR4224 Meccanico Open Heart Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4226 Black Rubber Meccanico Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4228 Meccanico Automatic Black Leather Black Dial Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4229 Meccanico Automatic Brown Leather Yellow Dial Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4231 Mens Meccanico Rubber Strap Watch
Emporio Armani AR4601 Jungle Combat Mens Leather Wrist Watch
Emporio Armani AR4602 Black Leather Mens Designer Meccanico Watch
Emporio Armani AR4603 Men’s Watch Automatic Chronograph Watch
Emporio Armani AR4604 Meccanico Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4606 MECCANICO Leather Strap Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4607 Men’s Black Leather Quartz Watch
Emporio Armani AR4608 Meccanico Mens Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4609 Mens Meccanico Automatic Dk Blue /Black Leather Strap Watch
Emporio Armani AR4610 Meccanico Mens Stainless Steel Automatic Chronograph Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4611 Meccanico Gents Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4612 Meccanico Gents Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4613 Meccanico Gents Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR4619 Meccanico Men’s Automatic Rose Gold Watch
Emporio Armani AR4620 Men Meccanico Calendar Watch
Emporio Armani AR4625 Meccanico Automatic Mens Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4627 Meccanico Mens Automatic Watch
Emporio Armani AR4628 Men’s Meccanico Black Leather Strap Watch
Emporio Armani AR4630 Meccanico Rubber Strap Watch
Emporio Armani AR4633 Gents Automatic Strap Watch
Emporio Armani AR4634 Meccanico Automatic Mens Designer Watch
Emporio Armani AR4635 Meccanico Automatic Black Men’s Watch
Emporio Armani AR4643 Men’s Meccanico Brown Dial Watch
Emporio Armani AR4644 Men’s Meccanico Brown Leather Strap Silver Dial watch
Emporio Armani AR5300 Striking gents dress watch
Emporio Armani AR5316 Mens Chronograph Sports Watch
Emporio Armani AR5321 Black Leather Chronograph Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR5324 Men’s Stainless Steel Dial Watch
Emporio Armani AR5327 Stainless Large Gents Watch
Emporio Armani AR5328 Black Leather Mens Watch
Emporio Armani AR5329 Leather Gents Watch
Emporio Armani AR5330 Classic GMT Dual Time Gents Watch
Emporio Armani AR5331 Stainless Gents Watch

Posted by: burberry watch steel at May 8, 2014 8:28 AM
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