Patterico's Pontifications

4/28/2008

FLDS Case: 31 of 53 Girls Pregnant (Updated)

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Law — DRJ @ 2:28 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Houston Chronicle reports today that, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of the 14- to 17-year-old FLDS girls are pregnant or are already mothers:

“More than half the teenage girls seized from a West Texas polygamist sect were either pregnant or have children, state officials said today.

Thirty-one of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were either mothers or expectant mothers, Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the state’s Health and Human Services, said this afternoon.”

In court news, the Austin appeals court hearing scheduled for Tuesday has been canceled now that all the children have been relocated. The hearing was scheduled to consider an emergency motion filed on behalf of FLDS mothers asking the court to prevent the removal of the children from the San Angelo facilities. The attorney for the mothers conceded that the motion is now moot.

UPDATE 4/29/2008: The Houston Chronicle reports that one girl is in labor and has been taken to the hospital has been taken to a nearby hospital. The FLDS spokesman claims the girl is an 18-year-old adult but State officials believe she is a minor.

EDIT: She had a baby boy and it sounds like a female FLDS relative was present.

The Deseret News reports that 26 of the 53 girls classified as between the ages of 14-17 claim they are 18 or older but state officials don’t believe they are.

— DRJ

58 Responses to “FLDS Case: 31 of 53 Girls Pregnant (Updated)”

  1. DNA testing will reveal the fathers. And they will probably all be well over 18.

    Old guys don’t start cults so they can dole out pussy to teenage boys.

    If this report is true, it suggests that law enforcement was completely right to crack down on this.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  2. sounds like child abuse to me and that authorities, regardless of whether the initial phone call was legitimate or not, were right to go in.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  3. “seized”? You don’t seize people.

    “Detained”, “taken into custody”, and so on.

    Marshall (cf5a9c)

  4. It’s worth noting that the Houston Chronicle stated that they had no way of knowing how many of the 31 cited here were 16 or 17 years old (over the age of consent and able to marry with parents permission). I am not defending the actions of the FLDS but I am still not sure laws were actually broken. The ick factor has definitely been exceeded but that isn’t in and of itself illegal.

    chad (719bfa)

  5. I think Texas law requires parental consent if the girl is 16-17, and I don’t think girls can legally marry under 16. In addition, we don’t know how many girls were spiritually married vs legally married. Consent to marry is related to the legality of the marriage and I suspect most marriages were spiritual, not legal. The difference is a legal sticky wicket I’m avoiding for now.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  6. Herbert, crudely put but accurate.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  7. “Old guys don’t start cults so they can dole out pussy to teenage boys.”

    Daryl Herbert – If you’re going to plagiarize Queen Elizabeth II, please cite your sources.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  8. From the AP story:

    “Of those 463 children, 250 are girls and 213 are boys. Children 13 and younger are about evenly split — 197 girls and 196 boys — but there are only 17 boys aged 14 to 17 compared with the 53 girls in that age range.”

    From West Texas 2 (f28dac)

  9. Oh my god—pregnant seventeen year olds!! And 16 and 15!!! Not to mention that Texas lies. Temple sex bed? Lies. Cyanide documents, a la Jim Jones? lies.

    I thought the Texas authorites said these people raped children. Where are the stats on 13 and younger? Isn’t that what led to the raid?

    If they took the kids away from every member of a type of group which has pregnant young ladies aged 17, would catholics be allowed to have kids? How about blacks? I know whites have pregnant teenagers. How about the Joooooooz. I know they have pregnant teenagers. Let’s take away the kids of the Jooooooooooz.

    truth (9a6738)

  10. “truth” – that attempt at non sequiturs got boring long ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. SPQR–“truth” wandered in here from the Ministry of Truth on Airforce One.

    kishnevi (8731ef)

  12. Make that Airstrip One, not Airforce One. Even I don’t think it’s gotten that bad yet.

    kishnevi (8731ef)

  13. truth may have been exaggerating but there is a point hidden in what he says. Fourteen- to seventeen-year-olds are getting pregnant in large numbers all over this country. If they get an abortion before they are showing then they don’t have to tell any adult who might actually care about them and how they got pregnant. In this epidemic of teenage sex (and you are hopelessly naive if you don’t think there are lots of adult men involved), there is no huge crackdown trying to find which girls where gotten pregnant by guys with high “ick” factor (which seems to be in the 40+ range, although it’s not well-defined). No one is ripping two-year-olds away from their moms in Harlem on the grounds that statistics show a high probability that girls in that community will have sex before they are eighteen.

    I guess the difference is that the guys getting all the teenage pussy in Harlem are drug dealers in their thirties who have no intention of ever marrying the girls or supporting the children that they fathered. You can see how that’s so much less of a threat to civil order than farmers in their forties who marry the girls and do support the children. I mean, FORTY! … probably with pot bellies and thinning hair! ICK! They should be shot even for making us think of them having sex.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the FLDS should have been shut down, but it was not necessary to do it in such a brutal fashion which must have been terrifying to the children. And they had no excuse to take away anyone who wasn’t in danger –which means all the boys and all the girls less than thirteen.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  14. chad – Yes, they can marry, but they *did not*. “Spiritual wives” = no marriage.

    Doc- I’m all for prosecuting, to the fullest extent, the 24 year old scum that was preying on my classmates in high school. The difference between 16 and 24 as compared to 24 and 32 is amazing; that’s not even touching the many reports of 13 year olds with over-twenty boyfriends.
    (I’m also for throwing the book at any abortuary who provide services to underaged girls without checking and reporting rape, but that’s yet another angle.)

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  15. @foxfier – that isn’t strictly true. Texas recognizes common law marriages in which the the parties only have to declare they are married. In the case of 16 and 17 year old girls the last I heard the state was claiming they couldn’t even ID everyone adequately so how do they know no legal marriages were performed? And again at 16 or 17 under Texas law the girls are over the age of consent (16). Again I am not saying I approve of what was going on at that ranch. I don’t. I am saying the state has to actually prove a crime beyond being socially unpopular.

    chad (582404)

  16. “They should be shot even for making us think of them having sex.”

    – Doc Rampage

    Damn right.

    Seriously, though, there’s a distinction (in my mind, anyway) between the pregnant girls in the FLDS compound and pregnant girls in Harlem or LA or Martha’s Vineyard or wherever:

    In the latter case, the pregnancies are the result of stupidity and irresponsibility on the part of the mothers and their partners.

    In the former case, the pregnancies are the result of a sanctioned, conscious effort on the part of the partners.

    It’s a lot easier to ask (and force) grown men to stop diddling teenagers than it is to ask (and force) teenagers to stop being irresponsible idiots; more often than not, teenagers and idiocy go hand in hand.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  17. I agree with Leviticus. I also agree with Chad that there is a possibility of common law marriages, although that is not possible if one of the parties is already legally married.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  18. So, the big deal is that these girls are victims of conscious effort on the part of the adult men? You don’t think the adult men that screw teenagers in the wider culture use various sorts of coercion? Ever heard the term “coke whore”? More to the point, you don’t think the wider society encourages young girls to have sex? Let’s see what grown men do to encourage teenage sex in the wider society:

    1 the entertainment industry that so constantly encourages young girls to be sexually active.

    2. the educational system that has teachers in school working to demystify sex and make it less frightening to young girls so they are more likely to do it.

    3. the law-enforcement system that doesn’t spend much effort tracking down men who commit statutory rape.

    4. the political system that lets you give an abortion to a teenager without notifying her parents.

    You think these things aren’t in part deliberately designed to encourage young girls to have sex? Come on. The connection between these things and easy pussy is obvious. Men like easy pussy. Men encourage these things. If I were the sort of man who could see himself seducing a sixteen-year-old, I would be strongly motivated to support these institutional sex enablers rather than opposing them.

    The only difference between those FLDS leaders and an MTV executive is that the FLDS leaders have a higher success rate.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  19. Haw haw haw, get em’ Doc Rampage! Keep saying what needs to be said before everyone convinces themselves that the state “did the “right” thing even if it was messy”.

    EdWood (06cafa)

  20. I think we all want the state to do the right thing, and honestly in this case I think it will prove out that they did. I also want the state to act on something more than a hunch especially when it comes to a) interfering with a religion, even if it isn’t a mainstream religion and b) breaking up families. So far I am just not seeing a lot of proof just supposition. When there is proof that the men in the compound engaged in illegal activity especially coercing sex from a 13 or 14 year old I say we sentence them to a life as sex slaves in a Turkish prison. Preferably one filled with AIDS riddled leper S&M enthusiasts.

    chad (719bfa)

  21. Chad- here’s the exact law in Texas about their common law– they call it “informal marriage”:
    http://www.bakers-legal-pages.com/fastlaws/fc2004/00000040.htm
    (c) A person under 18 years of age may not:
    (1) be a party to an informal marriage; or
    (2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

    So there *is* no way that the little girls could have entered into a common-law marriage.

    So, given no legal marriages, the girls were raped; if you give that they were all adults and thus it’s a common-law marriage, you get into the possibility of bigamy; not sure how that applies with common-law marriages.

    All the SOBs had to do was wait until the girls turned 18 and they’d be fine, legally.

    I agree with Leviticus, and much agree with Chad on punishment; I simply believe that, say, a 911 call that’s acted on in good faith, even if it was a hoax, that uncovers a very obvious crime is far superior to a “hunch.” (yes, I know it wasn’t to 911–the idea still stands)

    Doc– once again, when we catch the guys making crack whores, we punish them. When police catch a 45 year old man screwing a 14 year old, he’s charged. The argument that someone, somewhere, might be getting away with a crime is NOT an argument to make that crime legal!

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  22. “You think these things aren’t in part deliberately designed to encourage young girls to have sex? Come on. The connection between these things and easy pussy is obvious. Men like easy pussy. Men encourage these things. If I were the sort of man who could see himself seducing a sixteen-year-old, I would be strongly motivated to support these institutional sex enablers rather than opposing them.”

    – Doc Rampage

    Whatever. You’re missing the fundamental distinction in all of this: underage girls outside the FLDS have a choice as to whether or not they want to engage in sex; if they don’t have a choice, we call it “rape”; if they’re (legally) too young to make a choice, we call it “statuatory rape”. In either case, we prosecute the offender.

    Foxfier’s right: the FLDS dudes could’ve avoided all case and controversy by keeping it in their collective pants until the girls were 18. They’d still have plenty of time to populate their imaginary planets with spiritual offspring.

    Don’t you wonder why they didn’t wait? Maybe it’s because an 18 year old girl is old enough and self-sufficient enough to realize that if she doesn’t want to have sex with a 45 year old man, she can leave… but a 14 year old has no such confidence in her own ability. She is totally dependent and thus easily exploited, and that’s what pisses me off so fucking much about this entire situation. These guys took advantage of innocent children, and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  23. Second shock of the year, as this is the second time I’m in agreement with Leviticus.

    The key here that justifies heightened attention from CPS / Texas law enforcement is that these activities are organized unlike the oft-cited behavior in society at large that keeps being brought up as red herrings.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  24. i didn’t say that they entered into common law marriages I said that Texas recognizes common law marriages which would contradict you’re flat statement that a spiritual marriage would be invalid. It also not necessarily true that they were raped if they were over the age of consent, or if the male they had sex with was less than 3 years older than them. Given the nature of the FLDS I doubt the males were that young but I don’t know that for sure one way or the other.

    Earlier I stated that the age of consent in Texas was 16 I must have had an older source originally because I just looked it up again and it is 17. So lets assume that the 31 girls that are pregnant are all 17. Unlikely but possible. As I understand it then no crime has been committed.

    I agree that the call, even if it turned out to be a hoax, gave the police the right to search, and if they found obvious abuse to remove the child / children affected. I don’t think they have met the obvious abuse standard yet – unfortunately because as I said above the FLDS has definitely exceeded my ick factor level by about 10x.

    chad (719bfa)

  25. Chad,

    The reports said there are 31 girls who are pregnant or are already mothers. Another report said only 7-10 are pregnant now, which means the rest are already mothers. It’s possible that all the pregnant girls are 16-17 and all the mothers were 16-17 when they got pregnant, and it’s possible the pregnancies resulted from sex with teenage boys, but the more the facts come out the more unlikely it seems.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  26. i didn’t say that they entered into common law marriages I said that Texas recognizes common law marriages which would contradict you’re flat statement that a spiritual marriage would be invalid.

    They do not have “spiritual wives” until after they’ve been legally married, as it is a way to get around bigamy charges; I assumed you’d be aware of that.
    The additional information was just that– additional information.

    I agree that the call, even if it turned out to be a hoax, gave the police the right to search, and if they found obvious abuse to remove the child / children affected

    Actually, they generally remove all the children in the household when there is evidence of abuse.
    http://www.texasfamilylawfoundation.com/temp/ts_9C12D4A2-BDB9-50CF-B6D19BF4DB6B88F99C12D4B1-BDB9-50CF-BBB07B76184ECA3F/TxFAMILYLAWFOUNDATION418revised.pdf

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  27. Chad, I’m wondering about your logic, since by your own analysis the odds that there was no crime committed on the compound was “unlikely but possible”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. I’ve updated the post. There will soon be 464 FLDS children in state custody because one of the girls is in labor.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  29. First to clarify,

    @spqr

    I am not sure what is inconsistent. I think crimes were committed, but there is an explanation available which makes it possible they weren’t.

