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rowanlim
08-04-08, 06:04
Over 400 Kids Taken From Polygamist Sect

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) — More than 400 children, mostly girls in pioneer dresses, were swept into state custody from a polygamist sect in what authorities described Monday as the largest child-welfare operation in Texas history.

The dayslong raid on the sprawling compound built by now-jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was sparked by a 16-year-old girl's call to authorities that she was being abused and that girls as young as 14 and 15 were being forced into marriages with much older men.

Dressed in home-sewn, ankle-length dresses with their hair pinned up in braids, some 133 women left the Yearning for Zion Ranch of their own volition along with the children.

State troopers were holding an unknown number of men in the compound until investigators finished executing a house-to-house search of the 1,700-acre property, which includes a medical facility, a cheese-making plant, a cement plant, a school, numerous large housing units and an 80-foot white limestone temple that rises discordantly out of the brown scrub.

"In my opinion, this is the largest endeavor we've ever been involved in in the state of Texas," said Children's Protective Services spokesman Marleigh Meisner, who said the agency was also involved in the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco.

The members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints spent their days raising numerous children, tilling small gardens and doing chores. But at least one former resident says life was not some idyllic replica of 19th-century life.

"Once you go into the compound, you don't ever leave it," said Carolyn Jessop, one of the wives of the alleged leader of the Eldorado complex. Jessop left with her eight children before part of the sect moved to Texas.

Jessop said the community emphasized self-sufficiency because they believed the apocalypse was near.

The women were not allowed to wear red — the color Jeffs said belonged to Jesus — and were not allowed to cut their hair. They were also kept isolated from the outside world.

They "were born into this," said Jessop, 40. "They have no concept of mainstream society, and their mothers were born into and have no concept of mainstream culture. Their grandmothers were born into it."

Meisner said each child will get an advocate and an attorney but predicted that if they end up permanently separated from their families, the sheltered children would have a tough acclimation to modern life.

Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, said the criminal investigation was still under way, and that charges would be filed if investigators determined children were abused.

Still uncertain is the location of the girl whose call initiated the raid. She allegedly had a child at 15, and authorities were looking for documents, family photos or even a family Bible with lists of marriages and children to demonstrate the girl was married to Dale Barlow, 50.

Under Texas law, girls younger than 16 cannot marry, even with parental approval.

The church members were being held at Fort Concho, a 150-year-old fort built to protect frontier settlements, to be interviewed about the 16-year-old girl and whether, in fact, the teenager was among them.

State investigators on Sunday got a second, wider search warrant for records related to the birth of any child to a mother aged 17 and under. The initial warrant was only for the records related to the girl who called to report abuse last week.

Attorneys for the church and church leaders filed motions asking a judge to quash the search on constitutional grounds, saying state authorities didn't have enough evidence to search the grounds and the warrants were too broad. A hearing on their motion is scheduled Wednesday in San Angelo.

FLDS attorneys Patrick Peranteau said Monday that "the chief concern for everyone at this point is the welfare of the women and children."

DPS troopers arrested one man on a charge of interfering with the duties of a public servant during the search warrant, but it was not Barlow, Mange said.

"For the most part, residents at the ranch have been cooperative. However, because of some of the diplomatic efforts in regards to the residents, the process of serving the search warrants is taking longer than usual," said DPS spokesman Tom Vinger, who declined to elaborate. "The annex is extremely large and the temple is massive."

Attorneys for the church and church leaders said Barlow was in Colorado City, Ariz., and had had contact with law enforcement officials there. Telephone messages left by The Associated Press for Colorado City authorities were not immediately returned Monday.

Barlow was sentenced to jail last year after pleading no contest to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for three years while he is on probation.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headed by Jeffs after his father's death in 2002, broke away from the Mormon church after the latter disavowed polygamy more than a century ago.

The group is concentrated along the Arizona-Utah line but several enclaves have been built elsewhere, including in Texas. Several years ago it paid $700,000 for the Eldorado property, a former exotic animal ranch, and began building the compound as authorities in Arizona and Utah began increasingly scrutinizing the group.

The compound sits down a narrow paved road and behind a hill that shields it almost entirely from view in Eldorado, a town of fewer than 2,000 surrounded by sheep ranches nearly 200 miles northwest of San Antonio. Only the 80-foot-high white temple can be seen on the horizon.

Jeffs is jailed in Kingman, Ariz., where he awaits trial for four counts each of incest and sexual conduct with a minor stemming from two arranged marriages between teenage girls and their older male relatives.

In November, he was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in Utah for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl who wed her cousin in an arranged marriage in 2001.

The investigation prompted by the girl's call last week was the first in Texas involving the sect.

Source (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iIdMpRHjN4hpNKBhfYyAsR4DDo4QD8VTF8L01)

That's just disgusting. IMO polygamy is a horrible concept. This is like some kind of human farm or something :mad:

Margot*Croft
08-04-08, 06:18
Not to speak about the way women are treated

Draco
08-04-08, 06:22
While that system of polygamy is extreme, polygamy itself is natural in strict terms.

aquaflute
08-04-08, 06:29
While that system of polygamy is extreme, polygamy itself is natural in strict terms.

not exactly, male mate to many females during the mating season. But female change their partner every year too and they do have a right to choose. So in many ways some human females have less rights than animals. Polygamy is like the male own those females and that is nothing natural at all.

