Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Houston Chronicle "coverage" of FLDS Activities

Jennifer Dobner of the AP has a new article on the Houston Chronicle site today titled Court to consider sale of polygamous church's land. The actual information given to the public was, well, anemic would be an understatement.

You have to wonder where a young, smart reporter can even be found these days.

My rather terse comments were left, naturally.

I left the news business in Mohave County, because nobody there seemed too deeply concerned about the blatant violations of the Constitutional rights of the survivors. Everything done by both Utah and Arizona was designed to completely cover up the abuses of whole groups of people within polygamy, including women, men and children who left or were kicked out.

They were also kicked out of homes they had built themselves. Since the FLDS is a corporation, all members turn their revenues in to the prophet, and he doles it back out in a one man rule set up. No one owns their own home, it belongs to the FLDS corporation's trust. In other words, it is a commune. When a member is kicked out by the FLDS faith, they must leave, and are told to leave their homes behind because they don't have any claim to the trust assets now.

Poof! You are homeless.

So you've got whole groups of people in Short Creek, who when they were kicked out of the FLDS "faith", refused to leave the homes they had built, claiming they still had a right to be covered by the trust, too, even if their religion is now "different" because they have been kicked out of the cult's meetings, or even freely chosen to leave. They have donated almost every penny they ever made to the FLDS corporation, so why weren't they covered as trust participants?

The FLDS corporation is arguing that the FLDS faith has dominance to decide who can have what from the trust.

I suppose we just had a different view of what real "news" was.

It is too bad that years after I left, no one in the national media has bothered to question the survivors about basic human and civil rights violations they endured while still members of the cult.

Why weren't the Feds ever interested in talking to them about these?

Maybe they could have interviewed Utah and Arizona CPS staff or medical staff at hospitals, about how they are always pressured to be extra hush hush about any cases involving the cultural practice of polygamy.

How about nurses in Phoenix who sees a 15 year old girl pregnant, and she comes to her appointment juggling twins she's already had....and she's told to shut up about it because of cultural sensitivity issues?

I'm just wondering how close we are in Texas to becoming the next "culturally sensitive" place for felons to safely practice polygamy.

Hush, hush now.

I suppose I have a different idea of what a real reporter does, too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'm looking at an article in today's online edition of the San Angelo Standard Times titled, " Trial dates set for sect members facing criminal charges". Matt Phinney seems to be taking Paul Anthony's place. I'm willing to give him a shot, because I have not seem him write anything blatantly one sided, yet. I'll watch for that but so far I haven't seen it.

In general finding clean people hasn't been hard here in Texas. There was a problem with corruption in Mohave County, Washington County, Utah and Arizona that I have not found here at all outside of Austin.

There is definitively already a growing attachment to the economic benefits of having the FLDS in Schleicher and Tom Green Counties. Even people in Eldorado are hiring FLDS owned construction companies to build their homes and complete building projects. They are clean help, reliable, courteous, on time, exact and of course, cheap.

One FLDS owned company doing brisk business all the way from Eldorado to San Antonio is Jack Daniel's construction www.jdinconline.com owned by Jackson and Daniel Jessop. So if you're looking for cheap construction work, done well, and on time, as long as you don't mind funding the lifestyle and activities of the FLDS, you're all good to go.

Gee, I hope they don't get any unexpected visits by the Texas workforce commission on a weekend. You never know what kind of cheap labor might be on the job on those communal "work Saturdays" those poor young FLDS men have to endure. Can you even imagine being a 22 year old male and being told "all marriages are on hold". In their shoes, I guess I would want to keep myself busy, too.

The growing list of Texans that were thrown under the bus is amazing.

We start with little Eldorado Texas, whose people came together immediately to try to help the children.

The members of the First Baptist Church of Eldorado were particularly criticised for offering their church's buses. I suppose there are those who would have preferred we send for some un air conditioned INS buses from Del Rio, or perhaps some nice wheels from the Texas Prison system in Huntsville. That could have been nice. Instead, however, the people, normal, decent Texas people came together and offered what they could.

And what did they get for it?

They were accused of trying to steal Utah's children from the poor polygamists to covert them all into Baptists.


The Hot line workers who took the distress call? Gee, threatened by FBI special agents and told to shut up and quit talking to the Texas Rangers.


Shelter workers were accused, in an unsigned letter purporting to be from Texas Hill Country MHMR staff members, of actually abusing women and children during the emergency shelter operations. No one has stepped forward to take responsibility for the anonymous letter or to defend its accuracy. It remains to today a mystery.


Department of Family Protective Services Attorneys Childress and Schmidt both have stated publicly that they felt something was wrong in Austin. Both were told their professional services would not be needed by Austin's "special team" once they voiced opinions expressing their intentions, based on the evidence, to terminate the parental rights of many of the ranch's residents. They were told of the plan to continue to non-suit cases, even if abuse was clearly identified.


Department of Family Services local Case Workers across the state were told to close their cases on every last child, even if gross abuse or neglect had been indicated for the children on their case load. They were instructed to cooperate with the orderly and unconditional return of the FLDS children. Some of them got to push crying children, who were begging not to have to go back, across the room to their "parents". Some of them cried. Some of them quit. None of them will ever be the same after the experience.


Foster families who saw the extent of the damage done were told to give them all back, regardless what they knew had been done to them.


The Texas Rangers went into that place and saw the law being broken, got a warrant, found the evidence, safely removed every last child into immediate protective custody of Texas, without ever firing a shot, starting any Armageddon or doing anything even remotely unprofessional as a law enforcement agency.

And what did they get?

A burned up Governor's mansion and...


Thump, thump, thump go the wheels of the Special CPS Team from Austin's bus.

Doesn't anyone wonder who was driving it?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Foresight in Eldorado

Photo courtesy of The Eldorado Success

Showing a remarkable degree of foresight in 1976, Mrs. Earnest Hill donated this building to be used as a museum for Schleicher County, by the Historical Society.

I wonder if Mrs. Hill's foresight ever could have predicted that little Eldorado, Texas might become the epicenter of the future of women's rights in Texas?

50 years from now, I wonder what will be on the walls.

YFZ Cemetery Refusal Statement July 10, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Link to YFZ Statement


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eldorado's Appeal

As I sat in my truck outside the gates of the YFZ, having been asked to back out of the driveway and park on the county road, I knew they weren't going to let me in.
I'd been so close to being in, twice. Once upon my arrival, when the gates simply immediately opened for me. The nose of my truck was through the big iron gates when I thought better of traversing the mile long road stretched out in front of me, without verbal approval. I stopped and backed out, calling the number listed for assistance. Then at one point, I was following Jim Jessop into the gates, when they suddenly changed their minds and the gate began to shut on us, and we backed out again.
But sitting on the side of the county road, getting hot from the long sleeve shirt and heavy long prairie skirt, I knew it was going to be a no go, when one of the Jeffs boys came to confer with Mr. Jessop.
I got out and stripped the hot clothing back off, and began reapplying the "Polygamy is Abuse" magnets I had so graciously offered to remove for my trip in to visit Allen.
After applying the magnets back to the sides and back of my truck, I looked around for a stone. I simply picked one that spoke to me. I held it in my hand and thought of Allen, telling myself that if they did let me in, I would leave it for him. I stared at the stone resting in my palm and thought how it lived outside the gates, and little Allen never got the chance. He died long before the rescue. He died never knowing anything outside.
I thought of the stone that mysteriously showed up by US mail at one of our safe houses, with nothing else in the box. Written on the stone was "John 8:7"
I have no desire to throw stones, but I don't mind saying that I have never committed the crime of polygamy, so I wouldn't mind taking that one back to the YFZ and leaving it there next time, when I do go in.
My motivations for visiting Allen are to pay my respects to him. As an activist, who has been running around with the documentation that shows exactly how dangerous polygamy seems to be for these children where they came from, I feel like the most respectful thing anyone can do for him is to make sure he is never forgotten.
He was a three year old baby, and now, thanks to someones lack of concern for his safety, he is dead. He is the first child death on the YFZ Ranch. While some will tell you that the numbers are too small to count, this means 1/3 of the YFZ Cemetery is now children.
Some will tell you that is meaningless, because there are so many children its natural that more of them die. That's the Mohave County line anyway. They have more children, therefore they run over more of their children.
Really? Is that so? So Allen's death, which was perfectly preventable, is perfectly "normal".
And while, if his mother had been driving I could see not pressing endangerment or neglect charges in the case[I can see how losing a child is enough punishment], she wasn't.
I guess the FLDS probably feel free to carry all the children they want around the ranch, in similar fashion to what killed Allen, now. And when it happens again, it will be just another accident, y'know.
Allen Rhobock is reason one why the residents of the YFZ should be held to the same legal standards as the rest of us, and we should say no to secret cemeteries in Texas.
While I enjoy the right to appeal my case before a judge now; Allen's appeals are over.
All the abused children of the YFZ have been given back to their abusers. Their appeals are over.
The people of Eldorado have one last chance to show the world why they tried to help these children, at the trials.
The people of Eldorado feel abused and abandoned. Who cares about them? Who cares that within 10 years, if no laws against polygamy are enforced, a Jessop will be sitting in the County Sheriff's office? Who cares that a tiny county with less than a 3 million dollar yearly operating budget is bankrupted the minute they have to take any law enforcement action against the FLDS?
Who cares that these are kind decent Texas people and their whole community has been invaded by an organized crime family syndicate, with the financing of the states of Arizona and Utah?
Who cares about Allen?
Who cares about the children still alive?
Who cares about the people of Eldorado and Schleicher County, Texas?
Details of the 45 minute encounter with the Priesthood, will be posted by midweek, in the form of a statement I made giving a description of the facts as I understood them, from notes I took as events unfolded , about 20 minutes after the refusal. This was done before I left the YFZ gates.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

YFZ Cemetery Vist: Access Denied

I wanted to let everyone know that I am back home, safe and sound.

I met with FLDS representatives outside the gates of the YFZ on Friday morning at 9:00 am.

After they consulted with their attorney, Amy Hennington, I was denied access, because I am not a relative and their cemetery is "private".

I will resist saying more right now, one because I am plain tuckered out after another 1,000 miles of Texas road under me since Thursday, and two, because there are lawyers involved now.

I'll let y'all know how much I can yap, as as soon as possible. I'm good at yapping. That's why I went to broadcasting school to begin with.

For now, I will say this much:

The people of Eldorado feel completely betrayed by Austin, and by Texas.

They were the first to see the children.

They were not blind.

They don't understand what happened to those children, or the decisions made by Austin, at all.

They feel just as thrown under the bus as the Texas Rangers, CPS staff, Hot Line and shelter workers, foster families, CASA staff and volunteers, and the attorneys pushed out of the case.

Gee, that's a lot of Texans who are feeling betrayed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Polygamy is Abuse


Are you sure you want to chance it?
According to the U.N.
Americans Against Abuses of Polygamy