Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FLDS - Flawed Logic Doesn't Stick

Massive temple at the Yearning For Zion ranch of the FLDSLet's return for a moment to the land of the YFZ Ranch. YFZ standing for "Yearning For Zion". (Ranch standing for "ranch".) You remember. The mother ship of the FLDS church down yonder in Eldorado, Texas. That's where the followers of Warren Jeffs (self proclaimed Grand Poobah of the FLDS) set up camp and continued their practice of having the older men marry much younger and, in many cases, underaged girls for the purpose of sexing up. Multiple wives, underage intercourse, and lots and lots of children. Them's the makin's of a Texas Child and Family Services Round-Up.

The State of Texas moved in on the compound and removed all of the children who were living there after receiving an anonymous phone call that underage girls were being forced to marry and have sex with adult males for the purpose of bearing their children (ie, the whole "be fruitful and multiply" rule of thumb that is cited by the "religious groups" who make it a practice of allowing underage females to be sexually sacrificed to adult males in their offshoot and whack-a-do sect). "All of the children" means 462! And 462 is a lot of anything, let alone kids.

A one Maggie Jessop, a current member of the FLDS sect whose four children are in the custody of the State of Texas, has written a letter to the Salt Lake Tribune which was published on 05/09/2008. Her letter begins with this opening statement: "So, you want to hear from the FLDS women, huh? OK, you asked for it." And while I appreciate the response, she didn't quite grasp what it is that some individuals want to know (with "some individuals" meaning those of us who are NOT living in a weird religious sect that has cut itself off from society and allows it's underage females to have sex with older men). Yes, we DO want to hear from the FLDS women. BUT we want to hear them ANSWER a question, ANY question, DIRECTLY. We don't want to hear whatever is coming out of your mouth that has nothing to do with anything that was asked of you. We want to hear an ANSWER that is RELEVANT to the question that you were just asked.

For example, when the FLDS women have been asked about underage girls having sex with older men and if that goes on at the YFZ Ranch, the answer that is given is along the lines of, "There is no force. No one is forced. We love our children." (Please recite in a quiet and sing-songy voice for the full effect. Oh, and stare blindly ahead or down at the ground as well. Then you'll really get a feel for it.) And that's fine. But you DIDN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION! It's a "Yes" or it's a "No". That's all. And NONE of the women who have been asked that question will say either one. So, good job twisting that around, Maggie. Continue, dear.

Maggie does continue and this time she goes along the same lines with more inflammatory statements/rhetorical questions such as, "In the face of the holocaust going on, most people want to know the truth, right? Well, do you get truth from liars?" Allow me to just say that when people use the term "holocaust" to represent their unpleasant situation, one that is completely unrelated to and uncomparable to the Nazi holocaust in Germany in WWII, it makes me angry. Kinda sick and a little bit angry. (Aside from the fact that the basic definition of a "holocaust" is something that is consumed by fire. If this was Waco, I might be a little more lenient on the "holocaust" comparison. But it's not, so it irritates me.) So, again, nice try with the inflammatory prose, but you're out of line.

She writes, "If someone is different, people get suspicious, perhaps even jealous, and assume the worst." Wait. What? Jealous? Jealous. We're jealous? Of THIS??:

Yes, that looks so pleasant that I am going to be jealous of it.  Oh, please.Prairie dress?  Check.  Three layers of nylons?  Check.  Bonnet?  Oh, crap.  We forgot our bonnets.

Um, yeah, I don't think so. We might be a lot of things. We might be angry, annoyed and appalled (among other things), but we're not jealous of THAT. Next!

She also states, "I expect the freedom to worship God after the dictates of my own conscience, and believe all men, and women, should be free to do the same." You have that freedom. So do those of us not living inside a walled up compound with men who like to have sex with underage girls. She continues, "Put yourself in my shoes, because you and your children could be next. You think you are safe because you belong to the public?" No. Those who are in public, who are protecting their young children from sexual predators by not allowing the children to be handed over to the older men for sexual gratification, those people ARE safe. And they're safe for THAT reason, NOT because they "belong to the public". And you and your children would be as well if you were doing the same...in a public setting/society or NOT.

Maggie continues along these same "poor me" lines for quite some time. And good for her for speaking out. She's a very articulate individual and can convey her thoughts on paper quite well. However, she is also very good at dancing around the issue at hand and making it appear as if there is some sort of unfounded persecution that is happening to the members of her little community. Children were NOT removed from the YFZ Ranch because they were denied their freedom to worship. Her situation is NOT like the holocaust. People who are not subjecting their underage children to inappropriate (and illegal) situations involving sex are NOT going to be facing the same consequences that she did. We are NOT jealous that they get to dress up like the cast from "Little House On The Prairie" and we don't get to.

