Thursday, July 24, 2008

More on the FLDS

One would have thought that judge ruling against CPS and sending the children home, and the complete lack of evidence to support abuse claims, would have stopped the "authorities." Um... Nope.

Polygamist Sects are Form of Organized Crime

Read it and weep. Good grief.

"Polygamous sects that have spread throughout the United States and beyond are "a form of organized crime," largely unchecked by law enforcement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday."

Well, that would be because it is not necessary to police communities like that. The government doesn't send "law enforcement" into Amish communities. It doesn't send them into Hutterite communities. It doesn't send them into LDS communities. Why in heavens' name would it send them into FLDS communities? Certainly they should receive the same law enforcement people any other small town or village would receive, but why do they suddenly deserve more? Because someone is scared, is my guess.

"The lawless conduct of polygamous communities in the United States deserves national attention and federal action," Reid said before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Um... Pardon me? Where is there any proof of this "lawless conduct"? They removed 460+ children from their homes in the dead of night, with tanks and SWAT teams, and found NOTHING. While lack of proof does not necessarily mean it doesn't exist, at some point it becomes nothing more than a pointless vendetta. Good grief.

In such communities, teenage or preteen girls are forced to marry older men and bear their children, he said.

Prove it! They've been searching for how many years now? Not a stick of proof. Are there sick people who do disgusting things to children? Yep, there are... and there are more of them in any big city than you'll find in Hilldale. Near as anyone can tell, statistically speaking, the FLDS and other polygamous groups seem to have a much LOWER incidence of pedophelia and child abuse. Perhaps it has to do with their religious beliefs... gee, go figure.

Unpaid child labor is common, they alleged, and children are subjected to a woefully inadequate education while adults disregard state and federal laws.

Ever have your kids weed the garden, mow the lawn, or do dishes? Yeah, me too. That's unpaid child labor. That's what the cameras showed us in Texas. That's what CPS and these dissatisfied women are calling 'child labor'. I hear a lot of stories, but I haven't seen any proof. This strikes me as being just like the Satanic Panic of the 80s. Education? I've seen a large number of FLDS women who have jobs in real estate, law, education, and medical fields. All these take concerted effort at either acredited schools, or serious home study. Just because someone spurns the public school system does not mean they are not educated. Quite the contrary, in fact. As to disregarding laws... I'm sure many of us have. Ever had a drink under-age? Ever snuck out, late at night, and run around the neighborhood? Ever taken a toke (with or without inhaling)? Ever rolled through a stop sign, or gone over the speed limit? I suspect that every single person has broken at least a few laws in their life. These people are no different.

Young men can be excommunicated merely for showing interest in a girl, he said, and a young woman who resists an arranged marriage to an older man comes under "extreme pressure." One who chooses her own husband is ostracized.

This doesn't seem to be upheld by the larger FLDS community, although there are definitely a few boys that were expelled from the Hilldale community for unknown reasons (please note, I don't consider chucking a 12 year old boy onto the street 'right' under any circumstances... however I am refusing to simply accept the media hype on all this). While the media keeps showing us statements like the above, we have seen PLENTY of 18 and 19 year old males married to females about the same age. This doesn't appear to make the news quite so often, of course, because how exciting is it to know that a young couple decided to get married and have kids together? Bah, hardly even page 8 material. I've also seen plenty of the women say they either chose, or had a hand in chosing, their husband... but even so, since when is arranged marriage a bad thing? I seem to recall people in this country doing it up until at least the 70s, and possibly much later. In other countries, it still happens today. My grandparents had an arranged marriage, loved each other very much, and were successful. Since when is that a crime?

"The FLDS openly despises the American government while taking its money," he said. In the community, he added, such conduct is called "bleeding the beast."

And all power to them. They seem to be well educated (gasp!) in how to manipulate the system, and as far as the government can tell, they're doing it perfectly legally. Well, how about that... Someone's doing to the goverment, what the government usually does to US. Somewhat fitting. Regardless, I am not so happy with the American government as a whole right now, either... and I am in pretty darn good company.

Former FLDS member Carolyn Jessop, who has written a book about her experiences in the sect and fleeing it, said women and children in the community "live without the protection of laws that most Americans take for granted."

Jessop left with... what, 8 kids? That means she didn't just "disappear into the night" as she might like to have you think. I am more and more concerned about what people like Jessop are saying. They are dissatisfied with the FLDS, and they've left, and that's fine. That's their right, and they've exercised it. Apparently, no one's come after them. Did the fathers attempt to get custody? You bet your polka-dot panties they did... because they love their kids, and want to see them grow up in the religion they consider "right". I don't have to agree with it (all that long underwear stuff seems awful silly to me in hot Texan summers, but hey, whatever) but I'll defend their right to do it. How can the laws of America simply end at the borders of Hilldale? The answer is, they do not - Carolyn just wants you to think they do, so she can get a few more books written, and make a few more bucks.

The religious schools have since been closed, and for the past two years, most FLDS children have not attended school at all, she said. "Their education has essentially stopped."

One, she left the FLDS... how does she know? Two, it simply isn't true - the raid uncovered a very active school that the FLDS children in Texas were attending and learning at. Three, the various foster homes conducted tests to find out how "uneducated" their guests were... and found that the vast majority were at or above grade level targets. Amazing - I wonder how they do that since their education has "essentially stopped." Wish I could learn how to educate myself without doing anything!

Gawd... :(
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