And besides we don't always follow natural instincts.

Margot*Croft
08-04-08, 06:32
Yup. Moreover, human relationships are not only characterized by instinct, but also by rational choices (or, at least, they should be;)). I'm not prone to consider polygamy as a "natural human attitude" therefore.:)

rowanlim
08-04-08, 06:35
But these are CHILDREN! I can't believe...it's like using this idea to cover up an old guy's lust or something :(

Margot*Croft
08-04-08, 06:39
Abusing of little children is probably the worst thing s.o. could even think of doing ... disgusting!

rowanlim
08-04-08, 06:54
^Yeah that's just disgusting. I can't imagine how parents can let this man take their kids like that :(

Earthcane
08-04-08, 06:55
I really dont know what to say. I remember seeing Jeffs in a documentary about Polygamy once, Just seems perverted or something. IMO, dude.

Neteru
08-04-08, 07:00
Can we not have another 'that's disgusting' thread? If you've got something interesting to debate, something relevant and intelligent to contribute, then by all means do so, but don't use this forum to whip up mass ill feeling and hatred. This board isn't a venue for members to simply trip on vitriol.

Muhammad
08-04-08, 17:24
I agree with OP this is like the harem concept that our culture abandoned thank God.

Lavinder
08-04-08, 18:06
I remember watching a program on Sky (cannot remember the name of the guy) but he gathered loads of Christians to live together etc. And he claimed that god had told him that all women should have sex with him and have as many children by him as they could. If I remember correctly I think he even had sex with his daughters :(.

Draco
08-04-08, 18:16
not exactly, male mate to many females during the mating season. But female change their partner every year too and they do have a right to choose. So in many ways some human females have less rights than animals. Polygamy is like the male own those females and that is nothing natural at all.

And besides we don't always follow natural instincts.

True enough, but what this is is not polygamy, but more slavery. Polygamy just means many mates.

Lavinder
08-04-08, 18:23
Polygamy just means many mates.

Even though this is seen as a natural thing to do as animals, I just could not see myself or many other humans doing this. Most people are emotionally involved in sex, also the risk of infections and diseases makes me think that a society like this would not be very sensible. =/

Paul H
08-04-08, 18:54
I remember watching a program on Sky (cannot remember the name of the guy) but he gathered loads of Christians to live together etc. And he claimed that god had told him that all women should have sex with him and have as many children by him as they could.

That sounds like David Berg’s Children of God cult.

http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/David_Berg

If I remember correctly I think he even had sex with his daughters :(.And even his granddaughters.

http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/David_Berg#Alleged_sexual_abuse

Lavinder
08-04-08, 19:00
That sounds like David Berg’s Children of God cult.

http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/David_Berg

And even his granddaughters.

http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/David_Berg#Alleged_sexual_abuse

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was him - rather sick, but you know, some people are mentally disturbed.

Christi
08-04-08, 19:17
If one of those girls was me...I would kick those guy's ***es.:mad:

Mytly
08-04-08, 19:39
Even though this is seen as a natural thing to do as animals, I just could not see myself or many other humans doing this. Most people are emotionally involved in sex, also the risk of infections and diseases makes me think that a society like this would not be very sensible. =/
Do you realize that most human societies in history have been polygamous to some extent? In fact, scientifically speaking, humans are "naturally" polygamous. The idea of a marriage being between only two people is the exception, not the rule.
Please note that I am NOT talking about situations like this horrible cult, but rather a stable relationship between one adult man and more than one adult woman (or in rare cases, the other way around). It's a curious fact that polygyny (having more than one wife) is actually beneficial to women, and harmful to men (i.e., the men who are forced to remain bachelors because all the women are taken by a few men.)
And last but not least, most western people practise polygamy, though they probably don't realize it. It's a specialized type of polygamy called "serial polygamy" - i.e., marrying multiple partners one after the other rather than all at once. Add a minor little legal technicality called "divorce" between two consecutive marriages and you have a description of most modern western marriages. ;)

Draco
08-04-08, 20:55
Polygamy is alive and well many places to this day.

Quasimodo
08-04-08, 21:32
While that system of polygamy is extreme, polygamy itself is natural in strict terms.

Would you say the same thing if it were women marrying several husbands?

Draco
08-04-08, 23:38
Would you say the same thing if it were women marrying several husbands?

Why would my statement change?

Encore
08-04-08, 23:59
I don't think poligamy in itself is the issue here... The real issue is that there is no mutual consent, and it involves minors.

Capt. Murphy
09-04-08, 00:01
It might be "natural"... But that's something animals would do, and IMO we aren't animals. Just like it's natural to have the urge to kill, but that doesn't make that right either.

cococomics_pres
09-04-08, 02:47
^^ True, we humans created laws on what we feel is morally sound, not what is natural.

Also, has anyone here read "Survivor" by Chuck Palahniuk? This article reminds me of that book a lot.

rowanlim
09-04-08, 03:27
I don't think poligamy in itself is the issue here... The real issue is that there is no mutual consent, and it involves minors.

Yes. I can't believe that this kind of thing is STILL happening...manipulative :cen: