Friday, November 13, 2009

Polygamy, hatred, and the "True Believer"

"All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear and he disregards the rest"
- The Boxer, Simon And Garfunkel

On the Salt Lake Tribune website, polygamy stories draw a group of commenters who generally don't participate on any other topic.

The majority believe that the issues of taking multiple wives, and taking underage wives, are inseparably intertwined.

A few people posting in these comment threads question just how widespread the "child bride" problem is, or whether it is legal and appropriate for the government to act against an entire community as a "criminal class". One lady I have a great deal of admiration for is Deb Lee. She's asks the hard questions, and she's become a popular target for insults and vitriol. The class she shows in the face of it all should be an example to us all.

The Tribune's reporter specifically assigned to polygamy stories is not a rabid polygamy hater, and for it, she is regularly accused of practically aiding and abetting.

What I see in play is some kind of morbid curiosity. For some reason, that eludes me, some people in this country are eager, desperate even, to believe lurid tales of organized abuse rings, masquerading under the guise of religion, holding children hostage as sex slaves today, right here within the boarders of the good 'ol USA.

This is by no means an intellectual exercise for this group of "true believers", they believe it with their hearts, and any skeptic will quickly be accused of being either a child abuser or a child abuse enabler.

This "true believer" phenomenon certainly did not begin with this particular group. In the 1980's, a book called "Michelle Remembers" was released. In it's aftermath, a large number of apparently unconnected individuals, across both North America and Europe, began coming forward with accounts "recovered memories" of satanic ritual abuse. Evangelical Christian traveling speakers Bob Larson and Jerry Johnston were drawing huge audiences, then Geraldo Rivera fanned the flames even more with a primetime special, treating it all as real. But was there any evidence?

Girls, whose bodies showed no sign of childbirth, claimed that they had been held as "breeders", producing baby after baby to be sacrificed on some hidden alter by people living perfectly normal and respectable lives by day. In the height of the craze, the owners of the McMartin Preschool were jailed, and the building was razed to look for underground tunnels where the children claimed they were taken for abuse. In the end, all the frantic digging could not make up for the fact that the tunnels simply did not exist.

We can go back even further, to a town called Salem, where some accusations from a few little girls caused more than a little commotion in the community.

Back to the present. As someone who has gotten to know these people over a prolonged period of time, ultimately coming to agree with with Gordon B. Hinckley when he stated on Larry King Live that plural marriage is not doctrinal, nevertheless coming away with a great respect and admiration for them, I know that enough marriages to underage girls have taken place that law enforcement interest comes at no surprise. Courts of Law have held those individuals responsible for it accountable.

It should also be noted that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who is in no way a synthesizer, and in fact admits that his office considered raiding a Kingston church meeting to forcibly collect DNA samples, stated in an interview on 1 Aug 2010 (Take 2, KUTV) that he was satisfied from the reports of his network of inside informants that no underage marriages had been performed by the FLDS since 2004.

Then there are the more problematic issues, like the "human incinerator" supposedly located next to the Texas FLDS Temple, or the young man who recently published a book claiming to have recovered repressed memories from the age of five, where Warren Jeffs took a him out of class, sodomized him in the bathroom, then returned him to the classroom with no physical injuries.

But the "true believers" scream that a widespread problem exists, and that the authorities are doing practically nothing.

I recently (outdated link removed) challenged a "true believer", who complained that nothing was being done to "eliminate this scourge", on just what she thinks should be done to eradicate polygamy?

Indiscriminately round up children? Raids to capture the lists of every person in membership or in sympathy? GPS tracking for life? Forced sterilizations? Sending out spies to discover if any new groups are forming? Labeling American citizens, convicted of no crime, as part of a "criminal class", and suspending their civil rights solely on the basis of whom they associate with?

Two other "true believers" took their shots at me, neither of them offering anything substantive to counter my reasoning. Afterward the original "true believer" I challenged thanked them "for answering my specious argument", refusing to address me directly.

My question remains unanswered, just what would it take to satisfy these people? Perhaps, operating on such an emotional level, there is no answer. Perhaps they simply perceive evil, want the evil excised from society, and they have not thought it out any further beyond that.

When I actually start publicizing this blog, so that people will actually start reading it, hopefully I can get some insightful comments as to why they so passionately want to believe. Could it just be that some have a pathological need for a scapegoat to hate, or that they find some personal validation in believing the worst of those who seem strange or different from themselves, or could it go even deeper than that? For now, I remain perplexed.

As for myself, I don't want to believe that horrible things are happening in my community, in my country, and in my world, though I will accept that which can be reasonably proven.


  1. I would like to see you awaken from your slumber and be aware that fundamentalists are not motivated by American ideals of patriotism as much as the presence of their living prophet who provides them a living law to live by to the exclusion of all other EVIL 'Gentile' government. 'One Man Rule' is his edict and the escalation of events from his rise has been rather alarming, even reminiscent to the People's Temple of Reverend Jim Jones.

