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Author Topic: Investigating sexual abuse - they're doing it bigger in TX
scifibum
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http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_8839610

Apparently around 200 women and children were escorted away from the FLDS compound in Eldorado TX. According to news reports I've seen so far on this, the mass evacuation and detention was prompted by a complaint by a teenage girl that she had been sexually abused by an adult. From what I've heard they aren't sure if this girl is among the group already removed.

While I'm no fan of the insular polygamous community involved here, I'm a bit alarmed at the scale of the actions being taken by the government here. Some questions/concerns:

-A search warrant was issued for the entire compound. There are bunch of buildings on the compound. Is it reasonable, or even constitutional, to issue such a broad search warrant? It seems roughly comparable to issuing a search warrant for an entire small town. I don't know how "private" any particular residence is in this compound, but it would seem a lot of people who have nothing to do with the alleged abuse are having their homes searched.

-HUNDREDS of people are being bussed away to a shelter and church to be questioned by CPS authorities. I'm not sure how this kind of massive action makes sense in response to a single allegation of abuse. People are supposedly going voluntarily - but I'm a bit skeptical that you can convince that many people to leave home without some kind of threat. Mass relocation and interrogation also seems constitutionally suspect to me.

- Why is it pronounced El-dor-AY-do? I mean, seriously.

I suspect that a lot of prejudice and antipathy toward the FLDS group in this compound has led to actions massively out of proportion with normal policy/procedure. I actually share a lot of the prejudice. Part of me hopes that this massive shake-up will give the women and children the opportunity and motivation to break free of what I consider an oppressive brainwashing cult that serves to facilitate sexual abuse. On the other hand I don't think the government should have the power to intrude & interfere to this extent.

Edit: link to a better account of the original raid:
http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_8809472

[ April 07, 2008, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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RickyB
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"Is it reasonable, or even constitutional, to issue such a broad search warrant?"

Reasonable? Sure. What's the point in searching if you allow certain places under the direct control of the suspect to remain off limits? As for constitutional, Pete or Dag or the vanished Zyne can say for sure, but I don't think the constitution limits the scope of a possible warrant. Just says you gotta have one - gotta have the judiciary sign off on the search.

"I'm not sure how this kind of massive action makes sense in response to a single allegation of abuse."

I'm guessing the girl told authorities she wasn't the only one.

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Gaoics79
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I kind of agree with Scifi. So far we don't know much, except that there was an "allegation" of "sexual abuse" of a 16 year old girl. This is about as vague as it gets. It seems like an awfully shaky excuse to go in and evacuate the equivalent of a small town.

One question I have: what have the men been up to? All the videos I have seen show no men anywhere to be seen. Just busloads of women and children.

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IrishTD
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Links:

cnn.com

cnn.com

To answer some questions:

1)Here's the abuse allegation
quote:
Authorities told the Associated Press the 16-year-old had called and reported physical and sexual abuse on the ranch last week. She claimed to be married to a 50-year-old man.

Police planned to continue to comb through the ranch and temple for photographs or documents for evidence of the girl's marriage, the AP reported.

The AP reports that under Texas law, girls under 16 years of age cannot marry, even with parental approval.

Authorities were also looking for evidence that the girl had a child at the age of 15. On Monday, authorities said their search would also focus on looking for more children at the ranch and continuing to interview those members who were transported from the retreat over the weekend, according to the AP.

quote:
An arrest warrant was served last week for Dale Evans Barlow, 50, who authorities believe fathered a child with a 16-year-old girl he had married. As of Saturday night, Barlow had not been found, and child welfare workers could not confirm whether the girl or her child had been found.
2) On why the entire compound...
quote:
The church bought 1,900 acres near Eldorado four years ago and built what it calls the YFZ Ranch. It is now home to as many as 400 members who moved from compounds in Arizona and Utah.
To me, searching the whole compound isn't all that different from searching a large farm/ranch for marijuana plans/bodies/meth labs/stills/etc (take your pick of illicit activity).

quote:
One question I have: what have the men been up to? All the videos I have seen show no men anywhere to be seen. Just busloads of women and children.
As I understand it, these sects generally chase off most adult men, so there probably aren't many around to start with. What the ones on the compound are up to, who knows?
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by IrishTD:
As I understand it, these sects generally chase off most adult men, so there probably aren't many around to start with. What the ones on the compound are up to, who knows?

Pretty much. The FLDS is a wonderful organization, and they've been generating awesome headlines for years. One of their perennial favourite traditions is ostracising and shunning the teenage sons of unimportant or unpopular families, driving them out of the community and abandoning them so that the ratio of broads to dudes will be higher and the important senior churchmen and their cronies can have more wives.

I dunno if they've really thought through what this policy must be doing to their gene pool though [Smile]

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munga
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Well, I'm ok with the grand hunt. If the feds have any reason to suspect that the girl is not hiding of her own free will but is in fact a prisoner of some sort, somewhere, nothing will flush her out better than a full body-cavity kind of community warrant.

When I know the girl is ok (and I know I'm believing something unsubstantiated) then... it can all go back to court in the regular way, I guess.

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scifibum
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I guess the ironic thing is the FLDS folks probably thought they'd be left alone in this new compound, compared to their old home on the Utah-Arizona border.
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munga
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Surprise!

The few Texans I know, I know well enough to never threaten. They seem to raise a slightly more aggressive breed there. Even the cats are ferocious. A friend of mine brought a dog to that house on a visit and it got bit by a rattler in the front yard.

I can't remember why Texas joined the union. Anyone want to refresh?

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
Surprise!

The few Texans I know, I know well enough to never threaten. They seem to raise a slightly more aggressive breed there. Even the cats are ferocious. A friend of mine brought a dog to that house on a visit and it got bit by a rattler in the front yard.

I can't remember why Texas joined the union. Anyone want to refresh?

Because the United States wasn't ran by Spaniards?
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Viking_Longship
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Munga
I think it was because they ran up too much debt during their brief independence.

They dressed in pioneer clothes, had no familiarity with the modern world and not allowed to wear red. It's The Village.

Here's hoping this works out better for them than it did for the Branch Davidians.

[ April 08, 2008, 03:27 AM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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munga
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Married at puberty:

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20080409/D8VU53L81.html

This is exactly why I do not support the "marriage amendment"...... because I want to get ALL marriages legalized- including gay ones, just in order to flush all these ugly things out into the light.

I have no problem with polygamy between consenting adults.

I have a HUGE problem will illegal practice of it NOT because I'm a tightwad about laws, but because in general that has, somehow, bred communities that are led to believe that they are "special" and must protect themselves and out-breed the rest of humanity and to accomplish goal A they have goal B: to marry off the girls as young as possible in order to have the most unequal marriages possible in order to insure her current obedience and future dependence via children. Those are appearances, of course, but I think I see a strong enough trend to justify the position.

As for Gay Marriage- well. If I were gay, I'd want legal protection.

[ April 09, 2008, 02:09 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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OceanRunner
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quote:
This is exactly why I do not support the "marriage amendment"...... because I want to get ALL marriages legalized- including gay ones, just in order to flush all these ugly things out into the light
Erm... I'm not sure that these folks are all that concerned about having legal marriages. Why do you think that legalizing all forms of marriage would bring these things into the light?

And when the girls are 15- and 16-year-olds, there are certainly states where their parents could "allow" them to be married at that age, regardless.

None of which makes the whole thing any less sick, of course.

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munga
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Ocean, I KNOW they aren't concerned with having a legal marriage. No one is really concerned about it, until one finds that they need some rights that aren't being recognized in their non-regulated union.

In other words, I would like to have these unions of all sorts legalized because in the unhappy event that a partner feels the need for certain rights (like property, or shared custody, if one wishes to depart) that right is recognized.

Of course, I'd like to retro-active it, so that any married 12 year old is covered. She might not want protection now, but if she ever does... I want her to have it.

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OceanRunner
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quote:
Of course, I'd like to retro-active it, so that any married 12 year old is covered. She might not want protection now, but if she ever does... I want her to have it.
Munga, you have me quite perplexed. You would want marriages that are a) polygamous and/or b) involve underage individuals, to be legalized, so that people are more inclined to legalize their marriages rather than just hiding out in isolation, so that there are some protections available to the child-spouse?

