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The Texas "child abuse"/FLDS situation
Old 04-17-2008, 12:15 AM   #1
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The Texas "child abuse"/FLDS situation

Watched Larry King tonight interview 3 of the FLDS women from the Eldorado compound whose children were "rescued". (400 children were taken away & are awaiting the next step,,,, whatever that is).

I'm thinking that this is all going to come back & bite the butts of the authorities involved in raiding the compound. It really sounds as if they entirely skipped investigating the complaint, as well as any thought for due process.

This has to have been a traumatic thing for a lot of innocent little children.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:01 AM   #2
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I just finished watching the same program and share Bram's perspective. Is polygamy enough to wrest children permanently from their parents? I think not. Merely because I (or someone else) disagrees with another's lifestyle doesn't give me the right to dictate my views -- barring something really horrendous (which has only been alleged in the Eldorado, Texas, compound).

The women in the show were heartbroken. I doubt they are abusers. Their mousey nature, however, underscores the brainwashed society in which they have been reared and in which they are bringing up their own children. Any clue how they get their hair to look so Victorian?
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:03 AM   #3
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Texas Child Protective Services (CPS), the agency who is behind the raid, has been under tremendous pressure in the past few years for failing to carry out it's responsibility in all areas of the state. A number of high-profile child abuse cases have made the headlines, most involving the death of a small child where CPS had the opportunity to intervene but failed to do so before the tragedy. I think this is coloring some of the actions we see taking place. CPS is trying to show it can and will do what it takes to protect children from abuse.

Having relatives in the general area where the FLDS compound is located, I know the authorities have had them under close surveillance for several years. Those who leave the fold of the religious group tell a consistent story of a 'brainwashed' society led by a relatively small group of men who have multiple wives. Once girls reach puberty they are married to one of these men at the direction of the church elders. Male children are supposedly "culled" as teenagers by excommunicating a number of them (the "Lost Boys"). This maintains a high ratio of women to men in order to provide multiple wives to the men who head up the families in the church. (Notice that very few males - of any age - are appearing in the media.)

I'd have very little sympathy for what the state is doing if it was based only on polygamy. Unfortunately the history of this group indicates the forced marriage of girls as young as 12 to men who in some cases are 50 or older. Not something I think we should allow to go unchallenged in the name of freedom of religion.

No doubt this is traumatic for the children and these poor women who have known nothing other than this lifestyle. The fact the male leadership of this religious group is parading these pathetic women in front of the media to defend their actions says volumes.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:59 AM   #4
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My immediate reaction was that the authorities over reacted. But I am withholding judgment based on some allegations I heard on several new shows. They asserted that there are quite a few underaged teenagers with kids at the compound, including 13 and 14 year olds, and a 16 year old with 4 kids. If those assertions are correct that compound is an abuse factory. Freedom of religion does not include turning 13 year old girls over to adult men as sexual objects. On the other hand, if these girls are simply being brainwashed but not married off until they reach the age of consent, then the state has no more basis to intervene that it would to adjust the practices of any other religion.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:00 AM   #5
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I'm thinking that this is all going to come back & bite the butts of the authorities involved in raiding the compound. It really sounds as if they entirely skipped investigating the complaint, as well as any thought for due process.
This profile of County Sheriff David Doran suggests otherwise, at least for the local law enforcement officials.


Watchful eye helped avoid sect 'fiasco' | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
"...Doran isn't the swaggering, guns a-blazin' stereotype of the rural Texas sheriff. His pastor, Andy Anderson at Eldorado's First Baptist Church, says, "he has a reputation for making sure his ducks are in a row."
For the past four years, Doran kept an open line of communication with the sect, built a basic rapport, seemed to earn the respect of elders all the while, keeping a watchful eye on the compound with a pair of binoculars during frequent stakeouts."
Keep in mind that Scleicher County is in a part of West Texas that is among the nation's least populated areas: it has about 1100 households spread out over 1300 square miles.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:26 AM   #6
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More freaky religious types. Bottom line IF there are underage girls pregnant or who have given birth to children and the fathers are those older men, men should be in jail. Right?
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:13 AM   #7
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Texas Child Protective Services (CPS), the agency who is behind the raid, has been under tremendous pressure in the past few years for failing to carry out it's responsibility in all areas of the state. A number of high-profile child abuse cases have made the headlines, most involving the death of a small child where CPS had the opportunity to intervene but failed to do so before the tragedy. I think this is coloring some of the actions we see taking place. CPS is trying to show it can and will do what it takes to protect children from abuse.

Having relatives in the general area where the FLDS compound is located, I know the authorities have had them under close surveillance for several years. Those who leave the fold of the religious group tell a consistent story of a 'brainwashed' society led by a relatively small group of men who have multiple wives. Once girls reach puberty they are married to one of these men at the direction of the church elders. Male children are supposedly "culled" as teenagers by excommunicating a number of them (the "Lost Boys"). This maintains a high ratio of women to men in order to provide multiple wives to the men who head up the families in the church. (Notice that very few males - of any age - are appearing in the media.)