It's a pretty long letter. It is available, courtesy of the fine folks over there at The Salt Lake Tribune, at this link: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_9211573?IADID I'm going to jump to the end where Maggie wraps up her letter by stating, "Ask your questions about the most misunderstood people on Earth. Seek the truth, and we will answer with truth. Just ask." We HAVE asked. YOU don't ANSWER us directly! (Although, that wasn't one of the things that she stated she would do. Does that mean it's too much for us to ask for a direct answer? We're just supposed to accept the vague truth as "good enough" because it's the truth? I don't think so.) And I'll ask you again, Maggie. Are girls at the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, who are underage, put in situations where they are in an unescapable position where they will be having sex with an older man? (Please note, I'm not using the term "force". The FLDS seem to differentiate between the terms "force" and "doesn't have any other choice" as if they are different. They're not, but they would like to believe that they are. That's why I'm not saying "forced".) The answer is simple. It is either Yes or it is No. (Maybe my first question should have been, "Can you answer a question with just a one word answer?")

Rulon Jeffs and two of his many, many wives.She also includes the URLs of two websites that she asks the readers to visit. (One of the websites is http://www.captivefldschildren.org/ ) And that's when the vagueness and the releasing of information that the FLDS members want to release continues. The other website, http://www.fldstruth.org/ , is not exactly the most complete, nor comprehensive, depiction of any sort of "FLDS truth". There are photos of all of those who have been "President" of the FLDS church. Click on each one and you're supposed to be treated to a lovely summary of their life and their Presidency. There are nine photos. There are six summaries. Whose summaries are missing? Why, those of Leroy S. Johnson, Rulon T. Jeffs, and Warren Jeffs. Leroy S. Johnson apparently founded Colorado City, AZ and led the largest polygamist organization in North America until his death at the age of 98. Rulon T. Jeffs took over for Johnson in 1986 and, at the time of his death at tWarren Jeffs is currently serving ten years to life after being found guilty of arranging the marriages of underage girls to adult male FLDS members.he age of 92 in 2002, he had amassed himself at LEAST 19 to 20 wives (some reports say 75) and produced between 60 and 65 children, with 33 of those children being boys. Shortly after his death, one of his sons, Warren Jeffs, took over for him and married all of his dad's wives except for two of them. That meant that he was now the stepfather to his siblings. Nice. Another of Jeffs' accomplishments was getting himself on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List in 2006 unlawful flight to avoid being prosecuted in Utah on charges alleging he arranged marriages between his adult males and underage girls in the FLDS sect. (Oooh. Sounds familiar, doesn't it, Maggie?) Warren was charged with eight counts in Arizona, including sexual conduct with minors and incest (two separate charges there). He was found guilty in Utah of the charges there which consisted of two counts of rape as an accomplice. He is now serving a 10 year to life sentence at the Utah State Prison. Former FLDS members claim that Jeffs has around 70 wives.

But none of THAT information is on the website at http://www.fldstruth.org/ . Why not? You said ask, so we're asking, Maggie! We're asking! We want to know ALL about Warren Jeffs and the stuff that has gone on in the FLDS "church" and over there at the YFZ Ranch RECENTLY! Or maybe you'd just like to change the name of that website to fldspartialtruth.org and leave it at that?

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Anonymous said...

It's called the fifth amendment. She doesn't have to answer THAT question for obvious reasons. Her lawyer told her probably that folks like you would try to catch her words and get her thrown in jail--whether she answered "correctly" or not.

Mare said...

Actually, it's called the First Amendment. You know, the one that refers to freedom of speech. The Fifth Amendment is to protect against actions taken by government. Since there's no government involvement in answering a question posed by another individual, citing the Fifth Amendment as her reason/right for not answering directly is incorrect. However, she does have the right not to answer at all or to answer any way she chooses to under the First Amendment. And that's exactly what she was doing. I don't have a problem with that. But if she isn't going to give a direct answer, she shouldn't be so bewildered as to why others continue to have questions.

emily davis said...


I found your blog through a google alert I have set up for everything posted online about the FLDS case. Anyway, just wanted to say I really appreciated this post, it basically expressed exactly how I feel. Curious to know who I'm agreeing with, I meandered over to your profile & I knew immediately when i saw the "moo" quote from friends that this would be a blog I will continue to read! thanks :)

Mare said...

Thank you very much for your kind words (definitely not a moo point at all there). I appreciate your having taken time to read my ramblings and to comment. Tell a friend! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i have just finished reading the mazing book by Elissa Wall and her escape from the FLDS church and the second i finished i was curious to find out more about this. some of the sites i have found have been filled information to in depth for me to understand but upon finding this piece of information i already feel as if i know much more.
Many thanks