Thursday, April 24, 2008

Texas v. FLDS: Even MORE Interesting

The Dallas Morning News doesn't mince words.

Judge Barbara Walther, who is overseeing the YFZ Ranch case, yesterday declared: "The court has ruled the conditions those children were in were not safe for the children. I did not make the facts that got this case into the courts."

Excuse me, Judge? You issued a sweeping, house-to-house search warrant based on a highly questionable anonymous call that turned out to be phony. You refused to allow individual hearings for children, grouping them together like cattle. You accepted the testimony of an expert on "cults" who only learned about FLDS from media accounts, rather than an academic who'd studied them professionally for 18 years.

You've ruled the existence of five girls between 16 and 19 who were pregnant or had children was evidence of systematic abuse, even though in Texas 16-year-olds can marry with parental consent. You've ruled young toddlers are in "immediate" danger because of their parents' beliefs or what might happen 15 years from now, not because anyone abuses them.

Volokh is less polemic, but equally concerned:

It's time for a nationally prominent civil liberties attorney to get involved

Yes. This is, without a doubt, the most egregious example of Statism since Waco, and although less deadly (so far), it's just as portentous.


Amy said...

I knew something about the whole situation didn't sit well with me - thank you for posting this stuff.

Strange as FDLS may be, my heart still hurts for the children and their mothers.

I am 100% positive that these children will never be returned to their families. No matter how false the allegations are.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

What is going on in Texas should scare the hell out of people. Cult or no cult, they do have rights and they have been trampled. Just think if this happened at an inner city church? They have some goof ball religions there, along with everywhere else in the state and country. Would the blacks just sit back and let it happen, of course not. They would be marching in the street.
Think it can't happen in Wisconsin? The Amish better look out because the social workers will be after them next.

capper said...

And who's rights are more important? The cultists', or the childrens'? It is disgusting that you all are condoning child abuse for the sake of your pro-religious and/or anti-government feelings. Wrong is wrong and it cannot be justified.

Anonymous said...

Dan, your concern would be much more believable if yu weren't on record as being a backer of Frankovis' door-to-door campaign for Milwaukee.

Polygamy is against the law. These people broke that law. By your convoluted logic that makes them thugs worthy only of condemnation.

Why do you hate America and stand up for these people?

Dad29 said...


So far, there is NO EVIDENCE of "abuse" which has been presented--other than allegations, and those from an apparent wackoloony.

You like "guilty until proven innocent," then perhaps the Constitution is not your cup of tea, either.

BTW, I happen to think that the natural law prohibits polygamy.

But it also prohibits the State from kidnapping children w/o an actual REASON.

Amy said...

An in the next decade, after special interest groups fight for same-sex marriage, next on the table will be polygamy. So as much as I think polygamy is wrong I will not be surprised when it's the next "right" to come down the pike.

Texas state law *does* allow 16-year-olds to marry with consent. The girls who are pregnant are all at least 16 (or that's what I understood from the post). So that cannot qualify as abuse.

Your frantic assumption of guilty until proven innocent is alarming, capper. Weed out the abuse, but taking 416 children away for what *might* happen is against the law and violates the Constitution.

And as sheltered as some think these kids' lives may be, that is not abuse.

OR does the presumption of innocent not apply because they *are* religious?

Anonymous said...

Religion's got nuttin to do with it. Call a spade a spade: these are deviant sexual predators. What sort of 50-70 yr old men take 15-18 yr old girls as "wives" against their will? Gimme a break. The main thing absent in connecting Waco to these nutjobs is the fireworks.

Dad29 said...

Yah, so?

The CHILDREN are not "abused" (or at least there's no evidence to date.)

The State of Texas' officials are just a bit over-anxious--to be kind.

Anonymous said...

"Dan, your concern would be much more believable if yu weren't on record as being a backer of Frankovis' door-to-door campaign for Milwaukee." WTF are you talking about? But making things up and lying is for the children and the left's way of doing things.
They technically are not polygomists. They were married spiritually, not through the county, so that reasoning is out the door.
capper, the rights of the children are also being violated, byt being yanked from their families, that is not a violation of their rights? How is an infant or 3 year old being forcibly taken away from their family not against their rights. Also, how many times has a pregnant child been removed rrom an inner city?
There is no justification to do this. This is the social service system running wild. Now they got this cult, but who is next?

capper said...

Where to start?

First of all, this would fall under the category of a civil case. There is no guilt to prove, as in a criminal case.

Secondly, the source is immaterial. Often referrals come in as simply anonymous. The social workers were acting on good faith, based on their observations.

Thirdly, there must have been some cause of concern for it to past muster past the social workers, their administration, the DA's office and the judge. Unless you're some kind of "black helicopter" conspiracy theory nut.

Fourthly, it is unnatural for a young teen to feel attraction to someone old enough to be her father or grandfather. For this to happen, there had to be grooming going on, as practiced by most child molesters. Unless you're trying to say that God condones this kind of monstrous behavior. Of course, most Christians would say otherwise.

Protecting children is not against the law or the constitution. Failure to protect is against the law, and against the teachings of most Christians.

Dan, I have personally taken many children from inner city families when the parent(s) has failed to care for, and to protect their children.

Some of us Christians don't like when our faith is distorted for personal gain or for furthering hatred and paranoia.

Amy said...

So, capper, what you're saying is even though you disagree with their ideologies, and even though they've broken no *criminal* law - this is just?

If they did not marry more than one person civilly, they are not technically polygamists. Funny how loopholes apply to thugs who murder, but not to groups like FLDS.

And have you *seen* what the Texas foster system is like? The MSM says these kids will be in for a "culture shock" - no doubt. Now they'll experience first hand what abuse is *really* like.

I'm going to guess those children you've taken from inner city homes were victims of actual crimes (i.e. neglect, physical abuse), not "civil" violations. And, really, how many 14, 15 year old girls who end up pregnant are removed from homes? So there is a difference.

Are they weird? Yes. But many consider Catholicism, Evangelicals, orthodox Jews "weird", too. Many think we "groom" and "brainwash" our children.

So would it be justified for the authorities to take our son away on the basis of one (specious) "tip" simply because our lifestyle is considered "weird"? Or based on abuse that has not happened now, but *might* (or might not) happened in the future?

Some of us Christians don't like when our faith is distorted for personal gain or for furthering hatred and paranoia.

FLDS are outside of mainstream Christianity, and not joined with the LDS in Utah. So to call them "mainstream" Christians (or imply that they are representatives thereof) is inaccurate.

I don't get your insistence that FLDS are not owed "innocent until proven guilty", but jump immediately to the conclusion they are wackos and bad parents.

There is no excuse for Texas overstepping the bounds of reasonable law on this. None whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

When the authorities first went into this compound they had women who were former members of this cult (but had escaped some years ago) on the news. Did any one of you defending this cult happen to watch any of these women? If so, do you think these women are lying about the abuse they suffered when they were still members of this cult?

capper said...


Your arguments are preposterous. Does a child molester have to marry his victim before it's a crime? That is what your arguing for.

And why can't you grasp that all matters dealing with child welfare is a civil matter. If the abuse or neglect is egregious, they may charge it in criminal court as well, but this is usually plea bargained with an agreement to the child welfare action.

And I have worked the child welfare system. I have taken pregnant teens away from their homes, usually because they became pregnant through sexual abuse and/or incest. There is even two agencies in Milwaukee alone to deal with these poor girls because the need is so high.

Your paranoia is alarming. These people were abusing these children, and it's not OK, even if they claim that it was God's will. To even defend sexual predators like this is reprehensible, and rather non-Christian.

Dad29 said...

Well, Capper, insofar as you actually have experience in the field, I'll take your word for most of it.

It does seem, however, that removing 400++ children on the theory (or yet-undocumented-fact) that SOME of them are abused is...what?


I can't speak for Amy--but I think we all agree that what passes for 'marriage' in this bunch is a load of crap.

On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that EVERY SINGLE CHILD in that community is a victim of something.

I grant you, in addition, that this bunch has been The Usual Suspects for quite some time; thus, the adage about 'pattern of practice' comes into play.

Still and all, the mom-child thing is pretty high on the "values" scale.

And forget the attack on Christianity. Mormons, by definition, are NOT Christian.

capper said...

And forget the attack on Christianity. Mormons, by definition, are NOT Christian.

Oddly enough, I've heard the same thing about Catholics...

There was a local event like that in Texas. While I was not directly involved in the case, fortunately, I knew what was going on. There was one allegation of abuse by the principal at Greendale Baptist Academy. This was substantiated (the child had welts on her back).

This child told of other children who were similarly maltreated. This could have really ballooned, except that TOMMY! put a stop to it, due to favors owed, and left the workers out to hang.

I could easily imagine the same sort of thing happened in Texas, but this time, it wasnt' stopped due to political considerations.

My money is that most, if not all, of the children will be united with their moms before the summer's over.

Dad29 said...

Of course, you can provide documentation that Tommy!! stopped the investigation precisely due to "favors owed."

capper said...

The GBA was (I don't know if they still are) affiliated with the Bob Jones University, which were donors to TOMMY's campaign.

The orders to drop the investigation came from Madison. The workers and the state ended up getting sued due to the delay in the investigation (which actually violated state law). However the lawsuit was in regards to the parents' rights being violated. The State let its own workers dangle on the rope for following orders to violate state law. Sweet, eh?

Anyway, the appeals court ruling is on the intertubes.

Dad29 said...

Somehow, Capper, the Manion narrative is not consonant with yours.

Words like "unconstitutional" appear, and it's obvious that the social workers were pushing the line at other times.

Hmmmmm. No mention of a "delay" other than the one from the Social Service department at the beginning.

Hmmmm. Yah. Has the tracks of Tommy!! all over it, yah.

capper said...

Why do you think the delay and the bumbling was. Admininstration was told to follow the law, but then receiving orders from Madison to not follow it. Like they needed the extra confusion to screw things up.

But all this is just a distraction from the fact that often religious organizations are excused for crimes, just because they are religious organizations.

Dad29 said...

Capper, you're entitled to your personal opinion, but NOT your personal facts.

Manion's writing leaves no room whatsoever for your version of the facts.

And I note that the ACLU is making noises which are somewhat anti-Texas-Child Services in today's news...

capper said...

You should know damn well by now that not everything that happens is written. Especially when one is trying to make a point. Rarely are all the facts given in any argument.

It would not surprise me that the ACLU would take note. This is a rather mammoth undertaking, whether it is justified or not. And even if it is justified, when they are trying to deal with that many kids, that many people, and with such convaluted relationships, mistakes are apt to be made. The officials involved probably chose to err on the side of caution. Too bad the same can't be said by Milwaukee Child Welfare officials.