    For instance, this prophet has proclaimed,"We must continue to ANSWER THEM NOTHING and not give into their proposals and ways. May the Lord guide me that I will not compropmise in the slightest degree, knowing His will is the United Effort Plan Trust is rejected of God, and is not the gathering place and the people must qualify to come to the lands of refuge [YFZ Ranch, Texas/Mancos, CO/Pringle, SD] or else be rejected. And we will be scattered as a people and then the faithful will be gathered and that is the Lord's way, and we will not work out differences so called with this judge[Lindberg] and government and compromise with the ways of the world"
    Warren Steed Jeffs dictations of Aug. 06, 2005

    Do you see any wiggle room with this prophet who is following God's commands and isn't concerned with this EVIL 'Gentile' government?

  2. The FLDS Church held a Priesthood & Conference Meeting, April 13, 2002 and Sam Barlow gave a report which stated, "We are now legislated purposely[in Utah] to bring us into collison woth the judiciary and particularly to make Uncle Rulon [Jeffs] collide with the judiciary. So we are talking about criminal things. And when you deal in criminal you have to be very careful because there's some ramificationsa to it" So the FLDS leadership & Priesthood not only had foreknowledge, legal advice(s) and ample Law Enforcement warnings they chose to move forward, buy enclaves in Texas, Colorado, South Dakota, eyc. and continue the 'criminal things'.

    Sam Barlow reported two additional comments, in his report:
    "We ourselves, you my Brethren and I, came to this earth after an agreement with death and hell was entered into. The covenant with death and an agreement with hell has entered into 1890 by the corporate church[FLDS],
    "Many of us were held in reserve --came to the earth at this time and we are born to this conflict. We cannot shirk it, leave it or turn aside for even a moment --without a element of cowardess growing in our souls".

    'True Believers'such as these have their own agenda and it has nothing to do with being a loyal or patriotic American.

  3. "The lawless conduct of polygamous communities in the United States deserves National attention and Federal action", said Senate Majority Whip Harry Reid in 2008 before the Senate Judiciary Committee,"Sects such as the FLDS have wrongfully cloaked themselves in the trappings of a religion to conceal crimes such as bigamy, child abuse and statutory rape of girls forced to marry older men and bear their children". CNN 24 July, 2008

    Interceptor why don't you write to this 'True Believer' and complain about how shrill and unfounded his statement makes against poor FLDS members currently indicted by the San Angelo Grand Jury. The first member has been arrested, tried and convicted for sexual assault and faces another charge for bigamy.

  4. You have presented nothing that would contradict my position that the child bride problem is not a widespread issue, but rather the wrongful acts of individuals; a few rotten apples among a people who deserve to have myself and others speak up for them, because they have earned the respect.

    I've said nothing in defense of the leadership of Warren Jeffs, either in the posting you responded to, or in any other posting. Let me make this clear, Warren Jeffs was both an incompetent leader and a tyrant. He did not rise through the ranks to be president of that church on his own abilities, he was handed the position because he was Rulon's favorite son.

    Pathologically obsessed with with disloyalty, his intent was to take a few hundred hand-picked members, abandon the rest, and retreat with them to a compound several states away, behind a closed gate. In fact these people are so devoted that they still stand behind him to this today, despite the fact that at both locations they are trying to pick up the pieces of what once was their community and their lives, in pieces mostly because of his incompetence and tyranny.

    Any lingering sympathy I may have had evaporated when I saw those sick "wedding pictures". He deserves to rot.

    Allen Steed, however, was an innocent and naive young man. To my knowledge he remains in jail, no doubt enduring unspeakable abuse that his sheltered upbringing in no way prepared him for, denied his right to a speedy trial because of concerns that it might complicate ongoing actions against Uncle Warren. There is no reason to believe that Allen has any pedo tendencies. He, like the vast majority of the FLDS, are warren's victims, not co-perpetrators.

    Elissa Wall says that she was shocked by the news that she was to be placed in an arranged marriage. If it really was standard operating procedure for the FLDS to marry off fourteen-year-olds, would she really have been surprised? Even a "true believer", upon looking at the facts, would have to concede that the majority of FLDS girls have not been married before 18.


  5. You talk of the true motivation of the Fundamentalists. I know first hand what motivates them. I've visited many of their homes, sitting down for lengthy discussions to find out for myself how their minds work. Their loyalty is to their religion, they believe it with all their hearts and follow it with true devotion. No one has ever spotted them in the back room of a bar in Kanab, laughing over whiskey and cigars about how they have their poor wives and children duped.

    Their primary allegiance is not to the government of the United States, but so what? Neither is mine.

    You use the term patriotism, but you know nothing of what it really means. If you had ever read the Declaration of Independence you would know that when his government turns to oppression, the patriot turns becomes it's opponent, even turning to sedition as a last resort. This government has become an authoritarian regime, my June 8 blog entry is devoted to spelling out the problem. The United States federal government, and it's subservient state governments, as they presently exist, do not deserve support from the FLDS. They do not deserve support from me, and they do not deserve support from you.

