52 Girls Removed from Texas Compound

TallBill

Lifer
Apr 29, 2001
46,044
62
91
http://abcnews.go.com/US/WireStory?id=4595141&page=1

Child welfare officials are scrambling to find foster homes for dozens of girls removed from a secretive West Texas religious retreat built by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs after a 16-year-old living there complained of physical abuse.

Officials from Texas Child Protective Services, escorted by state troopers, took 52 girls, ages 6 months to 17 years, from the remote retreat on Friday afternoon.

By the end of the day, 18 were put legally into state custody, and CPS spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said interviews would continue Saturday. A warrant has been issued for at least one individual.

The girls put in state custody were believed to be in danger, Meisner said. "Those are the ones we believe have been abused or they are in imminent risk of harm, and it would not be safe for those children to remain in the compound," she said.

Child welfare officials were looking for foster homes for the girls, most of whom have rarely been outside the insular world of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were being housed for now at a civic center, she said.

"We're dealing with children that aren't accustomed to the outside world, so we're trying to be very sensitive to their needs," Meisner said.


The investigation began with a call Monday alleging physical abuse of a 16-year-old girl living there, Meisner said. Authorities first arrived at the compound Thursday evening. They interviewed and searched through the night.

On Friday, a search warrant and arrest warrant were issued.

The search warrant sought records dealing with the birth of children to a 16-year-old and any records listing a marriage between a 50-year-old man and the girl, according to the San Angelo Standard-Times, which cited court records released late Friday in Tom Green County.

The individual listed in the arrest warrant had not been located by Friday evening, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Tela Mange. She said she could not reveal whose name was on the warrant.

A small white bus that left the compound accompanied by state troopers was filled with children, Meisner said. She could not immediately say how many.

The bus was filled with what appeared to be mostly girls, dressed in conservative long-sleeve dresses.

The ranch covers roughly 1,700 acres. It is north of this two-stoplight town, down a narrow paved road. Authorities blocked access to the compound's gate, keeping onlookers miles away.

State officials said they did not know how many people lived at the retreat, but local officials in 2006 put the number at about 150, as members of the reclusive church moved from a community on the Arizona-Utah line.


The congregation, known as FLDS, has been led by Jeffs since his father's death in 2002. It is one of several groups that split from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City, decades after it renounced polygamy in 1890.

In November, Jeffs was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in Utah for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl who wed her cousin in an arranged marriage in 2001.

In Arizona, Jeffs is charged as an accomplice with four counts each of incest and sexual conduct with a minor stemming from two arranged marriages between teenage girls and their older male relatives. He is jailed in Kingman, Ariz., awaiting trial.

The Eldorado retreat, about 160 miles northwest of San Antonio, is on a former exotic game ranch. The church bought the property in 2004 for $700,000 and began an ambitious construction program anchored by an 80-foot-tall, gleaming white temple.
What a bunch of sick bastards. I wonder where the hell they all came from.



http://ap.google.com/article/A...hfYyAsR4DDo4QD8VTMLI00

Update

Abuse Probed at Polygamist Compound
By MICHELLE ROBERTS

ELDORADO, Texas (AP) ? Until the raid on their compound last week, the women and girls of the Yearning for Zion Ranch spent their days caring for its many children, tilling gardens and quilting, dressed in pioneer-style dresses sewn by their own hands.

But it was no idyllic recreation of 19th-century prairie life, authorities say. Since last week, they have interviewed members of the polygamist sect looking for evidence that that girls younger than 16 were forced into marriages with older men.

Five miles off the highway, beyond a double gate, the group's members live lives that are isolated even for the scruffy West Texas prairie. Their 1,700-acre ranch is like its own city, with a gleaming temple, doctor's office, school and even factories.

"Once you go into the compound, you don't ever leave it," said Carolyn Jessop, who was one of the wives of the alleged leader of the Eldorado complex, but who left the sect before it began moving to Texas in 2004.

By Monday, state authorities had taken legal custody of 401 children, saying they had been harmed or were in imminent danger of harm.

The raid on the compound founded by jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs started with a call from a 16-year-old who alleged abuse.

Authorities were looking for evidence that the girl, who allegedly gave birth at 15, was married to a 50-year-old, and for records related to other mothers aged 17 and younger. Even with their parents' permission, Texas law forbids girls younger than 16 to marry.

Some 133 women left the ranch voluntarily with the children and were being housed at a historic fort here while authorities conduct interviews. Dressed in ankle-length dresses with their hair pinned up in braids, the women milled about Monday as the children played on the fort's old parade grounds.

State troopers were holding an unknown number of men in the compound until investigators finished executing a house-to-house search of the ranch, which includes a cheese-making plant, a cement plant and several large housing units. They initially had difficulty getting access to the 80-foot white limestone temple that rises out of the brown scrub, but were searching it Monday.

Jessop, author of the polygamy memoir "Escape," said the women dedicated so much time to raising children and their chores because the community emphasized self-sufficiency: Members believe the apocalypse is near, and they will have to start over when the world is destroyed.

They were not allowed to wear red ? the color Jeffs said belonged to Jesus ? and were not allowed to cut their hair.

They "were born into this," said Jessop, 40. "They have no concept of mainstream society, and their mothers were born into and have no concept of mainstream culture. Their grandmothers were born into it."

Children's Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said each child will get an advocate and an attorney. But she said they would have a tough time adjusting to modern life if they are permanently separated from their families.

Tela Mange, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety, said the criminal investigation was still under way, and that charges would be filed if investigators determined children were abused.

Still uncertain is the location of the girl whose call initiated the raid. Authorities were looking for documents, family photos or even a family Bible with lists of marriages and children to determine whether the girl was married to convicted sex offender Dale Barlow.

Barlow was sentenced to jail last year after pleading no contest to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for three years while he is on probation.

Authorities hoped to determine whether the teenager was among the church members being interviewed at Fort Concho, a 150-year-old fort built to protect frontier settlements.

Attorneys for the church and church leaders filed motions asking a judge to quash the search on constitutional grounds, saying state authorities didn't have enough evidence and that the warrants were too broad. A hearing on their motion was scheduled for Wednesday in San Angelo.

"The chief concern for everyone at this point is the welfare of the women and children," said FLDS attorneys Patrick Peranteau. He declined further comment before Wednesday's hearing.

State troopers arrested one man on a misdemeanor charge of interfering with the duties of a public servant during the search warrant, Mange said.

"For the most part, residents at the ranch have been cooperative. However, because of some of the diplomatic efforts in regards to the residents, the process of serving the search warrants is taking longer than usual," said DPS spokesman Tom Vinger.

Attorneys for the church and church leaders said Barlow was in Colorado City, Ariz., and had been in contact with law enforcement officials there. Telephone messages left by The Associated Press for Colorado City authorities were not immediately returned Monday.

The FLDS church, headed by Jeffs after his father's death in 2002, broke away from the Mormon church after the latter disavowed polygamy more than a century ago.

The group is concentrated along the Arizona-Utah line but several enclaves have been built elsewhere, including in Texas. In 2003, the church paid $700,000 for the Eldorado property, a former exotic animal ranch, and began building the compound as authorities in Arizona and Utah began increasingly scrutinizing the group.

Only the 80-foot-high white temple can be seen from Eldorado, a town of fewer than 2,000 surrounded by sheep ranches nearly 200 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Jeffs is jailed in Kingman, Ariz., where he awaits trial for four counts each of incest and sexual conduct with a minor stemming from two arranged marriages between teenage girls and their older male relatives.

In November, he was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in Utah for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl who wed her cousin in an arranged marriage in 2001.

The investigation prompted by the girl's call last week was the first in Texas involving the sect.
 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,582
11
76
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
11,905
6,393
136
Where do places like this get their money? Do the adults level the cult and work a great 6-figure jobs, or what?
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
3
0
Originally posted by: Nebor
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And Randy Weaver's wife did not have to be shot President GHB which is a similar troll comment I make only as a negative example to show to show how trollish it is.

But I have to agree that its likely to have a happier ending. But the thing that really got my attention is the coloring words used to headline the story.

This is a supposed church/ ranch, not a compound. So why use compound? As if only bad people live in compounds. When it may be very similar in layout to places very good people live in. Why not address the real issues? How could have these girls be put there without better state supervision? Where were the initial mistakes made? What can be done now to prevent similar abuses from happening in the future?

And no, just because GWB is now President, is no reason to blame him for this.
 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,582
11
76
Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: Nebor
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And Randy Weaver's wife did not have to be shot President GHB which is a similar troll comment I make only as a negative example to show to show how trollish it is.

But I have to agree that its likely to have a happier ending. But the thing that really got my attention is the coloring words used to headline the story.

This is a supposed church/ ranch, not a compound. So why use compound? As if only bad people live in compounds. When it may be very similar in layout to places very good people live in. Why not address the real issues? How could have these girls be put there without better state supervision? Where were the initial mistakes made? What can be done now to prevent similar abuses from happening in the future?

And no, just because GWB is now President, is no reason to blame him for this.
Randy Weaver's wife was holding a fully automatic assault baby when she was shot.
 

Socio

Golden Member
May 19, 2002
1,730
2
81
Originally posted by: TallBill
What a bunch of sick bastards. I wonder where the hell they all came from.
That is what I am wondering, how did so many just fall off the map with no questions asked.

 

Jhhnn

IN MEMORIAM
Nov 11, 1999
62,365
14,674
136
From Nebor-

This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton.
Yeh, looks like the polygamists had better sense than to shoot it out, kill federal agents- never a really good idea, unless going out in a blaze of glory is your objective...
 

dahunan

Lifer
Jan 10, 2002
18,191
3
0
Originally posted by: Nebor
Originally posted by: Lemon law
Originally posted by: Nebor
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And Randy Weaver's wife did not have to be shot President GHB which is a similar troll comment I make only as a negative example to show to show how trollish it is.

But I have to agree that its likely to have a happier ending. But the thing that really got my attention is the coloring words used to headline the story.

This is a supposed church/ ranch, not a compound. So why use compound? As if only bad people live in compounds. When it may be very similar in layout to places very good people live in. Why not address the real issues? How could have these girls be put there without better state supervision? Where were the initial mistakes made? What can be done now to prevent similar abuses from happening in the future?

And no, just because GWB is now President, is no reason to blame him for this.
Randy Weaver's wife was holding a fully automatic assault baby when she was shot.

It is too bad they weren't scared enough of their govt like they should have been and had planted remote detonateable landmines
 

dahunan

Lifer
Jan 10, 2002
18,191
3
0
Originally posted by: Socio
Originally posted by: TallBill
What a bunch of sick bastards. I wonder where the hell they all came from.
That is what I am wondering, how did so many just fall off the map with no questions asked.
They were possibly even getting funding from the Fundie Bills Bush put through to reward all the people who voted for his no marriage for gays campaign
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
35,446
5,497
126
Originally posted by: Nebor
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
They got what was coming to them.
 

Nebor

Lifer
Jun 24, 2003
29,582
11
76
Originally posted by: senseamp
Originally posted by: Nebor
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
They got what was coming to them.
Someday you will too. :)
 

Drift3r

Guest
Jun 3, 2003
3,572
0
0
Originally posted by: Nebor
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton. :roll:
Yeah um....when you shoot at Federal agents they have a habit of shooting back. These people weren't as crazed or as stupid as the Branch Davidians and their suicidal child molesting leader David Koresh. Bad things happen when you let a child molesting religious nut case horde firearms and ammo. Then when he proclaims that he is Jesus Christ reborn and only through his death and the death of his followers will he be reborn as the next messiah things go from bad to worse.
 

Socio

Golden Member
May 19, 2002
1,730
2
81
Latest count 183 and now there is a standoff going on and it looks like it might get ugly

183 children, women removed by state officials acting on abuse complaint

ELDORADO, Texas - Sect leaders at a polygamist compound in West Texas refused Saturday to let authorities search a temple for a teenage girl whose report of abuse led to the raid, and authorities said they were preparing "for the worst."

If no agreement is reached with sect leaders, authorities will forcibly remove the sect's followers "as peaceably as possible," Allison Palmer, a prosecutor in Tom Green County, told the San Angelo Standard-Times.

Medical workers are being sent "in case this were to a go in a way that no one wants," Palmer said. Law enforcers are "preparing for the worst," she said.
Sounds like they may have killed the girl and don't want them to find her. If they were true god fearing people of faith and believed what they do was right they would not have anything to hide and they are hiding something.

 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
21,513
18,859
136
This all reads eerily similar to the Branch Dividian story, but with a much happier ending. Looks like small religious enclaves practicing polygamy and pedophilia DON'T have to be sieged and burned to the ground, President Clinton.
I'll take Incredibly Stupid Comparisons for $800, Alex...



Yes, eerily similar indeed...providing you completely ignore the lack of weaponry that was present, and used, at the compound in Waco Texas.

Sniper rifles, assault rifles, and then there's that whole apocalypse thing too... I guess when polygamists get in the habit of shooting at Federal agents you might have the beginning of a point.
Sweet tapdancing jeebus Nebor, your hang-up on firearms is evident and disturbing even to a gun-loving, frequent shooter like me! :Q

Just goes to show that nutty religious fundies aren't always of the same stripe, and never relegated to one religion or location.

 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
21,513
18,859
136
Where do places like this get their money? Do the adults level the cult and work a great 6-figure jobs, or what?

Church funds mostly I believe. Then they create gigantic families and feed off state assistance programs.



 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,313
531
126
Originally posted by: dahunan
Originally posted by: Socio
Originally posted by: TallBill
What a bunch of sick bastards. I wonder where the hell they all came from.
That is what I am wondering, how did so many just fall off the map with no questions asked.
They were possibly even getting funding from the Fundie Bills Bush put through to reward all the people who voted for his no marriage for gays campaign
This is how they do it and it has nothing to do with fundie bills or bush since generally they are against noncorporate welfare.

