Monday, August 30, 2010

Many Griefs Observed

Almost fourteen years ago I stood beside a big black hole in the ground and watched them put the only son I will ever have into it. In a moment like that, what happens when you look up to Heaven? C.S. Lewis said it best, " There is no answer. Only the locked door, the iron curtain, the vacuum, absolute zero."

To effectively describe the hole of grief that the mother of a suddenly and senselessly dead child falls into is not impossible. I could describe it for you but it would break your heart. I called it my own personal Holocaust.

The day after I came back home from Texas, and left my son in that hole, when I woke up and went into the bathroom I was confronted with someone I did not know. My hair had turned snow white, overnight. I was 32. That was the last day anyone ever saw my hair again. I sat on the floor of my bathroom in Charleston, Tennessee and proceeded to tear, rip, pull, shave and cut my head until it was gone for good. Gone. When the frenzy, the self attack was over I simply sat there for hours on the floor, keening. And then I spent countless days on the floor of that bathroom after that doing the same. I'm glad I didn't count them.

There is no bottom. People think there is a bottom but there is no such thing. Some people kill themselves rather than continuing to fall deeper in to the indescribable blackness. I understand why.

There is a pain scale doctors use and a pain scale mental health professionals use. The research indicates that the deepest mental suffering caused by grief is withstood, or not depending on their choice, by the mothers of dead children.

I have heard that the worst physical pain is bone pain. The kind of pain that would be described as "excruciating", the kind of pain that will cause a person to lose consciousness.

For a mother to lose a child, especially suddenly, unexpectedly, violently or senselessly is the mental equivalent of someone taking a chainsaw to one of your limbs. But I thought of it as "the great fire".

It took me two years before the free-fall into the blackness finally stopped. And by that time my husband had other interests and my marriage was over, too.

There is no bottom.

"There is no answer. Only the locked door, the iron curtain, the vacuum, absolute zero."

Survival meant becoming something new. I never went back to normal again. I found a new normal but I was never able to go back to being who or what I was before that day in May of 1997 when my son died.

So on November 22 2006, when I stepped into the Baby Land Cemetery in Hildale, Utah, on the same day that Warren Jeffs was having his preliminary hearing in St. George, I wasn't looking at all those dead childrens graves with any measure of lack of understanding for what each of those mothers who left her child in a hole in that junk yard cemetery might have felt.

People have asked me repeatedly why I have dug in like a tick on this whole polygamy issue. It's because I know the lie. It's because when I heard FLDS mothers were generally given 3 days to grieve a dead child, that Warren Jeffs had decreed stillborn children were not to be buried in the cemetery, because they were born without souls and did not need consecrated ground so they were disposed of like dead animals, and I saw for myself a community where 50% of the graves were those of children....well, I didn't need anyone to tell me that there was abuse in Colorado City. The graves spoke for themselves. Each and every one of them was attached, somewhere, to a mother, G-d help her.

I stood in that cemetery surrounded by blood red canyon walls with my friend, Flora, and I looked up, and around, beyond the field of holes full of children and she was right. There was no way out, nowhere to hide. There was nowhere to run.

I didn't need a PhD in psychology to know exactly what kind of carnage the polygamy in Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah has produced.

I've got credentials. I am a human being. One who has walked through that fire.

Move along folks, they'll tell you there is nothing to see here, nothing wrong.

Do you really believe that?

It's no secret that the stars are falling from the sky
The universe exploded 'cause of one man's lie
Look, I gotta go, yeah I'm running outta change
There's a lot of things if I could I'd rearrange

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This is a new thirty second AAAP public service announcement available to radio stations anywhere in the country. You can access the audio by clicking on the following link:

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Those of us concerned that there are an estimated *50,000 practicing Muslim polygamists in America, must call on "moderate American Muslims" to actively work to reform Islam in America and insist it conform with the civil protections provided to citizens by the Constitution of the United States, since that is where every American citizen is supposed to invest their fealty.

Muslim Sharia law is inconsistent with the Constitution and must not be tolerated in any form within cloistered Muslim American communities.

Holding women in concubinage is against U.S. law and may also involve human trafficking, especially from Pakistan and some African nations.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Researcher looking for interview subjects

FYI for any females here who have left a polygamous relationship. I have been assured that anonymity is not only necessary for this study but guaranteed.

Transition and Identity In
Women’s Experience of Leaving
a Polygamous Relationship

Wishing to speak to women over the age of 18 who were members
of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days and
have exited a polygamous relationship two or more years ago.

I am a woman focusing graduate research on women’s experience
of leaving a polygamous relationship and the impact that this
transition and experience has had on redefining oneself.

If you are willing to share your experience and reflections in
an interview which will advance research on this topic, please
contact me at for further information.

Terri D. Scoville PhD. Candidate
Division of Applied Psychology
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive, N.W.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Like veal in pens

I have nothing against veal personally. I don't care for it, so I don't eat it, however the veal calves I've met have all been happy as larks; since their entire life consisted of being constantly fed any young cow's dream diet. Miserable veal wouldn't be any good for market, so producers have motivation to take proper care of the animals.

I'm not a member or supporter of PETA, because I happen to think human life has more meaning than an animal's, which they clearly do not, "A pig is a boy is a pig" etc.

No, my mission in life is to concentrate on serving the purpose of improving human life. There are plenty of others, who also don't buy PETA's message, who do care enough about animal life to make it a mission to help protect and improve it.

I am most moved to action when I see the abuse of human beings, especially on such a large scale, like we see in the practice of polygamy.

Keeping human beings like veal in pens is wrong. That is how the women of polygamy are born and raised. When you see the Care Bear colored mothers on TV, nodding their heads and saying, "It's a wonderful life. This is our choice. Oh yes, we are very happy. It is a very pure life".

Is it now? And could we possibly have different definitions of the word "pure"?

Every woman on the YFZ Ranch knew about the child rape of a 12 year old little girl. If they didn't know when she was "married" to Warren Jeffs, all those concubines knew it afterward, when she most likely gave birth to a child, which no doubt was either taken from her at birth or at the time of the 2008 raid.

This child is now one of those "women" on the YFZ who don't believe they are abused.

This little girl thinks it is a wonderful life, her choice, she is happy...and she is pure.

You see, having a man [one you have been raised to believe is a god] in his 50's rape you on a special alter bed in your religion's temple, with the assistance of two more of his older concubines, while they tape recorded the whole episode, and later had every perverted command, and prayer and grunt transcribed on to paper as well...

This, in her world, the world of an FLDS girl child, is a pure life. Being sexually used to breed children for your religion is the epitome of purity.

Raising animals in pens for slaughter is one thing. Raising human beings in them, for the same purpose?

Nobody in Utah or Arizona seems to see any real problem with this.

I consider that a human rights problem and a feminist problem.

For if the government will continue to turn a blind eye to the illegal spread of male patriarchy, which abuses women, what world do you expect to leave for your great grand daughters?

If raising human veal is ignored....