Since Thursday, police authorities have removed 159 children and 60 adults from the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas. The ranch is home to as many as 400 members of the polygamous sect, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, formerly led by Warren Jeffs. (CNN)
The legal background for the raid is outlined in a story published yesterday by the San Angelo (TX) Standard-Times. On March 29 and 30, Texas police authorities received a call from inside the ranch by a 16-year old girl who said she is married to-- and has an 8 month old child by-- Dale Barlow who has previously been convicted of conspiracy to commit sexual contact with a minor. In response, on Thursday afternoon police obtained a warrant from state District Judge Barbara Walther ordering tharrest of Dale Barlow, and authorizing seizure of any records or documents on the marriage of Barlow to the 16-year-old and the resulting birth of their child. It also orders the seizure of computer equipment, hard drives and data storage equipment, DVDs, videotapes and photographs. (San Angelo Standard Times).
Once inside the compound, authorities used evidence of past or imminent abuse or neglect to remove children and women. (Deseret Morning News.). On Friday Judge Walther issued another order-- this time a gag order to prevent further information about the investigation being released. (Ft. Worth Star Telegram). Judge Walther also issued an order directing officials to bring all children, including boys under age 18, out of the compound. (Salt Lake Tribune).
If you go to the Religion Clause blog you will find links to the various sources of this article.
This is a result of defying our marriage laws--I said before that polygamy lends toward abuse of women and underage girls --and causes indiscriminate breeding by one man --children he cannot properly afford and care for --and I doubt very much that one phone call was the only suggestion of wrong-doing before authorities went in.
We know they have kicked the young male offspring out of these cults for some rule infractions--just to get them away from competition for the older men men who rule the roost and desire to take the younger women as wives. Don't you all see how the system lends itself to abuse by lustful, greedy men who think they can take any brides they want as long as they can get to them first --or seduce them in by the natural sexual desires of youth? It's a Peyton Place under the guise of religious sanction--a hot bed of old men lusting after girls --and bedding and wedding them because "they can."
But our laws say they can NOT --and we need to enforce the law for many good reasons based on facts about polygamous groups.
There are books written by women who experienced this inequity perpetrated by men if they could get away with it by religious teachings --making the women feel that it was their religious duty to give themselves to these old ginks and middle-aged lotharios and to put up with competing wives brought into their home. There were some books written by the first Mormon wives who protested and saw that the system was just a justification for old boys' lusts --and harmed the first wife especially --as Hiram said, "Well, Rebekkah, I think you need help in the bedroom, don'cha, Darlin'?" (If some do welcome help in the bedroom--it's a sad commentary on their marriages.)
Civil liberties in the name of religion! MY FOOT!
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible