Friday, June 8, 2012

The YFZ Cemetery Saga Continues

The following is the text of a letter I've sent to the Texas Funeral Services Commission this week. On June 9, 2009 I was refused access to the YFZ Ranch Cemetery. I have been patiently waiting for almost three years for Texas to protect my right as a citizen to visit any cemetery during daylight hours, and to be given reasonable ingress and egress in accordance with state law. Although I requested mediation on this issue, none has yet been offered or scheduled.

FLDS attorney, Amy Hennington, in a letter to the TSFC accused me of "mocking" the FLDS when I put on a long sleeve shirt and long skirt to visit the cemetery.


I was not mocking the FLDS when I put on a skirt


I am including the text, and a link to this story that was published the week after my attempt to visit the YFZ Cemetery. As you can see from the news article, dressing in accordance with their "standards" was not a way to "mock" them. The UEP proposal put forth by the FLDS was, of course, rejected because it was a clear violation of the civil rights of non-and ex-members. No town has a right to declare how you should be dressed for cemetery visits, nor do they have a Constitutional right to have a church Bishop decide what books can be seen from a public street window.

The FLDS regularly violates the Civil and Constitutional rights of non and ex-members of the FLDS. That can be seen, clearly, from this documented proposal.

The proposal, which included the dress restrictions for cemetery visits, was made less than a week after my attempt to visit the FLDS controlled YFZ cemetery.

As for mocking them with my signage I offered to remove? Well, last time I checked, whether Utah plans to enforce the law or not [and they don't], the practice of polygamy is a felony in all 50 states of our union. If her description were accurate then anyone with signage proposing that illegal drug use is bad, is "mocking" drug users.

I also find it quite ironic that an attorney for the FLDS would put it in writing to a state agency that the active practicing of a felony is part of their client's religion. Wow! Has AG Greg Abbott, or special prosecutor Eric Nichols seen her letter?

AG's office files proposal to end litigation over polygamous trust land
By Ben Winslow
Published June 15, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Attorney General's Office has filed a proposal to end massive litigation over the real estate arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The proposal calls for a lot of land in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., to be returned to the polygamous sect.

In a letter of intent and a proposal obtained by KSL NewsRadio on Monday, the Utah Attorney General's Office said it would like to see a pair of farms returned to the FLDS. Some land on the outskirts of town would be handed over to non-FLDS members.
"FLDS will complete the survey and division expeditiously," the letter said.
The attorney general's proposal also calls for the town cemetery and a park to be returned to the FLDS.

Ex-members and non-members can have "reasonable access to visit graves, but conduct and dress to be in compliance with FLDS standards."

A library would also be built in town, but anything visible from outside would have to meet "FLDS standards as determined by the Bishop."

The proposal is meant to settle litigation filed by FLDS members over the reformed United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust. In 2005, a judge in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court took over the trust over allegations that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs and others mismanaged it. The judge appointed a fiduciary, Bruce Wisan, to manage it.

For years, the FLDS were relatively silent as the once communal property was dissolved in favor of private property ownership. FLDS members ignored the changes and rules instituted by the fiduciary. Then they sued, arguing the reforms violated their right to freely practice their religion by consecrating their property.
A "stand down" was initiated after lawsuits when the fiduciary sought to sell some land to pay outstanding bills. The FLDS claimed the land was prophesized to be a temple site. The UEP Trust controls homes and property in Hildale, Colorado City and Bountiful, British Columbia in Canada.

The proposal calls for Wisan to be replaced, and a neutral advisory board made up of appointees by both FLDS and non-FLDS members. "This shows our best efforts," said Paul Murphy, a spokesman for Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

A judge must ultimately sign off on the proposal, but Wisan has already objected, arguing in court papers that it violates the reforms enacted by the courts when the trust was taken over. The Arizona Attorney General's Office has also objected, ex-FLDS members also have concerns over the proposal.
"It's all slanted towards the FLDS," said Katie Cox, who lives on UEP land and is on a court-appointed advisory board for the reformed trust.

For their part, FLDS members said in a court filing that they essentially agreed with much of the proposal. "We're very close to agreement with the Utah Attorney General's Office," said Rod Parker, an attorney for FLDS members.

The FLDS also paid $192,000 to the courts on Monday, as required by a judge for occupancy fees and housing costs. Attorneys said it was a good faith effort to keep negotiations ongoing.


  1. Wow, this is incredible, K.Dee. Thank you for this post, very disturbing.