    @DRJ in 25 – I am not disputing what you say again I think the girls were probably victimized but the state needs to do more than just say we think they are 16, especially when all the girls are claiming to be 18 as in your update. X-Rays of the joints would do the trick probably.

    @ Foxfier – I know they generally remove all the kids in the household, which is why I put child / children, but generally not all the kids in the neighbors houses too. I remember reading that in at least 1 case the removed the infant daughter of a monogamous FLDS member and his wife living on the compound.

    chad (719bfa)

  30. Chad, and you say that the explanation is “unlikely”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. I think I’ve just had an epiphany for why everyone else is so outraged at this: you are all imagining that these young girls were dragged kicking and screaming to their husbands, horrified to have a middle-aged man putting his hands (much less anything else) on them. I don’t share that assumption. That image might (or might not) be true if the girls had been raised in the larger society where you almost never see such large age differences, but I believe that in that compound, most of the girls were as happy and excited on their wedding days as anyone you know. Those marriages were perfectly normal to them, and the middle-aged men they were marrying were, in their culture, prime marriage material.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  32. I do. But just because I think it is unlikely doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Last year I thought it was unlikely that Obama would last this long in the presidential race. I was wrong there so I could be wrong here and all 31 or whatever pregnant / formerly pregnant girls could all have been 17. Maybe the FLDS leaders timed everything so they started banging the bejeezus out of them on their 17th birthday and 9 months later they gave birth while still 17. Maybe the girls really are 18 like they are claiming. Hell pregnancy tests aren’t foolproof maybe they aren’t even pregnant. The point is I don’t know and it is the states burden to make it’s case.

    chad (719bfa)

  33. @Doc Rampage

    Actually one of the abuse charges stems from that. That girls were groomed from a young age to marry middle aged men. I am not sure why that is abuse but there ya go. Now if the charge was were groomed to accept and were forced to marry at age XX, then I could see the charge.

    chad (719bfa)

  34. Doc, that’s not an epiphany for me. But that the FLDS had obtained the girls cooperation with a long course of indoctrination and paranoia about the outside world does not lessen my outrage.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  35. SPRQ, that is part of the point I was trying to make. You are outraged at the long course of indoctrination that made those girls willing to marry a middle-aged man? Why not about the long course of indoctrination that makes other girls willing to sleep with a drug dealer who calls her a ho and then doesn’t support the kids he gives her? I object to the idea that either the wider society doesn’t just as truly indoctrinate people or that the indoctrination that girls get in the wider society is so much better than what those girls got. In fact, those girls were raised to expect to have just one sexual partner and to expect that sexual partner to take care of their children. In some ways it is better than the message we send to teenage girls in the larger culture.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  36. Doc, please show me the encampment that is organized to indoctrinate girls to sleep with drug dealers.

    If you can’t find such an organized religious encampment, then please get the hell off that red herring. It got old a long time ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. “Why not about the long course of indoctrination that makes other girls willing to sleep with a drug dealer who calls her a ho and then doesn’t support the kids he gives her?”

    – Doc Rampage

    Jeeeez… would you please quit assuming that you’re the only one who’s unhappy that there are non-polygamists who indoctrinate/impregnate women?

    Again: if the girl is a minor and the drug dealer is an adult, ITS STATUATORY RAPE, AND IT’S PROSECUTED. Why should the standard be any different for the FLDS guys? Because they’re “good husbands”? Because they won’t call their wives “hos”? It’s still wrong (morally, ethically, whatever), and it’s still ILLEGAL.

    “you are all imagining that these young girls were dragged kicking and screaming to their husbands, horrified to have a middle-aged man putting his hands (much less anything else) on them.”

    – Doc Rampage

    Some of them probably were, and most of them probably weren’t. So what? They’re kids. They can’t give legal consent. Whether or not they were “happy” on their wedding day is irrelevant (especially considering the propaganda-regimen to which they were most likely subjected, as SPQR already pointed out).

    Leviticus (6d3881)

  38. Well, SPQR, it is your contention that this camp is organized to indoctrinate girls. The organizers of the camp would probably disagree. Just as the executives of MTV would probably deny that their purpose is to indoctrinate young girls into having sex with drug dealers.

    Or is it the religious aspect that you think makes this so extra-heinous? Other than that and the fact that forty-year-olds are icky, I’m just not seeing the big difference that justifies the terror they put those kids through. Why don’t they go into inner-city neighborhoods that have 50% teenage pregnancy rates and forcibly remove and detain everyone under eighteen (or who appears to be under eighteen until they prove that they are adults, birth-certificates not accepted as proof)? Aren’t those neighborhoods pretty bad places to raise kids too?

    This is a semi-serious question. If this kind of extreme response is called for in religious compounds because underage girls are getting knocked up, how about other places? Put all of those kids in foster homes in middle-class neighborhoods and they might end up a lot better off.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  39. “Well, SPQR, it is your contention that this camp is organized to indoctrinate girls. The organizers of the camp would probably disagree. Just as the executives of MTV would probably deny that their purpose is to indoctrinate young girls into having sex with drug dealers.”

    Another irrelevant non sequitur. Please learn some logic. I grow tired of the practice of seeing how many logical fallacies one can throw into a single comment.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. I know they generally remove all the kids in the household, which is why I put child / children,

    “Those children affected” by abuse would be the children who had been abused, not their siblings.

    but generally not all the kids in the neighbors houses too. I remember reading that in at least 1 case the removed the infant daughter of a monogamous FLDS member and his wife living on the compound

    1) Have you a link for that story? I found a link to a story about one of the girls that the state says is underaged, her husband and lawyer insist she is 18, already has a kid that’s 16 months old. That’s also the only listing google has for “Pamela Jeffs.” No listing for her husband. Also, it’s from the Salt Lake Tribune.

    2) The children were unwilling or unable to provide the names of their biological parents or identified multiple mothers; there was no way to *know* what household they lived in.

    Also: pregnancy tests tend towards a false negative, not a false positive. They detect levels of “pregnancy hormones”–which are sometimes not high enough to measure in pregnant women.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  41. SPQR, I once taught logic in an upper-division university course. I propose that your problem is not with my logic but with my conclusions which you are reacting to emotionally.

    In particular, that “irrelevant non sequitur” was a direct response to your comment. Let me spell out the exchange as I see it:

    Me: I think that the reaction to the FLDS was overbearing and unnecessarily hard on the children.

    You: But they were marrying young girls to middle-aged men and that’s icky.

    Me: The things that you claim to find offensive about the FLDS are common in society and the reaction to these other similar things is not so brutal.

    You: But they were indoctrinating the girls.

    Me: There doesn’t seem to be anything relevantly different from what happens in other communities.

    You: But those camps were specifically set up for indoctrination.

    Me: That’s only your prejudiced opinion.

    You: That’s a non sequitur.

    But of course it’s not a non sequitur to point out that your (most recent) justification on why the brutal reaction to the camp was justified is a prejudiced opinion. The people in the camp, of course would claim that they have much higher reasons for the form of their society.

    It is you who are being slippery here, not me. You keep changing the reason for why that camp was so awful as to require cleansing by fire instead of by more judicious methods.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  42. We encounter a couple, clinging together, coaxing a garden to life. Rulon and Lorene. They say they are by no means alone here with their more typical American marriage. It’s just the two of them and their six kids — until this morning.

    Lorene, it turns out, is one of the tearful women just returned from that sports stadium, where she watched her children bused off to foster care. She worries most about Natalie, her only daughter.

    source: MSNBC

    False positives on pregnancy tests are rare compared to false negatives but not unknown. That’s why when we used to do HCG testing in the hospital we had to do both a positive and negative control every morning. Of course I haven’t done that since 1996 so accuracy is probably better now. One of the Lab officers used to say the only 100% positive test for pregnancy was birth.

    chad (582404)

  43. Chad- so, an interview that does *not* say anything about the daughter being an infant? There is mention of a three year old *boy.*

    I’m highly amused that you find it more likely that 31 girls got a false positive than that they’re, you know, pregnant.

    When you find a man standing over another, dead, man who has a kitchen knife sticking out of his chest, do you assume that the one with a knife in him fell or stabbed himself? How about if there are 31 men in such a state?

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  44. I never said it was likely, I specifically said it was unlikely and you apparently didn’t read the article very carefully because it says “she was concerned about Natalie her only daughter”.

    So to sum up here is my position – State of Texas, prove a crime was committed, and here is yours as I read it – I think the FLDS is creepy therefore make them prove their innocence.

    I think mine is a little more reasonable.

    chad (719bfa)

  45. Doc, you don’t show any evidence of actually teaching logic, given that you have continued the same set of logical fallacies. Not to mention adding strawman to them.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  46. just thought I would point out that Eugene Volokh agrees with me

    So many of the 16- and 17-year-olds may have gotten pregnant with no law being broken, and in fact within a legally recognized marriage. Of course, many might have gotten pregnant at 14 or 15, or at 16 outside marriage and with an adult. And naturally if any of these pregnancies were the results of forced sex, that would clearly be a very serious crime. People who were complicit in this crime, or lesser crimes, should be held accountable. But the 31-out-of-53 number given by a Texas state spoken completely ignores the distinction that Texas law itself draws, and I suspect in a way that many readers won’t immediately recognize on their own.

    Some people might of course fault FLDS for encouraging the marriage of 16- and 17-year-olds [CORRECTION: or sex by 17-year-olds in a relationship they view as marriage but that is not a legal marriage], even if the girls are consenting and the marriages are permitted under the law. I wouldn’t wish such a marriage on a 16- or 17-year-old daughter of mine. But I don’t see such marriages as a justification for Child Protective Services action, unless there’s some evidence of force or serious coercion (and evidence of force should of course be relevant even for marriages of adults).

    chad (719bfa)

  47. Chad #44:

    So to sum up here is my position – State of Texas, prove a crime was committed, and here is yours as I read it – I think the FLDS is creepy therefore make them prove their innocence.

    I think mine is a little more reasonable.

    And I think yours is an unreasonable and unfair analysis of the different views in this case.

    Furthermore, I can’t imagine Eugene Volokh treating opposing views as illegitimately as you did.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  48. I’m not summing up everyones’ views just how I read foxfier’s

    chad (582404)

  49. “Icky” and “creepy” are words that we keep hearing defenders of FLDS use to describe their opponents’ views. This is typical misrepresentation and strawman arguments however, as those words haven’t been used except by them.

    FLDS practices as alleged are not the issue because of anyone thinking that they are “icky” and “creepy”. They are the issue because they are violations of social norms to the degree that they’ve been criminalized. Something that is repeatedly, and intentionally, ignored by those who prefer to create “icky” strawmen.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. Doc #41 – Your last statement in the exchange is itself prejudiced. It ignores evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Jeffs, who I might add is serving time after being lawfully tried and convicted. This compound is directly linked to the beliefs of Jeffs, and once a call was received regarding criminal acts that closely mirrored those that resulted in Jeffs conviction, the responsibility of action that would unequivocally determine the veracity of the report was necessary by the state.

    Comparisons to general society are irrelevant, due to the lack of isolation that constitutes a physical barrier that other minors in similar situations do not face. You might find clicks, or groups residing in housing complexes that have similar financial and psychologically coercive natures, but you admit that they are usually located in urban areas that are not, in essence, physically isolated. Individuals can be located that have left those groups and flourished. In addition, the geographic parameters are not as easily identified as you would like to portray. The presence of persons outside the click are almost always found within the assumed boundaries of the groupings (they are not, essentially, geographic groupings as much as psychological ones.) A raid on a group such as these would result in the confusion of prosecution of members versus non-members. Not so with the FLDS. There are no non-members present in the compound.

    I hate to challenge him, but Eugene Volokh is incorrect in his equation of a married 17 year old with that of the young girls in FLDS, and this has nothing to do with the pregnancies. As I and others have stated before, the physical and financial situation of these compounds is in itself coercive, as the members do not share equally in the control or distribution of profit. They are, in a sense, small for-profit dictatorships that attempt to use religion as a shield for their actions.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  51. Chad:
    I remember reading that in at least 1 case the removed the infant daughter of a monogamous FLDS member and his wife living on the compound.

    Comment by chad — 4/29/2008 @ 4:16 pm

    I replied that your story mentioned her *youngest* being three, and a male.

    you apparently didn’t read the article very carefully because it says “she was concerned about Natalie her only daughter”.

    Someone didn’t read very well. Wasn’t me.