Bleeding The Beast
Having three or more wives and many multiple kids can be costly. So they turn to the state, in a practice referred to as "bleeding the beast."

Eventually, almost everyone who manages to follow the story for more than a few paragraphs finds themselves asking how a man with multiple wives, and even more multiple children, can provide for such a large family. The answer, according to many who have left the church, is a policy called "Bleeding the Beast."

Like other fundamentalist Mormon groups, the FLDS broke away from the mainline Mormon church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), in the 1890s, primarily over the issue of polygamy. When the LDS renounced the practice of polygamy, or plural marriage, many conservative believers held firmly to what they called "the principle" and blamed the United States government for pressuring the church.

The government had, in fact, enacted a series of anti-polygamy laws before the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 was passed, disincorporating the LDS church and forfeiting to the federal government all church property worth more than $50,000.00. The action proved to be more than the LDS leadership could withstand. In 1890 President Wilford Woodruff issued an edict, known today as the Woodruff Manifesto, denouncing the practice of polygamy and forbidding it among the LDS followers.

So it was that many ardent polygamy supporters withdrew to remote sections of the American West in order to continue the practice of the principle, while at the same time harboring a deep resentment against the U.S. government. They also shunned any dealings with the new state government in Utah, which most fundamentalists viewed as a lackey of Washington, D.C.

The group of fundamentalist Mormons who settled along the banks of Short Creek on the Utah/Arizona border were no different. They and their leaders went to great lengths to avoid any contact with the government that they no longer trusted. Their distrust seemed to be confirmed in 1953 when Arizona Governor Howard Pyle sent an army of law enforcement officers rolling into Short Creek, arresting 31 of men and detaining hundreds of women and children to be held in "foster care" for some thirty months. The Short Creek Raid, as it came to be known, proved to be a public relations nightmare and Governor Pyle was voted out of office. The families of Short Creek were soon returned to their homes.

In the years following the raid attitudes in Short Creek, or Colorado City, Arizona, as the town soon became known, began to change. Even as the group's prophet LeRoy Johnson admonished his followers not to accept government help, others within the group began quietly pursuing state and federal assistance, for both public projects and the town's impoverished families.

"I believe it is within the power of this people to continue to build up and establish the Kingdom of God and come under no other covenant or government...I am more determined today that every before to turn down that enticing element to accept of government aid, because the minute we accept government aid we come under their power," Prophet Leroy Johnson told his flock on Sept. 25, 1966.

That sentiment was reflected by another FLDS leader, Marion Hammon, according to Ben Bistline, author of "The Polygamists, A History of Colorado City." Hammon is quoted as saying from the pulpit, "There is nobody here but us chickens," meaning that it was up to the people of Colorado City to build up their town and that accepting government assistance would give the control of the town over to federal authorities.

Others disagreed, however, and pointed out that the fundamentalist Mormons, who had been victims of government persecution, were owed money by that same government. These men slowly gained the upper hand within the inner workings of the FLDS as they sought ever more inventive ways to access state and federal dollars. Chief among these was Fred Jessop, a community leader who led the effort to incorporate the City of Hildale on the Utah side of the border and who was successful in getting a highway built to the town.

Soon, the informal policy known as Bleeding the Beast took on a life of its own. According to the Aug. 11, 2003, edition of the Prescott Daily Courier, the policy's ominous name was a reference to a similar practice implemented by LDS founding prophet Joseph Smith and his successor Brigham Young during the height of Mormon persecution,

The practice reportedly spread quickly as it gained acceptance among the FLDS faithful, which happened to coincide with the explosive growth of state and federal assistance programs. Multiple wives, who were married in church, but not in the eyes of the law, began applying for state assistance. Food Stamps and federal programs like WIC, which provide nutritional assistance to low-income women and children, were also tapped. So were healthcare dollars through Arizona's AHCCCS program, which provides most of the medical insurance for residents in Colorado City AZ. Last year over 4,000 residents were enrolled, reportedly costing the state about $8 million a year.
[...]

Jon Krakauer, author wrote in his book "Under the Banner of Heaven" that fundamentalist leaders in Colorado City view the whole process as "creative budgeting." He says that they regard it as a "virtuous act."

For her part, Flora Jessop, who says she fled the group in order to escape living a forced polygamous lifestyle, says of the people in Colorado City, "They are told to go on welfare. It's called ?bleeding the beast' and they find it amusing that Satan is supporting God's work."
Source: Bleeding the Beast The Eldorado Success, Oct. 14, 2004.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY