Tuesday, May 06, 2008

FLDS keeping tabs on their polygs

As the legal battle between the erstwhile Republic of Texas and the FLDS begins, there was an interesting disclosure by the prosecution:
A review of the "Father's Family Information" sheets shows a handful of 16-year-old wives, 13 young monogamous couples and 24 men with multiple wives - including one man with 21 wives and 36 children.
The pages were recently released by the court. Sgt. Danny Crawford said the sheets were found April 5 in an office at the ranch, home to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Texas authorities raided the ranch on April 3 after receiving reports of an abused 16-year-old, calls now being investigated as a possible hoax.
Authorities have said, however, they found evidence of a polygamous lifestyle and underage marriage practices at the ranch that supported removing 464 children.
The bishop's record sheets helped them make that case.
The sheets were filled out between March and August of 2007 and list names of husbands, wife or wives, children and current residence.
Most are shown as living at the Yearning for Zion Ranch, but some are listed as being in Short Creek - the historic name of the twin towns now known as Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. Others are described as living in Idaho, "elsewhere" or in the "house of hiding." Among the documents is a sheet showing who was living at each home, duplex and trailer at the ranch.
It is one thing to give your address out to your religion so you can get the church bulletin, it is quite another for them to know that you are in a "house of hiding."

The state's case seems to be focused on child "marriages" and sexual contact with minors. The trouble is, Texas only recently (2005) raised the age of marriage from 14 to 16. Yet they are looking into marriages all the way back to 1993.

But is also interesting to see that not all of the members of the FLDS compound were practicing "plural marriage," in fact there was a decent number (13 out of 37) of monogamous couples. The picture appears to be much more complex than first impression. However, when the results of the DNA testing comes back, we will finally know who fathered/mothered whom. I wonder if they will ever be able to tell the age of some of these women.

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