Or am I misunderstanding?

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munga
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I want to legalize any marriage that HAS been made, in order to give protection. THEN, when there is no longer "we have to keep this secret" excuse I think (hope) that polygamists will have some self-protection in mind and obey the de-minimus laws for age in their states and opt for older women.

That might be foolishly hopeful of me, but I think it is a positive move.

But yes, I want those who HAVE been married under this regime to have ability to resort to law. Right now, the girl of 16 with a baby has no legal standing, however ritually married.

[ April 10, 2008, 01:41 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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munga
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..... and I hope Ms. married too young (while believing it was some religious thing) sues every single member of the church who did it, for her support, while divorcing and claiming CHILD SUPPORT.

The thing is.... what do we do when a 14 year old is married to a 55 year old? Do we force the divorce? Or do we try to insist that it was too young (although it is just too young in America, such marriages have been going on forever) and that we are going to put her breadwinner into jail.... and what of her kids?

It's all a pile of spaghetti. How would you solve it, dealing with the issues that are in evidence in these cases?

We SHOULD allow polygamy so that all partners have protection. WE SHOULD allow gay couples to have the same rights of property and custody of children, like all the other people. But what to do about the things that should never have happened, like child brides? I dunno... the only compromise I can think of at this time is give the girls POWER, because it is the rare girl who can claim that she was forced, rather than "stupidly taught" to enter into this unfortunate marriage. How to protect them all, rather than prosecute a few?

And after the date of the law, make the law of the land (on marriage AGE) the LAW. Say, "you got away with it before, but now if you break it, we take your property" -- They did it with the Mormons, and it worked.

[ April 10, 2008, 02:23 AM: Message edited by: munga ]

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OceanRunner
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quote:
I want to legalize any marriage that HAS been made, in order to give protection.
But there's a reason we have a legal process for marrying; who is to determine if people really *were* married? We can have common-law marriage standards, for instance; but what about when you have a man who says, "I never married her" and a woman who says "We were married", or vice versa? There's no proof of a marriage.

Besides, it seems to me that it would be just one more violation of these girls to say, "You know what, you ARE legally married to him. Surprise!" It seems like a government sanctioning of the original child abuse.

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Straygaldwyr
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It is a messy situation for certain, and it is one that we seem to fall into all too often. In many countries this would not even raise an eyebrow. One wonders why they stayed in the US.

The only real solution is to start sorting through who is married to who, who wants to stay married and who gets the kids and who gets counseling and foster care. Then start criminal proceedings against proved abusers and go from there. It is a pile of excrement but all you can do is start shoveling until the job is done. I myself do not approve of polygamy even though I do approve of collective marriage for the very reason that makes this sickening to me, Polygamy can lead to the creation of the powerless, IE those without a choice.

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munga
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Polygamy leads to powerlessness when it is an unrecognized, rights-free system lurking beneath the radar, or in other words, where Polygamy itself is illegal.

It's kinda like drug traffickers who can't ask for police protection when they are robbed. As the first activity is illegal, they have NO protection when things go wrong.

Look, I think marriage of children is sickening. ABSOLUTELY sickening. I want it all to STOP. But where do we start? The whole premise for the child-brides in the first place is the leadership's understanding that they must re-organize these girls' brains before they are old enough to think and ASK for rights. They have imagined up a boogie man in the government and surrounding culture, and the only way to bring us together is to remove the boogie man aspect. If the women knew they had rights, even the woman who has been married to some moron for 15 years and has 9 children and sees this spouse only for his procreative needs.... man... if SHE knew she had the right to ask for CHILD SUPPORT and divorce the cad and make that support also the responsiblity of the church that sanctioned the married.... I think we'd see a big difference.

Mad people will look for solutions, but children don't for a long time. It will take time, if we give them rights. It will never happen if we don't. How many children do we want to be abused, just so we can dictate who gets to marry whom? If we let Americans choose and stop deciding for them, we make a salvation possible even in the strange and cloistered reality of deep-polygamy.

Rights for Everyone! If someone says, "we have to keep American ideals pure and not have things that don't belong" I say, who decided that the constitution regulated morality? I don't see it anywhere in there, really. Let the morality always be personal, and let us regulate ourselves per the constitution.

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Rallan
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by munga:
[QB] Polygamy leads to powerlessness when it is an unrecognized, rights-free system lurking beneath the radar, or in other words, where Polygamy itself is illegal.[/qb[p/quote]

It's the FLDS teachings, not the legal status of polygamy, that's the problem. Plenty of people who aren't Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints practice group relationships quite happily, and don't face any problems more serious than having to come up with a cover story so the neighbours don't know they're off to a swingers' party.

Legalizing group marriage wouldn't change anything in the FLDS, because it would still be a closed, insular cult living apart from the broader community and indoctrinating entire generations into its wiggy teachings and convince them that interacting with the outside world endangers their immortal souls.

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Straygaldwyr
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Just take them to the mall and they will figure out the rest, or some Wal Mart therapy...
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munga
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Rallan, how about let's try it and see? And don't you think that those who do engage in "group marriages" in which children can result, also need protection in case of wanting to depart?
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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
Rallan, how about let's try it and see? And don't you think that those who do engage in "group marriages" in which children can result, also need protection in case of wanting to depart?

It wouldn't change much. They've created a culture where the authorities (and the rest of secular American authority) can't be trusted because everyone's taught that they're godless and decadent and want to destroy the FLDS way of life. Like any good cult, they live beyond the law and have a whole raft of taboos about interacting with the gummint.
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munga
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Rallan, I can't believe your position is "Legalizing non-conventional marriages might help millions of Americans have rights within their chosen lives, but as we can't be sure, let's not do it." I find that a little weird and cruel.
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Michelle
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I'm confused. Why is it against the law to have more than one wife, but legal to impregnate a couple girlfriends?
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scifibum
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Probably because a proscriptive law is easier to enforce in the courthouse than in the bedroom?

But that's probably not precisely what you were asking...

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Straygaldwyr
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If you are forty it is illegal to impregnate any girl under 17 you are not legally married to.
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munga
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I think the definition of statutory rape doesn't ask you how MUCH older than 18 you are.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I think the definition of statutory rape doesn't ask you how MUCH older than 18 you are."

That would be impolite, inappropriate, and discriminatory.

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Rallan
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
Rallan, I can't believe your position is "Legalizing non-conventional marriages might help millions of Americans have rights within their chosen lives, but as we can't be sure, let's not do it." I find that a little weird and cruel.

It's more "Legalizing group marriage is all well and good and I can't think of any sound reason not to, but I just expect it to have zero impact on the sort of shenanigans that go in the FLDS community". Dunno if you'd noticed, but abusive cults are generally a law unto themselves.
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Michelle
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quote:
Originally posted by munga:
I think the definition of statutory rape doesn't ask you how MUCH older than 18 you are.

Well I know for a fact in the state of Maryland, the adult can't be charged with statutory rape unless he/she is more than three years, and four months older than the minor.
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Straygaldwyr
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one wonders how they arrived at that number...
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Michelle
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Actually, I think it's a workable solution.

The age limits suggest at one point the couple could have attended school together.

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munga
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Rallan

"Dunno if you'd noticed, but abusive cults are generally a law unto themselves."

Yes, I have. And the Texans are on the worse side, no argument. But supposing that there is a glimmer of hope, wouldn't it be prudent to arm the abused with legal protection?

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KnightEnder
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Texans?
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munga
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I thought the cult in question, were in TX? Doesn't that make them Texans?
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KnightEnder
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No.
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munga
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HA! KE- This is a sad truth, that we have to own our people. Even when they are slobs or perverts or creeps, they are ours. If we do not own our people, warts and all, how can we have enough love to work with the problems?
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kenmeer livermaile
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"one wonders how they arrived at that number..."

In the Beginning was the Focus Group.

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KnightEnder
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Munga,

Being a Texan is as much a state of mind as it is a location. Chivalry, honor, and a bloated sense of self worth. Those scumbags ain't Texans. Don't know nothing about no love for old men that knock up twelve year olds. The way we work with that problem in Texas is to kill'em.

KE

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