I'd have very little sympathy for what the state is doing if it was based only on polygamy. Unfortunately the history of this group indicates the forced marriage of girls as young as 12 to men who in some cases are 50 or older. Not something I think we should allow to go unchallenged in the name of freedom of religion.
Not to mention that those older men that those 12 year olds are 'marrying' are often cousins, uncles, half brothers; and this has been going on for more than 50 years.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:35 AM   #8
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... On the other hand, if these girls are simply being brainwashed but not married off until they reach the age of consent, then the state has no more basis to intervene that it would to adjust the practices of any other religion.
All other aspects of this case may be unclear at this time but this statement is absolutely correct.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #9
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...if these girls are simply being brainwashed...
Really great thread. So that's what brainwashed looks like. Wow. I wasn't following this story but saw the wifes on TV and thought how relaxed they look, (OMG, I'm really tense!) So what exactly does brainwashed look like: depression crossed with suppression?
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:06 AM   #10
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I think the look you saw on their faces was more along the lines of shock and sadness. Brainwashing has no 'look' that I'm aware of, only a behavior. In this case, the belief that it is the 'sacred duty' of a girl to get married and begin having babies once she reaches puberty.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:24 AM   #11
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There's a line of argument that indoctrinating children into a religion is abusive in itself, substituting faith for reason before a child is prepared to make informed decisions on these issues.

'Religion's Real Child Abuse' by Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net


Religious parents, of course, disagree, believing it is essential to indoctrinate children with these religious values when they are still young.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:34 AM   #12
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I think the look you saw on their faces was more along the lines of shock and sadness. Brainwashing has no 'look' that I'm aware of, only a behavior. In this case, the belief that it is the 'sacred duty' of a girl to get married and begin having babies once she reaches puberty.
I think you are right. [I have to change my signature line--it's for a different context].

So, brainwashing might be the wrong concept. They may not have been "re-taught" since it is the belief of the community they were raised in?

I can't help wondering how different they might look in their everyday lifes before this happened.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:40 AM   #13
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PS in Texas, marriage before the age of 18 requires parental consent (which probably would have been no problem in the case of the FLDS children). But, marriage before the age of 16 requires a court order. Of course, they children might have gotten married in another state--Utah allows marriage as young as 15 with the approval of a juvenile court.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:46 AM   #14
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One other legal hurdle the state is wrestling with is the lack of birth records for members of this sect. How does the state prove underage marriage if there is no way to know how old someone is? Sticky situation...
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:23 PM   #15
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Not to mention that those older men that those 12 year olds are 'marrying' are often cousins, uncles, half brothers; and this has been going on for more than 50 years.

if there is one dad for 10-40 kids or so - doesn't that really decrease their gene pool? Seriously - i saw a news mag story about how the amish are facing problems because of the limited gene pool and they're not all sharing a few dad's chromosones...
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Who's who
Old 04-17-2008, 02:05 PM   #16
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Who's who

IMHO, here is the biggest problem of this mess. The children do not know who their mothers are. They certainly do not know the names of their fathers. And the adults are not identifying their children. I seriously doubt if the mothers could even identify their children with any degree of accuracy.

In fact, it seems to me , that noone in this sect, except for the "prophets" have any identities at all. At least not legal identities; there are no birth records, etc.

It appears to me that this sect is comprised of a few men who produce and maintain a stable of mainly females whom they brainwash and physically and sexually abuse. How fitting, that they call their compounds "ranches".

This seems to me a most vile form of abuse and it should be stopped immediatley.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:22 PM   #17
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I don't care what consenting adults choose to do; if they want to all marry each other multiple times, I don't see why I should care (granting public benefits is a separate issue). But when you have a situation where children are being forced to marry and bear more children, I have a real problem.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:31 PM   #18
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I really think identity and parental status needs to be established by DNA in this situation. Because both parents have status in the Court both should be required to attend.

Each person claiming to be the biological parent of a child should be required to provide a birth certificate for the child to support their claim.

I don't have an issue with polygamy per se, just that these people are having sexual relationships with very young girls.

It appears to me that many of these children don't know who their biological parent are, evidently they call all the women in their household 'Mother'.

The other form of neglect in this specific sect, IMHO, is the lack of an adequate education. They have few options but to stay in the group because they cannot adequately provide for themselves outside of it. The boys and young men who are pushed out find themselves relegated to blue collar occupations.

Were it not for sex acts with very young girls I doubt that the justice system would have become involved. Religion is no excuse for that behavior. One way to estimate age is to look at the development of wisdom teeth. They rarely erupt before the age of 17.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:37 PM   #19
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Id like to get the facts first before I light the torches and grab my pitch fork.
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Too frightening to think of
Old 04-17-2008, 03:02 PM   #20
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Too frightening to think of

Are questions that noone ever brings up.

Who cares for the health of these women and children?
Who cares for the pregnant women?
Are the children born on the ranch?
Who assists these women in childbirth?

With such a limited gene pool, and logically therefore, a large degree of inbreeding, there are even more disturbing questions.

What happens to miscarriages and stillborn infants?
If there are no birth certificates, are there death certificates?
Are the dead buried on the ranch?
What happens to live born children with obvious genetic abnormalities or deformities?
What happens to live born infants who need neonatal resusciation?
What happens to live born infants who are sick and need medical attention?

Unfortuantely and sadly, the issue of forced marriages and sexual abuse of these girls is only the tip of the iceberg.
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