Patterico's Pontifications


Warren Jeffs’ Texas Compound Update 2

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Current Events,Law — DRJ @ 6:36 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Texas authorities believe they have removed all of the children from the FDLS-Jeffs’ ranch in Eldorado, Texas – a total of 416 – and today in court the FDLS attorney acknowledged the state has an interest in investigating claims of abuse:

“An attorney for a polygamist sect conceded in court today that the state has an interest in searching its compound because of allegations of physical and sexual abuse.

San Antonio attorney Gerald H. Goldstein argued, however, that the search should be conducted in a way that doesn’t denigrate the religious beliefs of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

State District Judge Barbara Walther — who earlier granted the search warrant and agreed to allow the state to take temporary custody of 416 children — encouraged lawyers for the church and the government at today’s hearing to come to agreement on several issues involving the way the search is conducted.

The lawyers agreed to set up a procedure to protect confidential matters involving attorney-client privilege before the state examines computer records and other items seized during the search. A special master will be appointed and all seized items will be sealed.”

All 416 children have been interviewed and authorities have filed court affidavits alleging a “pervasive pattern and practice” of forced marriage and sexual abuse:

“There is a pervasive pattern and practice of indoctrinating and grooming minor female children to accept spiritual marriages to adult male members of the YFZ Ranch resulting in them being sexually abused,” according to the sworn statement by Child Protective Services investigator Lynn McFadden.

“Similarly, minor boys residing on the YFZ Ranch after they become adults are spiritually married to minor female children and engage in sexual relationships with them,” the affidavit states.”

Texas authorities have completed their search and all of the children have been accounted for except the 16-year-old girl who sparked the search. As noted in the first link, authorities fear for her safety.

UPDATE 4/9/2008Fox News reports:

“Young teenage girls at a polygamist compound in West Texas were required to have sex in a soaring temple after they were married in sect-recognized unions, according to newly unsealed court documents.
The affidavit unsealed Wednesday mentions a 16-year-old girl who has four children.

Related posts here, here, here, and here.


23 Responses to “Warren Jeffs’ Texas Compound Update 2”

  1. All 416 are accounted for expect the one whistle blower?

    That’s discouraging.

    What’s sad about this is that no one spoke up sooner. I sincerely wonder how isolated these people were that no one thought to check them out. We knew about the odd marriage practices (and I don’t really care about bigamy), but why didn’t CPS ever visit?

    It’s too bad that the missing girl had to call twice when it was probably obvious something wrong was going on. Wherever she is, she isn’t cooperating, so either she’s dead, which is my guess, or she’s being held for no apparent reason.

    You often don’t rule over a flock of wives without raising your hand against them. That’s the unspoken part of the deal. It’s a power relationship of the extreme. I suspect the “men” doing this stuff were easily enraged. How do you ensure the silence of hundreds of sex victims if not violence?

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  2. There has been concern about the Jeffs’ compound since it relocated in the area, but there hasn’t been a basis to do anything before this.

    I think the authorities did an excellent job. There was reportedly no violence, which in itself is impressive, and the operation was carried out despite that it occurred in a remote compound with over 400 children. The fact that the authorities mobilized an effective response in one day is also impressive.

    In addition, the FDLS leaders may well have spirited the 16-year-old girl away on the day she called. This ranch is miles from anywhere. If that’s what happened, no one could have stopped it.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  3. Any thought the “16-year-old” was an outsider anxious about the well being of peers trapped in there? She said her husband “Dale Barlow” had broken her ribs in a beating. He also hasn’t turned up.

    But at the end of the phone calls, investigators say the girl “began crying” and she said “everything she said should be forgotten.”

    steve (2b88d5)

  4. Be cool guys, the residents there are simply ‘typical’ liberal democrats. Years of data prove that. Do what you want, when you want, to whomever you want, screw anyone that objects, is the democrat battle cry.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  5. The whistle blower will have a hard time making a noise for 6 feet under.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  6. ‘from 6 feet under’.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  7. Steve,

    I think the girl was at the compound. One of the reports said she claimed to have received medical treatment in Eldorado, I think for broken ribs. In all likelihood, the health care workers in Eldorado had concerns about her injuries but there wasn’t much they could do if she denied abuse – as she probably did since she was accompanied by older man/men from the compound.

    At some point, I think the health care workers gave her a card with the telephone number for the abuse shelter/hotline, and the affidavits state that she called an abuse hotline for help. If it’s the same as my area, and we’re not that far away, those numbers aren’t generally available so she had to have a card or special knowledge to call it.

    I think she recanted at the end of her second call because someone found her using a phone. My guess is that’s when they took her out of the compound.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  8. Also, Steve, the reports say there were many young pregnant teens at the compound. I suspect those are the 18 girls that have already been placed in foster care.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  9. I think you’re right. Her first call reportedly lasted 42 minutes, which seems long to sustain a “made up” story.

    steve (2b88d5)

  10. FLDS Church leader Merrill Jessop, who leads this sect, is remarkable in his delusional thinking:

    “There needs to be a public outcry that goes far and wide,” he said. “What’s coming we don’t know. The hauling off of women and children matches anything in Russia or Germany.”

    This is preceded by this:

    “Similarly minor boys residing on the YFZ Ranch, after they become adults, are spiritually married to minor female children and engage in sexual relationships with them, resulting in them becoming sexual perpetrators,” wrote DFPS investigator Lynn McFadden.”

