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Long time readers of my polygamy rants (click here to read back-posts, or read my Mormon rants) are most likely NOT surprised by all the stories coming out since yesterday's release of the Gag Order on investigators to the Yearning For Zion Ranch in El Dorado, Texas. Did you read about the pre-teen girls being pregnant? What did I tell you two days ago? [Insert "I told you so" comment here.]

The thing that's upsetting me the most is that I feel in my bones that the original 16 year old girl that called in abuse is dead. (Let's hope she's just been banished to Bountiful, Canada and the Blackmore plyg clan.) Warren Jeffs originally had a high-temperature furnace installed on the property, with the instructions that it would burn hot enough to destroy DNA evidence. The original engineer of that furnace had this to say on the (apparently) secret blog of a former YFZ/FLDS member

He said:
Warren Jeffs did not tell me directly to build a furnace for destroying DNA. Charles Olds told me Mike Emack needed a furnace built and needed our help. I had no idea where Mike was at the time. It never crossed my mind it might be illegit because it came from Mike (I trusted Mike, but I was starting to get suspicious of Warren even then). Coming from Mike, I would have expected a steel mill before a crematory. I never got further with Charles than deciding a few circuit details with him when it then became an urgent need for radio scrambling.

No one from Texas or anywhere else ever talked to me about a furnace; only Charles.Charles showed me an infrared sensor for the furnace that could sense up to 2700F and we needed to interface it to an SCR bank. He showed me a three-phase SCR bank he was using for controlling the heater. I was starting to think about how to interface to the SCR. I was pushing for a graphic LCD display and control, but Mike told Charles, "No, we need a lit LED because where it is going, it will be dark." (An LED is like an alarm clock with several figure 8's. A graphical LCD is like what you see at gas pumps with the little squares) Mike's only comment to me through it all is "we are working for a good cause, but I can't tell you anything, except that I was called on a mission."

The timeline was autumn 2003.

Robert Richter


Later on, in further blog comments, Richter says he *did* originally think it was for a crematorium, but then worried he'd be considered an accomplice for building it, without knowing what it truly was for. Chicken shit.

One person said [to me] "I was in a conversation with Warren and he said 'Brethren, we have got to find a place and a means to blood atone those that need blood atoning."

Robert Richter


Now, Duff Bristline was a big name in the original Colorado City Plyg group, before Warren Jeffs took over. (It's his blog I follow.) He was kicked out, his wives and children "reassigned" to other men (HI, CULT.) and wasn't allowed to contact them. But he does in secret, and once Jeffs was arrested, was able to get back in contact with everyone at the YFZ Ranch (where his families were moved.) He has all of these pictures of the compound, and one of them is a "potato shed." He speculates (and I believe him to be right) that it's the location of the high-temp furnace.

New reports are coming out that a jackhammer was brought in, and there has been speculation that they're looking for bodies under newly poured concrete. Nope. (See, that's what the high temp furnace was for.) They're opening safes. More charges are being applied to Warren Jeffs, and any documentation that DEFINITELY there will help. One of the Texas Rangers said that once they got into the "temple" they finally had all the information they needed. Guess what's kept there? Marriage records. Birth records. That stuff is NOT filed with the state, because bingo! A 13 year old being married to a man in his 50s? Then having a baby? Yeah, they've never kept that stuff in public, and if you've read any of the books written by the women that came out of that culture, they've never had birth certificates. Only the first wife's kids get those, because they're the only legit ones.

So now they're getting their hands on all sorts of wonderful evidence. The first man arrested, by the way, was Jeff's brother, the one with him in the Cadillac at his arrest. He was "tampering with evidence and interfering with an investigation." Trying to hide that stuff, or destroy it, apparently.

It's also interesting to note that all of the people I read online who secretly keep blogs (keep in mind FLDS are forbidden from using media unless to spread their message, listen to hymns - created by Jeffs, or read anything not Jeffs-approved) are all men who are apologists. No women. None. The only women who ever respond are either out of the religion and are pariahs, or people like me stumbling across and asking these people how the hell they can continue to think this way.

This is NOT a religious issue. This is a civil rights issue. This is about the very essence of what it means to be an American: life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness, being taken away from generations of women and children. You cannot pursue happiness when you are taught to live in fear, when your womanhood serves as a means of power and control for a man, when you are denied access to knowledge, to education, to proper health-care.

I have to say it again: this is NOT about grown ups deciding to live together in a sexual and emotional commitment with multiple adults. AT. ALL. This is not the fun, sexy face of "Big Love." (The non-Juniper Creek part.) This is about girls beginning their periods, then forced to marry and have sex with older men, even if that man is her uncle, her first cousin, her grandfather. IT IS REAL. I'm just relieved beyond belief that people are finally paying attention to this. Guys, this has been around for over one hundred and fifty years. My family was polygamist, and some cousins still are.

Oh, and here's my guess at all the family names that will crop up, because there's only a handful of these folks from Colorado City/Hilldale:

  • Bristline
  • Barlow (the prominent family with all the power, aside from the Jeffs)
  • Jeffs
  • Jessop
  • Grubler
  • Harmon
  • Nicholson
  • Taylor (the family my cousin's married to, the original law breakers once LDS said "No more! ...in public. Now make us a state!")
  • Nielson (one of my old college roommates was a Neilson, and her family was polygamist. She was trying to flee. I don't know if she made it.)


I gave a wry laugh at a report from one of the sweet little Baptist church ladies who hollered out to another woman recording names, "Watch out, I've already had a couple of Barlows. I don't think they're telling us their correct names." Nope, that's what you get with an inbred, incestuous community. (And let's hear it for those folks pitching in with their own resources to help out these people. This is what you get when the Texas Rangers are on the case, instead of the Feds.)

And I hate to say it, but the best way to keep these women and children from going off the deep end would be to integrate them with Mormons. They have the same vernacular. Good hell, if some of those Pentecostals and Baptists try and witness to them? They'll freak the hell out. They won't know what on earth is going on.

Comments

( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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beanbeans
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
I still have no words. I certainly shouldn't be surprised at the newest news coming out, because I have been reading your rants for a while, but nevertheless, I still find myself nauseous while reading the news reports.

If Richter did suspect that furnace might be used as a crematorium, why didn't he report it? Or, even better, not make it and THEN report it?

GAH. Where the hell is personal accountability?

ETA: Sorry, that was rhetorical. *breathes*

Please do share flower pics and recipes, and anything else sunny and happy. Bring the spam, girl- I look forward to it.

Edited at 2008-04-09 02:39 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
He didn't report it because Warren Jeffs believes in Blood Atonement. He'd be killed, and maybe even his wives and children. Like I said, chicken shit.

(here's an explanation) Note that most Mormons outside of Utah are converts and have NO IDEA about any of this stuff. This is old school, hardline doctrine, that the old timers (and the FLDS) hang on to, but to my knowledge, only the polygamists practice it.
... - beanbeans - Apr. 9th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
drusplace
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
All of that polygamy stuff is just disturbing...The fact they think it's ok and JUST to treat little girls like that. Sad.

My crocus' are starting to come up! *bounces* It'll still be a bit before I get any flowers, but yay for sprouting!
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)
It's so sad. I've been frustrated for YEARS that these people have been allowed to thrive and flourish in the desert. GAH.

Crocuses! I need to plant some this fall, I miss having them in my garden! See, you may have to wait longer for spring, but you GET a spring! Ours is more of a SPR-wait, no, Summer. :D
... - drusplace - Apr. 9th, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
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stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, I completely forgot about that man! And yep - the crazy isn't too far-fetched, unfortunately.

I'm just glad people are talking about it. So many women have come forward over the past 10 years, and only now is the media picking up on it and holding on. It has to have been the religious angle, right? Which... that's no excuse in my book. (Where are the hardline feminists with their fists raised??)
bastardsnow
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Your posts on this matter (and those like it) are always enlightening and often disturbing, and I hope you continue to do them, to shed light on the goings-on for those of us who are unfamiliar and uninformed.

And yay for your garden.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not boring y'all to tears... It's just one topic I'm crazy-passionate about (and frustrated that more people aren't expressing their outrage. BAH.)

I'm about to shamble (but I'm not a zombie!!!) out there and enjoy the scent of my alyssum, etc. Bliss.
pernickety
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
I just had to seriously lower my opinion of myself. I was clicking around one of those FLDS blogs and they posted pictures of women who were loaded in buses and my first thought was: What's with the hair? Ftf, self.

Is it me or is the engineer saying: "I was afraid to be thought an accomplice" code for: "I didn't want to risk the opportunity for more contracts in the future." Maybe I'm just a cynic and he's a good man in a bad situation.
ETA:Ah, ok, I'm a dipshit. That engineer's family was in actual danger, that's something that may make you keep your mouth shut.

On a brighter note, YAY garden pictures! :)

Edited at 2008-04-09 03:25 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
Oh the HAIR! They're not allowed to cut it, so they do this swoopy thing in front to look like a fringe, and it's called "an angel bang." !!! Can you imagine wearing those clothes (and the women wear trousers or leggings underneath so no leg/ankle shows, not to mention "sacred undergarments" that go from neck to wrist to ankle) in the desert heat? We're talking 40+ centigrade! Feh.

And yeah, his family was in danger, but there would have been ways to tip off the authorities and sneak out family members, imo.

YAY GARDENING! Your post yesterday made me SO HAPPY. (And you should totally join that garden group - cataloging would be fun!)
You asked how people are finding you, - sheilagh - Apr. 23rd, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - stoney321 - Apr. 23rd, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Wow! - sheilagh - Apr. 23rd, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
marenfic
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
ME TOO. (And angry as all get out.)
tabaqui
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
*Gods*, the who thing just makes me sick to my stomach. And i'm outraged and horrified that our stupid, stupid government just lets this all go on, year after year.

*And* the other thing, the boys being abandoned because they're 'too many' so they just dump them like unwanted puppies. Jayzus.

Yeah, where the hell are all the people who scream about misogyny in tv shows while *this* shite is happening?
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC)
They do - they do. It goes back to the '53 raid on SHort Creek where the US public just turned against the police/authorities because it was played out to be consenting adults living quietly and cleanly, raising families. (Not to mention the mindset in the 50s about putting people on welfare forcibly was... not too kind.)

But now that there's a YOUTHFUL face on these mothers, that people are seeing that it's child abuse, my hope is that the pendulum won't swing back the other way.

EXACTLY! We've got psychos yammering about how Joss Whedon's wife is raped everytime they have sex (because of Joss' portrayal of women in his shows, uh... what a wackadoo) and all that shit, yet there's no outrage for this? This isn't a group of adults living together in a house in the PNW/other liberal regions because they're involved emotionally and sexually. This is FORCED SLAVERY. In the US!!! Good hell.
... - tabaqui - Apr. 9th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - stoney321 - Apr. 9th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - tabaqui - Apr. 9th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - lihan161051 - Apr. 17th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
botias
Apr. 9th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
I've got no words. My heart goes out to the 16-year-old whistle-blower. What an incredible hero.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
I know, right? And it breaks my heart that she called back the next day after her distress call to say, no no, I'm fine, ignore me. Poor scared thing. Stupid culture that threatens whistle-blowing with DEATH. Jeez.
... - botias - Apr. 9th, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
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... - stoney321 - Apr. 9th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
mpoetess
Apr. 9th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
This is so weird for me to actually be ahead of the game on current events for once, thanks to having read your ongoing posts on this.

*directs roomie towards your tagged posts*

The scope of what this guy and the extended group have gotten away with just boggles the mind.


stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
Is it wrong for me to feel vindicated by your first statement? I mean, I've honestly felt for years that people didn't believe me - that this crap really is going on in modern day America.

It really does, doesn't it? I swear, the only reason the BFF (from that region) and I can figure they have been able to is the "religious freedom" angle. But religion doesn't (or, it shouldn't) supercede your rights as a human!
copykween
Apr. 9th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
This story just keeps getting more and more disgusting and disturbing. I agree 100% about this being a complete violation of these girls' and womens' civil rights. I hope that all the media attenion will light a fire under some collective asses.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
*high fives you*

Damn straight, and me too.
viciouswishes
Apr. 9th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
Numbers game
Asides from the horrors, one thing that struck me from the article was the numbers game and when one guy said there were 10,000 in Paris. It made me wonder how they were counting. Obviously, there are a lot of them, but I do wonder what the real numbers are. If they were counting only Jeff's followers, all FLDS sects, all identifiable poly groups... Especially since I know the LDS church counts non-members or dead people who were never members among its numbers, I can't imagine what kind of weird number counting the FLDS does.

(A former friend of mine's father left the LDS and they used to call him to invite him to singles' groups as they didn't recognize his non-Mormon marriage and this was like 25 years post-leaving the church and they still considered him a member.)
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Numbers game
Whoa - 10,000 in Paris? I must have missed something! Now, it's true that Jeffs "oversees" 10,000 people (roughly.) He moved the Colorado City/Hilldale people to the YFZ ranch with the hope of integrating the folks in Idaho, in Mexico, in Canada and in the Dakotas. And that *is* current living people. Isn't that scary?

(Dude, they do that to me too!! It pisses my husband off to no end.)
enigmaticblues
Apr. 9th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
I've been following this pretty closely, because I find it fascinating. I recently read Under the Banner of Heaven, which scared the shit out of me. I'm glad that the Texas Rangers are in there and taking things seriously, and that the state took custody of all the kids. *shakes head* Poor dears. They're going to have a long, hard road ahead of them. May the men responsible burn in hell.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
My sentiments exactly.

And yeah - it's going to be a long slog to help these women and kids recover from all of this.
demonqueen666
Apr. 9th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
GAH. And to think I was just recently telling my roomie about the whole "when you die, you become white" thing not too long ago.

I have no words to adequately express my rage or nausea, but I would like to take the oppurtunity to join all the other commenters saying thank you for continuing to post on this issue. I know I've learned far more about the truth of this religion/cult and how it IS STILL PRACTICED from here than anything else.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Well, you know that I'm happy to be of service when it comes to this bidness.

Isn't it just shocking that it's still happening? Mind boggling.
solipsiae
Apr. 9th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to read your book. Thank you for doing this, for following this and shedding insight for the rest of us.
stoney321
Apr. 9th, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how many hits I get when I post about this stuff. It reminds me how little anyone knows about this topic!
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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