    Which brings us to Harry Reid. After your first two swipes it me, challenging the defense of Warren Jeffs that I never made, you came back a little while later citing Mr. Reid, as if a United States Senator believing something makes it a fact. These people have taken overexaggerated reports of the threats posed by crime, terrorism, and irresponsible drivers; they clearly have no real world perspective on just how dangerous this country is, or should I say is not; and have spent the last 30 years turning our once free country into a locked down camp. Our high standard of living, and the distorted view of reality they get from basing their view of their world, and it's threats, on what they see on television, rather than solely accepting as threats those threats they have seen with their eyes, are the only things that keep the masses placated.

    You alarmists say I have my head buried in the sand, I say you alarmists are alarmists.

    Suffice it to say, elected officials are hardly the foremost experts on the problems and needs of our society.

  6. Intercept you call the FLDS members convicted and indicted as, "...a few rotten apples" and by my count over a dozen doesn't constitute just a few, it's more like a crime racket. Arizona charged over 8 members and two had charges dropped when witnesses recanted but six were coonvicted of sexual abuse of minor plural wives, namely Rodney Holm, David Bateman, Dale Barlow, Vergel Jessop, Kelly Fischer and Warren S. Jeffs, who's case in AZ is still pending while he's in jail. Then the Texas Grand Jury has indicted 9 more sexual assault charges against Raymond Jessop, Allan Keate, Michael Emack, Keith Dutson,
    Abram Jeffs, Merril L. Jessop, Lehi Jeffs, Leroy Steed and Warren S. Jeffs which totals over 15+ sex offender convictions/charges. Certainly that's more than your spin comment of a 'few'. You proclaim that the vast majority of Short Creek residents are blameless yet all these perpetrators came from this community, this community still follows Warren jeffs funding his legal expenses, give their tithings, afforded him safe-haven when he was on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, abide by his 'One Man Rule', appear at public demonstrations concerning the Court Administrated UEPTrust and most recently stood by in defiance with 'Answer Them Nothing' case of Raymond Jessop that resulted in a 10 Year conviction. Isn't this whole affair rotting under the FLDS Church leadership and threatening the future, lives and criminal prosecution threat of a Federal Task Force investigation? Domestic/International child traffiking, 'Lost Boy'cases and child labor law violations leaves me with declining respect for an organization so caught up in illicit and crime ridden endeavors. The lost boys are documented and court awarded, the child labor law violations fines have been paid by FLDS members and the 'Child Bride' involvements are many and not just your 'few'.

    You further state,"...[Warren Jeffs] intent was to take a few hundred hand-picked members, abandon the rest, and retreat with them to a compound several states away behind a closed gate". You describe a twin-fenced, guard tower, actively patrolled, surveillence cameras and locked/secured gates as a 'closed gate'? You are the master of the understatement. You didn't mention the enclaves in Mancos, CO, Pringle, SD or the newly aquired lands in Nevada, Idaho, Oklahoma and additional lands in Texas as this crime wave spreads with funds embezzled from the UEPTrust. Warren's statement quoted above is a concerning trend that he proclaims that the loyal FLDS congregants will now become a 'scattered people' this is an escalation and concerning spread of the sects covert crime racketeering. Far from abanding his flock Warren's quote clearly indicates that he was arranging ner 'Lands of Refuge' that members would have to prove worthy to reside. Yes, he is willing to abandon Short Creek and leave some 'bad apples' behind but he really was all about growing, tightening his control and forcing greter loyalty by word and deeds by his fanatical adherents. You see Warren Jeffs is talking about the 'End Time' and promising the lifting up to a more select group of Brethren and that's why the Temple was built to house the Lord.

    You quote Simon and Garfunkel's 'BOXER' and left out the refrain:

    'I am just a poor [Lost] boy,
    though my story's seldom told,
    I have squandered my resistance,
    For a pocket fuii mumbles such as promises;
    All lies and jests'.

    Another rogue prophet from Utah has unleashed his hellish prophetic agenda that the World End is near. I trust American justice and Law & Order prevails against this false prophet and his misled flock.

  7. Jam Inn, your boundless hatred, bigotry and obsesson with fundie mormons knows no bounds.
    Intercepter agrees with you that Warren was a tyrant and the ranch in YFZ has a "locked gate", yet you still proceed to foam at the mouth like a rabid dog.
    YFZ has a locked gate for good reason, to keep witch burners like you out. FYI, most of the 1600 acres is surrounded by nothing but a traditional barbed wire fence.

  8. Jam Inn said...
    "...over 15+ sex offender convictions/charges. Certainly that's more than your spin comment of a 'few'."
    You're also leaving out the accomplices - mothers, fathers, siblings etc who knew what was happening but either stood by and did nothing or else actively encouraged / supported the crimes. How many people do you think that brings the total to?

    Yeah, that's right, YFZ has a locked gate & guard tower because everyone outside is just MEAN.