    SQPR:
    “Icky” and “creepy” are words that we keep hearing defenders of FLDS use to describe their opponents’ views. This is typical misrepresentation and strawman arguments however, as those words haven’t been used except by them.
    Those who can’t argue logically, use insults.
    I stick to legality. Not everyone shares my morality.

    Apogee – very well explained.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  52. @ Foxfier

    I will give you that one I thought you were saying there was no mention of a daughter.

    @SPQR – First I am not defending FLDS. If they committed crimes then prosecute. What I am saying is that the state overstepped it’s bounds in removing all 400+ kids from their homes.

    I go back to the fact that no actual proof of a crime has yet been presented. Even in the case of the girl who gave birth yesterday, the state says she is a minor she says I am 18. Whose responsibility is it to prove the truth. I maintain it is the state’s. If they prove she is 16 or 17 I say prosecute to the fullest extent of the law but prove it.

    My opinion would be changed drastically if the state could prove the age of one of the kids.

    chad (582404)

  53. Chad,

    Then you want clear proof before the state is allowed to remove children from their parents. I understand that view but that’s not what the law provides. Instead, it’s written to authorize removal based on reasonable suspicion. The premise of the law is to err on the side of overprotection of a possibly abused child, knowing that the child can be returned after the investigation is completed if there is no abuse.

    That’s why I said earlier that if you have a problem with the law, don’t blame the people who are enforcing it according to the way it’s written now.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  54. Chad, you don’t seem to understand that the current issue in court is not the prosecution of crimes.

    Further, you are saying that the state overstepped its bounds … without an understanding of the law nor any evidence that the state overstepped its bounds. That’s why we pay little attention.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  55. SPQR, I note that you once again accuse me of logical errors without explaining what those logical errors are. I am forced to conclude that you don’t really know what “logic” or “strawman” mean and are just throwing out random terms that in your idiolect mean roughly the same as “Uh uh!” and “You’re STUPID!”

    The basic idea behind logic is really not all that complicated. I should write a blog post about it so I would have something educational to point people like you to in the future.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  56. Apogee, in order for my statement of #41 to be prejudiced in the way that you say, the subject of Jeffs would have had to have come up and I would have had to respond to it in a way that showed some sort of prejudgment. Since the subject didn’t come up and I did not refer to it at all, I can only assume that you are accusing me of prejudice for only responding to the arguments that were presented and not trying to come up with additional arguments to support the side that I disagree with.

    And frankly, I still don’t see what Jeffs has to do with any of the arguments that I made.

    Your point about isolation is interesting and is a potentially relevant difference between the cult and the wider society. However, you haven’t explained how this distinction is relevant to the state taking away all of the young children, even though there have been no allegations that the young children were in any danger.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  57. I find it amazing that so many people are up in arms about the supposed lack of morality here when there are SO many other situations where men dont keep their pants on (like presidents and governors) and that is ok with them. WE are even told it is their private life and therefore a private matter. How is this different?

    Consent age laws in TX changed. FLDS people were within the law when they were married by parental permission. Maybe you dont like it-that does not make it wrong or illegal. Many things I dont like that others do.

    A same sex marriage law in CA or MA. FLDA morals is much more preferable than same sex marriage. Do you know that with same sex laws, they have the rights to adopt children? If your dtr gave up a child for adoption because she thought it best, would you agree that child should be raised by a lesbian or gay couple? Hmmm…

    That is the way it will be-the problem here is that you disagree with their morals. Their actions are not wrong as there is no child abuse. These are just things you dont agree with!! Let these people live their lives.

    josephene (2a2b77)

  58. Per the latest update today from FNC, now we are down to a potential 16 or 17 out of what was a pool of 31 potential statutory rape victims. I looved watching SSS(Sheppard Sanctimonious Smith) have to eat crow. The tenor of the discussion with his lawyer panel today was a near-180 from his accusatory stance when the story broke. Go back to N’awlins and tell us all how we are awful people for not throwing money at a situation for which the locals still do not have a plan. You’re making roughly $2 million per annum, SSS, why not send $500K or so their way?

    I can’t express how joyful I am that my core theory was explicitly endorsed by the Appeals court: no imminent physical danger was proven for over 400 of the 460 children. Absent individual proof of such, the State of Texas overstepped.

    The Court said this was “extreme” action by Texas. Seems to mirror my lay term “outrage,” wouldn’t you say SPQR?

    I want genuine abusers punished. But damn to hell anyone who wants to take a child without solid proof. McMartin II, folks. When are we gonna learn?

    Ed (6b8782)


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