    My hopes and prayers are with one brave 16 year old girl and hoping against hope she turns up safe and sound.,5143,695268743,00.html

    Dana (1dfee2)

  11. A very good book that addresses the reality of the polygamist Mormon spin-off fundamentalist sects is “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer (the guy who wrote “Into the Wild” and the Everest book “Into Thin Air”. Doesn’t address Jeffs specifically, but the background and (then) reality of one of the largest such community straddling the AZ-UT border, from which I seem to remember the Jeffs group sprang. Highly recommended if you are interested in this stuff.

    As a Texan, have to say the authorities have handled this pretty well. That compound and its various practices hasn’t been a secret at all for years, but they waited until they got a legitimate complaint from inside before acting, and upon acting they have done so without loss of life and what seems the best interests of the children in mind.

    You can argue that something should have been done sooner, but until someone from the inside explained what was going and provided credible evidence I can see why Texas expended its overstreched child protective services resources handling emergencies rather than taking on a whole community that largely kept to themselves. And then when they got what seems like a credible complaint from inside, they did a good job springing into action.

    Aplomb (61ab33)

  12. Aren’t we all glad that BATFE doesn’t enforce child-endangerment code?

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  13. Let’s hope Law Enforcement is not corrupted in bringing all these evil pedophile monkeys to justice.

    GD sick religion!
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    KILL most pedophiles

    ALL the religious ones
    no matter what their race

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe wants
    all pedophiles castrated

    although not necessary
    if they get LIFE IN PRISON


    USpace (3e64cf)

  14. Uspace, you’re kinda preaching… and to the choir at that. Yeah, rapists should suffer mightily for their crimes. But not in the name of God. We’ve got our laws and our justice to rely on, in the name of the State of Texas. God can take care of his business without our help.

    DRJ, you’re right that on many levels this was handled excellently. No violence? That’s wonderful and deserves credit.

    My concern is not with laying blame, but I’m just curious if there is more that could be done when a freaky compound like this exists. This isn’t the only one, of course. Somewhere else in America, there are probably hundreds more kids in this situation.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  15. amazing to see what passes for religion these days.

    ric (896a9d)

  16. Thanks Jem, but it’s not in the “name of God”, it’s just an absurd thought about what God, or a ‘God’ might say. That’s also the whole point, is that ‘man’s’ law will deal with them, and they must be just.

    You’re right, there are probably many more of these types of places around the country, several any way. They should all be busted no matter what religions or races are involved.

    There is no need for sex offender lists and talk of castration if we just keep them in jail. If people can still be punished in these ways after they have served their sentences, then the crime must be considered bad enough to keep them in Jail much longer, if not forever.
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe thinks
    child sex crimes are best

    but don’t give life sentences
    gently coddle pedophiles

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    register all criminals

    burglars in your neighborhood
    murderers living next door


    USpace (3e64cf)

  17. I think this whole thing abt the morman place is a government sting operation..the people outside will never know if all these ladies left on their own or were ordered out!!!!
    And where is this girl who was supposed to have started it all.

    One of the women who was incharge of watching over these ladies..said on CNN the otherday that these kids didnt know how to use crayons…how are they going to use a ”CELL PHONE” if thats the case..its a gov. thing..belive me!!!!!!!!!

    Johann Dohmann

    JOHANN DOHMANN (4b1010)

  18. They’re not Mormons, Johann. They’re FLDS. There is, however small people perceive it to be, a difference.

    Emily (1c7e74)

  19. “Be cool guys, the residents there are simply ‘typical’ liberal democrats. Years of data prove that. Do what you want, when you want, to whomever you want, screw anyone that objects, is the democrat battle cry.”

    – Scrapiron

    Guess we’ve got another name for the Moron List.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  20. Apblomb has it mostly right. I blogged about this stuff months ago and suggested that there was no way that the Mormon GOP candidate, Milt Romney could make it to the White House when his religion is attacked. What is missed here however is that Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not affiliated in any way with the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church). There are about fifteen bastard sects in that part of the country falsely operating under the cloak of the Mormon religion. What is also true is that the Mormon hierarchy has done nothing to expose and harass sects who they say are NOT part of the church. The kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart was done by a sect member who thought he was entitled to her as his wife, “just because.” These kidnappings are happening too often in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. Keep in mind that the entire justice systems in several states have done nothing over the past twenty years about this situation of mass statutory rapes because IT IS SAID that the Mormon Church wouldn’t like it and Mormons represent a huge segment of the voters.

    This situation has been no secret as any Google search will tell you.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  21. Sheesh, Johann, don’t drink the brown koolaid.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  22. Mr. Veit- thank you.
    As a Catholic, I really wish folks would pay more attention to details like this– organized religions that actually have a leader can say “No, these people are full of it; they are not really ____.”

    I think that they handled this situation as perfectly as they could; they knew there was a situation, but barring a solid legal basis for entry, they had to assume that there was not a crime going on. The only thing I *may* have changed is that I would’ve gone in on the first day that the girl called, but it may have been delayed to get the right group to go in with minimal violence.

    Barring evidence of women and/or children being forced to leave against their will, I will not pay attention to those who insist on projecting ill intentions.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  23. Also another book that makes you think about all of this is Escape By Carolyn Jessop. Very Excellent book. You won’t put it down, and you will be amazed at what goes on behind closed doors in the us.

    Kerri (83e31a)

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